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SERVICES, ATTENDANCE, AND VISITS.
CIRCULATION OF BIBLES, TESTAMENTS, PARTS OF SCRIPTURE,
TRACTS, AND OLD MAGAZINES.
Day Schools--average attendance of boys, 54.
Sunday Schools-average attendance of boys, 34. Girls, 33.
PORT OF LONDON.
CAPTAIN PRYNN'S REPORT. In presenting our reports of monthly labour amongst our brother sailors, much sameness necessarily appears, from the very nature of our engagements; yet the various incidents and circumstances connected with those labours greatly differ-not so much from time or distance, but from the varied methods of operation of the grace of God upon the hearts of those men amongst whom we are engaged.
Often has the bold blasphemer been brought to lisp the praises of our Redeemer, and sing the songs of Zion; often has the obdurate heart been broken and subdued, and, in the spirit of true contrition, led to seek for mercy. And often has the doubting and desponding heart been cheered and refreshed, whilst those who have already believed have been strengthened in their heavenly way, by an increase of faith, of love, and of grace. I have found, this past month, cases wherein all that I have thus referred to has taken place.
At a Bethel meeting on board the Launceston, lying in Battle Bridge lier, after the usual invitation to the sailors to attend, I heard a sailor making use of very unbecoming language. I stopped short, and going to him, said, “Do you mean what you have just said?” He was silent for a moment, but, as though seeking for an answer, soon replied, “What have you to do with me?" I said, I have much to do with you ; I have to warn you of the evil of your ways, and to persuade you to leave your sins, and not to perish in them; and now I wish you to attend with those sailors, and come to the Bethel meeting.” “ No," was the answer. A few more words of entreaty passed, but in vain. We retired to our Bethel meeting, which was a very delightful one. I referred to the case of ihe sailor at the commence. ment of the meeting, and begged our praying sailors to make his case a matter of prayer before God. This was done, and I trust not in vain.
The following evening, when about to hold a Bethel meeting on board the A- and E--, of F I met the same young man, conversing with two other sailors, and on my requesting them to attend the meeting, the reply was, “ Yes, sir.”
Calling iny young friend aside, I said, " I hope you will be with us to-night." With a faltering voice, and a look which nothing but guilt could produce, he replied, "I am sorry for what I did last night; I behaved very bad to you-do pray for me. I have been very differently brought up. My mother and father are pious persons; but I have been a wicked son.” T'ears began to flow from his eyes whilst I spoke a few words of encouragement to him. Very soon we had ihe happiness of seeing him at the meeting, as he had promised. Whilst praying for him, he went aloud, and was often heard to cry, “ Lord have mercy upon me.
." He appeared to feel the burden of sin. I have had much conversation with him since. A great change seems to have taken place; and I trust this blasphemer will become the humble follower of Christ.
At my meeting on board the P--, of Hull, the captain, who is a pious man, and takes a lively interest in the spiricual welfare of sailors, being present, gave a short address, which was kindly received by those who were present. Two days after, ! met Ihree men who had been present, and who all
spoke of the benefit they had received in attending the meeting. One of them said, “I am led to see more than ever what a sinner I have been, and I now see that Christ is the only Saviour. I do thank God for the mercy he has shown to me. I had much conversation with each of these men, and was happy to find that their experience went to prove, that although they had but recently been led to see the error of their ways, yet, nevertheless, their first impressions took place at Bethel meetings, and that they found much comfort in attending those means of grace. Bilt there are circumstances of a very trying nature, that call forth our sympathy and pity, as well as the exercise of faith. Applying to a captain to hoist the Bethel flag, and let me hold a meeting, looking very earnestly at me, he said, “I am not your way of thinking." I began to speak very seriously respecting the situation he held and its responsibility. “I am not your way of thinking," was his answer. Urging my request yet ther, and referring to his own personal salvation, his reply was, “ I am not your way of thinking.” Referring to the day of death, of judy ment, and eternity, to all his answer still was, “I am not your way of thinking:" I said, “Well, sir, when I see you again, if spared, I hope you will have altered your opinion.' "I don't intend to be of your way of thinking,” were still his words, as I turned from him to speak to his crew. I found them too much like their captain, and one of them told me he would not have a Bible if I would give it to him.
On another occasion, when making an application to hoist the Bethel flag and have a meeting, the captain, who had been called out of his cabin, said, "I don't want any psalm-singers on board my ship.” I was about to reply, but was prevented by his hasty retreat and rude behaviour. Not one of the crew would receive tracts. I found I was on board the wrong ship, and retired, praying that the eyes of their understanding might be opened.
Yet, in the midst of these difficulties, which try our faith, we know that the good work of grace is making headway in the hearts of very many of our brother sailors.
SAILORS' CHURCH. We have the satisfaction to know that good is doing here, and that the Divine blessing attends the ministration of God's own word. Our Sabbath. evening prayer meetings, after the service, have been well attended, and many have found it good thus to approach the throne of grace. The last Sabbath evening was a time of much refreshing to inany who were presentthank God for the rich_displays of his grace!
SAILORS' LODGING-HOUSES. My visits have, in general, been acceptable. The tracts thankfully received, and, I trust, read; and where small parcels of tracts have been given, and put into the sailor's chest as a part of his stores for the ensuing voyage, we hope they will be followed with the Divine blessing. The old magazines, so kindly prepared for use by Captain Allen, R.N., are often inquired after by those who bave seen and read them before. The distribution of tracts in the London and St. Katharine Docks, and also by our kind friends who attend on the Sabbath days for this purpose, has contributed much to the directing many sailors to the church.
VISITATION OF THE SICK.
In visiting the sick, in the abodes of wretchedness and want, I have met three cases, where my visits, I trust, have not been in vain. There is an
anxious desire to have the word of God read, and they heartily join their responses in prayer. I have paid seventeen visits to sick persons, one of whom has died, but, alas ! leaving no evidence of a change of heart.
MR. S. LONSDALE'S REPORT. It is through the mercy and goodness of God that I am permitted again to report the labours of another month. I am thankful to say, through the grace of God, our meetings on the river during the past month have been, on the whole, of an encouraging nature ; many fervent and earnest prayers have been offered up by our pious sailors, and our meetings on board have been well attended. At three of my services, appropriate addresses have been given by pious captains. It is pleasing to find amongst those who go down to the sea,” some who are anxious to see the work of the Lord revive amongst their brethren, and who are using all the means within their reach to bring them to the knowledge of Christ. And we have every reason to believe that God is owning the labours of his servants, and that the knowledge of his Great Name is spreading over the mighty waters. I am happy to state I have met with two interesting cases of conversion, where God has revealed himself to the seeking sinner, on board of his own ship. The one was on board of our good brother, Captain Kelly, of the Emerald, who is favoured with most of his crew being praying men. I was holding a service on board, when he called upon one of his men to engage in prayer, and he told me that he had lately found peace with God at their family altar on board; and when this man arrived at home, he got his son to go with him to the means of grace, and he also is now under serious impressions. The other case is a captain, who, with his wife and child, was exposed to that dreadful storm of the 5th of March. They lost their vessel, and he, his wife and child, and crew, were in the boat for about five hours. They were at length picked up by a small vessel, and in about twelve hours they lost her, and they again sutfered shipwreck. But, through the goodness of God, they were saved after all. It appears that the captain and his wife have seen the necessity of giving their hearts to God; and while they, with a praying sailor or two, were pleading with God for mercy in their own cabin, He was pleased to impart peace to their troubled hearts. When I was holding a service on board of the New Prosperous, they attended, and the captain prayed earnestly to God, and devoutly thanked Him for the great deliverance he had experienced. Thus he attended to the exhortation of ihe Psalmist, and “praised the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.” The work of the Lord is evidently going on, and impressions are being made on the hearts of sailors, which we hope will lead them to Christ, and the full enjoyment of his great salvation. We, through the Divine blessing, are sowing the seed by the preaching of the everlasting Gospel, a.d the distribution of Bibles, Testaments, tracts, and useful books. We trust that the truth thus brought to the sailors will find its way to their hearts, and that they will become pious and useful men.
The work of the Lord on the river, as far as I am able to see, looks cheering. I have felt encouraged and blessed while I have been endeavouring to do others good. Our cabins have been, on the whole, well filled, and our prayer is that God may own the labours of his servants, and that our sailors may be saved.
I have also attended to the lodging-houses, and have endeavoured to do good there. All we are able to do at some of them is to give the tracts at the door ; but I trust, through perseverance and kindness, we shall gain access to them all. The Docks have also been visited, and we have tried to persuade the sailor to look after the things which belong to his peace. The means have been used, and all we can now do is to pray that God may bless them. During the month, I have attended three public meetings, all of which were tolerably well attended, and much good feeling manifested towards the sailors' cause. At one of these, which was held at Uxbridge, I was accom. panied by our friend and brother, Captain Hasted, when a beautiful Bethel Flag was presented to him by the Rev. Dr. Hewlett, on behalf of the kind ladies who compose this Auxiliary Committee, with their earnest prayer for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom among our seamen. I trust that the prayers of these pious ladies will be answered, and that their efforts to do good to sailors may be crowned with God's blessing, and that the redeemed spirits of seamen 'may deck the crown of their rejoicing, whilst they shine as the stars for ever and ever.
During the past month I have held 13 services afloat, attendance 208, and four on shore ; have paid 493 visits to ships; and 210 to sailors' lodging-houses. I have sold 46 Bibles, and 30 Testaments; and have distributed 2,760 tracts, and 51 old Magazines.
MR. H, V. BAILEY'S REPORT. It may, indeed, be said of our brethren who do business upon great waters, “that in the midst of life they are in death.” A few mornings since, in visiting a tier of vessels lying in the river, on the first vessel I hoarded I saw sorrow pictured in the countenance of each of the crew, when, on inquiring the cause, the reply was, “Oh, sir, we have just lost one of our shipmates, a five young fellow, twenty-one years of age. Half an hour ago he tell from a barge lying alongside, and before we could reach him he went to the bottom." The captain willingly consented to hoist the Bethel flag for a service that evening, when, to an attentive company, I pointed out the brevity and uncertainty of human life. In referring to my journal the same day, I found the last time I had conducted divine service on board this vessel was to improve the death of a young man, nineteen years of age, who fell from a vessel lying in the same tier. In visiting the Lower Pool, the following day, I was informed two men had just been drowned from vessels lying there. Whilst these deeply-affecting circumstances cry aloud to our seamen, “Be ye also ready, for iu such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh,” they seem also to say to all who profess to be interested in the sailor's spiritual welfare, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” In my report, I wish to express my gratitude to Almighty God for his watchful care over me during the past month. One day, in visiting vessels lying in the St. Katharine Docks, I had a very narrow escape of either being drowned or breaking some of my limbs ; but, by the good providence of God, I escaped with only a few bruises. I feel pleasure in stating that the services I have held during the month have been refreshing seasons from the presence of the Lord; and I trust, at the great day of account, it will be seen that the word has not been spoken in vain. At one service, twenty-five searnen and captains were present, out of whom nine engaged in fervent prayer. At another, since, twenty-two were present, and after a short sermon, eleven engaged in prayer. A captain, at the close of the meeting, said, “ This has been the happiest evening of my life;" and often have I heard our dear brethren in their prayers exclaim, “ Master, it is good to be here;" or, “ This is, indeed, the gate of heaven." During the month our flag has been hoisted by captains who had not hoisted a Bethel flag before. I was much pleased one morning with