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acknowledgments to the Religious Tract Society for their repeated grants of volumes for
LOAN LIBRARIES AND RELIGIOUS TRACTS,
to the amount of £93. Also, to many kind friends, for frequent parcels of old magazines and pamphlets; and particularly to their much-esteemed friend, Capt. C. Allen, R.N., for his valuable services in adapting the same for circulation. Libraries have been furnished to ships sailing to Aden, the Baltic, Bombay, Cape of Good Hope, California, Canada, Gibraltar, Hobart Town, Launceston, Mauritius, Newfoundland, Port Adelaide, Sydney, the South Seas, and other parts. That seamen have frequent opportunities for reading is well known, and that some of them avail themselves of it, for the purposes of self-improvement and soul-culture, the following incident, given by one of your missionaries, will clearly exhibit :
"A captain, recently arrived from South America, called on me to thank me for the loan library with which he had been furnished, and for the benefits he hoped some of his crew had received from it. Several of the sailors from this vessel called on me also, telling me, the tracts had been received and read with much thankful. ness. A sailor, also, from another ship, came to my house saying, 'I have just returned home from a long and dangerous voyage. We have encountered many storms, and have been very nearly lost, but we have been most miraculously preserved, and being again brought to our port in safety, I have two sovereigns to give you for the British and Foreign Sailors' Society.' I said, "Can you afford to give so much, you may be some time out of employ?' Looking at me with some degree of earnestness, he replied, • I leave all my affairs in the hands of the Lord he will provide all I need. I have also seen the captain with whom this man sailed for the last twelve months ; he states him to be a man of prayer. In the storm and tempest he was calm and steadfast to his duty; if the ship was on her beam-ends, and waves dashing over her, George was at his post. His Morning Portion and his Bible were his chief companions, when the weather and circumstances would admit. This sailor, when paid his wages, bought many valuable bcoks, such as “James's Anxious Inquirer,' • Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul,' Alleine's Alarm,' 'Baxter's Saint's Rest,' Pilgrim's Progress,' •Call to the Unconverted,' &c., and gave them to his shipmates. Thus carrying out the principles of his profession."
The former location of
THE SOCIETY'S DAY SCHOOLS being exceedingly inconvenient, the Directors were very glad
to avail themselves of the opportunity of securing more eligible premises near the London Docks, recently erected, at a large cost, by the congregation at the Weigh-House Chapel, for the accommodation of their branch Sunday school, and as an occasional preaching station. The following are the encouraging reports of the schoolmaster and governess. Mr. E. Davey writes :
“ The Boys' School connected with your Society has greatly increased. When I first took charge of it, there were about forty boys in attendance; there are now seventy-five. Of these, twenty can read pretty well, and most of the others can read easy lessons ; thirty-six are in various stages of arithmetic, from numeration to mensuration of surfaces; twenty write in copy books—the remainder on slates. The course of instruction consists of reading, spelling, writing, slate and mental arithmetic, geography, history, drawing, English grammar and composition; in addition to which, the elder boys have daily lessons on scientific subjects. Nearly all the children attend Sunday schools."
Miss E. Hempsted reports that
“ Since the removal of your schools to Darby-street, 144 children have been admitted ; and, although many were compelled to leave, on account of the distance from their homes, yet the average attendance has already reached sixty. The children are instructed in reading, writing, spelling, history, geography, grammar, mental and slate arithmetic, and they also receive simultaneous lessons on useful subjects in nature, manufactures, &c. A collective scripture lesson is given daily to the whole school, from which some practical truth is deduced ; and a portion of the word of God is also committed to memory. Independently of these subjects, a knowledge of needle-work, cutting out and repairing clothes, and the general duties of servants, is also imparted."
SUNDAY SCHOOLS, badly accommodated in the vestry of the Sailors' Church, have received some important additions, both in teachers and children; the average attendance throughout the year having been 9 teachers, 40 boys, and 36 girls.
In closing this detailed account of the labours of the Society in the Port of London, the Directors would thankfully record their obligation to the East LONDON AUXILIARY, for its fraternal sympathy with the Parent Society, and valued co-operation in its various efforts; but especially in the regular conduct of ship visitation, and Bethel meetings, in the Regent's Canal Basin, Commercial-road.
The Directors have also to acknowledge their obligations to not a few gentlemen, both in London and the country, who by affording their gratuitous services, in tract distribution and other labours, greatly promote the objects of this Society.
In thus presenting the synopsis of the varied labours of the year, it is pleasing to be convinced that, however peculiar the character and condition of the seaman may be, and however imminent his perils, yet, that “the glorious gospel of the blessed God," the one great instrument employed by this Society and all its provincial branches, is perfectly adapted to ineet his case, and is, in fact, alone able to afford him the spiritual consolation, and the moral energy, which in his constant exposure and multi. plied trials he so greatly needs. A beautiful illustration of this fact, and one amply sufficient to encourage and stimulate all the friends of the sailor's cause, occurred in the case of Capt. W.H. Prynn, the son of your senior missionary, when rounding Cape Horn, in the month of December, 1847. Having experienced heavy gales of wind for several days, which brought the ship so near the shore that to all human appearance she must strike before morning, the captain went below to pour out his supplications to God. It was about 9 P. M., when, being alone in his cabin, the words of the 23rd Psalm were forcibly applied to his mind : “ Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with nie; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me;" and the following beautiful lines were thus suggested to him: Shall I fear when I am dying ?
Still my heart his love shall cherish,
Father, shall thy children perish, “ Jesus Christ is at thy side;
Who have put their trust in thee?
“No, my Son has crossed the flood, He is nigh to comfort thee."
And will bring them home to God."
When I yield my farewell breath,
Yes, for I thy love shall share
SUMMARY OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE SOCIETY DURING THE YEAR 1848-49.
SERVICES, ATTENDANCE, AND VISITS.
CIRCULATION OF BIBLES, ETC., TRACTS, LOAN LIBRARIES, AND
Port of London
516 8261 384 15,141 16,855 5639 506 130 1663 1479 81 42 138 525 179 90,190 1702 23,879 741
10 12 210 800
47) 435 4620 20,809 3400 541 915
73,240 260 3200 3420) 2 40 299
93 190 4475 2170 546 274 16
144 440 2 19,917
47503456 18 397 2
14,500 1200 4500
4000 3550 450
8 6 500
20 480 1 20 261 1198 240 179 52 21
13.20 3100 10 200 3001
823 117402752 42,024' 55,030'9280'3975' 746|3833 2313 3091 132' 536 9911 181 223,472 | 12,479 37,492 8590) 156 23,950
N.B.- The statistics from Ramsgate, Shoreham, and Torquay, do not comprise the whole year.
The attention of the Directors has been turned to this subject with considerable anxiety. It will be remembered, that the balance sheet of last year showed a deficit of nearly 500l. ; and this, it was confidently anticipated the new measures, which it was then decided to adopt, would speedily remove. In this hope, however, as will be seen from the balance-sheet about to be submitted to you, the Directors have to mourn a disappointment, occasioned by several concurrent circumstances. The depressed state of trade, and the excitement and pressure of the times upon all classes, have been its principal causes; and through these the efforts of gentlemen successively engaged to canvass in the metropolis on behalf of your funds, were rendered comparatively fruitless; whilst the partial failure of your country deputations may be ascribed to the same sources. The necessary removal of your Day Schools to other premises, which involved considerable expense, and the requisite exterior repairs of the Sailors' Church, have also tended to increase the difficulty. It being needful, in this emergency, that some immediate steps should be taken with a view to meet the case, the Directors, un willing to relieve the pressure by withdrawing from any sphere of labour at present occupied, resolved to discontinue the publication of their smaller Magazine, “ The Juvenile Bethel Flag," at Christmas last; and your late secretary, the Hon. Edward Curzon, having at the same time tendered his resignation of office, the Directors felt themselves bound to accept it, and to recall your travelling secretary to his post in London. This step they have been enabled the more conveniently to take by having already secured, in the deputation department, in addition to the labours of the Rev. T. C. Finch, the occasional gratuitous services of several highly respectable ministerial representatives, and they indulge the hope that they will be able to adopt this plan to a still greater extent.
A fund towards the removal of the debt was also commenced, by means of special collecting cards, which have already realised more than 1001., though many have not yet been returned.
In addition to these measures, the Directors are happy to