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had opportunities of placing before the public the claims of this Society, and on all these occasions I have felt that I stood upon stronger grounds than any that I ever occupied in connection with other institutions. Sir, I often think, when this Society occurs to my recollection, what our case would have been, if we had had no sailors-if by some chance some persons had been wafted from the continent of Europe to our island, if some basket ship, covered with skin, had brought two or three families over, who had settled in and peopled this country. Why, we should be like the ancient Britons—barbarous, houseless, and living in the caves of the earth ; painting instead of clothing ourselves. England would have been thus, instead of being, as it now is, the greatest, mightiest, and most splendid country on the face of the earth. But, Sir, if we are to have sailors, if we are so dependant upon sailors that we can be nothing without them, except barbarians - if to them, as instruments, we owe our civilisation — if to them, as instruments, we owe our Christianity itself — if we are to look back when Cæsar first caught, by his eagle eye, the white cliffs of Dover, as he stood in contemplation on the coast of Gaul, and see in that circumstance, aided by the instrumentality of the sailor, the cause of that civilisation being transported
which we have worked up to the fruitfulness that now characterises our land, shall we accept the boon, and forget the instrument? (Applause.) Shall we look to the history of the sailor, and rejoice in the effect of his labours, and shall we at the same time forget the man himself? Much is said about the simplicity, the ignorance — nay, the profligacy of the sailor. Well, then, all this tends to show us that we ought, with the greater earnestness, to endeavour to raise him, and promote his best interests. How is it, that in our houses we would not take a man with a bad character? How is it, that we would not have a profligate footman, while at the same time we care nothing about the character of the sailors who serve us ? There appears to me a most striking inconsistency in this. Let us do with our sailors as we do with our own domestic servants, and make them what they ought to be; let us encourage them, and raise them above what they have ever been. But how are we to do this? Is it by getting £800 into debt? (Laughter.) Is that the way to raise the sailor ? Is it by coming forward in this great capital, and saying that we are £800 below the honest payment of the claims upon us? I cannot understand this, and I should think the sailors themselves could not. They may say, “We won't take your books, your tracts, your missionaries and your teachers. You give them their salaries, but where do you get the money from ? You owe it ; you are a set of bankrupts; you are all in debt, and we will have nothing to do with you.” An honest sailor might talk in that way, and if he did, what could you say to him? What, then, are we to do? The reverend gentleman at the outset spoke of giving or getting £10, and of so getting you out of debt. Now, I like his proposal exceedingly, and I have no doubt it will be very useful ; but I think the best way would be not to promise anything, but to do everything. There are plenty of ladies and gentlemen here, who could pay you the £800, and never feel that they had lost anything by it. Will they do it? That is the question. Have they charity enough to come forward and pay the debt? To encourage them, I would say, that a friend of mine sitting just by me has given me this paper, which I dare say your sub-treasurer will know what to do with. It is by way of a beginning. [The reverend gentleman then handed the paper to the sub-treasurer; it was a memorandum of a subscription of twenty guineas, from J. Rogers, Esq. The announcement of it to the meeting was received with great applause.] Now you are clapping that, and I don't blame you for it. But will you go on? Will you give us something more than clapping ? Noise, you know, won't pay the printer, nor the bookseller; it won't get up the Bethel flag; but if you will just come forward with similar subscriptions, you will soon run down the debt, and run up the Society. (Laughter and applause.) If this course, Sir, is taken, the Society will be encouraged to renew its labours during the ensuing year with fresh vigour and zeal, and with a more constraining love for the great object which it has in view. What are we to do in the world without taking into our calculation respecting it the sea ? Look at the vast extent of water on the surface of the globe. It was intended by the Creator to supply, by evaporation, the nutriment by which our soil is fed; it was intended, moreover, to be a highway for nations.
We are called upon to follow out what nature has indicated, and to make this highway a sanctified highway. It is with the greatest pleasure that I second the resolu. tion that has been moved ; and I would press upon the meeting the importance of following out the example that has been set them by my friend. (Applause.)
The SUB-TREASURER announced a subscription of £5 from the Lord Mayor, another for the like sum from the Chairman, and the same from G. Jackson, Esq.
The Rev. Joux Bigwood, in supporting the resolution, said that it was with much pleasure he was present at the meeting. Whilst there were many benevolent institutions whose annual assemblies were now being held, there was none with which he more fully sympathised than the one whose claims they were then advocating. It gave him pleasure that a meeting of the Society was held at the chapel at which he preached in the country, and he trusted that in London all the chapels, and that in which he was now engaged amongst the number, would become labourers in the promotion of such a glorious cause. If the sailor was a man of God, and influenced by right principle, he would show to the inhabitants of the countries to which he travelled, the advantages of the maintenance of peace and good will. Thus, by his intercourse with other nations, a fellow-feeling would be nurtured, and we should learn to love all men as brethren, to seek the welfare of all, and thus secure our own. It had been said, with respect to the sailor, that he was addicted to vice, and that he belonged to a class especially demanding our help. But whose fault was it that the sailors were generally depraved ? It was not, he thought, altogether their own fault. The sailor was more sinned against than sinning in this respect. When he went on shore, there was a host of harpies ready to lay hold on him and plunder him of his hard-earned gold; there was a host of abandoned, depraved women ready to make bim their prey. While at sea, he was kept under restraint, and accustomed to obey strict and rigid rules; but when on shore he suddenly found himself at liberty, and he was led hither and thither by those who took bim first in hand. Should not Christians be the first to take him in hand ? If they came first they would have the first hearing, and if they had the first hearing they would secure his attention, save him from robbery and plunder, and promote his eternal interests. What the Society contemplated was to have agents ready when the ships arrived to speak to the sailor respecting his soul, to manifest an interest in his welfare, and to lead him away from the baunts of vice, and from those who would plunder him of his honour and of his reputation. On this account he considered the Society to have special claims to our regard, for it sought to remedy evils which arose not out of the viciousness, but out of the calamity, of the sailor population. It had been said that, wherever the sun shone, there the British flag waved. What a delightful thought it would be if the Bethel flag thus waved in every part of the world ; if not only the natural sun but the beams of the Sun of Righteousness were, through the means of our sailor population, shining upon every part of the earth. And this might be the case, if the agents of this Society were successful in their efforts, and if the sailor population became good and boly men. The resolution he held in his hand spoke of the influence which this Society exerted upon missionary operations. Why, if the Society's agents were multiplied, and their agency rendered as successful in future years as it had been during the past year, soon every sailor would be a missionary, bearing with him the Gospel, taking with him the Bible, planting the tree of life upon every shore. How grateful then should they be to God, who had thus rendered a feeble agency productive of so large an amount of good, and caused such little means to be so extensive in the promotion of his glory. He had heard with much pleasure the reference in the Report to the visits made to the Dreadnought hospital-ship. How large an amount of good might be accomplished by means of these visits. A man might be laid up on board this ship by affliction, and be visited by a foreign missionary, become acquainted with Jesus Christ, and by the blessing of the Holy Spirit be converted to Him. His health might be restored, and he might go back to bis home a changed character, arrived at fresh perceptions, possessed of fresh knowledge, and exemplifying the power of the Gospel he had received, he might thus become, in the midst of his own people, a living witness to Jesus, and a preacher of the cross. There was nothing like native agency. An Englishman could better preach to
Englishmen than all the foreigners in the world, and an Indian could preach the Gospel to Indians better than any other man. Let then the sailors from foreign lands return to their homes under the influence of the Gospel, and they would become successful preachers of the cross; churches would gather up around them, from which the praises and the service of the Most High might issue. The resolution stated that the success with which they had met laid them under special obliga. tions to God. He would, if he could, write that upon every heart and conscience. If God had blessed their efforts, he had thereby told them to go on with the work. They had been making an experiment. They had been asking God whether this Society was approved by him or not, and year after year had been watching the indications of his Providence. By making it successful, God had laid them under an obligation to pursue the efforts of the Society. He had put his seal to it, had stamped his blessing upon it; and if they called themselves God's people, they should do as he bade them, and promote the objects of the Society to the utmost extent in their power. Might God give them the heart to render the Society efficient aid, and bless all their efforts !-(Loud applause.) The resolution passed unani. mously.
The collection having been made,
“That this meeting, cheered and delighted with the revived zeal of the metropolitan churches on behalf of seamen, as evinced in the willingness of so many to form Auxiliary Associations, would affectionately call on the ministers of London to co-operate in such efforts, the more urgently so, as the Directors of the Society are at present involved in heavy pecuniary responsibilities.'
When I read the first part of the resolution to-night, I really did not see how the meeting could be cheered and delighted ; but I am not, generally speaking, disposed to look at the dark side of a question, for I think it is a part of Christian philosophy to look at the bright side of the darkest cloud. I would fondly imagine that you have travelled through the cloud, and are beginning to feel the influence of a brighter and more elastic atmosphere; that you will, in the coming year, feel that you can move about more freely, more vigorously, and perseveringly, practically exemplifying those great and generous sentiments that have been embodied in the Report to-night. We have heard to-night some very curious things about the sailors; I cannot say I believe all that I have heard. The sailor may be a very strange being; it is true, he may have a great many eccentricities—but the sailor is a man ; and, with all his little eccentricities, he is full of manly sentiments and generous feelings. And if there were to be a body of sailors to constitute a missionary society for the conversion of landsmen, I think it very probable, if they were to turn their attention to particular sections, they would find some very curious ones among them. Some of them would be found to have peculiarities as extraor. dinary as those of the sailor, and they might easily get up a case at their meeting to exbibit the weaknesses and imperfections of the lawyers, or parsons, or any other class of men to whom they might chiefly direct their generous attentions. I think, the sooner we look upon men as men, and preach to them as men-as sinful menthe sooner we exhibit to them that salvation, which is not adapted to eccentric man, but to man as he is--the sooner we do that simply, and energetically, the more likely are we to succeed. If you preach to classes, you very often hit upon their prejudices. If you begin by making man a porcupine, you have to smooth down his quills before you can get at his affections; but begin with him as a man, and address the Gospel to him as a man, and, whether be be a sailor or a landsman, you may depend upon it you have got on the high-road to his affections, and will soon secure his attention. The class of men whom you seek to benefit are not only men, but they are generous men. One would imagine, from what is sometimes said, that all sailors are reprobates, drunkards, violators of the Sabbath, and the like. It is no such thing. There is as fair a proportion of good and moral men amongst them, as amongst almost any other class of the human race. It was not so ; but some people seem to have lived a little behind the age in this matter. In every country there are vicious seamen, and in every country there are good seamen ; and the good part bas materially increased within the last twenty-five years. (Hear, hear.) Now, just let us think of the extent of the maritime population of the world, and remember that there are, connected with Britain, two millions and a half of seamen. Here is an extensive field for our enterprise, for our Christian benevolence and exertion. I am happy to state, from intelligence I have received from Calcutta to-day, that the sailors' cause is reviving there. I have urged upon your Board the claims of that city, with a view to obtain a chaplain in this country for them, partially supported there, and partially here. A meeting has been held there, I understand, attended by soldiers and sailors, cheering, as soldiers and sailors only can cheer ; and they have determined, I believe, since you cannot give them a chaplain, to go to the new and rising country of America, to see if they can help them. I should like, if it were possible, that you should extend your labours to India ; and that, as well as wiping off your debt of £800, you would obtain a hundred persons to subscribe a sovereign each per annum to sustain a Sailors' Chaplain in Calcutta. We pledge ourselves to give £100, and we ask this country to give the other £100. This is a fair challenge, and I state it to you again, as I have done for two successive years. If you do not accept my proposal to-night, the chances are, that such a good one from that country may never be presented to you again. I leave the matter in your hands, and will only now state, that had it not been for my attachment to the cause of seamen, I certainly should not have been here to-night, as I have been labouring under indisposition. (Applause.).
The Rev. JOHN ADEY seconded the resolution. He said a few sentences would be sufficient from him, in seconding the motion proposed by the previous speaker. To every sentiment that had been expressed in sympathy with the sailors' cause, be gave a hearty amen, and a cordial approval. As a man, as a citizen, and as Christian, he ought to care for sailors. They had to rejoice that there were from seven hundred to one thousand captains who were not ashamed to hoist the Bethel flag at their mast-head, and asseinble their crews beneath it. There were supposed to be also fifteen thousand sailors ploughing the ocean, who “ feared God and honoured the Queen.” One could not but be struck with the difficulties which this Society had encountered. Perhaps there had been no cause of philan. thropy and religion that had met with greater difficulties than the cause of the sailor. In the early efforts for the evangelisation of seamen, what sad mistakes were made, wbat imprudences committed, some of the baneful effects of wbich continued to the present day. The present directors had oftentimes been discouraged, and cast down for want of support from the religious public. To their honour and credit, however, they had pursued their efforts up to the present time. He rejoiced to see on the platform some of those holy and excellent men,-some of the sons of the oceanwho had devoted themselves to the promotion of the religious welfare of their brother seamen ; they had continued, year after year, till some of them had been overtaken by old age; still they laboured on the committee, and he was convinced they would never forsake the Society, so long as life was continued to them. So much success had attended them, because they had devoted themselves especially to that one cause, and what their hands had found to do, that they had always done. They now wanted more merchants, more tradesmen, more devoted ministers of Christ, more pious retired officers of the naval and merchant service, more energetic Christian females, to give their attention to the cause. Let them devote their time and energy to the promotion of the sailors’ welfare, and the blessing of God would assuredly rest upon them. Much had been said of the value of the sailor's services, and he concurred in all that could be said on that point. He was struck the other day, in reading the preamble to a bill passed some years ago, relative to the punishment of seamen, to find that it commenced with the words, “Whereas the prosperity, strength, and safety of the United Kingdom depend principally on our seamen, be it enacted”- certain punishments for their crimes. Not a word was said about raising his moral condition. If the value of the sailor was so great, should they not at all times endeavour to raise his condition? How did the landlord enjoy his broad acres in safety? How was the manufacturer enabled to continue his vast efforts to produce his merchandise, and how was he able to transport his goods to distant lands? How had trading societies amassed their riches? How had mis. sionary societies sent out missionaries, and Bible societies given the world their
millions of copies of the Scriptures ? All must answer, By the sailor." All acknop. ledged his usefulness, yet how few cared for his soul! There were certainly insti. tutions connected with the sailor that were the glory of the country-such as the Dreadnought hospital --- the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, and the like; but when they inquired as to the all-important matter of caring for the never-dying soul, they had the answer in the Report, and in the treasurer's account which had been presented to them. He was deeply anxious that the moral condition of the sailor should be raised. There was no reason why the sailor should be the rough, coarse, vulgar man that he was. A man was not the more courageous, because he was immoral. He did not believe what an eminent man had said that the man who had much care about religion was not fit for a soldier. The more moral and religious the sailor was, the better servant, the better citizen, and the better seaman he would make. He was anxious that the Society should attend especially to foreign-going seamen, as those who went coastwise were cared for to a large extent.
He was desirous that the ships that went to foreign ports should be furnished with libraries superior in quality to those which had been hitherto given them. Seamen could generally read, and many of them were painfully infected with infidelity; so that works of a higher order, calculated to enlighten their minds, as well as to make an impression on their hearts, ought to be diffused amongst them. He should wish that a general appeal to the country should be made for contributions for this purpose. He thought also that there should be a higher order of preaching amongst seamen. The Society had taken a right step in that direction, in the appointment of its present chaplain at the Mariners' Church. He augured great things from the appointment of a minister of so much intelligence and education. He would not undervalue the services of those plain and good men who had been on board ships preaching the Gospel to seamen ; but the time was come when sailors ought to know that religion did not consist in the excitement of the passions, in declamation, and in noise. From the more extensive circulation of an improved and valuable literature, the more extensive preaching of the Word of God, and with the Divine blessing upon their operations, he believed that blessed times were coming for the sailor. How delightful it would be, when our seamen should go forth to distant lands, themselves making known the Saviour to perishing men ; thus realising the beautiful words in Bishop Heber's hymn
“Waft, waft, ye winds, His story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
It spreads from pole to pole.”—(Applause.)
Captain Cook proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman. He said:- What a blessed thing it would be if we could but have converted sailors to conduct our commerce, and carry our missionaries abroad. He had himself seen, in foreign parts, the bad effects produced by unchristian seamen. On the coast of Africa, he had noticed that the nearer the natives were to British seamen, the more degraded they were. Such a state of things ought to be remedied; and it could only be done by raising the sailor's moral and religious character. As to the small income of the Society, he would suggest that all their clerical friends should give them a collection in the course of the year ; then their income, instead of being £3,000, might amount to £30,000 a year. (Applause.)
Captain ALLEN, R.N., seconded the resolution, and invoked the blessing of the Almighty upon the labours of the Society.
After a brief acknowledgment from the Chairman, the meeting terminated.