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PORT OF LONDON.
CAPTAIN PRYNN'S REPORT. It is a pleasing fact, and which I am much gratified to record, that the work of the Lord is progressing amongst our sailors, and that the number is fast increasing of such as are the subjects of divine grace. In proof of this I refer to our Bethel Meetings, a short account of some of which I will now give.
Nov. 7.-After visiting during the day thirty-nine vessels, and distributing ninety-three tracts, I held in the evening a Bethel meeting on board the Maria, lying in the Union Tier. Three captains, and fifteen sailors were present; two of the captains and two sailors prayed. The captains, and also six of the mariners, were members of Christian churches. The prayers offered at this meeting were truly devout, and we found it good to be there.
Nov. 10.--Held my Bethel service on board the Fairy Queen, Pickleherring Tier. This meeting was one of much solemnity, there having been a young sailor drowned in the morning belonging to one of the ships in the same tier. The captain and those belonging to the ship attended : the address was given from the words, “ What man liveth and shall not see death.” Many tears were shed on this occasion, and I trust the impression made was by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then it will be effective and permanent. Twenty-four were present, four of whom joined in solemn prayer.
Nov. 16.- A special service was held on board the Maria, of Glasgow, it being the first Bethel meeting ever held in that vessel: twenty-seven were present. The captain, a young man, member of the Scotch Church, prayed very fervently; the mate and one of the sailors followed. There was a sense of the Divine presence, I trust, felt by those present. The tracts given were received with thankfulness.
Nov. 17.-After the usual labours on the river and London Docks, having visited thirty-three vessels, distributed 107 tracts, and conversed with about fifty sailors, during the day, held a Bethel meeting on board the Fulcon; twenty-one present ; two prayed. In conversation, found that out of this little number eight gave full evidence of a renewed heart, and were passing forward to obtain the prize of eternal life ; may the number be mightily increased!
Nov. 21.--Held a Bethel meeting on board the Helen, of Montrose: fifteen present; three prayed. One of the men had recently been shipwrecked, when four of his shipmates had been drowned. His prayer affected all present ; he wept much while thanking God for his late deliverance.
Nov. 24.-During the day visited forty-one vessels in the river, and had religious conversation with about forty sailors. Held my Bethel meeting in the evening on board the Thirteen, in Bell-wharf Tier ; twenty-one present, three prayed. The carpenter of the Urania, who was present, appeared to be labouring under powerful convictions. I conversed with him on the concerns of his soul at the close of the meeting.
I have held Bethel meetings also on board the Hesler, the Elizabeth Adnett the Boyne, and the Launceston, which were well attended, and deeply interesting. Upon the whole, my heart is much cheered with the present evidences of good doing amongst our British sailors; and I am more than ever satisfied that our labours are not in vain.
SAILORS' LODGING-HOUSES. In discharging this part of our duty, we see much to create a deep sympathy in our minds on behalf of our perishing sailors. I have not been able this month to attend to this duty so fully as my brother Lonsdale, whose Sabbath mornings are devoted to this portion of labour, whilst I am more especially occupied on board the shipping in the London Docks, where I am able to distribute tracts to at least 100 sailors every Sabbath morning before half-past ten o'clock. There are not, however, those scenes of intemperance and immorality to be witnessed so frequently at our sailors' boarding-houses as in days past, although there is much still to be lamented and improved.
SAILORS' CHURCH. The attendance continues much the same. The number of sailors varies in proportion to the arrival and sailing of vessels, either coast wise or foreign. I have met three captains, two mates, and six seamen, this past month, who have stated to me the benefits they have received at the Sailors' Church, and who strictly attend the religious services there.
I have paid eleven visits to the sick, and have seen what grace can do in prospect of Eternity. The language of one, an aged pilgrim, was, "I am satisfied of my interest in Christ; I am only waiting his command. Come, Lord! Come, Lord! Hold out, patience; all shall be well.” Oh, that every sailor was thus prepared to meet his latter end !
An interesting young man, first mate of a vessel, acknowledges that the sermon preached on Sunday morning, 10th instant, from Matthew xii. 50, so awakened him to a sense of his spiritual destitution that he was led to cry for mercy. Attending throughout that day the njeans of grace at the Sailors' Church, he felt more than ever the importance of believing on Christ, and casting himself on the atonement. The services of the day, and the prayer-meeting after the evening sermon, were blessed abundantly to his soul, so that he acknowledged, with tears, he had never experienced such a day of blessings. At the prayer meeting on Monday he was present, and appeared to be much comforted. I had some spiritual conversation with him on Tuesday evening at a special prayer meeting held by some pious friends ; he broke out in prayer, and such were his earnest pleadings at the throne of grace, that the friends were really astonished. I have had a conversation with him, and believe him to be sincere. He engaged in prayer at the Sailors' Church last evening.
MR. S. LONSDALE'S REPORT, In the former part of this month there were very few ships in the river, and some of our Bethel meetings were not so well attended as usual; but on the whole we have cause “to thank God and take courage." Lately our cabins bave been filled with attentive hearers ; and we trust that, through the Divine blessing, the Gospel may have made some lasting impression upon their minds. I think there have been a greater number of praying sailors present this month at our meetings than I have seen previously; and God has been earnestly entreated to revive his work among their brethren. We have felt much of the presence of God in our meetings, and I have heard it remarked at the close, « It is a long time since I felt
so happy as I have to-night." We trust that the word which has gone forth will be like bread cast on the waters, “ to be seen after many days.
The other branches of our duties have been attended to as far as we have been able; we have visited the ships both on the river and in the docks. Tracts have been distributed, accompanied by words of exhortation. We take especial care to ask the sailors, “Have you a Bible in your chest ?'' and when they have not, we have endeavoured to persuade them to take the blessed book to sea with them; and thus a few have been supplied with the Word which is able to make them wise unto salvation. I have met with comparatively few sailors at their lodging-houses this month. In this part of our labour we meet with some discouragements ; notwithstanding, the seed has been sown. May God bless it, and may it yet spring up unto eternal life. I spent one whole day in visiting the lodging-houses, and I felt much encouraged in my work. I had much religious conversation with the sailors, and sold to them ten copies of the Scriptures. I met with three who had just come from a foreign voyage ; they had not a lodging, so I got them one where I know they will be well cared for, and where we can get access to them, and bring them under the sound of the Gospel. During the month I have held 17 services on ship-board, attended by 218 sailors. I have also held 6 on shore, attended by 101 sailors. Vessels visited, 601; and 257 visits paid to sailors' lodging-houses. 84 Bibles and 80 New Testaments sold. One large Testament i gave to an old sailor who had lost his through shipwreck, and a Bible to another sailor who had met with the same disaster. I have distributed 3,450 tracts. May the Lord bless the means thus employed, and He shall have all the glory! Amen.
MR. EVAN EVANS'S (Welsh) REPORT. During the past month death ha3 removed one of my dear brethren in Christ and a fellow-officer in the church. I desire to feel thankful to God in sparing my life, and in giving me health and strength to continue to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ among both sailors and landsmen. I have held last month some very interesting meetings on board-ship; the Lord having been, according to his precious promise, with us. On board of the E--, of N--, on my arrival we had some conversation concerning preaching and preachers. One of the captains said, “I could preach as well as any of you, if it were not for that one sin, that monster sin." I felt it my duty there and then, by God's help, to give him some counsel to aid him to overcome it; and, that I might have time to collect my thoughts, I asked the captain to call on some one to pray. He called on a young man; but the Lord disappointed me in my plan ; for when he commenced his most earnest appeal to the throne of grace, I was compelled to throw aside my thoughts of preparing a sermon, and joined with him in his struggle with the Lord. I have never witnessed such impression on the minds of my hearers as on this occasion. “ Surely this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes." I was informed that after I had left, one of the captains present accused the captain of the vessel of telling the preacher his character, or he could not have so correctly pictured him in his discourse ; and the men on deck said, “Oh! he met us last Saturday night, and heard our conversation, and witnessed our conduct, and that was the cause of that sermon to-night." On another occa. sion I had a very interesting service on board of the same ship. Three prayed, and after the address we had farther conversation concerning the danger of delay and indecision in religion. I trust the impression made on our minds may never be erased, and that God may continue to follow with his blessing my feeble efforts for the salvation of seamen. Yet I have to mourn with the prophet of old when I see so many of my dear country sailors living without the fear of God, and seemingly as careless about their immortal souls as the beasts that perish.
Oh! for more spirit of prayer, and more reliance on the mighty power of God, who is able to save to the uttermost; and the Word delivered by us among sailors shall be the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. I have held during the last month 3 services on board, 72 hearers present; 110 tracts distributed; 6 Welsh Bibles sold, 4 Welsh Testaments, 2 English Bibles, and 2 English Testaments.
REV, CARL VON BULOW's (FOREIGN) REPORT. The close of the former month found me an invalid, with the good hope of being again able to attend to my duties, but I was prevented through the return of ill health until the 13th of November, when, by the blessing of our good Physician, I was enabled to return to my labours. I commenced with a visit to the Dreadnought, where I found several sufferers of almost every European nation, and some East Indians, to whom I was enabled to give tracts and the Holy Scriptures in their respective languages, at the same time exhorting and admonishing them to redeem their precious time, and use the opportunities God gives them for their salvation. One German had been very ill, but was recovering, and, although very weak, he was very eager to read what I gave him. I have made two more visits there this month, conversing with him and endeavouring to set forth salvation through faith in the finished work of Christ, and exhorting him to repent and give himself wholly to his Saviour. He tried to speak, but I could not hear more than, “Oh! I have done so." Another German and two Norwegians are much impressed, and penitentially confess their sins, I trust with godly sorrow. A Frenchman also seems seriously impressed. Two Chinese have received books, with which I was provided by the Religious Tract Society. I met two Norwegians in the East London Dock, who told me they had been in the Dreadnought, and knew me. I gave a tract to one ; the other said he had what I had given him before, but he wanted a New Testament. He purchased one of me, and then shaking hands with me he went off. He called out, “Oh, how glad I am that I have got the book.” From a sick Portuguese I had found out that there was a steam vessel of that nation somewhere in port, and I found it in the East India Dock. The officer on board received me very courteously: but, addressing him in the French language, and offering him the small volumes containing some one or more books of the Bible, he told me I might apply to the crew, but he could make no use of them. Several of the crew bought some, and I gave a tract to each. I found another Portuguese vessel in the London Dock, the master and crew of which received tracts, and bought some of the small volumes. I have also boarded an Italian vessel, from Ancona, but no one there would have anything to do with me. A young man who was on board addressed me in English, saying, amongst other things, that if all these religious Societies would use their money to feed the poor, that would be doing good. I told hin that in all things we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. He answered, that there were different views of how that was to be understood. I then quoted Matth. xiii. 44, &c., and said, “To me it is very plain." "Ah, many wise and clever men,” he replied, "have had different opinions, and have not been able to make it out, and are you wiser than they?" I said, "The wisdom of the world cannot find out the things of God,” and repeated i Cor. i. 21 ; “Oh," he said, "you should not interfere with these men, for they have their own churches and priests, and the Italians and Spanish are sober and good men." “ They are like all others," I replied, “and on board the hospital ship, the Dreadnought, I have become well acquainted with their moral and religious state;" to which he made no answer. I have also found a good many French vessels, where I have been very kindly received, and the tracts thankfully accepted, especially on board a large ship, La Belle Créole, where they bought a New Testament, and begged me to bring them some more, and also some tracts. I have likewise distributed tracts, and disposed of Bibles and New Testaments, to the seamen of other nations, on board ship and in the lodging-houses, as well as after preaching in the school-room at Blackwall. I have also visited the German emigrants, who had suffered shipwreck, coming from Bremen in a German vessel bound for America. Some of them were taken to Harwich, and the remainder to Ramsgate, where they had been supplied with Bibles and New Testaments, and also with bodily necessaries. They praised the “Friends” in Ipswich very much, who had sent a number of books to be distributed among them. Many of the first party attended in the Sailors' Church, and one of them went home with me, whom I found to be a missionary, sent out from the Moravians. He told me that it was an awful scene, and that especially the portion of them which had been landed at Ramsgate were in the most deplorable moral condition, I visited them on their arrival here, distributing tracts, and inviting them to attend the sailors' church, but only nine men attended; they were, however, very attentive to the discourse, and thanked me much. We may hope that the grace, mercy, and love of God, which has been manifested to them on this occasion, may have found an entrance into the heart of some of these poor ignorant creatures, and turned them from the way of perdition.
I have this month had 5 services and 92 hearers; made 180 visits on board, and 17 to lodging houses ; sold 11 Bibles, 31 New Testaments, and 15 parts of the Bible, and distributed 1,683 tracts.
REPORT OF CAPTAIN JOHN LEWIS. For several weeks we have experienced little else than a continual gale, with very short intervals of fine weather. Though our meetings afloat have not been many in number, yet some have been very encouraging ; three of which, held on board the F-, of G-, stand pre-eminent. The captain, a religious man, gladly welcomed the flag. My first interview with him was at one of the lodging-houses, where he had been an invalid for some days. I was struck with his anxiety for the spiritual welfare of his crew, especially his mate, whom he seemed to yearn over with the affection of a brother ; to whom he begged I would direct my particular attention, because he had, some time since, been in the enjoyment of religion, but, through unwatchfulness, had again yielded to the spirit and bondage of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and had been most profane in his language. An opportunity favouring, I had an interview with him on shore, and I at once charged him with being a traitor to the Redeemer and his own soul. At this he seemed to be a little staggered, but soon frankly confessed, “It's all true, I cannot deny it." I