Sayfadaki görseller

to keep it holy. Enjoy its rest with gratitude and praise, and let your works on that day be those of necessity and mercy alone ; and do not count me your enemy because I tell you the truth.”*

Such remonstrances are much needed at the present time. And how loudly does this subject call upon pastors, and elders, and pious shipowners, † and captains, to lift up their voices in behalf of the sabbath. Their consistent example and reiterated advocacy will under God create a new feeling in reference to the first day of the week. Never do I hear worldly conversation without remembering the words of my father.-0 how unlike the sabbath ! Sunderland.



As I have every reason to praise God for his mercies, so ought I also to bless and magnify his holy name, as the hearer and answer of prayer. I can boldly say from my heart, that I have truly found him such, and never more so than when he has refused a direct and immediate grant of my petitions, for then I have often seen in the issue, that I had ten times more reason to thank him for the refusal, than if he had at once granted me what I asked. I will just mention one instance of this kind, as a specimen of many; first observing, that when clear views of divine truth were first imparted to me, I often praved that whenever he called me to embark in a man-of-war, (that dreadful abode for a christian, which I had long inhabited) I might even then find some serious person to converse with, who by good advice and a pious example, might be the means of keeping me from falling. That this prayer I had for some time neglected to offer up, and indeed had entirely forgotten ; though God had not, as will be seen in what I am going to relate :

About forty years ago, when I was an officer in the Royal Marines, two other officers and myself were ordered to embark, one in each of the three guard ships, then stationed in the river Medway. Two of them lay close to the dock-yard at Chatham, affording at all times easy access to the shore. But the other, the Resolution, of seventy-four guns, lay half way down the river, towards Sheerness, from whence in winter and bad weather, it was troublesome to land, and sometimes impossible. For this reason, it was natural for each of us to wish for one of the Chatham ships ; and strong interest was made by each of us with the commanding officer for this purpose. But he finding he must needs disoblige one of the three, ordered us to attend parade next morning, and draw lots for our ships. This, of course, drove me to my strong hold. If ever I prayed with fervency in my life, it was now. I pleaded hard with the Searcher of hearts, that he knew my chief motive for desiring one of the

* Letter on sabbath merchandise, vol. II. 1826.

How much of the distress that now prevails in our shipping, may be traced to the sailing of vessels and heaving of ballast on the sabbath day. The prediction of Jeremiah, (chap. xvii.) seems tulfilling.

Chatham ships was, that I might constantly attend the means of grace, and the ordinances of his house; and I felt confident that if I really was a child of God, he would grant my request, since the “ lot tlius cast into the lap” was wholly at his disposal. The important morning came, and I drew the dreaded ship down the river. Had I drawn my deathwarrant I hardly think it would have affected me more. My prayer was now, as I thought, rejected ; and the enemy of souls, taking the advantage of the troubled state of my depraved heart, easily made me conclude either that I was no christian, or that God paid no attention to those who professed to be such. In this gloomy, desponding state, I embarked the same forenoon in his majesty's ship, Resolution, lying in a dreary part of the Medway, about two or three miles from Sheerness. I had just time to be introduced to the officers in the ward-room, when the dinner came in. The third lieutenant who happened to be the person whose duty it was to preside that week, stood up at the head of the table and asked a blessing; and in so serious a manner as quite surprised me; for well knowing the customs of the ward-room in a king's ship, I had never heard any thing of the kind so solemnly pronounced there before; and I resolved to mark every word that came from his lips, in the hope of hearing something that might enable me to make out his character. Nothing decisive occurred during dinner, but no sooner was the wine placed upon the table than he was attacked on his religion ; and I soon found that he bore the genuine marks of a true christian, by his judicious reproof, and the

very able manner in which he confronted all their infidel arguments. Wishing, I suppose, to know what spirit I was of, they frequently appealed to me for the truth of what they advanced; but I was always obliged to decide against them. When the allowance of wine was drank (for it was a sober well regulated mess,) the purser rose and broke up the company, exclaiming with an oath, our new messmate is as great a methodist as Tomlinson." I smiled, well pleased to be classed with such a man. As two needles touched with the loadstone, when they fall near to each other among chaff, will soon come together, so this methodist lieutenant and myself speedily came in contact. After having exchanged a few questions, we went down to his cabin in the gun room, had an hour's useful talk, and ended with prayer, although a few hours before we had never seen each other's face.

I could not fail to call to mind the prayer I had so sinfully forgotten, now completely granted ; and I began to be reconciled to the ship which providence had assigned me. But that God, who. abounds in goodness, and delights in mercy, never confers his favours by halves. A few days had hardly gone by, when an order came from the admiralty, to send the Resolution up to Chatham, and one of the ships there to take her place. This was such welcome news to all on board, that for fear the order should be changed, we obeyed it the same day; for the wind and tide favoring, we weighed anchor off the dock-yard before two o'clock. Thus

my prayer, which at first seemed to be rejected, was now completely answered; but it was in the Lord's way—had mine been attended to, and I had drawn the ship that afterwards went down the river, I should have been miserable. So true it is that we know not what we should pray for as we ought.”



A letter addressed by Captain Young, of the Reward, to the Secretary.

SIR, -Having just arrived from Cronstadt, a place very dear to me from the happy moments I have spent in it with pious friends, and especially with our dear friend, your late missionary there, for the satisfaction of those benevolent individuals who take such an interest in the spiritual welfare of seamen, I think it my duty in my humble way to bear this testimony of what has been doing in that port, during the past summer. On Saturday, July 16th, 1842, I sailed from Sunderland for Cronstadt, and on the sabbath afternoon while worshipping in the cabin, my mind was seriously impressed with the necessity of standing forward boldly for my master, should my life be spared. And to this end I prayed God would condescend to employ me in his work, in case he should not have a more able servant in that place, as I knew Cronstadt was without a missionary, and that He would instruct me on my way from his word, to speak to sailors. On Monday, August 1st, I arrived safe at Cronstadt, when to my surprise, I found several of our brethren already at work, having had several prayer meetings, and other interesting services--our brothers Atkinson, Davison, Redman, Burn and others officiating; so that I began to think my poor services would not be needed further, than to encourage the labourers; but found as the sabbath drew on that I was to take my part in the work. I agreed to speak on board the Vine of Sunderland, while brother Atkinson held a meeting on board the Cato, in another part of the Mole, about fifty to sixty persons present in the morning, and thirty-five to forty at each of the prayer meetings in the evening.

[Our dear brother goes on to say, that meetings were held every sabbath, and frequently on week evenings ; that the attendance was very large, and that many come enquiring the way of salvation. In one of these prayer meetings, their former missionary and his lady were made the especial subjects of prayer; and in another, the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, in all its connexions, was specified as the objects of earnest supplication that its instrumentality might be blessed of God, and that its agents and officers might be encouraged in their christian work. The following may give our readers an idea of his interesting labours :-)

On Sunday, 11th September, assembled on board the Warwick, at 10 P.M. People poured from all parts of the Mole, felt dreadfully overawed at so many gentlemen and ladies present, and such a poor preacher ; precious souls in danger--took courage to go forth in dependance on God for help and guidance-found him faithful to his promise-attempted to address them from Ephesians vi. 10th and 11th verses- -theword, though administered with weakness, evidently came with power to many; tears flowed and hearts melted. Our dear brother capt. Butchard, spoke in the afternoon, and brother Goodchild in the evening, from the 3rd chapter of Genesis, about Jacob's dream—very happy season-people were anxious to prolong the meeting. Tuesday prayer meeting on board the Wisbeach-very happy time—a black man engaged in prayer-praise the Lord!-though his children differ in colour they all speak the language of Canaan-Met on board the Risk, on Sunday morning, 18th—Captain Wilson of the Houghton, spoke from the 2nd Corinthians 11th chapter, by the terrors of the law we should persuade men—about 100 present. At 2 o'clock, capt. Butchard spoke from Jonah's warning to the Ninevitesabout 90 to 100 present-a very solemn time—brother Lambton prayed for a blessing on the word spoken-seemed quite overpowered from the effect of such an earnest faithful appeal—his every word told on the people. The work of grace is progressing amongst us. On Monday, 19th Sept. took a happy farewell of my friends and the place—delighted in the manner our time had been spent, and hoping that the port would be supplied until the close of the season with labourers, and an abundant harvest gathered in to the glory God. Amen.


Letter from the Rev. J. Turnbull, to the Secretary,

Rev. and dear Sir,—Some christian friends here, feeling concern for the spiritual state of the British and American sailors visiting the port of Antwerp, have determined on commencing a mission amongst them. For this purpose it is desirable to have some tracts, specially suited for that class of persons, and also a' Bethel flag,' to be hoisted on board

any vessel, whose officers may be willing to have service on board.

I stand engaged to the provisional committee to visit the vessels every sabbath morning, to converse, pray, distribute tracts, and preach, as opportunity may be afforded.

To aid our mission, I request, in the name of the committee, a grant from the Seamen's Friend Society, of a selection of suitable tracts, and a proper flag for the service.

We find, that during the last year upwards of 2500 British and American sailors entered the port of Antwerp; so that we have before us an important field of operation.

The favorable regard of your committee to our case will confer a favor IRELAND:-BELFAST. Letter from T. Sinclair, Esq. addressed to the Secretary. Dear Sir, It is now a considerable time since I had the pleasure of addressing you, but would hope that a friendly correspondence might again be resumed.

on us.

Our committee have been much gratified and I trust the cause of seamen benefited by the visits of Rev. Mr. Hewlings amongst us. On sabbath last he preached in the pulpits of Drs. Cooke and Edgar, and at the request of the committee, held a public meeting yesterday evening, which was very numerously attended, and we trust that the information afforded, and the heart-stirring appeal made to the meeting will, under the divine blessing, arouse the friends of the sailor to increased exertion on their behalf, and awaken others to labour for them who have hitherto not cared for their souls.

He has met with our committee and made some valuable suggestions, which I hope we shall be enabled to turn to practical account. May God acknowledge your society, and every kindred one in promoting his glory, by the abundance of the seas being converted to him!


Continuation of the Rev. E. E. Adams' Tour in Devon.


At this beautiful little town our cause was entertained in a truly christian and benevolent manner. Mr. Rouse, whose beneficence we have often experienced, looks upon our society as his ' darling object,' and is ready to exert an influence in its favour wherever his name is known. Mrs. Davison also contributed largely, and expressed a wish that the claims of the Bethel cause might be advocated in Chudleigh every year. She assured me that we have her prayers and her warmest benedictions.


The benevolent interest of this city, in behalf of seamen is directed almost exclusively to the British Channel mission, conducted by the indefatigable Dr. Ashley.

Rev. Mr. Bristow, however, preaches and makes a collection for us once in every two years. The large Wesleyan chapel was readily granted for the advocacy of our cause. A respectable audience listened with great interest to the Rev. Mr. Smith, of Poplar, who very kindly officiated for me in my temporary indisposition.

We have a few annual subscribers in Exeter amongst our benevolent church friends.

« ÖncekiDevam »