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LONDON:

JACOB UNWIN, GRKSIAN STEAM PRESS,

BUCKLERSBURY.

PREFACE,

This, the eleventh volume of the new series of the Sailors' MAGAZINE, records the history of the seventeenth year of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society. The events it chronicles are of no ordinary interest.

The past has been a year of extended effort, of increased use. fulness, and of momentous change.

Hitherto the Society has almost entirely limited its operations to religious efforts, and it has found much occasion for encouragement and thankfulness in the success which, through the Divine blessing, has crowned its labours. The pages of this Magazine record new spheres entered upon, and multiplied instances of usefulness attending the circulation of Divine truth. But this will be the last year in which the Society will be restricted to religious aims. Henceforth it will take a wider range, and the new year will find it, with renewed vigour, seeking to promote the intellectual and social as well as spiritual benefit of seamen.

This important enlargement of the constitution of the Society will necessarily greatly affect the character of the future numbers of the Magazine. The religious must certainly continue to occupy a large portion of its space; but, at the same time, it will be our effort, by the constant insertion of articles on nautical, scientific, or more general topics, both original and selected, to render it a publication both interesting to the general reader, and instructive to the seaman, on subjects profitable for both worlds. It is the confident hope of the Directors that the circulation of their Magazine will be thus greatly increased ; and, as this hope is realised, they will feel justified in devoting a larger portion of their funds in rendering it equal to the demands of the age.

To the kind friends who have occasionally contributed to its pages, the Directors, no less than the Editor, return their grateful thanks, while they at the same time renew their appeal for continued and increased assistance. To the friends of seamen in the provincial ports we present our urgent request, that they would send us any religious or nautical intelligence which they might so frequently supply; and thus, by rendering this Magazine effective, supply an influential representative of the various Seamen's Societies of the nation, which might be the means of raising them all to a more commanding position in public esteem and support.

We earnestly request the numerous friends of this Society, in all parts of the country, to second our endeavours to promote the circulation of this Miscellany. The secretaries and collectors of our various Auxiliaries are able to do much for us. Let them try. Cannot each procure half-a-dozen subscribers, at Two Shillings each per annum, to take it in? The cost is small, and we engage to do our utmost to make it worthy their perusal.

To Him who giveth all good gifts be the praise for past success ! May His blessing crown our efforts in the future, to the end that He, whose right it is, may reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth!

2, JEFFREY-SQUARE, St. Mary Axe, LONDON,

December, 1st, 1849.

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READER,—We address you as a friend, and we wish you, right heartily, a happy new year. The last was one of much mercy, and of many privileges; but, say, was it to you a happy year? Did you wander through the world, amidst all its beauties and its pleasures, peevish and dissatisfied, and crying still, “Who will show me any good?" Or was it yours, in the enjoyment of the sweet peace of God, that passeth all understanding, to testify, "Thou hast put more gladness into my heart than they have when their corn and their wine increase ?" The comforts of a cheerful home may be yours, and the affection of a lovely family ; success may attend your mercantile speculations, and wealth and luxury may pour their richest gifts into your lap; but, dear reader, there is just one blessing, which possessed alone, is joy unspeakable; but which, combined with all the other mercies of your life, is sufficient to make your heart evermore bound with gladness, and your countenance henceforward radiant with a perpetual smile. It is simply that expressed in the good king's prayer, "Lord, lift thou the LIGHT OF THY COUNTENANCE upon us !" You have sometimes stood on the green hill-side, and looked out upon an extensive and variegated prospect—the verdant meadow and the browsing kinethe meandering streamlet, and the willows that mark its course—the rugged wood, and the " dappled foresters,” that timidly gambol in its shades—and the smiling village, which its merry bells in the old grey tower are striving to enliven with a gladsome peal—but there seems some unaccountable gloom overshadowing all the beauties of the scene, and you look up and find that a summer-cloud has risen, and hides the bright face of the king of day. But even while you gaze it passes over, and his clear warm beams come down and gild and gladden all the prospect. The green carpet shines resplendent beneath the bright colours of the lazy cattle--the little river flows like a stream of liquid gold, and the playful branches droop over its banks, as if anxious to

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bathe in its splendour—the old forest has lost its gloom, and each tree seems to vie with its fellow to display a more brilliant foliage-the whitewashed cottages look happier for the sunlight-and the bells appropriately chime in with the shout of merry laughter that rises from the urchins at their noontide games. The bright sun alone has made all the difference. It has altogether changed the scene; and you come down quite thankful that his kind glance sends you home with such a pleasing reminiscence.

There is just such an effect as this when the King of Glory lifts upon mortal man the light of His countenance. All things at once assume to him a heavenly tinge—this wondrous sunbeam makes them glow with radiance. The home he has always loved is sweeter far—the sky is clearer, the air is lighter, the flowers more fresh and gay than ever they were before. The cares of life have lost their weight to him. Business becomes less trying-disappointments come gilded with mercy —and the very cup of trouble itself sparkles with a Heavenly Father's love. Dear reader, may such be your portion henceforth! We cannot wish you a happier year.

But it very much depends upon ourselves whether even this happiness is abiding. We know of no better way to perpetuate it than to take up, as a great privilege, and endeavour to promote with sanctified industry, the cause of the Redeemer. We would advise you, kind reader, to look round you now, at the very commencement of the year, for some sphere in which you may be useful; some cause which you may take

up

and labour for, in the happy confidence that in such an occupation you can go out singing to your work, with the sunbeam of your Saviour's approbation cheering and enlivening yon all the day.

Have you ever, permit us to inquire, taken up a cause and made it your own : always to be watched over, to be prayed for, to be spoken of, to be supported, to be inquired about? If not, we venture to commend to your fostering care that of our poor seamen. They are not much thought of—do you take up their case. They are noble-hearted fellows, toiling early and late, by day and by night, in summer and winter, in sunshine and storm, having no home and no sanctuary for many a weary month together-and all this that England may be great, and rich, and free—that your table may be always spread with comforts, your person sheltered from the blast, your home made warm and cheering. Does your grateful and sympathizing heart prompt you to inquire, “What can I do for the poor sailor ?”' Well, what needs he most?

He asks you not for bread or clothing, for he can work and earn them; and, indeed, to beg your charity for anything Jack Tar will ever be ashamed; but say, what think you he most needs ? See him a slave

his own base passions, reeling through the broad street of this seaport town, and tell us what he needs ? See him at yonder mission station in the Southern Seas, revelling in depravity and grossest vice,

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