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distinctive of these convulsions, whereas strong straight-blowing winds may occasionally occur with a very high barometer. But these are not the tenpests whose destructive powers are so often recorde. All such visitations, whether termed typhoons, hurricanes, or tornadoes, are progressive revolving gales, and in these the wind veers and the barometer falls.
It is this veering, or gradual changing of the wind, which is so characteristic of a tropical storm. Most readers will recollect that in the narratives of shipwrecks, and such-like catastrophes, which amused their earlier days, it was an almost invariable incident of the story that the wind blew successively from all parts of the compass, and that the waves chopped and crossed each other with inconceivable fury. This was in consequence of the revolving character of the gale, and the same consideration will explain the familiar occurrence of a ship's suddenly righting herself in the midst of a storm, beyond the hopes and apart from the efforts of the crew. There are also two other incidents of great storms which receive an instructive elucidation from this theory. One is that deceptive lull of the wind followed, after a short interval, by a renewal of the gale from an opposite quarter, and which is occasioned by the vessel's passing through the centre of the storm, and then entering its opposite half. The other is that singular phenomenon, termed by Spanish sailors El ojo, or the storm's eye, when in the midst of a black and lurid mass of clouds there appears a luminous circle in the zenith. This is the very centre of the whirlwind, and a remarkable illustration of all the conditions of the case is given in the log of the “Marmion," bound from Liverpool to New York, under an intelligent captain, in the December of last year. It had been blowing with great violence and with a tremendous sea all the morning, till it suddenly began to slacken, and "at noon it was quite moderate, and a beautiful clear, blue sky, and the sun shining beautifully, but this is the treacherous centre. From meridian to about 0.40 it remained quite moderate and clear. At 0.40 there rose up a thick impervious cloud or haze, and it became quite dark, comparatively speaking, though there was no black cloud; and in a very few minutes we were involved in a terrific storm.” The readings of the ship's barometer, taken as she passed through the storm's centre, will exemplify very strikingly what we said upon this subject in a preceding paragraph. Between six a.m. and four p.m. these were—28.20, 28.11, 28.03, 27.99, 27.75, 27.70 (this was the storm's centre), 27.70, 27.70, 27.75, 27.95, 28.70.
The most complete and convincing illustration, however, of the law of storms, both as regards their revolving character and their progressive motion, is derived from the log of the “Charles Heddle.” This vessel was a very fast brig, originally built for a slaver, and very ably commanded. She sailed from the Mauritius on the 21st of February, 1845, and soon fell in with a storm, in the southern hemisphere, before which she scudded for five days. She got within the compass of the whirlwind with the wind at S.S.E., from which “it became S. and continued to the brig, constantly veering as she sailed round and round. Thus in the logbook it is next recorded that she scudded N., then N.N.E., next N.E., her course changing to E.N.E., to E., to E.S.E., to S. E., to S.S.E., and then to S., when the wind in the log is marked at N. The logbook then shows that her course was changed from S. to S.W., to W.S.W., to W., to W.N.W., to N.W., and to N.N.W., thus completing her first entire revolution round the vortex of the storm." By this time her sails had blown away, and she was reduced to bare poles, but she still continued changing her course in the same manner, and scudding, until she had made “five complete circuits, wanting only four points of the compass, round the vortex of the storm, by steering always before the wind,"
(To be continued.)
CALCUTTA SEAMEN’S FRIEND SOCIETY.
The following is an abridged account of the anniversary of this Society, lield in the Town Hall, on Tuesday, January 22nd, 1850.
On the motion of the Honourable John Lowis, seconded by Captain Owen, Mr. Archibald Grant took the chair.
The proceedings were opened with a very appropriate hymn, after which a prayer was offered up by the Rev. Dr. Meiklejohn.
The Rev. J. C. Herdman read the report.
The Rev. J. Morgan, having moved as that the report now read be adopted, and printed for circulation, by the committee,” said :- In reference to the moral character of the sailor, vague and undefined opinions are entertained by those who ought to have the deepest interest in the results of that character. Some look upon the sailor as a superstitious, headstrong, childish being, and that any attempt at making him a religious character is sheer nonsense-a hopeless task. We Christians, however, cannot forget certain ancient predictions,--"the abundance of the sea," “ the ships of Tarshish first,” and that one distinguished Individual walked in a region where the people dwelt in the shadow of death, who inverted the whole ancient order of thinking and acting, by selecting his first disciples, not from the philosophic schools of Athens and Rome, but from the seamen of the sea of Galilee; He was called the Friend of Sinners, and you, gentlemen, if you can get that appellation, will obtain a title more ennobling and more lasting than all the kings of the earth can confer upon you. There is a peculiarity about the benevolence of our times; there was a period, when certain classes of the community were considered irrecoverably hopeless, beyond the pale of reformation ; the relics associated with them were, police, transportation, and the gallows—and with the term sailor, bravery, work, irons, and flogging; on shore drunkenness, debauchery, and their consequences. Now men begin to find that there is a power that can change the lion into a lamb, and for the most abandoned characters churches and chapels are provided. If the light of Christian benevolence has shed its radiance over the dark and pestilential shades of abandoned characters, something ought to be done for the sailor, to whom we entrust our property, our lives, our wives, and children. The power that can make the seaman an estimable man, is the Gospel; the power that will bring his mind in contact with the Gospel, is Christian benevolence. Benevolence has always existed in the world, but only in individuals; it was fitful and irregular in its operations, and too weak to achieve much good; but the benevolence of Christianity is peculiarly obligatory. There is a command to do good to all men, and there is a principle in the Christian's heart that harmonises with that command—the love of God. This love binds men in one mind, for the achievement of a great and mighty purpose; then, indeed, it is like a deep, broad, swelling river, overcoming all opposition, watering the arid desert, and making it to blossom as the garden of the Lord.
Dr. Reed, of the ship Elizabeth, in seconding the resolution, said: – That sailors are now a very important, and may, eventually, become a very influential class of the people of the British empire, will, I think, clearly appear from the consideration, that without them there could be no navigation, and without navigation there could be no trade between the industrious and wealthy inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland, with their colonies and other transmarine countries. But without transmarine commerce the British empire, as it now stands, would not exist,-in other words, the industrious, wealthy, and intelligent inhabitants of Great Britain, Ireland, and their Colonies, would not be able to exercise the influence or possess the empire of the world, which they now do. These statements are so true, that I might be excused from bringing forward anything in the way of confirmation of them. But if any one were inclined to doubt the influence of British commerce over the British and Irish people, and the other nations of the world, I should just take the liberty of pointing him to a numerous standing army, powerful fleets, and extensive civil establishments, and I would then ask such a sceptic, if he could, to tell me for what purpose these exist? I maintain, then, that the glory of the British empire is derived not so much from the skill and prowess of her armies, or the science and valour of her navies (although these have not been without their important effects), as from the patient activity, in other words, the honest industry of her poor and frequently too much neglected people. Of these (the people), I might notice the condition of the operative classes, of the agriculturists, the manufacturers, the tradesmen, the mechanics, &c., were I not called upon more particularly to advocate the cause of the poor operative sailor or navigator in the princely merchant service. Poor and unprotected as merchant seamen are, in a temporal point of view, they are still poorer, and still more unprotected with respect to spiritual things. Many of them cannot read, and can scarcely sign their own names-consequently they cannot (even if they were inclined), read the Bible, and other good books. Of those who can read, such is the temptation presented to them to become or to continue irreligious, and consequently immoral, by the industrious circulation or cheap sale of bad books, calculated to excite or to inflame the worst of passions, that it may be fairly called irresistible, without the faithful and effectual external ministry of the word and ordinances of God. If to the temptation arising to the sailor from not being able to read, or from reading bad books (in the absence of the extcrnal ministry of God's word and ordinances from without), we add what arises to him from vain and idle, if not from worse conversation among his companions (which is frequently the natural result of a welldisposed man having no means of privacy on board of a ship), and if we add these to the temptations which result from the sailors’ intercourse with the class of people with whom he is almost inevitably thrown in contact while ships are loading or discharging their cargoes in foreign and colonial ports, as well as at home, and during his absence from the ship on shore,- I think it will appear to the conviction of all who are not ignorant of the power of such tenptations over the ignorant--that is, over the mind unfortified by useful study, religious meditation and prayer,--that the sailor has an amount of moral and spiritual evil to contend against, which should entitle him, not only to the best sympathies, earnest prayers, and honest exertions of all those who know what it is to be tempted, but also to the liberal contributions of their money for his religious instruction and comfort, of all those who are in any way benefited, in a temporal point of view, by his labours and sufferings.
The Rev. Dr. Boaz then moved the following resolution :
“That this meeting, considering the importance of the seamen's cause, both for the sake of the large class of men whose benefit it directly contemplates, and because of the influence for good or for evil over others, desire to express their hearty sympathy with the efforts of this Society, and with all the labours of kindred societies throughout the world, and unite in prayer to God that the multitude of the sea may be speedily converted.”
He said he had great pleasure in doing so, as it referred to the importance of the seaman's cause, and what cause could be more important than that which had for its object the spiritual and moral welfare of three hundred thousand souls who constitute the bulk of the British Naval and Merchant Service alone, independently of the services of other nations, for whose welfare likewise this Society had been established ? This Society expresses a hearty sympathy with all kindred societies—they had come together this evening to sympathise with each other in the glorious yet arduous undertaking now before them—he recollected an anecdote illustrative of this matter. A man had just returned from sea and was approaching his brother's cottage when he saw the figure of another man, but of gigantic size, coming towards him; as may be supposed, he was in great alarm at this apparition, but when it came up to him, he was surprised to find this enormous giant none else but his own brother, who had been magnified by a false medium--the mists peculiar to those climes. So we, on setting out in such undertakings as the present, are apt to regard each other through a distorted medium, but the nearer we approach in Christian truth, the more distinctly are we able to recognise in each a Christian and a brother. He had great pleasure in seeing such a large attendance on this occasion—in fact, it was the largest he had ever witnessed of this Society in India. The sacred Scriptures said, "A good report naketh the bones fat;" that is, it cheers and encourages. The report just read was a very good one, and the attendance was in every way worthy of such a report ; we may thank God for his mercy in causing an interest in the minds of so many Christians in this good work. Sailors were once in a degraded position, they were considered by landsmen as a class only fit to be plundered, and kept out of decent society. They were now no more a distinct body, and he was happy to find they were treated more as other men. He would ask the sailors present, if, as a body, they did not find themselves morally better than what they were twenty years ago ? He had travelled some thousands of miles and addressed thousands of people since he left India, and although he had travelled in the cold climes of the West, he returned to this country of the sun with a heart as warm as it had ever been in the cause of everything good connected with India, and especially to sailors,—though he could say, “England, with all thy faults, I love thee still,” and having seen other countries, "Love thee better than before,” yet he loved India none the less. He had but a slight acquaintance with the worthy secretary previous to his departure to England, and had that gentleman known him better, he would have recollected a proverb applicable to an ancient bishop, that if you wanted him to do anything, you must strike him, i.e., not praise him. He had seen an advertisement in the papers announcing that he purposed giving them interesting information about the state of seamen at home; had he been asked to speak about India generally, or missions in India, he could with facility have spoken till midnight, but this was a new theme imposed upon him, immediately on bis arrival in the country; he would, however, do his best, and if not done so well as it ought to be, he could not be blamed for doing badly what he had not really promised to do. To some minds it was pleasurable to trace mighty rivers to their sources; to the Hindoo it was a gratification to stand at the fountain head of the sacred Ganges. So with the Christian-it was pleasurable to trace benevolent institutions to their simple origin. To us it would be pleasant to mark the progress of religion among seamen. Some few years ago the Christian church regarded not the cause of the sailor-if one sailor had been seen in a church, he would have created quite a sensation; for instance, in a certain large seaport in Britain, a sailor entered a fashionable chapel, and seated himself
, as he thought he had a right to do, in the front of the gallery, or to him, the quarter-deck :-overcome with fatigue, and unaccustomed to public worship, he fell asleep, and did what sailors and some other folks do, under similar circumstances, began to snore. The clergyman being a nervous man, and unable to proceed with his sermon, said to a friend—“Wake that sailor.” The friend gave Jack a shake, and said, “ My man, do you know where you are?" "No," said he. "Why, you are in a chapel, and the minister is speaking to you.” “ The deuce he is,” said Jack. It only proved the necessity of constructing places of worship adapted to their habits, where they would hear the Gospel preached to them in a lively manner. Amongst the early labourers in this cause might be enumerated the celebrated Whitfield, who never omitted an opportunity of preaching to sailors. On one occasion he was addressing a large concourse; the subject was a storm at sea; describing, in his own eloquent language, a vessel, compass lost, pilot drowned, captain absent, and the vessel just in the act of foundering, he called out to the drowning sailors, “ Here is a rope long and strong," -- this rope was Christ and the Gospel: the effect produced was electrical; with one voice his congregation exclaimed, “ Give us the rope." Dr. Hawes, a man well known in missionary history, when curate of Bedford, exerted himself materially in this good work. Dr. Ripon, the celebrated Baptist minister, whose church was on the south bank of the Thames, excited his congregation at this early period on behalf of the sailor. These were missionary inen, and none care for sailors, generally speaking, but those with missionary hearts. The chaplain of the Dreadnought, called the Saucy Dreadnought, at this time, published the first volume of sermons addressed to seainen. This volume is now a curiosity. The Spirit of God moved the hearts of a few pions captains connected with the northern ports in this work; one of the most conspicuous was a Captain Simpson, whose vessel appeared in the Thames in 1814, with the then novel, but now well-known Bethel flag flying at the mast-head ;-this flag excited the suspicions of the police; at night they saw not only the fag, but a lighted-up cabin, where the men were assembled for prayer; the police-boat pulled alongside,-to their astonishment they heard the sailors praying—a novel scene; they listened, and among other things heard them praying for the king, the ministers, and the country—they departed, saying, “There could be no wrong where men prayed for their king and country.” This was the commencement of Bethel meetings in London. In connexion with the immediate object of this Society during his visit to England, immediately on his arrival he had an interview with the Directors of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, and pleaded the cause of sailors in the East at their anniversary meeting, a day or two after his arrival in London. The object was cordially entertained. For two successive anniversaries the same cause was pleaded by him. The London Directors were anxious to assist, but, owing to the pressure of the times, were unable to comply with the request of the Calcutta Committee. The debt of the London Society at the last anniversary was £800. When commerce shall again become elastic, and free-trade shall confer those benefits on the country which its parents have prophesied, we may rest assured that the London Society will do all in their power towards the furtherance of our object. With reference to the cause in Calcutta, he rejoiced to find that the Bethel ship, which was once thought so great an undertaking, was now deemed a very small affair. You have expressed a wish for a large and commodious church on shore—this is good, it is a step in the right direction : sailors are materially improved, they had begun to feel they were not a distinct class, they had enough of ship when at sea, and wanted, when on land, to worship as landsmev. The report, though very good, had, in his estimation, committed one mistake, it spoke of a gradual subscription for a new church, lest the regular income of the Society should be infringed upon. There is nothing like striking while the iron is hot; get your ten thousand rupees at once ! said the speaker," there are plenty of people in India, who could give that amount without feeling a bit the worse for it; begin to-night, and I hope the treasurer may be able to report half the needed sum.” He rejoiced in the proposed erection of the new church-while sailors wish to worship as landsmen they have an equal dislike to be preached to as sailors, by men who are ignorant of nautical affairs; nothing was so unseemly or ridiculous in the estimation of sailors as ministers talking of anchors and cables, tacks and sheets, and the like, who evidently knew nothing about the locality and real application of such things. In a mariner's church where he had attended in early life, he had heard not a few preachers who had addressed sailors from Acts xxvii. 29. “ They cast four anchors out of the stern and wished for the day,"--a somewhat novel fashion for these days, but which the good men thought very applicable to sailors, but unfortunately were not very successful