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ANNIVERSARY MEETING.

logo are solicitous should love

Annual Meeting of the British and Foreign held on Tuesday evening, May 14th, at the very numerously and respectably attended. M.P., one of the Lords of the Admiralty, 'nty, occupied the place of the President,

CIE, whose attendance was forbidden

the number of etticient * wholly inadequate tile sice; and of thi, larga 'e and

d the meeting with prayer,

und gentlemen, I fear it will be a great

not presided over by that noble lord (Earl wt in the affairs of the Society, and who was 15 occasion. I know that no one can feel a greater ves himself; and nothing but severe illness would have ending. At his request I have come to occupy his place, and cue great disappointment he feels at not being able to preside over

I regret to say, that not being so well acquainted with the operations uciety as others, I shall not be able to say anything that can interest you

this subject; but, in common with: all who know the scope and object of this vociety, I could not but feel such a warm interest in it as to induce me at once to come, even at this short notice, although I am afraid that other business will prevent my remaining till the end of the proceedings. It seems that the object of your Society is to give spiritual instruction to a class of the community who, I think, are peculiarly in need of help of that description. The circumstances in which the seamen of our mercantile marine are placed are peculiarly unfavourable for that degree of spiritual instruction, and those means of spiritual improvement which other classes in the community possess. The fact of their being sent out upon the high seas, and at a distance from parish churches, and from schools, with little or no access to books, shows how few spiritual advantages they would possess but for the aid of this Society. With seamen, I believe, we must deal as with a class ; they have their peculiar feel. ings and prejudices; and even when on shore, and away from sea-associations, they cling closely together. I have known cases in which they have felt that if they were to go into our ordinary places of Worship, they would be going where they had no business -- a feeling which is entirely removed when they go into a church filled with their own comrades and persons in the same occupation in life. I think there is no class of the community who, in this respect, more require assistance than the seamen ; and if so, this Society has strong claims amongst the many associations which are continually urging their claims upon us. Certainly, there are peculiar reasons why every Englishman should sympathise with sailors as a class--why no Briton should be indifferent to that profession which constitutes the peculiar pre-eminence of this country, which has given us our maritime superiority, given us the wealth that is so marvellously concentrated in this small island, and enabled our commerce to spread its ramifications over every part of the globe. (Cheers.) How much of the great destiny which Providence has intended this nation to fulfil may be owing to the fact of our maritime power? It is to the hardihood, to the energy, and to the zeal of our seamen that we are enabled, by English influence, to embrace every quarter of the globe-by which the name of England, its arts, its sciences, and its civilisation are known to almost every savage tribe throughout the world, and by which, also, missionary efforts have been so generally spread. Thus there is a peculiar reason why we should endeavour to leaven the seamen of England with a spirit of true Christianity. You can scarcely read an account of missionary efforts in which it does not appear that one of the drawbacks has been the very imperfect practice of Christianity among the seamen who come in contact with the natives. The natives are constantly comparing the practice which they see among the seamen who land

of public eminence as would guarantee the expansive and catholic nature of the institution. The settlement of these objects, and the preparation of a prospectus, are all, therefore, that your Committee have been at present able to accomplish, Your Committee have been retarded considerably in making these requisite prepara. tions by the accidental discussion of the proposition of her Majesty's Government to modify the laws affecting the maritime service, and to make obligatory higber degrees of educational attainment among seamen. And your Committee are con. fident that the result of any such measures must be favourable to the progress of maritime education."

4. Another equally important object, which the Directors are most auxious to secure, is to establish one or more model lodginghouses. They will immediately enter upon inquiries as to the best and easiest ineans by which to open places where seamen can obtain all the comforts of a well-regulated home; and where they will be secured from the injuries they now suffer, both in respect of morals and property. It will be the object of the Directors to make these model lodging-houses self-sustaining in respect of expense,

and at the same time render them an additional means of promoting the social and religious improvement of seamen. Until some efficient plan is completed, by which this long required effort is put into operation, the Directors feel that their labours in every other department are constantly impaired, if not wholly defeated, while, if such houses were at once established, they would prove of essential importance in consolidating and enlarging the general usefulness of the Institution.

The Directors have thus presented an epitome of their labours during the year; and in so doing they cannot deny themselves the gratification of again urging the continued sympathy and enlarged efforts of Christian philanthropists on behalf of British seamen. They are the main arın of the national strength. But for them, commerce would cease; and, with its interruption, all our national institutions would be placed upon the eve of destruction. But even this, their relative importance, resolves itself into the one essentially vital question of character. Impart to this the moral elevation of which it is capable, and not only will commerce obtain a permanent and all-pervading security, through which it may be enlarged, preserved, and honoured—not only will British seamen become examples of self-respect, intelligence, and personal piety—but while, through their exertions, our country will continue to receive the products of all other lands, in the purity of their character we shall present to the world a living einbodiment of the richer and imperishable blessings secured by the religion of the Son of God.

ANNIVERSARY MEETING.

T

The Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society was held on Tuesday evening, May 14th, at the London Tavern, and was very numerously and respectably attended. The Hon. W. F. CowPER, M.P., one of the Lords of the Admiralty, and Vice-President of the Society, occupied the place of the President, the Right Hon. the EARL OF DUCIE, whose attendance was forbidden by his medical attendant.

The Rev. J. BIGwoon having opened the meeting with prayer, The CHAIRMAN rose and said--Ladies and gentlemen, I fear it will be a great disappointment to this meeting that it is not presided over by that noble lord (Earl Ducie) who takes such a deep interest in the affairs of the Society, and who was announced to be present on this occasion. I know that no one can feel a greater disappointment than he does himself; and nothing but severe illness would have prevented him from attending. At his request I have come to occupy his place, and to express to you the great disappointment he feels at not being able to preside over this meeting. I regret to say, that not being so well acquainted with the operations of this Society as others, I shall not be able to say anything that can interest you upon this subject; but, in common with all who know the scope and object of this Society, I could not but feel such a warm interest in it as to induce me at once to come, even at this short notice, although I am afraid that other business will prevent my remaining till the end of the proceedings. It seems that the object of your Society is to give spiritual instruction to a class of the community who, I think, are peculiarly in need of help of that description. The circumstances in which the seamen of our mercantile marine are placed are peculiarly unfavourable for that degree of spiritual instruction, and those means of spiritual improvement which other classes in the community possess. The fact of their being sent out upon the high seas, and at a distance from parish churches, and from schools, with little or no access to books, shows how few spiritual advantages they would possess but for the aid of this Society. With seamen, I believe, we must deal as with a class ; they have their peculiar feel. ings and prejudices; and even when on shore, and away from sea-associations, they cling closely together. I have known cases in which they have felt that if they were to go into our ordinary places of worship, they would be going where they had no business -- a feeling which is entirely removed when they go into a church filled with their own comrades and persons in the same occupation in life. I think there is no class of the community who, in this respect, more require assistance than the seanien; and if so, this Society has strong claims amongst the many associations which are continually urging their claims upon us. Certainly, there are peculiar reasons why every Englishman should sympathise with sailors as a class-why no Briton should be indifferent to that profession which constitutes the peculiar pre-eminence of this country, which has given us our maritime superiority, given us the wealth that is so marvellously concentrated in this small island, and enabled our commerce to spread its ramifications over every part of the globe. (Cheers.) How much of the great destiny which Providence has intended this nation to fulfil may be owing to the fact of our maritime power? It is to the hardihood, to the energy, and to the zeal of our seamen that we are enabled, by English influence, to embrace every quarter of the globe-by which the name of England, its arts, its sciences, and its civilisation are known to almost every savage tribe throughout the world, and by which, also, missionary efforts have been so generally spread. Thus there is a peculiar reason why we should endeavour to leaven the seamen of England with a spirit of true Christianity. You can scarcely read an account of missionary efforts in which it does not appear that one of the drawbacks has been the very imperfect practice of Christianity among the seamen who come in contact with the natives. The natives are constantly comparing the practice which they see among the seamen who land

upon their shores with the teaching and professions of the missionaries who talk to them; and when they see the lamentable contrast between the two, they are apt to think that this Christianity, wbich sounds so well to the ear, cannot be so valuable in reality; and they say, “How are we to carry it out, if the white men, with all their civilisation, and power, and knowledge, are unable to do it themselves ?" (Hear, hear.) So that in your efforts on behalf of your maritime fellow-subjects, you are indirectly facilitating missionary enterprise ; for if the practice of Christianity were more clearly seen among the seamen who visit distant parts, you may be sure that its influence would be powerfully and palpably felt upon the minds of the natives whom they visit. (Applause.)

The Rev. EDWARD Muscurt then read the Annual Report of the Society; and Mr. FIELDWICK, co-secretary, read the financial statement for the year.

The Rev. GEORGE Smith moved the first resolution

“ That this meeting rejoices to hear of the successes which have attended the operations of the Society during the past year, and regards these tokens of the Divine benediction as additional incentives to renewed and enlarged exertions on its behalf."

He said : I have sat on this platform, Sir, to-night, and heard with peculiar pleasure the varied, the graphic, and the interesting representations that have been made of the condition of seamen, and of the constitution and operations of your Society, and of the large amount of good that, under God, has been effected by it; and I feel inclined to be thankful to Him on your behalf, and to pledge you that you will take courage and go forward. It has come out incidentally, Sir, in the report which has been read, that there is in yonder river-in the mighty Thames-a river vastly important to England and to the whole world—a ship lying, called the Dreadnought. You, Sir, as a Lord of the Admiralty, would be well aware of the existence of that ship; but there may be some in this auditory who know not the design for which it is lying on that river. I called it a mighty river : London is very dependent upon it; England is very dependent upon it; the world itself is very dependent on the Thames. We are told, in the pages of history, that uponone occasion that clever and gifted woman, Queen Elizabeth, who threatened to make and unmake bishops as she liked, and to upset or build up a corporation as she chose, told the corporation of London that if the citizens did not act in harmony with her will, she would take the Court away from London. But the noble, Anglo-Saxon, sturdy corporators of that day said: “ Please your majesty, will you leave the Thames behind you? If you leave that, we think we can do without a Ccurt." (Hear and laughter.) So it has been found in all ages. If you leave a great river in the midst of a people, that people can well do without a Court, if the Court in its anger and its pride should attempt to do without the people. But that great river has a large number of attractive objects upon it, but none in my judgment more attractive or more interesting than that ship called the Dreadnought. I am not acquainted with her history; I do not know when her keel was laid down ; I am not aware in what battles she fought; but I apprehend the name of the ship indicates the courage of the men who have manned her. Now that she bias done her work in the way of war, she is brought back to float upon the river Thaines and there stands, or there sits, or there reposes, not scattering abroad the implements of war and destruction, but appearing as a hos. pital,- intended, Sir, as you are aware, to receive the invalid, the diseased, the afflicted of all countries, of all languages, at all times, in any hour of the day, or any hour of the night, on the one simple plea that there is want and misery and Foe on the part of the applicant, and that that applicant is a sailor. Now, Sir, what the Dreadnought is to man in his physical condition, I hold your Society to be to man in his moral and intellectual and spiritual condition. (Cheers.) I know it has been doubted at times whether it is proper to set up separate institutions with a view to benefiting separate classes of the community, and yet we find people acting upon that principle in every direction. You find, in certain parts of London, churches fitted up t) meet the taste and peculiarities of the people. Some are inclined to Puseyism, and you find places of worship fitted up and adapted for such people. Others like what is supposed to be the plain and unadulterated Gospel preached by Calvin and others, and you find churches erected for these; and so with other classes of the community. I think, Sir, there is very much reason and propriety in setting up an institution for the benefit of the British seamen who navigate our oceans, and are found from time to time entering our ports. I do not envy that man's mind - I do not wish to copy the emotion of that heart, that could

be cold and indifferent, and unaffected by the representations that have been made in that very comprehensive and telling report. I am aware that reports are some. times thought to be very dull and uninteresting things, but it appears to me that that report is a pre-eminently interesting and important one. It has brought before you, in a striking point of view, the wants of the people on whose belialf we are met together to-night, and the number of the people on whose behalf we plead. The numbers of these men are so very important and striking that the subject is redeemed from all that would be contemptible and insignificant by the mere con. templation of the fact that there are myriads of our fellow-men who get their bread by the peril of their lives. If one class of people could be found out, if one class of the community could be selected, quite sufficient to fill this assembly, if a number of youthful, intelligent, accountable, immortal beings could be brought together, I apprehend we should feel that on their behalf it would be right to put forth any amount of effort to do them good. But just think of the large number of persons employed in the mercantile marine of Great Britain. They are not to be counted by units, or by hundreds, or by thousands, but by hundreds of thousands. These men with their wives, for many of them are married, and with their children, for many of them are parents, have a strong claim, I think, upon our sympathy and our help. Then, Sir, it must be remembered that the relation of their employment to this entire country is vastly important. I might look around this country-I might go into the habitations of the great, into the mansions of our nobles, into the palaces of our princes, and I might feel that it would be very possible to do without a large number of things that we have. We might, for instance, do without beautiful furniture, without fine pictures, without poetry; I confess I should not like to do with. out them, for I think they have all very much to do with our intellectual and moral improvement. But I do fcel that we might do without them--that we might be reduced to a condition in which we might say, “Well, let the poet go aside if you please ; let him go into the desert and sing his madrigals to the rocks and the woods. We do not particularly care about him." We might lay aside the “Sacred Harmonic," and all the things that are turned out periodically at Exeter-hall,-- lay aside the genius of the poet, the artist, the sculptor, the statuary, and actually do without them. I can do without you, if you happen to be a singer; I can do without you, if you happen to be a poet; I can do without you, man, important as you are in your own estimation, and possibly in the estimation of many other people. As the House of Lords has done without Cromwell, or the House of Commons--1 forget which (laughter)---so it might have done without a large number of crowned and titled heads that appear now dignified and honoured there. We just feel that we can do without you, men. Go where you like. Go to Australia - go to Port Natal--go to America--go to California, go where you please. We can do without you—but we cannot do without the British seaman. (Loud cheers.) All that is connected with our intellectual and social comfort, is bound up with the life and employment of those myriads of men who go forth from our ports, week after week, and month after month, to convey our commerce to the ends of the world, and to bring back the productions of the islands and the continents of the world to enrich and dignify and bless our own hallowed country, and make her what she happily is,

“ First flower of the earth and first gem of the sea." (Cheers.) Then, Sir, the peculiar position in which these men are found constitutes a strong argument by which we should be urged to do what we can in order to benefit them. Look to the history of the sailor. There is a large class of men who ever and anon spring up from the ranks of the people, from the mere mediocrity of common position, and stand out prominently before you. There are such men as Nelson, as Sir John Franklin, on whose behalf the sympathy of enlightened Europe and America likewise has been awakened, and whose life, and that of his noble companions, we hope may, through the providence of God, be preserved to bless the world--there are men who have gone out to sea without any prospect of advancement, and have, by what we call the chances of fortune, by their own force of character, or by the providential arrangements of heaven, risen to dignity and importance. But that, Sir, is not the character of the large number of people on whose behalf we are here. There is a boy, whose mother has watched over him, prayed for him, and wept over him, and his father has taught hiin. But he was a restless and an ambitious boy. He said, “ The land is no home for me," and he went forth, at an early age, poorly educated, ill taught, when passion was very strong, and reason

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