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very weak, has gone forth to breathe a polluted atmosphere, and to come into contact with men of rough and rendy minds. That boy has grown up; and has been taught, that in order to be manly, he must swear--that in order to be thought a seaman, he must reject the Bible—that in order to be thought noble and brave, he must contemn all religion. The sound of the church-going bell has never fallen upon his earno minister of mercy has taught him. He goes forth, perhaps, to India, then to China, and has come back hardened and indifferent about religion; and, but for a Society like yours, that young man might have been left to go down to the grave, and perish in ignorance and in guilt,-to live and to die without God and without hope in the world. Then, Sir, think of the bearing of this class of people upon the important religious institutions of the country. I think, when I came upon the platform, I heard you referring, Sir, to the value of missionary operations, and to the fact that our British seamen frequently convey an impression to the native mind, very unfavourable to that Christianity which we all hold to be Divine, on which re all build our hope, and to which we are devotedly attached. Beyond all that, Sir, remember that that great Institution in Earl-street could not send out its Bibles to all parts of the earth, but through British seamen. We of the London Missionary Society, our brethren the Baptists, the Church, and the Wesleyan Missionary Society, could not send out their agents to the ends of the world, but through the medium of British seamen ; and will you make them the channel of conveying life and salvation to the heathen world, and not seek to purify the channel through which that life is intended to flow? (Applause.) Yet, Sir, it is a mournful fact, that a large amount of prejudice has been kept up in the public mind about the British sailor. Dr. Arnold, that incomparable man, whose name ought never to be mentioned in any assembly of Englishmen without respect, in one of his notes to his invaluable edition of Thucydides, refers to the fact that the old heathen priesthood of Egypt and India kept up a prejudice against the employment of the maritime population of any land, on the conviction that if the people went from Egypt or from India, and came into contact with the people of other lands, the superstitions of the countries they belonged to would be annihilated or weakened, and eventually overthrown; and he held the great doctrine, that while there was death in the land, there was life in the waters; and that when everything in connection with the old priest. craft of bygone days was contemptible and worthless and effete, the life and energy of science, of literature, of civilisation, and of religion, came to the world through the influence of seamen of the different regions of the earth. How did the Gospel come to Britain ? It went not out from London. Christ was not crucified here, but in Jerusalem. Christianity went not out from Britain, but from Judea ; and how came it here? Godly men brought it, Sir. It did not come by a miracle. It was not brought by an angel. It did not come direct from heaven, but godly men left Palestine, came down the Mediterranean, and crossed over into Gaul, and thence came to Britain, and planted the standard of the cross on the western isles of our own shores, and there snatched the trembling victim from the knife of the Druidical priesthood, and overturned the altars recking with human blood, and stained with pollution and with guilt, and laid the foundations of our liberties, intelligence, and social comfort. Thus, all that we have, under God, we owe to the instrumentality of the sailor of a bygone age. (Loud cheers.) Then, Sir, there was a great prejudice felt a long time ago as to the capacity of the sailor to receive the Gospel. It was said, they were a rough, hardy, careless set of men--that they earned their money like horses, and spent it like asses. (Laughter.) It was said and believed, that they were incapable of receiving religion. You can remember the time when our ships of war were called “floating hells.” Thank God, that time is gone by. (Cheers.) Oh, Sir! there is great propriety in you, as one of the Lords of the Admiralty, being here. I do rejoice in the character of some men who have held office in that department, abused and misrepresented as it has been. I do rejoice that godly men, especially under the present Government, have held office for the good of the people, and the country and the world. You must have known, Sir, that some of the best men that ever trod the deck, that ever contended with the elements, were godly men, who went out to discharge their duty in humble dependence upon the might and Spirit of the living God. A great change has come over society in this respect. It has been acknowledged that sailors can feel. I have myself talked to them, and know that they can feel. Í have talked to a young man about his mother, and I never despair of a boy, however hard-hearted he may be, however thoughtless and reckless, if I can but make him feel when I talk about his mother. Living, as I do, in the midst of a large maritime population, I have often been the channel of conveying, month by month, more than half a sailor's wages to his widowed mother, with a view to cheer and comfort her heart (cheers); and living, as I do, just in contact with one of the noblest institutions that any spirited gentleman in London has ever set up-the Sailor's Home, built by my friend, Mr. Richard Green, a member of my congregation-I say, observing, as I do, the conduct of some hundred or hundred and twenty men in this institution, week after week, I can safely say that I have never seen an action, or heard a word that might offend the delicate sensibilities of my wife or my children. These men are characterised by a propriety that might shame people who occupy the higher and the middle stations of life. They pay attention to the word and to the worship of God; and I have the greatest faith in the endeavours that shall be put forth on their behalf generally. In common with others, I greatly lament the fact that they have been neglected and overlooked. So far as I can understand it, I think that the bill brought in by Mr. Labouchere, on behalf of the seamen of Great Britain, will do great good in improving the intellectual and moral condition of seamen. I have no great fear as to the centralising power of Government, so long as the vigilant eye of public attention shall be kept upon it, and the power of parliamentary voting shall be brought to bear upon it. I rejoice that such endeavours are made to improve the conditions of British scamen. What! shall it be thought right that a ten or twelve hours' bill shall be enacted by the Supreme Legislature of the country, and that no check and no provision whatever shall be made for the comfort of unprotected seamen who navigate our ships, and carry our commerce to the ends of the world ? It appears to me that this class of men have a very strong claim upon the merchants of Great Britain. I confess I heard with regret the fact that your Society cannot contrive in any possible way to get together £3000. Why, Sir, I hold that some ten great mercantile houses in London ought to contribute to you more than that amount. (Hear, hear.) I doubt very much the morality of gentlemen and merchants—I do not know whether they are here-if they are, I should be better pleased to say what I am about to say, for I am no calumniator or backbiter-I say I doubt the morality of those who bring young men from every part of Great Britain and Ireland, and employ them to carry out their purposes of trade and commerce, and then simply pay them their wages, and set them afloat, to come in contact with crimps and wretched beings that lay in wait to ruin and rob them. You ought to feel that they are your servants; and as I, as a master, feel responsible for all the domestics who dwell beneath my roof, so ought you as merchants to feel responsibility for the preservation and protection of the men who man your ships and do your work. (Cheers) I rejoice to hear that this Society is about to aim at a larger work, and to undertake a nobler enterprise than it has hitherto done. Everything in the intellectual and moral world is in advance, and depend upon it, seamen likewise must be in advance. I have had it from the best authority, from the authority of the gentleman whose name I have ventured to mention, that he has reaped in the management of, perhaps, the largest mercantile fieet under heaven, the greatest advantage from his own Sailors' Home. Instead of picking up men along the shore in a state of inebriation or partial drunkenness, on the eve of the departure of a ship, all his men are sober, orderly, and quiet, and go direct to the ship at the hour she is about to depart; and I believe the comfort and convenience of the passengers that sail in the ships are greatly promoted by the arrangements that he makes for the improvement of the sailors when on shore. I hold up his example to the great houses of London, and Newcastle, and Liverpool, and would say to them, for the sake of your own advantage, if you cannot be affected by a higher motive, try to elevate and improve the condition of the hundreds of men thus intrusted to your care. You cannot, in an argument like this, forget the influence which it has on the social condition of the country, as a whole. The morality of the people is intimately connected with the stab tox of the institutions of our country; but these institutions are extremely dependent on British seamen. I, for one, venture to express my ardent, devoted attachment to that noble, and gifted, and virtuous woman who sits upon the throne, to whom I owe the loyalty of principle and the loyalty of affection, (loud cheers)to those orders of the community who grace and adorn the land--to those orders of society which, from the peer down to the peasant, constitute the dignity of my country, and make it either the envy or the boast of the civilised world. To these, Sir, I confess I am old-fashioned enough to be deeply and strongly attached ; and I do believe, too, that the welfare of all orders of the community is intimately con. nected with the welfare of the labouring and productive classes of the community. Degrade them, and you degrade the class next above them ; degrade them, and you degrade each succeeding class up to the highest in the realm. Sir, there is no class in the community that has stronger claims upon the attention of philanthropic Christian men, than the British seamen of the empire. I urge on you, dear friends, by every consideration derived from patriotism, from religion, from the love of your country, from the love of your species, to aid this important and noble Institution. The sentiment of the resolution is one in which I cordially concur. I will not attempt to enlarge upon it. I will close by briefly saying, that if the object of this Society shall be carried out generally, if the seamen of Great Britain shall be evan. gelised, if in every cabin there shall be a Bible, if in every sailor there shall be a heart opened to the truth of God, if in every mess-room there shall be a meeting for prayer, if every ship shall be called a Bethel, the House of God, the gate of heaven, it our seamen shall be regenerated, I shall have no fear of France with all her Socialism, and Communism, and Republicanism–I shall have no fear of Spain or Portugal, with all their priestism and absolutism-I shall have no fear of all the Germanic confederations and all their combinations, I shall have no fear of America, with all her might, weakened as it is by slavebolding corruption-(hear)— I shall have no fear of the entire world. No; I should have greater con. tidence than I should have in your noble House voting a couple of additional millions, which we poor people that pay taxes cannot very well afford, for building Martello towers, for the manufacture of ships of war, and the augmentation of armies to fight our battles. Then, Sir, evangelise our population, our seafaring popula. tion, and then, I say, in the words of the departed Tom Campbell
“ Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along her steep,
Her home is on the deep."--(Loud cheers.) The Rev. Robert Redpath, M.A., seconded the resolution. He said it was unneces. sary to adduce many arguments to secure the approbation of the meeting to the motion before them. He might observe that all classes of our daily labourers, engaged immediately in conflict with the elements of nature, necessarily contracted by that conflict many of those hardy habits and active virtues which could never extensively exist throughout a population without imparting strength to the whole community. The very fact of their being thus employed, of being constantly in the open air, engaged in sunshine and in storm, in every variety of season, in raising from the bosom of the earth the produce to be employed in the support of the whole population, created a certain measure of respect for the self-denisl, and the sufferings, and the sacrifices necessarily made by those sons of toil. With regard, however, to those who were employed in the navigation of vessels, there was a different class of dangers and of sufferings ; and in these, hardibood, bravery, and self-control were indispensably necessary to the performance of the duties allotted to them. When we attempted to estimate the services they rendered, then it was that we felt the obligation we were under to these men. The situation of the sailor afforded him many hours favourable for useful meditation. He had known instances in which the young who were brought up in our populous cities, in danger of being thoroughly corrupted and depraved by their associates, had been placed under the careful discipline and training of a good mercbant vessel, and had been saved from the vices and ruin by which they were in danger of being destroyed, and had grown up useful members of society. The lessons which they had received, perhaps, in the Sabbath school, or had had impred 1 upon their minds by the education of their fathers or their mothers, had been blessed to them when they were far away from their native shores ; and many reflections and resolutions which would never, perbaps, have occurred to their minds had they remained at home, had been brougbt with irresistible force to their thoughts when they reflected upon the truths to which they before listened with indifference, and to warnings which had before been given them in vain. On this account they might hope that whatever service was rendered to these men, they would be deeply grateful for it. It was owing to the intercourse maintained by sailors that the whole work of civilization had been carried on. It was owing to the facilities afforded, in the first instance, by the rivers in Babylonia and Egypt, and afterwards to the facility of intercourse between the different States bordering upon the Mediterranean, that the genius of Greece shone forth in its lustre, and that all the arts and sciences attained so high a degree of excellence. It was owing to similar circumstances now that the competition between this country and the States of America would tend to enhance the character and improve the attainments of our captains, and all engaged in marine enterprises. The sailor, by the perusal of the Bible that he carried with him, could not merely maintain habits of religion, but his habits of piety might be strengthened, and, instead of becoming a worse man by his absence from home, the recollections of his family and his kindred, all the kind and fond associations which he might have thought excellent and good when upon shore--all these would draw him more powerfully when he was away. The very fact that thousands of miles separated him from them; that they were approaching the same throne of grace, and engaged in similar exercises, might be blessed of God to lead him to think more of that Saviour to whom he appealed for the guidance of His Spirit. (Applause.)
The resolution passed unanimously.
The Rev. John BURNET moved :-"That in the opinion of this meeting the maritime population of this commercial empire bas peculiar and urgent claims upon the sympathy, the prayers, and the efforts of every Christian and philanthropist; and that the religious, intellectual, and social elevation of this numerous class of the community cannot but prove a national benefit, and be the means of diffusing the blessings of Christianity throughout the world."
He said : Sir, there is no Society in existence-I make no exception whatever-for which I have a higher regard, than the Society which has assembled at the present moment. (Hear, hear.) I am satisfied, Sir, that it is because the claims of the Society are not understood, that they are not more generally felt. I have no doubt, Sir, that the really superior claims of this institution need but to be seen as they ought to be seen, to be felt as they should be felt; if they were properly seen and felt, we should have the flower of the population of this great capital assembling upon all occasions when the interests of the Society required any assembly at all. Sir, I should not feel at all surprised, neither should I be inclined to compliment the assembly if the event took place, if all the peers of the land were to occupy this Hall, and to say, “We come here to express our obligations to seamen." Why, Sir, what would our aristocracy be but for sailors? The wild barbarians of the old woods of England, the old aristocratical chevaliers who directed, by their passions more than by their wisdom, the energies of the population to hostile combat and deadly conflict--what would be the character of the nobility of England at the present moment, if there were no connecting link of facile application between this insulated spot and the continent of Europe. We cannot, while we think of our great country, forget what has made it great. It is a great empire, it is true, but where is the source of its greatness? Is it in its locality? Why, it is only a dangling fringe on the outskirts of the world. (Laughter.) That is her position, and she hangs bobbing there at every wind that blows. We cannot say that England belongs exactly to the world--it is one of its outskirts, just like a lighthouse peeping over the Atlantic, not belonging to this side of it nor to the other side- a something that some convulsion of nature has thrown up just upon the edge of the old world. We must not, therefore, make much of the position we occupy. Geographically speak. ing. I should say we are nothing more than a wart that has grown up on the bed of the ocean. The old world looks down upon us and sees the white cliffs of Albion, it is true, from the shores of France, but they see them just as so many aggregations of chalk, and nothing more. (Laughter.) If we were to take our geological relation to other times, and our geographical relation to the world in the present times, we should find that we are really in one of the lowest positions we could possibly occupy. Now, I do not want to degrade my country; I cannot do it; it is too high to be degraded by me, or by anybody else; but I want to say why it is great, I wish to show that it has been elevated simply by the seamen. The learning of Greece and of Rome, the philosophy of other days and of other lands, the theology of Palestine, the doctrine of the Cross, the testimony of apostolic men, the revelation of the oracles of God, bave all found their way westward, and they have been brought by seamen to tell upon this island of the seas; this really is the origin of our greatness. Nature did nothing for us except to lift our heads above the waters; but nature's great God spread over our island so much of the light of the knowledge of Jehovah's glory, that we look to the first importation of the Gospel of Christ from the vessels that brought the witnesses of a Saviour's testimony to us with exulting joy, and we are ready to say, “ Here is the real source of our greatness." (Cheers.) Let religion tell on nature, and it makes nature again--creates it anew. I should just say as much with regard to ourselves individually, as I have said with regard to our country. We are by nature depraved, lost, sinful, fallen ; religion was intended to sare us from our lost condition, and lift us from our fallen state; and when I look at our country, on such a speck as this, I say that on this speck religion has shone, and shone with all its lustre; and this speck has reflected the light thus cast upon it in all its brilliancy and glory, until, throughout the length and breadth of our pro. vinces, we not only have learned to know the Lord Jesus ourselves, but to feel also the obligation of making him known to others. Then, Sir, what sea is it that English keels have not ploughed? What coast is it that English vessels have not visited ? What land is it with which English seamen are unacquainted? And if their intercourse with the world is so vast, is it not our bounden duty to make those instru. ments of intercourse with the world fit for their high vocation ? Are we not called upon to do so ? But sailors are not simply accustomed to visit various ports, they are accustomed also to take with them many passengers: and if these passengers witness in the conduct of the sailors the influence and power of Christian principle, we do not know how many of those who are careless among them may have their attention arrested by the thunder and the storm, and turn their minds to the great things of God, under the guidance of sailors. On many occasions it will be found that the comfort of the passengers depends upon the good conduct of the sailors. You know very well that men are no men at all when they get on board ship, if they are unaccustomed to it. A lord is just as sick as the commoner. (Laughter.) Neptune has no respect at all for the aristocracy, he is a thorough Republican, he cares not for rank or title, but is at all times ready to visit the one or the other; he minds no more taking a lord by the stomach than be minds taking the most common passenger. (Laughter.) If that is the case, must not everybody be in a great degree dependent upon the hearty and sturdy sailors with whom Neptune has made a perpetual covenant, and whom he never disturbs at all? Would you not, Sir, rather have a civilised, a tender, a Christian, and a philanthropic seaman attending you, than the rough, coarse, swearing, blaspheming man, who did not care about you, who did not care about his God, or about yours? Then I say to those who are accustomed to go to sea, it is to your own interest to have gentle, well-cultivated seamen to take care of you in your moments of trial. I remember a person in the midst of a fit of sea-sickness--or rather between two fits--saying, "Well, we are told Britannia rules the waves. If she does, I wish she would rule them smoother." (Laughter.) Now, if we were to take the sailors and smooth them a little, the waves would be much smoother in consequence. But, Sir, how many things do we lose by the want of cultivation among our commercial marine? How many plants seen by our sailors on the banks of the ocean are regarded as weeds—how many appear. ances of nature, philosophically instructive, and capable of throwing great light on many of nature's most sublime phenomena--how many instances occur in which the science of ornithology might be cultivated that are now lost to us, because we have neglected our sailors? How many instruments of philosophic information might we make by the cultivation of our seamen that we now entirely lose, because we neglect that cultivation? How many portions of the world are we ignorant of, because we are unacquainted with the real circumstances under which they present themselves to contemplation, having never made our seamen capable of observing or clearly reporting them to us? How long do we look back, when we consider the ages that have gone by, into the dark and dreary period of superstition, of dreams, and of visions, of ghosts and hobgoblins, sustained by the statements of ignorant sailors ? And how much do we find that we are making our way onward unto that clearer light, and unto better days, since we have begun to attend to our sailors? Why should we not, by these circumstances, be encouraged to make our way onward until our seamen are philosophic observers, Christian missionaries, and philanthropic visitors to nations of misery and indigence, and of everything that is cruel and forbidding ? Now, when we come to look at the doors which are open to us to carry out this grand consummation, are we not ashamed that we have done so little ? Sir, if it were possible, without presumption, in an humble individual like myself, to soar so high as to induce me to suppose that I might become Lord Mayor of London (laughter), I would never allow a meeting of the Sailors' Society to take place without my presence, whether I was invited or not. (Cheers.) And I will tell you wby, Sir;