« ÖncekiDevam »
Go in peace! These words shall cheer thee,
Passing through life's mournful vale ;
When the pangs of death assail.
When thy bark is almost riven,
He will land thee safe in heaven.
Shall protect and save thy soul;
Shalt in safety reach the goal.
Thou shalt feel His presence near ;
And thy fainting spirit cheer.
Purified by grace divine,
As a star for ever shine.
A. Y. S.
A PRAYER FOR THE MARINER.
BY JOHN ANTROBUS, JUN., BIRMINGHAM.
Lord God! preserve the mariner
Upon the stormy deep;
Amid the tempest's sweep.
Thou art moving 'mid the waters, The destroying angel rideth
'Mid the sorrow-laden gloom; And the giant waves grow wilder And a cry of bitter anguish At thy approaching form.
Swelleth round each closed tomb. The thunder peal, thy chariot ! There's a voice of lamentation
Rolls through the bursting sky; 'Mong thy children on the deep; Thy steeds, the vivid lightnings! A grief without cessation Proclaim thy Spirit nigh.
Where the angry
billows sweep. Thou art walking in thy vengeance, Thy scourge, oh God! is fearful,
Through air, o'er sea and land ; Death triumphs in its speed ! The pestilence is mighty,
Thy wrath is full of mystery, 'Neath the shadow of thy hand. Thou’rt terrible, indeed.
Lord God, remember mercy!
In thy justice, hear and save!
On life’s distracting wave.
THE MERCANTILE MARINE ACT,
COMING INTO OPERATION ON JANUARY 1st, 1851. Though the public at large do not pretend to understand very deeply the qualifications which are necessary to the safe conduct of sea-going vessels, or to fathom the technicalities under which they may be expressed, they are sufficiently alive to the character and magnitude of the interests which our mercantile navy represents; and persuaded, as we are, that lives and properties committed to the unstable element require some more effectual safeguards than individual selfishness supplies, we hail with satisfaction the hour, now not far distant, when the Mercantile Marine Bill of last session shall come into actual operation. Security for the fitness of the master, facility for the selection of the crew, guarantees for their mutual good behaviour, are the treble benefit which we hope then to see realised. If one of these conditions is necessary directly, so are the others indirectly, to the success of the voyage. The jobbery of the private shipping agents has been equally a nuisance to the shipowner and to the sailor; the imperfect or unintelligible stipulations entered into, and the want of a speedy and authorised arbitrator, have tended alike to irregularity and to injustice; and the legal supervision of the mariner's contract, now offered to both parties at their option, can hardly fail to overthrow the old routine, if not at once, by a sure, though gradual process, and remove one fruitful cause of disagreement and litigation. To reduce the risks of transport in British bottoms to a minimum is the best corollary we can add to our repeal of the Navigation Laws; if at the same time we can raise the character of the common seaman, and protect him in some degree from the impositions of which he has ever been the victim, we shall attain a second object, not inferior to the first; it is impossible, therefore, to overrate the valuable results of Mr. Labouchere's Bill, if it is only fairly and fully carried out.
The methods by which this Bill, which is to come into operation on the 1st of January next, seeks to accomplish these ends, are three :-one, by the application of tests, and the granting of cer. tificates to masters and mates; one, by the establishment of shippingoffices, at which the arrangements between the employer and the crew, antecedent to, or consequent upon a voyage, shall be made, according to certain prescribed forms, and the rights of both parties more effectually secured, at infinitely less cost and inconvenience to both; the third, by the creation of local boards at our principal trading ports, whose duty it will be to select fit and proper persons to fill the administrative offices, to superintend the performance of their functions, to act as a court of reference, and to communicate directly with the Board of Trade. Of these local boards, which form the basis of the whole system, there are, altogether, sixteen appointed ; by the qualification originally laid down for the ports at which they should exist-namely, a registered tonnage of 30,000 tons of foreigngoing vessels—they were limited to twelve ; seven in England, four in Scotland, and in Ireland only Belfast. To that number, however,
four more were subsequently added, from considerations of provincial importance, or the convenience of mariners; those four being Leith, Dublin, Cork, and Plymouth. The local boards are constituted, in each case, of four nominees of the Board of Trade ; six elected, and one, or at most, two ex officio members. According to the directions lately forwarded to them from head-quarters, it will be their first duty to suggest, for the approval of the Board of Trade, competent men as examiners and shipping-masters,—officers on whose character and impartiality the whole practical success of the new regulations will depend. These offices, though they may occasionally be united in the person of a single individual, are themselves to be kept entirely distinct,—the examination of masters and mates being the exclusive function of the one, and the selection or discharge of crews, with certain contingent matters of finance or of arbitration, being the province of the other. It is only, therefore, at some of the smaller ports, where the separate duties may be light, that the two can be combined. Instructions as to the scope and tenor of the examinations, as to the various requirements of the examining-officers, on the one hand, and of the shipping-masters on the other, are already under the consideration of the local boards, with whom it rests to give them effect. As the qualifications of the examiner must be greater or less in proportion to the capacities, pretensions, and responsibilities of the persons to be examined, it is proposed at the larger ports to divide the practical from the scientific branch of the examination, giving to one officer the charge of the seamanship, to another that of the navigation. This plan will be adopted at London, Liverpool, and such other combined ports as are sufficiently near to one another to make the division of offices consistent with the required economy. For instance, Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland will be formed into one group; Glasgow, Greenock, and Leith into another; each group employing two examiners, one in either branch of maritime attain
The emoluments of the examiners are to be decided partly by the amount of labour, partly by the standard of acquirement expected of them, and are calculated as ranging from £30 to £250 per annum. In order to secure the extension of an adequate test to the most important interests and the most responsible positions, a higher qualification will be required from the examiners in navigation at London, Liverpool, and Glasgow, than at the other ports. The certificates given will also vary with the nature of the test applied, an extra examination being provided for such persons as are desirous of obtaining the command of first-class ships or steamers, and separate examiners being appointed to try their competency for the latter, A graduated standard of requirements, varying with the intended rank and duties of the certificated officer, accompanies the instructions, and distinguishes the applicants into four classes,-second mates, only mates, first mates, and masters. A precise age and term of service will be required as a prior condition of examination in each case, no candidate being admissible as a master under twenty-one, or as a second mate under eighteen. The scientific portion of the examination will be conducted on paper; the practical portion viva voce. According to his claims, the candidate will be required to find the latitude from the meridional altitude of the sun, to deduce the variation of the compass, to use and adjust the sextant; similarly in seamanship, if ambitious to be a mate of low degree, he must understand the measurement of the log-line and the rule of the road; if he has higher aspirations, he must know how to carry out an anchor, shift a spar, or handle a large ship in a heavy breeze. These examinations will be constantly proceeding, in one or other part of the United Kingdom, so that no person can have long to wait for an opportunity in his own neighbourhood. As they are now for the first time made compulsory, the qualifications have been fixed at a very moderate point, it being the intention of the Board of Trade to raise the standard in the course of time, when the general attainments of officers shall render it possible to do so without inconvenience.
The object of the second provision-namely, of the shipping-office, is to establish a record of characters and names, to provide a clear understanding of every contract entered into, to adjust accounts and disputes, to put a check upon desertions, and to assist in maintaining discipline by enforcing a system of fines for small offences. For this purpose an uniform regulation is, of course, the first necessity, and it is probable that the formularies already tried by way of experiment at some of the outports will be universally adopted by the local boards. As soon as these officers are appointed, it will be imperative on every master or mate of a foreign-going vessel to engage and discharge his crew in the presence of the shipping-master, the stipulations and fees being explained and registered, before the voyage, in the shipmaster's office, and the wages of the seamen being paid, or their fines deducted, at the same place, after their return. The peculiar relations which exist in this case between the employer and the employed will thus be more clearly defined and established, and unnecessary dispute or litigation, as much as possible, precluded. Any irregularity discernible in the production of the logbook, any obstruction to the shipping-master in the performance of his duties, any case of difficulty beyond his competence, will be referred immediately to the local board, which is empowered to commence proceedings itself, or may communicate with the central authority. The same regulations apply partially also to home-going vessels, -entirely so, if the crews of such ships are engaged and discharged in the shipping-master's office; otherwise his functions are limited to the receipt and acknowledgment of such documents and vouchers as are required by the orders of the Board of Trade from the masters of home-going ships.
Such is a bare outline of the system which is now about to come into operation. More than this it would be hardly possible to secure by way of antecedent precautions; and the law further empowers the local board to withdraw the certificate in case of misconduct, thus establishing a more complete check than any previous test of character or capacity could supply. This power of excluding any master or mate, either absolutely or for a time, from the charge of a British vessel, while it adds to their office something of a judicial dignity, adds also the judicial obligation; and in this light, equally as in their appointment to regulate and harmonise the relations of the master and the seaman, the local board is endued with a real and a heavy responsibility. It is only by their zealous acceptance of the duties confided to them that the machinery of the law can be perfected, and effectual safeguards obtained. The names of Green and Hunter, of London, of King, Miles, and Paterson, of Bristol, and of similar men, in similar emporiums of trade, afford satisfactory evidence that the initiative, at all events, has not fallen into the hands of inferior merchants or incompetent men; and we are prepared, therefore, to look for results of a wise and necessary measure, proportioned not only to the labour bestowed in devising, or the time spent in elaborating it, but also to the energy and intelligence of those who are to place it among our institutions.--From “ The Times."
THE WORD OF GOD, In writing the series of papers of which this is the first, whilst it shall not be forgotten that they are especially designed for sailors, it shall be constantly borne in mind that they are for men; sinners of the Gentiles, who have, or who have not, believed the glorious Gospel of the grace of God. “He so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” So that, whilst some portions of the word of God convey the glad tidings of his love in a manner peculiarly suited to distinct classes,--as sailors, and soldiers,--the greater part claims equal attention from the whole loved world-- from man, without reference to his condition in life.
We would begin and end by commending our readers to God, and to the word of his grace," which is able to build us up, and to give us an inheritance among them that are sanctified.” And we desire that whatsoever benefit is bestowed by God on man, through the Holy Scriptures, may be received by the readers of the Sailors' Magazine; and that whatsoever expression they contain, setting forth their incalculable worth, may be heartily repeated by those for whom we write. Deal well with us, O Lord, according to thy word.
The word of God is said to be more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold ; sweeter, also, than honey and the honeycomb,” and to be esteemed more than necessary food. It is also pure, and it is not new, for the word of the Lord is tried. How cheerily the mariner lays his ship in a course which has been tracked by others in safety, carrying them to port. So may we happily follow the
counsels of the Holy Scriptures, which have guided the ancients to God. Therefore, with the prophet, let us say to God, “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.”
The word of God is likened to seed and light, and a harvest may as well be expected without seed, or vision without light, as fruitfulness in good words or works, and the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, without the words the Holy Ghost has spoken. The seed may be sown and the harvest fail. If it be not sown, there is no harvest for man. The light may shine, and the blind stumble, and the ignorant and wilful go astray. If it shine not, all are in jeopardy. Thus, some possessed of the word of God never bear fruit to him; but all, without the knowledge that word gives, must inevitably be ignorant of the things which make for their everlasting peace. Let us, therefore, read or hear the word of God, and give it to, or put it within the reach of, those who have it not.
God himself would persuade us to value his word by its truthfulness; it contains his word and his oath, two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie; by the persons who have uttered it, his prophets, bis Son; by general proclamations, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, earth, for