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from sabbath to sabbath the message of reconciliation to God, through the atonement of Christ. The ensign, the jack, the

pendant, and the blue peter, were the known signals for worship.

Every preparation being now completed, there took place on the fourth day of May, a solemn dedication of the ship to the service of God. After the reading of the church prayers, the late venerable and reverend Rowland Hill preached from the words :-“The dove found no rest for the soul of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark.” In the afternoon an impressive discourse was delivered by the Rev. T. Roberts, of Bristol; and in the evening, in Albion Chapel, the Rev. Dr. Collyer addressed a very numerous and interested assembly from Psalm cxxiv. 4,—"No man careth for my soul."

Intense interest was now excited in the sailors' cause, and the ARK, or FLOATING CHAPEL, became an object of attraction to thousands. Several of the nobility also came forward and warmly espoused the cause. We mean not to be invidious, but special mention must be made of the Right Honourable Lord Gambier, and Lord Exmouth, in whom the Society had two most devoted friends. The late distinguished Mr. Wilberforce, may also be named as cordially attached to the Institution. He was once seen on board the Ark, with some members of his family.

But to no name should more honour be paid, than to that of the now aged and venerable Robert Humphrey Martin, Esq. To him belongs much of the merit of first founding the Port of London Society; and to his exertions, more than to any other effort was it owing, that a Floating Chapel was ever moored in the majestic Thames. By this well conceived design he was instrumental of bringing thousands on thousands of these sons of the ocean under the joyful sound of the gospel. Nor can any one who was not a coadjutor with him in this great work, form any adequate idea of the anxiety which he entertained for the success of the scheme now so happily commenced, or appreciate the amount of service he performed. He willingly taxed his time, and talent, and influence, and effort, to render the project still more available for the best welfare of the long-neglected but noble class of men, on whom it was sought to confer the blessing of christian instruction. We only lament, that from age and personal affliction, which render his continuance here so very precarious, this devoted servant of God is now incapacitated for active future service. But beyond the sea of life, and on that peaceful shore to which he is rapidly nearing, and on which“ neither tempest beats nor billows roar," he will be hailed by many a redeemed sailor as the instrument, under God, of his salvation

and glory.

It is narrated of the illustrious patriarch, that after the waters of the deluge had assuaged, and he and his family had, at the divine command, come forth out of the ark, he“ builded an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar.” Many a poor mariner has found an ark in our Bethel ships, and there he has worshipped and continues to worship the God of his life, and the Father of his mercies; and when he comes on shore he seeks a sanctuary and an altar where he may offer the sacrifice of praise. But in the Port of London, there is no sanctuary to which the sailor can repair as appropriately and peculiarly his own. What is now termed the Sailors' CHAPEL, (a temporary building at Shadwell, opened by the Society, when the Ark was removed and broken up,) is unworthy of the name. It is more fitted to deter the mariner from the worship of God, than to invite and allure him. It is a reproach to the nation, and especially to this great maritime and commercial city, that we have no place entitled to the designation of either the METROPOLITAN SAILORS' CHURCH, or CHAPEL. To wipe away this reproach, an effort is being made to obtain a fund for the erection of such an edifice; combining in it, not only suitable accommodation for divine worship, but (with the fact before us that within the space of one year, there were refused, for want of space, between three and four hundred applications for admission into the day-school) to provide rooms in every way eligible for carrying on instruction among the children of seamen, both on the week-day and sabbath, as also a READING ROOM, with a well selected library, a REGISTRY OFFICE, and a SAVINGS' BANK.

Towards this fund not FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS have been yet obtained. And therefore we renew the appeal on behalf of this most laudable and important object. We would impress it on our MERCHANTS, that they have obtained their wealth through the instrumentality of seamen,-on our shIP-OWNERS, that their

* This narrative is confined to the history of THE ARK, but we purpose in a future number to trace the progress of Bethel operations through the period which has since elapsed, up to the present time.

temporal interests are most intimately connected with the moral reformation of seamen,-on our great BIBLE AND MISSIONARY INSTITUTIONS, that much of their success depends on the evangelization of seamen,-on the CHURCH, that the hopes entertained of the world's salvation are inseparable from the salvation of seamen,-on every individual member of the coMMUNITY, that al which he possesses and enjoys, he owes to the toils and sufferings of seamen,-and therefore to one and all we would say-COME AND HELP US !

MAY-AND ITS FESTIVITIES.

This month, another scene opens before us. In our former number we rapidly sketched the beauties of spring, and described its pleasures. But at this happy season we are called to contemplate loveliness of a higher order, and taste of joy still more refined. We are introduced into the garden of the Lord, and are permitted, not only to admire its buds and blossoms, but also to gather some of its richest and choicest fruits. There are few who have not been eye and ear witnesses of the “ loud sincerity of mirth,” which runs through a rural population

“When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world

And tempts the sickled swain into the field;" and especially when the harvest treasure has been safely gathered in

"Seized by the general joy each heart dist ds

With gentle throes." And is it to be admitted that the christian should give no outward expression to the big feelings of his soul,--to those high and still rising emotions, of which he is conscious, when the period returns which assures him that the “ seed of the kingdom” has taken root, and converted the moral waste into a fruitful field,- that the wilderness and solitary place have been made glad,--and that the desert now rejoices and blossoms as the rose ? If the mere transformation which the seasons effect on the face of physical creation,-if the mere circumstance of the earth being gilded-all covered with bending golden fruit, is ufficient to spread gladness through a whole nation--why should not the nobler change which is produced in the world of mind, and the imperishable fruits of righteousness which are the product of a sanctified heart, diffuse still higher joy among the good ; especially when, under the supreme influence of the Spirit, these are the results of their own individual effort and combined exertion ? If the man who found the sheep which he had lost, and the woman who having lost a piece of silver swept the house and sought diligently till she found it, rejoiced, the one over the restoration of his sheep, and the other over the discovery of the coin, why should the holier joy of a believer's heart be suppressed, when a strayed and perishing soul is restored to the fold of the

chief Shepherd, or when an imperishable gem is rescued from the ruin in which it is involved, and placed in the crown of the great Sovereign of the universe ? If there be joy in heaven among angels and glorified spirits, over one sinner that repenteth, why should not the same great moral spectacle produce like joy on earth ? And why should the joy not be expressed as well here as there ? On such an event there is joy on earth, and to this joy definite and emphatic expression is given.

What means this universal crowding of the pious and good to the great metropolis ? What mean these daily conventions ? these large and interested assemblies? What mean these songs of holy melody, what these glowing ascriptions of praise,--what these lofty sentiments of gratitude and thanksgiving ? What mean this torrid eloquence

-these thoughts that breathe and words that burn? What mean these beaming countenances,-these raised hands,-these bursting plaudits ? What is all this living, moving scene now before us? What, but the friends of humanity--the friends of man, as he is in all his ruin and degradation, the friends of man, and of man’s Redeemer, met to celebrate the triumphs of divine love, and redeeming grace ?-met to tell how the cross has triumphed over the crescent, and the Bible over the Koran: and our simple christianity over all the gorgeous rites and ceremonies of superstition and idolatry. Nor can we conceive of any more fitting occasion for joy and rejoicing among beings endowed with the high attributes of reason and intelligence. The conflict which the church of God is now carrying on in the world, is not for territory and dominion, but for mind and for man. It is to bring man back to his Maker, the rebel into subjection to his Sovereign, the sinner to dependance on his Saviour. And when man shall everywhere be restored to God, and mind everywhere be raised to its former erectness in righteousness and holiness, then shall the whole universe of intelligent beings be summoned to the final banquet, to celebrate the triumph completed of light over darkness, truth over error, holiness over sin, God over

man.

This, then, is a month of festive joy to christians on the land. But where in these great convocations, and amid these holy festivities is the dweller on the deep,-the poor weather-beaten sailor ? Seldom if ever does he number one among the assembled thousands at this joyful season. And why? It not unfrequently happens, that many of our pious seamen are in this very month directing their course across the watery waste to other and distant shores, or are moored in ports geographically remote from this centre of holy attraction. But is the sailor, therefore, a stranger to those great emotions which are swelling the bosums of so many thousands ? Has he no seasons which correspond to these annual festivals ? Is no sound of rejoicing to be heard as we approach

-Thy stream, O Thames ! Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods !" which tells us that there are hearts which beat in unison with our own ? Every Bethel service (and such services are not now infrequent on the river)* is made the occasion for the expression of joyous feeling. Let any one only board a ship in which such service is to be held, and the scene will at once convey to him the impression that the hearts of sailors are equally susceptible with those of landsmen of the emotions of joy and gladness. Grouped together from various ships, and after voyages more or less remarkable for incident and duration, they are to be heard, in language and idioms peculiar to themselves, narrating their toils and conflicts, sufferings and dangers, perils and privations,-and then, succeeding this with an enumeration of those interpositions and mercies with which they have been favoured ;--their travels and labours on the shores of other lands, their success in the exhibition and defence of the christian faith, and the triumphs which have been thus achieved in the cause of God. Or perhaps they are heard to dwell on the changes which have been effected in their respective ships, the power of religion, as seen in the reformed life and character of their companions :-how vessel after vessel has been converted into a holy ark, and man after man has yielded to the grace of God, and the love of the Saviour. To them all these are memorable events. Nor do they fail to identify these results on the sea, with the more extended and more {widely known achievements of christianity on the land. The landsman may forget the sailor, but the sailor does not forget the landsman. Let him only hear of the progress and triumph of the truth, whether among his brethren on the deep, or among other tribes of men, whether among his countrymen at home or among distant nations abroad, and his heart fills with pleasure, his spirit dilates with joy. The sailor then has his festivals-his seasons of holy rejoicing. And, though less magnificent, and less imposing, they are yet to him not the less inspiriting and delightful. From such scenes, many of these noble-minded men have retired like giants refreshed with wine ; have entered on labours still more arduous, and are effecting triumphs the extent and grandeur of which will be known only in the fuller discoveries of heaven and eternity.

Such of them, however, as are now in port, are doubtless looking forward to the approaching anniversary with peculiar feelings; and are anticipating a " time of refreshing.”+ Let landsmen meet them in goodly numbers, on that happy occasion, and both unite in the celebration of what has been done to usher in the predicted period—the sunlike era in the history of this dark world, when “ the abundance of the sea shall be converted,” and “the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea ; -- when“ the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it.”

* When all the Agents are at home, and in health, the services held on the Thames amount to TWENTY in the week.

+ The Annual Meeting of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, is fixed for Monday Evening, the 6th inst. in Finsbury Chapel, Finsbury Circus.

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