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prayer and the exposition of scripture, or nearly one thousand during the year. And it is truly pleasing to reflect how these simple means have succeeded in arresting the attention of the careless,—in instructing the ignorant,-in reclaiming the prodigal,-in convincing the sceptic and the infidel,-.in softening and subduing the most obdurate and impenitent:succeeded in arousing the slumbering and the inactive-in strengthening the faith, and enkindling the love, and fanning the zeal of the most holy and devoted.
It is impossible to estimate the good which has been effected. That a positive change has taken place in the moral habits and character of many of them, is a fact which is attested even by those whose predilections are not in favour of religion or religious exertion, but whose daily vocation calls them to live and move among sailors in port. Nor is it, in the case of hundreds, a merely external reformation, but a deep, entire, and universal renovation of heart and life.
The difficulty now, is not to get ships on board of which Bethel services may be performed, for these are daily multiplying. Above one hundred, as already stated, have in twelve months been added to the list.
Not only has more general attention been awakened to the subject of religion, but the power of its principles has been inwardly felt, and strikingly exemplified, in circumstances the most trying and afflictive.
One night, when going to preach on board a ship near London Bridge, (says one of your Agents) I forgot to take my bible with me,'according to my usual custom; the captain gave me his for my use, which, he said, was the only thing he saved with his life from shipwreck, and this he did by tying it round his neck, and swimming to land.
Often (says another) has religion soothed the mind of the weather-beaten seaman amidst the dangers of storm and shipwreck. Often has he been heard to say
“What should I have done without my God, his throne of grace, and the consolations of the gospel. Others, according to the testimony of the missionaries, who had but just escaped the jaws of death, have stood up in the Bethel meetings, and borne their testimony to the stable supports derived from a well-grounded hope in Christ. And a captain, relating the change which had been produced in himself and his crew, said, “When we go to sea now, we carry a little heaven with us,and when tossed about in the storm, we are both safe and happy.'
It farther appears, that from one hundred to one hundred and fifty vessels have been dedicated to the Bethel cause during the year, and that one hundred and nineteen captains have subscribed the COVENANT with their own hands, to sustain and promote the one common interest.
But since it is in the hands of the crimp and of the lodginghouse keeper, that the sailor is spoiled and robbed,—debased and ruined, it affords the Committee sincere pleasure to report, that they have twelve houses conducted on such principles, and by persons of such character as to justify them in conscientiously recommending them to the sailor on his arrival in port. Nor would they omit to notice the Sailors' Home, conducted by Captain Elliot. They unfeignedly rejoice in the existence and prosperity of this great Institution, and think it entitled to the favour and support of the nation.
Nor can it be but gratifying to know, that Temperance is advancing in our several sea-ports,—that it has made considerable progress within the last twelve months in vessels visiting the Thames,--that hundreds of sailors, in their individual capacity, and even whole ship’s companies, have signed the pledge, or acted on the principle.
But it is not enough to contemplate the sailor on shore His home is on the sea; and consequently for months he may never hear the sound of the church-going bell. No sanctuary throws open
its sacred doors to invite him to the altar of God, no living voice is lifted up to enforce the lessons of our holy faith. To meet the exigency of this case, the plan was wisely conceived, by means of loan libraries, of placing within his reach such works as might interest and engage his mind; and yet so impregnated with christian truth, that he might not be ignorant of the only way of acceptance and salvation. Now, it appears from the returns of the Missionaries, that above fifty of those libraries have been put on board vessels bound to every part of the world ; with the return of which have been obtained some pleasing testimonies of their beneficial practical tendency.
Single volumes are furnished from the Society's Library in Bell Wharf, to sailors while on shore, and on returning the work entitled “ ALLEINE'S ALARM,' a sailor, addressing the Missionary, said ; “Sir, this book is worth its weight in gold. I bless God that I have read it. That was a happy day on which
lent I well recollect what you said at the time to me,*READ IT WITH PRAYER. I trust I have done so, and the Lord has blessed it to my soul.”
it to me.
By the perusal of these works, and other means, many a guilty wanderer has been led to the Sailor's Chapel, where he has heard for the first time, the faithful saying, which is worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and doubtless among the records and revelations of the great final day, it will be found that this man and that man were born there. The services, both on the Sabbath and on the weekday evenings are better attended, and the results truly cheering. Several seamen have been received into communion; and to see the little band seated at the table of the Lord, is a sight for angels to admire!
Within the walls of this humble edifice, scenes the most interesting and delightful have been witnessed. The following is the statement of the junior Thames Missionary
After a short address was given, an old sailor, who had been tossed about on the ocean for many years, but is now, by a kind providence brought to anchor near this spot, stood up, charged himself with a long life of rebellion against God, and pointing to the walls, said, “Here I have found my long neglected Saviour within these last few weeks.' Giving thanks to God, and to all who labour in this place, he sat down. An African black next rose, and said, • Bredren, you pardon me,-me not speak much English; me long time very wicked-black heathen ; but me hear dat Jesus Christ die for poor sinner-when me pray to him, den he forgive me, and dat make me happy. Bredren, Jesus my Saviour too-me no can speak much,'and, looking on all around, he added, “Me no can speak much-my heart full-me tink plenty-me hope meet you all in heaven.” He then sat down. Another sailor rose and said—I was stopped in my sinful career at Sheerness, by the blessing of God, on the labours of Captain Hudson, who was preaching at that place.' Another said, “Sometime ago, seeing the Bethel flag, I carelessly wandered into this Chapel. Captain Wilkins was preaching; and then my course was altered, by the grace of God.'
Connected with the Chapel are the DAY AND SUNDAY Schools, which are both in active and successful operation. But as in the former year, so during this, many most interesting appli
cations for admission have been refused, solely for want of room. The Directors would therefore renew their appeal to an enlightened and generous public on behalf of
THE METROPOLITAN SEAMEN'S CHAPEL AND SCHOOLS.
The proposal of such an erection has now been before the country for some time. The premises now held by the Committee, are, we repeat, not only wholly ineligible for the purposes to which they are appropriated, but unworthy of the generous spirit and mighty enterprise of this great commercial metropolis. Why should Liverpool, Hull, Bristol, and Dublin, have their seamen's churches or chapels? Why should the vastly inferior port of Leith have, at this moment, in progress of erection, a beautiful gothic structure as a mariner's church, and with almost the entire sum collected for its completion, and the port of London, the first in the world, --be so slow to move, so unprepared to act ?
It is to be not a church for Episcopalians, nor Presbyterians, nor Moravians, nor Independents, nor Methodists, but a church for SAILORS. And, therefore, whenever the top-stone shall be laid--whenever the day shall arrive (and we trust that it is not distant) that the doors of such an edifice shall be first thrown open, its pulpit will be declared the property of every minister, whether within the pale of the establishment or without it, whose life and doctrines are in conformity with the great apostolic determination,-not to know any thing among men, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Gratifying as it ever is to report the progress of the work of moral reformation among our seamen in the port of London, we cannot but entertain deep and anxious solicitude for our provincial ports; and therefore it affords the Committee sincere pleasure to report, that the mission along the Coast Of Kent, including the diversified operations at CHATHAM, are being carried on with energy and effect, as also APPLEDORE, CLOVELLY, STAR CROSS and EXETER, BRIXHAM and TORQUAY, and other ports in Devon, The same may be said of NORTH AND SOUTH SHIELDS, the Scilly Isles, and Dublin. The communications from your various Agents are, in general, highly satisfactory, and, in some instances, of the most gratifying character.
And it is but justice to the independent local associations of Liverpool, Bristol, Plymouth, and Hull, --Glasgow, Greenock, Leith, Dundee, Montrose, and various ports in Wales, to add, that though they have no connexion with this more enlarged and comprehensive Society, all of them are rendering important service to the one great common cause. Every where the public mind is being awakened to the condition of the sailor, and his claims are being acknowledged, and felt, and met.
Nor is it less gratifying to the Committee to intimate, that having during the past year extended the right hand of fellowship to the Directors of Societies in various parts of the kingdom, it has been grasped with a frankness and firmness which reflect the highest credit on the principles and character of the respective parties; and they hope that the day is not distant when they will be in friendly correspondence, not only with all the local associations in our own land, but with every seamen's society over the wide surface of the earth. “Behold! how good and how pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
Remembering that it was on the sea-coast that the light of christianity first arose, and from thence penetrated into the interior of Judea, till it had illumined and gladdened all the land, the Committee cannot but entertain the hope that their present efforts on the continent-in Memel, where your Agent has been stationed for some years,-in Hamburg, to which the Rev. R. Knight, of the Wesleyan Association, has been very recently appointed-in Havre, which though it properly belongs to the American Society, is yet associated with them, inasmuch as they came forward to its assistance at the
crisis when its existence was in danger,-will prove that the lamp of truth now burning on these neighbouring shores, is sufficient, by its pure and expanding flame, to scatter that deep and settled gloom which rests on the