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great importance, connected with the operations of such a Society as this. He did not know any institution more consonant with the character, the position, the trade, the prospects, and the history of Great Britain. If England had not a Sailors' Society, sailors would do well to leave her, and repair to those countries which had. It frequently happened, that animals located themselves just where they were well treated. If carrier pigeons were not supplied with oats at home, they would not be such fools as to fly from France to London with the price of stocks. England had better beware, lest sailors should imitate carrier pigeons, and take their own course, when they were not treated well at home. It was very natural to expect, that there should be a generous treatment of that body, on the part of this great commercial empire. But had that been the case ? When was it that the christian community of Britain, first thought of having a Sailors' Society? Not till after the British flag had braved the battle and the breeze for centuries; after sailors, without receiving any spiritual benefit through the medium of such an institution, had brought treasures from all the nations of the earth,-after sailors had contributed to the strength of Britain's wooden walls, and furnished the strongest bulwarks of her defence. He regretted that many of their sailors, long before the period when this Institution was formed, had passed into the eternal world; and, after having served and elevated their country, and left it behind them in the high position which it now occupied, had passed away from their care and attention, or rather from their criminal neglect. They had passed beyond the line of demarcation to which the means of instruction could be communicated, to be instructed by British christians no more. Oh let this country look back to the generations of men, who had ploughed every ocean in order that they might touch, in its interests and commerce, every climate upon the earth, who had received no spiritual instruction in return, but for all they did were treated with indifference, which would be beyond belief, were it not matter of history. But were they to employ their time and feelings on mere matters of regret? Was a sickly sentimentalism to supersede the indifference of modern times—a sentimentalism altogether unproductive ? No! Now was the time to take ground which should have been occupied long ago, and to give their interests, and feelings, and property, to the support of such an Institution as this. They had the opportunity of retrieving themselves, and therefore let them look to sailors with all the anxiety of christian sympathy. Let the meeting for a moment reflect on the dangers to which sailors were exposed, and then ask themselves, if it was not their duty, above all things, just on account of these very dangers, to take up that class of their fellow-subjects. No class in the community was exposed to such dangers, no class in the community was so constantly employed on the uncertain element, by which they were tossed to and fro-no class was so much exposed to the mercy of the elements as sailors. If that were true, should they not, in order to enable them to meet the moment of peril, impart to them the gospel of peace? Let them reflect on a shipwreck-when the vessel was dashed upon the rocks, and the sailors were confined to the last fragment of the wreck, and only a moment left in which they might lift their hearts to God, ere they disappeared in the foaming waters. Could they say they had done their duty, if they did not enable these men to cast themselves upon the Rock of Ages in that tremendous moment? Sailors were thus exposed to dangers—for whom? For their country at home. How could they do without sailors? What was the condition of these islands, before sailors brought them into close contact with all the ends of the earth ? Take away sailors, and where was British India, their African possessions, any of the colonies of which Britain could now boast? It was the expressed wish of
Napoleon, that lie might, and at one time his declared determination, that he would, have ships, colonies, and commerce;' and if he had succeeded, what would have become of England ? And what prevented him, but their sailors ? Much had been said about the prowess of the British arms, and he was far from questioning it; but the skill of their sailors-their mastery over that awfully sublime element that lashed their shores, must be regarded as the greatest bulwark of the country. Were the sailors to be forgotten, because they were not now called to go out in the defence of their country? He rejoiced that this was a time of peace, and he prayed it might be perpetual; but let it be remembered, that still Britain had a vast number of sailors employed upon the ocean, and let their recollection of it be constant. He desired that the peace they now enjoyed should continue; but if sailors were taken away, and war should again arise, England would not only lose her colonies, but the power she possessed throughout the world. Then, he contended they ought to take care of seamen; they were not aware, till they reflected on the matter, to what an extent they were indebted to seamen. He would say that such an Institution as this, ought to be liberally supported by the British public. But he regretted to find, that when it was proposed to build a church for sailors it should be a ten-and-sixpenny one. He thought that the sailors were not fairly treated in that case; he was persuaded that the subject had not received that consideration to which it was entitled from this country. He had never met with an individual in this country, who, whatever might be his objection to this and that plan of education, had any objection to the plan of instructing sailors. The committee had made an urgent appeal to this commercial insular country, to afford them the means of attending to the spiritual wants of seamen, and they must have a satisfactory response. If the sailors were so necessary to them, and if they were so conscious that none would object to the support of an Institution, intended to instruct them, let him direct the attention of the meeting to the ground of their spiritual claims. He never saw a class of men so grateful for favours, as sailors,-he never knew individuals express their gratitude so strongly. He had known 'them express their grateful feelings in floods of tears-tears that seemed quite inconsistent with the weather-beaten aspect of their faces. There seemed to be about them, an earnest sinceritya warmth of heart, that elevated them in that respect, above every other class of the community. If they must have tears, let them be tears of gratitude. There was something in that trait of their character, which afforded grounds of encouragement to deal with them on the things, pertaining to their everlasting peace. With hearts of oak, they could yet feel strongly; and where that capacity existed, the impressibility of such minds by divine truth, encouraged the effort to tell them of the way of salvation. Who first promulgated the Gospel ? Certainly sailors,—had it not been for sailors, the gospel would never have reached those shores. The fishermen of Galilee were amongst the most distinguished of the apostles,--they were sailors, but left their ships and nets, to spread abroad the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus Christ, had not recourse to statesmen, the great men, the philosophers, or the rulers of the day, but located himself in the bosom of poor despised sailors, and made them his messengers to the different nations of the earth. Under all these circumstances, finding that sailors were so useful-so indispensibly necessary-aware of the perils to which they were constantly exposed, and sensible of how much, and how sadly, they had been neg. lected,-and recollecting that sailors had been the first promulgators of the gospel --they would surely feel it to be deeply incumbent upon them to come forward, and give all the support in their power to this Institution. When they had enlightened their se imen, they could then send them forth as missionaries, not of England's vices, but to carry the gospel of salvation to all the ends of the earth. Let the nations know a British vessel whenever it arrived, by the christianity, the sobriety, and the propriety of the conduct of its crew. If British vessels were thus known in all the ports upon our globe, the nations would understand what was meant when Britain was spoken of as a land having the gospel of peace. They sent out bibles to heathen countries, and landed them in cases, and distributed them; they informed the heathen, that they came from Britain, the land of religious light and liberty ; but, oh! the wickedness of our sailors confounded them. It was a practical protest against the truth of the declaration. There was the Bible just landed from the ship, and there was the sailor just landed too,—there was the Bible, full of all that was pure and hallowed,—and there was the sailor, characterised by all that was wicked and profane! What a perplexity it must occasion in the heathen! What must be the feelings with which they regard such an exhibition ! Let them make an effort to enlighten the minds of seamen, and then, when the Bible was landed to be read, and the sailor landed to explain it, and his explanation was followed up by a practical illustration of the truths he taught, every nation under heaven would be benefited, and the most distant parts of the world hail the Union-Jack of Old England, because they could associate with it, the purity of its sailors, and the sacredness of its cargo.
Lieutenant FABIAN, R.N. seconded the resolution. The British sailor in former days, was ill-treated by this country; and though he was met on the shores as he returned to his home, by those who led him into every vice; and even though he never met with one, who told him of a redeeming God, yet he loved his country, and wherever he was engaged he carried that love with him, and would never leave old England. He was pleased with the prospect before him, because, by God's blessing resting upon the instrumentality of this Society, it would spread the gospel over the whole world. It was delightful to see an American brother present-to find that England and America were engaged in a war, not to exterminate their fellow-creatures, but a war under the standard of Immanuel, which should never cease, while there was an unredeemed soul in the world. He trusted that, not only England and America, but christians in every nation, would unite with them in this warfare, till Satan had not a single hold in the whole universe. They had heard of shipwrecks; they all felt that they could enter somewhat into the feelings adverted to, by the preceding speaker ; but providence had lately spoken to them by a most awful visitation. In January last, a hurricane swept over this land, the effects of which were truly disastrous. Had the present audience been in Liverpool, two or three days after that storm occurred, they would have seen females franticly running along the shores, watching every boat as it entered the port; and when bodies were brought on shore, their eager eye endeavouring to catch a glance, to see whether it was some one belonging to them or not. When the wife beheld the husband, of whom on the preceding Sabbath she had taken a farewell,--had that audience heard her cries,- had they seen the little ones cling around her, and though not old enough to understand why, mingle their tears with her's, they could not but have sympathised, with her, and resolved to promote the sailors' cause. He had made enquiries respecting those who had fallen victims to the tempest; but he had not the gratification of finding that any of them had given proof of having received the blessings, which this Institution was designed to afford. He had resolved that when he returned to this metropolis, he would tell his friends, that though much had been done for
sailors, there yet remained much to be done. He asked that audience, not merely to hold up their hands in carrying the resolution ; but to leave that meeting under a fixed determination, that they would no longer be so lukewarm as they had hitherto been. He could not recal the word. When he heard the Treasurer's report, and contrasted it with the reports presented to various societies during the past week—and when he remembered the many thousands subscribed for sending the gospel to different parts of the world, and compared it with the trifling sum received by this Society, he asked British christians whether they had done their duty-whether the one ought not to have been done, and the other not left undone ?
Sir CULLING EARDLEY SMITH, Bart., moved,
“ That this meeting records, with gratitude to God, the extent to which the Society's operations have succeeded during the year, and the measure of liberal support by which these operations have been sustained; but impressed with the facts, that what has been done, bears no proportion to what yet remains to be accomplished,—that thousands are annually perishing in the deep,—that numerous and urgent are the applications from ports, both domestic and foreign,-and that the character of the sailor is intimately connected with our national honour, our commercial interests, and our protestant missions throughout the world, conceives that the seaman's cause is one of pre-eminent importance, and worthy of a national effort.”
The resolution referred to several facts with which he did not profess himself to be well acquainted. He came there rather to learn the nature of the Society, and to listen to its operations, than prepared to dilate upon it, and commend it to others. Still, however, he gave a heartfelt concurrence to what was expressed in the latter part of the resolution. The time would come when the sailor's character, would be more identified with commercial interest and protestant missions, than with England's national honour. He had always considered that as one of the grand distinctions between the military and naval forces,-so long as wars existed, soldiers would exist also; but the moment wars universally ceased, then that branch of the forces would cease also. But it was otherwise with the naval force. Though 'sailors might not be employed in acts of hostility against other nations, yet they would always be necessary, for the support of the commercial grandeur, and useful in promoting protestant missions. He felt that sailors were placed in circumstances, which required the utmost extent of christian liberality. If there was one feature of character more grand than another, it was sanctified courage. If there was one object more delightful to contemplate than another, it was a character of that sort. If there was one character more dangerours than another, it was the man who was daily exposed, with only a half-inch board between him and death ; and, who looked not at death as the means of conducting him into the presence of his Creator. It was because it was the object of this Society to put sailors in possession of that knowledge which could make them wise unto salvation; and give them a moral courage, which might be devoted to the extension, not only of their own honour, but the glory of God, that he most cordially moved the resolution.
The Rev. Dr. PATTEN, of New York, said :-It might appear strange to that audience that he should give utterance to the sentiment he was then about to advance, namely,—That for the first time, since he had been in England, he did not feel himself at home. It was not because he had not a good object to plead ;
not because there were not a great many people ; not because he did not see a Bethel flag ; but he had been looking round to see for Jack. In his own country they gave sailors the best seats in the meeting. He was happy to find he was mistaken; he observed there were sailors present, and therefore he began to feel at home. He wished to ask one question, and to ask it of every individual who had an interest at the throne of grace ;— When was the last time they prayed for sailors ?" He had not heard a solitary prayer for a sailor coming from any pulpit in England. He had heard prayers offered up for missions, for the circulation of bibles and tracts, and for various enterprises of benevolence; but poor Jack tarthere was no place for him in the heart, and no place for him on the lip, when prayer was uttered. He trusted that his brethren in the ministry would remember poor
Jack in their prayers next Sabbath-day. He hoped that their congregations would know that they had derived some benefit from being there that night. He believed that if there were much prayer on the subject, there would be a good deal of working in it, for they usually went together. A good deal had been said on the condition of sailors, and the dangers to which they were exposed at sea. That, however, was not the beginning of their dangers. He would ask any sailor if he thought there was much danger at sea. Sailors had more dangers to contend with in London than on the ocean. They had more to fear from land-pirates and land-sharks, than from the pirates and sharks of the mighty deep. The moment a sailor landed from his voyage, that moment he became the subject of every species of temptation. It was a matter of gratitude to God that, living as he did, his stay on shore was as short as it was. Supplied with money, and living on shore, he would not live a third of the ordinary length of life. It required the bracing air of the sea for months, to recruit the loss of health which had been sustained on shore in a few days. He was glad to hear that homes had been opened for sailors. In the United States they had felt that to be an exceedingly important point. Jack had got a heart susceptible of the impressions of home, and, indeed, it was the generous nature of the sailor which exposed him to so much imposition and folly on shore. To that very feeling his habits of intemperance might be ascribed. Jack met his fellow-shipmate, they repaired to the place where intoxicating liquors were sold, and cared not whether what they ordered cost sixpence or six shillings. It was the business of this institution to fasten on that character of the sailor. There was nothing so adapted to that noble generosity as the gospel of Jesus Christ. When it took hold of a sailor, it made him a noble-hearted man indeed. It would not be disputed that places of worship must be provided for the sailor. He had sometimes been not a little amused to see how a sailor acted when he entered an ordinary place of worship, He acted exceedingly queer,—not because he did not mean to be polite, and to do the thing which was right,—but there was nothing about it which looked like home. His sympathies were coiled up. When a sailor entered a place of worship persons drew aside, and Jack soon felt that it was not the place for him. But only give him a place which he could call his own let him feel that it was like the deck of his ship—and that just suited him. But he must have a good-looking place; for the sailor was a man of some taste. When a sailor was seeking for a ship, he turned his eye, east, west, north, and south, as soon as he got on board, and if he did not like it, they could never get Jack to ship in that vessel. But let a suitable place be erected, and they would soon have a whole crew. The experiment had been tried in America. The first Bethel flag they ever had in that country was sent from this Society. It was hoisted over a shabby school-room, and, though a person stood at the door, Jack could not be prevailed upon to enter. But when a