tributed on board of ships, and about 600 on shore. I have also held ten public services at the Sailor's Chapel. At the close of a meeting held on board the M. Capt. H. the address at which was founded on the words, 'I will arise and go to my Father;" a young man, with tears in his eyes, said to me, 'Sir, may I pray?' I answered, 'Yes, pray, and God bless you,' and soon it was known that he had been a 'prodigal son.' He wept aloud, beseeching God to have mercy on him, for, as he expressed it, his base conduct to his parents. He was no stranger to prayer, and so powerful were his pleadings, as to cause tears to roll down the cheeks of many present. I think I shall never forget this. I could not let such an opportunity pass without addressing the young man; the word seemed to have effect upon his mind.

On another occasion, whilst improving the death of two sailors who had been drowned out of two separate ships lying alongside of each other, four sailors were so affected, that I was obliged to shorten my address, and speak to them personally; the remainder of the time was spent in prayer. This also was a time of visitation, long to be remembered.

Sailors' Chapel.-Often we have the happiness to hear of good being done here. Under a sermon preached by the Rev. R. Ferguson, to improve the death of our late esteemed friend and brother, Capt. Cowie, I have had the happiness to hear that four sailors received good impressions, and I trust the important truths then brought before them, will make a lasting impression on their minds. The last discourse delivered by our highly respected friend, Captain Anthony Wilkins, was deeply and seriously brought home to the hearts and consciences of two who were present. May the Lord continue

to bless his own word in this place and to his name be all the glory!

Many cards have been issued to pious sailors, agreeably to the resolution passed at last agents' meeting, calling their attention to the first day of each month, at 7 A. M., as the Bethel Hour for supplication to God for the salvation of


Open Air Preaching, Sabbath Morning,-7 A. M.-I have preached five times in the open air, during the past month; three of those services have been near the London Dock gates, East Smithfield, and twice near the Hermitage Basin; and, though the numbers were not great, yet we have satisfactory proof, in more than one instance, that good is being done. Not a few sailors who attend the open air preaching, are afterwards found, during the services of the day, at the Sailors' Chapel. Our rejoicing in the Lord then, is, that our labours are not in vain. May our hands be strengthened by the mighty God of Jacob; and may God, even our God, bless the word of grace to many a sabbath-wanderer !

Ship Libraries.-Four ship libraries have been furnished to ships sailing to South Australia, Hobart Town, Sydney, and Cape of Good Hope; together with a large library sent to Hamburgh, with Bethel flag, tracts, magazines, reports, etc.; a large library also with tracts, magazines, Bethel flag, etc. has been sent to Rev. W. Malkin, St. Ives. Three Bethel flags and two small libraries have been furnished to vessels in the coal and Baltic trades. Three loan libraries have also been returned, bringing pleasing intelligence of their usefulness.

Visitation of Sailors' BoardingHouses. By this means many sailors, who otherwise would not be found within the walls of the sanctuary, are now to be seen there on the sab

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

bath-day. There seems far better order in those houses, than before we commenced our visitation; and we hope, that these labours are being made a blessing.

Welsh Agent.-Rev. J.T. ROWLAND. -During fifteen weeks, the Lord has graciously enabled me to hold forty meetings for prayer and preaching among sailors afloat, of whom there were upwards of one thousand present; and the attention paid was truly interesting. The first meeting was convened on board the 'Lord Nelson,' Captain Griffiths, of Milford; and having during the day been engaged in closing the financial accounts of my late tour in Wales, that portion of holy writ, (Luke xvi. 2,) ‘ Give an account of thy stewardship,' so impressed my mind, that I could not but adopt it as the subject of address to my audience that evening; and in resuming my engagement of preaching the word of eternal life to sailors, I was encouraged by the divine presence manifested on the occasion. Another meeting of more than forty sailors, among whom were nine captains, on board the 'Resolution,' was very encouraging. On board the same ship was held a Union Meeting; one hundred and fifty persons attended -six ministers of the gospel were present; there were also many friends from the shore, who expressed their approbation of the manner our Bethel meetings were conducted. This meeting was introduced by prayer, by the Rev. D. Davies, of Guildford Street Chapel, Borough, in Welsh and in English. The Rev. Mr. Evans, Stonehouse, preached in English, in a very appropriate and impressive manner, from 'And there shall be no more sea.' Then Captains Prynn and Woodcock prayed; after that, the Rev. Mr. Evans of Caermarthen, delivered another most suitable address in Welsh: and the Rev. Isaac Jones of Montgomeryshire, closed the delightful engagements of

the evening, by prayer in the same language. Hymns were sung in both languages. It might be said of this meeting, that it was a union in every sense of the word. In the same week, and on board the same ship, we held another blessed meeting. Brother J. Jones, of Staylittle, gave the address to a numerous and attentive company of seamen. This was a week that I cannot soon forget, no less than one hundred and eighty individuals attended at those pleasing religious exercises. Surely the Lord is doing marvellous things among sailors, whereof we are glad.

One evening on board the H. of O. Captain E-I endeavoured to improve the leaving of a port, or the commencement of a voyage. This was a very favourable time, and the company very numerous. But, ah! just after the meeting was over, a splash was heard in the water, and a cry,-‘A man over-board!' and it was soon discovered that a lad, sixteen years of age belonging to the next ship, had fallen over: but providentially by the promptness of another sailor, he was, almost in a miraculous manner, rescued from a watery grave. Oh what a moment of anxiety when the poor boy was struggling in the water! As soon as he was safely upon a barge, and before the congregation had all separated, I was prompted to offer up instantaneous public thanksgiving to Almighty God for His wonderful and gracious interposition. Our next meeting was held on board the ship to which this lad belonged, when I spoke from the words, Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.' In adverting to the very narrow escape of the young man, the hearers seemed to be quite sensible that they were exposed to death in port, as well as at sea. After the service, I spoke personally to the lad, and reminded him he had no time to neglect the salvation of his immortal soul.

I have twice been assisted in conducting meetings afloat, by that truly christian and indefatigable man, Capt. Evans, of the 'Victory; it is gratifying to find, that his efforts are faithfully directed to the spiritual and eternal welfare of his brother sailors, whereever he goes.

On the 20th of June, I had the pleasure of dedicating the 'T.' of F. to the service of the Lord. The captain addressed me as I was leaving the ship, This is the first time that Bethel colours have been hoisted at the masthead of my ship, and I have resolved that it shall be a Bethel ship, as long as I continue to be her master.'

I have boarded 569 ships, held religious conversation with their crews, and distributed some thousands of tracts among them. I have obtained thirty ships for the agents,-eight of which had never previously hoisted the Bethel flag.

One day in visiting an old Bethel ship, I was happy to meet with two sailors, who were received to church fellowship, at a place where I happened to be when I was last in the Principality, they were continuing their way rejoicing.

In visiting the shipping and in distributing tracts, I am very sorry to find, that there are numbers of our sailors who cannot read ; and who, consequently are destitute of biblical instruction. In meeting with such, I have made it a point of advising them to get some of their shipmates to teach them to read and, a short time ago I was glad to learn, that a young man, who had taken my advice, had, by the kind attention of the mate, become capable of reading his bible; and

seemed to be proud of what he had acquired.

One morning, as I was visiting the shipping in one of the tiers, a pious mate entreated that I would go down with him to the cabin, to spend a little time in prayer;- I accompanied him; and one of the two revenue officers, then on board, joined us. We read a portion of scripture, and all three engaged in solemn prayer. To God be all the praise!

I have ten sailors' lodging-houses under regular visitation, but I am sorry to add, that most of them (not being such as are recommended by the Society) are of such a wretched character, that I find myself at a loss to describe the moral degradation into which their inmates are plunged. However, I have held several meetings in one of those houses, which have been attended by at least some who would not attend elsewhere.

In connexion with my dear brother Capt. Prynn, I have attended several meetings at the London Dock gates, at seven o'clock on Sunday mornings, as well as individually at other periods of the same day, at Billingsgate, and other places; by which means many have had the word of salvation preached unto them.

Some time ago, I visited two sailors in St. Thomas' Hospital, and was glad to find that they were reading the scriptures and praying with each other in their own ward, although unable to attend at the chapel of the hospital; they were very thankful for my visits, and one of them when he got able, went round the ward reading the bible and tracts wherewith I supplied him, to his fellow patients. Both are now recovered.

Printed by J. W. Maddox, Bermondsey, Southwark.

No. 9.]




[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


"WATCHMAN! what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?" is an enquiry which is being addressed with the most serious and anxious solicitude, to those who have undertaken to guide and direct the public mind, whether in the senate or in the church, whether by the pulpit or by the press. Wherever we look, the whole aspect of affairs is truly ominous. Darkness has for some time been settling on the political horizon, and the sun of the moral world has more than once been dimmed and obscured. The more enlightened and reflecting portion of the community, have been casting around a keen and penetrating eye,— watching the progress of events,-marking the evolutions which have been so rapidly disclosed,—and been looking for the issue, not without fear and apprehension. And even at this moment there are not a few who look on the present state of things as a perfect enigma,-men, not of limited information and inferior minds, but of strong intellect, and enlarged observation and experience. The whole is too intricate and complex to admit of any ordinary solution. And though we may feel assured (believing, as we do, in an universal and supreme Providence) as to what will be the final issue of all which is now marking the age in which we live, still it is impossible for even the most settled and elevated mind to free itself from all anxiety, amid existing circumstances and events.

It has perplexed wiser heads than ours, to account for the present disturbed state of the nation. There is a restlessness

[blocks in formation]

among all ranks and classes of society. As in the human frame so in the body politic, if one member is affected, so are all the rest. The higher orders more frequently act upon the lower in the scale of society, yet the lower have sometimes produced no ordinary effect upon the higher. It is not for us even to approach the subject of politics; with these we have nothing to do. And as for the angry controversies which are rending and dividing the christian church, it is our heartfelt sorrow that they exist, and above all that they are still perpetuated. Yet we cannot shut our eyes to what is daily transpiring. Nor would we be idle spectators of what is taking place. We have a sacred duty to discharge. Amid the great conflict which is now going forward it becomes us, with other guardians of the public weal, to give that direction to the minds and feelings of those whom we profess to instruct, which shall prepare them for perceiving things through a true medium, and resolving events into their proper cause. It would be criminal in us to overlook the interesting truth, that nothing can happen by chance,-that the world we inhabit is under the high administration of heaven, and that all which takes place around us, is subject to the control of Him who doeth all things after the counsel of his own will, and all whose ways are just and true. The events of the divine government resemble the objects in some great picture. Only a very few of these objects are placed in prominence on the fore-ground, and all the rest are left to occupy the back-ground in dim and distant figures. Now to have a just idea of the picture, the attention must be fixed not on the fore-ground alone, nor on the back-ground alone, but both comprehended in one view. There is a relation of parts, and a proportion of objects. So it is in the government of God. The picture which that government exhibits is too large for our perception-we can take in only a part;-and the parts which we do see, have always relation to some parts which we do not so that if all these relations could be clearly seen by us, in what different light should we contemplate the conduct of the great Monarch of the universe.


It may be difficult to reconcile the present state of things with our ideas of supreme wisdom and goodness. But this arises from our views being so limited, our knowledge so restricted and defective. What to our bounded view seems only evil, may

« VorigeDoorgaan »