« VorigeDoorgaan »
tributed on board of ships, and about to bless his own word in this place and 600 on shore, I have also held ten to his name be all the glory! public services at the Sailor's Chapel. Many cards have been issued to pious At the close of a meeting held on sailors, agreeably to the resolution passboard the M. Capt. H. the address at ed at last agents' meeting, calling their which was founded on the words, 'I attention to the first day of each month, will arise and go to my Father;' at 7 A.M., as the Bethel Hour for supyoung man, with tears in his eyes, said plication to God for the salvation of to me, "Sir, may I pray? I answered, seamen, 'Yes, pray, and God bless you, and soon it was known that he had been a Open Air Preaching, Sabbath Mornprodigal son. He wept aloud, be- ing,~7 A.M. - I have preached five seeching God to have mercy on him, times in the open air, during the past for, as he expressed it, his base con- month; three of those services have duct to his parents. He was no stran- been near the London Dock gates, ger to prayer,
and so powerful were his East Smithfield, and twice near the pleadings, as to cause tears to roll Hermitage Basin ; and, though the dowu the cheeks of many present. I numbers were not great, yet we have think I shall never forget this. I could satisfactory proof, in more than one innot let such an opportunity pass with- stance, that good is being done. Not a out addressing the young man; the few sailors who attend the open air word seemed to have effect upon his preaching, are afterwards found, during mind.
the services of the day, at the Sailors'
Chapel. Our rejoicing in the Lord On another occasion, whilst impro- then, is, that our labours are not in ving the death of two sailors who had vain. May our hands be strengthened been drowned out of two separate by the mighty God of Jacob; and may ships lying alongside of each other, God, even our God, bless the word of four sailors were so affected, that I was grace to many a sabbath-wanderer ! obliged to shorten my address, and speak to them personally; the remain- Ship Libraries.--Four ship libraries der of the time was spent in prayer. have been furnished to ships sailing to This also was a time of visitation, long South Australia, Hobart Town, Sydney, to be remembered.
and Cape of Good Hope; together
with a large library sent to Hamburgh, Sailors' Chapel.-Often we have the with Bethel flag, tracts, magazines, rehappiness to hear of good being done ports, etc.; a large library also with here. Under a sermon preached by tracts, magazines, Bethel flag, etc. has the Rev. R. Ferguson, to improve the been sent to Rev. W. Malkin, St. Ives. death of our late esteemed friend and Three Bethel flags and two small librabrother, Capt. Cowie, I have had the ries have been furnished to vessels in happiness to hear that four sailors re- the coal and Baltic trades. Three loan ceived good impressions, and I trust libraries have also been returned, bringthe important truths then brought be- ing pleasing intelligence of their use. fore them, will make a lasting impres- fulness. sion on their minds. The last discourse delivered by our highly respected Visitation of Sailors Boardingfriend, Captain Anthony Wilkins, was Houses.-By this means many sailors, deeply and seriously brought home to who otherwise would not be found the hearts and consciences of two who within the walls of the sanctuary, were present. May the Lord continue are now to be seen there on the sab
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 A gent.--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 inter. esting. 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 trom the shore, who expressed their approbation of the manner our Bethel meetings were conducted. This meet. ing 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 0. 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 con- seemed to be proud of what he had ducting meetings afloat, by that truly acquired. christian and indefatigable man, Capt. One morning, as I was visiting the Evans, of the Victory;' it is gratify. shipping in one of the tiers, a pious ing to find, that his efforts are faithfully mate entreated that I would go down directed to the spiritual and eternal with him to the cabin, to spend a little welfare of his brother sailors, where- time in prayer ;-I accompanied him; ever he goes.
and one of the two revenue officers,
then on board, joined us. We read a On the 20th of June, I had the plea- portion of scripture, and all three ensure of dedicating the 'T' of F. to the gaged in solemn prayer. To God be service of the Lord. The captain ad- all the praise ! dressed me as I was leaving the ship, I have ten sailors' lodging-houses
This is the first time that Bethel co- under regular visitation, but I am sorry lours have been hoisted at the mast- to add, that most of them (not being head of my ship, and I have resolved such as are recommended by the Sothat it shall be a Bethel ship, as long as ciety) are of such a wretched chaI continue to be her master.'
racter, that I find myself I have boarded 569 ships, held reli- loss to describe the moral degragious conversation with their crews,
dation into which their inmates are and distributed some thousands of plunged. However, I have held sevetracts among them. I have obtained ral meetings in one of those houses, thirty ships for the agents,-eight of which have been attended by at least which had never previously hoisted some who would not attend elsewhere. the Bethel flag.
In connexion with my dear brother One day in visiting an old Bethel Capt. Prynn, I have attended several ship, I was happy to meet with two meetings at the London Dock gates, at sailors, who were received to church seven o'clock on Sunday mornings, fellowship, at a place where I happened as well as individually at other periods to be when I was last in the Princi- of the same day, at Billingsgate, and pality,—they were continuing their other places ; by which means many way rejoicing.
have had the word of salvation preachIn visiting the shipping and in dis- ed unto them. tributing tracts, I am very sorry to Some time ago, I visited two sailors find, that there are numbers of our in St. Thomas' Hospital, and was glad sailors who cannot read ; and who, con- to find that they were reading the sequently are destitute of biblical in- scriptures and praying with each other struction. In meeting with such, I in their own ward, although unable to have made it a point of advising them attend at the chapel of the hospital ; to get some of their shipmates to teach they were very thankful for my visits, them to read ; and, a short time ago I and one of them when he got able, was glad to learn, that a young man, went round the ward reading the bible who had taken my advice, had, by the and tracts wherewith I supplied him, to kind attention of the mate, become his fellow patients. Both are now recapable of reading his bible; and
Printed by J. W. Maddox, Bermondsey, Southwark.
“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
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
see, have always relation to some parts which we do not see :-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