affecting details of the calamities which have swept over crews and families, in connexion with the late tremendous gales. This will account for the peculiar tone of the reports. May the hallowed and tender feeling under which they appear to have been written, be conveyed to the bosom of every reader ! And while we weep with those that weep, let us awake to action on behalf of the living,--that, by a personal interest in the provision of the gospel, they may be fitted for death and eternity.


Thames Missionary.--Mr. WELCH. On calm reflection on some events which stand connected with my labours during the past two months, I am impressed with a scene, exhibiting what is at once painful and pleasing. Feelings of sorrow and joy have been my daily companions. Oh! how these feelings have weighed on my spirit in the cabin congregations, and in urging the truths of the gospel on the consciences of men, -not unfrequently when the storm has been thundering loud above us, and a deathlike seriousness has marked the dark countenances of all around. It is then, that religion appears awfully glorious, and a saving interest in Christ worth ten thousand worlds. I trust some of these solemn seasons will be had in remembrance through the wasteless ages of eternity! How many have gone from these services to be engulphed in the great deep, I cannot tell: but surely we may be said to have been standing between the living and the dead. The voice of death has been heard from the ocean, and from the leeshore, and has called forth the widows' sigh, and the orphans' tears; but what are these when compared with the deathless soul latinched into an eternal world unfitted for her passage,-mournful thought! It has been a part of my labour to improve these alarming providences to the living. I hope I may say, with regard to some, this voice has been heard and sanctified. This we have inferred from the

pearance of the meetings, which have been generally crowded with attentive hearers, and not unfrequently with those

who had but escaped the jaws of death; and who, overwhelmed with a sense of the Divine goodness, were constrained to confess their sins with tears of sorrow, and remember their solemn vow. On those occasions not a few have stood up in the meetings, and borne their testimony to the stable supports derived from a well grounded hope in Christ. Amidst much that is painful to the mind, that good is doing, will be evident from the following statement:

During the past two months, including the upper and lower pools, I have held thirty-one services, which have been attended by nearly six hundred of my brethren of the deep,-one hundred and forty-four of whom have engaged in earnest prayer, and not a few of these for the first time in public. I have visited from fifteen to twenty ships per day, including the docks and canals ; have distributed about two thousand five hundred tracts and pilots; have obtained seventy-two ships for the agents; have preached five times on shore, and visited the boarding-houses on each Sabbath as usual. This latter duty has afforded me frequent opportunities of conversation with those sai. lors, who are engaged in long voyages, and whom I have generally found to be fearfully demoralized. In conversing with one of them, he declared he had not been in a place of worship for FOURTEEN YEARS! Another said, he had not been in church or chapel for TWENTY YEARS ! A third declared that he had only been twice in church in all his life!

How widely different are the moral It often occurs to my mind, when the circumstances of those, who sail in praises of the Lord are sounding from coasting vessels. Visiting a captain of the cabin on the river, that how happy one of these ships, who had had his soever may be these twenty or thirty vessel dedicated, during the early part men, met for the worship of God, they of this year, to the Bethel cause, he will soon be scattered over the deep, or said, Sir, I have feared the Lord for probably entombed in the watery elesome years, but I never was brought to ment, to rise no more, till the trump decision, till the time when I put my shall summon the sea to give up its dead. trembling hand to the coVENANT. It Oh! how blessed to be prepared for all was then that I felt my responsibility to the dangers of so precarious a situation ! God, for my own crew in particular ; Often has religion soothed the mind of and by his help I called them together, the weather-beaten seaman aniidst such and began to read the scriptures, and dangers. Often has he been heard to pray with them daily,--and now, sir, say, “What should I have done without blessed be God! there is not a prayer- my God, his throne of grace, and the less man in the ship, but one, and he consolations of the gospel !” What a is miserable, having no companion. I privilege then to be employed in conthink he will soon join us too. Things veying to such minds the great mesare altogether changed. I am a diffe- sage of mercy! and how encouraging rent man myself-blessed be God! to remember that we have not laboured When we go to sea now, we carry a in vain,--that many thousands of our little heaven with us, and when tossed seamen are now truly devoted to God, about in the storm, we are both safe and and are examples of holiness and dehappy.” I am happy to state, that votedness in the great cause; yet, alas ! twelve fresh ships have been dedicated how much labour is still wanted,-tens to God; nine of which are new, and of thousands are still in their sins, and fourteen names have been added to the need instruction. number of those who have united with Several sudden deaths, by drowning, their brethren in order to carry on the have come under my knowledge; and more than ever important cause.

it is affecting to state, that two were

the effects of intoxication ! First and Seventh Stations. - MR. In the first station, there have been Benson.-In reviewing my labours many disappointments, arising from the since my last report, my mind is much delay of the vessels, the short time they impressed with a variety of circum- had to remain in port, and the haste stances,-circumstances of peculiar ca- with which they had to discharge and lamity-arising from accident, storms, again take in goods,-allowing so few and shipwreck. There has been deep hands to get away, that it was with difdistress among our sea-faring popula- ficulty a meeting could be obtained. tion, and many families have been But even in this station I have had plunged in sorrow.

Mothers weep

some good meetings, which have enchildren anxiously wait the return of couraged my heart. On one occasion, their father-when suddenly the news when entering a Bethel ship, I was in. arrive that he is no more.

formed of the death of one of their is the sea—his home eternity. No more number,-a youth, who had gone out in the joyful meeting,—no more the pre- the boat, but, missing his hold, was sent from a distant port,--no more the

drowned. I improved this event, as affectionate embrace,_all is shrouded well as some others of a similar nature in death—all is deep dismay. But the by counsel and instruction. I had an Lord is the husband of the widow, and interesting conversation with one or the father of the fatherless !

two revenue officers : they seemed very

His grave

desirous of attending our meetings. one sabbath afternoon in the month of In connexion with the first river sta- August, -as likewise to the reclaiming tion, I have preached at Billingsgate of a backslider, at the Thursday evenmarket once, when some fishermen and ing lecture, in the Society's chapel, who others attended ; perhaps, in the whole, is now united to a christian church. about one hundred heard the gospel in My occasional preaching at Bell Wharf that place, on that occasion.

has been refreshing to my own soul, Seventh, or Blackwall Station.-Ow- and I have good reason to believe has ing to the alterations in the river, there been profitable to others. have not been many vessels at this place, One night, when going to preach on consequently this station is not now oc- board a ship near London Bridge, I cupied ; about twelve vessels have been forgot to take my bible with me, acobtained during the last three months, cording to my usual custom; the captain which have been well filled, and the ser- gave me his for my use, which, he said, vices very interesting. The rest of my was the only thing he saved with his time has been occupied in the fifth and life from shipwreck, and this he did by sixth stations, from Church Hole to Bell tying it round his neck, and swimming Wharf and Ratcliffe Cross, where I to land. have had some most excellent meetings; I have held services on board of the ships lying in close tiers, the atten- French ships, and was much pleased dance is very encouraging, and from å with the conduct and attention paid by constant attention to these stations, we a captain to the preaching of the gosmay look forward to great results. pel of Christ. He told me that there

I have preached three times at the was a spirit of attention to religion exSailors’ Chapel, and each time to a tending among seamen and others in the goodly number of seamen and others Islands of Guernsey and Jersey. interested in maritime affairs. Upon I have distributed above five hundred the whole, I think I can truly say, the tracts, with back numbers of the Saiwork of God is advancing among our lors' Magazine, at the different meetings; seafaring population.

some of which meetings, previously

attended by only about twenty, have Sixth Station.--MR. PALMER, -So- increased in numbers to nearly forty. emn are the considerations suggested at the close of the year. But the mind Fourth and Fifth Stations. - MR. is absorbed in thinking of the storms EDWARDS.-- (November.) Since your and tempests, which have occurred of agent's last report, he has had the plealate;—the feelings of pious gratitude, sure of attending on the river thirty manifested by seamen for their deliver- services :-One in the second station, ance from danger, joined with the fer- two in the third, eighteen in the fourth, vent prayer for divine strength and eight in the fifth, and one in the sixth, support to be imparted to the widows and nine at the chapel. Fourteen of and their fatherless children. This spirit the vessels were new Bethel ships. Most has been evident at the various Bethel of the services have been of an encouservices. Some of the meetings have raging nature, and a few particularly been unusually interesting, both from interesting. At one meeting, held on their numbers and the spirit of devotion board the R—, your agent was directed that seemed to prevail among them. I to improve the death of the carpenter, have been encouraged by learning that who died suddenly the day before. A the Divine blessing has attended my goodly number were present, among labours; the Lord having honoured my whom were several captains. Much instructions in the conversion of a sea- solemnity pervaded the meeting; all captain, while preaching on board ship appeared deeply impressed with the

services of the evening. The master, on the close of the service, remarked, that he should never, he thought, forget the melancholy circumstance of the carpenter's death, and especially the address which he had just heard, and hoped it would prove the means of leading him most earnestly to seek the salvation of his soul. May the Lord the Spirit enable him so to do!

At several meetings there were present some revenue officers, who said, they were truly thankful to the Society for those means of grace; for without them they would seldom have an opportunity of hearing a sermon,

and they as much needed Bethel meetings as

Your Agent has also had the pleasure of hearing, for the first time (with him) two masters, one mate, and three seamen pour forth the desires of their hearts, in fervent supplications to Him, who is ever ready to hear the cry of the contrite, and save them that believe, The masters, in general, receive your agent very courteously; and one of them would not permit him to come on shore alone, fearing, as he said, an accident might befal him.

Thus goodness and mercy has been experienced during these months. May the labours of your agent be crowned with the blessing of heaven, that sinners may be converted, and God glorified !



Intense interest is being felt in this infant but rising colony. Thousands of our population are emigrating thither--and many of them persons of influence and piety. A new channel has been opened there for our commerce and our christianity. Nor can it be doubted for a moment, that the colony is destined to rise into great magnitude and importance.

It may be recollected, that in August, 1837, Mr. Barclay, one of the Society's Agents, emigrated thither, carrying with him a Bethel flag to be hoisted on that distant shore,—to summon the sailor to the sanctuary and the worship of his God. An interesting letter, dated Adelaide, June 17th, 1838, has just been received from him, from which we make the following extracts :

You will have heard, long ere this, of some books and tracts, for which they my safe arrival in this country. During were very grateful. the voyage, it was my happiness to After it was finally determined to preach every Sabbath morning to a large make Port ADELAIDE the harbour for and an attentive assembly. After a the province, I made a strenuous effort week or two I commenced a week even- to introduce the gospel there; and with ing lecture, which was continued up to the assistance of the Rev. T. Q. Stow, our arrival; and latterly established a at length secured (through the kindness prayer-meeting, which was numerously of the Governor, who granted it) a attended. I look back with pleasure to piece of ground, close by the Customthose services, at which I often had the house, for the erection of a Chapel. At attendance of the seamen, and some- this place, under a sail-cloth, we opentimes of the officers of the ship. I ed a service for seamen. Mr. Stow opened the LIBRARY, for the use of the preached the first sermon. Since then sailors during the voyage ; and before he and myself have supplied the station leaving the vessel presented them with each sabbath. A subscription has been


opened;* and I have the pleasure to say, that we have raised about £18. I have given £5 on behalf of the Society. The erection, which is now going for. ward, will cost from THIRTY to FORTY POUNDS. It is to be called UNION CHURCH. The whole assumes a pleasing aspect.

Impressed with the importance of visiting the sailors on board, I have at length accomplished this most desirable object, and early in the month of May commenced my labours afloat. According to notice given, I preached on board the “LORD GODERICH," to between thirty and forty persons, among whom were three captains from adjoining vessels. I need not tell you the joy I felt on seeing my Bethel flag floating for the first time on the waters of South Austra

-a day, I trust that will never be forgotten by me. At the close of the service, I was kindly greeted by the commanders of the vessels and their crews. And upon enquiring whether any captain would take the flag for the ensuing sabbath,--the commander of the “ Lord Goderich" said, he would feel happy if I would allow him to keep the flag, during his stay in the port,—that he would hoist it with the colours, at eight o'clock, A.M.; and would expect me on board each Sabbath. He has been an attendant for four-and-twenty years, on the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Reed, and a more kind and amiable gentleman I have rarely met. Ah! my dear Sir, were the command of our vessels more in the hands of such men, the beneficial results would soon develope themselves. The influence of a commander of a ship at sea, if rightly directed, would be attended with the best effects.

On board this vessel I was introduced to a young gentleman of the Royal

Navy, who has given a very friendly countenance to the services. He informs me that he himself has conducted prayer-meetings on board ship. With him I have had much conversation relative to the moral state of the Navy; and it is pleasing to hear, that, amidst much profligacy and vice, there are those who are seeking the glory of God.

After preaching two or three times on board the “ Lord Goderich,”— my FLAG was transferred to the “Canton," by desire of the captain, from whom I have met with the most marked attention. The services have since been conducted on board this latter vessel; the crews of both assembling together, and often others with them. And considering the state and habits of seamen generally here, I am astonished at the orderly and well-regulated assemblies we have,

There are at this moment in the harbour, eleven or twelve vessels; and I hope, while a ship is in the port, that not a sabbath will pass without witnessing the Bethel flag at the mast-head.

These services, as you may suppose, are attended with much trouble. The port is from seven to eight miles distant, and the larger vessels (from want of water) lie about two miles from the port or canal. As it is necessary for me to be down by nine o'clock in the morning- and as I have to walk in all weathers, over either a very swampy, or a very dry and sandy road-preach twice, and then walk back,-I find it rather trying to the flesh. If I could afford it, I would buy a poney; for when the weather becomes very warm, it will be impossible to keep up these services without some sort of conveyance.

A kind friend has twice lent me his horse ; but as he is going into the interior, I shall lose this advantage.

You will be pleased to hear, that I have the assistance of several valuable friends in the work. Two of the most efficient local Wesleyan preachers have each promised to supply twice for me during the current quarter. To-morrow

* This has been done under the following form :---Subscriptions for a place of worship in connexion with the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, England,--at Port Adelaide; in which the service will be conducted by clergymen, preachers and members of various denominations. The Chapel to be under the superintendence of the Rev. T. Q. Stow. R. Jod, Esq., Managing Trustee.

« VorigeDoorgaan »