« VorigeDoorgaan »
From Jericho, we took the ancient road to Bethel ; proceeding at first north-west by the fountain of Elisha, and so along the aqueduct at the base of the mountains to the copious fountains of Dûk; and then ascending the mountain by a steep pass. Our way continued up the shelving table-land westward, and along the ravipes and precipices connected with a deep valley, to Deir Diwan above mentioned; and so further to Bethel. This is doubtless the road so often travelled by the Jewish prophets and kings. Along it are found ancient cisterns at intervals, intended for the use of travellers. From Bethel we returned over Bireh to Jerusalem (May 15th), visiting on our way the site of Ramah, and searching in vain for definite traces of ancient Mizpeh.
[To be continued.]'
THE CONVERTED SAILOR.
The following extract of a letter, addressed by a hopefully converted sailor, to a minister in America, and taken from the American Sailors' Magazine, will powerfully confirm what we have so often advanced, that sailors, when brought under the influence of the gospel, become the finest specimens of elevated manly piety :
DEAR ADOPTED FATHER :-Nearly two years have passed, since first I heard your voice upon the deck of a man-of-war; and O when I look back and contrast my present situation with what it was then, my poor heart swells with gratitude. It was a Sabbath afternoon in August, 1837, when you came on board our ship. Never shall I forget the scene. Having faithfully declared the salvation of God to myself and shipmates, you took me by the hand. I felt myself a sinner -you pointed me to Jesus, but I felt condemned already—the cloud grew black-the thunderings of the law from Mount Sinai rang in my ear—“The wages of sin is death.” But again you took me by the hand-you spoke of blood gushing from a Saviour's side-of salvation, salvation free for all. You told me of the love of God of love unbounded ;-my soul took courage—the cloud gave way—my faith received a Saviour,-and I have proved, by blessed experience, that a sailor can be saved. Receiving, through your influence, my discharge from the navy, immediately I began to persuade my fellow-men to become reconciled to God. To this work I have devoted all my time and strength, and I bless God that I have not laboured altogether in vain. How different my situation from what it was when you found me on ship-board ; neither am I the only one that will bless God that you ever stood upon the deck of a line-of-battle-ship. And now, my father, (you told me I might call you so,) I have one thing to ask; it is this-Don't give up the sailors. You have long laboured for them, and God has owned your labours. Some who have heard you have died in the arms of faith, and although they may sleep beneath the mountain-wave, when Jesus comes triumphant, they will burst their coral tombs, throw off their sea-weed shrouds, and ascending upward, with their much loved clap their golden wings around the eternal throne.--Your son in the gospel, April 10th, 1839.
G. C. B.
DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE.
The following address has been forwarded to us, as coming from the pen of a naval gentleman, whose heart is deeply interested in the present and everlasting welfare of his brother seamen, and who has expressed his solicitude for his own crew in particular, in supplying them with the Scriptures of truth, and inculcating their perusal.
ADDRESS TO THE BRITISH NATION.
NUMEROUS incontrovertible facts bearing upon the subject, combined with the opinion of men practically acquainted with the mercantile marine of the United Kingdom, have induced a belief that an Institution, such as is herein contemplated, would very materially improve the condition of seamen in general, and at the same time tend to give greater security to the constitutional dignity and prosperity of the nation. This opinion appears to have influenced the legislature in passing the Act of 5th and 6th William IV.cap. 19, intituled. An Act to amend,' &c. in the preamble of which are these words—“That the prosperity, strength, and safety of the United Kingdom, and of Her Majesty's dominions, depend principally on her seamen," &c. And, notwithstanding so much is admitted in the preamble, as to the importance of seamen, there is very little contained in the enactments calculated to encourage them to continue their services; while, in addition to these admissions, it would not be difficult to show, that England is much more exposed to invasion than other nations, and that her seamen are not only necessary to prevent the occurrence of such a catastrophe, but also to place it beyond the power of an enemy to undertake.
It is by the hardihood and intrepidity of her seamen that Great Britain has risen to her present high station in the scale of nations, enabling her to command, through a vast empire, an extent of commercial greatness unprecedented; all arising out of the security she enjoys from the patriotic protection of her seamen; the number of which, compared with the population of the United Kingdom and her extensive possessions, is but as a drop in the ocean ; for we find that during the last war, the greatest number of seamen employed at any one time in the navy, did not exceed 133,000; and with this number, the shores of England were secured against a threatened invasion-the enemy's fleets shut up in their own ports, or destroyed or taken if they put to sea—the East and West India possessions not only protected, but considerably increased—while all the other colonies and dependencies met with equal security, by the protection afforded by British seamen !
If, then, a class of men, whose habits and occupation, to a certain extent, unfit them for making provision for themselves when overtaken by old age, be of so much importance to the nation, it surely will not be considered unreasonable, that the country should be called upon to effectuate that which has so long remained the great desideratum in the mercantile marine of the country. On the contrary it is now confidently hoped, that it will step forward, without hesitation, to insure the means of founding an Institution worthy the greatness of the British empire, for the merchant seamen ; and such as will prove a powerful incentive in encouraging them to continue their services, instead of (as is now too frequently the case) forcing them, by a sort of unkind neglect of their interests, to enter the service of other maritime powers, occasioning desertion from ships on foreign voyages, and leaving them to be navigated by insufficient crews and inexperienced men on their return passages ; the result of which is the frequent loss of life and property to a considerable extent.
It would not be difficult to show, that all classes of society have reaped the benefit of the constant watchfulness of our seamen, in the performance of duties incurring hardships of no ordinary character. It will be seen that the extensive landholders have held quiet possession of their property by the protection afforded the country by our seamen. The enriched manufacturers are alike indebted to seamen for the security they have enjoyed, --while the enterprising merchant mainly owes his prosperity to those defenders of their country, who, through storm and tempest, and in defiance of the vigilance of the enemy, have convoyed in safety into port' his vessels richly laden. Instance the opulence the many trading companies have arrived at, as also private individuals; while all engaged in trade or otherwise, under the undaunted and skilful protection of our seamen, have been enabled peaceably to pursue their various callings and avocations.
And here it may be asked,—What sacrifice has the nation made towards the liquidation of a debt of gratitude she thus owes to her seamen? It is true, a few Societies have been formed for the benefit of merchant seamen; but what are they, compared with the wealth of the nation, and the claims of seamen? While even for these, the merchant seamen are indebted to the exertions of naval offi. cers; it is to them they owe that excellent establishment which floats on the Thames for the reception of the sick. To naval officers they are indebted for the establishment of respectable boarding-houses while in port, out of which emanated the Sailors' Home. Naval officers led the way to the establishment of the Merchant Seamen's Orphan Asylum, and other societies for them and their families' benefit; all of which are altogether insufficient to meet the object contemplated by the projector of the British Maritime National Institution; the chief support of these societies being derived from a class of individuals whose known benevolence occasions incessant applications to them for their patronage, until the resources of many, for such benevolent purposes, have been completely exhausted.
In order, therefore, to carry out the object worthy the character of so great a nation, for her acknowledged security, strength, and prosperity,' the patronage and support, not only of the government, the nobility, and the higher classes of society, are solicited, but that of the nation generally; that means may be provided for founding Asylums at every principal sea-port in the United Kingdom for aged and worn-out seamen, who shall have faithfully served in the merchant service.
It has been stated that seamen are ready to contribute another sixpence per month for the furtherance of so desirable an object; but why, may it not be asked, should these men, whose services are of so much importance, and whose pay is comparatively so small, be called on for further contributions in addition to the present stoppages out of their thly pay?
Let the Institution here proposed, be established and supported by a generous and wealthy nation, and she will then, not only have a claim on the services of her seamen at any moment, but will, at the same time, induce a better order of things both in the military and mercantile marine.
It cannot be denied, that at this moment there is much difficulty, both in government and private ships, in obtaining desirable crews; a state of things which ought not to exist in a nation so entirely maritime. For it appears, that while merchants' ships are detained for want of men, the few ships recently commissioned in the navy are making but little progress in procuring their complements.
GUERNSEY BETHEL UNION.
It affords us unmingled pleasure to learn from the reverend and esteemed secretary of the Guernsey Union, that a favourable feeling exists, and is being expressed towards the poor sailor in that island; that increased efforts are being made to provide for his moral and religious necessities ;-and that permanent good is resulting from these exertions. This will appear from the following abbreviated report.
AMONG the Institutions which adorn our beloved country, that of the ' Bethel Union and Seamen's Friend Society' is of considerable importance. When the mariner arrives in port, the emblems of the Society are presented to his view. The unfurled banner informs him that he has reached a land, the inhabitants of which care for his soul. His attention is engaged,—with his comrades he enters the house of God, and while he feels the attractions of the cross, finds a Bethel to his soul.
The place of worship appropriated to the use of mariners in this port is well attended on the Lord's-day. Hundreds of persons, including aged sailors, the wives and children of sailors, and members who arrive in port from time to time, compose the congregation, who listen to the word of life,' the gospel of our salvation;' and we have no doubt but that when the Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, it will be said that this and that man was born there.' We have it not in our power at present, to detail any particular instances of conversion taking place during the year, but believe that a considerable amount of good has been accomplished ; and, when it is considered that many
of those who hear the word are soon removed to other scenes, and to other climes, the difficulty of obtaining substantial information on this subject, is sufficiently obvious. You must follow the mariner on his voyage; you must watch his habits in the next port, to learn the good which he has obtained in this.
This Institution does not belong to any one body of christians, but is composed of different denominations of the followers of Christ. We rear this edifice together, in harmony and affection, and ask the divine Being to
own our united efforts with his presence and glory; and when it is considered, that this is the only Institution of the kind,
in an island which owes so much to commerce, surely it has a claim upon the christian feelings, and upon the christian liberality of the inhabitants of this place. This, like that noble institution, the British and Foreign Bible Society, which furnishes a pure and unadulterated stream of the water of life to flow through the world, is common ground. Here we can all unite, without involving any compromise of principle or opinion.
In addition to the preaching of the gospel, 1765 suitable tracts have been distributed during the past year, among the mariners coming to this port. Seven libraries have also been issued, and four exchanged, since the last Anniversary, making a total of ninety-six libraries, which have been issued since the existence of the Society ; but many of these have been lost in different ways, some of them with the fragile bark to which they were committed. Six bibles have also been received from the Naval and Military Bible Society.
The Committee of this Institution is still resolved, in connexion with the patronage of the community, and by the blessing of God, to pursue its way, leaving the result in the hands of Him, who is · Lord over all,' and who will ultimately bring to light things which are now hidden; then many a once heedless youth will bear testimony to the grace of God; and many a parent, whose sighs, and prayers, and tears, have followed a prodigal and wandering child, upon the bosom of the ocean, will rejoice to find that child saved by grace, and safely entered the harbour of Repose ; and the Society, whose agents may have been instrumental in the furtherance of so divine a work, shall not be without its reward in the kingdom of heaven, where all shall unite in that world of holy joy, to ascribe the glory to the Lamb that was slain.'
It may not be known to many of our readers, that a new colony is about to be established in this highly interesting part of the world. And, therefore, since religion is the stability of every state, whether of more recent or ancient foundation, we cannot but hail the
of our common faith in that distant rising state. How far the great principles of christianity are being diffused among the native tribes, will appear from the following communication, from one who is engaged in the sacred office of the christian ministry.
(Extract of a Letter from Rev. James Wallis, Wesleyan Missionary, addressed to Mr. R. H.
Marten, Plaistow, Essex, dated Kaipara, New Zealand, 24th April, 1837.]
I will give you a summary account of the steps we have taken since I joined the mission. After our arrival in this land, our thoughts and resolutions were directed to the occupancy of Waikato, a district about