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the value of winter, in mellowing and softening the ground for his future crops; and the naturalist sees also other advantages in this season, as the rest of nature after the severe exhaustion of summer. It may be justly considered, perhaps, as the sabbath of the year, in the benefits of which man and animals, and the soul itself, all largely share. Even the snow acts the part of a benefactor - not by the salts it contains, as was formerly supposed--but by enwrapping the earth with a dense garment, which, being a non-conductor of heat, reserves to it a large portion of warmth that would otherwise pass off from it and be lost. Hence we find that the warmest spring generally follows the most intense winter; and in North America, Norway, Russia, and the polar regions, where the snow always lies on the ground for å regular interval, this result is uniformly experienced, by a far more steady and rapid developement of vegetation, than in our own climate.

« Winter, therefore, is to be considered as a necessary part of that system of providential arrangement under which we live; and though nature may now appear to be idle, she is, as an ingenious naturalist observes, busily employed. "Silent in her secret mansions, she is now preparing and compounding the verdure, the flowers, the nutriment of spring; and all the fruits, and glorious profusion of our summer year, are only the advance of what has been ordained and fabricated in these dull months.

“ Poetry has presented us with striking descriptions of travellers perishing in a snow-storm, and the event is far from being uncommon at this season. We shudder with horror at Thomson's vivid representations of a catastrophe of this sort. But if it be, indeed, so dreadful for the traveller to be thus surrounded and trapped in the toils of death, in the midst of a wide waste,

• Far from the track and blest abode of man,
While round him night resistless closes fast !
And every tempest howling o'er his head,

Renders the savage wilderness more wild, how infinitely more horrible for the sinner to find himself suddenly grasped by the terrors of the Almighty, with despair his only portion,-and that night of eternal anguish about to close upon him, which will know no morning. While the guilty soul thus stands shivering on the brink of the eternal gulph, who can paint its agonies? In comparison of banishment from the presence of God, and from the light of his countenance, what are all the horrors of winter? In comparison of the tempest of his wrath, what is the deadliest blast which freezes up the current of blood in the veins of the traveller, shuts up sense,

*And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,

Lays him along the snows, a stiffen'd corse.' Melancholy as these reflections are, they cannot but be salutary, if they lead us to seek the Lord while he may yet be found, to call upon him while he is near. As a topic of true consolation and rejoicing, let us remember that it was in the midst of a moral as well as natural winter that Jesus Christ appeared, to give light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. At the present season, therefore, when the event of his coming in great humility is commemorated, surely it must be the especial duty of christians to hail the advent of that still more glorious and solemn period, when to those who look for him, he shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation,""*

THE ANCHOR OF THE SOUL.

[Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and

which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered,-even Jesus.--Hebrews vi. 19, 20.]

The apostle having “ told the solidity of the ground whereupon the believer doth rest, he now showeth the stability of the gripe [bold] which the believer taketh of these grounds, in the similitude of the gripe which a ship's anchor taketh, being cast on good ground. In the figure of an anchor cast out of a ship, he giveth us to understand, that though we have not gotten full possession of the promises in this life, yet we get a gripe of them by faith and hope;—that hope's gripe is not a slender imagination, but solid and strong, like the gripe of an anchor ;—that the believer is not exempted from some tossing of trouble and temptation while he is in this world, yea, subject rather to the same as a ship upon the sea ;—that whatever tossing there be, yet all is safe ;—the soul's anchor is cast within heaven ;- the soul is sure.

The CHRISTIAN NA RALIST. By the Rev. Edward Budge, B. A. An interesting and instructive volume. -Ed.

“ He giveth the anchor all good properties. It is weighty, solid, and firm. It will not drive, nor bow, nor break,—it is sure and steadfast. Again, it is sharp and piercing, it is entered into that within the veil, that is, into heaven, represented by the sanctuary beyond the veil ; and so the ground is good as well as the anchor, to hold all fast.

He commendeth our anchor-ground for this : that Christ is there where our anchor is cast, as our forerunner. In continuing the comparison, and calling Christ our forerunner, he bringeth to mind, that Christ was once in the ship of the militant church, tossed and tempted as others, though without sin ; that he is now gone ashore to heaven, where the ship of the church is seeking to land ; that his going ashore is as our forerunner, and so his landing is an evidence of our landing also, who are to follow after him ; that his going before is to make easy our entry. He is forerunner for us, to prepare a place for us ; that our anchor is where Christ is, and so must be the surer for his being there, to hold all fast till he draw the ship to the shore.”

PROPOSED FORM OF PRAYER.

(Communicated in a Letter addressed to the Editor.)

We have been long impressed with the fact, that a good MANUAL OP DEVOTION, specially adapted to the sea, was a great desideratum, and have often resolved to attempt to supply such deficiency, but from various causes have been as often prevented. We have great pleasure therefore in giving insertion to the following letter, and hope it may lead to the result desired :

SIR,-Although a dissenter, and much preferring free or extempore prayer, yet I can well remember, when asked to join in prayer for others, that I did not dare to venture upon it, until I had previously committed my thoughts to writing, lest I should speak “unadvisedly' with my tongue ; lest I might omit what were the wants of others, or suffer my own or the frame of mind, to preponderate in what I might offer up.

It appears to me then, that there is wanting a course of prayers, morning and evening, for a week, a month, or six weeks, adapted to a long or short voyage on the seas, which might be delivered by the master, or a passenger, or which with a little alteration, would suit the wants of a single individual. Such a work, if laid on the cabin table, or even kept in the steerage, would be at times dipped into; it would and must be read, and would not fail to produce fruit. An extract of a few verses from the Scriptures, should precede each prayer, and the various circumstances of parting with friends—the hopes of rejoining others--the progress of the voyage--the prospects of a new settlement to an emigrant,-and the arrival at the destined port, would all form varied subjects of prayer or praise, to change the formality of one daily exercise.

As different individuals use different phrases, I should recommend it to be made as varied as possible, and I should hope, (if you think this letter worth insertion) that some of your readers, clerical or lay, female and male, would embody their thoughts, and send them to you, submitting them to your correction, to enlarge or contract, to admit or to reject ; you would soon, I trust, be able to make up one for a week, and this put into a reasonable form and price, say sixpence, or ninepence, might form a nucleus for a more extended one for long voyages. The experiment might be easily made, and I should think the Committee of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society would be induced to try it, and it might soon repay itself, and be made profitable to the Society; but if not, a hint might be given and I think others, besides myself, would give a small sum to make the experiment. Nov. 11th, 1839.

I am, yours sincerely, G. T.

We hope that the suggestion of our worthy correspondent will be at once adopted,—that the more devotional of our readers will forward either appropriate original compositions, or such selections as they may deem in harmony with the design of the writer; and that there will not be wanting those who will cheerfully contribute towards the outlay, which must necessarily be incurred. We are often asked for such a manual.

THE NEW BETHEL FLAG.

(Communicated by the Master of a vessel to the Senior Thames Missionary.]

As I obtained a Bethel flag the last time I was in London, no doubt but you will be anxious to hear whether I have had any opportunity of hoisting it; and what success we have had. Now you will be highly gratified, when I relate to you the success which has attended our meetings while lying in Long Reach ; more especially, since I know the interest you take in labours among seamen.

On Monday 21st of October, the Bethel flag (which belongs to the captain) was hoisted on board the A-, of Sunderland. And on arriving with my boat, with most of my crew, the cabin was quite filled. We, however, succeeded in getting in. The captain, a pious man, gave a short and earnest address, which was followed by the earnest prayers and supplications of several captains and sailors. At the close of the service, there seemed a strong desire to remain. We could say, like Peter and the other apostles when on the mount of transfiguration, “Lord, it is good to be here;" and determined, like good old Jacob, to wrestle in prayer till we should obtain the blessing. The service was continued, and I verily believe will be long remembered by us all. There were present four or five captains, and from twenty-five to thirty seamen. Before the meeting dismissed, I intimated to them, that the following day (Tuesday) the Bethel flag would be hoisted on board the B-; and as it was a new flag, and had never been hoisted before, I urged them to give us their attendance; and also to follow up the impressions which, I trust, had been made on their minds that evening. After soliciting the assistance of the captains, we dismissed, our souls refreshed with the presence of the Lord.

The following evening arrived.Every preparation having been made for the reception of a goodly number, and the time to commence the service drawing nigh, another pious captain and I were pacing the deck, when on a sudden our attention was arrested by the melody of distant singing. We began to conjecture from whence it arose ; but did not surmise long, before we perceived a boat tending its way towards our ship, where the Bethel flag was displayed ;-in which there were about twenty persons singing one of the sweet songs of Zion,(I believe

it was the gospel ship.) And what rendered it more delightful was, the evening was particularly fine-the moon casting forth her silvery rays—the winds hushed into a calm-the river still and peaceful as a summer's eve nature and nature's God approved of the sight. All conspired to add a lustre and heavenly charm to the scene, which I trust will be long remembered by us all. The boat having arrived alongside, and having been welcomed on board, we proceeded below. Our cabin was soon filled to excess. Our service commenced by singing the 366th hymn in the "Sailor's Hymn Book,' and prayer. I endeavoured to address the meeting from Hebrews ii. 3 ; after which several pious captains and sailors engaged in prayer. It was estimated that there were about fifty present, including six captains of ships. Before we dismissed it was proposed, that as the field was sufficiently large for two or three services every evening, we should divide ourselves, and take different sections, which was acceded to. We then dismissed, trusting that the word spoken might be watered and matured by the influences of the Holy Spirit, and that our prayers and praises might be accepted through the allprevailing name and merits of Jesus Christ.

Thus I have given you a short and brief account of our first meeting under my new flag.–

•Long may the Bethel flag,---by heavenly breezes waved,

Till every sailor yields his heart---to God---and truly saved.' Our flag on the following day was hoisted on board the Q-, Capt. H, a pious man, where again our cabin was filled ; there being present about twentyfive seamen and six captains of ships. On the following evening our service was again held on board the A- of Whitby, Capt. -, a pious man, when our number quite exceeded my expectations—the evening being wet and stormy. Thereswere present five captains with most of their crews. A captain at the close of the service kindly offered his ship for the following evening,—where we were again permitted to worship that God 'in whom we live, move, and have our being ;' and who does in very deed dwell with man upon the earth.' The limits of my letter preclude the possibility of making any comment on these meetings. They will speak for themselves. I think the character and spirit of our meetings has been such as to encourage us to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work' of the, Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.'-To him be all the glory!

It is to these efforts put forth by the masters themselves, that we look for the more speedy and certain accomplishment of our hallowed design. Captains of vessels have much in their power, and every encouragement should be given by the christian church, in these works of faith and labours of love. Oh! it will be a sight for angels to admire, when at the mast-head of every ship which either enters or leaves our ports, there shall be seen waving in the breeze, the BETHEL FLAG, with its branch of peace and star of hope !

CHARACTERISTIC OF A GOOD OFFICER.

When our gallant friend Rear-Adm. Sir James Hillyar obtained, in the year 1814, one of those victories for which the British arms have been so signally distinguished, he addressed a letter to the admi

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