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fit of special ordinances, and standing alone unto his dying day.
But, say some, there are difficulties to be overcome, there are objections which cannot well be removed. That there are some difficulties in the way of organizing a church of seamen, which do not exist in other cases, will be readily admitted; but we do not admit that the difficulties are sufficient to prevent it. The most material objection arises from the great variety of religious denominations in the world; and, as we cannot usually expect to find more than one Mariner's Church in a place, the question might arise, of what denomination shall it be? Seamen, as well as others, may be expected to have their predilections in favour of one denomination more than another, and how shall this matter be settled ? I conceive it may easily be done. Lay aside every name, and form a Mariner's Church. Call it neither Episcopal, nor Presbyterian, nor Congregational, nor Baptist, nor Methodist ; but call it simply, The Mariner's Church. Select for a Confession of Faith and Covenant such points only as every converted man would agree to, and on this basis associate together. Spread the table of the Lord to every person who gives evidence of faith in Jesus Christ, and lay all minor distinctions aside. On this ground there is no difficulty, and a church among seamen may grow up and flourish. It is on this ground that some Mariners' Churches have been formed, and thus far have they stood.
And now, my friends, we have before us the emblems of the Saviour's death. Here, in a meeting of mariners, we have the ordinance which is calculated, above all others, to awaken penitent feelings, and enkindle in the heart a spirit of devotion. Here then, ye sailors, come and look on the place where the Lord lay. He died for you. To redeem your souls from ruin, he laid down his life. Remember this most astonishing truth when you look on the holy table, which is spread out before us to-day. Here is the Lamb slain. But why was he slain? It was to redeem seamen from eternal wrath. Remember, also, this most affecting truth when you embark on board your vessels. Let the sound break on your ear Christ died for seamen. And when dangers thicken around you, and the billows roar against your feeble bark, then again let the thought take possession of your souls - Christ died for seamen. And should raging sickness seize you
a foreign port-should you be cast into a land of strangers, or into a foreign hospital - should death stare you in the face, let the thought, that Christ died for seamen, buoy up your soul amid every calamity. And when, from time to time, you return hither, and the table of the Lord is spread in your presence, ought you not to find a place around it? Did not the Saviour die for perishing seamen? And are you not such ? His command is authoritative – “This do in remembrance of me"- and while the command remains, who shall be guiltless in disobeying ?
CONSTITUTION AND RULES OF A SAILOR'S
Possibly the perusal of the preceding papers will lead some friends of seamen to desire a platform of Church Rules, for their guidance in carrying into effect the suggestions they contain: the following are therefore given, in the hope of their being serviceable as the means of advancing the glory of God among mariners,
DECLARATION OF THE CHURCH MEMBERS. We, whose names are hereinafter subscribed, believing on Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life, and depending on the
grace of the Holy Spirit for direction and support in the ways of holy obedience to the commands of God, convinced of the importance and necessity of continuing stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers (Acts ii, 42), for our mutual edification and the glory of God do hereby agree to walk together as a Christian Society in all the ordinances of the Lord our Saviour.
We do also agree to receive with Christian affection, as fellow members, “all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity," and worship God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, holding the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the divinity, incarnation, and atonement of the Son of God, and the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, reputably adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour, without regarding the minor distinctions which exist among real Chris
We also declare it to be our belief, that it is our duty in all cases, to the utmost of our ability, to promote the advancement of the kingdom of Christ in the world; and that those of us whom Providence shall call to different parts of the earth, especially as sailors, will labour to promote the knowledge of the Gospel among our seafaring fellow-men, as the only means of salvation.
CHURCH Rules. I. All persons of reputed piety, of every denomination, regarding the Holy Scriptures as their standard of faith and practice, and holding the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as stated in the foregoing declaration, applying for admission to Christian Communion, shall be cordially received as Members of the Sailors' Chapel.
II. A Church Meeting shall be held every month, on the Thursday evening preceding the ordinance sabbath, with a view to receive new members, or candidates for Christian Communion.
III. The Declaration, as a church covenant, shall be read to every person on becoming a member of this Christian Society.
IV. All seafaring men, being members of this Church, on their departure for any distant port, shall be furnished with a letter of recommendation to the confidence and fellowship of all Christians, both at home and in foreign countries.
V. Any member of this church acting inconsistently with his or her Christian profession, without acknowledgment of his or her fault, and reformation, shall be excluded from this Society.
VI. As a church placed by the providence of God in the vicinity of so great a number of seafaring persons, all the members of it shall consider it their duty to attempt the advancement of the spiritual interests of that class of the community.
SEAMEN PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY IN
HEATHEN LANDS ;
as observed by a Sandwich Islander. British and American seamen visiting the islands of the South Seas, have done incalculable injury to Christianity, by their immoral habits. Many of the heathen have been shocked at the grossness of their licentiousness; and, for the honour of our country and our character, as well as for the glory of God our Saviour, we are under the strongest obligations to seek their conversion to the true faith of Christ. Let the following paper appeal to us : it is the translation of a communication written by one of the natives, after having heard Mr. Lee preach in the Seamen's Chapel; and was published in the Kumu Hawaii, a semimonthly paper, printed in the language of the Islands.
HONOLULU, Dec. 1, 1835. To the Community.
- The other Sabbath I attended at the foreigner's church. Mr. Lee, the minister from Columbia river, declared the word of Christ. On my return I saw a fine horse. On his back was a saddle, and further, a bridle was in his mouth. There was no horseman on him; there was the horse only. The horse was feet, and he ran lightly over the road leading to the place of its keeper.
I inquired, “ How is this? Where is the individual who rode him? Has he merely left the horse ? Perhaps he has fallen from it by reason of sickness ? has perhaps been drinking rum? Has he through drunkenness become powerless, unable to keep himself on his horse ?” Such were my inquiries.
I was not long in doubt, for I saw the white man; he came with an unsteady step; his path was exceedingly crooked; he went on this side and that side of the way, like an unmanageable ship on the swollen sea. His features were comely; his dress was respectable, but he was covered with dirt. He was a pitiable object.
He was born perhaps in England, perhaps in America. He knows the good and the evil. He understands the command of God, “Remember the Sabbath day. He saw, perhaps, the flag on the steeple of the chapel, and read the word "Bethel,' the meaning of which is, the house of prayer. But he despised the sanctuary, trampled on the sacred day, - he went in the way of destruction, the path of the ungodly.
What led him there? Who was it? Its name is Rum? it is the servant of Satan - the enemy of men and of God.
How did he obtain such a guide ? His companions sold to him the intoxicating dose; the man drank, and quickly Jehovah was forgotten, and his own soul, and the sacred
day, and the sanctuary, and heaven, and the fire unquenchable. He became insane, worthless, sick, drunk, entirely abandoned. The horse was ashamed of the drunken foreigner, and therefore, perhaps, threw him into the dirt and fled from him. • Auwe !' to the drunken man, the lord of the brutes, beneath their feet in the dirt.
Where is the benefit of selling rum, and also of drinking it? Reflect on this, people, and tell me your thought?
MODERATE SPIRIT DRINKERS. They may be charged with teaching by precept and example lessons of falsehood, which make and confirm many drunkards. It is a home charge upon such, that they are guilty of making drunkards with their own hands. What say they to this very serious charge, who deal forth rations of spirituous liquors to sailors and soldiers ? Is there no connection between this and the acknowledged drunkenness of soldiers and sailors ? What answer have they to give, who, in provision stores, in establishments for pickling or salting fish, and in other places, dole out to their servants, male and female, a regular allowance of spirituous liquors ? Is it not notorious, that such practices lead directly to drunkenness? It would be wanting in common honesty, not frankly to tell such persons, that they are making their neighbours Drunkards : -If it were not, put to their consciences this solemn question,
“ If the drunkard shall not inberit the kingdom of God, is the drunkard-maker safe ?”
PROFESSOR EDGAR. I have received the above quotation, from a tried, warm friend to seamen; and it is inserted in the Pilot in the hope, that masters and mates of merchant ships (now, by the progress of education, manifestly an highly improved class, compared with those of 50 years past) may seriously consider how very much there is in their power to benefit seamen, by their example and precept; whatever they may do in the prevention of drunkenness by ardent spirits, they themselves will be gainers in comfort, safety, and a happy reflection on their having so done.