« PreviousContinue »
tains is peculiarly desirable, for the purpose of more efficient co-operation in the evangelization of seamen. This has been, in no small degree, promoted by the agencies of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, and a delightful illustration of the progress of “
co-operative union exhibited on Lord's day afternoon, March 26, when upwards of forty masters of ships met G. F. Angas, Esq., the Treasurer of this Society, at the Sailors' chapel, when that generous friend to seamen delivered to them an address on the words of the Apostle, 1 Timothy i, 15. “ This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
Besides the captains, there were present many sailors, and several of the agents of the Society, as well as pious friends; so that altogether it was an unusual meeting. After the service twenty-seven captains, from various parts of the kingdom, took tea with the respected Treasurer of the Society, and much religious conversation was held as to the best means of co-operation in the advancement of the kingdom of Christ among sailors ; the interview was delightful, and well calculated to promote the object in view, as the captains felt a new impulse in their Bethel work : the interview was closed with singing a hymn, and prayer by one of the sailors. Mr. Welch, the Thames Missionary, gave a powerful and stirring address to his brethren present, on the importance of a personal interest in Christ. The religious services of the Sabbath evening were closed by a solemn prayer-meeting by the sailors, and the holy day will long be remembered by those who had the privilege of meeting with the excellent Treasurer ; and from the plans laid down and the arrangements made for the promotion of the religious interests of seamen,
it cannot be doubted that it will result in the glory of God and the salvation of souls, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
GERMAN SAILORS IN LONDON.
Rev. Mr. Kavel in a Communication to the Treasurer. " What has been done, and what is to be done, concerning the preaching of the Gospel to foreign, and particularly to German sailors in the Port of London and England ? Foreign sailors have reason to praise the Lord that
they are not entirely left or forsaken with regard to the welfare of their immortal souls, while staying in England. For your late blessed brother, Rev. W. H. Angas, that shining and burning light, as well as yourself, and the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, have made provision not only for distributing tracts among foreign sailors, but also for preaching the Gospel to them, especially Germans; for your generous aid enabled me to go on board German vessels, to preach there the word of God for about a twelvemonth. Many a German sailor has heard, during this time, the word of repentance toward God and of faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ; and many a German captain and sailor have expressed repeatedly their gratitude for the opportunity to hear the word of salvation on board their vessels in a foreign country, a privilege which they do not enjoy at home. It will gratify the friends of the spiritual welfare of seamen to hear that there is a service every Sunday afternoon on board a German vessel, and that tracts are distributed among Swedish, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and German sailors, by a friend of mine, Mr. Sander. Besides, you know, five German captains have been willing to form an Auxiliary to an intended German Bible and Religious Book Society, to be established in Germany itself. For though something has been done concerning the spiritual welfare of German sailors, very much remains to be done. Many a German vessel arrived here, on board of which hardly one Bible or religious book was to be found ; and though the Bible and Tract Societies at Hamburgh and Bremen have been distributing the Scriptures among seamen, many a German sailor goes down to sea without having a compass of eternal life; to say nothing that no agent of a German Sailors' Society visits vessels to inquire after the spiritual wants of his countrymen.
“With regard to the tracts which have been distributed, they are in general too small; and there is indeed a want of German tracts agreeable to the claims of sailors.
" It appears to me very desirable that some of the larger English tracts, on behalf of sailors, ought to be translated in foreign languages. I am at present translating two of them, “The Seaman's Friend' and · Seaman's Spy-glass,' and should feel quite happy to see them in the hand of every German sailor. These translations are to be printed at Bremen in a few weeks.
“ As long as I am obliged to sojourn in London I shall direct my attention to my seafaring brethren, going on board the vessels and visiting the sick in the Seamen's Hospital, at Greenwich, where many a German sailor has enjoyed the care of his body and soul during the last four months; and after my departure another agent will be found. May every Christian and every church arise to a full and immediate discharge of the duties of our Christian agency; and let us pray that every agent, every copy of the Bible, every tract, and every religious book, every service and prayer meeting, every word spoken in season and out of season to our brethren, may be a shining and burning light; and that the time of the Apostles, the time of the Reformers, of a Cranmer, Knox, Calvin, Luther, Whitfield, Wesley, and Fletcher, may be renewed through the grace of God.”
MONTHLY MEETING OF THE AGENTS,
April 14, 1837,
AT THE SOCIETY'S OFFICE,
Mr. Welch offered prayer. Ar this meeting, besides the usual conference and prayer, Mr. Welch, the recently appointed Thames Missionary, was cordially welcomed by his brother Agents, and assured of their fraternal regard in his labours to evangelize sailors in the name and work of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Extracts of the Agents' Reports of the past month.
First Thames Station.-" This station, the ast month, has produced a very pleasing and interesting scene ; and in addition to my week evenings, I have held one Sabbath afternoon meeting, on board the L- B-, Captain B- a very active man. At this meeting my brother agent Waldon assisted ; and we can both testify to the respectability of the seamen, as well as to their fixed attention while I spake to them of the way of salvation.
“The cabin was quite full, and every place where any one could sit, as well as the cabin stairs, and several listening at the cabin window. Such services, I think, are practicable, with a little extra exertion and arrangement. However, I am of opinion something efficient on ship-board ought to be done on Lord's days."
Second Thames Station.- Mr. Barclay reports, “It has been my happiness to hold several very interesting meetings during the month, at which the attendance has somewhat improved ; and I have reason to believe there is a growing desire among the seamen in this part of the river after the things that make for their salvation. Many of the meetings have been held in the cabin, and some quite crowded, although seamen always prefer the hold of the vessel.
“ Several of our pious masters having been in port during the month, have contributed greatly to the interest of these meetings. One new vessel.”
Fourth Thames Station.—Mr. Edwards reports, “ On the 20th of March your agent held a meeting on board u new vessel in every sense of the word, it being her first voyage. The master expressed himself much delighted with the opportunity of dedicating her to the service of the Lord, and hoped many such meetings would be conducted on board her."
Mr. Abbott states, “ Since the supplying of this station by the Committee of the N. E. London Auxiliary, seven services have been held, of which some have been of the most encouraging character, both as it respected the numbers present, the attention paid, and the spirit of devotion manifested.
“No interruption of the meetings during the past month. At the close of a service the master thanked 115, and observed, “that he hoped what had been said that night would do them all good.' At the close of another service; a captain said that many of our seamen would not go ashore to hear the word, and but for these meetings, would not at all attend the worship of God. Six new ships. I supplied once at the Sailors' Chapel.”
Fifth Thames Station. Mr. Maddox states, meetings have been regular during the past month ; but nothing very remarkable has occurred.
“I have been admitted on board two new ships, for the
“ The tracts and magazines are still well received by the seamen.
“Not quite so many praying men this month as in former months.”
Mr. Edwards states, “ At a meeting held on board the M-, this instant, two seamen prayed in a very fervent manner for the prosperity of the cause of God among their brethren, and for his blessing to rest on the Society, who so kindly sent the Gospel among them for their spiritual and eternal benefit.
“ This made the fifth new vessel for Bethel in this part of the river during this month, at least they are new ships to me.”
Mr. Waldon declares “the growing prosperity of the cause of Christ among the sailors. No one could doubt this, witnessing the spirit these men manifest in the exercises of devotion, appreciating the designs of the Society: I have the past month witnessed this spirit as I never did before ; generally in all the meetings, but in one very par, ticularly so. I went on board, when the captain said, I suppose you are the gentleman who is to make one of us this evening; it is very cold, step down into the cabin.' I went, and found another captain there ; and after the common salutations, he said, “We must have a good meeting to night; and in order to ensure that, we must pray for it; so let us three bow the knee, and lift up our hearts unto God, that he would give us favour in the sight of the people. After this he said, “ Now we will go over the ships, and invite our brethren to the meeting. The result was, we had between thirty and forty present, and four prayed. Thus did the Lord own and bless his appointed means to our enjoyment of the promised blessing, Ask, and ye shall receive.””
Sixth Thames Station.—Capt. Prynn reports having held nine religious meetings on this station, and two religious meetings on the 7th station at Rotherhithe. Seven of these meetings were numerously attended, and an especial manifestation of the Divine Presence has been felt : four sailors engaged in public prayer with us, who by their own account never did so before, and their wrestling earnestness brought many tears from the eyes of some present. At one meeting, held on board the N, the captain, mate, and carpenter, were melted into tears; and in private conversation I found the family altar was erected for the worship of God amongst the ship's crew.