Page images
PDF
EPUB

66 Cer

about Jesus Christ, he replied, “I know that he is the Son of God, and that he died painfully upon the cross to pay for the sins of men, in order that their souls might be saved and go to happiness in the skies.” I inquired of him if all the people went to heaven after death. tainly not,” he replied ; “ only those that believe in the Lord Jesus -- who cast away sin—and who pray to God.” “ You pray, of course," I continued. “O) yes !” he said, "I very frequently pray as I weed my ground and plant my food, but always three times a day, besides praying with my family every morning and evening." I asked him what he said when he prayed. He answered, “I

say, O Lord, I am a great sinner, may Jesus take my sins away by his good blood : give me the righteousness of Jesus to adorn me, and give me the good Spirit of Jesus to instruct me and make my heart good, to make me a man of Jesus, and to take me to heaven when I die.” 66

Well,” I replied, that, Buteve, is very excellent; but where did you obtain your knowledge ?”

you,

, who brought us the news of salvation but yourself ?'

True,” I replied, “but I do not ever recollect to have seen you at either of the settlements, to hear me speak of these things, and how do you obtain your knowledge of them?" Why,” he said, “ as the people return from the services, I take my seat by the way side, and beg a bit of the word of them as they pass by; one gives me one piece, another another piece, and I collect them together in my heart, and by thinking over what I thus obtain, and praying to God to make me know, I understand a little about his word.”

This was altogether a most interesting incident, as I had never seen the poor cripple before, and I could not learn that he had ever been in a place of worship in his life. His knowledge, however, was such as to afford me both astonishment and delight, and I seldom passed his house after this interview, without holding an interesting conversation with

" From

to be sure ;

66

66

him.

The readers of the Pilot will not fail to be much struck with this remarkable narrative. An heathen, in utter darkness about the soul and its destiny ; lame, very lame; without hands or feet! crawling only on his knees ! having heard something of the "joyful sound," is so in earnest to obtain the pearl of great price, that he waylays those who came from hearing the word, till he gets a little here, and a little there ; lays up what he hears in his heart, and whether in the house or in his ground, is instant in prayer, that he may be justified through the shed-blood of the Redeemer, and sanctified by his Spirit, and so be taken at death to the happiness of heaven! Reader, will your conduct in this important business bear comparison with this very afflicted, once savage heathen ? It

may do us both much good to meditate upon this little history. Let us then both pray that we, and all who may read it, may be benefited by its instruction.- EDITOR.

HELPERS IN THE SAILORS' CAUSE.

To the Members of Auxiliary Committees. MY DEAR BRETHREN, It affords me much pleasure to find that the spiritual necessities of our seafaring fellow-immortals are engaging your hearts, your time, and your influence; too long has this interesting portion of our race been neglected. We have heard their cries of distress, we have listened to the sad tale of the awful end of their mortal career, but we have not put forth corresponding efforts to evangelize those who are within our reach. How often has the fear ful end of many excited our pity; how often have we regretted there was no one near to whisper to them words by which they might be saved. A few more years and those who are now within the sound of our own voice, will have passed, perhaps through a watery grave, to an eternal world; and shall we allow the present opportunity to pass without embracing some plan that shall save them from impending ruin. Among the many means God has condescended to employ for this purpose, the faithful proclamation of His own Word stands pre-eininently foremost; other means are useful, but they are all subservient to this,

Multitudes of our now pious seafaring men have been met with by the heartfelt exhibition of a Saviour's love. Now I am aware, that many of those who are kindly lending an helping hand on our Committees, possess a talent for publicly communicating the plain yet efficacious truths of the Gospel to their fellow-men. It is to you I look, and affectionately ask you to come forward and help us : those wlio are resident in the metropolis will find a large sphere for their exertions among the thousands of vessels and the myriads of seamen that are continually in our

port. Among these, eighteen meetings for religious worship are held weekly; but if pious intelligent men would kindly come forward and help us in this good cause, more than double that number might be held ; and who can tell the result of so many of those who are the objects of our solicitude, being brought under the influence of religious instruction. Seamen, accustomed to visit every portion of the globe, when made acquainted with the Saviour, are powerful auxiliaries to our missionaries abroad ; they strengthen their hands, and cast an hallowed influence around them. To be the means of effecting so much good will be an honour, comparable with which all earthly honour sinks into insignificance.

It is to aid in accomplishing this object I now address you. One Auxiliary Committee have come forward, and are now kindly supplying a weekly station. I would affectionately call on those who have talent and time at command, whether in the metropolis or in our numerous sea-ports, seriously to consider the claims which seamen have on their sympathies, their prayers, and their PERSONAL EXERTIONS.

It has been the privilege of the writer for some years, to spend a few of his happiest leisure hours in this labour of love, and I can say I have never been engaged in services which have been more refreshing to myown soul. To mingle with the humble, yet heartfelt devotions of sailors has often given an impulse to greater exertions, and sweetened all the difficulties by which such services are sometimes attended. With the wish that this appeal may find a response in the hearts of many who are inquiring', Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?

I remain, dear brethren, Hackney, April 5, 1837.

Yours, I. J. B.

[ocr errors]

SPEED THE PROW.

By James Montgomery, Esq.
Not the ship that swiftest saileth,

But which longest holds her way,
Onward, onward, never faileth,

Storm and calm to win the day;
Earliest she the haven gains,
Which the hardest stress sustains.

you there.

Go, preach that Saviour to the lost,
Whose pow'r once held the tempest toss'd;
Go, fearless, safe—He now ne'er sleeps,
O'er all his constant vigil keeps.
Farewell, dear brother, now farewell !
Though far in northern climes you dwell,
A father's, mother's, brother's prayer,
And God's right arm,

go

with What added to the interest of the occasion was the presentation, to Mr. Webster, of an elegant Bethel flag, prepared by the Ladies' Bethel Society, of Newburyport. This was done by Mr. Dimmick, during his charge to the candidate, and at the moment of announcement the flag was displayed from the front of the gallery, in view of the audience, producing a very happy effect.

In the evening of the same day, the annual meeting of the “ Newburyport Seamen's Friend Society" was held, when the annual report was read, and several addresses made.

The whole day and evening was a season of uncommon interest, and it is believed an impulse has been given to the seamen's cause at Newburyport, which will not soon be forgotten.

SEAMEN'S CAUSE AT HAVRE.

Rev. Mr. Sawtell seems to be labouring successfully among sailors at Havre. Under date January 30, he wrote to Rev. J. Greenleaf, secretary of the society at New York, stating that a new and more commodious place of worship had been prepared, and that he hoped to enter it as the Mariners' Church on the first of April. He wrote also the following among other interesting particulars :

Sailors have Gratitude." “ Tell the dear people of America, that we bless them in God's name for providing us with a good anchorage, and such rich provisions for the soul, while in Havre," cries an old weather-beaten tar, as he seized my hand today, giving it a grip that one might suppose he had mistaken it for a helm in a storm, and which drew tears from my eyes, from more causes than one. Yes,” continued

he, “ I bless the Lord that I have lived to see the day, when poor Jack is no longer forgotten in the prayers of the Church."

I called, sir,” says another, “ in the name of all the crew, to thank you for the kind words and faithful warnings you have given us since we have been in Havre. I trust, sir, we shall not forget them. For one, I am determined, in the strength of Jesus, that sin shall never get the weather-gage of me again.”

A third exclaimed, as he bowed the knee in prayer, O Jesus, I thank thee, that thou hast put it into the hearts of thy dear ones in America to erect this light-house in Havre, that our poor shipwrecked souls may be guided safely into port."

These are the kind of parting salutations and prayers which daily drop from the lips of grateful sailors. When any thing occurs which prevents my seeing them, as they are leaving port, they often send me a written expression of their gratitude. The following is a specimen.

“ The crew of the brig Hero, of Scarborough, desire to return sincere thanks to the minister of the Mariner's Church, for the kind instructions they have received during their stay at Havre; also, for the privilege of the readingroom; and desire the prayers of the minister and congregation for their safe arrival at their native land. (Signed) John Matthews, John Oliver, Robert Horn, Robert Jackson, Samuel Simmons, Stephen Otterbourn, John Richards."

SAILORS MAKE GOOD MISSIONARIES. Last Thursday evening, being our stated evening for preaching, I was met at the door of the chapel by a lady, who informed me, that a crew of twenty-five sailors were in the house, just brought into port by the American ship Austerlitz, from the wreck of an English vessel. She observed, that on meeting them in the street, on her way to meeting, she inquired of them, where they were going ? “We are going to the chapel,” replied one, to return thanks to God for our deliverance.' On entering the house it was truly an affecting sight to see them all seated in a body, with solemn countenances and emaciated looks, there to raise their Ebenezers to God for delivering mercy. After preaching, during which I endeavoured to take advantage of this providence of God to give energy to his

VOL. IV.

R

« PreviousContinue »