« PreviousContinue »
Have I been, in the midst of advantages which Riromaiava was never privileged to enjoy, equally desirous, equally anxious, equally industrious, to gain knowledge ? Have I, as he was, been hungry and thirsty for that knowledge, which might have been had by me from so many copious living fountains ?' If I have pot, let me bethink myself, while yet it is sounded in my ears,
Now is the accepted time : now, even now, is the day of salvation.' And also the grand and true invitation, "Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely.'
“ Your readers will, I trust, permit me to quote from the Apostle Paul
“Therefore, we ought to give (now) the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward, How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.' Heb. ii, 1–3.
“I may, Mr. Editor, perhaps trouble you with some future quotations; in transcribing which, for the press, I think I shall be usefully employing the leisure hours of
“ Yours, " A RETIRED SHIP-OWNER.'
QUARRELS ON SHIP-BOARD IN PORT.
TO THE EDITOR. An agent of your Society going on board the ship where he was about to preach, being rather early, entered into conversation with a boy on board in reference to the meeting about to take place. I send you a part, which I hope may be useful to many.
Agent. Well, my lad, I hope we shall have a good meeting. Do you think we shall have any of the people from the next ship?
Boy. No, Sir.
Agent. What makes you think they are not good people ?
Boy. Why, because they are quarrelling from morning
O the blessedness of the Gospel, in producing mental and social peace! May it be enjoyed by every seaman, and prevail in every ship.
DIVINE PROVIDENCE FAVOURS PRAYER.
To the EDITOR. I HAVE received the following Letter, which sets forth a signal display of the goodness of God in answer to prayer.
B. P. “ Dear Sir,
April 4, 1837. Being desirous of noting an act of Divine mercy, in answer to prayer in the hour of imminent danger, I briefly state the following :
“On my passage from Shields lately, during the winter, I had the misfortune to get my ship on shore. During the time she lay on the shore, I had strong confidence in prayer; and in secret prayed most earnestly, that the Lord would bring us safe off and clear from the danger to which we were exposed. We were twenty-four hours on the shore, during which time the weather continued moderate, and the water quite smooth. By the blessing of God, we got the ship off without the least damage, not even a rope being broke: but scarcely had we got the ship under weigh, and safe at sea, when a very heavy gale of wind came on from the southward, which was dead upon the
and had we been half an hour later in getting the ship off, no doubt we should have been lost; or had the gale commenced half an hour sooner, whilst the ship was on the shore.
“May I ever be grateful to God for his goodness and mercy towards me, in this and many other acts of kind, Providence towards me.
“ Yours truly, J. U. Ship E. of Newcastle." Capt. Prynn.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A BETHEL ? MR. EDITOR,—From the meetings which are held in many places of worship, termed “Bethels,” in which landsmen
are almost exclusively engaged, I ain induced to offer a few remarks upon the above query.
A Bethel-the house of God—is emphatically the sailors' spiritual home; an idea which it is well to hold out to them, to encourage their attendance under the Bethel Flag whenever it is hoisted, whether on board or on shore. But in this he finds a mode of worship that is congenial with his own views. Pious seamen, if they can be foundand now they are seldom wanting in our Bethels -- should conduct, in a great measure, their own worship; and nothing can exceed the interest which such services excite in general, where as many pious seamen as time will allow pour out their simple, fervent, and characteristic supplications before the Throne of Grace, relieved by a verse or two of a suitable hymn; and the minister, if one be present, delivers a short discourse to illustrate and apply a portion of Divine truth. On such occasions, I have found in my own mind that the God of Bethel was there; and I feel confident, that attendance at such services would be a rich treat to many Christian landsmen, and would call forth their sympathy with sailors, and act as an impetus to their increased exertion in favour of the Bethel cause.
J. C. P. S. I am now going to attend a Bethel meeting at Bideford, at the request of the Rev. J. Edwards. There is a growing spirit of Christian sympathy and benevolence there, in behalf of sailors. I have no doubt we shall have an interesting service.
SINGING THE PRAISES OF GOD AT SEA. A few days ago a pious captain, who takes a deep interest in the spiritual welfare of sailors, informed me of the following pleasing circumstance. "A few evenings ago," said he, “whilst lying at anchor, stopping tide in the Swin, the evening being fine and serene, the winds hushed into a calm, and not a ripple to be seen on the surface of the water, the sun just descending into the evening shades, whilst pacing the deck after having sung the praises of God, and offered up our evening sacrifice of prayer and supplication to the God of all our mercies, myself and crew were most pleasingly surprised at the voice of praise loudly and harmoniously sounding from the lips of the crew of a brig that was at that time driving by the tide
near our ship. The hymn they sung was a most delightful one, and the chorus was most cheering.
Press forward, press forward, the prize is in view,
A crown of bright glory is waiting for you.' As soon as they had finished, we immediately commenced singing, ‘Come, ye that love the Lord, and let your joys be known,' &c. These songs of Zion had a most delightful effect upon the water, and the pleasantness of the evening gave a lustre to the scene.
“I have often had my soul much refreshed in singing the praises of God on the deck of my ship at midnight, when crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, under the broad canopy of heaven.”
EVERY friend to the immortal interests of seamen will sympathize with our brethren in America, especially under their temporary embarrassments in the sailors' cause. We feel assured that their difficulties are only temporary; and therefore, while they are aided by the Committee of the
British and Foreign Sailors' Society, we pray for their prosperity, and the supply of the Spirit of Christ.
APPEAL OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN SEAMEN'S FRIEND SOCIETY,
The important question, Shall we strike the Bethel Flag ? must very soon be settled by the churches and by the Christian community in our land.
mmunity in our land. The American Seamen's Friend Society has been struggling onward nearly ten years, never fully sustained, and at some times left in distressing difficulty. The Executive Committee have made known the wants of the Society, by preaching in the churches where the door was opened, by sending agents through the land, by issuing circulars, and by appeals in the public papers. Still their wants have been unsupplied. In making up their accounts for the year just closed, it is found that the receipts have fallen off to a very large amount compared with the former year, while more than four thousand dollars was due to the Treasurer on the current account. "On making an estimate of the
amount necessary to be raised to meet the expenses of the coming year, it is found that at least sixteen thousand dollars must be realized ; and when we consider that not much more than half that sum was raised last year, and that too with agents constantly in the field, have we any reason to believe, that, with the present difficulties in the country, and the unexampled revulsion of all mercantile affairs, we can raise double the money that we did last year? The case has seemed to the Executive Committee a plain one, and they felt themselves called on at once to reduce their expenses. They have accordingly selected those points where the recal of a chaplain would be attended with the least evil, or where the work could be taken up again with the most readiness. Canton was now. destitute of a chaplain, and is therefore discontinued as one of our stations for the present. The chaplains at Rio Janeiro and Marseilles are recalled, those efforts having but just commenced, and nothing permanent done. Smyrna is also struck from our list, there being many missionary brethren at that place, who, it is hoped, will pay some attention to the sailors. Some aid allowed to Calcutta will also be withheld after the present year. The plan for building a mariners' church in New Orleans is postponed, and a negotiation is on foot with the friends of the cause there, respecting the farther employment of a chaplain at that place under present circumstances. Perhaps it may be thought this is hasty, and that we should have made known our situation before acting in this summary way. We
answer, that we have published our wants to the people repeatedly, but have received no adequate response, generally, in the country. As the almoners of public bounty,
we feel bound to expend no more than the benefactions of the people place at our disposal ; and when these resources fail, we must of course reduce our operations. The Committee have in this brief manner made a frank disclosure of their proceedings at this trying juncture in their affairs, and the reasons on which those proceedings were founded. We shall rejoice again to open the chapels where they are now closed, and to increase our labours to an extent far greater than we have ever yet proceeded, as soon as there is any fair prospect that we shall be sustained. We are persuaded that a very little exertion, if all the churches would make that exertion, would abundantly suffice to supply the wants of our so