Page images

1836.] Visit to a Coast Guard Station near Brighton. 159 She seemed to be ashamed of her own weakness, and unwilling to lay down her arms of rebellion."

The atheistical principles of this lady may teach us how awful is the condition of those, who, with the light of nature, of reason, and the still purer light of Christianity, deny the authority of Him, before whose bar we must all appear to answer for the belief of the heart as for the "deeds done in the body, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" and when "the loftiness of man shall be brought down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.”— Isaiah ii, 17; Prov. xv, 26.


MR. EDITOR,-Busily occupied as you have recently been in providing the Coast Guard with their valuable libraries, some notes of a visit which I paid to Rock Cliff Station of that service, on the 24th of last November, cannot but afford you sincere pleasure.

On my approaching the Station about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, I saw a fine, athletic, middle-aged man, little short of six feet high, on the watch over the sea, and soon entered into free conversation with him. His civility inspired me with respect for his character; and on inquiring concerning the Library, which I presumed had been received, a glow of satisfaction beamed in his weather-beaten countenance, and his language assumed the tone of joyful piety, while he expressed his heartfelt obligations to those benevolent persons who had supplied so valuable and suitable a collection of the choicest religious and entertaining books.

Further conversation led me to think highly of the piety of this man; and I learned some particulars of his eventful history-that he was a native of the Isle of Wight, and brought up to the service of the sea;-that he had not been a very long time on that station, but that, about twelve months previously to this interview, his mind had been enlightened by the truth, and that he had been led to embrace and prize the doctrine of eternal life, and rejoice in the salvation of Jesus Christ. This inestimable favour, for which he professed he had reason to bless God

160 Visit to a Coast Guard Station near Brighton. [MAY, that ever he came to the neighbourhood of Brighton, he gained by the preaching of the Gospel in one of the cottages of the station, which was visited several times a week for that purpose by the servants of God of different denominations.

Among those who had laboured in this humble ministry, this good man mentioned the name of Rev. Spencer R. Drummond; and another clergyman of the established church, Rev. Mr. Carr, who was then a guest of T. West, Esq., a banker of Brighton, and who resides at Kemp Town. I visited the 'Station House, and saw Lieutenant Rawston, the commanding officer, who very politely showed me his record of the numerous loans of books from the Library to the men and their families; and expressed himself truly grateful for such a supply of books, so judiciously selected and admirably adapted for those whose benefit was contemplated by their instructive con


Before I left this interesting station, I paid a visit to the cottages of the men, to learn the condition of their families. I saw three of their wives, and some of their healthy children; and learnt from the good women the high estimation in which they held the Library, and how they appreciated the privilege which they enjoyed in having the use of the books. One of them, in reply to the inquiry what volume she had on loan at the present time, replied, "Abbott's Mother at Home." Many gratifying particulars also I learnt from the women respecting the preaching of the Gospel at the Station; and on my taking leave of them, they ran some distance to entreat me to come some day and give them a sermon.

On Wednesday morning I had the pleasure of spending an hour with Mr. West at his house, and of uniting in morning worship with the family. Rev. Mr. Carr was present, and officiated as the chaplain. He read and judiciously expounded part of a chapter in the book of Job; and offered up extemporaneously a very appropriate and edifying prayer for all assembled, and for the whole church of God. From the true spirit of devotion, and the richly evangelical sentiments that breathed in his prayer, I could not wonder at the respectful and grateful manner in which the Coast Guard people spoke of that edifying preacher, and of his condescending kindness in carrying to them the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Mrs. West bore her generous testimony to the manner in

1836.] Prize Essay on the Moral Condition of Sailors. 161 which the Coast Guard and their families at this station' listened to the preachers, and profited by their instructions. Among other delightful circumstances which she mentioned, illustrative of the increase of religion among the Guard, was the case of one of the crew leaving that station for another in Cornwall. His family having be-come very large, and his wife being a native of that county, he desired to remove thither on account of her relations, and the greater cheapness of provisions. Such removals are considerately permitted by Government; and in this instance the family was not allowed to depart without a special religious meeting, to commend each other to the care and blessing of God. This meeting was held in the former part of the day of separation; and the families having united in a common social breakfast, they read suitable portions of the Scriptures, and then solemnly implored the presence and benediction of God on themselves and families when far separated from each other in distant parts of the kingdom.

Reflections of various kinds arise in my mind while reviewing what has here been written; but my limits forbid enlargement. I cannot, however, refrain from saying, how transforming the power of the Gospel even upon the minds of our hardy mariners! How admirably adapted is the doctrine of Christ to produce that transformation ! How greatly should those be encouraged, who are labouring to improve the characters of our countrymen! And how elevated and happy must be that country, whose population generally, and especially its mariners, shall enjoy and adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour!


Correspondence and Proceedings of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society.


ENCOURAGED by the success with which God has graciously crowned the various agencies of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, and impressed with the magnitude of their undertaking, several gentlemen of the Committee have originated a subscription to offer a premium of FIFTY POUNDS for the best essay on the Moral Claims

of the Seamen of Great Britain. The following is the proposed title: "AN ESSAY: THE MORAL CLAIMS OF SAILORS STATED AND ENFORCED, embodying the present condition of the seafaring population, and the duty of the public in general, and all Christians in particular, to promote their moral and religious improvement, and the best means by which this may be accomplished."

The Essay is intended to be about sixty or eighty pages small octavo, and the gentlemen who are proposed to be the examiners of the manuscripts are the following:Hon. and Rev. W. B. Noel, M.A.; Rev. John Clayton, M.A.; Rev. W. H. Murch, of Stepney College; Rev. W. Bunting.

Candidates must send their manuscripts to the office of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, on or before August 1, 1836, and the decision will be announced on the 1st of November.


ON Wednesday evening, March 23, the Second Anniversary of the above Auxiliary was held at the commodious Subscription School Rooms, Islington. George Frederick Young, Esq., M.P. for Tynemouth, took the chair on the occasion; and although the evening was rainy, the attendance and the Report proved that the cause of evangelizing sailors has awakened the minds of the Christian population of that populous and wealthy village. Rev. T. Watson having offered prayer, Mr. Lewin, the secretary, read the Report, when, besides the respected Chairman, whose intimate knowledge of sailors and their disadvantages, morally considered, qualified him to lay before the assembly their claims upon their countrymen, the meeting was addressed by Rev. C. Gilbert, Mr. Maddox, one of the Society's Agents, Rev. T. Timpson, Rev. T. Watson, Rev. J. Yockney, Lieutenant Norris, R.N., and Captain Allen, R.N.


WOOLWICH has been long distinguished by the liberality of its Christians, who have always been forward to aid the

163 advancement of the Gospel. Arrangements have recently been made to form an Auxiliary to the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, for which purpose a public meeting was held in the Wesleyan Chapel, on Thursday evening, March 24th, Captain Allen, R.N., in the chair. Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Neaton; and the meeting was addressed by Rev. T. James, Rev. T. Timpson, Rev. J. Cox, Rev. E. Davis, Rev. Mr. Neaton, and Captain Jones, R. N.


MANY and generous are the friends of the sailors' cause in Essex, and handsome contributions have been made by several of the churches in that county during the past year to the British and Foreign Sailors' Society. Arrangements have at length been made to form an Auxiliary for the north-east part of the county; and Rev. Dr. Cox preached for the Society, March 27th and 28th, at Dunmow, Hatfield Heath, Harlow, and Sawbridgeworth ; and on Tuesday evening a public meeting was held at Bishops' Stortford, Rev. W. Chaplin in the chair. H. Bromley offered prayer. The meeting, which was very numerous, was addressed by Rev. T. Timpson, Rev. W. Foster, Rev. Dr. Cox, and Rev. T. Pinchbeck; and the following resolutions were passed unanimously.


I. Resolved, That this Meeting, deeply impressed with the condition of our 220,000 merchant seamen, separated in a great degree from the ordinances of Christianity, consider it their duty to aid in some efficient measures for their religious instruction.

II. Resolved, That Rev. W. Chaplin, Rev. H. Bromley, Rev. W. Foster, Rev. T. Pinchbeck, Rev. R. Frost, Rev. H. Tyler, Rev. C. Berry, and Rev. T. Finch, with power to add to their number, be a provisional committee to arrange for the formation of an Association to promote the interests of sailors.

The collection at the close of the meeting amounted to £17.


SOUTHWARK is most deeply indebted to seamen,

and many

of its most wealthy inhabitants are constantly deriving

« PreviousContinue »