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Besides that some of the number were stationed on every yard in the ship- the mizenmast, from the deck to the truck, was entirely managed in the sails and rigging by the midshipmen, who were not such dandies as to despise the tar-bucket, or even volunteering the laborious task of working the oars of one of the boats in the harbour. They were all emulous to leave nothing undone to make themselves practical seamen, and they all found the advantage of such examples as they had then before them many years afterwards, at the breaking out of the revolutionary war.
“ In the course of this year we visited every harbour, nook, and corner, on the east coast of Newfoundland that the ship could be squeezed into; and the seamanship displayed by the captain in working the ship in some most difficult cases was not lost upon the officers and crew. With respect to his personal activity, I have often heard the most active seamen, when doubting the possibility of doing what he ordered to be done, finish by saying, 'Well, he never orders us to do what he won't do himself;' and they often remarked, “ Blow high, blow low, he knows to an inch what the ship can do, and he can almost make her speak.'
" In 1787 we returned to our station at Newfoundland. The summers were then very hot, and on the birth day of good old king George the Third, the 4th June, the ship's company obtained permission to bathe. The ship was at anchor in John's harbour, and the captain had prepared himself for the public dinner at the governor's, by dressing in his full uniform, and mounted the deck to step int his barge, which was ready to take him ashore.
The gambols and antics of the men in the water caught his attention, and he stepped on one of the guns to look at them. A lad, a servant of one of the officers, who was standing on the ship’s side, near to him, said, “I'll have a good swim byand-by too. The sooner the better,' said the captain, and tipped him into the water. He saw in an instant that the lad could not swim, and quick as thought he dashed overboard in his full-dress uniform, with a rope in his hand, which he made fast to the lad, who was soon on board again without any injury, though a little frightened, but which did not prevent his soon enjoying the ludicrous finish of the captain's frolic. The lad's boasting expression gave an idea that he was a good swimmer; and I believe if ever the captain was frightened, it was when he saw the struggles in the water; but his self-possession and activity did not forsake him, and no one enjoyed the laugh against himself more than he did when the danger was over.
Life of Admiral Exmouth, by E. Ostler.
A MOTHER'S PRAYER ANSWERED IN THE
CONVERSION OF HER SON, A SAILOR.
Prayer being the ordinance of God, for the relief of his people in trouble, is frequently answered in a manner which brings immortal blessings to guilty men, and peculiar glory to his holy name. Parents have frequently the most delightful reasons to rejoice in their God, as the hearer and answerer of prayer; and the record of mercies in this respect cannot fail to be highly instructive. The following circumstances were mentioned a short time ago at a Bethel Meeting, by one of the preachers to sailors, and I cannot but think that their publication will richly repay me the trouble of writing them, and contribute to the instructiveness of your interesting Pilot.
The first particular mentioned, was the fact of his going to sea during the last war, in a vessel of the royal navy, when he was cook of the mess. One day, while sitting over his
grog in a state of intoxication, on a Sabbath daybut such was the state of his mind," fearing not God, nor regarding man”—he began singing a profane song ; when one of his brother seamen, a notoriously wicked man, calling him by name, exclaimed, “What, are you a heathen, don't you remember it is Sunday?” This reproof, although administered by a wicked character, he said, stuck fast to him, so that he never did the like again.
The second circumstance was, that as he was descending a ladder one day to his birth, he made use of the following words in a thoughtless manner, “ by the Holy Ghost;" when another of his companions, who was nearly if not quite as wicked as the other, placing his hand on his shoulder, said, “ What, are you become one of the Holy Ghost men ?" This filled him with horror, having been brought up under religious parents, particularly his mother, who was following him with her prayers, that the Lord might make him a new creature in Christ Jesus.
The third circumstance he mentioned was a very remarkable one. Before they left England, he said, some
religious tracts were distributed among them, which they put on a shelf between decks, with their
and fortunetelling books, &c.
One day as they were at sea, not knowing how to pass away his time, he thought of the books, and on going to look for them on the shelf, was much disappointed to find that the mice had destroyed all their song and other trifling books, while not one of the tracts were in the least defaced. The inference they drew from it was, he said, that the mice were more religious than they.
His mother, during his absence, was earnestly and constantly entreating the Lord by her fervent supplications, that he would in his own good time return him to her embrace; and if consistent with his holy will implant his grace in his heart, that he might become a member with her of the same Christian church. The Lord mercifully heard her prayers and granted her requests. Not only so, but a few years after his return he was invited by the pastor and church to exercise his abilities before them, preparatory to the ministry. The first time he thus officiated, she (his mother) being near-sighted, and not recognizing his voice, said to a person sitting by her side, Who is that gentleman we have had to-day? conceiving it to be some one from America. On being informed, she was almost overcome, and said she would go and speak to her minister about it. She accordingly went and said to him, Sir, how came you to put my son up there? (meaning the pulpit), the reply was, Because he ought to be there. She answered, I always prayed he might be a Christian, but never, as I remember, that he might be a minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus the Lord was pleased to exceed her requests. What an encouragement for parents to follow her example. She had daily solicited the Divine mercy on behalf of her prodigal son, the Lord mercifully heard her earnest and persevering supplications, and by his kind providence brought him home to her dwelling, and by his sovereign grace made him a member of the church militant, and a preacher of the truth as it is in Jesus, which truth he is now frequently dispensing among his brother sailors, faithfully warning them to flee from the wrath to come.
REV. ROWLAND HILL AND THE SAILORS. In the early period of Mr. Hill's ministry, and when visiting one of our seaport towns, where he attempted to preach in the open air, he was so interrupted by noise and missiles, that it was impossible for a time to proceed. He was on horseback, and his footman with him. Instead of attempting to preach, he had recourse to an innocent stratagem. Addressing himself to the people, he said,
My lads, I have no right over you; if you do not choose to hear ine, I have no authority to force your attention ; but I have travelled some miles for the sake of doing or receiving good; I have, therefore, a proposal to make to you. I always did admire British sailors. I see here some able. bodied seamen : some of you, no doubt, have seen a great deal of service, and been in many a storm, and some in dangerous shipwrecks. Now, as I am very fond of hearing the adventures of seamen, my proposal is, that some of you, and as many as you please in turn, shall stand up and tell us what you have seen and suffered, and what dangers you have escaped ; and I will sit and hear you out, upon this condition, that you agree to hear me afterwards." This proposal made many of them laugh heartily, they said one to another, you
stand up, and give us a lecture.” One called upon a talkative sailor by name, “ 1 say, Harry, do you give him a lecture;" which produced a loud burst of laughter through the whole crowd ; and Mr. Hill, to keep them in good humour, laughed with them. After waiting some time, Mr. Hill said, “Will none of you take my proposal ?" None being disposed to do so, he said, “I am a clergyman; I came, not long since, from the University of Cambridge. If you had heard me, I should have told you nothing but what is in the Bible or Prayer Book. I will tell you what I intended to say to you, if you had heard me quietly.” And then beginning with a declaration of the grace and compassion of Christ in dying to save all penitent sinners, he led them to the consideration of the thief on the cross; and then to the character and circumstances of the prodigal son, and the compassion of his father. His description of what he meant to have said was so interesting and affecting, that he rivetted their attention, and produced an evident change in their disposition towards him. While he was speaking they drew gradually nearer, hanging, as is the
practice of sailors when standing in a crowd, upon each other's shoulders. In this position they listened, with almost deathlike silence, till he had finished telling them what he should have said, if they had been willing to hear him. He then took off his hat, made them a bow, and thanked them for their civilities. Most of them took off their hats, and gave him three cheers : several of them vociferated, “When will you come again, Sir ?” And one man, who seemed like the champion of the whole, approached Mr. Hill, and said, “ If you will come again, Sir, I say no one shall hurt a hair of your head, if I am on shore. Mr. Hill promised that he would visit them again, as soon as other engagements would permit. There are now, in that town and neighbourhood, several places of worship; and it is as quiet and orderly a seaport as any in the kingdom.
IMPORTANCE OF EVANGELIZING SEAMEN. The Testimony given by the Rev. Andrew Lothian, of Portsburgh, in the Preface to the
“CHRISTIAN PATRIOT AND SEAMAN'S FRIEND." “ Of all the excellent institutions which have sprung up in the course of the latter years within the bounds of the United Kingdom, for the purpose of improving the religious and moral, the civil and political condition of our trymen, and of mankind, I regard the “ Seaman's Friend Societies” as one of the most patriotic and promising. While such societies adopt all that is benevolent and liberal in the objects and regulations of other beneficent institutions, they enjoy the great honour and happiness of taking under their peculiar care a very numerous and deserving—a very generous and influential—but too much, and too long neglected portion of our population.
“ If Britain has become great, and her power, as it were, paramount among the nations of Europe, and of the world—if the sun be always rising on one part of her empire as he is setting on another, it is known and it will readily be acknowledged, that she owes these pre-eminent advantages, in a great measure, to that very large and interesting part of her population who are employed on the waters in the service and trade of their country, who lay the land, the labour, and the capital of the world, under peaceful contribution to her wealth and power, her