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Blackwall and Poplar Station.-Rev. J. Upton writes, “The pleasure of preaching on board is far greater than that of reporting what has been done; but as the time is come for a Monthly Report, permit me to say that the last grant of Bibles and Tracts was peculiarly seasonable. A Bible given last Lord's day was most gratefully received. I have also had a pleasant interview with a sailor, to whom I gave a Bible a long time ago: he thought of Poplar when in a far distant land, and a curious foreign plant, now in my garden, will I hope lead me sometimes to think of him. The cook of an East Indiaman, just returned from Calcutta, has just brought me a most interesting communication from a Missionary, with various documents, some of which convey much cheering information relative to the progress of the Temperance cause in India. I mention this, because I conceive the Temperance cause is nearly allied to our own.
“ I shall be glad of some Loan Libraries : I have not one box left, and expect in a short time to want several. The services on board now proceed as usual ; and it is somewhat singular, that immediately after the communication 1 made to the Committee, stating that we had no ships at Blackwall, a considerable number arrived. Last Lord's day the Sailors' Chapel was supplied by two of our members, who are occasional preachers."
Mr. Saxby reports, “ The visitation of ships lying in the West India Docks seems likely to be productive of much good. Hitherto my visits have been very kindly received. Three of the Loan Libraries have been received on board different vessels during the past month; and I have visited and supplied with Tracts the Highbury, Posthumous, Eclipse, Elizabeth, Marquis Chandos, Alfred and William, Water Lily, and Alfred. On one occasion I met with a very short reply from the mate, who said,
Sailors had something else to do beside reading on Sundays : it would not do for sailors to be religious, they must be men who fear neither God nor devil, or they would not be fit to face so many dangers.' I endeavoured, however, to show him that it was not likely such persons could meet dangers undismayed; and appealed to his own judgment, whether he did not think that the man who really feared God, and delighted to contemplate him as his Father, and to recollect that he who holds the winds in his fist, and the waters in the hollow of his hand, was his friend, and that therefore he was secure amidst the greatest dangers, was not likely to manifest more courage than
such men as he referred to ? He at once admitted, that could we find men who were influenced by such principles, there could be no doubt of their being the best men; and after some further conversation I put into his hands a parcel of Tracts, for which he thanked me, and we separated. I have also had some interesting conversation with an individual on the coast-guard station, who bore very encouraging testimony to the usefulness of the Library sent to the station. The books are read with great interest, and are very much valued by the men. Last Lord's day morning I preached at the Sailors' Chapel, Bell Wharf: it was indeed a most interesting and delightful sight to witness so many seamen collected together to hear the words of eternal life. I think I never saw a more attentive congregation, and it might be said truly, 'The Lord was there. The visitation of ships at Blackwall continues as usual; and I can only say that the services I have had the pleasure of conducting have been exceedingly interesting.”
First Thames Station.—Rev. W. Benson writes, “ Dur. ing the past month I have, on one hand, had an opportunity of observing the perverseness of the human heart in determinations not to yield even to importunate and earnest entreaties to attend the means of grace, and have had many frivolous excuses given to avoid an attention to the things of God. I have met with less who love the Saviour (this month) than on any former occasion, and have not had an opportunity of hearing one seaman call upon God in public prayer, a circumstance of rare occur
O God, send out thy light and thy truth! “ But on the other hand I have been a little encouraged, when in conversation with a few. I have found apparently some good thing toward the Lord God of salvation; they have expressed their happiness in being favoured with such privileges, and have shown a readiness to attend.
“ I found one young man waiting my arrival, and very active in soliciting others to attend the means of grace, but I could not persuade him to assist by publicly praying; he said he was fearful, but that he sought the Lord in secret, and found him a faithful God.
“I have also had an opportunity of dedicating to the service of God, a vessel, launched the early part of this year, and performed but one voyage. The captain who has taken the command is, I trust, in earnest about the things which make for his salvation; and although he has
not yet, I think, openly declared himself a disciple of the Saviour, I believe him to be sincerely in favour of the good cause for the evangelization of seamen. The marked pleasure with which I was received on board his vessel, gave me a good hope of his character; nor can I forget the attention paid to my address, by his men; it yielded to my soul some satisfaction and belief that the service conducted on board this new Bethel ship would prove an especial benefit both to captain and men. May all vessels be dedicated to God, and the crews devoted to his service. I have preached once this month at the Sailors' Chapel, where there appeared a goodly number, and great attention.”
Second Thames Station.-Mr. Joyce reported, that very few sailors had attended the ship-meetings during the last month, in this station; but that he had had great satisfaction in meeting several of his old friends (pious captains) from the North, at the Sailors' Chapel, Lower Shadwell; two of whom had become recognized and useful preachers of the Gospel both in British and foreign ports.
That he had preached to a larger number than usual of unhappy inmates of the Maritime Female Refuge, Hackney Road, where he learned that several had given satisfactory evidence of repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; and also that he had felt great pleasure in visiting the Maritime Female Orphan Home in Great Prescott Street, Goodman's Fields, where twenty daughters of deceased sailors are receiving a beneficial education, besides board and clothing.
Third Thames Station.-Rev. J. T. Rowland reports having held four most pleasing meetings on this part of the Thames. On one evening, when unable to attend on the river himself, because of indisposition, Mr. Williams, an Agent of the City Mission, attended for him, and preached with much acceptance to about forty-five Welsh sailors, who were present to hear the Gospel that evening.
This Agent had the pleasure of holding three of the above meetings on board the Victory, Capt. Evans. This pious and excellent master continues to be zealous and laborious in promoting the best interests of his brother seamen ; preaching the word; being instant in season, out of season,” &c.
Two hundred and thirty-nine sailors attended the ministry of this Agent during the last month. May the Lord send prosperity!
Fourth Thames Station.– Mr. J. L. Abbott reports, “ The meetings during the past month have been well attended both by captains and men; the former have repeatedly expressed their gratitude for our attention, also of the value and necessity of such meetings.
“ Your Agent hopes that there is a spirit of hearing among the men generally. On one occasion, when the men in two of the vessels in the tier were at work, we yet had the cabin, steerage, and state-room crowded, besides ten on deck listening to words whereby they might be saved.
On another occasion the men, in consequence of having to work late, postponed their supper till after the service. We seldom hold a meeting without the presence of several captains.
“ One captain, whose vessel we had for the first time, wondered why we had overlooked him so long: at the close of an interesting service he thus expressed himself— I feel greatly indebted for this act of kindness : I shall be happy to see your flag flying at my mast-head as often as
“ Three new ships during the month."
Mr. Edwards reports, “Our meetings have been well attended on this station during the past month : great attention has been paid to the truths delivered by the seamen present; and many have been the thanks presented unto us, with expressions of desire to see us again.
“ Several masters of ships have expressed their grief at seeing how the Sabbath is polluted by the overwhelming numbers of the breakers of that holy day on board the steamers, together with the improper tunes played by musicians on board them. They declare they never saw the Sabbath more awfully broken, nor the commands of God less attended to in heathen lands, than is the case on the river Thames, which they consider a great disgrace to those in authority. They lament this neglect of duty; and hope the time is not far distant when those who enact laws, and such as can enforce them, will be careful to see them put in execution.”
Fifth Thames Station.—Mr. Maddox reports, “ The meetings on this station have not been void of interest, though, in some instances, we could have wished to have had a better attendance. The numbers of praying masters and men have not been equal to some former months, through the scarcity of ships in the Pool. I have been rather more encouraged than formerly by the application of watermen for tracts; some of whom have followed me,
soliciting books for themselves and children. I have had service on board two new vessels during the past month. It is a pleasing circumstance that the number of Bethel ships is constantly on the increase, not a month passes without our adding one or more to the list. The tracts are invariably well, and even eagerly, received. I am sorry to say, the other evening I was compelled to preach without a Bible, there being none on board. This is a circumstance of rare occurrence in the Lower Pool. I hope the Thames Missionary will supply them with a copy of the Divine Word. As a proof of the necessity there is for our labours, I will mention one circumstance. The other evening, as I was being rowed to the shore by the lads of the ship, one of them observed me to shiver rather with cold. The fact was, I had just left a very hot cabin, which had been well filled, and the evening being wet, and the wind blowing cold, I felt very chilly. A lad said, “You would not have done to have been with me, Sir, last winter in Greenland. We lost twenty-nine hands out of the crew by death. Though I had often six pair of mittens on, yet I could hardly tell whether I had fingers or not.' One of the men, he said, used to read prayers, but the master was a very wicked man. How awful !”
Mr. Edwards.-" The meetings on this station have not been numerously attended, yet they were of an encouraging nature.
“ The mate of a ship referred to in my last report, who had been disappointed of holding a meeting after hoisting the flag two voyages following, welcomed me on board his ship, by saying, 'I am happy to see you, Sir. I was very doubtful we should have been deprived of a service again, having but just left off work : however, I am glad you are come, and I hope we shall have a good meeting.' There was a goodly number present, and we found it a Bethel indeed, the house of God to our souls !
“ One new Bethel ship.”
Mr. Waldon reports, “ I have held ten meetings since my last report, the most of which have been well attended. I am happy to inform you also, the voice of prayer and praise has ascended from the cabins of several new ships, to Him who holds the winds in his fist, and the waters in the hollow of his hand.
“On one evening, a young sailor, before I closed the service, rose and addressed his brethren in the following pathetic and striking manner: ‘Brethren, I have something to say unto you. There is no time to lose : if you