Page images

would seek the salvation of your souls, you ought to go about it directly. It is a great mercy we are provided with the means of grace, and it is a great mercy that we are here to-night to hear the Gospel of the grace of God. But it is so especially as it respects myself: (here the tear of gratitude fell from his glistening eyes while he added) this morning I had a very narrow escape from being drowned. I was sent into a barge to bring her alongside, my foot slipped, and I fell overboard, and was drawn under her bottom; but even then I was praying to God, and thought of his goodness and mercy to me. And therefore, it is through his mercy I have been again permitted to be with you this evening.' I need not say this produced a wonderful feeling upon all present.

"On leaving the ship on another evening, a young man observed, 'These are delightful meetings, Sir; it is very kind of you to take all this trouble with us sailors.' Your agent in reply said, 'We do not think it any trouble, but a privilege in aiming to do you good; but I am very happy to find from your remarks you have got good in attending such meetings.' 'Good! ah, Sir, I wish every sailor would attend them, and they would soon fall out with the devil.' 'Then I take it for granted you have left his service.' "O yes, I do not mean to have any thing more to do with him.' 'But,' I said, 'what might have been the real ground of difference.' Why, Sir, the old fellow is such a hard master, that I got quite tired of his drudgery; and besides his wages were so bad, that I was determined to leave him.' 'But, brother, you must know he will not leave you.' 'I know that, Sir; but you may be sure I shall keep a good look out, and shall always for the future give him a wide berth.' I told him I had been an old sailor. 'Yes, Sir, I know that, and you have the best captain you ever had, and the best wages. Only keep on this tack and you will do, and bring as many sailors as you can on the same. Good night.'

[ocr errors]

"At the close of another meeting, the mate informed your agent of an awful event which happened on board their ship as they were coming out of the port of Sunderland, of a smart young man who had been only one hour on board, who was in the act of getting the anchor over the gunwale; his foot slipped and he fell overboard, and rose no more; he was in a state of intoxication!"

Sixth Thames Station.-Captain Prynn reports, "That he has held ten meetings on this station during the past month, the whole of which have been more than usually

well attended by sailors, averaging upwards of thirty-five at each meeting. Many of our pious, praying sailors have been present to unite their devotion with ours. Several having returned from foreign voyages, viz., the Baltic and America, I have had much conversation with them, being gratified with the accounts received from many of them as to the work of the Lord going on in various places abroad amongst sailors.

"There is an evident increase of pious captains in the North American and Baltic trades. Prayer, I am happy to hear, is introduced, and at all convenient times strictly attended to on board of many more ships than heretofore. Temperance also seems to be gaining ground amongst our sailors visiting the shores of America; which will no doubt open a way for the spread of the Gospel, and facilitate the measures now taking for the evangelization of our seafaring population. More captains have been found this month, than heretofore, desirous of hoisting the Bethel flag on this station.

Seventh Thames Station.-Greenwich and Deptford have been visited twice; religious tracts distributed, and eightyfour vessels visited; two addresses given to about eightynine sailors and others. These meetings having been held on board of ships where meetings had never been held before, created a deep interest, and I trust much good was done. Many Norwegians, Danes, and Dutch, who understood English, were present, and after the services received tracts in their own language, which were thankfully accepted. I intend to continue my visits amongst those ships at Limehouse-hole, and at the Commercial Dock.

Visitation of Shipping.—I have visited Gravesend twice this month; gave addresses on board of two ships to the crews, passengers, &c., viz. the ship Aide-de-Camp, Capt. Parnell, bound to St. John's, N. B., and the brig William Hutt, Capt. Fleming, bound to the new colony of South Australia, boxes of books and supplies of tracts having been furnished to those vessels previously to their leaving the Docks. The Britannia, bound to Vera Paz, Central America, was also visited at Gravesend; but on account of the ship having been on shore, no service could be held on board at that time. The meetings held on board of ships previously to their leaving Gravesend, I have no doubt have a tendency to do much good. Two applications were made by letter to the captain of the Coromandel, for leave to address the ship's company and passengers whilst lying at Blackwall, previously to their sailing for

South Australia, but I could not be permitted; however, a Loan Library and supplies of Tracts were placed on board this ship, which I hope may be blessed. Having distributed 2000 Tracts among the vessels from London Bridge to the lower tier of colliers on either side the river, I visited 489 ships in the London and St. Katherine Docks, and in the canals 179 vessels have been visited. Much more time than usual has been spent in conversation with sailors on the important truths of the Gospel, and I find those interviews very beneficial.


Sailors' Chapel.-The attendance at the Sailors' Chapel is very cheering on Sabbath days: on one occasion there were 110 sailors present, and on the evenings of Monday and Thursday there are more sailors attend than usual. At one of the week evening services our esteemed friend, Capt. C. W., of the F-, commenced by prayer, and reading the Scriptures: Capt. S., of the P-, gave an address on the importance and benefits of prayer. pious sailor, who has long been a local preacher in the Wesleyan connection, gave another address, urging his brother sailors to renewed diligence in the things relative to their salvation: Capt. H., of the R— and A—, closed in solemn earnest prayer. The whole of this service was attended with seriousness and solemnity. At the close of this evening service a sailor, whom I have known some time, and have observed to attend the Sailors' Chapel, applied to me for admittance as a member. He is to be proposed next Sabbath day.

Loan Libraries.-Four Loan Libraries have been furnished this month to vessels going to the new colony of South Australia, Vera Paz, and St. John's, N. B. On board those ships about 5000 Tracts have been sent out for distribution amongst the colonists and others, and trust they will be made a blessing.

Navigation Class.-As the winter months are approaching, when the seafaring youths and men wishing to obtain a knowledge of this important and necessary art, have more time during the evenings than in the summer months, their attention is called to the vestry of the Sailors' Chapel, Shadwell, on Friday evenings, from six to eight o'clock, where all the various branches of this art, together with lunars and time-keeping, are taught gratuitously by Capt. Prynn, Thames Missionary. Captains of ships are requested to encourage their lads, wishing to obtain this knowledge, to attend on those occasions.

N. B. Inquire for No. 17, Dean Street, Shadwell.

[ocr errors]

Temperance Meetings. The monthly Temperance Meeting, held on the third Monday in every month, at the Sailors' Chapel, was well attended, and excited much interest. Messrs. Roberts, Dunn, and others, spoke very fully on the benefits of Temperance. On this occasion the Temperance Flag was displayed, for the first time. Twentyfour signatures were obtained. It has since been hoisted, on a similar occasion, at the Destitute Sailors' Asylum, Well Street.

PROVINCIAL AGENTS.-NEW SAILOR'S CHAPEL, BELFAST. Divine Providence is manifestly crowning with an. efficient blessing the various Provincial Agencies of the Society, and their reports are delightfully encouraging. Brief extracts only from these can here be given.

Belfast. This important port is witnessing worthy efforts to promote the spiritual interests of seamen, and Mr. Wyvil, the Society's Agent, is labouring with great acceptance and success.

T. Sinclair, Esq. Secretary to the Belfast Seaman's Friend Society, in a recent letter, says, "Our chapel is going on prosperously; it is slated, and we hope to have it opened about the first of the New Year. We intend connecting with it both daily and Sabbath schools; so that the expenses of the building will be considerably greater than we at first anticipated; 5007. is the utmost we can raise, and we shall require nearly 10007.

"Mr. Wyvil continues to give satisfaction to the committee, as also to the sailors who wait on his ministry. Until the chapel is ready for public worship, the people assemble in a loft, kindly given by a friend for the Society. The following are extracts from Mr. Wyvil's journal.

66 -, Preached in the Bethel-room in the morning and evening; the evening service was so crowded that some seamen were standing on the ladder, and others in the yard.


Set apart two rooms in my own house for holding week-night services. Many seamen present, who listened with deep attention.


—, Had a delightful meeting in my own house; a good attendance, and a sailor prayed; and a master of a vessel gave an address, with some interesting accounts. After the meeting was over, several seamen and their wives remained for religious conversation. One elderly man seemed deeply interested with what he had heard, acknowledged the many mercies which God had bestowed

upon him, and what a sinner he had been; he said also, he hoped to have more conversation with me before he went to sea, and how glad he was that a Bethel cause was established at Belfast.

[ocr errors]

Preached in a seaman's house, where many seamen and their wives attended; after preaching, had some conversation with the sailors; one in particular, whom I have observed as a constant attendant at the Bethel meetings, said, that under God he had received more scriptural knowledge in the last few weeks, than in all the former part of his life, and regretted very much they were going to leave so soon.'"

[ocr errors]

Preached at Carrickfergus to a great number of seamen, pilots, and watermen, and distributed Tracts among them.


-, Preached on board ship the Olonu, the captain and crew, with many seamen, were present, who all paid deep attention. After the meeting was over, they expressed their thankfulness, and the owner said that the ship was at my service while in port.


--, Preached on a ship's deck: about 200 seamen and 100 landsmen present. Visited amongst the shipping: conversed with the seamen, and distributed Tracts."

Except two days in the week his time is devoted to distributing Tracts, and when it is practicable entering into conversation with the seamen, and inviting them to attend prayer-meetings and public worship.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »