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Journal of the Bethel Flag.
willing to go except Jackson, a man of colour, (there were amongst them four coloured men, the steward, and three others,) who still refused. “Come, Jackson, my lad, go with us, we will do you good.” “No, I'll be d- if I go till I have a quid of tobacco!"! Peter, (to a pious sailor) give Jackson a quid of tobacco.” Peter gave him a quid out of his pouch. “ Now Jackson to your word. Come, go with us." “ So I will, master !” The wbole of them went, and remained during the service. After, it was ended in the usual way of shaking hands. “Well, Jackson, did you find it good to be here?” “O, yes! and I'm glad I came ; for I had not been in a place of worship for ten years before !" The chief of them regularly attended Cotton-street chapel and the Stepney meetings, of their own accord without any solicitation, while they continued on shore ; and when they sailed, they requested Tracts to take on board. There was evidently an outward reformation in several of them.
JOURNAL OF THE BETHEL. FLAG.
(Continued from page 96.). Friday, June 14, 1822.--A Bethel meeting was held this evening on board the Scotch brig Trafalgar, Capt. Henderson. Probably sixty persons were present, about forty of whom were seamen. To the people of God it was a season of refreshment; and to all present, apparently, an hour of deep interest and solemnity. The usual exercises of singing, exhortation and prayer. After the meeting, the tracts which were distributed were most gratefully received, and the seamen with great cordiality promised to use all their influence to promote Bethel meetings, and persuade their shipmates to attend. The success which attends these meetings, is only a partial fulfilment of the many precious promises of the Gospel ; and in accordance with what we have a right to expect. It is high time we should look and pray for greater displays of the grace of God in the salvation of seamen than we have ever yet been permitted to witness. The signs of the times clearly demonstrate that the set time to favour Zion is just at hand. Thanks be to God, the happy day is very near when “holiness to the Lord” shall be inscribed on every vessel, and the Bethel fag shall be the best protection of " free trade and sailors' rights,” and the only safeguard against piracy, plunder and death. H. H.
Tuesday, June 25.--Packet ship Com. Perry, Capt. Allen. From 120 to 150 seamen, their wives and others, present. Capt. H. a man in whose heart the work of grace has been deep, was very animated when speaking to his seafaring brethren on their perilous situation, their exposure to sudden death, their temptations from wicked companions, their long indulged habits of drunkenness, profanity, &c. and pointing them to the Lord Jesus Christ, with a tenderness and affection which elicited a hearty amen from all present.
The Committee, before the exercises commence, usually request those who engage in prayer, particularly to commend to a merciful and gracious God, the officers and crew of the ship, that he would give . the winds and the waves commission concerning their safety; that he would make it manifest, by succeeding the owners in the voyage, that He is the hearer of prayer, that He alone maketh rich, and without this, all their scheines will be blasted. “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.”
The conduct of the assembly was such throughout, as to constrain the Committee to thank them for it. Meetings were then announced for Wednesday evening in the Mariners' Church (as usual,) and for Thursday on board the Six Brothers, and the seamen tenderly urged to attend. The Committee distributed tracts, and retired praising God for the pleasing encouragement to perseverance and increased zeal in this labour of love.
Thursday, June 27.--The Bethel Flag was flying all day on board the ship Six Brothers, Capt. E. Williams, and the Signal Lantern in the evening. At 8 o'clock the Committee, with citizens and seamen, assembled on board, and commenced our exercises by singing a Sailor's Hymn. Mr. J.T. who presided, addressed all present who were to take a part in the devotions, either in prayer or exhortation, and urged them to be short, not to exceed six minutes, and not to stray away from the object for which we had assembled, and to pray for the captain, officers and crew of this ship, and all other officers and seamen sailing out of this port, and all parts of the world. The meeting was solemn, and great attention was given by all on board—and on the wharf. Tracts, Reports of the Bethel Union, and some Nos. of the Christian Herald and Seaman's Magazine were distributed. (To be Continued.)
THE SEAMEN'S CAUSE IN CHARLESTON, S. C. The Bethel Union Society in Charleston are making encouraging progress in their exertions to convey the Gospel to seamen. Bethel meetings are held; a more particular account of which will be given in a future number.
The Rev. Reynolds Bascom, in bis report to “the Female Domestic Missionary Society of Charleston, S. C.”gives an interesting detail of his arduous labours among seamen and their families, from which we shall make a few extracts.
Stated public services have been held by Mr. B. and Mr. Warner, at Pearce's Hall, at the Sail Loft, and afterwards at the Mariners' Church, where a respectable assembly has been uniformly collected to hear the word of life. Among the evident indications of the favour of Providence on the benevolent designs of this Society, those “which deserve particular notice are, the opening of the Mariners' Church, the formation of a Bethel Union, and the commencement of a system of family visiting on the plan of the Local System.''
(To be Continued.)
IT For Answers to Correspondents, &c. see Herald
MEMOIRS OF JOHN CHRISTOPHER LEBERECHT.*
(Translated from the German.) My name among the Jews was Abraham Herz. I was born ia Glogau in Silesia, in the year of our Lord 1706. My father, whose name was Moses, was of the tribe of Levi, and had received a liberal education. On the eighth day I was circumcised and called Abrabam. I was brought up in my father's house, till I was eighteen years of age, when both my parents departed this life in one month. My grandfather and the rest of my friends sent me to Prague, in Bohemia, to an uncle there, in order to study at the high synagogue, which is one of the most famous Jewish colleges. Here I prosecuted my studies five years, till 1728. From hence I was sent by the rabbi to Nicholsburg, in Moravia, to serve as a teacher to the children of a wealthy Jew, Moshe Cohon by name, with whom I staid three years. I then came to Presburg in Hungary, to another Jew, by the name of Jacob Rachmetz, and instructed his children also for the space of three years.
He sent me for the same purpose to his brother at Belgrade, near the Turkish boundary, in whose house I spent six years, till 1739.
At that period the city of Belgrade surrendered to the Turks, and myself, together with the whole Jewish family, and about 8000 souls, and among them many Christians, were carried as slaves to the Turkish Castle of Nissa. Here I was purchased by a Turk, whose Aame was Temersche Ole. He had previously bought a young German, a Lutheran, who was among the Belgrade captives, to whom I was now fettered, and led to Serras, in Greece. This Christian, whose name was Neuman, unfortunately for him, was required by the Turk to commit a grievous sin. Unable to gain his point by gentle persuasions, he ordered him to be flogged so unmercifully, that not a sound spot remained on his whole body, being covered all over with wounds and sores. Being his fellow-prisoner, I had to wash his wounds in order to obviate the disgusting smell as much as possible. I likewise had to take great care not to come into contact
* Interesting Memoirs of John CHRISTOPAER LEBERECHT, a Christian Israelite, who fell asleep in Jesus at Konigsburg, in Prussia, Nov. 13, 1766. Narrated by himself.
with him while sleeping, lest I should augment his sufferings. I was then used as an interpreter to open to Neuman the abominable request of the Turk; and when at one time, in the folly of my heart, not knowing better, I advised my fellow-prisoner rather to accommodate himself than to suffer such inhuman treatment, he steadily adhered to his purpose, saying--" he could not thus grieve his Lord Jesus-- he would sooner die than commit a sin!”
To me he afterwards addressed himself thus : “ Apd you, one of that people of God, of the Jews, who boast that they are God's peculiar people--and will you desire me to commit sin ?" These words pierced my heart to such a degree, that from that moment I felt a great uneasiness and concern for the salvation of my soul. Added to this, Neuman, wounded as he was and my fellow-captive, was continually speaking of the name of Jesus, (to which I, as a Jew, naturally bore such an aversion,) and prayed with such fervour to him, that my soul was affected by it, and induced to cherish a cordial affection for this Christian. Once he conversed very freely with me; and, because I now began to apprehend his religion to be the only true one, I solemnly pledged myself, so soon as I ever again should tread upon Christian ground, to embrace his faith, and submit to be baptized. Soon after, during the night, Neuman unexpectedly died of his wounds in his chains, and his corpse, although sorely disfigured, appeared to me to wear such a lovely aspect, that I was quite taken in with it, and could not think of him but with tender emotions, nor efface his image from my memory. Yea, I might truly say, the shade of this blessed man pursued me and was constantly hovering before my eyes.
That dear saint had informed me, that he was the son of a minister in Saxony ; that, however, he had been an undutiful son to bis parents --that he ultimately learned the trade of a stocking weaver; and that, because he heeded not the admonitions of his parents, (which deed he osten lamented,) he had then travelled into Silesia. At Schweidnitz he was taken prisoner by the Imperialists, brought by them as a soldier to Belgrade, and from thence carried into captivity by the Turks. Agreeably to my promise, I was under the necessity of interring his corpse, because neither Turks nor Christians, out of fear, would concern themselves about it. But previous to the interment, the Turk, hearing of Neuman's death, according to the Turkish fashion, in the height of his anger and rage, ordered me fifty strokes of the bastinado, under the pretence that I had murdered Neuman during the night. Having lodged my complaints with the Turkish Cadi, it was soon discovered that Neuman had died in consequence of his wounds and sufferings. The Cadi accordingly pronounced sentence of judgment, that my present unmerciful master Temersche Ole, should sell me to another Turk. His name was Hadshi Mustapha; he took me from Serras to Constantinople and from thence to his home near Smyrna. He was a very good natured man, and gave me many proofs of affection, till 1741, going in the third year of my stay with him. Notwithstandiug, being very uneasy and discontented, since Neuman's charge and death never forsook my
Memoirs of John Christopher Leberecht.
mind, I wrote to a Jew from Smyrna, and besought him to redeem me from slavery. My redemption was immediately effected. At tirst, however, my new master would not accede to it; at last he consented, presenting me, besides, with sixteen zechins (nearly sixteen ducats) for the journey, and pressingly invited me, if ever I should come into those parts again, to call at his house.
The Jews sent me from Smyrna to Constantinople, where they wished to detain me and get me married. My anxiety, however, would not admit of this, but propelled me forwards, under the plausible pretence that I was moved, according to a custom among the Jews, by a secret impulse to go and visit the grave of my parents in Silesia. I then obtained recommendations from the chief rabbi (Chacam) and was brought by water to Bender; from thence, via Jassy, to Hungary, and from thence to Mohilew in Poland. But Silesia being my object, the Jews were obliged to take me to Caminice ; then to cross the Hungarian boundary, by way of Ofen and Presburg, into Moravia, and even as far as Halberstadt, and from thence to Little Glogau near Breslaw, and at last to Great Glogau, where the grave of my parents was. Here the Jews left me. But great distress of mind on the one hand, and a promise given my late friend Neuman, to go in quest of his father, and in case he was yet living, to inform him of his son's happy death, on the other, induced me to travel on foot into Saxony. I soon learned that his father was no longer alive, but that his mother resided at Naumburg. I paid her a visit, and brought her the news of the painful, yet happy death of her son, which, it is easy to be conceived, drew from her eyes many a sorrow. ful tear.
My inward distress, and the desire to seek the religion of the late Neuman, drove me from Naumburg into the Marquisate of Brandenburg, to Frankfort on the Oder, associating one day with Jews and the next with Christians. In Schoenfliess, a neighbouring village, a Christian woman entertained me very hospitably. I likewise bad an interview with the minister of the place, who exhorted me to become a Christian. But my anxiety would not suffer me to stay there. The year following, (1742,) the Jews had to entertain me once more, during their Easter holy-days, (which happened one week earlier than those of the Christians,) as I desired to celebrate the festival with them. My trouble, however, and the determination to seek the religion of Neuman, which I had likewise promised to him before he died, followed me from place to place. I dext bent my course into Pomerania ; and here it was almost impossible for me to live any longer, since I could cherish no hope of being saved, which, notwithstanding, I had seen exemplified in Neuman's case. At last I fell into such despair, that, on the cross-roads near Stolpe, I uncovered my breast and took out my knife, in order either to assign myself over to Satan with my blood, or even to imprecate his presence, and to take my own life, that I might but perish from the face of the carth as an accursed being. At that instant, while I held the knife in my hand, one of the Prussian black hussars rode up to me. Having just imprecated the devil, and having never before seen a man in