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He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.-Then are they (suilors) glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Psalms.
NEW-YORK MARINE BIBLE SOCIETY.
TO THE MERCHANTS OF THE CITY OF NEW-YORK. GENTLEMEN-It is with a heart feeling for the good of mankind, and particularly for seamen, who from time to time have in charge a vast portion of your property, that this appeal is made to you in behalf of the seamen of this port. It is a melancholy fact, that many seamen go from the port of New York, blessed as it is with the light of religion, without the Bible to cheer them when far from home, and far from land, or to restrain them from vice, and guard them from temptation in a foreign land. Seamen are men as well as merchants. Seamen are immortal as well as kings. Seamen are as capable of being reclaimed by the Gospel, as are those who have long lived under its light, without having felt its power. Seamen are as capable of improvement, rational and moral, as are other men ; and they are, in many things, susceptible of sensibilities which ought to make many ashamed who have despised them. Facts also exist, which show, beyond the power of contradiction, that the Bible alone is capable of being, and that it has been, in many instances, the wisdom of God, and the power of God to the salvation of seamen. The Bible has reclaimed the wanderer it has restrained the licentious—it has caused the drunkard to leave his cups, and to become a praying man, instead of profaning God's holy name--it has brought thieves and swindlers to be honest men, and has led them to regard that which was given to them in trust, as their own property-it has raised the abject outcast, who was well nigh fitted for destruction, to be an heir of God, and a child of heaven. These effects it would still have on thousands more, if it were only put into their hands.
You will then, perhaps, ask, why the Marine Bible Society do not put a Bible into the hands of every seaman, who, there can be ground to hope, will be disposed to improve that book to the peace of his soul, and the correction of his habits? It is, gentlemen, the simple design of this letter to tell you why the society do not do it. It is because they have not the means, and therefore, they cannot do it. Their hearts have often been pained, when they have been obliged, not only not to offer Bibles to seamen who they knew wanted them, but also to refuse them when they have been solicited, for the simple reason that they had done to give, and no funds with which they could purchase any for that purpose. Connected as your interest is, aside from the common interests of society, with the morality and christianity of seamen; the Marine Bible Society have thought that nothing more would be wanting than simply to lay these facts before the merchants of New York, An amplitude of funds for this object, would be but a mere mite for each of the merchants, traders, and venders in this city, which they would never feel. Say that there are in number only six thousand of them, and that they should give so as to average only fifty cents each in a year, this little pittance alone would give to the Marine Bible Society three thousand dollars annnally for the distribution of Bibles among seameu , and would in all probability put ten times the sum into the hands of the river, by pitting a trusty, careful and honest heart into the men to whom his property is intrusted.
But there is an appeal, which to the good man, is more powerful than the consideration above suggested. It is the blessedness of doing good ; of reclaiming a wanderer from God; and of bringing back to their allegiance the rebels who have revolted from his government. Ah! gentlemen, it is for thousands who are almost outcasts in human society; who are rational and immortal as yourselves ; and who are to be saved by the blood of the same cross that must save you ; or to sink to perdition for rejecting the Gospel which you so richly enjoy : It is for these immortal concerns that we plead the little assistance, so necessary for the seamen to possess, and so easy for you to give; and which we are confident will not long be wanting, when once you are apprised of the fact, that many seamen who wish a Bible, are forced to go to sea without one, because they have not the means to buy with, and the Society are not able to supply them. . We need not say to you in the language of God's word; “ Give and it shall be given to you. He that giveth to the poor,” even if he be a seaman, "lendeth to the Lord ; and that which he giveth will he repay him again.” Many have indeed done virtuously; and if you will go and do likewise, as Christ commands you, you shall have treasure in heaven, the reward of him who gives in the name of the Lord.
JOHN TRUAIR, Cor. Secretary N, Y. M. B. S.
ANECDOTE. Related at a meeting of the Marine Bible Society. On board the flag-ship of a celebrated commander, a complaint was made by the captain against a number of the crew, if I recollect right, nearly two hundred, for disturbing the ship's company by frequent noises. The admiral ordered an inquiry to be made, and appointed a day for a hearing. The accusation was, that these men were method. ists, and that when their watch was below, they were in the constant habit of reading the Bible to each other aloud ; of frequently joining in social prayer, and singing of psalms and hymns. After the statement had been made and proved, the admiral asked; “ What is the general conduct of these men on deck- derly or disobedient, cleanly or the contrary ?”? “ Always orderly, obedient, and cleanly,” was the reply. “When the watch is called, do they linger, or are they ready?” “Always ready at the first call.” “ You have seen these men in battle, sir; do they stand to their guns, or shrink ?” “ They are the most intrepid men in the ship, my lord, and will die at their post.” “Let them alone then,” was the decisive answer of this magnanimous commander; “if methode işts are such men, I wish that all my crew were methodists."
From the Religious Remembrancer.
BETHEL FLAG. The Rev. Mr. Eustburn, stated preacher to the Seamen in this Port, has received a BETHEL-Flag, presented by the Seamen's Friend Society und Bethel Union, of London. This is a grateful token of their res. pect for a venerable “ fisher of men.” As an expression of the congeniality of feeling of our transatlantic brethren with those in our city who are interested for the spiritual welfare of Mariners, it is creditable to the Society by whom it was presented. The following letter from the Secretary of the London institution accompanied the Flag.
London, January, 3, 1822. My much respected and venerable Father-It has given me much pleasure to hear, by letters from my esteemed friend Robert Ralston, Esq. of your Port, that you are endeavouring to bring Sailors to a sense of their lost state by nature, and pointing them to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. May the Lord spare your life for many years of increasing usefulnes, and give you souls for your hire. And when in his wisdom he shall call you to himself may you partake of the joys of the Angels, when they rejoice over poor prodigal Sailors who are returoing to their Father.
I send herewith, to the care of Mr. Ralston, a Bethel Flag, from the “ British and Foreign Seamen's Friend Society and Bethel Union," in this city, as a testimony of their esteem, to their friends in Philadelphia, I hope it will be the means of inviting many to the social meetings for prayer in your port.
I have written fully to our friend Mr. R., with some Tracts lately published, which may be interesting to you, also some reports, and the later number of the Sailor's Magazine, which he will give you. It will give the Society much pleasure to hear from you, with any account of good being done on the other side of the Atlantic.
Adieu, my dear friend, may the Lord abundantly bless you, and in the closing scene of life, may you experience His Everlasting arms around you, and hear him say, “ Coine ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you.” &c. I remain your's most affectionately.
7. Philips, Sec'y. · The Rev. Joseph Eastburn.
The new Bethel Flag was first hoisted, at the Mariners' Church, on Sabbath 24th ult. On Monday the 25th, it was displayed at the mast head of the brig Junius, Capt. Dunton, and in the evening a meeting was held on board the brig. The religious exercises were conducted by the Rev. Mess’rs Eastburn and Van Vleck. Dr. Janeway, and a Welch Sailor. The cabin was occupied by females and the deck and wharfs filled with sailors. They were solemn and attentive.
On Friday evening, 29th, the Flag having been flying during the day at the mast head of the brig Levant, Capt. Sandborn, a meeting was held on board the brig. The services were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Eastburn, Drs. Ely and Brodhead, and Capt. Foster. The attention was similar to that at the former meeting. The numbers who attend
these meetings, and the seriousness which pervades the audience, indicate the increasing interest which seamen feel in means adopted to promote their spiritual welfare.
Letter from Thomas Phillips, Esq. Corresponding Secretary to the British and Foreign Seaman's Friend Society and Bethel Union, to the Editor, dated
London, 25th March, 1822. My Dear Sir-Your letter of the 19 ult. arrived three days ago, with the First Report of the “ New-York Bethel Union” read at the general meeting on the 31 December.
We are truly rejoiced at the prosperity of the cause in America, and hope continually to hear of the Bethel Flag being introduced to new stations on your coast, till they shall be found in every port in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This is not too much to expect, for we have a promise performing God, who has declared that “the abundance of the seas shall be converted unto him." The 6 little cloud" has spread-every day it appears more visible, and it will spread till it covers the earth, and showers of blessings descend upon the seamen of every nation, who will become most effective missionaries.
When I take a retrospective view of this business, I am astonished and delighted at the wisdom of God, who has in such a wonderful way brought it about, and raised up instruments to carry on the work with so much zeal in different parts of the Globe almost simultaneously. Thirty years ago, a circumstance occurred to the writer, which ultimately led him to take a part in this interesting, and very ho. nourable work. May we not say, "It is the Lord's doings, and it is marvellous in our eyes ?” Do my dear (though unknown) friend, let us frequently hear from you, and our other Christian friends, with all the good news you can from a far country; and when we read the accounts at our Prayer Meetings, you will have the prayers of British seamen at a throne of grace for American seamen-for your committees and all who take an active part in societies, which are formed to seek after the salvation of sailors. Often have I seen and heard them wrestling with God, with tears, for a blessing on their kind friends. I am happy to inform you that a Bethel Union Society has been formed at Gibraltar. This is a most important station, and I shall copy the letter which has just been received. " To the Secretaries of the British and Foreign Seamen's Society, and Bethel Union in London.
Gibraltar, 1st Jan. 1822. GENTLEMEN-I am desired by our Committee to communicate to you for the in formation of your Committee, that a Bethel Society has been established here by a few individuals, for the purpose of conveying the word of God to the too long neglected race of men, seamen. It was established in September last, and I am particularly happy to say, that it has hitherto succeeded far beyond the expectations of many. I am desired further to say, we shall be extremely happy to communicate, as well as receive every information relative to so interesting a subject, and at the same time to request you will be pleased to forward to me by one of the first traders to this place, your annual reports from the commencement, with two sets of the Sailor's Magazine, complete from the commencement also, with any other your benevolent Society may think proper, which will be thankfully received by this young, but I hope growing Auxiliary. With the hope that this my request may be attended to with the utmost dispatch, I conclude
Gentlemen, your very sincere servant,
'John W. BailEY, Lieuí. R. Navy.
Resident Agent for Transports, Gibraltar.' In a letter written by Lieut. B.-three days after to a lady, he says, “The Bethel Flag has been hoisted on board a Buenos Ayres national frigate at this place." The Committee of the Society here had voted a Flag for Gibraltar three weeks before the above letter was received, and will be hoisted, I trust, before you receive this. The American navy has been the first to encourage Bethel meetings on board. I hope ere long, the British navy will follow the example, and that the time will soon arrive, when “ Swords shall be beat into Plough Shares, and Spears into Pruning Hooks," and when every man of war shall become a floating chapel. The Prayer Meetings on the Thames continue to increase in interest and nun
Charleston Bethel Union.
bers. We have noticed several who seem to be under a concern about their souls, who, I have no doubt, pray in private, but have not resolution to pray in public. The fear of man is a very great enemy, but I doubt not that will very soon be got over. At our last monthly meeting 13 seamen, 1 lighterman, and I waterman, engaged in prayer, and there were at least 20 more seamen present, who would have engaged if time would have permitted.
Our Society has commenced calling the lightermen and watermen of this river together, for divine worship. They form a very numerous body. I am told from 6 to 8000, and a great majority of them very depraved characters. The Cambrian Seamen's Society offered us their chapel for sabbath afternoons, and we have made use of it for about six weeks. From 80 to 150 have attended, and many have brought their wives and families with them, to whom Tracts have been distributed, and they attended with great seriousness.
I do hope that some have felt the power of that word which is able to raise the dead. Next sabbath evening a lecture will be commenced on the north side the
Thames, and I anticipate great things; for the Lord never put a desire into the to hearts of his people to work for his glory, without designing to bless their endeavours.
Your letter came just in time to forward the Magazines you write for, by the Cincinnatus, which sails to-morrow, and I hope will arrive safe.
With them I inclose a Tract just printed, but not circulated, and I shall always
esteem it a pleasure to attend to any of your requests if I can be of service, and i shall be happy to communicate any intelligence which may be pleasing to you or 1 the friends of seamen beyond the Atlantic. The command of Moses to the children
of Israel was, “ Go forward.” May I not say, that the Lord commands the Societies in America and England to “Go forward?" and has he not given us abundant reasons to say, “ We will in thy strength.” I am glad you have had an eye to the West Indies, and that Bermuda is possessed of a Flag. I sent by the Robert Edwards, a parcel containing a Bethel Flag, for Philadelphia. I trust it has been forwarded, and hoisted before this, and our venerable father Eastburn has preached under it to “his dear boys."
I wish to impress upon the mind of every friend, that we are greatly in arrears to our seamen-we have criminally neglected them-and that there is no time to be lost, for the Night cometh.'
CHARLESTON BETHEL UNION ---CIRCULAR.
Charleston, April 6, 1822. The first meeting for the formation of a Bethel Union in this port, was called at the Mariner's Church, on Tuesday evening, the 26th of March. A committee was then appointed to draft a Constitution. The report of this Committee was made at the same place on Friday evening, the 29th ult when the articles annexed to this circular were read and adopted as the Constitution of this Society. The objects of the Association are perhaps sufficiently explained in these articles ;* and the members of it take this mode of inviting their Christian Brethren of all denominations, to aid them in the good work they have undertaken. They call it a good work. It commends itself as such to the benevolence of every Christian, and to the good sepse of every humane and intelligent mind.--They lay no claims to originality, but urged by the affectionate and earnest solicitations of those who have preceded them in this labour of love in numerous seaports of Great Britain and the United States, they desire to obey what seems to be a manifest call of Providence, "to stand in their lot,” and to be found seasonably and faithfully performing the part assigned them in carrying forward the glorious purposes of Divine Mercy among our fellow-men. They cannot read the history of Christian efforts for seamen, detailed in the “ Christian Herald and Seaman's Magazine ;" especially, the reports and correspondence of the British and Foreign Seaman's Friend Sociely, and of the New-York Bethel Union, without feeling “ provoked to love and good works." They would feel criminally destitute of compassion, and deeply condemned at the bar of their own conscience, if they should suffer the numerous seamen who frequent this city, to leave it, without a hearty, united, and persevering effort on their part, to afford them the same spiritual privileges which are found in other ports. They wish to see the Bethel Flag often inviting their sea-faring brethren to a place
* The Constitution is nearly Ibe same as that of the New York Bethel Unioo --Ed.