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sume a character, superior, perhaps, to that of any other class in society. If we are charged as sanguine in these hopes, we would justify ourselves by saying that a fulfilment of them would be no more than an advance proportioned to that which has been made.
Several instances have occurred during the year in which seamen have professed to have been made the subjects of repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, under the means of grace afforded through the efforts of this society and its above-mentioned co-operators. On several occasions numbers have been affected deeply at the exhibition of the truths of the gospel and their connexion with the final allotment of man. Something it is hoped will be found to have been effected in this respect, when all secrets shall be disclosed, and your Di. rectors need much to have the duty always present before their eyes, to labour so far as may be in their power, that the good thus hoped for may be largely accomplished.
The Directors would conclude this part of their report by stating, that generally the character of seamen, within the limit of the operations of Christian benevolence, is improved and improving, and that, in their belief, a few years will witness a very great alteration in their moral and religious condition.
The Directors, while detailing the situation and success of their own labours, are happy to record the perseverance and activity with which the objects they have in view are pursued in various parts of their own country and abroad. Along the Atlantic coasts almost every considerable place has its Marine Bible Society and its Bethel Union; and Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston and Savannah, have places of stated religious worship for seamen, similar in their plans to our own. meetings are held in almost every port, and have been witnessed, as well in the infant seaports of Alabama, as the more ancient ones of Massachusetts, New-York and Pennsylvania.
Abroad and especially in Great Britain the efforts to meliorate the religious condition of seamen are continued with increased ardour. Floating chapels have been provided in various parts of Great Britain during the last year. Bethel meetings are becoming more and more common, and seamen are in some places forming themselves into associations for procuring the attendance of their fellow-mariners at these religious services; and indeed every thing seems to manifest an uncommon degree of the divine blessing on exertions of this nature. The Bethel Flag has also been hoisted at Gibraltar on board of a Buenos Ayres national ship ; and having thus taken possession of the key of the Mediterranean, we hope ere long to see it waving in triumph in every part of that great maritime region.
With all these topics of congratulation the Directors have cause for anxiety in the scantiness of their funds. By the Treasurer's report it will appear,
that nothing has been done towards paying off the mortgage Hi on their building: and such is the state of our subscriptions, and so few were and are our annual subscribers, that we have no permanent source to which we can look for money to meet the very considerable current expenses of the Society, or pay the interest of our debt. The Directors thus feel that all that they have done and all that they are projecting for the improvement of seamen are out of their power to establish; and
for promoting the Gospel among Seamen.
that a year might witness the sale of their building and the breaking up of all their best planned operations, and this in the midst of a great and wealthy commercial city, justly claiming the pre-eminence of all others on the western continent. They would hope, that as the success of the Society proves to the public both the importance and practicability of their designs, they will experience a greater share of its liberality and munificence. They feel that they have a right to demand of the public sufficient funds to carry their important objects into effect. And with a belief that the more extensive and vigorous their operations shall be, the more willing the public will be to support and encourage them: and in reliance on that good Providence which has hitherto carried them over every difficulty, for a continuance of its favour, your Directors hope to persevere; and to determine, that if they must eventually fail, they will suffer themselves rather to be overwhelmed by the extent and mag. nitude of their plans, discreetly projected, than to be lost through a timid and ineffective policy which shall attract no favour from man and no blessing from God. (Signed)
JONATHAN LITTLE, President.
Tas Society celebrated its anniversary on Tuesday the 4th inst. in the Mariner's Church. Indisposition preventing the attendance of the President, the chair was taken by Mr. John Westfield, Vice President; at half past seven o'clock, and the exercises were commenced with prayer by the Rev, Samuel Nott, junr. Daniel Lord, junr. esq. read the annual report (which will be found above) and on motion of the Rev. Henry Chase, seconded by Mr. Knowles Taylor, it was
Resolved, That the report be accepted, and printed under the direction of the Board of Directors.
On motion of Thomas Jarman, Esq. seconded by the Rev. John Truair,
Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be presented to the Rev. Clergy of the city and country who have rendered important services to the Society by preaching in the Church--to those Merchants who have patronized the Society by their countenance and support;--to those Ship Masters, Mates and Seamen, who have promoted the objects of the institution, and to all who have given of their substance, their labours and their prayers, to spread the Gospel among
On motion of the Rev. Samuel Nott, jun. seconded by Mr. Elijah Pierson,
Resolved, That this Society view with deep solicitude the perilous occupation and neglected condition of Mariners in every part of the world, and especially of those who belong to, or visit this port:--That they do most affectionately and earnestly call upon their fellow-citizens in this port and upon Christians generally, to make renewed and vigorous efforts to furnish Seamen immedialely with the means of having the Gospel preached to them.
The Rev. Messrs. Chase and Truair, and Messrs. Taylor and Jarman addressed the meeting and were followed by the Vice President in the chair, with a few pertinent remarks.
The resolutions were passed; a collection was taken up amounting to
about seventy dollars ; and the meeting was closed with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Somers.
There was a large number of captains and seamen present, and the church was well filled.
We hope this report will be extensively read, and that the facts and arguments which it contains will make their due impression on the public mind. While it is a subject of congratulation that Christians in other parts of our country, and of the world, are, in many respects, treading the steps of this institution; it is matter of deep regret that in our owa city the claims of this institution upon the Christian public, are not more generally felt and more readily met. We should not murmur, or repine, but be humbled before God, and call upon the Christian friends of seamen to unite with us in the exercise of more earnest prayer, and more zealous and persevering labour to aid the cause of the gospel among seamen.
ORDINATION OF A BRITISH SAILOR.
Bristol, Eng. May 1, 1822. MY DEAR SIR-Yesterday the Bethel Flag waved all day at the mast head of the fine American ship Seine, Captain Erastus Williams, who obligingly spread her awning for the accommodation of a numerous assemblage of Christians of various denominations, her crew and passengers. Several sailors, ministers, and perhaps for the first time, a captain in the Royal Navy, Captain John Banks, invoked the Divine blessing, safety, and protection for the Captain, officers, crew and passengers, on the deck of an American ship, in the most solemn, impressive, and affectionate manner-delighting every Christian heart by its appropriate fervour. May this commencement be reciprocated by American naval officers, on the decks of British ships,* till their only strife shall be—who can show the greatest love for souls, and bring the greatest tribute of glory to our adorable Immanuel.
To day has been a glorious day—a new era in the annals of seamen. Captain Angus, of Newcastle, a fine young man in the prime of life, a man of property, who has retired from the sea, studied for the ministry, resided in Germany, Hol. land, and France, to acquire the languages fluently, has been set apart As A MISSIONARY TO SEAMEN. The Rev. Mr. Pyer commenced the truly interesting service, by reading the 53d of Isaiah, and giving out the 19th Psalm of Dr. Watts-the Rev. Thomas Roberts asked the questions, and received the confession of faith from Captain Angus, who gave a detail of his religious experience from ten years of age, commencing with the prayers and instructions of a pious grandfather-his trials, temptations, and backslidings, during a career of many years, as apprentice, officer, and captain of a merchant ship, on board a man of war, in a French prison, on his march to which a French soldier sold him the remains of a Watt's Hymn Book, with which he was lighting his pipe, which was much blessed to him in the absence of other means of grace—the slighted counsel and advice of a pious elder brother, lost at sea off the Spanish Main; having previously given him several religious books, among which was Rev. John Newton's Life and Letters, which he read with increasing interest, when in the West Indies he heard of his bra
* In American ports. Ed. S. M
Journal of the Bethel Flag.
95 ther's death, and which he affectionately recommended his brother sailors to buy and read, though they sold a shirt to obtain it. The Rev. T. S. Crisp, offered up an admirable Ordination Prayer previous to the laying on of hands. The venerable Dr. Ryland gave a most impressive and catholic-spirited charge from " The love of Christ constraineth us”-several appropriate hymns were sung, and the Rev. Mr. Griffiths, missionary from Sierra Leone, concluded with prayer. It was a glorious and gratifying season of refreshment from the presence of the Lord, I trust, to the numerous seamen, mipisters, ladies and gentlemen assembled in the SEAMAN'S FLOATING CHAPEL, who could not separate till 9 P. M.
He intends preaching to seamen all round our extensive seaboard in England, Ireland and Scotland; and then visit foreign countries on the same delightful errand of stirring up Christians to care for the souls of seamen, and that valuable class to seek salvation for themselves in the only appointed way through the blood of the Lamb.
I could not retire to rest, till I sent you this very hurried, imperfect and inadequate sketch of this important ordination of the FIRST MISSIONARY TO SEAMEN.
SINGULAR CONVERSION OF A SEAMAN.
To the Editor of the Seaman's Magazine. DEAR SIR-I doubt not your readers are acquainted with the origin of the interesting colony on Pitcairn's Island. A late number of the Christian Observer mentions that religious tracts, &c. had been sent to them from Calcutta. Since these were probably received, one of our whaleships touched at the Island, and the Anglo-natives coming on board, began to examine the whalemen about their Christian experience. One of them was seized with remorse to think he had lived in a Christian land and was unable to answer a single question of these supposed heathen. He soon after experienced religion, and returned io profess his love for Christ, and acknowledge the instruments of his conversion. He says they spend a great proportion of their time in praising God, and seem to take all their delight in it. O the wisdom and grace of God! who could have thought that the outrageous mutiny on board the Bounty would be the occasion of raising up a Christian community in the centre of the Pagan world, where, fortified by nature against all the assaults of persecution, they can send out the Gospel through all the region round about, and even promote the salvation of our own countrymen. The minister at the Sandwich Islands is destined to exert a powerful influence on the whalemen, and I hope the time approaches when they will be converted to Christ.
A. M. Nantucket, May 22d, 1822.
JOURNAL OF THE BETHEL FLAG.
(Continued from p. 32.) Tuesday Evening, May 21, 1822. The Bethel Flag had been flying all day at the mast head of the ship Empress, Capt. Sutton, in the Charleston trade, and the Bethel Lantern was hoisted in the evening. The exercises were commenced at 8 o'clock, and continued about one hour. Three prayers, and three short addresses, insterspersed
with singing, and reading the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, were attended to with the greatest seriousness and propriety. A seaman, a hopeful subject of the grace of God, through the instrumentality of these meetings within the last few months) gave a simple relation of God's dealings with his soul, and in an affectionate and pathetic manner, urged his seafaring brethren present to attend these meetings, by which he hoped he had been brought to a knowledge of his state as a sinner, and to a view of, and reliance upon, the Lord Jesus Christ, as a Friend that loveth at all times, and was especially such in times of trouble and distress. There were seventy or eighty seamen and citizens present, and all seemed deeply solemn. The Committee are much encouraged in their labour, and trust their exertions for poor sailors will not be in vain.
Tuesday 28. This evening the meeting was held on board the ship Cincinnatus, Capt. Champlin, in the London trade. The committee report that there was a large number present, and the exercises were conducted as usual. Rev. Dr. Bates, President of Middlebury College, a minister from Virginia, of the Methodist Church, and a member of the committee, each addressed the meeting. Mr. Benedict, from Princeton College, and two others, engaged in prayer. Great decorum prevailed. After the distribution of Tracts a sailor went to the chairman and informed him that a great change had taken place in his mind within a few months; and he appeared so overcome with a sense of the Divine compassion that he could scarcely speak. The committee feel much encouraged in the prospect of greater usefulness, which lies before them.
Tuesday, April 16. Bethel meeting held at No. 317 Water-street. Thirty seamen present. Two of the men at first appeared trifling, but before the meeting closed, all were very serious. After appointing a meeting for the next week at the same place, a sailor said to the chairman, “ I do not koow whether you are a minister or not, but I was so well pleased with what you said, that I will attend next week and bring you some money."
On Monday the 10th inst. in the morning, the Bethel Flag was hoisted on board the brig Phæbe Ann, capt. Holmes; and when evening arrived, and the flag could be no longer seen, it was succeeded by a light on the topmast head, which announced what was to be done below. About eight o'clock a large party of ladies and gentlemen went on board, and found an awning on the deck; under which a Bible was placed on the companion way, and chairs and seats were placed around for the accommodation of visitors. Soon after eight o'clock the service was commenced by singing a Hymn, during which sailors flocked on board in crowds. One of the committee then offered up a short and appropriate prayer, the object of which was to invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit on the meeting, and an especial blessing on our seafaring brethren.
This was succeeded by others, who prayed; and by several short but solemn exhortations of several ministers of the Gospel, of different denominations, who assisted in this interesting service; among whom was the Rev. Mr. Sewall, of Maine. Upwards of 100 persons were present (principally seamen) in the brig and on the shore near it, and The most profound attention was paid by all.