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He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they (sailors) glad because they be quiet ; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Psalms.
BEN, THE SAILOR. On a Sunday afternoon, as the Sailors were proceeding from the Mission-house at Poplar, a Sailor was stopped with, “ Halloo, my lad, we are just going to meet such as you. Come along my fine lad,” (his jacket having been taken hold of.) “What to do ?" said the Sailor. “ A high meeting for Sailors. Come along, we shall be too late, and you will not be able to get in." (Oaths.) “ What's it all for? is there any thing to drink?" "No, but something to eat." (Oaths.) “ I've got no money– I've not received my wages yet; I shall have them to-morrow. " There's nothing to pay, my lad ; I'll take care you shall go in, so come along." He returns a little way, and stops. (Oaths.) “But where are you going to take us ? Is it to advance Seamen's wages ?” “Good wages given-full wages paid, my lad, by the best of masters ; come along, we shall all be behind.” He goes, and was taken to the chapel appointed for the Sailors' service, and remained the whole time astonished and confounded. At the conclusion of the meeting, the ususl mode of shaking hands with all Sailors took place, and they parted. Nothing was heard or seen of this Sailor till the 11th of November. After the service bad concluded at Cotton-street, Poplar, he was observed pressing through the crowd with great eagerness to get out, and speak to the person wbo had stopped him in the street five months since. With a countenance the most cheerful, and both arms extended to shake hands, he cried, “I am glad to see you : thank God, I am arrived safe.” He was invited to the Mission House. On his way, he related many deliverances, which he had experienced from God on his voyage home, which he never thought of in such a way before. He seemed deeply affected at the Lord's goodness to him. He took tea with the Sailors; and when they were going to start round the neighbourhood with Tracts, and to invite all they met to the evening prayer-meeting, he was asked, whether he would go on the mission, he replied, with great humility, “ I am willing to do any thing for God.' He was supplied with Tracts, and not only started on the mission with the pious Sailors, but was very active and earnest.
On the 18th November, as the Sailors were going down to Poplar, he was seen standing in the street neatly dressed in clean white trowsers, ready to go on the mission with his brother Sailors, and pick up wanderers in the highways. “I was waiting for you," he cried ; “ I thought you would not be long." Every sailor on the mission gave him a few Tracts, and he was again put in full commission; and proved his sincerity by the affection and ardour with which he pressed Sabbath-breaking Sailors to go with them to the House of God.
BEN'S SHIPMATES AT POPLAR. “ I have always boarded in Poplar when I have arrived in this port,” said he “ and I know many boarding houses; and some of my shipmates, with whom I sailed last voyage, are stopping at them. I will go and show you them, perhaps we may pick up some of my old messmates." “ Thank you, Ben. Come, my lads, let's go with him.” As they entered the first boarding house, they saw seven Sailors smoking, but quite sober. “Well, shipmates, I see you are all enjoying yourselves after dinner--I am glad to see you all arrived safe after the late gales.” “ Thank you, sir,” said they. “ Now, my lads, I expect every one of you
with us." " Where to ?" “A meeting for Sailors, my fine fellows. Come along, my lads, put on your jackets, and loose your topsails." (Several Sailors now passed the window on the road to the chapel.)
“ Look there, my lads, how they are all flocking to the Sailors' meeting. Bear a hand, down with your pipes, and make sail." " What is it all for, master ?" Ben, the Sailor. Why, Jarvis, it is a sermon to be preached to Sailors at Cotton-street Chapel, and you know how God has delivered us on our passage home; and we can't do better than go to the house of God, Jarvis. " It is all well enough, Ben, but I want to go to the London Docks when I have finished my pipe, to see an old shipmate, that I sailed with, that's just come in, or I would go with you.' “ Now, Jarvis, you know the hours of the docks, and if you get in, you will not be able to get out, and that's only an excuse ; you had better come with us. Bill, will you go ?” “I don't care, Ben, if I do. How long will it be before it is over ?”! “Not long, my lad. Come, all of you ; we positively will not go without you. (Inquires a Sailor's name without a jacket, and learns it is Tom.) Come, Tom, get your jacket bent upon your yard arms, and come along with us." Tom starts and bends his jacket. Ben intercedes with the others, and at length they all come, except one ; and he had no clean shirt, or he would have come. Ben takes them himself to the chapel, and, going down the street, points out to the pious Sailors another boarding-house.
A Sailor Missionary enters-four Sailors sitting and smoking, one is tipsey. Come, my lads, we are now come for all of you-we want all hands to go with us." The men stare_" Where must we go
" To a Sailors' meeting'; down with your pipes, and come away, my -(The drunken Sailor utters dreadful oaths.)—“We've had meetings enough in the gale, and now is the time to enjoy ourselves with grog and pipes.”—“ Where do you lodge, my lad?"->At the sign of the H-rrow, to be sure; and I have come over for them to have a pot with us."--" How many Sailors are boarding there with you?” “Five, and I make six; and every dog of us weathered the gale, by
“Oh! don't take the name of God in vain ; be grateful you have not made your last voyage—that you have not met a watery grave, and are not in hell.” “ Hell ! hell was never made for Sailors.” “ You have a hell to escape, and a heaven to obtain, my lad.” (Drunken Sailor reproved by one of the sober Sailors.) Ben comes into the boarding house, knows two of the Sailors, invites them, explains what the meeting is, and they are willing to go. The drunken Sailor is asked, “What's your name, my lad ?" “ Sam, to be sure."
« Come then, Sam, go with us to the meeting.” (Oaths.) “I am like a I never go to church till I ani carried.” Sober Sailors all get up to go. They invite Sam who will not go, and is displeased with them that they would not go with him to the Harrow public-house. Sam followed them till they came opposite the Harrow, then hails Tom, “ Tom, are you going ?” “ Yes, Sam, come along, heave a head, my boy.” “No," says Sam; “put about, here's the port, Tom, (pointing to the Harrow public-house.) Sam was smoking all the way down the street. Sam's arm was taken hold of by a person—" Come along, Sam, we shall all come back together." Sam cries, “Let me go and wash my hands and face.” “No, no, come along—you'll do very well; there's no time to spare, we shall be too late.” Sam walks after bis shipmates, smoking. As soon as they got within sight of the chapel, (the Bethel Flag was then flying, “Look, Sam, there's your standard to invite all Sailors, (pointing to the fag,) make hasie." Sam flings away his pipe, mends his pace, enters the chapel, and was kindly received and put into a seat, and remained during the service with a number of Sailors that had been picked up in the same way by the Sailor Missionaries. After the service was concluded, the old custom of shaking hands, and asking them how they liked it, and inviting them to attend again, &c. took place; Sam in particular was spoken to: “I liked it well,” said he, “and Í know 'tis all right what was said; but, alas ! I'm no scholar-I'm only a poor drunken Sailor.” There was something ipexpressibly mournful and impressive in poor Sam's remark. O England ! how sadly hast thou neglected thy brave tars! Providing for heathens 3000 miles off, and suffering many a poor drunken Sam to perish at their own doors! Sam had sailed voyage after voyage, but “no man cared for his soul." The publican and the prostituie were the only persons on shore who concerned themselves about Sam, and this no longer than his money lasted. Is it thus a Christian country requires her Sailors! Ah! boast not of philanthropy, of Bible, and Missionary, and School Societies, while such mariners as swering Ben and drunken Sam are suffered to land on your shores, and exclaim, “ No man careth for my soul!" Ungrateful return! These Sams and Bens fought for your liberties; their best blood crimsoned o'er the decks of your ships to protect you, and your properly, and your children, from the ruthless invading foe.
The Almighty interposed their bodies between you and danger: they, and not the wood of your ships, were your walls ; and do you now cast them off, and yield them entirely up to the publican and the prostitute, that they may “ wander and perisha:” “O foolish people and unwise !" “ Is this thy kindness to the frien in ?" Ah! talk not, publish nor, that Jodia is cruel, when the banks of the Ganzes are strewell with parents offering their children to the crocodiles of the east! Call not young families in Asia unfeeling, who leave their aged sick to perish by rivers and streams they hold sacred! Tell not of the pilgrims crushed beneath the ponderous wheel that bears the car of Juggernaut ! Speak not of the annual waste of human life by the lusts and follies of his devotees ! Reveal not the horrid mysteries of his temple, directed by his 10,000 priests and priestesses! Look, England, to thy Sailors ! examine thy seaports; let the banks of the Thames be inspected; and, with all our boasted piety, England will equal Orissa, while her Sailors are daily dropping into eternity, crying, “ No man cared for my soul !" Poor Sam said, “ I'm no scholar :" but cannot England furnish thousands who are? and have they no “bowels of compassion” for poor, drunken, ignorant, abandoned Sailors ? Britain, awake! arise! 'tis God, 'tis Heaven, 'tis Eternity, that calls. “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction ! open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy !" Such were the thoughts that crossed my mind while observing Sam walk quietly and steadily back with his shipmates. But the reproach is wiping away from my beloved country; and the success of the Sailor's Mission, in picking up Ben, is another proof of what may be done by bold and persevering efforts in the cause of Christ.
MERCHANT SEAMEN'S AUXILIARY BIBLE SOCIETY. The fourth Annual Report of this Society contains an account of the interesting visits of their agent at Gravesend, from which we make some extracts. The systematic course adopted by Lieut. Cox presents an excellent example for Bible agents in our seaports, and if they would keep journals on this plan, they would afford mach useful matter for our pages, and much encouragement to the friends of Seamen.
“ No 31.
I fancy you will find few Sailors now who cannot read," said the Mate, and not so many as formerly destitute of the Scriptures. One of the crew had a Bible, which he brought with him from the L-: he said the Captain gave it to him.”
“A respectable man, who keeps a lodging-house for Seamen in London, said, a few days ago, that he had forty prime Seamen at his house, waiting for ships, and that he counted twenty-five Bibles amongst them, most of which had been purchased of the Society.”
“ No. 60. • We are well off for Bibles,' said the Captain ; and we hope it is no vain thing to possess them; and I am glad to hear, from time to time, what is doing among Seamen: they certainly are an altered people : I do not hear those dreadful oaths, or witness those drunken frolics among them I formerly did.'”
“No. 217. The chief officer, a very respectable man, the son of a clergyman, invited all the crew to purchase. I am happy,' said he, to find that most of you have the inclination, although few of you have got the ability to purchase., Ab, I was in a ship once, where we lost by sickness twenty hands. Our sick Seamen never thought of the Bible till death stared them in the face. Then the Bible was consulted.' "T You can have my Bible,' said one of the crew to
Merchant Seanten's Auxiliary Bible Society.
another, who was going to purchase: No, no,' he replied, 'that will not do, I must have a Bible of my own ;' and so said another.--A ship in apparent good order."
“ No. 821. One of the officers, who appeared very serious and intelligent, said, 'I did belong to East Indiaman, when you
left us some Bibles and Testaments for the ship's use: the crew not only had the privilege of reading the Scriptures, but in addition to that, the Captain every Sunday took his station at the Bits, and read to the crew a good sermon : the example he showed, and the instructions he gave, influenced the whole ship, and we lived together like brothers of the same family: many of her crew belong to this ship, and I can assure you the whole of them are better men for what they read and heard on board that ship. Yes, we were very happy together, and the Captain did his utmost to render us so, both as it respects the body and mind."
“No. 296. An excellent crew: one man said, 'I should be happy to get a Bible of my own, if I could any way obtain the money to pay for one.' The waterman who attended the ship let him have what he so much wanted, and offered to advance for any others who might want money to purchase the Scriptures."
« No. 306. A revenue cutter. Three of the crew, fine Sailorlooking men, after pulling from Sea Reach, called at my office; and one of them said, “We have taken the liberty, sir, of waiting upon you, to request of you to let us have two Bibles and two Testaments, for the use of some of our crew, who are without the Scriptures. On my telling them I was not authorized to let them have any Bibles or Testaments upon the terms they wished, as the books I had to dispose of were designed for vessels going foreign, and that I suspected they wanted them for the use of their families on shore, one replied, “I can assure you, sir, that we want them entirely for the use of the vessel : the whole of us were once thoughtless and wicked, but our manners and views are, I hope, altered for the better; many of us are searching for the truth in the Scriptures; but having only five Bibles and one Testament amongst thirty-four hands, we find them insufficient for the use of all; and, if you will indulge us with what we so much need, we shall feel greatly obliged to you, and, I think I may say, you have never disposed of the Scriptures in a more favourable channel. These men were respectful and modest in their manners, and I believe very sincere; and, as most of the crew were very poor, having families to support, and the vessel almost constantly at sea, I could not help complying with their wishes. No men could be no more grateful than they appeared to be.”
“ I visited an American ship belonging to New-York: the chief officer said, “The Bible Society at New-York takes good care we do not go to sea without the Scriptures. Almost every man amongst us has got a Bible, and I wish we paid more attention to it than we do.""
“ No. 322. The Captain was quite the gentleman, and received me kindly. He assured me that he had the people aft to prayers on the Sabbath-day; at the same time showing me an elegant Common Prayer-book which he had purchased for that purpose. “Do you