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Having completed the first year of the enlarged series of this periodical, under its new title, “The JUVENILE BETHEL FLAG MAGAZINE,” its Editor feels it a pleasing duty to acknowledge the many flatter. ing testimonials as to its instructiveness and adaptation to its desired end. It has been designed faithfully to represent the SAILOR, —both in his neglected and irreligious character, and as renewed by Divine grace, formed to illustrate real Christianity. In each of these, it has exhibited striking examples, especially of those who are Bethel sailors, truly the servants of God by faith in Jesus Christ. In this way it has sought to gain an increase of liberal friends to the “BRITISH AND FOREIGN Sailors' SOCIETY."
While, however, this has been the first object of this humble Magazine, it has been designed to give as large an amount as possible of various information, on all useful matters relating to the sea and seamen, Britain's trade and commerce with foreign countries, and the works of God in
nature and in the conversion of the nations by the knowledge of the Scriptures. All these, in every variety of form and style, have been exhibited in connexion with the glorious Gospel of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is reason to believe that the noble ends have been answered ; and, while thanks are due to those valued friends whose papers have enriched the work, the whole of the glory of all must be ascribed to God.
Entreating the continued assistance of intelligent and accomplished friends, especially in gaining subscribers to this work,—and relying on the Holy Spirit for direction in his duties, the Editor trusts that this cheap periodical will bė esteemed worthy of being adopted by every family of British Christians.
Office of the
2, Jeffrey-square, St. Mary Axe.
London, December, 1848.
NEW YEAR'S PLEA FOR THE BETHEL
FLAG. Many of our young readers will be likely to ask, “ Why is this called, The Juvenile BETHEL FLAG MAGAZINE?!” We, therefore, furnish an answer; and state, it is because of the excellent use of the Bethel Flag by religious sailors. But some will, perhaps, inquire, “ What is the Bethel Flag ?” Every one of our young friends ought to know this ; and, for their sakes, we give a reply from an instructive little work, entitled, “WHAT HAVE I TO DO WITH SAILORS?” written by the Rev. T. Timpson :-
“ John. What is a • Bethel Ship,' father?
“ Father. Jacob, as you know, gave the name of · Bethel,' or house of God, to the place where he slept at Luz, when he was favoured with the visions of God (Gen. xxviii. 19); and ships, frequently called · Floating Hells, on account of their cannons, and also on account of the profane swearing of the sailors, when they become distinguished for the assembling of the seamen to worship God, by singing hymns, reading the Scriptures, and prayer, are denominated “Bethel Ships. The first Bethel ship, as referred to, was a collier, the Juno, from the port of Newcastle, in 1814; and others arose in a few years, having for their expressive signal, the. Bethel Flag.
" John. What sort of one is the Sailors' Bethel Aag, father?
“Father. The Bethel flag is about nine feet long, and three wide, made of a kind of blue cloth, and the word BETHEL, in large letters of white cloth, sewn upon it, with a white star of hope at one corner, and at the other, a dove with an olive branch,—the emblem of peace. Here is an engraving of that significant signal, now so common among sailors.
“ John. Do you know, father, who contrived that beautiful flag for the use of sailors ?
“Father. My dear boy, the Bethel flag was designed in the year 1818, it is believed, by Captain Wilkins; and his pious wife proposed that the word BETHEL, with the star and dove, should be the devices on it for distinction.
“ Miriam. I am quite surprised and delighted at this ingenious contrivance of the pious captain and his worthy wife. I shall think of sailors with more interest than ever.”