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PLEA FOR THE SAILORS' HOME.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, January 16, 1848. Mr. Editor,—I have read your little Magazine with great interest, and trust it may be made the means of stirring up the warm-hearted sympathies of our dear young friends, towards that useful but sadly neglected class of men—the sailors of our kingdom. What hardships have those poor fellows to go through! How many and how heavy are the trials they endure—the privations and misfortunes they meet with. How sad and melancholy is frequently the closing scene of their wearisome career. Children and young people have hearts to feel for the suffering and the distressed. Many a time have I witnessed the tears streaming down their fair cheeks at a tale of woe. Surely they must have sympathies for the sailor. Need I tell them that sailor-boys are subject to the same trials, accidents, and death, to which mariners of riper years are so fearfully exposed. I once saw a crowd of people hastening along our quay. The crowd was surrounding two men carrying a dead body. Alas! it was the corpse of a poor sailor-boy, who had fallen into the river from the mast-head. His body had just been recovered, but his soul had entered on its eternal state. He had but lately bid farewell to the play-ground, where, for many a happy hour, he sported with all the merry glee of school-boy days. How sad the change! This, thought I, is but a specimen of the uncertain and dangerous character of sailors' life. Oh! dear children, feel for the sailor-boy; pray for the sailor-boy; do what you can to minister to the wants of sailors and sailor-boys. How many of them get, as their last resting place, the very depths of the dark and troubled ocean. But dark and dreary as may be such a grave, there is yet a darker and gloomier feature in the sad picture; it is this — many of them have not experienced the pardoning mercy of God, and through the waves of ocean they sink to that place of dark despair where one ray of hope shall never enter. Dear children, help us to point them, before it be too late, to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.
I rejoice to hear, my dear sir, that the sailors' cause is beginning to excite more interest throughout the church of Christ, and I pray most sincerely that the dear “Lambs of the Hock” may be stirred up to interest themselves in the good cause.
There are many ways in which even children can help us. Allow me to mention one. In this place we are now making an effort to procure the means of erecting a Sailors' Home. Three thousand pounds are required, and I do not doubt, but by God's blessing, it will be procured. A great number of kind ladies are preparing to hold a Bazaar in aid of the Building Fund. Seyeral little girls are busily at work making various useful and ornamental articles for this Bazaar. Many more of our dear young friends might help us in this way. I shall be glad to hear from any little girl who will devote her spare hours to working for the poor sailor. Others might help us by taking a collecting card, and procuring a few sixpences and shillings amongst their friends. Let all remember that it is God's cause. It is to promote the glory of God in the salvation of sailors that we are labouring, and writing, and praying. In the name of that God who has been good and kind to us; in the name of that loving Saviour, who took little children in his arms and blessed them, and on behalf of sailors and sailor-boys, do I most earnestly plead with your young readers to come forward and help us. I am, my dear Sir, yours', very faithfully,
Thomas George Bell.
EELS.—THE GYMNOTUS. The gymnotus, or electrical eel, is a fish which abounds in the rivers near the equator, and possesses the power of discharging at will its electricity ; it is capable of giving shocks sufficiently strong to kill both men and beasts ; its length generally is from four to five feet; and it is so numerous in rivers flowing into the Oronoko, that they often cannot be passed without much danger, as the eels place themselves under the bodies of mules and horses, bring them down by repeated shocks, and render them unable to save themselves. Both hands must be laid on the fish, for feeling the full effect of its electrical battery. This fish seldom enters into the description of those which inhabit the southern rivers. It is the largest of all such as are known to possess the faculty of giving electrical shọcks, and it can apply it with a more violent effect than the torpedo. How wonderful the works of God!
It would be truly wonderful to find that all our Sunday scholars turn out well, and give us complete satisfaction. Many do so, under the blessing of God, and become wise unto salvation, and new creatures in Christ Jesus.
William W-, a once promising youth in my Bible class, after leaving our Sunday school, and obtaining a respectable situation, lately became dissatisfied, and determined, if possible, to go to sea. He is now seventeen years of age, a finegrown youth, and well looking. He applied to me for assistance, and as I had laboured in vain to dissuade him from his purpose, I sent him to your Thames Missionary, Captain Prynn. He could not immediately aid him, and the youth then thought of the Royal Navy. A neighbour of mine, a captain in the Royal Navy, offered to further his wishes, and sent him with a letter to the commander of a ship at Chatham. The youth was admitted, and entered on board one of her Majesty's ships of war, and he was sent back to procure an outfit. This we assisted him to obtain ; and just before he set forth to join his ship, he called on me, for my parting advice. I reminded him of what he had learned and seen in the Sunday school, and in my Bible class, to prize the Bible, the Companion to the Bible, and the other books he had received as presents, recommended him to pray to God for his grace and Spirit, and gave him an admirable little volume, “A Voice from the Ocean.” I am not unaware of the dangers and temptations which will attend him in a ship of war ; they are fearful ; but I
trust, that the good seed of the word of God, sown in his heart, will spring up and bear fruit in the heart of this young sailor to the glory of God by Jesus Christ.
NEWCASTLE SAILORS’ HOME.
Lines advocating the “Proposed Sailors' Home and
Institute,” at Newcastle-on-Tyne.
“ The Sailors' Home !" "The Sailors' Home!”
What heart would not respond,
Uniting in the bond
A shelter for the brave;
From sin and want to save.
The sailor toils for all ;
That may to him befall ?
Who can thy claims with stand ?