« PredošláPokračovať »
and Foreign Sailors' Society, and its affiliated institutions, “ Bethel Ships," “ Bethel Captains,” and “Bethel Sailors,” are common; and it is believed that 10,000 or 12,000 of our sailors truly believe and adorn the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“ Bethel service," or the crew of a ship at sea being assembled for the worship of God in the cabin, is happily not now uncommon : the nature and importance of which will be illustrated by the following affecting narrative :
66 While I was a teacher in Silver-street Sunday school, London, some years ago, a fine young man, in sailor's clothes, called on me to inquire my welfare ; and perceiving that he appeared a stranger, he informed me that he had been a scholar in one of the upper classes, in the school of which I was the secretary; but as I still could not recognize his face, he took out of his pocket a Testament, and asked me if I did not recollect giving it to him.
“In the course of a long conversation, I drew from him the history of his own course, and the effect of this little volume on several hearts. After serving a short period on board an Italian vessel, he obtained employment on board a fishing craft, belonging to Scotland, commanded by the owner's son; and although he had six or seven men under his care, neither he nor they could read. They were often out on this kind of service for weeks together; and, on the Sabbaths, the lad, from the force of habit, would take out his Testament to read. As the men had sometimes little to do, besides baiting their hooks, they requested to hear his book; and some became so interested in it, as to ask the master to hear it also, to which he consented, and frequently ordered it of his own accord to be read aloud. They were all very profane in their conversation, but it was soon found, that they must give up their oaths, or shut the book, and the master was the first to refrain from swearing under its influence. Some of the men began to pray; and they all found so much more comfort in the reading of God's word, and the order it produced among them, that it was agreed to keep the Sabbath. They then procured some tracts at the first port,—the boy was dubbed Chaplain, regular service was set up,-prayers read from their tracts, and now and then a sermon was found among them,—which, added to the Scripture and other portions, enabled him to do very tolerably. Matters now went on better than ever : all agreed they were never so happy. But it was found that other sins must fall before God's Word -and they did fall ; there was quite a reformation in the whole; the mate and two of the men got spelling-books to learn to read for themselves; the master declared he would do so too; and at that period they had obtained two volumes of sermons for the next trip.
" This was the last I heard of the affair," says the narrator, “whether the vessel was lost, or the young man died, I know not, but suppose one or the other, as he promised to let me know what further transpired, if able. It was enough to encourage me in teaching boys, and sending Testaments to sea!”
Sunday school teachers may be encouraged in this, and a thousand other instances, to go on in their work, assured that their “ labour is not in vain in the Lord !”.
NANCY THE NEGRESS, AND HER BIBLE. IN the Island of Antigua, a young Negress, named Nancy, having attended a Sunday-school, received a Bible there. She constantly carried it with her in her hut, and at her work; and when sick, she still had her Bible, as her faithful companion. An inspector of the estate, having observed this, asked her what book it was.
“ The Word of God;" she replied.
“No, sir ; I would not part with it, although you offered me my liberty in exchange.”
Now we ought not to imagine that this Negress underrated the value of liberty. On the contrary, she used this proverbial expression to show, that the most precious thing she knew of in the world was less valuable in her eyes than the blessed word of the Lord! What a striking lesson to all young persons who possess the Bible! And here we have a beautiful illustration of the utility of Christian Missions !
SHOAL OF WHALES. In a storm on the 13th January, 1848, a shoal of no fewer than 180 small bottle-nosed Whales were “shipwrecked” on the Island of Haroldswick in Zetland.
THE SAILOR'S FAREWELL.
The sun had sunk in the glorious west,
And its last bright tint was gone,
When the sailor left his home.
He bade farewell to the friends he loved,
With affection pure and high ;
Without a tear or sigh.
That's felt by the brave alone ;
Where duty calls,- is home.
But there was one, whose tone
A parent's heart alone,
Escaped from the mother's heart;
Which told it was hard to part.
Of the bright success to come,
He'd turn to his happy home.
O’er his loved, his native shore ?
He left to return no more !
And the eye that wept at parting, weeps
For the young, and free, and brave;
Unknown in a foreign grave.