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Junior Thames Missionary. Mr. Welch.-On reviewing my journal of labours, since my last report, I find, that as on former occasions, two general heads include the whole-JOY and SORROW-painful and pleasing events. It is a mingled cup that is daily put into the hands of a missionary amongst sailors. How distressing to witness the plunder, the havock, the ruin, of every thing that is excellent in man, of which the poor sailor is the unsuspecting victim, as he arrives on these (said to be) enlightened shores. I think this will appear from one instance I shall give out of many.
On 16th of June, in the course of my visitation, I boarded a ship which had recently arrived from a foreign voyage; finding her crew in a sorrowful mood, and enquiring into the cause, they said,— Sir, one of our shipmates was drowned last night, in a very sad state; the particulars are as follows. About a week previous to this, the poor fellow had received his hard earned wages for the past voyage; he was not given to habits of intemperance, according to the testimony of the chief officers and crew, but had gone on shore with the view of sending his money for the support of his wife and family in Scotland, or going to them himself, but, alas ! alas ! for them and him, he fell a prey in the merciless hands of those sharks in human shape that prowl along our coasts,—they gave him the stupifying draught, and in less then a week his money was gone, as was also his pretended friends. He became destitute, and at length with shame returned to his ship. Being a good seaman he was accepted again, but sad to relate on the first day of his return, whilst engaged in the duties of the ship, and reflecting on what he had done—the situation of his beloved wife, and five dear children
depending on him in a distant part-in a desperate state of mind he rushed past his shipmates, and plunged himself headlong into the river Thames, and in a moment disappeared. May God grant timely repentance to those that were the cause of this catastrophe!
On the evening of the 16th, I collected the crew and the seamen around, and made the best improvement I could of the melancholy event, to a large meeting on board the ‘Olive Branch,' alongside the fatal ship, and near the spot where it occurred. Addresses were given by Messrs. Parsons from Leeds, Bailey from Yarmouth, and myself. A deep solemnity seemed to rest on all present. May this distressing event be a lasting warning to the un wary sailor, and serve as a stimulus to us who seek to counteract the reckless purposes of those who seek his ruin !
I more than fear that most of those seamen's houses, 80 called (especially in the neighbourhood of the Docks) are nurseries of everything that is destructive to the morals, property, and life of the unguarded sailor, who is drawn into them, by the art of persons whose employment depends on their success in supplying such houses with inmates. Indeed, out of the number of boarding houses I visit on sabbath, not less than three-fourths have taken entirely to public-house keeping recently, and have become such houses (though filled with sailors) as prudence would forbid us entering! WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
A second scene of sudden death I was called to improve to the living, on the 4th ult., on board the “Sisters, near the Custom House. This case was a promising youth, the ship's cabin boy, much beloved and much lamented. Whilst engaged in the duty of the ship, he missed his step, dropped in the river, went under a steamer's bottom, and
was seen no more! On this solemn on board the O-, Capt. G., laying occasion, the ship's hold being empty, in Mill Hole, one young man, greatly it was fitted up for a large meeting, alarmed at his state as a singer, began which took place on the following even- to pray and weep for mercy. A second ing, when nearly all the captains, mates, followed him, and then a third, earnest. men, and boys in the tier, were present. ly supplicating for the pardon of sin, It was a mournful sight. Before me through the atonement of the Rewas placed the heart-rent father, weep- deemer. Such was the effect, that ing for his dear lad, now no more. On
many went to their ships, much im. my left was the pious captain, seeking pressed. A very affecting history is grace to support his wounded mind. connected with one of these young men. All around sat the sorrowing crew. Some few days after the above date, The first address was given from Mark whilst he was engaged in the duties of vi. 29–31, They came and took up the ship, the helm changed suddenly by the corpse, and laid it in a tomb, and the force of the tide, and struck him in gathered themselves unto Jesus, and the side almost a fatal blow. After he told him all things. And he said unto was taken below, he meekly expressed them, come ye yourselves apart into a his resignation to the Divine will, desert place and rest awhile; for there and his hope in Christ the Saviour. were many coming and going.' The Hope of his recovery being entertained, second was given by Captain Sleight- the ship sailed with him on board; holm, from James iv. 14,– For what is but at sea he became worse, so that your life? It is even a vapour, that the captain was obliged to land at Yarappeareth for a little time, and then mouth, to seek the assistance of a mevanisheth away.' Many seemed to be dical person, who informed him, had much affected. May the solemnities he not obtained it, he must have been of this evening long be remembered carried off in a few hours, inflammation by all!
having taken place. Under all his The second and more pleasing part of suffering and danger, he still remained my present report affords encourage- calm, speaking of the love of his Sament to labour for the glory of the viour who supported him.
Te ship Redeemer, and the conversion of my again proceeded on her passage, during brother sailors. During the past two which the captain always found him months, I have obtained eighty ships either in devout prayer, or with his for the Society's agents; and, could Bible in his hand, doubtless searching ministers have been found, as many out the promises of which he had lately more would gladly have received the become an heir. The ship arriving at Bethel flag. A praying sailor called her destination, he was taken to his out with all his might, from the midst parents very weak, but able to say on of a large tier of shipping, as I passed entering,—Dear father, perhaps I have in my boat,---- When shall we have a come home to die, but I am not afraid chance ? Many crews have to pass to die now, Jesus has met with me and daily to the great deep without hearing blessed me at a Bethel meeting while the sound of the gospel. During the in London,- I hope I shall be with above period, I have held twenty-six him for ever.' After this, he became ervices myself afloat. Seldom, indeed, worse. To the pious captain of this have I closed a service, without wit- dear lad, I am indebted for these parnessing some satisfactory indications of
and according to the last acgood. A few particulars I will take count he gave me, it is likely this youth the liberty to give.
is not now in this world; if so, may we On the 6th July, at a meeting I held not hope this is a brand plucked from
the burning, by the blessing of God on great work. Good night.” And off a Bethel meeting? To him be all the he went to his ship, with a tract in his praise !
hand, leaving me to thank God and Another instance I think worthy of take courage. During the two months record. A young lady, who had come I have visited seamen's boarding houses, a sea voyage for her health, was in the and London and St. Katherine's Docks, ship, and present at the meeting, whilst as usual. Visited one ship, on her the sailors poured out their souls in arrival in St. Katherine's Docks, that prayer. It pleased the blessed Spirit had been dismasted off Cape Horn; to bring to her remembrance her back- from which time, to her arrival in sliding state, which threw her into London, she had tossed about the seas great agitation and alarm. Her con- 139 days.' I had much affecting convictions for sin became very strong ;-- versation with the chief mate, con. prayer was continued in her behalf, cerning these disasters, which must till it pleased God to release her trou- be reserved at present. Held twenty bled soul. She left «London blessing services on shore, including Sailors' God for the Bethel institution. I dare Chapel, and open air, at Billingsgate not venture upon more particulars in market, and East Smithfield, near the present report. That great good London Docks. In this latter place, is doing, is evident; but how much several hundreds of wandering sailors must remain to be revealed in the day on the sabbath have heard the word of of eternity we cannot tell.
God with deep attention. May it be I had a striking proof of this, some blessed to them. Some encouraging few days since. After the close of a instances of good we have met with happy meeting, I was called upon deck resulting from these services. At the to speak with a sailor. “I suppose,” said close, we have been almost carried by he, “ you don't know me, sir.” “No in- the press, when the tarry hands have deed, my lad, but go on.”
been extended, to seize a religious about three years ago, you made a
tract. bond prize of me."
“ How was that ?" I have dedicated to the service of “Why a pious shipmate then had got the Redeemer five fresh ships, and witme into your house, I shall never forget nessed a considerable increase of prayhow I wished to be out again ; yes, sir, ing sailors. I thought to cut and run, and go to I had the long-to-be-remembered join my own fleet that night, but you pleasure of being present at the openhooked on to me, and bore away for ing of the new Sailor's Chapel, erected the chapel. That was a settler. Per- in East India Road, by the voluntary haps none but God and myself knew deed of that dear friend of sailors, what was going on within that night. Green, Esq.; a goodly number of sailors But I trust, by divine grace, from that were present on the occasion. On that time my course has been altogether great day, when the Lord writeth up altered. Yes, sir, I am happy to tell the people, may it be said, many a you, for more than twelve months, I sailor was born there! have been numbered among the people of God in the port I belong to. I am Welsh Station. Rev. J. T. Rownow married, and I trust my partner is LAND.-I beg to present the quarterly going heart and hand with me to a report of my humble labours amongst better world. Excuse me for calling sailors in the port of London. Often you up, sir ; I have long wanted a has my heart been filled with anguish chance to tell you this, and now I am in listening to the mariner's tales of happy. I hope you will go on in this woe relative to their awful catastrophies
at sea, during the voyage ; and again, given to seamen, anxious to possess in several instances, I have been filled that valuable volume ; also a vast numwith delight at the recitals of what ber of magazines, and other religious God had done for their souls. Yes, publications, and many thousands of blessed be his name, a decided moral tracts; for the whole of which they and religious reformation is going for- were most thankful. I am glad to ward among those who go down to find that the disposition of seamen the sea in ships, and do business in for reading is increasing. Often, begreat waters !
fore leaving a tier of ships, some of
the men have said to me, "Master, I Bethel Meetings. These, by the have already read your tract; its conblessing of God, are becoming increas- tents were very instructive. Can't ingly interesting, whether conducted you give me another, and a larger one? in the English or Welsh language. We think of you when far at sea, while They are Bethels indeed-God smiles reading these books ?' upon them. The Holy Spirit descends -Jesus Christ is there found a preci- Loan Library Books. Three of ous Saviour to many a poor mariner. these have been lent, to captains anxiDuring the quarter I had the pleasure ous for them, both for themselves and of holding forty-seven religious ser- their crews.
Parcels were sent also to vices afloat and on shore ; and not Llanelly and Carmarthen, for the use fewer than 975 attended on those in- of the auxiliaries formed there. Mr. teresting occasions, a proof that there Hart, a gentleman on board the “ Louis a movement on the waters.
isa Bailey,' bound for China, was also
supplied with magazines, tracts, &c., Visitation of Shipping. — By the with a view of distributing them among guidance and protection of Divine the passengers and crew, during the Providence, though exposed to many voyage. dangers, (thrice in particular, I had very narrow escapes from a watery Visitation of Sailors' Lodging Hougrave,) I have visited in the various - Under visitation I have paid localities appointed me in the port of eleven visits to each of the eight houses London, not fewer than 1031 ships. and held religious conversation with In some instances, sailors have been about ninety-six sailors. And it is rather regardless of my visitations and hoped that some reproof and counsel exhortations; but in most instances tendered, or instruction imparted, will they have been kindly and thankfully be blessed to their immortal souls. received. Conversations I have reason to believe have been a mutual bles- Dundee Steam Packets. Attended sing to many sailors and to myself. I several meetings on the Lord's-day love to speak to the warm-hearted sons morning and evening, on board those of the ocean, of Jesus and his cross ; large and elegant packets. The kindthirty-five ships have been engaged ness shewn towards the agents, and for agents, sixteen of which have the attention paid to the preaching of hoisted the flag for the first time. I the gospel by the officers and men is supplied one captain with a Bethel most gratifying. I have found many flag, which he was to hoist when con- devotional characters among the men. venient in every port he might visit.
Billingsgate Market.-In connexion Distribution of Books, Tracts, &c.- with my brother agents, I have held Eight copies of the scriptures were many meetings, without the least mo
lestation, except once, when an indi- house keepers, and many other respect vidual attempted to interrupt; but the able individuals. I am the more enofficers kindly put a stop to it The couraged in this good undertaking, by attendance bas been large, amounting having several friends to assist me in sometimes to hundreds ; but as the conducting the worship of God here, oyster season has commenced, we ex- and on board ship, as well as in visiting pect more fishermen to attend.
the sailors, in three different lodging
houses. My young christian friends Cambrian Chapel, (lower part) Fair- will also pay the rent of the chapel. street, Tooley-street, Borough.--I have May HE, whose is the sea,-HElong desired to get this convenient and central place for the accommodation of
Who moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform; seamen, on the south side of the Thames,
Who plants his footsteps in the sea and especially for Welsh service on
And rides upon the stormsabbath morning. Now, through the kindness of the Rev. J. Adey, and his cause that this place may be no other christian friends, I have succeeded. I than a house of God-a Bethel incommenced preaching in June, with deed,
--a place where many a poor every prospect of success : there was mariner may be converted from the a large attendance of seamen, lodging- errors of his way! Amen.
Extract of a Letter from the Rev. E. E. Adams, dated 13th June.