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SERMON AT HAMMERSMITH.
On Wednesday Evening, the 9th inst., an interesting and impressive Sermon was delivered in Ebenezer Chapel, Hammersmith, on behalf of this Institution, by the Rev. E. E. Adams, A. M., Seamen's Chaplain at Cronstadt; when the collection amounted to upwards of £12. This is the third congregational collection which has been obtained from this comparatively small church, within little more than two years. They have set a noble example to the wealthier and larger bodies in the metropolis, and we hope it will be followed.
COMMEMORATION SERVICE. On Wednesday, the 16th ult, a special service was held at Ebenezer Chapel, Shadwell, (the Rev. Messrs. Hyatt's) in commemoration of the commencement of Bethel meetings on the Thames, on the 16th December, 1816. The Rev, C. J. Hyatt, Jun , opened the service by reading the scriptures and prayer. The Secretary of the parent Society then detailed the circumstances which led to the adoption of thie present system of means for the spiritual and eternal welfare of seamen, as first commenced by Captain A. Wilkins, who still lives to see and enjoy the fruit of his labours. After prayer by Capt. Sleightholm, the Rev. E. E. Adams then addressed the meeting on the claims of seamen.
We hope, in our next number, to insert a short sketch of the rise and progress of the Bethel cause, as drawn up by Captain Wilkins.
PRAYER-MEETING AT COMMERCIAL DOCK CHAPEL. On Monday Evening, the ult., a special prayer-meeting was held in the above place, when a deeply touching address was delivered by Mr. Adams, the Society's Chaplain at Cronstadt. Though the attendance was small, we have no doubt the impression was deep and salutary.
MEETING AT GRAVESEND.
Gravesend, in some respects, more than any place in the United Kingdom, is deeply interested in our merchant seamen. Several estimable christians in that town have manifested commendable zeal in seeking their spiritual welfare : but efforts worthy of the number and religious character of many of its inhabitants, are yet to be made: and it appears that a right spirit has been excited among them on this noble subject.
A Public Meeting in the Town Hall, Gravesend, was hield October 28th, ou behalf of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, when the Deputy-Mayor, Henry Ditchbourne, Esq., presided in the absence, through bodily indisposition, of the respected Mayor, - Bevan, Esq. The Meeting was addressed with much effect, by the several speakers - Rev. Mr. Tippetts, Rev. T. Timpson ; Captain Butchard, Mr. Welch, Thames Missionary, Mr. Maddox, and Mr. Saunders. Capt. Butchard's details respecting the Bethel cause in Foreign ports, and the increase of truly christian sailors: and his appeal on behalf of his sea-going brethren,were listened to with the liveliest interest; and some ladies, in particular, seemed, resolved on having a regularly organized Ladies' Association for Graves. end, in aid of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society.
Printed by J. W. Maddox, Dockhead, Bermondsey.
There are emotions which everywhere characterise the different seasons of the
savage is led, as well as the sage, to see the varying attributes of the Divine Mind; and, in its magnificent circle, it is fitted to awaken, in succession, the loftiest sentiments of piety which the heart can feel. When spring appears,—when the earth is covered with its tender green, and the song of happiness is heard in every shade,-it is a call to us to religious hope, and joy. Over the infant year the breath of heaven seems to blow with paternal softness, and the heart of man willingly participates in the joyfulness of awakened nature. When summer reigns, and every element is filled with life, and the sun, like a giant, pursues his course through the firmament above, is the season of solemn adoration : we see then, as it were, the majesty of the present God; and wherever we direct our eye, “the glory of the Lord seems to cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea,' When autumn comes, and the annual miracle of nature is completed "when all things that exist have waited upon the God which made them, and he hath given them food in due season,” it is the appropriate season of thankfulness and praise. The heart bends with instinctive gratitude before Him whose beneficence “neither slumbers nor sleeps ;” and who, from the throne of glory, “yet remembereth the things that are in heaven and earth."
The season of winter has also similar instructions : to the thoughtful and feeling mind, it comes not without a blessing upon its wings: and, perhaps, the noblest lessons of religion are to be learned amid its clouds and storms.
It is, in the first place, a season of solemnity; and the aspect of everything around us is fitted to call the mind to deep and serious thought. The gay variety of nature is no more; the sounds of joy have ceased, and the flowers which opened to the ray of summer are all now returned to dust. The sun himself seems to withdraw his light, or to become enfeebled in his power; and while night usurps her dark and silent reign, the host of heaven burst with new radiance upon our view, and pursue through unfathomable space their bright career. It is the season when we best learn the greatness of Him that made us.
The appearances of other seasons confine our regards chiefly to the world we inhabit. It is in the darkness of winter that we raise our eyes to “those heavens which declare his power, and to that firmament which showeth his handiwork." The mind expands while it loses itself amid the infinity of being; and from the gloom of this lower world, imagination anticipates the splendours of “those new heavens and that new earth,” which are to be the final seats of the children of God.
But there is still a greater reflection which the season is destined to inspire. While we contemplate the decaying sun, while we weep over the bier of nature, and hear the winds of winter desolating the earth,-what is it that this annual revolution teaches even to the infant mind? Is it that the powers of nature have failed, that the world waxeth old, and that the night of existence is approaching ? No! It is that this reign of gloom and desolation will pass ;-it is that spring will again return, and that nature will reassume its robe of beauty. In the multitude of years that have gone before us, this mighty resurrection has annually been accomplished. To our fathers, and the old time before them, the yearly beneficence of heaven has been renewed; and, while the night of winter has sunk in heaven, joy hath as uniformly attended the morning of the spring.
There is no language which can speak more intelligibly to the thoughtful mind, than this language of nature; and it is repeated to us every year, to teach us trust and confidence in God. It tells, that the power which first created existence, is weakened by no time, and subject to no decay. It tells, that in the majesty of his reign,“ a thousand years are but as one day,” while in the beneficence of it “ one day is as a thousand years. It tells us still farther, that, in the magnificent system of his government there exists no evil; that the appearances, which to our limited and temporary view seem pregnant with destruction, are, in the boundless extent of his Providence, the sources of returning good; and that, in the very hours when we might conceive nature to be deserted and forlorn, the spirit of the Almighty is operating with unceasing force, and preparing in silence the renovation of the world.
Such, my brethren, are the first instructions which this season is fitted to bring. Amid the solemn thoughts which it awakens, it leads us to the contemplation of that boundless wisdom which governs the revolutions of nature ;-amid the apparent decay of being, it reminds us of that Almighty Power, by which all is renewed ; and by the very contrasts which it presents, it tells us of the unceasing goodness of Him “whom both summer and winter obey."
(To be coniinued.)
CHRIST'S POWER OVER THE ELEMENTS OF MATTER AND MIND.
(The Substance of a Sermon to Sailors after a Storm.-Luke viii. 22–40.]
After a week of such disastrous intelligence, and of direful destruction* to many who go down to the sea in ships, it is highly proper that we should seek unto God who smiteth, and unto him commit our
When his judgments are abroad in the earth, we should learn righteousness, if we wish to escape the character and doom of those who observe not the doings of the Lord, nor consider the operations of his hand. Which of all the inhabitants of this Borough--of every sea-port in the kingdom, has not been made to attend to the
of the wonder-working Jehovah ? Are we not individually, either directly or indirectly, connected with the sea ?—the sea, which is God's, for he made it-acknowledged to be his, nasmuch as it is not parcelled out like the land, and bought and sold by our fellow-men.
• It is already ascertained, that fifty-seven gallant sailors (and many of them young men) belonging to the port of Sunderland, were lost in the gale of November, 1840.
How great our obligation to God, for the use of the ocean!
It yields a large proportion of our food-forms a communication between those parts of the world on whose produce we live,-affords protection from the invasion of enemies and adds to the beauty and grandeur of the scenes amid which we dwell. Without the sea, we could not live. The earth would soon be parched and withered, but for the continued supply which the clouds receive from its ample reservoir of waters. How ungratefnl then, to disobey the God of the sea ! If he alone can still its raging, and quell its tumults, how dangerous to oppose his will — to break his law. But for the sin of man, it liad never been tossed with tempests--the east wind had never broke the ships of Tarshish,
1,—nor had the sailor's bones bleached upon the shore, or been entombed in the bottoms of the mountains. Disregard the laws by which the sea is regulated, -refuse to sail with the tide, or the favourable gale--and commerce would cease to the ends of the earth. Lift up the arm of rebellion against the God of the sea,-trample upon his authority—and success in life,--success, in the proper sense of the expression, is out of the question,
Storms, either by sea or land, are altogether under the control of Jehovah ; and the NARRATIVE which we have just now read, shows the power which Christ, the Son of God, equally with the Father, can exert over the elements of mind and matter. Storms and tempests, whether they arise in the ordinary course of providence, or by an immediate order from God's throne, are his agents in punishing the wicked, or chastising the disobedience, or trying the faith of his own disciples. Jonah, the wayward prophet, was the cause of the tempest, and was signally punished ; while Paul, at a future period, was encouraged to trust, with unsuspecting confidence, in the God of the Mediterranean sea. How the weak faith of the disciples, on the agitated lake of Tiberias, was strengthened by this remarkable display of their Lord's divinity. The billows dashed their waters against their small open boat,- the Master sleeps, with the winds in his fists, without alarm,—the disciples have no human help,—it is in vain, without his aid, to expect to reach the shore. They therefore go directly to the hinder part of the ship, and cry out, " Lord, save us, we perish !" Immediately he rebukes the winds and the seas, so that there is a great calm.
But if the elements of matter are agitated by sin, and often converted into the agents of destruction, these are exceeded by the convulsions of mind—the storms of passion and lust - the tempests of Satanic fury and madness, which are so often witnessed in the moral and spiritual world. What was the tossing of the lake of Tiberias, compared with the fierceness, the depravity of the two possessed Gergesenes, who dwelt
among the tombs, and occasioned terror and dismay to all around ? How great the tempest in the sinner, when conviction seizes the mind—and horror, remorse, despair, gnaw the heart, like so many harpies—when the storm without and within, unite in their fury against him-destruction to the body, and no way of apparent escape for the soul! Terrors make him afraid on every side, and drive