페이지 이미지

may be said of us-" And they began to sanctify." Then we shall enter upon the new year with unfeigned gratitude-selfexamination-deep humiliation-greater circumspection-renewed dedication-and increased zeal. We shall aim wisely to improve the few remaining days or years that may be allotted us -remembering the great amount of business that has to be crowded within its narrow limits. We shall "work while it is day, for the night cometh, wherein no man can work." On the present fleeting moments are suspended the great concerns of an endless future.

Time is given to man for a most important end-"there is a time for every purpose under heaven." God never gives us a work without giving us time to do it; but he gives no spare time—no extra -no unnecessary time. If our hours hang heavy on our hands, we may conclude that there is some duty undischarged! The little span of human life is the only seed-time in which we can sow for a golden harvest of immortal blessedness. "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Then shall we not only be blessings in our day and generation, but also habitually ready to exchange the toils and sorrows of the wilderness, for the rest and felicity of the heavenly Canaan ;— we shall be found willing, and even desirous of leaving the "tabernacle service" of earth, for the glory of the upper and better temple: and," tired of our prison and our clay," long to bid farewell to the changing scenes of TIME, for the full fruition of IMMORTALITY!


[A Letter from the Rev. E. E. ADAMS, addressed to the Committee.]

In my letter of the 30th November, I promised to lay before our Committee and the readers of the Magazine, a few reasons for the immediate erection of a Chapel for Seamen at Cronstadt: permit me, then, to offer such as, although not peculiar, are yet emphatically applicable to the state of things in that port. And,

1st. A Chapel for Seamen, in Cronstadt, would greatly increase the inducement to attend religious worship.

The sailors are not allowed, unless on business, to go on shore,

except on the sabbath; hence they appropriate the hours of that day to traffic and dissipation. It thus becomes of all days the most distinguished for noise, profanity, and reckless iniquity. The pious heart bleeds at the spectacle, and asks itself and its God-" What can be done?" Often, in passing through these crowds, have I wished for the artist's power, to trace upon canvas a clear delineation of their features and their positions; exhibiting to the life, their passions, either kindled by unnatural excitement, or waning into stupor, by a long, cruel, and fatal indulgence; marking their articles of traffic; and then the shrewd features of those who are watching for the purse, the character, and even the life of the sailor and over all the calm blue sky, and the cheering light of the balmy morning, as if heaven itself were smiling, and God were breathing a sweetness and beauty all around, to win them from their sins:-then would I send forth the picture throughout christendom, and say, "Here are your children-your brethren." This is the miniature of a hundred ports, where souls are ripening for hell, and where no warning voice is raised, and no kind hand is extended for their rescue.

Were a chapel erected, where they could feel at home, and enjoy comfortable accommodations, the chaplain could easily, on the sabbath morning, invite them thither for worship. Many would follow him. They are so much the creatures of impulse, that an invitation for immediate attendance would be successful; whilst one for future worship would be answered indeed with respect, but not obeyed. The sailor wishes to worship, if he does it at all, where he can forget the scene of his daily labours ;- where his peculiar dress will excite no remark; where he will not be dependent for a seat, And as we wish, at Cronstadt, to meet the prejudices which exist between English and American seamen, we can do it in no better way, than by erecting a place of worship, which shall belong equally to each. Sailors expect an invitation from the master before they will readily go on board his vessel, even for religious worship. To a chapel they may go, without such invitation. The request of the chaplain is sufficient. Those who reside at Cronstadt as officers and traders, the English and Germans, who understand the English language, and especially many young men, oven Russians, would attend. They are sometimes on board the ship where I have service, but the inconvenience generally deters them. A chapel would remove such inconvenience.

2nd. A chapel would give your agent greater influence, not only with the seamen, but also with the residents in the port.

The plan of holding service on ship-board, is by no means too humble for the lover of souls, and the devoted servant of Christ; he will delight to follow the example of Him, who spake as never man spake; who proclaimed his truth in the temple to the doctors of the law, or in a fishing-boat to those whose tastes and habits were of the most humble character. But society is now such, especially in nations where despotic power is so distinct as it is in Russia, and

where circumstance rather than actual condition gives tone to opinion, that those who would labour most effectively for the good of the people, must place themselves upon a level with the majority of those, by whom public opinion is formed and preserved.

A well-constructed chapel at Cronstadt, would give to the public men, both natives and foreign residents there, the impression, that our object is, in our own view, a worthy one; that it is supported by a respectable body; and that the chaplain is, for the sake of his station, if for no other reason, deserving of respect and as a representative of your body and of the church of Christ, whatever respect or disrespect is incident to him, must be enjoyed or suffered by you and by the church.

3rd. Were a chapel erected at Cronstadt, a church might be organized, and the usual institutions in connexion with the church enjoyed, such as the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and Baptism.

Those who enjoy the privilege of communion with each other around the table of the Lord, in his sanctuary, can bear testimony to its influence upon their hearts, in calling afresh to mind the love of their Redeemer-their solemn vows-their deep obligations: and no class of men stand in greater need of such influence than seamen and especially in distant ports, where, even those who at home are accounted consistent christians, too often forget that they have given themselves to the Lord; and that amongst strangers, as well as before their own brethren, they should walk with a perfect heart. The solemnity of the sacrament would be calculated to preserve, in the minds of those who partake of it, a sense of their duty and relations, in the bustle, and anxieties, and temptations of their calling, and lead them to greater watchfulness over their conduct. The effect of this simple and solemn ceremony upon the mere spectators may be lasting and good. An appeal is made to them by this ordinance-such an appeal as the heart of a sailor could hardly resist at the close of a pungent discourse about Christ and him crucified. And as it is an institution which the Saviour himself established, and has enjoined upon our observance, we have reason to believe that it will be attended with his peculiar blessing. I will offer but one reason more, and this is—

4th. That the erection of a Seamen's Chapel at Cronstadt, will secure the protection and favour of the Russian Government for the future.

We, as individuals, naturally love those to whom we are doing good, as we hate those whom we wilfully injure. By patronage, we render the object of our favour, in a sense, our own; and therefore it becomes valuable in our view. The same holds true in communities and governments. If, then, with the consent and patronage of the Emperor and ministry of Russia, we erect a chapel in its most important port, they will cherish a protective feeling; and thus a foot-hold

will be given us, and an opportunity to manifest the simple, consistent character of our religion.

Russia and the continent must be evangelized; and the appointment of devoted and prudent chaplains, and the erection of chapels for seamen in every port, so far as permission shall be granted, are doubtless to be conspicuous in the means used for the revival of pure religiou amongst the people. Our seamen and travellers are to be met abroad by holy influence; their destructive example must be corrected; the systems of depravity which they perpetuate must be destroyed by our own faith and action, with the blessing of God. We must go forth to repair the breach which our own countrymen have contributed to make in the character of our neighbours.

We therefore call upon our committee to aid in this matter. We call upon the lovers of piety to manifest their attachment to the cause of missions-to the renewal of those, who, all over Europe, “have a name to live, while they are dead:" we call upon statesmen-the lovers of pure political institutions, and national character; we call upon the merchants in our ports, whose ships visit Cronstadt every year; we call upon parents, whose sons are on the deep, and are dying and spreading death on every shore; we call upon those who minister at the altar, to interest their hearts and their people in a work so good, so great ; and last, though not least, we call upon those, who as mothers and sisters have wept, and still weep, over sons and brothers whom they may see and admonish no more; whose tears may flow in solitude and silence over the waywardness of the young adventurer, who, forgetful of his soul, his God, and his eternity, is mingling as a seaman, or a traveller, in those scenes which allure souls to the chambers of the dead; nay, humanity, religion, our Redeemer calls---for your prayers, your charities, your constant interest. Shall the call be heeded? Let your hearts answer let your privileges answer.


[A Letter addressed to the Secretary of the Society.]

Much ill health has so shaken me, that it is but seldom I can write without producing pain in the head; this must plead for my apparent neglect in not communicating with the lady you mention in behalf of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society. But if my humble name and hearty recommendation of your Society's proceedings—and the making known my entire confidence, as to the honourable and conscientious expenditure of its income and my admiration of the zeal and usefulness of its pious and unsectarian labours among seamen and

their children, etc. can be of any service in the particular case you have named, or in any others—you are at full liberty to use such recommendation wherever you please, either in your written correspondence, or through the pages of your Magazine; but, from the circumstances above stated, I cannot undertake any correspondence with the parties myself. Independent of the official and regularly-published accounts of your Society's labours, the names of those gentlemen who hold office and form the committee, are a sufficient guarantee to all who know them, that the British and Foreign Sailors' Society is indeed, and in truth, all it professes to be. That the divine blessing, which has hitherto attended it, may continue to go with, and increasingly bless and prosper all its labours, and guide all its counsels to his own glory, and the present and eternal happiness of the objects of its attention, is the sincere prayer of,

Dear Sir, yours truly,



[From the New York Baptist Advocate.]

A sailor, recently returned from a whaling voyage, and in conversation with a pious friend, spoke of the enjoyment which he had in prayer while afar on the deep. "But" enquired his friend," in the midst of the confusion on shipboard, where could you find a place to pray?"

"O," said he, "I always went to the mast-head.”

I have heard of closets in various places, but never in one more peculiar than this. Peter went upon the house-top to pray. Our blessed Lord prayed upon the mountain-top. Others have sought the shades of the forest. I remember hearing of a youth, who came home from the camp, during the last war, and his pious mother asked him,— "Where, John, could you find a place to pray?" He answered, "Where there is a heart to pray, mother, it is easy to find a place."

And yet the sailor's closet was a favoured place. The ear of man could not hear him, as he cried mightily unto God. The gales that wafted his ship on its voyage, would bear his petitions upward toward the throne. "The voice of many waters would be the music of his sanctuary, and the angels that had charge concerning him, would

« 이전계속 »