Imágenes de páginas

N. Y. Marine Bible Society. Seventh Report.

the want of a Bible. During the past year, your managers have had an application from the "Society for promoting the Gospel among seamen," for one hundred Bibles to distribute among them, as their agents are almost constantly with these men, and know extensively their wants; and they would very gladly have complied with this request, appreciating as your managers do, the good which that Society is doing among seamen; but they were not able directly to do it, for the want of means. And from the same cause, your managers have been restrained in another important part of their duty :-they allude to that of seeking out objects of need among seamen, and supplying them without their personal application. In the present state of seamen, your managers are entirely convinced, that in every thing partaining to religion, they must be men, most literally, "SOUGHT OUT." If they must be so to attend the preaching of the Gospel, they must also be "sought out," to put a Bible into their hands But this your managers have not been able to do; and it is painful to them to witness the wants which they have not been able to supply.


There is still another source of sorrow to your managers, which they will just name:-it is, that there should ever in this, or in any similar institution, be any thing, which should seem like presenting to the world more than it has really done. One way in which this is often done by a society, is by mingling the labours of others with the details of its own. Your managers have witnessed many interesting facts, and have heard many more, concerning seamen, during the past year, which they might detail; but they are not reporting what they have seen, beard, and done as men; or even their own feelings as members of any compact, but of the Marine Bible Society; and they are unwilling to distract the public mind in this report, with any thing not immediately the object of the society and they only regret, in this view, that there is not interest enough taken in this cause to furnish the world with annually interesting detail of labour done.

It is much to be lamented that the value of the Bible among seamen is not sufficiently felt. By this remark your managers mean, that seamen themselves, do not sufficiently feel the importance of possessing and knowing the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make them wise unto salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ :-they do not feel sufficiently grateful to that God, who has given the Scriptures to be the guide of man in this world of darkness and sin, and who has put the spirit into his children to labour to give them that best of all treasure; nor do they feel as they ought towards those who are thus labouring to give to their souls the bread of life ;--that they do not strive as they ought, to save a little of their wages to buy for themselves the field, which contains the pearl of great price; and that they do not properly regard the gift of a Bible when it is presented to them;-they do not read it with that prayerful attention, nor preserve it, in all cases, with that pious care which becomes those, who receive from friends the book of life.→→ But your managers mean more than all this, by the above remark. They mean, also, that the importance of putting the Bible into the hands of seamen, is not sufficiently felt by the Christian community at large. Indeed, they feel, that it is felt in all its important bearings by very few.

These are the men who are to defend our commerce and our shores. These are the men, to whom we commit our property, our friends, our children, and our lives. These are the men, to whom also, we commit the sacred deposit which we have consecrated to the God of heaven, for the benefit of the heathen, and for evangelizing the world! And what class of men is there, within the circumference of our world, whose moral rectitude would be of equal benefit to mankind! What class would we have govern their lives by the precepts of the Bible, with more scrupulous exactness than seamen ?-But how shall they govern their Jives by the Bible, so long as they have it not? And who should be more ready to supply them with it, than those for whose interest they labour, toil, and suffer?-Are they vitious?—And what shall make them virtuous, if not the Bible?—Are they faithless?—And what shall transform them into objects of confidence, if not the Bible ?—Are they an untoward and wandering race?-And what shall reclaim them if it be not the Bible?

The managers feel that, should these views be felt as they ought, by this great commercial city, or even by the Christian population of it, the Marine Bible Society would not long want means, nor the seamen of the port of New-York long want Bibles. This society would very soon compare to better advantage than it now can, with its sister institution at Boston. That society during the last year circulated 368 Bibles; while this society, with at least ten times as many seamen, whose wants it is bound to supply, has distributed during the year past, only 216 Bibles. But still with all these scenes of sorrow before them, the managers look forward with hope, and they trust with prayer to the prospect of better days. It is true, when they only look at the difficulties which stand in the way, little is seen to cheer or to animate, and the prospect of success darkens till the gloom of night covers it :-but still, the ray of light, which first broke the gloom by its steady lustre, is to them, but the sure presage of the sudden approach of that day, when our "Light shall rise in obscurity, and our darkness be as the noonday." Then shall the Bible be put into the hands of every mariner who does not possess it; and he shall value it as the "glorious Gospel of the blessed God :”—Then shall" the abundance of the sea" be converted unto God, and the merchandise thereof be "holiness unto the Lord of hosts:"Then shall those who "go down to the sea," sing a new song unto the Lord, and "declare his praise in the islands:"Then shall the isles wait for the law of the Lord, and the "ships of Tarshish" be the first to bring presents unto the Lord, of gold, and silver, and converts :-And then shall be seen in its greatness, and its glory, the importance of giving the Bible to these men, who are thus, in a little while, to be some of the most conspicuous instruments in the conversion of the world.

These views stimulate your managers to new exertions, and they are persuaded will move every friend of seamen, to labour still more and more, to give them the Bible; that they may read the promises, and perform the duty which is there assigned them.

By order of the Society,

JOHN TRUAIR, Corresponding Secretary.

Liverpool Marine Bible Society.-Third Report.

LIVERPOOL MARINE BIBLLE SOCIETY.-THIRD REPORT. MR. BRUCE, a purser in the Royal Navy was appointed by this society to act as an agent, to visit the vessels in port and supply them with Bibles.

"From the 22nd of January to the 31st of December 1822, the Agent visited 961 vessels, forming an aggregate of 194,146 tons, and navigated by 10,450 seamen, out of which number, 254 vessels, being wholly or partially destitute of the Scriptures, have been provided. The following is a statement of the number of copies of the Scriptures disposed of by the Agent:

[blocks in formation]

care of the captains, for sale to the crew, or to those who might wish to purchase in foreign ports. Of the latter number, 54 Bibles and 45 Testaments have been diposed of to the ships' companies.

It is gratifying to be able to state, that with few exceptions, and those evidently diminishing rapidly, the visits of the agent have been favourably received, in many instances, with expressions on the part of the captains, of warm approbation of the objects of the society, and an avowal that the prejudices with which they formerly viewed it, had been entirely dispelled, by observing its favourable effects on the conduct of their crews.


Placed under the

On the first hundred vessels visited by the agent in the beginning of the year, 52, and of the last 100 visited towards the close of the year, only 32 appeared to be unsupplied. It is much to be regretted, however, that instances of indifference, with respect to the Scriptures, are most frequent on board the ships of this port: that so great has been the apathy of the owners on this subject, that the committee have hitherto been able to secure very little support beyond a bare approval of their exertions; and that, although it is the practice of the agent to visit every ship, except where the long prevalence of particular winds renders it impracticable, a greater number of Liverpool ships have been found unsupplied, than of any other port with which a comparison has been made. Of vessels be longing to

2 ::











Liverpool, out of 239 visited, 133 were unsupplied







Whitby ::
Yarmouth ::
Workington, :: 20


Scotland, ::


New-York, ::





Boston, Philadelphia :: 11 :: From this statement, it appears that, while of the vessels belonging to London about one third, to Scotland one fourth. to Philadelphia









[ocr errors]

one-fifth, and to New-York only one sixth; of those belonging to Liverpool, more than one half have been found without a regular supply of the Scriptures.

The following are extracts from the journal of Mr Bruce :

28. One of the owners put a stop to all conversation on the subject, by swearing he would not have a Bible on board. The captain said he believed all the men had Prayer-books.

61. The captain informed me that seamen had improved much within the last few years, which he attributed to the various institutions established for them, amongst which the Bible Societies stand the first. The ship, had been supplied in America; the crew were much engaged.

110. The mate of this vessel had collected five or six old Testaments and Bibles, for the purpose of giving them to any of the crew who might go to sea without; he is in the habit of doing this every voyage. Going past this vessel the other day, the mate ran after me, to procure a Bible for one of the men.

275. The master will thankfully receive the gratuitous supply, and if he could afford, would purchase.


(Continued from page 736.)

March 4th.-The Bethel Union prayer meeting was held at 317 Water-street. The increased number of seamen-and attention to what was said in exhortations and prayers, strengthens our hope and confidence in the promises of God, that where two or three assem ble together in his name, and for his cause in the salvation of sinners, he will be in the midst. He surely was there ;-his divine presence caused an agonizing spirit in all the supplications. Great solemnity pervaded the meeting while the following accounts were related.

The brig Economy, captain Cross of Newburyport, and the brig Neptune, captain Archer of Portland, were both lost on the coast of St. Domingo; one on the 20th, the other on the 23d of December last. The schooner Friendship, captain Wells, belonging to the state of Maine, going from Jeremie to Portsmouth, N. H. was wrecked on Castle Island the 20th January. The brig Richard Mead, captain Decrow, from New-Orleans for New-York, with a cargo valued at 20,000 dollars, sprung a leak two days from the Balize. Notwithstanding both pumps were kept going, it was found necessary on the following day for the crew to abandon her; they were providentially taken up on the 11th by the Samuel and John, and carried to Balti


[ocr errors]

The schooner Hunter, captain Clements, from Edenton for Kingston, Jamaica, was completely upset by a squall; the captain and crew sustained themselves by a rope, which they lashed through a hole in the keel, where they continued 28 hours; they were providentially picked up by captain Cooper, of the schooner Aurora, from Martin

Journal of the Bethel Flag

ique bound to Elizabeth city, where they arrived safe the 23d of February.

The schooner Friend's Adventure, captain Dunn, from Jamaica for St. Johns, Newfoundland, went on shore near the entrance of the latter harbour on the first February. The master and two of the crew perished.

Brig John and Hannah, captain Patterson, of and for Kennebunk, from Port au Prince, run a shore on Castle Island, N. H. and immediately went to pieces. These and many other circumstances, were applied to all the seamen present; urging the necessity of being prepared to meet such sudden and unexpected deaths and dangers. Fifty numbers of the Bethel Union Messenger, Reports, Christian Herald and Seaman's Magazines were distributed, yet not sufficient to supply all present, some of whom retired saying with tears; "0 I wish I had a tract or something to read."

March, 11th and 18th.-Meeting was held at Mr. Williams's sailors' boarding house, 317 Water-street.

In our weekly reports, there must be a repetition of the exercises we are engaged in; those who attend these meetings, see and enjoy something new every evening All who are acquainted with a seafaring life, know that many are in port one week and absent the next: there may be thirty present who were never with us before, and some of them are engaged in addresses and prayers, which had never been reported, may be considered a repetition; but we wish to convince the world by our reports, the Lord is doing something for the souls of seamen.


These meetings have brought to our view, that the Lord orders every thing in infinite mercy, through the endeavours of feeble men, whose hearts can rejoice in seeing convictions which bring a hopeful prospect of conversions. It is a pleasing sight to see long neglected and weather beaten sailors weep; a scene frequently witnessed in these meetings. There were several strangers present, among whom was a shipmaster who had lately been convinced of his awful situation, he related his convictions and conversion; and in his address to seamen, he gave them the following advice, which he urged with great vehemence. "When you are on the ocean, and off duty, the conversation with your shipmates is, to inform each other where you have been, what you have seen on the sea and land; and the various dangers you have been in, and how often you have been delivered from a watery grave; without attributing this deliverance to the Almighty who had done it. I know these details will often bring sighs and sobs from a thoughtless man, but soon dismissed and forgotten. I do now entreat you in the name of Christ, in whom is all our salvation, that in all your future conversation with each other, at sea or on shore, to keep in view, the goodness, mercy, and loving kindness of God, and continually give him all the glory for every hour of your existence in this world. And do not neglect to read the Bible, and pray to God who has made you, preserved, and protected you, in dangers seen and unseen; and is ready and willing to make you the subjects of his grace, and heirs of Heaven."

« AnteriorContinuar »