Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

is content to take whatever His hand may allot. A casual letter addressed to a soldier on his way to India, and shown by him to a poor sailor on the ship in which he was sailing, led in God's providence to her present issue of “ Blue Backs per month, now finding their way on board everyone of Her Majesty's ships, and some 500 of our finest ocean-going steamers. We feel almost afraid to try and give idea of these inimitable and most blessed little monthly messengers, for fear of misrepresenting them. Suffice it to say, that keen and intuitive sympathy with a sailor's trials and temptations seems to give her at once a message from God's word, either of His fulness, or the “unsearchable riches” of Christ, that seems to go right home to the sailor's heart. What message can God love to bless like one concerning the Son of His love, or the riches of His grace? Surely none; and if ministry be weak and powerless, surely the secret must be that its burden is something man is to be, to do, or to become, and not what God hath done, and Jesus has suffered for our sakes, and on our behalf.

Miss Weston has a warm place in as large a number of hearts at this moment as almost anyone living. She has striven to put Jesus there, and with the usual payment of the blessed Master, He has put her there, and made her influence extend all round the globe. Deeply interesting it was at the Annual Meeting of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, in May, 1880, to hear Dr. Damon's testimony from far-off Honolulu as to her influence, under God, over the men of our ships of war visiting that port. He had neither seen her, written to her, or heard of or from her, and yet he knew her well from the sailors' own lips. her life has been given to two things,—removing temptation (stumbling-stones, as our Lord calls them) from out of sailors' paths, and setting before them the only way, the only Truth, the only Life. The former she does by providing at Plymouth, Portsmouth, and Sheerness, rests and homes, shelter and food, without drink; and the latter by various opportunities in connection therewith. When we mention that £ 13,000 has been deposited by seamen in her savings' bank during the year, our readers will see to what the thing has grown. “Go thou and do likewise.” What better can we say, only remembering that the "likewise” means with an equally single eye to the glory of God, and an equally simple and entire dependence upon Him!

J. W. J. [Those who have seen Miss Weston's face illuminid by the transfigured light of her Master and theme, might wonder that the same does not appear on paper.

But readers must remember that the photographer has to put it first on card, the engraver on wood, the electro-typer on metal, and the printer on paper! The wonder is that after all this there is any soul left at all. Our readers however will be glad of an outline of her face, and we say amen to the appreciative article above.-ED.]

For years

201

AMERICAN SEAMEN'S FRIEND SOCIETY.

T is with pleasure that we have read the 53rd report of this

great Society. Its year's record justifys its present and prophesys its future. The eyes of the American nation have

been attracted to its railroads, rivers, mines, grain fields, and its fabulous internal wealth. Would they had heard the prophetic cry, Go up now, and look toward the sea." Ye senators and representatives at Washington, the sailor must have some share of your thought and attention. Ye churches, suffer not the treasury of this Sailors' Society to languish, for its mission is but commenced. You are renowned as a "go-ahead" people. Englishman point to the sea. Let the stars and stripes float over a religious investment in every part of the world for sailors, irrespective of nation or creed. Bon voyage to A. S. F. S. for 1881! Dr. Armitage's eloquent sermon we shall steal for “Chart and Compass," whatever the law of copyright might say!-ED.

Let an

COLUMBUS IN THE STORM.

men.

ICTURES of the sea should be always welcome to English

Marine paintings have a peculiar glory of their own. Unfortunately, the majority of our English paintings are

associated with war. Naval battles are portrayed in all their terrible fury. It is therefore a pleasant transition to behold the magnificent marine paintings by Aivazovsky, now exhibited in the (48) Pall Mall Gallery. Two are colossal in size, grand in conception, and complete in execution. We refer to Columbus's ship, “Santa Maria” caught by the storm in the Atlantic, and Columbus with his party landing in the Island of San Salvador. Each picture is a volume in itself, and therefore cannot be spoken of in a paragraph. We question if ever before genius has so completely thrown a storm upon canvass.

It is not that you see a gigantic Niagara wave, or the mere agitation of the sea, but as though the very ocean itself, (as the sailor has often felt it in an Atlantic gale) is all movement and life. Descending clouds and ascending seas are entering into weird and mystic blending. In the distance is to be faintly seen the “Santa Maria's” distressed Consort also labouring as for life. Aivazovsky has caught the critical moment, in the midst of that darkness and despair, when two world's are hanging in the balances, and the momentous question has come whether history herself is to be thrown back centuries more. The storm is at its fiercest height, the ship is hove

upon her beam, with mizen blown over the side, and with only one solitary sail set, and a few sailors attempting to climb the foremast to save that, even the consecrated banner given to Columbus by Queen Isabella is now half-mast high, rent and torn by this last gust, which, to the despairing sailors, would be a sad omen of their impending and immediate fate. The outward storm is but the symbol of their own tempestuous passions, as they lay all the blame of storm and danger on Columbus their captain. The climax has come, mutiny is about to do its work, perhaps the gods. will be appeased by the death of this Jonah; they rush toward. him, one draws his poinard, but Columbus stands prophet-like with courage, faith, and hope, and then comes out of those dark clouds and over the waters which were about to witness the tragedy of history, a ray of light. Surely God was in that ray to arrest the storm and save that grand, heroic sailor-Columbus. “The discoverer of America" on landing at San Salvador is a worthy contrast. Here that voyage of all voyages is ended, the harbour is reached, the object of that wonderful life is obtained, visions are translated into realities, a new world with its birds and beasts, trees and men, is bursting upon them in all the tropical glories of that morning sun. The ships are safely anchored on that glassy sea, and Columbus before stepping from his boat to the shore, is for a moment beholding the scene, with a face illumined, as his must have been, with almost super-human glory of thankfulness, restfulness, peace and joy.

Certainly these paintings will be historic, and consequently should be bought for the people and not for individuals. The gifted artist by infinite pains has brought his talents to their perfection. He has spent a life in studying the sea in all its moods, and we need not emphasise that these paintings are great not only in conception but in detail.

This gifted artist has lived and laboured on the Mediterranean shores. We must seriously invite him to paint for the world, but especially for the Anglo Saxon races, one more Marine painting by which he shall be known to historythe storm and shipwreck of the Apostle Paul, as recorded in Acts xxvii.

" CHART AND COMPASS” AT SEA. DEAR SIR,—We arrived here on Tuesday after a splendid run. I have enclosed the stamps for the books (6 Nos. “Chart and Compass”) purchased, and consider them to be grand, and full of precious information and interesting items of sea life, and I believe they will be a benefit to many. I hope we shall be so favoured as to come to Antwerp next voyage.

I remain, yours truly,

THOMAS COOPER,
Chief Officer s.s. “King

rthur,” Cardiff. To Mr. John HAM, May 12th, 1881, Antwerp.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

A SAILOR'S CREED IN STORM AND IN CALM. The pith of a Sermon preached at Christ Church, Westminster Bridge Road (Rev. Newman Hall's) on Wednesday night, May 4th, 1881,

by Rev. W. CUFF.

“Wherefore, sir, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”-ACTS XXVII. 25.

AY I say at once that I tremble to stand here in the stead of

another man. Especially when that man is our mutual friend, Dr. Bevan. Many of you knew and loved him

before he went to live and labour in New York; and it. seems right and proper

that

you should meet and greet him here as. he returns to sojourn for a time in our midst. I feel very sorry for your disappointment, and only yielded to Mr. Matthews' entreaties to take this service in the hope of serving the Society whose claims we plead.

A thrill of satisfaction steals over my heart as I remember that on this very day sixty-three years ago, the great and good Rowland Hill preached on board the first ship ever set apart for religious worship. Then was a scene on old Father Thames not to be forgotten, and many good men were afloat that day. That event inaugurated real Christ-like work amongst the men of the sea. Dr. John Rippon, a famous Baptist, and one of Mr. Spurgeon's predecessors at Park-street, consecrated the vessel by prayer and supplication, and Rowland Hill, the more famous Independent, proclaimed Christ to the saints and sinners present. So, you see, this work began on a broad basis, and it has grown broader ever since.

I don't suppose Mr. Hill preached from the text I just now read, but depend on this, he said to the men on board—“Be of good cheer, for I believe God." Those old-fashioned men did believe God, and wrought from that point. Their ship had no smoother sea

than ours.

Ropes, and ribs, and beam were strained alike; but the anchor was within the vail, sure and steadfast. They stood up in every storm and said, We believe God, that it shall be even as it has been told us." For this reason I venture to say that the foundation of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society was laid in faith and love, and therefore has stood the test and strain of all these years, and is still doing a good work. Surely our text is not incongruous to the thought, and has a voice in it to the Society at home, and to the sailors abroad.

It fell from the lips of no mean man, and at no ordinary moment. Winds and waves howled in awful fury. The ship on whose deck he stood was sinking fast. Captain and crew were beaten and bewildered, and every man on board was strained and strung to the utmost tension of every nerve. Courage, hope, and fear battled within as did the elements without. It was a brave, bold, noble utterance, which none but a true man could have said. He who said it was no mean sailor, for he was often at sea. I commend his words to all sailors as a confession of faith and trust in God, when they are afloat and ashore: “Wherefore, sirs, I believe God; that it shall be even as it was told me.

Please observe when Paul said this, not till all hope was gone, and all hearts failed for fear. They had done all they could do to save a wreck, and now a cold, shivering, sickening despair comes to every heart, in every roll, and lurch of the ship. Paul then stands to the fore, and speaks for God and himself. Verse xxi. tells us that “after long abstinence, Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, sirs, ye should have harkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, to have gained this harm, and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of

any

man's life-among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night an Angel of God, whose I am and whom I serve, saying, fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Cæsar; and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer, for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me.” Every word was caught, and every tone was weighed by that paralized and breathless crew. Every man of them was in a receptive mood. There is sure to come a time for a good man to speak, and bad men to listen. Waiting for it is our difficulty.

Waiting for it is our difficulty. We are often very impatient for the honoar of God, and rush to the fight before we are prepared. Paul waited, fasted, and prayed, and when the right time came he was heard.

Further back when all was calm and well he admonished those in authority to no effect. “ Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading of the ship, but, also

« ÎnapoiContinuați »