« PreviousContinue »
ariah being intimately acquainted with Mary, his wife's cousin, I said any thing inconsistent with reverence of religion. The word intimate is often used in the inoffensive sense which I intended. But I am very willing to substitute any other word, which may convey the idea of his well knowing of what family and kindred she was.--As to preceptorial authority, &c. If in writing, perhaps too hastily, and not fully expecting that my remarks, would be printed without revisal, I assumed any thing unbecoming, I am sorry for it. It does not indeed appear to me that I did: but we are not competent to judge of ourselves, and our own compositions, in this respect; and I must cast myself on the indulgence of the public, and the candour of the Jews themselves; whom I do not mean in any degree to offend, in word or deed.
P. S. It is a mistake of the Jews, if they suppose Christians to materialize, or corporalize the the divine ESSENCE. The human nature of Christ is not the essence of the Deity, but as the temple in which he dwells. "No man hath seen God at any time." "Whom no man hath seen, or can see." 1 The human and divine natures are supposed to be preserved perfectly distinct, though they are united in the person of Emmanuel.
As the reasonable soul and flesh are one man, 'so God and man are one Christ. Does this materialize, or corporalize, either the reasonable soul of man or the divine essence?--In S. M.'s former letter he says, "The Lord (Adonai) said "unto my Lord (Adoni)." My Hebrew Bibles have JEHOVAH, not Adonai.
'1 John i. 18. 1 Tim. vi. 16.
Aston Sandford, Oct. 17, 1820.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
I am much obliged to you and to the Commitee for the pamphlets, and the numbers of the Sailor's Magazine, which you sent me. My inland situation, and my very trifling knowledge of nautical affairs, preclude me from the hope of circulating or contributing to the Sailor's Magazine; but I own I have been much gratified, and, I hope, edified by reading it. I had learned that some attempts had been made, and were making, not only by dispersing bibles and tracts, but by prayer meetings and sermons in ships for the benefit of the seamen; who have in general, alas! been so greatly and shamefully neglected: but I was by no means aware that the whole concern had been so arranged into regular plans, and carried to such an extent, as it has been and is likely to be, and with such promising tokens and evident instances of success: for which I desire to bless God: and
I hope I have been led far more than hitherto to remember the poor seamen in my prayers.
I do not so much wonder at the appearances of success, or at the evident good in many cases done. It is fresh ground, and the very idea, 'These persons care for our souls, which none formerly did,' is very interesting and conciliating to the poor sailors. At the same time, it seems an object aimed at, in prospering which the blessing of God may especially be expected.
I have no knowledge of sailors as such, but I was above seventeen years visiting chaplain at the Lock Hospital; where probably every year from sixty to a hundred sailors were present, and those it may be supposed as profligate as any could be. I have reason to think that they, scarcely any of them, were at all acquainted with the first principles of Christianity: yet I found them, perhaps more than any other patients, capable of being impressed and affected. I visited them twice a week in the wards, some in bed, and some not. I took some striking portion of scripture, and read and talked to them, and then prayed with them. I never stayed to argue the point about the truth of the scriptures, or of this or the other doctrine. I assumed it as certain, that we are the responsible creatures and subjects of Almighty God; that there is an eternal world, and an eternal judgment; that we are all sinners, deserving God's wrath and damnation; that God is rich in mercy, has provided and revealed salvation in Christ his Son, in his person, righteousness, atonement, and intercession; that they, and the very chief of sinners, were invited to partake of it; that all
who believed with a right faith would be saved and blessed for ever; that all who did not believe would perish for ever. On this ground I addressed their hearts and consciences, exhorted them to repentance, faith, and prayer, and all the fruits of repentance and faith with encouragements, warnings, expostulations, persuasions, and occasional explications of the nature of repentance, faith, and prayer; of regeneration, conversion, &c. In this way I never failed to fix attention, and often the rude faces of the seamen and others were bedewed with tears; and I was by them all regarded as their friend.
The nature of the Charity, and other circumstances, prevented my further knowing the effect: in most instances after six or eight weeks they were discharged; but some have challenged me in the street, to thank me for the good they got in the Lock Hospital: and I have heard pleasing accounts of others from their friends.
I thought you might not be uninterested in this abstract of my efforts-a very little, I may say in your line, and on which I look back with more comfort than on many other scenes of my ministry.
Your efforts must in a great measure at first be in the line of the dissenters: and I am glad to find so little like any thing of a party attachment in this respect. To aim at sea language I would say, steer clear of this rock and quicksand, if you would prosper. I should rejoice if a CHURCH ARK could be formed, and respectably supported: but may God prosper every attempt to instruct the
ignorant, and call sinners to repentance, though those employed "follow not with us."
I remain, reverend and dear Sir,
Your friend and fellow servant,
P. S. If any part of the above appears worth inserting in your magazine, you have my consent. I shall send 1. 1s. with this, to be applied as you see good in support of the cause: and should I live, which is not likely, till next October, I will get you to call on Mr. Seeley for the same sum. One thing I would hint, that rather less confidence, in assuming that persons brought under serious impressions were actually converted, would remove a stumbling block out of the way of numerous respectable readers and probably with Whitefield, Berridge, and many others, you may live to see that you were in a mistake, in this respect, as to many individuals.