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On Seeing Any One Fall Overboard
or from Aloft or Struck Down by a
LORD JESUS, receive his spirit !
On a Death. Almighty God, we thank Thee for Thy servant (here mention his name], whom Thou hast been pleased to call to Thyself, and whose soul, as we trust, Thou hast brought into sure consolation and rest ; grant to us, we beseech Thee, the spirit of preparation, to meet Thee when Thou callest us, that at the Day of Judgment, we with him and all thy servants departed this life in Thy faith and fear may be partakers of Thy heavenly kingdom ; through JESUS CHRIST our Lord. Amen.
The Sailor's Life Ishore.
ON SHORT LEAVE. WHEN the liberty men have fallen in on the Quarter-deck we know that the devil is unusually active. This is specially his time of temptation. A man who is not strong for God as he walks over the gangway is not likely to be strong for GOD when he steps on shore. The Seaman is tempted to bad company, to make sinful engagements before he goes on leave ; in fact, as soon as the word is passed for the liberty men to clean, and even before then. Let the Seaman remember that the struggle for God has to be begun afresh at this moment, when parties are being arranged and chums are making their plans for the expected leave. It will need all his watchfulness, all his faith in God, to make the time on shore a blessing and not a curse. It is very unwise to go on shore without having some definite plan for spending the time. If the Seaman has no idea how he is going to employ his time during the leave, he stands in danger of falling into temptation the moment he lands. This is almost as bad as making up his mind beforehand to spend his leave badly; for Satan reaps his largest harvest in the field of idle souls. Let him never go ashore on leave, therefore, without using the prayer at page 29, or, if he be hurried, making one for himself as he cleans; and in the spirit of this prayer let him make his own arrangements, either with his chum, or some companion whom he can trust, so that want of company may not be his excuse for joining the first party of messmates or topmates he meets. There is one very common practice which he should avoid at all risks, that of going into a publichouse to drink the moment he gets ashore. It is scarcely necessary to give a reason for this. The practice is full of danger, and it is not to quench thirst
but to promote (as they think) good fellowship that Seamen begin to drink —no matter what hour of the day it is -as soon as they set foot ashore.
The Seaman should look for his lodging early, if he intends sleeping ashore, and not put this off till the night-time when he will be tempted more strongly than ever to put it off altogether. If he has no friends in the port, and has reason to doubt the respectability of the various houses of public entertainment which are within his reach, he should ask for one of the Sailors' Homes, or Temperance Halls, which are so frequently to be found in most seaport towns. If he be at either of the English Home Ports he will have no difficulty in doing this, and by a very little trouble to himself he will be saved much temptation, and consequently much sin. But if he is unable to get a respectable lodging, he had much better come off to his ship and go ashore again early next morning. It may be a little disappointing, especially if he has reckoned on having a good spell of the shore. But he will be
amply rewarded the next morning as with body refreshed and clear head he makes for the shore again. Should he be ashore on Sunday, let nothing prevent him from going to Church, and spending his day as quietly and helpfully as he would spend it on board. For the Sunday is the Lord's day to the Sailor as to the landsman, and to the Sailor on shore just as much as to the Sailor on board ship.
Many things have stood in the way of Seamen when they have wanted to go to church ashore, want of knowledge as to where the nearest church is, the hours of Divine Service ; and, again, the feeling of shyness which every one has on entering a strange public place, to which must be added the idea that the Sailor is not welcomed at church by the other worshippers. But let him find out from the manager of the house, or even by looking on the notice-boards of the churches he passes, what are the hours of Divine Service, and let him then go boldly in whether people welcome him or not. It is his church as much as theirs, and