« ForrigeFortsett »
no one has a better claim to worship in it than he. A little patience and a reverent behaviour will soon read any who might have seemed unkind at first a lesson which perhaps they will remember long and thank God for.
This book is not intended to suggest ways in which a Seaman ought to spend his time when ashore, it is sufficient if it helps him to serve GOD ashore so that he may have lost no ground in the battle with sin when he returns on board. He goes on shore sometimes for business, and sometimes for pleasure. In truth, it is always a pleasure for those whose life is chiefly spent in the confinement of a ship to enjoy the freedom of the town and country. And as recreation is as necessary for the Seaman as it is for other men, no check should be placed upon either the amount or the kind of recreation ; let him only remember that recreation is not dissipation, nor is liberty another word for license. The Christian Seaman knows that he can "enjoy life,” whether on shore or on board, all the better for his religion,
which he tries to take with him wherever he goes and whatever he does into his meals and his walks, into his laughter and his prayers, into his reading his newspaper and his reading of GOD's Holy Word.
One sentence more on this head. The Seaman must not be selfish in his pleasures, and though he cannot be too careful in avoiding bad company of all kinds, yet he should before going ashore, and whilst on shore, see if there is any one of his shipmates, and especially any one of his messmates, to whom he can do a good turn. How many a man has been kept from vice and misery, and led too to something better even than this, through the kind action of a topmate, who has induced him to spend his leave with him, and who without preaching or “forcing religion down his throat” has helped him to make his leave really enjoyable, because it was spent soberly and reasonably !
The Christian Seaman must look for such cases, and ask God to help him to give up any pleasures on which he
has set his heart, if he may act towards them as a Good Samaritan.
Should the Seaman visit any Roman or Greek churches in foreign countries, let him behave with the same reverence with which he would behave in his own church. There will be things which he may be inclined to consider superstitious, especially the pictures and representations of JESUS CHRIST hanging on the Cross. But let him remember that the worshippers are baptized Christians, and that therefore any sign of love or reverence they may shew to the Saviour is to be treated with respect if not with sympathy-certainly not with mockery or contempt. We ought never to enter a church without saying a prayer for the worshippers and for ourselves, that God would lead us all “ into all truth," and bring us to. gether in the bonds of His love.
Here are two Prayers which may be useful in connection with this subject.
O LORD, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy
Church; that it may be so guided and governed by Thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Chris. tians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life ; through JESUS CHRIST, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the HOLY GHOST, now and ever. Amen.
Another. O God, righteous and merciful, who wast pleased to deliver up Thine only begotten Son to be mocked, scourged, and crucified, for us sinners ; grant unto us, at the sight of Him hanging upon the Cross, healthful sorrow of heart, that as by our sinning we have slain the Author of our life, so by our repentance we may draw life from His death; through the same JESUS CHRIST our Lord. Amen.
ON LONG LEAVE. If the Seaman is blessed with a home to which he is welcomed on his return to England, let nothing hinder him
from spending his leave in it. The time spent there will be a true refreshment to him. The old faces of relations and friends, the old scenes, the old associations (if they are good ones) will do more than anything else towards driving away the effects of the “salt water.” It will be something for his friends to be thankful for and proud of, if they see him taking his proper place—whether as son, or husband, or father, in the old home, and setting an example for good to all whom he meets ; if he is to be found in his seat at church regularly, and shewing by his behaviour that he is not there for pastime ; above all, if he kneels at the Lord's Table and receives the Blessed Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, thereby drawing more tightly together the bonds of family or friendship, which may seem to have been loosened by his long absence from home. He will be tempted to go with a multitude to do evil, especially by those who love his money rather than himself. He will be tempted to regard himself a hero on account of the wonderful things