Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 346 pages of information about Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849.

’Sunday, February 24, Long Reach.  Morning service.  The congregation was 128 seamen.  Afternoon, Bible class, 62.  Evening service, 132,—­total 322.  One of the captains observed that there was a great change for the better, which he was rejoiced to see:  ‘For,’ said he, ’about four years ago I attended a service, and found that I was the only sailor that had come from the fleet; but this morning so crowded was the church, that I had some difficulty in getting a seat.’’

It is by means such as these, which as a Christian nation we are bound to provide, that we might hope, not only to keep alive, but to improve the noble spirit which distinguishes the British Navy.

The discipline which now prevails would be established on the highest principle of obedience and action.  The endurance, which now bears suffering with fortitude, would learn to submit to severer trials under the sanction of a higher teaching, and patience would have her perfect work.  The courage and steadiness of a brave crew would receive an accession of energy from the hope that is set before them.  The allegiance, which they owe to their Sovereign, would be strengthened by a sense of the more sacred duty which they owe to Him, by whom kings reign and rulers govern:  and committing themselves habitually to the protection of Providence, they would face deprivation, fatigue, and danger with unshaken composure.—­with a hand for any toil, and a heart for any fate.

William Stephen Gilly.

Durham, Oct. 28, 1850.

FOOTNOTES: 

[1] See also an elaborate article on the same subject in the Edinburgh Review, September, 1818.  No. 60.

[2] In September, 1849, five colliers were wrecked off the Gunfleet Sands.  The crews were saved, and the following extract from the Ipswich Express, copied into the Times of the 12th of December, contains a proof of the strong hold which religious awe has on the minds of seamen:—­’Yesterday (Monday) afternoon, the united crews, amounting to about thirty men, had a free passage to Ipswich by the River Queen.  The scene on board was of the most extraordinary and affecting description.  The rough, weather-beaten seamen, who had gone through the perils of that night with undaunted courage, were, in the review of it, completely overwhelmed with gratitude to God for His mercy in granting them deliverance.  For the most part they were in the fore cabin of the steamer, and at one time all would be on their knees in devout prayer and thanksgiving to God, then a suitable hymn would be read, and the voices of those who had been saved from the yawning ocean would presently sound it forth in solemn thanks to God.  From port to port they were entirely occupied in these devotional exercises, and the effect of them, and indeed the whole scene, upon several hardy sons of ocean who were on board, will never be forgotten.’

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Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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