Page images



the nice things—both to eat and to wear—that the ships bring to us, you would soon see how poor we would be without them. Missions to the heathen would soon be given up, for there would be no way of sending missionaries to fill the places of those who die. There are now about five or six missionary ships employed in carrying missionaries and teachers, &c., to different stations in heathen lands. English children raised the money and purchased one or two of them years ago, and the good ships are going still.

But how very little do people generally know about ships. They know a ship when they see it,

“ because it ain't quite the same as a wagon," but how a ship is made, how it sails and keeps together, and a thousand other things that people might know, they are as ignorant of as the man in the moon. And no wonder. How could they know anything about ships, seeing they never go to Bea, and have no one to instruct them?

We were very much in this state ourselves until, the other day, we met with a noble little book (for boys) a friend of ours, Mr. Collingridge, has just published, which tells us all about ships.* Through his kindness we are enabled to give you a beautiful picture of the launch of a ship, that is, the taking of it from the place where it is built and setting it safely down into the sea. The book is full of pictures (about one hundred altogether), of which this is a specimen; and when we say that the book, and the pictures, the ships, and stories, and useful lessons, may all be got for about three shillings, we think it among the cheapest books we have seen for a long time.

* The History of a Ship from its Cradle to its Grave. By Grandpa Ben. London: W. H. Collingridge, Aldersgate Street. If I were a boy, I would have this book.



Grandpa Ben,” the author, is an old sailor, and there. fore "he knows all about it.” Some of his sea stories are about the best we have met with. But you must hear what he says about the launch.

“Here is a drawing of a launch, in which the ship is just leaving the stocks, sliding gracefully down, and amidst a deafening cheerentering that element which is to be herafter home ; which will bear her, guided by the skilful hand of man, to distant lands ; now, as if caressing her, reflecting the majestic vessel upon its glassy surface, or rising, urged by the mighty winds into mighty billows threatening to engulf the hapless wanderer, or to rend her in pieces, and striking terror into the breast of the mariner. But, perhaps you will ask me how she is to be launched ? Thus : the stocks, on which the ship is built, are higher at one end than the other, forming what is called an inclined plane, which is carried out into the water some distance, to allow the vessel to be so far immersed before she leaves the support, as nearly to float her, when one short plunge takes place and the proud ship is in the


“The ship is supported in an upright position on stocks or ways, by strong pieces of timber called the cradle, which slides down the ways until the water renders the support unnecessary; then it falls to pieces, which float oħ the water and are picked up by boats. When the last of the shores, called the dog-shores, are removed or knocked away, and by her own weight the ship is beginning to move, the christening,' or naming of the ship, takes place. A bottle of wine, suspended from the ship’s bows by a cord, is presented to the ladyit is usually a lady who names the ship—who pronounces the ship's name, and dashes the bottle to pieces against the stem."

A very interesting chapter tells us about the author when he first went to sea. He seems to have been like too many foolish boys who bring trouble on themselves



and their parents by sea fevers and silly fancies. He says

“But I should first have told you of the parting with my dear mother, which is even now fresh in my memory; for it was really our first and last parting. I was absent four years ; but, ere my ship again reached England, death had visited our house-my dear mother was no more. When I heard this melancholy intelligence, our parting recurred with startling force to my memory; and the heavy forebodings that had evidently oppressed her mind with the idea that we should meet no more on earth, now hung heavily at my heart, and bitterly I regretted having left her, and the agony I had caused her, parting as she did with her only child. Her last words will ever remain on my memory, as, in trying to soothe her, I exclaimed, Don't cry, dear mother -- don't cry; I shall soon come back, and we shall again be happy.' 'Go, my child, my dear boy,' replied she, whilst her heart swelled almost to bursting; 'go, my child, I will resign you to the mer. ciful care of that God who is a husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless.'

“After my departure, I received a letter from her before we sailed. It inculcated all the moral and religious duties, requested me to peruse my Bible, and near the close were the following lines, which I read so often that they became impressed on my memory; tlrey were :

"When sailing on the ocean,

In foreign climes you roam,
Oh, think with fond emotion
Upon your distant home;
And never strive to smother,
But treasure up with joy
Remembrance of a mother

Who loves her Sailor Boy.
""When thunders lond are roaring,

And vivid lightning flies,
The rain in torrents pouring,
Sleep will depart my eyes;
Tears will bedew my pillow,
You all my thoughts employ,
Toss'd on the angry billow,
A little Sailor Boy.



"Kind Providence protect you,

And bring you back again,
Your mother will expect you
Safe from the troubled main;
No, Heav'n will not distress me,
The widow's hope destroy,
Return once more to bless me,
My little Sailor Boy.'

LETTER FROM CHINA. A VERY interesting letter has lately been received from the Rev. George Smith, one of our missionaries in China. The following extracts from that letter will interest those who care for the salvation of China, and who pray for our missionaries there :

« THE PREACHING OF THE WORD. “ We have had, from the time that our house at Swatow was occupied, services for the benefit of the Chinese at the times for the morning and evening worship, with regular diets of worship on the Sabbath. Latterly we have restricted our public work to a meeting once a day, Sabbath services as before. The attendance at these meetings varies ; sometimes the house is crowded, sometimes only one or two; an average perhaps of twenty or thirty people come daily to hear the word. I often feel much assisted in the work, yet see no evidence of a saving work among the people. Swatow is a great mart for trade; the people have their minds bent on gain ; they have no time to consider the claims of the gospel, and what they do hear grates upon their ears, being opposed to their venerated customs and their vicious habits. Unless there be a pentecostal effusion of the Holy Spirit upon Swatow, I see nothing that can stem the mighty current of iniquity that sweeps along, carrying the



whole population onward to everlasting ruin. Cry for us, and cry with us, that God may rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains may flow down at his presence.'

“ IMPRISONMENT OF A CHINESE EVANGELIST. “ I think I have not yet told you of the imprisonment and release of our Hakka brother. Some three months ago, at his own request, he was sent to Hong Sun, a Hakka town in this department, about seventy miles inland from Swatow. He was allowed an absence of forty days, to give ample time for going and coming, and for evangelistic work. At the end of the period he did not return. We began to get anxious about him, and sent off a man to make inquiries. We soon learned that almost on reaching Hong Sun he had been arrested by the man darins on suspicion of belonging to the rebels. The mandarin who examined his books declared them to be identical with those of the long-haired rebels. He ordered the policeman to give him twenty blows."

Mr. Smith tells us, further, that this poor man was taken from one prison to another until two of the Swatow Christians succeeded in obtaining his release.


One day, in January last, in a town called Pembroke, in America, a large number of people were working in a mill. They left their houses that morning just as usual ; fathers bade their wives and children good-bye, and the girls and boys met in their own work-rooms, and “fell

as they had often done before, never thinking any. thing particular was to happen. And thus the day went


« PreviousContinue »