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A Monthly Magazine
CONDUCTED BY CLERGYMEN AND LAYMEN
OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
(10 MAR )
Per. 1419.66 31
ART. I.—THE THAMES CHURCH MISSION.
“ The success of a Mission must, under God, depend greatly upon the earnest, faithful co-operation of praying and believing people."
L AVING been asked, as one of the oldest members of the 11. Thames Church Mission, to make a few remarks on its origin and progress, I have much pleasure in doing so, though, on comparing its small beginning in 1844 with its present extensive operations, I feel it will be difficult to do justice to the subject within the limits of a short article.
My first acquaintance with Mission work on the Thames was in the year 1835, when, for some years, I had the privilege of being associated with my late excellent friend, Capt. R. J. Elliot, R.N., as an Honorary Secretary of “The Episcopal Floating Church Society," whose vessel, the Brazen, a sloop of war kindly lent by the Admiralty, was moored not far from the Tower, and was known as the “ Floating Church for Seamen.”
After fifteen years of indefatigable persistence,1 Captain Elliot found it impossible to persuade seamen to attend the services, for if on leave they preferred remaining on shore, and if afloat many of them were ship-keeping and unable to leave their duty; and so in this respect the Brazen proved a failure. In a higher sense, however, she was successful, as an anecdote will prove.
After the last Annual Meeting of the Thames Church Mission an aged sea captain introduced himself to the Secretary, stating that forty-one years ago he attended the Brazen service one Sunday night on his return from the West Indies. God met with him there; the gospel preached by the officiating clergyman
! On one occasion, when going to a vessel at night, he fell overboard, and narrowly escaped drowning.