The Flag Ship: Or A Voyage Around the World, in the United States Frigate Columbia; Attended by Her Consort The Sloop of War John Adams, and Bearing the Broad Pennant of Commodore George C. Read.

p. 154-55: Previous to our leaving the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, I preached in the English chapel. The congregation was very respectable. The English chaplain who has charge of the congregation, and the chaplain of the Stag [a Brazilian naval ship], were present—the former reading the service.

It is indeed a grateful opportunity, when abroad, after having been for months on board a ship, to be able to mingle in your own familiar worship of home, on shore. They are the same prayers to which you have often listened with a melted heart; or which you yourself have offered, as the leader in the petitions of hundreds of others—the same responses, and the same psalms, and the same chants, and the same hymns. The heart goes home to kindred and to native lands; and if rightly affected, goes upward too in devout devotion and gratitude to Him, who hath blessed and protected the wanderer on his course of the seas.

The modifications in our prayer-book in which it differs from the English service, strike the worshipper of the American church, but interrupts not his devotion. It is but natural that the English should pray for their rulers, though it appears peculiar that they should mention them by name. And in the modification of some of the old obsolete terms, the omission of some things, and leaving others discretionary on the part of the American clergy man, where they are required to be gone through on the part of the English, I deem to be in favour of the American prayer-book. And yet, there could be very little objection for an American clergyman of the Episcopal church, to go through the services of the mother church, before an English congregation, on English ground.

p. 184: Yesterday, September 4th, we were some three hundred miles from land, with the island of Bourbon [Reunion] and the Isle of France [Mauritius] at the windward. It seems yet unsolved whether we shall touch at the latter. It is replete with associations. It is the spot where the scenes are laid, which have brought the tear to the eye of many a young heart while reading the sentimental and tragic story of Paul and Virginia….

But to me, the greatest charm which could be thrown around this fair isle of the Indian seas, is the circumstance of its being the final resting place of the lovely and devoted Harriet Newell. I well remember the story of this first martyr to the cause of East India missions. And when a boy, the memoirs that narrated her voyage, and exhibited her character in its loveliness, its sweetness, and its piety, melted my heart, and perhaps was among the first things that awakened in my own bosom the desire that the God in whom she confided might be mine.

p. 187: While reading, to-day, in the Memoir of the accomplished Henry Martyn, the scholar of Cambridge and the missionary to the Indies, I noted, with interest, the following passage: “Since I have known God in a saving manner, painting, poetry, and music, have had charms unknown to me before. I have received what I suppose is a taste for them; for religion has refined my mind, and made it susceptible of impressions from the sublime and beautiful. O how religion secures the heightened enjoyment of those pleasures which keep so many from God, by their becoming a source of pride!” There is deep truth in this reflection; and it has often impressed my own mind as it is here delineated in the words of Martyn.

p. 251, on mission schools in Bombay: The schools are composed chiefly of the children of soldiers, being mostly of the mixed cast of Mahratta and English. The children exhibited a very neat appearance. We have no schools in our country with which we could with propriety run a parallel; as these children, I am told, originally speak no English, and have to acquire that language as they proceed in their studies. But from the idea I have gained of the parish schools of England, I conclude that these schools would in no instance appear to a disadvantage on a comparison with them. Most of the scholars whom I saw were under the age of twelve. They read English with very considerable accuracy, and seemed to comprehend, as far as children of their age usually do, the instructions which are given to them, in illustration of the religion of Jesus Christ. The Bible is the principal and last class-book used, and explanations in connection with it enter into the plans of the directors, particularly for imbuing the minds of these scholars with Christian knowledge; while they attend to reading, writing and arithmetic during the time of their connection with the schools.

p. 307, in Colombo: The residence of Sir John was once a government or private botanical garden; and he has, as he said, always been famous for his bouquets. Only in the sweet and flowering isle of Madeira, should I have looked for so rich a chalice of these beautiful Smiles of nature. The manners of Sir John are as gentle as his flowers; and I am sure no one will forget their kindness who has been the recipient of his amiable and elegant courtesies. The Rev. Mr. B. sat on my left, who had lately been reading Cooper’s Switzerland, and a collection of American poetry—all which he was polite enough to admire. I led him to expect that I would send him some further specimens of American poetry, when I returned to the ship, with a copy of the Prayer Book as used in the American Episcopal churches, which he regarded as a very considerable improvement upon their own. He had not read Mr. Willis’s poetry, and I was desirous of furnishing him with some pieces from the elegant pen of this American bard.

p. 352: I spent the hours in reading newspapers from the homes we have left so many degrees behind us. A large roll of papers has been kindly forwarded to us from Captain Silver, of the ship Sumatra, which arrived on the coast a few days since; and presuming that we were yet at Kwala Batu, he despatched a native, in his boat, to convey this rich treat to us.