The Gospel Ship

Pictures With A Messsage

 Top:  Antique Print Collection: The Gospel Ship
A picture of the "Gospel Ship" which has scripture verses on the sails and rigging showing the way to eternal life
The Gospel Ship
Click image for Prints cards and much more
Republished and Digital Image Restoration - Private Collection © Peter N Millward

The Gospel Ship is now republished from an original Chomolithograph print circa 1880s - 1900s.  The designer HY. P - Henry Pickering  (1858–1941) was a well known Christian publisher and Journalist. And made an ingenious way to apply scripture and Bible texts into a maritime theme.  One other similar picture had been designed about the same time and was mentioned in an article in the Herts Advertiser 29th January 1887.  Title "Homeward Bound" designed by WCM - William Charles Miles, journalist and designer of the Gospel Compass and Gospel Target.  It is not known if any examples of WCMs "Homeward Bound still exist...but if any visitors know of any examples, please contact me.  It is not known if Henry Pickering designed other pictures, but one other design is similar - The Gospel Lifeboat, is a similar idea with Biblical texts and scriptures.  The source and inspiration for the picture is not clear. But in Rev J H Vincent's 'Curiosities of the Bible' (New York, 1888) gives us an outline to the pictures design, with an explanation of religious quotes and texts to explain teachings from the Bible.

The Gospel Ship

Emigrants for Emmanuel's Land should lose no time in having- their places secured, as only one voyage is made from our shores to that happy country.

The vessel's name—The Gospel Ship.   Matt viii. 23.

Port from which it sails - The City of Destruction. Psalm. cxiii. 4; Isa. xix.18.

Destination - Emmanuel's Land. Isa. viii. ; Heb x.14.

Time of sailing - To-day.   Heb. iv. 7 ; 2 Cor. vi. 2.

Price of passage — Without money. I; Rev. xxi. 17.

Captain's name - Jesus Christ. Matt. xiv. 25 ; Mark iv. 37.

Crew -  Converts and Ministers. Matt xiv. 23; Eph. iv.

Passengers - Sinners saved by Grace.  1 Cor 1. 2;  Acts 6.

Sea over which it passes - Time.   James iv. 14 ; Rev. x. 3.

Light-house—The Holy Scriptures. 2Cor. vi. 4 ; Isa. 58.

Compass—Truth.   Psalm xliii. :3.

Sails - Faith and Love.   1 Thess. i. 3.

Wind - The Holy Spirit.  John iii. 8; Gal. v. 22, 23.

Helm - Grace.   Eph. iv. 5; 2 Thess. ii. 16.

Anchor—Hope.   Heb. vi. 19.

Passengers are supplied with everything on the voyage. "My God shall supply all your need."—Phil. iv. 19. "And yet there is room."— Luke v. 22.

For further reflection.......

 A vision of a Gospel ship on dry land was seen by many during the Hebridean Revival...

"Another night, as we left, we saw in the open field, a ship, as if it was a navy ship, all lit up, all lit up between the masts and everything. But we knew it wasn't real...... for it was on dry land, it was on dry land. We couldn't, we couldn't say a word. None of us could even speak. "Be still, and know that I am God" That's all that we could say."  Donald John Smith. (Eyewitness)

Alistair Petrie commenting on the Hebridean Revival and vision of a Gospel ship...."Where they see His profound divinity coming as a Gospel ship which a whole lot of them saw at one point,  and they all saw this ship which has been seen only a very few times in history so I'm told."  

The above qoutes from video from The Sentinel Group 

                                        The Hebrides Revival: A Retrospective 

In October, 2007, George Otis, Jr., along with son, Brook, and a small team, returned to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Their purpose was to meet people who had experienced the extraordinary revivals that occurred there in the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and early '50s. 


Also an article written in 1872

Vision of a Bible Ship  

The following article was found among the papers of the late A.W. Pollok, B. A., who graduated from Dalhousie College in April 1872, and was drowned at Port Hawkesbury in August of the same year.

"As I lay musing a vision passed before me of a noble ship. She was built in the New Jerusalem, and her builder and maker was God. Her timbers were of the strong oaks of Zion, her masts of the tree of Calvary, and her rigging of the cords of love, her cable of the three-fold cords of faith, hope, and love, which could not easily be broken. Her helm glittered like the star of prophecy. Her anchor was from Immanuel's land. Her figure-head was the emblem of righteousness, and her name was the Word of God. From stem to stem, from deck to keel, she was a goodly ship. Her deck was the broad platform on which Christians stand. Her guns thundered forth the terrors of the law, but her mission was emphatically peace. 'Her weapons were not carnal, but spiritual, mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.' Her painting was beauty. She was streaked with white, and sprinkled with blood. Her ship's crew were the Apostles and Prophets. Her captain the Prince of Peace. Her cargo was truth, and her broad banner love, the inscription 'Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and good will to men.' She sailed over a tempestuous ocean. The billows of hell drove furiously over her bows, but her bulwarks were impregnable. She carried no boats for her safety, because she never could go down. Her progress was onward, wafted by the breezes of the Eternal. She sailed from the port of heaven, and her destination was to the habitable parts of the globe, and her mission to the ends of the earth. The nations hailed her approach with joy. She scattered blessings in her course, and returned homeward bound, freighted with living souls, and anchored under the throne of God and the Lamb.

*Chromolithograph printing is a method of printing superseded by Offset printing in the 1930s.  Even though it was an old method of printing - Chromolithographic prints are high regarded. 

To find out more about Chromolithograph printing, please visit  the link here

Other Gospel pictures with seafaring themes

The Gospel Compass for Sailors of All Nations

The Bible Wheel for Sailors of All Nations

The Gospel Ship 
Click link for Prints cards and much more

© Peter N Millward 2020