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Dayspring in the Far West
Sketches of Mission-Work in North-West America

By M. E. Johnson

London: Seeley, Jackson and Halliday, 1875.


Chapter I. A Glance at the Country
Chapter II. The Red River
Chapter III. Extension of the Mission Westwards
Chapter IV. The Indian Tribes
Chapter V. Extension of the Mission Eastwards
Chapter VI. Proceeding Northwards
Chapter VII. Mr. Bompas' Journeys in the Far North
Chapter VIII. The Esquimaux of the Mackenzie
Chapter IX. The Esquimaux of the Mackenzie (continued)
Chapter X. Results of Missionary Teaching
Chapter XI. The North Pacific Mission
Chapter XII. The Metlakatlah Settlement
Chapter XIII. Progress at Metlakatlah
Chapter XIV. Further Progress
Chapter XV. The Garden River Mission
Chapter XVI. Conclusion


IN offering this little book to the public, the object the writer has in view is to present to her readers a comprehensive outline of the work accomplished in North-West America by the Church Missionary Society; work, of which she believes too little is known and understood. That she has said so little about the work accomplished at Red River is owing to the fact that she was restricted from taking up the ground so admirably occupied by Miss Tucker in "The Rainbow of the North." She has therefore merely given an outline of the early history of the Settlement, and contrasted its present condition of prosperity, and religious and educational advantages, with the ignorance and barbarism which prevailed when the first missionaries arrived in tfu Settlement. That the emigrants from this country to Central British America are now supplied with churches and faithful pastors, as well as the means of educating their children, is owing in a great measure to the labours of the Church Missionary Society; for the churches and schools originally provided for the Indian population have passed on to the church organization of the colony, as the advancing tide of white men has driven the Indian further West. The writer does not claim for her work any originality. It has been compiled from the manuscript letters and journals of the Missionaries themselves, which were kindly placed at her disposal by the Committee of the Church Missionary Society. She has also made free use of the information contained in the publications of the Society, to which she has added such descriptions of the country, derived from the most trustworthy sources, as give an additional interest to the narrative. For much valuable information respecting the country, its people, climate, scenery, resources, &c., she is indebted to the books of which a list is appended. She prefers thus to acknowledge her obligations, rather than always to give her authority in a foot-note, because to do so would give an air of pedantry to a very unpretending little book. But while the writer does not claim for her book any originality, she does claim for it strict veracity. These sketches of Missionary work are pictures from the life; in no instance has the writer drawn on her imagination, or endeavoured to impose on the credulity of her readers. Truthfulness and simplicity characterize the whole. Should any who may peruse these pages be stirred up to take a deeper interest in Missions, and practically to manifest that interest in deeds, it will not have been written in vain. Of the many blemishes and imperfections of her work no one is more fully aware than the writer; for these she craves the indulgence of the reader, and she ventures to send it forth, earnestly and humbly hoping that in regard to it the Master may condescend to say of her as of one of old, "She hath done what she could."

M. E. J.

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