Project Canterbury

Early Canadian Missionaries

From The Colonial Church Chronicle and Missionary Journal, No. II, August, 1847, pages 61-66; No. VIII, February, 1848, pages 298-306; No. IX, March, 1848, pages 333-338.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Bishop of Malaita, Church of the Province of Melanesia, 2008



THE REV. JOHN STUART was born in the year 1736, in the State of Virginia. Though naturally of a lively disposition, he early discovered a strong inclination to serious studies, which he pursued with the ultimate view of qualifying himself for the ministry of the Church. This determination of his mind exposed him to much difficulty and embarrassment; for his father, who was a rigid Presbyterian, although sufficiently indulgent to his children in other matters, required of them implicit obedience in respect of religious opinions. For some time, therefore, young Stuart lay under his father's displeasure in this important matter; and he has confessed that at an early period of his life he used to be alarmed by the severe, dogmatical spirit of the "Shorter Catechism," which he was obliged to repeat every Sunday evening. But still more was he startled when he attempted to follow the Calvinistic doctrines of that manual to their legitimate consequences. The result of all this study and inquiry was, that he became convinced of the true, scriptural foundation of the Church of England, and accordingly joined her Communion. But though of age for ordination, Mr. Stuart took no steps for the attainment of his object lest he should wound the feelings of a beloved and aged parent. This most exemplary forbearance, which he continued to exercise for several years, at last overcame the prejudices of his father, who, struck with his son's noble self-sacrifice, besought him to follow his own inclination, at the same time giving him his blessing, and earnestly praying for his future usefulness. Mr. Stuart immediately prepared for his voyage to England, from which he was not to be deterred by the arguments of friends--who represented truly enough the dangers of the passage, and the loss of many young men who had gone to sea on a like errand. But Mr. Stuart's heart was in his work. Like all his countrymen, who aspired to the sacred ministry, he was content to go three thousand miles across a dangerous sea in search of a Bishop; but God blessed his enterprise, and he returned to Philadelphia in the full orders of Priest, in 1770.

The first seven years of his ministerial life were spent among the Mohawks at Fort Hunter, and reference to a lately published volume on Missions [1] [(1) Hawkins's Historical Notices of the Missions of the Church of England in North America, p. 320. Fellowes] will show how zealously and [61/62] successfully he devoted himself to better the condition of that interesting people. The intervals of more active occupation he employed on a Mohawk version of the New Testament; the credit of which has commonly been given to the famous Chief Brant, then a very young man, who was engaged by Mr. Stuart to assist him in the translation. Both employments, however, were soon interrupted by the commencing struggles of the revolutionary war; and Mr. Stuart, who never for a moment shrunk from avowing his allegiance to the King, after a long course of injury and ill-usage, as well from the new authorities as from the populace, was glad at last to escape into Canada, where he arrived in 1783, and was soon afterwards appointed to the Chaplaincy of a provincial regiment. He still, however, maintained his interest in the five nations, and in 1788 sent home an account of his visit to their settlement on the Grand River above Niagara. Both going and returning he was escorted by Captain Brant and a party of Mohawks; and during his stay among them he preached, administered the Holy Communion, and baptized 72 persons, principally children. The total number of Indians at Oswego was 399. Mr. Stuart was now settled at Kingston, (formerly called Cataraqui,) where he continued to labour during the rest of his life. His Mission, of course, comprised the several dependent townships, (some at a considerable distance,) which he visited periodically.

The next year, feeling that he was the only Missionary who could give the newly-appointed Bishop of Nova Scotia (Dr. Inglis) any information about the condition of things in Canada, he set forth in company with the Rev. John Langhorne, on a journey of four hundred miles, to attend his Lordship's Visitation at Halifax . The toil and cost of this journey may be conjectured from the fact that it took them five weeks to accomplish it.

The next time he was summoned to attend a Visitation, it was happily within his own Mission. Bishop Mountain, who had been consecrated to the See of Quebec in 1793, held a Confirmation at Kingston in the following year; and one of the effects of this episcopal visit was, that several Scottish Presbyterians avowed their conformity to the Church of England, and received Confirmation by the Bishop: indeed, Mr. Stuart was able to report "that, a few Papists excepted, who were very quiet and peaceable, there did not exist in the whole parish any party or faction against the Church."

It has been said that Mr. Stuart was in the habit of visiting such settlements within reach of Kingston as were destitute of the ordinary ministrations of religion, but he occasionally extended his circuit so as to include the more remote settlements. Thus, in February, 1799, he "visited the eastern part of the [62/63] province, 140 miles distant, as far as Cornwall, preaching and baptizing in every township where people were disposed to assemble for the purpose;" while, in the opposite direction, he had, within little more than a year, been twice at York, (now Toronto,) 150 miles, and preached there during five weeks, on week-days as well as Sundays. All this was over and above his stated visits to the two Mohawk settlements at Oswego and on the Bay of Quenti. In every letter he makes mention of one or other division of his dear native flock. But partiality does not lead him to disguise the truth, that they were deteriorating in character, and rapidly declining in number: indolence, quarrelsomeness, and a passion for ardent spirits, were their besetting sins; and while they had not the advantage of any resident teacher, they were constantly exposed to the corrupting influence of the more abandoned white settlers. He had established a school in their village, but found them little disposed to avail themselves of it; this, however, he remarks, is their own fault. All that can be done is, "to furnish them with the means of instruction, and leave the event to Providence." He goes on to say, "There seems to be one Christian lesson which they can never learn--forgiveness of injuries. A melancholy proof of this occurred in the summer: two of their chiefs had a disagreement; the village divided into two parties, met in an hostile manner, two men were killed, and four badly wounded." A reconciliation was at last effected by the inter-position of Government. Although Mr. Stuart never shrunk from the labour and expense of these Missionary visits; and though he admitted that the Mohawks were docile, and ready to crowd the church whenever he came, he did not consider such rare ministrations calculated to produce any lasting impression. His constant recommendation, therefore, was, that a well qualified teacher should be sent to reside amongst them; and he gave it as his opinion, "that if a young man could be found possessed of such a portion of primitive zeal as would induce him to undertake the instruction of these people, merely from religious motives, much fruit might be expected from his labours." Such a one might be able to mould their character, and heal their differences, as they arose. "But," says Mr. Stuart, "if so much zeal is not left among the English Clergy as will induce men of competent abilities to come to this country in order to promote the cause of religion, and to extend the boundaries of the Redeemer's kingdom, I cannot expect that any will be found willing to undertake the charge of poor savage Indians."

The state of religion in the Colony at that time was very deplorable, owing principally to the want of Clergy; and Mr. [63/64] Stuart expresses his regret that they were precluded by the Act under which the American Bishops were consecrated from obtaining Missionaries ordained by them. One, however, was added to the number about this time--his own son, George Okill Stuart, the present Archdeacon of Kingston, who was ordained by the Bishop of Quebec in August, 1800, and immediately placed by Governor Hunter at York. Mr. Stuart's account of his own congregation at Kingston is almost uniformly pleasing and satisfactory. They lived together in great harmony, undisturbed by religious or political differences. The congregation continued to increase; and there was every sign of Mr. Stuart's ministry being blessed and prospered. "He lived among them," says one who knew him, "as a father among his children, and he was loved the more the better he was known; for his life was a living example of what he preached."

Towards the latter part of his life he had said, "If I can be instrumental in sowing the seed, and preparing an uncultivated soil for more skilful labourers in the vineyard, I shall think my time and labours well bestowed." Such was the expression of his own modest hope; but there seems no reason to doubt that he was privileged to see the first-fruits of the harvest in his own lifetime. His manners were gentle and conciliatory; and his character was such as led him rather to win men by kindness and persuasion, than to awe or alarm them by the terrors of authority. His sermons, composed in plain and nervous language, were recommended by the affectionate manner of his delivery, and not unfrequently found a way to the consciences of those who had long been insensible to any real religious convictions. The honourable title of "Father of the Church" in Upper Canada has been fitly bestowed on Dr. Stuart; and he deserved the name not more by his age, and the length of his service, than by the kind and paternal advice and encouragement which he was ever ready to give the younger Clergy on their first entrance into the ministry.

This venerable servant of God died on the 15th of August, 1811, in his seventy-fifth year; "but," says one of his contemporaries, "he still lives in the hearts of his friends, and he shall be had in everlasting remembrance." He was buried at Kingston, his friend and fellow-labourer, Mr. Langhorne, performing the solemn funeral service. The official Reports, on which we depend for the principal facts recorded in these annals, convey of necessity but a vague and imperfect outline of the character of the several Missionaries. Confined, for the most part, to a dry detail of ministerial duties, the Journals afford no opportunity for the display of individual character; and thus it becomes nearly impossible to give a distinct impression of the [64/65] persons mentioned, entirely different as they may have been in reality. Living and labouring in comparative obscurity, little is commonly known of the Colonial Missionary; although measured by a just standard, his functions are of the highest importance, and his work may prove lastingly useful. Dr. Stuart, however, occupied a somewhat prominent position, and, as he was in more respects than one a remarkable man, the following personal reminiscences will doubtless be read with interest:--

"I have nothing more than mere boyish reminiscences of the Canadian Clergy. Their peculiarities of manner and dress, &c., amused my idle mind, which, at that age, took little note of essential qualities. Dr. Stuart was a man of a higher stamp than the rest, but even of him my recollections are equally childish. I cannot recal his preaching, nor his serious conversation at all. I remember him as a very fine elderly man, of lofty stature, and powerful frame; very kind to me, and to every body, though rather caustic and dry in manner; of a somewhat stately bearing, as conceiving himself the lineal descendant of the legitimate Monarch, but merging that pride in the humility of his ministerial function. He enjoyed a competent estate, and lived in a beautiful place, sheltered by noble trees, on the rocky shore of Lake Ontario. He was diligent and charitable, and sought health and recreation in cultivating his farm and garden; and in fine summer evenings he loved to sit on the shore and play upon his flute, till some of his parishioners, brought up in the puritan school, objected to a Minister's whistling tube as a worldly vanity, and he laid it aside for ever,---not without indulging in a smile at their absurdity,--but influenced by 1 Cor. viii. 13. He was once sitting on his favourite rock, by the water side, in front of his house, when two Yankees, strangers to him, came up, and accosted him:--'You're Stuart, I guess?'--'Yes, I am so.' 'Then, I reckon, you'll let me and my companion go into your garden, and eat fruit?' He consented, with his usual good-nature, and the two men stripped his garden of all the fruit, which they carried off in their pockets and handkerchiefs.

"He was subject to occasional attacks of gout; and when a fit came on, he walked into the lake, and stood there some time to soak his shoes and stockings, and then walked at a striding pace till they became quite dry. This he found an immediate, complete, and safe cure. He had a strong, hardy, active frame of body, travelled much on foot and on horseback, and could bear severe exercise. I recollect five sons and two daughters, most of whom, I believe, are now dead. This, you see, is indeed a meagre account of a man of his dignity and [65/66] aquirements and exemplary character, in whose house I sojourned when a mere boy, and when his sons and daughters were to me more attractive companions than their venerable father."

At his death there were but six Clergymen in the whole Province of Upper Canada; there are now, thanks be to God, one hundred and twenty.



[(1) A Notice of the Rev. John Stuart appeared in No. II. of the Colonial Church Chronicle.]

ANOTHER of the early Missionaries in Canada was the Rev. John Langhorn. He was a native of Wales, and had been educated at St. Bees, Cumberland. He was afterwards licensed to the Curacy of Hart Hill, Cheshire, where, becoming known to Dr. Porteus, then Bishop of Chester, and Dr. Townson, at that time Rector of Malpas, he was by them strongly recommended to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, who appointed him to a district of Mr. Stuart's Mission. He almost immediately embarked for Canada, and arrived at Cataraqui on the last day of September, 1787. The following extracts, dated February 4th, 1788, giving an account of his journey by land and water from Montreal to Cataraqui, will give some notion of the real hardness which a Missionary in Canada was compelled to endure during the early period of its settlement.

"At last, by applying to the Government, I got a passage in a sloop carrying military stores. There were a hundred barrels of gunpowder on board her. We had no fire on board for cooking victuals, all the passage. We were run aground towards the [298/299] middle of the river, about half way between Sorel and Montreal, and there stuck fast, whilst a large vessel went past us. We got a boat belonging to a popish priest, and unloaded into it a ton and a half of bullets, upon which we floated again, got off the shallow, put the balls in again, and so went about our business. . . . . . To the best of my remembrance, I was twelve days in going from Quebec to Montreal, having a disagreeable passage.

"On the third day, I think, after my arrival at Montreal, I went on foot to La Chine, my baggage being carried in a cart, which expense I paid myself. The day following, being Sunday, I began my journey from La Chine to Carleton Island, going sometimes on foot, and being sometimes in an open boat, with no cover but my umbrella. The first night in this journey I had for a bed a hay-mow; another night I lay upon a house floor, in my clothes; part of another night I had my abode in a wood, but I would not lie down, and it sometimes rained; another night, the greatest part of it I was in a wood; this night I lay down, but it was fair. On Sunday forenoon, the last day of September, 1787, I arrived at Carleton Island. I had a letter from Quebec to Colonel Porter, at Carleton Island, who was now absent at Cataraqui. At Carleton Island I requested to have the boat stay for me an hour and a half, which was refused; and if I had stayed behind it, I suppose possibly I might have found consequences which I should not have liked. The same day I got to Carleton Island I started from thence to Cataraqui, and arrived there that day at eleven o'clock in the night. I was, perhaps, in more danger between. Carleton Island and Cataraqui than in all my journey before.

"Cataraqui is now Kingston, in the province of Quebec: when I was there, I went to see the Rev. Mr. Stuart; if I mistake not, he asked me if I had got a stock of patience."

As an instance of the frugal mode of life which a Missionary in these days was compelled to adopt, it may be mentioned that Mr. Langhorn made an agreement for board and lodging, at Ernest Town, at the rate of 25l. currency a-year.

The total number of souls committed to his charge was about 1500; but of these he computed that nearly four-fifths were dissenters, of nine or ten different denominations. This population was thinly scattered over several townships, so that, though his flock was small, he had to search for them up and down a country of forty miles square. Mr. Langhorn's duty, therefore,, was one of a very laborious kind, for, besides his Sunday services at Ernest Town, he had to attend in the weekdays at not fewer than eight different stations. Among these were three others called after members of the Royal family, Fredericksburg, Adolphus Town, and Sophiasburg, settlements [299/300] which front the Bay of Quenti, and had been surveyed and opened for location to the "United Empire Loyalists," a name of distinction given to the faithful band who submitted to banishment rather than transfer their allegiance.

The work of an itinerant Missionary is sufficiently toilsome, even when he is provided with a horse, but Mr. Langhorn, being somewhat corpulent, never rode. His plan was to sling his surplice and necessary outfit, including a Bible and book of Common Prayer for service, in a knapsack on his back, and so set forth on foot to visit his scattered flocks. Two years after he had taken possession of his Mission, he is described by the Bishop of Nova Scotia, as, "though uncouth, and little acquainted with the world, a very worthy, conscientious man, diligent in discharging the duties of his office, and of a humane, benevolent disposition, and much respected for those virtues."

For the first two years this primitive Missionary had no other provision than the stipend of 50l. allowed by the Society; but the Government annuity, with arrears, was afterwards granted to him.

His stations, or preaching-houses, though of course unconsecrated, he used to distinguish by the name of an Apostle or Saint, and visit them all periodically, From time to time he pushed into new settlements: thus, in 1793, he went to Amherst, where he "preached the first sermon that ever was preached there since the Creation, as far as is known." The next year he preached forty-one times, and in 1795 fifty-two, at the different out-lying stations,--"not a despicable year's work," as he himself remarks,--"if he had done nothing else."

He used to make a point of calling upon every new family which came to settle within his bounds, and by this early attention secured or conciliated many who had before been either indifferent or hostile. In the frequent and extensive journeys on foot which his duty compelled him to undertake, he was of course compelled to depend upon such accommodation for the night as the farmhouse of the settler, or the shanty of the backwoodsman could afford; but he always insisted upon paying for the food and shelter which he received. When a guest for the night, he always conducted the family worship, and on these occasions made use of the prayers of Bishop Wilson. No Missionary would be fit for his office in such a country as Canada was at the end of the last century, or even as it is now in any of the newly cleared settlements, who should be over delicate or nice on the subject of bed or board,--and Mr. Langhorn seems to have been altogether superior to any such considerations. On one occasion, having been detained on his way, he did not reach the house, where he was accustomed to stop for the night, until [300/301] after the family had retired to rest; instead, therefore, of disturbing them, as it was the summer season he determined to pass the night out of doors, and so made himself a straw couch in a farm waggon, where, with his knapsack for a pillow, he laid himself down to rest, and was found still fast asleep there in the morning, to the no small surprise of all the household.

At the various stations which he visited periodically, it was his custom to perform the full service, and preach, but he also invariably catechized the young and taught them their prayers in the face of the congregation. The correspondent who communicates this fact says,--"This last exercise had an excellent effect, and many of the most attached members of the Church, in this section of the Province, at this day, speak with gratitude and affection of the benefit they derived from his pastoral care in this particular, and I am persuaded that it has had the effect of causing many to remain stedfast to their profession who would otherwise have yielded to the seductions of dissent." The following anecdote is worth recording in illustration of the benefit arising from such a practice:--

"I cannot refrain," says the same correspondent, "from mentioning one pleasing proof of the efficacy of his labours with which I became acquainted shortly after my appointment to this Mission. I was called to visit a sick man far advanced in years on the opposite side of the bay. The settlement did not bear the best of characters, and had not been visited for a number of years by a clergyman, and I expected to find him extremely ignorant, especially of the teaching of the Church; but judge my surprise when, on conversing with this aged man, the head of a large family of children and grandchildren, I found him quite conversant with the doctrines and usages of the Church, and even spoke her language, for although he had been blind upwards of twelve years, he had been in the habit of daily repeating some of the appropriate collects and prayers of the Liturgy which he had been taught by Mr. Langhorn. It appeared Mr. L. had a regular station in the neighbourhood, and this man and his wife were members of his flock. The poor old man spoke in most affectionate terms of his spiritual Father, and of the benefit he derived from the prayers he had learned, and the instructions he had received in former days. It afforded me much pleasure to minister to these aged pilgrims, and to be the humble instrument of smoothing their pathway to the land of rest, which they shortly afterwards entered. They died within a short time of each other, an event I have observed of frequent occurrence where the parties have lived long together and been mutually attached. In burying them I took occasion to remind the large assemblage, which comprised several of Mr. [301/302] Langhorn's hearers, of the privileges they had enjoyed, under the faithful pastor who had laboured among them in former years, and hoped that his labour had not been in vain."

Mr. Langhorn was bold in rebuking vice, and maintained as strictly as possible the discipline of the Church, by excluding evil livers from the Holy Communion. While his hand was always open to the sick and unfortunate, he sternly refused to help the drunkard or the sluggard.

"In his journeys he often sought out objects of charity. An old gentleman who knew him well, and who had been married by him fifty-five years ago, lately told me that when travelling his calls were by no means confined to those cottages whose decent exterior promised a comfortable supply of his wants. He often made the petition for a cup of cold water, or some request, a pretext for inquiring into the circumstances of a family. He would sit down and enter into familiar conversation with all, and after obtaining such information as he required, he would pay for his meal or cup of water in proportion to the poverty of the family."

To indulge in the luxury of giving, on such an income as the Missionary receives, requires, of course, the strictest economy, and complete self-denial in all matters of personal expenditure.

"On the occasion of the Bishop of Quebec visiting Mr. Langhorn's Mission to hold a Confirmation, &c. his Lordship took occasion to remark upon the shabbiness of his gown, and expressed a desire that he would provide himself with a more decent one. He promptly replied, 'My Lord, this gown is as good as I can afford to wear. My income, your lordship knows, is small, and I have an aged mother and unmarried sister in England, to whose support I must contribute. If you wish me to wear a better one, I hope your Lordship will supply me with it."

"His domestic regulations were in keeping with his other habits. Order prevailed throughout. In his own room he had an order and arrangement peculiarly his own, which he strove to preserve by excluding every one. He was never married, nor did he ever burthen himself with housekeeping. He boarded in three families during his abode in Canada, and they all entertain the highest regard for him, and speak affectionately of his memory. His bed, the frame of which was of iron, must have been a curiosity, for from the accounts given of it, it more resembled an oriole's nest than a bed. He would never allow the females of the house to touch it, nor would he sleep on it unless he made it up himself."

If these anecdotes serve to convey a fair notion of Mr: Langhorn's personal habits and peculiarities, there are others [302/303] which must impress us with a very high sense of his sterling worth.

"Dr. B------ gives an anecdote of his scrupulous regard to truth in his statements, and correctness in his dealings. At one of his stations where he performed services, nearly twenty miles from his residence, he made a statement publicly respecting some matter conceived by others to be not of much importance; but, on returning home, he discovered that, he was in error. Although much fatigued with his long tour, which had just terminated, he hired a waggon and horses to take him back to the spot, that he might acknowledge his mistake, and have it publicly corrected: On another occasion he walked on foot to Kingston, a distance of eighteen miles, to correct an omission in his account. It appeared he had obtained a quantity of linen, part of which was for a surplice, which had not been charged to him. In his simplicity, he imagined that this omission had been intentional on the part of the clerk to test his punctuality and honesty. The merchant had to assure him to the contrary, and, to satisfy him, summoned his clerks and reprimanded them for their negligence in his presence."

In respect to intellectual acquirements, we are told that Mr. Langhorn had a remarkable facility for the acquisition of languages, and had made some proficiency in German; but the science most compatible with his ministerial avocations, and for the prosecution of which, indeed, they supplied constant opportunities, was natural history.

"During his day the settlements through which he travelled abounded with game and wild animals; and he often availed himself of the opportunities afforded him of examining and taking drawings of them. These examinations, and the inquiries which he made respecting their habits, proved him to have been something of a naturalist. The woods and roadside also afforded him an opportunity of prosecuting an investigation into the botanical productions of the country. A worthy matron, one of his pupils, lately informed me that, when a girl, she often presented him with a rare plant or wild flower, and it was amusing to see how carefully he examined it. It is highly probable he forwarded the result of his inquiries and collections to some of his clerical friends in England. One friend of his made a benefaction of a handsome silver chalice and plate for the Communion of his church at Bath. He was a Dr. Townson. These articles are at present in use, and bear an inscription."

Surrounded as he was by dissenters of various sects, who set all ecclesiastical order at defiance, Mr. Langhorn considered it to be his duty to insist upon a strict observance of the rules of the Church. He would never dispense with the number of [303/304] sponsors required by the Rubric at every baptism; and he was particular in requiring as full security as possible for the religious education of those who were brought to the font. He declined to perform the funeral service over unbaptized infants. "This," he says, "caused some uneasiness;" and he adds, "It is a great grievance to many here that I will not look upon their preachers. They would take it mighty well if I would think favourably of all religions; but there is no likelihood of their being gratified in that, and so I shall not be popular among them." In a letter, written during the year 1804, he represents Ernest Town as "a place very disaffected to the Church of England."

The dissenting ministers wished to be allowed to preach in the pulpits of the Church, and would fain have made Mr. Langhorn promise not to call in question their religious tenets either in the pulpit or out of it. "However, after all," he candidly confesses, "there are a few tolerably good Christians among them." His dislike of Romanism and of Protestant dissent was equally strong; but the outward expression of it was reserved for the teachers of the respective systems. With them he would not so much as eat, nor walk on the same side of the road; but, at the same time, he never willingly interfered with them. A strong exemplification of this feeling is found in the following anecdote, somewhat after the manner of Dr. Johnson, which is told in the neighbourhood of his Mission.

"An old Presbyterian minister in the township of Fredericksburg, who died a few years ago, informed me that he had much respect for Mr. Langhorn, and had made repeated endeavours to be on brotherly terms with him, but his advances were invariably repulsed. 'One day,' observed he, 'riding on horseback, in the spring of the year, when the roads were exceedingly muddy, the footing uncertain, and walking a labour, I overtook the old gentleman in a wood--and much of our roads then lay through woods. He appeared much exhausted with walking, and well might he be, for there was a wall of trees on either side, which prevented the circulation of the air, and the sun's rays were pouring down with great intensity. Now, thought I, his reverence is fatigued, and I will avail myself of the opportunity of making friends with him, by offering him my horse. So I rode up and addressed him, "Good day to you, Mr. Langhorn;" he stopped and looked round, and when he perceived who it was, gave me to understand by his look and manner that he was not obliged to me for my salutation. However, I thought at all hazards I would carry out my intention, and so proceeded:--"It is a very warm day, sir; the roads are bad, and you appear fatigued. Allow me to offer you my horse." He again stopped, and eyeing me very seriously, said, "Sir, you are a promoter of [304/305] schism in the flock of Christ,--I cannot, therefore, have any intercourse with you, much less accept any favour from you; please keep at your own side of the road, and go your way." After that I left him to himself.'

"The same gentleman married a Miss W------, a lamb of, Mr. Longhorn's flock, and one of his most hopeful catechumens. Her marriage, she informed me, gave him serious offence; and although her residence was by the side of the road which he constantly travelled, she could never prevail on him to cross their threshold, or partake of the least refreshment, which was repeatedly offered. He would come to the gate, or even to the door, and ask after her welfare, but, his conversation generally ended with a grave shaking of his head, and reminding her of the offence she had committed in marrying a dissenter, and forsaking the Church."

Dr. B------, who well remembers Mr. Langhorn, and cherishes the most affectionate recollection of that worthy man, states his belief that the real reason why he declined to enter the house of Mrs. W. was, that he could not give to those who were subject to Ecclesiastical censure the usual benediction, "Peace be to this house and all that dwell in it," which he was in the habit of giving to the members of his own congregation. Sometimes, indeed, collision could not be avoided; for the dissenting teachers, taking advantage of his rough exterior and want of fluency in speech, would occasionally attack him on some controverted passage, and put him out of humour with their cavils. This used to annoy him at first; but he soon hit upon a remedy for the evil. He adopted the practice of carrying about with him a pocket edition of the Greek Testament, and then, when any preacher attempted to entrap him into a controversy, he would produce the sacred text, and request his antagonist to read a chapter before commencing the dispute. This was commonly decisive in silencing the objector; and then, Mr. Langhorn, turning to the people, would take the opportunity of commenting upon the presumption of those who undertook to teach religion without being able to read the original text, and to dispute about the force of terms without a knowledge of the language from which they were translated. In this manner he soon got rid of his annoyers.

A man of Mr. Longhorn's simplicity of character, and ignorance of the world, is sure to be the subject of much remark; but it is much to his credit, that none of the many anecdotes which are related of him affect his moral character, or imply neglect or indifference in the discharge of his duty. Whatever might be said of his eccentricities, or uncouth manners, it was universally allowed that he was a zealous and devoted, yet humble-minded Missionary.

[306] For health's sake, and to brace his nerves, he used to bathe every morning in Lake Ontario, and this practice he kept up during the coldest days of winter, even when the ice was two feet thick, and he could only get his morning bath by diving through the holes which had been made for the purpose of watering the cattle.

After twenty-five years' service in an itinerant Mission of vast extent, he felt himself no longer equal to the unceasing labour which it required. Pleading, therefore, age and infirmity as the necessary causes of his resignation, he returned to England in the year 1813, with a high testimony to his zeal and faithfulness from the Bishop of Quebec, and was recommended to the Government for a pension, but did not long survive to enjoy it.

The following pleasing tribute to his memory is given by one who has the best opportunities of knowing the estimation in which he was held.

"The name of this 'man of God' in the circle of the Bay of Quinté is really 'as ointment poured forth.' Branches of the families who composed his various congregations are now scattered throughout its length and breadth; and in every settlement the Missionary will perceive some gratifying trace of his godly labours, and is encouraged by friends whose affections are stirred up by the recollections of the benefactor and spiritual instructor of their youth. It is pleasing to witness these traits even in the minds of those who have long since united themselves with some of the various denominations of dissenters. How often have I and my brethren received the kindest attentions from persons of this class, from the respect they entertained for the Church through her pious and single-hearted Missionary's labours in these parts! Of the many I have conversed with, I never heard any speak of him as other than a truly pious and most devoted servant of his Master. Eccentric indeed he was, but

"E'en his failings leaned to virtue's side."

During his ministry he was instrumental in procuring the erection of a neat and commodious church at Bath, a village on the margin of the Bay of Quinte, about eighteen miles from Kingston. He also contrived to erect, chiefly at his own expense, two or three log chapels, one of which was "St. Werberg's" at Fredericksburg. The population of this district has rapidly advanced since the time to which we refer, and many villages have sprung up. But while the forest has been yielding to cultivation, the spiritual husbandman has not been idle; and it is a gratification to know that within sight of Mr. Langhorn's former station in the bay, seven additional churches have been built, for the service of which there are five clergymen, besides his successor.



THE Rev. Robert Addison had the blessing of being the son of parents whose circumstances enabled them to give him a liberal education. From a respectable grammar-school he was transferred to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with credit, and attracted, by his classical and mathematical attainments, the notice of several of the senior members of the University, and among the rest of Dr. Watson, the celebrated Bishop of Llandaff, who used to say that young Addison could master any subject, and might become an ornament to the University, if only he would exert himself to overcome the natural indolence and diffidence of his character. Soon after leaving Cambridge he married, and engaged in tuition, an employment for which he was more than ordinarily qualified. But his prospects were early blighted by an afflicting mental disorder which attacked his wife, and from which she never recovered. This heavy visitation, and the hopelessness of his obtaining any preferment in this country, seem to have directed his thoughts to the Colonial Church. He felt that a Missionary might be as happy as "the Archbishop of York." Accordingly he applied to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, for a Mission in the North American Colonies, and was appointed in 1791 to the charge of Niagara, a station which had been for some time in want of a clergyman. As soon as he had made the necessary arrangements, he embarked for his mission, but arrived at Quebec too late in the year to proceed further till the spring, when he continued and completed his long and expensive voyage.

In those early days of the colony but few settlements had been formed, and those who had to traverse the country were subjected to hardships and privations for which commonly they were but ill prepared.

On his arrival, in May 1792, he had the mortification to find that there was but little probability of his receiving the allowance of 100l. a-year, which the people had undertaken to pay towards his support. "Everything," he says "is very dear in the settlement, but by great frugality, and some little private possession, I am free from actual want. The humble settler who labours on his land is kind to me; the rich trader [333/334] endeavours to be polite; but I am sorry to say that their subscription is likely to end in words." There was no definite boundary to his Mission, but the population was considerable, and he was required to visit stations at twenty and thirty miles' distance, to preach and baptize. The congregation, however, which he appears to have visited from time to time with the greatest satisfaction, was that of the Mohawks, who were settled on the Grand River, at about seventy miles' distance from him. The number of them that belonged to the Church of England he computed at about 550. At every visit he used to baptize several of them, children or adults. Captain Brant acted as his interpreter, and the deportment of the Indians is described as most serious and devout. On the division of Canada into two provinces, Mr. Addison had been appointed chaplain to the Legislative Assembly at York, with a small allowance, and the Society added 20l. a-year to his salary, in consequence of the expense which he incurred in going to the Indian village; but with all this, his services, it must be confessed, were miserably requited. From the people he obtained a mere trifle, and from all the other sources together not so much as 100l. a-year, while his duties were of a most severe and exhausting kind. "My Mission," he says, "is very laborious; I must either neglect my duty, or make a circuit several times in the year of more than 150 miles through a wild country;" and he adds, that he had performed his duty "with humble and conscientious assiduity, and had struggled with very narrow circumstances." His periodical visits among the Indians were attended with very gratifying success; he commonly baptized about twenty. Among the number in 1806 was a chief of the Cayuga nation, and his wife. The next year the congregation of the Six Nations that assembled to hear him was uncommonly large; several from the other tribes, besides the Mohawks, had become Christians, and many of them had overcome the fatal habit of spirit-drinking. Many, however, there can be no doubt, fell victims to this vice, and among the rest it is painful to number, on Mr. Addison's authority, the celebrated chief Brant, whom he describes as "a man of uncommon intellect;" he died towards the close of the year 1807.

After his death Mr. Addison adopted as his interpreter a very extraordinary young man, named Norton; and he says, writing in 1809, that the Indian candidates for baptism "seemed to offer themselves from a persuasion of the truth and value of our holy faith, without which he had no wish to baptize any of them." At the Mohawk church he had generally twenty communicants.

[335] In 1810 the church at Niagara, at that time "the best in the province," was completed; and it may convey some notion of the wealth of the congregation to say that the pews were sold for 300l. Two small chapels also were erected at distances of ten and twelve miles from Niagara.

In 1812 a war broke out between Great Britain and the United States, the chief theatre of which was, of course, Upper Canada. In the course of the operations Niagara was taken, and most of the principal inhabitants were sent some hundreds of miles into the interior of the States as prisoners of war: Mr. Addison was allowed to remain on parole in his own house, about three miles from the town; and when the English forces advanced so far, his house became for a time their head quarters.

His duty at that time consisted in performing Divine Service for the several divisions of the army in turn, and visiting the sick, who were very numerous. The ordinary labour of his Mission was of course interrupted, and the whole district thrown into a state of alarm and confusion. In the following; year the town with the church was burnt down, and Mr. Addison says that it is impossible for him to describe the horrid scenes he witnessed; he had himself been plundered, made prisoner of war, and harassed till he became dangerously ill; but he was thankful that his own house escaped destruction, and afforded an asylum to several sufferers who fled from the flames of their own, At the close of 1814, when the Americans had been driven beyond the frontier, the church, of which the stone walls remained standing, was covered in, and used as a commissary's store, while Divine Service was performed in the General Hospital. When the Bishop of Quebec visited Niagara, in August 1816, he confirmed fifty-four candidates, a number which would have been nearly doubled had it not been for the long interruption to the Missionary's visits, occasioned by the enemy's occupation of the country.

The interesting but very arduous duty which Mr. Addison had so long discharged, of visiting the Mohawk settlement on the Grand River, was in 1818 shared by the Rev. Ralph Leeming, who was stationed at Ancaster, which was only eighteen miles distant. Mr. Addison, however, still promised to visit them occasionally, as long as his health would permit, and rightly felt that his attention to the Indians was of some importance, as the yearly baptisms amounted to 100, and he thought. it probable that other tribes might be induced by the example of the Mohawks to profess Christianity.

During an illness, happily unaccompanied by pain, in 1826, Mr. Addison performed Divine Service in his own house. At [335/336] this time, which was near the end of his long ministerial career, he computed the population of Niagara at 1100, and that of the other townships at about 3,000. His health and strength failing, he was now assisted by the Rev. T. Creen, who, having recommended himself by his conduct while schoolmaster, was admitted to Holy Orders, and on Mr. Addison's death, which occurred in 1829, was appointed to succeed him.

The Bishop of Quebec, (Stewart,) in communicating the loss of the faithful Missionary of Niagara, speaks of him as "one whose age was greater, and the period of his service longer, than that of any other clergyman in the province at the time of his decease." He goes on to say "that Mr. Addison had ministered to the congregation of Niagara nearly forty years, and died in his seventy-fifth year, beloved and regretted by all."

Such is the brief and uneventful record of a most useful life. The details of daily labour and weariness, with the hardships and privations which he suffered in the course of his missionary journeys, are passed over by him as undeserving of notice; but we are told that he was everywhere received as a welcome guest. The frankness and simplicity of his manners, and the readiness and sympathy with which he entered into the feelings of others, won for him the regard of all, and gave him a most salutary influence over the young. Many a desponding family he has left satisfied and cheerful. His style of preaching was winning and affectionate, and his sermons, though marked by good taste and simplicity, were not without that quaintness of expression and occasional keenness of remark which tended to impress them more deeply on the memory of the hearer. His voice was pleasing, but not powerful. Mr. Addison was considered to be a remarkably "good reader," and the following illustration of his power is told by one who was present at the scene which is described. Some young ladies, who had been spending the day at his hospitable parsonage, after enjoying themselves out of doors as long as the daylight lasted, as evening drew on gathered round "the pastor's fireside;" and Mr. Addison, with a view to their improvement not less than their amusement, kindly offered to read to them, whilst they busied themselves with their needles. He commenced some instructive and pathetic tale,--but before he had proceeded far he so affected his hearers that their feelings found vent in sobs and tears. A favourite dog who was lying on the hearth-rug at the time, watched the progress of their emotions with increasing uneasiness, till at last, with a sympathy not uncommon among those sagacious animals, he burst out into a piteous howl, which [336/337] compelled the worthy man to lay aside his book in order to soothe his excitable audience. This, perhaps, though a somewhat ludicrous, is not an unfair illustration of the effect of sympathy in producing what may be called animal excitement.

Though a well-read theologian and a rapid writer, Mr. Addison wanted the self-possession necessary for an extempore preacher. On one occasion he made an attempt to dispense with notes, and chose a familiar subject, but the moment after he had delivered his text he became so nervous and confused, that he forgot all that he had intended to say, and the utmost that he could do was, to read the chapter from which the text was taken, and so conclude. Some time afterwards, however, he preached from the same text with his notes before him, but being thus, as it were, guaranteed against failure, had not occasion once to refer to them.

Mr. Addison was a warm advocate of education; and labouring alone as he did for so long a period, and seeing the difficulty of obtaining properly qualified Missionaries from England, he was naturally anxious for the establishment of a college at which candidates for holy orders might be instructed and trained. Young men so prepared by an education within the province would, he thought, be better suited for the peculiar duties which awaited them, than most of those who might be sent from England. The policy which he thus early indicated has since been universally adopted, and at this time every one of the Colonies of British North America is provided with its College or Theological Institution, and by far the greater part of the candidates for the ministry of the Colonial Church are educated in one or other of the Diocesan seminaries. The ministry of such a man as Mr. Addison must have been an inestimable blessing to all within his reach, and many particular instances of the good effected by it are related. Even the occasional services which he was called upon to perform produced their effect. A gentleman at the head of that section of the province used to state, that the impression made upon him by hearing Mr. Addison perform the funeral-service of the Church could never be effaced from his memory, and that every recollection of it awakened in his mind the most serious thoughts and resolutions.

Mr. Addison's health suffered no material decay till after his seventy-fourth year, and then, when incapacitated for the discharge of his public duties, he occupied his leisure hours in teaching his grandchildren. His cheerfulness never forsook him, and his resignation to the will of God was conspicuous throughout the whole period of his sickness. An intimate [337/338] friend gives the following account of his last visit to this venerable Missionary:--

"Owing to some detention by the way, I was late in reaching his house, and he had retired to his chamber for the night, but he desired to see me. On entering the room I was struck with the great change in his appearance. Disease had been very busy with him since I had last seen him, and I was not aware that he was so ill.

"'I am not in much pain,' he said, 'but my departure is at hand.' He spoke so strongly that I ventured to express some hope. He showed me the swelling of his body. 'This,' said he, 'is a disorder (dropsy) that seldom departs at my time of life without its victim. But I am satisfied that it should be so; my faith and hope in Christ are strong, while I most deeply feel my own unworthiness.' He then spoke rationally and distinctly on the measures which the Government were taking for promoting education throughout the Province, and expressed a fervent hope that they would proceed to a successful issue, and redound to the glory of God, and the lasting welfare of the people. Then reverting to his own situation, he said, 'I shall not be long here; indeed I do not desire it, for my power of usefulness has departed with my health. We shall never meet again in this world: continue as you have hitherto been, resolute and faithful in the performance of your duty, and God will bless your endeavours. As for me, I feel strong in hope, I know whom I have believed; I have always disapproved and spoken against a death-bed repentance, and I have not put off that great work to this late period. It has long been the subject of my deepest thoughts and earnest prayers.' In this humble yet hopeful state he continued till at length he fell asleep."

Project Canterbury