Project Canterbury

Annals of the Diocese of Fredericton.

By Ernest Hawkins.

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1847.










THE increased sympathy which has of late years been manifested in behalf of the Colonial Church, may be regarded as among the cheering signs, of the times. The subdivision of existing Dioceses, and the erection of new Sees, by which in the course of a very few years the number of Bishops in the Colonies has been more than doubled, are sufficient to vindicate the Church of England from the charge sometimes brought against her of barrenness, or of insular limitation. The present little Manual relates to one of those new Dioceses. It is compiled from the Journals of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and its object is to give a summary of the past history and present state of the Church in the Diocese of Fredericton and Province of New Brunswick. Similar manuals, only more skilfully prepared, of the other Colonial Dioceses, would, it is conceived, by the diffusion of authentic [vii/viii] information, help to create a more general and effectual interest in the welfare of the Church abroad. Should this view be shared by others, better able to form an impartial judgment, the Author of the present sketch will gladly take his share in the labour of compilation, by continuing the series of "Annals," so far, at least, as relates to the North American Dioceses.

February 18, 1847.


Immigration of Loyalists and Clergy--First Settlement of New Brunswick--Brief notice of the Colony--Rev. Samuel Andrews--St. Stephen's--Rev. B. Clarke--Death of Mr. Andrews--Rev. Samuel Cooke--St. Andrew's--Fredericton--Visitation of Clergy--Rev. George Bisset--Rev. Dr. Byles--Rev. Frederic Dibblee--Rev. James Scovil--Mission of Kingston--Rev. Elias Yeovil--Mission of Hampton and Norton--Of Springfield--Death and Character of Rev. Elias Scovil,--succeeded by his Son.

THE present British Colonies in North America were little thought of until after the recognition of the independence of the United States. But from the year 1783 they began rapidly to increase in population and importance, by the immigration of great numbers of loyalists, who desired still to live under the protection of the British Crown. Of these, many thousands settled in the neighbouring provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; and the same cause which drove them from their old homes led a portion of the clergy also to transfer their services to a country where, retaining their allegiance, they might continue to pray for their Sovereign, in the [4/5] occupation of the people, therefore, is the felling of timber, and conveying it to the coast for exportation. At the end of autumn, gangs of men, each under a leader, ascend one of the great rivers which form the high roads of that country, and make a settlement of shanties, or log-huts, in the thick of a forest. The men rise at day-light, and divide themselves into three parties, one of which cuts down the trees, another squares them, and a third, with oxen, drags them to the nearest stream. After a day spent in this exhausting labour, they return to their shed, and, when supper is over, lay themselves to sleep upon the floor, which is covered with hay, straw, and branches. Their plan is to arrange themselves in a circle, with their feet towards a blazing pine fire, and then any one who awakes during the night throws on fresh billets of wood. At the first foundation of the colony, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, who was there with his regiment, thought there was "no luxury equal to that of lying before a good fire, on a good spruce bed, after a good supper and a hard moose chase, in a fine, clear, frosty, moonlight, starry night." [Moore's Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, vol. I. p. 129.] And, probably, the heavy day's work of the lumberer is as good a preparation [5/6] for the night's repose as the sport of the young officer. When the winter has been passed in this manner, and a considerable quantity of timber has accumulated, it is formed into large flat rafts, and, towards the end of April, floated down the rivers, then swollen by the melted snow, to St. John's, or Miramichi.

Surrounded on three sides by a sea studded with bays, New Brunswick has great facilities for carrying on a large commerce by means of its extensive fisheries; and the cod and salmon, the herring and mackerel, with whale and seal oil, form a considerable item in its exports.

Coal, iron, and limestone are found in abundance. The surface of the country is broken and undulating, but not mountainous; and the climate, which much resembles that of Lower Canada, though severe in winter, is yet very' healthy. With this general reference to the physical condition of the country, we proceed to the more immediate purpose of our inquiry, its early Ecclesiastical History.

In the year 1786, several clergymen of the now independent States welcomed a proposal made to them by, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, to accept missions in the loyal colonies. But bitter must have been their [6/7] separation from flocks which they had faithfully tended, in some instances, for a quarter of a century. Thus, the Rev. Samuel Andrews, of Wallingford, Connecticut, in a letter dated Sept. 29, 1785, expresses much concern at the thought of leaving a parish which he had served so long, and a people who had been his fellow-sufferers during the war, to "the mercy of chance." Indeed he made an attempt, in conjunction with the Rev. James Scovil, to obtain a grant of land in Nova Scotia, and so to form a settlement for themselves and upwards of 100 families of their parishioners; but the scheme fell to the ground for want of Government aid. Both of these excellent missionaries ultimately settled in New Brunswick. After the service of half a life devoted to the Church in New England, they were driven forth by a political storm to enter upon a new sphere of duty, and to occupy hitherto untrodden ground.

"Their altars they forego, their homes they quit--
Fields which they love, and paths they daily trod--
And cast the future upon Providence." [Wordsworth. Ecclesiastical Sonnets.]

Mr. Andrews, in taking leave of Wallingford, had the comfort of feeling that, by the blessing of God, his labours in the Gospel had [7/8] contributed to the spiritual welfare of many of his parishioners; and he records, with obvious satisfaction, that in the whole of the twenty-four years during which he had been in charge of the mission, he had failed but one Sunday to officiate at the several parishes in their turn; that large accessions had been made to the church, and more than 300 new communicants admitted. [Journal, xxiv. p. 248.] On his arrival at his new mission of St. Andrew's, he found that the settlement was formed of people from various countries, who lived together in great harmony, and generally attended the service of the Church, where, from the first, the liturgy and a sermon had been read by the civil magistrate. [Vide infra, p. 16.]

The county, which contained seven other small townships, was for the most part an uncultivated wilderness, or, rather, a continuous forest, and, as far as it was inhabited at all, was inhabited by Presbyterians and Independents. Six years after the first commencement of his residence, he remarked "an apparent reformation of manners, and a considerable number of new faces in church." The town of St. Andrew's, however, constituted but a small portion of his sphere of duty; and as he was the only clergyman for sixty miles, he was compelled to be [8/9] "in journeyings often," in order to visit the remoter parts of his mission. This circuit he was in the habit of performing twice a year, to carry round to his scattered flock the various ministrations and ordinances of the Church. He records that on one occasion, while travelling in a distant part of the parish, he was invited to a lonely house, where he found a large family collected and waiting for him; and after due examination he "baptized the ancient matron of the family, of eighty-two years, her son of sixty years, two grandsons, and seven great grand-children." [Journal, xxvi. p. 199.] Probably this was the first opportunity which this family of four generations ever had of' receiving the Sacrament of Holy Baptism from the hands of a lawful minister; and it is painful to be thus compelled to infer, that the occasional visits of a missionary were the only opportunities which were afforded to thousands of the dispersed members of the Church of participating in any of her solemn ordinances. One of the hardest trials that the pastor in a new settlement has to bear, is his isolated condition. Mr. Andrews deeply felt the want of some true yoke-fellow, who might share his anxieties and labours, and take counsel with him on all matters concerning the spiritual interests [9/10] of the mission. But he had to toil on singlet handed, year after year, in his arduous vocation, crippled on one side by the want of assistance, and distracted and impeded on the other by a "herd of sent teachers." He felt naturally anxious that the exact state of his charge should be brought under the personal notice of the Bishop of Nova Scotia. As a visit, however, was hardly to, be expected, considering the vast extent of the diocese, Mr. Andrews expressed a hope that a remedy would he found in the appointment of a resident Bishop in New Brunswick, a pious wish which, uttered in 1795, had to wait exactly half a century for its fulfilment.

How little attention was bestowed upon the religious condition of the rising colonies, will be seen from the fact of St. Stephen's, the most populous and flourishing settlement, next to St. John's, in the colony, being left without a single clergyman of the Church of England. The first settlers there, it is true, were chiefly Presbyterians from Scotland. A Methodist meeting-house was early opened, and, in default of any other place of public worship, was attended by a considerable body of people; but it appears from Mr. Andrews's report, that the "Kirkmen" were not of the number; for they [10/11] preferred our Church, and would join it, if a mission were established, and a clergyman sent. The parish undertook to raise an income of 30l. annually; and there was a glebe worth almost as much more. [Journal, xxix. p. 413.] It was many years, however, before this important place was supplied; and during the whole of that time the interests of the Church were. of course materially suffering; for Mr. Andrews was not able to go there oftener than twice a year. A sort of Chapel-Schoolhouse was at length completed in the year 1809, and two years afterwards the Rev. Richard Clarke was placed there as the first resident missionary, being succeeded in his cure of Gage-Town by his son Samuel. Mr. Clarke was one of the missionaries who had already grown grey in the service of the Church, being now in his 75th year; but Mr. Andrews was of opinion that "his venerable appearance and discreet conduct (the result of long experience), would give him such weight and authority in a new untutored parish as no young man could be expected to possess." [Ibid, xxx. p. 171.] A few months before his removal from Gage-Town, his family was visited by a most awful calamity; his house (a wooden one no doubt) caught fire, and his eldest [11/12] daughter, a niece, and a grandson, perished in the flames, while three sons and a visitor from England saved themselves by leaping from the windows. His furniture and property were all destroyed, together with the greater part of the missionary library. To relieve his distress, a subscription was opened in the Colony; and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel voted him two gratuities of 50l. together with a library for his new mission.

Meanwhile, Mr Andrews, though relieved of part of his charge, was still tasked beyond his years and strength. Writing on the 10th of August, 1810, he mentions that on that day he was entering on the fiftieth year of his ministry, having served three parishes in the United States for a space of 25 years, and now for an equal period having had the sole care of a mission containing eight parishes, and more laborious than any other in the diocese. He adds that all his powers of body and mind were failing. [Journal, xxx. p. 110.] This simple statement was answered by a gratuity of 50l. from the Society, in acknowledgment of his long-continued services; and the letter which announced their gift was acknowledged as a jubilee to him in every sense." In 1814, again referring to his [12/13] increasing age and infirmity, he appeals to the Society for an assistant in the outlying stations; and a salary was accordingly promised so soon as a well-qualified clergyman could be found to undertake the duty. But though the application was again and again renewed, no fit person presenting himself, Mr. Andrews continued to struggle on in the same round of duties as long as any strength remained to him. In 1818 he mentions that he had been absent from his duty only one Sunday during the year, but he was obliged to avail himself of the help of one of the churchwardens, who usually read the Psalms and the Lessons. This was the last letter which he wrote to the Society. He lived just long enough to welcome the arrival of an assistant, the Rev. Montgomery Mercer, on the 5th of September, 1818; and a fortnight afterwards, to use the words of the Bishop of Nova Scotia, "the venerable, pious, and primitive missionary of St. Andrew's died. He had taken cold in the discharge of duties which were too heavy for a person of his advanced age; and after a short illness he departed this life with great tranquillity, and with humble hope and confidence in the mercies of his God, and the merits of his Redeemer. Unbounded respect and veneration were shown to his memory. He was followed [13/14] to the grave by all the inhabitants of St. Andrew's and by many Americans who knew his character and his worth." [Journal, xxxii, p. 5.]

It has already been said that, on the recognition of American independence, the Society, which was precluded from affording any further assistance to the Church in the Independent States, resolved to make such provision as was in its power, for those of the loyal clergy who could no longer conscientiously retain their positions in the new republic. They were accordingly offered, in the order of their merit and services, such missions as were from time to time formed in the British Colonies: One of those first selected was the Rev. Samuel Cooke, who had become favourably known by his labours in New Jersey. He arrived at St. John's in 1785, and was soon afterwards reported by Governor Carleton as giving "very general satisfaction." His first letter to the Society is dated on the 17th October in the same year, and is worth noting, if only to show the progress which has been made in the colony, as well in other respects, as in the communications both by land and sea, within the last sixty years. His voyage from New Jersey to Halifax occupied him nine weeks, and after experiencing a very kind [14/15] reception from Governor Parr, he again set off on "another tiresome journey of near 200 miles by land and water, to St. John's, and was received in such a manner as he could wish, both as a clergyman and a gentleman." [Journal, xxiv. p. 260.]

The mission of St. John's seemed, upon the whole, a promising one, although at that time the people were divided in sentiments and interests, and therefore split into parties. A. house, convertible into a small church, had already been purchased, but remained unfinished. Mr. Cooke, therefore, zealously entered upon this incomplete work, and persuaded the inhabitants to set on foot a subscription, which in three days amounted to 90l. Early in the ensuing year, at the repeated invitation of some of the principal inhabitants of St. Andrew's, Mr. Cooke visited that settlement. He was the first clergyman who had been there since the foundation of the settlement. In consequence of adverse winds, the voyage took him ten days. He stopped a Sunday on his way, at Campo Bello, a small island in the Bay of Fundy, a few miles distant from the coast, and performed divine service. There he baptized a woman of forty, and seven children. The following Sunday he performed the offices of the Church and [15/16] preached to a respectable congregation at St: Andrew's, and during the week administered the Sacrament of Baptism to seventy-one, including two adults. He describes St. Andrew's, the capital of Charlotte County, as a town regularly laid out, and consisting of about 200 houses, with a good harbour and fine surrounding country. The larger part of the settlers were of the Kirk of Scotland, but Mr. Cooke was of opinion that, if an efficient clergyman were sent to reside amongst them, they would conform to the Church of England.

In 1786, in pursuance of an arrangement with the Governor, Mr. Cooke removed to Fredericton, at that time an inconsiderable settlement, but important as the seat of government. There was no church; but divine service was performed in the king's provision store. The congregation did not exceed 100, and the whole number of communicants on Christmas Day was fourteen. [Vol. xxiv. p. 399.]

Soon after this the government made a grant of 500l. for building a church and parsonage house; but the trustees, to whom the management of the fund was committed, determined to appropriate the entire sum towards the erection of the church, and to allot 30 l. a year for house [16/17] rent out of a rate to be levied on the pews. The sum of 150l. was afterwards added to the building fund by Governor Carleton.

In 1789 Mr. Cooke was appointed Ecclesiastical Commissary by the Bishop of Nova Scotia. The total population of Fredericton at this time amounted to about 400. [Journal, xxv. p. 220.]

The next year, in virtue of his office, he summoned a convocation of the clergy; all of whom, with the exception of Dr. Byles, who was kept at home by sickness, attended: and the report of the commissary was as follows. "They are all diligent in their missions, and their churches increase and flourish.' [Ibid, xxv. p. 357.] Subsequent visitations of the clergy were held by him in successive years at St. John's, Maugerville, Gage-Town, and Kingston.

The life of this exemplary clergyman was brought to a melancholy and unexpected termination by an accident. As his residence was on the side of the river opposite to that on. which the town stands, he was of course obliged to cross it whenever duty called him there. On one of these occasions, May 23, 1795, after having fulfilled a particular engagement, he embarked, with his only son, in a birch canoe, [17/18] to return: a sudden squall arose, the boat was overset, and both father and son perished--the son, though a remarkably expert swimmer himself, being lost in attempting to save his father's life. [Journal, xxvi. 364.]

The Bishop gives his testimony to the regard and esteem in which Mr. Cooke was held by all who knew him, and adds that his death has made a vacancy which it will by no means be easy to supply. And in token of their sincere sorrow at his loss, all the people of the more respectable class, not only of the parish, but also' of the surrounding country, went into deep mourning.

In a record, however brief, of the first missionaries of New Brunswick, it would be unjust to omit the name of George Bisset. At his own request he was transferred to this province from Rhode Island; where he had been labouring since the year 1771. As his attainments were of a kind to fit him for a town parish, he was put in charge of St. John's; where, on his arrival in July 1786, he found a large congregation, many of them Scotch Presbyterians; who liberally contributed to the repairs of the church, and continued to attend its services till a minister of their own communion came [18/19] out. [Journal, xxv. p.8.] How entirely Mr. Bisset succeeded in acquiring the love and esteem of his parishioners, and of the town generally, may be inferred from the sincere grief which his death, after a ministry of less than two years among them, occasioned. The churchwardens, in communicating the sad event to the bishop, say that, "with the keenest sensations of heartfelt grief they undertake the melancholy office of announcing the death of their late rector, the beloved Mr. Bisset; and they are persuaded that no church or community ever suffered a severer misfortune, in the death of an individual, than they experience from the loss of this eminent servant of Christ--this best and most amiable of men." [Ibid. p. 78.] His successor, the Rev. Dr. Byles, who, after having been driven from the United States, had officiated for some years as chaplain to the garrison at Halifax, arrived at St. John's in May 1789. He was reputed to be an able and well-read divine, and had some talent for poetry. In 1794, he computed the population of St. John's to be about two thousand; and, consequently, his time was so fully occupied as to leave but few opportunities of making missionary visits in the surrounding country. His annual reports testify [19/20] to the diligent and faithful discharge of his duties, and show the gradual progress of religion among the people, but present no very striking results. The Methodic" and "New Lights," who created so much fanatical excitement in various parts of America, seem to have exercised but little influence at St. John's. It was with far greater cause that Dr. Byles expressed his apprehension of the dissemination of French revolutionary principles, and the secret growth of infidelity: and it was to counteract the effect of this deadly philosophy that he obtained from the Society a grant of appropriate books. As soon as he became incapacitated, by age and infirmity, for the discharge of his duties, the vestry very considerately voted fifty pounds a year for an assistant; and the person selected was the Rev. Roger Viets, "a serious, studious, and modest young man," whose exemplary conduct and faithful services won for him, generally, the good opinion of the parishioners. [Report for 1808.] Dr. Byles died in the year 1814.

It would be both wearisome and unprofitable to enter into the detail of every missionary's labours; and it may be enough to state briefly, that the Rev. Frederick Dibblee entered first [20/21] into the service of the Church as Superintendent of the Indian School at Woodstock in 1791, and was afterwards appointed to the charge of that mission. It comprised three principal stations along the river St. John, distant thirteen, thirty, and forty-five miles from Woodstock, to which there was no other communication than by the river in birch canoes. He mentions that, in 1814, the House of Assembly, having a surplus in their exchequer, voted a certain sum for the completion of some unfinished churches; whereupon "the rector, wardens, and vestry of Woodstock resolved that a steeple ten feet square should be added, and a bell, suitable thereto, be ordered from England:"--a proof that, thirty years ago, church architecture did not aim at any questionable refinements in New Brunswick. Schools on the National system were, about this time, opened in many parts of the province; and within five years, it appears that they had increased from one to ten in the mission of Woodstock. The average number on the list of each was forty; and in 1824 there were 318 scholars in daily attendance. Mr. Dibblee closed a useful life in the year 1826, after a faithful ministry of thirty-four years; and his memory is still held in affectionate regard by the people of Woodstock.

[22] The Rev. James Scovil had already laboured for twenty-seven years in the colony of Connecticut, where he won for himself the character of a faithful and diligent missionary, when the revolution in the States compelled him to leave his attached flock, and to begin life again in the recently settled province of New Brunswick. He arrived at St. John's in May 1786, but was almost immediately transferred to the mission of Kingston, which at this time contained about 220 families. There were three other towns within the mission; the amount of travelling, therefore, which he had to undertake was very considerable, and he mentions, as an aggravation of the difficulties with which he had to contend, the scarcity of horses and the badness of the roads. He seems, however, to have applied himself resolutely from the first to the discharge of his duties; and he commenced the building of a parsonage-house at his own cost, though his salary from the Society was no more than 50l. a year. The churchwardens transmitted their warmest thanks to the Society for his appointment; and we have his own testimony that "the people exerted themselves beyond their ability to raise a church." Past middle life when he entered upon the duties of his new mission, Mr. Scovil, after some years more of active labour, [22/23] began to feel the effects of approaching old age; but even when disabled from visiting the more remote settlements, he still continued with unabated zeal to minister to the congregations nearer home. In the course of five years, ending 1800, he had baptized two hundred and ninety-five infants and twenty-seven adults, while the burials during the same period amounted to seventeen only. The number of his communicants was ninety.

Having been employed for half a century as a missionary, whether in Connecticut or New Brunswick, he was fairly worn out in the service of the Church. His course was now finished, and his reward, we may humbly trust, laid up in store; and after a lapse of nearly forty years, the present Bishop of Nova Scotia bears this honourable testimony to his character:--"Mr. Scovil, at Kingston, planted the Church nobly and deeply in all the surrounding country; and the blessing which rested upon his labours is manifest at this day." [Letter dated June 2, 1846.] He died on the 19th December, 1808. [Journal, xxix. p. 401.] During the latter part of his life he had been assisted by his son, the Rev. Elias Scovil, who was ordained in 1801, and who showed himself, by [23/24] the diligent discharge of the duties of the mission, well qualified to become his father's successor. He accordingly received the appointment, and faithfully carried on the work which his father had begun. Indeed, his mission, which comprised the three townships of Kingston, Hampton, and Springfield, gave proofs of more than average progress. Though many persons had ten or twelve miles to come to church, the congregations were good; and that of Hampton, he reported, had done more, in proportion to their means, for the promotion of public worship, than any parish in the province. And certainly, if we may form a judgment of the spiritual condition of the mission by the number of the communicants, (140 at Kingston, fifty at Hampton, and thirty at Springfield,) it must, in this case, be a very favourable one.

At this time, 1815, there were but ten missionaries in the whole province, and it is therefore no wonder that Mr. Scovil complained of the insufficiency of the number. In his own county there were seven large parishes, only two of: which were supplied with missionaries; and the wants of the other counties were equally great. He strongly, therefore, urged upon the Society the expediency of subdividing his mission, and stated the readiness of the people [24/25] of Hampton to contribute towards the support of a clergyman. On this representation it was determined to constitute Hampton and Norton into a separate mission; and the Rev. James Cookson was sent out in 1819 to take charge of it. He found there a handsome and commodious church, which did great credit to the zeal and liberality of the congregation by whom it had been built. The spirit which Mr. Scovil had been the means of diffusing in Springfield, was exhibited in. the liberal and self-denying efforts of the congregation to rebuild their church, to which they. contributed 230l. in money and 50l. in labour. As it appeared, however, that the people were unable to complete it without assistance, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel made a grant of 100l. in aid; and voted a like sum to Westfield, where, in the intervals of Mr. Scovil's visits, prayers and a. sermon were read by a layman. [Journal xxxii. p.159.] This latter parish, with Greenwich, was soon afterwards formed into a separate mission, under the care of the Rev. Gilbert Wiggins. The Bishop of Nova Scotia, in his visitation of 1827, reports as follows of Springfield: The church is a remarkably neat and well-finished building, highly creditable to the [25/26] people and to Mr. Scoff, who has given much benevolent attention to this place. The church (Trinity) and its burial-ground were consecrated. I preached to a crowded audience, who seemed very attentive, and I confirmed seventy-five persons. So large and respectable a congregation are naturally anxious for a resident missionary, and would most cheerfully and effectually comply with the reasonable requisitions of the Society, by providing a house, and at least 30l. a year." This privilege was accorded to them in 1830, by the appointment of the Rev. Oliver Arnold to the charge of Springfield, while his old mission of Sussex-Vale was devolved upon his son, the Rev. Horatio N. Arnold. In this way, as the places became more populous, the number of missionaries was gradually augmented. Again, of the central station, Kingston, the Bishop says,--

"We had a large and interesting congregation at the church, where 182 persons were confirmed;" and he goes on to observe, "This county (King's) was blessed in its early settlement with the zealous pastoral labours of the late Mr. Scovil, a most valuable and primitive missionary, who planted the Church around him deeply and firmly. The blessing of God has rested upon it, and this apostolic minister [26/27] has been worthily succeeded by his exemplary son." [Report for 1827, p. 91.]

In like manner, archdeacon Willis in the same year wrote thus to the Society: "The respect and cordial attachment which are seldom refused to the zealous discharge of duties, are no where more conspicuous than in the mission of Kingston, in which place may be found, under the ministry of the Rev. Elias Scovil, a body of communicants exceeding 200. There were, besides, ten schools, conducted upon the Madras system, in which upwards of 200 children were instructed."

Almost identical is the language of Archdeacon Best. He says: "This mission, when I look at the number of communicants, really appears, if I may use such an expression, the ring-stone of our Church in this province; nor in any mission in the diocese, do I believe, is the number in proportion at all equalled; and I might venture farther to assert there is scarcely a dissenter to be found in it." [Ibid. 1828, p. 147.] These facts and testimonies sufficiently pourtray the character of this laborious and devoted missionary; but we may be allowed to add an extract from one of his own letters, written towards the end of [27/28] his career, both because it tends still further to show his own humility, and accounts for the deficiency of striking incident in the annals of our North American clergy. He says--January 1835--"There cannot be expected to be any great variety in the report of a parish priest from year to year; especially of one who has had the superintendence of the same district for upwards of thirty years, and the annual occurrences of which have been regularly reported to the Society. The routine of duty is nearly the same: there are seldom any occurrences so remarkable as to require particular remarks. Visiting the sick, burying the dead, administering consolation to the afflicted, &c. are the every day labours of a clergyman, and which I have ever endeavoured faithfully and conscientiously to perform to the best of my ability. In public and in private, I have invariably set forth Jesus Christ crucified, although to some it may be 'a stumbling-block,' and to others 'foolishness,' but to those who believe, 'Christ, the power. of God and the wisdom of God:' and I humbly trust my labours have not been in vain." [Report for 1835, p. 144.]

But age had already begun to produce. its natural effects, and Mr. Scovil was no longer [28/29] equal to the more laborious duties of his mission. He had long anxiously desired some assistance: at last his prayers were heard, and it must have been a proud and happy day for him when his son, who had the year before been ordained deacon, was on the 2d of August; 1834, admitted to the order of priests, at Trinity church, Kingston, in the presence of not fewer than 500 persons who had assembled to witness the solemn rite. The Bishop, who preached the ordination sermon, says, "The occasion was deeply interesting; the church had been founded and faithfully served by the grandfather of the present candidate for priest's orders, who was cherished in the affectionate and grateful recollection of the people. The father of the candidate, who presented him at the altar, has trodden in the steps of the founder of the church, and is beloved by his flock. The prospect of similar blessings from the ministry of an exemplary young man, well known to the people, and known to be worthy of his race, engaged their best feelings and hopes. An allusion to the memory of their first pastor deeply affected many of those who listened to it, and prompted their fervent prayers for that blessing which alone can give value to every labour of the minister of Christ. The Lord's Supper [29/30] was administered to nearly one hundred communicants. [Report for 1836. p. 60.]

Nothing, for the reasons so well explained by himself, remains to be told of the last few years of Mr. Scovil's life; but it would be unjust to omit the following well deserved tribute to his memory, by his Diocesan. Writing, March 2, 1841, the Bishop of Nova Scotia says, "I am grieved to communicate the intelligence of the death of the Rev. Elias Scovil, one of the oldest and most valuable of the Society's missionaries. He died at Kingston, on the 10th of February, after nearly forty years of faithful missionary labour. The Church was admirably planted there at the first settlement of New Brunswick, and by the blessing of God upon due culture by two able and excellent men, father and son, its roots have penetrated deeply, and its branches have spread widely, and its blossom has been beautiful, and its fruit rich and abundant. We can ill afford to lose such men; but instead of lamenting that they have gone to their reward, we should be full of gratitude for the great blessings which have been imparted through them. His end was peace! He made a great effort on the first Sunday in the month to partake, with his affectionate flock, of the [30/31] Lord's Supper; and when this act of love and union was accomplished, he declared his readiness to depart in peace. God granted his desire: he was saved from suffering at the close of a long illness, and died full of faith and hope, three days after his last kneeling with his affectionate flock."

The son, who had now for some years been assistant to his father, was at once, on the Bishop's recommendation, appointed to succeed him in the mission of Kingston.


Interest attaching to the first Missionaries--Their labours, trials--Great extent of their Missions--Their exemplary conduct--Indian Schools--Details of uniform character--Rev. G. Pidgeon--St. John's--Rev. Robert Willis--National Schools--Rev. G. J. Mountain--Rev. J. Milne--Sir Howard Douglas--Ecclesiastical Returns of the several Parishes---Bishop's Visitations--Progress of the Colony--Character of the Clergy--Church Statistics---King's College--Visitations in 1841, 1843--Bishop of Fredericton---State of the Church in the Diocese--Increased local exertions--Help still required--Postscript.

THE foregoing brief memoirs may serve the purpose of conveying some general notion of the first planting of the Church in one important colony. Future historians of the Colonial Church will probably condense the annals of these early times into a few paragraphs. Yet it cannot be without interest and even profit to trace the steps of the first missionaries in a new country; and as "the memory of the just is blessed," it is surely fitting that some record should be preserved of the lives and labours of such men as Andrews, Bisset, Cooke, and Scovil. These were the men that first made the sound of the Gospel to be heard amid the snows and forests of New Brunswick. They were, says the present Bishop of Nova Scotia "shining [32/33] lights;" and future generations of Churchmen will look back to them with a feeling akin to that with which we regard those apostolic and self-denying men who first preached the doctrine of the Cross to our own rude forefathers. Others there were who laboured faithfully in the same field; but a detail of proceedings so closely resembling those of their brethren would seem like repetition; and it may therefore be sufficient to add such particulars as tend to illustrate the social and religious condition of the country at that time, and the labours and trials which the clergy were called to undergo.

When the first Bishop of Nova Scotia arrived in his Diocese, which then comprised the whole of the British North American Provinces, he found but twenty-four clergy in all. Of these, six only were settled in New Brunswick. At that time the country was little more than an extended wilderness of forest--covered during five months of the year with snow. There were no roads or bridges, and of course no inns or houses of accommodation; and when we consider that this was the character of the country through which the missionaries had to itinerate, with the thermometer ranging from 20 degrees below zero in the winter, to 90 or [32/33] 100 degrees of heat in the summer, we may imagine the privations, hardships, and dangers which they had to encounter. [See Postscript, p. 68.]

As the population was thinly scattered and the clergy few in number, three or four stations were often included in one mission. Thus Mr. Price had charge of the parish of St Mary, which was divided into four districts, extending twelve miles along the river St. John, and running back into the country upwards of twenty. There was neither church nor residence house in any of these settlements, which were without any means of intercommunication; for, as the Commissary writes "the country remains yet in a state of nature, almost an impenetrable thicket." [Journal, xxv. 379.]

Again, the mission of Sussex Vale, to which the Rev. Oliver Arnold was appointed; comprised the three separate townships of Sussex, Hampton, and Norton; and the missionary was consequently obliged to apportion his visits and ministrations to the claims of the several congregations. But it is obvious that in this way--with a monthly visit to one place, and a less frequent one to the more remote hamlets,--the system of the Church could never be duly carried out, and that there would always be great danger [34/35] of any good impression which might be made being worn out before the opportunity of deepening it arrived. Still, whatever could be done by so few was accomplished by the first missionaries of New Brunswick. The Bishop of Nova Scotia reported in 1792, that by their activity and exemplary conduct they had gained the respect and esteem of the people; that their congregations were large and their communicants increasing; and that frequent applications were made to him for clergymen to supply the churches which were built. During his visitation of the province this year, he inspected the several missions, consecrated four churches on the river St. John, and confirmed 777 persons. [Report for 1705, p. 50.]

The Bishop further stated that there were three schools, at Sussex Vale, Woodstock, and Sheffield, at each of which eight native Indian children were boarded and taught; and it is worthy of remark that the Indians in this district, owing to the rapid diminution of game, seemed about to relinquish their wild life and betake themselves to the cultivation of land. But no care of them or of their children by the missionaries could save that doomed race from destruction.

In 1798 the Bishop again visited New [35/36] Brunswick, and gave a like favourable account of the clergy. It would be tedious to recite the details of every mission, as they were annually sent home to the Society; for they are naturally of a very uniform character, and seldom contain any remarkable occurrence. The history of one mission is, more or less, the history of all. As settlements increased, more missions were opened and additional clergymen sent out; but the work of all was very much of the same character. They had all great distances to travel, and much hardness to endure from the severity of the climate and the nature of the country. With wives and families for the most part, their stipend from the Society was but 50l. a year; and what they received from their congregations must have been exceedingly scanty and uncertain. Assuredly, therefore, their reward was not here: and when we add to these material privations the perfect isolation of their position, the want of a friend to comfort or advise, the coldness or worldliness of their own people, the steady opposition of traditional dissent, and the frequent intrusions of the "New Lights," we must be thankful that men were found ready to do and to suffer so much for their Master's sake. Such were the' early missionaries of New Brunswick--

[37] Ministers
Detached from pleasure; to the love of gain
Superior; insusceptible of pride;
And by ambitious longings undisturbed;--
Men whose delight is where their duty leads
Or fixes them. ["The Excursion."--Book the Sixth.]

As the country began to be opened and cleared, the physical difficulties with which they had to contend, gradually, of course, grew less; and the life and occupations of a missionary became more like that of a laborious curate in the wild and thinly peopled districts of England. It may suffice, therefore, for the purpose of this summary, to give a rapid sketch of the principal events in the later missionary proceedings of the colony.

On the lamented death of Mr. Cooke, the Bishop was at a loss, for some time, how to fill the important position which had thus become vacant. But the inhabitants of Fredericton, having conceived a great regard for the Rev. George Pidgeon, during the time that he officiated as missionary at Belleisle, were anxious that he should succeed their late beloved pastor; and accordingly, on General Carleton's presentation, he was formally instituted to the cure of that parish, and shortly afterwards received the appointment of Commissary. Mr. [37/38] Pidgeon had been formerly an officer in the 65th regiment; but his first inclination, as well as his more mature reflection, led him towards the service and ministry of the Church. He was a man of liberal education and sound principles. For the nineteen years, from 1795 to 1814, during which he had the spiritual charge of Fredericton, the Church appears to have made steady progress; though it was assailed by the wild fanatics who, under the name of New Lights," taught the extremest antinomianism, and was constantly distracted by the excitement consequent upon the war in Canada. The province of New Brunswick, however, suffered less on account of the war than it would have done, had it not been for the strong opposition which the Governor of Massachusetts offered to the policy of President Madison.

Nothing can be better evidence of the estimation in which the character of Mr. Pidgeon was held, than the fact that, on the death of Dr. Byles, in 1814, he was directed by the Bishop to take possession of the still more important mission of St. John's. Considering the vast increase of that capital within the last thirty years, it may be interesting to record in this place a few particulars from his report. There were then, in 1814, eight [38/39] hundred members of the Church of England; one hundred of whom were attendants at the monthly Communion. The church, "a large and handsome structure, was constantly filled by an exemplary and devout congregation;" but the Scotch Presbyterians, comprising some of the most wealthy inhabitants, and the Roman Catholics, who were in much smaller numbers, were raising contributions for the erection of chapels for their respective communions. The next year Mr. Pidgeon reported that his congregation was still increasing; and that a great improvement in the service of the Church had been effected, by the introduction of a better style of psalmody, and the assistance of a voluntary choir,

This was his last report. His health, which had frequently suffered from attacks of a painful disorder, now entirely gave way, and he died May 1, 1818, to the universal regret of his parishioners. Every mark of respect was paid to his memory; and a sermon was preached, on the occasion of his funeral, by the Rev. Robert Willis, a chaplain in the Navy, of high character, who was then in the town. So much, indeed, had Mr. Willis recommended himself, during his short residence, to the good opinion of the people, that he was, to the satisfaction of all parties, appointed to the vacant rectory of St. John's.

[40] He was soon afterwards nominated, by the Bishop, Ecclesiastical Commissary for New Brunswick, in which character he undertook to visit the several missions within that province in the years 1822 and 1823; and took occasion to press upon the congregations the duty of building parsonage houses, and setting apart glebes for the use of the clergy. He also inspected the several schools, and reported that the National system had already been adopted at Fredericton, Kingston, Sussex Vale, Gage-Town, and Barton, and was spreading throughout the country. At St. John's the Legislature had voted 250l. for a school; and the number of boys in daily attendance was 200. At Sussex Vale fourteen boys were educated at the Indian school; and so far were the Indians from manifesting any jealousy at their children being educated, that they voluntarily brought them from the woods for admission; and there were commonly more applicants than could be received. The expenses of the establishment were borne by the New England Company. [Report for 1824, p. 109.] Upon the whole Mr. Willis gives a favourable report of the state of the several missions, and testifies to the prevalence of a sound Church spirit in those parts of the province which he visited.

[41] In 1827 he was promoted to the Archdeaconry of Halifax, an office which he still worthily occupies.

The vacancy which had been created at Fredericton by the removal of Mr. Pidgeon, was filled by the appointment of the Rev. G. J. Mountain, the present Bishop of Montreal; who, though he held the mission less than three years, so endeared himself to the people, both by his preaching and living, that his memory is still fondly cherished there. Among other benefits conferred upon the mission, he established a District, Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, for circulating Bibles, Books of Common Prayer, and other devotional books, throughout the province. The Rev. James Milne, who bad for some time acted as assistant missionary, was now promoted to the. principal charge. In his time a school for boys, and one for girls, on the National Society's system, were established at Fredericton, as they had been some time previously at St. John's. Mr. Milne reported, in 1821, that his communicants at the great festivals numbered 100, and that his congregations were large; but lamented, with good reason, the system of holding pews as private property, whereby, while individuals had more [41/42] accommodation than they required, the poor were excluded from church. [Journal, xxxiii p.145.] Mr. Milne, and the excellent governor of the province, Major, General Smyth, died on the same day, March 27, 1823. [Ibid. xxxiv. p. 121.]

Sir Howard Douglas, on assuming the government of New Brunswick, very early turned his attention to the state of religion in the province; and, with a view to obtain accurate information on the subject, addressed a circular to the members of the House of Assembly, and other gentlemen of influence, begging for a return as to the number of churches, clergymen, &c. in their several districts. From the returns thus sent in, a summary was prepared by the Rev. George Best, who had been appointed to succeed Mr. Milne at Fredericton; and was by him transmitted to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The substance of it may be gathered from the following abstract:

In the county of YORK but few of the parishes had either churches or resident clergymen; so that the people, though occasionally visited by an itinerant missionary, were in a measure compelled to have recourse for religious instruction to dissenting teachers of various denominations, of whom the Baptists seem to [42/43] have been the most numerous. Thus, for example, in the parish of Prince William, containing a population of between five and six hundred, one half of whom were members of our own communion, there was no church, and divine service was very rarely performed, while there was a Baptist meeting-house and a resident preacher. In the parish of Kent, extending forty-seven miles on both sides of the river St. John to the Great Falls, and thence to the boundary of Lower Canada, there was no church or clergyman nearer than Woodstock, a distance of seventy-three miles from the Falls; though the population was 2,297, and one-third of them belonged to the Church of England. In short, for the whole county of YORK, which is situated on the river St. John, above Fredericton, and contained a population of 11,072, there were only three clergymen (including one who was attached to the college at Fredericton), and four churches, two of which were in an unfinished state.

In the county of SUNBURY, which was divided into four parishes, and contained 3,227 inhabitants, there were two churches and one resident clergyman. The great majority of the people were dissenters.

In QUEEN'S COUNTY there were two [43/44] clergymen and three churches, for a population of 4,741; while, for two entire parishes, Wickham and Brunswick, containing a fourth of the whole number, there was no clergyman, no church, and but very rare opportunities of public worship.

KING'S COUNTY was, in respect to spiritual advantages, the best provided county in the whole province; and the population, consisting of nearly 8,000 souls, was consequently in a very large proportion attached to the communion of the church. Each of its seven parishes was provided with a church; and there were four resident clergymen, by whom the services were regularly performed. The official government returns, from which this information is derived, show that nearly all the inhabitants of Kingston, amounting to 1,655, were members of the Church of England; that there was a convenient church, and that the parish was in every respect well provided for:--that in Springfield there was a neat and convenient church; that "the inhabitants were chiefly Church-people, and the general disposition towards the Church favourable:" and, lastly, that in Hampton the same feeling prevailed, and that very few dissenters were to be found in the parish. These, it will be remembered, were the [44/45] parishes in which the two Scovils, father and son, had been labouring almost since their first settlement, for a period of forty years; and it is not only gratifying but most instructive to remark the fruits of their long and patient labours. "Paul planteth, Apollos watereth," and then God in his mercy "giveth the increase." Where the vineyard was not cultivated, wild grapes sprang up luxuriantly; but where faithful labourers were early sent into the vineyard, it bore good fruit an hundred fold.

Thus, again, it is stated that the parish of Sussex had a "church and resident clergyman, (the excellent Oliver Arnold,) first placed there by the Society in 1792, by whom its spiritual wants had been diligently supplied for many years;" and the consequence was that, out of a population of 1,833, nearly all were members of our communion. Without entering into the minute statistics of the other counties, it may be sufficient to say briefly, that in CHARLOTTE COUNTY there were three parishes, namely, St. James, St. Patrick, and Pennfield, without church or minister of any communion; and that for the whole county, containing ten parishes, and nearly 10,000 people, widely scattered of course, there were but four churches and four clergymen.

[46] The population of ST. JOHN'S COUNTY amounted to 12,907, and of these two thirds lived in the city and suburbs. For the supply of their spiritual wants there were but two clergymen, both resident within the city.

There was but one clergyman for the whole county of WESTMORELAND; and the prevalent spirit among the inhabitants (9,303) was decidedly unfavourable to the Church. In like manner the whole of the ministrations of the Church devolved upon a single clergyman in NORTHUMBERLAND, though it was both the most extensive and the most populous county of the province, and dissenters of every denomination abounded. Of the remoter settlements it is stated, that New Bandon and Ennishannon, on the Bay of Chaleur--settlements planted about eight years before by Francis Ellis, who induced a body of his friends from Ireland, to the number of one hundred and seventy-four, (all of whom, with one exception, were relations,) to emigrate there--had never been visited by a missionary but once; but that the people were in the habit of assembling, for public worship according to the ritual of the Church of England in the morning, and of holding a Methodist meeting in the evening. They were anxious for a clergyman to be placed among them, both [46/47] for the spiritual instruction of themselves and for the education of their children.

Thus, for a province equal to the half of England in extent, and containing nearly eighty thousand souls, there were, in the year 1825, but sixteen clergymen and twenty-six churches, some of which were in an unfinished state. One of the objects which Sir Howard Douglas had in view in sending his circular, was to ascertain what might be generally considered the most feasible method of supplying the deficiency which too plainly existed; and his own plan of employing itinerant missionaries to visit those stations which were not within the reach of the settled clergy, seems to have been very commonly approved.

In 1826, the present Bishop of Nova Scotia made his primary visitation of the province; in the course of which he ordained two deacons and one priest, consecrated nineteen churches, and confirmed, at twenty-four different stations, one thousand seven hundred and twenty persons. [Report for 1827, p. 100.]

If it is unnecessary to record the progress of the several missions, little varying as they do from year to year, it would be unbecoming to trace lower down the conduct and proceedings [47/48] of the clergy, many of whom are still living. It may be enough to say, that gradually, as population increased, new churches were built and new missions opened.

In 1832, the Bishop made a rapid visitation of the eastern and northern shores, in the course of which he travelled eight hundred miles, and confirmed at seven different places. [Report for 1888, p. 74.] He mentions, among the difficulties of the tour, that in passing from Chatham to Baie de Vents, he and his party had to travel along a road almost impassable, and to swim their horses over two large rivers.

We cannot fail to be reminded, by these episcopal visitations, of the important offices of the church which are of necessity omitted, and the vast influence for good in stimulating exertion, calling forth liberality, reconciling differences, and the like, which is lost where the church is left without its legitimate head. Another thing which is interesting to remark even now, and will be still more interesting to reflect upon hereafter, is the rapid growth of colonial communities, and the striking change which a few years make in the aspect of a new country. After the lapse of three years, we again find the Bishop engaged in a toilsome journey through [48/49] this portion of his diocese. The colony had made much progress, of which the settlement of Stanley may be quoted as an instance. The first tree had been cut down in August 1834; and now, in August 1835, one hundred and fifty acres had been cleared, and the greater part of it was under crop. The Bishop was welcomed to this "Church in the wilderness" with torches and bonfires; and a congregation of sixty persons gathered themselves into a wooden shed for Divine service. "Here," says the Bishop, "I preached the first sermon that was delivered on this spot, and endeavoured to adapt it to the occasion, and to the place where, only a few months before, the untamed beasts of the forest were the only occupants." [Report for 1836, p. 70.]

Again, speaking of the journey from Gage-Town to Coote's Hill, since called Petersville, the Bishop remarks: In a former visit to this part of New Brunswick, in 1830, there was only a blind path scarcely fit for a horse to travel, and several of my party lost their way: now we could drive in the light waggons of the country." But the next day's journey exhibits a contrast such as is only to be met with in countries but partially reclaimed from a wild state. After a ride of eighteen miles through [49/50] the forest, the Bishop and his party reached Greenwich, drenched with the heavy rain that had fallen, and, service over, set off to the house of Captain Coffin. "The night," he says, "was dark, and we lost our way, which would not have been easily found by a stranger in the day. We struggled on until our waggon, entangled with the stumps of trees, and nearly buried in mud, was immoveable. At last, however, after a long struggle, by the assistance of the guide it was disengaged, but not till the horse had been thrown down several times. It was now so dark that we could not venture to move the carriage. I mounted a saddle-horse which we had with us, and followed what I supposed to be a road through the woods, but in vain; and we made up our determination to remain where we were for the night." At last, however, the guide discovered the house which they were seeking, and at which they were "received with a most kindly welcome." Scenes such as these serve to impress upon us the reality of a Bishop's labours, and to win our sympathy for those who undergo them. In other respects, the visitation of a colonial diocese is marked by the same course of offices as that of a diocese at home. The consecration of churches, the confirmation of the young, the setting in order things [50/51] that are wanting; these are common to the office of a Bishop everywhere: and if, in a new country, they are attended with vastly increased labour, there is a compensation in the interest which must ever attend the first planting of a Church, and the watching its early growth. In his visitation of 1835, which occupied him two months, the Bishop held thirty-one confirmations, at which about eight hundred persons were confirmed. "Every toil," he says, was lightened by a well encouraged hope that, through the blessing of God, this portion of the Gospel vineyard is in a state of progress and improvement." . . . "The missionaries, some with greater success perhaps than others, are labouring faithfully through many difficulties, under which they are supported by a confiding trust in Him, whose they are and whom they serve. They are exemplary in their life and conversation, not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit while thus serving the Lord. In all my communications with them, which have been constant and intimate, I have found them respectful and affectionate; and it has been a delightful task to share their labours and their prayers." [Report for 1886, p. 81.]

Hitherto, the province had done little for the [51/52] support of the clergy, or the general designs of the Church. The missionaries were mainly supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; and no measures had been taken for eliciting the resources of the colonists for the supply of many things which were requisite, both for the purposes of public worship, and religious education. The Bishop, therefore, considering that the time had fully arrived when some independent exertions should be made, suggested the formation of a church society for each archdeaconry, which should embrace the various objects contemplated by the two great church societies in England.

This recommendation of the Bishop was immediately acted upon; and at a general meeting of the clergy at Fredericton, on the 8th of September, 1836, and following days, under the presidency of Archdeacon Coster, resolutions for the establishment of a church society for the archdeaconry were adopted, and a draft of its constitution agreed to. The objects to be aimed at were:--Missionary visits to neglected places--The establishment of divinity scholarships at King's College, Fredericton--Aid to Sunday and day schools conducted on the principles of the Church of England, and the training and encouraging of schoolmasters and [52/53] catechists--The supply of religious books and tracts--and lastly, Grants for the building and enlarging of churches and chapels. These were the purposes for the furtherance of which the society was instituted; and with a view to raise the necessary funds, a committee was appointed for each parish or mission. Such was the first systematic attempt made in a British colony, for the more full and efficient support of its own church. A main design of it was to unite the laity in hearty co-operation with the clergy, under the superintendence of the Bishop; and how much their united exertions were required, may be gathered from the following extract from a sermon, preached in Christ's Church, Fredericton, on Sunday, December the 4th, 1836.

"There are eighty parishes in New Brunswick; and our Ecclesiastical establishment consists of twenty-eight clergymen, and forty-three churches or chapels. But these forty-three churches are all contained in thirty-six parishes, several of which possess more than one church; so that there are still forty-four parishes--more than half of the whole number--without a church at this time. The twenty-eight clergymen reside in twenty-three parishes, some parishes having more than one; so that [53/54] there are fifty-seven parishes out of eighty--more than two-thirds of the whole number--without a resident clergyman. I do not say that there are so many without clerical care; for it is well known that most of your clergy have two or more parishes under their charge, and that they are continually obliged to go very far from their homes in the performance of their duty. And surely, my brethren, it will be allowed by all to be creditable to the little band of clergymen that now exists, that, of the forty-three churches I have mentioned, there are, I believe, but two which are not regularly served; one of them because the mission to which it belongs is vacant, and the other, because it has been so shattered by a tempest as to be unfit for use at present, and the congregation assembles in another place.

"However, there are forty-four parishes in this archdeaconry without a church, and fifty-seven without a resident clergyman; and we all know that parishes in this province are of no trifling extent. All must confess that this is a most deplorable deficiency. The want of churches indeed is not so much to be regretted, while we have not clergymen to put in charge of them. Experience clearly shows that churches quickly spring up wherever there is a fair [54/55] prospect of their being served. Ten of our forty-three churches, with accommodations for 14,000 persons, have been built since I first entered upon my office among you--that is, within about six years; and nearly an equal number are now more or less advanced towards completion."

The sum raised during the first year, was 415l. and a trifle more the second.

Sir Howard Douglas having, as already stated, by means of official returns, made himself acquainted with the religious destitution of the colony, which could only be remedied by the employment of an adequate number of clergy, took immediate measures for , the establishment of a college. By his influence and exertions, a handsome building was erected at Fredericton, and endowed with 6,000 acres of land, and about 2000l. a year from the provincial revenues. A charter with power to confer degrees was granted; and though the, management is vested in a council of members of the Church of England, dissenters are equally admitted to the benefits of education at King's College. [See Postscript, p. 69.] The Rev, Edwin Jacob, D.D. Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was appointed first Principal; and with a view of [55/56] encouraging candidates for Holy Orders, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel endowed six scholarships in the new institution.

The next official report which we have of this archdeaconry is in 1840, when the Bishop again passed through its principal missions. Of St. John's he speaks as "a city rapidly increasing, with a population which already exceeds thirty thousand; a number greater," he says, "than that of the inhabitants of New York, when my father first visited that city." "This comparative view," adds the Bishop, "has been suggested by the circumstance of the settlement at St. John's having been chiefly formed by loyalists from New York, many of whom were my father's parishioners in that fine city, and are the more dear to me on that account." [Report for 1841, p. 189.] Again, the Bishop is struck by the progress of improvement, and is induced to notice it as closely bearing on the interests of religion. He says: "When I first visited New Brunswick, many years ago, the only means of conveyance between the sea-coast and Fredericton, the capital, were supplied by two small vessels, which were frequently delayed for many days by head winds and calms. There are now, daily and nightly, steam vessels from both points."

[57] Although in a general sketch like this, it is impossible to give a full account of the Bishop's visitation, there can be little doubt that the most minute particulars of each infant settlement will be read with interest by another generation, when many a woodland village, or straggling township, shall have become a populous town or a thriving port. The visitation tours of our colonial Bishops will then be referred to as a deeply interesting history of the foundation of the Church in the several British colonies. The present visitation was divided between the winter of 1840 and the autumn of 1841. It was marked, of course, by the performance of the same useful and edifying duties as those which have been already recorded, and in the course of it upwards of seven hundred persons were confirmed. The Bishop also held a visitation at St. John's, September 9, 1841, and delivered his charge to twenty-one clergymen, the largest number that had ever met in New Brunswick; and seven were kept away by various causes. The total number, therefore, officiating in the province at this time, was twenty-eight. [Report for 1842, p. 49.]

The Bishop of Nova Scotia paid a last visit [57/58] to this portion of his diocese in the autumn of 1843; when he held confirmations at twelve different places on the eastern coast, and consecrated several churches and burial-grounds; During this, and the two preceding years, his lordship held in all one hundred and two confirmations, and delivered two hundred and forty-five sermons or addresses. In this duty he travelled 6,436 miles. It cannot, therefore, be said that the Bishop spared any exertion in the discharge of his onerous duties; but the duties of such a diocese, even after the separation of Newfoundland, were more than any one person could perform. As soon, therefore, as the attention of the mother country had been called to the expediency of completing the organization of the church in the colonies, the claim of New Brunswick to have a bishop of its own was at once admitted; and, the necessary endowment fund having been raised, the Rev. John Medley was consecrated Bishop of Fredericton, in the chapel of Lambeth Palace, on Sunday, May the 4th, 1845, and. in a fortnight afterwards left England for his diocese.

He was received with the greatest cordiality by all parties. On the 11th of June (St. Barnabas' day) he. was installed in the church, now become a cathedral; and after preaching, [58/59] had the happiness of seeing one hundred and fifty persons come to the table of the Lord to partake of the holy communion with their new bishop. His next act was to lay before the principal inhabitants a plan of the projected. cathedral, Much interest was expressed, and liberal subscriptions promised. The first stone was solemnly laid on the 15th of October, by the governor, Sir William Colebrooke, in the presence of the bishop, the judges, many of the members of the legislature, the archdeacon, and clergy; but in consequence of unforeseen difficulties, the works will not be commenced till the spring of the present year, (1847.)

Two months after his arrival, the Bishop set forth on his first visitation, in which he confirmed five hundred persons; and before the end of the year, he had visited almost every parish. He found some places entirely destitute of the ministrations of the Church, and others insufficiently provided with them. The schools, too, in several instances, were in a languishing condition. The fact is, that while the population of the colony had been rapidly increasing, the number of the clergy had for some years remained almost stationary. In June, 1845, there were thirty; but the bishop was enabled materially' to reinforce their body, by ordaining [59/60] ten candidates; and six new missions were at once organized. This, too, was effected without any additional charge upon the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, by drawing out the resources of the people in support of their own clergy;--a principle, rightly deemed essential to the welfare and extension of the church, wherever it may be planted. Assistance from home will, doubtless, be required in the more thinly peopled settlements, for many years to come; but it is to be hoped that the churchmen of New Brunswick, and of every other British colony, will see, that to be secure, their church must, at the earliest moment, be independent; and that its noblest endowment will be found in the affection and self-denial of its members.

As the Journal of the Bishop's second visitation has very recently been published by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, all that will be expected in this place is a brief reference to some of the principal points on which it touches.

The visitation occupied his lordship from the end of June to the beginning of September, 1846. During the course of it, he received the most gratifying attention from the clergy and principal settlers, who conveyed him from station to station, and was frequently [60/61] indebted to the kindness and hospitality of gentlemen not members of our communion. The roads he found superior, for the most part, to the cross-roads, and some of them equal to the best turnpike roads, in England.

The Bishop was much gratified by the happy results which had followed from the labours of a missionary, whom he had the year before ordained and stationed at Musquash.

This is a district 22 miles in length; and as soon as the Rev. Thomas Robertson was placed in charge of it, the people, appreciating his zeal and activity, speedily commenced and completed a parsonage house, and subscribed liberally towards his maintenance.

They had also taken immediate measures for the erection of two churches, one of which was now nearly ready for consecration. It is worth notice, that this excellent missionary is supported without further assistance from England than an allowance of 25l. a year.

But the Bishop spent one Sunday in a district far more spiritually destitute than this--the new county of Albert--in which, though a rich and flourishing district, possessing large tracts of what is called intervale (or low-meadow land) no clergyman of our Church had ever been resident. It was here that the Bishop [61/62] was so kindly received by a minister of the denomination of Baptists. Immediately on his arrival, notice was circulated that Divine Service would be performed next day, (Sunday) at Hillsborough; and "in the morning," says the Bishop, though the notice was so short, the whole country was in motion, some on horseback, some in waggons, many on foot. Having robed at a cottage hard by, we proceeded to a chapel, where 300 people had assembled, scarcely any of whom had ever seen a bishop, nor had ever heard the Church service. I never had a more attentive auditory. A few very zealous Churchmen were there, who, aided by others, not Churchmen, subscribed 50l. towards a missionary; who would no doubt find an opening for his labours, and might do extensive good.

"In the afternoon we just escaped in the rear of a most terrific thunder-storm, and I held service again, where I feel sure the sound of our liturgy was heard for the first time."

In passing through his diocese, the Bishop saw much that must have weighed heavily upon his mind. Some places he found entirely without the ordinances of the Church, and many more with opportunities of public worship occurring only once every month or six weeks; while the clergy, from the extent of their [62/63] missions, and the necessity of distributing themselves among many stations, were exhausting half their strength in travelling, and unable to give to their spiritual charge in any one place that full and undivided attention which its importance demanded.

"The Society," says the Bishop, will judge of the destitution that prevailed, when I tell them, that after filling up twelve vacancies, I could find immediate and full employment for twenty additional clergymen, without diminishing the labours of any one at present in Holy Orders." And not only were the people in these neglected districts deprived of the solemn ordinances of religion, but they were for the most part without Bibles and books of devotion, and so condemned in a manner to see their children grow up in ignorance and indifference. This is the unhappy condition of many and many a family of settlers in a new colony; and such it must continue, unless the Church at home be induced to look with deeper and more general sympathy on the wants of her suffering members. It surely is our fault more than theirs, that so many stray from the fold, or are lost to the Great Shepherd altogether: for, says the Bishop, "wherever an active, useful clergyman is placed, the Church more than holds her ground."

[64] In the course of his two visitations, the Bishop confirmed upwards of 600 candidates, and was struck with their serious and devout demeanour. It is the practice of the country that the clergyman of each parish should present his own catechumens; and so, instead of large numbers being collected together from the whole neighbourhood, the young people of a single parish come with their parents, and sit with them during the service, while the congregation take a lively interest in the solemn rite.

During the last year, 1846, at the suggestion of the Bishop, some of the rules of the Church Society were modified; and its income was at once doubled, by the accession of St. John's, which had hitherto held itself aloof. Of the funds thus raised, 450l. was voted for opening new missions--500l. for the purchase of books (a portion of it to be repaid)--200l. for church building and 100l. for decayed clergymen, or their widows and orphans. [See Postscript, p. 70.] These vigorous exertions of the colonists in their own behalf will, it may safely be predicted, tend rather to increase than to diminish the sympathy and support which they must still look to from this country. They show that the Church is in earnest, and alive to its responsibilities. Such, it is [64/65] gratifying to say, is the impression which has been produced upon the civil government; for in the despatch accompanying the official Blue Book for last year, Sir W. Colebrooke thus alludes to the ecclesiastical return:--"In the Established Church of England some additional churches have been opened, and clergymen ordained to them by the Bishop of Fredericton, and measures are in progress to obtain more general support to the Church, from the members of the communion throughout the province, by the organization of a Society, and the raising of subscriptions within the diocese. Some churches have also been specially endowed, through the liberal support of wealthy persons, in aid of the contributions of the congregations."

This sketch, brief and imperfect as it is, of the rise and progress of the Church in New Brunswick, exhibits facts well worthy of notice. In a young colony the formation of new communities, and the growth of social and political institutions, proceed with wonderful rapidity; but religion has to struggle with more than ordinary difficulties. It lacks the succour and countenance by which it was fostered in the mother country. The Church goes forth to the new world, bare and unprovided as in the [65/66] first ages. She has to lay her foundations again. Having "neither scrip nor purse," she has probably long to wait before the offerings of' faithful children are laid at her feet, and is often brought to great straits. But want of endowments, of clergy to minister, and of houses for her solemn assemblies, are not the only causes of embarrassment. There will commonly be found among the bold, enterprising, independent settlers, who take the lead in a new colony, a spirit of self-reliance, an impatience of authority, and a love of gain, all of which are more or less opposed to the influence of religion; and besides, men are commonly too much occupied with their temporal projects, to listen with patience to spiritual counsel. Moreover, the Church, which in England speaks with all the weight and authority that the Sovereign and the State can lend, has in the colonies to make her voice heard, as best she may, among the noisy and importunate sects who stand on the same level with herself.

In such circumstances, therefore, her progress is a fair measure of her own inherent vigour; and to watch that progress in the several colonies is alike interesting and instructive. In the course of sixty years we have seen the continuous forest of New Brunswick gradually give [66/67] place to rising townships and cities; and a population of 800 multiplied, by natural causes, and the constant influx of new settlers, to upwards of 200,000. We have seen, too, the Church, with but little assistance from the Government, gradually acquiring more strength and consistency. From two or three missionaries in 1786, the number of the clergy has grown to forty, with a Bishop and Archdeacon at their head. But more than one half of the parishes are still unsupplied with the ministrations of religion; and the tide of emigration seems likely to flow out more strongly than ever. The number of new settlers, who landed in the colony last year, was 9,765. Instead of relaxing, we ought therefore to increase our exertions. The emigrants who leave our shores are for the most part of the poorer class, and cannot at first provide for their own spiritual necessities. In this respect they have a rightful claim on their more fortunate brethren who remain at home; and those who come forward, to supply this want may have the satisfaction of feeling, that they are not only imparting spiritual comfort to their distant fellow-countrymen, but are helping to convey the benefits of religious education, and the higher privileges of Christian communion, to successive generations of men.


PAGE 33.

SINCE the foregoing sheets were printed, the following account has been received from the Bishop of Fredericton of the


As there exists in England much misapprehension on this point, it may be right to state that I consider it beyond all question a finer climate than that of England. It is undoubtedly hotter and colder; inasmuch as in July and August our thermometer ranges from 75° to 100°, and in December, January, and February, from a few degrees above freezing to 30° below zero. But, in the first place; neither the heat nor the cold are proportionably so trying as they would be in England. The cold is generally dry, so is the heat. I was out this summer, with the thermometer at 98°, without suffering more than in England at 80°; and zero here feels about as cold as 20° above zero in England: 30° below zero is only known at night. I have travelled with the thermometer at 40 below zero without suffering; and once at 16° below; but this perhaps occurs only two or three days in a whole winter. I do not hesitate to say that the chilly starving feeling of cold and wet together is almost [68/69] unknown here. Our sunshine in winter is at least three to one compared with England; the bright sun giving a cheerful look to the snowy landscape. My health has been on the whole good, and my children's health nearly uninterrupted. As to the notion about wild beasts, &c., it is too ridiculous to talk of seriously. There are wolves, and bears, and wild cats, in the thick parts of the forests; but one must go to look for them, generally speaking. The roads of general communication from town to town are very good; in the unsettled places they are, what roads in woods and bye-places in England are, very bad. But if men's hearts could be mended as fast as their roads, no one could complain of New Brunswick.


BY a recent Act of the Colonial Legislature, the constitution of King's College has been changed, and all sects are now admissible to share in its government, The Principal and Professors have been removed from the Council, which consists of five ex officio members, and ten persons named by the Governor.

The present Governor has appointed the Bishop and nine others, of whom four are members of the Church, and the remainder, Dissenters of different denominations.

The Professor of Divinity must, by the Act, be a member of the Church of England; but the other [69/70] Professors, as well as the Principal, may be of any religious communion, provided they hold the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, which is the only test for either Teachers of Students.

PAGE 64.

THE following statement, just received, will show what exertions are making by the members of the Church in the Colony for extending the Missions of the Church:--

"St. John, January 22d, 1847.

"The following grants were made out of the 'Missionary Fund" in 'aid of new poor Missions:'--

Simonds £30
Springfield £60
Prince William £60
Lancaster £50
Monckton £50
Queensbury £50
Hopewell £60
Stanley £40
Restigouche £50

To be paid quarterly, on the certificate of the Lord Bishop that the services have been performed respectively to his Lordship's satisfaction; or, in the absence of the Bishop, on a like certificate of the Archdeacon's.

For a traveling Missionary, £50; to be paid in such sums, and at such times, as the Bishop shall appoint, and on a like certificate.

At the same time Resolutions were passed to appropriate out of the year's income--

For Missionary visits where there is no settled Clergyman. £500
To purchase religious books for distribution, or sale at low prices. £500
For building and enlarging Churches and Chapels. £200
For building Parsonage-houses. £200
Fund in aid of the poorer Clergy, their Widows, &c. £100.

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