".....There are who roam
To scatter seeds of life on barbarous shores."
"Mother, some Hand, through sky, o'er sea,
Leads wandering birds protectingly
'Mid floating piles and ocean dark."
IN the first days of 1847 the bishop was again on the Atlantic, returning to his diocese and his work. He had made known the wants of his people with a force of which he was the last person to be conscious, and although he was disheartened at his failure in regard to finding clergy, he had attracted several young men who lived to do good service under him in his barren diocese. One there was, indeed, the young clergyman mentioned in the letter which follows, who, in a spirit of entire self-sacrifice, threw in his lot with the bishop, and for the rest of his too brief life set a brilliant example of primitive simplicity and apostolic zeal to which it would be difficult in any land or age to find a parallel. The toilsome career of the Rev. Jacob G. Mountain in the Mission of Harbour Briton has been chronicled elsewhere, and need not be repeated here: his example provoked many, and while he laboured with all his strength, and beyond his strength, in visiting the scattered settlements up and down his vast Mission, he was training others who carried on his work when he himself was removed.
While on board the steamer bound to Halifax, the bishop wrote the following account of what he had done in England, and proposed to do in his diocese.
"'THE HIBERNIA,' Lat. 49° 50'N., Long. 40° 8'W.,
Jan. 14, 1847.
. . . . "After inquiring and proposing in every way and direction which I thought properly open to me, I have not been able absolutely to secure for my diocese the services of one clergyman, or of one person regularly educated for the sacred office. [Events proved that the bishop had secured one clergyman, eight candidates for holy orders, and one schoolmaster.] One clergyman, indeed, of high promise, and the best expectations at home, has expressed his determination to join and assist me in the spring, unless he is called in another direction, and to a different, but not less arduous, sphere of labour, by those who have stronger claims on his devoted service. Others have declared a similar purpose and desire, if friends would allow it. But, at present, not one clergyman is absolutely engaged, while many have been obliged, very lately, to remove. One valuable young man, ordained on last Trinity Sunday, came home just before my departure; exhausted, I fear, by his previous labours as a schoolmaster, and never likely to return to labour in my diocese. A large bay, of nearly two thousand members of our Church, is thus deprived of all religious superintendence and instruction. Three priests and three deacons have also been removed during the year.
In default of clergymen and fully educated persons, able and willing to serve in my destitute diocese, I am desirous of engaging some young men who have been occupied as Scripture Readers, or have been otherwise prepared, or have prepared themselves, for ministerial duty. Several such have been found, in nothing deficient but in that learned education which our universities only can supply.
Four or five will be able to go over in the Church ship, and will be educated with the students of the Theological Institution till I think fit to ordain them. Until their departure in spring, I propose to place them with a clergyman. One or two will, I hope, obtain admission at S. Augustine's College as soon as it is opened. Some may be profitably occupied for a season as schoolmasters, improving and preparing themselves all the while, with a view to' holy orders.
I have perhaps erred in setting forth too strongly (what, however, once were considered the honours and rewards of Missionary life) the privations and difficulties of the service; and too sternly, it may be, bid the candidates for employment and duty there, 'having food and raiment, therewith to be content.' The circumstances of the Church in the present day may not appear to require such strict and self-denying devotion: and it is certain there are many things to mitigate the Missionary's labours and trials in my diocese.
Yet, surely, some should be found in all ages of the Church who may say for their Master's sake, and in answer to his call, 'Behold we have left all,' &c. And if men of high gifts and attainments are needed to maintain, with God's blessing, a well-established Church, surely much more to nourish and build it up.
It has been my fortune, in this journey across the Atlantic, to accompany the Governor-General of Her Majesty's North American Colonies, hastening in this inclement season to cross the Canadian snows, that he may enter, without delay, upon his arduous and important office. Honour to his patriotism! and may his mission, for his country's sake, be blessed with abundant success! He is attended by three aides-de-camp, and two more have preceded him, all of noble families. I have reason to suppose that more than one of these attend at their own and their friends' request, without any call or appointment, and without any prospect of remuneration or preferment; and His Excellency himself informed me that he had received a hundred applications for similar employments from persons of all ranks, some desiring, but many regardless of, salary. It is their own and their friends' wish that they may be trained in a service of honour, and be prepared for future usefulness for their country's sake.
It might, perhaps, provoke a smile, if I should appear to compare the wants and requirements of a Colonial Bishop with those of Governors and Queen's representatives. I have no intention of doing so; but I may be permitted, in. all simplicity, to ask whence this mighty disparity between, and applications for employment in, a Governor's court and retinue, for honour it may be, and our dear country's sake, and the neglect and drawing back when any are invited to devote themselves, for Christ's sake, to the Missionary life? Why, in plain language, do hundreds of all ranks seek and ask for themselves and children such employment, while a Colonial Bishop must return, after inquiry and petition in all quarters, without any--I will not say to attend and assist him, but--to share his labours, and learn with him to serve God and the Church, in humbler and easier duties, as the proper school and preparation for the more anxious and responsible?
It is plain that it is not the separation only from friends and home,--that is no bar in the case of secular office; it is not the poor payments,--for none is needed in many instances; it is not the trying climate and its effects upon the constitution,--these do not keep at home soldiers or civil officers. How many sons and brothers are cheerfully sent to the camp on the Sutlej, or in New Zealand, with the clear prospect of war added to the trials of a new country and climate!
Let such persons ask themselves, (for it is indeed hard to answer for them,) why they do not desire and propose that these sons and brothers should go into these same countries as soldiers of the cross, in the more sacred and blessed office of Missionaries--as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!' I said, Why do Christian parents not desire and propose such employment for their sons? but I should rather ask, Why do they withdraw them from it, and put impediments in their way? as I have found unhappily the case. The question ought to be answered, and the cause or causes of the difference and disparity I have alluded to impartially weighed, by all who would not come under the censure of loving son and brother (nay, should we not rather say, of loving this world and its honours?) more than Christ.
But my feelings, I am afraid, are carrying me too far; and I am sadly conscious that I am not in a condition to discuss such a subject, and its circumstances, calmly, and with moderation. I ought, perhaps, to have avoided touching upon it, if I only and my diocese could complain of such desertion; but is it not a still more affecting view of the case when we look at almost all other professions overstocked, but the ministry of the Church quite unequal to the calls upon it, both abroad and at home? Is the Church alone, or shall I say the Church of England alone, condemned to the 'barren womb' and 'dry breasts?' Will not our rulers desire and devise some remedy before it is too late? I write with great difficulty, in a ship labouring with a heavy sea and head wind."
It was characteristic of the bishop thus to exalt the service of the Church, and to mourn that others did not, like himself, regard the hardest post of Missionary labour as the post of special honour, and therefore to be coveted by all chivalrous souls; hut while throughout his whole episcopate there was rarely any point of time at which the diocese was adequately supplied with clergy, a comparison with other dioceses would show that, while the attractions of Newfoundland were the fewest of any, other more favourably-conditioned countries have experienced a greater ministerial dearth, and it may with truth be said that nowhere have the clergy been more patient, more contented, more united among themselves, and more devoted to their work, than in this desolate island. Of those now labouring in the diocese, many have been trained under the bishop's eye in the Theological College of S. John's, which he built on the foundation of a Seminary established by his predecessor, and for which he was enabled, in the course of years, to provide a suitable endowment; and whatever be the merits or demerits of an hereditary priesthood, it is a creditable fact that the clergy in many instances have sought no more prosperous career for their sons than a succession to their own ministerial toils and corresponding poverty. Bishop Feild, with the simplicity that adorned his character, never suspected that the power which kept these men contentedly at their post was the example of his own hard and devoted life; nor when, as happened more than once, or twice, or thrice, men were led to make sacrifices and to leave England for hard and voluntary service in Newfoundland, that the real magnet which attracted them was himself. It may be well here to give a layman's estimate of the clergy of this diocese. The following quotation is from a book which has already been mentioned in these pages:--
"In the faces of all the men I saw engaged in this work contentment and peace were unmistakeably stamped. Nor is it alone to poor living, mere absence of comfort, their hard lot extends. This might be borne amid humble domestic joys and a circle of duty close at hand; but that circle extends for decades upon decades of weary, inhospitable miles, from fishing cove to fishing cove, where the Sunday services come round to each once in so many weeks or months. Upon the instant must the parson rouse and trudge through snow and ice, no matter the weather, no matter the distance, on a summons from a parishioner."
The same writer says elsewhere:--"The influence of good as of evil is contagious, and the chief Missionary who gave up his delights in the fairest vale of earth has not wanted followers, even in this sacrifice."
He describes a picnic party of which he was a member, and which brought him face to face with an example of the devotion of which he had heard:--
"Suddenly from behind a fir-grove was heard the tinkling, tinkling, tinkling of a vesper-bell, gently bidding all good folks and wayfarers to come and join its modest worship. Except from a Roman source it was almost the last thing one might have expected to hear in such a place, and yet we soon found that this invitation came from an orthodox offshoot of the 'Anglican branch of the Catholic faith,' as some folk here so love to style it. Just as we entered the portals of the neat wooden edifice, a thin, elderly man, who had been tolling his own summons, ascended the lectern and began to read the daily Evening Service of the Church. None but ourselves, chance visitors, were there; and we, who came not to scoff, remained with that simple, trusting man to pray. After service my friend whispered to me that this was another blessing to the Church brought by the influence of the bishop. They were personal friends, and first-class men at Oxford, and, like the bishop, this man, besides being the possessor of ample private means, gave up his living in England to come out and work under his old college friend in this remote fishing-village on the edge of the wild Atlantic, where his intercourse with the great civilized world beyond was but scant indeed. While he told us this simple tale of loving faith, its hero joined us close outside his cottage-presbytery, which he asked us to enter. What a strange interior it was! Boxes, trunks, deal chests by dozens, lying about in every direction, tables and chairs, littered with pamphlets and letters, scattered broadcast around. It was a literary chaos, through which one could barely move, a true picture of a man without a helpmeet, of a house which was not a home. The uncarpeted room served both for parlour and kitchen, and the parson's humble fare--tea, bread, two eggs, boiled with his own hands, and a large basin of butter cut with a spoon--soon appeared on the table. Thus the hermit lived, keeping no servant, but depending for a scrub to his house, for the making of his bed, and, indeed, almost for the simple necessaries of daily food, on his friends in the village below. If they came to his need, well and good; if not, he rubbed on without thinking much of or heeding his necessities, so that he might have health and strength to ring his little bell for matins and evensong, and watch over the sick beds of all who wanted him. This is no solitary case; stronger can be put on record." [This church must have been furnished on a scale of unusual luxury, for the "sound of the churchgoing bell "is rarely heard in Newfoundland. The usual means of summoning people to church is a flag, which is hoisted an hour before service, half-masted after half an hour has elapsed, and truck when it is time for service to commence. This is said to be both a cheap and an effectual, and certainly a picturesque mode of summoning the worshippers; it falls in with their daily habits, and the abundant breezes of the country, while they frequently cause a bell to be inaudible to windward, always blow out a flag only too well.]
On January 29 the bishop arrived at S. John's to find an exceptionally severe winter and much suffering among the people. On landing he wrote to a friend in England:--. . . . "I will say nothing of the discomfort (I might add danger) of my voyage to Halifax, but joyfully and thankfully inform you that, what I dreaded the most (so faithless and faint-hearted am I), the passage from Halifax to S. John's in the sailing vessel was unusually quick and favourable. ... I was only an hour on shore at Halifax, but had the pleasure of seeing the Bishop of Nova Scotia and his amiable family. His lordship is in good health, and seems not much to regard the severe weather. The thermometer was considerably below zero on our arrival, and a sharp wind was blowing, which I found some difficulty in facing. Our steamer was covered with ice, externally, and on the decks the weight of it must have been immense. We were in a similar condition on our arrival at S. John's, and as the wind was blowing out of harbour we were obliged to leave our vessel and enter by boats, which was a service of some difficulty in consequence of the floating ice driving out before the wind.
Before we landed our pilots had told of past trials and disasters in the tempestuous weather of last week. Three vessels had actually been driven from their anchors in harbour (one of them with a cargo of coal on board) and lost at sea--a circumstance not remembered by the oldest inhabitant--and the winter had set in with unusual severity. During the heavy gales of last week people were afraid to put their faces out of their dwellings--and the Newfoundland 'barber' was never so severe. Several persons have told me they never remember a season so cold, or at least in which the cold was so piercingly bitter. In my own drawing-room during the night the thermometer fell to 30 below zero, and the water has frozen on the table while we were dining. The poor people suffer much from the absence of snow, of which there has been almost none till within the last two days, i.e. since my arrival. The absence of snow both makes their dwellings colder--or leaves them unprotected--and prevents their going into the woods with their 'cats' and dogs to procure fuel. [Catamarans or sledges.] The sufferings of the people in the out-harbours are, I fear, even greater than at S. John's, in consequence partly of the failure of the fishery and partly of the great destruction of life and property in that fearful hurricane. Forty-five fishermen lost their lives at one harbour (Burin) in Placentia Bay, and you know there is no clergyman in the whole of that Bay. Well, these were sad reports on my arrival; but I was comforted by finding most of my friends and all the clergy in S. John's in good health; and we had chanted the Psalms together at night, and had thanked God for permitting us to meet once more; and I had laid me down to rest and was soon wrapped in profound repose (though getting into bed is something like plunging into a cold bath) when I was roused up by the discharge of two guns from the Fort--announcing a fire. To my dismay I beheld from my windows the house of an excellent friend and near neighbour enveloped in flames. It was Captain Spearman's, the Collector of Customs. In two hours it was utterly destroyed, with all the furniture; scarcely an article was saved--so rapidly and fiercely do these wooden houses consume and perish, and (if I might say it without appearing to quote Holy Scripture lightly I would add) come to a fearful end. The Collegiate School and the house I have taken for the students were in great peril--being very close--and the wind was blowing in that direction. For two hours the burning flakes and embers fell in showers on the latter and on the stable of the Collegiate School; but through God's goodness in answer to our prayers they were saved. The chief protection arose from the water poured on the roof instantly becoming ice; so that the burning flakes not only met with a cold reception, but could not, in fact, reach the wooden shingles. It is very sad to see a void smoking space where a few hours before one of the best houses of the colony stood, and stood always ready to receive and welcome me; and, close by, the ruins of a large brick dwelling thrown down by the hurricane--sad mementoes of fire and tempest which have been such scourges.
"In the midst of such general and public calamities and trials I ought not to think or say much of my own difficulties and disappointments. I have already mentioned that the clergy of S. John's, and as far as I know of the out-harbours, are generally in good health, and proceeding with their duties diligently. God be praised!"
To another friend, to whom he gave a description of the cold, he wrote with his usual indifference to hardship:--"For a fortnight and upwards the thermometer was every morning at half-past seven o'clock 4° below zero at least; twice I saw it 8°, once 12°, and one evening 14° below the cypher, but this degree of cold is not much regarded when the winds are hushed, and it sounds worse than it really is; for during this extreme cold we have been twice every day to church (I speak of myself, clergy, students, and some boys of my Collegiate School) without any fire except on Sundays, and I have no fire in my bedroom. I have been once frost-burnt on the cheek, but by rubbing in snow in time the plague-spot soon disappears; colds and coughs disappear in the severe frost to return with the thaw and milder weather. Thank God, my household and clergy are well in health, and only cast down in spirits by the feebleness and inefficiency of our services through want of an adequate supply of labourers. Thousands and thousands of our communion have not seen the shape or heard the voice of a clergyman of their Church for the last twelve months. Mr. Bridge, the rector of S. John's, performs four services every Sunday: the first at a hamlet two miles off, where he commences at eight o'clock; then three Ml services in his schoolroom--full, in every sense, for there is not room enough for the people, who are driven to the meeting-houses in consequence. Mr. Tuckwell has five churches or parishes under his charge, assisted by a deacon--the nearest is eight miles off. He is also Master of the Collegiate School, in which there are seventeen boys, and six of them hoarders; he has the whole care and chief instruction, assisted by myself, of the theological students. He is a great Pluralist and a great Hero! Last Sunday morning Mr. Bridge was driving in his sleigh along a frozen lake at half-past seven o'clock to his first service and communion. Mr. Tuckwell, about the same time, was starting over the snow to a service in a private house eleven miles off, the church not being finished. Mr. Treinlett, the deacon, was off even earlier on foot to his duty ten miles off, and returned the same evening, drawn about half way by two dogs on a slide or catamaran: Such is a specimen of our Sunday labours. "We should be content if even thus, or any way, we could reach the hearts and ears of half our people."
The bishop now had his hands unusually full; he was expecting the Church ship, with her passengers, and was preparing for the erection of at least the nave of a Cathedral Church: in finances too he was endeavouring to make sweeping reforms: he desired that the grants of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to the clergy might be reduced one-half, his own income not to be excepted from this treatment: he saw in this the only way of making the Church support herself, and of making the rule of the Church Society to be observed, by which every member of the Church was pledged to contribute towards the maintenance of church and clergy, as has been already mentioned.
Money had been raised in England by the authority of a Queen's Letter for the relief of the sufferers by the fire in the previous year, and it had been announced at the time that a portion of whatever sums might be contributed would be spent on rebuilding the destroyed church. As usually happens where money is to be dispensed, the competitors were many; and in a place where religious divisions were strongly marked there was naturally some warmth of feeling displayed. The money contributed in England was given by English Churchmen: but the majority of the sufferers were Romanists. The Roman Catholic Bishop took, as was natural, an active part against the Anglican one, but no opposition could blunt Bishop Feild's sense of justice: and he wrote of his opponent:--"He is to my mind cast in the very type of a primitive bishop, and mark you! he will return with men; the Protestant Bishop comes back, with money! His priests are indefatigable, postponing everything to making converts; mine have to make provision for wives and children." What provision it was that the poor clergy could make it seems hard to say, for to the same letter he added a postscript:--"Our poor in the out-harbours are in a wretched state for want of food. I dined yesterday (Sunday) with a clergyman who had nothing to give me or himself but bread and rice: even the fish is exhausted."
It was the apathy of the laity--the apathy which is begotten by having everything provided by endowments at home, and which is fatal in the colonies where endowments are not--that the bishop was determined to conquer; and this he thought could only be done by the clergy voluntarily reducing the portion of their incomes which they derived from England and throwing themselves for their maintenance on their flocks. The problem of combining with Voluntaryism an absence of the evils of Congregationalism has in later times been solved in many a colonial diocese from which in time to come perhaps the Mother Church will have to take a lesson. Bishop Feild wrote:--"Why should a Protestant Bishop who is mocked by some 25,000 pretended Church-people be indulged with a larger income than the Roman Bishop who reigns over the hearts and wills of 50,000 devoted adherents? [The Church population now (1876) is about 60,000, and the income of the Roman Catholic Bishop of S. John's is probably many times as that of the Bishop of Newfoundland.] Why should a Protestant Missionary require double what is sufficient for a Roman Catholic Priest? Above all, why should my people be pampered and petted till in spiritual things they wax fat and kick, while the poorer Romanists pay, and pay cheerfully, for many hard blows, spend and are spent for the Church and clergy?.. If you knew half the grief and anxiety. I suffer about it,--but I forbear."
In the midst of writing this letter he changes his tone for one of abundant thankfulness. He had been anxious for days and even weeks about the Hawk with her freight of missionaries. There had been a terrific hurricane, many ships were overdue, and not a few were never seen again. "My hand shakes and my heart quakes," wrote the bishop, all the tendernesses of his warm heart breaking through their accustomed barriers: "Could I remain here, if she should be lost with all her precious cargo?" And then on May 25th he wrote:--"Oh joy! I must leave all other subjects to tell you of my, of our, joy and thankfulness on the arrival of the dear Church ship, with all her precious cargo, safe and sound--I mean her cargo safe and sound, for the little bird herself has been sadly beaten and battered I went on board, and welcomed my friends and co-mates with my episcopal blessing. I brought them ashore, and it being Whitsun-Tuesday we attended at the Central School the proper service, and I celebrated the Holy Communion and administered to them all. Another auspicious event marked the day: we began to-day to dig out the foundations of the cathedral, and I had as many as fifty men giving voluntary labour, and, I trust, shall have nearly as many men every day this week. The church would be very beautiful, but I really do not see the use of talking about the choir and sacrarium, as if I should ever have anything to do with them. Mr. H------ says the nave alone would cost 15,000l. in England, and that would be 25,000l. in Newfoundland. This appears to me Midsummer madness. Even if we had the money, would it be right to spend such an enormous sum on the material temple, while bodies and souls are starving for lack of necessary food? S. Wulstan is said to have wept when he saw the great pile of his cathedral going up, because, he said, they had left building temples of men to build one of stones. But surely there is more occasion to weep when we build of stone before we have built of men."
The work of the builders of the new cathedral was pressed on until the frost and snow compelled them to desist: the walls were carefully sheltered from the weather until the next brief summer should make it possible to resume operations. The edifying of the spiritual building was never neglected: the busy bishop was now contemplating the establishment of a girls' school, and inviting teachers from England; but the most urgent work was the establishment of the Theological College and School, to be called QUEEN'S COLLEGE. with Episcopal Residence and all necessary surroundings. The scheme was an ambitious one, and has only been realized so far as the excellent Theological College may be said to have been the outcome of the effort.
The terms in which the bishop propounded his scheme are worthy of being recorded:--
QUEEN'S COLLEGE IN NEWFOUNDLAND. "Ad laudem, gloriam, et honorem Nominis CRUCIFIXI, ad sustentationem et exaltationem Fidei Christianae,
et ad Ecclesiae Sanctae profectum."
EDWARD, Bishop of Newfoundland, To his Brethren and Friends of dear Mother Church in England, sends health and greeting in the Lord.
"In furtherance of the erection of a College in my diocese, recommended and promoted by many kind and judicious friends, for the training and instruction particularly of theological students and candidates for Holy Orders, and, with them, of any young men desirous of a liberal and enlarged education, I have purchased a very eligible piece of ground as a site for the necessary buildings. The situation is healthy and convenient; removed from the business and bustle of the town, and yet within a stone's cast of the Church of S. Thomas, and of the land granted for an episcopal residence. There is space enough for a college and collegiate school, with a useful garden.
Now, then, dear friends and brethren, we have the much desired opportunity of giving to the College and its schools in Newfoundland a local habitation and a name.
A Theological Institution and Collegiate School, it should be observed, have been for some time in operation, and are a source of much present satisfaction, and full promise of further usefulness and success, but both are much hindered and degraded by being carried on in small hired houses, not contiguous, and very deficient in accommodation. Both these houses are hired at my own cost and charge. The school does not pay its expenses, giving a small salary to only one master. For the theological institution there is no payment or provision, beyond the exhibition to each student from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The theological students pass to the school-house, where the master resides, for their lectures and meals; which, though the distance is not great, is often painful, and sometimes almost hazardous in the snows and frosts of this severe and changeable climate. Moreover, the students have but one small sitting-room in common for study, and no clergyman or tutor can reside with them.
My wish is, therefore, to erect on the ground now purchased plain but characteristic buildings, (of wood or stone, according to our means.) sufficient for a small college and collegiate school, with a chapel, hall, library, and lodgings for tutors, &c.
The episcopal residence, if ever erected, on the site granted for that purpose, will be so near, that the bishop and clergy living with him might easily take part in the oversight and instruction of the students. (They even now come to me every morning, at nine o'clock, for a lecture in Divinity.)
I would submit to my friends the propriety of naming the new establishment Queen's College, (if such a title can be permitted and sanctioned,) for the following reasons:--
(1) In duty and devotion to Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen VICTORIA, whom God preserve; and for perpetual testimony of the loyalty and attachment to the sacred and paternal form of monarchical government ever to be inculcated in both college and school.
(2) In respectful recognition of benefits conferred on the Church in Newfoundland by Her Majesty the Queen Dowager.
(3) In testimony of my reverent and grateful esteem of the Queen's College in Oxford, at which I was educated, and at and from which I have received so many undeserved kindnesses and benefits, from the day of my entrance there to this very time: and to bespeak, if it may be, the favour and love of that society, with its fellows and scholars of both foundations, towards its name-sake; as a parent towards its child.
(4) In humble imitation of the college at Windsor, in. the diocese of Nova Scotia which sought and obtained the honour, under a Royal Charter, of being called 'King's College.'
If this name should be approved and allowed, I should wish the chief officer, who would always be a clergyman in priest's orders, to be called the Provost. He would be constantly resident, and with two Fellows, also resident, might conduct all the business of the college and school, in regard both of instruction and discipline. The Provost might be married, but the two fellows must be unmarried. One at least of the resident fellows should always be in holy orders, and have the title and authority of Vice-provost.
There should be three Honorary Fellows, who, together with the Provost and resident Fellows, should form a Council, to advise the bishop in framing and altering rules, &c., and in the absence of the bishop carry on all the concerns of the college and school.
The bishop should be the Visitor, and have power to appoint, and remove, all the officers of the establishment, and to make, alter, and rescind the rules, &c.
Rooms should be provided for twelve resident students in the college. Six of these would be exhibitioners of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, preparing for holy orders. One, or more of these, would be required to assist in the instruction of the boys in the school; and all would work in the garden, both for recreation, and for training in an occupation which may be useful to themselves and others in new settlements.
In the school also there should be accommodation for twelve boarders. Any number of day-scholars may attend to receive instruction with them.
The students of the college and boys of the school would be together at chapel and hall: but at other times would be quite separate, and live and be instructed apart.
To carry this most desirable plan into successful operation, it is obvious that the first and most essential requisite is an endowment: even more essential than the collegiate buildings. With funds, a hired house, though inconvenient and inappropriate, might be made sufficient, but without them the best buildings would be rather a burden than a benefit. It might be possible to commence with the Provost and one resident Fellow. An endowment for these, with funds to sustain the buildings themselves, pay insurance, &c., would fill us with joy and hope, and, with God's blessing, would soon render the whole establishment useful and acceptable. It must be remembered that in the college there would not be, for some years, more than two or three independent students, and the charge for their education must be very low. In an entirely commercial community a prolonged and enlarged education is seldom required or desired.
It is especially intended that the sons of the clergy should profit by the school and college. The school also should be understood to lead on to the college; so that in filling up the vacant exhibitions, the deserving scholars would always have a preference.
Now, should there be such prospect of a permanent endowment as to justify the undertaking, it would be very expedient to lay the foundations, and make other preparations for the buildings this year, in order that next year they may be completed; to whatever extent it may be prudent at that time to go.
Simple plans and drawings for the buildings in wood, atone, or brick, with estimates, &c., would be very acceptable.
It seems right and necessary to put the friends and promoters of this great work in possession of as many particulars as possible; and, with that purpose, this long detail will not, I trust, be considered tedious or superfluous.
I would now humbly commend the good and great work, and all who befriend it, to the favour and blessing of Almighty God. May the Queen's College in Newfoundland be the honoured, though humble, instrument of promoting learning and loyalty, charity and piety, duty to God and man. 'And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it."
A long winter over, and the Hawk was put in commission for a four months' cruise, in which the bishop hoped at last to reach the remote settlements on the Labrador, concerning his responsibility for which he had inquired in 1845, and now accepted for himself, on the ground of their being within the civil Government of Newfoundland. The Government of Canada, and consequently the diocese of Quebec, ends at Blanc Sablon, and from this point to Baffin's Bay, or without limit northwards, if any bishop was to care for the people, it must have been the Bishop of Newfoundland. On July 6 the Hawk then set forth on her unknown course: the bishop making the following entry in his log:--
"July 6.--I was attended by the clergy to the place of embarkation; and on the wharf I found several friends waiting to take leave, and to wish me good luck in the name of the Lord; whose greetings and good wishes were much appreciated, being, as I have reason to believe, for His sake, and in His name, Whose I am and Whom I serve. Several of my friends accompanied me on board, who departed on the ship getting under way, not without a blessing.
"My companions and co-mates on this occasion are the Rev. J. Cunningham, with his wife and their baby (to whom I have given up my cabin), destined for the Mission of Burgeo; the Rev. Mr. Addington, going to serve as deacon and curate in Fortune Bay; the Rev. Messrs. Hoyles and Harvey, who will attend me through my voyage, partly as my chaplains, and partly for the benefit of their health; and Mr. Brown, one of the students of the Theological Institution, also an invalid; in all, with myself, eight souls. Mr. Cunningham's furniture and supplies are stowed in both cabins and on the deck. My friends in England, could they peep within, would see that the schooner Hawk is not regarded or used as (by some persons unjustly called) the hishop's yacht, hut serves the purpose, and deserves, as she glories in, the name of the Newfoundland Church ship. While the primary object of visitation is kept in view and fully attained, the benefit of the Church and clergy, as much as possible, through her instrumentality, is on this occasion, as in many former instances, gladly promoted."
Head-winds prevailing, they determined to put into Harbour Briton and spend a Sunday ashore. Here the meeting, so full of joy to all, took place, which the bishop thus describes:--"Suddenly is seen, pacing to and fro on the wharf, with downcast look, a cassocked figure, and by his side one of equally contemplative manner and mien, both aprosdionusoi, harmonising ill with the surrounding scenery, whether I looked to the lofty uncultivated hills, or the fish flakes, or the great stores. I soon recognised the 'Mountain' priest--the faithful priest--who quitted the pleasures and refinements of a happy home to minister to these poor fishermen and watch for their souls, and his chosen Silas (Mr. Colley), no less devoted to his Master's service, though in a humbler office and sphere, and making, it may be, as great a sacrifice, according to his circumstances and condition in life. I was presently saluted and welcomed by both on the deck of the Church ship, in which they had come together from England in the spring of last year."
The wind continued contrary, and so the bishop visited by boat the neighbouring harbours. What manner of life the people led may be inferred from the description of the constant occupation of a resident at Jersey Harbour:--"We found the worthy agent engaged as usual, and, as always, in drying and curing his fish. Some thirty-five years he has been employed in this place and service, with no other pursuit, purpose, or prospect, but fish--fish--fish; and yet he appears contented and happy, and is by no means cold as a fish, or hard as a rock."
With a change of weather, Mr. Mountain was taken on board, in order that he might visit a part of his parish ninety miles distant. Burgeo was reached in time, and the ship entered the harbour "under a splendid rainbow as a grand triumphal arch of God's promised and covenanted mercy." It was dark and the entrance is narrow; nobody, therefore, went on shore, but the bishop wrote "many boats came off with the old, 'ancient' inquiry,
TiV: puqen eiV andrwn: toti toi poliV
OD. K. 325.
Mr. Cunningham, with wife and child and furniture, were left here, and were cordially welcomed. The church had been closed for three months, and many of the people had had sorrow and suffering and no spiritual consolations to alleviate their hard lot. After 500 miles had been traversed, through fog and foam, S. George's Bay was reached--and here a bitter disappointment met the bishop. The clergyman had not received in the previous autumn the notice of his bishop's intention to visit him; he had not left his mission for four years; the vessel, which was bringing him his winter supplies, and which carried also the bishop's letter, had been wrecked, and for food and raiment he was much straitened. An opportunity of going to S. John's and of returning had been offered and accepted a month before, and he had actually passed the bishop on the water. Three years had elapsed since the last episcopal visit. There could now be no Confirmation, as none were prepared; and as the missionary was a deacon, there had been no celebration of the Holy Communion for those three years. "Such is Newfoundland, and such a Bishop's Visitation," was the mournful comment made in the log.
From. Cape Ray, the south-west corner of Newfoundland, round by the north to Cape S. John, on the cast coast near to Twillingate, the Government does not recognise settlers: this is the result of a treaty made with France: there are, therefore, no magistrates, excise, laws nor constables. Along this shore the Hawk made her way until she reached Forteau on the Labrador, the first place which the bishop desired to visit, and which no bishop had ever visited before.
To a friend in England he wrote:--"You know nothing of the excitement of entering a strange harbour in a stiff breeze without pilot or directions; but you can imagine something of the feelings of a bishop lighting upon a portion of his diocese, which neither he nor any of his clergy have visited before, and which he has reason to believe has never been visited by any Christian bishop. The coast of Labrador, too, is generally supposed so bleak and desolate, either wholly unoccupied, or traversed only by a few Indians, that it has an interest of its own; how particularly to me, who came to inquire, not about the climate and natural productions, but whether any, and what Christian men had settled, in whatever state of ignorance and unhappiness, on its shores!"
Service was held in a store, pains being taken to make all arrangements as decent and church-like as possible.
There was a large congregation, but, sad result of an unshepherded flock, not one was found prepared to communicate. Many persons were baptized, and several couples, who had been married by "public attestation," now received the Church's blessing on their union. At Cape Charles a couple were married who had years before been united by a Roman Catholic servant, who read the service out of the Prayer-book. At S. Francis Harbour the bishop was entertained by the agent, Mr. Saunders, who had spent twenty-one years in the harbour, but in the past winter had visited England and brought out his bride, "the first lady who ever visited the coast, and the only woman who has come from England to dwell in the Labrador." This worthy couple were most anxious for church, and pastor, and school.
The bishop writes:--'There is a garden at the establishment, of greens, turnips, radishes, and voila tout. Mrs. Saunders has brought a piano, as great a novelty as herself on the Labrador, and she kindly played for us some Church music. She has in her possession the first volume of that useful publication, The Parish Choir. I took a walk with Mr. and Mrs. Saunders to see their winter house, as their present residence is only suited for the summer months. I admired the resignation and cheerfulness with which she appeared to contemplate the prospect of a winter of six or seven months in a loom ten feet by twelve, where are two large reels fastened to the beams at which her husband and his clerk are to mend their nets. Her husband also will be absent for some weeks at the sealing time, and she, tenderly brought up and cared for, well educated, and with a mind of much natural refinement, must thus pass the first winter on the Labrador. Surely there are ladies who might take a lesson and encouragement from such an example."
It being impossible to get forward with the wind in an adverse quarter, the bishop left the Hawk, and determined to push his way to the northward, at least as far as Venison Islands, in a small craft which was lent to him. The craft was generally employed to carry fish from harbour to harbour: its accommodation was limited to a small cuddy, fore and aft. "I slipped," wrote the bishop, "into the after cuddy, and made myself contented, if not comfortable; though the ribs of the boat, on which I lay down, and which were not boarded over, being harder than mine, made their impression accordingly."
Another harbour, or tickle, was made, and the agent welcomed the bishop to his humble dwelling, giving up his room and crib: "The bed is on a wooden crib," says the bishop, "and without any sheets: but the blankets appeared clean, and I turned in without any misgivings and with much thankfulness."
Neither was it the hard fare and coarse lodging which made up the chief hardships of these voyages: the dense ignorance of the poor people, so soon to be left again to themselves, weighed down the spirits of the clergy: the children confessed that they "learned the Lord's Prayer in the winter, and forgot it in the summer"; yet in the midst of this desolate prospect a communication from the outer world served to show them that there were worse lots than those of the settlers on the Labrador. On August 10, a schooner came in with English papers giving a full account of the Revolution in Paris and the murder of the Archbishop; and the little party could not but contrast with wonder and thankfulness their peaceful, holy, and rational employments beyond the limits of civilization, and the murders and madness in the heart and centre of civilized Europe--the snows and solitude of Labrador with streets streaming with blood, and houses full of deceit.
It being impossible now to make further progress the ship retraced her course to Forteau. At one time she was in considerable peril, being near to a rocky shore, and with no available wind. The bishop describes the scene:--"No sound was heard but the puffing of a sea-pig, who occasionally put up his back alongside, and the napping of our lazy sails, with the creaking of the rudder-chains and rigging, as the good Church ship rolled and tumbled about upon the rude relentless swell. I remained up, and occasionally on deck, till past three o'clock, when, by God's mercy, a breeze sprang up from the northward, and the Hawk spread her wings joyfully to it, and the captain went below, and the mate was merry; and I--I hope I did in part what I ought to have done, and what I ought to do all my life through--acknowledged humbly and thankfully the undeserved mercies vouchsafed to me and mine. At four o'clock I retired to rest."
Verily here was the outpouring of a thankful heart!
On leaving Forteau it was found to be almost impossible to make the Bay of Islands which the bishop was most anxious to visit. "After reflecting on the matter all day, and consulting with my friends and asking guidance of Him in whom are all our ways, I reluctantly abandoned my cherished wish." It was the bishop's custom to leave the determination of each case to the captain," not without prayer for his instruction and guidance!" It was bitter grief to pass by this neglected region, and the sensitive conscience of the bishop gave him little rest for the remainder of the voyage, as he was haunted by doubt whether he had done rightly; but he was already a week behind his time, and the clergy on the southern shore were expecting him, and autumn was coming on apace. Again and again his journal reverts to it as "a sore trial" and all the more when he learned that the Roman Catholic Bishop was visiting the parts which he had passed by "in ill-advised haste." At many places he was cheered by reverent congregations--or would have been cheered "but for the retrospect and prospect." Places which on his previous voyage had been wholly destitute now had church and regular visits from a clergyman; and on Oct. 17 the Hawk, was safely anchored in S. John's harbour. On the following day, the Festival of S. Luke, the whole party went on shore and returned thanks in church for their preservation and happy return. The bishop having neither house nor home on shore, occupied the cabin of the Churchship alone, until the Feast of SS. Simon and Jude, when she was laid up for the winter. I But while the ship rested, there was no rest for the bishop: he was now urgent that his voyage and labours might not be in vain: he had seen the openings for the Church, and witnessed people with tears accepting her ministrations: his object now was to meet with men f willing to shepherd the scattered sheep. Contrary to his wont, he paints the attractions of the country in brilliant colours:--"If a bright bracing sky overhead, with a profusion of wild-flowers and wild-fruits at your feet, and a sea before you, teeming, in the summer, with fish par excellence, i.e. cod, with salmon and herrings, and seals in the spring; and then on land in the winter, deer and ptarmigan, (called here partridges,) to say nothing of the valuable silver and black foxes, and martens, if these can please or profit you; in short, if you want health and wealth, you may be as likely to find either or both on the Labrador, as in your close and crowded streets--
'"Where ever-moving myriads seem to say,
Go, thou art nought to us, nor we to thee--away.'
Ah! that opens another consideration. Surely the blessing of God is ready to come upon any who will devote himself to seeking out the scattered sheep in these wild but not desert scenes, 'that they may be saved through Christ for ever.' My chief object in writing to you is to ask and pray that some clergyman may be sent to take the oversight of these poor people. But what I crave and cry for is, the right man for each place. I feel sure, if any man will have faith, and come, a decent maintenance, more than food and raiment, will be provided. But if you send men with 500l. a year, without faith and good courage, of what use would they be on the Labrador? The climate is healthy, fish abundant, the merchants and their agents all well-disposed, and the people sadly in need of teaching, and most willing to be taught; and as yet there is no opposition."
The Bishop of London was moved by the account of this important Visitation to bring the condition of Labrador before the Church, and in so doing he contrasted his own lot with that of his colonial brother in terms that were honourable alike to both:--"Surrounded by all the appliances and means of good which are at the disposal of a bishop in this country, I have been deeply moved by contrasting with them the necessities and difficulties which embarrass and impede the bishop of such a diocese as that of Newfoundland, in the discharge of his pastoral duties."
Such an expression of sympathy was full of comfort to the Bishop of Newfoundland, who wrote from the depths of his heart:--
"I know not how rightly and adequately to express the gratitude I feel to the Bishop of London for his most kind and appropriate purpose of addressing his clergy on the subject of my communication to his lordship touching the condition and wants of my poor sheep on the Labrador. Surely that is the true and legitimate way of calling attention to and obtaining relief for the spiritual wants of our brethren and fellow-creatures--through the Church. A bishop in (and of) the first city in the world pointing out the course of labours of a Missionary Bishop among icebergs and barren rocks, and calling on his clergy and people to help and pray for the sheep without a shepherd; if that do not cause sympathies and open the hands and hearts of people and clergy far and near, they must Le colder than ice-islands and harder than the rocks themselves."