"O suffering Earth, be thankful: sternest clime
And rudest age are subject to the thrill
Of heaven-descended Piety."
EARLY in the year 1859 the bishop paid a brief visit to England to give an account of what he called "my stewardship or apprenticeship." Below is the statement which he published, as satisfactory a resume of nearly fifteen years' labours as any could desire, especially when two facts are taken into account--(1) the exceptional character and conditions of Newfoundland and its people; (2) that all the progress here recorded was made without the slightest sacrifice of principle by a bishop who despised popularity, and not only never aimed at obtaining it, but did very many things from a sense of duty which rendered it impossible that he should be what is understood by the word "popular."
The bishop wrote:--"When I first went to Newfoundland (1844) almost all the missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel were receiving 200l. a year from the Society; a few, some three or four (deacons, I believe), only 150l. The late bishop (Spencer) had insisted upon this (the larger amount) as necessary; and I am not prepared to say he was wrong. But the sums contributed by the congregations were wretchedly small. Since 1846 no fresh missionary has received from the Society more than 100l. a year; and the general contributions of the people have risen from between 400l. and 500l. a year, to upwards of 2.000l. This reduction was made by the Society, and these contributions required of the people, on the understanding that the sums saved by the reduction should be applied to the creation and support of new missions; the contributions of the people going to make up the missionary's income. And this has been faithfully acted upon. New missions have been formed, and missionaries placed and supported (without, I think, any additional drain upon the Society's funds) at Channel, La Poele, Hermitage Cove, Harbour-Briton, Burin, Portugal Cove, and Herring Neck in Newfoundland, and at Forteau and Battle Island on the Labrador. New churches have been built and consecrated at all those places, and many (sixteen or seventeen) others. Parsonage-houses have been built, or purchased, at Channel, Hermitage Cove, Burin, Portugal Cove, Port de Grave, Bay Roberts, Bay de Verd, Heart's Content, Catalina, Herring Neck, Moreton's Harbour, Forteau and Battle Island. A new church is just completed and ready for consecration (at a cost of 3,000l.) in S. John's, and a house for the clergyman, with some tenements towards an endowment, at a cost of about 1,080Z. All these works and others of a like kind, done and doing without any assistance from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, almost entirely by the people, with assistance from my own funds. Thus then we have:--Since 1846, nine new missions; four once served by school-masters, now served by missionary priests; twenty-five or twenty-six churches finished and consecrated; thirteen parsonages built or purchased; new stone church built in S. John's, with parsonage and partly endowed; College built and partly endowed."
In May the bishop was once more in S. John's and planning a summer cruise in the Hawk. In spite of all his labours there was one part of the diocese which he had never visited, viz., White Bay, a remote district on what is called the French shore. This French shore, which is nearly one-half of the whole coast-line of Newfoundland, extends, as has been mentioned before, from Cape S. John on the north-east to Cape Bay on the southwest: within these limits the French Government has so protected and systematized their fishing as to defy competition, and therefore British subjects were wont neither to fish nor to settle there. In 1857, however, a census had been taken which revealed the hitherto unsuspected fact that there was a large population in White Bay professing to belong to the Church of England, and the bishop accordingly resolved that his next voyage should be made in their interests. On S. Peter's Day the Hawk weighed anchor, the bishop and his party having, as on former occasions, joined with the clergy and friends who were to remain behind, in receiving the Holy Eucharist before embarking. A week was spent at the important Mission of Twillingate, and then the Visitation proper of White Bay was commenced.
This was as much a voyage of discovery as when years before the Hawk first sailed round the western shores and on to the Labrador. At Little Harbour deep, the first anchorage, no sign of "livers" appeared, except a man and woman returning in their boat from their salmon nets, which they overhaul twice a day. The log states:--
"We took them on board, and having no pilot, were glad to avail ourselves of the man's knowledge of the place in beating in, which occupied two hours, as the wind was blowing strongly and directly out. Theirs was the only family living in the harbour. We informed them of the object of our visit, which appeared to please them greatly, and they promised to send to their neighbours in Grandfather's Cove, very early to-morrow morning, and acquaint them with our presence, and our intention to have services on board the Church ship.
The appearance of these people was not so wild as might be expected from their wild and lonely life. In the summer they occupy, by themselves, this large harbour, shut in by immense cliffs, which no person ever ascends or descends. In the winter they occupy and possess the Horse Islands, lying several miles from the shore, surrounded for months by ice.
Seldom in either place do they see any human being, except the members of their own family, and not one of the family can read. In summer they catch salmon and codfish; and in the winter kill seals. And yet they are not heathens or savages. The woman, though rowing, was very neatly dressed, with a necklace, but no other superfluous finery; the man was tidy: both were civil. They presented us with two salmon, all they had in their boat, and promised us finer ones to-morrow. They expressed much pleasure at the prospect of attending the services."
The ignorance of these poor people was as dense as can well be imagined: they attended the service on board the Church ship and the little ones were baptized, but their elders indeed occupied the room of the unlearned.
"There is something (wrote the bishop) of both pleasure and pain in these quiet services; pleasure, in hoping that God, in His mercy, may bless some word of exhortation, or some prayer, to the edification of these forsaken ones; pain, in observing how by the people themselves the prayers and lessons seem to be wholly not appreciated, or not understood. Not one could read, several of them had never heard the service before, so they rose up and knelt down as automatons; and would, I doubt not, have been just as ready to kneel at the Psalms as at the Confession, and to sit at either, or both, as when hearing the lessons or sermon. After the service, one man bought a Prayer-book for his daughter, and we gave them several children's books and tracts. I examined the bigger children after the service; one girl, probably ten or twelve years of age, could not repeat the Lord's Prayer or the Greed; a second imperfectly; a third tolerably well. It was, indeed, pitiful; and enough to fill the heart of any pastor, and specially their chief pastor, with sorrow and shame."
At Bear Cove the deplorable ignorance of the poor people most anxious to be taught is almost incredible, and must have depressed the spirits of all who witnessed it. The journal records as follows:--
"We said the Evening Prayers, which I fear must have been parables to these poor people, several of whom had lived here and in the neighbouring coves all their life, and had never before seen a clergyman, or heard the service. After the second lesson, the baptisms had to be performed, and sad and strange were the discoveries made by the question, whether the child or person (for some were fifteen, sixteen, and eighteen years of age) had been baptized or not? Of all it was answered they had been baptized; but some, it appeared, could not tell by whom; some by fishermen, several by a woman--the only person in the settlement (and she a native) who could read correctly. One woman (married) was baptized, hypothetically, with her infant. Twenty-one in all were admitted, the majority with hypothetical baptism. Both of the women who came to be married had infants in their arms; one of them had three children. Not one person in the whole settlement could read correctly, except the woman before mentioned; her husband (a native of Bay of Islands) a little. He had, however, been employed to marry one of our present couples, which he confessed to me with some shame and confusion of face, saying, 'he had picked the words out of the hook as well as he could make them out,' but he did not baptize, because 'that reading was too hard;' in fact, he could scarcely read at all, he left the baptisms therefore to his wife. I addressed the people after the baptisms, trying to make them understand the meaning and purpose of that Sacrament, and again after The prayers, on their obligations as baptized. After this service, Mr. Johnson married the two couples, and I examined the children in their prayers and belief, which I found most of them could repeat more or less correctly, but not one knew a letter of the alphabet. It was considerably after nine o'clock before we could dismiss our visitors, and sorry they seemed to be dismissed as I was to dismiss them. Poor people! the fair faces of the children would have moved the admiration of a Gregory; and the destitute, forsaken condition of all would move the compassion of any one who believes they have souls to be saved; how much more if those souls in any sense were committed to his charge. But what can I do more for them, and, alas! for many others almost equally destitute and forsaken? It is but too probable that never again, either myself, or by others, shall I be able to minister to their wants. To-morrow with the first dawn, the men and boys will be all out on their fishing-grounds, the women busy in their houses, the elder girls nursing the younger children; and I must be on the move to perform a like perfunctory service to others in the same state of ignorance, of whom I believe there are more than two hundred in this bay."
In Seal Cove, the bishop, who was followed by people from other harbours anxious to make the most of his visit and to enjoy his ministrations while they could, met with a poor and pious fisherman who had lost his wife in giving birth to her twelfth child. He pointed out the spot where he had himself committed her body to the ground (the first and only one buried in the place), which he had carefully fenced and desired to have consecrated.
Nine of his twelve children he had carried to Twillingate to be christened (i.e. received into the Church after private baptism), but three remained whom he desired now to be received. All of these had been baptized by lay hands; two of them, he said, "had been very well baptized," i.e. by a man who could read well; the third case did not satisfy him. This was told the bishop before the service, and when, in the service, he was asked, as the Prayer-book directs, "By whom was this child baptized?" he answered, "By one Joseph Bird, and a fine reader he was." This Bird, who on account of his fine reading had been employed to baptize many children in the bay, was a servant in a fisherman's family.
Corroborative testimony is always interesting, and on this ground a letter of the Rev. G. M. Johnson, one of the bishop's companions in this voyage, is added:--
"It has been my privilege this year to attend the bishop in a Visitation voyage of fifteen weeks' continuance. The bishop visited first White Bay, which had never seen a clergyman, and where no services of the Church had ever before been performed. Here were found many harbours, containing each on the average about six families of simple and hardy fishermen, but without instructors or instruction of any kind. They seemed very glad of the bishop's visit, and very eager in their attendance upon the services on board. It fell to my lot to baptize and receive into the Church 140 souls. This number included persons of all ages, from nearly seventy, the age of the oldest man baptized by me, to an infant not quite a month old. Twelve couples were married by me, many of them having lived for years as man and wife, under only such sanctions as a fellow-fisherman's services--unable himself, perhaps, to read well--could give, and having large families. In proof of the sad destitution of these people, I may mention that scarce one in the whole circuit of the Bay could read, and that one man--he a kind of prophet among them--gave, as a reason why he did not take upon himself to baptize as well as to marry, that the baptismal-service was too hard for him. And in testimony of their appreciation of one who could read a little better than his fellows, I may mention that a man told me of one of his children, that it was much better baptized than the others; and another, in answer to my public question in the service, 'By whom was this child baptized?' added aloud, after giving the person's name, 'and a fine reader he was too." One family, all the children of which, eight in number, I received into the Church, was the family of a man who had himself baptized and married others. The services performed for this man's family, whose eldest daughter was eighteen years of age, were completed by the marriage of the parents. In another harbour I baptized and received into the Church a mother and her half-grown daughter and sister. One only of these had ever even seen a clergyman, and when the elder woman saw her younger sister baptized, she was fairly moved to tears. It was grievous to rind these poor people so sadly destitute in all these things, and almost more grievous still to leave them in their destitution. However, the bishop's visit, in itself a blessing, will I hope lead to better things for White Bay."
Perhaps to some persons it seems very much like chopping a block with a razor to have sent such a man as Bishop Feild to minister to these poor dull souls: "a waste of power" is the frequent verdict of superior cynicism, when a man, fitted to take his place among the foremost, for the love of God and of souls devotes himself to the lowliest: if amid these depressing scenes the thought of the Common Room at Oxford with its congenial society, or of the beautiful country parish on the Wye with his round of placid but duly performed services, came before the mind of the bishop, it is no more than we should from our knowledge of human nature expect to find: but no record of any such wistful lookings-back finds place in his journals. The only passage which, however remotely, alludes to such a feeling is the following:--
"The Gospel for the Sunday gave me occasion to preach to them and myself on the 'Parable of the Lost Sheep;' to myself, to make me ashamed of thinking much of serving or ministering to these two or three in the wilderness; and to them, to make them, and each of them, I trust, more grateful to the good Shepherd who came Himself on the same errand on which He sends His ministers to seek for every one that is lost and gone astray, and Who assures us there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth. The day was as bright and the scene as lovely as could be desired for any Sabbath on earth, and I greatly enjoyed the rest and peace."
On this voyage the bishop completed the fifteenth year of his residence in Newfoundland, and his meditations on the circumstance show how little the thought of self ever entered into his mind.
"Fifth Sunday after Trinity, July 24.
"The fifteenth anniversary of my first Sunday in Newfoundland. Shame that this should be my first, in these fifteen years, which I have given to Englee. And what a contrast! Then I went from Government House in the Governor's carriage, with His Excellency and Lady Harvey, to preach my first sermon, and administer for the first time the Holy Communion (it was the first Sunday in July) in my cathedral church. The occasion, with a fine day, brought a crowded congregation. Here, on this fifteenth anniversary, I am at Engine in Canada Bay, on the French shore, a place inhabited by four families of fishermen, several of whom never saw a clergyman or church, very few of whom can read, not one able to follow the Order of Prayer intelligently, not one confirmed, not one prepared to receive the Holy Communion, nearly half only yesterday received into the Church. To make the contrast greater and more dreary, the day is miserably wet and cold, so that several of the few who otherwise could have attended were unable to come on board the Church ship, on which the service was held, there being no convenient place on shore. I celebrated the Holy Communion (as on every Sunday), but no person partook of it except my own companions in the ship. The only novel, or additional service, to mark more strongly the contrast of time and place, was the conditional baptism of the poor idiot boy on shore, between the Morning and Evening Prayers. He behaved very well, knelt down and was quiet, and seemed to be quite aware that something of solemn importance was being done. At the Evening Service (the rain having abated) nearly all the inhabitants came on board. I preached, as usual, morning and evening. After the Evening Service, children's books and tracts were distributed, and some Prayer-books sold. Many inquiries were made about persons and subjects connected with the Church in S. John's. Such is the fifteenth anniversary of my first Sunday, and first service in my diocese: and if the day of small things has come at the end rather than the beginning, who can tell which shall be blessed, whether this or that, or whether both shall be alike good?"
The Hawk went on her way, and the bishop visited a portion of the Labrador coast, depositing a missionary at Forteau in the room of the Rev. A. Gifford, whose ten years' residence had made him a victim to rheumatism, and driven him to seek a sphere of work in a milder region. [He is now, it may be stated, in the diocese of Dunedin, New Zealand.] As the voyage progressed the winds seem to have "become increasingly adverse, and on the western coast fog was added to the other discomforts. It was when thus helplessly at the mercy of the elements, that the following letter was written to the Rev. Canon Seymour:--
"THE CHURCH SHIP, OFF THE BAY OF ISLANDS, Aug. 6, 1859.
"My dear Friend,--Need I assure you, that you and your family and pleasant parsonage (to say nothing of the schoolroom) are often in my thoughts, as I drive about through fog and foam on these desolate shores. Only think of my having been now more than five weeks without having heard anything from or of, not only my friends in England, but those in S. John's or any part of Newfoundland, save only those whom I have myself visited. Have I not opportunity and occasion to direct my thoughts to the pleasant places and kind friends, with and from whom I took counsel and other comfort in dear old England? But you have been specially called and recalled to my mind to-day by the perusal of a sermon of Kingsley's, in which he speaks in strong terms of reprobation of a clergyman administering the Lord's Supper to himself in private, which was one of the subjects on which we conversed in our pleasant drive from Kinwarton to Snitterfield. I do not suppose Mr. Kingsley is a person of much authority in such matters, and he has made, I think, two or three mistakes in this very sermon; but he is a man of strong mind and strong feelings, and on these accounts, his opinion may be deserving of notice. The sermon I allude to is one for Whitsunday, in the volume of 'Sermons on National Subjects,' a somewhat strange title in reference to at least half the sermons. I have in this voyage for the first time found leisure to make myself acquainted with some of his writings, which I have so often heard spoken of with admiration. This comparative leisure for reading is the compensation for the absence of all social intercourse with relations and friends, whether by letters or word of mouth. If your large chart still hangs in your dining-room, you may perhaps think it worth while to look for the Gulf of S. Lawrence, and imagine me in the Church ship for five days fighting against a head-wind with fog in reaching from Forteau on the Labrador in the Strait of Belle Isle to this place, which is no place, for I am bound to S. George's Bay in Newfoundland, where I had hoped to spend a quiet Sunday (to-morrow) and to hold a Confirmation, and where I have been expected the last fortnight; and if this wind continues (directly ahead) I may be another week in reaching so far; and after my work is done there I have to visit, please God, all the missions and churches on the south shore from Cape Ray to S. John's, in the worst season, or most stormy in the year; so that the delay is very trying,--but such is a Visitation by sea in a sailing-vessel. You may perhaps remember that, when I 'bestowed all my tediousness' upon you in your schoolroom, I spoke of my desire and intention, please God, (1) of visiting in the first place the various harbours in White Bay on the N.E. coast of Newfoundland, never before visited by me or any clergyman of our Church; (2) of conveying a missionary to Forteau in the Labrador, to relieve Mr. Gifford, who has lived and laboured on that desolate shore ten years; and (3) of calling and confirming in all the missions on the southern shores. The two former objects I have, thank God, happily accomplished without any accident or unexpected trial. The third, which will occupy more than two-thirds of my time and labour in this Visitation, will commence in S. George's Bay, if I am permitted to reach so far, but the delay since leaving Forteau has been and is very great and very trying. In twenty-one days and nights, we have not made in a direct course more than 120 miles, having sailed, I suppose, three times that distance, in fighting against the head-wind, and in the same time have not once seen till to-day, the shores of Newfoundland, along which we are coasting, in consequence of the fog. Now we are off the Bay of Islands, into which I would gladly enter, as there is no hope of reaching S. George's Bay to-day, to spend the Sunday. But while I am writing the fog has again come on, and there seems little hope of obtaining the rest and respite, and of affording to the poor people in that Bay the sight of a clergyman, which they have not had for four years, i.e. since I last visited them. You may ask, how could I think of passing them by? Alas! if you knew to how many destitute sheep and flocks this question would apply, 50 in one harbour, 100 or 150 in another, who never see a clergy-man or minister except when I can visit them once in four or six years, you would know some of the grief and shame I feel in passing by--will you say, like the priest or Levite, on the other side? Within the last twenty-four hours I have passed three such settlements, I mean without priest or pastor (1) with forty-eight, (2) with seventy-seven, and the third (3) with thirteen, all professed members of our Church, who have never seen a clergyman in their settlements except when I have visited them. And I had not intended to call at the Bay of Islands, where reside 118 of my flock, if I had not been overtaken by this head-wind, which leaves me no hope of reaching my next proposed place of call by Sunday. I feel, I confess, very thankful (though the delay is and will be a sad hindrance and disappointment to others rather than myself), that my way has been so ordered for me, and with kind regards and a blessing to all your household, I remain, my dear Sir,
"BAY S. GEORGE, Aug. 15, 1859.
"P.S. When I finished my letter on Saturday, I mentioned that we were trying to get into the Bay of Islands. We did not succeed, the head-wind was too strong, and we had the mortification of being obliged to stand out to sea for the night, and a very dirty, disagreeable night it was. However, the Church ship did her duty, and in the morning we were just to the windward of the entrance and stood in for our Sabbath at Lark Harbour in the Bay of Islands. Just compare my Sunday morning with yours, after considering the antecedents. Disappointed in our expectation of making the harbour, we were beating all night against a very heavy head-wind, with two reefs in our main-sail, and a reef in each of the other principal sails. The rolling of the vessel and the dashing of the water against the sides prevented sleep and rest. At two o'clock, hearing the rudder, which was making a great noise, I went on deck, and found the helmsman had been obliged to leave the wheel to assist in tacking; and in nothing but a nightshirt and nightcap, without shoes or slippers, I supplied his place till the vessel had come round. I felt, however, more than recompensed when, at six o'clock, I found there was a good prospect of getting into harbour, and ministering to a congregation who had not seen a clergyman for four years. It was still, however, blowing half a gale, and it took us till ten o'clock to beat to the anchorage, or, if you please, to get to church. On our way, we saw our congregation scattered here and there; mostly at work as on other days, except that they do not fish: some were turning their fish, some conveying barrels on board an American schooner lying in the harbour, some just returning from their fishing-grounds, where they had spent the night. My two chaplains rowed on shore, to invite the several parties to attend the service on board the Church ship,--an invitation which most of them accepted gladly and thankfully. It was, however, nearer one o'clock than twelve before they could all be assembled for the Morning Service. We had the Evening Service at five o'clock. Three children were brought to be received into the Church who had been baptized by some fisherman; and three couples came to be married who had respectively been living together as man and wife, one couple for twelve or thirteen years, another three years, the third a few months. The first couple (the father) had brought two children to be baptized at my visit ten years ago, but could not be married, as I was just then sailing out of the bay. I addressed the congregation at each service, examined some, and gave little books to those who could read."
The voyage was ended on October 13; forty-eight places had been visited, one church and thirteen cemeteries had been consecrated, and Confirmation administered in twenty-eight places. S. Mary's Church on the south side of the harbour of S. John's was consecrated in the autumn, and thus another centre of religious life and parochial organization was added to the capital.
In January, 1860, Bermuda was again visited, but the stay now made was shorter than in former years; there were many reasons for the bishop desiring to be at S. John's. The increasing poverty of the colony gave him much anxiety, because such a state of things meant increasing poverty of the clergy, possibly a reduction of their already insufficient numbers. In. June he wrote--
"The business and trade of this country are passing into the hands of Scotchmen and Presbyterians; add to this progressive and, I fear, permanent deterioration of our worldly condition, two consecutive years of bad fishery, both of seal and cod. I really don't know what will become of my brethren and their flocks. I help them what I can. I pay nearly 200l., per annum to different missionaries, to one his whole stipend, 100l.L per annum. But I could not have done this if my late visit to England had not produced me nearly 500l., though I made no direct appeal or application anywhere or to anyone; but it would be a most miserable business to leave my work and diocese every third year and go begging in England."
The visit of the Prince of Wales was paid in July of this year, and the bishop was loyally anxious to be in his place on so important an occasion. It may be said too that he was equal and more than equal to the occasion. His was a loyal soul, and the presence of the heir-apparent in the insignificant colony called out his enthusiasm to the full. The Address which he presented is a model of its kind, and the visit of the Prince to the cathedral, to which he presented a Bible in memory of the occasion, seems to have given the bishop all but the most unmixed satisfaction; there was just the "amari aliquid." which the good bishop did not conceal; the visit was paid on S. James's Day after the usual service, and in the account which the bishop gave of the day's doings, was written with perfect simplicity: "I took the liberty of saying that only one circumstance would have been more gratifying to myself, my clergy, and the congregation, viz. that of His Royal Highness attending the service and joining in our worship, and he was pleased to reply that he would gladly have done so had his other engagements permitted. On leaving by the north porch, to my great surprise and greater gratification, he offered to walk across the road to my residence, and, followed by his suite, he entered, I presume for the first time in his life, a wooden-house. He went into both my sitting-rooms and into my little private chapel, taking such notice and making such remarks as he knew would be gratifying to me."
These pleasant doings over, the bishop had to go to the vacant mission of Burin, where many difficult matters required his presence. How he got there, and in what fashion he lived while there, is the following letter shows:--
"BURIN, Oct. 5, 1860.
"I came to this place a week ago. It will give you some idea of the difficulty and delay attending travelling in this country if I inform you of the route by which I intended to come, and by which I must have come, but for the great kindness and generosity of a merchant, not a member of our communion, who sent me in his tug steamer without any expense. I left S. John's on Friday morning at ten o'clock, and arrived here the following morning at 7.30. The distance is 150 miles. The mail by which I must otherwise have come left S. John's on the previous Tuesday morning und arrived here on the following Monday in the afternoon, taking a week to perform the journey, partly by land and partly by sea, which had occupied the steamer twenty-one hours and a half; and the gain to me was not merely in time, but I was enabled to bring with me one of my students and a little serving-boy and provisions, clothes, and some furniture, at no expense, or at least without any charge, most of which it would have been impossible to have brought overland. The steamer having landed me and my goods, returned immediately. Let it not diminish your gratitude for, or at any rate your admiration of, the liberality of the good Presbyterian merchant, if I mention that he has more than once performed the same kind service for the Roman Catholic Bishop.
Another illustration of the difficulty of communication in this country (in connection with my present business) may not be uninteresting. I am now within forty miles of Lamaline and Mr. K------, and I am most anxious to bring Mr. R------here. I have written to him three times by three different routes to that effect, twice before I left S. John's and once since my arrival, but I do not suppose that either of my letters has yet reached him, and if I were to offer 10l., I could not get a direct messenger. There is no road between the places, and travelling by sea is so uncertain that it might occupy two men a week to go down and return, and interrupt their own fishing, and that perhaps of a whole crew. And I am sorry to say that the fishing hitherto has been in this year in this bay the worst ever remembered.
"Well; thanks to Mr. G------I am safe at Burin and am occupying with my student and the little waiting-boy (whom I took out of school for that purpose) the mission-house, which I found empty. I have no chaplain or clergyman with me or near me. There had been no service in either of the churches (three) in the mission till I came since the beginning of May, nearly five mouths. We are living in missionary style; no servant except our little boy (for servants in out-harbours are almost as hard to find as clergymen); we each make our own beds and keep in order our separate rooms, and all take a share in the cooking department; and our united endeavours sometimes fail in making the kettle boil for breakfast. Also fresh meat is not to be had, so we console ourselves by thinking that if we had a joint we should not know how to cook it. Would that these were the worst of our, or of my difficulties!"
On his return to S. John's, his active mind was already contemplating the voyage of the next summer. It was not a cheerful prospect when he could write:--
"Alas! my poor Church ship! She, like her skipper, is in a very broken-down condition through age and use. Sixteen years' knocking about together on this coast, which nobody before the Prince of Wales ever approached, I suppose, who could avoid it--sixteen years of such work have considerably impaired both the bishop and his Church ship. The latter, however, is not past repair; but, alas! the expenses will be very heavy, 200l. at the least. I hope she will be ready in June. How far the skipper will be repaired and prepared is a different matter, person and purse."
In 1861 the bishop had the satisfaction of consecrating a new church at Topsail, to which one lady, whose bounty to Newfoundland will never cease to be felt, had largely contributed: this was an event of special interest, inasmuch as it was the first instance in which an old Mission had been divided; the same liberal donor who did so much for the Church added the gift of a modest parsonage. [Mrs. O. E. Johnson, of whom the bishop often wrote, "She hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also." She gave her life as well as her means to the work of the Church in Newfoundland.]
The bishop was now anxious to start on his Visitation, but no one from England had responded to his challenge, and of his own clergy none could well be spared to accompany him because "none were sufficiently sick to need the restorative influences of sea-sickness." Of one clergyman whom he invited to join him he wrote--"He can manage a boat, and is not squeamish about cold and dirt, both excellent qualifications." The difficulties were at last surmounted, however; but "head and hands were anxiously employed" until S. John's was left behind and the Labrador was reached; then in the intervals of visiting the various settlements some time was found for correspondence, and the following letter was sent to one who was much interested in Newfoundland, and anxious above all things to strengthen the bishop by sending more clergy, but who shrank from the peril of persuading men to volunteer without accurate knowledge of the conditions of their work:--
"SQUARE ISLANDS, BATTLE HARBOUR. MISSION, LABRADOR, July 4, 1861.
"My hands and head were as usual so fully and anxiously employed on leaving S. John's for my voyage of Visitation, (specially this time in finding a chaplain and companion,) that I was unable to give the information you require for persons wishing, or willing, to offer themselves for missionary service in this diocese. . . . However, I will gladly give such information, so far as I am able, as I suppose you require.
(1) Stipend.--In addition to what the S.P.G. may give, the collections of the clergy from the people vary, in different places, from 20l. to 60l. currency; and their fees from 5l. to 30l. annually. But the collections vary in the same place, according to the success or failure of the fishery.
(2) Parsonage and Glebe.--Nearly all the missions have now a parsonage, more or less convenient; and to those which have not, our Church Society will grant from 12l. to 15l. for lodgings. Only a few (five or six) have glebes of any value or use; such as may enable the missionary to keep a cow, or a few sheep. Perhaps some fifteen or sixteen have gardens of small produce.
(3) Food.--Fish in summer (three or four months), and pork and salted fish the remainder of the year, are the standing dishes in most out-harbours. In S. John's and its neighbourhood, and two or three missions on Conception Bay, fresh meat can generally be obtained; in the others occasionally. In most out-harbours game--especially birds--may be procured in winter; but the inhabitants prefer the pork and salt-fish. Berries of various sorts abound, and are very useful for puddings and preserves. Vegetables late in the year.
(4) Work.--Abundant, chiefly in visiting from harbour to harbour, and from settlement to settlement. For this purpose a knowledge of rowing and sailing will be useful; but there are several missions (one-third at least) where all the work is on terra firma; and where good legs and good boots only are required.
(5) Climate.--I believe there is no climate in the world generally more favourable to health than that of Newfoundland and Labrador. I have an instance and proof now on board my Church ship in the Rev. Mr. Hutchinson, who after being exposed to great labour and many hardships and privations summer and winter, for eight years, on the bleak shores of Labrador, is now with me visiting the different harbours and settlements in his mission, in better health and spirits than I ever before saw him; and is quite willing, more than willing, to remain here another winter. If missionaries of delicate constitutions have suffered in health, it has been from want of proper food, or from much (too often imprudent) exposure in travelling. There is no occasion to be very particular about clothing; except (in winter) for the extremities--head, hands, and feet. A fur cap for the head, to cover the ears, warm gloves or mittens for the hands (no gloves are warm enough for Labrador in the winter), and good boots and stockings for the feet (mocassins and vamps on Labrador). Waterproof boots, worn over the trousers, and a waterproof overcoat, are very necessary. A warm overcoat is useful for nine months in the year. Bedding should be brought from England, but no great quantity is required, not much more, I think, than at home.
I have now supplied all the information I can suppose necessary. I have also, more than once, observed that I cannot determine beforehand to what mission or place each clergyman will be sent, without the risk of doing injustice both to the clergyman and the flock committed to his charge. For Missionaries to Newfoundland you might take some questions from the Vicar of Wakefield, as 'Can you sleep three in a bed? Can you cut your own hair? How many shirts have you?' and the like.
I need not, I suppose, observe that I expect all candidates for Ordination to be well acquainted with the Scriptures and the Articles of our Church; and to be able to yield an account of their faith in Latin; and to bring 'letters-testimonial,' and a certificate of baptism; and still less that they must read well and have no bodily defect or deformity; least of all they should be modest and submissive, patient and contented, earnest and faithful; seeking the glory of God in the edification of His people."
From another spot on the Labrador the bishop wrote, in high spirits at the tidings which he had to communicate, the following letter:--
"THE CHURCH SHIP, BELLE ISLE STRAIT, July 30, 1861.
"An event has occurred in the history of the Church ship which has afforded me much gratification. I have had the honour of receiving and entertaining on board the good Bishop of Quebec and his son the Rev. A. Mountain, very near the spot where our respective dioceses meet on the coast of Labrador. The bishop has long contemplated a visit to his scattered sheep on this coast, with a view, I believe, of stationing a missionary among them. This year he has accomplished his object; but not being provided with a Church ship, or any vessel of his own, he came from Quebec in the steamer which visits the lighthouses on this coast, and was landed near the extremity of his diocese some twenty or thirty miles from Forteau. Prom the place where they landed, the bishop and Mr. Mountain journeyed up and down the shore, in such boats and vessels as they could meet with and procure, subject, I fear, to very great hardships and privations. Sometimes they had to pass the night in a boat, and on one occasion lay upon the salt in the hold of a fishing-vessel, covered only with a sail. At other times they slept, or passed the night, in the houses of the planters or agents; partaking of their coarse fare in dirt and disorder not to be described.
Having completed their journey and investigation as far as was possible, they proceeded to the Forteau lighthouse, about the 10th or 11th of July, hoping from thence cither to get on board one of the Canadian liners, passing through the Straits to Quebec, or shortly to embark in the steamer by which they arrived, which was only waiting for some work at the lighthouse to be completed. Here they were doomed to disappointment: no liner came within call, and there was much work to be clone at the lighthouse. They remained there in anxious expectation a full week. On Sunday, July 14, they had divine service in the lighthouse, which is in the colony and diocese of Newfoundland. Mr. Botwood, the missionary at Forteau, visited them several times, and they kindly paid him a. visit and inspected his church, with which they were very well pleased. Tired of waiting and watching at the lighthouse, on Saturday the 20th of July they borrowed Mr. Botwood's boat and removed to the Isle au Bois, twelve miles distant (which is the first settlement in the diocese of Quebec, and where there is a merchant's establishment), to hold service on Sunday. On Monday, the 23rd, I arrived at Forteau from Red Bay, and was equally surprised and delighted at the prospect of meeting my venerable elder brother on the Labrador, on the confines of Our respective dioceses, the only place indeed where my diocese joins or meets any other. On Tuesday, by the kind assistance of Captain Hamilton of H.M.S. Hydra, who, having himself to visit Isle au Bois that day in pursuit of some trespassing French fisherman, took the Church ship in tow (there being no wind), I went in search of my brother bishop, and was fortunate enough to meet him returning in Mr. Botwood's boat towards Forteau, accompanied of course by Mr. Mountain. They immediately came alongside, and I had the honour and pleasure of receiving them on board. We were towed back the same evening to Forteau, and behind us three French shallops caught on the English fishing-ground. Never perhaps did two bishops of our Church meet before under such circumstances; and never, I think, were any more gratified at meeting so strangely and unexpectedly. My visitors remained on board the Church ship that and the two following days and nights, and on the last day, being S. James's Day, we had full service in the church at Forteau, and received together the Holy Communion. The Bishop of Quebec kindly preached on the occasion. On the following day (Friday July 26) the bishop desired to join his steamer, now lying at Lanse a Loup, about eight miles from Forteau, to be ready for the departure, and yet hoping to catch a passing liner. We all accompanied them in a boat to Lanse a Loup and took our last dinner together, pic-nic fashion, on the sea-shore. The following day was the good bishop's 72nd birthday, on which, and indeed long before it, he had fully reckoned on being at home. The disappointment must have been very great, and particularly as they had not been able to make known to their friends the cause of the delay. In the afternoon, I went again to Lanse a Loup with Mr. Botwood, to offer our respectful good wishes, and to make arrangements for Divine service there on the morrow, in a store, which the Bishop of Quebec and Mr. Mountain had promised to conduct, if the weather should prevent Mr. Botwood and myself from attending. It was sad to think of the bishop and Mr. Mountain prisoners in their steamer on Sunday morning, while I and my companions were enjoying the service, with Holy Communion, in the dear little church at Forteau. In the afternoon, however, Mr. Botwood and I joined them again at Lanse a Loup, and had the evening service in the upper loft of a store. Out of the poor women present, two were churched, and brought children to be baptized. The men were more numerous, between fifty and sixty. Mr. Mountain said the prayers, Mr. Botwood read the Lessons and baptized the children. The Bishop of Quebec declined to take part in the service; and it seemed to me that the appeal of S. Paul to Philemon, which occurred in the Second Lesson of that evening's service, might be made very instructive, if addressed and applied to the people as from the venerable bishop then before them. 'Though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. And I applied it accordingly. After this service, we said and prayed our last adieu among the fish flakes, and there I left the bishop and his good son. On the following morning I sailed across the Strait; the Bishop of Quebec and Mr. Mountain were still detained at Lanse a Loup, but with a good prospect of being released on the next or following day (Tuesday or Wednesday), and being set forward in their steamer homewards."
The protracted voyage seems to have given the bishop time to fetch up arrears in reading the current literature of the mother country; for about this time he alludes to several new books, among them one by the late Rev. F. D. Maurice, by which he expressed himself as being much grieved; and he added, "How bitter and how feeble! He writes indeed like a man who has himself been under censure!"
In December he again visited Bermuda, but while in that, by comparison, well-to-do part of his diocese, his thoughts were turning to Newfoundland, and to the permanent efficiency of his College. "If I could raise 5,000l.," he wrote, "the institution would be safe, but there is this evil inherent in all colonial institutions, that their continuance, and much more their prosperity, depends on the will and ability of the bishop to maintain them; I mean, that if any bishop were to set his face against this college, or not cordially to support it, he might suppress it and let it die an unnatural death, and might appropriate or apply the property to some other purpose." [The bishop ultimately raised 7,500l.]
On returning to Newfoundland he found his worst anticipations realized in the terrible poverty and straitness which affected the whole colony. The following letter describes both the present distress and the material condition and prospects of his diocese, on which he had bestowed so much labour for seventeen years:--
"Never in my experience, except perhaps immediately after the great fire and hurricane in 1846, was the colony of Newfoundland in such a depressed condition. It has been brought into this condition partly by political troubles, but mainly by three years' decline of the seal-fishery and two years' bad, the last very bad, cod-fishery; while the war in America has deprived us of the best market for our herrings, which used to be in the Southern States. This spring the coast has been blockaded with ice in a manner and degree never before known in the memory of any living man. For nearly six weeks there was scarcely an opportunity of entering, or escaping from, the harbour. The sealing vessels could not get out for nearly a month after the usual and proper time, and when they did get out, it was, in most cases, only to be imprisoned in the ice just off S. John's; and not less than thirty vessels were abandoned and lost. The distress and poverty in consequence, all over the island, have been dreadful; but it has pleased God, in His mercy, to send unexpected relief to one district, not the least destitute, by an unprecedented arrival of seals close to the very shores. It is supposed that in Notre Dame Bay more than 150,000--some persons say nearly 200,000--were thus thrown upon the ice eight or nine miles off the shore, and slaughtered. This relief, however, has been granted only to one district, though, of course, indirectly S. John's will benefit to a certain extent. But the depression here and elsewhere, except in the favoured district, is very general and very great.
After this mournful exordium, I proceed to the particulars on which you require information.
(1) I believe we have for several years raised in Newfoundland (I omit Bermuda, where there is legislative provision) upwards of 2,000l. for Church purposes. The Church Society expects every clergyman to send to the treasurer one-fourth of the amount collected in his mission, as the condition of obtaining assistance from the Society; but if any choose, as many do, to be independent of the Society, I cannot demand either return or report. But what are 2,000l. or 3,000l. for all Church purposes in a colony and country like Newfoundland, where there are no rates, no endowments, no glebes, no kindly fruits of the earth; nothing but seals and fish, and of these an uncertain precarious supply? If a clergyman, with 100l. a year from England, could raise another 100l. in his mission, a portion would be required for his church, a portion for his parsonage, a portion probably to help a school; and perhaps not more than half would remain for his personal use. But 100l. is considerably above the average raised by each clergyman.
(2) There is no Synod in this diocese. The difficulty of communication with the capital, occasioned by the want of roads and want of means, and the paucity of persona able and willing to assist, have prevented any attempt to form and constitute a Synod. The acts of the Church Society consist of grants made at my recommendation. We have lately formed a fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of the clergy, in connection with the Church Society.
(3) There are four clergymen (officiating) entirely supported by local contributions (there are no endowments), two wholly engaged in and supported by tuition, and one who requires no assistance. When I came to the colony, there was not one supported without aid from S.P.G.
(4) In Newfoundland and Labrador there are eighty-two churches, forty-seven of which have been consecrated by myself; about twenty are additional, the others new in the place of old ones. There are five on the Labrador shore, and two parsonages, where sixteen years ago no clergyman's voice had ever been heard.
(5) The last census was taken in 1857:--Church of England, 44,285; Roman Catholics, 56,895; Wesleyans, 20,229; Kirk of Scotland, 302; Free Kirk of Scotland, 536; Congregationalists, 347--Total, 122,594.
(6) The increase per cent, has been, in twelve years--1845-1857--Church of England, 29.5; Roman Catholic, 21.5; Wesleyan, 40.
(7) No immigrants, except youngsters engaged in the fishery--some few of whom remain and settle, or rather remain without settling.
(8) There is a great and crying need of more clergymen. I promise to find 100l. a year for four clergymen, by dividing some of the present enormous unmanageable missions. Eight clergymen are much needed. There is no other method of preventing the inroads of men 'speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.'
A Baptist minister has now for the first time come amongst us.
(9) There are openings for new missions in White Bay and on the French shore in Newfoundland, and in Sandwich and Esquimaux Bays in the Labrador: and at least six missions require to be subdivided immediately. It is soul-rending to hear the petitions for more ministers and means of grace, and to be obliged to reply, 'There is none to help you.'"
But while results thus substantial could be honestly chronicled, the pressure of some particular mission in a state of exceptional necessity wag always making itself felt, even in times of general prosperity; at one time it was the French coast, at another it was one of the struggling stations in the Labrador; just now it was the Mission of Moreton's Harbour, of which he wrote, "This is one of the most extensive and troublesome, and at the same time one of the poorest in Newfoundland. It extends along eighty miles of coast from Twillingate to Cape S. John; there are in it already five churches, and two others in slow progress; one of them has taken at least ten years to gain an outside shell. There are ten or twelve stations, in which the missionary is expected to hold service, to be reached only by water; and, consequently, several of them to be reached not at all during the winter. The Methodists, who by their class-leaders and prophetesses are busy everywhere, have made much havoc of the flock in this mission, driving some out of their senses and many out of the Church. The mission ought to be divided into three, and would be 3 divided immediately if I could find the men and the means. There is a parsonage house, or shed, and a small glebe sufficient for a few sheep during the summer; the scenery is very picturesque, and the climate highly favourable to health. A man of wealth and strength and zeal might be blessed and a blessing there."
The Quadrennial Visitation of the Clergy was now approaching, and so weak was the condition of the clerical staff of the diocese just now that the bishop, in writing to a friend, said, "It is literally a Visitatio Infirmorum." On this occasion, a rare instance it would seem in his episcopate, the Ordination was not held at the appointed season. Availing himself of the liberty which the Rubric gives of ordaining on a Sunday other than that appointed by the canon, the bishop had delayed a week, in order that the clergy who came from their distant missions might be present at the service and be severally reminded of their own ordination vows. The Charge, as on former occasions, gave abundant tokens of the care bestowed on its preparation: grateful record was made of a slight increase in the ranks of the clergy, of largo addition to the number of churches either in new localities or supplanting fabrics whose imperfect details were characteristic of the early Newfoundland style of architecture, of the consecration of a beautiful chapel in S. John's cemetery, of the adornment of the cathedral, and of the partial endowment of one parish. Descending to more general questions, the bishop dealt with the question of the age at which children should be confirmed, and with the alteration of the twenty-ninth canon. On the first point he stated, that although he had removed the limitation of age at which children should be presented, he never intended to give licence to thoughtless children to renew before God and the congregation solemn vows, the meaning and consequence of which they did not understand; and on more than one occasion he had wished that the number of candidates presented had been fewer rather than more, or "at least, that several young and, too evidently, thoughtless ones had been kept back." With regard to the twenty-ninth canon, he deprecated any change; he insisted on the importance of persons having witnesses, whom they could produce to certify to their having been baptized if their parents were removed; and he added, "This point is well expressed in the Baptismal Liturgy of Herman, Archbishop of Cologne, published in 1543, which in many particulars resembles our own, having been drawn from the same or similar sources, and probably corrected by the same hand. After other questions to the sponsors, much like those in our Service but of greater length, the minister asks, 'Will ye be godfather to this infant and count him for a very son of God and member of Christ, and, as soon as he cometh to the use of reason, if per adventure he shall lose his parents, or if they negligent in this behalf, will ye take charge of him that he may learn the Ten Commandments, the Articles of our faith, the Lord's Prayer, &c.'? "But while thus dealing with the discussions which had taken place in the Convocations of the English Church, the bishop deplored the uncertainty of the relations of the Daughter Churches to their common Mother, and of the validity which home legislation might have beyond the limits of England. The then famous Essays and Reviews, in which he saw nothing new, either in the doubts and difficulties thus sent forth, or in the way in which they were insinuated, were regarded by the bishop as the "recoil of thoughtful and serious minds from the unsatisfied longings, which have of late carried so many men equally thoughtful and serious to the Church of Rome:" for the unhappy volume itself he prophesied the speedily oblivion in which it is now sunk; but as a necessary, or at least a prudent, consequence of such a phenomenon, he desired (1) a new Translation of the Bible, (2) a Revision of the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments. The first, "Bishop South, one of the most learned and laborious of interpreters, long ago pronounced 'a necessary work,' and which has been desired and recommended by many other pious and learned divines in our Church." Of the second he wrote:--"When I find in the Sacra Privata of Bishop Wilson's Devotions at the Altar, 'Until it shall please God to put it into the hearts and power of such as ought to do it, to restore to us the First Service of Edward VI., or such as shall be more conformable to the appointment of Christ to His Apostles;' when I am told that Bishop Andrewes entertained and expressed similar views, and that Bishop Horsley did not scruple to declare that he thought the Scottish Office more conformable to the primitive models, and in his judgment more edifying than that we now use; and am further persuaded that our Church has not, since the Reformation, boasted of any bishops or divines more learned, holy, and devoted than these, I feel constrained to admit (however imperfectly I may apprehend their views and sentiments) that some examination of our Liturgy on these important points is at least desirable." But while thus recognising reforms as desirable, he urged on the clergy to adopt the language of these great men, "until it should please God to put it into the hearts and power of such as ought to do it," and showed that the passages in the Prayer Book to which exception was taken by Lord Ebury and his followers were the very passages least likely to offend, if only the Rubrics were faithfully obeyed and the teaching of the Church acquiesced in; and he added, in words which are capable of a very wide and salutary acceptance, "I am persuaded that every attempt to accommodate, by omission or alteration, any Service to uninstructed or ill-prepared minds (besides being unlawful) does but aggravate the evil, increases ignorance, and suggests or gives force to objections. If the solemnization of matrimony be celebrated in private houses, we cannot wonder if language intended for a church be thought unsuitable; if the Office for the Burial of the Dead be used for those who have laid violent hands on themselves, or were, or would have been, could the Church exercise her discipline, excommunicated, you must not be surprised if some men step into the place of the judge and deny the hope or refuse the thanks for the departed soul; if the thanksgiving of women after childbirth be abruptly addressed, as it were, to a whole congregation, its unsuitableness, to say the least, may occasion pain and offence. And let me warn you that the persons who are J ready to justify you in suppressing or altering the formularies which they dislike, would be the first to condemn you in using that liberty against their will and judgment."
It is unfortunate that a Charge so full of wisdom and learning, and, which is less common, of bold consistent adherence to the teaching of the Church, should have been printed and published in Newfoundland, and its circulation limited for the most part to that island. This is not, however, a solitary instance in which the call to consistency and courage has come to us from a Colonial Church, feeble in all material resources; and it may be that thus shall the insignificant debt of the Daughter Churches, in either hemisphere, be more than repaid to their common Mother.
The first half of 1863 was spent in S. John's, where the bishop was almost alone--all his inquiries having failed to bring him the assistance which he desired. To more than one friend in England he wrote in this fashion:
"If I could find a chaplain to live and work with me, he would have plenty to eat as well as plenty to do. Can you send me a man with an honest heart, a loud and clear voice, feet to walk and hands to work for the poor and the bishop?" At length the time came when the Visitation of the west shore and the Bay of Islands must be made; and while the bishop was thus engaged on the French shore the following letter, dealing with many questions of interest, was written almost from the same spot as the letter of four years previously, to Canon Seymour:--
"THE CHURCH SHIP, OFF PORT AUX BASQUES, NEAR CAPE RAY, Aug. 31, 1863.
"My dear Sir,--If you believe what I have more than once told you, that your letters are a great treat and comfort to me, you will believe also that I would not delay to acknowledge them (in the hope to obtain what I so much value more frequently), if I were not prevented by other more pressing duties. When I am in S. John's I am constantly at work, and the little relaxation I can allow myself is either for health (and I cannot command enough for that), or else to oblige and gratify some friend or friends. For the twelve months immediately before I began this voyage of Visitation (in June) the archdeacon, who is also incumbent of the cathedral and chief minister in the parish, was invalided and absent (he has now retired altogether), and in consequence I was kept closely at home and closely at work during all that time. For twelve months and upwards I said Morning Prayer in the cathedral at eight o'clock every week-day, without a single exception, and attended service twice every day. I preached in the cathedral at least once every Sunday, and generally said the Morning or Evening Prayer. Except on the first Sunday in every month, we have four services in the cathedral every Sunday, and with not more than two or three exceptions (when I officiated at other churches) I attended them all. I administered the Holy Communion every Sunday, and baptized or received into the Church, after the Second Lesson, every child brought to be baptized or received. We never baptize or receive, except on some Sunday or Holy day, after the Second Lesson. I catechized publicly in the cathedral on the first Sunday in every month; and attended the Sunday School every Sunday without missing one. There is nothing laborious or disagreeable in any of these duties; indeed, I felt much pleasure in resuming so far the work of a parish priest; but you will, I think, perceive that, together with my own proper work, they must have fully occupied my time and thoughts. Indeed, it was often with difficulty that I found time to prepare a sermon for every Sunday, and a lecture for every alternate Friday evening. During Lent I read a short lecture every morning at the eight o'clock service. Alas! how many kind letters remained unanswered, how many kind presents unacknowledged, those twelve months; for I have not forgotten that, in addition to an interesting letter not yet answered, I have received from you your instructive pamphlet on 'Woman's Work in the Church,' and not yet, I fear, acknowledged it. Let me now thank you sincerely for both. I read your speech with very great gratification, and the little History of the Kaiserwerth Deaconesses, to which you refer; and I believe it would be of great advantage if such institutions were recognised by and affiliated to the Church. I can, however, forgive your bishops for declining to unite in instituting and carrying out the great work in and for the Church, when I think (and tremble as I think) of the immense amount of labour, anxiety, and responsibility which must fall on each of them severally, in and for his own diocese. And I presume that, severally and collectively, they have all of late been sufficiently occupied by the Colenso folly. I trust the evil of that ill-advised work will be overruled by God's mercy, and good, much good, will spring from it. Surely the many excellent and learned answers, which have been written and published, will reassure the minds which have been disturbed and distressed by the hasty, self-confident and specious objections of the arithmetical divine. I am now engaged in my usual biennial Visitation (I cannot afford to make a voyage more frequently than every second year) of the missions and settlements, not included in any mission on the southern and western coasts of Newfoundland, the western being the (so-called) French shore. My next Visitation, please God, two years hence, will be of the northern and northeastern coasts and the Labrador. On this western coast the poor scattered sheep, nearly 500 in number, have not seen any shepherd of their souls since I visited them four years ago. I have now again visited nearly all to the distance of 550 miles from S. John's, and am returning to the capital. I have determined and promised, with God's help and blessing, to send them a missionary. But where is the man? Who will say, 'Here am I, send me'?"
In the autumn of this year the bishop was cheered by the offer of a zealous clergyman, who had given many proofs of his power in the mission of Ferryland, where he had built two churches and been the means of reviving much Church life, to undertake a mission along the shores of White Bay, which, it will be remembered, the bishop had visited for the first, and only, time in 1859. The venture was an especially chivalrous one, as the clergyman in question received no support from any external source, but threw himself on the fishermen, claiming from them to be supported at least as they supported themselves, and desiring no more comforts than they procured for themselves. Such an offer caused great satisfaction to the bishop, who, however, seemed not to detect in it but the following of an example which he had been setting for twenty years. At this time the cathedral, and the pastoral charge of the district attached, again overwhelmed the bishop with work: his presence was greatly wanted in Bermuda, but it was impossible that he should leave, and indeed he did not succeed in his efforts to reach that distant part of his diocese, "another world, ecclesiastically as well as physically," until March 1864. The account of his summer's sailings he gave at the close of the year in the following letter to a friend in England:--
"I visited all the settlements on the west or so-called French coast in the Church ship last summer, the fourth time only in my episcopate of nineteen years; and in all that time, and for many years before, they have not been visited by any clergyman or any minister of any Protestant denomination, except, occasionally, by the chaplain of some man-of-war in passing, and once by the Rev. A. Gifford on his way from Jersey to his mission in the Straits of Belle Isle. His stay could not have exceeded three or four days. Such is the amount of pastoral visitation and religious instruction (if either of these expressions can be rightly used) which those poor benighted souls have received. I hope and think I may affirm that I have done what I could for them, little as it may seem, and little as indeed it is.
The Bay of Islands is nearly 500 miles from S. John's, and can be reached only in the Church ship or other such vessel. There is no intercourse between that shore and the capital. The inhabitants receive their supplies in exchange for their fish from traders from Nova Scotia or the United States. I have not visited them more frequently in the Church ship for the want of two great necessaries--money and time; in other words, on account of the great expense of voyages and the many demands upon my services in other directions. I have not sent any clergyman, partly because I have not found any one willing to undertake the work, and partly because, if I had found one, I have had no means of paying his expenses; and partly, I may add, on account of the scattered and wretched condition of the dwellings of the inhabitants, until lately few in number. My last visit, before the summer just past, was a very short and hurried one in 1859. The weather then, in addition to an unusual amount of fog, was very tempestuous, and the wind constantly ahead for weeks together, and my plans were defeated or delayed accordingly. Last summer I was, in respect of weather, highly favoured, and the presence and assistance of Mr. Le Gallais, whom I took on board in passing Channel, were of very great service, as he is personally acquainted with, and highly esteemed by, many of the late settlers, who have recently migrated from various parts of his extensive mission. And these migrations have not been confined to the inhabitants of Newfoundland, but several families have, within the same period, settled on the coast, and chiefly in the Bay of Islands, from Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. These are almost wholly Presbyterians of the Free Kirk persuasion, but they all, without exception--and I personally visited them--expressed themselves willing and desirous to have a clergyman of the Church of England and to assist in supporting him. All who were able attended divine service on board the Church ship; and though our form and mode of worship were evidently new and strange to them, they readily and cheerfully conformed. I fully believe if the right man could be found, a man of faith, courage, prudence, and experience, he might obtain at least a maintenance. But where is such a man to be found? Where is the man willing to make the venture? and who, being willing, has the necessary qualifications? or who, being willing, and having those high qualifications, will be content with a bare maintenance? I have already received with great satisfaction the offer of the Rev. E. Temple to undertake a very similar and equally arduous work on the eastern coast, and I have great hopes that Mr. H. Rule, who, though now only a student, has, I hope and believe, all necessary qualifications except experience, may be induced to attempt the proposed mission on the western coast. This young man is now gaining experience of the best kind under Mr. Hutchinson on the Labrador, which is attended only with this difficulty, that we are not likely to meet before September, when it will be too late to reach the Bay of Islands. In the meanwhile the necessity is urgent. I propose, therefore, to request Mr. Le Gallais (who is the nearest clergyman, and the only one acquainted with the place and people) to visit the coast next summer to keep up, if he can, with God's help, the good and pious feelings and desires which now exist, and to make further preparation for some more permanent occupation of the coast next year. There are two difficulties in the way. I fear (1) that Mr. Le Gallais will be very unwilling to leave his own extensive mission unprovided for so long a time (two or three months); and (2) that the visit will be attended with a good deal of expense. How churches and parsonage-houses will be erected I cannot tell, but those may be thought of hereafter. The great matter is to get a clergyman settled and supported; and unless the English public are persuaded by Mr. Walter's speech and paper that the heathen deserve more sympathy than the fishermen and poor colonists of Newfoundland, I do not think the assistance which I may ask for will be refused."