"Plain his garb,
Such as might suit a rustic sire, prepared
For Sabbath duties; yet he was a man
Whom no one could have passed without remark."
DURING his sojourn in this country the bishop was enabled, with the consent of the Colonial Office and with the entire concurrence of Archbishop Longley, to obtain, what he had so long desired, the appointment of a coadjutor. "I do not propose this arrangement," he wrote, "with any view of lessening my own residence or labour, but to enable me to render more and better service both in Newfoundland and in Bermuda, especially the latter, where grievous and just complaints are made of the insufficiency of my residence and service." The complaints of the Bermudian Church the bishop admitted to be just;--but few men in his position would have done so much, and it was hardly possible to have done more for this portion of the diocese than he did without neglecting the other and larger portion. It was his custom to spend from ten to twelve weeks in Bermuda every alternate year, and how zealously he devoted himself to the spiritual needs of each parish and almost each separate soul during those sojourns has been many times mentioned in these pages. The population of the Bermudas numbers only 12,500, and it would be well if every group of parishes with such a population could enjoy the benefit of episcopal care to the extent which Bishop Feild bestowed on these islands.
In addition to obtaining the concession for which he asked, he was enabled to nominate his own coadjutor; and Archdeacon Kelly arrived in England in the summer, and was consecrated on August 25: he was the junior bishop present at the Lambeth Conference held in the following month. The great advantage thus acquired for the diocese was obtained only by Bishop Feild assigning 500l. per annum to his coadjutor: but as Bishop Kelly undertook the responsibilities connected with the Church ship and the Visitation voyages, which have since been made annually instead of in alternate years, the arrangement was a self-denying one on both sides, and equally creditable to the elder and the younger prelate.
In the spring of this year Bishop Feild was married to the widow of his well-loved friend and colleague, Jacob Mountain, a lady who, during the years of her widowhood, had pursued an active career of those works of beneficence and charity which she had commenced as a wife for the comfort of the poor of her adopted country. On his return to Newfoundland the bishop prepared for a voyage, which he alluded to as in all likelihood his "last Visitation." His anticipations were not realized, for he lived to again visit the barren coast of Labrador. An Ordination was held as usual on Trinity Sunday, and on July 1 the Hawk set sail. The voyage was unusually long and laborious, and twice the Church ship was on the rocks, hut was got off without much damage. The bishop was now in his sixty-seventh year; but he appears to have set out in good spirits, for, to a correspondent whom he reproached for having forgotten him, he wrote (June 25):--"It will be long before I can receive any more letters, for I am bound to the Bay of Islands, far out of postal reach, but there, and always, and everywhere, I am your sincere friend E. NEWFOUNDLAND."
The missions along the southern shore were visited in order. Channel was reached on July 21, but high winds prevented progress till the 24th, and then the bishop spent three days in an open boat visiting the different harbours, confirming in two, and consecrating a burial-ground in a third.
On the occasion of his first visit in 1845 not one person in Channel could be induced to receive the Holy Communion with him. On this occasion, at eight in the morning, there were forty-five lay communicants, and the Sunday previous, at the eleven o'clock service, the number was larger.
After a delay occasioned by high head-winds, the bishop sailed to Codroy, thirty miles to the west of Channel. Confirmation was here administered in the schoolroom. On August 2, the bishop reached the Bay of Islands, where he found the clergyman, the Rev. U. Z. Rule, in a miserable shed. There on Sunday, August 4, during a storm of wind and rain, he confirmed the first candidates presented by Mr. Rule, in a log-house, where worship was held till a church could be built, and it was now resolved that a clergyman's house should be built near to it.
A second Confirmation was held in the Bay of Islands, at "The Beach," in a half-finished schoolroom, on August 6; after which the Church ship proceeded to Shallow Bay, with a fair wind, and arrived early the next morning. In entering the harbour, the passage being narrow and winding, the Church ship got fast upon the rocks, and remained in that uncomfortable berth upwards of two hours. This was somewhat alarming, because of the distance (upwards of 500 miles) from S. John's, and the impossibility of prosecuting the Visitation should any long detention ensue. As, however, the tide was low, it was thought best to await the flow before making any attempt to draw the vessel off. The bishop and his friends went on shore for Morning Prayer and the consecration of a graveyard; and just before landing from their boat had the satisfaction of seeing the good Church ship again afloat. Morning Prayer was said in a commodious room, and a graveyard, neatly fenced, was consecrated. Evening Prayer was said in the same house, and the bishop preached. In this house, belonging to a fisherman, an English gentleman was residing, who, having come to the country to collect specimens of interest to naturalists, had unfortunately been so severely frost-burnt, from getting water in his boot, in the month of February, that he had lost all the toes of one foot, and had been laid up ever since; he was then unable to move without a crutch. This trial turned out to the advantage of the poor people among whom he dwelt during the six months of his confinement, as he kindly read the prayers of the Church and a sermon in the house every Sunday. It was singular that this gentleman had brought from a common friend a letter of introduction to the bishop written a year ago, which he had never till then had an opportunity of presenting.
On the following day the Church ship, having apparently received no injury, retraced her steps to Bonne Bay, an intermediate station in the Bay of Islands mission, and again, in a fog, struck on a rock with considerable violence, but happily at once passed over it, and again, as it appeared, received no injury. At Bonne Bay, on Friday August 9, Confirmation was celebrated on board the Church ship for the first time in this voyage, there being as yet no schoolroom or other house convenient for the service. Here the bishop parted from Mr. Rule, leaving him alone (yet not alone) to prosecute his work and labour of love far from every eye but that of his Heavenly Master, and of the poor members of his flock.
On Sunday, the 11th, the bishop conducted services at Lark Harbour. At 2 AM. on Monday, 19th, having reached Sandy Point, he held a Confirmation in the afternoon. Many of the candidates were absent, as the bishop had been expected some days earlier, but had been weather-bound. Some of the absent ones had gone to Halifax, others to the fishing-ground, and some on the opposite side of the harbour could not cross against the wind. The bishop was unsuccessful in four attempts to continue his voyage, always being forced by the weather to put back; and on Sunday, 25th, he confirmed most of those who were unable to be present on Monday. After more delay from the weather, the Hawk, on the 28th, reached Barrachoix. At the central settlement there was Morning Prayer and Confirmation, and a graveyard was consecrated. The bishop wrote:--
"All the inhabitants of these very beautiful and apparently fertile settlements are, it is believed, members of the Church of England; and, according to their means and opportunities, faithful and religious in their adherence. It would have been a real gratification to have remained longer with and among them in their pleasant and picturesque locality, and to have ministered with some better effort to their spiritual wants, but the receding tide made it necessary to return to the Church ship, which was tumbling about in the bay; and leaving the Rev. H. Lind in the happy valley, surrounded by his faithful flock, we were put on board, again to encounter the relentless south-west wind. This continued during the remainder of that and the two following days. On the evening of Wednesday, a vessel, evidently abandoned, was seen to go down, only a short distance from the Church ship, and some of her gear and furniture floated close alongside. Next day, in a squall, a small schooner was capsized close to the Church ship, and went down so rapidly that the crew had scarcely time to get into their boat, which floated off the deck. They had neither sail nor oar, and if the wind had not providentially changed, must have been driven out to sea."
On October 17, the bishop returned thanks in the cathedral for his safe return. The perils of the voyage had been unusually great, and the temporal condition of the diocese was sad in the extreme. The fisheries had been everywhere deficient, with the exception of the Labrador coast. From this region the ships were returning with their holds well filled, and the fishermen anticipating an easy winter, when a hurricane caught them on October 9, and the loss of life as well as of property overwhelmed the whole population with grief and poverty. The Government sent steamers to bring away the shipwrecked survivors from the different islands on which they had been cast, and supplied food and clothing to a large portion of the population.
In December the bishop went to Bermuda, leaving the coadjutor-bishop at S. John's. The severity of weather and scarcity of food which had been so terribly felt in the autumn culminated in the winter. In February the steamers were ready to start for the ice-fields in search of seals; the accustomed "Ice-hunting Sermons "were preached; and when the first of the ships returned with their unsavoury cargoes the hungry poor struggled eagerly for the edible part of the seals, which, spite of its repulsive appearance, was very acceptable when in every house there was a cry for bread.
The bishop's stay in Bermuda was protracted to an unusually late period in this year, and on Ascension Day he held a Visitation of the clergy of the island, the first time that he had kept that festival in the island for thirteen years. According to the precedent of former years, a Charge would not have been expected from the bishop until 1870, but he gave several reasons for deviating from the practice of the past:--
"(1) That having now entered upon the twenty-fifth year of his episcopate, he felt constrained to avail himself of each passing opportunity, (knowing that many more could not be granted him,) of speaking a word of brotherly counsel or admonition. (2) That this being the first anniversary of the consecration of Trinity Church, he had been privileged to be present at, after a lapse of thirteen years, and also, and especially, as being the great festival of our Lord's Ascension to Heaven, he was anxious to do all honour to the Holy Day, and make profit of the occasion, by partaking with them of the great feast of joy and fellowship, the Holy Communion of Christ's Body and Blood. (3) That having since his last visit to Bermuda enjoyed the benefit and blessing of witnessing the wonderful improvements going on in the churches at home, he hoped to make a brief account of what he had seen and heard both interesting and instructive. (4) And especially, that the doubts and difficulties of late raised about episcopal rights and powers in the colonies seemed to make it necessary, or expedient, that he should state and explain to them the grounds on which, (while willing to renounce all civil or secular jurisdiction and authority, till recognised by the colony,) he still expected, as their chief pastor, their promised 'due and canonical obedience.'"
He congratulated the island on the prospect of the early completion of a new church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, impressed on the consciences of Church people the necessity of providing for religious education, and asked for assistance towards the endowment of the Theological College at S. John's, in which one of the most highly esteemed of the Bermuda clergy had been educated, and other natives of the island now labouring in Labrador and Newfoundland had received their training. The summer was one of unusual activity with both bishops, and from this time the Visitations have been made annually instead of every alternate year. The coadjutor-bishop set out, as soon as Bishop Feild returned from Bermuda, on a voyage round the island and along the Labrador coast, while the bishop, after presiding at the annual meeting of the Church Society, made a Visitation of Harbour Briton and Fortune Bay. From August 19 to September 7 the bishop was engaged in holding Confirmations; the weather was very rough, and against several lists of catechumens the missionary had been compelled to write, "too much wind," in explanation of their absence. On September 20, the bishop returned to S. John's, and on S. Matthew's Day held an Ordination in the cathedral. In the following month he heard of the decease of the Rev. Canon Hawk ins, who has fitly been culled "The Founder of the Colonial Episcopate." The following letter shows forth the tender side of the bishop's character, and displays the intensity of friendship and sympathy of which he was capable:--
"S. SIMON AND S. JUDE, 1S68.
"How can I express the grief and dismay with which I read in the papers the announcement of the death of my dear, kind friend--the friend of all colonial bishops and clergy--Canon Hawk ins, to whom not I only, but all the Churches in the colonies, owe more than can be told or known till his labours and prayers, with their effects and results, are published before angels and men, in the great day of recompense. For myself, as I believe and willingly confess that I owe my honourable station and opportunities of usefulness to his partiality, and he has, ever since my appointment, counselled and assisted me in every doubt and difficulty, both in. his responsible and laborious office of secretary, and, to his power, subsequently, I seem to have lost more than a faithful friend and dear brother; for from neither of these would I expect the help, counsel, and encouragement I have for a quarter of a century invariably received at his hands. Felix opportunitate mortis--taken away from evil which is come, rather than from evil to come; for how must his meek and righteous soul have been grieved and vexed by the divisions and discord which have arisen in some of the churches over which he watched and prayed with most earnest, and increasing, and affectionate solicitude! Surely, if ever the words from Heaven might be safely applied to any mortal's departure from this naughty world, they might and should be to our dear brother's--'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their labours and their works do follow them.' I trust that some appropriate memorial may be thought of, to testify our grateful regard and esteem, to which I should consider it a privilege to be allowed to contribute. Though, as I observed this morning in my sermon on S. Simon and S. Jude, if the effects of holy labours and services remain, we may be content that the deeds, as those of the apostles of this day, be all forgotten. Somewhere on the walls of S. Paul's Cathedral it is written in honour of the builder, 'Si monumentum requiras circumspice,' and a wide and wonderful sight it is; but to those who require or desire a monument to the builder of the Colonial Church it may be said, 'Look round the whole earth;' for I believe in every land and country under British rule you may see the blessed effects of his work and labour of love."
In the autumn of this year the See of Montreal became vacant by the death of Bishop Fulford. The Bishop of Montreal is, by virtue of his position, Metropolitan of Canada, and the prelates of that province endeavoured to persuade Bishop Feild to leave his poor diocese for the less laborious and more important position which was vacant. The offer was creditable to those who made, as to him who received it, but it was never seriously entertained. To live and to die Bishop of Newfoundland was all that he desired.
Even at this late season of the year there was no rest allowed to the bishop. Having made one autumnal voyage to the westward, he was now to make another to the northward: to the enforced leisure of his sojourn at Twillingate his friends were indebted for several letters, two of which are here printed. The first, to the Rev. Canon Seymour, describes one of the older missions of the diocese, and, still more, the activity of the now no longer middle-aged bishop; the second, by its playful tone, shows how the bishop's spirits rose and his heart opened when he could write freely to one who was worthy of his full confidence:--
To the Rev. Canon Seymour.
"TWILLINGATE, Nov. 14, 1868.
"My dear "Friend,--As you received my communication from Great S. Lawrence so kindly, I hope you will not be displeased at being addressed from another out-harbour, somewhat further from S. John's, and in a very different as well as more distant locality. I must premise, however, that there is nothing of special interest in Twillingate, the place in which I am now staying, and from which I hope very shortly to escape. Twillingate is one of the oldest settlements in Newfoundland on the N.E. coast, about 200 miles north of S. John's. Two hundred miles seem nothing in England, where you can go that distance from almost any village to any other in less than a day; but it is different in a country where there are no roads, and where the journeys must be performed by sea, when time and weather will serve, and sometimes when neither will serve. I am now in great doubt how and when I shall get back to S. John's, having no vessel at my command, and as people here say it is terrible late for his lordship to be knocking about on the coast, (a woman in the neighbourhood once told me that her daughter was a terrible girl to say her Catechism), the people marvel to see me here, and it is an event which requires some explanation. A copper mine was discovered a few years ago, and is now being successfully worked in this (Notre Dame) Bay, and having received some encouragement from the proprietors, I took the first opportunity to make it the centre of a new mission, thus dividing a mission which extended ninety miles along the coast, and contained six settlements with churches, and as many more without churches, all to be visited, and ministered to, or in, by one clergyman. As I could only spare a young newly ordained deacon, I thought it might be of some use and a comfort to him, if I were to accompany and settle him.
This I did last week, convoying or accompanying him from S. John's in a little dirty tug steamer, hired by the proprietor for the purpose of bringing away one of the partners, he paying for it 20l. a day for six days (120l.), a missionary's year's income! Said partner might have come away in one of his own vessels for nothing. Having accomplished my object, I asked to be landed at this place (about fifty miles from the mission) which is the residence of the Rural Dean, who was not a little surprised, and not less, I believe, gratified, when I walked up to his door, and proposed to remain with him a few days. He had not the least idea of my being in the neighbourhood, or indeed of my being absent from S. John's. You can hardly understand the condition and feelings of a clergyman, who does not see or expect to see, a brother clergyman for perhaps six months, or it may be much longer, or to hold other intercourse with his brethren, and consequently you do not think much of the bishop coming unexpected and unattended, to be his guest and assistant. I arrived here on a Saturday, and on the following day I celebrated and, assisted by the Rural Dean, administered to sixty-eight communicants the Holy Sacrament, and preached for him at his service. The church here is the first I ever consecrated. It was built, unfortunately, a few years before I came to Newfoundland, on the then most approved plan, galleries on three sides, no chancel, the pulpit and prayer-desk in front of the altar; but its construction, still more its situation in the churchyard, will I fear for ever prevent improvement, and the means of the people are so much reduced that, if alteration were ever so easy, they would not attempt it. Also here, as elsewhere, of their own-selves, men arise, speaking perverse things to draw disciples after them. Twillingate was first peopled, and has been always chiefly occupied by emigrants, or rather adventurers, from Dorsetshire, and two merchants from Poole made considerable fortunes, by selling goods dear, and purchasing fish and furs cheap. But all this is gone by. Their monopoly has been interfered with by traders and others, furs have become scarce, fish and oil are no longer plentiful or cheap as formerly. The old establishments are almost closed, their owners have given up the business, and let their houses to young adventurers, who generally are dissenters, whereas the former merchants, and nearly all their clerks and agents, were old-fashioned churchmen. This is one of the ways in which our Church is now divided and desolated. From its connection Twillingate has been called the next parish to Poole. It is a beautifully romantic place. The missionary's house is sufficiently comfortable, and he has a garden and glebe, and if he had a better arranged church, and means of living independently of S.P.G., he might be very happy as well as very useful. I have now been here six days, and know not when or how I shall be able to return to my home and my wife, who had no idea of my remaining absent so long, as neither had I when I left S. John's. I shall probably return in some vessel laden with fish. Winter has already set in, or at least come in, for it has been snowing, more or less, every day this week. But my visit has been very gratifying to me, and among other reasons, because it has enabled me in some sort to discharge my obligations to you for your instructive and interesting letters, or at least to acknowledge them, and to ask and hope for another when you are charitably disposed. I should very much like to know, whether the Conferences, established or set on foot by the Bishop of Lichfield, came up to your views and wishes in reference to Diocesan Synods. Are these Conferences open to the public, and are ladies permitted to attend? If so, I confess I have little hope of any good practical results....."
To the Rev. Julian Moreton.
[The Rev. Julian Moreton, having for many years held the extensive mission of Greenspond on the east coast of Newfoundland, was obliged to seek a warmer climate, and accepted first the consular chaplaincy at Labuan, and subsequently a similar appointment at Fenaug.]
"TWILLINGATE, Nov. 23, 3868.
"My dear Julian,--I rejoiced greatly to hear of your well-deserved promotion to a more agreeable, as well as a more remunerative, station. May it be everything you wish to and for yourself, and those who are nearest and dearest to you. I was much interested by your mention of Sir Harry and Lady Ord; to the latter I wrote, about a year ago, under the less distinguished appellation of Mrs. Ord. I believe that when I wrote the Governor had not received his title, as I certainly should not have wilfully been guilty of neglecting to recognize a well-merited distinction; but I think that Lady Ord is not a person to be offended by such an omission. You will find her, I am sure, always desirous and ready to promote, according to her means and knowledge, the cause of religion and virtue, and I trust her example may have the same or like beneficial effect in your Governor's present enlarged sphere of action as it had in Bermuda.
I presume you will now have, of necessity, occasion to disprove the truth or importance of the maxim, ouden cwriV episkopou; for you will, nolens volens, do 'everything without a bishop;' for, as the lawyers say, 'de non apparentibus, et non existentibus eadem est ratio.' You cannot take much account of an overseer who is never seen. Why should not you be the first Bishop of Penang? [The Straits' Settlements are now under the Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak.] I presume you would not have much occasion or opportunity to exercise 'coercive discipline,' which appears, in the present day, the great evil (?) of episcopal authority or jurisdiction. Some years ago our brother Gifford [Rev. A. Gifford, first missionary in Labrador, now of Oanraroo, Dunediu, New Zealand] proposed or suggested to me that I should aspire to the then to be created Bishopric of Dunedin, intimating that I should have only two clergymen besides himself in my diocese, and little, therefore, to trouble me. It appears, however, that three or half a dozen clergymen can give as much trouble as, perhaps more than, three-and-thirty or six-and-sixty, or, at least, can as effectually as the larger number resist or refuse the bishop's rule, or the bishop himself. Therefore do not be too sure of having a quiet reign or possession, even as Bishop of Penang.
If you remember the position of Twillingate you may be surprised to find that I am resident, or commorant, here at this late season, far from my house and home. And you will be more surprised when you learn that I have been here upwards of a fortnight. The reason of the prolonged residence is merely this, that, like Sterne's starling, 'I can't get out.' The weather for the last fortnight has been so exceedingly and exceptionally stormy and severe that it has been impossible, or at least it would have been highly prudent, to attempt to leave. Thus I have been for a fortnight and more, and still am, Mr. Boone's guest. For nearly ten days in last week and the preceding it snowed more or less every day, with violent gales from the N.W., and yesterday with quite a winter's drift from the N.E. The steamer (Ariel) which now carries the mails, was detained two or three days in S. John's, and, on her passage, three days at Greenspond. She arrived here yesterday morning, and had to remain the whole day, all in consequence of the storms. To-day she is gone farther north to Tilt Cove, to which I must introduce you in explanation of my being in this neighbourhood. A few years ago copper was discovered at the aforesaid Tilt Cove by Mr. C. Y. Bennett, and the mine is now being worked with profit, and several hundred people are settled there. Having received encouragement from Mr. Bennett, I determined to make this place the centre of a new mission, thus dividing the mission of Moreton's Harbour, which extended along ninety miles of the coast, and had in it six settlements with, and as many more without, churches, &c. Accordingly on the 2nd of this month I conveyed a newly-ordained deacon (Mr. Lockward) to the place, and having settled him there, I thought it would be pleasant and profitable to pay Mr. Boone a visit. He was much surprised, and I hope I may say not less gratified, when I walked up unannounced and unattended to his door and proposed to remain with him a few days; for he had no idea of my being absent from S. John's. I arrived on a Saturday, and the next day I celebrated, and with Mr. Boone's assistance, administered to sixty-eight communicants the Holy Communion, and preached for him at each service. I hoped to have got away in two or three days, at least as far as Fogo, but I have never been able to leave the place, and when I shall reach S. John's and my home (if ever) is quite uncertain. The only news I have heard since my departure (and that indirectly, for my wife has not been able to communicate with me), is that my house was entered by thieves the night after I left,
You have heard of my now being blessed with a coadjutor and coadjutrix, both perfect in their kind. Hoping that all your blessings are and will be continued to you (also perfect in their kind) and praying to be most kindly and affectionately remembered, and that you may be as useful as, and, if need be, more happy than, in any former place of your ministry,
I remain, always truly yours,
Another very severe winter now began to descend on the poor people, and in S. John's the inhabitants, with the bishop at their head, hired two large rooms, in one of which they employed women and girls, and in the other boys, giving them for their work only bread and tea morning and evening. It was to the absolute destitution that existed among the poor that the bishop attributed the entry forcibly made into his house during his absence at Twillingate; on one occasion 200 men came from one of the out-harbours and marched in a body to Government House, demanding relief. At best their earnings are small. For a summer's work on the Labrador, the men will earn from 18l. to 20l. currency, and the girls and women from 5l. to 8l., diet in both cases included. They leave about the first or second week in June, and return at the end of September or beginning of October.
In the spring of this year the bishop had to suffer the pang of parting from his beloved Church ship. No sailor ever felt more sincere attachment to his vessel than the Bishop of Newfoundland entertained for the Hawk: for almost a quarter of a century she had gone on her errands of mercy, and although her voyages were encompassed by perils far more than ordinary, she had never once received any serious damage. Every one who knows what a coasting schooner of fifty-six tons is like, will not deem such a craft a luxurious home on the wild waters, and amid the floating icebergs of Newfoundland and Labrador; but the bishop was never weary of expressing his gratitude for the abundant accommodation which he enjoyed; to him the Hawk was a real friend; she was constantly mentioned in his letters as "dexioV orniV." "Sacer ales ab alto Accipiter," and in other terms of affectionate eulogy. One of the clergy who accompanied him in several of his earlier voyages, writes to me:--"The bishop seemed always happy and contented on board the old Hawk , and enjoyed pacing the deck in the summer's twilight, singing aloud the fifteenth and the thirty-fourth Psalms, which were his especial favourites." And now the ship, almost sacred in the eyes of her owner, had to be parted with. He wrote,--"After so many years of wear and tear, and so many encounters with rocks and ice, the Hawk is not considered entirely seaworthy, or in other respects fitted for the service; the coadjutor bishop is therefore having a new Church ship built in Nova Scotia," The Star was mainly built by friends of Missions in England, mainly through the efforts of Rev. M. K. S. Frith of Allestree. Afterwards, when the wrench had been made, and the Hawk was sold, he wrote,--"The dexioV orniV has sunk into a trading vessel! Bebak olboV bebake Troia!
The lengthening days, and the gradual disappearance of the more alarming signs of famine, led the bishop to address to each of his clergy a circular letter, which he called his "Poor Pastoral." The letter proves that he had no unsound views of political economy, and that the experiences which he had gained at Kidlington nearly forty years before were not forgotten by him.
On July 21, the coadjutor-bishop started on a Visitation of White Bay and the Labrador stations. The departure was an event of singularly painful interest: it was the first voyage of the new Church ship, the Star, and it was also the first voyage of the Bishop coadjutor. Evensong was sung in the cathedral, and the whole congregation adjourned to the harbour, and many of them to the ship. First among them was the venerable bishop, now resigning to younger hands the work which for twenty-five years had occupied so much of his thoughts and prayers. He said a few touching words to the company assembled in the cabin, expressive of the deep interest with which he saw the continuance, by another bishop in a new ship, of the labours which he had so long, and by God's providence so happily, carried on in the well-known Hawk. Prayers were said, and, in accents broken by intense emotion, the bishop gave his blessing, and then the order was given to weigh anchor: the Star seems to have succeeded to the honourable service of the Hawk, and, for this voyage at least, to her immunity from danger. Many a remote settlement was visited, many a Christian soul comforted amid the temptations which isolation too surely brings, and on October 16 the vessel was at her moorings in S. John's.
During the absence of Bishop Kelly, the death of a valued clergyman, under the circumstances detailed in the following letter, caused the bishop to hasten from the capital, as was ever his wont, to the scene of suffering and sorrow, and where his ministrations were especially needed and welcomed. From Bay de Verd he wrote:--
"BAY DE VERD, Sept. 11, 1869.
"The occasion of the place of dating this letter is a melancholy one. The Rev. Oliver Rouse, who has been for many years (twenty-three) missionary here, was taken from us after a very short illness, by typhus fever (which has here the sadly suggestive name of famine fever), contracted in visiting some very poor parishioners lately returned to their home from S. John's. He died on Sunday last, and Bay de Verd is so cut off from communication with, though not very far distant from (forty miles) every other mission, that no clergyman or friend could visit him in his sickness, or attend his funeral. The Order of Burial was read in the churchyard (for it was not thought right to take the body into the church) by a fisherman, one of his own flock, in the presence of, I believe, nearly all his parishioners of Bay de Verd, and many of his Roman Catholic neighbours, by all of whom he was much respected; and most deservedly so, for while labouring earnestly and faithfully for his own congregations and his own Church, he has 'followed peace with all men,' and in various ways made himself useful to all. He was under fifty years of age, and quite equal to his work and duty (indeed he was actively engaged in it), till taken down by this virulent disease. I gladly availed myself of an unexpected opportunity of coming here in a steamer from S. John's yesterday (Friday), to comfort the sorrowing widow, family and flock, and to minister to them on the first Sunday after their heavy trial--or rather in their heavy trial, for it is not a past or passing one."
In October the bishop set out for Bermuda, but not yet were all the calamities of this most calamitous year exhausted. From Halifax he wrote:--
"November 2, 1869.
"I little thought that I should be followed to Halifax by sad intelligence from Newfoundland--the saddest that ever followed, I might almost say that ever reached me. The cable this morning, horae momento as it were, has brought the news of the death of perhaps the most active and useful of the clergy of Newfoundland, and in a sudden and awful way. Mr. Le Gallais, of Channel, perished in a gale of wind of October 27, the day before I left S. John's. I have no particulars, the message by the cable being necessarily limited to a few words. The message was sent by Bishop Kelly, merely mentioning the fact and adding a question, which, alas! I cannot answer, 'What can be done for Channel?' The fact and the question are alike, if I may not say equally, distressing. Alas! I can only weep and pray: weep for our loss, and pray God to send us relief in His own way and time. Is it not strange that Newfoundland has been deprived of six clergymen in as many months--three by death, one now in a dying state? Did such a sweep ever before occur in any colonial diocese? We have only one person, and he ordained only in September last, available for these, that is for one of these, vacancies. Need I add how much we need, how much we desire, sympathy and succour? The vacancy in the Labrador cannot be filled, for no one can be sent thither, before May or perhaps June in next year, but the others are accessible until the end of this year."
In the midst of these calamities it must have been a satisfaction to the bishop to feel that the widows of three of these clergymen would receive a pension for life from the Clergy Widows' and Orphans' Fund founded by his provident care some years before.
During the comparative leisure which Bermuda with a monthly mail afforded, the bishop was able, as usual, to pay long-owing obligations to correspondents. In January, 1870, he wrote a long letter to the Rev. Canon Seymour, from which the following extract is of more than local or passing interest:--
..."I observed in the Guardian some months ago that you had undertaken to advocate, in Convocation, Bishop Oxenden's motion or movement for a third service, I presume on Sundays. I read your remarks with great attention and gratification, but the subject is a delicate and a difficult one. I imagine the general wish would be to have an additional evening service, and I doubt whether this is necessary or desirable. I think I may take for granted that an additional evening service would not be required or desired in country places, and I can hardly perceive any objection to repeating the Order for Evening Prayer in any parishes. People would hardly, in any case, come to evening prayer twice, and by repeating the Order you would give parties who could not join at one hour the opportunity of joining at another hour; and I greatly fear, that by giving a 'more attractive' and later service you would bring the Order of Evening Prayer into less esteem and observance than, unhappily, is done already. If I made any alteration in, or addition to, the afternoon services, I would still wish that the last Evening Service should be our Order of Evening Prayer. But in general I do not approve the preference now given to late evening services, and the means used to make them specially 'attractive.' These objections do not apply to an additional morning service, which in towns and large country parishes might be introduced with great propriety and, I should hope, advantage. In the Roman Catholic Cathedral in S. John's there are services on Sundays at 7, 8,10, mid 11 o'clock. No doubt we may, and should, lament that, in the evening the lads skate or play at football; "but is there not some danger of our late services degenerating into show and amusement?
...."I quite agree with you in the propriety of adding some extra ceremonial to the commemoration of 'The Lord's death' in the holy Sacrament of His appointment, and that the addition may be, perhaps should be, in the priest's vestments as well as in the ornaments of the chancel and altar. I said as much in my last Charge to the clergy of Newfoundland. But in all these (and especially I think in the ornaments of the minister) great care should be taken not to exaggerate and not to 'please ourselves,' and I should be glad and thankful if such matters could be settled in 'a lawful assembly.'"
In June the bishop held the usual Quadrennial Visitation in S. John's. The meeting was of unusual importance; for out of it grew the movement for the endowment of the See, now happily accomplished, and for the establishment of Synodical action, which was, with the cordial approbation both of clergy and laity, fully launched into being in the following year. The coadjutor-bishop made a long Visitation, supplying for five weeks the vacant mission at Battle Harbour. The material prospects of the diocese were gloomy towards the end of the year; the failure of one or two commercial firms had a serious effect on the finances of the clergy and their people; and the withdrawal of the last remnants of the military, who had not only encouraged trade, but had given to the society at S. John's the tone which a number of officers with their families might be expected to impart, was felt to be a serious loss both financially and socially.
The year 1871 was passed by the bishop in S. John's until in the late autumn he went to Bermuda. On the approach of Lent he put forth the following simple rules for the observance of that season throughout the diocese--rules so entirely in accordance with the spirit of the Church, and so easy to be observed by all, that they may fitly find a place here:--
"Rules for the Observance of Lent, 1871.--The Fast of Lent being intended for the deepening of our repentance and the quickening of our whole spiritual life, should be observed,
1. By devout attendance, at least once a day, on the Public Services of the Church; if possible in the morning, as involving more self denial.
2. By strict self-examination and additional private devotions. It would be found useful to repeat each day one or more of the Penitential Psalm's, viz. vi., xxxii.-xxxvii., 11, cil, cxxx., cxliii.
3. By a daily act of self-mortification. Those who cannot forego a meal may choose plainer food, avoiding all luxuries.
4. By increased alms-giving, where possible, as the result of self-denial.
5. By abstaining from giving, or accepting, invitations to parties of pleasure.
6. By trying to do some work of mercy to the soul or body of another, as, for instance, assisting or comforting a needy or sick person, or bringing one careless or worldly to think of holy things and attend the Services of the Church.
The clergy will gladly receive all who may require special counsel and advice after any of the services."
There was no diminution in the amount of services which the bishop personally rendered; he was wont to describe himself as the only idle clergyman in the diocese, and in this capacity he seems now to have taken the place of an invalid clergyman. He wrote on June 10, 1871:--
"On Sunday last I took Mr. Hutchinson's duty, and for the first time in my episcopal life performed all the usual and unusual Sunday services alone. I opened the Sunday school at 9 A.M.; performed two full services, morning and evening, with two sermons; celebrated and administered Holy Communion in the morning, baptized a child and churched a woman in the evening. Two days after I entered upon my seventieth year--a green old age!"
The following month witnessed the formal establishment of the Synod which had been resolved on at the Visitation of the previous year. The coadjutor-bishop had again started on a voyage of Visitation, which came to a disastrous end, for the Star, so recently built for the service of the diocese, was wrecked on the south coast, and the bishop and crew were rescued only by great efforts. The, ship was insured for barely half her value, and there was great doubt of its being possible to replace her. Kind friends, however, made, liberal offers; and their subscriptions, amounting to about 1,000l., form a small endowment fund for the maintenance of the ship. Thus there was good ground for thinking that the Visitations by sea would not have to be abandoned, when the munificence of one person set at rest all anxieties on this score before many months had passed away.