Church in the Colonies.
London: The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 1851.
THE Newfoundland Church ship is a schooner, of about 56 tons, which was presented to the Bishop of that Diocese by the Rev. Robert Eden, Rector of Leigh, Essex, for the particular purpose of visiting the scattered settlements of the colony; all of which, without exception, lie on the coast, and, in most cases, can be approached only by sea. . In the summer of 1848 the Bishop undertook the arduous task of visiting in his little ship the southern and western shores of Newfoundland, with an intention of extending his voyage to and along (as far as the short summer of that ice-bound country would allow) the coast of Labrador. With reference to the latter country, the Bishop's visitation might be regarded as a voyage of ecclesiastical or religious discovery, as no Clergyman of the Church of England had ever travelled along the coast. Its connexion with the Diocese of Newfoundland is presumed from its connexion with the government of that Colony; the whole American shore, from Blanc Sablon on the south (lat. 51° 30' N., and long. 57° W.) to Baffin's Bay, or without limit, to the north, being comprehended in or under the general jurisdiction and territorial arrangement of Newfoundland and its dependencies. The connexion of the Labrador in civil and political matters with Newfoundland has probably arisen partly from their contiguity in the southern parts, (the distance across the Straits of Belle Isle being not more than 12 miles,) and partly from a very profitable fishery having been established and carried on by the merchants and planters of Newfoundland, during the summer, along the whole of the Labrador coast as far as Cape Harrison, about forty miles to the north of Sandwich Bay. The generally successful returns of this fishery have led fishermen to remain and settle, with the further object of "sealing and furring;" i. e. of killing the seals, which in winter are brought in large numbers on the coast with the ice, and then of trapping or shooting the martens and foxes for their furs. For the prosecution of the traffic in seals and furs, as it can be pursued only in winter, several merchants keep up establishments in the larger settlements, and "crews" in other places, who, by uniting the fishery in summer with the pursuit of seals and foxes in the winter, bring great gains to their employers. The few independent planters, however, most commonly part with their seals, furs, and fish to the traders from the United States and Nova Scotia, who come upon the coast early in the summer, and barter their goods in exchange for this produce of the land and sea. On the southern parts of the coast, at Blanc Sablon and Forteau, are large fishing establishments, owned and conducted by merchants in Jersey, who send their vessels and crews in the month of June, which remain till October, wholly employed in catching and caring the cod. In Sandwich Bay there is a large salmon fishery, conducted by highly respectable merchants in London, who by the end of July have shipped off all their catch of salmon, cured and preserved for the market in England and the southern states of Europe. Further to the north are four establishments (the nearest about 300 and the farthest 600 miles from Sandwich Bay) superintended by the Moravians, who trade chiefly in furs. With the Moravians the traders and fishermen of Newfoundland have little or no intercourse, as the shortness of the summer season, with other circumstances, will hardly allow of their reaching beyond Cape Harrison. In the parts intermediate between Forteau on the south, and Sandwich Bay to the north, are numerous settlements, generally of two or three families, but in one instance (Battle Harbour) of nearly 200 persons, many of whom came originally from Newfoundland; while, during the summer, there are vessels in every cove and harbour busily employed in the fishery, and from 8,000 to 10,000 men visit the coast every year.
It will readily be believed, from this short account of the produce and trade of the country, that the coast of Labrador, however little known and regarded by Europeans generally, is, to the inhabitants of, and persons connected with, Newfoundland, of considerable interest and importance.
Within the limits mentioned, from Blanc Sablon to Cape Harrison, are (including the shores of Newfoundland on the south side of the Straits of Belle Isle,) fully 1,200 settled inhabitants, while, during the summer months, as many thousands are constantly employed on the coast. To ascertain the state and character of these settled inhabitants, whether English or native, and of the tribes of Indians in the immediate neighbourhood, and to provide if possible for their religious instruction or superintendence, was the object of the Bishop's visitation and voyage of discovery. In explanation of the apparent long neglect of these our neighbours and brethren, together with the natives, by the Church in Newfoundland, it would be sufficient to plead the nature and extent of that newly-formed Diocese, which comprehends, with the whole of Newfoundland, (an island larger than Ireland,) the Bermudas also, at a distance of 1,000 miles, over a stormy sea! But in addition to this circumstance, which itself can hardly be understood in all its trials and difficulties, except by those who are accustomed to coasting voyages in fogs and foul weather of every kind and degree, in addition to the wide extent and wild nature of the Diocese, a doubt has existed (which can hardly yet be considered as properly resolved and cleared up), whether this Labrador coast should look to Newfoundland or Quebec for spiritual superintendence. While Newfoundland and the Bermudas, together with the Province of New Brunswick, were all comprehended in the Diocese of Nova Scotia, (as, unhappily, till within a few years was the case,) it could hardly be expected that Labrador would b« visited or provided for by the Bishop of that Diocese, though the care of it, with that of his many other Missions and Churches, came daily upon his thoughts. This coast is also more connected, at least in its southern parts, both by proximity and intercourse, with Canada than with Newfoundland. The government of Canada ends at Blanc Sablon; and it appears that in the year 1840 a clergyman (the Rev. Edward Cusack) did, under the authority of the Bishop of Montreal, extend a Missionary journey to the southern fishing stations on the straits of Belle Isle. The more populous and important settlements, however, to the north of Belle Isle, and most frequented by the fishermen from Newfoundland, were not visited. And on the division of the Diocese of Nova Scotia, and the appointment of a Bishop expressly for Newfoundland and its dependencies, it appeared more easy, as well as more regular, that the whole coast of Labrador, included in the government of Newfoundland, should be visited and superintended by the Bishop of that Diocese. One other cause of delay or of difficulty may be just alluded to, though it probably will be surmised,--the great additional expense attending so large an additional range of visitation and superintendence, to meet which no provision is, or, it is feared, is likely to be, made.
There would probably be greater difficulty in obtaining the smallest assistance from Government towards an ecclesiastical visitation and voyage of religious discovery, than in wholly fitting out a ship for any scientific purpose, or in surveying and mapping all the harbours on the shore. While funds for the benefit of trade and navigation, or for the promotion of science, are found and forthcoming in abundance, (for which we rejoice,) it must with many persons be a matter both of sorrow and surprise, that when the religious or moral benefit of a people is in contemplation, the Government is obliged to reply, there are no funds applicable to such a purpose. To promote such objects, (and surely there are none of greater importance to the people, and all who deal with them in commercial or friendly intercourse,) the Church is forced to rely upon the aid of societies, or private charity. In what manner the noble Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has for more than a century extended, and still extends, its bountiful aid to the Church in Newfoundland, is known probably to most persons who take an interest in the ecclesiastical concerns and religious welfare of our widespread colonial empire. And though no funds have been specially appropriated for the religious instruction of the native Indians, or the settlers, on the Labrador, (simply, it is believed, because no report of their state has before been rendered, and no application for assistance formally made,) there can be little doubt that the Society will be ready and desirous, not merely to insert this country into the Colonial Church Atlas, (where hitherto it has found no place,) but to admit the Clergymen who may be located there (if any are found to answer the Bishop's call) to the list of Missionaries, and to assist in their support, as far as may be necessary and possible; in other words, as far as Christian charity will supply the means. It would be sad and shameful indeed, if the prospect of connecting a whole race with our Church must be abandoned--and to what earthly help or instrument, except this Society, Can the Bishop of Newfoundland look for the necessary aid and encouragement?--if this great purpose must be abandoned for want of a due supply of funds. But it was hinted, and not without sufficient warrant and authority, that private charity may, to a certain extent, directly aid this missionary enterprise. Few persons probably have better grounds for such a comfortable hope than the Bishop of Newfoundland, in the very fact that he was enabled, through the bounty of an individual, to make this protracted voyage of visitation and discovery in a vessel purchased and placed at his command for that holy purpose. And here another reason is suggested (though none besides those just mentioned can be necessary), to explain why no Bishop has before visited the various creeks and harbours on these distant and desolate shores; viz. because no Bishop before has possessed a suitable vessel devoted to such duty and service, and furnished accordingly, entirely at his command. To the charity and piety of the Rev. Robert Eden, not only does the Bishop of Newfoundland owe the privilege of making this voyage in comfort and dignity, and in the time and manner which appeares most safe and suitable; but the Church may owe the extension of her borders, and the bringing in of a people, who, for their very poverty and obscurity, are the most natural and proper objects of Christian sympathy and solicitude. The manner and extent to which this noble gift was made available for these good and holy purposes, will appear from a perusal of the following extracts from the Bishop's journal, or ecclesiastical log-book.
THE Church ship was put into commission this year on the 20th of June, and on the evening of St. John Baptist's day was despatched to Brigus, in Conception Bay, to bring away the Rev. J. Cunningham and his family, whom it was my intention to place at Burgeo, to superintend the extensive mission lately made vacant by the removal of the Rev. M. Blackmore. They arrived at St. John's, with their furniture, &c. on board, on the 1st of July.
July 6.--I was attended by the Clergy to the place of embarkation; and on the wharf I found several friends waiting to take leave, and to wish me good luck in the name of the Lord; whose greetings and good wishes were much appreciated, being, as I have reason to believe, for His sake, and in His name, whose I am and whom I serve. Several of my friends accompanied me on board, who departed on the ship getting under way, not without a blessing. As the wind was blowing in, I was glad to avail myself of the assistance of the Unicorn mail-steamer, which was about to leave at the same time; and the Church ship was accordingly taken in tow, with another and larger vessel, a brig, about two o'clock in the afternoon. On passing the Battery, I saw several ladies, who had assembled to wave their hands and handkerchiefs, and so bid adieu. My clergy and friends also had climbed on the rocks, and saluted us with hands and, I was quite willing to believe, with hearts of kindness and courtesy. On reaching the Narrows the swell was very heavy, and in consequence the hawser of the brig snapped in two, and, having no sails set, she fell astern, and was fain to run before the wind and sea back into the harbour. In less than five minutes our hawser went in the same manner; but the captain was prepared, and the schooner Hawk soon spread her wings, and escaped all danger and difficulty by a single tack, and we were spared the delay and mortification of returning. I do not look for signs and omens, (eiV oiwnoV aristoV, &c.) [Hom. Il. M. 243.] but the success of the Church ship, contrasted with the disappointment of the trading vessel, was no small encouragement and cause of thankfulness. Had we been obliged to return we might not have left the harbour for several days, and should have lost a fair wind and fine time. After passing Cape Race, the wind was quite fair, and we went merrily before it;--that is, the Church ship did; as for the passengers, there was but little merriment shown or felt. All my companions, except one, were soon sea-sick, and they who were spared that trial were perhaps as sick, perhaps sicker, at heart. My companions and co-mates on this occasion are the Rev. J. Cunningham, with his wife and their baby, (to whom I have given up my cabin,) destined, as before remarked, for the Mission of Burgeo; the Rev. Mr. Addington, going to serve as deacon and curate in Fortune Bay; the Rev. Messrs. Hoyles and Harvey, who will attend me through my voyage, partly as my Chaplains, and partly for the benefit of their health; and Mr. Brown, one of the students of the Theological Institution, also an invalid; in all, with myself, eight souls. Mr. Cunningham's furniture and supplies were stowed in both cabins and on the deck. My friends in England, could they peep within, would see that the schooner Hawk is not regarded or used as (by some persons unjustly called) the Bishop's yacht, but serves the purpose, and deserves, as she glories in, the name, of the Newfoundland Church ship. While the primary object of visitation is kept in view and fully attained, the benefit of the Church and Clergy, as much as possible, through her instrumentality, is on this occasion, as in many former instances, gladly promoted.
Friday, July 7--We made great progress during last night. The morning was fine, but my companions were still suffering from the motion of the vessel, and could not rise. I said the Litany in the large cabin, my friends making the responses from , their berths. By four o'clock in the afternoon we were within sight of St. Peter's, having run a distance of 180 miles in little more than twenty-four hours. In the evening my friends, with one exception, all appeared on deck, and were thankful for the smooth sea and sunny sky. We chanted the Canticles in our evening service.
Saturday, July 8.--The wind had died away in the night, and during this whole day we were nearly becalmed. I had full leisure to survey the shores of Fortune Bay, in the neighbourhood of Fortune and Grand Bank (the two chief settlements in the Bay), and to lament that the Wesleyan Methodists, through default of the ministrations of the Church, have wholly occupied them; or rather, to lament that there has been, and still is, such default of the ministrations of the Church; for, in truth, I cannot either lament or complain that the Methodists, under such circumstances, have come forward to supply our lack of service. Surely I have sufficient warrant to say, if in any way Christ be preached among them, "I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." And yet this feeling need not and must not prevent the wish and prayer, that the Church may fulfil her allotted duty, and occupy her rightful place. Just before dark we were seen and recognised from Jersey Harbour, and a boat with five hands was kindly sent by the agent to our assistance. Our own boat with four hands was also put out, and by these means we reached our anchorage in Harbour Briton by one o'clock, the boats towing for nearly four hours. We had reason to be thankful we had reached so far, and to a harbour with a church, before the first Sunday. If God will, we shall enjoy a Sabbath, which could hardly be the case at sea with a crowded ship.
Sunday, July 9,--At half-past seven o'clock I was on deck, refreshing my admiring recollection, of this picturesque harbour, so completely landlocked that a stranger could hardly guess the passage to sea, and surrounded by hills of a bold and fantastic outline, which could, I think, be produced by nothing but fire and fusion. Then the fishermen's huts and flakes here and there, with occasional attempts at the cultivation of the soil, showing but more strongly the domination of barrenness and desolation; and before me the merchant's establishment, looking as complete, comfortable, and consequential as wealth could make it; while the poor church, with her stunted, unfinished tower, seemed to mourn for herself and the place, and to say, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" Am I to be left unfinished and uncared for, amid the provision and profusion of all good things, for the increase of wealth and worldly enjoyment? But lo! a new feature appears: suddenly is seen, pacing to and fro on the wharf, with downcast look, a cassocked figure, and by his side one of equally contemplative manner and mien, both aprosdionusoi, [Out of place.] harmonising ill with the surrounding scenery, whether I looked to the lofty uncultivated hills, or the fish flakes, or the great stores. I soon recognised the "Mountain" priest--the faithful priest--who quitted the pleasures and refinements of a happy home to minister to these poor fishermen and watch for their souls, and his chosen Silas, (Mr. Colley,) no less devoted to his Master's service, though in a humbler office and sphere, and making, it may be, as great a sacrifice according to his circumstances and condition in life. I was presently saluted and welcomed by both on the deck of the Church ship, in which they had come together from England in the spring of last year (1847).
The service in the church commenced at eleven o'clock. I preached, and administered the Holy Sacrament to my friends, and all the communicants (alas! only three) in the place, all females. Some men who would have communicated were absent. The afternoon service at three o'clock, when the Rev. Mr. Harvey preached. In the evening all our party, one excepted, drank tea at the Agent's house; and we concluded with hymns and chants, with a view partly of instructing some young men belonging to the establishment, who are desirous of forming a choir. Mrs. Cunningham and her baby remained on shore; the rest returned to our cubicula in the Church ship, thankful for a most peaceful, pleasant Sabbath, the joy of which was only dashed by the apparent indifference of the planters and people generally to the Church and her means of grace. And yet what could be expected more, when now for five years no Clergyman has been among them; and the last, who was also the first resident, remained but a few months only? It was satisfactory to find that the fittings of the church, which were made in St. John's, were very comely and complete.
Monday, July 10.--All my party breakfasted with Mr. Mountain. Service in the church at nine o'clock. After service I carefully examined the church, in order to suggest any alterations which might be necessary before the consecration. I went also, in my old character of inspector, to the school, which is supported by the Board of Education, but left very much to the Clergyman's control. A respectable female is the mistress, who, without much method or discipline, succeeds in advancing the children to a good degree of such knowledge as is necessary and sufficient for them, or for the majority. The rest of the day was spent in writing letters. All dined on board the church ship. At six o'clock we went to prayers at church, and drank tea with Mr. Mountain.
Tuesday, July 11.--We had desired and intended to start this morning for Burgeo, but the wind was contrary. At twelve o'clock, the wind continuing ahead, I went with Mr. Mountain in a four-oared boat to Jersey Harbour. Found the worthy Agent engaged as usual, and as always, in drying and curing his fish. Some thirty-five years he has been employed in this place and service, with no other pursuit, purpose, or prospect, but fish--fish--fish; and yet he appears contented and happy, and is by no means cold as a fish, or hard as a rock. He is the Agent of Messrs. Nicolle, of Jersey. We returned and dined on board. Prayers in the church at half-past six o'clock, with a much-increased congregation. After service I took a long walk with Mr. Mountain, and discussed all matters on which he required or desired advice. His zeal and devotion are very edifying and encouraging; and all that seems needed to qualify him for the Missionary work, and make him abundantly useful and successful, if God will, is experience, and. till that be attained, patience.
Wednesday, July 12.--This morning no wind at all, and consequently no possibility of making a departure, which was a trial of patience. About twelve o'clock a breeze sprang up, of which we thought it well to avail ourselves for escaping from the harbour, though afterwards it would not be favourable: but in twelve hours we did not make so many miles. The day was fine, and all on board were comfortable. I had left Mr. Aldington at Harbour Briton. Mr. Mountain took his place in the church ship, that he might have an opportunity of visiting the distant settlements of his Vicarage, some ninety miles along the coast.
Thursday, July 13.--If there was any difference in our position since yesterday, we seemed to have gone back rather than to have advanced. There was no wind. The day very fine, but the delay was vexatious.
Friday, July 14.--The first unpleasant day since our departure from St. John's i thick fog, with a head-wind. All were more or less uncomfortable. I read the Litany in the morning.
Saturday, July 15.--No wind after midnight, and none this morning, but a dense fog; nothing else could be seen. You could not say,
"Quocunque aspicias nihil est nisi pontus et aer,"
"Look where you mil, there's nought but sea and sky." OVID. Trist. ii. 23.
for there was neither sea nor sky to be seen--nothing but fog, fog. At five o'clock in the afternoon the fog lifted, and we found ourselves near some islands, but whether Ramea or Burgeo (the place of our destination) was doubtful. We stood towards them to ascertain, but violent rain came on, which again hid the shore; and as the wind was shifting, and inclined to blow strong, with a heavy tide, it was necessary to stand off, and thus our hope of reaching a harbour to-night was again defeated. In this difficulty I remembered with some sorrow and self-reproach, that I had been slow to promise a passage to a poor fisherman, who asked me to convey him from Harbour Briton to Burgeo, and whose knowledge of the coast might perhaps have resolved our doubts about the land ahead, and have enabled us to run for a harbour. In the mean time, before my departure, he shipped on board a merchant vessel as a sailor. I felt that I had deserved this disappointment, and more, and my reflections were not made more comfortable by knowing that others, for my fault, must suffer with me.
Sunday, July 16.--We lay-to all last night, with a heavy swell and baffling winds, a strong current, and thick fog. Under such circumstances it was not possible to know our whereabouts this morning. We caught a glimpse of the land early, but only for a moment, and we saw nothing more of it till about one o'clock, when we discovered an island on our lee-bow. However, the fog soon hid the land from us, and after three o'clock we did not again see it. We celebrated full Service at eleven and half-past three o'clock; and, bating the uncertainty of our position, and the certainty that we were not at Burgeo, (where we so much desired to be,) the day passed quickly and pleasantly.
Monday, July 17.--Between six and seven o'clock the Captain took me on deck, having made land which he did not know. I recognised Little Ireland at the mouth of La Poele Bay, full thirty miles to the westward of, and therefore so far beyond, our destination. The Captain would hardly be persuaded he was so far beyond Burgeo; but he stood in, and fired two guns, and soon after, to our great satisfaction, we heard a conch, which showed that our signal had been noticed, and that some boat was in search of us. We then fired a fowling-piece, and in this manner at length came through the fog within hail of a boat and five hands. It was sent from the merchant's establishment on hearing our guns. In no other way could we have entered or found the harbour through the fog. On entering the harbour we were saluted by the flags of the vessels and the house, and my eyes were yet more gratified by the sight of a new and neat church, and a small parsonage near it; and I heard with so small satisfaction that the Rev. T. Appleby, the Missionary, though not expecting me, was at home. Thus all things seemed to have been ordered wisely and mercifully. Mr. Mountain had an opportunity of visiting this settlement in his Deanery, which, if we had made Burgeo, as we desired, last week, he probably could not have reached. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham also had the pleasure, which they did not anticipate, of greeting and being greeted by their friends, with whom they had resided in St. John's. Mr. Appleby was soon on board; and as the morning was exceedingly wet, we had Service in the Church ship instead of going on shore. I was greeted and welcomed with the same kindness as three years ago by Mr. and Mrs. Renouf, and in the evening we all drank tea at their house. I was very thankful that Mr. and Mrs. Appleby appeared well and cheerful, and not to suffer in bodily health or in spirits from the trials of a Missionary life. The change from London, where they had constantly resided, to an out-harbour in Newfoundland, must be great indeed; and it is difficult to understand how the mind or body can suddenly adapt itself to such an entire revolution. I imagine that, next to the "pleasing thoughts of duty done," the family (domus et placens uxor) must supply the required excitement, and prevent the thoughts and affections from growing cold and stagnant. A wife and family should be a little world--all the world--or all that is good and necessary in. the world, to procure contentment, and keep up interest and activity.
Tuesday, July 18.--After prayers in the church, which is not yet finished, or ready for consecration, we sailed again for Burgeo. We reached the rocks at eight o'clock in the evening. There was a smart shower of rain, attended by a splendid rainbow, under which, as a grand triumphal arch, or rather as the arch of God's promise and covenanted mercy, we appeared to be entering Burgeo. It was again necessary to fire for a pilot, as it was getting dusk, and the entrance is very narrow. We were at last safely anchored in the desired harbour by nine o'clock. "Nobody went on shore from the Church ship this evening; but many boats came off to us with the old "ancient" inquiry--
"What art thou? Say, from whence, from whom you came."
HOMER, Od. K. 325.
Wednesday, July 19.--Mr. Cunningham was formally inducted into possession of the Church of Lower Burgeo by the Rural Dean (Mr. Mountain) at half-past ten o'clock, and at eleven o'clock we had Divine Service in his Church. Mr. Cunningham said the prayers, Mr. Mountain read the lessons, and I preached. The attendance was good, considering the short notice and the busy time. At half-past six we had evening service, and the attendance was larger than in the morning. Mr. Mountain preached. A fine day; much enjoyed after the rain, and fogs, and disappointment of last week.
July 20.--We started a little before ten o'clock, in two four-oared boats, for Upper Burgeo. Mr. Cunningham was inducted into this church, as yesterday at Lower Burgeo, and we held Divine Service accordingly. After the service I was met at the door of the church by most of the men of the settlement, who desired to know what stipend I should expect for the minister, and expressed themselves ready to do their duty. They appear sincere; and as they are not so dependent on the merchants as their neighbours at Lower Burgeo, they have better means. I visited old William Anderson and his wife, whose manners and appearance had pleased me so much at my former visit, three years ago. I recognised his venerable white head on my first landing, and he waited to make his obeisance. His wife, the mother in and of Israel in this settlement, greeted me with much native kindness and politeness. She was in great affliction, through the loss of a daughter, who had died soon after confinement, and left three small children. She very feelingly lamented the want of a Clergyman to read prayers at her daughter's funeral. Mr. Appleby was the nearest at that time (thirty miles off); and the risk of delay in sending and returning so far by sea prevented the attempt. For three months their church had riot been served, and they all seemed truly delighted at the prospect of again having Divine Service, and the visits of a Clergyman. Here is a good specimen of a Newfoundland planter and planter's family; easy in manner and speech, serious, and gentle; and yet their life is, or has been, of the hardest and most laborious; fishing here all the summer, and in the winter retiring to the woods. But by industry and prudence they are placed, through God's blessing, in independent circumstances, and are respected and honoured by a large circle of relations and neighbours. After this conference we returned to the Church ship by two o'clock. Prayers in the church of Lower Burgeo at half-past six o'clock.
Friday, July 21.--By adverse winds Mr. Mountain has been detained here three days, not, however, unpleasantly to himself, or unprofitably. Mr. Cunningham's furniture and belongings were removed from the Church ship to his little wooden parsonage, and I saw all arranged comfortably. I inspected the school, and examined and catechized the children carefully, and was on the whole well pleased, though of course some defects were detected, which were pointed out, and remedies suggested, having regard to the means and circumstances of the place. The children are intelligent and gentle, and the master is kind and willing, and it is a pity that more is not made of these raw materials--Deus faxit. Prayers at church morning and evening.
Saturday, July 22.--After morning prayers I inspected the church and parsonage-house. Mr. Brown drew a plan of the former. It has been enlarged and improved since my last visit, by the addition of an aisle on the north side, running the whole length of the church. This mode of enlargement was adopted at my request instead of a gallery at the west end, which had been contemplated and all but commenced. Sixty additional sittings have been provided, and a vestry, and the church strengthened by the alteration. Further alterations were suggested as improvements, if times improve. The parsonage-house is in pretty good repair, but sadly wants paint, both inside and outside. The rest of the day I employed in writing on board, and in transferring my clothes, &c. to my own cabin, now made vacant. A large party of swarthy Indians (fourteen or fifteen) arrived to-day in a boat from St. Peter's. A man and boy waited to speak to me as I returned in the evening from the parsonage. They speak English imperfectly; and I did not hold much conversation with them, as they are notorious beggars. They are, I believe, Micmas.
Sunday, July 23.--Mountain still detained by adverse winds. A boat came from Upper Burgeo for one of the Clergy to hold service and celebrate the Lord's Supper. The fog was so thick, that they did not venture to come that short distance (not four miles) along the shore without a compass. Mr. Hoyles returned with them.
At half-past nine o'clock I went on shore, and catechized the children at the Sunday-school. Service commenced at half-past ten o'clock. The enlarged church nearly full; Mr. Cunningham said the prayers, Mr. Mountain read the lessons, I celebrated and preached. Thirty-three communicants, besides the Clergy. The whole congregation orderly and attentive, which circumstance I must attribute in some degree to the good arrangement of the church, and the absence of the projected gallery. I took a hasty half dinner, and started soon after two o'clock in a boat, with Mr. Cunningham and Brown, for Upper Burgeo. The same crew came for us as for Mr. Hoyles in the morning. We arrived about a quarter past three o'clock. I was pleased at finding a very nice looking set of children forming a Sunday-school. They meet every Sunday in the church, and are instructed by one of the planters, named Stickland. Cunningham said the prayers, Mr. Hoyles read the lessons, and I preached. A child who had been baptized by a planter was brought to be admitted into the Church. After service I called on my old friend, the patriarch, William Anderson, and found a house full of children and grandchildren assembled. My own boat came for me in the evening. We drank tea on board; and while we were trying to praise God "in hymnis et canticis," all being calm and still, there came a sudden squall, which whistled through the rigging with a noise like rushing water. The noise was so loud, sudden, and strange, that we ran on deck to discover the cause. It was a violent north-easter, which continued to blow all the night, and effectually cleared the sky. I looked out, according to promise, some books for the children of the Sunday-school, and a Bible for Mr. Stickland, and a few other presents of a similar sort to those who I thought would appreciate them; and so was concluded a very happy, and, I trust, not an unprofitable Sabbath.
Monday, July 24.--Mr. Mountain was summoned soon after five o'clock, and started to return to Harbour Briton along the coast, full seventy miles, in a boat, intending, or hoping, to call at most of the intermediate stations. Before seven o'clock I sent for Mr. Cunningham, to give him my last injunctions and my blessing; and about half-past seven we loosed off, and in little more than an hour the Church ship had passed all the dangerous sunken rocks of that locality. We then hoisted our square sail, and with a fair wind, and plenty of it, went forward rapidly and pleasantly. By ten o'clock we were off Cape Ray.
Tuesday, July 25.--St. James's Day. After our rapid and pleasant progress came a night of tossing, followed by a day of trouble and disappointment. It blew very heavily in the night, and we were close-reefed and made but little way, and had no rest. By eight o'clock in the morning, however, we were well up Bay St. George, and I began to hope we might reach Sandy Point and the church soon enough for Divine Service, for the vessel rolled so much, and some of our party were so sick, that I had little hope of holding service on board. But the wind lulled, and there was no possibility of reaching the church before noon, though now (at eleven o'clock) in sight, and I therefore celebrated the service for the saint's day, but none of the crew could attend. As we drew near, and saw no flag hoisted at the church to salute us, I began to fear that Mr. Meek, the Clergyman, was not at home. Presently, however, the flag did go up, but no boat came to greet or meet us; and not until -we had been at anchor nearly half an hour did a small boat with two hands come off, and then the fact was made manifest and declared to us, that Mr. and Mrs. Meek had been gone to St. John's nearly a month. Here is a specimen of the delays and disappointments of a visitation by sea along such a coast and country as ours. After my voyage of 500 miles, through fog and foam, my object is wholly defeated, and the trouble and expense, as far as the proposed results in this locality are concerned, entirely thrown away. I not only miss the sight of Mr. Meek, (whom I have not seen for three years,) and the conference with him, which I so much desired, on the state of his Mission and School, but I cannot give Confirmation or the Holy Sacrament, neither of which sacred offices has been administered since my last visit three years ago. And, no doubt, his disappointment will equal mine. I find he did not leave home without some misgivings, but as he had not received the notice I sent him last autumn of my intended visit and its purpose, he was unwilling to miss an opportunity which offered, and which offers very rarely, of a direct conveyance to St. John's, and thence back to St. George's Bay. He had not left his Mission for four years; and the vessel which was bringing his supplies last fall being unfortunately wrecked, the condition of himself and family, in respect of food and raiment, had been much straitened. [It appeared that my letter, giving notice of my intention to Confirm in his Mission this summer, had been lost in this wreck; and after that time all communication was suspended. He had not, in fact, received any letter or communication from St. John's for nine months.] Such is Newfoundland--and such a Bishop's Visitation. Prayers in the church at half-past six o'clock, when I delivered an address.
Wednesday, July 26.--Prayers in the church at nine o'clock. I again addressed the congregation. I was referred to after the service respecting two men, whom the inhabitants had put in irons, and kept in close confinement, for having cruelly beaten and nearly killed a neighbour. As this settlement is not recognised by the government (being on that part of the coast where the French have a concurrent right of fishing, and of drying their fish), there is no magistrate, or constable, or officer of any degree. The inhabitants, therefore, are obliged to take the law into their own hands, and in the absence of their Prophet were in some difficulty as to their proceedings. The culprits are to be kept in durance till the arrival of a ship of war, which annually visits the place, the Captain of which has authority to hear such causes and grant redress, or punish, as may be necessary.
The inhabitants of this settlement, and generally of St. George's Bay, are of a different origin and character from those of the settlers and fishermen in other parts of Newfoundland. They are chiefly from Canada and the United States, and their trade is almost exclusively in herrings, which they convey to Canada and Nova Scotia. They do not appear so hardy and laborious as their neighbours (if neighbours they can be called, 100 miles distant,) in other parts of Newfoundland, which may be owing to the very easy manner in which their chief subsistence, the herring, is procured. There are very few gardens or enclosures, which is a natural consequence of the unsettled and uncertain tenure of the land, and the want of protection. The soil is good, and exceedingly well adapted to cultivation, and produces good pasture; and the climate is more genial than on the eastern shore. There are more houses than at my last visit, but apparently not many more animals, nor much improvement or extension of cultivation. The glebe which we marked out has not been enclosed or broken up, though I believe, if the Clergyman had leisure and knowledge to cultivate it, the returns would be very profitable. The Church, Parsonage, and School-house lie close together on the glebe, and though the two latter are very humble, the church is, as it should be, the chief ornament of the settlement. Besides the members of the Church, in number about 200, there is a settlement of French Acadians, who are professed Roman Catholics, but they have been left for many years without the ministrations of religion, and are in a deplorable state of poverty and ignorance. After Evening Service I took leave of the congregation and people.
Thursday, July 27.--Got under way about six o'clock. The wind soon came ahead, and we made but little progress. In the afternoon the wind entirely died away, and we were becalmed off the low land which divides this Bay from Port au Port. In this Bay of St. George are not fewer than 750 inhabitants, nearly all members of the Church; 500 of these are situated at or near Sandy Point, and 100 at the Barrysways, about twenty-one miles off: the rest here and there, sometimes two houses together, sometimes a lonely family. It is too painfully certain that a Deacon, acting as Schoolmaster, which is Mr. Meek's position at Sandy Point, cannot visit or minister to these scattered sheep, or even to his own more compact flock, as the Church would desire, and as their spiritual needs and necessities imperatively demand. A Priest should reside at Sandy Point, who should have the whole Bay under his charge, with, perhaps, also the Bay of Islands and Bonne Bay, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. These would make up a flock, or flocks, exceeding in number 1,000 souls. There should of course be a Schoolmaster, under the Clergyman, at Sandy Point and the Bay of Islands. Another Clergyman at Port au Basque, near Cape Hay, who might visit Codroy and the other settlements near the Cape, (which, I fear, have not seen a Clergyman among them for three years,) would make the chain complete, and embrace all this coast with the "cords of love and bands of a man."
Friday, July 28.--The wind rose in the early part of the night, and blew half a gale. We passed Cape St. George about midnight, and had dire tossings. We were again surrounded by fog this morning, but it cleared off at noon, and the day became fine, and we made great progress with a fair wind.
Saturday, July 29.--Early this morning we saw the Labrador or North American coast. At one o'clock we made out vessels and houses; and about four o'clock we entered a large harbour or roadstead; which turned out to be Forteau Bay, the very place which I wished to visit first on this shore. This was the more pleasing, as no person on board had ever been in that part of the country. A boat came to meet us, and we were delighted to see on board a friend from St. John's, who has a fishing establishment here, at which he resides during the summer, returning to St. John's in the month of October. There are three more fishing establishments in this bay, connected with houses in Jersey. My Chaplains went on shore, to inquire for some place in which we might celebrate Divine Service tomorrow. A store, the largest in the place, was put at our disposal for that purpose by Mr. Le Sealleur, the Agent of the Messrs. Hotelier, Unfortunately we were too late to send notice of an intended service to any neighbouring harbours.
Sunday, July 30.--Messrs. Hoyles and Harvey went early on shore to arrange the store for Divine service. The cabin of the Church ship is not large enough, and it would be otherwise not convenient. Pains were taken on this and every like occasion to make the arrangements as decent and church-like as the circumstances would allow. A table, placed at one end of the room, was covered with a fair white linen cloth, and on the table were exhibited the beautiful chalice and paten presented to the Church ship by kind friends in England; a space was kept free on each side and in front of the table, spread with a sail or flags. The Agent's desk, covered with a cloth, and a flag with a mitre hanging down in front, served for a prayer-desk and lectern. (There is a handsome oak lectern belonging to the Church ship, but unfortunately it was left in St. John's.) Another small table, or occasionally a flour barrel, was covered with a cloth, and placed near the door; on this table stood my font basin. A very handsome quarto Prayer-book and Bible, presented to the Hawk in 1847, were used as customary and requisite. Two chairs were with difficulty procured, to stand on either side of the holy table. Flour barrels and lumber were placed about the room as seats and kneeling stools for the congregation. We robed in the Agent's office, near to the store, and walked thence in procession. I was surprised and pleased to find the store nearly full, probably one hundred and thirty men, four women, and three or four girls.
Mr. Hoyles took his place at the prayer-desk, and I and Mr. Harvey on either side the holy table. Mr. Brown was near us, to lead the singing. Notice was given after the Nicene Creed, that any persons desirous and prepared to receive the Lord's Supper might signify their wish; but, alas! no person was prepared: notice was also given that the Sacrament of Baptism would be administered during the service in the afternoon. I then preached. We returned to the Church ship after service, and our friend, who had first met us as we entered the bay, with his partner, dined on board. At the afternoon service the attendance was not quite so large. Many who had attended in the morning were French Canadians and Roman Catholics, who did not understand English. There were several now present who had not been able to arrive in the morning, particularly a large and respectable family from L'Anse à Mort, who had great difficulty in getting across the bay, against a strong head wind. Six children were brought to be baptized or received into the Church. Godfathers and godmothers were with some difficulty procured for all. Notice was given that marriages would be celebrated to-morrow morning. I made an extemporaneous address. After service I walked round the bay, and called at the rooms of the different captains, or agents, from Jersey, and at the house of one Mr. Cribb, a settler. I learnt from him that the only clergyman known to have visited this bay was Mr. Cusack, (sent, I presume, by the Bishop of Montreal,) about eight years ago. He baptized some of Cribb's children, and left a certificate to that effect, but performed no other service. Mr. Cribb, it appeared, came from Christ Church, in Hampshire, and settled here about twenty years ago. He married, or took as his wife, the daughter of the only settler at that time in the place. They have never had an opportunity of being married otherwise than by testifying their consent and covenant before witnesses. He can read and write, and I observed that he carried and used a Prayer-book at our service in the store. He has endeavoured to teach his children; and his two daughters (the eldest fourteen years old) repeated to me the Creed pretty correctly, and a younger boy the Lord's Prayer; but their reading was very imperfect. He has six children, all born here. They were decently clad, and the house comfortably furnished. He exhibited his Bible and Prayer-book, which he had brought from England.
The agents, or captains of the crews, are all Jerseymen, and have frequented this bay every summer for twenty-five years and upwards. They arrive with their crews in the month of June, and return in October, generally sending away from each establishment one vessel loaded, in the middle of the summer. The crews, or fishermen, are chiefly from Jersey, and average fifty men. One woman accompanies each crew as cook. It may easily be supposed that, in the absence of all religious instruction and supervision, the life of the people is careless and ungodly. There is no public service on the Sunday, nor other sacred observance of the day, which it may be feared is often spent in worse than idleness. They do not commonly fish on that day; but there is an express proviso in the articles they sign, that they shall work on Sundays if required. They turn the fish on the flakes, if necessary, and go in quest of bait; but the common occupation of the Sabbath is the washing of clothes. The only book I saw of a religious character or purpose in the Agent's house, was a Report on the state of the Missions of the Wesleyan Methodists, in French, and printed at Paris. The Jerseymen generally converse in the French language, and several of them hardly understand English. Such is the condition of these fishermen for four months of the year; and the want of religious instruction at the time when domestic ties and social restraints are also removed, must, in the common course of things, issue in great ungodliness. The Sunday evening is too commonly spent (by those who may not be engaged in catching bait) in dancing and singing, or other such amusements. The few resident families will of course be influenced by the examples and invitations of the strangers. The prospect is very disheartening, and I returned to my Church ship in much grief.
Monday, July 31.--Messrs. Hoyles and Harvey went on shore to marry and baptize. The parties to be married had been, in each case, united before witnesses, and living together as man and wife. After that service, we all went in a boat to L'Anse à Mort, to visit a very respectable person, who has been living on the Labrador and opposite coast for nearly thirty years, and during that long time has not, he says, seen a Clergyman. He came from Dorchester, and acted for some time as agent to Mr. Bird, who had establishments on both shores. On those establishments being broken up, he purchased a cottage and some land at this spot, and by fishing and killing seals has acquired considerable means. He took a wife from Newfoundland in the usual way of public attestation, and has nine children. The eldest daughter is married, or united, in the same manner as her parents. The old gentleman has built a large house, and keeps several, cows, and has all the comforts which the Labrador can furnish, and many more. He is evidently much attached to the spot; but, in a laudable anxiety to obtain instruction and religious training for his children, he has reluctantly determined to remove to Halifax, leaving his son-in-law to carry on his business. He requested that all his children might be baptized, and his daughter married, which I agreed should be done to-morrow. No attempt is made at cultivating the soil, beyond a garden of green herbs, as lettuce, turnips, and radishes. Potatoes will not ripen, and the turnips are commonly cut as greens.
After much interesting conversation with the family, we walked on to L'Anse à Loup, about three miles further by land. There is no road, but the land is level, and covered with moss and grass, and an abundance of wild flowers. Here is a large fishing establishment, probably the largest on the Labrador coast, belonging to a gentleman at Torquay. One hundred and thirty men are employed during the summer. These are chiefly from St. John's; but the crews of the vessels and the officers of the establishment are from England. At this establishment, and those before mentioned in Forteau Bay, from six to eight men remain in the winter to protect the property, &c. During the winter they make excursions into the interior, to bring down wood for the different uses of the establishment, and to trap the martens and foxes. The wood is brought down on large slides, or catamarans, called "cometiques," drawn by dogs. The number of dogs kept for that purpose is very large. One person told me he last thirty-three, and another twenty-six, by disease last winter, and yet the number in their establishments seemed sufficiently large. The condition of the people in this bay is precisely similar, as to religious ordinances and instruction, to that of their neighbours at Forteau; that is, they have none. Besides the residents at the merchant's house, there is one family, the head of which is an Englishman, settled in this bay. There are no Indiana living on this part of the coast, except two poor women, one a servant, and the other called a wife, at Forteau. They had come from the north; and the married woman can read and write the Esquimaux language. She wrote out the Lord's Prayer for me, and pretty correctly, as I found by comparing it with the printed book. The Agent at L'Anse à Loup assured me that the Sunday is strictly observed as regards cessation from work; but I could not find that there is any reading of the Bible, or any meeting for prayer or praise, or any recognition of God and his Church. We returned by the way we came, and our good friend at L'Anse à Mort had prepared tea for us; but I did not tarry, as the evening was drawing in and the wind ahead. We did not reach the Church ship till after sunset. It was a day which afforded much food for meditation and supplication. Earnestly did I pray that I may be enabled to make some provision for the spiritual wants of these multitudes, living, it must be feared, without God, at least during all their sojourn in this place.
Tuesday, August 1.--This morning, according to promise, Messrs. Harvey and Hoyles paid a second visit to L'Anse à Mort, to receive the children into the Church, and marry the young couple. The old gentleman gave a handsome donation to the Newfoundland Church Society, besides making the usual offering for the marriage of his daughter. I did not attend, but took an opportunity during the day of again calling on the agents of the Jersey houses, and had some serious conversation with them. One of them spoke of his manner of life with regret, on account of his separation from the ordinances of religion and the means of grace, and the common neglect and frequent desecration of the Sabbath. He expressed his intention of seeking some employment in which he might enjoy those religious advantages now denied him. All the agents were civil and obliging. All have been busy to-day in hauling herrings, which have come into the bay in such numbers, that the water seems alive. Any quantity might be taken; but the establishments are too much occupied with the "fish" (i. e. the codfish) at present, to wish to take more than about twenty barrels. Later in the season they will be less busy with the "fish," and the herrings will be finer. The quantity taken at one haul is sometimes prodigious--a hundred barrels at a time. Such is nature's market. The quantity hauled to-day by the three houses, and disposed of between the whiles of the cod-fishery, was probably worth 50l. or 60l. They are much finer, and consequently command a higher price, than the herrings on the Newfoundland coast.
Wednesday, August 2.--The wind blew so strong last night, with heavy rain, that our captain, who was on shore, could not return to the ship. I had intended to proceed this morning, but, partly on account of the high sea, and partly because there was yet work to be done here, I was persuaded to delay my departure. I went on shore with my Chaplains after breakfast; and while I remained at the house of Mr. Ellis, the merchant of Newfoundland, they visited an Englishman, who was married, or united, to a poor Indian woman, an Esquimaux, and who, we understood, had children to be baptized. We had heard that the woman was a Roman Catholic; but she distinctly assured us that was not the case, and that no Esquimaux are Roman Catholics. She had the New Testament and some other books in her own language, which she could read. She wrote also fairly, better than most women who had been educated at a National School would write in English after some considerable disuse. She had been married before to one of her own tribe, who had died. A child by that marriage is living with her. Her present husband, if so he may be called, had, he said, been deserted by his wife in England. Under these circumstances I could not consent to his being married to this woman. But was the poor woman to be turned away who knew nothing of these circumstances, and who spoke English so imperfectly that we could not make her understand them, and who had no friends to help or advise her? And if the man's story be true, he is virtually, by the law of God, divorced from his first wife for her adultery. This is one of the distressing and perplexing cases of too frequent occurrence, it may be feared, in these lonely places.
We were taken across the bay by two Englishmen, who arrived last night in their whale-boat from Bradore. They have been living in this country eight years without having once seen a Clergyman. They were very anxious we should visit their neighbourhood, and assured us of a hearty welcome from their master. They expressed also an earnest wish to purchase Bibles and Prayer-books, which they afterwards did of the largest size, and most willingly paid the price. Some of the residents in Forteau did the same, and seemed delighted to get them so cheap. All these parties earnestly prayed that a Clergyman might be sent to reside among them, and promised to give, according to their means, to his support; and they confidently asserted that, with the assistance of their neighbours on the opposite coast of Newfoundland, a sufficient maintenance might be provided. The harvest surely is ripe, if not plenteous; and what remains, but to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth a labourer into his harvest. We looked out a convenient site for a church, if it should please God that one may hereafter be erected here to his glory through Jesus Christ. We selected a spot near the centre of the bay, easily accessible, and where a church might be seen by all vessels passing through the straits. Deus faxit.
Thursday, August 3.--Left Forteau Bay with a fair wind at ten o'clock. The progress was very rapid till about five o'clock, when the wind came ahead. We were then nearly off Belle Isle. We wished to get into Henley Harbour, but before night the wind altogether failed us. The night, however, was clear and fine, with a beautiful new moon. There were many icebergs about us, the first we have seen since leaving St. John's; and snow still remains in patches on the coast. The phosphoric light was remarkably brilliant and beautiful; the vessel appeared to pass through a stream of fiery balls, the size of a nutmeg, leaving a track of light. We have been afloat a month to-day, without hurt or accident. God be praised!
Friday, August 4.--We did not make six miles in the night. A slight breeze sprang up about eight o'clock this morning. Passed Cape Charles at eleven, and at one o'clock were safely anchored in Battle Harbour, where, to our surprise, we found quite a fleet of fishing vessels of all sorts and sizes from various parts of Newfoundland. The harbour is a long and very narrow tickle, between Carabou and Great Battle Island, a quarter of a mile in length, and about 200 yards wide. [The place is named Battle Island in commemoration of a battle fought there between two tribes of Indians.] The shores are quite barren. The stratification is remarkable. Nearly all the strata are horizontal, but bent in curves, and of various character and colour; some quite white, others red, &c. In this harbour the Messrs. Slade, of Poole, have an establishment. Messrs. Harvey and Hoyles called upon the Agent, to inform him of my presence and purpose, at which he expressed much satisfaction. No Clergyman of the Church is ever remembered to have visited this harbour, which has a permanent population of nearly 200 souls, and during the summer from 800 to 1,000 strangers. The Agent (Mr. Rush Bendle) kindly promised to give us any information we might require, and every assistance in his power.
At this time there are ninety-two vessels in the harbour, with crews averaging seven or eight men. Several vessels bring women and girls, who are employed in washing and drying the fish. Others take away the fish in a green state, and dry them at home. For the last three years the fishery has been very successful, and the daily catch is now very large. It is computed some days at 2,000 quintals; the average value of each quintal when cured will be nearly 10*. The strangers are wholly employed in the fishery; but the residents make considerable profit by the seals, which they kill close to their harbour, with comparatively little trouble or expense. The seals are caught in nets, and dragged to land over the ice by dogs, which are kept here, as at Forteau, in great numbers. The men at Messrs. Slade's establishment, about ten in number, killed last winter upwards of 1,100 seals, which, being all full-grown, and of a large size, average 1 l. each in value. This is probably the oldest, as well as the largest, settlement on the Labrador coast. The heads of the families are partly from Newfoundland and partly from England, and, till within a few years, were nearly all members of the Church. Some men, however, have lately married Roman Catholic women from Newfoundland, and on occasion of the priest visiting the harbour seven or eight years ago, were persuaded to profess the Roman Catholic religion, and their children were baptized by the priest. The children are numerous, and their parents are very desirous of obtaining a school, and would willingly support one. There is no public service of religion; the Agent reads part of the funeral service at the burial of the dead. There are two grave-yards, one in Carabou, and the other on Battle Island, which Mr. Bendle requested me to consecrate. None of the children born here have been baptized otherwise than by lay hands, except the few baptized by the Roman Catholic Clergyman seven years ago. The marriage service is generally read by some captain of a vessel. A methodist preacher was here two or three years ago, and he was requested to baptize, but (as is said) he refused without a large fee, which the parents generally were unwilling or unable to pay. The men employed at Messrs. Slade's establishment are now generally from Newfoundland. They used to bring their servants from Dorsetshire, but the frequent desertions made it necessary to obtain them elsewhere.
In the evening I walked on the Battle Island cliffs to admire a prodigious iceberg. It resembled a large and beautiful cathedral, or collegiate building, with towers, spires, pinnacles, &c., all of glittering white. I had much conversation with Mr. Bendle, who appears a sensible modest young man, and anxious to promote the interests of the place and people, though not likely to remain long among them. He promised to furnish his best store for our Sunday services, and to give the people notice, &c.
Saturday, August 5.--Messrs. Hoyles and Harvey went in a boat, furnished by Mr. Bendle, to Charles Harbour, about four miles, to inquire respecting the persons residing at and frequenting that station. They found four resident families, and fifty or more vessels from Newfoundland, with the usual complement of men. They informed the people of our arrival at Battle Harbour, and our intention of holding service, &c. I was writing most of the day; and in the evening walked alone on Carabou Island, which resembles in most of its features the more barren parts of the coast of Newfoundland, particularly in having many large ponds on the highest land. The moss is perhaps shorter, and the peat drier, and the flowers fewer. There is, however, abundance of the calmia. No trees of any kind near the settlements, but a few miles up the Bay St. Louis, plenty of good timber. The houses or cabins are of course much like those in Newfoundland, boards and battens being used on the roof instead of shingles. They seem ill prepared to resist the severity of the winter. Two respectable old planters came on board the Church ship to visit me. One of them bought a Bible and Prayer-book, and asked if I could prescribe for his eyes, which were very weak and sore. I was fortunately provided with eyewater, of which I gave him a bottle. Another person, a stranger, brought his son on board for advice and medicine, and was supplied. It appears that many persons in the harbour are sick; and there can be little doubt that the quantity of offal-fish on the crowded harbour is, or may be, the cause.
Sunday, August 6.--Before the Morning Prayers, Mr. Harvey married a couple, resident at Cape Charles, who had before been united by a Roman Catholic man-servant, who read the marriage service out of our Prayer-book! At half-past ten o'clock I went on shore in a barge provided by Mr. Bendle. We found the upper room of a store very nicely arranged for Divine service, and my friends had furnished it nearly as at Forteau. The forms for the congregation were boards placed on tea-chests. The room was crowded; and it was pleasing to see a much larger admixture of bonnets than at Forteau, though here the men must have been to the women in number as eight or nine to one. After the Nicene Creed, notice was given that it was my intention to consecrate one burial-ground in the morning immediately after Divine Service, and the other in the afternoon; and that Baptisms would be celebrated in the afternoon during the service. Persons prepared to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper were invited to come forward. None, however, presented themselves. I preached from notes on the Epistle, endeavouring to suit my discourse to the circumstances of the people, with earnest prayers that some seed might fall on good ground.
After this service Mr. Bendle presented a petition for the consecration of the burial-ground, duly signed, which was read aloud by my Chaplain, and we then went in procession to the ground. The grave-yard is in a small valley, entirely surrounded by craggy rocks, except a winding path of entrance and departure. It is a very picturesque spot, and the fishermen .and others on the hanging crags, looking on in. admiration, gave much effect to the scene. Afternoon service at three o'clock; the room more crowded than in the morning. After the Second Lesson, a vast number of children of various ages were brought forward to be baptized and received into the Church. I addressed the people, and particularly the God-parents, once and again, on the duty they had to perform. Thirty-four were received into the Church. The service was not concluded till six o'clock, and it was then so foggy and damp that we thought it expedient to put off the consecration of the other grave-yard till tomorrow. The Clergy were occupied nearly an hour in taking down the names of the persons received into the Church, with a view to their registration. Mr. Hoyles went afterwards to baptize a child privately.
Monday, August 7.--At eight o'clock we went on shore to breakfast with the Agent. He spoke much of his wish to provide a school for the benefit of the people; and alluded in terms of great admiration to the reports he had heard of the excellent schools conducted by the Moravians at Nain and Hopedale, and other stations far to the north. He remarked, with much earnestness and simplicity, that if persons could live and teach there, he could not understand why they might not at Battle Harbour, which is not so cold and comfortless, and much more accessible. He has lived here thirteen years, having been only once in England during that time. He is unmarried, and has no relations or connexions in this country. He is well in health, at all seasons, but, if there be any difference, stronger and more active in winter than at any other time.
He exhibited his winter travelling-dress and gear. He drives from six to twelve dogs, with a leader, and remains out with them days and nights together. The dogs never require to be fed more than once a-day in their longest journeys. They travel over the snow at the rate of ten miles an hour. Each dog has a yoke. The handle of the whip is a short stout stick, and the lash or thong of sixteen feet or more. It is not of course carried in the hand, but used occasionally.
Mr. Bendle also informed us of the character, &c., of the Indians who dwell in or resort to his neighbourhood. There are three distinct tribes--the Micmacs, Mountaineers, and Esquimaux. The first two are generally Roman Catholics, but the Esquimaux owe their instruction and conversion to the Moravian Missionaries. These Missionaries (on the Labrador coast) have four stations and establishments, the nearest about 400 miles to the north of Battle Harbour, and the most distant nearly 400 miles farther, or 800 from this place. There are three families of the Moravians at each of their stations, who live together in a stone house, and have large trading concerns in fish, &c., with the Esquimaux.
A fine seal-skin, full seven feet long, was shown us, which Mr. Bendle said was worth 30s., and the carcase nearly as much more. It is the kind called the Square Fipper, the same as the Greenland seal. They kill in this establishment twelve or fifteen of this sort every season. The Hood is still larger, the skin twelve feet in length. In walking over the snow to any distance it is necessary to use snow-shoes, or rackets, which are very like tennis rackets, with a lighter and shorter handle, and larger head.
At ten o'clock we had Morning Prayer in the store, when twelve more children were received into the Church. I again addressed the people on the Baptismal service. It rained very heavily all the morning, with a strong wind, so that it was impossible to go across the harbour to consecrate the second grave-yard. The petition was, however, presented and read after the service, and I signified my intention of consecrating in the evening, should the weather clear up. It is the coldest and most uncomfortable day since we left St. John's. There is an iceberg stranded at each end of the harbour, or tickle. At five o'clock we went in a boat and I consecrated the grave-yard at Matthew's Cove. I put on my robes in the house of a respectable planter, whose wife, sixty years of age, was born in Battle Harbour, and has never left it. The little grave-yard was then duly consecrated in the presence of a large number of the inhabitants. It is already ornamented with a conspicuous gravestone, brought from Poole, of true English village fashion.
Tuesday, August 8.--The little wind which blew this morning was still ahead. We, therefore, breakfasted early, and at half-past eight o'clock celebrated Divine service in the store, and received eleven children into the Church, and so took leave with prayers and blessings. But what has been done, or rather, what has not been done, by God's mercy in .Jesus Christ, in this short visit, for this deserted place! Soon, it may be feared, will the good seed be devoured up, or the corn be withered or choked, unless there can be found some faithful hand to fray the birds, or pluck up the weeds and thorns. We were under way by half-past eleven o'clock, and at three o'clock were again safely anchored in St. Francis' Harbour, our next place of call. All along the coast we passed numerous boats belonging to vessels in the harbours, chiefly from Newfoundland. There are, however, but two small settlements between Battle Harbour and St. Francis. We were met by a boat on entering the harbour, and kindly welcomed by Mr. Saunders, the agent of Messrs. Hunt & Co., to whom this establishment belongs. After dinner, while Messrs. Hoyles and Harvey went on shore to call on Mr. and Mrs. Saunders, and to make our purpose more fully known, I, with the Captain and Mr. Brown, rowed round an iceberg, which has found its way into the very centre of the harbour, and there grounded. The Captain got upon it, but with great difficulty kept his standing, on account of its glassy surface. It was a dangerous experiment. The colour in the cavities appears beautifully blue, the other surfaces, of course, perfectly white. We knocked off several large pieces, and took them away in our boat. The water which runs from the ice is very clean and sweet. I accepted an invitation to drink tea with Mr. and Mrs. Saunders and received from them much useful information. Mr. Saunders has been living here one-and-twenty years--was married in England last winter, and brought out his lady in June. I believe she is the first lady who ever visited this coast, and, as far as I know, is the only female who has come from England to dwell on the Labrador. Among many schemes suggested for providing means of maintaining Clergy and Schoolmasters, it was thought, or rather desired, that the Customs might be applied to that purpose. The government of Newfoundland had attempted some years ago to collect them for revenue, but the merchants resisted the attempt, and with success, on the ground that it was unreasonable and unjust to tax them for a government which extended to them no protection, and no benefit of any kind. Mr. Saunders further proposed that there should be a large establishment at Battle Harbour, with a Clergyman and Schoolmaster, and a school, to board as well as educate all the children on the shore, from Henley Island on the south to Seal Islands on the north. The two plans might perhaps work together; but as the first is impracticable, I mean, the collection of revenue by a tax for ecclesiastical purposes, I fear the second is but a fair vision. Except the men and women, there are no living creatures in this settlement but dogs and goats. Mr. Saunders had been accustomed to keep a few sheep and poultry; but during his absence last winter all were killed by the dogs, who became wild, and it is feared can never again be reduced to order and peaceableness. There is a garden at the establishment, of greens, turnips, radishes, and voila tout. Mrs. Saunders has brought a piano, as great a novelty as herself on the Labrador, and she kindly played for us some Church music. She has in her possession the first volume of that useful publication, "The Parish Choir."
Wednesday, August 9.--While I was walking on deck this morning, a little before eight o'clock, the iceberg which we had circumnavigated yesterday, fell asunder. If it had so fallen when we were under it, it would probably have swamped our boat. The ice-islands on the coast this year are unusually large and numerous. There are four near this harbour, which Mr. Saunders informs me are but parts and fragments of an immense one--the largest he ever saw--which, when it first appeared, was between two and three miles in length. Of the fragments I saw, one had a completely plain surface, with pillars or columns of ice standing upon it, of various shapes and sizes. It reminded me of Salisbury Plain and Stonehenge. We had full service this morning in a store, prepared for the purpose by Mr. Saunders. The seats on this occasion were salmon-boxes, i. e. oblong boxes, about fourteen inches deep and wide, and six feet long, in which the preserved salmon is packed for exportation. The usual invitation was given to communicants, and, happily, this time responded to. Mr. and Mrs. Saunders partook with us, and six or seven of the strangers from Newfoundland, some of whom were known to Mr. Harvey, and expressed themselves very thankful for the opportunity. Evening service at half-past three. Five children were received into the Church, two of Indian parents, (Mountaineers,) and three of an Indian mother and English father. These parties were married by Mr. Hoyles, having been united three years ago by a fisherman. I addressed them, and laboured hard to make all concerned understand the nature and use of the different parts and ceremonies of our office of Holy Baptism. In the evening Mr. Saunders took us a long and late walk over the rugged rocks, to show us the bearings of the coast, and the mistakes in our chart. It was interesting to notice the pleasure he took in explaining these particulars, and the earnest desire he manifested to have a new survey of the coast, and chiefly that St. Francis' Harbour and its approaches might be correctly laid down, and shown to the best advantage. He kept us out long after sunset, till nearly nine o'clock, and seemed never likely to weary of his story. "Is every Clergyman's anxiety to exhibit his Church," thought I, "and zeal for its improvement, and displeasure with those who have defaced it or suffered it to fall into decay, founded on higher principles, or for a holier purpose!'" It was rather a humbling reflection. We again drank tea with Mr. and Mrs. Saunders.
Thursday, August 10.--We held service in the store at nine o'clock, hoping to proceed immediately after it; but the heavy swell made it impossible for the Church ship to get out of harbour. I took a walk with Mr. and Mrs. Saunders to see their winter house, as their present residence is only suited for the summer months. I admired the resignation and cheerfulness with which she appeared to contemplate the prospect of a winter of six or seven months in a room ten feet by twelve, where are two large reels fastened to the beams, at which her husband and his clerk are to mend their nets. Her husband also will be absent for some weeks at the sealing time, and she, tenderly brought up and cared for, well educated, and with a mind of much natural renuement, must thus pass the first winter on the Labrador. Surely, there are ladies who might take a lesson and encouragement from such an example.
We visited also the grave-yard, which is principally occupied by Roman Catholics. One funeral in three years is about the average. Mr. Saunders expressed a desire to have a grave-yard consecrated for the Church of England residents; and on my consenting, he set about immediately to enclose a suitable piece of ground. Several Indians arrived to-day, seeking baptism for themselves and their children. I therefore consented to remain till tomorrow for these services, to commence at eight o'clock. A schooner arrived here to-day from England, bringing papers with a full account of a second revolution in Paris in the month of July, the murder of the Archbishop, &c. I could not but contrast with wonder and thankfulness our peaceful, holy, and rational employments, beyond the limits of civilization, as it is supposed, with the murders and madness in the heart and centre (as some call Paris) of civilized Europe. And what are the snows and solitude of Labrador compared with streets streaming with blood, and houses full of deceit and violence, as a cage is full of birds?
Friday, August 11.--There were three women, two men, and four children, either wholly Indian, or of an Esquimaux mother, brought to be baptized and admitted into the Church. Two of the women could not speak English, but the meaning of the service had been fully explained. It seemed right, however, that their God-parents should answer for them, as, though old enough, they were not otherwise "fit and of discretion to answer for themselves" as the Rubric requires; and as Mr. and Mrs. Saunders were kind enough to be sponsors, I felt sure that some effectual fervent prayers would be offered up for their growth in grace, and that they may lead the rest of their lives according to this beginning. I must confess, however, that through their want of preparation and knowledge, the service was in many respects a painful one. There is an apparent want of meaning and method about the Esquimaux, which, however natural, considering their manner of life and the absence of all moral and social discipline, is very painful and perplexing. The children are never corrected, and seldom seem pleased or interested. They care not to have their heads stroked. Brought into the presence of a stranger, they generally begin to cry. They always look fat, but it is not, so to speak, wholesome fat. The men are diminutive in stature, with hooked noses, dark eyes, sallow complexion, lank hair, and large lips. After this service we proceeded from the store to the grave-yard, which was consecrated in due order, and the day being very fine, the service was more than usually impressive.
I now became very anxious to get forward; and seeing no hope of getting out the Church ship with this wind, I determined to proceed in a boat, if I could procure one with a crew, to Venison Islands. Mr. Saunders kindly furnished both, and I therefore left, for the first time, the good Church ship, and, attended only by Mr. Hoy lea, took my departure. The boat was a large one, employed to carry fish from harbour to harbour, with a small cuddy fore and aft. I slipped into the after cuddy, and made myself contented, if not comfortable; though the ribs of the boat, on which I laid down, and which were not boarded over, being harder than mine, made their impression accordingly. The wind was quite fair outside, and we had nearly reached our destination, (twenty-four miles from St. Francis' Harbour,) when it came ahead, and our skipper said it would be impossible to enter the tickle, and wanted to run for another harbour. He was persuaded, however, to beat up to the entrance of the tickle, when, by God's mercy, the wind again favoured us, and we slipped in without danger or difficulty. The tickle is so very narrow and straight, that it would be impossible to beat in with the wind ahead. We were the more thankful, as the sun had gone down. There is a small establishment here, belonging to the Messrs. Slade, and I brought letters of introduction to the Agent from both Mr. Bendle and Mr. Saunders. Mr. Howe, the Agent, welcomed us very kindly to his humble dwelling, and gave up his room and crib to me. He is a person of simple habits, and mild manners, well suited to the country, in which he has lived from his youth. He is now forty-seven years of age, and unmarried. He has a clerk and man servant, but no female in the house. The bed is ou a wooden crib, but without any sheets; but the blankets appeared clean, and I turned in without any misgivings, and with much thankfulness.
Saturday, August 12.--Both last night and this morning Mr. Hoyles said family prayers, and Mr. Howe and his clerk and servant attended. After obtaining information about the settlements in the neighbourhood, Mr. Hoyles started in a boat, with four hands, to visit them, and convey intelligence of our arrival at Venison Island, and of my intention to hold a service to-morrow, and he was out on this service the whole day. The Venison Islands, as the name implies, used to abound in deer, but they are now become scarce. The partridges also, (the ptarmigan,) and rabbits, diminish in quantity. The latter, I was told, are not exactly like those at home, but "their legs are more longer, and they are more built for the country, having fur on their legs, and they turns in winter." The great delicacy of the country, the curlew, (birds of passage,) are expected about this time, and have been seen, but none have yet been killed. I visited the two resident families; one Green, who is the son of an attorney at Ringwood. He married (or took to wife) a woman of this place, named Bourne, whose father was an Englishman, but mother an Indian. He expressed his wish to be duly married, and regretted that his two children were both so ill, that he had little hope of bringing them to the store to-morrow. The head of the other family is also an Englishman named Stevens, who married, as he said, a "sort of half Indian." I found, to my surprise, that this man had been married, and two of his children baptized, in the year 1831, by Archdeacon Wix, or, as poor old Stevens said, "by the head-man of St. John's." He could not remember the head-man's name; but the Archdeacon had kindly left behind a Prayer-book and Testament, in which he had written the names of the children baptized, with his own name and title. No person here can remember how the Archdeacon came or departed, and I have found no trace or remembrance of him in any other settlement on the coast. It would, I think, be a gratification to that indefatigable pioneer of the Church, to know that I read a chapter to the poor man and his family from the Testament presented seventeen years ago. The book is carefully preserved, and is not likely to be worn out by use, as none of the family can read. He has many children. There is a Mountaineer woman living with them as servant. Two Englishmen are also with them this summer fishing, as sharemen; in the winter they go a-furring. I spoke to them all on the duty and privilege of praying to God; but I fear, to little purpose, in consequence of their deplorable ignorance. The old man says, his children learn the Lord's Prayer in the winter, but forget it in the summer. I spoke also of baptism, and desired the children might be brought to-morrow. Mr. Hoyles visited five or six different islands and harbours in which were scattered settlers.
Sunday, August 13.--A fine morning, but with a strong wind from the southward, which prevented many persons coming to our service from the islands which Mr. Hoyles visited yesterday. It was held as usual in a store. In my discourse I endeavoured to make them understand how they were bound to strengthen the things that remained on their minds and consciences, speaking of their Creed or Belief, their duty to God and their neighbour, and particularly to God, and insisting upon the necessity of prayer, &c. In the afternoon a number of children, (half Indians,) some of Mountaineer, and some of Esquimaux mothers, were received into the Church. I addressed the people, as in other places, on Holy Baptism. I find it better on these occasions to speak without book. In the evening I took a walk with my Chaplain on the cold barren cliffs, which resist the assaults of the great Atlantic. We soon parted, however, I think by mutual consent, for more pleasant and profitable meditation, and, may I not say? for better company. The rocks are the finest I have seen since I left St. John's; and I greatly admired and enjoyed the dash and din of the proud waves tumbling and foaming against the mighty unmoved barrier. The spray was thrown up to a great height, and I distinctly observed the prismatic colours as fully developed as in a rainbow. I thought also with some interest, that the opposite coast, as I looked across the sea to the north-east, was Greenland: "Greenland's icy mountains" could not be much more than 500 miles off, within three days' sail with a fair wind. Some evidence of their proximity was afforded by the large icebergs, many of which, I suppose, must have loosed off from that frozen coast. We drank tea (as we had taken our other meals) with Mr. Howe, and had much conversation with him. I was greatly pleased with his simplicity and apparent sincerity. His library consists of (besides his Bible and Prayer-Book) Bishop Wilson's Instruction for the Indians, Grossman's Catechism, and Fox's Book of Martyrs. The last seemed to be his chief study; and he asked me with some earnestness whether it was all true. He informed me that he had been used for many years to take three times a-day the usual allowance of spirits, but that for six years he has entirely discontinued them, and taken nothing stronger than spruce-beer, (the common drink of the country,) and that he finds himself equally able to bear cold and fatigue, and better in health. I have met with other persons on this coast equally abstemious, who feel no inconvenience in consequence, but the reverse. It is evident, therefore, there is no necessity, however great may be the temptation, to use ardent spirits or any strong drink, even in the coldest season and climate. A pernicious drink is very commonly used, called Callibogos, a mixture of spruce-beer and rum; which surely, and not slowly, undermines the health and strength, even though not used in excess. The Indians generally are fond of spirits, and particularly the Mountaineers, who, when they come down to the coast, are in consequence turbulent and troublesome. The Esquimaux are more moderate and peaceable. I read to Mr. Howe and his household in the evening, before family prayer; and so ended our Sunday at Venison Island, which, if not the most pleasant I have spent in my visitation, I hope and trust was not without a blessing to us and our simple congregation. The Church ship has not appeared.
Monday, August 14.--I was cheered this morning at five o'clock by the intelligence that the Church ship was safe in the harbour. She escaped with difficulty from St. Francis' Harbour yesterday evening, after Mr. Harvey had held morning and evening service in the store. After distributing some books and medicine, we went on board, hoping to proceed at noon; but it came on to rain very heavily, and the wind suddenly shifted to the north-east, with a heavy squall, and our departure was effectually stopped.
Tuesday, August 15.--The wind came round again to the westward this morning, but was very light. We got under way at ten o'clock, and did not reach the Seal Islands till five. Mr. Howe kindly furnished a pilot. Here, as in every other harbour, are several vessels from Newfoundland. Messrs. Hunt also keep a small "crew" here; that is, a few men dwelling together to prosecute the fishery in the summer and kill seals in the winter. Five Englishmen remained together here last winter, who killed 500 seals. In the first three months of the year they are in the woods, to cut timber and fire-wood. Besides this crew, the only residents are Indians (Esquimaux) and half Indians, who live together, crowded into two huts, with an Englishman who has taken one of the half Indian women as his wife. Guided by the skipper of Mr. Hunt's crew, we visited these Indians. Nearly all (twenty out of twenty-three) crowded together in one small hut, with our two guides, Messrs. Harvey and Hoyles, and myself. A strange group, or crowd, we were. Indians will compress into the smallest possible compass; but still we were brought into painfully close proximity. Most of them could speak English, and some of them spoke and answered as correctly and intelligently as any poor persons I have ever conversed with. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, to detect, either in their appearance or speech, any trace of Esquimaux. The men confessed that they had only taken the women to live with them as wives, without any form of marriage; but they well knew, they said, the propriety and necessity of the religious service and sanction, and were anxious to avail themselves of this opportunity. They knew no prayers, and had no creed; but had been baptized, they said, and procured their children to be baptized, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." This service had, of course, been performed by some lay hand, as no Clergyman had ever been among them or in the neighbourhood. The Englishman who had taken one of these women as his wife, professed to be able to read, but he had taught them nothing, or nothing good, either by precept or practice. It was very affecting to see such a number of fine intelligent human beings, young and old, absolutely without any form of godliness or instruction in religion. Some belief they profess of God and a future state, but of the most vague and imperfect kind. They seem to have cast aside or forgotten their old superstitions, and to have received nothing in their place. It is surprising that they are so civil and humane. They expressed a desire to be properly baptized and married; and I appointed them to attend at the "room" to-morrow, at nine o'clock, for that purpose. The full moon had risen before we left, but neither party seemed anxious to shorten the conference.
Wednesday, August 16.--Messrs. Harvey and Hoyles met the Indians at the "room" at nine o'clock, according to appointment. They first of all baptized an Indian woman, a widow, and then married her to the man, a half Indian, with whom she now lives as wife. Another couple under similar circumstances were married.
I had intended to proceed after these services, but the wind was contrary. I called on one of the small traders from Newfoundland, who brought goods in his vessel, which he intends to load with fish, and is now selling them at about 300 per cent, profit.
In the evening we rowed four miles to visit an Englishman, with whom lives a step-daughter, a young woman, and the mother of two children, by, as there is too much reason to fear, her step-father. The man, I presume, suspected that the evil report had reached us, for he was earnest in denying the fact, before he was charged with the crime, or any allusion to it had been made. The poor girl seemed of a violent temper, and could hardly be brought in to speak with us. I gave him warnings suited to his case, which he received with careless acquiescence, but civilly; and I exhorted him to send the girl home to her mother's friends at Brigus, and directed her, when she arrived, to call on the Clergyman, promising that he would advise and assist her. In returning I took an oar, as I have done on former occasions, hoping that it is as lawful an exercise for a sailor-Bishop on the Labrador, as a ride in the parks for my brethren in England.
Thursday, August 17.--The wind ahead till noon, when it came round. Soon after one o'clock we loosed off; but being close to the shore, before the wind could move us we drifted against it. Happily there was but little wind, and by carrying out a kedge anchor, and pushing with oars, the Church ship was soon released from her disagreeable predicament, and at two o'clock was fairly off, with a fine breeze from S. E.
Friday, August 18.--The wind was again ahead this morning, and it was a dead beat all day. We however reached Dumpling Island, in Sandwich Bay, the place of our destination, before seven o'clock, which was a great comfort. We had an Indian pilot on board. Here Messrs. Hunt & Co. have an establishment for the salmon fishery, which is very extensive and profitable. Messrs. Harvey and Hoyles went on shore to see the Agent, (Mr. Goodridge,) whom they found, and found civil and obliging. We passed this day several establishments, and saw in several harbours numerous vessels. The boats belonging to them were fishing near the shore.
Saturday, August 19.--Mr. Goodridge came on board, and gave me the information I required respecting this bay and the shore to the northward. About thirty miles farther to the north, as he informs me, is another bay, larger than this, and containing many more inhabitants. It is called Esquimaux Bay. Sixty miles within that bay the Hudson's Bay Company have a furring establishment. There are many Esquimaux constantly residing there. Mr. G. was anxious that, after staying a few days with him, we should proceed to Esquimaux Bay. I would gladly have attended to his suggestion if the season had not been so far advanced, or I had not so much work to do on the coast of Newfoundland. Thirty miles north of Esquimaux Bay is Cape Harrison, or, by its Indian name, Cape Webuck, which appears to be the limit of the fishery carried on by the vessels from Newfoundland, and so must for the present be considered the limits of my Diocese. Mr. Goodridge, however, assures me that the government of Newfoundland and its dependencies extends along the whole coast of the Labrador to Baffin's Bay, or to the North Pole. From thence to the Bermudas is a pretty considerable Diocese.
In this Sandwich Bay, the settled inhabitants (chiefly Esquimaux) are supported by the salmon fishery, by furring, and by killing seals. The cod fishery, though the "fish" is abundant, is not now followed. The salmon fishery is over by the middle of June, and after it the people have little to do till the end of summer. Some catch "fish" (i. e. cod-fish) for their own use. The Esquimaux are here more intelligent and more hardy than those we found at St. Francis' Harbour. They are well clothed and cleanly. These circumstances are due to a longer acquaintance, and more familiar intercourse, with Europeans in this Bay. Several women from Newfoundland have settled here, and men both from Newfoundland and England. Considerable pains also have been taken by the Agent to instruct and civilize the natives. Among other means, he has read the Church service every Sunday. A few years ago the Esquimaux women, generally, wore a cloak, or cope, of seal-skin, with the hair outwards, the tail hanging down behind, and the fippers on their arms; but now all rejoice in European dresses, shawls and gowns of many colours. The only remains of Indian dress is the seal-skin boot, which even the smallest children wear; it is of great use in the snow, being quite impervious to wet. In the race of mixed blood, or Anglo-Esquimaux, the Indian characteristics very much disappear, and the children are both lively and comely. The houses in the neighbourhood of Dumpling Island are the summer residences only, very mean and fragile. All remove into the woods in the winter. Mr. Goodridge took Mr. Harvey and Mr. Hoyles to the cottages in the neighbourhood. The inhabitants were dressed in their best to receive them, and expressed much joy at our arrival. There are no living creatures kept of any kind except dogs; partly, I suppose, because of the frequent removals of the people, and partly on account of these dogs, which are so numerous and fierce, that they will allow nothing else to live. They are of the wolf breed, of large size, and not at all like the Newfoundland dog, but used and useful for the same purposes. There are no gardens, except for radishes, turnips, and a few greens. There is abundance of good grass, and more verdure of all kinds than in any place we have seen since we left Forteau, and trees in the immediate vicinity of the water. The soil, however, on the hills is chiefly spongy moss. Berries of all kinds are found--the Bake-apple is particularly abundant and fine.
Sunday, August 20.--A store was provided and furnished for Divine service; the planks in this case being supported on coils of rope. There were upwards of a hundred persons in the room: all, I suppose, at present in the harbour, with part of the crew of a vessel, which put in yesterday on her way to Newfoundland, loaded with fish. One person only asked permission to receive the Holy Sacrament, and he the Master of the vessel from Newfoundland. He seemed very thankful for the opportunity. How often might a Clergyman, resident in these parts, minister to the wants of Churchmen separated for months together from their spiritual food, and from all the means of grace! The afternoon service commenced soon after three o'clock, and was not concluded till seven o'clock, in consequence of the numbers to be christened and added to the Church. I admitted six adults myself, who were able to answer for themselves; three were Esquimaux. All made the proper answers correctly and seriously, and not the least so the poor Indians.
The day was beautifully fine, and Almighty God seemed to look down graciously on the first administration of his life-giving ordinances in Sandwich Bay. May He be pleased, for his dear Son's sake, to support and nourish the life so given, that they may be fruitful in good works according to their means and opportunities! I surely may rejoice with trembling, that I have been permitted to come here as the Minister of his holy Word and Sacraments, where I might almost say, "his Name had not been heard."
Monday, August 21.--I received much information about the Moravians on this coast from a person who trades with them, or at their settlements. Their stations are four; the principal one at Nain, about 300 miles north of this bay. About this station the Esquimaux encamp, to trade with the Missionaries in furs, and to receive instruction. There are four Moravians connected with each establishment--a Manager, Storekeeper, &c. each of whom is a preacher. One of them also is a doctor. They have public worship every day, but the Missionaries officiate in their common clothes. It is said they keep the poor Esquimaux in strict subjection, and will not allow them to trade with any other persons; and my informant, who was evidently jealous, said they (the Missionaries) must coin money, for they only give 20 s. or 30s. for a silver fox, for which he would give 1 l. It seems, the Missionaries never leave their establishments, and the Esquimaux only get instruction while they remain in the neighbourhood. Altogether, though I received the information "cumgrano," I can see plainly that a Missionary trading establishment is open to serious objections, more and greater than a working establishment; where, I mean, the Missionaries might fish, or otherwise labour, working with their own hands, that they might have to give to him that needeth. The latter plan is, I believe, pursued by the Roman Catholics at the Red River.
Messrs. Harvey and Hoyles went on shore early, to marry such parties as might require and desire that service at their hands. Morning Prayers in the store at ten o'clock, when several more were baptized and received into the Church. After our service was concluded, some Esquimaux, at my request, read from a printed book portions of the service which they use at the Moravian stations. It appeared lo be a Litany, commencing with the Lord's Prayer, of course in the Esquimaux language. A woman, I presume the best scholar, led, and was in most parts followed by others, who seemed to know their parts, or responses, very perfectly. Some portions she read alone. There were frequent Antiphons, or short hymns, which all sang in unison, in a clear and pleasing tone. The voice and ear seemed good. Their language has been reduced to writing by the European Missionaries; and their Service-books and the Holy Gospels are now printed in the English character. I did not hear of any Grammar or Dictionary. This is the title of their book of Prayers, which I borrowed:--
ernst gottflob monsit nenilauktangit.
Their language abounds in long words, but seems easily acquired for the purposes of conversation.
In the afternoon I walked on one of the islands, and talked with some children, whom I questioned as to their knowledge of the Lord's Prayer, and was pleased to find they could repeat it accurately. I rambled about over the lofty hills, and luxuriated in bake-apples, &c. The clear sky over head, and the soft elastic moss under foot, made the ramble very pleasant to the outward man. Numerous curlew were brought in as presents to-day. I wrote a report of my proceedings this day to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Rev. Robert Eden, and many other kind friends.
Tuesday, August 22.--Messrs. Harvey and Hoyles again went on shore at eight o'clock, to marry the couples who were not prepared yesterday. Nine couples were married, and one couple rejected, because the man, as it appeared, had lived with another woman, whom he had deserted, or turned off. The man came on board the Church ship to appeal to me, and brought his Indian wife or woman with him. He said his first marriage was only a drunken frolic; but he had lived upwards of two years with the woman as his wife, and had a child. He is an Englishman from Devonshire--no credit, I fear, to his country or Church. At the conclusion of Morning service I told them plainly the wickedness of separating after living together as man and wife, and threatened the censures of the Church.
We then proceeded in three boats across the bay, four miles and a half, to consecrate a grave-yard. I went in my own boat, with a crew of Anglo-Esquimaux and Esquimaux. The other two (whale-boats) conveyed numbers of women and others to witness and assist at the service. I robed behind a spruce-tree, and desired no better vestry on such a lovely day. The poor Esquimaux seemed much interested, and circumambulated the ground in good order, and knelt with becoming reverence in the prayers, and at the blessing. I could not help wishing that some of my friends on the other side the wide Atlantic could have known how we were employed, and have pictured the scene to their imagination.
We returned in boats, as we came. Mr. Good-ridge dined with us on board. From him we learned that the Esquimaux, in their primitive state, did not bury their dead under ground, but placed the corpse in the cleft of a rock, with all things supposed necessary for a journey, and then covered it with stones. Three years ago, a medical practitioner came from England, and stole away two bodies of Esquimaux so buried. The act excited great indignation, and if the people could have caught him, he would hardly have escaped with his life. Many presents of curlew and berries came off this evening.
In this bay and the next are full 400 residents, who have never before seen a Clergyman of our Church, though now nearly all call themselves Christians, and wish to be considered members of the English Church. How sad that this should be the first visit of a Clergyman to or among them; how much sadder if it should lie the last! Mr. Goodridge assured me that the people are able, as they are most desirous, to maintain a Clergyman; and that churches and a parsonage-house would soon be built. And he implored me to send a Missionary. But if I cry for one, will any answer?--will any say, "Here am I; send me?"
Wednesday, August 23.--We began a retrograde movement to-day at seven o'clock, and by seven o'clock in the evening were off Cape Bluff, having run little short of 100 miles in twelve hours. We were obliged to heave-to till morning light, in order to land our pilot at St. Francis' Island; and the great number of floating fragments of ice make sailing in the dark very dangerous. The large icebergs are now broken up into small fragments, which, in a heavy sea, are not easily discerned till you are close upon them.
Thursday, St. Bartholomew.--The process of lying-to in a rough sea is exceedingly disagreeable. I could not sleep at all. We were off St. Francis' Harbour before six o'clock, and landed Paulo, an Indian pilot, who had rendered us good service at Sandwich Bay. We endeavoured to requite it, as in other ways, so by teaching him and his son, who accompanied him, the Lord's Prayer. None of his family seem to have learned any prayers. At twelve o'clock we were off Red Bay. A large iceberg had just fallen asunder here, and its debris stretched full a quarter of a mile in continuance from its base. We saw the coast of Newfoundland about two o'clock. In the evening it became quite calm.
Friday, August 25.--We made no progress last night. After eight o'clock this morning Hie tide came to our help, and we made as far as Little Modeste by twelve o'clock. Soon after, finding the tide against us, and seeing some houses, we came to anchor.
At Modeste Island we found a respectable Englishman from Weymouth, married to a woman from Newfoundland. He was very glad of the opportunity of having two children baptized. We weighed anchor again at five o'clock, and, helped by the tide rather than the wind, reached Forteau Bay, our first place of call, about nine o'clock. But the treacherous tide, before we could reach the anchorage, swept us completely out of the bay, and nearly set us upon the Isle aux Bois, to the westward of Forteau Point. At midnight the tide turned, and again carried us completely across the bay, at the rate of four knots, and soon after one o'clock we were close to the shallop, or shoal point, off L'Anse à Mort, and of course in considerable danger. At half-past two we were still farther to the eastward, but not quite so near the shore. There was not a breath of available wind. The night providentially was clear and fine, the stars bright, and the Aurora Borealis ever and anon let down a splendid curtain of light. Not a sound was heard but the puffing of a sea-pig, who occasionally put up his back alongside, and the flapping of our lazy sails, with the creaking of the rudder-chains and rigging, as the good Church ship rolled and tumbled about upon the rude relentless swell. I remained up, and occasionally on deck, till past three o'clock, when, by God's mercy, a breeze sprang up from the northward, and the Hawk spread her wings joyfully to it, and the captain went below, and the mate was merry, and I--I hope I did in part what I ought to have done, and what I ought to do all my life through--acknowledged humbly and thankfully the undeserved mercies vouchsafed to me and mine. At four o'clock I retired to rest.
Saturday, August 26.--At five o'clock the captain came down to inform me that we were again in Forteau Bay. I requested Mr. Hoyles to go immediately in a boat to inquire for our good friend Mr. Ellis, hoping to start at once, without coming to anchor, for the opposite coast of Newfoundland. However, it was reported that the tide would be against us, that there was fog outside, no wind, &c. We therefore came to anchor. Being, however, very anxious to reach the opposite shores to-night that we might hold service to-morrow at Anchor Point, I persuaded Mr. Ellis to accompany us, and we started with the rising tide at three o'clock, and about six o'clock ran into the bay of St. Barbe, and found a beautiful resting-place, nearly land-locked, and fringed on every side with trees, which, though but spruce and fir, looked quite parky after the bleak barren rocks of Labrador.
Sunday, August 27.--At ten o'clock we started in a whale-boat for Anchor Point, where arrangements had been made for holding Divine Service. After one tack in a very heavy swell, and shipping two or three seas, we went to leeward, and were obliged to land a mile from our destination. We found Mrs. Genge, the mother of the settlement, anxiously expecting us. Unfortunately, her husband and son had gone to the Labrador a few days before, as they had determined the Bishop could not or would not come so late in the season; and, what was still more unfortunate, several of the neighbours could not join us, on account of the heavy weather and headwind. Two families on the opposite side of the bay, full in sight, were thus cut off from the first opportunity or possibility of attending the service, and being brought into the communion of the Church.
An unfinished store was fitted up for Morning service, and three or four families, with servants, &c. attended. In the afternoon, some children were admitted into the Church.
Mrs. Genge was most earnest in trying to persuade me and all my party to remain in her house all night, as we could not cross the bay, on account of the heavy sea, and it was a long and rough walk round to the point near which the Church ship was anchored. But only one of our party felt disposed to remain; to myself, and, I suppose, to others of my party, the long walk was a relief and pleasure. It was a pleasure also to see again cattle wandering "at their own sweet will" in rich and luxuriant grass. Wild fruits are abundant; gooseberries, strawberries, currants, bake-apples, and dewberries. The gooseberries are small and rough, and the currants not sweet; but the other berries, particularly the dewberries, are very pleasant to the taste. We saw numerous black ducks and wild geese; and we heard that deer are easily found and killed in the neighbourhood. Altogether, the good things both of earth and sea appear to abound in this locality, and to make it a fruitful and profitable settlement; and so we were informed by some Englishmen, who have lately come here from Sherborne, in Dorsetshire. The bay is skirted with drift timber from wrecks, and with the bones of great whales.
Monday, August 28.--We started in the same boat as yesterday for Anchor Point, for Morning service, and to consecrate a grave-yard. It was still blowing heavily, but with, our captain as skipper, we quickly reached our destination, though not without shipping some seas. After the Second Lesson, several children were received into the Church, though still many were prevented by the strong wind and wild sea. Immediately after the Morning service, I consecrated the grave-yard. We then took leave of the hospitable, warm-hearted Mrs. Genge, who was earnest in her expressions of joy and thankfulness. Of all the days in the thirty-one years she had lived at Anchor Point, this was the happiest. She had never seen any minister of religion in the place, except, on one occasion, a French priest; and her desire and prayer had been, that she might live to welcome a Clergyman of the Church to her house. She was very unwilling to let us depart; but I was anxious, if possible, to walk round the bay, to visit the families on the other side. It was too rough to use the boat. We made the attempt, but found the distance too great, as there was no road or path. We could not have reached the Church ship before dark. It blew a gale from the S.W. and we were thankful to be in so snug and quiet a harbour.
Tuesday, August 29.--It blew fearfully last night; and if we had been in any harbour on the opposite side of the Straits, we should have been very uncomfortable, if nothing worse. As it was, we lay very snug and safe.
After breakfast I walked with Mr. Hoyles to call at the houses opposite Anchor Point. The heads of the families were at Blanc Sablon, on the opposite side. One of the men, as his wife reported, came from "handy Bath, or Somersetshire." She is herself a native of Labrador, and never saw a church, or, till now, a Clergyman. Though she cannot read, she has contrived to teach her children the Lord's Prayer and Creed; and she was very eager that they should be heard and instructed by me, saying to them, "There now, you be ashamed to go and be taught by that gentleman; and I'd go down on my knees to him to learn the Commandments." We gave them what advice and instruction we could in our short stay, but, of course, could not forward much the great object of her desire, a knowledge of the Ten Commandments. It was some comfort in such circumstances to call to mind that declaration of the great Apostle: "When the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves, which shew the work of the law written in their hearts," &c. Rom. ii. 14, 15. Some of the houses here are built of timber which has been collected from wrecks. The vegetation is very luxuriant. We passed through two natural meadows, or small prairies, which would afford excellent pasture. Game is very abundant. A good locality for emigrants.
Wednesday, August 30.--The wind being somewhat abated, and more favourable, we got under way at half-past nine o'clock. It however blew so fresh, that a boat, sent with presents of bread, butter, sugar, eggs, fowls, and milk, had great difficulty in reaching us. Soon after we got out of the bay, the tide began flowing to the eastward, and, though the wind was tolerably fair, we were carried back; and after beating three hours against the tide, we were actually some miles to the eastward of our starting-point. In the afternoon the wind was less favourable, and, beating against the tide, made a tremendous sea. The Church ship rolled and tossed to a distressing degree.
Thursday, August 31.--The tossing was dreadful during the whole night, and fully substantiated the bad reports we had heard of the navigation of these straits. It is notoriously rough and dangerous. About three o'clock the wind became fair, and we made rapid progress, but with no less rolling than before. At night-fall we were off Bonne Bay. We could just discern the Bay of Islands, (our next appointed place of call,) but with no hope of getting in. After reflecting on the matter all day, and consulting with my friends, and earnestly asking guidance and help of Him "in Whom are all our ways," I reluctantly abandoned my cherished wish and intention of visiting the Bay of Islands. I had looked forward to my visit to this unhappy long-neglected settlement as a matter of the greatest interest and importance.
Twenty families are reported to be living there in a state worse than heathenism. No Clergyman has been among them for seventeen long years. It was originally, I believe, intended that Mr. Meek should be stationed there; but the people of St. George's Bay, whom he visited en route, were not willing that he should leave them. These circumstances will in some degree explain my anxiety to visit these poor neglected people, to impart unto them (should it please God to allow it) some spiritual gift. But the season had now advanced so far, and so many parties and places on the southern coast were still expecting my presence, and requiring some service at my hands, that I dared not run any risk of delay. The wind was now fair for taking us out of the gulf, and there was every probability of our reaching La Poele, (where I had to consecrate a church and to confirm,) before next Sunday. I was told, moreover, that if we went into this Bay, and the west winds came on, as seemed likely, we might be detained a very long time. I am already a week later than I gave the people to expect at the different settlements along the southern coast; and the Clergy and their congregations will give me up in despair. I determined therefore to proceed; but it was a sore trial and disappointment. I pray God to allow and prosper the determination for His dear Son's sake. Amen.
It will be prudent, while the state of the Labrador and of the adjacent coasts of Newfoundland is fresh in my mind, and near to my heart, to set down what seems necessary to be done to secure and perpetuate the blessings of which some taste has, through my visit, been granted to the long-neglected inhabitants. For this purpose three resident Missionaries are required; the first, having his headquarters and his church at Forteau, would visit all the Labrador coast, from Blanc Sablon on the south to Red Bay on the north, with the opposite coast of Newfoundland, a line of country little short of 100 miles, and with nearly 400 settled inhabitants. In the summer, more than 1,000 persons employed in the fishery from England, Jersey, Canada, and Newfoundland, are resident for three or four months. It would be highly desirable that the Clergyman at Forteau should be able to converse in the French language, for the sake of the Canadians and Jersey-men. A Clergyman on this station would be able to visit his whole charge twice a-year, while, having his residence chiefly at Forteau in summer, he might be in constant communication with the large fishing crews in that bay, in L'Anse a Loup, and Blanc Sablon; and could at any time, on an emergency, cross over the straits to Anchor Point and other settlements on the Newfoundland coast. One of his chief objects would be to establish a school at or near Anchor Point, and at Red Bay, and to build small chapels near the consecrated grave-yards.
A second Missionary would have his church and chief residence at Battle Harbour; and as this settlement is the most populous and important on the Labrador coast, and lies nearly in the middle between Forteau and Sandwich Bay, the Clergyman placed there should have a general supervision of coast as Rural Dean, while his own Mission would extend from Red Bay to Seal Island, fully 100 miles. The settled population is nearly 400 souls, while as many thousands are fishing on that part of the coast in the season. A school is greatly needed, and as greatly desired, at Battle Harbour, which, it has been suggested, might board as well as educate the poor children from all parts of the Mission. It would be very, desirable that the schoolmaster should be at least in Deacon's orders, not only on account of the importance of his own peculiar charge, but that the service of the Church might not be suspended during the absence of the Missionary.
The third Missionary should have his church and residence in Sandwich Bay, probably at Dumpling Island, (which might thereby acquire a better or holier name,) and his flock, or flocks, would be principally in Esquimaux and Sandwich Bays, and along the shore from Seal Island to Cape Harrison. Schools might, in process of time, be established in both the bays, with the same beneficial results which have followed the labours of the Moravian Missionaries on this coast, (of which I witnessed many striking instances,) and in Greenland. A knowledge of medicine might greatly increase a Clergyman's influence and usefulness, and in a way quite in keeping with his sacred calling and with the highest pattern of the ministerial office. The healing art has been practised with success and much benefit by the Moravian ministers. To support these Clergymen, with the schools, a sum of not less than 800l. a-year would be requisite, with, of course, dwellings, and fuel provided by the people. Of this sum, the inhabitants are both willing and able to pay a full share; and, if assisted by the merchants and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, I might hope to provide the residue, and secure this interesting race of people to the Church, and the Church, with all her blessed means of grace, to the people. Hasten it, O Lord, I beseech thee, in thy own good way and time, for Jesus Christ's sake! Amen.
Friday, Sept. 1.--The wind was fair in the night, but light, and so continued during the day. We made but little progress, and I had an opportunity of surveying the coast, and observed many cottages here and there which I would gladly have visited had it been possible. It is very distressing to look on these people, half dead, nay, it may be feared, dead in trespasses and sins, and to pass by, as it were, on the other side. God knows it is not from want of compassion that I do so, or of desire, if it were permitted, to bind up their wounds, and pour in the oil and wine of the good Samaritan and true physician of souls.
Saturday, Sept. 2.--The wind was again very light all night, and by morning ahead. At noon we had only weathered Cape Ray, and it seemed very doubtful whether we should reach La Poele before night; to accomplish which I had abandoned my earnest wish and resolved purpose to visit the Bay of Islands. It was a sore trial.
Sunday, Sept. 3.--Alas! during the whole night the wind was ahead, and we did not advance five miles. I would gladly have gone into any harbour short of La Poele; but the captain thought we might beat up by two o'clock. We had service on board at eleven o'clock, but the pitching of the vessel made it very uncomfortable. By noon we were within sight of La Poele Bay; but this only made my disappointment the greater, when there was no longer any hope of getting in soon enough for either of the services I had hoped to he permitted to celebrate this day. The wind increased, and, contending with a strong tide, made a dreadful sea. Several times the bowsprit went quite under water, and then rose again as if it were pointing at the skies. At sunset we were close to Garia, about six or seven miles only from La Poele; but it was then necessary to stand off, as the weather was thick and the wind blowing nearly on the shore. It was a day of bitter trial and disappointment, whether I thought of what I had left, or of what I had vainly tried to reach. The good Church ship seemed to labour to get forward all day, and made some gallant reaches, but it could not be. God's will be done.
Monday, Sept. 4.--It was an awful night; rain and lightning, with violent storms of wind and a tremendous sea. [A vessel was wrecked this night a few miles to the eastward, and another, as we heard, dismasted in the Straits about the same time.] We stood off till one o'clock, and then tacking, came upon the land, by God's good providence, at day-break, just at the entrance of the bay. We got in without difficulty, and at six o'clock the Church ship was again safely moored at Mr. Renouf's buoy. It is strange that on each occasion we arrived on a Monday morning, after a Sunday spent, most contrary to our hopes and expectations, at sea. If it were right, or of any use, I might lament and reproach myself for having hasted from the Bay of Islands in vain and to no purpose. It appears now that if I had entered, as I at first intended and resolved, I should have spent a quiet Sunday, receiving and giving comfort and instruction, have escaped the tossings and trials of last night, have been enabled to visit several intermediate places, and been at this time as far advanced in my journey, or at least in my work; for I shall probably remain here several days before the people can be collected for the consecration of the church, and the Confirmation. [I learnt, to-day, that the Roman Catholic Bishop (Dr. Mulloch), with a Priest, is visiting those parts of the coast which I have passed by in my ill-advised haste.] We had prayers in the church at eleven o'clock; and I was much pleased to find it ready for Consecration, and complete except the seats. A very ample and convenient churchyard was also railed round with a decent fence. At five o'clock we had evening prayer, when I preached on the subject of Confirmation. It rained in torrents the greater part of the day; but there was a pretty full attendance at the Evening service. We arranged to have the Consecration of the church and churchyard, and the Confirmation to-morrow, if the weather should, by God's mercy, be favourable.
Tuesday, Sept. 5.--The day promising fair, the church was consecrated in the usual form by the name of St. Thomas the Apostle. I celebrated Holy Communion, and about twenty persons communicated, which was as large a number as could be expected on the first occasion. Evening Prayer at three o'clock, and at this service about forty persons were confirmed. After the service I consecrated the churchyard. The church was full morning and evening, though none could attend from the distant out-harbours, for want of notice. The appearance and behaviour of the people were pleasing and satisfactory. One has a prejudice in favour of English-looking faces and dresses; and certainly, the change from the Labrador costume and countenance was very striking and agreeable.
I was particularly struck by a whole family, father, mother, and seven children, presented for Confirmation, five of whom received the Holy Sacrament in the morning. Most of them were in tears; the father wept audibly--his heart was full. He had seen the fulfilment of his long-cherished hope. Upon inquiry, I found that he was the person who, three years ago, had requested permission to speak with me; and then, with many tears, represented his earnest desire, with that of his whole family, to have the benefit of a Clergyman's ministrations within their reach. They walk several miles every Sunday to the service, by a very rough road, or rather no road, through the woods; and are most regular in their attendance. The general conduct of the whole family is exemplary. It is difficult for persons never placed in similar circumstances rightly to conceive the change of their condition and feelings, by the consecration of a church, and the settlement of a Clergyman among them.
Think of the holy services of this day, of the gifts of grace by "the laying on of hands," and by the holy Communion; and then of the opportunities continually to be vouchsafed to them, if God will, of going with their brethren and companions to the house of the Lord, and of expecting the presence and blessing of that gracious Friend and Saviour who has promised, " Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there will I be in the midst of them!" and all these mercies and means of grace where, three years ago, an occasional visit by a Methodist minister was (to the Church's shame) the only remembrance of God and religion. Could our friends, and the friends of the Church at home, know the joy and reward of thus breaking up the fallow ground, of sowing in righteousness, and reaping in mercy, (for how quickly is some return granted to encourage the faithful labourer!) they would be more stirred up to forward, if not to engage in, our blessed work; to send us help, if not themselves to " come over and help us."
Wednesday, Sept. 6.--I had intended to depart to be ready for the services at Harbour Briton next Sunday, hoping to visit Hermitage Bay on the way, but lo! a head-wind. I took in some land for a glebe, and I have always plenty of occupation in writing when in Harbour. Service in the church at eleven and five o'clock.
Thursday, Sept. 7.--Another unpropitious day, to exercise our patience.
Friday, Sept. 8.--The wind still ahead this morning, and as there seemed no prospect of a change, I allowed some of my party to go into the woods to look for a deer, with the intention of staying out all night. No sooner were they gone, than the wind became fair. Another lesson of patience.
Saturday, Sept, 9.--The wind continued fair, but the day was very wet. I received to-day my first letters since leaving St. John's, upwards of two months. I can understand now some of the misery of being six and nine months, which is the case in St. George's Bay, without any news of friend or foe. Mr. Brown did not return with his party from the woods till late this evening, which made me very uneasy. In consequence of the high wind, they had not been able to launch their boat till the evening.
Sunday, Sept. 10.--A beautiful morning; I should have enjoyed it, had I been sure that I was in my right place, and had neither hasted with my feet to come here, nor lingered after I ought to have departed, thus
"medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid."
The Morning service was at the usual hour, and I thought it right again to celebrate the Lord's Supper; knowing that another opportunity may not occur for a very long season, as Mr. Appleby is only in Deacon's orders, and no Priest within a hundred miles.
In the afternoon, seven persons were confirmed, who had not been able to attend on Tuesday. It would have been a Sabbath indeed, but for the retrospect and prospect, but " sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof;" and this day seemed to bring no evil with it, but "joy and gladness, thanksgiving and a voice of melody." Why should I not be content and thankful?
Monday, Sept, 11.--The morning fine, but the wind ahead. One of the daughters of the parties spoken of, who seemed to value so much the services of our holy Church, was married this morning to a respectable man, who had been confirmed at the same time. Both had received the Holy Communion yesterday. After the marriage, the whole party attended at Morning Prayers in the church at half-past ten o'clock. I had the satisfaction of presenting the newly-married couple with a Bible. After prayers, the wind began to veer, and all parties predicted a favourable time.
The wind came round as predicted, and about three o'clock in the afternoon we again committed ourselves to His merciful care and keeping, who guides and protects his people by sea as well as on land; humbly praying that he would vouchsafe to guide and protect us, and bless us for our work's sake. A salute was fired from the shore, and from a vessel lying in the harbour, as we got away. Soon after we were out, the wind died quite away, and we remained a great deal too near the shore for my comfort.
Tuesday, Sept. 12.--The wind came again to the westward at two o'clock this morning, and we were so happy as to reach our harbour, (Great Jervis,) in Hermitage Bay, just at sun-down. We came to anchor in a narrow bight, called Push-through, so named, because a boat can push through from Great Jervis Harbour into Hermitage Bay. Here I expected to meet Mr. Mountain, who purposed commencing here to accompany me to all the settlements to be visited in his Mission. He had, however, departed about three hours before our arrival, having been summoned to marry a couple at the head of Hermitage Bay, some twelve miles off. He purposes, however, to return to-morrow. Here I received a large packet of English letters, forwarded from St. John's.
Wednesday, Sept. 13.--Started early in a fishing skiff for Grole, on the opposite side of the Bay, about eight or nine miles. We were three hours in crossing, partly sailing, partly rowing. Had Morning service in the school-room, which is clean and in good order. In the afternoon I confirmed twelve females, and ten males, several of them aged people. It was the first time a Confirmation had ever been celebrated here, or in this Bay. The people seem to appreciate and profit by Mr. Colley's faithful and pious endeavours and prayers for their improvement. All the congregation were nicely dressed, and well behaved, and their appearance bespoke better circumstances, and, I trust, not worse manners and morals, than when I visited them before. The frame of a Teacher's house is put up, but when and how it will be finished, is a question which the poor people will find it very difficult, I fear, to resolve. We started at five o'clock to return, and the wind being ahead, were obliged to row all the way. Two oars out of four were broken, and we were soon benighted; but happily there was a fine moon, and we "pushed through" about eight o'clock, and had the satisfaction of finding Mr. Mountain waiting to receive us.
Thursday, Sept. 14.--Divine service was celebrated in a poor half-finished school-room, which has one small window. Half the roof is only covered with birch-rinds, and one end of the room is patched up with shingles, rinds, and lumber. The furniture was partly boards nailed up for the occasion, and fragments of benches and chairs. The end under the window was made decent with my furniture. The lectern was forwarded to me at this place from St. John's.
The attention and reverent behaviour of the people seemed to be in inverse ratio to the preparations, and in most pleasing contrast. Mr. Mountain said the prayers; Mr. Harvey assisted at the holy table. I confirmed immediately after the prayers. After the prayer for the Church Militant, the non-communicants departed, and I administered the Holy Sacrament to four persons, besides my own friends. Afternoon service at three o'clock. The country in this neighbourhood is quite as rugged and barren as the Labrador. One cow is kept in the settlement, and a few potatoes are grown. All besides is moss and mountain, gloomy and desolate even in the bright sunshine; but here are stout hands, and honest cheerful hearts; men who for labour and endurance might vie with heroes of any time or clime; and, what is far better and happier for them and the world,
"Ready to give thanks and live
On the least that Heaven may give."
In the evening Mr. Mountain brought the old schoolmaster (named Lilly) and some of his family on board, to receive some instruction in psalmody.
Friday, Sept. 15.--The good Church ship was warped out of Push-through this morning to proceed to Harbour Briton. I left her, intending to reach the same destination by way of Hermitage Cove, walking across the narrow neck of land which separates Hermitage Bay from Connaigre Bay. We crossed the bay in a whale-boat with six hands, pulling against a head-wind and heavy sea. Reached the Cove about two o'clock, and had Afternoon service in the school-room. Through the want of notice, and absence of many of the men from the settlement, the attendance was very small. After service we took the usual Newfoundland refreshment, tea and biscuits, in the house of a person who, though eighty-five years of age, can row himself over the bay cross-handed,--rather laborious work at any age. Thence we walked to Connaigre Bay, and there launching a boat, with the assistance of two stout lads, rowed across the bay. The boat had no rudder, and one of our four oars broke, and we had great difficulty in stemming a very heavy sea, shipping a great deal of water. After crossing the bay, we had a walk of some miles before us, and part of the way no road. When we left the road, it had become dusky, and we got into some brushwood up to the shoulders, and there floundered about, searching in vain for the path, and ever and anon dropping into holes, which fortunately were quite dry, or, as the inhabitants would say, "terrible dry." We kept near together by shouting, and after repeated tumbles in the brushwood, sometimes on my back, sometimes on my face, I came upon a path; and about half-past eight o'clock we reached Harbour Briton, safe and sound in body, though somewhat damaged in clothes. Great was my disappointment at not finding the Church ship;--and now the wind is right ahead, and blowing heavily. There was no prospect of her arriving to-night; and after devouring a large supply of correspondence from England and St. John's, I retired to bed, but not to sleep--I was so very anxious about my schooner.
Saturday, Sept. 16.--After a short and sleepless night, full of trouble and fear about the Church ship, for it blew a gale from the south-east all night, I rose at half-past five o'clock. There was sufficient light to show me that the schooner had not arrived, and there was no other harbour into which she could have gone. She must, therefore, be in the greatest difficulty, if not danger, and I on shore! I was much supported by thinking on the concluding portion of the 77th Psalm, which I had read yesterday. I began to dress myself, and on turning round in a few minutes to view the harbour, how astonished, delighted, and thankful I was, to behold the good Church ship safely anchored just opposite my window! It seemed magic, or a miracle, and a complete verification or illustration of those words in the Psalm alluded to: "Thy way is in the sea, and thy paths in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known." Psalm Ixxvii. 19. The ship had been, as I supposed, in considerable danger during the night, being obliged to carry on in consequence of being so near the shore, and she had been much strained, but, by God's merciful protection, had escaped more serious damage. She anchored soon after six o'clock. About nine o'clock the wind shifted, and it blew a gale all day from the northwest. Service twice in the church. In the evening I addressed the candidates for Confirmation.
Sunday, Sept. 17.---Divine service commenced with the consecration of the church at half-past ten o'clock. The Holy Communion was administered, but five persons only (besides the Clergy) communicated. The only new feature in the consecration service was, the presentation and dedication of a quarto Bible and Prayer-hook, given by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and of vessels for the Holy Communion. These were brought to me by the Rev. J. Mountain immediately after the presentation of the deed of conveyance, and by me were humbly presented and placed on the holy table. I introduced into the service the prayer (slightly altered, to refer to the books as well as the sacred vessels), which Bishop Patrick used (A.D. 1704) in consecrating communion plate.
In the afternoon the Confirmation; only twelve persons confirmed: the small number was owing partly to the gale which still continued in sufficient violence to prevent the presence of all who had been expected from out-harbours. After the Evening service the churchyard was consecrated with the usual solemnities. The evening happily was very fine.
Monday, Sept. 18.--The morning of yesterday having proved so unfavourable, I determined to remain to give an opportunity to the persons in the out-harbours to come for Confirmation. Messrs. Aldington and Colley went across the bay in a boat soon after six o'clock, to inform the people on that side. Several arrived before Morning service, but I thought it better to defer the Confirmation till the afternoon. Twelve or thirteen were confirmed. Several candidates were still kept away by the heavy weather.
Tuesday, Sept. 19.--The anniversary of the great hurricane in 1846, and of God's goodness to me in saving my life, that, as I trust, I may live to serve Him. It blew this morning a gale from the northwest, and we could not leave. It moderated in the evening.
Wednesday, Sept. 20.--After prayers in the church at nine o'clock, we took leave of Harbour Briton,, carrying with us the Rural Dean to assist, as I hope, at Belleoram. We did not arrive till dark, and had some doubt whether we should get in; but a boat and crew came to direct and assist us. The mortifying intelligence met us, that nearly all the men of the settlement had sailed this day for Harbour Briton, the place we had just left, this being the great settling day of the yearly accounts at the merchants' establishment. After some deliberation, I determined at all events to remain over Sunday, hoping that the people might return by that time. Many of the, candidates for Confirmation are absent.
St. Matthew's-day, 1848.--Full service in the morning at the church. Directly after the service we started to walk to St. Jacques, en route for English Harbour, where I was expected to consecrate the grave-yard. The road for the greater part of the way is only laid out, not made: the stumps of the trees are still standing, and it is very wet and boggy. I was several times in over my shoes. At St. Jacques we found a fishing-punt waiting for us. The wind was ahead, with a very heavy sea, which made rowing exceedingly troublesome. Mr. Mountain laboured bravely at the stroke oar, but at length became sick. Mr. Hoyles proposed we should return, as, in addition to the heavy cross sea, it was now raining heavily; but Mr. Marshall was very anxious the people should not be disappointed of their hope to see me. With great difficulty, and not without some danger, we accomplished our purpose, and got in about half-past two o'clock; and then found that, as at Belleoram, the men were away from home. I could not therefore consecrate the ground, and moreover it was raining in torrents. I proceeded with Messrs. Mountain and Marshall, all dripping wet, to the School-room, where, after the weather had moderated a little, came two men with a few women and children. There were some candidates for Confirmation among them, who were anxious to be confirmed then and there. I told them they must come to Belleoram next Sunday if possible, and if not, I would endeavour to pay them another visit. After the service, which was very trying from our wet state, we started at five o'clock to return, leaving Mr. Mountain to find his way back to Harbour Briton, from harbour to harbour on foot or in boat as it might chance. We had an awful sea the first half the way, and did not reach our harbour till after seven o'clock, very wet and wretched, but most thankful at having got back to the Church ship without any more serious misfortune.
Friday, Sept. 22.--A dripping fog diversified with occasional showers of rain all day. After prayers in the church, I examined the school. Mr. Marshall, the present Deacon Schoolmaster, follows very closely the plans of his excellent and gifted predecessor, the Rev. Mr. Polden; and the most important results of his system still are seen, in the great propriety and modesty of dress and behaviour, and a willingness to be told and taught. I do not remember to have seen more interesting children.
Saturday, Sept. 23.--Another day of incessant rain. After morning prayer I administered the Holy Eucharist to a respectable old planter, who is blind, and too infirm to leave the house. He seemed much refreshed and comforted by the spiritual banquet, for so he regarded and received it. I devised a plan for the enlargement of the church, which is much needed and desired. The people are very anxious for it, and as willing to promote and perform it as formerly to build the church (which they accomplished without external aid); but, unfortunately, through a tax on herrings in bulk, their means are much reduced and straitened. The difference of their circumstances is very visible. Two or three boats came back from Harbour Briton, but the majority are still detained by the thick weather.
Sunday, Sept. 24.--It rained all last night, but happily this morning the sky cleared with a westerly wind. I went to the Sunday-school soon after ten o'clock, and catechised the boys. I preached and administered the Lord's Supper to twenty-one communicants, besides the Clergy. Several of the communicants had not yet returned. About twelve o'clock, nearly all the boats came in, (having left Harbour Briton early with a fair wind,) and happily all the candidates for Confirmation. Thirty-two were confirmed in the Afternoon service. After the service, I met the heads of the settlement in the schoolroom, and spoke to them of their late minister, and of the manner in which I proposed to enlarge the church. They are a very pleasing set of men--frank, intelligent, and kind, and, as they say, very " agreeable;" that is, they agree very well among themselves. I thank God for another opportunity of serving them.
Monday, Sept. 25.--The anchor was weighed at six o'clock, but the wind came ahead, and there was no remedy; we must remain, and no relief but in patience.
Tuesday, Sept. 26.--It blew heavily from the S.W. and we could not leave. I was fully occupied in writing letters, but the delay was a great trial.
Wednesday, Sept. 27.--Got under way soon after five o'clock, and landed at English Harbour at nine o'clock. The schooner stood on and off. I then consecrated the neat little grave-yard, and held a Confirmation, after prayers, in the school-room, to the great delight of the worthy old schoolmaster, who is as much interested in his school-room and grave-yard as any Clergyman in his church and its sacred precincts. The principal planter of the settlement, a very respectable man, is a convert from Romanism. He was present at the service. We returned on board at half-past eleven o'clock, and took leave of Mr. Marshall, loth to separate. The wind was light; at sunset we were close off Grand Bank.
Thursday, Sept. 28.--A breeze from E.S.E. carried us out of the bay about three o'clock this morning. At eight o'clock the wind was very strong, and increased all day, and before evening blew a fearful gale. Only one of my companions left his berth, and my servant did not appear the whole day. It was the heaviest gale on the coast since the hurricane of Sept. 19, 1846. We could get nothing during the day, but, towards evening, a biscuit and cup of tea. We were too near Miquelon to be comfortable, but when we had cleared the island, the captain let the vessel drift, and we were carried back some fifteen or twenty miles.
About nine o'clock at night, when the gale was at the highest, the wind having just shifted to N.W., a vessel drifted close by us, and occasioned no small trepidation. Of course, we did not see her until she was near upon us. A light was shown, and our staysail hoisted to go ahead, but the brigantine being seen to do the same, ours was lowered, and the brigantine went ahead, and was, happily, soon out of sight. The Church ship was sadly battered by the waves, but soon after ten o'clock the wind came in gusts, and began to moderate.
Michaelmas-day, Friday.--About three o'clock this morning we made fail, the wind being fair, though with a terribly rough and cross sea. We held full service on board at eleven o'clock. At three o'clock we entered the harbour of Burin. The Rev. J. C. A. Gathercole was soon on board, and cheered me with a comfortable account of his own state and prospects. Some of the principal inhabitants called also.
Saturday, Sept. 30.--A dripping fog came on this morning, and continued all day. I am informed that the poor men have been prevented fishing for several weeks by the very heavy weather. There are fish in abundance a few miles off, but the boats cannot live in the sea. In the hurricane of 1846, nearly forty men of this settlement perished by the upsetting of their boats. There was great distress last winter; many families were entirely supported on the Indian meal supplied by the Government. Through the liberality of my friends at the time of the great fire, I had funds at my disposal, which I could apply towards the relief of the most distressed here, and in other parts of this bay, as well as at St. John's. It is said that several persons would emigrate to the southern parts of the island, if they had the means of removing their families, and of supporting them for two or three weeks.
I went on shore to make calls, and to examine the school-room, with a view to its completion and fitting up as a church. At present it is a mere frame, which has been standing in that state several years, ever since Bishop Spencer placed it there, intending it should be completed as a school-room, and a Teacher's house. But, alas! the Teacher came not, or, at least, remained not. Two Clergymen in succession were sent here by Bishop Spencer, but remained only a few months, and with that exception, no Clergyman has resided here for thirty years; and yet, of a population of fifteen hundred persons, one-third returned themselves at the last census as members of the Church. The remaining two-thirds are about equally divided between the Methodists and Roman Catholics; and of great numbers of these the parents were Church people. Poor Mr. Gathercole has a very difficult and disheartening work, and great credit is due to him for the manly Christian courage with which he contends single-handed against the "many adversaries." Besides his flock at Burin, he has many scattered sheep at various settlements along the coast down to Lammeline, at which last-named place are several hundred who would be members of the Church, but they have all, alas! been left in the same destitute state. A visit to these settlements occupies some weeks: and then there is no person to watch or tend the flock in Burin. A Methodist Minister and two Roman Catholic priests have long resided there. Sunday, Oct. 1.--Divine service in the Courthouse at eleven o'clock. Room quite full. I preached and administered the Holy Sacrament to twelve communicants besides the Clergy. In the afternoon the room was crowded, and several persons could not gain admittance. The congregation was satisfactory in behaviour as well as in number; much advanced since my visit three years ago. The keeper of the Court-house, who, on that occasion, so earnestly appealed to me on the neglected and forsaken state of the Church at Burin, accosted me to-day with very different feelings and expressions. He now assured me of his thankfulness and satisfaction, and of the comfort he felt in attending the services of the Church, and in having a Clergyman to console and direct him. After waiting forty-two years he had almost despaired; now, he only hoped and prayed that the benefit and blessing might be continued to himself and his neighbours. Alas! if he should be again doomed to disappointment, if the prophecy,
"Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, nee ultra Ease sinent,"
[Virgil. Ma. VI. 870.]
should apply to J. G. A. Gathercole (the man of many names but of single purpose),--if he should be removed by sickness or any other casualty, who then could be expected,--with Methodism on one side and Romanism on the other, and both in full vigour,--who could be expected to be stedfast in the faith, and true to a Church which only sends forth occasional gleams of imperfect arid uncertain light, and then leaves all in thicker darkness and sadder gloom? And what, in fact, has been yet done? A Deacon sent to minister to nearly 2,000 souls scattered along a line of coast of about 80 or 100 miles in length; with no other Clergyman within fifty miles, and no Priest of our Church within a hundred; without a church, a residence, or any school in his district on recognised Church principles? Does he not with, and for his people, cry plainly enough, without speaking the words, "Come over and help us?" And this, indeed, is his cry, and the chief desire of his heart, to find some true yoke-fellow, who, while he must be wandering up and down on the coast, might minister to his larger flock in Burin, and guard them from those who, on either side, lie in wait to deceive. His own ease and comfort, in having a companion and fellow-helper, are of a secondary importance in his view; but no person can doubt that the benefit would in this respect also be very great to himself and his people. [These remarks were written on the spot, or before I left Placentia Bay. Alas! that my fears and forebodings were too sadly verified! In the beginning of December Mr. Gathercole was taken seriously ill at Lammeline, the settlement in his Mission most remote from Burin; and by the last accounts I received, was reported as keeping his bed in a very precarious state, with but small prospect of resuming his faithful labours. Such is the difficulty of communication in Newfoundland, that I could obtain no intelligence from or of him for nearly three weeks before I left St. John's. I was able, however, by God's good providence, to send a brother to his assistance, and to carry on the good works he had begun; and among them the alteration of the school-room into a church. (St. John's, Dec. 21.)]
There was no confirmation. Mr. Gathercole rightly judged that, as he had been so little time with his people, and for many years before they had been quite removed from all knowledge of the Ordinances and Sacraments of the Church, it would be a very delicate and difficult duty to recommend candidates and present them.
While Mr. Gathercole and I were walking and talking together after the Service, we were joined by a respectable planter, who had been watching for us, wishing, as he said, to tell me his trouble. He professed himself a sincere son of the Church, and most thankful to attend the services, as he had done twice to-day; but his trouble was, that of thirteen children and grandchildren, not one would accompany him. All had been baptized by the Roman Catholic Priest, and embraced the Romish faith. He acknowledged that it was with his consent and approval that they bad been so baptized; "for what," he asked, "could I do, when there was no other Clergyman in Burin, and no prospect of seeing one?" Some of them had accompanied him to the door of the Court-house, and had waited for him;--but his grief was that they could not enter and worship with him. He saw no remedy: but he earnestly hoped and prayed that Mr. Gathercole might continue among them, and a church be built; and that he might have the consolations of religion in the faith in which he had been baptized and brought up. He came as a young man from Nottingham.
Monday, Oct. 2.--Though very desirous of further discourse with Mr. Gathercole and the people of Burin, particularly as to the alterations of the school-room to serve for a church, I was yet afraid to lose a fair wind. We got away about seven o'clock, and by three o'clock were close to Buffet Harbour, having run nearly sixty miles in eight hours. We were, however, upwards of two hours beating in, and great was my disappointment to find that the Rev. W. K. White was in another part of his extensive Mission, at Oderin, some forty miles off, which, we had passed to-day.
Tuesday, Oct. 3.--The wind was against Mr. White, and it was impossible for him to return. 1 was occupied in writing all day, and found my cabin very cold.
Wednesday, Oct. 4.--Mr. White's boat arrived this morning, having been out all night. He left Oderin at three o'clock yesterday afternoon, and having only one man on board, he was obliged to be before the mast nearly all night; as after twelve o'clock it blew hard, and his boat is but a "leewardly" one. After Prayers in the church, I spent the morning with Mr. White, hearing his trials and difficulties, which are not few or light in his district, and which, for extent, might well be a diocese. The prevalence of Methodism appears to have generated an unhealthy, unkind feeling, which is continually manifesting itself in petty acts of hindrance and opposition. That the people should feel indebted to the Methodist teachers and preachers, and unwilling to desert them, we cannot wonder or complain, when we remember for bow many years they only have taken any account of the spiritual state and necessities of the Protestant population; but how good soever the men and their motives, there appears to result from their system a want of sincerity and of single-mindedness, which makes it difficult to deal with, or understand them. God grant, that the Church may redeem some of her past and long neglect, by setting forth and maintaining a more healthy and holy system; and in the meantime bear patiently with the faults and offences which have grown up in and through our denial of better instructions! In the evening service I preached on the subject of Confirmation. The day was fine, and as the wind had abated, the cold was not so severe, and I was allowed to defer the setting up the stove in the great cabin, which was loudly called for yesterday.
Thursday, Oct. 5,--At seven o'clock we sailed for Woody Island at the head of Placentia Bay. The wind was so light, that we made but about eight miles in five hours. At one o'clock we landed at a little settlement called Bordeaux, to apprise the inhabitants of my intention of holding a Confirmation to-morrow at Woody Island. This was formerly a French settlement, and the land had been cleared by the French. The present occupier is an Englishman from Sturminster, who has brought a considerable quantity of land under cultivation, and grows wheat, barley, and oats. The wheat has ripened well this year, and has been reaped. His turnips and other vegetables are remarkably fine. He keeps also many head of cattle, and supplies several places in the bay with meat. We received a large supply of carrots, parsnips, turnips, and cabbages, with a bottle of milk. The farm is exceedingly picturesque, as well as fruitful. Just before the house is a salt-water lake, which rises and falls with the tide, though its connexion with the sea is not visible. We reached Woody Island just at sunset, and were full two hours more creeping into the harbour.
Friday, Oct. 6.--The anniversary of my landing at Torquay in 1846, after my perilous journey across the Atlantic in the good Church ship. If I had time to indulge in contrasts, something considerable might be said in that way of the difference of my present position and circumstances; but I have no time to write what I may, or rather must, think and feel.
The church here is a mere shell; no seats, door not hung, ceiling not finished. I therefore did not consent to consecrate. By the help of some boards and flour barrels, with a table and chair; the room was decently furnished for service. I preached and administered the Holy Communion. There was the usual exhibition of sobbing and crying, which is practised generally by the people who have been under the teaching of the Methodists. It seems part of their system to work up their feelings and exhibit them. Some young children were very noisy and troublesome. The mothers were with them, but it seems no part of their system to correct or restrain them. Some fifteen or sixteen persons, chiefly men, communicated; in the afternoon I confirmed. Some lads I rejected as too young, and otherwise ill-prepared. Many men whose names were on the list, refused to come forward, on the old dissenting pretext of not being able to keep their promise, and therefore thinking it better not to make one. There is great desire and great need of a school in this place. A respectable Teacher, who could read the service on Sundays here and at South Island, in default of a Clergyman, might be, with God's blessing, of incalculable benefit to the people, old and young, in their temporal and spiritual concerns. The land seems very good for pasture and garden produce, but it is too far, they say, from the fishing-grounds, and the people generally are very poor. We were unable to leave this evening, in consequence of heavy rain, with a strong south-east wind.
Saturday, Oct. 7.--The wind was fair, and we reached Harbour Buffet soon after nine o'clock, having performed the run, (eighteen miles,) which occupied the whole of Thursday, in about two hours and a quarter. Prayers in the church at eleven o'clock, and again at five o'clock, when I addressed the candidates for Confirmation.
Three lads came before me to-day, who had written home to their friends in England, to complain of the treatment they had received from their master. They were from Crowle, in Worcestershire; and the Clergyman of a neighbouring parish had written to me at the request of the parents of the lads, to beg me to inquire into their case. They came before me at their master's desire, and were invited to speak freely; but they advanced nothing to sustain the charge. I have no doubt they live and work hard, but so did every member of the family last winter; I therefore could only admonish the lads, and comfort them in loco parentis.
Sunday, Oct. 8.--Went to the Sunday-school at ten o'clock, which was well attended, and apparently well regulated. My three lads from Crowle were present, and I heard them read, and repeat the Collect. Some of the natives are very well instructed. I preached, and celebrated the Lord's Supper. Twenty-three communicants. In the afternoon I again visited the Sunday-school, and catechised the children, and heard some very young ones repeat their prayers.
In the afternoon service, three children were baptized. I confirmed in the usual way. The number was small. In the, evening I wrote a manifesto, to be read to the people after my departure, on the general state of their parish in spiritualibus.
Monday, Oct 9.--Sailed with a fine wind for Placentia, which we reached by half-past ten o'clock. Unhappy Placentia! The restoration of the church by the Queen Dowager's great bounty, which I hoped would be an occasion of union, peace, and joy to the few Church members who remain in this settlement, seems to have given birth to nothing but strife. The work in the church has been shamefully done; much of it must be renewed.
About sixteen persons assembled to Divine service; I preached. It was exceedingly cold. Some snow had fallen in the morning, and the wind swept round the poor desolate church, but was not so unkind, and did not bite anything so nigh, as the ingratitude of the naughty men of the place. I spoke to them separately and privately after the service, and exhorted them to strive and pray against their bad tempers. I carefully examined the church, and took a note of what has been done, and what yet it remains to do.
Three lads were reported as candidates for Confirmation, but the only one whom I j'udged old enough, was absent at Little Placentia, and could not be brought in time. Afternoon service at four o'clock, when I again preached.
Tuesday, Oct. 10.--The wind being fair for the Isle of Valen, we started for that place at an early hour. I looked upon poor Placentia as we went out of the harbour with feelings of grief and shame, such as I hardly remember to have experienced before. We reached the Isle of Valen by eleven o'clock, and held service in the church. A very small congregation. Most of the men and lads are absent, getting wood for the winter. At the Afternoon service I confirmed three persons out of a list of upwards of thirty.
Wednesday, Oct. 11.--It was a very tempestuous night, raining and blowing furiously; and the creaking of the cable and hawser by which we were moored, was sufficient to disturb a mind and body ill at ease. At ten o'clock this morning we went on shore, and I preached and administered the Holy Communion to eight persons, all females. The poor men, who seemed simple-minded and sincere, professed themselves desirous to receive, but unable to overcome their fear of receiving unworthily. In the evening a fair wind sprung up, and, in our anxiety to get forward, we weighed anchor, contrary to our usual practice, after sunset. We got out of the little harbour about nine o'clock, with a bright moon, en route for Oderin.
Thursday, Oct. 12.--We came to anchor in Oderin harbour this morning at daybreak. Soon after six o'clock, the Rev. U. K White went on shore to provide for a service. The upper loft of a store was kindly furnished for the occasion by the resident merchant, a Roman Catholic, who, with true indifferency, furnishes it both to the Methodists and to ourselves--first come, first served. Only two Sundays ago, Mr. White and the Methodist preacher by accident met here; but the preacher had arrived first and obtained the loan of the store, and whether for the store, or for John Wesley, or for the preacher, nearly all the people gave attendance there, and Mr. White could scarcely muster the two or three for a congregation. There was, therefore, some considerable doubt whether it would be possible, or whether proper, if possible, to assemble the people for Divine Service. I thought it right to make the attempt. On landing, I was very kindly and respectfully greeted by the Roman Catholic merchant. I went directly to the store and found it filled, and nowhere had I met a better behaved congregation. I addressed them with such instructions and admonitions as were suited to their case and conduct. At three o'clock we had a second service, and the same persons as in the morning, or not fewer, were in attendance. I concluded, therefore, that my remarks on Methodism had not greatly offended them. As the wind was fair, we got under way immediately after service, and were saluted ongoing out by repealed discharges of muskets and sealing guns. The merchant most kindly presented us with two large loaves, four bottles of milk, a sheep, and vegetables. On the whole, I had as much reason to be pleased and satisfied with my reception at Oderin, and to hope for good results from it, as at any place in the bay. Mr. White here took his leave, as our next stage (if God will) should carry us far out of his Mission. The circuit which we have now completed with him, (and there are many other stations in his Mission, at which I could not call,) is not of less extent than 100 miles.
Friday, Oct. 13.--At two o'clock we were off Cape Race, where we saw several pieces of a recent wreck; some thrown up on the shore, some still floating on the water. Why was it not the good Church ship? why,--but because God has been gracious and merciful, far beyond our deserts. The day was fine, though cold, and the sailing pleasant. I had occasion and opportunity to reflect with wonder and gratitude on the many mercies of this protracted voyage of fourteen weeks yesterday. We had intended to go into Renews, but as we did not reach it till sunset, and our captain did not know it, we stood on for Ferryland. This was a disappointment to me, as I had wished to spend the Sunday at Renews. It was between eight and nine o'clock when we reached Ferryland. I sent a boat for a pilot, who, with God's good hand upon us, helped us in, and brought us safely to anchor about eleven o'clock. It was a great mercy, for very soon after, the wind began to breeze up from the north-east, which would have driven us back.
Saturday, Oct. 14.--It blew furiously this morning from the north-east, so that, though within a cable's length of the shore, we could hold no communication whatever with the inhabitants. I have seen nothing like it this season. If we had not entered and anchored last night, we should be now to the westward of Cape Race, without any hope of making a harbour by Sunday. [A fine sailing vessel which bore us company all yesterday, and stood in for St. John's in the evening, and nearly reached it (within about twenty miles), was driven back in this gale, and did not recover the lost ground till the following Tuesday (four days). There were numerous wrecks on the coast in this gale.] I knew not how to be thankful enough. At five o'clock we were able to land, and went immediately to the church and gave thanks for our safe arrival. We spent the evening with the Rev. H. H. Hamilton, and made arrangements and preparations for the services of to-morrow.
Sunday, Oct. 15.--The morning was fine, though the wind was still high and very cold. The little church was well attended. All the Protestants in the place, except two or three sick persons, were present at the service. Eight or nine communicated. In the afternoon I gave Confirmation to the candidates from this and the neighbouring settlements of Aquafort. An influential inhabitant of the latter place has lately conformed to the Roman Catholic faith, and has used his utmost endeavours to induce his large family to follow his example. But though some have fallen away, I have reason to hope and believe, that on the whole, his desertion has had the effect of making his relations and neighbours more concerned to prove and improve their churchman-ship. How have I sighed and prayed this day for the restoration of unity, that we all might be one, even as Thou, O Father, art in Christ, and Christ in Thee!
Monday, Oct. 16.--We sailed this morning for Renews at an early hour, but the wind being very light, we were not off the bay till ten o'clock, and it took us an hour to beat in. The entrance is very critical, with some shoals and sunken rocks. We had therefore brought a pilot from Ferryland. Several of the Protestant inhabitants came off to meet and greet us. I told them my first care was to worship with them, and that I was ready to accompany them to their place of prayer. This is but a poor room in a poor house, but nicely furnished for the occasion. I preached and administered the Holy Communion in the morning, and confirmed in the afternoon. A little church (twenty-five by sixteen feet) is in progress, and I met the inhabitants who are interested in the work, to consult with them how it might be completed. There are only five Protestant families in the place. One member of our Church is married to a Roman Catholic wife, but he brings his children up in his own faith, and one of them was this day confirmed by me; and yet it is suspected that they have been secretly baptized by the Roman Catholic priest, and that when their father dies they will conform to the Romish faith. Such are the practices of those who compass sea and land to make one proselyte, I spent the evening with some of the merchants, who were favourable specimens of Devonshire folk, from Paignton in Torbay. One of them had made thirty-seven voyages across the Atlantic, and never met with an accident. I mentioned, with no little satisfaction, that we had performed our long coasting voyage, in and out of so many strange harbours, through fog and among icebergs; and, during the last month in such tempestuous weather as is rarely experienced even on this shore, almost without scratching the ship's side. All admitted we had been highly favoured, especially considering the stormy season.
Tuesday, Oct. 17.--Whether to rebuke us for undue complacency and self gratulation at the success of our voyage, or to teach us at the end of every work not less than at the beginning to look to God for help and protection, we this morning, the very last, as we hoped, of our journey, met with our first disaster. The wind was blowing very fresh, as we got under way, and the anchor came home sooner than was expected, and we did not fore-reach soon enough to escape drifting down upon a vessel, which since our arrival yesterday, had anchored just astern. Her bowsprit came right an end against our mainmast, and her head stove in some of our bulwarks. Fortunately we had a large crew on board, having given a passage to St. John's to four men from that very ship. A boat also came from shore and brought us a kedge anchor, by which we were drawn clear without further damage. In little more than an hour and a half we were off Ferryland, after passing which the wind suddenly failed, and came in most uncertain and suspicious flaws. It was not till half-past six o'clock that a breeze sprang up. At nine o'clock we were beating into the Narrows, and by half-past nine were safely anchored in St. John's Harbour; preserved, I trust, in mercy to remember the mercy, and to show our gratitude by devoting our lives and persons to His service and praise, who has been and is our Preserver, our Father and our God. To Him be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
I remained on board, having no house or home on shore, and well content with my Church ship.
Wednesday, St. Luke's Day.--I did not go on shore till the time of Divine service (eleven o'clock), when, to praise God for his goodness and declare the wonders that he has done for me and mine, I went up to the house of prayer, and there with my companions publicly returned humble and hearty thanks for our preservation, and our return in safety and peace. We received also the Holy Communion, which was celebrated at my desire. Thus did we endeavour to praise God in the congregation of his saints, and exalt Him in the seat of the elders; but when I reflect on the great and manifold mercies vouchsafed to us, methinks I ought to stop people in the streets, and cry with pious David, "O come hither and hearken, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul!" I returned to ray cabin in the evening, and continued to occupy it all alone, and to sleep every night on board till the festival of St. Simon and Jude, October 28th. The good Church ship was then laid up for the winter.
THE LORD'S PRAYER IN THE ESQUIMAUX LANGUAGE.
Nalegak Gud. Atalavut killangme! Akkit nakorijaule; Nalegaunit kailaule; Perkojettit malliktaulit, nuname sorlo killangme. Urlome piksaptingnik tunnitigut; Ajornivut issumagijungnerkit, sorlo uvagut uvaptingnut ujortut issumagajungnerpavut;
Oktorlungnartomut pitinatu; piulittigulle ajortunnit.
Kor. Nalegannek, pitsartunerlo, unanaunerlo pigigangne issokaugilomut.
It may, or rather must, interest my friends and the friends of the Church in the Colonies, to read a short account of the services of the Newfoundland Church ship since placed at my disposal.
In the year 1841 she came from England, in the month of September, bringing a Clergyman and his wife, and two gentlemen, who have since been ordained, and are both now employed in the Colony. This voyage was only of sixteen days.
In 1845, I visited in her first the northern coast, as far as Twillingate, and then the southern and western coasts, as far as St. George's Bay--in all about sixteen hundred miles. I was afloat nearly three months, and visited many places to the westward, where no Bishop of our Church had ever called before.
1846.--I returned in the Church ship from Bermuda, crossing the Gulf stream in the month of May without lying to, and reached St. John's in nine days--a very favourable passage. I then visited all the settlements to the northward of St. John's, as far as Exploits Burnt Island; and in the month of September sailed for England on an important mission, and was graciously preserved in that fearful hurricane of September 19, which was the cause of so many wrecks and of such loss of property and life on the whole Atlantic. The Church ship was in commission nearly six months this year, and sailed in the direct course about 5,000 miles. I took home with me to England a sick Clergyman and one of my pupils, and two other persons wanting a passage. After the hurricane we were only sixteen days in crossing to England, and we landed at Torquay on the 6th of October. The Church ship was laid up for the winter at Teignmouth, needing repairs as well as rest. In the hurricane she had lost her mainsail, gaff, topmast, and staysail; her bulwarks and toprail were started in several places, and one gang-way door was washed away.
1847.--The Church ship returned to St. John's with a precious cargo in the month of May. The Rev. C. Rouse, the Rev. J. G. Mountain, Mr. White, (to be ordained,) and Messrs. Colley and Crosse, (to be employed as Catechists.) Mrs. White also, and two Misses Blackman, (the daughters of a Clergyman,) with the Captain's wife, were passengers. They arrived on Whit-Tuesday, the very day of commencing the foundations of the new cathedral church. As I did not intend to leave St. John's, the Church ship was lent to Government for the summer, to convey provisions, &c. to various out-harbours suffering from the failure of last year's fishery and crops. She was in commission till November.
1848.--The services of the good Church ship in this year are detailed at greater length in the extracts from my Journal, chiefly an account of the Labrador. In other respects the Visitations of 1845 and 1816 were of equal interest and importance. The importance, indeed, of those Visitations was abundantly proved and manifested by the results which I saw with joy in my last voyage. I cannot be sufficiently thankful that I was enabled to occupy the ground at Burin, Harbour Briton, and La Poele, at a most critical juncture. How much do I and the Church owe to the sacred ship!