The Rev. J. Hines, who was in general charge of the work at Prince Albert, reports the baptism of two adults, but describes the work as very uphill owing to the habit of both whites and Indians of indulging to excess in strong drunk. At Sandy Lake, where the Rev. E. Cook, who is in Deacon's Orders, was in charge, the people devoted their gifts on the last Sunday of 1905 to the [377/378] Society. After the service the chief came into the vestry to say that his adopted daughter had been safely delivered of her firstborn child. He held in his hand a dollar bill, and said, 'I have already given my contribution to-day, but this is something extra. I am giving this in the name of my grandchild, just a day old, and I pray God she may grow up to be a good woman, and that she may always take an interest in her religion and her church. In giving this dollar as an offering in her name I am only marking out the road which I hope she may follow when she is grown up.' There were still a few Heathen at Nepowewin, but the Gospel appeared to be making some progress among them.
Much of the time of Archdeacon Mackay was spent in superintending the erection of a saw-mill at Stanley. Daily services were held for the workmen, and the Indians in general showed that they loved and valued Christian privileges. Archdeacon Mackay was in England during the early part of 1905, revising and reading the proofs of the Cree Bible.
At DEVON, where the Rev. M. B. Edwards resided, there are nearly 700 baptized Christians. Some of them, unhappily, were negligent in Sunday observance, and there was a general lack of earnestness among the people notwithstanding regular attendance at the services.
The rapidity of the march of events in North-West Canada is illustrated in the annual letter of the Rev. J. R. Matheson, of Fort Pitt, on Onion Lake. He states that when he began work under the Society, some ten years ago, there was no white man within hundreds of miles of his station, excepting a few employés of the Hudson's Bay Company, whereas now the railway runs within thirty-five miles, and settlers are pouring into the country. Savagery and civilization exist almost side by side. One day Mr. Matheson travelled to the north side of his district to see a sub-chief. Being enraged, the old man had threatened to become a cannibal (see last year's Report, page 443), and all the Indians had fled some thirty miles for their lives, believing that his heart had turned to a lump of ice, and that he really had the power to destroy every one of them. Mr. Matheson had the pleasure of preaching the Gospel to this man, who, he hopes, will shortly be baptized, and then, within [378/379] three days, he was sitting in the midst of an educated audience at Lloydminster listening to a lecture. The new church at Fort Pitt was completed during the year under review; the day-school was carried on with from forty to fifty scholars; and the prospects for the winter were bright when Mr. Matheson wrote. 'The Christians seem to be taking an interest in the work,' he says, 'in a way they never did before.'