Church in the Colonies.
London: The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 1847.
Halifax, January, 1840.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
I AM thankful, at the commencement of the present year, to be enabled, by the goodness of God, to make known to the Society the little I have been able to accomplish, during the last, in that field of their benevolent labour (now a small portion of the vineyard in which it has been their delight to propagate the gospel) where it has been my privilege to be on-of their workmen for nearly half a century.
You are aware, that I was disabled from much exertion, through many weary months, and though I was saved from much bodily suffering, the unavoidable inactivity, to which I was compelled, was painful--but I have been spared to an ago, when it would be vain to hope for the continuance of activity.
The first attempt at the performance of official duty, which I had the power to make in the year 1845, was on Whit Tuesday, May 12, when, in fulfilment of a promise, of some standing, I confirmed 90 persons in St. George's church, in this city.
Much pains had been taken by the Rev. Fitzgerald Uniache, in preparing these candidates, and he was repaid for all his anxieties and exertions on their behalf, by the affecting exhibition of the best feeling, which they manifested. Though feeble, I could not refrain from an endeavour to cherish such feelings by an address which was listened to with deep attention.
Though little injured by this effort, I was unable to attempt anything more, until
Sunday, July 6, when I admitted Mr. Meyrick Lally, of Worcester College, in Oxford, to the office of a Deacon--and soon afterwards sent him to replace the Rev. F. Panter, who (to our great regret) had recently left George Town, in Prince Edward's Island, and returned to England.
The next effort I was able to make was, for the fulfilment of an engagement of some months standing, to confirm at Hammond's Plains,--the distance from Halifax is only fourteen miles, but I was obliged to sleep in the neighbourhood, lest the drive should disqualify me for the exertion, and accordingly on
Saturday, August 2, I drove nine miles to an inn on the Windsor road, and from thence on
Sunday, the 3d, drove five miles over a rough road to the little church at Hammond's Plains, where I found more persons assembled than the building could contain. The Rev. A. Gray, the Society's missionary at Sackville, who has charge of Hammond's Plains, as well as of sundry other stations, had taken commendable pains in preparing the few candidates in this little flock, for confirmation, which was now administered to twenty-five persons, whose demeanour was serious and devout. I addressed them, and endeavoured to impress upon them the necessity for earnestness in their continued endeavours to profit by the grace of the Holy Spirit, vouchsafed in this solemn ordinance, and through His powerful aid adorn their profession of faith in Christ crucified. I also said much to the congregation upon their increased privileges, by the erection of a church, and the ministration of God's word and ordinances, in a place that till of late was a spiritual and moral wilderness; and endeavoured to convince. them that such benefits increased their responsibilities, and aggravated the guilt of those who disregarded them. The weather was extremely hot, and I returned to town in the evening, much wearied with the small exertion of the day.
The recovery of my strength was so slow that I began to fear the summer would be over and going before its work should be half accomplished, medical friends urged as complete a change, of thought, scene, employment, food, and even of water, as could be effected, and this induced me, after much kind solicitation, to accept repeated invitations from Mr. Cunard, to make a passage with him to Newfoundland, in the Unicorn, a beautiful steamer, which was to remain there only two or three days. He urged all my family to accompany me, and two of my daughters were, accordingly, my attendants. The weather was delightful, the sea smooth, and our passage most agreeable, as several of our intimate friends were our fellow passengers. In less than sixty hours we were at St. John's, five hundred and thirty miles, where we found the whole population engaged in doing honour to Prince Henry of the Netherlands, who had arrived in a noble frigate. The bustle on shore, and the large party at Government House, where His Royal Highness and his suite were domiciled, made me desire to remain quietly in the most comfortable accommodation provided for me in the steamer--but my kind friend Sir John Harvey, the Governor of Newfoundland, would not permit this, and insisted upon our proceeding at once to Government House, to whose inmates an addition of fourteen persons was made from our steamer, as Sir John's daughter, with her husband, Major Tryon, and four children, were with us. We remained four days through a scene of constant festivities of every kind, to which all persons contributed with one heart and hand. The triumphal arches, and streets lined with evergreens; the processions of several thousand persons, with music and banners, created something like a fairy scene. These were accompanied by salutes from the ships and the forts, and fire-works and illuminations at night; and thus the complete change that had been recommended for me, was accomplished to the full. Lady Harvey's considerate kindness, whose value I had felt on several previous occasions, in my visitations of New Brunswick, where Sir John was Governor for several years, provided for my quiet in the midst of the bustle, and my strength was daily increased. The greatest drawback from my comfort was the absence of the Bishop of Newfoundland, who was in St. George's Bay, at a great distance from St. John's; and the greatest addition to it was in attending the early daily prayers at St. Thomas's Church, where the Governor, whose attendance is never interrupted, was constantly with us. The affability of the Prince was particularly pleasing, and his whole manner, intelligence, and conversation, made a strong impression upon all who had the, honour to be in his society.
In the midst of such stirring engagements, I rejoiced in the opportunity for seeing many old and excellent members of the Church, who once formed a portion of my extended flock, and greeted me with the affection they had formerly given to me as their shepherd. A favourable opportunity for this w: afforded on a day, when Mr. Cunard took the Prince and Governor, with more than fifty of the ladies and gentlemen of St. John's, in the steamer, round Conception Bay; and Lady Harvey, who remained at St. John's with the ladies of her visitors, assisted m. in seeing these old friends. The return of the steamer soon after the day had gone, was announced by a gun and a rocket, when the Hyacinth, a British sloop-of-war, was illuminated in an instant, the whole vessel, her hull, masts, yards, and rigging, forming one complete blaze of light. Immediately afterwards she fired three rounds from her heavy guns, whose echo among the surrounding hills was magnificent. Every one was alike surprised by the suddenness, and delighted by the beauty of the exhibition. The Prince declared he had never seen anything more beautiful. On several occasions, both in public and in private, he spoke with much emotion of his reception in this colony of Great Britain. It had been his lot, he observed, to visit many places in different parts of the world; he had always been kindly received, but he had never been honoured with such kind and cordial attention, as had been shown to him, with one universal feeling, in Newfoundland. You will excuse this little episode. Some of the most gratifying scenes of my life were presented to me in this island, and in the discharge of my solemn duties here impressions were made on my heart and memory which cannot be effaced, and will always give me an interest in its welfare and well-doing in all things.
Our stay was lengthened beyond our original intention, but terminated after four days, and on the morning of
Friday, August 15, we took leave of our most kind and hospitable friends. Our steamer towed the Hyacinth out of the harbour, as she had towed her into it, upon our arrival; and after fifty-six hours of delightful weather, and in smooth water, we landed at Halifax. I was most thankful for an astonishing improvement in health, which enabled me to read prayers and preach on the two Sundays we were at sea, during our absence of nine days; and so encouraged me to hope for increased strength, that I immediately made appointments in different and distant parts of the diocese.
Monday, August 18.--I was gratified by a visit from the Bishop of Massachusetts, in the United States, Dr. Eastburn, who remained a week, and kindly preached three times on the following Sunday--twice in St. Paul's, and once at Dartmouth.
As soon as arrangements for my duty could be made in the places where I was to officiate, I was ready for a journey, and on
Saturday, September 6, I drove to Musquedoboit, thirty miles, over a rough road; which, however, is improved every year. The Archdeacon, who had preceded me a few days to make some necessary arrangements, met me towards the close of the drive, and accompanied me to a comfortable lodging which he had secured. In the evening. we were joined by Captain Gladwin, and other members of the small flock in Musquedoboit, and by the Rev. T. C. Leaver, the Society's missionary at Truro, who has charge of this place, and of tin-congregation at Gay's River. The mass of the, people in both places consists of Presbyterians, who are chiefly seceders from the Church of Scotland.
Sunday, September 7, was a threatening day. but more than one hundred and fifty persons met at the church at Musquedoboit, a neat building-, which was consecrated, and named the Church of the Holy Trinity. The church-yard was also consecrated; and I endeavoured to make these services, which were new in this place, as well as the rite of confirmation, understood by my hearers, who were attentive. I next confirmed ten candidates, who appeared to be in earnest, and then endeavoured to encourage and cherish that earnestness, that their solemn engagements might, by the Heavenly blessing, be made something more than a form. After the whole services, I called together the principal members of the church, and suggested a few improvements in minor arrangements, to which they readily promised their attention; and I promised some little assistance, as well as books for their desk and communion table. I left the Archdeacon to officiate in the afternoon, and, at two o'clock, set out with Mr. Leaver for Gay's River, twelve miles, over a bad road, with very steep hills. We. drove through several heavy showers, but found a little flock assembled to meet us. To these I preached, chiefly to prepare them for confirmation; as Mr. Leaver resides at a distance of twenty-five miles from them, and could do no more after he received my notice, than prepare for me at Musquedoboit. I walked a mile from the little church to my lodging, through heavy rain and mud. We were glad to devote the evening to family worship, as well for the comfort of the family who received us, as for our own.
Monday, September 8.--I returned to town, and very thankful to have sustained no injury from fatigue, and heat, and rain.
My arrangements were next made for a more distant visitation, and although detained by rain, that made it difficult for me to keep my appointments, I set out in the afternoon of Monday, September 15, to reach Yarmouth, (two hundred and fifteen miles,) for the following Sunday. I could only drive twenty-one miles, when the night compelled me to stop.
Tuesday, September 16.--I was obliged to drive seventy miles, which brought me to my little cottage at Clermont, for a very late dinner; and soon after breakfast, on the morning of Wednesday, September 17, the Rev. J. Robertson, of Bridge Town, called upon me. After some microscopic examinations of diseased potatoes, for an alarm was spreading through the country, he drove me to Bridge Town, (twenty-three miles); and I proceeded to Annapolis, (fifteen miles,) and lodged at the Rev. K. Gilpin's, whom I found deeply afflicted by the recent death of his amiable and exemplary wife.
Thursday, September 18.--Mr. Gilpin drove me to the parsonage at St. Clements, (eight miles.) and from thence the Rev. W. Godfrey drove me, by a circuitous route, to Bear River Bridge, (ten miles) as the wind, which amounted to a gale, made it hopeless to cross the ferry of Bear River, by straight road; I proceeded thence ten miles to Digby, through clouds of dust.
Friday, September 19.--The Rev. Messrs. Bullock, Hill, and Nichols, who met me on my approach to Digby, now accompanied me, after a wet morning, to Weymouth, (eighteen miles.) It was my wish to have gone at once to Westport, on Brier Island, but Mr. Snyder was disappointed in the conveyance he had hoped to procure; one vessel had been nipped by the tide, and another had not been able to take her cargo on board. We therefore determined to proceed to Yarmouth, unless we could find a vessel to take us across St. Mary's Bay, at one of the piers on the shore.
Saturday, September 20.--I left Weymouth, attended by the four clergymen I have named, and although we were delayed by several detours to piers, in search of a vessel, we arrived in good season at Yarmouth, (fifty miles.) The Rev. R. Avery having met us some miles before we reached that village.
Sunday, September 21.--Although the weather was not favourable, the church at Yarmouth was filled at eleven o'clock. I improved the opportunity for making known to the flock at this place the grounds on which we rest the importance of our Apostolic Ordination, and then admitted Messrs. Hill and Nichols, both of King's College, Windsor, to the order of the priesthood; after which I administered the Lord's Supper to more than sixty communicants. Mr. Bullock preached in the afternoon, and again in the evening, and to large congregations, notwithstanding heavy rain, which prevented me from going out in the evening, as I had been immoderately heated in the morning.
Monday, September 22.--The weather was favourable, and we proceeded to Tusket, (ten miles,) accompanied by many of our Yarmouth friends. The notice here had been very insufficient, but a goodly flock was gathered. I consecrated the church (St. Stephens), and preached to hearers who seemed to listen with attention, and to rejoice in the solemn ceremony of the day. I spoke to many after the service, but was obliged to hasten our return to Yarmouth to meet the members of the Church Society in the evening. I was grieved to discover that this important Society had suffered from party feeling, but better things were promised, and the prospect of improvement was encouraged. I endeavoured to convince the members, that it was essential to put down every feeling that could militate against so important an institution, in these days of the Church's difficulty and trial.
Tuesday, September 23.--We left Yarmouth early. and drove thirty miles to Monteagan (properly, Mettinghen), when we observed a vessel making towards the shore, and as soon as we were seen from the vessel, a flag was hoisted to give notice that it had come for us. A head wind and adverse tide delayed her approach to us, but as soon as sin reached the pier, we found that three principal members of the church at Westport had brought her for our conveyance. We lost no time in getting on board, and arrived at Brier Island at sunset, (nine miles from Mettinghen.) The little church at Westport, which is the chief ornament of this rising village, has been built, by the Divine blessing, chiefly in consequence of Mr. Bullock's animated exertions. The island on which it stands may be regarded as the north-western point of Nova Scotia. A strait, about a mile wide, separates it from Long Island, and is called the Grand Passage, to distinguish it from Petit Passage, twelve miles to the eastward, which separates Long Island from the main land, which is here called Digby Neck. The tide runs very violently through this passage, which is more than two miles in length between the Bay of Fundy and St. Mary's Bay. The town or village, of Westport is built on both sides of this passage; but as there is a little bay on Brier Island, which forms a safe harbour, where many vessels find shelter, the principal part of the village is on this island; and the church has therefore been judiciously placed on Brier Island. After several ineffectual efforts to get into the harbour, (for we were too late in the tide,) we were compelled to land, where the current was less violent, at the back of the village, when the day was gone. The church was lighted, and a congregation was soon assembled for a service, when Mr. Bullock preached.
Wednesday, September 24.--A furious gale of wind, with heavy showers. The church, however, was pretty well filled, although no boat could cross from the opposite shore, and few could venture to land from the numerous vessels, which bad now come into the harbour for shelter. The church was consecrated, and called Grace Church, and the Lord's Supper was administered to eleven lay persons; of whom eight were resident, and three had accompanied us, who were from Weymouth. I improved the opportunity for enforcing the value of the Liturgy, and the necessity for due regard to the Rubric; and also endeavoured to diminish the anxiety which had been manifested, even in this little remote settlement, to disfigure their pretty little church by pews. I preached a second time in the afternoon, but regretted that it had not been possible to make fitting preparation for confirmation. Indeed, a large portion of the people are unbaptized. They are occasionally visited by Dissenting ministers, and especially by Baptists, and sometimes by several at a time, who create a temporary excitement, which afterwards subsides--leaving a large number in a very unsettled state of mind, which too often leads to much indifference for all religious ordinances, and consequently to neglect of religious principles and habits. To the credit of many at Brier Island, they are anxious for settled and consistent attendant-. upon the instruction of the Church; and I hope they are desirous, through God's grace, to adorn a Christian profession by a godly life. Our evening was spent in visits to the few members of the church, and among these, to a person who had belonged to my flock in Halifax--a person of more than ordinary strength, and in full vigour, upon whom cancer was making rapid ravages. We endeavoured to prepare him for the close of this life, and his entrance into a better, and he seemed particularly thankful for our attentions, and to be much comforted. In a few weeks his disease accomplished its work.
Thursday, September 25.---We were able to devote a few hours to further visiting, and the clergy again spent some time with the individual upon whom the hand of death was laid. They left him entirely resigned to the will of God,--realising the approach of his last hour, in faith, in hope, in peace,--magnifying the mercies of His Redeemer, and resting wholly on His Divine atonement. Mr. Edward Jones, in whose house I had been very kindly entertained, had provided for our comfortable conveyance, to Weymouth in a new brig, which belonged to him; and he was now taking her to Weymouth to be laden with lumber for the West India market. After making arrangement for the regular reading of the service by Dr. White, a respectable medical practitioner, and exemplary member of our communion, I bade adieu to the embryo flock at Drier Island, and a strong wind brought us in a few hours to the mouth of the River Sissaboo (twenty miles)--but here we were delayed several hours, as our vessel was too large to cross a bar at the mouth of the river, until nearly high water. The day was therefore spent before we were at Weymouth. Mr. Bullock, and the two young clergymen, were obliged to proceed in the night, in different directions, to make the requisite preparation for the services of the morrow--leaving the church at Weymouth to me, where I preached in the evening to an attentive congregation. Here, as in many other places, I had spared no pains to make the congregation feel that the time had arrived when the members of our communion, if they have any regard for the ministrations of the Church, must make much greater exertions than had hitherto been made, for the support of her ministers. It is not easy to inculcate this duty with sufficient force, and it seems a most difficult lesson to learn.
Friday, September 26.--Mr. Snyder, the Society's missionary at Weymouth, was early ready, and drove me on the Digby road, ten miles, to the Say Church, or chapel, under his care; so called, because it is near the shore of the upper part of St. Mary's Bay. Here we turned at a right angle, and penetrated the forest for eight miles, when we reached a settlement called the South Range. Parallel roads were laid out in the early settlement of this part of the country, soon after the American revolution, as a guide for the settlers in making their improvements in the forest. The roads through these parallel farms are now becoming comparatively comfortable--but tin-cross roads from one range to another are indescribably bad. I have been pretty well accustomed to rough travelling, as you are aware, for more than half a century, but I have never driven over worse roads than a part of these eight miles--abounding in large rocks, deep mire, and precipitous banks, so that I was often obliged to trust to my feet, though ill-qualified at the time for much walking. Several gentlemen, who came from Digby to meet us, left their horse and carriage in the road, and preferred walking for many miles. Our duties commenced with the consecration of a burial ground, a mile from the South Range chapel, because it was evident that rain would soon overtake us. After this the chapel (St. Matthew's) was consecrated. Two infants were baptized, and the mother of one of them, who had received baptism as an adult, was so anxious to be confirmed, that I could not disappoint her, although, she was the only prepared candidate. I addressed the congregation on all these solemn services, and endeavoured to show them how each might be made to promote the glory of God, and the welfare of souls. The chapel is small, but sufficient for the ordinary congregation, and it is very creditable to Mr. Bullock to have accomplished the work in this poor settlement. On our return we had again to pass over the worst part of the road, and a drive of thirteen miles, through much beautiful scenery, brought us to Digby at the close of the day. We had been compelled to be as expeditious as we could, to attend a meeting of the Church Society of Digby, in the evening. This was an interesting meeting, and it was my chief effort to make a large assembly feel the increased obligation now upon them to show their regard for the Church to which they belonged, by exertions far beyond those of past years, that she may be upheld among them in her full efficiency. I trust there were many there, who duly felt their responsibility, and resolved, by God's help, to discharge their duty with singleness of heart, for His honour, and the prosperity of the Church, that her cords may be lengthened in this portion of her field.
Saturday, September 27.--After an early breakfast, I was attended by the clergy and many of the flock at Digby, seven miles, to a chapel at Hillsburg, in the mission of St. Clement's, where Mr. Godfrey, the missionary of the place, met us with a good congregation. The chapel (St. Mark's) was consecrated, and I preached to remind all before me of their whole duty, and so bade them farewell. Another mile brought us to the mouth of Bear river, which I now crossed in a boat, and proceeded twelve miles to Annapolis. Here Mr. Campbell, the Society's missionary at Granville, met me, and after dining at Mr. Gilpin's, he accompanied me across the Annapolis river, and drove me to his parsonage, four miles, where I was very comfortably lodged.
Sunday, September 28fh.--At eleven o'clock we, were at the parish church, one mile from the parsonage, where I preached to a large congregation. So many came into the church after the commencement of the service, and some of these were so late, that I felt bound to expostulate with them on the impropriety of such irregularity in their attendance upon the worship of God, in his holy temple; and endeavoured to enforce the full reverence of both soul and body which should be felt and manifested in the courts of the Lord's house. At the particular desire of the missionary, I called the attention of his flock to the importance and blessings of regular and frequent participation of the Lord's Supper, and endeavoured to meet all difficulties and excuses, real and pretended. At three o'clock there was a great concourse of people at the new chapel at Belle Isle, in the same mission, six miles from the parsonage, and six miles from Bridge Town. The building is spacious, very neat, and well finished, by assistance from three societies--the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; and our own Church Society. But, even with this aid, it called for much spirited exertion among the members of the church in Granville, to whom, as well as to their missionary, much credit is due for the accomplishment of so good a work. The building was consecrated, (St. Mary's, in Belle Isle,) and the adjoining chapel yard. Several hundred persons were obliged to remain outside of the building, after it was closely packed in every part. Of these, as many as could get near the windows were uncovered, and very attentive. I preached on the services of the day; and those who had been most anxious for the completion of the chapel were filled with joy and thankfulness to God. I was very comfortably provided for at the house of Mr. Pickman, close to the chapel, whose valuable help to Mr. Campbell had its full reward, in the happiness which he felt this day. The chapel is beautifully situated on a gently rising hill of dry ground, commanding an extensive view of the valley of the Annapolis river, with the extensive and rich meadows of Belle Isle at its foot. The sun was setting at the close of the service, and there was something very engaging as the crowd was slowly dispersing on a fine summer's evening, many, we hope, under the influence of holy emotion. So many persons were never before assembled in Granville to view anything connected with the Church, nor, perhaps, for any other object. The Chief Justice, on his circuit, met me here, and remained at Mr. Pickman's for the night. Mr. Robertson, the Society's missionary at Bridge Town, and the Rev. Edwin Gilpin, from Annapolis, assisted in our services, but both were obliged to return to their homes at night.
Monday, September 29.--Mr. Campbell, who remained with me, drove me through the upper part of his mission to Bridge Town, six miles, after I had been engaged in much important conversation with Mr. Pickman, in reference to exertions which must now be made for the future support and prosperity of the Church. I visited a few valuable members of our communion at Bridge Town, and then drove to my cottage at Clermont, thirty mile: from the Belle Isle chapel. I humbly hope I had a due sense of the goodness of God, by which I was enabled, much beyond my hope, to finish a journey of 500 miles, in which there was full occupation, with little difficulty, and no injury. I found many letters waiting for me, and one full of encouragement from my valuable brother of Fredericton, who seems to be nerved with new strength, and hope, and holy confidence, as difficulties arise around him.
Sunday, October 5.--I gladly took charge of Mr. Owen's church at Aylesford, as he had gone to spend a few days with his little flock in the wilderness at Dalhousie, to prepare them for a first visit from their Bishop.
Monday, October 6.--A rainy morning; but as the day seemed likely to improve, I set out soon after noon for the Wilmot Springs, twelve miles, hoping for some benefit from the waters; and, after bathing, proceeded, through frequent but light showers, to an inn on the Liverpool road, seventeen miles from the springs. I knew but little of the road, and the night was very dark before I reached my lodging, which was quite as comfortable as I expected to find it. The family, though Dissenters, were gratified by my assembling them for family worship.
Tuesday, October 7.--Happily a fine day. I drove three miles on the road to Liverpool, to a place called sometimes the cross road, because here the road between Dalhousie and Annapolis intersects the Liverpool road; and sometimes the depot, because here there was a deposit of provisions, which for some time were served to the soldiers of two regiments, who were first settled in Dalhousie. These were the 98th Regiment and the Newfoundland Fencibles, who were disbanded at the close of the last war. The intemperate among them soon parted with their land, when provisions were no longer issued, and have disappeared. The next departure was by those who were so unwise as to accept a commutation for their military pensions, when such commutation was unhappily offered by the Government. The more prudent and industrious retained their pensions, and are now the chief occupants of the soil, with farmers from different parts of the country, who purchased the lots that were abandoned. Great improvement in the condition of the people has been effected; and there is good hope that, as the peculiar difficulties of the first settlement have been surmounted, those who remain will be comparatively comfortable and respectable. An affectionate attention was given to these poor people by the Rev. Edwin Gilpin, the Society's missionary at Annapolis, when he had charge of Aylesford; and the Rev. H. L. Owen, the present incumbent of Aylesford, has continued such attention in a very exemplary manner, though every visit to them involves a journey of nearly fifty miles from his home. The poor people have given their affectionate gratitude to both, having little else to give. An earnest desire had been expressed for a visit from then Bishop, and especially by those who were anxious to be confirmed.
Turning from the depot, at a right angle, I travelled five miles through granite, rocks, and morasses, on a road very similar to that which I traversed in visiting the South Range, near Digby (without house or inhabitant, as the soil is incapable of culture) and so arrived at the frontier house of East Dalhousie. This place had been named for our service, because two roads, leading to separate settlements, united in its neighbourhood. I was sorry to find, upon my arrival, that from an apprehension that I could not travel through the rain of yesterday, the appointment for the confirmation had been made, not for this day, as I intended, but for the morrow, and it was now impossible to alter this, as some of the candidates were twelve miles from me. I therefore promptly changed my plan, and resolved to remain in a very unfinished house, in which every room was unceiled. Several persons from the Liverpool road, who had seen or heard of me when passing, followed me to this place, and among them were an aged couple, (one of whom was 77, and the other 88,) who had long been desirous of confirmation, and were now nearly exhausted by the effort to obtain it. As thirty persons were assembled, we had Divine service, and I endeavoured to enforce upon them the duties which seemed to devolve upon them from the peculiarity of their isolated condition, and among these, a special regard to family religion; which, however necessary in all places and for all persons, must be especially valuable to those, whose opportunities for the more public worship of God are few. They gave me their earnest attention, and satisfied me that my exhortation should not be forgotten. I cannot refrain from recording the anxiety of the family with whom I was domiciled, to make me comfortable in their humble dwelling, and they entirely succeeded in their endeavours. They also provided for Mr. Owen, and a little boy who was with him; for the aged couple I have named, and their widowed daughter who took care of them: my servant was also lodged, but how they contrived this with a large family of their own, I could not imagine. The opportunity offered by my unexpected detention in this place was improved, as far as I was able to improve it, by offering instruction to all who were with me, and the rich consolations of the gospel to the aged and infirm, and I rejoiced in the opportunity for making such endeavour.
Wednesday, October 8.--More than sixty persons were assembled at ten o'clock, some of whom had been travelling from the dawn of the day. They formed a very interesting congregation, and I was anxious to make them well acquainted with the nature of this day's employment, for which, indeed, they had been well prepared by Mr. Owen's assiduous and anxious care. They listened to me with deep attention, and some of them were much affected. Fourteen of this little flock were confirmed, and I regret to say that four others, equally well prepared. and equally desirous to be present, were prevented from joining us by illness. At the close of our services, they requested Mr. Owen to express their thanks to me for visiting them, which he did in n very appropriate manner; and when at the close of his address he adverted to the wishes that would be cherished, and the prayers that would be offered. that they might at a future day have the happiness of another visit, a spontaneous Amen and Amen was the response from many voices, and many tears gave testimony to the sincerity and feeling which prompted it. I have seldom witnessed a more interesting and affecting scene, nor could I fail to rejoice, and be thankful, that I had been enabled to give two days to the instruction and comfort of these poor and scattered members of the church, in the midst of the forest and the wilderness. As the day was well advanced, I bade them an affectionate farewell, and left Mr. Owen to administer the Lord's Supper, of which thirteen of the confirmed gladly partook. The night overtook me before I reached the Wilmot Springs, (twenty-five miles,) where I remained till the next morning, of
Thursday, October 9, when a drive of twelve miles through increasing showers brought me again to Clermont, soon after which the rain and storm became very violent.
Sunday, October 12.--I preached at Aylesford in a well filled church, and administered the Lord's Supper to twenty-two serious communicants.
Wednesday, October 15.--I attended a very interesting meeting of the Aylesford Committee of the Church Society, at which nearly one hundred and twenty persons were present, in the Church school-house. The deep silence was striking, and not an individual moved from his seat, till the whole business, which occupied three hours, was completed. A plain farmer, but a sensible and well informed man, was to move the first resolution, but he had been suddenly called away to attend the county sessions; and as little hope of his return was entertained, his resolution was given to another. By great exertion however, as his heart was in the matter, he arrived soon after the opening of the meeting, but his resolution was disposed of, and he was requested to move a vote of thanks to the chairman. When his turn came, he made an apology for want of preparation, and especially regretted the change in the duty allotted to him, as he had endeavoured, on his journey, to collect and arrange his thoughts, that he might clothe them with appropriate words. But he felt too much interest in the objects of the meeting to be satisfied with merely proposing a vote of thanks; neither would it satisfy his feelings merely to dwell upon the character or the acts of their episcopal chairman, because he had been long and well known to all of them; and therefore, with the permission of the chairman and the meeting, he would endeavour to express his thoughts upon the office and the duties of a Bishop in the Church of the Redeemer. He then proceeded to give a scriptural view of the authority and proper acts of a Bishop; supporting all he said by reference, firm in the word of God, and afterwards to early ecclesiastical historians, in a manner that would have commanded attention in an English University; and then left it to those who heard him to determine, whether they ought not to be heartily thankful in the constitution of their church, grounded as that constitution was upon Apostolical and inspired authority. This person is one of a numerous family, whose thirst for knowledge is very remarkable; and they have contrived to imbibe much knowledge through circumstances which compel them to labour continually with their hands, for the support of their families, and with more than ordinary industry and perseverance. This man was brought up among Dissenters, but his reading and meditation brought him, upon principle, to the church. He and his wife and family were baptized some years ago, by Mr. Gilpin, and have ever since been steady, consistent, and very exemplary members of our community. Though eight miles distant from the church, no parishioners are more regular and punctual in their attendance there than this pious family.
Wednesday, October 22.--I left Clermont for Windsor, and slept at Entwille, twenty-two miles, as I wished to make a little stop in passing through Horton, which I accomplished on
Thursday, October 23, when I visited two aged widows of the church, whom I was glad to encourage in their Christian course to its close, which, according to the course of nature, cannot be very distant. I was also glad to inspect sundry improvements in the church at Walfville (a part of Horton) which were in progress, and to offer some suggestions to the churchwardens and their workmen. The weather was cold for the season, the mercury having been ten degrees below the freezing point in the morning, but the air was fine, and I arrived comfortably at Windsor, where I dined, and continued at the president's lodge in the college.
Friday, October 24.--This day had been appointed, for some time, for devotion to College business, and the Chief Justice and Attorney General were to have met me for the purpose; but the business of the assizes, which was much heavier than they expected it to be, pressed upon their time so much, that neither could leave the court at Windsor, nor was it possible to adjourn it. I was, therefore, compelled to proceed alone,--commencing with an examination of the Collegiate schools, which was very satisfactory. Then followed an examination of eight candidates for two foundation scholarships in the College. Three of the candidates were so nearly equal, that it required a long examination, and gave no small difficulty, to determine who was best entitled to the prize. Night overtook us before the decision was made.
Saturday, October 25.--I drove to Halifax, (forty-five miles,) against a cold and violent northeast gale of wind, but most thankful to return, after six weeks of full occupation, and with no inconsiderable fatigue, rather improved in health, than injured by exposure and exertion.
The summary of my labours in the past year is small, as I was confined during the greater part of it, and unfit for any exertion; but I dare not complain, and may well be thankful that I have finished sixty-eight years with less interruption from sickness than I might reasonably have expected: neither can I hope any longer to possess the strength and activity that belong to earlier years. I must pray for a ready mind and will to do the little which God may enable me to perform in His service, during the small remainder of my pilgrimage; and throw myself entirely on His mercy, through the adorable Saviour and Redeemer, for all my omissions, imperfections, and short-comings; with earnest prayer that His name may be continually glorified, by the prosperity of His Church, and the sanctification of all her members.
I have had six Confirmations, at which one hundred and sixty-three persons were confirmed; three Ordinations, at which three Deacons were admitted to the order of Priests, and two persons to the order of Deacons; six churches or chapels, and three burial-grounds, have been consecrated; six places have received episcopal visits for the first time. I have travelled more than seven hundred miles; delivered twenty-nine sermons or addresses in the country, to more than 4000 hearers, and have attended meetings of the Committees of the Church Society in various places.
Of the zeal and diligence and devotedness of the Missionaries, generally, I am able to speak with great satisfaction and thankfulness, and also of the prosperity of the Church in most parts of the diocese. I will hope, that, by the goodness of God, a feeling is spreading among all the members of our communion, which is prompting more exertions than have hitherto been made for the support of the Church and her Ministers, while churches and chapels are building in many places, where few could hope a church would ever be seen, and calls are constantly made from all parts of the diocese for a large increase of our clergy.
We cannot fail to hope and pray that such considerations may powerfully move the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands, who have hitherto had no part in the long-continued and holy labours of the Society; and under the Divine blessing, induce them to lend a willing heart and a powerful hand to meet demands now increasing from every quarter, for that fostering care which the Society has long extended, and is now affording in her proper character, as the organ and the agent of the Church of the living God, to sustain His honour in every portion of the world, and to hasten the coming of His glorious kingdom.
JOHN NOVA SCOTIA.