RECTOR OF ST. MICHAEL'S, WINCHESTER.
BISHOP OF THE FALKLAND ISLANDS
JAMES NISBET & CO.
Chapter I. Allen Francis Gardiner
Chapter II. Missionary Researches in Chili and Patagonia
Chapter III. Missionary Researches in Bolivia and Tierra del Fuego
Chapter IV. The Last Voyage
Chapter V. Banner Cove and Spaniard Harbour
Chapter VI. The Missionary Schooner "Allen Gardiner," and the Falkland Missionary Station
Chapter VII. Missionary Work in Tierra del Fuego
Chapter VIII. Missionary Work in Patagonia
Chapter IX. The Establishment of Missionary Chaplaincies in South America
THE original Memoir of Captain Gardiner was published in 1857, when the Fuegian Mission had recently been established by the adoption of the plan recommended in memoranda, which were written by Captain Gardiner, in Tierra del Fuego, a little before his death. The missionary schooner, Allen Gardiner, had been built, Keppel Island had been selected for the station on the Falklands, and a clergyman had been appointed to superintend the working of the Mission.
Ten years have now elapsed since that time, and some account of the intervening period has been repeatedly asked for by those who are interested in the South American Mission. Hence, the present volume, Captain Gardiner's missionary researches in South America have been again related, and a shqijt narrative has been given of efibrts made for ten years to follow up the work in that great country. It will be seen that the early history of the Mission is in harmony with the suggestions and plans of the founder.
The following are some of the suggestions made by him a short time before his death in 1851:--
I. NAME OF THE SOCIETY.
"Considering the wide field, which it is proposed that the Society should enter upon and occupy, as far as they have ability, it would be advisable to alter its present designation to one more comprehensive and applicable, viz.--The South American Missionary Society."
II. CLASSIFICATION OF THE SOCIETY'S OBJECTS.
"That the Society's operations be classed under two departments, via.--The Island, and the Continental"
III. PLAN FOR THE ISLAND OR FUEGIAN MISSION.
"To transfer the station to East Falkland, maintaining there a few of the natives from Picton Island, for the purpose of enabling the missionaries to acquire their language. They should first be taught English, which will enable them to become more efficient instructors in their own language, and save much time, as they are exceedingly quick in imitating sounds, and repeating foreign words correctly.
"The Government should be applied to for a tract of land suitable for the Mission premises, and also sufficiently large for garden ground and pasture.
"During the progress of their education, and acquiring and teaching language, the natives should be employed in tilling small plots of garden ground, and also in tending stock on the Mission grazing farm.
"As soon as the missionaries have acquired the Fuegian tongue with sufficient fluency, it would be advisable to relinquish the station on East Falkland, and return to Banner Cove, which appears to be the most eligible spot for the head-quarters of the mission.
"Whenever it is deemed right that they should return to Picton Island, a suitable vessel should be purchased, fitted up expressly for that service, and sent out from England with stores and provisions, to convey them to their destination. This vessel should be regarded as the Mission House, and might remain so occupied as long as she could float. A brigantine of 100 tons would be the most suitable, and, if well built, would last for twenty or thirty years."
IV. SUGGESTIONS FOR THE CONTINENTAL WORK.
First--As to the Indian Tribes.--Having arrived at the Indian frontier, "the missionary, if he be prudent, and would not mar his future prospects, must be content for a while to pause. To endeavour, without a competent knowledge of the native language, to gain their confidence and to locate within their borders, would be futile. It Las been attempted by the writer in various points, and by dearly-bought experience, he is obliged to recommend a far different course; slower, indeed, but effectual, and the only one practicable. It is simply this, first, to acquire the language, and then, and not till then, to cross the Indian frontier, not indeed with the expectation of remaining among them, but as the first of a series of brief, oft-repeated visits, which, being judiciously conducted, will assuredly lead to' the desired end--a permanent station in their country."
Secondly--As to the Spanish population.--"Tho Indian and the Spaniard being placed as they are in such close proximity, and in many instances with irregularly defined boundaries, the Society, whose main object is the instruction of the Indians, would materially further its operations by bestowing some portion of its care upon the Spanish speaking population also, for it is scarcely possible that any permanent good should be effected in one of these communities without producing a corresponding effect upon the other.
"Since the separation of the South American Republics from the mother country, education has been generally encouraged, and gradually extending among the laity, and a spirit of liberty is gaining ground. Instances could be mentioned when the efforts of the writer to distribute Bibles and tracts having been impeded by the ecclesiastics, the aid of t!ie civil authorities turned the scale in his favour."
Thirdly--As to the English population.--In his last letter to his son, Captain Gardiner suggested to him employment in South America, both ministerial and missionary, in the following order:--
1. The Chilidugu Mission.
2. Our own fellow-countrymen in the Buenos Ayrean provinces, and in the Banda Oriental.
3. The distribution of Bibles and tracts.
Such were the enlarged views of Captain Gardiner, after a careful review of his past efforts. The last words were written as he felt the approach of death.
There are now three stations for missionary effort among the Indians--
Keppel, for Tierra del Fuego.
El Carmen, for Patagonia.
Lota, for Araucania, (called by Captain Gardiner the Chilidugu Mission.)
The Buenos Ayrean and the Chilian governments are favourable to the work of the South American Mission.
Missionary chaplaincies for the benefit of our own countrymen have been established at Panama, Callao in Peru, the Chincha Islands, where the guano vessels assemble in such numbers; Coquimbo in Chili, and Paysandù in Uruguay.
The promoters of the Mission are thankful for the progress which has been made. They are not discouraged because the work is slow, believing that the healthy growth of a mission is no more to be hurried than the healthy growth of a tree. While these pages are issuing from the press, the Allen Gardiner is returning to her work in the Antarctic Ocean. The four natives of Tierra del Fuego, who have been in England since August 1865, are on board. On the eve of her sailing from the port of Bristol, Bishop Anderson, accompanied by other friends of the Mission, both lay and clerical, visited the little vessel, and held a farewell service on board.
God speed the Allen Gardiner! Be this our prayer! May she be a messenger of peace and life to men long sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.
THE issue of a third edition of this volume presents an opportunity for acknowledging the hand of God in the past events of the South American Mission.
The Allen Gardiner has seen twenty years of service since she first sailed, in the year 1854, on her sacred mission. She has carried the first missionaries to their home in the Falklands, and on pioneer voyages to Tierra del Fuego. She has brought Fuegians to the Falkland Mission Station and to England, and has again carried them Lack to be messengers of peace to their countrymen. She has had her perils, from collision at sea, from the intricate navigation of the Fuegian archipelago in stormy seasons; and on one occasion an attempt was made by fierce savages to set her on fire; but, by the blessing of God, she has been preserved through all these dangers, and is still employed in the same work.
Keppel Island was our first missionary settlement. Thither natives were brought for instruction, but this was only a temporary expedient, and now it has proved a stepping-stone to a station in the heart of Tierra del Fuego. Many of the natives have thankfully accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, and thirty-seven of them have been baptized. For this great success we give thanks to God.
The details of this work are partly related in the sixth and seventh chapters of this volume, and the rest in a little book, recently published, and entitled, "First Fruits of the South American Mission."
The establishment of chaplaincies for English communities in South America was effected on a definite plan only ten years ago, as shewn in the last chapter of this book, a chapter which has been re-written for the present edition. As a movement, therefore, it is too recent to be tested by its results. The difficulties have been too many to be enumerated here, but a few may be mentioned. There is, in the first place, the permanent difficulty of providing efficiently both for ministerial and educational work, in a country or mining district, without exhausting the chaplain's health or energy on the one hand, and on the other without crippling the resources of those among whom he labours, liable as they are in some places to sudden fluctuations of trade. There is also the difficulty of language, for he who takes the office of chaplain to an English community in South America should be perfectly acquainted with the language generally spoken in the neighbourhood, whether it be Spanish, Portuguese, or German. Still, although so short a time has elapsed, we have to record with thankfulness the establishment of five chaplaincies on the East and five on the West Coast. Now, although these chaplaincies are at considerable distances from each other, yet the appointment of a Bishop of the Falklands, whose licence all the Society's chaplains are required to hold, has had the effect of welding the separate links into one chain.
We have referred to the year 1854 as the date of the foundation of the Mission, and to the year 1864 as that in which the chaplaincy work on a large scale was inaugurated.
The year 1874 marks the commencement of the Amazon Mission. Mr Clough had previously ascended the Amazon for considerably more than 2000 miles, and had fixed on Santarem as a suitable basis for the work. Santarem is situated at the confluence of the River Tapajoz with the main stream of the Amazon, about 500 miles from Para. The journal, which Mr Clough wrote during the preliminary expedition, is being published monthly in the South American Magazine. In September last, accompanied by Mr Resyek of the Southern Mission in Tierra del Fuego, Mr Clough sailed for Santarem. Our readers must bear in mind that the Amazon Mission is a gigantic enterprise, and that, being undertaken, it must be prosecuted with vigour. Instead of two missionaries fifty are required. The Amazon is the highroad to a new Indian world, into which the gospel has not yet penetrated. We trust that every Englishman in South America will help the enterprise. We trust that every member of the South American Mission, at home and abroad, will work for it, and pray for a blessing on it. We ask of Him, "who had compassion on the multitude," to stir the hearts of all Christian people to come forward and give efficient help.
J. W. M.