WE now give such extracts from Captain Gardiner's journal as our space will admit, to show what intercourse they had with the natives, the means used to procure food, and lastly that wonderful testimony to the power of Divine grace which the concluding portion gives.
The first notice of the natives after the Ocean Queen left is on
"Dec. 23, 1850.--During the whole of Saturday, we had been at sea, and did not reach our anchorage till one o'clock on Sunday morning the 22d. At daylight we were awoke by the voices of the natives, two of whom were preparing to enter the boat, which to our great concern we found immovable, the tide having left her aground. We united in prayer. The two natives observed us, and as we proceeded they became more quiet, and at length seemed in some degree awed.
"Mr Maidment espied the Speedwell, standing out. No time was lost in putting her about; but before she could approach, five more men made their appearance, approaching us by the beach. Taking it for granted that their intentions were hostile, considering the overbearing conduct of the two who had been with us since daylight, we landed with our guns and walked towards them, and when within a few paces, we knelt down upon the beach, and committed ourselves to the mercy and protection of our heavenly Father. They stood still, without uttering a word, while we were in prayer, and seemed to be held under some degree of restraint. Finding that they were peaceably inclined, some presents, such as knives and buttons, were distributed among them; but in order to be prepared, as our situation was still favourable for an attack, I walked round to a spot opposite to the Speedwell, and directed Erwin to prepare a raft, in order that as a last resource we might, if attacked, take refuge on board of her. On my return, we commenced our usual Sunday service. The natives were still standing close to the boat, and it was again remarked that, as we proceeded, they gradually became quiet, and their whole demeanour was greatly subdued. As soon as we were afloat again, both boats returned to their former anchorage in Banner Cove."
Mr Williams writes under date--"Dec. 31, 1850.--Two things have happened of a disappointing nature, which it has rather puzzled us to make up for. One is that whereas Captain Gardiner was in expectation of there being abundance of fish here, we find literally none, saving the small ones caught by the natives, but we do not know where they obtained them. The other disappointment arises from our having left our stock of powder on board, so that we can no longer supply ourselves with ducks and geese, of which there we plenty here. Anticipating neither of these failures, no Jarge provision of animal food was made--only two casks of preserved meat and one of pork, the latter purchased from the Ocean Queen--consequently, our diet consists chieiiy of wheatmeal and oatmeal, with rice and biscuit, cheese, butter, and molasses."
We resume our extracts from Captain Gardiner's journal:--
"January 6, 1851.--After a lapse of nine days, the longest period during which the natives had been away from us, they returned about seven o'clock on Saturday morning, January 4. They entered by Cook's Passage in different parties; first three, then two, and afterwards three more canoes came. As they approached, they divided, three going alongside each of the boats, while the other two remained near the wigwam, nearly opposite to us. On perceiving the three last canoes rounding the point, I gave directions for leaving the Cove, as there was every reason to apprehend that so large an assemblage of natives was for some hostile purpose, and not for friendly traffic, as the people alongside in the canoes were evidently desirous that we should regard it. They commenced by offering us fish for barter, which of course we accepted, giving them some articles in return. On perceiving a bundle of long war-spears in the stern of the two canoes which were near the wigwam, and the men in them deliberately handing to each other baskets of stones from the beach, there was no room for doubt or deliberation. The order to cut the cable was instantly given and as readily obeyed; our stern anchor was soon hove up, and we were shortly afterwards under sail. As soon as we were fairly out, and under the lee of the land, we closed in order to exchange some provisions, in the event of our being separated, and offered up our praises and thanksgivings to our gracious God, who had shielded us in the hour of peril, and so mercifully restrained the natives from carrying their design into effect. Had the wind permitted, we should have gone to Blomefield Harbour, but Lennox Harbour was the only one to which we could with safety steer.
"Tuesday, March 25--Tent Cove.--Went round Garden Island in quest of goats. Saw none, but found the skin of a kid which had been killed. It is therefore to be feared that the natives have killed them all. This is a sad disappointment, as fresh meat is now so essential for those who are sick. Yesterday, for a few nails, seventy fish were purchased from the natives. This afternoon we took on board the three casks of biscuit which had been deposited here, with the pork, a timely supply.
"Wednesday 26.--Moved this morning into Banner Cove. In the afternoon buried three bottles with notes in them, signifying where we were to be found should we leave this cove; also painted a notification to the same effect on the rocks in two places. The bottles contain the following notification:--"We are gone to Spaniard Harbour, which is on the main island, not far from Cape Kinnaird. We have sickness on board; our supplies are nearly out; and if not soon relieved we shall be starved. We do not intend to go to Staten Island, but shall remain in a cove on the west aide of Spaniard Harbour, until a vessel comes to our assistance.
"N.B.--We have already been two months in Spaniard Harbour, finding the natives hostile here. (Signed and dated March 26, 1851.)
"March 27.--Went on shore to complete the paintings on the rocks, and otherwise notify the place of our destination. Had scarcely finished when some canoes appeared near Cook's Passage, and the voices of the natives were heard. Returned on board with John Pearce, who had accompanied me. Four canoes came alongside, very noisy and turbulent. Obtained a few fish for pieces of iron hoop. But notwithstanding all our vigilance, they contrived to cut our raft adrift; happily it was recovered by means of our long boat-hook, on which they all, to our great relief, took their departure. They have taken up their quarters in the wigwam left by the party which went away on Monday.
"Friday 28.--Kept a short watch during the night, Mr Maidment and I taking four hours each. The natives were moving about at one o'clock, striking wood, as we suppose, for signals, &c. At four called the people to get under way, and by half-past four we were leaving Banner Cove, with a light air, and three oars putting. The natives seemed in a bustle, fires had already been placed in their canoes, and they followed us a little way in them. In all probability there was a reinforcement near.
"March 29--Earnest Cove.--This afternoon we anchored in our old berth in Earnest Cove; the passage was an anxious one, and fatiguing to the men. Mr Williams has borne the passage better than I could have expected. We have experienced the good hand of our God upon us in carrying us out and bringing us back in safety, and enabling us to do in Banner Cove all that was necessary for insuring, as far as instrumentality is concerned, the duo arrival of the vessel which is expected to bring our supplies.
"Monday 31.--Rigged up our sleeping boat; sent the beds, &c., on shore; and Mr Maidment and I took up our quarters as before. I have directed John Pearce to sleep in the boat, so that there will be four on board, and three on shore at night, which will be a great relief to all.
"April 12.--Last night it blew in gusts harder than it has done since we have been in Tierra del Fuego. It is my intention to move the Speedwell on Monday, if practicable, into Cook's River, as it is too great a risk, especially with invalids on board, to lie here. Had the wind veered to the S.E., I fear the boat would have been driven on shore. Last night Mr Maidment, Pearce, and I, engaged in prayer for the safety of our companions, and our petition has been graciously granted. The Lord has been very merciful to us in preserving us all from harm during such inclement weather.
"April 14.--This afternoon moved the Speedwell to Cook's River. Mr Williams got up, and sat in the stern sheets for some little time enjoying the scenery.
"April 23.--Yesterday I went on board the Speedwell to stir them up to devise plans for catching fish and fowl; recommended the net to be set up, with a tripping line, near the place where sea fowl roost, to draw the net and to use the balls, as the Indians of the Pampas do; a set of thesa balls are making. We have provisions of all kinds to last us two months, but some are very low. I have directed that the pork should be used three times a week.
"April 25.--Our guntrap has at last succeeded; the fox has paid the cavern nightly visits for some time. We found him this morning shot through the heart, in the endeavour to take the bait, which was placed at the muzzle of the gun with a string from it attached to the trigger.
"April 30.--Ate a small portion of the fox for dinner today; his flesh had rather a fishy flavour.
"May 3.--Yesterday we dined on the remnant of a shag found by Mr Maidment on the beach, and to-day we had a fine fish for dinner. Five were caught yesterday by the net at the entrance of Cook's River. This is very seasonable for the sick, and we have reason to be thankful to the God of all our mercies.
"Pioneer Cavern, May 8, 1851.--' Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me. Mine eyes are unto Thee, O God the Lord. In Thee is my trust, leave not my soul destitute,' (Ps. cxxxviii. 7, and cxli. 8.)
"'Sweet peace have they whose minds are stay'd,
Firm on the Rock in Zion laid;
No anxious cares disturb their rest;
Whate'er of earthly ills betide
Amid the storm, secure they ride,
Their souls in patience are possessed.
"'Children of Him whose watchful eye
Regards the ravens when they cry,
What need they fear or bode of ill?
They know their hairs are number'd all;
Nor can the smallest sparrow fall
Without their Father's sovereign will.
"'Though all around is dark and drear,
Nor sun, nor moon, nor star's appear,
And every earthly Cherith dries;
Faith bears the drooping spirit up,
And sweetens every bitter cup--
A bow in every cloud descries.
"'The Lord who gave may surely take,
The bruised reed He will not break;
He knows we are but dust.
The oil and meal alike may fail,
The whelming storm may long prevail,
Yet on His promise we will trust.
"Whate'er in wisdom He denies,
A richer boon His grace supplies,
A peace the world can ne'er bestow;
Though nought remain, we 're not bereft,
What most we value still is left,
The Rock, whence living waters flow.
"'Then come what may, we'll humbly wait,
His arm was never bared too late,
The promise will not, cannot fail,
Though dark the night, the morn will break,
His own the Lord will not forsake;
The prayer of faith shall yet prevail;
And we shall deem the trial sweet
That laid us waiting at His feet.'
"May 12.--Three fish caught in Cook's River. As the biscuit was getting low, and we may not altogether have supplies for more than three weeks longer, those who were in health were to-day put upon short allowance.
"May 20.--"When I was at Cook's River this afternoon, I found Mr Williams engaged in prayer with the two who were left on board ..... It is delightful to see him so heavenly-minded, and so anxious to draw all around him to the fountain of grace, from whence he derives such inward comfort in the midst of his afflictions.
"May 22.--Yesterday was set apart for special prayer on account of the sick, and for supplies of food, and the expected vessel. It was in the following order--General Confession; Communion Service, Ps. lxxvii. and xxxiv.; 1 Kings xvii.; Ps. xxiii.; Acts xxvii. Collects 1, 5, 2, at the end of the Communion Service, and last two prayers of the Litany. Prayer for all conditions of men. General thanksgiving. Last Communion Collect. One of Roberts's sermons on Prov. iii. 11,12. Prayer for relief under our present circumstances, &c.
"May 28.--The net was broken by the strength of the tide on Monday night, but has not yet been hauled up, as there is too much ice on the river. Snow fell yesterday, and also in the night.
"Pioneer Cavern, June 4.--'Until the time that His word came: the word of the Lord tried him.' 'Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord,' (Ps. xxvii. 14.)
'"In heaven the Christian Pilgrims rest,
Where all are holy, all are blest;
There is no night,
No sun, no moon could add one ray
To that effulgent, endless day,
Where all is bright,
And saints behold with open face
The glories of redeeming grace.
"'And why should there be night below,
E'en in this world of sin and woe,
Where Christians dwell?
When Egypt felt that darksome night,
In Goshen all was clear and bright,
And joy could swell
From grateful hearts, serenely kept,
While judgments all around them swept.
"'Let that sweet Word our spirits cheer
Which quelled the toss'd disciples' fear--
Be not afraid:
He who would bid the tempest cease
Can keep our souls in perfect peace,
If on Him stay'd,
And we shall own 'twas good to wait-
No blessing ever came too late.'
"June 10.--The net was recovered and repaired, and on Saturday night, the 7th, was put out; but so much ice floated down the river during that night, and on Sunday, that it was again torn, and indeed has been almost entirely carried away, so that repair is impossible. Thus the Lord has seen fit to render another means abortive, and doubtless to make His power more apparent, and to show that all our help is to come immediately from Him.
"June 12.--Mr Williams writes, 'Ah, I am happy day and night, hour by hour. Asleep or awake, I am happy beyond the poor compass of language to tell. We have long been without animal food of any kind. Our diet consists of oatmeal and pease, with rice occasionally; but even of this we have only a stock sufficient to last out the present month, or a very short period beyond this. The weather is very severe, with a deep fall of snow upon the ground. But thi& is not the worst feature of our case. All hands are now sadly affected. Captain Gardiner, a miracle of constitutional vigour, has suffered the least, and, if I listened to his own words, he is still none the worse; but his countenance bespeaks the contrary. Would it were not so! Mr Maidment likewise has sustained the shock of our circumstances very well, but yet great debility is now manifesting itself.'
"June. 14, Saturday.--Five fine ducks were shot yesterday near the boat, in Cook's River. They were evidently driven from the interior by the late snow, and were seen in a large flock. This is a merciful supply. Mr Williams and Badcock are very weak, the disease having greatly increased.
"June 16, Monday.--Again we have had a merciful supply, five more ducks having been killed on Saturday evening. One shot only was fired on Friday and on Saturday, so thick were the fowl settled on the water near the boat.
"June 21, 1851.--' Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast,' (Ps. lvii. 1.)
"'Lord, at Thy feet I humbly fall,
And all I have to Thee resign;
Whate'er Thou mayst in love recall,
'Tis best to lack, for all is Thine.
"'Firm on the Rock of ages fix'd,
I shall but hear the tempest beat;
The cup my heavenly Father ruix'd,
Though bitter now, will soon be sweeu
"'But should Thy billows o'er me break,
When call'd to suffering, want, or pain,
This our petition would I make--
"Let faith burn bright, and love remain."
"'Uphold me in the trying hour,
Permit no murmuring thought to rise;
Let me but feel Thy quickening power,
And crosses I shall learn to prize.'
"June 28, Saturday, my Birthday.--'Who am I, O Lord God, that thou hast brought me hitherto?' (2 Sam. vii. 18.) We are now, by the providence of God, brought into circumstances which to the flesh are trying.....But I will not be anxious on that account; we are in the Lord's service, and He is merciful, and full of compassion. Though He cause grief, He will have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. I know that it is written, 'They that seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good;' and again, 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.' Whatever the Lord may in His providence see fit to take away, it is that which He himself has bestowed.....Still I pray, that if it is consistent with Thy righteous will, O my heavenly Father, Thou wouldst look down with compassion upon me and my companions, who are straitened for lack of food, and vouchsafe to provide that which is needful, .... but if otherwise, Thy will be done..... May I learn entire submission of my will to Thine; may every high place of pride be abased in my heart..... Lord, I pray that Thou mayst be honoured in me, whether by life or by death, and that I may never depart from Thee. Uphold me by Thy grace, and keep me from anxious care, from murmuring and unbelief; and may the sincere language of my heart be under every circumstance, 'The Lord gave,' and should the Lord my God see fit to recall any of His gifts, and even to take away all, still ' Blessed be the name of the Lord;' He hath done all things well. One more petition I would offer to Thy throne of grace, O merciful Lord: I pray that Thou wouldst graciously prepare a way for the entrance of Thy servants among the poor heathen of these islands.....Grant, O Lord, that we may be instrumental in commencing this great and blessed work; but shouldst thou see fit in Thy providence to hedge up our way, and that we should even languish and die here, I beseech Thee to raise up others, and to send forth labourers into this harvest. Let it be seen, for the manifestation of Thy glory and grace, that nothing is too hard for Thee; . . . . and hasten the day when the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be manifested, not here only, but throughout every nation, and people, and tribe, and prayers and praise shall ascend, and a pure offering from the hearts of multitudes who are now sitting in darkness.
"July 3.--During the last few days we have had many trials, out our mercies have abounded. On Sunday morning, June 29 Erwin arrived before Mr Maidment and I were up, with the not unexpected intelligence of John Badcock's departure, which took place at about eleven o'clock on Saturday night. For some days previously he had suffered much from a difficulty in respiring, and had become so extremely weak that I had little expectation when I saw him on the afternoon of the day on which he died that he would live over Sunday. His illness commenced about the middle of March. He has been a great sufferer, but throughout has exhibited the patience and resignation of a true Christian. During some portion of his illness, he was distressed with doubts as to his acceptance before God, but these were entirely removed towards the close, and he entered into his eternal rest in a most triumphant manner. Shortly before he expired, he requested Mr Williams, who was lying near him, to join him in singing a hymn. He then repeated--
"'Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice
In my behalf appears.
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.'
And sang it through with a loud voice. In a few minutes afterwards he ceased to breathe, and his emancipated spirit doubtless arose from a bed of languishing and pain, a world of sin and sorrow, to those blissful mansions which the Lord, on whom alone he leant for pardon and justification, has prepared for all those who believe in His name. As it was quite necessary that the body should be removed from the compartment of the boat which Mr Williams occupied, I gave directions that the interment should take place. The grave was dug among some trees on a bank opposite to the boat After performing the last offices over the remains of our departed brother, we retired to the forepart of the boat, and as the day was bad, and we were all fatigued, we had no regular service, but I read the 4th chapter of 1 Thessalonians and then engaged in prayer.
"On my return from Cook's River on the 30th, the tide having risen to an unusual height, I met Mr Maidment in the act of making his escape from the cavern. He had been working hard, taking to the upper end all that it was material to save, and had just completed the work. We went first to our sleeping boat; but, considering that she was in danger of being swept away or filled, as the tide was still rising, we proceeded to the Hermitage Rock, and there, being a little sheltered, we knelt down and returned thanks to our heavenly Father for the mercies which we had experienced. Soon, however, we were driven from this place of refuge, the tide threatening to hem us in. We then removed to the wood, but the drippings from the trees were worse than the rain which was falling. We were wet, cold, and hungry, and could not venture to sit down. When, at length, we returned to the cavern, we found it a complete wreck. The barriers of stones which had been raised by Mr Maidment with much labour was entirely swept away. We kindled a fire, and endeavoured to sleep, but were too wet and incommoded by smoke to rest. It was not till eleven on Tuesday that we could again leave our cavern, when, as the surf was still setting in, and the tide appeared likely to rise as high as it had done on the previous day, we agreed to make the best of our way over the heights to the Speedwell. The distance by the beach is about a mile and three quarters, and perhaps not more by the woods, but it was a very trying walk, and it was dark before we reached the Speedwell. What could be done to make us comfortable was done most readily and kindly. The next morning, July 2, we returned to Earnest Cove by way of the beach, as the tide admitted of it.
"July 4.--We have now been more than seven weeks oil short allowance, and latterly even this has of necessity been curtailed.....In noting down our events and difficulties, I would not conclude without expressing my thanks to the God of all mercies for the grace which He has bestowed upon each of my suffering companions, who, with the utmost cheerfulness, endure all without a murmur, patiently waiting the Lord's time to deliver them, and ready, should it be His will, to languish and die here, knowing that whatever He shall appoint will be well. My prayer is, that the Lord my God may be glorified in me, whether it be by life or by death, and that He will, should we fall, vouchsafe to raise up and send forth other labourers into this harvest, that His name may be magnified, and His kingdom enlarged, in the salvation of multitudes from among the inhabitants of this pagan land, who, by the instrumentality of His servants, may, under the divine blessing upon their labours, be translated from the power of darkness into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
About this time it would appear that a hand was painted on a rock pointing to the cavern, with Ps. lxii. 5-8 under it. The following are the words referred to,--"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock, and my salvation; He is my defence; f shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him God is a refuge for us."
There is no record of this in the journal, but Captain Gardiner's Bible has these verses marked July 5, 1851. and at the end of the Bible there is a reference to the same passage on a blank leaf, with these words appended--"Pioneer Cavern, July 5, 1851."
"July 22.--For six days we have had no intercourse with Cook's River on account of the weather. I was there this afternoon. Mr Williams is wonderfully supported in body and mind. Mr Maidment is indefatigable in his endeavour to obtain all that can be scraped up to furnish a meal, and endures the cold necessary in procuring mussels and limpets, and wild celery, in addition to supplying fuel and water, with the greatest cheerfulness.
"July 28.--"Went to-day to Cook's River. Mr Williams still as much supported as when I saw him on the 22d. Erwin was in bed suffering from eating the mussels. lie has now left them off. They had all partaken of celery, which was now in better esteem with them. I had strongly recommended it when last there, and the beneficial results have already appeared. They all evince a true Christian spirit, and I feel assured that this present dispensation has been beneficial, and is working for our mutual good in the highest sense of the word. May I be more earnest in prayer for the fulness of the blessing which my heavenly Father designs in His present dealings with us.
"July 30.--Went to Cook's River. All better except Mr Williams. Yesterday we hung up a tablecloth suspended to the branch of a tree near our sleeping boat as a signal to any vessel that might come.
"August 7, 1851, Pioneer Cavern.--Oil this day eleven months we left England for this country, and have been graciously preserved through many dangers and troubles. The Lord in His providence has seen fit to bring us very low, and to remove many of the blessings which we have so long been partakers of; but all is in infinite wisdom, mercy, and love. These seasons of affliction are all appointed, are measured, and limited by a God of mercy, who doth not afflict willingly, but for our good. He knoweth our frame, that we are but dust, and will with every trial impart to those who commit the keeping of their souls unto Him strength sufficient for their day. How have I abused the manifold gifts of God. How unmindful of the daily comforts which I have so unremittingly experienced, although unworthy of the very least of them! Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner. Grant that I may be humbled under Thy mighty hand, deeply sensible of my need of chastisement; that I may not be tempted of Satan to repine, neither to despise, nor to faint, but to wait upon Thee, in the posture of a suppliant for grace to profit by this and every other dispensation of Thy providence. I know, O Lord, that there is a deep necessity for this trial, or Thou wouldst not have sent it; and I humbly beseech Thee to vouchsafe to me the full benefit which Thou dost design in it. Make me to see myself in the light of Thy holy word, to search and try my heart by it, and may Thy Holy Spirit work in me the grace of true contrition, and renew in me the graces of love, faith, and obedience..... Let not this mission fail, though we should not be permitted to labour in it, but graciously raise up other labourers, who may convey the saving truths of Thy gospel to the poor blind heathen around us.....Hasten the time when it shall be said of them that they are a people prepared for the Lord, and when Thou dost make up Thy jewels in the last day, may there be many of them, shining like the stars in the kingdom of heaven, arrayed in white robes, and with palms in their hands, ascribing praise, and honour, and glory, and power unto Him who loved them and gave Himself for them. Grant these my humble petitions, I beseech Thee, O Lord, for the sake of my Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
"August 14, Thursday.--On Sunday last, the 10th, I felt so weak that I kept my bed during the day; but anxious to keep up as long as possible, especially on account of Mr Maidment, I went to the cavern on the three following days, but yesterday I found that the exertion of getting in and out of the boat, and walking even that short distance twice in the day was too much for me, and only tended to reduce the little remaining strength which I had. To-day I am from necessity obliged to keep my bed, with little expectation of again leaving it, unless it shall please the Lord in His mercy and compassion to relieve us, and vouchsafe the food which we so much stand in need of. I grieve for this, not on my own account, but because it lays an additional burden upon my kind and truly brotherly companion, who often beyond his strength labours most indefatigably in procuring what is necessary for our subsistence and comfort. To him, as the human instrument, I must now look for those things, as I am laid by, and comparatively helpless, and in his weak state it will be a severe trial and burden. But the Lord has been very gracious to us; we have been provided with food and fuel, and are in the enjoyment of many blessings, more especially in the ability which has been given to my companion to assist, and to provide for our maintenance, which he does often with great discomfort to himself, but most willingly. In all this I would desire to trace the hand of my gracious heavenly Father, who knows what I need, and has in wisdom and mercy seen fit to bring me very low. He doth not afflict willingly; there is a ' needs be' in it all, and I pray for grace to receive it as a merciful means of calling me to remembrance, pulling down pride, and causing me to wait more implicitly upon my God. My prayer to Him is, that should He, in His abounding compassion, see fit to raise me up again to strength, and to prolong my days, I may have grace to devote them entirely to His service; that I may be more grateful for His bounties, and a faithful steward of all that He may vouchsafe to commit to my charge regarding myself, and all that I possess as not mine but His, for which I must give an account.
"August 25.--On Saturday afternoon Pearce came over, bringing heavy tidings. Joseph Erwin was fast failing, and had not spoken since the previous day. Mr Williams considered him beyond the power of human aid. Yesterday Mr Maidment went to Cook's River, and found that he had been removed from us, and entered his eternal rest at six o'clock on Saturday evening. Thus one and another of our little missionary band are gathered by the Good Shepherd to a better inheritance, and higher and more glorious employments. Our times are in His hands, and He can raise up others far better qualified than we are to enter into our labours. There could not be a more active, conscientious, and truly efficient agent than our departed and deeply-lamented carpenter. Twice has he accompanied me to Tierra del Fuego, and on all occasions proved himself worthy of my highest confidence and esteem.
"August 27.--Another breach has in the providence of God been made amongst us. John Bryant, who had for a length of time been failing, died yesterday. No one was with him at the time. He was in bed, and there found about the middle of the day, having quitted his earthly tabernacle, and we doubt not is enjoying, together with our other lamented and departed fellow-servants in the mission, the fruition of bliss in his Redeemer's presence. John Pearce was very weak. We are now almost entirely separated, as there is but one individual here and at Cook's River to procure firing, cook, and supply the two who are unable to leave their respective boats; and both should rather be in their beds, than bear the toil and burden of such exhausting labours. But the Lord is very pitiful and of tender compassion. He knows our frames. He appoints and measure:, all His afflictive dispensations, and when His set time is fully come, He will either remove us to His eternal and gloriois kingdom, or supply our languishing bodies with food convenient for us. I pray that in whatsoever estate, by His wise and gracious providence, I may be placed, I may therewith be content, and patiently await the development of His righteous will concerning me, knowing that He doeth all things well."
Pearce was so overwhelmed with affliction at the loss of the brothers of his adoption, that he could offer little assistance. The energy and consideration of Maidment only ended with life. On two successive days he walked to Cook's River, and performed the last offices for Erwin and Bryant. He then returned to Earnest Cove, and attended on hia dying friend for four more days. On September 2d he left the boat, but was unable to return, and his remains were found in Pioneer Cavern. The following lines show his unfailing faith and patient endurance:--
"'Come, O my soul, arise and dwell
On everlasting love;
Forsake this transitory scene,
And soar to realms above.
Though the dark cloud has hid my joy
By His almighty will, His mercies cannot fail to flow
My God is gracious still.
"'Although my daily bread hath fail'd,
I know from whom it came,
And still His faithful promises
Are every day the same.
His words the same for evermore
As when they first were given;
Yes, blessed thought! they cannot fail
Though earth dissolve, or heaven.'"
Feeling his end approaching, Gardiner wrote a farewell letter to his son, of which some extracts are given by permission. It is dated "Earnest Cove, Tierra del Fuego, August 27, 1851," and begins:--
"The Lord in His providence is taking one and another of our little missionary band unto Himself, and I know not how soon He may call mo, through His abounding grace and redeeming love, to join the company of the saints above, where there are pleasures for evermore. It is my desire. therefore, to prepare this letter for you, that you may have the latest proof of my affection for you, and earnest desire for your temporal and spiritual welfare.....The next point is your profession, and the time is now arrived when this should be determined. It is of too great moment to be decided upon hastily: it will be the turning point of your life, and your future happiness will mainly depend upon the selection which you make.....There is but one method of coming to a satisfactory conclusion. Spread the whole matter, like Hezekiah, before the Lord; ask counsel of Him, and lean not to your own understanding.....But I would affectionately give you this caution. Do not think of entering the gospel ministry unless you conscientiously feel that you are constrained by the love of Christ, and the sincere desire of winning souls to Him.....I refrain from giving you any advice on so weighty a subject, but will just place before you, in the event of your entering the ministry, two or three spheres of usefulness in the Lord's vineyard abroad. should you feel inclined to take the missionary department, which is indeed a delightful one. 1. The Chilidigu Mission. 2. The care of those poor scattered sheep (our own fellow-countrymen) in the Buenos Ayrian provinces. 3. The distribution of Bibles and tracts in South America..... Your grandfather gave me this advice, and I repeat it to you. Lead a useful life, and, I will add, take the Word of God as your guide, and consult it diligently, with prayer to lire Holy Spirit to open your understanding; for it is not the mere knowledge of its contents, however enlarged, critical, or clear, that will carry you safely through the snares and temptations of this evil world, but when it is received as the sincere milk of the word, by which our souls are daily nourished and strengthened: then and then only we grow thereby, and are prepared for the cares and trials of life, and are renewed in the inward man: thus we are enabled to adorn the doctrine we profess, and become gradually meet for that incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that fadeth not away, reserved for all those who live by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."
On the 28th he took a tender farewell of his daughter by a parting letter, full of the most fatherly counsel, and on the 29th he wrote his last letter to his wife, from which the following extract is presented:--"I am passing through the furnace, but, blessed be my heavenly Shepherd, He is with me, and I shall not want. He has kept me in perfect peace, and my soul rests and waits only upon Him..... All I pray for is that I may patiently await His good pleasure, whether it be for life or for death, and that, whether I live or die, it may be for His glory. I trust poor Fuegia and South America will not be abandoned. Missionary seed has been sown here, and the gospel message ought to follow. If I have a wish for the good of my fellow-men, it is that the Tierra del Fuego mission might be prosecuted with vigour, and the work in South America commenced, more especially the Chilidugu branch. But the Lord will direct and do all, for the times and the seasons are His, and the hearts of all men are in His hands."
On the 30th he made an ineffectual attempt to join the reduced party at Cook's River. There is no account of Sunday, August 31, but there are paper marks still remaining in his prayer-book, which point to the collect and psalms of that day. The diary also makes no mention of Monday, the 1st of September, but we know that on Tuesday, the 2d, the last words were written of the "Missionary Memoranda," which were printed entire in "Hope Deferred; not Lost." It is probable, therefore, that those two days were devoted to a revision of the Memoranda, which contains an "Outline of a Plan for Conducting the Future Operations of the Mission to Tierra del Fuego," "Fragments of an Appeal to British Christians, in Behalf of South America," and a "Fragment of an Appeal to Government for aid to the Mission." The principle contained in the plan is what has been already named--"To convey a few of the natives to the Falklands, to teach them English, and learn their language, and to provide a brigantine or schooner of a hundred tons' burden as a mission vessel." The whole memoranda bear this heading:--"Missionary Memoranda, 1851. Written partly in Pioneer Cavern, and partly in our Boat Dormitory. Concluded Sept. 2." The last part of the diary is written in pencil, and is given verbatim:--
"Sept. 3, Wednesday.--J. Pearce was too much overcome with the loss of his companions to render Mr Maidment any efficient help on Wednesday last. Mr M. went over again on the 28th. Pearce still much cast down, and could assist but little. Mr M. prepared the grave, a wide one, in which both the remains of our fellow-labourers were laid side by side. Mr Williams somewhat better, but the unexpected death of John Bryant was a great shock to him, and he had been wandering in mind during the previous night. Mr. M. returned perfectly exhausted; the day also was bad, snow, sleet, and rain. He has never since recruited from that day's bodily and mental exertion. Wishing, if possible, to spare him the trouble of attending upon me, and for the comfort of all, I purposed, if practicable, to go to the River, and take up my quarters in the boat. This was attempted on Saturday last. Feeling that without crutches I could not possibly effect it, Mr Maidment most kindly cut me a pair, (two forked sticks;) but it was with no slight exertion and fatigue in his weak state. We set out together, but I soon found that I had not strength to proceed, and was obliged to return before reaching the brook on our own beach. Mr Maidment was so exhausted yesterday that he did not rise from his bed till noon, and I have not seen him since: consequently I tasted nothing yesterday. I cannot leave the place where I am, and know not whether he is in the body, or enjoying the presence of the gracious God whom he has served so faithfully. I am writing this at ten o'clock in the forenoon. Blessed be my heavenly Father for the many mercies which I enjoy: a comfortable bed, no pain, or even cravings of hunger, though excessively weak, scarcely able to turn in my bed--at least, it is a very great exertion; hut I am by His abounding grace kept in perfect peace, refreshed with a sense of my Saviour's love, and an assurance that all is wisely and mercifully appointed, and pray that I may receive the full blessing, which it is doubtless designed to bestow. My care is all cast upon God, and I am only awaiting His time and His good pleasure, to dispose of me as He shall see fit. Whether I live or die, may it be in Him. I commend my body and my soul into His care and keeping, and earnestly pray that He will mercifully take my dear wife and children under the shadow of His wings, comfort, guide, strengthen, and sanctify them wholly, that we may together, in a brighter and eternal world, praise and adore His goodness and grace in redeeming us with His precious blood, and plucking us as brands from the burning, to bestow upon us the adoption o children, and make us inheritors of His heavenly kingdom. Amen.
"Wednesday, 4.--There is now no room to doubt that my dear fellow-labourer has ceased from his earthly toils, and joined the company of the redeemed in the presence of the Lord, whom he served so faithfully. Under these circumstances, it was a merciful providence that he left the boat, as I could not have removed the body. He left a little peppermint water which he had mixed, and it has been a great comfort to me; but there was no other to drink Fearing that I might suffer from thirst, I prayed that the Lord would strengthen me to procure some. He graciously answered my petition, and yesterday I was enabled to get out and scoop up a sufficient supply from some that trickled down at the stern of the boat, by means of one of my india-rubber overshoes. What continued mercies am I receiving at the hands of my heavenly Father! Blessed be His holy name!
"5. Friday.--Great and marvellous are the loving-kindnesses of my gracious God unto me. He has preserved me hitherto, and for four days, although without bodily food, without any feeling of hunger or thirst."
Here ends the journal. The following letter contains the last words of Allen Gardiner. It is discoloured by exposure, and torn, but for the most part legible. The following is thought to be the correct reading:--
"MY DEAR MR. WILLIAMS,--The Lord has seen fit to call home another of our little company. Our dear departed brother left the boat on Tuesday at noon, and has not since returned: doubtless he is in the presence of his Redeemer, whom he served so faithfully. Yet a little while, and through grace we may join that blessed throng to sing the praises of Christ throughout eternity. I neither hunger nor thirst, though five days without food! Marvellous loving-kindness to me a sinner!--Your affectionate brother in Christ,
ALLEN F GARDINER.
"Sept. 6, 1851."
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus Christ. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them. They hunger no more, neither thirst any more, for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them," (Rev. xiv. 12, 13, vii. 16, 17.)
Twenty days after the death of Captain Gardiner, a schooner, the John Davison, sailed from Monte Video by order of Mr Lafone, to inquire after and assist the mission party. Three times before he had given directions for vessels to touch at Picton Island, and if his orders had been complied with, the subsequent catastrophe might never have occurred. But his agents had failed to carry out his injunctions, and at last Mr Lafone, in considerable anxiety, sent the John Davison, under Captain Smyley, on a special voyage. On the 21st of October she anchored in Banner Cove. The directions painted on the rocks were plain--"Gone to Spaniard Harbour." The bottles were dug up and the letters read. Captain Smyley then writes:--
"Oct. 22.--Ran to Spaniard Harbour. Blowing a severe gale. Went on shore and found the boat with one person dead inside, another we found on the beach, another buried. These, we have every reason to believe, are Pearce, Williams, and Badcock. The sight was awful in the extreme. The two captains who went with me in the boat cried like children. Books, papers, medicine, clothing, and tools were strewed along the beach and on the boat's deck and cuddy. .... But we had no time to make further search as the gale came on so hard. It gave us barely time to bury the corpse on the beach and get on board. The gale continued to increase, so that it drove us from our anchorage and out to sea. . . I have never found in my life such Christian fortitude, such patience, and bearing, as in these unfortunate men. They have never murmured, and Mr Williams says, 'Even in his worst distress, he is happy beyond expression.'" [The journal of Mr Williams has been embodied in a memoir by the skilful pen of Dr James Hamilton, and published by Nisbet & Co,] Captain Smyley adds:--"It is the opinion of myself and also of Captain Nicholls that with proper management they might have gone with safety to the Falkland Islands, Port Famine, or the coast of Patagonia. I have even done more than this in a whaleboat at different times." But he acknowledges, in another place, that their doing so had been rendered impracticable by illness and want.
While this terrible news was on its way to England, H.M.S. Dido, under Captain Morshead, left the Falklands on January 6, 1852, and arrived at Banner Cove on the 19th. They sought in vain for the bottles under the direction posts, these having been removed by Captain Smyley. But the sentences painted on the rocks remained, and induced them to go to Spaniard Harbour. Captain Morshead writes:--'Our notice was first attracted by a boat lying upon the beach about a mile and a half inside of Cape Kinnaird: it was blowing very fresh from the south, and the ship rode uneasily at her anchor. I instantly sent Lieutenant Pigott and Mr Roberts to reconnoitre and return immediately, as I was anxious lo get the ship to sea again in safety for the night: they returned shortly, bringing some books and papers, having discovered the bodies of Captain Gardiner and Mr Maidment unburied. . . . On one of the papers was written legibly, but without a date, 'If you will walk along the beach for a mile and a half you will find us in the other boat hauled up in the mouth of a river at the head of the harbour on (he south side. Delay not, we are starving.' At this sad intelligence it, was impossible to leave that night, though the weather looked very threatening. ... I landed early next morning, January 22, and visited the spot where Captain Gardiner and his comrade were lying, and then went to the head of the harbour with Lieutenant Gaussen, Mr Roberts, and Mr Evans. We found there the wreck of a boat, with part of her gear and stores, with quantities of clothing, with the remains of two bodies, which I conclude to be Mr Williams, (surgeon,) and John Pearce, (Cornish fisherman,) as the papers clearly show the death and burial of all the rest of the mission party. The two boats were thus about a mile and a half apart. Near the one where Captain Gardiner was lying was a large cavern, called by him Pioneer Cavern, where they kept their stores and occasionally slept, and in that cavern Mr Maidment's body was found. . . . Captain Gardiner's body was lying beside the boat, which apparently he had left, and being too weak to climb into it again, had died by the side of it. We were directed to the cavern by a hand painted on the rocks, with Ps. lxii. 5-8 under it.
"Their remains were collected together and buried close to the spot, and the funeral service read by Lieutenant Underwood; a small inscription was placed on the rock near his own text; the colours of boats and ships struck half-mast, and three volleys of musketry were the only tribute of respect I could pay to this lofty-minded man and his devoted companions, who have perished in the cause of the gospel for the want of timely supplies, and before noon the Dido was proceeding safely on her voyage. ... I will offer no opinion upon the missionary labour of Captain Gardiner and the party, beyond its being marked by an earnestness and devotion to the cause. But, as a brother officer, I beg to record my admiration of his conduct in the moment of peril and danger, and his energy and resources entitle him to high professional credit. At one time I find him surrounded by hostile natives and dreading an attack, yet forbearing to fire and the savages awed and subdued by the solemnity of his party kneeling down in prayer. At another, having failed to heave off his boat when on the rocks, he digs a channel under her, and diverts a fresh water stream into it; and I find him making an anchor, by filling an old bread cask with stones, heading it up, and securing wooden crosses over the heads with chains." . . .
In reading this affecting narrative, the emotions which crowd on the heart and mind are various. We grieve over the disasters, the privations, the dangers, the loss of the gunpowder, of the boats, of the net, the unfriendliness of the natives, the trials of sickness. We regret the decision to go to Spaniard Harbour, instead of Port Famine, or any place in the straits, where ships are liable to pass; or even to the Falkland Islands, before sickness and exhaustion rendered such a voyage impracticable. Most of all do we lament that such heroic spirits should have been suffered to encounter such hazards, without, at least, a vessel large enough to carry their provisions, and protect them from insult. But as we approach the end of the story, all these regretful thoughts give place to wonder and admiration, and thankfulness for the grace of God, which was so strikingly displayed in not one alone, but all, so that they were examples to each other of patient endurance, and unfailing faith. They endured as seeing Him who is invisible. They suffered the loss of all things in this world without repining, for their treasure was above; and though the outward man perished, the inward man was renewed day by day, till the earthly tabernacle was left, for a home not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Moreover, through the marvellous peace and calmness and steadfast resolution evinced by the subject of this memoir, and the wonderful preservation of the manuscripts, when no one of the party survived to guard them, it is our privilege to know more of their dying thoughts and last words than can often be attained when one is in close attendance in a death chamber.
It would seem as if nothing short of so startling an event could rouse the Christian world into an interest for the heathen tribes of South America.
[In connexion with the above remarks, the following letter from. Admiral Sulivan, which gives an account of the lost letter, referred to in page 54, will interest some of our readers:--
["March 13, 1865.--You will be surprised when I tell you that a letter from Mrs Gardiner, written in 1851 to me at the Falklands, and asking me to send provisions to Captain Gardiner, reached me last week. It was in a parcel with other letters that reached the Falklands, just after I left to return home in June 1851. They were sent back to me in England, and have lain in an office for thirteen years. I have often expressed astonishment that no one wrote to me about it. The letters were delayed more than a month by the ship not sailing as intended, or they would have reached me before I left; and they would have been rescued, and consequently the mission would have ended. Is it not another proof that their deaths were the appointed means for carrying on the mission?"
No one knew better than Captain Gardiner himself that the means which were provided for the enterprise, and which he flattered himself would have sufficed for the purpose, were not what the service required. More than once he had distinctly recorded his views. But the plans which he himself had devised were reduced to the lowest estimate, under the delusive hope that, at the cost of a little more hardship to himself and his comrades, the work might, at least, be begun. Any spirit less ardent than his own would have been chilled by the ill-success which attended his unwearied and unrewarded efforts. But the apathy of his countrymen did not remove the sense of responsibility from his own conscience. The spiritual destitution of South America was to him a living reality, and the duty of relieving it was, in his eyes, a pressing necessity, not to be evaded, not to be put off to a more convenient season, nor left to another man's sense of duty, but to be done with the best means, if possible, and in no case to be left undone.
There is, perhaps, no nation in which is more fully developed than in our own the desire to receive a return for labour bestowed, or capital invested, and certainly none winch has more largely profited by its exercise. Was it an abuse of this principle which made Christians so slow to see that there was a work to be done in South America, because the labour required was great, and the prospects of success remote?
There is another principle, the very opposite to this, of which happily the history of our country furnishes us with not a few examples, i.e., a self-sacrificing heroism, which risks everything for the sake of a noble object, which does not calculate cost or demand return, but gives freely that others may reap the benefit.
Our Divine Master has taught us in one of His parables that there is a Christian duty involved in the trading principle, and a Christian way of exercising it, but His own holy example was the self-sacrificing one, for though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be rich.
If we acknowledge that the heathen of South America, as well as of the rest of the world, are committed to the charity of the Christian Church, can we abandon the work thus heroically begun, and be blameless?
Shall the fortress be left in the enemy's hands because the Forlorn Hope has fallen in the breach?