Project Canterbury

Life of Captain Allen Gardiner, the Founder of the Patagonian Mission.

From Mission Life, Vol. I (Oct. and Nov. 1866), pages 348-354 and 398-405.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Bishop of Malaita, Church of the Province of Melanesia, 2007


IN 1852 there arrived in England a tale of mingled tragedy and heroism, which roused the attention of the public to a long career of self-denial which had then recently been ended by a lingering and cruel death. It is hard to realise, by any effort of imagination, the protracted horror of death by starvation. On a distant island in the South Pacific Ocean, uninhabited by man, and scarcely ever visited, save by a few of the savages from the neighbouring shore of Tierra del Fuego, seven of the bravest of England's sons had fallen victims to hunger in a courageous endeavour to plant the banner of the cross among the untaught heathen of South America. Allen Francis Gardiner, a commander in the Royal Navy, was the leader of that devoted little band. Till then known only to the small number who take an active and constant interest in missionary enterprise, the sadness of his fate gave an interest to his former labours which their intrinsic character might probably not have secured for them. Yet for nearly eighteen years he had been labouring in Africa, in America, and among the scattered islands of the Indian Ocean, to carry the message of a Saviour to the heathen, or distribute the Bible among the Roman Catholic population of the Spanish republics of South America. A brief sketch of his wide-spread labours may be interesting to the readers of Mission Life, of whom [348/349] some may have forgotten, and others never known, the story of his active life.

The following extract from a full and very interesting memoir of Captain Gardiner, by the Rev. W. Marsh,* [* Published by Nisbet & Co.] (from whose work, indeed, many of the facts in this paper are taken,) gives an account of Captain Gardiner's early life:--

"Allen Francis Gardiner was born at Basildon, in Berkshire, in June 28, 1764. . . . Mr and Mrs Gardiner maintained family prayer, and established schools for the poor in a day when these things were less general than they are now. . . . . The children of religious parents cannot fail to receive religious impressions in their early childhood, but they too often wear away in the excitement of school and holidays. The depth of these early impressions in Allen Gardiner may be in some degree tested by the fact that, notwithstanding his extreme vivacity, restless activity, and all the temptations which attend a nautical life, they were, though very severely tried, not entirely swept away.

"From infancy he evinced a desire for travel. On one occasion his mother, going as usual into her children's nursery before retiring to rest, was surprised to see her son Allen asleep on the floor. On being aroused the child gave as his reason for not being in bed that it was his intention when a man to travel all over the world, and therefore he wished to accustom himself to hardships.

"He first went to sea as a volunteer in 1810. In the roving life of a sailor be saw little profession or practice of true religion. Excitement carried the day, and by degrees even the form of religion was lost. At one time he fell among infidel companions, by whose false reasoning and flippancy his mind became so poisoned, that, though he never avowed himself an infidel, (and he always avowed his decided convictions, whatever they were,) he began to look on the study of the Bible as folly. While in this state of mind he was once at some obscure inn, and there overhearing a father reading the Bible with his children, he could scarcely refrain from interrupting him, and remonstrating with him on what he considered to be such senseless conduct. No exact date can be assigned to his recovery from this dangerous state. There was such a time, and Allen Gardiner, in the midst of his gaiety, was roused to reflection, and when he thought over the past years of childhood and the habits of prayer thrown away, and the words of Scripture forgotten, he determined once more to read the inspired volume. But so long a time had elapsed since he had looked into the Scriptures that he now had not a copy, and he went out to purchase one. He has in after life described how, when he came to the bookseller's shop, he was ashamed to go in and ask for a Bible, how he paced up and down the street watching for a quiet opportunity of entering the shop when there were no other customers within, and how odd he thought it must appear to the bookseller when he went in and asked for a Bible."

In the course of the next two years many circumstances tended to deepen the impression thus made, and to prepare the way for the final resolution which determined the future course of his life. The immediate cause of his determining to devote himself to a missionary [349/350] life is thus related. The vessel in which Gardiner was sailing had occasion to touch at Tahiti:--

"This afforded Gardiner an opportunity of witnessing the result of missionary effort both there and in some of the neighbouring islands. The following day was Sunday, and great was the astonishment of the sailors at the stillness of the bay. The day before it had been covered with canoes, and the decks of the Dauntless were crowded with natives; but now not a canoe was launched, and scarcely any one seen moving on the beach. Gardiner being anxious to see how a Sunday was spent at Tahiti, went ashore with other officers. Mr Wilson, the missionary, showed them great attention. After attending the English service they watched the catechising of ninety native children by a native teacher. The greatest order was observed, and the presence of strangers did not appear to cause much inattention. On inquiry, they found that the first native service had been held soon after daybreak, and that the second would be at half-past four. At that time Gardiner and his friends entered the chapel, and found a congregation of 220 already assembled."

The Zulu Kaffirs were the first objects of Gardiner's newly-aroused zeal and philanthropy. In 1834, although war was then imminent between the British Government and the Kaffirs, he determined to push his way through the various tribes which occupied the country between Cape Town and Port Natal, where at that time a few English traders maintained a precarious footing against the constant incursions and robberies of their African neighbours. It was not long before he made trial of the perils of a missionary life. The device by which he extricated himself from his first difficulty, may serve as a specimen of the sailor's ingenuity and fertility of resource, which so often afterwards on similar occasions stood him in good stead. At one of his halting-places, while the cattle which drew the waggons of his party were grazing, he and his companions found themselves surrounded by a threatening band of Kaffirs. He ordered the bullocks to be yoked as quickly as possible, and in the meantime the attention of his unwelcome visitors was diverted by the use of a razor. One of them was prevailed upon to submit to the barber's skill, and was then shown in a looking-glass the alteration made in his appearance. The objections raised by the uncouth warrior to the moustache, which had been suffered to remain, were soon removed by an assurance of its conformity to English military fashion. No further opposition was offered, and the missionary party was permitted to proceed in peace.

When Gardiner reached the district round Port Natal, he found that the Zulus in its neighbourhood had recently, after the frequent manner of African tribes, passed under the dominion of a new chief, [350/351] Dingarm, who had lately acquired his dignity by the murder of his brother. Gardiner found himself unable to make any progress in religious teaching, he, however, acquired some personal influence over the chief, and obtained from him a grant of territory near Natal. The advantage derivable from this position induced him to return to England to seek assistance from the Church at home. The result of his efforts was that, in 1836, he returned to Natal in company with the Rev. Francis Owen and his family, and mission stations were planted at Hambanati and elsewhere in the territories of Dingarm. The Bible was read and interpreted, schools established, and instruction given in reading, sewing, planting, building, and fencing. Many were the questions asked by Dingarm when the doctrine of the resurrection was expounded. "How can the dead get up again?" "Will they have the same body?" "Will it be on a Sunday when they get up?" But the savage heart of the Zulu chief was not touched. War quickly ensued between his followers and an invading army of Dutch Boers, and the missionaries were forced to leave the country. Yet the first ground had been broken, and the first and greatest difficulties in the way of the preaching of the gospel had been in a great measure overcome.

Driven by war from Natal, Captain Gardiner, undaunted in his resolution to do what he could for his Master's service, crossed the ocean to Rio de Janeiro, and thence proceeded to Buenos Ayres, his intention being to reach the Indians on the borders of Chili and the Buenos Ayrean provinces. Having distributed some Bibles and religious tracts in Buenos Ayres, he started with his wife and children, (we should have mentioned that in 1823 he had married a daughter of John Reade, Esq., of Ipsden House, Oxfordshire,) who accompanied him across the Pampas, undeterred by fatigue or the dangers incident to the journey. After a long and often perilous journey performed on mules through Mendoza, and across the snowy height of the Cordillera, Captain Gardiner and his family reached Santiago and Conception. Whatever the character of the accommodation--generally rude enough--offered by the post-houses or inns, the party always stopped on their journey during the whole of Sunday, which they consecrated to purely religious exercises. At Conception, when now near the Indian territory, to visit which was the chief object of his long pilgrimage from Africa, the captain parted from his wife and family, making the remainder of his journey with only a native attendant. An incident, extracted from his own narrative, entitled "A Visit to the Indians on the Frontiers of Chili," [351/352] may be given as a fair illustration of the adventurous spirit needed in the pioneers in missionary enterprise. Describing the passage of a river he says:--

"The Biobio is exceedingly rapid, and the balsa, by which alone it is fordable, was adrift, and a new one had to be prepared out of some spare logs, already collected for the purpose. . . . . Much time was consumed before the new balsa was reported to be ready. It consisted of merely four trunks of trees, eighteen feet long, lashed closely together by hide thongs to two transverse poles, one at each extremity, and when laden with ourselves and our saddles, &c., it was scarcely an inch at the highest part from the surface of the water. As a matter of precaution, I took off not only my shoes and stockings, but also my coat and waistcoat, which seemed to be regarded by the rest of the party as by no means unnecessary; for I had scarcely stepped upon the yielding raft when an inquiry was made whether I could swim or not. But in the construction of this balsa, there was nothing new, the real novelty, at least to me, was in the method of navigating it. One of my horses, which was noted as an excellent swimmer, had not escaped observation by the way, and his powers were now to be tried in a most ludicrous manner. His tail was first smoothed out, and the hairs being doubled back, were firmly knotted to the end of the tow-rope. A naked lad then sprang upon his back, and in plunged the horse and his rider. By a simultaneous effort of those on shore, the balsa he was destined to tow was at the same instant pushed off into deep water. Partly by riding, partly by swimming, now on one side, now on the other of the horse, firmly grasping a tuft of long hair always left on the mane expressly for this purpose, the boy succeeded by the aid of his heels, his hand, and his voice, in urging on the snorting and half affrighted animal, until he actually conveyed us, with no other help, in safety to the opposite bank, when he was immediately disengaged, and the balsa secured until we landed."

The success of Gardiner's efforts was small. The political relations existing between the Chilian authorities and the neighbouring Indians, coupled with the jealousy of all missionaries entertained by the simple natives, prevented his effecting any permanent footing among them. Their past experience had taught them that wherever the military power had erected a fort or established a garrison, there the zeal of the friars had founded a mission station; and they now feared, lest by a reverse process, the establishment of a Christian teacher among them might entail on them a renewal of the military terrors, which in later years had been relaxed. Disappointed, but calmly resigned to his Master's will, and still firmly believing that an opening might ultimately be made among the Indians of the Chilian frontier, the captain rejoined his family at Conception, and shortly afterwards, with an untiring restless energy, and thinking almost as little of a voyage of many weeks as many a man does of a few hours' journey, sailed from Valparaiso with the intention of reaching New Guinea by way of Sydney.

[253] The year 1839-40 was spent among the islands of the Indian Archipelago. Often in his wanderings among the Mohammedan or idolatrous tribes, who formed the native populations of the islands, Gardiner was pained by the ignorance and debasement of the Christians whom he met, even more than by the absolute darkness of the heathen. He would fain have laboured amongst these nominal Christians, but was hindered by the exclusive policy of the Dutch government officials.

Baffled in his endeavours to overcome the obstinate antagonism of the Dutch, and unable to reach Papua, the intended goal of his expedition, the active missionary now again transported himself and his family to Valparaiso. His old idea of being an evangelist to the South American Indians had a strong fascination for him, heightened probably by the anticipated opposition of the clergy of the Roman faith. By a strange coincidence, one of his fellow-passengers on board the vessel which conveyed him from Valparaiso to the island of Chiloe, was a friar named Manuel, whom he had met two years previously, and who had then used his influence to prevent Gardiner settling among the Indians. On arriving, therefore, at San Carlos, a beautiful harbour in Chiloe, it was a disappointment rather than a surprise to find the same influence exerted to prevent the inculcation of what the friar could not do otherwise than believe to be heretical, and therefore mischievous teaching. Village gossip exaggerated the captain's ill repute, and before long the honest seaman was regarded as a heretic bishop in disguise. However, Friar Manuel afterwards showed that he had no personal ill-will to the object of his religious antagonism, and before he left San Carlos, he called upon Gardiner, and, adopting a kindly tone, said, "Let us be friends, man! You wanted a Chilidugu dictionary: here is one." The book was a rare one, and was received with the greatest gratitude.

Gardiner was unable on this as on the former occasion to penetrate the Indian territory: and the time he spent in San Carlos was therefore occupied in the sale or gratuitous distribution of Bibles and religious books among all who would receive them. In the extreme south of the American continent, he hoped he might at length be successful in reaching the heathen; careless of the sphere of his operations "if by any means he might save some," and preach the religion of the Cross among those who had never heard its name. He kept the Christmas festival of 1842 at Port Louis, in the Falkland Islands, and then, after providing accommodation for his family, chartered a crazy little schooner, which was scarcely fit to coast from [353/354] island to island, and sailed for the Straits of Magalhaen. Observing the smoke of a fire on the shore of Tierra del Fuego, the captain was induced to land, and kindled a second fire, which soon attracted the attention of the natives. A party of them approached their English visitors, shouting as they advanced, but seeming to be averse to enter into communication with them. Gardiner intimated to them that his landing had no hostile purpose, by adding fresh fuel to his fire. This action they rightly interpreted as an invitation to join his party; and two of them accordingly descended to the beach, but immediately made signs for the strangers to depart. They were ready to accept the presents of buttons, clasp-knives, and a looking-glass, which were offered them; but it was impossible to overcome their unfriendly demeanour, the captain and his attendants being ignorant of their language, and obliged to carry on intercourse with them entirely by signs.

A few days afterwards, Gardiner was more fortunate. He opened communications with a tribe of Patagonians, among whom a Spaniard, named San Leon, was living, who had gained great credit and influence among the savages, by his unhesitating courage. From him they learnt that a party of American missionaries had taken up their abode for a short time among the Patagonians, but were driven away by the thievish propensities of their visitors from the neighbouring shore of Tierra del Fuego. These marauders not content with stealing the food of the missionaries must needs cut up their books. The Patagonians, however, who at all times were anxious to show themselves superior to the Fuegians, with whom they were not unfrequently confounded, were quite willing that Gardiner should take up his abode among them, and Wissale, their chief, promised his friendship. In the spirit of most savages, he was fully alive to the possible advantages of barter, and promised to teach Captain Gardiner his language in return for instruction in the "good tidings," which it was the captain's sole object to impart. Such being the friendly disposition of the Patagonians, Gardiner determined to bring his family over from the Falklands to reside among them. But when he had once returned there, he found it impossible again to obtain a passage to the Patagonian coast, and after a delay of some months he resolved to return home and plead in person the cause of the Patagonian heathen. England was reached in February 1843.

(To be concluded in the November Number.)


(Concluded from page 354.)

ON his return to England, Captain Gardiner applied to several Societies, for assistance in carrying out his project of a Patagonian mission; but in each case without success. He determined, therefore, during the enforced abeyance of his favourite scheme, to visit the Spanish States of South America, where his previous success in the distribution of Bibles encouraged him to make new efforts. In Santiago del Estero, and again in Tucuman, he succeeded in disposing of a large number of Bibles and tracts, with which he had been furnished by the Bible and Religious Tract Societies; although he found (what even English experience might have prepared him for) that many who visited his book-store were more anxious for novels than for any other kind of literature. Medical books were also in request; and the need, among the Spanish Americans, of very elementary medical instruction, the Captain himself quickly discovered, when his landlady at Tucuman kindly offered to dress a blister which he had applied to his throat. Having spread an ointment on some vine leaves, this skilled professor of the healing art removed the blister and her patient's skin at the same time. The ointment was then placed on the raw flesh. She was much surprised, when the captain complained of the intense smarting, to learn that English doctors are not in the habit of flaying their patients in this manner, and asked, with much simplicity, "How is the old skin to come off, if it is not taken away!"

[399] During this visit to America, Gardiner found little or no opposition from the civil government in the distribution of his religious books. Whether this arose entirely from liberal principles, or was partly due to indifference, may be doubted; but Gardiner was ever ready to express gratitude to Almighty God for every opening which was afforded him.

After he had disposed of his literary stores, he went to Monte Video, and by the promises of support which were there given him, he was again induced to attempt the establishment of a Patagonian mission. In order to fulfil this design, he returned to England, seven months only after he had last left it, to make some needful preparations. A Society in aid of his plan was soon formed at Brighton; and, relying on the assistance thus promised by this Society, and by the English chaplain at Valparaiso, the Captain was soon again crossing the Atlantic--this time having a friend, Mr Robert Hunt, for the companion of his voluntary toils. But when they reached Patagonia, they found that a great change had taken place. The power of the chief, Wissale, was almost gone, and San Leon had succeeded in winning the allegiance of many of the natives. Moreover, the activity of the Roman Propaganda had anticipated him; and Padre Domingo was teaching the Patagonians the rudiments of the Christian faith. The adverse influence of the Roman Catholic father was quickly perceived or suspected by the Captain, in the altered demeanour of his old friend Wissale; and the reluctant missionaries deemed it prudent to return to England. The sudden blight which thus marred the bright hopes with which Gardiner and his companion had so recently left home, was a hard blow to his friends in England, and the committee of the Society felt they would not be justified in expending any further part of the public money intrusted to them on so doubtful a scheme. Their funds were therefore invested, at the suggestion of Gardiner, till some further opportunity of employing them in Patagonia should present itself. Gardiner himself, however, returned to America, taking with him, at his private expense, a young Spaniard who was desirous of engaging in mission labour. This time Bolivia was the sphere of his operations, a portion of the continent which he had not previously visited. But little special interest attaches to this expedition. The liberality of the President of the Republic--and liberality, in South American politics, not unfrequently means dislike or hatred of the Roman Church--gave him considerable room to hope that his long-cherished wish of reaching the Indians would shortly be gratified. But a [399/400] revolution soon changed the position of affairs, and restored to its former influence the old religion of the country.

And now Gardiner seems to have thought that all his efforts should be devoted to Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego. There, at any rate, he would be less exposed to the dreaded antagonism of the Papal hierarchy. He travelled through England and Scotland, lecturing on the subject nearest to his heart, in order to raise funds. His success was by no means equal to his enthusiasm; but his resolution did not abate. On one occasion, when all was ready for a meeting which he had advertised, not a single person entered the room to hear him speak. He was, therefore, obliged to pack up his maps and depart. A friend in the street met him, and, apologising for his own absence, inquired what sort of meeting he had had. "Not very good, but better than sometimes," was the Captain's cheerful answer. "How many people were there?" asked his friend. "Not one; but no meeting is better than a bad one." Having collected what money he could, he paid a hurried visit to Tierra del Fuego in 1848. The result of this visit convinced him that the persistent marauding of the Fueginus rendered it impossible to establish a mission on shore, and that a mission-station could only be protected from them if it had its headquarters on ship-board.

Failing, after anxious and patient endeavour, to obtain funds with which to purchase a brigantine or schooner, to be the home of his floating station, and considering the slight character of the craft with which the fishermen of the Scotch and English coasts encounter the fury of the waves and wind, Gardiner resolved that he would make the experiment with two stout launches and their attendant dingeys. One lady's splendid liberality provided him with £700; and the committee of the Patagonian Society still deeming £300 to be needed in addition, before sufficient stores could be provided, he himself provided the deficiency.

On the morning of September 7, 1850, the missionary band, seven in number, left England. The party consisted of Captain Gardiner, Mr Richard Williams, a surgeon, Mr Maidment, Joseph Erwin, a ship-carpenter, and three Cornish fishermen, named Pearce, Badcock, and Bryant. Alike in the simplicity of their earnest faith, and their readiness to encounter danger in their Master's cause, these bold pioneers of Christianity reached Pictou Island in December. The Ocean Queen, in which they had sailed from England, had not left them long before the trials of their work began. They discovered a bad leak in the Pioneer, one of the two launches, and it [400/401] became necessary to find some secure harbour, away from the interference of the inquisitive and thievish natives, where they could beach and repair her. As they were entering Blomefield harbour, which promised to secure their purpose, both the dingeys, which were being towed by the Pioneer, were carried away by the surf, and the Speedwell, getting entangled in a mass of kelp, lost her anchor, and also a load of timber, which she was towing for the necessary repairs: These serious losses were sustained in their first day's expedition, and they were forced to return to their original station at Banner Cove. In another attempt to reach Blomefield harbour, the Pioneer was anchored at night close in shore. In the morning, her crew were horrified to find themselves left on dry land by the retreating tide, and a party of Fuegians about to board them. The numbers of the Fuegians were increasing, when Gardiner and his comrades landed, and advanced towards their assailants. Though armed with guns, the party forbore to fire; but, kneeling down in the presence of the foe, implored the protection of Heaven. That protection was granted, and the natives, astonished at their peaceful attitude, accepted some trifling presents. Driven from harbour to harbour by the menacing demeanour of the natives, and having lost the Pioneer, which a gale drove upon a rock, and, worse than all, having discovered that, by some mistake, all their store of powder had been left behind in the Ocean Queen, and that they had now only a flask and a half of this precious means of providing food, they determined to await in Spaniard harbour the arrival of supplies, which they expected would soon be sent from England or the Falklands. Not a thought of their impending fate cast a shadow over their prayerful hope. They reached Spaniard harbour in February. Not long afterwards, sickness appeared among them. Mr Williams took a violent cold, and early in March, he exhibited symptoms of scurvy, and Badeock also was affected with the same malady. As soon as the two invalids had somewhat recovered, they returned to Banner Cove, where, for security's sake, they had buried a portion of their provisions. There they left directions, painted on the rocks, by which they hoped their station at Spaniard harbour would be discovered by any vessel calling at Banner Cove with the anticipated relief. But hope was vain. Days and weeks passed by, and still there was no succour. Sometimes they were able to catch fish, and once they shot, with a spring-gun, a fox which preyed upon their scanty stores, and cooked his carcass for food. Sickness again appeared among them; but their watchful tenderness for each other never relaxed. Much of their time [401/402] was occupied in prayer and praise; and the memoranda left by Gardiner show they were ever ready to recognise, with devout thankfulness, the smallest mercies granted them by their heavenly Father. About the end of June, the first death occurred in their little band. Badcock ceased to breathe almost whilst singing a hymn of trust and joyfulness.

Nor were hunger and darkness their only trials. One stormy night the advancing waves broke into a cavern in which Gardiner and Maidment had taken up their quarters. They took shelter under the wreck of the Pioneer; but the tide threatened to sweep it away. The drippings from the trees were more trying than the steady down-pour of the rain itself. With difficulty they reached their companions in the Speedwell; and there Erwin insisted on giving up his bed to the Captain, whom he always faithfully served and loved. Their stock of provisions then consisted, after they had been seven weeks on short allowance, of half a duck, a pound of salted pork, a pint of rice, two cakes of chocolate, four pints of peas, and six mice. Wild celery, mussels, and small fish were occasionally collected by the indefatigable zeal of Mr Maidment. At the end of August, Erwin and Bryant ceased to suffer. Their bodies were buried on two successive days by John Maidment, and he himself soon followed to his rest.

We will not linger on the scene. In compliance with orders dated October 25, 1851, that is, six weeks or a month after the last of the party must have perished, Captain Moshead received orders from the Admiralty to ascertain the fate of the missionaries at Tierra del Fuego on his way to the Pacific. The sad story was quickly learned. The corpses which were found unburied were interred with kindly care, and all the papers and other sad memorials of their fate collected and sent home. Yet their friends sorrowed not without hope. They had been made perfect by suffering; death to them had been robbed of its terrors; and not only was in fact, but was fully realised to be simply a passport to a blessed immortality. The following extracts will show how truly this may be said. The first is from Captain Gardiner's journal, Sept. 3:--

"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 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; but 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 [402/403] 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 waiting 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 to His care and keeping, and earnestly pray that He will take my dear wife and children under the shadow of His wings, comfort, guard, 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 of children, and make us inheritors of His heavenly kingdom. Amen.

"Thursday, Sept. 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."

A day or two before his death, Mr Williams had written:--

"Should anything prevent my ever adding to this, let all my beloved ones at home rest assured that I was happy beyond all expression the night I wrote these lines, and would not have changed situations with any man living. Let them also be assured that my hopes were full and blooming with immortality; that heaven and love and Christ, which mean one and the same divine thing, were in my heart; that the hope of glory, the hope laid up for me in heaven, filled my whole heart with joy and gladness, and that to me to live is Christ, to die is gain. I am in a strait betwixt two, to abide in the body, or to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Let them know that I loved them, and prayed for every one of them. .God bless them all.

"Thursday, June 12.--Ah! I am happy day and night, hour by hour. Asleep or awake, I am happy beyond the poor compass of language to tell. My joys are with Him whose delights have always been with the sons of men, and my heart and spirit are in heaven with the blessed. I have felt how holy is that company; I have felt how pure are their affections, and I have washed me in the blood of the Lamb, and asked my Lord for the white garment, that I, too, may mingle with the blaze of day, and be amongst them one of the sons of light. Much more could I add, but my fingers are aching with cold, and I must wrap them up in my clothes; but my heart, my heart is warm, warm with praise, thanksgiving, and love to God my Father, and love to God my Redeemer."

The following hymn, found amongst other papers, bears a touching testimony to the spirit in which another of this little band saw the time of his departure draw rapidly near.

Among Mr Maidment's papers was found the following:--

Come, O my soul! arise and dwell
In everlasting love;
Forsake this transitory scene,
And soar to realms above.
Though this 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.
[404] His words the same for evermore,
As when they first were given;
Yea, blessed thought! they cannot fail,
Though earth dissolve and heaven.

"Enchanting thought! 'twill soon be o'er--
The fight is near its close;
Soon shall I sing, redeem'd from sin,
In the glad song's triumphant strain--
Worthy the Lamb that once was slain,
And from the dead arose.


The oft-repeated saying, that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church, was abundantly verified in this instance. The events which we have recorded created an interest and provoked a zeal in the work which, perhaps, nothing else could have done. Thus, in the providence of God, it was ordered that Gardiner should do by his death that to which he had in vain devoted his life. He did in God's way that which he had failed to do in his own.

Glad would his spirit have been could he have foreseen the continually increasing work of the South American Missionary Society, and, above all, the unflagging energy in its service of his own son, who, from the time of completing his education at Oxford, has devoted himself unreservedly to the cause naturally so sacred to him.

The actual progress of the work of the Society founded by Captain Gardiner we must take some future opportunity of dwelling upon. One remark may be made, in conclusion, upon the lesson taught by Captain Gardiner's life and work. In the admiration which his ardent zeal necessarily excites, it must not be forgotten that he always regarded himself, not as a missionary, but as the pioneer of missionaries. His aim was to clear the way, wherever he could, for the entrance of Christ's ordained ministers. It is as the pioneers or companions of her clergy, and not as their substitutes, that the Church makes effective use of lay help. Whenever fresh ground has to be broken, secular instruction must always precede and accompany purely religious teaching, and for such secular instruction the spiritual functions of the priesthood are unnecessary. Again, in the purely mechanical labours of carpentering or husbandry which the necessities of an uncivilised country impose, skilled laymen, trained for this special purpose, may render invaluable service. Will any lay brother or sister into whose hands these pages come be warmed with an enthusiasm like Captain Gardiner's, to devote themselves to their Master and His Church's service in the dark places of the earth?

[405] Countless are the openings for such work. Wherever the missionary is labouring, close by him, or just beyond him, there is fresh ground to be broken up, the way to be prepared, for another of Christ's ministers. If this narrative should incite to such work some one person only, to whom the story may have previously been unknown, it will not have been told in vain.

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