To contribute to this site, see above menu item "About".
These transcriptions may contain human errors.
As always, confirm these, as you would any other source material.
Pages 104 through 201.
Pages 104 - 105
spared us on our way back. The small quantity of biscuit to which we were now reduced, led me to advise my companions not to eat any quantity at a time, but to take a piece of the size of a nutmeg when hunger was most craving. We did, indeed, gather each day on our return, about as many partridge berries as would fill a wine glass apiece. These we found very refreshing and nutritive. Having been ripened in the fall of last year, and been sheltered under the snow all the winter, they were, now that the snow melted away from them, like preserved fruit in flavour, and resembled a rich clarety grape. At night, the want of water is a great privation in this winter travelling. At this season, if a lake or rivulet chance to be near your resting place, it is, in all probability, protected from invasion by so thick a coat of ice that it would require some hours labour with a hatchet to get at it. A draught of water, obtained at such a price of labour, to guides already over-wearied with carrying his burden and hewing his wood, a humane man would relish as little as Sir Philip Sydney would have relished a selfish draught at Tutphen, or David from the well of Bethlehem. (2 Sam. xxiii. 15-17.) I contented myself, therefore, with water supplied by snow, melted by the smoky fire. This water, together with the wind, had the effect of parching and cracking my swollen lips to such a degree, that, when on getting out of the country on tbe 10th, I again saw my face, after an interval of eight days, in a piece of broken glass, I had some difficulty in recognizing my own features. The most scorching heat in summer does not tan and swell the face more than does the travelling in the snow at this season. Under the combined influence of the wind and sun, the skin peeled off: from my nose and ears, and the exposed parts of the neck, as in summer.
Thursday, 9 - still dismally thick weather; -but we proceeded on our way in the same manner as yesterday. The noise
Pages 106 - 107
of the woodpeckers upon the bark of the trees truly portended rain, of which we were much afraid; we saw quantities of deer and ptarmigan, but, though the fog favoured our weak sight much, we could neither of us take a sight with the lifted gun. At one place, we came upon the recent tracks of wolves; they had consumed or dragged away all remains of a deer, except a little hair from the skin, and some blood, by which the snow was stained. By night, through God's most merciful protection, we reached the place where the Indians had left so much venison buried since Christmas. Much snow having fallen to-day, our feet were chafed with the rackets on which we had to walk the whole day, heavy as they were from being clogged with the newly fallen snow. My late trip into the interior has strengthened the conviction, which, from former journeys of the same kind, I had formed that the Beothic, or Red Indians, the aborigines of the island, must be extinct. I have met with several of the Micmac Indians, who are constantly traversing the interior; none of them have seen any of these aborigines of late years; and, from the nature of the interior, which does not abound with wood, it is impossible that, if they existed in the island, they could so long have escaped observation. In the interior of the island, the wood is so scarce, that I was more than once obliged, when the time of putting up for the night arrived, to look around for a sufficient quantity of wood to give a shelter for the night. Large expanses of country may be commanded at one view, and the fire of a company of Beothics would betray itself to the watchful Micmac by its smoke, at the distance of several miles. It may give some idea of the extent of view which is commanded in certain situations, if I mention, that from Webber's Hill, near Little River, no fewer than 180 lakes may be seen with the naked eye at one time.
Friday, 10.-Rackets again necessary to-day. On coming out to the south-east
Pages 108 - 109
brook of Bay Despair, we found that the last few days of soft weather had broken up the ice on which we had walked at the end of last week, and made it treacherous. It was now difficult and dangerous to get to the place where the wigwams of the Banokok Indians had been left. I persevered, however, and, on reaching them, walked on to the winter crew's tilt, mentioned on the 3d. There throwing myself into a dark linny, or "lean-to," I sought some repose for my eyes, and availed myself of opodeldoc for my excoriated face,- a salutary, but very painful application, which happened to be the only one which was accessible. So heavy a rain now came on, that I was truly thankful I was not in one of those miserable unroofed snow-caves, which had, of late, been my only places of retreat during all weathers at night.
Saturday, 11.-Kept my bed all day. When we had gone into the interior, an old Indian had told us that the wild geese might be expected with the first southerly wind. A southerly wind had since come, and with it thousands of these birds. They had been attracted to this arm by the quantity of goose-grass, and made a noise which resembled the harsh sound of a saw under the file, reminding me of Homer's description of the sound of an army of cranes.
With piercing frosts, or thick descending rain,
To warmer seas the Cranes embodied fly,
With noise and other through the midway sky.
ILIAD, B iii
I found that these birds of passage are led hither by an unfailing instinct at this season each year, till, the snow being melted from the marshes, they seek the interior, where they stay, till they emigrate again in the fall of the year, late or early, according as the season may be mild, or otherwise: last year they staid till December 6.
Sunday, 12.-Morning prayers to the winter crew before their breakfast this morning, and full service twice in the day. At the P.M. service, two men attended from
Pages 110 - 111
Swanger's Cove, on the opposite side of the same arm, where the house of Nicol, of Jersey Harbour, has a similar winter's crew at work in the woods.
Jean Michael, the ascetic Indian mentioned above, this day assembled the Indians for their worship, of which singing formed a very considerable part. He and the rest were collecting wild geese for an Indian feast on Easter Sunday, to which they congregate from all parts, and it was with difficulty that I could purchase one, on the morning of
Monday, 13,-To take on with me to my hospitable friend, Mr. Gallop, of Gualtois. Started over the rotten ice, which let me through once, as I leaped from pen to pen. Went to Conne Head, across Conne River, where the water was nearly knee-deep, Upon the ice to Jean Michael's wigwam, and waited there for low tide that we might walk on the beach. At Brand's Point, we crossed the nick through the woods, and over barrens to Little River, which we had to ford, high as our waists, and reached the winter house of a man who in the summer lived at Grand Jervis. There I slept.
Tuesday, 14. -Up at three, A.M. I had a very bad walk of ten miles down Little River, partly hopping from one pen of ice to another, and partly wading through the deep water round the points. To escape one or two of these points, I rafted myself upon pieces of floating ice down the stream. At length, on reaching a place where the river was clear from ice, we found a flat which belonged to the Indians. In this, I was conveyed through " The passage," (mentioned April 2,) to Gualtois. A vessel had recently arrived here from Torquay, in nineteen days, but, to my disappointment the captain, being no politician, had brought no papers, or accounts by which I might be informed of the movements in the political world at home.
Wednesday, 15.-Snowed all this and the next day, so I resolved to stay here to hold service on Good Friday and Easter Sunday; I could, at this central point,
Pages 112 - 113
collect larger congregations than in any of the neighbouring settlements. Went to look at a neatly enclosed burial ground, for the consecration of which the people expressed a laudable anxiety. The Rev. James Robertson, having visited this place at a season of great mortality, had interred three persons in it at one time. I looked to day over the whaling establishment of Messrs. Hunt and Newman. The machine with which the fat of the whale is cut into small pieces for the boiler, reminded me of a similar machine which I have seen used by sausage-makers in England. The refuse pieces of the whale, which are left in the boiler, after the oil is extracted, furnish, I am informed, all the fuel which is required for heating the coppers. This recalls to my recollection the fact, that the early settlers on this island used to make fires with piles of the carcases of fat penguins, a bird which used then to be very common, but is now extinct, or has left the island. They were most cruelly treated while they abounded in the island, being often plucked for their feathers and then turned loose to perish, or burnt in piles as above described. The whalers were just commencing their work for the season.
Good Friday, 17.-A good congregation of one hundred and fifty persons.
Saturday, 18.-Snowed all day.
Sunday, 19.- Easter Sunday. Two fine congregations of one hundred and fifty. Seven children baptized.
Monday, 20. -Still snowing, and wind foul for me, but started in Mr. Gallop's gig, and passed Picar to Round Harbour, where I held a full service to eighteen, and baptized a child, and wrote three family letters for my host.
Sunday, 21. Returned by foul wind. On seeking to make acquaintance, as in such cases of detention I am accustomed to do, with the libraries of the people, was happy to find here many books of an higher intellectual stamp than I should
Pages 114 - 115
have expected in such a place. Among others, I was gratified to see the excellent "New Manual of Devotions," which is published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. I found, too, more habits of reading in this house than in any other, perhaps, without exception, which I had visited. I held a second service here.
Wednesday, 22.-Off at 5, A.M., in a very heavy swell; the wind contrary and bitterly piercing. I reached W. Strickland's, however, at Long Island Harbour, by half-past seven, A.M. There was much "swish ice" in the harbour which we left, and we found much of the same here also. The people, being upon their fishing-ground outside, had seen us go into their harbour, So they returned, on so unusual an event as the entrance of a strange boat to their harbour, and assembled for full service. I had one baptism, and was much pleased with their simple manner of singing. Sir Thomas J. Cochrane, the late excellent governor of Newfoundland, having put into Deer Island, White Bear Bay, while this Strickland and his brother John lived there, found them engaged, as is their custom, in reading prayers to their own and the neighbours' families on the Lord's day; and his Excellency presented him with a one octavo prayer book, with the stamp of the Prayer Book and Homily Society. Strickland is very proud of this treasure. When he showed it to me, he begged with much humility, that I would point out to him those parts of the public service which a lay reader might use in a congregation. "We never saw a church," said he, "or were where a church was, or got any schooling, for reading is hard to be got in these parts; but we taught ourselves, and go through the prayers alternate," (he and his brother, he meant) " morning and evening, each Sunday." I promised to comply with a request which he, and scores similarly situated, made of me, that I would, soon after my return, send round some suitable sermons for his public reading, and I reminded him of the gracious promise of
Pages 116 - 117
our LORD, that where two or three are gathered together in his name, there HE will be, in the midst of them. The younger branches of the families of these good men could all read. A reference to the report of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, for the year 1830, will introduce the reader to a patriarch of the same name. I found him employed in the same useful way at the Burgeo Islands. His seed, it will be seen, from this present description of two of the younger branches of the same stock, are likely to be blessed. At Little Bay, close to this place, so plentiful is the fish all the year round, that the women and children cut holes in the salt-water ice, and catch great quantities of cod-fish all through the winter. Left Long Island after service. Three hours cold rowing against nearly a head wind, attended with snow squalls, brought me to Pushthrough, Grand Jervis, upon the main. There I assembled a large congregation in the house of Charles King and his wife, whom I had visited in 1830. Nothing could exceed the joy with which this good pair welcomed this my second appearance among them. The increase of the population in settlements of this description, is most rapid. I baptized twenty-two children here, all of whom had been born since my last visit, and there were some young children besides, who, from the absence of their parents or sponsors, or other reasons, were not now presented for this sacrament. How needful are scriptural schools in these rapidly increasing settlements! A "New Manual," which, with some other good books, was in possession of my venerable hostess, was much and deservedly prized by the old lady. There had not been a single instance of mortality in this settlement since my last visit. Engaged a young man of superior education, whom I found here lately, from Jersey, to read to the people on Sundays, and promised to supply him with proper books for the purpose.
Thursday, 23.-Although I could not
Pages 118 - 119
retire to bed until one, A.M. I was up by half-past fire, A.M., and off by eight, for Bonne Bay, four miles, which I reached by ten. My host here had been thirty-three years in Newfoundland, and had never in that time seen any minister of religion. Full service in the evening, and eighteen baptisms. There was, I regret to state, a case in this settlement of habitual intemperance in a female.
Friday, 24.-Off at six, A.M. in a very "crank" punt, for Mosquito, about two miles, round the head. Most of the men were out on the fishing-ground: I suffered a little from disturbed bile, and from being exposed in open boats to cold winds and heavy swells. Full service, and ten children baptized. Having tried in vain to get to Muddy Hole in the teeth of the wind, we put back. I then held a second service, when two young married women and another adult, who expressed a wish to be baptized, and two more children, were christened. One of the married women was very much affected at her own baptism. I made acquaintance here with a volume, much soiled and mutilated, which contained many very excellent prayers and pious meditations: the title of the book was gone, but it seemed, from a subsequent page, to have been entitled, "The New Year's Gift," and exhibited evident signs of having been much used in the family of the parents of my respectable hostess.
Saturday, 25.-The wind still detained me. I assembled the people at Beaufit's house, for another full service.
Sunday, 26, -The wind having abated in the night, J. Beaufit and his neighbours were up at four, A.M., and rowed me through "the young ice," which, from the frost at night, was, in some places, very thick, to Fachieu Harbour, Fachieu Bay. Here lives a respectable widower, with a little family of children, whom he is endeavouring to bring up religiously. Another
Pages 120 - 121
man, with his wife and family, are also living here in idleness, and disregard of all religious duties. He declared, at once, a disinclination on the part of himself and family to profit by my services; the widower, therefore, engaged to follow me to Muddy Hole, the next settlement in my line of visits, considerately suggesting that I might make more expedition, and fulfil my objects better by availing myself of the present mild day, than by staying to hold service in his single family. On this we proceeded to Muddy Hole, three miles. A few hundred yards from the mouth of the harbour, we met J. W. the principal planter. He was on his way to Fachieu Bay for " stuff," or wood, with three daughters and a son, in a punt. He was informed of the arrival of a clergyman of his own church; but I grieve to say, that though he was the father of ten unbaptized children, he declined giving up the secular work by which he was profaning the Lord's day, and did not even make the offer of his house for prayers during his absence.
On reaching Muddy Hole, which is a singular little gut behind a rock, and makes no show from the sea, we tried to get admittance for service in the house of another professed member of the church, J. F. He, however, though the sun was now high, was still in bed, and the other inmates of his house were only dressing themselves. This heathenish man, on being told the object of my visit, refused to get up; he "did not think prayers of any use !" Thus repulsed, I proceeded. On arriving at Richard's Harbour, about a league farther on, I found that one of those scourges of this coast, a floating grog-shop, under the name of a "trading-vessel," had been sojourning in Muddy Hole, last week, and had kept "all hands", during the time of its stay, in a state of intoxication: and it was likely, now that they had not a stick to burn, or a fish for the kettle; and, as this floating nuisance had only left the place the day before, it was not unlikely that the fumes of the intoxicating poisons thus supplied, had not yet evaporated.
Pages 122 - 123
Having spent the whole preceding week in idleness, and dissipation, and excess, they grudged the Almighty this His own day of rest. The singular indifference of these sad people was now explained. If God should ever give them the privilege of another visit from a missionary, I pray they may be better disposed to hear meekly God's word, and to receive it with pure affection, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. This instance of heathenism stands almost alone in my experience. I cannot say, quite alone; for I record with pain, that in another part of Fortune Bay, on the other side of Harbour Briton, a youth, whose uncle was urging him to kneel, during the public prayers, almost disturbed the service by the loud strain in which he gave utterance to the rude and godless remark, that he was not disposed to wear out his knees by praying! Surely, the next generation is likely to suffer much deterioration in settlements such as these, unless the missionary shall shortly be supplied to them, who may go among them with affectionate anxiety, and warn them of the peril of their present carelessness.
How different were the manners of the people of Richard's Harbour, at which we now arrived, and where we obtained some refreshmeat, of which my kind crew, after their long row, were much in need. John Hardy, a former parishioner of Rev. ______ Jolliffe, of Poole, had lived forty years in Newfoundland, during the greater part of which time, be had been regularly employed himself, on Sunday, in reading prayers and a sermon to the families around him. For this occupation he was preparing at the moment of my arrival. He gladly ceded his office to the commissioned minister, and we had two full services, and eight baptisms. Among many other good books in this house, were "Bishop Wilson's introduction to the Lord's Supper", and "Stanhope s Meditations for the Sick," with the stamp of the Christian Knowledge Society. Among the children baptized were three belonging to a widow who would soon become the
Pages 124 - 125
mother of a fourth. I had observed that some reflections in my morning discourse on the occasional suddenness of death, seriously affected her and I found that her husband had only in February last died in a manner awfully afflicting. On his return from deer hunting, he had fallen down one of the cliffs which were then within sight of our window; these are stupendously high upon this part of the coast: he had fallen 900 feet at least without any break to his fall and had breathed his last within a few hours. One family only at Richards Harbour was missing from the services; and I found on inquiry that J. A. the careless man of Fachieu above mentioned had come up in a punt with his wife to spend the day in visiting (a Sunday practice too common in Newfoundland!) and although they arrived before the commencement of the morning prayers and did not depart until after the evening service was over they did not seek to hear the message of the minister of God. And the false delicacy of the family which they were visiting,-I wish that such false delicacy were never found in less simple classes, in better informed persons!-the family, thus visited, suffered a false feeling of delicacy to deter them from the performance of their own known duty, and to deprive them too, of a most rare privilege which may never again be afforded them. Should these remarks ever meet the eye of any of the unhappy parties to whom allusion is made, I would beg them to believe, that this partial publication of the events of that day, which made me sorry, is not made in a temper of anger, or a spirit of rebuking, or in any unseemly uncharitableness, which rejoices in the recollection of ill; it is made in a spirit of meekness, and charity, and love; my prayer and heart's desire for those who have thus caused me grief is, that if I go again among them, I may not have heaviness and sorrow for them of whom I should wish to rejoice.
In the evening, John Hardy made me up a crew. They took me first under a
Pages 126 - 127
most steep coast, in which are two not inconsiderable overfalls of water. We passed Hare Bay, and reached the Eastern Cul de Sac. This place reminded me somewhat of Petty Harbour, near St. John's, the present interesting station of the Rev. Thomas Martin Wood, whom I hope, with the concurrence of the Bishop and of the Society, to locate in Fortune Bay, where a Missionary is so much required. The father of the settlement here, was a French Protestant. In his house I assembled the neighbours for full service, and baptized twenty-three in all, some mothers,-interesting sight!-offering themselves, at the same time with their infants in their arms, for this sacrament. The places hereabouts retain their old French names; but the people corrupt them sadly. My chart only gives the English names: but, had it given the French, I might have been as much at fault to recognize Bay de Lievre, in Bay Deliver; Bay le Diable, or Devil's Bay', in Jabbouls; Bay de Vieux, or Old Man's Bay in Bay the View; Bay d'Aviron or Oar Bay, in Aberoon, &c.
Monday, 27.-Up at four A.,M. Snowing and bitterly cold. Went in a punt five miles by the straight high steeps of Devil's Bay and Little Bay and the perpendicular cliffs of Iron's Cove, and St. Alban's to, Rencontre. There the father of the settlement was a respectable .Jersey-man; I wrote a letter for him to a married daughter whom I was likely to meet with in my visitation further along the shore. I held full service in his house and had twenty-nine baptisms. His wife delighted me by the piety of her discourse and her example seemed to have been blessed to her numerous children.
Tuesday, 28.-Walked at six A .M., accompanied by my hostess and another person from Rencontre, upon the hard snow by some very mountainous hills, to Bay Chaleur, four miles. The French islands
Pages 128 - 129
of St. Peters, and Miquelon could be seen from the hills. At Bay Chaleur was the residence of Reuben and Sarah Samms, a poor but worthy couple. The barque "William Ashton", of Newcastle, had struck on the rocks at Lance Cove, on her way from Dublin to Quebec, with sixty-three souls on board, at two, A.M., of August 9, 1830. Reuben and Sarah entertained fifteen of the crew and passengers in their present little dwelling, and each day supplied the remaining forty-eight persons with provisions in the tilt, which they built for shelter at Lance Cove, the scene of the wreck, three miles from Bay Chaleur. A captain John Stoyte, of the 24th Regiment, with his wife and her child and nurse were among those who were inmates of Reuben's house; and, from letters since received, they retain, it is clear, a most lively sense of gratitude to their humble honest entertainers. They supplied the unfortunate lady with such necessaries of clothing as they could afford, she having landed from the wreck barefoot upon the pointed rocks. This wreck, like too many of those which are common, on this shore, is said to have been occasioned by intemperance. Among the articles saved from the wreck, were some excellent tracts and religious works, which belonged to Captain Stoyte. These, he kindly presented to the people when he left their hospitable home for the Messrs. Newman's hospitable establishment at Harbour Briton, whence he soon proceeded to join his regiment in Quebec. Some of these books, which were printed in Dublin, particularly some remarks suitable to excite serious reflections before joining in the service of the church, were new to me, and seemed likely to do good, if they could be more extensively known and copies of then, multiplied, that I begged I might be allowed to take them away with me, with an intention, which I have since fulfilled, of presenting, them to the notice of the Protestant Episcopal Press, in the United States of America; to be reprinted by them, if the trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Tract
Pages 130 - 131
Society, or the conductors of any of their church periodicals, think them likely to be of service to the members of their communion. I found the contents of this box of books scattered about, but most carefully preserved, in the planters' houses in many of the surrounding settlements; they are most highly prized by them, and they are likely, under God's blessing, to do so much service to a people, who are in a sad state of spiritual destitution, that, hereafter, I doubt not, if not now, the benevolent donors will be abundantly reconciled to the inconvenience and the losses attending their disaster, when they shall behold the rich fruits which shall have arisen from the, good seed, which the accident then opened to them the opportunity of sowing. Some, indeed, of the poor people into whose hands the books have fallen, are unable themselves to read, but then they bring out the precious bundle of highly valued tracts from the sanctuary of their house chest, and, unrolling the piece of cotton or cloth in which they are carefully wrapped, they beg any temporary sojourner, or travelling bird of passage, who is a scholar, to read them to their assembled household. They availed themselves thus of my services between the hours of our public devotions; and, as I have frequently been on other occasions, I was pleased to see that they had much feeling. At Chaleur Bay, I had an audience, who gathered their chairs nearer to me, and nearer, as their interest in a beautiful religious narrative, which I was reading, heightened, until one and another lifted the hand, and the corner of the rough apron in silence, to wipe the tear from their sunburnt cheeks; and one woman, at the close of the tale, took up the chord for the rest, and remarked with a striking simplicity; -"It is very feeling, Sir!" The conduct of Reuben Samms, contrasts well with the less creditable conduct of many upon this shore, as regards wrecks. Before the wreck of the "William Ashton", he had been instrumental with his brother, in saving persons at different times from five other wrecks. On one
Pages 132 - 133
occasion, he had observed signs of a wreck and discovered footmarks upon the rugged shore, and tracked them several miles into the interior, where he found seven men from the "Mary", which belonged to Mr. Broom, the present senior magistrate of St. John's. The poor fellows had been three days and nights without food, and, but for his exertions in pursuing their tracks, must have perished. The simple description which he gave me of the joy which was depicted upon the haggard countenances of these starving and lost seamen, when they first caught sight of him in the interior, was most affecting, and reminded me of the experience of the lost sinner, when he first makes discovery of a Saviour! When I had performed full service at Bay Chaleur, and baptized his four children, his wife humbly offered herself also for baptism, as did also his mother-in-law, who was sixty-two years of age, but had never before had an opportunity, though well read and instructed, and of pious conversation - of thus solemnly dedicating herself in this scriptural method to the service of CHRIST. The greater part of these two families returned with me to Rencontre. We somewhat shortened the distance which we had to walk, by going in a boat to Snook's Cove. But in stepping out of the boat, I did not make sufficient allowance for the run, or rise of the water, in which there was a very heavy swell, and slipped in up to my waist. On my return had a full service again, and two more baptisms.
Wednesday, 29.-Much wind, and very cold. Yet the elder Mrs. Samms, and Mrs. G. Ball, and several of the family volunteered at the risk, nay, the certainty of getting very wet with the seas and sprays, to accompany me with a boat's crew to New Harbour, which I reached by nine, A.M. Here I held full service twice, and baptized thirteen. Along these was a serious woman of fifty-two, the relict of two husbands. She came forward, in the face of the congregation, and requested that she
Pages 134 - 135
might be permitted to avail herself of this, the first opportunity which had occurred, for her baptism, although she had often anxiously hoped for such. Here I met with a young man, a native of the village of Aylesford, in Nova Scotia, in which the bishop of the diocese has his country seat. He was engaged in a mercantile tour along this shore, and, as he was proceeding, hence in the same direction in which I was going, he kindly offered me accommodation in his hired boat, of which I very gladly availed myself. I may mention here a pious fraud which I detected in this neighbourhood. There is, among the poor, in many parts of this island, a superstitious respect paid to a piece of printed paper, which is called the "Letter of Jesus Christ." This, in addition to Lentulus's well-known epistle to the Senate of Rome, contains many absurd superstitions, such as the promise of safe delivery in child-bed, and freedom from bodily hurt to those " who may possess a copy of it. A humble person on this shore, who had long, possessed one of these papers, wished to supply some of her relatives and neighbours with copies, and sent home a commission for several. Instead of the lying imposition which she had sent for, several hand-bill placards, or sheets came out to her, in which admirable texts were appended to the above-named letter of Lentulus, and a promise of eternal life was held out to those who, possessing,- not that paper! but a copy of the sacred scriptures, should read and: believe them, and live according to them. The woman had felt disappointed, and detailed her disappointment to me. On examining the case, of course I could not sympathize with her, and endeavoured, I trust successfully, to explain the unscriptural character of the first papers, and to recommend that, in all future importations, she should take care to order those which came from the same press; Davis, of Paternoster Row.
"You think, then, they will have as much goodness in them as the old ones, sir ?"
"As much, certainly; and I should imagine more, my good woman, if you would
Pages 136 - 137
only be guided by the good advice which is given in that paper."
Went twelve miles to Cape La Hune Harbour; where was a perpendicular cliff, with deep water so close along-side of it, that it resembled a stone dock, or wharf. Found some of the people here very uncouth and rude in their manners, and some of the females particularly course in their language. Held full service, and baptized twelve. I was glad to find that the children were accustomed to put up a short thanks-giving before and after meat, and to observe morning and evening prayers, although, from the manner in which some of the poor creatures went through the several services, and the blunders which they made, it seemed they had little of understanding in their devotion. I remember that, in a family which I visited, the eldest daughter was the domestic chaplain; I was not willing to interfere with her functions, when she was called forth by her mother with a sort of pride to officiate, before the family meal. But the poor girl made and repeated the mistake, when alluding to God's bounty by saying "bounteous liberty" instead of "bounteous liberality" which, the sense obviously required and which the original grace which had been handed down by tradition, in the family must evidently have contained. On this I was emboldened to lead the family in the use of a form which was better calculated to express their simple gratitude. I know that a certain pride in the religious attainments of their children is a weakness frequently to be deplored in religious parents. They pride themselves on the manner in which their dear little ones lisp their prayers and infant praises, and they encourage vanity in the dear little innocents who should bring to such exercises no desire to display no feeling but of humble child-like dependence on the God whom they are addressing or describing. I shall not, I hope be suspected, in what I feel it my duty to say, of smiling at the peculiarities of the poor or of levity in the remark as it applies to any parents; for I have often la-
Pages 138 - 139
mented, as I have seen much of the same objectionable vanity in the drawing-rooms and nurseries of those of the higher classes, who are endeavouring to bring up their children religiously; nay, I may coufess that I have, in former years, felt a degree of the same vanity myself:-what parent has not? -but I think I have learned a lesson, from the exhibition of this general disposition of the human mind in many a fisherman's cabin, which will go far towards putting me upon the guard against this error in myself, and I shall truly rejoice if my remarks may be the means of calling the attention of other parents to the same. It will be seen that it was strictly within my province to make certain inquiries respecting the domestic habits of the families which I visited. The attention paid to the daily reading of the scriptures, was a subject of inquiry,-the observance of morning and of evening prayer,-the employment of the Lord's day, - it will be seen, were questions calculated to draw forth the love of the display of the religious acquirements of their children, in persons of vain minds. Accordingly, the observation was made, behind my back, to one and another who might accompany me, for some distance, on my trip, - "Surely, the archdeacon must think us heathens, to ask such questions as these; we must show him that we learn our children their prayers; - mind, my dears, that you do not be content with the parson's prayers to-night, but let him hear you all saying your prayers, after you get to bed." Accordingly, it has more than once occurred, that, through the thin partition which separated my sleeping cabin from that of a nest of children, I have heard, for an hour or two after I have retired to bed, the little voices of the younger branches of the family, strained to an unnatural pitch, repeating the ten commandments, the duty to God and our neighbour, the belief, and other portions of the catechism, and perhaps a hymn or two of Dr. Watts, (all, in fact, which could be brought from their scantily stored memory,) all as prayers. This the performance of what
Pages 140 - 141
should be a solemn, serious, and secret transaction'' between the humbled worshipper and his God, has given occasion to the fostering of an unheavenly temper, and even in these quiet retreat the seeds have been kown of that religious display, that " talking religion," as I have heard it designated by a pious quaker- lady, which; I doing so much harm, and bringing so much discredit upon the cause of real piety and godliness, in the larger family of man, of which each humble fishing station, each village and rural cottage, is an epitome or miniature. But to return to my journal.
May, Friday 1.-After a night of snow, the weather was yet unsettled. I was put across La Hune Bay in a boat, and walked about two miles, across some mountainous ridges, in the "gulshes," between which the hardened snow was still thirty or forty feet high, to Western Cul de Sac. Here I held full service, and, having baptized two children, and one of the mothers, I walked back, to hold full service again in the evening, at La Hune Harbour.
Saturday, 2.-Off before seven, A. M., and, to my great regret, passed the Burgeo Islands, with the respectable inhabitants of which place I had kept up a correspondence, and supplied them with books, since my visit to them in 1830. We anchored at eight, P.M. at Duck Island, Cutteau Bay, fourteen leagues. There, by the blaze of a cheerful fire, made from the wreck wood, so common on this coast, I held full service in a neat planter's cabin, and baptized six children.
Sunday, 3. Off at half-past five, A.M. struck, for an instant, upon a rock in working out with our deck-boat. Got, by one P.M. to Burnt Islands. We passed La Poile. This part of the shore is so fatal to European vessels which are outward bound to Quebec in the spring, that it is much, to be regretted, that the legislatures, or Chambers of Commerce of Nova Scotia, New Bruns-
Pages 142 - 143
wick, and the Canadas, do not unite with the government and merchants of Newfoundland, for the erection of light-houses here and at Port-aux-Basque, and at Cape Ray. Many vessels and many lives might, each year, be saved from destruction by such a measure. Mr. Anthonie, indeed, a humane Jersey merchant, resident at La Poile, has erected, upon a rock off La Poile Bay, a small observatory. This is of some service to a few who know its situation; but the shore in this neighbourhood is so very low, and the ledges of rock extend so far out to sea, that a vessel may be in danger before the little beacon is discovered. At the cabin in which I staid at Burnt Islands, the play-things of the children were bunches of small patent desk and cabinet keys, which had been picked up from wrecks. Beautifu1 old China plates and pieces of a more modern elegant breakfast set of dragon china, which had been washed ashore in the same way, were ranged upon the shelves alongside of the most common ware; and a fine huckabac towel, neatly marked with the initial letters, L. C. D., was handed me on my expressing a desire to wash, my hands. This had been supllied from the wreck of a vessel in which were several ladies. To some hearts those letters, doubtless, Would renew a sad period of anxiety, which preceded the intelligence of the melancholy certainty of a sad bereavement. I could not look at this relic of a toilet, now no more required, without emotions of' deep interest, although I had no clue by which I could attach recollections of brilliant prospects early blighted, or pious faith exemplified in death to these three letters. Indeed, the scenes and circumstances, the very people by whom I was surrounded, roused within me a train of deeply melancholy sensations. My host may have been a humane man; his conduct to me was that of genuine hospitality; but it had been his frequent employment at intervals, from his youth till now, to bury wrecked corpses, in all stages of decomposition. There had been washed on shore here, as many a
Pages 144 - 145
three hundred, and an hundred and fifty on two occasions, and numerous in others. This sad employment appeared to have somewhat blunted his feelings. I would not do him injustice-the bare recital of such revolting narratives, "quorum pars magna fuit", unvarnished as such tales would naturally be, in the simpler expression of a fisherman, might give an appearance of want of a feeling, Which nature may have not denied to him, and of which the scenes and occupation of his life may not have wholly divested him. I remember well my expressing my reluctance to allow him to disinter a delicate female foot, the last human relic, which the waves, or the wild cats, or the fox, or his own domestic dog, had deposited in the neighbourbood of his cabin. He had recently picked it up close to his door, and had buried it in his garden, and was very anxious to be allowed to shovel away the lingering snow, that he might indulge me with a sight of it. I suppose my countenance may have betrayed some feeling of abhorrence, when he said, "Dear me, Sir, do let me; it would not give me any concern at all: I have had so much to do with dead bodies, that I think no more of handling them, than I do of handling, so many codfish!" I have said, that I believe him humane; yet wrecks must form his chief inducement to settle in a place so barren and bleak, and to live through the winter out upon the shore as he does, contrary to the usual habit of the people, which is to retire into the woods until late in the spring But humanity might prompt a men to live where his services may occasionally be exerted usefully for the preservation of human life. Yet, did I wrong him in the judgment of charity, when I saw his quick eye kindle with the gale, as he watched the stormy horizon ? Was I wrong when, as he went in the early dawn and dusk each evening, while I was there, to a hill a little higher than the rest, with his spyglass, I thought his feelings and my own, -on discerning that a vessel had, during the night, struck some of the nume-
Pages 146 - 147
rous rocks which abound hereabouts, or was on her way to do so,-might be of a very different character ? This man is only a sample of many whom I saw on this part of the coast.
Monday, 4. A very severe gale, and I could not stir from my quarters. I have already remarked upon the superstition of the people upon this part of the coast. A man had died in this neighbourhood lately, (I believe by a watery grave.) I found that a otory of the appearance of his spirit, which was circulated by an illiterate drunken scoundrel, with the obviously interested motive, clumsily concealed, of influencing the distribution of the poor fellow's little effects, was very generally believed. More incredulity was expressed at my assurance that the distribution of a south-wester, a fox-trap, or a pair of mockasins, was not a "dignus Deo vindice nodus," a matter for Divine interference, than had been excited by the whole story itself. On seeing a young woman hereabouts deliberately making a cross upon her shoe with spittle, I inquired what this meant, when I found that this was to drive away the cramp, or a sleepiness which she had felt in that part of her foot. A young woman who had, a few years before, practiced with her father upon the ignorance and credulity of her neighbours and strangers at Gualtois, by affecting to receive divine communications, and to prophecy, was now living in lewd adultery in this neighbonrhood with the husband of another woman.
Tuesday, 5.-Went up three miles to Seal's Cove, Dead Islands. There I held full service, and baptized two children; the elder children of the same family I had baptized when here in 1830. Then, it will be remembered, that I had (as related in Report of Society for Propagating the Gospel for 1836), the pleasure of presenting to the daughter of George Harvie, my present host, a gold medal, which his Majesty's Government had given him for his
Pages 148 - 149
own and his daughter's humane exertions in saving 180 passengers from the brig "Dispatch", which was wrecked on this shore, on her passage from Londonderry to Quebec, in 1828. He had, also, received for the same benevolent exertions, l00l. from the subscribers at Lloyd's. The best effects may be anticipated from these generous rewards being given to persons who properly exert themselves in saving life or property upon this dangerous shore. I could much wish that some such acknowledgment could be given to Reuben Samms, whom I have mentioned (April 28), and to a worthy man, Miessau, whom I shall mention at May 7, whose laudable exertions in the cause of humanity richly entitle them to some reward, while their circumstances are such as would render any gratuity acceptable.
Such acknowledgments attach the dwellers upon this desolate coast to their mother-country; they are of service, as they rouse in them a degree of pride that they belong to a country which is liberal in its rewards, and parental in its oversight over its most distant colonists; and they stimulate to the exercise of humane exertion, when a selfish apathy might secure a prize in the cargo of some vessel exposed to danger. In my way, this morning, I saw the topmast of a large vessel of 300 tons, which had been wrecked here last fall; and, on going in the afternoon to another of the Dead Islands, a mile and a half, I saw a new vessel of seventy or eighty tons, which some Basque people, from the French island of St. Peter's, had, contrary to treaty, built last winter on Codroy River. She had gone on shore here the very night after she was launched, and was, with difficulty, made tight to proceed to St. Peter's. Held full service, and baptized six children, and proceeded to Port au Basque, or the Channel, in the same evening. Had I been here on the Sunday previous, I might have had a congregation of 200,-there were so many boats and vessels belonging to Fortune Bay, which were bound to the western fishery at anchor here. I assembled fifty
Pages 150 - 151
persons, and baptized ten children. Death had been at work here as well as at Isle a Mort, since my last visit. Michael Guillam and Thomas Harvie having both lost their wives.
Wednesday, 6.-Went three miles to Gale's Harbour, where were two families, and two children to baptize. The parents having friends at Cape Ray, or Cape South, as the people term it, fell in with my suggestion, that they should take the children on with me, nine miles, to that settlement for sponsors. When there, I held full service, and baptized fifteen children.
Thursday, 7.-The gale so strong that I could not proceed; held full service and baptized four more children. I staid here at the house of a French Canadian, who's simple recital of the efficacy of his prayers, is a certain season of imminent peril at sea, and intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures, which he knew just sufficient of English to read in our tongue, pleased me very much. Within a few days of my leaving his house, the courage and humanity of this man of faith were called into exercise by the appearance in his neighbourhood, of a boat with a portion of the exhausted crews from a wrecked vessel in her. The breakers made it impossible that the people in the boat should effect a landing; he leaped into the sea at the peril of his life, to give them a rope: a favourite dog, which I had admired while there, was with him; and on the boat's swamping, when Miessau swam with one man in his protection, his faithful dog seized another to draw him to the shore. The south-wester cap, however, which the drowning seaman wore, on which the dog had seized his hold, came off in the water, and the dog not observing the diminution in the weight of his burden was proceeding to the shore with the cap alone, when the sailor seized the tail of the dog, and so was towed to shore. The master of the wrecked vessel, who was one of the boat's
Pages 152 - 153
crew, was taken in a state of insensibility into Miessau's house, and some hours elapsed before he became conscious of any thing which was passing around him. This late instance, which I have quoted above, of the sagacity of the dog of Newfoundland, may be classed with many of the same kind, which I have heard well authenticated, and indeed have witnessed many since my residence in the island. An old dog is now living at Jersey Harbour, near Harbour Briton, in Fortune Bay, which has exhibited, in many instances, a degree of sagacity which will hardly be credited. He has been known to assist in carrying on shore some light spars, which the captain of a vessel in the harbour desired him to carry to the land-wash, that a boat's crew might be spared the trouble of carrying them. Another dog belonging to the same wharf has, as a volunteer, or upon invitation, assisted him in this work for a time; but has left his work in the middle of his second turn, swimming to shore without his spar; when the first dog has quietly swam to shore with his own turn, and then sought the runaway dog, and given him a sound threshing, and used to him other arguments of a character so significant and convincing, that the runaway has returned to his work, and quietly persevered in it, till the spars which had been thrown over-board, were rafted to the shore by the sagacious animals.
Friday, 8.-Full service again, heard of some mothers of families in this neighbourhood, who were deplorably ignorant, not being acquainted with the Lord's Prayer. The interests of their children led them now, though late, to seek instruction in matters about which they had hitherto cared too little themselves.
Saturday, 9.-Wind still so high, that boating was impracticable; started to walk nine miles to Little Codroy River. A difficult walk; the shore, all along, was strewed with wreck-wood, and balk or
Pages 154 - 155
timber from cast-away vessels, or from vessels which, in time of danger, had been eased of their deck loads. Held full service, baptized fourteen children, and churched a woman.
From Cape Ray the French have a concurrent right given them to fish along our shores, far as Cape John, upon the northern shore of the island. I say a concurrent right, for although I found that the French claim an exclusive right, and occasionally interfere with our fishermen, I can never imagine that the English government can have been impolitic enough to have intended to convey more to the French than a concurrent right of fishery; and indeed, as I read the treatise, no more was ever conveyed to them. None would dispute the right of the English nation to grant to any other nation the same right of fishery along these shores tomorrow, which we have granted to the French; and it is extremely absurd to imagine, that while we may grant to this or that nation a privilege of fishing along our shore, the English fisherman -the English planter should be excluded ! The English government, even allowing the supposition of its having merely granted a concurrent right to the French, has gone to an impolitic length It has thus given to a rival nation, as it has in the case of the Americans, also, the means which the want of colonies has denied to the one, and a want of sufficient extent of coast, has denied the other, of rearing an effective mercantile marine. The importance of such a marine to any nation may be estimated, when it is considered what it has helped to make of the little island of Great Britain, -and when it is remembered that it was the means of the late resuscitation of Greece and of her emancipation from the Turkish yoke. With the policy of this measure, in a political point of view, the Missionary has no concern; but it is impossible for him to travel in Placentia and Fortune Bays, or on the Western coast, without his observing much sad inconvenience, which may be traced to this impolitic indulgence on the part of the parent government. Perpetual collision
Pages 156 - 157
between the people of the rival nations, who are thus brought into competition upon the same field of labour, is promoted, and this is detrimental to that peace which he would wish to see existing between persons of various ,nations, who are engaged in common commercial enterprises. But this is not all. The illicit dealings which, on such a coast as this, it is impossible to prevent between our people and these foreigners whom we have encouraged around us, particularly with the French, resident in the islands of Miquelon and St. Peters - confound the moral sense of the people. The temptation of the bounty which is given by the French government, for fish taken hence by the French to the West India market, induces many of the French to cheat their own government, and to tempt our poor fishermen by secretly giving the English, among whom they are promiscuously fishing in open boats at sea, a good price for their fish, -while the merchant who has supplied the English fisherman with his provisions for the winter, and his necessary outfit for the fishery, is defrauded. All dealing with the French is an injury to the colonial revenue. It may be expensive, but it is a most necessary act of policy, under existing circumstances, to station subcollectors of his Majesty's customs, who might prevent illicit dealing, at least as far as Port aux Basque, if not as far as the important settlement of St. George's Bay. It must give a Missionary pain to observe in every house which he enters for leagues along the coast, evidences in the provisions which are set before him, in the dress of the inhabitants, and in the decoration of the houses, that illicit dealing is carried on to an extent which must injure materially, if it do not ruin and drive from the shore every English mercantile speculator, while it accustoms the people to an illegal traffic, and is so far detrimental to their moral principle. The bad example too, of the profanation of the Lord's day by the French, in, and off our harbours, exercises a sad influence upon the morals of our people; it may be imagined, that it is a
Pages 158 - 159
trying sight for a poor fisherman who has been toiling a whole week, and has caught nothing, to see the bait on which his whole catch of fish - his harvest -depends, caught in seine nets, and the batteaux put over the sides of the French schooner, and the fish caught and split before his face upon the Sunday!
Sunday, 10.-Snow. Went up six miles to Great Codroy River; full service, and baptized eight children. A cold row to Codroy Island. Here I regretted to find one of the principal inhabitants too much intoxicated to derive any advantage from my visit, although he intruded himself into the house in which we held prayers, and exposed himself sadly, at the close of my sermon, by proposing to me a very senseless and indelicate question in the face of the whole congregation. He was in the same senseless state of intoxication the next day, although we then succeeded in keeping him in ignorance of our service, and so proceeded without any interruption.
On my reaching the place, the beach exhibited the appearance of a common working-day. There were several fires on the shore, by which the French were brimming or caulking their boats, and their crew were fishing in the offing, as upon a week-day.
Monday, 11.-Full service again, and baptized fourteen. From Cape Ray to this place, the soil is so much improved, that it is quite capable of being brought into cultivation; cattle are very numerous here already. Between Cape Ray, indeed, andthe Bay of Islands, there is decidedly more land capable of being brought, with very little trouble, into cultivation, than in all the parts of Newfoundland with which several pretty extensive tours had made me previously acquainted. There is another advantage too, peculiar to this part of the coast; there is so little fog and dampness of atmosphere, that fish may be laid out to dry here with much less risk than elsewhere, of its becoming tainted.
I was fortunate enough to meet here
Pages 160 - 161
with Leandre Philippo, an inhabitant of St. Peter's who, with the usual courtesy of the French, politely favoured me with a passage in his fishing schooner, far as Port-au-Port, beyond St. George's Bay, whither he was going for bait On looking at the chart, it will be seen, that the walk from the Middle Point, which separates West Bay and East Bay in this Port-au-Port, to the Isthmus, or "Gravel," as it is termed, which is at the bottom of St. George's Bay, is no great distance. It is a most laborious walk, however, and in some parts actually perilous. I was put down at Middle Point, at nine, A.M., of
Wednesday, 13- And proceeded down the eastern shore. In several places I was up to my arms in the salt water in getting round points of rock, which it was impossible to climb. In some places I had to leap from rock to rock, over such chasms as alarmed my dog, from my frequent falls, -now upon the icy crag, and, at another time upon the slimy beach rock, on which my seal-skin boots, saturated with wet, gave me a most insecure tread. I was for several days afterwards unable to rest my elbow upon a table, and was, in other respects, very stiff, and, what was a greater inconvenience than all, as it only admits of reparation in England, I ruined my watch from getting it wet in the salt water, which immediately rusted it. I had kept it, too, in a side pocket of my coat above my waist. The snow was so deep in the wood, and the tangled brush of the forest so harassing, where I did succeed in climbing the cliffs, to avoid the deep water round any of the projecting points of rock, that I was frequently near fainting from fatigue. At length, however, I thank God, I reached a house at the isthmus. I was quite as glad to see it, I am convinced, as the crew of a vessel wrecked last year, near Red Island, to the westward, of the mouth of St. George's Bay, could have been when they reached it. It was a walk indeed, in which it would have been a tempting of God to have engaged knowingly. The humane at-
Pages 162 - 163
tentions of a worthy Englishman, Charles Vincent, and his excellent wife, a native, soon restored me. I bad a fine view of a patch fox in my walk, saw several seals, and some of those very beautiful birds, called by the people of Newfoundland "lords and ladies." Since my last visit to St. George's Bay, it had been visited by the celebrated ornithologist, Audubon, with some young American gentlemen, pupils, who were fortunate enough to have the advantage of prosecuting his delightful researches with this man of taste, and to have seen, as some here did, the original draughts of the valuable work, the leaves of which I have had so much pleasure in turning over. I fear Mr. Audubon met with little in Newfoundland to reward his exertions. I believe he visited the Magdalen Islands, when he left St. George's Bay. I was aware, at the time of his visiting the Labradore, that it was his intention to have touched in at some parts of this island, and I should have esteemed it a high privilege to have met him. Those who have seen the birds of the country, as I have had frequent opportunities of seeing them, in their own spheres - the eagle perched upon his crag, -"the towering seat, for ages, of his empire,"-or upon some rugged trunk of a tree which overhangs the rock, whence he has looked down with impassive unconcern from his giddy height, upon those who have vainly discharged at him their rifles,-can enter into the feelings of one who is an enthusiast in such a pursuit, and they kindle with sympathy as they read the notes of one who, like themselves, has been led by observation of the instincts and habits of the feathered tribe, while he marvels at their beautiful varieties, to acknowledge that God is the maker. the preserver, the inspirer of them, all !
Friday, 6.-Went five leagues in a punt to Sandy Point, St. Georgets Harbour. There I found the population much increased since my last visit, though two respectable elderly persons whom I remernbered, had, with many others of the inhabi-
Pages 164 - 165
tants, paid the debt of nature in the interval. I visited before Sunday all the inhabitants. One person presented me with a piece of thick birch tree, which had been cut through by the beaver near a beaver house, which was in the neighbourhood. The long teeth of these animals are sharp as chisels, and somewhat curved at the end: through this formation they are enabled to scoop the wood away at each incision, and trees, thick as the body of a stout man, are cut down by them in an incredibly short period, if they are in the way of their beaver path. They have the instinct too, so to cut them, as that they may fall in any direction they wish, and not lie across their path. The tree, of which this is a part, having fallen inconveniently, had been cut through a second time. It is a good specimen, therefore, of their ingenuity, as it shows the marks of their labour at each end. Near the same beaver house, from which this was taken, a tree which the beaver had cut through, had so fallen that it rested against a neighbouring tree. On visiting the beaver house a few days after the first falling of the tree, my informant found that the supporting tree had, in the meantime, paid dearly for the protection it had afforded the condemned one. It had been itself cut through, so that it offered now no obstacle to their plans of improvement.
Sunday, 17.-Held three full services, at which, and in two other houses besides, baptized fifteen. The lady of whom I made mention (see Report of S. P. G. F. P. 1830) when I last visited this place, as having kindly engaged to keep a Sunday school, had charitably taught some children daily; the effects of these kind exertions, and of this sacrifice of personal comfort in Mrs. Forrest, were very discernible in the manner in which the children made their responses in the church service. To this they had been regularly assembled by her husband, while he lived, and by her son
Pages 166 - 167
since. Married a Canadian of Kamaraska, to one of the inhabitants of St. George's Bay.
Wednesday, 20.-The "Hope," a brig belonging to Messrs. Bird, of Sturminster, having put in to Harbour Briton, on her outward passage from England, brought me a packet of letters from my dear wife, which had been forwarded to Harbour Briton from St. John's, for the chance of falling into my hands. This welcome packet was the first I had received from her since my departure in February! Several parcels of letters which had been forwarded in search of me, reached my hands after my return home, having been sent back to St. John's, after they had been kept some time for me in different out-harbour settlements. I sailed in her for the Bay of Islands, a little to the south of Cape St. Gregorie, which I did not reach through adverse winds, until
Saturday, 23.-I found that this bay had been visited by the Reverend William Bullock, in company with his Excellency, Sir Thomas Cochrane, in 1829. He was the first clergyman, in the memory of the oldest inhabitant, who had visited the place. The river Humber, which discharges itself here, like the river Exploits, in the north of the island, is an immense body of fresh water. From the great quantity of snow which was now melting fast in the interior and swelling the current, it was not easy to stem it within Guernsey and Governor's islands. There are some other islands near the mouth of the Bay; from these the Bay obtains its name.
Sunday, 24.-Held two full services, and baptized fourteen children. I was frequently, during my journey, struck with surprise, but no where more than here, at the very marked difference which might be observed between the inhabitants of places only separated by a few leagues from each other. One who shall take the tour which I hare recently taken, might say, on re-
Pages 168 - 169
viewing the manners and customs of the people, through whose settlements he had passed, that he had seen no one people-
The difference of extraction has occasioned, as may be supposed, a marked dissimilarity between tbe descendants of Jersey-men, Frenchmen, Irish, Scotch and English people. The people, too, with whom the first settlers and their immediate descendants may have had contact, or intercourse, have attributed much to the formation of the dialect, character, and habits of the present settlers. The inhabitants of Conception Bay, although a neck of land of only a few miles extent separates them from Trinity Bay, differ from the inhabitants of the latter, as much as if they were of a distant nation; the same may be said of the difference between those who live in Placentia and those who live in Fortune Bay. But a single league may often carry the traveller upon the same shore, from a people whose habits are extremely coarse and revolting, to a population which has suffered nothing -perhaps has gained-from its being far removed from the seat of advanced civilization and refinement. Much of the character of a settlement must, of course, depend, for several generations, on the character of its original settlers. The descendants of some profane, run-away man-of-war's man, or of some other character as regardless or ignorant of decorum and delicacy, are likely to show to a third and fourth generation a general licentiousness of conversation and conduct, which betray the foul origin of their stock. Between the people of the Bay of Islands, and those of Bay St. George, there was a difference as wide, as between the untutored Indian and the more favoured child of refinement. There were acts of profligacy practised, indeed, in this bay, at which the Micmac Indians expressed to me their horror and disgust. The arrival of a trading schooner among the people, affords an invariable occasion for all parties (with only one or two exceptions, and those, I regret to say, not among the females!)
Pages 170 - 171
to get into a helpless state of intoxication. Women, and among them positively girls of fourteen, may be seen, under the plea of its helping them in their work, habitually taking their "morning" of raw spirits before breakfast. I have seen this dram repeated a second time before a seven o'clock breakfast. The same, the girls among the rest, are also smoking tobacco in short pipes, blackened with constant use, like what the Irish here call "dudees," all day long. The instant they drop into a neighbour's house and are seated by the fire, there is a shuffling of the clothes, and the pipe, already partly filled, is drawn from the side pocket, and applied to the ashes for lighting.
One woman was pointed out to me here, who, in her haste to attack a quantity of rum, which she had brought on shore with her from a trading vessel, and under the influence, at the same time, of a certain quantity which she till the body of it was discovered the next morning, drowned by the returning tide ! The father, immediately after the discovery of the awful disaster, went on board, un-warned, and apparently unaffected, for another gallon of the poison for the wake, or wicked drinking revel, which the custom of the island has too commonly made an appendage to a funeral. The same person, for I can scarcely call the monster Woman, had overlaid another child of two years old, when she had retired to bed once in 1822, in a state of intoxication. She is now shamelesely cohabiting with her own nephew; and there are other instances in this bay of adulterous and incestuous connections with which I am unwilling to pollute my journal -"for it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them" -unblushingly-it can scarcely be said- " in secret."
The habitual conversation of the people is of the most disgusting character; profanity is the dialect, decency and delicacy are the rare exceptions; children swear
Pages 172 - 173
at their parents, and frequently strike them * * * * * *
There is not a probability, but, unless missionaries and schools be multiplied in the island, the state of the next generation must be worse, if possible, in places of this description than it even now is. I may be asked why I give even a partial publicity to such disgusting details of crime. I have been silent as regards much which came to my knowledge; the interests of morality may not, indeed, I know, be directly served by the exposure of any of these details of immorality; but may not the attention of the humane legislature- of the true patriot, of the Christian philanthropist be roused by the knowledge of the existence of such horrible enormities, to devise some plan for the emancipation of our rapidly increasing population from their present godless ignorance,-from a slavery worse than that of the body? - and may not the next generation, if not the present settlers, he benefited by the glare of strong light which is thus thrown upon deeds of darkness, which, else, could never be suspected or conceived ?-If the contrast between the state of some of these populous settlements and that of the inhabitants of the most thinly populated village in England, where the poor have the gospel preached to them, lead any to see, and to acknowledge, the value of an established religion which supplies a church, and a spiritual pastor, and a spiritual provision to the poorest, without money and without price,-I shall not have raised a blush for depraved human nature, by exposing these her natural fruits, in vain! I met with more feminine delicacy, however, I must own, in the wigwams of the Micmac and Canokok Indians than in the tilts of many of our own people. Except some sympathy be excited for the improvement of our people in this and like places, they may fast merge into a state similar to that in which the first missionaries found the inhabitants of the islands in the South Seas; unless, indeed, which seems not improba-
Pages 174 - 175
ble, nature vindicates herself, and the vices and excesses, by which their natural vigor and constitutional energies do seem already impaired, shall, in a generation or two, exterminate them as completely as drunkenness has some of the tribes of Indians.
Wednesday, 27.-I was happy in being able to stay On board the brig while she remained here. My object, of course, was the improvement of the people; but none, who have not been similarly situated, can imagine the difficulty of awakening, or of fixing, the thoughts of persons thus utterly unused to any sacred appeals or sanctions. Schools, in such places must, at least, accompany, if they do not precede, the missionary; unless, indeed, which in the case with some of the Protestant Episcopal missionaries, in the service of the Society for tbe Propagation of the Gospel, the same person be fitted to undertake the joint duties of the schoolmaster, and of the authorized ordained spiritual guide. But, in this case, he could only be a fixed pastor, which the means of no existing society could afford wherever such was needed; for, it is obvious, that in proportion as he was zealous in itinerating as a missionary, all schemes for the improvement of the young, by a school in the centre of his station, must suffer frequent suspension and interruption. When the brig left, I did not proceed in her to Forteau, in the Straits of Belle Isle. The settlement's were so thinly scattered, and so thinly peopled beyond this point, that I did not think that any proportionate degree of good could be effected to repay me for the consumption of time, which would be occasioned by my passing through the Straits, and returning to St. John's, by the northern side of the island; thus making my visit a complete tour of circumnavigation. I had not leisure either, to go to the Labradore again, and to remove my former disappointment, when I was obliged to return without reaching either of the interesting Moravian Miesionary stations.
I was glad, therefore, to return to St.
Pages 176 - 177
George's Bay, trusting that some opportunity might unexpectedly occur for my getting out of that bay towards St. John's, if not directly to it. As no more eligible opportunity offered of leaving Bay of Islands, I started at six A.M., in a drenching rain in an open boat, with Michael James, a temporary resident in this bay, who was kind enough to assist in rowing me in an American marblehead whaling boat. He took me twenty-four miles to Little Harbour, where, as well as at Batteau Cove, I was very kindly treated by the French, who were fishing, there. Here they had six French brigs moored, one a vessel of 350 tons. The masters of these French schooners and brigs have many of them been lieutenants in the French navy; and all their masters of merchant vessels are obliged to serve a certain time in men-of-war, - they are men, therefore, of a far superior class to the generality of the English, who are employed in the same way. I slept on the floor at Little Harbour, at the house of a sister of Michael James, and proceeded at five, A.M., of
Thursday, 28. - The hills white with snow, by which the rain had been followed. The cliffe here are exceedingly high. One was pointed out to me from which a Frenchman, who had killed his brother, was condemned to leap into the sea, a height of more than 300 feet, quite perpendicular! It was overed to him to choose this alternative, or to be shot. Such was the decision of the captain, who, (as was wont to be the case with the English, in our early settlement of Newfoundland, having arrived the first in the spring at the neighbouring harbour, administered summary justice for the season of the fishing, under the name of the "fishing admiral."
By eleven, P.M., after calling in for an hour's rest at Coal River, where I was kindly treated by some of the French, and picked up a specimen of gold "marcasit",
Pages 178 - 179
-we reached an empty salmon-house in Port-au-Port. Of this we took possession for the night, and slept very soundly upon the floor.
Friday, 29.-The next morning early I parted with my worthy friend, M. J., who was obliged to return, as he was in hourly expectation of the arrival of a brig in the Bay of Islands, direct from Jersey, in which the owners, who were his employers, wished him to proceed to the Labradore fishery. The superior demeanour of this person, compared with that of the people by whom he is surrounded, and his supenor religious intelligence, were most gratifying. It may stimulate the exertions of those engaged in Sunday schools, to koow, that he attributes it himself to the attention which he received when a cabinboy, from a worthy clergyman in England. He was a native of Newfoundland, and received as fair an education as his highly respectable parents could themselves give him in a little out-harbour. He went home, however, when young, and while waiting for the sailing of his vessel, he was seen at church regularly on Sundays, and weekly prayer days, in his sailor's clothes in the pew of some English relatives in the port; the clergyman on observing this, noticed him, and took pains to give him instruction in his Sunday-school, and on other occasions. He is now able to assemble a congregation, or to read by a sick bed, and he taught several of his nephews and nieces, and other neighbours to read, and he has told me, that he knew he could never forget the kindness of that clergyman,-he trusted he never should forget the advice which he had given him.
How many grateful testimonies of this nature has it been my happiness to have had mentioned to me at different times in the last nine years, by the settlers in these distant colonies! The parish boy, or the giddy girl, the impression, or improvement of whose heart, the village pastor has thought hopeless, as he presented the case
Pages 180 - 181
in his private addresses to the throne of grace, has returned in a foreign land some portion of the obligation under which the kindness of the pastor of their youth has laid them to the church, by entertaining and introducing into their neighbourhood one of that missionary church's missionary clergy; and, as after the dismissal of the settlement from his more public ministrations, confidence has been encouraged, and reserve has been removed; tales have been told of the village school and of the catichizing in the aisle of the church, and of the pastor's affectionate stroke upon the head of my host,-rugged and weather-beaten now,-but then a sleek; curly-headed youth, and the reward-book with the pastor's valued autograph, has been brought forth, and the clasped bible and the torn prayer-book, which he would not by any means part with, but would wish for another,-till-O ! the missionary and the man of rugged features, have both become children! and on the thought of home, and of the church-yard stile, and the village spire, and the intervening sea! and the present sad, sad wilderness in which they are wandering, or wearing away life far from the privileges of which such fondly recollected scenes remind them, they are both in tears, and both upon their knees praying for a blessing upon the dear church of their fathers, that God would keep it with His perpetual mercy, cleanse it and defend it with His continual pity, and, because it cannot continue in safety without His succour, preserve it ever evermore by his help and goodness through Jesus CHRIST, our Lord !
The thought that each scholar in the Sunday school may be the parent of a family, has stimulated to exertion; but how much greater is the motive to such exertion, when it is considered that in the changes and chances of life, some of the scholars present may become emigrant settlers upon this barren coast, -or in our cleared lands in the adjoining provinces and islands; that they may be the means of keeping up a knowledge of CHRIST, in
Pages 182 - 183
the new world, where they may become founders of settlements, and set the mould of the manners of generations to come. M. J. mentioned with gratitude a present which a neighbour had received of 150 American tracts, from a clergyman of Boston. They bad been dispersed along this shore of Newfoundland, and some of them despatched quite across through the interior to the settlers upon the northern shore, where, it is hoped, they may be fulfilling the benevolent intentions of their excellent donor. We call people here who live seventy or eighty miles apart, along the same coast, neighbours, and such they do indeed seem. Some however are not very social. A case has been known on the American continent of a man's moving farther back into the uncleared land, because he found himself getting crowded when a family settled near enough to him for his next neighbour to come to his house and return on the same day. I have often felt surprised at contrasting the feeling with which a person, accustomed to travel in England, goes over thirty, forty, or fifty miles in that country of continued interest and variety, and that with which he travels the same distance through the woods of North America. It might be imagined that the variety of the views, the scattered farms, the numerous churches of which he would get a view as he passed along, and the neat cottages, and the substantial yeoman's residences, and the occasional seats, would so interest the sight, that the distance would appear as nothing, and the transportation on those easy roads, comparatively a light work, as it were of a moment. I have felt, however, that this is not the case. No one can enter more fully than myself into the beauty of the English landscape. No one can enjoy, analysing its various attractions, and admiring them each in detail, more than I do; and the whole ride would seem to me a delicious saunter through a paradise; yet is a ride of ten or twenty miles in a young country (if a horse can be got along), or a walk, when the road forbids the luxury of
Pages 184 - 185
such an escort, less of a journey, expect in the matter of fatigue, than one of the same distance is in England, or any other thickly peopled country. The slight variety of object or of incident, in the journey here, seems not to affect the eye with any tedium, but rather to have the effect of annihilating the idea of distance. Even the interminable forest, however, has its varieties, and for some eyes its beauties; and perhaps, were my theory to he fairly tested, it should be tried upon some dead level or English flat (if such could be found !) The barest part of Salisbury plain, the rudest district of Cornwall, the heaths of Cambridgeshire. no place in England which I have ever seen, could be such, however, in my estimation, which presented no object of interest whatever for the eye; but then, these ever green forests, and these rugged crags, from which the birch and other trees spring, as they do from the rocks in the neighbourhood of Tonbridge Wells,-these have an interest in my eye, which would make me prefer my ride or walk of ten miles here, to a ride or walk of the same distance there, in a district, could it be found, such as I have been supposing
I cannot account for it perhaps correctly, but such is certainly the fact, that I have difficulty in imagining my ride of ten miles, which I take when at St. John's every Sunday to Portugal Cove, is a greater distance than from Oxford to Woodstock, or as great as from Inworth, my first curacy in England, to Colchester, or from Lowestoft to Yarmouth, or to Becles, two other rides of ten miles or under, which will often occur to my recollections.-When M. J. left me, I walked down the western shore of Port-au-Port to "the Isthmus," or "the Gravel." The walk was somewhat better than that upon the other shore of Port-au-Port, which is recorded at May 13. It was not unattended, however, with much difficulty and danger. My nerves had become so shattered by my late excertions, that on the sight of dizzy precipices in my way,
Pages 186 - 187
I would sometimes burst into most involuntary tears, and experience all the premonitory symptoms of fainting. On one of these occasions, when hanging by my fingers and knees on the edge of a steep cliff, from which a fall, which seemed inevitable, must have been fatal, these sensations came on, and I felt as though I was just fainting ! I closed my eyes to the danger, and in the kneeling posture in which of necessity I was at the time, I put up an ejaculatory prayer, and I felt the blood revisit my heart; my nerves were instantly revigorated, and, supported by an invisible arm, I was enabled to reach the bottom in safety. Before night I reached my kind friends the Vincents, little less fatigued than when dropped in upon them before.
Friday, 29.-Storm in the morning, but was able in the afternoon to get to Sandy Point, St. George's Harbour, and administered consolation this day and the next to an elderly inhabitant who had been taken seriously ill in my absence Sunday, 31.-Three full services and two baptisms; was struck by a verse in one of the American hymns, sung by Mrs. Forrest and the congregation. It seemed peculiarly appropriate to religious services, like those in which I was engaged, which, of necessity, are celebrated in private houses.
The humble dwelling where we meet;
Accept our grateful sacrifice,
And malce our meditation sweet.
June, Monday, 1.-Started at three, A.M. in a fishing schooner for the Barrisways, three settlements about twenty-three miles from this harbour, and half-way down the bay. A violent gale of wind prevented our getting in until
Tuesday, 2-seven in the morning of the next day. At the third Barrisway, or Crabs, I found three families, who, like those of the other settlements, were most industrious, moral, cleanly people. They are of Jersey extraction, principally mixed
Pages 188 - 189
with emigrants from agricultural districts in the west of England. They would not suffer in comparison with any settlers on the island, and it is much to be lamented that so fine a nest of settlements should not be acknowleged and recognised by the government. They have some of the best land in the island, along the shore and in their rear; yet, through the discouragement which the English government gives to settlers to the west of Cape Ray, and an over-delicate dread of encouraging any extensive settlements which might dissatisfy the French,-this, which is certainly the best portion of the island, is entirely lost to us, as regards revenue. The people are most anxious themselves, to be taken under the paternal care of the English government, and would gladly furnish their proportion to the revenue in return for security in possession of the land which they clear, and which here, as can be said of it in no other part of Newfoundland, and cannot be said of some parts of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which I have seen, would amply reward the labour and expense of culture. They live here, indeed, entirely on the produce of the soil, and of the cattle which they keep, and they live well. They are so far independent of the merchant, that they never apply to him for butter, pork, or beef. Indeed, if they could only find a market for their produce, they could rear more cattle and vegetables, and could cure more meat than their families require. There is no other part of Newfoundland like it. All the people of this bay prosecute the salmon fishery; this is generally very lucrative, as collecting furs also is in the winter. The number of the French who catch fish upon the coast, and within the bay, prevents their looking for more codfish than they require for immediate family use; and although they do now prosecute, in some degree, the herring fishery, which struck in while I was at Sandy Point, the French injure this branch of the fishery so much by the use of their seines, that it is not unlikely that the herring catch will be soon aban-
Pages 190 - 191
doned by our people. I held full service this evening, and baptized ten.
Wednesday, 3,-There is a flower here resembling the English auricula, but smaller; it is the precureor of the salmon, and is, inconsequence, called the salmon flower: it was observed to be just coming into bloom. Accordingly, in the course of my visit to this place, the salmon struck in, not, however, so abundantly as usual. Full service in the P.M., and five adults baptized, after an explanation to them of the nature of their baptismal obligation. The extent of the religious intelligence of the people here surprised me: the first settlers, both those from Jersey, and those from Devon and Dorset, were of a superior class, and their descendants do not degenerate. I met here with a man in humble life, who pleased me. He had been brought up at the free school of Lady Caroline Damer, at Abbey Milton, near Blandford, Dorset, and seemed to have profited much by this training, in his early years. It has enabled him to instruct those less favoured among whom he is settled. He shewed me with grateful pride a prayer-book, in which her ladyship had put her autograph inscription, when she presented him the treasure upon his leaving her school.
Thursday, 4.-Proceeded to the Middle Barrisway, where was a most respectable man, with a family of eleven children. The people gathered together from each of the other Barrisways for service, at which we had thirty present; three children baptized.
Friday, 5.-Full service, and baptized four more children. James Huelen and his brother John Huelen of Crabs, once came suddenly, when hunting, upon two bears and three wolves, which were devouring the carcase of a deer. When they reached within thirty yards of them, they fired one of their guns, and brought down a bear, taking care, for the chance of an attack from the exasperated or alarmed animals, to keep the other gun loaded, till they could reload the one discharged. They then
Pages 192 - 193
fired and killed the other bear; the wolves still kept their ground, and the men, in this way, brought down two of the wolves. The remaining wolf then walked away, but so leisurely was his retreat, that they might, if they had been disposed to complete the slaughter, have followed and shot him too. The same man has, also, come suddenly upon a bear, which has been in the upper branches of a dog-berry or mountain ash, deliberately bending and breaking the boughs, that he might eat the berries. I purchased here the skin of a very fine bear, which had been shot in the winter within sight of the house; be had attempted to force the door of one of the outhouses, and, a watch being placed for him on the following night, he was caught. I got here, also, the tusk of a walroos, or morse. These marine animals used to be very common on the coast of Newfoundland, but they are now supposed to be extinct here. Here, too, I picked some specimens of a coarse coal from the cliff close to the sea. There is, however, a little distance up the river a bed of coal, the vein of which may be seen in the Banks, and under the bed of the river in clear shallow water. The inhabitants have recourse to it when they require a fierce fire for hardening their axes and iron tools, and they occasionally take small portions of it into the country with them for their fires, when they sleep in the interior, on their deer-hunting expeditions. I collected specimens of gypsum, also, in this bay, and of a white friable stone resembling talc or Labradore spar, in the manner in which it breaks off into plates; but peculiar, as the laminae are not so elastic as those of the blue talc, and the whole stone is of a transparent whiteness. I, also, tasted here a strong chalybeate water, and there is in the neighbourhood a salt spring also.
Saturday, 6.-Walked to the First Barrisway, where three families live, and the widow, Anne Huelen, a native, the mother of the settlements. The recollection of this cheerful old lady is unimpaired, and car-
Pages 194 - 195
ries her back to the history of the island for the greater part of a century, and this a most interesting portion of the history of Newfoundland,-as it takes in the troubled periods in which the French and American privateers inflicted such incalculable hard-ships on the simple inhabitants of this coast. In 1814, soon after the loss of her husband, she was proceeding with one of her daughters, and her catch of cured salmon, to St. Jobn's, for the arrangement of her affairs, when she was captured by an American privateer, and carried to New York. Her cargo was sold there by a writ of " venditioni exponas." She showed me her pass-papers, which were signed by James Monroe, then secretary to the President of the United States. She speaks with lively gratitude of the very humane attentions which were uniformly paid her while she was detained in New York, especially by a Mrs. Sophia Doty, after whom and Mr. Doty, she had two of her grandchildren, Sophia and Elihu, named after her return to Newfoundland. She was allowed, too, very kindly, to buy in her own schooner at the nominal price of one dollar, which a benevolent American put into the poor creature's hand at the moment, for the purpose of effecting the formal purchase.
The want of Bibles in this and similar places, is much felt by the people, who attach great value to the rare possession. A seaman, who was wrecked in the barque Fanny, on her homeward-bound passage from Quebec to Greenock, was most hospitably entertained here during the winter of 1833-4, from October, 1833, to June, 1834. He had a Bible which he prized much, and read in it daily aloud as well as by himself. It bore this inscription:-
"To George Green, from a very sincere friend, who, with all his heart, beseeches George to take this book as his chart and compass; and, as sure as GOD has said it, he will reach at last, the shores of HEAVEN.-October, 1833."
Pages 196 - 197
It now bears the following additional inscription:-
"George Green, having been wrecked in October, l833, off Red Island, near Port-au-Port, Newfoundland, on his passage from Quebec to Greenock, in the barque Fanny, was hospitably entertained by the inhabitants of the First Barrisway, St. George's Bay. During the winter! this Bible was daily used by him, and frequently read aloud to the other inhabitant.s, who had no Bibles. When he left, in June, 1834, after much persuasion, he was induced to present this highly prized volume to Clemence Morris. May God bless this book to him, and the other inhabitants of the settlement, that so it may abundantly fulfil the pious purposes of its donor ! - June, 1835."
I had full service to-day, and baptized five children.
Sunday 7, (Whitsunday).-Full service three times, and baptized nine persons. I met at Sandy Point, and afterwards at this settlement, a Halifax trader, G. B. He was an old parishioner, of my deceased friend, the Reverend Mather Byles Desbrisay, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He had been indebted to Mr. D. for indefatigable attention to him, when he was supposed to be upon a dying bed, and was unceasingly visited by him, although he resided at an out-harbour, several miles from his pastor's residence: but it had pleased God to raise him, and suddenly to cut down the exemplary pastor in the midst of his career of usefu1ness. G. B. had been much attached to the ministry of my departed friend. He had been dead more than a twelve month, yet the poor fellow could not speak of his late beloved pastor without tears; and the memory of my sainted brother in the ministry, with whom I had so often joined in missionary excursions, and taken sweet counsel in Nova Scotia, was so dear to myself, that I mingled my own tears with those of this rough trader. It was gratifying to see such a tribute of veneration paid to the me-
Pages 198 - 199
mory of this departed servant of the Lord, and it was no less so to hear the high testimony which he gave to the worth of the Reverend Addington Davenport Parker, his successor, in the Dartmouth mission, whose acquaintance, with many others which I value much, I had also the opportunity of making, while I resided in the capital of Nova Scotia, or travelled in the capacity of chaplain with the excellent bishop. Obituary notices, in which attempts were made to do justice to the character of Mr Desbrisay, appeared, at the time of his decease, in the various Halifax prints. I regret that they are not now accessible to me, but,- "Quis desiderio sit pudor !"-there is one which I may here introduce, as it appeared in the London "Christian Remembrancer", for May, 1834.
"The diocese of Nova Scotia has recently sustained a very serious loss, in the sudden decease of the Rev. MATHER BYLES DESBRISAY, M. A. of the King's College, Nova Scotia, and Missionary in the service of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, for the district of Dartmouth, in the harbour of Halifax. Like the right-minded, and zealous Bishop HOBART, of New York, this sound churchman, and exemplary Christian, was descended from an ancestry, (the MATHERS of Boston, New England,) who would have looked forward with a degree of superstitious horror to the chance that any of their posterity might admit what they would have termed the abomination of episcollacy, and embrace the unevangelical doctrines of the Protestant episcopal communion. His second name of BYLES, he derived from the Protestant episcopal missionaries of that name in North America, a record of whose labours, in the early state of the Protestant episcopal church of North America, may be found in the reports and correspondence of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Being the son of an officer in the British army, he was brought
Pages 200 - 201
up in his earlier years under the discipline of the College of Cadets, in England, and was destined by his family for that service. A decided preference, however, for the pastoral office, led him, in maturer years, to seek a degree in the university of Windsor; an institution which has been eminently useful in furnishing the colonial church in North America with many most exemplary missionaries; the support of which, however, has been so deplorably curtailed, through the late withdrawal of the Parliamentary grant to the S.P.G F. P. that it is feared it may no longer be a nursery, as it has been wont to be, for the education of the children, and for the training of the future ministers of the church.
" The amiable manners of Mather Byles Desbrisay, his scrupuloas morality, his diligent attention to every collegiate, above all, to evey religious obligation, while he was in statu pupillari, commanded the esteem and regard of all, of every age, connected with the college: and his sound evangelical piety, and love for the apostolic church, gave early promise of the great exertions which he afterwards put forth, and of the success, and uniform acceptance which would attend his future ministry.
"The estimation which he has left behind him of his labours and his character, is indeed delightful: his admiring flock, and his brother clergy, feel, alike, that they have lost an example, which it was a privilege to have before them. An extensive round of churches, and a circle of congregations more ,numerous than the churches, under his charge, among some of whom he had first planted the standard, and, with persuasive eloquence, proclaimed periodically among them all the doctrines of the church, will long feel their bereavement of this zealous missionary. That he might do all in the power of man, aye, and he has been known to exert himeelf even beyond that power, although of extreme delicacy of constitution, that, in a country so inadequately provided with pastors, he might do all he could for the edification of the scat-
Transcription by Bill Crant, Elmsdale, NS Canada
Posted 22 May, 1999, Updated May 24, 1999.
Revised by Jim Butler, September, 2002
|Recent Updates||Contact Us|
Your Community, Online!
Newfoundland's Grand Banks is a non-profit endeavor.
No part of this project may be reproduced in any form for any purpose other than personal use.
© Newfoundland's Grand Banks (1999-2017)