Digitized and Edited by: David MacDonald, Jiselle Mahar and Gloria MacKeen for Sherbrooke Village Restoration (2006).
Special thanks to Fred Baker, Liscomb, N.S.
Please note: The following is a verbatim translation of the original document. Spelling and grammatical errors are intentional. Question marks indicate unrecognizable characters in the original document.
?????? March 30th: Held Services at Nauffts up St. Mary’s River at 11 a.m. Several persons came from Sherbrooke congregation consisting of about 40 persons who were very attentive. I held this service in the morning at the request of the families up river, and the Sunday School being held hour halfway to the mouth accounts for the small congregation. I have frequently requested the teachers and scholars in all schools not run after me where I am holding services, but to keep their schools open.
After morning service I walked 4 ½ miles to the mouth of the river and held service at 4 p.m. The House was crowded although several of the teachers came in late, excusing themselves by saying “We had some very interesting lessons in school today and could hardly leave it. But we are very sorry we are so late to service. All were very attentive and appeared at all times to enjoy the services.
Monday 31st. Left St. Mary’s River for the East Branch, where I went to look out the block of land called the “Frankland Grant” as well as reco????itre the settlement if I should find one. The roads being very bad I could not go farther than a Doctor Elliotts (formerly in the navy) where I was very kindly received by daughter - almost buried under a mountain near the river called Stillwater, six or seven miles from a school of any kind, which the Dr. And Mrs. E. Feel very acutely, having been accustomed to respectable society. However Mr. R. Having sent a small parcel of books such as Tracts, Children’s Friend, and Sunday School Books, which were gratefully received a few weeks ago. The Doctor with his daughter & son have commenced loaning out the books as library books, and have invited their neighbours to send their children on Sundays to receive instruction. The Dr. Himself was a Kirk man and Mrs. E. Brought up a Presbyterian but they are both come over to the church. He now makes use of Liturgy, and reads a sermon every Sunday to his own family, and has great hopes that some of his neighbours will attend. They said I am sure if you will hold an service here when you return, and talk of the Sunday School and establish one for us, it will have a good tendency and will alloy a great deal of prejudice which exists against the church through ignorance or her doctrine and services.
Monday, April 1st. Set out for the East River accompanied by Dr. Elliott. After travelling about six miles, a great part of which is through a dense forest of beautiful timber, we came out to the cross roads which head towards Antigonish, Guysborough, West River, and Sherbrooke. Here the country with its intervale farms begins to open itself to the traveller. Near these roads St. Mary’s River divides itself running east and west, and about a mile of the East River is a branch from it extending five or six miles north-east to a lake called Lockabar, near which is a populace settlement. About two miles from this cross-roads is a settlement called The Forks. There are a number of inhabitants all about these and within a mile and a half of each other are two meeting houses, neither of which are finished. One belonging to the old Kirk, the other to the Presbyterians, which are the stronger party in the vicinity. But the Kirk men, up the Antigonish road, St. Marys and the East River. I was here introduced to several old Kirkmen, who requested I would hold a service in their church on my return, which I promised to do if time and circumstances would permit. We proceeded onward up the East Riber, at least eight miles the, the road very, very bad, as is generally the case in the spring. Along this road for about 12 or 13 miles are some very superior intervale-farms. The inhabitants are all Scotch, and excepting two or three families are Kirkmen.
We arrived at F.G. at 5 p.m. and lodged at one McBaines, who is very comfortably settedupon a part of the grant. On our way we gave notice of service to be held at 10 a.m. on the morrow. McBades father was the first settler in this part, and no doubt with his sons had to labour very hard. The farm consists of 250 acres of which afe intervale besides as much upland now arable and pasture; it was a dense forest when they first came there. The poor old man was lost in the woods about two years ago and his remains was never found until two years after he disappeared.
Wednesday. About 11 a.m. 60 persons attended Divine Service notwithstanding the badness of the road and the shortness of the notice. Not one of those present had ever heard a Church of England service before. Of course I had to tell them when to sit, stand, and kneel. They were very orderly and attentive and expressed great satisfaction as well as thankfulness for the service. I understood them to say, they had never had a religous service of any kind nearer than eight miles. After service I undertook to make them acquainted with C.C.S., reading several extracts from different papers and reports; they had never heard of such a society before, but had heard of a person being along the shore establishing schools, and some of them wishes Providence would send him their way. After expatiating upon the object of the society and distributing its papers and some tracts with which they were as much delighted as ever, the ppor people were, and were so delicate about receiving them. If I offended more than one - that they felt as though they ought to pay for them, and told me that they never (so long as they had been living there) had there been any such books circulated. One old woman who had gone directly thinking I expected pay for the Tracts, after service the rest had returned home with the tracts, the old lady discovering they were given away, returned immediately to ask for one, I gave her three which she pressed to her breast saying “God Bless you, dear Sir”.
Afterwards I told them I believe the Society had an offer of 100 acres of Frankland’s land which I thought it would accept particularly if there was an opening for school and the services of the Church of England. Several persons accompanied me to the other side of the river (the grant crosses it) to view the land, as well as the settlement. There is a Bridge across the river about a mile above the grant which is about the centre of the settlement. Here I took down the number of families two and a half miles above, and those who lived the same distance below it - a total of thirty families comprizing nearly two hundred souls, without day school or Sunday school or any one to read a chapter or sermon to them upon the sabbath day. One or two of these persons gave me their opinion unasked for, which was that if they the Church of England there many of the old Kirk people would join it rather than go to the Free Church. When I told them that I wishes there had been few church people among them, they said “O good Sir” “di??a despise us on that account; we need someone to come and teach both us and our children and would be glad to receive any of them. I told them that their situation would be made known to the society and might possibly be taken into consideration. All appear very thankful for my visit and the information respecting the Society. Dr. Elliott had conversation with several of them, and told them they should hold a meeting and talk the matter over amongst themselves and then write the Society’s Agent.
If I might be allowed an opinion, I should say this is a fine opening for the Church of England, and I doubt not were a pious catechist and schoolmaster sent here from England a church would very soon be formed. The people are really destitute of every means of instruction; they feel it and grieve as a result of their condition. They have nothing to help themselves with, and being far from Halifax and Pictou and any Society, they have no opportunity of providing themselves even with school books.
Hitherto a minister of the Kirk of Scotland has occasionally officiated at the Back Lands of St. Mary’s 16 miles from them, and he preached once in four weeks within eight miles of them but seldom visited the settlement distributed any religious books or tracts or mentioned schools.
One hundred acres of the Frankland Grant would make a good glebe for the Church, and an acre or two of land I think could also be obtained at the Bridge upon which the church and school might be erected. I found here a kind of hospitable people which I left amid their good wishes and prayers for myself and the prosperity of the Society, begging me to pay them another visit.
Thursday. According to appointment held service in the Kirk meeting house at cross-roads, only thirty people present. Upon inquiring why so few attended I was told that most of the inhabitants of the immediate vicinity belong to Mr. Campbell, a Presbyterian minister, and he did not allow them to attend in that meeting house. Those present had come two and three miles.
Friday, the 4th. Held service at Dr. Elliot’s at 11 a.m., about fifty present, and although the greater part of them had never heard a church service in their lives before, they were very attentive, orderly, and serious. After the service I read extracts from the Society’s reports and papers which were very interesting to them, m??e especially to those who had heard or my labours along the score. The Dr. And several other heads of families wishes me to organize a Sunday School for them under the auspices of the Society, which I begged to decline for this reason, I was upon Mr. Campbell’s ground and I did not wish to interfere.
Here several got up and remonstrated, Mr. C., they said, had never attempted to organize a school for them; he had never been known to give a book for the purpose, nor had he distributed any tracts among them, although they were very anxious to obtain both. They though it hard that they should be deprived on Mr. C.’s account. I then said if it was the general wish of the people. I might. Whereupon there was a general rise and show of hands for it. I then promised to go up if possible after I had visited my stations to the east.
But after I left them, I began to think I had done wrong, the place being ten miles away from my residence and altogether out of my limits. I therefore concluded who travelled through territory administrating the Sacrament of Baptism and of Holy Communion.
Upon reviewing this tour I cannot but Bless God for his goodness. His protecting Hand has been with me going before me like a pillar and cloud, refrshing me by day and by night. My heart has rejoiced to see so many flocking to hear his word and unite in prayer. My prayers is, Lord, grant that I may be thankful for what my eyes have seen, my ears heard, and my heart has felt, and may I behold thy glory displayed more and more. And while thou lengthens our cords, do though enable us to strengthen our stakes, by holding fast the form of sound words, living as persons professing Godliness, showing that we are Christians indeed, by keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace.
Sunday. Very sick. Occasioned by exposure to a heavy storm. Very stormy the rest of the week.
Saturday, 12th. Set out for the east. Travelled to Indian Harbour.
Sunday 13th. Met the school and held service at 11 a.m., in consequence of three vessels having sailed for Halifax yesterday, there were no so many in attendance. The school is in a progressive state. Proposed D.V. to call on my return and regulate the classes and apoint teachers in place of those who are about to leave for the Labrador and the fisheries.
Monday, 14th. Travelled to Country Harbour, a distance of twelve miles over the barrens which almost baffles description. Two guides accompanied me, who also assisted in carrying my package of books weighing 26 lbs, besides my own necessaries. One of the men carried me upon his back across the Indian River, which travellers have always to cross or wade through. I have never yet been so much fatigued as today, often being for some distance half knee in moss and water.
Tuesday, 15th. At the request of several of the inhabitants about five miles from the mouth of the harbour, I remained here today to assist Mr. Sellers in making arrangements for a Sunday as well as a day school. They are now more anxious than before for a female teacher for this part of the Harbour. I promise to write immediatley to Mr. R. And also to endeavour myself to obtain one.
Wednesday, 16th. Visited several families at Counrty Harbour. The poor old school master Mr. C. Is no more; his aged partner is tstill living and is 86 years of age and thankful for my visit.
Went to Isaac’s Harbour and visited several families giving notice of service for the morrow.
Thursday, 17th. Visited other families and held service in the afternoons; fifty present. After service arrangements were made for the reception of a day school teacher, for which the people were very anxious as also for the continuance of the service of the Society. They all expressed their gratitude to the Society. For the benefits they had already derived. Fifteen pounds were subscribed towards the salary of the teacher and also something more for school requisities – praying a teacher might be sent to tem as early as convenient.
Friday, 18th. At Island and Seal Harbour. The families of the Island has become very interesting. One boy who twelve months age could neither read no write can now read the New Testament and seven others are learning very fast. The whole family appears to love to read. The father has learnt the hymns upon the Cottage Tablet, and I trust ere long the Lord will mke His Word precious to his soul.
At Seal Harbour this family which last year I found destitute have plenty of potatoes and fish. The children and mother have all learned to read during the past years by means of little books and encouragement. I have been able to give them. The poor man I have been told has been very diligent in teaching them. They all have a thirst for books. I cannot doubt that the Lord has abundantly blessed my visits to these two families who were never called on before, either by a Catechist or minister of the Gospel. May the Lord be pleased to water the seed sown by the Heavenly drop of His Grace and cause it to spring up and bear fruit abundantly.
Saturday the 19th. At Coddles Harbour. Wrote Mr. R. , held a service in the evening at Edward Fannings; several persons bing away on business, the congregation was small.
Sunday, the 20th. Held services at James Fanning at 10a.m.; about fifty persons were present. Amongst them were the families from Island and Seal Harbour who appeared delighted with the service and remained with us all day, uniting in the library and school, which I regulated between the services, it having been very indifferently attended during the winter months in consequence of two of its teachers being unavoidably absent a great part of the winter. However all appears to take hold afresh today. They are pleased with and grateful for my services, but are so poor that they cannot augment the funds of the Society. Indeed I much doubt whether two or three will be able to pay 1/3 each as subscription to the Library.
Held an Evening Service at 4 ½ miles which the people appeared to be sorry the services were over for the day. Many never having spent such a Sabbath perhaps in all their life before.
N.B. Although I feel ever happy in my employment, yet I often think the greater part of the people are void of feeling, as they seem to think a person may read, preach, and pray without cessation, day after day. May the Lord increase my bodily strength so I may able to hold out in the discharge of my important duties.
Monday, 21st. Set out in a boat for Torbay, when we got two thirds of the way, met heavy fog and had to turn back. Waited until Tuesday for favourable wind, but had to set out on foot. Arrived at New Harbour in the evening but too late for a service. The people being anxious for to stay Sunday with them. There being every appearance of a storm, I set out with a guide for Torbay on Wednesday morning and held a service there in the evening. All the people attended who resided there, twenty five a number. They were very attentive and thankful for the service and my visit. They are all leaning to read ad are improving, although there are but two or three persons who are able to teach them, and they are from a home a great part of the time. Yet the children are anxious to read the little books and Tracts which I give them. They are very diligent in trying to teach each other.
Thursday and Friday at Cole Harbour. Held two services, regulated the school, and opened the library to which eleven persons subscribed. The Sunday school I am happy to say has been very regularly attended all winter. And several young persons and married couples who last summer could scarcely read monosyllables are now reading lessons in second and third class books and endeavouring to read the Testament. They manifest an evident thirst for religious knowledge.
Sunday, 27th. Met the Sunday school at the upper part of the St. Catherine’s River which has been well attended. The scholars have much improved in reading and answering scripture questions. A school near the harbour has not been so well attendted in consequence of the difficulty and danger of crossing the river. Yet I find the children which I have visited at their homes rather gaining then losing ground. I held two services here which were well attended and appreciated. A collection was taken for the Society amounting to 16/11. The people said they were ashamed it was so small but at this season of the year few are in possession of any pence. But they hope to make it more in the fall. I also opened a library here, for which they had long been anxious. Eighteen persons entered their names as subscribers, but here as well as in Coddles Harbour I found it necessary to depart from one of the rules, which requires that all subscriptions be paid in advance. The greater part of the people said they wished to have the reading of the books, but could not possibly pay before August next. I could not refuse andso took their word. I am fully persuaded that the books will prove very advantageous, and will be read with avidity and be well kept. I left these people amid their prayers and good wishes after visiting a number of the families on Tuesday evening.
Tuesday, I spent the day at Island Harbour, teaching and catechizing. I found a great change had taken place since my first visit here. In normal point of view every member of this family has become exceedingly found of books and are earnestly endeavouring to learn not only to read but to understand what they do read. The eldest boy read a chapter to me from the N.T. tolerably well. The mother asking me to explain it to her as her read it. I felt my heart glow within me while instructing this interesting family. Especially when a little boy not two years old ran to me (and without being told) to say his lesson, after I had taught all others. The mother and all her children surrounded me when I was about to leave them, begging I would come again, thanking me for my kindness, saying “thank you for all we know. If you hadn’t come last spring and given us them little books and taught us first, we wouldn’t have read in the Testament now, nor none of us would not have known more than we did, and that was nothing at all. God Bless you wherever you go, sir. Thank God, I said, for sending me to you, and pray to Him to bless you with true repentance and forgiveness of all your sins. And that he may enlighten your mind to understand what you hve heard and read, and for memories to retain it. My heart rejoices to see nearly the whole of this family and the family from Seal Harbour attend the service which I held at Coddles Harbour. Their eyes were fixed upon me during the whole service. May the Lord bless the Word to their hearts by His Spirit.
Thursday, May the 1st. At the lower part of Country Harbour visited several families there and gave notice of service for the evening. Twenty persons at ended, a rain storm at the time prevent several families from attending.
Friday, May 2nd. Went to Fisherman’s Harbour, held a short service there, and taught the children and another of a poor family, and went to Hollands Harbour.
Saturday, 3rd. Read Scriptures to two families there and prayed with them and proceeded on the Indian Harbour.
Sunday 4th. Met the school in the forenoon ?0 were in attendance. I am happy to say the same interest is taken in the school by the teachers ans scholars as well as by the inhabitants generally as hitertooffre.
Held service in the afternoon, had a full house and attention. After service the congregation rose unanimously to express their gratitude to the society for the service it has done them though its agent, and feel in duty bound to assist it in carrying on the work of the Lord. Many expressed an anxious desire to contribute but at the present were unable. Yet hoped when they returned from the Labrrador it would be in their power.
Thursday 8th. Visit some families in the St. Mary’s River.
Sunday, 11th. Held service at Nauffts at 11 a.m. and evening service down the River at 4 p.m.
From Tuesday 13th to Thursday 23rd. Afflicted with rheumatic pains in may back which prevented me from attending to my public duty.
Sunday, May 25. Held service 10 a.m. down the St. Mary’s River. The house was crowded to excess and many were obliged to stand outside. This was the largest congregation I have had in this place. I should have attended at Gegoggin today, but at the request of the inhabitants of St. Mary’s to spend the with them – six vessels being ready to sail on the morrow for the Labrador; I could not do otherwise but comply.
Held evensong at Nauffts up the River at 4 p.m.; about 70 attended who appeared to take great interest in the service. I have great cause to be thankful to Almighty God that the service are so well attended here.
Having received instructions from Mr. R. to meet and assist Miss Parker in the establishing of a day school at Isaac’s Harbour.
Monday, 26 May. Went in a vessel to Country Harbour thence after visiting two or three families, crossed the barrens to Isaac’s Harbour. I remained here during the week preparing the school furniture and all necessary sheet and other lessons for the day school. Twenty five scholars were enrolled and more will be sent as soon as the parents can get them ready. I think thirty will be the average number during the summer. Miss P., I have no doubt, will faithfully discharge her duty as a teacher and prove a credit to the Society and Church. She met with a very kind reception, and the people are very well pleased, and hope will study her comfort, she being very far from home.
Monday, June 1st. Held morning service at Isaac’s Harbour at 10 a.m. The school was to meet in the afternoon.
I promised at the urgent request of the people of Country Harbour to hold a service and organize a school there with the assistance of Mr. Sellers, and also to visit a sick person. I walked there after morning service and found the sick person to all appearances in a dying state, but perfectly resigned, having a firm faith and hope in a Crucified Saviour. I read and prated with her and commended her to God, and left her rejoicing in hope. The service at Hines was well attended, but as Mr. Sellers did not meet me (having gone to Guysborough) I could not well organize the school.
Monday, 2nd. Went to Fisherman’s Harbour, where I spent the day instructing the two families there.
Tuesday, 3 June. Walked to Holland’s Harbour round the shore, visited and read Scripture and prayer.
Wednesday, 4 June. Walked to Indian Harbour and held service in the evening, but few attended, it being a very busy time. Some were out fishing and other did not receive timely notice.
Thursday, 5 June. Visited families out of the settlement; at Crook’s and Walter’s Island, and Wine Harbour, read scriptures and had prayer with the families. Also instructed the children who are not able to attend Sunday school on account of the distance and their extremem poverty. In these two families are twelve children, which the parent are very anxious to have baptized. I hope their request may shortly be granted. Stevenson having promise me that he or Mr. Jamieson would accompany me to some of my stations for that purpose.
Friday, 6 June. Preparing for a tour of my stations, westward.
Monday, 8 June. Met the school at Gegoggin at 9 a.m. and held service afterwards. The scholars are making gradual progress and all still take great interest in school.
Held service at Liscomb that evening, had a good sized congregation, although there is still a division among them. The people at the upper part still refuse to unite with either school or services. The school at Pye’s Point I am happy to say is improving, although conducted by the young persons previously mentioned. The former superintendent who I had engaged, finding it very inconvenient to attend, having to labour often far from home, and in the spring to go to Halifax to look for better employment, had to resign.
Monday, June 9. Visited some families and gave notice of service at Riley’s Island for the evening, but the fishing boats did not come home, which prevent the few who were home from attending.
Tuesday, 10 June. Visited the families at the Head of Liscomb, and walked to Marie Joseph.
Wednesday, 11 June. Visited some families and catechized the children. Held service at Howbolts in the evening, the congregation was smaller than usual on account of several boats not having come in from fishing.
Thursday, 12 June. Visited the remainder of the families in Mary Joseph and the several islands examining and catechizing the children. Scripture reading and prayers.
14 September. The Weather being unfavourable for the fishing boat tog o out t-day. A very favourable opportunity was given me to examine the Sunday School without interference from a crowded house. Considering the inefficiency of the teachers, the scholars are improving very much both in reading, recitation, and answering questions from the Scriptures. The rules of the school are rigidly enforced by the person who has the superintendency, and the scholars are very submissive.
Sunday 15 September. Held morning Service at 9 a.m. Hecum Secum. The house was crowded and several persons had to remain outside. Before service I attended several of the Sunday Schools to recite hymns, prayers, and scripture pieces which were performed very correctly with which the congregation was well pleased. After service I went back to Marie Joseph, held service there at 3 p.m. The house was so much crowded that the Sunday Scholars could not gather for examination until after the service. The school here is not so prosperous as many of the others, however, I regulated the classes, and the teachers promised to make a fresh beginning.
Monday, 16 September. Returned to Hecum Secum and visited a sick person and several families, afterwards walked to Necum Quock.
Tues. 17 September. Met the people andchildren in the forenoon and organized a Sunday School – twenty five names was enrolled. Held a service in the afternoon, forty persons were present. It being very rainy it prevented the people in the adjoining settlement from attending. A female teacher is very much wanted here. Twelve subscribed, the children being all young and only learning to read. A teacher of middling ability would do, but even such are not to be found along the shores.
Wed., 18 Sept. Visited the persons who have engaged as teachers and instructed them into their duty mode of teaching, and returned toHecum Secum.
Thur., Sept. 19. Visited some of the settlers at Hecum Secum River, quite in the wilderness, who were very grateful for my visit wishing me to come again.
Fri., 20 June. Returned to Mary Joseph, thence to Liscomb where I purposed remaining over Sunday unless Mr. Jamieson, the Old Society Missionary, should come along, with whom I had expected to meet every day and to accompany me to some of my Eastern stations to Baptize children.
Sun., 22 June. Held service at Pye’s Head. The congregation was not as large as usual. Several persons having gone away in the vessels belonging to the Harbour. I purposed examining and regulating the Sunday School but all the male teachers being unavoidable absent, many of the children were kept or left at home, while the parents at ended Divine Service.
Held service in the evening at Little Liscomb, congregation small but very attentive. There I received a message from Mr. Jamieson, requesting I would wait for him at Hemlow’s as his wished to accompany me to Indian Harbour.
Tuesday, 22 Sept. Held Divide Service at Nauffts at 11 a.m. About 70 persons were present, some infants and aged females were here baptized. The congregation was very attentive and orderly. During the Baptismal ceremony great solemnity pervaded the whole; the sight was interesting and affecting.
In the afternoon held Divine Service at the mouth of St. Mary’s and baptized several infants and children. The congregation was rather small (on account of most of the man and boys being away to the Labrador). Some who never had witnessed a Church of England Baptism before were heard to remark they had never seen such an affecting sight and that if they had an hundred children they would bring them forward to receive Church Baptism.
Wed., 25 Sept. Set out from Indian Harbour, walked to Wine Harbour round the bay to Walters and Crook’s Island off Indian Harbour. Held Divine Service at Crook’s and baptized nine children. The congregation of course was small being composed of four families with only an hours notice. There poor creatures were really thankful for our visit and Service. They were apparently overjoyed and thought it impossible that a clergyman could ever have found them out of thought them worth notice. O that the Love of Christ may constrain me more and more to seek out such poor???????? and neglected families and to relieve them. May I be enabled to Grace to study and contrive which way I may best advance the interest of Christ and His Gospel in the station and the capacity in which I am placed.
We then proceeded on our way around the shore to Indian Harbour where we had appointed Divine Service at 2 p.m. But having more children to baptize in private houses, we were 1 ½ hours late in arriving, although we started early and walked fast and not allowing ourselves to dine even if we had had an invitation or opportunity. It was gratifying, however, when we got to find the little school house very clean (having been scrubbed out purposely for us) and a congregation amounting to about on hundred and thirty present in the Sunday attire. We held a full service and baptized a number of infacts. The people were very attentive and orderly during the service. Indeed Mr. Jamieson observed that he never saw a more orderly congregation than this, particularly in attending to the Rubric – being as they are all dissenters. After service the people thanked us for the visit and were sorry we could not tarry at least all night with with them. Having made appointments at Liscomb, Mary Joseph, Hecum Secum, and at Salmon River for Sunday next, we returned to my house at St. Mary’s, where we arrived at 10 p.m. much fatigued.
Thursday, 26 Sept. Baptized two infants at St. Mary’s River and set out for Liscomb. Held a full Service at Pye’s and baptized several infants and children. There was a large congregation, the people having had two day’s notice, and the weather being too boisterous for the fishing boats to go out – and several whole families from Gegoggin augmented the number. After service we proceeded on our way to Mary Joseph arriving there just when darkness had fallen.
Friday, 27 Sept. Had full morning service at Howbolt’s, the congregation small. The boat being out fishing, not more than twenty present. We started immediately after service for Hecum Secum. Here at 4 p.m. we had a full service with about forty present. Having had an offer of a boat to take us to Hartland’s Island off Nechum Quock we gladly embraced it, and arrived there about sunset where we were kindly entertained for the night.
Saturday, 28 Sept. Set out in a boat for Noody Quoddy where we had to call and baptize an infant. After visiting several families we walked on the Salmon River.
Sunday, 29 Sept. Had a full morning service after which Mr. Jamieson administered “the Lord’s Supper” to about 20 individuals. There I had to part with Mr. Jamieson, having an opportunity of going in a vessel to Mary Joseph, which would save me a walk of nearly twenty miles, and having visited my intermediate stations, I embraced it.
Wed., 2 July. Met an examined the Sunday School at St. Mary’s River. The scholars, I am happy to say, are making steady improvement in reading and Scripture knowledge. There is also a growing attachment to the school. The number in attendance, 26. Many having gone to the Labrador and some others not having clothing for Sabbath day (or scarcely anything) which accounts for the smallness of the number of this school.
Sunday, 6 June. Held a full morning Service at Nauffts, St. Mary’s River, at 11 a.m. Had a very large attendance, a good many from Sherbrooke and from Gegoggin, three rooms were crowded to excess. Held evening Service at the mouth og the river, had a fair congregation, some from Sherbrooke, although the distance is nine miles. I regret that I am unable to make the regular appointments especially on this river, and some of the stations to the westward of it. The Sherbrooke people (at least many of them) would like to attend our services. I am happy indeed to find that much of the prejudice against our liturgy which has existed appears to be laid away. If the services of the Church are not admired, the dissenters at all events pay so much respect to them, as to order themselves according to our forms and customs.
Wednesday, 9 July. Visited the people at Gegoggin and Little Liscomb, where I held one service. The greater part of them en and youths being out fishing, only a few females attended.
Saturday, 12 July. Walked to Indian Harbour and visited some of the families there.
Sunday, 13 July. Held full Morning Service at Indian Harbour, had a large and attentive congregation. In the afternoon met the school but was sorry to find that in this heretofore happy and flourishing school there had been (since my last visit) quite an eruption. Occasionally by some inadvertent expressions from some of the females in the senior classes and which had created a great deal of bad feeling and party spirit throughout the settlement. Indeed it has gone so far that a dissolution of the school appears almost inevitable. I have not met with a circumstance so painful to my mind along the shore as this. What steps to take to restore peace and order I was quite at a loss to know. An idea however suggested to me that nothing better than Scripture argument could serve. I therefore commenced expostulating with the teachers and senior scholars in the language of Scripture. And after occupying two or three hours, succeeded I trust in making peace, they all promising by God’s help to let all past differences be buried, and that the like should to occur again which may the Lord grant for His Name’s Sake.
Tuesday, 19 July. Have been occupied in preparing for a tour to the Eastward looking everyday for Mr. Richardson, who is to accompany me on Saturday. Mr. R. arrived and we prepare to visit the Still-water Settlement and the West Branch of the St. Mary’s River, where I have been several times invited to go.
Sunday, 20 July. Set out early in the morning in the Societies boat, the “Guysborough” in which we went as far as Sherbrooke, thence by land to Dr. Elliott at Still-water where we were to hold service. But in consequence of the neglect of some individuals by whom we had sent notice, we arrived there quite unexpected. However a number of children assembled for school who read and recited several hymns and doing themselves and teachers a great credit. Notice was then given that Divine Service would be held in the evening, but Mr. Campbell and Presbyterian minister being at Sherbrooke holding services, our congregation was small but very attentive. Mr. R. read prayers and myself the sermon. After which Mr. R. spoke at some length upon the Liturgy of the Church, showing the beauty thereof, and how well it was calculated for the Public Devotion of all sincere Christians, concluding with a shore address in his usual pleasing and interesting manner to the children. We were invited to call on our return to hold service and regulate the little school which we readily promised to do.
Monday, 21 July. Set out for the West River amidst heavy rain which continued all day. We were five hours in going twelve miles, and of course were very wet when we arrived at the place to which we had been invited. Particularly Mr. R., who had scarce a dry thread upon him. Ere we had well got dried, the hour appointed for the service arrived. Hungry and thirsty, we had to commence the service, after which the Liturgy, Sunday Schools, the Society and its objects were made interesting to the congregation, (which because of) the heavy thunder-storm andshort notice was rather small, but appeared highly interested. We were thus occupied until six thirty. And at seven tea was prepared for us which was a substitute for dinner and supper. We should have been glad of a little refreshment on our arrival, having taken nothing since seven in the morning. However the people were very kind and I doubt not that their happiness in our visit caused them entirely to forget that our poor bodies could not be supported by faith alone. I am willing to believe bar leaves… Principally consist of persons belonging to the Church of England and the Kirk of Scotland. If I mistake not Mr. Smith (who is an infirmed old man) told me he had resided there thirty years, and only one service of the Church of England has ever been held in that settlement which was some two of three years ago, held in his own house, adding that he had heard of a Church Society doing much for the shores, and that he had sent messages to me requesting that I pay them a visit if possible. That he felt unable in words to express his gratitude he felt towards Mr. Richardson and myself for this visit. In the course of our conversation he also stated that since my first visit to Still-water they had felt very anxious to have Sunday School established amongst them. But that Mr. Campbell, having got the wind of it, he had stimulated his people to commence one in that part of the settlement. My earnest prayer is that the Lord may prosper it, and His work everywhere and that we may more and more “provoke each other to love and good works”.
Tuesday, 22 July. Having appointed service at Dr. Elliott’s for 2 p.m., we set out this morning in the rain which had continued all night and arrived in time to take some refreshment before service. The children and several of the parents attended at the house. The classes are regulated and thirty three names were entered on the list, all promising to adhere to the rules of school. After school business was done, an evening Service was commenced, myself reading the prayers and Mr. R. preached a sermon to the young with which they were delighted. The children and the parents in the little settlement appeared to take great interest in their little school and I hope by God’s Blessing (although it is quite a new thing to them) it will prosper and prove a blessing to many.
Thursday, 24 July. Held service down St. Mary’s River, our congregation consisted of a few women and children, the men and youths being away.
Friday, 25 July. Visited a sick person at he Mouth of the River (who had taken great interest in the Sunday School since its first commencement and to whose attention its progress is much indebted). Found hi very low; we read, exhorted, and prayed with him, commended his soul to the Lord and left him.
Saturday, 26 July. Embarked on board a vessel bound eastward which took us to Tor-Bay, where we arrived on Sunday 27th in the afternoon, and were taken ashore by some French buys and girls (to a cove near Cole Harbour). They appeared to take pleasure in doing this for us. Before leaving them we presented them with a few copies of “The Friendly Visitor” and “The Children’s Friend” with which they seemed to be very pleased, although they could not read English, but their schoolmaster, they said, could. We walked on the Cole Harbour and gave notice for service at seven p.m.; congregation small.
Monday, 28 July. Met and examined the Sunday School at 10 a.m. Held Morning Service at the close of the school section, and held Evening Service at 6 p.m. Many of the males were away fishing at the time of our visit. The station thank God is very hopeful.
Tuesday, 29 July. Went to Webbers on the West Side of Tor-Bay and held Evening Service there.
Wednesday, 30 July. The children of the hour families here were assembled together at 9 a.m. Considering the disadvantage under which there people labour for want of a mother who can read, the children are doing tolerably well. After teaching the children, we held Morning Service; our congregation consisted of the four families as usual, numbering twenty-five souls who were thankful for our visit. At 1 p.m. we set out on foot for New Harbour with a guide who rendered us essential service on the way. We arrived at the fishing station in the evening about 6 p.m. After taking some refreshments we held a short service which afforded a good opportunity of arranging services for the next day.
Thursday, 31 July. Met and examined the school at 10 a.m. Upwards of sixty scholars were present who acquitted themselves very well; many of them recited chapters, Cathechisms, which I believe to the satisfaction of all present. After an intermission of an half hour, the people again assembled for Divine Service, and again at 7 p.m. After Evening Service Mr. R. spake to the people of our Liturgy and the Society, advocating both very strenuously and inviting the people to come forward as yearly subscribers. Most of which are desirous of doing so, but the Herring fishery having failed, it put it quite out of their power. Last year nine hundred barrels were taken by these people. Whereas this season only one hundred and seventy barrels have been caught. This I fear will be felt severely before next spring.
Friday, 1 August. Held another short service. We have truly cause to rejoice in attended. Best of all it is so reviving to our own souls to meet with praying people in a wilderness like this. (no underlining in original text). “Iron sharpeneth iron, so man sharpeneth the counteneance of his friend.” “In fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge.” Visited every family in the settlement and left them, having their prayers and good wishes. Three male and two females Sunday scholars rowed us to Coddles Harbour, arriving there at 5 p.m. We held a Service at 7 p.m. The school here is going along well. I cannot say much in favour of our visit here, as after our fatigue, instead of sweet repose, we spent a miserable and sleepless night. I have hitherto forborne from mentioning many unpleasant thing which I have to endure. The particular incident they both became infested with Bedbugs and Fleas. But I have been in a worse predicament than this. On my return from another station I found myself infested with filth of a worse description. Although I have ventured to state this unpleasant fact, yet I am happy to say that there are but two other of my stations at which I have to endure trials of this description.
After we had refreshed ourselves, we taught the children of the family residing on the Island, had prayers and read a chapter from the Bible, which was expounded by Mr. R. The families were very thankful for our visit, and took us on a boat to Isaac’s Harbour.
Sunday, 3 August. We held service at 11 a.m., had a tolerably good congregation. At 3 p.m. met the Sunday School, and at 5 p.m. held Evening Service, which, to our great surprise, very few attended. After service Mr. R. in speaking of our Church Service invited them to united cordially with us in it; especially when I visited them. But unlike the people of New Harbour, they grossly insulted us, particularly Mr. R. I was never more surprised in my life than of the conduct of these people who hitherto professed he greatest friendship and gratitude to the Society to that effect. I forebear mentioning the language made use of by some of these people, hoping that Mr. Richardson will give you the conversation in detail. His feelings I am sure were deeply wounded, as were my own. Had we given any cause whatever for such treatment we might have better borne the insult.
Monday, 4 August. Spent part of the day in the Day School. Miss Parker appears to be getting along very well, has an orderly school and a good method of teaching. The people are well satisfied with her and the proficiency of their children. She too is contented with her situation, although she does not find them, she says, “the religious ad liberal kind of people we had taken them to be, and represented them to her, which was one great inducement to her in accepting the situation.
Walked in the after part of the day to Country Harbour. Visited some families and appointed for a service on Wednesday near the mouth of the Harbour.
Wednesday, 6 August. Spent part of the day with Mr. Sellers and his scholars, 14 in number. The school, I shouldsay, is at present in a very inefficient state. In the afternoon at 4 o’clock about forty persons assembled for Divine Service. They were very attentive and much pleased with Mr. R.’s sermon, and the intelligence respecting the Society. Afterwards several were hear to say “This is such a service we ought to have always. That was something like a sermon. We were thanks for our visit and were invited to come again.
Thursday, 7 August. Held a service at 4 p.m. near the mouth of the Bay. Detained a day by rain, we could not meet out appointments yesterday.
Friday, 8 August. Left Country Harbour for Holland’s Harbour, where we were detained by rain and thunder; here we had singing, prayer, and a chapter expounded. Saturday, 9 August. Walked to Indian Harbour. Visited some families there and gave notice of service for to-morrow.
Sunday, 10 August. Met and examined the Sunday School, seventy scholars were present. After school held Morning Service, also Evening Service at 4 p.m. The congregation were as usual large and attentive. Walked to St. Mary’s, whither we hastened to visit the sick man, having been informed that he was in a dying state. However we found him much the same as we had before left him. We again spake to and prayed with him.
Tuesday, 12 August. Mr. R. and myself engaged in examining and adjusting our accounts for books from the several Societies.
Wednesday, 13 August. Held Divine Service a Nauffts this afternoon. Congregation small, there being but few persons left in the River; most of them beingaway fishing. Went again to visit the sick man at the Mouth of the river, found him somewhat better in body. He did not seem inclinedto converse much about his soul. Mr. R. talked faithfully to him; we prayed faithfully to him and left him in the Hands of the Lord. We visited Mr. Pride also yesterday morning.
Thursday, August 14. Visited Mr. Pride, afterwards left for the West. Held service at Little Liscomb at 4 p.m., which was attended by the people of Gegoggin.
Friday, 15 August. Held service at Hemlow’s, Liscomb, at 10 p.m. Congregation small. After the Service we proceeded on our way to Mary Joseph, where we arrived in the evening too late for service.
Saturday, 16 August. Visited the families and gave notice for Sunday and Mary Joseph and Hecum Secum.
Sunday, 17 August. Held Morning Service at 10 a.m., had a large and attentive congregation. After the Service we proceeded on forthwith to Hecum Secum, where we held a service at 4 p.m. Congregation not so small as usual. At the close of the Service an opportunity was afforded us of going in a boat to Hartland’s Island which we were glad to embrace.
Monday, 18 August. We were kindly entertained lastnight upon the Island, thanked for our visits and were taken by boat to Necum Quock. Held service here at 4 p.m. The notice being short, congregation was small but were grateful for the service.
Tuesday, 19 August. Taken in a boat to Harrigan’s Cove, visited a family there, sang and prayed with them and walked on to Noody Quody, where we held Service at 4 p.m., but few attended.
Wednesday, 20 August. Went to Salmon River and held service at 3 p.m. Thence to Beaver Harbour and held Service at 8 o’clock in the Evening.
Thursday, 21 August. Walked to Sheet Harbour and held Service at 4 p.m. The inhabitants are chiefly Presbyterians, but have made use of our Prayer Book near forty years, until the present summer. The peron who has usually officiated as Reader having become so informed that he cannot no longer attend to the duty. I was surprised to see so many Prayer Books in the little Chapel. Indeed I was informed by an old and respectable inhabitant (an Englishman) that had been attended by the Church, every family in the Harbour would have become members. But as the Church wouldn’t have us, Mr. Sprott, the Presbyterian minister has come this year to administer the Sacraments and take care of us.
Friday, 22 August. There being two vessels about to sail out of this Harbour, on for Halifax, the other Eastward. Mr. Richardson which I regret is hard is hard to part with a Christian traveler and guide. God knows I meet with but very few with whom I ran converse on part of the way about Jesus. I can truthfully say that often has my heart burned within me while my dear friend and brother Mr. R. has been thus conversing.
Saturday, 23 August. Sailed this morning for Mary Joseph, but the wind coming round from the East, had to return. In the afternoon I set out on foot and walked to Beaver Harbour.
Sunday, 24 August. Went to Salmon River and held two services there: one in the morning and another in the afternoon. After service returned to Beaver Harbour with the intention of boarding a vessel bound eastward to Mary Joseph, but my feet and ankles being very much swollen, I was not able to walk.
Monday, 25 August. Vessel taking in ballast, due to sail on to-morrow. Held service in the evening between thirty and forty persons were present and very attentive.
Tuesday and Wednesday. Stormy and head winds. Visited the families at Beaver Harbour.
Thursday, 28 August. Sailed to Mary Joseph and on Friday to Liscomb.
Sunday, 31 August. Held Morning Service at Liscomb, after which I had again to regulate the Sunday School; another quarrel having taken place amongst the unhappy people and at the house where the school has lately been kept. It is now removed to Hemlows the last and only place where it can be kept. In order to give another trial whether any thing good can be effected; at the suggestion of Mr. Richardson I have engaged the Superintendent of the School at Gegoggin to attend every Sunday Morning for six months at a salary of five pounds per annum in place of the person who formerly superintended at Liscomb. He will also attend the Gegoggin school in the afternoon. This school in particular has caused me great anxiety.
Held service at Gegoggin; every family attended and manifested the usual gratitude and goodfeeling. The school is in a prosperous state and all appear perfectly willing yo spare the superintendent on the Sunday mornings at Liscomb.
Saturday, 6 Sept. Due to my feet and ankles I have obliged to remain at home during the past week.
Sunday, 7 Sept. Held morning service at Nauffts, St. Mary’s River at 11 a.m. About sixty were present and held Evening Service down the River with about 40 in attendance; the small attendance was due to heavy rain, which feel during the evening.
Tuesday, 9 Sept. Preparing books, sheets, and other requisites for a Sunday School at the western side of Hecum Secum; having been repeatedly invited by the people there to organize one, who said “their children could not attend the School on the Eastern side.” Moreover the house in which it is kept would not contain any more than what are now in attendance, which I found to be the case.
Thursday, 11 Sept. Attended Pye’s Head, Liscomb, to hold service at 4 p.m. I was disappointed when but one young attended besides the family. I was afterwards informed that none of the people would go to the house; in consequence of some recent quarrel. These things often discourage me, being as I find, very common along this shore. May the Lord support me under them. I feel every day my need of more grace, strengthening and persevering Grace.
Friday, 12 Sept. Visited the people at the head of Liscomb Harbour and proceeded onward to Western side of Hecum Secum where I spent a short time among the people. Finding that the greater part of the men and youths were preparing for a Mackerel voyage, which would not in all probability terminate before the middle of November; it was thought best not to organize the School until their return. I therefore left the school requisites in their hands and went on to Necum Quock.
Sunday, 14 Sept. Held Morning Service in the School house at house Moser’s River. Congregation large and very attentive. In the afternoon held a service in the School House at Necum Quock which was crowded. The congregation composed of the various denominations of Christian people everywhere to be met with throughout this Province. I am often astonished to see so many attend the Services which I hold, and that they should importune me to come oftener; and often do I stand before a large congregation in fear and trembling, lest I should give the appearance of assuming the office of the ministry (or priesthood is what he has in mind). That I am a minister to them I feel indeed a most solemn duty and one which I am unworthy to perform. And most willingly would I rather be over-looked and forgotten, that Almighty God might be remembered and owned. I feel the responsibility too great for me and have cause to mourn the absence of pious clergyman, and especially my kind Christian friend and fellow labourer Mr. Richardson.
“Thus far my God has led me on
And made His truth and Mercy known;
My hopes and fears alternate rise,
And comforts mingle with my sighs.
Monday, 15 Sept. Held Evening Service at Hecum Secum, congregation small, people out fishing. Theb Sunday school continues to be well attended, but I am very sorry that the person who superintends it is far from being the character I should wish. Although I am told by some of the teachers who are more seriously disposed than himself; that he has made use of very improper language even in the School and that their minds are very much pained at his conduct. Yes, and often is my heart wounded too, when I hear of such conduct being evinced by any who are connected with our schools.
In this case when I proposed mentioning the circumstances the then superintendent placing another person at the head of the school, the teachers begged that I would leave things as they were for a while longer. As there was grave danger of the school being broken up. He being a headstrong and a furious man and related to every family except two in the place. They thought that while he was confined to the duties of superintendent, he would endeavour in some measure to curb his temper. While on the other hand should he be offended or put out of office, the whole of his connexions would take offence, and himself would be as a roaring Lion. Thus they reasoned, that a wild and furiated animal cannot do as much mischief when confined as when at large. So I left the matter. May the Lord direct us how to proceed in this and every other circumstances which I may be calledupon to pass through.
“My soul with various tempest toss’d
Her hopes o’erturned, her prospects cross’d,
Sees every day new straits attend,
And wonders where the scene will end.
Wednesday, 17 Sept. Held Evening Service at Riley’s Liscomb Island – congregation small, but thankful for my visit.
Thursday, 18 Sept. Upon my arrival in St. Mary’s River I found a vessel preparing for Halifax and when on her return voyage would touch at Torbay. Having to go to Halifax in order to buy my winter’s provisions which I should have don earlier then I did last autumn, I embraced this opportunity.
Saturday, 20 September. Set sail but did not get out of the river, due to unfavourable winds until Sunday morning. I had hoped if possible to reach Mary Joseph in time for Evening Service but we were disappointed as the wind died away. Indeed so changeable was the wind that we did not arrive in Halifax until the evening of Saturday, October 4th.
Sunday, 5 October. On Sunday I was blessed with the various opportunities of meeting in God’s House with His people through which means I was abundantly refreshed. “Blessed are they that dwell in thy House; they will still be praising Thee: for a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand.”
Thursday, 7 October. Left Halifax for St. Mary’s, where we arrived on Wednesday 15th. During my absence an infant and the aged person whom Mr. R. and myself had several times met, died and were buried. I regret being absent when he died; I am informed he several times inquired for me. His remains was interred close to the little chapel which has just been put up. Soon after my arrival the friend of the deceased came with the request that I preach a funeral sermon on the following Sunday. I complied with the request so far as to read one of “Burdeis” being only one I had on the subject of Death. The congregation amounted to near a hundred, being very attentive and much affected. Not withstanding the glass had not yet been put into the window sashes, we held service in the little Chapel which when finished will be a very neat little building and an ornament to this river; likewise credit to this people. Although they have not been able to finish it the theb present.
Still-water, St. Mary’s River
October 5, 1845
Copy of letter received.
My dear Sir,
I beg leave in the name of myself and Neighbours to return you our thanks for having established a Sabbath school in our neighbourhood. Before which our children was in great measure without instruction and allowed to spend the Sabbath in idleness. I am sorry to say that we are most of the time without school of any kind. So you may judge of the destitution of our settlement which is so far from any place of worship that the children are able to attend. If you could make it convenient to visit us occasionally it would be a great encouragement to both teachers and scholars; and we should all esteem it a great favour.
Some previous attempts have been made to keep a Sabbath School, but has always fallen through for want of books and proper regulations.
The Tracts you furnished us with have been productive of much good too and are eagerly sought after by both old and young. When all has read them in our settlement, we send them to a person living some sixteen miles off, when they are equally destitute of books. He is careful that none of them are lost or soiled, and again send them to another settlement where they are thankfully received. Tracts being seldom seen in the Country until furnished by the Colonial Church Society.
We have also disposed of several New Testaments and Cottage Hymn books, which are eagerly sought after and were scarce and dear before they were furnished by the Society.
I remain sincerely
H. F. Elliot
Mr. L. Alexander
Cathecist of the C.C.S.
St. Mary’s River
Wednesday, 22 October. Sailed on a vessel bound for Cando as far as Torbay. Arrived and put ashore near Molasses Harbour on Thursday night, but too late for service.
Friday, 24 October. Walked to Cole Harbour and met the Sunday School at 2 p.m. Cathechized and gave them an address upon the necessities of change of heart, which appeared to interest them very much. Held Evening Service at 7 p.m., congregation rather small but very attentive and several much affected.
Saturday – heavy gale of wind prevented my crossing the Bay to Webbers which gave me an opportunity of assembling in the evening for Divine Service, and again on Sunday morning at 10 p.m. Although many were absent at their fishing stations some distance from their homes. Yet all who were left attended the services and appeared not only to hear for themselves but also for their husbands and absent friends. I found it indeed good to be here. These people appear to be more grateful for our visit than any other. Indeed we the labourers of the Society are the only persons who go to hold religious Services. After Morning Service we cross the bay and held Evening Service at Gammons S.
Monday, October 27. Met the children and gave them instructions after which held Morning Service and set out for New Harbour with a guide. When on my way I was taken with fainting sickness and with difficulty got to New Harbour, where I was taken with violent coughing and sickness of the stomach accompanied with high fever.
I was put to bed where I remainedtwo days, but finding myself no better but getting worse, the people as well as myself being alarmed, and as I could obtain neither medicine nor nourishment for a weak stomach, I begged to be taken home if the weather would permit the following day, which praise the Lord, it did. I was conveyed to Country Harbour but could get nothing but a little Indian Meal gruel until I sent for Mr. Sellere who kindly got me conveyed to Mr. Archibald’s where I was kindly treated for the night. The next day I was taken to Dr. Elliott’s, Still-water with whom I remained for two daysa and then conveyed home by the Dr. himself under whose care I now am. Nov. 2. His opinion is that my lungs are affected, that my sickness has been brought on by cold, fatigue, and exertion of voice. But I think it more probable that I slept on damp sheets on Sunday night last, as before that I felt perfectly well, but since have had a dry cough and difficulty in breathing. Indeed until yesterday I have not been able to read a chapter in the bible at family devotions. 12 November, 1845. I have abundant reason to bless and praise the Lord that he has been graciously pleased to restore me in a great measure to my wonted health. I am now gaining strength and hope to be able to meet the people in this river on Sunday next and perform some duty.
While I have been confined to the house, an opportunity has been afforded me of studying the Scriptures and reading the British Reformers and the memoirs of pious individuals. During which time I felt abundantly blessed and encouraged to persevere more and more the work of the Lord, notwithstanding dark clouds hide from me sometimes the Sun of Righteousness. Thanks be to God, “though sorrow last for the night, joy cometh in the morning.” And however the waves rise and swell, He is above them, and is infinitely good to them that put their trust in Him. I have not only learned by the hearing of the ear but my former experiences have taught me, that He is abundant in goodness and mercy. I earnestly pray that my heart may be duly affected with a deep sense of them and that I may never dare to abuse such loving kindness. But whatever length may be added to my days they may be spent in exalting his praise and promoting His Glory, turning sinner to Himself.
I feel at a great loss for want of a Commentary on the Old Testament, having but few opportunities when on my itinerancy fir study if the Scriptures. And especially as I have no clergyman or pious learned friend to read or even converse with upon particular subjects, a Commentary would be an immense help to me. At the same time I feel the need of the teaching of the Holy Script, who is the best Teacher.
Sunday, 23 November. Through the blessing of God I have been enabled to attend down the river and hold one service, reading prayers and a sermon, after which I felt more fatigued than I had anticipated. Within doors and imprisoned the greater part of the week.
Saturday, 29 November. Feeling much better, I set out for Liscomb, where I had been expected for several weeks past.
Sunday, 30 November. Held Morning Service at 11 a.m. at Hemlow’s and at Gegoggin at 4 p.m. Congregation very attentive and particularly at the latter place, where I trust, if we at all judge by appearance and expression, the Lord has begun a good work in the hearts of two or three females.
Wednesday, 3 December. Set out for Necum Tuock, where including West Hecum Secum I had appointments for the early part of November, where half way to Liscomb found a large brook so over-flowed that I had to return.
Thursday, 4 December. Having an opportunity of going as far as Readman’s Head in a Whaler, I embraced it, but found it extremely cold. Was carried from there to Hemlow’s Island, where to my great disappointment I remained that night and the two following in consequence of a heavy storm and high seas which made it impracticable for a boat to cross to the opposite shore. But my visit was not an unprofitable one, as I embraced the opportunity of instructing the family which occupies the Island, in the things which make for their comfort here and peace in Eternity.
Sunday, 7 December. Calm having succeeded the storm, I was enabled to cross the bay his morning and hold a service at 11 a.m. at Hemlow’s. The scholars of the Sunday School did not assemble, the superintendent and the teachers being absent, in Halifax. In the afternoon I met and cathechized the scholars in attendance at the Gegoggin School. Several was absent due to excessive cold. After school read Prayers and a Sermon to a small congregation. The house in which I held Service was so cold that could scarcely turn over a leaf in my book.
During this week have been obliged to keep within doors in consequence of cold taken on Sunday last. Indeed was I able to go out, I could not cross our river in consequence of it being frozen over, and the ice not of sufficient strength to walk upon.
Sunday, 14 December. Held Morning Service at Nauffts at 11 a.m. and down the river at 3 p.m.
Monday, 15 December. Set out again early in the morning for Necum Quock. Walked to Mary Joseph arriving there late in the evening. On Tuesday set out with intention to visit all the families, but was detained all day at Smith’s Island by a storm. The day however was spent with comfort to myself and satisfaction to the family. There are eleven children in this family. There also being several other children accidently there, I had quite a school, and doubt not that the hours were profitably spent. For my part I felt very happy while employed in examining and catecezzing these children. The parents too enjoyed and were very grateful for my visit. It would appear by conversation had with Mr. Smith respecting the Sabbath School, that since the middle of summer the School has neither been conducted nor attended as it was before that time. In consequence of a severe quarrel between the persons who act as Superintendent and another person whose wife and family were regular attendants. This has caused a party spirit and I am grieved to say has been allowed to enter the school. The Superintendent I find has acted with great duplicity with me, respecting the school; and what can I do? He is the only person upon “the main” as it is called who can read and impart instruction to the youth, and his house is the only ??? meet. He too officiates as clerk to all the missionaries who come there and is the High Churchman of Mary Joseph. For the reason here stated, I of course placed him at the head of the school. To investigate would be to break up the institution.
Wednesday, 17 December. Walked to Hecum Secum, was much fatigued, the road in many places being overflowed with water.
Thursday, 18 December. Met and examined the school, which is well attended, and the scholars making full as much progress as can be expected. Whatever the character of the superintendent be in my absence, he certainly deserves credit for his perseverance. in the labours of the school. He has only been about two Sundays since the school was first organized. He labours hard; for he makes it labour, yet poor man, he knows nothing of religion. In conversing with him, he said, “I do my very best, sir, I make’s em mind and larn their lessons and prayers, and I set ‘em as good an example as knows how on Sunday, and gives ‘em the best instruction as I can, and I can do no more, sir. I often tell ‘em if we’d had such a chance in our young days, what would’nt we given!” This is by no means a specimen of our superintendent and teachers, as regards his ability, he is a worse one, both in his own and in all the other schools; but he is theonly one that I could get in the settlement to take charge.
Held service in the afternoon, congregation small but particularly attentivie, more so that I ever saw them. O that the Lord would apply the word to their Hearts.
Sunday, 21 December. Held morning service at Hawbolts at 11 a.m. Rain fell in torrents during the night up until the hour appointed for Service, so that not more than four families could be expected to attend. However by the time the service had well commenced the house was full, several came a distance of two to four miles. The Sunday School scholars I could not expect on account of the rain. I asked the superintendent how the school was getting along. He replied, “very well,” but of late several did not attend. I am always here ready to teach all who come. I don’t know what is the reason. Mr. Smith and some others do not come. I am sure it is one of the best things ever came along the shores. That I wonder any should keep their children away.” I then asked him to let me see the register, but an excuse (after a pretense to search for it was made? “It must be mislaid,” he said. Thus after reading a faithful sermon of Coopers and exhorting them to improve the privileges which they now had, I left them and walked to the Head of Liscomb, where I held service at 5 p.m at Riley’s Island.
Monday, 22 December. Walked down the Eastside of Liscomb Harbour to Spanish Ship Bay and held a service at 2 p.m. Congregation small but attentive. Tuesday, 23 December. On my arrival home a letter from Mr. Richardson was waiting me which required an answer, and while writing, a messenger came from Gegoggin to request my attendance at the burial of a poor woman who had lately come to reside there and had died of childbirth, since I passed that way. I had made arrangements for Christmas day at St. Mary’s River, which caused me to hasten back from the Westward. But I considered it my duty now to go and bury the dead.
Wednesday, 24 December. Wrote and sent the following statistics to Mr. Richardson.
Donations received on Eastern shores for Colonial Church Society, 1845.
Mr. William Sangster, New Harbour 5.0 Moses Bears do 5.2 Mr. Thomas Pye, Sherbrooke 5.2 Mr. Chas. Nickerson, New Harbour 5.2 Public Collection 8.6
At this time the Society had one hundred subscribers along the Shore and the total contributed for the year 1845 by them was seven pound five shillings.
LIST OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS 1845
Cole Harbour SCHOOLS 1 TEACHERS 1 Scholars attending 29 Tor Bay 1 1 11- New Harbour 1 7 66- Coddles Harbour 1 3- 25 Indian Harbour formerly two, 1 8 72 merged into one 26 St. Mary’s 1 4 26 Gegoggin and Lower Liscomb 1 3 Big Liscomb, two schools formerly, 1 4 30 now fallen to one 3 26 Mary Joseph 1 5 40 Hecum Secum West 1 4 25 Necum Quock 1 3 22 Still water 1 3 1 Isaac’s Harbour 1 4 25 ------ ------ -------- 14 54 449 Day Schools at Isaac’s Harbour 1 30 Indian Harbour 1 36
One Sunday School at Liscomb has fallen for want of a teacher or teachers. The two schools at Indian Harbour are now merged into one as are also the two at New Harbour. Country Harbour is now of course in charge of Mr. Sellers.
The diminution of attendance upon the whole schools under my direction as compared to last year is accounted for by some having left the shore, some having got married (and foolishly stayed at home instead of bringing their wives with them). Some few having grown weary in well doing, and others for want of clothing have been kept at home.
There being but two day Schools (excepting Mr. Sellers, which is rather in the interior than on the sea shore) between Cape Canso and Sheet Harbour. It may almost be said that these institutions, the S.S., are the only means of instruction to the population of this shore within the limits above mentioned. As to the effects resulting from the ????rtions which have been made since these schools were organized, not yet quite two years, I have not very much account to give. Few casualties have occurred and little remarkable as spiritual fruit has appeared during the past year. Although there is a very striking difference in the state of youthful feeling and ?eportment along the shore for the better. And surely we cannot for a moment suppose that so much precious truth is taught the children and youths and committed to memory by them and addressed to them by clergymen and ministers of other denominations when they come this way, as well as frequently by myself and in all cases ‘God’s word returning to Him Void’. It is true that much of the seed may be picked up by the fowls, but surely some must fall among good soil and will bring forth fruit.
It is well known that the great merit of Sunday S. instruction belongs to the teachers, which are not to be obtained, but very few at least, persons of sufficient patience and perseverance to carry them forward in this arduous but benevolent work.
Yet I cannot but rejoice that we have several in our schools who I believe assiduously study to instill into the minds of the children the Everlasting truth of the Gospel.
I have by God’s help delivered addresses from time to time to the scholars, to their teachers, and their parents in order to excite and keep up lively interest in these blessed instructions. Besides which during the past year, at 17 stations, one hundred and twenty five Public Services have been held by myself and Mr. Richardson, at which prayer and sermon have been read. The families have also been frequently visited and children cathecized at their homes.
The Donations to the Society, I am sorry to say, are nothing to what I had anticipated, but when we consider the poverty of the people, with few exceptions, we cannot be surprised. On account of fish being very scarce last season together with the loss of the potato crop, it is entirely out of their power to assist or even to make an loss of the potato crop, it is entirely out of their power to assist or even to make an acknowledgment by subscription to the Society this year.
Very many families I hear will be in a deplorable condition before the ensuing spring, having now neither bread not potatoes more than will serve them with economy (which many know but little about) a few weeks.
The Library Books of which 263 are in circulating and children’s reward books, continue to be read with great interest. These are calculated for doing much good. As many an hour is profitably employed in reading them, that would otherwise be spent in idleness and folly. How we shall succeed in obtaining subscribers for the ensuing year I cannot say, as it will be hard to pay a shilling when children are crying for bread.
In reverting to old reports, I often feel, when I find no books in many a house but what have been furnished by the Society agents, that had I wings I could fly to London and would gladly go from house to house begging for these old reports and any good old books which may have been defaced and thrown aside, together with pence to pay the freight of them. And I am confident, could I visit the Sunday Schools there, that the hearts of scholars and teachers too, would be awakened with feelings of sympathy towards the children and poor people along this shore, that they would beg for us too, when they could not give either a book or a penny themselves.
Thursday, 25 December. Christmas Day. Went to Gegoggin, where between eight and a hundred people were waiting. At the home where the corpse lay, we sand a hymn, offered up a prayer, and read part of the Burial Service, and then proceeded to the grave, a distance of about half a mile, where the other part of the service was read, and the body was committed to its narrow house, there to wait the sound of the Great Archangel’s trump.
After the interment we returned to the nearest house, for it was bitter cold out doors and held service. And never, I think, was a more attentive congregation. The house consisting of two small rooms was crowded to excess, some sitting, some standing, crowded together, looking over each other’s shoulders. Some suffering from heat, while others almost freezing, myself among the latter. There was a number of children crowded under a loom sitting upon the floor. Several of those present were much affected, and many appeared impressed with the seriousness of death and the grave. But how much iti is to be regretted that too many are apt to mourn and weep at a funeral of a friend and neighbour, who are yet strangers to God and enemies to Christ. May the Lord add his blessing to the Service of to-day and cause the people to weep and to mourn on account of their sins.
Returned to St. Mary’s after Service in a heavy snow-storm which commenced during the Service. After arriving home was taken very ill, perhaps through taking cold at the grave. Friday and Saturday, very unwell.
Sunday, 28 December. Very ill all last night. Monday has to send to Dr. Elliott for medicine and advice. He requested me to go out as little as possible during the winter or until my strength is entirely renewed.
Thursday, 1 January, 1846. Today I feel much better but with little pain.
Sunday, 4 January, 1846. Thank God I have no pain to-day and have been strengthened to hold a Service at Nauffts at 11 a.m. and one down the river at 3 p.m.
Tuesday, 6 January. I cannot but regret that in consequence of my dwelling being on the west side of the River, and may I say, the only one upon that side excepting one a mile & half a distance, I am prevented from making myself generally useful to this community as I am anxious to be. Hitherto circumstances occurred to prevent my occupying a house in the centre of the settlement which I expected to do. But I hope that if spared until the spring or summer, arrangements may be made toe enable me to move hither which I am desi???s of doing, more so because one little chapel is built upon land adjoining thereto, and I could then attend more frequently to public Services, the school, Bible evening classes, and visiting the families.
I had also drawn up plans for attending statedly at six matins during the winter, but I find it impossible o keep appointments. So uncertain is the winter weather, Ice and Snow, indeed it were difficult even in summer to keep so many appointments at six have therefore abandoned the plan for the present and will attended as God will permit. May desire is to do thew will of God in all things, yet I fear that I too often do my own. But can it be sin to think of, pray for, and anxiously wish to be among and doing good to the souls of those among whom I am sent to labour, and who are repeatedly saying “come again, you don’t come often enough”. If this is sin, I am verily guilty! I am anxious, extremely so, and must be, I think, until the Lord shall send me a fellow labourer.
Sunday, 11 January, 1846. To-day was only able to hold one Service and address the Sunday Scholars, having been much oppressed with pain in my breast and left side during last week, a little of which I felt to-day.
Wednesday, 14 January. Held an Evening Service at John McDermits, a church family in St. Mary’s River three miles above Nauffts, where was a small but serious and attentive congregation. The dangerous condition of ice in the river prevented more from attending.
This is a very interesting station which I have not visited to hold a service during the last four months, which I account for as follows: in September I traveled there at the latter end of the week for the purpose of visiting the families and to hold service as usual on the Sunday. Shortly after my arrival at the first house I was informed that a Baptist Minister had been there all week, had held several meetings and that he had made appointments for the Sunday there to hold (what are called) church meetings, so I returned to St. Mary’s and held services there.
The Vessels in the meantime having arrived from the Labrador and the crews of which had wished me to sped the Sabbath with them instead of going to Indian Harbour.
The time for my next visit to Indian Harbour was in November, we on account of sickness I could not go. My next visit came due about the last Sunday n December, when I was again confined to my bed. But I was not surprised to hear when I was last down the River that the Baptist Board had sent another preacher to visit Indian Harbour, that he had already been there four weeks, that the people were becoming very much excited, and that several baptisms by immersion were to take place this week. I cannot but feel glad that my absence has been so much better supplied. Yet I must confess it would have been far more congenial to my feeling had it been one of our clergymen. However if should are truly converted to God and manifest the same in their conduct, we must rejoice. Although I am sorry to say it is characteristic of the Baptists in Nova Scotia, that wherever a good work is begun and going on, they are sure to step in, and often it is to be feared, sow the seeds of discord.
As regards the work at Indian Harbour I am not at all surprised, notwithstanding the courtesy we have received from them. That many of these people are much in favour of our church, I cannot doubt, yet I have considered from my first visit that the Baptist Society claims Indian Harbour, and it now appears evident that they do not intend we should build a church there. By God’s help I purpose visiting them as usual I enter into no controversy.
I remain St. Mary’s River, The Society’s 15 January, 1846. Faithful and devoted servant Joseph Alexander.
N.B. This concludes a written report to Mr. Richardson, which began on p. 25.
17 January, 1846. The day being fine I walked to Liscomb in order to examine the Sunday School, agreeable to appointment.
Sunday, 18 January, 1846. Very stormy andcold day, so severe in the morning that I could not reasonably expect either parent or children to attend. But in this I was agreeably disappointed, for by eleven o’clock Hemlow’s House was pretty well filled; all the scholars, twenty-eight in number, were present with several of the parents. This brough to my mind the old proverb, “where there is a will, there is a way”. But the way t-day was very rough and cold and not fit for several children who attended to be out wallowing through driving snow. I was very much gratified to see an increased exertion in parents and children to attend this school which has so much exercised my mind. Since Mr. Ray has attended things have gone on much better, and I found many of the scholars had taken a fresh start and were making progress in reading and committing Scripture, Catechism, and Collects to memory. Besides this several children who did not more than know their letters can now read in New Testament.
There I was on my feet four hours examining the school, reading extracts from Sunday School reports, and addressing the parents and scholars who appeared very much pleased and interested, and I am willing to hope if I may judge by their countenances, that they went home fully determined to pay more attention to this blessed institution than they have done heretofore.
In consequence of the weather and as most of them having to go considerable distance I could not request them to assemble again in the evening. Indeed I was almost exhausted and did not feel able to hold an Evening Service.
Monday, 10 January. To-day was appointed for the examination of the Gegoggin School but had to postpone it on account of the severity of the weather. Went to visit a sick woman in whose house several persons were gathered. Had prayers and exhortation. The poor woman I trust is earnestly enquiring “What shall I do to be saved?”. I endeavored in my feeble manner to lead her to the Saviour, “the Friend of sinners”. This was an intense cold day, but here was no place for me to lodge, so that home I must go. In several places we had to wallow up our bodies in snow, nor could either myself or the youth who accompanied me could have traveled a half a mile farther, being so wearied and chilled with the intense cold.
Tuesday to Saturday, 24 January. Within doors; indisposed, having been unavoidably exposed to the weather, which is often the case, I took more cold.
Sunday, 25 January. By the Blessing of God was enabled to hold a full morning Service at Nauffts, St. Mary’s River, had a crowded house and particularly serious auditory – a good many from Sherbrooke. Did not feel able to hold Evening Service down the River. Indeed the greater part of the people had I was informed, gone over to Indian Harbour, where several adults were to be baptized by immersion. There is, I am told, great commotion at Indian Harbour. Mr. Hobb, the Baptist preacher, is labouring very hard there, and at the mouth of the St. Mary’s River (which I consider one of our little fields) and appears to take the people from us. If the Lord gets them I am satisfied. There seems to have been some doubt in Mr. Alexander’s mind as to who really was going to get those people now that the Baptist had got in among them. Perhaps he was thinking of what St. Paul wrote in Acts 20.29: “For I know that after my departure shall grievous wolves come in among you sparing the flock, also of your own selves, shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
Wednesday, 28 January. Went to the Mouth of the River to remove the school another house for the space of three months for the purpose of accommodating a few families of small children. Thirty-four names were re-entered upon the list. They say hat the people are much interest in the school (I know they have been), but the great part of them will run away from it to the meetings at Indian Harbour which I do not approve of, at least their going every Sunday, but I cannot prevent them.
Sunday, February 1. Had an appointment to attend at Still-water, but the weather being very severe and having received medicine from Dr. Elliott with a request not to go our for several days and to defer my visit a week longer.
Monday, 2 February. The weather being very fine to-day, I walked down the river with a view of holding a Service and renewing the Library, but had no congregation, many of the people having gone over the Indian Harbour on Sunday, and had not returned. I was informed by two or three individuals that the people generally were very anxious to have the Library continued.
Wednesday, 4 February. The revival at Indian Harbour continues. Mr. Hobb, the Baptist preacher, held a service last evening, I am informed, at the Mouth of the River, where there was great excitement, as well as at Indian Harbour. Perhaps I may be allowed here to state how Mr. H. conducts his meetings, as it will at once be seen how rapidly the Baptist add to their church (as regards numbers) where they can excite.
When Mr. H. first came to Indian harbour, he preached in such a manner as to arouse the feelings of the most serious disposed; this effected, they next preach terror; after a few discourses along this line, an appeal is made to the congregation whether or not they are sinners and in need of mercy. Then all who are in need of the prater of the church are requested to stand up, when himself and all who will engage in prayer for the individual who is standing continue in prayer until these begin themselves to cry aloud for Mercy. Thence arises confusion, many poor creatures cry aloud (it is to be feared for they know not what) because they see another do so. In the course of a few days or a week taken into the water and baptized. And it appears that many of them at once become preachers and hose others who attended their meetings are also called upon to speak.
I have not attended any of these meetings although I have been invited by Mr. Hobb and my friends at Indian Harbour. I cannot conscientiously in these protracted meetings (so called) as I fear they are conducted in very indecorous manner, and of course contrary to the usages of the Church of England.
And although powerful preaching has often a tendency to awaken sinners, I considered it my duty by the help of the Lord rather to inform the mind and prepare it for the reception of the gospel in the same time directing it to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. While I am thus persevering in my duty I cannot doubt but the Lord will, if he has not already, own and bless my labours. Notwithstanding I have great ignorance to contend with. The Sermons which I read (Cooper’s and Bundies, practically) are very much admired, ad by most, not all, well understood and listened to with profound attention.
Saturday, 7 February. Dr. Elloitt kindly sent his Horse and sled for me that I may meet the school and hold Divine Service at Still-water 10 or 12 miles distance on to-morrow.
Sunday, 8 February. Met the Sunday School at Still-water at 10 a.m. Twenty scholars were in attendance. On account of the severity of the weather and want of clothes, I some cases the school has not been so well attended since winter commenced. Those present acquitted themselves well in reciting hymns and scripture pieces. I was very much struck with a youth about 14 years of ago, not of very bright intellect, who recited “Watt’s Historical Catechism of the Old Testament” in a surprising manner and appeared to regular attendant at school and has paid particular attention to the reading of the New Testament. I have been informed that he had been very anxious to obtain a Bible of his own ever since he first entered school. Often proposes plans by which he may obtain one. His last was to cultivate a piece of barren land and plant some potatoes, dispose of the crop if he should be blessed with one, for the purchase of the Bible. He being a very poor boy, and I think very deserving, I promised to give him one when I next visited the school.
Miss Elliott and her elder brother deserve credit for the perseverance in carrying on the school. Held Divine Service after school. The day was very stormy with wind and snow; yet our congregation numbered about sixty. At their request I promised Dr. Elliott that I would visit them again in five weeks from this date. I was detained at Dr. Elliott’s two days in consequence of the heavy snow storm, but he very kindly returned me safe at St. Mary’s in his sled.
Sunday, 15 February. Held Divine Service at Nauffts at 11 a.m., had a very large and attentive congregation. I did not feel able to hold a second service down the River as usual. Indeed so long as the present excitement is kept up at Indian Harbour I think it best to keep away particularly as Sabbath School instruction both there and at the Mouth of the river for the present have been suspended on account of the meetings. After Service he following singular message was delivered to me. “Do tell Mr. Alexander to come over the Indian Harbour to see us; we shall be glad to see him for he is a father to us all.
Wednesday, 18 February. To-day Mr. Hobbs that Baptist preacher, who was on his way to Antigonish, called upon me; our interview was very short, consequently we did not enter fully into religious subjects. Speaking of the C.C. Society he merely said that “much good had emanated from it,” and he wished there were more such societies. Two young men come over from Indian Harbour with the Library which his being exchanged for other volumes. One of them a hopeful young man warmly expressed his gratitude to me for the kind advice I had given him from time to time, and with joy told what the Lord had done for his soul. When we united in prayer to Almighty God giving to Him all the praise and glory, I recommended him to live near to God by meditation and prayer.
Sunday, 22 February. In consequence of the depth of snow and unbroken road, not being able to go elsewhere, I held Divine Service at 12 noon at Mr. McDermett’s three miles above Nauffts, St. Mary’s River. The congregation consisted mostly of people from Sherbrooke. The Lower part of the river people went to Indian Harbour to hear Mr. Hobbs who was to baptize several adults there.
Wednesday, 25 February. My mind was much disturbed yesterday when I received a letter from George Hewitt to whom I had applied for the boundaries of the land upon which stands our little chapel or school house, saying “that he could not give a deed of land to the C.C.S. unless a bond was given duly executed by the Society Agent that all dissenters should have the free use of the chapel.
I feel it my duty here to state fully what took place at the meeting held on the 4th Day of February 1845, respecting the then contemplated building, which I have every reason to believe to be the cause of George Hewitt’s refusal now to fulfill the promise had then made.
At the said Public Meeting held on the 4th of February, after much conversation upon the necessity of erecting a building to answer the double purpose of Chapel and School-House, the said Hewitt voluntarily offered to give one acre of land for the purpose, considering it sufficient for burying and a play-ground. After further conversation as to the site and its convenience to the settlers at the extremities of the district, as regards distance, it was considered to be about the centre. The meeting then unanimously agreed to accept the offer. A question was then asked by someone present, to whom the land should be conveyed? Hewitt then said, “To prevent contention on the part of the inhabitants, I will deed it to the C.C.S.” That was unanimously agreed to, with the wish that the Society would allow any Gospel Missionary who might pass that way to preach in the building that should hereafter be erected. My opinion was then asked, which was, that I did not think the Society would object. I thought missionaries came along so seldom that it would lead to no harm. A voluntary subscription was then opened and the understanding that the deed should be given to the C.C.S. I was then requested to state this to the Society through its agent and to ask for some assistance, which I did. The people as well as myself being very anxious to have an official day school established here, I was further requested to draw a plan of the contemplated building, which a short time after I did. The plan being approved, a contract was at once entered into by parties for erecting the building. Hewitt several times said that whenever I would prepare a deed he was ready to sign it, but I of course could not in this advance one step until I should hear from the Committee through Mr. Richardson, which was not until the 3rd of November, 1845.
I felt much encouraged when Mr. R. wrote me that 10 pounds might be expended upon the building upon condition that it be secured to the C.C.S. On my reporting this to the people all appeared with me to rejoice, Hewitt still saying, “I wish I would get the deed ready”. For this I had again to apply to Mr. R. in order that a legal conveyance should be prepared, hence, the unavoidable delay. In the meantime the building was erected, the interior finished, and a good floor laid. Hewitt being considered a man of strict integrity, every confidence was placed in his promise.
I have been informed (Hewitt’s wife is one of my authors) that Mr. Hobbs has told the people “if a deed is given to the C.C.S., as soon as it is executed, the door will be barred against them (the Baptists) and others, and even when we are not occupying it, we should place a teacher there who would still keep them out. This and much more Mr. Hobbs has said to the people evidently to turn if not inflame their minds against the Church of England. And I regret to say that he to a considerable extent succeeded. That there was none of this feeling before he came I have from Hewitt himself who was very shy with him first when he came, so much so, that he did not very willingly allow him to preach in his house.
An attempt was made in May 1845 by the same Denomination to surplant the society here, but the people did not give any encouragement to it. But Mr. Hobbs has since the first of September laboured hard and effectually toe excite the feelings of the people the result of which is in many who have become prejudiced against all who differ from them. Several have been brought to renounce infants baptism and now are heard to say “that prayer taught them by their parents on any other forms are not worth snap of the finger.” Even several ill creatures with whom Mr. Hobbs has met in private houses have been asked by him to produce scripture in proof of infant baptism.
Nearly thirty individuals have already been admitted into fellowship with the Baptist during the winter at Indian Harbour and St. Mary’s.
The following is an extract from George Hewitt’s letter verbatim:
“I have come to the conclusion to convey them property to all the subscribers of the building now in question, as I see no other safe way of doing, and if there is any one subscriber, or more, that does not occur with me I will prepare myself to refund their money.
I wish you perfectly to understand that there is still intended for you to have the first right. And will consider yourself perfectly free at all times to make any proposals or appointments of worship you may at any time think proper. As I can assure you, you are held in the highest respect and brotherly love not only by me and my family, but by all the inhabitants here at large. We cannot but highly appreciate your valuable services and can only pray that they may be long and happily enjoyed by us.
Although my labours and conduct towards this community might justly have merited respect yet such encomiums does not correspond much perplexed. Had they not all (with the exceptions) heretofore been so very solicitous for the assistance of the C.C.S. and apparently desirous to adhere to its restrictions as well as professed a strong attachment to our church and her services I should not have exerted so strenuously in their behalf, as regards assisting towards the building. There the business at present rests. I regret very much in having to enter this unpleasant affair in my journal.
Sunday, 1 March. Attended at Little Liscomb, where I met and examined the Gegoggin & Little Liscomb schools. I found the scholars in number twenty-four had much improved in reading, reciting, and scripture knowledge. A lively interest is still maintained in the school here, although the senior married scholars are not attending at present on account of their not being able. Indeed it were not prudent to take their infants out at this inclement season. After school I held Divine Service. There were present about forty including the scholars, who were devout, and a few appeared to receive the sermon which I read, with eagerness. May the Lord hear and answer my prayers for this long neglected people.
Tuesday, 3 March. Today, Fleet, who has charge of the Sunday School at Hecum Secum came over for relief. I am informed by Mr. Smith, Esq., that (his Fleet’s family) is in great distress. I agreeable to Mr. R.’s request, to whom I had written in Fleet’s behalf, gave him a barrel of flour. In conversation with the man respecting the school, he said, “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us; before we had it, we had no Sunday Schools, but now we meet together in a morning and read Scripture, sing Psalms, say hymns and prayers, and the day is gone before we know it.”
I have often wept on account of the gross ignorance and spiritual darkness which pervades in the minds of these people.
Sunday, 8 March. Held Divine Service at 11 a.m. at Nauffts, St. Mary’s River. The house was crowded, many having come from Sherbrooke and seven, six or eight miles farther. After the Benediction I was not a little surprised to hear one of the new converts break out in prayer before the congregation had time to rise from their knees. I made no remarks hoping that such liberty would not be taken.
In the afternoon held service down the river at George Hewitt’s, the congregation was pretty large, I suppose on account of Mr. Hobbs having gone to Isaac and Coddle’s Harbour. Immediately after the Benediction, there of the young converts successively engaged in prayer with pauses between to give an opportunity of rising from one’s knees. I remained still until the third had finished his supplication. The congregation then arose, but directly did one of the three commence exhorting. When I said, I beg to be excused and withdrew. This was evidently a preconcerted scheme to try whether or not I would conduct my services the same as Mr. Hobbs.
Friday, 13 March. Visited several families up the river who appear very anxious to have a day school established and to engage Miss Parker as their teacher. I could not give them much encouragement until I should have visited Isaac’s Harbour.
Saturday, 14 March. Attended at the school-house. Rain having fallen nearly all last night, together with the snow already deep on the ground, made it quite impossible for any but those who live upon the Public Road and have a horse and sled to attend. Consequently several of the children as well as the parents were much disappointed. This was to have been a great day. However the few scholars who were in attendance acquitted themselves well and reflected great credit upon their teachers. Many of them since last autumn committed to memory from eighteen to fifty-four hymns besides Scriptures and Cathechisms and references. The Books and Tracts which are exchanged every Sunday are read with great interest. The advantage the school has bee tomone family is worth of remark. This family consisting of a man and wife with six sons and daughters, few of any that could read, so I am informed. The man himself being prior to the organization of the school, anything but steady and industrious, is now becoming particularly so, to the great comfort of his wife and children, is a regular attendant at the school. The Bible is now read attentively and family worship devoutly held in his house It is now almost proverbial. “Behold what a change in the family.” A reverend gentleman, I believe, did say, “If the church Sunday School did no more good than reclaiming this character it was worth establishing.”
Held Divine Service in the afternoon, the congregation was small in consequence of the weather.
Monday, 16 March. Set out for Country Harbour, found the road extremely bad, miles of which were alternate mud and deep snow. Arrived at the head of the Settlement or near it at 10 p.m. much fatigued, and was hospitably entertained for the night by Mr. Hudson, one of the trustees of the school.
Tuesday, 17 March. Proceeded onward to Mr. Archibald’s head of the harbour. Called at the school which was but thinly attended, the average number I understood Mr. Sellers to say had been about twenty-six during the winter. At present there is no Sunday School or services. When I arrived at the head of the Harbour I gave notice of Service on the morrow. Found it impossible to go down on to Isaac’s Harbour on account of the depth of water upon the ice, and my horse having all but given out had to wait until the next morning.
Wednesday, 18 March. Started early this morning to Isaac’s Harbour, having appointed a service at 4 p.m. t-day, in Mr. Seller’s School Room. Expecting to have got to Isaac’s Harbour yesterday, I had but a few hours to spend in Miss Parker’s school. I was glad to find her in good health, as also the school to be in good order, yet the inhabitants have not taken so much interest in the Sunday School as they did before the day school was established. The average of attendance in each school has been steady. The people are perfectly satisfied with Miss Parker’s conduct both in and out of school, and wish her to remain another year. But she wished to be removed not can I blame her for desiring it. Several families have acted very unkindly towards her as regards lodgings, and among which are some whom by their profession of friendship we expected the greatest kindness. And had not Miss Parker not had considerable fortitude being as she was among strangers and far from her home, she must have suck under her trouble. Miss Parker says she cannot with any comfort to herself remain there (every disrespect is shown towards the church. Mr. Hobbs too has been there and has made them no more charitable in this respect than they were but rather contraiwise) and she would much rather be where she could have the society of a few persons who at least profess to belong to the church.
Returned to Country Harbour and held Divine Service in the schoolroom and more than twenty individuals were present. The cause of so few attending I learned afterwards was the proper notice had not been given. Some having understood that service was to be held on the following day.
I forbear making any remarks on the state of the mission at this place, further than that, the Bishop through the Revd. Shreve, who had to write several times to Mr. Seller’s, had forbid Mr. Sellers holding any religious services whatever, on account of his very indiscreet conduct during the last six or eight months which I sincerely regret. The people generally, I am informed, by the confidence in Mr. Sellers profession of piety.
On my way to and from Country Harbour I distributed a number of Tracts and a few school books, which were thankfully received. There are a number of small huts alias houses in secluded sports of the forest through which I passed, called “the back-lands of St. Mary’s”. Several of these families, it may be literally said, are almost buried alive out of reach of day or Sunday School, as well as the means of grace.
On my arrival at Still-water several Sunday Scholars who were not able to get to school on Sunday came to see me at Dr. Elliott’s, anxious to recite Scriptures and hymns, which had been prepared for the day of examination. It was truly gratifying to see them ??????? interested as well as to hear them repeat their task lessons so correctly. I have great reason to praise God in that he does appear to own and bless out Sunday Schools in almost every place. May he strengthen my hands and comfort my heart, make me faithful to Himself, my own soul and the souls amongst whom I labour, is my prayer, and to His name be ascribed the praise and the glory.
Sunday, 21 March. Arrived at St. Mary’s River just in time to cross before the moving of the ice.
Sunday, 22 March. Confined to the house in consequence of heavy rain and ice floating in the river, which made it impossible for boats.
Monday, 23 March. Received the following from Indian Harbour. It was moved by Mr. Asa Rude and seconded by Mr. James Mills.
“That the inhabitants of this place thankfully acknowledge the Divine blessings received through the means of the London Colonial Church Society, by the labour of Mr. Joseph Alexander, Cathechist, in preaching the Gospel, establishing a Sabbath School and Library, and in distributing a number of valuable books and tracts gratuitously.”
Robert Kennedy, Sect.
Regret to have to state here again that since Mr. Hobbs first arrived at Indian Harbour to this time, Sabbath School instruction has been although suspended and superceded it would appear by meetings for prayer and exhortation from the members converted there.
I doubt not the Committee will think me justifiable in not going to Indian Harbour so long as our Sunday School is neglected and Mr. Hobbs remains there. Indeed I am so thoroughly convinced that me (Mr. H.) would not unite with me in the Church Service, but would, with the people, rather expect me to join with them, that it were better for the present to leave them to themselves. To renounce my own principles and form of worship for the sake of pleasing and gaining the favour and good wishes of any Sect, were a sacrificed which I hope never to pay.
Sunday, 29 March. Held Divine Service at Nauffts, St. Mary’s River, at 11 a.m., had a pretty large and attentive congregation notwithstanding Mr. Hobbs had made an appointment at my lower station at the same hour and another in the afternoon at my hour.
Tuesday, 31 March. Embarked for Halifax, being of late much perplexed respecting Indian Harbour and the Mouth of the River. I am anxious to see Mr. Richardson before he leaves Halifax for P.E. Island. The wind coming contrary, we got only as far as Pope’s Harbour, haly-way to Halifax.
Wednesday, 1 April. Waiting for a fair wind at Pope’s Harbour. Thursday sailed for Halifax where we arrived late in the evening.
Saturday, 11 April. Left Halifax in the evening for St. Mary’s with a fine breeze, accompanied by Mr. Richardson, but before we had got far, a dense fog set in and we were obliged to go out to sea, some forty miles of the land which we did not make again until the afternoon of the following day Sunday. And did not get into the harbour until 10:30 p.m. I think all on board except two or three spent a wretched night with sea-sickness, the sea was boisterous and the wind light. On Monday we arrived at Liscomb and were put by two boys from Crook’s Island thence ashore at Redman’s Head. Walked the beach to Gegoggin accompanied by two persons who kindly assisted in carrying our Carpet Bags, etc. We were then taken by other two persons in a boat across the bay and assisted by them some distance across the barrens towards St. Mary’s, where we arrived about suck in the evening much fatigued.
Wednesday, 15 April. Held Divine Service at Nauffts, St. Mary’s River, congregation not very large, but very attentive.
Thursday, 16 April. A stormy day.
Friday, 16 April. Held a Scripture reading meeting at my house to which none but persons belonging to the Established Church was invited; twenty persons attended, some belonging to St. Mary’s and other from Gegoggin, Redman’s Head, and Little Liscomb. Eight or ten of these appeared to be labouring under serious impression which I have carefully watched for some months past. One person in particular brought a Roman Catholic who I have every reason to believe is truly converted to God. The Lord was truly with us to-day, and these persons went away encourage and appeared determined by the Grace of God to persevere in the ways of the Lord.
Saturday, 18 April. Visited several families up the river. At one house where we visited was an aged female, a member of Church, who when we entered and spoke to her, burst into tears and said to me, “They say you are going to leave us, is it true? Oh, I am sorry, What shall I do. Oh, how it grieved me when they told me.” On being told that the report was not true, the poor woman dried up her tears and rejoiced. Mr. R. spoke very kindly to her and told her to put her trust in God, and seek earnestly to be prepared for another and better world from which she appeared to take comfort. After partaking some refreshments with the family, a chapter of Scripture was read and prayer offered as were also at other places where we visited.
The report of my being about to remove from St. Mary’s I believe had originated through mere supposition that Mr. Hobbs had made som many Baptists that the Society would in course remove me.
Sunday, 19 April. Held Divine Service at 11 a.m. at Nauffts. We were told there were upwards of a hundred present, although Mr. Hobbs had again appointed a baptizing at the same hour at our station at the lower part of the river.
Mr. Richardson held Evening Service at 5 p.m.; being myself much indisposed through a violent sick headache, I could not attend; the congregation was small.
Monday, 20 April. Walked over the Indian Harbour and held Divine Service at 5 p.m. Three vessels having gone to Halifax for supplies, our congregation was not so large as it otherwise would have been. There were however from sixty to seventy present who appeared to be as glad to see usa a hithertofore, and said, “they wished us to continue out visits and carry on the Sunday School as usual. That the winter had been so severe, the children could not attend”. But when I look at Indian Harbour, which is far more convenient than any other for the people to assemble together, the number of youths as well as children upon the list, I am almost ready to doubt the sincerity of their expressions. However I promised to visit them again as early as I could and regulate the school.
I cannot but respect many of the people there, especially my Sunday Scholars who appear to have derived great benefit from the school. These surrounded me after the Service and begged I would not leave them. I was happy in having Mr. R. assisting in defending our rights and the Doctrine of the Church, which of late I am informed has bee assailed by Mr. Hobbs.
Wednesday, 22 April. Went to Liscomb, held Divine Service at Hemlow’s, after which we returned to St. Mary’s. The distance each way is seven miles. To persons who are not used to seeing boat and bays, the sight to-day would have been very interesting – five or six boats coming in different directions with people for the Service. Not having an opportunity of sending notice to Mary Joseph of our coming there before to-day, we appointed a service at Nauffts for to-morrow and at Marie Joseph and Hecum Secum on Sunday next.
Thursday, 23 April. Held Divine Service in the afternoon at Nauffts. After service we brought before the people the whole of the transaction connected with the School-house lately erected her for the Society. Then the conduct of the person who had offered theblan? Was very properly censured by Mr. Richardson, who, with myself, thought it expedient to withdraw the books from the school at the Mouth and organize a Sunday School six miles farther up the River, a Schoolhouse having been erected there and an application made for a day school teacher by the inhabitants, as well as for a Sunday School. We concluded also to place Miss Parker there when her engagement at Isaac’s Harbour shall have expired.
Saturday, 25 April. Set out for Mary Joseph at 9 a.m. A boat was to have met us at Gegoggin, Signal Rock, but on our arrival there, a gale of wind was blowing and to cross the bay was impracticable. We then had to walk between two and three miles to the nearest house. To attempt at a description of the road, so called, were almost rediculous; so far to say that the worst by-lane I ever saw in Yorkshire as far surpasses the path from St. Mary’s to this place. as the best Macadamized road in England surpasses the by-lanes.
The inmates of the house to which we went were of German extract. We were made welcome to the best they could furnish for our refreshment. That which afforded me the greatest pleasure was a chapter in St. Matthew’s Gospel read in Dutch by the old man and afterwards a hymn sung in the same language by himself and “his old woman” as he called his wife. After reading and prayer by Mr. R. The wind having somewhat abated, we again set out at 2 p.m. The old man and his son accompanied us to the “Signal Rock”, thence across the bay in a boat. We arrived at Hemlow’s in Liscomb at six thirty in the evening and were glad to remain all night, being much fatigued.
On our way a poor man came to meet us, requesting we would go with him and baptize an infant which he said appeared to be in a dying state. We of course refused.
Sunday, 26 April. Set out at 7 this morning for Mary Joseph, where we held Divine Service at 11 a.m. We had a tolerable good congregation, although notice had not reached several of the Islands. After Service we took a cup of coffee with J. Smith, Esquire, and proceeded on to Hecum Secum, to which place we were rowed by a half a dozen stout well built lads from 18 to 22 years of age with the greatest cheerfulness. Held Divine Service at 5 p.m., had a very attentive congregation and proposed to meet the Sunday School to-morrow.
Monday, 27 April. Attended at the hour appointed to examine the School but several persons having come from a distance expecting a service to be held, we were requested to hold a Service, which we gladly did, after which we attended to the business of the school complaints having been alleged to us against the Superintendent, we of course investigated. When we found it to be a little breach of conduct which had occurred nearly twelve months ago and which through envy had been brought to life again. However sufficient evidence as not produced. Mr. R. gave a charge to the Superintendent, Teachers, and Scholars, after finding the school was making progress and scholars had attended regularly. We left them with the request that all past differences should be forgotten and a feeling of love and unity cultivated. After partaking refreshments at widow Romkey’s, who at all times gives us a hearty welcome and several persons coming in accidentally, we had singing, reading, andprayers. Were then taken across the bay by three of the widow’s sons in a boat; oneof the sons accompanied us to Necum Quock, carrying our bags. We arrived at our German friend Mr. Smith ( or Smuth, the name is hard to distinguish)?? between five and six o’clock. Several persons had come there expecting Divine Service would be held, although they had only heard by the bye that we were on our way hither.
Tuesday, 28 April. Held Divine Service at Necum Quock at 11 a.m. Also at Moser’s River at 3 p.m. The congregation were as large as we could expect with so short notice. After Service we were kindly taken in a boat by two ?? Mr. Smith’s ?? sons of our German friend, as far as Atkin’s west of Harrigan Cove and from then directed into the path leading to our friend Kirk’s at Quoddy, where we were as usual kindly entertained.
Wednesday, 29 April. Held Divine Service at Mr. Kirke?s at ten thirty at morning, had a very attentive congregation. Left at 2 p.m. for Salmon River where we held Divine Service at Mr. Baker’s, the notice being given but a short time before our arrival. The Congregation was not very large. After Service we were taken across the Bay to friend Hawbolt’s at Beaver River Harbour, where we were made comfortable by Mrs. Hawbolt and her family, who were always particularly kind.
Thursday, 30 April. Held Divine Service at 11 a.m., there being but five houses occupied here and all the male part of the little community being away except two, our congregation was small but attentive and thankful for our visit.
Here I had once more to part with my dear friend and fellow labourer Mr. Richardson, through whose visit and the blessing of God I feel abundantly refreshed and encouraged. Having during a long, dreary, and very severe Nova Scotia winter been in a languid state of health. But blessed be the name of the Lord I have of late realized many of his precious promises. “He giveth power to the faint; and them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young man shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as Eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” “I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.”
Friday, 1 May. Held Divine Service at Westside of Noody Quoddy at Philip Harland’s house at 4 p.m., after which I got as far as Mr. Kirkees on my way Wastward.
Saturday, 2 May. Walked to Necum Quock via Harrigan’s Cove and Moser’s River. Visited some families on my way.
Sunday, 3 May. Met the Sunday School at Necum Quock at 9 a.m. The severity of the weather had prevented some from attending during part of the winter, but those who have attended regularly are making progress. At 11 a.m. people assembled for Divine Service. The School-house was crowded, yet good order and attention to the Service was observed. In the afternoon at 4 p.m. the people at Moser’s River assembled in the School-house there, where I held Divine Service, the congregation was again large, which is generally the case on Sundays, when sufficient notice can be given. The people at both places thanked us for our visits and begged me to come again soon. I left in the evening for Hartland’s Island, where I remained all night.
Monday, 4 May. Went to Mr. Geo. Jewers, Bulls Gut, on the western-side of Hecum Secum, where the people had already assembled for Divine Service at 9 instead of 11 a.m. After Service, fully organized the Sunday School. All the parents as well as the children being in attendance. And although several disappointments had occurred since September last as regards the full establishment of the school, I trust by the Blessing of God it will now go on well, as all appear delighted, and I think, feel deeply interested. I doubt not that it will prove a blessing to the Settlement. Notwithstanding I have several times visited this part, I had no idea that there were so many children and youths; in fact, the parents themselves were astonished on being told I had entered 35 names on the roll as scholars. May the Lord hear and answer prayer for this school and people.
Tuesday, 5 May. At Riley’s Island and Liscomb, visited a sick ?? ?? others on my way to St. Mary’s.
Wednesday, 5 May. Visited a sick person in St. Mary’s River.
Thursday, 6 May. Visited the same sick person again to-day. Previous to my locating her, she together with her husband and the rest of the family had very rarely heard a sermon, and had never been seriously impressed with the salvation of their souls by a minister of the Church or any denomination. Since we came to reside here Services have commonly been held in their house and she with her husband have been faithfully dealt with in the matters of religion as members of the Church, for which she expressed great thankfulness to Almighty God and says, “I believe the Lord has sent you here to save our souls.” In conversation with her during the winter she said, “I thank God He has given me to feel that I am a sinner and I pray He will have mercy on my poor soul and forgive me all my sins.” I directed her to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, telling her that God is our Merciful Father in Christ Jesus, and by faith we become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. In conversing with her again a few weeks ago, she told me, “she had felt a hope that God for Christ’s sakee had forgiven all her sins. But today she told me “she had many doubts and fears; her sin appearing afresh to her view, and she saw herself a greater sinner than ever.” I encouraged her to look steadfastly to Jesus by faith, to renounce every other plea than that Jesus came into the world to save sinners and why not her, after which she appeared more composed.
Sunday, 10 May. Held Divine service at Nauffts at 11 a.m., three rooms were crowed to excess. Held Evening Service at 4 p.m. Congregation consisted chiefly of persons calling themselves Church people. I read a Sermon of Cooper’s preparatory to the receiving of the Holy Communion. After Service I was called to the sick person, found in fainting fit. I had fortunately received a few days ago from Mr. Richardson. She had been in a very happy frame of mind all day, rejoicing in the Lord.
Monday, 11 May. Visited the sick person and found her much better. The medicines had good effect. Her mind seems to be perfectly composed and she felt happy – was rejoicing by faith in Christ alone for the Atonement of her sins. Said she had derived great benefit from reading “Bunyan’s fig tree”, published by the Religious Tract Society. I can have no doubt of the sincerity of her repentance and that she is really happy in the Savior’s love. She prays the Lord may spare her a few days longer until Mr. Jamieson (whom we are expecting) shall come and administer “The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.”
Tuesday, 12 May. Visited several of our Church members up the River this morning, being prevented yesterday by heavy wind and rain. In the afternoon set out for Little Liscomb, where I appointed a Service six p.m. But unfortunately after a very wet walk over the barrens and bogs to Gegoggins Bay, the wind blew very fresh and there being too heavy a sea to cross with safety, I had to return home. I had not been seated more than half an hour before a youth came almost breathlessly saying, “Please, mother says, be so good as come and christen the baby, itnis very bad and mother thinks it is dying.” I told the boy to say that I was extremely sorry, that I could not comply with the request of his mother, having no authority to baptize, but that I was expecting Mr. Jamieson on the morrow and should the child be still alive I would accompany Mr. J. to the house, and he would baptize it.
Thursday, 14 May. The Rev. Mr. Jamieson arrived this afternoon, when after an hours rest he accompanied me to the house where the sick child lay and baptized it. He also visited the sick woman; found her weak, but happy.
Friday, 15 May. Mr. Jamieson visited several families with me up the river and held Divine Service at 5 p.m. at Mr. McDermitt’s; congregation small.
Saturday, 16 May. ??????????? roo?s ??? ????? for to-morrow’s service.
Sunday, 17 May. ?????? ?? Sons who were anxious to receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper called upon Mr. Jamieson this morning previous to the hour appointed for Divine Service. These individuals appeared to be determined through Divine Service to lead new lives, having seen the error of their ways. At 10 o’clock we saw the people thronging about Nauffts house on the opposite side of the river. Several boat loads from Gegoggin and Little Liscomb had crossed in one boat before we went over. When we arrived we found a crowd outside and the four rooms, to use the fisherman’s phrase, stowed full and tight. Great order and solemnity pervaded the Services, which were three distinct ones, namely morning Prayers, and the sermon, Public Baptism and the Administration of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. One reason for making three services instead of one, was partly on account of the crowded state of the house, which would not afford convenience for the Communicants. And the Baptism was not mentioned to us until after the sermon. However upon the whole, we considered that had our being preconcert ed they could not have been better, as there were many present who had never seen the ordinance of Baptism publicly administered by our Church, and perhaps scarcely twenty individuals out of the two hundred or more present had ever seen that of the Lord’s Supper. Thus they were afforded an opportunity of witnessing the two Sacraments and the Morning Service as well. I pray this may be a day long to be remembered which I doubt not it will be by many. There were fifteen Communicants beside Me. Jamieson, myself and Mrs. A. The occasion was indeed a solemn one
“I sat under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” “He brought me to the banquet house, and his banner over me was love.”
Several individuals in St. Mary’s have said how much they wished the Ordinances of our Church had been administered some years ago, they would have had no reason to join other communions. But what say they could do? We had no minister, no Sacraments, nor had we any reason to hope that we ever should have.” This was said by some who had already seceded from the Church of England.
Monday, 18 May. Mr. Jamieson left St. Mary’s for Liscomb, where a few aged people who could not come over yesterday were desirous to receive the Lord’s Supper and which he (Mr. J.) Purposed to Administer. Having to take my Eastern Spring tour, and there being a vessel up our river bound east, I could not accompany Mr. Jamieson. Indeed I had been detained more than a week waiting his arrival.
Tuesday, 19 May. Embarked on-board a small schooner for Tor-Bay, her sailing being bad and the wind and sea somewhat boisterous, we dare not venture farther than Holland’s Harbour, where we anchored for the night.
Wednesday, 20 May. Weighed anchor at 9 p.m. and set sail under a light breeze for Tor-Bay. Arrived at Molasses Harbour about 3 p.m. I then walked through the woods with a guide who assisted me in carrying my luggage, which consisted of two heavy parcels of Bibles, Testaments, School and Library Books, and my wardrobes to Cole Harbour, where I was welcomed by these kind people and held Divine Service at 6 p.m.
Thursday, 21 May. Held Divine Service at 9 p.m., after which I renewed the Library, which is highly prized here. 3p.m. was appointed for the examination of the Sunday School. In consequence of a storm of rain and snow several of the scholar and the parents were prevented from attending, not being able to cross the Harbour. The scholars present have made much progress in reading, but not as much as could have been wished in committing to memory and answering Scripture questions. Great credit is due to and aged person here who is Superintendent and principal teacher and who reads a sermon in Sunday School immediately before or opening or closing of the Sunday School.
Friday, 22 May. Visited two sick persons and then left for the Eastern side of Tor-Bay. I should omit a duty were I not to state here that the people of Cole Harbour are particularly kind and hospitable to me. I never was better treated in every respect in all my travels than by them, according to their means.
On my arrival at Mr. Webber’s I found that several of the men were about to start of their fishing stations but were so pleased to have a Service that they gladly remained until after it was over.
Saturday, 23 May. I was awoke this morning before four o’clock and taken by the kind fisherman and a boy to New Harbour, where we arrived at 9 p.m. I found several of the families had already moved down to their fishing or summer habitations in the Harbour which I visited and made preparations for to-morrow’s service.
Sunday, 24 May. Having yesterday sent notice up to St. Katherine’s River of the Services for to-day, all the people with the exceptions of two or three who had not moved to the Harbour, came down early this morning. Morning Service commenced at 10, the congregation was large. Met again at 2 p.m. to examine the Sunday School and arrange the classes for the summer. The scholars did not??quint themselves as well as I expected they would have done, yet I was glad to find that those of the upper school had attended regularly during the winter. In consequence of the severity of the winter the lower division of the school had not been attended as well. But I am satisfied that a lively interest in the school is still felt by both parents and children and that every exertion will be used during the summer. For the prosperity of this blessed institution. For such it has proved to many along this shore. Fifty six names were entered upon the new roll book. We were fully occupied until five thirty, had a half an hour’s intermission and assembled again for Divine Service. After the service I renewed the Library. We parted at 9.30 after I trust a well-spent day in the Service of God. O how good and profitable it is to my soul to be fully occupied in the Holy Duties of the Sabbath. I can with my whole heart exclaim with the Holy Psalmist: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Monday, 25 May. Up at 4 o’clock this morning to prepare the Library book and catalogue and be ready to go to Coddles Harbour after breakfast, to which I was invited out. On asking at what hour my friend breakfasted, he said, “Not very early, say an hour or so after sun-rise, which was twenty-two minutes past 4 o’clock. I think I may venture to say that the people of New Harbour are truly grateful to the Society for the favours conferred upon them, and that they will not be backward according to their ability in contributing towards its funds. The Methodist preachers in Guysboro have paid them several visits since last autumn, and Mr. Hobbs, the Baptist, visited them once. He was not well received, so I am informed.
About mid-day arrived at Coddles Harbour to which I was rowed in a boat most cheerfully by three or four young men singing hymns a great part of the way. These youths told me they derived much information through the Library books and also delighted in attending Sunday School.
In the afternoon I visited some of the people. Was sorry to find that Sunday School instructions had been suspended altogether in consequence of Mr. Hobb’s meetings there. At Isaac’s Harbour I found it necessary formally to break into the school and re-establish it at another part of the Harbour and appoint another Superintendent, teachers and Librarian. May the Lord be pleased to prosper the efforts that may again be made for restoring the peace and happiness of the little community.
Tuesday, 26 May. After preparing School Register and Library book, I walked across the barrens to Seal Harbour. The poor family here rejoiced to see me. The children were pleased to read their lessons to me and I was equally pleased to hear them and to find that they had made great progress in reading during the last winter. After reading and prayers I walked the shore to Isaac’s Harbour. This is a long, tedious, and fatiguing walk. The first house to which I came was one George Webb’s a colored person, where I was glad to rest and take some refreshment. The little Cottage which was as clean and tidy as any I visited along the shore, does great credit to Mrs. Webb to whom for her extreme kindness, I cannot but feel grateful.
The next house I visited was the father’s of the before mentioned who with his wife and family regretted that Miss Parker was going to leave them. They spoke in the highest terms of her. After reading and prayer two boys of the family took me across the Harbour to Miss Parker’s school room.
Wednesday, 27 May. Met the trusteed this morning for the purpose of settling affairs of the school. Notwithstanding the small sum they where to have paid Miss Parker for her services, I had to advance four pounds for th?? to make up her salary and take their obligation payable in fish in July. At the same time the people regret that they cannot make up the sum which they think will induce Miss Parker to remain another year. The following is a copy of the certificate from the trustees to Miss Parker.
Isaac’s Harbour, May 26, 1846.
These are to certify that Miss Sarah Laetitia Parker has during the space of twelve months faithfully discharged her duty as teacher of our school to the entire satisfaction of all who have sent their children and that we highly esteem her for her assiduity during the said term and regret she is leaving us.
After all we had a difficulty in procuring a boat and hands to rake us to St. Mary’s and besides waiting for two days for them to pay what I consider here an extrabagant charge. We set out in an open row boat early on Friday morning and arrived at St. Mary’s in the evening chilled and fatigued.
Miss Parker is anxious to take passage in the fish vessel for Halifax in order to get to Newport and spend a week with friends before she opens school in the river.
Sunday, 31 May. Held Divine Service at Nauffts at 11a.m. and up the river at McDermitt’s at 5 p.m. congregation as usual.
St. Mary’s River, 1 June 1846
9 sheets small letter p.ps.
Posted at Sherbrooke, 19 June 1846
And thus concluded te Joseph Alexander Journal, No. 2, Eastern Shore, Dated 30 March 1845 to 31 May 1846, copied by Abraham Pitcher, Rector of the Parish of Liscomb, from the original Journal loaned to him from the C.C.S. Agent, the Reverend J.T.R. Ibbott, Rector of Trinity Church, in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
A PERSONAL LETTER OF THE REV. JOSEPH ALEXANDER
April 14th, 1862.
To Mr. John McKinley and Family.
My very dear Christian Friends,
It is with feelings of mingled sorrow and joy that I steal few minutes to speak to you by pen and ink. My heart rejoiced in having even a sight of few individuals whom I really love as my own soul-but being deprived of the great pleasure an hour’s conversation with prayer would have afforded me, I could not help feeling sorrowful, after I left you near St. Paul’s Church. (The Church at St. Mary’s River?). I was very much engaged all day, in the evening had to attend Lecture with Rev. Wm. Hill in the National School Room, where I had a refreshing season and wished you had all been there. I forgot in the morning to apprise (give notice to) you of the Lecture my heart was so full, and I was so glad to see you. God bless you my dear loved friends, and prosper you in all you put your hands unto so far as it may be in accordance with God’s ?er?-but above all may you all be abundantly blest with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. I think sometimes that the Lord will permit me to spend my last days amongst you, and many others, with whom I have had sweet fellowship in days gone by. It appears to me and many others that the time is not far distant when you will be able to sustain a clergyman at Liscomb altogether-and another at St. Mary’s. It is thought by many gentlemen in Halifax that there will be three or four thousand people at and about Liscomb, St. Mary’s, and Wine Harbour this summer. Our Society is very anxious to send a clergyman in full orders, so that Churchmen as they come, may be gathered into all our Churches throughout the Mission and have the Ordinary of the Church administered to them. I hope yet to have the pleasure of either planning a pulpit in your dear Church, or of beautifying the Chanel with the little sum given me for the express purpose, that is, unless a Clergyman is sent soon-it that case I should at once confer with him. I long to see the Church and perhaps I may before long, I say perhaps.
I am sorry that I had not time to give Jacob and William pressing invitation to some up when they return from Labrador, even if it were but for one day or night, we should be happy to see any of you-you might have from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon, or from seven in the evening to seven next morning, now remember, we give you this as a general invitation for any and all of you.
Will you please say to Mr. Hemlow’s, the three families, how happy too we shall be to see any of them male or female not forgetting Mrs. Redman and Isabella-we think Mrs.Henry and Mrs. Williams might easily come and spend a few days or weeks with us. I mention these dear friends because, they, too, are like my brothers, sisters, and the dear children, and can better afford the time than many others. But, Oh! ?o I not love all the people, is there one we would not be glad to see-no not one-not a single one-though he or she might even be an enemy-as doubtless there are such- but thank God I am not an enemy to any one. Tell our dear Mary Hemlow we were much pleased with her very interesting letter and that I will try and answer it as soon as I receive letters from Jersey which I expect this month.
And now for a few words ere we seperate-I mean before you leave your happy home for Labrador-for in one sense Christians are always united, that is, in spirit. How beautiful the poet expresses the bodily parting of Christians.
1. ? ast be the dear uniting love, 2. Joined in one spirit to our Head, That will not let us part (spiritually) Where He appoints we go; Our bodies may fa?? Off remove, And still in Jesus’ footsteps bread, We still are one in heart. And show His praise below. 3. O may we ever walk in in, 4. Closer and closer let us cleve And nothing know beside, To His beloved embrace; Nothing desire, nothing esteem, Except His fulness to receive, But Jesus crucified. And grace to answer grace. 5. Partakers of the Saviour’s grace, 6. But let us hasten to the day, The same in mind and heart, Which shall our flesh restore, Nor joy, nor grief, nor time, nor place, When death shall all be done away, Nor life, nor death can part. And bodies part no more! - C. U. Arlington.
St. Paul writing to his Roman converts, says: “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not afer the flesh, but after the spirit”. I would speak to you in the Apostle’s words. We perceive in this expression, that it is not, merely to profess and call ourselves Christians: but it is, to be united to Christ by a living faith, as that He may dell in us and we in Him. Our Lord has compared this union of Himself with His disciples, to that which exists between a vine and its branches. It is a living union of each with the other. Our bing in Christ, cannot be separated from Him being in us. Crist, on His part, dwells in believers by the gift of His Spirit, filling their souls:- they, on their part, are in Him, inasmuch as they cling to Him and abide in Him by a living faith. Now my dear friends, the proof of this union is its fruit-which is, holiness. If you and I are thus in Christ Jesus, we shall, by His grace, strive to-be holy. Our old man will be crucified with Christ Jesus, if we be truly His. If you are thus in Christ Jesus walking (as I hope you do) not after the flesh, but after the spirit; then “there is no condemnations” to you. You are pardoned; you are accepted; you are justified freely through grace. More-over, through Jesus we have access continually by faith into that grace, wherein alone we can stand. For what are we to so with our daily sins? We cannot excuse them. Our warfare against sin is always painful- a painful state-but blessed be God it is not a state of condemnation; for we may not only come daily but hourly to have our consciences sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. Cease not then when upon the great deep and absent form the public means of grace, to go daily to the beloved Saviour–daily coming to Him will keep the conscience tender, and lead us to abound more and more in holiness. Thus at length we shall stand before our Redeemer, without spot and blameless, at the Great Day of Judgement. Farewell my dear friends–and again I say:”The Lord be with you”.
Mrs. A unites with me in very kind??? love to all our dear friends.
I remain ever yours faithfully in Christ Jesus,
Replica of a Confirmation certificate. It had four scripture verses printed around the sides.
Top: Joshua 24:15
Bottom: Deut. 26:17,18,19
Left: Isiah 12:23
Right: Rev. 2:10
Confirmed by Hibbert
Lord Bishop of
Augst 14th 1852