named Akpatok, which, according to the statement of the Esquimaux, encloses the whole gulf or bay towards the sea, consists of highland, and is connected to the western continent at low water by an isthmus. Now it is the north coast of this island which appears to be the live laid down in maps and charts as the coast of America to the south of Hudson's straits. So that a large inland bay, separating the district of Ungava, from the island of Akpatok, and which, from the map accompanying this account, is made to extend from W. longitude 65° 45' to 70°, and from N. latitude 60° 15 to about 58%, appears to be an expanse of water wholly unnoticed by former navigators At the bottom of this bay lies the Ungava country, and our party, in their progress towards it, had intercourse with the natives on: the coast. Our missionary took an early occasion to make known his object in visiting them.

• Brother Kohlmeister visited the people in their tents. They were about fifty in number, men, women, and children. He informed them that nothing could induce the missionaries to come into this country but love to the


Heathen, and an ardent desire to make them acquainted with their Creator and Redeemer, that through him they might attain to happiness in time and eternity. Some seemed to listen with attention, but the greater part understood nothing of what was said. - This of course did not surprise us, as most of them were quite ignorant Heathen who had never before seen a European. They, however, raised a shout of joy when we informed them that we would come and visit them in their own country Many were not satisfied with viewing us on every side with marks of great astonishment, but came close up to us and pawed us all over At taking leave we presented them with a few trifles, which excited among them the greatest pleasure and thankfulness. p. 47.

A few days afterwards we have the following specimen of the tides in this bay.

7th. On rising, to our great surprise, we found ourselves left by the tide in a shallow pool of water, surrounded by roc y hills, nor could we at all discover the situation of our skin buat, till aiter the water had begun to rise, and raised us above the banks of our watery dungeon, when, with great astonishment, not having been able to find it on the surface of the sea, and accidentally directing our eyes upwards, we saw it perched upon the top of a considerable eminence, and apparently on shore. We then landed, and ascending a rising ground, beheld, with some terror, the wonderful changes occasioned by the tides. Our course was visible to the extent of two or three English miles, but the sea bad left it, and we were obliged to remain in this dismal place till about noon before the water had risen sufficiently to carry us out. We now began to entertain fears lest we might not always be able to find proper harbours so as to avoid being left high and dry at low water, for having anchored

[ocr errors]

in nine fathoms last night, we were left in one and a half this morning. Uttakiyok and Kukekina were with us on shore. The emi. nence on which we stood was overgrown with vaccinia and other plants, and we saw among them marks of its being visited by hares. Near the summit was a spot covered by red sand which stained one's fingers, and among it were fragments of a substance resembling cast iron. We seemed here to stand on a peninsula connected by an isthmus with another island, or with the continent, but probably at high water it may be a separate island.' p. 51.

In a few days they reached Kangertlualuksoak Bay, to which they gave the name of George river, after having formally taken possession of the country in the name of George III., whom they designate the Great Monarch of all those territories, in their explanation to the natives of a tablet solemnly raised in commemoration of this voyage. We do not see the pecessity of this transaction, and confess that our feelings of justice somewhat revolted at it. Ilow George III. should be the rightful monarch of a territory whose inhabitants never saw a European before, is something inore than we can understand. We trust that the marauding policy of other times, is now gone by; and that the transaction in question is nothing more than an idle ceremony. At all events we do think that our worthy missionaries have, in this instance, made an unwitting departure from the characier which belongs to them; and we implore them, as they value the approbation of all right minded Christians, to keep by the siioplicity of their one object, and never to venture one single footstep on the dubious ground of this world's polities. The following simple adventure is infinitely more in accordance with our minds.

• After dining on part of the venison, we returned to the great boat. On the passage we thought we perceived, at a considerable distance, a black bear, and Lttakivok, elated with his recent success, hoped to gain new laurels. He entered his kavak, and proceeded as cautiously as possible along the shore towards the spot, landed, climbed the l ill so as not to be observed, but when he had just got within gun shat perceived that his bear was a black stone. This adventure furnished the company with merriment for the remainder of the yoyage to the boat. p. 57.

They determined upon the mouth of George river as a suitable place for a settlement.

19th. Having finished reconnoitring the neighbourhood, and gathered all the information concerning it which our means would admit, and likewise fixed upon the green siope or terrace above described as the most suitable place for a settlement, on account of the abundance of wood in its neighbourhood, we made preparations


to proceed. Uttakiyok, who had spent more than one winter in the Ungava country, assured us that there was here an ample supply of provisions both in summer and winter, which Jonathan also credited from his own observation. The former likewise expressed himself convinced that if we would form a settlement here, many Esquimaux would come to us from all parts. We ourselves were satisfied that Europeans might find the means of existence in this place, as it was accessible for ships, and had wood and water in plenty. As for Esquimaux, there appeared no want of those things upon which they live, the sea abounding with whitefish, seals, sea fowl, &c. and the land with reindeer, hares, bears, and other animals. The people from Killinek declared their intention of removing hither, if we would come and dweil among them, and are even now in the habit of visiting this place every summer. Our own company even expr:ssed a wish to spend the winter here.' p. 57.

The season was now far advanced, and the danger of being overtaken by winter before they completed their return to Okkak, began to press upon them. But they had not yet got to the bottom of the bay which they had fixed upon as the final object of their voyage.

The courage of their party was beginning to fail, and the missionaries themselves were in no small degree of perplexity. In this situation of difficulty, ordinary travellers would sit down to the work of calculation, and so did they; they would weigh reasons and probabilities, and so did they; they would gather information froin the natives, and exercise their judgement upon it, and advise earnestly with one another; and so too did these humble missionaries; but there was still one other expedient which they resorted to, and in the instance before us, it helped them out of their difficulties. This expedient was prayer. They laid the matter before God, and He answered them. This, we imagine, is what ordinary travellers seldom think of doing; what the men of an infidel world would call fanaticism ; but if there be any truth in the word of God, it is the likeliest method of obtaining counsel and direction under all our embarrassments. " If any of you lack “wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, "and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask "in faith, nothing wavering." "Their account of this matter is too interesting to be omitted.

' 19th. In the morning we met in our tent, where we were safe from the intrusion of the Esquimaux, to confer together upon this most important subject. We weighed all the circumstances connected with it maturely and impartially as in the presence of God, and not being able to come to any decision, where reasons for and against the question seemed to hold such an even balance, de

[ocr errors]

termined to commit our case to him who hath promised that “if two of His people shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they “shall ask, it shall be done for them;" (Matth. 18 19.) and kneeling down, entreated him to hear our prayers and supplications in this our distressed' and embarrassing situation, and to make known to us His will concerning our future proceedings, whether we should persevere in fulfilling the whole aim of our voyage, or, prevented by circumstances, give up a part and return home from this place.

• The peace of God which fiiled our hearts on this memorable occasion, and the strong conviction wrought in us both that we should persevere in His nanie to iulfil the whole of our commission, relying without fear on his help and preservation, no words can de scribe ; but those who believe in the fulfilment of the gracious promises of Jesus given to his poor followers and disciples, will understand us when we declare that we were assured that it was the will of God our Saviour that we should not now return and leave our work unfinished, but proceed to the end of our proposed voyage. Each of us communicated to his brother the conviction of his heart, all fears and doubts vanished, and we were filled anew with courage and willingness to act in obedience t; it in the strength of the Lord 0, that all men knew the comfort and happiness of a mind devoted unto, and firmly trusting in God in all things.' p. 64.

On the 25th of August, they r aclied the termination of their voyage, and sailed up the river Koksoak, which discharges its waters into the bottom of Ungava bay. The estuary of Koksoak or south river, lies in N. latitude 58° 36'. It is as broad as the Thames at Gravesend, and bears a great resemblance to that river in its windings for twenty-four miles upwards It is distant by sea from Okkak between 600 and 700 mil's, and Cape Chudleigh is about half way. They were soon descried by the natives, who shouted them a rapturous welcome. Upon hoisting their colours, they were incessantly hailed by the inhabitants. There was a general cry of Europeans ! Europeans! from the men in the kayaks, who, by all manner of gesticulations, expressed their pleasure, brandishing their oars, and shouting continually as they rowed alongside the boat. The women on shore answered with loud acclamations.

They were not long in acquainting the natives with the cause of their voyage, and it is delightful to observe the advantage they possessed in the zeal of their coadjutors among the converted Esquimaux, whom they brought along with them. Jonathan and Jonas conversed with them about the concerns of their inmortal souls, declaring to them the love of God our Saviour towards them; and Sybilla, Jonathan's wife, was met with seated among a company of women, and exhorting them with great simplicity and fervour, to hear and



believe the Gosp 1. On this subject we shall present only one extract more from the work before us.

30th. Our people, and with them the strange Esquimaux, met for public worship. Brother Kohlmeister once more explained to them our intention in coming thus far to visit them. He addressed them to the following effect,“ That already, many years ago, many excellent people, in the country beyond the great ocean, had thought " of them with much love, and felt desirous that the inhabitants of " the Ungava country also might hear the comfortable word of God ~ and be instructed in it, for they had heard that the Esquimaux “ here were heathen, who through ignorance served the 'i orngak

evil spirit, and were led by him into the commission of all man“ ner of sin; that they might hereafter be lost and go to the place “ of eternal darkness and misery. Out of love, therefore," tinued the missionary, “ they have sent us to you and out of love

we have come to you to tell you how you may be saved, and become

happy, peaceful children of God, being delivered from the fear “ of death which is now upon you all, and have the prospect of “ everlasting peace and joy hereafter, even by receiving the gospel, 6 and turning to Jesus who is the only Creator and Saviour of all

men. He died for your sins, for our sins, and for the sins of all " mankind, as our surety, suffering the punishment we deserved, that

you, by receiving him, and believing on him, might be saved, and “ not go to the place of eternal darkness and pain, but to the place “ of bliss and eternal rest. You cannot yet understand these com“ fortable words of the gospel ; but if it is your sincere wish to know « the truth of them, Jesus will open your ears and hearts to hear " and understand them. These my companions were as ignorant

as you, but they now thank God that they know Jesus as their “ Saviour, and are assured that through his death they shall inherit “ everlasting life.”

• During this address all were silent and very attentive. Sonie exclained“ (! we desire to hear more about it.” Old Netsiak from . ivektok said “ I am indeed old, but if you come to live here, “ I will certainly remove hither also, and live with you and be con66 verted.'

• When we put the question to them whether they were willing that we should come and dwell with them and instruct them, they all answered, with a loud and cheerful voice, Kaititse tok, Kaititse tok ! “ O! do come soon and live with us, we will all gladly be converted « and live with you.” Jonathan and Jonas also bore ample testimony to the truth of what we had spoken, and their words seemed to make a deep impression on all their countrymen. Uttakiyok was above others eager to express his wish that we night soon make a settlement in the Ungava country. Five of the fourteen families who mean to reside here next winter are from Eivektok.'


75. On the first of September, they took their leave of South River, not without every expression of regret and attachment


« ForrigeFortsett »