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regardless of any external strictness of life, considering swearing and singing songs on Sundays as barmless things. Yet he was very proud of his own infallibility. One, a young Free-Kirk man, was rather a pleasing, earnest character.
All tried their best to be agreeable. Of course, all attempts at having any thing like public worship were vain; though I longed for it, for the poor sailors' sake. They are a sadly neglected set of men ; but it does indeed seem very difficult to find any way to effectually relieve them. The only hope seems to lie in obtaining a better class of captains,—in the efforts of religiously disposed passengers,--and, above all, in trying to obtain an influence over them when on land. From the conversations which I had with some of them, I think Sailors' Homes might be made of great use, if conducted on Church principles (for the Church's rites have great influence over sailors), -and if not too strictly ruled ; otherwise only the really well-disposed men will resort to them ; while the thoughtless, who most require protection, will be frightened away. I fear I am wearying you with this ; but I found the evil so crying, that I thought you would forgive my naming it. Surely something ought to be done by the English nation, to bring those men, to whom she owes so much of her greatness, somewhat within reach of our Church's holy teaching.
“ Our captain took some pains to land me. The winds were not favourable for making the island, and it was wrongly marked in his chart. It delayed him nearly two days to make it. I cannot but be grateful for his perseverance ; for it doubtless saved me much delay. It is very difficult to get here from the Cape, as no vessels go in that direction ; for the wind would be generally dead against them.
“ I found the people very glad to receive me, though fearful at first that they should not be able to entertain me well enough. They are intelligent. They had not a spare room; but the Governor gave up to me his sitting-room ; and that has served us hitherto as church, parsonage, school-room, government-house, town-hall, and hall of
The only kind of wood on the island is utterly vnfit for building purposes, being very short and crooked. All their houses, therefore, they are obliged to build of stone ; there is a soft kind, which does very well for the purpose, being easily worked, but very porous. But it is hard work getting it out of the rocks, gunpowder for blowing being very scarce. However, they have just contrived to build me a comfortable little room, the same size as this, 16 feet by 12. I expect it will be finished off by to-morrow. It has taken all the men on the island full a month to build that. They have promised to try and build as large a schoolroom as they can, soon. As to the prospect of a church, I must leave that for the conclusion of my letter. They manage to get glass windows and wood floors; and altogether their houses are very like those of the working men in our manufacturing districts. All such things as wood and glass, as well as clothes, tea, coffee, and suchlike little luxuries, they obtain from American whalers, a good many of which call here every year, and exchange such things for fresh provisions. They have abundance of cattle, poultry, and potatoes, a little wheat, and they raise a few other vegetables ; so that we have plenty of good, though plain food ; and a ship, now and then, supplies us with a luxury or two. There are a few fruit-trees, in sheltered spots on the island, which bear well ; but our great enemy is the severe gales that blow here continually, The people seem willing to do all they can towards my support. I see no reason why a Mission might not always be maintained here, with a very little help from home, if only he who is sent would be content to live in the simple way in which all live here. As an instance of their willingness, they not only supply me with the best of what they have, for food, but they have turned out every piece of wood they could find, to fit my house up comfortably. There are eighty-five on the island, altogether, including myself; some having left since the Rev. J. Wise was here; the principal being a woman, with several children, whose husband was drowned by accident, or as some suspect purposely, he having been not a very good character. I do not expect the population will ever greatly increase. The spot being so lonely, and the people being so well trained in the management of their whale-boats, the boys are easily tempted away by the captains of the whale-ships, as soon as they are old enough. Yet a small population there will always be here; for to a few people the island can always afford an easy livelihood. And there will always be a good supply of the rising generation ; for the island is prolific enough of them. One has been born since I landed; and several inore are expected. And for such a little flock a teacher must be always sadly wanted, as I have already found.
“ I must now tell you of my proceedings. The day I landed was, unhappily, too busy a day to allow of my having divine service; the roughness of the day making it very difficult to get me and my goods on shore; and all the week being much occupied, and being also desirous beforehand to know something of my little flock, I delayed assembling them for that purpose till the next Sunday. I found there were nine married couples. Of the men three were English, three American, one Scotch, one Dutch, one Danish ; Mrs. Glass is a Cape creole ; of the other wives three are her daughters, and the remaining five half-castes from S. Helena. There is one widow (another daughter of Governor Glass,) an Irishman, left ashore here sick, and sixty-four children of all ages, from twenty under. The girls can spin and knit; all above six or seven years could read a little: some six or seven of the eldest could read the Bible fairly, though they did not seem to understand much of what they read. Writing and arithmetic they were almost totally unacquainted with. The greatest faults with them all are swearing, and occasionally, when they have an opportunity, drinking. Even the children have got into a very bad way of swearing.
One man especially, and he one of the oldest settlers, was much addicted to it. Even his youngest children have followed his example. I have heard one or two things already about old times, that make me think they have rather improved than fallen off of late years.
“ On the Sunday, I had service at ten o'clock, at which all, except the youngest children, made their appearance; and a more neat and orderly looking congregation you would hardly have seen in an English village church. As our room was only 16 feet by 12, encumbered with one or two heavy pieces of furniture, and a number of my packages, and as from sixty to seventy were present, there was very little spare room. My seraphine served as a desk; a few planks served for seats. All were very attentive. All sat quietly and silently, though evidently very attentive, while I and the Governor proceeded with the service as far as to the Venite. I then thought it time to make an alteration ; so I paused,-made those few who could read and had books, come round me,- helped them to find their places in the books, and bid them join with me. This they did very heartily, and we got on very well after that, though I was obliged at every change in the service to pause and direct them. The rest sat and listened till we knelt; then they all knelt too. In the afternoon, I gave them a few directions before service, which they attended to, and all went on very well. Since then they have improved every Sunday; and now I have such an attentive congregation as might put to shame one-half of our English parishes,-all who can, joining heartily in the service, and the others doing so as far as they are able, as in the Lord's Prayer, Creed, &c. On Quinquagesima Sunday I baptized ten children ; one or two older ones, who were at a distant part of the island when Mr. Wise called here, and the rest born since. The people were much interested in the service. I have service at 10 A.M., and 4 P.M., on Sundays ; and on the first Sunday in Lent, I began catechising in the afternoon, which I have great hope will be very beneficial to all, both old and young ; especially
as I intend to follow my good friend Mr. Moody's plan of going through the whole Catechism once every year, adapting it, as far as possible, to the Church's seasons. On Ash-Wednesday I had service at 7 A.M., and 7 P.m., and all were present at both services. I had service every Wednesday evening during Lent. During the last Holy Week, I began daily service at the same hours as on Ash-Wednesday, I had about thirty every morning, chiefly women and children ; and all were very regular in attending every evening. I shall now have service at eight every morning, and at four in the evening. I had about twenty present this morning, and several of those, I hope, will continue to attend regularly. I shall let all the school children who can read the Psalms attend. I have already marked a decided improve. ment in many of my little flock. One family, Peter Miller, the Dane, with his wife and five fine boys, with a sweet little girl just added to the number, is a very pleasing one. The eldest boy, a fine little fellow about twelve years old, promises to be my best scholar, both in Christian and profane learning. The wife, though her whole learning consists in being able to read the Bible indifferently well, is a true, simple, earnest Christian. I look towards them as my greatest comfort and support; for I cannot hope that all things should go on appearing always as prosperous as they do now. First impressions will, I fear, fade away from many here, as elsewhere. Governor Glass is a good old man himself, but his children, though they behave very fairly, are less pleasing characters. They need much teaching.
“Sunday was one of the happiest days I ever spent ; and as I consider it the day on which the Church of God was really established in Tristan, you must excuse my giving you a particular account of how
we spent it. By the aid of one of the men, who is a pretty fair carpenter, I contrived to get a rude but neat table constructed ; and placing this at the east end of the room- -(our room is due east and west)—thereby covering the fire-place, I had my seraphine placed on the south side, and in the corner on the other side a small stand, which I had had constructed to serve as something like a pulpit. When this was done, and every other piece of furniture removed, and the forms ranged all one way, the Holy Table covered with a cloth of crimson damask, and the seraphine and other stand covered with red moreen, and a few green boughs scattered about the room, the place looked quite church-like, and cheerful for our Easter festival ; and I dare say, to the eyes of most of my congregation, it was the brightest sight they had ever seen. This I had done, ready for our evening service, on Saturday. We took our meals in my new room, though it was windowless and doorless. I have already found a few good ears and voices.
At seven o'clock on Easter-morning, my little choir assembled, and we welcomed in the day with joyful songs. They chanted the Easter Anthem very fairly, and sung the old Easter Hymn right heartily. Of course we did the same afterwards, during divine service. At ten o'clock, we had morning prayer, and the Litany; and at half-past eleven, I celebrated the Holy Communion, for the first time, on this little speck in the midst of the vast
I had devoted all my spare time, during Lent, to preparing several of the most promising of my flock; and I had now the joy of admitting seven of them, all except one for the first time, to that heavenly banquet. Glass and Miller, with their two wives, and a very amiable and promising young woman, Mary Riley, were among the number. I think, without prejudice, I have never seen a more simply affecting scene. The little common room; the Holy Table, with bright green boughs above it; the snow-white cloth, and those beautiful vessels which our good benefactor had offered upon it; and before me seven humble, and, as I had a good hope of all, true Christian souls ;--the women (five of the number) having clothed them selves unbidden in their lightest yet neatest attire. It was to me a most delightful scene, and one that called for deep and heartfelt gratitude. It carried me, in thought, back to that first upper room. Two of the Americans, I found, had never been baptized. One of them, who seemed well disposed, and desirous, I admitted to that Holy Sacrament on Sunday afternoon; I have a good hope that it will prove a joyful resurrection-day to him. To his having joined in the service on the two occasions that I have administered baptism here, I mainly ascribe the deep impression evidently made upon him. He had never before had an opportunity of witnessing the services of our Church; and their devotional character much struck him. He had always borne a good character, but for an occasional free use of the bottle ; and he now seems bent to try a true Christian life. He hegan the same evening to have family prayer. Five other of the families bave already adopted the same practice. I have not, as yet, found one really vicious character among my little flock, and all seem very teachable at present. Though scarce one has ever been accustomed to our Church's teaching, yet all seem desirous to become so."
We do not intend to enter into any discussion touching poetry, its true character, and its influences. A question (what is poetry ?) that has provoked so sweetly gossiping and winning a paper as that by Leigh Hunt,—which cannot be read too frequently, either for the pleasure it will then excite, or for the after impressions which it will leave upon the mind,-may well be passed over in silence by ourselves. Without, therefore, endeavouring to find any solution for an inquiry which has perplexed so many, we may yet express our conviction that the national mind may yet be much moulded by poetry. Its effects are neither small, insignificant, nor temporary. No wonder that one who knew the influences of the “nine,” should express a wish to possess the power of composing the ballads of a nation, and leaving to others the adjustment of political questions. How did skilful Tyrtæus awaken and keep alive the courage of military heroes, but by the dashing narrative of the exploits of those who had gone before, and the fiery ballads that he sung? Still many a tradition of the past-many otherwise forgotten features of other days—live and breathe in the single lines, or touching verses, that serve to hand them on from generation to generation. The influence exercised by song who can doubt? How many a volume of divine thought is oftentimes contained in a few brief lines, that have, as we know, served to while away the sad and lonely hour of sickness, and afford food for solace and meditation when all else has been powerless! How much is the power of poetry or music increased, when con. secrated by religion! It seems almost impossible to think of the one without the other, so closely woven is the link that binds them together.
But here let us use the words of another, far abler to speak upon so grand a subject as this connection than ourselves. Though no name appears, it is not difficult to surmise who penned the following glowing thoughts upon the connection between religion and poetry. "They are so nearly the same,they occupy so entirely the same portion of the powers and affections,-they are such natural rivals, that they must be either friends or foes; they must either help, or injure one another ; either be as one, or involve in natural contradictions and ruin the whole heart, mind, soul, and strength of man.
Ask what that is which men feel to be something above themselves, which
* Lyra Christiana. By the Rev. R. Montgomery, M.A.