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dise, since the questions which he would have to be addressed to candidates for the mission in which he was employed, are of the following description: Will you trudge through the snow?
Can you ride upon the ice-carry your saddle bags upon your shoulders? Are you afraid to cross a rapid river in a log
canoe? Can you sit in a smoky hut, and eat buck-wheat cakes? • Will your constitution bear cold 14 or 20 degrees below the 'freezing point - ride through solitary woods — bear thousands ! of musquitos — and put up with poor lodgings and a cold bed ?' That these interrogations are not dictated by caprice, may be very satisfactorily inferred from the details which the Author has recorded of his own experience; among others from the following account of the severities of the winter in New Brunswick in 1805.
• The winter was the coldest I ever knew; the frost was intense, and the snow fell six feet deep. It was often my morning work to dig a passage from my house to the street; in doing which, I have had to stand up to my girdle in the snow. Frequently the lower windows of the house were blocked up, so that at one time, we received our dim light through the medium of snow, which had drifted against the side of the house, and was seven or eight feet deep. So severe was the weather, that our meetings were imperiously suspended. We have been obliged to take our bed and put it under the stove pipe, in order to keep ourselves from freezing. Several persons were frozen to death this winter.- A man and his daughter, a girl about ten years age, who were travelling from one settlement to another, at a little distance from the place, were arrested; the girl died in her father's arms, and he, poor man, lost both his legs; before and after the amputation, I visited this mournful sufferer; and never in my life did I see a fellow creature so mangled by the frost; his feet literally dropped off, and his hands, face, nose, and ears, were all dreadfully scorched by the tremendous cold : however, I had great reason to believe that the shocking calamity, was a mercy sent to heal his soul. Several vessels coming upon the coast were so laden with ice, that they foundered ; and others having all their ropes, blocks, and sails frozen, were driven on shore, and the crews perished in the woods, being frozen stiff as blocks of marble. I had some Madeira wine in the house that became thick as jelly; an intensely cold įvapour hovered over the earth and water, through which the sun endeavoured to penetrate with cold and sanguine beams. Iron, if exposed to the weather, was so frozen, that it became quite brittle. Vessels, in which water was left during the night, were found broken in the morning. My ink has frozen while I have been wriing. I have had to wear my surtout during breakfast, though sitting before a large maple fire; and have seen the spilled tea upon the table become cakes of ice. If I walked out, my whiskers and my eye-lashes were fringed with ice. The houses and the streets would crack with such violence as to alarm one. The thermometer w from 15 to 20 degrees below the freezing point; and I think it was sometimes as low as nothing. While reading the funeral service over a woman, who had died during the severe cold, my nose and ears had frequently to be rubbed, to prevent their freezing: and so much had the cold pene.
trated my body, that I seriously apprehended my lungs were frozen, for when I got home, my breathing was with difficulty and labour, and till my wife gave me a large wine-glass of hollands, I scarcely knew whether I possessed sensation or not. I was sometimes obliged, though with a far different motive than Cowper intended to represent, “just fifteen minutes huddle up my work," and even for that space was obliged to preach with my top coat closely buttoned. In the week-nights, we had to quit the chapel, and I preached in private houses; these were more tolerable than our frost-bound chapel, which by reason of it's being shut up, and without a fire, was cold enough to make one think it in the neighbourhood of Tobolsk in Siberia.' pp. 96-98.
In this rigorous climate, Mr. Marsden continued seven years, indefatigably exerting himself to promote the spiritual welfare of his fellow creatures, whom neither the frost nor the snow, neither the piercing air, nor the cold earth, could hinder from attending the means of grace. The success attending these labours was to the zealous Missionary greatly encouraging. He furnishes an account of the revival of religion in the town of St. Jobn as witnessed by himself, the effects of which appear to bave been real and permanent, though, according to his own admission, some 'buddings of enthusiasın had begun to appear in the infant work.'
Froin New Brunswick the Author removed to the Bermudas, or Somers? Islands, a cluster of verdant spots in the Atlantic ocean, through which at the time of his arrival, darkness and
sin were spreading their desolations. The parishes in general were favoured with only one sermon every fourth sabbath, while many of the poor black and coloured people were not permitted even this privilege; these outcasts being hardly esteemed for any thing but' the strength of their limbs, or the value of their ·labours. To these Islands Mr. Stephenson bad been appointed a Missionary by the Methodist Conference in 1799. "He had scarcely reached his destination when the whole authority of the island was put io requisition against him.
• Thc Governor of the Island, General Beckwith, was not disposed to be very friendly towards him, and some of his excellency's minions and parasites, were his sworn enemies, from the first moment they knew his errand to the island. A man that denounced oppression, and preached against female prostitution, would not be acceptable where tyranny is legal, and concubinage grafted upon profit and inte. rest. Finally, his guilt attained the deepest stain and greatest possible altitude. He had ventured to preach in the house of a man of colour, named Socco, to the blacks and others of the neighbourhood ; and from that critical moment, his persecutions began. It was a perilous moment for the friends of the Africans, as, at this period, many who owned slaves, were snarting under the abolition of this inhuman traffic, which had recently taken place, and were not wholly without their fears of the further interference of the British legislature, in behalf of this in. jured portion of the human family. Slavery is as jealous of its power, as
freedom is of its liberty: hence, whoever touches that, touches the apple of a planter's eye. The situation too of St. Domingo, made a deep impression on their minds, so, that whoever appeared in the character of ami du noir, or friend of the blacks, was sure to be detested. Few would bear the thought of having them taught religion.* Cute ting throats, murders, rebellion, insurrection, and in a word, all the horrors of St. Domingo were connected with the idea of enlightening these unfortunate beings, as though the pure, peaceful, and mild religion of Jesus Christ, and savage inhumanity were real friends; in short, a complaint was lodged by one justice Green, who coming to the island in the capacity of an itinerant portrait painter, had accu. mulated a little money, and was finally lifted upon the stilts of the law, that he might overlook his surrounding neighbours. This worthy magistrate was informed that Mr. Stephenson had been preaching in his parish, to a few blacks, whereupon he hastened to the Governor, who, it appeared, had already imbibed a strong prejudice against our poor persecuted and forlorn Missionary; not indeed for having been guilty of immoral conduct, but because he had not studied Greek and Latin in the British Universities, in order to qualify himself to teach the slaves of Bermuda how to serve God, and save their souls. Mr. Stephenson too waited upon the Governor, but his prejudices had passed the rubicon, and a bill, under the patronage of his excellency, was brought into the house of assembly, to hinder the most dangerous and disloyal thing in the world-preaching the Gospel to negro slaves. This passed by a vast majority into a lawa law indeed! worthy of the wisdom of a Laud, and the bigotry of a Bonner' pp. 121–122,
In the face of this law, which doubtless he thought no set of men on earth had a right to make, Mr. Stephenson persisted to teach and to preach, and was committed to prison, the magistrates refusing to bail him. At the sitting of the special court, bis trial came on; and the jury under the direction of the chief justice found him guilty.
• He was condemned to suffer six months imprisonment, pay a fine of fifty pounds, and also discharge all the costs of the court. The human mind can hardly contemplate a more interesting spectacle in a Christian land, and under the mild auspices of a gospel dispensation, than to behold a Minister of Jesus Christ, a Christian Missionary, standing at the bar of his fellow christians and citizens, and be ore a Christian judge, who condemns him to suffer pains, penalties, and imprisonments for simply preaching the religion of Jesus Christ, whom,
* To the honour of the Bermudians, it must, however, be said, that slavery in these islands wore its mildest forms, and the blacks were more attached to their homes and masters than would readily be imagined ; a proof of this occurred during the American war: A vessel, navigated by Bermudian slaves, was taken and carried into Boston, where they were all set at liberty; however, they all except ong man managed to get back to Bermuda, preferring slavery in those pleasant Islands, to liberty in any other place.'
in one form or another, all Christian people profess to believe and adore.'
These proceedings answered the purpose intended by the persons who instigated them. The mission was suppressed. A missionary who had engaged a passage for the island, was prevented from going thither, by the refusal of the captain and passengers of the vessel, to suffer lis embarkation when they learnt the object of his intended voyage. More favourable circumstances attended the attempt of Mr. Marsden, to shew to the inhabitants of these islands the way of salvation. He reached the place of his destination in safety; and though, on his making inquiry for methodists, some persons who would have shewn him civility if he had come as a tumbler, buffoon, dancing master,
or conjurer,' were startled and alarmed, he succeeded in obtaining the sanction of the principal authorities, to conduct religious worship, and to instruct the people in his own way. The chief justice indeed demurred, because Mr. Marsden had not been ordained in the Episcopal Church of England, but the attorney-general wbo had different and liberal views of toleration, gave it as his opinion, that there existed no law to hinder the free exercise of the author's ministry, and the governor admitted his liberty of preaching. His congregation within the first six weeks, increased from six to sixty; be afterwards procured land, and succeeded in raising a commodious place of worship
• Thus after preaching two years from house to house in a sultry climate, I had at length the happiness to ascend a pulpit, and proclaim to four or five hundred people who met together at the opening, “ This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” I now also realized one of the objects nearest to my heart, that of having a spot in the centre of the islands, where the neglected Africans might be raised to the dignity of worshipping God, without being separated from their fellow men like cattle in a stall. The chapel was no sooner built than it was finished; and I now collected together those whose hearts God had touched with the power of divine grace, and several respectable persons embraced the offer of Christian communion, among whom was Mrs. Albouy, a venerable widow, and her two daughters: these had always been moral and upright, and their acquisition was a great means of breaking down a wall of partition that separated several more who had been much softened and im. pressed, but who hesitated to join for fear of reproach. The lady of Stowe Wood, Esq. was, like Lydia, drawn to seek the Lord; she cast her lot amongst us. Mr. Washington, of Nevis, added himself to our number; and Mr. White, a respectable sail-maker; beside these, seve. ral young ladies were much impressed with divine things, but the amusements and vanities to which by their parents they were obliged to conform, kept them aloof, otherwise they constantly attended the chapel.' p. 153.
Mr. Marsden was solicited by the blacks of Hamilton-town, to teach them to read, a service in which he promptly and cordially engaged : bis remarks on the occasion, are very judicious, and very creditable to him.
• I did not think it either foreign from my province, or beyond my power, and I am persuaded if our mission committee were to make some provision for African schoolmasters, and our missionaries would take more pains on this head, the good we do in the West Indies would be more permanent, the societies would be less fluctuating, and the benefit conferred on those poor outcasts of inen would be ten to one greater than at present; for how painful is it to be preaching from a book, the contents of which they are utterly unacquainted with, and to the beauty and excellence of which they must at least be partially blind. I am convinced that sunday schools in our West India plantations, would be the noblest work of charity that man could engage in, and the greatest help to a mission that could possibly be contem. plated.'. p. 155.
After continuing four years on the Somer's Islands, the Author left them for New York, on his return to England. In the subsequent parts of his narrative, we meet with a description of a camp meeting at Croton, about 40 miles up Hudson's river ; also with an account of his visit to the settlement of the shaking Quakers at Niskeana, a class of deluded enthusiasts who profess that they have received a new dispensation superseding the Bible and all
old established forms of religion ; that mother Ann, their foun
dress, was the elect lady mentioned by John, likewise the woman ' mentioned in the Canticles, and Revelation, and in various
other parts of Scripture ; that she was equal to God, and in
all respects above Jesus Christ. Being disappointed, by the commencement of hostilities, of an immediate passage to England, Mr. Marsden visited the interior of the United States. At Utica he preached to a part of General Brown's army,
• who were, by the orders of the commanding officer, marched to the spot, when I applied “ Prepare to meet thy God;"_solemn words to men marching to the field of battle: many of them felt their force ; tears trickled down their cheeks; perhaps it was the last time divine Providence warned them. They were then marching to Niagara to engage General Drummond, where hundreds on both sides fell in a very sanguinary and hard contested conflict. O how cruel is war, that brings into desperate collision, men of the same origin, the same language, and the same religion! What a dreadful account will the rulers of this world have to give to the great judge of quick and dead" p. 179.