1822

Tuesday Jan. 1

I was awoke this morning by the negroes singing hymns. They had a prayer meeting last night with a special view of praising God for the mercies of the closing year; and they met again this morning to dedicate themselves to God, & to implore His mercy thro' the year on which we have now entered. As soon as it was light about 30 of them came to compliment me & my wife on being spared among them to the beginning of another year. They said they hoped I would have patience with them and persevere in seeking the salvation of their souls. Some of them said they cared not what God should do with them, if he did but spare me to instruct them.

In the evening I preached on Psa. 31.14.15 "I trusted in Thee O Lord; I said thou art my God. My times are in Thy hands." Being a fine evening we had a large congregation about 400 people I suppose.

 

Lord's Day Jan. 6th.

Friday eveng the service was well attended; and this morning the same. At noon I preached on "Cain & Abel" dwelling principally on their religion. We admitted two members, ie. Lorai, & Vetiva of O. Nassau. In the evening I was occupied with the business of Bessey & Hamilton.

 

Jan. 7

The missionary prayer meeting this evening was well attended. I read the account under "Rangoon" in the Missionary Register, 1821. P 108-111 respecting the audience of the American missionary with the emperor of Burmah: and made a few remarks on the second Psalm ver.1-6.

 

Thur 10

Resumed, for the first time since the coffee picking commenced, the evening instruction of negroes of this estate. About 40 attended. We found them all the worse for their 3 months absence. It is almost incredible how soon they forget what they had learned. After they were gone (about 9) Christina or Christiana, from VanCootens, came to complain of her husband, Quashey, who has left her. I told her to come on Sunday morning, when I would hear the complaint before Quashey himself, & proper witnesses.

 

Friday Jan 11

Service as usual. Good congregation. Subject, a continuance of the 27 chap. of Matt.

 

Lord's Day Jan. 13

The morning services become very interesting, & more numerously attended than ever. There were not less than about 200 present. After expounding the chap. Exod.18 dwelling chiefly on the necessity of husbands & wives "living together", & the advantage of conversing with our friends on the goodness of God to us, many interesting questions were asked by the negroes, which I endeavoured to answer. If they ask improper questions, I tell them they are not fit for discussion. This service concluded, we heard the case of Christiana & Quashey. The case is simply this, Christiana has taken up with another man, William, Mars' brother. This was declared by Mars, Azor & Hope, who is her father; nor did she deny it. Quashey was of course justified in leaving her. At 10 the members' prayer meeting was held in the school room. At 12 the chapel was more than full, being about 100 outside that could not get in. Preached on Luke 14.18. first clause. The Lord's Supper was administered. The evening was occupied with Cupido's business. He has promised to take back his wife, Massanga.

 

Monday Jan. 14

Recd letters informing us of the death of Mrs Smith's mother. It was a keen affliction to Mrs S whose love to her mother always seemed to me to be beyond all reasonable bounds. It appears she died in a truly Christian frame, placing all her hopes on the atonement of Christ. Blessed be God for such a death in our family.

 

Tues. 15

Service as usual. Matt.27.57-61. Wednesday went to town and purchased a few things; preached for Mr Elliot.

Thursday, transacted some further business, & returned home.

 

Friday

The evening service was very numerously attended. Matt. 27.62 to the end. Felt but little ease or comfort in preaching.

 

Sunday Jan. 20

At the morning service at 7 the attendance certainly increases. This morning there must have been 300 persons at least. Expounded Exod. XIX. I was employed all the forenoon examining candidates for baptism. After the latter service I baptised one man, & married two couple. I also met the Industry Class, about 40 in number. Something must be done to make room for the people in the chapel multitudes could not get in today. I think I must add a gallery inside.

 

August 1 Thursday

Mr Wray visits us July 11.

Visit to Mahaica

 

Weariness of repetition, arising from the sameness in every thing that occurs with me, and a want of time, induced to discontinue my journal; but finding the inconvenience of having no reference to events & occurrences determines me to resume it.

My labors have not once been remitted or interrupted this year, for which I desire to thank God. On the 11 of last month we were favoured by a visit from Mr Wray, who was on his way to town with a view of preaching for Mr Davies on the following sabbath. Mr W. preached on friday eveng the 12 to about 250 or 280 people in our chapel. Monday following about noon Mr W. returned from town. In the evening we called to see the negroes in their houses, & about 8 o'clock had a pretty numerous meeting of them in the school room in order to give Mr W. an opportunity of exhorting them to persevere in well doing; tho' some of them had not commenced well doing. His advice however seems to have made a good impression on 2 or 3 obstinate sinners. May the Lord increase it till it produce real conversion! Early on tuesday morning the 16 I & Mrs S. accompanied Mr W. as far as Mahaica ferry on his way home. I was very lothe to part from him. It is indeed pleasant to converse with a real Xn friend. It is like oil to ones bones. Scarcely once in 6 months am I blessed with this privilege. "Communion of saints"; O what a means of grace! We spent the afternoon with Mr & Mrs Cheesewright, the Methodist missionaries. We found them very pleasant & christian like. Next morning I delivered a short exhortation at 1/2 past 5 to about 30 people, who meet for worship every Wednesday morng at that hour. Immediately after we returned to Le Resouvenir.

Yesterday morning about 7 o'clock we were alarmed by the ringing of bells & blowing of horns or shells. We soon learned that the cause: Mon Repos Boiling house was on fire. We were afterwards told it was nearly demolished. Last Monday seven negro houses were accidentally burnt down on Pln La Bon Intention.

 

Monday Augt 5

Church meeting

Yesterday morng at sun rise, the negroes, nearly all of them, were turned out, and sent to the water side with baskets to fetch down lime & fish. They returned about 1/4 past 9. It must have been merely to employ the people. The prayer meeting was as usual very numerously attended, between 300 & 400 present. Read & expounded 7 chap. Joshua. Married 2 couple. From 10 to 12 was engaged in the examination of candidates for Baptism, seven or 8 were approved of. At noon I preached to (as usual) an overflowing congregation, on Job 19. 25.26. Six whites present. At the church meeting we admitted 10 members, & excluded one, Providence, for leaving his wife, & taking another, without any other cause than his own will. For more than 3 months we have used every proper method to reclaim him, but to no purpose. I never esteemed him as Xn on account of his pride in dress, which frequently induced him to go to market on the Sabbath. Many a time have I warned him of the danger of his conduct, & threatened to exclude him; but his fair tho' false promises, prevented till the present time. I am fearful we shall be obliged to excommunicate another for Sabbath breaking.

This evening was but thinly attended, most of this estate's gang (chiefly the women & young creoles) being employed in fetching bricks from the water side, I suppose for the new sick house.

 

Thur. 8

But few negroes present this evening. Most of them were at work fetching bricks from the water side. None of the readers were here except one girl. We are now teaching them Mr Brown's short catechism; as they all know Watts' first, & a great part of the second. The second they find very hard to learn. Mr Brown's is very easy.

 

Friday 9

This evening's service was more numerously attended than might have been expected considering the negroes of this estate were at work fetching bricks. Text Acts 9.10-20.

 

Monday 12

I was occupied with the negroes till too late an hour to note any thing here. The services were all well attended. After the prayer meeting for the members at 1/2 past 10, Jack Ward, one of the members, gave me & the Deacons some uneasiness. He is a slave, & working out, follows the business of a butcher, & has a stall in the market. His frequent absence from chapel on the sabbath induced me to make very strict enquires into the cause; & at last I found that the market was his chapel, the stall his altar, & his chief prayer that customers might be many. About 4 months ago I warned him of the consequences of such wicked conduct, & told him if he continued acting thus we must exclude him. His answer was not satisfactory. I besought him to consider what he was doing and suspended him from the communion; but urged him to reflect & pray, & to come & tell me his determination. His answer yesterday was plausible, but not satisfactory. It amounted to this. If he could serve God & mammon, he would gladly do it; but if not, he preferred the latter alone. We shall of course exclude him.

In the evening I sent for 5 men & women belonging to this estate who, about 4 months ago, applied for baptism. At that time they were not prepared for it. Their never coming of an evening for instruction made me suspect they knew nothing, & with 2 of them I found this actually the case. Those who were approved wished to have their children baptized. Their request led me to speak of the obligations of christian parents towards their children, & to lament the very general neglect of their duty in this respect. One of the old christians (Asia) who was present, said, "Massa, me tell you how them parents do. Them take no trouble to get their children in the house at night. Themself eat supper & if the children no come in before them done, they put some beside the fire to keep hot, & leaving the door open, go to sleep. The children may come in if they choose, if not, they may stay out. Almost every night you may find 20 of them sleeping all about, frequently in the horse stable." These things are truly discouraging, & to add to my grief, a man that I lately baptized & had a good opinion of, came with these people in a state of complete intoxication! Surely all the people have not deceived me. O my God, leave us not to our erring judgment in this time of great profession, but help us to discern the sinner from the saint. At noon I preached from Ps.14.1. The fool hath said &c.

To day, Monday, after going to town in the evening instructed the people in catechism & reading. Good number present.

 

Tuesday 13

This eveng service was not numerously attended. Text Acts 9.23-31.

 

Thur. 15

The school was well attended in the evening, tho' some of the readers were absent. Friday eveng the preaching was well attended. Acts 9.32 &c.

 

Lord's Day Augt 18

To day I have been engaged much to my liking though I find the exertion strangely fatiguing. After the morning service, i.e. from about 9 to 12 o'clock, I finally examined the candidates for baptism, intending to baptize them after service in the afternoon. The examination afforded me much pleasure. I observe an improvement in their capacities, especially among the creole adults. After service (I preached on Luke 14.27) I baptized 69 persons, chiefly adults, several of whom were then married. Though the chapel was well filled, I never missed more of the old attendants. The Success negroes, I was informed, were all at work weeding, &c the negro yard. Citton was the only one I observed of that whole gang. Quamina was sick. Bristol, our chief man, was sent by his master to catch fish in the sea. None of Van Cooten's people were here; & not more than 4 or 5 from Mon Repos; & none from Friendship nor do I think any from Vigilance, & very few from this estate. Most of them came from a great distance. At seven in the evening I catechised the negroes of this plantn. About 30 present. To day I received a letter from H. Rogers complaining of the conduct of one of his drivers, tho' the man does not attend our chapel more than once a year. He can impute the bad conduct of a negro to his coming to chapel, but all the good is the planter's praise.

 

Monday Aug. 19

Sent to the Post Office, by Charlotte, a letter to the B.& F. Bible Society enclosing a bill on Mrs Hankey for 18.2.0 and a request for more Bibles. Not many attended to be catechised. Was occupied above 2 hours in a friendly conference with Mr Van Bearl on the justice of God in awarding eternal punishment to sinners. He seems to be a Deist. I have lent him Butler's Analogy, which he has promised to read.

 

Saturday morng 24

This week has so far passed away pleasantly, nothing particularly vexatious having occurred, nor any of our services been interrupted. Tuesday and yesterday evening the chapel was well attended. Expounded as usual part of the Acts. Thursday went down to the post office; and in the evening catechised the people of this estate. Not less than 40 or 50 present.

Cornelius has just been to solicit me to endeavour to reconcile him and his wife to each other. Some trifling difference has been brooding in their family for 2 or 3 months past, and the last 2 or 3 weeks the man & his wife would not even speak to one another. I sent for the woman last Monday; and after enquiring the cause of their uneasiness, appointed her to come again the same evening, and let Cornelius know that he might be here too. But neither of them came. Perhaps as their youngest child is very ill, they could not come. I told him to take 1 or 2 christian friends and endeavour to make it up, and to concede every thing to her, as he chiefly was in the wrong.

 

Monday morng 26

Yesterday morning was very threatening, but we had no rain till about 4 in the afternoon. The congregations were very numerous. At noon I preached on Parental Duties, from Prov.22.6. Train up a child &c. The subject was loudly called for. The inattention of most of the parents to the education and discipline of their children, would be incredible to those who do not see it for themselves. Today Mrs S. began a new plan of catechising. She has heretofore confined her attention to the women & big girls. To-day she commenced with the women at 10 o'clock and at 11 went to the children taking some of the women to assist her in catechising them till 12 o'clock, the time of commencing service. I hope this plan will answer.

As we came out of chapel a white man came a begging for a destitute widow and children. This is the third application of this nature that I have felt it my duty to satisfy this year, besides a petitioner of another description. But I find it rather too much for me.

Was informed that Betsy, one of our members, died last Monday. I had heard she was very ill, and sent Jason, the deacon, to see her. He went but not return to give me any account of her. From what I can learn she died in faith & hope. May I die so.

 

Tues Augt 26

Begin picking coffee

Went to see Old Sarah, who has been sick these three weeks. Found her better than I expected, suffering but little pain. She is gradually declining through old age. Her resignation to the will of God is remarkable. Her daughter, Nanny Tom, and her granddaughters, Jane & Ellen, were ill with the fever. In the evening our congregation was pretty numerous, but for the first time this season was much disturbed by the noise of the creoles grinding coffee. Text Acts 10.9-23.

 

Aug 26

After service Azor brought a man & his wife, Jason & Molly, belonging to Mr Van Cooten to make their mutual complaints, and to ask my advice. They both say they wish to become christians, but think it first necessary to have a good understanding & live in peace. Jason has had a second wife, but put her away about 15 months ago, retaining only Molly. But Molly thinks he has still a latent affection for the other, and tho' she says she can't accuse him of any thing improper in this respect, yet she will [not?] agree to be married to Jason unless he will make a fair promise in my presence to keep the other woman at a great distance. To this he unhesitatingly agreed. His complaint of Molly was, that she sometimes went out of a night and did not return till day light; that she would neither cook his victuals nor wash his linen, nor take care if it when others washed it and that if he uttered an angry word to her she made the plantation ring with her clamour. She promised to act in future to his satisfaction. They are to make three months trial, and if they live in peace they are then to be married, and will become candidates for baptism.

 

27

Providence, who was excluded last church meeting, has just been here to say he is sorry he gave us cause to turn him out, and that he is willing to do any thing in his power in order to be readmitted. O, that he may be as much affected with his having offended God, as he seems to be at our having excluded him! I called to see Pollidore who is laid up with the rheumatism.

 

29

The service was numerously attended this evening, though I felt so much uneasiness in my lungs that it with difficulty I got through it. Last night only two negroes came for instruction. The others were busy "treading" instead of grinding coffee.

 

Sept 1 Sunday

A large company at the morning service, perhaps 400. Spent the interval of public worship in superintending the catechising of the people in the chapel. I hope to obviate some irregularity & confusion in our present method. But may not have another opportunity for months. About 30 teachers were actively employed with the adults, besides 6 or 8 instructing the children under the eye of Mrs S. I suppose there were about 140 children present very neat & clean. At noon the chapel was as usual crowded to excess; & many could not get admittance. From some pulmonary inconvenience I could not sing, and all this part of the service went wrong. The difficulty I felt in breathing was great, through all the services. Hard work to keep on my legs. Overcoming the world by faith was the subject of discourse at noon. 1 John 5.4. At church meeting we admitted 2 members.

 

Mon. 2

Missionary Prayer Meeting was moderately attended. Read the account of burning a widow, see "Missionary Herald" Feb.7, 1822. P.10.

 

Tues 3

Went to Plantn Dochfour to endeavour to obtain of Mr Reid a piece of land for the erection of a chapel in that neighbourhood. He seems favorably inclined, but says he wishes to have a week to consider of it. Called at B. Adventure. Mr Rogers made sad complaint of the Clonbrook gang. He requested me to accompany him to that estate, thinking I may be able to persuade those negroes to conduct themselves aright. Promised to go next Wednesday.

 

Friday 6

Heard that Mr Elliot was very ill in town, went to see him. He had a high fever.

 

Sept 10

Came home last night from Mr Elliot's. He was much better, up & walking about the bed room. Sunday evening I preached for him. Our sabbath here was a comfortable one. The services were well attended; tho' many of the members were absent from the table, some sick, others at work. As Rogers complained of the insolence of some of the negroes, in telling the late manager of Clonbrook when he flogged them, that "he might kill the body, but could not kill the soul", I questioned them as to the truth of it, & remarked that however true doctrine was it did not become them to speak so to their manager. They said they did tell those words to the manager, but begged me to observe the reason. The flogging was for coming to chapel, and when it was inflicted, the pious manager tauntingly told them to "go to the parson, & let him take it off, as he was such a friend to them". I believe that Hugh Rogers, as well as his brother, is an implacable enemy to the instruction of the negroes. He says, indeed, that he throws no impediment in the way of their coming to chapel, but I know it is a falsehood.

Just now recd a note from H. Rogers stating that he cannot accompany me to Clonbrook on Wednesday, on account of his being obliged to leave home for 2 or 3 days!

 

Wednesday Sept 11

At 4 this morning set off to Dochfour to obtain Mr Reed's answer to my application for land. He has consented to give a piece in front of Plantation Lowlands, about 12 miles eastward of Le Resouvenir, on very hard conditions, see his letter on the subject. He has made it necessary to have the approbation of the Governor. This will give me much trouble, and will be an expense, and perhaps prevent my having the land, for I have reason to believe he is no friend to missionary exertions. Policy may induce him to make a show of friendship in some cases and to some individuals.

 

Fridy 13

Went to town with a view of seeing the Governor to request his permission to build a chapel on Pln Lowlands. It was 1/4 past 2 when I got to the king's house, but he was gone.

Did not preach this evening, have given notice to the congregation of my intention to discontinue the Friday evening service till after the coffee picking. My chief reason for so doing is, that by less preaching I may check if not cure the symptoms of a disease which is but too plainly growing in my lungs.

 

Lord's Day Sept 22

The past week I have been too much engaged to note any thing here. Last Sunday after preaching here, I went to town and preached for Mr Elliot. Mr E. is pretty well now, but weak. Monday, waited on the Governor. He was there, and when I, & several others had waited about 2 hours, we were told by the Secretary, that His Excellency was gone! I did not see him except at a distance. Tuesday, went to the king's house expecting to see the Governor - was told it was doubtful whether he would be there that day. I had prepared a petition for his permission which I carried in my pocket, & left with the Secretary. Returned home and preached this evening. Wednesday evening Mr & Mrs Elliot came to Resouvenir. Friday they went back & I went for the answer to my petition. Was informed that the Governor had given it to Dr McTurk to make a report upon it!! This leaves me but little room to doubt what the result will be. McTurk is one of the greatest enemies to the instruction of the negroes on the whole coast. To day, Sunday, the services were well attended. Adapted my sermon at noon to the circumstances which lately occurred on Pln Success, namely those of the man who chopped off his wife's hand as she was in bed, and then hung himself. He intended to kill the woman, but her hand saved her head. Text Jam 1.13-15.

 

Tuesday Sept 24

Went to town to get the answer to my petition. Permission to build a chapel on the ground Mr Reed gave me was refused, through McTurk's false or miscoloured representations. Called to see Philip, who has been very ill, but is getting better. Preached in the evening from Acts 11. 22-27. Going over to see Mr Chisholm after service, heard he died at 2 o'clock. He had been ill 10 days. I am afraid he brought on his death by drinking.

 

Wed. 25

Attended the funeral of Mr John Chisholm. About 16 whites present. Addressed them on the importance of preparing to follow him.

 

Friday 27

Wrote another petition to the Governor answering his objections to the former one. Mr (& Mrs) Elliot being here he took it to save me the journey.

 

Lord's Day Sept 29

Nothing particular occurred. At seven the service was very numerously attended chapel three parts full. Expounded 13 chapt of Judges. During the interval of public worship examined 7 candidates for church fellowship, and 8 do for baptism. Most of them were approved. At noon I was grieved to see so many people obliged to sit outside for want of room in the chapel. I think there must have been 200 without. With difficulty I got thro' the service, the oppression at my breast was so great. Text Eccles.9.12. "Man also knoweth not his time". O, God, Be pleased to strengthen me for thy service. To day is the 3rd time have appointed to catechise the negroes belonging to Orange Nassau, Friendship & Vigilance; but they really have no time to come, being kept at home to job about, & fetch their plantains.

 

Tues. Oct 1

Service this evening was pretty well attended. Text Acts 11. 27-30.

 

Wednesday October 2

Went to town for the answer to my petition. Was told by the Secretary that the Governor wished to give the subject more consideration, & that I could not have it before Friday or Saturday. Went with Mr Elliot to Plantn Houston to confer with Mr Jones on the subject of our visiting his estate at Leguan, occasionally to preach to his negroes. Mr J. was from home, but Mrs J. told us her husband would be glad of our services. Mr E. promised to call again. Waited on Doctor Robson to ask his advice as to the complaint in my lungs. He told me the symptoms were those of a consumption, but that by proper attention to diet, taking a little strengthening medicine, and moderate in riding, those symptoms would disappear.

 

Thursday 3

Mr & Mrs E being at a high quarrel, we advised them to come to Resouvenir with us, hoping the change would allay the storm. They came.

 

Lord's Day October 6

A very unpleasant affair was brought to me to settle. Betsey, the wife of Bill, had been lately charged with committing adultery. Bill (who is a communicant tho' his wife is not), was desirous of giving her an opportunity of clearing herself from the guilt of the charge, which, if she could do, he would forgive her. Jemima Rogers introduced Betsey to me that I might question her. She stated that for a long time, near 12 months, this man, her manager, had been incessant in his endeavours to entice her to consent to cohabit with him. She always refused; and partly in consequence of his solicitations, she got a friend to request her master to hire out. Hearing she was about leaving the estate, he, the manager, called her into his house in the evening about 8 o'clock. When he had got her in he shut the door, and by absolute force ravished her. She never mentioned it to any one from shame. She was ready to beg her husband's pardon, and to promise that nothing of the kind should ever occur again. Thinking there was more folly than criminality in her conduct, Bill would forgive her, if she would promise not to give him any occasion to throw it in her teeth. She dropped on her knees, and weeping, (indeed none of us could restrain a tear) acknowledged her error & her fault, & promised all that Bill could wish. "Soon his heart relented towards her, - now at his feet submissive in distress." The scene was most affecting to me, and to all present. I gave her some advice as to her future conduct.

Both the public services were very numerously attended, and so was the church meeting.

Philip brought up a parcel from the Directors, containing Reports, &c.

 

Monday 7

Missionary Prayer meeting was not so numerously attended as it usually is, owing to the coffee pulping. Read the 19th Psa. Delivered a short address on Ps.119.130, and illustrated the doctrine from Missionary Register, April, 1822, P.

 

Tues. 8

McTurk's intolerance & tyrrany to his negroes on religion.

Went to town for the answer to my petition. The Secretary said there was no order upon it yet; he supposed the Governor had forgot it. He promised to remind His Excellency of it tomorrow. Coming home I overtook a negro on a mule who said he belonged to Dr McTurk. I enquired whether he ever came to chapel; he replied, "no, the doctor no 'low me for come". I suppose you self no want for come, you no want for serve God your maker. He answered, "Heigh! Massa! We want for serve God, but doctor tell we, if we go to chapel he will cut we a-" i.e. their backside. Did you ever ask him to let you come? "Some people ask him, and so he tell we." I believe what the negro said was true, for though McTurk's estate joins Le Resouvenir, I never heard that any of his negroes attend the chapel, and I have made many enquiries. They are frequently, if not always, at work, while others are at chapel. And this is the man to whom the Governor refers my petition, for his report upon it, and for his advice no doubt.

 

Lord's Day Oct. 13

From an early hour this morning till about 11 o'clock the rain fell. But notwithstanding, the service at 7 or rather on account of rain, was well attended. At 12 the chapel was crowded. Subject of discourse, Holding fast our profession, on Heb.4.14. On enquiring the cause of the absence of some of our communicants, was informed, that Mr Stewart, the manager of Success, had ordered them to remain on the estate and assist Mr Brown the engineer, in repairing the engine. This Mr Brown came from Nottingham, where he passed as a religious man, being a class leader in a Methodist society. He has been in Demerary about 3 years. For a few months he kept up his profession, even refusing to work on a Sunday. But now he can work on a Sunday and make others work, and has thrown off all appearance of religion, not attending public once in 6 months, perhaps not once in 12 months. (See March 26, 1821.) Went to see an old woman, who, as I was told this morning, was very ill. Entering the door of the wretched house, the first thing I saw was the corpse of the poor creature stretched out on a board, the length of the body and about 18 inches broad. She died about 2 o'clock. Many negroes were in the room & about the door. I spoke to them on the certainty of death & the folly of not preparing for it.

 

14

Letters sent

Went to town for the answer to my petition; was informed by the secretary that the Governor had given no order yet upon it, but that he still had it under consideration. Hinted to the Secretary that it was no small trouble & inconvenience to be so put off from time to time. He thought the answer would be favourable, and that I might venture to call for it next Monday with a certainty of obtaining it. Was informed the mail came in on Saturday but as the post office closes at 3 o'clock, could not obtain my letters, being 10 minutes too late. Sent letters to J.Brightman, & to Wm. A. Hankey by the ship Harmony, capt. Woodall. She sails tomorrow.

 

15

The service well attended. Acts 12.1-4. This afternoon I burnt a great many pamphlets, &c to clear my study of such rubbish.

 

Wednes. 16

Went to see Peggy, Quamina's wife, who is very ill. She appeared confused & uneasy at seeing me. At this I was not surprised; for her frequent neglect of the means of grace, has called from me so many expressions of disapprobation of her conduct. Indeed I have never been satisfied with her as a member of the church. I trust this affliction will be sanctified to her good, that if ever she recovers, which is doubtful, she may walk more conformably to the gospel.

 

Lord's Day Oct. 20

Scarcely were my eyes open before I was informed that Peter & Ned, two of our members belonging to Le Resouvenir, were quite drunk! Charlotte, our servant, going for fire, saw several negroes among whom were they, in a state of intoxication. She told them she would inform me, when one of the party (Jem) threw a large piece of wood at her, and struck her on the foot. After the prayer meeting, I sent Azor Van Cooten to look for Peter, and desired him to return & tell me where, & in what state, he found him. In about 20 minutes Azor returned informing me that he found him asleep, did not wake him, but sought Philip, whom he took as a witness. They went & woke Peter, & questioned him and were satisfied he was intoxicated. They were not certain that Ned was inebriated, but thought his excuses for not being at chapel frivolous.

Examined several candidates for baptism, most of whom were approved of. Both services were numerously attended.

 

October 21

Just returned from another fruitless journey. Have been for the answer to my petition, but was again told by the Governor's Secretary that His Excellency had not given any order upon it, but that I might expect it tomorrow. I imagine the Governor knows not how refuse with any colour of reason, but is determined to give me as much trouble as possible, in the hope that I shall weary of applying and let it drop. But his puny opposition shall not succeed in that way, nor in any other ultimately, if I can help it. O, that this colony should be governed by a man who sets his face against the moral & religious improvement of the negro slaves! But he himself is a party concerned & no doubt solicitous to perpetuate the present cruel system, and to that end probably adopts the common tho' not false notion, that the slaves must be kept in brutal ignorance. Were the slaves generally enlightened they would & must be better treated.

 

Tues. 22

Death of Peggy & comforts of slavery

This morning Romeo informed me that Peggy died about 6 o'clock yesterday evening. Quamina, her husband, was not with her when she departed. The planters often talk of the many little comforts enjoyed by the slaves. Let the following serve as a specimen. Peggy & Quamina a very superior, & loving couple, had lived together as man & wife for nearly 20 years. One would have expected, that while Peggy was so ill as to be thought near her end, Quamina would have been permitted to remain, at least a part of his time with his dying wife. But quite the reverse of this is the fact. He was ordered to work at the sea side, about 2 miles from his house, so that he could not see her from 6 in the morning till 7 at night, and an additional comfort was, that he was forced to work there all day on Sunday last. He did not get home yesterday evening till near an hour after Peggy had breathed her last.

 

Monday Nov. 4

Journey to Berbice

Last Saturday evening about 5 o'clock I and Mrs Smith returned from Berbice where we had been on a visit. We left Le Resouvenir on Thursday morning 24 of October at 5 o'clock but the harness breaking, & the horse slipping on that dangerous bridge between Chateau Margo and La Bon Intention obliged us to return home for clean clothes, for the chaise got into the trench, and the road was muddy from the rain in the night. At about 10 o'clock we made a second start, the clouds threatening rain. We reached Mr Booker's Broom Hall, about 26 miles from La Resouvenir, where we rested for the night. On Friday we proceeded as far as Plantn Union, number 30 West Coast of Berbice, about 14 miles from the river. Here we were kindly entertained by Mr John Fraser. Next morning with Mr Fraser's horse we reached the river at 12 o'clock, crossed immediately, and were at Mr Wray's by one. Sunday the 27th I preached twice in Mr Wray's chapel, and accompanied Mr W. to a funeral, & to the jail, where he gave an exhortation to the prisoners. On Monday I attended Mr Wray's free school with which I was much pleased. There were 65 children present, of all colours, & nearly all free. Called at Government house. His Excellency was attending a court, so we did not see him. We then visited the hospital of the crown negroes, and read and spoke to, & prayed with the inmates. From there we proceeded to the printing office, & then to the Government negroes houses. We next viewed the interior of the Lutheran chapel. It has a splendid, though rather gaudy, appearance. The organ is immensely large, and decorated with unseemly images. The cost & charges of this instrument are stated at about 1700 sterling. Every pew is furnished with several large Bibles & Psalm books in the Dutch language, & the old German character, at the expense of the managers. The chapel is endowed with a plantation for its support. It is destitute of a minister, the former one having died 2 or 3 months ago. The late clerk informed me the attendance was inconsiderable, the congregation seldom exceeding 20 persons, and sometimes not more than 5. A new minister is expected.

In the evening I delivered an address at a meeting in Mr Wray's school room, of 50 or 60 persons.

Tuesday morning attended the school. About the same number of scholars as yesterday. Visited several of the inhabitants, and in the evening delivered a short discourse at a prayer meeting at Mr Grimes. There was a goodly number present.

Wednesday spent about 2 hours in the school. Waited on the Governor who was again engaged at a court: did not see him. Visited the court house. It is a large & handsome building, and contains all the public offices. We heard the trial of a white sailor for stealing. The evidence seemed clear against him, but sentence was not then pronounced. In the evening I preached in the chapel. The place was full.

Thursday about 11 o'clock we left the town to return home. The passage over the river was very unpleasant. The river appears considerably wider than the Demerary. The wind blowing strong made it very rough, and we shipped a good deal of water. Mrs S. was drenched. We found Mr Fraser's horse waiting for us, started immediately, called at Mr Bennett's, no. 11. dined, and took my own horse at Mr Fraser's, and proceeded to Plantn Profit, at Abarey, where we halted for the night. Next day we breakfasted at Mr Watson's, dined at Mr Booker's, and slept at Mr Gravesande's at Mahaica.

Saturday we breakfasted at Mr Reed's, Dochfour, and dined at Le Resouvenir. Thus ended our excursion. The journey was exceedingly fagging, though for the pleasure of spending a week at Mr Wray's I should not grudge to take it again in a year or twos time if I could not a conveyance by water. The town of Berbice is smaller than George town, but neater. The colony is in a decaying state; but Mt Wray's mission is in a very flourishing condition. His chapel is a neat building but too small.

 

Lord's Day Nov 3

The services of this sabbath were like those of most others, numerously attended. Two couples were married, and at the church meeting several persons were admitted to full communion. For the accommodation of those of our members that live at a great distance from the chapel, we agreed to hold our church meetings in future on the last Sunday in the month, thus allowing a Sunday to intervene, the members not being able to walk the distance two successive sabbaths.

 

Monday

Missionary prayer meeting thinly attended, and those who did come were late, but this might be owing to the bell not being rung. I desired that it might not be rung. My reason was that our evening service might be conducted in as quiet a manner as possible. Evening meetings are an eye-sore to all the planters, and the ringing of the bell reminds them of it. I read the account of the worship of the Ganges, see Missy Register April 1822.

 

Tuesday Nov. 5

Went to town a fifth time for the answer to my second petition, (once I sent besides.) The Secretary told me that the Governor had said nothing about it. He had received from His Excellency a report drawn up by Dr McTurk containing a series of heavy charges against me. I suggested the justice & necessity of my being made acquainted with the nature & proofs of those charges. The Secretary said he would endeavour to get the Governor's answer to-day, but that if he should not succeed, he would state the propriety of handing McTurk's report to me.

Presented to Mr Sanders his note of hand for payment for Mr Mercer's horse. Mr Mercer instructing me to take half the amount. I of course did so.

 

Thursday Nov. 7

Again I trudged to the Secretary's office and am again put off by the Secretary with a frivolous answer. He said if I could come or send tomorrow or Saturday he hoped to be able to give a more satisfactory answer.

 

Saturday 9

Sent Mr Couper to the Secy's office with a letter to which the Secretary replied in a note, that he had as yet received no answer but that he hoped to get it by Monday!

 

Lord's Day Nov. 10

Satan's devices

Being the day appointed for the annual collection for the Missionary Society, Mr Elliot, at my invitation, came up to preach the sermon. The morning service was numerously attended. I expounded the 2nd Chap. of Ruth. Mr E. took no share in this service. At about 1/2 past 10 we held our church prayer meeting in the school room. Having taken down the names of 23 candidates for baptism, I examined a few of them, but for want of time was obliged to put off the others till next Sunday. At noon Mr E. preached on Luke 2.32. When he had got about half through the sermon, knowing there were many outside, I went out and collecting them round the wild fig tree, delivered to them the substance of what I had heard in the chapel, & concluded by making such observations as suggested themselves to my mind. We then made a collection among them. I suppose there were about 300 persons outside. A great many of them were children or youths. Mr E. had just sat down as I was re entering the chapel. The deacons went round with Calabashes to receive the gifts. The collection being made, Mr E. concluded the service. The Lord's Supper was administered by Mr E. In the evening Mr E. preached; about 70 hearers.

Jackey , of Dochfour, and Peter of the Hope, came into the house, evidently much depressed in mind, to relate, what they conceived, an unexampled case of persecution. It was, in brief, that their respective managers, under a shew of friendly familiarity, accosted the christian negroes with taunting jokes on the subject of religion, in presence of the heathen negroes, representing that their profession was only hypocrisy, and that a trifling consideration would prevail with them to abandon it, for which reason they ought to be treated with scorn & contempt. These Diabolisms some of the religious negroes had been provoked to retort upon their tempters in a manner said to be disrespectful - and for this insolence they have been repeatedly flogged and confined in the stocks!! The complainants wanted to know what they were to do in such a case. I advised them accordingly.

 

Nov. 11

Mr E & myself reckoned the collection & found it to be f319. Mr E returned home. I was glad to see Mrs E take her leave without having quarrelled either with us or her husband during the day & a half she remained here. Mr & Mrs Playter called to see us this evening.

 

Tuesday 12

Raffles' letters

This evening we had one of the smallest congregations I ever saw in the chapel. A strange gentleman from town was present. Text Acts 12.11-19.

Finished reading Raffles' "Letters during a tour through some parts of France, Savoy, Switzerland, Germany & the Netherlands." The book is interesting, especially as it exhibits the characters & manners of the people of those countries, apparently, in a faithful, though not a favourable, light. Letters 18-21 relating to the Alps, are not the least entertaining. Indeed the whole is worthy of a second perusal.

 

Friday Nov. 15

Once more I have just returned from a fruitless journey to town after my petition. The Secretary advised me to go to the Governor. I did so; but His Excellency was so exceedingly reserved I could scarcely get a word out of him. As far it went, he was civil, but made no promise of giving an answer. Thus am I as far off as ever.

 

Lord's Day Nov. 17

Large congregation as usual. But except the examination of 16 candidates for baptism, 13 of whom were accepted, nothing particular occurred. The exposition of the 3 chap. of Ruth gave rise to a long & interesting conversation. I felt it my duty to reprove Romeo for using a very offensive, not to say blasphemous, expression in prayer, namely that "if Jesus Christ himself was here he could not do better," i.e. than I do, in teaching the people. It struck me with horror. At noon I preached on John 9.31.

 

Monday Nov.25

Having been once more, the 8th time, for the answer to my petition, in vain, I think I may fairly conclude the Governor does not intend to give an answer. It would perhaps be best to wait a few weeks, and should no answer then be given (and the Secretary's assistant promised to let me know, in case any order were made upon it) to write him on the subject. Here, as in many other cases, I feel the want of a christian friend and counsellor. We have missionaries from the same society, but fortunately for the colony, tho' unfortunately for the cause of religion and just rights, the Governor & the court have bought them, the one for 100 Joes, & the other for f1200, per annum.

Yesterday we had a great many people at chapel, but I could not help observing that there was scarce a negro belonging to Le Resouvenir present, a few old people excepted. When I awoke about 1/4 before 6 the first thing I heard was the smacking of the whip to turn them out to work, and soon after I saw near 20 men hauling the punt to the water side: what they brought down, or when they returned, I know not. We held our church meeting according to the regulation made last month. Three members were admitted.

This evening (Monday) I examined 9 candidates for baptism all of whom were approved. One old African was very stupid, yet he seemed sincere. His teacher said he had been several years learning Dr W's first catechism and had applied diligently!!

Monday Dec.2

Reaching home always affords me much pleasure after being absent ever so short a time. On Saturday we went to Ebenezer chapel with a view of being there at the annual meeting. Yesterday morning was very wet, but by 2 o'clock we had a good congregation. I addressed them on 2 Cor.5.14.15. and afterwards administered the Lord's Supper. The collection was f85,,71/2 stivers. How very different I felt here to what I did at Berbice. There all was life, energy and order; here all the reverse, the Sabbath can't be said to commence till 12 o'clock, there not even being a prayer-meeting nor any thing of the kind during the former part of the day! (See Journal, Dec. 5 1821).

Tues. 3

Preached as usual. Bristol informed me that Mr Wallace, book-keeper at Chateau Margo, died to-day in consequence of a sting he rec. in the head last Saturday.

Wed. 4

Was invited to the funeral of Mr Wallace, but the rain prevented my attendance.

Lord's Day Dec. 8

The attendance at the chapel has been very numerous, and I have been much engaged from seven in the morning till just now, i.e. 5 in the afternoon. Was not able to get thro' the examination of more than half the candidates for baptism. Was obliged to go into the pulpit at noon without one minute's retirement: indeed this I have been forced to do during the greater part of the year, but never felt the inconvenience of it more than to-day. The Lord's Supper was administered.

According to a previous arrangement I went on tuesday to Mr Elliot's, W. Coast, with a view of calling on some of the planters with a subscription list on behalf of the Missionary Society. But Wednesday & Thursday were such wet days we could not go out. Friday we returned, had a wet ride to town, and to add to our disappointment, when we had crossed the river, we percieved the man had taken the chaise home again, concieving I suppose, that the rain would prevent our coming. Had I been alone I should have walked home, bad as the road was, but having Mrs S. with me, I could not do that. I sent a man home for the horse & chaise, with a strict charge to bring it down immediately, as we should wait at Philip's house till he came, expecting him at latest by 10, at night. 11 o'clock came but no chaise. We passed a miserable night. At 6 in the morning the chaise came, & we reached home by nine.

Monday Dec. 16

It is pleasing to see such an increasing attendance at the morning service at 7, especially when we consider that a great many come 10,12 & even 14 miles, by that early hour. The chapel was nearly full yesterday morning. Read & expounded 2 chapter of 1 Sam. Examined several candidates for baptism at Xmas. After service at noon I baptised about 80 persons; most of the adults had been married in the morning. (See Register of marriages & baptisms). Two or three I baptised with reluctance, but the rest with great pleasure, & thankfulness that God had blessed our labors to such a degree. Tho' I am not so vain & sanguine as to suppose all these are really converted, yet surely we may hope some, yea many of them, are sincere penitents; - humbly inquiring the way to heaven and that time, instruction & experience, will deepen their conviction and mature their faith, and regulate their conduct. May God help them forward.

Tues. 17

Service as usual. Wednesday examined some candidates for baptism.

Lord's Day Dec. 22

The services of this Sabbath have afforded nothing particularly worthy of being noted. In the morning the 3rd chap. 1 Sam. was expounded. At noon the subject was part of the history of Abraham. Many of the candidates for baptism at Xmas were finally examined.

Xmas Day

I never saw fewer people at this chapel on a christmas day, except in 1819 when the negroes were forbidden to attend, than today. Perhaps the cause will be explained tomorrow. Baptised 17 persons.

Dec. 26

Yesterday evening a great many people came from various parts with a view of attending chapel today. Till past 9 o'clock I was engaged in finally examining the candidates for baptism; and again this morning till near 12. The congregation would have filled the chapel had the latter been twice as large. Yesterday my text was Hag.2.6.7. today Matt.2.10.11. Married 5 couples, & Baptised 74 individuals, including about 20 children. A comfortable Xmas to me for which I bless a gracious providence.

Dec. 27

Managers encourage drunkenness and dancing

Was told by Philip who came up with my letters from the Post Office that on Wednesday night the manager (Hamilton) sent the driver to hunt and flog the people off the plantation, who had come to the chapel, and taken up their lodgings in the negro-houses. I soon found it was true. Many of the people went to Success to sleep, and most of the others slept in the chapel. Nothing but spite could have induced the manager to act thus. He wanted the negroes to dance, and to stir them up to do so gave them a pail of rum, besides their allowance. But this estates negroes were, I suppose, ashamed to act so beastly before so many religious strangers, consequently there was no dancing nor any noise here, the place being remarkably quiet. Such of the estates negroes as were determined to dance went to other plantations. This morning we had a pretty sight - drunken negroes lying about the road, not able to go to work. But so far is this from being a crime in the eyes of the managers, that they encourage them & indulge them in it, by giving them an extra day to rest themselves. The manager of Pln La Bon Intention, it seems, placed a hogshead of rum at the disposal of the driver, to serve it out to all that applied, but with this restriction, that those who would not dance should not have any of it.

Sunday Dec. 29

The distance which many of our members live from the chapel make it impossible for all of them to come every Sabbath. Many can attend only once a fortnight. To accommodate these we have altered the time for holding the church meetings. Consequently we held it to-day, & intend to hold it in future on the last Sunday in the month. We admitted 2 members. The congregations were very large.

Tues. 31

Being the last evening in the year, I expected a large congregation, but was disappointed, not more than 100 people, perhaps not so many. The evening was dark & dreary, which may have been the cause of so few attending, tho' our evening congregations have been on the decline all the year. Nor can I urge the people to attend on a week evening, knowing how late they usually work. For this reason I purpose dispensing with one of the services, and altering the other to Thursday evening, hoping that will be better attended. My desire is to adapt my plans to the circumstances and necessities of the people. For the negroes to make any thing like creditable professors of religion, they must understand the plain doctrines & duties of christianity, and in order to that they must have line upon line, & precept upon precept. I should therefore eagerly seize every opportunity of instructing them in the plain truths of the gospel, tho' they had been 10 times told. I trust I have not come to the determination of giving up a public service from selfish or personal consideration, with a view of easing myself. This has been much on my mind, and after 4 or 5 months deliberation, I can satisfy my conscience, that the glory of God has been my only aim.