« ПредишнаНапред »
laid east and west, instead of north and south, and that the isthmus was at what would then be the bottom and southern corner, instead of the topmost and northern one.
When Sebastian Cabot had entered this noble and handsome harbour, looking behind him he would see the high rocky hill by the base of which he had entered, and the narrow entrance itself; on the south side, lofty hills, well wooded with birch and pine; to the west, in the distance, high hills covered with wood. On the north side, the slope from the water was a gentle rise, mostly covered with vegetation, but more of the character of British heaths and moorlands, than the grassy, swelling downs furnished by the chalk hills of the south-eastern portion of England. Still, the form of the country would be so variegated, and its aspect at that season so clear and bright, that we cannot doubt but that Cabot and his crew, after a voyage which had not the comparative ease of voyages at the present day, and especially after the impression which the first view of the black and apparently impenetrable wall of rock must have made, would think the harbour of St. John's one of the most beautiful they ever beheld.
At the time of its discovery, Newfoundland was inhabited by a small tribe of Indians. They have now, however, entirely disappeared. The last of the race is believed to have died only a few years ago. Newfoundland is therefore a British colony entirely, though inhabited for the most part on its eastern and southern coasts. The population is little short of a hundred thousand.
St. John's is the capital. The town is built on the northern slope of the harbour. By the side of the water, as might be expected, are the merchants' wharfs and stores. It contains from ten to twelve thousand inhabitants.
The staple trade of the island is furnished by the codfishery on its shores and the surrounding seas. number of vessels bring to the island what is needed for trade, clothing, and even food, as the soil and climate allow little to be done in the way of agriculture. In return, they carry away salt fish and seal oil, taking these to different countries, and completing the voyage home by importing their various
productions, as sugar, wine, oranges, and other kinds of fruit. For
many years, the Wesleyan Missionary Society has had a number of stations in various parts of Newfoundland. The Missionaries have laboured in the midst of many hardships, privations, and discouragements. In summer it is difficult to collect a congregation, as almost every body is engaged in connexion, to the very utmost that strength will permit, with some branch or other of the fishery: and in winter, through the frequency of snow-storms, of the power of which we can scarcely form an idea in England, as well as from the intense severity of the weather, (the thermometer being sometimes several degrees below zero,) travelling, even to a short distance, is uncertain and hazardous. Still, their labours have not been in vain. Formerly, when there were but three or four Clergymen in the whole island, a large number of families had no religious services except when visited by the Wesleyan Missionary; and even now this is extensively
The numbers in society, as reported to the Conference of 1843, were two thousand one hundred and twenty
the number of principal stations fourteen, and of Missionaries thirteen. Missions to professing Christians cannot be expected, of course, to furnish, in their records, details equally interesting as those from heathen or savage countries : they may, nevertheless, in their reference to the interests of religion, and to the salvation of souls, be not at all inferior in importance. Such is the Newfoundland Mission. They who are engaged in it labour amidst circumstances which furnish excitement only to the love of souls, and pleasure only to those to whom the salvation of men is, at all times, a joyful event: but of such excitement and joy the Head of the church has given them no ordinary share. Many thousands, in the day of the Lord, will bless the Missionaries as the immediate instruments of their salvation, and the supporters of the Missions at home as, though more remotely instrumental, yet not less really so.
The engraving we have given this month shows the harbour and town of St. John's, as seen from the hill immediately above “the Narrows,” on the north side. The description
we have already given will enable the reader to observe the localities. The view is taken from a level surface rather more than half-way up the hill; perhaps, some three hundred feet from the water. A battery is fixed there, commanding both “the Narrows" and the harbour. Part of
the Narrows" is shown on the left-hand corner; and the observer may fancy himself to be looking down on the deck of the vessel, which, it will be seen, has just cleared “the Narrows," and is entering the harbour. If the observer runs the eye upwards from the smoke ascending from the chimney of the building immediately in the rear of the guns, he will come to what looks like a large cluster of buildings. This is the Roman Catholic chapel. The cross may be seen on the gable front. The house of the Roman Catholic Bishop is here. Immediately to the right, rather lower down, is the church: the cathedral, perhaps, it should be called, as it is now the seat of a Bishop. The long, low building under it is the Court-house, where also the House of Assembly meets. To the right of the church, slightly downwards, is seen a building with a small structure at the gable end to contain a bell. This is the Independents' chapel, the Minister's house being at the end nearest the church. To the right, also, of the church, a little higher up, but not so far as the Independents' chapel, the high roof of a building is seen. A small house in front prevents the entire view. This is the Methodist chapel. It was opened on Christmas-day, 1816. Slanting upwards from the chapel, towards the right, on the hill side, is a cluster of buildings, about the middle of the engraving. This is Fort Townsend, the official residence of the Governor. Just around St. John's, the slopes of the hills and plains are called “the Barrens :" the woods, chiefly composed of pine and birch, may be seen beyond them. On the south side, there is a row of buildings for curing the fish; and by the water edge are “ fish flakes," composed of long poles stuck into the ground, with others laid on them horizontally, for drying the fish, when properly salted. A number of small vessels, such as are employed in the coast and shore fishery, are seen lying along-side them. The farther end of the harbour, a little beyond the
point where the water ceases to be visible, and inclining to the left, is called “River Head," because a small river (brook it might rather be termed) flows into it there.
The writer of this sketch bears willing testimony to the faithfulness of the larger print from which the present engraving is taken, as well as to the
careful accuracy of the engraver in reducing it, so as to give, even on this small scale, all the necessary objects of the view. Many times has the writer stood on the battery platform in the foreground of the engraving, and either watched the vessels sailing into the harbour, or out of it, or gazed with pleasure on the whole scenery stretching before him: and although a quarter of a century has elapsed, the engraving brings the reality so powerfully to his mind, that he could almost fancy himself on the spot. That chapel he opened for public worship, and in it he has enjoyed many happy seasons. At its front, in the spring of 1817, after a long, hard, and painful winter, painful through a fearful scarcity of provisions, he stood watching the entrance (the first for the season) of a schooner, which was believed to contain a cargo of potatoes. From the same spot he had to witness three or four awful and destructive conflagrations. But these are recollections interesting rather to himself than the reader; and he chiefly mentions them to record his willing testimony to the substantial pleasantness of a Missionary's life. The anxieties and sufferings are past, except in their effects on the physical frame; and the awakened recollections are full of thankfulness and pleasure, only shadowed by the conviction of personal unworthiness. Let no young man shrink back from Missionary work, wherever it may be.
SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATIONS. Exodus xi. 11. “With your loins girded.”—That is, as persons prepared for a journey. The inhabitants of the East usually wore long and loose dresses, which, however convenient in postures of ease and repose, would form a serious obstruction in walking or in any laborious exertion, were not some expedients resorted to, such as those which we find noticed
in Scripture. Thus the Persians and Turks, when journeying on horseback, tuck their skirts into a large pair of trousers, as the poorer sort also do when travelling on foot. But the usage of the Arabs, who do not generally use trousers, is more analogous to the practice described in the Bible by
girding up the loins.” It consists in drawing up the skirts of the vest, and fastening them to the girdle, so as to leave the leg and knee unembarrassed when in motion. An Arab's dress consists generally of a coarse shirt and a woollen mantle. The shirt, which is very wide and loose, is compressed about the waist by a strong girdle, generally of leather, the cloak being worn loose on ordinary occasions. But in journeying or other exertion, the cloak also is usually confined by a girdle, to which the skirts are drawn up and fastened. When manual exertion is required, the long hanging sleeves of the shirt are also disposed of by the ends of both being tied together and thrown over the neck, the sleeves themselves being at the same time tucked high up the
A short passage from “Antar," describing Jeerah's preparation for attacking a lion, will be found to illustrate this and several other passages of Scripture : “He threw away his armour and corslet, till he remained in his plain clothes with short sleeves : he tucked these up to his shoulder, and twisting his skirts round his girdle, he unsheathed his broad sword, and brandished it in his hand, and stalked away towards the lion."
“ Shoes on your feet.”—This was another circumstance of preparation for a journey. At the present time Orientals do not, under ordinary circumstances, eat with their shoes or sandals on their feet; nor indeed do they wear them in-doors at all. This arises not only from the ceremonial politeness connected with the act of sitting unshod: but from the fear of soiling the fine carpets with which their rooms are covered. Besides, as they sit on the ground cross-legged, or on their heels, shoes or sandals on their feet would be inconvenient. To eat, therefore, with sandaled or shod feet is as decided a mark of preparation for a journey as could well be indicated. But perhaps a still better illustration is derived from the fact, that the ancient Egyptians, like the modern Arabs, did not