This and other letters were sent to the Methodist Missionary Society in England from Newfoundland in the early 1800's. The letters are now archived at the Methodist Missionary Society, although microfilm copies can be found at the United Church Archives in Toronto, Ontario under location number "87.225C".

06 November 1820 - Ninian Barr - Trinity, Newfoundland

Rev'd & dear Sir

Had you been here last week your heart would have been pained to have beheld the overflowings of ungodlieness with which this place was deluged. On the last of Oct the servants had all finished their year's servitude and drunkenness and rioting were the result of their liberty. In the dark of the night while they were loudly roaring I silently walked in a retired spot and with a broken heart reflected on their condition. What a scene of impurity was before me. The night was so dark that I could see nothing but a few lights and nothing did I hear but drunken [unclear] blasphemous swearing and a shocking kind of discordent screaming which they call singing. This was a representation indeed of the doleful thanks which Milton describes too well. I called to mind our blessed Lord weeping over Jerusalem and [unclear] for it and for them and partaking of his spirit in a low degree. I thought I could gladly have followed him to the death if by this I could have saved some of them. On Sunday night as many of them attend our preaching at that time I preached from Isaiah 5-11-12 [unclear] to them that rise [unclear] early - [unclear] from which I tried to show them there crime delineated and its woe pronounced - afterward I read them Mr Wesley's word to a drunkard because it speaks plainer and better than I can - and as they went out distributed a number of that tract with which the Committee have been so good as to furnish me.

I am not without hope of [unclear] good days in Trinity. It is a wicked place and for this very reason it is good missionary ground. Your missionaries have been labouring here for the past 4 years. They have had much to strive against but they have not laboured in vain. Some have believed there report - some that never thought of such a thing before they heard them now know in whom they have believed they feel that God for Christs sake has forgiven all their sins. More [unclear] that this is the will of God concerning them and are seeking in the right way while others are a good deal reformed - they kneel at prayer in public and pray in there closets both of which they would not do some time ago. The Court House is often crowded on Sunday nights and they become more attentive in hearing. Most of the children attend our Sunday school who a while ago used to run in the streets all the day long. Your missionaries have been a considerable expense in this station and this has often [unclear, maybe pierced or pained] my heart particularly when I think of the way in which the money is raised. But surely the good that is done is a sufficient redeemer.

I still continue to preach in the Court House which the magistrates are so kind as to grant. When Mr Ellis was in this station he began a chapel which I [unclear] not [unclear] I have done all I could to get on with it beyond all I could [unclear] all I could [unclear] have many a long day laboured with my own hand. It is now glazed & lathed and not 5 pounds in debt but we can go no farther unless we borrow money and this we will not for there is no prospect of paying. If we could get 50 pounds it would nearly finish it - and I have often thought but have been ashamed to ask it that if the Committee would give us even 20 pounds that this would buy lime to plaster it and make it tenantable. [unclear] the magistrates say nothing yet I am ashamed to be using their house for 3 years and not being able to make any remuneration - this seems to me to be abusing good will [unclear] to ask 20 pounds from you is abusing good will but what can we do

I am yours with respect and humble regards

Ninian Barr

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