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".

[25 or 26] June 1821 - James Hickson - Trinity, Newfoundland

Missionary Committee

Honoured & dear Fathers

As a member of your missionary family I feel it my duty to embrace the earliest opportunity to give you all the information I can respecting myself and that part of the missionary field in which I have been for the space of another frigid winter exercised my imperfect husbandry.

In Old Perlican the Church is but very trifling in arrears, finished, and settled in the conference plan. The congregations are large and very attentive. The life and power [unclear] is experienced and zealously enforced by the leaders. The attendance to the classes was growingly regular. [unclear] conscience of meeting every class respectively as often as could. I wish the circumstances of the Church in Island Cove were as favourable as those in Perlican, but they are not, it being at present little more than a shell and [unclear]thing in considerable account with Mr Garland. I see no probability of its being otherwise for some period of time as the greater part of the inhabitants are much involved in the Merchants' books and the possibility of extricating themselves seems more remote than ever as the fish [unclear, maybe "the" or "their"] principal and I may say the only commodity they here deal in is reduced four shilling per quintal. The population of the place is upwards of three hundred, [unclear] of which are Roman Catholics. Being no other place of worship the congregation consists of the whole protestant inhabitants. The members of society have [unclear, maybe "the" or "their"] classes in which there is much breathing after a [unclear] blessing, and a deepening of the word of grace [unclear] their hearts. The rememberance of their [unclear] is dear to me. Oft in meeting them have I had my heart filled with love divine, my lips with holy [unclear] and my eyes with refreshing tears. The five [unclear, maybe "classes"] are met by Brother Garland and a young man who was brought to God in the beginning of the revival.

[unclear] population of Hant's Harbour is near two hundred [unclear] more than one or two of which are Roman Catholics. The number in society is upwards of ninty and their regular attendance surpasses all I ever met with. I [unclear] not to say the Leader are men after God's own heart. [unclear] constant service in the summer being all on the [unclear, maybe "sabbath"] is as follows. At five oclock in the morning a prayer meeting. At eleven prayers and sermon read. At two the same and at six oclock Brother [unclear, possibly an initial] Tilly who has not [unclear, maybe "got"] ordinary talents preaches. From nine oclock to eleven and from three to five the school is kept. In the course of the [unclear] their five classes are regularly met. The Leaders in their turns go to Seal Cove the distance of three miles to hold public service and meet the class. Their Church is [unclear, maybe "still"] unfinished but not uncomfortable. They are determined to bring it to a completion as soon as the rigour of the [unclear] will allow being quite unwilling to involve it in debt. In Silly Cove all them that believed with exception of one or two stand fast in the faith giving gladly to God, but several of the superficial members after feasting their curiousity were gone back into the [unclear]. I cannot but be thankful to God for placing Brother [unclear, maybe "Quiets"] in this Cove, for to all human appearance, had [inclear] other ways, the great work would have come to nought. He has settled himself here specifically for the sake of the cause, at the expense of prospects elsewhere in a pecuniary sense far more favourable: for this he shall not loose his reward. He deserves praise in the churches. The inhabitants of the place have commenced building a new church which they determine shall be for the use of the preacher whenever he comes that way. In New Perlican as it respects the church they are doing the same. And in Heart's Content, as I have informed you before, there is a new church, finished and open for the reception of the preacher. The [two or three unclear words] of the two places last mentioned certainly [unclear] to your pity and philanthropy crying for a man of [unclear] to touch their [unclear] the good and the right way. Hants Harbour has long been lying at your threshold bearing in her hands the blood of the guilty, the deep wailings of the penetents, and the manyfold wants of the righteous conscious that a missionary called of God and sent out from your [unclear, maybe "board"] may be the means, under God, of reviving the sin of the guilty, administering comfort to the penetent, and [unclear] them that were tempted. I many times think she had, are this, obtain her suit had she a more able advocate. Thank God she is not spurned from your notice, which inspires a hope that one day you will grant her request. So be it, so be it.

In the Grates Cove [unclear] Perlican Circuit at the distance of eight miles, Mr Hoskins regularly reads in the church, keeps a Sunday school, and meets the society which consists of about forty members. The work of God here had been in a very dead state for some time but in one of my visits the last [unclear] I got them to commence prayer [unclear] and which almost invariably the consequence there was [unclear] a quickening and an increase in the society. The people have engaged for many years back to do what they can for his, viz Mr Hoskins, support consequently the missionary can get nothing here towards his expenses. He finds a home, at our kind friends Mr & Mrs Snelgrove's who freely entertain him and are always glad to see him.

By the date of this, dear Father, you will see I am got into my new circuit of which I shall not attempt to say anything at present having been here only a few days. When I have spent a little time in it and gane through it I shall give you an extract from my journal. I feel determined to give myself to God and the word of his grace. O that here I may see and feel the salvation of God. O that art of this vally of dry bones I may see raised up an exceeding great army. I have already covenented with the Lord if he will but revive his work to give him all the glory.

You will see by our minutes that I have made a request to come home the next year which will be one year over the time of my probation. Be assured dear Fathers I would not attempt to come at the expense of a good conscience. In making this request of you my eye has been single. Should you grant it me I shall consider myself your much obliged son in the gospel of the grace of God.

James Hickson

PS. You will perceive I have said nothing respecting the Sunday schools. The reason is having no stoves in our churches and could not keep them this winter.

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