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".

28 December 1822 - James Hickson - Trinity, Newfoundland

Honoured & Beloved Fathers,

As my being an unprofitable servant is not to excuse me from writing I sit down to transmit you the following extract from my journal.

25 August 1822, Sunday

Yesterday went down to English Harbour. Stayed all night. To day read the whole form of prayers at eleven oclock preached with much liberty from "Sirs what much I do to be saved" &c. At two oclock read again the whole form and asked "what will it profit a man if he should gain the whole world" &c. My congregations at both times were deeply attentive and uncommonly large. After the service I [unclear] to get to Trinity if possible to preach at six oclock. Got four young men able and willing to row me up the wind was in our teeth and blew fresh [or "frost"]. Notwithstanding we got here in time. My congregation was not so large as usual as many owing to the wind did not expect me for the night. I must here note a disappointment I met with in English Harbour. Last year there was a Sunday School and expecting the same this year I took down some school books but found there was none. And the reason stated for this was as there had been (and is not yet altogether clear) the Tyfus fever among them they did not wish to mix the children.

01 September 1822, Sunday

Met the men's class at seven oclock AM. At eleven as usual read the abridgement and found much of God in speaking from "Be careful for nothing" &c. I was given to understand afterwards it was a word in season. In the afternoon I went to church to hear the Rev'd Willm Bullock open his mission in this place and forsooth he did by striving to show how great an evil it is to depart from the Church. It was easy to see how fore the Holy Ghost had to do with his taking upon him the sacred functions. Whatever else he may have brought from the Bishop's [hands?] he has got the prejudice against as peculiar to his gown. His sermons are quite unconnected and his manner the most forbiding. At night I had a full Chapel to whom I cried "God commandeth all men every where to repent" O that I could see these hearts of stone relent.

10 September 1822, Tuesday

Instead of meeting the class we held a prayer meeting and such feeling I never witnessed in this society before especially when Sister Elizabeth F for the first time called upon God in public. The Lord is always more especially present in the female class. But three of them can rejoice in God their saviour, most of the others are brought to the birth and though they make violent strugles yet have they not strength to bring forth. O how my soul longs for a Pentecost when if not eleven tongues, tongues of fire may be poured upon us. O Lord hasten the hour.

22 September 1822, Sunday

This being the second Sunday of our commencing writing in the school there appeared double life among the children. As there is no day school any where near this place, and as there were many children in the school that could rehearse the whole of their catechism and read their Bible well, we thought it good to open this branch of learning, to give importance to the school, and to excite attendance by the most matured children. Wm Bullock is unfavourable to the teaching the children to write. Why "because they might not to be wise" We spread before the children the rewards sent them from England by the friends of the Sunday schools. And their sparkling eyes and eager countenances seemed to pour thanks to the [unclear, perhaps "Donors"] and determinations, in learning, to be diligent.

01 October 1822

Hants Harbour. Had a moderate favourable time, but was brought very low by my old enemy sea sickness before I got to this place. They that feared the Lord were glad when they saw me and it was the joy of my heart to give them again the right hand of fellowship. But how was I grieved to find them that were washed wallowing again in the mire. Nevertheless te most hardy of them would weep when I remembered them of the days that were past, when (not the candle of the Lord) the sun of righteousness shone bright upon them. Perhaps Satan never sowed his [unclear] to great advantage than he has in this place. I shall joy as them in the harvest should these lost sheep be brought home again.

06 October 1822

Found letters at Old Perlican to say I must, if possible, be up to Harbour Grace the next day, as there was no time to be lost got a friend and lanterns and reached Island Cove the same night. Brother Barr was soon out of his bed and received me with very expression of gladness and kindness.

07 October 1822

Devine providence gave us a favourable conveyance to Harbour Grace by which we surprised and pleased our Brethren, who were waiting for us. The next morning we sat to consider the contents of an official letter the original of which the committee sent last year, but was not received. It was much to the relief of the [unclear "???thened"] Brethren to find that the committee felt for their case and strove to meet their wants. The wings of that angel [2 unclear words] who has not [unclear, looks like "food"] convenient. To meet the desires of the committee in every thing seemed to be the sangrine wish of every brother present. I was glad that liberty was granted to brother [unclear] to return to England as his six years end but was at a loss at my not having the same privilege at seven years end after repeatedly requesting it. This cup is mixed with much bitterness. O Lord give me patience to hold it, and faith to drink it in thy name. I would not go to Tarshish on my own errand and neglect thine to Nineveh but than knowest why I wish, again, to see my native land.

22 October 1822

After much delay from contrary winds and impetuous storms got back to Trinity and to my surprise found Mr B and his numerous notaries towering on the hopes, and my friends brooding over the fears of my not returning. God forbid that this place should ever be left without a faithful and true witness especially while there is one from the Bishop's hands who has the form of Godliness but denies the power thereof. For to be given up to these blind guides is to be left to fall into the bottomless pit.

10 November 1822

Mr Wesley says "I pitty those who can get no good at church". I came under his pitty for I could get none at church to day owing to Mr B belching forth his prejudice and bigotry in the behalf of the church and against them he had not the audacity to name any farther than defining them as forming their principals from their feelings. Last year he was a midshipman at sea, and on land an actor on the Theatre and had he been moved other ways by the Holy Ghost what he was would only have been to the magnifing of grace. But we know him by his fruits. O Lord when wilt thou rise to rid thy own church from such rubish, Maintain thy own cause, and send by whom thou wilt send.

28 November 1822

English Harbour. Since I was here the society has increased in number and I think their [unclear, perhaps "views"] on the necessity of expressing a sense of pardon in for one Sister Barns is truely of an excellent spirit would to God her Brother Leader breathed the same atmosphere. O the invaluable worth of Leaders zealous & holy especially where the Preacher is but occationally with them.

14 December 1822, Saturday

At my stated times for prayer this week my sould has been much down out after the fullness of God, and especially have I travailed in birth for the salvation of souls nothing but a special effort of the spirit of truth will effect that glorious work the want of which causes me to mourn in [unclear] before God but to his power there is no limit. A truth, a look, a word of his and these dry bones shall live, out of these stones children shall be raised unto Abraham.

24 December 1822, Tuesday

Distributed the rewards to the children. The morning being exceedingly cold we gave to each scholar a portion of gingerbread and a glass of hot wine and water. All the lovers of the rising generation much have been highly pleased to have seen the alacrity with which our female teachers waited upon their little charge.

[1 paragraph that has MANY unclear words]

Before I close my letter I must remind you that I am waiting still for liberty from you to return to England. I have been, you may be sure, much disappointed in not receiving it and if I should be refused or I should not receive nothing on the subject next spring which will be my eight year my mind will be hurt and not a bitter.

My health is better but I am afraid a long journey would break me down again. Let me have the joy of gladening the heart of an aged beloved mother. And taking to wife one of the Lord's choosing. It is surely time that I should in these things be settled, were I not sure I was writing to Fathers & Brethren I would not mention these things. Believe your willing son in the gospel of our common saviour

James Hickson

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