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".

23 July 1823 - James Hickson - Bonavista, Newfoundland

Beloved Fathers

Through the divine blessing I am spared and enabled to address you once more. From the minutes of our last dist meeting you will find my health is much impaired. I feel it difficult to perform my journeys in this uncultivated region. In health I was tolerable when I left my circuit for the last dist meeting but the journey almost cost me my life. With much suffering I sat with my Brethren. Towards the close of our meeting in which we found the alpresiding presence of the Deity "whose we are and whom we serve". I hope the faithfulness and peace with which our meeting was conducted were omens of some special good the coming year. This being (as far as I know myself) the single desire of my heart I must subjoint sobeit sobeit. On my way to this circuit I spent one Sunday in Old Perlican and two in Trinity. This was providential has these two places had no supply from the Dist Meeting, but were waiting for the arrival of the two Preachers expected from England. The gloom of disapointment pervaded these two circuits fearing it would be long before the Preachers arrived, if the came at all. But I am glad that the gloom is removed from Trinity by the arrival of Brother Boyd. I hope our important cause in Old Perlican &c will soon be furnished again with the Gospel Ministry. Had much pleasure in returning to this circuit in which I commenced my Missionary Carreer. Also since that time what have I been doing? My life appears little more than one continued blank.

A statement of the work of God in this place I shall leave for a future letter and shall hasten to give you an extract from my journal. Though it is extending a tract on which you will meet with but few trees of righteousness.

31 December 1822, English Harbour

The master of assembles was indeed with us in watching out the old year and triming our [unclear] for the midnight cry behold the bridegroom cometh &c. It was a time of much weeping. O that it may bring them to that marriage "for from a world of grief and sin with God eternally [unclear] in". The next morning we commemerated the broken body and streaming wound of our Lord and saviour. We were strengthened though our hearts were broken and our eyes teemed with refreshing tears.

31 January 1823, Trinity

Read in our prayer meeting "The appeal for general and united prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit" such a spirit seems distant to this place at present. O that that the spirit of prayer were poured out on our little society for we have not a man among us that can render us any assistance in these very useful means. And were it not for two or three females I should have no help. There are some that are willing but have not the gift. O God this is thine to give, with hold not thy hand.

09 February 1823

How was my soul quickened, comforted, and inflamed while I was administering the emblems of Divine love this morning. The sign was realized the "life was infured into bread the [unclear] into wine" We had the tears of Calvary, the joys of Tabor, and the prospects of Nebos one more joined us in covenent. In the evening after directing the congregation to ask their way to zion with their faces thitherward. One [unclear, looks like "staped"] to ask me some questions and desired admission into the society when a prisoner in France he sought the liberty of the sons of God but since then he has been fighting against the sword with two edges.

11 February 1823, Tuesday

In the female class we spent our time in prayer and O what wrestling but no prevailing, there was much wounding but no healing. O that these slain may live Lord give the increase, let the day of Pentecost fully come. Baptize them all with fire.

12 February 1823

My congregation was large and gave much attention while I endeavoured to give the Pharises the praise owe to him, and to show the more excellent conduct of the Publicans. Perhaps some went down to their houses convince if not converted. God blesses me much in preaching to this people, and still more in praying for them. The prayer meetings are well attended both with numbers and seriousness. I think the bones begin to shake.

16 February 1823

Preached the funeral sermon of the only member that has died in this society and truly he honoured us in his death and confounded the gainsayers of experimental [unclear, maybe "religion"]. O that all may die the death of the righteous and their last end be like his.

18 February 1823

In spiritual enjoyment this day stands among the best of my life. The power of God was emmenently with us in the female class. A new baptism was given the believer a quickening to the careless and to two youn women the spirit of adoption where by they cried Abba Father. Their simple humble reverential and confidential testamony made my head as waters and my eyes fountains of tears. And after this manner I am willing to weep my life away. O Lord carry these lambs in thy bosom.

09 April 1823, English Harbour

Finding there was a quickening among the members of this society and that some had recently found the pardon of sins my soul again caught fire, after being long in the damps of discouragement. In the morning while eating our Passover we found the Angel of the covenent present. At night we held a Love Feast and in hearing their animating testamony my eyes and heart were often overflowed and had the subscriber to the Missionary Fund heard their greatful acknowledgements for their labours of the Wesleyan Missionaries among them he would have had another proof of the richness of the soil into which he has cast his pence, shilling, and pounds. The next morning my hostest spok much of what she had felt at the Love Feast, and the whole night, she said "I felt that my burdon was gone before but now I feel all is gone. I feel nothing left". The glory of her [unclear, perhaps "mind"] beamed in her countenance. By her life my deadness was reproved.


We held a Love Feast for the first time in Trinity and this new meeting seemed a prelude of that we expect before the [unclear] of God. The young converts we hold in the Lord and two females who were there occationally entered into [unclear, perhaps "truth's"] determination [unclear]. This people shall my people and their God my God. Several were profited and all were pleased.

Thus for my journal and now Dear Fathers let me beseech you to take into consideration my request to return to England as stated in our minutes. If you could send me the permission this fall it would be much to my advantage in preparing to sail next spring, as your letters in the spring are generally long in coming to hands. But if I don't hear from you till next spring I shall fully expect your [unclear] liberty then. But I shall not come without it for I would rather spend a frustrated [unclear] and lay my body under an heathen clad than [unclear] your displeasure [several unclear words] Pray for your most useless son in the gospel.

James Hickson

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