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Memoir of Norman MacLeod, D.D
1845. - North America


THE General Assembly of 1845 having determined to send a deputation to British North America, to visit the congregations connected with the Church of Scotland in these colonies, the late Dr. Simpson of Kirknewton, Dr. John Macleod, of Morven, and Norman Macleod, of Dalkeith, were appointed deputies. They accordingly sailed from Liverpool in June, and were absent on this duty for five months. The purpose of the deputation was to preach to the many congregations which had been deprived of their clergy during the recent ecclesiastical troubles, and to explain, when called upon, the views which had determined the policy of those who had remained by the Church of their fathers. They determined not to utter a disrespectful word regarding their Free Church brethren, and while firmly vindicating their own Church, to do nothing likely to interfere with the usefulness of any other Christian body.

Their labour—travelling, preaching, and addressing meetings—was severe. As a specimen of the work which fell to him in common with the others, he records what was done during one week. "On Friday, I preached and travelled sixteen miles; Saturday, preached once; Sunday, preached and gave two addresses to communicants at the Lord's Table; Monday, preached again; Tuesday, travelled thirty-two miles and spoke for an hour and a half; Wednesday, travelled forty-three miles and spoke for two hours; Thursday, preached and travelled twenty-five miles!"

The following extracts are taken from the letters he wrote during his sojourn in America:—

To his Sister Jane:—

"On board the Commodore, going to "Liverpool, 1845.

"We had a happy dinner at Glasgow, Mother sad, until 'I calmed her fears and she was calm.' Don't you love your mother? What is she? Not a nice body—she is too large in soul and body for that. Not a nice soul—she has too much sense and intelligence for that. Not a nice woman —she has too much enthusiasm and also piety for that. A lady is not the word—for my mother's income was always small, good soul; and though she could furnish ten ladies with what is lady-like and keep to herself what would serve to adorn a minister's house, lady is not the word. My mother! That's it; and don't you love her? I do; and let me tell you that in these days the fact is worth knowing.

"Liverpool, Half-past eleven p. m.—The Bell Buoy struck me much. As the waves rise the bell rings. I cannot tell you the effect it had on my imagination when I first heard it. The sun was setting, attended by a glorious retinue of clouds. Ships in full sail and pilot boats were sailing in relief, and crossing and recrossing between us and the red light. I heard a most solemn and touching chime; then silence; and the ding dong again came over the sea. I can hardly express the strange thoughts it suggested. One could not but think of it in nights of storm and darkness ringing its note of warning to the sailor, and its note of welcome too, and perhaps its funeral dirge. It was so on the awful 7th of January, when the New York Liner was shipwrecked on these banks; when the fine fellow of a captain got deranged as he discovered that the light-ship, his only guide, was driven from her moorings! I could not but think it was alive and cold and lonely : that it had all the feeling of being deserted on a waste of waters like what poor Vanderdecken had, who hailed every ship, but no one came to his aid; and so the bell chimed and chimed for company, but it only proved a warning to all who heard it to sail away!"

"At Sea.

When I looked into Dr. Simpson's cabin, I saw a poor emaciated man, evidently dying of decline, in one of the berths. I spoke kindly to him, and found he was an American who had left Boston for his health, thinking a sea voyage would do him good. But he was now returning in a dying state. In the evening, the captain seeing how ill he was, removed him to a berth nearer the air. I saw him again in the evening and got into conversation with him about the state of his soul. He seemed very ignorant but teachable. He had attended a Unitarian Chapel I promised to read with him and to come to him any hour he wished; gave him my name and told him I was a clergyman. He seemed very grateful. He said his father was alive, but his mother was dead; and she used to speak to him every day on these things. Poor fellow ! Perhaps it was in answer to her prayers, that in his last hours he had beside him those who spoke to him the truth.

"Saturday, 21st.—Poor------was speechless this morning. He died at nine o'clock. I am very thankful that I did not delay speaking to him.

"Sabbath, 22nd.—Rose early. The morning was breezy. The coffin was covered by a flag and placed on a plank near the port. The sailors who attended were dressed in their white trousers, and many of the passengers were gathered round. We read together the Church service for the burial of the dead. When we came to the portion of the service when the body is committed to the deep, the plank was shoved forward with the coffin on it, and one end being elevated, the coffin slid down and plunged into the ocean; a splash, and his remains were concealed forever till the day that the sea shall give up its dead.

"I read the Church of England service in the forenoon to an excellent congregation, and John preached on the text, 'How shall we escape?"

To the Same:—

"Friday.—Saw icebergs for the first time in my life. The first time we sighted them they were gleaming like silver specks on the horizon; but their bulk soon became visible. Nothing could exceed the majesty and beauty of those masses coming from some mysterious source, and floating silently on the mighty ocean. We passed within two hundred yards of one. The side next the western waves was hollowed into large caves, the precipice being only about twenty feet high. The mass was of the purest alabaster white you can conceive, gleaming and glistening in the setting sun; the waves were dashing against and undermining the island; but as the sea rolled up foaming into these marble caves, it was of the deepest and purest emerald. The union of the intense green and pure white was exquisitely beautiful.

"In the afternoon the breeze increased, thick fog rolled over us. We were all solemnized by the danger of coming thump upon an iceberg, which all agreed might take place, and, if so, instant destruction would follow. A group of passengers met round the capstan under cover, and near the funnel, for warmth, for the air was piercingly cold, and every man seemed to vie with the others in telling dismal stories, chiefly from his own history, of tempests and shipwrecks and vessels on fire and destruction by icebergs. The scene in the saloon was really striking. One of the passengers was playing the guitar beautifully, and it was strange to look round the group listening to him. Men from every part of Europe—a missionary bronzed with the sun of India, Protestant clergy and Catholic, officers and merchants, all met, having a common sympathy, only to scatter and never meet again; without, were storm and mist and floating ice-islands ! How like it was to each one of us, floating on this mysterious sea of life, gleaming now beneath the sun, and again tossed about and covered by darkness and storm, and soon to melt and disappear in the unfathomable gulf where all is still!

"I retired to rest with sober, and I trust profitable, reflections. There was of course the feeling of possible danger, which might be sudden and destructive. I committed myself to the care of Him who holds the winds in the hollow of His hand. I read with comfort the 103rd Psalm. I awoke, however, in the middle of the night, and how I longed for the morning! How helpless I felt, and how my life passed before me like a panorama!

"Saturday.—You know my love of steam engines, and certainly it has not been lessened by what I have seen in the Acadia. What a wonderful sight it is in a dark and stormy night to gaze down and see those great furnaces roaring and raging, and a band of black firemen laughing and joking opposite their red-hot throats ! and then to see that majestic engine with its great shafts and polished rods moving so regularly night and day, and driving on this huge mass with irresistible force against the waves and storms of the Atlantic! If the work glorifies the intellect of the human workman, what a work is man himself!

"Sunday.—Having kept my watch with Dalkeith time, I have had much enjoyment in following the movements of my household and my flock, following them with my thoughts and prayers; and the belief that at the hours of public prayer there were some true hearts praying for me was very refreshing.

"Monday.—Another magnificent day; a fine breeze and all sail set. I have had some hours of most entertaining and deeply interesting conversations : one hour or so with the bishop, in which we entered fully and freely upon all the disputed points in the Romish Church, another hour with Unitarians,—all most useful and instructive. The passengers drank our healths with three times three. I leave the boat with regret.

"Pictou, Friday Night.—This has been a truly delightful day in all respects. We went to Church; it is a neat building capable of holding about eight hundred. As we drew near we saw the real out-and-out Highland congregation; old men and women grouped round; one or two of them were from Mull, and asked about all my aunts and uncles. It looked like speaking to people who had been dead. But the scene in the Church was most striking. It was crammed, and the crowd stood a long distance out from the doors. Such a true Highland congregation I never saw, and when they all joined in singing the Gaelic Psalm how affecting was it! John preached a splendid sermon in Gaelic, and I preached in English to the same congregation.

"Monday.—Yesterday is a day never to be forgotten; I do not think it possible to convey the varied, solemn, and strange impressions which were made upon my mind. The weather was beautiful. Many hundreds had remained in town all Saturday night. On Sabbath morning dozens of boats were seen dotting the surface of the calm bay, and pulling from every part of the opposite shore towards Pictou. About one thousand people crossed during the forenoon. Hundreds on horseback and on foot, in gigs, cars, carts, were streaming into town. At eleven o'clock, Dr. Simpson and I went to the church in our pulpit gowns,—I in my dear old Loudoun gown, which has covered me in many a day of solemn battle. The church could not contain anything like the congregation. Dr. Simpson preached and exhorted the first communion table, I exhorted other two, and this was all, for the Ross-shire notions of communion are prevalent here. I occupied some time in my second address in trying to remove such sinful and superstitious ideas as are entertained by many. While Dr. Simpson gave the concluding-address I went to the tent; [The "tent" is a species of movable pulpit used for open-air services in Scotland.] it was on a beautiful green hill near the town, overlooking the harbour and neighbouring country. When I reached it I beheld the most touching and magnificent sight I ever beheld. There were (in addition to the crowd we had left in the church) about four thousand people here assembled ! John had finished a noble Gaelic sermon. He was standing with his head bare at the head of the white communion table, and was about to exhort the communicants. There was on either side space for the old elders, and a mighty mass of earnest listeners beyond. The exhortation ended, I entered the tent and looked around; I have seen grand and imposing sights in my life, but this far surpassed them all. As I gazed on that table, along which were slowly passed the impressive and familiar symbols of the Body broken and Blood shed for us all in every age and clime— as I saw the solemn and reverent attitude of the communicants, every head bent down to the white board, and watched the expressions of the weather-beaten, true Highland countenances around me, and remembered, as I looked for a moment to the mighty forests which swept on to the far horizon, that all were in a strange land, that they had no pastors now, that they were as a flock in the lonely wilderness—as these and ten thousand other thoughts filled my heart, amidst the most awful silence, broken only by sobs which came from the Lord's Table, can you wonder that I hid my face and ' lifted up my voice and wept?' Yet how thankful, how deeply thankful was I to have been privileged to see a sight here in connection with the Church of Scotland which the Highlands of Scotland, even the Lowlands, could not afford ! Oh that my father had been with us ! what a welcome he would have received ! An address signed by two thousand has this moment been presented. Forty deputies from the Churches came with it.

"15th.—We reached Gareloch, fifteen long miles off, about three o'clock. When we reached the summit of a hill, we saw the church on the opposite declivity; rows of gigs and horses showed the people had come. I spoke an hour and a half on the Headship of Christ. Thank God ! we said all the good we could of our opponents, and nothing bad. While John was speaking, I went out to rest myself. I strolled for about a quarter of a mile, and stumbled on the tent, used sometimes in preaching. You could not imagine a more striking spot for a forest-preaching. It was in a forest bay. The tent was shaded by the trees, which swept in a semicircle around it. Immediately before it was a cleared knoll, capable of accommodating four thousand people, with stumps of trees and large bare stems rising over them. I was told many thousands have sat on that knoll, hearing the word; and when I visited it in quiet and silence, and pictured to myself the scene which a communion Sabbath evening would present, it made me feel how unspeakably great was the blessing of the preached gospel in the wilderness—how it truly made it bloom and blossom as the rose! And how fearful seemed the sin of being a covetous Church, grudging to send the bread of life to a poor, morally starving people!

"Wednesday, 16th.—Rose at five, and started to preach at Wallace, forty-three miles off. Another gig, with a lady and gentleman, accompanied us all the distance 'just to hear the sermon and address!' The day got fearfully hot, about 85° in the shade ; it has kept at 80º ever since! The drive was the more sultry as we had to keep through forest almost the whole way. But with coat and waistcoat off, blouse and straw hat on, and a good supply of cigars, I got on jollily; the roads were so so. By clenching my teeth, and holding on now and then, the shocks were not so bad. While the horse was baiting, about twelve miles from Pictou, I walked on, gathering strawberries, which are everywhere in abundance, and keeping off a few mosquitoes by smoking. I saw a log-hut near the wood, and entered it. A man met me, evidently poor, who could hardly speak a word of English; yet he was only five years old when he left Mull! He was married, and had six children. He seemed amazed when I spoke Gaelic; welcomed me to the house. But he no sooner found out who I was than I was met by a storm of exclamations expressing wonder and delight. He told me two of his children were unbaptised; and, as the gig had come up, I left him with the promise of returning to him next day on my way home.

"We baited the horses at an old fellow's house, who came here when a boy from Lockerbie in 1786. What changes had taken place here since then! He remembered only six 'smokes,' where there are now probably forty or fifty thousand—one house only in Pictou; no roads, &c. He said he was driven out of Isle St. John, now Prince Edward's Island, by the mice, in 1813 A mice plague appeared in that year over all Nova Scotia and Prince Edward's Island. They filled the woods and villages; they filled houses and crawled over beds, nibbled the windows of shops, ate up crops and herb-age; they swam rivers; they were met in millions dead in the sea and lay 'along the shores like coils of hay! If a pit was dug at night, it was filled by morning. Cats, martens, &c. fed on them till they died from over-gorging. Oh! It makes me sick to think of it ! Yet such was one of the forms; in which danger and starvation met the early settlers.

*  *  *  *  *

"Thursday, 17th.—We soon reached the poor Highlander's house where I was to baptize the child. The gigs drove on to an inn to bait the horses, and I entered the log-house. I gave him an earnest exhortation, and baptized both his children. They were neat and clean. It was strange to hear them talk Yankee-English, and the father Gaelic. I was much affected by this man's account of himself. He had much to struggle against. He had lost a cow, and then a horse, and then a child. Little wood had been cleared, and he was due thirty pounds for it. 'But,' he said, handing me a large New Testament, 'that has been my sole comfort.' I was much struck on opening it to find it a gift from 'the Duke of Sutherland to his friends and clansmen in America.' What blessings may not a few pounds confer when thus kindly laid out. The tears which streamed down that poor man's face while he pointed to that fine large printed Testament would be a great reward to the Duke for his gifts, had he only witnessed them as I did. The poor fellow accompanied me on the road, and parted from me with many prayers and many tears. It is this parting with individuals and congregations every day, never to meet again, which makes our mission so solemn and so mingled with sadness. As a congregation dismisses, you can say with almost perfect certainty, 'There they go; when we meet next, it will be at Judgment!'

*  *  *  *  *

"Charlotte Town.—Stalking up the town we met some Morven men. The following conversation amused me as exemplifying a strong Churchman. A great rough fellow, a teetotaler (?), was the speaker. His name was Campbell.

"Campbell. 'Is my Uncle Donald alive?'

"John. 'No. He is dead.'

"C. (very carelessly). 'Aye, aye. Is my Uncle Sandy alive?'

"J. ' No; he is dead too.'

"C. 'Aye, aye' (but no marks of sorrow), 'and what are his children doing?'

"J. 'Indeed, they are the only Free Churchmen in the parish!' "C. (opening his eyes and lifting up his hands), 'Save us!—is that possible?' The death of his uncles was evidently a joke in comparison with the horrible apostasy of his children.

"Tuesday.—This has been a very strange day; but that you may understand it, I must give you a little biography. There was a man, McDonald, a Missionary some twenty years ago, in the braes of Glen Garry. I believe, chiefly from his having been given to intoxication, he was obliged to resign his mission, and came to Cape Breton, and staid for a year or two. After suffering great mental distress, he became a perfectly sober and steady man. He began preaching among the Highlanders. His preaching had great effect. He separated himself from the other clergy, because he thought them careless and bad. His sect became stronger and stronger. Many wild extravagancies attended the 'revivals' under him, crying out and screaming-fits of hysteria, which were attributed to extraordinary influences. The result, however, has been that three thousand people, including fifteen hundred communicants, adhere to him; he has eight churches built and twenty-one prayer-meetings established; no lay preaching; elders in all the churches; sacraments administered. He keeps all a-going, and has never received more than £50 a-year on an average. He is laughed at by some, ridiculed by others, avoided by the clergy; but all admit that he has changed, or been the means of changing, a thousand lawless, drunken people into sober, decent, godly livers. This man, then ordered, all his churches to be put at our service, and sent an invitation through his elders for me to preach. Of course I will preach wherever I am asked—in a popish church, if they will let me. The worse the field the more the need of cultivation. I reached the church about twelve; McDonald, with his snow-white locks, surrounded by a crowd, met me. 'I rejoice,' he said, taking off his hat, ' to see here an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland. I bless God for the day. I appeal to you, my people, if I have not preached the doctrines of the Confession of Faith, if I have not kept you from Baptists, Methodists, and every sect, for the Church of your fathers. Welcome, sir, here.' I said we would talk after sermon. I entered the humble wooden kirk; it was seated for about three hundred, and was crammed by a decent and most attentive audience; twelve elders sat below the pulpit. McDonald, with a strong voice, led the psalmody,—he and his elders standing. After service, I went with him to a farm-house. He gave me all his history, and we discussed all his doings. I frankly told him my opinions. He has had a hard time of it. ' Often,' he said, and his lip quivered with emotion, ' have I, on a communion season, preached, and served tables, for eight hours in that church, no one with me, and no food eaten all the while.' He seems now to feel the loss of not being in fellowship with the Church, and the responsibility of leaving so many sheep without a shepherd; and, if any good minister came to this neighbourhood, he is anxious to be readmitted. When I parted from him, he burst into tears, thanking me for my 'kindness and delicacy to him,' and rejoicing in my having been with him. His people, they say, are very proud of it. Well, I would fain hope a real work has been done here. If there have been extravagancies, how many such were at Kilsyth and other places; and surely better all this folly, with such good results, than cold and frigid regularity with no results but death. Better to be driven to the harbour by a hurricane that carries away spars and sails, than be frozen up in the glittering and smooth sea. There are many things connected with McDonald's sect I don't approve of. Two of his elders came to Charlotte Town to bid me farewell. I gave them many frank, and, I thought, unpleasant advices. But to my surprise, when parting, the old men put their arms about my neck, and imprinted a farewell kiss on my cheek.

"Boston.—I have been actually three days in Boston. Do you not think I am now well entitled to give a sound opinion upon American manners?

I have lived in one of her hotels, heard two of her preachers, seen two of her Sabbath-schools—I have driven in her cabs and omnibuses, visited her fails and lunatic asylums, smoked her cigars, read her newspapers, and visited Lowell, and may I not be permitted to guess what sort of people they are? I was prepared upon Saturday to pronounce a judgment on the whole nation; but, happening to be wrong in my first opinion, I shut up my note-book. I had mounted the box of a coach; the driver sat on my left hand; he said he always did. Just as I had noted the great fact that 'all drivers in America sit on the left side of the box,' I thought I would ask what was gained by this. ' Why, I guess,' replied Jonathan, 'I can't help it; I'm left-handed.' I learned a lesson from this: to beware how I generalise.

"Our visit to Boston was a very agreeable one. I had ready access to men from whom I received much information. There is a Sabbath-school Union in Massachusetts, which I visited on Sunday, examining their books, &c., and I shall bring home with me all that is better in their system than in our own. On Monday, along with Mr. Rodgers, I visited the American Board of Missions. On the way to it I had a good deal of conversation with him on Voluntaryism. I was struck with one remark. He said, 'Our forefathers, having suffered from the tyranny of Prelatists, went to the other extreme of too great ecclesiastical freedom. You were wise in having kept your Books of Discipline and Confession of Faith.' The American Board interested me much. There is a large building appropriated exclusively for missionary machinery. In the upper floor there are three rooms—two of these are for the library, consisting of volumes of history and accounts of the different countries where their missions are; in short, every book that can be of any use or interest to a missionary. In the other room, there is a very interesting museum of objects of natural history from the different parts of the world where their missionaries labour; and what is more interesting, pagan spoils, gods from the South Seas, scalps and tomahawks, &c. I was struck with the many little evidences of extensive missionary operations—a large room being filled with boxes directed to the missionaries in different parts of the world, and a large press kept for holding communications from different missionaries.

"September 1st.—I am now fourteen miles from La Chute. One of the most striking features of Lower Canada is its Popery and Frenchism. One feels much more in a foreign country here than in the States. The houses are French, the same as we see in Normandy. There are many beautiful, large, handsome churches, gay crosses by the wayside, nunneries and colleges. The riches of the Church are immense. Popery is to me the mystery of iniquity. It awes me by its incomprehensible strength. If I could tomorrow believe that it is possible to believe on the authority merely of the Church, and that private judgment were not my duty, I would turn Papist. It is so sweet to the carnal heart to be freed from responsibility. But only think of that system—with its priests and fine churches and colleges everywhere! Why, two hundred years ago, the Jesuits had in Quebec, in the midst of forests, a college like the College of Glasgow. The savage Indian must have heard their matins, as he prowled on the trail of an enemy. While I conversed with my intelligent friend, Singras, in his room, I could not help expressing my wonder, and I am sure he was sincere as he offered up, with sparkling eyes, a prayer for my conversion, and asked me to allow him to pray for me. If I am wrong, O Protestant! pardon my heretic heart, which must believe that many a sincere and spiritual soul knows and loves God, even when the follies and infirmities of old Adam make him sing hymns to the Virgin or adore the sacrifice of the mass. But I did not say this to Singras, but prayed God to bless him and make him a Protestant.

"But I must resume my travels. There are beautiful fields between Eustache and La Chute. It was at Eustache the rebels made their last stand. They fortified the church. It was burnt by our troops, and one or two hundred burnt or shot. A Yorkshireman's account of the battle to me was this:—'The lads tried to cross the ice, intending to attack the volunteers. They didn't ken the right uns were oop oonder t' tree. Weel, as thea rebels gied across, the right sodgers fired a ball. Gad! it scored the ice as it hopped along, and over that score none o' t' rebels wad gang for life, but ran back tae d' choorch, where they were boomed—hang 'em!'

"Perth, Sabbath Evening.—I have had the hardest week's work I ever had. I have gone about ninety miles sailing, and a hundred and twenty-seven driving, often in lumber waggons without springs, over the worst, possible roads—have held fourteen services, and now, after having preached three long sermons to-day, I am, thank God! well and happy.

"I have seen much, and enjoyed myself. I have had peeps into real Canadian life; I have seen the true Indians in their encampment; I have sailed far up (one hundred and fifty miles above Montreal) the noble Ottawa, and seen the lumber-men with their canoes and the North-westers on their way into the interior, some to cut timber, and some to hunt beaver for the Hudson Bay Company; I have been shaken to atoms over 'corduroy' roads, and seen life in the backwoods; and I have been privileged to preach to immortal souls, and to defend my poor and calumniated Church against many aspersions.

"Perth, Monday Evening.—A journey of twenty-four miles is ended, and I have spoken two hours and a half. This angry spirit of Churchism which has disturbed every fireside in Scotland, thunders at the door of every shanty in the backwoods. I went to Lanark to-day to front it. The roads were fearful; my hands are sore holding on by the waggon; but such a delicious atmosphere; not a cloud in the sky, and so fresh and bracing. The delightful September weather is come; the air is exhilarating almost to excitement. Then, in going through the forest, there is always something to break what would at first appear to be intolerable monotony. There are tall, majestic trunks of trees, which draw your eye upwards till it rests on their tufted heads, far up in the sky; or the sun is playing beautifully among the green leaves, or some strange fire suddenly appears; or you catch glimpses of beautiful woodpeckers, with gay plumage, running up the tree, and hear the tap-tap-tap, like a little hammer; or you see a lovely pet of a squirrel, with bushy tail and bright eyes, running a race with you along the fence, stopping and gazing at you, then running with all his might to pass yon, then frisking with its tail and playing all kinds of antics; or you halt and listen to the intense silence, and perhaps hear an axe chop-chop-chop,— the great pioneer of civilization; and then you suddenly come to a clearance, with fine fields, and cattle with tinkling bells, and happy children, and pigs, and, perhaps, a small school, and maybe a church, and almost certainly meet a Scotchman or a Highlander, who says, 'Gosh bless me, am bheil shibse mac Mr. Tormoid.' If you see a miserable shanty and lots of pigs, expect to hear, ' Erin go bragh.' "Markham, twenty miles from Toronto.

20th September, Saturday Night.— I preach to-morrow in Toronto. What a variety of opinions are here congregated! Churchmen and dissenters of all kinds, as at home. I always preach the gospel, insisting in every place that to believe this and live is all in all, that the whole value of Churches consists in their bringing the living seed, the word, in contact with the ground, the heart; that the Church itself is nothing but as a means towards effecting the end of making us know, love, and obey God. I try to bring men into the Church of Christ, and make the question of the Church of Scotland a secondary matter. In explaining the Church question (which, along with the sermon, occupies perhaps three or four hours) I avoid all personalities, all attacks, and give full credit to my opponents; and I think I have not said a word which I would not say if these opponents were my best friends, and were sitting beside me. Indeed I know that a Free Church preacher was (unknown to me) present at one of my longest addresses, and that he said he could not find fault with one expression. I am thankful for this. You know how I hate Churchism, and that is one reason why I think this Free movement is so dangerous. But one of the saddest feelings is that experienced at parting. I have generally ended my address by such a sentiment as this: 'Yet all this is not religion; it is only about religion. My sermon was on the real work. The true battle is between Christ and the world—between believers and unbelievers; that was the battle which I have been fighting while preaching. But this painful and profitless combat is between Christian brethren. The Church controversy is a question on non-essentials, on 'meat and drink.' But 'the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.' I have seen many on their dying beds. I never heard any rejoice that they belonged to this or that Church; but if they were glad, it was because they were in Christ. It is almost certain that, when you and I meet next, it will be in the presence of Christ Jesus. If we are glad then, it will not be because we have been in an Established or Free Church, but because we are in the Church gathered out of every nation. And if on that day I can look back with joy to this day's work, it will not be because of what I have said upon the Church of Scotland, but of what I have said about Christ Jesus.' Yes; these partings are sad and solemn! But the satisfaction is great to have told the honest truth in everything. We part always with good-will, and with many kind wishes and prayers.

"The little Manse is always affecting to me. It is generally a small wooden house; no carpets—poor, poor. O honest Poverty! let me never contemplate thee but with a tearful eye of sympathy and love. Who would laugh at poor S------with his little school, broken up by the Free Church, and his wife and bairns looking poor and sad? Who would smile but in love at M------, with his old housekeeper, Kirsty, and his half bottle of port, light), but it had been six months drawn and perhaps had been spoiled?'  who would despise poor ------'s 'study,' albeit there was in it but few an old chair, a rickety table? Yet he himself was there, with a large head and heart, and fit to minister to any Church on earth. Who would laugh, though he had only a tin teapot and no ewer to the basin? Honest souls! your reward is little in this world; and most blameable will we at home be if we do not assist you, the pioneers of civilisation in the forest!

"I shot the Long Sault rapid. A noble sight. The St. Lawrence, the king of streams, becomes compressed between rocky islands and a rocky shore. The result is a wavy, foaming current—roaring like a big burn after a spate. Away goes the large steamer, four men at the wheel forward, and four men at the tiller astern; clown she whirls, the spray flying over her bows, and she going seventeen miles an hour. She cannot stem it, but she shoots it nobly. It is a fine sight to see the majestic stream, crossed and angry and plunging and foaming like a pettish brook. The brook can be opposed; but what power will stem the fury of the St. Lawrence?

"Saturday, 16th.—This clay's sail was 'beautiful exceedingly.' It was through the Lake of the Thousand Isles. I had, from reading 'Honison's Sketches of North America,' when a boy, a vision of beauty and glory and undefined grandeur connected with this same lake. Like most things which appear fair to the fancy, the reality did not come up to the dream, but still it was very beautiful.

"From Kingston we proceeded by steam to Toronto, up the bay of Quinte to Belleville. This bay is one of the fair scenes in Canada. The moon rose in glory and majesty, and I was loth to quit the deck for the confined crib in the small cabin. While walking on the upper deck, I heard a number of voices joining in a Gaelic chorus. I went down and there found a dozen Highlanders. After they were finished, the following conversation took place, I speaking in high English.

" ' Pray what language is that?'
" ' Gaelic, sir.'
" ' Where is that spoken?'
" ' In the Highlands of Scotland.'
" ' Is it a language?'
" ' It's the only true langidge. English is no langidge at all, at all.'
" ' It must be banished; it is savage.'
" ' It's no you, or any other, will banish it.'
" ' Pray let me hear you speak a sentence of it. Address a question to me.'
" ' Co as a thanaig thu?' (Where do you come from?)
" ' Thanaig mis as an Eilean Sgianach!' (I come from the Isle of Skye.)
" ' O, fheudail! 'Se Gael tha am.' (Oh goodness! He is a Highlander!)

"These men had never been in Scotland. They were all Glengarry men, and were of course rejoiced to meet me.

"The number of Highlanders one meets, and of those, too, who are from the old homes of Morven and Mull, is quite curious. At Toronto there came to see us, first, three men from Mull who had been forty years in Canada, and could speak hardly a word of English; but each was linked some way to my grandfather's house, and they laughed and cried, time about, telling stories about the 'water-foot' of Aros. Then came an old servant from Campbeltown—'Ochanee! ochanee!'—remembering, I believe, all the shirts I had when a boy. Then a man from Morven entered. 'Do I know your rather? Tormoid Og! It's me that knows him.' My uncle found a woman, near Lake Simcoe, who was longing to see him. When he enter-ed she burst into tears. She had on a Highland plaid and a silver brooch. He thought he knew the brooch. It was Jenny M'Lean's, the old hen-wife at Fiunarv, given her by my uncle Donald before he died; and this woman was Jenny's sister! It is like a resurrection to meet people in this way. And these form the strength of the country. As long as the old stock remains, all is sound and well. Old associations, the old church, the old school, the simple manners, the warm attachments of a time almost vanished from Scotland, survive here. May they not be blasted by the fierce fire of Churchism, which is annihilating the social habits of Scotland, and convert her peasantry into bigots, and her loyal people into fanatic democrats!

"At ----------I met old Dr. M----------. He had a frightful stammer!' He asked how they spent the Sabbath, having no Minister? He said, 'I t-tried to col-col-lect the pe-pe-people to hear a ssss-sermon; but, after reading one, s-somehow or other they did not c-come to hear me again! It was t-too b-bad!' Poor fellow! fancy him reading a sermon!  [He used to tell another story of this good old gentleman. They were driving together through the forest on a frightfully hot day, and the Doctor in a tremendous heat, from the conjoined labour of whipping his horse and stammering, began to implore Norman Macleod to send them a minister. "We d-d-don't expect a v-v-very c-c-clever man, but would be quite pleased to have one who could g-g-give us a p-p-plain every-day s-s-s-ermon' like what you g-gave us yourself to-day!']

"In crossing the Lake, I saw on the horizon a light feathery cloud of a peculiar shape. It was the spray of the Falls of Niagara!

"This is my last letter from America. God be praised for all His mercies to an unworthy sinner. I shall give you my next journal viva voice."

On their return from America, the deputation received a hearty welcome from the Church, and the thanks of the Assembly were accorded to them for the manner in which they had fulfilled their duty. Crowded meetings were held in Edinburgh and Glasgow, to receive their account of the Colonies. The effects of their visit were long felt in Canada, and many pleasing tokens occurred in after years of the deep and lasting influences produced by the presence and teaching of the deputies.


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