« ForrigeFortsæt »
of these hitherto unmitigated savages is really surprising. ‘St. Barnabas College' is about three miles from Kingston. The native boys' seldom come among us, but the bishop, Mr. Codrington (his lordship's chaplain), and others of the clerical party, are frequently in our midst, and generally on Sunday afternoon take a portion of the service in our church, but not at all interfering with my arrangements.
course, we are not slow to proffer them our hospitality, nor they backward in accepting it, and in return invitations to St. Barnabas are frequently and as promptly acceded to. I am most desirous this kindly feeling should continue, and will do all I can to promote it. An ordination took place on St. Thomas's Day of one priest and two deacons—all English—belonging to the bishop's establishment; it was solemnized in our church, and the first ever witnessed by our people. I read prayers, Mr. Codrington preached, and we then took our appointed stations on each side of the bishop, within the communion-rails. Afterwards, assisted by the newly ordained, the holy communion was administered to one hundred and twenty persons, several of whom were Melanesians of either sex.
“A long drought has rendered food somewhat more · scarce than usual, but we have recently had a gracious rain, and are able now to plant as much as is necessary. Another difficulty of the past year is nearly, if not quite, surmounted. The governor offered all the sheep and cattle termed public or Government property to the community at a stated price per head, which was agreed to, and with what little money they had on hand, the wool of last shearing, and the oil taken (one hundred and forty barrels), the obligation is met, or nearly so; and now all the stock on the island, except what Bishop Patteson may introduce, is communal property, and will, I think, be of great benefit. Sir John Young's reason for thus disposing of the sheep and cattle was that he might form a permanent revenue, which is to be applied to such purposes as shall from time to time be considered beneficial to the
community. In this matter His Excellency has shown an earnest desire for the general welfare.
“I should be most grateful for a few school-maps for the instruction of the elder classes; in short, for any thing available for school purposes. May I ask you, my respected friend, to interest yourself in this, to us a matter of primary importance. It is rarely I get a letter from England; my respected friends of 1852 have nearly all passed away. Admiral Moresby, Sir Thomas Acland, Mr. Mills, and yourself, are all that remain of that goodly number.
“I have yet three unmarried children, and a widowed daughter with one child dwelling with me, and twentyfive grandchildren frequently, almost daily, visiting me, so that there is little probability of my becoming lonesome; besides, my dear old rib is as much enamored of a nursery now, as when our own little ones were tumbling about beneath the banyan-trees at Pitcairn. The worthy woman, with her daughters, send their Christian regards to Mrs. Glennie, and your household generally. That the Father of mercies, and God of all grace, may have you in His holy keeping, is the earnest prayer of yours very sincerely,
GEORGE H. NOBBS. "REV. J. David GLENNIE, M.A."
In the following extract from a letter to Admiral Moresby, John Adams, an old and respected member of the Pitcairn community, bears testimony to the zeal of Mr. Nobbs in fulfilling his ministerial duties. The writer seems like most of the islanders, to have felt an undue alarm at the establishment of the Melanesian college.
The people happily found in Bishop Patteson the high principles of a Christian and a gentleman, and he has most strictly adhered to the condition that the Pitcairn colony should in no way be interfered with by the clergy of the missionary establishment or by the pupils. At the same time, whenever they applied for assistance or advice, the
bishop has promptly afforded both with the utmost kindness and sympathy.
John Adams to ADMIRAL SIR FAIRFAX MORESBY, K.C.B.
“Norfolk Island, September 28th, 1868. “ The fever has quite left us, not without laying many of our friends and relatives in the grave. Many of us have, under God, to thank that dear good old soul Mr. Nobbs for the preservation of many of our lives. Morning, night, and noon, sick and faint himself from watchings and anxieties, he is to be seen now here, now there, now commending a departing spirit into the hands of a merciful God, and then again administering medicines to some, cheering and comforting others by lively conversation. In fact, like an angel of light, all through the horrors of that terrible and fearful sickness, he diffused light and comfort wherever he went. The true friend and the true shepherd of the flock, he cared not for himself, but went wherever and whenever duty called him."
It may be added that the Pitcairn people found in time that their retirement was not so much invaded as they had apprehended. They became interested in the scheme, and as the college was founded on St. Barnabas Day, they named it “The College of St. Barnabas,” and the bishop adopted the title.
The following letter records the grateful feelings of the Pitcairn community for the exertions of their kind friend, Sir Fairfax Moresby, on their behalf regarding the college and the appropriation of land.
“Norfolk Island, October 20th, 1868. "DEAR ADMIRAL MORESBY,-Your kind letter to Mr. Nobbs, with extracts of letters from Messrs. Glennie and White to yourself, under date of May 15th, were publicly read a few days after receipt, and it only serves to add, in our estimation, one more to the already innumerable proofs of your disinterested kindness to our community.
“We can not allow you to quit the 'scene of conflict' where you have battled so long and so nobly for our welfare, without tendering you our united thanks for favors so generously and so unostentatiously bestowed upon us by yourself and by others through you, commencing from the first day of our acquaintance up to the present time.
“Now that all is over, will you kindly tender to those who have taken an interest in our cause our sincerest thanks, and assure them that we deeply appreciate their kind intentions. Well do we know that our cause was just, but perhaps we were in a measure to blame. As you have said, the ‘die is cast'—now let the past be buried in oblivion.
“Again, dear, dear admiral, accept our heartiest thanks for all you have done for us, for, we assure you, long will we cherish in our hearts the remembrance of
kindness to us and ours.
“That Heaven may shower its choicest blessings upon you and yours will ever be the prayer of your grateful friends,
John BUFFETT, Chief Magistrate,
ARTHUR QUINTAL,* aged 76 years," and last surviving children of the mutineers of the Bounty. In the name and on the behalf of the Pitcairn community now residing on Norfolk Island.”
The next extract of a letter from the Rev. G. Nobbs is of the same date as the above:
“We are slowly returning to our usual duties. The whaling-season is drawing to a close-one hundred and fifty barrels have only yet been taken. The whales are every year becoming more difficult to approach, and more dangerous. We have had one boat smashed within fifteen seconds of darting the harpoon. The whale went off with one hundred and fifty fathoms of line; the crew took to the oars and pieces of the wreck. Signals were made from the hills to another boat some three miles off, and in less than half an hour they were providentially saved from a watery grave, or the more ravenous sharks. The wreck was not worth picking up, and the whale never seen again.
* “The oldest man on the island, with something of the spirit of the olü Covenanters."--Note by Admiral Moresby.
“ October 16th.-To-day I enter my seventieth year, and 'tis only sixteen years to-day since I arrived in England with dispatches from the Commander-in-chief in the Pacific Ocean. What changes both in the great world and our microcosm have taken place since the latter period! but amid all the chances and changes of this transitory world Jehovah is unchangeable, and that Triune God is our God, He will be our guide even unto death.
“Since the commencement of this letter we have been more successful in whaling; we have now three hundred and fifty barrels of oil, and probably might get a hundred barrels more,
but all our casks and other available articles are full, and we can not, like the Shunamite of old, borrow from our neighbors, but I trust we are imbued with similar feelings of gratitude.
“We have still a good deal of sickness amongst us of a febrile type, but not alarming; whether ever I shall get clear of medical responsibilities until I get into my coffin, I have much doubt.
“I am, at this time, anxiously awaiting either the advent of Lord Belmore, or some ship of war from Sydney, to bring me my annual supply of medicine, for I am beginning to run short.
October 22d.—The vessel we are expecting from Auckland has not yet arrived; but an opportunity offers for forwarding this, and John Adams's letter in the name of the community, signed by the chief magistrate and myself in the name and by the request of all hands. “And now, once more, God be with you, honored friend. “Gratefully yours,
G. H. NOBBS."