« ZurückWeiter »
“ October 27, 1798. “ Mr. Thomas Robson is appointed to the command of the Duff. We expect her to sail in a month. The directors have been looking out for a minister to superintend the establishment of the missionaries, and to return with the Duff. Mr. Bogue has declined, as he has not yet given up thoughts of the Bengal business. Suppose I should apply to the Presbytery for leave to go? I have been speaking of it to Mrs. Waugh, but she seems to be sadly scrimp of both faith and zeal for the trip round the world.”
“ July 17, 1799. « On Monday we had letters from Dr. Vanderkemp, and the other missionaries at the Cape, dated the 4th and the 28th April. They parted with the Duff near the Madeira islands, on the 4th January,--all well. The Dr. and the three others preached to, and exhorted, the convicts on their passage. At first, these poor outcasts of society discovered such a savageness of disposition that not an officer on board durst go down amongst them. They actually mutinied, and it was by strong exertions only that subordination was restored. By the preaching of the Gospel, however, to them, and the affectionate interference of Dr. Vanderkemp, in his medical capacity, and by the ravages of a putrid fever, which carried off about thirty of them, the Lord softened their hearts; so that, before they reached the Cape, there were three nights of the week set apart by themselves for prayer, reading the word of God, and singing of psalms. One of them, Brown, joined publicly with the missionaries in leading the devotions of the congregation. .
“ General Dundas, governor of the Cape, gave every assistance in his power to our friends. A house was provided for them, on their arrival, by information previously sent from Holland. The Dr. had been north, at Bavian's Kloof, the Moravian settlement, to concert measures with those simple-hearted people for introducing the Gospel
into Caffraria. There is a remarkable revival of religion at the Cape at present; so that our friends found themselves in the bosom of Christian hospitality, of the primitive sort.”
“ October 22, 1799. “ I have been a week at Spithead, along with Dr. Haweis, waiting on some great folks, in behalf of our missionaries at the Cape and Port Jackson.
“ The missionaries have almost all arrived.* Some have offered to go again on the same errand, nothing intimidated by what hath happened. Others have declined. Mr. Robson is at Lisbon, and will return, we hope, in a week or two. There is no mission to any particular place yet fixed on, except to the Cape, to which six or eight will soon be sent.”
“ September 23, 1802. “I am ordered by the Missionary Society to set off for Paris on Monday. The object is to make inquiry into the state of religion there; to ascertain if ministers from this country, not taking salaries from government, will be permitted to exercise their ministry in France; and to advise, on the spot, the likeliest method of circulating the Bible in the country.”
The compiler of these papers having expressed a request that he would write to him a short account of this mission, was kindly favoured with the following journal:
“ Salisbury Place, Nov. 24, 1802. “On my return home, I found so much to do, and all requiring immediate attention, that, anxious as I have been to gratify your desire, it was not till this morning that I
* After the unfortunate capture of the ship Duff by a French privateer, off the coast of Brazil.
have been able to begin. Now that I have sat down, all I shall be able to send you is only an outline. The report in the Magazine contains a correct statement of every thing that concerns our great object.* Any thing I can add will be of a miscellaneous nature. If you have a map of Normandy and Picardy you may follow us every post.”
“ 1802--Sept. 27. Messrs. Hardcastle, Wilks, and myself, went to Brighton, where, at night, Mr. Bogue met us. We had been furnished with passports from Lord Hawkesbury and Monsieur Otto, for which we paid, each of us, to the former, 21: 4s. 6d., to the latter nothing. Our government wisely judges, that if English men are resolved to throw away their money in France, they will not grudge to advance a little for permission to play the fool.
“ Sept. 28. About nine o'clock in the evening we went on board the packet, and about ten next morning saw the French coast, which exhibited the same bold chalky appearance as the Sussex coast which we had left. About four o'clock we landed at Dieppe; and, having shewn our passports, and suffered a description to be taken of our eyes, foreheads, noses, mouths, colour of our hair, &c. to be sent to the prefect of police at Paris, we housed ourselves in the Hôtel de Rouen. The houses resemble much those in the old town of Edinburgh for height, dirtiness, and nearness to each other; the streets narrow; no foot-pavement; kennel in the middle; constant conflict with jack-asses, waggons, carts, &c. The dress
* Evangelical Magazine for November 1802.
of the women very like that of the old wives in Scotland, except the beautiful Normandy cap, which rises up from the forehead like a grenadier's, is studded with imitations of jewels, and falls down on the shoulders in many folds of cambric. The shopkeepers have much the look of the baillies of a Scottish borough on a Sabbath day : the tie-wig powdered,—the large skirts to the vest and coat, - the gold-headed cane,-the cocked large military hat, -the pursy proud gait, as they consequentially strut through the market,
-all brought powerfully the noblesse of our royal boroughs to my mind. In every hat is the cockade of citizenship, in shape of a parti-coloured rose, of the size of a half-crown piece, placed in a conspicuous part of the hat. The floors of every room, up to the garret, are covered with a thin kind of brick or tile, sometimes glazed; which, though it keeps the chambers cool in summer, would give them much the look of a back kitchen, were not the eye relieved by the stately height and extent of the rooms, the rich paper, and the princely beds, of which there are generally two in each chamber.
“ Living at Dieppe is very cheap, and indeed every where in that part of France through which we passed. You agree for a dinner at so much a head, and leave the articles entirely to the landlord. Ours cost us on our journey, constantly, trois livres (half-a-crown), for which we had a profusion of fish, fowl, game, &c.
“Sept. 29. Visited one of the churches : found two men winnowing wheat before the floor of the
pulpit, which was still remaining; but in place of the Holy Virgin at its back, as formerly, the rude ruffians of reformation (as Dr. Johnson styles your Scottish whigs of the sixteenth century) have erected a female figure of the Republic, with a spear in her hand, surmounted with the cap of liberty.
“ Visited, in the evening, Monsieur d'Armand, the Protestant minister of Dieppe. (The French never call their ministers Reverend, but simply Monsieur le Vicaire, l'Evêque, &c.) Monsieur d'Armand we found in a small closet, with a few old books, eating his supper-a piece of bread and beef — which he continued to munch all the way with us to the hotel;-a pious, lively little Frenchman, who, with his black velvet cap, great coat (without a vest), leathern girdle, simple manners, cheerful and devout frame, interested us much. He had studied under Monsieur Mercier, at Geneva; was settled at Bordeaux; was imprisoned in the time of the tyrant, as they call Robespierre (who indeed appears to have been a most execrable, bloody monster); and, on obtaining liberty, resumed his functions, and is now comfortably settled among a small, but peaceable, affectionate, and liberal people. The magistrates offered him a parish church, but he declined to accept of it, because, he said, that on exchange of conditions, he should feel unhappy at seeing his meeting-house so converted. His wife, a genteel woman, came for him at eleven o'clock, to the hotel, with a lantern, sat down, and with the easy dégagée manner of a well-bred French