"I have the honour to remain, with warmest gratitude,
"Your Excellency's humble and obedient Servant,
_"To His Excellency, James Douglas, Esq., C. B,
"Governor of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia."_
While the work at Metlakahtla was thus prospering materially, and increasing in general moral influence, under the blessing of Him without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, higher spiritual blessings were not withheld. Fresh classes of candidates for baptism had been formed during the last winter at Fort Simpson, and were continued diligently at the new settlement; and in April, 1862, the Bishop of Columbia, at Mr. Duncan's request, took the journey to Metlakahtla to baptize as many as might be found ready. But before this, one of the most interesting converts, a miracle of grace indeed, had been baptized, in the urgency of his special case, by Mr. Duncan himself. This was Quthray, a cannibal chief, one of the two men whose horrible orgies had met the eye of the newly-arrived missionary, at Fort Simpson, four years and a half before, and who has also been already mentioned as the one man who sullenly refused to kneel at Mr. Duncan's second service. He had, however, become one of the most regular and earnest attendants at the services and classes, and gave unmistakable evidence that Divine grace had indeed changed his heart. He joined the Metlakahtla party, but had not been there long before he fell ill. In October he passed away, a ransomed soul, to be a jewel in His crown who came to seek and to save the lost:—
"Saturday, 18th October, 1862.—Just as I was rising this morning I received intelligence that poor Quthray, the young cannibal chief, was dying. I have frequently visited him during his illness, and was with him for a long time a few nights ago. As he has long and earnestly desired baptism, and expressed in such clear terms his repentance for his sins, and his faith in the Saviour of sinners, I told him that I would myself baptize him before he died, unless a minister from Victoria arrived in time to do it. He always appeared most thankful for my visits, and, with the greatest force he could command, thanked me for my promise. Accordingly this morning I proceeded to the solemn work of admitting a brand plucked from the burning into the visible Church of Christ by baptism. Though I was not sent here to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, yet I had no fear but that I was doing what was pleasing to God in administering that sacred rite to the poor dying man, as an officially appointed person was not within several hundred miles of him. I found the sufferer apparently on the very verge of eternity, but quite sensible, supported by his wife on one side, and another woman on the other, in a sitting posture on his lowly couch spread upon the ground. I addressed him at once, reminding him of the promise I had made to him, and why I also spoke some words of advice to him, to which he paid most earnest attention, though his cough would scarcely permit him to have a moment's rest. A person near expressed a fear that he did not understand what I said, being so weak and near death, but he quickly, and with great emphasis, exclaimed, 'I hear, I understand' While I was praying his expression of countenance was most lovely. With his face turned upward, he seemed to be deeply engaged in prayer. I baptized him, and gave him the name of Philip Atkinson. I earnestly besought the Lord to ratify in heaven what He had permitted me to do in His name, and to receive the soul of the poor dying penitent before Him. He had the same resignation and peace which he has evinced throughout his sickness, weeping for his sins, depending all upon the Saviour, confident of pardon, and rejoicing in hope.
"This is the man of whom I have had to write more than once to the Society. Oh the dreadful and revolting things I have witnessed him do! He was one of the two principal actors in the first horrid scene I saw at Fort Simpson about four and a half years ago, an account of which I sent home, namely, that of a poor slave woman being murdered in cold blood, thrown on the beach, and then torn to pieces and eaten by two naked savages, who were supported by a crew of singers and the noise of drums. This man was one of those naked cannibals. Glorious change! See him clothed and in his right mind, weeping—weeping sore for his sins— expressing to all around his firm belief in the Saviour, and dying in peace. Bless the Lord for all His goodness."
It was on April 21st, 1863, that the Bishop baptized at Metlakahtla fifty-nine adults and some children. On the 19th, Sunday, he landed from the "Devastation;" and for two days he was incessantly occupied in examining the candidates. His account is deeply interesting:—
"We were met by the whole village, who stood on the bank, in a long line—as fine a set of men and as well-dressed as could anywhere be seen where men live by their daily toil—certainly no country village in England would turn out so well-clad an assemblage.
"At three the bell was rung, and almost instantly the whole population were wending their way to church. There were hymns and prayers in Tsimshean. They repeated the answers to a catechism in Tsimshean. I addressed them, and offered prayers in English, which were interpreted by Mr. Duncan. There was much earnest response. The service lasted one hour and three quarters. There was an evidence of devotion. Mr. Duncan plays the accordion.
"Monday, April 20th.—Got to the Mission-house at eight to breakfast. Afterwards engaged the whole day seeing catechumens till one o'clock next morning. One after another the poor Indians pressed on to be examined. They had been under training for periods varying from eight months to three years. They had long been looking for a minister to admit them to baptism. It was a strange yet intensely interesting sight in that log cabin, by the dim glimmer of a small lamp, to see just the countenance of the Indian, sometimes with uplifted eyes, as he spoke of the blessedness of prayer—at other times, with downcast melancholy, as he smote upon his breast in the recital of his penitence. The tawny face, the high cheek-bone, the glossy jet-black flowing hair, the dark, glassy eye, the manly brow, were a picture worthy the pencil of the artist. The night was cold—I had occasionally to rise and walk about for warmth—yet there were more. The Indian usually retires as he rises, with the sun, but now he would turn night into day if he might only be allowed to 'have the sign,' and be fixed in the good ways of God.
"Tuesday, April 21st.—Immediately after breakfast, having had prayer, the work again began. Catechumens came in, and, one by one, were sifted; some, to their grief, were deferred. One man came and begged he might be passed, for he might not live till the next visit of a clergyman. Another brought a friend, and said, if I would only admit his wife to baptism, they would promise for her she should persevere and live to God. Another, a fine child of fourteen, I had thought too young to answer for herself—one who had always shown remarkable love for instruction, and had stood by the school when the many were its foes. She came with tears of entreaty which were irresistible and beautiful, and lovely was the sensitive intelligence which beamed upon her devotional features when afterwards she received the waters of baptism. Till four o'clock was I thus engaged, an hour after the time appointed for the baptisms.
"The peculiar suitableness of the questions in the Baptismal Service to the case of converts from heathenism was very remarkably illustrated throughout the examination. Converts from heathenism can fully realize renunciation of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Amongst these Indians, pomp of display, the lying craft of malicious magic, as well as all sins of the flesh, are particularly glaring, and closely connected with heathenism. To them these things are part and parcel of heathenism. So are the truths of the Creed in strongest contrast to the dark and miserable fables of their forefathers; and heartily can they pledge themselves to keep the holy will of God all the days of their life, seeing in Him a loving and true Father, of whom now so lately, but so gladly, they have learnt to know.
"I first drew forth their views of the necessity of repentance, its details, and their own personal acquaintance with it. I then questioned them as to the Three Persons of the Trinity, and the special work of each, with allusion to the Judgment, and the state of the soul hereafter, inquiring into their private devotion, to learn their personal application of repentance and faith, I questioned their anxiety for baptism, and demanded proof of their resolution to keep the will of God for their guide, to speak for God, and to labour for God's way all their life long. I sought to find out the circumstances under which they first became seriously inclined, and to trace their steps of trial and grace. Admitting them to the promise of baptism, I exhorted them to earnest prayer and devotion, as a special preparation, until the time came.
"The examination concluded, the candidates, to the number of fifty-six, were assembled in the church, and ranged in a large circle, in the midst of which the ceremony was to take place.
"The impressiveness of the occasion was manifest in the devout and reverent manner of all present. There were no external aids, sometimes thought necessary for the savage mind, to produce or increase the solemnity of the scene. The building is a bare and unfinished octagon of logs and spars—a mere barn—sixty feet by sixty, capable of containing 700 persons. The roof was partly open at the top; and, though the weather was still cold, there was no fire, A simple table, covered with a white cloth, upon which stood three hand-basins of water, served for the font, and I officiated in a surplice. Thus there was nothing to impress the senses, no colour, or ornament, or church decoration, or music. The solemnity of the scene—was produced by the earnest sincerity and serious purpose with which these children of the Far West were prepared to offer themselves to God, and to renounce for eer the hateful sins and cruel deeds of their heathenism; and the solemn stillness was broken only by the breath of prayer. The responses were made with earnestness and decision. Not an individual was there whose lips did not utter in their own expressive tongue their hearty readiness to believe and to serve God."
The following are some of the Bishop's notes of the examination:—
"Legaic (principal chief), aged 40.—Answers:—We must put away all our evil ways. I want to take hold of God. I believe in God the Father, who made all things, and in Jesus Christ. I constantly cry for my sins when I remember them. I believe the good will sit near to God after death. Am anxious to walk in God's ways all my life. If I turn back it will be more bitter for me than before. I pray God to wipe out my sins; strengthen me to do right; pity me. My prayers are from my heart. I think sometimes God does not hear me, because I do not give up all my sins. My sins are too heavy. I think we have not strength of ourselves.
"Neeash-lakah-noosh (called 'the Lame Chief'; he is blind also of an eye; fine old man), aged 70—Answers:—When asked if he wished to become a Christian, said—For that object I came here with my people. I have put away all lying ways, which I have long followed. I have trusted in God. We want the Spirit of God. Jesus came to save us. He compensated for our sins. Our Father made us, and loved us because we are His work. He wishes to see us with Him because He loves as. When asked about the judgment, said, The blood of Jesus will free those who believe from condemnation. Remarks—Under regular instruction for a year, and before that for some time by his daughter. Is most consistent, trying to do simply what is right. The other day was benighted on Saturday, on his way to spend the Sunday at Metlakahtla, seven miles off. Would not come on, nor let his people gather herring spawn, close under their feet, he rested the Lord's Day, according to the commandment.
"Lappigh Kumlee, aged 30—Answers—I have given up the lucrative position of sorcerer. Been offered bribes to practise my art secretly. I have left all my mistaken ways. My eyes have been bored (enlightened). I cry every night when I remember my sins. The great Father Almighty sees everything. If I go up to the mountains He sees me. Jesus died for our sins upon the cross to carry our sins away. Remarks—Dates his change from seeing a convert reading a book, and he felt ashamed that he knew nothing, and he determined to learn, and soon he found his own system false. In one case, when his spirit said there would be recovery, death came; in another, when he foretold death, life remained.
"Thrak sha kawn (sorcerer), aged 50—Answers—I wish to give up all wicked ways. Have been a medicine-man, and know the lies of heathenism. I believe in the great Father who made us, in Jesus who died on the cross that God would pity us. I want the Spirit of God to touch my heart. We must all stand before God. God will measure our ways. No one to be his master but God. I will not keep my eyes on the ground any more but will look up to heaven all my life. Remarks —He has had to bear much scorn, and to go through much struggle.
"Wahthl (wife of Legaic), aged 40—Answers—I wish to put away evil and have a clean heart. Feel the pain of the remembrance of sin so bad I would sometimes like to die. I want to seek God's face, but feel little hope, still I determine to persevere, though miserable. Loss of relatives, and finding no peace and rest, and feeling in darkness led me to look to God. I know that God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins. Remarks—About nine months under regular instruction. She is evidently anxious for her soul, knows the truth, but her sins are such a burden that she has not found peace. She has been anxious her husband should go forward in good.
"Loosl (widow of the cannibal chief who died penitent), aged 25— Answers—I know how blind I have been. Was first turned to God by the news of the Saviour. Was struck that He came down amongst us. God is a spirit full of love. Christ came to carry away our sins. We must pray for the Spirit to help us. I confess my sins to God and cry for pity. I pray for my friends. After death the judgment. We must stand before God. Jesus will answer for those who trust in Him. Remarks.—Upheld her husband in his wickedness. Was turned by his turning at his death.
"Nishah-kigh (chieftainess of the Nishkahs), aged 45—Answers:—I must leave all evil ways. I feel myself a sinner in God's sight. I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. God sends down His Spirit to make us good. Jesus is in heaven, and is writing our names in God's book. I feel God's Word is truth. Have been for some time accustomed regularly to pray. Remarks.—Two years ago she was found giving Christian instruction to a sick and dying person. Her husband tells me she passed much time in devotion. When she first heard the Word of God her sorrow was great, and her penitence more than she could bear. Some five years she has been earnestly seeking God.
"Nayahk (wife of Lappligheumlee, a sorcerer), aged 25.—Answers: —Answers well and clearly upon the separate work of each Person of the Trinity. Prays for pardon—for the Holy Spirit. Remarks.—Suffered much from the mockery of her husband. At her earnest demand he gave up devilry. Been consistent in the midst of opposition; adhered to the Mission when many were against. Has been a blessing to her family, all of whom have renounced heathenism. Her husband, the sorcerer, laments his past life, and would be the first to put his foot upon the evil system.
"Ad-dah-kippi (wife of a Christian Indian), aged 25.—Answers:—I must put away sin. I know I have been making God angry, but must put away all my old ways, lies, and the evil of my fathers. God gave us commandments. God would not hear us till we put away our sins, Jesus would make peace for us and add His Spirit. Am resolved to endeavour to live to God all my life. Was much moved last fishing at my sinfulness, and then repented strongly, and resolved to walk with God. I pray morning, noon, and night for pardon and God's Spirit. Remarks. —Had opposed her husband, who is a Christian."
One of those baptized, it will be seen, was the famous head-chief himself, Legaic, the same who had threatened Mr. Duncan's life four years before. He had been a ferocious savage, and had committed every kind of crime. After he first began to attend the school, he twice fell back; but the Spirit of God was at work in his heart, and when the removal to Metlakahtla took place, he deliberately gave up his position as head-chief of the Tsimshean tribes in order to join the colony. Constant inducements were held out to him to return; and on one occasion he actually gave way. He gathered the Indians together, on the Metlakahtla beach, told them he could hold out no longer, and was going back to his old life—that he could not help it, for he was being pulied away—that he knew it was wrong, and perhaps he should perish for ever, but still he must go. In tears he shook the hand of each in turn, and then stepping alone into his canoe, paddled rapidly away from his weeping friends. He went a few miles along the coast, and then, as darkness came on, put the canoe ashore. The night was one of such misery, he afterwards said, as no words could describe. "A hundred deaths would not equal the sufferings of that night." On his knees he wept and prayed for pardon, and for strength to return; and next day he again appeared at Metlakahtla, to the joy of all.
Legaic, who before was "a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious," was baptized by the name of Paul. In him indeed did "Jesus Christ show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who shall hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting."
The Rev. R. J. Dundas, who visited Metlakahtla six months later, and baptized thirty-nine more adults and thirteen children, thus wrote of Paul Legaic and his daughter Sarah:—
"I paid a visit to the wife of the chief Paul Legaic. He it was who nearly took Mr. Duncan's life at the head of the medicine-band attacking the school. They were both baptized by the Bishop last April. Legaic was the wealthiest chief of the Tsimsheans at Fort Simpson. He has lost everything—has had to give up everything by his conversion to Christianity. It was with many of them literally a 'forsaking of all things to follow Christ.'—His house is the nicest and best situated in the village. A very little labour and expense in way of internal fittings would make it quite comfortable. He and his wife have one child only, a young girl of fourteen. She was a modest-looking, pleasing child—very intelligent—one of the first class in the school. She did not look like one who had ever been 'possessed with a devil;' and yet this is the child whom, three years ago, her teacher saw naked in the midst of a howling band, tearing and devouring the bleeding dog. How changed! She who 'had the unclean spirit' sits now at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in her right mind."
On the occasion of a visit paid soon after this by Mr. Duncan to Fort Simpson, Legaic, again like his great namesake, boldly preached the faith which once he destroyed. Mr. Duncan wrote:—
"Feb. 6, 1864.—I have just returned from a visit to Fort Simpson. I went to proclaim the Gospel once more to the poor unfeeling heathen there. I laid the Gospel again distinctly before them, and they seemed much affected. The most pleasing circumstance of all, and which I was not prepared to expect, was, that Paul Legaic and Clah (the one in times past a formidable enemy and opposer, and the other one among the first to hear and greet the Gospel) sat by me, one on either side. After I had finished my address on each occasion they got up and spoke, and spoke well.
"Legaic completely shamed and confounded an old man, who, in replying to my address, had said that I had come too late to do him and other old people good; that, had I come when the first white traders came, the Tsimsheans had long since been good; but they had been allowed to grow up in sin; they had seen nothing among the first whites who came amongst them to unsettle them in their old habits, but these had rather added to them fresh sins, and now their sins were deep laid, they (he and the other old people) could not change. Legaic interrupted him, and said, 'I am a chief, a Tsimshean chief. You know I have been bad, very bad, as bad as any one here. I have grown up and grown old in sin, but God has changed my heart, and He can change yours. Think not to excuse yourselves in your sins by saying you are too old and too bad to mend. Nothing is impossible with God. Come to God; try His way; He can save you.' He then exhorted all to taste God's way, to give their hearts to Him, and to leave all their sins; and then endeavoured to show them what they had to expect if they did so—not temporal good, not health, long life, or ease or wealth, but God's favour here and happiness with God after death."
Legaic had been well known to the traders and others on the coast, and the change in him caused the greatest astonishment among them. "Mr. Duncan's Grand Vizier" they called him. One visitor wrote in the Victoria paper:—
"Take a walk near the church, and you may see the mighty chief of Fort Simpson (Legaic) standing under the porch of his well-built house, ornamented with fancy casing around where the gutters should be, but are not, and also around the windows. Legaic! why, I remember him myself, some ten years ago, the terrifying murderer of women as well as men, now lamb-led by the temperate hand of Christianity—a Church-going example—an able ally of the Temperance Society, though not having signed the pledge."
For seven years this once dreaded savage led a quiet and consistent Christian life at Metlakahtla as a carpenter. In 1869, he was taken ill at Fort Simpson, on his way home, after a journey to Nass River. He at once sent this short note to Mr. Duncan:—
"Dear Sir,—I want to see you. I always remember you in my mind. I shall be very sorry if I shall not see you before I go away, because you showed me the ladder that reaches to heaven, and I am on that ladder now. I have nothing to trouble me, I only want to see you."
But Mr. Duncan, to his great sorrow, was quite unable to get away from his incessant duties at Metlakahtla. A second and third summons followed in quick succession, and presently came the news of his death, accompanied by a few unfinished lines:—
"My dear Sir,—This is my last letter, to say I am very happy. I am going to rest from trouble, trial, and temptation. I do not feel afraid to meet my God. In my painful body I always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Well may we say, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
Reverting to the history of the Mission, we find that in 1866 the Bishop of Columbia paid a second visit to Metlakahtla, and after careful examination, baptized sixty-five adult converts on Whit Sunday in that year. "I truly believe," he wrote, "that most of these are sincere and intelligent believers in Christ, as worthy converts from heathenism as have ever been known in the history of the Church." And in the autumn of the following year Mr. Cridge, then Dean of Victoria, who had from the first manifested the deepest interest in the Mission, stayed for some weeks at the settlement, and on September 8th baptized ninety-six adult Indians and eighteen children.
Dean Cridge was struck by the advanced age of the candidates presented to him. Twenty-six were over fifty; and one man, who was sixty-five, said, "I feel like an infant, not able to say much; but I know that my heart is turned to God, and that He has given His Son to wash away my sins in His blood."
"When he entered the room to be examined, he knelt down and offered a silent prayer. While speaking of his sins he showed emotion, and covered his face. Amongst other answers, these are some of his words: 'I repent very much of my past sins before Jesus.' I asked why Christians were not afraid to die; he said, 'Faith in God will make us not afraid to die,' I baptized him Jeremiah; he is about forty years of age. His wife was not less satisfactory in the testimony she gave of a true conversion to God, and was added by baptism at the same time with her husband to the fold of Christ."
What can we say to such tokens of true knowledge and faith as these, but that the words of our Lord to Peter are still applicable to many even of the most degraded heathen in our own day?—"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is it Heaven!"
METLAKAHTLA—MATERIAL PROGRESS AND MORAL INFLUENCE.
Metlakahtla is no hermit's cell in the wilderness, removed faraway from the haunts of men, and exerting no influence upon them. Rather is it a harbour of refuge, whose lights radiate forth into the darkness, inviting the bark in distress to seek its friendly shelter, and guiding even the passing vessel in its course. Very rapidly it acquired a recognized position of importance and influence as the centre—one might almost say the official centre—of all good work of every kind among the coast Indians.
The growth of the settlement naturally added greatly to the heavy burden of accumulated responsibilities which Mr. Duncan found himself compelled to undertake. He was lay pastor and missionary, treasurer, chief trader, clerk of the works, head schoolmaster, and the father and friend of the people. In addition to this the Colonial Government appointed him a magistrate, in order that he might have legal power to dispense justice, not only at the Christian settlement, but along the whole coast, wherever his influence extended. Thee village council and constables referred to in the report already quoted (p. 4) were a great assistance at Metlakahtla itself. But outside the settlement magisterial duties brought sometimes a heavy burden of anxiety and responsibility upon Mr. Duncan. In 1864, for instance, the authorities desired him to arrest a smuggling vessel, from which some of the tribes on the coast were obtaining spirits contrary to the law. He sent five of his Indians to arrest the smuggler, but they failed in the attempt; and not only so, but one of them was shot, and three others wounded. In the following year a shocking incident occurred. The Indian camps at that time were "deluged with fire-water," and Metlakahtla, because it stood alone against "the universal tide of disorder," was threatened with the vengeance of its heathen neighbours. A quantity of liquor was landed there by a party of Kitahmaht Indians for sale. It was at once seized. In revenge for this, they stole a little boy belonging to the village while he was on a fishing expedition with his parents. "Horrible to write, the poor little fellow was literally worried to death, being torn to pieces by the mouths of a set of cannibals at a great feast."
Nevertheless, Mr. Duncan's influence grew continually. In this very case its power was, exhibited in his successfully interposing to allay the exasperation of his people, and to prevent a war of extermination. Even the white traders in fire-water themselves were sometimes touched. The captain of one smuggling vessel, who was fined four hundred dollars by Mr. Duncan in virtue of his magisterial authority, "afterwards became one of his most active friends—a result partly due to the impression created by what he saw at Metlakahtla, and partly to the fact of Mr. Duncan having obtained restitution for him from the Indians at Fort Simpson for injuries done to his vessel."
The moral influence exercised by the Mission is most strikingly illustrated by an incident related by the Bishop of Columbia. In 1862, H.M.S. "Devastation" sailed up the coast seeking the three Indian murderers of the two white men: The Indians gave up two, but would not surrender the third. Two lives for two lives was their notion of equal justice. But as soon as the ship was out of sight, the murderer left his tribe, went to Metlakahtla, and gave himself up to Mr. Duncan. "Whatever you tell me to do," he said, "I will do. If you say I am to go on board the gun-ship when she comes again, I will go." Six months afterwards the "Devastation" again came up to Metlakahtla, and fired a gun to announce her arrival. The murderer heard it. Had his resolution broken down after so long an interval? He went straight to Mr. Duncan, and said, "What am I to do?" "You must come with me a prisoner." He went on board with the missionary, and delivered himself to the captain. "Thus," justly observed Bishop Hills, "what the ship of war with its guns and threats could not do for civilization, for protection of life, for justice, the simple character and influence of one missionary availed to accomplish." In due course this man was brought to trial for his crime, when it came out that he had been an unwilling participator, and he was pardoned. On his release he went back to Metlakahtla, and was baptized by the Bishop in 1866.
A similar and very interesting case occurred in 1872. Some years before, an Indian from a tribe living thirty miles off had come to Mr. Duncan, and with great emotion confessed himself a murderer, saying that having frequently attended the services, the burden of sin had become "too heavy for him to carry," and some Christian relatives had advised him to confess his crime and take the consequences. Mr. Duncan sent word to the Government at Victoria, but they thought it best not to prosecute the man for a crime which was not recent, and which had been done under the orders of a powerful chief who was still at large. No further steps, therefore, were taken. But at the beginning of 1872, a magistrate who was visiting at Fort Simpson detected two men who had been concerned in another murder, and the excitement caused by this led to further inquiry about the Metlakahtla man's crime, and to the arrest of both himself and his chief. The four Indians thus in custody made severally a full confession of both crimes to Mr. Duncan and the other magistrate, and they were sent to Victoria for trial. They were found guilty, and, on being called upon to reply, made most affecting speeches in court, acknowledging the sin, and their just liability to punishment. Sentence of death was ordered to be recorded, but on the recommendation of the judges, it was commuted to five years' imprisonment (not confinement) at Metlakahtla.
"So," wrote Mr. Duncan six months afterwards, "they are now with us, and all behaving very well. The proud chief has become very docile and happy, and he and all declare it their intention to remain at Metlakahtla till death. Several of the foremost Christians make it their duty occasionally to visit them, and instruct and encourage them. Thus can God bring good out of evil."
The charge of the Chief Justice, Sir Matthew Begbie, at this trial is a most remarkable document, and must be printed here in extenso. Had the white man always treated the red man in such a spirit, what results might we not have seen. [Footnote: Admiral Prevost writes to us respecting another judge in the colony—'Some time ago a right minded judge, beloved and respected, both by Indians and white men, had to settle a dispute between two persons—as to the equal division of some land. In the presence of both he selected one to go and measure the land, so as to divide it into two equal portions, at the same time telling him (the one sent) the other would have the first choice when he had made the division Of course, the division was made as fairly as it could be.']
Charge of the Chief Justice.
REGINA v SEBASSA AND THRACKET
REGINA v NEESKA AND SIMON JOHNSON
"Many years ago there were some poor white men on the sea. Men on the sea are always in danger from the wind and the waves, but these men trusted in God, who rules the winds and waves, and they were not afraid. Neither were they afraid of the men whom they might meet, for they did not intend to hurt anybody, and they were ready to do good. And, indeed, if the white men intended to do harm to the Indians, the whites could destroy them off the face of the earth. The whites could send up one man-of-war, which could easily, and without landing a man, destroy all their houses and canoes and property, and drive them naked and helpless into the woods to starve. No canoe could venture to go fishing. In one year the white men could destroy all the Indians on the coast without losing a man. One of our cannon could swallow up all the muskets of your tribe.
"Now these poor white men on the sea met with some Indians. The Indians said they were hungry, and the white men gave them bread. Was that the act of a friend or an enemy? Then, when the Indians saw that the white men were good and confiding, and saw a little bread, and a saw and some tools, and a musket and a pistol, the devil came to them and said, 'Kill these white men, do not stop because they gave you bread when you were hungry; kill them, and take the saw and the musket and the bread.' These things the devil put on his hook with which he was fishing for the souls of the Indians, as men put a small fish on a hook to catch salmon and halibut. And the Indians listened to the voice of the devil, and slew these men, who were not fighting, nor had either they or the Indians declared war or anger at all. They slew these men while the bread of charity was still in their mouths. This is treachery and murder. All people hate murder, all people seek to have revenge for murder. This is the law among Indians also. If a white man kill an Indian, the Indians desire that white man to be put to death. Now my people come to me and ask for satisfaction. The law among the whites is that they cannot have revenge unless I permit it. Now my people come and ask me for revenge. But many snows have fallen upon this blood, and they hide it from my sight. Many snows have fallen also on my head; my head is very white, and I have seen many things. When the head is white, the heart ought to be prudent and moderate. I will not therefore take the lives of these Indians now before me, though they are all in my hand, and if I close it, it will strangle them all. My head is white, but my hand is strong, and my heart is not weak. If I punish them less than by killing them, it is not because I am weak, nor because I am afraid. But I want to do good to these Indians. What good would their lives do me! Their lives are of no use to me to take at present. But I wish to preserve their lives, and to change their lives. I wish to change their hearts, and to let them see that our laws are good and our hearts are good, and that we do not kill, even when we have a right to kill, and when we have the power to kill. There is a rock at Metlakatlah, and a rock at Victoria, upon which their old canoe has split. Now I offer them a new canoe. When men are sailing in an old broken canoe, and have with difficulty got to shore, and made a small camp, if anybody offer them a fine new canoe with which to continue the voyage of life, they should accept the offer gladly. Now there is a much better canoe, as they may see, at Metlakatlah. I wish them to sail in such a canoe for the future, and to adopt a better rule of life, and a better law of religion. They must at present go back to prison until I speak with the other great chiefs of my people, and see what is best for them to be done. I shall try and persuade the other chiefs to send them away to Metlakatlah, to do what Mr. Duncan shall tell them, and to live as they shall direct. And so long as they live well and quietly, and learn and labour truly to get their own living, I shall not remember the blood which they have spilt.
"The prisoners themselves may see that our law is a better law than theirs. For two whole days I have been sitting here listening to the voice of my people, complaining of murders and of violence, and of robbery and oppression. Whoever has suffered, he comes freely and complains to me. Now the prisoners have been in court all this time, and they have seen Indians accused, and Chinamen, but they have seen no white man accused.
"Yet there are some bad white men, who would, perhaps, steal or commit violence, if they were not afraid. They are afraid of our law, which fills me and gives me strength, so that if I fall on a man I break him to pieces. But even bad white men, through fear, are restrained. Now, therefore, I think that it will much more restrain Indians who are inclined to do evil, and support and guide those who are inclined to do well.
"If the other chiefs listen to my voice, and the prisoners behave well at Metlakatlah, it shall be well. But if they do that which is wrong, my anger will burn up again very fiercely, and it will melt the snows which cover the blood of the men whom they have killed, and I shall see the blood and be very angry, and will burn them all up in my anger.
"Let them cease to believe in sorcerers, who have now no strength since Christianity is established. Let them become Christians, and so their hearts will be made really and permanently good."
A touching illustration of the reputation of Metlakahtla, as a refuge for the suffering and oppressed, occurs in a letter of Mr. Duncan's, dated March, 1876:—
"A poor slave woman, still young in years, who had been stolen away when a child, and carried to distant tribes in Alaska territory, where she had suffered many cruelties, fled from her oppressors last summer, and, though ill at the time, took to the sea in a canoe all alone, and determined to reached Metlakahtla or perish in the attempt. On her way (and she had upwards of one hundred and fifty miles to travel), she was seen and taken by a party of Port Simpson Indians, who would no doubt have been glad to hand her back to her pursuers for gain, but on hearing of her case, I demanded her freedom, and finally she was received into a Christian family here, and tenderly cared for. Both the man and his wife who received her into their home had themselves been slaves years ago. They understood her language, sympathised deeply with her, and laboured hard to impart to her the knowledge of the Saviour of sinners. After about three months her cruel master with his party came here to recapture her, but they had to return home unsuccessful. In three months more her strength succumbed to the disease which had been brought on her by cruelty and hardship. She was a great sufferer during the last few weeks of her life, but she died expressing her faith in the Saviour, and rejoicing that she had been led here to end her days."
Once during the twenty-three years which have passed away since the North Pacific Mission, as it is now called, was begun, has Mr. Duncan come back to his mother country; and this visit may most conveniently be noticed now. He was only absent a year. He left Metlakahtla, took the long journey home, stayed six months, and went all the way back again to Victoria, within the year 1870. During his brief stay in England, he chiefly occupied his time in learning various trades, and purchasing machinery, etc., for the settlement. He went to Yarmouth purposely to learn rope-making and twine-spinning; at another place he acquired the art of weaving: at a third, that of brush-making; at a fourth, "the gamut of each instrument in a band of twenty-one instruments." On his way back he stayed two or three months at Victoria, arranging with the Government for the allotment of reserve lands to the Indians of the settlement, which they might clear, enclose, and cultivate for themselves. The Governor entered warmly into his plans, and presented $500 himself to the Mission, to be laid out in village improvements. At length he set sail again, and on February 27th, 1871, landed once more at Metlakahtla. His reception must be related in his own words.—
"The steamer in which I was conveyed over the last 600 miles of my journey had on board a crowd of miners, bound for the newly-discovered gold-fields of Omineca, in the interior of British Columbia. These had to be landed at the mouth of the Skeena River, about ten miles before we came to Metlakahtla. It was Sunday afternoon when we arrived at the landing, and though the weather was very stormy—snowing and blowing hard—yet I could scarcely restrain myself from attempting to finish the remaining ten miles of my voyage in a canoe, and thus take my people by surprise, and be able to join them in their evening service. After due reflection, however, I decided to remain in the steamer, and go in her to Metlakahtla on the morrow. In the meantime, the news of my arrival travelled to Metlakahtla, and on the following morning a large canoe arrived from thence to fetch me home. The happy crew, whose hearts seemed brim full of joy at seeing me back, gave me a very warm welcome. I at once decided to leave my luggage and the steamer, and proceed at once to Metlakahtla with my Indian friends, who assured me that the village was in a great state of excitement at the prospect of my return. We were favoured with a strong, fair wind, and with two sails up we dashed along merrily through a boiling sea. I now felt I was indeed homeward bound. My happy friends, having nothing to do but to watch the sails and sit still, could give free vent to their long pent-up feelings, and so they poured out one piece of news after another in rapid succession, and without any regard to order, or the changes their reports produced upon my feelings: thus we had good and bad, solemn and frivolous news, all mixed indiscriminately.
"On sighting the village, in accordance with a preconcerted arrangement, a flag was hoisted over our canoe, as a signal to the villagers that I was on board. Very soon we could discern quite a number of flags flying over the village, and the Indians hurrying towards the place of landing. Before we reached the beach large crowds had assembled to greet me. On my stepping out of the canoe, bang went a cannon, and when fairly on my feet bang went another. Then some of the principal people stepped away from the groups, and came forward, hats off, and saluted me very warmly. On my advancing, the corps of constables discharged their muskets, then all hats were doffed, and a general rush to seize my hand ensued. I was now hemmed in with the crowds of solemn faces, many exhibiting intense emotion, and eyes glistening with tears of joy. In struggling my way to the Mission house, I had nearly overlooked the schoolchildren. The dear little ones had been posted in order on one side, and were all standing in mute expectation of a recognition. I patted a few on the head, and then with feelings almost overcome, I pressed my way to my house. How sweet it was to find myself again in my own little room, and sweeter still to thank God for all His preserving care over me. As numbers of the people were pressing into and crowding my house, I ordered the church bell to be rung. At once they hurried to the church, and when I entered it was full. Such a sight! After a few minutes silence we joined in thanksgiving to God, after which I addressed the assembly for about twenty minutes. This concluded, I set off, accompanied by several leading Christian men to visit the sick and the very aged, whom I was told were anxiously begging to see me. The scenes that followed were very affecting. Many assured me that they had constantly prayed to God to be spared to see me once again, and God had answered their prayers and revived their hearts, after much weeping. On finishing my visit I made up doses of medicine for several of the sick, and then sat down for a little refreshment. Again my house becoming crowded, I sat down with about fifty for a general talk. I gave them the special messages from Christian friends which I had down in my note book, told them how much we were prayed for by many Christians in England, and scanned over the principal events of my voyage and doings in England. We sat till midnight, but even then the village was lighted up, and the people all waiting to hear from the favoured fifty what I had communicated. Many did not go to bed at all, but sat up all night talking over what they had heard.
"Such is a brief account of my reception at Metlakahtla. I could not but reflect how different this to the reception I had among the same people in 1857. Then they were all superstitiously afraid of me, and regarded with dread suspicion my every act It was with feelings of fear or contempt they approached me to hear God's word, and when I prayed amongst them I prayed alone, none understood, none responded. Now how things have changed! Love has taken the place of fear, and light the place of darkness, and hundreds are intelligently able and devoutly willing to join me in prayer and praise to Almighty God. To God be all the praise and glory. Amen"
The troubles and difficulties on the coast, which so often added to Mr. Duncan's burdens, were not always the fault of the Indians. As often as not they were due to the recklessness of unscrupulous and drunken white men. In 1872, a party going up to the gold mines on the Skeena River burned an Indian village. This brought the Governor of British Columbia, J. W. Trutch, Esq., up the coast with two ships of war, the "Scout" and the "Boxer." A deputation of Tsimsheans Christians was sent to propitiate the injured tribe, and invite them to meet the Governor at Metlakahtla; and there, as on common ground which both parties could trust, peace was solemnly made, the Government paying six hundred dollars as compensation.
On this occasion the Governor laid the first stone of a new church, upon which Mr. Duncan and the Indians alike had set their hearts, as a visible crown of the work. The ceremony took place on August 6th, in the presence of the whole community and of the officers of the ships. But laying the stone was one thing; building the church was another. The Governor and Captain Cator saw lying on the ground huge timbers to be used in its erection, but how these were to be reared up was not apparent. Very kindly they gave Mr. Duncan a quantity of ropes, blocks, etc., but even then they sailed away in considerable scepticism as to the possibility of unskilled red men raising a large and lofty church. In January, 1874, Mr. Duncan wrote:—
"The massive timbers for framing, which Governor Trutch and Captain Cator, of H. M. S. 'Scout,' saw on the ground last year, and doubted of our ability to raise, are, I am happy to say, now fixed, and fixed well, in their places, and all by Indian labour. Especially am I thankful to report that, though the work is attended with no little danger, particularly to inexperienced hands, as we all are, yet have we hitherto been graciously preserved from all accidents.
"The Indians are delighted with the appearance the building has already assumed, and you may gather from the amount of their contributions (L176) how much they appreciate the work. They propose again subscribing during the coming spring, and I only wish our Christian friends in England could witness the exciting scene of a contributing day, with how much joy the poor people come forward and cast down their blanket or blankets, gun, shirt, or elk skin, upon the general pile 'to help in building the house of God.'"
By the end of that year the church was finished, and on Christmas Day it was opened for the service of God. "We had indeed," wrote Mr. Duncan, "a great struggle to finish it by that time—the tower and spire presenting very difficult and dangerous work for our unskilled hands—yet, by God's protecting care, we completed the work without a single accident. Over seven hundred Indians were present at our opening services. Could it be that this concourse of well-dressed people, in their new and beautiful church, but a few years ago made up the fiendish assemblies at Fort Simpson! Could it be that those voices, now engaged in solemn prayer and thrilling songs of praise to Almighty God, are the very voices I once heard yelling and whooping at heathen orgies on dismal winter nights!"
The progress in building operations and the secular affairs of the settlement generally at this time are succinctly described in an official Report, prepared by Mr. Duncan, and presented to the Minister of the Interior of the Dominion of Canada, in May, 1875. The occasion of this important document being drawn up was the occurrence of some conflict of opinion between the Provincial Government of British Columbia at Victoria and the Dominion Government of Ottawa, respecting the Indian Land Question. The same thorny problems that have so often given trouble in South Africa and New Zealand had presented themselves, and the local authorities at Victoria were anxious that the liberal treatment of the Indians on the coast, which had marked their own dealings with them while the Colony was independent of Canada, should be still pursued now that British Columbia was incorporated in the Dominion Confederation. But even the liberal plans of the Victoria Government had, to a large extent, failed in their object of ameliorating the Indians, and Metlakahtla still remained almost the only example of success upon the coast. To us it is, of course, obvious that the cause of this success was simply its being based on the foundation of Christian teaching and Christian life; and Mr. Duncan made no secret of this in his Report. He gave a description of the Indians as he found them, and a full narrative of the Mission from the first. That part of the Report, however, it is needless to print here. It only recapitulates what we have already told in greater detail. The opening and closing paragraphs we subjoin:—
Report presented by Mr. W. Duncan to the Government of Canada.
"From a copy of statutes which I lately received from the Indian Commissioner, British Columbia, I learn that changes in the management of Indian affairs are about to be inaugurated in that province. It is in anticipation of these changes that I feel prompted to address to you this present letter, my object being to place before you the origin and growth of the Indian settlement at Metlakahtla, and from these facts thus brought out to deduce a policy, or at least certain principles of action, which I am anxious to commend to the Government in the treatment of all the Indian tribes in that part of the Dominion."
[Here follows a history of the Mission.]
"We number now about 750 souls, and, according to the testimony of several medical men, who have had opportunities of judging, form the healthiest and strongest Indian community on the coast.
"Next, as to our progress in law and order. It is in this aspect to the outward observer, perhaps more than in any other, that our advancement appears both real and striking. From a great number of lawless and hostile hordes has been gathered out and established one of the most law-abiding and peace-loving communities in the province. What to the most sanguine minds seemed at least a generation of time distant has been brought about in a few years. The isolated germ of a Christian community gathered strength year by year, while every opposing force in the vicinity gradually weakened and at last succumbed. The law has triumphed. The liquor-selling vessels have long since ceased their traffic. The Indians who took up the trade with their canoes have also been stopped. Drunkenness, or even liquor-drinking, over a very large district are now things of the past. The rushing to Victoria has subsided into rare and legitimate visits, and peace, order, and security reign in all the country round.
"The local means which have been instrumental in bringing about these salutary changes were—First, we called out a corps of Native constables, and afterwards selected, irrespective of rank, twelve older men of good character to act as Native Council, and with these we have deliberated upon every matter affecting the welfare of our settlement. The Council has no pay, but only a badge of office, worn on stated occasions. The constables, in addition to a simple uniform, receive a small remuneration when on duty.
"As our settlement increased, and our work in the interests of peace became more extended, I have increased the two Native forces year by year until they now number over sixty men, and include several chiefs. And further, in order to utilize these forces, and have every settler under proper surveillance, I have divided all the male community into ten companies, each company having an equal number of constables and councilmen, who act as guides and monitors.
"Again, in order to enlist the energies of our younger men for the public weal, I have organized a fire brigade of six companies and ten to each company. These, I trust, will prove of real service to the new town which is about to be built. And here I would acknowledge with thankfulness the prompt help which has occasionally reached us from the Provincial Government, and without which, of course, our local machinery would have proved altogether inadequate for all emergencies.
"Lastly, as to our material and social progress. This, too, is already encouraging, but by no means so complete as we hope to see it. The slow progress of the Indians in this cause cannot be matter for wonder when we consider—first, Their ignorance and inaptitude to find out for themselves any fresh and permanent modes of industry; secondly, Their want of capital, owing to which civilization may tend to the impoverishment of the Indians by calling for an increased outlay in their expenses without augmenting their income. Having these facts before me, I have endeavoured to help and guide the males under my influence to fresh modes of industry, and though our success has not been very great, it is at least encouraging.
"Our first work of a secular kind was to establish a village store; for, having left Fort Simpson, we soon felt the want of supplies. I may here explain the Hudson's Bay Company refused to establish a shop in our midst, and I feared to encourage the trading schooners to come to us, as they invariably carried intoxicating liquor for sale, so we determined to keep the village trade in our own hands and appropriate the profits to the public works of our settlement.
"To this end we first purchased a schooner, one-third of the money being given by the Governor, Sir James Douglas. The schooner took down the products of our industry to Victoria, and returned laden with goods for our store, proving a pecuniary success and a capital training for the Indians who were employed.
"After some years the Hudson's Bay Company were willing to carry our freight on their steamer, so we sold the schooner, and I refunded to the Government account a proportionate part of the sale money.
"The managing of our village trade, principally by Indians, has given me much anxiety, and exposed me to much slander and abuse from white traders; but seeing the good results from my efforts in this way to our settlement I have kept on, and feel loath to give it up till I can hand it over entirely into the hands of the Natives.
"The first profits of our trade I spent in building a large market-house and court-house. The market-house was to shelter and accommodate all those visiting us from other tribes, and for this purpose we found it to be of great advantage. We were thus enabled to keep strange Indians from impeding our social progress, having them under better surveillance during their stay, and rendering them more accessible to Christian instruction. The other works for public advantage to which we have severally applied the monies resulting from our village trade, along with the contributions of friends of the Mission, are road-making, building a saw-mill, blacksmith's shop, soap-house, and large carpenters' shops and work-sheds. For the last two years we have been engaged erecting entirely by Indian labour a new church capable of holding 1,200 people. This we completed so far as to be able to use it about five months ago.
"The finishing we hope to do this summer, and when complete we expect we shall have spent altogether about 8,000 dollars. Of this sum the Indians of the settlement contributed over 800 dollars. We have now going up a school-house, 60 by 27, which will be paid for out of the trade profits, with the exception of 200 dollars sent us by the Indian Commissioner.
"Our latest undertaking is the building of a massive sea-wall round the village. The Indians contribute the material, and I pay for the labour of putting it up.
"This brings me to mention a few particulars relative to the greatest of all our undertakings in building, viz., that of a new town of some 200 houses. It was hardly to be expected that the plan of our village and the first houses erected at Metlakahtla would prove satisfactory to us as we advanced in civilization. The people were then in a transition state, and I had to be content to see houses go up only a little improvement upon their old style of building; but about five years ago they began to be dissatisfied with their houses, and I then succeeded in persuading them to cease putting up fresh buildings until we should all agree upon the right model for a dwelling-house and a better plan of a town site. It has taken all this time to educate them up to a really substantial plan for both, but-I am happy to say that after much discussion we are now agreed. The old village is to be pulled down and a new town built up. I have already surveyed the land, and drawn out a map showing town lots, which the Indians highly approve. The lots are 60 by 120, and on each will be erected a double house. One hundred such lots are already taken, and builders have begun to work. As the new houses are to be substantial and commodious buildings, and beyond their means to build without aid, I have pledged myself to assist them to the amount of 50 dollars each single house, which will, I anticipate, be sufficient to purchase nails, windows, and whatever else they must import, as well as pay the workmen at the saw-mill for sawing their lumber. Thus the Indians will only be required to bring their own logs to the mill and find the labour to erect their houses.
"As our mill is small, and our means limited, we do not expect to complete all our buildings in less than three years, but when completed we trust to show to the Natives around a real model town, and hope it will stimulate them to follow in our steps.
"Having thus very briefly sketched an outline of the history of Metlakahtla, it remains for me to say that whatever of moral or material progress the Indians there have made, they owe it all to the hold which religious truth has obtained over their hearts and consciences. It is only because they have felt the inspiring influence of the Gospel that they have aspired to a higher degree of social life, and are exerting themselves to obtain it.
"Our church and schools (both Sunday and day schools) are well and eagerly attended. The appearance of our large Native congregation in their new church is a thrilling and heart-gladdening sight.
"Quite a number of intelligent Natives are devoting themselves gratuitously to evangelistic work among their brethren, and with much success. We have two Native teachers in the day-school and one Native evangelist, also over twenty Sunday-school teachers employed in the Mission, and thus this little settlement, under God's blessing, bids fair to become at no very distant day a happy and thriving Christian home."
Accompanying this Report, there was a paper of practical suggestions for the provision and administration of Reserve Lands for the several tribes. These were embodied in an official Memorandum, drawn up by the Attorney General of the Province, which concluded with these words:—
"The undersigned has the honour to recommend that the above suggestions be adopted, and that if this Memorandum be approved, His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor be respectfully requested to forward a copy thereof, and of the Minute of Council referring thereto, to the Dominion Government, for their consideration and assent; and he further recommends that another copy be sent to the Dominion Government, for transmission to the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
"GEO. A. WALKEM,
"Victoria, 17th August, 1875."_
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council adopted the following Minute:—
"Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, on the 18th day of August, 1875.
"The Committee of Council concur with the statements and recommendations contained in the Memorandum of the Honourable the Attorney-General, on the subject of Indian affairs, dated 17th August, 1875, and advise that it be adopted as the expression of the views of this Government as to the best method of bringing about a settlement of the Indian Land Question.
"(Certified) W. J. ARMSTRONG, Clerk of the Executive Council."
The next thing was to secure the adoption of the scheme by the Government of Canada; and with this view Mr. Duncan undertook the long journey across the continent to Ottawa. The Hon. D. Laird, Minister of the Interior, gave the most attentive hearing to his representations, and also made him a donation of 1,000 dollars towards the work at Metlakahtla; and on May 10th, 1876, Mr. Duncan wrote, "I am glad to inform you that the terms set forth in the Report have been adopted (with a small modification or two) by the Dominion Government, and so the dead-lock about the land question seems in a fair way of being removed."
Mr. Duncan's well-timed interposition in this matter was not the least of the many services God has enabled him to render to the Indian population of British Columbia.
About the same time, the Provincial Government gave another proof of its confidence in the Mission, by appointing one of the Christian Tsimsheans of Metlakahtla head constable of the district, with a salary of 350 dollars per annum.
Year by year the Metlakahtla community has continued to increase, by the admission to its privileges of new settlers. New Year's-day is especially the time for enrolling them. A general meeting of the adult males of the village is held, and before them all each applicant for leave to join their body has to stand up and declare his adhesion to the rules. He thus cuts himself off from all heathen customs, and "places himself under Christian instruction" (to use the Tinnevelly term [Footnote: In Tinnevelly, the progress of Christianity has been mainly due to the adhesion of whole villages at a time to the Christian community. These adherents cannot be called "converts," and the phrase used of them is that they "place themselves under Christian instruction." Subsequently they become candidates for baptism, and many of them ultimately prove to be true converts.]). He probably knows something of the Gospel from Christian Indians he has met at the fisheries or elsewhere, and thus is already, to some extent, prepared for the teaching he will now regularly receive. In course of time—such is the frequent experience at Metlakahtla—his conduct and demeanour give evidence of a work of grace in his heart; he becomes a catechumen, and, after a due period of probation, is admitted by baptism, not only into the community, but into the Church. On the New Year's-day of 1875, no less than one hundred new comers were registered, and the number has frequently been not much short of that.
METLAKAHTLA—TWO CHRISTMAS SEASONS.
Christmas is a joyous time at Metlakahtla, and the accounts we have of its services and festivities help not a little to bring the settlement before the eyes of our imagination. Two such accounts are subjoined. The first is from Mr. Duncan's Report for 1873. Christmas-day in that year is memorable for a visit paid to Metlakahtla by the Indians who still remained in the neighbourhood of Fort Simpson. These tribes had not been forgotten by their Christian fellow-countrymen. Bands of evangelists from the settlement frequently went up the coast in canoes to the Fort on Saturday to hold services on the Sunday, and their efforts received a manifest blessing. This work has since then been interrupted by the establishment of a Canadian Methodist Mission at the Fort.
The second account was sent home by Bishop Bompas, of Athabasca, after his visit to the coast in 1877-8.
From Mr. Duncan's Report.
"This is the first season that the heathen customs at Fort Simpson have been generally disregarded, and hence we thought it well to encourage Christian customs in their place. To this end we decided to invite all the congregation at Fort Simpson to spend the festival of Christmas with us at Metlakahtla, that they might receive the benefit of a series of special services, and he preserved from falling into those excesses which we had reason to fear would follow should they spend the Christmas by themselves. About two hundred and fifty availed themselves of our invitation, and they arrived at Metlakahtla the day before Christmas in twenty-one canoes, which indeed presented a pleasing picture as they approached us with flags flying.
"According to a previous arrangement they all clustered to the market -house, which we at present use for our church, and which had been very appropriately decorated. On our guests being seated I gave them a short address, and after prayer, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Collison, shook hands with them all. They then were quartered round the village, and a very exciting scene ensued, all the villagers literally scrambling for the guests. After the scramble, several came running to me to complain that they had not succeeded in securing a single guest, while others had got more than their share. To settle matters amicably, I had to send two constables round the village to readjust the distribution of our new friends.
"Our Christmas-eve was spent in practising, with a band of twenty young men, a new Christmas hymn in Tsimshean, which I managed to prepare for the occasion. About 1.30 on Christmas morning we reassembled, when Mr. Collison and myself accompanied the twenty waits to sing round the village, carrying the harmonium and concertina with us. We sang in seven different places, and three hymns in each place. The village was illuminated, and the singing was hearty and solemn. This was the first attempt of the Indians at part-singing in their own tongue.
"Christmas-day was a great day, houses decorated with evergreens, flags flying, constables and council passing from house to house in their uniforms, and greeting the inmates. Now a string of young men, then another of young women, might be seen going into this house, then into that; friends meeting on the road, shaking hands everywhere; everybody greeting everybody; hours occupied with hand-shaking and interchanging good wishes; nobody thinking of anything else but scattering smiles and greetings, till the church bell rings, and all wend their way to meet and worship God. The crowd seemed so great that fears were entertained that our meeting-house could not accommodate them. I at once decided that the children should assemble in the school -house and have a separate service. Samuel Marsden kindly volunteered to conduct it. Even with this arrangement our meeting-house was crowded to excess. There could not have been less than seven hundred present. What a sight! Had any one accompanied me to the Christmas-day services I held twelve or fourteen years ago at Fort Simpson, and again on this occasion, methinks, if an infidel, he would have been confused and puzzled to account for the change; but, if a Christian, his heart must have leaped for joy. The Tsimsheans might well sing on this day, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.'
"After service all the Indians collected near the Mission-house to greet us. In order to take advantage of the occasion I had them let in by about fifties at a time, the Fort Simpson Indians preceding. After giving each company a short address, we again shook hands with all. It was three p.m. before we had gone through with them all in this way.
"The following day the young men engaged in the healthy game of football, and all the people turned out to witness the sport. Mr. and Mrs. Collison and myself were present to encourage them. After football a marriage took place. A young woman, formerly trained in the Mission -house, was married to a chief. A marriage feast was given, to which between four and five hundred people were invited. During the day a Fort Simpson young man came to see me and confess a crime of theft he committed about a year and a half ago, and for which, when the proper time arrives, he will have to go to gaol. In the evening the church bell was rung, and all assembled for divine service. Some little time after service the bugle was sounded 'Go to bed.'
"I held special services every night while the Fort Simpson people were here with us. The subjects upon which I addressed them were as follows, viz.:—'Thou shalt call His name Jesus,' 'Thy Word is a Lamp' etc.; 'Understandst thou what thou readest?' 'Ye must be born again,' 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin?' 'What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?' 'One thing is needful,' 'Give me thy hand,' 'Quit ye like men.' In addition we had a midnight service on New Year's-eve. The people attended the services regularly, and seemed to drink in the Word. May God give the increase. On one of the evenings before the service I exhibited the magic lantern to the Fort Simpson people, showing them some Scriptural views and the sufferings of martyrs.
"On New Year's-day, as heretofore, we held a general meeting for the business of the village, at which all the males are expected to attend. Only some three or four were absent. The male portion of our guests from Fort Simpson also attended to witness the proceedings. The ten companies, into which all males here are divided, were first examined, after which I gave an address bearing upon matters of the past year, and introduced the new settlers, who were already seated in the middle of the room. This finished, each of the latter came forward in the presence of the assembly, made his declaration to be a faithful member of our community, and was registered. Speeches were then made by several of the council, followed by about twenty speeches from the Fort Simpson Indians, which were very interesting, being expressive of the new feelings which animated them, and the line of conduct they meant to pursue in the future, God being their helper. I concluded the meeting with another address. We then adjourned to the open ground in front of the Mission-house, stood in companies, two cannons were fired, then, with hats off (though it snowed very hard), we sang 'God save the Queen,' and dismissed.
"On Friday, the 2nd of January, our guests departed home. When ready to start, the church bell rang, and they paddled their canoes to our meeting-house, which is built upon the beach. Leaving their canoes, they reassembled for a short address and a concluding prayer. This over, again entering their canoes, they pushed a little from the beach, a cannon was fired, and amid the ringing cheers of hundreds of voices they dashed off paddling with all their might. In a few seconds they simultaneously halted, and returned as hearty cheers as they were receiving. The air now rang with the double cheering, caps, handkerchiefs, and flags waving, the whole forming a very animated scene. Thus our guests departed."
By the Bishop of Athabasca
"The festivities of the season commenced here on Christmas Eve, when a party of about twenty-five of the elder school girls were invited to meet us at tea. After tea we were all entertained by Mr. Duncan, with the exhibition of a galvanic battery and other amusements. This party having dispersed to their homes in good time, at a later hour came together the singers who were appointed to sing Christmas carols during the night along the village street, led by Mr. Schutt, the schoolmaster. After their singing they returned to supper at the Mission before retiring to rest.
"On Christmas morning the first sight which greeted us was that of the constables lengthening to its full height the flagstaff on the watchhouse, to hoist the flag for Christmas, and all the village street was soon gaily dressed with flags. The constables then marched about the village to different houses to shake hands and make Christmas peace with all whom they had been called to interfere with in the course of the year. At eleven o'clock the church bell rang, and the large church was thronged with a well-dressed and attentive congregation.
"After service all the villagers, to the number of about 600, had to come and pass through the Mission-house to shake hands with all the inmates. In doing this they so crowded the verandah that the boards actually gave way beneath them, but the ground being only about two feet below no injury resulted. After all the shaking of hands was over, the villagers returned home to their own private entertainments, and most of us at the Mission enjoyed a quiet Christmas evening together; but Mr. Duncan entertained at tea a party of the chiefs and principal persons of the village, whom we did not join, from inability to converse in the Tsimshean tongue.
"The day after Christmas was again a gay one. The constables, twenty -five in number, paraded and exercised on the green with banners and music, and about fifty volunteers, in neat white uniforms, with drums and fifes and banners flying, went through creditable evolutions and exercises. All the strangers who had come from neighbouring villages to spend Christmas at Metlakahtla were collected by Mr. Duncan in the Mission Hall, and, after a suitable address received, all of them, presents of soap, apples, sugar, tobacco, etc. In the evening the usual week-day service was held in the schoolroom, always crowded.
"The following day all the children of the schools were assembled by Mr. Duncan at his house, first the girls and then the boys, about 200 in all; and, after being amused by him, were treated to sugarplums and apples, and each one received some article of clothing (cap or cape, etc.), so as to be sent away to their homes rejoicing.
"Next day all the men of the village, about 300, were assembled in the market-house to be addressed by Mr. Duncan. After he had given them the best advice he could, their Christmas presents were distributed to them in the presence of all the Mission party. These consisted of 1/2lb. sugar and six apples to each one, with copy-book and pencil, or tobacco for the older men.
"The day after this, Mr. and Mrs. Schutt kindly entertained all the widows of the village, about sixty in number, to a substantial dinner. It was a pleasure to see even the old and decrepit able to sit at table and enjoy their meal, and it made us enter fully into the idea of the renovating influence of Christmas blessings, to think in what dark and murderous heathenism these aged widows had been reared when young. After dinner Mr. Duncan brought them to his Hall to listen to an address, so that they might not return home without words of Gospel truth and comfort to cheer them for struggling days.
"The morrow, being Sunday, was marked by the usual services; these consist, first, of morning Sunday School at half past nine, at which about 200 are present, both children and adults, males and females being in separate buildings. All the elder scholars learn and repeat a text both in English and Tsimshean, and have it explained to them, and they are able to use intelligently their English Bibles for this purpose. At eleven is morning service in church, attended at Christmas time by 700 to 800. Hymns are sung, both in English and Tsimshean, and heartily joined in by the congregation. This being the last Sunday in the year, the service was made a specially devotional one to seek mercy for the offences of the past twelve month.
"After morning service the adults met again in Sunday School to learn in English and Tsimshean the text of the sermon, and have it again explained to them by the native Sunday School teachers, who are prepared for this duty at a meeting with Mr. Duncan on Saturday evening. It is very interesting to see about 300 adults gathered together in the three schools at midday, entirely in the hands of native teachers, and with English Bibles in their hands poring intelligently over the text, and following out again the subject of the morning discourse. I cannot but think it would be a great gain if this scheme of Mr. Duncan's could be largely followed in other Missions.
"Afternoon service is held in the church at three o'clock, with a Litany, and after this, when the daylight lasts long enough, there is a second Sunday School. The church is as full in the afternoon as in the morning, and the punctuality of the attendance is surprising. In the evening, at seven o'clock, service is again held in the school room, which is crowded, and occasional meetings are held by the elder converts for the benefit of any aged people unable to come to church.
"To return to the Christmas doings: On the Monday all the women of the village, about 300, assembled in the market-house, and, after suitable addresses, valuable presents were made to each, viz., 1lb. soap, 1lb. rice, and several apples, etc. so that they return home laden and rejoicing. Altogether about L50 must have been spent upon the Christmas presents.
"On Monday evening, being the last night of the old year, a suitable service was held in church, the subject being Psalm xc., 'So teach us to number our days,' etc. On New Year's-day the festivities were renewed. Bugle-notes and drums and fifes, and the exercises of the volunteers, enlivened the scene. The youth of the village played football on the sands. All the men of the village were assembled in the market-house, and were permanently enrolled in ten companies, the members of each company receiving rosettes of a distinguishing colour. Each company has in it, besides ordinary members, one chief, two constables, one elder, and three councillors, who are all expected to unite in preserving the peace and order of the village. The ten chiefs all spoke in the market-house on New Year's-day, and in sensible language promised to follow the teaching they had received, and to unite in promoting what is good. After the meeting all adjourned to the green in front of the church, and joined in singing 'God save the Queen,' in English, before dispersing to their homes. The rest of the day was spent in New Year's greetings.
"Wednesday Evening was occupied by the usual week-day service, and Thursday and Friday evenings were devoted to the exhibition in the school-room, first to the women and then to the men, of a large magic lantern, with oxygen light, and also a microscope, showing living insects and sea-water animalcules, as well as various slides.
"The above is but an imperfect sketch of the efforts made by Mr. Duncan for the welfare and happiness of his village,"
OUTLYING STATIONS—I. KINCOLITH.
A glance at the map will show that both Metlakahtla and Fort Simpson are situated on a peninsula which juts forth from the coast between the estuaries of two rivers, the Skeena to the south, and the Nass to the North. The mouth of the Nass River is one of the great fishing resorts of the Indians. From long distances the tribes of both the mainland and the adjacent islands flock thither every year in March and April, the season when the oolikan, a small fish about the size of a smelt, is caught.
As many as five thousand Indians gather together on these occasions, and encamp for miles along both banks of the river. Having put up their temporary bark huts, they dig pits to store the fish in, and then quietly await their arrival. Meanwhile, hardly a sign of life is to be seen on land or water. The towering mountains, that rise almost from the banks, are covered deep with snow, and the river is fast bound in ice to the depth of six or eight feet. Slowly the ice begins to break higher up, and the tides, rising and falling, bear away immense quantities. At length a few seagulls appear in the western sky, and the cry echoes from camp to camp that the fish are at hand.
Immense shoals of oolikan come in from the Pacific, followed by larger fish such as the halibut, the cod, the porpoise, and the finned-back -whale. Over the fish hover the sea-birds—"an immense cloud of innumerable gulls," wrote Bishop Hills after a visit to the place, "so many and so thick that as they moved to and fro, up and down, the sight resembled a heavy fall of snow." Over the gulls, again, soar the eagles watching for their prey. The Indians go forth to meet the fish with the cry, "You fish, you fish! you are all chiefs; you are, you are all chiefs." The nets haul in bushels at a time, and hundreds of tons are collected. "The Indians dry some in the sun, and press a much larger quantity for the sake of the oil or grease, which has a considerable market value as being superior to cod-liver oil, and which they use as butter with their dried salmon. The season is most important to the Indians; the supply lasts them till the season for salmon, which is later, and which supplies their staple food, their bread." "What a beautiful provision for this people," writes one of the Missionaries, "just at that season of the year when their winter stock has run out! God can indeed furnish a table in the wilderness."
It was in the spring of 1860, that Mr. Duncan first visited the Nass River. He received a most encouraging welcome from the Nishkah Indians —one of the Tsimshean tribes—dwelling on its banks. The account is a particularly interesting one:—
"April 19th, 1860.—About 4 p.m. we arrived in sight of the three lower villages of the Nishkah Indians, and these, with two upper villages, constitute the proper inhabitants of the river. On approaching the principal village we were met by a man who had been sent to invite us to the chief's house. Numbers of Indians stood on the bank. When we stopped, several rushed into the water: some seized my luggage, and one took me on his back. In a few minutes we were safely housed. Smiling faces and kind words greeted me on every side. My friend Kahdoonahah, the chief who had invited me to his house, was dancing for joy at my arrival. He had put his house in order, made up a large fire in the centre, placed two big iron kettles on it, and had invited a number of his friends to come and feast with me. About thirty of us, all males, sat round the fire. Boiled fresh salmon was first served out. All the guests were furnished with large horn or wooden spoons: I preferred to use my own. My plate was first filled with choice bits, and afterwards large wooden dishesful were carried round, and one placed before every two persons. This done, boiled rice, mixed with molasses, was served us. Fresh spoons and dishes were used. While the dishes were being filled, each person had a large spoonful handed him to be going on with. After the feast I had considerable conversation, and concluded by requesting that all the chiefs and chief men of the three tribes should meet me on the morrow, when I would endeavour to give them the good news from God's book. Kahdoonahah, suggested that there might be some difficulty to get all the chiefs to assemble, unless something was provided for them to eat He therefore promised to send out and invite them all to his house, and give them a feast for the occasion.
"It was now evening, and the guests went home. Kahdoonahah then brought in an old man to sing to me. The old man very solemnly sat down before me, fixed his eyes upon the ground, and began beating time by striking his foot with his hand. He was assisted by Kahdoonahah, who not only sang, but kept up a thumping noise with a large stick. A few boys also clapped their hands in proper time. After they had sung two or three songs I told them we would have a change. I drew my few boys around me. One of them immediately warned the chief and his company that we were going to sing songs to God, which were the same as prayers, and therefore they must be very reverent. We sang several little hymns, some of which I translated. The party soon increased, and sat very attentively.
"April 20.—After breakfast two men entered the house, and stood just within the door. Looking at me, one of them shouted out, 'Woah shimauket, woah shimauket, woah shimauket, woah.' After repeating this twice, they went away. This was an invitation from a chief who wanted me and my crew to breakfast with him. I took two of my party, and set off. When I was entering the chief's house, he stood up, and, beckoning me to a seat, cried out loudly, 'Yeah shimauket, yeah shimauket, yeah shimauket, yeah.' As soon as I was seated, he stopped, and sat down. These words, rendered into English, are, 'Welcome chief, welcome chief, welcome chief, welcome!' We feasted on boiled salmon, and rice, and sugar, and molasses, after which the chief presented me with five marten skins and a large salmon. When I returned to Kahdoonahah's house, he had got three large iron kettles on the fire for the feast; and I was informed that an old chief had given me a large black bear's skin. The drum began to beat, and a general bustle prevailed around me. I sat down to collect my thoughts, and to lift up my heart to God to prepare me for the important meeting about to take place, at which the blessed Gospel was to be proclaimed to these poor tribes of Indians for the first time.
"About twelve o'clock they began to assemble. Each took a place corresponding to his rank. We soon mustered about sixty chiefs and headmen. Between one and two p.m. we began to feast, which consisted, as usual, of salmon and rice, and molasses. I had heard Kahdoonahah say that they intended to perform before me their 'Ahlied;' but I requested him to have no playing, as I wanted to speak very solemnly to them. He promised me they would do nothing bad; but now that the feasting was over, much to my sorrow, he put on his dancing mask and robes. The leading singers stepped out, and soon all were engaged in a spirited chant. They kept excellent time by clapping their hands and beating a drum. (I found out afterwards that they had been singing my praises and asking me to pity them and to do them good.) The chief Kahdoonahah danced with all his might during the singing. He wore a cap, which had a mask in front, set with mother-of-pearl, and trimmed with porcupine's quills. The quills enabled him to hold a quantity of white bird's down on the top of his head, which he ejected while dancing, by jerking his head forward: thus he soon appeared as if in a shower of snow. In the middle of the dance a man approached me with a handful of down, and blew it over my head, thus symbolically uniting me in friendship with all the chiefs present, and the tribes they severally represented.
"After the dance and singing were over, I felt exceedingly anxious about addressing them; but circumstances seemed so unfavourable on account of the excitement, that my heart began to sink. What made the matter worse, too, was a chief, who had lately been shot in the arm for overstepping his rank, began talking very passionately. This aroused me. I saw at once that I must speak, or probably the meeting might conclude in confusion. I stood up, and requested them to cease talking, as I wished them to rest their hearts, and listen to the great message I had come to deliver. Instantly the chief ceased talking, and every countenance became fixed attentively towards me. I began, and the Lord helped me much. I was enabled to speak with more freedom and animation than I had ever done before in the Indian tongue. Much to my encouragement the Indians unanimously responded at the finish of every clause. The most solemn occasion of this kind was when I introduced the name of the Saviour. At once every tongue uttered Jesus, and, for some time, kept repeating that blessed name, which I hope they will not forget.'
"After I had finished my address I asked them to declare to me their thoughts upon what they had heard, and also if they desired to be further instructed in God's word. Immediately a universal cry arose of, 'Good is your speech. Good, good, good news! We greatly desire to learn the book. We wish our children to learn.'"
In the autumn of the same year, Mr. Duncan again visited the Nass River, and ascended to the upper villages. Everywhere he found a readiness, sometimes most touchingly expressed, to receive Christian instruction. At one interesting gathering, a Nishkah chief named Agwilakkah. after hearing the Gospel message for the first time, stood up before all, stretched forth his hands towards heaven, and lifting up his eyes, solemnly said:—
"Pity us, Great Father in heaven, pity us! Give us Thy good! book to do us good and clear away our sins. This chief [pointing to Mr. Duncan] has come to tell us about Thee. It is good, Great Father. We want to hear. Who ever came to tell our fathers Thy will? No, no. But this chief has pitied us and come. He has Thy book. We will hear. We will receive Thy word. We will obey."
Four years, however, passed away before regular Missionary operations could be extended to the Nass River. In 1864, a Christian Tsimshean, travelling up the river as a fur-trader, told the Indians he met with of the Saviour he had himself found, and on his return to the coast seven young men of the Nishkah tribe accompanied him, that they might visit Metlakahtla and hear the Missionary for themselves. They stayed there for a few days, listening eagerly to Mr. Duncan's instructions. When they left, they begged for some fragment of God's Word to take back to their tribe; and Mr. Duncan wrote out for each, on a piece of paper, the words in Tsimshean, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
In this case the living voice was not long in following the written message. On July 2nd, 1864, the Rev. R. R. A. Doolan arrived at Metlakahtla from England, and, at Mr. Duncan's suggestion, he at once went on to the Nass River to establish a permanent Mission.
With prayerful energy the young Missionary, inexperienced and ignorant of the language, flung himself into the conflict with heathenism. A sore conflict it was. Ardent spirits had come up the river; drunkenness was fast spreading among the Indians; and quarrelling and murders were of frequent occurrence. On one occasion, after a whisky feast, the Indians on opposite sides of the river set to work firing across the stream at one another, in pure wantonness. Several were wounded, women as well as men; and next day Mr. Doolan was called upon to attend to their injuries. Again and again was his own life in imminent danger. One day an Indian rushed out of a hut he was passing, gun in hand, and fired at him twice. Both times the gun missed fire! "I was so close to him," wrote Mr. Doolan, "that I saw the fire from the flint."
If Divine providence was thus exhibited in the preservation of the missionary's life, Divine grace was soon to be not less signally manifested in a blessing on his labours. A boy named Tacomash was the first fruits gathered in. He and another boy came from a village twenty -five miles off to live at the Mission-house, and attend school. After a few weeks he went home to see his father, and was attacked with bronchitis. Mr. Doolan, hearing of this, hastened off to see him. "The journey," he says, "was a most painful one. I wore two pairs of mocassins, but the ice soon cut through both. I was ten hours walking the twenty-five miles. I found the poor lad very weak, and suffering much. He had steadfastly resisted the medicine-men from rattling over him, saying God would be angry with him if he allowed them." Tacomash got better, and returned to the station; and shortly after Mr. Doolan writes, "To-day I was rejoiced to hear Tacomash praying to God. He was among the trees, and did not know anyone heard him. He asked Jesus to pity him, and make his heart strong." Soon, however, the lad became ill again, and died trusting in the Saviour. On his death-bed he was baptized at his own earnest desire, and named Samuel Walker.
On Mr. Doolan's retirement from the Mission in 1867, the work on the Nass River was taken up by the Rev. R. Tomlinson, who had just arrived. By Mr. Doolan's efforts some fifty Indians had been influenced to abandon their heathen customs and to desire to live together as a Christian community; and a settlement similar to Metlakahtla was now planned. This settlement received the name of Kincolith; and here Mr. Tomlinson earnestly laboured from 1867 to 1878, when he left to go forward into the regions beyond.
The work proved to be one requiring much patience and courage. For two or three years it was much retarded by hostilities between two tribes. But Mr. Tomlinson was encouraged by the zeal and intrepidity of his wife, who accompanied him on his visits to the combatants, and everywhere disarmed opposition by her presence. Subsequently the trading store, which had been established on the Metlakahtla plan, turned out a failure, and the Indian settlers, about sixty in number, depressed by the losses they incurred, showed signs of wavering, and of returning to their heathen friends, who were manifesting the most bitter antagonism to the Mission. But towards the close of 1870, by the mercy of God, the tide seemed to turn, and when Archdeacon Woods visited the station at the Bishop of Columbia's request, in October, 1871, he found a peaceful Community, an attentive congregation, and several candidates for baptism, of whom he admitted twenty adults (with seven children) to the Church, making, with nine previously baptized, thirty-six altogether.
From that time the Kincolith Mission, though not exhibiting rapid success, has been steadily growing, and not a few of the Nishkah Indians who were accustomed to attend Mr. Doolan's services, but had fallen back, have joined the community, and some have been baptized. The store was re-opened in 1874 with improved prospects. A dispensary was established by Mr. Tomlinson, and has been highly appreciated by the Indians. A saw mill has been erected, which not only supplies material for building new houses, but also gives employment to those of the settlers who are neither fur-hunters nor skilled workmen. The annual fishing seasons have been a time of distinct blessing, the Christian Indians holding services for their heathen fellow-countrymen in the various camps, and many of the heathen joining them in resting from the fishing operations on the Lord's Day. Year by year the number of settlers has increased, and now exceeds two hundred, of whom three -fourths are baptized.
One chief, who joined on New Year's-day, 1877, was well known as the fiercest savage on the river. He was baptized by Bishop Bompas in March, 1878, taking, like Legaic at Metlakahtla, the name of Paul. He was very penitent for his past life, and was earnestly trying to follow good ways, when illness and death overtook him. Just before he died, he gave very clear testimony that he had found pardon and peace in Jesus. At the funeral service the people sang Sankey's hymn, "There will be no more parting there." His son, a young man of twenty, has since been baptized, also by the name of Paul, and has been married to the Christian daughter of another leading chief—a girl named Rhoda.
As already mentioned, Mr. Tomlinson has now moved forward into the interior to carry the Gospel to the Kitiksheans and other tribes up the Nass and Skeena Rivers and among the Cascade Mountains, and has established a station near a place known as the Skeena Forks, where three branches of that river unite. At Kittackdamix also, at the end of the navigation on the Nass, a native Christian teacher has been stationed, towards whose expenses the Kincolith Christians contributed L12 in money and kind. A site has been selected there for another Christian village, and several Indian families propose settling on the spot. The Kincolith station is now under the charge of Mr. H. Schutt, a schoolmaster sent out in 1876.
Mr. Tomlinson, like Mr. Duncan, has lately been appointed a magistrate. He writes:—"The proposal was made to me quite unexpectedly by the head of the Government, and I did not feel justified in declining the offer. Already good begins to result from it. The hearts of the well-disposed are strengthened, while the ill-disposed whites are restrained from molesting the native settlers."