December 1825

1st Dec/25. The usual appointments on Thursday at Chateau-belair. I attended to it & hope the seed so often sowed will spring up on every hand. Lodged there as I generally do, all night, and that affords an opportunity of catechising the children next morning.

2nd Dec Went early this morning to Morne Rhonde to visit the Charaibs again. For the first time I saw their Chief (Capt John) he speaks better English than most of his countrymen with whom I have conversed, & seems much more intelligent. He wishes all the people to hear the word of God & the children to be instructed. Some of them do attend Chateau-belair Chapel, a walk of perhaps five miles, though not the aged or the young. I catechised, & addressed them on the necessity of salvation & means of obtaining it. The hymn we sang was perhaps the first ever heard there, and prayer was no doubt equally new among them. We parted in expectation of greater good being effected & with mutual satisfaction.

4th Dec/25. Lord’s-day – Went to Chateau-belair & preached twice; many members & hearers from the country made a large congregation. It was also attentive. Married 3 couples. Received nine candidates into the classes. May they all endure to the end!

10th Dec. Was conveyed to Town in the canoe to preach there tomorrow. When the sea is tolerably calm I read most of the way.

11th Sabbath: – In preaching etc. I was enabled to use “great plainness of speech”. May it prove to the edification of many present on those occasions. The congregation in Town is seriously attentive and it is a pleasure to speak to them. May the word be glorified in their salvation. It is however surprising to me that none, even in the band meeting have attained to the perfect love of God; though some speak of desiring & seeking it. May they do it in good earnest, and then they shall find the full and perfect rest.

12th Dec/25. With some difficulty and considerable inconvenience I reached home once more both sun burnt and weather-beaten.

18th My birthday, and I am now in my thirtieth year. Often I have thought that if I were thirty years of age it would be possible for me to assume sufficient confidence before my congregations. There is perhaps but little cause now for me to retain this feeling of excessive modesty; and the grace of God will be sufficient to enable me to rise above diffidence and every impediment to my usefulness in the great work which God has given me to do. Thankful I am for his preserving care to this hour, and for all his mercies. My supreme wish is, “perfectly to love, and worthily to magnify His holy Name.” This day (the Sabbath) was not favorable for large congregations, being very showery, and many of the members & hearers at Princes Town come from the Estates at some distance. Had a profitable season each time of preaching & hope that good was done.

21st Dec/25. Recd a Letter and Package from Mountsorrell, which afforded my dear Wife & I much pleasure. In the evening, re-visited Mount-Wynne Estate. Had a congregation, and about 40 catechumens, who made some progress in repenting; may they soon understand, so as to know & love their Creator, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. It is pleasing to see so many at the preaching, and I hope that Princes Town Society will have an influx of members from this place, the fruit of my labours.

25th Dec/25. Christmas Day – Preached at 5 A.M., in Princes Town, and at 10½ also. Had two good times, and the first congregation was large. Rain thinned the second, & the slaves have to attend on their respective estates during the former part of this day to receive their Christmas rations of salt pork, a few pounds to each adult and in proportion for children, besides a bottle of rum & some sugar. In St. Vincent (the laws in other colonies are different) each adult has two pounds of salt fish a week, and the children employed in the vine gain one pound each. Infants & younger children half a pound till they are able to work a little. A suit of clothes coarser than a blanket, and another of Oznaburgh, is nearly all that a negro slave received as costing his master any money. In general the provision ground allotted to the slaves for their own private benefit is not at the time required for any other purpose, and is often of no use whatever in respect to the proper cultivation of the Estate. “He has a house;” a hut; one of the kind may be made for about thirty shillings sterling, as the materials are generally cut and brought from the “mountains”; & the tenant has erected it himself, probably on the Sabbath!!! Having 25 days and seldom more, beside the Sabbath; he must work on that day or starve; such things are enough to freeze one’s blood; it is painful to witness them, and a residence in a slave colony, however beautiful the surrounding scenery, is any thing but desirable. Were it not for sake of the souls which are persisting for lack of knowledge, I would wish myself in the land of liberty, far from this region of the shadow of death, where mammon holds his court and ways the sceptre of tyranny, so that “the iron enters into the souls” of all classes of his deluded subjects & their oppressed victims.

26th Dec/25. Went through a heavy sea to Chateau-belair, where I preached & held a Love-feast. The slaves have a holiday at Christmas which lasts three days; This was the second day, and we had an immense company, considering the smallness of the Town & the distance of some of the estates. Many slaves could not enter the house of prayer; it was filled and they remained outside, at the doors & windows. We had a good Love-feast; the people spoke scripturally & freely & I was much satisfied with most of what I heard and saw; particularly with the following statement made by Castillac one of the oldest & best leaders & a slave. “One ting dat I feel I want is, more fait; anodder ting, is more patients; not dat I habb’nt patient, but I want more”. He then assigned several reasons why he ought to be “tankful”; one of which was that God had raised him up from a long affliction which confined him to his home last Christmas, but now he was permitted to be present with his “brodders & sissas”.

27th Dec/25. Today it became my duty to preach again at Princes Town. Had a large congregation, notwithstanding the heavy showers that descended till the middle of the day. Held a Love-feast and many of the people wept & praised the Lord. This has been a profitable season; thrice have I preached on the nativity of our blessed Redeemer, and on each occasion with some enjoyment arising from a sweet sense of the Divine presence & the serious attention of the people, inspiring a hope that good is being done. May every gracious impression be rendered permanent.

31st Held a watch-night assisted by one of the brethren from Town who came to Princes Town for the preaching tomorrow. Had a more numerous attendance than was expected & what was best of all, the Lord was with us. The last year, has been the most eventful one of my past life; – have made great sacrifices, endured peculiarly painful feelings and faced new & sometimes appalling dangers. A missionary life is one of difficulty and privation, yet I prefer it to every other; and if the Lord will be pleased to preserve me as hitherto and give me grace & wisdom, all will be well. May he bless me more & more and make me abundantly useful. Amen.

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