Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

ties,--all these things the flesh has had to be loaded with, and, together with its own fears and repinings, to be nailed to the cross and yield up the ghost, whilst in the room thereof Christ should be raised up and found in me the hope of glory."

CHAPTER VIIL

New Trials.

LORD, listen to my lowly dirge,

My plaintive call attend;
My fainting heart to thee would urge

A prayer from earth's far end.

Within thy tabernacle shade

I would for aye abide,
In wings of thy kind sheltering aid
Would safely rest and hide.

Psalm lxi. 1, 2, 4.-Kebla

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.-A Primitive Missionary.

Had the funds of the mission admitted of the purchase of a vessel of a hundred tons burden, the mission party would have been comparatively independent. As soon as it became dangerous to remain on shore, they would have found a secure refuge on ship-board; and, in the event of their provisions failing, they could easily have proceeded for supplies to Port Famine or the Falkland Isles. In that case, they would also have been saved the fatigue and anxiety of hiding their stores where there was great risk of the natives finding them; and instead of creeping round these dreary coasts in boats too small to weather a storm, and which could scarcely offer them a dry berth when the day was done, they would have faced the blast with some confidence, and they would, at least, have lodged in comfort.

As it was, with their shallop launches, as soon as the Ocean Queen took leave of them they were almost as completely imprisoned in the Fuegian

islands as was Alexander Selkirk in Juan Fernandez; and to reach a Christian settlement across such turbulent seas, would have been little less than a miracle. On the other hand, as Mr Ritchie represented to Captain Gardiner, the chances of European vessels visiting their rendezvous were very small, and it would have required a powerful inducement to tempt any to such a dangerous deflexion from their usual course.

But with a noble ardor the leader of the expedition longed to enter on his cherished project. He knew that there were fish in the sea, and abundance of birds on the shore. He had with him provisions for six months; and before these should be expended he calculated on fresh supplies from England. And although none knew better the wildness of these waters, should it be found impossible to propitiate the natives, he trusted that on some unfrequented coast, or afloat in some tranquil cove, he and his comrades might hold out till more effectual means were placed at their disposal.

Already, however, several elements in this calculation were annihilated. To say nothing of the unsuitableness of low-decked boats, whose iron roofs condensed the vapor and kept a perpetual rain dripping on the berths and floors, their serviceableness from the first was materially impaired by the loss of the two " dingics,” which were intended as a communication between the launches and the land. By a fearful oversight the gunpowder was

« IndietroContinua »