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Full text of "James Bickford: an autobiography of Christian labour in the West Indies, Demerara, Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia, 1838-1888"

LIBRAPV or_Fi{;NCETON 

AUG 2 3 2002 



THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 




Rev. JAMES BICKFORD. 

President of Australian Conference, 

1868-1875-1883. 



Wi)(iiiin'Rvi'ki.\r, \Vati-ki.(iw & Sons Limitiu). 
From a Negatiue by HAMMER & CO., Port Adelaide. 



JAMES BICKFORD : 



AN AUTOBIOGBAPHY 



Cbrietian Xabour 



WEST INDIES, DEMERARA, VICTORIA, NEAV SOUTH 
WALES, AND SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 

1838-1888. 



"7?^ Jouriwyhu/s often:" ''In Perils of tlie Sea:" ''In Deaths oft." 



LONDON : 

CHARLES H. KELLY, 2, Castle St., City Eoad, E.G., 

AND 66, PATERNOPTER ROW, E.C. 

SOLD IN ADELAIDE, MELBOURNE, SYDNEY, BRISBANE, PERTH, AUCKLAND, 

AND HOBARf. 

189C. 

[,/(/ ripkts nticrreil.] 



Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London ajid Aylesbury. 



EEVEBENTLY DEDICATED TO THE LOVING MEMORY OF 

FANNY BICKFORD: 

WIFE, COMPANION, AND FELLOW-HELPER 

OF THE AUTHOR, 

FOR FORTY-FOUR YEARS. 



LIBRARY OF PRINCETON 



AUG 23 2002 



IHEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 



P E E F A C E 



IN the year 1878, being then in London, and having leisure for 
so doing, I prepared a work, entitled : " Christian Work in 
Australasia," as a help to those of my fellow-countrymen who were 
anxious to try theii- fortunes in the Southern World. But no sooner 
was it in cumulation, than I heard of a feeling of disappointment 
among many valued friends, because there was so little of the 
personal narrative in the publication. I could only reply that my 
object was not so restricted; but that a statement of a more 
comprehensive kind was specially intended, touching the evangelistic 
work of all Churches of Christ in Australia and Polynesia. It was, 
indeed, little more than a ' Handbook ; ' but, judging from the 
favourable notices it received in the English Press, and the grateful 
references made to the work by huntheds of correspondents, I think 
I may conclude that my exact purpose was fau-ly accomplished. 
But I did resolve that, at some advanced period of my life, I would, 
if I were able, prepare an autobiographical .sketch of my life-work ; 
and now, after nearly two years of application, I am able to announce 
the completion of my attempt. I have made no effort at the romantic 
in my description of men and things ; but have striven to give as 
simple a narrative as the knowledge of my mother tongue has 
enabled me to write. I cannot but regard it as a special mercy of 
God's Providence, that, on the very day that I reach my seventy- 
fourth year, I put in the last sentence of my tale. I may, in all 
candour, ask the lenient consideration of those who may honour me 
with notices of this, my latest — yea, probably, my last — effort of the 
kind, to remember that my public life has not been spent in ' learned 



PREFA CE. 



leisure,' but in the active pursuits of the Methodist Itinerancy ; and 
in hinds, where new and startling problems of a social, political, and 
ecclesiastical nature have had to be faced by those who inheiited 
the necessary instinct for so doing. Among that number of earnest 
and far-seeing men, not by my own choice, but by an ' election of 
grace,' my lot has been cast. 



CONTENTS. 



— ♦ — 

PAGE 

Preface ..... v 

introductiox 1 

Birth and Youth-hood 3 

West Indies: Slavery and Emancipation 10 

London and Ordination 20 

First Voyage — to the West Indies 24 

Arrival in St. Vincent's 27 

Trinidad 38 

St. Vincent's 42 

Tobago 44 

St. Vincent's 48 

Grenada • . . 53 

Georgetown, Demerara .57 

Second Voyage— to England 114 

The Retrospect lli^ 

Appointment by English Conference 120 

Third Voyage— to Sydney 123 

Melbourne, Victoria 134 

New South Wales 189 

Geelong 203 

South Australia 272 

Fourth Voyage- to England ........ 302 



viii CONTENTS. 

FAGB 

London and England 310 

Fifth Voyage— to Adelaide 365 

BuRRA 372 

Port Adelaide 386 

Parksidb: Supernumerary 404 

Conclusion 445 



INTRODUCTION. 

THE subject of this sketch, James Bickford, came from an 
ancient yeoman stock in the Sovith Hams of Devon. John 
Bickford, his father, for many years was tenant of the Venerable 
Archdeacon Fronde, of Partington, near Totnes, and farmed under 
him Edmeston Barton (Sax. Bere-ton — Barleytown), in the parish 
of Modbury. His grandfather, also John Bickford, farmed Rake, 
near Loddiswell, Devon. 

Behind the homestead rose a high precipitous, overhanging rock, 
visible for miles distant. This notable rock served as a rendezvous 
for the peasant classes amidst the troubles arising from scarcity ©f 
provisions, want of employment, and a starvation wage. I remember 
hearing my father speak of one of those gatherings when he was a 
young man, from which several hundreds of day labourers marched 
throughout the neighbouring parishes to lay their grievances before 
the ' Squn-es,' and to tell those of the farmers, who were using 
threshing-machines for removing the corn from the ear instead of 
the flail, that if such operations were continued, both machines 
and buildings would be fired. Unfortunate labourers ! With the 
exception of the harvest season, which lasted only for a month, 
when the men would feed at the farmers' tables, their fare was 
scant indeed. Barley-bread and water for breakfast ; barley-bread 
and cider for dinner ; and potatoes, with a sprinkle of salt, and a 
little fat, for the evening meal ; who can wonder at peasant com- 
binations for secm-ing a just wage and a right to live, not simply to 
exist ? 

It is true there was the poorhouse in each parish for the peasant 
aged couple when they could no longer work, and a pauper's grave 
ready open for their worn-out bodies, provided out of parish rates. 
But this was not all. The vicar, or his curate, would appear ou 
the scene, and, in solemn accents, but with a grim appropriateness, 
read a prayer in which he would say : ' We give Thee hearty 

1 



2 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

thanks, for that it hath pleased Thee to deliver this our brother 
out of the miserievS of this sinful world.' Yes : too true ; for it 
would be better to be dead than alive, for there would be rest in 
the grave from the hard lot of unrequited toil, and from the 
gnawing pains of hunger. And as'^for the soid, it may be hoped, in 
all charity and faith, that a ' Righteous God ' woidd make some 
reimbursement to the chafed spirit in the contentment and peace- 
fulness of the future state for the unmerited disabilities the peasant 
classes a hvmdred years ago endured. 

I return from this digression. On the maternal side I had much 
to be thankf id for. My mother's maiden name was Whiteway, and 
was born, I believe, in the parish of Hai-burtonford. The Whiteways 
were a family of repvite in the parish. This may be gathered from 
the sympathy of the clergjinan, who took a great interest in my 
mother as an orphan, and saw to her education. As an e\idence 
of my mother's sense of gratitude, I have heard her refer to the 
clergjTnan's kindnesses more than eighty years after their occurrence. 

My grandfather Whiteway had a competency, and lived an easy, 
self-satisfied life. My mother used to speak of her father having a 
family ' coat-of-arms,' which was framed and suspended from the 
wall in his bedroom. She remembered but little of her mother, who 
was delicate in health, and died when she was about four years of 
age. My uncle, John Whiteway, was a fine, gentlemanly man, and 
died in Plymouth about fifty years ago. But there were two other 
uncles, George and Thomas, and two aunts, Lowman and Hine, all 
of whom are dead. 

My grandmother's maiden name, on my father's side, was GUI, 
of Totnes. The only remembrance I have of her is, that my 
father took me to see her, when she had come to live with 
my uncle, James Bickford, — at that time a bachelor-farmer at 
Lincombe. I have a distinct recollection of her fijtie person. She 
was, although over eighty years of age, tall, erect, and well- 
proportioned ; the expression of her countenance was benevolent ; 
she spoke in the lower tones of voice, characteristic of her refined 
nature ; and her whole demeanour was that of the higher grade of 
yeoman life. At the time of this visit, I could not have been more 
than seven years of age, for I rode on the same horse with my 
father, I sitting before him on a pillow. My grandmother took 
to me very much, and when I left with my father in the evening 



INTRODUCTION. 



she put a half-crown in vnj hand. Her venerable and beautiful 
figure is still with me, I have never lost her true ideal from that 
day when I first saw her to even now, which is not far from seventy 
years ago. My grandfather and father were practical farmers, 
and both died at advanced ages — it may almost be said with the 
reaphook in their hands. Both, like Boaz, of Jewish renown, had 
been in the field with the ' reapers ; ' when, from exhaustion, they 
retired, and went into then* homes to die. It seems appropriate 
that it was so. It is the glory of a soldier to die on the field of 
battle ; of a minister to die in the pulpit ; and it should be equally 
the glory of a yeoman to die in, or from, the field. 

Of my childhood I have not much to say. We were nine brothers 
and sisters. I was the fifth born of my mother on May 6th, 1816. 
I have understood that I was healthy from my.birth, but my anxious 
mother had a strong desire to make me still more vigorous if 
250ssible. I have a viAdd recollection of her taking me into the 
back yard, nude and shivering, to be put under the shute for a 
stream of cold water to fall upon the spine. I thus learned to 
' obey ' my mother even under the force and pressure of the stream. 
I had, nevertheless, a sevei"e fever in my boyhood, and I well 
recollect Doctor William Langworthy's effoi'ts to save my young 
life. My mother's tenderness also in personally carrying me from 
the large cold room I and my brothers occupied to the fii-eside in 
the little parlour, and taking me up again when the cold of the 
evening came on, I well remember. This was the routine task 
of each day's nursing, until, at length, I made my escape from 
the bed of sickness, and I seemed to jump back into life once 
more. 

On our farm were two cottages originally built for the convenience 
of the men who worked at the Estate's lime-kiln. But the husband 
in one of the cottages died, whilst the widow and her grown-up son 
and daughters still occupied the tenement. This widow (Granny 
Gill, as we used to call her), kept a dame's school, and I and two 
of my sisters were sent to it. I soon learnt what of reading and 
spelling were set me; but, as something besides was required for 
filling up the time, we were told off to learn hymns. This was our 
regime of religious instruction. Widow Gill was a dear, good 
Methodist soul ; and, although my father was a staunch Tory 
Churchman, strange to say, he had no objection to Granny Gill 



4 JAMES niCKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGBAPIir. 

teaching our young ideas how to shoot. The first I learnt was the 
43rd, in Wesley's hymns, beginning A\T.th the solemn inquiry : 

' And am I only born to die — 
To lay this body down ? ' 

and so to the end. What we thus learnt in the day we repeated 
in the evening at home, my parents appearing satisfied that we 
were learning something that was good. And so we were as far 
as it went. 

My next teacher was a Mr. Wreford, an extremely prim gentle- 
man, a bachelor, and a sturdy Churchman. He had, however, 
rooms in the house of a Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, the founders, I 
think, of the Methodist Church in Modbury. Mr. Wreford held 
his school in the vestries of the parish church, because of their 
central position. The sons of the farmers attended Mr. AVreford's, 
whilst the sons of the tradespeople attended Mr. Peter's, school. In 
practice it was the germ of many a conflict since enacted : it was 
'Country v. Town.' Each had its nickname; and nearly every day 
on the ' Green ' small battles were fought. The Bickford boys had 
rather more than their share ; my eldest brother and I, in paiticular. 
But I never liked it : I thought it a brutal spoi-t, whilst wrestling, 
football, bat and ball, I much enjoyed as exercises strictly allowable 
and to be recommended. 

My next school was at Ugborough {alias ' Ubber '), kept by a Mr. 
Nicholas Webb, a retired Lieutenant of the Royal Navy. This was 
about three miles from Edmeston. The main charactei^istics of the 
school were ' law and order ; ' and woe betide the boy who was 
caught transgressing our more than Spartan regulations ! In Mr. 
Webb's estimation the greatest crime in a boy was to tell a lie ; and 
punishment, swift and sure, and in full tale, always followed this 
offence. But every case of accusation had to be tried by a bar of 
bogus law officials and a jury of senior boys. If found guilty, there 
was no commutation of the sentence. We had not the cat-o'-nine- 
tails, but we had the rod, which Mr. Webb could lay on Avhen he liked 
with much severity. But I am hapjiy to know that I never was 
personally subjected to the indignity of this punishment. 

My cousin, Mr. Robert Philips Moysey, having set up an academy 
at Ivybridge, I was removed thither; the last and best of all the 
schools that I attended. Mr. Moysey was an enthusia.st in his 



INTRODUCTION. 



vocation, a good Latin and Greek scholar, and a master in the use 
of Saxon-English. There was a sprinkling in this school of a higher 
class of boys than I had hitherto been associated with. 1 can truly 
say that at this seminary I intensely desired to learn all that could 
be learnt, save going into the classics; of which, at that time, I did 
not see any immediate use. But, in every branch of what is known 
as a solid English education, I was the rightful dux of the school. 

I sat at the upper end of the ' Latin desk ' for two years, but I 
made no attempt at proficiency in Latin. When I saw the so-called 
classic boys so neglectful of their English studies, and in competition 
with the other boys so far behind, I stuck to the useful, leaving the 
ornamental to ' a more convenient season.' But I might, and could, 
with tolerable ease, have done both, and that I did not do it I have 
always regi'etted. Mr. Moysey, however, did not lose his interest in 
me; for he subsequently prepared a written copy of the Greek 
alphabet, and advised me to pursue the study of that divinely used 
language. But would that I had done it before ! 

When nearing my fourteenth year, it became a question with my 
parents as to whether their five sons should be brought up on the 
farm, or sti'ike out in some other way of life. My eldest brother, 
John, was my father's right hand, and could not be spared. My 
other brothers, Edmund, George, and Nicholas, were younger than 
I, and had not finished their education. So that, if a rent was to 
be made in ovir home circle it must be by myself ; and, in a sense, 
show my younger brothers the way. 

I had become of great use to my father on the farm, for there 
was not a single branch of agricultural industry that I did not 
understand ; and, up to the measure of my strength, was not able 
to do. But the prospects of ' renting ' farmers were anything 
but cheering. There was looming in the near distance the inevitable 
* Repeal of the Corn Laws,' which would seriously affect the tenant 
farmers then under leases to theii' landlords, who would probably 
make no abatement in their rents. Besides, there was in many a 
tenant-farmer's home a galling sense of vassalage to the owner 
of the soil, which the independent, native-born-yeoman-spirit, could 
ill bear. Altogether, therefore, it seemed better to be free than to 
remain in such conditions. Accordingly, and with the fuU consent 
of my parents, I ' went out ' from ' my father's house,' and spent 
in business the next seven or eight years, in the beautiful little 



6 JAMES BTCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

town of Kingsbridge, situate at the head of the Salcomlje estuary, 
and the key to the South Hams of Devon. 

Tlie environment of my life now was totally different from what 
it had been up to that time. I itinerated throughout the South 
Hams on the business of the ' fii-m ' as occasions required, and 
learnt much of the manners and intelligence of the local gentry, 
the better style of farmers, of tradespeople and operatives of all 
classes. I was recognised everywhere as no mean sprig of an ancient 
yeoman tree, and was treated with all respect. Mr. Quarm, whom 
I gratefully mention as a second father, was always kind to me, 
and I can say that I made his business as much my own as I 
had in pre\^ous years made my father's mine own. There was 
a mercifulness of providence in this change of my life. 

I was free now to choose for myself in the matter of conscience 
and religion, i.e. from all outside interference or coercion. I was 
awakened to a sense of my lost condition when alone on a dark 
night in a bye lane near my Uncle Taylor's farm, Sherford Down, 
in the parish of Shei'ford. And on that very hom- my mind was 
decided on the vital question of religion. I joined the Methodist 
Church in Kingsbridge, under the superintendency of the venerable 
Kev. James Odgers, and my ' ticket on trial,' which he gave me, 
is dated 'March 1832.' My first and only leader was 'Henry 
Popplestone,' to whose tender, yet, faithful guidance, I owfe, under 
God, much of the stability of my early religious life. Mi-. Odgers 
was a powerful original thinker, and was great in polemical theology. 
No man ever understood oiu" doctrine better than he ; and I greatly 
profited by his ministry. 

My intellect at that time betrayed a power of receptivity which 
was ■ somewhat extraordinary. I became both a reader and a 
thinker upon my conversion at the age of sixteen. It was no 
ordinary privilege to sit VTnder the ministry of Mr. Odgers. In 
dealing with the Calvinian controversy, he was indeed ' a master in 
(our) Israel.' He was a veritable ' Greatheart ' ((> la Bunyan) for 
helping young theologians, for he scarcely ever preached a sermon in 
the Kingsbridge pulpit but he sharpened our weapons. Upon the 
* Five- points,' as they used to be called, he spoke ex cathedrd, and 
no one doubted his views or challenged their scripturalness. The 
Evangelical Arminianism of Wesley, Clarke, Benson, and Watson 
gradually came into my intellectvial being, agreeing with the 



INTRODUCTION. 



instincts of my newborn life. I tried to get a grip of it loy 
the most assiduous attention to the expositions of Mr. Odgers, and 
by reading controversial authors, until I became myself, in the 
judgment of my friends, a very David in the warfare we waged 
against the * Goliath ' of Antinomianism. I accepted also the 
political creed of my spiritual father. He was a Liberal of the 
most pronounced type. I became one, too ; and I did not hide my 
' lijrht under a bushel.' Arminianism and Liberalism were the two 
beliefs which impressed their ' broad-ai-row ' upon my whole nature, 
and winged my soul for flight into any project for secuiing to my 
countrymen the possession of a generous creed of religious ethics 
and social improvement ; religious equality, and the God-given right 
to the tenant-farmers, mechanics, traders, and peasant classes, to 
live happy and contented lives. 

The introduction of Methodism into the southern part of Devon- 
shire may be briefly noticed. In the Minutes of the English 
Conference, 1810, the words occur : — ' South Devon Mission : 
Nicholas Sibley, John W. Cloak.' But the honour of first preach- 
ing Methodist doctrines in Kingsbridge belongs to the Eev. John 
Jordan, who, in 1806, was the superintendent of the Ashburton 
circuit, and who came over to Kingsbridge on a visit of observation 
as to the spiritual wants of the people. There was one ^Methodist 
family there ; perhaps, only one. In the afternoon of the memorable 
day when Mr. Jordan came, a novel sight was seen in the streets of 
Kingsbridge and Dodbrook. The town-crier — an important public 
oflicer in those days — was found parading through the quiet streets, 
capped with headgear which made him very singular if not dignified, 
and bell in hand, which he swung to and fro with great vigour. 
He would then pause to attract attention; this being done, he 
lifted up his voice, and cried — 

' This evening, in Mr. Parker's schoolroom, off Fore Street, at seven o'clock, 
the Rev. John Jordan, Methodist preacher from Ashburton, will hold a religious 
service. Public invited.' 

As the result, many of the to■w^^speople came and heard the 
words of eternal life. South Hams that evening heard through 
Mr. Jordan's voice the words of the great Prophet-Preacher : 
* Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is 
risen upon thee.' 



8 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

The first money spent for Methodism in the South Hams was by 
Mrs. Tapp, the mother of my late dear wife, Fanny Bickford, who 
was of Methodist ancestry, being born and reared in Camelford, 
Cornwall, under the adopting kindness of the Lobb family ; whose 
hospitable and happy home was a favourite resort in their rounds of 
such men as Adam Clarke, R. TrefFy, F. Truscott, W. P. Burgess, 
and other able ministers of those days. It was but a solitary six- 
pence for the town-crier ; but it told of her love to Methodism, and 
of her adherence to the religious principles in which the donor had 
been trained. 

Methodism in the South Hams has not risen in numei'ical 
importance as might have been hoped. But it is easily explained. 
There has not been in the last sixty or seventy years any encourage- 
ment to the rising yeomanry to try their fortunes under the tenant 
and landlord system ; or, in the town, for the young mechanics and 
tradespeople to compete for a position and a respectable living. 
Hence it has been a kind of breeding ground for America, and, in 
later years, for Australia and New Zealand. In London, Lincoln, 
Exeter, and Plymouth they are also found. And the adventurous 
spirit which the environment necessarily creates in the South 
Hammers has always kept down the statistical strength of the Metho- 
dist Church ; but, then, there is this compensation, other countries 
and ' lands remote ' are all the better for their advent into them 
as Christian citizens and fellow workers. 

When I was eighteen years of age I was brought on the Plan 
by the Rev. William Blundell as an exhorter on trial. This was 
in 1835. The Bev. Thomas White Smith was appointed to the 
Kingsbridge Circuit by the Conference of 1836, and entered upon 
his charge in September of that year. As in dvity bound, I called 
at the Parsonage to pay my respects to the new minister, when, to 
my surprise and relief, he asked me if I had ever thought of going 
as a missionary to the heathen. I replied, that I had thought about 
it until my soul was neaily dissolved with grief, but no encouragement 
had been given me. He then handed to me a Bible, and asked me 
to read from the prophecies of Isaiah, which I readily did. From 
that hoiu', humanly speaking, my destiny was fixed. I was to be 
a missionary, and the good minister began to regard me with more 
than common intei-est. He set me reading, directed my stiidies, 
passed me, after a searching examination at the Local Preachers' 



INTRODUCTION. 



Meeting, into "Full Plan," and, in 1838, he nominated me in the 
March Quarterly Meeting for the missionary work. But I must also 
mention another minister, the Rev. P. C. Tiu-ner, of Devonport, who 
invited nie to his circuit, and to go with him to some appointments. 
This I did, and derived much assistance and comfort in preparing 
for the work. In due course I was examined before the Devonport 
District Meeting by the Chau-man, the Pev. W. P. Burgess, passed 
to the satisfaction of the brethren, and was recomm.ended to the 
Conference for the foreign work. With what success that work 
has been done for fifty years, the records which follow will humbly 
show. 



THE WEST INDIES. 

1786—1838. 
FIRST PART. 

FIFTY years ago — August 1st, 1838 — the black and coloured 
population of the British West Indies saw the end of the 
'Apprenticeship System' and received unconditional freedom. About 
800,000 persons were on that ever-memorable day fully ' redeemed ' 
from the cruel bondage in which they had so long been held. But 
not without a heavy price ! The English Parliament had voted 
twenty millions of the nation's revenue for this object, so as to 
indemnify the ' legal ' owners of the slaves against any supposed 
loss. But it was well that it was done ! A strange perversion of 
the meaning of a very plain word is noticeable in this great national 
transaction. It was called ' compensation ' money ! But to whom ? 
Not to the negroes who had been robbed of the just reward of their 
own labours ; but, to their so-called owners, as if they had been 
victimised on the altars of national justice. However, the money 
was paid and freedom came. 

Conscience, when roused, is a quick and powerful mentor of 
nations as well as of individuals. England's conscience spoke out 
in unmistakable language, and the Parliament felt compelled to 
bow to the nation's will. Wilberforce, now 'in feebleness extreme,' 
was struggling through his last illness when a friend informed him 
that the Bill for the ' Abolition of Slavery ' had passed its second 
reading in the House of Commons ; ' Thank God/ said he, ' that 
I should have lived to witness a day in which England is willing 
to give twenty millions sterling for the Abolition of Slavery.' 

History is the memory of the world. But a centiiry back from 
the present tine, or a few years more, will be ample for us without 
further extending our notices into the dark and dismal part of 
the Western Antilles. About one hundred years ago Wesleyan 



THE WEST INDIES. 11 

Missionaries were sent to these lands by the English Conference, 
subject to the general superintendence of the Rev. Thomas Coke, 
LL.D., an Anglican clergyman, who had joined Wesley in his 
great work of evangelising whom he could of mankind Avithout 
regard to creed, complexion, or nationality. 

In 1786, Coke visited Antigua and the Windward Islands, and in 
1789 the island of Jamaica. On his return to England that same 
year he sent the Rev. William Warrener to take care of the work 
which he had begun. In less than fifty years from this auspicious 
period the Mission Churches had so grown that seventy-one ordained 
missionaries, not including catechists or other subordinate agents, 
were employed, having the spiritual care of nearly thirty-two 
thousand persons, of whom twenty-two thousand were slaves. This 
number was exclusive of the children of our people, and of a very 
large number of persons of all colours, who attended the public 
ministry of the missionaries, but who were not recognised as 
members of the Society. 

It is not to be supposed that such glorious results were accomplished 
in the absence of opposition and even bitter persecution. The fact 
is, that both the slave-owners and the active abettors of slavery 
always cherished a latent hatred to the Missionaries, as the men who 
would before long bring about the destruction of their favourite 
institution. They clearly saw that slavery and Christianity could 
not co-exist in the same social body. The missionaries had difficulties 
enough to contend with in prosecuting their Godlike enterprise from 
the terrible disadvantages under which lay the coloured population ; 
but, as if these were not enough, applications were made by the 
Plantocracy for restrictive measures, under Legislative sanction, for 
preventing the slaves attending the ministrations of the men who 
were their only friends and spiritual guides. 

Jamaica appears to have taken the lead in this cruel policy. In 
1807, the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Assembly passed 'An 
Ordinance,' from which we make two extracts : — 

(1) ' That from and after the commencement of this Act, all masters and 
mistresses, owners, or, in their absence, overseers of slaves, shall, as much as in 
them lies, endeavour the instruction of their slaves in the principles of the 
Christian religion, whereby to facilitate their conversion ; and shall do their 
utmost endeavours to fit them for baptism, and, as soon as conveniently they 
can, cause to be baptized all such as they can make sensible of a Deity and the 



12 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Christian faith. (2) Provided, nevertheless, that the instruction of such slaves 
shall be confined to the doctrines of the Established Church in this island ; and 
that no Methodist Missionary, or other sectary, or preacher, shall presume to 
instruct our slaves, or to receive them into their houses, chapels, or conventicles, 
of anj' description, under the penalty of twenty pounds for every slave proved 
to have been there, and to be recovered in a summary manner before any three 
justices of the peace ; who, or the majority of whom, are hereby authorized and 
empowered to issue their warrant for recovery of the same ; and on refusal of 
l)ayment, to commit the offender, or offenders, to the county gaol until the 
payment of the said fine or fines ; which shall be paid over to the church- 
wardens of the parish where the offence shall be committed, for the benefit of 
the poor of such parish.' 

The mockery of the first clause and the brutality of the second 
will be obvious to every intelligent reader. The missionaries and 
their sable flocks suifered terribly under this enactment. Some of 
them were thrown into gaol, the sanctuaries of God were violently 
closed, and the congregations were scattered. We painfully hear 
the wail of one, amongst the many, coming down to us even after 
the lapse of eighty years. The Rev. WilHam Gilgrass says : — 

'When I came out of prison, I found the chapel shut up, which almost 
broke my heart. But, at the price of my liberty, which I had regained, and in 
the faces of my avowed enemies, I ventured to open the chapel, appointing 
door-keepers to ascertain the slaves as accurately as possible. Thus I continued 
preaching for a fortnight, to the restoration of many of the people who were 
daily falling into sin.' 

We can even now hear the negroes' lament : ' Massa, me no go to 
heaven now.' ' White man keep black man from serving God.' 
'Black man got no soul.' 'Nobody teach black man now.' In 
about two years after this, King George III. disallowed this 
nefarious piece of planter legislation. The reader of English 
history in Charles II. 's time will readily recognise in the barbarous 
' Conventicle Act ' and the ' Five Mile Act ' the same spirit of 
persecution as that resurrected in the Jamaica Ordinance. The 
brutal system had not died out with the collapse of the Stuart 
dynasty ; but re-appeared in every form of diabolic hate, for the 
annihilation of the missionaries and their blood-bought flocks in 
that island. 

The same dastardly spirit appeared in the lovely little island of 
St. Vincent's, in the Windward group. The object was to prevent the 
missionaries preaching to the negroes. An enactment of course was 
necessary. But it had to be smuggled through the House of Assembly 



THE WEST INDIES. 13 



when most of the members had left. It was worthy of a Caligula 
or a Domitian. There were three stages ; it began with oppression, 
and ended in murder. For preaching to the negroes the first 
punishment was a fine of eighteen pounds, or imprisonment, for 
not more than nitiety days, nor less than thirty. For a second 
ofience, such corporal punishment as the court should think proper 
to inflict, and banishment. And lastly, to return from banishment, 
DEATH. Thus religious persecution was established by law. The 
Rev. Matthew Lumb was thiown into gaol for breaking, in 
obedience to his conscience, this vile law. But this Act also good 
King George annulled. 

The years between 1786 and 1834 may be characterised as the 
* wilderness state ' of the West Indian mission churches. It was 
a period of * great tribulation ' to them. The Israelites endured 
cruel bondage under the Pharaohs, and the unfortunate Jews in 
Babylonian captivity ; but these were light when compared to the 
heartless, unmanly, un-English, and anti- Christian wTongs which 
were inflicted upon the slave and Creole races in the outlying 
Western Antilles. These islands were an integral part of our 
own great, proud Empire, subject to the laws of England, and under 
the protection of the CrowTi. And yet these wrongs were permitted 
to be done as if there were neither justice nor mercy for the 
unoffending missionaries and their attached followers. We do not 
over-state the case : ' What I saw in the days of slavery, and in 
which I was compelled to take part,' said a penitent planter to the 
writer, ' can never be told. It could not be written. It is too 
bad to be put into human phrase and be published for the public 
ear.' * 

But to return to the case of the missionaries. Were they good 
men or bad men? safe or dangerous men? Let an impartial 
Chief Justice in one of the islands answer for the many hundreds 
who would bear a similar testimony : — 

' During nearly forty years' residence in the West Indies, I have been 
observant of the conduct of Wesleyan missionaries ; and, althousrh I have 
heard of their being discountenanced, and even abused and illtreated, I have 



* Dr. Samuel Johnston thus speaks of Jamaica in those dark days : ' A place 
of great wealth and dreadful wickedness : a den of tyrants and a dungeon 
of slaves. ' 



14 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

never known them to deserve it ; Imt, on the contrary, all those whose deport- 
ment has come under my observation have appeared to be men of exemplary 
lives, and more useful among the lower orders of society than those of any 
other denomination. Let it, therefore, be earnestly recommended to the 
Wesleyan minister here, to use his utmost endeavours to induce the Parent 
Society in England to afford us more missionary labour. I do not profess to 
belong to this society, as a member, and therefore I am not biassed by its 
particular interests ; yet, in the true spirit of toleration and Christian charity, 
I am happy in contributing to its support.' 

Such a testimony from the head of a judicial establishment in 
one of the islands is of the highe.st value. But we append another 
from an influential merchant, a gentleman of colour, and a member 
of the Legislative Council by appointment from the Crown, who 
said : — 

'I have had the honour of having had extensive transactions with the 
Wesleyan missionaries for a number of years, and I have always found them 
to be men of integrity and honesty. I never knew one of them to leave our 
island without paying his debts, which is more than I can say for the ministers 
of my own Church.' 

Then, why were the missionaries reviled, persecuted, imprisoned, 
and, in one lamentable instance, killed? The answer is at hand. 
The missionaries were the friends of the oppressed coloured classes, 
and of the unfortunate slaves, ' Banish the missionaries,' said the 
Plantocracy, 'and we shall hold our prey.' But God in heaven heard 
the cry of His faithful servants, and of His sable children, and He 
'came down to deliver them.' August 1st, 1834, saw the end in all 
our West Indian Possessions of negro slavery. 

The letters of the missionaries written at this time are little 
known. We may, therefore, allowably give from the correspondence 
a few quotations, setting forth some of the scenes and experiences 
of the never-to-be-forgotten Abolition Day. The Rev. Edward 
Fraser, himself a coloured man, and once a slave, thus wrote from 
Tortola :— 

' That ever memorable and glorious day was passed by us in a rehgious and 
most happy manner. Our chapels were opened, and the human beings who 
had that morning, for the first time, breathed the air of freedom — of freedom 
at least from absolute bondage — assembled in cheerful crowds to praise and 
worship Him who "looseth the prisoners." Great was our rejoicing; — the 
more so because many had foreboded soreness and discontent. As I came 
out of our town chapel, a man from a group accosted me with, '■ Sir, we could 



THE WEST INDIES. 15 

wish a petition to return thanks to the King." I replied, " No doubt the King 
will be grervtly pleased when he hears of your thankfulness and orderly 
behaviour." ' 

The Rev. Matthew Banks wrote : — 

'On Thursday evening, July 3 1st, I preached from 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. The con- 
gregation was very large. About two minutes before twelve o'clock, I desired 
all the negroes and the friends of freedom to kneel down, the first to receive 
their liberty at the hands of God, and the latter to take from Him the con- 
summation they had so devoutly wished. "When the clock struck twelve, I 
announced that the 1st of August had arrived, and exclaimed, " You are all 
free!" Then the voice of their weeping was more distinctly heard, and it 
became general, and mingled with, " Glory be to God ! " " Praise the Lord ! " 
etc. Prayer was offered for our Gracious Sovereign, the Royal Family, the 
British Parliament, and British Christians generally, by whom, under God, 
the great boon is conferred. All the freed people seemed to acknowledge that 
it is the Lord's doing, and marvellous in their eyes.' 

The Rev. WilUam Box gives an interesting account of the pre- 
liminary services, and adds : — 

' It being then within a few minutes of twelve o'clock, 'I stated the propriety 
of their receiving the inestimable boon upon their knees, and requested them to 
silently lift up their hearts to God, until I should announce to them that slavery 
was no more, by a hymn of praise to God ; but such was their joyous feeling, 
and so loud their prayers, that it was with difficulty I could raise my voice so 
high as to be heard. We sang, " Praise God from whom all blessings flow." 
This being sung, they rose from their knees, when I congratulated them upon 
their new state and relationship, so unexpectedly, so astonishingly brought 
about ; and while setting forth the demands which were now made upon them, 
not only of devotedness to God, but of loyalty to their beloved Sovereign, with 
an enthusiasm I never before witnessed in a West Indian assembly, they one 
and all shouted, " God save the King ! Long live King William the Fourth ! 
God save the King I " how did my heart thrill with ecstasy, while hundreds 
upon hundreds just delivered '-from the house of bondage," made the place ring 
again with the voice of joy and thanksgiving ! It was like Israel in the time 
of David and Solomon, when " all the congregation blessed the Lord God of 
their fathers, and bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord and the 
King.'" 

But there was the holiday of juhUee to follow the night of their 
departure from this ' land of Egypt.' Two grand Sabbath services 
were held, and at the close of the second a fine burst of decision for 
God was heard. ' Who then is willing,' cried the missionary, 
' to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord ? ' Several rose, 
and lifting up their hands, exclaimed, ' I will ! ' ' I will ! ' ' I will ! ' 
' I will ! ' 'I am ! ' 'I am ! ' 'I am ! ' — while the whole body 



16 JAMES BICKFOBB: AX AUTOBIOGIIAPHY. 

simultaneously joined in the declaration. Upon pressing the subject 
by asking, ' Are you decided ? ' nothing was to be heard scarcely, 
but ' Yes, Massa ! ' ' Yes, Massa ! ' while tears trickled do^vn theii* 
sable cheeks, and heavenly joy sparkled in every countenance. The 
Sunday school was then visited, and an infant negro child was 
baptized. 

This was a very Pentecost — the inauguration of a new era in the 
civil and religious life of these emancipated and happy flocks of the 
missionaries' fold. White and black, and coloured, by this merciful 
Act of Slave- Abolition, entered upon new and high responsibilities, 
which God in his providential arrangements had cast upon them. 
The whites, under governors appointed by the Crown, and subject 
to legislative bodies of diverse materials and functions, had now a 
favourable opportunity of making some amends for their past cruel 
and licentious misdoings ; whilst the blacks were prepared to conform 
to the requirements of the new ' apprenticeship regime,^ which, in 
the nature of things, would be to them irksome, hard to bear, and 
savouring of a purgatory. Fair treatment and a fair wage, just 
and equitable laws, political rights, and the ' rest of the Sabbath,' 
they asked, and were determined to have. 

The Creole increment of the population occupied a middle relation 
to both. Descended at first, on the father's side, from the whites 
and on the mother's side from the blacks, they had inherited a 
superiority to the maternal stock ; and, in many notable instances, 
were not a whit inferior to the paternal. Then, again, these 
Creoles, or mixed persons, intermarried with each other, and from 
them sprang a numerous progeny which have pushed theii" way into 
the learned professions, the Christian ministry, and mercantile life ; 
they have become proprietors and managers of sugar and cotton plan- 
tations, and entered into the highest Governmental service. An 
adjustment of relations as between two of these classes, say, between 
the whites and blacks, would have been comparatively easy ; but the 
existence of a third element made a difficulty. This was the problem 
to be solved on well understood lines of i^olitical fairness, social 
justice, and Christian forbearance. But the experiment of an 
interim apprenticeship proved a dead failure, and pi'ecipitated the 
alternative of complete emancipation on August 1st, 1838. 

The ever watchful London Committee did not fail to anticipate 
the still greater social change about to take place throughout the 



THE WEST INDIES. IT 

West India Islands. Under date, April 14th, 1838, the General 
Secretaries despatched a circular upon this subject to the Wesley an 
Missionaries, containing wholesome and broad-hearted counsels, for 
the guidance of their -whole conduct under the new and trying 
conditions in which they would soon be. The Secretaries say : — 

' As the liberation of a portion of the apprenticed negroes in August next may 
probably have an unsettling effect upon those who are appointed by the 
Abolition Act to remain in the condition of apprentices for two years longer, 
and as the efforts which have been made to procure an immediate and universal 
extinction of the apprenticeship system may also tend to produce still greater 
excitement, we deem it proper to give you a word of advice upon the subject. 
On the question of the immediate and forcible termination of the apprenticeship 
system by the Imperial Parliament, it is foreign to our purpose to enlarge : our 
object is to enjoin you to use your influence to allay any excitement which may 
exist among the negroes, and to inculcate upon them the duty of a quiet and 
peaceable submission to their circumstances. The contrary conduct could only 
prove injurious to themselves ; — it would probably be made the occasion for 
imposing upon them new restrictions ; — and it would tend to check any 
disposition on the part of the local legislatures, or of individual planters, to 
introduce them to the enjoyment of entire freedom before the period fixed for 
the termination of the apprenticeship by the Abolition Act. 

' We have good ground for hope that a satisfactory settlement of the important 
Negro Marriage Question mil speedily take place. We have been alive to this 
subject ; and finding that a protective measure was likely to be adopted 
by the Imperial Parliament for the benefit of the apprentices, we respectfully 
urged upon the Eight Honourable Lord Glenelg to insert, in his Bill, a clause 
recognising the validity of the past marriages which you have solemnized, and 
empowering you legally to solemnize marriage for the future. Such a result 
cannot fail to have a most important bearing upon the cause of religion and 
public morals, and will powerfully tend to promote the comfort and welfare of 
the negroes and their children.' 

The document from which the above extracts are taken is very 
lengthy, dealing with the question in every possible aspect, and bears 
the signatures of the Rev. Edmund Grindrod, President of the Con- 
ference; and of the Eevs. Jabez Bunting, D.D., John Beecham, D.D., 
Robert Alder, D.D., and Elijah Hoole, D.D., General Secretaries. 

The Plantocracy had evidently had enough of the ' Apprenticeship ' 
system, which was simply one of semi-slavery, as all admitted. The 
meddling policy of the Imperial Parliament m granting only a half- 
measure of relief embittered both parties, and rendered every planta- 
tion a focus of discontent and alarm. The coloured population at 
this time were mostly in the towns. They were not unnaturally in 
a state of frenzied excitement, and were so far an element of danger 

2 



18 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIO GRAPH Y. 

to the peace of the general social body. The time, therefore, had 
sui'ely arrived when the necessary reUef must come from the local 
parliaments themselves. Antigua, to its great praise, had shown a 
good example by giving unconditional freedom to its slave population 
in 1834. This action was right ; and, as experience showed, the safest 
thing to do. Besides, it was juit. For it may be asked, how could 
the slave-owners with any sense of righteousness hold the apprentices 
in bondage, and extract out of their sweat and blood gratuitous 
services, when they had previously received their share of so-called 
* compensation ' money out of the coffers of the English Exchequer. 

Between the months of May and August the island legislatures 
reluctantly opened their eyes to the unsafe condition of things, and, 
in rapid succession, passed such measures as brought this desperate 
iniquity to an end. The letters of the grateful missionaries are of 
much interest and feeling. We may quote from one of these as a 
sample of the rest. The Rev. John Lee, writing from Calder, St. 
Vincent's, begins with a note of grandest jubilation : — 

' " Hallelujah ! The Lord God omnipotent reigneth ! " and we are breathing 
a free atmosphere. Yesterday, the glorious first of August, the apprenticeship 
of this island was abrogated, and the long-enslaved population became fully 
free. The day came, and with it the rejoicing of ten thousands in these islands. 
Long before the time for service the chapel was crowded to excess. Knowing 
that the eyes of many were upon us, I previously requested the attendance of 
the proprietors, attorneys, managers, etc., to witness the behaviour of the 
people, and also to hear the whole of the advices we had to give : two 
magistrates and several white people came, who all heard the Word attentively. 
After singing that beautiful hymn, "For the Heathen," page 417, in w-hich the 
congregation heartily joined, we engaged in solemn thanksgiving to our 
merciful Benefactor, for all the favours bestowed upon us, but especially for 
that which had brought us together that day. It was evident tliat the Lord 
was in the midst of us ; for, Sirs 1 it would have done your hearts good to 
have witnessed their devotion, and to have heard their responses ; and, when 
thanks were returned for the successful termination of the long protracted 
struggle to obtain their freedom, and blessings were invoked upon the heads 
of their benefactors, then to have heard the burst of grateful feeling which 
flowed from their full hearts would have made British Christians rejoice. I 
proceeded to address them from 1 Peter ii. 13-19 ; after which I gave them some 
general advice respecting their future conduct as free labourers ; on the nature 
of their agreement ; the attention due to their children's education and 
subsequent employment ; the best way of conducting themselves during their 
present cessation from labour ; the necessity of all resuming their employment 
next Monday morning, etc. We then sung the doxology, and concluded ■with 
prayer one of the most interesting services I ever witnessed.' 



THE WEST INDIES. 19 



Thus, by Heaven's decree, this cruel and hellish system of slavery 
came to an end. Nothing could have been more demoralising than 
was this nefarious traffic. The island plantations were, in many 
instances, managed by ' Legrees ; ' — who, in every phase of moral 
turpitude, equalled their famous prototype as drawn by Mrs, Harriet 
Beecher Stowe in ' Uncle Tom's Cabin.' Sir John Hawkins in 
1556 acquired the distinction of being the father of this dreadful 
traffic in slaves for the West Indies. The account is that he sailed 
with two ships to Cape de Verde, where he sent eighty men on shore 
to catch negroes. But the natives flying, they fell farther do^vn the 
coast ; till, having taken enough, they proceeded to the West Indies 
and sold them. For 282 years the original Africans, ^vith their 
children and children's children were enslaved ; to which were added, 
as necessity arose for labovir for carrying on the sugar and cotton 
cultivation, other cargoes of captured negroes. 

By the Act of Emancipation, eight hundred thousand of freed 
negroes were put into possession of the priceless privileges of civil and 
religious liberty. These privileges are thus defined by Wesley in 
his scathing tract, entitled ' Thoughts upon Slavery,' as follows : — 

' Liberty is the right of every human creature, as soon as he breatlies the 
vital air ; and no liuman law can deprive him of that right which he derives 
from the law of nature. ' 

And again : — 

' Religious liberty is a liberty to choose our own religion ; to worship God 
according to our own conscience. Every man living has a right to this, as he 
is a rational character. The Creator gave him this right when He endowed 
him with understanding ; and every man must judge for himself, because 
eveiy man must give an account of himself to God. Consequently, this is an 
inalienable right t is inseparable from humanity ; and God did never give 
authority to any man, or number of men, to deprive any child of man thereof, 
under any colour or pretence whatever.' 

This liberty is now the Magna Charta of every subject of oiu- 
Queen throughout her great empii-e ; but the history of the struggle 
for its acquirement, ' at home and abroad,' is a monitory illustration 
of the maxim — 

' Who would be free, 
Himself should strike the blow.' 



This ought not to have been i"equii-ed. 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 

1838—1853. 
SECOND PART. 

MY engagement by the Missionary Committee in London, 
acting for the English Conference, dates from August 1838, 
and the ending of Negro Apprenticeship in the West Indies occurred 
in the same month and year. By this action, new openings 
presented themselves to the London Committee, and the whole 
Methodist Chiu'ch in Great Britain sprang to the evangelistic 
enterprise. ' More missionaries ' had been once more the plea 
heard from across the waters of the Atlantic, and I was one among 
ten others who were chosen for the work. 

The official education of young missionaries begins in London. 
Fifty years ago, soon after the holding of the Conference, they were 
examined by a Committee, and, if approved, they were bUleted for 
a short time with the London Ministers. My good fortune, in the 
first instance, was to be told off for Westmoreland Place, the home 
of the Rev. President Thomas Jackson, whose fatherly bearing to 
me I can never forget. The President at that time was writing 
his Centenary Memoiial volume. From day to day, when he came 
down to dinner, he would tell us of the progress he was making. 
Rev. B. B. Waddy, who that year was the President's assistant, 
had most of the remarks addressed to him. ' Did you ever preach,' 
said the President to Mr. Waddy, ' on St. Paul's visit to Troas % ' 
' No, sir,' was the reply. ' But if you were to do so,' rejoined the 
President ; ' how would you treat that subject 1 ' ' Well, sii% I 
Jiardly know, bvit I suppose I would make a point of the importance 
of wakefulness in hearing the Word of God.' ' But there is a great 
deal more than that in the narrative,' said the President ; ' there 
is in fact a complete body of cUvinity in it. Only see ! we have — 



PERSONAL HIST BY. 21 

(1) the recognition of the Sabbath institution — "the first day of 
the week ; " (2) the conduct of the Apostolic Churches on that day 
— " the disciples came together ; " (3) the observance of the Lord's 
Supper — "broke bread;" (4) the institution of the Christian 
ministry — " Paul preached unto them." ' Then the President ex- 
pressed his sympathy with the young man, Eutychus, suggesting 
as an excuse for his having fallen into a ' deep sleep,' that probably 
he was generally employed in the field, or in some department of 
active daily life, and was not therefore able to resist the drowsiness 
that attacked him. The miracle of his restoration to full strength, 
at the instance of Paul, was also noticed, and — (5) the result of a 
well-spent Sabbath — ' They were not a little comforted.' This was 
good expository teaching for us young men, for two of us were the 
merest novitiates in the work. 

The President always offered prayer at family worship in the 
morning. These exercises were of a highly spiritual character. 
The nation, the church, the missions, the family, the young men, 
the sick and distressed, came in for special notice and earnest 
supplication. One morning after prayer, in which the President 
had been praying for favoiu-able weather for the ingathering of the 
crops in the north of England and Scotland, Mr. Waddy rather 
archly inquii-ed ' if the President was aware that the harvest was 
over in every part of the country ? ' ' No, no, Mr. Waddy,' said 
the devout man ; ' not yet. In the north of England and in many 
parts of Scotland there are hundreds of acres of ungathered grain, 
and if the Lord does not favour us for some time longer with suitable 
weather much of it will be spoiled ; bread will be dear, then what 
will the poor people do 1 ' I was much struck with the reply, as 
showing how much the President's heart had imbibed the spirit of 
his Master, whose special characteristic was His loving consideration 
for the poor. 

My next move was to 77, Hatton Garden, the residence of the 
Rev. Dr. and Mrs Alder. Here I met several young men, who 
were, like myself, Avaiting for ' sailing orders ' to proceed to our 
allotted woi'k ' far hence among the Gentiles.' The two temporary 
homes I had in London, at this time, stand out in sharp contrast to 
each other. Westmoreland Place was much like a qviiet, dignified 
Yorkshire home ; whilst Hatton Garden was official, restrained, 
and everything was done to order. The first was an easy break 



22 JAMES BICKFOBD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

from one's quiet home life in Devonshiie ; the other was a rather 
unwelcome discipHne to fit one for the higher courtesies of society 
and diplomatic intercourse Avith governors and leading officials in 
colonial life. Long experience has confirmed me in the opinion that 
both the English President and the Missionary Secretary were right. 
Dr. Alder's regime was a kind of bieaking in, of which, I am sure, 
that no young man capable of judging the doctor's motives would 
condemn as too severe. 

A few details may ]>e given. The young missionary at ' 77 ' 
soon learnt that he had to ' walk by rule.' On entering the house 
from the street a neatly clad and somewhat stiffish femme would 
conduct the stranger to a back parloiu', and take her departiu'e. The 
fiu-niture was scant and plain. There was no sofa, nor couch, nor 
easy chair, for the comfort of the ' young man from the country.' 
There were a few books, and all of a certain kind. ' Butler's 
Analogy,' ' Pearson on the Creed,' ' Wesley's Sermons,' and ' Watson's 
Institute,' were among the more promiiient and thumbed. On the 
wall over the mantelpiece was hung a copy of the rules to be read 
and observed. The bell would ring for breakfast at fifteen minutes 
or so before you were expected to make your appearance. Seated, 
with the ' Boss ' at the head, and his amiable better half at the other 
end of the table, the ordinary formalities of breaking-fast commenced. 
Each one was expected to be prepared with a passage of Scripture 
for recital, the lady of the house leading the way. Next to her sat 
a nervous young woman, the wife of one of the missionaries about to 
sail for Africa, whose surprise and hesitancy were so great that she 
could not produce a single word from the grand old book she loved 
so well. The round came to me on the left, next the ' Boss,' and 
I did my best in giving the last text I had iised before leaving 
Devonshire. Then the reading of the Scriptures followed, and prayer 
was offered. A funny incident occurred one morning. A small boy 
— a shoeblack and errand boy (whom we may fitly call ' Toby ') — was 
sitting in a corner of the room waiting his tvn-n at recitation after 
the rest of us had gone through our facings. He (Toby), it was 
said, had been misbehaving in some matter, and was under a threat 
of dismissal. Poor lad ! What could he do ? Nothing that he 
might say from his own mind could avert the trouble which now 
hung over him. So the arch little fellow chose a passage of Scripture 
which perchance might soften the ire of his master. His turn was 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 23 

the last of the lot — his only chance. But lie came out with his 
selected passage, full-mouthed and emphasized, with painfid emotion : 
' And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing 
threatening, knowing that your Master also is in heaven ; neither 
is there respect of persons with Him.' The stroke was felt at both 
ends of the table ; the shaft went home. Not a word was said, but 
smiles were exchanged; and for Toby's sake we may hope there 
was an end of the affair. 

As may be expected, this regime appeared to some of our pai-ty as 
savouring too much of being at school. Be it so, it was none the 
worse for that. The diet itself was according to the ' Rule of Three,' 
— breakfast, dinner and tea, and no fourth meal. These were 
frugal enough, except the dinner, which was svibstantial and good. 
Breakfast ! yes, stale bread, cut about three-quarters of an inch 
thick, with a slight 'scrape of butter' to make it slide more 
easily, and one or two cups of coffee as we might choose. The tea 
had toast sometimes in addition, but not too much of that. The 
subscribers to the funds of the Wesleyan Missionary Society may take 
my word for it that, at that time, there was no waste of any kind, 
no superfluity whatsoever, at 77, Hatton Garden. 

This was capital discipline doubtless for the young men, whether 
married or single. I felt the change very much from my freer former 
life in Devon, but I did not complain. Good for us perhaps that it was 
so, as a preparation for self-denial and unknown experiences which 
were awaiting us in distant parts. Fifty years have passed since 
then, and Dr. and Mrs. Alder have gone from among us ; yet their 
memories and many generous acts are not, and never can be, 
forgotten by me. 

The year 1838 may be thought of by the English Methodists as 
one marked with strong faith in God, and of noble daring in 
missionary enterprises. The income of the Society was ^673,875, and 
the expenditure had greatly exceeded that amount. There was, 
unhappily, a debt, including the deficiency of this former year, of 
some thousands of pounds. But, notwithstanding this painfid fact, 
the Committee could not stand still when the West Indies, India, 
Australia, Polynesia, and ISToi-th America were plaintively crying, 
' Come over and help us.' There must have been deep anxiety in 
the councils of the General Committee for the salvation of the 
heathen, to have warranted the forward action so strikingly shown. 



24 JAMES BICKFORD: A:N AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Australia and New Zealand were generously provided for, and so 
were the Canadas. 

I was present in September, in London, at an Ordination Service, 
when Messrs. Warren, Ironside, Creed, De Wolfe, Lauton, Barratt, 
and Marshall were, by the ' imposition of hands and prayers ' 
solemnly ' set apart ' for the work abroad. I well remember also 
that never-to-be-forgotten Valedictory service held in City Road 
on the departure of the Revs. John Waterhouse, J. H. Bumby, 
Jolm Egglestone, John Warren, Samuel Ironside, Charles Creed, 
and Peter Jones (the converted Indian chief) for Australia and 
Canada. Great men were on the platform — The President, Thomas 
Jackson, Dr. Hannah, Dr. Bunting, Richard Treffry (senior), Edmund 
Grindrod, John Beecham, Robert Alder, and Elijah Hoole. The 
President conducted the meeting with the impressive dignity of a 
true '0 j}7'uestos, and Dr. Bunting closed the service with a prayer, 
the remembrance of which has been cherished as an instance of 
impassioned pleading with the God of missions never before heard 
within the consecrated walls of Wesley's own church. But these 
were not all of the noble men sent out that year. There were, 
besides, Messrs. Moss, Edwards, Hetherington, Lauton, Parkinson, 
Burrows, Impey, Fleet, together mth the following missionaries : 
Messrs. Railton, Davis, Bell, Whitehead, Hurd, and Bickford. It 
was a year of Pentecostal Baptism for missionary enlargement, for 
the ' Lord of the harvest ' had heard the cry of His servants for 
more labourers, and the Conference authorities found them, and sent 
them out ' far hence among the Gentiles,' east, west, north, and 
south. 

Voyage to the West Indies. 

It was on November 2nd that the Rev. Henry Hurd and I were 
accompanied by Dr. Alder to London Bridge, to go by a small steam- 
boat to Gravesend, where the Berhely was anchored ready for sea. 
We soon got * under weigh ' and made for the ' Downs,' where we 
remained until the 11th. After morning service fair wind sprang 
up, and we were speedily shaping for ' down ' channel, some two 
hundred vessels starting at the same time. Among them were the 
Fame, bound for the Gambia, having Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson as 
passengers; the Jamaica, bound for Antigua, with Messrs. Eraser, 
Bell, and Railton ; the IIou(jhton-le- Spring, bound for Jamaica, with 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 25 

Messrs. Burrows, Davis, Redfern, and Whitehead ; and the Vixen, 
bound for South Africa, with Messrs. Richards and Impey. Fifty 
years ago the missionaries had to encounter the discomforts and 
dangers of saiUng to distant parts in small and ill-equipped trading 
vessels ; but now they are able to travel in monster steamships to 
eveiy part of the world, with the enjoyment of ' pleasure trips.' 

Nothing remarkable occurred during the voyage. We were thirty- 
eight days from the ' Downs ' to the island of St. Vincent's. We 
had the customary storms, contrary winds, and heavy seas, with 
other disagreeablenesses, but, upon the whole, for that season of the 
year, it Avas a fair voyage. Our worst weather was in the Bay of 
Biscay, where the sea was lashed into fury by the north-west gales, 
threatening ovir immediate destruction. A short vessel, like the 
Berkehj, was ill-prepared for easily riding over such yawning depths 
as ever and anon we descended into. One of these in particular 
can never be forgotten. The captain, Mr. Mann, and the chief mate, 
Mr. Frost, were standing on the larboard side of the quarter-deck 
watching with intensest apprehension the approach of a mountain 
of water. Its height was above the highest yard of our struggling, 
trembling ship, and we appeared to be within a measurable distance 
of engulphment in the appalling waves. But, as it approached, 
within a few yards of our ' bows,' it broke and disappeared below our 
quivering vessel, and left us unharmed. We then rose upon the 
crest of another sea, and finally escaped the further terrors of this 
fearfully dangerous bay. We caught the ' trades ' on December 3rd. 
some two hundred miles west of the Canary Isles, from which time 
we had pleasant sailing until we sighted Barbados. 

Life for land-lubbers on shipboard is a curious phenomenon. A 
Mr. Cockran, a sugar planter, and a really good-natured son of Erin, 
was then one of our fellow- voyagers. He quite took to me ; and why 
should he not ? Is there no affinity between Saxon and Celtic blood ? 
He always addi-essed me as ' The Bishop,' — -I presume of the saloon. 
One day he said to me, with afi'ectionate simplicity, ' Bishop, if you 
will come to see me on my plantation in Grenada, I shall be so 
pleased that I will kill a sheep for you.' His ' bulls ' were frequent 
and amusing. We were sailing close-hauled to the wind, — it was 
some days before we fell in with the ' trades ; ' but, it so happened, 
that whilst we were below dining, the chief mate had ' put the ship 
about ' so that we were on another tack, when he came again on 



26 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

deck. Said he to Mr. Frost, ' What have you been doing ? Why, 
you have put the wind on the other side of the ship.' But he was 
tender and sensible to every little act of kindness from us. I liked 
him very much. Our passengers were Grenadians by birth or 
choice, and were wholly free from those complexional prejudices 
which have so much disturbed and even embittered the social life of 
Jamaicans and Barbadians. A missionary on board ship, provided 
he act wisely, cautiously, and be tolerably reticent, may wield a 
powerful influence as a general peacemaker and friend. Mr. Hurd 
and I, in these respects, did our best, and succeeded. Dr. Alder's 
many counsels stood us in good tui-n now that we were thrown upon 
our own resources in our ship-life for the first time. 

On December 18th we sighted Barbados, and at 9 a.m. were off 
Carlisle Bay. We stood away at once for St. Vincent's, some ninety 
miles to the west. We reached the island at daylight, and early in 
the forenoon we landed at Cropper's Wharf, Kingstown Harbour. 
An interesting young gentleman — a Mr. Rapier, slightly coloured 
— addressed to us the inquiry, 'Whether we were Wesleyan mis- 
sionaries just arrived from England 1 ' We said, * Yes.' He then 
politely offered to conduct us to the mission house in the next street. 

The Rev. E.. H. Crane, a Nova Scotian by birth, was the resident 
missionary. He was a fine, well-proportioned man, with a benignant 
countenance, who received us with courtesy and smiles. We next 
saw his wife, Mrs. Crane, formerly a Miss Black, daughter of the 
Rev. William Black, of Huddersfield, Yorkshire, who had emigrated 
to Nova Scotia with his parents when he was quite young. Mr. 
Hurd and I were much shocked when we first saw her attenuated 
frame, deadly white complexion, and, as we inferred, ill state of 
health. But the climate had done it all ; a common penalty, which 
English ladies have to pay as the price for residing within the 
tropics. 

Whilst looking about the hall we heard the pattering of the 
negroes' naked feet as they entered the mission yard, with our 
heavy luggage on their heads. They, in much good nature, without 
fee or reward, placed all our belongings carefully against the outer 
wall of the strangers' receiving-room, and, scraping the right foot on 
the ground as their expressive token of respect for ' Buckra,' they took 
their departure. The reason of their kindness is not far to seek. 
' Dem missionary imported for a wee,' was the grateful idea which 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 27 



underlay their action. Being glad to see us, they were willing to 
serve vis as they had ability. 

The island of St. Vincent's, situate in 13° N. latitude and Gl° 
W. longitude, is regarded as the queen of the Antilles. Some 
travellers have appropriately called it a West Indian Switzerland. 
Indeed, the four leading characteristics of that famous country are 
here found in miniatui'e. The Alpine, the mountainous, the hilly, 
and the plain are seen to great advantage as we approach the 
Carib country from the sea ; also the peak-shaped movmtains, and 
extensive, broken ranges of high hills, and clean-cut precipices, as 
seen at the back of Kingstown and at Fort St. George. There is, 
perhaps, no portion of our Colonial empire that abounds more 
in interesting physical phenomena, and rugged scenery, than this 
grandly outlined island. In some localities to the leeward there are 
numerous traces of the igneous character of their origin. The 
magnificent Cumberland valley, for example, is the resort of the 
scientific and the curious, because of its immense basaltic i-ocks, 
which, rising hard by the river's side, stand straight up in columnar 
order, whilst their surface, pavement-like, is laid in polygonal pieces, 
fitted most mechanically into each other. The Greathead valley is 
celebrated for its spa, or mineral springs, which are so valuable in 
fever cases. And the Carib country to the windward is famous 
for its dry river. Before the dreadful eruption of the Soufi'riere 
mountain, in 1813, its bed was the natural floor of one of the 
most valuable streams that ever watered a plantation, or blessed a 
home. 

From the time of our landing to that of holding the Annual 
District Meeting was about two months. I shall never forget the 
fii\st evening spent in Kingstown. Mr. Crane asked me to preach, 
wloich I did as well as I could after the dissipation of a sea voyage. 
My subject was ' Wrestling Jacob,' and some seven hundred persons 
were present. A large choir, drawn up in a semi-cii'cular form, was 
led by a coloured lady possessing a strong, full, and well-trained 
contralto voice. The first tune was ' Segina,' a grand and appropriate 
one for rendering with efiect C. Wesley's greatest hymn — ' Come, 
Thovi Traveller unknown ! ' The bass was given by a Mr. Clark, a 
white man, who had bought his discharge from the army. He sang 
with marvellous power. The motley appearance of the congregation : 
diversity of complexional shades, naked feet of the blacks, red cotton 



28 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

tied headgear, fantastic hats, ydth. and without brims, together with 
a few of the whites and better-to-do coloured of the congregation 
dressed up in beau'jiful muslin or very light sUks, presented the most 
cux'ious audience I ever expected to see even in the West Indies 
themselves. 

My first Sunday was spent at Calliaqua, a small village, surrounded 
except seaward, by populous sugar plantations. We had from six 
to eight hundred persons present. After the morning sex'vice, tho 
classes were met by several leaders as arranged for them in every 
part of the building, which was probably fifty feet square, much 
after the manner in which modern Sunday schools are distributed. 
At the close of the fellowship by singing and prayer, the officiating 
minister had to call out, one by one, the names of all the members 
on the roll, who would answer ' one,' ' two,' ' three,' ' four,' meaning 
penny, or pence, as the case might be, and the leader would place the 
contribution in the numbered bag to be handed to the missionary, to 
be counted and entered in the Society book on the Monday morning. 
I thought ' This looks vexy much like business,' and suggesting the 
idea of ' paying as you go.' Two childrexi had to be baptized ; a love- 
feast had to be held in the afternoon, and a preaching sex'vice in the 
evening. Not a lazy, or bad day's work for a * new chum ' (Austral), 
who had just come from the stoi-my coasts of Sovith Devon, and 
exj)osed for the first time to the scox'ching and exhaustless x"ays of a 
vertical sun. 

Dec. 25th. — Di^dne sex-vices were held as in the old country. The 
Kingstown Chapel was full of worshippers at four o'clock in the 
mox'ning. This has always been a great day with our people in 
the West Indies. It is to them a day to be ushered in by ' songs 
in the night,' as well as in early morn, by a ' rejoicing with great 
joy.' The Rev. R. H. Crane preached at 5 a.m., and it fell to me 
to officiate at 10.30 a.m., axid at 7 p.m. My thoughts tx'avelled 
homeward, and I acutely felt the distance which then ixitervened 
between the sunny isle of St. Vincent's and Edmestoxi Bax'toxi, in the 
parish of Modbury, Devon, where twelve months ago we gathered 
around the parental hearth, rejoicing with our father and mother 
and nine bx-others and sistex-s, whose happy and healthy circle up 
to that time had been unbroken. The thought would arise, ' When 
shall we meet again ? ' ' Never more ' in this wox'ld, was the stern 
reply. 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 29 

Dec. 2Sth. — I was on the * wings of the wind.' The Rev. John 
Mann, our missionary in the Carib country, had come into Kings- 
town on the preceding day to take me back witli him for several 
services at his station. ' John Mann ' was a man for the occasion. 
He feai'ed neither sun nor rain. A salamander for heat and a duck 
for water ; — two important qualifications for the kind of work he 
had been doing previously in Trinidad and Tobago, and was then 
doing in the windward district of St. Vincent's. Once mounted on 
our mettled steeds, off we went at a canter through the town long 
before the Creoles had rubbed their eyes, or the blacks oiled their 
ebony. We ascended Dorsetshire Hill to the flagstaff, descended into 
Greathead valley, crossed the rushing river, proceeded at full speed 
over the flatter country, passed through CalHaqua, and then skirted 
the sea for some miles. But why all this haste 1 Why ? Because 
old Sol was rising, and the Englishmen must avoid the exhaustion 
and danger of his fierce rays, not only by an early journey, but by 
losing no time by the way. Calder, the head-quarters of the Hon. 
Hay McDowall Grant, the just and good attorney of the Trust 
Estates, soon appeared in view. We were quickly at the humble, 
quiet cottage of the Rev. John Lee, before whose door we 
pulled up — 

'• The wingM courser, like a generous horse, 
Shows most true mettle when you check its course." 

Riders and steeds seemed equally glad of shelter and repose. 

Mrs. Lee — dear good soul — had for us a fine breakfast of salt -fish, 
roast yams, plantains, and exquisite cofiee. Didn't we eat, and drink, 
too, after that ride ? The best sauce for an Englishman in the 
tropics is a gallop of a dozen miles, now and then, before breakfast. 
Oxu" kind host and hostess were not at all surprised at the devouring 
powers we put forth. The morning hymn, the reading of God's Word, 
and a short extempore prayer, concluded the repast. The negroes of 
the plantation came around the house to have a peep at the new 
Buckra (white stranger) and offer him a welcome. 

At midday Mr. Mann and I remounted our horses, and off we 
went for the Biabou mission station, where resided the Rev. John 
Cullingford, the Chairman of the District. We had brought copies 
of the Watchnmn with us containing the accounts of the great 
meeting which had been held at Manchester in initiating the 



30 JAMES BICKFORB : AN AUTOBIOGEAPHY. 

movement for celebrating the Centenary festival. Mrs. Cullingfoi'd 
entertained us most hospitably. Refreshed and comforted we pro- 
ceeded on our way at 4 p.m., so as to have the cool of the evening 
for the remainder of our journey. Romantic and precipitous cliffs, 
hills and valleys, narrow riding paths, and rushing rivers mark the 
way from Biabou to Georgeto-s\Ti, the station and home of Mr. Mann. 
Ordinarily, a few days' rest would have been wise after such a 
journey, but this was not to be. The ' next day was the Sabbath,' 
and I had to do the best I could. But there was such encouragement 
in the crowds that came for the worship that all previous fatigue 
was forgotten. Hundreds upon hundreds could not get inside the 
building, but had to come within earshot on the outside, and get as 
much religious instruction as was possible under the circumstances. 
Such ' hunger ' for the Word of God I had never seen before in 
England or elsewhere. Speaking for the honoured pioneer of this 
great work, Mr. Mann, it seemed to me that no words could be 
more appropriate for the utterances of his soul than are the 
folio-wing lines : — 

' Who, I ask in amaze, hath begotten me these ? 
And inquire from what quarter they came ; 
My full heart it replies, They are born from the skies, 
And gives glory to God and the Lamb.' 

Two incidents occiu-red, of great interest to me, during this my first 
visit to the Carib country : — 

(a) My being present at the class meeting of newly con ci'ted 
negroes. Mr. Mann was the leader. His beaiing was very tender 
and considerate of the feelings of these ' babes in Christ,' who were 
seeking for guidance and help in their spiritual life. The meeting 
had the true ring. The fellowship was genuinely good all through. 
The enquiries of the leader dealt alone with spiritual expei'iences and 
the trials of the daily life of the members. Such replies as the 
following indicate the gist of the whole exercise: (1) 'Me have no 
friend but Jesus. Me love my Jesus for what He done for me.' (2) 
' My Jesus give me faith : me want more faith.' (3) ' Me be 
determined to live better this year ; me will ask more — ^love more — 
pray more — and be better Christian.' To my own soul it was a 
precious season of peace and blessing. 

(b) I had heard of a miserable remnant of the red Carib race 
located at Grand Sable, lying to the north of the Georgetown mission 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 31 

station, and I expressed a wish to Mr. Mann to visit them in their 
own settlement. We accordingly mounted our horses early one 
morning, and found them in due course as we expected. They — about 
fifty perhaps — were the sole survivors of a once powerful race, the 
original owners of the land, and masters of the seas which washed the 
shores of theii* beautiful islands. Being introduced to the old chief, 
it was easy to see from his bearing that we were not wanted, and 
that our presence even was irksome to the tribe. Physically, they 
are of a low stature, and bear a strong resemblance to the group of 
copper-coloured Indians seen in the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, 
London. Their look was strongly suspicious of the presence of 
strangers. Theu- eyes appeared contracted, and the unmistakable 
. expression of the countenance was not only forbidding but revengeful. 
Some fifty years before the time of oiu* visit, under the dii-ection of 
the Eev. Dr. Coke, an attempt was made to civilize these people by 
establishing a school for the children. A Mr. and Mrs. Joice were 
sent out from London to conduct it. But the project failed through 
the severe illnesses of Mrs. Joice, and both had to leave. 

The next attempt was made by the appointment of the Bev. Mr. 
Baxter, of Antigua, as a missionary to reside in the Carib country, 
near the river Byera, which separated the English territory from the 
Indian settlement. Two years of trial were given to this experiment ; 
when, having no encouragement whatsoever fi'om the Caribs, old or 
young, the mission was reluctantly withch-awn, and to all human 
appearance the ' day of grace ' closed. It is said that Mrs. Baxter, 
on taking ' leave, wept at theu- rejection of the Gospel, and earnestly 
prayed that they might have another " call," before the things which 
made for their everlasting peace were for ever hidden from their eyes. 
At the same time, she earnestly besought God, that when another 
call should reach them, they might not reject it, as they had 
hitherto slighted the overtures of salvation which had been made 
to them.' 

Half a century has elapsed since the visit of Mr. Mann and myself 
to the Grand Sable Settlement. But the impression made upon me as 
I gazed at this remnant of a once numerous race, and called to mind 
the cruel methods by which it had been almost destroyed ' from off 
the face of the earth,' created an agony of regretfid sorrow and 
shame which has never wholly left me since. They were dejected, 
sulky, and apparently so much under the influence of an ungratified 



32 JAMES JilCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

revengefiilness of feeling, that it was almost an unbearable burden 
to see them. We had intruded into their secrecy, and were standing 
face to face A\-ith the unfortunate sur\dvors of an ancestry whom 
our countiymen had so cruelly spoliated and killed. What could we 
say 1 What could we do 1 Such wi-ongs could not be condoned by 
anything that we might proffer. We stood self-convicted for our 
country's villanies to an innocent and helpless race. As we came, so 
we departed, from a scene so full of mournful antecedents, feeling 
that our absence would be a sensible relief to those whose ' hiding- 
place ' we had so sacrilegiously invaded. 

Jan. 5th, 1839. — My visit to the 'Windward' now closed, and I 
returned to Kingstown, drawing bridle only at Biabou. On entei-ing 
the mission house our Father Crane, as he was affectionately called, 
met me with a benignant smile and greeting : ' Welcome back again,' 
said he : ' how are you 1 I am glad to see you.' I felt much at home 
with this common-sense, happy, dignified family. The true affinity 
of Methodist mission life was a realistic fact in St. Vincent's. The 
Calder, Biabou, and Georgetown Homes were occupied by generous 
inmates, who were pleased, on every proper occasion, ' to entertain 
strangers' without ostentation, fuss, or niggardliness. The mission 
house at Kingstown, the centre of population and head-quarters of our 
ecclesiastical establishment, was, by general consent and under- 
standing, ' a house of call : ' a place of refreshment and rest for the 
brother- and sister-hoods of mission families throughout the island. 
And nothing could exceed the generosity and affection of the 
Reverend ' Gains,' ' our host,' and that of his excellent wife, Mrs. 
Crane, whose fvxll-orbed and intelligent countenance was itself a 
welcome to the obligated visitor. 

A halting stage, but not a place of rest, was Kingstown to be to 
me at this time. By water to ' Leeward,' under the watchful 'steer' 
of the Rev. Joseph A. Marsden, our indefatigable missionary at 
Princes' Town, Bari'onallie, was the course laid out for me. At 
5pm., we were in our canoe with four black men 'laying to the 
oars' with all their strength, pulling us with rapid speed to the 
place of our destination. We glided pleasantly over the green, 
pellucid waters of the bay, and rounded, without a ' baptism ' from 
Neptune, the ' Old Woman's Point,' where the rush and roar of the 
converging waves are sometimes appalling. We hugged the coast- 
line as much as possible, keeping clear of the rocks and backwash 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 3^ 

of the sea as we cleared the boldly jutting promontories, which mark 
the romantic outline of land and cliffs, and arrived at length at the 
mission place of disembarking, safe and sound. This was my first 
experience in canoeing, but I took to it as if ' to the manner born,' 
and soon learnt to steer over any kind of wave or sea without fear 
or trepidation. Indeed, my nautical daring for seven years on the 
Kingsbridge river, Devon, now stood me in good stead in piloting 
our cockle-shell canoes in these West India waters. Mrs. Marsden's 
reception of me was most kind, and quite in keeping with the 
unobtrusive, warm hospitality for which the yorkshire Methodist 
homes, from one of which she came, are beautiful examples. 

My first Sunday at the Leeward was a busy day. Early in the 
morning I rode some seven miles or so to Layon, where we had 
an old rickety chapel full of people waiting for my ari-ival. I 
preached and held a Love-feast. The Missionary Marsden was a true 
Yorkshireman for feeding and drawing out the unsophisticated 
nature of these negro Christians. The mother of the Society, as she 
was filially called, was a coloured elderly lady — a Mrs. Gai'dner — a 
woman of rare piety, gifts, and commanding influence. She rose 
and gave her testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit in her soul 
with modesty and hopefulness. Others also, in rapid succession, gave 
witness with tearful joy to the comfort with which the religion brought 
by the missionaries had invested them. At 10.30 a.m., I remounted 
my steed and hastened back to Barronallie, and commenced a second 
service. The chapel, to use an Irishism, without I hope ofience, was 
filled inside and out. The Renewal of Covenant Service followed, 
and the Lord's Supper was administered. In the evening I once 
more preached to a full house, and thus concluded the laborious 
exei"cises of this hallowed day. 

Alas for me ! before I had time to recoup my used-up strength, 
Mr. Marsden summoned me for a trip farther to the Leeward. We 
were this time to go to Chateaubellair, about twelve to fifteen miles 
distant, bearing to the north-west of the island. Our first adventure 
Avas at the ' Bottle and Glass,' so called because, to the poetic fancies 
of the natives, this reef of dangerous rocks resembled near its outer 
point a bacchanalian party convivially employed. Such was the 
rvish of the turbulent, boiling sea at the outermost point that no 
canoe could live in it except in very calm weather, so that to shoot 
oiu- little Niagara was the alternative to progress. Our ' skipper ' 

3 



34 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

(Mr. ]\Iarsden) gave orders to pull straight for the opening and take 
advantage of the swell and rush of the wave to get through to the 
other side. Stealthily coming up within a few feet of the edge of 
the opening our men ' lay on their oars.' Counting each wave as it 
dashed over, the fifth, which was always of greater volume than 
were the ordinary ones, the stroke oarsman, John B., cried, ' novo ' — 
* NOW ' — ' NOW,' with tremendous emphasis, and away we went 
on the crest of the swelling, rushing sea, clean over the sharp pointed 
rocks, and the danger was passed. Many a canoe has come to grief, 
and many lives have been lost, at the ' Bottle and Glass ; ' but, 
strange as it may appear, we became so accustomed to the romance 
and danger of the ' pass,' as even to like it. In after years, Avhen 
stationed to the ' Leeward,' the * Old Woman's Point ' and the 
' Bottle and Glass,' were an inspiration to me. I liked the peril, and 
gloried in facing it. 

But we were not to reach Chateaubellair on this occasion. A 
strong north-wester had been blowing all the previous night, causing 
a terrific sea all along the coast, and making it dangerous for us 
to proceed. Mr, Marsden, therefore, ordered the men to pull into a 
small bay, where we landed. We spent the day with a Mr. Beilby, 
the hospitable manager of the plantation, and in the cool of the 
evening we walked over the intervening hills back to Barronallie. 

A new experience was now awaiting me. The next morning, just 
as the day began to break, I was awoke from a sound sleep by a 
kind of subterranean wave of jerky and undulating motion. It 
seemed to come from seaward, passed vip under the house and shook 
it most violently. What is this % thought I. Before I had time to 
pick myself up. Brother Marsden, whose room was on the other side 
of the hall, called out, ' Don't be afraid ; it is only an earthquake ; 
it will soon be over.' But, if not afraid, I was concerned for my 
personal safety, and wondered whether I would not be better off 
outside the building than inside of it. Jumping out of bed and 
throwing open the shutters, I could see how matters were looking 
in the yard. The female servant was all astir, and rushed towards 
the kitchen to the man-servant for protection. ' Budde Cudgo,' said 
she, 'de hear de ground shake? I did tink the house wid fall.' But 
it did not fall. For, being built of wood, it caught the sweep and 
jump of the commotion underneath and escaped unhurt. But Mr. 
Marsden that morning at the family altar did not forget to recognise 



PER80XAL HISTORY. 35 

the presence of the Fatherly hand which had protected us fi-om harm 
and death. 

I remained at the Leeward over the Sabbath, and returned to 
Kingstown on the Monday morning. I found Mr. Marsden engaged 
in raising subscriptions for the remnant of a shipwrecked crew of 
English sailors who had landed on the previous Sabbath day. 
Charity, like religion, seems to know no fatigue. Here was this 
indefatigable missionary — a man whose height was six feet at least, 
and weight perhaps fifteen stone — trudging about under the fierce 
rays of a vertical sun, begging from all classes of the people money 
for purchasing clothes for these unfortunate men, and to send them 
on their way. 

The case was this. On December 6th they had sailed from Sieri'a 
Leone bound for London. On the eighth day after theii' departure 
the ship was struck on the weather quarter by a heavy sea, and she 
began to fill very fast. Two, boats were launched and victualled, 
the captain and thirteen men manned the long boat, and the chief 
mate and seven men the other. The first attempt was to reach 
Cape de Verde, and for eight long days this course was tried without 
success. The second boat in the meantime had disappeared. The 
captain then steered for Barbadoes, which was some three thousand 
miles distant. For thii^ty-two days there on the Atlantic they had 
to subsist on the scantiest supply of food, whilst, during the last 
fortnight, they had to subsist on two wine-glasses of water and a 
small bit of biscuit per man per diem. Ai-riving off Barbadoes, the 
men had not sufficient strength to pull into Carlisle Bay, and so they 
had to di-ift to leeward in the hope of catching St. Vincent's and an- 
choring in Kingstown harbour. Poor fellows, ' when the eye saw them 
it pitied them,' and ' the blessing of them that were ready to perish 
came upon' the good missionary and his sympathising friends. 

Jan. '20th. — I preached at Kingstown, and received six candidates 
for 'membership. I laid down for them only two conditions : (1) 
That they would, by the grace of God, abandon all sinful ways and 
practices. (2) They were to resolve, by the same help, to be good 
members. And were not these sufficient ? So I believed, and so I 
said. The pledge on their part was : ' We are tired of sin and are 
ashamed of ourselves. We pray God may forgive us.' I entered 
theu' names in the Candidates' book to be read at the first Leaders' 
meeting thereafter, when, if no objection was raised, the names 



36 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

would be entered on the class-books for further instruction. Up to 
that point the pastor's action was scripturally complete. 

I went a second time to the Windward, and spent nine days with 
Mr. and Mrs. Lee and ]\Ir. Parsons, their adopted son, at Calder. 
During this time we went to Georgetown to the laying of the 
foundation stone of a new mission church for the accommodation 
of the numeious families who had been brought into church relations 
with us through the untiring labours of the Rev. John Mami. 
The Christian negroes as a thankoffering to God placed seventy-nine 
dollars on the stone. The next day I retui'ned to Kingstown to 
attend the District meeting. 

A sad event has now to be noticed. The Rev. Mr. Crane on the 
30th was seized with malignant fever. In the hope that a change 
of air might be helpful to him, he was removed to the hills about 
three miles from Kingstown, where I went to see him. Everything 
that medical skill could do for him was promptly done, but without 
avail. On the fourth day of his illness he died. His last words 
were : ' I am on the rock. I am safe — all is well.' 

Feb. 4ith. — The District Meeting was commenced under the able 
presidency of the Rev. John Cullingford, besides whom there were 
present the Revs. George Beard, John Wood, William Moister, 
George Ranyell, John Mann, John Blackwell, Joseph A. Marsden, 
John Lee, William Bannister, James Bickfoixl, and Henry Hurd. 
The last three had just joined the district, and were affectionately 
received. The usual annual letter from the London Committee was 
read by Mi-. Moister, the District Secretary. This was a compre- 
hensive and valuable document, in which the financial and spiritvial 
condition of each circuit, as shown in the reports and accounts of 
the preceding year, were reviewed. There was, I thought, an air of 
sharp business in the whole of the proceedings. The grant for the 
year, for example, was apportioned, after a fvill discussion, to the 
respective circuits, according to their wants. With this assistance 
all deficiencies were to be met, as the London Committee would not 
admit any supplementary claim. Special cases of afiliction, medical 
and funeral expenses, were, however, not included in the ordinary 
expenditui^e. The education grant was divided according to the 
number and classification of the schools in each of the islands. The 
District Treasurer was an important functionary. He had to 
receive from the brethren their dues to the ' Old Preachers' Fund,' 




^^zrUn-/ 






■\VOODBL'RYPRINT, WATERLOW it SONS LIMITED. 

From a Negative bij BRUNSKILL, Windermere. 



PEB.SONAL HISTORY. 37 

the Oonnexional Education Fund, the Foreign Missions' Contributions 
made in the circuits, the annual subscription to the Watchman 
and John Mason's account. This was to be a yearly settling up ; hard 
lines for some, but safe lines for all. 

Feb. \Wi. — The District meeting closed, having been in session 
nine days. I was appointed as colleague to the Rev. William 
Moister, in Trinidad. 

Feb. 15t/i. — Messrs. Beard, Wood, Moister | and I, went on board 
a small American schooner, and sailed for our destinations. As the 
time for ' turning in ' came round, I enquu-ed of ■ my superintendent, 
Mr. Moister, what were the arrangements for our sleeping. His 
look, rather than words, was an answer ; looking down upon me, 
for he was a tall man, he seemed to say with that expressive eye 
of his, ' Inexperienced youth, you will soon find out for yourself.' 
Then looking upon the cleanly swept quarter deck, he audibly said, 

* Well, as for me, I shall take the softest plank, and I recommend 
my brethren to follow my example.' The fact is, that we had 
neither mattresses nor pillows ; and so, making the best of it, clad 
in my outfit cloak and travelling cap, I stretched myself, for the 
first time in my life, upon a plank bed, and quietly went to sleep. 
The sky was clear and the wind fair ; we soon passed under Bequia, 
hugged the Grenadines, and at dawn of day we stood across the 
channel and sheltered under the lee of Grenada. Mr. Moister, our 

* captain of the mess,' was on the look-out for a good breakfast 
for us, of which we all partook -with hearty relish. With the fore- 
noon we had nearly a dead calm, and not till the evening had 
we the usual land breeze to enable us to enter the Caunage at 
St. George's the next morning. 

At 10 a.m. I went on shore and called on my fellow-passengers 
per Berkely, and found them very glad to see me. At 3 p.m. I 
wqpt on board the schooner and found Mr. Moister displeased that 
I had remained so long on shore. I had learnt, when a Sunday- 
school teacher in Kingsbridge, that ' a soft answer turneth away 
wrath,' and so I thought I had better begin the practice at once. 
It answered admh'ably. Mr. Moister was placated, and I had 
shown no unworthy temper. Good for both of us. 

We had a fine run across the ninety miles' stretch of sea lying 
between Grenada and Trinidad. We made the north coast of the 
island, which is bold and sharply cut, behind which, and rising 



38 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

iu some instances over two thousand feet above the sea-level, there 
is a chain of mountains truly South American. As we reached the 
Bocas (Sp. mouths), we had hoped to pass quickly through one of 
them into the Gidf of Paria, but we were cruelly disappointed 
through the failui'e of the wind. Our little vessel rolled and tossed 
on the unbroken, heavy swell of the sea all that day and the next, 
which was the Sabbath. Sometimes we were so near the rocky 
cliffs and headlands that we could touch them with a long pole ; 
and then the relentless current, rushing from the Gulf, would sweep 
us far back into the ocean outside. The fierce rays of Sol fell upon 
the deck during those two terrible days in such a degree that loco- 
motion Avas impossible, and our faces and hands were sorely blistered. 
At 10 p.m. on the second day a light wind sprang up from the north- 
west, and gently wafted us beyond the inner line of the sweeping 
currents. 

Feb. \^th. — We reached the 'Five Islands,' when we were again 
becalmed. We waited for four long hours for a favouring breeze, 
when the good captain, out of sheer pity for us, manned a boat 
and sent vis on to Port of Spain, the capital of the island. 

Trinibad, 1839. 

We were soon at the mission house, and Mrs. Moister cHd all that 
lay in her power to refresh and comfort us after the blistering and 
the exhausting ordeal through which we had passed. The ordinary 
heat of Trinidad is as much as most white men can bear ; but the 
additional blaze and fire of the sun we had outside the Bocas and 
ill the Gulf were enough to half kill the bravest of men. This was 
to me a terrible ' baptism of fire,' the efiect of which I felt for 
long. Mr. Moister, however, after such experience he had had in 
Western Africa and Demerara, very soon recovered. Of course, I vas 
not to go to Couva, situate about halfway on the eastern side of the 
gulf, between Port of Spain and San Fernando, until I had spent 
a Sabbath in this queen of tropical cities, and had called upon the 
Kennedys, the Cleavers, the Beilbys, the Brodies, and other friends. 
By invitation I preached in the morning in the Presbyterian Chiu-ch, 
and in the evening in the Wesleyan. Several of the ' Lady Mico 
Charity ' day-school teachers, just come from England, were present 
at the evening service. 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 39 

The time had come for me to go to Couva, the station to which 
I had been appointed by the District Meeting. Mr. Moister went 
%vith me to lay in such provisions as I should require when ' down 
coast.' Mr. Gould, a respectable coloured merchant, attended to my 
wants. A good Yorkshire ham, a half -firkin of Cork butter, two 
hampers of American potatoes, a small bag of flour, with tea, coffee, 
and cocoa, were recommended as essentials for my daily consumption. 
Drinkables, in small quantities, were also put in. In those dark 
days — now fifty years ago — it was thought that without alcoholic 
stimulants no Englishman, nor Scotchman either, for that matter, 
could live and labour in the exhausting climate of Trinidad. But 
this di'eam, like many others, equally foolish and pernicious, has 
been chspelled by the larger experiences of Europeans and better 
modes of lining. My kind superintendent accompanied me to Couva, 
to see for himself that all proper arrangements had been made for 
my comfort, and in the evening returned by the local steamer to 
Port of Spain. 

And now I was ' left alone : ' a kind of missionary Crusoe, ' the 
monarch of all I surveyed.' But I had a man ' Friday,' in the 
person of Alfred, who was to be my cook, butler, groom, \\owiiemaid, 
church -keeper, gardener, errand-man, and companion, all rolled into 
one. 'A faithful man ' was Alfre' (Nig.), 'and feared God above 
many.' Said he to me one day : ' Minister, I want you to let me 
get married ! ' ' Indeed,' I replied, ' to whom ] ' Said he, ' Sister 
PhilHs ! ' ' What,' I rejoined, ' marry your sister ? ' ' Minister no 
understand,' said he naively ; ' is she not a member of the Church ? 
Is she not a sister then 1 ' ' Yes, yes,' I replied ; ' Alfre', fix the day, 
and I will tie the knot.' They were married in due course before 
quite a select company of ' brothers and sisters ' in the mission 
church, and a happier couple never lived on the premises than were 
they. One day I sent him to the bay for a hamper of potatoes. 
He put his naked feet into the stirrups, except the great toes of 
the right and left feet, which he wisely kept outside the rim with 
which to hold on. By-and-by, hearing some one riding up to the 
gate, I looked from my study window to see what possible magnate 
(planter or doctor, perhaps) might b6 coming. To my surprise it 
was Alfre', but I never saw him look so tall before. As he neared 
the house, I perceived that he had hoisted the hamper upon the 
top of his head, thereby keeping his hands free for other purposes. 



40 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

' Hallo, Alfre', what is up, eh ? ' ' Ah,' said he, ' metiiik he be 
easy for de horse for me carry him so.' ' Well done, Alfre',' said I ; 
* a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast,' the good Book has 
said. 

I shall never forget this kind-hearted fellow. When I had 
my seasoning fever, he ofFei'ed to cure me better than the doctor 
(Graham). So he set to work. He collected and boiled up together 
some new rum, just from the still; a quantity of lime-juice, Irish 
butter, and a handful of sweating herbs, and made of them a drink, 
cei'tainly, such as for noxiousness, I had never tasted before. I went 
to bed, and then Alfre' administered his nostrum, and almost 
smothered me with sheets and blankets. That was a night to be 
remembered. The fever was not sweated out, but my poor life was 
almost perspired away. Poor, disappointed Alfre' ! But he did his 
best : it was a perilous best for me. Fortunately, a Mr. William 
Cleaver, then a student for our work, came to my relief ; and, at 
Mr. Moister's request, I immediately left for Port of Spain. By 
the blessing of God, under the skilful treatment of Dr. Murray, the 
affectionate care of Mrs. Moister, and the nursing night and day, 
without intermission for nearly a fortnight, by Polly Philips, one of 
GUI' church sisters, I got rid of my fever, and was able to return to 
my much-loved work at Couva. 

My work at this station lay mostly among the sugar plantations. 
The principal services during my first year, on the Sabbath, were at 
Couva and San Fernando alternately. On week evenings I preached 
at Felicity Hall, Milton, Carolina, Cedar Hill, and Palmiste planta- 
tions. I occasionally visited Camben, Exchange, Providence, Claxton 
Bay, and Cedar Grove, in the ISTaparimas. My hands were full, 
every minute of my time was employed, and all the planters received 
me with confidence, and all the peoj)le with gratitude. The Rev. 
Mr. Hurd was appointed our missionary at San Fernando in my 
second year, which relieved me from the longer journeys and 
exposure to heavy rains and scorching heat. The new church at 
San Fernando was built in Mr. Hurd's first year ; the parsonage 
also. At the time of the consecration of the church, Mr. Hurd was 
ill with fever in Port of Spain, and Mr. Moister and I conducted 
the opening services. To Mr. Moister's great personal influence 
with the Government, and attorneys of the sugar plantations, is our 
church mainly indebted for the initiation and completion of this 



PERSOXAL UISTORY. 41 



commanding establishment in the very heart of this the second 
town of the colony. 

San Fernando was the natural key to the sugar-producing district 
of Naparima, and upon several of the plantations were located 
many of our best informed and loyal adherents. 

My two years at Couva passed very rapidly. My health had so 
much broken, and my sense of solitude had so depressed my soul, 
that I found it indispensable to seek a removal to St. Vincent's as 
the most likely part of the district in which I might be set up 
again for the work of my life. My lot at Couva had been one of 
ever-recurring fever ; my nervous energy had collapsed ; I was no 
longer the same man. It was difficult to believe that my strong 
constitution could have been so wrecked in two short years. The 
official parting took place early in January 1841, after the morning 
service at Couva, amid much hand-squeezing, fervent prayers, atid 
many tears. Mr. Hurd had come over from San Fernando, and in 
the evening we rode over to Felicity Hall plantation, and held 
another service. We slept that night in Brother Samuel Kennedy's 
house (' hut,' Nig.), so as to be ready at daylight to go to the landing 
place for embarkation. Nearly all the adult people marched with 
us in procession, and when we reached the bank of the Paria, there 
and then, under the branches of a lofty cocoa-nut tree, we sang 
the Hymn 534 (Wesley), followed by prayer and consecration. I 
sprang into the boat, for my heart was breaking, and begged to be 
at once put on board the sloop lying at anchor some distance from 
the shore. Such is the history of my first experiences on a mission 
station in the West Indies. 

The District Meeting of 1841 was held in Tobago. We called at 
Grenada on our way, and were joined by the Rev. John and Mrs. 
Wood. We took a whole week to beat from St. George's, vid the 
windward of Tobago, round to Scarborough, the port and capital of 
the island. We had to record the retirement of the Eev. Joseph 
A. Marsden, who, solely on account of health, had eai-ly in the 
preceding year, with Mrs. Marsden, returned home. Mr. Marsden's 
possibilities were undoubtedly great ; but his build and bulk unfitted 
him for our West India work. The Revs. John Mann and John 
and Mrs. Wood had also gone to England; add to which the un- 
expected deaths of the Rev. John and Mrs. Lee, after a few days of 
fever, at CaUiaqua, diminished our stafi", and rendered the supplying 



42 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

of the circuits a great difficulty. For tlie first time we received a 
white canditate, a Mr. William Cleaver, who was born in Trinidad. 
He was much help to us in our dire extremity. 

St. Vincent's, 1841. 

By the District Meeting I was appointed to labour in St. Vincent's, 
and entered upon my work on the 10th of February. The congrega- 
tions of my pastoral charge were those of Calliaqua and Calder, 
numbermg about fifteen hundi-ed souls. The Marriqua valley had 
to be missioned by me besides. In this romantic valley there resided 
many families of freeholders, who were mostly engaged in growing 
and preparing arrowroot for exportation to England ; the cocoa- 
berry also, which was a valuable article of export. The scenery, 
^vith its majestic stream flowing thi'ough its centre, was mountainous 
and grand. It was a place much to be desired, and here the people 
lived in quietude, each family pursuing the cultivation of the rich 
soil, and doing then- very best for both worlds. 

On 23rd of April, I received from Dr. Alder an interesting 
communication. It was to the effect that the London Committee 
had decided on sending the Revs. W. Limmex and S. Durrie to our 
help, together with Mrs. Limmex and the Misses Tapp and Silifant. 
Mr. Hurd and I were requested to be in Barbadoes on the arrival 
of the ship Mercy to meet our friends. Accordingly, I left Kingstown 
on the following morning in the sloop Mary for that island. After 
beating up the Becqui channel from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. without much 
success, the captain resolved to proceed under the lee of St. Vincent 
away to the northward, and when he had made a good ' ofiing ' stand 
direct for Barbadoes. In the middle of the next day, to my great 
pleasiu'e, I saw the Royal Mail steamer Tartarus, from Jamaica, 
steering straight for Castries, the harbour of St. Lucia. I imme- 
diately asked the captain to follow in her wake and put me on board. 
Having cleared the island, we made direct for Barbadoes, and when, 
next day, we were about midway on our voyage, our attention was 
called to a dismasted emigrant ship on our lee with the usual flag of 
distress flying. We made towards her, and our captain oflered help. 
A hawser was soon attached, and we had the gratification to tow her 
in safety to Carlisle Bay. 

Whilst breakfasting, on the 5tli of May, one of our friendly 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 43 



' watchers' announced that the good ship Mercy liad hove in sight. My 
generous host, the Rev. Alexander Mausie, and I soon started for the 
wharf, secured a boat, and boarded the ship just as the anchor was 
dropped. All the members of the mission party were well and delighted 
at the termination of their voyage. As soon as possible we went on 
shore, when a hospitable and loving welcome was accorded to the party 
by Mr. and Mrs. Mausie. The next day, the 6th, Miss Tapp and I 
were married in the James Street Church by Mr. Mausie, in the 
presence of a large number of friends and well-wishers for our 
happiness. It would be impossible to forget the generous kindness 
of Dr. and Mrs. King, Mr. and Mrs. Walsh, Mr. and Mrs. Austin, 
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, the Gills and Hynes, and other friends. 

On the 14th the party sailed for St. Vincent's in the brig Helen, 
and anchored the next day in Kingstown Harbour. Mrs, Bickford 
and I proceeded at once to Calliaqua, and took possession of our 
humble home the same evening. 

The month of August in St. Vincent's is the most sickly of the 
year. I did not escape the endemic visitation. On the fourth or 
fifth day after my attack I had to be carried from my bed to the 
hall and laid upon the sofa for the benefit of cooler air. The leaders 
and some other members of our church surrounded the house and 
watched for the final event. In the merciful providence of God, 
Brother Parsons called to make enquiry for me, who, seeing the 
prostrate and dangerous condition I was in, he remounted his horse and 
hastened to the Prospect plantation, and asked the Hon. and Rev. 
Nathaniel Struth to send his carriage instanter to convey me to the 
healthier locality of Calder Ridge, one of the Trust estates, of which 
he was the manager. In the course of a couple of hours Mrs. 
Bickford and I were on our way, and the cool air much revived me. 
But the crisis — the ninth day — was not yet passed. It came, how- 
ever, and Dr. Choppin privately told my friend, Mr. Parsons, that 
if the vomiting returned during the night, I would die before the 
morning. 

Two black women, Mrs. Ovid and Mrs. Hai'vey, who were in 
attendance night and day upon me, asked the doctor's permission 
to try what they could do. ' Oh, yes,' said he, with an ominous 
shake of the head ; ' you may try ! ' Without the loss of five 
minutes these Christian nurses prepared a quantity of lime-juice 
and the coldest water that could be got for sopping the skin all over 



44 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the body, and au admixtm-e for internal use, of nauseous ingredients, 
to be swallowed without challenge or questioning. And so they went 
to work. For fully six hours they ceased not their efforts, when, at 
2 a.m., they had the satisfaction of observing a change for the better. 
God be praised ! The fever was broken, and the perspiration streamed 
from every pore. I shall never foi-get the ' sweet rest in sleep ' which 
followed for several hours. Dr. Choppin came earHer than was usual 
for him, and learnt from Mr, Parsons the altered condition of things. 
Coming into the room, with an evident intensity of satisfaction, 
he addressed words of comfort to us, saying, ' The danger is over 
and gone.' 

Tobago, 1842. 

By the English Conference I was appointed superintendent of our 
mission in the island of Tobago. The Rev. S. H. Durrie was to be 
my colleague, and to reside at Mount St. George. After the District 
Meeting, January 1842, we prepared for our voyage. To go direct, 
as well as to save time and expense, I chartered the William McCaul, 
a sloop of thirty-five tons burthen, to convey vts thither. Starting 
from the port of Calliaqua with a strong north-west wind we cleared 
Mustique, the most easterly of the Grenachnes, and shaped our course 
for Tobago. But, making no allowance for the strong current to the 
windward at that season of the year, we were too high hj a full 
point. 

The voyage, under ordinary circumstances, should be made in 
twenty-four to thirty hours ; but on our seeing no land after four 
days' sailing I became anxious, knowing that we must have overshot 
the island. To our dismay, I found that Captain Brown had neither 
chart nor quadrant, so that it was impossible for our real position 
to be fixed. Besides which, we had passed beyond the deep blue 
water, and were rushing along in the pale green, which I knew to 
be somewhere opposite the Oronooko, whose freshlets pale the sea for 
a- hundi^ed miles from the coast. After consulting with Mr. Durrie 
I insisted that the vessel should be put about, keeping down a point 
or two below north-west, so that, perchance, on our way back we 
might make land somewhere. Missing Tobago, I contended that 
we shovild be brought up at the Grenadines, or, possibly, at 
St. Vincent's itself. We had two captains ; the responsible in 
Mr. Brown, and a consultative in Mr. . But they did not 



PERSONAL HISrOBY. 45 

agree, so I had to assume the direction myself. * 'Bout ship,' I 
cried. Brown dissented, but I was inexorable. * Steer as I tell 
>ou, and we will find out in time where we are.' After proceeding 
about sixty hours in a north-west by west course, a man at the 
l)Ows sang out, 'Land ahead!' I immediately called the two 
captains to tell us what land it was, but neither knew. ' Then 
lay off and on until daylight, Avhen we shall be able to decide 
where we are, and in the meantime I will "turn in."' But, as 
soon as I left the deck, the captains resolved for another departure, 
and in a totally contrary direction. At 5 a.m. I was awakened by 
an alarm on the deck, and the cry, ' The boat, the boat ! ' I climbed 
up the ' companion ladder ' and found that our craft had heeled over 
amid furious waves ; one of which had * come on board ' and taken 
our cockleshell boat over the bulwarks into the raging sea. An 
attempt was made to get hold of the boat, but without success. 
'Let her go,' said I, 'or presently we shall lose the vessel also.' 
Another grumble fi*om the captains, and the recovery of the boat 
was given up. ' And now. Captain Brown,' I enquired, ' where is 
the land we saw last night ? ' 'I don't know,' he replied. ' Well, 
then, put the vessel before the wind, and we will go where God's 
good providence may take us. We shall fall in with land some- 
where.' We thus sailed the whole day, when, to our great joy, 
we saw looming in the distance three sharply pointed mountainous 
formations. * There are the " sugar-loaves " of St. Lucia,' I said ; 
but the captains were so confused that they could not even recognise 
them. 'The island of St. Vincent,' I said, 'lies somewhere over 
there ; shape your course in that direction, and we shall be all 
right in the morning.' 

By the mercy of God we came to anchor in the Calliaqua harbour 
a little before break of day, and re-entered the mission house which 
we had vacated some ten days previously. 

I duly reported our failure to reach Tobago to the Rev. John 
CuUingford, the District Chairman, and early in the following week 
we made a second start in the William McCaul, but with a new 
captain. This time we were successful. Oui* arrival at Scarborough 
was an immense relief to those of our friends who had learnt of our 
previous departure from St. Vincent's and were at a loss to know 
what had become of us. Mr. Durrie and I entered upon our work 
in good spirits and were determined to extend the mission to the 



46 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



Windward as far as INIan of War bay, and on the northern side as 
far as EngHshman's bay. By God's favour, the good cause 
advanced by ' leaps and bounds ; ' and much jealousy in some 
quarters was felt at our great success. It was even averred that the 
whole island would become Methodist unless some check was 
administered. A rumour was accordingly started damaging to my 
colleague's ministry, which led to an interview between Governor 
Darling and myself, when I took the liberty of assuring His 
Excellency of my colleague's faith and of the prudence of his public 
utterances. And I published a somewhat smart and defiant letter 
in the press upon the difference we make between character and 
persons,-^the former being within our rights ; the latter we left 
alone. The most cutting thing I said was, that as mmisters of 
Christ, we would do our best to meet the pubHc demand made upon 
us as expositors of the Scriptures ; but that we had come under no 
obligation to supply to an indiscriminate public a faculty for 
understanding what we said relating thereto. 

In the month of December a great affliction came upon one of our 
best families in the death of Mr. Bovell, a respectable merchant, 
local preacher, and trustee of our church. Mrs. Bovell, his wife, 
was an eminently holy and viseful woman. By the sudden removal 
of her husband, she was left with a large family of girls to be 
educated and fitted for the positions in life they were entitled to. 
And the widow's God helped her to do this. Mr. Bovell's dying 
testimony was highly satisfactory : ' I am a man,' he said, ' of few 
words, but I can say that ever since I was sixteen years of age, the 
good hand of God has been with me. I have never lost the peace of 
God. I have always had the evidence of my acceptance; and; at 
times, I have enjoyed the blessing of sanctification. I have no doubt 
on this subject ; but my mind is not stayed upon Him as I wish.' 
To Mr. Robert George Boss, a dear brother in the Lord, also a local 
preacher and leader, he said, ' Christ is precious to my soul. I am 
on the rock : all is right.' The day of interment was one of great 
sorrow to the inhabitants. It was felt by all that a good citizen and 
servant of God * was not ; ' and the Church and community had 
suffered a great loss. 

The commendable interest still felt in England by eminent 
philanthropists was practically evinced this year by the arrival oi" 
Messrs. Edwin Tregelles and James Jessop, from the Society of 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 47 

Friends, that they might make personal en,quiry into the condition 
of the emancipated classes. These excellent men made themselves 
quite at home at the mission house and we felt greatly honoured at 
having them as our temporary guests. They addressed the people 
in our churches as they had opportunity, and were well received. 
But the sight of two men sitting with their hats on in the pulpit, 
waiting to be ' moved by the Spirit ' before they rose to speak, was a 
little too much for the risible faculties of the black and coloured 
people. When, however, Mr. Tregelles rose there was perfect 
silence; they seemed at once subdued and listened with rapt 
attention. Mr. Jessop followed in homely and touching words, and 
much feeling was evinced. These good men had been travelling all 
over the island in visiting the sugar plantations and free settlements, 
and were much satisfied with what they had seen and heard. 

We ushered in the new year (1844) in a novel manner. We in- 
vited the teachers and scholars from Mason Hall, Mount St. George, 
and Plymouth to unite with the Scarborough school in a grand 
festival. We commenced with singing and prayer in the church, 
and then the Rev. William English and I examined the scholars in 
the catechisms and scriptural knowledge. We then marched in 
order through the town and formed a square in the mai'ket-place, 
which was admh-ably adapted for such a gathering. Immediately 
in front of the court-house the ministers and leading friends stood, 
delivered addresses, and sang ' God save the Queen.' We then 
returned to the church and regaled five hundred and forty children 
with tea, cakes, and many kinds of fruit. All our friends said the 
whole demonstration was grand and beautiful ! This was our answer 
to those jealous co-religionists who had maligned us. Was ' there 
not a cause ] ' 

It was a great sorrow to us to remove from Tobago at the end of 
two years. Our membership, during our incumbency, had spi-ung 
from about five hundred to twelve hundi-ed and fifteen. The circuit 
income had correspondingly increased and was sufficient for the 
support of two married missionaries, besides which there had been 
contributed for foreign missions over three hundred pounds, for 
1843, which I paid to the District Treasurer for transmission to the 
parent society in London. But a change, nevertheless, appeared 
indispensable for our health's sake, which had been much weakened 
during the year by severe attacks of fever. By the Grenada District 



48 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Meeting, I was lemoved to Cbateaubellair, in St. Vincent's, in the 
liope that its better climate would contribute to the i-estoration of 
our strength. Still the inconvenience and hardships of such a 
wandering and unsettled life, in a tropical climate, affected our 
spirits and tried us greatly. And no Avondei' ; because, in it all, 
there was the conscious fact of an undersapping of our originally 
fine constitution, which, sooner or later, would inevitably collapse. 

Our voyage from Tobago to Grenada, a distance of perhaps one 
hundred and twenty miles, was very ti-ying. Lying almost directly 
to leeward, we expected an easy run of some thirty hours or so. 
The Kev. William English and Mrs. English, Mrs. Bickford and 
I, were the only passengers. We had no sooner cleared the land 
and shaped our course than the wind utterly failed us, and for 
the next six days we drifted about as if upon ' a sea of glass.' 
The only breezes we could get at all wei-e in the night. We at 
length got to St. George's harbour ' more dead than alive.' Ill 
in body and mind, I was completely unfitted for the business of 
the District Meeting, and it was a merciful relief to me when its 
sessions closed. 

St. Vincent's, 1844. 

I opened my mission at Cbateaubellair on the 18th of January 
by preaching twice to our people. We had a few whites and 
about fifty coloured; the remainder being mostly labourers from 
the neighbouring plantations. The Rev. George Ranyell, the 
Rev. S. H. Durrie, and I were the circuit ministers this year. 
I had charge of Cbateaubellair and the surrounding district, being 
twenty-five to thirty-five miles from Kingstown, where the superin- 
tendent resided. On the second Sabbath, the 25th, I preached 
twice in Kingstown to large congregations. This building will 
accommodate easily fifteen hundred persons, not including the 
children attending the Sunday school. It is a lasting monument 
of the foresight and zeal of the Rev. John Cullingford, who designed 
and superintended the erection of this noble structure. 

It was our happiness once more to entertain Messrs. Tregelles 
and Jessop in our humble home at this station. They visited the 
plantations that they might see for themselves the condition of 
the field labourers. I accompanied these worthy men to the black 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 49 



Carib settlement along the sea coast about seven miles from 
Chateaubellair. Purposely, we passed through Fitzhugher, Rich- 
mond, and two other plantations on our way thither, that our friends 
might watch the process of cutting, carting, and crushing the sugar 
canes at the mills. The crop season is one of a cheerful character 
to whites and blacks alike. Extempore songs in the cane fields 
and willing co-operation at the works max'k the recurrence of every 
day's engagements. At that time, so well did the planters and 
labourers understand each other that a large return was a mutual 
satisfaction. ' Plenty of sugar good for Buckra and Neger too,' was 
the expressed belief of employers and employes equally. 

Arriving at the fort of Morne Ronde (Fr.) the head man, John 
Lewis, met us and condvicted us up along the rocky steeps to the 
solitary and mountainous home of these sons of the forest. The 
shell was blo^vn, and the people came from their hiding places 
to the house of prayer. Mr. Tregelles conducted the service. 
Every word he uttered was full of dignified courtesy; whilst his 
references to the terrible struggles of their forefathers with those 
Etu'opeans who had reduced their once powerful tribe to a mere rem- 
nant of humanity were cautious and pathetic. The prayers ofiered 
by these Christian Englishmen, before parting, were such as could 
only be uttered by men accustomed to ponder over the misfortunes 
of aboriginal races with tearful regrets and bvirning shame. 

St. Vincent's was the land of earthquakes. About 3 a.m. on 
August 31 si, I was awoke from a sound sleep by an unearthly 
sound, as if ten thousand horses were trampling heavily on the 
ground. It appeared as if coming from the sea, making its way 
through the township into the valley which terminated in the moun- 
tainous range farther up. Mrs. Bickford tremblingly reached her 
hand to me, and asked, ' What is it ? ' I told her that it was 
an earthquake of a severe kind, 'but let us put our trust in God.' 
I got out of bed to draw a match, but could not move across the 
room to do it. When the shock really passed underneath the 
hoiTse it seemed as if we were being tossed up and down, to and 
fro, by some terrible monster, as easily as a child would jump 
and toss a doll. My poor wife in this extremity exclaimed, ' The 
Lord have mercy upon us ; ' and I fell upon my knees and joined 
in the appeal to Heaven for protection and deliverance. It certainly 
seemed as if the ' day of doom ' had come ! 

4 



50 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

I transcribe from my journal the following record under date, 
December Wth, 1844: — 

' Six years ago this day Mr. Hnrd and I landed fi'oni the ship BerJtcIi/ in 
Kingstown. I have spent two years in Trinidad, two in Tobago, and the 
remainder in St. Vincent's. I have had four severe attacks of fever, and have 
been frequently exposed to imminent peril, both by sea and land. I have 
seen some souls converted to God, who will be my joy and crown of rejoicing. 
I have many dear and valued friends, and I believe no human foes. Praise 
the Lordj my soul ! Let my life be wholly Thine ! ' 

1845. 
My colleagues this year were the Revs. W. Bannister, J. F. Browne, 
W. Heath, and D. Barley. I gratefully record the fact that 
Mr. Barley's coming into the circuit was a great blessing to me. 
His earnest spirituality, vintiring zeal and ability as a preacher, 
Avere a stimulus to me, from which period I date a new spring and 
force in my ministry. Under such conditions the year passed rapidly 
away, and the hand of the Lord was upon us for good. 

' April 2oth. — This day the Rev. G. T. Connell, Anglican minister, Mrs. Bick- 
ford, and I visited the Souflriere. We were well repaid for the fatigue we 
underwent in ascending the mountain. Mrs. Bickford rode a mule all the 
way up to the old crater, notwithstanding the furrowed and broken condition 
of the earth which had been deeply ploughed by descending lava. On the 
south side we found an extensive basin, 450 feet deep, nearly round, about four 
furlongs in width. In the centre rose to the height of 2-iO feet a miniature 
hill, which was full of rocky fissures, and covered, in many of its parts, with 
evergreens and shrubs. This huge crater has long been in a peaceful condition, 
and a small canoe is now floating upon its waters. Curious visitors sometimes 
row round this extensive lake for the purpose of sounding its depth. Pro- 
ceeding up the north line from the eastern side, we came, after a most perilous 
and fatiguing walk of a mile or more, to the edge of the new crater. Here, 
on every hand, were marks of past violent eruptions, fearful to behold. There 
was a dense fog, which hid from our vision the terrible phenomena surrounding 
us ; but, after waiting for some time, it cleared away and the gulf below 
revealed itself in all its horridness. It reminded one of hell itself. The old 
crater charmed but the new one appalled us. We returned to Chateaubellair 
in the evening impressed with the almightiness of creation's God.' 

It was during one of Mr. Barley's visits to Chateaubellair that 
I arranged for a second visit to the SoufFriere, taking Avith us as our 
guide our faithful brother and missionaries' friend, Mr. Job Adams. 
Borrowing, because of their strength and surefootedness, a couple 
of mules, we made a start after an early breakfast. The first 
halting place was the ' Halfway Tree.' Here we paused and 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 51 

were interested in reading the distinguished names which had been 
cut into the trunk and branches of this time-honoured tree. We 
also cut in our initials. We then proceeded up the side of the 
mountain, threading our way on the narrow ridges of the paths 
down which the destroying lava had rushed in 1813. Arriving at 
the summit, we lost no time in making for the new crater, which was 
the special object of our adventure. This dreadful abyss was 
covex'ed in by the densest fog I ever witnessed. When it cleared 
we foiind that we were standing on the very edge of the abysmal 
pit. 

We determined that we would descend to the bottom of this 
crater, and we requested Mr. Adams to lead the way. Down we 
went over immense boulders, sliding over sm-faces, or springing over 
the spaces lying between, in a way not to be described. In twenty 
minutes we reached the bottom, and we stood alarmed at the rashness 
we had shown. Mr. Barley and I wandered all over the cindered 
' floor,' tested the siUphureous water, which had gathered in a hollow 
of whose depth we could not even form a guess. Job Adams squatted 
upon his haunches not twenty feet away from the spot where we 
first landed. He was evidently afraid, and some old tradition of the 
supernatural must have possessed him. His happiest moment 
evidently was when he heard us say, ' Come, it is time for us to get 
to the top,' and he briskly led the way. I had never heard of any 
white man trying this feat before, and assuredly I would never 
dream of repeating it. It took us forty minutes to accomplish oui* 
ascent, and it Avas the hardest ordeal of physical exertion I had ever 
tried. We were so exhausted when we reached our more sensible, 
restful mules, that, instead of at once making tracks homeward, 
we had to recoup by refreshment, and rest on the ground. Upon 
reflection, I am bound to say that it was a piece of foolhardiness, 
and should not be ventured upon by English travellers. 

1846. 
The District Meeting was held in February, in Barbadoes, when 
the Rev. John Cullingford presided for the last time over his 
brethren. It was very touching to us to see him assisted from day 
to day to and from the parsonage to the church in which the 
meeting was held. He continued, notwithstanding his weakness, 
to guide the deliberations until, within two days of the close of the 



52 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

session, the minutes were finalized in his chamber, and he affixed 
his signature in our presence. He died on March 4th, and entered 
into rest. 

My appointment was now, for the second time, CalUaqua, in the 
Biabou Circuit. But, in consequence of the lamented death of the 
Chairman, I was removed before the end of the year. The letter 
relating to this unexpected change is the following : — 

' London, June \st, 1846. 

' Dear Brothee, — 

' The affairs of your district have cost us much anxious thought and deliber- 
ation. Such conclusions as have been already come to, we make known to you 
and the other brethren, by the packet now about to sail. 

' In the first place, I have to inform you officially that the Eev. Williatn 
Bannister is appointed as Chairman of the St. Vincent's District, and he is 
instructed immediately to enter upon his functions. The Committee are fully 
persuaded that yourself and other brethren will render him your affectionate 
and efficient support. 

' In the next place, the arrangement decided upon for the Barbadoes Circuit 
will affect yourself. Mr. Ranyell is directed to proceed at once to Barbadoes, 
and you are appointed to go immediately to Grenada, instead of waiting until 
the end of the year. We are very reluctant to disturb a missionary in his 
appointment before the regiilar time of removal, but the sudden emergencies 
which sometimes take place render it indispensably necessary. The case of 
Barbadoes is one of those emergencies which must be promptly met, and after 
■very anxious consideration of every possible plan, it was agreed that the one 
which I now announce is the best, and will be most easily effected. Your 
Superintendent and Chairman are both officially informed, and desired to 
facilitate your removal at the earliest convenient opportunity. 

Wishing you every needful blessing, I remain, dear brother, 

' Yours very affectionately, 

'John Beecham. 

' The Rev. J. Bickfoed, 

' St. Vincent's, West Indies.' 

The application of the itinerant principle in the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church is sometimes one of great difficulty. Dr. Beecham recognises 
this fact in the brotherly and wise letter above given. In my case, 
I had only been a few months in my new station, and yet, Avithout 
any refei-ence to my people, or to my own sense of duty, I was told 
to proceed at once to Grenada and take charge of our mission in 
that island. But the Methodist itinerancy, in some of its aspects, 
is analogous to the Queen's service. It admits of no challenge ; it 
demands ungrudging obedience. * Will you reverently obey your 
chief ministers, unto whom is committed the charge and government 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 53 

over you ; following with a glad mind and with their godly admonitions, 
and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments ? ' This was one 
of the questions put to me by the English President in 1838, at my 
ordination ! In the presence of many witnesses, I honestly said, 
' I will.' This was the first time this test in its acutest form came 
home to me. But I had accepted it with all its consequences. In 
point of practice, as it then shaped, disobedience would have meant 
discontinuance in the Ministry — a dropping out of the brotherhood. 
In the Providence of God I accepted the call, and had the approval 
of my conscience in so doing. 

Action could not be delayed, as my arrival in Grenada was necessary 
to the departure of the Rev. G. Ranyell. Without, therefore, 
waiting for the next mail steamer from England, I engaged, in the 
following Aveek, a small sloop to take us thither. We left Calliaqua 
in the forenoon of Julij 6th, and anchored at 2.30 p.m., the next day, 
in the Carenage, St. George's, and were welcomed by Mr. Richard 
Walker, one of our pious coloured brethren, who kindly conducted 
Mrs. Bickford to the parsonage, far up in the town. 

St. Yincent's has been called the Switzerland, but Grenada may, 
with equal correctness, be called the Italy, of the West Indies. Its 
clear, bright atmosphere, tempered by the trade-winds, the hospi- 
tality and friendliness of its inhabitants, and complete freedom of 
caste, make it one of the most inviting places of residence in any part 
of the Antilles. At that time, too, it was the central depot for 
coaling the royal mail steamers, and for despatching mails southward 
to Trinidad, Tobago, and British Gmana ; westward to Jamaica, and 
northward to the Bahamas, including in their respective routes all 
intermediate places. By this arrangement large numbers of visitors 
from Europe from the east, and America from the west, were often 
at St. George's, which helped much to break the monotony of tropical 
life, and kept us in touch with the outside world. 

I commenced my ministry in St. George's on Julj/ 12th, taking as 
my texts St. John xvi. 23, and Deut. viii. 2. Later on in the week, 
I rode across the island to La Baye and preached on the Sabbath 
morning, returning in time to take the service at St. George's in 
the evening. I was kindly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Welch on 
their plantation, about three miles beyond La Baye, and by Mr. and 
IMrs. Rapier on my return journey to the capital. Being anxious 
before casting my plans for working the circuit proper to see what I 



54 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUrOBIOGItAPHT. 

had to do, I made a visit to Cariacou, an island lying alx)nt half- 
way between Grenada and St. Vincent's. We had two influential 
families there, Dr. and Mrs. Blair, and Dr. and Mrs. Proudfoot, who 
were most kind to me. I preached twice in the principal town, met 
the members for the renewal of their ticket of membership, and 
administered the Lord's Supper. After a week-evening service, I 
went on board the sloop Dcedalus, and arrived in St. George's on the 
following day. 

To show the routine of my woi-k, and the number of visitors who 
came by the mail steamers, I may give a few extracts from my 
Diary : — 

' Aug. 25th. — We were gratified on entertaining for a few hours the Rev. Mr. 
Burrell from Richmond College, who had been appointed by the English 
Conference as missionary at Montego Bay, in Jamaica. And by the same 
steamer, the Rev. Di*. Kalley and Mrs. Kalley came from Madeira. Accom- 
panied by a Portuguese Christian, they had fled for their lives, which were in 
imminent peril. Dr. Kalley had raised a small Presbyterian congregation, 
which had set the priests so much against him, that he and his family would 
have been murdered had they not succeeded, with the help of the few converted 
Madeirans, in escaping on board the English mail steamer.' 

' S('j)t. 9th.— The Rev. T. Haymouth came per mail from England, and preached 
an excellent sermon to our people, to whom I had sent round and invited to 
come to the service. It was a famous manifesto of the doctrines we most 
assuredly believe.' 

^ Nov. 20th. — The Rev. John and Mrs. Mortier came from St. Kitts, on their 
way to Demerara, to open Trinity Church, which the Rev. W. Hudson had been 
instrumental in erecting.' 

1847. 

' Mi. 6tJt. — Returned in the Reindeer mail steamer this morning from 
Demerara, where I had been for the District Meeting. The Revs. W. Fidler, 
F. Whitehead, W. L. Binks, and Mrs. Bickford came also. The Rev. W. 
Bannister presided for the first time, and with much ability.' 

^ A2)ril llf//.— The Rev. Joseph and Mrs. Webster, also Rev. Mr. Collier, 
called on their way to Honduras. We had a good time with them.' 

' Ajn-il IQth. — This has been a red-letter day with us in St. George's. Governor 
Hamilton and lady visited and examined our day school. They expressed the 
pleasure they felt at witnessing the proficiency and good order of the school. 
Mr. Campbell, the father of the Rev. John Allan Campbell, was our Head 
Master. His son, John, was a scholar in his father's school at the time the 
Governor visited it.' 

'June 15th. — A mournful day for us. The Great Western mail ship came in 
and brought the distressing intelligence of the death of Mrs. Bickford's mother. 
Her last words were, ' O ! blessed Jesus, into Thy hands 1 commend my spirit.' 
She had been from childhood a member of our church at Camelford ; after her 



PERSONAL HISTOllY. 55 



marriage she came to Kingsbridge to live, still maintaining her connection 
with God's people up to the period of her death. This was the first breach 
death had made in our family circle during the time we had been away from 
England. It was hard to say, ' Thy will be done ; ' for we had wished to see 
her again, if permitted to return home.' 

^ June 30th. — At 5 p.m., I received *a message from the Government ?fouse that 
His Excellency, Mrs. Hamilton, and Miss Yeo would attend our church that 
evening. I did the best I could, preaching from Rev. vii. 14. The message 
was solely for the purpose of our securing for the Viceregal party the 
necessary accommodation, as om' church on Sunday evenings was generally 
crowded.' 

' Oct. 2'2nd. — A land of earthquakes, fevers, and hurricanes, is the West Indies. 
This morning I received a letter from the Rev. Joseph Biggs, Tobago, informing 
me of the devastating hurricane, which, on the night of the 11th inst., had 
swept over that island. There were destroyed 30 managers' houses, and 31 
much injured. The sugar works of 26 plantations were destroyed, and 33 
rendered unfit for use. The homes of 456 small freeholders were thrown 
down, and 176 rendered uninhabitable. Seventeen persons were killed, and a 
vast number were more or less injured. In some localities om- mission 
properties had been wrecked. The total loss to the Society would be probably 
from £1,500 to £1,800. The noise of falling houses in Scarborough, the loud 
and continued moans of the dying, the danger to life and limb all through 
that terrible night, mark this visitation of Providence as the most disastrous 
ever known, or even heard of, by the oldest of the inhabitants.' 

' The visitors, who still came as each steamer arrived, were Peter Borthwick, 
Esq., M.P., whose object was to ascertain by personal enquiry the exact 
condition of the agricultural and commercial interests in the West Indies ; 
Captain Peel, son of the late Sir Robert Peel, who was passing through to join 
his ship, I believe, in the Gulf of Mexico ; the Rev. David Barley, to preach 
on behalf of our Foreign Missions, and to address public meetings mth the 
same view. In Xovember, I was laid aside by a severe attack of fever, which 
brought me once more to the very gates of death. Dr. Belfon treated my 
case with much skill and untiring perseverance ; and, in about a week or so, I 
was able to resume my beloved work, but very feebly.' 

1848. 

•Jan. 27th. — The Ewerretta amved from London, bringing as passengers the 
Rev. Richard and Mrs. Wrench, the Rev. Thomas H. and Mrs. Butcher, and 
Miss Howse. — The Rev. W. L. Binks arrived on February Wi, and. on the 
next day, the party sailed for St. Vincent's, except Mr. and Mrs. Wrench, 
who were instructed to proceed to Trinidad. The Revs. W. Hudson, J. Banfield, 
Henry Pargham, and W. Cleaver called, on their way to the St. Vincent's 
District Meeting I went with them ; Mrs. Bickford also, for the benefit of a 
change of air and scene.' 

The year 1848 was spent 'in labours more abundant.' What 
■with quarterly visits to Cariacou and La Baye, a visit to Gonave, 
where I preached in the court-house to a large congregation, and 



56 JAMES niCKFOBD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPnY. 

the routine work of the churches at St. George's, Woburn, and 
Constantine, the whole of my time was taken up, and all my energies 
were severely taxed. But I was happy in my work and in my 
' helpers,' who willingly stood by me in all my responsibilities. 
It sustained me also to know that my character and labours were 
held in high esteem by the official and leading gentlemen of the 
colony. At the last public day-school examination in St. George's, 
we weie honoiu-ed with the presence of His Excellency Governor 
Hamilton and Mrs. Hamilton, His Honour Chief Justice Davis, 
the Hon. the Attorney General, William Snagg, Esq., and many 
other influential friends. It went off admirably well. 

The Sugar Duties Act of 1846, which admitted the produce of 
slave-countries to competition in the English markets on the same 
terms as sugar that came from the free (British) colonies, had 
wrought havoc in every part of our West India Possessions. Grenada 
was collapsed, and our wise-hearted Governor set apart a day for 
general humiliation and prayer. The English Government in their 
fiscal legislation did us a great wrong. 

1849. 
Feb. 1th. — The Rev. Messrs. Bannister, Corlett, Ranyell, Limmex, 
Hurd, Cleaver, Biggs, Hudson, Heath, Whitehead, and Barley 
ai-rived to attend the District Meeting. No brother had died during 
the year, and every one seemed in good heart. This District Meeting 
had a novel service connected therewith. Hitherto the English 
missionaries had been ' ordained ' before they were sent to us ; but 
now there was to be a departure from this custom, and it was 
determuaed that the probationers should pass through their usual 
examinations, and, if approved, be ordained at their respective 
District Meetings. Messrs. Barley and Binks, whilom students at 
Eichmond College, London, were thus accepted and received by our 
unanimous vote into ' full connexion.' The charge was given by the 
Bev. John Corlett, and was eloquent, impressive, and appropriate. It 
was a time of much spiritvial power \ and to our people, who witnessed 
such a service for the first time, it was a deeply suggestive and 
important spectacle. With the holding of this District Meeting my 
connection with the work in Grenada closed. On the 24th I preached 
for the last time to my much-attached and loving congregations. A 
number of Episcopalians joined in the evening service, and thereby 



PERSONAL niSTORY. 57 

evinced their respect for me as the retiring minister of the Methodist 
Church. 

March 1st. — I find in my journal the following entry : — 

'A day never to be forgotten. The mail steamer Comvay came in with 
the English mails, and her arrival was the signal for our departure. I pass 
over all the distressing scenes connected with the tearing of ourselves away 
from this affectionate and pious people. " If I forget thee, let my right hand 
forget its cunning." We sailed from the Carenage at 4 p.m., called at Trinidad 
and Tobago to land the mails, and reached Georgetown, Demerara, at 7 p.m., 
on Sunday, March itJi. Mr. Biggs, one of my colleagues, was preaching, and, 
at the close of the public service, I joined him in the administration of the 
Lord's Supper.' 

Our appointment to British Guiana, of which Demerara was the 
central province, was more formidable than welcome. Still, as a 
matter of stern duty, it had to be undertaken. There were elements 
in the political, social, and religious life of the people which were 
unknown in the quieter islands away to the north. For example, 
at the very time of our arrival there was a deadlock in legislation, 
to remove which Sir Henry Barkly, afterwards Governor of Victoria, 
was sent by Earl Grey, Secretary for the Colonies. For a consider- 
able time it was impossible for the Court of Policy to get a ' Ways 
and Means ' Bdl passed for raising the general revenue. What were 
called ' Imperial ' taxes could alone be collected, which were utterly 
incommensurate for meeting the public wants. Perhaps a whole year 
elapsed before this sad condition of things was overcome. When the 
crux really came, the Hon. Bruce Ferguson, a merchant of high 
character and just ideas, gave his vote with the Government and 
ended the ci-isis. The contention secured the Civil List for the 
Crown ; and for the Plantocracy, coolie immigration, at the expense 
of the State. The ordinary routine of legislation was revived, and 
all necessary revenue was collected for the purposes of governmental 
administration. Governor Barkly was too wise a man to occasion 
hitches between his official members in the Court of Policy, or of 
the Combined Court, during the whole time of his stay in the 
colony. His reign was one of reasonable conciliation, and the peace 
and prosperity of the three provinces were thereby seciu'ed. 

It always appeared to me a curious circumstance that so many 
educated and well-to-do English and Scotch settlers so contentedly 
put up with the form of Government as that which obtained in 
British Guiana. It was a Dutch inheritance, and could not at all 



58 JAMES BICKFOUD: AX AUTOBIOGJRAPHY. 

be called a Parliamentary Government ; and yet the merchants 
and planters quietly endured it. 

There were the College of Keizers, the Court of Policy, and the 
Combined Court, as forms of public life quite unknown previously 
to the gentlemen who had now to take prominent and responsible 
positions in regard to them. The Keizers (electors, English,) dating, 
we suppose, from 1803, when British Guiana became an English 
colony, were seven in number ; and, in the first instance, it may be 
presumed, were chosen by the Crown for life. They were colonists 
of the old type, were connected with the pi'opertied classes, and out 
of all sympathy with the general community. The Court of Policy 
was the sole legislative authority, composed of the Governor as 
president, eight high oificials, and of four gentlemen, who were 
chosen by the College of Keizers. This court had the power of 
self-creation and of self-perpetuation. On any vacancy occurring, 
the remaining members would nominate two, from whom the 
College of Keizers would select one, who would, in due form, be 
gazetted by the authority of the Governor. Thus this court was 
always packed ; but, it must be admitted, it was quite in accordance 
with the modus vivendi of the constitution of the colony. The only 
' set-off' to the great powers of this singular court was the presence 
therein of the Governor and his officers of state, who would, on 
occasion, checkmate the lay-members, but not always with success. 
It was a perilous game to play. The Combined Court was composed 
of the members of the Court of Pohcy and six financial repre- 
sentatives, elected by the provincial districts, whose powers were, 
however, limited to raising colony taxes, and in auditing the public 
accounts. When the court, thus constituted, did its business, 
the financial members withdrew, and the Court of Policy, with the 
Governor as president, took the necessary action for giving the 
recomnaendations of the Combined Court the force of law. 

There was, as might well be expected, a feeling of disquietude 
among the emancipated classes. Within the memory of many of 
these, the former cruelties of many of the Whites towards their class 
were still treasured. They could not be forgotten, but rankled in 
their minds. And the utter absence of all popular electoral lights, 
enabling them to exert an influence favourable to their class, was a 
cause of miTch discontent. Governor Barkly was conscious of this, 
and did his best for its removal. At a large meeting held in the 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 59 

city of Georgetown tor establishing a court of registration of the 
emancipated freeholders, he took the chair, and gave an admirable 
speech, which was instinct with justice and high consideration for 
the aggrieved. 

But there was one more difficulty induced by the existence of 
* State aid to religion,' which was recognised by the Government, 
and accepted by some of the denominations. The leaders in opposition 
to this branch of public policy were the missionaries of the London 
Missionary Society and the Rev. Joseph Ketley, an eminent 
Congregational minister in the city of Georgetown. These honoured 
men were not to be hastily blamed for their conduct, for they were 
the lineal successors to the Old Independents, who had suffered so 
much for their principles of religious freedom and equality in the 
Mother Country. Tbe recipients of State aid, not for the White 
increment of the population, but as helpful in supplying the means 
of religion and of education to the recently emancipated classes, 
were the Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and Wesleyans ; 
the latter in an extremely modified degree. Against one of my 
predecessors, the Rev. William Hudson, the displeasure of the 
Independents was specially directed. But Mr. Hudson was, in many 
respects, a strong man, who could hold his own without even once 
entering into the arena of conflict with his co-religionists. In this 
particular instance, the passive power was the stronger, so that when 
I entered upon my mission in 1849, it had eventuated in something 
like a drawn game. Of course I was under no obligation to unsheath 
the sword, but let it remain in its ' scabbard ' there to rust. Upon 
one point, however, my [mind was made up, viz. that as long as the 
principle of concurrent endowment lasted — purely for the spiritual 
benefit of the black and coloured people — this assistance should be 
taken. But I also resolved, that for myself personally not one 
dollar should be accepted. I thus ' cut the Gordian knot,' and left 
myself free to act in the future as circumstances might require. 

March 11th. — I opened my mission in Trinity Church, Georgetown, 
by preaching from Deut. viii. 2, to a large congregation. At the 
close I met six classes for the renewal of tickets of membership, 
which was always to me an exhaustive labour. In the evening I 
walked to the eastern extremity of the city, at Kingston, and 
preached from St. John xvi. 23. The first Sabbath in a new 
circuit is generally a time of much anxiety to the missionary 



GO JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

itinerant. I found it to be particularly so in my case that day. 
But my trust was in God. 

The responsible woi-k of my mission was scarcely begun when I 
found that there was deepest crime to be contended with ; to correct 
which, all the energy Grod had given me to do my part would be 
needed. A melancholy instance of awful turpitude had just occurred, 
and a pubhc execution followed. The incident is thus noticed, under 
date March 1 7th : — 

' This has been a melancholy day. At twenty minutes past eleven this 
morning, Pompey Face, the murderer, expiated his offence on the scaflEold 
in front of the court-house. To the last he asserted his innocence of the 
crime for wliich he had been condemned. But he confessed, I was informed, 
to his having committed a murder before the transpiration of this one. He 
was impenitent to the last ; and not until lie was pinioned and was conducted 
to the upper platform did he evince any emotion. Tlien his bosom hove 
convulsively ; indeed, almost to suffocation, but not a word escaped his lips. 
He was a married man, and died in his sin, it may be feared, even as he had 
lived. I drove through the city late in the evening, and there I saw the dead 
body of the unfortunate man still suspended, wliich I could not but regard as 
a grim mockery of the boasted dignity of man. My whole soul revolted, too, 
at the public character of the execution and unnecessary exposure of the 
hideous spectacle for so many hours in the face of the multitude. The effect 
on the excitable natives, I am sure, would be anything but salutary, and in 
dead opposition to that the officers of the law desired.' 

In consequence of the settlement in Berbice, the sovithern province 
of British Guiana, of many Methodist families from the Virgin 
Islands, the Revs. W. Hudson and W. L. Binks paid a visit to 
New Amsterdam, the capital. A Miss Dow, a coloured lady from 
Tortola, had been holding prayer-meetings — fii-st, in her father's 
house at the hour of morning family worship, and, afterwards, at 
the east end of the town, where large numbers of the people 
attended. In the course of a few months nearly a hundred 
members were gathered into church-fellowship ; added to which, 
the Dutch Reformed Church was without a pastor, and a beautiful 
sanctuary and commodious manse wei-e unoccupied. To meet this 
double need a correspondence had been opened up with Mr. Hudson: 
it was the Macedonian appeal once more heard — ' Come over and 
help us,' to which this honoured servant of God was bound to 
i-espond. Mr. Hudson i-ecognised that 'a great and effectual door' 
was there presented to our Church, and it was agreed that Mr. Binks 
should remain for a while to ' shepherd the souls ' already gathered 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 61 



in, and to make any practical arrangements with the committee of 
the Dutch Reformed Church for public services and the occupancy 
of the manse. 

In connection with my advent into Demerara — acting under 
instructions from our Committee in London — I hastened to visit 
Berbice. I was told at once to close up our mission and retire 
from the province. The ostensible reason was that there were 
no available funds for the commencement of a new mission in 
Berbice ; the real reason was the unexpected and unjustifiable 
opposition of the agents of the London Missionary Society, who 
had made such representations to their directors in London, as 
led to the incorporation in the oificial letter of the instructions 
before referred to. But it was an easy duty for me respectfully 
to show our Committee that the brethien of the London Missionary 
Society had no justification for their unwise interference, and our 
good work in Berbice has remained intact to this day. 

My jotting of this visit is as follows ; — 

' April 'ii'd. — On Monday morning last I left Georgetown for the country of 
Berbice by the English mail conveyance, and, after passing over shocking 
roads for twelve hours, I arrived at the Berbice river. I crossed over in the 
ferry-boat, and proceeded along the western part of New Amsterdam until I 
came to the mission house, consisting of two hired rooms. I remained in the 
town and country eight days, " preaching the kingdom of God, and testifying 
of the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man 
forbidding me." The Dutch Church is lent us for holding Divine worship, and 
our way is plain and cleared for future evangelising efforts. I left at half-past 
2 on Monday, and arrived in Georgetown at 1 p.m. the following day. Never, 
never shall I forget the Lord's goodness to me in this visit to Berbice and return 
to Demerara.' 

The best devised arrangements for working our mission circuits 
are liable, from want of unexpected circumstances, to serious dis- 
turbances. On the 15th of May the sad intelligence reached us of 
the deaths of the Rev. F. Whitehead and Mrs. Whitehead, in Tobago, 
within two days of each other, leaving behind them a daughter child. 
By the same mail I received a letter from the Rev. William 
Bannister, the Chairman of the District, directing me to send the 
Rev. David Barley, my colleague, to take charge of the bereaved 
circuit. I thus lost the society and willing help of one of the best 
of colleagues I ever had. Mr. Barley's departure from us, under 
such painful circumstances, seemed like a being ' baptized for the 
dead ; ' his parting words were, ' Brethren, pray for Tobago.' 



62 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Is it true that the EngUsh emigrant ' carries the soil of his native 
hind at the soles of his feet' into whatsoever country he may wander? 
It may be so, or it may not be. But this is certain — the Christian 
Englishman, when he emigrates, carries in his heart a profound 
respect for the free institutions of the dear old land fi'om which he 
hails. And even those of that honoured class whose lot has been cast 
in the ' swamps of Demerara ' cannot separate themselves altogether 
from even the ecclesiastical contests of the Mother Country. As an 
example, the dispute between the Rev. James Shore, of Totnes, and 
Bishop Phillpotts, of Exeter, on the question of ' Baptismal Eegeuera- 
tion,' was as fiercely discussed in Georgetown as it probably was in 
the ancient, radical borough itself. And, as far as Demerara was 
concerned, it was not a profitless discussion, for there were those who 
showed substantial sympathy with the persecuted clergyman. I 
was honoured as the medium of sending a draft for the amount 
subscribed to Mr. Shore, and in due course received a letter of 
acknowledgment and thanks. 

A few extracts from my journal will show how many were the 
incidents and how continuous were the labours of which my daily 
life were now made up. 

'June loth. — To-day the Rev. William CleaTer, Mrs. Cleaver, and Mr. Robert 
George Ross, a lay minister, arrived in the mail steamer, — Mr. Cleaver to assist 
me in the city during the absence of Mr. Barley, and Mr. Ross to labour in New 
Amsterdam." 

' Jioic '20th. — This morning I sailed for New Amsterdam, Berbice, a distance 
of ninety miles up the east coast, with Mr. Ross, to introduce him to our friends 
and to the work in this part of the Georgetown Circuit.' 

'■June 2lst. — Arrived safely this evening, after having contended with many 
inconveniences during the voyage. Preached in the church, and found it good 
again to meet my friends.' 

' June 2Uh. — Preached twice to-day, administered the Sacrament, and met the 
Society. We had Lutheran and Methodist Christians at the Lord's Table ; the 
former stood to receive the elements, and the latter knelt, each party following 
the custom of their own churches. This was Christian liberty.' 

' June 26th. — Sailed last evening from Berbice, and safely arrived this morning 
in Georgetown. Found my dear wife pretty well, but I was suffering severely 
from headache occasioned by the sickening smell of the bilge-water on board 
the sloop.' 

My next trip was to the Abram Tuil Station, some forty miles 
westward on the Essequibo coast. When I took charge of the 
Georgetown Circuit proper, I found that by previous arrangement 
this dependent out-station had been attached to it. This action 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 63 

Lrought a serious monetary charge upon our funds, and threw 
additional responsibility and labour upon the Superintendent. My 
lirst visit was to preach on the 22nd of July, in the Lorg, Abram 
Tail, and Queenstown Churches. It was a laborious day, but I got 
thi-ough with Divine help. I went on board a sloop the next day, 
Avhich was lying in the Lorg Creek, and at three o'clock in the 
morning of the day following I landed once more in Georgetown. 

1850. 

' Jan. \st. — Praised and blessed be God for having broueht me and mine 
through another year. It has been a year of incessant labour and unremitting 
anxieties, but God has crowned it with loving-kindness and tender mercies. 
The " Watch-night Service " was a solemn time. Trinity Church was crowded 
with a serious and attentive congregation. Lord, help me this year iu the work 
of this mission ! ' 

Feb. '2\th. — The offering of praise is my grateful duty. The Kevs. 
Limmex, Heath, Biggs, and I have been to the District Meeting in 
St. Vincent's. Mesdames Limmex and Bickford accompanied us. We 
sailed in the Agnes, a small brigantine, and took a whole week in 
going. The wind being noi'therly we were driven off our course, and 
the first land we saw was Point Galileo, on the south-east side of 
Trinidad. But the wind changing to the south enabled us to stand 
up for Tobago, to which island we were purposed to go to take up the 
brethren, Messrs. Barley and Elliott. Mr. Biggs and I only went on 
shore, as the vessel was anchored far out near the ' Bed Rock.' It 
was a great pleasiu-e to me to see again my old and deai- friends, the 
Hon. J. Keens and Mrs. Keens, Mr. Joseph Commissiong, and 
Mr. Angus Melville, whose dear wives, since my departure, had gone 
to be ' for ever with the Lord.' I saw also Mrs. (Widow) Bovell, 
Mrs. Howieson, Miss McKenzie, the Wilcoxes, Mrs. Owen, and 
other friends. We sailed the same day at 5 p.m., and the next day 
we made the Grenadines, passed under their lee, and at 7 p.m. stood 
across the ' Bequi ' Channel for Kingstown Harbour. The night was 
so dark and windy that we were in imminent peril sometimes in 
tacking to and fro in the channel. The longest night I ever knew 
at length passed away, and we put forth new energies to beat up 
from the leeward for the harbour. The wind was of hurricane 
force, and by the time, at midday, we came to anchor we were 
in a shattered condition. 



64 JAMES JilCKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

We remained in St. Vincent's eleven days, attending the session 
of the District Meeting. The business was most harmoniously gone 
through, and we could rejoice in the prosperity of the missions. 
We again embarked for Demerara, and in due course we reached 
our homes and cii-cuits for the happy toil of another year. 

The Foreign Missions of our Church have a grand record of 
successes among the Europeans as they have among the native-born 
in the West Indies. British Guiana is no exception to this remark. 
I had, for example, in Georgetown, Messrs. Retemeyer and Obermiiller 
(Dutch), Messrs. Ross and Cameron (Scotch), Messrs. Davis, Spooner, 
Watson (English), not to speak of many others. The man, among 
these, who held the largest space in the public eye, was INIeinhaard 
Johannes Retemeyer, Her Majesty's Receiver-General for British 
Guiana. Mr. Retemeyer sprang from a wealthy family in Holland, 
whose interests in sugar and cotton plantations he came to 
Demerara to watch over and to promote. Mrs. Retemeyer was a 
high-born lady, and in every way suitable to adorn the circle which 
her husband commanded in the city. But the climate forbade her 
residence in Demerara, so that she settled in Holland. Mr. 
Retemeyer was induced by a confidential housekeeper to attend the 
ministry of the Rev. William Hudson, who, under God, was the 
means of leading him to the Saviour ' in whom he trusted.' Mr. 
Retemeyer's subsequent Chi-istian life was ' full of good works which 
he did.' He was a devout worshipper of God. The Holy Com- 
munion Sabbath was to him a day of deep humiliation and prayerful 
consecration. He never forgot the poor. He was a true friend to 
ministers. He promoted education among the emancipated classes. 
At his sole expense was published a monthly religious serial for 
gratuitous circulation. He gave largely to the cause of God. He 
was not encumbered in his last affliction with sordid wealth. I well 
i-eniember him saying, after confiding to my discretion a hundred 
dollars' note for his ' friends,' meaning the Lord's poor — 

' What should I do now if I had allowed the tens of thousands of dollars that 
for so many years have come into my hands to have accumulated as some do / 
Why, I would be so distracted and weighted that I would not be able to attend 
to my soul. No, thank God, I have no trouble of that kind to contend with,' 

His character stood so high, that he was not expected to put in an 
appearance at the balls and great dinners at Government House as 
officials generally are expected to do. It was quite understood that 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 65 

INIeinhaard Retemeyer was as loyal to the Queen as was the dancing, 
flippant courtier, who never missed the golden opportunity of bask- 
ing in Viceregal smiles on these exclusive occasions. To my great 
sorrow, I lost the presence and help of this rare Christian gentleman 
in the second year of my incumbency in the Demerara Mission. I 
lo^^ngly attended him all through his last illness, and I was with 
him when he died. I may appropriately supplement from my journal 
the short sketch just given : — 

'■March lith. — This has been a day of mourning and deep distress to us. 
Mr. Eetemeyer, the old and valued friend of Methodism, died this day at 3 p.m. 
He had been ill for some months, but bore his sickness with much resignation 
to the will of God. He died in the Lord. " Come, Lord Jesus ! " " Come " — 
" Come," he often said. I saw him die ; and from my heart I can say, " Let me 
die the death of the righteous ; and let my last end be like his.'' ' 

^ March loth. — This day I committed to the grave the remains of dear Mr. 
Retemeyer. It was an affecting time and touching spectacle. Eight black 
men from the Herstelling plantation, as directed in his will, carried him to his 
grave. His corpse was followed by the highest dignitaries, public officers, and 
merchants, and by thousands of the citizens. Oh, may his death make a lasting 
impression upon the community ! ' 

' March 2ith. — This day I have endeavoured to improve the death of our late 
dear friend, Mr. J. Ketemeyer. My text was taken from 1 Thess. iv. 13, 14. 
It has been a trying time. Trinity Church was filled to overflovring, with 
friends and hundreds of others, who were anxious so show their respect to the 
memory of one of the best of men. Mr. Retemeyer 's death has created a sensation 
in the community which I hope may ripen in the conversion of hundreds of 
souls. I have lost a father — a friend — a counsellor. Lord God of my fathers, 
raise up others, I beseech Thee : let the mantle fall in mercy and in grace ! ' 

The taking on the mission in Berbice entailed upon me much 
harassment and additional work, so much so that in three days 
after passing through the exciting scenes of dear Mr. E-etemeyer's 
last affliction and funeral sermon, I was again upon the sea on a 
\T.sit to that country. This time I went in the schooner Clyde, and 
arrived on the 27th after a fair passage from port to port. I had as 
a fellow-passenger a Mr. Hollingsworth, a white Barbadian, who had 
a strong prejudice against our mission in Berbice. Of course, I had 
it out with him. How strange are the coincidences of thought ! 
Why, a man of the same name had a hand in the demolition of our 
mission premises in the island of Barbadoes many years ago. The 
question crossed my mind. Is hatred to Methodism hereditaiy in 
some families ? Was some grandfather of my fellow-passenger one 
of the historic crew who sought to kill Methodism in Barbadoes ? If 

5 



66 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

so, we shall hear something more of this name farther on in our 
narrative. 

April 1st. — I had a most agreeable interview with the Rev. John 
Dalgliesh, the resident London missionary. He is a man of fine 
spirit, and was glad to recognise us as fellow-labourers in New 
Amsterdam. The next day I returned to Demerara in the Henri/ 
Treiv, and found all well. 

Mai/ 16th. — A strange experience awaited me. I was sent for to 

visit W. F , Esq., ex- Attorney-General, who was dangerously ill 

with the prevailing fever. I had not been more than two or three 
minutes in waiting, when wo legal gentlemen came out of the sick 
man's room and addressed me. ' They hoped,' they said, ' that I 

would not say anything to Mr. F of a frightening chai-acter, but 

persuade him that he is not so bad but that he may soon be well 
again.' ' Gentlemen,' I replied, ' you have performed a duty of 
friendship, and I thank you. But I have to perform a duty of 
reHgion. I hope, by this time, I know how to speak to a sick man, 
no matter who he is.' With these words, I went into the room, and 
addressed my friend. This, under great pressure of conscience, I 
had done before, and nothing but family pride and caste prevented 
him from following my faithful counsel. But now that course of 
reparation to one who deserved it from him was impracticable ; and 
I could only exhort him to cast his soul upon God's infinite mercy in 
Christ for forgiveness. I then proposed to offer prayer for him. 
But the offer was rejected, and I could only say in sorrowful tones, 
' 1 will pray for you at home.* After I was gone, and several times 
during the night, he expressed his deep regret that he had ti-eated 
me as he had, and asked whether I might not be asked to come to him 
in the morning, that he might apologise to me and still have the aid 
of my prayers. But it was too late. Nevertheless — 

' When the wicked man 
Turns from his sins to Thee ; 
His late repentance is not vain, 
He shall accepted be.' 

In the mercy of God, may we not hope that this now repentant 
sinner found salvation 1 Three days after my visit, W. F — — was 
buried. Members of the bar, the judges, and other high officials 
followed him to his last resting-place. 

Jidy 18th. — I was no sooner, as I supposed, settled down once more 



PERSOXAL nisroRY. 67 

foi' my beloved work in Georgetown than I was called away to 
Berbice to befriend our lay-minister, ]\Ir. Robert G. Ross, Miss 
Dow, the leader, and the members in New Amsterdam. These good 
Christian people Had been informed against by the Mr. Hollingsworth 
before named, as a nuisance, ' for praying and singing Psalms,' 
somewhere in his neighbourhood, which greatly disturbed him. But 
this was not the worst ; by his vn\y misrepresentations, he had even 
induced Mr. Sheriff Daly to threaten to send them to prison if the 
practice were continued. With letter in hand, I went over to the 
public buildings to see the Governor about it. The surprise of his 
Excellency was very great, and he promised me a letter to jNlr. Daly, 
which I might send to him after my arrival in Berbice. So armed, 
I again sailed from Georgetown, having as my fellow -passenger the 
Rev. Mr. Bolinder, an Anglican (ritualistic) minister. He seemed 
somewhat stiff at first, and I thought he would be anything but an 
agreeable companion. However, in beating down the river, by some 
mischance the boom swung over to where we were standing, and 
both had to di'op instanter inside the stern lee-bulwarks to avoid 
losing our heads. Thus a threatened danger made us speak to each 
other, and so we became friends. Mr. Bolinder proved to be an 
agreeable and an intellectual conversationalist, and I enjoyed him 
very much. We dropped anchor at 10 p.m. the next day in the 
port of New Amsterdam : the Methodist presbyter and the Anglican 
priest all the better and happier for ' the talk by the way.' 

And now I had to deal with Mr. Sheriff Daly. By a policeman I 
sent Sir H. Barkly's letter to him. But he had been prepared for it 
by the news of my arrival on the previous night with a philippic 
fi'om the Governor. I have often thought how he must have felt 
as he read this communication. Quoting now from memory, I may 
venture to say that His Excellency told him of the right of all 
classes of Her Majesty's subjects to worship their God as they 
pleased, and according to their own convictions ; that how much 
better it was the persons complained of so to engage themselves 
at the close of each day, than to be found in associations and 
practices of immoral and dangerous tendencies; how that gentle- 
men holding good positions under the Government should encourage 
all those habitudes among the people which were promotive of 
sanctity of life and good order. He concluded by saying that he 
would as soon think of complaining of the services in the Cathedral 



68 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Church, in Georgetown, where he Avorshipped, as to complain of the 
innocent psalm-singing of the Methodist Christians in Berbice, and 
more of the same kind. The effect was immediate and sure in the 
interests of I'eligious freedom and the equality of status of all 
Christian persons befoi-e their Creator. I remained over for the 
Sabbath, and visited the new station at Cumberland, and on the 24th 
once more arrived in GeorgetoAvn. 

Mr. Sheriff Daly sent a lengthy report to the Govei-nor, enclosing 
a bitter letter from Mr. HoUings worth, both of which were handed 
to me for perusal. I immediately sent a rejoinder, couched in such 
terms as a true-born Englishman would be likely to vise in dealing 
with such narrow-minded zealots. The Governor, I am sure, was 
satisfied with my defence, for 1 heard nothing more of the matter. 
Thus ended the miserable opposition to our cause in Berbice ; and 
the shot that secured its death was fired by my own hand. 

The resources of our West India Missions were crippled by 
Imperial Legislation in 1846. Eight years previously the House 
of Commons paid twenty millions sterling to the so-called owners of 
slaves; and now, in 1846, in a frenzy of folly, it passed an Act for 
admitting the sugar of slave-producing countries into competition 
with our own free sugar, in the markets of England. The craze to 
bring this about was irresistible, and this staple of our own colonies 
was sacrificed. It cannot be pled that the mechanical and peasant 
classes of Great Britain clamoured for cheap sugar at the price 
of Christian consistency and pohtical justice ; but, on the contrary, 
tens of thousands of them would have preferred to forego this small 
delicacy than to have encouraged Cuba and other slave-producing 
countries in any shape whatsoever. Like many other questions of 
Imperial policy, this vital question to the comfort and loyalty of 
all classes of our West India fellow-subjects could not be considered 
upon its own intrinsic merits. Too many interested and unprincipled 
men were behind the scenes, and were stealthily working their own 
nefarious ends through the House of Commons. ' The weakest,' of 
course, * went to the wall ; ' and, as the immediate result, there 
followed, throughout the whole of our West India possessions, an 
insolvent proprietary, bankrupt firms, increased taxation, and a 
dearth of employment for the emancipated classes. And nowhere 
were these sad reverses more generally witnessed than in the hitherto 
prosperous British Guiana. Several plantations were thrown out 



PERSONAL HIST OB Y. 69 

of cultivation, and the streams of commercial intercoiu'ise were 
dried up. 

Is it any wonder, then, that the Parliamentary ' break ' being 
suddenly applied, we came to grief? It was cruel to the planting 
interest ; but it was diabolical to the peasant classes, whose ' life ' 
depended upon the prosecution of their great industry of sugar- 
growing. Not a tear that I ever heard of was shed in England over 
the wi'ecked condition of our West Indian colonies, occasioned solely 
by the legislation of 1846 ; but denunciations of the severest kind, as 
might be expected, were poured forth by the I'uined classes upon the 
heads of those in England who brought such mischiefs upon them. 

The Wesleyan Mission in British Guiana for many years had 
been self-supporting. And it was our justifiable boast that in this 
grand province we could do without ' grants ' from the London 
Committee. But now my journal records the existence of financial 
difficulties, which had been brought upon us by our imperious 
masters at St. Stephen's. 

July 2Wi.— Held our Quarterly Meeting to-day, and found the circuit still 
in debt. These are hard times for conducting the West India Mission, thanks 
to the famous legislation of the mother (?) country. 1846. This year, surely 
never will be forgotten in the annals of West India history. I could write 
many pages on the evils of the legislation referred to ; but I forljear. The 
penalty will be paid some day in full tale. ... I trust, however, that the 
Lord will again smile upon our people, and overrule and overturn the fiscal 
legislation of the Imperial Parliament for these colonies. Their encouragement 
of slavery (as before noted) hath beggared thousands upon thousands, and 
caused many to withdraw their loyalty from the parent state. This is Lord 
Harris's opinion, the popular Governor of Trinidad. Very many also of our 
once respectal)le females have been so bereft of employment, that they have 
been obliged to earn a living by means fi'om which their very souls revolt. It is 
dreadful to think of the untold miseries the infamous Act of 1846 hath occasioned 
to these once valuable appendages of the British Crown. ' 

But underlying this question is an important principle of Imperial 
legislation. What right, we may ask, has the English House of 
Commons to pass certain fiscal laws so disastrous to the best 
interests of the colonists, without their consent or even privity? 
As British subjects, living abroad, we have no right of representa- 
tion, personally or by pi'oxy, in the Commons of England, and yet 
that House, by its legislative action, may inflict untold evils upon us 
before we can become aware of its bad intentions. What can we do 
in the presence of so mighty a factor — a self-imposed master — as is 



70 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the Imperial Parliament ? ' Grin and bear it,' said a Dutch gentle- 
man to me, on one occasion, in Demerara ; but that is no remedy 
for political injustice. One thing is certain, that under the con- 
ditions we have noted, the affection of the colonists, and the loyalty 
of the emancipated classes themselves, have been so stramed, as to 
render the tie that holds the West Indies to the Crown very weak 
indeed. But there should be no necessity for such an ordeal ! Let 
the English Parliament 'do justly,' which is a high command; 
unjustly — and the colonies will rebel. The bai-gain, as between 
the Imperial Parliament and the colonies, has two sides to it. And 
the sti'onger should always act in justice to the weaker. This is the 
old and tried way for securing mutual confidence, trustiness, and 
satisfaction. 

Aug. \^th. — The yellow fever epidemic visited Demerara this year. 
The first person I was called upon to visit was a Captain S. T. 
Gibbons, from Baltimore. I was taken to him in the forenoon by a 
Mr. Hicks, a Christian merchant, to whose firm the ship's cargo was 
consigned. I found the captain very ill. He had to me a strange 
appearance. I learnt that he had the black-vomit, which accounted 
for the change in the expression of his countenance. I conversed 
with him, in as tender a manner as possible, on his dangerous 
condition, and knelt down for prayer with him. I had not offered 
more than a few sentences when he raised himself up in his bed, 
and exclaimed, ' Oh, my God ! This man is a Roman Catholic 
priest.' I came, of course, to a halt, and, rising from my knees, I 
addressed him in suitable terms, assuring him that I was a veritable 
Wesleyan missionary, connected with the English Conference. He 
was satisfied, and desired me then to pray for him. At 3 p.m. I 
visited him again, and found that during the interval he had 
received an answer to his prayers. He testified, in the presence of 
Mr. Hicks and me, that the Lord in His mercy had forgiven him 
all his sins. He asked to have the Holy Sacrament before he died. 
' I do not expect the ordinance,' he said, ' to save me ; but I want 
to show my love to my Saviour Jesus Christ. I have been to sea 
all my life, and I have neglected it.' It was a solemn and gracious 
time. All in the room communicated, and ' the Lord was made 
known to us in the breaking of bread.' Before I left the room his 
poor mind was unhinged, and he became so violent that two strong 
men were necessary to keep him in bed. This dreadful fever makes 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 71 

awful havoc when it seizes the bx-ain, and the strongest man soon 
succumbs. He died at twenty minutes to 11 the same night, 
leaving in Baltimore an affectionate wife and one child to mourn 
their loss. 

' Avg. 20;'/!-.— To-day I buried the remains of poor Captain Gibbons ; a great 
many gentlemen attended the funeral. Dr. Blair informed me that, from the 
2>ost-mortemc:s.Vimm2ii\o-n, they had come to the conclusion that Captain Gibbons 
had left Baltimore \^dth typhus fever in his system, and that his illness at sea 
and in the colony resulted from this cause. There were not all the outward 
manifestations of typhus fever ; but this peculiarity may be attributed to the 
influence of the tropics on his physical system.' 

A few particulars of the history of Captain Gibbons may be inserted 
here. I learnt from him that he was the son of Methodist pai-ents, 
and that he had been nursed in Methodism ; that he had not served 
his father's God, but had cast off His fear. The Lord, however, had 
laid His hand upon him, and that he hoped in His mercy alone. 
Two or three advantages I observed to result from the training 
Captain Gibbons had received in the doctrines and duties of 
Christianity : his clear views of the plan of salvation he possessed ; 
' Christ crucified ' was his sheet anchor. 

The Foreign Missionaiy Meetings were duly attended to. In the 
month of October they were held in the city, T. A. Spooner, Esq., 
and the High Sheriff, George Bagot, Esq., brother of the late 
Captain Bagot, of North Adelaide, presiding. The weather was 
hot, being 95 degrees in the shade, and 124 degrees in the sun, 
which necessarily affected the attendance. And then the lassitude 
induced seemed to be a burden of life hard to bear. In November 
I went to Abram Tuil, Essequibo, accompanied by Mrs. Bickford, in 
the interests of the foreign missions. I preached three times on the 
Sabbath, and spoke at three meetings during the week. At the 
Abram Tuil meeting our day-school teacher, Mr. Thomas Trotman, 
informed us of the introduction of the ' swinging-pole ' by the coolies. 
The resident missionaiy, the Eev. Joseph Biggs, told us that ' he had 
gone to see it.' Mr. Trotman spoke also of other idolatrous practices 
the coolies were introducing, and exhibited one of their 'gods.' A 
case of Afi-ican cruelty was also reported. A black man, a negress, 
and three boys were working together in the cane-field. The man 
inveigled one of the boys into the canes, and commenced with a piece 
of notched iron hoop to cut the boy's throat. The cries of the poor 



72 JAMES BICKFOBB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

bo}' brought the necessary help, and he was saved before it was too 
late from the would-be murderer's hands. 

Our campaign being over, we returned, being accompanied by 
the Rev. William Heath, in the Murray schooner to Greorgetown. 
It was a trying time for us — headwinds all the way and excessive 
heat. Our faces and hands were literally scorched. In beating up 
the river Demerary, we came under the lee of the ship Fame, a fine 
vessel laden with Coolies. They appeared to be contented with 
their new condition ; they were mostly boys and girls. We are 
importing into the colony all kinds of grossest superstition, ignorance, 
and depravity, so that we are on the high road of becoming once 
more a heathen land. Hence the necessity of an increased missionary 
staff, with more of the ' power from on high ' for counteracting the 
threatened evils arising in our midst. 

For excitement, probably no place under the sun can siirpass 
Demerara. The following jotting from my journal sets forth one 
of its elements : — 

' Nov. 2oth. — Preached yesterday at Kingston and Trinity. When offering 
the last prayer I heard the shout of '• Fire, fire ! " and before the Benediction 
could be pronounced the congregation crowded to the door. I hastened into 
the parsonage to get my pilot coat, and then returned to the church to see 
after Mrs. Bickford's safety. I found her at the vestry door, in company with 
Mrs. Cameron, Mrs. Van Watt, and Captain MacEachem. Having seen Mrs. 
Bickford safe, I went forward with the crowd to the ' place of destruction.' It 
was a fearful sight. It would be in vain for me to attempt a description of 
its fuiy and volume. Four houses were consumed, and one life was lost. I 
returned to Werk-en-Kust Parsonage about 10 p.m., and found Mrs. Bickfoid 
sitting with her bonnet on, ready to depart if necessary. I read Psalm xci., 
and offered prayer at our family altar, and then we retired to rest under the 
safe protection of Him who "never slumbers nor sleeps."' 

' Bee. 2nd. — A Coolie young man came this afternoon with a candle, which 
he had purchased to be burnt in the church to cure his bad leg. I told him 
that the burning of the candle would not cure his sore, but, if he would come 
next day, I would examine it and give him some ointment to cure it. He 
promised to come, and seemed grateful. " Kindness melts the savage breast," 
it has been said ; but I perceive that it also touches the superstitious mind.' 

'Bee. 12th.—To-daj I posted to the Rev. W. L. Thornton, M.A., London, a 
manuscript memoir of the late Meinhaard Retemeyer for publication in the 
Methodist Magazine. It has run to the length of twenty-six pages of foolscap, 
and cost twelve shillings postage. This amount was generously paid by order 
of the Governor, the subject of it having been for so many years a highly 
respected servant of the Crown. I have had much chastened pleasure in 
preparing this memoir, and sensible communion of soul with my departed 
friend. I often felt that it was a very thin partition that separated him from 



PEBSOJVAL HISTORY. 73 

me. Oh, blessed religion of Christ 1 What hopes or joys can equal those Thou 
inspirest ? ' 

^ Bee. \Uh. — I had a long conversation to-day with Mr. H , one of our 

GeorgetoM'n merchants, on Surinam slavery. He appeared to maintain that 
the slaves were happy ; and that it was better for them to be slaves and be 
provided for than to be let loose upon the country, no one caring for them, A 
few remarks were suflBcient for convincing him that slavery was an evil — a 
great and monster sin. He then told me of a case of crying cruelty which had 
come to his knowledge in Surinam. The proprietors of the plantations have 
what are called ' Bush-days,' once or twice a year, to hunt up and catch 
runaway slaves. On the occasion he was refemng to, they came upon a 
settlement where were several of these unfortunate creatures. Thej' had located 
there for some years, and had erected a small sugar mill, and had many comforts 
about them. On the approach of these white wolves, the more agile of the 
negroes ran away, but the young and decrepit were unable to escape, and so 
fell into the clutches of their merciless persecutors. They were at once conveyed 
to Paramaribo. And as they could not now be identified, they were forfeited 
to the Dutch Government. These slave-hunters then set fire to the negro 
establishment, notwithstanding the many years of toil it had cost to bring it to 
what it was. Poor unhappy slaves of Surinam ! Oh, that the Lord would 
arise for their deliverance ! ' 

Mr. H bore his testimony to the valuable ser\4ces of the 

Moravian missionaries in Surinam. He had attended one of their 
services, and was much interested in the manner of the worship and 
in the demeanour of the congregation. I wish from my very heart 
that we had a mission in Surinam. Two grand objects would be 
accomplished by it: (1) The extinction of slavery in two or three 
years ; (2) the ingathering of thousands of coloured persons, for 
whose souls, at present, no one cares. There are, I am informed, 
eighteen thousand of these, who are without the Gospel and the 
blessings of the Christian pastorates. The Moravians attend to the 
blacks ; the coloured would fall to us. 

The Christmas season entails many additional duties upon the 
ministers of so large a circuit as was that of Georgetown, Demerara. 
The annual examinations of the day-schools, which came off at 
Christmas, was a time of great interest. At the Werk-en-Rust 
examination the Governor, Sir Henry Barkly, the High Sheriff, 
George Bagot, Esq., and some other gentlemen were present. Nothing 
could exceed the condescension of Sir Henry to the coloured and 
black children, as they came up to him Avith their copy-books and 
slates for him to see what they were able to do. The ready replies 
of the pupils in mental arithmetic, English grammar, geography, 



74 JAMES BICKFOBJ): AN AVT0BI06BAPIIY. 

and spelling, were most satisfactory to our distinguished visitors. 
The special service on Christmas Day, the * Watch Night,' New Year's 
Sabbath, the ' Renewal of Covenant,' followed by the Lord's Supper, 
constituted the Chiu-ch's great festival season for the year. 

1851. 

The Berbice Mission called me away during the month of January. 
On the 22nd, I sailed in the Governor Barkly, which was full of 
passengers. We had a tedious passage, and I was very sick. On the 
Sabbath, early in the morning, I preached at Cumberland, on the 
Cauji Creek, and gave the Sacrament. Returned rapidly to New 
Amsterdam, and held service at 11 a.m., and in the evening I preached 
again to a large congregation. We had the Sacrament at the close 
of the service. The next day, I had an interview with Roelof 
Hart, Esq., the leading official of the Dutch Church. Mr. Hart 
again informed me of the earnest desire of the Vestry to have an 
' ordained ' minister as their pastor. He offered me, in addition to 
the free occupancy of the manse and the untrammelled use of the 
church, =£100 per annum to secure such an appointment. This is a 
clear providential call to us ; and yet, hitherto, it seems impossible 
to convince the London 'Committee that it is so. Hence their 
stolid refusal to allow us to occupy the place for the benefit of 
nearly one hundred members, who will have no other ministry 
but ours ; together with many of the Dutch families, and other 
white persons, who plead and pray for our ministrations. But we 
shall see, sooner or later, that our persistency will alter the views 
of the Committee, who will then consent to our and the people's 
wishes. 

In preparing the statistical information for the coming District 
Meeting my feelings were of a mingled character. Through the 
generous help of several friends the circuit debt was paid ofl". But the 
number of Chiu-ch members was less than the previous year. Nearly 
a hundred had been removed from the class books because of their 
non-attendance at the weekly fellowship ; besides which, it had been 
a year of great mortality among our adherents. Such a result was 
very discouraging, in remembrance of the toils and troubles we had 
passed through. But never were my sympathy and indignation 
more excited than when I heard of the death of the unfortunate 
C. I . She had been a girl of beautiful form and many charms. 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 75 

but decoyed from her pure home in Barbadoes by a young white 
scoundrel — a sprig of the law, I believe. As long as she pleased him 
there was a cruel kindness in his conduct. But, a few months 
before I saw her, he had cast her off, in a land of strangers, unpitied 
and unknown : — 

'Woman,' cried the seducer, ' hold thy tongue, 
For thou art weak, and I am strong.' 

0. I was in extremis when I was called in to minister to her 

soul in its agony of distress. I did all that I could — and she died. 
Her last words were, ' I do hope Christ will wash my guilty soul 
in His precious blood.' Poor Magdalene ! how I pitied thee ! 
and prayed for thee ! ' More sinned against,' in the first instance, 
'than sinning;' thy guiltiness could not overleap His 'uttermost.' 
May I so hope and believe ! 

The annual voyage from Demerara to one of the Windward Islands 
to hold the usual District Meeting was to us a salutary and beneficial 
change. Never did I want it more than in the beginning of this 
year, 1851. Mrs. Bickford and I had passed through several attacks 
of fever, and we naturally looked forward to two or three weeks 
at sea, and to the society of friends in the District Island, with 
pleasurable hopefulness. Accordingly, on the 10th of February, our 
little company, consisting of the Revs. Limmex^and Heath, and our 
respective wives, went on board the brigantine Agnes, for Barbadoes. 
We made a fair start from the ' lightship,' and nothing special 
occurred until we were off the east coast of Tobago. Mr. Limmex 
and I occupied the two ' dog-houses ' upon the quarter-deck, so as to 
be near at hand in case of an emergency. We had a sudden wind 
upon us of hurricane strength, which would have capsized our 
struggling vessel but for the wakefulness and nautical expeiience 
of Mr. Limmex. The Agnes was heeling over dangerously when I 
looked out for my friend on the lee quarter. I saw him spring 
forward and ' let go ' the main-sheet, when the brig rallied to her 
rightful position. Captain Stanley, at the time, was ' for-ard ' 
helping the men to shorten sail. The man at the helm was skilfully 
steering through the terrible seas ; and, but for Mr. Limmex's timely 
interposition, we must have come to grief. He was the only man 
to see the danger, and by his help we escaped a watery grave. 

We reached Carlisle Bay on the 16th. Here, on landing, a new 



76 JAMES BICKFORD : AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

trouble began. Tlie land-sbai-ks, alias ' Barbadoes ' porters, were 
ready to devour us. But with the help of the E.ev. John Corlett, 
the resident senior missionary, and a few obliging policemen, we 
succeeded pretty well in escaping theii* extortionate demands. In 
the evening of the same day, the Revs. Messrs. Bannister (Chairman 
of the District), Hurd, Horsford, D.D., Binks, Butcher, Brown, and 
Wrench, arrived from the ' leeward ' per royal mail steamer. The 
next day the sessions of the District Meeting began, and in six days 
we got to the end of our business. It was a most harmonious and 
successful meeting. 

On the 27th Mr. and Mrs. Banfield and Mr. and Mrs. Limmex, 
Mr. Heath, and I left by the Iris for Demerara. Mrs. Bickford, who 
was much reduced in strength, was left behind for quiet and the 
advantage of sea-bathing. Mrs. Cameron, a dear Scotch sister in 
Christ, remained also as her companion. 

March 27icl. — "We arrived in Georgetown in time for Divine service 
in Trinity Church. Messrs. Heath and Banfield preached morning 
and evening. At the close, we took the Lord's Supper once more 
together. There was a large number of communicants. Thus we 
began a new Methodistic year. 

March 28th. — The R.M.S. Derwent arrived from Barbadoes, but 
without our lady friends. I was informed by one of the gentlemen 
that two boats with passengers were within the swell of the steamer, 
but that the captain would not wait. His act was un-English and 
cruel. Great was our disappointment in Demerara. 

I now give a few extracts from my journal, indicating some of the 
larger questions which crowded this ecclesiastical year : — 

' Ajyril 2Sth. — Since my last entry, I have been incessantly engaged in Church 
and colonial business. Mr. Attorney-General Arrindall having originated the 
idea of an Orphan Asylum for British Guiana, Mr. Sheriff Bagot called a 
public meeting at the court-house to take the subject into consideration. His 
Excellency, Sir Henry Barkly, with his accustomed readiness, took the chair. 
I attended and spoke on the general question, and I observe that my suggestions 
have been adopted by the committee appointed to carry out the details of the 
scheme. I was thankful to have an opportunity as a Wesleyan minister to 
express my views on the benevolence of Christianity, and on the duties of all 
Christian people in relation thereto. Bishop Austin (Anglican) spoke a few words 
very gracefully. On Wednesday evening, a tea meeting was held in Trinity 
schoolroom to raise funds to aid in paying for the outbuildings. About three 
hundred persons were present. With the exception of the conduct of a few 
ignorant, ill-trained youths, the meeting was well and happily conducted. On 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 77 



the Thursday our Ministerial Quarterly Meeting was held. Messrs. Limmex 
Heath, Banfield. and I were present. We had to consider several important 
matters, viz. Friendship Station and Day School, now vacant throuo-h the 
lamented death of Mr. Thomas S. Maddison, a worthy and excellent officer of 
our Church ; Berbice Mission, and the continuous cry of the Dutch Vestry for the 
appointment of a resident ' ordained ' minister ; the recently promulgated 
scheme of the Educational Commissioners ; and the application for a missionary 
to the Coolie immigrants, many thousands of whom were now in British Guiana. 
Mr. Limmex and I sat up till a late hour in preparing a document for the 
Governor and Court of Policy on the new scheme of Education. Wrote the 
London Committee also, beseeching that one or more of the General Secretaries 
should forthwith interview Lord Grey, Secretary of State for the Colonies, on 
the Education and Coolie questions. Wrote a few more letters, and then 
settled with the workpeople for the outbuildings. Mr. James Rogers, of Rome, 
was my foreman for carrying on the work. He was a very reliable man.' 

'"In labours more abundant." I find such questions as the following 
pressing upon me : (1) What avails all this labour as to myself? I trust that 
although I am so constantly going round the cii-cumference of duty, I still feel 
that my permanent dwelling place is at the centre : " All my springs are in 
Thee." (2) As to the church. Here, I say, my work is the Lord's, and I leave 
it with Him to give what prosperity it may please Him to grant. (3) As to 
the cause generally. An impression in this province in favour of religion 
under the form of Wesleyan Methodism. Lord, I am Thy unworthy servant : 
I appeal to Thee ! ' 

' 3Imj 5th. — In reviewing the last week, I have much to be thankful for. I 
visited Golden Grove and Mahaica to consult with Messrs. Limmex and 
Banfield on the Berbice and Friendship Stations. On returning to the city, I 
found that I had to leave immediately for the " Supply " Station, fifteen miles 
up the Demerara river, for important ministerial duties. Whilst there, I heard 
of a dreadful murder committed by the villagers upon a Kroo man, who had, 
with several others of his own tribe, been plundering their provision grounds, 
and keeping them in constant dread of their lives by their prowling about 
armed with murderous weapons. I gathered up the facts, and wrote his 
Excellency Governor Barkly upon the whole case. I specially requested that 
the necessary steps might be taken forthwith for clearing the Bush districts of 
these bloodthirsty wretches.' 

• JIai/ 6th. — This day I am thirty-five years of age, more than thirteen of 
which have been spent in the West Indies and British Guiana. The Rev, W. 
Fidler and Mrs. Fidler, the Rev. W. Cleaver and Mrs. Cleaver, and Mr. J. L. 
Savory, oui" teacher at Werk-en-Rust, dined and took tea with us. " Bless the 
Lord, my soul." 

And now dear friends were leaving us for the old country. On 
the 13th, George Ross, Esq., and on the 14th, the Rev. William 
Fidler, Mrs. Fidler, and their two youngest daughters, sailed for 
England. The latter were passengers in the ship Laura, Captain J. 
Le Messurier, a good Guernsey Methodist. It is impossible to 



78 JAMES BICKFOBD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

describe the feeling of melancholy sadness -which steals over one's soul 
as friends leave foi- the dear old country, and we are compelled to 
remain to contend with the exhausting climate, fever, and death. 

May 2^rd. — Went on board the Clyde for Berbice, and arrived at 
the Cauji Creek, in the Berbice river, the 24:th. The next day 
had a long conversation with Roelof Hart, Esq., on the sore business 
of placing an ordained minister in New Amsterdam. Bode to 
Cumberland, 2"»reached at 7 a.m., and gave the Lord's Supper to the 
members. Eeturned to New Amsterdam, and preached at 11 a.m. and 
6.30 p.m.; renewed the tickets of membership of sixty persons, and 
finished up by administering the Lord's Supper to the Lutheran and 
Methodist adherents. It was a hard day's work, but a happy 
one. Spent the whole of Monday in pastoral visitation, and saw 
Mrs. Obermiiller and her four fatherless children. We lost a true 
friend in Mr. Obermiiller; he was the Secretary of the Dutch 
Vestry, and always sympathized with us in all the discussions on 
the subject of appointing an ordained minister in New Am.sterdam. 

The captain of the Clyde told me of a horrible case of cruelty 
on the Waterloo estate in Surinam. A poor slave, he said, was 
chained to the ' copper-hole ' by the leg, and remained there, with 
very little intermission, day and night. He is compulsorily the 
fireman of the sugar-works. Previous to this punishment, he ran 
away several times, seeking to achieve his freedom. But he was 
always captured, and this was his punishment. The o-\vners on the 
plantation, or their representatives, had erected a shed over him 
to shelter him from the sun, and this is the only consideration 
shown to this courageous man. Oh, Slavery, thou monster of 
cruelty ; surely, if there be a God who heareth the cry of the 
captive, thy days are numbered ! 

'■Jane Wtli. — Mrs. Bickford aud I sailed for the Arabian Coast, and arrived 
ofE Lorg, and stuck on a sandbank until 11 p.m. We landed, and walked to 
the church at 12.30 p.m. I then walked to Abram Tuil, a distance of three 
miles, and knocked up the Rev. W. Heath, who instantly harnessed his horse 
and fetched Mrs. Bickford from Lorg at half-past two in the morning. Returned 
to Georgetown on the 21st, just in time for the Sabbath services at Kingston 
and Werk-en-Rust.' 

The term of service for European missionaries in the West Indies 
was ten years. But I had been able, ' by reason of strength,' to add 
a few years to that number. Still I now began to feel that the 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 79 

time was come when I should make known to the London Committee 
my earnest desire to return as soon as convenient. Accordingly, 
under date 'July 11th, 1851,' I wrote to the Committee asking 
permission so to do after the next District Meeting, which would 
be held in February 1852. Supposing my request were granted, I 
would then have laboui'ed fourteen years in a tiopioal climate. 
But I was not tii-ed of the work, for I loved it. My whole energies, 
and brain, and prayers, had been given to the mission all this time ; 
but I was now painfully conscious of the existence of mental and 
physical enervation, which rendered the financial and spiritual care 
of the Georgetown Circuit a burden I could no longer sustain. Mrs. 
Bickford, also, from many attacks of fever, and the trying character 
of the climate, had become the subject of a weak and nerveless state 
most distressing to witness. I sent no medical certificates, or recom- 
mendations from my dear missionary brethren, but simply told my 
own tale, and left the final decision with the Committee. The result 
will appear farther on. 

In the month of July also an important public question engaged 
the attention of Governor Barkly, the Court of Policy, and the pro- 
nounced educationists of British Guiana. It had been felt for some 
time that the then arrangement was insufiicient ; and, yet, during 
the first years of the regime of freedom, it seemed to be the only 
practicable one. The Mission Chvu^ches had done the bulk of the 
woi'k, which was in part supported by an annual j9er cajmt payment 
of two dollars for each pupil under tuition. Of course this small 
sum did not meet the cost of salary, books, and bviildings, necessary 
for carrying on the work. 

It was now proposed, as the consequence of Mr. Commissioner 
Dennis's investigations in Europe and America, to set aside the 
existing denominational schools, and to institute in lieu thereof a 
national system, providing secular education only. So serious and 
unexpected a departure from the arrangments which bad obtained 
ever since freedom had been established was at once opposed by the 
Anglican, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan bodies. The discussion came 
on on the 12th, when three petitions were presented against the Bill, 
which was down for a second reading. The first speech was 
from Sir Henry Barkly, who generally explained the principles of 
the proposed measure in a fairly reasoned manner. But the second 
speech did the business of the day. The High Sheriff", George 



80 JAMES BICKFORD : AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Bagot, Esq., smote it 'hip and thigh.' Ic was then held in abeyance, 
and the protesting documents were referred to the Commissioners 
for report. Beheving that Mr. Attorney- General Arrindall would 
be glad of as much information as he could get upon the question 
now in such sharp dispute, I called upon him and begged him to 
read Watson's great sermon, entitled ' Religion, a part of Educa- 
tion,' which he politely promised to do. Mr. Arrindall was the 
Chairman of the Commission, and a man of impulsive and forceful 
character. It was, therefore, very desirable, if possible, to get him 
en our side. 

Our action was severely commented upon by the Editor of the 
Colonist. I accordingly addressed a letter to him, demanding 
that our ' memorial ' should appear in its columns, that the thinking 
public might be able to jvidge between us. This was done, but the 
Editor — editor-like — would have the last word, in which he poured a 
heap of abuse upon me. 

The position of the Wesleyan missionaries in their relation to the 
Education question, then so fiercely contested in British Guiana, 
must be briefly stated. It was not with us, at that time, a question 
as to the comparative merits of the two systems of public education — 
the denominational and the national. Indeed, our personal pre- 
dilections, if we had any, scarcely entered into the matter at all. 
We— each one of us — were ' under law ' to the British Conference, 
whose repi-esentatives and servants, in a filial and Christian sense, 
we were. The Conference of 1840 laid down certain principles, 
which, as far as practicable, were as binding upon us in Bi-itish 
Guiana as they were upon our ministers and day school committees 
in England. Such as — 

' The Bible, in the Authorized Version only, shall be the basis of all the 
religious instruction ; and a certain portion of every day, at least, half an hour 
each morning and afternoon, shall be set apart for the devotional reading of the 
Holy Scriptures, with explanations by the teacher or visitor.' 

' The Conference records its deep and solemn conviction of the duty and 
necessity of providing the means of obtaining, in week-day schools, an efficient 
education in scriptural and other useful knowledge ; and would regard, with 
much satisfaction, any public measure which would secure this desirable object, 
on just, tolerant, and liberal principles.' 

'The school duties shall uniformly begin and end with prayer.' 

And much more to the same efiect. 

We might have gained, in some quarters, a temporary populaiity 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 81 



by adopting a contrary course to that we felt bound to follow ; but 
that would have been no compensation for disloyalty to the English 
Conference and the traditions of English Methodism. We took, I 
am sure, under the conditions of the whole question, the right course ; 
but we had not yet reached the end. The feeling that binds the 
British Emph-e together, is the outgroAvth of a common interest in 
the unity and prosperity of the whole. So it is with large Clu-istian 
bodies. The Wesleyan Methodist Connexion is no exception to 
this remark. The reception, at the Georgetown Mission House, on 
July 11th, of the intelligence that through the reform agitation 
55,000 members had been lost to our Church, caused much thstress, 
followed by tearful prayers, that the 'God of our fathers ' would, 
in His great mercy, interpose and cause that good might come out 
of this great trouble. 

How chequered was my Demerara life ! It was panoramic in a 
wonderful degree. ' Fightings without,' if not ' fears within,' 
mostly filled up the ' cup ' of my every day's experience. I had 
been preaching on the evening of July 24th, at Trinity Chiu'ch, on 
the ' Life and death of Dorcas,' and had returned to the parsonage, 
Avhen I was hastily called to go to Kingston, in the eastern part of 
the city, to see Mrs. Thomas Spooner, who, whilst spending the 
evening with our friends, the Rev. William Cleaver and Mrs, 
Cleaver, was taken alarmingly ill. On reaching the place, about a 
mile distant from Trinity, I found her dying. We united in prayer 
and commended her soul to God. The next day she ' passed away,' 
in the fortieth year of her age. The day following, we followed her 
dear remains to the grave ; which had been prepared in the officers' 
burial ground. Mrs. Spooner was a Christian woman, and was 
brought to God under the ministry of the Rev. W^. L. Binks, a few 
years previously to her last sickness. She was a true missionaries' 
friend, as was also her devoted husband, Mr. Thomas Spooner. 
She was one of the white ' stars,' gathered into brightness and 
beauty by the untii'ing laboiu-s of our missionaries, 

' Aug. 2nd. — This has been a busy week. On Monday attended to Society 
business, met my large class, and Jirom 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. was incessantly 
employed. On Tuesday attended to the brethren's wants in the country 
circuit ; and purchased the lumber wanted for the new school-house at 
Kingston. On Wednesday, Mrs. Bickford and I left for Mahaica, that I 
might be present at the Quarterly Ministerial Meeting, when I addressed the 
congregation in the evening. Thursday : we spent the day with our dear friends, 

6 



82 JAMES JilCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the Eev. W. Limmex and Mrs. Limmex. Mr. James McSwiney, a stipendiary 
magistrate — " a just man " — was one of our party. Friday : we left Mahaica for 
Golden Grove, the residence of the Kev. James Banfield and Mrs. Banfield. 
I preached a commemorative sermon on August 1st to our people in the Victoria 
Church. In the evening we went to the tea-meeting at Friendship, and 
returned to Golden Grove at 1.30 a.m., wearied and spent. On Saturday we 
returned by train to the city well in health but greatly fatigued.' 

The Rev. William Moister was my first Superintendent in tlie 
West Indies, and to iiim I still have, notwithstanchng the lapse of 
fifty years, grateful remembrance of his interest in me. I was as a 
' pupil ' under him ; and, in various ways, he helped me veiy much. 
Mr. Moister after his return to England was sent by the Missionary 
Committee to the Cape of Good Hope, as Chairman and General 
Superintendent of Missions in that district. But he did not forget 
me, as the following quotation from my journal will show : — 

' Aug. StJi. — Received to-day a budget of papers, pamphlets, and letters from 
the Rev. W. Moister, now stationed at Cape Town, in South Africa. His 
correspondence was truly acceptable and welcome. He is a valuable missionary 
of the " Cross of Christ ;" and I have no doubt that in the day of the Lord 
very many will be the seals of his ministry. He invites me to join him at the 
Cape, and suggests that I might take the English congregation as my charge. 
But my inclinations are towards Australia, in the event of my returning to 
England after the holding of our District Meeting.' 

The subject of Coolie immigration had become in 1850-2 a very 
serious business in British Guiana. The Governor and Court of 
Policy were at their wits' end to know what to do Avith the several 
thousands of Coolies who had been imported into the colony under 
agfreements with the East Indian Governments. To utUise this new 
increment of labour on the sugar plantations, and to secvire for the 
immigrants ' a fair day's wage for a fair day's work ; ' to see that such 
accommodation was provided as wovild be preservative of health ; to 
defend them in courts of justice; and to keep in the immigrants' 
view their right of return to India after five years of indentured 
work, were problems in Coolie social life not easy of interpretation 
and practice. There was not an Englishman in the colony of such 
repute for character, linguistic ability, and of Christian sympathy 
with the Coolie people, as could help the Government in its praise- 
w^orthy efforts to do justly by these thousands of immigrants, who 
were spread over the province, and occasionally swarmed into the 
city. 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 83 

How to Christianize these heathen strangers, and to bring them 
into woiking harmony with their new conditions, was the problem 
which awaited sohition. I am sure that none of the good men now 
living, who were in Demerara in 1850-1-2, will accuse me of 
assuming an unwarrantable position when I affirm that, besides the 
Wesleyan Methodist, no other Protestant section of the Church 
showed either adaptability, or desire, to contribute towards the 
smoothing away of the Coolie difficulty. And I do no injustice to 
my own brethren when I say that the whole burden of negotiating 
with the London Committee, and, subsequently, with the Court of 
Policy, fell upon me rather than upon any of them. But T think, 
however, that I was providentially led into it through the conversion 
and ' baptism ' of a Hindu gentleman, in whose case God made me 
the honoiu'ed instrument. He took the name of Samuel Johnston, 
in the presence of a large and sympathizing congregation in Trinity 
Church. Mr. Johnston prepared an interesting letter, signed by 
himself and many of his countrymen, to the London Committee, 
earnestly praying that a missionary might be appointed for then- 
special benefit. The Rev. J. E. S. Williams, who had been a 
missionary in Ceylon, prepared a reply in Tamil. On the 11th of 
August the English mail arrived bringing this very letter to my 
address, which I delivered to Mr. Johnston and his co-signatories. 
Such correspondence was bound to bear fruit. Hence, on the 28th 
August, I received a beautiful letter from the Rev. Dr. Hoole on the 
spii'itual condition of these Coolie immigrants, and encouraging me to 
hope that a missionary would be sent as soon as possible for their 
evangelization. 

Sept. I^tli. — The English mail came in. I say in my journal, 
under that date, — 

' Received my mail letters, and was glad of affectionate renewals of regard and 
love from Revs. John Corlett, Joseph Biggs, and W. L. Binks. The Englisli 
Conference had closed, and I had not heard one syllable from the Committee in 
reply to my application to return to England. A press of business, no doubt, 
and other causes, have prevented the usual courtesy of a reply. But I am much 
disappointed. I must wait a little longer, and all will be explained. The 
Committee's reply to our District Minutes will have a reference to it, I am 
certain, and, till then, orare et laborare.' 

One of the oldest and ablest ministers in Demerara was the Rev. 
Joseph Ketley, a Congregational ' standard-bearer.' By invitation, 
I went to the Old Agricultural Rooms to hear from him a lecture 



84 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

addressed to the Athenjeum Society. There were three divisions : 
(1) Science, in its general principles; (2) Literature, in its outHnes 
and advantages; and (3) Arts, which he described as the application 
of science to the purposes of life. The subject was most skilfully 
handled, and I was thankful that the young men present had such 
an opportunity of being instructed by such a master. 

Oct. 7th. — The true idea of a missionary's i-elation to his flock is 
that of a father, and to any afflicted or troubled family, there-svith 
connected, that of a sympathizing friend. In both these aspects I 
had to appear under the above date. Amongst our respectable 
coloured families in Greorgetown were a Mr. E. N. Pieters and 
Mrs. Pieters, with whom Mrs. Bickford and I had been guests at 
one of our District Meetings. Their kindness was so simple and 
abundant that I became quite attached to the whole family. 

At this time we were much engaged in providing buildings and 
a,pparatus for the education of the children of our people. On 
October 8th we opened the new schoolroom at Kingston, when 
two hundred and fifty persons took tea together. The addresses at 
the after meeting dealt with the all-engrossing subject of Combined 
Education, a principle to which we felt ourselves committed in the 
best interests of the emancipated classes, and as missionaries under 
the direction of the English Conference. On the 13th the Eev. 
W. Heath and I preached, at Kingston and Trinity, the annual 
sermons in aid of our Foreign Missions. In the afternoon of the 
same day we held a special service at Trinity, when two hundred 
and fifty children and young people were present. Mr. Heath, 
Mr. E. N. Pieters, the superintendent of the school, and I gave 
addresses. Edward Pieters, junr., the secretary, read the rules of 
the school. It was a time of much interest and good feeling. 

Hitherto I had had pretty plain sailing in Demerara. I had 
made and had retained hosts of friends. How much, therefore, was 
I surprised when, on October 13th, I received a confidential note 
from the Hon. Richard Haynes, a coloured gentleman of high 
character and mercantile standing, informing me that a letter had 
been addressed to him, as the intended Chairman of the Trinity 
Church Missionary Meeting, to the efiect that I was ' prejudiced 
against the coloured people,' and requesting him (Mr. Haynes) to 
demand from me, at the pubHc meeting, a distinct disclaimer of any 
such feeling. I was at a loss for the clue to this foul accusation, 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 85 

until I remembered that I had, a few days previously, a somewhat 
spirited conversation in my study with a young coloured man on the 
subject of the utility, or otherwise, of debating societies — my con- 
tention being that such as he, and those he represented, did not need 
to be taught how to ai^gue upon difficult questions ; but rather to 
commence at the foundation of real mental woi'k, by threading their 
way through the elementary lessons of English literature, and acqvdre 
thereby a confidence in root-truths, and an aptitude in using correctly 
English forms of speech. I had no intention either of discouraging 
or ottending the young man in question, and this Mr. Haynes most 
thoroughly believed. 

But I was grievously pained, and could not but ask whether so 
cruel an assumption held good with the character I had borne during 
thirteen years of voluntary residence in a tropical climate, and with 
the sacrifice of health and many comforts I had made to serve the 
people, one of whom had so cruelly maligned me ! 

The missionary meeting was held under the presidency of the 
Hon. Richard Haynes. His was a Christian and comprehensive 
speech. The congregation was large, and the feeling deep. But 
there were no clapping, no noises : the utmost decorum obtained, just 
as if it were a Sabbath service. This was an improvement on the 
missionary meetings in England and in the islands. 

As an inevitable outgrowth of freedom, money became somewhat 
plentiful in the hands of the wages-receiving labourers on the 
plantations. This improvement in theu' social position enabled 
them to form large associated bodies for purchasing abandoned 
estates from the English proprietors on the east coast, on the 
southern side of the river Demerary, and in other parts of the 
colony. Several such properties were purchased, calling into 
existence a new form of political and social life, w^liich was 
designated '■ The Village System,' whose slow but sure growth 
occasioned much concern to the Government. A form of queries 
was drawn up, and copies were sent with the imprimatur of the 
Governor to all the clergy, the missionaries, and the stipendiary 
magistrates for information, showing to what extent this system 
had reached, the acreage purchased, the kind of cultivation carried 
on, and the number of the population who had come under this 
novel form of co-operativism. Suggestions also were invited for 
the governmental control and development of such associations. 



86 JAMES lilCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

The question, it was admitted, was extremely (.lifficult, because of 
the self-created and self -controlling functions these new* pi-oprietary 
bodies assumed and exercised. In the islands the case was different. 
Take, for example, St. Vincent's, where a new proprietaryship came 
into existence ; but there it was the piu'chase by an individual free 
labourer from an individual propiietor. Whereas, in British Guiana, 
there were in these transactions combinations of men and consequent 
commvmity of interests, which gave formidableness to these bodies, 
and required attention from the Government. It must be confessetl 
that the Governor and Court of Policy had not, pari passu, launched 
any system of municipal or police control to meet this novel state 
of things ; and yet it should have been anticipated, because when 
the free labourers became possessed of money, they woidd no longer 
be content to remain in great numbers upon the estates Avhere they 
had once been slaves. 

To illustrate, ab inconvenienti, the nature of the conditions upon 
which ' The Village System ' was sought to be built, we may take 
as a t}^ical case the plantation ' Friendship,' on the east coast of 
Demerara, which was purchased for seventy-five thousand dollars by 
one hundred and forty (black) proprietors. One of the conditions of 
sale and purchase was, that no white man should ever legally become 
joint proprietor with the original purchasers. The idea of a numbei- 
of head men to be over the remainder could not work ; therefoi-e, 
one was chosen to be manager, or ' Boss,' to conduct the general 
business of the plantation. But up to this point there need not 
have been any practical difficulty, provided that the whole number 
of the proprietors agreed. But a new and vinexpected cfitx arose, 
and in this way. One of the original owners became insolvent, and 
in due process of law his interest in the proprietary was sold at public 
auction by the Provost Marshal at the court-house steps in the city 
of Georgetown. The purchaser happened to be one of the prohibited 
class. It need hardly be observed that the ' Act of Insolvency ' 
was stronger than was the private compact of the one hundred 
and forty proprietors. The compact was overridden, and justice 
was done. 

A second embarrassment arose in which the Wesleyan missionaries 
were involved. A large Logie, originally used for drpng coffee, had 
been fitted up for Sabbath worship and Sunday and day school 
objects at considerable expense. When the plantation passed fiom 



PERSOXAL IIISTOKY. 87 

the original ownei-s to the new proprietary body, it was felt that 
our tenancy was insecure. Hence, after some negotiations, the 
Rev. James Banfield, the Superintendent Minister, pui-chased the 
building, not the land, with the fi-ee consent of the proprietors at 
one of their business meetings. About three months afterwards, at 
another of theu' meetings, when the proceeds had to he divided, 
there came to the surface the bitterest opposition of eighteen of 
the proprietors. The dissentients took legal proceedings for setting 
aside the action of the head man as their representative and executive 
officer, and gave us considerable trouble. 

We had ' fallen among thieves,' but the end was not yet. I find 
in my joiu-nal the following entry : — 

' Mr. Banfield, Mr. Cleaver, and I have been engaged in getting up a " report," 
in obedience to the judge's "order," on a petition presented to the " Court of 
Justice " by eighteen of the proprietors of Fricndshij), praying that the sale of 
the Logie may be prohibited. Mr. Banfield had bought this building three 
months previously, when these very men were apparently satisfied with the 
transaction, until the appropriation of the money took place. What the result 
will be it is impossible to divine.' 

Numerous other cases of difficulty, provocative of expensive 
litigation, were constantly arising in different parts of the colony. 
Legislation, therefore, ensued and solved many a perplexity. The 
Court of Policy at that time, with Governor Barkly as president, 
had some very able men in it. The Bill that was passed arrested 
needless litigation, and provided against future vexatious proceedings. 
The colony generally, but especially the emancipated classes, were 
laid under great obligations for the intervention of the law members 
of the Court of Policy, and to Governor Barkly, who gave much 
earnest attention to this perplexing subject. 

Nov. 2nd. — My journal entries are now showing that the elasticity 
of my spirits, as well as my bodily health, were seriously giving way. 
To get out of the city, and have only one day free fi'om worry, was 
a perfect Eden to me. We had a sweet retreat about a mUe up the 
river in the Euimveld sugar plantation. Our dear friends, Mr. and 
Mrs. George Ross, at their beautiful home, afforded the relief 
Mrs. Bickford and I so much needed. We would drive out in the 
morning and enjoy the cool river aii-, and in the evening we would 
return to Werk-en-Rust quite refreshed. 

Nov. Sth. — Mr. Robert G. Ross and I sailed for Abram Tuil to 



88 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



attend to the interests of our Foreign Missions. Our congregations 
were good. We wei-e some twenty-four hours on our return voyage, 
and I suHered terribly from the sun. Mr. Ross was a native of 
Tobago, an excellent man, lay-preacher, and had been a day school 
teacher. I had engaged him for Berbice when the London Committee 
did not choose to send an ordained minister. 

As an interim supply, Mr. Ross did us good service. On the 
death of Mr. Maddison, the Rev. J. Banfield engaged him for the 
Friendship Station. 

' Nov. 9fli. — Preached twice yesterday from Acts ii. 38, 39. A good day, but 
much wearied from the exposure and fatigue of the previous week. Heard this 
morning of some, from whom I had expected better things, who had gone to 
the races. May the good Lord take not His Holy Spirit from them.' 

' N'or. 2itJt. — Last week was one of extreme agony of mind occasioned by home 
correspondence. What can be the design of Providence in thus afflicting my 
relatives in their circumstances, and opening sources of discomfort to us all 
such as we have never been accustomed to ? " Lord, Thou knowest.'' ' 

'Nov. '2~th. — Returned this morning from Supply village in torrents of rain, 
and wearied almost to death.' ' " 

'Nov. 'iOfJt. — Went to Nismes and preached. I baptized twenty-two adult 
Africans, and three infants. I renewed the membership tickets of sixty 
persons, and administered the Lord's Supper. Arrived at home at half-past 
4 wearied and hungry. Preached in the evening at Kingston, to a large 
congregation. Two months more and then I shall go (d.v.) to another sphere 
of labour in the Lord's vineyard. 

The ' rise and progress ' of the cause at Nismes are worthy of a 
passing notice, as illustrative of what one really good man may do 
in the cause of Jesus. Tliis out-station was situate about five miles 
up on the north side of the Demerary river, and about half a mile 
fi'om the Hei'stelling plantation on the opposite side. The con- 
gregation was composed wholly of free (black) labourers. The 
head man in our society was known by the title of Father Liberty ; 
he had a family of grown-up children, and he was anxious that 
each of them should follow in his footsteps. Said he one day to my 
predecessor, the Rev. William Hudson, ' Massa Hudson, before you 
do leave the colony, me want you to build one new church at 
Nismes.' ' That I fear,' replied the minister, ' is impossible. 
Where is the money to come from 1 ' ' Oh, if dat be all, then me 
go and see.' The very next day, to Mr. Hudson's grateful surprise, 
who should be at Iiis office door but Libei'ty, with a Bristol tripe jar 
on his head. ' What have you got there ? ' said Mi. Hudson. 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 89 

' Massy going to see ! ' And he turned the contents of the jar out 
upon the table, amounting to $750, equal to .£156 3s. 4fZ. The 
old man explained : ' Dat money be saved for me children, but 
they no love de religion. So me say, " Me build for them one house 
of God, and they will be no able to spent Him." ' And the church 
was built. 

But Father Liberty's good work did not end with the pi-incely 
gift just noted. On our Sabbath and weekday visitations to 
Nismes, the old man would come with his hatteaux across the river 
to the Herstelling jetty to take us over and back. He never failed 
when we wanted him. He felt that he was doing service for his 
Master Christ, and this conviction strengthened his arm and will, 
in spite of wind, rushing tides, or a scorching sun. ' Me cannot 
preach de Word of God,' said Liberty to me one Sabbath morning, 
as we were gently proceeding out of the creek towards the rushing 
river, ' but me can take preachers to do it.' ' Oh, yes. Father 
Liberty,' I replied, ' and you are doing God's will in what you do 
as much as we, in what we do, in coming to Nismes.' These words 
cheered the old negro's heart. 

The Rev. George Osborn (now Dr. Osborn) had been appointed to 
the London secretariat of our Foreign Missions, and on December 
1 8th, I had the pleasure of receiving my first letter from him. It was 
not a business, but a friendly, brotherly communication, which was 
a great comfort to me. By the same mail I received a letter fi*om 
Peter J. Bolton, Esq., one of the Secretaries of the ' British and 
Foreign Anti-Slavery Society,' on the subject of the further equali- 
zation of the sugar duties. The House of Commons was about to 
inflict a further injury upon the West Indies, and this just and 
humane society was awake to the importance of helping us to 
prevent any further wreckage being done. There were two aspects 
in which the matter had to be viewed : (1) In the interests of the 
defrauded and oppressed slaves themselves, who were still held in 
bondage in Cuba and other countries ; and (2) in the interests of 
the West Indian proprietors, and of the emancipated classes. 
The Home cry, it was aifirmed, was that of the British people, who 
wanted still cheaper sugar, no matter that it would be at the cost of 
prolonged suffering and of political righteousness. But what could 
we do ? We could only cry to heaven in our weakness ; for to 
memorialise the Imperial Parliament, under the circumstances, 



90 JAMES BICKFORB: Ay AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

would be of no use whatsoever. We had thus to wait in indignant 
silence for the paralysing blow. 

Dec. \W). — The annual examination of the Werk-en-Eust Day 
School came off. Sir Henry Barkly, as was his custom, presided, 
and did us good service. The Hon. William Walker, colonial 
secretary, John Lucie Smith, barrister, and W. B. Pollard, Esq., 
membei'S of the Board of Education, and George Ross, Esq., were 
present. The pupils were in fine form and did well. In mental 
arithmetic their skill in calculating surprised us all. The writing of 
two black children — a brother and a sister — were specially good, and 
specimens of their penmanship were requested by the Governor. 
Mr. John J. Savory, the master, and Miss Blair, the first assistant, 
won great praise to-day. 

We had visitors during this month with whom we were much 
pleased. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Carter, from Luton, England, 
and Captain Furze, from Mevagissey, Cornwall, were among the 
nvimber. Away, from year to year, fi-om the dear old Mother 
Country, and residing in the tropics, it was quite a Godsend to 
have now and then intelligent persons in one's domicile. Mi-. 
Carter was an able local preacher, and Captain Furze was a 
Methodist of the true Cornish type. 

Dec. 2bth. — Christmas Day has always had a red letter in the 
calendar of West Indian Christians, by whom it is gratefully and 
religiously observed. My Journal jottings say : — 

' Preached at 5 a.m. in Trinity Church to a large congregation. Mr. T. Carter 
preached at 11 a.m., and kindly took the service in consequence of the pain in 
my chest.' 

' Bcc. 28th. — The last Sabbath in the year. Preached at Trinity and Kingston. 
Was very poorly in the morning, and had hard work to get through the services 
of the day. A year of toil and mercy.' 



1852. 

Jem. 1st. — Praise the Lord for crowning another year with His 
goodness. The ' Watch Night Service 'was a solemn season. The 
church was filled to overflowing. Mr. John J. Savory assisted me. 
This year may I Hve to God alone. Lord, help me ! On the 5th the 
usual ' Renewal of Covenant Service,' and the Lord's Supper were 
duly observed. It was a good beginning of the year's services. 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 9] 

The feelings of my heart ai-e correctly expressed in our beautiful 
hymn,— 

' Oh, happy day, that fixed my choice,' etc., etc. 

Jan. \Oth. — ' And in the garden there was a sepulchre.' This 
singular association of a ' garden ' with a ' sepulchre ' represented 
the beautiful but suddenly changed home-life of the Rev. W. Cleaver 
and Mrs. Cleaver, at Kingston, in this city. During the year just 
closed, no member of the mission family had died of yellow fever; 
but, in the first month of this year, one death from that fearful 
scourge took place. It was little Charles Carlton Cleaver, only son 
of my colleague, Mr. Cleaver, who had passed away. He died in 
the morning, and in the evening we buried him under the bi'anches 
of the lovely tamarind-tree in the Lodge burial-ground. Precious 
dust ! In sure keeping until the resurrection morn. 

Jan. 2Qth. — In the absence of further information from the 
London Committee, we concluded that our application for permission 
to return to England after the District Meeting could not at present 
be granted ; and that my prospective appointment to Barbadoes 
would take effect. We accordingly commenced packing and other- 
wise to ' set our house ' (circuit) ' in order,' so as to be ready for 
our removal. If our health could have permitted it, there were 
some very good reasons why, at that time, we should have re- 
mained two or three years longer in Demerara, But that seemed 
impracticable, and hence our preparation for a removal to the 
salubrious climate of Barbadoes, which had become, in our estimation, 
a providential sanatorium for the worn-down and fever-stricken 
missionaries from the southern stations of British Guiana. 

This was, of necessity, a time of much anxiety to us. I had, 
because of the non-arrival of the royal mail steamer from England, 
to arrange to go to the District Meeting, to be holden in St. 
Vincent's, without Mrs. Bickford, although she had been again 
so dangerously ill from the terrible Demerara fever. We were 
much ' perplexed.' At length the steamer arrived, about midnight, 
and we were informed that she would leave again at 4 in the 
morning. So that my colleagues and I were greatly hurried to 
get away by her. We had a fine run across to Carlisle Bay, 
Barbadoes, arriving there at 1 p.m., on February 5th. I was 
most kindly welcomed by the Rev. John and Mrs. Corlett, at 



92 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Bethel Parsonage, and I was their gi'ateful guest as long as I 
remained on the island. 

I spent two Sabbaths in Barbadoes, and preached at James Street 
and Bethel. On the 9th, Mr. Corlett and I called at Government 
House to pay our respects to His Excellency Ker Baillie Hamilton, 
whom I had so intimately known in Grenada. We also called 
on Mrs. Doctor King. I was much affected at seeing her, now 
bereft of her affectionate husband, but full of Christian resignation 
and good works. 

Feb. VMh. — Left per steamer Derwent for St. Vincent's. On 
stepping on to the deck, gi-eat was my joy at meeting my old friends, 
the Rev. Heniy and Mrs. Hurd and their children, the Rev. Mr. 
Silifant and Mrs. Silifant, and the Rev. J. E. S. Williams and 
Mrs. Williams. Mr. Williams was sent on a special mission of 
evangelisation to the Hindus in British Guiana. Mr. Silifant 
was a Baptist clergyman, on his way to labour in Jamaica, and was 
a brother to Mrs. Hurd. 

From my reverend brother, Mr. Hurd, I learnt that he had 
been charged by the General Secretaries to assure me of the 
affectionate sympathy of the Committee, and that it was with 
the greatest regret they saw that the way for my immediate return 
was not quite open ; that it was mainly at my earnest request the 
Rev. Mr. Williams had been sent as their missionary to the Coolies 
in Demerara, and that the Committee feared that my removal at 
this juncture from the colony might seriously imperil the success of 
the enterprise. Besides which, the Education question was far from 
being settled ; and it was believed that my absence, when the matter 
came again before the Court of Policy for discussion and settlement, 
might result in damage to thriving and numerous mission schools ; 
that I was requested to return to Demerara for a fourth year 
to gviide in the arrangement of these important questions; and, 
generally, still to help in prosecuting the glorious work of our 
missions in British Guiana ; and, further, if Mrs. Bickford's health, 
as well as mine own, were insufficient to bear the strain of a full 
year's residence in Georgetown, then I was at libei-ty to use my 
own discretion and retiu-n to England, when it might become 
absolutely necessary. All of which suggestions seemed so reasonable 
and just that I could not but say, ' The mil of the Lord be done.' 
* God helping me,' I said, ' I will remain at my post and do my 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 93 

best to justify the confidence the venerated fathers in England 
repose in me.' 

Feb. I'^th. — The Rev. Wilham Bannister, Chairman, commenced the 
business of the District Meeting. We had a blessed prayer meeting, 
and the business went on comfortably all day. The Rev. Mr. 
Williams was introduced to the brethren by the Chairman, and he 
was conducted to a seat according to his seniority. The Rev. Mi'. 
Silifant was welcomed as a visitor, and requested to be present at the 
sessions when it suited his convenience. 

The official i-eply of the General Secretaries to the Minutes of the 
previous District Meeting is always received with becoming respect 
and gratitude. I have sometimes thought, when listening to those 
famous manifestoes from our head-quarters, that there is more of the 
minute in them than there need to be. Every report of the state 
of religion and education in the several circuits, and the expenditure 
of the grants from the Committee and of locally i-aised moneys for 
carrying on the work, evidently had been subjected to a watchful 
criticism, the result of which appeared in the yearly official com- 
munication. Sometimes there is such an appearance of severity in 
the comments, that a nervous, thin-skinned brother would feel it to 
be a trying ordeal. But no ' bones ' are ' broken ; ' and, upon the 
whole, it must be admitted that such a review of the internal life 
and working of a foreign district is healthful to the brethren's own 
tone of spiritual life, and sustaining to the administration of our 
Episcopus, as the executive officer of the Committee, in the faithful 
discharge of his onerous, and sometimes very unpleasant, duties. 

From the official letter, dated January 2nd, 1852, we copy so 
much as refers to the appointment of the Rev. J. E. S. Williams as 
missionaiy to the Coolie immigrants in British Guiana. It has never 
been printed, although worthy of a place in the missionaiy literature 
of this remarkable century. It marks also the beginning of one of 
the most merciful missions the great men at the head of our affairs 
at that time in London ever had the honour of undertaking : — 

' The state of the Coolies in Demerara has occupied the serious attention of 
the Committee, and encouraged by the experience of Mr. Bickford that the 
Colonial Government were disposed to make provision for the support of a 
missionary among them, they have decided upon sending Mr. Williams, a 
returned Indian missionary, and his wife, in company with Mr. Hurd, by the 
packet of the 17th inst., who shall devote his lime to the work of preaching the 
Gospel to them in their own language. Mr. Hurd and Mr. Williams, in repeated 



94 JA.VES JilCKFORD : AX AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 



conversations which we have had with them, are made fully acquainted with 
the Committee's views upon the subject, and the strictest adherence to those 
views will be expected. Mr. Williams is sent in his proper character as a 
missionary of the Society, not as a Government agent ; and will receive his 
allowances, and fall under the general district regulations, the same as all the 
other missionaries. The mission among the Coolies must be undertaken and 
conducted as a Wesleyan mission, in which the character of the Society is 
involved ; and the Government is not to be applied to, to provide for it as a 
State institution, but to make annual grants to enable the Society to support 
its own mission. The Committee are encouraged to commence this mission to 
the Coolies, because they regard it as an especial act of Christian charity to 
send the Gospel to these poor outcasts of society, and under the persuasion that 
a well-conducted mission will strengthen the credit and influence of the Society 
among the friends of religion and humanity in general ; it being an undoubted 
fact that the wretched state of the Coolies has taken a strong hold upon the 
Christian philanthropy of this country. Still, however, the undertaking must 
l)e with the strictest regard to "economy, and the utmost exertions must be 
made to supplement the annual grant of the Government by local subscriptions, 
which we are led to expect may be obtained from parties in the colony, who 
feel deeply interested in the welfare of the Coolies, some of whom have even 
hesitated to continue their subscriptions to our general mission fund, because we 
have hitherto neglected to provide for those degraded and destitute strangers.' 

There was no mistaking the meaning of this document. The 
District Meeting accepted the responsibility of the appointment of 
the Rev. J. E. S. Williams as the missionary to the Coolies in British 
Guiana ; and, in a few days, he and Mrs. Williams embarked with the 
Demerara brethren, for this new field of labour. 

March \st. — Sailed from Kingstown Harbour, St. Vincent's, at 
4 p.m., in the sloop Nautilus, thirty tons burthen. We were a large 
party, and had to arrange as best we could. We had an opening 
made through the partition which separated the ' hull ' from the 
cabin, and in the ' hull ' we laid mattresses and hung up sails for the 
ladies' night-quarters. The brethren looked out for themselves — lying 
on the cabin floor, or stretching themselves on the softest planks on 
deck. It is really wonderful how English people can accommodate 
themselves to strange and trying conditions. We were as jolly and 
content as if we were in nice quarters on board one of the princely 
royal mail steamers. 

The party consisted of the Revs. J. Banfield, W. L. Binks, John 
Wood, B.A., and J. E. S. Williams, with Mrs. Banfield, Mrs. Binks, 
and Mrs. Williams. I was a kind of supercargo, and catered for 
the whole party. We were in for a dead beat for the night, and 
tried to adjust ourselves to our ' environments.' 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 95 



March '2nd. — All the party are very ill from the to.ssings of the 
sea. 

March Zrd, 10 p.m. — We arrived off Barbadoes, and agreed to go 
on in the Nautihis to Demerara. Captain Stanley laid down his 
course, which was S.S.W. Carlisle Bay then bore east. 

March 4th. — We had a beautiful day and fair wind. 

March 5th. — We are still going on delightfully towards our ' desired 
haven.' We caught a fine barracuda to-day, which our good captain 
had cooked for the use of the passengers and crew. 

March Gth, 12 a.m. — The captain has just taken the latitude, and 
we find ourselves sixty miles from the lightship. 6 p.m. : We are 
full of anxiety about making the land. It is so low that it is 
dangerous on account of sandbanks and strong currents to approach 
too near until the lightship has been seen. 

March 1th. — Praise the Lord. We saw the ship Hirunda bound 
for London and spoke her. The captain informed us that the mouth 
of the river Demerary bore south. He also told us of the lightship. 
We then made direct for the river, took a pilot from the lightship, 
and sailed straight into port. We anchored at ten in the forenoon, 
just in time for the service at Trinity Church. The Rev. W. Heath 
was preaching a sermon full of sweetness and beauty from St. John 
XX. 20. It was so good after our voyage, which that morning 
had so happily terminated. 

An interesting incident occurred as we were threading our way 
among the anchored shipping in the port of Georgetown. The ship 
Lucknoio was right in our way in the stream. It was suggested to 
our pilot to pass close under her lee, as there appeared to be a great 
number of Coolies on board. ' Brother Williams,' said I, ' here are 
some of your sheep just about returning to Madras after the 
expiration of then- five years of apprenticeship. Give them a right 
hearty salaam. It will cheer and please them.' Instanter Mr. 
Williams sprang on to the near bulwarks of our Httle craft, and 
shouted to them in their own tongue, much to their sm*prise. The 
emigrants rushed to the ship's side, wildly vociferating, and expressing 
tlieii- delight. The passing conversation closed with an understanding 
that Mr. WilHams would go on board the next day before their 
departure for Madras. 

March. 9 th. — 'Promptitude being ' the soul of success,' I lost no 
time on the morning of the day in taking the necessary steps for 



96 JAMES JUCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

bringing the fact of the Rev. Mr. Williams's arrival before the 
Government and the community. Accordingly at 11 we started off 
for the public builchngs to interview Sir Henry Barkly. The Rev. 
John Wood, M.A., accompanied us that he might be introduced also 
to the Governor. Mr. Williams carried over his head in true Eastern 
fashion his Indian umbrella, made of the bamboo, and Avhich was 
artistically and beautifully ornamented. As we approached the 
court-house, he, with his vegetable parachute, became the object of 
staring surprise to the spectators. A few of the more respectable of 
the Hindus were standing about, so I said unto him, ' Give them a 
salutation ;' which he immediately did in their own Tamil, vnth. such 
a full yet sweetly modulated tone, that it echoed along the corridors 
with magical effect. The delight of the missionary was ecstatic ; 
and from that hour he became the accepted friend and religious 
teacher of the Coolie immigrants. 

Our interview with the Governor was all that could be desired. 
Sir Henry was very kind, and spoke freely to Mr. Williams on the 
svibject of his mission to the Hindu population, and promised his 
support in every practicable manner. The Hon. W. Walker, Govern- 
ment Secretary, was also pleased to see Mr. Williams, and spake words 
of encouragement to him. In the evening Mr. Williams, accompanied 
by Mr. Wood, went on board the Lucknow to see the Coolie passengers. 
He went round amongst them, speaking in familiar terms to each, 
giving them tracts in Tamil and Hindustanee, and commending them 
to the care of their common Father in heaven. The joy of these 
wandering Shemites was unbounded in finding, after five years' 
residence on the sugar plantations, a white Englishman, who could 
and would speak to them words of wise counsel and kindly feeling. 

All classes of the community seemed gratified that, by the arrival 
of the Rev. Mr. Williams, the sin and shame of neglecting the 
spiritual condition of the Coolies were to be removed. It was, 
therefore, hardly a surprise that our memorial to the Combined 
Court for a grant of salary to Mr. Williams was so successful. Our 
expectations were not large, because at that time the mission was 
simply an experiment. But we were careful to set forth the whole 
case, and leave the Court to deal with it on its merits. It was 
on the 11th, two days after the advent of the missionary, the 
memorial was considered. My jotting under that date is very 
jubilant : — 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 97 

' March Wth. — The Hou. Richard Hayncs moved, to-day in the Comljincd 
Court, and the Hon. George Booker seconded, that £200 sterling be put on the 
estimates in aid of salary to Rev. Mr. Williams, and £100 to defray travelling 
expenses ; which was unanimously agreed to. Ebenezer ! Ebenezer ! ' 

Mr. Williams now entered upon his work ' with a will.' He was 
plainly a man who could do nothing by halves, and seemed possessed 
of all those qualities for the mission upon which his whole heart 
was set. A missionary to a weak and despised race, yet a man of 
ripe intellect, great conversational powers, ready resources, and of a 
quick, fine temper. I was pleased to see how he made the question 
of the fair treatment of the Coolies by their employers one of 
essential importance to the success of his work. The first plantation 
I visited with him was Nismes, where there was a large batch of the 
immigrants employed under a contract of five years. The evident 
sympathy he manifested in the best interests of these poor strangers 
and the acboitness of his remarks gi-eatly pleased me. At the close 
of his address, one of the head men entered into a discussion -with 
Mr. Williams. The main point of his argument was that there 
were no two things in nature exactly alike — then why should there be 
a forced similarity in religious beliefs 1 Holding out his right hand, 
he said, ' See these fingers, how they difier both in lengths and uses ! 
Yet each is equally needful to the construction of the hand, and 
each has its own functions. So with religion. The English have 
theu' own, and so have we. They have their long finger, and we 
have the shorter one. But because the two fingers difier in length, 
shall I cut oft" the shorter one and cast it away ? No : both are 
necessary — both useful — both good. So with religion. Why throw 
ours aside for yours, when it has been good for our people, the same 
as yoiu' religion has been good for yoiu* people ? ' The discussion, 
of course, was in Tamil, so that it was not till afterwards that I 
knew the exact character of the contention. 

The effect of the objections of the head man upon the whole 
personality of Mr. Williams was most striking. In reply, he treated 
the symbol of the ' two fingers ' somewhat playfully, and then 
proceeded to deal with the ' thing signified ' with due seriousness. 
He had, he said, something better for them than they had ever 
previously had ; and he was come all the way from England to 
make it known to them. Then, by a process of incontrovertible 
facts, he proved to them that the religion of ' the white man of the 

7 



98 JAMES lilCKFORD: AN^ AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

West ' was a move powerful factor for removing all the ' evils that 
are in the world ' than was any system of religion that India had 
ever produced. He would tell them of that better thing if they 
would listen to him ; besides which, he would help them in any 
other way that lay within his power. We were standing all the 
time on the edge of the verandah in front of the ' big ' house, and 
the Coolies crowded on the steps leading vip to it. At the close 
Mr. Williams was thanked for his visit, and the immigrants returned 
to their work. 

As we walked together from the plantation to our Nismes Church, 
about a mile away, for an evening service, Mr. Williams manifested 
much anxious concern for the salvation of these poor strangers. 
However, he had begun an attack upon the citadel of an ancient 
superstition, and had secured the respectful attention of his autlitors. 
Even the short dialectical battle was to him an omen for good. 

Mr. Williams's next visit was to the Industry sugar estate, about 
three miles from Georgetown. The manager, Malcolm McNabb, Esq., 
was a hospitable Highlander, and a regular woishipper at our Trinity 
Church. We were quite a party on the occasion, consisting of Mr. 
and Mrs. George Ross, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Cameron, Mrs. Williams, 
Mrs. Bickford, the Revs. John Wood, J. E. S. Williams, and myself. 
The Coolies were collected in front, and Mr. Williams spoke to them 
for half-an-hour or so. It was a beautiful spectacle : the visitors in 
the background, Mr. Williams and Mr. McNabb a little in advance 
of us, and in the verandah and on the steps were the immigrant 
hearers. A few of the free labourers, black and coloured, were on 
the margin. It was a grouping which, if it could have been photo- 
graphed as we weie all under the spell of the missionary's impassioned 
speech, would have possessed an historic interest of no mean value. 
The Coolies thanked Mr. Williams, and said it was very kind of him 
to come and speak to them. 

I will here express, a second time, my conscientious belief that the 
labours of our missionaries have been a known blessing to the white 
colonists as well as to those of the sable race. This remark specially 
applies to the two classes as they existed in my time. It may be that 
there was a degree of repugnance of feeling among the more respect- 
aVjle of the whites to mingle with the so-called inferior race in our 
large city congregations in Demerara and Barbadoes ; but then there 
was always a sprinkling of such through whom our names became 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 99 

familiar, and the influence of our characters were felt in the best 
circles of white society. And this influence begot a confidence in our 
piety and far-reaching knowledge of spiritual experiences, which were 
availed for times of affliction and seasons of bereavement. This was 
very much the case in the city of Georgetown, during the period of 
my incumbency as pastor of Trinity Church. As a sample only I 
quote the following from my Journal : — 

• March '2'ird. — The Hon. George Booker called this morning to ask me to 
visit the Hon. John Croal, who was very ill. He is an old and respectable 
colonist, and if he be taken off he will be greatly missed from the colony. I 
called back af,'ain at '> o'clock, and found Mr. Croal a little better.' 

' March 2ith. — Called again on Mr. Croal. He was considerably improved, 
and hopes to leave for Barbadoes by the steamer now expected. May a gracious 
Providence interpose in his behalf ! ' 

The case of the Hon. John Croal and my visits to him in his 
dangerous illness should have some explanation. There were two 
gentlemen in Demerara, John Croal and Peter Rose, who had been, 
as members of the Court of Policy, a difliculty, if not a terror, to 
many an English Governor sent to the colony. Acting together, 
they could so control the votes of the Court as to create at will a 
' deadlock ' in all legislative action. They were men of stalwart size, 
strong in pui'pose, and powerful in debate. When they would have 
their own waj' they always had it. The Governor, although backed 
by the Colonial Office, and supported by numerous officials, was 
powerless to resist them. The deadlock in 1849, from which the 
colony suffered so much, was their united creation. The points in 
dispute were the reduction of the enormous Civil List, and the making 
a legislative provision for the inti-oduction of thousands of Hindu 
Coolies to assist in keeping the sugar plantations in a state of efficient 
cultivation. There was, however, reason in what some people called 
Rose's madness, as the events clearly proved. 

The strain upon Mr. Croal was such that ultimately liis health 
gave way, and he was laid aside by a terrible illness. When his 
friend, the Hon. George Booker, called upon me to visit him, I was 
taken by surpi'ise. I asked to know how it was that I had been 
selected for this painful duty, when Mr. Booker informed me that 
on that very morning the doctor had advised the calling in of a 
Christian minister to give spiritual coimsel to the sick man. Further, 
that the names of several clergymen had been mentioned, and that 



100 JAMES BICKFORD : AX ArTOBIOGBAPJIY. 

Mr. Croal had selected me. Thus armed, I went in the name of 
the Lord, to minister to this aident poHtician in his distress. I 
found him lying in a hammock in the centre of a beautifully furnished 
room, surrounded by a number of sympathising friends. ' Mr. Croal,' 
said I, ' I have come at your request to see you. Would you like nie 
to explain to you in a few sentences what the Heavenly Father is 
willing to do to help pei'sons situated as you are % ' ' That is what I 
want,' he replied ; ' I am very ill, and I may die and I am not pre- 
pared.' ' Oh, my God,' I inwardly said, ' this is the crisis of his soul ; 
help me to lead him to Thee.' I then explained to him the plan of 
salvation ; assuring him that if he would accept a free and full 
pardon for all liis sins, he would have that blessing even now. ' Will 
you accept 1 ' I said ; * there is nothing else.' You become a child 
of God by being forgiven, but all for Christ's sake.' I then knelt 
down and commended him in prayer to God. 

I was deeply penetrated with the belief that the Almighty Father 
would hear prayer for the removal of the fever which had so merci- 
lessly prostrated this hitherto very strong man. I expi'essed this 
belief when I returned to the Werk-en-Rust Parsonage. During 
the next five or six days I was constant in my visitations to Mr. 
Croal, when, to our great relief, the R.M. steamer arrived, and our 
friend was carried on board and left for England, vid Barbadoes, if 
so advised on his arrival in that island. But Mr. Croal had so much 
rallied during this short voyage, that his physician recommended 
he should stay in the mild climate of Barbadoes, in the belief that 
that would be sufficient. I received during his stay a grateful 
letter from him, in which he mentioned the rapid progress he was 
making towards the full restoration of his health. In due course, 
Mr. Croal returned to Demerara, and, on the very next day after 
his arrival, he was driven up to our house, that he might personally 
thank me for my sympathy and prayers ' in the hour of his distress.' 
He also stated to me his earnest desire to do something for the per- 
manent support of our mission, by providing in a ' Clergy Bill,' 
which he intended to lay before the Court of Policy, an annual en- 
dowment, in recognition of the invaluable services the Wesleyan 
missionaries had rendei'ed to the Government and the general 
community by their unostentatious and disinterested labours. As 
such provision would be exclusively for the educational and spiiitual 
good of the emancipated classes, I accepted, in behalf of my brethren 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 101 

and the London Committee, the aid so generously proffered. But 
Mr, Croal had been for many years an annual subscriber to the 
funds of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and in many other 
ways had showed his friendly feeling towards the honoured men 
who had superintended the woi-k in Bi-itish Guiana. 
I now insert a few jottings from my Journal : — 

' Marcli 21th. — I attended by invitation a meeting of the subscribers to the 
New Orphan Asylum, held in the court-house, when eight directors were 
chosen from the contributors. But such had been the indifference of the Non- 
conformists to this humane institution, that we could not even elect one 
director. This is too bad ; and 1 felt thoroughly ashamed.' 

' AjjHI ■ith. — Preached this morning at Trinity, and in the evening at Kings- 
ton. A splendid prayer meeting at the close of the service was held at 
Trinity. This is the day appointed by the District Meeting to pray for the 
outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon cur congregations and churches in the 
district.' 

' April oth. — This morning I felt very happy, and I could say : " Now, Lord, 
I feel that I have only one desire to live, and that is to do good." I was much 
blessed yesterday. My prayer has been answered and now I am wholly Thine. 
Oh keep me, gracious Lord, in this state all the days of my earthly pilgrimage ! 
Henceforth this shall be my motto : " This one thing I do, forgetting those 
things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are 
before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God 
in Christ Jesus." ' 

I am not sure that I had received the grace of a ' perfect ' conse- 
cration to God, in the same measui-e, before the period just noted. 
It was a baptism of ' holy fire ' from Christ's mediatorial altar. 
And what was its merciful purpose? But to prepare me for the 
terrible ordeal of suffering which was shortly to come upon me. I 
was to be suddenly arrested in the midst of a series of labours and 
responsibilities which were being borne, but only for Christ's sake. 
As long as I had full strength it was a pleasurable toil ; but the 
' last feather ' was laid on, and the ' back ' broke. 

I was sitting at my desk in the upper or third storey of the 
house, writing an important ofiicial document on the subject of the 
Coolie Mission for the Governor and Court of Policy, when, suddenly, 
the cerebrum came within the grasp of power which paralyzed all 
further effort. I could only compare it to what would probably be 
the effect of a sti-ong man standing before me with a pair of extended 
pincers, with one claw gripping one side of the forehead, and with 
the other claw gripping the other side. My power of further mental 



102 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGBAPIIY. 

action collapsed, and my pen dropped from my hand. I crawled to 
my room and was laid on the bed. The doctor came in a few minutes, 
and recognised the case at a glance. * Twenty grains of calomel and 
twenty-four of quinine,' said he ; ' and in three hours two-thirds of 
a tumbler of castor oil.' For a desperate attack a despei-ate remedy 
was needed. The sufferings I endured for the next three days no 
tongue can tell. The news that I had been seized with the yellow 
fever spread like wildfire through the city. During the forenoon of 
the third day it was reported that I had passed away. But it was 
not so, God having more work for me yet to do in His vineyard. 

' May \st. — Since my last entry, I have been on the east coast for a fortnight 
for the benefit of ray health, but, at Mahaica, I had a relapse and was obliged 
to call in Doctor Miller. I was again much prostrated. On the evening of the 
26th, Mrs. Bickford and I returned to the city, as weak as when I left a fort- 
night previously. The whole of this week I have been improving, and I have 
now the prospect of being able to engage in the blessed work to-morrow.' 

' 3Iay ird. — Yesterday I preached at Kingston from the words, " It is good 
for me that I have been afflicted ; " after which I gave the Lord's Supper. Re- 
turning to Werk-en-Eust, I learned with much pleasure that Mrs. Cameron, our 
dear friend, had taken the Sacrament with us.' 

' " In the midst of life we are in death." Henry J. Sawyer, a young gentleman 
recently from England, and who had been Sheriff of Essequibo, died on Saturday 
and was buried yesterday morning. He died at Government House, having 
been stopping with his cousin the Governor. He died of the yellow fever : 
hundreds of others also have been cut off by the same dreadful scourge. I 
trust the merciful God has pitied them and saved them.' 

' May 6th.— This day I am thirty-six years of age. Another year of mercy 
and goodness. This will be a year of change if my life is spared. Whether 
the time is come for us to return to England, or to take the prospective 
appointment in St. Vincent's, I can hardly say.' 

' May ISth. — The full effects of the Demerara fever do not altogether cease 
with the apparent removal of the cause. Frequently a strange affection of 
the brain remains, which is most painful to bear. I had to call in again Doctor 
Blair to help me, if possible. He prescribed sixteen grains of calomel and 
sixteen grains of compound extract of colocynth. I was very ill, and Mrs. 
Bickford and I spent the remainder of the week with our kind friends, Mr. and 
Mrs. Ross, at Ruimveld plantation. Mr. and Mrs. Cameron were there also, 
and ministered to our comfort.' 

'■June 1st. — Death, fire, and fever ! Such is the record. My dear and vene- 
rated father, John Bickford, yeoman, and formerly of Modbury, Devon, died at 
North Rhine, South Australia, on the 25th of November, last year, and his 
precious remains were interred in the little cemetery at Angaston, there to await 
the resurrection of the just. 

' The new Orphan Asylum has been destroyed by fire. It was a mournful 
spectacle. Mr. Attorney-General Arrindall was the benevolent projector of this 



PURSO-VAL HISTORY. 103 

humane institution. I called, as in duty bound, on him to tender my condolence, 
which he received for himself and Mrs. Arrindall with much feeling. The 
destruction of the asylum was a great calamity to our orphan poor. 

' The Rev. John Wood, my colleague and inmate at Trinity Parsonage, was 
taken ill with fever. On the 25th Dr. Blair said it was decidedly a case of 
j^ellow fever, and that next day would be a critical time for him. In the night 
he was apparentlj^ approaching death. Mrs. Bickford and I rushed to his help, 
I holding him up in an erect position, and she bathing his poor forehead with 
eau-de-Cologne to prevent his fainting away. It was a crucial moment, and 
we feared the worst. But, in God's mercy, a copious flow of perspiration broke 
out, and immediate danger was over. 

' The Rev. James Banfield, at Golden Grove on the east coast, has been ill 
from the same scourge twelve days. We had given up all hope in his case, as 
the black vomit had set in. But what in so many instances had been the pre- 
cursor of death was in Mr. Banfield's case the turning point of his recovery. I 
went up to see him, and soon detected symptoms of coming restoration to health. 
But, it seemed to me, judging from the details Mrs. Banfield gave me of those 
twelve days of prostration and suffering her husband had passed through, that 
the sparing of his life at that time was a physical miracle wrought Ijy God, in 
mercy to the tried Mission families, " lest we should have sorrow upon sorrow." 

' Mr. Wood is pronounced to be nicely convalescing. Thank God for prompt 
medical skill and the Divine blessing upon the means employed.' 

Jiili/ 5th. — My Journal records — 

' Preached to-day at Trinity Church on the conversion of the Philippian 
gaoler, and gave the Lord's Supper. In the afternoon I visited a Scottish 
Presbyterian lady, a Mrs. Macintosh, who was very ill. In the evening at 
Kingston, just after the commencement of the sermon, the cry of " Mi-e ! fire ! 
FIRE ! " was raised, and the congregation had to be dismissed. A fortnight ago, 
a similar cry was raised just as the evening service closed, and a rush to the 
doors took place. Last evening, the house of a Mrs. Thomas was burnt down : 
her daughter was very ill at the time, but she escaped unhurt. She is a member 
of my class. Mr. Wood was able to preach yesterday, and seems no worse for 
it this morning.' 

' July \oth. — To-day, Sarah Jane, daughter of the Rev. W. L. Binks, died at 
Mahaica, on the east coast, of yellow fever. I hastened up bj^ an early train to 
comfort and to assist our dear friends in this hour of their great trouble. On 
arriving at the mission house I was much distressed at the appearance of Mr. 
and Mrs. Binks themselves. They had both " been down " with fever, and were 
prostrated with weakness. An immediate change from the fever-hole, which 
Mahaica, at certain seasons of the year was known to be, was a dire necessity. 
But the first thing to be done was the interment of the remains of the dear 
child, whose pure spirit had fled to the " arms of Jesus." After consultation 
with the sorrow-stricken parents, I got the sexton to dig a grave under the 
floor of the scLool-house, and therein we deposited all that was mortal of that 
once beautiful child. This solemnity being over, I secured the loan of a carriage, 
and we drove off for Golden Grove and rested there. By the evening train 



104 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



we procee^led to the city, and arrived at our humble home in due course. The 
afflicting scenes of that day are so impressed upon my memory that they can 
never be forgotten. It was, indeed, a day of sadness : our sun appeared to be 
covered with a cloud,' 

' Jnlji 8l)fZr. — Mr. Williams, our Coolie missionary, returned fron Rerbice this 
morning very ill. Dr. Blair was called in and prescribed twenty-four grains of 
quinine and twenty of calomel, to be followed in two hours by the usual quantity 
of castor oil. A malignant fever is still raging, and the " faculty " prescribe 
these large doses in the beginning to save time.' 

' Aur/. 1st. — llr. Williams is convalescing very assuredly to-day. Praise God.' 
' Auf/. 3r^. — My last visit to the Arabian coast. Mrs. Bickford and I went on 
board the dredging schooner, the Pheasant ; but, leaving the river somewhat 
late for the falling tide, we were not clear before it began again to wash. We 
had therefore to come to anchor on the Zeelaudia bank for the night. With 
the rolling of the vessel and the effluvium from the bilge- water, I suffered much 
ijain in my head, and was very sick. Mrs. Bickford bore the strain much better 
than I. Reached Lorg the next day. On the ith, 5th, and 6th, I attended 
three tea and public meetings, and spoke at each. On the 9th, I preached at 
Lorg, Queenstown, and Abram Tuil. It was a good day in every respect, and I 
trust the congregations were comforted and edified.' 

On the occasion of my visits to the country parts of this wide and 
laborioiis circuit, I always pressed into them as much work as I could. 
I did not omit either to call upon the local gentry, who w-ere friendly 
to our missionaries. Such visits were mvTch valued ; and, oftentimes, 
left a blessing behind. Theiefore, 'on the day after the Sabbath,' 
I waited upon the Rev. William Austin, an Anglican clergyman, and 
brother to Dr. Austin, Bishop of Guiana, Mr. Bagot and family, 
and other gentlemen, both coloured and white. At the close of the 
day's exercises I was much fatigued, but I was comforted in the 
belief that the time was not by any means lost. We returned by sea 
to Georgetown, reaching our home at midnight on the 13th, and 
found all well. 

The arrival of the fortnightly mail steamer is an event of com- 
manding interest in Demerara to all the Europeans. For days 
together sometimes, our eyes would be strained by using our telescopes 
for i-eading the semaphore at the east end of the city. When, at 
length, the north arm would fall, that was to say that a steamer 
was in sight ; when the south arm, that was to the effect that it was 
the royal mail steamer from England. On the 24th, the assuring T 
appeared, and the whole city was on the qui vive. No letter from 
the Missionary Committee came to hand ; but my old friend the 
Watchman did, and was full of Conference news. Mrs. Bickford 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 105 

and I eagerly insjieeted the official ' Stations Sheet,' and therein we 
saw the welcome words — 

'James Bickford is returning Home.' 

The answer to my prayers and requests, which these five words 
brought me, seemed to re-nerve my hand for answering letters, as well 
as to inspirit my heart for attention to other duties. Under date 
August 25th, my Journal says : — 

' Wrote by this mail to the following- friends : — Mrs. Furze, Mevagissey, 
Cornwall ; Captain James le Messurier, Guernsey ; the Rev. W. L. Thornton, 
14, City Road, London ; and my niece, Miss Boon, Modbury, Devon. And in the 
islands to Rev. John Corlett, Barbadoes ; the Rev. Henry Hnrd, St. Vincent's; 
the Rev. W. Limmex, Trinidad ; Sidney Stead, Esq., Buxton Grove, Antigua ; 
Mr. Edward Drew, a student in the Mico Institution, Antigua. So much 
correspondence is a heavy matter, but it must be attended to. I have been 
much impressed with this view of correspondence since reading the " Life of 
William Wilberforce," one of England's greatest philanthropists and Christian 
statesmen, who, when embarrassed with •' an immense accumulation of letters," 
remarked, '■ How can I clear away the arrear ? It will cost me a month to do 
it. Yet courtesy is a Christian duty, and I must write to those who may fairly 
claim answers." So will I — "giving no offence in anything, that the ministry 
be' not blamed." ' 

During my absence in the West Indies my parents had emigrated 
to South Australia. My father had died there, and my widowed 
mother was still living in the colony. I was sorely distressed on her 
account, and on August 31st I wrote the London Committee 
oflfering, on our return to England, to go out as one of their 
Australian ministers. The rush to the goldfields had set in, and 
the English Confei*ence was anxious to sti-engthen its staff of 
preachers, especially in New South Wales and Victoria. I qviote 
from my Journal : — 

' Wrote a letter to-day (the 31st) to the Committee, offering to go out to Australia 
for these reasons: (1) I have from the time of my conversion in 1832, felt my 
sympathies to be in that direction, and these have been strongest when my soul 
has been most alive to God and to the welfare of my fellow-men ; (2) I prefer 
colonial to the English work, and I could not but with extreme pain consent 
to settle down at home and thereby sink, or set aside, the experience and 
information I have obtained from fourteen years of residence in the colonies ; 
(3) I strongly desire that my next tield of ministerial labour should supply a 
home for myself and dear wife for our lifetime ; (4) The climate of Australia 
is of a medium character, and therefore better adapted to us after so long a 
sojourn in the tropics ; (5) I would add that the remains of my late venerable 



106 JAMES BICKFORB: AX ATJTOBIOGBAPITY. 

father are interred in a cemetery at Angaston, South Australia ; that my yet 
^^'ido^ved mother is still resident in the colony. ... I crave your forgiveness 
for adding that it would be a mournful satisfaction to see my father's grave, and 
" o'er it drop a tear ; " to be with and aid b}' my sympathy and prayers my 
mother in her declining years ; and to use my best endeavours, morally and 
spiritually, to benefit my lirothcrs and sisters and their families, now in Australia, 
by my presence and ministrations.' 

' Sept. \th. — This day Mr. Wood is again ill. He is very unwell of the 
fever.' 

' Sept. Wi. — " Deep callcth unto deep." iMrs. Bickford, Mr. Williams, and 
Mr. Wood are prostrate with fever. In the afternoon I buried our clear friend, 
Miss Fisher, late sister of Mrs. John Evans. She died of yellow fever.' 

' Sl'jH. \Wi. — Mrs. Brown, the overseer's wife at Thomas estate, died yesterday, 
and this evening her remains were interred. She has been called to seek the, 
Lord about eighteen months, and she walked obediently in God's statutes. Her 
affliction was a deeply painful one, but her soul was happy. She has gone to 
heaven to be with Jesus.' 

'Sept. 17th. — Returned yesterday from the Supply village (up the river), to 
which place I had gone for services the day before. I was overpowered with 
heat, and was compelled to lie down in the hattcaux. I was very ill as the 
consequence of this exposure, and had to take strong remedies.' 

' Oct. lOfh. — Received a kind letter to-day from the Rev. George Osborn, Junior 
Missionary Secretary, on the subject of our return to England, but not one word 
about the appointment of an ordained minister for Berbice, nor concerning the 
circuit whose superintendency I am so soon to vacate. This is verj' perplexing.' 

• Oct. 25th. — The Annual Missionary Meeting was held at Kingston : Thomas 
A. Spooner, Esq., in the chair. It was a deeply interesting time.' 

' Oct. 26th. — The meeting at Trinity Church came off ; Sir Henr_y Barkly 
presided with great ability. The Hon. W. Walker and the Hon. W. Bruce 
Ferguson spoke for our Foreign Missions. The Revs. J. Banfield and J. E. S. 
Williams assisted. The Governor told me at the close how much he had been 
pleased. He said " that such sustained eloquence as he had heard that night 
be had never kno^vn surpassed ; not even in the English House of Commons. 
That evening would always be a pleasant memory to him." ' 

'Oct. 21th. — After nearly four years of pleading with the London Committee 
for the appointment of an ordained minister for Berbice, we succeeded in our 
request. Another illustration of the famous maxim : " All good things come to 
those who wait." Dr. Hoole communicated this pleasing news to me. He said 
in his welcome letter : " The Committee has concluded to send a missionary to 
Berbice." That was all, but it was enough.' 

'Nov. Zrd. — And now it became necessary for me once more to visit Berbice, 
for I had good news to tell our Dutch friends and our own people. I therefore 
left in the steamer Tynr, and made a quick passage from port to port. We took 
only seven hours and twenty minutes. Surely there is nothing like steam for 
speed and comfort in traversing the sea ! Mrs. Dalgliesh, wife of the Rev. John 
Dalgliesh, London missionary in New Amsterdam, had just returned from 
Scotland, and was one of our passengers. She lent me her copy of Mrs. Stowe's 
world-renowned book, entitled " Uncle Tom's Cabin," which I read all .the way 
up. By turns I laughed and I cried ; yea, I almost cursed as I learnt of the 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 107 



senseless and brutal conduct of the Legrees, on the southern plantations, towards 
the black and coloured people. In my soul, I hope, I did not sin, but I was on 
the very edge of doing it. I was enraged at the tale unfolded by Mrs. Stowe. 
'• Is the story true," said I. Well, upon this point I will get corroborative or 
condemnatory evidence from the lips of the old planters still living in these once 
accursed slave-holding lands, and the world shall know the result. Alas ! alas ! 
I found that there was hardly an incident of wickedness told in ' Uncle Tom ' 
that could not be paralleled in the earlier history of British Guiana, Mutatlt 
mutandis. And Mrs. Stowe's story would be true of the slave renlvie in these 
once unhappy lands ! 

' On this occasion of my visit, I spent nearly a week in preaching and visiting. 
On the evening of the 3rd, the day of my arrival, I preached in Mr. Dalgliesh's 
church to 130 persons. On the 4th, I visited our members and Scotch and 
Dutch friends, and preached in the Lutheran church in the evening. On the 
.oth, I did more visiting, and in the afternoon I went out to Cumberland and 
held a religious service. On the 6th, I passed over the river to the west coast, 
and spent the day very profitably with the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Roome, at the 
London Missionary Station. I returned to New Amsterdam by the evening 
boat, and went directly to the house of Mrs. Hancock's son, to christen it, as it 
was called. This is a good custom, and I tried to encourage it. On the 7th, I 
preached in New Amsterdam twice, and once at Cumberland. Besides, I 
renewed the tickets of ninety-five members, and gave the Lord's Supper at both 
places. It was a busy, but a happy day. On the 8th, I returned overland in 
the mail waggon for Georgetown, a distance of seventy-five miles. Our good 
people at Berbice are blessing God that at length a minister is to be appointed 
for them. I praise God also with all my heart.' 

A gap of twelve days occurs in my Journal. On the 20th, I say — 

' Since my last entry I have been laid aside with fever, superinduced, no 
doubt, by the heavy labours in Berbice, and the fatigue of the overland journey. 
I-ast Sunday I was unable to preach, and Mr. J. J. Savory and the Rev. J. E. S. 
Williams took my appointments. On Tuesday Mrs. Bickford and I went up to 
the "Industry" plantation, at the invitation of Malcolm McNabb, Esq., the 
hospitable manager. I improved very much by the change, and came home last 
evening pretty well. Oh, that the Lord in mercy may " prop the house of clay " 
a few weeks longer, when I hope to leave the tropics for a more salubrious 
clime ! ' 

' Bee. ith. — A busy week ; employed in collecting the annual subscriptions for 
our Foreign Missions, and in superintending a lot of mechanics about the 
premises. Mr. James Rogers, one of our best men, employs and directs these 
workers, and I pay them every week. Preaching and visiting the sick have also 
been attended to. The temporal and spiritual prosperity of the mission lies near 
my heart.' 

' Bee. 5th. — A very wet day, and congregations small. We have had great 
sorrow to-day from the following circumstance : Captain John Smith, of the 
barque Gratitude, belonging to Messrs. J. Lidgett & Son, London, shipowners, 
a good man, who had rendered himself very dear to us, was to be buiied to-day. 
He was taken ill on Friday on board the vessel, came on shore on Saturday, and 



108 JAMES BICKFORB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

died on Sunday. He sent for me, but it was too late. As I was leaving our 
house, a second messenger (one of our members; came with the melancholy news 
of his death. His last Sabbath was spent with us, and the last sermon he heard 
was from my lips. The text was : '• The Master is come and calleth for thee." 
He died of the prevailing fever, which has taken ofE many of the sailors, 
especially the captains of vessels lying in the river.' 

' Bee. 10^/(.— This morning the " mate " of the Gratitude died after two days' 
illness ; also the " mate " of the PhoewLr — both of the yellow fever. Mr. 
Murray, one of our respectable merchants, called on me to perform the funeral 
service over them, which I did, but it was a mournful sight. 

• News came to hand that the Revs. Chatterton and Eotherham have suc- 
cumbed to the relentless foe — both young men and full of promise for useful- 
ness, but they are gone. When will the Heavenh^ Father stay His hand in 
mercy to the white life in Demerara and Barbadoes ? When / ' . . . 

' Bee. 16tJi. — To-day in the Court of Policy the battle was again fought over 
the " Secular Education " project, which, if carried as provided in the Bill, 
would have crippled and ultimately destroyed our mission day-schools. We 
could not stand quietly by and allow such a finale to come about without a 
strong protest. The clerical educationists mustered in great strength in the 
Court whilst the discussion was going forth. We heard the " memorials " read ; 
and, from where we sat, we could watch the effect upon the countenances of 
the members. The three best speeches were those of the President of the 
Court, Sir Henry Barkly, Mr. Secretary Walker, and the Hon. Thomas Porter. 
The feeling of the Court evidently was that the religious bodies, which had for 
so many years expended money, and time, and ability, in aid of the educational 
work of the colony, were entitled to be heard, and to have justice done to them ; 
and that no case had been made out by opposing parties for ruthlessly arresting 
the good work they were doing. Besides which, it was felt by several of the 
members that such a system as that proposed would cost more than the colony 
at that time could bear. Beyond, therefore, the providing for a more careful 
and vigorous inspection of existing schools, and the gradual introduction of 
such improvements as Mr. Commissioner Dennis might suggest, nothing more 
of a i)ractical or destructive kind was done. But a principle was affirmed, 
which should apply to any prospective legislation upon the subject, as follows : 
" That in all schools deriving any portion of their support under the provision 
of such Bill, religious instruction founded upon the precepts of Holy Scripture 
be imparted to the pupils." By this resolution of the Court of Policy the posi- 
tion of the Wesleyan missionaries in their relation to this question was upheld, 
for, in the absence of specific instructions from the London Committee, we were 
not at liberty to diverge from those principles the English Conference had 
adopted.' 

' Bee. I'th. — By the mail I had the satisfaction of hearing from the General 
Secretaries on the subject of the Coolie mission ; also a kind letter from the 
Rev. Dr. Hoole on matters of a personal and circuit character. I received 
another letter from the Rev. John Corlctt detailing the particulars ancnt the 
affliction and death of Brother Rotherham. 

• The Rev. J. E. S. Williams and I called upon Governor Barkly to lay l)cf ore 
him certain particulars relating to the Coolie mission. We had to tell him that 
the London Committee threw the entire support of the mission upon the 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 109 

Government and Christian friends and well-wishers in the colony. We required 
to rent and furnisli a house, as the parsonage at Kingston was no longer avail- 
able. He was very kind, and promised us £50 in aid of the expenses of the 
mission.' 

' Dec. 2Wi. — The annual examination of the Werk-en-Rust School came off 
to-day. There was a large attendance of pupils, nicely clad, and looking 
healthful and happy. His Excellency Sir H. Barkly, Chief Justice Arrindall, 
and several other gentlemen were present. The result of the examination was 
most satisfactory to our distinguished visitors.' 

As this was the fourth and last time I expected to be at this 
annual demonstration, I was anxious that the Governoi- and the 
Chief Justice should know what we were really doing for the mental 
and moral improvement of the pupils of this large and influential 
city school. And they were greatly pleased. Nothing could exceed 
the beautiful simplicity and practical value of His Excellency's 
address to the scholars and teachers at the close of the exercises. 
The pupils cheered him heartily as he left. It was a proud day for 
Mr. Savory, Miss Blaii-, and the assistant teachers. 



1853. 



Jan. \st, 1853. — I quote from my Journal :- 



Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits." The last two 
hours of the last year were spent at the ' Watch Night Service,' at Trinity Church. 
The Rev. J. E. S. Williams preached an eloquent discourse from Dan. v. 2o. 
His studies when a missionary in the East greatly helped him in his expo- 
sition. I followed with an exhortation, urging an immediate abandonment 
of all sin, and a renewed consecration to God. It was a solemn time for both 
ministers and people. I do not remember ever to have had such a delightful 
sense of God's goodness as when I rose from my knees, and congratulated the 
congregation by offering to them in the Name of the Lord " A Happy New 
Tear."' 

^Jan. '2nd. — Preached at Trinity Church to a large congregation. We then 
renewed our covenant to be the Lord's, and sealed it at the Lord's Table. It 
was a solemn and blessed time. ' 

^ Jan. \2th. — I had now to pay my final visit to Berbice : Mrs. Bickford 
accompanying me. We had a nice passage up, and were received with much 
affection by Mr. Thomas Eraser, Miss Dow, and other Wesleyan members. 
When not holding public services, I visited the Society and our Scotch and 
Dutch friends. I preached as usual three times on the Sabbath ; twice in 
New Amsterdam, and once at Cumberland. I renewed the tickets of member- 
ship of nearly one hundred members, and gave the Lord's Supper twice. 

' I cannot refrain from mentioning the names of those dear friends who were 
most hospitable and kind to us on this occasion of our last visit : Mr. and Mrs. 



110 JAMES BICKFORB: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Roelof Hart, Mrs. Dr. Koch, Mrs. Obermiiller, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Fraser, and 
the Rev. John and Mrs. Dalgliesh. I preached my last sermon in the Dutch 
Church, on the evening of the 17th, to an immense congregation. Vale!' 

We returned by sea to Georgetown on the 20th, and found that 
during our absence Mrs. Williams had been very ill. The Rev. W. 
L. Binks, who, after ten years of incessant and useful labour and 
many personal and family afflictions, has obtained permission to 
' return home,' came from Mahaica that we might consult over the 
affairs of his circuit. We had no practical difficulty in making 
arrangements for the caring of the work until a successor airived. 
We also agreed that we would go by the same ship from Demerara 
direct to London. 

The Annual District Meeting was this year to be held in St. 
Vincent's ; but, in consequence of the prevalence of that dreadful 
scourge, the yellow fever, it had to be postponed. The Rev. R. 
Ridyard, a promising young missionary, had died at Oalder, and a 
Miss Handley, a Christian young lady employed as governess in one 
of the mission homes, had died at Calliaqua ; whQst Mrs. Bannister, 
the wife of the Chairman, was hopelessly ill. The Rev. Mr. Pritchard 
was laid aside also. The early months of 1853 set in with a heavy 
cloud over the whole of the white people, and we seemed as walking 
upon the very edge of eternity. 

We in Demerara were under very great pressure, and every day 
of delay in our departure for England, appeared to imperil our 
very lives. Therefore, on February 23rd, Mr. Binks and I went on 
board the barque Cleopatra, Captain McEachem, and took our 
passages for London. We wrote a joint letter to the Rev. W. 
Bannister, Chairman of the District, informing him of our inability 
to be present at its sessions this year. 

March 5th. — I copy from my Journal as follows : — 

* Visited my much-respected and venerated friend, the Hon. George Bagot. 
Old age and ailments have come upon him, and his time cannot be long. His 
mind appears to be in a tranquil state. He rests alone for salvation upon the 
atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. I also called upon my friend, the Hon. W. 
B. Ferguson, who, with his family, expects shortly to leave for London. The 
friendship of Messrs. Bagot and Ferguson were to me, under some trying 
responsibilities, a source of strength and of much comfort. I cannot but 
believe that God " raised them up " for my aid in conducting the important 
mission entrusted to me in British Guiana. Mr. Sheriff Bagot was an Irish 
Episcopalian, and Mr. Ferguson was a Scotch Presbyterian — both representa- 
tive and Christian men, whose friendship I both needed and valued.' 



PERSONAL HISTORY. Ill 

In order that the work of the mission might be sustained and even 
prosecuted with greater vigour than ever, we brought all the influence 
we reasonably could to bear upon the Combined Couit, whose annual 
session was to be held this month. To our former clients, the eman- 
cipated classes, we had now to add the Coolie immigrants, whose civil 
and spiritual condition lay heavily upon our hearts. With no grants 
from the London Committee for any branch of the English or other 
work in the Province, we were again compelled to look to the Colonial 
Treasury for the pecuniary help required. Memorials to the Court 
were accordingly prepared, and confided to the financial representa- 
tives for presentation at the proper time. The result is noted in my 
Journal : — 

'The Combined Court has sat, and much Inisiness has been got through. The 
Court has been very liberal to us. It has granted .$1,840 to the Coolie 
mission ; $250 to aid in building a " Chapel-schoolhouse " in Stanley village, 
near Mahaica ; .S2.50 to aid in establishing a Wesleyan daj^-school in New 
Amsterdam; and $500 in " aid of children of indigent parents " in Georgetown.' 

The Coolie mission met with great favour from the Government. 
And no wonder ! For the presence of the Rev. Mr. Williams was a 
great relief to the authorities in dealing with this imported increment 
of our mixed population. Soon after Mr. Williams's ' arrival,' there 
was a murder case to be tried, in which one or more of the Coolies 
were concerned ; when the services he alone could render were availed 
of as sworn interpreter. It was a long and painful trial ; and, for 
the first time, the judge expressed his satisfaction that they now 
had a gentleman of high character and linguistic ability to help the 
Court in the administration of justice. In the preparation of official 
documents relating to the social conduct of the immigrants ; their 
obligatio]is as indentured labourers on the sugar plantations to the 
managers and the free blacks ; together with a number of other 
questions arising out of their location amongst us, and then" amena- 
bility to oiu' laws, Mr. Williams was a willing and invaluable 
assistant. Indeed, he was soon known and recognized as the Coolies' 
friend as well as spiritual guide. 

Every da)^ now spent in Demerara bi-ought the time of our expected 
departure so much the nearer. It was, therefore, because trending in 
tliis dii-ection, that I felt considerable relief when, on March 11th, our 
brethren, the Revs. W. Heath and J. Banfield, sailed in the R.M.S. 
Derwent, vid Barbadoes for St. Vincent's, to attend the session of the 



112 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Annual District Meeting, thereby relieving me from all further 
official connexion with. it. All the necessary documents I had 
prepared, and I committed them to the custody of Mr. Heath for 
presentation to the Chau-man of the Distiict. I had also arranged 
for paying to the Treasurer of the District all Connexional moneys 
which, once in every year in oui' West India districts, are required to 
be settled. ' John Mason's ' book account, and the annual subscription 
for the London Watchynan, had to be included, or the Missionary 
Committee would know ' the reason why ' ! I purchased a liill, at par, 
on the Colonial Bank, in London, for £308 15«. 4rZ., and committed 
it to the custody of Mr. Heath to pay over at the District Meeting, 
This transaction settled all my monetary relations to the St. Vincent 
and Demerara district, of which I had been a member fifteen years. 
The sense of conscious relief I experienced seemed as if Godsent. 

My interest in Demerara had not yet completely gone. For 
instance, at the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Mui-ray in the Scotch 
Church, ' by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery,' I could not 
but feel a deep concern. This church had suffered much for many 
years, and now it was hoped that a ' time of reviving ' and re-establish- 
ment of the good cause would be witnessed. On the 15th I attended, 
by special invitation, the olfieial opening of the ' Orphan Asylum 
and School of Industry,' when, at least, 400 persons were pi'esent. 
I was much delighted with all that I saw and heard. On the 25th, 
we heard of the death of the Rev. Mr. Pritchard, at Calder, St. 
Vincent's, of yellow fever. When will this ' Reaper ' cease his 
desolating visitations of our much weakened missionaiy staff? 
Lord, when? 

' March 2St7i. — This is my last officiating Sabbath in the city of Georgetown. 
I preached at Kingston and Trinity on Acts xxvi. 22, 23. At tlae latter service 
wc had an overflowing congregation, and I was much affected. My physical 
strength was unequal to the effort, and my soul was " cast down and disquieted 
within me." The thought that this is the last time for me to preach to this 
dear, loving people quite overwhelmed me. Four years of preaching, making in 
all over seven hundred times, and with what result ? I will not afflict my 
already burdened heart with unprofitable regrets ; but hope for the best. 1 
have gone "forth weeping bearing precious seed ;" shall I not, when the harvest 
time comes, appear " rejoicing," with " sheaves " of success ? ' 

The remainder of my tale is soon told. The missionai'ies, Messrs. 
Banfield, Heath, Biggs, and Wrench arrived in Georgetown on the 
29th March. They brought to us comfoi-ting news respecting 



PERSOXAL HISTORY. 113 



the new appointments for BritLsli Guiana. The Rev. John Corlett, 
a man of impulsive natiu-e and fine disposition, well-cultured and 
eloquent in the pulpit, was by the District Meeting sent to succeed 
me in the Georgetown Cii^cuit. His colleagues were Messrs. Biggs 
and Heath. The Rev. John Wood was appointed to the Bei'bice 
IMission, and Rev. R. Wrench to the Mahaica Circuit. The Rev. J. 
Banfield was continued in the Golden Grove Circuit, and the Rev. 
W. Heath in the Abram Tuil Circuit. All the circuits were provided 
for in this manner. On April 1st I prepared a Cu-cuit Balance 
Sheet, and committed it to the custody of Mr. Biggs for presentation 
to my successor on his arrival. On this being done, I gratefully say 
in my Journal : — 

' My miud is greatly relieved, and I am now looking forward to next Monday, 
when we expect to embai'k for our native land. It was the casting ofE a heavy 
burden, which I was unable any longer to carry.' 

My reverend brethren assembled at the District Meeting were so 
good as to place upon their Minutes an expression of then* respect 
and love for me, and of the work in the several circuits in which I 
had laboured for the term of nearly fifteen years, being five years 
over the usual term of service for English missionaries. The resolution 
is as follows : — 

' The brethren acknowledge with thankfulness the kind permission of the 
Committee for the return home of Brother Bickford. He has laboured in this 
District upwards of fourteen years with great acceptance and usefulness, and 
his removal will be long and deeply felt by us, and also by our people in the 
different circuits where he has been stationed. They affectionately commend 
him and Mrs. Bickford to the kind attention of the Committee, and to the ever- 
watchful providence of our covenant God.' 



' A Roland for an Oliver.^ — The historian, J. A. Froude, recently took a 
hasty run through the West Indies, since when he has written a book, in 
which he says : ' You must not trust the negro with political power ; remember 
Hayti. ... A religion, at any rate, which will keep the West Indian blacks 
from falling back into devil worship is still to seek.' Mr. Froude ought to 
have known better than thus to have written. He little thought, as he was 
preparing his scandalous libel on the character of the Queen's coloured subjects 
in the West Indies, that, at the very time, there was living in Trinidad, an 
educated black gentleman, a Mr. Thomas, who, like a modern Xemesis, would 
scourge him for his audacity ' with many stripes.' A book, having the 
appropriate title of ' Froudacity,' was published, in which the insulted author 
stingingly says : ' Away with your criminal suggestion of the hideous orgies of 



114 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOniOGRAPTIY. 

heathenism in Hayti, for the benefit of our future morals in the West Indies, 
when the political supremacy which you predict shall have been an accomplished 
fact.' But let us see how this question really stands ? "Why, such has been 
the steady progress of our West Indian Missions, that in 1884: the English 
Conference gave them a constitution for managing their own affairs by a general 
triennial conference, and two colonial annual conferences, subject only to an 
affiliation with the parent body in England. There are, at least, one hundred 
and seventy-five thousand persons in our schools and congregations ; and, 
inclusive of the Moravians and other Christian denominations, there will 
probably be a million of the black and colom-ed races under the preaching of 
the Gospel, and guided by the faithful pastors in all matters of faith and morals. 
Instead, therefore, of retrogression — 'a falling away' — as Mr. Froude basely 
insinuates, there has been marked advance aU along the lines. 



The Voyage Home. 



' They that go down to the sea in ships . . . see His wonders in 
the deep.' The prevailing reason why Mr. Binks and I chose to go 
home by a sailing ship and not by the royal mail steamer was that 
it would cost less money ; besides, it would be more direct than by 
making the islands' route as far west as St. Thomas's, before finally 
leaving for London. But if we could have foreseen what woidd be 
the disagreement on board the Cleopatra^ we should have gone by 
steam. Still, we got over the voyage safely ; but rouglily, as must 
be admitted by all the passengers. 

The Journal jottings possess even now a freshness of interest for 
the waiter ; and, possibly, as showing what a sea voyage was like 
thirty-six years ago in one of our West India sugar-carrying vessels 
they may have some interest for modern sea-travelling missionaries, 
in the magnificent steamships of the present time. We can only 
give briefest extracts : — 

^ Cleojpatra, April ith. — We went on board, and the anchor was raised at 
2 p.m. The Revs. Biggs, Williams,* Banfield, and Wood accompanied us. 

* In the month of August 1853, this devoted missionary, in the fulfilment of 
his duties to the Coolie immigrants, again visited Berbice. Whilst there he was 
attacked a second time with the yellow fever. On the news reaching Demerara, 
Mrs. Williams, accompanied by the Rev. John Corlett, hastened by the overland 
route to Berbice, just in time to see this eminent man pass away. He died on 
the 27th. A chastened grief pervaded the whole colony, and all classes of 
persons bewailed the public loss in his early removal from his beloved work. 
Governor Barkly, in a touching communication to the Colonial Minister, Earl 
Grej^ bore testimony to the high character and great usefulness of the labours 
of the deceased missionary. 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 115 

Mr. J. N. Pieters came alongside in the Customs' boat, once more to thank mc 
for some little kindnesses to himself and family. Our old friends, Mr, George 
Eoss. Mr. Allan Cameron, and Captain Millard remained until we were some 
six miles beyond the lighthouse. The pilot is a Mr. Adams, a short, black man, 
well up in his calling, but it is easy to see that his " word of command " is not 
liked by the white sailors. It is too authoritative and vehement, they say ; and 
is like nigger driving. We got on a bank and anchored for the night. We got 
again " under weigh " the next day and reached the lightship at 10 p.m., when 
the pilot left us, on the Sth ; we made Barbadoes, covering the distance from 
Deraerara in sixty-eight hours. Captain. McEachem, fearing that he could not 
weather the island, bore away N.N.W., and passed between St. Vincent's and 
Barbadoes to the north. We are now away from the sight of land. The 
certainty of our severance from our West India friends we now realized with 
much acuteness and affectionate regrets. Mrs. Bickford and I sat down ii^ 
mute wonderment at the mercif alness of God's providence in permitting both 
of us to have lived through our West India term, and to be now on our way back 
to the fatherland, from which we had gone out so many years before.' 

' April 10th. — This is the first Sabbath on board, but so different from those 
spent in. Trinity Church, Georgetown. Everything is quiet, and the captain, 
officers, and crew are showing their respect for the Sabbath by putting on 
their black coats, and otherwise presenting a cleanly appearance. We had 
Divine service on deck, and in the evening family worship.' 

' April I3th. — By a sudden squall our ship was thrown aback ! By the captain's 
prompt action we were soon out of danger " of going down by the stern." We 
made a complete circle in getting right again.' 

''April Mill. — Holy Sabbath. Mr. Binks preached on the " Parable of the 
wise and foolish virgins." It was a faithful and excellent discourse.' 

' April 2Wi. — The Holy Sabbath. There had been so much unpleasantness 
on board, that I preached on the subject of God's love to a lost world, in 
the hope that the hearts of all present might be softened toward each other. 
Mr. Binks at the close offered up an affecting and solemn prayer. ' 

' May 2nd. — Last night, at eleven o'clock, we had a heavy squall. All hands 
were called on deck, and the studding sails were got off. Some injury was 
done to the sails, and one of the bumpkins was wrenched from its place. 
4 p.m. : We are carrying only one double-reefed topsail and a foresail. Wind 
furious, and sea tremendous. Nevertheless, we are making seven and a half 
knots on the right course.' 

' 3Iay drd. — 12 a.m. : The wind came suddenly fi'om the north-west, and had 
hurricane force. In the midst of this awful storm we narrowly escaped a 
dreadful collision. We showed our light at least ten minutes before it was 
apparently recognised by the passing ship. At the last moment our captain 
" kept away," and the threatening intruder passed close under our stern. The 
captains exchanged some words not of the most complimentary kind.' 

' May ith. — The Cleojjatra is a spectacle of distress, with nothing hardly 
but bare poles. We had only one able seaman capable of steering over these 
tremendous seas, and he kept to the helm until the danger was over. Such an 
instance of physical endurance I never saw at sea before. I thanked him for 
his devotion to duty. Our captain, too, behaved admirably all through this 
trying time. His skill and steady courage were beyond all praise. I should 



116 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

think that for forty-eight hours he was not ten minutes together absent from 
the deck.' 

' May 6th. — To-day I am thirty-seven years of age. I seem to have lived 
long ; although I am some years from the period accepted as the meridian of 
English life, say from forty to fifty. " God be merciful to me," and direct my 
future steps aright.' 

During the remainder of the voyage nothing of special notice 
occurred. We had, as is usual, fair, foul, strong winds and calms 
in irregular succession. The distances, kindly furnished to us by 
the captain, marked the gradual l)ut sure approach of the Cleopatra 
to the end of her voyage : — 

' May I6th. — We are four hundred and eighty miles from the Lizard.' 
^ May 20t7i. — We are one hundred and twenty-five miles from the Start.' 

My last jotting is — 

' " Praise the Lord." ^Ye at last see the Eddystone, thirteen miles distant. 
At 3 p.m. we left the ship, and went on board a Cowes cutter, and in four hours 
we landed at Plymouth. Once more we were in our beloved native land. " So 
He bringeth them unto the haven where they would be." ' 

The Eetrospect. 

Mr. Wesley, after having been two years and eight months in 
Georgia, returned to England in 1738. Reviewing his mission, he 
says, * I went to Amei-ica to teach the Georgian Indians the nature 
of Christianity, and what have I learnt myself ? ' Mr. Wesley found 
Georgia to be a sevei'e disciplinary school, but his experiences were 
turned to good account. ' God showed him,' in that unfriendly land, 
' what was in his heart.' In like manner, many of Wesley's sons 
have learnt in the discipline of the foreign field many lessons tending 
to develop a fitness for the onerous duties of a mission station, 
which could never have been gained in the stereotyped routine of 
English Methodist circuits. Personal observation, extending over 
many years, suggests the desirability of a certain class of our young 
men beginning their ministerial life by a ' breaking-in,' in such 
countries as may climatically and intellectually suit them. Some 
very sage and earnest men have even suggested, not ill-naturedly, but 
in view of the greater influence of young ministers, that a ' breaking- 
down ' also could not fail of being of the greatest use. Many of our 
ablest, noble.st and sense-endowed men, now in English Methodism, 
had their earliest training in India, Africa, the iSouth Seas, the 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 117 

West Indies, and Bi'itish Guiana, who, on returning to England at 
the close of their terms of honourable service, have taken influential 
circuits and the highest official positions ' the British Conference ' 
can confer upon its most trusty members. 

What have I learnt myself % My answer is : — 

(1) I have learnt from incontestable evidence that God, in His 
pi'ovidence, gave to English Methodism a vocation to carry the 
Gospel of the ' common salvation ' to the black and coloured popu- 
lations of the British West Indies; — the conversion of the Hon. 
Nathaniel Gilbert, Speaker of the House of Assembly in Antigua, in 
1760, under Mr. Wesley's preaching in London ; the advent of Mr. 
Baxter, a local preacher, into Antigua, in a responsible position in 
His Majesty's dockyard; the eniigration of an Irish jNIethodist 
family for Georgia, but driven by stress of weather to Antigua ; 
and, at last, on Christmas Day, 1786, Dr. Coke himself, with three 
missionaries, originally designed for North America, were compelled 
by wind and storm to make for this elect island. These incidents, 
in our judgment, are links in a Divine chain of causes and effects, 
for giving force to the purpose of a mei-ciful God in making known 
in this part of His vineyard the gloriovis Gospel of Christ. The 
further proof is found in the generous willingness of the English 
Methodists to subscribe the funds for fostering and extending the 
good works ; also, in the chivalrous spirit shown by a succession of 
missionaries, of eminent piety and ability, whom God has raised up 
for carrying on this loving enterprise. ' It is the Lord's doing.' 

(2) I learnt to respect and love the black and coloured people in 
the West Indies. Amongst them I had generous and loving friends. 
I never had any sympathy with the cruelly absurd and depreciating 
remarks made by cynical and ungenerous white people, in regard to 
their mental powers and capacity for appreciating and practising 
the doctrines and precepts of Christ, as recorded in the New Testa- 
ment. And the names of very many are still present to my mind 
as synonyms of all ' that is lovely and of good report.' As leaders 
of classes, male and female, in my belief, they have never been 
surpassed for faithfulness and loyalty by any of their co-officials 
in England or elsewhere. Many of the young men, mostly of the 
coloured class, have given themselves to the Ministry, and aie 
effectually helping the English missionaries in carrying out the work 
of the Lord with credit and success. 



118 JAMES JilCKFOBD : AX AUTOJilOGRAPHY. 

(3) When the social evolution -wrought by the Emancipation Act 
in 1838 was fully realized, complexional distinctions died out ; and 
as years succeeded to that blessed event, a clear and broad road was 
created for all classes to respectable professions, intermarriages, and 
the acquirement of material comforts, without prejudice or distinc- 
tion. Absolutely there was no bar to the improvement and happi- 
ness of the West Indians, but such as those they might unwittingly 
throw across their own path. 

(4) I learnt that my mission had not been ' a fool's errand.' 
Every truth of Divine revelation I accepted during my student days, 
and which I firmly held at the time of my ordination in 1838, I 
tested in the presence of numerous congregations to whom I sustained 
the responsible relation of ' pastor and teacher ' for about fifteen 
years. I found that human natiire was the same, and that the 
needs of the human soul were the same, in the sable and white races, 
without exception or qualification. I proved to a demonstration 
theii' equal eligibility to experience a sure process of personal recon- 
ciliation with God, and heirship to etei-nal life. ' There was no 
difference : ' ' Christ was all and in all.' 

(5) I have no regrets at having given the best years of my earlier 
manhood to this portion of our great mission-field. True, the West 
Indies had ' the beginning of my strength.' My residence there, as 
English life goes in the tropics, seems to have been a protracted 
period ; but I do not begrudge it. The gratitude and the love of our 
people are an abundant rewai"d. 

(6) In the civil elevation and spiritual improvement of what was 
once the slave population, we have both the pattern and the pledge 
of what may yet be done for Afric's sons and daughters on their own 
great continent, as well as for other sable races in different parts of 
the world. The experiment of a hundred years of evangelising and 
civilising appliances, in these once benighted islands, for the salvation 
and elevation of all classes of the people, has been a gratifying success. 
The slave has sprung up into a freeman of Jesus Christ; the Creole has 
shown the possession of an innate force of character for which he had 
gained no credit ; and ' the white man ' has put away his mean and 
foolish prejudices, and now lives in peace and harmony with those he 
once oppressed. There has not been witnessed, as yet, the welding 
together of these varied races into one sohd, social mass, as may be 
hoped and prayed for ; still, all things considered, the conspicuous 



PERSONAL HISTORY. 119 

advancement of Negroes and Creoles alike to the position of a law- 
abiding, contented, and religious people is such as should gladden the 
hearts of all philanthropists and Christian workers in every part of 
the civilised world. ' He hath visited and redeemed His people : ' 
' Blessed be God ! ' 

England, May 1853 to January 1854. — My health was too feeble 
for me to do much work during the above period. However, I 
managed to preach over sixty times in the South of Devon, Cornwall, 
and in London. I spoke, as I had opportunity, at missionary 
meetings ; but I was unable to place myself at the disposal of the 
London Committee for deputation work. I was frequently the 
subject of distressing fever pains, consequent on biliary derangements, 
which laid me low during their continuance. Mrs. Bickford also 
was very unwell, and we needed each other's help a good deal. The 
good Methodist people in Devonshire had to take the ' will for the 
deed ; ' for active, effective service was for me impossible at that 
convalescing, transition period. 



AUSTRALIA. 

1853—1888. 
THIED PART. 

BY the English Conference, August 1853, 1 was a^^pointed as one 
of the ministers of the Melbourne Circuit, Victoria. It was 
expected that I shoidd be in my new circuit in the early part of 1854, 
io that Mrs. Bickford and I would have only about eight months for 
' pulling up ' our health and for visiting our kindred and friehds. We 
took in regular order Kingsbridge, Salcombe, Modbury, Ivybridge, 
Ashburton, Plymovith, and Camelford, Avhere we had brothers and 
sisters or acquaintances. At each of these places, I either j)reached 
on the Sabbath, or church anniversaries, or missionary meetings. I 
attended the Annual Conference at Bradford, and had the great 
pleasure of being the welcome guest of the Misses Pickles and Townend 
at Great Horton. I and three other West Indian missionaries, 
Messrs. Bannister, Hudson, and Binks, spent many a happy hour at 
the Marsdens, in their beautiful home. The Bev. John Lomas was 
elected President, and the Rev. William Barton, Secretary. The 
platform was filled with venerable men, whom for many years I had 
longed to see. I may mention Doctors Bunting, Newton, Beecham, 
Dixon, the brothers Thomas and Samuel Jackson, the Eevs. George 
Marsden, George Osborn, and William Arthur. Dr. Beaumont was on 
the floor of the ' house,' and so was Joseph Fowler, a keen and fearless 
debater. Everything I saw and heard greatly interested me. The 
preaching at the Conference was of a high order. The first seimon 
was from Dr. Hannah, on " Jesus Christ, the true Foundation ; " the 
second was from Dr. Jobson, on " Sowing and Reaping ;" and the thir-d 
was Thomas McCuUagh, then a young preacher, on the " Power of the 
Holy Ghost." Dr. Jobson's sermon was the most telling attack upon 



AUSTRALIA. 121 



the conscience of the sinner I ever listened to. Such specimens 
of earnest and soul-saving preaching made me feel very small ; 
nevertheless, I glorified God in them. 

1854. 

The months passed rapidly away. 

Jan. 12th. — Mrs. Bickford and I left Kingsbridge f or London. We 
joined the train, at the ' Kingsbridge Road Station,' and sped our 
way to England's metropolis. A little after the_ start, I said to Mrs. 
Bickford, ' Give me the Bible from youi- bag, and I will read the chap- 
ters for the day. Perhaps some words of comfort may come to us.' 
The first of the tlii^ee chapters to read, according to our custom, was 
Genesis xii., in which these words occur : ' Get thee ou.t of thy country, 
and from thy kindred, and fiom thy father's house, unto a land that 
I will show thee ; . . . and thou shalt be a blessing.' Our hearts were 
very soft, and no wonder ; for the second farewell to our kindred was 
worse than the first. But the comfort came ! 

Jan. nth. — The valedictory service for ovir party was held in. 
City Road Chapel. The Rev. Dr. Hoole conducted the devotional 
part, and the Rev. Charles Prest gave the address. I remember how 
he strove to impress upon us the necessity of close application to our 
great work, and to keep clear of the political questions which would 
agitate, moi-e or less, the Australian communities. Good advice, no 
doubt, I thought, but not always to be followed. The great matter 
in settling new countries is for wise and good men to prevent the 
transmission to them of the abominable feeling of caste, class 
legislation, unjust laws, and other meaningless disabilities ; to say 
nothing of the poverty, intemperance, and impurity, which for so 
many centuries have cursed England and embittered the lives and 
homes of tens of thousands of her sons and daughters. I inwardly felt 
sure that, if God permitted me to land in Australia, it would be 
with me ' an obligation of Providence ' to do whatever in me lay, to 
secure for the Antipodean communities full religious liberty and 
equality, just laws, fair taxation, and the unchallenged right of every 
family-man to a reasonable share in the public estate. Justice, 
freedom, progress, and everything else that is true, were bound to have 
my uncompromising advocacy and support. This might be done quite 
consistently with the conscientious discharge of the higher obligations 
which my ' ordination ' devolved upon me. 



122 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



I append a few jottings from my Journal : — 

' Jan. 22nd. — I heard Bishop Blomfield preach this morning, and Dr. Cumming 
in the evening — both great men on their own lines ; but I liked the Bishop better 
than the Doctor. The first sermon had the great merit of scholarly plainness, 
was orthodox, and practical; the second was pedantic, very theoretical and 
unspiritual.' 

'Jan.2[^th. — This morning I heard the Rev. H. L. Church, at St. Gcorge's-in- 
the-East. preach an excellent sermon from the story of Caleb. Mr. James Nibbs 
Brown, from Grenada, was present also. After the service we walked in 
company, and conversed mostly on West Indian affairs. It was a very great 
pleasure for me once more to see my friend and co-worker in our Lord's vineyard 
after so many years of separation. In the evening, I heard the Kev. John 
Farrar, in Jewin Street, with much satisfaction. Clear in intellect, and full of 
spiritual power, he could not fail to hold his audience as if under a bewitching 
spell.' 

As sliowiug the I'eckless manner in wliich large ships, quasi- 
' emigrant,' Avere despatched from England to Australia, say, thirty- 
five yeai's ago, I record the followmg facts : — 

Ja7i. SOtli. — This morning Mrs. Bickford and I journeyed to 
Gravesend, to join the American Lass, commanded by Captain James 
JSIcKellar, of Glasgow. As soon as our friends had left us, the chief 
steward called me aside and informed me that the ship was not 
properly provisioned for the number of passengers who were on 
board. Our party alone was eight first-class ; and there were many 
other passengers, both fii-st and second. The steward f lu'ther stated 
that he had made known to me how things were so as to avoid trouble 
during the voyage. I was much perplexed, and laid the whole matter 
before the captain. In the evening I sent Mr. Vanderkiste, one of 
the young ministers, to London in charge of a letter to Dr. Hoole, 
setting forth the predicament we were in, and that we were resolved 
not to go to sea until we were satisfied that the stores were sufficient 
for all the passengers for so long a voyage. 

Jan. 31st. — This morning Mr. Vanderkiste retm-ned from London 
with a letter from Dr. Hoole, authorizing me to purchase such 
supplementary stores as might be necessary, and to charge the cost 
to the mission house. I went on shore accorcUngly, with the captain, 
and bought 4 cwi;. of fresh beef, 10 cwt. of potatoes, 2 barrels of 
flour, 1 cwt. of ling fish, 500 eggs, and some other articles of food. 
The captain made some purchases also. In the meantime the 
Emigration Agent had gone on board, and found fault as follows : — 

(1) The ship had been cleared as carrying one class of passengei's 



AUSTRALIA. 123 



only, whilst there were two classes ; (2) the provision was for 
sixteen weeks, whereas the law was that it should be for twenty 
weeks; (3) the number of passengers had been reported less than 
they actually were, and the stores were laid in for the lesser number ; 
(4) the agent complained that the London agent had deceived the 
second-class passengers, by telling them that there was to be no 
dift'erence between them and the other (first) passengers ; (5) he 
took exception also to the dietary scale, and finally refused to allow 
the ship to proceed to sea. 

The captain had to proceed to London to see the agent, and to 
procure additional supplies for the second-class passengers. A clerk 
was sent from the office to further look into the matter. He took 
the names of the second-class passengers, and paid each one shilling 
per day for the time they had been detained in London. The ship 
had to be re-cleared. The Emigration Agent informed the clerk that 
his principals had laid themselves open to heavy penalties for making 
false entries, and for obtaining a clearance under false pretences. It 
seemed an unaccountable thing to me that a respectable London firm 
could have been guilty of such conduct as this narrative of facts 
discloses. 

Feb. Zrd. — We were taken in charge by a tug, and on the 5th we 
reached the Downs. We were now away from any further disputings 
between the charterer of the ship and the Emigration and Custom- 
house officers. We were thankful for this deliverance. We were 
detained by foul winds until the 9th, when, at 3 p.m., we finally 
got away with a fair wind. 

The incidents of this our first voyage to Australia will best be 
learnt from my Journal : — 

' Feh. lOf/i. — At 5 p.m., we were oflE the Start, and at 9 p.m. we were abreast 
of the ' Eddystone.' In passing, we saw Bolt Head and Sa] combe Harbour. 
Mrs. Bickford and I thought much of our ' kith and kin ' as we ran rapidly 
through these waters. It was but nine months ago, on our return from 
Demerara, we first saw the Bolt Head, and now, in obedience to a Providential 
call, we are passing away from it to unknowii scenes in far distant Australia.' 

Selfishness and cowardice are closely allied in some men. A 
striking proof is found in our ship-life this evening. We were 
informed that the London broker [alias agent) had confided to the 
captain secret instructions to be observed in dieting our party. The 



124 JAMES niCKFORD : AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

nature of these will appear from the terms of the letter we imme- 
diately addressed to the captain : — 

' Ship, " Amebicait La.ss," 

' February lOth, 1854. 

' Captain James McKellae, — 

' Sir, — We the undersigned first-class passengers bound for Sydney, having 
learnt that Mr. Alexander Milne, the broker in London, has sent for your 
observance a dietary scale for us, do hereby respectfully protest very strongly 
against our food being supplied to us by weight and measurement. "We are 
compelled to add that, should you determine, notwithstanding our protest, to 
subject us to such an indignity, we shall, on our arrival in port, hold you re- 
sponsible for any ill consequences which may thereby have resulted to our 
health during the voyage. 

• {Signed) JAMES BiCKFORD, R. W. Vaxderkiste, 

Lonsdale Abell, Hans Mack, 
John Gale, Thomas Angwin, 
William Kelynack, Willia m 
CuRNOw, Fanny Bickford.' 

The cowardliness of the intended action is seen at once. For if 
we had been made acquainted with tJie existence of a sealed in- 
struction, to be acted upon when we were out at sea, before we left 
Gravesend we could have left the ship or have insisted upon its cancel- 
lation ; but when it was sprung upon us we were in a sense helpless • 
still, knowing what was right and honourable, we addressed the cap- 
tain as above, and threw all responsibility upon him. The captain 
felt his position, and we heard nothing more about the matter. 

We had now before us a long voyage through, to us, untra veiled 
oceans. All our surroundings had become du'e realities. We com- 
mitted our ' way in the sea ' to the care of God. We did not forget 
the earnest prayers which had been ofi'ered up for us by our 
reverend fathers at the London mission house. These prayers ever 
accompanied us as an inspiration against the fear of destruction and 
death. My Journal up to this time tells of fair winds, freedom from 
gales, undisturbed worship, and good health. 

' Fcl). null. — The captain remarked at the table to-day that he had crossed 
the Atlantic (west or south) forty-seven times, and he had never had so fine a 
run as at this time. From the time of our rounding the South Foreland, we 
had not had to 'bout ship, or reef a sail. He even said he believed the God 
of missions was with us and giving us His favour.' 

' Feb. ISth. — We have run 208 miles since yesterday. The supply of potatoes 
was finished seven days ago ; and the vegetables the captain put on board at 
his own expense were finished to-day. As far as the charterer of the ship was 



AUSTRALIA. 125 



concerned, his provisioning was shamefully cruel, and yet we are informed that 
his profit from the voyage will be over one thousand pounds.' 

'March 8f/<.— South latitude 0° 44', west longitude 28° 17'. This is the 
holy Sabbath. I preached on the main deck, and afterwards in the saloon I 
baptized Mr. and Mrs. Pass's two infant children. Several of the sailors 
came to witness the administration of the ordinance. I also gave the Lord's 
Slipper to the mission party and to some of the passengers.' 

' March \Oth. — The thermometer to-day was 87° in the shade. The awning 
was not spread for us, although we asked that it might be. We went from 
one part of the ship to another seeking shelter from the sun's rays. On the 
11th we secured this favour, and the relief afforded was very great, but 
especially to the sailors who worked under its shade. Still, the condition of 
the exposed men was the cause for the spreading of the awning, and not the 
inconveniences of the passengers in the least degree.' 

' March \?>th. — Several of our party are ill, and it is no wonder. Our potted 
meats and fruits are unfit for use. Yesterday, when a pot of the former was 
opened, the stench was so dreadful that the passengers ran for shelter to their 
cabins or to the main deck. Several bottles of fruit had to be thrown over- 
board. Not a third of our voyage is yet done, and this is the state of our 
stores.' 

'■March loth. — The thermometer in the saloon to-day stood at 102°. We 
could hardly breathe.' 

' March l&th. — The atmosphere has undergone a complete change. The rain 
has fallen heavily ; the wind has come from every point of the compass, and 
the sea is as if it had been boiling in a caldron. These phenomena indicate 
the failure of the south-east trade-winds, and suggest that the ' variables ' are 
solely caiised by atmosjiheric influences. Every appearance above, around, and 
below is confused and wild. 5 p.m. .- For the first time since we left the Downs, 
on the 9th February, we have tacked ship and reefed topsails. It is blowing 
very hard and foul, compelling a south-south-east course. ' 

'March \Mh. — The stormy weather continues. We had a gale of wind this 
morning, and the fore-topsail was split from top to bottom. We are now 
running under double-reefed topsails, forecourse, jib and spanker. Nearly 
all the passengers are ill.' 

' March 20th. — Close-hauled and a gale of wind.' 

' 3farck 23?y7.— (Dead reckoning) South latitude, 32° 18', west longitude 
23° 50'. Wind changed in the forenoon from east-south-east to south-west. 
This is a dangerous part of the ocean from " wind-checks," and our captain is 
anxiously watching so as to be prepared for them should they come. The sea 
has an imposing appearance this morning, reminding us of certain passages in 
Job : " He maketh the deep to boil like a pot ; He maketh the sea like a pot 
of ointment. He maketh a path to shine after Him : one would think the 
deep to be hoary." A stream of fire seemed to follow the wake of the ship 
whilst tearing through these terrible seas.' 

' March 28th.— Saw the Magellan clouds and the Southern cross. Both 
brilliant and beautiful. Who could look for the first time upon these and 
remain an infidel or atheist ? Dark indeed must be the mind, and corrupt 
must be the heart, of the man that failed to recognise in such magnificent con- 
stellations the wisdom and the goodness of the great Creator of " all things.'" 



126 JAMES BICKFORD : AW AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

'March Z\st. — Obscured sun. Wind again foul. We are off our course, and 
are compelled to run at the rate of seven or eight knots an hour. This is now 
the fiftieth clay from the Downs, and we want nearly two thousand miles of 
being half over the voyage. " Thou, who art Lord of the winds and seas, 
mercifully interpose for us." ' 

' April 1st. — The wind still foul. This is now the sixty-fourth day since 
most of the passengers joined the ship in St. Catherine's Dock, and, naturally 
enough, fears are being awakened in some minds that both provisions and water 
cannot last to the end of the voyage. The second-class passengers are to-day 
put on short allowance. Mr. Vanderkiste is very poorly.' 

' April 2nd. — Tristan d'Acunha is in sight this morning, bearing west by 
south. It is 8,000 feet high, and is pyi-amidal in form. It is cheering to see 
even a solitary rock amidst these trackless deeps. But how came it there I 
and wherefore ? Is it a primitive creation 1 or is it the work of ages upon 
ages 1 evolution, or something of that kind ? ' 

^ April Srfl. — Still foul wind. We divided into two companies, and "gave 
ourselves to prayer." ' 

' April Itli. — The captain intimated this evening that, as the voyage would be 
unusually long, we having been out seventy-five days already, it would be 
necessary to reduce the water for each to half-a-gallon per diem, so as to pro- 
vide in time for any emergency which might arise. I at once intimated oui 
willingness to leave the matter implicitly in the captain's hands.' 

' April 8th. — A day of thanksgiving and joy. We have now a fair and 
strong wind. Speed nine knots.' 

' Ap>ril Sith. — " Rejoice with trembling." A small bolt having worked out of 
its place, the foretop-gallant mast and yard broke, and left the fore-rigging a 
perfect wreck. WTiat a change in a few hours ! Most of the sails had to be 
taken oil ^v^th a view to repairing damages. This has been the Sabbath Day. 
Messrs. Angwin and Gale preached, but it has been almost a lost Sabbath to me. 
Oh, for the Sabbaths on shore ! I hope I shall love and prize them more if 
permitted again to have their hallowed hours and hallowing worship.' 

' Ajrril 10th. — Sun obscured, consequently no sights could be taken. The 
captain and carpenter are engaged in making a new mast, and the •' watch " in 
making preparations for rigging it. What a change in twenty-four hours ! ' 

^ Ajjril \lth. — The new foretop-gallant mast was put up this afternoon, 
and the yard is being spliced. The wind is from the north-west, and is tolerably 
fresh.' 

' April \Mh. — The Albatrosses have been flying about our ship to-day, with 
mufli apparent confidence in our kindly feeling towards them. Two or three 
were unusually large, and, under their wings and over and around their bodies, 
as white as alabaster. The upper parts of their wings were of a dark grey 
colour, and from " tip to tip " were from ten to twelve feet. The sea has been 
rolling heavily. We have had scarcely twelve hours of carrying wind since we 
passed the equator.' 

' April nth. — The ship is under double reefed topsails, and close hauled to 
the wind. The gale has been furious ; but as we are passed the meridian of the 
Cape we may expect to have steadier winds. In the night, the passengers, who 
were about, cheerfully assisted in taking off the canvas so as to ease the ship. 
The ladies were much alarmed, and not without reason. In the afternoon we 



AUSTRALIA. 127 



saw, " sporting in the deep," five whales, taking their pleasure as if they were 
the monarchs of the sea. How strange it is that these ocean monsters should 
so often fall a prey to other sea-animals inferior to them in strength and size. 
One of their enemies is a small shell-fish, which insinuates itself beneath their 
fins, where, in security, it feeds oii the thick layers of fat. But the most terrible 
foe of the whale is the sword-fish, at whose approach, in dread of the battle 
that must ensue, it exhibits an extraordinary degree of agitation, and seeks to 
retreat in the opposite direction. Having no insti'ument of defence but the 
tail, this inoffensive monster is ill-adapted for conflict with the sharp tooth- 
edged beak of the rapacious sword-fish, which, darting first on one side and 
then on the other, lacerates and mangles its huge frame with impunity. These 
whales were from ninety to one hundred and twenty feet in length. We also 
saw to-day an enormous shark, whose fearful equipment of teeth renders its 
possessor an enemy to be much dreaded. These teeth are arranged in six rows, 
in a wedge-like figure, and are one hundred and forty-four in number. Sailors 
have a mortal dread of the shark.' 

'April \Uh. — South latitude, -11° 5.5', west longitude, 21° 43'. 8 p.m.: 
This is Easter Sunday, the comforting memento of our Lord's resurrection from 
the dead. Messrs. Abell and Angwin conducted the services. II p.m. :• Before 
I had any personal experience of sea-voyaging, I thought the life of a sailor 
was one of comparative ease, but I have since observed it to be a life of 
laborious toil and of undefinable hardships. The people who live in comfort on 
shore little think of the risk to life and health undergone by mariners, to pro- 
cure for them the productions of foreign countries. With too many vpstarts of 
men, the sailor is little better than a " dog ; " but I have found him to be brave, 
kind, and generous.' 

' April IStli. — Wind strong, cold and fair. We are now running up our 
" Easting " with some rapidity. Our longitudinal degrees are now about forty- 
three or forty-four, so that we have a prospect of doing from five to six daily. 
A few years ago the mariner, who would go so far south, as we now are, and 
expect yet to be, would be regarded as mad, but scientific knowledge of the 
most satisfactory kind, has constrained the adoption of this track as not only 
the easiest but the shortest by several hundreds of miles. The principle is that 
known as the " Great Circle ; "' and to those who have studied the rotundity of 
our globe it will be easily understood. In fact, it is simply " going round the hill 
instead of going over it." The Marco Polo ran the distance, on the Great Cii'cle 
course, from the Cape of Good Hope to Melbourne in twenty-seven days.' 

' Ajjril I'dth. — The captain is now getting good observations. The last of our 
sheep was killed to-day : she would eat no food ; suitable fodder having been 
all used some time ago. The fowls, pigs, and sheep have had to be fed upon 
soaked biscuits. So much for the generosity of the London broker. His 
covetousness has even afflicted the poor brutes we had on board. To be starved 
or eaten was the alternative. The sugar, too, for more than a fortnight we have 
had for our tea was the commonest, undrained muscovado, which shows how 
grievously our Missionary Committee have been taken in. I begged of the 
steward for Mrs. Bickford a little of the sugar sent to the forecastle, and now 
she is able again to take her tea. The captain told us this evening that 
he would not send to his men the sugar put upon our table for £50. If he 
were to do so, he said, in the first place they would throw it overboard ; 



128 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 



and in the second, on arrival in Sydney, they would every one desert the 
ship. 

' Mr. Curnow preached this evening an able sermon from Psalm cxix. 160. 
I am struck with the apparent inability of the young brethren to adopt a 
ready, simple, and elementary style of preaching, as that which is only appro- 
priate on board ship.' 

' Airril 20/:/;.— South latitude 4.5° 12', cast longitude 88° 40'. Wind fair and 
cold. An immense quantity of birds have followed the vessel to-day. This 
may be proof that we are not far from " Cavern " and " Prince Edward's Islands. " 
A sight of them would gladden our eyes and hearts.' 

' April 22iid. — Wind strong and cold. Run 244 miles since j'csterday. We 
have been much perplexed that Noray and the Admiralty chart differ in more than 
three degrees, re the longitude of Crozer's or Desert Island. It would be well 
for the English Government to send out a surveying party to ascertain the 
exact position of this island, that mariners might know where danger is and 
how to avoid it.' 

' Ajjril 2'?ird. — To-day for the first time we have seen the Cape pigeons. They 
are about the size of the English pigeon, have webbed feet, and have four large 
spots of white on their wings. They appear to have no fear of us ; but fly all 
around the ship, and even over the quarter-deck, doubtless in search of food. 
Here, far away from the haunts of civilised men, the very birds seem to live in 
primeval harmony ; but, would it be not so with them if perchance they lived 
in those portions of the globe '■ where men each other tear ! " ' 

' AjJril 25th. — We have escaped a frightful accident to-day. Through the 
rolling of the ship a large jar of vitriol broke away from its lashing, and a portion 
of the main deck was covered with a wave of liquid fire. The two remaining 
pigs were severely burnt, and one of them, maddened with pain, whilst we were 
at dinner, rushed into the saloon and from thence into our state-room. It was 
at first intended to kill the animal right away, but by throwing a quantity of 
salt water over it, the pain decreased. How dangerous it is to carry large jars 
of this fiery liquid on board a ship which, at the same time, was carrying such 
a quantity of gunpowder in her hold ! Mr. AUardice, the chief mate, got his 
hands and boots burnt in trying to arrest the surging vitriol on the ship's deck. 
There seems to be no end to our troubles. For example, the water we have 
for drinking to-day is very bad. It has the smell of rotten turnips ; but we 
have no alternative, for it is that or none. There is a large supply of excellent 
water in the tank, but the captain has forbidden any more of it to be used for 
the present. His idea is to reserve it as a supply in stormy weather, when 
access to the puncheons could not be had. The precaution seems to be 
reasonable, but the privation is hard.' 

' Ajjril 2(Jth. — To-day, at the dinner table, Captain McKellar remarked on the 
water as being much affected by the climate, to which Mrs. Bickford replied 
" that it was very bad, and that it was impossible to cMnk it." Dr. James then 
suggested that a small quantity might be taken from the tank for our use at 
dinner, which called forth a rejoinder from the captain to the effect '' that he 
would not receive any suggestion on the matter." Messrs. Angwin and Mack 
reiterated the request for a small portion daily, solely for drinking purposes. 
But the captain firmly refused, saying, that if a gale should overtake us, and 
carry our casks away, we should have the cistern to fall back upon. In this style 



AUSTRALIA. 129' 



the conversation proceeded, and when I was afraid of high words ensuing, I 
suddenly rose and returned thanks. Catchine: the captain's eye, I retired from 
tlie table. I heard, but somewhat indistinctly, sharp words between the captain 
and the doctor, but what they were I only know by report. In the evening of 
the same day, Mrs. Bickford came to me with the information that the water 
had become quite good. Whereupon I went to the steward for an explanation. 
He told me that another cask had been opened. It was now as good as could 
be desired ; and had it therefore been given to us all the unpleasantnesses of 
to-day would have been prevented. However, we need to exercise the utmost 
precaution in the article of water, because of the great distance we have yet to> 
go. Possibly some circumstances may yet arise which may show us after all 
that the captain was prudently right.' 

' April 2Si'/;.^Dead calm at 3 a.m. The sails were in danger of being injured 
by flapping heavily against the masts and yards. At 8 a.m., the wind sprang 
up, but was dead ahead. 10 p.m. : Our ship is now going her course, and the 
rain is falling in torrents. We have a dreary night before us.' 

' Ajrril 2dth. — This evening heavy rain. Ship under double reefed topsails, 
and two points off our course. At 12 a.m. to-day we were about a degree east 
of St. Paul's.' 

' April 'SOth. — Terrible gale all last night, and portion of the bulwarks were 
carried away. AVe lost also a pipe of water. No service this morning beyond 
singing a hymn, reading Psalm cvii., and prayer. It has been a day of anxiety 
and alarm. The fore and main topsails are double reefed, and the forecourse is 
held down with chains. This is all the sail we can get at present. The cross- 
seas come tumbling in upon us, and threaten to break our ship in pieces. Several 
big jars of oil of vitriol had to be thrown overboard ; the captain most wisely 
removing the danger by casting the whole lot into the sea. The ladies and 
other passengers were much alarmed at seeing the liquid fire, for a second time, 
running from side to side of the ship's deck, and no one daring to go near it.' 

' iMay 1st. — Blowing almost a hurricane. The same canvas on as yesterday. 
At 10 p.m. it was almost a calm, when the ship rolled heavily in the troughs of 
the sea. South latitude 46° 33'.' 

' May 2nd. — In the middle watch there was a terrific squall. This morning 
we shipped a sea over the stern, and through one of the stern windows. All 
the cabins as well as the saloon were deluged. The " dead-lights " were put in 
for the first time.' 

' May 'ird. — This afternoon we had a heavy gale and showers of hail. The 
ship has been under the canvas called ' long-reaching,' i.e. close-reefed maintop- 
sail and forecourse. The ladies are much dejected, and wearied out with 
anxieties and the ship's motion.' 

'May Mil. — The gale came on again this morning from the north-west, and the 
sea has been very high. The captain told me to-day that during the forty-five 
years he has been to sea he had not had such bad weather as during the past 
week. The question is as to whether we should have come so far south as we 
have done. Probably 43° or 44° south latitude would have been better for us 
than 46°.' 

' May Gth. — My natal day. I am now thirty-eight years of age. The past 
year has been crowned with lovingkindness and mercy. We have visited our 
native land ; have seen those of our kindred yet living ; and now we are braving 

9 



130 JAMES BICKFORD : AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

tempestuous seas for another sphere of Christian enterprise. May the merciful 
God be with us in Australia, even as He was with us in the West Indies ! We 
shall require much grace ; but it will be given "in the time of need." ' 

' May Sth. — We have had a gale all the 'day, and heavy rain. 10 p.m. : This 
evening we had the most terrific gale I ever saw. Nothing could be done during 
its fury but to commit the safety of the ship to the care of the Most High. The 
lee point of the foreyard dipped three times in the sea, so fearfully did the 
vessel careen over. The " whisker " on the lee-bow was carried away. We are 
now sailing under close-reefed fore maintopsails and the foresail. Not a rope 
has given way or sail split, notwithstanding the tremendous gale we have 
encountered. If the American Zasx had not been of immense strength, she never 
could have weathered the storms she has encountered in the Southern Ocean. 
I deeply sympathise with Captain McKellar in the harassing cares and exposures 
he has to wade through. ' 

' May 10th. — Very fine day, with the wind from the north-M"est, which s too 
••' sharp up " for us for making much progress. 10 p.m. : The wind now threatens 
to increase to a heavy gale : the topsails are again double reefed, and other 
sails have been taken ofE. How strange it is that, in the AiLstralian Directory, 
it is said, that in these latitudes the gales are from the south-west to the south- 
east, whereas ever since we left the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope, all the 
gales we have had came from the north to north-west. There appears to be no 
uniform law for the winds and the waves ; concussion disturbs the atmospheric 
phenomena above us, and these terrific outbursts occur to restore the equilibrium 
which has been disturbed. I would have expected here, in the Australian Bight, 
that the land to the north of us, being two thousand miles in breadth, would so 
rarify and moderate the wind as to make it of less density than the ocean wind, 
•and as a consequence retire from the latter ; but it is not so. Instead of 
prevailing south-westerly winds, we have had them from the north. 

' Mr. Kelynack preaf^hed this evening on the words, " Not by might, nor by 
power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." An eloquent and highly-pitched 
discourse ; but totally inappropriate to our little congregation.' 

' May IS^'/t.— South latitude 40° 00', east longitude 132° 01'. Last night the 
top-gallant sails had to be taken in, and the topsails single reefed. The rain 
fell heavily. But this morning, as the weather cleared, the long-expected south- 
west wind came ; since when we have been making good progress. Another 
week is gone, but how little I have done for the improvement of my mind, or 
for the growth of holiness in my soul. Many Christians, who have never been 
to sea, think that seclusion from the world for so long a time would be followed 
by much mental and spiritual advancement ; but it is not so with me. We are 
nearly sixty souls on board, and we are in such close contiguity to each other, 
that the usual privacy and application enjoyed on shore are unattainable here. 
Hence, retrogression, rather than advancement, is more generally the conse- 
• quence of a long sea voyage than the contrary.' 

' May lith. — We are now about two hundred and forty miles from Cape 
Otway, Messrs. Mack and Gale preached to-day. We then had the Lord's 
Supper together, which would be the last time on board the American La.ys.' 

^ May \bth. — We had a delightful time at our weekly class to-day. The 
.brethren appeared to be in a good state of mind.' 

' May 16f/t.— South latitude, 39° 20', east longitude 144° 00'. A day of great 



AUSTRALIA. 131 



mercy and goodness. At 2 p.m. we saw Cape Otway bearing north of us. The 
captain altered the ship's course to east, direct for Curtis' Island. " Bless the 
Lord, my soul, and all that is within mc, bless His holy Name." " 

' May nth. — This day at 9 a.m. we sighted Curtis' Island. At 2 p.m. we 
passed Kent Group. These islands are of peculiar appearance, and look as if 
destitute of all verdure.' 

' May \%th. — This morning we made the land on the Australian coast. The 
wind became very light, and we remained in sight of Cape Howe all the day. 
As night came on, the wind became northerly, and drove us out to sea. " 

'May \^th. — At 10 a.m. we tacked ship, and made the land a little to the 
south of Cape Dromedary. The wind is dead ahead. We saw a colonial 
steamer running for Cape Howe. We are about one hundred and sixty-five miles 
from Sydney.' 

' May 20th. — We are now one hundred and forty-six miles from Port Jackson 
Heads. AVind still from the north. 

' Twelve months to-day we landed in Plymouth from Demerara. I view the 
country to which we are going with deep emotion. There is no romance in this 
undertaking. It will be hard and stubborn fact, and will impose upon me 
duties of a serious and affecting nature.' 

' May 2'ird, Sydney. — By the good providence of God, we came into this 
harbour to-day. We had a trying time of it up from Cape Howe, except for the 
last ninety miles, which we ran with a leading wind. We were one hundred 
and three days from the Downs to Port Jackson. 

' It was some time after we passed through the Heads before the pilot came on 
board and took charge. We had to beat up to the anchorage, and for six hours 
each man of our party, except poor Mr. Vanderkiste, who was still ill, nobly 
helped the captain to work the after-sails of the ship, and it was the hardest 
work I ever did. I almost feared my arms would be pulled away from their 
sockets. At last, the welcome words were shouted out by the pilot, " Let go the 
anchor ! " and out ran the chain with a rush and rapidity that made the old Lass 
shake from stem to stern. But the voyage was over, and we were anchored in 
the waters of one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. 

' In the afternoon, I went on shore to report our arrival. I soon found my way 
to the Prince's Street Parsonage, and called upon the Eev. Stephen Rabone, the 
second minister of the York Street Circuit. He courteously received me, and 
promised to see the Rev. W. B. Boyce, the General Superintendent of our 
Missions in Australasia, and inform him that Mrs. Bickford and I, with 
seven young ministers, had just come from London. I then returned to our 
ship.' 

' May 2ith. — The Rev. S. Eabone and other brethren came on board to take 
us to friends' houses on shore. Mrs. Bickford and I were kindly welcomed by 
Mr. and Mrs. John Caldwell, in Pitt Street, with whom we remained until we 
sailed for Melbourne, Victoria.' 

Mr. Boyce came in due course to Mr. Rabone's, where we assembled 
to meet him. The Rev. T. N. Hull was also there. At the request 
of Mr. Boyce, he addressed us in terms of encouragement and 
thankfulness. Mr. Boyce followed in one of his characteristic 



132 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

addresses. It was full of practical wisdom, and delivered in a 
brusque, conventional style. To me he was pleased to say, ' that he 
did not expect to see me in such good health. He had supposed that 
I was a fever-stricken, worn-out West Indian missionary, whom the 
Committee had sent to Australia to save their funds.' If he had 
known, he said, that I was so physically capable for the Australian 
Circuits, he certainly would have kept me in New South Wales. He 
had thought that, possibly, I might have been a confirmed invalid, 
and would be wanting to be carried about in a sedan chaii-, and much 
more of the same kind. I heard it all, and, without moving an 
expression of my face, simply told him that the English Conference 
had appointed me to the Melbourne Circuit, in Victoria, and that I 
intended going thither by the first opportunity. And so the con- 
versation ended. 

But there was nothing unkind in all this. It was his manner, 
and Messrs. Chapman, Hull, and Rabone enjoyed it vastly. But I 
think, nevertheless, that there is ' a more excellent way,' in certain 
conditions, which might be followed. One of our party, I know, was 
much surprised at the character of the interview. It was so 
evidently different from what he had expected. He had likely 
imagined the General Superintendent, who was a veritable and 
venerable episcojnts, at least, among his own people, to be the symbol 
of a dignified ecclesiasticism, with garb and speech in full keeping 
with it; but, herein, he was much mistaken. Mr. Boyce was too 
erudite in scholar^ ip ; too greatly endowed with good common 
sense ; too sure of his scriptural position as a leader and teacher in 
his own Church ; and too much in sympathy with the free, democratic 
kind of all society in New South Wales, to put on any foolish airs, or 
to assume any superiority even over the weakest of his brethren. 
He was a great man in his very humbleness, and a wise man in his 
condescending affability towards all classes of religionists among 
whom he moved. At the bottom, he was one of the truest, best men 
I have ever known. 

The Australian Connexion had to purchase its independence, by 
becoming responsible to the English Conference for the support and 
extension of its prosperous missions in the South Seas. This was a 
somewhat perilous compact on our part, and involved generous giving, 
if not sacrifices, from our people. The arrival in Sydney of so large 
a number of ministers as our party represented had therefore to be 



AUSTRALIA. 133 



turned to some account. The Rev. Thomas Adams, a brother of the 
famous astronomer of that name, and both hailing from Cornwall, 
had just come up from the Friendly Islands, full of information, love, 
and zeal. Mr. Adams and I were despatched to the Hunter River 
District, to preach sermons and hold meetings in aid of the good 
cause. During this visit Mrs. Bickford and I were the welcome 
guests of Mr. and Mrs. Little of Maitland, Avhose hospitality was in 
keeping with that for which Austral-Irish Methodist families have 
been always distinguished. 

We traversed the whole of the Hunter River District, and did our 
utmost to strike such a keynote as should vibrate in eveiy Circuit 
in the colony. The result was .£400, or a few pounds more. The 
people gave mth a princely munificence, especially at a small place 
' Bulwarra.' The Rev. F. Tuckfield, the resident minister at 
Maitland, helped us with a true heroic courage, and chaperoned us 
throughout his extensive circuit. 

On our return to Sydney, for a few weeks before leaving for 
Melbourne, I preached at York Street, Prince's Street, Surrey Hills, 
Chippendale, and Wooloomooloo, and was much cheered by the 
evident appreciation of the intelligent congregations to whom I 
ministered. A second and last Sabbath was given to York Street, 
when sermons were preached by the Rev. T. N. Hull and myself 
in aid of our South Sea Missions. The annual meeting of the York 
Street branch was held on the Monday evening, when the Hon. G. 
Allen, M.L.C., an old and true friend of Methodist missions, and lay- 
treasurer of the society, occupied the chair. The Rev. W. B. Boyce 
read the report. Mr. Hull and I were the only speakers. The 
interest was kept up to the end, and the financial response was very 
good. With this meeting ended, at that time, my public appearances 
in our churches in the Mother City of Australia. I was anxious tc 
be in my Circuit in Victoria ; for, although my time had been well 
occupied in New South Wales, I felt [ was a minister Avithout a 
charge — a shepherd without a flock. With me the pastoral office 
was in abeyance ! I availed myself, therefore, of the first steamer 
for Melbourne, and had not long to wait. Although thirty years 
have elapsed since these occurrences took place, yet I cannot forget 
the great kindness of the Rev. S. Rabone and Mrs. Rabone, Mi-, 
and Mrs. Caldwell, to us during this our first sojoui-n upon Australian 
soil. 



134 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Melbourne, Victoria. 

It was on ,hdy 8th that we, early in the morning, passed through 
Port Philip Heads, and made our way up the Bay for Cole's Wharf. 
We overhauled an emigrant ship, and took from her as many 
passengers as crowded our deck in every part. This was far from 
being agreeable, but we had to submit. On reaching the world-wide 
reputed Cole's Wharf, how was I disappointed to find that it was 
only a bank of hardened mud, shaped by the ebb and flow of the 
Yarra Yarra, and flattened on its surface by the tread of many 
thousands of immigrants. 

We had all our material belongings with us, and all in a heap, 
with that of scores of others, in the fore part of the steamer's deck. 
The stern order was soon given : ' All passengers on shore and their 
luggage.' And then the helter-skelter began. I never before saw 
such a confusion ; and I certainly feared, not without very good 
reason, that some few of my_ twenty-eight packages would get into 
wrong hands. So I requested Mrs. Bickford to stand by, and see 
that our luggage was handed on to the wharf, and I would keep 
watch over it when once there. Luckily the largest and heaviest of 
my boxes came fii-st on shore, on which I had had my name painted 
by a coloured youth before I left Demerara. Tliis name I saw was 
immediately recognised. A young farmer-looking man was not only 
interested, but seemed made fast to the spot. Here is a chance of 
some help, thought I. So looking straight into his fine, open face, 
I said, ' Is there anything in that name that possesses any interest 
for you ] ' ' Oh, yes,' he replied, ' I know it well, and yesterday I 
saw your brother Nicholas, who is expecting you.' ' Where did you 
come from ? ' I enquired. His reply astonished me : ' From Wakeham, 
about four miles from Modbury.' ' Then your father and mine rented 
under the same landlord, Archdeacon Froude ; is it not so 1 ' An 
affirmative reply made us friends at once. ' Take care of these 
packages for me, will you ? whilst I go on board to look after Mrs. 
Bickford (who was standing amid a Babel of talk), and bi-ing her 
ashore.' This was quite a providential help for us, for without it 
we may have fared badly. 

My young Devonian friend, at my request, called a 'trolly' (Eng., 
wain) to take us and our belongings to the Wesleyan Parsonage in 
Collins Street, where resided the Rev. John Egglestone. The trolly 



A USTRALIA. I35 



being loaded, the next thing to do was for Mrs. Bickford and I to 
mount to the top of the luggage, and hold on for very life, lest \\q 
should topple over into the ' slush,' some twelve inches thick at the 
very least, which then covered Flinders Street. 

I told the driver where we had to go ; but, instead of going up 
Elizabeth Street, he chose to go up Flinders Street, then up Russell 
Street, and then turned down Great Collins Street. Just opposite 
to what has been for a nvimber of years the Melbourne Thunderer, 
i.e. the Argus office, we were bogged, and came to a stand. We had 
to dismount and make enquiry, so unfortunate had we been. Messrs. 
Allison k Carter, di-apers, whom we had intimately known in Bar- 
badoes and Demerara, had their shop close by. I went into the shop, 
and my appearance was a great surprise to them. They gave the 
driver the necessary directions, and once more we made a start 
for the Collins Street Parsonage. Arriving here, I met for the first 
time the Eev. William Butters, the Chairman of the Victorian 
District. At first sight I was drawn to him, and I placed myself 
at once under his f athei-ly and official guidance. The next thing to 
do was to get Mrs. Bickford down from the trolly, in which Mr. 
Butters assisted. Of course we were introduced to the Egglestones, 
who gave us a truly Christian welcome. Mr. Butters informed me 
that the Melbourne District Meeting had made certain alterations 
in the boundary of the City Circuit, and that I was appointed to the 
superintendency of the new Circuit of Brighton. It was a salubrious 
marine township, about six miles to the south of the city, Ijring 
within ' Dendy's Survey.' Mr. Butters thought that it would save 
both expense and time, if the man in charge of the ti-olly were sent 
at once along to Brighton with our luggage, to which I agreed. I 
thought, ' This looks like business, and provided it be one of the 
concUtions of service in Victoria, under Mr. Butters' administration 
of our Church afiairs, I shall like it all the better.' 

On the evening of the same day, July 8th, we found oiu-selves 
quietly ensconced in the hospitable home of my former Kingsbridge 
friends, Mr. and Mrs. John Wills, Moore Street, Collingwood. Here 
also I had the unspeakable pleasure of again meeting my dear, aged, 
widowed mother, and my brother Nicholas, whom I had not seen for 
about sixteen years. My parents, after I left for the West Indies 
in 1838, emigrated to South Australia, and my father cUed at the 
age of seventy-five at North Rhine. To see my mother, and, with 



136 JAMES BICKFORB: AX AUTOBIOGRAPirY. 

my brother and sister, assist her in her widowed life, was the strongest 
motive I had for coming to Australia. 

Brighton Circuit, 1854. 

We went to our Circuit on July \Zth, and on the 17th I opened 
my commission by preaching at East, Little, and Great Brighton. 
In the evening, at the latter place, I administered the Lord's Supper. 
* It was a good day, rather cold in travelling, and fatiguing to the 
body ' (Journal). I was now entered upon the full work of an 
Australian Circuit, and I resolved to spare no pains to pi*eserve the 
good work as I found it ; and also to extend it to localities outside 
the Circuit proper, where as yet there was no preaching nor churches, 
nor day nor Sabbath schools. My time and strength I consecrated 
anew to God and to the salvation of all the people in the district. 

A few jottings from my Journal will show how I attempted to dp 
this work, as well as to indicate some incidents of a family kind : — 

^ July 22ncl. — We have heard of the death of my sister ricbecca (Mrs. Treby). 
She died in hopeful trust of God's mercy through the merits of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. The first of the band of nine brothers and sisters is removed : the chain 
is broken, the links are separating. May we not hope for a re- uniting by-and-byl 
' I have been across the country to see my brother Nicholas, at Gardiner's 
Creek. He has made a nice selection as to locality, but the soil is poor. All the 
industry he could put forth in a lifetime in England would have been insufficient 
to procure the necessary means for purchasing so much land, and to have become 
so nicely settled.' 

' July 26th. — At Little Brighton to-day I saw two brothers of the Rev. Joshua 
Jordan, a West Indian missionary. Tliey are small farmers, and well-to-do. I 
visited in the afternoon our day school at Little Brighton — Mr. John Webb, 
master. I did not think the children were so sharp and intelligent as they ought 
to be. Mr. Charles Stone, the senior Circuit Steward, kindly accompanied me. 
' To-day the Revs. Isaac Harding and John Egglestone came out to see me. 
Mr. Harding, who is an ardent educationist and great worker, has a wish to 
establish a Wesleyan Grammar School in Geelong, and believes it would be a 
great success. Both appeared to be excellent and affectionate brethren. I much 
enjoyed their visit.' 

' July 2Sth. — This morning I went to the house of a Mr. Campbell, beyond 
Little Brighton, to see a Mrs. Carvill, whose husband was killed yesterday by 
blasting the underpart of a big gum-tree. I tried to comfort her with the 
promises of the Heavenly Father.' 

' July dOt/t. — This has been a trying day. I again visited Mrs. Carvill, and 
performed a short funeral service on the remains of her late husband. All the 
friends present appeared deeply to feel the painfully mournful event which had 
occurred. I preached at the three Brightons as usual, to attentive congregations, 
and was much blessed.' 

* Aug. Srd. — This has been a very solemn day. In accordance with the pro- 



AUSTRALIA. 137 



clamation of the Governor, Sir Charles Hotham, \vc have devoted its hours to 
fasting, prayers, and charit3^ I preached from Isa. xxvi. 9. A collection was 
made on behalf of the widows and orphans of the brave men who have fallen in 
this cruel and unj ustifiable Crimean war.' 

^ Avg. 7th. — Pastoral visitation at East Brighton, and spent several houra in 
walking from house to house. Twelve souls had been recently converted, and 
joined the church.' 

' Aug. nth. — Pastoral visitation at Moorabbin. I called upon every member, 
and prayed in every house. I also visited non-members, i.e. hearers and wor- 
shippers with us. Several incidents of an interesting kind came up, and suitable 
conversations took place. Will not God bless the sowing of this seed ? So I 
beheve.' 

' Aug. 18th. — Went to Collingwood to-day amidst clouds of dust. We had 
the pleasure of seeing the young T. T. Wills, who had just arrived from England 
with his wife. They had stood the voyage pretty well.' 

' Aug. I9th. — Mr. Butters preached twice to-day with great acceptance. He 
told me of the resignation of the Rev. W. Byrnes. He is going over to the 
Anglican Ministry, which will be a great grief to his old Methodist father at 
Paramatta. But if he be discontented in our Ministry, he had better go.' 

• Ai/g. 22nd. — Mr. Hawkins and I went to Melbourne to solicit subscriptions 
for our new church. Messrs. Pascoe and Cocker advised us to defer our appeals 
until a later period.' 

' A7tg. 2ith. — Went to Beaumaris to see Mr. Charland, who is anxious to have 
religious service established in his neighbourhood. He oilers a piece of land 
upon which to build a church-schoolhouse, which I accepted. I arranged for 
Mr. Charles Stone to open preaching services on the coming Sunday evening.' 

' Sept. 6th. — I went to Melbourne to-day to solicit subscriptions for our new 
church at Brighton, and succeeded pretty well. In the evening .1 attended a 
church meeting at Prahran, at which were the Revs. W. Butters, J. Egglestone, 
and J. S. Waugh. It was a very fine meeting, and the whole debt on the 
building was subscribed.' 

' SejJt. 8th. — An awful storm of hail to-day. I measured one of the stones, 
which was one inch and a quarter in diameter. The lightning was very vivid, 
and the thunder railed heavily over our heads. I was reminded of some of those 
terrific thunder-storms peculiar to the islands lying near the Spanish main. I 
am convinced that the winds and clouds were from opposite directions, and that 
the sultry atmosphere of the morning caused the wind to come from the north 
and north-west, whilst the cold above brought the wind from the south and 
south-west. These phenomena appeared to be over our house, and greatly 
alarmed us. Blessed be God, we were preserved fi'om all harm.' 

^Sejpt. I3th. — To-day, Mr. William Head and I rode over to Oakleigh, a small 
township about seven miles from Brighton, to see if there were any religious 
services held. We found that up to this time there were none. But there were 
three public-houses, and that the desecration of the Sabbath was dreadful. We 
called upon several of the families, all of whom were anxious for us to provide 
for their spiritual wants. There is an " open door " here, but as soon as we shall 
enter it we shall have many adversaries. ' 

' Sept. 2lst. — Opened tenders this evening for roofing the new church at 
Brighton. A large undertaking for our few people, but the work has to be done.' 



138 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

' Oct. Sfli. — I preached at Beaumaris, and took Mr. Butters to see my cousins, 
Mr. James Bickford Moysey and Mrs. Moysey, and dined with them.' 

' Oct. lOfli. — A great tea meeting at Brighton on behalf of the new church. 
The Eev. Mr. Butters greatly helped us. Some four hundred persons were 
present, and the financial result amounted to £120.' 

' Oct. I9tli. — I went to Oakleigh to meet the people about building a church- 
schoolhouse, who subscribed then and there £30.' 

' Oct. 22)ul. — This Circuit is full of backsliders, who arc hard to be aflfected 
for good. To-day in one of my congregations I had one of this class, who for 
sixteen years had been a leader in England. Drink has been his bane. Alas ! 
for his poor wife and children." 

' Oct. 2ith. — The Marco Polo has arrived from London, bringing six hundred 
souls. A three months' voyage and full of discomfort. My dear friends, Mr. 
and Mrs. Allan Cameron, of Demerara, were passengers, whom I shall bring to 
Brighton for a few weeks.' 

* Oct. 28th. — Heard to-day of the death by cholera of the Rev. W. Bannister 
and two of his children in Barbadoes. This dreadful plague has killed some 
fifteen thousand of the island population.' 

' Oct. 'SOtJu— The Annual Missionary Meeting at Collins Street. Collection 
£40 l.«. I met Mr. Ramsay from St. Vincent, who, with his family, has come 
to Victoria to settle.' 

' Nov. 6th. — The first Melbourne Exhibition was held. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac 
Groves, Mrs. Bickford, and I went. We were much pleased at seeing what the 
country could produce under the industrious operations of the colonists.' 

' Dec. 1st, — I went for the first time to Keys Station, Mordialloc, about 
twelve miles from Brighton, to establish religious services. Mr. Battrick drove 
me thither. Here I found a thriving Irish Methodist family ready to welcome 
me as Christ's messenger. There were Mr. and Mrs. George Keys, the aged 
parents ; Mr. and Mrs. William Keys, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Keys, Thomas Keys, 
and several neighbours. After dinner, the preaching service was commenced, 
and at the close the class-meeting was held. It was a unique spectacle in the 
midst of the Australian forest, — a nucleus of light and moral force for the 
whole neighbourhood.' 

'Dec. 'Srd. — Preached missionary sermons at St. Kilda, and gave the Lord's 
Supper. The Hon. A. Eraser and Mrs. Eraser were my hosts.' 

' Dec. 6th. — A dreadful conflict, which had been long foreseen by thoughtful 
men, has taken place between the military and miners on the Ballarat Gold- 
fields. The harrowing and insulting behaviour of certain officials, in searching 
for mining licences from the men whilst engaged in working their claims, was 
at the bottom of the disturbance. The soldiers and the '• diggers " joined issue 
at Eureka Hill, when some fifty of the miners were shot down at once. Mr. 
Peter Lalor, one of the leaders of the resisting force, was shot through the arm, 
which had to be amputated. There were serious casualties among the military 
also. Martial law was proclaimed in the Government Gazette, and copies were 
posted all over the district. But the excitement was fearful all over the colony, 
and great indignation was felt at the administration of the Chief Secretary, 
Mr. Foster, and the troubles he had brought upon the coj.intry. He was super- 
seded, and he returned to Ireland. 

' The Argo arrived in sixty-two days " fi-om land to land," and brought the 



AUSTRALIA. ' 139 



news of the taking of Sebastopol by the allied armies. It may be hoped that 
this is the beginning of the end of this useless, cruel, and wicked war. With 
John Bright's sentiments in reference to this war every Christian statesman 
must agree. It is a great national sin.' 

' Dec. '2^th. — A fine day for Brighton. The Revs. W. Butters, J. Egglestone, 
and J. S. Waugh dedicated l)y prayers and worship our new church to God. In 
erecting this sanctuary, we have been generously helped by Methodist gentlemen 
in Melbourne, St. Kilda, and Brighton ; also by the gratuitous labours of Messrs. 
Hawkins, Baker, GifEord, German, and other brethren. Without their personal 
services, the building could not have been ready so soon after our arrival in the 
Circuit.' 

' Dec. 2(ith. — The tea and public meetings were a great success. Every table, 
most abundantly supplied, was given, and about three hundred persons sat down 
to tea. In the evening the church was crowded. The senior Circuit Steward, 
Ml'. Charles Stone, presided with much kindness and ability. Messrs. Butters 
and Waugh helped us with excellent addresses. We had a good collection and 
subscription list, which seemed to put heart into our dear people for the work 
so auspiciously begun. 

* We had nearly reached the end of the year. All the customary services of 
Christmas, " Watch Night " and " Renewal of Covenant," were held as in 
England. In the observance of these, we got a gracious help from " on high " 
for the arduous enterprises of the New Year.' 

1855. 

The Annual District Meeting, for the whole colony, was commenced 
on January 3?tZ, the Rev. William Butters presiding ; the Rev. John 
Egglestone was elected as Secretary. Besides the brethren mentioned, 
there were, as members of the meeting, Messrs. Harding, Symons, 
Lightbody, Curry, Raston, and Hart, with Messrs. Waugh, Hill, 
Wells, Taylor, and Bickford, who had come from England during 
the year. Under the genial guidance of Mr. Butters the orcUnary 
business was soon despatched. This District Meeting has an important 
historical bearing on the future constitution, permanence, and exten- 
sion of our Church in Australia. A jotting from my Journal will 
explain this : — 

' The various subjects placed before the meeting were of an interesting natirre, 
and supplied strong inducements for yet more abundant eilort in the Lord's 
work. A very spirited discussion took place in the financial District Meeting, 
on a proposal made by Mr. J. R. Pascoe, and seconded by Mr. H. Cook, that 
lay -representation should be an element in the constitution of the Australian 
Conference. The ministers allowed them full scope for the discussion of the 
principle ; and, on the motion of Mr. Walter Powell, it was referred to a 
Committee, to be empowered to sit during the year and to report to the next 
District Meeting. 



140 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

We give the Statistical Returns from the District Meeting Minutes, 
as they may serve a purpose of comparison with those of subsequent 
years. But, it must be observed, that at that time we had a 
responsible charge in respect to public education, and these ' I'eturns ' 
will be useful as showing how we utilised our own buildings for day 
school purposes, and thereby correspondingly relieved the Government 
from a large expenditure of money in erecting school buildings, 
especially on the Goldfields. We also heartily assisted the Board of 
Education in the administration of the system then in vogue. 

The ' Retui'ns ' I have summarised as follow : — 

' Churches. 30 ; other preaching places, 40 ; ordained ministers, 13 ; assistant 
missionaries, 2 ; catechist, 1 ; church members, 1,055 ; on trial, 85 ; Sabbath 
school teachers, 401 ; Sabbath scliool scholars, 3,527 ; local preachers, 151 ; day 
schools, 37 ; day school teachers, 59 ; day school scholars, 3,007 ; buildings used 
for day school purposes and Divine worship, 15 ; total adherents, 18,897. 

These glorious results had been the work of less than twenty years 
of prayerful and generous toil : ' So mightily grew the Word of God 
and prevailed.' 

1856. 

Jan. 12th. — One of the most painful yet necessary duties of the 
pioneer ministers at this date, was to find and shepherd lone women 
and their families in the bush. The men for the most part would be 
away for weeks together, engaged in carting goods from Melbourne to 
the Goldfields, that they might get a little ready money for the 
support of their families, and paying for the small allotments of land 
they had purchased. To the loneliness of the situation, must be 
added the fear of bushrangers, whose very presence was a teri'or to 
unprotected settlers. A sample of the effect of such circumstances I 
discovered, as I was riding through the forest to fulfil my monthly 
engagement at Keys Station. 

^ Jan. \^th. — Our house accommodation has been very poor since we came 
here in July last. One-half of the building has been used as a church, literally, 
" a church in the house," as in earlier times. But now, the whole space being 
available as a domicile, we have had several tradesmen employed making the 
necessary alterations. For six months my usual studies have been interrupted. 
New stations always impose inconveniences upon the ministers and their 
families, especially when it is attempted to make the homes what they ought to 
be. The respectability of the Ministry is often gauged from the character of the 
establishments over which they are placed. A good appearance has a great deal 
to do with the success of the cause ' 



AUSTRALIA. 141 



' Jan. 2Wi. — We are making history. Our beautiful new church was honoured 
to-day with its first marriage. J. C. and A. D. were joined together by me 
in holy matrimony. A marriage in the Lord, on both sides, according to the 
Apostolic injunction. Here is the guarantee of a happy union and blessings 
from God.' 

'Jan. 28th. — Hot winds at last. Tliermometer in the shade 110°. The air 
was heated as if it had come from a " fiery " furnace. To the south and east of 
Beaumaris there was a raging fire devastating the whole district. Had not the 
wind suddenly changed the whole township would have been consumed. I was 
in the neighbourhood on ministerial duty, and saw a poor settler, his wife, and 
one child, who had been burnt out. Their little all was gone. The poor woman 
had not time even to get her bonnet ; she could only snatch up her child and fly 
for her life. The clouds of smoke could be seen for miles stretching away 
towards Mordialloc and Dandenong.' 

The old settlers take but little notice of these hot winds. But to 
those English persons, who are doing the novitiate of a first or 
second year's residence, they are almost unbearable. And were it 
not for the heavier south-west winds, rushing in to fill the vacuum 
created by the heat and storm of the north wind, they would be 
hardly able to retain either elasticity or power of motion. But when 
the change comes, so great is the relief, that the di-eadful ordeal is 
soon forgotten, and the pleasure of existence is again enjoyed. 

'Feb. bth. — The great gathering place of new arrivals of Methodists from the 
old country was our church in Collins Street, Melbourne. I preached there this 
day, morning and evening, to good congregations. After the morning service, 
I saw Mr. Richard Major, whom I formerly knew in the Kingsbridge Circuit. 
He and his family have come to settle in Victoria. I met Mr. Ick also, a long 
standing Methodist from Antigua. He has arrived with a family of twelve to 
share in the fortunes of Australia-Felix. I visited Mr. and Mrs. Henly, 
formerly of Torquay, and other Devonians, at his house. These new arrivals 
little know of the difficulties they will have to contend with in this, as yet, 
unsettled country. The colony, from a number of causes, is in a fearfully ab- 
normal condition : an unwelcome contrast to the quiet, prosaic sort of life, these 
friends had been accustomed to in their English and West Indian homes.' 

^ Feb. \8th. — At the invitation of the Rev. Isaac Harding, I preached to-day 
in the Yarra Street Church, Geelong, the annual sermons in aid of the Trust 
Funds.' 

This being my first visit, Mr. Harding took me to see a few of the 
principal friends — Mr. and Mrs. John Lowe, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas 
Forster, Mr. and Mrs. E-ix, and some others. Of tliis visit, my 
Journal says : — 

' There were good congregations, and a fruitful effort in finance. Mr. 
Harding entertained Mrs. Bickford and myself with much Chi'istian kindness. 
Geelong and the surroundings are very picturesque and beautiful. It well 



142 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

deserves to rank as the second place in the colony. I like our Weslej'an friends 
in Geelong very much. They are a hearty and sensible people. I should think 
they are a happy flock to shepherd, with truth and grace.' 

^Fei. 2StJt. — Special efforts at Little Brighton this evening for meeting the 
expense of stuccoing the church. Mr. T. Vasey, from CoUingwood, presided. 
The debt altogether v/as £85, which we raised. Mr. Hurlstone, senr., gave £20.' 

1857. 

At the Sydney Conference, held in January last, under the New 
Constitution, great changes were made in the appointments of several 
of the senior ministers. Those which most affected Victoria and 
South Australia, were changes in the positions of the Rev. William 
Butters and the Rev. D. J. Draper. These zealous and able men 
had been for some years respectively in Melbourne and Adelaide, and 
it was felt by the Conference that a change was desirable. On 
February lith, a breakfast- meeting was held at the ' Home ' as a 
farewell recognition of Mr. Butters' mportant services in Victoria. 
We presented to our ex-Chairman a valuable gold watch and a 
massive chain, with an appropriate address. The Rev. Mr. Chase 
(Anglican) and the Rev. Dr. McKay (Scotch Free Church) were 
present with us. Mi-. Butters' reply was manly, affectionate and 
broad, but evidencing deep emotional feeling at his leaving us for 
another field of labour. 

Church Extension had been our keynote since our advent to this 
Cii'cuit. But now the time was come for church solicUfication, by 
erecting inexpensive buildings for ' church and school ' purposes in 
the localities we had taken up. On March 20th, therefore, I rode 
up to Beaumaris, and laid the first block on which the sill of the 
new building would rest. We came into this neighbourhood before 
any other religious body showed any interest in the spiritual welfare 
of the people or of their children. By precedence of action, therefore, 
this place belongs to us. 

' The same process has begun at Oakleigh. I have been over, and accepted a 
tender for erecting a " church-schoolhouse." There is a Building Committee, 
who will see the work faithfully carried out. Our heads and hands are getting 
quite full of enterprises connected with the Church in this Circuit. And God 
will bless the work.' 

' March '3rd. — Educational progress is the order of the day. This morning I 
went to Melbourne to see Mr. Colin Campbell, the Secretary of the Board of 
Denominational Education, that I might apply (1) for a master's and sewing- 
mistress' salary for East Brighton ; (2) for a sewing-mistress' salary for 



.-1 USTEALIA. 143 



Moorabbin ; (3) for a master's and sewing-mistress" salary for Brighton. There 
is nothing like having " plenty of irons in the fire." I find it alike good for 
body and soul to be always pushing, always employed, I have just concluded 
my quarterly visit to the day schools, and find them in a satisfactory 
condition.' 

' Ajfril 1st. — God's own daj% and preached three times us usual. After the 
service at Moorabbin, a fine young man came to me for an interview. He told 
me that he had been five years in the colony, and had been only once in a place 
of worship before that very day. But the Lord had brought him there, he said, 
and he was determined to serve Him. He is a native of Hampshire, and I 
judge he had known of the grace of God before at the parental home. The 
sermon was founded on Titus iii. 4-7, and powerfully touched the young man's 
conscience.' 

^ April ftth. — The Rev. D.J. Draper opened our little church at Beaumaris 
to-day. The place was packed ; I could not even get a seat inside myself. Our 
friend, Dr. MacNicol, from St. Kilda, presided at the after meeting.' 

' April I6th. —How the work grows ! " More preachers ! " is the cry from every 
pari of the colony. Mr. Draper has a wonderful faculty for detecting moral 
and mental worth in young men, when they come in his way. Joseph Dare 
(afterwards Dr. Dare) was one of his captures in Adelaide, and now his keen 
scent for labourers has brought him into contact with a young man of the name 
of Dyson, whom Mr. Draper thinks God has called for the work. We had a 
special meeting of ministers, and examined the young man, and approved of his 
being employed in the Castlemaine Circuit. 

' I afterwards attended a meeting in the Mechanics' Institute, called by some 
influential citizens, for protesting against the influx of Chinese into the colonj". 
It was a noisy and disgraceful meeting, and could have no effect in the direction 
sought. It was so one-sided, and so narrow, that I do not see how any just and 
cosmopolitan Englishmen could side with the speakers. 

' The inevitable tea and public meeting were held. Charles Stone, Esq., took 
the chair, and Messrs. Reynolds, Barker, and Sykes addressed the after meeting. 
The people expressed their gratitude to us for our attention to themselves and 
their children. Mr. Reynolds has been appointed as master of the school.' 

' Jlay 2Sth. — ^Our financial economy for carrying on and extending the work 
is being rapidly developed. The present move is for establishing a " Church 
Extension Fund," so that we may be able to overtake certain Counexional and 
Circuit funds. I think this effort first took form in the Brighton Circuit, when 
the Revs. D. J. Draper and J. S. Waugh preached the sermons. At the public 
meeting subsequently held, the Rev. J. Egglestone was the chief speaker, and 
eloquently pleaded for the people's practical sympathy. We collected in all 
£21 10s. for the fund.' 

* Jkiw oth. — I rode over to Oakleigh on business connected with the new 
church and school. On my way back my good horse " Rusty " fell, and caught 
my right leg under him. I extricated myself, but not until I had felt the heavy 
pressure of the sprawUng beast in a most painful manner. I feared at first that 
I had sustained serious injury ; but, after a while, I was able to remount and 
pursue my way, I turned aside to visit a " backslider," upon whom the hand of 
God was laid. He was penitent, and before I left him he promised to retrace 
his steps to the good old way. i.e. his church.' 



144 JAMES BICKFORB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

' June 1th. — A bit of busli mission work again to day. I rode to Kingstown, 
and preached to fourteen adults and seven children. This is charity and mercy 
too. Leave bush settlers to themselves, and they rapidly degenerate, and in the 
end become dangerous elements to the peace of the social body. It is in such 
accidental groupings of men, far av?ay from the influences of civilisation and 
religion, where the class known as "bushrangers" are manufactured. Are they 
not, under such conditions, more to be pitied than shunned .' ' 

' June 8tJi. — This day I buried the mortal remains of the late James Hurlstone. 
He died in the Lord.' 

' Jnly 8th. — I have now completed twelve months' work in this Circuit. We 
have had both enlargement and prosperity. I have preached two hundred and 
thirty-two times ; pastorised the Circuit with regularity and fidelity ; looked 
after every matter, great and small, with assiduity and carefulness ; have made 
many friends, and, thank God, not one single enemy.' 

The record of the remainder of my work in the Brighton Circuit 
was but matter of routine ; and only such incidents as are of an 
important or pviblic natui'e will now be noticed. 

' August 6th. — I preached at Williamstown yesterday in aid of the Church 
Extension Fund ; and this morning the resident minister and I called upon 
Mr. and Mrs. Mason and other friends. We afterwards went to see the un- 
fortunate convicts, as they were working in "chain-gangs." I felt a deep, 
deep sorrow for them. It seemed to me that this so-called "Prison Discipline," 
instead of being corrective and reformatory, must have the contrary effect. And 
the " life-long "' sentenced men, in particular, must become yet more hardened, 
because for them there is no hope in this life. Good for such men if they had 
not been born. 

' At the public meeting held in the evening a Captain McKay presided. The 
Rev. D. J. Draper made an excellent speech. The collection was £15.' 

Sept. ith. — The Rev. J. S. Waugh, the Superintendent of St. Kilda 
Circuit, became mi;ch interested in a young local preacher, who was 
resident therein, of the name of Samuel Knight. Mr. Waugh was 
impressed that he had both the piety and the gifts for becoming a 
minister of our body. He accordingly sent him up to Brighton, that 
I might hear him, and advise upon the case. Mr. Knight came and 
preached. My Journal note is the following : — 

' Mr. Knight, from St. Kilda, preached here this evening on the " new birth." 
He is a promising young man ; and, judging from appearances, as a whole, I 
think we should encourage him to prep.ire for the full work of the Ministry.' 

' Sept. lifh. — I buried at Beaumaris the remains of my second cousin, Sarah 
Jane Moj'sey, who was just eight years of age. Her knowledge of Christ's 
hi.-tory was wonderful, and she loved Him as only a regenerated heart could. 
The most constant couplet upon her lips was : " I the chief of sinners am ; — but 
Jesus died for me." She was the first ripe fruit gathered from the children'* 
" iiock " at Beaumaris.' 




i^!||!^;^liPy / 



AUSTRALIA. 145 



' Oct. 2U•^— The Rev. J. W. Crisp preached here this evening, and at the 
after prayer meeting five dear young sisters came up to the communion rails, and 
found peace with God. Miss Elizabeth Baker led the way.' 

' Oct. 26^/*.— Church Extension towards Western Port. Preached at Mr. 
Patterson's station, to settlers who came from miles round to hear the Gospel. 
I was much impi-essed that it was our dutj' to establish religious worship at 
Dandenong and Western Port. Mr. Sykes accompanied me.' 

' Xov. 23/y/. — To-day the New Constitution was proclaimed, and we have 
now " Responsible Government." Thanks to Providence, we shall be out of 
the " leading strings " of the Colonial Office, and be directly responsible ta 
the Crown.' * 

• Xov. 2'6th. — The Annual District Meeting was commenced this day in Geelong,. 
under the presidency of the Rev. D. J. Draper. I was elected Secretary of the 
District, and the Rev. William Hill, Assistant Secretary. On this day, too, the 
Rev. W. L. Binks, Mrs. Binks and child, and the Rev. George B. Richards and 
Mrs. Richards arrived from England. The reception of these honoured brethren; 
by the District Meeting was most hearty. Thomas James, originally from near 
Lelant, Cornwall, was received as a candidate for our Ministry. He approved 
he said, of the Constitution of the old Bodj^ and desired to exercise his ministry 
under the direction of the Australasian Conference. The increase in all depart- 
ments of the work was most encouraging. We were in session until December 
4th, when the Minutes were read and signed. The Binkses came to Brighton 
to remain with us until they were appointed to a Circuit.' 



1856. 

' Jan. drd. — Church Extension is still our " Watchword." This day. Rev. 
Binks, Mr. T. Rej'nolds, Mr. W. Head, and I visited Wellington, Mordiallock, 
and Damper Springs, with the view of providing the inhabitants with religious 
ordinances. We met with much encoiu-agement, and resolved that services 
should be commenced the very next Sabbath.' 

'Jan. ith. — The funeral of the late Governor, Sir Charles Hotham, took place. 
There were many thousands of persons watching with mournful looks the 
procession, as it passed from Toorak to the Melbourne Cemetery. The adminis- 
tration of His Excellency had not been a success, through a want of adaptedness 
for ruling over the democratic population of the colony. In the department of 
public service, which he had chosen, and for which he had been trained, doubt- 
less he did as well as any of his compeers ; but the qualities for governing a free 



* The New Constitution had been prepared by the old Legislative Council for 
endorsement by the Crown. It provided for two elective chambers. Thus 
nomineeism was for ever dismissed. We had some very able colonial statesmen 
at that time, among whom may be mentioned Sir William Stawell, Mr. Fellows, 
Sir Charles Sladen, Mr. W. C. Haines, Mr. Ireland, and Sir John O'Shanassy. 
Mr. R. Heales, Sir Graham Berry, Sir James MacCuUoch, Mr. Higinbotham, and 
Ml-. James Service had not then come to the front. Mr. Haines was the first 
Premier under the New Constitution. 

10 



146 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

and independent province he did not possess. He did his best, but it was a poor 
best. He was too " high-metalled" to be an acceptable Colonial Governor. 
Civilians are better adajited for the position than military men can ever be : 
especially if they have had some years of experience in the English House oi 
Commons.' 

'•/««. ^th. — Held the Quarterly Meeting, and we decided that the junior 
minister, the Rev. John Catterall, should reside at Moorabbin, and l)e charged 
with the pastoral care of that part of the Circuit.' 

^ Jan. 2Uh. — The Second Australasian Conference was commenced in Mel- 
bourne to-day. The Rev. W. B. Boyce, who had been appointed by the English 
Conference, presided. The Rev. W. Butters was elected Secretary. There were 
about thirty brethren present.' 

' Feb. dth. — The Conference was closed. The formality of reading and 
signing the Minutes was observed as in the English Conference, all the brethren 
standing when the President and Secretary affixed signatures. Upon the whole 
it was a fairly successful Conference.' 

' Feb. ISth. — We are making a beginning at Dandenong. Mr. Binks and I 
this day have been over and laid the first of the corner blocks for the new 
building. We knelt down upon the grass, and Mr. Binks fervently prayed to 
the Heavenly Father for His favour upon the undertaking.' 

^ March ISth. — The Rev. J. S. Waugh opened the church-schoolhouse at 
Dandenong to-day. Mr, and Mrs. James Webb, James Webb, junr., Mrs. Bick- 
iord, and I made up the party from Brighton. We had an excellent sermon from 
Mr. Waugh, and a large congregation. Mr. Webb presided at the after meeting, 
and Mr. Waugh and I addressed the audience. It being St. Patrick's Day, Mr. 
Waugh took for his subject the Irish saint and the evangelist of Ireland. The 
people were greatly interested.' 

Ma^/ Q)th. — I quote in full from my Journal under this date : — 

' I am this day forty years of age. I have therefore reached the meridian of 
life. I now feel that, with my constitution, it behoves me steadfastly to look at 
this fact, and prepare for those yet undeveloped events which may occur in the 
■course of God's providence. " If I live, I live unto the Lord ; if I die, I die unto 
the Lord : living or dying, I am the Lord's." 

' " may life show forth His praise, 
Who died a shameful death, to raise 

A rebel to His throne : 
May every act, and thought, and word 
Be to the glory of my Lord ; 

I'd live to God alone." 

This day I have given myself anew to God and His Church. The Lord help 
me ! ' 

' May XWt. — Old Mrs. Wellard died to-day. She had been a member for 
over sixty years, and received her first ticket from AVesley himself. Her sheet 
anchor in her dying hour was Rom. iv. 5 : " But to him that worketh not, 
but bclieveth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for 



A USTRALIA. 147 



righteousness." Her views of personal acceptance through the great atonement 
were as clear as sunlight. I never saw a happier death.' 

'■ Jvnc 8th. — Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? The aged Mrs. 
Sykes is gone. She lived without God for more than eighty-four years, and 
then she was awakened to a deep sense of her danger, and she sought 
salvation and died in peace. An answer to her son's prayers, I have no 
doubt.' 

'June Wth. — This night that dear young Christian, Elizabeth Baker, departed 
this life in the faith and hope of Christ. She had been laid aside ten whole 
months, during which period I saw her once or twice a week. Only on one 
occasion did she manifest a want of resignation to the will of the Heavenly 
Father ; — when, seeing her younger sister and a number of young ladies going 
out for the Sunday school picnic, she exclaimed: " Oh, that I could go ! Is it not 
hard that I should be denied this pleasure ? " But it was only for a moment. 
Tlie feeling of impatience passed off, and never again did she show anything 
but the completest resignation. Her early happy death created a salutary 
impression amongst the young people of the Brighton Church.' 

' June 2.5^//.— Thank God for good news. We have just heard that on March 
30th, at Paris, the plenipotentiaries of England, France, Austria, Prussia, Russia, 
Sardinia, and Turkey have signed the " Treaty of Peace." But why could not 
these Powers have agreed to keep the peace, and thus escaped the great wicked- 
ness of going to war at all ? ' 

^ Jidy oth. — To-day the mortal remains of the Rev. Walter Tregelles were 
buried in the Melbourne Cemetery. All the ministers in and about Melbourne 
were present. Mr. Draper conducted the service at the grave.' 

^ Aug lath. — This morning at 4 o'clock, Mr. Edwin A. Bignell, formerly 
of Kingsbridge, Devon, died of chronic imflammation of the kidneys. His 
sufferings were intense. I was with him all through his last illness, and 1 
believe his end was peace. Mrs. Bignell and her large family had arrived only 
fourteen days before this bereavement came upon them. But they will have 
many sympathising and helping friends.' 

'Auf/ldth. — We are now electing members for the Southern Province 
under the New Constitution. There were eleven candidates, for five of whom I 
voted. May God be gracious to this land ! ' 

A^ov. 1st. — Not having yet seen Ballarat, I accepted an invitation to 
the cii-cuit in the interests of our Foreign Missions. I left Melbourne 
by Cobb & Co.'s coach. We started from Bourke Street with splendid 
horses, and turning by the Post Office we went up Elizabeth Street 
at great speed. We went through Bacchus Marsh, where I saw the 
finest field of English clover my eyes had ever beheld. Somewhere 
about the Black Hill we had the trouble of being bogged, in an 
attempt to rush through a water-soaked gully. The two leaders 
turned quick round, broke the pole, and became so entangled with 
the wheel horses, so that we were in danger of making no fiu-ther 
progress for the day — ' Every one off the coach,' cried the driver, 



J 48 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

' and help to get the horses free.' We all helped as desired, repaired 
the damages as far as possible, and, after perhaps an hour's detention, 
we made another start. We at last reached the ' Spread Eagle,' 
where man and beast were alike refreshed. I now commenced a 
conversation with the driver on the profanity of the language he had 
been using all the way from Melbourne. I reminded him that he 
ought to have some regard to the feelings of his passengers. Instead 
of turning upon me with abuse, he frankly acknowledged the badness 
of the habit, and apologised for his ill manners. I engaged to nudge 
him each time during the rest of the journey if he broke out, and, 
bv the time we had got to Ballai-at, I had almost cured him of his 
profanity. He was a CanacUan by birth, and, I think, from certain 
admissions he made, he had been religiously brought up. 

The journey from Melbourne to Ballarat was about one hundred 
miles ; and I must say that it was the roughest I ever undertook. 
That we reached, late at night, the great Goldfield at all, with sound 
limbs and decent apparel, is to me a wonder. 

I was the welcomed guest of the Rev. Theophilus and Mrs. Taylor 
—the one, a man of fine intellectual powers and a great pioneer 
worker ; the other, a beautiful specimen of the real English lady in 
manners and hospitality. They were well-yoked ; di'awing together 
with loving unity in carrying on the Lord's work. 

Nov. 3rd. — I preached at the Township to about five hundred 
persons. There was no choir, but a Mr. John Davy, one of the 
miners, led the singing — and it was singing, such as those Cornish 
men and women could render with unrivalled power. After the 
sermon, I baptized several infant children, among whom were 
' Cissy,' the firstborn of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor ; and a child of Mr. 
and Mrs. W^illiam Couch, formerly of AventongifFord, Devon. 

I attended missionary meetings at Creswick, Mount Pleasant, 
Magpie, and Ballarat. On my return journey, I spent a Sabbath at 
Geelong, and held religious services. 

Nov. Idth. — To-day we finished the sessions of the District Meeting, 
which had been held under the judicious guidance of Mr. Draper. 
The routine business was soon disposed of, and in a highly satisfactory 
manner. 

The question of public education had already become crucial, and 
it was therefore necessary that we, as a recognised ecclesiastical 
educating ' body,' should put forth our views as to the general 



AUSTRALIA. 149 



principles and guards we were prepared to adopt. "We agreed to the 
following : — 

1. All schools supported in whole or in part by the State to be called • Public 
Schools.' 

2. Not less than four hours consecutively in each day shall be devoted to 
secular instruction. 

.3. A portion of the Bible to be read at the commencement or close of the 
school, or both, and the school to be opened and closed with the Lord's Prayer, 
or some form of prayer approved by the Local Board. 

•i. No child required to be present during these religious exercises if the 
parents (in writing) object to it. 

.5. No attempt whatever to be made to disturb the particular religious tenets 
of any sect, and no catechism peculiar to any Church to be used by the teacher. 

6. That no person appointed as teacher in any school, without a certificate of 
moral and religious character shall have been laid before the Local Board from 
the minister of whose Church such teacher is a member. 

7. That one minister of religion from each denomination to be, cv officio, 
members of the Local Board, and permitted to give religious instruction on any 
school day, according to previous arrangement during the period allotted to 
religious instruction. 

8. After a period to be named, no teacher shall be appointed to, or retained 
in, any ' Public School ' who shall not have submitted to an examination, and 
received a certificate of qualification from the Central Board of Education. 

9. A Central Board of Education, consisting of five members representing the 
different Churches, to have the direction of the education of the colony. 

10. Public Schools to be open to the inspection of the Central Board. l)ut only 
in reference to secular teaching. 

11. No school to be entirely built or supported by the State, except it be a 
Normal Training School or Schools. 

12. Provision to be made by the State for the gratuitous education of orphans, 
and the children of destitute parents. 

The debate which took place in the preparation of these resolutions 
was earnest and able ; and I well remember Mr. Draper expressing 
his regret that a shorthand writer was not present to take down the 
speeches. Of course, it was assumed all through that the Denomina- 
tional system was the only practicable one ; and, further, that it 
was only in connection with those Churches which were willing to 
expend both time and money in the work, that public education 
could be carried on at all. This was certainly the prevailing conviction, 
and all the conditions of the* question justified it. Such a resolution 
as the ninth of the series could never have been passed in the absence 
of such a beHef. 

' Dec. 2Zrd. — Our new Governor, Sir Henry Barkly, arrived in Melbourne 
to-day, accompanied by Lady Barkly and childi-en. We are fortunate in having 



150 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Sir Henry appointed in succession to the late Sir Charles Hotham. Our New 
Constitution requires further adaptation to the unique circumstances of the 
colony. We want vote by ballot, manhood suffrage, the abolition of the pro- 
perty qualification for the House of Assembly, the throwing open of large areas 
of land for selection and settlement, before or after survey, as the Parliament 
may decide, and the passing of a bill for legalising mining on private property. 
Sir Henry Barkly is just the man to see what are the real exigencies of our social 
and political environments, and he will be ever ready to assist the Council and 
Assembly in making legislative provision for meeting them. I am sure of this, 
that he will act judiciously, justly, and with due consideration in upholding alike 
the prerogatives of the Crown and the rights of the people. To have had, in our 
present circumstances, so wise, and strong, and good a man to rule over us, is 
evidence to my mind of the continuous care and love of God over us in this new 
and difficult country.' 

1857. 

' Jan. \st. — This day begins a new epoch in my laborious and anxious life. 
The Christmas and New Year's festivals have been of deep interest to me. As 
it respects my future, I use Wesley's own words, "Lord, I appeal to Thee." I 
had the great pleasure of seeing Governor Barkly to-day. I found him as affable 
and courteous as he used to be in Demerara several years ago. He answers 
exactly my ideal of what the iinest type of an English gentleman Ls and should 
always be.' 

^ Jan. 20fJi. — We have a large addition to our ministerial staff by the arrival 
from England of Messrs. King, Lough, Lane, Mayne, Fidler, Beasley, Dubourg, 
Lloyd, and Dawson. Also Mr. and Mrs. Ingram and Mr. and Mrs. Hessell. 
Misses King and Boundy were likewise of the party. They came by the Walmcr 
Castle, and are all in gooil health.' 

' Jfflw. 26^7(. — I preached at Dandenong aud Western Port. We have gathered 
in some precious souls already in this extensive district, over whom I have 
appointed as leader Mr. William Sykes, a man admirably adapted to the office.' 

I carefully watched over the interests of the Brighton Circuit until 
March .3rd, when my connection with it ceased. On the 6th, a tea 
and public meeting were held to say farewell to Mrs. Bickford and 
myself. Mr. Charles Stone presided, and Messrs. T. Wellard, John 
Webb, James Barker, Edward Barker, W. Sykes, and T. Reynolds 
addressed the meeting. A purse of fifty sovereigns was presented to 
me in acknowledgment of the earnest service I had rendered in the 
Circuit, and all felt deeply the sorrow of parting. 

Ballarat. 

I was appointed to the charge of this metropolitan Goldfields 
Circuit by the Adelaide Conference. My colleagues were the Rev. 
James W. Crisp, who was to reside at Creswick, and the Rev. Charles 



AUSTRALIA. 151 



Lane, who was to be my assistant in Ballarat. We arrived on the 
evening of the 6tli of March, fi"ee from accident in travelHng from 
Melbourne, vid Geelong, to the place of onr destination. At the 
parsonage several friends had gathered to give us a hearty welcome. 
Our cottage was of weatherboard, having six very small rooms ; and 
most of the cooking, washing, etc., had to be done outside. But it 
was as good as most people had, and better than many could get. In 
the cold winters, we were almost blown away by the strong, gushing 
winds which came up from the flats in the south ; and in the summer, 
especially when we had hot winds fi'om the north, it was hard indeed 
to endure the strain. 

The ' Church Reserve ' had been turned into a ' paddock,' and was 
well taken up by miners' tents ; whilst on the north side, about 
halfway down the hill, was the Waterloo claim, sunk to between two 
and three hundred feet deep, and was worked night and day by the 
Company. Anything more unlike a decent Church establishment 
could hardly be found under the sun. Our ' chiu'ch ' was a school- 
house, into which were crowded from Sabbath to Sabbath some five 
hundred j^eoplf- In this building also were conducted a Sabbath 
and day school. Behind the building stood a cottage occupied by 
Mr. and Mrs. George Knox, the master and mistress of the school. 
Below the slope of the hill stood the tent of Mr. Dimsey, who was our 
sexton, groom, and gardener. Eight in the centre of the * paddock ' 
was the large tent once occupied by Mr. John Hoiles and family, 
but now used as a classroom on Sunday afternoons; Mr. Hoiles 
himself being the leader. There was also a garden plot, worked by 
Mr. Dimsey, whose privilege it was to grow vegetables for the 
minister's family and for his own. There was also a rough stable on 
the south of the parsonage, on the same level as itself, for the two 
horses which had to be kept for working this part of the Circuit. 

The ' Waterloo Company ' had entered into a contract with the 
trustees for sinking a shaft inside the north fence, and to pay a 
royalty of 2| per cent, on the net proceeds of the mine. But in 
an evil hour another company started sinking a shaft on the out- 
side of the south fence, intending, when they had bottomed, to woi'k 
towards the centre of our ' paddock,' where the ' gutter ' lay, and the 
gold was to be found. But this was strongly objected to by the 
Waterloo Company, as it meant, according to the understood rules 
of mining, intrusion and robbery. There was no law to regulate 



152 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



such operations, consequently the Waterloo Company, the qibasi-\eg»\ 
occupiers of the gi-ound, determined to take the matter into their 
own hands. During the dinner hour on a certain day, they went 
across the ' paddock ' in a body, and took foi'cible possession of the 
new shaft. They then broke down all the machinery and other 
appliances, and threw the whole into the shaft, and then returned to 
their own company's ground. The vigilant eyes of the pohce 
watched the whole transaction, and, the next day or so, summonses 
were issued against the leaders of the adventure. The presiding 
magistrate, Mr. Clissold, gave it against them, and they were bound 
over to take their trial in the Supreme Court. There was great 
excitement thi'oughout the Goldfields ; and it was clearly seen that 
the Parliament would have to pass some bill for regulating ' mining 
on private property.' 

The second day after my arrival, a public meeting, attended by 
three thousand miners, was held in an open space outside Her 
Majesty's gaol. The leading politicians of the district took the 
question up, and spoke with great cogency and power. Resolutions 
were passed condemnatory of the non-action of the Government, in 
not having provided by Parliamentary intervention for the seiious 
dif&culty which had arisen. Expressions of sympathy with the men 
of the Waterloo Company, who had defended their just rights, 
although in an improper manner, from invasion, were also heard. 
Each miner in voting held up both hands, the effect of which was 
very imposing. Mr. James Oddie, J.P., an influential citizen, and 
I stood in the midst of this vast assemblage, and watched the 
proceedings with intense interest. 

The more I pondered over the case, the deeper was my conviction 
that the px'osecution of the men ought to be abandoned. I therefore 
wrote the Governor, Sir Henry Barkly, a long, confidential letter, 
in which I pointed out the unchallenged fact that the ' Waterloo ' 
men had no other course open to them than that they had taken 
for protecting their rights. And I asked for three concessions : * ( 1 ) 
That the Crown Prosecutor should be instructed by the Cabinet to 
enter a nolle j)rosequi^ and so let the matter drop ; (2) That the 
Government should immediately introduce a measure into Parliament 
for validating agreements entered into between owneivs of private 
property and mining companies; (3) That the Crown should demand 
a small royalty on the net proceeds, so as to be a party to all such 



AUSTRALIA. 153 



contracts.' The prosecution never came off"; but nothing was clone to 
prevent breaches of the peace in the future under like conditions. 

Ballarat itself was an abnormal Goldfields town. The old land 
and population marks have not been altogether obliterated by the 
' civilization ' which has set in in these later years. There are still 
old Golden Point, Gravel Pits, Specimen Hill, Black Hill, Bakery 
Hill, Brown Hill, Soldiers' Hill, Mount Pleasant, and Canadian 
Gully ; places and localities where much of the yellow dust used 
to be gathered, and which has made Ballarat the wonder of the 
world. Here also have been seen some of the grandest tiivimphs of 
the grace of God ever witnessed. To be made the Superintendent, 
i.e. ' Bishop,' of this great circuit, was at that time the heaviest 
responsibility the Conference could have put upon me. 

I soon found that I and my colleagues had much work cut out for 
us. We were three men in full physical vigour, and were much in 
earnest to ' spread scriptural holiness ' throughout the whole district. 
The area was extensive, and may be thus described : from Mount 
Bolton to Mount Egerton, and from Spring Hill to Scarsdale. Any 
English county, with the exception of Yorkshire and Devonshire, 
might be put within these outposts, leaving a pretty large margin 
for unimportant excursions. 

A few details from my Journal may be given : — 

' March Sth. — I opened my commission by preaching at Magpie and Ballarat. 
In the afternoon I visited the school, and found only a few children in 
attendance.' 

' Afarch 15th. — I rode out to the Warrenheip ' Sawmills,' some fourteen miles 
from Ballarat. After much difficulty I found Mr. and Mrs. Biddle at this 
place. I did not think at first I should be a welcome visitor, for Mr. and Mrs. 
Biddle, before leaving England, had been strong partisans of the Everett 
" reform " movement. On my way back to Ballarat, I fell in with a prize-fight. 
It was a brutal sight. It was said that there were a thousand persons present. 
I duly reported this breach of the law to the authorities.' 

' Api-il nth. — This morning I heard of the melancholy death of Lady Barkly. 
I wrote immediately a letter of condolence to Sir Henry. His repl.v was very 
touching, and worthy of his fine character.' 

' June 1st. — Preached twice at Creswick, and addressed the Sunday school in 
the afternoon. Monday : Mr. Crisp and I walked out to Mangilla, the residence 
of Mr. and Mrs. Whitfield Raw. Mr, Raw is our senior Circuit Steward. In 
the afternoon we went to the top of " Cattle Station " hill, from which we saw 
the historic " Seven Hills," innumerable dales, and extensive grassy plains. It 
was a beautiful panorama. In the evening I rode to Ballarat, and was much 
bewildered in my progress by the new fences which are springing up in every 



154 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGBAPIIY. 

direction, so rapid is the settlement of farms as the result of success in mining 
in this matchless auriferous district.' 

' June 2\th. — To-day I have ridden to Mount Mercer, Messrs. Crombie and 
Davies' station. I preached to a small company in the hall, and formed a cla.ss 
of six members. We agreed to build a church-schoolhouse at Harilie"s Hill, 
on a site generously presented to the Conference by Mr. Thomas Dunstan. In 
going and returning T visited a number of families, who received me with 
thankfulness.' 

' Sept. &th. — This day we consecrated to the worship of God the new church 
at Lake Learmouth. May this the first sanctuary erected in the whole of this 
extensive district, be filled as time rolls on with grateful and holj' worshippers 1 
In the after part of the Sabbath I rode to Spring Vale, and held Divine service 
in Mr. Maiden's barn. This neighbourhood is the most lovely I have seen in 
England or Australia. It is perfectly "Edenic" in charm; and the soil is 
lich indeed.' 

' Sej)t. ViitJt. — This morning I preached at Mount Pleasant to a fine congrega- 
tion. After which I rode to Durham Lead, and opened the new building for 
the worship of God.' 

• jVoc. 9th. — The holding of the Annual District Meeting was a welcome 
relief to me from the toil and anxieties of the Ballarat Circuit. My travelling 
companions to the meeting were Messrs. Crisp and Lane. The coach was 
driven over to the Parsonage that we might be sure of seats. Our final start 
was from the '• Charlie Napier," in the main road or street, then up Specimen 
Hill, and away to Melbourne, via Warrenheip. We were sixteen passengers in 
all. Everything, except the severe " bumping," went on well until we were 
some ten miles on our journey. Our driver was one of those venturous Americans, 
who, in those days, were the " whips " between the Goldfields and the city. I 
fear the optic nerve of our "Jehu " had been disturbed, so that its measuring 
faculty was at fault, for, unexpectedly to us, at least, we had an unpleasant 
capsize through his driving against a " stump." An immediate spring by the 
inside passengers, though the uppermost window-door, was an amusing sight, 
There was but one slight injury, the remainder escaped with a fright and 
shaking. All helped to right the coach, when the horses were re-harnessed, 
and we made another start. We had other casualties, such as the breaking of 
the linchpin ; and the aft wheels were on fire through the want of grease for 
several miles, as we neared the end of our journey. However, we got into 
Melbourne at last, and thankful we were that nothing more serious had 
happened than the breakage and fire before noticed.' 

From the 10th to the 18th of Kovember we were engaged in the 
District Meeting ; the Rev. D. J. Draper, Chairman, and the 
Rev. W. L. Binks, Secretary. No business of special importance 
came up, and the sessions were pleasantly passed. Messrs. Draper, 
Binks, and I were elected as representatives to the ensuing Con- 
ference. Mr. Lane and I returned to Ballarat on the 20th, safe 
and well. 

' Bre. 20f7t.— To-day we have at Miners' Rest and Wendouree consecrated to 



AUSTRALIA. 155 



the Lord two additional places of worship. I preached again in the evening at 
Ballarat. It was a hard day's work. The cause is prospering in our hands, 
which sweetens the toil.' 



1858. 

The Ballarat Golclfields were discovered in 1851, from which period 
the population steadily increased. The time, therefore, appeared to 
have come for erecting a building in the township for accommodating 
from twelve to fifteen hundi-ed persons. We supposed the cost would 
be some ,£4,000. The necessary steps were accordingly taken for in- 
augurating a financial scheme for accomplishing our object. A tea 
and public meeting were held, presided over by the Rev. TheophOus 
Taylor, at which over seven hundred pounds were subscribed. 

Jan. \Wi.- — ^The foundation-stone was laid by Sir Henry Barkly, 
when from fifteen to twenty thousand persons assembled from all 
parts of the district to welcome the Governor, who that day was to 
make his first entry into the metropolitan Goldfield. It was a day 
of great rejoicing for his suave bearing and his able speeches. The 
trustees of the new church, Messrs. Oddie, Doane, Creber, Francis, 
and Couch, to mark their appreciation of the kind services of Sir 
Henry, presented him with a suitably inscribed trowel, made of 
Ballarat gold, whose handle of native wood was ornamented with small 
quartz nuggets, most artistically arranged. The Building Committee, 
consisting of fifteen gentlemen, acted with commendable generosity 
in the presentation of this valuable memento to His Excellency, in 
association with the trustees. 

The ' stone,' having been ' well and truly laid,' by Sii- Henry, he 
gave to the surrounding crowd an excellent address, in which he 
complimented the Ballarat Methodist Church for its zeal in undei*- 
taking, in the general mterests of that large district, the erection of so 
costly a builchng. He also spoke of the sincere pleasure he felt in 
meeting again his former friend, the Rev. James Bickford, whom he 
had known and esteemed as a Christian minister in the colony of 
British Guiana, when he was Governor there some few years before. 
Other speeches followed, and the ceremony of stone-laying was 
over. 

At 5 p.m. on the same da)^, I left by coach for Melbourne, and took 
the steamer the day following for Hobart, Tasmania, to fulfil my duty 



156 JAMES niCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPIIl. 

as one of the representatives of the Victoria District to the Austral- 
asian Conference. I arrived on the 22nd, and entered the Conference 
at 2.30 p.m., and was heartily welcomed hy the Reverend President 
Butters and the assembled brethren. I preached at O'Brien's Bridge, 
at Melville Street, and, on my way home, at Launceston. The 
President's official sermon was delivered befoi-e the Confei-ence and a 
large audience on the evening of the 27th, for which he received the 
hearty thanks of the Conference. I left Launceston by steamer on 
February 9th. Mr. and Mrs. Allan Camei-on, formerly of Demerara, 
Mr. Norman, and Mr. John Munroe, came on board to wish me hon 
voyage. On the 12th, I reached Ballarat, and found all well at home. 

March 25th. — The new chiu'ch at Black Lead was opened. Mr. 
Roberts, a Welsh lay -preacher, and I officiated. I baptized eleven 
children in connection with the service. On the 29th, we held a tea 
and public meeting at Spring Hill, and paid off the church debt. On 
the 30th, a similar effort was made at Belfast in aid of the new 
church-schoolhouse erected there. 

Jlay 15th. — At the request of the Building Committee, I have 
been to Melbourne financially to arrange for carrying out our great 
enterprise at the Township. Mr. Draper accompanied me to see Mr. 
Henry Miller, the responsible manager of the Bank of Victoria, in 
the colony. Mr. Miller, when he found it was a Church transaction 
we were seeking accommodation for, unhesitatingly granted our 
request. I returned to Ballarat with ' a light heart,' in possession 
of a letter to Mr. Robertson, the local manager, to honour our 
cheques for the new building. 

July 18th. — A memorable day for Ballarat. The Rev. Mr. Draper 
came up from Melbourne, and dedicated our beautiful church to the 
worship of God. At the public meeting on the 19th, we raised 
.£341 9s. 7(1. On the 25th, the Rev. Joseph Dare, from SancUiurst, 
preached twice. At the prayer meeting, at the close of the evening 
service, several penitents came forward to seek salvation. Every one 
of us present felt that the ' Ai-k of the Covenant ' was ' in the house 
of the Lord.' Mr. Dare also gave us, on the 26th, an able lecture on 
the adaptability of the Methodist Church to the condition and spiritual 
needs of our Australian population. In writing to Mr. Draper, re 
Mr. Dare's visit and service, I gave as my opinion, that the reverend 
preacher, at whose feet I had been sitting, would be the future 
'Robert Newton' of the Australasian Methodist Church. 



AUSTIiALIA. 157 



' Sept. \Wi. — I improved this evening the melancholy death of Hugh Ander- 
son, who was killcil behind the "Charlie Napier." There were about one 
thousand persons crowded into the church. A black man, from Jamaica, is 
accused of the murder of Anderson, but he accused two others, whose names he 
has given.' 

' Oct. Srd. — A hard day's work. I preached twice at the Township : baptized 
seven children, and married a couple. There were one hundred and fifty com- 
municants at the Lord's Supper at the close of the public service.' 

' Oct. 2lst. — This evening I gave a lecture at Durham Lead on Total Abstinence. 
Seventeen took the pledge.' 

I much regret that I cUd not, Avhen I was a missionary, give some 
portion of my time to this branch of Christian work, as well as to 
preaching the Gospeh 

I^ov. 1st. — I attended in Melbourne Gaol the execution of Thomp- 
son and Gibbs. Both died protesting their innocence. If really 
so, would not the pitying Christ, who saved the malefactor on the 
Cross, show mercy to them also 1 I had previously visited both in 
gaol, and tx-ied to prepare them for the dreadful death the law had 
condemned them to. 

I^^ov. 2nd. — The District Meeting commenced in Melbourne. Mr. 
Draper presided, and the Rev. T. Williams was elected Secretary. 
The business was soon despatched in a satisfactory manner. 

I^ov. 27th. — At Mr. Draper's request I went to Ararat to assist 
the Rev. W. Woodall to establish this new circuit. At Fiery Creek I 
found that there had been no religious service for over two years. 
I \n.sited, in order, Pleasant Creek, and held service in a calico 
building ; Great Western, Cathcart, and Ararat. I preached six 
times, met five Societies, and pastorised several families. I decided 
that Mr. Woodall should, for the present, reside at Great Western 
Diggings, it being central to his work. He has a fine, unchallenged 
field for his ministrations, and ' no adversaries.' The people through- 
out this scattered district seemed to ' esteem him highly for his 
work's sake.' 

Dec. 10th. — This evening a public reception meeting was given to 
the Rev. Thomas Binney, from London, Mr. Oddie presided. The 
resolution of welcome was moved by me, and seconded by the Rev. 
Cooper Searle (Anglican). Mr. Binney's reply was grand and good. 
We were all vastly interested. On the evening of the 12th he 
preached in our new church, it being the largest in Ballarat. My 
Journal jotting of this service says : — 

' The building was thronged, and hundreds had to go away, being unable to 



158 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

get within hearing distance of the great preacher. His text was : •' And every 
man stood in his place." Mr. Binney exhibited a profound acquaintance with 
human nature, and gave us wise lessons on our duty in this new country. " I 
never preached," said he. "to such a congregation before. There is not an old 
man amongst them. The best sinew and brains from the Mother-land are 
gathered together here. Their intelligence and force of character beam in their 
very countenances." 

It was a grand service. At its close, the Lord's Supper was 
administered. 

1859. 

' Jan. ith. — A great shadow has fallen upon us. Mr. Taylor's health had 
failed under the heavy labours of establishing the Ballarat Circuit. He died 
this morning in the presence of Mrs. Taylor, Rev. C. Lane, and myself, without 
a struggle. His end was peace. 

' About ten days before this melancholy incident occurred, he opened his mind 
to me as follows : Now that death was rapidly approaching him, he felt, he 
said, no fear. His soul was full of gratitude, and thankfulness, and peace. If 
the Lord were to put it to him whether he would prefer to die or live, his 
preference would be the former. The glory at God's right hand he longed to 
enjoy. He had been, he said, reserved in his communications to others of 
his experience of religion. He had considered it too sacred a thing to be talked 
about. He had had, nevertheless, a " spring under a spring ; " the upper had 
been his official life and through that he had gone without fear or timidity. No 
hesitation or hanging back had ever marked that department of his life ; whilst 
underneath it had lain " a spring " of sweet enjoyment and strength. This was 
unseen, and often it had been thought that his was an official piety, but it was 
not so, " I could never be converted in those meetings yonder ; ' it pleased God 
to reveal the Son in me ' was the manner of my conversion, and in secret. I 
shouted for hours, ' Glory ! Glory ! ' My soul was full to overflowing. I feel it 
now, although my disease considerably affects my mind and gives it a false 
colouring, and makes me irritable. But I am on the Rock — I give up all to 
Him — I am safe." We knelt down and prayed. It was a deeply solemn time. 
Mr. Taylor's responses were clear, hearty, and appropriate.' 

' Jan. 6th. — The funeral of our late brother, Mr. Taylor, took place to-day. 
After an affecting service in the church, we proceeded to the New Cemetery, 
Creswick Road, and laid all that was mortal of this pioneer preacher on the 
Goldfields in their last earthly resting-place. There was a great assemblage of 
mourners of all denominations, who were anxious to show their love and 
respect for this faithful servant of God. On the 9th, I improved the death of 
our dear departed brother. My text was Isaiah xl. 6, 7, 8. Mrs. Taylor was 
graciously sustained throughout all the distressing incidents, thus briefly stated, 
by the presence and love of Him who is the widow's Husband and the Father of 
the orphaned.' 

' F/ih. IGth. — To-day I opened the new church at Clunes for Divine worship. 
We raised at the public meeting on the Monday £120 towards the expense of 
the building ' 



AUSTRALIA. 159 



' March Wi. — The Rev. William Hill, from Geelong, visited us for our Town- 
ship Sunday School Anniversary. He preached two eloquent and suitable 
sermons to large congi-egations. The collections on the Sunday and on the 
Monday evening showed the great interest the people took in Sunday School 
work. The Conference of this year appointed the Rev. J. G. Millard, of Sydney, 
as my colleague. He comes to us with the reputation of being an able preacher, 
and a successful soul- winner.' 



In the settlement of some of our agricultural districts, serious 
misunderstandings frequently arose among the purchasers, or lessees, 
in relation to the boundaries of each other's holdings of fee-simples. 
I felt that it was quite -within the scope of my duties, as a minister 
of peace and righteousness, to assist in preventing as much as possible 
expensive litigation amongst such parties. Besides these, misunder- 
standings often arose among members of our own church, who, with 
their families, had settled on small farms bounded by each other's 
farms ; having only logs of wood, ' dog-leg ' fences, or post and 
rail, for dividing between them. Such a condition of things only 
made mischief in the midst of the families in their relation to each 
other. 

Notwithstanding the enormous calls upon our people on the Gold- 
iields for local contributions, they could not ignore the obligation we 
owed as a prosperous branch of the Australasian Church to our 
Foreign Missions. In recently making up the returns for the 
Ballarat Circuit, I was thankful to find that the noble sum of 
^301 4s. 6d. had been raised. I had been, during the quarter, as a 
deputation in the interests of the missions to the Carisbrook and 
Castlemaine Circuits, where I found amongst the ministers and con- 
gregations a fine missionary spirit. 

The wear and tear of mining life, especially in the deep sinkings 
of Ballarat, soon brought to the painful notice of the leading men 
of the city, the necessity there was for some generous provision of a 
benevolent kind being made for an increasingly large increment of 
prematurely old, unfortunate, and indigent persons within the dis- 
trict. Private funds under the direction of a large committee, had 
been distributed for a few years as occasion required ; but this, as a 
means of out-of-door relief, was found to be altogether unsatisfactory. 
It may appear somewhat invidious to mention anyone's name in 
particular when so many nobly helped ; still the name of ' James 
Oddie ' cannot be overlooked. To him, more than to any other 



160 JAMES BICKFORB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

gentleman of that time are we indebted for the capacious and hand- 
some building, known as the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum, in the 
■western part of the city. On the occasion of the lapng the founda- 
tion stone, on March 17th, by Mr. Oddie, there were about five 
thousand persons present. The Revs. Messrs. Potter (Anglican), 
Henderson (Presbyterian), and I, gave addresses on the duties and 
privileges of Christian benevolence. The cosmopolitan objects of the 
institution commended it to the paternal assistance of the Govern- 
ment, whose aid was generously rendered. 

''March l^th (8 a.m.) — I was at Mount Mercer Station, and after family 
worship with Mr. and Mrs. Cromby, I came over to Hardie's Hill, and marked 
oflE the land given by Mr. King for the new school-house. Messrs. Wilson, 
Dunstan, Thomas, and Eoach were with me. We all knelt down on the 
ground, and prayed that God would bless the project. It being the end of 
the quarter, I visited the Durham Lead, Magpie, and Mount Pleasant Day 
Schools on my way back to Ballarat. 

Our greatest ecclesiastical event of this year was the division of 
the circuit, by forming into a new charge Creswick, Spring HUl, 
Clunes, Mount Bolton, and Lake Learmouth. The Rev. George 
Daniel was appointed superintendent, with the Rev. Charles Lane 
as his colleague. The Conference had been generous in its gifts, 
for both ministers ranked among our best men. The Quarterly Meet- 
ing for carrying this division into effect was held at Creswick on 
April 4th. There was a large attendance, and forty-two brethren 
sat down to a real English dinner of roast beef and plum pudding. 
The arrangement of the finances took up a great deal of time, and 
we found that we had a deficiency of <£51 10^. 8d. This amount the 
Ballarat Circuit agreed to take over. We appointed stewards for 
both circuits, and broke up in harmony. It was not a case of the 
stronger throwing ofi" the weaker, but of mutual adjustment in 
the common interest of the cause. Six day schools went ofi" with the 
division. We agreed that the Rev. J. G. Millard should reside at 
Billarat East, and that his salary should be £300 per annum. 

' AjJi'il ISth. — Mr. and Mrs. Millard, four children, and servant arrived in 
Ballarat. The Stewards not having as yet provided a house, we took them in,, 
and did our best to make them feel at home with us.' 

' Api'il 20th. — We had a reception meeting for Mr. Millard. About four 
hundred persons sat down to tea. It was a capital meeting, and realised 
£20 16.V. towards Mr. Millard's removal expenses from Sydney to Ballarat. 
During the evening Mr. Daniel arrived from Geelong on his way to Creswick. 



AUSTRALIA. 161 



He was lamod through the upsetting of the eoaeb. it was v/cll that he escaped 
with so little hurt.' 

' Mnij 2ifh. — A busy day as usual. I went to the hospital and admitted ten 
applicants, and dismissed five or six. I called on Widows Barker and Evans. 
In the afternoon I rode out to the Warrenheip railway works to the chui'ch 
opening services. We had a fine meeting, and paid off the whole cost of the 
building. Messrs. Guthridge and Little have liberally helped us in making a 
home for a Methodist Church at this station.' 

• Jiinr '2nd. — -The Rev. Mr. Buzacott, a London missionarj', from the South 
Seas, preached this evening and interested us greatly. We made a collection of 
£o 10^., which was handed to him for his glorious mission. Mr. George Howe, 
of the George Hotel, whom I have been visiting for some weeks in his great 
illnei'S, took the Sacrament from me to-day. God is Showing him His salvation.' 

On the 4th Mr. Howe died. I was much distressed at not seeing 
him again. ' Saved by mercy ' I humbly believe. Mrs. Bickfoid 
and I went to the ' house of mourning ' to condole with Mrs. Howe. 
Her dear Lucy came home too late to see her father alive. It was 
a crushing sorrow for the child. On the 7th the mortal remains of 
my late friend were interred. The Rev. C. Searle (Anglican) read 
at the grave the usual service, and I addressed the sympathising 
audience, and offered extempore pi-ayer. I was very unwell after- 
wards, and had to call in Dr. Nicholson. My pulse was 106 degrees. 
On the 8th I was too ill to leave my room. 

'■ Julji 25tJi. — I have had severe headache all day, occasioned by the cold of 
yesterday and heavy labours. In the evening I met my Bible class. I am 
won-ied almost out of my life with our day schools. Under this Denominational 
System we have to find all the buildings and appurtenances, appoint and 
superintend the teachers, examine and report on the condition of the schools, 
and preside at all meetings of the Local Boards. In this district I am myself 
the GoiTesponding Secretary with the Central Board in Melbourne of some 
fifteen or twenty schools ; have to examine and sign all returns, receive the 
grants, and pay the teachers their salaries. Large packages of books and ^;?aK^ 
come to me, for which I have to account from quarter to quarter to the Central 
Board. Indeed, it is a heavy burden — a trouhlesvnw " department " — requiring 
much time and method of action to keep matters straight. 

' My pastoral and preaching duties are almost as nothing compared wiih. the 
constant attention and care these schools impose on me. I wish that I could 
be rid of this burden by some new legislation, through which the churches 
would be freed from all further connection with so responsible and thankless 
a work. i\Iy fi'iend, Mr. James Bonwick, is the District Inspector, but his 
duties are quite distinct from mine. And were it not for his judicious sugges- 
tions and countenance, I certainly would l)e compelled to retire from all further 
connection with the administration of the Denominational System of education 
in this extensive district.' 

' July 2Sth. — A singular example of the effect of de/'jj conviction of sin upon 

11 



162 JAMES BICKFORD : AX AUTOBIOGBAPIfY. 

the phj'sical man occun-ed to a Mr. Langfley at the Wendouree Swamp, \\\\o had 
become both lilind aud speechless for some thirty or forty hours. I was sent 
for, and promptly rode up to see him in his now quiet cottage home. Messrs. 
Holier aud Morgan had spent much time in prayer for him. When I came 
into his presence, I found that he could see and speak, and was saved. The first 
words he uttered were in testimony of that great spiritual change ; God had 
forgiven him, he said, and he was now happy. In sad contrast to this 
'•incident of gi-ace " was the case of a man — a complete stranger — who called 
on me in Lydiard Street, and disclosed a melancholy tale of wi'etched conjugal 
and colonial life. A sadder case I never heard of. Poor fellow ! He is to be 
pitied ! But on whose side is the fault ? 

' I went to the hospital and admitted ten patients, and spent the rest of the 
day in pastoral visitation. At the meetius' of the Benevolent Association I was 
elected a member of the Committee of Management.' 

• Avgiist oth. — We had been contending with the Eastern Council for many 
months about our site at the Gravel Pits, which we had occupied in the usual 
manner for several years. But now the Council sought to dispossess us of our 
land, and use it for the purpose of a town hall, institute, and library. 
Mr. Belford, the mayor, had no sympathy with our church, so he determined 
to seize our chosen ground. Finding that the longer we corresponded the more 
entangled the matter became, I prepared and despatched a letter to Sir Henry 
Barkly, our Governor, upon the whole case. It was our only hope for a just 
settlement.' 

' Avffust 23rd. — My first visit to Smythesdale and Brown's Diggings. At 7.30 I 
preached in the Primitive Methodist Church to about one hundred persons. 
I supped at Mr. John Davey's tent, and slept at Mr. Mitchell's. The next 
morning, after breakfasting with Mr. and Mrs. Harris, and family worship 
I sallied forth on pastoral work until 1 p.m. I dined at Mr. Frost's and 
baptized his youngest child. I then started for Ballarat, and got lost in the 
ranges for nearly two hours. At last I fell in with a couple of wood-splitters, 
who informed me that I was going in the opposite direction from Ballarat, and 
kindly put me on the track for Cherry Tree Hut. I got home at 7 p.m., and 
Avent into the church and preached. I was much tired, and my whole nervous 
system was upset.' 

'Sept. 16t7i. — This day Mr. Belford. on behalf of the Eastern Council, and 
I, in behalf of the Wesleyan Church, met at my house, and we settled the 
dispute about the Gravel Pits site, after two years of smart and obstinate 
contention from both sides. We erect entirely new premises on the other 
side of Barkly Street, upon a new site to be granted by the Government, and 
the Council would erect their buildings upon our old site. We were to receive 
a monetary payment from the Council as compensation.' 

On the 19th I went to the Gravel Pits to see the miners, and 
arranged with them for clearing away from our new site. I had 
not much trouble with them about compensation. 

' Sept. 28tJi.—l learnt to day that there are 17,0r)0 persons on the Smythesdale 
and Brown's diggings without a resident minister of any kind.' 



AUSTRALIA. 163 

Oct. ^ith. — Went to Mount Mercer, and attended a 7;os^?/ior^e«i, 
examination of the late Mr. Crombie. He was shot by a Prussian 
labourer, over a disputed five pounds which he claimed for sinking 
a, dam for Mr. Crombie. It was beyond doubt an unjust debt, but 
better it had been paid. Mrs. Crombie is left with one son and two 
daughters. Deeply did I sorrow for tlieni, but that brings not back 
the dead to life. 

We lost another excellent Christian man in the death of Mi-. 
Thomas Guthridge. He died at the Warrenheip railway works after 
a painful, lingering illness, and entered into rest. 

Oct. bth. — We held our Quai-terly Meeting. The deficiency on 
the quarter was ^54 12s. Qd., which, with the balance of £139 for 
furnishing Mr. Millard's house, made a total deficit of .£193 12s. 10c?. 
I had to leave the meeting to inter the remains of the late Mr. John 
Crombie. The funeral procession was large, and the crowd moc-t 
sympathetic. Mr. Draper, in a letter to me, under date Oct. 21st, 
only expressed the general sentiment when he said, ' Poor Crombie ! 
I moui-ned over the sad tidings of his barbai'ous murder for days. I 
never heard of anything more truly appalling. Surely the wretched 
murderer must be an incarnate fiend.' The murderer was sub- 
sequently adjudged to be of unsound mind, and did not therefore 
forfeit his own life for that he had so cruelly taken. 

Nov. \st. — 'The Bonwick Testimonial.' As an inevitable resvilt 
of the harassing laboui-s of our ' District Inspector of Schools,' the 
health of Mr. James Bonwick completely broke down, and a special 
fund was forthwith started, to enable this most valuable public officer 
to take the needed rest and chance of being again set up for his 
beloved work. Mr. Bonwick was an educationist by inspiration and 
special endowment. To permanently lose him from the district was 
i-egarded as a great i^ublic loss. In mentioning this painful case 
to the Rev. Mr. Draper, who had known Mr. Bonwick for many 
years, he replied as follows : — 

* Mr. Bonwick's case is very distressing. I hope he will get something sub- 
stantial from the public, and from such private friends as have it in their 
power. I wrote to him yesterday, and shall see him before he leaves for 
England. He is a genial soul. You will scarcely meet with a more cheerful 
and intelligent man ; one in whom the greatest confidence may be placed. I 
never had reason to doubt his genuine sincerity as a Christian man, and as a 
friend.' 

In a few weeks we raised over one hundred guineas to enable our 



164 JAMES niCKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



friend to visit England, which, as treasurer of the fund, I had the 
pleasure of handing to him. 

Tlie Annual District Meeting this year was held in Geelong. There 
were six of us attending from Ballarat and adjoining Ch'cuits. We 
commenced on November 8th, under the presidency of Mr. Drapei-, 
and concluded on the 15th. By appointment, I preached the oJSS.cial 
sermon in Yarra Street Church, choosing as my text 1 Cor. xv. 58. 
I received the next day the warm thanks of the ministers for the 
service. We had had a prosperous year in every department of 
the work. On the 15th I had the pleasure of again seeing my aged 
widowed mother, at my bi-other's, at his house in the Crown Lands 
OiBce, and returned in time to Geelong to address a large crowd at 
the Institute, on the Christian duty of abstinence from the use of 
intoxicants. At 10.30 p.m. the Rev. W. Woodall and I left by 
coach for Ballarat. The night was cold, dark, and fatiguing. 

Dec. Srd. — I went to Sandhurst in the interests of the Foreign 
Missions. I preached twice on the Sabbath, and attended four 
meetings in the week. I reached home on the 11th, and heard of the 
particulars of two desolating fires which had occurred in the Main 
Road during my absence. The Rev. T. Williams had come up from 
the city as a deputation in aid of our South Sea Missions. He 
preached on the Sabbath, and spoke with much effect at the public 
meetings. Messrs. Daniel and MUlard also assisted. 

1860. 

The time had now come for the erection of a hospital at Ballaiat. 
A number of influential gentlemen met for initiating the movement, 
and it was agreed to send a memorial to Sir Henry Barkly, asking 
for a grant for the object. At the request of Mr. Lynn, sohcitor, I 
agreed to take charge of the document, and hand it to the Governor 
on my arrival in Melbourne. On January 14</i I left Melbourne for 
the Clyde, beyond Dandenong, to open the new church. I was the 
guest as usual of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Patterson, who received 
me with much courteous attention. 1 preached on the Sabbath, and 
spoke at the public meeting on the 16tb, Mr. Patterson presiding. 
We had a large attendance of kind friends from many miles round. 
It was the first meeting of the kind ever held in the Western Port 
District. Mrs. Dunbar, of the Dandenong Hotel, entertained me, 
free of charge, on my way back to the city. 



AUSTRALIA. 165 



Jan. nth. — The Stationing Committee, consisting of Revs. Messrs. 
Manton, Butters, Buddie, Draper, Harris, Cope, and myself, met 
at Wesley Church. On the 18th the Connexional Committees met 
and got thi'ough much business. The Conference was opened ou 
the 19th ; the Rev. John Egglestone, President, and the Rev. D. J. 
Draper, Secretary. On the 21st and 22nd we had scorching hot 
winds, much to the discomfort of all the brethren. The Conference 
closed on February ^rd, and 1 left for Ballarat. Reached home 
at 6.30, a.m., the next day, and found heaps of arrears awaiting my 
attention. The Rev. John Egglestone, the President, and the Rev. 
John Thomas, from the Friendly Islands, came in the evening for 
missionary purposes. Mr. Thomas was our guest, and his whole 
demeanour convinced me of the thoi'oughness of his character as an 
honoured missionary of the society. 

Feb. lOth. — The ' foundation-stone' of the new church at Creswick 
was laid to-day by the Hon. A. Fraser, M.L.C., from St. Kilda. 
We had a fine after-meeting, and the people nobly responded to the 
call for contributions. 

Feb. I8tk. — At last we are able to accept a tender for the new 
church, Barkly Street, It may be hoped that our troubles, re Gravel 
Pits, are nearly at an end. On the 20th I arranged with Alexander 
Morrison, Esq., manager of the National Bank, for such advances as 
we should need for carrying out the work. 

Feb. '25th. — Preached at Smythesdale to open the new church, and 
to inaugurate the new cu'cuit. The Rev. Ebenezer Taylor had been 
iippointed by the Conference to the charge of this extensive district. 
On our way up to the new church, on the Sabbath morning, Mr. 
Taylor and I came up to a tent, in front of which a miner was 
lustily engaged in splitting small logs of wood. Said I to Mr. Taylor, 
' If you want to do any good at Smythesdale you will have to 
get into the way of repi-oving men who may be engaged on the 
Lord's Day morning, as is this man. Now let me see how you 
would deal with such a case.' ' Very well, I will try,' he replied. 
So, making up to the man's tent, he said, ' We have kindly called to 
enquire if you have any children you and your wife ' (she was peeping 
out of the tent door) 'would like to send to the Sunday School, to be 
established next Sunday at the top of the hill there ? ' The man was 
taken ' all aback,' and his axe fell behind his back. Then, turning 
to his wife, he said, ' These men are going to start a Sunday School 



166 JAMES BICKFOBD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

up in that new church ; I think we may send oiu- children after a 
week or two.' ' It is very good of tliem,' she rejoined, ' and we sha'l 
be glad to send some.' So much gained, Mr. Taylor proceeded, * I 
have been appointed the minister of that chiirch, and to-day this 
gentleman ' (pointing to me) ' has come all the way from Ballarat to 
open it for Divine woi\ship. Will you come to the service this 
evening ? ' The man made a kind of half-promise that he would try 
to do so. We then proceeded on our way. ' Brother Taylor,' said I, 
' yoii have managed that man admirably well. I looked on all the 
time, watching you in your attack upon him.' * Well,' said he, ' 1 
have learnt this, that if you want to get at the hearts of parents you 
must do it through their children. If I had reproved him at the first, 
it is likely he might have resented it, and insulted me ; but now I 
think that > have made him my friend.' Happy man, I thought, 
to be able thus to combine 'the wisdom of the serpent with the 
harmlessness of the dove ' ! The services passed off well, and the next 
day I held a local preachers' and quarterly meeting. The evening 
meeting was well attended, the subscription list came up better than 
expected, and the Scarsdale Circuit was staz'ted on old Methodist 
lines. It was midnight before I could retire to rest. 

March 30th. — Met my class for the last time. The members 
presented me with a beautifully bound Bible in token of their love. 
The next diiy I was very ill, being completely run down with the 
burden of toil and anxieties I was cariying. My good and skilful 
doctor, George Nicholson, had to be called in. He prescribed for 
me, and gave me excellent counsel in regard to my future health. 

April 2nd. — Held the last Quarterly Meeting in Lydiard Street. 
It was largely attended, and the finances came up well. The brethren 
Slid many kind things of Mrs. Bickford and myself. Messrs. Bell, 
Biddle, and Gillingham — formerly connected with the, !^o called, 
English Reformers — bore grateful testimony to my conciliatory, 
administrative conduct, whereby they had been restored to the 
Church, and many blessings had come to then- families. What 
they thus volunteered touched me deeply. Mr. Millard, my 
colleague (sotto voce) said to me, ' I wish such acknowledgments 
could be circulated througliovit our whole Connexion.' The member- 
ship was 738. The superintendency of the Ballarat Circuit now 
devolved upon Mr. Millard, and the Rev. Thomas Boston was 
appointed as second preacher. 



AUSTRALIA. 167 



The usual 'farewell meeting' was held on April At/i, and was 
attended by official representatives from every part of the Circuit. 
INIr. James Oddie, the senior Steward, presided, and was supported 
by Mr. Joseph A. Doane, the junior Steward. The Pie\-. J. C. 
Symons, who was on his way to the Amherst Circuit, took his seat 
on the platform. Ministers of other Churches were also present, and 
took part in the meeting. A lieautifuUy embossed address, with 
several valuable presents, were handed to me. An unexpected 
sui-prise came upon the meeting, in the appearance upon the plat- 
of a coloured brother, a Mr. Edmondson, from Jamaica, who, for 
himself and some ten or twelve other coloured persons, presented 
me with an address, and Mrs. Bickford with a handsome silver 
cake-basket. As an old West Indian missionary, I had done my 
best to make them feel at home with us in Ballarat, where the 
cursed colour prejudice was happily iinknown. 

Thus ended my official connection with the Ballarat Circuit. The 
three years of my incumbency had been mai-ked by much Ijlessing 
from God and much extension of the work. We had })uilt our 
churches and school-houses in every part of the district ; our 
ecclesiastical organisation was complete, and our local preachers 
and leaders were devoted and excellent men. My journal shows 
that I had preached five hundi-ed and eighty-two times, besides 
lectures and other ministerial work. Lcms Deo ! 

Sandhurst. 
Aj)ril 5th. — We left Ballarat this morning for Sandhurst, vid 
Creswdck and Castlemaine. It rained heavily when we started ; still 
we had to go, for such are the exigencies of the Methodist itinerancy. 
Our kind friends, Mr. J. A. Doane and Mrs. Edmondson, went with 
us as far as Creswick. The journey from this township to Castle- 
maine was rough and trying, from the unmade condition of the 
roads, and the swollen creeks through wliich we had to pass. At 
Yandoit the passengers had to leave the coach, whilst the driver, at 
full tilt, dashed into a creek, and swam the horses over. The coach 
itself was partially submerged, and had become quite unfit for our 
further occupancy. We, the passengers, had to ford the creek with 
the aid of fallen trees, and otherwise do the best we could for om-- 
selves. We idtimately got round to where the coachman pulled up, 
rejoined the coach, and proceeded on our wretched journey. We 



168 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



reached Castlemaine at 5 p.m., cold, weary, and dispiiiteil. The 
next day we left foi' Saiidliui-st, and reached the parsonage at 
6.30 p.m. Mr. Allingliam, the senior Circuit Steward, was there to 
receive us. 1 opened my commission on the 8th, by preaching at 
Eagle Hawk and White Hills, and had good congregations. On the 
21st, Mr. Allingham and I accepted a tender of £102 for improve- 
ments to the parsonage, being indispensable to our health. 

I certainly had hoped that, in coming to Sandhurst, I should have 
escaped many of the difficulties I had had in Ballarat in connection 
with the day schools. Our chief ti"ouble, however, arose from the 
action of the ' Central School Board," in their appropriation of the 
Annual Grant. The full sum for the year 1860 was ^6125,000, 
' with power resei-ved to the Board to re-distribute equitably, after 
October 1st, with the sanction of the Governor in Council, any sums 
for the expenditure of which provision may not have been made.' 
After deducting from the gross amount of grant £32,500 for the 
' National Board,' the remainder was thus apportioned : — Denomi- 
national Board: Salaries, Normal Inspector and Secretary, £1,000 
each ; six inspectors — four at <£600 each, and two, at £300 each ; 
Churchof England, £35, 461 9^; Roman Catholic, £16,258 13s. Id. ; 
Presbyterian Chm-ch,£ 14,622 14s. 6fZ. ; Wesleyan MethocUst, £11,068; 
other Protestants, £6,831 18s. Id.; Jewish, £464 Is. \d. 

The fundamental error of this scale of appropriation was that it 
was made not on the basis of the number of childien each of the 
educating denominations actually provided for and instructed ; but, 
on the ' General Census ' of the entire population, which was taken 
for another purpose entirely, and upon which the ' State Aid to 
Relisrion ' Grant of £50,000 was made to those of the denominations 
who chose to accept it. 

The ' General Census ' gave the Wesleyan body, as one of the 
accepting denominations, one-fifteenth part of the State Grant 
as its share in aid of the support of the Ministry, and other Church 
objects ; whereas, by adopting as the basis of distribution of the 
Grant for Public Education, the Official Returns of attendants at 
our schools, we should be entitled to one-fifth of the amount set 
apart for Denominational Schools. And whilst we were thus 
ci-amped in our educational woik by this unjust appropriation the 
other bodies had a larger amount to their credit, than they had 
schools to take up. 




WESLEY CHURCH, MELBOURNE. 



AUSTRALIA. \m 



In common fairness to the Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and 
* other Protestants,' it should be stated that they were no parties 
to the pressure the Anglican bishop, Dr. Perry, brought upon the 
C'entral Board to withdraw all support from Wesley an Schools 
requiring assistance outside what the ' General Census ' gave to the 
denomination. Hence several of our schools were in danger of 
immediate disendowment, to the disadvantage of the teachers, and 
to our diserecUt as an educating body. We fought the battle of 
right and justice with the Central Board, and, in the end, its 
Secretary, with the consent of the Government, informed the Rev. 
Mr. Draper, the ' Head ' of our Denomination, that if the other 
' Heads of Denominations ' would consent thereto, a part of the 
unused portion of the vote might be applied to what was offensively 
called the ' Surplus ' Wesleyan Schools. The only opponent to this 
righteous solution of the question was Dr. Perry himself. W^e, in 
Bendigo, then took the matter into our hands, by placing three of 
our schools under the wing of the Rev. Dr. Nish, the Presbyterian 
clergyman, and two under the Rev. W^. R. Fletcher, M.A., the 
Congregational minister. Thus we saved five schools to the district. 

The annoyance and vexation caused to us by the Anglican bishop, 
naturally produced in our minds a set determination to upset, at the 
earliest possible moment, the then Dual system of public education. 
And I distinctly remember Mr. Draper remarking, with considerable 
emphasis, that the only effectual remedy for removing the unfairness 
of the present administration of the parliamentaiy grant, was the 
abolition of the two Boards of Management, by the substitution of a 
thoroughly National System, free from all ecclesiastical interference, 
and to be under the sole chrection of a Minister of Education cUrectly 
responsible to Parliament. 

The River Murray District, lying to the north of Bendigo, was 
as yet untouched by effective evangelistic labours. Accordingly, 
on the morning of May 25th, I left by coach for Echuca, and 
ai-rived at my destination at 5.30 p.m. Messrs. Watson and Powell 
kindly welcomed me, and arrangetl for my stay at Mrs. Redmond's 
hotel. The next day we secured the Court House for the Sabbath 
services. The first Methodist sermon preached at Echuca was 
from 1 Tim. i. 15, and the second was from Rev. vii. 14. I made 
the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Hopwood, Mr. and Mrs. Sabine, 
Mr. Veale, Mr. Tomline, and some others. On the 28th, I returned 



170 .JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

to Sandhurst and liad tlie honour of finding Mr. and Mrs. Draper 
as guests at our house. The Sandhurst Church Anniversary was 
hekl at this time, and Mr. Draper greatly helped us. 

June 'dth. — Received this morning a letter from the Chief Secretary. 
' No more schools for us this year.' Surely ' the triumphing of the 
wicked shall be short.' 

June 237-d. — Mr. Dowling drove me to Tarnagulla. On the 24th 
I preached twice, and on the 25th I hekl the Quarterly Meeting 
at Inglewood. Thei-e are in the Cu-cuit 117 members. At the 
public meeting in the evening we raised =£48. On the 26th we 
held the Church Anniversary at Tarnagulla, when 350 persons sat 
down to tea. The Revs. Beer, Adams, Bunn, and I, spoke. Mr. 
Pybus also helped us with a fine speech. On the 27th I returned 
to Sandhurst. 

An important meeting was held at Sandhurst by the local clergy, to 
consider the advisability of commencing a series of religious services 
in the ' Lyceum,' for the special benefit of the non-churchgoing 
portion of the people. We also agreed to call upon the merchants 
and shopkeepers to come into an arrangement for shortenmg the 
hours of business. Messrs. Hart, Fletcher, and I, made the appeal. 
On the 23rd, I preached in the ' Lyceum ' to a crowded audience, on 
Ezek. xxxiii. 1 1 . 

Sept. 15th. — I again left for Echuca, and reached Runnymede at 
11.30 a.m. Here I was disappointed in not finding a coach to take 
m.e on. I therefore arranged with Mrs. Stephenson for holding a 
religious service in the hotel parlour in the evening. I spent the 
afternoon in visiting all the families in the neighbourhood, and in- 
vited them to the service. I preached to twenty-five adults. On the 
16th I preached twice at Echuca and once at Moama, on the N. S. W, 
side of the Murray. On the 22nd, I was again at Sandhurst. 

Sept. 23rd. — I had again to leave for Inglewood. Preached twice on 
the Sabbath, and addressed the Sunday School at 3 p.m. On Monday 
I held the Quarterly Meeting, and found the Circuit free of debt. 
We passed, after the usual examinations, the brethren Collins, 
Davies, Jenkins, and Tucker as full local preachers. Messrs. Jenkins 
and Davies will likely enter the Ministry after a while. Mr. Bunn 
was the young minister in charge. 

October 1st. — We held the Sandhurst Quarterly Meeting, and 
Mr. Hart and I Avere unanimously invited to remain a second year. 



AUSTRALIA. 171 



Xov. 13<A.— The District Meeting was commenced in Melbourne. 
We were in session eight days, and I returned to Sandhurst on the 
24th. 

The time had now come for us to give an ecclesiastical form to our 
work at Echuca. 1 accordingly went up again on December 8th. 
I preached and gave the Sacrament and married two couples. I 
selected as our first trustees, Messrs. Henry Hopwood, Oliver Veale, 
George James Walker, and George Charles Watson. These with 
myself made the number the Government required before granting 
sites for churches. 

Dec. 15th. — I cnce more visited the Tarnagulla and Inglewood 
Circuit. I preached on the Sabbath, held the Quarterly Meeting next 
day, and lectured on the West Inches in the evening in aid of the 
Circuit funds. The business Avas interrupted in the afternoon by two 
miners finding a corpse in an abandoned shaft between the chui^ch 
and the Main Street. It was so decomposed that identification was 
impossible. The case was duly reported to the police. 

1861. 

The usual solemn service was held last night. My first Journal 
entry is : — 

' Praise God for the commencement of a new year. May it be a renewal of 
mercy to my spirit, and may I be more useful than hitherto in saving souls and 
in promoting the glory of Uod ! ' 

The Confeience of this year, beginning on January 17th, was 
held in Sydney ; the Rev. S. Eabone, President, and the Rev. T. 
Buddie, Secretary. We had the pleasui-e and advantage of the Rev. 
Frederick Jobson, D.D., who had come to us on matters relating to 
the Foreign Missions, and the claims of those of the Australian 
ministers who are still members of the English Annuitant Society. 
Dr. Jobson proved himself to be an apt diplomat in the management 
of these questions ; they were soon satisfactorily arranged. Dr. 
Jobson 's ofiicial sermon before the Conference was a masterly exposi- 
tion of the doctrine of our Lord's Priesthood, and was delivered with 
much eftect. It was a beautiful specimen of Methodist pi-eaching 
in her Augustan age in the Mother Country. The Y'ork Street con- 
gregation hung upon the preacher's lips for the full hour, during the 
delivei-y of this never-to-be forgotten sermon. 



172 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

By this Conference, on the motion of the Rev. W. L. Binks, I was 
appointed as Superintendent of the Melbourne Fourth Circuit, of 
which St. Kilda was the head. My former colleague, the Rev. C. 
Lane, was appointed as second preacher. I had not the least idea of 
so early a removal from Bendigo ; but when the change was proposed, 
I accepted it, on account of the heavy financial cares and harassing 
journeys I had had throughout the year. I could not have borne the 
strain much longer without permanent injury to my health. 

Feb. I2tli. — I sent the first of a series of papers to the Rev. J. S. 
Waugh, Editor of the Wesleyan Chronicle, entitled ' Missionary 
Recollections,' in the hope such reminiscences might be useful to the 
young men of Methodism, in fanning in their souls a holy flame of 
love to our own South Sea Missions. 

March dth. — I went by coach to Castlemaine, to help the Rev. John 
Harcourt in holding his Foreign Missionary anniversary meetings. 
We had a vile set of drunkards as fellow-passengers, one of whom 
shall be nameless because of her sex. Reached Mrs. Hai'court's at a 
late hour. Preached on the Sabbath ; attended two public meetings, 
and returned to Sandhurst on the evening of the 13th, quite well 
though much fatigvied. 

April 1st. — I held the last Quartei-ly Meeting for this Circuit. The 
Rev. R. Hart, my good and faithful colleague, and twenty-four 
brethren were present. The income paid all demands for the quarter, 
but there was still the standing deficiency of £160. Important 
resolutions were passed for clearing off the debt occasioned by the 
additions and repau-s to the parsonage, and for preventing future 
circuit debts. The Rev. George Daniel had been appointed as my 
successor, and Mr. Hart as second minister. On the 9th, we left for 
our new Circuit.* 

After visiting Ballarat, Geelong, and Melbourne, we reached 

* The departure of the Eev. J. Bickford, fi-om Sandhurst, is thus referred to 
in the Bcndign Advcrtlwr : — " The crowd that gathered at the evening Sabbath 
service was attracted by the farewell sermon of the reverend gentleman, who is 
leaving Sandhurst for St. Kilda. At the public meeting held next day, a 
resolution, expressive of the deepest regret at the removal of the Rev. J. Bickf ord 
from Sandhurst, and breathing earnest wishes for the future welfare of himself 
and his lady, was unanimously carried. The Revs. Butler, Smith, Nish, Fletcher, 
and Messrs. Fizelle, Hooper, Coombs, and Marrarck, addressed the meeting. A 
few parting woi-ds from the Rev. J. Bickf ord, full of deep emotion, followed, 
when the meeting was closed with singing and prayer." 



AUSTRALIA. I73 



St. Kilda on the 13th, and received a warm welcome from the Hon. 
A. Eraser, M.L.C., Mr. John Whitney, Mr. T. J. Crouch, and other 
officials and friends. In the evening, my mind was much exercised 
about this new .sphere of woi'k, and my feelings were much excited as 
to the success or otherwise of this appointment, I now found that 
the time had come for me to give effect to the Rev. Thomas Binney's 
famous maxim, which he gave us in his great sermon in Ballarat 
some few years ago, viz. : ' To do anything worth while in religious 
and philanthropic works, a man must first believe in his God, and 
then in himself.' 

St. Kilda. 

I did not retire to rest vintil 11 p.m., by which time my mind was 
made up as to three courses of action : (1) 1 resolved to be a pastor 
in a more persistent manner than I yet had been ; but, especially, in 
relation to the artisan classes and poor families ; (2) that I would 
regard as sacred to God a sufficient proportion of my time for 
preparing for the pulpit, so as to have new and stimulating truths ; 
thereby keeping in the congregations an expectation of instruction 
and interest ; and (3) that I would devote as much time as possible 
to the Sabbath schools, and to such other means of improvement for 
the young men and women, as might help them in the acquirement of 
studious habits and intellectual strength. I felt convinced that each 
of these might be secvired by a rigid economy of my time, and with 
the blessing of God. I was aware that, being now in close proximity 
to Melbourne, I would likely have to take my share of committee 
work for the general benefit of the Connexion ; nevertheless, I 
resolved thoroughly to work the Circuit, and not to permit such a 
diversion for any other purpose as would interfere with my success 
in winning souls. 

April 14f/i. — I began my ministry by preaching at St. Kilda and 
Prahran, on 1 Thess. iii. 1. It was an appeal to the congregations 
for their sympathy and help. The routine work of this compact 
Circuit came upon me as an every-day duty. I commenced on the 
15th, and preseiwed the even round until the 22nd, when Mrs. 
Bickford and I went to Richmond to see our afflicted friend, Mr. 
Samuel Merrick, who was dying. Mrs. Merrick was heart-broken. 
One short year of beautiful conjugal life was to be suddenly closed. 
We sorrowed deeply for her. 



174 JAMES BICKFORD: AN aUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

April 2StIi. — I opened otu- new church at Keysborough, and next 
day I assisted at the public meeting. It was largely attended. We 
raised, in all, £130. I simply went to fulfil an old promise. 

The question of the Day Schools seemed to baflfle all settlement. 1 
accordingly wrote an article, headed ' Public Education,' for the 
Wesleyan Chronicle on the subject. I quote one portion of it : — 

' The present time is opportune for the extinction of the two rival systems of 
education, and for the introduction of a general system in their stead. We have 
no hesitation in saying, that it is our solemn conviction — in view of the jealousies 
which have existed now for several years between the two Boards ; the envious 
and checkmating spirit which has. in numberless instances, marked the conduct 
of one denomination towards another ; the use which has been made of school- 
grants to build churches, and work out thereby ecclesiastical objects : and the 
needless expenditure of jjublic money in supporting two executives, and two 
(sometimes even more than two) schools in localities where one would be 
sufficient— that the present rival systems should close with the present year.' 

God has put it into the heart of a young Methodist Chi-istian, 
Mr. John Watson, to do something for the sokUers at our Barracks, 
near Prince's Bridge. He enlisted me in the work, and on the even- 
ing of May ith, he and I walked over to see those of the men who 
were ill. We read and prayed with them, and arranged for holding a 
Bible class there on Fridays at 8 p.m. Serjeant-Major Hurworth 
would be our mainstay in these services. 

May lOth. — At the request of the Rev. T). J. Draper, I accepted 
the office of Missionary Secretary for the Victoria District, 

June I9th. — I forwarded to the editor of the Wesleyan Chronicle, 
an article on the dispute which had arisen at Castlemaine and 
Sandhurst, in connection with the interment of the dead by their 
own ministei's in the public cemeteries. The contention had thriven 
so much in intensity, and to such an extent, that Bishop Perry had 
appealed even to Sir H. Barkly for legislative interference. He 
informed the Governor that ' several of the clergy,' including the 
' Archdeacon of Castlemaine ' had complained of ' persons ' violating 
the ' law of the Chm-ch of England, not belonging to her communion. 
And what was all this stir about 1 That certain mourning relatives 
had seen fit to choose certain unoccupied portions in the public 
cemeteries in which to inter their dead, and to call in any minister 
they chose to officiate at such interments. In this free country, in 
which there was not, and would never be, a State Church, it was a 
great oversight for Dr. Perry to ask that the Attorney General 



AUSTRALIA. 175 



should get the Act so amended, as to make it a ' penal oifenee, punish- 
able in a summary manner by the Magistrates,' in the event of such 
interments being made. The foolish stir, as might be expected, 
ended in smoke. 

June 2Qfh. — I visited the Female Refuge, at Prahran, and con- 
ducted a service Avith the inmates. Mrs. Peny (the bishop's wife) 
was present. 

Juli/ 1st. — I attended the annual meeting of the Victoria Anti- 
Liquor League. The Hon. R. Heales, Premier, presided ; Dean 
Macartney, the two Fletchers (father and son), Duboiu-g Kean, 
and Ramsay spoke. It was a glorious meeting. My first Quarterly 
Meeting was held to-day ; the C'ircuit is out of debt. 

Jtdij 8th. — A drunken mother, in St. Kilda, this day cut her 
child's throat. Is not drink a devil ? 

Aug. 3rd. — Mr, Draper to-day, at my request, made an application 
to the Government for a grant of land at Elsternwick for church 
purposes. 

Aug. Ifith. — I preached twice at Ballarat, and next day attended 
a public meeting in aid of the new church at SokUers' Hill. We 
raised ^147. 

Nov. 12f7i.— The District Meeting was begun to-day at Brunswick 
Street, Fitzroy. The Rev. D. J. Draper in the chair. We had a 
long discussion on the marriage question, and we agreed to be uniform 
in the administration of the ceremony. We spent much time in pre- 
paring a station sheet for the forthcoming Conference. The official 
sermon was preached by the Rev. Thomas Williams. It was an 
admirable discourse. The meeting thanked me for my services as 
Missionary Secretary and re-appointed me to the office. We closed 
on the 22nd. 

Nov. 24:th. — John King, the only svu-vivor of the Burke and Wills 
party, came to St. Kilda to-night. He was a mere shadow, and his 
whole nervous system was unhinged. On December 5th, I accom- 
panied Mr. King to Melbourne, and introduced him to Sir William 
Stawell, the Chief Justice, who received from him Mr. Burke's note- 
book. His last record was, ' King has acted nobly.' Sii- William 
appeared to be deeply affected. He made many enquiries of King, 
to whose replies he paid the closest attention. I then -n-ent with 
King to the Parliament House, and left him there for examination 
before the Committee of Enquiiy. On the 6th I went to the house 



176 JAMES BICKFOBI): AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

of Henry Jennings Esq., to meet several ladies and gentlemen who 
were favom-able to the establishment of a Moravian Mission at 
Gipps Land. 

Dec. \Hh. — I attended the funeral of the late Eev. William 
Fletcher. The Kev. E,. Connebee gave the adch-ess in the church. 
* A good man and a just ' has gone to his reward, and the church- 
life of St. Kilda is all the poorer for his removal. On the 19th, 
Mr. Draper and I waited upon Sir H. Barkly, to ask him to pre- 
side at our Missionary Anniversary. He readily agreed to comply 
with our request. On the 21st, I finished the series of ' Missionary 
Recollections,' nine in number, and sent it for publication in the 
Wesleyan Chronicle. 

Dec. 31s<. — I copy now a Journal jotting : — 

' This year has been full of mercy and f^oodness from the Lord. The future 
I leave with Thee ! May the Lord undertake for me ; guide and protect me 
and mine. Also, may the Holy Ghost rest upon the ordinances of His house, 
making them wells of salvation to the souls of the people ! ' 

1862. 

Jan. Qth. — The fii-st of the United Prayer Meetings was held in 
our church this evening. The Rev. Mr. Seddon (Anglican) gave the 
address, the Revs. Moir, Poore, and I, offered prayer. These services 
are bound to be a blessing. 

Feb. lOth. — I wrote another article on ' Public Education ' for the 
Chronicle. The object was, in part, to keep this still unsettled 
question before the friends of education and the Victorian Parliament. 
In the second paragraph of the article I say : — 

' The present Systems stand condemned for their extravagance, sectarianism, 
and rivalry. Not only have we two Boards, officered at great expense, but, in 
almost every part of the country, schools under both are set up in opposition 
to each other, and, in some instances, schools under the same Board are 
established in the same locality, sometimes even on opposite sides of the same 
street ; as, in the Bendigo District, greatly to the surprise of Her Majesty's liege 
subjects, to the deep injury of the teachers, who are thereby reduced to a mere 
pittance for support, and to the creation of hatred and jealousy in the children's 
minds of the one as against the other school. " See how these children hate 
one another," is the remark of the passer-by. " Beautiful training this," they 
say, " of the rising generation of the Colony." Alas ! Alas ! ' 

Feb. 2\st. — John King asked me to go with him to Castlemaine, 
where he was to be entertained at a public banquet. It was largely 



AUSTRALIA. 177 



attended. I spoke of Burke's last experiences as told me by King, 
which touched the guests deeply. In reply to the address which was 
presented to King, he modestly said * he had nothing to boast of, 
for he had simply done his duty.' Noble fellow ! A true man 
was he ! 

The Conference this year was held in Adelaide. It was begun on 
January 26th ; Rev. James Watkin, President, and the Rev. J. B. 
Waterhouse, Secretary. It seems to have been a happy and successful 
Conference. There are two paragraphs in the Address which are 
wox*th transcribing, as follows : — 

' We think no body of men more happy than ourselves. Our work is honour- 
able ; we regard our position, as Wesleyan ministers, as being the most 
honourable in which God could place us. We are happy in that success 
with which, year to year, He has crowned our labours, and in beholding 
the many evidences we have of your piety, your zeal, your liberality, your 
affectionate esteem of us, your order and stability, and your growing in- 
telligence.' . . . ' On the subject of dress we exhort you to be plain. Let 
not the poor dress themselves in costly apparel, and let not the rich adorn 
themselves in such a manner as to excite the envy of poorer members. Let 
your dress be such as shall not attract attention. Do not strive to be first 
in following the changing and often foolish fashions of the day. Be yourselves 
patterns to others, and let the world imitate the church rather than the church 
the world. How can you indulge in costly apparel, while so many about you 
are destitute and afflicted 1 Let your dress be such as shall not unfit you for 
visiting the homes of the poor and the bedside of the dying.' 

This is very apostolic and seasonable advice. 

March 14i/i. — Amongst all the other duties I have managed, by 
changing the weekly Bible class service to a Tuesday evening, to get 
the Friday evening for a theological class. I began in my study 
with nine young men, all members of the church. I hope this 
weekly exercise aa^II be good for the students, and be of use to me 
also. I much need a systematic acquaintance with our standard 
theology, so as to be upsides with the scepticism of the age. 

March \^th — Mr. John Whitney informed me that Mr. Walter 
Powell, now in London, has engaged to give <£500 towards the 
reduction of the debt on the St. Kilda Church, on condition that 
we raise £500 ourselves. We gratefully accept the condition. 

May 9th. — I finished the first of a series of papers on the ' Wesley 
Family ' for the Chronicle. The subject was, — the Rev. Bartholomew 
Wesley, the great-grandfather of John Wesley. He was a veiy fine 
man ; full of wit and wisdom. 

12 



178 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



May 20th. — I called on Six- Henry Barkly, and informed him that 
John King, the explorer, wished to have granted to him six himtlred 
and forty acres of land on the Flinders River. 

I then went to see the Hon. John O'Shanassy, Premier, on the 
Education question. He was very courteous and fair with me on 
this and two or three matters on which I consulted him. On the 
22nd I wrote another article on ' Public Education ' for the Chronicle. 
The question had now become crucial, and must be settled. Two 
Bills were brought before the House of Assembly, one by Mr. 
O'Shanassy, whose principle was payment by results ; the other by 
Mr. Heales, which was based on payment upon numbers. The 
former was rejected, and the latter, entitled ' The Common Schools' 
Bill,' received the Royal Assent in due course. So that from the date 
of the new law one general system of education will be established 
throughout the colony. We had further gratification by the publica- 
tion of the 'Census Returns' of 1861, which gave ixs 46 per cent, 
increase on the previous census, and we are now one-ninth of the 
entire popvxlation. 

There was not much room for church extension in the St. Kilda 
Circuit. Still, we had one promising outlet in the direction of Glen 
Iris, lying between Gardiner's Creek and Oakleigh. By previous 
arrangement I went over on September 9 th, and held a religious 
service. I visited, previous to the service, Mrs. Kent, Mr. and Mrs. 
Bainbrige, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Glanshot, Mr. and 
Mrs. Mann, and thereby secured a nice congregation. I conversed 
with the friends upon the subject of having foithwith Sabbath 
services, and the erection of a church for the neighbourhood. This 
was the beginning of the work at Glen Iris. 

The fruits of our efforts for the young men were now beginning to 
be shown. At the local preachers' meeting, held at Prahraii, on 
the 24th November, young Thomas Grove, who, having preached an 
excellent trial sermon, was examined in the usual manner and 
passed. Other young brethren were also taken by the hand, viz.. 
Brothers R. M. Hunter, John Moorhead, J. Cooper, and Andrew, 
who were received as exhorters on trial. We were having prosperity 
on every hand. The membership had risen to 227, with 12 on trial. 
Balance in hands of stewards, <£42. By an unanimous vote, I was 
invited to remain a third yeai- as Superintendent of the Circuit. 

The District Meeting of this year was marked by important 



AUSTRALIA. 179 



discussions. It commenced on the 11th of September, and ended its 
sessions on the 22nd. The subject of our financial arrangements 
occupied much time, and several resolutions were adopted. As 
Secretary of the Educational Committee, I had to present a full 
report of the new legislation which had become law, the number 
of schools, and their general conchtiou. The repoi-t was adopted- 
On the motion of the Rev. W. L. Binks, we agreed to a scheme of the 
division of the district, which had become so unwieldy, and the 
interests of the country circuits so many and diversified, that 
notliing less than the creation of three districts would meet the 
requii-ements of oui- so rapidly extending work. 

1863. 

The usual ' Watch Night ' and ' Renewal of Covenant ' services 
were held in St. Kilda Church, and I think we bad a good beginning 
of the year. On New Year's Day, Mr. Smith called and presented 
to me an alphabet which he had constructed of the ancient Assyrian 
(the Cuneiform), and their equivalents in the Greek, English, etc. 
This self-taught man seems a linguistic marvel. If he were in 
England instead of Australia, he would have a chance of turning his 
talents to good account. 

Jan. ^th. — ' I attended a meeting of Superintendents in Melbourne 
for the examination of Brother Maityn Dyson, who offei-s for the 
missions. We agreed to recommend him to the Conference as a 
suitable candidate for our itinerant work. 

The Conference of this year was held in Hobart Town, Tasmania. 
It began on January 20th and closed on February 2nd ; the Rev. 
T. Buddie, President, and the Rev. J. Bickford, Secretary. The 
official representatives from Victoria were Messrs. Draper, Butters, 
Bickford, and Daniel. In consequence of severe indisposition, 
the Rev. Mr. Butters asked for permission to return to England, 
which was granted. It marked the high estimation in which this 
honoured servant was held by his brethren, that he was cordially 
appointed as the Representative of the Australasian Chm-ch in the 
British Conference. The * Address ' was prepared by the Rev. 
Father Watkin, from which I copy a paragraph of much practical 
value : — 

' The Class Meeting is one of the greatest helps and incentives to personal 
religion. We have scriptural authority for the practice. It is one of the 
bulwarks of Methodism. It has been an unspeakable blessing to multitudes. 



180 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

All who have reaped benefit there cannot discontinue the practice without 
loss . . . You perhaps think it a privilege to be accounted a Wesleyan 
Methodist. Bear in mind that none are members with us who do not meet 
in Class. It is not likely that so prudential, so salutary, a regulation will ever 
be altered.' 

During our stay in Hobart Town, Mrs. Bickford and I were the 
guests of Mr. and Mrs. Dickenson, at Sandy Point. They weie 
to us a generous host and hostess. We arrived again at Mel- 
bourne on February QtJi. The Rev. C. Lane, Messrs. Whitney, H. 
0. Fraser, T. J. Crouch, J. Oldham, and J. Watson, were at the Whaif 
to receive us. In the evening the young men, W. Jennings, R. M. 
Hunter, Read, and Thomas, called to welcome us. Mr. President 
Buddie came with us to be our guest until he slioidd leave for New 
Zealand. On the 12th, Mr. Butters and his family saUedin the ship 
Essex for London. All our ministers in and about the city went 
down to Sandi'idge Pier to see them off. We had w^orship in the 
saloon, and commended our dear friends to the loving care of the 
Heavenly Father. It is not likely that we shall see Mr. Butters 
again in the work in Victoria : but he has rendered to the Chui-ch 
much valuable and effective service in the past. His record and 
reward are on all. 

The easy transit of Anglo-East Indians to Australia, by means of 
the royal mail steamships, for recreation, sightseeing, or improve- 
ment of health, is qmte a temptation to many a would-be traveller. 
Our missionary brethren in India take advantage of the mail 
arrangements, for visiting us even when on their way to England. 
One more of these honoured men, the Rev. E. Jenkyns, M.A., 
favoured us in this manner. On the 20th I called upon him at 
Windsor, and spent an agreeable hour with him. I was impressed 
with his intellectuality and profound acquaintance with the ancient 
superstitions of India. The East Indian mission-field is no doubt 
a, favourable sphere for men of genius. Mr. Jenkyns, during his 
stay with us, may be of great benefit to the ministei's and congrega- 
tions as g-wasi-missionary in their training and sympathies. 

April 25th. — I travelled in company with five members of pai- 
liament to Ballarat. There was discussion, easy chat, and repartee, 
beyond the ordinaiy range of railway travellers. My good friend, 
Mr. Oddie, was at the station to receive me. Preached at Ballarat 
East (Barkly Street) to good congregations. At the public meeting 
on Monday we raised £100. 



AUSTRALIA. 181 



May \%th. — A grand commemoration day on the marriage of the 
Prince of Wales with the Princess Alexandra. There were about 
a thousand children of St. Kilda assembled at noon to partake of a 
sumptuous treat. In the evening we went into Melbourne to see 
the illuminations. The whole city was etherealised : gas, candles, 
and designs, everywhere to be seen, which must have cost thousands 
of pounds. Such a display of enthusiastic loyalty, outside England, 
I believe was never befoi^e seen. It is highly creditable to our 
democratic community. But, then, we have no political grievances [ 
How, then, could we be disloyal ? 

June 2Zrd. — As I was the secretaiy of the Wesley Grammar 
School Committee, I had, with other secretaryships, much clerical 
work to do. On the occasion of my going into Melbourne, to 
attend an impoi-tant meeting of the committee for the first time, I 
heard the Rev. William Taylor, from California, preach in Wesley 
Church. I was much interested in the service, and felt a strong 
hope that his visit to Australia would be a means of reviving and 
extending the kingdom of Christ. His style of preaching, and 
methods of working, are in forcef id contrast to our prosaic and quieter 
style of working. But there is much attraction in his personality 
and singing, and the crowds are bound to hear him. I shall watch 
with intense solicitude the effects of the labours of this honoured 
evangelist's ministry. 

July \Wi. — Mr. Taylor opened fire at St. Kilda. There was 
much enthusiasm connected with his mission to our Circuit. On the 
Sabbath, and during the week, the congregations were large. There 
were several, who for years had been regular hearers, and to all 
appearance had got little if any good, who rose, in response to his 
appeals, and declared themselves to be on the Lord's side. Many 
persons, day after day, called at the parsonage to speak of their 
spu-itual troubles. Thei"e was tridy a great awakening amongst the 
people. 

The time had now come for the colony to lose the invaluable 
services of Sir. H. Barkly as our Governor. When laying the 
foundation stone of the new church at Emerald Hill, a few weeks 
ago, I asked His Excellency if I might have the honour of presenting 
to Lady Barkly a Conference picture of ministers belonging to the 
Australian Church, which Mrs. Bickf ord had set up in an elegant 
leather-work frame. He was pleased to signify that her ladyship 



182 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

would much value such a souvenir of our esteem. Accordingly, on 
September 9th, I drove up to Toorak, and presented the picture to 
Lady Barkly. She received it most courteously, and expressed her 
admiration of the handsome frame and its Gothic style of ornament. 
The next day, the Rev. D. J. Draper and the city and suburban 
ministers waited upon Sir Henry, with an address on the subject of 
his departure from the colony. He seemed much to feel the attitude 
of esteem and affection which ovir presence and address evinced for 
himself and Lady Barkly. He shook hands with us all. He had 
been a good Governor for Victoria. 

' The King never dies ! ' Sir Charles Darling, formerly Governoi- 
in the West Indies, was appointed by the Crown as successor to 
Sir Henry Barkly. On September 16th, I went to Melbourne to 
attend the levee. There were, it is said, nine hundred gentlemen 
present. Such a demonstration of loyalty must have been very 
gratif}'ing to the new Governor. 

Oct. 2nd. — Attendance at class is the sure unerring test of the 
success, or otherwise, of such a series of revival services, especially 
such as those of the Rev. William (now Bishop) Taylor at St. Kilda. 
At the Quarterly Meeting we found that our membership had 
increased to 273, with 112 on trial. The next day, at the ministers' 
monthly meeting, it was repoited that in the circuits in which 
Mr. Taylor had been preaching there were 797 meeting on trial. 
We all felt that the Great Head of the Church had wonderfully 
blessed the special services which had been held. 

We had not yet come into touch with Gipps Land, an extensive 
countiy Ij'ing to the east of the Western Port District, and stretching 
far away even to Cape Howe. We had many Methodist famiHes 
at Port Albert, Tarraville, Sale, and Stratford, but somehow we had 
not gone as yet to look after these ' sheep in the wilderness.' At 
length, at Mr. Draper's earnest request, I undertook this mission of 
inspection. 

Oct. 2lst. — I left Melbourne for Port Albert by the steamer 
Keera, and arrived next day at noon ; Messrs. PaiT and Wood were 
at the wharf to welcome me. I became the guest of Mrs. Parr, who 
showed me much kindness. The next day Mr. Parr drove me to 
Tarraville, that I might call upon the people, explain to them the 
object of my visit, and inform them of my intention of preaching in 
the township on the Sabbath. I began at the first house on the 



AUSTRALIA. 183 



right of the roadside. A knock at the door soon brought the 
mistress to me. Said I : ' I am a Wesleyan minister, just come 
from Melbourne to have a look at the people settled here, with 
the view of ascertaining if the Methodist Church has anything to do 
in the way of providing religious ordinances for the people of this 
district.' She was a plain country-woman, brusque and self- 
possessed in manner, with a somewhat inviting facial exj)ression. 
' Are you really a Methodist preacher 1 ' she enquired. ' Yes,' I 
replied, ' there can be no doubt abovit that,' at the same time 
I handed to her my card. ' Well, I never,' she ejaculated, ' it was 
only this morning that I was saying to my man ' [husband], ' I wish 
we had such a parson as Mr. Butters to preach to us here.' ' Why, 
said I, ' do you know Mr. Butters ? — he is one of my brother ministers, 
and we are very great friends.' ' To be sure I do,' she rejoined ; 
* didn't he use to preach to us at Campbell Town, on the other side ? 
[Van Diemen's Land.] Bless the dear gentleman, I wish we had 
him.' 'Where is your husband? can't you call him? I want to 
speak to him also.' Off she went to the vineyard at the back of the 
house, and I heard her lustily shouting for her ' man.' We had an 
interesting conversation and prayer. ' Will you have a drink of 
wine ? ' enquired the gladdened matron. ' No, thank you,' I 
replied, ' I never drink wine.' She and her husband looked sur- 
pi-ised, but I think that in their heart of hearts they were pleased. 

I then called at the next house — the next — and the next, and 
so on, until I had seen the whole of the people. I remember the 
following names : Mr. and Mrs. Disher, Mr. and Mrs. T. Frost, Mr. 
Wood and Mrs. Howden, senior. I found, much to my surprise, at 
Tarraville, a small colony of Tasmanians, who had worshipped with 
us at Campbell Town and Ross in that colony. On the next day 
(Saturday) I called on Mrs. Black and several other families, and 
informed them of the arrangements for the Sabbath services. I 
accidentally met the Rev. Mr. Stretch (Anglican), who was coldly 
polite in his manner and remarks. I could not think he was 
pleased at my advent into the district. 

As this was purely an official visit, I reported, in substance, to 
the Rev. D. J. Draper, after my return to St. Kilda, as follows : — 

' On Sabbath, October 25th, I preached at Tarraville, at 11 a.m., in the large 
room at the Manse, to a most attentive audience ; in the afternoon I addressed 
the Sunday School, and in the evening I preached at Port Albert, in the Presby- 
terian Church, to a large congregation. 



184 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

' On October 26th, Mr. Hobbs kindly drove me to Tarraville, when Mr. Disher, a 
generous Presbj'terian fi-iend, rode with me some distance to see me on my way to 
Sale, distant fifty miles from the port. Two j'oung men, bullock drivers, soon over- 
took me, and finding that they were on their way home several miles onward, 
I got into conversation with them, with a view to their directing me towards 
Sale. The road, if such it may be called, was the most lonely, uninteresting, 
and wretched I ever saw. I reached Hill-top — a place separated from Sale by 
a frightful morass — about 5 p.m. I abandoned all hope of getting to the end 
of my journey that evening, and turned aside to a squattage about two miles 
distant from Hill-top. I was most warmly received by Mrs. Campbell, and 
soon foixnd myself quite at home. Mr. John Campbell soon came and expressed 
himself pleased at seeing me. There was a yoimg (Hobart) lady, the governess 
of the children, from whom I had learnt that she had been connected with 
Melville Street Sunday School, and was still retaining the fear and love of 
God. I spent with this hospitable, godly family, a quiet and profitable 
evening. Some of the men came in for family worship, when I read one of the 
Psalms, gave a short exposition, and oflEered prayer. 

' The next morning I left Glencoe Station, when Mr. Campbell kindly piloted 
me across the inland sea of water-mud and morass, and never left me until he 
saw me safely in Sale. The first gentleman I saw was the Venerable Archdeacon 
Stretch, who spoke to me words of kindness and respect. He is a man of a 
different spirit from his brother at Port Albert ; so I would judge. I soon found 
the house of Mr. and Mrs. Nehemiah Guthridge, from whom I received a truly 
Hibernian welcome. In the afternoon Mr. Guthiidge and I called upon a 
Mr. George Boss, an Inverness Methodist, and a Mr. Stead, the son of the 
Rev. Thomas Stead, then stationed in Liverpool. We visited some other friends 
as well. In the evening I preached in the Mechanics' Hall to about one 
hundred people. The singing was led by Mr. William Little, who had come in 
from Stratford, a distance of twelve miles, to see me and to attend the service. 
The Guthridge and Little families weie for many years connected with Wesley 
Church, and were amongst our most generous friends and sincere supporters. 
After the pviblic service, I desired all who felt an interest in my errand to stay 
and hear what I had to say in explanation of it. About thirty stayed, who, 
after hearing my statements, expressed an earnest wish to have a Wesleyan 
minister forthwith appointed to reside amongst them. 

' Having collected all the information I needed relative to the population in 
and about Sale, I left on the morning of the 28th, and proceeded on horseback 
in company with a young Irishman, of the name of Michael Dillon, and reached 
Mr. Parr's in the evening. I had been in the saddle some twelve hours, and was 
much fatigued with the journey. 

' On the 29th, I rode out to Yarram Yarram, an agricultural district, about 
nine miles from Port Albert, and spent several hours in visiting. I called upon 
the Devonshires, Mr. and Mrs. Gray, Kendall, Huntingdon, Collis, Fisher, 
Carpenter, Barlow, Ostler, and spoke to the children in the day school. Five 
of these families were Wesleyans ; the others were Independents or Baptists. 
Mrs. Devonshire pressed me to go across the paddocks to see a young married 
woman, who the day before had been confined of twins. The hut, in which she 
and her husband lived, was perhaps ten feet by six, and was destitute of every 
comfort, A portion of the hut was portioned off as her room. I found her 



AUSTRALIA. 185 



with her infants clinging to her breasts, as if they were sucking her life away to 
save their own. The husband was outside trying to split up a tree for sale as 
firewood. He had been unfortunate up the couutry, and had taken refuge in 
this bit of forest land. His wife had come from a comfortable home ; having 
been born on a farm a few miles outside St. Austell, in Cornwall, I prayed 
with this poor creature, gave her my card at her request, with the date of my 
visit written thereon, and a few shillings to help her in her present distress. 
The sorrowfulness of that scene haunted me for many weeks ; nay, for some 
months. 

' In the evening of this to-be-remembered day I preached in the Presbyterian 
Church at Port Albert, to a large and highly respectable congregation. I met 
the leading Wesleyan friends after the service : fully explained the object of my 
visit, after which they signified with one consent their strong desire for the 
ordinances of their own church, and pressed upon me to use every possible 
exertion to secure for them and the neighbourhood the services of a Wesleyan 
minister. ' 

After all the fatigue and exposvire ia my journeyings in Gipps 
Land, the most trying and dangerous part was the return voyage to 
Melbourne. I had written to Mrs. Bickford that I expected to be at 
St. Ealda about 4 p.m., on the 31st, in time for the Sabbath services 
the next day. I went on board the Keera at 10 p.m., on the 30th, and 
we steamed away from Port Albert, with calm weather, and full of 
hope for a speedy voyage. But during the night we were met with 
a strong head-wind, which soon increased to a gale. To save our 
little struggling steamer, ourselves, and a valuable cargo, from de- 
struction. Captain Lapthorne put in at Western Port Bay, and took 
shelter under the lee of Rabbit Island. We were detained by the 
heavy weather in that position until the following Tuesday morning. 
During all this time we could have no communication with Melboui-ne, 
and the worst fears were felt for our safety. In our humble home 
at St. Kilda there were much distress and many tears ; and when at 
length I turned up on Tuesday evening, I met Mrs. Bickford so 
overcome as to be scarcely able to speak. At last she said, ' I had 
given up all hope of ever seeing you again.' I could see at a glance, 
by the disturbance of her usual placid countenance, how much agony 
of suspense she had suftered. 

Nov. lOth. — The District Meeting was commenced to-day: the 
Eev. D. J. Draper, Chairman; Ptev. John Harcourt, Secretary. I 
reported my visit to Gipps Land, and obtained a grant of .£150 to 
assist in estabhshing one minister at Port Albert, and another at 
Sale. Mr. Thomas Grove was unanimously recommended by the Dis- 
trict Meeting as a candidate for our ministry. Rev. E Jenkins, M.A.^ 



186 JAMES BICKFOIiD : AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

preached an able sermon in Wesley Church on the words, ' A servant 
of God.' The District Meeting accepted a series of resolutions which 
I submitted, on the appointment of a Committee of Pi-ivileges and 
the establishment of a Theological Institution. My official report 
on the day schools Avas well received. On the 17th, the sessions 
closed in the usual manner. In the afternoon of the same day, Sir 
Charles and Lady Darling opened the Bazaar for the new church at 
Prahran. They were both complacent and Kberal. Sia- Charles had 
intimately known the Rev. Jonathan Edmondson in Jamaica, and 
took much pleasure in speaking of him as ' My friend Edmondson.' 
On the 19th, Sir Charles took the chair at Wesley Church, when 
Dr. Jenkins gave his noble lecture on India. 

Nov. 30th. — Yesterday I preached in Ballarat in aid of our foreign 
missions. This evening, in the LycUard Street Church, the Rev. Samuel 
Waterhouse gave a most effective speech on Fiji. I never heard a 
better address on that interesting mission. The Rev. J. S. Waugh 
the Superintendent of the Cii'cuit, called an aggregate meeting of the 
local committees and day school teachers, that we might consult 
together on the still perplexing subject of Public Education. As the 
secretary of the general committee, I had much information to give 
the assembled brethren. On the motion of Mr. (now Dr.) Waugh, 
I was heartily thanked for my address. In the evening we had a 
fine missionary meeting at Barkly street, when Mr. Waterhouse and 
I were again the speakers. 

Dec. 2ith. — One of the dearest old men I have met with was Mr. 
Parr, of South Yarra. He was formerly a leading IMethodist in 
Manchester. Mr. Parr was a great help to the Prahran Church, and 
he was much loved both by ministers and people. His latest af- 
fliction was one of great acuteness. I went this day to administer 
the Lord's Supper to my dear friend. He was much blessed in his 
soul. He said that he felt the presence of Christ to be with him ; 
but that his distressing bodily weakness was as much as he could 
bear. He had no fear of death, and was assured that all would be 
well. On the 28th, we concluded the St. Kilda Church Anniversary. 
The result, in cash and pi'omises, was .£379 Is. 2d. 

At the Watch Night Service the Rev. C. Moir, M.A. (Presb}'terian), 
gave us a good and faithful exposition of God's Word. I concluded 
the service with an address and the accustomed solemnities. It was 
a profitable time. Piaised be Gcd for the mercies of another year ! 



AUSTRALIA. 187 



1864. 

As a sample of nearly every day's engagements at St. Kilda, I 
copy from my Diary for that day, January \st, the exact record : — 

' Bead Genesis i. ; 2 Chronicles i. ; and St. Matthew i. Received letters from 
Revs. J. B. Waterhonse and J. Watsford, S.A. The latter paid me £7 Ifi.f. for 
'• Minutes of Conference." Mr. Matthew Burnett called and conversed with me 
for two hours. Wrote upon Joshua xxiv. 15. Two ladies and seven children 
called, and threw us into all sorts of confusion before they left. Mr. John 
D — ^ from Scarsdale, called and sat more than an hour and a half in my 
study. Went to Mr. Burnett's, and baptized his child. Attended the Sunday 
School treat at Mount Erica, and distributed the prizes. Came home at 
10.30 p.m.' 

Where, it may be well asked, is the leisure to be got, in the face 
of such ever-recurrent engagements for pulpit preparation, pastoral 
visitation, and general reading, as the record of this day presents ? 
' Echo answers, Where % ' The Methodist Superintendent, in some 
positions, has to swim against wind and tide ! If he happen to be a 
prominent public man he is to be pitied. 

Jan. \1th. — The Rev. T. Buddie came from Auckland. He is to 
be our guest during the holding of the Confei-ence. I Avas occupied 
most of the day in preparing the forms for the Stationing Committee. 
I held the Quarterly Meeting in the evening. We had £40 in hand 
after paying all demands upon the Board. The membership had 
increased to 536, with 21 on trial. The Hon. A. Fraser and Mr. T. 
Nicol were appointed Circuit Stewards, and Mr. John Whitney as 
Secretary to the Quarterly Meeting. 

On the 13th, I went to Prahran to hold the local preachers' 
meeting. Our young brother, B. M. Hunter, preached on ' Justifi- 
cation by Faith ' (Bom. v. 1) much to the satisfaction of the brethren. 
The sermon was well thought out, exactly Wesleyan in its theology, 
and delivered with sober and convincing effect. The examination at 
the close was equally satisfactory, and Mr. Hunter was received by 
an unanimous vote as a fvdly accredited local preacher. 

Jan. ^Qth. — The Conference commenced to-day ; Bev. J. BuUer, 
President, and the Bev. J. S. Waugh, Secretary. An alteration was 
made in my appointment, as recommended by the District Meeting 
and Stationing Committee, so that instead of going to the Melbourne 
First Cii'cuit (Wesley Chm-ch), I was appointed to the Sydney Second 
Circuit (Chippendale); and the Bev. J. Egglestone, who was anxious 



188 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

to leave the Foreign Missionary Secretaryship, in Sydney, was ap- 
pointed in my stead to Wesley Church, the First Melbourne Circuit. 
Three important resolutions were passed at thLs Conference relative 
to the Jubilee of the Foreign Missionary Society in London. The 
first related to the establishment of a Central Theological Institution ; 
the second, to the commencement of a mission in New Guinea ; and 
the third, for the relief of burdened trusts and for the erection of new 
churches. A carefully worded resolution was made of the invalu- 
able services rendered to the Methodist Church by the Rev. William 
Taylor ; and also of the able services of the Rev. E. E. Jenkins. 

In the Conference Address we have a strong recommendation upon 
a much neglected duty amongst our congregations : — 

' Let Infant Baptism be much more with you than a form or a domestic 
festival. Let your efforts and prayers for the early conversion of your children 
be unceasing. Let there be a church in every house, and let a priestly sacred- 
ness elevate and guide parental relationship.' 

Mr. Taylor preached before the Conference on the subject of 
' Perfect Love.' The platform was full of senior ministers and 
Conference officials, and Wesley Church was crowded. When the 

hymn, 

' Ye who know your sins forgiven, 
And are happy in the Lord,' 

was sung, high notes of ' true believers ' rose higher still in pajans of 

praise to God. 

' On the soul of each believer, 
Let the Holy Ghost descend : 
He is coming : He is coming ! 
Glory — glory — to the Lamb !' 

was the beautiful climax to this Pentecostal service. On February 
A:th this glorious Conference closed. 

Feb. Wth. — A day of mournfulness caused by the early death of 
Master George Watson, through accident. I buried his dear remains 
in the St. Kilda Cemetery. It was a largely attended funeral. In 
the evening, I wrote a letter of condolence to my afflicted friend, 
Mrs. Watson, to comfort her concerning the loss of her son. This 
day I handed to Mr. Draper bank deposit receipts for £624 17s. ^d. 
for the new church at Prahran. The Rev. Francis Neale, my col- 
leagvie, should have the credit of getting most of this handsome 
amount. 



AUSTRALIA. 189 



March \st. — I went once more to Sandhurst, at the in\'itation of 
the Rev. George Daniel. After calling upon several of my foi-mer 
friends at California Hill and Eagle Hawk, Mr. Daniel and I went 
to the White Hills to attend a meeting for raising funds for building 
a new church : £100 and gratuitous labour, with some materials, 
were promised. It was a capital meeting, and the friends were glad 
to see me again. 

The next day Mr. Daniel and I drove out to Myrtle Creek, to see 
my brother George and his family. T baptized three of my brother's 
children, and spent a comfoitable time with them. We went to 
Golden Square in the evening, and spoke at the missionary meeting. 
Messi-s. Richards, Allingham, Lyle, and other brethren were glad to 
see me again. 

April Qfh. — The time had now come for us to say ' good-bye ' to 
St. Kilda. This evening the usual valedictory meeting was held ; 
and my old and faithful friend, the Hon. A. Fraser, presided. The 
speaking was confined to our own Circuit officials, whose words were 
kind and generous. My reply was short, but quite enough under 
the sorrowings of a ' farewell ' to so affectionate a people. I was 
presented with a massive inkstand of silver, and Mrs. Bickford with 
an elegant desk. The theological class presented me with a beautiful 
address, and a valuable book, with the names of the members 
inscribed. 

With this meeting was closed my official connection with this 
comfortable Circuit, and its many, many dear friends. 

New South Wales. 

We rose early and got ready for our voyage to Sydney. Arriving 
in Melbourne, we found Revs. Draper, Millard, Harcourt, Dare, 
Neale, and several other Methodist friends waiting to see us. We 
sailed at 1 p.m., in the Cit^/ of Adelaide, in charge of Captain Walker, 
an experienced commander in the company's service. We had many 
passengers. I had been so many years in Victoria, that it was no 
wonder that I felt svTch a sense of oppressive solitude as we steamed 
down Hobson's Bay. An itinerant ministry is scriptural ; but the 
wrench which it inflicts is hard to bear. It was particularly so in 
this case. 

We did not reach Sydney till the morning of the 10th, when we 
were met at the wharf by Mr. Charles Caldwell, who took us to his 



190 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

parents' home in Pitt Street. Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell gave us a 
genuine Irish welcome, and we had to remain with them until late 
in the week, when we took possession of our house in Cleveland 
Street. The day after our arrival I got all our luggage from the 
steamer, and had it conveyed to oui- new home. I preached my first 
sex'mon at Chippendale on the Tuesday evening, and held a leaders' 
meeting to nominate officers for the Sunday School Committee. It 
was a novel business to me. I found in existence a code of local 
rules for managing the schools of the circuit. 

The Cii'cuit of which I was now put in charge was small in extent. 
It had only five preaching places : — Chippendale, Hay Street, 
Bishopsgate Street, Toxteth, and Mt. Lachlan. But the population 
was large. Sydney (proper) had 59,719, and the suburbs 40,543. 
The births, for the first three months of the year, had been 1,864 ; 
and the deaths 681. My colleague, the Rev. Richard Sellors, had 
had his training in Richmond College, London, and was a young 
man of considerable promise. 

Being new to the Colony, I saw tliat my time and services would 
not be required for much Connexional work. I theiefore determined 
to be diligent in preaching and pastoral work, in helping the Sunday 
schools, forming a theological class for young men, and Bible classes 
for the elder pupils of day and Sunday schools. Bands of Hope and 
other Temperance work. By proceeding upon a given plan, as to 
every day's work, I saw that I would be able to resume a class of 
studies which for many years had been impossible in my busy 
Victorian life. I cast myself upon the Lord for His grace and help 
in respect to each and all these several departments of ministerial 
duty. 

I was comforted in the behef that the day school question would 
not be a trouble to me as it had been for many years in Victoria ; 
but the Sunday school institution I saw was bound to be, because of 
the constitution under which they were worked. The first of a series 
of disputes came up on the 15th, being only five days after my arrival 
in the Circuit. I had to meet the General Committee for the election 
and appointment of the Sunday school officials in the Circuit. It 
was a spirited affair. But the trouble specially arose from the fact 
that this committee was a ' Court of Appeal ' and a case of long 
standing from Bishopsgate Street had to be heard. We sat until 
a late hour, when it was agreed that I should hear the parties 



AUSTBALIA. 191 



implicated at Bishopsgate Street itself on tbe following Monday- 
evening. By changing the venue, and limiting the court to the 
smallest number, I hoped to curtail any spread of bad feeling 
throughovTt the Circuit. This object was happily secured; for 
at the adjourned meeting the whole matter was satisfactorily 
arranged. 

The Aliens, at Toxteth, were very influential in religious circles in 
Sydney. The Hon. G. Allen, M.L.C., and Mrs. Allen, were specially 
the friends of Wesleyan ministers ; Mrs. Allen was, as a child, a 
member of the first Methodist class, formed in 1815, in Sydney. 
From that period, during all the intervening years, she had been a 
true Methodist and a devout follower of Christ. Mrs. George W. 
Allen and Miss Allen were also members. On Saturday evenings 
there were select gatherings of clergymen of all denominations, and 
godly ladies and gentlemen, who met there for religious intercourse. 
I attended one of these ' socials ' on the evening of the 24th, and 
spent a few hours very agreeably. The whole Allen family laid 
themselves out for promoting the ease, comfort, and profit of the 
visitors. 

On the 25th, I attended the Financial District Meeting, the Rev. 
S. Rabone presiding. On the 26th, I went to the City Cemetery to 
see the grave of the missionary Spinney. I knew him as a young 
man, resident in the parish of Lodthswell, Devon, before he entered 
the ministry. At that time he was a stalwart man capable of much 
physical exertion. But he died in Sydney of consumption after all. 
His career in Fiji was short, but it was eminently useful. I also 
went to Darlinghurst Gaol to have an interview with Frank 
Gardiner, the notorious ' bushman ' and highway robber. The 
jury had acquitted him of the capital charge. I saw John Vane 
privately, and talked and prayed w-ith him. Misguided young man ! 
His sentence was fifteen years with hard labour. I promised him a 
Bible. 

May lltli. — -I went over to Toxteth to meet the class. We met 
alw^ays in the ' chapel of ease ' the Hon. G. Allen had built, and in 
which he officiated on Sunday mornings ; ordained ministers (Wes- 
leyan and others) officiated on Sunday evenings. Mrs. Allen took 
me to see two afflicted sisters, tenants on the property. I called 
afterwards upon Mrs. Boxell and Mrs. Sprod. I gave the lord's 
Supper to old Mrs. Gillard. I began the theological class this 



192 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

evening : thi'ee came. Mi", and Mrs. Springthorpe, formerly of 
St. Kilda, and Mrs. Flashman, formerly of Modbury, Devon, came 
and spent a couple of hours with us this evening. We had a 
profitable conversation. 

June 5th. — We held a Circuit tea meeting to raise money for 
putting the parsonage in order, and for furniture: £95 was the 
result. 

June 10th. — Five came to the theological class this evening. I 
expect much pleasure and profit from this weekly exercise. My 
papers are based on Richard Watson's ' Institutes,' because there 
are none better. I read to-day the Rev. Thomas Smith's Life by 
himself. I do not wonder, but am grateful, that the Bishop of 
Sydney suppressed this publication. Smith was a ' brand plucked 
from the burning.' 

June nth. — I met the Bible class for the first time; thirty were 
present. 

June 25th. — This morning I went to Toxteth (Hon. G. Allen's) to 
join several friends in meeting the Rev. William Taylor (alias 
' Californian Taylor '), with whom I was greatly pleased. He seems 
full of the Spirit of God. 

Jutie 28th. — Mr. Taylor came as our guest during the time he will 
be working at Chippendale. The leaders met him in my study, for 
counsel and prayer relative to the revivalistic services to be held in 
our Circuit. Mr. Taylor appeared to great advantage as he unfolded 
his plan of working, and sought the co-operation of the brethren. He 
speaks as a ' master in Israel ' only could speak on the winning of 
souls for Christ. 

Jubj ith. — Mr. Taylor preached from the words : ' Do ye now 
believe?' The church was crowded, and thirty penitents found peace 
with God. 

July 5th. — Mr. Taylor preached famously this evening, and the 
names of twenty-eight seekers were taken down. Mr. White and 
Mr. McCoy, senior, were brought to God at this service. 

Jul)/ 1th. — Mr. Taylor gave us a forceful and impressive sermon 
on 'Christian Perfection.' We made this evening a collection of 
<£18 17s. for the 'Church Extension Society,' whose object is to 
spread the blessings of the Gospel throughout the colony. 

July 8th. — Mr. Taylor and I went to Darlinghurst Gaol to hear 
the trial of Frank Gardiner. The court was crowded in every part. 



AUSTRALIA. 193 



We were accommodated with chairs by the side of the Chief Justice, 
and could watch the proceedings with effect. In addition to the 
apparent indifference of the prisoner, there was a levity of manner 
in the court, which, if not expressive of actual sympathy with 
Gardiner, was highly unbecoming. It looked much like an endorse- 
ment of crime. We did not stay to the end of the trial. In the 
evening j\Ir. Taylor preached again, and with ' great power.' We 
have good reason to believe that, at least, one hundred and eighty 
souls have been savingly benefited by Mr. Taylor's labours in this 
Circuit. 

July \^th. — I held my first Quarterly Meeting. There were 
twenty-one brethren present. The finances had greatly sprung. 
The meeting, by unanimous votes, fixed the Superintendent's salary 
at =£275, and the second minister's at .£160 per annum. All things 
considered, these allowances were equal to those paid in Victoria. 

July 20th. — I went to the recognition services of the Rev. John 
Graham, Pitt Street Congregational Church. There were twenty- 
five ministei's present, and a ' full house.' It was a very fine time. 

The Rev. Samuel Leigh landed in Sydney on August 10th, 1815. 
Hence this is the jubilee year of the mission of our church in 
Australia. Mr. Leigh landed from the ship with a heart full of 
peace and hope and gratitude. He said, in his first 1 'ter to the 
London Committee : — • 

' The signal is up for our arrival in sight, and the wind is more favourable for 
us. It is 12 o'clock, and we are now in sight of the cove and town. Sydney 
has a good appearance from our situation. Its first view exceeds my expectation. 
At 3 o'clock I landed at the King's Wharf, from which place I was conducted 
to Mr. Bowden's, in good health, and in the enjoyment of peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Surely goodness and mercy have followed 
me all the voyage, and it is of the Lord that I am brought unto my desired 
haven. What shall I render unto Thee, the King of Saints ? May all the days 
of my life be devoted to Thee ! ' 

Such was the spirit of full consecration to God, and dependence 
upon the care and love of His providence, in which this pioneer 
missionary of the Cross entered upon his great work in thia 
Australian continent. 

July 2Qth. — My daily routine work is now fully within my grasp. 
As a specimen, I give the Diary's record for this day : — 

' Did a good Hebrew and Latin exercise. Visited Mrs. Clissold (a confirmed 
invalid), Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Hayden, Mrs. Oliver, Mrs. Swinball, 

13 



194 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

and Mrs. Wearne. Went to Bishopsgate Street and preached ; returning, 1 
heard more than half of the Rev. Thomas Smith's lecture on " Ups and Downs." 
Mr. Buckland and I sat together, and heard the reverend lecturer with great 
pain. It was a performance worthy of an ecclesiastical buffoon rather than of an 
Anglican clergyman. Read Stevens's '■ History of Methodism " until 11 o'clock, 
I wrote notes of invitation to several persons to become members of the 
"Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association " which we had established 
at Chippendale.' 

The Eev. William Taylor began a series of services at Hyde Pai-k 
on the evening of the 28th, for the spiritual benefit of the unsaved 
multitudes. We had a platform erected, and gas laid on, and other 
conveniences. We adjourned to York Street Church, for gathering 
vip the results. 

Julij ^\st. — This morning the Eevs. W. Taylor, S. Rabone, 
W. Moore, and J. Dunn, who had just come up from Fiji, and 
myself, also Messrs. Wearne and Ducker, went to see the Mint. 
We saw the whole process of coining from the beginning, and 
handled sovereigns then and thei-e minted. I then went to see the 
John Wesleu, and was pleased to find the good ship which had done 
such valuable service in the South Seas. In the evening I went 
with Mr. Taylor to the Hyde Park and York Street sei-vices. 

Sept. 5th. — Following up Mr, Taylor's convincing lecture upon 
' Total Abstinence ' last week, at St. Bamabas's (Anglican), we 
formed at Chippendale this evening a society, when twenty-eight 
gave in their names to be members. We appointed Mr. Richard 
McCoy secretary, and Mr. Dorsett treasurer. 

Sept. 8th. — Mrs. Bickford and I went to Newington College to see 
the Rev. Mr. Manton, the Principal. We found him very ill. He 
was trusting in the blood of Christ for final salvation. He quoted 
with a full confidence the words : ' Yea, though I walk through the 
valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for Thou art with 
me ; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.' I prayed with him, and 
commended him to the faithful and merciful God. In the evening 
I heard young Robert Johnston preach, who did well. This is the 
first-fruits of our Theological Class. 

Sept, 10th. — We buried the remains of dear Mr. Manton to-day in 
the Paramatta Cemetery. His last words were — ' Saved at last ! ' 
He was the founder of the College, and in his removal we have 
suffered a great loss. 

Se2}t. \2th. — I wrote this day to the Hon. Dr. Wilson, Com- 



AUSTRALIA. 195 



missioner of Lands, setting forth the great need there was at 
Chippendale of a larger church site for our congregations and 
schools , and requesting that the Government would make us the 
necessary grant of an unoccupied piece near our property. 

Nov. 3rd. — The District Meeting was begun to-day ; the Rev. S. 
Eabone, Chairman ; the Rev. C. W. Rigg, Secretary. At this meet- 
ing we carefully considered the plan for creating Colonial Annual 
Conferences. We also inaugurated the Jubilee movement by a 
largely attended breakfast meeting, a love-feast, and a glorious 
assemblage in the evening. The Hon. G. Allen, M. L. C, presided. 
Most interesting reminiscences of the early ministers and the work 
were given by the Rev. Ralph Mansfield, who, himself, was the 
fourth Wesleyan minister the British Conference sent to New 
South Wales, and arrived in Sydney in 1820. Mr. Robert Iredale 
and I were appointed treasvirers, and Mr. C. W. Rigg, secretary. 
The giving was most liberal. It was a glorious day for New South 
Wales INlethodism. 

Dec. lltli. — Our new church at the Glebe was opened for Divine 
worship to day. The next day at the tea 500 persons were 
present, and at the after meeting the building was crowded. We 
i-aised by these services £171 4s. lOfZ. On the 14th I breakfasted 
at the Rev. Dr. Steele's. The Revs. J. Graham, Adam Thompson, 
and J. Yoller were there also. We agreed upon a plan for united 
religious services during the fii-st week in January. On the 17 th I 
buried the remains of our late afflicted brother, David Moon, in the 
same grave as had been laid those of his good father, Jesse Moon, 
some years ago. On my pronouncing the Benediction, an old friendl 
of the family, looking into the grave where father and son were now- 
sleeping in death, said, audibly, and with much emotion: 'The 
prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.' It was a unique 
expression, and touched many hearts. 

Dec. 29t/i. — ^Mrs. Bickford read the usual Lessons, and SutcHfie's 
Commentary, in consequence of my being very poorly. Indeed, I 
am quite run down with labours of Circuit and Connexional cares. 
My good friend, Dr. O'Reilly, came and prescribed for me. 



1865. 



New year's Sabbath I preached twice on the subject of 'The 
Barren Fig Tree.' I hope it was a good beginning of the year. 



196 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

The next day the Young Ladies' Bible Class held a ' Social,' at which 
sixty members were present. I was presented with a beautiful 
inkstand and address in token of their gratitude. 

Jan. \^th. — The Conference was opened to-day; the Rev. 
J. S. Waugh, President, and the Rev. H. H. Gaud, Secretary. I 
was requested to report the business of the Conference for the Daily 
Press. Our old friend, Mr. Binks, was our guest. On the 27th I 
went to the Land Office, and saw the word ' Approved ' written on 
the margin of the official record of the grant of the new site at 
Chippendale. We had now full scope for a complete church 
establishment. 

The Eev. D. J. Draper obtained from this Conference a year's leave 
of absence for visiting England. He had rendered good service to our 
Church for more than thirty years in New South Wales, South 
Australia, and Victoria, and deserved his holiday. His fine character 
and devoted labours well merited the complimentary notice in re- 
ference to him. On the 11th Mr. Draper called to bid us good-bye. 
My prayer is that he and Mrs. Draper may have a pleasant voyage 
to the dear old country, and a safe return, at the time appointed, to 
Australia. 

There is a way for making up to our invalid members the loss they 
suffer from deprivation of the means of grace. I found that on 
entering upon the duties of this Circuit, my predecessor, the Rev. 
S. Rabone, had paid almost a daily visit to one of God's dearest 
children, Mrs. Clissold. This obligation I inherited and fulfilled. 
But our sister wanted something more than the simple pastoral visit ; 
she wanted the fellowship and worship combined, with the Lord's 
Supper also. The first of the kind I arranged for. There was 
a gathering of ' elect sisters ' in her room. The service was a 
miniature one of those held in the church hard by. At the close, 
Mrs. Clissold said 'the service had been precious to her soul.' 

March 2nd. — The Crown Surveyor laid out our grant of land at 
Chippendale this morning ; so that we are now in legal possession, 
and the way is cleared for commencing the erection of our new 
church. It is to cost about .£4,500. 

March 2>lst. — We held our Quarterly Fast by a prayer meeting 
at 7 a.m., and another at noon. The latter was a season of deep 
and earnest supplication ; especially for the prosperity of the 
Circuit. 



AUSTRALIA. 197 



April oth. — I examined the Chippendale Day School to-day. 
Messrs. Joseph Wearne and T. Reeve were present, members of the 
Local Board. There were 145 pupils in the classes. Mr. and Mrs 
Burrows are doing well in this school. 

On the 8th, I prepared five sheets of catechetical lessons foi- the 
public examination at Easter. On the 18th, I attended a vale- 
dictory meeting for the Revs. W. Moore, J. E. Moulton, and J. 
Rooney. On the 20th the Johti Wesley sailed for the South Seas 
with these valued brethren and their wives. There were many 
friends to see them off. We wished them ' good-bye ' near the 
' Heads.' On the 27th I was present at a committee meeting of 
Newington College. There was a large attendance of gentlemen, 
and, amongst other important matters of business, it was agreed 
that my nephew, Edmund Sorrel Bickford, who was daily expected 
from the Westminster Training College, should be employed as Fourth 
Master if deemed eligible by Mr. President Fletcher. 

I heard this afternoon that the notorious Ben Hall, bui'glar and 
murderer, had been killed. ' Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man 
shall his blood be shed.' 

May Gth. — This is my forty- ninth birthday. The Lord has been 
forbearing and gracious during the past year to me. 

May 8th. — Being in the city I learnt that the Bora was inside the 
' Heads.' I hired a boat, and went down our beautiful harbour to 
meet the good ship with my nephew on board. I saw him on the 
quarter deck, and instinctively i-ecognised him. ' Surely blood is 
thicker than water.' He had grown during the eleven years which 
had elapsed since we parted at Kingsbridge in 1854, to be a full 
man. We hastened to the parsonage in Cleveland Street, where his 
aunt was impatiently awaiting his arrival. 

This is my Diary jotting for May 11th : — 

' Went to Newingtoa with my nephew, E. S. Bickford, to introduce him to 
the Rev. J. H. Fletcher, the President, and Mr. Thomas Johnston, the Head 
Master. They conversed with him on various subjects embraced in college 
work, and were pleased with him. He is to enter upon his new duties on 
May 15th.' 

On the 26th I went by steamer to the Hunter River. I left the 
wharf at 11 p.m., and reached Newcastle the next morning. I spent 
the day ^vith Mrs. Creed, visited several families, and in the evening 
spoke at the missionary meeting ; Mr. Daniel, brother of Rev. George 



198 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Daniel, presided. On the 27th I went on to Maitland, and was the 
guest of Mr. and Mrs. Owen. I found that the visit of the Rev. 
WiUiam Taylor had been a great blessing in the town and district. 
After preaclung on the Sabbath, and attending three meetings, I 
returned to Sydney. 

June nth. — Mr. James Hooke, formerly a schoolmate of mine at 
Ivybridge, Devon, called to see me. We much loved each other as 
youths. How strange that we should meet again after more than 
thirty years of non-intercourse or knowledge of each other's whei'e- 
abouts ! It is very surprising that we could so easily Ijridge over the 
incidents which had filled those thirty years. 

June 24:th. — Sad news from America ! President Lincoln has been 
assassinated. A great man has fallen, and the whole world mourns 
the loss. 

On the 29th I pi'epared a statement of the Rev. W. Taylor's Sydney 
financial affairs; after which I attended a committee of ministers 
and laymen, for considering how we should fittingly recognise the 
soul-saving labours which he had rendered to the congregations 
and people of Sydney and neighbourhood. We agreed to hold a 
public meeting, and present an address and a purse. W^e cannot do 
too much for this great and much honoured servant of God. 

July 3rd. — My nephew, E. S. B., is beginning to evidence a pre- 
ference for preaching to teaching at the College. I therefore 
requested him to prepare a manuscript sermon, and read it to me. 
The first of the kind he read this evening. It was in the rough, but 
I liked both its theology and diction. 

On the 4th we held our Quartei'ly Meeting. We had a good 
increase of membership, and a balance in hand of £4:2. 

July Wth. — The Rev. W. Taylor sailed to-day. He has done a 
good work for his Master in New South Wales. May God be with 
him ! 

Sept. IWi. — After many delays and annoyances in arranging for 
the erection of our Chippendale Church, the Building Committee this 
evening resolved to return to its original intention of spending about 
£5,000 for the buUding. To accomplish this object we had to get 
an entirely new set of plans and specifications. What a plagiie 
architects sometimes are to trustees and committees ! In this 
particular case we were much tried. The lowest tender for the 
first plans was £6,700, whereas our instructions were for a building 



AUSTRALIA. 199 



to cost £5,000 at the farthest. At length we accepted a tender at 
our own figure, and the work proceeded. 

July I8th. — English telegram: 'Old Pam is still in the ascendent.' 
In the evening I attended an ' Ordination Service,' when the Rev. J. 
S. Austin was solemnly set apart as a missionary to the Navigator 
Islands. The veteran Rev. James Calvert gave the charge. It was 
a season of blessing. 

Oct. 5th. — Held the Quarterly Meeting. The increase of members 
was 106, and the credit balance was =£45. Mr. Robert Johnston 
was recommended for the Ministry. 

Oct. 22nd. — I preached at Wollongong in aid of the ' Church 
Sustentation Society.' The next morning the Rev. George Hurst 
and I went to the American Creek to inspect the Kerosene Works. 
We went into the mine, conducted by Mr. John Graham, one of the 
proprietors. It was a wonderful deposit. The works, now in course 
of erection, will cost ^2,500. On the 25th Mr. Hurst and I went 
up to Mount Keira to see the coalmine. We literally ' went into 
the mountain,' guarded from danger by the standing walls of coal 
which sustain the superincumbent weight. Layers of purest coal, 
six or eight feet in depth, stood across our track, in the front of 
which were men with their picks and shovels working at the lowest 
part, when all that had been affected by the strokes came tumbling 
down. Tramways were laid all along the mine for conveying the 
coal to the mouth, where it was shot into a connecting shoot, and 
whisked along to the vessel lying more than a mile off at the 
Wollongong Wharf. The New South Wales coal-beds are the 
marvel of scientific men, and are rather different in their form 
from those found m the North of England. I attended meetings at 
Wollongong, Bulli, and Mount Keira. On the 26th I left by the 
steamer Hunter, and reached Sydney on the evening of the same 
day. 

N'ov. 1th. — The District Meeting was begun to-day. On the 
evening of the 8th I preached the official sermon in York Street 
Church. We took the Lord's Supper at the close of the service. 
We had an increase of 480 members, with 299 on trial. We had 
four candidates, two of whom passed. Messrs. Manning, Sellars, 
Wiles, and Gillmore were examined by Mr. Fletcher, and were 
ultimately recommended to be taken into full connexion at the 
ensuing Conference. The Rev. William Curnow was elected 



200 JAMES JilCKFORD: A\ AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Representative. Tha sittings were closed on the 16th. On the 
1 8th Mrs. Taylor and her three sons arrived from San Francisco ; 
I went to Dr. MofFatt's to see them, and sent a telegram to 
Mr. Taylor, then at Willunga, South Australia, to come to Sydney 
forthwith. 

Dec. 4:th. — Went to Parramatta to attend the Missionary Meeting. 
This place is full of old Methodist families. I visited the Oakeses, 
Watkinses, Byrneses, Martins, and Bowdens. 

Dec. I6th. — English telegram : ' Lord Palmerston is dead.' Irish 
hy birth, and English by sympathy, he served his country well, and 
upheld the honour of England in every Cabinet and Court in 
Europe. Finished another article for the Advocate. Subject, 
' Public Morals.' 

Dec. 30th. — This year has been one of mercy and blessing. 

1866. 

Jan. 1st. — We had an auspicious beginning of the new year. 
Mrs. George Wigram Allen laid the memorial stone of the new 
church at Chippendale. We called it ' Wesley Church,' in honour 
of our founder, and to indicate to the public its character and claims. 
The ceremony passed off with much eclat. About £370 was then 
subscribed for the new building. The next day I called on Sir 
John Young, the Governor, and asked him for a subscription for our 
new chui-ch. It was amusing to hear him say that it was a principle 
with him to give to nothing that was local ; and that, if he were to 
give anything to me, he would violate his principle and be besieged 
for every enterprise in the city. I could not but contrast Sir John's 
conduct, in this case, with that of Sir Henry Barkly in Victoria. 
On my way back fi'om the 'domain' I called on Mr. George 
Wigram Allen, and told him of my disappointment. He spoke 
encouragingly to me to persevere in my efforts, and promised me 
£50 as a subscription. 

Jan. 1th. — Rev. Jabez Bunting Waterhouse preached an admir- 
able sermon at Chippendale. The Covenant Service was especially 
good. ' My God, I am thine ! save and and keep me ! ' 

Jan. 8th. — I attended an executive committee meeting for missions. 
Captain Walsh explained to us the circumstances of the wreck of 
the John Wesley. He stood by the wheel to the last minute, and 




RMV?* bam::i]sx. J', Ijdmafem., 



PRESIDENl' OF THE AUSIRMu^SIAN COHFEREFCE 1859 . 



AUSTRALIA. 201 



when she began to break up, he sorrowfully exclaimed ' Poor Johnny ! ' 
We pitied the Captain very much. 

Jan. 9th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting, which was well attended. 
We had in hand =£56, after paying all demands. The appointments 
for the year were : Superintendent, Rev. James Bickford ; second 
preacher. Rev. Henry Gaud. This arrangement was to be forwarded 
to Conference by Mr. Joseph Wearne, senior Steward. 

Ja7i. 28tJt. — I received a letter from the Hon. Alexander 
Macarthur, London, promising me =£50 towards Wesley Church, 
Chippendale. 

Feb. 5th. — The Station Sheet came to hand. We are to go to 
Geelong in Victoria. If this be the will of God, then it will be all 
well. There is strong feeling in the Circuit about this change. 

Feb. 14:th. — I had a long conversation with the Rev. Stephen 
Rabone on the subject of my removal from the Circuit. He told 
me that Mr. Gaud moved in the Stationing Committee that my 
name should stand for the Goulburn Circuit. My appointment to 
Geelong was an after consideration, and arose out of the pressure of 
Sydney First for Mr. Draper. 

Feb. 2'2nd. — To day I received a kind letter from Messrs. James 
Wood and T. B. Hunt, Circuit Stewards of the Geelong Circuit, and 
enquiring as to the time of our probable arrival. 

March 5th. — Sydney is full of the wildest excitement to-day. 
Mr, and Mrs. Draper, Dr. Woolley, and between two and three 
hundred persons had been drowned in the Bay of Biscay, through 
the foundering of the steamship Londo7i, on Friday, January 5th. 
W^e were struck dumb at the crushing forcefulness of the blow. All 
Sydney clothed itself in mourning. 

March 19th. — I attended a meeting of Sydney ministers, to provide 
a Superintendent of the York Street Circuit in the place of the 
lamented Mr. Draper. We agreed that the Rev. William Kelynack, 
the second preacher, should take charge. 

March 21st. — I paid Mr. Rabone ,£251 8s. 6cl., being the con- 
tributions of the Sydney Second Circuit to the Foreign Missions 
for 1865. It was a noble contribution from a generous-hearted 
people. 

March 24:th. — At the earnest request of Messrs. Rabone and 
Chapman, I preached in York Street Church a funeral sermon for the 
late Mr. Draper. There was a large and sympathetic congregation. 



202 JAMES BICKFOBB: A:S AUTO BIO GBAPIIY. 

I took as my text, Acts xx. 24, thinking St. Paul's great 
courage as an Apostle of Christ was typical, in many resj^ects, of 
Mr. Draper's loving sacrifices and blessed toil for more than thirty 
years in Australia. And his conduct at the last momentous hour of 
his life, in that ill-fated ship, was worthy of Paul himself in the 
presence of his cruel martyrdom. Mr. Draper forgot himself in bis 
last efforts to save the souls of his fellow-passengers. So died 
Daniel James Draper. 

March 26</i. — A valedictory service was held at Chippendale for 
Mrs. Bickford and myself, this evening. A dear friend, Mr. Alder- 
man Murphy, who was brought in under Mr. Taylor's preaching at 
York Street, presided. Mr. Richard McCoy, another dear friend, 
presented me with a beautiful timepiece, suitably inscribed, as a 
memento of the true esteem and affection of our people. My heart 
was indeed sad at parting from my many loving and attached 
friends. 

March 11th. — 1 held my last Quarterly Meeting. The member- 
ship had risen to 428. Balance in hands of stewards £81. A 
resolution, in which grateful mention was made of my two years' 
labour, and wishing Mrs. Bickford and myself every blessing from 
the Heavenly Father in our future Circuits, was unanimously passed, 
and duly signed by Joseph Wearne and Thomas P. Pieeve, Circuit 
Stewards. 

On the 28th we set apart another missionary for the South Seas. 
The service was held in York Street Cliui-ch. At the request of the 
Chairman of the District, I dehvered the charge, based upon the 
words of St. Paul : ' I speak concerning Christ and the Church.' 

April '2nd. — I attended the Sunday School Anniversary at the 
Glebe. There was a good attendance, and an excellent meeting. 
At its close, Mrs. Bickford and I went on to Toxteth Park, and 
spent the night in the Christian home of the Hon. G. and Mrs. Allen. 
The next morning we called upon Mrs. G. W. Allen, Mrs. McAfee, 
Mrs. Lewis Moore, an^ other friends. 

The Diary jotting for April ith is as follows ; — 

' Left Sydney to-day for Geelong, Victoria. Mr. Murphy most kindly drove 
us to the wharf. Many dear friends were there to see its off and to say good- 
bye. We passed through the "Heads," and proceeded at a moderate rate 
towards Hobson's Bay, Victoria.' 

More than twenty-three years have elapsed since the recuiience of 



AUSTRALIA. 203 



the events just recorded. My forcible removal from Sydney, at the 
end of a two years' term of sei-vice, has in it an element of mystery 
I have never been able to grasp. It had been our intention, after 
spending a few more years in the Ministi-y, quietly to have settled 
down in a supernumerary position in one of the city suburbs, and 
there have ended our days. But, without our concurrence, or know- 
ledge, until the Station Sheet came to hand, we were sent back to 
Victoria, there to begin a second term of itinerancy amongst old 
and new friends. Did God so appoint ? The experiences of the next 
seven years must answer this question ! 

Arriving at Sandridge Pier, about noon on April 1th, we had the 
pleasure of meeting our brother, Mr. Nicholas Moysey Bickford, 
James Arscot Bickford, and Annie Bickfoi'd, and Mr. Thomas Wills, 
who were there to receive us. We went straight to the Grown 
Lands Office, and found my dear aged mother, Mrs. Bickford, and 
a group of children, all in good health.' 

Geelong. 

We spent three days in Melbourne in visiting our former friends. 
How we seemed to bridge easily over the chasm of a two years' 
absence from them! On the 11th, we started for Geelong, and 
arrived in due course at the station. The Rev. J. W. Simpson and 
the Cii'cuit officials were awaiting our arrival. We quickly pi'o- 
ceeded to the parsonage in Yarra Street, where Mesdames Crombie, 
Brown, Hunt, and Messrs. Wood, Hunt, Balding, and Hitchcock 
were to present us to our new home. Messrs. Crisp and Simpson 
conversed with me on several Circuit matters which required imme- 
diate attention. In the evening I preached at Newtown, and had a 
nice company to join with me in a quasi-vecognition service. 

It is a singular coincidence, that the very Circuit, of which I often 
thovight before leaving England as that one I would like some day to 
be in charge, was this very Geelong Circuit. I seemed to have been 
drawn to it ; and now that I was really there, I i-esolved, by the help 
of God, to do my ' level best ' for its prosperity. There were several 
families at that time in Geelong for whom I had for long felt 
affection and respect, and I was naturally desirous for closer ac- 
quaintance with them than was possible during the time I was 
itinerating on the Victorian Goldfields. I will name only a few of 



204 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

those whom I found in Geelong, but who have since gone to theii" 
rest in heaven ! The Hon. John and Mrs. Lowe, Mr. and Mrs. 
Thomas Forster, Mr. and Mrs. Rix, Mr. and Mrs. George Wright, 
Mr. W. Thacker, Miss Quinan, Mrs. Sihis Harding, Mrs. Mowbray, 
Mr. Burrows, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis, Mr. Gayhird, and Mr. Wyatt, 
To be associated with such a company of good and holy men and 
women as I found in this Cii-cuit was to me a great privilege. 
Indeed, the Geelong Cii'cuit as it was twenty-five years ago was one 
of the most coveted prizes in the gift of the Conference any minister 
could receive at its hands. 

In geographical extent the Geelong Circuit came next to the 
Ballarat Circuit. It extended from Murgheboluc to Kensington, 
and from the Duck Ponds to Jan Juc. The town of Geelong was 
the base of operations for overtaking the work in this large area. 
There was a settledness and strength in the Circuit which made me 
feel that, if we were not prospA'ous, the fault would certainly be our 
own. The routine woi-k woidd not be troublesome if dealt with in 
a systematic and vigorous manner. A judicious administration, 
with the Divine blessing, would, I felt assured, be crowned with 
success. 

Ajn'il 15th. — This was my first Sabbath. I preached at Chilwell 
and Yarra Street. God gave me this very day the ear and heart of 
the people. 

On the 23rd it was notified to me, by the Seci-etary of the Board of 
Education, that I had been appointed ' Corresponding Secretaiy ' 
for the Yarra Street and other schools in connection with the Board. 
I was called late this evening to see a very old minister, a Mr. 
Higgins, at Newtown. He died while I was commending him to 
God in prayer. Lectui-es, Bible classes, preaching and pastoral work 
occupied the remainder of this month. 

May Qth. — This day I am fifty years old. God be praised for all 
His mercies to me and mine ! 

Mai/ IQth. — I accompanied Messrs. James Oddie and Joseph A. 
Doane to Melbourne, to interview the Commissionei' of Lands, Mr. 
Grant, about the Lydiard Church Reserve in Ballarat. In his 
absence we saw Mr. Ligar, the oflicial head of the Department, and 
Mr. Brough Smyth, the head of the Mining Department. We laid 
the whole matter before these gentlemen, and then went to the Book 
Depot in Lonsdale Street, to prepare the required document to be 



A USTRALIA. 205 



laid before the Government. This being done, we all tliree signed it 
on behalf of the trustees and congregation concerned. 

Jime 2nd. — I accepted the position of President of the Geelong 
Temperance Society, in the hope of acquiring increased influence in 
dealing with questions affecting the sobriety of the people. Mr. 
Benjamin Short, from Sydney, called on me. He is an intei-esting, 
well-informed, and godly man. Matthew Maddern, a young man 
who seeks to enter our Ministry, preached a quasi-trial sermon to- 
night, and did very well. 

June ISth. — I read John Bright 's famous speech on the 'Exten- 
sion of the Franchise in England.' I read other great speeches 
also. England's future strength, as time must show, lies in that 
direction. 

June 23i'd. — I went to Ballai-at to the Lydiard Street Church 
Anniversary. We had a successful time. In connection with the 
Monday evening meeting was inaugurated a fund for the erection of 
a new church. 

I returned to Geelong on the 26th, and went straightway to the 
anniversary at Newtown. The Revs. D. Annear and S. Knight gave 
excellent addresses. We raised about X60. 

June 28th. — I went to Drysdale, to hold the Quarterly Meeting. 
We had a good attendance, and a fine spirit was manifested. I 
returned to Geelong in time to hear young Henry Moore preach ; 
his text was : ' Beloved, now are we the sons of God.' It was a 
creditable effort. 

June 2dth. — I examined the Yarra Street Day School, and was 
pleased with the result, 

Juhj Srd. — The Newtown School 1 examined to-day. In the 
evening Mr. Simpson and I went to Chilwell, to the Annual Meeting 
of the Yoitng Men's Mutvial Improvement Society. It was a grand 
affair and a great success. 

July 5th. — I held my first Quarterly Meeting. Messrs. Crisp and 
Simpson were present. The brethren Avere in excellent spirits and 
the business was soon disposed of. In the evening I preached from 
Rom. i, 16, when there was a gracious influence of the Divine Spirit 
resting upon the people for their good. The brethi-en from the 
country would return to their respective societies all the better for 
their duties by this baptism of grace and love. 

Jidy dth. — Special services at Yarra Street all this week. I 



206 JAMES BICKVOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

preached every evening except Satiird.ay, when we had a ' testi- 
mony ' meeting. The apparent results were small, but much good 
was done in the quickening of the Church, and in enlisting the 
sympathies of our people with their ministers in carrying on the 
Lord's work. 

July 2\st. — I went to Portarlington to open the new Church. 
Mr. and Mrs. Widdicombe gave me a hearty Christian welcome 
We raised £87 at the services. 

July '2ith. — I went to the Hospital to make Brother Scholes's 
will, who is dangerously ill. We prayed earnestly to God foi- the 
prolongation of his life. 

July 11th. — This evening I met in a theological class the young 
brethi-en, Moore, Maddern, Legge, and Bonner. Our subject was 
the ' Trinity of Persons in One Godhead.' 

July 2St/i. — I have been quite poorly to-day from too much 
work and worry. Thank God for the success which has attended 
the special services at Newtown. Several seekers have found 
salvation. 

July 30t/t. — I attended a meeting of gentlemen at the Hospital, 
to arrange for collecting subscriptions for erecting the new building, 
as the accommodation was inadequate for the needs of the district. 

July 31st. — I read to-day Disraeli's speech on the new Reform 
Bill, England has still her great men : Gladstone, Bright, Deiby 
Disraeli, etc. The Constitution is so safe in the hands of such men, 
that the electoral franchise may be extended to millions of men 
who are at pi-esent disfranchised. And what for ? This is the 
question that stares the English nation in the face and demands 
a reply. 

Aug. 1st. — I went to Kensington and visited ten families. 
Preached in the evening to a full congregation as the result of 
pastoral attention. Baptized a child and gave the Lord's Supper. 

Aug. 2n(l. — Mr. Scholes died to-day. I am sorely afflicted at 
this loss. May the Lord comfort the widow and her five orphaned 
childi-en. 

Aug. Qtli. — Mr. Currie (squatter) and I, to-day, finished our 
collecting for the Hospital new building. We got, in small sums, 
■£20, chieriy from the mechanic classes. I read Taylor's book, ' How 
to be saved,' this evening That is the great problem we are now 
trying in connection with our special religious services. 



A USTRALIA. 207 



Auy. l^th. — We have collected in all £560 towards the Hospital. 
We did not meet with one refusal. 

Auy. 11th. — This afternoon, at the request of the Rev. J. S. 
Wangh, I prepared a document, for the Board of Education, for 
the continuance of Mixetl Schools as an essential part of our system 
of public education. We seem never to have done with contentions 
over our educational policy in Victoria. 

Sejit. 20th. — I attended a meeting of ministers at St. George's 
Church, to ari'ange for the ' Ragged Schools ' and ' Biblewomen's ' 
Annual Meeting. These are necessary institutions and a high 
charity. We must help those who cannot help themselves. At 
our preachers' weekly meeting to-day we agreed to nominate to the 
Quarterly Meeting, as candidates for our Ministry, Henry Moore, 
Matthew Maddern, and George Minns. 

Sept. 25^/^.— Hearing that Thomas Learmouth, Esq., was at the 
National Bank as a guest of Mr. R. Gillespie, I called upon him. 
After a pretty full conversation upon the most prominent political 
topics of the day, I wished him success in his praisewoi'thy efforts to 
gain a seat in our Legislative Council. Mr. Learmouth is not only a 
pious, but a strong man ; and his presence in the Council would be 
a steadying power for good. 

Sept. 27th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. I nominated 
Messrs. Moore, Maddern, and Minns as candidates for our Ministry. 
They were cordially recommended. Mr. Crisp and I were invited 
to remain another year in the Circuit. Mr. Simpson was asked if 
he wished a second year's appointment ; if so, the meeting would be 
glad to invite him. He, in reply, said that as he was a young 
beginner he would prefer a change. Whereupon, Mr. R. M. Hunter 
was appointed as third preacher foi' the ensuing year. 

Oct. 22nd. — I attended a Conference of Ministers on Public 
Education. It was unanimously agreed to recommend to the 
Government the retention of Local Committees and Religious 
Instruction in all Denominational Schools. 

Nov. Qth. — I attended the District Meeting in Ballarat; the 
Rev. W. L. Binks, Chairman ; Rev. J. Bickford, Secretary. We had 
a good beginning. Mr. Binks affectionately addressed the brethren, 
and several prayed. The Sessions closed on the 14th. 

Bee. 3rd. — The Rev. S. W. Baker called, and he gave much 
information about the mission work in Tonga. He is to preach and 



208 JA.l/ES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

speak in the interests of the Tongan Churches. He seems to be full 
of the spirit of his work, and much good must result from his visit. 

Dec. 5th. — I received a letter from Mr. Butler, inviting me to 
Jan Juc for Christmas Day. As this was another opening for 
extending the ordinances of the Church, I engaged to go. Only 
ten called this forenoon. In the evening I heard the Rev. Oswald 
Dykes speak to ' Young Men.' It was in many respects a famous 
lecture, but I thought it wanting in outspokenness of belief in the 
Divinity of Jesus Christ. 

Dec. 17th. — I went to Melbourne to attend the Stationing Com- 
mittee. In the evening I wrote to twelve brethren, informing them 
of the Circuits for which they were recommended for appointment 
by the Conference. 

Dec. I8th. — I went to Ballarat, on my way to the Scarsdale Circuit, 
to attend missionary services. The Rev. Heniy Baker drove me from 
Ballarat to Linton's, where I was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. INlatthews, 
who showed me great kindness. Here I met, for the first time, the 
published account of the 'Irish State Trials,' with which I was 
deeply interested. The mixture of Irish wit and legal lore which 
characterised this trial, followed by the acquittal of Daniel O'Connell 
and his co-patriots, must render it memorable in .significance in 
British jurisprudence for years to come. I returned to Geelong 
on the 21st, and in the evening I presided at the Speech Meeting of 
the Centi-al School. 

Dec. 25th. — At 11 a.m. I preached in Yarra Street Church, 
when 150 persons assembled to join with me in commemorating 
the ' Incarnation.' At midday Mrs. Bickford returned from Mel- 
bourne, bringing my nephew, Edmund Sorrell Bickford, who had 
just arrived from Sydney, with her. My nephew had passed the 
District Meeting as a candidate for our Ministry, and had conse- 
quently resigned his connection with Newington College. He seemed 
unweU, but the salubrious air of Geelong, with home comforts, 
wdll soon restore him to former strength. 

Dec 27th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting. We had .£19 to the 
good. Membership had risen to 875, with 33 on trial. The next 
day the Rev. J. S. Waugh, President of Wesley College, came to 
Geelong to canvass for subscriptions towards Wesley College BuikUng 
Fund. As he knew none of the leading friends, I had to accompany 
him. We soon got <£25 promised. 



A USTRALIA. 209 



Dec. Z\st. — Watch Night Ser\dce. Messrs. Hunt, Balding, and 
Barker (N.S.W.) assisted in the service. It was a solemn and 
heart-searching time. I hope good was done. 

1867. 

Jan. 8th. — This morning Mr. Hunt and I drove to Barwon Park, 
and breakfasted with the hospitable Mr. and Mrs. Austin. We then 
went over to the Winchelsea Township to meet the gentlemen of the 
Shire Council about our Church Reserve. We agreed to yield sixty- 
six feet of the north-west corner, so as to render the approach to the 
bridge safe and convenient. The difficulty between the Shire and 
the Church is now overcome. 

Jan. 15th. — I arrived in Launceston, Tasmania, this night at 11 
o'clock, when the Rev. J. Egglestone and I went to Mr. Gleadow's 
as guests during the Conference. I was very ill during the voyage 
over, with sea-sickness. Indeed, I lost my voice for two or three 
hours. The steamer was more Hke a hospital than a pleasant sea- 
boat for passengers. 

Jan. 16th. — The Conference was opened to-day. The Rev. Henry 
Honey Gand was President, and the Rev. Benjamin, Secretary. At 
this Conference our four young brethren in Geelong were accepted 
as candidates, — viz., Messrs. Brown, Maddern, Minns, and E. S. Bick- 
foi"d. Mr. Egglestone asked permission to visit England for one 
year. A touching ' In Memoriam ' of the late Daniel James Draper 
was inserted in the Minutes, concerning his heroic death. At this 
Conference was nominated for the Presidency in 1868. 

Feb. 1st. — I reached Geelong at 10.30 p.m. with a heart full of 
thankfulness to God for His mercies to me by land and sea. During 
my absence at Conference, the Hon. John Lowe, M. L. C, of 
Hampstead, died. He was a man who ' feared God above many,' 
and he was a true friend to Wesleyan ministers and to INIethodism. 
His removal is a great loss to the Circuit. The day after my 
arrival home, I rode out to see Mrs. Lowe, now a widow, and her 
only daughter at home, Emma Lowe. It was an affecting interview, 
and my soul felt something of ' the sorrows of death ' for my bereaved 
friends. 

Feb. lith. — The Rev. Benjamin Field — a choice man, a Methodist 
theologian, and an excellent pieacher, but an invalid — is coming to 

14 



210 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Geelong to morrow for change of air. I called on my friends, 
INIr. and Mrs. Silas Harding, to ask them to entertain him during 
his visit. Both seemed glad to have such an opportunity for showing 
kindness to so eminent a servant of God. 

Feb. 17th. — I attended the Church Anniversary at Great Brighton, 
We raised £59 in aid of the Trust. 

Feb. 23rd. — I went to St. Albans to select a site for a new church. 
Mr. Maley directed me to a most convenient allotment, which Mr. 
J. G. Carr, the pi-oprietor, would give to the Conference for such 
an object. 

Feb. '25th. — Messrs. Balding, Hunt, Moore, and I went to the 
Duck Ponds, to a Church Anniversary. We had a fine meeting. 
We were in great danger in returning to Geelong, because of the 
dense darkness of the night. I reached home at midnight. 

March 11th. — Having accepted the invitation of the Trustees to 
take part in the opening services of Wesley Church, Sydney, I left 
by steamer to-day. 

At 11.30 a.m., on the 13th, we made fast to the company's wharf, 
and found Messrs. Murphy, McCoy, Curtis, and Loudin, awaiting 
my arrival. I went on to the Murphys', and had a warm welcome. 
I spent the next three days in visiting old friends. On the evening 

of the 16th I was waited on by the Circuit Steward of the Circuit, 

who asked me if I had said 'I would not take another Circuit in 
New South Wales ? ' To which I replied ' No.' ' Whether I would 
accept a Circuit in New South Wales, if I were invited ? ' To this 
I gave no pledge. 

March 17th. — Wesley Church was opened to-day. I took the 
evening services only. There were fine congregations. The tea and 
public meeting the next day was a great afiair. We raised <£227. 

Before leaving for Melbourne, my successor, the Rev. H. H. Gaud, 
called my attention to two or three subscriptions to the new church, 
which were marked ' paid,' but which, he said, were not accounted 
for ! I quietly asked him if he had enquired at the bank in Parra- 
matta Street, if the amount in question were there 1 ' He said, ' No.' 
On the way to the steamer I called myself, and found that the exact 
amount had been lying there for twelve months to the credit of the 
Church. Mr. Murphy promised me to tell the troubled treasurer, 
Mr. Gaud, of this ' nest Qgg.^ On board the steamer I had an 
interesting conversation with Mr. George Coppin, of theatrical 



AUSTRALIA. 211 



notoriety. 1 found him to be a man of fluent speech and great 
information. His account of social life in San Francisco was very 
distressmg. The Rev. W. Taylor's description of the ' gambling 
hells ' of that newest of American cities, had not been at all over- 
drawn. I reached Geelong on the 22nd, and found all well. 

March 26th. — We lost by death a truly ' elect sister,' Mrs. Sar- 
geant of Ashby. Her last words were, ' I am going to the land 
of the pure and the holy.' 

March '28th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. The income 
was £83 above the expenditure. Membership, 792 ; on trial, 62. 
The brethren were in fine spirit. 

March 31st. — I preached the Church Anuiversaiy Sermons at 
8t. Kilda. The next day I dined at Wesley College. Dr. Waugh, 
Dr. Corrigan, and I went to Brunswick to see Mr. Overend. Poor 
man ! he is suddenly arrested in his career of honour and usefulness. 
Afterwards I attended a meeting in St. George's Hall, on behalf of 
the ' Early Closing ' movement. It was a grand meeting. On my 
way back to Geelong on Ajyril 3rd, I had a long conversation with 
my old neighbour, the Rev. John Potter, M.A. (Anglican), of 
Ballarat, on social and ecclesiastical questions. I think Mr. Potter 
is not so narrow as he was formerly, when we were together in 
Lydiard Street. 

May 14:th. — J. G. Carr, Esq., presented me with a ' Bill of Sale' 
of three allotments of land at St. Albans, as a site for a Wesleyan 
Church. Mr. Solicitor Maley had been instructed to prepare the 
visual conveyance without any cost to the trustees to be appointed. 

Mai/ 19th. — Mr. Thomas Pybus preached the sermons in aid of 
the Trust of the Newtown Church. At the public meeting the 
next day, he gave us an eloquent sj)eech on the 'Non-failure of 
Christianity.' We raised ^6100 7s. 7d. On the 22nd, I wrote a 
letter to the Argus, on the ' Public Instruction Bill ' now before the 
House of Assembly. 

3Iai/ 25th. — We held the Highton Church Anniversary this evening. 
There were about 200 persons at the tea and public meeting. We 
inaugurated the movement for a new church, and o£102 were- 
promised. 

June 1st. — At the request of the Rev, A. INIackenzie Eraser, M.A., 
I preached in the High Church (Presbyterian) this afternoon. The 
service had reference to the six-monthly celebration of the Lord's 



212 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Supper, which was to come off the next day. This is what our 
Scotch friends call ' fencing the tables ; ' a necessary precaution, no 
doubt, for preventing improper persons for coming to the Lord's 
Table. 

June 1th. — My nephew, the Rev. E. S. Bickford, gave a lecture 
this evening to the * Young Men's Literary Society,' Yarra Street, 
on ' Egypt in the Time of the Pnaraohs.' It was well received, and 
the lecturer was thanked. 

June 2ith. — I went to Inverleigh to select a site for a church. 
Messrs. Bickham and Due accompanied me from Murgheboluc. We 
called upon several families who were formerly in connexion with 
us. The next day I wrote Mr. Waugh, to make the usual application 
to the Government for a grant of the land. 

Ju7ie 27th. — We held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. The Circuit 
is still prospering in every respect. In the evening I preached 
to a full congregation, and held a building committee and leaders' 
meeting. I returned to Yarra Street at 11 p.m. A hard day's 
work. 

Jul)/ Sth. — I drove Mrs. J. B. Smith, who had been visiting us for 
six weeks for the benefit of her health, and my niece, Alice Bickford, 
to the station. In the evening, I began reading ' Stanhope's Life of 
Pitt,' with the view of understanding the reasons for the jjrovok- 
ing continuance of the war with the First Napoleon, after he was 
willing to come to terms, and for depriving the Ii-ish nation of 
its Parliament. 

July 23rd. — I buried the remains of the late Mr. Southey to-day. 
I . humbly trust he found mercy from the Lord before he passed 
away. 

July 29th. — Mr. Hunt and I went this afternoon to Wellington 
to select a site for a church. Mr. Hopkins met several of the 
resident settlers in the evening, and promised us the land we wanted 
if we would erect thereupon a stone or brick building. We accepted 
his generous offer. The sum of £40 was immediately subscribed. 

Aug. Sth. — Mrs. Daniel died to-day. The last words she said to 
me were : * The next time I shall meet you will be in heaven.' This 
is another sanctified soul gathered from the Yarra Street Church to 
the home of the blessed. 

Aug. lith. — Finished reading Pitt's life to-day. The battle of 
Austerlitz killed England's great minister. 



AUSTRALIA. 213 



Aug. Ibth. — I went to Ashby to see Mrs. Dennis, who was ill, 
but on finding that she belonged to the Primitive Methodists, I 
called on her minister and informed him of the case. 

Aug. list. — N. McC was sentenced for forgery to-day to seven 

years in Melbourne Gaol. It may be questioned, I venture to think 
whether so severe a measure would have been taken against him by 
the bank, but for the strong political feeling existing between certain 
parties at the time. In the interests of abstract justice I am obliged 
to say thus much. 

Au^. 21th. — I finished reading the memoir of Archbishop Whately. 
I was much interested in the character and work of this logic-headed 
ruler of the Irish Church. 

Aug. 29th. — I paid my accustomed visit to the Hospital. Mr. 
George Brown was with me. Each ward was visited, and all the 
suffering patients Avere spoken to. I thus spent profitably a couple 
of hours in merciful work. 

Sept. 3i'd. — We accepted tenders to-day for erecting a new church 
at Highton. On the 9th we began a special effort at Ashby for a 
new church, and raised .£100. Messrs. Crisp and Greenwood spoke 
well. I paid to the local treasurer of the Bible Society, as our 
contribution for Geelong Wesleyans, <£22 13s. On the 10th we 
held the Annual Meeting of the ' Biblewomen's Mission.' Six 
hundred persons partook of the tea. It was a great success. 

Sept. \2th. — I finished reading my 'Dixon's New America' to-day. 
It is a marvellous disclosure of the social condition of the people, 
and should be creative of great effort by the American Churches to 
remedy it. 

Oct. Srd. — I held the Quarterly Meeting. There was a lai*g© 
attendance of brethren. Members 800 ; on trial 7. We had a credit 
balance of £1Q. The invitations for the next year were Revs. J. 
Bickford, F. E. Stephenson, and E. S. Bickford. A fourth minister 
was asked for the Barwon. Church Extension is to the ' fore ; ' this 
is right. 

Oct. 7th. — The Bev. W. D. Lalean came to preach at our Chilwell 
Church Anniversary, and did us excellent service. We raised £108 
towards the extinction of the Trust debt. 

Oct. 11th. — I wrote Mr. Matthew Burnett, the Yoi'kshire Evangel- 
ist, and pressed him to come to Geelong, and commence his mission 
on the 21st November. His reply was, ' Can't come until next year.' 



214 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Oct. l^th. — I buried poor Mrs. Wilson. Another holy woman has 
■* swept through the gates ' into the presence of her Saviour. 

Oct. \%th. — The three-masted schooner, John Wesley, made fast to 
the wharf in Corio Bay to-day. We had an enormous gathering of 
children to see this beautiful craft. The visit happened to be whilst 
the District Meeting was being held, which gave additional interest to 
the incident. I took from the missionary-box on board the sum of 
.£9, and made advance payments to some of the men. 

Oct. 23rd. — Mr. Binks and 1 heard W. H. Fitchett preach this 
evening. The sermon was clever — founded on the words of our Lord : 
' Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.' Mr. 
Fitchett is only in his second year, and promises to be one of oui- 
ablest men. The next evening, my nephew, Edmund 8. Bickford 
preached at South Geelong. Messrs. Binks, Williams, Daniel, and 
Blamires were present. A formidable bar of triers for a young man 
in his first year. The sermon was well thought out ; but the voice 
was not well managed. A few lessons in eloctition will correct that 
defect. On the 31st the Sessions closed. 

N'ov. 1st. — Busy with foreign missionary matters. I finished 
reading to-day the second volume of Chai-les James Fox's Memorials 
and Correspondence. Pitt and Fox ; a strange juxtaposition of men, 
providentially raised up to help the nation in her troubles. 

JVov. 4ith. — I met the Committee of the Ladies' Benevolent Society, 
who guaranteed =£135 worth of goods for the forthcoming bazaar. 

A^ov. 11th. — I laid the foundation-stone of the new church at 
Highton. Mr. Robert Gillespie ably presided at the public meeting. 
We raised £50. 

Nov. 13^A.— English telegram : There is imminent danger of con- 
flict between Italy and France on the Eomish question. I requested 
the Rev. Mr. Waugh to make application to the Government for an 
allotment of land at Jan Juc for Wesleyan Church purposes. The 
missionary meetings are being got over. The Rev. Henry Green- 
wood has rendered us good service. 

Nov. 18th. — I went to Stieglitz to attend a missionary meeting. 
Messrs. Greenwood, Edwards, and I were the speakers. 

JVov. 19th. — Mr. Waugh informed me of the grant of two roods of 
land at Moranghurk for our church. 

JVov. 20th. — Dr. Jakins, a Wesleyan M.D., from London, called to 
consult me about his settlement in this colony. I advised him to try 



AUSTRALIA. 215 



Ballarat, as presenting hira a wider field and less competition than 
Geelong could be. I gave him letters of introduction to Mr. Oddie 
<\nd other old friends. 

Nov. '2\st. — I presided this evening at the Mechanics' Institute 
meeting to receive Mr. M. Burnett. There were from 350 to 400 
present. Mr. Burnett spoke. It was an enthusiastic time, and 
augurs well for the success of his visit to the Circviit. 

Nov. 23?-(Z.— The Duke of Edinburgh is at the ' Heads.' My heart 
welcomes the Queen's son to Australian soil. The Galatea is gone up 
the Bay. 

Nov. 2Q)th. — I went to Melbourne to attend Prince Alfred's levee. 
It was largely attended; a gratifying evidence of the genuine loyalty 
of the democratic Victorian people to the Queen. 

Dec. '2ncl. — The Prince came to Geelong to-day. As a member of 
the reception committee, I had to be close to him as he stepped on the 
wharf. He was sweetly affable, as a son of Queen Victoria ought to 
be. The procession through the town was witnessed by a great 
multitude of people, with respectfid. demonstrations of affectionate 
loyalty. In the evening, Mrs. Bickford, Miss Amelia Parker (our 
West Indian friend) and I went to see the beautiful fij'eworks and the 
illuminations. There never had been such a sight, nor such rejoicing, 
in Geelong before. Viscount Canterbury, our Governor, accompanied 
the Prince. 

Dec. Si'd. — English telegram : Italy in a state of insurrection ; the 
days of the Pope's temporal power are numbered. 

Dec. 1th. — I went to Drysdale, taking Mrs. Bickford with me. The 
next day I preached missionary sermons, and on Monday, I spoke at 
the Missionary Meeting. In the forenoon, the Rev. T. Kane drove 
me to QueenscHffe to make proper arrangements for the new church. 
We dined with Mr. and Mrs. Hawse, who were very hospitable to us. 

Dec. \i)th. — We went to Port Arlington, and spent the day at Mr. 
and Mrs. Widdicombe's. I attended the Missionary Meeting, and 
spoke for seventy-five minutes. ' Too long by half : ' but then I was 
the only speaker. Hastened back to Geelong on the 11th, to see the 
local Commissioner of Lands, Mr. Belcher, about the Queensclifi'e 
Church Reserve, which, by some mischance, had been gazetted for 
sale. He immediately withdrew it from sale. 

Dec. ?>\st. — I attended a meeting at St. George's Church, to arrange 
for holding the United Religious Services in the first week in the New 



216 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Year. Thus I finished the work of 1867 in the spirit of love and 
unity with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both theirs 
and ours. 

1868. 

Jan. \st. — My Diary jotting is as follows : — 

' I have entered upon the new year in Yarra Street Church, It was a solemn 
time. I endeavoured to consecrate myself anew to God. I have heavy re- 
sponsibilities in prospect of the Presidency, but I will cast myself upon the 
wisdom and aid of the Holy Spirit, and I shall be helped.' 

In the afternoon Mrs. Bickford and I went to Fyan's Ford, and 
spent a nice time with Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt, Returned home at 
9.40 p.m. 

Jan. '2nd. — We opended tendei-s for the enlargement of Ashby 
Church. We conditionally accepted one for <£703. I biu-ied the 
di'owned boatman — poor Robinson — to-day. The * Sons of Temper- 
ance ' attended to show theii* respect for the deceased. I received a 
kind letter from my friend, the Hon. A. Fraser, M.L.C., relating 
to our Conference arrangements. I am thankful for his sympathy 
and good wishes. 

Jan. dth. — We held our Quarterly Meeting to-day. The member- 
ship was 873, with 32 on trial. Credit balance, £85. The appoint- 
ments, in part, as recommended by the Stationing Committee, were 
rejected by the Quarterly Meetings, and the invitations, as agreed 
to by the September Meeting, were reaffirmed. 

Ja7i. I'Sth. — Yesterday I preached at Clunes and Creswick, and 
attended their missionary meetings. On I'eaching Geelong, on 
Wednesday, I found letters awaiting attention from the Rev. Dr 
Hoole, the Rev. W. Butters, and Rev. J. Eggleston. 

Jan. 20th. — I went to Sandridge to receive my niece, Christina 
Flora Pascoe, who had come from Kingsbridge, Devon, to hve 
with us. 

Jan. '22nd. — I went to St. Kilda to be the guest of Mr. and Mrs. 
Fraser during the Conference. The Revs. H. H. Gaud, J. S. Waugh, 
and W. Hill called in the evening. The next day, in Wesley Church, 
Melbourne, the Conference was opened at 10.30 a.m. This was the 
largest Australasian Conference that had yet assembled. From 125 
to 130 ministers were present. The brethren received me as their 



AUSTRALIA. 217 



President very kindly, and I was thankful for their sympathy and 
good wishes. The usual prayer meeting was a good time, and great 
grace rested upon the people. After dinner the business was com- 
menced in real earnest; we broke up at 5 p.m. Conference Sabbath, 
the 26th, I preached in Wesley Church, the Eev. John Cope, the 
Superintendent Minister, read px^ayers. I took as my text the words 
of Joshua : '• As for me and my house Ave will serve the Lord.' On 
the evening of the 29th I preached the official sermon from the 
words : ' These things saith He that hath the seven spirits of 
God, and the seven stars; I know thy works' (Rev. iii. 1). It 
was followed by the Lord's Su^^per, both ministers and people 
communicating. 

We had no heroic legislation at this Conference. But we i*eported 
progress. An increase of 12,000 members greatly rejoiced our 
hearts ; they were ' the seals of our apostleship.' There were fifty 
thousand children in our Sunday schools, which the ' Address ' 
designates ' an imposing fact.' Seventeen probationers were received 
into ' full connexion ' with the Conference, and ten were on tiial. 

There is a passage in the ' Addi-ess,' on the subject of our Missions 
in the South Seas, of much value to us even now : — 

' We again solicit from the members of our colonial churches a deeper and 
more constant interest in our Polynesian missions. Foreign missions we can 
scarcely call them. It is certain that at present they cannot dispense with our 
aid. In proportion to their resources they have contributed towards the support 
of the work among themselves : and God has raised up amongst them a native 
ministry which, for soundness in the faith, for deep devotedness and piety, and 
for success in winning souls, will bear favourable comparison with any body of 
Christian ministers in the world.' 

Feb. 8th. — I returned to Geelong much fatigued in body and mind. 
My prayer was : ' May the Lord help me in the discharge of the 
high and responsible duties connected with the Presidency of the 
Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Connexion this year.' 

Feb. 10th. — The Rev. H. P. Bvirgess, from South Australia, came 
this morning. My nephew, the Rev. E. S. Bickford, readily drove 
him about ' to see whatever could be seen.' We were much pleased 
with our guest. Mr. Dennis died to-day. Mrs. Dennis died some 
months ago. At my suggestion, Mr. Dennis had appointed Messrs. 
r. B. Hunt and N. H. Brown guardians of the now orphaned family^ 
and executors of the estate. 



I[ 



1>18 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

March 2nd. — Yesterday I opened the QueensclifFe Church, and to- 
day I assisted the local treasurer in making up the balance sheet. 
We had a soii'ee, which was a great success. Mr. Hugh Pattison, of 
Melboui'ne, generously gave us .£50 towards the undertaking. 

March 25th. — David O'Donnell, a young local preacher from 
Ballarat, called and presented his credentials. He wishas to ofier 
for our ministiy. 

March 2()tli. — I held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. Credit 
balance over ^100. Members 897, with 24 on trial. 

April ord. — I laid the ' Foundation Stone ' of the new church at 
Wellington. We had a largely attended tea and public meeting in 
the evening. I reached home at 11 p. m., wearied and poorly. 

A2)ril 20th. — I preached at Chilwell, and held the leaders' meeting. 
As far as we can estimate, 173 persons have joined the classes as the 
result of Mr. Burnett's mission. 

April 29th. — I went to Highton and preached. At the after 
meeting we had twenty penitents ; fifteen of whom found peace. 

3faij Ath. — We held the South Geelong Church Anuiversaiy, and 
raised .£107. 

Mai/ 5th. — I went to Jan Juc and preached to eighty persons. 
Twelve gave in their names for membership. I appointed Brother 
Bland, Leader ; Brother Musgrove, Society Steward ; and Brother 
Gimdry, Poor Steward. This forest church has nou' a complete 
organisation. 

May Gth. — This day I am fifty-two years of age. In the quietude of 
a chamber in Mr. Grundy's house, I once more consecrated my whole 
' body, spirit, and sovil to God.' Lord, ' I am Thine,' now more than 
ever. I spent most of the day in pastoral visitation, which was a 
new, but grateful, experience to those Bush families, and pleased 
them veiy much. On my way back, I turned ofi" the direct road to 
lecture at Mount Duneed, in behalf of the Sunday School Library. 
Dr. Heath took the chair. We raised .£5 15*. Qd. 

May 18th. — A great work is being done at Ceres. Mr. Bm-nett, 
assisted by my nephew, E. S. Bickford, is carrying on special services 
there. It is reported that 135 persons have received spiritual good. 

May 25th. — I went to Melbourne to attend the levee in honour 
of our good Queen. Afterwards I called at the Crown Lands Office, 
to see about church sites. 

May 21th. — I went to Chilwell to hear David O'Donnell preach. 



AUSTRALIA. 219 



I Avas favourably impiessed, and shall probably recommend him to the 
next Quarterly Meeting as a candidate for the itinerant work. 

June 1st. — Mr. Burnett and I drove to Murgheboluc. We had a 
glorious time. There were several penitents seeking salvation. We 
came home at 11,30 p.m. News arrived by telegram that Gladstone 
had defeated Disraeli on the Irish Church question by sixty votes. 
There is now some hope that the anomaly of a State Church Esta- 
blishment, kept at the national expense for a minority of the people, 
will be removed. This should be one more step towards welding 
the several races on Irish soil into one strong nationality. 

Jicne 4:th. — I went to Melbourne to see the Commissioner of Lands 
about the affiliated college land, being a part of the section set apart 
by the Government as a University Reserve. 

June 8th. — English telegram : Glorious Budget as a whole : 'The 
right man in the right place ' once more. This is England's will. 

June 11th. — I went to Ceres, preached and held a leaders' 
meeting. I appointed additional leaders, and the stewards were 
re-elected. The precious souls gathered in by Mr. Burnett's labours 
must be shepherded in classes, or they will fall back again into the 
world. 

June 25th. — I went to Melbourne to meet the committee on the 
< ' Old Preacher's Fund ' business. We had several suggestions 
before us, claiming our closest thought. We sat all day. 

June 27th. — I finished reading Taylor's ' South Africa.' What a 
wonderful work of God was wrought in that country through the 
laboiu's of this modern Apostle to the Gentiles ! 

July 1st. — I went to Jan Juc, and preached to a ' full house.' I 
met the new converts, when twenty more joined the classes. Reached 
home at 11.40 p.m. A more lonely sixteen miles' journey at night 
than this I do not know. 

July 7th. — This evening Messrs. M. Burnett, E. S. Bickford, 
. S. Ham, and I were received as honorary members of the ' Sons of 
ij Temperance.' I hope this step will be a means of additional useful- 
ness to each of us. 

July 8th. — I went to Melbourne to preside at the Loan Fund 
Committee. It took us all the day to get through the business. 
In the evening, I went up to the House of Assembly, and found the 
MacCullock party refusing supplies. So that the dead-lock is not 
over yet. 



220 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

July dth. — I held the Quarterly Meeting. Cash in hands of 
steward, .£98. In the evening young Macmichae preached. He 
did very well. He shapes for the Ministry as well as most, and 
deserves a trial. 

Juli/ llt?i. — A new Ministry is formed. The 'Macs' are tri- 
umphant once more. The ' dead-lock ' is over for the present. In 
the evening we held a society tea-meeting at Chilwell, when we 
inaugiu-ated a movement for the enlargement of the church. The 
friends promised XI 12. 

Jtdi/ lith. — I wi'ote a long and pressing letter to the Missionary 
Committee in London, on the claims of Queensland for monetary and 
ministerial help. 

Juli/ 15tk. — I was after church sites to-day : one in the Warrnam- 
bool Circuit, and one at the Leigh Road Station. 

July 17th. — I left by the midday train for Ballai-at, and preached 
in Lydiard Street to a lai-ge congregation. We held a prayer 
meeting, which continued up to ten o'clock. I sat up until nearly 
twelve o'clock conversing -with Mr. Oddie and the Rev. George 
Daniel, upon chiu^ch and political questions. I left early on the 
18th for Pleasant Creek. The morning was cold, and the journey 
was wearying. The Rev. John and Mrs. Catterall received me most 
kindly. I talked with Mr. Catterall for a couple of hours, and 
retired at 11 p.m. I preached three times on the 20th. We had 
a large gathering the next evening, when we raised =£130 towards 
the new parsonage. I retxu"ned to Ballarat on the 22nd. My good 
friend, Mr. Oddie, was at the coach office to receive me. 

July 24:th. — The Rev. John Watsford lectured at Chilwell this 
evening. It was an admirable lecture, and was most useful in its 
aims. 

July 27th. — A deputation of gentlemen and day school teachers, 
with the local committees, came for considtation about the new 
rules of the Central Board of Education. We sat until 11 p.m. 

August 1st. — I accompanied this morning a deputation of Wesleyan 
day school teachers to Melbourne, to interview Dr. Corrigan, om* 
representative at the Board, on the new rules of the ' Common 
Schools.' He was most complaisant, and promised to do all he could 
for insuring justice to the teachers. I then went to the Cremorne 
Private Lunatic Asylum, when the obliging proprietor, James T. 
Harcourt, Esq., M.P., showed me over the buildings and grounds. 



AUSTRALIA. 221 



I returned to Geelong in time to attend a special meeting at Ashby 
for raising money for building a transept to the Church and for 
other improvements. We raised <£200. 

On the 24th I went again to Melbourne to preside at a meeting of 
the Educational Committee. There was great diversity of opinions. 
We passed four resolutions ; but I was not satisfied with the result. 
We afterwards held a meeting of the Book Committee. We 
agreed to purchase the first issue of the Kev. Benjamin Field's 
* Handbook of Christian Theology.' This very able com2)endium 
of our standard doctrines will be of great use to the local preachers, 
Sunday school teachers, and candidates for our Ministry. It ought 
to have a large circulation in these Colonies, for it is the best thing 
of the kind we have yet had. 

August 25th. — I went to the Barwon Heads, and preached in 
Mr. Johnston's farmyard. It was the first religious service ever held 
there, and it was unique and romantic. I stood in a waggon as my 
platform, and the people, composed of several denominations, utilizing 
the dinner-hour for the purpose, gathered around it. We had hearty 
singing, and every appearance of a sincere desire on the part of the 
audience ' to worship God in spirit and in truth.' The farmyard 
that day was ' holy ground.' 

August 30th. — I preached in Forest Street Church, Sandhurst. 
After the public service, nearly to a full congregation, I gave an 
account of the glorious work of God in the Geelong Circuit, mainly 
through the labours of Mr. Burnett. I encouraged the people to 
expect similar blessings during the Mission he was about to conduct 
in the Bendigo District. At the public meeting held the next 
evening we raised ,£102. On this occasion I visited my former 
friends at Long Gully, California Hill, Eagle Hawk, Golden Square, 
and in Sandhurst itself. 

Sept. 1st. — Returned to Geelong, and in the evening I went out to 
G-erman Town to a special meeting in aid of a new church. We 
raised £104. 

tSept. 12th. — I went to Melbourne to consult Messrs. Egglestone 
and Waugh on the Bright Church Property case. We agreed to a 
course of action, which I consented to carry out. I ran out to 
Malvern to see Mesdames Boss and Cameron. Mrs. Ross and her 
fatherless childi'en have come from Demerara to settle in Victoria. 
These dear ladies were special friends of Mrs. Bickford's when I was 



222 JA MES BICKFOBD : AX A UTOBIO GRA PHY. 

labouring in British Guiana. Messrs. Ross and Cameron were 
amongst my most true and generous acquaintances in that magni- 
ficent colony. They were also regular communicants at Trinity 
Church, and supporters of the Wesleyan Mission. 

SejJt. Ibth. — I went to Wabdallah, and appointed a building com- 
mittee to raise money for erecting a church. I was much pleased 
with the spirit of these Christian gentlemen. 

Sept. IQth. — I baptized Mrs. Ash tuith water, i.e. by affusion after 
the New Testament precedents. I believed in her sincerity, and thus 
admitted her into the ' body ' of Christ's Church. 

Sept. 17th. — A yoving man, Benjamin Gilbart Edwards, from 
Stieglitz, preached in Yarra Street Chui-ch this evening. He gave 
promise, I thought, of usefulness. I conversed with him at large 
the next day, and encouraged him to persevere in his studies with 
the view of his coming into our Ministry. 

Sept. 2lst. — I went up to Stieglitz and held the Quarterly Meeting. 
B. G. Edwards was nominated as candidate, and was recommended 
for the Ministry. During my stay I was the welcome guest of Mr. 
and Mrs. Osborn at Emily Park. 

Sept. 237'd. — I buried the remains of Mrs. Auld in the West 
Cemetery. Another redeemed spirit gone to the Golden City — ' from 
sufferings and from woes released.' The Revs. Shirley W. Baker 
and E. J. Watkin were our missionary deputation this year ; both 
able speakers on the glorious theme. 

Sept. 29th. — I prepared the examination papers for the fourth- 
year men to be taken into full connexion at the ensuing Conference. 
I went to the church opening service at Wellington. We raised 
.£80. 

Sejyt. SOth. — I went to Cowie's Creek, held a service, and baptized 
eleven children and one woman. To-day I received a letter from 
Mr. Bee, senior Steward of Wesley Church Circuit, asking me if I 
were prepared to accept an invitation to the Superintendency for 
next year. Should I be so appointed by the Conference, it will be 
the most responsible position I have yet had as a Circuit minister. 

Oct. 1st. — I went to see poor Moore, who has been shot in the 
back of his head. Unfortunate man ! May God have mercy upon 
his soul ! I buried to-day the remains of the late Mr. Bowman — 
a man of little faith ; still he died safely trusting in Christ. By 
the English mail to-day I received from the Rev. Dr. Jobson, a copy 



AUSTRALIA. 22S 



of his beautiful memoii- of the late Dr. itannah, Theological Tutor 
at Didsbury College. It is a well merited testimony to the ability^ 
learning, and apostolic character of this great Methodist preacher. 

Oct. 2nd. — The Rev. S. W. Baker was present at our ministers' 
weekly meeting. We were much delighted with his manly bearing, 
his shrewdness, and his zeal for the Tongan Mission. He is a very 
fine man, and an able preacher in English as well as in Tonguese. If 
superior qualifications and great success in the work go for anything, 
then, beyond all doubt, we have in Mr. Baker a true successor of 
8t. Paul. 

Oct. 5th — The Rev. John Watsford preached yesterday in behalf 
of the Yarra Street Trust. We raised .£137 14s. Mr. Watsford's 
sermons and speech at the public meeting were much appreciated. 

Oct. Sth. — I held the Quarterly Meeting. Every interest in the 
Circuit is healthy and prosperous. I nominated David O'Donnell 
for our Ministry, which was sustained by the vote of the meeting. 
We held a great meeting in honour of Mr. Burnett in the evening. 
Thank God for the blessings of this day. 

Oct. 12th. — The Rev. Joseph Dare gave us a lecture on 'True 
Manhood,' which was fruitful in pecuniary results. 

Oct. IQth. — This evening I lectured at Newtown on 'The Bible: 
a Revelation from God.' We had a good and sympathetic audience. 
Retired to Yarra Street, and commenced reading Liddon's Bampton 
Lectures. It is a mighty work, and ought to be studied by all 
ministers of religion. 

Oct. 21st. — I went to Ballarat to preside at the District Meeting. 
The Rev. G. Daniel was elected secretary. At this meeting Messrs. 
Edwards and O'Donnell, after the usual examinations, were re- 
commended to the Conference as suitable candidates for our work. 
Ptobert Walter Campbell and Abel Marsland were also received for 
theological training at Wesley College. It was, from beginning ta 
end, an excellent meeting. On arriving at home on the 30th, I 
found two copies of the English Minutes awaiting me. I read with 
pleasui'e that my old West India friend and fellow-worker, the 
Rev. W. L. Binks was appointed President of our Conference for 
1869. In the evening the Rev. T. F. Bird lectured on ' Mahomet.' 
It was an able deliverance in every respect. 

N'ov. 13th. — I received a letter from the private secretary to the 
Governor, in answer to my appeal in behalf of the unfortunate 



224 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

W. N. McC. The case is referred to the Minister of Justice for 
reconsideration. I now have some hope. 

Nov. \^th. — I wrote to Mr. Burnett to see if he can give a 
fortnight's services to Yarra Sti'eet when he has finished at Sand- 
hurst. His reply, received next day, was in the negative. He 
wants rest, and will not disappoint the Superintendents of the Western 
Circuits. 

Nov. 20tk. — I left for the presidential annual tour to the Western 
District, which occupied me until December 5th. I pi*eached and 
spoke in aid of the Foreign Missions in each Circuit in the District 
The utmost kindness was shown me by friends and ministers all 
along the line. I much enjoyed the trip, and having completed my 
visitation, returned home at the appointed time, none the worse for 
the fatigue I had undergone. 

Dec. 8th. — I went to Melbourne to attend the meeting of the 
Stationing Committee. We sat two days, and closed the business. 

Dec. lOth. — Busy all day pi-eparing the accounts of the Children 
and Education Funds. The next day I closed up the accoiuits of 
the Church Building aud Loan Fund, and the Jubilee Fund. I sent 
cheques for balances to the respective treasurers, so as to have the 
funds off my mind. In the evening I wrote to Mr. Commissioner 
Grant about the threatened sale of our Church Reserve at East 
Melbourne. I was much tried with the mental toil of the day, and 
at midnight I retired to rest. 

Dec. 12th. — I left for Sebastopol, and was received by Mr. and 
Mrs. Robinson with much Christian urbanity. I preached in aid of 
the Trust at 1 1 and 6.30, and the Rev. R. M. Hunter at 3. The next 
day the public meetings were held, and the attendance was good. 

Dec. 15th. — I read Baxter's 'Reformed Pastor,' and began writing the 
* Ordination Charge ' for the Conference in Sydney. There are several 
probationers to be received into full connexion, and, as ex-President, 
the preparation and the delivery of the Charge falls upon me. I 
wrote the Government about our Church Reserve at Newton Hill. 
The Hon. C. J. J. had been moving the Commissioners to sell it, on 
the ground that we had made no use of it. I asked Mr. J. G. Carr 
and Mr. Quinan to help me in resisting this robbery of ' God's acre.' 

Dec. 19th. — I completed the Annual Statement of the 'Old 
Preachers' Fund ' for the treasurers, and sent a cheque to Rev. J. S. 
Waugh for £361 12s. 



AUSTRALIA. 225 



Dec. ^\st. — I held the Watch Night Service at YaiTa Street, and 
thus closed the busiest and most responsible year of my Australian 

Ministry. 

1869. 

Jan. \st. — I entered upon this year in the Yarra Street Church. 
It was solemn : a time of self-examination, confession, prayer, and 
consecration. Surely our vows will be noted in the ' Book of His 
remembrance.' By the first train I hastened to Melboux'ne to attend 
the funeral of the late Mrs. Hill, for many years the devoted com- 
panion and fellow-helper of her husband, the Rev. William Hill. It 
is a terrible blow to him, and an irreparable loss for the now mother- 
less children. The whole ministerial circle is deeply touched with the 
suddenness and sadness of this bereavement. 

Jan. 1th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. We still report 
numerical and financial progress. The membership has risen to 1,477, 
and the stewards have a credit balance of over £200. In the evening 
the Union Prayer Meeting was held. The Rev. G. Goodman ( AngHcan) 
gave the address. The church was full, but the singing was very 
poor. 

Jan. I'Mh. — I left for the Conference to be held in Sydney, which 
was opened on the 21st: the Rev. W. L. Binks, President; and the 
Rev. B. Chapman, Secretary. Messrs. R. M. Hunter and C. T. 
Newman were received into ' full connexion,' and Messrs. B. G. 
Edwards, James Read, D. O'Donnell, and P. C. Thomas were re- 
ceived as ' preachers on ti'ial.' We had to mournfully record the 
martyred death of the Rev. Thomas Baker, in Fiji, on July 21st, 1868, 
by the cannibal heathen. He was a holy man, and zealous in his 
Master's work. His companions, native Christians, fell also under 
the clubs of the savages. The net increase of membership for the 
year was 1,517, with 8,953 on trial. 

The Ordination Service was held in Wesley Church, Chi]:)pendale, 
when the charge, founded on 1 Cor. ix. 27, was given by me as ex- 
President. It was a time of acute distress to me, for I feared it had 
fallen much below what was expected. After the service, however, 
the Rev. Father Watkin spoke words of comfort, and thanked me for 
the discourse. No ex-President ever received greater relief than that 
which came to me the next day, when the Secretary, Mr. Chapman, 
moved : ' That the thanks of the Confei-ence be presented to the 

15 



226 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

ex-President for the very valuable charge addressed by him to the 
newly-ordained ministers, and that he be earnestly requested to 
furnish it for publication.' 

On February 5th the Sessions closed, much to the relief of us all, 
for the heat had been very tiying, even to the strongest man amongst 
us. By this Conference, I was appointed to the Superintendency of 
the Weslfey Church Cii-cuit, Melbourne, having as my colleagues the 
Revs. W. D. Lalean, Martin Dyson, and E. J. Watkin. On the 8th, 
I was once more at home in Geelong and found all well. Our passage 
from Sydney to Sandridge Pier was made in fifty hours, and was 
quite a pleasure trip all through. 

March 2nd. — I left by first train for Newlyn, vid Ballarat, to lay 
the ' foundation-stone ' of our new church. The building committee 
presented me with a handsome silver trowel, commemorative of the 
event. The E-ev. Edward B. Burns, Mrs. Burns, and Mrs. Sadgrove 
accompanied me from Creswick to Newlyn. We had a large attend- 
ance at the tea and public meeting, and a generous response in aid 
of the building. We got back to Creswick at midnight. 

March 25th. — We laid the ' foundation stone ' of a new church at 
German Town. The usual after meetings were held. 

March 27th. — I left for the Mortlake Circuit, and reached Pyneyup 
in the evening. Mrs. and the Misses Shaw, whom I had known in 
Geelong, received me most heartily. I preached twice the next day, 
in aid of the Circuit funds. 

On the 29th the E,ev. T. F. Bird, the Shaws, and I went to the 
stone-laying ceremony of the new Mechanics' Institute. In the 
evening we held a meeting in oiu- church, when we raised =£25 for 
the Circuit. On the 31st, Mr. Thomas Shaw drove me to Camper- 
down, where we joined the coach and reached Geelong in the evening. 
The Shaws showed me great kindness. 

A2)ril 1st. — I held the Quarterly Meeting. We were from 11 a.m. 
to 6.30 p.m. It was a capital meeting. Members 1,489 ; and on trial 
30 ; removals 47. We have still a large credit balance to the good 
of the Cii-cuit. The next day I went to Ballarat to an ' Ordination 
Service.' Messrs. T. F. Bird, B. M. Hunter, Edward A. Davies, and 
James J. Watsford were to be ordained to the full Ministry by the 
* laying on of the hands of the Presbytery ' as in apostolic times. 
The Rev. George Daniel gave an excellent charge. 

April Qth. — A valedictory meeting was held this evening in Yarra 



AUSTRALIA. 227 



Street for myself and nephew, the Eev. E. S. Bickforcl, whose 
terms of ser\ace had expired. Substantial tokens of love and esteem 
were made to both of us. Thus closed my official relation to this 
lo\'ing people, and to their extensive and prosperous Circuit. 

April 8th. — We left at 1 p.m., by train for Melbourne. The 
Hunts, Browns, Hitchcocks, Lowes, and some other friends saw us 
off. Mr. Edward Whitehead, Circuit Steward, and brother of my 
former fellow-worker in the West Indies, the Rev, Francis White- 
head, was at the Spencer Street Station to receive us. At Wesley 
Church Parsonage, Mesdames Whitehead and Burrows were awaiting 
our arrival. I met the Minister's Class in the evening, and presided 
at a meeting of the Sunday School Committee. We retired to rest 
at 11 p.m. 

April Wi. [Diary Jotting] — ' We are all very much tired. Oh, this itinerancy ! 
The longer I live the more I object to it. Our removals are oftentimes not only 
very expensive, but inconvenient and unfortunate. I hope the principle will 
yet be considerably modified.' 

April V2th. — I preached at Wesley Church in aid of the Sunday 
School, and next day I presided at the public meeting. 

April IZth. — I attended the Church Anniversary at Sandridge and 
presided at the evening meeting. I find that Mr. and Mrs. Roalman 
have much helped our Chui'ch in this seaport. 

Ajyril \%th. — I entered upon my beloved pastoral work end visited 
twelve families. 

April 19^/i. — The Rev. John Egglestone, having resigned the 
position of ' Acting Clerical Treasurer ' of the ' Old Preachers' Fund,' 
and I, having been requested by the other treasurers to assume that 
position, and accepted it, to-day the large ' iron safe ' with all books 
and papers were handed over to me. This will be an additional 
responsibility ; but with the available counsel of my co-acting treasurer 
the Hon. A. Eraser, M.L.C., in all matters of loans, and the assistance 
of Mr. Hewitt as accountant, occasionally, as his services may be 
required, I hope to be able to do the work. 

April 2WI.—M.V. E. Taylor and I went to the Education Office, to 
secure a day school connected with our church at Carlton, as well 
as to speak to Mr. Kane, the secretary, about the Central School 
in Geelong. 

May ^rd. — I received a letter from the Rev. B. Chapman, 



228 JAMES BICKFORB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Secretary of the Conference, covering resolutions of Conference, 
anent the relation of two of our brethren, members of the Irish 
Annuitant Society, and of one brother n South Australia, who had 
joined oui- Ministry at the age of forty years aboiit, as to terms upon 
which they may be received as members of our Annuitant Society. 
The resolutions embody a principle which shall apply to these and 
to similar cases as they may hereafter occur. 

May 6tJi. [Diary Jotting] — ' My birthday to-day. I am now fifty-three years 
<)f age. My heart is the Lord's, and so is my life His. May the coming year he 
one of much happiness I 

Maij ISth. — The Eev. J. S, Waugh called to tell me of the 
dreadful murder of our dear brother minister, the Rev. W. Hill, 
at Pentridge Stockade, by a life-long prisoner, Ritson, when Mr. 
Hill was in his cell praying for him. We then went to Victoria 
Parade to break the sad news to Mrs. Holmes, the mother-in-law of 
Mr. Hill. We called also on Mrs. Gallagher, a good, kind sister in 
Christ, who had seen much trouble, to go at once to the house 
of mourning, and comfort and help the distressed family. Messrs. 
Egglestone, Dare and others called at the house in the evening. We 
are all overwhelmed at the terrible calamity which has come upon us : 
' We are troubled " deeply," but not in despair.' 

May 15th. — The mortal remains of our late Brother Hill were 
to-day interred in the Melbourne Cemetery : ' Devout men carried 
him to his burial and made great lamentation over him.' Mr. 
Waugh, at Brunswick Street Church, preached a solemn and instruc- 
tive discourse on the death of Mr. Hill. The church was densely 
packed. 

We met the Circuit officials after the service, to make arrangements 
for carrying on the work of the Circuit until the next Confei-ence. 
The Rev. Mr. Waugh engaged to do his best, and other ministers 
proffered help. The next day I Avas asked by the Book Committee 
to take Mr. Hill's place as Book Steward, and the Rev. George Daniel 
to act as co-editor with the Rev. B. Field of the Wesleyan Chro- 
nicle. I moved that a memorial volume of sermons, as preached by 
Mr. Hill, be published, which was agreed to. At the instigation 
of the Premier, Sir James MacCulloch, a handsome provision for the 
education and support of the Hill orphans was made, and to con- 
tinue until the youngest of them reached the age of twenty-one. 



AUSTRALIA. 229 



The Christian people showed their sympathy in a very substantial 
manner. All was clone that could under such circumstances be 
desired. 

May 24:th. — I attended the levee in honour of our beloved Queen. 
In the evening I read with intense interest in the London Watchman 
a report on the ' Irish Church ' question, which had come off in 
the House of Commons. The result upon my own mind is that 
Mr. Gladstone is undoubtedly an ' elect servant ' of God for working 
out great social, political, and ecclesiastical reforms in Great Britain. 
June 1th. — We accepted a tender for the erection of a new church 
at Carlton, and the next day we accepted a tender for erecting a 
new parsonage at Sandridge. We can't stand still, even if we were 
to try. Besides which, not to advance in Church Work is to recede ; 
and that we must not do. 

June 21st. — Mr. Lalean and I went to Sunbury to visit the 
Government Industrial School. Altogether it is an enormous 
establishment, and appears to be well conducted. We held a religiou.s 
service. In the evening a tea and public meeting were held in 
the interests of the new church. The debt on the buUding will be 
only £17. 

June 23rfZ. — This forenoon I entered upon a new sphere of duty. 
It was at the Melbourne Gaol, where I first preached to about two 
hundred male prisoners. I saw in the audience a convicted CathoHc 
Priest, an ex-Baptist Minister, a son of a Wesleyan Minister, an 
ex-editor of a newspaper, and I hardly know whom besides. An 
intelligent, fine young man, but one of the unfortunates, presided at 
the harmonium, and joined in singing right heartily. It was a 
sad spectacle. After this service, in another part of the gaol, I met 
some eighty to a hundred women, who were in durance vile for bad 
conduct of many kinds. I waited in one of the cells, set apart for 
the purpose, to converse with any of these women who might choose 
to do so. Several came, and I gave the pledge to three of them. 
The effect of the services upon me I cannot describe. I was distressed 
and prostrate in body and soul. 

Jwie 2&th. [Diary Jotting] — ' This has been one of the most trying weeks I 
have ever experienced. "When my heart is overwhelmed within me ; lead me 
to the Rock that is higher than I." ' 

Jitne ZOth. — I held my fii-st Quarterly Meeting in this Circmt — 



230 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

income £439 19s. 4c?., being a small increase upon the previous 
quarter. But we have a big debt caused by refurnishing parsonages. 
The brethren were full of hopefulness. 

July 3rd. — Is it possible to have ' too many irons in the fire ? ' 
Well, it has to be done sometimes. To-day I had to conduct the 
second ' Female Prayer Meeting ' in Wesley Church, when 250 
ladies were present. I gave the address, on ' Woman's Work in 
the Church.' It was well i-eceived. In the evening I went to 
Sandridge to raise funds for the new parsonage. We got over 
<£1('0. Mr. and Mrs. Poolman are a great help to us here. 

July 12th. — Mr. Burnett called. I was really glad to see him, and 
took him to see Mrs. Holmes, the foster-mother of the orphaned 
Hills. The conversation was highly spiritual, and we had a sweet 
time in prayer. I preached in the evening at Noi-th Melbourne. 
The after meeting was full of Divine power. 

Jidy 20th.— 1 lectured this evening in the Temperance Hall, 
Russell Street, on ' Total Abstinence.' The place was full of people. 
July 21st. — I went to Maidstone and Albion. I preached in the 
evening at Albion to thirty -eight persons, and baptized two infants. 
Previous to the service I called upon many famihes and invited 
them to chvirch. 

July 24:th. — I wrote Revs. Dare, Egglestone, Catterall, King, 
Cope, Bird, Daniel, and Neale requesting their kind supei-vision of 
' Industiial School ' children located in their respective districts. 
Mr. Duncan, the head of the Department, and I are acting together 
in the children's welfare. 

July 28th. — This day I made up the subscription list for the Hill 
orphans. Mr. and Mrs. William Hoi'der kindly contributed <£50 
towards this fund. 

July 29th. — Mr. S. G. King, J. P., laid the foundation-stone of the 
new church at Carlton. The meeting at 7 p.m. was lai-gely attended, 
and the response was most generous. For safe custody, I sent to 
day to Mr. Waugh, our custodian of Church Deeds, all documents, 
papers, and letters, which had come to me from the Crown Lands 
Office during my Presidential year. 

Aug. 2nd. — I prepared and sent to supernumerary ministers' 
widows and ministers' widows their quarterly annuities direct. 
There were 150 present at the prayer meeting this afternoon. 
In the evening the Rev. Dr. Tucker (Anglican) gave us in Wesley 



AUSTRALIA. 231 



Chiirch a learned lecture on the Abyssinian captives. Dr. Corrigan 
presided with suavity and ability. 

Aug. Zrd. — Ritson, the murderer of the late Rev. W. Hill, will be 
executed this time. From the hour of his conviction he has been 
attended to by the Revs. W. D. Lalean, Watkin, and Neale ; may 
we hope with good effect ? So Mr. Lalean believes. 

Aug. 8th. — ' Honour thy father and thy mother.' My father died 
some years ago in South Australia, but my mother is still living and 
in her eighty-seventh year. This morning Mrs. Bickford, my niece 
Christina Pascoe, and I went to Whittlesea, to see her. She was as 
well as could be expected at her great age. In the afternoon Mr. 
Wyett drove us to see the Yan Yean, which is an immense reservoir, 
from which is drawn the water that supplies the city of Melbourne 
and suburbs. It was a grand sight, and a wise provision for the 
health and comforts of the ' city-fuL' 

Aug. 19th. — Mr. Taylor and I went to Footscray and Stony Creek 
to visit among the people. We were kindly received, and we promised 
them that on the next Sabbath afternoon a reKgious service should 
be held. 

Aiog. 2Qth. — At our Preachers' Weekly Meeting to-day, James Ah 
Ling, the Chinese catechist, was present. Mr. S. G. King finds his 
salary, and I supervise his work. May we not believe that amongst 
these so-called Heathen Chinee, our Divine Lord shall ' see of the 
travail of His soul ' 1 

SeiJt. 1st. — Our dear brother, the Rev. B. Field, departed this life 
in peace and hope to-day at 10.45 p.m. He had been writing for 
the Wesleyan Chronicle, of which he was senior editor, up to 9.30, 
when he laid aside his pen, and went to his bed and died. How 
sudden, ' yet how safe.' On the 4th, we interred the remains of our 
dear brother, B. Field, ' in sure and certain hope.' 

Sept. 8th. — In the afternoon I attended the funeral of the late 
Hon. John Fawkner, M.L.C. the founder, it is claimed, of the city 
of Melbourne. He was an eccentric, adventurous man, and an ardent 
Colonial and politician. He was much venerated as 'Johnny Fawkner,' 
and he went down to his grave full of honours and blessings. 

Se]}t. 17th. — We held a meeting of Wesley Church Trustees to 
consider the financial condition of the Trust. We raised £120 
towards the £500 required. 

Sept. 18th. — Young Thomas Adamson preached this evening, with 



232 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

a view to his nomination for the Ministry. It was a creditable 
discourse. 

Sept. \Wi. — The Kev. William Taylor preached in Wesley Church 
to a densely crowded congregation. The next day (Monday) a tea 
and public meeting were held. We raised £353 12s. lOcZ. Mr. Taylor 
greatly helped us. 

Sept. '25t?i. — I heard David S. Lindsay preach an acceptable 
discourse. He will be a candidate for the Ministry. We met the 
new converts after the service, and put them in classes for fellowship 
and counsel. 

Sept. 27th. — I went at 5 p.m. to see Mr. Glass, and remained with 
him until he died. This is a sad bereavement for our sister, Mrs. 
Glass, and her sisters. 

Se2}t. 29th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting this evening. Income 
c£470 16s. Sd. being <£42 3s. 7d. over expenditure. This reduces the 
debt to about ,£100. The invitations for next year were myself as 
Superintendent, M. Dyson, E, J. Watkin, and R. C. Flockart. 

Oct. 1st. — I copied from the Argus this statement : — 

' Messrs. McCulloch and Sellers have in stations 375, 540 acres, for which 
they pay £1,300 per annum, seven-eighths of a penny per acre. Besides which, 
they have a reservation of 9,000 acres.' 

Here would be something for Mr. George, of ' Land Nationalization ' 
notoriety, to do. This is only one among many cases of a similar 
kind. 

Oct. 21s^.— I went to the House of Assembly, and heard an acri- 
monious debate led on by Mr. George Higinbotham. I greatly 
admired the bearing of the Chief Secretary, Mr. John Macpherson, 
who is very able in reply and courteous in speech. I wish in this 
respect there were more like him in the House. 

Oct. 28th. — I attended a meeting of clergymen of different denomi- 
nations, called by Bishop Perry, for forming a ' Society for the Promo- 
tion of Morality.' Such a society should be a factor for good. 

J)fov. Srd. — The District Meeting was begun to-day ; the Rev. 
J. S. Waugh, Chairman, and the Eev. George Daniel, Secretary. 
The Rev. William Taylor preached in the evening in Wesley Church 
to a full congregation. My nephew, the Rev. E. S. Bickford, came 
to-day, and we sat up until 12 o'clock, conversing mainly on the 
spiritual condition of the Circuits, and the prospects of the Methodist 



A USTRALIA. 233 



Church in these Colonies. I am delighted that he is taking such an 
interest in the general affairs of our great Connexion. On the 6th, 
the three young men from the Wesley Ohui-ch Cii'cuit, Messrs. Adam- 
son, Brown, and Lindsay, were passed as suitable candidates for our 
work. On the 10th, the regular order of business of the meeting 
was suspended at 12 o'clock, when we had a gracious sacramental 
ordinance. In the evening, the brethren from the country gave an 
accovint of the work of God in their several Circviits. It was a fine 
meeting and full of blessed influence. 

Nov. Wth. — The sessions of the District Meeting were closed to- 
day, when we went to Cremorne at the invitation of James Harcourt, 
Esq. M.P., and Mrs. Harcourt, to spend the afternoon. We were 
treated with mtich genuine hospitality. Rev. T. F. Bird lectured on 
' Past and Present,' in Wesley Church in the evening. It was a 
noble and grand effort, and took the people by surprise. He is a 
brilliant fellow. 

Nov. \2th. — I had to break a lance with the Bev. J. W. Inglis 
(Presbyterian), who had stated in the Assembly that the Wesleyans 
were deco}T.ng Presbyterian parents and their children from their 
own Church, by means of ovir Sunday Schools, and I took my letter 
to the Argus for publication. On the 13th, there appeared a reply 
from the pen of the Rev. George Mackie, explanatory of the accusa- 
tions of Mr. Inglis. I accepted the rejoinder, and so ended the 
matter. 

Nov. 16i;/i.— The Rev. W. H. Fitchett and I travelled to Geelong 
together, and we had much profitable conversation. He will be 
some day one of our ablest men. Mrs. Hitchcock received me with 
much Christian cordiality. In the afternoon I went to pay my 
respects to my kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Silas Harding. In the 
evening, I accompanied Mrs. Harding and Miss McLellan, to the 
special religious ser\T[ce at Chilwell. I commenced the meeting with 
prayer and reading the Scriptm-es, and the Rev. W". Taylor preached 
with wonderful power. I remained in Geelong until the 20th, 
visiting old friends, and helping Brother Taylor in his great work. 
I returned to Melbourne by steamer, and was all the better in health 
for my Geelong visit. 

Dec. \2)th. — ^I went to the Land Office to see about the Footscray 
Chiu-ch site, and the Carlton Parsonage site. I also attended the 
Bazaar in the interests of the Benevolent Asylum, when I handed 



234 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

to the Treasurer a cheque foi- ^129 odd, as our contribution to the 
Fund. The Treasurer was not a httle surprised. The next day I 
attended a meeting of the Stationing Committee. 

Dec. 16^/t. — I went to Footscray with Mr. Harding from the Land 
Office, and Mr. A damson the architect, to mark out the Church 
Reserve, and to take the levels of the ground. I also attended the 
Wesley College Speech Day, and was much pleased with the per- 
formances and artistic works of the young gentlemen. 

Dec. 1\st. — We laid the foundation-stone of the new church at 
Footscray. Mr. Gresham, the Mayor, did us the kindness of laying 
the stone. We had a tea and public meeting in the evening, when 
good financial help was promised. 

Dec. 2bth. — I preached at 7 a.m., and the Rev. Dr. Tucker at 
11 a.m. His text was taken from Isaiah ix. 6, 7. The sermon 
was a very able exposition of the great Gospel text, and was 
listened to by a large audience with deep and delighted intei-est. I 
need not add, that to me, who have no chance of often hearing 
brother ministers, it was ' a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on 
the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well 
refined.' 

Dec. Iltli. — I went to Gardiner's Creek, and pieached a funeral 
sermon for my late friend and county man, James Woodmason. He 
was the embodiment of an honest Devonshire yeoman, and a generous 
supporter of the Church. 

Bee. 2Wi. — We held the Quarterly Meeting, and found ourselves 
in debt to the tune of X220, occasioned mostly by an additional out- 
lay on the Sandridge Parsonage. We shall clear this debt ' also 
before my term of service closes, if the recvirrence of such extras can 
only be prevented. 

Dec. 31si. — We held the Watch Night Service in Wesley Church. 
I was assisted by Messrs. Wilton and Hodgson, two of oiu* excellent 
local preachers. It was a profitable service. 

1870. 

Jati. 1st. [Diary Jotting] — ' I commenced this year in Wesley Church. The 
concluding part of the Watch Night Service was very solemn. May the Divine 
Spirit confirm the resolutions into which I, with the congregation, entered. 
Many letters and papers this morning, an earnest of what I may expect this 
year. But I look to Heaven for help, and shall not be disappointed.' 

The case of T. W. D. has caused me an agony of distress all this 



A USTRALIA. 235 



day. He is in gaol, awaiting his trial for embezzlement of moneys 
at the Bank. I saw him in the gaol yesterday, pitied liim, and 
prayed with him. 

Jan. 3rd. — We held the Union Prayer Meeting in Wesley Church 
this evening. The venerable Dean Macartney gave the address. 
It was full of wise counsels, such as might be expected from a man 
of his spirituality, deep experience, and ability. The Spirit of God 
seemed to rest upon the other ministers who led in prayer. It was 
a good time to us all. 

Jan. 5th. — We were plagued with beggars all the forenoon. We 
need one domestic to answer to the door. Such a thing as ministerial 
privacy cannot be had in this house. 

Jan. 1th. — To-day Ebenezer Taylor was examined in Committee 
by the Chairman, the Rev. J, S. Waugh, who was well satisfied. 
Mr. Taylor was unanimously recommended to be taken into the 
itinerant work. 

Jan. 8th. — I buried the remains of dear Mrs. Stanford this after- 
noon. It was a melancholy scene ! Poor Stanford is heart-broken. 
Short wedded life of only eight months. How mysterious are thy 
ways, God ! 

Jan. 11th. — Busy indeed, and plagued with persons calling to 
stay, when one has no time to attend to them. 

As showing the strength of the Connexional principle in the 
Wesley Church Circuit, I may here give the gross totals, for 1869, 
of the several funds, as follow : Church Building Fund, £47 16s. 9cl. ; 
Education Fund, £37 13s. id. ; Church Extension Fund, £74 4s. Id. ; 
Foreign Missions, £281 15s. 2d.; Chinese Mission (fifteen months), 
£187 10s. Od ; City Mission and Bible Woman Agency, £18 Qs. M. ; 
total, £647 6s. M. 

Jan. 12th. — I left per steamer for the Adelaide Conference. 
Judging by the number of ministers on board, we appeared to be 
taking the Conference to the sister colony to sit. I was the guest 
of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Kaines, at Halton Brook, dvu-ing my stay. 
Mrs. Kaines is the daughter of the Rev. T. W. Smith, a Wesleyan 
Minister in England, who, when travelling in the Kingsbridge 
Circuit, Devon, conducted my theological studies, and recommended 
mie to the Conference for the foreign work. No wonder that I was 
much at home with my Halton Brook friends ! The Conference was 
opened in Pirie Street Church, January 20th; the Rev. George 



236 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Hurst, President, and the Rev. B. Chapman, Secretary. The Rev. 
W. H. Fitchett, of Victoria, and the Rev. J. T. Simpson, of 
South Australia, vnth. fifteen other probationers, who had honourably 
completed their four years' ministry, were received into full con- 
nexion. Sixteen young men were accepted as candidates for the 
mirdstry. The net increase of members for the year was 3,384, 
with 10,091 on trial. 

Feb. \st. [Diary Jotting] — ' Closed the Conference this evening at 9.45. 
Upon the whole it has been a happy Conference, although we had some 
difficult work. The President, the Rev. George Hurst, did well, and the 
Secretary, the Rev. B. Chapman, was ready with the minutes as soon as 
required.' 

Feb. '2nd. — I left Halton Brook for Adelaide this morning to see 
my kinsfolk, the Bickfords, and some other friends. Mr. Kaines, 
my geneious host, with his daughters, Bessy and Laura Kaines, saw 
me into the train at the North Terrace for Port Adelaide, where om- 
steamer lay. The Kaines' were most kind to me, and I parted from 
them with much gratefulness of feeling. 

Feb. 4:th. — I arrived at home after a somewhat rough passage. 
Indeed, I was ill from sea-sickness all the way over. The Rev. B. 
Chapman came with me to be our guest en route foi Sydney. The 
Chairmen of the New South Wales Districts settled with me their 
accounts for the Old Preachers' Fund before saiUng on the 9th. On 
the evening of this day our dear Father Watkin preached in Wesley 
Church. It was quite a treat to hear so original, quaint, and telling 
a sermon from the dear old man. 

Feb. 18th. — Mr. and Mrs. Kaines came from Adelaide to be our 
guests for a while. 

March 3rd. — I spent an agreeable time with Dr. Pinnell, the 
American Consul, and Mrs. Pinnell, taking tea with them. They 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal Chiu-ch in the United 
States, and Mr. Pinnell is a lay preacher ; I am sorry that they 
cannot ' fall in love ' with the colony to which they have come in a 
representative capacity. 

April 1st. — The ' children of Shem ' are coming to Christ. The 
first-fruits we had in Wesley Church to-night, when I baptized two 
converted Chinamen in the name of the Holy Trinity. James Ah 
Ling, our catechist, translated their own accounts of their respective 
experiences, when, after answering certain questions put to them 



A USTRALIA. 237 



through James, we received them into the Christian Church. There 
was deep feeling in the congregation. I gave each a copy of the 
New Testament in Chinese, with a little charge as to their future 
conduct. 

April Zrd. — I preached at Ashby, and examined the Sunday 
School in the afternoon. On the Monday I visited my old friends, 
and in the evening I spoke at the public meeting. I returned to 
Melbourne by the last train, and reached home at 11.30 p.m. 

Ajjril Qth. — We held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. We had a 
fine attendance. The finances were well up, so that we reduced the 
Oircuit debt to <£153 15s. 

April 7th. — We have been in this Cii'cuit twelve months to-day. 
It has been a year of incessant engagements of a Circuit, Connexional, 
and public kind ; but my health, through God's great mercy, has been 
good and pretty well equal to the strain. But it is a painful draw- 
back to the pleasure one might otherwise have felt on reviewing the 
year, that the Superintendent of this Circuit cannot command the 
time necessary for making such preparations for the pulpit as the 
intelligence of a city congregation demands. This remark does not 
apply to the Superintendent's colleagues, whose principal time should 
be occupied in pastoral visitation and in pulpit preparation. 

Aj)rit 11th. — Our first anniversary for the new ecclesiastical year 
was held at Wesley Church. The services on the Sabbath were well 
attended, and on the Monday evening we had quite a demonstration 
in favour of Sunday Schools. Our friend, Dr. Cutts, presided with 
much ability, and the Revs. Flockart, Symons, Watkins, and Hay- 
ward spoke with fine efiect. It was a good beginning. 

Ajji'il 15th. — For some years I have availed myself of the aid of 
the Presbyterian Clergy for my Christmas and Good Friday services. 
In this way I have had the opportunity twice a year, at least, to 
hear doctrinally stated their views of the Incarnation and Atonement 
of Christ. From the time of his arrival in Melbourne, Dr. Adam 
Cairns had always shown the most friendly feeling towards the 
Wesleyan ministers, and I accordingly invited him to take the 
pulpit at Wesley Church on this day. The Doctor took as his text : 
' It is Christ that died.' About three hundred were present. We had 
an able exposition of the death of Christ for ' the sins of the whole 
world.' It was the ' strong meat ' by which mature Christians are 
fed, and do gi'ow. 



238 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

May 5th. — It is a soui'ce of much comfort to me that my Society 
class keeps up so well. There were twenty-eight present this evening. 
The quickening grace received under the Rev. William Taylor's 
special services has continued with these precious souls. It is a 
great honour to be the means of leading men into the Church ; but 
it is the greatest of all good work afterwards to keep them within 
the Church's fold. 

I am reading with keenest interest the Memoir of Madame Guyon. 
' She was,' says Wesley, ' undoubtedly a woman of a very uncommon 
understanding, and of excellent piety. Nor was she more a lunatic 
than she was an hei-etic' With such a recommendation, it is no 
wonder that I read the book with much attention. I was much 
struck -with the controversy between Bossieu and Fenelon. My 
sympathies aie with the latter, who, no doubt, was a truly good and 
great man. The former was able, but he was a despot ; he seems to 
have been anjiihing but what a bishop should be. My mind was 
greatly excited over this controversy. 

3I(Uj i^tli. [Diary Jotting] — ' I was unwell, and could not therefore rise at my 
usual hour. I am this day fifty-four years of age. This morning, in my 
chamber. I solemnly gave myself, just as I am, to my God in Christ for service 
— for life, for death. Oh, that the Holy Spirit may perfect what is lacking in 
me, so that I may "stand perfect and completeiin all the will of God" !' 

In the evening I presided, as usual, at the Young Men's Association 
Meeting, when Mr. R. Hodgson, the vice-president, gave a clever 
essay upon ' Death : Before and After the Fall.' My friend is fond 
of the abstiuse and the difficult, but it is his way. The after discus- 
sion was spirited and able. 

May dth. — I went to Albion, and lectured at a Temperance 
Meeting : forty took the pledge. 

3fay Idth. — The social condition of Melbourne was one of the 
subjects for the consideration of the ' Society for the Promotion of 
MoraHty,' of which Bishop Perry is president. This morning I was 
one of a deputation who went to the Chief Secretary about the 
deplorable state of the city. He received us courteously, and 
promised his help. 

May 2ith. — Attended, as I was in duty bound, the Governor's 
levee in honour of Her Most Gracious Majesty. I think it is most 
important in this democratic country that all respectable English 



A USTRALIA. 239 



people should pay this mark of respect to the representative of our 
good Queen. 

June lOth. — In our Young Men's Meeting this evening the subject 
of discussion was : ' Are Forms of Worship desirable in Public 
Worship 1 ' We had a stirring time of it. The negative was carried 
by sixteen to eight. This is quite in sympathy with the feeling in 
great pai*t of the Wesley Church congregation, where Mr. Wesley's 
Abridgment is used. It will have to be discontinued, I expect ; 
but not during my superintendency. 

June IWi.—l attended the Church Anniversary Meeting at North 
Melbourne. We raised ,£343 odd. It was a noble contribution to 
the Ti-ust. 

June 16i/i. — On a Thursday afternoon, when I could afford the 
time, I used to run up to the Parliament House to hear the debates. 
To-day four of the ablest men in the House spoke : Messrs. Fellows, 
Francis, Langton, and MacCuUoch. It was time well spent. The 
Rev. W. Taylor returned from Adelaide this evening, looking well 
after his campaign in soul-saving in South Australia. 

June 17th. — The Rev. Joseph Dare lectured at Carlton on 'Wesley. 
The Hon. J. A. MacPherson, M.P., in the chair. It was an eloquent 
dissertation on the character of the great and good man. About 
three hundred were present. 

June 22nd. — Preached again at the gaol, and spent two hours and 
a quarter among the prisoners. This is a terrible ordeal for me. 
I felt nerveless and ill when I returned to the Parsonage. 

June 21th. — I went to the Land Office to see about Keilor and 
Essenden Church Reserves. 

June 30i/i. — I wi"ote again to the Land Office for a grant of land 
at Northcote as a Parsonage Reserve. 

Jidij \st. — We had a fine discussion at the Young Men's Meeting 
this evening on the question, ' Should the Parliament pass a Per- 
missive Bill ? ' I examined to-day ' Replies to Essays and Reviews/ 
They are keen, and much to the point. I hope the poison in the 
' Essays ' will be neutralised by these ' Replies.' 

July Qth. — We held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. Income 
£483 5s. Ud. Debt remaining, £142 lis. 5d. Members 1,011 ; on 
trial, 45. The next evening the Rev. W. R. Fletcher gave a lectiu-e 
to the Young Men's Association. About two hundi'ed persons were 
present. The lecture was much appreciated. 



240 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Jvly \^iih. — I was engaged all the forenoon in preparing a set of 
resolutions for the Consultative Committee, upon the new state of 
things sprung upon us by a new measure, entitled, ' Repeal of State 
Aid to Religion Bdl,' now before the Parliament. My proix)sition 
of vesting a portion of our Grant was rejected, and Mr. Daniel's, for 
spending all during the next five years, was accepted.* 

Afterwards the Rev. John Cope and I conversed at large on the 
' Old Preachers' Fund ' business, and, at his request, I engaged to 
prepare certain data to aid him in his calculations. 

July 15i/i. — The Rev. William Taylor returned from Beech worth, 
and lectured in the evening to eight hundred and fifty persons. The 
next day, the Rev. Father Watkin, his son, E. J. Watkin, Mrs. 
Watkin, and a dozen at least besides, called to see Mr. Taylor. He 
is much and deservedly beloved. 

July \%th. — I received a letter from Lady MacCulloch, acknow- 
ledging, for Sir James, the Rev. W. Taylor's present of his book on 
South Africa. It is a beautifully written and well-expressed note. 

Jidy V)th. — I went with Mr. Egglestone to see Mr. and Mrs. 
James Harcourt, who have just heard of the death of their son Charles, 
in Fiji. It was a mournful scene. The Rev. J. S. Waugh joined us 
in condoling with our friends and praying with them. In the 
evening I worked upon the statistics of Methodist itinerant Kfe 

* The Cessation of ' State Aid,' under the McCulloch Government, imposed a 
heavy responsibility upon the Wesleyan Connexion, to raise by collections and 
subscriptions such a sum as would carry on the work which had come into 
existence by the aid of Government grants. The amount of £50,000 was pro- 
vided under the 5.3rd clause of the Constitution Act, and was to be distributed 
under certain conditions. (1) That in supplementing stipends, it had to be 
shown by the applicant that the amount he claimed had been duplicated by his 
congregation. (2) That the amount claimed for churches and parsonages had 
been duplicated in the same manner. But a large proportion of really ' godly ' 
persons objected to its continuance : 1, Because truth and error were equally 
subsidised ; 2, That in the appropriation, great injustice was done to the 
Presbyterians and Wesleyans, whose Census ' Returns ' were bond fid i\ whereas 
one of the denominations could not so aver ; 3, Then there were the Congrega- 
tional, Baptist, and Minor Methodist bodies, who, from conscientious motives, 
would not take any money from the public exchequer. As might be expected, 
the continuance or the non-continuance of the ' Grant in Aid' became a 
burning question. The contention was brought to an end by the Government, 
subject to a diminishing scale spreading over five years, when it ceased 
altogether. Since that notable period, ' a fair field and no favour ' has been 
the unchallenged right of every religious denomination in the colony. 



AUSTRALIA. 241 



for Mr. Cope's guidance, in his attempt to fix the principles of our 
Annuitant Society upon sound and safe principles. It is a great and 
difficult work he has undertaken. 

July 30th. — To-day James Ah Ling and Leong on Tong called 
about a matrimonial errand to China. I gave Leong on Tong a 
letter to the Rev. George Piercy, our missionary at Canton, in- 
cluding three bills for £20, £10, =£10, to be used in the interests 
of James Ah Ling, in the event of Leong succeeding in his mission 
for him. 

Atcg. 9th. — I went to hear Dr. Bromby (Anglican) lecture on ' Pre- 
historic Man.' Of course, it was clever in its way, but unsound in 
its theology ; and, in a metaphysical aspect, most erroneous. I 
returned home distressed in mind for the sad eftects such statements 
are sure to bring about amongst a certain increment of our city 
population. As an example, two mechanics, who were working in 
Russell Street, on the next morning were heard thus to converse : 
' I say. Jack, did you hear what Dr. Bromby said last night in his 
lecture ? ' ' No,' said Tom, ' what was it ■? ' ' Why, man,' rejoined 
the other, ' that if we die without being converted there will be 
an end of us. So we have nothing to fear.' And much more 
was said on the same line. The learned and eccentric doctor cannot 
ever know in this world how much mischief his lectures have 
done. 

I went to Brighton, and baptized three children of the Rev. J, B. 
and Mrs. Smith. The parents are attached and true friends. But my 
pleasiu'e was rudely disturbed, later on in the day, by the sad intelli- 
gence of the svidden death in Melbourne of Mr. James Webb, who 
for many years had been a strong supporter of our Church in Tas- 
mania and Victoria. Worry was the cause of his death. I am 
sorry — deeply soriy. What will the family do ? May the Heavenly 
Father undertake for them. 

Aug. IQth. — I was engaged with Wesley Church business all the 
morning, when I prepared a plan for the cUstribution of the £513 lis. 
received fi^om the estate of N. & R. Guthridge & Co., and enclosed 
it to the Treasurers of the Trust. This is the last payment, I suppose, 
from the Old Collins Street property. 

Aug. 24:th. — I took my letter on Dr. Bromby's mischievous 
lecture to the Argus for publication. I had waited to see if 
Bishop Perry, or Dr. Cairns, or the Rev. J, S. Waugh, would call 

16 



•242 JAMES BICKPOED: AN AVTOBIOGBAPIIY. 

the doctor to account, and finding that they had not done so, I 
was constrained to do my little best. With what effect, I cannot 
<1ivine. 

Axuj. Ibth. — I again attended the sick at the Hospital, and after- 
Avards visited Mr. Miscamble. Pooi- man ! He is much afflicted, but 
he is very happy. I saw the venerable Dean Macartney, at the 
^ Promotion of Morality ' meeting, who thanked me for my letter on 
Dr Bromby's lecture. ' How is it,' said I, ' that you have no 
dogmas in the Thirty-nine Articles upon " Future Punishment" ?' He 
replied, ' If there is nothing in the Articles, there is in tlie prayers.' 
' Yes,' I rejoined, ' we do pray in the Litany to be saved from that 
*' wrath and everlasting damnation." But there should have some- 
thing in the Articles themselves, as expressive of the Church's belief.' 
I think he ully acquiesced in my remark. 

I began reading again Hamilton's ' Rewards and Punishments,' 
Avith the view of obtaining more information on this awful doctrine 
of the Scriptures. I do not think anything better can be had at the 
present time. 

Aug. 27th. — In the Argus of to-day Dr. Bromby's answer to my 
letter appeared ; if it can be called an answer, which is doubtful. 
However, I now di'op the matter, and leave the controversy to those 
of ' The Brethren,' who have more time and more polemic ability 
than I have for further discussion. This has been an anxious and 
oppressive week, and I am feeling quite ill. Mrs. Bickford and I, 
therefore, are going out to St. Kilda to see what its salubrious air 
and quiet will do for me. 

Aug. 29th. — Telegram from England — 'War has broken out 
between France and Prussia.' As far as I can judge the Emperor 
is entirely wi-ong ; and if he be he should suffer severely. 

Aug. 30th. — This evening I presided at a meeting for forming a 
Temperance Society in connection with Wesley Church. Messrs. 
Callaghan, Hodgson, Marshall, and Piatt spoke effectively. Between 
twenty and thirty signed. 

Sept. 15th. — To-day I finished my lecture on ' Wilberforce,' which 
will be given, in the first instance, to the Wesley Church 'Young 
Men's Society.' I consider my subject under three aspects: (1) As 
a Christian ; (2) as a Statesman ; (3) as a Philanthropist. I hope it 
will do some good. I have now in course of reading ' Power on 
TJniversalism,' as I find I must get the grip of this question in all 



A USTRALIA. 243 



its varying aspects. Melbourne, at the present time, is aftiicted 
■with a polemic spirit. 

Sept. \^th. — We held the opening services of the North Sandridge 
€hurch. We raised ^50 10^. 

Sept. 20th. — I went to Geelong to attend the ' Sons of Temperance ' 
Meeting. I travelled with Messrs. Longmore, Burtt, and Cope, M.P.'s, 
and Mr. D. Matthews from Echnca, the friend of the Aborgines, 
together with Mr. Poole, ex-editor of the Herald. We had a 
lively time of it all the way. In the afternoon I visited several of 
my old friends, and took tea with Dr. and Mrs. Machin, and had a 
baptismal ceremony. I afterwards spoke at the Mechanics' Institute 
Meeting, where we had a large audience. From thence I went to 
the Advertiser office to know of the latest telegrams, when I learnt 
that so far the Prussians had completely beaten the French. I 
returned to Melbourne on the evening of the 21st in time to hold 
the Local Preachers' Meeting. James Ah Ling and Mr. Restorck 
were i-eceived as full local preachers. 

Sept. 24^A.— I received a letter from Mr. George Smith, Circuit 
Steward, Ballarat, and one from Mr. James Oddie, my old and true 
friend, asking me if I will accept an invitation to that Circuit as 
Supei-intendent for the coming year ? I replied by telegram, ' I am 
not expecting to leave this Circuit ; but if I were I would accept 
with pleasure.' Startling news to-day. The Napoleonic dynasty is 
At an end. 

The Rev. T. McKensie Fraser, M.A., from Geelong, lectured this 
evening in Wesley Church on Dr. Bromby's ' Theory of Annihilation ' 
to some four hundred persons. It was a very able lecture, in which 
the author, as I think, refuted point by point the doctor's unscrip- 
tural and unphilosophical theories. Mr. Fraser was listened to 
throughout with closest attention. 

Sept. 30^7i. — I gave ' Wilberforce ' this evening to the ' Young 
Men's Association,' and was well received. 

Oct. ^rd. — -A kind of red-letter day. I started in the morning foi- 
Sunbury by an early train, and officially visited the Government ' In- 
dustrial School and Reformatory.' I was miich pleased with Mr. Scott, 
the superintendent. I conducted a pretty full religious service, and 
then returned to Mr. Smith's at Sunbury. In tlie evening I preached 
to a nice week-night congregation, and returned to Melbourne, 
reaching home at 11.30 p.m. A hard and happy day's work. 



244 JA.VES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Oct. 5th. — We held the Quarterly Meeting. The motion for a 
division of the Circuit was negatived by forty-four against forty 
votes. The four ministei-s were re-invited with a young preacher 
for Carlton. 

Oct. l'2th. — I attended the Loan Fund Committee, Avhen .£150 was 
voted to the Carlton Church. In the evening we met again for 
forming a Sustentation Society. We sat until 10 p.m. I was very 
cold, and wearied with the labours of the day. 

Oct. 13th. — I prepared a fair copy of the ' Rules and Regulations ' 
for a * Home Mission and Contingent Fund Society,' for submission 
to the District Meeting and Conference. I attended in the evening 
a Temperance Meeting at Coburg, and spoke for half an hour. 
There are now forty-five adult members. 

Oct. lith. — The proposed 'Rules and Regulations' for Sunday 
Schools were agreed to by a Committee this evening. I read Lothair 
until 12 o'clock, and again on the 15th, when I finished it. It is a 
surprising book. The characters are well drawn, and the Satanic 
depth of Jesuitism is scathingly exposed. Disraeli is a bold man to 
publish svich a book at such a political crisis as is this. But good 
and not evil the book must do, especially in Great Britain and 
Ireland. 

Oct. 18th. — I read a second time the Rev, J. C. Symon's tractate 
on Christian Baptism. It is well reasoned, and there is no waste of 
words. It seems to me to be most conclusive on the side of the 
pedo-baptist usage. 

Aiog. 22nd. — I wrote Mr. Duncan, the head of the Industrial 
Schools, informing him that we had arranged for holding religious 
services at the Prince's Bridge establishment. This means more 
work, but it must be done. It is the only chance these unfortunate 
' waifs ' and ' strays ' have. 

In the afternoon I went to Cremorne private Lunatic Asylum ; 
particularly to see Mr. E. and J. T. Poor wrecks ! My soul was 
sore for them. What is diabolical possession ? Mr. Harcourt told 
me of a young lady in England, and of another at Cremorne, born in 
godly homes, and reared in association with religious culture of 
a somewhat high order, who, when the fits of madness came upon 
them, would give utterance to such profane and obscene language 
as would make even wicked men to blush. How is this to be 
accounted for ? Bi;t in this way most likely ; — with reason dethroned. 



A U8TRALTA. 245 



the ' evil one ' enters and takes possession ; and hence the insanity 
and blasphemous outcome we have noticed. Does this theory throw 
any light upon demoniacal possessions we read of in the Gospels ? 

Aug. 25th. — Under the auspices of the ' Society for the Promo- 
tion of Moi-ality ' a congress was held to-day ; Bishop Perry presided, 
and excellent papers were read and impromptu speeches were given. 
It was a grand day for sobriety and righteousness. 

JVov. 2nd. — The District Meeting was begun to-day. We continued 
in session until the 10th. It is a great comfort to me to see how 
smoothly we get through the business of this large district. 

jVov. 15th. — I heard Dr. Bromby lecture this evening in answer to 
his critics. Probably 2,500 persons were present. As a reply to 
his critics it was unsatisfactory and weak. It is hard to say what 
he really believes. 

^ov. 24:th. — I went in the afternoon to the Land Office to see 
about a church site at Lauriston. I also spoke to the Hon. J. A. 
MacPherson about the three-cornered allotment at Emerald Hill. 
He told me that we could pr-oceed with the buildings if we liked at 
once, for the site would be gazetted as a Wesleyan Church Reserve 
in two or three weeks. This evening I had twenty-nine members 
present at my class. It is quite a task to meet them as one would 
like. 

JVov. 28th. — I baptized, in Wesley Church, two Chinese converts, 
Thomas Ah Foo and Simon Tuck Sat. There was a large attendance 
of sympathizers with this Christian mission. 

Dec. 2nd. — I spent the whole of this evening in seeing some of the 
members of Wesley Church Choir, who are grievously offended at an 
article which appeared in our Chronicle last week. The occasional 
admission of irritating articles into our official organ is a great 
mistake and otfence. At all events, I cannot aiford to spend my 
time in attempts to smooth away vexatious feelings, as in this 
instance ; and I hope I may not have to do it again. John 
Colton, Esq., M.P., from Adelaide, called and spent half-an-hour 
with us. I know more of South Australian Methodism now than I 
did before he called. 

Dec. 8th. — Mr Taylor and I weut to Maidstone to inspect the 
' Meat Preserving Company's Works.' We were politely shown 
over the whole establishment. Strong, fat cattle would, in the 
morning, be driven into the slaughter-house, and in the evening of 



246 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the same day the meat is tinned and packed ready for shipment to 
China, India, England, anywhere. This should be a renumerative 
industry. We visited several families, and had a pieaching service 
at night. The next day I lectured on ' Wilberforce ' at Footscray 
in behalf of the new church. My zealous colleague, the Rev. R. 
C. riockart, has charge of the finances of this undertaking, and is 
succeeding admirably. 

Dec. \^th. — I went to the Legislative Council to see the Hon. T. 
T. A. Beckett, about the ' Wines, Beer, Spirits, Statute Amendment 
Bill.' I saw also the Hon. John O'Shanassy about the same thing. 
We are anxious for the passing of this Bill. There is a provision in 
it in favour of ' Local Option,' for preventing the multiplication of 
hotels and public-houses where not necessary. 

Dec. V^st. — The Bill for the Payment of Members was passed 
after a pretty stiff debate. The ' Rupert ' of the Chamber was 
IVIr. O'Shanassy. His best speeches reminded me much of those of 
Sir Robert Peel in their nice and comprehensive arrangement of 
facts, which he marshals with an easy fluency and persuasiveness of 
appeal. Sometimes, however, he can storm, and then his opponents 
have to look out. I have seen him rise in the Assembly, when he 
was our Premier, at the end of a debate, which may have lasted for 
hours, and reply, without a single note taken down, to each opponent 
in turn, and make a clean sweep of the whole lot. Aboiit this 
payment of members policy, I may say, that when it was first 
mooted I was greatly opjjosed to it. But thf lore I weighed the 
arguments, pro e con, the more was I convu_^ed that, in a new 
country like Victoria, it was desirable. It is an experiment truly ; 
but the principal being right, we can have nothing to fear. 

Dec. 31s^. — I spent most of this day in pastoral visitation — Mrs. 
Pascoe, Mrs. Russell, the Misses Palmer, Mr. Fenton, and Mr. 
Hackett. Mrs. Hackett, after much sviffering, which she bore with 
ti'ue Christian resignation, escaped to her heavenly rest. This closed 
my pastoral work for the year. 

A Battle of Giants. 

1871. 

The years 1869 and 1870 will be remembered as those in which 

a battle was fought in IMelbourne between certain metaphysicians, 

theologians, and scientists. It was under the auspices of the ' Early 



AUSTRALIA. 247 



Closing Association ' that this contest began, and by whose patronage 
it was continued. The Rev. J. E. Bromby, D.D., Principal of the 
' Church of England Grammar School,' gave three lectures, entitled : 
' Creation versus Development,' ' Pre-historic Man,' and ' Beyond the 
Grave.' Of these lectui-es every minister of Christ had reason to 
complain. It was not an unfriendly, but a brotherly hand which 
■wTote of the doctor and his lecture as follows : — 

' He has launched a theory which carries the gravest moral consequences vnth 
too evident haste ; he has put to sea without carefully examining into the sea- 
worthiness of his vessel, without any definite idea of the course ; and I fear 
that he, and those who have embarked with him, will make shipwreck of their 
faith.' 

The Bishop of Melbourne (Dr. Perry) came ovit with a very able 
lecture, entitled, ' Science and the Bible,' in which, ' by a few 
gentlemanly, polished sentences, he swept each hypothesis out of 
scientific existence, and courteously consigned it to the limbo of all 
error.' 

Much service was done on the same side by the Editor of The 
Wesley an Chronicle (Rev. John Christian Symons), who, in a series 
of articles, by closest reasoning and clear statement, showed the un- 
soundness and danger of Dr. Bromby's theories. Three anonymous 
publications also issued from the press, entitled, ' No Annihilation ; 
or, Scriptiu'e Evidence of Eternal Punishment ; ' ' The Theory of 
Annihilation,' and ' A Modern Moloch ; or the Painless Non-existence 
of Materialists,' which did good service on the Scripture side of the 
controversy. But the conflict was not confined to Melboiu-ne. The 
Rev. James Nish, D.D., Sandhurst, gave three interesting lectiu-es 
on ' Universalism, Examined and Refuted ; ' and the Rev. T. 
McKenzie Eraser, M.A., in Geelong, also gave a lecture on * Dr. 
Bromby's Theory of Annihilation,' which he afterwards delivered in 
Wesley Church, Melbourne. Every city pulpit, for months together, 
became a vehicle for dogmatic pronouncement on the questions which 
Dr. Bromby had so thoughtlessly made an arena of strife. Possibly 
we should never have known what an amount of learned, critical 
ability lay hidden in the cultured minds of our more prominent 
ministers, and educated laymen, but for this battle for the truth. 

Jan. \st. — I began my ministry by preaching at North Melboui'ne 
and Wesley Church. In the afternoon we had the ' Renewal of 



248 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOORAPHY. 



Covenant Service ' and the Lord's Supper. It was a blessed time : 
* My God I am Thine.' 

Jan. IncL — I sent the quarterly annuities to all the claimants 
on the ' Old Preachers' Fund ' outside the colony. Sending these 
allowances early in the quarter is like giving : ' he gives twice who 
gives quickly.' In the afternoon I buried the remains of oui' dear 
Sister Hackett : ' happy soul thy days are ended,' 

Jan. 7th. — Mr. Courtney, from the College, came at 8 a.m. to tell 
me of the death of our dear Dr. Corrigan, An able and useful man is 
gone from us in the midst of his days. Our loss is very great. On 
the 9th we bui'ied the mortal remains of the late Dr. Corrigan in 
the Melbourne Cemetery. The Rev. Joseph Dare was the officiating 
minister, assisted by Messrs. Waugh, Mackey, and myself. It was 
a largely attended funeral, and every countenance we saw in 
travelUng from St. Kilda to the city cemetery appeared stricken 
with sorrow. 

Jan. llth. — We held a meeting of the Treasurers of the 'Old 
Preachers' Fund,' when I submitted the balance sheet for the year, 
which was at once passed. It was an agreeable and satisfactory 
meeting. The next day I left for Launceston to attend the 
Conference. We were fourteen ministers in all. Arriving on the 
13th, I was glad to find that during my stay I was to be the guest 
of the Rev. John and Mi-s. Harcourt. The next day I visited the 
Gleadows, Harts, Norwoods, and Grubbs. We made a small party 
in the afternoon for some outing. Mr. Robe drove Mrs. Robe, 
Messrs. Williams, Harcourt, Cope, and me, to the Cora Linn Water 
Falls, which were fine and imposing. We took tea at Mrs. Robe's, 
and spent the evening with Mr. and Mrs. Grubb. It was a most 
enjoyable time. 

Jan. I9th. — The Conference was opened in Hobart Town to-day, 
under the presidency of the Rev. John Watsford. At this Con- 
ference my nephew, the Rev. E. S. Bickford, with fifteen others, 
was received into full connexion, and twenty-one were received on 
trial. We continued in session until the 31st, when the Joui-nal 
was read and signed. It was a successful Conference, and the 
hospitaHty of the friends was beyond all praise. During the Con- 
ference I visited Bushey Park, vid New Norfolk, and preached on 
the Sabbath. Mr. and Mrs. Shoobridge showed true Kentish hos- 
pitality. What a lovely spot it is ! A perfect hive of industry, and 



AUSTRALIA. 249 



a home of the highest type of family godliness. Mr. Shoobridge, on 
our way back, took me to see the ' Salmon Fish Ponds.' Who will 
not hope that this Govermental enterprise may be a success, and 
that some day the cool and picturesque rivers of fair Tasmania 
may be as much alive with this ' king of fishes ' as are the romantic 
rivers of gi'and old Scotland 1 

Feb. \st. — This morning I left Hobart Town, in a hired steamer, 
with 320 friends for New Norfolk for a day's recreation and 
enjoyment. Miss Smith and I went to Valley Field to see Mi', 
and Mrs. William Shoobridge. We went all through the beautiful 
gardens, and admired the cultivation, I saw many other things 
calculated to please the eye and to excite gratitude in our hearts. 
I I'eached Hobart Town in the evening, and spent a profitable 
time with my kind host and hostess, Mr. and Mrs. James Smith. 
Miss Smith took me to Kangaroo Point to see the Browns, who 
are particular friends of the Frasers of St. Kilda. Mrs. Brown was 
feeble, but was in a happy state of mind. 

I settled up afi'airs with the Commercial Bank, and took a draft 
for <£1,304 4s. 5fZ., to be paid to the credit of the Old Pi-eachers' Fund 
in Melbourne. After visiting Mr. and Mrs. Vanstone, Mr. and 
Mrs. Heyward, Mrs. Crouch and Miss Crouch, I left by a night 
journey for Launceston, and arrived at 8.30 the next morning. At 
10.30 a.m. the Conference party went on board the Derivent, when 
I at once turned in so as to avoid sea-sickness. We had a pleasant 
trip down the river, and fine weather out at sea. The next day I 
reached Melbourne, and found all well at home. 

Feb. 1th. — I made large deposits to the credit of the Old Preachers' 
Fund ; the next day I met the treasurers, and reported the state of 
afi'airs. In the evening the Rev. George AVoolnough, M.A., preached 
in Wesley Church on ' Jacob's Vision.' It was a clearly conceived 
and well-delivered sermon. 

Feb. \^th. — After preaching at North Melbourne, I gave the 
congregation a short address on the business of the late Conference. 
I think to do this is good policy as a ministerial duty. 

The ex-American Consul, Dr. Pinnell, and Mrs. Pinnell left by 
the steamship Macedon to-day. I do not think they felt much at 
home in Melbourne, and that they will be glad to get back to 
America. I parted from them with regret. 

March 2nd. — I left for Marathon Station, Sutherland's Creek, to 



250 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

see Mrs. Dow, who is very ill. In the evening Mr. Dow and I went 
to the Anakies, to hear the Rev. Henry E. Merriman lecture on 
' Representative Women.' It was a thoughtful and instructive 
lecture, and was well received. Poor Mrs. Dow was about able to 
recognise me, and that was all. We knelt by her bed and commended 
her to God in prayer and faith. 

March 5th. — I preached at Yarra Street, Geelong, in aid of the 
Sunday School. At the public meeting I spoke on (1) Public 
Education, (2) Publicans' Bill, (3) The Permissive Bill. I think I 
had a pretty good grip, and succeeded in interesting the audience, 
which was large. My object was, in most part, to influence public 
opinion in the expectation of a general election. 

March 8th. — The Loan Fund Committee met. We voted to 
churches and parsonages over £3,000. This amount was fairly 
distributed as between ' Town and Country.' 

March lith. — The news of 'peace' between Prussia and France 
reached us this morning ; but dearly bought on both sides. I began 
reading Tyerman's ' Life of Wesley ' to-day. It would be curious to 
know how many biographies of this great man have been written. 
1 understand that Tyerman's is the best amongst the whole lot ; but 
of this I shall be able to judge after pex*usal. One thing is certain, 
that the reverend author makes his subject a little more human 
than do some of the writers ; which, I think, is wise, and a strong 
recommendation of the work. 

Feb. 20th. — Messrs. Ebenezer Taylor and Henry Moore were 
ordained to the full work of the Ministry in Wesley Church this 
evening. It was a good service, and the Great Head of the Church 
sanctioned the ceremony with His own blessed Presence. 

Feb. 2lst. — We held the Church Anniversary Meeting this 
evening at Emerald Hill, when Mr. Thomas Pybus gave us his great 
speech on ' Is Christianity a Failure ? ' Here is a case of a man, of 
singular endowments, missing his way into the highest service of the 
Chiirch, through the pernicious influence of ministerial agitators 
some years ago in the North of England. Methodism, in the past, has 
had her troubles, but they always begun amongst a few able but 
unreasonable men amongst the ministers themselves. This ought 
not to be. We raised at this Anniversary =£150 for the Trust. 

Feb. 24:th. — I was again in Geelong to attend an Ordination Service, 
when my nephew, the Revs. E. S. Bickford, H. Catford, T. E. Ick, 



AUSTRALIA. 251 



M.A., and W. Weston, were thus set apart for the Ministry. The 
Church was well filled, and it was a very fine service. 

Feb. 26</i. — I preached twice at St. Alban's Chu rch to-day. On 
Monday I was at Mi'. Lowe's, enjoying a quiet day and rest. 

March 2%th. [Diary Jotting] — " This morning I went to St. Alban's Church, 
and, assisted by the Rev. F. E. Stephenson, I married my nephew, Edmund 
SoiTell Bickford, to Emma Lowe. The church was full of friends. The Rev. 
John Cope, on behalf of the Sunday School, presented to the bride an address 
and an elegantly bound Bible and Hymn Book. We spent a pleasant afternoon, 
and I, with my niece, Christina Pascoe, returned to Melbourne by the evening 
train." 

The Eev. D. Annear called. He feels deeply and justly his non- 
appointment to a Circuit this year; 

March Zlst. — I held the Local Preachers' Meeting; Messrs. Willis, 
T. Leslie, Ku-k, Johnstone, and Cowperthwaite were examined, and 
received as full local preachers. 

A2)ril 5i/«.— We held the Quarterly Meeting to-day. The income was 
i:47l 13^. 6fZ. Debt reduced to £37 Is. %d. We had an encouraging 
and happy meeting. 

AjJril 7th (Good Friday). — I heard the Eev. Mr. Edwards 
preach to a very good congregation. Mrs. Bickford and I went 
out to Heidelberg and spent a quiet evening. I was unwell from hai'd 
work and worry, and needed rest and change. 

April 10th (Easter Monday). — A deHghtfully quiet day. Mel- 
bourne is ' out of town.' I wrote two articles for the Recorder, and 
in the evening I read Tyerman's ' Life of Wesley.' 

April 16th. — The Rev. J. F. Horsley preached a good sermon in 
Wesley Church, which I much enjoyed. It was a famous specimen 
of the logical style which well becomes our principal pulpits. 

April 2\st. — A busy day. I wrote five letters to England, and 
attended the Female Refuge, Protestant Orphan Asylum, Wesley 
Church Sunday School, and Sunday School Union Committees. 

April 2ith. — Through the Christian genei'osity of Mr. S. E. 
King, the Rev. D. Annear, who was left without a Circuit at the 
last Conference, has come to Wesley Church as a Home Missionaiy 
for one year. 1 went with him, therefore, in search of a house in 
which he should begin his work. 

Map 9fh. — The Chinese Mission is prospering. This evening in 
Wesley Church I baptized three converts from the teachings of 



252 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUT0BI06BAPIIY. 

Confucius to the faith of Chi-ist. There was a fine congregation. 
We had all the Chinese members on the platform, when, led by 
James Ah Ling, they sang ' Rock of Ages ' in their own tongue. 
There was deep feeling. We collected c£6 8s. Grf for the Mission. 

May \2th. — I went into Collins Street on Old Preachers' Fund 
business. I tried to arrange for a loan of <£5,000 on a first mortgage, 
but did not succeed. I also attended a great meeting in the Town 
Hall in aid of the Saturday Half Holiday Movement, when I con- 
versed with Sir James MacCulloch and the Mayor on the fearful 
prevalence of the larrikin element in the City. They entered very 
fully into my views, and were willing to co-operate in any well- 
directed efibrts for removing this social plague from our midst. 

May IQth. — I went up to the House of Assembly to hear the 
Treasurer, Mr. Francis, give his Budget speech. He spoke for two 
hours and twenty minutes with much clearness and grasp of his 
subject. There was a good deal of pleasurable excitement in the 
House. Are politics an easy game to play ] If not, on what 
principle can we explain how it is that a gentleman, who has spent 
his whole life in commercial transactions, can stand up with so much 
self-possessedness before his compeers, and deliver himself as Mr-. 
Francis did to-day ? I suppose this is the solution : the Treasurer 
knew beforehand what he had to talk about, and he stood up and 
said it. 

On the 17th the Rev. Mr. Beecher (AngHcan) and I tramped 
the streets of Melbourne, soliciting subscriptions for furnishing a 
temporary home for fallen women. We met with some success, and 
the Heavenly Father will reward those who so generously helped 
our object. 

May 22nd. — I was busy to-day in pastoi'al visitation, which was 
very pleasant to me. In the evening I attended a great meeting 
for forming a ' Young Men's Chi'istian Association.' The speaking 
was very fine. 

May 2itk. — I went as usual to the Governor's levee in honour of 
the birthday of our dear Queen. May God bless her ! 

June Srd. — I left by train for Scarsdale, vid Ballarat, to help at 
several religious services. The next day (the Sabbath) I preached at 
Linton's, and was the guest of my kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. 
Matthews. We held the tea and public meeting the next evening, 
and raised <£35. Here I met Avith the published account of the 



AUSTRALIA. 253 



* Irish State Trials.' Daniel O'Connell and his patriotic friends 
were acquitted. How much better foi- the English Government to 
have listened to the complaints of the Irish nation, and devised 
i-emedies for their removal, than to have run the risk of a ' State 
Trial ' of the men who were seeking to save the nation ! 

June 6th. — ^My nephew, the Rev. E, S. Bickford, and I went to 
Rokewood, and found Mr. and Mrs. (Ashby) Hill and Mr. and Mrs 
Musgrove all well. The Revs. I. Steele and Iddeson assisted at 
our pubhc meeting. On our way back to Scarsdale, we passed the 
solitary place where Burke killed an unfortunate wayfarer for his 
money. I shuddered as I passed the blood-stained spot. I returned 
to Melbourne on the 8th, arriving at home at 11.30 p.m. 

June '2ith. — I left at 1 p.m. for Keysborovigh, and arrived at 
4.50 p.m. Mr. and Mrs Keys, Senr., received me as usual with 
full-hearted Irish hospitality. I spent a pleasant evening with Mr. 
and Thomas Keys and other membei-s of this family. The next day 
I preached at Keysborough, Dandenong, and Berwick. During this 
visit I attended ' Church Extension Meetings ' at Mornington, Clyde, 
and Keysborough. I had the pleasvire to once more visit my friends, 
Mr. and Mrs. Sykes, Mr. and Mrs. Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. North, 
and Rev. Thomas and Mrs. Kane. I returned to Melbourne on the. 
30th, and found a heap of important business letters awaiting 
attention. The business that has to be attended to by the Wesley 
C'hurch minister baffles all description. 

Jidy Sth. — The Weekly Times came out to-day with my portrait, 
and a sketch of my personalty and style of preaching. This is the 
penalty I am paying in being mixed up in the wretched controversy 
with Di\ Bromby. The ' sketcher ' points out many defects in my 
discourses, but he gives me great credit for my pastoral habits, and 
attention to the sick, the poor, and the aged. Well, this is 
something to the good. If I am not too old to change in the style 
or substance of my pulpit performances I would try to improve. We 
shall see. 

July 1 1th. — I renewed my conversation with James Mathieson on 
the subject of his going into our mission work. I think, physically, 
he would do well for the Tropics ; and I have also a strong belief in 
his natural ability and piety. 

July IWi.—l began reading Dr. Pusey's lectiu-es on ' Daniel the 
Prophet.' From what I can see it is a learned and able work. In 



254 JAMES BICKFOBB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the evening I read in Wesley Church Bishop Simpson's great 
sermon on Isaiah xlii. 4. Mr. Duncan and I had to-day an 
interesting conversation on gaol discipline, including regulai- 
religious services for the spiritual benefit of the prisoners. It is 
quite comforting to find an ' Inspector of Gaols,' as is Mr. Duncan, 
enthusiastically holding to the belief that Her Majesty's ' imprisoned ' 
.subjects ai'e capable of I'eformation, yea, even of salvation. 

July 21s<. — I read in the London Watchman the account of the 
Exeter Hall Meeting. It was a great refreshing of soul to me. I 
wonder if I shall ever have the privilege of attending one such 
meeting ' before I go hence.' 

July llnd. — I began again reading Bishop Butler's ' Analogy of 
Religion,' feeling that it is of much importance that I should keep in 
touch mth this masterly exjjosition of the credo he has accepted, and 
was bound to defend. 

July 2^th. — I attended a meeting of Christian gentlemen for 
selling good literature throughout the Colony. Surely, next to 
pulpit and Sunday School woi-k, this comes of great importance. 
We shall prevent the reading of bad books by settlers, miners, and 
others, by supplying to them, at reasonable prices, readable, pure 
literature. 

Aug. lith. — I read the London Quarterly for two or three hours. 
I like our periodical better than I do any of the others that come to 
us from London. But I am much grieved that so few of our leading 
men, and ministers even, ever see it. It must be a great loss to 
them. 

Aug. \d>th. — At our Preachers' Weekly Meeting to-day we had two 
Chinese catechists present. Their report of their work was encourag- 
ing, and there appears to be a wide field before them in these 
Colonies. It was good to have these men with us. 

Aug. ?i\st. — Messrs. James and Garrett, M.P.'s, called about our 
petition to Parliament on the ' Prohibition ' question. In the after- 
noon Mr. President Watsford and I went up to the House, and 
handed our petition to Mr. James for presentation in favour of the 
Bill. In the evening I presided at the ' Daughters of Temperance ' 
Meeting. About iovoc hundred were present on the joyous occasion. 
Upon the whole it was a gratifying success. 

Sept. 5th. — There is no end of trouble over our Day School matters. 
To-day I had to go up to the Board of Education to see the Secretary 



A USTRALIA. 255 



(Mr. B. F. Kane) about the Carlton, Coghill's Creek, and Wesley 
Church Schools. The next day I finished my second copy of the 
' Wilberfoi-ce Lecture.' It has been quite a means of instruction and 
good to me to prepare this lecture. May the Lord bless it to others ! 
(D. J.) 

Sept. Wth. — I accompanied a deputation to the Chief Secretary 
about closing the ship Cerberus to the public on the Lord's day. The 
right is on our side, but the might (the ' world-power ') is against us. 
But we shall see. 

Sept. I^rd. — I left for Sebastopol, and arrived in the evening. I 
was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Kobinson, who made me most welcome. 
The next day I preached at 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. to good congre- 
gations. The usual public meetings came off the next evening. I 
spoke for three-quarters of an hour on the proper work of the 
Chvirch in two branches, viz., the preaching of the Gospel, and the 
religious training of the young. The brethren were more than kind 
in their references to my former labours in the Ballarat District. On 
Tuesday evening I lectured for an hour and a half on ' Wilberforce ' 
with much freedom. Not only from natural instinct, but also from 
a long residence in the West Indies, I seem always to feel an unex- 
plainable sympathy with the humane efforts for the African race 
which this great Christian philanthropist put forth. I went into 
Ballarat, and slept at Mr. Oddie's, so that I might be ready to leave 
for Melbourne by the first train next day. 

Sejit. 27th. — This evening Orlando Knee and James Matthieson 
preached in Wesley Church with a view to their nomination at the 
ensuing Quarterly Meeting for the work of the Ministiy. They did 
very well. 

Se2)t. 3Qth. — This afteinoon the foundation-stone of the new 
Temperance Hall was laid by his worship the Mayor in Russell 
Street. At the evening, meeting, the Revs. Dare, Mackie, and I, 
with Messrs. Munro, Callaghan, and Beauchamp spoke. It was a 
very good meeting, and augurs success. 

Oct. 37-d. — A notable day in the interests of the Christian Sabbath. 
A great meeting was held at St. Enoch's of a stormy kind. But that 
was to be expected. We carried the whole of our resolutions, and 
appointed a Sabbath Defence Association. 

Oct. 4:th. — We held our Quarterly Meeting. There were sixty-five 
brethren present. I nominated Brothers Knee and Matthieson. 



"^ 



256 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

They were passed with the condition of both having a year's training 
at Wesley College. We concluded our meeting after midnight. 

Oct. Gth. — I left for Echuca by the 11.40 train, and arrived in the 
evening. I spent an agreeable hour with the Rev. J. F. and Mrs. 
Horsley, and I slept at Mr. Brown's. The next day I visited Mr. 
and Mrs. Heyward, Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson, Mr, Payne, Mr. 
Forbes, Mr. and Mrs. Redman, and Mr. Matthews. At 3 p.m. I 
left for Deniliquin, and reached this ' City of the Plains ' at 9 p.m. 
Mr. Hunter, formerly of St. Kilda, was there to receive me. I was 
to be the guest of Dr. Jones, who, with Miss Jones, gave me a 
gracious welcome. I was much tired ; the bush road was simply 
execrable. 1 opened the new Church the next day. I saw in the 
congregations several of my former friends in other Circuits. The 
usual meetings were held on the Monday, when the Mayor, Mr. 
Robertson, occupied the chair. We raised about £4:0. On the 10th 
I rode with the Rev. Charles Jones to Landall's Station to see the 
sheep-shearers. There were eighty men at work. It was to me a 
novel and exciting sight. I was told that some of the men will shear 
as many as a hundred sheep /)er diem ; but such shearing I never 
saw before. It seemed to me to be wasteful and cruel. In the 
evening I gave ' Wilberforce ' at Deniliquin; Mr. Gordon, the police 
magistrate, in the chair. 

It is not often that a minister in the full work of a Circuit can 
have such a treat as I had in a quiet two hours' talk with my generous 
host — Dr. Jones. Here in this out-of-the-way place I found one of 
the best read, the best informed, of men, on all matters affecting 
the future of the Australian Colonies, and the trend of social and 
political thought in Europe, it had ever been my privilege to fall in 
with. Besides which he was a Christian gentleman, and Editor of 
the Pastoral Times. No wonder, therefore, that although I had had 
a day which sorely taxed my physical and mental strength, I sat up 
with him until midnight before I could retire to rest. On the 11th 
Mr. Horsley and I left in a buggy for Echuca, and reached his home 
at 4.30 p.m. I called on Dr. and Mrs. Allen, who are Church 
members. Dr. Allen is the son of the Rev. John Allen, a minister 
of the English Conference. In the evening I lectured to a fair 
audience, but I was too much tired to do justice to my theme. On 
the 12th I left for Melbourne. At Sandhurst the Rev. W. P. 
Wells, an old and dear friend, met me at the station, and di'ove me 



AUSTRALIA. 257 



to the parsonage for lunch. I spent a nice time with him, I left by 
train in the afternoon for Melbourne, and reached Wesley Church all 
well. I found waiting my arrival Mr. S. G. King and the Rev. 
Josiah and Mrs. Cox, from China. Mr. Cox will be in the Colony for 
some time, looking into our Chinese work, meeting the catechists and 
the converts in Christian fellowship, and holding services in the City 
and in those parts of the country where the Chinese are located. 

Oct. nth. — I went to the Assembly, and heard Messrs. Duffy, 
Langton, McGi-egor, Vale, and O'Grady speak. There was much 
feelinsr in the House. But the Government in the end beat their 
opponents by two votes to one. After this ti-ial of strength, perhaps 
the Government of the country may be carried on without further 
obstruction. 

Oct. 23?yZ.— The Rev. E. Taylor and I left for Sunbury. At 
Flemington we conversed with Mr. James Robertson about the 
land he has for sale adjoining our Church site. At Bullar we called 
on Mr. and Mrs. Saunders, who were kind to both * man and beast.' 
We reached Sunbury at 6 p.m., and went at once to the Public 
Meeting, which was well attended. We returned to Melbourne vid 
Keilor. In the evening I went to Footscray, to the new church 
tea and public meeting. I returned at 11.30. 

Oct. 25th. — I met the Flemington Trustees, who agreed to purchase 
fifty feet to jNIount Alexander Road at £ 1 per foot and one hundred 
feet at the back for 10^. per foot. This will give us an excellent 
church and school site. 

iVow. 1st. — -The Annual District Meeting was commenced to-day; 
the Rev. John Watsford in the chau\ Duiing the sessions we 
held a special public tea and public meeting in the interests of the 
Chinese Missioa. The object was to raise funds for purchasing a 
site, and for erecting a mission church, in Little Bourke Street. Mr. 
Cox was the principal speaker, and the response to his appeal was 
immediate and generous. We raised =£266. The Financial Meeting 
was held the next day, when the Circuit Stewards came prepared 
with a number of resolutions affecting the finances of the Connexion. 
It was quite a field day. The fi-eest scope was allowed in the discus- 
sions, and eventuated in the withdrawal of the resolutions in fjloho. 
We sat until 10 p.m., when we parted on good terms with each 
other. We spent a whole day in considerations, recommendations 
to Conference, and in examining Messrs. Nicholson, Robin, B.A,, 

17 



258 JAMES lilCKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

and Schofield for full connexion. On the evening of the 6th the 
Rev. J. C. Symons preached the annual sermon to the young. It 
was a highly practical sermon, and was well received. 

At the District Meeting much pi'omineuce was given to the claims 
of the ' Home Mission and Sustentation Society.' The public meeting 
was held at Brunswick Street, and the young brethren did capital 
service. We closed our sittings on the 8th. Under the guidance of 
Mr. Watsford we had a successful and profitalile District Meeting. 

Nov. 29t/i. — Still involved in the Church Sites question. We have 
formed a new trust for Sandridge property, and now the trouble is 
about the Crown Grant. I went again to-day to the Crown Sohcitor's 
office about it. The ' red tape ' observed in Government offices is a 
terrible trial to men of practical minds. I wanted to get Mr. Suther- 
land to insert in the ' Certificate of Title ' two or thi'ee lines for 
recognising the principle of trusteeship in the Title, so as to do away 
with the necessity of a supplementary document of ' Declaration of 
Trust.' I did not get this concession, but Mr. Sutherland promised 
me the usual Title this week. At the same time I called upon the 
Treasurer, Mr. Graham Berry, to express my sympathy with him in 
the death of his daughter. I had a nice interview with him. I also 
attended a meeting of friends, called by the Rev. Adam Cairns, D.D., 
to consider the question of starting a religious newspaper as an organ 
of the Evangelical Churches, of which there is great need. 

Dec. 12th. — We met to-day to make the Conference Plan. This is 
a difficult business, because of the uncertainty of brethren being with 
us fi'om the distant colonies. This may be remedied some day, it 
may be hoped. I heard this morning of the death of the Rev. George 
Mackie, of South Yarra. It is a great loss to us. Mr. Mackie was 
a good minister of Jesus Christ, an ardent worker in the Temperance 
cause, and a genuine philanthropist. He and I had been close friends 
since our first acquaintance in Ballarat some years ago, and we had 
often stood side by side in defending religion and sobriety. 

Dec. lith. — I went to the funeral of the late George Mackie. It 
was largely attended ; a public testimony to the moral worth and 
great usefulness of our departed friend. The Rev. Alexander 
Cameron's address was full of deep Christian feeling, and touched 
many hearts. 

Dec. 25th. — By invitation, the Rev. D. Nimmo preached this 
morning in Wesley Church, and gave us a sermon full of rich 



AUSTRALIA. 259 



thought, and delivered with calmness and judgment. I mucli en- 
joyed it. For a Christmas Day the congregation was very good. 

On the 2Gth I went to Carlton to see John King, the explorer. 
Poor, dear fellow, he is done for this world. He is going to heaven. 
Since his return from Cooper's Creek and settlement in St. Kilda 
I have had much opportunity of knowing him. A man of stricter 
probity, I believe, never lived. 

Dec. ^\st. — I closed the hard work of this year by holding the 
usual Watchnight service in Wesley Church. 

1872. 

Jan. \st. — Through God's mercy I have entered upon another 
year. I look to heaven for assistance and grace. May our way be 
directed from on high ! 

Jan. 2nd. — Held the Quarterly Meeting. We had a breezy time, 
but no bad blood. 

Jan. ^th. — I looked through Dr. Gregory's ' Life of the late 
Walter Powell,' and found it to be a highly suggestive work. It 
should be read by all young merchants who wish to succeed in life. 

Jan. lO^/t. — I went again to the United Mid-day Prayer Meeting. 
Bishop Perry presided, and gave an excellent adcU-ess. The prayers 
were hearty, and the feeling was very good. I also, at the request of 
the Bishop, addressed a few words of counsel and encouragement to 
the congregation. 

Jan. 15f/i. — We heard to-day of the dangerous illness of the Prince 
of Wales. We are waiting with trembling anxiety for the incoming 
Suez mail. I wrote to-day to the Hon. Graham Berry, informing 
him of John King's death ; pointing out that the Government should 
undertake the entire expense of the funeral, and send one or more 
of the oificials to follow the corpse to the place of interment. Mr. 
Beriy's reply was to the eftect that the Government would allow the 
sum of <£40, and leave the entire matter in my hands. We buried 
the mortal remains of this intrepid man in the Melbourne Cemetery, 
when many fi-iends gathered around his grave and wept over his 
death. The Government all along has shown the utmost generosity 
to this only survivor of the vmfortunate Burke and Wills exploring 
party, the leaders of which perished at Cooper's Creek in 1861. 

The Conference of this year was an important one, as marking a 
new era of ecclesiastical development. It was opened at 10 a.m. 



260 J A MES BICKFOB D : AJ^ A UTOBIO GBAPHY. 

on Januai-v 18th by the retiring President, the Rev. John Watsford. 
After his address, the Pv,ev. Benjamin Chapman took the chair, and 
the Rev. John Cope was chosen as Secretary. The Conference Sunday 
was a high day for Wesley Church. The President, according to 
custom, occupied the pulpit in the morning, and gave us a richly 
evangelical and earnest discourse. The Rev. James Buller, from 
New Zealand, preached a good sermon in the evening. It was 
stately and scholai-ly, as are all his public utterances. On the 22nd 
the Annual INlissionary Meeting was held. The brethren spoke with 
much power and beautiful eloquence. The collection amounted to 
<£31 8s. 3fZ. On the 24th we had a great breakfast meeting in the 
interests of the Chinese Mission, and raised =£355. In the afternoon 
the Rev. Josiah Cox addi^essed the Conference in an admirable 
speech, on the duty of the Australasian Methodists assisting the 
British Ch\irches in their efforts to evangelise China. The Ordination 
Service was held in the evening, when Messrs. Pitcher, Jones, Robin, 
Schofield and Nicholson were fully ' set apart ' to the work of the 
Ministry. Mr. ex- President Watsford gave the ' Charge,' which 
was excellent and impressive. On the 29th the first Methodist 
Confei'ence Temperance Demonstration came oif in the Town Hall. 
It was a great affair. Much good must result to all Australia from 
this committal of the Conference to the Temperance cause. On the 
31st the Rev. William Kelynack lectured in Wesley Church, Sir 
James MacCulloch, M.P., in the chair. The Cathedral Church of 
Australian Methodism looked well with its crowded audience. The 
collection was ,£50. 

The plan for holding, in 1873, instead of one Australasian Con- 
ference as at present for the whole Connexion, fovir Colonial Annual 
Conferences was earnestly debated, and ultimately passed. This 
plan provided also for the holding of a Triennial General Conference, 
as the Supreme Court of Legislation of the Australasian Wesleyan 
Methodist Church. Although good reasons were shown why this 
change in our form of government and administration should be 
made, yet there was a powerful minority, not in numbers certainly, 
but in ability beyond all doubt. The names of the chssentients are 
as follow : Messrs. Gaud, Hurst, Quick, J. G. Turner, Piddington, 
N. Bennett, Ironside, S. Williams, J. B. Waterhouse, Sellors, 
Nolan, Wilson, P. E. Stephenson, J. B. Stephenson, and Woolnough. 
Seventy-four voted for the Plan, and so it was cari-ied. 



AUSTRALIA. 261 



We had a great discussion on the case of the Rev. Thomas Guard, 
then a missionary in South Africa. His name had been brought 
before us by the Rev. William Taylor, who had seen him in that 
country, and knew his worth. The Conference finally adopted a 
resolution, which I give verbatim, that the Methodist people may 
know the terms on which similar cases may be dealt with : — 

" Resolved : — That the Chairman of the Melbourne District be permitted to 
negotiate with the Rev. Thomas Guard, in reference to his joining the 
Australasian Conference on the following conditions, which the depressed state 
of the Connexional funds, and the finding of stations for married ministers, 
render necessary, viz : — (1) That such financial arrangements be made by Mr. 
Guard's friends in Victoria without prejudice to those funds ; (2) That the 
Circuit seeking Mr. Guard's services shall take him as an additional married 
minister, without having the previous four years' service of single men, in 
addition to defraying the expense that may be incurred in bringing Mr. Guard 
and his family to Melbourne." 

These terms were accepted, and £500 were raised to secure Mr. 
Guard's advent amongst us. 

The news of the murder of Bishop Patteson and the Rev. J. B. 
Atkin, in Polynesia, called forth the deep sympathy of the Confer- 
ence, and a resolution of condolence with the Chui'ch Missionary 
Society Avas passed relating thereto. It was as follows : — 

" Resolved : — That this Conference record its deepest sympathy with the 
Directors of the Melanesian Mission in the great loss they have sustained by the 
deaths of Bishop Patteson and his fellow-labourer, the Rev. J. B. Atkin, who fell 
by the hand of violence while prosecuting their self-denying labours among the 
islands of the South Pacific ; and also expresses its strongest condemnation of 
the traffic in human beings which is now being carried on among the islands, 
and which there is reason to believe has been the main cause of the murder 
of these devoted missionaries, is likely to lead to many similar acts of violence, 
and to interfere most prejudicially with missionary labour." 

It is not to be wondered at that such an expression of sympathy 
came welling up from many a soul, as this painful disaster was 
under consideration, when we call to mind that in the Conference 
there were so many veterans who themselves had often been ' in 
perils among the heathen.' For, if it be true, as was remarked by 
the lamented Dean Stanley, that ' the vast literature of the nine- 
teenth century had become the real bond and school of the nation, 
beyond the power of educational and ecclesiastical agitation to 
exclude or prevent ; ' then how much more true has the association 



262 JAMES BICKFOBD: AK AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

of God-Lonoured men of different Churches, in the outlying portions 
of the world, tended to cement them as ' one ' in Christ's love and 
pity for the lost. I am sure that if Bishop Patteson and Mr. Atkin 
had been our own missionaries, the great sorrow which moved the 
Conference could not have been stronger or more sincere. 

Feb. 7th. — The Conference broke up, and the next day I accom- 
panied the Rev. Stephen Eabone, the General Secretary of oui- 
Mission, and Mr. President Chapman, to the steamer, in which they 
soon left for Sydney. 

March 4:th. — I went to Hotham Hill to select a site for church, 
and school purposes. The population is rapidly gathering here, and 
no time must be lost in choosing a God's Acre for the people's l:)enefit. 
On the 7th we accepted for the new church in Little Bourke Street, 
for the Chinese immigrants. We shall build forthwith. Financial 
success is secured. In the afternoon I visited eight families, which 
was a real pleasure to me. 

March IQth. — The news of the death of the Venerable Dr. Dixon 
reached us. I went at once to condole with Mr, James Dixon and 
Mrs. Dixon. A great preacher, 'old and full of days,' has gone 
from us. 

March 19th. — I held an important meeting at Carlton. We had 
associated with the ' Five ' trustees, gazetted by the Government, 
several influential seat-holders as a Building Committee. I conceived 
that their duties were fulfilled in the completion of the church. I 
called this committee together to hear the balance sheet, which was 
accepted and signed, when I informed them that the affairs of the 
church would have to be managed in future by the legal trustees. 
On the 25th I met the trvxstees of the Footscray Church, and pre- 
sented the account for the erection of the building. We had spent 
£686 3s. The Eev. Pt. C. Flockart, my excellent colleague, had 
raised, by a series of lectures, .£55 of this amount. 

March 29<A (Good Friday). — The Kev. Andrew Robertson preached 
in Wesley Chiu"ch this morning, taking as his text the words, 
" And now, Father, glorify Thou me with Thine own self with the 
glory which I had with Thee before the woild was.' He was grand 
in dwelling upon the glory of the eternal Divinity surrounding and 
penetrating the humanity of Christ. In the evening I went to St. 
Francis' Cathedral, and heard the Rev. MacGullicardy pronounce an 
oration on the sufferings of Christ. His text was, ' Is it nothing 



A USTRALIA. 2G3 



to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow 
like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me 1 ' In the recess behind 
the dais there was suspended from the wall a large and beautiful 
painting of ' Christ Crucified,' and, as he proceeded in developing his 
great theme, he would frequently turn round and point to the crown 
of thorns, the pierced ' hands and feet,' and the streaming ' blood.' 
It was, but not in an otiensive sense, powerfully histrionic; and the 
feeling throughout that vast assemblage reminded me of a West 
Indian sea, heaving and swelling preliminai'ily to an earthquake or 
a hurricane breaking forth. We had a full hour's impassioned, 
emotional declamation, and I was held as under a spell. The choii-, 
I understood, was composed of ' professionals,' and its rendering of the 
pieces was wonderful. To my heart, yea, to my very soul, it was in 
pathos, in depth, in fulness, in harmony, and majestic volume, incon- 
ceivably superior to anything of the kind I had ever heard in churches 
or cathecbals in the old country. I would like to have seen Mr. 
MacGullicardy at the close to have thanked him for his great 
service. 

A2}ril 13th. — Another of itinerary farewells I have just passed 
through. The last Conference appointed me to the Ballarat East 
Circuit, and to the Chaii'manship of the Geelong and Ballarat Dis- 
trict ; but the closing of various accounts of which I had held the 
treasurership, and the resigning of positions in the philanthi-opic, 
Temperance, Young Men's Societies, and Connexional offices, seemed 
to me to be a work for days instead of hours. The Valedictory 
Meeting at Wesley Church was very gratifying. The Venerable 
Dean Macartney, the Rev. J. S. Waugh, Dr. Cutts, Mr. Callaghan, 
and Mr. Hodgson, and some others, spoke with much affection of my 
labours in the City. The Circuit was, in due course, handed over 
to the Rev. W. A. Quick, my successor, and the Acting Clerical 
Treasurership of the ' Old Preachers ' Fund ' I placed in the hands of 
my co-treasurers, when the Rev. J. C. Symons was chosen in my 
stead. I was now free from further responsibilities, and I hastened 
to the hospitable home of the Harcourts at Cremorne for a few days' 
rest and recreation. Mrs. Bickford went to Carlton on a visit to 
Mrs. Pascoe, who had been for years a great sufferer from chronic 
rheumatism. I got to Ballarat in time for the religious services 
of April 14th, when I entered upon my new sphere of labours. 



264 JAMES BICKFORB: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



Ballarat East. 

I commenced my laboiu's iu this Circuit by preaching at Brown 
Hill and Niel Street, when I found my old friends glad once more 
to sit under my ministry. I do pray the Heavenly Father to bless 
me and my young colleague, the Rev. David Perry, in our ministra- 
tions to this people. The next day I arranged my study, and made 
everything straight. I paid in advance my subscription to the 
' Reading-room,' and spent the afternoon in pastoral visitation. On 
the 18th Mr. Walsh, formerly of Barbadoes, W. I., died. He was 
present at my marriage in James Street Church, Bridgetown, on 
May 6th, 1841, and now, after all these years, we meet in Ballarat, 
and I attend him in his dying hour. The next day died INIr. Bennett, 
one of our good Cornishmen. Two good members in our first week 
are taken home. 

Jp?-i? 2ibth. — The Venerable Dr. Lang was ^asiting Ballarat, and 
Mr. Oddie kindly asked me to meet him at tea, which I did. I 
anticipated much pleasure from this liistoric man ; but I was dis- 
appointed. He would not talk; so, after tea, I left him to his 
thoughts. 

May \st. — I preached at Little Bendigo to forty persons. I had 
a wet, dark ride back after service. To-day I wrote a long letter to 
the Star on Public Education. The diift of it was to prevent, if 
possible, any further meddling with the present Act. 

May 8th. — I went to Melbourne, to the business of the Loan Fund 
and Sustentation Society. We sat for ten hours, and finished our work. 

May 11 th. — I prepared the statement of the Home Mission and 
Contingent Fund Society for the Annual Report. 

May 1.5th. — I went to Bungaree for the first time, and preached 
to thirty-eight persons. I visited several families before the service. 
The road was awful. I came home at 11 p.m. cold and wet. 

June 1th. — I have often felt that the magistracy of the Colony 
had not in its ranks as many intelligent, godly men as it ought. I, 
therefore, -rn-ote the Premier, asking that, when any new ap- 
pointments were being made, my friends, F. Poolman, Esq., Sandridge, 
and S. G. King, Esq., of North Melbourne, might be included. 
To-day I received a letter from the Hon. Howard Spensley, Solicitor 
General, informing me that my request had been granted. 

June litJi. — I commenced reading the ' Life of Lord Brougham,' 



AUSTRALIA. 265 



because I find political biography extremely instructive. I should 
think that the noble lord was too erratic and impulsive to ' woi-k in 
a team/ and too communicative to be associated in Cabinet. 

July 5th. — I rode out to Mount Egerton to attend the Quarterly 
Meeting. It was poorly attended, and every interest seemed much 
depressed. In the evening I preached to an attentive congregation, 
and made an effort of finance for the Circuit. The Rev. W. M. 
Bennett is our minister in charge. 

Juli/ 18th. — His worsliip, the Mayor of Geelong, wrote me that the 
gentleman I had recommended as superintendent of their Botanical 
Gardens had been appointed. I am happy that I was able, with 
some others, to do a good tvu-n for my friend, Mr. John Raddenburg. 

Aug. 2nd. — I had an interesting interview with Dr. Jakins, 
originally from London, who acted upon my advice given him in 
Geelong to seek a practice in Ballarat. He is succeeding well, and 
is much respected. In the evening I read a report, published in 
pamphlet form, of a famous discussion : ' Was St. Peter ever at 
Rome ? ' The combatants were a converted Italian priest, who had 
become a Wesleyan clergyman, and of an Ecclesiastic from the 
Vatican. The Methodist, I think, had the best of the ai'gument. 
But such a discussion in Rome, under the very eyes of the Pope, is 
one of the wonders of this wonderful century. 

Aug. 12th. — I wrote the Hon. A. Fraser, the Commissioner of 
Works, a long and as pungent a letter as I could write upon the 
subject of the Government undertaking forthwith a series of public 
works, so as to give employment to the wox-king-classes who had 
nothing to do. In this matter I was only following the example of 
Wilberforce, who wrote jNIr. Pitt to do the same thing for the starving 
poor in London. 

Aug. 22nd. — I again visited Mr. Woolcock at Mount Pleasant. 
As he is not long for this world, I made his will. Referring to the 
state of his soul, he said, ' Religion is a glorious fact. It is solid 
rock. I am safe. With great humility, but with confidence, I can 
say,— 

' " Love, thou bottomless abyss, 

My sins are swallowed up in thee ! 
Covered is my unrighteousness, 

Nor spot of guilt remains on me, 
WTiile Jesu's blood, through earth and skies, 
Mercy, free boundless mercy, cries." 



266 JAMES BICE FORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

' Covered : yes — covered ! I do not see the full glory yet light 
through, but I shall ! Yes ; I shall ! Hallelujah ! Abundant 
entrance into the everlasting Kingdom.' It was a glorious testimony ; 
I never heard a cleaier oi- more tiiumphant confession of ' victory 
through the blood of the Lamb.' Old Samuel Wesley, Rector of 
Epworth, as he lay upon the bed of death, addressing his poet son 
Charles, said, ' Ee steady. The Christian faith will sm-ely revive in 
this kingdom. You shall see it, though I shall not.' And what 
the grand old Rector meant by the ' Christian faith ' is explained in 
the few words he had strength enough to speak to his son John 
Wesley, ' The inward witness, son, the inward witness, that is the 
proof, the strongest proof of Christianity.' This same lesson of 
' steadiness ' I again learnt from the lips of Brother Woolcock on 
the subject of my pastoral ministry ; whilst the cogent demonstration 
of its living power over the acutest sufi'erings — the very ' swellings 
of Jordan,' — and of his consciousness of peace and safety in Christ, 
was simply glorious. That is the ' Faith ' to be revived in all 
Australasia. 

On the 24th I went out to dunes in the interests of the Home 
Missions. I preached on the Sabbath, visited old friends, and took 
tea at my nephew's, James Bickford Boon's; after tea I baptized 
seven childien. I spoke in the evening for nearly an hour. We 
raised <£18 5s. 

Sejit. \2th. — I read an article in Harper^ s Magazine entitled, 
' Republicanism in Europe ! ' This is a stirring discovery. ' It is a 
dream,' say some ; others, ' It will surely come ' ! But God reigns. 

Sept. 29^/t, — I went again to Stieglitz for the Sabbath, and to hold 
the Quarterly Meeting next day. I gave a lecture in the evening, 
Mr. John Osborne in the chair. We raised <£15. 

Oct. 4:th. — The Barkly Street Chuich sustained a great loss to-day 
in the sudden death of our senior leader, our dear brother, Peter 
Johns. He was going his rounds with vegetables, and when near 
the hospital he was seen to fall forward, and died immediately. I 
went straight to Mrs. Johns to condole with her in her sorrowful 
bereavement. 

Oct. 5th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting, which occupied all the 
day. In the evening we held a fine Meeting in aid of the new 
school-rooms; at night I was much tired with the worry of the 
day. 



AUSTRALIA. 267 



Oct. dth. — How rapidly the months tiy ! Here I am again in 
Melbourne attending the Connexional Committees. After which I 
went to the House of Assembly, and heard part of tlie debate on 
' Public Education.' What an interminable question this is ; but it 
should be settled this time. The Bill now under discussion contem- 
plated a system of 'National Education,' on the basis of a free, 
compulsory, and secular foundation. The father of the Bill was 
the Hon, Wilberforce Stephen, Attorney General of the MacCulloch 
Government. It ignored Bible or Religious Instruction in all State- 
paid schools, and thus removed the ' religious difficulty ' to the direction 
and care of Christian Churches, and to the action of parents as the 
natural guardians of the chikh-en. This accomplished by direct 
legislation, the way was cleared for an effective administration of the 
Act. It was a great charge the Parliament assumed, for there were 
of children, at that time, 281, 87G of school age, and 205,502 were in 
attendance at public schools. About 10,000 had night schools 
estabhshed for their special benefit. Two objects by this Act were 
sought to be secured. (1) To place compulsorily within the reach of 
every boy and girl in Victoria, free of expense to parents and 
guardians, instruction in the elements of a good English education ; 
and (2) to bring about, as soon as practicable, the abolition of 
every vestige of the ' Denominational System,' by establishing a 
complete network of efficient Secular Schools under the supervision 
of a Minister of Education solely responsible to Parliament.* 

Oct. Ifjth — To-day I buried the mortal remains of the dear good 
man. Brother Woolcock. His end was simply blessed. 

The next day I visited the Chinese Camp at Golden Point. I saw 
in one of the rooms the fan-tan game of chance in full swdng. These 
rooms are visited for gambling purposes by young white men, who 

* Mr. Attorney General Stephen took great satisfaction from the passing of this 
Act. He was a staunch Episcopalian ; still, his belief was that such a measure 
was absolutely necessary for securing to the rising generation of Victoria a good 
elementary training at the national expense. It must have been to him a sore 
remembrance of the conflicts he had passed thi'ough that led him on February 
24:th, 187i, thus to refer to the part he had taken in the preparation of this 
measure : — ' Sectarianism would never again, he believed, endanger the success 
of the System, for the antidote for the poison had been found in the principle of 
free education. Without the strong motive power of free education, he did not 
think that the hydra-headed monster of denominationalism could have been got 
rid of.' — S2)eech at Maryboroitgh, Victoria. 



268 JAMES BICKFOllD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

are being ruined by, and are enchanted \vith, this vice. They are 
very dens for debauchery, cheating, and every other abomination. 
A plague-spot in the midst of our Colonial life, which should be 
mercilessly swept away. 

Oct. \Wi. — English news. We are mulcted in .£3,100,000 damages 
for the Alabama's exploits in cruelly robbing and destroying 
American merchant vessels. But, if Lord Russell had prevented the 
escape of this pirate ship from Liverpool, which he might have done, 
we should have been saved from much trouble, indelible disgrace, 
and this enormous fine. 

Oct. 30th. — We began the Annual District Meeting, and all the 
l)rethx'en were present. We reached the sixteenth question before 
we adjourned. In the evening I preached the official sermon, after 
which we partook of the Lord's Supper together. 

Ifov. 5th. — We had a stiff discussion over the protest of the Neil 
Street Trustees, against the occupancy by the Lydiard Street Quarterly 
Meeting of the ' Free Methodist Church,' Macarthur Street, for 
religious worship, seeing that it was only three hundred to four 
hundred yards from the Neil Street establishment. Mr. J. T. Phillips, 
Circuit Steward, Barkly Street, spoke in favour of the protest, and 
Mr. Hem-y Bell, M.P., against it. Both speeches were able, and were 
well received. It was finally decided, on the motion of the Rev. E. 
J. Watkin, ' that as there had been no violation of boundaries this 
meeting cannot interfere.' An impotent conclusion, and very risky 
as to consequences. 

In connection with the reacUng of the ' Liverpool jNIinutes,' a 
spirited conversation ensued on the subject of an endowment of 
power, as a specific condition to success in the Ministry. Our reverend 
brother, Mr. Ussher, struck out some original thoughts on the subject. 
Referring to the passage, Acts i. 8, he maintained that the last great 
promise of the ascending Lord assured that essential gift to ns as 
God's servants. That ' gift ' was not the ordinary grace of the Holy 
Ghost which all penitent believers receive in their adoption and 
sanctification ; bnt, over and beyond that grace, it was a special 
endowment for persuading men to consent to be saved. He thought 
the grace of holiness Avas the only basis upon which the gift of power 
could rest. The Rev. Joseph Dare contributed wise and fervent 
counsels in the discussion, and insisted upon the possibility of every 
one of us receiving this blessed * Baptism of power ' then and there. 




THE FEDERAL COFFEE PALACE, CuLLI>'6 .■>H;ELT WE>T, MELBOURNE. 



AUSTRALIA. 269 



I think that every brother present was impressed with the season- 
ableness and importance of this ' conversation,' and was encouraged 
to expect greater things than those previously received from the 
risen Saviour. Taken altogether, I think it was the best conclusion 
to that particular pax"t of our sessional business I ever attended. 

Dec. \2th. — I went to Melbourne to attend the Stationing Com- 
mittee. We worked all day, and finished our duty. 

Dec. 27th. — The new Education Act having come into force, and 
finding that there was much diversity of opinion abroad as to some 
of its provisions, I thought it advisable for me to prepare a syllabus 
of the Act, and publish it for general information. This I did, and 
published the document in the Star and Courier, Ballarat papers, 
and thereby secured a very general circulation. I think the syllabus 
was copied into the columns of the Age also. 

The Watch Night Service was duly held, the local preachers taking 
part with me. 

1873. 

Jan. 2nd. — We held the Quarterly Meeting. Income ^148 3s, 3d. 
Expenditiu'e .£195 3s. 5d. Total Circuit debt, including previous 
deficiencies, <£79 7s. The Barkly Street Society did well ; stQl, it 
was impossible to meet our expenses. The Cu-cuit was due for a 
second married minister at the ensuing Conference, but the brethren, 
by a unanimous vote, declined to take up the obhgation. I could 
not blame them. On the 16th I was in Sydney attencUng the 
Conference; the Eev. Thomas Williams, President, and Rev. John 
Cope, Secretary. Important action afiecting some ministers took 
place at this Conference. The Rev. Joseph Nettleton, who, having 
been in Fiji for nearly thii'teen years, had permission to return to 
England, and the Rev. J. Hutcheon, M.A., a minister of the British 
Conference, would reside in Melboui-ne. We had great difficulty 
with some of the Stations, and it was hard work to get the great 
wheel of our Itinerancy to revolve at all. The Rev. Thomas James 
was appointed to Port Adelaide, which created great dissatisfaction 
among his friends in Adelaide and Ballarat, and I was removed 
from Ballarat East to Pirie Street, Adelaide. But these are only 
a sample of the changes which had to be made. One would almost 
suppose that Bishop Short had wi-itten with the Methodist Con- 
ference in view as an extenuation of the supposed hardships of the 



270 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AVTOBIOGBAPIIY. 



Itinerancy, as follows, * Much good incidently arises from such 
changes, which tend to modify the torpor sometimes resulting from 
a lengthened incumbency, or other grounds of discontent.' The 
itinerant principle, in its operation, is sometimes exceedingly incon- 
venient for ministers and ministers' families, disappointing and trying 
to Circuits; nevertheless, it was one of Wesley's wise arrangements 
for perpetuating Methodism ' so long as the sun and moon endure.' 

This was the last of the Australasian Conferences to be held. 
The new plan for holding Colonial Annual Conferences would come 
into operation in January, 1874, as agreed to by the British Con- 
ference. On February 3rd the sessions closed, and all were glad 
when our President pronounced the Benediction. We left per 
steamer for Melbourne the next day, leaving our Sydney friends 
with much regret. We had two excellent services on board. The 
Rev. K. Johnstone, Sailors' Chaplain at Sandridge, preached once 
on ' The Banner of Truth,' and the Bev. J. C. Symons also once on 
' Heaven.' We reached Sandridge on the morning of the 7th, and 
after breakfasting with the Poolmans I left for Ballarat, and 
reached home at 4.30 p.m. Mrs. Bickford had remained behind in 
Sydney for a few weeks with our dear Christ}', previous to our 
removal to South Australia. 

March l^th. — The Board of Education informed me, through Mr. 
Venables, ' that the Local Committees of Non- Vested Schools, carried 
on under Clause 10 of the new Act, are still recognised as Committees 
of Management ; but Trustees of School Projierties can supersede 
them, if so disposed, as they have the control of the buildings.' 
Exactly so, Mr. Venables ; but the suggested supersession is more 
easily made than done ! 

March 11th. — I went to Creswick, and lectured on ' Wilberforce.' 
We had a good attendance. Afterwards I had an interesting con- 
versation mth INIessrs. Coojier and Gardner on public questions of 
a national and an ecclesiastical kind. It is not often that one can 
meet with gentlemen in a country township possessed of so much 
general knowledge. 

March 2bth. — I packed my books in jBve large cases. Alas ! too 
many by one-third for our wandering life. 

Ajjril 1th. — I sent off my luggage, and settled up all accounts. I 
left by the evening train for Melbourne, and spent the night in the 
hospitable home of my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Osborne. 



A USTRALIA. 271 



The following Comparative Statistics have been courteously pro- 
cured for me by the Hon. J. L. Dow, M.P., Commissioner of Lands, 
from the Government Statist, W. H. Hayter, Esq., showing the 
progress of the Colony ecclesiastically and materially for the period 
named : — 

1. Population (mean) 1854—267, 371 ; 187.3—765, 511. Increase, 498, 140. 

2. Churches 1854—187 ; 1873—2,284. Increase. 2,097. 

3. Kegistered Clergy 1854 (no return) ; 1874—654. 

4. Day Schools 1854—391 ; 1873—1,731. Increase, 1,340. 

5. Day Scholars 1872—160, 743 ; 1873—226, 255 ; 1874—238, 592. Increase 
in attendance, through abolishing school fees, first year, 65,512 ; second year, 
77,849. 

6. Sabbath Schools 1854 (no returns) ; 1873—111,973 children. 

7. Crown Lands sold, or selected, to end of, 1854 — 1,369,382 acres ; 1873 — 
13,263,600 acres. 

8. Acres under Cultivation 1854—54,905 ; 1873—964, 996. 

9. Squatting Runs 1854 (no returns) ; 1873—894 runs = 25,830,641 acres. 

10. Imports 1854— £17,059,051 ; 1873— £16,533,856. (Imports reduced under 
a Protective Policy.) 

11. Exports, 1854— £11,775,204; 1873— £15,302,454. (Exports increased 
under a Protective Policy.) 

12. Gold produced 1854 -2,392,065 oz., vahie £9,568,260 ; 1873—1,241,205 oz., 
value £4,964,820. 



13. Churches 1887—4,223. Schools, 2,660. Scholars, 268,705. 

14. Population 1887, males. 550,044 ; females, 486,075 = 1,036,119. 

15. Primary Education 1888. Schools, 2,077. Scholars, 197,115. Cost, 
£641,993. Per child, £4 Qs. &\d ; including buildings, rent, scholarships, etc. 
Total is £787,860. 

The Gold has done it all. This gift of Providence has attracted 
population, and set in motion such vital forces as have created the 
richest gem in the British Crown. And ' Victoria ' is only on the 
fringe of her destined greatness. ' Hail Victoria ! ' the golden land ; 
the happy home of free, self-sustaining churches : of free education ; 
and of ' Home Eule,' as the conceded boon of England's ' Reformed ' 
Parliament to a loyal, contented, and grateful people. 

God Save the Queen. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 

ADELAIDE. 

April Stk. — At 1 p.m. Mrs. Bickford and I went on board the 
steamer Aldlnga at the Queen's Wharf, and soon started for 
Adelaide. The Revs. J. Watsford, J. C. Symons, J. Harcourt, and 
a few other friends were there to say ' Good-bye.' We got through 
the ' Heads ' before dark ; and being now once more on the high 
seas I contentedly 'turned in.' The next day the weather was 
charming, the wind fresh and fan*, and the passengers agreeable. 
What more could be desired ? Well, nothing except that, — although 
I had been an ' itinerant preacher ' for about thirty-five years, yet, 
I cou^ld not get so used to it as to like it. It was to me, with my 
friendly instincts so strongly embedded in my very being, a crucible 
not always in its operation of a very satisfactory kind. The question 
put by the President of the Conference at oiu" ' Ordination,' ' Will 
you reverently obey your chief ministers, unto whom is committed 
the charge and government over you ? ' oftentimes becomes difficult, 
if not galling, as a fii*st duty to Conference authority. StUl, obedience 
is an essential part of our compact ; therefore, in now journeying to 
a neighbouring Colony in the exercise of my ministry, I was ful- 
filling it. Duty was mine ; consequences belonged to the Conference 
and to God. 

We reached Port Adelaide on Thursday the 10th, when we were 
greeted by the Rev. W. L. Binks, James Scott, Esq., and Mr. Martin, 
Circuit Steward. These ministerial changes are designedly made at 
fixed times, so that the out-going minister, having vacated the 
parsonage premises, the in-coming one may on arrival enter without 
delay his new habitation. But not so in o\ir case. We went, there- 
fore, to the hospitable home of Mr. and Mrs. James Scott, to await 
the departure of my predecessor, the Rev. Thomas James, and the 
preparing the house itself for our reception. 



SOUTH AUSTBALTA. 273 



April Wth. (Good Friday) — I greatly prize a religious service in 
commemoration of our Lord's Crucifixion, and not being quite in 
charge of my new Circuit, I asked Mr. Scott to take me to hear Dean 
Russell at St. Paul's. I liked the discourse, and I was glad to have 
had the opportunity of once more worshipping in an Anglican Church 
— the Church of my ancestors in the old country. In the evening I 
went by invitation to Norwood, and gave a short address at the 
Sunday School Anniversary. The Circuit ministers and the friends 
gave me a hearty reception. 

April IZth. (Easter Sunday) — There is a great deal of agreeable 
curiosity arising out of the first appearance of a new minister in his 
Circuit. Possibly this feeling is mutual ; as I think it ought to be. 
I certainly was anxious to see what the congregations at ' Draper 
Memorial ' and Pirie Street were like, and I was not disappointed . 
There was a ' savour' of Christian ' goodness ' in the people percep- 
tible to me, of a most encouraging kind. I felt I had come amongst 
a people who would ' receive mth meekness the engrafted word.' I 
essayed to begin my work as I knew I could continue it. I was 
fortunate in my co-pastor, the Rev. G. W. Patchell, M.A., who would 
share with me the obligation of ministering the word of life to the 
congregations, and in the Rev. W. P. Wells, the President of Prince 
Alfred College, whose Sabbath services were to be given exclusively 
to the Pu-ie Street Circuit. And I had a very fine stafi" of local 
preachers as helpers in the work. But, the Cii'cuit being large, it 
would require a nice adjustment of appliances and of ' times ' to over- 
take all its requii'ements. The pastoral work, I saw, woidd need to be 
systematically done, and Mr. Patchell and I were resolved upon 
doing it. 

I cannot account for the circumstance ; biit it, nevertheless, was 
true, that I felt more oj^pressed with my new environments than I 
had ever been previously in taking charge of my circuits. The Pirie 
Street congregation was large, and had had some of oiu' ablest men 
as Superintendents. But I resolved to assume this ' burden of the 
Lord,' and do my very best for preserving oiu- hold upon so large a 
constituency, and to maintain the reputation my predecessors had 
won among their clerical compeers in the city. I had no new 
character in which to appear ; I could not be in the pulpit either a 
philosopher, scientist, politician, or Biblical critic, so much as to be 
a ' Methodist Preacher ' of an earlier date and style — plain, expository, 

18 



274 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

evaugelical, earnest, and soul-saving. This was my ideal of what 
Christ expected me to be ; besides which, it was what I believed 
would accord with the aspirations of my congregations, and the 
genius of South Australian Methodism. In these respects I have not 
miscalculated ' the fitness of things.' 

The first attempt I made at preaching was in 1834, at East 
Allington, near Kingsbridge, Devon, from the words, * And that He 
died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto 
themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.' 
The ' Fall,' the ' Atonement,' the ' Resurrection,' and the ' New 
Life,' were the main points of my juvenile speech on that occasion. 
I have tried their strength many times since ; and to use Bishop 
William Taylor's apt simile, I may say, ' I know how far they will 
cany.' I began in that very manner at the ' Draper Memorial 
Church,' on April 13th, 1873, but taking as my text, ' And I, if I be 
lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.' In the 
evening of the same day, at Pirie Street. I took the words, ' Have ye 
received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ? ' My subjects, and the 
manner of their treatment, gave our city congregations a pretty good 
idea of the ' manner of speech ' they would be likely to hear from me 
dui'ing the period of my incumbency. 

Within the first fortnight I attended several Anniversaries, and 
thus had an early introduction to the greater part of the leading 
workers of our City and Suburban Circuits. The balance sheets of 
the Trusts and Sunday Schools gave me a good idea of our financial 
position, and of the monetary ability of our numerous adherents to 
sustain the work. 

On the 26th — that is, sixteen days after our arrival — we took 
possession of our new home in Pirie Street. The Scotts had shown 
us much kindness during the time the Parsonage was being cleansed 
and i-enovated. I much enjoyed the society of this nice, genteel. 
Christian family. 

For the fii'st time in my long career, I had the full gratification 
of labouring where perfect ' reUgious equality ' obtained. It was 
provided in the accepted Constitution of the Colony: (1) 'That it 
was never to be a charge to the Mother Country;' (2) 'That there 
was never to l)e a State Church recognised ; ' and (3) ' That the 
transported prisoners from Great Britain were never to be admitted 
to its shores.' So that, in the absence of a Presbyterian or AngUcan 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 275 

* State Church,' the various sections of the one South Australian 
Church have equal rights, privileges, and powers. ' A fair field,' 
therefore, ' and no favour,' is the legal, national, and ecclesiastical 
birthright of all rehgionists throughout the length and breadth of 
the land. And there is a true unity amongst all these religionists ; 
but it is the unity of the beautiful rainbow, whose distinctions of 
colour so sweetly blend as to make a perfect whole. Our unity is 
real because it is spiritual ; ' One is our Master, even Christ, and 
all we are brethren.' 

It will be known to the careful readers of early Methodistic history 
that Mr. Wesley had always before him the purpose of supplying to 
the families of his Societies a high class of education. This praise- 
worthy object of our founder has never been lost sight of in England 
(since his death in 1791), or in America, or Australasia. In South 
Australia, as early as 1854, at the Adelaide Annual District Meeting, 
presided over by the lamented Rev. Daniel James Draper, it was 
resolved that efforts should be made to establish such an institution 
as Prince Alfred College now is. But it was not till 1865 that 
really definite steps were taken, by the purchase of a block of land 
of fifteen acres, which was then being offered for sale at Kent Town 
for £2,750. His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh laid the 
foundation stone of the new College on November 7th, 1867, in 
the presence of a large assemblage of the elite of the Colony, The 
main building was occupied for educational work a few months later, 
when an Inaugural Meeting was held in connection therewith, under 
the auspices of Sir James Fergusson, then Governor of the Colony. 

When I arrived in Adelaide, in 1873, I found that Prince Alfred 
College had gained a firm footing as one of the higher class of educa- 
tional institutions. The South Australians had given to it their 
confidence, and the genei'al public its warm support. The first Head 
Master was Samuel Fiddian, Esq., B.A., who, having honourably 
fulfilled his engagement with the Committee, was succeeded by J. A. 
Hartley, Esq., B.A., B.Sc. Mr. Hartley served two terms, greatly 
to the advantage of the College, when he accepted from the Govern- 
ment the position of Inspector General of the State Schools. This 
College met a great want, and has secured the good opinion and 
generous support of all classes of the community. The subsequent 
additions to the main building of the ' Waterhouse ' and ' Coltcn ' 
wings, for providing larger accommodation for boarders and day, 



276 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGUAPHY. 

pupils, is proof of the high estimation in which the College is held. 
The present master is Frederick Chappel, Esq., B.A., B.Sc, whose 
conduct of the institution has been one of unbroken success. 

May. — One month in Adelaide has shown me, that in oiir Austra- 
lian cities it is simply impossible for ministers in prominent positions 
to settle down, as they can in English and Scotch large towns, to the 
ordinary routine work of a Circaiit. In a new country, as is South 
Australia, this is very much the case. The Chairman of the district, 
the Rev. W. L. Binks, was in receipt of letters from the Northern 
Areas, in which was pointed out the difficulty of obtaining sites for 
church and school purposes. At Mr. Binks's request, the Rev. W. P. 
Wells, Mr. Colton and I accompanied him to the Chief Secretary, 
Sir Henry Ayres, to lay their case before him. Sir Henry, who is 
the politest and most liberal Premier I know, received us with 
courteous consideration, and listened to the statements of Messrs. 
Binks and Colton. When I thought that we were not making 
much progress with our case, I presumed to lay before Sir Henry 
the modus by which similar difficulties were got over on the Victorian 
Goldfields, by our ' squatting ' on suitable sites, erecting our buikhngs, 
and then applying to the Hon. Commissioner of Lands to offer such 
sites at public auction, w4th full valuation for the improvements. 
This form of settlement, I contended, was gradual, easy, inexpensive, 
sufficient, and inflicted no loss on the Government or local com- 
munities. To my svirprise, Sii' Henry asked whether such a course of 
action would not be interpreted as ' State Aid.' ' And you know,' he 
said, 'that we are prohibited from doing that in any form whatsoever.' 
The utmost that could be done, he thought, would be for the ministers 
and their friends to make selections in the meantime of svich sites as 
were suitable for their objects, and the Government would not allow 
of any interference with their action. We gained all we wanted, and 
thanked the Chief Seci'etary for his readiness to help us. 

In the evening I preached in Pirie Street Church to 100 persons, 
which was a large attendance for an ordinary week-night congregation. 

May 9th. — My first patient was a Mr. Morecombe in Waymouth 
Street ; I attended him all through his illness. He ' received the 
Spirit of Adoption,' and was made happy. The last words he spake 
were, ' Glory be to God.' 

May 26th. — The Queen's levee was held to-day. I attended -svith 
Mr. Binks, and thus showed my loyalty to the best of Sovereigns. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 211 



June 9th. — Our new Governoi-, Sii- Anthony Mnsgrave, was 
sworn in to-day in the Town Hall. I went of course to witness the 
ceremony, which was imposing. He is a fine, benevolent-looking 
man, and made a good impression upon the large audience which 
had assembled to welcome him. On the 25th I held the Quarterly 
Meeting. There was a large attendance of brethren. We reported 
a decrease of membership ; but the income met all expenses of an 
ordinary kind. 

Jul// 3rd. — We held a meeting for establishing a mission in the 
Northern Territory. We raised .£88. Mr. James Scott and I were 
appointed Secretaries to this Mission. 

Jtdi/ Sth. — Mr. Colton and I went to Glenelg to seek for a 
convenient Church site. We pitched upon a central spot, and 
Mr. Colton agreed to make enquiries about the price. 

Jidy 10th.~Mi\ Angas, senior, sent us a cheque for £50 in aid 
of our Northern Territory Mission. I prepared the circulars, and 
sent thirty-seven to New South Wales and Victoria inviting aid. Mr. 
Scott and I prepared a memorial to the Rev. W. B. Boyce, Mission 
House, London, asking for a grant of £300 towards this Mission. As 
the expense of establishing this Mission would be considerable, and too 
much for South Australia to bear alone, we were obliged to look 
where we could for help. 

Jtcly. 23ixl. — This afternoon we held a private Ordination Service 
in Pirie Street Church, and ' set apart ' for this important Mission 
the Rev. R. T. Boyle, in whose piety, prudence, and ability we had 
the utmost confidence. In the evening, at a public meeting, we com- 
mended Mr. and Mrs. Boyle to ' the grace of God.' On the 26th they 
sailed in the steamer Tararua for Palmerston, Port Darwin. May 
God preserve and bless them ! 

July 24:th. — The circular is bearing fruit. James Campbell, of 
Ballarat, sent £5 5s., S. G. King, at Melbourne, £2 2s., James Robin 
£5 5s., J. H. Angas £10 10s., Thomas Moyses £1 Is., Hon. G. 
Bagot £5 5s. Money came in from many quarters, and we felt 
justified in incurring such expense as was necessary for efficiently 
working this distant mission. 

Oct. Qth. — We held the Pirie Street Church Anniversary, and 
raised £250. 

Oct. 16th. — Some official men are too broad, and others are too 
narrow. Of the latter class is Mr. B. To-day he came to me, and 



278 JAMES BICKFORD : AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

said that he had been nursing his grievance for some days. That 
grievance was that at our Young Men's Society's entertainment, 
'Dickens,' as an author, had been praised. He had read the report 
of the Meeting in the paper, and he objected to the name of ' Dickens ' 
being mentioned in such a connection. T talked wdth him at large, 
but it Avas of no use. I expect he will resign his connection with our 
Church. The next day he sent me his letter of resignation. I hope, on 
reflection, he will regret the hasty step he has taken. Unfortunate 
Superintendents! They have to do with all 'sorts and sizes' of 
God's creatures, and are expected to preserve their equanimity, preach 
like apostles, and suffer as martyrs. But are they not 'flesh and 
blood ' like other men ? Have they no feelings to be considered ? 
Eh? 

Oct. 2\st. — The Annual District Meeting was begun to-day. The 
Rev. W. L. Binks presided. We went rapidly through the ordinary 
business, and concluded on the 24th. It was a happy and successful 
meeting. 

Nov. 14i;/i.— Mr. G. W. Cotton called to tell me that Mr. Colton, 
Mr. J. D. Hill, and himself had purchased a new site at Glenelg for 
£320. ' It is well.' 

Nov. \%th. — Finished my review of Thomas Cooper's Bridge of 
Nineteen Arches ; ' being an ' Historical Argument ' in defence of the 
Christian religion. It has run out to fifty pages ; too long by half. 
I was taken with terrible vertigo just as I finished this heavy work. 
I rallied svifliciently to give the paper in the evening to the ' Young 
Men's Society ; ' it was a great effort. At the close I was nervously 
prostrate. Too much pressure on. 

Dec. 9th. — This is the ninth day of hot winds. We are simply 
enduring life. In the evening we had a thunder-storm and heavy 
rain. The change generally comes when our feeling is that we are 
near the last gasp. 

Bee. 10th. — I went again to Her Majesty's gaol to see Mrs. W., who 
is under sentence of death for the alleged crime of having poisoned 
her husband. She had been earnestly seeking, she said, the Divine 
mercy in Christ, and that her prayers had been answered. I 
examined hei' closely, and felt greatly relieved by her statements. 

Dec. 12th. — I received a letter from the Governor of the gaol, 
requesting me to see the young man R., who Avas yesterday sentenced 
to death for the murder of his mate B. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 279 



Dec. \lth. — Mrs. W. handed to me to-day a sealed letter to be 
opened after her death. Poor unfortunate woman ! She seems to 
contemplate her sad end with a calm fortitude. Her trust is in 
God. 

Dec. 29i/i. — Again at the goal to give the Holy Sacrament to the 
penitent Mrs. W. ' If good works,' she said, ' were necessary, my 
soul would be lost.' What a mercy for her that she learnt the plan 
of salvation in the Sunday School, and that now, in the time of her 
great need, she has embraced it. E,. was in tears, reading the Bible. 
He confessed his crime to me this very morning, and there was now 
hope for him. We both eainestly wrestled with God in prayer 
for his salvation. 

' JDec. 30</i, [Diary Jotting] — I went with Mrs. W. to the scaffold, and saw 
her executed. It was a sad, sad scene. In the afternoon I buried her mortal 
remains within the precincts of the gaol ground. The law is satisfied ! What 
more ? . . . The next day 1 handed to the Editor of the Register the letter 
which had been confided to me. It was a sorrowful tale ; and thus was ended 
the romantic story of Mrs. W.'s short life.' 

1874. 

' Jan. 1st. [Diary Jotting] — I attended the execution of poor R. He told me 
that he had made his peace with God. I went with him to the scaffold, and 
prayed with him and for him there. He affectionately kissed me after prayer ; 
the bolt was drawn, and he died immediately. I buried the corpse close to 
that buried a few days ago : and, on returning to Pirie Street, I wrote the 
Chief Secretary, Hon. Arthur Blyth, M.P., a full statement of the facts of the 
case. The close of the year and the beginning of the next one were mournful, 
and intensely painful to me. 

The next day, the 2nd, I received an official letter from the Chief 
Secretary, thanking me for my assiduous attention to W. and E,., 
and expressive of the sympathy of the Government in the anxious 
solicitudes through which I had passed. 

On January 20th, at 10 a.m., the first South Australian Conference 
was begun ; the Rev. W, L. Binks in the chair, and the Rev. W. P. 
Wells, Secretary. We started with 39 ministers, 285 local preachers, 
370 leaders, 1,843 Sunday School teachers, and 4,865 Church members. 
We had 170 churches, 168 Sunday schools, 12,381 Sabbath scholars, 
and 33,626 attendants on public -worship. The educative effect of 
our attending the Australasian Conferences, for about twenty years, 
was seen in the ready and effective manner in which the business 



280 JA.UES BlCKFOIil): AX AUTOBIOGBAPnY. 

of tliis, our first Colonial Conference, was taken np and carried 
through. 

We were comparatively small, bvit we were not faint-hearted. Our 
trust was in the * God of our Fathers,' and in His Name Ave ' set up 
our banners.' In our ' Annual Address' we say : — 

' The recent legislation of onr Church has placed us in new and endearing 
relations to you . . . We have committed to us unitedly the administration oE 
our ecclesiastical polity in this laud ; and our review of the past gives encourage- 
ment and hope of prosperity in the future.' 

In this, our first Conference, a difficulty arose in the interchange 
of ministers ; but it was finally arranged that the Rev. Thomas 
James, of South Australia, should be transferred to Victoria, and 
that the Eev. R. W. Campljell should come from Victoria to us. 

On February 4th a public ' Ordination ' Service was held, when 
Brothers William Henry Rofe and John Hosking Trevorveen were 
fully set apart to the ministry. The giving of the ' Charge ' de- 
volved upon me, as an ex-President of the Australasian Conference, 
after which the ministers and membei's partook of the Lord's 
Supper. A good and wise discussion ensued upon the subject of 
* Lay Representation ' to Conference, and it resolved : — 

' That we, as a Conference, agree to deal with the recommendations of the 
Melbourne Committee on the subject in our sessions of next year, in order that 
our views may be laid before the General Conference in May 1875.' 

The conversation upon the work of God was searching and 
salutary. We say, ' It is a source of deep regret to us to learn that 
many of those whose names are on the class-books so frequently 
absent themselves from that mode of Christian fellowship which, 
under God, has been one of the principal means of the spiritual life 
and power of the Methodist Church from the commencement ; ' and 
the leaders were urged ' to visit absentees,' and seek ' to restore such 
as have backslidden from God.' The dangers of the times respecting 
spiritual beliefs, and the necessity of fidelity in our profession, as 
Christians, are well set forth in the following words, ' We feel 
compelled to guard you against the unsettling theories which go 
under the name of " Modern Thought " — theoi-ies which are sub- 
versive of the authority of Scripture, and derogatory to the God 
of Revelation.' Followed to their legitimate conclusions, they all 
terminate in a common darkness and uncertainty, while the Gospel 
system raises up in eveiy believing heart an assurance indisputable 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 281 



as the testimony of God on wliicli it is based, ' He that believeth on 
the Son hath the witness in himself.' The name of the Rev. A. J. 
Boyle appears on the jNIinutes as our minister and representative in 
the Noi-thern Territory. 

Fifteen years have elapsed since the holding of this Conference. 
It was the ' beginning of our sti'ength ' as an independent Colonial 
Conference ; althougli, of course, affiliated to the General Conference, 
and dependent upon it for legislative action. Our faith in the 
loyalty of our leading officials was sti^ong, and not misplaced, as 
events have fully shown. The Conference was closed on February 
11th. On the 15th I was at Goolwa, preaching Church Anniversary 
sermons. The next day Captain Johnson and I went over to Port 
Elliott. I was surprised to find it so boisterous and exposed. As a 
watering-place for invalids, and for families during the summer heat, 
the want of a land-locked harbovir is a serious drawback. In the 
evening I gave my lecture on ' Wilberforce,' and we raised =£25 for the 
Trust. I much enjoyed this ^dsit ; and much of that pleasure arose 
from the gi-eat kindness of the Rev. James and Mrs. Allen, with 
whom I was a guest. 

March 2nd. — I was under the disagreeable necessity of writing an 
article in our Magazine — of which I was the senior Editor — on the 
Rev. Silas Mead's attack on Mr. President Binks, for some remarks 
in his recent address to the Conference, on the subject of the relation 
of the children we baptize to our Church. He also attacked me for 
what I said in my ' Charge,' on the custom of ' child-communion ' in 
the early Church. Mr. Mead poses as the apostle of immersion, as 
the only form in which that sacrament is to be administei^ed, and, of 
course, only to such as personally profess faith in Christ. I 'rebuked 
him sharply,' because he was to be blamed for his unprovoked 
interference with us. It is difficult to live in peace with some sections 
of the Church, even in this land of religious freedom and of equal 
denominational rights. 

On the 12th I went out to Mitcham to select a church site. 
Messrs. Viney and Mouldon assisted me. I visited Mrs. Barron and 
some other families. 

March 13th. — Several lay and ministerial brethren met to consider 
the advisability of our starting a weekly religious paper, in the 
interests of morality and general church work. We agreed as to 
the advisability, and adjoiu-ned the meeting for a few weeks. 



282 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

March l^th. [Diary Jotting] — • This is mother's birthday. She is ninety- 
three years old to-day. May the good Lord be gracious unto her during her 
remaining days, and prepare her for all His will ! ' 

March \^th. — A busy day. I examined Mr. George Crase's 
journal of City Mission woik, and conversed \vith liim for an hour on 
several phases of his honoured calling. I received Mr. Boyle's journal 
of liis work in the Xorthern Territory, and revised it for the press. 
Mr. Nicholson's sermon on ' Joining the Church ' I examined with a 
view to its publication, believing that it would be useful to our young 
people. The next day I wrote a review of the Rev. W. A. Quick's 
sermon entitled, ' Baptism Viewed in its Relation to Infants,' and 
sent it on for the Magazine. At the Local Preachers' Meeting this 
evening I examined Walter H. Hanton and George Crase, both of 
whom were received as full local pieachers. 

March 25th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting, and thirty brethren 
were present. The income was ,£287 6s. lid., and expenditure 
^241 8s. M. 

March '26th. — I received to-day from ,£8, ' conscience money,' 

to be paid to , which will be done. 

March 27th. — I wrote to-day my friends, Messrs. John Colton and 
James Scott, who are in England. I feel it to be my duty, arising 
out of my ministerial relation, to keep in touch with these honoured 
brethren by means of an occasional letter to them. I commenced 
reading to-day ' Personal Life of George Grote.' It is a fine book, 
and full of deepest interest to politico-historic readers. The lamented 
Charles Sumner, one of America's best statesmen, on the receipt of 
the news of Mr. Grote's death, telegraphed to Mrs. Grote, as follows? 
' When the electric cable flashed across the Atlantic the news of 
this gieat loss, the Avhole of this vast continent vibrated with sympathy 
for you.' 

March 29th. — I preached the Church Anniversary Sermons at 
Gawler. The next day the Rev. R. S. Casely took me to see several 
of our friends. At the pubKc meeting we raised, with the Sunday 
Collections, £140. I was the guest during this visit of Mr. and Mrs. 
Wincey, whose cliildren mvich pleased me. 

April 1st. — We accepted Mr. Carey's proposals for the publishing 
of The Methodist Journal. In the evening I attended the * Draper 
Memorial Church Anniversary,' and spoke for half an hour. We 
raised ^80. I srot the ' Deed of Declaration of Trust ' for the 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 283 



Glenelg Parsonage site signed to-day, and handed it to Mr. Opie for 
registration. 

April 2nd (Good Friday). — I preached at 7 a.m. in Pirie Street 
Church fi-om the words, ' Who is he that condemneth 1 It is Christ 
that died.' At 1 1 a.m. I went to St. Paul's to hear Dean Russell 
on ' The Lamb of God.' The sermon was atrociously read. The 
Avant of naturalness, distinctiveness, and the ' eye ' always on the 
manuscript, spoilt it all. And yet the ' enthusiastic ' Dean is a man 
of great ability, and could wield much power if he would only leave 
his manuscript in his study. 

April 15th. — Mr. Patchell and I were appointed ' Editorial 
Coimcil ' of the new paper to-day. How to squeeze out sufficient 
time for doing this additional work as it ought to be done it is 
impossible to divine. 

April 16th. — I wrote an inaugural address for the new ' Sunday 
School Union ; ' subject, ' The Sunday School and its True Work.' 

April 2dth. — Mrs. Bickford and I went to Clarendon for a few 
days. 

In the evening I began again to read Daniel Isaac on ' Infant 
Baptism.' This is a fine old woik, and is thoroughly exhaustive in its 
treatment of its subject. I have heard an account of the cause of 
this sledge-hammer publication, as follows : ' When, many years ago, 
the Rev. Daniel Isaac was stationed in Bristol, a Baptist minister, of 
a disputative turn of mind, happened to be stationed there also. This 
man, unfortunately for himself, commenced an onslaught on the 
' Pedo-Baptist ' ministers, in which he ridiculed the usages of their 
Churches in relation to infants and very young chilcb-en, and pre- 
dicted, as the consequence of his greater knowledge and influence, 
their speedy overthrow. Mr. Isaac, believing that much could be 
said, and conclusively said too, on the other side, set himself to this 
task. The work was published in due course, and fell like a thunder- 
bolt upon his Baptist assailant ; who, in his alarm, called together a 
number of his ministerial brethren for counsel and defence. Of this 
number was the celebrated Eobei't Hall, of Leicester. The frighted 
men, in order, gave their views, which were of course strongly con- 
demnatory of Mr. Isaac's book ; but the great preacher maintained 
an ominous silence. He was challenged for his opinion, and, it is 
said, that he rose to his feet, and looking round, eyeing particularly 
the head-centre of the conclave, he gravely said, ' Brethren, if you 



284 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

value having souud skins, T advise you to leave Mr. Isaac alone, for 
if he take any of you in hand he will flay you alive.' It was enough ; 
from henceforth the stalwai't polemic went on his way in peace, 
whilst the disturber of the concord, which had previously prevailed 
in Bristol, had ' to hide his diminished head.' 

Maji Gth. [Diary Jotting] — ' This has been my fifty-eighth birthday. The 
last one was one of comfort to me in my ministry. 'My health has stood it 
pretty well. May the merciful God be with me during the ensuing year.' 

2Ia>/ 12t/t. — Mr. Patchell and I re-examined my manuscript 
sermon entitled, ' The Double Baptism,' and passed it on to the 
printers. This is tlie last blow I administered to my neighbour and 
brother minister, Silas Mead, who "vvill, I think, in the future, leave 
his Wesleyan brethren alone. 

May 27 th. — The Methodist Joui-nalis now fait accom2)li. To-day I 
wrote the first re\iew for its columns, on Mr. Tapling's new work on 
the Narringeri tribe of Australian blades. It is an interesting book, 
and could only have been written by a man who was in strong 
sympathy with these original owners of this island continent. We 
have taken their country from them, and it is a small matter to give 
in exchange a few blankets, rations, protection, education, and 
religion. 

June 1st. — The Bev. Thomas White Smith, my ecclesiastical father, 
and dearest ministerial friend in England, does not forget us. To-day 
I received from him a long and beautiful letter, and full of afilectionate 
kindness. 

June 15th. — Yesterday I preached at Coromandel "Valley at 1 1 a.m., 
and at 3 and 6.30 p.m. at Upper Sturt. To-day the ' fovindation- 
stone ' was laid by the Hon. John Carr, M.P. ; the Bevs. Joseph 
Nicholson, Mr. President Binks, and I took part in the proceedings. 
We raised £39. 

June nth. — A great blow has fallen upon the Rev. Silas Mead 
in the death of Mrs. Mead. Mr. Binks and I attended the funeral. 
I never saw more feeling than on this occasion. Mr. Mead was 
prostrate, and every one sincerely pitied him. The dear man, the 
next day, sent us a letter expressive of his sense of our sympathy 
and brotherly love in being present on so mournful an occasion. 

June 1 9th. — I am confined to the house through a ^dolent attack 
of lumbago. I sent for Dr. Whittle to see if he could give me 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 285 



anything to help me for the Sabbath duties. Instead of helping me 
in that direction he ordered me not to leave my room. 

June 23?yZ.— Being still confined in the house, I held the Local 
Preachers' Meeting in our dining-room. There was a good attend- 
ance. I retired at 11 o'clock, but not to sleep through sheer excite- 
ment and prostration. 

Jime 2ith. — After a week of sickness T am again in my study. In 
the afternoon I held the Quarterly Meeting. Income ,£272 Os. 4fZ. ; 
expenditiu-e ,£251. We rapidly did the business, and closed at 5 p.m. 

July 3rd. — Mr. T. S. Carey issued the first number of The 
Methodist Joihrnal to-day. It is indeed a venture, but with our large 
constituency it ought not to be a failure. May God bless its 
circulation throughout these Colonies ! 

Jrdy 6th. — No increase of work coidd lead me to neglect the visita- 
tion of my people. The Pastor's office comes first with me. My 
Diary for this day says : — 

' Busy all the forenoon. Went in the afternoon to see Miss Lawrence, Mrs. 
Marshall, Mr. Good, Miss Marsh, Miss Franklin, Misses Ingram, etc. I attended 
the Building (Connexional) Committee at 4 p.m., the Unley Trustee Meeting at 
5.30 p.m., the Pirie Street Trustee Meeting at 6.30 p.m., the Leaders' Meeting 
at 8.30 p.m., and the Good Templars' Demonstration at 9.30 p.m. Tired at 
last 1 ' 

July 25th. — I wrote a review of a lecture on ' Secularism and 
Atheism ' for our Journal. This follows two papers on ' Public 
Education ' and ' Our Day School Teachers.' If we do not succeed 
with our paper it will not be because we have not tried for it. 

Aug. ^th. — This evening I went to the ' Come and Welcome ' Good 
Templars' Lodge, and was installed as * Worthy Chaplain.' I must 
endeavour to do some good here. 

Aug. lOfA. — Mr. John Kounsevell called for me to go to Glenelg 
to see his sick father. I spent more than an hour with him in 
conversation and prayer. 

Aug. 17th. — I wrote an article for the Journal on Gritton's 
' Christianity is not the Invention of Impostors or Credulous En- 
thusiasts.' Many of our constituents maybe will read a short 
article on a tough subject, when perhaps the book itself would be 
thrown aside as cumbersome and ' dry.' 

Sept. 2nd. — I received to-day from Rev. S. Knight a cheque for 
.£200, being a donation from that good man, Mr. T. G. Waterhouse, 



286 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

now in England, for the ' Strangei's' Friend Society.' The ' blessing 
of those who are ready to perish ' will come upon this benevolent 
remembrancer of our poor. 

Sept. 22nd. — I attended the funeral of the late Mr. Theophilus 
Robin, and offered prayer at the grave. It was a mournful sight. 
The next day I held the Quarterly Meeting. We have now a 
credit balance of about ^90. Thank God for freedom from Cu-cuit 
debt. 

Oct. 1th. — I attended the funeral of the late Mr. Rounsevell. I 
read and pi-ayed in the house, and the Rev. C. Manthrope officiated 
at the grave. It was a solemn and somewhat imposing funeral. I 
returned to Pu'ie Street, s^tfering from a severe attack of lumbago. 
We resolved to-day to proceed forthwith with the erection of a 
parsonage at Glenelg. 

Oct. lOth. — I was at Moonta, at the Rev. R. S. Casely's. In the 
evening he conducted me to Captain Hancock's, where I enjoyed 
the evening very much. I preached the next day at the Mines, and 
addi-essed the Sunday School in the afternoon. 

Oct. 12th. — Captain Hancock took me to see the works, which are 
elaborate and expensive. The Public Meeting came ofi' in the 
evening. We raised £85. 

Oct. Ibth. — I went to the House of Assembly to hear the discussion 
on the ' River Murray Railway Bill.' During the discussion, the 
Chief Secretary, the Hon. A. Blyth, came to me in the Speaker's 
Gallery, and told me that the Fiji Islands were ceded to the British 
Crown. This news set me a-thinking pretty much in this strain : 
Is it true, I asked, that Christian influences were brought to bear 
for the first time on Cannibal Fiji not quite forty years ago ? Is it 
reaUy true that the Revs. Cross and Cargill, M.A., landed in 
Lakembor so late as October 12th, 1835, and that a sapping of the 
basis of the cruellest forms of Heathenism the world has ever seen 
was successfully prosecuted by these intrepid men ? Is it true that 
in one short year Mr. Cargill could write the London Committee as 
follows : — 

' Preachius is established in many places, and classes are formed of persons 
who are enquiring "what they must do to be saved." Day and Sunday Schools 
were mstituted, and the sacred rites of marriage were being observed ? ' 

' Sappers and Miners,' in an Apostolic sense ! No marvel, therefore, that 
in so short a period as forty years the whole system of Cannibalism 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 287 



was destroyed, and the Christian religion, as formulated by the 
Wesleys, became the accepted belief and practice of the whole 
Archipelago .... And who prepared these outlying portions of the 
world to become integral parts of the great British Empire, but these 
very Wesleyan Missionaries and their noble successors in the Christ- 
like enterprise ? ' ' Foundei-s of Empires ' and ' Ambassadors of God ' 
at one and the same time. In Africa, India, New Zealand, and Fiji, 
they have hoisted the grand old flag of England, and Aboriginal 
races have learnt to ' fear God and to honour the Queen.' 

Oct. nth. — I read one hundred and fifty pages of the ' Life of the 
Rev. James Dixon, D.D.' How ' great this man was in his day and 
generation,' none can tell but those who have sat under his wonderful 
ministry, and drank in a knowledge of ' the deep things of God,' 
as they listened to the ' wisdom ' with which he clothed his mighty 
thoughts. 

Oct. Idtk. — The Annual District Meeting was begun to-day; Mr. 
President Binks, Chairman, the Rev. H. T. Burgess, Secretary. All 
the ordinary questions were disposed of on the first day. At this 
Meeting Mr. Binks applied to become a Supernumerary at the 
Conference of 1875. Seven years of active work in South Australia 
had told upon his health, and he needed a spell of rest. The 
Methodist Church, under his direction, had taken possession of the 
Northern Areas, and had extended her ordinances even to the 
western portion of the Northern Territory. He had proved himself 
to be a worthy successor of Daniel James Draper, William Butters, 
and John Watsford. A veritable Episkopos, whose burden was that 
' which came upon him daily — the care of all the churches.' I moved 
two resolutions, which, being accepted by the Meeting, our recommen- 
dation was duly recorded for presentation to the Conference. 

Mr. William Rhodes and I were the Conference Treasurers for the 
' Old Preachers' Fund.' Oiu' Church Loan Fund had already a capital 
of £780 7s. 2cZ., and the Church Extension and Home Mission Fund 
of £334 is. \ld. This was the 'day of small things;' but, as our 
people had accepted these as essential parts of our Connexional 
Finance, we could have no doubt as to their growth and permanence. 
On the 23i'd our sessions closed. 

We went on ' the even tenor of our way ' until November 3rd, 
when all Adelaide was astir through the arrival overland of the 
Forrest Exploring Party from Western Australia. I went to the 



•288 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Town Hall balcony with a number of other gentlemen to be close to 
the elder Forrest, and to liear his address. The party in their 
terrible journey had suffered nearly 'the loss of all things;' but, 
under Divine Providence, sustained by the love of life, and the force 
of the heroic sentiment ^^'ithin them, these intrepid men ' fought 
their way through,' and were rewarded in Adelaide ' with an 
abundant entrance,' and acclamations of welcome. The Brothers 
Forrest had done a splendid service for Western and Southern 
Australia, and should be handsomely paid. 

Dean Russell and I were great friends. This was evidenced in 
liis readiness to write articles on social and ecclesiastical subjects for 
The 2Iethodist Journal, but also in active co-operation 'in good 
works.' We mutually watched the arrival from England of ship- 
ments of female immigrants; and on the 6th we met at the Servants' 
Home in Adelaide, and held a rehgious service for theii' benefit. I 
thought the good Dean shone more as a Christian teacher in his 
familiar remarks to these anxious ' strangers,' than he did in his 
scholarly, laboured expositions in St. Paul's pulpit. Speaking of 
valuable help we had in preparing the weekly matter for the Journal, 
not only the Dean, but other ministerial friends contributed also. 
The Revs. A. Eigg, S. T. Wittrington, H. Mack, H. T. Burgess, 
L. B. Stephenson, and Joseph Nicholson wrote articles for us. My 
co-editor, the Eev. G. W. Patchell, M.A., and I both felt that the 
literary value of our Journal was much increased thereby. 

A striking episode occurred at this time. I received two letters 
from England, anent two young men who were coming to the Colony 
without their fathers' consent. When, on the 17th, the young man, 
L., called, I handed to him his father's affecting letter to read. It 
was a touclung appeal to his son, and made him weep. C. also 
ca»me a day or two after with his friend L. I conversed -sA-ith them 
at length, and offered to be at theii- service should they require my 
assistance. Mrs. Bickford and I, finding that they knew neither 
where to go nor what to do, invited them to our house. We con- 
ceived a great affection for these fine, adventurous young men ; and 
we deeply sympathised with their parents, who had suffered much 
on their account. L.'s father had entrusted to me a bill for £40, 
for sending his son to a coffee plantation in Ceylon, which I 
accordingly did. C. had no such luck ; but, through the kind 
assistance of the Hon. G. W. Cotton, Land Agent, etc., C, got 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 289 



employment on a squatting station in the Port Lincoln District. It 
was a strange freak of the young men, and they paid dearly for 
their violation of the Fifth Commandment. 

The claims of the Pirie Street Trust now pressed heavily upon us, 
and the trustees resolved upon a great effort. I called upon the 
Hon. John Colton, M.P., to head the subscription list. Sitting 
opposite to each other at his office table, he encpiired of me what I 
thought would be a proper amount for him to give. I replied that 
so uniform and generous had been his contributions to the Trust that 
I coud not presume to make even a suggestion. 'Well, then,' said 
he, 'I will give you .£125 for myself, £25 for the firm, and .£25 for 
my partner, Mr. Longbottom.' £175 in all. This was a noble 
helping. We went together on a begging excursion among the 
Pirie Street pew-holders and other friends. We finished up with 
a grand Anniversaiy Meeting, and we had the pleasure to report the 
raising of £480. 

Dec. 21sf. — The Quarterly Meeting was held to-day. Income 
£269 5s. 3cZ. ; expenditure £253 145. Qd.; entire credit balance 
£109 Is. Id. Mr. James S. Green went out of office as Steward 
after two years' term of generous service. The Stewards for the 
ensuing year were Mr. Henry Codd and Mr. A. A. Scott ; two 
worthy men who had the confidence of the Circuit. 

As we were now rapidly nearing the end of the year, I wrote an 
article entitled, ' The Retrospect,' and a second on the Chief Secretary's 
speech at Gumm.eracha, for the Journal. The next day, the 23rd, I 
visited fourteen families at TJnley, and prayed in each house. At 
6.30 I met the Bible Instruction Class, and at 7.30 I preached on 
Isaiah xl. 11, to a fair congregation. The determination I came to, 
when I accepted the position as responsible Editor of the Journal, 
that its claims should never interfere with my Circuit relations, I 
religiously cai'ried out. 

Dec. I^th (Christmas Day). — A happy day. At 7. a.m we had 
a good service in Pirie Street. At 9.30 I attended the gi'eat 
gathering of the Sunday School children at the Town Hall ; and at 
111 heard Dean Russell on the words, ' When the fulness of the 
time was come, God sent forth His Son.' I spent the afternoon and 
evening in reading and quiet thought. 

Dec. '2Qth. — I wrote a review of ' Orthodox London,' which occupied 
me until 4 p.m. I was much wearied and beaten with the heat. 

19 



290 JAMES BICKFORD. AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

The next day, in the hope of having a good paper foi' the first issue in 
the New Year, I ^\-l■ote two articles, entitled, 'The Prospect, 1875,' 
and ' On Identity.' My last engagement for the year was the Watch 
Night Service, Pirie Street Church. I preached as usual, and Messrs. 
Burton and Berry offered prayer. Thus was closed one of my 
busiest years. 

1875. 

Jan. \st. — The New Year was ushered in under the auspices 
of great Sol's fiercest rays. At the observatory, on the 5th, the 
thermometer stood at 156° in the sun and at 115° in the shade. 
A trying time for the strongest, but much more so for the ailing and 
the ill. I was called to see Mrs. G. W. Coombs, who was dying, and 
at a quarter to 10 a.m. she passed away. On the next day we 
buried her mortal remains, and on om- retvirn to Mr. Coomb's house 1 
baptized the now motherless babe by the name of George Uriah. It 
was a moui'nful ordeal, and deep was the sympathy felt for the 
bereaved father and his family. 

The news of the effect produced in England by Mr. Gladstone's 
pamphlet on the impossibility of English Catholics, under the new 
dogma of the ' Infallibility of the Pope,' being loyal to the Crown, 
as it was their duty to be in every part of the Empire, reached us on 
the 9th. All honour to this great Christian statesman for this 
thunderbolt cast into the Yatican. After this daring feat, it may be 
hoped that his political opponents will be slow to renew their vile 
insinuation that ' W. E. G.' is a ' Jesuit in disguise.' But politics 
in Great Britain are a Ipng and cruel game, and the marvel is that 
men of high and generous feelings consent to be mixed up with 
them. 

Jan. 14ith. — I wrote for the Journal an article entitled, ' Mr. 
Gladstone's Expostulation.' My object was to justify his interfer- 
ence, and to uphold the grounds he had taken. Besides which, I 
wanted South Australian readers to understand something of the 
fierce ecclesiastical conflicts in which British statesmen and the 
leaders of religious thought are occasionally involved. As eccle- 
siastics we do not seek quarrels ; but when assailed we have only 
one course to follow. 

Jan. 26^/i. — The South Australian Conference was opened to-day 
I was chosen as President, and the Rev. S. Knight as Secretary. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 291 



The chief difficulty we had to contend with was the stationing of 
the ministers. But it is no wonder, because we have no fixed 
principle on which to proceed. The Circuits in Australia have the 
same right of inviting ministers as in England ; but our number is 
so small that we cannot dispose of our staff upon the invitation 
system. In some cases the preferences of our Quarterly Meetings 
were suitable enough, and the Conference would save itself much 
harassment by adhering to them. But then election of some 
carries with it as its counterpart reprobation, as Calvin would say, 
of the other. It was not until the fourth day of the Sessions that 
we could get a second reading, and not even tben without a great 
deal of cross-firing and unpleasantness. 

Feb. 1st. — I returned from Gawler this morning, and presided 
over the Conference. One item of business was at least satisfactory. 
By a unanimous vote Messrs. Patchell and I were thanked for the 
manner in which we had conducted the Journal. This was our only 
pay, but it was enough. On the 8th we read the stations for the 
thu'd time, and the next day the Minutes were signed. 

At this Conference we sanctioned the formation of a Home 
Mission and Conthigent Fund Society ; we also adopted a set of re- 
vised rules for the Church Loan Fund. The Connexional Com- 
mittee submitted a plan for ' Lay Representation to Conference,' 
which was accepted by our Conference, and ordered to be sent on to 
the General Conference. The Kev. W. L. Binks was made Super- 
numerary, and a suitable record of his high character and woik 
was entered upon the Minutes. 

Feb. Ibth. — I paid an official visit to the Gunneracha Circuit to 
arrange the terms upon which the services of the Rev. Matthew 
Wilson, a venerable Supernumerary minister, might be secured for 
one year. After considerable discussion it was agreed that the 
Circuit should pay Mr. Wilson £150 per annum, to include salary, 
rent, and house expense.^. The Connexional claims were to be met 
and the travelling expenses of the local preachers paid by the Circuit. 

Feb. 2nd. — I came to the conclusion that in South Australia we 
ought to have an Act passed for the payment of Members in Par- 
liment as in Victoria. The experiment has been a success ' over the 
Border,' and I therefore strove to get our Legislature to follow in 
the same steps. Hence, an ai'ticle in the Journal, which I had care- 
fully prepared, entitled, ' Payment of Members of Parliament,' was 



292 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



inserted. I can claim, I think, the credit of being the first public 
advocate of that just and righteous principle in this Colony. 

Feb. 2ith. — ' The New House of Assembly ' was my next leader for 
the Journal. Mrs. Bickford and I went in the afternoon to Glenelg 
to call upon Miss Poolman, from Sandridge, after which we drove 
round to Dunrobin to take tea with our kind friends, Mr. and 
Mrs. Keyner. 

March Zrd. — Great excitement in the city at the news of the 
loss of the steamer Gothenhurgh on the Barrier Beef off Queensland. 
Much valuable life is doubtless lost. 

March \Oth. — I attended a meeting in the Town Hall in aid of 
the families deprived of their husbands and fathers by the loss of the 
Gothenhurgh. I gave two guineas ; but I would that I could have 
given twenty. 

March 22?ic?. — I attended a meeting of ministers, when we agreed 
to invite Moody and Sankey to come to South Axistralia. In the 
afternoon I went to the ' Stone-laying ' ceremony of the new church 
at Brompton. 

March 2Ath. — I held the Quarterly Meeting. Income £287 8s. 7d. ; 
expenditure £239 16s. Id. Credit Balance in all £155 15s. Sd. 
We agreed to expend this accumulated balance in furnishing the new 
parsonage at Glenelg. We certainly had a fine meeting. With such 
a condition of finance every official brother was pleased, and not a 
word of grumbling was heard. 

March 26th (Good Friday). — I heard the Kev. Mr. Symes preach a 
beautiful sermon in Stow Chiu'ch, when I hastened off to hear 
Bishop Short in St. Paul's. A sermon in the old orthodox style — 
' good roast beef and plum pudding ' at one and the same time. In 
the afternoon I went to Sir John Morphett's grounds to join in 
the picnic of the Pirie Street Sunday School. About five hundred 
children and young people were present, and a large number of 
teachers and friends besides. I came home desperately tired, and 
lay down in my study, sleeping right away for two whole hours. 
Sleep is my remedy for excessive fatigue and nervous prostration. 
It never fails me. 

March 31st. — I drove Mrs. Bickford to Port Adelaide to embark 
for Melbourne. The heat of Adelaide had for some time been most 
oppressive, and she needed change of air and scene. 

April 21st. — We have been in the itinerant ' swim.' The Rev. G, 



SOUTH AV STB ALIA. 293 



W. Patchell is gone to the Burra, and the Rev. W. P. Wells to Kent 
Town, Mr. Burgess and Mr. Nicholson have come to the Pirie 
Street Circuit, and this evening we had the usual welcome meeting ; 
Mr. James Greer, the senior Steward, presided. There were, at least, 
two hundred persons present. A hearty reception was accorded to 
the * new ' men. Under the inspiration of this joyous meeting I 
wrote an article for the Journal entitled, ' The Wesleyan Itinerancy.' 
The principle of the Itinerancy may be thus stated : ' When He 
ascended up on high He received gifts for men.' One of the most 
precious of these ' gifts ' is that of ' pastors and teachers ; ' and the 
aim of the Itinerancy is to distribute this agency over our whole 
Connexion, as occasion may require. The well-balanced mind of 
Wesley caught hold of this idea, and he ordained its observation by 
the Conferences he created. We, of the Australasian Church, have 
taken no such power from the original ' Poll Deed,' as would permit 
of such changes as would * do away with the Iterancy of ovu* 
ministry.' 

May \2th. — I am once more in Melbourne; this time to attend 
the Fu'st General Conference, held under our amended constitution. 
My co-representatives are the Revs. S. Knight, W. P. Wells, W. L. 
Binks, T. Lloyd, J. B. Stephenson, and R. S. Casely. The pro- 
ceedings were opened by the Rev. S. Wilkinson, the President of the 
New South Wales Conference. In the ' Address ' to the British 
Conference, we say : — 

' By an interesting coincidence, the Senior President of the Conference, whose 
duty it vras to open the first session, was able to tell us that though not the 
first Wesleyan minister who preached in Victoria, yet he was one of the first, 
having been appointed as a Wesleyan Missionary here thirty-five years ago. 
Thus, within the few years of one ministerial history, are gathered the plant- 
ing, the robust outgrowth, and the almost completed self-regulation, of the 
Methodism which assembles now at its first legislative Conference in this city ; 
itself the product of social forces, acting with great energy, and within a very 
brief period.' 

The Presidents of the Colonial Annual Conferences presided in 
rotation, and conducted the routine business from day to day. 
Several important principles inherent in our ecclesiastical poKty 
were re-affii'med, or formulated for the first time, as follows : — 

1. For guarding the pastoral office from invasion or injury by the proposed 
introduction of laj-men into our Colonial Annual Conferences. The Eev. James 
Swanton Waugh (now Doctor Waugh) prepared the following declaration :— 



294 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

' That this Coufeioiice distinctly asserts its maiutonauce of the New Testament 
doctrine, that the ministry derives its existence from Christ, and that upon 
Christian ministers, to whom is entrusted the duty of taking " heed to all 
the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers, to feed the 
Church of God,"' devolves the solemn responsibility of enforcing godly discipline, 
and administering the pastoral government of the Church.' . . . 'Tliat in the 
admission of laymen as members of the Conferences, this principle must be 
held to be sacred and inviolable.' 

2. For insisting upon the maintenance of the historic condition of member?, 
as set forth in the ' General Rules of the Society.' There are three distinct 
provisions : — 

(1) We take no power to ' revoke ' {i.e., to recall ; to repeal ; to reverse) the 
' General Rules of our Societies.' 

(2) We agree in the conviction, that no mode of faciliating and promoting 
fellowship among Christians approaches so nearly to the requirements of the 
New Testament as the Class Meeting, which, under God, has so greatly con- 
tributed to our spiritual vitality and success ; and we resolve to adhere to it as 
a test of membership in our Church. 

(3) To secure correct returns of the number of members in the several 
Circuits, it was agreed to call the attention of Superintendents to the law of 
1837, as follows : ' The Superintendents are directed to return, in their 
Quarterly Schedule, the precise number, without any abridgment or deduction, 
of those to whom, after due and sufHcient probation, they or their colleagues 
have actually given tickets in their respective Circuits.' 

3. On Direct Representation to Conference, it enacted that ' the Quarterly 
Meeting of each Circuit shall be entitled to elect one lay representative, who 
shall be elected by ballot at the Quarterly Meeting nest preceding the session 
of the Conference to which such Circuit pertains.' 

4. The condition of * baptized children ' is thus stated : • By baptism you 
place your children within the pale of the visible Church, and give them a 
right to all its privileges, the pastoral care of its ministers, and, as far as their 
age and capacity will allow, the enjoyment of its ordinances and means of 
grace.' 

5. The Inter-Colonial changes of ministers was provided for, by empowering 
the General Conference ' to make, or direct the Annual Conference to make, 
all necessary changes and interchanges of ministers between the several Annual 
Conferences.' 

6. The pastoral authority of each Annual Conference was recognised in the 
direction given to them to issue a ' Pastoral Address' to the Societies under 
their care. 

The Minutes of the First General Conference, as published under 
the able guidance of the Rev. J. B. Waterhouse, its Secretary, do not 
show that much work of a legislative kind was done. Still, being 
ah initio, I think we did enough. The plan for popularising our 
highest Church courts, by the introduction thereto of representative 
laymen, under safe and wise conditions, was no ordinary task. That 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 295 

the British Confei'ence accepted our plan without amendment, and, 
in Colonial Office phrase, left it to its operation, is surely evidence 
of the carefulness with which it had been prepared. It is now the 
recognised Magna Charta of the Australasian Wesleyan Methofhst 
Church, securing alike to ministei's and laymen New Testament 
rights, and free action in the prosecution throughout the Southern 
Woi-ld of a peaceful and soul-saving mission. 
The Minutes were signed as under : — 

Samuel Wilkinson, 

Presl(le)it of New South Wah'-'i and Queensland Conference. 

James Buller, 

President of Neie Zealand Conference. 

James Bickford, 

President of South Australia Conference. 

John Harcouet, 

President of Victoria and Tasmania Conference. 

Jabez B. Waterhouse, 

Secretary of General Conference. 

June 1st. — I went on board the steamer Aldinga at the Queen's 
Wharf at 1 p.m., and sailed for Port Adelaide. After a delightful 
run of forty-eight hoiu'S I landed, and at once hasted to Pirie Street, 
and found all well. 

I held the Quarterly Meeting on the 23rd, when for the first time 
this year we were in the midst of some ' troubled waters.' And 
wherefore ? Alas for the ' Plan ' ! AVas it an uprising of old con- 
servative ideas against the action of the General Conference? Or 
what ? Well, let the truth come out — we had not gone far enough. 
Resolutions were passed condemnatory of om* action, and some hard 
things were said. But it is not at all unlikely that three-fourths of 
the meeting had not even read the ' Plan,' or knew anything about it. 

JihTie 2Zrd. — I wrote a strong article on the Northern Territory, 
in Avhich I insisted, among other matters deserving the immediate 
attention of the Government, that it should be constituted an 
electoral district, and have the constitutional right to send one 
or more representatives to both chambers of the Legislature in 
Adelaide. 

July 6th. — To reform the Church, even in the direction of liberalism 



296 J'i ^lES BICKFORD : A .V A UTOBIO GRA PUT. 

seems to be more difficult than to reform a Parliament. Our recent 
proposed legislation is still ' a bone of contention ' in some quarters. 
I therefore \vi-ote a long article for the Journal on ' Wesleyan Polity,' 
and justified the action of the General Conference. On the 12th I 
wrote a second article, and still more strongly defended my brethren. 
And there the matter must rest. 

July \^th. — The Education question is again to the front. I gave, 
therefore, much of my time to its consideration. This afternoon I 
went to the House of Assembly to hear the debate. Mr. Rowland 
Rees spoke with great abiUty. I prepai-ed besides an article on the 
subject for the Journal. In the evening I went to Edwardstown, 
and met as usual the Bible Class at 6.30, preached at 7.30, and then 
met the Church Committee. 

July \^tli. — The three students came fi'om Prince Alfred College 
for their weekly lecture. At 8 p.m. I presided at the Young Men's 
Literary Society. Busy day — all the day — until 11.30 p.m. 

July 19f/t. — I attended the funeral of the late Mrs. Ingram, 
relict of the Rev. W. Ingram. Another holy woman, and one much 
tried, has gone to God. 

July 22nd. — We held a meeting of the Education Committee, to 
consider the Bill now before the Parliament. We passed three 
resolutions generally approving of the Bill. 

July 2Qth. — At the Draper Memorial Chm'ch Anniversary this 
evening we raised ,£175 lis. 

July 31 St. — All soiiis of letters come to me. A troubled husband 
has just sent me an anonymous letter, in which he complains of his 
wife's neglect of reading the Bible, and requests me to preach a 
sermon for her admonition. Poor man ! 

Aug. Sr'd — I Avent to the House to hear the Treasurer's Budget 
Speech, and the next day I spent thi-ee whole hours in wi"iting an 
article upon it. The difficidty was mostly in 'trotting ' out the figures, 
calculations, etc., and making them agree with each other. 

Aug. dth. — I went to the Servants' Home to see the new im- 
migrants. I found amongst them a Mary Michelmore from Totness. 
I took her case in hand, and got her into a good home. I wrote to 
the Chief Secretary about the male immigrants having nowhere 
to go on their arrival in the Colony. He politely replied, and asked 
me to see the Premier, Mr. Boucaut, and lay the case before him. 

Se2)t. 13th.— The 'Singing Pilgrim' (Mr. Philip Phillips) sang in 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 297 

Pirie Street Church this evening. About eight hundred present. 
On the 14th he sang in the Town Hall. The audience was grand^ 
and the ' Pilgrim ' acquitted himself in style. 

Sept. \%th. — Mr. T. S. Carey and I went to the Church Opening 
Services at Clarendon. We raised £100 10s. I supped and slept at 
Mr. Fox's, who ' is worthy.' 

Se2)t. nth. — Mr. A. A. Scott called with Messrs. S. F. Prior and 
H. H. Teague, who have just arrived from England to join our 
ministry in South Australia. On the 20th I got them enrolled as 
ministers authorized to celebrate marriage in this Colony. 

Se2}t. 21st. — I went to the Church Anniversary at the Wallaroo- 
Mines, Kadina. The Rev, A. Rigg met me at the coach-office, and I 
spent a delightful evening with him and Mrs. Rigg at the Parsonage. 
I preached the next day at the Mines' Church to two large congre- 
gations. On the Monday morning Captain Anthony drove Mr. Rigg 
and me to the smelting works at Wallaroo. They are extensive, and 
give employment probably to two hundred men. We had a succes- 
fuUy conducted Anniversary, and raised £85. 

Sept. 23rd. — The Quarterly Meeting was held to-day. Income 
£333 75. Qd. ; expenditure £280 Os. 5d. We returned 550 mem- 
bers, with 71 on trial. 

Oct. 11th. — Angaston Church Anniversary to-day. I preached 
twice to interesting, but not large congregations. The next day 
I called upon Mr. and Mrs. Pepperell, who are distantly related 
to ovir family. I visited the Keyne and the Angas families. The 
Angases (father and son) sent unsolicited two five-guinea cheques for 
our evening meeting. jNIr. Keally took me to the old cemetery to 
see my dear father's grave. It was on September 28th, 1851, at the 
age of seventy-five, that my father died. On returning next day to 
Adelaide, I ordered from Mr. Thomas Martin a small marble head- 
stone to mark the spot where my venerable and kind father sleeps 
in peace. Mr. Prior, who was with us, whilst I was away at 
Glenelg in the evening, heard from Mrs. Bickf ord several particulars 
of my father's life and character, and penned the following epitaph 
for the stone : — 

' An honest and brave old English yeoman, 

Ready of hand, and true of heart and kind, 

Mild and afEectionate, belov'd by all, 

Lieth below. The day of life is o 'er, 

And God hath given to His beloved sleep.' 



298 JAMES BICKFOliD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

The Denomination System of Education, established in 1852, 
thoroughly collapsed in 1875. It broke under the pressure of its 
own weight. Not a tear, of which I ever heard, was shed over the 
demise of this expensive, irritating, and effete system. On October 
15th, this very year, ' An Act to Amend the Law relating to Public 
Education' was assented to by ' A. ]Mu.sgrove, Governor.' There are 
only twenty -five clauses, so that much of detail would have to be 
dealt with by ' Regulations.' Three of the clauses of the Act merit 
special notice : — 

' 8. A public school may be established in any locality where the Council 
shall be satisfied that there are at least twenty children who will attend such 
school.' 

' 9. In every public school, four and a half hours at least shall be set apart 
during each school-day for secular instruction only ; and such schools may 
open in the morning a quarter of an hour at least before the time fixed for 
such secular instruction to commence, for the purpose of reading portions of 
the Holy Scriptures in the Authorised or Douay Version. The attendance of 
children at such reading shall not be compulsory, and no.sectarian or denomin- 
ational religious teaching shall be allowed in any school.' 

' 14. Notwithstanding any regulation for the payment of school fees, any 
child whose parent shall be unable to pay such fees shall not on that account 
be refused admission into a public school, but shall, on the inability being 
shown in the prescril)ed manner, be received and instiiicted in the same manner 
as the other pupils attending such schools.' 

The Government was fortunate in secm-ing the efficient services of 
the Head Master of Prince Alfred College, for piloting through the 
'■ sea of difficulty ' which awaited the introduction of the New Act. 
But the feat has been accomplished ; and to-day there is not in all 
Australia a better system of Public Education than that in this 
Colony. 

Nov. l^th. — The Rev. Samuel Antcliffe, D.D., a Primitive 
Methodist Minister from England, called. We were quite a clerical 
party for the occasion. The Rev. J. Goodwin, P.M., introduced the 
Doctor, and Rev. Messrs. Stephenson and Nicholson were also 
present. We were much pleased with our titled visitor from the 
dear old land. The next day I prepared the address of welcome 
we had agreed, as a body of ministers, to present to the reverend 
Doctor. 

Dec. \st. — I wrote an article for the Journal, subject : ' The 
Parliamentary Collapse.' To say the least, the Ministry had 
deserved a better fate. 



so UTH A USTB ALIA. 299 



The Rev. Heiuy Greenwood, formerly one of our missionaries in 
the Friendly Islands, did us good service in deputation work this 
year. His sermons were finely evangelical, his speeches were racy 
and full of anecdote, and his intercourse with our friends was modest 
and spii'itual. 

Dec. 5th. — The expenses of o\xr late General Conference amounted 
to £523 10s. lid. We thought to have saved expense in working 
the ' Connexion ' on the new plan ; but we shall find, I fear, as we 
go on, that we have greatly increased it. But ' the cUe is cast.' 

Dec. 24:th. — The Quarterly Meeting was held to-day. The income 
was .£355, and the expenditure £301 lis. lid. As my three years' 
incumbency would terminate at the next Confei-ence, the Rev. S. 
Knight was invited to succeed me in the superintendency of the 
Cii'cuit. 

Dec. '25th. — The Rev. James Lyall (Presbyterian) preached an 
admirable Christmas sermon at seven o'clock this moi-ning. 

Dec. 27th. — I went to the ' Servants' Home,' and held a reHgious 
service with the female immigrants. Poor creatures ! I wonder 
what will become of them? 

Dec. 29th. — I wrote for the Joicrnal the last leader for this year. 
Subject, ' 1875,' 

1876. 
Jem. 2nd. — I copy from my Diary : — 

' This is the first of another year. Twenty-two years ago Mrs. Bickford and 
I spent the corresponding Sabbath in London, awaiting the sailing of the 
Avierican Lass, for Port Jackson, New South Wales. We landed in Sydney 
on the following May 24th, During all the years I have been in Australia my 
health has been equal to the strain of the work. But I have now reached a 
point in my itinerant life which compels an examination of the situation, so 
that I may provide against a " break-down " in my work. To rest for a year or 
two seems the dictate of common sense, of religion, and of Connexional relations. 
But whether that course be practicable remains to be seen. I love my work as 
much as ever ; although the Itinerancy has become inksome and trying to me. 
To-day I have done my work much as usual. The •• Renewal of Covenant " 
Service and the Lord's Supper were specially helpful, and I hope much good will 
follow from these godly exercises.' 

Jan. 25th. — The Conference was opened to-day ; the Rev. N. P. 
Wells, President, and Rev. C. H. Goldsmith, Secretary. In the 
afternoon a strong discussion ensued upon the standing of two of the 
ministers who had been transferred to the Victorian Conference. At 



300 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

length the President ruled that the brethren, in question, were 
members of the South Australian Conference until the time came 
for their removal as fixed by the General Conference. On the same 
day I formally applied to be made a Supernumerary minister, that 
I might visit England this year. The next day my request was 
granted, and the following record was ordered to be inserted in the 
Minutes : — 

'REV. J. BICKFORD. 

' The Conference takes the occasion of the Rev. J. BickforcVs visit to Europe, 
to express to him the most sincere sentiments of Christian esteem and confidence. 
In view of thirty-eight years of faithful labour in the Christian Ministry, and 
twenty-two j'ears of devoted work tox God in Australia, this Conference rejoices 
that Mr. Bickford has sought needed rest and recreation while in the possession 
of sufficient health and energy to bear the fatigues of foreign travel. Mr. 
Bickford has earned his merited relief by a singularly laborious life. His three 
years of labour in this Colony have been successful in the highest degree. At 
Pirie Street there has been the feature of increased congregations, uninterrupted 
peace, and financial prosperity, resulting in large reduction of the long-standing 
debt on that property. The denominational organ has found in his indefatig- 
able editorship the largest contributor. Mr. Bickford's occupancy of the 
Presidential chair, for the second time, has justified the trust of the Conference 
in his administrative abilities. We hope that Mr. ex- President will be able to 
render us invaluable aid during his visit to England. We wish Mr, and Mrs. 
Bickford a pleasant voyage, and a speedy return to this land.' 

The heat at this Conference was intolerably oppressive, and to it 
the Rev. Matthew Wilson, on the 29th, succumbed. He ched alone, 
in his son's house, at East Adelaide. But to him ' sudden death was 
sudden glory.' 

Feb. 4:th. — The Sessions of the Conference closed to-day. I was 
completely wearied out with the heat and the excitement occasioned 
by matters of difficulty the Conference had had to deal with. Mr. 
Wells made an admirable President ; he ruled justly, without fear or 
favour. 

Feb. 9th. — I was busy all the day in making inquii'ies for a ship 
for England. I finally engaged the cabin, No. 13, in the Ladi/ 
Joceli/71, bound for London. 

Feb. lith. — To-day I settled all Connexional and District business 
with Mr. President Wells, and gave him a cheque for all balances 
then in my hands. I am therefore loosing my hold upon South 
Australian Methodism ! Be it so ; if it must be so. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 301 



Feb. l^th. — My dear niece, Mrs. J. G. Pascoe, child and servant, 
left us to-day for Sydney. I felt more than sad at parting with her. 

Feb. \Qth. — I joined the Bible Christian Conference in their official 
service. The Rev. James Way, a venerable and faithful minister, 
preached an excellent sermon on the ' Atonement.' I joined with the 
brethren at the close in partaking of the Lord's Supper. 

A valedictory tea and public meeting were held this week, at which 
an address was presented to me, and a purse containing eighty-five 
sovereigns, — an expression of sympathy, confidence, and generous 
recognition of service, very gratifying to my feelings. 

March 8th. — Our last day in Adelaide. At 1.30 p.m., I handed 
the key of the parsonage to the senior Circuit Steward, Mr. A. A. 
Scott, and we then proceeded to the North Terrace Station. I have 
found this departure from Adelaide a cruel ordeal. It has almost 
broken my heart. About two hundred persons accomj)anied us and the 
other passengers to the ship lying ofi' the Semaphore. The parting 
scene was more than we could bear. The affectionate kindness of 
the South Australian friends to me and Mrs. Bickford can never be 
forgotten by us. 

As I did not consent, although requested by the General Conference, 
to be associated with the Rev. J. Buller, as a joint representative to 
the British Conference, I had to obtain from the President and 
Secretary of my own Conference a ' letter of commendation ' to the 
English Conference. The following is a copy of the document given 
me by these honoured brethren : — 

'Adelaibe, Fehrnary OtJi, 1870. 

'To THE Reverend Geevase Smith, M.A., 
" President of the British Conference. 

' Reverend and dear Sir, — 

'"We have great pleasure in commending to you the Rev. J. Bickford 
ex-President of om- Conference, who is about visiting England. Mr. Bickford was 
President of the Australian Conference in 1868 ; of the South Australian Con- 
ference in 1875 ; and one of the Presidents of the First General Conference held 
in May last. He has for upwards of twenty years occupied our foremost 
positions, and is one of the representative men of Australian Methodism. "We 
have reason to believe that, had it been known that Mr. Bickford would have 
been visiting England, he would have been associated with the Rev. J. Buller 
as a representative from the General Conference to the English Conference. Mr. 
Bickford will be able to furnish, if desired, reliable information to the Committee 
on Australian affairs, in regard to the constitution of our Church. "Whatever 



302 JAMES niCKFOED : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

attention you may be able to show Mr. BickforJ, and whatever position you 
may be able to accord him in j'our Conference, or elsewhere, will be a grati- 
fication to the ministers and chui'ches in these Colonies. 
' We are, reverend and dear Sir, 
' Your obedient servants, 

' William P. Wells, President, 

' Charles H. Goldsmith, Secretary.' 

As I had been in correspondence with the Premier, the Hon. J. P. 
Boucant, M.P., on the subject of my giving a series of lectures, 
during my intended visit to England, on South Australia as a 
promising field for British emigraiits, I received from the Treasurer, 
the Hon. J. Colton, M.P., an official document on the subject, to be 
presented by me to Mr. Dutton, the Agent General, resident in 
London. It was as follows : — 

' The Tkeasuet, Adelaide, South Austualia, 
'March \>t, 1870. 

' SlE,— 

' This will serve to introduce to you the Rev. James Bickford, who is a 
much respected minister of the Wesleyau Church, and a personal friend. My 
princi]ial object in asking your kind offices is that he takes great interest in 
public affairs in general, and our Colony in particular. During his temporary 
stay in the old country, he will use his best endeavours, in various ways, to 
make the Colony known as much as possible, with a view to getting suitable 
persons to emigrate : and, especially so, in his native county, Devonshire. Any- 
thing you can do to facilitate his movements, I shall regard as a personal favour. 
I may add, that this Government have given him every information which will 
be of value in his contemplated project. 

' I am. Sir, 

' Your obedient servant, 

' JoHX Coltox, Treasurer.' 

March \Oth. — I was on deck at 2.30 a.m. to see the Lady Jocelyn 
make a start. Of course, the songs and trampling of the men 
prevented sleep. 

On the 13th we lost sight of Cape Borda, and entered the 
Australian Bight. I had been asked by the captain, Mr. George 
Jenkins, to act as semi-chaplain during the voyage, consequently I 
preached on the first Sabbath, and instituted morning family worship. 
To the latter, as a daily religious observance, the gentlemen passengers, 
Messrs. Gurner and Gall, for themselves and their families, promised 
their attendance. We ran rapidly through the ' Bight ' (the 
Australian ' Bay of Biscay'). On the morning of the 16th, whilst 
at breakfast, the conversation turned upon the extraordinary fact 



THE VOYAGE HOME. 303 



that as yet no lighthouse had been erected at Cape Leeuwin. Whose 
fault can it be ? All the shipping coming down the Indian Ocean 
for the eastern colonies pass here, and yet there is no lighthouse. 
Snrely the Lords of the Admiralty should see to this. 

March Z\st. — We weighed anchor three weeks ago to-day, since 
when we have come 3,080 miles. Sometimes it has been very hot, 
and our strength has been unequal to the fierceness of the climatic 
ordeal. 

Ajyril 6th. — The weather is now beautifully fine, and we are 
running at ten and half knots, mthout almost any perceptible 
motion of the ship. The second-class female passengers are still 
dissatisfied with their food. What a pity it is that there should be 
on board the same ship, on a long voyage, two, or more, grades of 
passengers ! 

April 9th. — I took the cool air on the deck before breakfast for an 
hour and a half, and I find this habit beneficial every way to my 
health. We have now come 4,634 miles. 

Ajyril 12th. — I had an interesting conversation with Captain 
Jenkins on the atmospheric distui-bances, occasioned by the conjunc- 
tion of the moon and the planets. To-day there is such a conjunction 
with the planet Jupiter. A great deal might be learnt from such 
an intelligent man as Captain Jenkins on the beautiful science of 
navigation, and cognate subjects. 

April 19^7i (latitude 32° 57', longitude 31° 6').— This evening, at 
seven o'clock, in the south-east, an appalling electric cloud was 
visible from the ship's deck. The base lay along the horizon about 
a third of the quarter circle, and reached more than halfway up to 
the sky's meridian. So near was it that it did not interfere with 
our six-knot breeze. With eveiy new flash the dense cloud was 
revealed, and showed out in mountains piled upon mountains, from 
the base to the toj)most line. Layers of clouds, resembling primeval 
forests, were occasionally seen ; and, whilst the eye admiringly rested 
upon the new phases of phenomena, the fiery fluid issued forth in all 
kinds of forms — curved, serpentine, forked, and straight, some of the 
lines dipping into the sea. Our gallant ship, all the time, majestically 
sailed along, apparently on the outer fringe of the terrible cloud. 
Every countenance, together with masts, sails, and rigging, were lit 
up Avith a blaze of light. The passengers and crew ranged along on 
the port side, the subjects of wonder, admnation, and awe. As the 



304 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

phenomenon passed away, the religious service, as appointed, was held 
in the second cabin, when we sang, with becoming solemnity, Paul 
Oerhardt's hymn : — 

' Give to the winds thy fears, 
Hope, and be undismayed ; 
God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears ; 
He shall lift up thy head. 

Through waves, and clouds, and storms, 
He gently clears thy way ; 
Wait thou His time — thy darkest night 
Shall end in joyous day.' 

Such a phenomenon, for grandeur, sublimity, and wonderfulness, 
I cannot expect again to see. It was, indeed, an a%vful display of 
the power of creation's God. But, whether upon the sea or the 
land, — 

' This awful God is oixrs ; 
Our Father and our love.' 

On April 25 fh we saw ' Table Mountain ' rising in majestic 
height from behind Cape Town. We soon rounded the * Cape of 
Storms,' and with a fair wind headed up for the South Atlantic 
Ocean. ' Captain,' said I, ' what about running into Cape Town 
harbour for a change ? ' ' Well,' good-naturedly replied the captain, 
' if I had any business there I would do so ; but as I have none, I 
am not going in. Besides, if I were to do that, " Jack " would want 
to go on shore too ; and who can tell what trouble I might have 
again to get him on board. But I will stand in a bit, and you can 
use your " glasses," and see all that is worth seeing.' There was no 
use in arguing with Captain Geoi'ge Jenkins in such a case ; so we 
were content to strain our eyes for a while, and then, as if by general 
consent, we stood away for St. Helena. 

May Sth. — We saw this historic island. From the Cape our 
voyage had been most trying, from prevailing calms, light winds, 
and heavy seas which came rolling up from the Southern Ocean. I 
now copy from my Diary : — 

' Sighted St. Helena at a.m. So called Ijy the famous navigator, Ivao da 
Nova, Galego, who discovered it on August 15th, 1502, being the anniversary 
festival of St. Helena. It has been uninterruptedly in the hands of the English 
since 1674. It is about nine miles in width, and twenty-seven in circumference ; 
and it is situate about 1,200 miles west of Bcnguela in South Africa : and 1,800 
miles east of Brazil, in South America. 



THE VOYAGE HOME. 305 

' The passengers were soon oa deck, and a grand object presented itself to our 
wondering gaze. Our gallant ship in fine trim and sail came boldly up to the 
east side, making Saddle Point. We " hauled to," and rounded Barn and Sugar 
Loaf Points, when Jamestown with its batteries, signal station, its road of 
steps, and spiral church, came in view. There were lying close in shore, under 
the protection of precipitous cliflEs, a " man-o'-war," several foreign barques, and 
a few smaller craft. The captain sent up the British ensign, followed by a set 
of flags, giving our name, number of days from Port Adelaide (fifty-seven), 
where bound, with the assuring words, " All well." Our communication was 
promptly recognised from Flagstaff Hill, and a promise to report us in London 
was given. We then bore away on a north-north-west course, with a fine breeze, 
and full of hope for the rest of the voyage. 

' It is impossible for a reflective Englishman thus suddenly for the first time 
to drop upon this singularly formed island in mid-Atlantic, without deep 
emotion. It is to my mind another remarkable proof of the mercifulness of 
the great Creator, for His sea-going creatures, that this island should be placed 
exactly in the highway of the ocean for ships in their homeward route from 
India, China, Australia, and South Africa. For repairs to ships, for obtaining 
water and provisions, and for postal and telegraphic purposes, it is the most 
convenient provision the great Father could have made. But with the historic 
association, as the island-prison of the First Napoleon, it must ever hold a place 
in the grateful memories of the brave-hearted British people in all parts of the 
world.' 

May \lth. — Our captain is a great favourite. He embodies in his 
own personality the manners of a gentleman, the grace of a Christian, 
the intelligence of a traveller, and the skill and courage of the 
English sailor. We could not therefore allow this day to pass 
without some expression of our respect. It was in fact his fifty-first 
birthday, and he was still strong and hale. I presented to him early 
in the morning an excellent work entitled ' God's Word Written,' 
as a memento of my affectionate esteem. Mrs. Jenkins invited the 
ladies to tea in the ' stern-villa,' and Messrs. Gurner and Gall invited 
Captain and Mrs. Jenkins, and the lady and gentlemen passengers, 
to an evening banquet. Such amenities on ship-board have the 
effect of softening asperities of feeling, and of bridging over the 
inevitable estrangements common to a long sea-voyage. 

May 12th. — To-day, for a couple of hours, I read the ' New 
Zealand Handbook.' The writer evidently has a bitter animus 
against all missionaries, forgetting that he and other British im- 
migrants are mainly indebted to this class of pioneer workers, who 
made New Zealand a desirable and prosperous field for the settlement 
of white people. Samuel Marsden, Samuel Leigh, Archdeacon 
Williams, Nathaniel Turner, John Hobbs, Bishop Selwyn, James 

20 



306 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



Biiller, Thomas Buddie, may be taken as representatives of the army 
of early missionaries who subdued New Zealand, and prepared the 
way for its becoming the fairest gem of Enghmd's ci-own, and the 
chosen home of over half a million of British people. The man, there- 
fore, who can ignore such facts, is entitled to no hearing, or credence, 
as a chronicler of the progress of this ' Southern Britain.' 

The Great Bear rose high to-night. Venus, too, was gloriously 
bi-ight — a little moon in fact; Jupiter came out in majestic splendour; 
Avhilst Sirius seemed to look down upon us with a kindly recognition 
as we wander over this trackless ocean. 

After enduring much inconvenience for several days from heavy 
rains, and the necessary closing of the portholes making our fine 
saloon an enormous vapour bath, on the 21st, in latitude 6° 59' N., 
and longitude 20° 18' W., we caught the north-east trade winds, and 
were able to steer a north-west course. On the 22nd I saw for the 
fii'st time this voyage the North Star. It is now about twenty-three 
years since I last saw this useful constellation. The Great Bear 
revolves around this powerful polar centre. 

May 2ith. — Queen's birthday. Although we were so far both from 
England and Australia, our loyalty sprang to the surface and 
received appropriate recognition. At the family altar we devoutly 
prayed for her gracious Majesty. The captain invited the saloon 
passengers to a supper-entertainment in honour of the day. Long 
life and happiness were lovingly desired for the Queen, and grace 
and goodness for the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Royal 
Family. We toasted the owners of the LadT/ Joceli/n, also, to which 
our worthy captain replied. From principle, I drank water, and 
not wine ; stOl my goodwill was the same. 

I examined to-day an invaluable work, entitled ' The Stars : how 
to know them, and how to use them.' It was kindly lent to me by 
the captain, and I much valued his courtesy. On the 26th our good 
friend, Mr. Gurner, gave us ' An Hour with Neptune : ' a piece 
written by himself for our amusement. It was cleverly done, and 
evidenced considerable ability.* 

* The following characteristic notice Mr. Gurner prepared for circulation 
among the passengers: — 

'Lady Joceltn Saloon. 

'On Thursday evening, May 18th, at 8 o'clock, will be produced for the first 



THE VOYAGE HOME. 307 

May '2'dth. — We have now run, I find, since we left the Semaphore 
on March 10th last, 11,903 nautical mUes. 

The 30th May has a special notice in my Diary : — 

' Rose at 4 a.m., and went on deck to see the " Great Bear " ( Ursa major'). It 
had well-nigh completed its circle around the Polar, or North Star. It consists 
of seven stars, two of which are called " Pointers," which always point the 
voyager where to find the Pole Star. The " Southern Cross" (Cru-r) was not to 
be seen. It had "'dipped" some nights before below the horizon. Thus are we 
reminded of our advance northwards to the higher latitudes, and of our complete 
severance from the sunny lands of the southern hemisphere. I could not but 
remark on noticing these transitions above us, What a wonderful economy is 
this which these starry heavens exhibit ! T am filled with admiration and 
praise ! " He made the stars also." ' 

June Srd. — Rose at 5 a.m., and went on deck. The air was 
healthfiil and bracing. Read and wrote a couple of hours before 
breakfast. We are now a little over 1,200 miles from Flores, and 
2,148 from the Lizard. 

Jicne 6th. — Much signalling and speaking to other ships to-day. 
This is a pleasant break of the monotony of our sea life. At 8 p.m. 
the surroundings of the moon were unspeakably gorgeous. The 
setting of the sun and the rising of the moon were truly wonderful. 
The clouds were ' full of glory.' 

Ju7ie 1th. — At 8 p.m. I gave my new lecture on ' South Australia, 
in relation to Emigration from the Mother Country.' 

Jime \2th. — There are two sea routes for sailing ships from 
Australia to England. One is by the ' Horn,' the other by the 

time, and written expressly for the occasion, a nautico-musical extravaganza, 
entitled : 

' " An Hour with Neptune." 
' Neptune, god of the sea, but a somewhat amphibious monarch, to whom a 
certain latitude must be allowed ; who from longitude has taken his degree, and 
is second to none in his attachment to the briny. 

"■Lady Jocdijn. registered AAl at Lloyd's, a fast sailing clipper, with a 
grievance, and determined to ventilate it. Zephyrus. the west wind, sometimes 
called, the " Gentle Zephyr " — an airy nothing, and never about when it is 
wanted. 

' Scene — " On the Bottom op the Sea." ' 

It need hardly be added that the evening was enjoyably spent. Indeed, all 
seemed to value the efforts made for contributing to the pleasure of the whole 
company. This was the order of things : Literary and Scientific Subjects, Mr. 
Robert Gurner ; Singing and Music, Miss Clara Brown ; Lectures, Preaching 
and Worship, Rev. J. Bickford. 



308 JAMES niCKFORD : AN AUfOBIOGEAPHY. 

' Hope.' Anchored in the river at Port Adelaide was the iron ship, 
Old Kensington, which was to leave for London about a week after 
us. On the morning of the 12th of June this vessel was near us on 
our lee. We were pleased to see that our Port neighboui-, who had 
come by a contrary route from us, was as far on the voyage as 
ourselves. But now the light winds and calms prevented progress ; 
indeed, for eight days we had only made eighty miles. But a change 
took place on the 14th, when, with a strong, fair wind, we bounded 
through the ' Roaring Foi'ties ' at ten knots. And yesterday we were 
in company with twenty-four ships, but to-day only one of them is 
visible. 

The 21st of June will always be a * red-letter day.' We had come 
14,766 miles, and were now in the ' chops of the Channel.' At 4 p.m. 
we saw the Start, then Berry Head, and a long line of hazy English 
coast. We had a fau' wind up Channel, and at 10 p.m. we saw the 
Portland lights. A small cutter came alongside, and the master 
with the help of a rope, climbed on board. He handed to the 
captain a late newspaper, which we were all glad to see. Oh, 
how friendly our visitor was ! ' Will you take our letters and post 
them for us ? ' we inquii-ed. ' Most gladly, gentlemen, I will oblige 
you.' ' What will you charge ? ' ' Well, ten shillings a letter.' 
' Come now,' said I, ' that's too much ; we won't give you that 
price.' He finally agreed for two shillings a letter. As soon as he 
got his budget, he got over the ship's side, and we saw him no 
more. 

On the 22nd, at 2 p.m., when off the Isle of Wight, our captain 
reported the arrival of the Lady Jocelyn, one hundi-ed days out, to the 
signal master, so that in the papers of to-morrow morning the news 
will be telegraphed all over the kingdom. 

June 22>rd. — We came to anchor off the Margate Sands at 1.30 a.m., 
which was a great relief to vis. I turned in and slept until 7 a.m. 

June 2^th. — We got ' under weigh ' at 8 a.m. We were being 
towed by a struggling little steamer, when our un-' giving ' steel 
hawser tore away her gear. We then gave a hempen hawser, in 
place of the other, and everything went on well. We reached the 
London Dock in due course, and at 8.30 p.m., Mrs. Bickford and 
I were with our friends, the Rev. William Butters and Miss Butters, 
at Brixton Hill. Consummatuvi est. 

I should here remark that, strange as it may appear, I was not 



THE VOYAGE HOME. 309 

the subject of the strong emotional feeling I expected should God 
permit me again to see Old England. But I had been too long away : 
indeed, it may be said, my heart was still in Australia ; and I had 
more friends, and even more kindi'ed there, than I now had in my 
native country. Still I was deeply grateful that our long voyage 
had ended so propitiously, and that my earliest AustraHan ministerial 
friend was still alive and well. On that evening, as we gathered 
around the family altar at Upper Tulse Hill, I praised my Heavenly 
Father, that I and my dear companion, in many lands and for many 
years, were again at Home. 



ENGLAND. 

LONDON, 1876. 

June 25th. — A ' day of days ' this has been to me. Surely some- 
tliing of the inspiration of David, the King of Israel, possessed my 
soul this morning as we wended our way from Upper Tulse Hill to 
the Brixton Hill Church. The Rev. William Gibson, M.A., was 
the preacher. The attractiveness of Christ was the theme. There 
was a fine congregation to hear a very beautiful sermon. In the 
evening, Mr. Butters and I went to ' ISTewington Butts ' to hear 
England's Spm-geon, and we were not disappointed. There were 
6,000 people to begin with ; congregational singing and great 
devoutness ; and an able sermon founded upon the words : ' And he 
appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the 
Lord, and to record and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel.' 
The gist of the discourse was on the subject of defective memories in 
relation to matters of religion, and the cure of that mental disability. 
I confess I never heard so much hard hitting and so much shrewd 
common sense squeezed into one sermon before. At the close, Mr. 
Butters inquired, ' Do you wonder now that Mr. Spurgeon is so 
great a power in England 1 ' ' No,' I replied ; ' the greatest wonder 
in my judgment would be if that were not so.' It was a most 
profitable Sabbath. 

The Centenary Hall and Mission House was my first place of call 
on Monday morning. Mr. Butters chaperoned me to the old loved 
spot. I saw the senior Secretary, the Bev. W. B. Boyce, and 
entered into conversation with him. Acting as Deputy Treasurer, 
he was very busy ; which, at first sight, he did not fail to inform 
me. Then he proceeded to a little good-natured banter, quite d, la 
Australian. ' Well,' said he, ' you are a great fool to come home, 
Brother Bickford ! ' ' How so,' I inquired, ' when I am only follow- 
ing your example ! ' ' Exactly, but then I am going back again in 



EXGLAXD. 311 

September.' ' I intend also to go back, but not so soon as that. 
So that we are in the same boat so far.' ' Can I do anything for 
you?' he good-naturedly inquired. ' Not to-day, thank you,' I repHed. 
Mr. Butters and I then ascended the great staircase to see for the 
Rev. G. T. Perks, M.A., who was at his desk apparently in deep 
study over something. How nice he was in his inquiries for Mrs. 
Bickford and myself, after our long voyage ! The interview was 
short, but I think I succeeded in securing Mr. Perks as our friend 
in dealing with our Australian affairs. After we left, I said to Mr. 
Butters, ' I shall stick to Mr. Perks as long as I am in England. 
He has, I am sure, the grip of our difficulties, and will help vis in 
their settlement.' ' You can't do better,' said my sage friend. 

Jime 28th. — Mr. Butters accompanied me to Westminster, to see 
the South Australian Agent General (Mr. Dutton), and present to 
him the official letter I received from our Government. Also I left 
with him a copy of my proposed Emigration lecture. About ten 
days afterwards, Mr. Dutton returned me the manuscript of my 
lectui'e, enclosing a cheque for its publication and postage, with an 
offer of the most obliging kind to help me in any practicable way 
in my ' praiseworthy ' efforts to send suitable emigrants to South 
Austraha. From that time, to the day of his lamented death, only 
a few months afterwards, Mr. Dutton was to me a sincere and 
generous friend. 

This was a busy day. Mr. Butters and I called upon Dean 
Stanley, at the Abbey, to whom Dean Russell, of Adelaide, had 
given me a letter of introduction. Dean Stanley was still mourning 
over his loss of the beautiful Lady Stanley. He appeared to be in 
feeble health, and was much ' cast down ' in soul ; but, said he, in 
the language of Charles Wesley's grandest hymn, ' I see the morning 
breaks.' He added, ' If I am spared for a little longer, I intend to 
say something more than I was able when the ceremony of unveiling 
the statue of the " Brothers Wesley " took place in the Abbey.' It 
was a precious interview from beginning to end. We called in at 
the three Courts of Justice, and saw no less than seven venerable 
and learned men meting out jvistice to foolish litigants, who cannot 
agree among themselves to settle their own misunderstandings, with- 
out recourse to expensive courts of law. We also went to the 
House of Commons, and heard a debate on the ' Entail of Property ' 
in England. Much was said on the importance of upholding the 



312 JAMES BICKFORD; AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

ancient families and their great estates from spoliation by a division 
of them amongst the junior members of families. It was the ' grip 
of the dead hand ' which the Liberals assailed, but which the Toi'ies 
upheld. The latter, being on the right of the Speaker, had the vote. 
Mr. Disraeli, Mr. Gladstone, Sir Staflford Northcote, and John 
Bright cUd not speak. 

July 2nd. — I preached at Thurlow Park and Penge. At the 
Park, I was brought into contact with a custom unknown to us in 
Australia. In the vestry, after the service, said the Church Steward, 
' Will you take a glass of wine, sir ? ' ' Excuse me,' I said, ' but I 
never take wme, nor anything that is intoxicating. But, on such 
a hot day as this, if you have any cold water near, I shall be glad of 
a drink.' I drank, and was refreshed. After the service at Penge, 
in the evening, we made oui- way to Upper Tulse Hill. Alas for me ! 
I had walked six miles, was dripping with perspiration, and was 
completely ' run down.' 

In the afternoon, as Mr. Butters and I were walking up the hill 
near the Crystal Palace, we saw about a dozen youths out on a 
Sabbath spree. ' We must speak to these youths,' I said. ' Yes,' 
said my friend ; ' round them up, and I will tell them a story.' They 
were caught with the idea, and gathered around the fine old man. 
* About forty years ago,' said he, ' I was stationed at Hobart Town, 
Van Diemen's Land, when a dreadful incident occurred to a youth 
about the age of one of yourselves. He had been a good Sunday 
School scholar, and promised to be a fine and useful man. But a 
band of bvu-glai-s persuaded him to join them, under a promise of 
secrecy and a share in the spoil. He was to be used as a spy to find 
out when families were absent from their homes, and then, when the 
way was clear, to be hoisted to the Avindows so as to open the doors 
from the inside to the robbers. But, after a while, the boy was 
caught in the very act ; was tried, convicted, and sentenced to be 
hung. He would not disclose the names of the vile band ; no matter 
what persuasives were used. I visited him several times in the 
felon's cell, and deeply did I pity him. He confessed to me that the 
fii'st step to his ruin was when he forsook the Sunday School, and, 
with other boys, went bii'd-nesting and stealing fruit from the 
people's gardens, ' Ah, my lads,' said Mr. Butters, ' beware of first 
beginnings of evil. Keep the Lord's Day, attend the Sunday 
School, and revere and love your parents.' Several of the youths 



EX6LAXD. 313 

were much aflected, and promised to attend the school the very next 
Lord's Day. 

July 4:th. — ' Westward Ho ! ' A friendly cab-owner lived near. I 
therefore engaged him to take us for an early train at the Waterloo 
Station. I cannot describe the variety of landscape we saw, as we 
rushed along through the mtervening counties until we reached the 
grand old cathedral city of Exeter. ' Living-green,' hill and dale, 
■^^dth pretty peeps at the blue waters of the Channel, as we threaded 
our way through Devonshire, met my delighted gaze, and filled my 
grateful heart. This is England at its very best, I thought ; it was, 
indeed, a beautifid best for my Australian eyes. 

' Kingsbridge Road Station ! ' shouted the guard, and the train 
pulled up. Yes ; so it was ; for there in the crowd stood my eldest 
brother, John Bickford, whom I had not seen for nearly twenty- 
three years. In a trice Mrs. Bickford was in the coach, and my 
brother and I were in a gig, starting for ' Kingsbridge town.' We 
talked so much by the way that we reached Coombe Royal and 
capped Knowle much before I had expected. At 6.30 p.m. we 
reached my brother's house, and now I felt that I was indeed at 
home. At 9 p.m. my brother, Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis, and I surrounded 
the family altar, where we united in thanking God for the Fatherly 
care He had shown to us. But one was not ; my sister-in-law, Mrs. 
John Bickford, died in 1864, and entei-ed into rest. She was a woman 
' who feared God above many.' 

July 6th. — I had a pleasant run, with Mr. W. Quarm, down the 
Kingsbridge River to Salcombe. What a sweet, pretty place this has 
become ! All the old scenery, reaching from Halwood Point right 
away to the Bolt Head, retained its former charms and interest, and 
I was much delighted. I visited a few of the Methodist members I 
left hex'e in 1838, and was greatly disappointed in not seeing Mr. and 
Mrs. James Vivian, who had ' joined the great majority.' My nephew 
and niece, Mr. and Mrs. Baker, at Snape's Farm, wei'e very glad 
to see me again. I retm-ned by the little steamer Reindeer in the 
evening to Kingsbridge. On the 8th, I visited the new cemetery at 
Highhouse Point. This very eligible freehold had been purchased by 
the inhabitants of Kingsbridge and Dodbrook, so I understood, as a 
general burial-ground for their dead. Mr. Quarm, who accompanied 
me, and I made straight for the ' mortuary chapel,' where the first 
oddity that challenged notice was a partition wall erected right across 



314 JA.VES BICKFORB: AS AUTOBIOGRAPnY. 

inside the building. ' Halloa,' exclaimed I, * what's that for? This 
looks like " a middle-wall of partition." I suppose there is some 
reason for its erection : pray, what is it ? ' ' Y"es, of course there is,' 
he replied ; ' it was put up at the bidding of the Bishop of Exeter, to 
shut off the Dissenters from Churchpeople ; and he Avould not conse- 
crate the ground until it was done, as you see it.' ' What,' said I, 
' you people bought and paid for the land, and submitted afterwards 
to this bigoted and cruel prejudice ! You must be idiots.' 

On the 9th I delivered my lecture in the Town Hall ; Mr. Solicitor 
Hurrell, senior, in the chair. At its close, I was subjected to a 
number of questions relating to the summer heat of South Australia, 
and the want of rain at certain seasons of the year. One of the 
inquirers actually asked, with all seriousness, if we had any water in 
Adelaide ? Another, What could an emigrant do for his family when 
he arrived at Port Adelaide 1 My answer was, * Let him leave his 
family on board, and go on shore, and seek for work and a couple 
of rooms as a temporary home, and then take them on shore.' I 
think my answers, and they were many, satisfied the audience. The 
next day, Mr. C. Tope, my nephew, displayed some hundi-ed splendidly 
executed photographs of South Australia on the walls of the building, 
for illustrating the condition, resources, and progress of the Colony. 
These works of a beautiful art were kindly sent to me from Adelaide, 
by Su' Henry Ayres, Chief Secretary, to aid me in my lecturing tours 
up and down the country. My lecture brought forth good results. 

On the 15th I went over to Modbury (my native parish), and saw 
the Flashmans, the Gills, the Luscombes, the Matthews, the Leth- 
bridges, and my kindred. I preached the next day three times, and 
on Monday evening I again lectured on South Australia ; Mr. 
Stidstone of Kingston, a gentleman farmer and a staunch Wesleyan, 
took the chau\ By public resolution, I was thanked for my lecture. 
On the 18th my brother, Edmund Whiteway Bickford, and I 
went to Plymouth, when I made arrangements with Mr. John Smith, 
Old Town Street, to print a thousand copies of my lecture for free 
distribution in England and elsewhere. 

July 2\st. — Mrs. Bickford and I left for Ilminster, on a visit to 
the venerable and Reverend Thomas White Smith, my ministerial 
father and friend. It was thirty-eight years since I saw him before, 
when he was in the zenith of his power. Now I found him feeble, 
and very aged in appearance. Oh ! it was good to see him again. 



ENGLAND. 315 



Mrs. Smith had died some years before this visit, and the dear old 
man had only an unmarried daughter, Miss Smith, and the faithful 
Lizzy for companions. 

On the 24th I left for the Conference at Nottingham. I was to 
be guest of Mr. and Mrs. Curtiss, a choice family ^dth whom I was 
much at home. The next day I attended the Connexional Committees 
of Review ; the Rev. Gervase Smith, M. A., in the chair. The place 
was crowded, and there appeared to be no ventilation, so that I was 
much inconvenienced. Mr. Curtiss and I soon left, and in the 
evening we went to hear the Rev. Doctor Williams' Fernley lecture 
on the Priesthood of Christ. It was able, and well read. In the 
pew before me was seated my old West India colleague, the Rev. 
David Barley, and by his side sat his son, the Rev. A. L. Barley. 
Mr. Barley and I had not seen each other since we parted in 
Demerara twenty-five years ago. 

On the 26th the Conference was opened, and the Rev. Alexander 
McAulay was elected President, and Dr. Williams, Secretary. The 
building was so crowded that I hied my way to the gallery, and took 
a seat where I could be seen right in front to the platform. The 
Rev. ex-President Perks, M.A., saw me, and sent one of the Brothers 
Hartley to request me to take a seat on the platform. This honour 
I accepted, and was only too thankful to Mr. Perks for his kind 
consideration. This was just before the election of the President ; 
and, being a member of the Conference, I exercised my right to 
vote. 

Jtdy 29<A. — This Avas a day of fat things for me. I had the great 
privilege of hearing the Rev. Benjamin Gregory, M.A., and the 
Rev. Dr. Punshon preach. It was no small treat. 

Aug. ^th. — The great debate on Lay Representation began to-day. 
As I intended going to the West in the morning, I asked the 
President's permission to say a few words. I had an influenza cold 
upon me, so that I could scarcely speak to be heard ten yards from 
the platform. But as the official reporter was sitting below, I 
persevered in the hope that what I said would appear in the 
Watchman. Of course I spoke on the question then before the chair, 
informing the Conference that we in Australia had, after about three 
years of eai"nest and prayerful thought, adopted the principle then 
under discussion. I stated that the presence of the lay brethren in 
our Conference would steady our action and give weight to our 



316 JAMES BICKFORI) : AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

decisions. I expressed the hope that the English brethren would 
speedily find theii' way to the same desirable issue ; which, in Australia, 
I felt sure, would give us both consolidation and enlargement as the 
years rolled by. As I retired to my seat at the rear of the platform, 
one of the Irish representatives said in an undertone to me, ' Some 
will not be obliged to you for your speech.' * I cannot help that,' I 
meekly replied ; ' it is the simple truth.' 

The Ordination of forty young men to the full work of the 
Christian Ministry, according to the usages of our Church, was an 
imposing ceremonial. Of course, there were many of the ' fathers ' 
of the Connexion present, whose earnest countenances indicated how 
much they valued this service as the perfecting circumstance of the 
young men's probationary course. The Rev. Gervase Smith, M.A., 
as ex- President, gave the ' charge,' which was on ' Preaching,' i.e. 
' Who should preach ? ' ' What to preach 1 ' and ' The end of 
preaching.' In his great discourse, Mr. Smith evidenced a thorough 
acquaintance with the Roman and Anglican theories of ' Apostolical 
Succession ; ' he unsparingly exposed the gaps and breaks of the 
lineal chain, together with the corrupt character of many of the so- 
called Successors of the Apostles. He brought out the true character 
of the ' eldershij) ' as recognised in the New Testament ; Mr. Wesley's 
right to transmit to his ' assistants ' the power of Ordination in his 
Societies, and the unbroken line of ministerial ' orders,' generally, 
through the ' laying on of hands,' from the death of Wesley to that 
very year. The ' charge,' clothed in ' words of fire,' went home to 
the young ministers' hearts, and produced, it may be believed, in 
them a fuller consecration to their holy work. The ' charge,' in fact, 
may be characterised as a defiant and trenchant setting forth of the 
basal principles of the historic English Reformation, and of the great 
Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth centm-y, in the face of the 
nation and of the world. It was, in short, the outcome of a sanctified 
heroism in the interests of truth and righteousness ; the old Spartan 
spirit baptized and softened by the love of Jesus Christ. But the 
subject and its environments both created and called it forth. 

Aug. 5th. — I soon tired of Nottingham, through being unable to 
bear the fatigue of sitting in the Conference from day to day. A 
few men did all the speaking, which made the business very 
monotonous and tedious. It seemed to me that far more of detail 
should be done in the District Committees, and that the main 



ENGLAND. 317 



attention of Conference might be given to what is purely legislative 
business. ' Great bodies move slowly,' and here was proof of the 
truth of the maxim. I left early in the morning for Ilminster, and 
was twelve hours on the journey. The next day (Sunday) I heard 
the venerable T. W. Smith preach from the words : ' I have no 
greater joy than to hear that my chikh-en Avalk in truth.' It was a 
sweet and beautiful discoui'se. I preached in the evening, from the 
' choice of Moses,' to a good congregation. It was by previous 
arrangement, and at my dear old friend's request, that we thus 
took the services. 

Aug. 8th. — Mr. Smith, Miss Smith, Mrs. Bickford, and I went 
over to South Petherton to see Mrs. Smith's grave. It was a mournful 
visit for us. We took tea at Mr. Benjamin Hebditch's, a nephew 
of Mr. Smith's ; after which we returned to Ilminster. 

On the 9th we left for Plymouth, and domiciled at my nephew's, 
Mr. Joseph Grainger, Exeter Street. The next day my nieces, Mrs. 
Evans, Miss Bickford, and Mrs. Grainger, accompanied me in a trip 
around the Eddystone. I was struck with the appearance of the 
lighthouse, its scientific character and stupendous strength. But 
the heat was great, and I felt unequal to stand against its exhaustive 
pressm^e. ' How is it,' I asked myself, ' that I, who have " pulled 
through " so many Australian summers, am so " run down " here ? ' 
And I concluded that it was not intensity, but humidity, of the 
atmosphere that i-obbed me so easily of my usual strength. 

On the 11th, after calling upon the Revs. Messrs. Jones and 
Jenkins, and my cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Moysey, we left by 
the steamer, and reached Kingsbridge at 10 p.m. The ' Bolt Head' 
and ' Tail ' came out in fine view as our little craft rounded the 
grand promontory, preparatory to oui* entering Salcombe harbour. 
I much enjoyed the trip across, as the air was cool and refreshing. 

Aug. 19th. — I went by appointment to Stonehouse, and was the 
guest of Mr. and Mrs. Luxor at Emma Place. The Rev. Mr. 
Twells came over to see me. I preached at Stonehouse the next day. 
After the evening service, as there appeared to be a gracious feeling 
in the congregation, I called for a Prayer Meeting, and about three 
hundred persons remained. 

On the 21st I called on Mr. Weeks at the Emigration Office, and 
left with him one hundred copies of my lecture on South Australia 
for free distribution. I was much disappointed in not meeting at 



318 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the oflBice the Rev. John Thorne, who had been appointed by the 
South Australian Government as emigration agent in England. I 
returned to Stonehouse, and prepared for the meeting in St. George's 
Hall, at which I had been announced to lectvu-e on Australasian 
Methodism. I spoke for an hour and a half with much freedom, 
and I hope I interested the large audience who had come to hear 
what I had to say. 

The next day I returned to Mr. Grainger's much exhausted, and I 
had to sleep for several hours before I could do anything at all. 
My brother-in-law, Mr. William Tapp, was very iU, but so happy 
that his desii'e was to be with Christ. 

The 23rd was an interesting day. I dined at Mr. Barker's, who 
heard me preach at Ugborough in 1838, just as I was leaving for the 
West Indies. The Rev. Hvigh Jones, the Chairman of the District, 
and Mrs. Bickford were there also. In the afternoon we drove to 
the Hoe to see the swimming matches. There were at least four 
thousand people present, and in the steamers, which were constantly 
flitting to and fro, there was quite ' a cloud of witnesses.' In the 
evening Miss Barker and I attended the episcopal service at St. 
Andrew's, and heard the Rev. Mr. Guinness preach an evangelical 
sermon. 

Aug. '21th.— 1 preached again at Salcombe, and the next evening 
(Monday) I spoke at a Bible Society's Meeting, at which the Rev. 
Mr. Fieldwick attended. as a deputation. Mr. Benjamin Balkwill, of 
Kingsbridge, took the chair. In my short speech I justified the 
claims of the Bible Society for support from the Christian public, 
because of its practical sympathy with our missions in the West 
Indies, Africa, India, and Australasia. It was a very good meeting. 
I took a terrible cold in returning to my niece's (Mrs. Baker's), at 
Snape's, from the rain which had been falling all the evening. 

Sept. '2nd. — I was again at Modbury. In the afternoon I visited 
the churchyard to see the graves of some of my kindred. The 
epitaphs, in several instances, were quaint and touching. I climbed 
the ancient ladder up into the belfry, that I might see Mr. Joseph 
Flashman wind up the gi-eat clock. I spent some time in the 
church, where my parents and nine of us, brothers and sisters, used 
to worship 'the God of our fathers.' A funeral occurx*ed during 
my visit, and I joined in the procession and solemnities at the grave. 
As I had been desirous of obtaining a certificate of my baptism, I 



ENGLAXD. 319 

thought this would be a good time for getting it. So I followed the 
Vicar into the vestry, presented my card, and asked him to furnish 
me, from the register, with a copy of my baptism. He courteously 
inquired for the year and month, which I gave him. He opened his 
eyes when I told him ' 1816,' and that very likely the month of May 
would give it. It was immediately found, and a form was duly 
filled in. ' What is the charge, Mr. Green 1 ' said I. His answer 
surprised and pleased me. ' You are a minister, are you not ? ' he 
inquired. I said, ' Yes.' ' Well, then,' he rejoined, ' I make no 
charge. But the certificate requires a penny stamp,' said he. I 
confess that I was a little nonplussed, not having to pay for stamps 
in such matters in Australia ; and never cari-ying anything less than 
a threepenny silver-piece in my purse, I, of course, was unprepared 
to pay. ' But I have no penny,' said I ; ' what's to be done ? ' 
' Oh,' said he, ' I have a stamp here,' which he at once fixed on the 
document. I thanked him for his kindness, and as I walked over 
the flags, which my boyish feet once trod Avhen attending Mr. 
Wreford's school, I could not think but that in the Modbury Vicar 
thei'e was a beautiful blandness, notwithstanding his High Churchism 
and ritualistic antics. 

/Sept. 3rd. — I preached at Kingston, and was the guest of Mr. 
Stidston, a gentleman farmer, and a good Wesleyan. Mr. Stidston 
was converted under the preaching of the Kev. P. C. Turner many 
years ago, during his visit to this iTiral locality for a church 
anniversary. My brother, Edmund Whiteway Bickford, and my 
nephew, James Bickford (his son), were -with, me all the day. 

Sept. 5th. — I filled up a second batch of applications for free 
passages to South Australia. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shepheard had 
already gone, and now I was making applications for eleven more. 

Sept. 9 th. — I left for Ivy bridge this morning, where I am to 
preach on Sunday. As we drove through Edmeston Farm, where I 
was born and lived until I was fourteen years old, I thought much 
of my dear parents and kindred. We have been scattered the ' wide 
world o'er.' I was the guest of Mrs. Badham, at the parsonage, who 
treated me with much Christian hospitality. I called on a few 
early friends, whom I knew in my schooldays. I preached the next 
day in the beautifid church built at Mr. Allen's expense, and given 
by him to the Connexion. I dined at Mr. Allen's, and met Mrs. 
Dingley there. It was a pleasant and profitable Sabbath. 



320 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

After spending all the time we could spare at present in Devon- 
shire, and wishing to be near the Agent General for South Australia, 
we went up to London on the 15th, and took furnished lodgings 
at 36, Maitland Park, Haverstock Hill, occupied by Mrs. Sillifant, 
whom I had formerly known in the West Indies. It proved, in every 
respect, an economical and a comfortable arrangement for us. 

Sept. \&th. — The CooUe Mission m Demerara was still dear to me. 
So that on learning that the Rev. H. V. P. Bi'onckhurst and Mrs. 
Bx'onckhurst were at Dalston ' on account of health,' I went this 
evening, piloted by Mrs. Hurd, to see them, and to inquire about 
the progress of the Mission. I was much pleased \vith the informa- 
tion I received from Mr. Bronckhiu-st, who had been employed in 
the Mission since 1865. It was interesting to me to leai-n that Mrs. 
Bronckhurst was a Miss Patterson, formerly connected with Trinity 
Church, and who was appointed to take charge of Mrs. Bickford's 
class when we left Demerara, for England, twenty-three years ago. 
She had been a worthy helpmeet to her husband in the Coolie 
work. 

Sept. 19</i. — I attended the Financial District Meeting, Dr. 
Osborne in the chair. I thus had an early opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with the London Ministers. I could not but observe 
that the subject of lay-representation to Conference was the hete 
noire of the meeting. Mr. President McAulay presented me, on the 
second day, with a beautiful copy of our recently issued Hymn Book. 
It bore the following inscription : — 

' Presented to the Rev. James Bickford, President of the South Australian 
Conference. 1875, from the British Conference assembled in Nottingham, in 
1876. — A. McAuLAY, President.' 

Sept. 24:fh. — I preached at Toddington in aid of the church funds. 
On Monday evening I lectured on Australia to a good audience. 
The Rev. John Rodwell was the Circuit Superintendent ; his wife, 
' Fanny Bickford Hurd,' was baptized by me in St. Vincent's, and 
was my god-daughter. I baptized their infant child, and thus 
identified myself still further with this delightful family by giving 
him my name as godson to me. We visited about, took tea at Mr. 
Gadston's, and drove through the grounds at Woburn Abbey. 

Sept. 27th. — I went over to the Westminster Training College, and 
was courteously received by Dr. James H. Rigg. He took me over 
the extensive and well-arranged buildings, and showed me the College 



ENGLAND. 321 



Church also. The apparent haughtiness of the Doctor to strangers 
entii'ely disappears in close contact with him. To me, he became so 
bland and so interesting, that I would have liked half-a-day with him 
instead of a couple of hours. 

Sept. 29^A. — Mrs. Bickford, Mrs. Sillifant, and I went to see the 
Prince of Wales' jewels at the Kensington Museum. It was a great 
display of the finest art and of untold wealth. 

Oct. \st. — I preached missionary sermons to-day at Colchester, and 
addressed the Sunday School in the afternoon. The public meeting 
came off in the evening of the next day. Mr. Coleman from Chelmsford 
presided with effect. The Revs. G. Terry, B.A., T. Thompson, T. 
Llewellyn, and I were the speakers, — too many by two for a good 
meeting. Of course I visited the ruins of the old historic castle. I 
was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Sargisson, who showed me much kind 
attention. 

Oct. ^th. — I ran down to Plymouth to say ' good-bye ' to my kins- 
folk, Mr. and Mrs. John Jarvis and family, who were about to sail 
in the Robert Lees for Port Adelaide, South AustraKa. I also 
attended the funeral of my brother-in-law, Mr. William Tapp, who 
had, after much suffering, died, even as he had lived for more than 
forty years, ' in the full assurance of faith.' The next evening I 
went to the depot, and held a semi- religious service for the South 
Australian emigrants. There were about three hundred present, to 
whom I spoke on the conduct proper to ship life, and on their duties 
when they landed in Adelaide. They appeared very grateful for the 
counsels I gave them, as well as for the ' notes of introduction ' to be 
used by them in the colony. On the 6th, Mr. Smith, the despatching 
agent from the London office, and I went through the ship, and saw 
the arrangments for the emigrants. In the evening, my brother, E. 
W. Bickford, from Modbury, and I went to St. Andrew's, to hear 
Bishop Perry, formerly of Melbourne, preach. His text was 1 Cor. 
X. 1-5. The venerable man struck hard at the theory of * Baptismal 
Regeneration,' drawing his arguments from the sad case of the 
ancient Israelites as mentioned in the text, and earnestly exhorted 
his congi^egation to trust alone for conversion to the baptism of the 
Holy Ghost. It was a telling and seasonable discourse ; being 
delivered during the holding of the Anglican Congress, there were 
several of the ministers and representatives of that Church present 
in the town. 

21 



322 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOF.IOGBAPHY. 

Oct. Sth. — I preached at ' Ebenezer ' this evening, at the earnest 
request of the Rev. Hugh Jones, the Supeiintendent ; and the next 
evening I spoke at the Missionary Meeting, held at Wesley. On the 
10th, I returned to London, none the worse for my journeyings and 
labours in the west. 

Oct. lUh.—'My next visit to Baddow Park, near Chelmsford, for 
services on the Sabbath. Mr. Coleman met me at the station, and 
drove me to the Joneses, whose guest I was to be. Tlie old Mr. and 
Mrs. Bradshaw, formerly of Geelong and Ballarat, Avere stajdng with 
their son-in-law, Mr. Jones, and Mrs. Jones, their daughter. On 
Monday morning, Mr. Jones kindly drove me some twenty miles, to 
see the surrounding country, which was very fine. In the afternoon 
we walked to Great Mascal Farm, to see Mr. James Duffield, brothei- 
to the Hon. T. Duffield, near Gawler. We had a most agreeable 
interview with this gentleman farmer and his family. The next day, 
Mr. Jones and I went to Chelmsford, it being market day. I was 
introduced by my friend to Mr. Solicitor Duffield, whom I found as 
well versed in Australian affairs as if he had been a resident. ' Then 
you have no State Church,' said he, ' in South Australia ? ' ' No,' I 
replied, ' and the right thing too in a new country. We are doing 
very well without.' ' Well ; yes,' he rejoined, ' in a new country 
certainly. And it will be the same thing in this country too Avhen 
you have a majority in the Hovise of Commons.' He was not at all 
afraid of the voluntary principle in religion ; they were now acting 
vipon it in the parish church : the public collections were most gene- 
rous, and they had plenty of money for all their claims. They had 
no Church rates, and were better without them.' Mr. Duffield was 
certainly the most liberal Churchman I had met with in England ; 
but it was no wonder, for his intelligence seemed to be the measure 
of his good-sensed broad-heartedness. 

It was a treat to meet with such a man. We dined at Mr. Cole- 
man's ; the Bev. John Jones (D) and Mrs. Jones joined us. I found 
Mrs. Coleman a very choice Christian lady. We went through the 
works, which were very extensive. 

Oct. ISth. — I dined by invitation at the Rev. Bichard Boberts's, 
and met Dr. Egerton Byerson from Canada there. In the evening 
we went to Harrow-on-the-Hill to hold a Missionary Meeting; 
General Crawford in the chair. The Bev. H. G. Hellier, Dr. 
Ryerson, and I did the speaking. Messrs. B. Boberts and Ishmael 



ENGLAND. 323 



Jones were also present. I suppose it was a pretty good 
meeting. 

Oct. 20^/i. — I attended a School Board Committee Meeting at 
Regent's Park, to select candidates for the ensuing election. We 
agreed to nominate the Hon. Lyulph Stanley, Dr. Angus, and Mr. 
Watson, a former member of the Board. It was believed that the 
election would cost at least .£600, and liberal offers of contributions 
were made. We held an after-meeting of the ' Preparation Class ' 
in the vestry of Dr. Angus's chm-ch; Colonel Griffin presided. I 
spoke for twenty minutes on the compulsory, free, and unsectarian 
nature of public education in Victoria. The meeting Avas evidently 
taken by surprise at the account I gave. It seemed ' to be too good 
to be true,' even in an Australian Colony. 

Oct. 21si. — I Avi'ote an indignant letter to the London Eclio on 
Churchyard grievances, as detailed from time to time in the 
daily press. I could not believe that the exclusive claims some of 
the incumbents set up, in regard to these ancient national cemeteries, 
could be sustained in law. If so, the question arises, Would there not 
be more honour in breaking it than in obeying it ? In Avistralia it 
would be swept out of existence in twenty-four hours. 

It is our happiness in Australia not to be weighted with a State 
Church ; there is, therefore, a complete freedom from all those petty 
annoyances and cruel disabilities experienced even in English- 
speaking countries where State Churches are known. The absence 
in Australia of all Parliamentary recognition of ecclesiastical es- 
tablishments, has been creative of a very full sympathy of the 
various religious bodies towards each other. The Episcopal clergy, 
Avith a few unimjjortant exceptions, are included in this remark. 
And I do not believe that there is any serious desire on the part of 
the dignitaries of that body ever again to have recourse to State aid 
for upholding and extending the Episcopal form of worship in any 
part of Australasia. All the religious denominations have accepted 
the principle of voluntary support as right ; whilst the principle of 
a complete religious equality has been so fii-mly established, that 
the general public would never tolerate the slightest practicable 
departure from it. 

Oct. 22ncl. — Great Queen Street Church anniversary. I heard the 
Bev. Theophilus Woolmer preach the morning sermon, which was 
one of great excellence. Its pure diction, earnest thought, and 



324 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOORAPHY. 

dignified utterance, suited me exactl3^ In the evening I preached 
at King's Cross ; Mr. Gall, a young gentleman of colour from 
Barbadoes, -walked with me, for I cannot travel by rail, or tram, on 
the Lord's Day. 

Oct. 23rd. — At the Exeter Hall Juvenile Missionary Meeting to- 
day, Mr. H. H. Fowler, the Revs. Dr. Punshon, G. T. Perks, and 
W. 0. Simpson were the speakers. Exeter Hall looked well, and 
the meeting was a grand success. 

Oct. 24:th. — I went to Westminster to see Mr. Dutton, the Agent 
General, on several South Australian matters. He was very 
accessible, and presented me with a cheque to recoup me for my 
expenses in the service of the Colony. I could not take a shilling as 
' emigration agent ' for South Australia ; but I did expect to be 
indemnified for personal expenses in travelling, lecturing, and seeing 
the ships off at Plymouth. 

Oct. 29 th. — I went to Key worth near Derby, to preach annivei'sary 
sermons. INIr. T. E. Cawdell and I went to the parish church in 
the morning. The service was simple and evangelical, as became an 
establishment connected with the Protestant Reformed Church of 
England. My services were in the afternoon and evening. Here I 
met with a respectable but very poor widow and her daughter, who 
had not tasted a bit of animal food but once or twice for two years. 
But they were ' content,' although so poor. They were of that 
class of Christians of whom St. Paul speaks, as 'having nothing, 
and yet possessing all things.' 

On my return to London, I found an affectionate and beautiful 
letter from the venerable minister, the Rev. John Corlett, who 
succeeded me in Demerara. Mr. Corlett was a native of the Isle of 
Man, and entered our Ministry m 1824. Somehow he was not 
known in our Connexion as his abilities deserved ', but he was, 
nevertheless, a great Methodist preacher, a famous theologian, 
powerful in prayer, an earnest missionary, and a genuine philan- 
thropist. We have but few such men as was Mr. Corlett in our 
West India Missions. 

Oct. SOth. — I went this evening to Hampstead Church anniversary ; 
the Rev. John McKenny in the chair. My reference in my speech 
to the Total Abstinence question, pleased the congregation very much. 
I was glad to tell them that the young ministers in the Australian 
Conference were, for the most part, total abstainers and anti-smokers. 



ENGLAND. 325 



They were careful to contract no bad habits, and they generally gave 
promise of gi-eat usefulness. It was a great comfort to me, as a 
somewhat old minister, to bear tliis testimony. 

Nov. \st. — I took tea at Mr. A. Kussel Johnstone's, 101, Long 
Acre, and from thence went to the Missionary Meeting at Great 
Queen Street. The Revs. M. C. Osborn, G. Adcock, and I, were 
the speakers. I got on but poorly somehow ; the fact was, that the 
two preceding speakers occupied all the time before I had my chance 
to speak on our Polynesian Missions. I was much dissatisfied, and 
annoyed with myseK for having attempted to speak at all. 

A ministerial convention at Jewin Street was a hallowed season. 
Dr. Osborn presided with much tenderness and ability. The subjects 
were ' Ministerial Privileges,' by Rev. Samuel Walker ; ' Ministerial 
Dangers,' by Dr. Osborn; 'Ministerial Difficulties,' by Rev. E. E. 
Jenkins, M.A. ; ' Ministerial Duties,' by Rev. F. W. Macdonald ; 
and ' Ministerial Responsibilities,' by Rev. M. 0. Osborn. Each 
paper was followed by judicious remarks from the brethren. We 
concluded by taking the Lord's Supper, at which I and Rev. James 
BuUer assisted. 

Nov. SreZ. — Captain Bagot, of North Adelaide, gave me a letter of 
introduction to his son, Mr. Solicitor Bagot, 40, Chancery Lane, and 
I went with him this evening to his beautiful home at Mortlake 
to dine and spend the night. Mr. and Mrs. Maturin and Miss 
Maturin were there to meet me. We were a nice little party of 
South Australians. I spent a delightful evening with this select 
and genteel company. 

Nov. 4:th. — Mrs. Bickford and I left for the Rev. W. G. Pascoe's, 
Belvidere Road, Liverpool. The next day I preached at St. John's 
and Garstang ; and I attended Missionary Meetings at both places. 
Of course we visited Prince's and Sefton Parks, the miles of docks, 
the forest of shipping, the landing jetty opposite Bu'kenhead, and 
scores of other places and objects of great interest. On the 8th we 
took tea, with a large party of friends, at Mr. and Mrs. Johnstone's, 
true friends of om* Missions. At the meeting, in the evening, Mr. 
Samuel R. Healey presided. Mr. Healey was a strong Conservative, 
and I am afraid that some of my statements, political and ecclesiastical, 
were not welcome to him. I spoke an hour, after which I went with 
Mr. McQuie to his country house, and spent two lively hours with 
Mrs. McQme, Mrs. Malcolm, Mr. McQuie, and family. The next 



326 JAMES BTCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

morning I saw the dear old Mrs. Posnett and her widowed daughter, 
and had a nice season of prayer with them. 

Nov. \2lh. — I was at Horsham on Mission business. At the 
public meeting the Rev. Mr. HugUl presided. As I was the only 
speaker, I had to make two speeches. On my way back to the 
parsonage I was accosted by a Mr. Sergeant Witham, who inquired 
if I knew his brother-in-law, Mr. Baseby, at North Adelaide. We 
had a long chat about his friends in South Australia. 

Nov. lUh.—l left for the Isle of Wight. The Rev. William 
Moister met me at Cowes, and I accompanied him to Newport. It 
was thirty years ago since we last met. As we looked upon each 
other, we were much excited, and the feeling in both was gratitude 
to God. Reaching Mr. Moister's sweet little cottage, Mrs. Moister 
repeated the kindness of thirty-eight years ago, in Port of Spain, 
Trinidad, by giving me a hearty. Christian welcome. Wo spent a 
delightful evening in conversing upon a multitude of topics of a 
personal, ecclesiastical, and national character. On the 19th I 
preached twice at Newport to capital congregations. My old and 
first Superintendent, Mr. Moister, was one of my heai'ers in the 
evening. The next morning I went to Shide Mill to see my niece, 
Mrs. Alice Treby. We took tea at Mrs. Dore's, the Methodist 
home for ministers and Wesleyan visitors from time to time. In 
the evening I gave a lecture on ' Total Abstinence, the only Cure for 
Intemperance,' when my venerable friend, Mr. Moister, presided, 
and made touching references to our former association in the 
mission-field. The Rev. Mr. Connor, Vicar of Newport, and one of 
the Queen's teetotal chaplains, made a good speech. When replying 
to the vote of thanks, I took occasion to refer to South Australia as 
an encom-aging field for English emigrants. 

After our return to Mr. Moister's, the subject again came up. I 
was strongly advised, by my generous host, to employ any leisure 
time I might have, whilst in England, in extending, in the form of 
a portable volume, the substance of my lecture at the Institute. He 
thought, he said, it would serve the object I had in view, in the 
matter of inducing a stream of eligible persons in Great Britain to 
seek their fortunes in the Southern World. It would, he also observed, 
be a permanent memento of my visit, which my many friends in 
England and elsewhere would much value. I promised to think 
about it on my return to London. 



ENGLAND. 327 



Nov. 22nd. — The liev. James Gillman, a venerable Iinsh super- 
numerary minister, called. I had often heard of his eloquent 
discourses and great ability, and it was a great treat to me to listen 
to the conversation between my friend and him. The next day 
Mr. Moister accompanied me to Woolston, vid Southampton, that we 
might together see our West India friends, the Rev. George Ranyell 
and his estimable Avife. We had a very profitable interview. In 
the afternoon Mr. Moister returned to Newport, and I went up by 
train to London. 

Nov. 25th. — I left for Ilminster to do deputatios work, and reached 
the Rev. T. W. Smith's in the afternoon. The next day I preached 
twice, and specially addressed the ' Society ' and young people at 
the close of the evening service. 

On Monday, Mr. Smith and I went to Dillington Farm to spend a 
little time with Mr. Obed Hosegood and his estimable family. In 
the evening we held the first of the series of Missionary Meetings ; 
Mr. Smith presiding. The next day we went to Martock, when a 
choice party met us at Mr. Bradford's to tea. We had a fine 
meeting in the evening. Our next meeting was at South Petherton, 
Mr. S. Hebditch in the chair. In my speech I referred to the 
Swantons, Bakers, and Gifl;brds, who were formerly resident in the 
neighbourhood, as friends of mine in Victoria. Such allusions are 
pleasing to our people in England. An interesting incident was 
named to me here. It seems that it was a little more than one hun- 
dred years ago that the Rev. Dr. Thomas Coke, then curate of South 
Petherton, rode over to Kingston to see Mr. Wesley. He, in a few 
weeks, cast in his lot with the great evangelist, and placed his 
fortune and his life at the disposal of Christ. Eternity alone will 
show the results of that interview upon the best interests of the 
Church and the world. The next meeting was held at Crewkerne. 
I spoke on the Australian and Polynesian Missions ; giving, at the 
same time, some valuable information iipon the advantages of 
emigration of certain classes of the people to South Australia. 
I was asked by a gentleman in the audience if I were 'a paid 
agent of the Government.' My prompt reply of ' No ' satisfied my 
interlocutor. 

Dec. 1st. — I went to Milbourne Port to see old Mrs. Coombs, 
mother of Mr. W. G. Coombs, of Bundle Street, Adelaide. I saw 
also Mrs. Fudge, Miss Fudge, Mr. E. Coombs, Mr. Enson (known to 



328 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

me in Melbourne), and the Rev. Mr. Holland. In the afternoon I 
left for Plymouth to fulfil engagements at Stonehouse on the 3rd. 
I preached twice to capital congregations, among whom were a 
good sprinkling of the miUtary profession. On the occasion of 
this visit, I spoke at Missionary Meetings in Stonehouse and 
Morrice Town, Devonport. 

Dec. Qtk. — I went to the Emigration Depot, and spoke to about 
three hundi'ed people. The Rev. John Thorne, from South Australia ; 
Colonel Hickman, from Kentucky ; Dr. Sherfy, from New York ; 
and the Rev. W. Holderness (Anglican) took part in the service. 
In the evening my nephew, Mr. Grainger, and I went out 
to Stonehouse to a Good Templars' meeting. The question of 
Coloured People's Lodges in America was agitating Good Templarism 
throughout Great Britain and the United States, and strong, angry 
feeling was shown. I must say that I thought the Colonel's 
vindication of the side his party had taken was complete. I need 
not say that, from the associations of my West Indian life, my 
sympathies were with those whose complexions are regarded as a 
social disability. 

On the 7th I travelled in company with Colonel Hickman and 
Dr. Sherfy to London. We had exciting and beneficial conversa- 
tions all the way up. It was not often that I had in my journeys 
such companions as they were on this occasion. 

Dec. 8th. — A day of considerable excitement in London. The 
great meeting in St. James' Hall on the Eastern Question came off. 
Of course I went, and for six hours I listened to some of the ablest 
leaders of socio-political thought in Great Biitain. There was an 
amazing earnestness displayed throughout the day. Mr. Gladstone 
spoke in the evening, and it was a grand sjiectacle from the gallery 
to look down upon some five thousand intelligent people as they 
hung upon the lips of this great English statesman. When he rose 
to speak, the audience became the subject of a hurricane of excite- 
ment. The whole multitude rose en masse to testify its faith in him, 
as the trusted exponent of the feeling of England towards the 
oppressed nationalities of South-eastern Europe. He contended 
that England should not spend one shilling, nor sacrifice one life, for 
upholding the territorial integrity of the Porte ; further, that Turkey 
should never again have the power to oppress, rob, or murder the 
Christian populations of European Turkey. ' I am far,' said Mr. 



EXGLAND. 329 

Gladstone, * fiom saying that we have taken out a commission of 
universal " knight-errantry ; " but this is not a case where we act on 
the principle of benevolence. This is a case in which we have given 
a conditional support to the Turkish power, in which the conditions 
have been forgotten and betrayed. It is a case, therefore, of positive 
obligation ; and when, under the stringent pressure of that obligation, 
the long-suffering and long-oppressed humanity in those provinces 
has at length lifted itself from the grovmd, and is beginning again to 
contemplate the heavens, it is our business to assist in the work ; it 
is our business to acknowledge our obligations, to take our part in 
the burden ; it is our business to claim for our country a shai-e in 
the honour and in the fame. The acknowledgment of duty, this 
attempt to realise honour, is at least what we are attempting to 
obtain from our Government. And with nothing less than this, 
I believe, we, who are here assembled, will not under any circum- 
stances be persuaded to be content.' It was some considerable time 
before the rustling flood-tide of excitement subsided. 

Dec. 10th. — This Sabbath moi-ning Mrs. Bickford and I went 
to Prince of Wales Road Church to hear the Rev. R. Roberts, 
Superintendent Minister, preach. Text : ' Praise is comely for the 
upright.' 

In the evening of the same day I went to Dr. Landels' Church, 
Regent's Park, in the hope that I might hear him. In this I was 
disappointed, but I heard instead an extraordinary sermon from the 
Rev. Frederick Tucker, of Camden Town. There was, I thought, a 
singularity abovit him, which rather chscouraged in me the expectation 
of anything superior to the general run of the London ministers. 
But I was mistaken, for here was a man of no ordinary talent : a 
great pi-eacher was indeed in the pulpit. 

Dec. 18th. — I heard the Rev. Doctor Donald Fraser, of London, 
lecture on * John Knox and his Times," which was full of interest — 
historical and ecclesiastical. 

Dec. 24:th. — I again heard the Rev. Richard Roberts. Text : 
Isaiah xliv. 22. Thus within one week I was privileged to hear two 
sermons from this eloquent preacher. But I confess that his week- 
night discourses, which had no aroma of midnight oil about them, 
were much fresher, pointed, and feeding to one's soul than were 
his Sabbath discourses, which were oftentimes very long, and un- 
necessarily discursive. I often told my friend that in preaching so 



330 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

long he talked away his great power, and to that extent defeated his 
otherwise very able ministry. 

We spent the Christmas Day of this year with the Butterses at 
Upper Tiilse Hill, Brixton Rise. Our Methodist ' Gains ' (the Rev. 
Mr. Butters) had invited also the Rev. J., and Mrs. and Miss Buller 
to be there also. So that with the family we made rather a large 
party. We had a most agreeable time. On the 29th we were 
invited to dine and spend the evening at the Rev. Dr. Jobson's, 
Highbury Park. The Revs. J. A. Armstrong, T. Allen, their wives, 
and a Mr. and Mrs. Parry, from Cornwall, were there also. The 
good Doctor presided with all the urbanity and heartiness of an old 
English rector or country squire ; whilst Mrs. Jobson did her part 
with a pleasant affability. It was a very choice gathering of really 
godly, intelligent persons. It seemed to me that the Rev. W. Butters 
and Dr. Jobson were the generous hosts of official ministers, and 
Sir W. McArthur, M.P., of influential gentlemen, visiting London 
from the outskirts of the empire. No doubt they had their reward. 

I finished up the year by preaching at Prince of Wales Road 
Church at 6.30 p.m., and we did our Watching at Maitland Park, 
by prayer and reading of the Scriptures at the midnight hour. 
Thus ended this year of 1876. 

The correspondence since our arrival in England on the emigration 
business, the monthly letter to The Methodist Journal, Adelaide, and 
the travelling up and down the country in the service of Methodism 
and of South Australia, had been one unbroken burden of work. 
But, God be praised, it seemed to be helpful to my health, and gave 
me an elasticity of spirits, which, had I remained in London most of 
the time, I could not have had. The only drawback was that Mrs. 
Bickford could not travel very much with me, through the lack of 
physical enduring power ; but she never once complained, feeling that 
I was doing my duty to my Church, the Foreign Missions, and to 
the colonies of Australasia. 

1877. 

Jan. \st. — At 1 a.m., on my knees, and with all my heart, I gave 
myself again to my Lord and Master for active service oi' for 
suffering, for 'honoui- or dishonour, for England or for Australia. 
This year will probably be more eventful to me than 1876 has been. 
But ' my times are in Thy hands.' 



ENGLAND. 331 



Jan. 2nd. — The stupid Turks have rejected the proposals of the 
Combined Powers. What next ? The ' sword ' in deadly duel between 
Turks and Russians. May the God of justice defend the right ! 

Jan. 4:th. — I heard the Rev. Joseph Parker, D.D., preach at his 
midday service to a large congregation. His text was Gen. xx. 9. 
His first sentence, ' This is the second lie Abraham told Abime- 
lech,' put me against him, and I heard the sermon in a spirit 
of antagonism. It was clever, of course ; but its ethics, I venture 
to think, were somewhat dangerous. It seemed to me that the 
discourse was a kind of apology for the laches of good men. 
There were of course some very fine passages in it. The Rev. 
Edward White, in an after meeting, read an able paper ' On the loss 
the Church has sustained through the absence of a continuous 
exposition of the Scriptures in the pialpit.' The essay I thought 
looked rather in the direction of an abrogation of all theological 
standards and creeds. Its refrain was, 'More sea-room, if you 
please ! ' 

Jan. 1th. — I preached at Great Queen Sti'eet on 2 Kings v. 25, 
which I thought suitable for the first Sabbath morning of the New 
Year. I was at the Covenant Service at King's Cross in the after- 
noon ; and in the evening I heard the Rev. Charles Kelly preach an 
excellent sermon. It was to me a thoroughly good day. 

Jan. \Oth. — I could not complain of being overlooked — 'left out 
in the cold ' — by the London ofiicial ministers when any matter of 
public interest was on the tapis. Hence, in the forenoon of this day, 
I went by invitation to the Centenary Hall, to attend the monthly 
meetmg of the Executive Committee of our Foreign Missions. On 
my way to the Chalk Farm Station, I fell in with my old friend, 
Mr. James Bonwick, from Melbourne. I was both surprised and 
pleased. The Rev. G. T. Perks, M.A., the senior Secretary, con- 
ducted the business with much suavity and prudence. The Rev. 
President McAulay presided, and the room was well filled. There 
was an air of earnestness pervading this influential Committee which 
impressed and deKghted me. When gentlemen meet to transact the 
important business of our Foi-eign Missions, I like to be able to re- 
cognise grip, seriousness, and generousness in their spirit and action. 
I attended a second meeting in the afternoon, which had been called 
by the President to consider the question of raising funds for esta- 
blishing and strengthening Methodism in the smaller towns and 



332 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

villages in the kingdom. Sir William Mc Arthur, M.P., generously 
gave £2,000 ; and the sum of ,£37,500 in all was promised. The lay- 
gentlemen gave like princes, which they are in our Methodist Israel. 
I preached at Prince of Wales Road in the evening, and continued 
the service until 9.30. Thank God, in the inquiry room, we had 
four penitents seeking the forgiveness of their sins. 

Jan. Will. — I found the Eev. William E. Williams, D.D., a 
gentlemanly and affectionate brother. As Secretary of the English 
Conference I had often seen him, and I always found him so kind 
and so considerate of my wishes. I was not therefore surprised this 
morning to receive through the post a copy of his critical and com- 
prehensive Fernley Lecture on the Priesthood of Christ. In the 
evening I heard the Rev. John Bond preach an earnest sermon at 
Prince of Wales Road in connection with the special services. We 
had a fine prayer meeting at the close. Good is doubtless being 
done. 

Jan. I^th. — At the earnest request of Dr. Jobson, who was ill, 
I consented to go to Louth for the Sabbath services. Mr. Bennett, 
of the Cedars, was waiting for me at the station, and I accompanied 
him to his beautiful home. Besides the Bennett family, there were, 
Mrs. Sharpley, and Mr. Sharpley, her son, and the Rev. B. B. Waddy, 
the Circuit Superintendent. We spent together a delightful evening. 
The next day I preached twice to excellent congregations. In the 
vestry, previous to the service, one of the Church Stewards said to 
me : ' We don't like long services here ; our time for closing in the 
morrdng is 12 o'clock.' ' Agreed,' said I, ' you shall be out at that 
time.' As I was ascending to the pulpit, I looked roimd the capa- 
cious building to see how my presence was relished, seeing that, at 
that time, Dr. Jobson was the most popular minister in that county, 
when I thought I saw expressions of disappointment traced on the 
countenances of the people ; so before I gave out the first hymn I 
said : ' I wish to tell the congregation why I am here in the place 
of your friend, Dr. Jobson. I am sorry to say that the Doctor is so 
ill as to be unable to leave his bed, and so, to prevent collapse, I 
have come in his stead. Now I have hope that we shall have a 
good time together.' I felt instanter that the congregation was 
within my hold, and I proceeded with the service. At about seven 
minutes to twelve, I suddenly stopped and remarked that I had 
been informed that the congregation did not like long services, and. 



ENGLAND. 333 



that I would, with much regret, 'break off' at once ; but that as I 
hoped to preach again in the evening, we would have more time, 
and we could remain as long as we liked. In the vestry I was 
asked, in a rather abrupt manner, why I had concluded so soon ? I 
then stretched out my hand to the brother who had spoken to me 
before the service, and referred to him for the reason. I simply added 
that 'when I am from home, I always make it a point to obey 
orders.' In the evening we had a fine congregation, and at the 
close I invited the people to remain to hear a short address on 
Australia. I should think that eight hundred at least remained 
behind. The collections for the day amounted to £20 for the 
Circuit Funds. 

The next morning, the Rev. Thomas Champness breakfasted with 
us. He spoke to me about casting in his lot with us in Australia. 
I gave him no encouragement, as far as the South Australian 
Conference was concerned, because of the great difficulty we had 
in providing for married ministers, but that New South Wales 
Conference laboured under no such difficulty. I remember one 
expression of his which amused me very much. Speaking of 
preaching under powerful impulse, lie said, ' that he never saw the 
land again after he had once started, until he had got to the end.' 
As a desciiption of the abandon, the rush, and tear, of his sermonic 
performances, I suppose the figure was most appropriate. He ap- 
peared to be a racy, good-natured, well-informed, and zealous man. 

Jan. IWi. — I preached at Stow-on-the-\Vold yesterday, in aid of 
the Church Trust ; and this evening I lectured on South Australia. 
The friendly Rector, Rev. Mr. Hodgers, presided. The Rev. Joseph 
Payne, our minister, took me to see the Rev. Henry Badger, a 
former West Africa Missionary, who is very ill. He made * a good 
confession,' and his hope was sure and steadfast. He inquired most 
affectionately for the Revs. B. Chapman, T. Roston, W. A. Quick, 
and R. Hart, his former colleagues, or fellow-workers ' in the Dark 
Continent.' The gi*ace of an enduring friendship is largely bestowed 
on missionaries ; it generally ends only with life. 

Feb. 6th. — I attended the Mixed Committee on Lay Representa- 
tion to Conference. It was a large gathering of the best men in 
English Methodism. The Rev. James Buller and I were permitted 
to be present by an unanimous vote of the Committee. I cannot 
speak too much in praise of the thorough impartiality of 



334 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

INIr. President McAulay, and of the adi'oit manner in which he put 
the main points of numerous amendments, and disposed of them by 
<a ' yea ' or ' nay ' vote. There was the finest spirit throughout, and it 
was specially gratifying to see how resolved the Committee were to 
do the very best thing that could be done to popularise the entire 
movement, and thereby secure the warm and sincere suffrages of the 
entire Connexion. 

It is impossible to over-estimate the historic value of this great 
<liscussion. The crucial points were : — (1) The provision for securing 
a continuity of the lay element in the Conference, answering to the 
Legal Hundred, as provided in the Deed Poll. The Rev. W. B. Pope 
spoke on this point in a clear and impressive manner. The provision 
was accordingly made, on the motion of Dr. Punshon, ' That one- 
eighth of the lay representatives shall from time to time be elected 
by the Conference, when composed of ministers and laymen.' (2) The 
Quarterly Meetings remained untouched, although Dr. Rigg and 
Mr. H. H. Fowler spoke at great length for a representative to the 
District Meetings, in adchtion to the two Circuit Stewards. (3) A 
long debate ensued upon the point whether membership in one 
district, and trusteeship in another, would qualify for a seat in 
Conference, provided the District Meeting, composed of ministers 
and laymen, elected such to the Conference. This was carried by 
a large majority. (4) It was provided that the business to be 
transacted by the Conference, when consisting of ministers only, 
shall be completed before that which is to be transacted by the 
ministers and laymen be entered upon. Mr. Buller and I much 
enjoyed these discussions. 

It was pretty well at the close of the business that the Rev. John 
Rattenbury came to where Mr. Buller and I were sitting, behind the 
Pi'esident's chair, and accosted us as follows : ' Why can't you men 
out there ' (Australia) ' leave well alone ? We are indebted to you 
for all this trouble about lay representation ! ' I suppose there must 
be something in my Devonian blood that is easily roused, for I 
answered him too sharply, I fear : ' We have studied this vei-y thing 
for three full years, and have got to the end without any serious 
friction, and for the best, as succeeding years Avill show, I have no 
doubt.' This was enough for our friend. Good and earnest man, 
and a great preacher, too, when he was in his prime ; still, somehow 
I could not take to him as I could have wished. 



ENGLAND. 335 



In the evening Mr. Buller and I went to the Memorial Hall, 
Farringdon Street, to hear the Rev. J. Guinness Rogers lecture on 
' The Rev. A. Tooth and the Church.' The hall was packed Avith 
men who were intensely interested in the proceedings. There were 
certainly many clerical representatives present of the two great parties 
now disturbing and divithng the Anglican Church. The behaviour 
of the respective parties, under Mr. Guinness's heavy fire, showed on 
which side they ranged. The lecture was worth travelling a thousand 
miles to hear. 

Feb. Sth. — Mr. Hays, senior clerk at the Mission House, sent 
me a memorandum to-day, showing the entire cost of establishing 
and working the Australian and Polynesian Missions, from 1815 to 
1875 inclusive, as £720,281 12s. Id.; less, by local contributions, 
£269,365 13s. 4c'Z., leaving as the cost to British Methodism 
£450,915 16s. lOd. A noble contribution surely to the Southern 
World ! 

On the 10th Mrs. Bickford and I visited Westminster Abbey. As 
we stepped inside the wicket-door, Mrs. Bickford seemed overcome 
with the gorgeousness of everything she saw. ' What a wonderful 
place is this ! ' she exclaimed. ' Yes,' I replied, ' you will indeed say 
so when we have seen all that is to be seen.' We were taken by a 
guide through the private chapels, and for a full hour we were on 
our feet following in the track of our loquacious guide. What a 
marvellous monument is the Abbey to the memories of the mighty 
dead ! Also to the genius and mechanical skill of the great intellects 
of the past and present centuries. Of course there is but one 
Westminster Abbey in the world, — even as there is but one London. 
The most affecting of the sights, however, was the chaste enclosure 
in which are those touching memorials of the death of the Dean's late 
wife. Lady Stanley. We saw the beautiful statue, erected by the 
Dean's kind permission, -within the precincts of the Abbey, for John 
and Charles Wesley. It gratified us very much to see this imperish- 
able memento of two of England's greatest sons in this grand old 
Abbey. 

I only attended one high ritualistic service whilst I was in 
England. This was on the evening of the 11th, at St. Mary the 
Virgin's, Primrose Hill. There were eight candles burning upon 
the altar-table, a crucifix in the centre, and other insignia of the 
most expressed forms of Roman worship. The parade of incensing 



336 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the Rev. Newton Smith, the curate, was curious, and even disgusting. 
The vessel was held up to his nose, to his ears, waved across his 
forehead, and around his head, until he was scented all over. His 
calm dignity as he sat in his chair, and his gesticulations as 
sacrificing priest, were amusing. The sermon lasted for fifteen 
minutes, but it was long enough. It consisted of a rehash of 
elemental science as affecting certain material changes in the 
natural world; and closed up by exhortations to the people to 
prepare by penitence and prayer to meet death. The name of 
Christ Avas not once mentioned, from the beginning to the end of 
this miserably weak discourse. I must pass over a number of small 
ceremonials, and only add that the sisterhood were apparently more 
devout than were the brotherhood. Both gazed at a large crucifix 
suspended in a conspicuous place, and, in the processions up and 
down the church, the priests and others always nodded as they 
passed a little image of Christ suspended from a wall. To me, 
who in my youth was accustomed to worship with my parents 
in the parish churcli in INIodbury, and who, even now, can well 
remember the dignity and beauty of the services as conducted by 
the Rev. Mr. Stackhouse, the saintly vicar, the performance at 
St. Mary the Virgin's pained me greatly, and will remain with 
me to the end of my life as an awful travesty of what should be 
the most scriptural and effective of all the forms of public worship 
known and celebrated in any part of the civilised world. 

Feh. VI til. — I read this morning the report of the great debate last 
evening in the House of Commons. The Rupert of the discussion 
was Mr. Gladstone, whose reply to Mr. Chaplin was not more crush- 
ing and complete than he deserved. Party buffers have some use, I 
suppose, even in the House of Commons, and sooner or later, they 
will be rewarded with office, if possible. In the afternoon Mrs. 
Bickford and I went to the British Museum, and were well repaid 
for our trouble. A palace of wonders is the Museum. The exhuma- 
tions of the ancient world are God's own revelation cut in stone, and 
shaped in statuary. What did Chaldsea think of God ? The winged- 
headed ' Bull ' is the reply ! Intelligence, strength, and ubiquity here 
embodied exhibit the old nation's idea. 

The Ministers' Monthly Meeting in London is among the greatest 
treats an Australasian can desire. About eighty to a hundred are 
generally present, with the President, or an ex-President, in the chair. 



ENGLAND. 337 



The conversations on the condition of the Circuits are free and out- 
spoken. At the last of these meetings I attended there were collateral 
subjects, which engaged much of the time of the brethren. (1) The 
forthcoming City B-oad Church Anniversary, when an effort was to 
be made to pay off ^2,000 of debt. What an ever-absorbing subject 
of interest and affection is this ' mother church ' of Methodism to all 
Wesley's true sons in the Gospel ! (2) The Rev. J. Smith Spencer's 
Circular, re the forming of a ' Young Men's Improvement Associa- 
tion,' of an aggregate character for the whole of Methodist London. 
It was a noble idea, and received much sympathy. (3) On the 
practical ditficulties of class-meeting membership. The question 
was delicately touched, but the meeting itself was very fine ; and 
I could not but think how great were the privileges and ad- 
vantages of the younger ministers, thus to be associated with the 
Methodist fathers in these monthly gatherings for conference and 
prayer. 

Feb. 2Qtli. — I received a polite note from Mr. J. R. Langley, of the 
Westminster Training College, inviting me that evening to a meeting 
of the Royal Geographical Society to be holden in the London 
University. Mr. Langley was on the look-out for the Rev. James 
Buller and myself. He got for us seats directly in front of the 
dais. 

Sir Rutherford Alcock presided. The first paper was by B. D. 
Young, Esq., R.N,, on the Lake Nyassa, which he found to be an 
inland sea four hundred miles long, and having close in shore, on the 
eastern side, a depth of water beyond soundings. The details were 
of the most exciting character. The second paper was by the Rev. 
Mr. Price, of the London Missionary Society, who had traced a new 
route from the coast right across two hundred miles to Ujiji, on a 
high plateau, fi-ee from all malaria. Sir Bartle Frere, Dr. Cotterill, 
Bishop of Edinbui'gh, Sir Samuel Baker, and other distinguished 
men, took part in the discussion. And the venerable Dr. Moffat 
was there also; whose tall, fine form, long, flowing white hair, and 
striking features, were a beautiful picture. The evening was well 
spent. 

As I was now faMy launched in an attempt to prepare an account 
of ' Christian Work in Axistralia,' I wrote a short note to the Right 
Reverend Charles Perry, D.D., late Bishop of Melbourne, soUciting 
the favour of any information he had relating to the rise and present 

22 



338 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

condition of the Anglican Church in Victoria . I transcribe his 
reply :— 

' 38, AvENCE Road, Regent's Pabk, N.W., 
' February 28tk, 1S77. 

' My deae Me. Bickfoed, — 

' I am just now so much engaged, that I have not time to put on paper 
the particulars you ask for, and I fear that I shall find it difficult to search 
them all out ; but I will, please God, endeavour to do so in a few days. 
' If you should be coming this way, I should be most glad to see you. 

' Your brother in Christ, 

' Charles Peeey, Bishop. 
' The Rev. James Bickford, 
' Haverstock Hill, N.W.' 

In about a week after the receipt of this courteous and dignified 
note, I called upon the venerable Bishop, who, with Mrs. Perry, 
did their utmost to supply me with the information I was 
wanting. 

March 18t7i. — For the first time since my arrival in England, I 
mustered sufficient courage to read the Liturgy used in our beautiful 
church at Highbury. I got thi'ough without chfficulty ; prayed ex- 
tempore, and preached with much liberty. Speaking of the liturgy, 
as used in many of our London churches, reminds me of an amusing 
colloquy which took place about twenty years ago at City Road, 
during an ordinary morning service. A Mr. and Mrs. W. and 
family, from the Brighton Circuit, Victoria, were visiting England; 
and, as in duty bound, they made their first appearance in Methodism's 
mother church. Sitting close to the ^ide of the matronly mother was 
her firstborn son, J., who soon became much disconcerted by the kind 
of service which was going on. The fact is, that a lay functionary 
was ' reading prayers,' and J. could not understand how that was. 
Said he, in a quiet undertone, ' Mother, is this church or chapel ? ' 
' Hush, my boy, be quiet ; we shall have chapel presently, I suppose.' 
J. submitted, but not with a good grace. Appealing to his mother a 
second time, he blubbered out, ' Mother, it is neither church nor 
chapel ; let us go.' Poor disconcerted youth, he had never before had 
his prayers done for him, and he would not have it then ! But, it may 
be believed, that huncbeds of good people from our churches in 
Australia, since then, have had similar experiences through the com- 
pulsory endurance of a long, th-eary, liturgical seivice in our London 



ENGLAND. 339 



chiu'ches. Australian Methodists like short, sharp, decisive services • 
and ' do prayers ' for themselves. 

I took advantage of a leisure evening to attend the Rev. Edward 
White's service at Kentish Town. The Rev. F. W. Cox, of 
Adelaide, Mr. White's brother-in-law, had given me a letter of 
introduction to him. The service was to me one of great* interest. 
Notwithstanding its length and mental stiain, Mr. White himself 
sang most heartily. ' Let us sing,' said he, ' as if we meant 
it. Don't let us be sleeping over it.' And they did sing. The 
congregation was large, and attended earnestly to the preacher's 
argumentative and telling sermon. I do not suppose there was 
present one of the so-called ' upper ten thousand ' in the congrega- 
tion ; but there was something better in the marked facial form, 
the intellectual expression, and the subdued earnestness of the people. 
They were, I understood, mostly Scotch mechanics, which accounted 
for the intellectuality and judicial pose of the audience. To keep such 
a cause together requires an able minister ; and, in my judgment, 
Mr. White is the very man. 

March 2\st. — I left London this morning, en route for deputation 
work in Cornwall. The next day I went to see the Airlie, an 
emigrant ship, lying inside the Breakwater, Plymouth. I was 
pleased to be associated with Mr. S. Deering, the acting Agent 
General since the lamented death of Mr. Dutton, in examining the 
arrangements for the comfort of the emigrants. I cannot speak too 
much in praise of Mr. Deering's carefulness in regard to this 
matter. He assui-ed me that the ship should not go to sea until he 
was satisfied that everything possible was done for the safety and 
well-being of the 463 souls on board. I held two rehgious services, 
of a somewhat informal kind, because of the confusion arising from 
getting the ship ready for sea. 

I tarried by the way for services at Aveton-Gifford and Modbury. 
It greatly gratified me to be holding services in both places, among 
my own kin and the few sui'viving friends of my young manhood. 
On the 30th I reached St. Ives, and preached the next day (Good 
Friday) to a true Cornish congregation. My co-delegates were the 
Rev. WilHam Hirst, London, and the Rev. James Hartwell, formerly 
a West Indian Missionary. We took the usual round of Circuits, 
viz., St. Ives, Marazion, Penzance, St. Just, Camborne, St. Keverne, 
Helstone, Hayle, and Recbuth. At each place we were received 



340 JAMES BICEFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

with genuine hospitality, had large sympathetic congi-egations, and 
princely contributions. The spirit of Wesley still lives in Cornwall.* 

April 25th. — I was in the cathedral city of Exeter preachmg 
Missionary sermons. The Rev. James H. Cummings was my colleague 
in the North Devon campaign. We held meetings, in succession, at 
Torquayl Exeter, Bridport, Taunton, Bridgewater, Barnstaple, and 
Bideford. 

At Torquay a pleasant surprise came upon the meeting in a 
spontaneous gift of £25 from a gentleman who was present. Mr. 
Cummings and I had spoken, when, on resuming my seat, an open 
letter was handed to me. 

' ToBQUAT, Aiyril I6(h, 1877. 
' SlE,— 

' The enclosed five £5 notes (£25) are intended for the benefit of the 
Wesleyan Missionary Society. To ensure their coming safe to hand, will you 
kindly acknowledge the receipt of them at the meeting to-night. 

' Yours, etc., 

' Anonymous. 
' To the Chairman of the Meeting.' 

No one knew, as far as I could learn, who this generous donor 
was. 

We were received everywhere with much affection. I got back to 
London on the 26th of the month, ha^'ing been absent thii-ty-six 
days. I was much fatigued, and wanted rest. 

Ap7'il 28th. — Mrs. Bickford, Messrs. Butters and Buller, and I, 
went to the Missionary Breakfast Meeting. Good speaking enough, 
but utterly void of such Missionary facts as an English Wesleyan 
audience desires to hear. And it seemed to me a strange oversight 

* The thrift and love of the Cornish Methodists for the Mission cause were 
shown at one of the meetings by the following list of contributions, which was 
read out by the local secretary: 'Butter box, £1 10s. 9d.; sale of flowers, 
£1 .'55. ; a happy working man, £1 5s. lid. ; a young man who believes in 
Providence, £1 10s. ; the Master's money, £1 ; for prosperity in business, 
£1 OS. ; two tiresome boys, £1 Is. ; three old-fashioned Methodists, £4 10s. ; 
smoke money, £2 17s. ; lady's dress-ring, £1 5s. ; fruits of temperance, £1 10s. 6r7. ; 
a clergyman of the Church of England, £5 ; the gleaners, £3 10s. ; conscience 
money, £2 8s. 9d. ; in memory of our precious boys, George and Freddy in 
Heaven, £1 Is. ; the ofEering of an artizan, £1 ; lambs' wool, £3 lis. ; pig, bee- 
hive, and chickens, £2 ; fragments, £2 l.y. Id. ; hair-cutting, £1 12s. 6d. ; produce 
of peach-tree, £1.' Now these are examples which might be imitated with 
advantage by those friends whose pecuniary means are somewhat limited. 



ENGLAND. 341 

that Mr. Bailer, who had spent forty years in the Maori and English 
work in New Zealand, was not included in the hst of speakers. He 
coidd have told that audience, as I am sure no other man in England 
could, of the subjugation and uplifting of the Maori race, through 
the preaching of the Gospel by the Wesleyan Missionaries, into the 
light and peace of Jesus Christ. But the opportunity was un- 
fortunately missed ; and, in that respect, the meeting was a decided 
failure. 

Tarrying in Plymouth a few days, I had the rare pleasure of 
hearing the renowned Peter McKenzie in King Street Church. It 
was in the afternoon, and the sermon was based upon Isaiah's ' feast 
of fat things.' I must say that in my judgment he did singular, 
characteristic, and ample justice to his subject. In the evening, in 
the same place, he lectured on ' Queen Esther,' and the lessons her 
history teaches. No one who has seen the Rev. Peter on the platform 
■will ever forget either his physique or his antics ; but, as to his 
mental portrait, who can successfully sketch it ? Well, he is a 
natural mimic, full of enthusiasm, impulsive, eloquent. He wants 
the culture a great platform speaker should possess ; still he has his 
forte, overflowing with pointed wit and sarcasm, with unmatched 
originality and dash. In bearing and style, he is, I suppose, one of 
the most popular lecturers in England. There is not his like in the 
English Conference; perhaps, one only of his kind is enough. 
Shaking hands with me in the vestry, he exclaimed, * I consider 
this the greatest honour. I now see a real live ex-President of the 
Australasian Conference.' In making his salaam, he bowed nearly to 
the floor, and then he stood erect and spake like a man. ' Could I 
get to Austraha for a hundi'ed pounds ? ' he inquired. ' Yes,' I replied* 
' and for less than that. We could frank you through from colony to 
colony, and put you in the way to get all that it would cost you for 
the whole round. The AustraHan Methochst people would like to see 
you, Mr. McKenzie, out there.' ' Oh, would they ? then we will see ! ' 
Mr. McKenzie is one of the Lord's ' chosen vessels to bear His Name 
before the people,' and one of nature's noblest sons. 

A2iril 2Sth. — This is emphatically the Missionary season. The 
Ptev. William Butters and I were on the 29 th at Barnet preaching 
on behalf of our Foreign Missions. We were the guests of Mr. and 
Mi"s. T. G. Water house. What a beautiful place this good man has 
secured, to say nothing of his great wealth, as the result of his 



342 JAMES BICKFOBD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

commercial industry in the city of Adelaide ! Nothing like the 
Colonies for honest and persevering men ' climbing up the hill.' 

AjJril SOi/i. — The dream of my life — the INIay Missionary Meeting. 
Mrs. Bickford, Mrs. Sillifant, and I went. S. D. Waddy, Q.C., 
presided with ability. It was a grand meeting, and was not over 
until 4 p.m. Income .£146,231 2s. Id. A princely contribution for 
the conversion of the heathen ! 

May 1st. — Mrs. Bickford and I went this morning to pay our 
respects to the Hon. A. Blyth, the newly appointed Agent General 
for South Australia. He was very polite, and promised to help me 
in my eftbrts to send out suitable emigrants to the Colony. 

May 5th. — Once more on the wing. This time Portsmouth for 
Sabbath services, and an address on Australian Methodism. My 
kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Watkins, took me on Monday morning 
to see the dockyard. The Minotaur and the Inflexible are marvels 
of mechanical skill and strength. The war-spirit seemed to dominate 
this gi'eat establishment. The town itself was full of rollicking 
sailors and soldiers. I would be very sorry to be compelled to reside 
at Portsmouth. 

'■May Qfh. [Diary Jotting] — Tliis day I am sixty-one years of age. What a 
wonderful year this has been to me and my wife ! Here we are in England 
once more. This morning (at Portsmouth), I re-consecrated myself — ' body, 
soul, and spirit ' — to the service of my God and Saviour. May the Lord help 
me to be diligent and useful to my country -people this year ! ' 

May dth. — Emigration business this morning. In the afternoon, 
I went to the London University, and saw the most knightly man in 
England, Lord Gran\dlle, hand the prizes to the successful graduates. 
;' Robert Lowe,' and Mr. Childers, were also present. It was a 
beautiful sight. 

May 11th. — I went to Slough, and was met at the station by my 
old West India friend, the Rev. William Limmex, after a separation 
of some twenty-five years. We soon felt as if we had not been away 
from each other at all. How wonderful is this bridging over great 
distances, by the two-fold action of the mind — obliviovisness of long 
absences, and a consciousness of renewed unity ! Who can fathom 
the depth of this mental philosophic action ! In the evening we 
took a walk to Turner's gardens, where I saw some of the finest 
groupings of floral beauty my eyes had ever beheld. 

May 12th. — Mr. Limmex and I went to see Windsor Castle. Thfr 



ENGLAND. 343 



gratification I felt no tongue can tell. From the ' Round Tower ' 
we saw the Queen, the Marchioness of Lome, and Princess Beatrice. 
At the station, in the evening, we saw the Duchess of Edinburgh — 
a very fine woman. I returned to London, and found a cheque 
awaiting me, 'as a gratuity for services rendered in lecturing, 
distributing " Forms of Application," travelling to and fi"om Ply- 
mouth, etc.,' which I was well entitled to, as the slenderest 
acknowledgment for services I had rendered to South Australia 
since my arrival in England. 

May 15^/i. — I went to the ' Second London District Meeting,' and 
remained all day with Messrs. Butters and Buller. In the Financial 
District Meeting, the question of lay representation was again 
discussed. Dr. Bigg presided, as if ' to the manner born.' On the 
22nd, at the request of the Rev. John Kilner, I went into Yorkshire 
in the interests of the Foreign Missions. The Rev. R. N. Young 
was my colleague in this work ; we visited in turn Driffield, 
Bridlington, Howden, and Hornsea. At the Hull Meeting we had 
eleven ministers on the platform, and as many laymen. On the 29th, 
the Rev. David Barley accompanied me to the Pier Head, when I 
took the steamer for crossing the H umber. I went by train to 
Great Coates, and proceeded from thence to Mr. Sowerby's, where I 
was kindly received. I preached in the afternoon, and addressed an 
enthusiastic meeting in the evening. We raised o£30 by the sei^vices. 
At Grimsby, I learnt of the lamented death of the Rev. G. T. 
Perks, M.A., which took place at Rotherham very unexpectedly. 
My soul is sore distressed for the loss of my true friend. 

June 3rd. — I preached at Bromley and Widmore. I was the 
guest of Mr. Radman, whose intelligent intercourse I much enjoyed. 
At Widmore, inside and above the front door upon the wall, are 
printed in red letters, the words : ' Onward ' — ' Upward ' — ' Heaven- 
ward ' — ' Homeward.' Yes, quite true — ' The holy to the holiest 
leads.' What a curious pedigree this little sanctuary has ! It was 
erected in 1776, in a garden abutting on a narrow private lane, 
and here Mr. Wesley often preached. When ' Adam Clarke ' was 
stationed in the City Road Circuit, in 1813, he used to walk from 
thence to Widmore, a distance of twelve miles, to his appointments 
oa week evenings. His afternoons he spent among the Methodist 
families, would preach to his rustic congregation in the evening, 
refresh himself at a friend's house with a cup of milk, and then, 



344 JAMES BICRFOBB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

staff in hand, trudge back to London. Thus this learned itinerant 
did his country woik ; and by such men, and by such means, was 
village Methodism established throughout England. 

The ' Order of St. Michael and St. George.' Under date, May 
31st, 1877, Her Majesty was pleased to honour Avith distinguished 
notice several of her faithful servants ' at home and abroad ; ' and 
among the number was included the Hon. Arthur Blyth. The list 
appeared in a ' Supplement to the Loiulon Gazette,^ and reached me 
in due course. Alas, for my inconsiderateness ! I had occasion to 
write our worthy Agent General about a Mrs. Scotcher, a kind. 
Christian woman, of South Australia, for her to have a confidential 
position in the next emigrant sliip for Adelaide, when I omitted to 
recognise the new address of my friend. This * fault ' brought me, 
by next post, the following letter : — 

' 8, ViCTOKiA Chambees, Westminstbb, 
•London, S.W., June 5th, 1877. 

' Reverend and Deae Sie, — 

' I have handed a copy of Mr. Harcus' book for transmission to you, and 
have scolded the clerk for not replying to your letter, which came when 1 was 
down at Plymouth. I am sure you will not think that I am unduly " puffed 
up " when I say that you appear not to have noticed the compliment paid to 
the colony in my person, as the Queen has made me a K.C.M.G. Hoping soou 
to see you, 

' I am, yours very truly, 

' Arthur Bltth. 

' P.S. — Mrs. Scotcher goes as matron of the Fo7-farshire.' 

I liked this note. I was justly blamable on the oversight pointed 
out by Sir Arthur. I apologised; and there, of course, the matter 
ended. 

One source of pleasure I had, whilst in, London, was to see Mis- 
sionary brethren from the West Indies. Amongst this number was 
the Rev. John A. Campbell, from Demerara, the son of a Mr. and 
Mrs. John Campbell, respected Creoles, who formerly were the 
head master and mistress of our day school in St. George's, Grenada. 
When I had charge of the Grenada Mission in 1846-7-8, young 
Campbell was one of his father's pupils ; but, on receiving the ' grace 
of conversion ' during his early manhood, he gave himself to self- 
culture, and ultimately entered our Ministry. Being a native of the 
West Indies, he naturally wished to see the Mother Country, and to 
become acquainted with the General Secretaries in London and 



ENGLAND. 345 



with EngKsh Methodism. He came frequently to Maitland Park 
to see us. At the Bristol Conference, at the request of the Rev. 
John Kilner, he attended the ' Recognition of Missionaries' Meeting ' 
at Bath, and spoke with effect. On the 11th I went to the ' Wick- 
liffe Commemoration ' Meeting at Exeter Hall ; the Bishop of Meath 
presiding. The three principal speakers were Canon Farrar, Joseph 
Angus, D.D., and Mr. Mursell, from Birmingham. It was a very- 
fine meeting. 

June l^th. — Good news this morning. In the House of Lords 
last night, the Earl of Hai-rowby's amendment, — re ' The Burials 
Bill ' — giving the right to Nonconformists to bury their dead in the 
parish cemeteries, was carried by a majority of sixteen. One more 
of the laws of barbarous exclusiveness enacted by Tory Churchmen 
is swept by that vote from our Statute Book ; and there are more to 
follow. 

One of the most pleasant visits of this month was to Shooter's 
Hill, Kent, for a Sabbath's services. I was the guest of the 
Whelmptons. Here I met Miss Corduroy and sisters, whose parents 
I well knew at Wilhamstown, Victoria, many years ago. At Plumstead 
Common, I met with Sergeant Hurforth and his wife, whom I had 
known in Melbourne, There were some others who used to worship 
with us in Wesley Church in that city. I went with Mrs. Whelmpton 
to her class, and met it for her. Master George Whelmpton, now 
the Rev. George Whelmpton, M.A., our minister-in-charge at Havre, 
France, took me round to see Mrs. G. P. Harris, relict of Mr. Harris, 
an Adelaide merchant, and member of our Kent Town Church. The 
interview was very pleasant. 

June 21si. — Mrs. Bickford and I went by invitation to the Haver- 
stock' HiU Orphan Institute. Samuel Morley, M. P., presided. There 
were 400 fine, healthy boys in the gallery. The drill and bathing 
were splendidly done. The anniversary was a success. 

July nth. — The Rev. H. H. Teague called with a certificate from 
his doctor, to the effect that he was fit to return to his Circuit work 
in South Australia. The same day, I received a letter from John 
Watts, of . Outwell, near Manchester, expressive of his readiness to 
go to South Australia. I had not seen this young man, but as his 
testimonials were satisfactory, I requested him to be ready by the 
28th current. 

July 2ith. — I left London for the Bristol Conference. Mr, G. B. 



346 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Dare, formerly of Kingsbridge, was at the station to receive me as 
Ms guest. 

In the evening we went to hear the Fernley Lectiu'e on ' Atheism : 
its Pi'omises and Prospects,' by the Rev. E. E. Jenkins, M.A., Avhich 
he handled -svith great skill. As I listened to his glowing words, I 
felt more than thankful that we had in our ranks a man who could 
deal with the materialistic philosophy of the age in so acute, 
masterly, and comprehensive a manner as he did. Of course, his 
experience gained in Incha, where we have the oldest recorded 
thought in the world, outside the Scriptures, was a great help to him 
in the preparation of his great essay. The next day, the 25th, Mr. 
Buller and I, as Australian ex-Presidents, took oiu- seats on the 
platform. The Rev. William Burt Pope, D.D., was elected President, 
and the Rev. Dr, Williams, Secretary. After some preliminaries, the 
business was entered on with much spirit and dispatch. 

This Conference was remarkable for its having to deal A\dth some 
new-fangled notions which had got into the heads of certain young 
brethren. Strange to say, these notions struck at, (1) The Divine 
Inspiration of the Scriptures ; (2) The Atonement of Christ in the 
sense of satisfaction to Divine justice ; and (3) Torture and Eternal 
Punishment. Dr. Osborn, as might be expected, came out in his 
strength. He spoke twice, pretty much as follows : holding up 
in his right hand a copy of our new Hymn Book, he maintained that 
the man who could not, ex animo, say 

' I must be born again, 
Or die to all eternity,' 

could not occupy a Methodist pulpit. The time had come for the 
Conference to put down its foot, and be as iirm as eternal rock to 
the truths of which they had been the inheritors.' The great Doctor 
is the veriest champion of orthodoxy. He spoke with wonderful 
force and solemnity. ' I shall not be much longer among you,' he 
impassionably exclaimed, ' but my protest shall be among you ; we 
must have no " open " questions as touching the testimony we have 
received.' The President (Dr. Pope) followed. The brethren, by 
scores, rose to their feet and bent forward, so as not to lose a word. 
He maintained * that, upon the disputed points, the Methodist 
theology was in agreement with the Word of God. He asserted 
his belief that when the nebulous clouds, which had gathered around 



ENGLAND. 347 



the faith of some divines of other denominations, had cleared away, 
the full orb of truth would be seen shining out with peculiar clearness 
and beauty more than ever.' Dr. Punshon said, ' that they wanted 
a good book upon the subject,' strangely foi'getting that the Rev. 
Marshall Randels had prepared such a work, entitled, ' For Ever.' 
Dr. Osborn then recommended to the young ministers a work by 
the Rev. Matthew Horbery, B.D., written and pubKshed in 1744, in 
which, said he, ' the whole question was dealt with.' Two ministers 
were lost in this theological fog, and thus the Methodist Brothei"hood 
was, to that extent, pvxi-ged. 

The open Conference was largely attended. The Rev. William 
Tobias spoke for Ireland ; the Rev. William Cornforth for France ; 
Dr. Lowry for America ; and the Rev. William Kelynack for 
Australia. Racy, sedate, earnest, and beautiful were the speeches. 
The Ordination Service was conducted by Dr. Pope with matchless 
dignity; the ex-President's (Rev. A. McAulay) charge was ex- 
temjjoraneous, and full of earnest evangelism. The number of 
probationers who were ordained was seventy-one. Dr. Jobson 
offered the concluding prayer. It was fervent, pleading, and com- 
prehensive, and the whole congregation seemed bowed down by the 
power of God. If the young men did not get a baptism of the Holy 
Ghost to qualify and commission them for their work of saving souls, 
then it would be difficult to say how it was to be obtained. 

Aug. \Oth. — The Conference closed to-day; and I had to leave my 
kind friends, Mr, and Mrs. Dare, for Malvern, where I was ta 
preach on the Sabbath. Mrs. J. B. Goulding, a former Ballarat 
friend, was to be my hostess. What a romantic spot is this ! 

I have fallen in with an eccentric epitaph, first written in Tobago, 
in 1820, by the missionary Smedley, on the death of his wife : — 

' Where all I ouoe lov'd, or dreamed of worth, 
Now charmless lies, a mould'ring heap of earth.' 

Does relentless death do all that to those we have loved as our own 
soul ? Echo asks, Is it so ? 

Aug. IStk. — At last I am able to fvdfil my promise to Mr. 
Alderman Rees, J.P., of Dover, to spend a Sabbath with him. The 
Alderman met me at the station, and conducted me to his home. 
Mrs. Rees had died a feAv months before in the true faith of Christ. 
We spent an interesting evening together. 



348 JAMES BICKFORB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



On the Sunday I preached twice, and was pleased with the congre- 
gations. On the Monday we visited the Pier Head and about the 
town. I wrote Mr. Rowland Eees, M.P., and Chief Justice Way, 
from this charming home. 

Sept. Sth. — Important routine work has employed the whole of my 
time for the last thi'ee weeks. But at this date I went a second time 
to Newport (I.W.), to preach Sunday School sermons. I was the 
welcome guest of Mr. and Mrs. Dore, whose establishment is regu- 
lated by high Christian principle. The assistants, male and female, 
are treated as if belonging to the family. 

Sept. 15th. — I was at Redhill, and was the guest of Mr. Ives, 
senior, and Miss Ives, one of my most respected friends in St. Kilda 
and Geelong, some years ago. I preached twice on the Sabbath, and, 
at the earnest request of Mr. James Duncan, addressed the Sunday 
School in the afternoon. 

On my return to London on the 17th, I attended a meeting of 
ex-Presidents on Australian affairs. 

Sept. ISth. — I attended the Financial District Meeting; Dr. Rigg 
in the chair. The whole of the business was done in four and a half 
hours. 

Sept. 19th. — I ran out to Eedhill, to lecture in aid of the Poor 
Coals Club ; Mr. Hadley in the chair. We had a sympathising audi- 
ence, and raised £4: 15s. 

Sept. 22nd. — I left for Cross Hills, near Leeds, to help the Rev. 
J. S. Fordham in his Foreign Missionary Meetings. I Avas the 
guest of Mr. George Parkinson, Rycroft House, who, with Miss Par- 
kinson, showed me no little kindness. We held meetings at Cross 
Hills, Silsden, Icomschock, and Conalty. I went into Bradford 
with Mr. Parkinson, to see the Misses Pickles and To^vnend, kind 
friends with whom I stayed at the Conference of 1853. I called on 
the Rev. John and Mrs. Hartley, whose acquaintance I had made 
at the Nottingham Conference the previous year. Mr. Hartley 
after we had dined, took me to see the town. The improvement in 
the last twenty-two years was truly surprising. I called also upon 
Mrs. (widow) Marsden and Miss Marsden, known to me through 
the Rev. John and Mrs. Wood, formerly in the West Indies. I had 
a great treat also in going over a large manufactory, accompanied by 
my friend, Mr. Fordham. The whole process of wool-combing, 
spinning, and weaving was explained to us. Several bales of wool 



ENGLAND. 349 



were labelled ' Botany Bay.' I asked an explanation, when I was 
informed that the label simply meant Australian wool. I protested 
against the false custom, and informed my guide that Botany Bay 
was simply an inlet of the sea on the east of Australia, into which 
Captain Cook ran, and anchored his fleet, in 1770; but that the 
whole district was so barren that it would hardly feed rabbits, much 
less flocks of sheep. I asked that the misleading label should be 
discontinued. 

Oct. 2nd. — I make grateful mention of Lord Carnarvon, whose 
ready kindness was extended to me in the matter of my having free 
access at Downing Street to oflQ.cial documents, for obtaining in- 
formation anent Australasian afiairs. I was ushered into a big room, 
in which were piles of ' blue-books ' and ' despatches ' of various kinds. 
A gentleman was in attendance to help me in secui-ing the informa- 
tion I required. This is the courtesy that Austral-Englislimen like 
when visiting great London officials. And it pays ! I called also 
on Sir Arthur Blyth, on emigration business. The open-minded 
Agent General and I soon got into an earnest conversation, re the 
ecclesiasticism and religious opinions so rife in certain quarters, and 
which had occasioned much anxious thought to even Lord Penzance, 
in the Court of Arches. Arthur Tooth's eccentric tactics were 
then to the front. To me his whole behaviour, as a minister of 
the Protestant Reformed Chui'ch of England, was so recreant to the 
principles upon which the Reformation was based, as to merit the 
highest censure and condemnation. He posed as a martyr ; but 
the ' stufi" ' of which martyrs were made w^as not in the Eev. Arthur 
Tooth. Besides, his prison door had its bolt on the inside. 

Oct. lith. — I preached at Romford twice, and addressed the 
Sunday School. My good host and hostess were Mr. and Mrs. 
Davey, Market Square. I hastened to London on the Monday 
morning, that I might be present at the Ministers' INIonthly Meeting. 
Dr. Jobson presided. After the meeting Mr. Butters spent three 
hours with me in examining my account of Victoria and South 
Australia. His suggestions were invaluable to me. 

Oct. 2lst. — I preached at Chelmsford in aid of our Foreign 
Missions, and attended meetings at Chelmsford, Braintree, and 
Maldon. My associates were the Revs, Thomas Chope, R. Winterly 
Crouch, and -John Jones (D). I much enjoyed the visit. 

On the 31st I was at Alton for the Foreigrn Missions. We held 



350 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the public meeting in the Town Hall. The Rev. H. H. Teague 
spoke admirably, and the Rev. Joseph Payne also addressed the 
friends. I supped and slept at Mr. Dyte's. At supper there were 
from fifteen to twenty young persons, who were assistants in the 
establishment. We all united in prayer at the family altar. I saw 
ou the wall a picture which attracted my attention. It had six 
portraits of eminent men : Mr. Gladstone, Lord Granville, Mai'quis 
of Hartington, Robert Lowe, Mr. Forster, and John Bright. Said 
I, to my generous host, ' May I be pardoned if I ask for that picture 
to take with me to Australia 1 I would value it very much ; and 
the place of honour it shall have in my Australian home, if you will 
entrust it to me.' ' Yes,' he replied, 'you are quite welcome to it.' 
I did thank him with the warmest expressions I could command. 
But there was one drawback to my pleasure in my visit to Alton. 
I copy from my Diary : — 

• I had a nice walk with the Rev. Joseph Payne. He told me of two 
oppressive cases. The first from a lord landowner ; the second from the 
parish minister. The former refused a bit of land as a site for a Wesleyan 
place of worship ; and the latter had threatened the withdrawal of pay from 
the poor rate, because the recipient was a " Dissenter." I often heard of similar 
cases in the agricultural districts.' 

Nov. 7th. — Dr. Punshon informed me that the Missionary Com- 
mittee would send three young ministers to South Australia, on the 
condition that I guaranteed repayment of the expense in three 
instalments. In behalf of my Conference, I accepted the offer with 
thanks. 

Nov. 8th. — I read three gieat political speeches : — Mr. Gladstone's 
at DubHn ; Lord Hartington's at Glasgow ; and Mr. Bright's at 
Rochdale ; — the English triumvirate ; each a trusted tribune of the 
people. 

Nov. l'2th. — I preached at Tunbridge Wells for the Missions. The 
rain spoiled our congregations. The next day, the Rev. Joseph 
Hargreaves dined with us at the Learoyd's, with whom and Mrs. 
Learoyd we were much pleased. There were four teetotal ministers 
present at the Missionary Meeting — Messrs. Hargreaves, Smith, 
B. Blown, and myself. I was much delighted with my visit to this 
beautiful spot. 

Nov. 11th. — I left for Woolwich. The Rev. Richard Hardy 
accompanied me to Mrs. Harris's, Shooter's Hill. I preached twice 



EN6LAXD. 351 

the next day, and left for London on the Monday. Mrs. and Miss 
Harris went with me in their carriage to Blackheath Station. We 
had a nice conversation by the way. 

Nov. ^Oth. — I preached at City Road, and held the Leaders' 
Meeting. The Rev. John Baker, M.A., the Superintendent, has 
not allowed this important institution to become obsolete in this 
the mother establishment of English Methodism. 

Nov. 2Qth. — I went to Horncastle to advocate our Missions. The 
Rev. Thomas Baine and young Mr. Roberts were at the station 
awaiting my arrival. I had to preach in the afternoon, and address 
the public meeting in the evening. There were also the Revs. Jabez 
Marrott, William Henderson, R. W. Little, and Samuel Joll. Mr. 
Marrott gave an excellent speech on our West India Missions, 
and I kept to Australia and the South Seas. I was the guest of 
Mr. R. Roberts, whose family pleased me very much. I called to 
see Mrs. Watson, — * a widow indeed ' — the sister of the Rev. Thomas 
Williams, of Ballarat, Victoria. 

Dec. 23nZ. — In the early part of this month I was under the 
medical ti-eatment of Dr. Smith, and was confined to the house. My 
last preaching services for the year were at Greenwich, where I was 
the guest of Mrs. Archer, formerly of Adelaide. I held two services 
and a lovefeast. It was a profitable day. This was my last public 
work for 1877. 



1878. 

Jan. \st. — I copy from my Diary : — 

' Through the mercy of God I enter upon the duties and responsibilities of 
another year. Here, in the quietude of our own home, my dear wife and I kept 
our " Watch Night." and together implored the descending blessings of God upon 
us and our kindred. Oh, that the new year may be a time of visitation to them 
as well as to us 1 ' 

My literary exercises began with a careful reading of the London 
Quarterly on this very day. The first article is very able, but I was 
more than interested with the review of the Rev. W. Arthur's book, 
' The Pope, the Eling, and the People.' The author has a marvellous 
grip of the subject in all its phases. It is a work over which 
high ecclesiastics and leading Eiu-opean statesmen would do weU to 
ponder. On the 2nd I read in Earl Russell's ' Recollections,' with 



352 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

much avidity and satisfaction. Eminent statesmen, like eminent 
poets, are not made, but born. 

Jan. 2\st. — The Rev. Thomas Bird, a probationer in one of our 
Scottish Cu'cuits, having repHed to my advertisement for a young 
minister of two or three years' standing for Western Australia, 
expressive of his wUlingness to go, I informed Dr. Punshon, who, 
in reply, was pleased to say that Mr. Bird was the sort of man for 
the place ! But the transfer was not to be obtained as easily as 
might have been expected. 

Jan. Z\st. — The war spirit is in the ascendant. Disraeli seems 
(letemiined to plunge the country into a murderous conflict with 
Russia over the Turkish embroilment. But many Christian 
Enghshmen are resolved that this shall not be. Circulars were 
therefore sent to certain influential men ' in Church and State ' 
to attend a meeting at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, to 
oppose the war vote of £6,000,000, proposed by the Government. 
The Rev. James BuUer and I attended. We both felt that, although 
we were very Australian in our sympathies, we had not lost our 
early love and jealousy for the honour of the country of our birth. 
Hence our earnest opposition to the vote. The Rev. Guinness Rogers 
struck the key-note in earnest and burning terms ; the Rev. Newman 
Hall followed in a calm, strong speech. With bated breath and 
solemn pause at the close, he said : ' If England goes into this war, 
then I for one will not be able on my knees to ask my Father, God, 
to give success to the British arms.' It was a ponderous utterance, 
and fell like a thunderclap on the audience. We afterwards went 
to the Cannon Street Hotel to attend a similar meeting. But the 
' Jingoes ' came full-primed for a row, and in the end prevented the 
meeting being held. The scent in then* nostrils for blood and plunder 
was very dreadful. 

Feb. 1th. — I went to hear Dr. Parker preach, and to attend an 
after-meeting on Mission work in London. His text was : ' He shall 
go free for his tooth's sake.' There were three leading thoughts : (1) 
God cares for everything He has made; (2) The Old Testament 
treats mostly of Divine providence in its care for the body ; (3) The 
New Testament shows God's great love for the soul. Injury to 
others, sooner or later, brings the penalty of Divine chastisement. 
At one point in the discourse I certainly expected the preacher to 
put in a plea for the Christian Principalities of Turkey, but he lost 



ENGLAND. 353 



the opportunity. At the after-meeting the Earl of Shaftesbury 
presided. The best speakei's, I thought, were ' Edward White ' and 
' Joseph Parker.' 

Feh. 15th. — In the House of Commons this evening Mr. Morgan's 
resolution for throwing open the National Cemeteries (alias ' Church- 
yards ') to the people for the interment of their dead, without 
interference from rectors, vicars, et hoc genus omne, was lost by a 
majority — For, 227 ; against, 240. I wrote a strong letter to the 
Daily Neios on the ' Burial Question,' in the interests of religious 
equality and the rights of British citizenship. 

Feb. \^th. — I heard Dr. Punshon lecture at Hampstead on 
' Daniel in Babylon.' For fervid eloquence, solidity of thought, and 
aptness of illustration — grand principles upon which to build the 
character and virtue of statesmen, of social reformers, and Christian 
men generally — I never heard its like before. Its elocution was 
faultless, the language simply beautiful, the humour natural and 
smart, and the occasional hits equal, if not superior, to any I have 
heard from Dr. Parker, or Mr. Spurgeon. I returned to Haverstock 
Hill well pleased. 

Feb. 20iA. — I ran over to-day to the Great Northern Hotel to 
inquire for Mr. T. G. Waterhouse, and found him rapidly improving. 
The doctors were right, when they remarked upon his bruised and. 
battered appearance after the terrible accident : ' There is some 
chance for him because he is a teetotaler ; we may be able to pull 
him through.' 

Feb. I^rd. — I went to the Centenary Hall to see the young 
ministers, Messrs. Teague, Bird, Moreland, and Ince, who are 
about to sail for Australia. Mr. Samuel Adams and I went to 
the ship to see that everything was comfortably arranged for them. 
I afterwards left for Woolston to preach in behalf of the Church. 
Trusts the following day. I was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. 
Louney, at the Laurels, whose kindness it -will be impossible for 
me to forget. 

On the 25th I lectured on ' Christian Work in Australasia,' the 
Rev. Mr. Poultier presided. The Rev. George and Mrs. Ranyell 
were much gratified to see me again at Woolston. 

The ' Colonial Marriages Bill ' was read a second time last night 
in the House of Commons. There were for the Bill, 182 ; against, 
161. It was of course opposed by the Tory Government, as is 

23 



354 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

every otbei' measure proposed by the Liberals in favour of the non- 
franchised and nonconforming portion of the British people.* 

March lOth. — I went to tlie ' Royal Colonial Institute,' and heard 
an able paper read by Sir Julius Vogel, an ex-Premier of New 
Zealand, on the present concHtion and resources of that wonderful 
Colony. The Duke of Manchester presided. The Hon. Mr. Casey, 
from Melbourne, spoke sharply in defence of Victoria, which had 
been unfavourably alluded to by Sir Julius. How is it that public 
men are unable to learn that * comparisons are odious ' ? 

March 20th. — I had the great gi-atification once more to see the Rev. 
Henry Hurd, who after forty years of good work in the West Indies, 
had * retui'ned home.' It was about twenty-six years ago since we 
last saw each other at the St. Vincent's District ^Meeting. The Rev. 
William Dawson, whose health had been seriously impaii'ed by the 
malaria fever of Trinidad, came with him to see me. 

March 25th. — The Melbourne Spectator and Argus came to hand 
to-day. The Conference had been successfully held, and Dr Gervase 
Smith was continuing to win golden opinions. He will render great 
service to our Australasian Church. 

April 3rd. — I went to Exeter Hall to attend the Wesleyan 
Education Meeting ; William E. Forster, who spoke with great ability, 
in the chau\ Dr. Rigg, F. W. Macdonald, and W. O. Simpson 
followed. It was a splendid demonstration in favour of Wesleyan 
Day Schools. 

April 5th. — This evening I heard the Rev. Dr. Dykes preach the 
opening sermon of the new Oxenden Presbyterian Church, Haverstock 
Hill. He took his text from Hebrews xiii. 7. He had two heads : 
(1) The advantages of piously remembering the pious dead; (2) The 
dangers connected therewith. He insisted that our only safeguard 
was the presence in the Church of the ever-living Christ, and a strong 
spiritual life in each follower of Christ from day to day. It was a 



* We take another example. Last month in the House of Commons, Mr. 
Meldon called attention to the restricted nature of the Borough Franchise in 
Ireland, as compared with that existing in England and Scotland, as a subject 
deserving the immediate attention of Parliament, with a view of establishing a 
fair and just equality of the franchise of the three kingdoms. The case is as 
follows : Borough Franchise in England, £4 ; Ireland, £6 : County Franchise, 
English and Scottish, £12 ; Ireland, £16. Mr. Meldon 's motion was rejected 
by 8 votes— For, 126; against, 13i. What shameful injustice is this ! 



ENGLAND. 355 



beautiful exposition of a subject not often heard in our pulpits. I 
had a nice interview with him at the close of the service. 

A2}ril \Oth. — I attended the meeting of the Missionary Committee. 
We had before us important documents from South Africa upon the 
Scriptural right of the Colonial Chiu-ches to govern themselves. 
After a long and earnest discussion a committee was appointed to 
prepare a reply. 

ApHl \^th. — I left for Ripon for missionary services. Attended 
meetings at Galphay, E-ipon, Rainton, and Markington. The Snows, 
Aslin, and other friends, showed me much kindness. 

On the 17th I went over to Harrogate to see Mrs. Vasey, relict of 
the late Rev. Thomas Vasey. Miss Vasey took me to the springs j 
I drank, and was refreshed. Mrs. Vasey was bed-ridden, but patient 
and happy. 

April 25th. — The Missionary season has come. I attended at the 
great room, Centenary Hall, to hear the Reverend President, W. B. 
Pope, D.D., px-each the first of the sermons on behalf of the Society. 
Text : Rev. i. 9 ; of course, the sermon was read. (But why of 
course ?) It was a great service taken altogether ; but its eflrectivene.<^s 
was marred by the too close use of the paper. 

Ap7-il 2Qth. — I heard the Rev, Dr. Thompson, of Edinburgh, preach 
the official sermon at Great Queen Street. Dr. Punshon read prayers, 
and this eminent preacher followed with an able discourse. This also 
was read. I wonder how it is that when so many ministers of the 
Gospel become ' D.D.'s,' they appear to lose the gift of extempore 
speech. Better do without the ' D.D.' than sink to the level of mere 
' readers,' instead of being preachers of sermons ' with the Holy Ghost 
sent down from heaven.' 

Ap)ril21th. — China Breakfast Meeting. Said I to the Rev. J. K., 
' Why don't you go on to the platform, and take your rightful place 
among the great officials and " M.P's " up there ? ' He replied, ' I 
don't belong to the Brahmins ; I am of a lower caste, and am content 
^^^.th my position.' ' Indeed ! ' I rejoined. Perhaps this interjection 
would be more forcible, as showing the absurdity of the situation, 
than any words I could employ. 

April 29th. — Off to Exeter Hall, Mesdames Hurd, Rodwell, 
Sillifant, and Bickford accompanying me. ' It has been a capital 
meeting,' said Mr. S. D. Waddy, Q.C., the popular chairman. But 
a greater ti-eat was in reserve for the evening at City Road, when 



356 JAMES BICKFOBB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



the annual missionary lovefeast was to be held. The grand old 
sanctuary was full of godly Methodists, and the influence was sanc- 
tifying. I had the high honom- of conducting this blessed service. 
The Revs. Buller (New Zealand), Greenwood (Victoria), Hartwell 
(West Indies), and Dr. Lowry (America), took part, and testified to 
the triumphs of the Gospel in their respective fields of labour. On 
the 30th, 1 attended the annual meeting of the ' Church Missionary 
Society' at Exeter Hall. We had a nobleman in the chair, and 
several bishops on the platform. But the cynosure of all eyes was 
tlie black Bishop Crowther, from Western Africa. His was a fine 
story, and he told it well. The evangelical element was strong and 
outspoken. 

May 6tJt. [Diary Jotting] — 'I am this day sixty-two years of age. This 
morning I renewed my consecration to God. May the good Lord this year 
direct and bless me and mine.' 

May 8th. — This forenoon I attended the monthly meeting of the 
Missionary Committee. The Revs. T. Hodgson, E. Rigg, H. Hurd, 
and J. Richardson were presented to the Committee. The insurance 
of the Mission vessel, the Jolin Wesley, was earnestly discussed, in 
which, because of my local knowledge, I took part. We decided to 
continue the payment of the English premium. In the evening, I 
went to the annual meeting of the Liberation Society ; Mr. H. 
Richard, M.P., in the chair. Mr. C. Williams, the Secretary, and 
Mr. S. D. Waddy spoke very effectively. An Anglican clergyman 
also spoke, and particularly dwelt upon the desirability of the State 
Church being entirely separated from the control of the Crown and 
the Parliament. ' Exactly,' said I. But will the ' Church ' be pre- 
pared to pay the penalty of surrendering ' the loaves and fishes ' to 
secure this freedom ? 

May 2Srd. — At the request of Mr. Secretary Kilner, I went to 
Rotherham to speak at the Missionary Meeting. Mr. Wigfield 
received me at the station, and drove me to his beautiful home. The 
Mayor of Rotherham (a Congregationalist) took the chair at the 
the public meeting. The Rev. Joseph Nettleton and I were the only 
speakers. In this old Yorkshire town there is a generous Missionary 
feeling. It is the custom of the ' elect ' sisters to hold a yearly 
bazaar at the annivei^sary meeting. This year was raised ^140. We 
had a spirited conversation at the tea-table. The Mayor and I 



ENGLAND. 357 



happened not to be in accord upon certain politico-social queries. 
But as he had sprung from the people, and had gained his present 
position by his skill and perseverance, I own that I was sorely 
disappointed with some of the views he expressed. It was soon 
evident that he and I were not of the same guild. 

How inexcusable are the remarks that some otherwise very kind 
friends sometimes make to strangers, when about to retire for the 
night ! ' It was in this room, and in this very bed,' said my femme 
de chamhre, ' that the Rev. Mr. Perks died twelve months ago, 
when he was hei^e as a Missionary deputation.' ' Really ! ' I quietly 
said. It reminded me of a cautionary warning I received some years 
ago in the island of Tobago, at the house of the hospitable squatter, 
Mr. Goldsborough, on my way to the Windward for a Sabbath Day's 
services. Quasheba, with candle in hand, proceeded to conduct me 
to my room for the night. As she was leaving, she said, ' Don't be 
afraid, sir, if you hear noises in the night, for this room is full of 
rats.' Bless me, I thought, I needed not to be told of such nocturnal 
companions ; I had rather the room were full of spii-its than of rats. 
But what coidd I do but contrive to fall asleep, and wait for the 
disclosures the daylight might make? But it so happened that 
neither my proboscis nor digits had been nibbled off during the 
night ; so that, after partaking of a delicious cup of coffee, with the 
usual breakfast of salt fish and yam, I was able to pursue my long and 
fatiguing journey to the Windward. 

May '2ith. — To-day Mr. Edward Young met me at the Newark 
Station, and di'ove me to his brother's farm at Collingham. The 
brothers, Edward and John, were formerly on the Ballarat gold- 
iields, and ' pitched their tent ' in the Lydiard Street Chnrch 
Reserve. They made their pile, returned home, and re-entered upon 
farming pursuits. At Newark, the next day, I sought out for Mr. 
and Mrs. Egglestone's kindred. I saw Mr. and Mrs. Harmston, the 
Oldhams, and the Knights. I dined at Mr. Edward Oldham's, the 
brother of Messrs. George and John Oldham, in Victoria. I then 
proceeded to Loughborough, and was kindly received by the Rev. 
John and Mrs. Thomas. The next day I opened the new Church at 
Sheepshed, and was the guest of the Robertses, at Hurst's farm. I 
was very comfortable with my new friends. 

June Ath. — A man not much known in Methodist circles is the 
Rev. Francis J. Sharr, but who will be as the years of his itinerancy 



358 JAMES BICKFORD : AN Al^TOBIOGRAPHY. 

roll on. I heard him lecture at King's Cross this evening to a 
delighted audience. His subject Avas ' Man.' It was able, finely 
original, and well delivered. 

June 2~t/i. — I was asked this day at the Mission House, by one 
of the General Secretaries, if I would go out to the West Indies, and 
take charge of the St. Vincent's District. I felt pleased for such an 
expression of confidence ; but, because of my connection with the 
Australasian Connexion, I had to decline the great honour proffered 
to me. 

In the evening the Rev. J. C. Richardson and I went to a 
' Prohibitory Permissive Bill ' Meeting at Exeter Hall ; Sir Wilfrid 
Lawson, ISI.P., in the chair. Canon Farrar, Cardinal Manning, and 
Dr. Richardson, were the principal speakers. The large audience was 
enthusiastic in their condemnation of the Government in smotheiing 
the Bill. But the will of the nation will at length prevail. 

June '28th. — I was informed by the Rev. John Hartley, of Bradford, 
that I was to be billeted, during the Conference, at Miss Townend's, 
Laurel Bank, Manningham Lane. ' The lines have again fallen 
unto me in pleasant places.' Fortunate me ! In 1853 I was the 
welcomed guest of the same lady, and of her aunt. Miss Pickles, 
during the Conference of that year. In the afternoon I prepared, by 
request, a tabular statement of Australasian and Polynesian sta- 
tistics for the Missionary Report of 1878, and forwarded the same 
to Samuel Alder Adams for the use of the General Secretaries. 

Jidt/ Qth. — I preached at Loughborough to-day. The next evening 
I gave two speeches at the meeting : one, on the Home Missions ; 
the other, on our Foreign Missions. On my way to London the next 
day, I turned aside for a few hours to call in at Bedford to see 
Mr. Prior, senr., the father of the Rev. S. F. Prior, of the South 
Australian Conference. In the afternoon the Misses Prior chaperoned 
me over the town to see all the historic sights. Of course, everything 
connected with the hei-oic life, ministry, and sufferings of John 
Bunyan, were full of interest to me, who owe so much to the 
' Pilgrim's Progress ' for light and help when I first began to seek 
the Lord. 

Jul// llth. — Mi-s. Bickford and I went to the Crystal Palace 
to see the fireworks, which were wonderful for variety and 
splendour. 

July 22nd. — The Rev. T. M'Cullagh was my chum (Australian) at 



ENGLAND. 359 



Miss Townend's happy home. I am much favoured in having the 
companionship of so enjoyable a man. 

In the evening I went with my lady host to hear the Rev. G. W. 
,01ver's * Fernley Lecture.' The church was crowded. Mr. Olver 
has his own theory of the future state of the wicked. It is, I 
believe, that the soul only is punishable in eternity, and that it will 
be retained in a state of eternal solitude, without hope of i-edemj^tion ; 
whUst, as to the body, it will be destroyed ' in the lake of fire ! ' 
' I don't know,' said I to him, ' where you get your theory from ; I 
do not so read the Scriptures.' The plain fact is, that our learned 
lecturer, on this question (probably, on this question only), is in 
nubibus. But he is not the first, nor will he be the last. Examples : 
Edward White, Archdeacon Farrar, etc. 

The next morning I went to Conference, and took my seat as 
heretofore on the platform ; Mr Buller came afterwards, and took 
his seat at my side. It was a largely attended Conference, and was 
a grand sight from the platform. We voted for Dr. Rigg, as we 
both believed that under the new regime (the mixed Conference) a 
man of strength and grip was wanted. The Rev. Marmaduke 
Osborn was elected Secretary. At the open Conference the Rev. 
Pasteur Lelievre and Bishop Bowman spoke with great efiect. On 
the 28th I went, by reqviest, to Morecambe, to conduct the Sabbath 
services, and to give an address on Australasian matters. Mr. and 
Mrs. Crabtree were my kind host and hostess. At the close of the 
evening exercises I held quite a levee. One gentleman inquired, ' Do 
you know the Rev. Matthew Wilson ? ' Another : ' The Rev. E. S. 
Bickford was a college chum of mine. Do you know him, su* ? ' And 
so they continued vmtil I was tired ' with hearing and answering 
questions.' I took advantage of this ' outing ' to visit the Chamberses 
at Lytham and the Laceys at Todmorden. I returned to the Confer- 
ence on the 31st, and remained to the end to see the Minutes signed. 
The ' John Wesley Conference ' was now a thing of the past. 

In connection with this Conference, which, as years roll on, will 
be regarded as one of the most important ever held, a few jottings 
made at the time may not be wdthout some interest to the future 
generations of the jNIethodist people : — 

Doctor Pope's Chabge. 
' We receive you into our fellowship with perfect confidence. We send you 
forth, as we have ourselves been sent forth, in trust that you will surpass 



3G0 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

us who sent you in everything good. We pray for you that you may prosper 
in your work, and that it may appear to all, not only in your sound and deep 
theology, in your faithful and successful administration of our economy, in 
your earnest and zealous preaching, and in all the gifts and grace that adorn 
the Christian Ministry, but in, what is above, and beneath, and around all 
these — your exercise unto godliness.' 

The Pastoral Oversight op the Youxg. 

' There shall be established in connection with our Society classes for the 
religious instruction and training of young j^eople. The names of all such 
young pei-sons shall be enrolled as recognised members. Each member of such 
a class shall receive some token or ticket, signed by a minister, to be renewable 
every quarter. Membership in these classes should be accepted, instead of the 
ordinary probation of Church membership.' 

The Reception of New Members. 

' The Conference agreed to adopt some formal method of admitting new 
members, because such a practice was in accordance with early Methodist 
usage, and for the purpose of giving all due impressiveness to a member's 
entrance into the Church of Christ. The Conference, however, did not say 
when this special service should be held, but it did recommend that it should 
be public' 

The Laymex in Conference. 

• The President avowed himself in entire sympathy with that great develop- 
ment which had gathered them together, and he had been in sympathy with it 
for many years upon the basis of the charter of rights; there had Ijeen a gradual 
extension, and they now met as pastors and brethren, with no distinction what- 
ever, and only with the assignment of subjects by mutual agreement with the 
pastoral Conference.' 

A Revision of the Liturgy. 

'The report of the Committee was presented. Everything went on smoothly 
until it came to the Prayer of Absolution. It was so amended, as to meet the 
most fastidious non-sacerdotalist that ever came into the ministerial oflBce. But 
it would not go.' 

Doctor Gervase Smith. 

' The returned delegate to the Australasian Churches met with an enthu- 
siastic reception. For an hour and a quarter, with much fluency and con- 
nectedness, he detailed the principal events connected with his late Southern 
mission. He had a good word to say for all the Colonies, and for the Methodist 
Churches in particular.' 

Aug. Srd. — I left for Ripon, and found my dear friends, Mr. and 
Mrs. Snow, and family all well. 

[Diary Jotting] — ' We had a delightful evening. What a lovely family this 
is ! Miss Keeling and other friends joined us.' 



ENGLAND. 361 



Atuf. 10th. — I left for Edinburgh, and was received by Mrs. 
Donald, one of our leaders, wdth Christian heartiness. I preached 
on the 11th, and after the evening service I addressed from three to 
four hunch-ed persons on the work of God in Australia. We had 
quite a levee at the close. The people came round me in shoals, 
inquiring for their friends in Australia. One of the last to come 
was a little demure Scotch sister, who said, ' And do you know John 
Egglestone ] ' ' Yes ; well,' I replied. ' I was converted under his 
ministry forty years ago in this very Circuit, and I am holding on 
to this very day.' ' Thank God,' I responded ; ' should I see Mr. 
Egglestone again, I will tell him of you.' Two of my hearers at the 
Sabbath services were the Hon. John Dunn, M.L.C., and Miss 
Dunn, of Adelaide. I was much pleased with the grand old northern 
city. 

On the 13th I took train for Montrose, and was kindly welcomed 
by Mr. Sorrell, the uncle of my nephew, the Rev. E. S. Bickford, of 
Victoria. The Misses Sorrell soon pressed me into a service of love 
for the ' waifs ' and ' strays ' — the outcast and the fallen — in a pro 
tempore mission-room, which a few young ladies and gentlemen had 
fitted up for evangelistic work. I went as desired, and spoke to 
about eighty persons. When I returned to the Sorrells, I found 
that the young minister (the Rev. Alexander Borrowman) had learnt 
of my being in jNIontrose. ' Will you give us a service in our little 
church to-morrow evening ? ' he inquu-ed. ' Yes,' said I, ' if you can 
get a congregation.' The next day the town was placarded with 
bills setting forth the intended service. We had a capital congrega- 
tion. At the close of the service, 1 invited all who could stay for a 
short time to do so, when I would tell them a few things about 
Austraha. Nearly the whole audience stayed. 

Aug. 15th. — I left for Sedbergh, in Yoi'kshire, to see my old 
friends, the Rev. William and Mrs. Moister. On my way, I spent 
a night at Dumfries, with Mr. and Mrs. Robb, friends of the Leasons 
in South Australia. At the Sedbergh Station I met Mr. Moister, and 
accompanied him to his nice, quiet home. My friend is an eminent 
conversationalist. It was a great treat to me to listen to him, as he 
di'ew from his mental storehouse reminiscences of his long, laborious, 
and eventful missionary life. I left for London the next day. 

Aug. 19th. — My book at last is pubHshed, and I am busy in 
sending copies all over the kingdom. I shall act under the suggestion 



362 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

of my friend, Mr INloister, viz., ' If you want your book to go, you 
must look after it yourself.' Exactly : and so I wiU. 

Oct. Ath. — After wading through incessant engagements for the 
last two months, I was glad to again have a run into Yox'kshire. I 
\nsited Kipon, and was the guest of my old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Snow. 
In the evening I lectured on Australia, and had a good attendance. 

Oct. 5th. — I left for East Keswick. Mr. Joseph Lawrence and 
Miss Lawrence met me at the station. I preached twice on behalf 
of our Foreign Missions, and attended meetings at Keswick, tJlleskelf , 
Blanham, and Aberford. A good interest was shown in each of these 
places for the Missions. ]Mr. Lawrence's academy is doing a great 
work in training young men for the Christian ministry. I was 
much pleased with the young men I saw at their studies in this 
preparatory institution. 

Oct. I'dth. — I was at Cro.ss Hills for Foreign Missions. The Revs. 
John S. Fordham and Henry Bunting were with me. 

Oct. nth. — I lectured at Rothwell on South Australia. The next 
day I went to Collingham, and was again the welcome guest of Mr. 
and Mrs. John Young. I had taken a violent cold, and had to 
consult a Dr. Broadbent for relief. He examined me thoroughly, 
and told me I required complete rest from travelling and preaching. 
I did the best I could on the Sabbath and on the Monday and 
Tuesday evenings, and on the 23rd I returned to London. 

iA^ov. 2nd. — I left for Coalville to preach on behalf of the Sunday 
Schools. My cough was very trying. 

On the Monday evening I lectured on Australasia to a large 
audience for an hour.and a half. We raised in all £36. On the 11th, 
at the request of the Missionary Secretaries, I went to Sheerness to 
speak at the public meeting ; Sir William King Hall in the chair. 
Mr. and Mrs. Bobby gave me a true Christian welcome. 

liov. I'dth. — I attended an important Committee Meeting at 
Centenary Hall. In connection with its business, the Rev. M. C. 
Osborn received his instructions, re his visit of inspection of our 
West Indian Missions. The specific object is to prepare the way 
for constituting those Missions an afiihated Connexion with the 
Mother Conference in England. I did not approve of the proposed 
change, believing that the West Indian Churches could be more 
cheaply managed from London than among themselves. W^e shall 
see whether I am right. 



EN&LANlJ. 363 

Dec. \st. — I preached twice at Romford, and on Monday evening 
I lectured to about one hundred persons on Australia. The audience 
was quite demonstrative in their thanks. I was again the guest of 
Mr. and Mrs. Abi-aham Davey, who, with their interesting family, 
treated me with much kindness. 

On the 3rd was held the inaugural meeting of ' The Thanksgiving 
Fund,' at Wesley's own church. City Road. Of all the historic 
Methodist sanctviaries in England it was the most appropriate of 
them all for such an object. The Australian representation consisted 
of Mrs. G. F. Wilkinson, of Lower Mitcham, Mrs. Bickford and 
myself from South Australia ; the Rev. James BuUer from New 
Zealand, and the Rev. William Butters from Victoria. The Rev. 
James H. Rigg, D.D., presided with great ability, and the Rev. T. 
B. Stephenson was the honoured Secretary. The devotional services 
were of the highest order. The hymns were well chosen, and ' sung 
as in ancient days.' The Revs. A. McAulay, T. Nightingale, T. 
Champness, G. W. Olver, B.A., John Hartley, and Messrs. J. B. Ingle 
and W. T. Pocock led the great audience in prayer. The amount 
contributed during the day, as an expression of the people's gratitude 
to God for the peacefvJ and prosperous condition of British Methodism,, 
was £34,680. It was a noble offering by a noble-hearted people. 

Dec. \ith. [Diary Jotting] — ' Princess Alice died to-day. the seventeenth 
anniversary of her father's death. The good Queen is in great sorrow^. May 
God comfort her, and touch her heart in mercy for the poor Afghans, whom we 
are brutally murdering ! ' 

Dec. I5th. — I heard two of the ablest London j^reachers, the 
Rev. Edward White and Canon Liddou. For pure intellect, give 
me the Congregationalist ; but for oratory of the loftiest character, 
give me the Canon. These were the last of England's great 
preachers I heard before leaving on my return voyage to South 
Australia. 

1879. 

Jan. 1st. — Being with Mrs. Bickford at Upper Norwood, as the 
guests of Mrs. Edmondson, we spent the last moments of the old 
year in holding a semi-watchnight service. Mrs. Scott and Miss 
Scott, formerly of Demerara, our kind hostess, Mrs. Edmondson, 
and the servant, formed the devout party. 

On the 2nd I sent to the Mission House, Bishopsgate Street 



364 JAMES BICKFORB: AX AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

Within, several valuable packages, to be forwarded to Southampton, 
and put on board the P. and 0. steamer for Glenelg. It was 
bitterly cold. Whilst standing at the door superintending the 
delivery of the luggage, I was struck through and through with the 
biting east wind, and during the evening I became alarmingly ill. 
The form which my illness took was that known as erythema, and was 
the accumulation of the colds I had taken in travelling up and down 
the kingdom in the interests of English Methodism, our Foreign 
jNIissions, and the Australian colonies. We called in Dr. F. T. 
Smith to see what could be done towards getting me ready for the 
intended voyage on the 9th. The Rev. W. Butters came and 
offered prayer for my recovery. At my request, he went to see 
Dr. Punshon, to report my illness, and suggest that the du'ectors 
of the P. and O. Company should be seen, about our voyage being 
postponed for a mouth. This was readily conceded. I do not 
believe that I was ever so near death as at this time. On the sixth 
night I said to Mrs. Bickford, ' Matters are becoming very serious 
with us now. I wish to say that, unless God has more work for 
me to do in Australia, this illness will see the last of me. But 
if it be His will that I should return to my beloved people, and work 
out there, then it can have no power to do that.' To this my dear 
wife assented, adding, ' Let us do our best. I do hope that you may 
be spared to me a few years longer.' That night I lay in a helpless 
condition. The next morning the fever broke, and I felt that a new 
lease of life w^as for me. 

It was now that I saw how reckless I had been with my health 
ever since I came home; that I ought to have listened to Dr. 
Broadbent, who told me that I must have rest from all work, and 
that my constitution had the appearance of being mvich older than 
my years. It did not occur to me until I became convalescent, 
that, all through the time I was contending with the ' swellings of 
Jordan,' I did not offer even one prayer to my Heavenly Father for 
deliverance. The habit of my long life seemed suddenly to have 
collapsed, and I calmly rested upon God to know His will. But 
when the pulsation of a new life again penetrated my being, and 
I felt I was standing on the threshold of a renewed career of life- 
work, the old habitude asserted its power, and I began again to 
pray In my prostration I learnt to be ' still, and to know that 
He was God ; ' but in my recovery I heard a ' voice ' which bade 



THE RETURX VOYAGE. 3C5 

me ' rise and stand upon thy feet, for I have renewed thee for this 
purpose.' 

The London ministers, through the Secretary of their Monthly 
Meeting, the Rev. William Hudson, expressed to me in a most 
affectionate and sympathising letter their regret that at my age, and 
after so long a term of foreign service, I was again leaving my native 
land. I was much touched with the recognition it recorded of disin- 
terested and acceptable services rendered to the Methodist Church 
during the time of my visit to the ' home of my fathers ; ' and it 
breathed a loving prayer for the joreservation of Mrs. Bickford and 
myself when again on the great deep. It is no wonder that, in the 
midst of so many tokens of kindness and esteem, I glory in the 
brotherhood of Methodist preachers as the purest and strongest 
known in the Christian Church. 

Feb. Qth. — We went aboard the Australian, 3,663 tons burthen, at 
11.30 a.m. The Rev. Joseph Payne, my old and obliging friend; 
Mr. Samuel Adams, from the Mission House ; the Rev. George and 
Mrs. Ranyell, and Mr. Louney, were there to see us off. It was 
hard to part again from friends so dear. 

At 3 p.m. we steamed out of the harbour, and were soon in the 
Bay of Biscay. 

Fei. 7th. [Diary Jotting] — ' In the Bay of Biscay. Head winds and heavy 
seas. Course S.W. The ship rolling a good deal. All the lady passengers are 
sick. Soundings were taken for fixing our exact position .' 

On the 9th, after the Rev. Mr. Le^vis (Anglican) had read prayers, 
which, because of the fierce wind and sea, was all that could be done, 
as we were sitting at the midday meal, a tremendous wave came on 
board, pouring itself upon us through the skylight, whilst the second- 
class passengers in the midships were deluged. Their skylight had 
been carried away bodily, and they found themselves up to their knees 
in water. A terrible night followed. We had less sea the next dav, 
but the wind was still a furious gale. It became westerly a point 
or two, and the mainsail and the jib were set. We were then about 
midway between Cape Finisterre and Cape St. Yincent. During the 
night we had a terrible fright. By some mischance the steering gear 
at the stern unhooked, and the labouring ship 'broached too.' Three 
awful lurches followed, and I certainly thought the steamer would 
have gone clean over. ' A nautical passenger rushed on deck, saw the 
danger at a glance, sprang forward and caught the chain with a 



366 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

deadly grip, and made it fast before it was too late. We were ' under 
the water ' for a while, fox- the sea was washing from stem to stern, 
fiUing the cabins, and causing the hearts of all the passengers to 
quake \vith fear. 

We reached Gibraltar on the 12th, at 9 a.m. This notable rock 
is pierced, tunnelled, and planted ^vith guns. The telegram from 
London was full of bad news : the 24th Regiment, composed partly 
of native soldiers, had been cut to pieces ; five thousand Zulus were 
killed in an engagement. What a crime is this restless, bragging, 
fighting policy of the Foi-eign Ofiice ! We saw Lord Napier embark 
in the Poonang. The place was all alive with boats and boating, 
with flags flying, and soldiers playing in red-coats. 

Feb. Ibth. — We reached Malta. I read the article in the Qv/xr- 
terly Revieic on Cyprus. It is very able, and of course justifies 
Disraeli in securing it for the Crown. The Rev. Joseph Webster 
came on boai'd to take us to the parsonage. The last time we saw 
each other was in Grenada, thiity-two years ago ; Mr. and Mrs. 
Webster were then on their way to the Honduras Mission. The 
Maltese boatmen were the most exacting of any I have ever met 
with. They were ready to filch us of every shilling we had. I do 
think they are quite as bad as the boatmen used to be in Barbadoes. 

Feb. l^th. — We reached Port Said, and came to anchor opposite 
the coalyard. We entered the Canal between two breakwaters, 
after a detention of three or four hours. This canal is a marvellous 
proof of what money, skill, and perseverance can do. We are 
indebted to M. de Lesseps for this ' short cut to India.' The voyage 
from London to India is by it reduced about six thousand miles. It 
is 86 miles long, 327 feet wide, and cost over £19,000,000 sterling. 
It took nine years to do the work. I have been asked, ' Why did 
you not land at Alexandria, and pay a visit to the Pyramids ? ' The 
answer is : I have I'ead ever since my youthhood of these huge un- 
sightly, useless erections, and have seen pictures of them, ad nauseam, 
and until some abler engineer than any of the past can give a 
satisfactory account of the names, and the original intentions of 
their founders, I am content to remain in blissful ignorance. But 
a practical work like Lesseps', I could not forego seeing when I had 
the opportunity. Why, it seems to bring our Eastern Possessions 
next door to England itself, and revolutionises the commerce of the 
world. 



THE RETURN VOYAGE. 367 



We reached Suez on the evening of the 20th. A fine-looking 
Tiu'kish gentleman came on board to sell postage stamps, and to 
take charge of our letters. The steamer's deck was soon invaded 
by all kinds of complexioned people for business, hiring donkeys, or 
to be chaperoned on shore, or to the old city about two miles 
distant. 

Feb. list. — Captain Bowers, Mrs. Bickford, and I examined the 
^\•harves and docks recently erected by the enterprising Khedive. 
There were several vessels laid aside through want of trade, or for 
sale. The next day we made another start, and gallantly steamed 
down the Gulf of Suez. 

Our passengers had increased by the addition of the Right Rev. 
Bishop Staunton, first Bishop of North Queensland ; the Rev. Mr. 
Flume, and his wife, Mrs. Flume, were also with us. The chaplain, 
Mr. Flume, introduced the Bishop to me on the saloon deck, in the 
midst of a number of passengers. I found Dr. Staunton an un- 
travelled but an agreeable man. He pressed me earnestly to take 
part in the Sabbath services which were to be conducted for all the 
passengers alike; but I declined the covirtesy, and gave as my 
reason, that the directors of the P. and O. Company had decided that 
when Anglican clergymen were in their boats, they were to take 
precedence of all other clergymen in such exercises. But the good 
Bishop wovild not be content. He emphatically remarked, ' that 
it was important, being thrown into the midst of a number or 
strangers, belonging no doubt to various branches of the Church of 
Christ, that we show them at the first we were the servants of the 
one only Master, and that we were united in His great work.' 
' Happy bishop ! ' thought I. ' It will save you from ten thousand 
annoyances, if you keep to that spirit when you reach the new diocese 
in North Queensland.' 

On the 26th we reached Aden; rugged, sterile Aden! Sublime 
in her solitariness ; another of England's ' strongholds ' in the East. 
The Somali, from the African coast, were all astir, diving for 
small coins, and otherwise trying to amuse us. Others also, mostly 
mongrel Jews, came on board to drive a trade in ostrich feathers, 
bracelets, shells, walking-sticks, and money-changing. The English 
sovereign had gi'eat attraction for them. Poor creatures ! As I 
looked upon them, I could not but feel the force of the question, 
'Is Life worth living, or having?' At 11.30 a.m. we steamed away 



368 JAMES BICKFOBD: AN AUT0BI06BAPTIY. 

for Point de Galle, Ceylon. Running nearly on the equatorial line, 
we had as much as we could bear, for the next 1,874 miles, in the 
way of heat. 

March Qth. — We made Ceylon at 12 o'clock. Before 1 p.m. we 
were on board the Tanjore, bound for Australia. We went on shore 
in the afternoon, and soon fell in with the Rev. Mr. Tebb, our 
missionary, who kindly drove us around this ancient and unique town 
of Galle. This is the place for professional beggars of all kinds. For 
peace sake I had to buy off some of them. Sevei'al accompanied us to 
the wharf, annoying us all the way with their cry for ' backsheesh.' I 
had at last to ask the interference of the water-police, and then we 
escaped our tormentors. 

March 7th. — Again at sea, and bound for King George's Sound. 
A copy of the Melbourne Argus was on board, containing a notice 
of the death of the Rev. John Egglestone. A good and noble life is 
closed in peace. Nothing occurred of any importance as we steamed 
down the Indian Ocean, and on the 20th, in the good providence of 
God, we made King George's Sound, and passed through the bold 
Heads into Princess Charlotte Harbour. I went on shore for letters, 
and met the Rev. John Higgins, our minister in charge of the 
Albany Station, on his way to meet me. The 23rd was the last 
Sunday on board the Tanjore, when the services were conducted by 
Bishop Staunton, who preached in the morning, and I preached in 
the evening. The run through the Australian Bight was pleasant, 
and we anchored off Glenelg on the 24th, at 1 p.m. ' So He bringeth 
them unto the haven where they desire to be.' 

The distance, as taken by me, day by day, from the ship's log, is 
as follows : — 

Southampton to Gall, 30 days . . ' . . . 6.576 miles. 
Gall to King George's Sound, 15 days . . . 3,330 „ 
King George's Sound to Glenelg, 4 days . . . 1,007 „ 

10,913 miles. 



The speed, inclusive of stoppages, was at the rate of 237| miles per 
diem. 

It was a source of much pleasuie to me to have fallen in with a 
very choice company, on board the Australian and Tanjore, of agree- 
able co-voyager.s. For the first few days, as a matter of course, we 
are all under a certain degree of restraint, and we do not venture 




"W "' 



REY? JOHH EGGLSSTON , 

■AUSTRALASIAN CONFERENCE .1830 



^vaiK.iis i.'arui5 Gi"?^ L 



THE VOYAGE. 369 



on anything beyond the veriest 'small talk.' But my supply of that 
commodity being very soon exhausted, I was glad to make acquaint- 
anceships, which much contributed to temper the tedium of the 
voyage. Those on board with whom I had most intercourse were 
Mr. Wilberforce Stephen, Q.C., one of the Victorian judges ; Captain 
Alexander Bowers, of Penang ; and Bishop .Staunton. My first 
observation of the judge was when we wei'e in the troublous navigation 
of the Biscay. He, with Mrs. Stephen, and the Misses Stephen, had 
been to Europe in the hope of the judge's health being restored. It 
was cold and damp, and the great lawyer was sitting by a stove in 
the saloon cabin trying to catch a little warmth. He was so altered 
that I confess that I did not at first recognise him. But I was 
struck with his gravity, intellectuality, and calm fortitude. 

As we proceeded on the voyage, we became very friendly and 
communicative, and many an hour we sat side by side on the deck, 
talking on many subjects. Of course, I can only remember the 
substance of our conversations. ' Upon reflection, Judge,' said I, ' do 
you regard with reasonable satisfaction the leading part you took in 
" drafting " and conducting through the Victorian House of Assembly, 
in 1872, the Bill for establishing a National System of Education 
upon free, secular, and compulsory piinciples ] ' 'I do,' he promptly 
replied, ' it was the crowning act of my political life.' ' How did 
your Anglican friends look at it ? were they pleased % ' said I. ' Cer- 
tainly not,' he rejoined ; ' most of them were opposed to it. But 
Victoria is essentially democratic, and the people must be educated, 
cost what it may.' ' What is your' opinion,' I inquired, ' on the 
question of marriage with a deceased wife's sister % You know that 
we have had that permission for many years in South Australia ! ' 
' For England,' he said, ' I am opposed to it. Besides, the Church is 
opposed to it.' ' But what of that. Judge ? If you mean that the 
' State ' or Anglican Church is opposed to it, I have only to say 
that she has no title to interfere with the wishes of the majority of 
the EngKsh people, and you know that the Nonconformists are now 
in the majority. The argument from Leviticus (xviii. 18), upon which 
the opposition of most of the Bishops in the House of Lords is based, 
goes the other way. Its meaning is as clear as sunlight in our favour. 
Besides, Judge, look at the question as I will illustrate it.' Holding 
up my left hand Avith three of its fingers all in a row, I said, ' I call 
the jirst, husband, the second, wife, and the third, sister-in-law. This 

24 



370 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

is their relation to each other in law, and in fact ; and as long as the 
second stands it must continue so to be. But, in the providence of 
God, this second is removed, carrying with it both the root and link 
of the relation as previously existing between the first and the thii-d, 
so that now they are as separate and independent of each other as 
any other two jjersons could be. Where then is the civil or ecclesi- 
astical disability of such persons contracting a marriage if they thus 
chose ? ' The judge was equal to the position, and good-naturedly 
remarked, ' My good friend, you are too subtle. You ought to ha\e 
been a la^Nyer instead of a parson.' The conversation then dropped. 
Judge Stephen had singular notions as to the relation of laymen to 
que.stions of theology. 

Aftei- hearing an earnest sermon, given extem2)07-e, by Bishop 
Staunton, I said to him : ' It struck me as very strange, oftentimes 
in England, that sermons to which we had been listening with much 
delight, were scarcely ever made the subjects of critical or commenda- 
tory remark. Surely intelligent hearers must have some thoughts of 
their own, to which they might give expression on such occasions.' 
' Why should they ? ' he I'eplied ; ' what have laymen to do with 
theology ? ' * Well, Judge,' I rejoined, ' there are ladies in London, 
and in other parts of England, who are coming to the front as 
instructresses of their own sex, in the drawing-rooms and parlours of 
the first families. At such gatherings papers are read on Scriptural 
exegesis of great ability and beauty. Here is a marked change for 
the better, and will put many of you gentlemen to shame.' ' Well, 
well,' said my patient hearer, ' all I have to say is this : the Lord 
deliver me from theological ladies.' I could not but inwardly ask 
if such were the usual attitude towards Biblical subjects of the 
generality of educated laymen to such questions ? 

Captain Alexander Bowers was a man of a different stamp. 
He was a sturdy, hard-headed, intelligent Scotchman. He had 
been to England on important business connected with steam 
vessels employed in the China Seas and the Strait Settlements. 
He was thoroughly religious, and had a weakness for theological 
discussion. The Deistical controversy of the early decades of the 
last century he had well mastered. With the theology of Calvin 
and Arminius ; Wesley and Fletcher, as leaders on the Arminian 
side ; and with the Hills and Toplady, as the defenders of Calvin's 
views, he was conversant with on the other. ' I regard,' said he. 



THE VOYAGE. 371 



'John Wesley as the greatest theologian of the last century. It 
was his sermon on " Predestination calmly considered " that killed 
the Decrees in me.' I lent him Mr. Bon wick's book, entitled, 
' Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought,' which he read with the 
utmost care ; making an analysis of its main points and conclu- 
sions. He told me that he regarded Mr. Bonwick as a learned 
Egyptologist. 

There was hardly a phase of the leligious life of England which 
Bishop Staunton and I did not converse upon. One day I told him 
of my occasional visits to the services of the Anglican Church ; but 
that I was becoming quite sick of the shameful way in which the 
finest liturgy in Christendom was rendered in some of the churches. 
I noted particularly the wretched reading, or intoning, the liturgy 
in St. Pavil's, which so vexed me that I found it difficult so to regain 
my equilibrium as to appreciate, as I desired, the learned discourse 
of Canon Liddon. I told him, that even had I remained in England 
for a year or two longer, I would have had to give up my occasional 
attendance at Episcopal Churches, because of the ' sing-song ' and 
unedifying manner of rendering the liturgy. The Bishop coincided 
with all that I said, which he could consistently do, for his reading 
of the prayers and lessons was marked with proper emphasis, and 
free from all foolish affectation. 

The Bishop was anxious to gain as much knowledge as possible of 
the newly-formed diocese to which he was going. I besought him 
to accept the facts of his new position, reminding him there was no 
State Church in Queensland, and that the rank and rights of all 
ordained ministers wore equal in the eye of the law ; that public 
education was conducted by the G-overnment upon the secular and 
compulsory basis, with which the religious bodies, as such, had 
nothing whatsoever to do ; and that the principle of universal suffrage 
was the law of the land. ' You must " swim with the stream," Bishop, 
and do not try to breast it,' I impressively said. ' I apprehend,' I 
added, ' that Queensland is the most democratic of all these Colonies, 
but you may find it to be a gloi'ious field of usefulness if you happen 
to get the " right clue." ' When we parted at Glenelg, he was 
pleased to express to me the great pleasure he had had in our free 
intercourse during the voyage, and of the benefit he had derived from 
the many practical suggestions I had given him. And I also had 
received much pleasure and profit from the conversations and 



372 JAMES BICKFORD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

discourses of this Anglican clergyman and first Bishop of North 
Queensland. May God bless him ! 

Before landing there came on board to welcome us the Revs. T. 
Lloyd, R. S. Casely, C. Lane, R. M. Hunter, Jos. Nicholson, and A. 
J. Boyle, Mr. and Mrs. John Jarvis, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Coombs, 
Mrs. John Thompson, Mi*. Robert Wallace, and some other friends. 
The Rev. D. O. Donnell was awaiting us on the jetty. As the 
return mail steamer was anchored in the bay, I hastened to write 
the Rev. John Kilner, London, informing him of our safe arrival, to 
be noticed in our papers for the satisfaction of our English friends. 
We then proceeded to Unley to ' rest awhile ' before going to our 
new Circuit at the Burra. 

March SOth. — I preached at Unley and Pirie Street. It was 
truly a thanksgiving day, and in the evening the sum of <£12 was 
collected for the Circuit Fund. During the next week I visited old 
friends, among whom I may mention Mr. and Mrs. John Colton, 
Mr. and Mrs. James Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Kaines, Halton Brook ; 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wallace, Mr. and Mrs. William Keynes, 
Dunrobin ; the Padmans, Johnstons, Rastons, Waterhouses, the 
Hills and Careys, Coombs and Greers, I also called upon. 

A2Jril 9 th. — I attended the funeral of the Rev. George Lee — ' a 
good man and a just ' — whom God had taken to Himself. In the 
evening of the same day, the Rev. Walter H. Hanton was ordained 
for the Northern Territory Mission. I delivered the charge, founded 
upon Actsxxvi. 17, 18. 

A2)ril 12th. — We went by train to the Burra; Mr. F. W. Holder 
was at the station to receive us. At 3 p.m. we took possession of 
our humble home for a term of service as the Conference may 
appoint. The brethren also devolved upon me the Chairmanship of 
the Middle District, which, with the care of the Circuit, will occupy 
all my time. 

The Burra, from its geographical position, being 101 miles north 
from Adelaide, would naturally become the base of operations for 
new townships as the years come on. The Rev. John Harcourt was 
the first resident minister, as a young man, in 1845. Even at that 
time there was a noble band of pioneer local preachers, who toiled 
hard and successfully in the Master's vineyard. Such names as the 
following are worthy of mention : Messrs. Thomas Thomas, John 
Boots, John Chapman, Samuel Bray, Joseph Sleep, James D. Bone, 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 373 

and J. R. Stephens. The first leader was good Thomas Moyses ; 
John Dunstone was the first Sunday School Superintendent, and 
John Eoach, one of the first teachei's. Thomas Burgess did great 
service to the young in evening classes ; and William Pearce intro- 
duced the Temperance cause, A Mr, Thorpe, from Clarendon, used 
to preach out of doors in his blue serge before the Gospel had a local 
habitation. He brought potatoes and other vegetables from his 
farm at Kangarilla for the miners, and preached salvation to them 
likewise. Mrs. Cotton and Mrs. Sleep (then the Misses Mitchell) 
and the Misses Mayor, collected the first money for establishing a. 
Sunday School, and afterwards for erecting the first sanctuary in 
Kooringa (Burra). My circuit I found to be compact and free from 
heavy debts. Kooringa and Redruth were the dual head ; having 
as outstations, Westbury, two miles ; Baldry, fourteen ; Baldina 
eight ; and Mongalota, eighteen. I saw plainly that I would have 
all my afternoons, if I chose, for pastoral visitation, for strengthening 
and building up the Societies, There was nothing heroic in the 
administration of the Circuit. It was the quietest routine I had 
ever had in any of my appointments, and left me all my forenoons 
undisturbed for study and for Connexional correspondence. My 
circuit stewards were Messrs. F. W, Holder and John Roach. 
More agreeable church olficers I could not have desired. 

May 2%th. — We held the Redruth Church anniversary, and raised 
over £100. Mr. Roach presided, and Captain Paull and I were the 
speakers. 

June 2nd. — I wrote my first letter on South Australia for publica- 
tion in the Methodist Recorder, my object being to supply informa- 
tion to English capitalists, and to those of my countrymen who may 
desire to better theii* condition by emigrating to this prosperous 
colony. 

Jime 20th. — I held my first Local Preachers' Meeting. Messrs. 
Sleep, Holder, Kitchen, Giles, Crews, and Dr. Brummitt were 
present. I held the Quarterly Meeting also, when I found that our 
income exceeded the expenditure by £20. A good beginning ! 

Jione 24:th. — My oflicial visitation of the Circuits began to-day. 
I went by train to Freeling, and held the Quarterly Meeting. In 
the evening I gave my lecture on ' INIy Trip to England and Back ' 
to about one hundred persons. Mrs. Rankin was my kind hostess. 

Jitly 5th. — I went to Crystal Book to preach and lecture on 



374 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

behalf of the Trust Funds. I was the welcome guest of Mr. and 
Mrs. Claridge. 

July 8th. — I was at Clare for the Home Missions, and on the 9th 
I was at Mintaro for the same purpose. In this visit I had much 
pleasure in the society of the Rev. C. T. and ^Irs. Newman, and of 
Mr. and Mrs. Jolly. 

July 20f7i. [ Diary Jotting] — 'A good day. I had the largest congregation 
I have yet seen in the Kooringa Church. At the after prayer meeting, Mr. 
Walker came forward to seek salvation.' 

Jioly '24:th. — There has been a fall of snow. It was a refreshing 
sight for my old English eyes. 

Aug. Srd. — I preached at Jamestown on behalf of the Trust Fund 
of the Church. We raised altogether .£112. A Mr. Williams, a 
well-to-do farmer, promised the proceeds of five acres of wheat. 
On the 5th, the Rev. P. 0. Thomas and I went to Caltowie, where 
I lectured in aid of the Circuit Funds. We were the guests of Mr. 
and Mrs. Henry Williams. On my way home the next day, I 
tarried at Hallett to witness the laying of the ' foundation stone ' 
of the new Institute by Mr. Rowland Rees, M.P., the member for 
the District. He gave quite a classical speech. 

Avff. I0t7i. [Diary Jotting] — ' Laborious and profitable day. Preached 
three times, gave the Lord's Supper, baptized two children, and held and 
addressed a prayer meeting at the close. Drove twenty-four miles ; my friend, 
Mr. Holder, accompanied me.' 

Aug. 2ot7t. [Diary Jotting] — ' I read over the correspondence anent the 
young men I sent out from England. The Rev. William Jenkins (P.M.M. ) 
called, and we had a nice conversation about their Connexional matters, their 
Equalisation Fund, Circuit difficulties, etc., etc. In the evening I attended the 
" Bible Christian " and " Primitive Methodist meetings," and spoke for an hour 
and a quarter at both places. I got home at 10 p.m., tired and excited.' 

Sept. 5th. — I went to Kapunda, and gave my lecture on * My 
Trip to England and Back.' It was the last of a series, and was well 
received. 

Sept. nth. — I attended the Allocation Committee in Adelaide. We 
had £1,180 3s. lOcl. to distribute for Connexional expenses and for 
Circuit deficiencies. The Loan Fund income was .£1,550. Princely 
contributions from a grateful and godly people ! 

Oct. 10th. — The Rev. E. S. Bickford, my nephew, visited us, and 
preached the Kooringa Church Anniversary Sermons. The next 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 375 



clay the Hon. John Colton, M.P., my nephew, and I dined at Dr. 
Brummitt's. Mr. Colton presided at the meeting in the evening. 

Oct. list. — We began the Annual District Meeting, when all the 
ministers were present. The next day the Circuit Stewards joined 
us. ■ We had a short and successful meeting. 

Oct. 23rcZ. — The Rev. R. W. Campbell lectured on ' Burns,' the 
great Scottish poet. He spoke for an hoiu- and a half without a 
manuscript or note. It was a very ably composed lecture, and 
suffered nothing in its delivery. Give me an educated, sympathis- 
ing Scot to lecture on Scott or Burns, and we may be sure of a treat. 
My nephew, E. S. Bickford, accompanied Mr. George Sara, a 
contractor, on his northern fortnightly round, whilst we were at 
District business. I wanted him to see the Northern Areas, whilst 
he was over here. He was much pleased with what he saw. 

On the 27th, my nephew, E. S. B., my niece. Miss Jarvis, the Eev. 
R. S. Casely, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Drew, and I dined at Mrs. 
John Drew's, when we had a time of most agreeable intercourse. 
The next day we closed the Bazaar efibrt for the Kooringa Lecture 
Hall, and found that we had raised £151 3s. lOcZ. 

Dec. ^\st. — The usual 'Watch Night Service' was held at Kooringa. 
Mr. Holder and I addressed the congregation. It was indeed a 
season of grace and blessing to us all. And so was closed the year 

1879. 

1880. 

Jan. \st. — I enter upon the New Tear under the influence of a 
premonition that it will be an eventful one. But I tru.st in God for 
both guidance and grace. Pere Granion has remarked : ' Sometimes 
three sacrifices are required by our Heavenly Father, expressed in 
three Latin words : tua, tuos, te — i.e. thy goods, thy children, and 
thyself. In my renewal of consecration this morning, I did give 
my goods and myself to God ; but children to give I have none. I 
find the clippings I make, in the course of my miscellancons reading, 
to be an inspii-ation of noble and divinest thought in my otherwise 
lethargic soul. Lord Mansfield's sententious apothegm is suggestive 
of the spirit in which I should, in the beginning of a new year, enter 
upon my clerical duties : ' I wish popularity ; but it is that popular- 
ity which follows, not that which is run after. It is that popularity 
which, sooner or later, never fails to do justice to the pursuit of noble 
■ends by noble means.' So may I pursue my holy calling. 



376 JAMES BICKFOIW: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

It is impossible in tliese stirring times to sever oneself from the 
possibilities which await the English race. For example, we, Anglo- 
Anstralians, are laying the foundations of a great and prosperous 
empire in the Southern World. As certainly as the sun rises on the 
hills and valleys of this Austral land, and the water of the seas lave 
our shores, so siu-e will be the increase of the white i-aces from the over- 
populated countries of northern latitudes, to people and to develop 
these priceless colonies of the south. Carcour's prediction is i-eceiving 
rapid fulfilment : ' England's mi'^sions have been many, to introduce 
into the world representative government and free ti'ade, and to keep 
alive the embers of European liberty. But your great mission is 
that foretold by Shakespeare, to found empires, to scatter wide the 
civilised man. Fifty years hence, three or four hundred millions of 
the most energetic men in the world will speak English. French 
and German will be dialects, as Dutch and Portuguese are now.' 

The Churches of Christ are the heaven-ordained factors for 
bringing about a world-wide human regeneration. These Churches 
are the custodians of the ' leaven ' for effecting this glorious trans- 
formation. And, in all humility, we may venture to say, ' We are 
able to do it.' What is our numerical strength of English-speaking 
Christians in this year of grace, 1880? Episcopalians, say, 
18,000,000; Methodists, 16,500,000; Roman Catholics, 13,500,000; 
Presbyterians, 10,250,000 ; Baptists, 5,000,000 ; Congregationalists, 
6,000,000; and Unitarians, 1,000,000. We confidently ask, Can 
earth or hell arrest the triumphant progress of Anglo-Saxon civilisa- 
tion and Anglo-Saxon Christianity ? 

With such thoughts, I left the Burra on the 19th, for the Annual 
Conference in Adelaide. I was the guest by invitation of Chief 
Jvistice Way, at his beautiful mansion, Montefiore, Noi-th Adelaide. 
At the station, the judge's carriage was in waiting, and I Avas soon 
conveyed to my temporary home. The next day, the Conference 
was opened by the retiring President, the Rev. C. H. Goldsmith ; 
and the Rev. Henry T. Burgess was elected as his successor, with 
the Rev. J. B. Stephenson as Secretary. The easy despatch of 
business, and the general order of the Conference, soon showed the 
wisdom of the choice made of our chief officers. On the 23rcl, at 
the request of the President, I examined, vivd voce, W. A. Langsford, 
H. H. Teague, and T. E. Thomas, B.A., for ' full connexion.' They 
were received by an unanimous vote. The thanks of the Conference 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 377 



were presented to me, * for my assiduous attention to the best 
interests of South Australia, during my recent sojourn in England.' 

March 1st. — I went to Adelaide to attend a meeting of the 
Directors of the Wesleyan Newspaper Company. I expressed my 
dissatisfaction with the old administration, and with the arrangements 
for the new. The paper before long is bound to come to grief, 
through lack of support. Our people have taken but little to it ; 
hence our poor subscription list. And yet, as a church, we cannot 
do without a weekly organ. We want it for giving information of 
our work, and as a means of defence when we are misrepresented. 

March 29th. — I heard to-day of the lamented death of the E«v. 
Joseph Dare, D.D., in Melbourne. The ' ApoUos ' of our Australasian 
Church is gone. A great loss not easily to be repaired. 

Ajyril 9th. — Great Britain has just passed through the turmoil of 
a general election. The returns are, Liberals, 343 ; Conservatives, 
177. The latter at present, as a party, is completely broken up. 

A2)ril 18th. — I preached three times at Port Pirie, in aid of the 
Trust Funds. I had to return by first train the next morning to 
inter the remains of the late ]\Ir. Thomas Hosking. There was a 
large funeral ; it was a mournful sight. 

Ajyril 26i/i. — English telegram : The Queen has been obliged, after 
all, to ask Mr. Gladstone to form the new Government. That 
knightly man, Lord Granville, is Foreign Secretary. Mr. H. H. 
Fowler, of Wolverhampton, has, I find, been elected to Parliament 
in the Liberal interest. 

June 5th. — The Burials Bill has been read a second time in the 
House of Lords. The right man is again at the helm. 

JuIt/ 15th. — The Hon. John Colton, M.P., introduced me to our 
Governor, Sir William Jervois, K.C.M.G., who received us very 
graciously. I delivered to him a message of respect from Captain 
Bowers, of Penang. The Governor's references to the old captain 
were very complimentary. 

Se2)t. 19th. — I went to North Adelaide, to inquire after my old 
friend Captain Bagot, who was veiy poorly, but fully prepared for 
the coming of the Lord. 

Sppt. 11th. [Diary Jotting] — ' Made a copious outline of a sermon for to- 
morrow. What a comfort it is to be prepared early for the Sabbath services I 
This discourse on Heb. xi. 1, I began re-wi-iting on Wednesday, and I finished 
it on Friday evening. This is what I must try to do in future every week. I 



378 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

have read also the London Quarterly, and Agnes Strickland's " Lives of the 
Queens of England," with intense interest. What misery has been inflicted 
upon Great Britain i through the interference of the Parliaments with the 
people's religion ! The Stuarts owe their downfall more to this insane 
meddling than to any other cause. Why cannot Legislatures, as well as 
individuals, learn the lesson of our Lord : " My kingdom is not of this world,"' 
and practise it also 1 ' 

Sept. nth. — Sitting for many hours at my desk, occasioned a 
severe pressure of pain in my head. I worked in the garden until 
it was quite removed. The great Archbishop Whately, of Dublin, 
used to cleave wood for the same piu-pose. It is an infallible 
remedy. 

Oct. dth. — I preached at Yarcowie Church anniversary. We 
raised =£55. The Rev. W. A. Langsford and Mrs. Langsfox-d were 
very kind. 

Oct. 19th. — I was at Gawler attending the District Meeting. Mr. 
J. H. Goss successfully passed as a candidate for our Ministry. The 
l)usiness was finished in two days. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Clement 
were my obliging host and hostess. 

Oct. 2ith. — I was at Kapunda, in behalf of the Sunday School. 
I gave an address to the teachers, parents, and scholars in the 
afternoon. 

Oct. 25tk. — At Kooringa Church anniversary, Mr. President 
Burgess lectured on the nineteenth century discoveries. It was 
very stimulating, and admirably delivered. We raised <£104. 

Nov. lith. — The Rev. B. Chapman, General Secretary of our 
Foreign Missions, preached to-day at Redruth and Kooringa. Mr. 
Chapman earnestly advocated the Missions in the South Seas. At 
intervals, some time in each day he was with us, he would refer to 
the Friendly Islands' District. It was evident to me that the 
condition of that romantic, and, until recently, glorious Mission was 
causing him the intensest anxiety.* 

Bee. 9th. — I held the service at Redruth, and met the classes for 
tickets. I am greatly distressed at the small attendance of the 
members at the weekly fellowship. And what to do to cure this 



* The Rev. Shirley Baker, who for many years had been ' Chairman of the 
District,' had accepted service under King George as Prime Minister of his 
kingdom. Such a position, for Mr. Baker, was bound to be a source of en- 
tanglement and trouble. And so events have proved. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 379 

negligence I cannot tell ! Our membership is loose and inconsistent. 
But who will take this question in hand ? Who 1 

Dec. Z\st. — We have got through the heat and ' j our neyings often ' 
of another year. The preaching appointments have been well taken 
up, and the pastoral work, devolving moie particularly upon myself, 
has been vigorously prosecuted. We held the usual ' Watchnight ' 
service, which was well attended. Mr. Holder and I gave addresses, 
and Mr. James Harry acted as precentor. I hope for lasting good 
as the result of this last service of the year. 

1881. 

Jan. 1st. [Diary Jotting]-^' In the good Providence of God, I enter upon the 
duties and trials of another year. "Hitherto the Lord hath helped me." 
This year I intend, morning by morning, devotionally to read the " Portable 
Commentary " upon the New Testament, two chapters in the Old, and Bates' 
and Pascoe's Aids and Helps. I must have my mornings at my own command, 
and undisturbed. I will give heed to the suggestion of the Rev. E. E. Jenkins, 
M.A., as of great value to me in my Australian ministry : " If you would make 
sure of the ground upon which your faith rests, cherish the habit of observing a 
stated time, day by day, for the study of the Holy Scriptures, and for medita- 
tion upon God, as well as prayer to God. You have no enemy more dangerous 
than the temptation that would filch from you the golden minutes consecrated 
to your private intercoiarse with God. In everything else judicious solitude is 
the spring of open services. As a tree attains Its strength and loftiness by the 
unseen and silent ministry of the soil, so great characters are built in secret." 
To such wise words I am resolved to give heed. 

' " My company before is gone." The Fiev. Henry Hurd, who knelt with me 
at our Ordination, and with whom I went to the West Indies in 1838, died 
at Cardiff, "Wales, on the 5th ult. He had served the West India Mission for 
forty years, and now is reaping his reward.' 

Jan. l%th. — The Annual Conference was opened by Mr. ex- 
President Burgess, and the Bev. J. B. Stephenson was chosen as his 
successor. The Rev. S. Knight was elected as Secretary. He worked 
hard, and did a great deal of business. I was requested by the 
President to examine John Gillingham, Walter H. Hautar, and 
John Watts, all of whom were cordially received into ' full connexion ' 
with the Conference. At the Ordination Service on the 26th, the 
ex-President gave an excellent charge. I returned to Kooringa on 
the 29th, so as to be ready for the Sabbath services. 

Feb. 1st. — In the evening I heard the President of the ' Bible 
Chi'istian Conference ' preach at the Burra. He reminded me very 
much of Wesley's famous words, ' I write plain truth for a plain 



380 JAMES BICKFORD : AN A UTOBIOGRAPHY. 

people ; ' but then only an able man can reach that perfection. 
Mrs. Bickford and I remained for the after-service, and took the 
Lord's Supper. We found it good thus to unite with this dear 
people in their sacred services. 

Feb. 2\st. — No brain work possible to-day, with the thermometer 
105° in the shade and 165° in the sun, with a fierce hot wind 
blowing as if it came from a red-hot furnace. 

Feb. 28</i. — I drove out to the Baldina plains to see the aged Mrs. 
Pearce. She was very ill, but very happy. ' The love of Christ,' 
she said, * took away her pain.' I called upon the Rogers, the 
Bains, and the Tuckfields. In the evening I held the Quarterly 
Love Feast, when eighteen believers testified to their conversion. 

March \st. — Mis. Bickford and I went to Monovea Farm to see 
our kind friends Mr. and Mrs. Field and family. We spent an 
agi'eeable time with them. The only drawback was the great 
heat. 

March Gth. — I preached at Mintaro, and lectured the next evening. 
We raised £40 for the Trust Fund. I wrote a letter entitled, ' The 
New Theory of Child Salvation,' and sent it to The Methodist Journal 
for publication. 

March 12>th. — I preached at Riverton, and lectured on ' My Trip 
to England and Back.' Collections for the Trust Funds ^666. I 
made my home at ]\Ir. and Mrs. Polamountain's. 

March 2Sth. — I held the Quarterly Meeting at Mr. John Dunstan's, 
Redruth. We passed several resolutions bearing upon the work 
of God in the Circuit. The balance in hand was about ten 
guineas. 

A2)ril oi'd. — After preaching at Kooringa, I drove to Mongalutu, 
a distance of eighteen miles, for the afternoon service, and to meet 
the class. I spent, as usual, an agreeable evening with Dr. Stephens 
and family. 

A2)ril 16th. — I heard to-day of the death of Dr. William Morley 
Punshon. I was struck dumb. The loss to the Methodist Connexion 
is great indeed. 

A2»'il 20th. — Great men are falling fast. By telegram we learn 
that Lord Beaconsfield died yesterday morning in the seventy-seventh 
year of his age. One of the most trusted servants of the Queen is 
gone from her councils, and the Tories have lost the most skilful 
leader they have had in this century. His politics were not mine ; 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 381 



but I thi'ow a wreath upon liia grave for his jealous guard over what 
he thought to be the honour of England. 

I exercise my right as a citizen of South Australia in voting for 
such gentlemen as I please who are candidates for seats in Parliament. 
My ministerial position, instead of shutting me off from the exerci.se 
of my legal vote, in my conviction, seriously increases my obligation 
to use it. My object is twofold : (1) To keep unsuitable men out of 
Parliament ; (2) to elect suitable men to that position. Acting upon 
this principle, I voted to-day for Sir H. Ayres, Sir John Milne ; 
Messrs. Tartleton, Pickering, Hay, and Buck, for the Legislative 
Council. 

April 23>yZ. — I finished my reminiscences of the late Dr. Punshon, 
and sent them to The MetliocUst Journal. I have a feeling of 
admiration for his superb eloquence, and of veneration for his probity 
and honoiu'. Like Wesley and Bunting, he has left no successor in 
our Church. 

April 2Qtli. — Mr. John Nairne, a young local preacher from 
Magpie, Ballarat, called this morning. He is to take charge of the 
Hanson Home Mission Station until next Conference. 

May 2nd. [Diary Jotting] — ' Frightful telegraphic news reached us this 
morning of the loss of the Waratau, about twenty-five miles from BlufE 
Harbour, New Zealand. The Eev. Joseph Waterhouse, Eevs. Richardson and 
Armitage were drowned; also one hundred and four passengers and sailors in all; 
only about twenty sailors were saved.' 

It seemed that the luckless steamer, by an alteration of her 
course, was steered ' dead on ' to the Waipara reef. There were, 
besides those names above given, Messrs. E. Connell, and E. Mitchell, 
members of our Genex'al Conference. Since the loss of the Maria, 
' mail boat,' in the West Indies in 1825, no such calamity as this has 
befallen us. 

Ajjril 11th. — The General Conference was opened to-day by the 
Eev. John Watsford, the I'etiring President, and the Pev. James 
Swanton Waugh, D.D., was elected as his successor. We met under 
a great cloud of trouble, and it was difficult so to rise above it as to 
be able to attend to business. Mr. Watsf ord's address was impressive 
and seasonable. We agreed to constitute the Friendly Islands 
Missions into a separate district of the New South Wales Conference 
and to be free from the control of the Missionary Committee in 
Sydney, It was done at the earnest request of King George himself. 



382 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Carefully prepared, and aftectionately loyal despatches -were forwarded 
to the King upon the subject. The Rev. B. Chapman was appointed 
for another three years' term as General Secretary of Foreign 
Missions. The Rev. W. Morley, representative from New Zealand, 
brought before the Conference propositions for the separation of their 
Conference from the Australasian Connexion. After a long and 
earnest debate, they were negatived by a majority of five votes. On 
the 27th we reached the end of our business. Dr. Waugh reqviested 
me to offer the last prayer, and give the Benediction. In pai-ting with 
the brethren, I was affected to tears, knowing that many of us would 
see each other no more in this world. 

July 2nd. — We agreed to have the Rev. W. A. Bainger as second 
preacher. A few friends met at Dr. Brummitt's to arrange for 
meeting this additional expense. .£80 were soon subscribed. 

Julij 2(ith. — I wrote Mr. John Roberts, of Robertstown, about 
twenty miles from Ivooringa, that Mr. Bainger would preach there, 
on August 14th, if he could secure a congregation. This is our fii-st 
attempt to enlarge the boundaries of our work. Robertstown is 
situated in the centre of an agricultural and squatting district, and 
it will be a great charity to give the people the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ. Mr. Roberts is, I believe, the founder of the township. 

Julij 30th. — I had an agreeable run to the North; the weather was 
beautifully tine, and the air was bracing. The Rev. C. H. Gold- 
smith met me at the Port Pirie Station, and took me to the Parsonage, 
where I was kiiidly welcomed by Mrs. Goldsmith. I preached twice 
the next day to good congregations. On Monday Mr. Goldsmith and 
I strolled among the wharves, and ^dsited several families. In the 
afternoon we drove to Lower Broughton, when I was delighted with 
the wheat-fields, which looked so well. We had a public meeting in 
the evening. The next day we drove to the Reservoir, and I was much 
pleased with all that I saw. I lectured in the evening to a small 
congregation. Admission by one shilling ticket is not popular on the 
Northern Circuits. I returned home all well, and read sixty-eight 
pages of McCarthy's ' Histoi-y of our Own Times,' which I much 
enjoyed. 

Aiig. 13th. — I sent off Mr. Bainger to Robertstown with full in- 
structions. I had a severe headache to-day, the result of hard study 
over my sermon. Read McCarthy on the Kabul massacre, etc. 
Alas ! the whole of this trouble we brought upon ourselves through 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 383' 



meddling with the reigning powers of Afghanistan. Surely ours is 
a ' spirited ' foreign policy ! But I hope the English Government 
will be less adventurous under Mr. Gladstone's guidance. 

Aiog. 1\st. — I preached a funeral sermon for dear Father Goss, 
who had grown old and feeble in his Master's service. He was 
eminently a good man, and departed this life at the age of seventy- 
five, in blissful hope of heaven. 

Sept. 12th. — I read in the South Australian Register of the death 
of the Rev. B. Chapman, at Windsor, New Sovith Wales, on the 
10th current. No death has occurred for many years in our ranks 
which has distressed me more than this. Mr. Chapman was away 
from home in his beloved deputation work, when he became ill, and 
soon passed away. The greatest sorrow of his official life was the 
sad condition of the Tongan mission. Indeed, I venture to think, 
it killed him. A post-mortem, if it be reverent so to say, would 
show deeply cut into his bleeding heart the ominous words, ' Tonga, 
Tonga.' Nothing could heal the sorrow, or wash away the gore of 
that heart, but the messenger of Death, whom the Heavenly Father 
saw fit to send to him. But his record of integrity is on high. 

Oct. 2nd. — The Rev. F. Langham, our apostolic missionary from 
Fiji, paid us a visit. He preached and spoke at several places in 
the interests of the work to which he had given his life. The Rev. 
A. Rigg also paid us a visit. These ' wise men from the east ' contri- 
buted much to our enjoyment diu'ing the time they spent with us. 

j^ov. lith. — We inaugurated special services at the Burra, by 
holding morning and mid-day prayer meetings, and services in the 
evening. The Revs. Pearce and B'urt joined us in these hallowed 
exercises. Mr. Matthew Burnett came to our assistance, and a 
great work of God followed. Foi' miles outside the Burra the saving 
power was felt. With these services on hand, and the care and 
work of the Circuit to look after, I became prostrate, and had to 
stand aside. 

Dec. 23rd. — Mr. and Mrs. Burnett left the Burra for Port 
Elliot, for rest and rustication. They have left a large blessing 
behind them. 

Dec. 21th. [Diary Jotting] — ' Dr. Brummitt called to see us. I am better, 
but Mrs. Bickf ord had a bad nigbt. She is a great sufferer. I kept out of the 
sun all the day as I could not endure its intense heat.' 

Dec. 28!'/«. [Diary Jotting] — ' I was poorly all the forenoon through the 



384 JAMES lilCKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

fierce, hot wind and heat. We held the Quarterly Meeting in the evening. 
The accounts balanced. Mr. Thomas Drew was appointed junior Steward, and 
Dr. Stephens as our Representative to Conference.' 

Dec. 'ilst. — The Rev. Charles Lane and Mr. Holder conducted the 
' Watch Night Service ' at Kooringa, and Mr. John Lane and I 
a similai- service in the Primitive Methodist Church at Redruth. 
Thank God for all the blessings of the year ! 

• 1882. 

Jan. 1st. — I had a hard day's work in my somewhat enfeebled 
condition. I preached at Redruth, Baldina, and in the ' Bible 
Christian Church.' The Rev. Charles Lane conducted the services 
at Kooringa in behalf of the new classrooms, when £13 2*. &d. 
were collected. 

Jan. nth. — The Annual Conference was opened to-day. The 
Rev. R. S. Casely was elected President, and the Rev. R. M. 
Hunter, Secretary. John Nairn was received as a probationer in 
our Ministry. I took my full share of work in the Conference — 
Sunday. At Pii-ie Street I preached on ' Freedom from Sin ' (Rom. 
viii. 22,) and in the evening, at Gilbert Street, on the ' Redemption 
of the Soul ' (Psalm xlix. 8), to excellent congregations. It was a 
day of special blessing to me. 

The Conference incorporated in its ' Annual Adch-ess ' a paragraph 
as follows, upon the subject of weekly fellowship : ' We cannot close 
without saying a word for a means of grace which we prize very 
highly, and which may almost be accepted as a distinctive charac- 
teristic of our Church, namely, the Class Meeting. There is but one 
opinion as to the worth of this institution, considered as a means of 
grace. There many of oui- members have learnt what, perhaps, 
they had never known from any other sources, that there are clearly 
defined degrees of spiritual life ; that there are temptations common 
to all ; and that there are temptations which grow out of peculiarity 
of temperament, or are the effects of faulty training in early life. 
What many of the old Puritans longed for we have in our Class 
Meeting — a place where believei's meet face to face for the pui-pose 
of comparing things spiritual with things spiritual, and of exhorting 
each other to higher attainments in the Divine life. Do you shiink 
from such an exercise ? If you do, we woidd earnestly and afiection- 
ately ask 3'ou to look into your own heai't, and ask yourself why you 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 385 



are averse to this simple searching, and, as we believe, this Scriptural 
communion of saints. Such a process of self-examination may be 
productive of very blessed results ; and will, at the least, be one 
means of responding to the exhortation of Holy Writ, ' Examine 
yoiu'selves whether ye be in the faith ; prove your own selves.' As my 
full time of three years was up in the Burra Circuit, I was appointed 
Superintendent of the Port Adelaide Circuit, with the Rev. S. F. 
Prior as my colleague. The Rev. Samuel Knight succeeded me at 
the Bun-a. On the 28th the Minutes were signed, and I returned 
home the same evening. 

Feb. \st. — We had a Society Tea Meeting, when from one hundred 
to one hundred and fifty members and communicants were present. 
It was a glorious meeting, and must do good. On the 7th I presided 
at the United Monthly Meeting of the classes. The members were 
in a good state. ' What must we do,' I asked William Taylor, 
when in Sydney, ' to preserve these new-born souls the Lord has 
given us as the fruit of your labours? ' ' Do ? ' said he. ' You must 
feed their emotional nature by fellowship meetings and love-feasts, 
and keep them in a good state of soul, as well as preach to them 
from time to time.' This ' winner of souls ' was right, as experience 
has shown me in every Circuit in which I have laboured. 

Feb. \2)tli. — I held a Special Circuit Meeting to consider certain 
alterations to the old parsonage, or to erect a new one. We agreed 
that a new parsonage should be built on Limestone Hill, to cost 
=£1,000. 

Feb. 2\st. — I read the Melbourne Spectator, and was much pleased 
with the Rev. G. Daniel's charge to the newly ordained brethren at 
the Melbourne Conference. There is an appropriateness of subject, 
grasp of thought, earnestness, and aflection, in its whole form that 
commanded my admiration. Such a charge should not only be 
printed, but widely circulated among the rising Ministry of our 
Chui-ch. 

March lOth. — I was very unwell this morning, and I had to send 
for Dr. Brummitt to assist me. He pronounced the inflammation in 
my foot to be the gout. Alas for me that I should be the first of 
my family to be afflicted in this manner ! The result, doubtless, of 
exliaustion from the great heat and hard work. 

March 27th. — I held the Quarterly Meeting at Mr. Tiver's, Aber- 
deen. We had a large attendance and a fine meeting. The returns 

25 



386 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

are : — Full members 157, on trial 52, Catechumens 52. The increase 
on the quarter Avas 36 members. We agreed to purchase a parson- 
age site, 101 X 211, for .£30, on Limestone Hill, Kooringa. Mr. 
George Sara, senior Steward, did us good f<er\ace in this matter. 

April Qth. — This day we left our dear friends at the Burra for our 
new Circuit. Theie had been two valedictory meetings at Redruth 
and Kooringa, when very kind things were said to us by Messrs. 
Forder, Sara, Tiver, Rabbich, Dunstan (Redruth), and Messrs. T. 
Drew, Joseph Sleep, Wilkinson, F. W. Holder, Dr. Brummitt, John 
Lane, and Dr. Stephens, with many others (Kooringa), to which I 
responded as well as I could. I had had three happy, laborious 
years at the Burra, and I felt deeply when the time came to say 
Vale. 

I was appointed to the Port Adelaide Circuit at my own request. 
It is not always safe to choose one's own sphere of latour ; this was 
the first time I had ventured so to do. There were good reasons 
for this departure from the course I had habitually pvirsued during 
my forty-thi-ee years of itinerancy, which I need not state. At the 
Port Station the Rev. S. F. Prior, Mr. Theophilus Hack, and Mr. 
Jarvis were there to receive us. At the Parsonage, Dale Street, 
Mesdames Prior and Shorney were in waiting to give Mrs. Bickford 
and me a heaity welcome. The Methodist system of itinerancy 
would be intolerable were it not that the pain, connected with the 
severance of friendship in leaving Circuits, is soon compensated by 
the free and immediate openings to other equally sincere friendships 
in the new Circuits to which one has to go. It was certainly so in 
this case ; for, in a few days, we were quite at home with our new 
friends, and were hard at our beloved work. The principle of the 
itinerancy is in accordance with Apostolic practice. It recognises 
the fact, that the ministry is one of the ' gifts ' of the Mediatorial 
Lord to the Chm-ch for its preservation and extension in the world. 
And it seems to be an equitable arrangement for Synods, Conferences, 
or any other appointing power, to give efiect to the principle by 
distributing equally this ' gift ' over the entire vineyard of the 
Great Husbandman, for its cultivation and help. This, ' beyond all 
controversy,' the Methodist Conferences in England, Ireland, 
America, Australia, the West Indies, and Southern Africa, en- 
deavour to do. And the system works well wheresoever it is 
faithfully applied. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 387 

I found in my new Circuit that I was committed to a vigorous 
administration of its affairs. I began by a personal pastoral call upon 
every family connected with our congregations. I then addressed a 
note to each treasurer of the Church Trusts, for a copy of the balance 
sheet as audited and presented at the last Anniversary. My object 
was to get an exact knowledge of the financial condition of each 
Trust. I advanced the cash necessary for paying off the Circuit debt 
(£129 19«. lOf^.), so that all interest might be stopped. The way now 
seemed cleared for an ' onward movement,' and my colleague, Mr. 
Prior, the local preachers, and other Church ofHcers, braced then- 
energies to the Lord's work. This was a courageous policy of adminis- 
tx'ation, and it answered well. We were, indeed, only following a 
Divine injunction : ' Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up 
the stumbling-blocks out of the way of My people.' 

Ajiril 9t7i. — I opened my commission, by preaching at the Semaphore 
in aid of the Sunday School. On the next day Mrs. Bickford, Miss 
Jarvis, and I, accompanied the teachers, cliiltb-en, and parents to their 
annual picnic. There was a large gathering, and the enjoyment of 
all was innocent and stimulating. We had a Sunday School Teachers' 
tea in the evening, over which I presided. This was a good beginning 
of active mmisterial service. 

Mai/ 24cth. — The Queen is sixty-three years of age to-day. I went 
to the Governor's levee in her honour, as is my invariable custom. I 
then went to North Adelaide for the annual Conference of the ' South 
Australia Temperance Society and Band of Hope,' and took my full 
share in its proceedings. In the evening I went over to Birkenhead 
and presided at the Good Templars' Meeting. I returned home at 
9 p.m. much tired, but it was not a lost day by any means. 

Mai/ 29th. — I voted for Messrs. Salom, Madge, Eidgeway, Cotton, 
Glyde, and Murray, who were candidates for seats in the Legislative 
Council. I regard the franchise our democratic Constitution gives 
me as a solemn responsibility, and I always exercise it as I think 
just and right. 

June 7th. — I, also, as an Austral-Englishman, claim the privilege 
of corresponding with the ' powers that be,' in the old country, on 
matters affecting distinguished men in the service of the Queen, when 
I tliink proper so to do. To-day, with that feeling, I addressed 
a letter to Mr. Gladstone, Prime Minister, asking that the honour of 
a K.C.M.G. might be conferred on as one eminently deserving 



388 JAMES BICKFOBB: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

that dLstinction. It is a strange omission in some quarters that this 
has not been done long before this. 

June 2Sth. — Nothing like a diligent attendance to the routine work 
of a Circuit for spending time pleasantly. Here we are already at the 
end of June, and our Quarterly Meeting has to be held this evening. 
We accordingly met at Mr. Shorney's, at the Semaphore, and had a 
large attendance. The income had sprung to .£150 9*. lie?., and the 
expenditure was £150 8s. lid. The number of members' names on 
the class-books was one hundred and forty-seven, so that our income 
was a little over £1 per head, taking for convenience the members as 
a basis, for the quarter then ending. On the motion of Mr. E. 
Butler, it was unanimously agreed to invite Dr. BoUen, Messrs. J. 
Ottaway, J. Rofe, and J. Bray to resume their former positions in the 
Port Church, and I was requested to conduct this delicate business, 
which I gladly consented to do. 

July 1st. — Our so-called ' White Elephant ' (the Northern Terri- 
tory) is still a practical difficulty with our Government. Just now 
the Legislature is engaged in discussing a Bill entitled, ' The India n 
Immigration BiU,' for the introduction of Coolie labour to work the 
sugar estates. I secured a copy of the Bill ; and, if I rightly recollect, 
it is pretty much a transcript of an Act passed many years ago by 
the Court of Policy in British Guiana for a similar object. I was 
constrained, in the sorrowful remembrance of the working of that 
Act, to write a strongly remonstrative letter for publication in the 
Register, in opposition against the Bill now before our Parliament. 
How can we expect these poor creatures, on their arrival in the 
Territory, entering into wi-itten engagements with white men, and 
under penalties, too, the meaning of which they cannot understand. 
But this is only one aspect of the matter. 

July 25th. — I interred to-day the remains of the late Mrs. Dr. 
Mitchell. I found her ill when I came to the Port last April, and 
now she is gone to the land where sickness is unknown. She was the 
daughter of Dr. Bollen, and died at the early age of twenty-five. 
Sweetness itself in her temper, and heavenly in her aspirations, she 
seems to have been too good to battle with the storms of human life. 
Her end was eminently peacefvU. She ' fell on sleep.' 

On the 24th I received a letter from the Hon. G. W. Cotton, M.L.C., 
approving of my view of the! case. 

July 28th. — We made an effort for the reduction of the debt on 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 389 

Alberton Chm-ch. The Revs. R. S. Casely and G. E. Rowe did us 
valuable service. We I'aised over £100. 

Aug. 7th. — I prepared a lengthy article on the Methodist Confer- 
ences of Ireland, France, and England, for the Christian Weekly. 
So few of our people take the Watchman, or Recorder, or Monthly 
Times, that I think it one's duty to supply them with such in- 
formation as my article contains. On the 11th I wrote a letter, 
for publication in the Register, on ' The Egyptian Embroglio and 
England's Duty.' I gave much care to the preparation of this 
communication in the hope that it may clear the mistiness away 
which clouds many minds in regard to the origin of this melancholy 
outbreak. 

Ai(,g. Sth. — I read in Dean Stanley's 'Christian Institutions' with 
surpassing satisfaction. The Dean is the kind of ' Churchman ' that 
I greatly honour. He is faithful to historical traditions, although 
they may be against the high assumptions of the hierarchs of his 
own Church. But, in the largeness of his Christian instincts, he 
cannot help it. ' The love of Christ constrains him.' 

Atig. 21st. — I breakfasted at the Rev. J. B. Stephenson's to meet 
his eminent cousin, the Rev. Dr. Bowman Stephenson, Mrs. 
Stephenson, and daughter. We arranged a programme for the 
Doctor's visitation of Circuits while he remains with us. ' The 
Children's Home' is the burden of his tale, and a good tale it is. 
South Australia is bound to help this Apostle of Humanity in a 
substantial manner. 

SejJt. 27th. — We held the Quarterly Meeting. Samuel Rossiter 
was recommended as a candidate for our Ministry. It was a really 
good meeting. 

Oct. 3rd. — Dr. Stephenson, in the Port Town Hall, this evening 
gave his lecture on the ' Children's Home and Orphanage ' in 
England. He had a sympathizing audience. 

Oct. 7th. — Mrs. Bickford and I left for Blackwood, and were 
welcomed by the Hon. John and Mrs. Carr. We spent an inter- 
esting evening with the family and friends who were there to 
meet us. I preached the next day in behalf of the Church Trust. 

On Monday evening the tea and public meeting came otf. We 
had a fine attendance, and raised £56. 

Oct. 10th. — I rose at 4 a.m., and saw a comet in the east. I have 
seen many in my time, but tliis one is a stranger to me. But we 



390 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

shall soon learn what Mr. C. Todd, our learned scientist, has to say 
of this brilliant visitor. 

Oct. Wth. — Dr. Bollen and I called on Mrs. Bayertz, a converted 
Jewess, and a successfvU evangelist, about the proposed services it 
is desired she should hold in the Semaphore Church. The interview 
was very pleasant, and I was impressed with her freedom from all 
foolish airs. She was natural, intelligent, self-possessed, and emin- 
ently religious in her whole bearing. We were much pleased with her. 

Oct. 20th.— The District Meeting closed to-day. We recommended 
James Robert Bradbury, William George Clarke, John Charles Hill, 
and Samuel Rossiter for our work. We were nearly four days in 
session. The Rev. R. S. Casely presided over our deliberations ; 
and under his guidance we had a happy and successful meeting. 

Nov. 6th. — Mrs. Bickford and I embarked in the South Australian 
for Geelong vid Melbourne. We were forty passengers, who, soon 
after starting, disappeared. Poor things ! 

We reached Geelong on the 8th, my nephew, the Rev. E. S. 
Bickford, and Allan his son, were at the station to receive us. We 
went to the annual ' Flower Show ' in the evening, which was very 
beautiful. Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock were the presiding genii of 
the affair. We saw many of ovir old friends, which was a real 
pleasure to us. 

iVov. 13th. — Dr. Stephenson lectured for his great ' charity,' the 
' Children's Home.' We had a good attendance, and, at the close, I 
said a few words in commendation of his object. 

JS^ov. lith. — I called in at the District Meeting, when the brethren 
welcomed me with much warmth of feeling. The Rev. Henry Bath 
was in the chair. In the evening I lectured at ISre%vtown in aid of 
the Trust funds. My subject was ' My Trip to England and Back,' 
which took me an hour and a half in its delivery. 

Ifov. 15th. — We went to Melbourne, and were the guests of our 
early and kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Oakley, at Carlton. 
In the afternoon I dropped in at the District Meeting, the Rev. 
W. L. Binks, presiding. It was pleasant to see a few of my former 
comrades in many a struggle, occasioned by the distractions of 
the discovery of the Goldfields. But all, even the youngest of the 
brethren, were Avarm in their welcome. Blessed be God for the 
brotherhood of Wesleyan Ministers ! We visited about a great deal, 
but the weather was too hot for much enjoyment. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 39 1 



Deo. Ifit. [Diarj' Jotting] — ' On board the South Avstralian on our way to 
Port Adelaide. Passengers very agreeable, and the weather beautiful. But I 
am out of sorts somehow. I shall be better, I hope, when again on shore. 
Mrs. Bickford was much indisposed after the voyage.' 

Dec. lOtli. [Diary Jotting] — ' Could not preach to-day, but was confined to 
the house quite ill.' 

Dec. \')th. [Diary Jotting] — 'Little better, but still unwell. The gout is 
come into my left foot to distress me still further. This is the second time in 
my life I have had this terrible evil upon me.' 

Dec. IWi. [Diary Jotting] — ' Given up all thoughts of preaching on Sunday, 
in obedience to my medical adviser, Dr. Mitchell. Can't put my foot to the 
floor without the acutest pain. (Is this a messenger of Satan to buffet me ? ) 
Mr. President Casely came to see me and Mrs. Bickford, who is also very 
ill.' 

Dec. 2Qth. — We have had the Rev. Mr. Youngman here as 
missionary deputation but I could not hear him, which was a great 
deprivation. The Rev. Joseph Nicholson did us good service at the 
Semaphore. 

Dec. 2ith. — I was able to take my appointments. Blessed be God ! 
' Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.' 

1883. 

Jan. \st. [Diary Jotting] — ' In God's good providence I have entered upon 
the duties and responsibilities of another year. At the '• Watch Night Service " 
I gave myself, "body, spirit, and soul," to my Lord and Saviour. May God 
accept the surrender, and be with me for good ! ' 

Jan. Qth. — Our popular Grovernor, Sn- William Jervois, held a levee 
to-day, prior to his lea\'ing South Australia for New Zealand. I 
went, of course, to show my respect for the Queen he has represented 
during his gubernatorial reign over us ; but, also, for himself, as one 
of the best Governors this Colony has ever had. Indeed, for blame- 
lessness of character, and as a vigorous administrator, I class him 
with Sir Henry Barkly, and that is no small compliment. 

Jan. 7th. [Diary Jotting] — ' Heard Mr. Prior preach an excellent sermon at 
the Port. In the afternoon I conducted the " Renewal of Covenant Service," 
and gave the Lord's Supper. I preached at Alberton in the evening ; held the 
" Covenant Service," and gave the Lord's Supper.' 

Jan. 8th. — For some months I had given a weekly visit to our 
day school, at Birkenhead, conducted by a Mrs. Jones, a qualified 
teacher from England, to assist her in giving a Bible Lesson for the 
attendant childi-en. There was no difficulty in carrying out this 



392 JAMES BICKFORD : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

exercise to the fullest extent. This pleasing fact led me to consider, 
whether it would not be possible for some arrangement to be made 
for giving Bible Lessons to the Poi-t Model School, by ministers of 
religion, on one or two days in each week, according to the Board's 
Regulations, or in some other way. I, therefore, sent a circular note 
to each minister, asking them to meet me in my study to consider the 
desirableness of our making some attempt to accomplish this object. 
Accordingly, this forenoon, the Rev. Canon Green, Pastor Bambour, 
Revs. J. C Kirby, J. H. Angas, and M. Lloyd, met to talk the 
matter over. We agreed to try to secure permission from the Board 
for the use of one of the classrooms, during school hours, for meeting 
such of the pupils as choose to attend, and Mr. Kii-by and I were 
requested to communicate with the Minister of Education on the 
subject. This we did, but we failed to get the desired concession ; 
besides which there would be a monetary charge upon us, even if the 
exercises were held before or after the hours for the daily routine 
school-work. We saw, therefore, that we could proceed no farthei- 
until the Act was so amended as to permit Bible Reading being 
given within school hours, instead of before or after as the Act 
provides. And at that point we stopped for the present. We 
agreed at this meeting to form a branch of the Society for the 
Promotion of Social Purit}'^, and Canon Green was requested to act 
as Secretary. 

Jan. Wth. [Diary Jotting] — -Mr. T. Hack informed me that the "Site 
Committee," which had been appointed by the Quarterly Meeting, had recom- 
mended the sale of the property in St. Vincent Street, and the purchase of a 
new site in Dale Street. So that I am in for work of an anxious kind. I 
have no doubt but that God will help us through.' 

Jan. \Qih. — I held a Special Trustee Meeting of the Port property 
in Vincent Street. We agreed to ask the permission of the Con- 
ference to sell the property, and erect new premises in Dale Street. 
All the trustees were of one mind in this proposed action. 

Jan. nth. — The Rev. R. S. Casely opened the Annual Conference 
this (Wednesday) evening, and I was elected as his successor by a 
majority of twenty-four votes. The probationers were examined the 
next day, and the stations were read a second time in the Saturday 
forenoon. 

Jan. '2lst. — I preached the official sermon in Pirie Street Church. 
Text, Eccles. ii. 26. By invitation, the Revs. Knight, Casely, Lane, 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 393 



Hunter, myself, and Major Ferguson dined at the Chief Justice's, 
Montefiore Hill, North Adelaide. His Honour is happy, indeed, in 
his manner of entertaining his clerical friends. We certainly had 
a lively, but not a frivolous, time. I heaid Mr. ex-President Casely 
preach a good sermon in the evening. 

Jan. 2&th. [Diary Jotting] — ' I went to Conference, and presided all the day. 
We had a great debate on " Bible Reading in State Schools during school 
hours," but a vote was not taken. In the afternoon, Brother Patchell, in a few 
minutes after he had spoken, was seized with an apoplectic fit, from which he 
never rallied. He died in one hour and ten minutes from the time he was 
attacked. We could do no more business ; and, after a season of prayer, we 
met in the evening to make arrangements for the funeral.' 

The next day, in the afternoon, the mortal remains of this good 
and useful man were laid in the silent grave, at the Western 
Cemetery, in the presence of the bereaved Mrs. Patchell, a large 
number of friends of the family, and by nearly the whole Conference 
of Ministers. I felt more than I can describe, whilst reading the 
service at the grave over the remains of my former colleague in the 
Pii-ie Street Circuit. 

Jan. 28th. — As President it fell to my lot to preach the funeral 
sermon for my departed friend the day after the funeral. I was 
very unwell, but I did the best I could. After the service I went 
to my friends the Wallaces' for the night. I was much wearied and 
sorrow-stricken with the painful scenes and laboiu's through which 
I had passed. 

Jan. SOth. — We reached the end of our business. The Minutes 
were signed at 9 p.m. My old heart thanked God for His merciful 
aid vouchsafed to me from day to day as I presided over the Sessions 
of this Conference. 

Feb. 4:th. — By request of the Conference, I visited Goolwa, to 
improve the death of their late pastor, Mr. Patchell. I had a large 
congregation at the evening service, and much feeling was shown by 
the bereaved chvu-ch. I met the oiiicials, and arranged for a supply 
until April next. I left Mrs. Patchell and family, after commending 
them to the care and love of the Heavenly Father. 

Feb. Idth. — I went up to the city to witness the ceremony of the 
swearing-in of the new Governor, Sir William F. C. Robinson. 
Several of the brethren were present. Sii' William held a levee on 
the 21st, when 600 gentlemen were presented. I I'ead the address, 
which the Governor nicely responded to. 



394 JAMES BICKFOUD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Feb. 2'2nd. — I now feel as if a cup of sorrow were about to be 
administered to me. My dear wife is prostrate in body and mind, 
from a paralytic attack. It came on early this morning, when her 
sister, Mrs. Jarvis, pei'ceived that she was unable to articulate her 
words. We sent at once for Dr. Mitchell, and committed the case 
to him to do his best. 

Feb. 23rd. — We thought Mi's. Bickford would have died in the 
night, but she has rallied a little this morning. She can speak, but 
not converse with us. Kind friends keep calling, but the doctor has 
peremptorily ordered that no visitors must see her. Perfect quiet 
and nourishment are all that can be done just now. Mrs. Saunday 
came and sat up with the dear sick one. 

Feb. 24:th. — T tried to do something for to-morrow (Sunday), but 
found myself unequal to it. Mrs. Bickford is still very, very ill. 
Alas ! for the cloud of sorrow which has come upon us. 

March 12th. — NotwithstancUng Mrs. Bickford's precarious condi- 
tion, I was compelled to leave her and go to Port Augusta, to 
give evidence in a case of bigamy. The journey was two hundred 
and eighty-five miles by rail. I arrived in time to speak at the 
Church Anniversary for a few minutes. The Rev. W. and Mrs. 
Beed gave me a kind welcome. 

March ISth. — I attended the Court, presided over by Chief Justice 
Way. Johnston, the bigamist, after confronting me, by the advice 
of his Counsel, ' confessed judgment,' and was sentenced to six 
months' imprisonment. The Rev. Samuel Knight lectured this 
evening on his ' Travels in Europe and America,' which was full of 
fine touches — descriptive and oratorical. It was well received. I 
moved a vote of thanks to him. 

March lUh.—The Rev. S. Knight, Mr. Moncrieff, and I left for 
Quorn this morning. I had a fine view of the Pichirichi Pass. I 
preached in the evening, and met afterwards four of the church 
officers, and heard their grievances. They want, they say, a 
Methodist Administration of the afRxirs of the Circuit. Mr. Knight 
was present. We were in the church until a late hour. We were 
the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Moncrieff, who showed us all possible 
kindness. 

This is the third time my brethren have elected me to the position 
of President of Annual Conference. As an expression of theii- 
confidence, it is valuable ; but the office involves much responsibility. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. . 395 



It is not a sinecm-e by any means : it confers no financial advantage ; 
the honoui' of the office is its only reward. It does not create a 
higher grade of ministerial ' orders ; ' but rests upon a previous 
historical eldership received from Wesley and Coke. For the time 
being, the President is a veritable Bishop (eTrio-KOTros), and does the 
work of visiting the Circuits, and guides the affairs of the Connexion 
over which he is placed. In addition to the duties of the Presidency, 
he is generally the Superintendent of a Circuit, and takes his turn 
with his colleagues in preaching and pastoral labours. An onerous 
position for any man ; no one covets it ; but, when it comes, it is 
cheerfully accepted. My visit to Quorn was in virtue of my office 
as President. But this was only a beginning of such ' journejdngs ; ' 
for on the 23rd instant, I had to be in the Laura Cu'cuit on a very 
difficidt errand. The Rev. D. S. Wylie di-ove me from Gladstone to 
Yarcowie, where I had to meet the Church officers in then- Quarterly 
Meeting. I heard theii' ' tale ' of troubles ; and, ultimately, by 
mutual concession and explanations, I succeeded in making ' peace 
among the brethren.' 

I attended the Church Anniversary in the evening, when I gave, 
extempore, the substance of my lecture on * My Trip to England and 
Back.* We had a very fine meeting. We then drove to Laura, and 
I was kindly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Close. This has been a 
trying day in many respects. 

March 25th. — I was at Kooringa in the interests of the Sunday 
School ; and at the beautiful ' Ser^^.ce of Song ' in the afternoon, I 
read the connective pieces. In the absence of the Rev. Samuel 
Knight, Superintendent, the next day I held the Quarterly Meeting, 
which was easily got through. The usual tea and public meeting 
were held in the evening, and passed off well. I returned home 
on the 27th, and found Mrs. Bickford, considerably improved, down- 
stairs in the parlour. 

March 30th. — I held the Quaiterly Meeting at Woodville. We re- 
ported 240 members; income, £170 7s. Id. ; expenditure, .£148 Is. ; 
balance in hands of Stewards, £22 6s. Id. It was an excellent 
meeting, but it always is the case when the balance is on the right 
side. I had two deputations to-day about the supply for Kangaroo 
Island, and Woodside in the Mount Barker Circuit. 

Ajyril 15th. — I was at Yankalilla in the interests of the Church 
Trust. I preached twice to good congregations. The next morning 



396 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

the Rev. John Watts took me to see some good Wesleyan families — 
the Heathcotes, Duftys and FaiUkners. We went also to see the 
Gorge on the sea-coast, which is finely romantic. I lectured in the 
evening : Messrs. Watts and 0. Lake were present. 

April 17th. — Two young ministers from England came to-day: 
Messrs. W. A. Potts and G. W. Kendrew. The next day we ap- 
pointed them to their stations until next Conference. Dr. Kelynack 
is visiting us upon missionary business. Messrs. Burgess, Stephen- 
son, and I met him in consultation. We shall help him all that we 
can. 

A2}ril 25t?t. [Diary Jotting] — ' I went to Prince Alfred College to receive 
the Governor, Sir W. T. C. Robinson, who was coming to see the Institution. 
About 400 boys were present. His Excellency was much pleased at what he 
saw and heard.' 

April 27th. — I wrote a letter to the Register, re the action of the 
Anglican Synod ignoring our efforts in the Northern Territory. 
How foolish it is for these clerics to shut their eyes to the presence 
of the plainest facts ! But it can make no difference to us, for we 
began evangelistic work at Palmerston before the Anglicans, and 
shall ' hold the fort ' against all odds. 

May Qt7i. [Diary Jotting] — 'lam this day sixty-seven years of age. May 
the good Lord forget me not as my strength shall fail ; but be merciful to 
me to the end. — Amen.' 

May lOth. — I took tea at Mr. T. Hack's, Avith several friends, to 
meet Dr. Kelynack. His lecture came off in the evening. We 
raised £60 for the missions debt. 

Mai/ 24^/i. — I attended the levee : Messrs. Casely, Hunter, 
Stoyell, and I went in together. The Governor was very complaisant 
and nice. Bishop Kennion and I spoke a few words to him. Intro- 
duced the brethren to Sir William. 

May 31st. — I was at Port Piiie on very unpleasant business. 

June 2nd. — Mrs. Bickford had a second attack of paralysis at 
5 o'clock this morning. She is perfectly helpless. 

June Sth. — I met thirteen young men, to form ' The Port Adelaide 
and Alberton Young Men's Christian and Literary Society.' If 
vigorously carried out, this Society will meet a great want which 
has long been felt. 

June llth. — I wrote my dear friend, Mrs. Holder, at the Burra, 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 397 

on Mrs. Bickford's dangerous condition, and requested the prayers of 
my late ' flock ' for her. 

June 14</i. — I wrote a letter to the Register on the subject of 
Immigration, suggesting that the Government should arrange with 
the Orient line of steamers for conveying them from England to 
Port Adelaide instead of coming by sailing vessels. I gave good 
reasons for the change I suggested. 

June 18th. — I attended the Bible Christian Church Anniversary. 
Mr. Mattinson, M.P., in the chair. I gave a guinea for Mrs. Bick- 
ford, as an expi^ession of her loving memory of her brother, John 
Brown Tapp, who, for many years, was an able minister of that 
body. He died in Canada in 1876. 

June 20th. — I went to the Upper Sturt to hold the Quarterly 
Meeting. The Hon. John Carr, M.P., was with me. I lectured in 
the evening. 

Jime 29th. — We held the Quarterly Meeting, The membership 
had risen to 251 ; on trial, 35. Income, £196 7s. lOd. Expendi- 
ture, =£166 7s. lOd Credit balance, £30. 

Juli/ lith. — Bishop Kennion and I travelled from Hamley Bridge 
to Moonta. As we rushed along, we had much conversation on 
EnglLsh Chiu-ch affairs. In the afternoon he and I addressed the 
miners in the carpenters' workshop at the mines. It was rather a 
romantic service. I spent a quiet evening at the Handcocks.' The 
next day I preached at Moonta in aid of the Trust of Yelta Church , 
It was cold, and I felt very uncomfortable all the day. I lectured 
the next evening (Monday) at Moonta, to about 300 persons. The 
financial I'esult was satisfactory. 

Auff. 15th. [Diary Jottins:] — "The " Salvation Army" had a great row to- 
night in Commercial Road, Captain Gibbs and Captain Ross were in deadly 
opposition ; the former proved the stronger party. It was a disgusting exhibi- 
tion of ignorance, irreligiousness, and boisterousness.' 

Aug. lith. — I went as usual to visit our Birkenhead day school, 
and was much pleased with the Bible Lesson : Subject, ' The History 
of David.' About eighty children are in attendance. 

Sept. 2Qth. — In the absence of the Rev. T. Lloyd, the Superin- 
tendent of the Glenelg Circuit, I went thither to hold the Quarterly 
Meeting. Income, £126 Os. 8d. Expenditure was £91 Ss. 9d. 
Members, 171. I was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Scott, 



398 JAMES BICKFORI): AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

/Sept. 28th. — We held the Quarterly Meeting. Members 290 . 
on trial, 68. Income, £197 10s. Id. Expenditure, £177 12«. 6d 
The official returns of our Sunday Schools were : — Teachers, 82 ; 
Children on the Roll, 815. Meeting in class, 57. 

Oct. 9th. [Diary Jotting]—' I held the Monthly Fellowship Meeting of 
all the classes. There was a fine attendance and a good feeling.' 

Oct. 16th. — I left early for the District Meeting. We had two 
cases of dii>cipline, which were a great pain to us. The Financial 
Meeting was held the next day. We had an evening sitting and 
closed the business of the Connexional funds. We sat on the 18th 
and 19th, considering the cases of candidates, probationers, etc., and 
finished our work. This was a distressful District Meeting to me, 
which was only compensated by an unanimous vote of thanks from 
the brethren for my conduct in the chair. 

Oct. 23rd. — I went to Parkside, and purchased a newly erected 
cottage in Young Street, near to the church now in course of erection. 
This has been done in the expectation of my becoming a Super- 
numerary at the next Conference. Mrs. Bickford's enfeebled health, 
and my physical inability to do the pastoral work of a Circuit, 
compel me to take this course. 

Oct. 28th. — I preached at Mount Barker. In the evening the 
Institute was quite filled. The next day I attended the tea and 
public meeting, and spoke fifty minutes with considerable freedom. 
I was the welcome guest of the Hon. J. and Mrs. Dunn.* 

Oct. SOth. — I went over to Woodside, and lectured in the Institute 
on ' My Trip to England and Back.' 

Oct. 31st. — Mr. Wheatley, just from England, preached a good, 
practical sermon at the Semaphore this evening. I shall have every 
confidence in sending him to Mitcham, until the Conference, as second 
preacher in the Unley Circuit. 

N'ov. Ist. — By invitation I attended the laying of the ' Foundation 
Stone ' of the Young Men's Christian Association, and attended the 
banquet in the Town Hall. This good enterprise is launched under 
high auspices, and I hope and pray it may contribute much to the 
advantage of those for whose benefit it has been undertaken. 

* Nothing like the country for a little leisure for reading. To-day, at 
Mr. Dunn's, I read the Revised Edition of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 
right through in the morning. It was a great treat, and I enjoyed it much. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 399 

Nov. 27id. — I read an article in the Nineteenth Century on 
' After Death.' Thank God for the Holy Scriptures, which have 
brought ' Life and Immortality to Light.' 

Nov. 3rd. — I Avent to the Hon. John Colton's to dine. There was 
a select gathering of friends. I saw the dear old Mrs. Colton, and 
conversed and prayed with her. 

Nov. 5th. — I had the pleasure of attending the stone-laying 
ceremony in the rising subui'b of Parkside. We have probably a 
hundred families already settled in the neighbourhood, for whom, as a 
Church, we are only now beginning to provide religious ordinances. 
The Rev. J. B. Stephenson, Superintendent, and the Pirie Street 
Trustees, originated this movement in the most generous spirit. The 
church to be erected will be commodious and elegant ; and in every 
way in keeping with the rising importance and attractiveness of the 
district. The cost, inclusive of site, will be over <£ 5,000. 

Nov. 1th. — We laid the ' Foundation Stone ' of the additions to the 
Semaphore Church, and raised £55. It was an enthusiastic affair. 

Nov. \^th. — We laid the ' Stone ' at Woodvilleof a new church, to 
cost .£1,050. Assets, so far, probably .£532. 

Nov. 27th.— We held the Quarterly Meeting. Income £194 6s. 6d. ; 
expenditure £177 18s. lid. Dr. Mitchell and Mr. George Shorney 
were appointed Circuit Stewards, and Mr. Hack as Representative 
to Conference. 

Dec. 31st. [Diary Jotting] — ' My mind is much afEected this morning with a 
deep sense of the goodness of God to me and my dear partner. '• I will sing of 
mercy and of judgment ; unto Thee, Lord, will I sing." I conducted the 
' Watch Night Service ; ' Messrs. Hounslow, Ottaway, and Eofe took part. We 
had a good attendance and a good time. One young man came up to the 
Communion rails, and weepingly sought salvation.' 

During this year I had, as President, several communications 
with the Eev. John Kilner, of the London Mission House ; the Rev. 
William Lowe, the venerable chairman ; and the Hon. George 
Shenton, M. L. C, Perth (West Australia), on the subject of a 
steady ministerial supply from home for that sparsely populated 
but important colony, at the Committee's expense. Under date, 
February 14th, 1883, the Rev. John Kilner, senior Missionary 
Secretary, thus wrote Mr. Shenton : — 

' We pray that your work may so take root and spread, that you may be 
able readily not only to meet the comparatively small expense of passage and 



400 JAMES BICKFORD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

outfit of the needed reinforcements from England referred to, but to occupy 
new ground until the land is won for Christ.' 

Of this paragraph Mr. Shenton says in a letter to me, May 23rd, 

1883— 

• I forward Mr. Kilner's letter, and j-ou will take notice that he only refers 
to "' passage and outfit," therefore I do not see how they can ask us for the 
college expense. I hope you will speedily hear that they are sending us two 
men.' 

Since then, the South Australian Conference has undertaken to 
supply the Sister Church with ministers, but the District and Circuit 
claims are to fall entirely upon Western Australia itself. This is 
an equitable and final arrangement.* 

1884. 

Jan. 1st. [Diary Jotting] — ' I commenced this year on m^'^ knees in the Port 
Church. Possibly, I may stand aside from the itinerancy after the Conference. 
If so, the wrench, after forty-six years of unremitting service " among my own 
people," will be severe. But Dr. Mitchell says '' that he cannot incur the 
responsibility of not advising a removal of Mrs. Bickford from the Port." God's 
will be done. This removal, at the end of two years, seems to involve my 
becoming a. Supernumerary, But. I shall not be inactive. I will serve 
Methodism in my comparative retirement.' 

Jan. \1th. — The Rev. J. B, Stephenson called to ask me if I would 
accept Parkside as a station in April next, should the Conference 
make me a Supernumerary. My duties would be few, and just what 
my strength permitted. He came in the name of the Circuit Stewards, 
Messrs. Dungey and Colton, to consult me on the matter. I thanked 
him for his kindness in thinking of me. 

Jan. \Qth. — I opened the Conference in Pirie Street Church at 
7 p.m., and, after ' supplications and prayers ' by two or three of the 
brethren, I gave a resume of the work of the year. The Rev. Robert 

* In a letter, dated July 13th, 1883, the Rev. John Kilner, senior Secretary 
of our Foreign Missions, in reply to letters from me urging the continuance of 
the Committee's help to Western Australia, says : ' The Committee cannot 
re-open the question of our relation to the Mission in Western Australia. They 
cannot do anything towards the maintenance of the work there. This is the 
unchangeable conviction of the Committee. Be assured that our sympathy for 
Western Australia, and for other openings Tsithin the area of your Conference, 
is as real and as warm as ever. If we can help you in anything that does not 
mean money grants we shall be glad to do so.' 




FERN WATERFALL. ADELAIDE. 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 401 

Moi'ris Hunter was elected as my successor — a position he has 
earned by his fine character, and wise conduct of all the Circuits in 
which he has travelled. The Rev. W. Lowe, Chairman of the Western 
Australia District, after many years of highly .honourable service in 
Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, was, at 
his own request, made a Supernumerary Minister. 

Jan. l^th. — I examined the four-years' men, Thomas Britton 
Angwin, M.A., and George Edwards Rowe, both of whom were 
received for Ordination to the full work of the Christian Ministry. 
We received six candidates, and two as students in Prince Alfred 
College. 

Jan. 23?yZ. — At Kent Town Church this evening, I gave the 
' charge ' to the newly ordained ministers. It was founded upon 
Acts XX. 17, 28 : 'And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called 
to him the elders of the Church. And when they were come to him, 
he said unto them. . . . Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, 
in which the Holy Ghost hath made yoii bishops, to feed the Church 
of God, which He purchased with His own blood ' (R.V.) The object 
of my ' charge ' was specially to show the undoubted identity of the 
* Elders ' and ' Bishops,' as an ' order ' of ministry in the Apostolic and 
Primitive Churches ; and, that, if the ministerial * succession, as 
shown in the earliest reliable ecclesiastical history, be of any value in 
the argument, then the Branch of the Catholic Church known as the 
Wesleyan Methodist, has a valid ministry derived from Wesley and 
Coke, who were presbyters (' elders) of the Church of England. This 
was the only controversial charge I have given ; it was well listened 
to by a crowded congregation, and the whole Conference of Ministers, 
with evident satisfaction. It was a great relief to me the next 
morning when the Hon. John Carr, M.P., moved : ' That the thanks 
of the Conference be given to the Rev. J. Bickford, the ex- President, 
for his able, practical, and appropriate charge to the young ministers 
who have been received into fall connexion.' I knew that the ground 
over which I had travelled was novel, and, perhaps, a little dangerous ; 



* I designedly disown the misleading phrase, ' Apostolical ' succession, and use 
instead ' Ministerial.' The Apostles, as such, had no successors — no lineage ; in 
the course of nature, they died as do other men ; and, with their deaths, the ' order ' 
ceased. But not so the ministerial succession ; which lives to day, and must 
live on, until this dispensation of grace is closed by the Lord Himself, ' when 
He shall come the second time without sin unto Salvation.' 

26 



402 JAMES JilCKFOIiD: AX AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

but, I have had no reason since to regret the course that I adopted. 
I felt that the time had come for me, as the oldest minister in the 
South Australia Conference, to try, at least, * to stop the mouth of 
every foe ' by justifj'ing our position as a Scriptural Church, having 
a vahd ministry beyond all reasonable assailment. 

The Conference