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- God's Answers - 20/28 -
children; commenced packing of blankets, &c., as we were expecting to make the port soon after breakfast In this, however, we were disappointed, as in Travers's Strait the Mineral Mountains attracted the compass, and a dense fog hiding all headlands retarded our progress, making it necessary to lower one of the boats to take the soundings, and go before the great 'Sardinian,' showing her how to shape her course in the narrow way. A sweet reminder this to us that our Lord was so condescending as to use the possessions of a little lad when He needed the two small fishes. And we take encouragement that many of our little ones are going on before, preparing the way in many a district by their sweet hymns telling of the 'wondrous story,' for the devoted evangelists who are being raised up in Canada to follow with deeper revealings of the blessed Bible, winning precious souls 'till He come.'
"'I am coming! Are you working? Short your serving time will be; Are your talents idle lying? Are you using them for me?'
"Such is the effect of fog at sea, that we are told it may be 6 P.M. ere we arrive, and judging from all appearances, great caution is required in the Gulf at this time of year. At 11 A.M. we had a sweet season of thanksgiving for the many mercies received. At twelve o'clock the fog lifted, and the engine went on with its accustomed vigour. At 5 P.M. we neared the shore, and there stood a group of more than a dozen young ladies, waving a welcome. Soon they were on deck, and saluted us and our children, telling us they had borne us up in prayer before the Lord. After uniting with them in praise for the unspeakable mercies by the way, we bade farewell to passengers, officers, and crew, and sliding down the long gangway from the I bulwarks, felt our feet once more on _terra firma._ Shaking our captain's hand with a grateful heart for all his kindness to us and ours, in a few minutes steam was up, and the 'Sardinian' on her way to Montreal.
"We then went to see the little ones having tea in an adjoining hall, while Mr. Merry was very busy among the agents and luggage. It being announced that the Quebec boat was ready to cross the river, we had to part with our young friends, who told us they should all take a deeper interest than ever in us now they had seen the bright faces Of our children. Front love to Jesus, they had met during the past winter to make clothing, and presented me with a large case to take on.
"After sending our telegrams to each Home, we found the first-class cars ready for our children, so we put every one at full length, and soon all were soundly asleep, and we went on hour after hour.
"Tuesday, May 9.--We arrived at Montreal at ten o'clock, where a most comfortable breakfast was awaiting us, with nice washing accommodation. Here we had the pleasure of meeting the Secretary of the Emigration Department of Ottawa, who kindly gave us some sound counsel on many points bearing upon our work of emigration.
"At eleven o'clock we heard the summons, 'All aboard!' and were soon again on our way. We dined at Prescott, and then still westward we travelled until midnight.
"All was mercy. For Sidney, our little delicate child, we feared the cold night-air would be too much, so the cry went upwards for guidance with regard to this precious orphan, whose story was so touching. A Christian widow had sheltered his mother from the streets when the child was but two weeks old, and had kept him for five years, but now, her failing eyesight rendering her unable to support him, with a breaking heart she gave him up to us. All my desire now our journey was ending was to keep from making one special attachment, yet his delicacy drew us all more than ever to him.
"Owing to a telegram not having been delivered, about midnight one of the trying incidents of this part of our journey unexpectedly occurred. On arriving at Belleville, after awaking our sleeping family, we found neither friend nor conveyance awaiting us. Mr. Merry walked the mile to the Home, and soon our waggon was ready to take back a few of the most exhausted ones, whilst our car was shunted to a siding for the night.
"Wednesday, May 10.--Ere seven o'clock, by help of a large omnibus, we were conveyed to the new Belleville Home, where we met with a warm welcome. It was a day of reunion with loved fellow-workers, talking of the way the Lord had led us, and the trials and joys of the past year. Twelve months ago, I left this Home a mass of ruins and burnt embers; now a new and more efficient one for the purpose is erected on the same spot My beloved friend Miss Bilbrough has indeed had many a burden to bear, but her testimony to the Lord's faithfulness is greater than ever. Her heart is more and more devoted to the children, and to carrying forward the work in all its never-ceasing details.
"After a few hours' sleep, it was so very interesting to walk over our new and conveniently arranged Home. Truly our hearts were filled with praise as we knelt together to thank the Lord. Towards the afternoon I was introduced to a young man who was working as gardener. We had brought him out from England in 1870, and he has ever since given great satisfaction to his employers, has paid back his passage-money, joined the Church, and not long since was married to his late master's daughter.
"In the evening we walked into town, and met with 'Daniel's Band,' which is composed of seventeen Christian young men, who are uniting in prayer and work for the souls of their fellow-townsmen; and through their instrumentality many conversions have taken place, and the churches have been stirred up to greater activity. Mr. Merry gave a clear Gospel address, and another meeting being asked for, a Bible-reading was arranged for the following evening. Thus we had the privilege of witnessing for our blessed Master to about 200, and cheering the hearts of 'Daniel's Band.'
"Thursday, May 11.--Occupied the day writing English letters and receiving friends. Also went to see an aged saint, who had from our first visit to these shores been a helper by her prayers.
"Friday, May 12.--Left Belleville for Galt soon after 6 A.M., taking with us thirty-eight children, and travelling by rail along the shores of Lake Ontario. The morning hours passed quickly _en route_, and as we neared Toronto, towns and villages became more frequent and more attractive. At Berlin an unexpected kindness was shown us. Orders had been given to send us on by special train, so that no delay was experienced in travelling the remaining fourteen miles of our journey. Those who have travelled 3000 miles with a number of children can understand how this was appreciated by us, when every nerve was strained, and nature was yearning for a long sleep free from the shaking of the railway.
"At 5 P.M., on the seventeenth day after leaving London, we reached the end of our journey, and found our farmer-nephew, with his team, awaiting our arrival. Soon we were on the hill, looking at the little Home beyond. As we approached the gates the shout of welcome from more than a score of young voices greeted us, and on the verandah we were received by our loved niece, and the dear friends who have been assisting her in the absence of her parents. The strain of travel now being over, we were able to enjoy a few hours' rest, our hearts full of gratitude for the many mercies which had encompassed us all our journey through.
"'How good is the God we adore, Our faithful, unchangeable Friend Whose love is as great as His power, And knows neither measure nor end.'"
During the winter, individual visitation of the children had been most effectually accomplished by the four Inspectors appointed by the Canadian Government, the result of which proved to be most favourable to the plan of placing the "Solitary in families." After two days rest at Galt, Miss Macpherson started on the same loved work, and met with the usual cheering results.
On her return home Miss Macpherson thus writes:--
"In the providence of our covenant-keeping God, and Father of the fatherless, we have been again permitted in peace to return from another visit to the adopted homes of our little ones. To His praise, who is the Answerer of prayer, we record that 100,000 miles have been travelled in connection with these special charges in the past six years, and no storm or accident has been permitted to alarm, no death requiring the remains to be committed to the great deep.
"During the past year the Dominion Government chose four of their oldest officials to visit all our children, (as their Blue-book records), 'deeming that from their experience they would be best enabled to judge of the condition, position, and prospects of the children in their situations.' The Government are satisfied (as parents of the State), that our children 'are very carefully placed,' bringing out the fact that, ninety-eight out of every 100 are doing well." Miss Macpherson adds:--
"A letter will often show the progress of an industrious young man, and being asked for details, I give the following from a handful of similar encouraging testimonials:--
"MAGNETAWAN, DISTRICT PARRY SOUND, ONTARIO.
"DEAR MISS MACPHERSON,--This is from William Miller--one that came cut under your care three years ago last June. I worked in the town of Galt as a substitute three months, for a man while he went home to his friends in Scotland. After that I went to live in Pelham, in the county of Welland, a situation that Miss Reavell directed me to, and there stayed three years, and saved a little money; and now I have moved to Parry Sound, to the address which you will find at the end of this note. Dear friend, I desire to hear of your welfare in the work that God has put in your hands to do,--in bringing out the destitute ones from England into a land of plenty, and where they can be well cared for. I have seen many of them around the country where I have been, almost all looking well, and enjoying themselves much.
"I now live in the township of Croft. I have 186 acres of land, on the banks of Doe Lake. I think if I had stayed in England I should not have had as many feet. I like England very well, but it is a hard place for the poor. I took 100 acres of this land as free grant, and the rest I bought. It is two miles and a half from the village. There are two stores, post-office, and sawmill; I think a flour-mill will be built this summer. Magnetawan River runs through the village. There are two waterfalls for mill purposes in the village. A day school will commence in the summer, and there is also a church and
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