Main content

Title: Incomplete: [?] [New Brunswick?], to "My very dear Sister",
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileRev. Alexander/17
SenderRev Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender OccupationPresbyterian minister
Sender Religionunknown
OriginSt John, New Brunswick, Canada
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD 1792/E: Deposited by the late Rev. J.C.K. Armour and the Rev. J.S.S. Armour
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N. Ireland
Doc. No.9909292
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 05:10:99.
Word Count1407
TranscriptSt John NB [New Brunswick?]
Wednesday July 2. 1873

My very dear Sister,
I received your long
and very interesting letter on last Saturday
evening the 28th of June. It gave me
great pleasure to find you still able
and willing to write me so fully, although
you regretted want of time to say all
that you intended. Having the past
week, month I had occasioned to write
our mutual friend W Brown, as Secretary
to our mission more than once, and he
may probably have told you something of
our ecclesiastical affairs, as our fathers and
Brethren at home put to their missionaries
here some such searching questions as
could only be answered by a full true
and [c-----?] account of matters and
things in general. We are rather anxious
to know if they valued the information
which they thus sought and [blamed?]
from me and [----?]. The [referral?] of Synods
meeting which has not yet reached us
will doubtless tell something of what
we want to know about such
I was much pleased to have full [reference?]
of the meeting of General Assembly, as you
kindly sent me. The discussion on the
Instrument and music question was most
interesting. The moderator showed a
great deal of wisdom and good
sense in presenting resolutions which
were generally acquiesced in by both
parties. I have heard some of the
opposition say how that "they were
rather self-contradictory and illogical"
No matter they met the requirements
of the case, and showed that when
W.J. was in the chair, 'the right
man was in the right place.' By the
way, I was much pleased with W
Johnston when he visited, as a Deputy,
New Brunswick, a few years ago. I
remember too that the fullest private
reception, excuse this little piece
of egotism, he had in the [-?]! John
was at my house when he spent
a very pleasant evening with the
great and the good of the city.
I may just say in passing that
the friends of Instrumental music
are now in the majority here even amongst
Presbyterians. It was not so a few
years ago, but the desire for union has
led those who once opposed all
innovations to place this music question
with the mint anise & cummin. Already
W Bennet of the Synod of the Lower
Provinces had an harmonium in his
Church, and it is used in public worship.
Whilst the ministers of the [Kirk?]
representing the old Establishment in
Scotland, have had organs for
some time. From the two synods which
these and such like Brethren represent
have resolved on union, and ignored
altogether any allusion to the subject
of music as a ground of controversy
The question will here after be settled
by every congregation doing just as it
pleases. This is one of the many
happy and peaceful consequences
which flow. I speak after the manner
[----?] from what may be regarded
as the idol of the day in the Church
and what many of the excellent ones
in the world call Christian Union
As our dear departed parents used
to say " we live in wonderful times"
Oh! indeed we do, but compared with
the days of old these last days
are remarkable [----?] of old for the
wonderful changes which have come over
the minds of men respecting right and
wrong, wealth and error. Even the best
of men are but children in understanding,
and He who knows the end from the beginning
is doubtless over-ruling all events to haste
the accomplishment of his own pleasure
and purpose."Great is the truth
and it will (at last) prevail."
I have however written more than
enough on this style I must now
pass on to other topics. Indeed there
is so much to say that I scarcely
know what ought to have the
Our Brethren from Nova Scotia
are all in New Brunswick at
present. We had a meeting of
Presbytery yesterday at Barnsville
21 miles from the city. It was
["Dominion?] day" so called in
honour of the confederation of
these provinces
It was outwardly one of the most unpleasant 5
days I we have had or are likely to have
for a long time. With me it was not
a holy day. At six in the morning
I married a young couple, desirous of
finding "that bliss beyond what lonely
life can know". After breakfast I
left at seven for Barnsville taking
in my carriage Rev R. Stewart
and W. Machellan. We got up
to W. Lawson's Church after passing
through a drenching rain at 11 o
clock and found a good many
assembled for public worship. I at
once occupied the pulpit having
been appointed previously to
preach at the opening of the Court
After sermon [Presbytery?] was [constituted?]
and we proceeded with business
which occupied our time till after
three o clock. Then instead of
going with the Brethren as invited
to dinner at Dr. Brady's, & remaining
for a service in the evening, I
had in consequence of other
arrangements, to leave without any
delay on my return home.
After encountering a still more severe storm
then we had in the morning I arrived
back about eight o clock - after
changing wet clothes (for dry ones) I
went according to a previous appointment
to solemnize another marriage, and
concluded the day's work by going
to see a sick child of one of our
members. I had been sent for to visit
during my absence - all this with
some little incidents, which there is
not time to narrate, I only got
through at 11 o clock last night.
Today though I feel a little
wearied. I have however many
little matters to attend to as my
wife is to leave to-morrow on a
visit of some weeks to Nova Scotia.
She accompanies an intimate friend
the widow of out late Dr. (Millar)
Mrs. M. has been delicate since her
excellent husbands death about two
years ago, and requested Margaret
to accompany her. They intend going
first from St. John by steamer to
[Higby?] - thence to [Bren?]river - thence
to Annapolis - Wilmot, Cornwallis,
Halifax, [F----.?] Pictou perhaps
Prince Edwards Island. They intend
to remain at different places whether with
friends or at private boarding
Houses, as may seem desirable
If nothing unforeseen occurs to prevent
they expect to be away till some
time in August, returning home
by rail after making a circular
tour through both provinces.
I have just returned today from attending
the funeral of the Principal
of the High School, [------?]. His death
took place on Monday. it was very
unexpected. He attended the forenoon
Session till 12 o clock, and appeared
in the best of health and spirits -
went home for dinner sat down in a chair
& expired. As a man - as a
teacher and as a christian he was
universally beloved and is universally
regretted. He was Jane's teacher and
she was about the last to speak with him
before he left the school on Monday.
It will not be possible to find any one
to fill his place, in the affections at
least of the pupils, and indeed it is
quite likely that many of the young
ladies which he taught will not return
to their classes again. Public
examinations of all the school are to take place
at the Institute next week before the Summer
vacation, but [W Hart's?] death will have an
extremely depressing influence on all
concerned. I question if Jane will go at all.
W Stewart came down from Barnsville today
and will likewise cross the [B----?] of [F-----?]
to-morrow. W Sommerville [Jim?] & Robert
and his lady, who went up with him are not
expected till to-morrow. Robert has accepted
our invitation, after refusing Call
to Cincinnati Ohio, to go there as the
supply of our people for twelve months
and intends leaving our bounds in the
month of September. He has
lately parted with his dwelling house
the hew house of worship which he
built at Wolfville is still in the
market. There is some debt on it -
The Presbyterians are likely to buy
it - We write home waging for more
labourers, but as our appeals are all
in vain, we have just to look
on quietly and silently
as places are occupied by
others, to which under other circumstances
we would have prior claim -
[last page missing ?]