[From Manxland, 1863]
THE Isle of Man Diocesan Association was formed about twenty years ago, mainly by the exertions of Bishop Bowstead, one of our best-loved bishops. Soon after his translation from this humble see to the diocese of Litchfield, he laid down the pastoral staff with all its cares and responsibilities, and went to rest. But the good work once begun was earnestly pursued by all his successors while they were connected with the island. His predecessor, Bishop Ward, had, with praiseworthy energy, succeeded in renewing the dilapidated parish churches.
The patron of the society in 1839 was his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel Ready. He, too, was removed by death, but Governor Hope and Governor Pigott, in turn, have kindly patronised the Association. Bishop Shirley would, doubtless, have aided this work as well, but he just appeared among us for a few weeks, giving the promise of a bright future to the Manx Church, and was snatched away by death before the promise was fulfilled. While connected with the diocese, Bishops Pepys, Short, and Lord Auckland befriended this mission, and we may well believe that, now their official connexion has ceased, they do not forget this little see, the scene of their apprenticeship, if we may so speak, to the important art of ruling a Church. Our present diocesan, Bishop Powys, shews the interest he takes in the society, by issuing a pastoral letter, suggesting the preaching of sermons annually to advocate its claims in the parish churches. His lordship's personal interest in the work is also indicated by the fact of his accompanying, on foot, one of the curates employed by the Association in a mountainous district of the island, from cottage to cottage, through muddy lanes and pathless bogs, in order to become acquainted with the nature of the work, to judge from his own observation of its results, himself preaching in the little school-house, to the great delight of the rustic congregation.
In the subscription-list we see the names of most of our county families, who have been steady, liberal contributors to the funds from the beginning. Many of the clergy, too, (who ought not to be expected to give a penny,) have not only advocated the cause of Manx Home Missions in their pulpits, begged for it, walked many a weary mile on wet dark nights to preach in remote districts, but they have also contributed a large proportion of their worldly substance, which in this dear little primitive Church of Sodor and Man is never too largely dispensed to its parochial clergy, not even to its highest functionaries.
It might be objected, " This is purely selfish on their part, so far as collecting for and subscribing to the funds go; of course if there is additional help in the parish, there will be less for the vicar to do." Not so, friend,-the vicar who abets and aids diocesan association exertions, does advisedly and disinterestedly make more work for himself. The object of the Association is to establish services in remote parts of the parish ; every additional service is an additional care, and responsibility, and expense, and labour for the vicar.
There is provision made in the Manx Church for fourteen vicars, two rectors, an archdeacon, and a bishop ; also, till within the last ten or twelve years, for one clergyman, called a supernumerary, whose duty it was to take the service for a vicar, if from illness he was unable to take it himself ; the supernumerary regularly served a parish in the interval between the death of a vicar and the appointment of his successor, but no provision was ever made, by the state, for curates to aid the vicars in their weekly routine. A change of pulpits now and then is all the relaxation permitted to the parish vicars. To keep a curate is, in most cases, impracticable, unless with the help of the Pastoral Aid Society. How is it possible for £140 per annum (the average income) to support two men of education with the habits and tastes of gentlemen ? to say nothing of a wife and family; but we need not shock the prejudices of those who have notions about the celibacy of the clergy, their small incomes being the best argument in favour of that dogma.
So, when a Sunday service is established in some mountain pass, many miles from the vicarage, and there is no chaplain, what is entailed on the vicar? Why, to trudge many a Sunday night, wet or dry, moonlight or pitch dark, the more severe the weather, the more needful the ministrations in that far-off hamlet, whose inhabitants, weary with the six days' struggle for their daily bread, are too little disposed to recommence their toil on the seventh, the day of rest, even though it be to obtain nourishment for their immortal souls.
It is seldom that a Manx vicar can afford to keep a horse expressly for his own use ; if he have a horse, it must be one that has been working the glebe the whole week. So he walks to the distant school-house or chapel, after performing two full services in the parish church. We will suppose that he has a wife who has been engaged in the intervals of worship at the Sunday-school; children who have seen their father in the pulpit or reading-desk only, all the day. Funerals, baptisms, ministrations to the sick and the dying, with the preparation of his two discourses for Sunday, have occupied him every day during the past week.
Because a clergyman is a minister of the gospel of Christ, is he therefore exempt from the duties of a Christian parent? of a Christian husband ? Certainly not' and if he hurries from his first social meal, when can he see his children ? It is round the cheerful tea-table that he meets the little troop who are all impressible and ready to take their first and most lasting notions of Christianity as they see it exemplified in their own dearest, best, and, as they think, best-known friend. Now it is that seed should be sown in young hearts, seed that may bring forth in them a hundredfold, the love and energy, faithfulness and diligence, so needed for their father's great work-the bringing of souls to Christ. How much mischief may be done in this seed-time if the pastor, the father, is never seen but hurried, and anxious, and weary-weary with work yet to be done, not with that which is accomplished ; and, being anxious and weary, how natural for the delicate confirmation of the scholar's and the conscientious pastor's mind to become irritable. Let it not be so. Let the parish clergyman have his loving children and beloved helpmate around him to assist him to praise God for himself, not as an official, but as- a man, a Christian ; let him be permitted to enjoy on this blessed day of rest, some little portion of more than rest; let him be able on one evening at least to develop the latent qualities of his children, and after the short clay of childhood has been concluded with family worship, suffer him to enjoy some Christian intellectual converse with his intelligent, happy wife-happy in that she is not the only one who can benefit by his sympathy and counsel on this blessed Sabbath-day. Surely, in this Christian country, it is not the place of the parish clergyman to toil every moment of the Sabbath ; enough if he has well performed the ministrations of the parish church. Young men who have as yet no family ties, or those clergymen who have no parochial duties, seem more suited to go into the outskirts of the parish and teach those who cannot, or think they cannot, come to the parish church to be taught. Such are the men the Diocesan Association would employ.
" The nearer the church the farther from heaven," is perhaps an Italian proverb; but, however applicable it may be in the Papal States, certainly it is not so in this Protestant country. Our experience is, that the peasantry living at great distances from the parish church, and from the clergyman and his family, are exceedingly ignorant, and, in many cases, sadly immoral in their lives ; their ideas on religious subjects are limited and unscriptural. At the same time, the Manx peasantry are of a highly religious temperament, and, like those of Macedonia, waiting to be taught the truth as it is in Jesus, in order to believe, embrace, obey.
Much has been done by Wesleyans to meet this want; but there is still much to do ; and it seems as if the quiet energy, the holy fervour, the humble penitence expressed in our liturgy, were exactly adapted to the wants of such a people; indeed, scarcely anything can be more touching than the devotion of a rustic congregation : the beautiful, grand language of the prayers and chants, the confessions and creeds, deeply felt though imperfectly pronounced, the unskilled but not unmelodious voices of the rustic choir, having not, nor perhaps much needing, the aid of clerk or of organ, but filling the little temple with the rich incense of sincere worship, making it ring again with hearty praise.
The probability of a vicar's not having a horse entirely at his own disposal has been hinted above ; that a curate without private means should possess that luxury is not likely, nor for preaching purposes does he much need one, as the Association for the most part has provided residences near the chapels where curates have been appointed. But another desideratum might be suggested, perhaps for the first time, namely, a missionary horse. Do not smile, dear reader, or smile if you will, but smile approvingly, not derisively. It is not suggested that there should be one horse to go about on messages of mercy throughout the whole diocese of Sodor and Man, (rather a merciless proceeding.) But if some arrangement were made by means of which two or three clergymen might have the use of one horse, kept at the expense of the Association, it would be a great boon conferred on the Church. For with how much more life, and vigour, and cheerfulness can a young man visit his flock, comfort the afflicted, cheer the old, encourage and instruct the young, when he goes into their cottages fresh and elastic, his mind invigorated as well as his body strengthened by the bracing exercise of horsemanship, than when he tramps weary and footsore through our passes of mud in solitude and uncertainty. Those young clergymen who walk any distance in any weather to perform a duty, deserve the indulgence-such lives are worth preserving; and those who, either from bodily ailment or from constitutional want of energy, are almost daunted by the difficulties they have to encounter, need it. How convenient, too, to deposit in saddle-bags the nourishing viands prepared for the sustenance of some poor invalid by the curate's kind housekeeper, or affectionate sister or mother, well pleased to aid their young relative in his work of administering to the wants, temporal as well as spiritual, of the flock committed to his care.
But this " missionary horse " has taken us a long way from our subject, namely, the subscription-list of the Isle of Man Diocesan Association as printed in its reports. We were going to remark that it was gratifying to see so many names on the list, evidently of foreign origin-the names of residents whom we Manx call, I must say, somewhat uncourteously, strangers - names of families who have pitched their tents on our shores, grumbling, it may be, now and then that our winters are not Italian-that our villages have not all the conveniences of London or Paris, but, at the same time, paying us the substantial compliment of living amongst us, spending respectable incomes, giving us the advantage of a refined society, employment for our artisans, and the consumption of our produce, in exchange for a rosy-tinted, clear-eyed, sound-lunged progeny, born amongst our breezes, nourished by our unwatered milk, strengthened by morning rambles over our heath-covered hills and our sandy shores. Yes, many of these " strangers " have beautifully expressed their gratitude to the good Providence that has led them here, by endeavouring to bestow on the inhabitants of these lovely glens where their children used to stroll, where their little girls can safely gather wild flowers, and their boys pursue unmolested the streamlet's course in search of its finny treasures. These have done what they could to bring instruction. to the lonely but on the mountain's side, to the peasant in the deepest glen, and to the fisherman's perilous home beside the wild sea-beach. We regret that comparatively few are the old Manx names-the Kennaughs, and Cubbins, and Corkills, and Shimmons, and Quines, the Cannels, and Craines, and Kewleys, &c., &c., &c. Such are the names that should crowd the columns of the subscription-list of a society that has for its object the bringing of enlightened scriptural instruction-the gospel, in fact-to every cottage, every farm, in every parish of our little island.
What has the Diocesan Association accomplished? It has assisted to maintain educated men, ordained by our bishops to instruct in the truths of the gospel those parishioners, whether rich or poor, farmers or labourers, natives or residents, who live too far from the parish church to walk to it and back again, between their early breakfast and noontide dinner, especially if they take with them their wives and children. And what a pleasant sight is the Sunday family-party; even the little four-year-old proud to take "father's" hand on Sunday, to sit on his knee in church, or kneel beside him trying to read off his Prayer-book, at least to find out " Our Father" by the great red " O."
The Association also has built several parsonages, so placing clergymen and their families in the midst of thinly-peopled districts distant from the more advanced civilisation. Intelligent, cultivated Christian men, women, and children, if indeed " living epistles," must prove. a powerful accessory to the Sabbath ministrations.
In order to understand and appreciate, in even a very small degree, the operations of the Diocesan Association, it will be necessary to make at least an imaginary excursion through the diocese : if the reader would take horse and make the tour in reality, he would be well rewarded for his trouble. However, that not being practicable in every case, we shall give what help we can towards the supposed tour, by means of the pen and the pencil.
As everybody at all interested in the Isle of Man is likely to know Douglas, we make that town our starting point.
After a stroll on Douglas Sands, revelling in the exquisite beauties of the crescent shore and bay, bounded by Douglas Head on the south, and Banks's Howe on the north, we ascend Kirk Onchan or Concan Hill; but we must not loiter in the village, nor by the pretty church and vicarage, nor must we let the elegant public gardens tempt us to rest amid their gay flowers. We must quicken our pace till we enter the hilly parish of Kirk Lonan. Nor yet here do we linger till we reach Laxey, one of our mission stations, a place rife with interest for various reasons. In the days of our grandfathers the village consisted of a few cottages, clustered on each bank of the river Laxa, where it fell into the beautiful little bay of the same name: a few were perched on the brows that overhung the sea, and one or two skirted the steep roadside. But the cottages were principally inhabited by fishermen. It is probable, from the recent discovery of an old pier buried deep in the debris washed down by the river, that at one time Laxey had some commercial importance, as piers have not always been easy to procure for places of more consideration than Laxey is, even at the present moment. However, it is certain that whatever facilities Laxey might have had for intercourse with other places by sea, it had none by land.
The village was divided into by means of two perpendicular roads, one south from Douglas, and the other north from Ramsey, hanging over the sea. On these roads poor horses dragged laboriously up, perilously down, heavy vehicles, seldom burdened with living loads, for few even of the fair sex world ride up or down " Laxey Hill."
A beautiful glen is formed by a deep and winding stream, fed by many a rill from the grand amphitheatre of mountains that tower above the few little habitations sprinkled on its banks, looking more diminutive and mean from their vicinity to our highest mountain-range Indeed, from the high downs of the Leargagh, the thatched white cottages looked like sheep on the broad sides of Snafel. Each tiny rill, as it tumbled from a mountain-spring, made a little neighbourhood for itself of moss and rushes, till, as it approached the bed of the river, it became a thorn-clad and willow-planted glen, diverging here and there, streaking the russet of Snafel with a softer green.
Few sounds could be heard but the wild bird's scream or the baaing of the sheep ; for noiselessly the ploughman and the patient beast trod the rare level spots, and yet more quietly the grain was sown. In the morning and evening the milk-maid's song might be beard; or when the quickly-ripening grass or corn demanded many hands to make quick work, and half the damsels of the parish united in the shearing-time to get in the harvest, the air would ring with the merry laugh, the whetting of the scythe or the sickle. Then indeed the solitary places were made glad, and the glens were instinct with life. But when the mheilleas* were all taken, and the land all ploughed, and the seed all sown, no more life would be heard, unless you entered the cottage-door; then you might hear the humming wheel turned by the foot of the thrifty housewife, or the click of the weaver's shuttle, for the loom was then a necessary part of every farming establishment; or if you approached the shore you might hear the yaw-haw of the fisherman, as he was hauling his nets, rise above the roar of the waves as they dashed on the steeply-descending beach.
Far, far away might be seen the tower of Kirk Lonan, hopelessly far from the people in the glen or on the beach. Many a parishioner had never been in the church except when taken to be christened, and haply when a boy to be confirmed in his early manhood he went there with his young bride to be married, there he took his child to be christened, thither he followed his father when carried to the grave, and there he himself expected to be laid in a ripe old age ; but as to weekly visits to the parish church, that was not to be thought of. The good vicar would visit him in his cottage-home, however remote, at stated intervals, besides on occasions when he was sent for on the sickness, perhaps death, of some loved one, a parent, a child, or a wife ; but for these visits, and the prayer-meetings and exhortations in a good neighbour's barn or kitchen, no more of the gospel would this mountaineer know than if he were a colonist of Labrador, where the gospel is only preached once in some years, when one missionary traverses a parish of five hundred miles in extent, and baptizes whole families at once, even though the vicar of Lonan might have been the holiest, the most eloquent, the most revered of Mona's clergy.
And no blame to our parochial system for this state of things. The things of the world have changed ; the parochial system remains the same, too closely intertwined with the very vitals of our constitution to be changed, but quite capable of being ameliorated.
The Episcopal Established Church of England in the Isle of Man is now in a position to do that for herself which John Wesley and his followers endeavoured to do for her a hundred years ago. There exist now, fervour and piety and zeal and evangelical teaching largely among our clergy, and they only want that help from the laity which it is especially the province of the laity to give, namely, funds, in order to enable them to bring the gospel, the purifying, saving teaching of the Bible, to every house in every parish; in fact, literally to follow the example of the allegorical master of the feast, who sent out his servants to the highways and hedges with invitations, that his house might be furnished with guests.
But to return to Laxey. Things there are changed indeed. An unusual substance found one day by an observing and communicative labourer, while turning up the soil in the parish of Lonan, has changed the whole scene pictorially and morally. Farming and fishing are not now the only occupations; engineers, machinists, miners, from other lands, are congregated here; not only on the beach, or in the village that clustered round the little wayside inn at the foot of the hill, but still further away from church or meeting-house, deep in the wildest, remotest part of the glen. No longer does the precipitous road appal the traveller, or half-kill the poor breathless horse : a noble viaduct now carries the road across a deep ravine. This new road, splendid, with high mountains frowning on one side, and the lonely valley smiling invitingly on the other, takes you right round the glen, at the top of which is the great Mona wheel, we are told, the largest in the world, affecting much mysterious machinery. Hundreds of men are employed above ground washing the ore, &c. ; while hundreds more are toiling below in the treasures of the earth's crust.
These toilers have for the most part wives and children ; these are the tenants of the well-built white cottages thickly dotting the roadside and the glen. Some houses, evidently the habitations, or fit to be the habitations, of a wealthier population, have been recently built. The mansion of the captain of the mines bears the stamp of comfort and elegance. A neat school-house had been erected for many years ; there was also a Wesleyan chapel; and there was an annual grant from the Association for the maintenance of worship in the school-house,-but it was not until the year 1856 that a chapel was erected, chiefly by the exertions of G. W. Dumbell, Esq., for the benefit of the miners, and a chaplain appointed to the district. This chapel is singular in beauty, placed on a tiny platform in the nave of the grand chain of high mountains surrounding it, and close to the " Great Wheel," the little spire seems to point to the awed traveller and the tired labourer alike, saying, " There is something beyond all this, something superior even to these beauties, this grandeur ; something more important than these busy, clever contrivances of man to procure earthly treasure-as the little hymn of our child hood says, ` There is beyond the sky a heaven.' Look up, miner, there is the real treasure; you need not toil early and late, night and day; you need not shut yourself out from home, and wife, and children for ever ; come under my sheltering roof; here, in prayer, you will have your spirit led towards Him who keeps you safe amid your daily, nightly, hourly perils, and no common perils are the miner's. Here God's minister will point out to you, you, poor sin-stained, self-convicted soul, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. Here your wife and little ones may one day in the week see your manly countenance freed from the traces, of labour, and with you they may thank God that you are all spared to be together after the dangers of another week. Here your little ones will be taught to make their father's God the guide of their youth ; they shall not have the anguish of repentance for a youth spent in sin and forgetfulness of their Maker.
"Ascend, traveller; but mount higher than Snafel that towers above you. True, there is a spring on the mountain's top, pure as the snow-flake that sometimes rests on its brow, cool as the winter's breath, bright as the treasure of Golconda, refreshing to the thirsty traveller as the sight of one he loves. But you need not pant up the mountain's rugged side to obtain a still more refreshing draught, if your soul thirst for the living water, `whereof if a man drink he shall never more thirst' after the impurities of earthly streams. Enter my portal; rest here a while ; read, or listen to some holy word from the Holy Book, and your soul shall be satisfied." Yes; if ever a building spoke to the spirit of a man, thus speaks the little chapel of Laxey Glen.
We pass on northwards over the splendid new road to Ramsey, and before reaching the parish church of Manghold [sic Maughold] we arrive at a small chapel and parsonage near the roadside. This is Christ Church, in the district of the Dhoon, so called from a deep, dark, wild little stream that dashes through a rocky glen in its course towards the sea. There is no great show of population in this neighbourhood, but doubtless there are many little cabins nestling under the beetling rocks, or low in the shady valley, inhabited by precious souls. A school-house had been erected many years ago nearer to the glen, mainly by the exertions of A. Oswald, Esq., and the interesting daughter of his tenant, Dr Noakes, residing at the Rennie. Miss Noakes herself taught the children gathered in the school-house; and the Association provided a service there. In 1855, the chapel, so generously built in what was considered a better situation, and partially endowed by the family of the late Christopher Saltmarsh, Esq., was consecrated, and a chaplain appointed by the Association, with an annual grant of £30 towards the salary.
With the aid of farther liberality from the Saltmarsh family, the Association has provided this district with a residence for the clergyman, for little avail the Sunday services to the Manx peasant if there is not some one to go from cottage to cottage during the week, inviting the shy cotters to church, making acquaintance with the children, inducing them to attend the Sundayschool, sympathising with their joys and sorrows. If there be a lady at the parsonage so much the better; she will take the comfortable garment to the aged or the delicate; nourishment to the sick, when required. Children are sure to create a sympathy between the pastor and his flock ; for they too have little ones, and nothing calls forth more genial feelings than a common interest. All the members of a large family have become regular attendants at church from the simple fact of the parson's child having measles at the same time as the children of a farmer ; a mutual interest was excited in the families for their respective children. Kindnesses were interchanged, and a grateful appreciation of the clergyman's Sunday ministrations was the consequence.
The pretty town of Ramsey must not detain us, as here is no trace of the Association's benefactions excepting a grant of 150 towards the new parsonage, unless it has assisted in renewing and preserving the dear old chapel on the hill, so beautifully placed out of the town's din, for the withdrawal of the weary or the heartsore to join in prayer and praise.
Leaving Ramsey by the Lezayre road, we pass the Kirk Christ and its picturesque vicarage. In this parish, and about midway between the church and Bishop's Court, is Sulby Glen, the fairest, broadest, most fertile glen of this rugged little island of ours. Through it winds the broadest of our streams, nay, before it reaches Ramsey Bay it may almost justly claim its designation of Sulby river, for so it is called by those who have not floated on the Mersey or the Thames ; and boats have sailed on its bosom carrying from Ramsey, if not bales of India's stores, and cargoes of England's manufactures, yet bearing precious freights of the pleasure-bound fair ones of the northern metropolis. The stream and the road wind round the base of green hills, some sown with corn to its very edge, while here and there a little tributary rill dashes through and over masses of gray rock that protrude through the rich verdure, making a dark seam in the mountain-side with its fringe of foliage; for those little accessory glens are delicious in their minute beauty. Nature's richest colours are lavished on them: they glow with tufts of purple heath; gorgeous bushes of yellow gorse ; bunches of harebells of heavenly blue wave their delicate stems to every breeze ; crimson fox-glove raises its proud, high head above the bright, green, plumy ferns. The rock is painted with golden lichens or emerald mosses ; ivy is sometimes clinging to the rock, sometimes drooping from the trees that find a scanty footing for themselves on the steep sides of the ravine, all lovingly decking the sweet gush of water whence all their freshness comes.
The main glen extends more than five miles from the high road, and for three miles you may drive ; it then becomes impracticable for a carriage; but you enter the mountain-gate, and are in sight of two miniature places of worship-one a Wesleyan chapel, the other a little church supplied by the Diocesan Association.
One wonders where a congregation can come from in this lonely place, for, with the exception of the mills at the entrance of the glen, not half-a-dozen dwellings are visible ; but the many little paths on the hill-sides indicate that cottages are scattered behind the hills, whose inhabitants make tracks into the glen as the great highway to Ramsey, or to the parish church of Kirk Christ Lezayre. But what a distance is the parish church ' Well, it is pleasant to know these poor mountaineers have the opportunity of hearing the gospel preached without taking that long journey. But the little chapel in the glen and its mountain congregation form but a small proportion of the Sulby chaplain's charge. In the treat and populous village through which the Ramsey road passes is a much larger building, consisting of chapel and school-house, close to the roadside. Here it is not so much the cotter or labourer that is the pastor's care as the wealthier farmer and his numerous household, and the English resident in some villa-like dwelling, of which there are so many scattered along the roads of Lezayre, as well as Kirk Michael, Ballaugh, and Andreas.
The population of this neighbourhood has been much increased since the erection of the starch mill and cloth mills, attracting many families who find there an employment that affords a variety from the incessant field work, ordinarily the sole occupation in our rural districts.
The liberality of the late vicar, the Rev. W. Christian, has provided this village with a neat residence for the chaplain. The Diocesan Association has long been the benefactor of Sulby by making an annual grant of 160 for its chaplain, and in assisting somewhat in the erection of the parsonage.
Our road to Peel takes us through Ballaugh and Kirk Michael, but we must not be tempted to linger here, where we do not find anything relating to the Association ; although it may be interesting to visitors from Manchester to know that Ballaugh was for many years the scene of the labours of the late Rev. Hugh Stowell -its rector and Canon Stowell's father.
The beautiful little chapel close to the rectory is a restoration of the old parish church. Neither must we allow the beauties of Kirk Michael to detain us, much as there is to interest the traveller in the bishop's palace, in Bishop Wilson's tomb-stone, and the new church, with the old churchyard, rich in Runic monuments ; for here is no Home Mission station.
In the parish of Germain are two stations assisted by the Diocesan Association. As the traveller ascends Craig Willisill, he sees, perched on its summit, the little chapel of Cronk-y-voddee (dedicated to St John the Evangelist) and its neat parsonage, one of the many generous gifts to our island from Mrs Cecil Hall, the late archdeacon's widow-a lady who seems never weary of contributing to the good of Mona. The Diocesan Association has aided in the erection of the parsonage, and in a grant to the chaplain.
The exceedingly beautiful chapel of St John the Baptist and its singularly interesting neighbour, the Tynwald hill, invite us to stay a while and study them both. The one merits attention by the good style of its architecture, and an ecclesiastical propriety of its accessories that is rarely met with in our Manx churches ; the other, from its being the sole relic (as we understand) of the old Saxon Wittenagemote, (meeting of the wise men,) or most primitive of parliaments. Here the Lieutenant-Governor of the island meets the council and the twenty-four keys, (as, oddly enough, the Manx legislators are called,) the clergy, and the gentlemen of the bar. .
The Tynwald mount is composed of sods brought from every parish in the island. It is a series of cir cular terraces or broad steps. These steps are annually strown with green rushes, on which stand the keys, clergy, and Manx bar, and a guard of soldiers around the Governor and Bishop, who have chairs of state on the highest platform, under a temporary awning. The whole cortege assemble first in the chapel, where divine service is performed by the Government chaplain; then an avenue is formed by the soldiers from the chapel to the mount, a distance of about a hundred yards, and his Excellency, followed by the two deemsters, (or judges,) the twenty-four members of the House of Keys, the clergy, barristers, &c., walks through the double file of soldiers to the mount. The new laws are read in, English and in Manx, proclamations made, new coroners sworn in, &c. The Governor and some officials return to the chapel to sign certain documents, and the business of the day is over. But not the pleasures. This is for many scattered families and friends the happy meeting-day looked forward to for months. The neighbouring glens of Renass, Glen Moij, and the ruins of Peel Castle, present a gay scene on the 5th of July.
We must not leave the reader to suppose that this annual ceremony is the only use to which St John's chapel is devoted. By no means: this is the most central place of worship for the numerous inhabitants of the outskirts of the parishes of Kirk Patrick, Kirk Marown, and Kirk German, supplying the means of Sabbath worship, besides constant ministerial attention to a large population distant from any parish church. So St John's had a claim on the Diocesan Association, responded to by the erection of a residence for the chaplain, and a small annual grant.
To reach the parish of Patrick, where Dalby, our next mission-station, is situated, it is not absolutely necessary to go through Peel; but this little town is so very interesting, that we are tempted to take it on our way. St Peter's, the parish church of Germain, unlike any other parish church in the Isle of Man, stands right in the middle of the town. From this circumstance, we might infer that the ancient inhabitants of Germain were much devoted to the observance of public worship, as it would appear that they planted their dwellings around the church, and so congregated into a town. It is a pity to destroy a theory so favourable to the old parishioners' character for piety; but another cause might be assumed-the vicinity of Peel Holme, or, as it is commonly called, Peel Castle, with its fortress, palace, and cathedral-sometimes the court of the powerful Stanleys. May we not imagine that the poor fishermen would be glad to cluster beneath the sheltering towers of Peel Castle. But we must hasten to our next station without waiting for the loveliest of sunsets on one of the finest of bays. Dalby, or Dawby, as it is called in "Feltham's Tour," and by the present inhabitants, is a long five miles from Peel; but the drive is so beautiful, that a lover of the picturesque would hardly wish to shorten it. This road passes Kirk Patrick church and its sequestered vicarage, the pretty seats of Glenfabar, Ballacosnahan, Gordon, and Raby, whose well-planted and highly-cultivated lands line the road on each side for some miles before you enter the romantic region of Dalby, forming a contrast to the wildness of its scenery. When you have gained the last ascent, and have turned the abrupt angle that placed you exactly vis-à-vis with all that you had passed, again the road winds, and a smiling valley at the base of a range of mountains bursts on the view; numerous little mountain-roads seem to converge in this valley, and many little streams pour from the mountain-sides, rushing till they reach some level field, where they gently glide by the cottage garden, or the little corn-mill, or the well-stocked farm. On the more level part of the road, where are clustered some well-built and snugly-thatched cottages, together with some nice-looking houses of a better sort, is a spacious, long building, including the school-house, master's house, and chapel.
That part exclusively devoted to worship is the end facing the high road, and is distinguished by various queer pinnacles ; within, it is separated from the part devoted to teaching, by sliding doors, which are opened to afford larger accommodation for the Sunday service. Not far from the chapel is a very pretty parsonage at the head of the road that leads to the Niarbil-a rocky point running some distance into the sea, and looking at low tide like a very irregularly-constructed pier. But when the tide is high, this rock is concealed, and often proves dangerous to ships driven by the storm into what seems a friendly haven. From the road, as it approaches the sea, you might jump down on the roofs of a row of thatched cottages that must be often washed by the waves.
The Niarbil seems to divide into two the splendid bay, encircled by the fine outline of hills, terminated on the south by the Calf, and on the north, by Peel Castle Island.
A few miles inland, in the hollows of South Barrule, within the shadow of ` Crouk ny irre lhaa,' (the hill of the risen day,) are farms employing many labourers. There is Glen Rushen, of goblin fame, where are mines worked by some scores of men, whose lives are spent in labours dangerous as that of their neighbouring fishermen. For these we plead that the solace of a Christian minister and Christian worship may not be taken from them. The nearest parish churches to this important locality are Kirk Patrick in the north, and Kirk Arbory in the south; their own parish church is five miles from the chapel. Surely, then, a chapel, chaplain, and residence, are not ill bestowed on this little promontory; and such the Association has given.
We must now guide our steps, or our steed, warily across the mountain path till we reach the high road between Peel and Castletown.
About midway on this road, we find the Foxdale mines. Foxdale (folks' dale) takes its name from the tradition that this hollow between Sleawhallin (the lion's bill) and Barrule was tenanted by the " Good Folks," as our forefathers amiably called the fairies. The village is on the confines of Patrick and Malew. The fairies, have given place to the magic of science. Steam-engines are puffing, wheels are turning, wagons laden with ore, drawn by invisible horses, running along the tram-roads. Great fires are roaring - a goblin scene it presents to the traveller over the mountain on a dark night, nothing visible but what is discovered by the lurid light of the watch-fires at the shafts.
Besides the compact little village built of granite fit to construct a fortress, many is the little turf but perched on the mountain-brow, or crouching beside the little stream which, collected from a hundred rills that trickle among the ling and the gorse-roots, flows at last safely downwards, forming for itself a grassy bed, quite an oasis in this bleak, sterile mountain height. These little huts are formed of no stabler material than the peat which the farmers and cotters strip off the moun tainside for their winter's fuel. The mines attract a large population, consisting not only of the miners themselves and their families, but of those who supply their wants, for being so far from a town or other village they must be sufficient to themselves for their provisions, &c.
There are also the overseers and their families; and it is to the credit of the gentlemen connected with the mines that they so interest themselves in the moral and intellectual welfare of their people that usually the Foxdale school is the best supplied with teachers and teaching apparatus of any country-school in the island. They have good masters ; and besides, the superior officers of the mines use their mental powers for the benefit of those who risk their lives, and spend their strength in bodily labour.
A resident curate is appointed to this important district, and the school-house is licensed for preaching, but there is neither a chapel nor a residence. These the Association would provide had it funds ; for though it should be considered a great blessing to have divine service on the Sabbath wherever it is performed, still. it is a greater boon to have public worship with suitable surroundings ; at least free from secular associations.
Children especially must find it difficult to dissociate the scroll of the creed hung on the wall on Sundays from the map of England which occupies that place all the rest of the week ; and the " Ten Commandments," that forms a pendant to it, is likely to remind them of the "black board," and the last puzzling sum they saw on it. Where attempts are made to refine the rustic psalmody by the introduction of a harmonium, ten to one, that urchin who is bawling at the top of his voice the time and hymn he knows so well is considering whether the marble he lost on Friday has rolled under the big thing with the music in it.
As an example of the confusion of ideas likely to be produced by using the same place for secular and for sacred purposes may be cited a little incident that occurred in this same school-house of Foxdale, and related to the writer by a young lady who witnessed it :
A ventriloquist wished to try his powers of entertaining a rustic audience, and for this purpose begged the school-room for one night. Permission was given, and the performance duly advertised. The ventriloquist arrived, accompanied by a band of musicians. He arranged his slight apparatus in that part of the room where the reading-desk usually stood ; the benches were placed as for Sunday service. Not many of the miners have yet arrived, but a few of the gentry, whose patronage had been solicited, are already there, some of the school-children, an artisan or two, several country girls sent by their mistresses for an evening's innocent mirth, when an old woman, attracted by the lights in the school-house windows, and associating with the building but two ideas, school on weekdays and church on Sundays, enters, and, conscious or not of what was going on, (for the ventriloquist had commenced,) perhaps from sheer habit, drops on her knees. Either her devotion was deep or her perceptions dull, for the good woman did not attempt to rise till a neighbour pulled her up with his strong arm. Of course a spirit of devotional seriousness could do no harm anywhere or at any time, but it is to be feared that the next Sunday the old lady came to the schoolhouse this circumstance might run in her mind, and rather disturb her devotions.
From Foxdale runs a little stream that ceases not in its pleasant and useful task of turning mills, making a home for trout, clothing with lovely green many a patch of ground on its way to Castletown Bay, passing by humble cot, and well-stocked farm, and ancient abbey, and as its last and crowning work, forming a moat to Castle Rushen. But, instead of following the Silverburn in its course to the town we see so clearly defined on the glassy sea, we are arrested by the beauty and singu lar primitiveness of the little village of Grenaby. Here we make acquaintance with the good-natured-looking miller. He talks to us of the young parson, and the school, and the schoolmaster; "and need enough there 's for him," (the parson,) he says, " for the people are terrible for not going to church." The busy corn-mill is impelled by no other force than the impetuous little stream that foams over the queer black wheel, the whole forming an object picturesque and useful, for the mill not only supplies the neighbourhood with flour and meal, but employs many of the villagers or people of the hamlet, for so should we call the few houses clustered at the foot of the hill. But as we ascend we see the smoke of many a fire kindled for the twelve o'clock dinner rise out of the hollow in which a cottage is hid; and many a stack-yard, prominent where the farmhouse is scarcely seen, informs you that Grenaby has a considerable population scattered over Mount Barrule.
There must be at least fifty families in this district, some of them as far as six miles from their parish church, Malew, and these six miles not of good high road, but over mere by-roads or mountain paths, bad enough in summer, and in winter impassable. We well know that there needs more zeal than is usual amongst our peasantry, or indeed among any but very earnest Christians, whatever might be their position, to induce people to walk six miles over rugged, dirty roads to church on the day of rest.
There is a good schoolhouse at Grenaby, and a good master, who usually attends the parish church himself, and occasionally brings a portion of his little flock along with him. But there are many in Grenaby who never go to church, and who could have no church instruction but that the worthy vicar visits the sick and the aged in their own homes. These visits, however, cannot be frequent, as the distance is great from his house to these remote parts of the parish.
A good old man, a Wesleyan, has endeavoured to keep alive religious feeling among these mountaineers by holding a prayer-meeting every Sunday morning in the kitchen of a large farm-house, sometimes giving the little assembly an exhortation. This surely is a field for the labours of a house missionary. The Diocesan Association has in some measure considered the wants of Grenaby ; the schoolhouse has been licensed for worship, and a grant of £30 per annum voted. But as this sum is inadequate to the entire support of a clergyman, only a proportion of his time can be devoted to the work; while a resident clergyman would greatly strengthen the influence already attained in no small degree by the Sunday teaching and the occasional visits of the curate. As an instance of the influence already gained, may be mentioned that the managers of the Wesleyan Sunday school (a very large one for the locality) have lately handed it over entire to the "young parson," and the former teachers and supporters of the school have cordially come forward to assist him in carrying it on.
Now we resume our ramble by the Silverburn, and it leads us through the old village of Ballasalla, where the curate of Malew, in addition to the Sunday-morning service at Grenaby and his ministrations in the parish church, gives a lecture in the schoolhouse every Wednesday night, besides doing much i11 other ways for the welfare, moral, intellectual, and temporal, of the villagers. We follow its course to Castletown. There is nothing for the Association to do here, the Government chapel and chaplain being quite adequate to the wants of the church-going population of Castletown. So we are tempted to follow the example of the pretty stream that has been our guide so long, and (taking boat) go out to sea.
Steering southwards, we soon arrive at Port St Mary, in the parish of Kirk Christ Rushen. This is a superior village, almost a town, with a good deal of business going on in it, especially in the herring season. E. Gawne, Esq., a gentleman beneficent as he is wealthy, and owning much of the neighbouring property, has contributed so liberally to the funds of the Diocesan Association, that its committee have been able to afford considerable aid towards providing this village with a clergyman.
It is a pity not to pursue our voyage round the magnificent cliffs of Spanish Head, to thread the little strait between the interesting islet of the Calf and the Island, till we reach Port Erin Bay, that lies so prettily in the hollow between the two heads, Spanish Head and Brada ; but we take a short cut across the promontory, and are soon at the village of Port Erin or Port Iron. The shore rises in terraces, on which are scattered little cottages. On the highest platform, commanding a fine view of the lovely bay and the bold scenery surrounding it, stands an excellent hotel. The principal occupation of the inhabitants is fishing and reining ; for here, as at Laxey, the most romantic scenery is connected with the hardest of labours. The church is not far off, and the neighbourhood not populous; but it is probable that here, as at most other places of the kind, an evening service in a small chapel would be an inducement to the fisherman and the miner to devote a greater portion of the day of rest to the worship of their Maker.
If we take the old Castletown road to Douglas, we pass Oak Hill, the beautiful residence of R. Crossfield, Esq., and are attracted by the very pretty little chapel near its gate. This little chapel is, or would be, one of our diocesan stations, had the society sufficient funds. But we must go back a little in the history of this building. An excellent lady, who owned and resided at Oak Hill some years ago, highly valuing the privilege of a gospel ministry herself, and knowing the difficulty of getting more than once to the parish church of Bradden on the Sabbath-day, even with the convenience of a carriage, felt for her neighbours, and fitted up her barn with reading-desk and benches, invited some of her clerical acquaintances to conduct a service there occasionally on the Sunday afternoon and regularly every alternate Wednesday evening. These services were carried on for a long time, performed sometimes by Douglas clergy, sometimes by the vicar. For a short time, when the vicar had a curate, the Association gave £15 for these services ; but that was soon withdrawn for want of funds. Still the indefatigable vicar of Bradden endeavoured to keep them up himself, and succeeded for some time. However, no one with the vast amount of duty that devolves on the vicar of Bradden could accomplish so much, and gradually the Sunday service was dropped.
In the mean time the revered and beloved proprietress of Oak Hill was removed from her various walks of usefulness. Some time before her death, she freed herself from many earthly cares by selling Oak Hill, but not unheedfull of the welfare of her beloved neighbourhood. The gentleman who made the purchase acceded to her wish that the barn should be retained for public worship until a place equally suitable was provided, and for some time things went on as usual. Not long after Oak Hill had changed its proprietor, a small plot of ground close to the gate was for sale. The owner of Oak Hill purchased the ground. Many of the neighbours heartily united with Mr Crossfield in raising a substitute for the barn on this better site ; and in an amazingly short time, under his vigilant superintendence, a perfectly neat little building was erected. It was licensed for worship by Bishop Powys, and the week-night service is still performed ; but, until a regular and sufficient income is raised, the Sunday service is wanting.
We are again at Douglas, and the Association leaves traces in a grant towards building St Barnabas's parsonage. At the earnest suggestion of the late Rev. Robert Brown, vicar of Bradden, once chaplain of St Matthew's, the oldest chapel in Douglas, the Association insured a Manx service to the old townspeople of Douglas, by voting a grant of £30 per annum to the chaplain for this especial service. At one time the Association assisted to provide a Sunday service in the hulk of an old man-of war presented by Earl Grey to the island. It was neatly fitted up as a church, and called the "Mariners' Chapel;" but failing in its object of attracting a congregation of seamen, though the harbour was full of boats, the service was given up.
In the parish of Bradden, about two miles from Douglas, there is an establishment for the manufacture of sail-cloth at Tramode. This factory employs a large number of men, women, and children, whose pretty cottage-homes, and the extensive buildings where the work is carried on, form a tolerably-sized village, pleasantly situated near the river that winds through this beautiful vale. The factory is under the direction of its owner, William Moore, Esq., residing near in an elegant villa. This gentleman, of large property and liberal mind, takes every means to improve the condition of those employed by him; not only by giving; them good wages, constant work, and comfortable dwellings, but also by providing for their moral, intellectual, and spiritual good. There is a good school for the children, and lectures and other intellectual amusements for parents and children. In order to promote a reverence for divine things, he has built a beautiful little chapel, and provides the services of a clergyman for the benefit of his people.
We seem to be fond of tracing the course of rivers ; and if we walk along the banks of the stream which helps to make canvas at Tramode, we shall arrive at Baldwin, some five miles further from Douglas. Our object is to reach St Luke's Chapel; but the scenery here is so bewitching, that it is difficult to tear one's-self from the delicious nooks by the water's edge, although we know that still greater beauty awaits us at every step. Here, however, is the chapel, supplied with a curate by the Association. A house for the chaplain of St Luke's has long been a desideratum with the committee; but in this, as in so many other cases, its wishes are limited by its finances.
We have now taken the reader over the ground of our Manx Home Mission stations not one has been omitted, we believe; and, even through the imperfect glimpses he has obtained, we trust enough has been seen to awaken his interest.
That an Association, with such aims, such objects, and such necessities, should be cramped in its work by the want of a few hundred pounds that could be so easily spared by many, is a subject for regret. If every individual that has the privilege of the gospel at his own door would lay by a small portion of his money to procure the like blessing for his countrymen, (some of them as little disposed as the heathen to bring it to themselves, some as unable,) a large sum might be added to the treasury of our Home Mission. And would there not be a rich return to the contributor, every Sunday, in the pleasant thought, that many a cottager was, like himself, enjoying the Sabbath in Christian worship, who, were it not for the exertions of this Society, would be lounging about in the fields, or lying in bed, or, horrible to tell, besotting himself the live-long day in the ale-house, wasting the greater part of his week's earnings, his health, his time, his soul's life.*
If anything is to be gained by the regular performance of divine service on the Sabbath; if it accords with experience that the weekly recurrence of public worship and scriptural teaching has a humanising, civilising, moralising, spiritualising effect on a community, (and it does accord with experience;) why, in the name of humanity, common sense, and charity, is it not the desire of every Manxman's, nay, every resident's, heart to provide this blessing for our countrymen ?
It is the daily complaint of ladies that they cannot get good servants. " We want to find," they say, "honest, innocent country girls, such as our mothers and grandmothers used to keep in their service for years and years, till they died or were married; but now, even in the mountains, their heads are full of finery and nonsense; they waste our time and property without remorse." Agriculturists and tradesmen make the same complaint of labourers and apprentices. Trusty workers are rarely found; the master's eye is needed everywhere. Physical strength, moral rectitude, and even mental power, (for sharpness is not reasonableness,) are hardly as great as formerly. Why is it? We know not: but there may be something in the changed habits of the farmer's household.
Once upon a time, the inmates of every farmhouse turned out every Sunday, wet or dry, to the parish church, far or near, bad roads or good; no, good roads were not known, consequently, not thought of, nor missed. First, would sturdily walk the farmer, in his home-spun blue, with his comely wife upon his arm-she looking back after the youngsters and servants, giddy and loitering to the last; but out they all come, except the one left to look after the sick cow, or the lame horse, or the young lamb; or to watch the colt that will stray into the neighbours' fields on Sunday. Yes, to church they all go, not caring much, perhaps, whether the vicar preached Calvinism or Arminianism, was doctrinal or practical, logical or rhetorical, High Church or Low Church. Old Ballavarkish would perhaps venture to express as his opinion, that parson So-and-so "was failing terribly-his voice was not near so grand as it used to be;" while the old dame would coquettishly reply that she " could hear him as well as ever."
And why should not the country people do the same now? surely the parish churches are where they used to be ! Yes; but young Mr Ballavarkish and his wife, and children, and servants, lineally descended from old Mr Ballavarkish and his servants of 1700, or earlier, it may be, are as different in their habits, ideas, and circumstances from their forefathers, as the artisan, or tradesman, or gentleman of 1860 is from his great-grandfather. Why should they not? Everything is changing and progressing, as our Western brethren say. May it be so! and may the progress be evinced as remarkably in heavenly as in earthly things, in the affairs of our souls as well as in the affairs of our bodies, in what relates to "things eternal" as well as in "things temporal!"
But, alas ! it is not so. The progress in the supply of appliances for bettering men's spiritual condition has not been commensurate with that of contrivances to improve his material state. While the farmer has a steam threshing-machine brought to his own door, to save the trouble and time of hired labourers in procuring the "bread that perisheth," will he not naturally expect those whose province it is to provide him with the bread of instruction, to lessen his trouble in finding it. The value of the one is not, of course, to be put in competition with the other. How joyfully would the weary labourer go any distance after his six days' toil to hear the glad tidings, if he really appreciated their worth. But it is in order to teach him such appreciation that it is necessary to bring instruction to him, for naturally there is not that thirst for the knowledge of the truth, human or divine, certainly not for divine truth-that men will put themselves the least out of the way to obtain it ; yet, when brought to them, to their very doors, with heartiness and simplicity, it seldom fails to produce some effect. Even if, like the seed cast on the waters, it may seem wasted, no fruit being apparent, yet after many days, it will rise, it may be, to bless other generations.
Preaching the word is the means appointed by Christ for the evangelising of the world. There is no mistake about that; therefore it is a plain duty to preach that word. On whom rests the responsibility? On every soul that has had the word preached to himself. It would be strange if any into whose hands this little messenger comes should not have. had the gospel preached to him. We take it for granted, reader, that you have the weekly privilege of joining in divine service within a convenient distance from your dwelling; You, then, are expected to aid this Association to preach the word of life to those who have not this privilege. It cannot be long that these small churches will need help. They will in time become self-supporting. Surely we may expect as much of Manxmen as of South Sea Islanders, or of Caffres, or Hindoos ; and some of these are now in a condition not only to support their own Christian churches, but to send help to others of their countrymen to keep up the churches founded by English Christians. And this is what you are invited to do-to aid the Association to keep up the churches already founded by past benevolence.
The Home Mission stations at present in connexion with the Manx Church are Baldwin, Sulby, Cronk-y-Voddee, Dalby, Port St Mary, Foxdale, Dhoon, Laxey, Grenaby. Some of these require additional aid, either in the shape of salaries or residences; and Oak Hill prefers a claim to the auspices of the Association. But without a considerable augmentation of the funds it will be difficult to continue grants to all the stations, and impossible to establish new places of worship, or to build residences where they are very much required.
We have but one more plea to offer; that is drawn from the reports of the first meetings of this Association as found in the insular journals of that date :
In July 1839, a meeting was convened by Bishop Bowstead for the purpose of establishing an association in his diocese of Sodor and Man for the maintaining of public worship in districts remote from the parish churches.
On the 16th of July, a meeting was held in Castletown, at which assisted Deemster Christian, Edward Gawne, Esq., of Kentraugh, Dr Underwood, Frederick Gelling, Esq., besides many others of the principal inhabitants and the neighbouring clergy.
On the 28th a similar meeting was held in Douglas. Bishop Bowstead entered into a luminous view of the state of the Church establishment in this island, the want of salaries for many of the chapels, the insaafficient stipends of the parochial clergy, the want of residences for ministers contiguous to the scene of their labours, and the supplying of curates to aged and infirm ministers.
The High Bailiff, J. Quirk, Esq., remarked that the laity were bound by every tie to support such an institution.
The Rev. Robert Brown insisted on the necessity of affording the poor Manx population increased means of religious instruction. The Manx service in Douglas was first established by the Rev. Hugh Stowell, forty years ago. "I have myself seen," said Mr Brown, "the market-place an hour before the time of service covered with the throng of the aged and afflicted, eager to enter the courts of the Lord and worship there. The scene reminded me of the pool of Bethesda. I have seen the poor man's countenance beam with delight when the church-door was opened. I know well the benefit resulting from this service, for I have attended those in the chamber of sickness and death who have declared they had to bless God for the Manx service in St Matthew's Chapel." . . . .
Mr Bluett congratulated the Bishop and the country on the formation of this society.
The Rev. Vicar-General Hartwell said the great object of the late lamented Bishop (Ward) was to provide for the spiritual good of his people by erecting houses for divine worship, and expressed his satisfaction at seeing the object prospering under the auspices of the present Bishop.
The Rev. Mr Carus said that one of the principles of the English Church was, that the minister should be ever ready to administer to the wants and necessities of every family, to instruct them in religion, to attend to them in sickness and in health, to rejoice when they rejoice, to mourn when they mourn, to be a participator of their joys and sorrows. . . . . He expressed astonishment at the smallness of the salaries of the Manx clergy, whom he styled "a self-denying race of men ; " and he called upon the meeting to give a proof of their self-denial. He hoped that while the head of their Church was endeavouring to procure resident curates for the various churches to supply the spiritual wants of the people, the people themselves would not be backward in tendering their assistance.
Mr Dumbell shewed the necessity for establishing a diocesan society in this island. He said that on the road from Ramsey to Lonan there was not a single church, and it was very unlikely that people living between those places would travel weary miles over mountains and through glens in all sorts of weather to hear the gospel preached.
Mr Thurtell thought that credit was due to the Wesleyan Methodists of this island, who, by their exertions, had done much good; and he could not see why they should not come forward and support the society.
The Rev. Mr Phillips (Principal of King William's College) admitted that the Wesleyans merited great commendation for the good they had done, still he rejoiced to think that the objects proposed by this Association were superior. Where Dissenters send a minister once a week this society proposes to establish a resident clergyman. With respect to the Manx service, he considered that if there were but one individual who did not understand English it was the duty of the Church to provide for that individual.
Mr Howard rejoiced in the formation of the society. Mr M'Gufforg accepted the office of treasurer.
The Rev. Mr Fisk, an old Cambridge friend of the Bishop's, said that when he returned to England he would testify with joy that he had seen his Lordship surrounded by a loving, praying, and devoted clergy, and laymen holding official and influential stations in this island all anxious to further his Lordship's efforts for making the Church efficient in the Isle of Man. When away from this island, his hearty prayers should be with this Association; and indeed it was a prayerful work, for without imploring God's blessing on it, the funds might be plentiful, but it would not prosper.
The Rev. Maurice Day remarked, that to the blessings enumerated by Mr Bluett, for which the Isle of Mann should be grateful, might be added the absence of Popery.
The Rev. Mr Perry moved a resolution, to the effect that a local association should be formed here (in Douglas) in connexion with that in Castletown.
The Rev. R. Qualtrough expressed his conviction that the people of Douglas would not disgrace themselves by not supporting this society. The room in which they were speaking (Athol Street schoolroom) was a proof of their liberality, for which £1500 had been raised by voluntary subscriptions.
The Rev. W. Carpenter took the chair to move a vote of thanks to the Bishop.
There were present on the platform besides, the Rev. Messrs Gill, Parsons, Caley, Cannel, Macguire, Stevenson, James Moore, Esq., Cronkbourne, Captain Pollok, and R. Quirk, Esq.
It would be sad indeed if a society, commenced under such happy auspices as those which marked the first meeting of its friends in July 1839, were left without support. Even though so many of those good friends have departed, doubtless they have left behind them children who will only have to be reminded of the interest their parents took in this work cheerfully to carry on what their fathers began, and even with greater eagerness, having the sentiment of veneration for the memory of the beloved dead added to the supreme motive of respect for God's worship, and a desire to promote His honour and glory.
* The last sheaves.
+ Since July 1857, the public-houses are closed from 10 p.m. Saturday till 6 a.m. Monday, by Act of Tynwald.