“Jamaica—The Native Pastorate”

BIPOC Voices in the Victorian Periodical Press

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V.—Jamaica—The Native Pastorate

THE steady progress which, during the last few years, has been made by the native churches of JAMAICA and BRITISH GUIANA in sustaining the ordinances of the Gospel among themselves, has afforded the Directors much satisfaction. Planted by the Society many years ago, these churches have grown up under its care, and, for a considerable period, have enjoyed the ministrations of the English Missionaries sent out under its auspices. As the result of these labours the Churches have not only increased in numbers but also in spirituality and zeal; by personal effort and voluntary contributions various Christian organisations have been carried forward; the education of the young in Sabbath and day schools has been promoted; and from their midst a native ministry has been raised up which is gradually taking the place of the foreign missionary. At a meeting of the Board of Directors held some time since, it was resolved to address to each native pastor in the West Indies a letter expressing the Society's affectionate interest in himself and his work; such letter to be accompanied by a present of critical and other works for his own use, and by a pulpit Bible and hymn book for the use of his Church. The Directors' intentions were in due course carried into effect, and on all hands they have met with heartiest appreciation and acknowledgement. From several letters which have been received, we select the following from the REV. JACOB WALKER, Native Pastor at DRY HARBOUR, Jamaica. Under date September 1st., Mr. Walker writes:—

"The Pulpit Bible and Hymn Book which the Directors kindly sent out for the acceptance of the Church here, and the volumes of Biblical and general literature for my own use, came safely to us by the care of our friend the Rev. W. J. Gardner, of Kingston. It may not be uninteresting to the Directors to learn that, although our people here are as loyal as any in the British dominion (English people not excepted), yet I am quite sure that our beloved Sovereign could not have had a better reception than those books had, especially the Bible and Hymn Book. The parcel containing them arrived here whilst I was at Claremont. On the Sabbath I announced 'a special church meeting to be held on the following Saturday, for the purpose of receiving these books sent to us by the Directors of our Society in England.' I kept the parcel in my study all that week and was very anxious to see the inside of it; but I endured the anxiety until 1 p.m. on Saturday (the time fixed for the meeting), when I went to the chapel, and from thence sent a member of the church for the precious parcel. By this time nearly all the members of the church were in the chapel, so I began the meeting at once by the singing of a suitable hymn, and prayer by one of the Deacons, in which he 'thanked Almighty God for putting it into the minds of the Directors of our Society to send us this parcel of good books,' and prayed, 'that a blessing from the Lord may rest upon the Directors and upon His servant our pastor.' I then read a short portion of the Word of God and prayed myself, after which I delivered a short address, in which I alluded to the nature of our meeting, which I still call 'our reception meeting.' Then I opened the parcel, which was on a table before me, and invited the members to draw near and see the books. There was then such a rush toward the table that would have cheered the most gloomy heart. A black woman taking notice of the 'book-marks' in the Bible and Hymn Book, I read a few verses where the mark was in the Bible, and we sang together a hymn from the place where the mark in the Hymn Book was which happened to be one quite suitable. I then called upon our town deacon to pray. After which I delivered another short address, in which I promised the Church to use the Bible and Hymn Book, by the help of God, for the special good of its members and adherents, not forgotting the occasional visitors. Also the volume of Biblical and generaI literature I promised to use for my own spiritual and intellectual improvement, for the good of the church, and for the glory of God. We then sang praise to God and dismissed one of the most interesting meetings in which it has ever been my lot to be. If you had seen the happy facos of the people during the meeting, and if you had heard the many expressions of gratitude which I heard after the meeting, then perhaps you would be able to form some idea of the manifestations of joy and thankfulness which have taken place among us. Next day (Sabbath) was our Sacramental Day, so we used our new and highly-prized Hymn Book and Bible at the Lord's Table and I held them up to the view of the Church and congregation for a few minutes to the delight of all. The use of those blessed books seemed to me to add to the solemnity of the occasion, and many of us left the chapel that evening blessing God and feeling that we had been really feasting with our King and realised His presence indeed."

Digital Publication Details

Title: “Jamaica—The Native Pastorate”

Creator(s): Anonymous; Jacob Walker

Publication date: (1874) 2022

Digital publishers: One More Voice, COVE

Critical encoding: Trevor Bleick, Kenneth C. Crowell, Dino Franco Felluga, Kayla Morgan, Kasey Peters, Adrian S. Wisnicki

One More Voice identifier: liv_025049

Cite (Chicago Author-Date): Anonymous, and Jacob Walker. (1874) 2022. “Jamaica—The Native Pastorate.” Edited by Trevor Bleick, Kenneth C. Crowell, Kayla Morgan, and Kasey Peters. In “BIPOC Voices,” One More Voice, solidarity edition; Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education (COVE). https://onemorevoice.org/html/bipoc-voices/digital-editions-soas/liv_025049_HTML.html.

Rights: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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