A Happy New Year!
Yes Deck Bucket. Well! Pilgarlic, what of it? We are 15 days from Singapore, and Rangoon is 200 miles off yet. Fact is, it has been calm for 5 days now, and we have some days drifted back with the tide, which is against us. But it’s no use to growl, we are used to it. It seems to be a year of calms to us. But did you know, Deck Bucket, that I am 37 years old today? Yes, it is so, another year has gone. It’s no use romanticizing over it. We can’t call it back, we can only press forward, look ahead. Yet in spite of us, memory will look back. So many a birthday passed and gone, and fancy looks back further. Thirty seven years ago a fond mother clasped her child to her bosom. How have her hopes been answered? Poor Mother! only too sadly I think. And here I am, half-way round the world, alone in this vast solitude. No one to speak to, no one but you, Pilgarlic, rather DeckBucket, to tell I am a year older today.
Perhaps if we could “lift our longing eyes to the hills our fathers trod.” We might see some who think of us today. I hope so. It is so hard to be all alone. Forever. yet, Oh God! Thy ways are all altogether just and perfect. Last night I watched the old year run out and the new year come in. Every star in heaven shone out in full splendor. Not a cloud intervened. The sea was smooth as our frozen waters at home. As the moon slid down the Western horizon, she sent a track of waving light to us over the water. What a glorious sight. I think it is a ______ the departure of our last year and the beginning of the next, how little do we find we have done, that we promised to do, and not a whit better. God must be very patient to wait for us so long. I finished reading the bible through yesterday. I don’t know what to make of it all. Then! The book of Revelation is to me, what it is, a vision, nothing more yet. I wait for more light, and today I read the bible again, hoping to read it better this time.. I have been reading a book called”Bickmore’s Travels in the East of India Archipelago” and finished…
…yesterday. It is capitol. Written by an American and ______ the countries I never sailed to perfectly. I am going to get a copy of it for L. as the one I have is not mine. Now I begin. ______ travels in Brazil. I have not much to write about. A Chinese passenger looking over the side yesterday lost his new hat off and wanted to stop the ship to get it. I could not see it. A few days ago, we saw French steam line of a Battle ship going South. She passed close to us. It was a grand looking ship. When we hoisted our flag, slowly went up the _____ of France, then gracefully dipped ______ _______, in salute to us. She was under a full head of steam.
She must have been 3,000 pounds and I could not help thinking how they would make things fly if they should fire broadside at us.
Thursday, the Fifth of January. 19 days at sea,
Gulf of M____________. 15 degrees North, 96 degrees East. Sailing along, we have made just 23 miles a day for the last 10 days. A fine days work! But we have not a fine little breeze now, and hope to get along a little further. It is 90 miles now to Rangoon river. We have a splendid moon, and the nights are regal, rather too regal. I went on deck the other night at half past twelve, and there was the man at the wheel. Propped up to it, fast asleep. So you see how it goes sometimes, when the captain is asleep. It _______ me out of decent sleep. If I do ____ a sleep, it is to dream of hideous shoals, _____ snags, and everything that is ______ tell. I start from my bunk like a mad man. But a merciful God watches over us, and that is one thing. Last evening, we saw a lofty ship coming towards us on the other tack. Like us, she was heading up for Rangoon. We tacked and ___ ____, hoping that she would fall in with us but at daylight she was no where to be seen. I suppose it to be the American ship, “St. Paul” Capt. Martin, that was to leave Singapore for Rangoon a few days…
Sunday the eighth of January, 1871
“Battle of New Orleans”
We are now in the mouth of the Rangoon river, drifting with the tide, that is the only way we can go. No wind in the afternoon at all. Day before yesterday, we spied out a large bark I set the American colors, but he would not answer. I believe he is a Yankee. We have been in company ever since. At night he would be ahead, in the mornings he would be astern. Trying our best, yesterday the seventh, we spied the land at noon, at the same time a pilot vessel. They are __1__ schooners here. She was coming for us. We had to stop the ship a good deal so she could come up. Judge my mortification to find it was a black man, and could talk very little english. I was in hopes it would be somebody I could ask about the place, manners, customs, the war in Europe, but never a thing he could tell me. We immediately stood in for the shore. The wind died away anchored in eight fathom of water , a very strong ebb tide running against us.
I went aloft to see the land, but it was very low and I could not see it. This is like going to New Orleans. The ___1____ pours through it’s many mouths, or deltas, torrents of muddy water. The rising of all Burmah. It frightened me at first, and I thought it was the ship’s keel stirring up the bottom, and I felt relieved when the lead told us that there was water enough. I have kept the lead line going through my hands pretty much all the time. The whole Gulf is quite shoal. This kind of navigation is something new to me. Nothing in sight and feeling along by the lead. At any rate there is no great danger, for as soon as there is drift, a ship can easily anchor. Though the tides run very strong, I can’t trust my pilot much, and he is not much relief to me. Queer looking pitch-black looking fellows. Bob their heads up like seals and go down again. Yesterday morning at 4 o’clock, feeling rather anxious and looking about carefully, I thought…
…the atmosphere had a queer ghostly look and glowing up at the moon, just about full. I knew she was partly eclipsed, it caused the lights to change to the color, I could not make out. The other day, I saw a swordfish for the first time. He was breaching out of water at a furious rate, appeared as though something was chasing him.. He was the size of a good big Sturgeon, and jumped something like one. His sword was two feet long or more. They have been known to pierce a vessel’s bottom, clean through, and they will attack and kill the largest whales. I was awful tired and sleepy last night. I got a little nap, and at nine in the evening, we were under way again- with a fair tide. And we commenced beating along the shore, you better believe I kept the lead going. When we stood toward the land, soon we saw the first light, “China Buck__1__. It was a fine sight to me. It told me exactly where we were. At 4 in the morning we anchored again, having made 25 miles. ________ ______…
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I tried to get a little sleep, but had just got into a doze when there was a hailing from alongside. A Pilot, a white one. He wanted the ship but it was too late. However, he came on board and told me what news there was. All hands were asleep, pretty well tired out. At nine, instead of our usual services, all hands are mustered to heave up the anchor. Quite a difference but it can’t be helped. The China men are ____1___ for going ashore. They are dressed in their best silks & I like them very much. I never had better passengers. They are very clean. One is about twenty years old, has been educated in an English school. At Singapore it is exciting to hear him talk English. It is perfect, but with such a funny accent. One night I was wishing for more wind and spoke to him, telling him he must “Chin Chin Joch” for a breeze. It is a China custom of invoking their deity. He said up quick, “That is all nonsense.” It seemed funny for a Chinaman.
He likes to hear me tell of “America”. Chinamen think great things of our country. Last night I was amused to to see the shadows cast of the water by the moon and ship. The muddy water looked almost white and the moon rising from the horizon made pictures on it of the ship of all sorts of fantastic shapes and sizes as it rose gradually and wheeled round her stern then over the other side. I never saw it before. We had a queer sunset last night. After the sun went down, there was a belt of shortly bluish light all round just above the water line. The rest of the sky was all filled with Cirri clouds- painted red by the sun and looked like flaming swords. What madness one sees (when they are not doing anything else) in the sea and sky!
Today I have been much amused at two black fellows who have come out from shore (25 miles!) to solicit for the different butchers, they are called Dobaches here. No sooner did one commence to recommend himself then the other one would say, “Don’t take that man Captain, he not proper man. He no…
…Savvy business.” Then they would have a war, each afraid the other would get some advantage and both following close to my heels. Mahomet the pilot from singapore is all in the shade now. _______ this new Mahomet( They are all Mahomets.) His glory is _______. He works like a common sailor and does______ too. I saw him asleep down in between decks the other day. I would not have believed one person could be got into so small a heap. He actually did not look bigger than a bag of rice, he was curled up so small.
So here we are at last in Rangoon River, our sea voyage is at an end, and some new river navigation is open to me. There ahead is Pagoda Elephant (A tall pagoda on Elephant Point) quite _______ of the Orient, and the pagoda looks ancient enough. Here is a French bark at anchor. She can’t get business on account of the war. Here are the boys and ____ that point out the ______ channel. There is Eastern _____ lighthouse and so on… 30 miles from Rangoon.
January PP. 11 -sketches of Rangoon Pilots & Rangoon Doo-lash figures
Monday, January 9th- 1871
At anchor near Elephant Point. We came to her last night at 5:30 and had a good nights sleep. It is a beautiful morning. The sun shines glorious and bright. A cool fresh breeze is blowing and the thermometer which yesterday stood at 84 degrees, today is 71 degrees. I had to get under my blanket for the first time since leaving the high southern latitudes. The bark that is in company, she drifted up to us last night. She is flying French colors, so I am mistaken. The _______ today are not very inviting. The mail is dead ahead, and on ebbtide, but it will turn soon. I have been _______ my chronometer with lard. This is an important thing, and always ought to be attended to. I find them just one mile out of the way (not much) The Chinamen are very anxious to get up to the town. So am I, though I don’t expect any news or any letters. I have only got two in the last eight months. I went on deck last night. About me and one of the black doo-lash men rose up out of his sleep and stepped up to me, he looked like coffee in a winding sheet.
“Man the Windlass” is the cry now, so no more today.
We heave up our anchor and make all sail- and started for Rangoon, but could not get the ship round before the wind. So we had to drift and a tedious time we had of it. ______ _____ drifted nearly _____. The tide whirling and roaring along like a maelstrom ____ we let go the anchor and the tide took the chain thru the windlass like lightning. We could not stop it. So then was half the afternoon spent in trying to heave it in again. After a while toward sunset, the tide slacked, we got the ship before the wind and glided along as smooth as possible. It was delicious. The banks along the river are low and clay-ey (clay-like) , just as the Mississippi. Little bamboo villages came out of the jungle every little while and native women and children stood and stared at us, as we flitted by. At last, an object appeared like as if it was hung in the heavens. It was the gilded ______ of the Dragon Pagoda, at Rangoon 20 miles off.The highest they say in the world, and as the setting sun shone on it, It was different than anything I…
…I ever saw before. The gilded Pin wheels of the Mosques in Constantinople must be like it.
Our Chinese passengers want to tour in a small boat. They got tired of waiting for the ship. At last the tide and wind was done, and we anchored at dark for the night. While some of the boys were furling the sails aloft, I heard them say, See! There is a fire! Two, fires! Three fires!, oh look at the fires! Ah, thinks I, they are burning the rice fields on shore, it must look well from a loft, so I went up to the Mizzin Crosstree (about160 feet) and looked. All around the horizon was one vast area of light. It was like some immense city. It was another eight for me to _____ one. I set there and looked at it a long time. We were now in the heart of the great rice country, where if other nations did not come to buy, it would be burned away! And so it goes. We were 15 miles from Rangoon and the jungle is filled with tigers and other beasts of prey. We now go in for a short sleep, while the tide is running down.
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At 4 o’clock we are drifting up with the tide again. It is a still moonlit morning, and we are backing, and filling up, as the sailors call in there is not room to beat so we fill the sails and spurt ahead, then back them and and short cistern? all the while drifting with the tide. It is tedious work. Sometimes we have to anchor, then heave right up again- it is very hard on the men.
Puts me in mind of when I was a boy, and backing and filling up the Delaware River to Philadelphia. It was in the ship ________ and we were a week. Sometimes we had to carry out an anchor in the boat and ____ the ship off. How the sailors cursed the pilot. I have in later years done the same thing in the river Minn. going to _____. and in other places. On the Minn, ship’s take china pilots. It is very dangerous, and the tides runs with great velocity. No chance to tack…
So, the pilot engages boats, or Sampans- as they are called, say, 20 of them on a line one off each bow. one off each quarter, about 80 boats in all, to the ship’s bow or stern about as she drifts with the tide. They have all sail set and about 20 Chinamen on deck to help trim the yards to the wind. And talk about noise! When they pull the ship round it seems as though all the ______ in _____ were screaming together.
Morning dawns at last, and the rising sun gilds the pinnacle of the Pagoda at Rangoon now in full sight, but as lights a part of the city with it’s rice mills and ships __3__ in lights. For tide is done and we anchor again. Now man the boat and off goes Pilgarlic for Rangoon.
It is a hard pull. The Ebb tide runs down strong. The sun is out hot and the boys sweat. We are two hours getting there. Passing round a ___1____, we come in full view of it, and the buildings look well. The land is low and level. There is no verdance of any account to be seen. It is the dry season, and the hot sun glares upon everything. Makes it look parched, and hot. The muddy river rolling along is no relief to the scene, and it well puts me in mind of Calcutta, New Orleans, or Shanghai. The boats are numerous and __2__ along with the tide. They are queer looking and many of them, highly ornamental, with rich carvings. Women navigate them as well as men. There are many lumber and saw mills to be seen. Also rice mills, and mills for pressing cotton.
Not many Ships here, seven or eight, and a few steamers. At last we land at the wharf and direct our steps to Messers, Bullock & Bothers & co. office. to whom we have letters. They are also the American Consul, and received us very _______. There is nothing to be done however we find the Chinese Consignees and settle upon a place to moor the ship, engage the Steam ___ Bassein to tow the ship up for 100 rupees( about $45) and send the boat back to the ship. Ourselves waiting to go down in the steamer. At 4PM we are off. At five we are down to the ship, and soon we are underway and at dark we pass the city, and at dark our anchor buries itself in the muddy bottom of Rangoon river again! This is Tuesday the tenth. We are just in time to write for the homeward bound mail, for it goes Wednesday morning. On our way down the river in the _____, we met the steamship, Asia from _____.
…with great gusto. Friday, the 13th- It is very dull here. I went on shore this _______, and came back and slept all the afternoon. This evening I have been to the botanical gardens to hear the band play. It was about a mile out from the ____. The grounds looked parched and arid, this is the dry season. It was a good place to see the residents. They drove out in nice carriages, and made quite a display. There were lots of children. The musicians were about 24 of the 76th English Regiment. It was a string and reed band, and music of the first order. They played from 6 until 7, long after dark, then the people drove away, to dinner, the great event of the day. I was told there was no real society, the military, have a circle of their own, the officers having their mixes.Then there is the civil service, that is, the government officers, with their wives, and the merchants rarely have their wives here, but have a kind of bachelor life. If their wives came out from England, they don’t stay very long, not over two or three years. They go home again for a change. I saw one, fine looking priest he was french I think, a ______ in long black gown.
Saturday morning, the 14th, The quietness of the day was stirred by the 76th regiment marching down from their barrack to embark on board the steamer for Madras. The government move their troops about from place to place here, giving them a change of air, climate __1_ them after being in Burmah for a while go into the interior of Hindorstan(?) They were accompanied by two bands, as they marched along the strand (Street pointing along the river bank.)They made a very fine appearance. Uniforms in red coats, white helmets. White belts and sashes. English soldiers are always neat and clean. They played, “The Last day of Portal” as they came along. It is an old favorite tune of mine, and it did not take me long to recognize it. There was a time when that tune filled me with high hope, daring, and courage. And as the well known sounds burst on my ears, something of the old feeling came back. From that, they went, to my surprise, “Shoe Fly”. It is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous, As the steamer moved out into the stream and started slowly away, they played “The girl I left behind” in fine style.
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We have another guest in the cabin. A custom house officer, to watch and see there is no unlawful landing of goods. Smuggling- Jesus Christ! For which, I am oblige to give him a state room, and a plate, knife, and fork at the table. He is a “Half Cast” (English & Burmese), speaks the best of English, and on the whole a very decent fellow. In Manilla, they put their soldiers on board. I saw a Burmese funeral here the other day, It was a large procession of people. First came a lot of carriages, carrying edibles, fruits for the deceased, then a cart drawn by oxen- bearing an immense drum with a man inside beating it. Then came musicians playing fifes and horns, gongs, and symbols. The the Catapalque(?), drawn by oxen also. A dias, raised about eight feet, supported the body in a box, colored like a tea chest. eight or ten natives supported this and kept it steady. Above it was decorated with colored paper, plumes of ostrich feathers Jesus Christ- then came another big drum. Music-Jesus Christ- and a horrid din they made. large numbers of women went on each side, crying. I was told they would burn the body when they got to the place.
Saturday evening I went to the cemetery to try and find the grave of a schoolmate who died here about two and a half years ago. The place was in a dilapidated condition and showed the that people did not think of their graves much. I did not succeed in finding my friend’s grave. There was nothing to show.
Sunday morning I went on shore to church, hearing it was an American Baptist Mission church. I directed my step thither. I was too soon, so I took a peep at the ______ English church, a pretty gothic structure. The green decorations of Christmas were still up at the alter. Crucified_____. I was told it was very ritualistic there, and very few attended. They don’t like ____ church out here. Back, I must, to the Baptist again. I went in and took a seat. All that came were a few Burma men and women- and one white man. Soon, the…
…Clergyman and his wife walked demurely in, then the services began. It was all in the Burmese language. Reading of the scriptures, a hymn, a prayer, a hymn again, then a sermon, then prayers and benedictions. It took about an hour and a half, and would have been tedious but I was interested to see an assembly of Burmese in an American church at worship. They sang very well and appeared attentive to the service. At it’s closing, the clergyman introduced himself and his wife to me. They were very pleasant. She was from Boston and he was from Georgia. They were very anxious about my spiritual welfare.
In the evening, I had a visit from Captain __1___, wife and child, of the British Bark “Lotus”. They took tea and stayed until 8 o’clock. We had a very sociable time. And Pilgarlic
played the guitar for them a little. The little girl was wonderfully pleased.
So ends this day.
Tuesday, the 17th
I went out to the big Pagoda in the evening, it is a wonderful place, and I can’t describe it. It is supposed by the Burmese to have been built before Christ. It is on the highest land in the town, and I should think it has an altitude of four or five hundred feet. You ascend to the plateau on which it stands, by a long flight of curved steps. The roofing to the steps is supported by a long colonnade of pillars, each one of which seems to have a history of it’s own. The sides of the passage are adorned with paintings of differents kinds, mostly of a grotesque and primitive kind. Some men _______ of what the natives believe to be the punishment of the wicked hereafter. It was horrid to look at. Arrived at the base of the Pagoda. We found it is an enclosure of some _____ _____ which was once well fortified of deep walls ramparts ditch -Jesus Christ- Here the Burman made their last stand, when the English took the Country from them, and here are some of the graves of some of the officers who fell in the fight.
In the center stands the _______, it’s base is about an acre of ground, and it rises in a series of granite steps in something of the shape of an octagon until it assumes the shape of a cone. Then it spires into the air in something the shape of a church steeple and is all covered in gold leaf. Surrounding are many smaller ones, and each with a spire at it’s base. Also, Shafts of various sizes and shapes, all adorned in a different _______, the statues, are mostly of wood of very large size and too numerous to describe. One a bronze reclining figure of about ten feet in length was finely done. There are two immense bells they ring on festive occasions. Nobody knows this. They are of the finest bell metal, much gold and silver in them and are hung that they can be struck from the ground. A huge cudgel lays there and and every traveler that comes along hits one of them, which makes the whole air ring. The view from the walls is very fine, and many pretty landscapes to be seen. Nearby are some nice lakes, where the people come to bathe. The British troops…
…are quartered all about outside. There are fine gardens for them to walk in. Well laid out. And it is a pretty sight to see them with their wives and children strolling about.
Wednesday night, I went to dine with Mr. Livan, manager of the Prrawaddy Steam Navigation co. He had been on the ship and had lunched with me, and I was glad to go, for I wanted to see how they lived. Their houses are mostly teakwood, oiled, and standing on posts. The dining hall is the principal room, the others are small, I should judge. He was keeping Bachelor’s hall with three other gentlemen. They told me they kept about eight servants. Most of the merchants live this way. It seems so queer to see people living without females or families. No society. But they get used to it. We had a good dinner and I was made to feel at home at once. Nothing could be more courteous and hospitable than the ________ of these people to me, a perfect stranger. So different from some other places I have been in.
Tuesday. I called on Rev. Dr. Stevens. Pastor of the American Baptist Mission Church. I found him a very pleasant gentleman. he had been out here thirty years. The missionaries have been well spoken of by everybody.
One is struck here by the large number of crows. They make an awful noise. About sunrise and sunset, is almost unbearable. They are very tame. Nobody troubles them, and they are very useful as scavengers. If anybody kills one, about a thousand come to see about it immediately. I have often been awakened at night by the dogs. They are as thick as the crows, of a miserable breed called Pariahs. And in the dead of night, they make it hideous with their howling, all joining it seems for __1__ in one demonic concert. But in daytime, from 10 to 3 crows-dogs-and everything and everybody else are as quiet as Sunday. One would think there was no life in the place.
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Thursday. I had such a nice treat. I was invited to go on board the new steamer, “Mandalay” on her trial trip. She is owned by the Prrawaddy Steam Navigation Company, and is one of a larger fleet that go nearly 2,000 miles inland to the frontier of China. She is of iron decks and all about 220 feet long, and drawing only from one to two feet of water. Her sections are built in Scotland, sent out here and put up. And this was her first attempt. We arrived on board at 11AM and in half an hour were underway, and steamed a mile below Rangoon, then turned around and made up the river. There were a small party of ladies and gentlemen, and it was…
…very pleasant. We went up the river fifteen miles, and I had a good look at the banks, trees and villages. Capt. Sevanoakes(?), an Englishman, commanded, and he was very courteous. Returning we had a very nice lunch set, and when it was over, Mr. Livan, the manager, made a speech. And called upon the company to drink the _______ _______ _______ health, so they drank to the _____ and his family who was on board, and gave him three cheers, then to the company who owned the steamer-JC- then to the success of the “Mandalay”, and Capt. Sevanoakes(?), then Mr. Livan, then to the ladies, which made them giggle and smile and turn their head to one side. I was noticing this quite innocently and drinking cold water all the time. When…
… Mr. Nichol, the builder, said there was a stranger guest there whose health he wished to _____. He wished the company to drink to the health of Captain “Deck Bucket.” This was an honor. But he had to respond, so he distinctly remembered saying, “ Ladies and Gentlemen, I Thank you. I am an American and this is my first visit to Rangoon and I did not expect this honor. I must confess, that I cannot join you in Champagne, but if water will do, I will with all my heart. I thank you for the courtesy you have extended to me, a stranger. I must say, that whenever I have found the British Flag, (Hear! Hear!) I have found gentlemen, and more, Brothers. It should be so. I wish the _________ to increase, and it will. The ____ again____ steam flat ____
…Invented by our own Fulton (Hear! Hear!) The telegraphic cable, invented by by our Thomas, and laid by a British Company, must bind more and more closely, till we become in reality one people. There are no difficulties between us and cannot and will not be amicably adjusted. And I hope on long and lasting basis, therefore Ladies and Gentlemen, as the only American present, I tender you the best wishes of the American People, and I extend to you a hearty welcome when ever you visit our shores, and I cordially invite you to visit my ship, The Franklin (Hear! Hear!) now lying in Rangoon. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to meet you.”
After which, he sat down and feeling as though he had said something very silly-JC-
And so we arrived back to Rangoon at three in the afternoon.
I found today, the grave of my old schoolmate. Rufus Hamilton Howard. He was a very bright boy. I remember how pert he used to look, when I came into school. His father being a prominent man in Hallowell, and connected with some of the wealthiest families there. I used to think Ruf felt Big, as the boys called it. He went to sea early, and his promotion was rapid. I don’t think he had many hardships. Everything seemed smoothed for him. While I was toiling along years and years after he was made Master, as mate. I suppose I felt envious sometimes. But that all flew away long ago. And here in a heathen land, in the heart of Asia, I stood by his early grave. Not a stick or a stone marked the spot, and it was with difficulty I found it. Only one man knew where it was. Poor Ruf, could it be possible that the clear blue eyes, with it’s boyish brow, covered with wavy brown hair was under that miserable heap before me, with the fiery sun of Burmah scorching down upon it, and the goat nibbling the few spears of grass that would grow there.
…even so, are thy ways, Oh, Lord God, ____ just and perfect. Where were the buttercups and daisies that once bloomed around his path? Where the sweet south wind that stirred the poplars and willows of our own riverbanks? Where the sweet smelling incense of Lilac and Jasmine and Honeysuckle that floated in at the open window? And the beautiful Dahlias and Peonies that over crowded his mother’s yard and gardens? _____ all ______, in this parched, arid and _____ _______ grown. Near him lay his young wife, who had followed him to this strange land, to go with him to that better land where there is no separation. But what of this bare grave? So far from his father’s _________? So Repugnant, So neglected? How sweet the rest, the peace even there? What glories, what life does it lead to? How insignificant are all the cares and troubles of life, when ________ by the Lamb? And so I thought as I stood there. It matters not Ruf, Thou art at rest. Peace to thy ashes. This damp clod has no power over thee. And so I turned away again to (word missing) and all it has for me to do. God help me to do it.
Sunday, the 22nd of January 1871
Today I attended the English church in the morning. I found it well filled, ladies and gentlemen of the country, and visitors. The service was rather high ______. A choir of trained boys _______ the service on all that was not intoned by the clergyman, but he preached a real good sermon. I hear that English residents here generally are much opposed to ritualism and don’t attend, but rather go to the American Baptist. There were candles and ______ and it did not seem to need but a step to make it Catholic, turning to the genuflections numerous. I thought it was too much for simple Protestant worship. In the evening I went to the American Missionary chapel. It was well filled. The hymns here were sung by the congregation and were our old familiar ones from home, and it was very pleasant. The sermon was real good, and interested the ________. I was challenged today by a missionary to tell him my religious feelings. I told him as much as to say that he was being impertinent, but believing he meant well, I would answer him. That they were.
…entirely my own and I did not know as they would fit him or anybody else. “Do you believe in God?” Yes. “Do you believe in the Bible?” Yes. “You know you will die, and you believe there will be a hereafter?” Yes. “Well! What Then?”
Like a true Yankee said I, “Let me answer that question by asking another. You believe you are an intelligent being?” Yes. “That you live in a terrestrial globe?” Yes. “You stretch your eyes to the heavens, you see sky, teeming with with myriad of stars and planets?” Yes. “Now you feel that there is more than you can see with your naked eye, and you get the telescope. You look. And you see a million worlds you did not see before. Still, you feel that there are more beyond, but you cannot see them?” Yes. “Well What then?” I cannot tell. “Precisely so!” “And just so, I answer you. I cannot tell what is beyond, nor can you. The departed have not come back to tell. God has not told us. I know what you would say, that there is a heaven for the good and a hell for the bad, but you…
…don’t know. You cannot tell, so let us not argue that question. I only know that God is good.
He loves good better than evil. I know that I am this simple erring child, but He knows it too, and I know He has a design in it. I will trust Him. I will do good if I can, for the good it does my fellow man, and the good it does me. It may count me something, it may not, I can’t pretend to say. But your _______ was not made by Him, it was made by man- sinful man.
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