December 25, 1819 – Christmas. – This day we pass under the vertical rays of the sun in the Tropic of Capricorn. This day we joyfully commemorate the rising of that SUN which is the Light of the world, far more glorious that the orb of day. We thought it desirable to devote the day to meditation upon that interesting event which was hailed with rapture by the hosts of heaven, and to the recollection and acknowledgement of our obligations to our condescending Savier. In the evening Bro. Bingham preached a sermon on the occasion from Luke 2. 14, in which the birth of the Saviour was considered, 1st, as a manifestation of the “good will toward men,” 2nd, as a means of promoting, “Peace on earth”, and 3rd, as an illustration of the glory of God. Concluding with four reflections, 1st, This event is worthy of the most grateful and joyful commemoration, 2nd, How widely different are the feelings and conduct of infidels and scoffers from those of angels, respecting this birth of a Savior, 3rd. The propagation of the gospel is the most desirable employment this side of heaven; 4th, This event will be an occasion of joy to the thousands of the Sandwich Isles, to the millions of the earth universally, and to the holy kingdom of Jehovah to all eternity.” The hymns sung were, “Angels song”, by Watts (10 of W’s select.”, “Epiphany” and an original humn from Matt. 2.2., composed for the occasion by W.G. Conant, a serious youth of liberal education, mate of the Brig Thaddeus and considerabley interested in the object of our mission.
This day is to us truly a joyful day and we cherish the hope that before another Christmas we shall be enabled to proclaim to the deluded worshipers of Akoah, “Behold we bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day a Saviour which is C. the Lord,” and that on each succeeding anniversary of this event many tongues which have long been employed in chanting vain orisons to dumb Idols, tuned by Divine grace to the song of angels, will with adoring gratitude respond, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Thaddeus Journal)
Dec. 25th, 1819, Christmas. Since it has pleased God in tender mercy, so far to recover my health as that I am able to write a little, I will joyfully embrace occasional opportunities, when it is not convenient for my dear Nancy, and note something for the perusal of our beloved friends in America. As the scenes through which we pass are various and as we know that every circumstance will be read with deep interest by our friends they will excuse us if we are not particular as to our manner & style. We will open our hearts fully, and relate occurrences as they happen. -When we experience mercies we will tell our dear Mother, brethren & sisters that they may rejoice and praise God with us: and when we are called to wade through trials and afflictions we will relate them also that they may sympathise with us and pray for us. Our friends may now look upon the map We entered the torrid zone on the 2nd inst. and have been only 23 days in passing through its sultry clime. To-day the sun is vertical. While you are seated by the side of a good fire, enjoying yourselves with a bowl of apples a minced pye or a good cup of tea, we are sweltering with the heat of summer trying in vain to find a cool place, with not so much as a cup of water that you would consider drinkable. But we are not destitute of enjoyments; we are far from being unhappy. Notwithstanding I am obliged to rise four or five times in the course of night with seasickness, still, I can eat a hearty breakfast of hash and onions, dine on sea pye, and sup on a pint of water gruel. The latter is a luxury to us all, it being the best way that we can make water palatable. We hope to reach cape Horn in three weeks; we dread that place but if we are carried safe around, we shall feel almost home. Samuel R.— (Samuel & Nancy Ruggles)
Dec. 25th. Christmas. Many things have conspired, to render this day peculiarly interesting. I would remark that on thanksgiving day we crossed the tropic of Cancer, and to-day which we celebrated as the anniversary of our Saviour’s birth we have passed that of Capricorn. You may perhaps wonder why we should observe Christmas; but we feel that a day on which our Saviour came into the world should be recognized with gratitude. It is a day too, (we have reason to believe) when many pious hearts expand with holy emotions to God, that we are bearing the news of that joyful event, to those who are sitting in darkness, and in the region and shadow of death. Brother B. preached this evening from Luke 2, 14. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will towards men.” (They sang a hymn composed by WG Conant, one of the officers on board, “We have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him.”) With what seraphic strains did the wise men of old saying “Glory to God in the highest,” when they found the Babe of Bethlehem, though wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And to us it is a source of much consolation, that we are permitted in the providence of God to carry the joyful news that a Savior is born to a nation perishing in ignorance and wretchedness. And have not you, my dear friends, occasion to rejoice, that the land in which you live is so highly distinguished from many nations of the earth and that you are permitted from sabbath to sabbath to sit under the droppings of the sanctuary” O how great are your obligations to live devoted to him from whom you have received these mercies. Need I tell you how it would rejoice the heart of your absent daughter to hear you were reconciled to God, and devoted lee engaged in promoting the cause of Christ? Surely I need not. While I was with you I felt anxious for your eternal welfare, and love you most tenderly; but never till since separated from you, did I know the strength of that affection which I felt for you. Never, no never while I live, can I cease to love and pray for you. (Mercy Partridge Whitney Journal)
25. – This day we have celebrated the anniversary of the saviors birth. Brother B. preached this evening and an appropriate hymn was sung, composed by one of the officers of the ship. Thanksgiving day we crossed the tropic of cancer, today (Christmas) that of Capricorn. I can hardly realize that my friends are pinched with cold, while we feel the burning rays of the summer sun. The heat in passing through the torrid zone has not been so oppressive as it was in New Haven last summer. While sailing along the coast of South America I often think of its vast population rushing to Hell through Romish superstition and pagan darkness. (Samuel Whitney Journal)