February 16, 1820 – The hold has been opened and many articles put up by our friends for the mission examined. ‘Tis pleasant to have such testimonials of love to Christ and the heathen. Other testimonies of his love we desire to acknowledge and record, as comfortable health, a good measure of peace within and without and general properity. – Few changes of special note since doubling the Cape. (Thaddeus Journal)
Feb. 16th. This day our little comforts have been many. It was a pleasant morning. About the rising of the sun, the signal was given, on deck, immediately over our heads, for us to leave our berths, for free air above. The full-spread sails spoke our way prosperous, while the pleasant sun over the smooth waters, seemed to smile upon us. All were in motion. To use a seaman’s phrase, they had “broken out”,—that is, were drawing on deck, from the hold, a part of the various lading put in at the Wharf at Boston. This brought up a variety of things belonging to individuals and the Mission in general which none had seen before. Among them was a cask directed to Mr. B—, containing sundry articles, as a bundle for Sister R—, Dr. H—, etc. packed in Hartford. But what in that most interested me was a large bag of comfortable things from Bennington, put up with maternal feeling, and maternal kindness. Then Mr. B— could tell me of Mother and of home. Sweet names, and precious J There was dried beef, dried fruits of several kinds, something for medicine particularly desired on the voyage, etc. One trunk and box game heaped upon another, when the word was, “for the Mission, from Hopkins’ Academy that sound, I was over the lumber with as much life as i^ to meet a friend. My beloved Sophia presented herself, as it were, before me. The box was soon opened. The first thing taken hold of was a gown which I had seen her wear sufficiently to make her almost appear in it again. The little community all partook in my pleasure while none would lift up an article to be aired, but leave it for my hands; admiring the singular providence which had caused me, upon these distant waters of the Pacific, to be the one who should unpack what the hands of a dear sister and her pupils had, so recently, laid down for the dear Missionaries at Brainard. Their admiration was encreased when I told them of the remark made when they were put up.—After giving them the air we nailed the box up. And now, may the same gracious hand which inclined the hearts of my sister and her scholars, to provide these garments, incline the hearts of the wretched heathen to commit to us their now equally wretched children, to be clad in them; and, 0, may the day be at hand, when, from that distant land, those hearts which have been thus opened, shall be cheered with the glad tidings that the object of their benevolence are employing their tender voices in lisping the praises of Jesus, to whom the heathen are given for an inheritance. (Sybil Bingham)
Feb’y. 16th. We are now opposite the island of Juan Fernandes remarkable for having been the residence Robinson Crusoe. This has been a very busy and interesting day, have been employed in examining our trunks and boxes put up for the Mission. Opening a keg directed to Brother B., I discovered a bundle with a letter directed to me. I put out my hand to receive as it were fresh intelligence from my dear native land, after an absence of more than 16 weeks. On breaking the seal my heart was filled, with a grateful-sense of renewed obligations to friends, and to God as the author of all good, for this expression of kindness from dear sisters in Christ. Nothing short of an assimilation of feelings can make you realize my dear sisters, how closely you are entwined around my heart. Tears involuntarily burst from my eyes, when I saw your dear names, at the thought that I am to see you no more on earth. But if we are indeed the children of God our separation will be short, and our meeting endless and happy. May this consideration cheer our hearts while on the way and make us more watchful, prayerful, and useful in the world. The kindness of friends has already contributed much to my happiness, and I hope it will also promote my future usefulness among the heathen. I am confident after all you have done, you will not cease to present your devout supplications, in behalf of a far distant sister, who is now tossing upon the tumultuous ocean, with the prospect of becoming a stranger in a strange land, where all is moral darkness and desolation,
“But Jesus shall reign where e’er the sun,
Does his successive journies run,
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more”.
May this precious promise encourage and animate us, and God be glorified in the salvation of the heathen, which he will accomplish in his own time, and with the use of means of his own appointment. (Nancy Ruggles)