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At Cumberland House

Published November 12, 2007        by Matt

December 21, 1853. During the week the Indians were coming in from all quarters, to be present with us on next Lord's-day; a great number have applied to me to be admitted to the Lord's Table on Sunday next, being Christmas-day. After careful examination and instruction, I admitted 13 new communicants, and as all the Indians belonging to this Station are here, I look forward to a large attendance at the Lord's Table.

At our usual evening prayer meetings during the week, the school room has been crowded, and my addresses have had reference to the Lord's Supper, warning and encouraging them to come to that holy ordinance, pointing out the importance of the rite, at the same time the necessity of due examination and preparation for the right reception thereof. I trust that they feel their own sinfulness and unworthiness, and will come in simple dependence upon the Savior, looking to Him for pardon and acceptance, and earnestly praying to be strengthened and refreshed with Divine Grace from on High. May He condescend to bless His own ordinance to their souls, and build them up in their most holy faith, that year by year as this blessed season comes round, they may be found advancing on the divine life & molded more & more into the image of their Savior.

I have often had occasion to notice that they come long distances to attend the Lord's Table; in this respect they would put to the blush many in my own country, for they think nothing of a fatiguing journey of more than 100 miles, walking in snow shoes, to be present on these highly prized occasions.

Dec. 24. After prayers this evening, we gave our usual Christmas present to the Indians, consisting of Tea, Sugar, Flour, Pimekan, Grease & White Fish, which Charles Thomas, Louis Constant & Chas. Cook divided out to the inmates of each house around the Station, about 30 in all. It occupied some time, but they all went home with their portions and were very grateful, as they are rather short of provisions.

Dec. 25. Lord's-day, Christmas-day. We commenced the day with our usual early prayer meeting at 7 O'Clock; the School room was crowded and I read in Cree, Matt: 1 chap: 18 ver: to the end, and made some practical remarks both on the birth and death of the Savior, as they were about to commemorate His dying love at the Lord's Table. About 90 children present at the Sunday school, and Miss Ross continues her valuable aid in instructing the children. We had full morning service in the Church and I never saw it better filled than on this occasion, nor the Indians neater or cleaner in their persons.

I preached from Matt: 21 and then administered the Lord's Supper to 100 Communicants, being the largest number who have communicated here; they filled round the rails 6 times, and both men & women were very neatly attired, & many of them received the elements with tears and trembling. On the hands of several stretched out to receive the sacred elements, I noticed the marks which they had received when in a state of Heathenism, but blessed be God they have been brought from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and Satan unto God. May they now be sealed by the Spirit as the servants of the living God & in the day of the Savior are found among that great multitude which no man can number, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands.

After the evening service I baptized 2 Infants and then went over to administer the Lord's Supper to Alexander Chichester, who was prevented by sickness from being present at the Lord's Table to day. At night I felt exhausted from the duties of the day, and the previous week; and perhaps ministering in a foreign language is more fatiguing than in one's own. But I bless God that He gives me health and strength to labor for Him & may He be pleased to pardon all my infirmities and accept my poor Service for His dear Son's sake! Amen.