Berwick Register, May 1, 1918
Ministers' Labors 125 Years ago.
(New Glasgow Enterprise)
The following is an interesting piece concerning two pioneer clergymen in Nova Scotia over 100 years ago. It is well worth reading.
A ministerial trip 125 years ago presents features of interest, and sets forth hardships endured in our early history which we can scarcely imagine or describe. At this period there was no railway running in Nova Scotia to hurl the traveller at a rapid rate of speed to his destination. No comfortable coaches were in existence where passengers could sit at ease and be carried east and west. Pedestrian feats or horse back riding were the customary modes of locomotion. The ministerial trip was undertaken fifty years before the first steamer plied the Atlantic, connecting Liverpool and Halifax.
The two clergymen who entered upon this trip were the venerable pioneers, Revs. Hugh Graham and James Munro. The former came to Nova Scotia in 1785, and became the first pastor of the congregation of Cornwallis, the first Presbyterian minister settled in the western part of Nova Scotia. The latter came in 1807, though he itinerated in the Province some years and at one time was settled over St. John's Church, Windsor.
The two clergymen set out from Halifax in the autumn of 1793, anticipating taking passage for Cornwallis, but were disappointed. Under a heavy rain they traveled, and eventually they took into the woods, on foot, and after a pedestrian feat of five miles halted for the night in a mud hut, their clothes drenched with rain. Next morning they continued their journey, accompanied by two young men who carried their saddle bags. All day they travelled on foot, only halting a few moments at a time, and at length came to a friendly house, at Newport, where Mr. Munro stopped to preach.
Mr. Graham, after a journey of forty miles, obtained a horse, and came to a home where the family were in bed. He met with a warm reception, rested for the night, and was hospitably entertained. The next morning he started again on his journey, before sunrise, and after changing horses more than once in twenty five miles, he reached Cornwallis, entered the church, and preached at the unorthodox hour of 12 o'clock. Though somewhat fatigued his physical strength was not abated, and he felt none the worse for the journey. Often in the Cornwallis Valley summer and winter he walked eight and ten miles on a Sabbath, and preached, as was then the orthodox style, two sermons in succession with a short intermission.
On the Stewiacke River his precious dust has been speeling 89 years, near the margin of the gently flowing stream that fertilizes this beautiful vale of Colchester County. His companion in travel lies sleeping in Antigonish, who in his day travelled extensively in the Maritime Provinces and parts of the United States.
Both of these men lived to a good old age. Their frequent pedestrian feats demonstrated the fact that walking, if the journey be not too long, is a healthy exercise. The rapid transit of a day through modern modes of travel has discounted pedestrianism, and shut off the health giving exercise.
(The first pastor of the Congregation of Cornwallis was the Rev. Benajah Phelps, a Congregationalist from New England. The Rev. Hugh Graham was his successor.)
MAY 1, 1918
The Military Y.M.C.A. Campaign.
Meetings will be addressed in the interest of the "Red Triangle Fund" as follows:
Upper Canard, Baptist Church, May 1st, evening. Speakers: Prof. Hannay, Mr. Lumsden, Mr. Geo. Chase: Sabbath morning, May 5th, Capt. (Rev. P. C.) Reed, C. Lumsden.
Morden, May 3rd, evening, Rev. Mr. Harkness, Mr. Lumsden, Mr. Chase.
Grand Pre Methodist Church, Sabbath morning, Prof. Hannay.
Aylesford Baptist Church, Sabbath morning, Dr. H. T. DeWolfe, Capt. Ruggles.
Meetings in the afternoon of Sabbath, May 5th, will be:
Scotts Bay, Rev. R. B. Layton, Mr. Lumsden.
Halls Harbor, Rev. G. P. Raymond.
Harborville, Rev. Mr. Harkness.
Morristown, Mr. Chase.
Victoria, Rev. Mr. Harkness.
Lockhartville, Rev. F. R. Dixon.
Dalhousie, To be announced.
Avonport, Capt. Ruggles.
Greenwich, Capt. Reed.
Black River, Prof. Hannay.
Grand Pre, Old Church, Rev. Mr. Miller.
Sabbath evening meetings are:
Blomidon, Rev. R. B. Layton.
So. Alton Church, Dr. H.T. DeWolfe.
Gaspereau, Capt. Reed, Mr. Chase.
Canaan, Rev. N. A. Harkness.
Grand Pre Methodist Church, Capt. Ruggles, C. Lumsden.
Wolfville, Mass Meeting, Capt. Ruggles.