From Blanche J. Read, The Life of John Read (Toronto: Salvation Army Printing and Publishing House, n.d. [ca. 1900]). Chapters 9 and 10, pp. 61-95.

The Life of John Read

Blanche J. Read


"I am ready for Earth or Heaven."

Chapter IX
Newfoundland Warfare

"Read, I am thinking of giving Mrs. Read and yourself a change of work."

So spoke Commandant Booth as we sat in his office after being pre-emptorily summoned for an important interview.

"Yes, sir, at your service," replied the Editor, for though he loved his War Cry work he had often expressed a hope that at some future day we might have an appointment in the field.

"I want you to take charge of Newfoundland, Mrs. Read will have an opportunity of doing some rescue work there also," the Commandant added, he thought, and correctly too, that this information would add to the attraction of the new command.

"Can you go at once? When can you be ready? Staff-Captain McIntyre has brought away his wife on account of her health and has offered to return alone for the winter, but I cannot allow him to make that sacrifice, and I want you take hold of the Self-Denial Scheme at once."

Further conference took place with the result that we left Toronto for the Sea-girt Isle on the 1st of October. Staff-Captain Read's journal entry for the day of this appointment is as follows:

We naturally felt badly leaving Headquarters. For nearly five years we had been stationed there. We loved our comrades, had enjoyed many blessed victories and much happy fellowship and sweet communion with them. Then we had seen the good ship "Salvation Army" pass through some severe storms of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. The ship's timbers had strained, trembled and quivered before the mighty rolling waves, but gallantly she had bent her prow to their surging force and triumphantly ridden the highest water mountain.

Army links of comradeship and affection are not easily sundered and especially under such circumstances of testing.

Then there were the dear home friends graciously lent us, for those few years, to be left behind, and, altogether the separation had its underlying cross. But we had heard much of the devotion of the Newfoundland troops and rushed forward with bright anticipations for glorious conquests in the name of our King.

At that time Newfoundland was not as easy of access as at the present and we arrived in Sydney, C.B. after travelling day and night to find our steamer had left an hour-and-a-half previously. There was nothing to do but wait patiently for a "Tramp" steamer to convey us to our destination. After watching two weeks at Sydney for a chance we sailed from Cow Bay for Newfoundland.

The first thing that impressed us as we stepped upon the steamer's deck in St. John's harbour and waited for the doctor to come aboard, was the sound of hammers verbrating and reverbrating among the rocks causing them to ring again with the unusual sound of industry.

The sight of the city as it stretched away to the right was one not easily obliterated from one's memory. A great devastating fire had swept across the greater part of it the previous July, and all that remained of some of its finest edifices were charred ruins and the temporary buildings being erected.

As the traveller approaches St. John's, the capital, he cannot but be impressed with the picturesque appearance of its wonderful natural harbour. In the lofty iron-bound coast there suddenly presents itself to the voyager an opening in the rocky wall, as if by some convulsion of nature the rampart had been rent asunder and the ocean had come rushing in. Great dark-red sandstone mountains piled in masses on a grey slatestone foundation, guard the entrance on either side. Away to the right of the "Narrows" is an almost perpendicular precipice, on the highest summit of which rises the crest of "Signal Hill," five hundred feet above seal-level, where stands the blockhouse for signalling vessels approaching the harbour. On the left side the hill is even higher, and at its rocky base a promontory juts out. On the highest point the lighthouse is stationed. It is the scene of sublimity not surpassed along the coast. Formerly batteries armed with formidable guns rose amid the clefts of these rocks, but the garrison has been withdrawn and the cannon removed. In ten minutes after leaving the wide sea, the steamer is safely moored in the calm waters of a perfectly land-locked harbour. My dear husband used this fact as an illustration once, and wrote a stirring article upon the subject, an extract from which I cull in passing:

Newfoundland is the oldest colonial possession of the British Crown, and occupies an important place in the marine world. Anchored off the American Continent, and stretching right across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, reaching out its farthest point towards the Eastern Hemispheres, it forms, as it were, a stepping-stone between the Old World and the New, and has been marked out by many as the probable future travel route between the two Hemispheres. Its coasts are penetrated deeply by the mighty Atlantic, and some of its bays, coves and inlets make fine harbours for the protection of the fisher-folks' craft. Miles of rocky walls, from two hundred to three hundred feet high in some places, with little verdure crowning their summits, form its iron-bound coasts. Dark, massive cliffs, magnificent in their grandeur, defend the Island from the watery battalions which madly rush upon it, driven by the pressure of the storm. Here and there dark green forests dot the shores and hamlets. The fisher folk line them with their "stages" and "fishflakes" for landing and drying codfish. The towns and villages are situated chiefly on the coast line, the interior as yet being little cultivated, but travellers and explorers inform us there are vast resources for agricultural purposes in the large tracts of excellent land not yet utilized.

The general physique of the Newfoundlanders impresses one with the fact that they are a healthy, robust race. No doubt the various occupations engaged in by the majority is answerable for this, which also testifies to the purity of the air and the invigorating breezes which blow so freshly from the salt water bed in which the country lies. Employed as they are, mainly in open-air pursuits, they are an energetic and courageous people, and as they have freer access to educational advantages, are also competing successfully with the foremost of other lands.

The principle industries of the Island, as is well known, are the cod fisheries, seal fisheries and the copper and iron mines.

While some, of course, are engaged in cultivating the land and in mercantile undertakings, the majority of the people depend upon the sea for their livelihood. The sea is their bountiful mother. It is also the tomb of many of their loved ones. Stories of wreck and peril oftentimes form the topic of conversation round the fisherman's fireside on a winter's night as the sound of the ocean's distant roar falls upon their ears.

Newfoundland's cod-fisheries are more extensive than others. Authority tells us that the Arctic current, which washes the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland, chilling the atmosphere and bearing on its bosom huge ice-argosies, is the source of the vast fish wealth which has been drawn on for ages, and which promises to continue for ages to come. The men go away by the thousands to "The Banks" and Labrador in the spring time, sometimes taking their wives and little ones with them. In such cases they live in temporary houses, and the wives help in curing and drying the fish. When the wives stay at home they attend to the garden and the home, and at the end of the summer they have a nice store of vegetables for the winter, and watch eagerly for the return of husband and son. If the season has been successful and they reach home in safety with their vessel full of "quintals" of fish, it is a time of great rejoicing, and in the homes of the Salvationists, of thanksgiving and praise to the God who holds the sea in the hollow of His hand. While the season lasts the work is incessant and laborious.

Earlier in the season - in February and March - these hardy toilers hie them away to the sealing stations. The steamers are equipped for the accommodation of from one hundred and fifty to three hundred men, with great spaces in the ship's hold for the seal oil, etc. They leave the city and various out-harbours, and steer away northward till they reach the icy wilderness, which, agitated by the swell of the Atlantic, threatens destruction to all invaders. But these hunters are quite fearless among the bergs. They are quite accustomed to do battle with the floes and crashing ice-mountains, and undauntedly dash into the ice whenever an opening presents itself, in search of their prey.

The surface of the ice-field is rugged and broken rising frequently to steep hillocks and ridges. In fact, as the Ancient Mariner tells us:

Under the pressure of the raging storm, it sometimes happens that the ice is "rafted," as the sealers call it - that is, the fragments which are dashed up by the upheavals of the surging waves are piled in layers, one over the other, to the height of forty feet, being lifted by the swell and hurled as if from catapults.

How fearful the condition of the unfortunate vessel that comes within the range of these terrible missils! Sometimes the gigantic ice-berg takes part in the fray, and with the roaring of the blinding snowstorm, a scene of great confusion ensues. Happily these raging storms are not of very frequent occurrence. The sea is mostly at rest, and then the ice-fields present a scene of marvellous beauty.

Beneath the mild light of the moon aided by the glittering stars and flickering aurora, are the glories revealed, especially after a wild storm. An immense curtain of light spreads the sky like a huge canopy, waving its changing colors of every imaginable tint from side to side of the great overarching dome.

The outfit of the sealers is of the simplest description. Sealskin boots, reaching to the knee, having a thick leather sole; a strong canvas jacket is worn over warm woollen under garments. A sealskin cap, and tweed and moleskin trousers complete the costume, which is the most picturesque. They endure the severest hardships, and are often eight or ten weeks without seeing the land. Their food is of the plainest consisting chiefly of biscuit, pork, tea and "duff." They also use the fresh flesh of the seal, this being highly conducive to health and a safeguard against scurvy. There is usually very little sickness among them, and they return home well and hearty after their trying and arduous labor.

This then was the country and these the people whom we went with loving eagerness to serve.

We were immediately at home with these warm-hearted enthusiastic folk, and just after our arrival, before the winter season made travelling from the northern part of the island an impossibility, we had our first Officers' Council. I wrote my dear mother in Toronto a description of this from "my point of view":

It was not long before my dear husband was on the field conducting meetings, cheering our own workers and making arrangements for new openings in some of the out-harbours. The first great effort was the piloting of our yearly Self-Denial scheme.

The dear officers, soldiers and friends toiled with dauntless energy and a glorious achievement was the result. I could fill a book with stories touching and beautiful of the sacrifice of these dear Newfoundlanders.

During the month of January, 1893, Commandant Booth visited the Island and conducted gatherings unprecedented in the history of the Army there.

Many volumes might be filled with the interesting events of those useful and active months of my husband's warfare in Newfoundland. However, I cannot pass on without mentioning one or two occasions similar to experiences which are the ordinary occurrences in the lives of the devoted Army warriors in the island we loved so much.

It was his first visit to the west coast which is most difficult of access. He desired to visit a place named Garnish.

The only way he could reach it was from the coast, by walking twenty miles across a bleak, barren country, but he had promised to go, and they had so few visitors in that isolated spot. Nothing daunted his ardor or deterred him from carrying out his plans. When he thought, too, of the disappointment of the dear folks there, he made up his mind to attempt the journey. The way was very rough and there had been a heavy fall of snow previously. After two miles of most trying pedestrianism they stopped at the one little lonely cottage in this deserted locality to hire, if possible, a horse and sleigh. The little Newfoundland pony was, however, unequal to the task of plodding through the snow, and, after a short distance, they had to return him to his owner. There was only two alternatives - retrace their steps, or walk the remaining seventeen or eighteen miles. But they were not of the "turning-back" nature; the comrades of Garnish must not be disappointed, to Garnish they would go. After the first few miles, my husband had to lift one foot after another with the assistance of his hands. The last two or three miles his strength failed altogether, and the kind, brave men accompanying him carried him between them. They arrived at Garnish, but the Staff-Captain could not stand on his feet, so led the soldiers' meeting and talked to the Salvationists, lying upon the sofa in the officers' quarters.

The solders had a regular Newfoundland time of rejoicing, singing and dancing to the accompaniment of his concertina.

As a result of this experience, he lost his toe-nails, and I have seen him walk the floor hour after hour with the agony of the pain which kept him from sleeping after each of his walking expeditions. These things he never mentioned to any one, for it was a delight to visit the appreciative people all over the Island.

The dear officers in the different outports constantly walk these lengthy distances to their appointments, but my husband was unaccustomed to it, and evidently was not strong enough to stand it. He was storm-bound two weeks at this time, as the sea was too tempest-tossed on the west coast for the mail boats even to anchor outside the harbour of Burin and Grand Bank.

My husband was a great believer in visitation - going to people in their own homes - not so much for a social chat as to hold direct conversations with those visited on subjects of soul-interest. Whenever in a position to do this, it was always his pleasure to visit either sick, sad or sinful. In Newfoundland he visited much in the moments between travelling, correspondence and meetings. I will give just one of his many personal reminiscences:

He referred to this sort of thing frequently in his diaries. While visiting Trinity Bay on April 26, 1893, he says:

Another reference to this tour:

The Commandant wrote to the Cry at that time of the work in the Island, from which the following will be interesting:

In June we took our first tour together "round the Bay." I shall never forget that first Sunday on tour. The Newfoundland Salvationists are noted for their free primitive style of worship, praising God with all the unaffected simplicity of little children. Their fervent prayers are beyond all description. From what I had heard I expected much in Carbonear but the meetings far transcended my most extravagant anticipations. Especially can I see by memory's eye the Sunday afternoon service. It was the old-time "testimony meeting," and when my dear husband gave the opportunity - without a word of exhortation - it seemed as if half the splendid audience rose to their feet. At least sixty people responded to the invitation, and stood ready to magnify the grace which set them free.

It was a sight to make angels tune their harps in a gladder note of praise and cry, "Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain."

We drove fifteen miles across the Barrens to Heart's Content the next day. The glittering rays of a brilliant June sun playfully danced upon the rippling waters as the waves, tossing, and tumbling, chased each other in Conception and Trinity Bays as if in gay, childish frolic. Away in the distance the huge icebergs, like magnificent crystal castles, moved slowly and majestically in the sea's deep emerald, their snow-white purity standing out in unique contrast against the dense sapphire of the vaulted sky overhead and the sombre hues of the rolling hills of the uplands above.

Over Newfoundland's little harbours the spirit of peace brooded, and the gentle breeze rising from the ocean beyond fanned the toilers at their nets, and the women working industriously in the little gardens surrounding the fishermen's cottages. After some hours driving we found ourselves approaching Heart's Content.

It was in the pretty half-circle bay at Heart's Content that the Great Eastern anchored years ago with the first Atlantic Cable. The Telegraph Company's offices are located here, making it rather an important place.

At Hant's Harbour (thirteen miles away), we arrived next day, just in time to witness a sight which we shall never forget. Flags were flying - including that at the top of the Army flag-pole - all over the harbour all the morning. Three schooners bound for the Straits of Belle Isle had been waiting for fair wind to enable them to start for their summer's work. In fact, they had started out once but were obliged to return. On board they had a living freight of about ninety souls, among them being nearly thirty of our own soldiers. When they returned they prayed earnestly that they might be detained, so that they might enjoy the night's meeting with us, but we and they were doomed to disappointment. Suddenly from the verandah of the officers' quarters we saw them weighing anchor, hoisting their sails, and taking the schooner's boats aboard. One after another the three boats beat out of the harbour. They go in companies like this so that they may aid each other should they encounter ice. As we stood waving our handkerchiefs, we saw a crimson one go up at the stern of one of the vessels, and across the water in the distance we caught the strains of a hymn. It was carried by the breeze over the waves, and the words which reached us as the vessels tacked back and forth before reaching the open sea were, "O say, will you go to the Eden above?" It was beautiful.

A few years ago, as all final preparations were being made for their arduous summer's toil, a listener would have heard oaths and curses. How different now! Many are saved, and if they do not all return - for many are lost every year off these coasts - they have left behind them bright testimonies of God's saving and keeping power. In spite of the number who had left this little place the barracks was crowded with people and the platform with Salvationists. A veil of sadness seemed to rest upon them, for many present had parted with their best loved ones. These dear Newfoundlanders feel their annual separation very much, for they are an affectionate people.

At Scilly Cove, which my husband had opened, and where we had encountered opposition and persecution from a source it should not be expected, we had two of the most interesting meetings in which I have ever had the privilege of taking part. A dear girl volunteered to the Cross while the Staff-Captain sang, "The door of God's mercy is open." How she wept over her heart-backslidings! "A backslider just out of hell," she cried; "God have mercy on a backslider just out of hell!" I thought her poor hands would be bruised and broken as she struck them vehemently upon the penitent-form. At night she testified twice to her new-found peace.

The building was densely packed for the evening meeting. English Church people Methodists and Salvationists testifying in rapid succession to a happy salvation, everyone telling their name and denomination when doing so. Five recruits were then enrolled, and a most enjoyable Soldiers' Council was conducted.

The scenery around the two bays is delightful, as we proved during our eighty-five miles driving over rocks, under rocks, around cliffs, beside the lovely natural harbours, and through a charming though wild country.

Some one has written:

John Read was a great worker. He toiled incessantly, not only for the good he was anxious to do and the blessing he longed to bring to those about him, but for the pure love of doing. Activity was his natural element and his whole being seemed set on fire with a determined energy that nothing had power to suppress. Hundreds of time I have seen him in Newfoundland, the North-West, and those last three years when he was always doing battle with pain and weakness, go to what he felt his post of duty when it seemed a physical impossibility for him to do it. "Life is short, God will help me," was always his argument. And, with this conviction strong upon him, all who have been closely associated with him will testify that he surely triumphed where those of less buoyant courage would have given in and felt the task before them impossible. If it is true, as Herbert Spencer says, that "Genius is the art of taking infinite pains," and of so taking hold of circumstances as to control them and make them subservient to one's will and purpose, then John Read was a genius, for this was ever his aim. If he had a small audience to address, he was just as earnest and interested as if a larger crowd sat before him, and when, through his failing health, he was obliged to relinquish some of his more important departments of work, he was not discouraged or depressed by the fact, but took up the lighter duties with the same zeal and energy as characterize his efforts when at the acme of his strength and usefulness. Perhaps his greatest power, however, was his faculty for setting others to work.

There are several references in his diaries to the Monthly Sergeant's Councils in Newfoundland. These meetings were a great stimulus to the Local Officers in St. John's and the means of inspiring them to greater exploits for their God. Only last summer, while visiting the Island, one of them, Sergeant Coffeil, of No. 2 corps, said to me, "Oh, I never forget the great blessing those monthly meetings were to my soul, they live with me yet."

Another way in which he was instrumental in starting others into fields of greater usefulness, was the uncompromising way he urged upon those who had been called by the Holy Spirit into the work of soul-saving to go forth in obedience to that call. I believe between sixty and seventy candidates for Officership were accepted during his command of Newfoundland. He regularly conducted Candidates' meetings in St. John's, which were a real blessing to those who attended. A promising officer remarked to me the other day, "I should never have been in the field if it had not been for the way he followed me up in the dear old days in Newfoundland." Not only did he use his powers of verbal persuasion and imperative urging, but he used his pen freely on the subject, He wrote many burning appeals to "those at ease in Zion," to rise up, and, as watchmen upon the walls, proclaim "the way of life and the way of death." In one of these appeals he says:

Oh, that this message from the heart - now still in the grave - that once throbbed warmly with one purpose; from the pen of one whose hands often traced just such straight, fervent appeals, may touch some one yet keeping back "part of the price," that they may rush into the breach and spend teir lives in seeking and saving the lost ones.

John Read believed in setting everyone to work. "Strengthen your spiritual muscle by exercise," I have often heard him exclaim; and, with this in view, the most timid and backward soldier, or most reticent beginner in the Christian life was brought forward to take part in his meetings.

The open air was his favorite battle field. Some months ago, before he went to his reward, a well-dressed, highly-educated gentleman came to speak to me in a public gathering. "I am a stranger to you," he began, "and to your husband, but I want you to tell your husband when you return home that eight years ago I heard him speak at the corner of College and Yonge Streets, Toronto. I was a nominal Christian at the time, but the words of truth he spoke took hold of my heart. I am convinced that I, as a Christian, should not indulge in the habit of smoking. I gave it up then and there, and have been a better man ever since. Tell him, will you, I shall never forget the blessing that open-air service was to me!"

In Newfoundland we had a great deal of opposition to the open-air work. Its purpose was not understood by the citizens, and many objected strongly to it. There were several cases of arrest on various pretexts, but in each case my husband ultimately triumphed, and, since that time there has been very little difficulty on this line, and some real victories have been achieved through this mode of preaching the Gospel, a method adopted by our Great Example on the mountains, road-sides, and sea shores of Palestine. There is one touching little picture of this open-air work among his papers, a scene which reminds one of that depicted by Matthew, when the poor leper, kneeling in the sands, cried for cleansing. He thus describes it:

The beginning of the new year, '93, found my husband very busy, not only in regulating the ordinary work of the Province, but in urging upon the Government the settlement of the Army's relationship to the Education and Marriage Questions. The Premier, Sir William Whiteway, the Colonial Secretary, Hon. C. Bond, Hon. Moses Monroe (since deceased), and Hon. Mr. Morine, were always cordiality itself, and in every way facilitated the Staff-Captain's efforts to bring these matters to a satisfactory climax.

He refers continually in his diaries to these interviews, and to our prospective inauguration of the Rescue Work.

On Wednesday, February 22nd, he says:

Our predecessor, Staff-Captain (now Brigadier) McIntyre, had brought before the Newfoundland Government a bill asking for a special Act by which Staff Officers of the Salvation Army should have the legal right to perform the rite of marriage. The Staff Captain was successful in his endeavor. Unfortunately, it was found when the Act came to be applied it only empowered the Chief Officer of the Army in the Colony. This was not satisfactory, for there were districts in the far-away sections of the Island the Provincial Officer could not possibly visit for months together. An Amendment Act asking for an extension privilege to all Staff Officers holding commissions and being in charge of these districts, was therefore introduced and championed through the Lower House by Mr. Monroe, and the Upper House by Mr. Morine. The amendment was carried, and to the Staff Officers was secured the same right in the celebrating of marriage as the clergy.

Staff-Captain Read performed the first ceremony under the provisions of the new Act. I remember a typical wedding he conducted shortly after in Scilly Cove. We drove down from charming little Heart's Content, a distance of five miles. As we descended the hill leading to Scilly Cove, we were met by a number of Salvationists who were watching for our arrival. They escorted us into the harbour, where the buildings were decorated with flags and everything bore a gala day appearance.

The meeting was an ordinary Army one, characterized, of course, by Newfoundland fervor and zeal. At its close we retired to the home of the bride's friends, I believe, amid the firing of guns and general evidences of rejoicing on the part of all. The tables were spread with the best the harbour could offer, and a large number of guests sat down to supper. During its progress there was singing and music, and, later, testimonies on Salvation lines made joyous the scene for many hours. My dear husband was in his element, and led in his usual happy vein. While singing a favorite chorus, "Oh, we are going to wear a crown, To wear a starry crown," he noticed one of the soldiers, instead of clapping his hands as were the others, tapping his head vigorously. "What are you doing, Brother D______?" he asked. "Oh, it just fits, Staff, it just fits - the crown just fits!" The brother had been carried away by the spirit of the song until in his imagination he had risen above earth's cares and burdens and felt the pressure of his crown upon his head.

At our farewell at No. 2 St. John's the following year, the wedding service, uniting two of our soldiers was performed. The place was gorged with an eager crowd, many could not find even standing room.

The Staff-Captain was in one of his merry moods, and amid amused excitement told the audience how many people he had married in Newfoundland, adding: "If you want me to marry you, you must hurry up, I'll tie the knot for you all if you like before I go."


The story of the Army's establishment in Newfoundland forms a fascinating chapter of its early history, and reminds one, in the rapidity of its progress, of the spreading of truth after the day of Pentecost. Two officers went from Canada to St. John's to spend their honeymoon. They commenced to conduct evangelistic meetings. A great revival swept over the city and hundreds were converted. Many of the people from distant parts of the Island, visiting the chief city (St. John's) for supplies, attended the meetings, caught the fire, returned to their own homes, started revival services, built their own barracks, made their own drums, and sent for officers to carry on the movement. This aggressive work had been going on for some years, but during our stay in the country the Macedonian calls continued to pour in upon us, beseeching us to take charge of it in the far-away harbours.

"Yes, sir, I'd rather go on one meal a day if I could only get Army Officers to come out to our place," said a man who called at our Headquarters one day to plead the interest of his outport home. Many similar urgent appeals were made; some we were unable, through lack of men and means, to respond to. But Staff-Captain Read opened several places, among them Old Perlican, Wesleyville, Trinity, Scilly Cove and Dildo.


Chapter X
Newfoundland Warfare

While in Newfoundland the presence of the gentle, brown-eyed little Winnifred was lent us to brighten our home for a few months. Her short life was a blessing to ourselves and many others. The night of her public dedication when the "little white coat," as some of the friends lovingly called her, was given to God twelve precious souls made their way out of the great crowd at old No. 1 and knelt at the Cross. A young boy, Willie Collins, much afflicted bodily was drawn to the meeting through curiosity, and was afterwards converted in the dining-room of our home through its influence. He went to Heaven some time ago after three years' faithful soldiership, two of which were spent confined to his bed, rejoicing in the Salvation that he always said he found through little Winnie Read. Her father idolized her, and his fond hope was that she should grow up a useful woman. But when, one Sunday in August as the grey shadows of early dawn penetrated the night's darkness, the little life, after thirty hours' struggle with a virulent malady, fluttered out into the tender Shepherd's bosom, his voice was the first to find utterance through his tears and say, "It is Jesus, darling, we must not rebel," little dreaming how short a time would elapse before he would, in the Angel land, claim his loved treasure again.

Ensign Payne was like a brother, and managed all arrangements for us, conducting the funeral and laying the tiny remains away in St. John's pretty cemetery. It was in those dark days, when the sun seemed to have set in the gloom of night and the light had gone out of our home, that the depth of the affection of our loving soldiers and the interest of the many warm-hearted friends was made manifest. My own heart was numbed with the pain that finds no relief in tears.

As the solemn funeral cortege passed along, the silent sympathy which showed itself in the uncovered heads of the crowds on the streets and the large procession of Salvationists following was touching in the extreme. And when I turned and saw three lame sisters who were unable to march on ordinary occasions, walking with the others, the evidence of their sympathy touched my heart's deepest fountains and I wept floods of tears. My husband wrote a pathetic letter to my dear mother, which shows the depth of his affectionate spirit and the faith he exercised in his God:

Our hearts were possessed with the desire so beautifully expressed by Margaret Sangster:

The Self-Denial effort was an important feature of the later end of the year. I will only quote from the Commandant's comments upon the success of the scheme:

I must pass over an interim. The later part of the year was spent by Staff-Captain Read in visiting the northern coast of the Island, and the story of his adventures and experiences is a second edition of the travels of the apostles. We spent Christmas in the Bonavista district, my husband in Wesleyville, myself in lovely Trinity.

We had expected to rejoin each other and return to Divisional Headquarters for the Yuletide season, in fact, had some special gatherings arranged which, of course, had to be postponed. It was the steamer's last trip for the winter, and she was ice-bound for many days. I waited a week in Trinity, watching in vain on a hilltop all one beautiful moonlight night for her appearance in the picturesque bay beyond.

My husband's journal entry for Christmas Day reads:

The year 1894 dawned, a year that was to mean so much change, joy and sorrow in our lives and work. It commenced with a never-to-be-forgotten Watch-night gathering.

John's first entry for the New Year was:

Rescue Work. - We had not been long in Newfoundland before we were quite convinced that a Rescue Home was much needed, as there was no institution of the kind on the Island. The importance of this, however, was not so patent to many of St. John's citizens, and they did not seem prepared to give it the support without which we could not make such an undertaking successful. Some preparatory work in the way of personal visitation among the most philanthropic people was done, however, and the need emphasized. My husband was always anxious to help those whose early environment had been of a degenerating nature, whose childhood had been deprived of the elevating influence of Christian home-culture. Many such find their way into our Rescue Homes, as well as others in whom a higher standard of morality might be expected. The last verse in the Good Book he ever drew my attention to was Isaiah xlii. 22: "But this is a people robed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses; they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith restore." Saying: "I think this text would be helpful to you sometime in your Social and Prison work."

When, therefore, the Commandant said to me during my visit to Canada in 1893: "If you can raise the money, Mrs. Read, you have my consent to open a Rescue Home," my husband was anxious to facilitate every effort in this direction. We had the pleasure of inaugurating the Rescue work in a splendid, influential gathering in No. 1 Barracks, at which a large number of leading citizens were present, and we opened a little Home a few days afterwards. His deep interest is shown in his diary:

This reference to the singing in our little home brings back to me memories of the delightful intermissions in our busy lives in Newfoundland Headquarters. When our official work was finished, often late in the evening, we put away books, reports, pens and paper, and, for a little time, enjoyed mingling our voices in praise to our King. We were sometimes joined by other friends. I remember on one occasion, especially, Secretary Charlie Ollerhead was spending his vacation with us, assisting in the office. Ensign Payne had joined our family party. We sang of the War, Heaven and the Blood, little thinking that, in less than five years, three of the five who composed the happy group would have ended the warfare, and washed in the precious Blood, be singing the song of Moses and the Lamb in the New Jerusalem. But it was so. Charlie Ollerhead, after a faithful soldier ship in his Heart's Content home and the Cable Telegraph Offices, finished a beautiful life, known and admired by all, and left, as a dying testimony, "I shall soon be in glory." Ensign Payne, after a brave service of Officership, and eighteen months' suffering "behind the scene," triumphed in the power he so earnestly recommended to others. My own loved one also finished his warfare as he always prayed and hoped to finish. "He fell like a warrior; he died at his post."

John's favorite song on those occasions was:-

A few extracts about the tour referred to in his diary of Jan. 16, and which in some ways was a real disappointment as my husband had a serious breakdown in his health, and much of the tour I was obliged to fill his engagements. He was beginning to feel the effects of his exposure and laborious work on the Island. I had been obliged to leave him behind at Brigus. He was not able to stand on his feet, but, in his anxiety to be at his post, he followed the next day.

We finished the tour amidst the greatest difficulty, but in spite of sickness and inclement weather, and almost impassable roads, we visited every place planned for - had crowded gatherings and a real harvest of souls for the Master.

But in the midst of our schemes for the future, and when we hoped to stay on until the middle of the coming year, anyway - we were willing to live and die there - the unexpected news of our farewell arrived. We had been conducting one of a seven day's series of special meetings at No. 2 St. John's, and for the first time had spoken publicly of our plans for coming warfare. As we walked home, four of us, Captain Jost, Scribe, Captain Rice, Trade Special, we talked happily of the beautiful enthusiastic march and meeting we had just participated in - but my husband's journal shall describe what followed:

A beautiful work of soul-saving was going on in St. John city. The Officers in charge, Ensign Payne and Captain Baldwin (now Mrs. Ensign Collier), with their helpers and soldiers were being much blessed.

No. 1 Corps reported fifty-two souls saved the week prior to our farewell, and No. 2, fifty-one, the same week. We were soldiers to obey, and, though we loved our people much, and would like to have completed several things we had on hand, yet we believed our Commander, who understood the needs of the whole field, knew where his Officers would do the most useful service, so we made preparations immediately to depart, not knowing whither.

There was much to do - arrangements to be made for our successors, the Colonial Secretary to be visited respecting a Government subsidy to our new Rescue Work. Farewell meetings to be conducted - campaign to the nearest harbours round the bay to be made, and hundreds of minor matters which required attention.

Our last Sunday in the Island was one that will ever live in my heart - fifteen people professed to find Christ in the services. There was also a delightful meeting with the Officers of the city, who had endeared themselves to our hearts, great gatherings at the two city corps, farewell supper and council with our own people and other services.

The St. John's press said of my husband in reporting our farewell:-

And he wrote of our brave warriors -

Surely of these self-denying officers it may be written, as the poet, Whittier, wrote of an Indian Missionary:-

The memory of those last days in Newfoundland, time and eternity will not erase, nor the sight of that great crowd of friends and soldiers who stood in the blinding rain and falling snow singing, as our steamer moved towards the Narrows out to sea:-


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