Page 46 - Presbyterianism in Old Cape Breton
ISSUE : Issue 42
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1
sociations of the sacred ordinance! Hundreds on hundreds eagerly bent over to catch the tones of the several speakers, as if listening to the utter? ances of an oracle. Many had come thirty, several forty, some fifty and one seventy-five miles in or? der to enjoy the occasion. "The diets of worship were well attended on Satur? day, but the Sabbath was the great day of the feast. On this day the interest and solemnity cul? minated. But alasl the weather had changed and be? come unpropitious in the last degree. On Saturday, the sky began to assume an ominous appearance, and by night-fall a 'down-pour' set in. Morning dawned, but with it came no abatement of the storm, and everything betokened a day of rain. "Though I could not hope to be edified by hearing, as the exercises were conducted in a tongue un? known to me, I certainly was by the sight which then presented itself. To reach the place I had to cross the public highway. Far as the eye could reach were vehicles of eyery description. Beyond the billow-shaped graveyard, and up into a retired glen, I found myself at the outskirts of a mass of people hanging on the lips of the speaker. The min? isters, being in a tent constructed like a large sentry-box, alone were protected from the weather. Before them extended a row of supported planks im? provised into a Communion Table. On the slopes ris? ing around in the shape of an amphitheatre sat at least 1000 persons, from the grandsire of eighty winters to the youth of twelve summers! Men in their prime and girls in their teens; here a line, of aged women, eye glassy with the tear of emotion. much covered with dark silk handkerchief, the black shawl held up by one corner to the mouth with one hand; there a clump of old men with head bare of bonnet or protecting locks, leaning each on his staff and devouring the preached word. "For five hours and twenty minutes that multitude sat upon the soaking sward as if glued to it. Dur? ing the first two hours of that time, the rain came down incessantly. Comparatively few had um? brellas to raise, and every male had his head un? covered. As I cast my eye over the scene, my first thought was 'Does not God love mercy rather than sacrifice?' But as I continued to gaze, and saw that eyery look, every gesture, eyery shade of ex? pression betokened intense earnestness, high- wrought interest and soul-wrought devotion, other thoughts suggested themselves, and I was led to pay the tribute of admiration to the robustness of their religion. While the preacher was serving the last table from the text 'Behold the Lamb of God,' the feelings of many seemed to master them, and a swell of agitation heaved the bosoms of the commun? icants. Awe crept over me as I looked from face to face and took in the impress of the whole scene. "They did not stir from that spot until nearly half-past four o'clock, and yet two prayer meet? ings (the one conducted in Gaelic in the church, and the other in English in a neighboring school house) held at six o'clock were numerously at? tended. Greedier hearers of Gospel truth it has never been my privilege to witness. The more they got, the more thirstily desirous were they to re? ceive more preachir'g. Who can doubt that the Holy rwil ORMAWAY I nn TENNIS • HIKING • BIKING • SALMON FISHING- LODGE & CABINS The first choice for fine food and lodging on the Cabot Trail since 1928 The setting is classic, the food is superb, the service is sincere "The Normaway Inn attracts more favourable comment year in and year out than any other restaurant in this guide. (fronn Where to Eat In Canada, 1984 -1985) DINING ROOM Open nightly from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Walk ins welcome. Weeknights enjoy Cape Breton songs by the fireside in our living room with Bernadette Goth. For more information and reservations, call or write David MacDonald THE NORMAWAY INN P.O. Box 185, Margaree Valley, N.S. BOE 2C0 (902)248-2987 Follow the signs to Normaway's 250 acre property, centrally located in the magical Margaree Valley. It is the ideal place to begin your discovery of the best of Cape Breton's culture. THE BARN featuring traditional and Cape Breton music or live theatre most weekends. Midway Motors Ltd. Middle River R. R. No. 3, Baddeck Victoria Co., N. S. BOE IBO 295-2290 Local Dealer for CHRYSLER Products Aries SE d-door Sedan is shown AC AD inn 4 TRIPS DAILY BETWEEN HALIFAX-SYDNEY F/IST _, Dally delivery to all points in Nova Scotia Fast, Reliable Parcel Express flcpDinn LinEs TcAninai and CwieralOfficr 6040 Almon St. HailuBSKSMI Ttl. 454-??32
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