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Memoir of the Rev James MacGregor D.D.
Appendix A. Petition from Pictou


To the Reverend, the Moderator and remanent members of the Presbytery of -, to meet at -.

The Representation and Petition of us a Committee appointed by the inhabitants of Pictou in the Province of Nova Scotia, for obtaining a minister of the Everlasting Gospel,—Humbly shewing:

That, for nigh twenty years past since the first settlers came to Pictou, they have laboured under a variety of hardships and difficulties, which it would be needless here to mention; but which our Commissioners, Messrs. John Buchanan, Senr. and John Pagan, are pretty well acquainted with. What has been most affecting to us was the want of the Gospel and ordinances thereof dispensed among us during that time. For though the Philadelphia Company made provision for, and sent a minister, viz., the Rev. James Lyon, at the first Settlement, yet he did not continue among us, which very much discouraged the people, and was exceedingly detrimental to the settling of the place; and though we have had several visits of the Rev. Daniel Cock, of Truro, and David Smith, of Londonderry, in our neighbourhood from time to time, yet many, very many silent Sabbaths have passed over our heads to our very great grief, and the great prejudice of the interest of religion, especially with respect to a numerous young generation, for want of the ordinary means of grace and salvation ; and though the settlement of the place has met with a variety of discouragements, and back-sets in Holy Providence, yet our number within these few years by past is very considerably increased, and is daily increasing, and a very promising prospect of yet a far greater increase, occasioned by the happy peace between Great Britain and the States of North America.

We have agreed to pay to the minister settled among us, in the meantime £80 per annum, for the first and second year; £90 per annum, for the third and fourth year, and thereafter £100 currency, that is £90 sterling, annually,—one-half thereof in cash and the other in produce; and if Providence smile upon the Settlement and our industry, we hope soon to he able to make some addition to that sum. Besides we have agreed to build a house and barn for the minister, and that he shall have a glebe Lot of land. And, also that we shall clear so much of it from time to time for his encouragement, &c. As to farther information that the members may require, our Commissioners can satisfy them.

We would, therefore earnestly request the Presbytery, in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, the alone King and Head of the Church, and for his sake,—for the advancement of his kingdom, and for the salvation of precious perishing souls in this wilderness—that you may take every proper step which your wisdom may point forth unto you, agreeable to the sacred oracles, to send us with all convenient speed a minister to labour in word and doctrine amongst us—as also for strengthening the hands of the few ministers of the Presbyterian denomination already here—and for some farther supply of several other vacant congregations and desolate Corners in the Province—who are as sheep without a shepherd as well as ourselves, and who are frequently asking for supply, but can obtain very little, though they may happily be encouraged, if we succeed, to take more vigorous measures to obtain ministers.

That he who has the stars of the Churches in his right hand may direct you to a proper object, and put it in his heart to come over to our Macedonia for our help; that the Breaker may go before you and be a spirit of judgment unto you when sitting in judgment, and with his eye set upon you to give you all that counsel and direction that may be necessary in this and every other matter that may conic before you, for the glory of his great name and the advancement of his interest and kingdom, is the sincere prayer of us the Committee aforesaid.—Subscribed by us for ourselves and brethren at Pictou, this eighth day of November, 1784.

[ Signed ] Robert Patterson, John Patterson, Robert Marshall, William Smith, Donald MacKay.


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