The Bishop of St. John returned last week from the visitation of that portion is his Diocese which lies above Woodstock on the River St. John, and on Sunday he told the Congregation at the Cathedral what the results of his visit were. He gave Confirmation to over sixteen hundred children, and, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Lefebre, of Memramcook College, he gave a “Mission” in two of the Parishes, in which over three thousand persons went to Confession and received the “Holy Eucharist.” He described the flourishing condition of this magnificent district, in which the population is increasing rapidly, and evidences of comfort and independence abound on all sides. It was nothing unusual to see 150 waggons standing around one of the Churches at early Mass, to which the people flocked from the most distant parts of the Parish. Forty years ago there was not a road in all that County, even as far down as the mouth of the Tobique. Now fine roads run in all directions, and the settlements are constantly and steadily extending.
He also gave Confirmation to a large number of children in the new settlement at Johnville, where, since his visit a year ago, he saw the most marked improvement. The number of settlers is constantly increasing, and there are now about two hundred families, actually living in comfort and almost in opulence, where, five years ago, there was an unbroken wilderness. They have a Church and resident Priest, two Post Offices, School Houses, fine roads, and all the advantages and conveniences enjoyed by the most flourishing of the old settlements, a d they are all prosperous, contented, and happy. A few short years ago not one of all these thriving, independent farmers was better off than the labouring men who still cling to the town, and find themselves to-day poorer than they were when first they were invited to take their share of those fertile lands, and shrank from the difficulties which their cowardice exaggerated. The men who were ambitious, industrious and resolute went in, and to-day they need envy no people in all America, for none are happier.
The Carleton Sentinel last month gave a description of this settlement, which we copy for the benefit of those who ought to be glad to have such an opportunity of escaping from the drudgery and the miseries of the life of a labourer in the mills or in the sewers of the City:
“Five years is a short time, and still here is a settlement of some 200 families, all comfortably situated and having good farms under very successful cultivation, where five years ago the first tree, preparatory to settlement, was cut. One can scarcely realize the fact. Standing on the eminence above Mr. Boyd’s below our feet lay one immense clearing five, six, or perhaps seven, hundred acres in extent, with nothing but the stumps occasionally showing themselves above the heavy headed grain to tell of the original state of the land. A beautiful sight it is, especially associated with the circumstance that so short a time has passed since the place was covered by the primeval forest, to look down upon this vast cultivated field, here and there relieved by the white farm houses, the extensive barns, or the sheep and cattle. While, as if sternly attesting to the greatness of the work accomplished, in the back ground the giant trees of this most rich soil stand encircling in close and luxuriant phalanx.
But this is only a small portion of Johnville. Look right or left, or beyond, and breaks in the forest tell of other clearings and of other habitations.
“The men who here to-day are ‘lords of the soil:’ who here breathe their adopted, if not native air, on their own land; who with their families at eventide can look out upon broad acres of golden grain: whose barns are filled with hay for their cattle; whose flocks and herds are multiplying fast; who feel a sense of independence which few in other branches of business can feel. These man, many of them three or four years ago were laborers in the cities, plodding wearily their daily round of uncertain work for an uncertain living.
“But we did not intend to say as much at this time. To the Rev. Mr. Connolly, whose interest in these settlers has been unceasing and deep, and whose labors for their social and moral well-being have been incessant, all thanks are due, and he has the thanks, as he has the love and respect, as we know, of the settlers. Until recently Rev. Mr. Connolly’s field of labor included Johnville, but now they have a resident Priest, Rev. Mr. M’Kenney.”
The Sentinel then gives the extract from the speech made by Mr. Maguire in the House of Commons, which we published some time since. Our readers will not object to our publishing it again: