J N Darby – French Letter No. 104 – Work in the West Indies

                                                                                                                   Barbados – 1869

To Mr P

Beloved Brother,

… The work does not go badly here. Save Jamaica, a large and beautiful island, and Demerara[1], a colony of which the territory is as large as Great Britain, they are little islands dotted in the sea.

God has blessed our brother S here: there is a meeting where piety prevails with hunger and thirst for the truth. I have never seen a more attentive congregation, and while our meeting place may be meaner, the listeners are not lacking there. Demerara has more than one meeting. The desire to hear grew there during my visit; there was good there; while being a bit drowsy, they go on however rather well; and now new souls are added. Our visit of course encouraged these brethren. In Demerara, they are 350, principally coloured people; in Barbados, fifty with more whites, and more white in appearance. As to the population in Demerara (a prosperous colony) it is striking; it is a mixture of Chinese, Hindus, etc, of all sorts of races; they go almost naked. Marriage, though there is progress, was the exception; the greater proportion of the brothers support illegitimate children; and although the brethren, it goes without saying, make these unions a matter of discipline, difficulties arise. A son of a family brings a girl into the home, and in society conscience is void in this respect. They were firm at the beginning about these cases also, and it gets better, but these morals – the result of slavery – are terrible. In the meetings, everything is in order, but one is surrounded by it in the case of those who come there.

The date of my letter will explain to you my long delay.

Peace be with you, dear brother.  Salute all the brethren affectionately

Yours affectionately in Christ

[1] Demerara was a region in South America in what is now Guyana that was colonised by the Dutch in 1611. The British invaded and captured the area in 1796. It was located about the lower courses of the Demerara River, and its main town was Georgetown.

Letter originally written in French, translated by Sosthenes, 2013
Click here for original – If you have any comments on the translation, feel free to let me know.

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