Saturday, 6th. Weather calm and clear. Arranged the community in classes, preparatory to the Bishop's examining them for confirmation, which he is busily engaged upon.
Sunday, 7th. Finding them competent to the wise and consistent requirements of the Church, his lordship determined to perform the scriptural rite of Confirmation this afternoon. The morning service commenced at the usual time, myself officiating. At the conclusion of the second lesson the Bishop administered the sacrament of baptism to the infant child of John Adams the second. What would have been the feelings of John Adams the first, could he have seen this day?
Just at the conclusion of the holy rite, the Bishop's Chaplain (the Rev. Mr. Patteson, who had just landed from their vessel) entered the church, having put on his surplice outside, and walking down the aisle, joined the Bishop in the chancel. So many clergymen in their appropriate vestments, present at the same time, had never before been witnessed by our community, and I think excited in them somewhat of wonder and veneration. The Bishop concluded the Liturgy by reading the proper portions of the Communion service; Mr. Patteson assisted. His lordship then went into the pulpit and preached nearly extempore a sermon admirably suited to the occasion, from the Epistle for the day (Eph. iii. 17 19). It was listened to with breathless attention, and was, I think, thoroughly comprehended and retentively appreciated. The sermon concluded, the Holy Eucharist (it being the first Sunday in the month) was administered to sixty-six communicants, the Bishop presenting the bread, myself the wine. After the departure of the congregation, the Bishop, Mr. Patteson, and myself, with old Arthur Quintal, were for some time employed in placing stools in front of the chancel for the accommodation of those about to be confirmed.
At half-past three in the afternoon the service commenced: the candidates were first called by name, and arranged on the before-mentioned stools; the women on the right-hand range or tier; the men on the left. It was, in truth, not only an impressive, but a pleasing scene.
I am sure our Christian friends would have experienced unmitigated pleasure to have seen the aged and the young renewing, and ratifying their Christian obligations in the name of the Lord from whom cometh our help. Before the conclusion, it became nearly dark in the church, and the Bishop was obliged to repair to the outer door in order to distinguish the names of the persons on the certificates of confirmation. The Bishop himself first taking each person by the nand, and using the Christian name of each, asked God's blessing on them. And then the members of the various families returned to their respective homes, well pleased and edified.
The lumber of persons confirmed amounted to eighty-six, including all ages, from Elizabeth Young (daughter of Mills, of the Bounty, and the oldest person in the community, she being about sixty-six), to Andrew Christian, aged fifteen, the great grandson of Fletcher Christian. Three persons only, who were invalids, were exceptions to this general assembly.
The Bishop, in describing the scene at the Confirmation which he held on the island, said, "The Chapel opened into the prison-yard, set round with every kind of cell, for every class of criminal, in every corner heaps of rusty fetters, or cast-off garments marked with the broad arrow, and numbered on the back, as if the wearer were no longer worthy of a name; and all these signs of misery and sin, made more striking by the horrid silence of the solitary cells, or of the wards which the numbers showed to have been once crowded with twenty, thirty, or even one hundred prisoners. Close to this visible type of everything which is most hateful in sin and its consequences, might be heard the song of praise, in which every voice joined, and on the 7th of September, 1856, eighty-six persons there knelt before the Lord's Table, to receive strength to fulfil their baptismal promise, by fighting manfully under Christ's banner, against sin, the world, and the devil."