His Excellency then made numerous inquiries of Mr. Dubois and Mr. Norton, respecting the condition of society, business, means of education and religious worship in the Miramichi country. He already knew Mr. Dubois by reputation, and was gratified to have this opportunity of meeting him. He inquired of the missionary how he happened to light upon New Brunswick as the scene of his religious labors, and listened to Mr. Norton’s account of his “call” to Miramichi with unaffected interest.
The next day the case was brought before the Jury. The charge having been read, Mr. Dubois appeared in behalf of the missionary, testifying to his good character and to the nature of his spiritual teachings. He also presented to the Jury three commissions from the Governor of the State of ——, which Mr. Norton had in his possession, one of them being a commission as Chaplain of the Regiment to which he belonged. Inquiry being made whether Mr. Norton’s preaching was calculated to disaffect subjects towards the government, no evidence was found to that effect. On the contrary, witnesses were brought to prove the reverse.
Mr. Mummychog, aware before he left Miramichi, that a number of his compeers in that region, who had been in the habit of coming to the Grove to hear Mr. Norton discourse, were just now at Fredericton, on lumbering business, had been beating up these as recruits for the occasion, and now brought forward quite an overpowering weight of evidence in favor of the defendant. These men testified that he had preached to them the importance of fulfilling their duties as citizens, telling them, that unless they were good subjects to the civil government, they could not be good subjects in Christ’s kingdom. They testified, also, that they had frequently heard him pray in public, for the health, happiness, and prosperity of His Majesty, and for blessings on the Lord Lieutenant-Governor.
After a few minutes of conversation, the Jury dismissed the charge.
The party retired, much gratified at the favorable conclusion of what might, under other circumstances, have proved to the missionary an annoying affair. Mr. Norton warmly expressed his gratitude to Mr. Dubois, as having been the main instrument, in securing this result. He also cordially thanked Micah and his friends, for their prompt efforts in his behalf.
“Twant much of a chore, any heow”, said Micah. “I never could stan’ by and see any critter put upon by another he’d done no harm to, and I never will”.
As they returned to the hotel, Mr. Dubois remarked that this journey to the Capital, after all, might not be without good results.
“You made”, he said to Mr. Norton, “an extremely favorable impression on the minds of several gentlemen, who wield power in the province, and should you be subjected to future persecutions, you will probably be able to secure their protection”.
“Possibly—possibly. I am grateful, if I have in any way secured the good will of those gentlemen. I was particularly impressed by their dignity, affability, and readiness to oblige yourself. But, my dear sir, it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes”.