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Mr. Johnson writes on this subject, at the close of last year—
The field of labour is now greatly extended, by means of the authority with which Sir Charles MacCarthy is invested. I hope that the Society will endeavour to send as much help as possible. Our prayer is, that those who may be sent be such as are called to the work by the Holy Spirit. We should rejoice to see men of that description in great numbers. Forty or fifty would be very acceptable.
There are three things which we want: 1st. The prayers of Christians—2dly, The money of Christians—and 3dly, Men of God, to preach Christ crucified.
In the last Report, the Committee stated the measures adopted by the American Colonization Society for the formation of a Settlement on the coast of Africa, and expressed their hopes that American Christians would soon come into co-operation with them on these shores. They regret to state that the difficulties which attended the first attempts of the Society have been followed by others. The result of the visit paid by the Agents to the Bassa Country, which was mentioned in the last Report, was the purchase from the Natives of a considerable quantity of land, at St. John's River, for the establishment of a Colony. On the return, however, of the Agents to Sierra Leone, one of them, Mr. Ephraim Bacon, from ill health, left the Colony, with Mrs. Bacon, for America; and another, the Rev. Mr. Andrus, soon after died. On the melancholy subject of his death, Mr. Johnson writes, Aug. 1, 1821—
The Rev. Mr. Andrus, the principal Agent of the American Mission, died on the 28th ult. He seemed to be an excellent man: the more I became acquainted with him, the more I loved him. He was assured that this was not his Rest; though he had no idea, during the whole of his sickness, which continued but a week, of his departure from it: but he is now entered into his Eternal Rest !
About a month afterward, Mr. J. B. Winn, another Agent, died in Sierra Leone; with his wife, and the son of the Bassa King who had accompanied Mr. Andrus and Mr. Bacon to the Colonyt. Dr. Ayres
* Various circumstances are stated on these subjects at pp. 371—375 of the Missionary Register for 1821, and at pp. 22 and 23 of the Volume for the present year.
had arrived at Sierra Leone, as Agent, at the close of last year. In reference to this scene of the Society's labours, the Committee wish to state, that their attention having been called to the Narrative printed in the Fourth Appendix to the last Report, which imputes to the Natives of Africa the practice of Cannibalism, and strong objections to the credibility of the imputation having been submitted to the Committee, they think it proper to caution the Members not to consider the publication of the Narrative in question as giving in any degree the authority of the Society for the truth of the facts related, or as amounting to an admission on the belief of the Society that Cannibalism is a practice which really exists in Africa. But while the Committee suggest this caution, they would not be considered as imputing to the Author of the Narrative any intention to mislead, it being evident that he was, in one instance at least, deceived by the terrors of his own imagination; and it being thought by some Members, who disbelieve his statements, that they may all be resolved into misinformation, and the workings of a mind which appears to have been susceptible of terorific impressions in a more than ordinary degree.
COLONY OF SIERRA LEON E.
Every year adds to the importance of this Colony,
and to the prospect of its becoming an efficient means of intercourse with the Interior of the Continent.* The general enlargement of the sphere of labour in connection with it has been already stated. Of the openings for usefulness within the Colony itself, Mr. Nyländer thus speaks:—
There is so much work in Free Town, that three or four Missionaries—besides the Chaplains, Wesleyan Missionaries, and half-a-dozen Black Preachers of this Colony—would find full employment, and have nothing else than their Ministry to attend to. . The Chaplains are much engaged in the Church and Parish; and are frequently prevented by illness from attending other places. At Kissey, I have about 1100 people under my
* Various notices on this subject will be found in the Missionary Register for the present year, pp. 7–14 and 154–161 ; with some information respecting the Progress of the Colony, and Remarks on its Climate, printed since the Anniversary, at pp. 239–241.
charge : 600 of them reside in town, and have opportunities of hearing the Word. About 400 of these attend; and about 50 of them have, I believe, some sense of religion. But there are 500 living astray, and in farms and hamlets, to whom I cannot attend. Wellington should have been under our care, had we a Missionary to place there: I attended to the people last year, till I found that this obliged me to neglect my own. You will hear from the Brethren Johnson and Düring how anxiously the people of York and the Bananas desire to hear the Word of God; and, when you read, in the Minutes of our last Meeting, what regulations we were obliged to make, in removing from place to place such persons as are in the service of the Society, &. heart must be moved once more with compassion for
Western Africa; especially when you consider that there are but seven of us now living in Africa, to attend to the spiritual demands of fourteen Stations.
In compliance with these pressing calls, the Committee are preparing a considerable number of Labourers, who will proceed to Sierra Leone at the close of the present Rains: but, in all parts of the Heathen World, and especially in the more ungenial climates, the increase of Native Labourers is an object of main importance to the extension of Christianity. The Committee have much pleasure, therefore, in reporting the addition of other Native Teachers to those which are already employed by the Society in Sierra Leone. Mr. Johnson writes on this subject, at the end of December—
As William Davis has now the charge of Wilberforce, and Hastings is left vacant, I have spoken to one of our oldest Communicants, who has undertaken to officiate, for the present, at Hastings. He was baptised with Tamba, Davis, and Noah— has useful gifts in prayer and explaining the Scripture, and reads well. He is a tailor by trade, and independent of Government —has a wife and one child—and is of irreproachable conduct. As he will have to go on Saturday and come back on Monday, we shall be obliged to allow him something for loss of time. We have another Communicant, a carpenter, who has offered his services to the Society: he is very promising. I have put him on trial: he receives extra instruction; and, should he prove worthy, I shall, at a future period, present him to the Society. He has an ardent desire to teach his countrymen. I feel thankful that we are enabled to supply with Native Teachers those Settlements for which we cannot obtain Europeans. W. Tamba, I am happy to say, conducts himself with great propriety: the people under his care at Bathurst do certainly improve. The Schools are in good order. I am, on the other hand, sorry that he cannot now visit the Sherbro Country. Oh, that the Lord would send us more help! As a number of Class Teachers are required on the National System of Education which is now established in the Colony, and these places are supplied by the more advanced Scholars, who receive a small stipend for their encouragement, it may be reasonably hoped that from this body a constant succession of Students may be obtained for the Christian Institution at Regent's Town, and that from the operation of this system the wants of the Colony and its vicinity will gradually be supplied. This No. Assistance is the more important, as the health of Europeans is so precarious on these shores. The last rains were severe, and proved fatal in their effects, more particularly to persons who had recently arrived. Mr. Flood writes, in October, that upward of thirty, chiefly new-comers, had died. The deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Hughes, in the Gambia, in August, and of Mr. Renner, at Kent, in September, have been already stated. Mr. and Mrs. Düring, and Mr. and Mrs. Norman, with Mrs. Lisk, had suffered severely: Mr. Flood had been twice confined with fever; but the lives of all were mercifully spared. The return of the First Chaplain, the Rev. Thomas Rock Garnsey, and of Mrs. Garnsey, was mentioned in the last Report. The Second Chaplain, the Rev. Samuel Flood, has succeeded him ; and the Rev. Henry Palmer, admitted to Holy Orders by the Lord Bishop of London, has been appointed to the Second Chaplaincy. Some changes have taken place in the Stations of the Missionaries, in the course of the year, which will be noticed in their proper places. Very considerable accessions were made, at different times, to the Liberated Negroes under the Society's care. Several hundreds of these emancipated Slaves have been recently associated with their countrymen at Regent's Town and Gloucester, and are partaking with them in all the blessings of Christian Instruction,
The most affecting scenes were witnessed on these occasions.
Upward of 200 Slaves, just liberated from their cruel bondage, having been delivered to Mr. Johnson's care, to be conducted to Regent's Town, he says—
As soon as we came in view, all the people ran out of their houses toward the road, to meet us, with loud acclamations. When they beheld the new people, weak and faint, they caught hold of them, carried them on their backs, and led them up toward my house. As they lay there exhausted on the ground, many of our people recognised their friends and relatives; and there was a general cry of “O Massa! my Sister!”—“My Brother!"—“My Sister!"—“My Countryman he live in the same town " I cannot do justice to the scene. None of us could refrain from shedding tears; and lifting up our hearts in prayer and praise to the wonder-working God, whose ways are in the deep. A similar scene took place on the arrival, at Gloucester, of another company of newly-liberated Slaves. In Mr. Düring's account of their reception, the Members will notice with pleasure his testimony to the owerful influence of Christianity on his own people. aving received a considerable body of Slaves under his charge, he says–
When I got them all out of Freetown, on their way to Gloucester, I reviewed them; and soon found that I had not brought men enough with me, to help these poor afflicted people up the hill. Happily, a man, while they were passing, after liberation, through the Court of the Mixed Commission, had run up to Gloucester to fetch more people to carry the sick home. Ignorant of what the man had done, I went on slowly with them, almost despairing of getting them up: but I had not gone far from the foot of the hill, before I was met by great numbers, who, as they came up, took upon their backs those who were unable to walk; and when I was half way up, I saw almost the whole of them carried by those whom we had met on the road.
It struck me very much, particularly when I compared this affecting scene with some which I had formerly beheld. Mr. Bickersteth can sufficiently judge, for he was a witness of the wretched state of the Captured Negroes when they arrive in the Colony; but he, then, could not have beheld such a pleasing scene. The Negroes, then in the Colony, would sometimes slip out to see if any of their respective countrymen were among the newly-arrived; if not, they would take little or no notice of the unhappy sufferers: but now, they sympathize with their distressed fellow-creatures, in a manner the most striking.