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and yet render it more efficient by forming them to early habits of industry, directed, as was stated in the last Report, that the Boys should not be retained at school beyond the age of 10 or 12 years; but should then be distributed among the Liberated Adults, with a view to their being actively employed. By this Regulation, the Missionaries were released from the charge of Education; and persons of colour appointed to conduct the Schools, which, it was expected, would be occasionally inspected by the Missionaries and Catechists, who were to have no controul over the Children. The evils, which have already arisen from this arrangement, have induced the Committee to offer to His Majesty's Ministers to take on themselves the whole charge of the Schools; for it is most obvious, that authority, whether concurrent or divided, if exercised by persons of opposite motives, principles, and habits, must bring on continual and injurious collisions. Government wishes, however, the present system to have a fuller trial, but is ready to concur with the Society in establishing some defined Regulations on the subject.
On the Rev. John Raban leaving Freetown, the Rev. William Betts undertook the charge of it; occasionally visiting the Mountain Villages, till his embarkation at the end of April. The Rev. C. L. F. Haensel had assisted, from his arrival in February; and on Mr. Betts's departure, remained in sole charge of the Station, till Mr. Davey's arrival in September. By a recent arrangement, the Rev. J. G. Wilhelm has been appointed to the Mission Chapel at Gibraltar Town, and will attend to the occasional Services; and Mr. Haensel and Mr. Davey have undertaken alternately the Sunday Services at Freetown, till the arrival of a Government Chaplain from England. The return, in consequence of ill health, of Mr. and Mrs. Weeks, who have been engaged in the management of the Eastern Colonial Schools, has been already noticed.
The labours of the “Missionaries have been much
interrupted by sickness during the year. The Rev. J. Raban, as the last Report stated, was compelled by illness to leave the Colony in January: Mr. Betts followed him in April, from the same cause; and, in August, Mr. Haensel had an attack of fever, which caused a suspension of his labours for several weeks. The Services at the Court Room, which have been continued as usual, have been attended by very few Europeans; and a diminution, partly attributable to the impracticability of paying pastoral visits to the Africans, has taken place in the Congregation at Gibraltar Town. On this subject Mr. Haensel writes at Midsummer:— The discouragements of the Ministry in Freetown are standing subjects of lamentation. I am adapting my Sermons at the Court Room more and more to j. comprehension of those few children who attend; because, few as they are, they form the greater number. The Congregation at Gibraltar Chapel, I deeply regret to say, is falling off. It is much to be wished that the people there should have the full benefit of pastoral labours: preaching is but a small part of these labours. At Christmas, Mr. Haensel notices some improvement in the attendance both at the Court Room and at Gibraltar Town. Considerable inconvenience has long been felt, from the want of a suitable Place of Worship at Freetown; but that inconvenience has now been remedied. The Building originally designed for a Church has been divided, and half of it appropriated to the purpose of Public Worship: it was opened on the 13th of January; and the number of persons attending on that and the following Sunday induced the Council to give directions for the fitting-up of the galleries, in order to provide sufficient accommodation for the Congregation. Of the number attending, Mr. Haensel remarks— A considerable increase has undoubtedly taken place in the attendance of the Europeans: that of the Coloured Population is still very trifling, considering the populousness of the parish. The Missionaries stationed at Freetown greatly deplore the obstacles to the due performance of their spiritual duties which have arisen out of their connection with Government: these hindrances Mr. Haensel contrasts with the greater facilities enjoyed by Missionaries of another Denomination:— While we are surrounded with difficulties, spending our time and strength in performing parochial duties, the Wesleyan Missionaries add Chapel to Chapel—collect Congregation after Congregation ...; such a distance as they can conveniently visit—appoint Exhorters, as fit men offer—keep Sunday School—visit the prisoners and the sick in the Jail and Hospitals—receive the sheep of their own flock in their house, and become intimately acquainted with them—and admit to the Ordinances such as they believe to be lively Members of Christ's Church. Mr. Haensel's remark concerning these Labourers is confirmed by a similar one made by Mr. Betts:— They proceed on the principle of not knowing any thing, but to preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. They are resolved to engage in nothing which shall at all divert them from visiting their people and preaching constantly: while the Rector of Freetown sinks in the estimation of the more-discerning of the Africans, who are not able to account for it that he does not engage in the same Evangelical Duties: he has no time to visit the Hospitals, the Jail, and the abodes of sickness, vice, and misery: he has no time for social intercourse with his hearers; nor, by constantly going among them, to evince that he is their spiritual Father and affectionate Minister: the Wesleyan Missionaries have such time, and spend it incessantly in these labours of love. And what is the consequence 2 They have neat and crowded Chapels, built, in great measure by the voluntary contributions of an affectionate people, whose hearts are attached to their Ministers, and open, through the winning influence of the private attentions which they receive from them, to the public instruction which those Ministers impart. I rejoice in the good which I trust they are doing: I bid them God speed: but I lament, at the same time, that we are not in possession of like advantages. CHRISTIAN INSTITUTION. The difficulties which, in the providence of God, have attended the West-Africa Mission, have perhaps fallen more heavily on this most important department of labour than any other; and the frequent interruptions, which have been caused by the scarcity of Christian Teachers, have prevented its efficiency. On Mr. Haensel's arrival in the Colony, there were no Youths in the Institution; and the
Education, was greatly out of repair. Estimates for a new Building had been made; and the Governor, who expressed himself in very favourable terms toward Mr. Haensel's design, suggested several situations : but an opportunity having presented itself of purchasing a part of the late Governor Turner's Estate at Fourah Bay, equally distant from Freetown and Kissey, with Buildings which at a moderate expense can be adapted to the purpose, a purchase has been made ; and Mr. Haensel removed thither the middle of February. He has Four Youths under his care; but only one of them fully answered the description given in his Instructions, printed in the Appendix to the Society's last Report, of those who should become Students of the Institution: but, as he found it impracticable to act up, in this respect, to his Instructions, he admitted the other three Youths on probation. Great as he has found the difficulty of procuring throughout the Colony any Youths duly prepared, in respect of piety and talents, to be received under his care, he anticipates still greater, so long as the new system shall continue; and asks— If, even under the former system, One Youth only was formed to a fitness for reception into the Institution, how is it to be under the new system, which allows us much less influence over the children at school, because it deprives us of the
appointment of Schoolmasters, and takes them altogether from under our eye, out of school hours? This new system is not only thus unfavourable to the due preparation of Students for the Institution, but it will have an injurious tendency in respect of their subsequently becoming Christian Teachers. On this point Mr. Haensel writes at Midsummer— I am led to advert to the mode of employment, which the system at present acted on in the Colony leaves for the Youths of the Institution, when they shall have gone through their course of Instruction. These Youths will leave the Institution before they are sufficiently matured in judgment and experience to occupy the important post of Native Teachers. What, then, is to be their occupation in the interval? The most suitable would undoubtedly be that of Schoolmasters. But are they to be given over to Government, as the present system jà require, to be subject to the controul of the Managers and Sub-managers?
This Settlement was formed in the latter part of 1826, on a plan suggested by Mr. W. Allen, after whom it is named. It is situated near Hastings, on the stream which flows from the hills through Regent, and which was formerly called Hog Brook, but now Friends' River: the scenery is highly beautiful The inhabitants are about 100; chiefly newly-liberated, and therefore little acquainted with English: there are 25 Scholars. Divine Service is established : about 25 attend.
At this Station there are many indications of the progress of a work of Grace. The Grass-house, in which Public Worship is held, has been several times enlarged: about 400 attend on Sunday Mornings, and half as many in the afternoon. Besides the Service on Tuesday and Thursday Evenings, Daily Prayers are kept early in the Morning, either by the Schoolmaster or one of the Communicants, which are attended by about 75 Adults and the School Children. Frequent Meetings are also held for prayer and religious edification. At Michaelmas there were 20 Candidates for Baptism, and 144 Communicants : these manifest much mutual cordiality, and are, in general, consistent in their conduct. o
At Christmas, Mr. Metzger reported that he had baptized 14 Children, and that there were then on trial 28 Candidates for Baptism and the Lord's Supper: he had also married 8 Couples during the Quarter.
Mr. Pierce was stationed at Hastings in the early part of last year: the Settlement had not, for some time before, been occupied by the Society: from 150 to 200 attended Public Worship. At Michaelmas, William Tamba stated that about 300 attended the Sunday Morning Service, and that there were 25 Communicants. Service was held every Morning, and there were frequent Meetings for Prayer. Seven Children had been baptized, and one Couple married, in the Quarter ending at Christmas.