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noon: David Noah taking the former three one Sunday, and the latter two on the other Sunday: and myself doing the same, with the addition of early Prayers at Bathurst, and an exhortation in the evening.
Of the Communicants, generally, Mr. Davey remarks
I am not prepared to give that favourable account of the propriety of behaviour in some of those attending that Holy Ordinance which I most devoutly wish. I was constrained lately to speak expressly to some; and I hope what was said may have the desired effect in future.
Leicester. Mr. Davey makes the following Report of this Station, at Christmas
I am much pleased with the behaviour of the people of this Village. There are about 327 inhabitants: the number of those who attend Divine Service, in a Grass-house built at the expense of the Church Missionary Society, is from 50 to 60: their attention to the Means of Grace has delighted me; although it has sometimes occurred to me, that if they really hungered more after the Word of Life, we should see more than seven or eight of them come over to Gloucester (a distance of a mile) to attend Service at that place.
There are 4 Communicants, who usually attend at some of the other Villages to receive the Lord's Supper. Mr. Davey had baptized 4 Infants, and married 1 Couple, during the Quarter.
Gloucester. Mr. Davey makes a favourable Report of the attention of those who frequent the Means of Grace: in the Quarter ending at Christmas there had been 29 Baptisms and 5 Marriages: there were 45 Communicants.
Of the general state of the place Mr. Davey remarks
I feel grieved that it appears my duty to state, that the people of this Village appear, many of them, to neglect the Means of Grace, and, I have reason to fear, are employed on the Sabbath seeking after the things of this world : the average attendance does not appear to be more than 145, including Children. I had till lately a far more favourable opinion of the state of the people of this Village, than I have at present. It appears to me that they have been left so long to themselves, that many of them have sunk into their former evil habits and country-fashions.
Regent. Of this Station David Noah reports at Michaelmas
During this Quarter, Divine Service has been regularly continued at Regent as usual: twice on the Week-day, and three times on Sunday. The attendance on Week-days is from 10 to 1.2 Adults, besides the School-Children; and on Sunday, from 250 to 300. There were 99 Communicants last Quarter; but one of them has been removed by death: she died happy in the Lord.
Mr. Davey states at Christmas, that the average number attending Worship is 250, including Children, and about 95 Communicants: he has married 14 Couples, and baptized 22 Infants. Mr. Davey meets the Communicants at certain times; and says, with reference to these meetings
I have on these occasions been much pleased with their simple statements; their lamenting the want of more means of Grace, and the neglect of social Prayer-Meetings, which were formerly kept up among them, but have been for some time laid aside; their mourning their want of brotherly love and Christian communion; and the sin of some in not attending Church, unless the person officiating was one who pleased them, thus looking more to the creature than the Creator.
The removal of the Christian Institution from this Station has been already noticed.
Bathurst. Leopold and Bathurst, which were formerly two distinct Settlements, have been united, and are now designated Bathurst. Of this Station, Mr. Gatesman reported in the Spring Quarter
I have, at present, but little to cheer me, while endeavouring to make known the Gospel of Salvation; yet I have not been left without some encouragement. The Communicants, ten in number, attend the means of Grace very regularly; and, so far as I can ascertain, walk consistently with their profession. The people who come to church pay great attention to the whole Service; about 160, including children, attend church in the Morning, and 60 in the Afternoon of the Lord's Day, and 40 on Tuesday and Saturday Evenings.
Mr. Davey states, at Christmas, the number of persons attending Public Worship on the Sunday to be about 250 : the Congregation is attentive, and on the increase. In addition to those who attend Church on the Sunday Morning and Afternoon, he
has about 40 persons in his own house in the evening. Daily Worship is attended by about 100, including Children. The Communicants are 7 in number: 27 Infants have been baptized, and 25 Marriages solemnized.
The people having of their own accord requested an Evening Adult School, and made a contribution to defray the expense of lighting it, Mr. Davey has commenced one. An Infant School was also opened on the 22d of October, of which Mr. Davey gives the following account:
It is attended by 37 Boys and 34 Girls, between the ages of 2 and 7 years: the progress made by them since the opening of the School has been not only satisfactory, but very encouraging. Those Europeans, and those of my Brethren who have visited the School, have expressed their approbation of the system of education; and have suggested the propriety of the same system being adopted generally with the children in the Colony. It is hoped that the children have not only been amused, but profited, by their attendance: they are variously engaged in their lessons, from learning the Alphabet to reading the New Testament, Writing, and the first branches of Arithmetic, as near to the system practised in England as circumstances will allow. It is found, however, that one European to a School is hardly sufficient for the constant exertion required in keeping up the attention of the scholars in this climate. I trust, however, that we may indulge the hope, that we shall soon have some of the Natives able materially to assist in carrying it on, and thereby, in a great measure, to make the exertion less.
Mr. Davey adds
Within these few days, Colonel Denham has visited the School, and appeared much pleased with the system: he has ordered 10 Liberated African Boys to be sent every morning from Regent, and 16 from Charlotte: and has also sent a young man, John Thomas, to assist in teaching them, at a salary of 121. per annum.
Charlotte. The accounts of this Station, furnished by Mr. Gatesman and William Davis, have not been of a favourable kind. At Lady-Day, Mr. Gatesman made the following report:
I keep Divine Service here, as at the other Stations, once every other Sabbath. The people greatly neglect and break the Sabbath; and, until lately, utterly disregarded the instruction of their children. About 90, Children included,
attend Public Worship on the Sabbath Morning, and 40 in the Afternoon; who, with very few exceptions, appear very careless and unconcerned.
At Michaelmas, William Davis writes
Divine Service is kept once on Sunday; but on the weekday, no Service is kept, as nobody will attend. On Sunday they attend tolerably well; but they go too much in their own way. :. Since Mr. Davey has had charge of the District, he, or David Noah, attend once on the Sunday, for the purpose of conducting the Service at this Station. At Christmas, there had been 22 Infants baptized, and 5 Couples married: there were 3 Communicants, and 2 Candidates for Baptism.
Grassfield. This is a newly-formed Village, about three miles and a half from Charlotte, on the Hastings road, containing about 175 Inhabitants, chiefly deserted from the Mountain Villages : houses are building for them; but they live at present much in their country fashion. Mr. Davey gives the following account of them at Christmas:
I cannot say that I have seen at present those indications of an anxiety for the means of Grace, which are so much to be wished. They have not any regular Divine Service, without going either to Hastings or Charlotte ; which I have reason to believe they never do. If I have been correctly informed, some of them. go to work in their farms on Sundays. With the present slender means, and many calls for them, in this District, this Village has not had that attention from us which it so much needs. I have visited it twice during the Quarter; but at neither time was I able to collect any people together, to speak to them the word of God.
The loss of Mr. Gatesman's services in this District has been severely felt; and may in some degree be appreciated, from the following testimony borne by Mr. Betts to his character and labours
I have lately had an opportunity of witnessing what has been lost to the objects of our Society, by our Brethren having had their hands tied by the duties of the Superintendency; and what may yet be done, by a man of judgment and devotedness of heart, who shall give his whole attention to the Missionary Work. I refer to the extensive plans of usefulness, which our lamented brother Gatesman was enabled to devise; and, in a great measure, to carry into effect.
With Five Villages under his charge, he, with the assistance of William Davis and David Noah, held Divine Service at each of these Villages on the Sabbath; besides occasionally inspecting a Sunday School which he had established at Bathurst. During the other days of the week, he himself performed Divine Service at three of these villages--weekly inspected the Schools of four villages-on one day in the week, imparted instruction in reading and arithmetic to such adults as attended for that purpose-on another day, gave instruction in composition and grammar to the Native Teachers Davis and Noah, and to such of the Schoolmasters of his Villages as could attend. While it pleased God to favour him with health, his time was fully employed in that work, for which he left his native land, and sought the shores of Africa : and now that he is called home to his eternal rest, I venture to speak thus freely respecting him, and I say that he is an example to those who may succeed him. At the same time, all was done in such a quiet and unostentatious manner, that I believe few, even of his fellow-labourers in the Colony, knew the value or extent of his services.
The general state of this District was thus noticed by Mr. Gatesman, in his Report of it at Lady-Day
Although, at each of the Villages in my District, there are, as may be expected under existing circumstances, numerous discouragements, I must say that I think the encouragements counterbalance them; so that I am more and more convinced of the importance of perseverance, in the great work of instructing the people and children in those things which make for their present and everlasting peace. Those who can read or understand English tolerably well
, are the persons who compose our Congregations; while those, who have had no advantages of instruction, keep away from the House of God: and those children, who have become more forward than others in learning, are by far the most willing and desirous to be taught.
SEA DISTRICT. The Rev. John Gerber left in the early part of the year; when the Rev. J. G. Wilhelm removed to this District from Waterloo, and was assisted for some time by William Tamba.
During the rains, Mr. Wilhelm had a severe attack of ague and fever, which brought him very low; but it pleased God subsequently to restore him. In consequence of his age and increasing infirmities, it was determined, at one of the Meetings of the Missionaries, that he should reside at Freetown, and