Samuel Abraham Walker.

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tions of pain until then unknown, but which cried out for rdief which
they were providentially urged to seek, that the sinner might discover
his interest in Jesus, the same friend and Saviour not only yesterday,
to-day, and for ever, but in Asia, Europe, Africa, and to the end of
the earth.

As usual we shall allow Mr. During to tell his own story, ™lring such
extracts from his journals as will enable him to do so most deariy and
fully. He says : —

'' The general conduct of the people in this village is such, that
I am often surprised to see the indolent and barbarous African turn
active and become a man of feeling, both towards himself and others.
When I have seen some of the women with their infants tied on their
backs, planting or weeding their Httle farms, and others in the market
selling the produce of their labour, or else busy in their immediate
household affairs ; it has often worked so on my feelings, that tears
of joy have started from my eye, and I could hardly persuade mjBelf
that these are liberated negroes."

In the following extracts he enters into particulars. The first relates
to his Saturday evening meetings with his communicants, which he
found most profitable to himself, as well as to them. His Sabbath
ministrations are also referred to : —

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" April 1, 1820, Saturday. In the evening we had our usual meet-
ing, which waa a blessed meeting indeed ! Having on the preceding
Friday preached in the morning from £ph. ii. 14, and in the evening
from John xiz. 90. The effects of these two discourses were manifest
in many of my black brethren, and I was greatly encouraged by them.

" April 2y Easter Bay. Preached in the forenoon from 1 Cor. xv.
20, on the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. He arose — 1. As
the Almighty God. — 2. As the surety of his people. — 3. As their
representative. — 4. As their forerunner. In the application I spoke
rather warmly on the comforts which the children of God continually
draw from the Resurrection of Christ ; many were much affected.
Administered the Lord's Supper afterwards, which was very solemn
and truly refreshing. In the afternoon I catechized the children on
the Resurrection of the dead, from John v. 25, 26. After I had
addressed them awhile on the subject, I asked who they were that
should rise unto life eternal. A woman who has long been under great
doubts and fears, answered, ' They that have done good.' A boy asked
who they particularly were that could do good works 7 Ans. ' Those
that beUeve.' * But,' said I, ^ cannot man do good unless he believes ? '
The woman answered, ' No, without the Lord Jesus, we cannot do
good things.'

^* In the evening I preached from John xi. 25, 26. After service the
above-mentioned woman, with several others, came to my house re^
joidng. The woman said, 'In the morning church, all my heart
laugh, that same time we kneel down to Sacrament, my heart say, from
the top oi WlJ head to the bottom of my feet, there nothing but all sin,
ain. But, Massa, that same time me remember, ' Behold the Lamb of
God that taketh away the sin of the world ; ' and when you read, ' God
ao loved the world,' &c. Oh Massa ! my heart want to break ; water
run my eyes. Oh, Massa ! me don't know what to do.' She was so
much affected, that she could say no more, the others were nearly
the same.

*' ^pril 7. I have been all the week past in awful darkness of mind,
in doubts and fears. O Lord, give me what thou seest I stand in need
of, lest I preach to others, and become myself a castaway at last !

*^ April 8, Saturday. I was revived very much through the sim-
plicity of my black brethren, at our weekly meeting. One man said,
* I have had plenty trouble in my heart thb week, because when I
look upon myself, I am vexed with my own heart. Massa, suppose
me can do it, I will run away from it ; and when I see I can do
nothing, but sin come in my heart like big cloud, something say, * Oh
wretched man that I am.' I asked who had taught him to see and
feel his real state by nature. His reply was, ' God the Holy Ghost.
And this,' he said, • make me very glad ; for something tell me the

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Lord Jesus Christ will help me, poor sinner, at last from all my sins.'
Another man said, ' I believe I am bad, pass every body, Massa ; my
eyes look sin, and the things of this world, my heart like it ; my hand
do bad, my heart like it ; my foot willing to walk the broad road to
heU, my heart Uke it too. When I see all this, I fear I never shall
be saved ; bat when I troubled so, something tell me, remember what
the Lord Jesus Christ done to save poor lost sinners. Massa, a long
time ago, you preach from them word what Lord Jesus Christ say, * I
am come to seek and to save that which is lost.' Me remember that
time you say, ' suppose a man's sins should pass the sins of all men
together, and that man believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, he shall foe
pardoned and made clean through the blood of Christ, which deanseth
from all sin.' That make my heart glad ; aU trouble go away from
me.' I preached on that subject about nine months ago.

'*M. A. (the woman mentioned on the 2nd,) came forward, and
said, that she had been much troubled since last Sunday. * But,' she
added, ' when we remember what you said, that the Lord Jesus rise
from the dead as the surety of His people, all my heart feel glad
again.' She desired to hear that again, and being very importunate,
I consented.

''A lad of about seventeen came next, and said, ' Massa, since you
have preached about the Holy Ghost, my heart more glad than before
that time, because my heart say that true ; we eannot sabby God, we
cannot come to the Lord Jesus Christ, if the Holy Ghost no teach
we.' In the latter end of February and nearly all the month of
March, I had preached on Tuesday and Friday evenings, on the
Divinity and Offices of the Holy Spirit ; having been forcibly struck
one day, with John xiv. 26, and xvi. 13 — 15. These discourses
though delivered in great weakness and fear, have had a powerful
effect on many of our Christians, and I trust that they have been as
* bread cast upon the waters,' which will be found afler many days.'

*^ April 9, 1820, Sunday. Our place of worship was unusually
crowded four times to-day, the eagerness for the word, and the order
and regularity observed ^roi^hout the day, were a great comfort and
encouragement to me. I have every reason to bless God for coming
to Africa. May the great Head of the Church evermore cause the
brightness of His countenance to shine on all His works.

" April 15, Saturday. Had our Prayer-Meeting as usual, was much
edified and strengthened by the remarks of my black brethren ; and
by seeing, that, in a great measure, my feeble efforts had had the
desired effect. The blessed truths of the gospel shone brightly in
their influence on the conduct of several, who through their ungodly
neighbours, had been brought into great trials ; particularly one man,
who from the time of his conversion till now, has suffered extremely

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from his own wife, so that he is a pattern among them of patience
and meekness ; he affected me very much."

It could scarcely be but that the work of such a man as During
would prosper. Sorely the Lord was with him, and the spirit of grace
and supplication rested upon him ; the spirit *' of* power, and of love,
and of a sound mind/' * and He who so fitted His servant for His
service, would not withhold from him that " prosperity," which he de-
clares they shall enjoy, who love his people.f and his word ; X and
wbo, therefore, exert themselves to increase the number of the one,
and extend the knowledge of the other. The longings of During' s
heart on these subjects, are well exemplified in the struggles which he
was often called on to endure, between his physical infirmities, and
his unwearied and spiritual energy. Of these we have a favourable
specimen in the following extracts.

" June 1 . — 6ot out of bed again for the first time, after nine days
painful confinement ; I could not bear to stay at home, but went to the
place of worship with great difficulty. The congregation was unusually
numerous ; the joy that beamed in every countenance, and the sympa-
thizing looks which met mine, compelled me to muster up all my re-
maining strength, to feed the himgry of Christ's flock, though it was
almost too much for my. feelings and frame.

" I addressed them on Prov. xiv. 32 ; and, to my great surprise,
spoke three quarters of an hour. The whole service was very solemn,
all was a dead silence, as if every one took the word to himself with
great eagerness. Several cheeks bedewed with tears, had such a
powerful effect upon my feelings and weak frame, that I was obliged
to pause several times.

" June 3, Saturday. — ^The pains which I endured in my late illness,
were, this evening, abundantly recompensed ; since I have been among
this people, I have not spent a more blessed evening ; and, I think my
sickness has been sanctified both to them and myself. In their state
of mind during my absence from them, I discovered that degree of
mutual love, which before I could not have imagined. One man said,
* When you sick, me troubled very much, because me think that our
fault ; when me go prayer, me no see minister to tell me true gospel —
me feel sorrow — me think again, sin of all we people too great ; that
is the reason God take minister from us. But, Massa, when me see you
first time again stand in your place, O Massa ; me want to thank the
Lord Jesus Christ, for keep you, but my heart full, — ^no more — cry, cry,
come upon me.' While they were left vdthout an instructor, for more
than a week, they fed on what they had heard before. A discourse on
Whitsunday morning particularly, had had a very powerful efiPect on
• 2 Timothy i. 7. t Pwlm cxxii. 6, t PmI™ i- 8.

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most of them. M. A., whom I hare so frequently mentioned before,
rehearsed a considerable part of it; she said, 'Masaa, my heart ng
feel sorrow no more ; me think, me, and all people me see, live no more
in this world, but in heaven ; in that evening, when yon talk of blessed
bible book, my heart same again — ^me feel glad. O Massa ;' suppose
me have ^20., me 4want to buy bibles for poor people. After yoa
done, massa, me want to come to you, and tell you what great things
Lord Jesus done for me poor nnner ; but me say, ' Never mind - '
Massa too tired this evening — ^me go to-morrow/ That next day me
go ; but people tell me, ' Massa sick too much.' Oh poor me ! then
my heart feel sorrow — ^me go home — ^me pray that Lord Jesus tak^
sick from you — ^me feel glad again, every time me want to feel sorron
for you, (meaning when she was sorry,) me pray that ]>)rd Jesus mxj
help yon, and always that last Sunday make me glad again.' Several
others said it had been the same with them. May the Lord Jesue
evermore make me, unworthy dust, a blessing to thera.^

The condition of the schools was encouraging. In their superin*
tendence, Mr. Diiring was ably assisted by his wife. A spirit of enquiry
was manifest among the children, as the following case attests.

*'May 10.— In the school," saidDtiring, ''asthe firstelass were reading
John xvii. 14 — 1 7, being desirous to know whether they understood what
they were reading, I questioned them. Having gone through the four
verses which they were reading, a lad, who is always very serious in his
deportment, asked me what the word ' sanctify ' meant. While I was
explaining it, and making some remarks on the subject of sanctification
— as that the Holy Spirit sanctifies the servant of God, by the means
of His word, on account of Christ's righteousness and intercession,
the whole school stopped. I asked the teachers why they did not go
on. Their reply was, * We all want to hear that,'— the greatest ordeif
and diligence were observed after."

As the year proceeded; Mr. Diiring was enabled to speak with great
confidence, of this particular department of his work;

" The schools," he observed, ** have advanced so far, that I am not
ashamed to take any stranger into them. Many of the people, who
were averse to instruction last year, desire to be admitted.

" It must be particularly gratifying to every well-wisher of Africa,
to see those people, who, but a short time ago, were reduced to a
level with the brute, (that is, sold in the market,) now, by their desire
to learn to read the word of God, shew that they are men who feel
that they have immortal souls. The conduct of two of my sehool-
boys, will bear witness to this. They had been both put apprentice to
a tailor, who works here for Government. About two months since,

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one of them had some quarrel with one of his fellows, on account of
which he ran away to his country people. He was ahsent three days ;
on the third day, in the evening, when I had done with all my work,
and was on the point of going to bed, he came back, and earnestly
^^^^ in® to forgive him. I then asked him why he had absented
himself so long ; and why he had come back again without being fetched.
' Masaa,' he said, ' that school fetch me. Suppose me can go schopl
no more, that make me afraid — ^me know nothing, if I no go to school
and learn.' I told him I would have him no more in my school — he
mi^ht go where he liked ; if he would go to another town, I would
send him there with his fine character. His reply to this was — ' Mas*
sa, me can't leave this school : suppose Massa, you whip me, or put
me in black-hole, that right — ^you do me good, me run away for
nothing : but me can't go away from this sdiool here.' The other
case which occurred this week, is similar to the above, but more
striking^ as the boy is much youngs. The fact is, that the attach-
ment of the boys, in particular, to the school, is such, that I have the
greatest trouble with them at times, to keep them from it, when I
require of them some work which they are able to do."

We shall conclude our communications from Gloucester for thi»
year, with the following extracts, in reference to the missionary cause
— the universal test of christian sincerity. At the close of the pre-*
ceding year, the contributions of the negroes amounted to ^1 1. Ms.

On the 9th of February, Mr. Diiring wrote : —

** The missionary associations here, and at Regent's Town, in aid of
the Society, have increased in the number of penny subscribers ; and
those who were subscribers before, have raised their subscriptions as
they are able ; some even to 2«. 6d. per month.

^ Our meetings for the purpose, are always held on the Monday
after Sacrament-Sundays, which the people call ' the Sodefty's meet-
ing.' On these occasions, I and brother Johnson, have always endea-
Yonred to preach appropriate sermons the evening before, when the
people make among themselves a small collection.

** On Sunday last, I gave notice to them, that I would preach a
Missionary Sermon in the evening; and that, at the conclusion, I
would tell them somethii^ of their friends and well-wishers in Eng-
land. I accordingly preached from 2 Cor. v. 20, 21 ; and afterward,
read some passages of the Missionary Register ; particularly the account
given therein of the state of the Colony. The collection exceeded that
on any former occasion ; sometimes it had been 28. ; but it now
amounted to ld«. 1^^?. all in half-pence; the boys under Mr. Bull's
care^ who had attended the cated^ng on the Sunday afternoon for
sometime past, were here, and heard what I said, they had collected

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among themseWes, £1. for the purpose of buying a pig : of this sujn,
having obtained leave of Mr. Bull to attend, ihej brought 1 7«. as their
own free-will offering.

** After service I was very much fatigued ; but the people, not think-
ing of this, surrounded me again in my house ; and not being satb-
fied with what they had heard, they wanted to hear again, and more

" Such is the spirit of the people with whom we live ; and I know
not any other cause to which to attribute it, than the grace, the
sovereign grace of the Lord ; and to our monthly meetings, as the
meims, under His blessing, of exciting and maintaining this spirit.'*

The spirit in which these monthly Missionary meetings were con-
ducted, will appear from the following examples.

*' April 20, 1820. Had this evening our monthly Missionary prayer
meeting. Two of the christians prayed. Their prayers, though sim-
ple, and in broken language, were most earnest for the diffusion of the
gospel among their benighted countrymen; but particularly among
those with whom they lived ; the whole was very affecting ; they brought
their mites afterward with great cheerfulness. I was very much re-
freshed. Is not this the beginning of Ethiopia stretching forth her
hands to God ?

" June 5. We held our monthly prayer -meeting ; the prayers
offered up, though simple, were very striking ; and I trust they were
made a blessing to many by that God who hears and answers prayer.
The subscribers afterward were so eager in paying, that I was quite
wearied by them ; while they cried from all sides — ' Massa ! take mine
first.' I begged them to have patience ; but the more I begged, the
more they pressed upon me ; I was at last quite exhausted, but could
not help being pleased with their simplicity and zeal for that glorious
cause by which they themselves are benefited."

On the 27th of May, the Mission was deprived of the valuable
services of Mr. Bull, who from frequent attacks of fever, was so re-
duced in strength that it was thought advisable for him to return home
before encountering the periodical rains. He landed at Southampton
on the 5th of August.

Thus one of the labourers who accompanied the Rev. W. Johnson to
Sierra Leone, was obliged to retreat before the African scourge. It
becomes our painful duty to record the fall of another beneath the
same ruthless foe. Mary Bouffler, schoolmistress at Freetown, was
called to her rest after eleven days illness, on the first of June. *' The
day before her death," wrote Mr. Johnson, " she said to me, * It is well !
the Lord will not leave me. His will be done, I am quite happy ! ' "

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At the end of [March, about two months after entering on her
charge, she had written to the Secretary —

" We have now 137 girls in the school. I never found children in
England more teachable, nor so anxious to learn. They seem much
attached to me, and I feel great love to them.

•* When employed in teaching them, I sometimes call their attention
to the Scriptures which they have been reading ; when I think I see in
their eyes the strong emotions of an immortal soul eager to learn the
way of salvation. If God would grant me the honour of being the
humble instrument of usefulness to these long injured people, either
in life or death, it will more than repay to me all that I have left and
all that I have undergone.

•* Though I think it my duty to pray for life, yet I feel much re-
lieved from the fear of death. Though surrounded by sickness and
deaths yet I feel that heavenly composure in resting on my Saviour,
that sometimes I can say. Death is swallowed up in victory."

'* She was,'* said During, ** a most zealous female in her line of
duty, and a most agreeable companion. Christian love, and a con-
stant submission to the will of her heavenly Father, were the principles
which ran through all her actions.*'

Mr. and Mrs. Lisk, who had been appointed to Hastings, had not
found that station to agree with their health. They therefore removed
to Eegent's Town on Mr. Bull's departure, but even then, were so
much reduced by fever, that they could be of but little use.*

The Christian -Institution, on its removal to Eegent's Town, was
opened with twenty-six youths of from 12 to 18 years of age. One
half had been removed hither from Leicester mountain. Of the other
half, eleven were taken from the Regent's Town school, and two from
that of Gloucester. Of those from the former Institution a few did
not behave we]l, but those from Eegenf s town and Gloucester, were
promising boys, and mostly of a rehgious character.

An examination of these boys was held at Christmas, before the
Chaplains and Missionaries, ^hen they appeared to have made great
progress in writing and in English grammar, and their replies to
questions from the Scriptures, afforded general satisfaction.

The Committee, while indulging sanguine expectations from this
seminary for native teachers, were not unconscious of the difficulties
that opposed themselves to their views. Not the least of these, was
the peculiarity of native temper, which is naturally self-sufficient and

* Sir George Collier, Commodore, on the Western coast, testified, that ** The negro
town of Regent, near the Sierra Leone mountains, is more healthy than any other spot :
and I am therafore of opinion,** he adda, "" whether in future used for such an object or
not, yet hereabouts the Goyemor should be allowed to retain as much ground as would
be necessary for a convalescent hospital and garden ; for if European health is to be
restored in this colony, it must, in my belief, be near the Sierra Leone mountains/*

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ussuming. " Africans," says one of long experience in African affidrs,
'' are very fond of becoming headmen and teachers, and if in any way
lifted up by others, they commonly rise so high in their estimatioii of
themselvea, that in the end, they too ireqnently prove useless.
Youths educated in England, who hare appeared promising, rose hi§^
when noticed by others, and fell. Youths of ability should therefore
be gradually and cautiously brought forward/' These views are cor-
roborated by the sketches given above, and the facts thus ascertained
placed the ultimate attainment of the Society's wishes, regarding a
native agency in the Missionary work, at a greater distance than it at
first appeared.

In bringing the transactions of the year 1820, to a dose, we must
rapidly glance at the state of the other villages of the Colony, where
with few exceptions, no striking evidences of the success of the Mia^
sionaiy work were as yet exhibited.

At Kissey, Mr. Nylander continued to labour as vigorously as his grow-
ing infirmities would permit, looking and praying anxiously for the fruit
of his spiritual husbandly. *' David," he wrote, " encouraged himself in
his God : and I am standing as a friend of the Bridegroom, rejoicing
greatly to see the work of the Lord prosper in the hands of my
brethren." At Christmas, his communication was more promismg ;
while it painfully represented the difficulties of the African Mission.

" Numbering," he says, '* the years that I have spent in Africa, I
find this to be the fifteenth Christmas that I have seen here. I must
exclaim with the servant of God, ' Who am I, Lord, and what is my
fiither's house, that thou hast brought me hither ? ' While about
thirty of our number younger than myself, and apparently more use-
ful, have been carried to their graves during this period, wherein I
was variously employed in the vineyard of my Lord ! I have taught
A. B. C. to many who are now taller than myself. I have endeavoured,
I trust, to make known Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, wherever I
have had an opportunity : I have also attempted to translate portions
of the New Testament ; but always guided, like the blind, in a wmy
that I know not : yet I believe by an unerring hand. I have sown in
tears — ^labouring in hope — encouraging myself with this, that God's
word would never return void ; but never saw any fruit of all my
labours till of late, when I had and still have cause to believe, that some
of the people under my care, have experienced a real change of thwt
hearts, which they shew by their conduct."

As regarded the temporal prosperity of the village. Sir Charles
MacCarthy, the Governor, who visited England this year, bore the
most ample testimony. The following is from his Excellency's report
to the Committee : —

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** The whole of the country round Kissey, is in a state of very
good cultivation. There are in every direction extensive fields of
rice, in a very forward state. The Cassada and Ground-nut fields

Online LibrarySamuel Abraham WalkerThe Church of England mission in Sierra Leone: including an introductory ... → online text (page 16 of 73)