Samuel Abraham Walker.

The Church of England mission in Sierra Leone: including an introductory ... online

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** One of the women, complaining of her sinful state, said, — ' I look
before — sin live there. I look behind — sin live there : what must I
do ? ' I directed her to look up to Jesus.

*' Feb. 9. — ^This evening, in meeting the brethren and sisters, I felt
peculiar pleasure in fulfilling the gospel commission, 'according to
the grace given to me, of ' Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith
your God ! '

" How easy is it for the Almighty Saviour, to say * Peace ! be still ! '
and immediately there is a calm — a peace which the world cannot give
nor take away. May it be my lot, while I sojourn on earth, to point
one and another to Jesus, and say, ' Behold the Lamb of Grod, whicli
taketh away the sin of the world ! '

"Feb. 16, 1822.— -In the evening meeting, one said, — *Sin trouble
me too much, I look on this side, and that side, but can't see any
thing that comforts me. Then I go tell the Lord Jesus Christ
all them things that trouble me, and beg him, that, as he delivered me
from the slavery of the man, so he would deliver me from the slavery of
the Devil, and make me his freeman.'

*' Feb. 20. — ^After the prayer-meeting, I met the candidates for bap-
tism, and endeavoured to instruct them in the way of God more per-
fectly. I asked one of them if he thought that Christ would save him.
He answered, ' Yes ; He will not cast out any that come to Him.'
— * Can you come to Him of yourself ? ' * No : for, " No man can
come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him." — How
does God draw sinners to Himself? He said. He could not tell that.
— I asked him, 'What does the Holy Spirit shew first to an awak-
ened sinner ? ' 'His sinfuhiess.' — < What next ? ' He could not tell.
— I then explained to him the gospel plan of salvation.

" Feb. 23. — Felt much pleasure in meetmg the people. One 5$id,
* Thank the Lord Jesus Christ for bringing me to this country, to
hear His word ; He good to me, but my heart follow sin every moment
Sometimes my heart say — ' You see them people what no hear (believe)
God's word — ^they no have trouble — ^they go easy ; but you have trou-
ble too much.' But then I consider Grod's word says, ' There is no

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MR. Johnson's visit to york. 179

peace to the wicked/ When I was in my country, I was sick, till I
'ywsLS left nothing but bone, then I was in jail one year ; plenty people
die there, before I was put into a ship, and live on the water six
nionths. Me sick very much, no eat, no drink, for two or three days
together ; but (rod keep me ; that's why I no die — He bring me safe
tlirough alL But, Oh that great day of judgment ! how can I stand
tlien, who am not worthy to speak to God now? When He say. You
no hear my gospel from day to day, from week to week, from year to
year, these three years ; what can I say 7 * Oh wretched man that I
mil, who shall deliver me ? ' I reminded him that it was very profi-
table for us, often to ' remember the way by which the Lord God had
led us in the wilderness ; ' and that He, who had saved us in past trou-
bles, would save us in the next.

** March 2. — Felt happy this evening in meeting those, whom I be-
lieTe to be citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, and preparing for that
blessed habitation. One of them prayed much against pride ; and
afterwards greatly lamented the temptation to pride by which he had
been assaulted. Another spoke much of the sweetness which he found
in Crod's word, and wished that others might know the same sweetness
in it as he did ; he said, — ' Sometimes, when trouble want to catch
one man, his friend can say. When that trouble come, 1 can help you ;
but, when it come, he say. No ! me can't help you there — ^bye-and-
bye, palaver go catch me: but God no stand so! for He will never
leave nor forsake his people T "

In the course of the year, that indefatigable servant of God, the Rev.
W. Johnson of Regent's Town, visited some of the distant settlements,
such as the new station of York and Kent, several times. Of his first
visit to the former station, he wrote thus in his journal : —

''March 14, 1822, Thursday. — ^Arrived at York. Mr. Johnstone,
the Superintendant, received me very kindly. The people had built a
place of worship, to which all had subscribed. I begged him to inform
them that I should be glad to speak the word of God to them in the

" About seven o'clock, we went to the place of worship, which I
found completely crowded, and many outside. I addressed the people
from Acts xvi. 31 . While speaking on the depraved state of mankind,
and explaining what God demanded of man, as a just, holy, and right-
eous God, one woman fell trembling on the ground : others also ap-
peared to be much affected. Fearing lest confusion should follow, I
exhorted them to be quiet, and to restrain their feelings, in order that
I might dwell on the promise of the text. The woman who continued
to be much agitated, I desired to be removed. When I had concluded,
all were anxious to shake hands with me, thanked me, and begged
that I would speak the word of God to them again, on the foUoMring

N 2

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morning, which I gladly promised to do. I went back with Mr.
Johnstone to his hospitable habitation, much delighted with what had

** I entered this place with much fear, but the following passage
comforted me much, and was in some degree realized ; Isaiah xliii. 5.

"March 15. Friday. — ^The bell began to ring sometime before day-
light. I could not at first conceive the cause ; but, on inquiry, was
informed that it was for Divine service : a Hght was brought in, and I
dressed myself as soon as possible. It was just day-light when we re-
entered the place of worship, which was again well attended. I read
and explained the first chapter of the first Epistle of St. Peter, and
spoke on the blessed state of believers, and the miserable state of un-
believers : all were attentive.

*' When I had concluded, I was entreated to send some person to teach
them the way to heaven : this I promised to do, with the ftdl consent
of Mr. Johnstone, as soon as practicable.

'^ As I had a Ucense from his Excellency for marriage, eight couple
were married, and ^ve infants baptized.

'* After breakfast I married four couple. Several made application for
baptism. I told them that I could not now baptize them, because it was
necessary that they should be first instructed. For this purpose I
framed some questions, which are used at Regent's Town, and directed
William Allen to instruct twice a week such as wished to be baptized.
Some seemed to be much concerned with respect to their spiritual state.
When I left the chapel, I was much entreated to visit them again soon ;
which I promised to do, should it please Grod.

" About ten o'clock, I left York, accompanied by Mr. Johnstone ;
but before we entered the boat, I addressed the people at some length,
on the Scriptures : they were all attentive. At leaving them, they
again requested me to send a man to teach them, and to come myself
again soon. When I went to the boat, a woman who had been in the
house, said to another, 'Ah, them words that white man talk go
through my heart.' Oh may not my words, but the word of the
Lord, which is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword,
pierce their hearts ! "

Of a second visit, paid to this promising settlement in May, Mr.
Johnson wrote : —

" May 15, 1822, Thursday. The people assembled in the evening,
I addressed them on John iii. 3. I felt peculiarly happy in addressing
them, they indeed seemed to be hungering aft;er the word of God ; some
wept bitterly. When I visited this place before, I observed several
persons intoxicated, this, however, was not the case now. The super-
intendant assured me, that, before that visit, he had not been safe oat
of doors after dark : he was, however, happy to say that an entire

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diange, so far as respects their moral conduct^ had taken place. It
^was also remarked by Mr. Reffell, that he had never seen the place so
quiet as it now was. I endeavoored to bring John Sandj with me to
tliis place, but I could not prevail upon him. He accompanied me
as far as Freetown, but took care not to take more clothing than that
ipvixich he wore. I found on inquiry, that he was afraid I should
leave him behind. He said that if I stayed, he would stay too ; but
'wlien I went, he would go too. Upon my discovering this, I desired
liim to return home, with this he seemed well pleased. I am really
sorry that he is so partial to his home, for I hoped to place him among
tliis people.

"May 17, 1822, Friday. The bell rang as before, between four
and five o'clock in the morning ; I was obUged to get dressed by can-
dle-light to attend the chapel. I could but just see to read a chapter
at the window, I chose John x. ; the place was again full, and all were
as usual, very attentive. In prayer I commended them to that God,
who will carry on their work of grace in their hearts, which I beUeve
is begun. The superintendant, Mr. Johnstone, seemed much affected."
In May and August he again visited this settlement, and was happy
to find that the best results had ensued from his occasional services : —
in November he said —

" The people at York have wonderfully improved, and many, I have
reason to believe, are truly converted. Several have attended the
Lord's Supper at Regent, at the last administration, and I have pro-
mised to administer it next Sunday week at York. I baptized thirty-
three adults and children when I was there last, and expect to admit
about forty to the Lord's Supper. I hope when our friends arrive,
that we shall be i^ble to furnish York with a schoolmaster at least.
We have begun a road, and hope to be soon able to make the tour to
York and Kent on horseback."

The population of York amounted at this time to about 495.
At Kent Mr. Johnson found Mr. Bickley and Mr. Renner in full acti-
vity. The population of this settlement had been considerably in-
creased by accessions of Uberated slaves. Johnson's first visit here
was on the 15th of March, he says : —

''About 12 o'clock we arrived at Kent. This settlement has a fine
appearance from the sea, which is much increased by a range of
mountains behind some rocks in front of the principal building ; and a
fiag-staff on one of the summits, gives the place the aspect of a

" We were kindly and hospitably received by Mr. Bickley and
Mrs. Renner.

'* Mr. Bickley stated that he could not get all the people to attend
divine worship on Sundays ; he believed, however, that a good work

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was begun in the hearts of some, their condact bore testimony to this.
In the eyening I addressed the people from Matt. y. 1 — 12, all present
were very attentive.

" I visited the grave of Mr. Renner, and that of Mr. Bacon, the
American Missionary, they are well finished ; that of Mr. Kenner is
fenced with a black railing, and has a board containing his name, the
Society to which he belonged, and his age, fifty-two years."

On his second visit to this settlement, Mr. Johnson was accoropaiiied
by the Rev. S. Flood and Mr. Refiell, chief superintendant of liberated
Africans, the former of whom assisted him in the offices of the
Church. On these occasions the Lord's Supper -was administered,
several children were baptized, and a few couples were married ; the
communicants amounted to sixteen.

At Michaelmas Mr. Bickley wrote under some discouragement : —
"There still remain some flinty hearts and stubborn and perverse
wills ; and these people are used by the wicked one not only to disturb
the peace of the town, but to endeavour to destroy the peace of the

New afflictions visited poor Njlander, this year, at Kissey. Daring
the months of June, July, and August, he suffered severely from
sickness ; in the midst of which the Lord was pleased to take from
him the youngest of his three daughters, at two years and a half old.
Geoi^ Thomas the native teacher continued to labour in the schools,
and Mrs. Wenzel still rendered her valuable services to the females.

In January the population of Kissey was 1069 ; at midsummer it
was increased by 300 persons, and a further addition was made in the
Christmas quarter. At which period Nylander wrote as follows : —

'* Divine service is attended on Sunday by 600 people and upwards;
and about 400 attend morning and evening prayers on week-days.
About fifty mechanics attend evening-school, one hundred boys and
girls are at the day-schools, a few married women also attend, but very
irregularly. George Thomas is of very great service to me, he is assis-
tant at the boys' school, and clerk in the church ; when I am absent
or otherwise prevented from attending prayers, he is the only person
who can take my place, and read and pray with the people."

The church was crowded every day. The weekly prayer-meetings
on Wednesday and Saturday, went prosperously on, and many b^an
to express an earnest desire to be found in Christ, and testified their
sincerity by Christian-like conduct. The number of communicants
had increased to thirty-five.

A Missionary Association was formed here in October, when the
sum of £4 : 6 : 9, was collected.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm were this year assisted at Waterloo by
two native youths, W. Nevill and W. Laurence. Mr. and Mrs. Lisk

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removed here in December 1822, and were welcomed with great
joy, so that the spiritual interests of the inhabitants, amounting at that
time to about 500, were not in danger of being neglected.

At Midsummer, 163 liberated slaves were added to the population,
but so fearftd was the mortality among these wretched beings, that at
Michelmas Wilhelm wrote :

*^ The mortality among these poor men, women, and children, was so
great, that of 163 whom I received, 54 have died since the first of
June. What dreadful evils does the slave-trade occasion. I alone have
to report fifty-four murders as the result of it within one quarter of a

The profane life and conduct of some of the disbanded soldiers
settled here, had given Wilhelm much trouble, and greatly interfered
^th the progress of the Christian work. However, at Christmas,
matters began to wear a better aspect. At that time, there were in
the village 86 disbanded soldiers, and 66 women belonging to them :
183 hberated Africans, who were mechanics and labourers, 73 women,
110 school-girls, 69 school-boys, and about 60 Uttle children of two
years old and under : altc^ther, 647 souls. The communicants
amounted to sixteen.

Leopold still enjoyed the services of Mr. and Mrs. Davey. In
March, Mrs. Davey was safely delivered of twin sons, one was bom
dead and the other survived but a few hours : she was wonderfully sup-
ported under her trials. John Sandy, native assistant, sometimes
rendered his services.

The population, which had amounted to 420, was increased during the
year, to 652, by arrivals of liberated slaves. The attendance of the
people on the means of grace, was most exemplary. At the close of
the year, Mr. Davey wrote :

** The attendance at Divme service on Sunday, is now upwards of
600, who appear to hsten with attention to the word of God. The
place has long been far too small : the piazzas on each side are now so
filled on Sundays, that some are obliged to stand upon the steps. I
am about to enlarge the present place by adding galleries on each side,
and at om end, which will make room for 300 more than at present.
The attendance at morning and evening prayers is also very good.
We have three services on Sunday as usual, besides prayer in the

The siim of ^3 : 8 : 1| was collected at the anniversary of the
Church Missionary Association in November, making with the
monthly subscriptions at the end of the year ^10:1: 6.

William Tamba, as we have stated, having been removed to Glou-
cester, William Davis took charge of Bathurst. " I believe," said
Johnson, alluding to this village, "that our sable brother, Tamba, has

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been made a blessing to some of his oountrymen." Nor was Bavis
less suocessfiil. At Midsummer Mr. Johnson wrote :

'* At Bathurst also> it pleases God to cariy on his gracious work ;
the people are in general quiet, and attend the means of grace regularly.
The eight communicants whom I admitted, attend the Lord's Siq>per
regularly at Regent. I have since received eleven as candidates for
baptism, who are instructed three times a week by William Davis,
who is now in charge of the settlement."

At Christmas, there were 176 men, women, and children attendmg
the schools ; the communicants were then nineteen, and the population
about 400.

Hastings and Wellington continued to be served bj native teachers
without any remarkable result.

The mission was reinforced on the 3rd of December by the arrival
of the Rev. G. Emanuel, W. Metzger and Mrs. Metzger, Mr. Philip
Vaughan and Mrs. Vaughan, and Mr. and Mrs. Lisk (Mr. Lisk having
married again while in England.) On their arrival, a special meeting
was held, at which Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan were appointed to the
Freetown school : Mr. and Mrs. lisk, as we have seen, to Waterioo ;
and it was proposed that Mr. and Mrs. Metzger should, when the
rains were over, proceed to the Plantain Islands, for which, as is stated
in the preceding volume, much interest was felt by the Society.*

At the Christmas quarterly meeting two additional native labourers
were formally received into the service of the Society : George Thomas
for Kissey and William Bickersteth to assist at R^nt.

* p. 647, and note.

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The first thing which we are called upon to notice in the year 1823,
is the third anniversary of the Sierra Leone Church Missionary Associa-
tion which was held in St. Patrick's Church, Kissey, on the 8th of
January, the Hon. Chief Justice Fitzgerald, Vice President, in the chair.
Previous to the meeting, a sermon was preached hy the Rev. J. Flood,
from Psalm Ixxii. 8. to a congregation, consisting of 800 Africans, he-
sides several of the most respectahle ladies and gentlemen from Free-
town, and the missionaries. The contributions for the year just ter*
minated, amounted to ^281 : 5 : 3. being an excess of ilS103 : 6 : 11.
over the year 1821. Of this lai^ sum, the friends of the Society
in the Colony contributed ^130 : 7 : 6. and the liberated Africans,
the remainder, viz. ^150: 17:9. The total contributed by this
Association up to this period, was ^636 : 1 : 0|. The movers and
seconders of resolutions, amounted to twenty, chiefly missionaries and
gentlemen from Freetown.

The day after the Missionary meeting, the ".Esther,'^ Captain Low-
ther, arrived from England, bringing several additional laborers for the
African field — the Rev. John Gerber and Mrs. Gerber, the Rev. W. H.
Schemel and Mrs. Schemel, Mr. James Bunyer and Mrs. Bunyer, and
the Rev. C. W. Beckauer. The first mentioned couple were appointed
to Kissey ; the second to Bathurst ; the third to the Freetown schools ;
and Mr. Beckauer, after residing some time at Regent, was to proceed
to York. These arrangements were made at a special meeting, at
which the native teacher, John Sandy, was also appointed to Wellington.

On the 4th of February, Mr. Bickley, school-master of Kent, was
married at Regent's Town to Miss Johnson. The Rev. H. Durii^
performed the ceremony.

On the 20th of March, the hands of the Rev. J. Flood, colonial
Chaplain, were strengthened by the arrival of the Rev. Henry Palmer,

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ordained by the Bishop of London, for the second Chaplaincy. Mrs.
Palmer accompanied him.

Amongst the arriyals in January, was that of Mr. and Mrs. Du-
ring and their family on the 18th. After their visit to England, no-
thing could exceed die tumultuous joy with which During was welcomed
back by his beloved flock. The following account of his arrival and
reception, is from his own pen. It is a truly cheering picture of a
faithful minister's reward for all his expenditure of mental and bodily
energy in behalf of souls.

" As soon as the ship was come to anchor, I got into the first boat
that I could obtain. I wished to go on shore unnoticed ; but this I
found impossible, as some of my dear flock had recognized me while
yet on board. Oh, what were my feehngs, when at a distance, at
which a musket-ball could not have reached me from the shore, I heard
them exclaim — * That's our Massa ; that Mr. During ! yes, that's he !
thank God ! ' They had watched my arriyal every day since the be*
ginning of the month, and this was the 18th day ; for they had in-
telligence of our being in the Gambia. On reaching the shore, they
literally pulled me out of the boat ; and some hung so about me, that
I could not stir — others cried for joy — others called out, ' You want to
kiU Massa to-day ? ' — and others exclaimed, ' Thank God, He send our
Massa home again ! ' It was about eleven o'clock in the morning when
I landed, and this tumult continued till three in the afternoon.

" It is impossible to describe the acclamations of joy, which they
expressed in every possible way. Saturday is their chief market-day,
and always fullest at this time : the news soon reached the market, and
found its way into the mountains, about half an hour after. I had got
as far as Mr. Flood's house, where I could scarcely speak to any one,
but was obliged to go into the piazza to shew myself, and salute every
one there, which, I beUeve, was almost half Gloucester. When I went
on board, all followed me to the shore. The women, in particular, all
wanted to go on board to fetch Mammy, as they call our wives : ' for,'
said they, ' we are hungry to see Mammy again, and the pickannies ;
do Massa, take us with you ! ' But this was impossible.

" As soon as I returned, in the twinkling of an eye, I had lost both
my wife and children among them. I was much afraid that th^
would keep the children too long in the sun ; but they had carried them
straight to Mr. Flood's house. There I found them fully employed
with Mrs. During and the children, which gave me time to rest a little.

*' When I had this interval, I thought it my duty to pay my respects
to his honour the Chief Justice, his Excellency the Governor being
absent. While I was in conversation with his honour, I heard some
one call me outside, ' Massa ! Massa ! are you there.' I looked round,
having my back toward the door, and said, ' Yes I am here ; I am

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come at last ! ' In they came nmning as fast as they could ; and
being afraid that others would do the same^ I left the Chief Justice,
and went to the missionary house.

'' Here I met brother Johnson ; the sight of him gave me new life,
he being dear to me. Oh what I felt for him, his left eye tied up, his
dear "wife in England, ftLt from him, and his sister about to leave him.
After four o'clock the people began to press me very hard to go home
before dark. * For,' said they, • Gloucester Town all cry for you very
much. Yes, Massa, we want you there very much, we hungry to
see you there again.' About five o'clock we started from Freetown,
in company with brother Johnson. When we had proceeded a few
biindred yards, a gun was fired close before my horse, I begged them
to desist, at least till they were out of Freetown ; but as soon as they
were out or it, they began quite in style. This is a token of the greatest
respect and honour, that they can shew to their superiors, in their
own countries. They kept up this firing till we came in sight of
Oloacester, when it ceased ; and instead, they began to sing
*' Praise God from whom all blessings flow." When we came into the
town, they wanted to carry me up to my house, which I protested
against in the strongest terms. What I have felt this day, it is im-
possible to describe. * Thank God, Massa come again ! ' was heard from
all quarters.

*' 'We have trouble too much all this time you go to England,'
said one of them, * but we are glad too much to see you here again,
that time you go all people cry for you too much ; this time you come

Online LibrarySamuel Abraham WalkerThe Church of England mission in Sierra Leone: including an introductory ... → online text (page 26 of 73)