Samuel Abraham Walker.

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

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she was to be another instance of the uncertainty of all human hopes
and expectations. Consumption laid its hand upon her, and soon her
form wasted and her strength departed. At first, she discontinoed
going to school, as yet unsuspicious of danger; then she became

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I to ]e$,ve the house ; and at last was obliged to keep her bed. It
msthen that the Lord brought all her sins to her remembrance^ and she
saw and f^lt her pressing need of a Saviour. I was one day, in Apnl
last, passing her father's house, when he told me that his daughter
was very anxious to see me. I went in, and found her almost reduced
to a skeleton. * Thank jou, my dear Minister I ' she said, holding
out her bony fingers, ^diank you for coming ! I have long wanted to see
you.' I expreasod my sympathy at seeing her so reduced ; hoped that
her aickaeas might be sanctified to her ; and spoke of the great privilege
whidi she had enjoyed in being taught to read the word of God. Here
she thus interrupted me : ' Yes, I thank the Church Missionary Sodely,
I thank the Missionaries, for teaching me good. Don't you remember
one Thursday Evening you preached about the Parable of the Sower ?
I was a vricked girl at that time : but I could not foi^et what you told
the people.' She then gave me a very fair account of the sermon to
which she referred, and which I had preached about a year previous.
' Oh yes,' she said, ' " it is good for me that I have been afflicted." '
I have learned to know Crod :: I have learned to love Jesus.' Here
she gave me to understand, that, while lying upon her sick-bed, the
Lord had opened her eyes to see her sinful state, and her heart to
understand the Scriptures ; and that, in particular, the Parable of the
Sower had been blessed to her soul. Indeed, I was particularly struck
with her knowledge of the Scriptures ; and all who visited her won-
dered at the intimate acquaintance with the Divine Word which, in her
facility of quotation, she evinced.

" Her case affords striking encouragement to all the friends of Scrip-
tural Education to persist in making the Bible a chief school-book ; for
the divine seed though scattered upon an unkindly soil — thoughtless
hearte and vacant minds — ^may yet take root, springing up we know not
how, and bringing forth fruit unto perfection. In the present instance,
the meek sufferer frequently and loudly expressed her thanks to the
Church Missionaries for having taught her to read the Bible, and for
the comfort which it afforded her in sickness. During my repeated
visits I never once saw her but with the Bible in her hands. At her
own earnest desire, and after I had fully explained to her its nature,
I administered the Lord's Supper, in the presence of her parents, to
her and the young man to whom she had been affianced. She lingered
on for about a month longer, till the morning of the 2nd of August,
when she ceased to feel sin or sorrow, or earthly pang. * Cast thy
bread upon the waters : for thou ^uilt find it after many days.' "

Mr. J. Bealadds:—

" After her decease I called upon her parents, who related many in-
teresting circumstances of her last days. After I had seen her the last
time, and read part of the ' Young Cottager,' she related the whole to

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her mother with much pleasoie, and said I had broog^ her a eoaar
panion ; and that God had blessed her more than htde Jane^ bffiwc
her father and mother taught her to lore God, and never Umg^ied at
her, or tried to keep her from being rehgioas, as Jane's parents did;
and that made her feel very happy and thankfuL The day before she
died, she called her mother* and said, ' When I am gone, you most not
be sorry : nobody must cry. I am going to a good place. I don't
want you to put on mourning : you must all have white ; becanse, where
I am going, all are dressed in white. I am going to a ha|^y place.'
The following morning, before break of day, she told her mother to
open a window, and then a second, and to call her father to pray, whidi
he did. She then wished him to lie down again ; but she was veiy
restless, and her cough troubled her much ; whieh made her mother
say, ' What b the matter, my child ? ' She reptied, * Nolhia^
mother; lie down.' She did ; but soon after there appeared the symp-
toms of death, too plain to be concealed from her affectionate parent, who
again got up ; when Charlotte said that now she was goings and desired
them to pray again ; after which she repeated aloud that sweet hymn —

How did my heart njoice to heu

My firiends devoutly My,
In Zion let ua all appear.

And keep the solemn day ! &c.

She was then silent ; and after a few moments, ceased to breathe. The
next day she was committed to the grave ' in sure and certain hope of
a joyftd resurrection to eternal life,' amid a vast multitude of relatives,
young companions, and school-feUows, lamenting her loss."

Mrs. Gollmer was the only member of the Mission removed this
year by death, but six others left the Colony for a visit to England,
chiefly on account of ill health ; these were, Mr. N. Denton and Mr.
and Mrs. Peyton, who departed on the 21st of April : Mr. and Mrs.
nott on the Ist of May, and the Rev. F. Bulttmann on the dOth of

The Rev. J. W. Weeks and Mrs. Weeks arrived in the C!olony from
England on the 2nd of May.

In consequence of Mr. N. Denton's return home firom the Timma-
nee Mission ; the Rev, D. H. Schmid in April, joined the Rev. C. H.
Schlenker in the labors of that Mission, which now consisted of two
Missionaries and two native Schoolmasters. At the end of the year
the number of Children in the school had increased to 35 : viz. 25
boys and 10 girls — of their progress Mr. Schmid wrote in June :

" Ten months ago, when I came hither for a change of air, none of
the boys or girls understood a word of English, which was only begun
with this year ; and now I see the greater part of them writing and
reading, some of them fluently. In arithmetic, also, they have made

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good progress. With their singing, too, I am often delighted. They
show> in general, great cheerfnlness in learning, as well as in their
conduct ; which gives us great hope that the Lord will so bless the
seed which is now sown in their hearts, that not only thej may be
brought into the flock of Christ, but also, through them, tlieir relations
and Mends, yea, all this people."

The Missionaries, besides holding English service r^;ularly for the
diildren and others, preached frequently in Timmanee in the yard of
the king's house, and those of other chiefs, to congregations varying in
number from 30 to 60 ; they seemed veiy attentive and thankful for
what they heard. On one occasion, after Mr. Schlenker had preached
from 2 Cor. v. 19, 20, Ali Kali^ the king, said to those who were
present, '* All that he tells us is very good ; and if we are not doing
DOW what he tells us, we shall one day see each other again, and then
we shall say to each other ' Ah why did we not do that which white
men tell us that time ? They have come to this country because they
love God's work, and this made them to leave their own country."
We might, perhaps, venture to say, that the author of such a senti-
ment was not far from the kingdom of God.

The year 1843 is distinguished in the annals of the West Africa
Mission, by an event after which many Christian hearts had long
yearned, and which recent events had rendered the friends of Africa
more anxious than ever to behold ; — ^we allude to the admission of a
native, Mr. Samuel Crowther, to the sacred office of a minister of
Christ, as the first fruits of the Sierra Leone Mission in the production
of a native ministry for Africa. We reported his arrival in London on
the 3rd of September 1842 : he was there received into the Institution
for the education of Missionaries, and remained there prosecuting his
studies until the Bishop of London, by whom he was received and
treated with marked kindness and cordiality, admitted him to the Holy
Orders of a Deacon, on Sunday the 1 1th of June. He received Priest's
orders on the 1st of October, at the hands of the same prelate. Samuel
Crowther, torn from his country and kindred in early life, and con-
signed to the hold of a Portuguese slaver, but providentially rescued by
a British cruiser, and carried into Sierra Leone, where he received his
Christian training in the schools of the Church Missionary Society,
was now a Presbyter of the Church of England and Ireland, and
officially capacitated for occupying one of the highest posts of dignity
in the British Empire, nearest to the person and throne of the Sovereign.*
Mr.',Crowther did not return to Sierra Leone until December.

We have mentioned Mr. Townsend's visit to Badagry, Abbeokouta,

• If the reader will refer to p. 516, of the preceding Tolume, he will find the name of
Samuel Crowther among those of the children received under the care of the missionaries
atCanoffee, from tUtve-ships, just previous to the breaking up of that settlement in 1818.

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&c. prqMntory to a Mission being establidied in those ports to wludi
many of the Sierra Leone people belonged, and to which thej were
now returning. Mr. Townsend embarked at Freetown on the 14th of
November 1842, and landed at Badagry on the 19th of Deeember.
He was kindly received by the '' English Chief," Worm, so called in
consequence of the protection given by him to the liberated people from
Sierra Leone, " who are considered to be Englishmen." Describing
his reception, Mr. Townsend says :

** A mat was spread to accommodate my coloured firioids who accom-
panied me ; while an empty powder-k^ was brought to me for a chair ;
and another keg to answer the purposes of a table, on which woe
spread a small bottle of rum, a jug of water, a few dram glasses and
tumblers. When the Chief had tasted the water, he invited me to
partake with my friends, of what was placed before me ; but we took
nothing but water."

He did not remain long at Badagry, having to proceed to Abbeokouta,
which is about 100 miles from the coast in a north east direction.
This town was the residence of a chief named Sodeke, who exercised
considerable influence in that part of Africa ; its population was esti-
mated by Mr. Townsend at 30,000, of recent formation, as he conceived
both from reports on the spot and from the fiict of Abbeokouta being un-
noticed by Captain Clapperton, in his travels ; although, having com-
menced his journey into the interior at Badagry, he must have passed
but a little way to the westward of it, Mr. Towns^id and his party
reached Abbeokouta on the 4th of January 1843, and had quite a trium-
phant entrance into the town, to whidi they were conducted by the
king's son and a body of armed men sent to convey them to the chief.
** As we entered the town," wrote Mr. Townsend, " the crowd became
immense; the doorways of houses and the comers of streets were
filled with eager spectators, who all endeavoured to shew the liveliest
joy, and shouted as I passed, '* How do you do, white man. How do you
do, you that are coming ! " He found the king surrounded by several of
his wives and chiefs. He received him very kindly, and directly gave
him a bag of cowries, value £2 : 3 : 4. and afterwards followed him to
the house provided for him, bringing with him a large sheep which he
gave him. The following extract from Mr. Townsend's journal con-
tains some important particulars connected with the object of his visit :

*' Jan. 5. Early this morning several of the relatives of Sodeke,
and some Chiefs, came to see me. In the forenoon I had a private
interview with Sodeke, and gave him the present of which I was the
bearer. He received it very thankfully ; and stated that it was his
earnest desire that many White Men should come and dwell with
him. I thanked him, in behalf of the Society, for the kindness
which he had shown to the Sierra-Leone people who had returned to

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tiieir oountiy. He wished me to make some request to the Queen of
England for him ; bat I interrapted him by telling him that I had no
coimexion with the British GoYemment beyond that of being a British
sobject ; and then endeayonred to show him the object of my journey,
and the nature of the work in which the Church Missi<mary Society
was engaged, which he seemed fully to understand. I also directed
him to communicate his wishes with reference to the British Govem-
ment to his Excellency the GrOTemor of Sierra Leone ; which he said
he would do. I then told him, that I was instructed to take any of
his children to Sierra Leone to educate them, should he like to commit
any to our care for that purpose. In reply, he observed that if White
Men should come to Abbeokouta, which he thought probable, there would
be no occasion to send them away so far ; but that he would reflect on
the proposal.

** Jan. 7. In the afternoon, Sodeke sent for me, to write his Letter
to his Excellency the Goremor of Sierra Leone, which I did. I was
highly gratified with the sentiment which he wished to express. He
wanted to express his thankfulness to the British Government for what
it had done for his people, and his own convictions that they were
seeking the happiness and welfare of the African race. Also, that he
had determined to suppress all slave trade in his ovm country, and in
the neighbouring parts, so far as his influence extends. Further, his
desire for the return of his people, and that white men, both Mission-
aries and merchants, might settle in his country. After having
finished his letter, I asked, if missionaries were to be sent to Abbeo-
kouta, whether he would give them children to teach. ' Yes,' he said,
' more than you would be able to manage : ' and also, ^ If you will
stop a few days more than you state you purpose doing, I will give
you any spot of ground you may select, on which to build a school-
house.' I was obliged to decline his ofler, as my instructions did not
sanction my contracting any engagement to commence a Mission. I
also asked him if he would receive a native, should one be sent as a
schoolmaster. He rephed, * Yes ; and I would help him to build his
house.' He also told me, in answer to my inquiries respecting it,
that it was unlawful for any Chief to sell a domestic slave ; and any
one found doing so would be punished."

Some of Mr. Townsend's companions found long-lost relations at
Abbeokouta ; one of them who had been two years in Sierra Leone, came
to him one morning, bringing a female, and saying vnth great joy,
'* I done find my vnfe." Andrew Wilhelm discovered many of his
kindred, and John McCormack, who was torn from his country, after
he had become a father, discovered his sister in the market, as he was
purchasing something from her. Mr. Townsend asked him if any of
the children whom he had before he was taken from his country, were

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yet alive, he said he had just heard that one of them was dead, but
that the other, like himself had been made a slaye, and in the
merdfbl providence of God brought to Sierra Leone. Mr. Townaend

'* ffis account of meeting her in Sierra Leone is particularly inter*
esting. While walking with a friend, on the road leading finom
Hastings to Waterloo, they met a young female* After th^ had
passed her, his friend observed to him, * That female is one of yomr
country:' to whidi McCormack replied, that he thought she waa
not. To satisfy his friend, he went back to her, and asked who afae
was ; and found, to his great surprise and pleasuiie, that she was hia
own child. She had, before this, married, and was residing near
where he found her. John McCormack is, I believe, a sincere Ghiia-
tian : he has, he tells me, told his relatives here about God and Che
Christian religion; and they have promised him that they will
become Christians too, if Missionaries vrill come and teach them.'*

Abbeokouta was found a country of much promise for missionary
exertions, and it just now derived a peculiar interest, from the fact oiYfy-
ruba, the true name of the district in which Abbeokouta, or Undmatone
(from "Abbe" '' under " and '' okouta," ''arock<Nr stone,") as it was
called by the people of Sierra Leone, was situated, being the birth-
place of the Rev. Samuel Crowther, who it was ultimately decided
should be located there as a missionary.

The desire of the liberated Africans in the Colony, and especially
of the Yorubans, to return home, vras greatly increased by the arrival
of Mr. Townsend and his companions, after their excursion, bringing
favourable intelligence of their reception in the Yoruba country, and
the condition of those who had already returned thither. The state
of feeling produced by this event, may be judged of by the following
extracts, ftom the journals of different members of the Mission.

Mr. J. Attarra writes :

^* April 15. A fiunous intelligence vras heard this day at our
village — ^that Mr. Townsend, who had gone to Badagry, had returned.
The Yoruban people took much interest in his arrival, for they had
been long expecting to hear a report from thence. And when they
heard that he had also brought a very favourable information, their
hearts were much revived in them. One of them came to me with
rapturous joy, and said to me, 'Do you hear that Mr. Townsend has
come, and has also brought a good news from our country P ' I an-
swered him, ' Yes, I have heard it.' — ^He said, * Ah ! next year I
shall go to my country.* He further affirmed, that not he alone
would go, but that many more were making preparations to that effect."

The Rev. G. U. Graf writes from Hastings ;

''April 13, 1843. Late at night we received tidings of the safe

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return of Mr. Townsend and party : and on the following morning all
were anxious to hear what news they had brought respecting their
reception in the Yoruba country, and the probability of their yisit
being followed up by Missionary operations. It being. the Lord's day,
howerer, only a few went to Freetown to welcome the suecessAil
pioneers, the majority waiting until Monday morning, when a great
number left for town. About 1 1 o'clock at night they all returned,
with the three Hastings' men who had accompanied Mr. Townsend ^
when the whole village became roused into a state of great excitement,
crowds flocking to the strangers' houses, and the firing of muskets
and the shouts of the people lasting all night. The news of our
friends' favourable reception at Understone flew speedily from village
to village, and filled every one belonging to the Egga tribe of Yorubans
with the fondest anticipations of a speedy return to their country."

Speaking of that longing for home which was now so general among
the Christian natives, several of whom were actuated by the noblest
motives, Mr. F. Davies says :

*' There is an increasing desire among the adults to understand
what they are taught ; and thb desire is not so much with regard to
their own individual information, as the hope which they cherish of
soon being able to impart the knowledge they possess to others in
their own land. Proofs of this kind I have repeatedly presented to
me. It was but the other day when one of our members said, ' Sir,
I try to learn all I can, so that, if the Lord will, I may be spared to
visit my own country, and teach the people there what I know of the
power of the religion of Jesus.' "

Even the children shared in the general feeling, but they had
learned to value the Christian privileges which they were about to leave
behind. Respecting them Mr. Graf writes :

** April 10. No fewer than nine children left our School to-day,
being about to sail to the Yoruba country with their parents. Most
of them came for certificates of their good behaviour while in our
school, that, in case the Society should establish a school hereafter in
their country, they might at once be allowed to attend. Some of
thesapoor children were much affected; and two of them could not
part without shedding tears at their being obliged to leave behind
them the privileges of a Christian school."

Mr. Townsend had become a general object of interest among the
Yorubans, whenever he met them in the streets or roads of Sierra
Leone, he frequently heard them remarking to each other that he was
the white man who had been to their country ; when some kind ex-
pression would follow, and strangers on being informed, frequently
returned to thank him.

With two extracts more in reference to the Yorubans, and their

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return home we must leave them for the present. The first is firam
the journal of Mr. F. Davies, and relates an incident characteristic of
the affection which will always exist hetween fidthful Christian teachers,
and their pupils.

'* Not. 23, 1843. This morning one of my school-hoys, an in-
teresting little fellow, called to see me. On my asking him what he
wanted, he replied that ' he only came to tell me that he was going to
leave the school, as his father was ahout to take him to the Toruba
country.' I asked him if he felt glad at going. He answered, ' I
should have been more glad if you were going too, for there be plenty
of people who would be too much glad to see you there.' — ^I said,
' the people do not know me ; and how is it that they would be glad
to see me ? ' He replied, * Sir, you no remember the plenty of
people who have left here for that country ; and they all pray moeh
before they go, that white missionary may come and teadi them God's
book.' I told him that I believed God would very soon send them
black and white ministers, who would be glad to teach them the way
of salvation. The Kttle fellow replied, ' I am glad to hear that.' I then
asked him what he intended to do until they should arrive there. ' I
will teach them [the children] to sew, and teach them to read, and
will do all I can to make them good.' I told him that I was pleased
to find that such was his intention ; and desired him never to forget
the many useful and pious lessons which he had been taught in tlie
School and in the Church. He promised me to remember them. On
taking leave of me, he said, '' Sir, will you please to receive this for
the Church Missionary Society : it is all I have got ? " extending his
hand toward me with a penny, while the large tears were rolling down
his jet cheeks. I said, ''Yes, I will receive it very gladly." I gave
him a parting present of a few Homilies and other Tracts."

The second is supplied by the Rev. J. U. Graf ; we see in it such
evidences of Christian principle, as must awaken the most sanguine
expectations of the blessed effect to be produced by the radiation of
gospel light from the Colony to remote districts of the African con-

" Nov. 27. The last party took their leave of us for the Y«ruba
country, among whom was Andrew Wilhelm, who had assisted me at
this station for several years as a Christian Visitor. Devoted to God
with his whole heart, active and zealous in the promotion of His
glory, fearless and undaunted by the persecutions of Ins heathen-
country-people, he was a man of great usefulness, although of limited
natural abilities. A few days before he left, he wished to testify, in
some way or other, bis gratitude to the Church Missionaiy Society,
not only for the benefits which he had derived from it while in the
Colony, but also for the Society's promise to send Missionaries to his

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nadye land. Upon consnltiiig with his wife, they hoth agreed tiiat,
instead of selling their house, as they had intended, they would give
it to the Society, with the lot of land on which it stands. The house
is not of much value, though it is rather superior to the generality of
DEtiye houses, hut the sacrifice, which for a native is great, shows the
sincerity of his heart. He and the others, with their wives and their
little ones, are now gone, and prohahly I shall see their faces no more
in this world. For their own suE^es, I could not help expressing un-
feigned regret at their departure, were it not for the prospect that
soon they will have the joy and privilege to welcome in their land
some of my Missionary hrethren. May they he hlessed^ and proves a

Online LibrarySamuel Abraham WalkerThe Church of England mission in Sierra Leone: including an introductory ... → online text (page 65 of 73)