Samuel Abraham Walker.

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

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We may mention here that Mr. Townsend having been admitted to
both Deacon's and Priest's orders by the Bishop of London, arriyed in
the Colony on the second of December in this year ; and, on the 18th
of the same month, he and Mrs. Townsend, Mr. and Mrs. Gollmer,
Mr. and Mrs. Crowther, and four native teachers, sailed for Badagry,
on their way to Abbeokouta. We reserve the particulars for their
proper place.

Two objects which the Committee had for some time contemplated,
for the better carrying out of their plans as regarded a native agency,
were this year accomplished : — one of them was the establishment of
a grammar-school, as an intermediate step between the village schools
and the Christian Institution. In this school it was proposed to give
a sound rehgious and general education to boys and youths, who had
received some previous training in the lower schools. Those who,
after being trained in the grammar-school, gave proof of suitable dispo-
sitions and qualifications, were to be transferred to the Christian
Institution, to receive there such farther training as should fit them for
native teachers ; while others educated in the grammar-school would
pass into different stations of life, where it was hoped their Christian
training would enable them to exert a salutary influence on the social
circles with which they might become connected. A Committee
formed in London, called " The African Native Agency Committee,"
placed at the disposal of the Church Missionary Committee the sum of
^150 per annum for three years, for the education of four native
youths, either at the grammar-school or the Christian Institution.
Suitable premises for the grammar-school were procured in Regency
Square, Freetown,

One other object effected this year was the establishment of an
Institution for the training of females exclusively. The want of a
special provision for imparting a higher degree of education to those
promising native girls, educated in the village schools, who might
afterwards be employed as teachers and schoolmistresses, had long
been felt in the Mission. This institution was opened at Regent,
under the care of Miss Morris, and the general superintendence of
the Rev. N. Denton. Miss Phillips, another of the immarried ladies,
who went out with Miss Morris and the party who arrived on the 3 1st
of May 1843, was married at the close of that year to the Rev. C. A.

The Rev. E. Jones, superintendant of the Fourah Bay Institution,
left the Colony for England, accompanied by Mr. F. W. H. Davies,
in consequence of ill health, on the 19th of April, and arrived in
London on the 7th of June ; he brought with him two African boys,
George Nichol and Thomas Maxwell — students from the Christian.

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Institiiiion, with a view to their further preparation for employment
in the Mission. These youths were placed on their arrival in the
Islington Institution^ where they gave much satbfaction bj their
conduct and progress in their studies.

During Mr. Jones's absence, the Fourah Bay Institution was suc-
cessively under the charge of the Rev. N. Denton, the Rev. S. Crow-
ther, and the Rev. T. Peyton. Mr. Denton reported most favourably
in March of the conduct of the students, several of whom gave
indications of a vital interest in heavenly things. He remarks :

** Six of them have been receiving private religious instruction from
Mr. Jones, preparatory to their receiving the Lord's Supper; and
within the past ten days six others have applied to me for the
same purpose. Such a number, applying within a few days of each
other, led me to fear lest, in some instances, this might be rather
the result of temporary impression or excitement of mind than of the
genuine work of the Holy Spirit. However, on examining them se-
parately, and sifting them as thoroughly as I could, my fears, except
in one instance, gave way to thankfulness and hope."

Previous to Mr. Jones's departure, he had been under the painful
necessity of expelling one student for improper conduct. The fall of
that one seems to have made an extraordinary impression on the minds
of his companions, and to have urged them to a closer walk with

We noticed that a number of adult baptisms took place throughout
the Missionary stations last year ; happily we are enabled to repeat
that cheering intelligence in our record of the year now under review.
The following accounts are from Kissey and Wellington, where the
Rev. N. C. Haestrup ministered — ^they are taken from his journal :

" Jan. 7, 1844 : Lord's day. After the Second Lesson at morning
service, I baptized the male candidates at Kissey, twenty-eight in
number. It being more than three years since this Sacrament was
administered to adults at this Station, there was perhaps a httle
curiosity mixed with the lively interest that was manifested by the
whole of the congregation on this solemn occasion. Some of the
candidates were much affected. I trust that they not only received
' the outward visible sign,' but were also made partakers of ' the
inward spiritual grace.'

" Feb. 15. After the Second Lesson at evening service, I baptized
the female candidates at Kissey, thirty-six in number. The Church
was almost as full as on a Lord's-day morning. The candidates were
all neatly dressed in white, and placed in the front of the Church.
One of them, who had been confined to her bed for a considerable
time, was so anxious to be baptized, that she sent her husband more
than once to inquire the time, in order that she might be carried to

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the Church ; but she was now so far restored as to be able to walk

'* Feb. 18: Lord^s day. This morning I baptized the candidates
at Wellington, fourteen men and ten women. The Church was quite

The Rev. J. Weeks and Mrs. Weeks were obliged by continued
ill health to embark for England on the 9th of July, upon which
occasion Mr. Weeks felt constrained to relinquish his share in the
Mission, after more than twenty years faithful services. The following
two extracts from the Rev. N. Denton's journal refer to a number of bap-
tisms, which took place in Regent's Town, the scene of that gentleman's
labors, and to the effect which his intended departure produced upon
those to whom he had long ministered :

*' Jnne 2, 1844. I went to Regent to assist Mr. Weeks, who was
unwell, and whose duties were heavier than usual on account of his
receiving a large number of candidates into the Church by baptism.
The scene was deeply interesting and encouraging. Thirty-five per-
sons, in clean white apparel, occupied the front seats of the Church,
which was filled with a remarkably decent and devout congregation ;
who, to the several clauses of the baptismal Service, responded with
their hearty Amen, as the several candidates received the sacred rite.
These are fresh proofs that the great head of the Church is still with
His servants, not suffering them to labour in vain or spend their
strength for nought.

** June 23. This being the last Lord's day which Mr. Weeks
would probably spend with his people at Regent, he had purposed to
baptize a number of candidates in the morning, and in the afternoon
to preach his farewell Sermon. I therefore went to assist him.
There was something deeply solemn and affecting in the scene. At
the close of the sermon nearly the whole congregation was in tears ;
and the Church being quite full, the sensation was great. After
Service, many of the people, as they supposed he was leaving im-
mediately, came to take their leave of him, and exhibited much
affection and regret, sorrowing most of all that they should see his
face no more."

From the Bananas the Church was now receiving several accessions.
The Rev. F. Biiltmann writes :

" April 5 : Good Friday. I baptized 25 adults — 15 men and ten
women — ^at Bananas. Several- of them are decidedly pious, and will
be one day a crown of rejoicing to all who have laboured and are
labouring for their eternal welfare."

Another criterion of progress was supplied in the case of those who

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ofil^red themselves as candidates for baptism. On this subject the Rev.
C. T. Frey writes from Waterloo :

'^ June I . I admitted five young men and two women, of the
Yoruba nation, as candidates for Holy baptism. The men had long
since attracted my attention by their regular attendance at DiTine
Service and Sunday school, in which they have advanced alreadj to
the Bible class. They appear to be sincerely concerned about their
souls' salvation. Instances like these are rare, and therefore the more

** July 2. This morning five individuals came to me from Benga-
ema, all appljring to be admitted candidates for Baptism. In exam-
ining them 1 was much cheered by finding that they were not ignorant
of the corruption of human nature, and that they had learned to read
in the Sunday School. This Station, I am thankful to say, continttes
prosperous. The candidates have increased from 9 to 26 ; and tiie
day scholars from 44 to 63 ; and the attendance on public worship, on
Lord*s-day mornings, from 84 to 103.

" July 22. I admitted the wife of the communicant who was
buried June 28 a candidate for baptism. She is quite an old woinaD»
and was, to the great grief of her husband, formerly very indifferent
to matters of reHgion. It pleased Almighty God to rouse her by
means of her partner's death. She herself told me, that, since the
day of his death, her heart would not give her any rest : he was day
and night telling her, ' Go to Church ; pray to God ; else you will go
to hell.' *'

In reference to Regent, Mr. Denton writes :

" July 1. There are at present in communion with the Church 157
males and 196 females ; besides 114 male candidates, and 88 females.
Such a prosperous state of things calls for renewed exertions and
devout thankfulness to the great Lord of the harvest."

The large and increasing number of communicants, and their
punctual attendance at the Lord's*table, cannot be overlooked among
the signs of growing prosperity in the Mission. We can afford
only a sample or two under this head. The Rev. N. C. Haastrup
writes from Kissey :

** April 7 : Easter day. I preached and administered the Sacrament
of the Lord's Supper, assisted by Mr. Crowther. The candidates
lately baptized were admitted to the Lord's Supper, and also a young
woman of the Colony- bom candidates, who was one of the first that
applied to me for admission, and who has proved herself to be sincere.
It was most gratifying to see about 300 persons devoutly waiting to
receive the pledges of the dying Saviour's love : it was indeed a time of
refreshing from thie presence of the Lord."

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The Rev. N. Denton succeeded Mr Weeks^ in the ministerial
charge of Regent. He writes :

*' Aug. 4. I administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper for
the first time at Regent. The number of communicants was very
^reat: not fewer than 271 were present, of whom 47 were a short
time since baptized by Mr. Weeks, and now for the first time were
admitted to the Lord's table ; though not till some pabs had previ-
ously been taken to make them acquainted with the nature of that
Institution, and to ascertain their fitness for the same."

In connexion with thb subject we shall here introduce a few in-
teresting notices of Communicants, selected from the journals of the
Missionaries. The first two relate to Kent — ^they are communicated by
the Rev. F. Biiltmann :

*' June 2 : Lord's day. A. B. is one of the most unostentatious of
our communicants. Though old — at least sixty — and beginning to
learn the alphabet a few years ago, with spectacles, she is one of the
rare ones who can read their Bible, and that with understanding. She
still, however, continues to be a regular attendant on the Sunday
school, occupying a place in the first Bible class.

^' I visited the house of one of our communicants who is lame : she,
and our two blind communicants, Peter Randall and Edward Renner,
has a daily pension of twopence from Grovemment. Here, as is
usual on some week-day evenings, I found as many of our communi-
cants assembled as her tittle house would hold, and engaged in
prayer; which ended, Peter Randall gave out the beautiful hymn»
' Guide me, O thou great Jehovah ! ' How happily, I thought, is that
beautiful prophecy of Isaiah exemptified in these two btind men —
* And I will bring the btind by a way that they know not : I will lead
them in paths that they have not known : I wiU make darkness tight
before them, and crooked things straight. These things wiU I do
nnto them, and not forsake them.' These two come every Saturday
to Mrs. Bultmann to learn chapters of the Bible by heart : and always
ask, as they pass along, for the meaning of any sentence which they
do not understand."

The next case is especially interesting, from the fact that it intro*
duces to our acquaintance the mother of George Nichol, one of the
youths brought to England by the Rev. E. Jones, for instruction in
the Islington Institution.

" Aug. 8. To-day one of my Communicants, the mother of George
{ifichol, came to me to express her gratitude for what the Society had
done for her son, by instructing him here, sending him to England,
and placing him in the Society's Institution at Istington for further
education. She had a letter from her son, and was detighted with his
kind reception from the Committee and other friends of the Society.

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It was pleasing to observe that she felt, and expressed, that a]l this had
come to pass through the gracious proyidence and goodness of Giod.
* Though I am poor/ she said, * my heart tells me that I must try
what I can do for Christ's cause.' She then gave me a small sum, as
a thank-offering ; and added, ' May God bless the Society ! ' I am
persuaded that this is the feeling of many others : "

The schools throughout the Ck)lony continued to flourish. The
system of instruction by monitors was most successfol. On this subject
Mr. Miiller wrote from Kissey in June :

" The Monitor boys, now thirty-eight in number, receive instruction
at my house three times a week, while the monitor girls are taught by-
William Phtlipp. The good behaviour of the Monitor boys, as well as
their abilities and attention to what they are taught, ^ve me every
reason to suggest that they may be trained up as Teachers for benighted

In the Sunday schools, strange sights sometimes met the eye. Mr.
J. Bartholomew, native catechist of the River^ District, thus describes
the Benguema Sunday school :

'^ It is gratifying to see the diligence of little Monitors of both sexes
— they were between four and five years of age — teaching the adults.
The scholars would take their aforesaid little Monitors on their laps, as
a woman would nurse her child. * This peculiar method, I have no
doubt, shews their earnest desire of learning in order to catch every
word that they are taught. I have had repeated opportunities of ob-
serving that the Sunday school at Moco Town is like that of Benguema."

Practical evidences of Christian teaching were far from uncommon
among the school children of the Colony. Such a case as the one we
are about to give is conclusive of the excellence of the system which
could produce such fruits, scarcely to be paralleled even in these more
favored lands ; it is from the pen of Mr. Denton :

** A very pleasing circumstance came to my notice a few days since,
which discovered an unexpected good resulting from our boy's school.
While the Rev. J. F. Schon was spending a few days with us for the
benefit of his health, we went together to visit some of the people ; and
while speaking to a member of the Church, who has been for the last
seven months confined at home, and perfectly helpless from the effects
of a fall, he called his little boy, who attends our school, to reach him
a scrap of paper stuck up in the side of the house. Having opened it,
the boy read to us the text and parts of the sermon which Mr. Schon
had preached at Church on the preceding Lord's day. The fathejr
told us, that being unable to come to Church himself, he was glad to
get what little his boy could bring him home, and that he had now
many such scraps, which were a great comfort to him. This is en-
couraging, both to schoolmasters and to ministers ; and it would be

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well indeed if white children in England would follow the example of
the little hlack boy at Regent."

The Church Missionary Society continued to be an object of grated
solicitude. Mr. John Attarra, the native catechist of Wellington, has
enabled us to illustrate this fact in a pleasing way. He writes : —

*' July 8, 1844. One of our communicants, who is also a very re-
spectable man among the inhabitants of Wellington, came to-day to
inform me that all the communicants and candidates connected with
our Church wanted to make a voluntary contribution to aid the Church
Missionary Society in their blessed work, 'What you spoke at our
last Monthly meeting, of the good deeds of others toward the Society/
said he, ' has caused us to follow their example, to assist the Society
as far as we can. We are only waiting for you to appoint us a day
for making a collection.' I told him, very well ; but I delayed for
some time appointing them a day, on purpose to prove whether they
were in earnest about it or not.

** Aug. 3. Having been again reminded concerning the collection
to aid the Church Missionary Society, I now thought it proper to
comply with their request, and so appointed to-day for that purpose.
We were thus assembled in the Church, and nearly the whole of them
personally appeared : those who were sick, and could not come, sent
their money by their brethren. Thus we commenced our happy
meeting by singing a hymn, and then offering up a prayer. After
this, I stood up, and addressed the assembly, and said, that what they
were about to do would be good for nothing, unless they offered it with
all their hearts. In their reply, they said that nobody compelled them
to it, and that they simply agreed together to show their love and
gratitude, above all, to God, and also to the Society. The collection
was then made — no less than SS : 2:8.; which I have since delivered
to the Rev. N. C. Haastrup."

In Mr. Biiltmann's report of Kent he introduces an occurrence fiill
of promise to the Christian cause in Sierra Leone, and to the best in-
terests of Africans of all ranks and denominations : it was the visit of
a Mahoramedan of rank and his interpreter to that station, which
seems to have been attended with very gratifying results. We quote
first from Mr. Biiltmann's journal, and afterwards from that of Mr.
Joseph Wilson, native catechist of Kent. Mr. Biiltmann says :

" June 24. Last night, after Church, we received a visit from two
strangers, Feude Sanasi Mudu, and Thomas Lawson. Sanasi is from
the BuUom Shore, one of the sons of the late Chief Dalla Mahomedu ;
and Lawson is a British subject, but originally also an African prince,
who, speaking better English, serves Sanasi as interpreter and guide.
We invited them to spend the night at our house, which they thank-
fully accepted; and it was affecting, at evening prayers, to see a

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king*s son, still a Mahomedan, bow his knees with ns at the feet of
Jesus, who, I hope, wiU make this interesting chief, who seems not lar
from the kingdom of Grod, to become one day an instrament of mni^
good among his people. While his eldest brother, to keep ap his
royal dignity, has upward of a dozen wires, Sanasi has but two ; and
declares himself ready to give up one, should he become oonvinGed of
the truth of our religion ; though his attachment, he confesses, is so
greatly divided between both, that he does not know to which of them
to give the preference. This morning he very poHtely made Mrs.
Bultmann a present of his richly ornamented Mandingo gown, in re-
tivn for which I presented him with a Bible and Testament in Arabic.
With these tokens of mutual friendship we parted.

" June 28. I received the following letter from Fende Sanaa Mudu,
written, no doubt, by his friend Thomas Lawson : —

•* • Sir — With feelings of many thanks I beg to lay these few lines
to you, to return you thanks for your worthy present made to me on
the 22d inst. By the assistance of one of our learned men, who can
read the Arabic more clear than myself, and by the endeavour of my
friend, Thomas Lawson, has got both myself and the same man to
get some good understanding about the Lord Jesus Christ. We read
in the 1st chap, of St. Matthew, ver. 1 to the end, more espedallj
from the 18th verse; also we read the 2d chap, verse 1 to the end ;
also the 3d chap, more particularly the last two verses, where it is de-
clared, not by the voice of man, but by the voice of the Spirit of Ood,
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And what can we say ? No
man have any right to contradict the Spirit of God. We read also the
3d chap, of the Gospel of St. John, frt)m the 16th verse; also the
4th chap, of the 1st Epistle of St. John, frt)m the 1st verse to the
end. 1 cannot help it, but return to you many thanks for your
valuable present to me.

" * I am. Sir, your sincere friend,

Fende Sanasi Mudu."

" Though I was backward to give at once full credit to the sincerity
of these professions, and returned an answer accordingly, yet I have
since had good reason to believe that Thomas Lawson is a pious
person, and Sanasi, to say the least, a sincere inquirer after truth.

•' Sept. 8, 1844. On my arrival at Tumbo this morning, I was
very much gratified to perceive Fende Sanasi Mudu entering the town
from the opposite end, with several of his men, and also Thomas
Lawson. They came from their factory, and were very decently
dressed for attending public worship. They appeared to be extremely
attentive ; and I was particularly gratified at seeing Sanasi use the
Arabic Bible which I had given him, not only in the reading of the

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Lessons, but turning with the assistance of his Mend, Thomas Law-
son, to various passages referred to in the course of the sermon. My
already strong persuasion of their sincerity was much confirmed to-day,
not only by their evident attention at Church and my subsequent con*
versation with them, but also by Mr. Wilson, who, taking my duties
for this day at Kent, took tea with us in the evening, and spoke much
of Lawson and Sanasi. I hope this interestii^ circumstance will be
eventually of very essential benefit to the projected Susoo Mission, for
this language is spoken by all his brother's subjects."

Mr. Wilson's communication is as follows :

" July 16. I went this evening to see Fende Sanasi Mudu, a
Mahomedan, who is always regular in attending our service, every
Lord's day, at Tumbo, and is one of the sons of the late chief of the
fiuUom Shore, and has made his residence here, for the purpose of
hewing and purchasing timber. When asked whether he always un-
derstood what he often heard in the Chapel, he said, * Yes ; and often
my eyes flow with tears. I formerly thought, whenever I came
from Bullom Shore to Freetown, and saw the conduct especially of the
white people there, I always mocked their religion. I only thought
that the book which the white people have, was not signifying any
other thing besides, but only worldly business ; but am now happy to
know that the Bible is the best of books : and while there are many
who live contrary to the Bible, who mind about the things of this
world, there are many, also, who are minding about the things of God
and of their souls' happiness. I believe, indeed, that Jesus is the
only Son of God, and that this is the true religion. And as long as I
am here, I shall not spend the Lord's day as I used to do before, but
in God's house, that there I may learn to know Him.' After a few
days, he was told that he had some charms on him, as it is customary,
especially with Mahomedans, which he always thought could make
him to be very lucky, and even keep him from things hurtful. But as
he once heard in the Chapel that Grod had forbidden all men to do so,
and to trust only in his Son Jesus Christ, his conscience would no

Online LibrarySamuel Abraham WalkerThe Church of England mission in Sierra Leone: including an introductory ... → online text (page 68 of 73)