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professions are sincere, and whether the tenour of the life and conversation are correspondent with them, in the sight of Him who searcheth the heart. - “The accounts we hear of the darkness and sinfulness of many parts of the world are heart-affecting; and though we may see much to lament in England there is yet much to console.”
. CHAPTER XI.
Her Labours for ameliorating the Condition of the Poor in St. Giles's—Proposes a second Visit to the coast of Africa.
“THE way appears plain for me to ask my friends to enter into the consideration of whether this, or what other time may be looked to for the accomplishment of my engagements of mind to visit again the colony of Sierra-Leone. The religious instruction of some of the dear children is near to my heart. “A visit to Africa was what at one time I could not look at with much expectation that it could be effected on account of the want of strength of body, and, indeed, I had erased the name from a memorandum in which the prospect had been alluded to. Divine Power is all-sufficient, and He will give strength for whatever it shall be His pleasure to call for. Oh that quietness and patience may be given in all situations through which, in life's pilgrimage, I may be called to pass; remembering that it is required of me to ‘bear all things,' and that I am not to expect the favours that have been, and may yet be imparted, without accompanying trials. “11th. In looking to the practice of singing in congregational concert there seems to be a difference as to the habit and constitution of people. There are some men of strong minds and solid O
feeling who, if they conducted a meeting for religious instruction, even in Africa, would not introduce singing as a part, although not prevented by principles such as those of our Society; and there are other persons of lively susceptibility, and willing to do good to the people in the way they think most adapted to their present standing and disposition, who consider singing as too attractive to the African ear, and African feeling, to be omitted. “The profession of feelings which are not present in the heart, professions of repentance and of love, and of dedication, when they are at variance with the real state of mind in those who utter them, must be a mixture of that which is of the world, and not of the Father, and originating in a want of that discriminating feeling which, remembering that the Most High is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, fears to utter a word of profession, in His sacred name, which he would see inconsistent with the thought that is passing there. Oh! that the professors of the Christian name could see and feel this! and, oh that they would seek for truth to guide and govern all their doings! “ 12th. Visited two widowed missionaries, just arrived from Sierra-Leone. It was to me a deeply affecting meeting, and my sympathy for the few who remain, and for the poor Africans in SierraLeone, was strongly excited. How little do some know and feel for the deprivations, and sufferings, and bereavements of the poor missionaries; but their dedication is seen of Him who knows what they have to combat, and gives strength to desire that any toil or danger may be encountered, rather than their post of interesting duty deserted, or any part of it cast into the hands of persons who would be less disposed to act kindly towards them. “A few days ago my former shrinking from the water was for a time felt oppressive. I yet hoped, and was, I think, led to pray, that it might, if I should go, be taken from me. I must still remain quiet and undecided for a while longer. I do acknowledge that the state of things in the present crisis appears too serious to admit of my going without a very clear evidence that it is best : knowing my natural propensity to anxiety, I have been ready almost to wonder that in a state of suspense I should yet so far have been divested of uneasy anxiety as I have been. “How I long that in the usual order of duty and business, without stamping the concern as a ministerial engagement, some of our dear friends may be willing to go to Africa, during the dry season, —to form schools, conduct trade, facilitate the growth, if Providence so permit, of useful produce for exportation, and to do good in whatever way they could find an opening. But we must take things as they are. The merchants who act with tolerable prudence, do not find such mortality among their body as the missionaries, and such as go out in the disposition to earnest exertion on behalf of others. “I trust if some of our friends were to go, they would, with regard to religious meetings, consider the state of the people, and be willing rather to admit what for themselves would be unnecessary, provided it was likely to do these people any good, in preference to withholding all instruction from them, if they would not receive it unaccompanied by the practice of singing, which is so peculiarly attractive to an African ear. Indeed I much doubt whether the Methodists in England would have drawn the attention of the lower and more untaught ranks of society, if they had been without this attraction in their meetings. “For myself I could, so far as I see, unite in an assembly in which singing, devotional reading, and instructive narratives were introduced without any violation of my principles as a Friend; and I think that whether Friends, Moravians, Methodists, or other classes, happened to meet on the coast of Africa, or in England, in such an assembly, they might, as far as I know, willingly unite, and silently seek together for help to attain to the Spirit of worship, and that none should be restricted from either exhortation or prayer when it appeared that the mind was rightly directed to it. “I have been painfully affected with a sense of the darkness of mind and gross immorality of conduct seen by the natives on the coast of Africa in the European colonies; and have thought how painful is sometimes the situation of missionaries in having this counteracting influence to combat, and how needful for them to guard against the spirit of this world in their intercourse with the colonists. Whilst it highly behoves the Christian missionary to beware of assimilating with feelings that are of the world only, and not under the redeeming power of Christ, it is also most desirable to avoid a self-complacent and pharisaic spirit, or one that says, Stand by, for I am holier than thou. Our blessed Redeemer sought the good of all. “ 18th. Went to St. Giles's. The people were