Imágenes de páginas

food are rather unfavourable for my health and strength. We have not had the advantage of fresh mutton for the last two weeks, and the flour has, perhaps, been too stale to be wholesome, and has had to be cleared of the insects generated in it before bread could be made. “10th mo. 8th. I have this morning been favoured with a most consoling sense of Divine mercy and goodness, accompanied with a desire that nothing may be withheld that shall be required during my sojourn on these shores. O, my God, be pleased in Thine infinite mercy so to sanctify to me every dispensation of Thy providence, that all may contribute by Thine own power to introduce me to a greater meetness for the society of purified spirits in the regions of everlasting light and life. “Yesterday I wrote a few lines to a dear relative, and expressed my wish that her hope and trust may be in the Omnipotent. O, may it ever be kept in view that no temptations need overcome, if only the eye and the heart be turned to Him in whom is all power. If we yield ourselves up to surrounding circumstances and to physical influences, without humbly and earnestly repairing to our Refuge, no wonder if we fail and are overcome. “15th. From letters just received it appears that my dear friends are fully satisfied with my remaining until the way shall be open for my return. Some intimations that it would be well not to be anxious about others treading in the same path, seem to check my hope of help from labourers of our own Society, and altogether the strain of the communications casts the work more fully upon my own individual feeling. I fear to U

look to an early time of leaving; I must just stay passive and patient, till fully assured that what is called for at my hands is so far effected as that I may go in peace. “25th. There is great sweetness and beauty in the character of some of the professors of religion among the Africans—an unassuming, humble, yet cheerful and affectionate demeanour, which, combined with their native simplicity, is exceedingly interesting. To bring out this character a kind and friendly manner is requisite, for they are soon repelled, and their minds are closed when they meet with coldness and a disposition to keep them at a distance. “What cause I have to thank God, and to take courage for the state of health I now enjoy, near the close of the rainy season. Even last night and this morning we have had rains so heavy, and fogs so thick, and I have felt the effect so sensibly in fettering the power of mental and bodily exertion, that I was ready to say, I shall now be glad when the dry season has quite set in, although I had looked to the rains as to a time of interest, from the settled home-like feeling I should enjoy during their continuance. “I have written to England an account of the First-day morning and evening meetings, and of the children singing the 100th Psalm, “From all that dwell,’ &c. mostly three times a-day, and uniformly morning and evening. Also that the First-day morning meetings commence with silence and reading from the Psalms, and intervals of silence between each engagement. Repetition of hymns in concert (when the children stand up)— repetition of some passages from Scripture. Time for quiet feeling and reflection, and the children occasionally informed of the nature of worship, whether with or without vocal expression; also easy and instructive narratives related or read to them. Occasional instruction when reading the Scriptures, or at other times in our meetings; also vocal prayer at seasons when the prevalent feeling leads to that engagement, but no expectation excited as to its being uniformly so. “With concern I hear from several quarters, that Friends would have preferred my only having the first set of scholars, and not the addition in the 6th month, fearing it would add too much to my cares, and that it might impede my progress in the first object, of showing what the proposed system of teaching could accomplish. It may in both these cases have had its disadvantages; but I should not, I think, have known what a liberated African station was, had I only had those first children, and the seven well-fed little ones from the Wellington School. Nor should I, perhaps, have thought of making the enquiry, whether the schools were only furnished after the apprentices were selected; nor should I, probably, ever have thought of the horrid iniquities which the trade in these little sufferers involves, had we not received children direct from the slave-ship. Besides, a select school like that in the beginning would not, I think, have been a fair specimen. “ 11th mo. 4th. I have certainly cause to be pleased and comforted with my dear children. Many can read the picture-lessons, and also some of the Scripture-lessons, as well as write from dictation the same lessons on their slates. It is scarcely eight months since these were taken from the slaveship. They can answer questions from surrounding objects, are improving in reading, and learn to repeat hymns. “13th. Why is this feeling of quiet and peace? —assuredly I am not worthy of it. I have given way within the last forty-eight hours to expressions of resentment towards two of my young people, beyond what the cause would warrant. I have earnestly urged to-day that we should all seek forgiveness and peace with God before we give sleep to our eyes this night. O, that a better guard may be kept over my mind on all future days, be they many or few. One thing we should try to avoid in establishments like this, and that is too great a hurry of business on one day; as this, and particularly in a country like Africa, is calculated to spend the strength and spirits, and to incite to irritability, to impatient feeling, and to hasty expression. May this interesting school fall into the hands of true and faithful shepherds, of whatever denomination they may be “ 18th. It is, I believe, in consonance with the order of Divine goodness, that sincere Christians should, in conducting their domestic concerns, their affairs of business, in the pursuance of benevolent engagements, in the enjoyments of social intercourse, and in all the concerns of life, as well as in their secret retirements and devotional assemblies, partake of a feeling of divestment of anxiety and care under the sheltering guidance of an Infinite Redeemer, whose influence is felt to be perpetually present. O, were we more awake to a sense of this heavenly experience—this dwelling as in the house of the Lord, what accessions of strength might be gained even for the difficult and arduous duties of life . It is true, indeed, that we ought to beware of placing ourselves in stations of difficulty to which the ordering of Divine Providence has not introduced us. We ought, also, in all our movements to seek to be guided by Divine wisdom, and pray that we may be led to honour Him whose disciples we profess to be, by an upright and self-denying conduct, so self-denying as ever to desire and prefer His will before our own. “I remember to have heard a quotation to this purpose: ‘Too happy to be sportive he's serene.’ This is the habit of mind I long to enjoy, and to see prevalent among all professing Christians. My own nature is anxious, and in my present and late position there seem to the natural view many calls for anxiety; but still, unless the kind of rest to which I have alluded be the predominant feeling, natural anxiety will not be availing to its object. ‘Thy kindom come, Thy will be done, this should be the heart prayer from hour to hour, and accompanied with the grateful remembrance of Him of whom it is truly said, ‘He is our peace.'

« AnteriorContinuar »