Imágenes de páginas

‘You can have as many as you choose,' was the answer. I desired to take a few Kosso and Aku girls who could read, and inquired of my dear friends, who were both evidently feeling the painful separation, which of the Kosso girls could read. Only one or two were found; yet ten Akus could, therefore I selected them; but others so earnestly pressed to join them, that I took four more. The master ordered the company for York, (chiefly little girls,) to set out, and he accompanied them part of the way: others of the Aku children came round us with such strong entreaties and many tears petitioning to be taken, that I thought, ‘Can I reject this opportunity of attempting to do good to these dear children, though but for a short season P’ ‘If I forego this opportunity, how can I ever forget their supplicating looks, and the expression of bitter grief on their countenances on being separated from those they desire to cleave to " It felt to me impossible to resist their plea; and on the return of the master I said I would take all that were left: the number amounted to fifty-six. After staying a short time with my friends, I returned with my mind sweetly centred in the belief that my present conclusions were consonant with the will of our Father which is in heaven. Their first introduction to the school was to take down their names, and show them where to put down their little baskets. Afterwards I read to the whole school from ‘First Principles;’ then the children repeated in concert the hymn, “Lord I would own Thy tender care, and the school was closed by singing, “From all that dwell below the sky.’ “I have complained of the children being first selected for apprentices, and the remainder only sent to the schools; but I am told that if, on the next arrival, I express my desire to choose first, it will be granted me. I ought gratefully to acknowledge the kind attention which has hitherto been paid to my requests. “28th. The Africans need pity for the bewildered and unchristian feeling of their minds, as much, if not more, than for all their outward sorrows. O, that the mission in this place could be strengthened, and now be commenced on simple Christian grounds, seeking its support from simple Christian feeling, and not from human power, or mere worldly influence. May all that is done kindly, whether from one source or another, be acknowledged; but let missionaries seek their chief aid from Him whose kingdom was not of this world, and from the prevalence of that feeling which His love inspires in the hearts of His disciples. “I am struck with an obvious difference between the children we received from Wellington, and most other liberated African children. These little ones from under the care of M. Macfoy, appear more open-tempered, animated, and alert, and generally have good constitutions and good capacities for instruction. Many liberated African boys and girls look very dull, and some of them like sour, unripe fruit, that has not been sufficiently under warmth and sunshine. “Some hovering thoughts have dwelt upon my mind since being here, that a few Africans of good Christian feeling and principles, even though of but slender attainments as to school instruction, would perhaps on the whole help forward the liberated African children better than Europeans who mix less with them, and do not so well know and

understand their habit of thought and feeling. There was a time when but few could be obtained as native teachers in schools, and now there is not a school in the colony without its native teachers. Could the children generally be intrusted to them, undergood superintendence, the missionaries would be set at liberty from one heavy charge, and this might open the way for the extension of the mission, and for some excursions, and even settlements in the neighbouring districts. “I hear there are four vessels in sight, but not so near the port as to know whether they are from England or no. Can I hope for a companion in my work 2 I will try to wait patiently, and if it should prove that the time is not yet come for labourers in this station from among our dear friends, still I trust this deeply interesting colony will be cared for, and provided by the Shepherd of Israel with such as can feed His flock. This morning how cheering was it to witness, when talking to my children after reading, a degree of sympathetic feeling in some of their countenances, even in those who were the objects of admonition. I have no doubt but that many in this colony are prepared to hear and to feel, especially among the younger class, if called upon in Christian love. “ 1832. 1st mo. 3rd. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep me this day without sin, is a prayer which my heart would plead as more to be desired than. all earthly good. I am here in a state of great danger, and shall if preserved by Infinite Goodness be taught by His Spirit to know more fully my own weakness; be more prepared than I have ever yet been to sympathize with the poor, and with those who under weakness of body, and of mind, are pressed down by many cares; while their strength is spent in a succession of laborious occupations. If God shall be pleased to make me in any degree an instrument for the help of some of these, if permitted to return to my own country, I shall feel thankful for the lesson learned here. My nature is too anxious for the present engagement to be a very easy task; and the sense of lack in advancement in that which is good amongst those who surround me often reminds me that we are not to expect the same results in Africa as we should from the early and long continued education given in England. To be fully awake in promoting the improvement of those about us, and at the same time not overcome in our spirits and temper, even when we see real evil where we had desired to see only good, is a state of feeling that may be attained by the predominance of redeeming power on the mind. Watchfulness on every hand will be needed, watchfulness, lest through the fear of loss to ourselves in temper and feeling, we pass by the wrong things in those that need attention, and which we are bound in duty to teach them if possible to overcome. Watchfulness, on the other hand, lest in our anxiety for others to fulfil the part we have a right to require of them, we become impatient, unforgiving, intemperate in our reproofs, and go so far out of the spirit of Christian meekness as to forget the apostolic injunction, “Let not sin have dominion over you.’ Watchfulness, lest we suffer the evil we see in others, so far to have dominion over us as to excite unwarrantable feelings in our minds, and cause us, instead of ascending in true Christian magnanimity over all, and maintaining that disposition of mind in which we

may say in effect with the apostle, “Follow us as ye see we follow Christ,’ to lose our strength by harsh and hasty expressions of temper. By thus doing, we sensibly lower our best feelings, and become not only less capable of advancing in the heavenly life, but less fitted to be instrumental of good to others. “The predominating wish of my heart is to be kept from sin, not for my own sake only, but for the sake of those amongst whom I live, not a few of whom may possibly become teachers of others. All this causes a powerful perception of my own wants, and my need for the continual remembrance of the presence of the Most High. Surely we ought to act before Him with greater care and watchfulness than if even the highest and wisest, and best of human beings were our witnesses. “I speak generally plain English to the people, unless to some who are not accustomed to hear many English words. To those with whom I habitually communicate I use plain not broken English, and keeping to simple and obvious expressions, I think they generally understand me quite as well as if they were used to a broken language. “4th. Lately I have suffered from the Harmatan winds, but not so much as to withdraw from my work. One evening I was ready to say, ‘Can I bear another tornado-season 2–will my constitution sustain it o' but felt checked, believing my way would be made plain at the season, and I had nothing to be anxious about at present. I have no expectation to be at liberty to leave before. Through heavenly favour I am enabled cheerfully to look forward to remaining as long as shall seem right for me, whether the season be rough or mild,

« AnteriorContinuar »