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61. “I have longed that the hope expressed by T. Clarkson in his Illustrations of Peace, “That human animosities are not to be eternal,’ might be more freely spread among the people, and that this and other exemplifications of the principles of peace might be generally circulated in tracts. Peace, not merely as a political advantage, but as a Christian principle arising from love to God and man. 62. “I believe it would be well on the eve of the Sabbath, or after a meeting, to ask, How have my thoughts and feelings been engaged ? Have I been bowed in spirit before the Most High, supplicating for ability and help from His heavenly power, and seeking to worship Him in spirit and in truth : 63. “It would be well to recommend to the dispersers of religious tracts, to read with attention those of the deeper class, and have their own minds thus imbued with the important truths to which they would call the attention of others. 64. “As we have the highest authority for singing on some occasions, I cannot by any means consider it as in itself a condemnable practice, but only in its abuses, only in its being connected with the profession of unfelt experience, and often with a most unholy and unharmonious state of mind. 65. “There are four points of importance in conducting a school on the Lancasterian system :— “1st, That the governess be at liberty for the general care of the school, and avoid being so much engrossed by attention to individual children as to be prevented attending to the order of the whole. “2nd, To keep up a constant oversight of the monitors, and to see that they attend well to their classes. “3rd, To have needles, thread, and everything wanted by monitors for the children, prepared beforehand, so as to avoid having the children unsettled for want of employment. “4th, Quietly to watch against, and repress the beginnings of unsettlement among the children, and endeavour to support in all departments, both with monitors and children, a wakeful attention to duty.
“There is a healthful, strengthening, and salutary feeling in order, order as to occupation, and the timing and placing of things that makes way for much that is good, although it is not everything in itself. There is a possibility of over-estimating these arrangements, and substituting attention to them in the place of a watchful oversight of the whole mind and conduct.”
The following account of the illness, death, and character of John Thompson is written by Hannah Kilham, in a letter to a friend :
“Our dear friend John Thompson, on hearing of his sister's view of going to Africa to unite in the proposed establishment for native instruction, expressed a wish to accompany her, if it should meet the approbation of the African Instruction Committee ; but they, feeling the responsibility that must attach to such an engagement, and the risk of life and health connected with it, wished him to endeavour to feel deeply for himself whether it appeared to be a requiring of duty, since, in their apprehension, nothing short of this could authorize any individual to enter as an agent into the present concern, so far as to go out. Finding the subject thus cast upon himself, he was brought into close conflict of mind; and, after some days’ consideration, he felt best satisfied to repeat his proposal to go to Africa. He told his sister it appeared probable to him that he might never return; yet, even with this view, he thought it best to offer himself to go, and that it could be of little moment in what place life was resigned. After this, his mind appeared relieved and cheerful : he made his final offer to the Committee, and it was accepted. At the end of the following week we set sail for Africa. During the storm which we had to encounter in the early part of the passage, it was consoling to me to see my dear friend so firm and quiet amid so much danger. “Soon after our arrival in Africa, some of our company were invited to the burial of Sister Adele, one of the French nuns, who had devoted themselves to a residence in the Hospital of St. Mary, as attendants on the sick; and shortly after to the burial of Bowdick, to whom we had been introduced the day sfter our landing, as having recently arrived in the Gambia in the pursuance of his African researches. In a very few weeks from the time of our landing, Captain Smith, with whom we came out from England, died also ; and the medical officer who had served the island of St. Mary's during the late rains, was then taken sick, and now evidently sinking under a fixed decline. These frequent mementos of mortality were very impressive to his mind ; indeed, he seldom spoke of our prospect of returning home without some conditional expression that showed he felt its uncertainty. “His conduct in all companies evinced a principle upright and sincere : his society was interesting, his remarks evincing clearness and solidity of judgment, and an integrity of mind that were truly valuable, his dispositions were affectionate and susceptible, and he excelled in those every-day kindnesses which so much contribute to the comfort and enjoyment of life. “He applied with great industry and fidelity to the appointment he had engaged in, in commencing the agricultural department, and in the care of two boys whom, since our arrival in Africa, we had received into the family, with the view of their being trained as native teachers: he was much impressed with the importance of training such in habits of industry, combined with school instruction, and with such religious instruction as they might be capable of receiving. He unuch wished that they should not be indulged in languid, dependent habits, or in a vain estimate of the importance they might acquire in the eyes of their countrymen, or be led to rest in any outward form, as supposing it to constitute the reality of religion ; and he wished them to be impressed with the conviction that neither a profession of religion nor any outward performance could be of any avail, unless the heart were imbued with religious feeling, and the conduct governed by pure and upright principles. “The industry and ingenuity of our dear friend were exercised in a variety of ways to render our abode at the Cape comfortable and agreeable. He had contrived means to provide for the disadvantages of our being so distant from the well, and having, indeed, no springs of water on the ground which was occupied. “The counteraction of some difficulties in our new settlement, together with the introduction of the plough in a district in which cattle had never yet been taught to labour, could not be brought about without considerable fatigue. “When I was about to visit Sierra-Leone, he proposed to accompany me. On one occasion, when there, he remarked that it was a matter of comparative little moment in what place or country a man might take up his abode, during the short time he had to remain in this world, and then added quickly, * I mean short in comparison of a state of future existence; yet though thoughtful he was not sad. “On the 24th of 7th mo. we embarked, all apparently in good health. Ann Thompson said, when we were together upon deck, that she thought our friends might be cheered in seeing us come home so well; that she herself had been better in Africa than in Ireland, and that she never saw her brother look better than at present ; she thought he was returning home as well as when he left. I do not know what were his own thoughts at that moment, but the last passage in his journal, written a few days before he left, expressed that, although he was looking towards home, and the enjoyment of again meeting with his family and friends, he could not but feel the uncertainty of the prospect, considering “the uncertainty of time, and the wide expanse of waters which lay between them.” “The first night after we had embarked, finding himself greatly affected by the heat of the cabin, he went upon deck at about two in the morning, and slept there for several hours; he was struck with cold, and came down in the morning complaining of the chill, and pain in his limbs. In the evening he was better. The next morning he was still indisposed, and took some medicine. In a few days decided marks of fever appeared : the medicine he took seemed to answer the purpose for the time, but the fever returned from day to day, and was not subdued. We had no medical officer on board ; but our dear friend had the kind care of the captain, William Waterman, and others. The fever was of an inflammatory kind, and the symptoms, though decided, were not complicated. The mind of J. Thompson was evidently impressed with a sense of the critical nature of his disorder, and very susceptible and tender. Sometimes he would ask his sister or me to read the Bible to him. “I could not doubt that it would be well with him, if called away in this sickness ; yet sometimes, when alone, and contemplating the prospect of a separation whilst on the great deep, the view was to nature very awful, and almost apalling. Still was my heart sensible that the Most High, who is infinite in wisdom, in knowledge, and in goodness, often carries forward His designs of mercy by means which we cannot fathom, and that He alone can be “His own interpreter.” In speaking to J. Thompson on this subject. he assented with sweetness and feeling to the expression of a belief that our deepest afflictions are