A1r omitted A1v
Profile silhouette of a woman’s bust, presumably Hannah Kilham.
Thy affectionate
Hanh Kilham.

of the late
Hannah Kilham;
chiefly compiled from
her journal,
and edited by
her daughter-in-law
Sarah Biller,
of St. Petersburg.

“Africa will, I believe, be ever dear to my heart, and I would pray that no
shrinking from danger should ever interfere with what is called for from me in
this injured people’s cause.”
H. K.

Darton and Harvey,


Printed by Joseph Rickerby,
Sherbourn Lane.

A3r A4v A5r


In presenting to the public these extracts from the
voluminous Journal of a tenderly-loved parent, it seems
only necessary to observe that every effort has been made, both by her daughter and by judicious, and
long-tried friends, to bring forward in a collected
form such parts as may throw light on the character,
labours, and dedicated life of the deceased. If they
have not succeeded in giving as continuous an account
as might be desirable, it has been owing to a
paucity of information; one reason of which may have
originated in the retired spirit of their precious relative
and friend, who always preferred that what she did
should be little known, and still less the subject of

The selection has been made with increasing interest,
and no regret was felt till the close obliged us to take
leave of a character so full of instruction and encouragement;
yet this regret has given place to the
hope, that by the perusal of these pages many may be
led to appreciate more fully the inestimable privilege
of retirement, and waiting on the Lord, in order to
follow the gentle intimations of His Holy Spirit, and
thus be prepared for such a part in the world’s vineyard
as the Great Master shall appoint.

St. Petersburg, 1836-04-04April 4th, 1836.
A5v B1r


Chapter I.

Her early Life—First religious Impressions—Joins
the Society of Wesleyan Methodists—Extracts from her Journal.

Hannah Kilham was the daughter of Peter and
Hannah Spurr, who were respectable tradespeople
in the town of Sheffield, in which place she was
born the 1774-08-1212th of 8th month, 1774. Of her early
years little is known. Her constitution was delicate,
and her mind much disposed to reflection.
When very young her mother died, and she, under
the superintendence of an elder sister who
was married and lived near, took charge of the
family, and was incessant in her exertions that
all should be comfortable and in order for her
bereaved father, brothers, and younger sister.
Through the kindness of two of her early associates
we are indebted for the following detail:
“Our acquaintance commenced at the vicarage
day-school Many years afterwards, in writing to a friend, she says, “I
account it one of the greatest hapinesses of my earlier days, to
have been frequently under the care, for religious instruction, of
one whose affectionate parental kindness will always claim from
me the warm returns of gratitude and respect,—I mean one
of the ministers in the Establishment wherein I was brought up,
who, during the summer, used to meet the children of his congregation,
or of any who chose to send their children, once a
week for religious instruction. And his labours, I believe, were
not in vain.”
when your beloved mother was about B B1v 2
ten years of age, she was then a most amiable,
talented, and serious girl, and set an example worthy
the imitation of her schoolfellows. At that
time she regularly attended the evening prayers at
the parish church; and, however she might be engaged
with her companions, she always left them
at the hour for worship. Her sympathy with, and
care for the poor manifested itself when she was
very young; and my sister remembers she had her
weekly pensioners for whom she saved her pocket-
money, for she often accompanied her at the stated
time for carrying her pence to those on her list.
She also at that time kept a diary of her good and
bad deeds, which she placed on opposite columns;
but she gave it up, because she soon found the bad
to preponderate.”

At fourteen years of age she was sent to a
boarding-school in Chesterfield, where she conducted
herself to much satisfaction, and made so
much progress in the study of grammar as to displease
her master, who, in those days, when that
science was not taught to girls, thought her over-
stepping the bounds of the female province. At
sixteen she returned home, and, from changes in
the family, was thrown into gay life; but its vanities
never were agreeable to her, and she entered
into its follies principally to satisfy her relations
and friends.

When about nineteen or twenty she was struck
with the change of deportment and engagements
in some of her intimate friends; and being under B2r 3
serious impressions herself, she called upon these
friends and made many enquiries respecting their
views and feelings, and from that time evinced a
desire to be more intimately associated with them.
One of them has very kindly furnished a few particulars
of her at this time, which are the more acceptable
as her journal is silent on this all-important
change.—“The work of conviction for sin was
carried on in her heart more by the drawings of the
Holy Spirit than by any deep awakenings of conscience.
After associating awhile with the above-
mentioned friends, she declared herself more openly
on the Lord’s side; and soon being enabled to believe
with her heart unto righteousness, she became
ready to make confession of the same to others.
About this period she joined the Society of Methodists.
In our love-feasts Love Feasts—Primitive Christians feasts of charity.
They frequently held these after public ordinances, and had spoke
to each other of the love of God, and the things which concerned
their salvation. The Moravians followed a similar plan, and
John Wesley adopted their mode of holding love-feasts almost in
every particular. Persons of various societies meet on these
occasions; bread and water are handed round, they declare
what God has done for their souls, and thus become acquainted
with each other’s experience, which not only increases their
love to each other, but enables them to bear their brethren afterwards
on their hearts before God, in their addresses to His gracious
and band-meetings “Band-meetings and Select Band-meetings are principally
designed to help those who have believed through grace. They
should meet by choice, with the persons they know, and in whom
they can confide; the number not less than three, and not exceeding
six. They should meet together once a week, and begin
their worship with singing and prayer. They should speak
their mind with the greatest freedom. They ought to tell their
experience, that others may be encouraged; also all they feel
in their hearts, that suitable exhortations may be given, and suitable
prayers offered on their behalf.”
“The members of the Select Band should especially be exemplary,
that all who see them may be thoroughly convinced that
they are aiming at nothing but to glorify God, and find their
way to eternity.”
she B2 B2v 4
often testified of the God of grace, to the edification
of the church. We, and many who were
present, remember well the first time in which she
arose publicly to express her gratitude to God for
the change He had made in her soul: she was so
overcome as to be constrained to fall on her knees,
and in that posture to pour out her full heart before
She soon gave herself up to the work
of her Master, and divided her time between public
and private devotions, and visits to the sick and

This season is evidently the one in which she
commenced her journal.

1796-07-02“July 2nd, 1796. This morning I have given
myself to God. This was a practice among the early Methodists. I have made a solemn vow that I
will be the Lord’s, and live a more faithful, obedient,
self-denying life than ever I have done.
This I have done in the strength of the Lord, begging
of Him to give me that spirit of humility and
love which shall constantly look up to Him for
help. Lord, keep me! I am surrounded by many
dangers, but thou canst raise my soul above them.
I am thine; preserve me, and let me be thine for
1796-07-066th. I have long deceived myself by relying
on my own strength,—by attempting to reform
myself,—now on one point, then on another. But
my conduct had no degree of uniformity, and I had
no spiritual solid peace till I came with all my
imperfections on my head, in obedience to the call B3r 5
of my Saviour, simply as a little child, weary and
heavy laden, casting my care and burden before
Him. Then I was willing to take His yoke upon
me, and learn of Him, endeavouring by the
grace of God to copy His humility, convinced that
‘His yoke is easy, and His burden light.’ My
only wish now is to lay aside every hinderance, and
the sin that doth so easily beset me. I have enlisted
under the banners of Jesus. I have made a
covenant with God to devote my understanding,
will, and affections to His cause: this I know is
my reasonable service; yet I can neither do it, nor
go on the Christian warfare in my own strength.
God is the God of hope and strong consolation, on
this Rock I will build my confidence; no longer
will I trust to a bruised reed, when the power of
Jehovah is offered to suport me. I cast off all
hopes of acceptance on my own merits, for I know
I am less than nothing. My God, convince me of
this truth more strongly. I would fix my soul on
Jesus, I would endeavour in all things to follow
His steps. O, that I could glorify the God of my
salvation. The whole world and all its pleasures
have nothing to be compared with one single spark
of Divine love. O, let all my soul, let all the
world unite in blessing God, the Father of light
and life. I thank thee, O Lord, for thine abundant
goodness to me. Carry on thine own work
in my soul. Let me be indeed to all eternity thy
child in Christ Jesus.
1797-01-01January 1, 1797. Blessed, ever blessed be
God that there is balm in Gilead; there is a physician
there, and the wounds, however deadly, of the
children of men may be healed. It is now a little
more than twelve months since I first knew the B3v 6
salvation which is in Jesus. A year of mercies indeed
it has been; my soul has been borne up by
the Spirit of God, and kept from sinking back into
nature’s darkness.
I never before felt such a sense of the entire dedication
I had to make of myself to God; but He
is worthy. Oh, what have I to give! My God, be
thou my strength! I do devote myself to thee!
Having thus given up myself to God a sacred
calm overspreads my soul. The Lord will keep
Blessed be God, I can lay down my head in
peace to-night, yet still I feel something of fear, on
account of the sacred vows which are upon me,
—a fear lest I should break these vows,—a fear
which has a degree of pain in it, and which I
think I should be freed from were I perfected in
1797-01-033rd. I hate the tyrant’s chain, and it distresses
me to think that the enemies of Christ should have
any part in my soul. Oh, that I might more fully
see the depth of corruption there is in my heart!
then I should surely shrink from myself, and take
refuge in the hope set before me.
1797-01-044th. One part of this day I seemed quite
weary of myself: my communion with heaven
seemed almost closed, my soul barren, and faith at
a very low ebb. Sometimes I was distressed with
the fear of falling into lukewarmness and insensibility,
because of the excessive slothfulness of my
spirit. Then again, at other times, (that is during
a part of the forenoon, while engaged in domestic
employments,) I got into a spirit of carelessness,
and gave way to such light, trifling conversation
as afterwards caused me a good deal of pain.
B4r 7 Darkness and distress continued till evening,
when, towards the close of a meeting I was attending,
my soul was brought into an agony of distress;
I felt a piercing sense of the holiness of that God
of whose favour I had rendered myself so unworthy.
I had a painful struggle with the corruptions
of my nature, which were still rising. At
length I found power to look to God in Christ
, and in mercy he delivered my soul; my
burden left me, and a sacred peace entered my
spirit. The lord was my refuge: I had sweet consolation
in secret after I returned home, yet still
without that full witness of the Spirit, that powerful
love in my soul, that would assure me without
a doubt that I was sanctified to God.
1797-01-099th. My petition at the throne of heaven today
is, that in all things I may have a single eye
to the glory of God. I feel at present a particular
need to pray for this. Oh, that I might always
have cause to rejoice that the Lord knows the most
secret thoughts of my heart! I adore that God
who requireth truth in the inward parts. ‘Search
and try me, O Lord,’
and grant that ‘in all things
nothing may I see,—nothing desire or seek but
May the Lord enable me to choose the part
that shall be most for his glory, and the peace of
those around me! whether in so doing my natural
inclination be gratified or crucified. But I would
leave to-morrow in the womb of eternity. May
the Lord help me to live to him the present moment!
1797-01-1111th. Towards evening I retired into my
room, and began to pray: was rather languid in
the beginning, and oppressed by trials; but soon B4v8
the Lord poured sweet consolation into my soul,
my heart was softened, and I believe melted down
into the will of God. I gave myself freely and
solemnly into His hands! God was indeed with
me: I had a powerful view of His universal love.
I had great comfort in the thought that I cannot be
where He is not!
I felt a blessed assurance that
my name was written on His hands, and that in all
my sorrow He still remembered me; and I knew
that however I might be circumstanced in future, I
could ‘do all things through Christ strengthening
I had several opportunities for private prayer
in the evening. I found myself in want of it, for
now that my spirit was relieved, I was getting
too much at ease and inattentive. It was impressed
on my mind to retire into my room and
pray, but an enemy whispered, ‘Not now; it will
be better to go a little while hence.’
I complied,
and thus was in a great measure shorn of my
strength, for though I did retire some time after, I
found my faith weakened, and that blessed degree
of light and power withdrawn. I did not recover
it, but fell asleep at night with some uneasiness
on my mind.
1797-01-2727th. When I retired to my room an accusing
spirit (but I believe it was from God)
pierced my soul. My unfaithfulness,—my littleness
of concern for the souls of others,—and many
such reflections rushed upon my mind. I saw the
vanity of every earthly thing, and the folly of
tampering but for a moment between God and the
world. I was in an agony of grief, of self-condemnation,
and of fear lest souls should suffer
through my coldness and neglect.
1797-02-06Feb. 6th. I think a degree of self-confidence B5r9
has crept into my spirit, and I always find it is
not any thing we feel, not energy, nor any thing
else in which we may rest, but on Christ Jesus.
For by resting in that powerful activity of mind
which I this morning felt, I found before evening
that I had strayed, and that not only my intercourse
with heaven was damped, but the vigour of
my mind declining. What would it avail to go
through worldly employments ever so well, if we
lose our communion with God, or even a measure
of it? It is merciful in the Lord to give us that
degree of relish for temporal things that enables
us to perform our relative duties, and go through
every necessary employment with pleasure. But
in this, as well as in other things, I find it truly
needful to look to God, for when I forget my dependence
I become languid, indolent, and weak.
1797-02-077th. When to-day at chapel they sang the
hymn, There we shall see His face, and never
never sin,
my heart was softened; I longed for the
time to come when I shall be pure and perfect,—
never grieve the Spirit of God, never in thought or
word sin against Him; but see Him as He is, and
become like Him.
Awoke at six, and felt uneasy that I had overslept
the time for the meeting. I knew very well,
however, that it was best for me now to rise, and
offer my morning sacrifice to God. I was tempted
to try to sleep again, and complied, but was quite
restless. My mind appeared to have very little
disposition to spiritual employment, therefore I
continued to delay. When I had reasoned backward
and forward, and trifled away half-an-hour,
it was brought to my mind what I had sung at the
covenant, All, all my happy hours I consecrate B5 B5v 10
to thee,
and then the bar was broken, and I arose.
When I had poured out my soul in prayer to God,
peace again entered my heart. These may seem
trifling things to write about, but I believe the
souls of men are often destroyed by overlooking
what at first appears to be of small importance.
But do they not mistake? Can any act of disobedience
to the laws of religion be accounted as
such? idleness is an act of disobedience, and its
consequences are melancholy: it destroys the work
of the Spirit in the heart, damps every vigorous,
every lovely principle, and unfits both soul and
body for the Christian warfare.
1797-02-2626th. The recollection of (what I believe was)
a deep-rooted attachment, which was some time
since for ever broken off, would return and bring a
degree of suffering to my mind; but I am deeply
convinced that good is the will of the Lord. He
has given me power even to rejoice that my will is
thus forcibly broken, that I may give myself to
Him, that He may choose for me. We met band
in the evening: my band-mates, as well as myself,
thought I had not as much simplicity, love, and
zeal as I once had; and in endeavouring to find
out the cause we freely opened our minds to each
other. I conceived one hinderance in myself to be
a want of freedom from caring about future things.
I ought to learn to live to-day, and leave to-
1797-03-01March 1st. I think I understand what a friend
of mine means, when he speaks of the poor souls
that lose their way in a dark and cloudy day. Oh,
how I can feel for them! Surely it is by a higher
power than man that we are for a moment kept!
A victorious soul is indeed a miracle of mercy! B6r 11
When we look at the proneness of our nature to
turn away from God, the many things which
come between to intercept our view of Him who
is to nature’s eye invisible, we are ready to wonder
at the power of that unseen hand which keeps
1797-03-04March 4th. Blessed be God, I dare again say
with humble confidence, ‘the blood of Christ
cleanses my soul from sin.’
I was this day deeply
convinced, though not by any condemnation in
my own mind, of the hatefulness of every temper
which is not of God. A vital union with Christ
appeared to me to be the only object worth mankind’s
pursuit, and every thing else, in comparison
of this, frivolous and insipid. Dispositions contrary
to God and to holiness, however specious in their
appearance, however glossed over by man’s imagination,
cannot but in reality be degrading to the
soul, and hold it back from that liberty and power
which it is our privilege, as Christians, to enjoy.
A circumstance I met with to-day was made a
means to convince me of these things more deeply.
I wanted every thing to be taken away from me
that did not honour God, and no passion, no
affection to exist in mind, but what was in subjection
to this one principle,—the love of Christ. This
afternoon, as I was earnestly pleading with God in
my room, entreating Him to give me power to
love Him with all my heart, and to bear the witness
by His Spirit in my soul, I found the answer
of my prayer. God took full possession of my
heart; every doubt, every fear was removed, and
light and peace again were given. I did indeed
love God: I had a happy evening. My desires to
do the will of God were increased, and I felt a B6v 12
deliverance from that indolence of mind and body
which had distressed and sunk me when I was
1797-03-1212th. I have never before so fully seen the
usefulness of the duty of visiting the sick. I
prayed in secret for more energy, more faithfulness,
and more discretion in this engagement. It
is a hard thing to have grace to seek on a death-
bed. Blessed be God for every soul he has called
in health! I have been ready to sink in the view
of my insufficiency for any work of God; for visiting
the sick, or any other spiritual employment. I
felt as though I were comparatively full of sin,—
full of imperfections. I do so little for the glory
of God, and even what I do undertake is so poorly
done. God be merciful to me! He is mercy, or
I should not yet live.
1797-03-1515th. When I do not rise early I am generally
thrown into confusion the whole day, or something
is neglected. Oh, could I but in all things refuse
to comply with the present suggestions of flesh
and blood, and follow the true light!
1797-03-1616th. Too much visiting, even among spiritual
friends, is not, I believe, for the prosperity of
my soul. It interferes too much with other things,
and sometimes robs me of the time which would
be better spent in retirement.
While we detest sin, which has made such
ravages in the world, while we feel ourselves
unable to account for many things we meet
with, let us remember that we are ourselves unworthy.
1797-04-01April 1st. Strong desires this day were given
me for the salvation of our family. Oh, might
they all be brought to God! Oh, could we but B7r 13
all look forward in earnest hope and holy confidence
that we should meet in heaven!
1797-04-033rd. Sabbath-day. The love-feast was a precious
time; such a constant sense of the power and
glory of God as we hardly ever experienced. I felt
my heart strongly united to Christ, and a growing
sense of the goodness of God too in my sister’s
salvation. But I am a poor unfaithful creature.
I thought I could not get courage to speak before
so large a congregation, but the theme was worthy
the crucifixion of my own timid feelings. Oh, I
thought, if we be but with Christ in the end, what
matters it if we were to go through constant darkness
and gloom all the way to heaven? But,
blessed be God, we do not do that, for Jesus becomes
to us the light of life!
1797-04-077th. I have been, I think, more forcibly convinced
than ever, that my judgment is greatly uninformed
in many respects, I have thought little
and read less: it is high time for me to redeem
what I have lost.
1797-04-2424th. In the beginning of my experience I
thought very little about Satan, but I have since
met with unnumbered instances which I cannot at
all account for but by admitting his agency. But
do thou, gracious Lord, save me from his power!
let me have unceasing union with thee, and then I
shall have nothing to fear!
1797-05-09May 9th. I have yet to complain of frequent
instances of indolence and unwatchfulness. The
Lord be merciful to me, and teach me to love the
path of self-denial better. I feel a danger too of
neglecting private prayer, because I have in general
many dear friends about me; but I believe my
soul will not prosper unless I look as constantly to B7v 14
God for help as though there were no outward
means to bring me forward.
1797-05-1111th. I accompanied a few friends to see Mr.
’s orrery. There are some who entirely
disapprove of this kind of pursuit, but my opinion
is, that whatever tends to enlarge our views of God,
either in respect to His power or His goodness,
cannot but be right. But, ah! how far do the
most complete philosophers fall short in their
knowledge even of created, of visible things:—then
why should we wonder that none but God can
teach us spiritual things? The further a true
philosopher goes in his researches into nature, the
more he is convinced of the contractedness of his
understanding. And the more a
Christian knows
of Jesus Christ the more he is convinced that there
are heights and depths in the eternal, incarnate
God, which surpass our knowledge. I felt great
peace while I reflected on God being everywhere
present and ruling all things. When I considered
the majesty of God in creation, I was indeed
struck with awe; but this passage came with comfort
to my mind, ‘Will He plead against me with
His great power? No; but He will put strength
into me!’
1797-05-3131st. Why is it, gracious Lord, that I feel this
instability of mind? Why is my heart so prone
to leave the God I love? Is there any thing on
earth I desire equally with thee? Ah, no! and
yet my heart is not always alive to God. I am
often in bondage, and there are moments when I
seem hardly accessible to Divine impressions. I
endeavour to find out the cause, when unnumbered
acts of disobedience rise up before me, and my
conscience tells me these are they which cloud my B8r15
mind and darken my view of that great Being
who is Israel’s light. My peace might have flowed
as a river, and my righteousness have been as the
waves of the sea, had I not still been hanging back
from God, and in many things cleaving to my old
nature. Repeated instances of trifling and disobedience
in little things,—if any act of disobedience
can be called trivial which weakens the
powers of my soul, and makes my mind more vulnerable
to the darts of Satan. I lose that energy
of faith which opens heaven, and feel unhappy,
because, when I in any measure lose sight of my
Lord, I find there is nothing but confusion and
darkness for me. I then act in a measure of
bondage, instead of liberty; ‘to will is present
with me,’
but my performance of that which is
good is feeble. Many things, such as writing,
visiting the sick, &c. are neglected and put off till
the season becomes less favourable; and sometimes
long delays render our endeavours to do good
quite ineffectual. I am often unfaithful to God;
then my strength begins to fail of course, and
instead of returning at once to the blood of sprinkling,
I stand poring over my temptations, and my
unworthiness, till I sink into myself and become
weaker and weaker. I lament this inconsistency
of condust: do, gracious Lord, give me power to
overcome it! I know that by the power of Thy
Spirit, through faith in Jesus, I may be every
moment conqueror! I was much struck with an
expression in a prayer on my account, offered by
a dear friend, when I had been relieved from discouraging
feelings. He blessed God that my soul
was prospering, and said, ‘May she never again
take her eyes from her bleeding Saviour.’
But, B8v 16
alas! even since then I have refused or forgotten
to look to Him! I now repeat the prayer. Oh,
might this one request be heard in heaven, ‘might
I never be suffered to take off my eyes from my
bleeding Lord!’
1797-06-13June 13th. For some time past I have been
distressed with great temptations to general unbelief.
It has been suggested, ‘If thou wert quite
sure of every thing thou professest to believe concerning
God, eternity, &c. thou mightest then act
with vigour and confidence, but now thou wilt still
have the pain of thinking, “should all prove vain
and shadowy at last:”
and this thought will damp
thy joys, weaken the energy of thy mind, and
prevent thee from ever being completely happy!’

In a short time the Lord interposed in my behalf,
and sent a strong and clear light upon my mind.
He caused me to feel that He loves me, and that I
have not followed a cunningly devised fable. I
turn to Him with something like contrition of
heart, and say, ‘Lord, thou knowest me! Have I
grieved thee? have I wronged Thy goodness?
have I for a moment doubted of Thy truth? The
fear of this distresses me. Thou, Lord, hast
given me such repeated proofs, such striking
confirmations of Thy truth and love, that it were
horrid ingratitude to doubt Thee!’
But no! Jesus
triumphs. Were there no conflict there could
be no conquest. ‘In the time of deep temptation,
O Lord, may I turn to Thee! my Deliverer and
my All!’
1797-07-01July 1st. I was much distressed the other
night, after having reproved a friend for speaking
in a way upon spiritual things that rather shocked
me; I spoke myself too roughly on the occasion, B9r 17
and began to fear lest by any means my natural
temper should get the better of me again, and then
I should be in danger of wounding the peace of
those around me, and ruining my own soul. I
remembered the trouble I had occasioned to myself
and others once by giving way to my temper;
I was quite in anguish through grief and fear.
My soul was humbled in the dust. I asked my
friend to tell me all she had seen or thought
wrong in me. She mentioned two things,—an appearance
of self-consequence, and something of
sharpness in reproving. She was right: I know
some of my besetments, in a state of nature—I was
proud, strong in my resentments and dislikes, as
well as my attachments; yet even in my attachments
I was partial and capricious. When, as
was the case in some instances, I had a kind of
general dislike to any one, and that person offended
me, I was very unforgiving. If I had offended
them I was too proud and too self-willed to make
concessions. I remember thinking that such an one
as I was ought to be very cautious not to offend, that
I might save myself the trouble of feeling that I
ought to humble myself, and yet as positively feeling
that I could not do it. One thing on which I
rather pique myself, was a kind of openness in my
temper, which caused a difference in my conduct
towards those I disliked and those I loved. I hated
that disguise which I saw many practise, and
which prevented people from knowing who were
their friends and who were not. I did not feel
that spirit of universal benevolence, which, though
it loves those most who have most of the image of
Jesus, yet breathes a spirit of good-will to all: as
far removed from a blind admiration, as an uncontrolled B9v 18
dislike. I did not feel this spirit, nor
did I feel my want of it, but satisfied myself with,
what I called, my honesty. I looked coolly, and
often spoke disrespectfully: I often gave way inwardly
to a spirit of contempt towards those whom
I conceived to be persons of weak intellect, and
whom I found as vain and conceited as they were
unmeaning. However, I mostly joined in the
same amusements as themselves; and there were
times, too, when I was not so much struck with
their folly, and fell into a kind of easy, worldly,
friendly manner towards them. I might say much
more about my natural self; but it appears not to
be worth while at present. I will return then, and
add on the subject which led to this digression, that
after two or three hours of suffering, through fear
of the return of those evils that had once distressed
me, and a painful sense that I had this night done
wrong, I had power to believe the Lord would
keep me, and that the work which He had begun
in my heart He would carry on to all eternity.
No other power but Himself could have effected
the change which has been wrought, and I rejoice
to find on examination that indeed the change is
1797-07-07July 7th. My sister was with me the whole
day. She says she thinks I have not yet got the
better of my natural disposition; but am too much
given to a kind of lightness, and a rapid way of
talking, which she thinks unbecoming in a Christian.
She is right; and may God give me the
victory over myself fully!
1797-07-088th. This morning I set out for Nottingham
with two friends. On the road my mind was a
good deal taken up with considering the many B10r19
kindnesses I had received from my Christian
friends. The spirit with which real Christians
love one another is very different to that of the
world in its dearest friendships. While my heart
glows with gratitude to these dear friends, how
much more do I owe to God,—to my Saviour,—the
source, the spring of all!
1797-07-2121st. A day never to be forgotten. We
went to Hadbotton, a village about two miles
from Nottingham, to see J. S., a faithful disciple
of the Lord Jesus Christ. The presence
of God was with us all the day: in the garden
and in the house our conversation was constantly
spiritual; for the general bent of our minds
seemed to be towards heaven. We endeavoured
to gain some general information by which we
might know good from evil. We conversed likewise
on some particular points of religious experience;
and while we talked, light beamed
strongly on my mind, and I found we had seized
the object in which alone is light, power, and
real joy, even the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Everything but Him appeared what it truly
is, only a shadow. But Satan did not let me
alone; he insinuated that God must be a respecter
of persons, or I should not have so great
enjoyment while multitudes of mankind were
sinking in sorrow and distress. But who can
be judge of the whole plan of Providence by
looking at one object, or of the whole of any
one’s life, by taking only a single day? During
the conversation to-day my soul gained great
establishment in God. After tea, when we had
prayed, we sang the Covenant Hymn, and indeed
my love went with the words I uttered, B10v 20
though my body trembled under the solemn power
I felt in saying, ‘Whate’er I have, whate’er I am, Shall magnify my Maker’s name.’
and these words, ‘My soul and all its pow’rs Thine, wholly thine, shall be; All, all my happy hours I consecrate to thee!’
I left the room the moment we had concluded;
and when I was alone fell on my knees: the Lord
poured His Spirit upon me, and I solemnly renewed
my covenant. If a voice from heaven had
spoken I think it would not have sent a stronger
conviction into my mind, than the Spirit of God
spake in that sacred hour to this purpose: ‘If
thou wouldst be truly the Lord’s; if thou wouldst
have real holiness of heart and true enjoyment in
thy soul, thou must live not to thyself, but to
God, seeking only His glory, and the good of His
cause. Seek not thy own gratification, but live
the servant of mankind, but more especially the
servant of the poor.’ That this command was ever engraven as on the palms of
her hands, her after life bore abundant testimony. —Ed
The lord sealed this command
with the witness of His Spirit on my soul,
that He would enable me to do this. What power
and love, what sacred overflowing communications
of Divine life did my soul feel!
1797-07-2424th. This was a day of peace,—but not without
pain,—for it was my last day at Nottingham;
and I could not but be grieved at the thought of
leaving friends amongst whom I had been so much B11r 21
blessed. My spirit had united with them, and I
had been treated with a friendship and kindness
truly Christian. But above all, I love these people
for their attention to poor children; for I have
lamented, I believe more than twelve years, the
general neglect of education. I have always seen
(however ignorant I might myself be of the plan
of salvation) that people in general do not take
the means to impress the minds of children with
religious truths; they either never talk to them at
all on these subjects, or they merely teach them to
say by rote prayers, catechisms, &c., or they content
themselves with speaking of Divine things in
a way that children can by no means understand,
and take them to hear those truths which, though
great and sacred in themselves, have, nevertheless,
not the least weight with children, because their
minds are not previously qualified to receive
1797-07-2525th. I had sweet intercourse with God in
secret prayer this morning: I believe the Lord will
still be with me. Never since I knew the Lord
have I felt so much at parting from any friends
as these; but my communion with God is not
damped. I go nearer to my heavenly Father,
because this is a painful hour, and find that the
source of my consolations is powerful. My soul
was covered with an humbling, filial fear,—a sacred
thirst after holiness,—a strong desire to be the
Lord’s. Several of our friends came to take leave
of us. My soul felt for them. May God bless
them! And, ah! our Lord, do thou preserve us
also, and suffer us not for a moment to lose the
power and love which in this place have been our
B11v 22 1797-07-2626th. To-day I met a friend who has always
been kindly desirous of my soul’s welfare; he
spoke roughly to me, and as though he thought I
had lost ground. This pained me; and the enemy
took advantage of it, and endeavoured to destroy
my peace, by reasoning on the hasty manner
of my friend; but I was on my guard, having
suffered before from this quarter. Yet all the rest
of the day, from some cause or other, I lost the joy
I wished to feel.
1797-07-2929th. We had a good meeting at the Selectband
this evening. I spoke my experience. When
it was over, the friend I mentioned on the 1797-07-2626th
came up to me, and said, ‘I think you seem to
feel what you want.’
Should I not be thankful for
this friend? for surely, if he does not make me
angry, he will certainly be a means of making me
humble; but I think Christians ought to bear with
patience what they conceive to be the mistaken
judgment of others concerning them, and should
always be open to conviction from any quarter.
1797-08-01August 1st. Since returning from Nottingham,
a Sunday-school plan has been in progress.
We spend part of the day in calling on our friends
to ask them to teach.
1797-08-055th. I was this morning surprised to hear
that a division was probable in our Society: The cause of the division of Methodists into the Old and
New Connexion was the following:— “During the life of John Wesley the Methodist mode of
government was much disapproved of by many sensible people
in the Societies, who beheld in it the latent but real seeds of
future strife and contention, which they foretold would finally
cause a division in the Societies; but as it was thought that
this singular mode of government would end with Wesley’s
life, every attempt to alter it was considered premature while
he lived.
The cause of the division was a few leading preachers having
obtained such a power over the people and the junior preachers
as to keep them in the greatest subordination.
For six years the Societies in vain remonstrated with the
Conference, or annual assembly of preachers, and requested at
different times an alteration in its laws and form of government,
which they thought highly oppressive. They were at length
fully convinced that the Conference would not make the alterations
in favour of the people which were thought so reasonable
and necessary: this, with the various refusals they had received,
as might be expected, roused them to opposition. In 1797-08August,
, the Conference was held at Leeds, and a number of delegates
from societies in various parts of the kingdom assembled
to make another application to have their government placed on
a liberal footing. They demanded of the Conference that delegates
should be suffered to meet with them, and this request was
positively refused. After this the delegates requested that they
might be permitted to assemble by themselves, and give their
sanction or disapprobation to any important business that might
be debated by the Conference. This was not only refused, but
the delegates were informed that they should not even have the
privilege of meeting with the preachers in the district meetings.
These various refusals brought matters to a conclusion; a
division immediately took place; many societies rejected the
preachers sent to them by the Conference, and a new Conference
and itenerancy were established on liberal and Scriptural principles.
The New Conference made this public declaration: ‘Be it
known to all the world that we have not separated on account
of doctrines. Church government, and that alone, is the ground
of the separation!’
Mr. Kilham had a thorough knowledge of all these particulars,
and his inflexible integrity made him determined to remonstrate
against those corruptions of which he was a constant spectator,
and he published several pamphlets to expose them to the Societies.
He was in consequence of this arranged, tried, and expelled
by the Conference.
Many of Mr. Kilham’s brethren, both among preachers and
people, thought him highly qualified, on account of his piety,
unabated diligence, and zeal, to take a prominent part in the
formation of the New Connexion and New Conference. He
therefore gave way to their solicitations, and in this engagement
he spent the remainder of his life.”
if it B12r 23
should be the case I shall think it my duty to inform
myself as far as I am able of the whole affair, B12v 24
for I think it impossible to make a rational decision
in favour of either party, without hearing both
sides of the question.
1797-08-088th. I have not improved my time as I ought.
I feel determined by the grace of God to begin
with renewed vigour. I want to begin as though
I had everything to learn, and everything to do,
and I know not how little time I have. May this
one prayer be heard! and may I be helped constantly
to ask myself, ‘Is this the best use I can
make of my time?’
Blessed be God! He never
yet denied a request that was for our soul’s good;
and I believe He will hear me in this, and will
help me by His grace to read more, act more, and
in all things to live with an eye more to His glory
than I have ever done!
1797-08-099th. My friends say that if I look any farther
into the affair of the division I shall be sure to
repent. But I cannot help thinking it my duty
to take the means of judging for myself. Who
are these poor Kilhamites, (as they are called,) so
despised by some and pitied by others? They
are immortal souls,—they are not contemptible,—
not beneath our notice! Oh, God, direct me!
Some people talk as though Kilham’s books were
weapons of death. If the influence of any man’s
opinion, or example, could form my decision, I
think it would be Mr. B.’s; but I dare not knowingly
have respect of persons in judgment. Oh,
make me ready to be anything or nothing, as Thou
wilt; only let me be sure to hear Thy voice!
1797-08-1212th. I was unhappy the beginning of this day;
but afterwards much clouded, perhaps from having
suffered some employments to keep me from secret
prayer, to which I had been drawn. I was also C1r25
distressed by the fear of my conduct being influenced
by improper motives; but the cry of my
soul was, Lord, search me, and try me! Prove the
very ground of my heart, and whatever there is
wrong in me, oh, do Thou discover it, and take
it away, and sanctify me fully! Oh, make me
pure in heart, that I may see God!
1797-08-1313th. My soul is in anguish, for I cannot
decide which party is right; and this hesitation is
a great cause of distress; but I look to God for
help, and trust to find it.
1797-08-1414th. Was accused to-day, by a friend, of
several wrong dispositions, of which I was not
conscious. I do not know that my mind was
wounded, but my joy was damped. I had intended
going to Mr. Kilham’s chapel in the evening,
but my friends so strongly objected to my
going so soon that I gave way. However, I was
not quite sure, when at our own chapel, that I was
right; only this I believe, my motive in resigning
my intention was pure.
1797-08-1515th. I have this day a great spirit of enquiry.
I want to see things as they are. I want
to be informed, when good men disagree in their
judgment, how we may know who is in the right.
It appears to me that the original justice of a
cause cannot depend on the multitude of its adherents,
nor on the stability of those who profess
themselves its followers. Truth comes from God,
and its object will ever be a conformity to the
revealed will of God,—an uniform coincidence
with the law of love,—a consultation, not of present
gratification, but of future good.
1797-08-1818th. Truth depends not on any man’s receiving
or rejecting it. If Mr. Kilham’s friends C C1v 26
have truth on their side, they will prosper though
all men forsake them. With these views I went
this evening to their chapel. Mr. Kilham preached
from INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Psalm xci. 4. The presence of God was, I
believe, generally felt in the meeting. My soul
was calm and happy.
The 1797-08-1919th, 1797-08-2020th, and 1797-08-2121st, I had a good deal of
reasoning—yet I trust not hurtful reasoning—with
myself about the path I ought to take in order to a
real conformity to the will of God. Supposing
this new plan of government to be more agreeable
to the Scriptures, and more likely to promote the
general good than the old, is it merely the idea
of a change that should prevent one entering into
it? Is it not thought right and commendable to
make new laws and regulations in the Conference,
and so in a measure to change the government?
Had nearly the whole of the Conference approved
of the plan which Mr. Kilham’s friends proposed,
I suppose they would then have thought it necessary
to change the whole government of the body;
and if so, why should they blame in a few the
conduct they would themselves have pursued, had
their views been the same? The men who remain
in the Old Connexion cannot take the consciences
of the others into their own hands; then why
should they wish to influence their actions contrary
to their consciences? I cannot see why a
part, more than the whole, should be condemned
for following the way they conceive to be the best.
I want to see more clearly; indeed the principal
thing that disturbs me is the fear that this new
government may be ill administered, and then
what better will it be? Yet if the body of the
people determine to act with a single eye for the C2r 27
glory of God and the good of the whole, I believe
they will form a constitution which neither time
nor circumstances can ever shake.
1797-08-2222nd. I was shocked at the unfeeling manner
in which I offered, and generally do offer, my
evening sacrifice. We retire rather late, and I am
often wearied and sleepy, and just repeat the
petitions, or perhaps thanksgivings, that come into
my mind, with nearly as little faith or feeling as
though I were running over a form of prayer for
the sake of it. O God, be merciful to me! do not
suffer me to use Thy name in this unhallowed manner!
Justly mightest Thou have sent total darkness
over my soul! But, oh, quicken me! rouse
my drowsy powers, and help me from this hour to
offer every act of worship,—not with my lips only,
but do Thou engage every power of my soul!
1797-08-2525th. Oh! that I might adorn the doctrine of
God my Saviour in all things! I want not only to
be saved from everything sinful, but from all that
is trifling, and inconsistent with the spirit of Christianity
in any degree.
1797-08-2727th. At the Benevolent Society Meeting
some of the company, when the business was over,
spent some time in proving how little a preacher
has for the support of his family. Indeed it is
but little; yet a minister of the gospel ought to be
able to live on that little. Our real wants are very
few, and luxury cannot be encouraged in the body
without effeminacy entering the soul; yet their
conversation rather disturbed me. I do not like
so much controversy. There are many who differ
from me in judgment, to whom I yet feel that
degree of affection that makes me suffer when I
think of giving them pain. First one and then C2 C2v 28
another questioned me about my present conduct,
some with surprise and harshness, and some with
tenderness, which is harder to bear. At the close
of the meeting I was asked to pray, and while I
was pleading for the light of God to guide and
direct us; my heart was so softened I could not
proceed. I remained alone in the chapel some
time after our friends had gone away.”
C3r 29

Chapter II.

Extracts from the Correspondence which passed between
Alexander Kilham and Hannah Spurr previous
to their Marriage.

My valued mother became intimately acquainted
with my father in the summer of 17971797. No record
of this event appears in her journal. It is evident
that till 17991799 she kept no regular account of herself,
except noting her thoughts and feelings on
loose sheets of paper, in a short-hand of her own.
After the death of my inestimable father she
copied the whole in regular order till the above-
named period; and it is supposed the remembrance
of her bereavement was too vividly before her to
permit her to continue this writing, therefore she
deferred it to a season of calmer resignation. Probably
the care of her infant, and afterwards a scene
of more active exertion, caused her never to make
up this blank in her journal.

Extracts from the letters which passed between
my beloved parents at this interval may help to
make up for the deficiency.

Bear with me while I entreat you not to shrink
from suffering, if you see such is the will of God
concerning you. Be actuated by the charity which
beareth all things: be willing to be reviled, despised
and rejected of men: let your name be cast C3v 30
out as evil,—only take care that it be undeservedly!
While you look to God, men have but little power
over you: they may indeed, in some degree, wound
your peace, but you will not suffer loss in the
conflict, if the fault be not your own. You have
real enjoyment while in Christ Jesus, and doing
the will of God; but whenever you deviate in
any degree from His will, however specious appearances
may be,—however gratifying to nature,—
it must eventually be productive of evil to yourself
as well as to others. The Lord will support
you under the burdens He himself lays upon you.
You have nothing to fear but sin; then determine
by the grace of God to stand unmoved in the fire;
—your Saviour will be with you; but rather let
the flame consume you, than that you should do
anything to grieve the Spirit of God.
Your sincere friend, Hannah Spurr.”
It is impossible to describe the joy I feel in
seeking the salvation of my fellow-creatures. I
feel a lively hope that God will grant His protecting
cloud, that we may adore and love Him
for ever. My soul does enter within the veil and
seeks her meat from God. Oh, that I may be fed
more abundantly, and rejoice continually in His
salvation. After preaching I returned home weary
and faint. One of my brothers came from Epworth,
and informed me my aged father is well,
who has known the grace of God more than fifty
Your affectionate friend, Alexander Kilham.”
C4r 31 How must I overcome indolence? I have had
quite a contest with myself the few last days on
account of it. Idleness is a sin which of all others
I most dread—I might say, which I most despise!
A voluntary feebleness of mind and contractedness
of soul arise from the constant gratification of
one’s own will. If the soul has no other spring of
action than that which self-will gives, it will often
be slothful as well as obstinate. For my own part
I find if I am not in the habit of giving myself up
in some way or other for the glory of God, and the
good of my neighbours, my mind becomes selfish,
effeminate, and unhappy. ‘The flesh warreth
against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh,
and these are contrary the one to the other.’
would that the Spirit were always conqueror:—
and it is my own fault when it is not!
H. S.”
It appears to me that idleness is one of the
greatest evils in the world;—it might justly be entitled
‘Legion!’ Scarcely a crime of importance
but has its origin here. I will name some of the
principal causes of it: injudicious education, indulgence
of parents, the propensities of our own
heart, self-indulgence, dejection of mind, and no
settled occupation. Now in order to lessen the
influence of this evil a change in the heart should
be wrought by the Holy Spirit, which will lead us
to redeem the time, and will stimulate us to exertion
by a humbling recollection of our former
waste of time. We should strive to feel the import C4v 32
of the text, ‘Be diligent in business, fervent
in spirit, serving the Lord;’
and should constantly
reflect on the greatness of the work we have to
accomplish, and the shortness of our stay in this
wilderness. We should form a plan for religious
exercises and temporal engagements, and endeavour
to live to it as near as possible. We should
avoid all needless indulgence; and should never
allow depression of spirits, or light affliction, to
hinder our labours, remembering we can never do
too much in promoting the glory of God and the
salvation of our fellow-creatures.
A. K.”
I was reflecting the other day on the Lord’s
dealings with my soul, from the time I went to
Nottingham, and have cause to believe that the
gracious visitation from on high which I received
there, was intended to prepare my soul for the
exercises I have had since my return. I have
been much led, the last few days, to pray that my
soul may be more abundantly quickened. I would
rise above all selfish cares: I would seek the glory
of God, and the good of His cause. Oh, that our
hearts may be established in righteousness! I
have felt thankful this week on account of the
friends to whom we are united; there is something
in them which will bear enquiry: I have had
cause to bless God on their account. I believe
God will be our present helper in every difficulty,
and that our souls shall praise Him for ever!
H. S.”
C5r 33 I seem to need the voice that would be constantly
crying to me, ‘Arise, and shake thyself
from the dust!’
I was thinking this afternoon, if I
had not an active life, I should not have a happy
one. The Lord orders all things in wisdom: from
a grateful heart I can at this moment say, ‘The
Lord does all things well!’
H. S.”
At chapel to-day E. O. spoke in a very forcible
and affecting manner on our Lord’s being ‘a man
of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.’
My heart
was much affected with the remembrance of the
tenderness of feeling which Jesus showed, when
expiring on the cross, towards her who, after the
flesh, was His mother. He knew the sorrows
which pierced her heart, and, while finishing the
great work in which the dearest interests of mankind
were all concerned, He was not dead in His
feelings towards her, but commended her to the care
of his most faithful friend. I cannot but lament
that mankind are not more faithful to the grace of
God. Why was it that His disciples forsook Him
after He had spent His time and His strength for
their good? We know not that we should have
done otherwise. Oh, that this view of the treachery
of the human heart may humble my soul, that I
may fear always, lest I also be overcome! I can
recollect many seasons when I was almost ready,
like the first disciples, to forsake my Lord; and if
I feel this proneness to start aside in this bright
gospel day, what should I have done in an hour of C5 C5v 34
darkness, discouragement, and gloom like theirs?
The Lord has been unspeakably good to me, or I
should have fallen a thousand times:—a thousand
and a thousand times He has delivered me! His
light has shone on my heart, and on my path.
We will praise Him, my dear friend; we will love
and adore Him for ever! He is unbounded in His
mercy to us. The springs of gratitude rise in my
soul, surely they will rise to all eternity! Oh,
may we never forget that we are both the purchase
of a Redeemer’s blood! and whatever cause
we find to love each other, may our love abound
the more toward Him by whose grace we are what
we are.
H. S.”
You say you rejoice that my mind leads me
to desire an active life, because the providence of
God is leading me into a scene where I may have
plenty of exercise in the vineyard of the Lord. I
do, my dear friend, desire an active life; but when
I mentioned it to you I was considering it only as
a negative good,—a preservative from melancholy
and vain reasonings. You give me a more animating,
a far more desirable idea of it, when you
say, ‘Labour is delightful, when the heart is truly
&c. I need not repeat your own words,
but only this, you say your heart burns for more
unction, that all your works may be begun, continued,
and ended in God. May the Lord grant
you the desire of your heart in this thing. It is
this unction, this life and power from God, which
can only bear you up above the fear of man, and
the fear of evil.
C6r 35 I suffer as well as rejoice with you: your friends
are fearful, and your opponents mighty, but the
Lord is with you; and I trust His mercy will
never forsake. I believe He will be with you
always, even to the end. When it occurred to your
mind, ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?’ I hope you
did not forget Elijah’s upright, yet dejected mind,
had given him too dark a view of the state of the
church. We may sometimes, in particular cases,
conceive things to be worse than they really are.
There is, I trust, a scattered seed all over the
earth who are accepted of God in Christ Jesus; and
the hour will come in which the Lord will collect
them together, and they shall feel they are one fold
under one Shepherd, and none shall think or act
as though they thought church-fellowship a more
powerful bond of union than the Spirit of Christ.
I fear there are persons in the world, who would
almost think it a sin to dispute the experience of
any in their own church, who yet find it difficult
to believe that any person can be alive to God
who does not worship with them. Is not this
making too much account of outward church-
fellowship, and too little of the spiritual union of
the whole body of Christ?
H. S.”
My mind has been exercised by the unaccountable
conduct of my opposers, and from a
deep conviction of their acting out of character.
I was grieved to think that men professing godliness
should have so little grace, and that they
should seek to injure me when I was seeking to
do them all the good in my power. But the Lord C6v 36
has convinced me that suffering from this quarter
was what He himself endured; and He assured me
if I suffered with Him I should also reign with
Him. I am now willing, by His grace, to bear
reproach from any quarter, so that His glory may
be advanced on the earth. Indeed I expect to
have my name cast out as evil. I look for crosses
daily, and seek a preparation of mind to bear them
for His glory. By this means hard things become
easy, rough ways are smooth, crooked things are
straight, and my soul both sees and feels the salvation
of God. The more I am resigned to the will
of God, the more comfortable I feel in all the conflicts
which infinite wisdom appoints. Indeed I
frequently find that my soul rather wishes for,
than attempts to shun the cross, because, while we
suffer for following Christ fully, the Spirit of glory
and of God rests upon us.
I think you condemn yourself on some points
too much: you will never be delivered from evil
reasonings unless you venture constantly by faith
on the Son of God. Remember Peter walked on
the waves as on a pavement, while his eye was
kept on the Lord Jesus; but when he looked down
he saw the waves and began to sink.
Let us live by faith, and not by our feelings.
The weather,—exercises from various
quarters, &c., may alter our feelings, but God
is unchangeable. We often have too gloomy
thoughts of Him:—we view Him as looking upon
us with a great deal of harshness and inflexible
justice, when we ought to remember that
mercy is His darling attribute, and that as a kind
father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth
them that fear Him. Let us view Him as our C7r 37
reconciled covenant God, and cast all our care
upon Him!
A. K.”
As you observe, the views which God gives us
of Himself in the Holy Scriptures are calculated
to fill our hearts with admiration and love. My
soul has always the most exalted, yet most encouraging
views of God when I behold His glory
in the face of Jesus. In looking to Jesus we cease
to have gloomy thoughts of God. We remember
that in Him the Lord is our reconciled Father, full
of compassion and love towards us. The view is
the most assimilating and strengthening, as well
as comforting to our minds. I can never so well
obey the Lord, (whether in pleasing or painful
circumstances,) as when I feel that He loves me.
There is no other way of obtaining this feeling,
except by looking to Him who has given himself
to restore us to God.
Last night I went with a heavy heart to the
class; but how great was the mercy of God to me!
my bonds were broken before we had been five
minutes together, and while we were singing the hymn,
Jesus, my truth, my way!
my heart melted into tenderness and love; such
gratitude sprung up in my soul toward God that I
felt power to give up my cause into His hands;
darkness fled away, and the day-spring from on
high visited us. I think if mercy and goodness
can affect the heart I shall be the Lord’s for ever!
I was thinking this morning that we who have C7v 38
tasted so freely the love of God in Christ Jesus had
most abundant cause of thankfulness. And should
we be surrounded by outward trials and inward
temptations, have we not help more than sufficient
in Christ Jesus to conquer all? Oh, that I may
never sink again; but rather take courage and
fight against my foes!
H. S.”
I have been thinking on the simplicity of faith.
It appears to consist in a full persuasion that God
is our reconciled Father, and in casting our souls,
with all their wants, into His hands. He is represented
in all the endearing characters that language
can invent to excite our dependence upon
Him. He upbraids us for not asking what we
need, or for not asking with suitable confidence.
He complains of our unbelief and hardness of
heart. He desires that we petition for all we
want, and assures us that all our wants shall be
supplied out of His infinite fulness. He complains
of our being straitened in ourselves. He
declares that, if we only believe, our peace shall be
as a river, and our righteousness as the waves of
the sea. He informs us that many mighty things
cannot be accomplished because of our unbelief.
He seems anxious to expel from our nature the
proneness we feel to discredit His word; and when
we seem averse to give way He weeps over us. Unbelief
is the evil from which arises lukewarmness.
If we nourish it we are fostering in our breasts the
vilest enemy of our heavenly Father, and feeding
the principle from whence arises pride, self-will,
covetousness, &c. We may attempt to avoid a C8r 39
number of things that appear wrong, but unless
we are earnest in seeking to lay the axe to the root
of this evil tree all our lopping of branches will be
of little avail. When we are happy in God we
believe, and wonder at our former unbelief; but
when sensible comfort is withdrawn do we not indulge
in unbelief and hardness of heart, and thus
prove that we are placing sensible comfort in the
place of Jesus? We build upon the best gifts
of heaven, instead of building upon their Giver.
Need we enquire why we have so little sensible
comfort, and why our minds are so frequently
uneasy for want of Divine manifestations? I apprehend
the reason is at hand,—God cannot give
them to us in abundant and constant enjoyment,
because unbelief remains in our breasts, and we
pervert them to the basest of purposes. Were we
to live by faith alone, and venture on Christ in all
the emergencies of life with equal confidence, our
consolations would abound through hope by the
power of the Holy Spirit. Oh, that we could ever
remember that we have to do with an unchangeable
God! A dull day, indisposition, strong temptations,
&c., may occasion an alteration in our
animal spirits, and in our feelings; but do they
alter the nature and attributes of the Deity? Because
we vary, must He vary also? Is it not our
duty to exercise the same confidence in God, however
we may change? If our eye be single, and
our hearts fully fixed to follow the Lord, we shall
rely every moment, with a child-like confidence.
While we are not weaned from unbelief, we are
frequently suffered to drag on heavily. The subject
is inexhaustible. I am ashamed and grieved at
the dishonour I have brought upon God by unbelief. C8v 40
I feel such a sweetness and satisfaction in
taking God at His word, that my soul rejoices in
His faithfulness, and exults in His truth. I would
fain hope that my future days will be spent in
living by the faith of the Son of God, who hath
loved me and given himself for me. I am perfectly
sure that this faith will lead to that holiness
and righteousness before men which the Scriptures
require. As far as I am enabled, I will endeavour
to preach down unbelief, and exalt faith in the Lord
Jesus; it is so glorious to God, so advantageous to
ourselves, so ornamental to our profession, and so
much for the benefit of mankind. I hope that the
faith in our hearts will gain strength by our various
exercises, and come forth like gold seven times
Though it is past midnight,—the weather exceedingly
stormy, my fire low, my poor tottering
body oppressed with cold, travelling, and other
exercises, and I have three times to preach on this
dawning day, as well as to travel on foot several
miles, yet I would gladly write all night upon this
delightful subject, if my endeared Hannah could
be delivered from this enemy.
A. K.”
You may think me obstinate and foolish, but
I am not yet satisfied respecting the regulations
about the teachers for our new Sunday-school.
You will remember once observing ‘that if no
abuses had taken place through the defects of the
old system of Methodist government, that would
not be a sufficient assurance that none would take
As yet there is no barrier fixed to prevent C9r 41
the most improper persons from engaging as
teachers;—no notice is taken either of their abilities
or of their piety. Their voluntarily entering
into such an engagement may indeed be considered
as a presumptive proof of their sincere
desire to do good; but I cannot think it a sufficient
proof of their qualifications either to teach
children to read and write, or to lead them by the
grace of God to heaven. I have thought of some
things you said yesterday, and of your not uniting
in my idea of piety being a necessary qualification
for the instruction of children of four or five years
old. If persons of mere outward morality, whose
hearts are yet carnal, are considered as proper persons
to become teachers, is there not as great a probability
of their being placed with the older boys
and girls as with the little children? Is there that
humility in the natural heart which would choose
to be put at the feet of the whole school? I would
not consider the teachers being united to any
religious body as sufficient to recommend them.
I would have their principles and character examined,
and their abilities for the work they have
engaged in noticed by some competent judge, before
they are fully placed in their different classes.
Can the teachers act in unison with each other if
some are religious and others not?
H. S.”
Do not forget that my definition with regard
to teachers is, that penitents and believers
are suitable for that office, to whatever sect or
party they may belong. I think that some mode
should be adopted to know the abilities and C9v 42
dispositions of those who propose themselves.
As far as I can learn, all the teachers who are
already named are members of our own Society,
therefore I cannot see the subject exactly as
you do.
A. K.”
I know not a person in the world whose disposition
is so suitable to mind as that of my beloved
Hannah. I think our heavenly Father has
in mercy brought us acquainted with each other
for the best of purposes. I hope if I am not
worthy the name of Pliable, my dear Hannah
will not merit that of Obstinate! If we can only
do each other good, and be useful to mankind,
God shall have the praise.
I shall conclude with observing, on this last
day of the year, that, next to the blessings of
Divine grace to my soul, thou art the choicest
favour that earth could afford, and of which I am
A. K.”
After sleeping four hours, I arise at five, and
prepared for travelling to this place, Barnsley.
The spirit of fervent agonizing prayer rested upon
me. I found desires to begin a new life with the
new year, and pleaded much with God to pass by
whatever He had seen amiss in my former life.
My ory ascended to God on your behalf. May the
Lord hear, and bless! On the way my spirit kept
ascending to God. I found the fatigues of the
past sabbath, and the inconveniences of the journey, C10r 43
as nothing compared with that love which
burned on the altar of my heart!
A. K.”
May God bless you! I feel thankful more
than I can express that you are so much interested
for the welfare of the Sunday-school. The strongest
bond of union we can have is a mutual desire, not
merely for each other’s, but the general good; in
pursuing this our happy spirits shall be blended
together, and we shall every day have to bless
God for each other’s existence. I trust the Lord
will lead me and teach me how I may be useful
to the dear children! I feel very insufficient for
the work I have engaged in. My dear friend, I
bless God that you are sensible our greatest joy is
not in following our own selfish will, but in loving
God, and loving our neighbour;—here our hearts
expand, here we know why we were sent into
the world,—it was to glorify God, through His
grace to seek the happiness of others, to rejoice
as well as to suffer below, and to be with God,
and with all the precious of the earth beyond the
skies for ever!
H. S.”
After meeting I read the chapters on which
we had agreed, and found my soul comforted. I
rejoiced in the thought of your meeting me at the
throne of grace. I have many mercies, and my
heavenly Father seems determined to melt me
into His will by kindnesses. I would spend and
be spent in the cause of so glorious a Benefactor. C10v 44
You would be pleased to be among the
people of this neighbourhood, Nottinghamshire,
if your services might prove instrumental to their
1798-01-1919th. Yesterday I came on foot eight miles
through a very dirty road to Dunnington; the
weather was tolerably fine, but my feet were wet
and cold, and this occasioned my headache to return.
I was kindly received by our friends there.
At night we worshipped in the Baptist chapel:
the congregation was large, and I felt a good
deal of liberty in speaking, and the word appeared
to be applied with Divine impressions.
The people were very earnest and attentive. I
spoke two hours, and was very weary. After
sitting awhile with the Baptist minister, I returned
to my hospitable friends. Although faint
and exhausted my soul rejoiced in God, and my
spirit gloried in the Redeemer. It felt the ambition
of my life to spend and be spent for the
Lord Jesus. I found great thankfulness in the
thought that I had sown my seed in the morning,
and in the evening had not withheld my hand.
I had a restless night, and awoke early with the
headache; but even this led me to resign myself
to God. I offered myself to suffer as well as to do
His will. I arose soon after six, and found my
mind eager to engage in business; and notwithstanding
the unwillingness of the flesh, dragged
myself to writing.
At two I set out to this place, Whitich.
I found something in my heart which would
have complained on account of being so far
separated from you; but I checked the thought,
and found my soul devoted to the will of God, C11r 45
and resolved to follow Him fully in the regeneration.
The Lord sanctify our affection, that
we may glorify Him with all the powers of our
spirits, and go on our way rejoicing in Him
A. K.”
C11v 46

Chapter III.

Her marriage with Alexander Kilham.—Extracts
from their Correspondence—Death of her Husband
—Birth of a Daughter.

My beloved parents were married in 1798-04April, 1798.
In the few months of their union they were much
separated, my dear father travelling in the work of
the ministry to various parts of England and Wales.

A few extracts, not only from their crorespondence,
but also from the printed Memoir of my
father, will, it is hoped, be acceptable to the
reader, and will serve to connect the account of so
beloved a parent, till she again resumes the detail
of her experience.

God forbid that we should ever for a moment
say we will stand or fall together in religion; yet
I cannot but think that whenever the Lord particularly
blesses thee, it brings me nearer to Him by a
spirit of humble thankfulness than any other circumstance
ever does. My soul melts under a
sense of His goodness, deeply feels that His ways
towards us are ‘mercy all.’ Oh, that we may be
more and more united in Him than we have ever
been! Our affection for each other will not be
damped; no, it will be heightened and refined by
the Spirit of truth having fuller influence on our
hearts. May God make thee altogether such an C12r 47
one as He can delight in. If trials still await thee,
may Jesus be, as he has hitherto been, like the
shadow of a great rock in a weary land to thy
soul! Thy way has been in many instances
strewed with thorns; but my soul is raised in
thankfulness to that good Being who preserves thy
spirit, and who has borne thee through all thy
trials! We know not what a day may bring forth,
nor need we anxiously concern ourselves about it.
Outward circumstances do not constitute our peace,
nor can outward things destroy it. If our anchor
be fixed within the vail, what storms can shake us?
The enemies of Jesus sought to destroy Him,
and they imagined their intent was just accomplished;
but how deceitful were their expectations!
at the moment their wishes seemed complete,
he whom they had thought their enemy
was at that instant finishing His work!—the great
and glorious work for which He came into the
world. And so it shall be with the followers of
Jesus;—if their enemies would sow for them briars
and thorns, the Lord will cause fruitful trees to
spring up in their stead. ‘They shall go out with
joy, they shall be lead forth with peace,’
and the
face of nature, as well as the kingdom of grace,
shall rejoice with them. The word of truth assures
us this will be the case.
H. Kilham”
I am obliged to own that melancholy and lowness
beset my spirits. I cannot tell the cause, except
it is that I see a thousand imperfections in
myself. My judgment is clouded, my mind irresolute,
and my affections are far too little attracted C12v 48
towards the best objects. I sometimes feel as though
I could mourn over everything I have ever done,
and sink into dejection. Pray that I may live to
better purpose. I cannot be happy unless I do.
I am weary of my uselessness and of my nothingness.
I do not want to be raised in the eyes of the
world, or of the church, but in the favour of the
Lord. My soul longs for food from heaven, nothing
else can fill the painful void I sometimes
feel. Our mutual affection for each other is the
greatest earthly blessing I possess; but this affection
cannot fill my soul with peace, if the Lord do
not shed the light of His countenance upon me.
H. Kilham”

The following letter was written to her sister:—

I rejoice, my love, to hear of your prosperity.
The Lord bless and be with you still! You say
you are happy in your freedom from worldly
cares: I know you are. May you enjoy your freedom
still, if you conceive it to be for the glory of
God and your own peace. For myself I cannot,
no, not for a moment, repent that I have entered
into what you call ‘entanglements.’ It is true the
cares of the world come upon one; and perhaps
we are called to greater exertions of mind in this
state; but the goodness of God has attached affections
to duties, and thus the toils of life are
softened, and duty made delightful. Perhaps you,
who have so long lived with me, may have observed
that melancholy was always one of my
besetting evils. The grace of God has, during the
last two years, in a great measure banished this D1r 49
spirit. I have never for a moment, since I first
experienced a sense of the favour of God, found
that painful void in my soul which once distressed
me. If we would know happiness it must be by
the unfolding of our faculties, and the exercise of
them, particularly of the affections; first to the
great the benevolent Author of our being, and
from Him to all His hand has made.
Perhaps there is not in the world so good an
antidote against low spirits as to visit and endeavour
to administer comfort to the afflicted. It
is here we imitate Jesus. That name is unspeakably
precious to my soul in this solemn moment!
The good Shepherd who brought us back from
the dark, the wretched mountains of sin and error,
still He traverses the wilderness in search of the
sheep that is lost. Let us pray that we may be
taught to imitate Him! My dear Sarah, if our
hearts are right we shall sink into humility,—the
depth of humility, whenever He suffers us to become
His messengers of peace! We shall acknowledge
it an unspeakable mercy,—a mercy we are
unworthy of! Oh, that the kingdom of Jesus may
spread on every side!—no other can do us good.
I was writing to you a few minutes ago about
melancholy; and, just as I was leaving the subject,
I wondered why I should mention it to you,
who never feel anything of it. Perhaps you may
meet with some who do; and, if you should, entreat
them to seek out those who have more cause
to mourn than they have, and to endeavour by the
grace of God to pour into their spirits the balm of
consolation, and the Lord will not suffer them to
remain themselves comfortless!
H. K.”
D D1v 50 Truly the Lord Jehovah is with us, the God of
Jacob is our defence: O, that we could praise
Him for his goodness, and adore Him for His love
for ever! Surely my lines are fallen in pleasant
places, and I have a goodly heritage. After the
morning preaching I could not but weep for joy;
the Redeemer appeared so precious, and His ways
so delightful. It is impossible to express the joy I
feel in seeking the salvation of my fellow-creatures.
At H— I met with much unjust reproach;
but when I go to God I find power to cast my
care into His hands. I can appeal to Him that I
am jealous for His adorable name, and desirous of
promoting His praise. Labour is delightful when
the heart is truly engaged; perhaps very few have
more exercises than I have at present: I can seldom
spare more than five hours for sleep, and I am
frequently much fatigued; but still I find that
‘wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness.’
It is our duty to endure hardships as good
soldiers of Christ. It is necessary that we should
be sifted as wheat. Jesus Christ, however, prays
for us, and while we have His intercession before
God, we shall not be left comfortless. ‘Let us
go therefore without the camp bearing His reproach.!’
A. K.”
The Lord seems to have set me in the hottest
post, to endure reproach and shame for His sake;
yet amidst all, the cross of Christ is precious, and
I am happy in being accounted worthy to suffer D2r 51
for His sake. Oh, that I may ever do so as a
Christian! I long to be made perfect through
suffering that God may be glorified in my life and
death. When I am fully engaged in preaching
and writing, my soul rejoices to run its course. I
am conscious the Lord requires me to take the
steps I am now pursuing, and therefore my heart
rejoices, and my joy is frequently unspeakable
and full of glory.
A. K.”

About the end of November my father returned.
He appeared much exhausted: he however
did not relinquish his labours, though he
went through them with evident weakness. The
following particulars of the last few days of his
life were furnished by my mother to the editors of his Life.

“On Wednesday, 1798-12-12December 12th, 1798, it was
thought my husband took a violent cold in walking
home, beween four and five miles from the country.
The next morning he had much pain in his back
and shoulders, which continued increasing till Friday,
when it was so violent that he compared it
to boiling lead pouring on the part. Both the
surgeon and himself conceived the pain to be
rheumatic. On Saturday he suffered a great deal
from the application of a blister, and on Sunday
morning appeared in a very weak state. In the
course of his affliction he would ask me to pray by
him; and, though I suffered much in seeing his
situation, I found the Lord near to help in the
time of need. When his pain was great he would
frequently call on the name of his Redeemer and
his God, praying that, if consistent with His D2 D2v 52
will, he might experience some relief; but would
add, ‘Not my will, but Thine be done.’ On the
evening of Tuesday he appeared to be recovering,
notwithstanding he had had so little sleep. In the
evening of this day my husband prayed with an
enlargement of heart, with a depth of feeling, such
as I had never known before: his soul indeed
appeared to be deeply engaged with God, and
his desires for the prosperity of our souls,—for
the good of the church, and for the salvation
of the world were more affectionate than ever.
He expressed a deep and affecting sense of the
mercy of God, in that ‘He had not left us to
wander in our sins.’
Oh, what did my soul
feel while we were engaged in that solemn hour!
My mind was powerfully impressed with the
thought that we who were present should soon be
separated by death; but did not apprehend that
the Lord was going to call my dear husband. Our
dear child was so much struck with her father’s
manner of praying, that she observed to the servant
that she had never heard him pray so before.
I do not know that he had five minutes good sleep
during the night; notwithstanding this, he appeared
to be better on the Wednesday, and went
out. The doctor this day took leave of him, supposing
his presence to be no longer needful. In
the evening, when we were alone, my husband
made an observation which led me to ask him if
he thought he should die soon?—he answered, ‘I
am quite resigned either to life or death, whichever
is the will of God.’
I felt my mind much affected.
I could not but shed tears while I asked him again,
‘Do you think you shall recover?’ He answered,
‘I have no other apprehensions; I should like to D3r 53
live longer if it be the will of God.’
He coughed
a little this evening, and said he was not quite free
from the pain in his back; but thought if he
could sleep all would be well, but that night he
was more restless than ever.
On Thursday morning, about five o’clock, he
complained much of restlessness. I wished to
procure him something composing, but he would
not suffer me; he said he would try to sleep until
his usual hour of rising. Between six and seven he
started up, saying, ‘He could not bear to lie any
longer; it seemed as though a sword darted through
his left breast:’
he immediately spit blood. The
doctor was sent for, who bled him in the arm; and
hot applications were used, which seemed to relieve
the pain. I was much affected with the
thought that if an uncommonly sweet and heavenly
frame of mind were to be considered as a sign
of an approaching change, my dear husband would
soon be called away. He said he was much relieved,
and I expressed my thankfulness to God
with tears. About ten o’clock he threw up a much
larger quantity of blood than before. I called to
the girl to go for the doctor: she not being within
hearing, I had to go out of the room for her. When
I returned my heart sunk within me at the sight
of my husband; he had vomited again during my
absence, and now appeared as though the hand of
death was upon him. He saw my distress, and,
looking earnestly at me, as I gave him some cold
water, said, ‘God is love, my dear!’ The girl called
in a neighbour; two friends also came in, and I
said to them, ‘He is dying.’ The soul of my dear
husband appeared to be engaged with God as he
said, ‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow D3v 54
of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with
In a short time I repeated, ‘He is dying!’
He answered, ‘I am not dying, my dear; I am
very easy!’
In a little while the vomiting came
on more violently than ever; and, as soon as he was
able to speak, he said, ‘If I am dying now, tell all
the world that Jesus is precious!’
His whole soul
appeared to feel the words, and he added, ‘He is
working gloriously in my heart, glory to God!’
friend who was present said he would go for a
physician. My husband answered, ‘No, no doctor;
I want none but Jesus Christ!’
He went,
however, soon after, and brought one, who thought
if the vomiting did not immediately return, my
husband would recover. He prescribed a blister
and some medicines; but by the time they arrived
my husband was too weak to have them applied.
When we were distressed at the thought of his
sufferings, we heard him say, ‘As the afflictions of
Christ abound, His consolations abound in my
His life was now wasting away very fast; he
appeared sensible of it, and left a dying profession
of his confidence of the goodness of a cause in which
his heart had been engaged: he said, ‘What I have
done with regard to the Methodist connexion, so
far from repenting I rejoice in it at this moment!’

When in a yet more exhausted state he observed,
‘Some may say this is a judgment upon me; but
what I have done in opposing the corruptions in the
church I believed my duty: I bless God that He
made me an instrument of doing it! Oh, that I had
done it more faithfully!’
He gave some directions
respecting his dear child, and expressed his wish
that she might be brought up in the fear of the
Lord. Mr. S— came in, and though my husband D4r 55
was too weak to speak out, he was so recollected as
to desire me to remind him that a preacher should
be provided for the chapel that evening. The last
words he was heard to speak were, ‘Jesus Christ,
receive my spirit!’
He then clasped his hands,
and his soul appeared to be engaged with God.
Soon after, he turned towards me, and fixed his
eyes upon me. I saw he was departing. My
mind had till now been suspended between hope
and despair, and I was silent; but not I began
to speak to him. I saw his faithful soul was going
to his Redeemer, and in the fulness of my heart
declared, ‘I would call on all the world never to
seek happiness in anything but God.’
I assured
him if a human being could have given happiness,
he had given it to me.”

Extracts from a letter, written 1799-04-04April 4th, 1799,
to a long-tried friend of my beloved father’s:—

“Though I am broken off in a great measure
from human dependencies, and expect not perfect
enjoyment in anything this world can afford, I still
feel thankful that I have friends whom I love and
who, I trust, will join me in giving glory to God
beyond the grave. I am conscious that on God,
and on Him alone, depends our happiness. I
would not cast aside his mercies as it were in disgust;
and because he has seen it good to take away
from me one whom I considered dear as my own
soul, I would not on this account sink into an
ungrateful stupor of mind, and refuse the blessings
which yet remain.
I have always thought, since I began to reflect
with seriousness, that the exercise of the D4v 56
affections was one of the greatest sources of our
happiness; and, while my husband lived, the comfort
I felt in my attachment to him was such as
made me ready to wonder sometimes why life had
been painted in such gloomy colours. We had
that perfect confidence in each other, and that
affection which constantly united us as the heart
of one, and it was the remembrance of what I experienced
in this union which caused me to say,
when he was dying, ‘If a human being could
have given happiness, thou hadst given it to me.’

But the Lord has seen it good to make me an example
of the uncertainty of human happiness:
mine was short in proportion as the enjoyment
had been great; and then I felt from experience
the force of one of Saurin’s observations, ‘The
world appeared to me as a universal solitude, and
the universe—the whole universe—a desert, uninhabited
and uninhabitable.’
My dear friend,
where would my soul have found refuge but for
the blessed truths of religion? The Lord gave me
power to believe through the dark and gloomy
day; and, though clouds surrounded Him, and His
footsteps were in the great deep, I could not doubt
the heavenly truth that ‘God is love.’ I was made
sensible, too, that there is no weakness in the love
of God; but that He will act towards us in that
way which will best promote our eternal welfare,
whether it be consistent with out present gratification
or not. Yet, notwithstanding this, my mind
was often for a few days confused, or rather
clouded. I could not think why my dear friend
should be taken away so soon and so suddenly.
On the Monday evening, (the night before my D5r 57
husband was buried,) as I went into the Meeting,
Mr. Trundel was giving out that verse of Cowper’s,
‘Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,But trust Him for His grace!’ &c.
my mind was in a moment relieved from that
degree of oppression I had before experienced. I
saw it was impossible for us to understand all the
ways of God, or, from our own feeble powers, to
make a just estimate of his dealings in every instance
with the children of men. I determined,
therefore, to cast myself and my all on the Lord,
with that unbounded confidence which his faithfulness
The cheerfulness and vigour of his mind were
beyond the strength of his body, and I think it
cannot be doubted, by any one that knew him, but
that his uncommon labours hastened his death. I
believe the journey into Wales hurt him a good
deal. When he returned he appeared much worn
out, and was hardly ever refreshed by sleep. My
mind was much depressed the day he set out. I
had always dreaded that journey more than any he
had ever taken, because it was so long, and quite
among strangers.
I was saying, a little while since, that my
mind had been painfully exercised many ways.
The recollection of any instance wherein I had been
the cause of giving him pain has distressed me
beyond what any one can conceive; but I cannot reproach
myself with ever having designedly grieved
my husband in any respect; though I lament
that I was not more active and unremitting in my
attention to his happiness. The instances wherein,D5 D5v 58
by neglect or delay, I have given him pain or
cause of complaint, dwell on my mind at times in
such a way that I am quite ready to sink into
melancholy; but when I remember how contrary
that would be to my husband’s wish, and how
much against the will of God, how much it would
be likely to hurt my soul, and prevent my having
any power to promote the happiness of those
around me, I feel it my duty to look to God for
deliverance; and, though I cannot recall the past,
endeavour to seek refuge from myself, and a conformity
to the Divine will in all my future ways.
That he was fully prepared to meet death cannot
be doubted; and I remember with thankfulness
the calm assurance with which he expressed
his willingness to die, at a time when there was
every reason to believe he would have continued
with us. I mean on the night before his death,
when he appeared in a great measure free from
every complaint.
Well, my dear friend, though the Scriptures
speak truth of this world as a wilderness,—a vale
of tears, everything conspires to assure me that
the Lord has only placed us here to prepare us for
a better country. I can now, through the grace of
God, look forward to ‘immortality and eternal
and in this prospect my soul rises above its
present sufferings, and I can feelingly say, ‘I bless
the day that I was born:’
though sorrow should
mark my path through every stage in this short
scene of things, what is there to complain of? If
Jesus receive our souls at last, we may be borne
through all without sinking,—without for a moment
ceasing to remember that God ruleth over all and
cares for us, even more than we care for ourselves. D6r 59
As we followed the body of my husband to the
grave, while they sang, ‘Our brother the haven has gained,Outflying the tempest and wind!’ &c.
you know not how the clouds dispersed from my
mind. The Lord gave me at that moment such a
view of the brightness of another world, and of the
glorious change my husband now experienced,
that I found power at that moment to lose my
sorrows in his joy. Truly the Lord is our salvation!
My mind enjoys much consolation and relief
when I am persuaded I am doing the will of God;
though often suffering from a sense of want in this
respect. I would live with death in my view, and
I believe in this prospect my soul may gather
strength daily. I find, through mercy, a constant
power to say, ‘Good is the will of the Lord!’ I
never had cause to doubt of this truth; and I trust,
through all the changing scenes of life, I shall still
find Jesus to be the anchor of my soul!”

When my beloved father was on his dying bed,
he requested that a small patrimony which had
belonged to my first mother should be laid aside
for me. This desire was scrupulously observed,
and never did my endeared mother take any part,
except the interest, although she thereby straitened
herself. Yet neither that, nor the claims of her
own little girl, ever restrained her from giving me
the best instructions in her power, nor prevented
her from fulfilling, in every point of view, the
duties of the most tender and judicious of parents.

In the course of April the subject of this Memoir
became the mother of a lovely little girl; D6v 60
and this circumstance occasioned a diversion of
thought, which at once tended to relieve her loneliness,
and soothe her sorrows. Soon after her
recovery, she took charge of the female part of a
day-school which was opened among the Methodists.
It is interesting to see some of her thoughts
at this period, when Sunday-schools were very
unusual, and the system of mutual instruction
scarcely known.

In a letter to a friend, she remarks: “The
shocking neglect, the wretched bigotry that generally
prevails in the education of children, have
struck my mind for many years, even before I
had ceased to be a child myself. It appears from
the manner in which parents bring up their children
that principles of either natural or revealed
religion are nearly out of the question, and habits
unsanctioned by either reason or religion are suffered
to usurp their place. Supposing we can
only do little to stem the torrent of corruption that
flows from the general neglect of education, we
are not to sit down because we cannot do everything:
‘God does not despise the day of small
Where we cannot do all we would, it is
our duty to do all we can. But who fulfils this
duty? My conscience answers, Not I. Were but
a few of us to set about doing all we can for the
general good, we know not how the Lord might
bless our efforts. The effects produced by Sunday-
schools, when properly managed, have been by no
means inconsiderable. Almost the whole business
depends on the teachers being qualified for their
undertaking. An institution of this kind ought to
be conducted by persons of Christian experience,
and who are accustomed to think and judge for D7r 61
themselves, otherwise they will not be capable of
teaching children to use their reason; and what is
all the knowledge gained by rote, unless we are
taught how to exercise our understanding? If there
be any truth in these observations, it is indeed of
importance to the present and eternal interests of
children that they be put under the care of reasonable
and religious persons. What difficulties are
too great to encounter for the attainment of such
an object,—such a blessing to society, and to the
church? I say, to society; for, if we conside the
future influence well-educated children may have
on society, we shall be far from concluding that
schools are of little importance. Were I persuaded
that a few months would end my life, and that I
should leave children in a confused world, without
a parent to instruct their tender minds, and without
a parent’s solicitude to direct them in the way
to heaven, how would my heart be cheered with
the thought that the Methodist church would take
up their cause; and not only theirs,—but, inspired
with the love their heavenly Father shows to all
who want help, that they were following His example,
and seeking to be of use to the most helpless,
and yet the most neglected part of mankind.”

“Mr. G— tells me that if I can only convince the
children I love them, and wish to do them all the
good I can, I shall establish a confidence in their
minds towards me, which will be the best foundation
of usefulness to them. The employment of
education will not be very productive, in a temporal
sense, to any; but let us be content with
the necessaries, the common comforts of life, and
leave its toys for those who have nothing to do
but to play with them! Neither will this employment D7v 62
be considered by the multitude as the
most honourable; but those who cherish principles
which want food from the world’s applause would
be improper persons to teach the religion of Jesus.
A lively and fervent wish came into my mind
last night, and I pray from the depth of my soul
that, if the Lord see it good, it may be accomplished.
It is that all descriptions of true Christians
who deserve the name of the friends of youth
should unite their efforts in the great work of education.
I am persuaded that no great things will
be accomplished until Christians, although dissenting
from each other in some points, unite in this
labour of love. How glorious would be such a
union!—I do not mean in the eyes of men; for
prejudice and bad habits have made the employment
of teaching appear almost contemptible. But
would it not be a truly acceptable service in the eyes
of Him ‘in whose favour is life!’ Yet, desirable
as this may be, it appears a very distant object.
Religious persons must be more public-spirited,
and better-qualified to teach, ere this wish which
arose in my mind can be accomplished.
Perhaps there are no persons more spiritually-
minded, or more liberal and active in promoting
what they believe to be a good design, than some
of the Society of Friends are; let them and some
of our friends take the subject into consideration,
and unite in an earnest and affectionate appeal to
the consciences of Christians in general.
I think it is not in the power of a child’s mind
to be engaged the whole of the Sabbath in a religious
way; with many it is a day of languor and
idleness,—and with many one of active dissipation.
I believe, from what little I have myself seen, and D8r 63
heard, that there are very few, if any, children who
look forward to the Sabbath with so much pleasure
as the Sunday-scholars, and I know of none who
spend the day to greater advantage. When first I
heard of Sunday-schools conducted on religious
principles my heart was delighted, and I counted
it one of the happiest days of my life. To these
schools again I turn my mind, as likely to be the
greatest, the most extensive means of good to our
youth which I at present know of; and whatever
means can be used for their benefit and improvement
is an object worthy of the most active and
attentive care.”

The small-pox being very prevalent in Nottingham
about this time, the dear babe of my beloved
mother was inoculated. Before the eruption
appeared my little sister’s life was in imminent
danger from a series of convulsion fits. What my
mother’s feelings were at this painful crisis will be
best conveyed in her own words:—

“My spirits were in a dreadful state of suspense,
of silent anguish and agony. Oh, my God! my
hand has hesitated while I call thee mine, for I
have been unworthy of Thy goodness; forgive the
want of confidence in Thee which Thy unhappy
servant felt in that dreadful hour! It seemed as
though, if my child were taken away, I should not
know what was meant by an over-ruling and
merciful Providence,—all would be darkness and
desolation to me. My body, as well as my mind,
was unnerved in this struggle;—if, indeed, it might
be called a struggle, for I fear it was almost without
resistance that I sank under a weight which it
appeared impossible for me to support. I was
sitting on the stairs: I had seen my child a little D8v 64
before, and those about her were expecting almost
every moment to see her breathe her last. I had
begged a dear friend to stay with my child; she
came to me and asked me how I was; (I had
scarcely power to think or to hope,) but answered,
‘I am almost lost!’ She spoke kindly to me,
and said she hoped the Lord would mercifully
spare my child. There was a turn:—she was now
sunk into a quiet sleep, though not yet perfectly
free from a convulsive appearance. Forgive me,
O Thou in whose hand are the issues of life and
death! Forgive the want of confidence in Thine
eternal wisdom and goodness which I had felt in
those moments of dreadful trial! I am unworthy
of the hope which beams upon my soul! As soon
as I heard that my precious child was likely to be
restored, I could not but express with eagerness
my thankfulness to God.”
D9r 65

Chapter IV.

Hannah Kilham joins the Society of Friends—Engages
in a Day-school in Sheffield—Loss of her
only Child.

In the close of the year 17991799, and in 18001800, my beloved
mother’s mind was led to views on some religious
subjects different to those entertained by the
Methodist connexion. Extracts from her journal,
and from letters written about this time, will show
the progress of this change of sentiment, and also
that it eventually led her to retire from the Methodists,
and to join the religious society of Friends.

The latter end of 17991799 she gives the following
restrospect of herself:—

“I knew that whatever was found of good in
myself or others must have its source in that Infinite
Being who is the Author of our existence,
and by whose power alone our life is still supported.
I found my heart animated by a sincere
and fervent wish for the happiness of my fellow-
creatures, and I knew that this wish is excited by
the Spirit of truth and love, who in mercy deigns
to communicate his gracious influences to the souls
of men. I rejoiced in the desire of my spirit for
the general welfare, because I knew our heavenly
Father regarded His large family with affection
infinitely beyond what any of them could feel for
one another; and that, though He might suffer
seeming evil to prevail in many things for the D9v 66
present, yet in the final issue we should be made
sensible of the result of infinite wisdom, power,
justice, and goodness.
I found in my own spirit a degree of sincerity
and of love, and it was a conviction more evident,
more striking to the mind, than what is brought
through reasoning, which convinced me that truth
and love had their source in God. This He himself
taught me—He who only can himself explain.
I loved Him first because He had given me life,
and I felt existence delightful. I loved my friends;
—my affection for them added much to the happiness
of my life, and I did not look forward to a
separation; but some of them were taken away by
death, and one whom I loved more than all the rest
was of that number. It would have been truly
dreadful to have seen him laid in the cold grave,
had I not believed his spirit was not dead, but
only brought into greater liberty than before,—
conveyed into another world,—a happier state,
where he would live for ever.
With this confidence of a happy immortality,
and an assurance that the work of regeneration by
the Spirit of Christ was begun in my soul, I
was constantly happy. Yet, as I knew no happiness
apart from that of my brethren of mankind,
my affections daily went out towards them, and
my spirit was much engaged in desires for their
welfare. My mind was sometimes pained on
account of a want of clearness in my understanding
of divine things. In regard to some things
concerning religion there appeared a confusion,
an inconsistency, both in myself and others with
whom I conversed. I had many reasonings about
truth, and different manifestations of truth which D10r 67
were given to mankind. In regard to ourselves in
this country, I was thankful for the revelation in
the Scriptures, and was deeply convinced that the
writers of them were inspired by Him who made
the heart, and who knows what passes therein. I
reasoned, not without pain, on the revelations of
truth which were used for the enlightening of other
nations and people, and enquired anxiously in my
own mind, and of others, whether those truths
which were necessary to our happiness were not
self-evident to all men everywhere? and, again, I
anxiously enquired whether there was such a thing
as self-evident truth? My mind got confused,—
even distressed; some things which I had thought
as clear as daylight, when represented to a friend
whose judgment I highly esteemed, were considered
as, in general, inconclusive arguments. I
was weary of thinking, and almost afraid, at length,
to think, on account of my confused and undecided
state of mind. I thought I would endeavour,
through the help of the Almighty, to engage my
time as much as possible in the service of my
fellow-creatures, and especially to the young; but
not to think much; and to pass my time as well as
I could.
The most important thing undoubtedly is our
views of what constitutes religion; for these views
will have the most immediate influence on our
souls, and on our conduct. What then are the
questions we ought to ask ourselves, or others, in
order to know what is our real state before God?
Are they not such as these: Have you this evidence
that you are in Christ Jesus, ‘You walk not
after the flesh, but after the Spirit?’
Do you show
by your actions, as well as by your professions, that D10v 68
you love God with all your heart, and your neighbour
as yourself, doing unto others as you would
have them do unto you? Does the Spirit of God
bear witness with your Spirit that you are a child
of God? Is there anything scriptural in the
manner, so very common, of estimating the spiritual
state of people merely by their feelings, or
by their professions? I should not have asked
this question, but should have thought that, as
religion always produces happiness, we might rest
upon the assertion of those who professed themselves
happy; but painful experience has convinced
me that many can quiet themselves with
what they call being happy, and feeling very comfortable,
while yet they are in some things evidently
walking after the flesh, and not after the Spirit.
When once I mentioned an instance of this to a
professor of religion, who I thought could not
justify himself, he answered (after acknowledging
he was in the wrong,) ‘Well, the Lord knows my
frame; He remembers that I am but dust!’
soul was truly pained to hear Scripture so perverted.
And, oh! how many are there who satisfy
themselves with saying, ‘They are unworthy creatures!
they know they come very far short!’
so on, while yet they will not make an effort to
gird up the loins of their minds, and, in the
strength of the Lord, to fight against the evils
which have overcome them. What encouragement
does the word of God give to such to believe
they are in a state free from condemnation?
My acquaintance with professors of religion has
not, indeed, been of very long standing; but, from
what I have observed, I am constrained to own
that many of us have given way to a very erroneous D11r 69
method of judging, and thus yielded to
an evil which opens the way to more and more
delusion and misery. Is it right to estimate the
state of any one by the loudness with which he
says Amen? or should it be from his attention to
the weightier matters of the law—‘judgment, mercy,
and faith?’
Fervour in prayer is truly desirable,
but the strength of sound is surely a very insufficient
mark by which to judge of spirituality in the
worshippers of that God who requireth the heart.
When I hear persons dwell so much upon this and
upon other things merely outward, it makes me
think religion is very superficial amongst us. The
spirit and conduct of some have distressed and
confused me; yet this is my comfort, ‘the foundation
of God standeth sure, having this seal,—The
Lord knoweth them that are His.’
Oh, that God
may lead us to act in all things as having no desire,
no object in view but the general welfare of the
Redeemer’s kingdom. O that He would remove
every hinderance which prevents the power of that
kingdom from prevailing on the earth.
I now became painfully sensible of a want of
spirituality, and indeed of truth, in much of the
worship in which I had been accustomed to join.
I was pained excessively to observe that the preaching
of some seemed only calculated to please, without
reaching the heart, or leading to a true reformation
in the life; and, in general, I felt persuaded
that the custom of filling up a certain time in outward
worship,—preaching, singing, and prayer,—
was contrary to the real nature of sincerity, of true
worship, and of effectual teaching.
It appeared to me that a want of submission
and obedience to the Divine power and teaching in D11v 70
the heart caused much confusion and distress in
the soul. People are anxiously enquiring for help
from men; they want something to satisfy and
employ their minds, and are too ready in this restless
state to accept unwholesome food, instead of
the living bread which comes down from heaven.
My mind had been much led to think on the
people called Quakers. The idea of these Friends,
and of sincerity, consistency, and faithfulness had
been always connected together. I knew but little
of them; but, from what I did know, believed
them to be in a measure influenced by the Spirit
of truth, and, indeed, beyond what I conceived
any other people to be, as it regards their system;
but, when I considered the Friends themselves,
they appeared for the most part, from what I could
judge, to come far short of what might be expected
were the principle by which they profess to be
governed suffered to have its full influence.
The Methodists had been kind to me; they had
been instrumental in promoting my best interests,
and I love that affectionate zeal which had led
them (E. M., in particular, I shall, I trust, remember
with grateful affection for ever) to speak to me,
and to endeavour to direct me to the true and
living way to Zion, when I was wandering, as it
were, lost and solitary, though by the wayside.
The first time I went to the Friends’ meetinghouse
at Nottingham, I was sensibly affected with
a consciousness that the spirit of worship was with
the assembly, and the awful silence which prevailed
seemed favourable to that deep recollection
of spirit which I believe it must be the delight of
those who have been brought into much experience
in Divine things to cherish and to enjoy.
D12r 71 1800-06-11June 11, 1800. I never, I think, felt my mind
so broken off from human dependence as about
this time. I could not receive light or assistance
in my present circumstances through the medium
of friends with whom I conversed, either through
those whose views were similar or different to my
own. I wished to be fully free from human influence
of every kind, and was, I believe, sincerely
desirous to be taught of God. To Him I looked
up for help, hoping that I should receive that light
and direction of which I felt the need.
With regard to the state of my mind, and the
different views I had from Methodists, there are
three things which conduce to persuade me I am
not in these things led by a delusive influence;—
at least not in general, though it is possible I may
have mistaken views in some respects:—I feel a
deeper reverence towards God than I was ever
sensible of before. I find, also, a more earnest and
affectionate desire for the welfare of my fellow-
creatures, both as it regards the spreading of truth
among them, and their happiness in every respect,
which I know can only be promoted effectually by
the power of Christ prevailing in the hearts of the
people. The love I feel towards mankind makes
me desirous—more desirous than ever—to be, in
any way the providence of God may assign me, an
instrument of good to them; but more especially
to the poor, the weak, the ignorant, and the young.
I find, thirdly, a more clear confidence, a deeper
faith in that truth which forms my present, and
on which depends my eternal happiness. These
things I consider with thankfulness to the great
Source of every good, and find no cause to fear on
account of the opinions of any.
D12v 72 There is one thing among the Methodists
which I cannot but name, and which appears to me
to be a distinguishing excellency in the spirits of
this people; I mean the affectionate concern which
is manifested by many of this church towards the
lost,—towards the most wretched, the most ignorant,
the poorest, and the worst part of mankind.
This spirit of benevolence and compassion which
many Methodists have shown,—going out into the
highways and hedges to compel them to come in,
traversing the wilderness to find and save, if possible,
the wandering sheep, is so consistent with the
spirit and life of Jesus, that my heart is impressed
by the most grateful and interesting affections
when I think of it. These show, by their life and
conversation, that they are the disciples of Him
who poured out His soul unto death for the salvation
of mankind. But surely the day is hastening
forward, when all who are animated by the Spirit
will be willing more fully to unite their influence
in promoting the glory of their heavenly Master,
and the happiness of mankind. The Spirit of
Christ will be found to be the strongest bond of
union, and, while each sincere member of the universal
church will unite with those whose views
are most coincident with his own, we shall all
rejoice in joining occasionally in the worship of
God, giving thanks to the Author of our being for
His unbounded love towards us, and towards all
men; and shall also be ready to join in every
labour of love, in every affectionate endeavour to
promote the interest of our Redeemer’s kingdom,
by the spread of happiness and truth among mankind.
Many times has the plea of usefulness been E1r 73
suggested in favour of my continuing among the
Methodists. Oh, my God! Thou knowest that
Thou thyself hast given to my soul a desire that,
with the strength imparted to me, I might be enabled
to strengthen the weak hands, and confirm
the feeble knees; but instruments are altogether
in Thine own hand! I dare not alter, though convinced
of some things inconsistent and wrong in
the way of worship I have till now engaged in.
But, convinced to the degree I lately have been, I
dare not continue in them under pretence of supporting
the cause, lest, in so doing, I should act
like Uzzah, and draw down Thy displeasure on
my head. I have longed that some way might be
adopted for sincere Christians to worship together,
and to unite together in every labour of love; yet
my view of so desirable an union has not been so
clear as to enable me to propose any means for its
promotion; and, indeed, I lament that, so far as I
know, there is in general in every sect a great want
of that true spirit and life which alone can make
either a union among Christians, or any other
secondary act extensively effectual to the good of
the church, of ourselves, or of the world.
While some of these thoughts were passing in
my mind, it was thrown into great suspense with regard
to leaving the Methodist connexion. My spirit
was brought into a state of humiliation before God,
for I knew not how to act, or what to do. I became
sensible that too much impatience had possessed
my mind, and was now constrained to acknowledge
my own weakness, ignorance, and blindness.
My human reasoning forsook me, or rather was
cast off as helpless and insufficient. I could gain
no light from conversation with friends of any E E1v 74
description; and I seemed totally blind as to the
next step I should take.
I am convinced, from painful experience, that
neither my judgment, my spirit, nor my practice
is perfect; nevertheless I must now act according
to the degree of light which I at present receive,
and leave events, whatever they may be. I would,
however, by all means, avoid seeking a place
among the Friends, and afterwards disturbing the
peace of any, by declaring doubts which might
have been expressed before. If ever I express a
wish to join them it will be because I believe
them to be the most faithful, as well as the most
enlightened, people I know of, and that I am
called of God to spend my days among them.
I find it, I think, more needful than ever I did,
to keep my mind constantly awake to a sense of the
presence of God. I believe His Spirit is purifying
my mind from evil, and bringing me more fully
into the possession of the promised inheritance. I
thank God for what my soul experiences of his
Divine power: ‘His favour is better than life!’
My present circumstances, it is true, are rather
trying; but the approbation of God is all I seek.
Keen reflections are sometimes cast upon me for
what the Methodists call deserting the cause for
which my husband incessantly laboured, and in
which he died. I always did, and I believe I always
shall rejoice in the part my husband took in opposing
what he was convinced was evil in the Methodist
connexion; but I think I should be quite as
unjustifiable in refusing to follow the light as it
shines, as my husband would have been had he
yielded to the influence of men, and desisted from
opposing what he believed himself called to oppose. E2r 75
And I am fully persuaded he was not mistaken
when he believed himself called to oppose
the corrupt government of the Methodist church.
I have only to endeavour in simplicity and
sincerity of heart, to make the approbation of my
heavenly Father the object of my constant attention;
and, at the same time, by my life and conversation,
to commend myself to every man’s conscience
in the sight of God.
If asked why I think more highly of the
Friends than of any other church, I answer that
genuine truth is more valuable to me than everything
else; and it appears to me that the leading
feature in the principles and practices of the spiritual
among the Friends is sincerity; and that in a
more eminent degree than what appears in any
other body of professors with which I am acquainted.

In the school vacation at Midsummer 18001800
my dear children and I went to see our relations
and friends at Epworth, in Lincolnshire. I suffered
on the way from sickness. When we got to my
father’s, the sight of their clean, comfortable house
did me good, with regard to my health; but as I
entered, and recollected the place beside their wide
chimney where my husband used to sit with his beloved
family and friends, I was powerfully affected
with the remembrance that the place which knew
him once now knows him no more for ever. Everything
in this place seemed to remind me of my dear
Alexander. He was born, he was nursed, he was
brought up here; and the place itself, to me, derives
its chief value from the thought of his having
inhabited it. It was here the active, generous dispositionsE2 E2v 76
of his mind first opened and displayed
themselves. His friends delighted in him, and
now how they love to talk about him! There
seemed something sudden and mysterious in thy
death, my beloved friend! my dear husband! But
I trust, I believe that thou art risen into greater
purity in thy present state of existence than thou
couldst have enjoyed in this. I hope one day,
when freed from the clogs and fetters of mortality,
to meet thy beloved spirit in that happy land
where we shall experience a friendship higher and
more delightful than can be enjoyed on this side
While at Epworth, I went to the Friends’ meeting.
As I sat there I felt as an infant whose
opening powers experienced all that could at present
be conceived of desirable or delightful in
being near its parent; but which was incapable of
conceiving of the higher beauties and deeper excellencies
of its parent’s mind, which would, on a
future day, inspire it with a reverence, confidence,
and love, beyond what it was now qualified to
One evening, as I was alone in my chamber at
Epworth, I opened a book in which I had sometimes
put down passages of Scripture which struck
me as important truths. My eye was cast on that,
‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn
the world, but that the world through Him
might be saved.’
The words sank into my soul:
a light shone on them, of such as I had never before
been sensible. Ah! were mankind, especially
professors of Christianity, but universally influenced
by the same spirit, what a change must
soon take place in the world!”
E3r 77

The withdrawing entirely of my dear mother
from the Methodist society was hastened through
the promptness of some of the influential members
of that church. On retiring, she wrote the following
letter to the class-leaders’ meeting, which is
given entire, as it contains a clear and simple
statement of her change of sentiment.

“To the Class-leaders’ Meeting, Hockly Chapel,
Dear Brethren, Though far from being influenced by any
spirit contrary to affection, or from being animated
by a principle which delights to oppose, I have
believed it my duty to dissent from the general
practices of Methodism, and I now write to answer
the claims you have upon me, as a member
of your society, for some account of the principles
which have led to my dissent.
During the last year, 17991799, my spirit, sensible
of the unstable and insufficient nature of earthly
good, was more deeply engaged than before in the
pursuit of spiritual happiness, of religion, and of
truth, conscious, gratefully conscious, at the same
time, that these three are united, and the object of
my enquiry is but one.
On Sabbath-day, about the close of the year,
in a season of retirement, my soul was impressed
with a conviction more powerful than any language
of mine can explain, that ‘religion was something
more deep and more spiritual than was generally
My mind was deeply affected with the
awfulness of the Divine presence, and for some E3v 78
days I was led in silence to wait upon and to
adore God.
A change took place in my mind from that
time; and, if I do not deceive myself, I have since
that time been more feelingly conscious than before,
of anything in conversation, reading, preaching,
prayer, or common practice, which is inconsistent
with the genuine spirit of religion, that
religion which God alone inspires, and which, if
suffered to have its full influence will dwell in
every power and temper of the soul, and regulate
every action of the life.
My mind was led by degrees into a fixed
disapprobation of many things belonging to the
Methodist system,—as the established ministry;
believing there could be no true ministry but that
which is the effect of the power of Christ in the
heart. The falsehoods uttered in singing, I was
sensible were an evil such as only custom, together
with the pleasantness of this exercise, had
made us inattentive to. I believed that persons
were frequently induced to utter words of prayer
through custom, and the necessity there was (according
to our system) of filling up the appointed
hour for worship, when at the same time the mind
was not influenced by the true spirit of prayer. I
have lamented in reflecting that this has been my
own experience; I have mourned that there was not
found in my spirit more sincerity toward God and
man. These, and other things which I believed to
be wrong, brought my mind at some seasons into
great perplexity. In the first month of this year I
wrote to my friends at Epworth on these subjects,
also to some other estimable Christians; but I did
not hear anything from any of them which might E4r 79
cause me to reject the principles my spirit was
imbibing. All the evils in myself and others appeared
to arise from this source, a want of attention,
submission and obedience to the divine power
and teaching of the Spirit.
It will be allowed, without hesitation, that no
teaching or instruction of men, unaccompanied by
the healing power of the Sun of righteousness,
can give true light or consolation to the wounded
spirit; but, if this truth be acknowleged, why
should a constant round of teaching be thought
necessary, whether the spirits of those who minister
are divinely influenced or not? It may be said,
that there is much good done in this way. But is
not the good which is done the answer of the true
Spirit which pleads in the hearts of the worshippers?
I am very far from believing that the
Methodist worship is unmixedly false; but is not
the measure of false worship, or of worship without
the Spirit, a hinderance to the prevalence of
the ‘true life?’ Does it not mislead the mind,
and, by causing it to satisfy itself with that which
is not ‘bread,’ still suffer confusion and darkness,
and even sin to prevail?
Words are, indeed, a means by which the
spirits of men have communion with each other;
but even in this they are not the only means, and
are no further really useful than as they express
the genuine feelings of the mind. But to the
Almighty we do not want this means of conveying
our feelings: if we worship Him in spirit and in
truth, it matters not whether it be in words or in
No experienced Christian will deny that we
may worship truly without words; and, though I E4v 80
cannot find one passage in the Scriptures, on
argument in the nature of things, nor, I believe,
one conviction from the Spirit in my heart, that
there can be any worship acceptable which proceeds
not from the Spirit; notwithstanding this, I
see almost every sect of Christians in the habit of
filling up the time appointed for public worship
with outward forms, whether the mind be divinely
moved in it or not.
In regard to instruction, I believe the principal
point is to have the attention turned to the Divine
Teacher in the heart, that ‘true light’ which is the
‘life of men,’ and which ‘enlighteneth every man
that cometh into the world.’
See INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.John, i. 9. The Almighty has
indeed seen it good to make men instrumental in
turning each other’s attention to the heavenly
light, and to make this instrumentality one means
of uniting his people to each other, and calling
into exercise many grateful and heavenly affections.
For some time before I declined joining in
your general meetings for worship I had frequently,
and indeed generally, been in a degree of
bondage in the meetings, and felt a persuasion that
I could not long continue in this state. Yet I did
not find liberty to separate from the Methodists.
An absolute separation from any who love the
Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity was a thought from
which I shrunk; and I could not but encourage a
hope that either some change might take place in
the society, so that what was objectionable might
be avoided, or that some kind of union might be
found among sincere Christians of every name, E5r 81
so that no separating bar should any longer prevent
their endeavouring to do each other good, and
more abundantly to spread the influence of the
Redeemers kingdom. The prayer of my heart
was, ‘Ah! join me to thy secret ones,Ah! gather all thy living stones!’
The Spirit of Christ has always appeared to me a
much stronger bond of union than any similarity
of opinions, or any views of outward church-fellowship.
I did not expect to find a pure church on
earth; but my heart glowed with affection for the
sincere of every name. Sensible that I was very
far from being infallible myself, and remembering
how, in some things, I had discovered myself to
have been under the influence of error, I have
wished to exercise a spirit of affection and forbearance
towards those who differ from me, conscious
that if a spirit of forbearance and charity were not
exercised towards me, my conduct might be too
severely and unjustly judged. I have longed to
see the members of the church-militant united as
one family, filled with reverence and love towards
their heavenly Father, overflowing with gracious
affections towards each other, and animated with
benevolent desires for the salvation of those who
have never yet experienced ‘the powers of the
world to come.’
I have felt much in remembering
the lines in one of our hymns, ‘Scattered o’er all the earth they lieTill Thou collect them with thine eye,Drawn by the music of thy name,And charm’d into a beauteous frame.’
These views and these desires may be consideredE5 E5v 82
as visionary, and I am sorry there is no
brighter prospect of their being realized. No
union among Christians can be extensively effectual
to good, unless the spirits of men be influenced
in a deep and lively measure by the
power of Christ. When Christians are brought to
experience a more abundant measure of his Divine
Spirit, they will be more affectionately united to
every member of the family of heaven. In remembering
Him ‘who poured out His soul unto
for their sakes, they will remember also that
He commanded them to love one another.
I would take this opportunity of giving my
thanks to those of you who, influenced by the
spirit of Christian candour, have avoided passing
a hasty judgment on my conduct; but, on the
contrary, have given me credit for sincerity of intention,
notwithstanding you might have wished
me to have acted otherwise than I have done. My
late conduct has, I know, by many persons been
attributed to a want of that very principle which,
in reality, has influenced my mind, and induced
the dissent for which I am reflected on as unstable.
To explain myself more clearly,—many persons
have appeared to think that, in dissenting from
Methodism, I have manifested a want of love to
God and man, a decline of the concern which my
actions formerly seemed to show for the welfare
of my Methodist friends, and particularly for that
part of them among whom my husband passed the
last days of a life which there is reason to believe
was shortened by his uncommon labours in the
service of Methodism. On the whole, I am cautioned
to take care lest, through my instability, I
am not a stumbling-block to many weak believers, E6r 83
and their souls be laid to my charge. I do not
hesitate to say, it is not instability which has led
me into my present situation. It has been the
same principle, namely, a love of truth, and a
desire after a genuine holiness, which first induced
me to union with the Methodists, afterwards with
that part of them who saw it needful, from motives
of uprightness, to separate from the majority. It
was the same principle which has since induced
me to withdraw from what I believed to be wrong,
in a church in which I had enjoyed much peace,
and I hope some degree of spiritual advantage;
though I own (not without painful feelings) that
my spiritual progress has been very little to what
I believe I might have experienced, had I been
more faithful to divine light and grace. I believe
I may say with truth, that I never was so
sensibly affected with desires for the good of the
Methodist church, and especially for that part of
it to which I have been united, and of my union
with whom I have never for a moment seen cause
to repent.
With regard to what is said of the relation in
which I stand, as the widow of Alexander Kilham,
what I have to reply is this: I believe my husband
was fulfilling the will of God when he opposed
the corrupt government of the Methodist
church. I believe his life was prematurely exhausted
in labouring for the welfare of Methodism.
I had told my husband, while he lived, and in his
death I felt the same sentiment, that it would be
less painful to see him die under his labours and
sufferings, than it would be to see him shrink from
a cause which I believed to be just. But I should
have been unworthy of a friend so faithful and E6v 84
sincere as I found in him, and should have profited
little by his example, had I not endeavoured to
make truth the object of my pursuit, independent
of any fear of human censure, or any love of
human praise. It is vital holiness which I desire
to seek; and whatever may be thought of me, I
would reject everything which I believe is calculated
to impede the genuine influence of the
Divine Spirit.
I have nothing more to add, only that I could
rejoice to unite with a company of worshippers, by
whatever name they were called, who would make
the spirit of worship their principal object, and
who would rather worship in silence occasionally
than make it a part of their system to fill up their
time of meeting with outward worship, whatever
the state of their minds might be. Until some such
meeting be approved by my Methodist friends,
although I shall always feel interested for their
welfare, shall rejoice when they have cause to
rejoice, and mourn when they have cause to weep,
and shall gladly unite with them in any labour
of love in which they may suffer me to unite, or in
any other way in which conscience is not violated;
yet it is impossible for me to consider it as right
that I should abide in a way of worship which I
believe to be in some things inconsistent with the
will of God, and, of course, inconsistent with the
best interests of the church.
Your respectful friend and sister,
Hannah Kilham.”

In a letter written about the same time we find
the following:

“I have esteemed plainness and simplicity of E7r 85
language as most favourable to godly sincerity,
but have not, till this night, been fully convinced
that it was my duty to adopt it. I am conscious I
have not chosen my own time, yet have a hope
that I shall not intentionally recede from my
present purpose, unless it be from a conviction of
its being wrong.
I could not think it right for any person to
reject the usual mode of language, unless from
principles of genuine humility, and obedience to
what is believed to be the Divine will. I think
it would be very possible for persons possessing
a good degree of natural confidence to adopt
a plainness of language from very unjustifiable
motives,—even from a spirit of vain defiance, pride,
and self-will. Such conduct would tend to promote
anarchy and confusion, instead of peace and

1800-10-06“Oct. 6th. In the evening, while I was alone
in my room, my soul was visited by a manifestation
of eternal truth, more affecting and more
awfully impressive than language can express. I
thank God for these occasions of confirmation to a
soul in itself so fearful, and at the same time so

1800-12-19Dec. 19th, she writes to a friend: “Will my
heart be relieved by telling thee that the day-
spring from on high hath visited me? The Sun of
righteousness arises on my soul with healing in
His wings. I trust I am not deceived. I believe
the Lord is reviving my soul, by giving me to feel
that I am nothing, and that, if I would have
purity, freedom, or happiness, I must deny myself,
refuse to comply with the suggestions of my E7v 86
own will, and learn of Him and through Him in
all things. Ah! how precious, how inexpressibly
precious is that love which makes the soul delight
in the object that attracts it! I shall, I believe,
through the infinite mercy of God, be taught to
know such love more perfectly: it will dwell
more deeply in my soul. I thank God for subduing
my mind in some degree, and teaching me
to feel my weakness. Oh! that, as a prisoner of
hope, I may turn to my strong hold! Everything
in me and about me cries aloud for a
Saviour, a Redeemer. My spirit was revived, and
I was filled with humble, grateful joy, when I
remembered that He who ‘had trodden the wine-
press alone’
would redeem His people from their

“I should not at present find liberty to take the
sacred name of God into my lips, (I believe on any
occasion,) unless I felt at the time reverence in my
heart toward Him. I could not speak of Jesus as
my Saviour, my Redeemer, unless I felt in my
spirit that He had redeemed me from the evils of
my own heart, with which I had been sensibly
1801-03-283rd mo. 28th, 1801. I am still persuaded, as
I have often said before, that outward instruments,
and the outward senses, are greatly used in the
work of salvation, and particularly in the earlier
parts of experience, especially with the young, the
unthinking, and the uninstructed. It appears to
me at present to be a subject worthy of most
serious enquiry, ‘How shall the outward senses be
made most conducive to the welfare of the soul?’

I feel my mind seriously affected when I remember
that a just answer to this enquiry necessarily E8r 87
includes that we ought not to do anything, nor
say anything, inconsistent with the truth.”

In the summer of this year my dear mother
removed to Sheffield. Here, also, she took part in
a day-school, which was conducted by one of her

Writing to a distant friend, in a letter dated 1801-055th
mo. 1801
, she remarks:

“In some of the most favoured seasons of my life,
when my spirit has been in some measure brought
into a feeling of its own nothingness, and blessed
with the baptizing influence of divine power and
love, I have felt particularly led toward the weak,
the ignorant, and those who are without the gates of
Zion. I have heard as it were a voice more powerful,
more awfully impressive than any which may
be sounded to the outward ear, directing me to live,
not seeking my own gratification, but as the servant
of mankind, and, more especially, of the poor.
When I have heard of Him ‘Who, meanly in Bethlehem born,Did stoop to redeem a lost race,’
I have thought that some would surely be favoured
as instruments of mercy, still more and more, in the
spirit of their Divine Master, to stoop as it were
to the very lowest and meanest, the weakest and
most ignorant of mankind.”

In the beginning of 18021802 the scarlet-fever was
prevalent in Sheffield, and was peculiarly fatal to
young children. The family of my precious mother
did not escape, and she was called to part
with her beloved infant.

E8v 88

Her writings after this bereavement will show
the depth of the wound, and the abundant mercy
that enabled her to bear it with a Christian’s feeling.

1802-02-14“2nd mo. 14th, 1802. I thank thee, my dear
friend, for thy attention to my outward concerns;
but much more I thank thee for the spirit of sincere
sympathy which thy letter breathes. Should
God ever suffer me to become the messenger of
consolation to a fellow-sufferer, as thou hast been
to me, I shall think my affliction has not been
wholly vain.
A few days before my child was called away,
the doctors gave it as their opinion that the fever
had quite left her, and that she would very soon
be well. She had had a violent attack of scarlet-
fever of a malignant character; but this complaint
seemed nearly to have spent itself, yet was succeeded,
and indeed some thought it had been
accompanied, by water on the brain. Not withstanding
the opinion of the doctors, I could not
but apprehend, both from what passed in my own
mind, and from the very distressing look of my
beloved child, that she would soon be called away.
There was a season (though the previous conflict
was great) in which I was carried above present
things, and was favoured with power to resign myself
and my precious infant to the disposal of the
Divine will; and I felt from whom this power was
given. Yet, at other seasons, my sufferings, and a
feeling of the sufferings of my precious child, were
almost more than I could well bear; and I could
not but pray that, if it were possible, this cup
might pass from me.
I was holding her when death came over her E9r 89
countenance; and when I saw she had departed,
something in my mind seemed to say to her, ‘It is
well for thee,’
for I felt as though I held a prison
from which the precious spirit had but just escaped.
Although, I have, through Divine favour, been
generally enabled from that time to hold fast my
hope in God, which is as an anchor sustaining my
soul in the midst of a ‘sea of distress,’ yet there
have been hours of heavy gloom, in which it
seemed as though something was at work to rob
me, even of this my only source of consolation,
and which I think ever since I have known it, I
have always felt to be the dearest to my heart.
Gross as the suggestions may appear, I have been
tempted to doubt concerning the providence, and
even the existence of the great First Cause; and at
another season, when thinking on my child, to
doubt concerning the existence of her spirit. But
the Lord soon brought me through these dreadful
mists; for, though at the moment the temptation
felt piercing as a sword, yet He has in much goodness
made even this salutary.
I have often acknowledged that it is of Divine
favour, and not through any merit of my own, that
I have received any blessing; and the consciousness
of this has, I believe, contributed to prevent me
from complaining under this bereavement, although
the trial to nature has been exceedingly
1802-04-294th mo. 29th. In feeling the separation from
my beloved child, it seemed as though my earthly
prosperity was blighted, and my spirit felt for a
season weighed down with a heaviness of heart
which, though I saw it desirable to pray, kept me E9v90
back from the power. Afterwards, this prayer was
breathed in my heart: ‘O, that whatever is of myself
may be destroyed; and let my dispositions,
my pursuits, and even my sorrows, be cast behind,
and let God live in me!’
1802-05-185th mo. 18th. I shut out of my room ‘the
bright moon,’
which my dear Mary would with
pleasure call on her mother to come and see. Its
calm and silent beams do now remind me of those
melancholy nights when my dear child was beginning
to suffer under her last illness.
1802-05-2323rd. It appears as though it would have
been a thing in which I should have delighted to
have had my child still on earth with me, to have
beheld her growing spirit; and, as she increased in
days, to have beheld her heart expanding in affectionate
disposition; but it was the will of the
Father that it should not be so. Since our dearest
comforts are so closely allied to the keenest sorrows,
ought we not to enjoy the present life as
passing through it, and not as dwelling in it? It
may be needful for me to feel this more sensibly
than I should have done had my precious child
been still with me.”

In the beginning of the year 18031803 the subject of
this Memoir was received into membership with
the religious society of Friends; and about the
year 18051805, or 18061806, began a day and boarding-
school in Sheffield, in which she was occupied till
the year 18211821. Many engagements appear to have
obstructed her diary, as we find a blank till 18091809.

“Matlock, 1809-07-067th mo. 6th, 1809. Oh, might I
feel in every place that the Spirit subdues and
organizes my mind,—that I am preferring Thee E10r 91
before and above all things, and never, by my
conduct, denying Thee: for if I can serve Thee
but feebly, oh yet enable me to serve Thee truly!
And, gracious Father, strengthen, enlighten, and
lead me, that I may act in Thy will, and promote
Thy precious cause on earth. Make me willing
to endure any deprivation, or to make any sacrifice
to Thy divine pleasure. Let me not seek
myself, but Thee; and in the hour of conflict,
O Thou source of all goodness, direct my soul to
Thee, and nothing will be too hard for me. Teach
me to feel Thy light and life, and to move in that
alone, for I have cause to distrust myself!
In the evening of 1809-10-2210th mo. 22nd, 1809, I had
some relief and comfort in my own family, and
believed that it was required of me rather to seek
the happiness, and much more the improvement
of others than my own present gratification.
1809-11-0911th mo. 9th. Our monthly-meeting was held
in this place. The meeting for worship was a
solemn, precious season. Under a feeling of the
prevalence of Divine power that language was
opened on my mind, ‘In the day of His Power His
people shall be willing;’
surely that power which
can subject even the strongest will can ‘subdue all
things unto itself.’
1809-12-1012th mo. 10th. I have sought the pleasures of
friendship too much, and in so doing have sometimes
found disappointment, vacancy, and lassitude
of mind. I want to acquire the habit of patient,
persevering attention to business and duty.
1810-01-011st mo. 1st, 1810. I am happy. My hope is
in Him from whom every good and perfect gift
proceeds, and with whom is no variableness, nor
shadow of turning.
E10v 92 1810-01-088th. I feel the supplication, which I once
believed it right to express in public, that the Lord
would maintain His own cause. And, oh, that it
might be effectually, availingly pleaded in my too
variable heart! The thoughts and desires of my
heart are known unto Thee, O Thou ‘preserver of
and only Thy own works can praise Thee!
1810-02-012nd mo. 1st. This morning, when I awoke,
this language was brought to my mind, ‘Come
and let us walk in the light of the Lord.’
And to
be brought to obey this call, felt to me an object
most desirable. But, oh! the anxiety of my nature,
the proneness to excessive solicitude, and the impatience
of suspense. Yet to thee, O Father of
mercies, is my heart often powerfully attracted;
and, oh, that the tremulous sacrifice, which at times
seems ready to be fully resigned, might be bound,
even as with cords, to the horns of the altar!
1810-09-059th mo. 5th. It has appeared to me a most
desirable thing that there should be seasons appointed
in our Society for the children to assemble
in the meeting-house for the purpose of religious
instruction; not to supersede family or parental
instruction, but to second it. I fear, in many
cases, instruction at home is greatly neglected. I
think it would be profitable if children had certain
portions, as selections from Scripture, or from
Friends’ Epistles, to commit to memory, and repeat
in these meetings. Their having to do this
at home, might even lead to a greater extension of
care, and an increase of solicitude, in their parents,
on these interesting subjects. I am quite persuaded
and satisfied that it is the design of the
great Shepherd of Israel that these lambs of the
flock should be tenderly watched over and instructed, E11r 93
that the good seed in them should be
cherished and cultivated, and that we ought to
regard the cultivation of the soil on which it is to
grow, as one of the first of our duties—the most
interesting of our cares.
1810-04-034th mo. 3rd. I feel a desire in my heart for our
dear young people, and for myself, that we may
not be delaying the dedication of the whole herat
until there be only exhausted powers to offer. Oh,
may the sacrifice be made in the full strength of
the day! for He is worthy who hath called us to
glory and to virtue.
1810-09-109th mo. 10th. Read the heart-affecting account
in INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matthew, ix. 35—38. Oh, that the spirit of
Him who was moved with compassion toward the
multitude, who were as sheep having no shepherd,
may deeply possess my heart; for truly the harvest
is great, and the labourers—the feeling, faithful
labourers, but few. Oh, these present things,
how do they absorb! not by their importance, but
by their forcing themselves, as it were, on our immediate
1810-10-0410th mo. 4th. Has there been in me a disposition
to form heavens of my own, and dwellings
of my own, rather than to seek my all from
Thee? Heavenly Father, has not Thy Spirit
created in me a desire, and Thy love caused a
willingness that these heavens, and these forbidden
dwellings may be shaken?
I have feared that some friendships which I
have been disposed to form, and sanguinely to
indulge in, would too much bias, too much absorb
my mind, and lead my judgment and affections;
and draw aside from that unreserved devotedness
to Thee, which, in my most favoured and happiest E11v 94
moments, my spirit longs for. And, oh, if there
be any separation to be made which may be comparable
to that of a right hand, or a right eye,
enable me, by Thy divine power, willingly to
endure it, and even to rejoice in whatever shall
tend to turn away my hopes and my desires from
all but Thee.
1812-066th mo. 1812. That principle which causes us
to desire to recover and restore our erring fellow-
creatures, rather than to seek their destruction, is
assuredly the principle to which Christianity tends,
and to which it will ever lead, where its benign
influence is suffered to prevail.
Is it possible that in the 1801 < x < 1900nineteenth century,—
a time when, to every species of known distress, the
hearts of mankind are open to feel, and prompt to
relieve,—is it possible that men should refuse to
hear, or hear unheeded, those cries of accumulated
misery which will now and then reach them from
the abodes of insanity; dwellings which, in some
instances, have been too correctly described as
tombs of the living?
1812-09-199th mo. 19th. It appears to me to be one
of my first duties to endeavour to make home a
scene of interest and happiness. This, indeed,
will be best done by all having their attention well
directed; all feeling that love to God and man
from whence all virtues flow, and in that love-
seeking to avoid all cause of offence, and fulfilling,
as means may offer, the duties of the day.
Save me, O Lord, from apostacy from Thee!
O thou source of my hope! for truly Thy goodness,
in visiting and revisiting, has been unbounded!
1813-01-221st mo. 22nd, 1813. During this week my desire E12r 95
has been to keep a reverent fear of offending,
and bringing upon myself the bereavement of good.
1813-04-234th mo. 23rd. I remember the prayer of our
great Redeemer for his disciples when He was
about to leave them: ‘I pray not that Thou
wouldest take them out of the world, but that
Thou wouldest keep them from the evil!’
And, oh,
I feel myself the need of such a supplication! and
for some of my beloved friends, too. ‘What hast
thou to do’
(this is often in my remembrance,)
‘what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to
drink the waters of Sihor? or, what hast thou to
do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the
What has thou to do with the spirit and
maxims of this world, who hast been taught the
lessons of a better wisdom? Ah! forsake not thy
allegiance to the King of kings, in any act of thy
conduct, in any principle of thy heart! Be ever
alive to the feeling, that He is the fountain of
living waters, and that, inasmuch as we depart,
or go aside from Him, we are only making to
ourselves ‘cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold
no water.’
Oh, then, that the desire of our hearts
may be ever awake to the remembrance of Him!
Guard our hearts, O Thou who art our preserver
and Redeemer! Guard us from the temptations
that encompass us on every side! Prepare us by
an entire subjection and acquiescence to Thy will
for the fulfilment of all Thy designs concerning
us. Thy ways are not our ways, nor Thy thoughts
our thoughts. O! let us not be bounded by ourselves;
but our hearts and affections enlarged by
an unreserved dedication to Thee, that so we may
be favoured to feel that the Lord God Omnipotent
E12v 96 1813-077th mo. (5th day of the week.) Our dear
friend D. W— stood up to-day in meeting, with
an allusion to this affecting appeal, ‘Were there
not ten cleansed; but where are the nine? There
are not found that returned to give glory to God
save this stranger!’
Oh, that the enquiry may be
brought home, ‘Who among us that have been the
favoured subjects of renovating power, have not yet
returned to give glory to God, not resigned themselves
still to His purifying influence; but gone
aside to the waters of Egypt, the rivers of Assyria,
instead of still repairing to Him who is the Fountain
of life.’
1813-08-158th mo. 15th. ‘Set thine house in order!’ I
believe it will be well for me, as soon as may be,
to put my outward affairs in such a train that I
may both know readily how I stand to all debtors
and creditors, and that others might know also
without difficulty, if I were suddenly removed;
yet not that I have any apprehension of this being
Whether it be permitted to us to enjoy, or
whether it be ours to suffer a deprivation of that
grateful feeling in meeting, in which our soul
delights, yet if our growth in the truth be promoted,
all will be well: only may the bias of our
hearts, in and under all, be to the ‘Father which
is in heaven.’
To-day we have had two silent-meetings. In
the last my mind was impressed, during a part
of the time, with the remembrance of the pious
and devout state of mind often evinced by the
Psalmist, and of the interesting and important
supplication uttered in these few words, ‘Teach
me Thy statutes!’
F1r 97 Our Redeemer, infinitely powerful, can make
all things work together for good to those whose
love and fear is to Him to whom all hearts are
open, and all desires are known. O, that the
thoughts of our hearts might be so cleansed by the
inspiration of His pure and infinite Spirit, that
we might be taught ‘perfectly to love Him, and
worthily to magnify His holy name!’
1813-08-318th mo. 31st, 1813. It is not mere outward profession,
it is not a mere coincidence in the theories
of reason, that can truly unite us to one another,
or enable us to be instrumental in leading to
happiness, which is alone to be found in Thee.
Our true union with one another must be a union
in that divine life that proceeds from Thee, and in
attracting us to thyself, as the source and centre of
all goodness, we are drawn nearer and nearer to
each other in living, precious union! But, while
I write, and name the feeling which now is dwelling
with me, my spirit fears its own weaknesses,
by which it has too often been betrayed. Oh, that
from day to day I might still have the power feelingly
to say, in the remembrance of Thee, ‘My heart is
I wish I could retrace the feelings that were
brought over my mind at the York Midsummer
Quarterly-meeting; but my hope is that their effect,
felt in that meeting, will never be lost. My heart
was then called to an entire dedication to Thee,
even beyond what I had before conceived, or
understood. And, oh, the integrity, the uprightness,
the singleness of heart which Thou requirest,
and justly claimest from us; we must not, even in
thought, say,—Thus far will I follow Thee, and no
further. Our obedience, our devotedness, must F F1v 98
be entire and unreserved, and our allegiance ever
true to Thee. In meeting, such was the ascendency
of Divine power that all things appeared
1813-09-069th mo. 6th. At our last Monthly-meeting, such
was the pressure on my mind of the necessity of
the offering of an undivided heart, that I apprehended
it required of me openly to testify the
feeling; and the cause was afterwards pleaded by
a highly favoured instrument and advocate, whose
testimony opened with the expression I had last
uttered, ‘an undivided heart.’
1813-09-2525th. For most of the last five years my
natural strength has been less than before, from
the effect of long indisposition in the winter of
1808–18091808-9. In looking back, I believe there is cause
thankfully to acknowledge that the hand of Divine
goodness has been extended, in causing the frequent
feelings of weakness and inability for much
exertion to be a means of calling my attention to
things of a more essential and sustaining nature.
During the last spring and summer my health has
much improved. Oh, let me not forget the hand
that has supported in days and years that are past,
when every other help failed! Let me not forget
that I have partaken of soul-sustaining enjoyment,
when no earthly object, nor any advantage of an
outward nature appeared to have any share in
causing such enjoyment! Teach me, O Father
of mercies, to feel, to think, and act in Thy heavenly
will, and to leave all the rest to Thee!
1813-12-2612th mo. 26th. Fifteen years have now passed
since I was left in a state of widowhood, and
nearly twelve since I lost my beloved infant.
There has been much to combat since that time, F2r99
from within and from without; yet a hand of
mercy and goodness has led thus far through all,
and fixed my faith and hope in increasing stability.
I look back, not without grateful feeling,
in remembrance of that power and goodness by
which my spirit has been upheld in the dark and
gloomy days of deep disappointment and heavy
suffering, when every earthly prospect seemed to
fail. What my future lot may be is wholly unknown,
unseen. Oh, that my only object may
ever be to choose that path (as far as anything is
left me to choose) in which I may act most to the
glory of my Creator!
1813-12-2727th. In reading one of the Religous Tract
’s publications, No.20, a precious calm
overspread my spirit, and a confirmed acknowledgment
was excited that, however various in profession,
those who are truly religious are of one
spirit, being all taught of Him who ‘came to seek
and save that which was lost.’
And these, as they
give up their spirits to His redeeming power, will
ever be preserved in true humility, as well as in
true love, knowing the feeling that in Him, and
not in themselves, is the fountain of life.
I believe that true religion may lead its votaries
to unite the diligence in business of the most industrious
with the most disinterested benevolence.
1813-12-2828th. Two days of indisposition, in which I
was favoured to enjoy a peaceful retirement. Read
with much satisfaction and pleasure, some of the
Religous Tract Society’s books, and a few of
the Cheap Repository tracts: and selected about
twenty for lending-libraries. Concluded to send
some of the Scripture Selections to various schools.
It is a privilege I hope gratefully to enjoy to appropriateF2 F2v 100
every year some of the first-fruits of the
increase of my school to the dispersing of religious
books, especially to children and young persons.
It is delightful to read some of these publications,
which are so evidently written under that religious
feeling which we are convinced was given from
the one source of goodness. While reading, I
thought I felt a confirmed conviction that our
truest happiness, even here, depends not on outward
situation, any further than in being so placed
as we may best fulfil the will of our Father who is
in heaven; and my hope is that this is the first
object of my heart!
1814-01-231st mo. 23rd, 1814. And now as to the melody
of sweet sounds, or what is called music, I do
not feel that for myself I need them in meetings
for worship; but it may yet be that in some states,
and to some classes, even of truly sincere Christians,
they may be helpful, and therefore right to
be used. But in our intercourse with one another
we need them not; we can communicate and
sympathize, and indulge in the pleasurable enjoyments
of interesting and improving conversation,
and want no sounds but the natural and accustomed
tones of the human voice to convey our
sentiments and feelings, and to receive those of
the friends with whom we converse. And, ah!
does not my heart acknowledge that much of
the most interesting intercourse of friendship and
affection I have ever enjoyed has been in the
society of a class who renounce the pursuit of
musical acquirements, whether vocal or instrumental!
And, since we need not the practice in
our intercourse with one another, why consider it
as a necessary medium for communication with F3r 101
the Father of spirits, with Him who must be worshipped
in spirit and in truth? Again, though not
a necessary medium to us, yet if the state of a
large part of mankind be such as to make this outward
melody helpful to devotional feeling, and
therefore desirable, be it so;—let them continue
to use it, only not in the violation of truth, by
putting words into the mouths of a congregation
which are inconsistent with their experience; and
even where a supplication is expressed which might
suit the states of all, if feelingly uttered, let the
people be, in general terms, advised against expressing
it, unless their hearts go along with it.
1814-02-052 mo. 5th. Oh! my Father! thanks be to Thy
goodness, for the degree of peace enjoyed this day,
and for the degree of victory over some conflicting
emotions, which yesterday distressed me. I was
enabled to turn to thee with a sigh of supplication,
and thy goodness was extended to enable me
to conquer: yet let me not speak as having attained.
Keep me from evil,—keep me from any
disposition contrary to the meekness and gentleness
which is due, from one who professes to be a follower
of Christ. The prompt display of resentful
feeling hurries people sometimes as into a
vortex, and makes only work for repentance.
1814-02-1111th. I consider the attendance of meetings for
public worship a solemn duty, and a high, invaluable
privilege. My heart has often felt it to be so
when gathering together in the name of Christ, to
wait together for the prevalence of His power over
us. In the dominion of that power in us over
every opposing thing is our strength and victory;
and it is also a testimony we owe to the world
that we are the worshippers of the one true God, F3v 102
and depending upon Him for all our present and
eternal welfare.
1814-12-0512th mo. 5th. Are not Friends peculiarly called
upon to act as school-missionaries, since they
might do this in conformity with their best principles?
and might they not in each place or station
have meetings for religious worhsip?
1814-12-077th. Should I not return from the journey
on which I am setting out, let it be remembered as
my request, that those whom I have loved, or that
have affectionately regarded me, would feel that
the cause of religion and benevolence, in its genuine
fruits, is worthy to be pursued with the whole
heart, and let them unite in promoting a Missionary
School and Tract Society—at home and abroad
—including in its plans a regard to the wants of
the poor, and an endeavour to relieve them. But
I think my race is not yet run, nor my mind so
matured for heaven as I hope it will be before I
die. I love the religious, I believe, more than any
others in this world—those who are evidently and
devotedly religious; and, oh, that their number
might increase! for to love the Lord with all the
heart, and our neighbour as ourselves, according
to our Redeemer’s precept, this is the happiness of
the present life.”

[During her residence at Sheffield the attention
of Hannah Kilham was particularly directed to relieving
the wants of the poor and distressed, and
endeavouring to promote their moral and religious
welfare. We believe it was in this year 18151815,
that she took so active and conspicuous a part in
the formation and establishment of the Society for
Bettering the Condition of the Poor
in Sheffield,
which originated with her, and has proved a model F4r 103
for many similar institutions throughout the nation;
the objects of this society engaged a large
portion of her attention during the remainder of
her residence at Sheffield. Her benevolent labours
were not confined to this society, as we learn that
her attention was much devoted to the Girls’ Lancasterian
, and that she took an active and
valuable part in the Society for Visiting and Relieving
aged Females
. She also assisted greatly in the
establishment and management of the Sheffield
Bible Associations

The correspondend who furnished these particulars,

“Our truly respected friend Hannah Kilham,
with whom I was favoured to be intimately acquainted,
and often privileged to co-operate, (from
about 18021802 to 18181818 or 18191819,) for years had an influence
in the circle in which she moved, beyond
that of any other individual, among the great number
of excellent persons, who, during those years,
gave their services to benevolent institutions in
Sheffield. Hannah Kilham’s sterling good sense,
clear discernment, decided firmness of purpose, unusual
business-like habits and plans, untiring industry,
united with her winning, but unobtrusive
manners, all conspired to make her influence great,
and her services valuable.”

1815-01-02“1st mo. 2nd, 1815. Might there not be made a
beautiful and interesting selection from the reports
of Bible societies, school societies, and societies for
bettering the condition of the poor? And might
not a book of this kind be presented to each of
the higher classes of schools, recommending, at the
same time, subscriptions to be promoted among
young people for these institutions?”

F4v 104

1815-01-055th. At meeting, this query presented itself,
and dwelt on my mind, “Why should any complain
of the want of light, when they do not open
their eyes to behold the sun? Why should any
complain of not finding access to heaven, when
their minds are chiefly directed toward the earth?”

Acknowledge thy God in all thy ways, and thou shalt
know Him to be the guide and director of thy steps!

1815-03-103rd mo. 10th. I feel sometimes much support
in the remembrance of these words, read in a tract
early last year, “I received this drop of earthly
comfort from a source which still remains.”
whatever we may see beautiful or lovely in our companions,
through this scene of probation,—their
lovingness, their goodness—are only the streams
which issue from an exhaustless Fountain. Oh,
am I not bound to promote, with unwearying diligence,
an establishment for the extensive circulation
of tracts on religious and moral subjects,
when some of the liveliest and deepest impressions
I have ever received been conveyed, I believe,
through mediums such as these?

The following was evidently written on deeper
reflection on the idea expressed 1815-01-021st mo. 2nd, and
is inserted for the valuable hints it contains:—

“To enjoy we must communicate. In reading the animating reports of the British
and Foreign Bible Society
, and afterwards some
affecting appeals on behalf of infant sufferers, the
feelings of pleasure from the one source, and of
sympathy and solicitude from the other, have been
such as to excite an earnest desire for the wide
extension of such interest, and for the diffusion of
publications calculated to excite it. Can we read F5r 105
of the benign and beneficial influences evidently
produced on the minds both of the donors and
receivers through the medium of the British and
Foreign Bible Society
, without earnestly desiring
that Bible societies and associations might be
formed in every village of our country, in every
region of the world? And can we witness or hear
of the suffrings to which from various causes,
our fellow-creatures are subjected, and especially
of the sufferings of the most helpless part of
society, without anxiously desiring that extension
of interest which would tend to their alleviation?
There are numbers of persons whose united interest
might do much in counteracting, or removing
causes of distress, to whom subjects of this nature
are but seldom presented.
Might not much good be done by the free
and extensive dispersion of tracts, and other publications
interesting to humanity?
And in all the solicitude that may be felt for
the relief of those who are suffering under depression
and distress, let it ever be remembered
that the most important object—the most interesting
and efficient for present and future happiness
—is their religious welfare and improvement.
There are numbers of approved publications compressed
for the benefit of the poor and others,
which are calculated to impress the minds of
readers on the most interesting of all subjects, and
by affecting examples of piety as well as by the
affectionate counsels of the pious of various denominations,
tend to excite feelings and dispositions
correspondent with those which they express.
And since it is peculiarly desirable that the F5v 106
younger classes in society should be engaged in
the cause of humanity and piety, presents to the
teachers of schools, of books on such subjects,
might be made, with the recommendation that
they should be read at stated times by the teachers
or senior scholars, and the attention of the school
directed to what is read; and thus may the susceptibility,
to which this early season of life is so
favourable, be called into action by its appropriate
The powerful and animating appeals on the
great cause of religion which are contained in the
reports of the Bible Societies might be attended,
no doubt, with an enlightening and ennobling influence,
on the judgment and affections of our
children. Why should their attention, with respect
to the history of mankind, be confined so
much as it often is to the history of wars
and slaughter, to the rise and fall of empires in distant
periods? Let them be led to regard with
attention some of the most interesting facts of the
present day; let them learn what is doing, and
what remains yet undone
, on subjects in which the
happiness and well-being of mankind are eminently
1815-03-1313th. Attended to-day a highly interesting
meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society,—
the Auxiliary Society for Sheffield:—was much impressed
with many excellent things presented there,
and especially with a speech of our beloved townsman
James Montgomery, wherein he earnestly urged
that children should be incited, in their early days, to
associate themselves for the promotion of this great
and heavenly cause. And I believed that the time F6r 107
was nearly come when it would be well to attempt,
on a larger scale than has hitherto been done, to
interest both children and others in engagements
of this nature.
1815-09-189th mo. 18th. Independently of many anxious
feelings, I have not since Midsummer felt the
constant sunshine of a summer’s day; but have
been ready at times to say, ‘Where are those hours
of enjoyment and happiness I formerly experienced?’
Discouragement had taken hold of my
mind. I feared that many efforts made for the
good of others would prove fruitless, or nearly so;
and could not but dwell, from day to day, on the
dark side of things; even feeling at times almost
incapable of acting for myself, or filling the responsible
situation of the head in a family; yet
these feelings of depression were kept to myself,
and I endeavoured quietly to pursue my duty
without neglect; and was, perhaps, even more
willing than usual to go on with anything dry or
difficult, so that I might only escape dreary feelings,
or feelings of condemnation. After a time,
prospects brightened again, and on the 1815-09-1010th I
began to write some Family Maxims, which
presented themselves to my mind on rising in the
morning. Would it not be well to have some
such maxims printed, and hung up in the houses
of the poor?
1815-09-2727th. An interesting day at the Town-hall, in
the forenoon. In the afternoon, had the heart-
gratifying engagement of administering some relief
to the extreme wants of two individuals in great
necessity, and distressing degradation. Earnestly
do I wish that measures could be taken more
effectually to better the condition of the poor, and F6v108
to raise them from the abject situations which
many of them are in.
1815-10-0510th mo. 5th. Conversing with a friend this
evening on the uninstructed state of young women
employed in manufactories, as to the business of
domestic life, our attention was turned to the care
taken of them about Matlock, by their worthy
pastor, P. Gell, in Sunday-schools, &c.; and I
wished that some of us should make a tour of
observation in that direction, at a suitable time.
When alone, the thought occurred to me, that if
such tours of observation on the state of the
younger parts of society, and others, were often to
be made, instead of mere journeys of pleasure
without an object, how interesting they would
become, by witnessing an improved state of things,
and hearing of the probable causes which had led
to such improvement. Health and pleasure would
be more effectually obtained by the animating
nature of the object in pursuit, unless, indeed, in
some cases (which are possible) the interest excited
might stimulate the spirits beyond the natural
strength. And in such tours the remarks of
visitors might be minuted, and conveyed to a
central point for publication, in order to more
extensive usefulness.
1815-10-2424th. Oh, may it be the constant and anxious
bent of my mind to attain to a full experience of
the ‘one thing needful!’
1816-01-281 mo. 28. 1816. Temptations may be permitted
for our subjection and refinement. We
might in some circumstances be peculiarly liable
to forget ourselves, if we had no outward or inward
combats. Oh! that my mind may be rightly led
this day, and kept from every improper tendency.
F7r 109 1816-033rd mo. I have for the last ten months been
so circumstanced, by having an additional teacher,
that my time has been more at liberty, and
less engaged in my own concerns than before.
I have been prospered, and my school has been
fuller than in any previous year; and is not this
of the goodness of Him who can direct all things
as He sees fit, and can give prosperity in any circumstances,
if we seek, in the first place, to know
and to fulfil His will? I name this in fear, and in
a feeling of insufficiency of myself to direct my
steps aright, and in a consciousness of imperfection
cleaving to all my ways; but if I may but, by
the devotion of my time and strength, whether
mental or natural, be instrumental in promoting
the cause of truth and happiness in the world, I
do not fear the consequences of giving myself
up to it. Yet I believe it to be a duty for me
to have my eye so far over the concerns of my
family and school as to know that those engaged
are attending to their several employments, and
endeavouring to take care that things are well
done. I believe it will be a duty for me, especially
during the next few years, to devote the
strength of my days to the cause of the poor,
the school, and libraries of moral and religious
tracts for lending.
It is a great claim for gratitude in me that
the Lord has given me favour in the eyes of my
friends of various classes, so that they have been
remarkably willing to hear proposals which at
different times I have wished to make respecting
the poor, libraries, &c.; and this involves me in a
very serious responsibility that I may do right, and
desire nothing but what is right in these concerns.
F7v 110 I wish the tracts published by Friends had
more of narrative in them. I do hope in awhile
they will see it well to adapt them to a class of
readers who do not enter much into what is abstract.”

In the year 18031803 the mind of my dear mother
was deeply affected with the horrors of slavery, and
the cruelties practised upon the poor negroes; and,
in order that she might have no part in the guilt,
she abandoned in her dress and food, whatever
was of negro cultivation in the slave districts.
After some years of self-denial in these particulars,
her attention was gradually turned to means for
their relief and instruction. She read much on
the subject of slavery, education, and Christian
civilization, and her heart became more and more
desirous to be employed as an instrument for the
good of this oppressed and degraded people.

We have no further accounts than her private
journal supplies of the development of this feeling,
or of the steps which led her to embrace a
missionary life.

1816-04-20“4th mo. 20th. This morning, in thinking and
reading of the horrors of slavery, I cannot but
wish that a mission for schools, or for bettering
the condition of the poor, or both together, might
be sent to the still suffering slaves of the West
India Islands
, supported by the contributions of a
general fund, from which also might be relieved
the distresses of the poor negroes. Who that had
health and strength, and felt for this cruelly abused
class would not be willing to embark their lives in
such a cause? The school mission might extend F8r111
its influence to other classes in the islands who are
not poor. Possibly the time may not be fully
come for such a measure; yet let not any proneness
to delay lead me to the supposition that such
a measure is further distant than it really is. This
prospect which has opened before me is beautiful
and interesting, though surrounded with some
clouds that give an awfulness to the view. I have
been ready to say, I will offer myself to this service;
and what if even my life were the sacrifice?
Death must come at some time, and life would
be here resigned in a worthy cause; but we are
not our own. May I be led clearly to see what is
and what is not required of me, and to pursue it,
whatever it be! He who has all in His divine
power can preserve in all circumstances, and restore
at His pleasure. And what I consider as of chief
moment, is to know in what way the devotion of
my time, and my attention to the welfare of others
—to the promotion of their best interests—may
best effect the intended purpose. If this be really
my heart’s desire, what daily vigilance is required!
what serious application to duty!
1816-06-156th mo. 15th. Teachers should be to their
children examples of kindness, patience, and attention,
and should not imperiously require what the
children have not had sufficient opportunity of
learning; but should call with firm decision for
their attention, whilst they explain what is to be
learned. Children may drag on a long time to
little purpose, not knowing what they are about,
if the teacher does not enter into sympathy with
their want of knowledge, and try to assist them in
acquiring it.
1816-08-208th mo. 20th. I have still to guard against F8v112
hasty anger; and in the last few weeks have often
felt the necessity of this; yet to-day have been off
my guard, in looking over the writing which some
of the children were doing: and, though hasty
anger is wrong and prejudicial, and unfits the
mind for its best duties, there is yet an opposite
extreme, into which I desire not to come—that of
listless, indolent carelessness, as to whether those
about me do their best, in their several departments
or not. But the matter is, to try to remedy
what is defective by proper means; for to attempt
a cure by becoming ourselves disordered is like
making the rent of an old garment worse, instead
of mending it. ‘Oh! for a closer walk with God,A calm and heav’nly frame!’
In this, authority is gained with more decision
and clearness than in any other disposition.
My family is large, and, whatever concern I
have for the poor, the daily care of home must
have its place. May I seek a right disposal of
time, and, what is still more important, a watchfulness
as to the disposition of the mind.
1816-09-079th mo. 7th. The times look very serious,
and the state of the poor is such as to call for
much time. It is unknown how much business
may be gone through if the mind only be collected,
and one thing attended to at a time; and
closely and diligently attended to, in subjection to
the feeling of duty, and a desire to conform in all
things to our heavenly Father’s will. The cry of
drunkenness and of want is grievously heard in
this town. Oh! that people could be more fully
aroused to a sense of their true interests.
F9r 113 Oh! for diligence in business, fervour in spirit,
serving the Lord, feeling the subserviency to Him.
Should any unforeseen cause check the stream of
life and health, let me leave it as my last legacy, that
my friends everywhere should care for the poor,
and seek to do them good in every possible way;
and not them only, but the rich and the middle
ranks, who call for our care and thought, and feeling.
1817-03-093rd mo. 9th, 1817. Time flies. Reading this
morning some of the religiuos lessons for Sunday
schools, my heart united with those who write
such lessons, in the disposition in which they are
evidently written—a disposition that earnestly
strives ‘to seek and to save that which is lost.’
1817-03-1717th. On looking back, I feel convinced, as I
have often done before, that had I no ground for
final salvation and acceptance, but the correctness
of my own doings, I should despair.
1817-03-2121st. Yesterday, accompanied by a friend, I
visited a number of very poor families, some in the
extreme of poverty. We looked with pity on their
various situations, almost destitute, as some of
them appeared, of any consolation, either from
within or from without. Alas! there is too much
of that ‘squalid poverty’ in which the main support
of life is a source of continual and almost fretful
anxiety, from day to-day. We were in one habitation
which I scarcely ever saw exceeded for the
appearance of poverty, and almost divestment of
all that can be called comfort. In the inmates of
these poor dwellings there is evident such an
alienation of mind from the only source of true
consolation, that we could not but deeply pity
their situation, and earnestly wish that their hearts F9v 114
might be turned to seek for hope and consolation
in Him who was called the ‘Friend of sinners’.
Oh! that we might, by affectionate conversations
with them, and by lending them books in which are
examples of piety, and the counsels of the pious, be
happily instrumental in leading them to a state, in
which the prospect of a happy futurity, and the consciousness
of heavenly favour, could make even the
wilderness to bloom and become beautiful, and the
lowliest habitations to be cheered and enlivened by
the beams of an unfading sun. Oh! how are those
who have been favoured to see and to feel where their
best interest lies, called upon to direct the attention
of others to the pursuit of the same blessings.
It is in the influence of religious feeling only, that
a balm can be found for the sorrows of the present
world, and a corrector of all its disorders. It is
this which can introduce happiness into every department
of life, and even bring order and harmony
into dwellings, which have been the scene of discord
and confusion, and can teach the heart to rejoice
in God, even when the trees, which have borne
fruit to us, shall forbear to blossom, and a bereavement
of the nearest and dearest of our natural enjoyments
is to be endured. Oh! then, that the
hearts of people might be more and more weaned
from the dependence on an unstable world, and directed
to that which is enduring and eternal.
Expressions of truly devotional feeling, committed
to writing, would I think be good subjects
for the meditation of our children; though we would
not recommend the adoption of them, as expressions
of devotion, unfelt. Let them always know
that the heart must pray; the lips alone cannot,
whatever words are used. When I was a very little F10r 115
girl, I was pleased with finding a book of my dear
mother’s, called the Duties of the Closet; but do not
recollect any expressions it contained, except that
in the exercises for the evening preceding the
Sabbath; I do not know whether they were called
prayers or meditations, but in them were these
words, which I sometimes uttered, and my heart
felt gratefully conscious of the goodness of that infinite,
yet mysterious Power, to whom they were
addressed: ‘O! Thou overflowing Fountain of
endless love.’
The renewal of this remembrance
this morning feels sweet and precious. Ah! what
interest is there in the whole world, and all that it
can give, in comparison with that which is connected
with the acknowledgment of Him, whose
power created the heavens and the earth, the seas,
and the fountains of water, who teaches us the lessons
of His love, in the silence of retirement, with
a power and a sweetness no language can express.
Oh! that, when thus favoured, watchfulness may
be maintained, and the mind preserved in a state,
to worship Him in the beauty of holiness.
1817-08-058th mo. 5th. I could not easily trace all the
interesting views which have presented themselves
during the last few weeks. One is a delightful
hope, originating in my mind at the general school
meeting at Ackworth, that that school may become
more eminently useful, and the religious instruction
now given there, (I trust from true Christian
sympathy,) may be crowned with the blessing
of Him who is the beginner and finisher of all
that is good. A great reduction in my own feelings
while at Ackworth, seemed to prepare the way
for listening, with renewed delight, on the following
day, to good tidings of great joy, given to all
people, in the mission of the Redeemer, which was F10v 116
feelingly proclaimed at the meeting of the Bible
. At that meeting was an African missionary;
and then, and before, but especially after,
my hopes were kindled into expectation, that school
missions and religious missions from among Friends,
and partly in conjunction with what they can
unite with in others, would, some time hence, be
freely encouraged and promoted; but, let us begin
well at home, and not press things beyond the
right time:—good will increase. Ah! may we be
true to our proper business. Let religious instruction
be given in schools and families at home, and
from true Christian duty. Let this be our first
social duty, in conjunction with the general care of
our dear families; for dear they will be, if our
hearts are right with our Father which is in heaven.
Secondly, let us provide for the necessities, temporal
and spiritual, as well as we may be enabled
to do, of those about home,—by promoting schools,
Bible societies, tract libraries, and bettering societies.
Then, in the third place, let our love and
our care be shown to those of every land, to whom
we may be favoured with the power of doing good.
1817-08-2424th. I sought society this evening, but not
attaining it, took up to read some missionary
papers, which have lately been presented to me;
and, before the first was finished, essayed the following
query for insertion in the Iris.

‘To the Friends of Missions. What would be the most easy and efficient
method of arranging and reducing to letters an unwritten
language? Any considerations which can
throw light on this interesting point, would essentially
A Correspondent.’
F11r 117 Prospects wide and interesting open before my
view; and I fully believe that the day will come
when Friends will more largely engage in missionary
work than they have ever yet done, and
without violating any of their principles.
At our monthly meeting lately, both in and
out of meeting, when some arduous concerns were
before me, which I believed to be duties, a precious
feeling of consolation was conveyed, as my mind
was directed to Him who is the source of all that
is good, and could guide and support through all,
this language emphatically and affectingly came
to my mind, ‘Is He not Almighty?’
1817-09-209th mo. 20th. If I have an evidence of duty in
any one point, I believe it is given in imparting
religious instruction to children; and this not only
from my own Scripture selections, but from other
books. I shall never, I think, forget the first attempt,
made in the year 18131813, to convey instruction
in this way to the children of my own family.
The tenderness which overspread their spirits, and
the consciousness that filled my own, of the continuance
of that heavenly regard which once induced
the injuction, ‘Suffer little children to come to
were very striking and memorable.
1817-09-2323rd. Yesterday completed the outlines of a
little elementary grammar, very short and easy,
designed for the children of the most uninstructed
class, such as the subjects of misssionary care at
Sierra-Leone. How grateful I should be for such
a degree of leisure as I now enjoy, for pursuing interesting
concerns. All my family act towards
me with unremitting kindness and attention, which
is a great blessing, and tends to keep the mind in
quiet; for to be happy at home is indeed always to F11v 118
be desired, and wherever we may meet with courtesy,
how little would it avail, if we do not meet
with it in our own family.
1817-11-1811th mo. 18th. This morning and noon had
much feeling of sadness and depression, and was
ready to say, from whence shall I hope for deliverance?
In the afternoon two dear Friends appeared
in testimony in the meeting. The season
was awful and sweetly humiliating. Thy eternal
power, O infinite Governor of heaven and earth!
Thy eternal power can cause even the mountains
to flow down, and the hills that appeared to swell
to a height insurmountable to pass away, as with
the steps of the tender lamb. Oh! may our eye
and our heart be turned to Thee, and all that is
within us, bow before Thee!”
F12r 119

Chapter V.

Her prospects of visiting Africa—Proposes the subject
to her Friends in London—Undertakes the
Education of two African Natives in London,
principally with a view of acquiring from them a
knowledge of the Jaloof Language.

1817-11-20“11th mo. 20th. 1817. An apprehension has
seized upon my mind this morning, that after having
finished the little books I am preparing for the
children of Sierra-Leone, it will be my duty to attempt
the introduction of them myself into that
colony and the neighbourhood, and even to attempt
the reduction of unwritten languages. I would not
go merely under a profession of opening a school
or schools, but to proceed to the religious instruction
of the children; for my heart feels an engagement
towards them, that cannot probably be fulfilled
without going there.
In sitting with my dear Friends at Ackworth
the last evening I was there, though disposed to
enjoy conversation with two or three of them especially,
yet the sound of Sierra-Leone was so in
my ear that I was silent mostly; till, in the evening,
the conversation became more private, from
the company having generally separated. One
Friend, but young in years, sat down by me, and
made this impressive remark: ‘There are some precepts
of Christianity which have appeared to me,
at first view, as of very easy attainment, yet afterwards,
as difficult, and of very high attainment.
The disposition to say, After all we can do, we are F12v 120
unprofitable servants, we have done that which was
our duty to do;’
to be able to say this, felt to him
a very difficult and, at the same time, a very necessary
attainment. And so it is. Unless we have
this simplicity of mind—this willingness to acknowledge
that nothing is our own, and we are in
ourselves unprofitable—we cannot, I conceive, so
act in Divine will as to produce all the effect
which right feeling would produce.
I am ready to tremble at what I have written
with regard to a visit to Sierra-Leone, and to doubt
whether such an encounter with an element which
I fear, and in so distant and wild a scene, is required.
But wherefore should we expect to choose
our employment? I have been ready to say, were
it in Russia, or even Siberia, how much easier
would it appear than to Sierra-Leone? I remember
the shrinking feelings I had in looking at the
wide sea in the dusk of the evening at Scarborough,
and in remembering a dear Friend who had committed
himself to the waves, and was far from
land. But he is now returned, and a protecting
Providence was with him; and why, if duty only
appears plain, why should I recoil or draw back?
I will try to be still, and hope clearly to know what
is best, and not give way to any apprehension of
my own creating. Oh! may I not shrink from the
call of duty, whatever it may be, but resign my life
and my all to Him to whom all is due.
1817-11-2411th mo. 24th. I retain the following extract
of a letter written this month to a dear sister in
Christ, as a memorandum of the views I then entertained.
‘The great point is, that love and obedience
should prevail in those who have not yet
fulfilled the work of their day, and have a few G1r 121
more years, or it may be a shorter time, to remain
in this land of probation; this wilderness, in which
the bitters and the sweets are so mysteriously
blended, that if we were even allowed to choose
what should be our portion, as to the apparent enjoyments
of life, we should scarcely dare to do it.
Oh! then, that our hearts may be daily led into
the disposition which would, in true humility and
sincerity, utter that prayer, “Lead me, and I will
follow Thee.”
Ah! my friend, it is not in any
outward advantage that our happiness consists;
and therefore, so far from desiring to choose for
ourselves, I do not know that there is anything
more to be feared in the world, than the state
of some of the people of Israel, “He gave them
their desire, and sent leanness, withal, into their
Well, then, let us be willing to do anything,
or to resign anything, if only we may be
favoured to be fed with that “bread from heaven,”
of which those who eat, shall hunger no more.’
1817-11-2828th. A few days ago I took a number of the
youngest children of the Lancasterian School into
the committee-room; and, in instructing them from
a very few short and impressive passages of the
Scriptures, we had a time of sweet intercourse and
conversation, such as I think I shall never forget;
and I long to have the same children with me
again, and to endeavour, with the blessing of Him
with whom alone is the power, to lead their infant
hearts to the acknowledgment of Him in whom
‘we live, and move, and have our being,’ and who
is ever merciful and good to all; and who wills
that all should be merciful and good to one another.
The difficulties about winds and waves which G G1v 122
I have felt, when thinking of Sierra-Leone, appeared
to-day so much less than they did, and my
desires to be instrumental in serving the Africans
so to increase, that I think I should esteem it a
great favour, if the way should open for me to
enter into such a concern. Many difficulties present
themselves, but I trust that, at the right season,
the way will be made plain.
1817-12-2012th mo. 20th. The time is come in which it
appears to me to be right to inform a few friends
of the prospect before me, of a duty to my younger
brethren and sisters of the African continent. I
wish to go to Sierra-Leone, as a school-missionary,
for the instruction of the children in that colony
and its neighbourhood. Besides instruction in the
week-days, I should wish to assemble the children
at least once on first-days, to read to them such religious
narratives and counsels as they may appear
likely to understand, and to express to them any
feeling that may present for communication, or any
remark on the subjects that have been read; and occasionally
to direct their attention to the silent remembrance
of that infinite Being by whose mercy
and goodness they were created.
Let me further say, I have no design to settle
very long as a missionary in Africa. How I may
go on such an errand I know not; but I would
rather dispose of all I possess, as to pecuniary matters,
than not engage in this work.
1818-03-093rd mo. 9th, 1818. Having laid this subject
before some dear friends, it is a great consolation
that, with the exception of one, all have expressed
their entire concurrence.
1818-03-1818th. The more we have to do, the more is
simplicity and quietness and watchfulness unto G2r123
prayer, necessary. And, ah! that this might be
my daily habit. However, I may appear in the
eyes of others, let me study to be quiet and to
mind my own business: affectionate to all, yet not
absorbed by any human being or human love. My
heavenly Father has crowned with abundant peace,
even the disposition that seeks for dedication; for,
as yet, what sacrifices have been made? But, oh!
I want to live in the spirit of sacrifice—the spirit
that denies itself to follow Christ. Let me watch
against my nearest besetments, and live in true
lowliness of mind. It does not appear to me needful
to renounce the pleasures of friendship; yet it
is needful
to guard against their undue bias on my
mind. Let my eye be taken off myself, and directed
to my Redeemer, the source of my consolation
and my hope. It is not by anything we are in
ourselves, that we can be instruments of good to
others, in the way most desirable; it is by that
watchful disposition that opens the heart to receive
from Jesus, and to be led by Him, that we shall
grow ourselves, and teach others in the right way.
1818-03-2323rd. Ah! my God, thou art Thyself all-sufficient
to form our happiness, and to impart it to us
also in the way that seems good to Thee. With
what peace has my mind been filled this morning,
in retiring from our family reading. Ah! give me
more and more of singleness of heart toward Thee.
I must not turn from the view of visiting the dear
little ones, and the people of Sierra-Leone, but
prepare to go, by endeavouring to pursue with
fidelity my previous duties here, and then resign
myself to go there for life or for death. I never
find peace in turning from it; and as far as I can
see at present, nothing can be substituted for this G2 G2v 124
one act of duty. Then, let me reason no more, nor
listen to the discouragements of others. Are we
not Thine, our heavenly Father, to direct where
Thou wilt? Above all the other hinderances to this
act of duty, let me beware of the insinuating reasonings
of such as can seldom see any real call to
exertion, for the spiritual good of distant countries.
Let kindness reign in my heart towards these; but
let me not be biased by their reasonings.
1818-1010th mo. Since our autumn quarterly meeting,
E. F. and J. J. G. have been engaged in visiting
the prisons in Sheffield, York, and Wakefield,
as well as in other places. Being in company with
these dear friends at Sheffield, my heart was softened
and consoled, in the view of great good arising
from their being thus led to explore the receptacles
of sorrow out of sight. My secret desire and prayer
for them was, that the disposition might ever be
kept alive within them, in which they should be
enabled to make this solemn appeal to the Searcher
of hearts, ‘We did it unto Thee.’
Through Divine assistance, which has been eminently
near, I have, with fresh ardour and fidelity,
been led to devote myself to Him who is wonderful
in counsel, and infinite in His compassions to
the children of men, and has often in pity regarded
my low estate—forgiven my wanderings,
and will, I humbly trust, lead me yet more and
more evidently, to the ‘Rock that is higher than
and ‘establish my goings,’ and put a new song
into my mouth, even of praise and thanksgiving to
my God.
1818-10-1210th mo. 12th. How great is the sweetness
and beauty of pure Christianity in the heart,
where the love of God ever reigns, and the love of G3r 125
man as its natural and necessary fruit; that love
which never indulges a disposition to exalt itself
by making others a subject of ridicule, and laughing
at that for which it should rather mourn.
There are many kinds of Pharisaism in the world—
many who, trusting in their own comparative correctness,
despise others—there are Pharisees of
learning—of taste—of worldly polish—of worldly
wealth; how many in each of these classes, as well
as among the professors of religion, are too prone
to trust in themselves, and to despise others. Oh!
that a genuine humility might lead people to more
watchfulness against those false estimates of things
which lead to conclusions so erroneous and pernicious.
May the disposition abundantly increase.
In the professors of Christianity I trust the disposition
is increasing, which rejoices in each other’s
welfare, and yields to the precious influence of the
Spirit of Him, ‘who sent not His Son into the
world to condemn the world; but that the world,
through Him, might be saved.’
If His Spirit governs
in us, we shall speak of one another, not
with hardness or harshness, but in that love which
desires the redemption of all, and grieves on account
of evil, wherever and in whatever form it is
seen. Assuredly it must be a vitiated state of
mind—a disposition of the flesh, and not of the
Spirit, that is amused with things that are wrong
in themselves, or pleased in pointing out the errors
of others.
1819-01-091st mo. 9th, 18189. The subject of language,
and the acquisition of a new language, whether
previously written or not, has often been before my
mind of late; and I have become increasingly convinced,
that to begin with a very limited vocabulary, G3v 126
would be best in the first instance. How
has my heart been affected in hearing of the conversations
of the interesting Garnon with the children,
or rather her attempt to communicate what
they would willingly have replied to, but for the
affecting reason given, ‘Me no sabby understand
Could not a very small vocabulary be
formed, by which these children, though coming
from various places, might learn to convey their
leading thoughts, and feelings, and desires?
1819-01-2424th. Early this morning my mind was impressed
with a conviction, that great watchfulness
is necessary, that I may attain and abide in that
sense of the Divine presence and guidance, which
I believe is mercifully designed for me to walk in.
It is an awful thing to act on any occasion as a
public ambassador for Christ,—to call on my dear
friends to come to the light, and to see and feel
where they are.
1819-03-063rd mo. 6th. It is, indeed, delightful to see that
a disposition to regard the welfare of the poor is
so increasing in the world, that plans which would,
some years ago, have been renounced as visionary
and impracticable, on account of their extensiveness,
may now be received with lively interest, and
entered upon with the zeal which their importance
demands. I will not despair of my native town
being yet brought fully into the view of its benevolent
inhabitants, both male and female, and the
residents of every street and lane and court made
known to disinterested committees of both sexes;
and measures for their welfare and improvement
pursued with zealous perseverance.
Father of mercies! give us resignation to Thee
—to Thy Divine leadings—a watchfulness to find G4r 127
our refuge and dwelling-place in Thee. Then
shall we know the blessedness of sweetly pursuing
the path directed by Thee, and tending to promote
the real welfare of Thy creatures.
1819-03-1515th. How has Divine Providence favoured
me and my family, with such a supply of all that
is needful, as to be able to meet the charges of the
day both for ourselves and others! Ought I not
to go on without fear, just acting in simplicity
for the present best?—minding that there is enough
to discharge every debt as it becomes due, and then
freely devoting what is wanted for others, with
quite as much willingness as though it were for
myself or my own family. The earth is the Lord’s,
and all we possess should be considered as lent, in
order that we may be stewards of our heavenly
Father’s bounty.
1819-04-024th mo. 2d. What religious man cannot spare
an hour or two, and more than that occasionally,
for the sacred duty of attending devotional assemblies?
and what man, in easy circumstances, cannot
spare an hour or two any week, or every week,
for associating with his friends? Let an hour be
spared for visiting the poor, and the interest excited
will give energy in the pursuit of the engagements
of business. It is not time lost even to the pursuit
of business, which is spent in caring for the poor.
The poor must be cared for, if people would advance
the general prosperity. That healthful state of society,
in which the lower ranks can provide the
means of decent and comfortable support to their
families, must afford the most general stimulus to
trade at large. Where the most numerous class of
the people are too low to consume articles of common
manufacture, trade must stagnate. The first G4v 128
step towards bettering the state of the poor, is assuredly
to know what that state really is; and this,
by persons who have judgment and feeling to improve
their condition, and have the power to be instruments
to its improvement. This state of the
poor will be best known by seeing them in their
own houses, and hearing from themselves the
affecting detail of their sufferings and privations.
Temporary pressure may be met by temporary
aid; but permanent prosperity must be promoted
by the encouragement of every good habit and disposition,
and by raising the poor from a state of
abject depression, so that each, in their common
way of living, may claim a share of the industry of
others, and their own industry be brought into action.
1819-05-195th mo. 19th. I must rise earlier. I am now
in good health, so that early rising might be seasonable
and every way salutary. It is at present,
however, I believe, a duty, and must be attended

In 18191819 it was my precious mother who first
proposed my leaving England, and this she was
led to do from an expression of countenance she
observed in me, when a friend mentioned a person
being wanted in Russia for girls’ schools on the
system of mutual instruction. She made every arrangement
for this step with the utmost cheerfulness
and alacrity, talked with interest of the new
field of occupation, &c.; and I could not imagine
the separation would be very painful to her; not
from any previous marks of want of affection, because
of her love I had had continued, and strong
proofs; only I thought her expansive benevolence
had so far conquered her natural feelings as to G5r 129
render her able to make any sacrifice which she
deemed likely to promote the public good. When,
however, the parting hour drew near, the struggle
was so difficult, and her sufferings so acute, that I
have often wondered how I could tear myself
from her, and why I did not abandon the enterprise.
After these emotions had subsided, she accompanied
me to the vessel, and finally separated
from me with the meek and peaceful submission of
one who counted her Lord’s will more to be desired
than all earthly comforts.

1819-08-19“8th mo. 19th. Two days ago a letter was received,
giving the information, that Johnson from
Sierra-Leone would, with his wife, return to Africa
in about two months. The subject of leaving this
country for that coast is thus brought very near
home, and has introduced my mind into close inquiry,
as to my engagement there. The subject
was presented to two honourable friends whose
judgment I value, and a proposal made by them,
that such of the ministers and elders as should attend
Monthly Meeting this week, should have the
subject presented to them for their united judgment
and feeling. This is satisfactory to my own
mind, and now my heart’s desire is, that heavenly
wisdom may guide them, and that I may be saved
from either taking an unauthorized step, or any
premature one; and saved also from withholding
any sacrifice required at my hands. I think I
truly desire to know and to do in this thing the
will of my heavenly Father. Only let my beloved
friends and myself see clearly what is right, and it
shall be well. I cannot recede, because of any
change of feeling, as to the sense of duty, for my
heart still turns to Sierra-Leone. If the matter be G5 G5v 130
thought premature, I expect still, on a future day,
to go there. But Thou, O Father of the whole human
family! Thou canst prepare my way, and
make darkness light before me, and rough places
plain. What feels most painful is the want of a
companion like-minded, as to religious concerns,
with myself, and of the same society. This may
not be necessary, yet, on some considerations, it
seems very desirable; but I am willing to go alone
in this respect, if my friends are willing to unite
with my view of going to these poorest, lowest,
weakest, most neglected, and most oppressed of all
the human race—to be employed in leading them
to ascend the first steps, as to outward knowledge,
and to point them to the Lamb of God, that taketh
away the sin of the world, and the misery of the
I am sensible, that in many minds, even where
the desire for the attainment of the truth is often
earnest, this entire renovation of the will, the understanding,
and the affections is far from being so
easy of attainment, as it may at times be conceived
to be.
1819-09-179th mo. 17th. I have been reading this morning
the distressing accounts of sufferings from the
Scilly islands, and longed for the time when the
feeling of brotherhood shall so bind people of various
countries together, that when they suffer greatly
in one place, help should immediately be extended.
Oh! that truth and sincerity might more fully
prevail in the world. May we be careful to promote
it everywhere. And, O that the Society
which has been called out from outward forms,
may be enabled to support the testimony given G6r 131
them to bear in the life. To forbear to use a language
unfelt, is not everything.
My present situation is such as to demand the
deepest gratitude, and yet is felt, at the same time,
to be awful, affecting, and trying. It is a cause for
gratitude that I am suffered to be so far a steward
for the heavenly Master, as to send out to various
places messengers of good, in little selections from
the Holy Scriptures; also other tracts of various
kinds, either alone or in concurrence with others.
It is a great favour to be permitted, in conjunction
with other agents, to aid the poor by means of the
Bettering Society in this town: good appears to
flow through that institution into various channels.
And it is a great favour to see that concern for the
poor, and for the general good of society is gaining
ground. These and many other causes claim my
gratitude to the Father of mercies, and Fountain
of all goodness. It is a great favour that my friends
have so far sympathized with my prospect of visiting
Africa, as to leave me at liberty to go there,
and affectionately to feel for me. And now, though
some anxious thoughts have attended this prospect,
I trust, arduous as the engagement may be, that
apprehending the cloud and the pillar of fire to
move that way before me, there will be strength
given to follow the leading, in simplicity and sincere
1819-10-1910th mo. 19th. It was my intention to accompany
some missionary friends, going to Sierra-
this autumn; but the time of their sailing
was unexpectedly so long delayed, that I felt the
time would be too short for me to accomplish
what I wished before the ensuing rains; and that
season I believe it is not right for me to encounter G6v 132
if it can be avoided. Feelings of anxious solicitude
have been present with me, while seeking to attain
to a full and clear decision. My fervent hope is,
that He who, in infinite wisdom and goodness
‘controls all, yet forces none,’ will overrule these
apparently embarrassing circumstances for good.
Strongly as the attraction to Africa has been felt,
and yet will be, it may for the present give way to
claims about home, which indeed are powerful. I
earnestly desired that I might be found in the appointment
of Providence, wherever that might be,
and not have the unhappiness to ‘choose my own
At present it feels to be my duty to be still,
without looking much to the future, as to this
matter. A more favourable season may present;
and if so, I trust it will be seen at the time; but
life is wholly uncertain, we know not what shall be
on the morrow.
Before the close of the year, I went up to
London to converse with some missionaries leaving
for Sierra-Leone, on the reduction of unwritten
languages, particularly African. Whilst I was
there, it was proposed that an experiment on this
subject should be made in England on individual
Africans who might be in our country. This proposal
did not at the time take much hold on my
mind, it appeared so improbable that we should
meet with persons suitable for teachers among the
poor Africans generally seen in our country. Soon
after, having heard of a vessel just arrived in the
Docks, in which were African sailors, some kind
friends accompanied me to the ship. From a few
we saw, we selected two who were willing, and apparently
intelligent, and, although not natives of the G7r 133
same district, spoke the same language. These
were taken under the protection and care of
Friends, and were placed at Tottenham, under the
oversight of a young man who was engaged to
teach them. I remained some time in the neighbourhood
of London, in order to proceed in my
purpose of reducing the Jaloof language, which
was spoken by both the young men, although one
was a native of the Mandingo country.”

Till the Yearly Meeting of 18201820, my dear
mother remained in London, steadily pursuing the
reduction of the Jaloof and Mandingo languages,
and during that period we find no remarks in her
journal, so closely was she occupied in her delightful
and valuable work. The next of her private
observations is dated Sheffield, 1820-10-2310th mo. 23rd,

“The sun rising beautifully at this moment
above the neighbouring hills, and still shining in
its wonted order, reminds me of that Mighty Hand
unseen, which controls all things, and which we
shall eventually have to acknowledge, ‘hath done
all things well.’
This acknowledgment was willingly
made, when the Redeemer openly and visibly
gave forth His power, in causing the blind to
see, and the lame to walk; but when, for a season
these miraculous demonstrations of His power appeared
to be withheld, and the hour and power of
darkness to prevail, the trembling disciples communing
with each other in the sadness of their
hearts, said mournfully, ‘We trusted it had been He
who should have redeemed Israel.’
They knew not
at that moment that, notwithstanding the gloomy
appearance of things to their natural eye, the Redeemer
of men had indeed appeared among them, G7v 134
and was even now about to manifest before them
His infinite ascendency over every opposing
1821-03-023rd. mo. 2nd, 1821. There are many things to
induce anxious feeling, and especially this responsible
situation of having charge of a boarding-
school, and the care of young persons, who must be
employed in teaching. Human nature, in all, requires
a controlling principle higher than itself;
and I feel a fear both for them and for myself, lest
by opposing in our own wills what we do not approve,
we mar the work, and excite feelings which
are prejudicial in their nature. Children have a
quick sense of right and wrong, and may be greatly
injured by a tart dictatorial manner, which has its
origin in feelings not in unison with the meekness
and gentleness of true wisdom. People err greatly
in judgment, perhaps never more so, than when
they suppose that a gentle manner cannot be
availing in government. On the great principle
which acts through all nature, of like producing
its like, humility and gentleness will produce
corresponding feelings in the children who
witness these qualities in their teachers; and
perfect gentleness is entirely consonant with the
firmest requisition of order. Nay, indeed, none
can more clearly see what true order demands,
than they who maintain the greatest collectedness
of mind, and entire self-command. I have several
causes of anxiety besides; as the critical state of
one child’s health, and whether or not this school
should be continued, &c. But, I must not withhold
my hope and trust in that infinitely gracious Providence,
who has so wonderfully opened the way
for the entering upon some of the deeply interesting G8r 135
concerns before me. Let me leave myself entirely
to His disposal, not desiring to choose my
own path, or my own abode, or even desiring to
have a place which I can call my home, so that
I may only feel myself in the order of Providence.
With all my cares it feels difficult to give time
to the study of the African languages; yet it must
be done, it is quite necessary. Oh! that this might
induce me from this day, to appropriate a part
of every morning to the practice of Jaloof and
Time must be found for duties, as it is necessary
to find time for the support of the body by food and
sleep; and before very long the day will be spent,
and the time for the business of life will be
1822-02-012nd mo. 1st. 1822. Who knows the full extent
of that responsibility that attaches to this state of
being! Let those who feel this, ‘arise and go
let them flee from that excess of care for
worldly things, which is so ill adapted to a world
that must soon be left, and which bears down the
mind, so as to preclude the right exercise, for the
prevalence of that which is enduring and eternal.
Oh! let every root of bitterness be supplanted by
that which is of the Lord’s own right-hand planting.
May the new creation prevail, and appear in
all our dispositions and all our proceedings in life.
Let gentleness, forbearance, patience, and goodness,
faith, meekness, and temperance, so govern the dispositions
of our hearts, that their effects may appear
even as on the very borders of our garments—
in all our solitary dwellings, and in all our intercourse
with one another.
G8v 136 1822-08-068th mo. 6th . I have been transcribing Scripture
passages for translation into Arabic, and circulation
in Africa. In this engagement there was
happiness; yet my heart mourns that so few
acknowledge the Lord fully in this land called
Christian. Ah! how infinite is the mercy and
long-suffering of the Most High!
With regard to my African prospects, as to
how and when we may go, I am now without
anxiety. The cause is not mine; and I believe it
will be well and wisely ordered.
1822-08-1313th. In reading A Summary of the Distresses
of Ireland
this morning, the efficacy of
societies for bettering the condition of the poor is
renewed to my remembrance, and with a conviction
stronger than ever, that it is desirable they
should exist everywhere, and that everywhere there
should be arrangements for knowing and aiding
the state of the poor.
Associations should certainly by some means
be formed for the aid of the most destitute and
helpless, that they might obtain employment and
support. Oh, that a committee of really feeling
and judicious men would unite for the great
object of visiting Ireland. It is a disgrace to a
civilized country to have in it such a state of
wretchedness, arising from want, as exists in that
country, when at the same time some of the inhabitants
of the empire are living in luxury and
Could we but obtain these three things, the
improvement of Ireland, an arrangement for bettering-societies,
and a communication-society for
the good of all classes, what might we not readily
relinquish for such a cause? But let us be careful, G9r 137
and know a right guidance. The state of
Ireland has taken deep hold on my heart. May
I see what is right, and be taught how to pursue
1822-08-1919th. If we should even go late this season
to Africa, I think that before next winter I should
again be in England, and pursue, with my friends,
for a season, some interesting measures for the
poor in this country and in Ireland.
I believe that where there is much good in the
character of an individual, it is right that it
should be met, even though much mixed with
what requires to be overcome;—the way to overcome
is not to slight and neglect, but kindly to
meet and to help. How did the Redeemer act towards
his erring disciples?
1822-08-2020th. Oh! how ought I to be grateful and
satisfied, although at times much mental toil be
my lot. It should be accounted a great favour to
be employed in this interesting concern of writing
a new language; and sometimes the return is sweet
when we find that precious truths can be conveyed
in that language. Let me choose the pursuit of
such interesting concerns before the nearest gratifications
of even natural affection.
1822-09-149th mo. 14th. Yesterday and this morning
feelings of depression have prevailed in looking
to the great suffering and sin with which the
world is overspread, and in the justness of that
enquiry, ‘Who hath believed our report? and
to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?’

And in feeling that the children of this world
may be regarded as wiser, or more earnest in
pursuit of their concerns in their generation
than the children of light. How many are there G9v138
among those who seem influenced by feelings of
pity for the bodily sufferings of the poor and
afflicted, who feel little for that darkness and
alienation from good, which, among rich and
poor, is the great cause of both inward and outward
Oh, may I be taught to feel what is required
at my hand by the awful enquiry, ‘How much
owest thou unto thy Lord?’
nor dwell in any
degree on what I may appear in the eyes of
others, only endeavouring to fulfil His will concerning
me; taking the cup of salvation appointed
by His goodness, and calling on the name of the
Lord in daily and secret aspiration. It has been
said that the Turks consider women without souls;
and one might imagine, from the little care that
is evinced by some for the spiritual welfare of
people whose bodily distress they seek to relieve,
that they considered a great proportion of human
beings as merely formed of the tangible and material.
I know it may be pleaded that the work of
seeking to guide or help in spiritual concerns is
too serious and sacred to be attempted without
aid from on high, and this is true; yet how often
that aid would be imparted, if earnestly and
watchfully desired, and sought after! It may be
said, that some who seem to make much stir in
profession, and talk much of promoting the spiritual
welfare of others, are evidently far from being
themselves redeemed from pride and self-seeking
—from the spirit of this world, its disguises and its
insincerities—are far from evincing in their daily
deportment ‘the fruits of the Spirit.’ This unhallowed
talk and profession on hallowed subjects G10r 139
betrays a fearful want of feeling of the high and
sacred nature of true religion, which cannot be
brought to exist in the mind through any outward
observance or profession.
My hopes have been greatly diminished concerning
the effects of the influence of one, invested
with some degree of the world’s authority, on behalf
of poor Africa. It is not philosophy, it is not
policy, that can save Africa, and make her happy.
It is the prevalence of Christian influence and
Christian feeling; not the outward forms, in the
way in which they too often are dwelt upon.
For all who have been favoured to feel that
love to the Divine law which brings ‘great peace,’
much watchfulness is needed, and constant care to
deny self, and to follow the Redeemer—to live to
Him—to guard against the assimilating influence
of those who do not seek to acknowledge God in
all their ways.
My spirit has been this morning sensibly consoled
in receiving what seemed as the breaking
forth of the Sun of Righteousness from behind the
clouds, in the remembrance of that inestimably
precious declaration, ‘God so loved the world that
He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting
Yes, it is the love of God which is
the light, the brightness, and the happiness of
created beings; and it is in the prevalence of
Christian love and Christian feeling alone that we
can hope, and this will lead to all good efforts for
the welfare of the bodies and the souls of all men.
We must scatter the seed of Scripture truth up
and down in Africa,—even among Mahomedans. G10v 140
My heart cannot consent to select such parts only
as Mahomedans would not reject; my proper
business is, I believe, openly to avow my belief
and trust in the Redeemer of men, and to hope
for the prevalence of His power for the recovery
of mankind from sin and wretchedness. It is
not the arm of man that can save. We must
remember that the Egyptians are men, and not
God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit. If
our trust be not in the name of the Lord, those
who are helped, and those who help, shall both
fail together.
May I be taught more deeply to feel my
calling, nor suffer, in this short day of life,
any indolent supineness, or selfish regard, to
prevent the daily pursuit of very serious duties
that call for increasing watchfulness: and let
me not cease to feel that I am, in all circumstances,
called to act as a disciple of the Prince
of Peace, seeking to strengthen and to heal, and
to meet whatever is good in any, tenderly careful
not to injure a bruised reed, or to do anything
that may be compared to quenching the
smoking flax.
1822-11-2811th mo. 28th. Oh! that teachers of schools
were generally religiously concerned to make such
instruction on right grounds their constant care,
and the more interesting part of their duty. I
long to see correct principles more generally instilled
into the minds of the young—principles of
piety, and of honourable dealing with all with
whom they have to do. It is not the name of
Christianity, nor right views alone that can convert
the heart, and rectify the conduct. May wisdom G11r 141
from above be graciously imparted in the deeply
interesting concern now before me! May I be
preserved from doing harm, and led, if it be the
gracious Master’s will, to unite with the sincere
in heart, of every name, in doing good!”
G11v 142

Chapter VI.

Joins the British and Irish Ladies’ Society, and undertakes
on its behalf a visit to Ireland—Report
made to the Committee on her return.

In the latter part of the year 18221822, the distress
which prevailed in Ireland in consequence of the
failure of the potatoe-crop, attracted the notice of
the British public. A large sum was raised to relieve
the Irish peasantry from the famine which
threatened them; and in connection with its distribution
the British and Irish Ladies’ Society
was formed. This Society had for its object the
permanent improvement of the condition of the
female poor of Ireland, and especially the promotion
of habits of industry among them. In its
proceedings Hannah Kilham took an active part.
The subject was one in which she had long felt
deeply interested; and much of the time which
elapsed between the giving up of her school and
her first visit to Africa, during which time she
resided in the neighbourhood of London, was
devoted to this object.

In the early part of 18231823 she spent some months
in Ireland. Her correspondence at this period is
full of details which prove her unwearied exertions,
but which would not be otherwise interesting
to the reader. A few extracts from letters written
to one of her fellow-labourers are, however, added
to the extracts from her journal.

G12r 143 “A committee has been formed for assisting the
Irish in their present distress; large sums of
money have been subscribed; and the conclusion
for its appropriation is this, to visit the dwellings
of the poor, and obtain a knowledge of their situation,
under certain heads. To aid the sick by the
loan of linen, obtaining medical advice, &c. To
encourage industry, and attention to domestic
duty; to encourage parents to send their children
to school; to assist the poor in any other way
that circumstances may appear to require. These
are the leading objects of our plan. In order
to give some aid, in the commencement of these
exertions for the distressed in Ireland, the committee
have thought it advisable for one of their
members to visit that country, particularly in the
districts which suffer the most; and the choice
having fallen on me, I do not feel at liberty to
turn from it. My supplication to the Most High
I think was sincere, that if this step of visiting
Ireland was right, my friends might concur with
me; and this they have done, not only as to the
object, but they cordially unite with, and approve,
and feelingly sympathize in the present state of the
poor in that nation, with desired for the success of
every rightly-sanctioned effort for their good. May
wisdom be given in the hour of need, for truly
that which alone can rightly guide, will be greatly
wanted, and much caution requisite, as well as
courage. It is concluded for us to leave on the 26th.
On the day fixed, I set out from Tottenham to
take the coach to Holyhead, on my way to Dublin.
We met with several interesting persons on
the way. One sweetly religiously-minded woman
travelled a stage with us; and it was truly grateful G12v 144
to feel the piety that pervaded her spirit. Oh,
that all who have tasted that the Lord is gracious
might maintain that watchfulness unto prayer in
which there is preservation; that, so abiding under
the Redeemer’s influence, those around may partake
of the reflected feeling of love, which is at
times so precious in its effects, even on those who
had not previously felt much for themselves.
We were favoured to anchor safely in port at
the time expected; for although the wind was so
strong that the packet from Dublin had been
driven back into the harbour, yet it was not unfavourable,
as a side-wind, for the direction of our
vessel. As I sat in the cabin, waiting for the call
of the steward, my friend C. B— entered and
kindly welcomed me to Ireland. It was very
grateful to meet with him, and I feel cause to be
thankful for the degree of health and strength
The oppressive feeling connected with many
things relative to the state of the people in this
land has been experienced from day to day. May
I move quietly under it, and make my secret
appeal to the Searcher of hearts, who alone can
know what passes before my mind, and who alone
can guide me so as to enable me to effect any
real good, as an instrument in the Divine hand.
There needs a guard on my mind lest in easy
conversation I lose sight of that restrictive feeling
which would control all our communications, and
lead to real edification.
I have met with a person who has seen much
of the state of the poor; his belief is, that their
wretched condition at home is one great cause of
inducing a habit of intoxication, when they can H1r 145
obtain money. A man destitute of comfort receives
a few pence; he says to himself, ‘Bread
would feed me, but I am miserable and low, and
whiskey will cheer my spirits;—I will take that:
I can have it for the same price as bread, and it
will please me more.’
And, thus exhilarated for
the moment, his spirits sink again when the effects
of the liquor have passed by; but the habit of
taking it gains upon him, until reasoning or forethought
are no longer in action when temptation
presents itself.
Went to the week-day meeting. It was a
time of close exercise of mind, yet not without
hope. Surely the light will not be withheld in
the time of greatest need. At present seasons of
suffering must be endured. Part of the afternoon
was passed in sadness of heart, in the sense both
of my own weakness, and of many surrounding
causes of suffering in the state of the poor. And
not in this alone, but in the want of that prevalence
of life which is most to be desired. When
shall the full dominion of its power be felt in the
assemblies of the people, so that even the languid
and indifferent may be attracted to assemble with
their friends, and all unite in desire to feel what
they are in the presence of the Most High.
In a proposed Library Association I greatly
desire that such principles may be adopted as will
lead to the circulation of books, not of mere religious
theories, but of such as may inculcate religious
principle, and incite to Christian practice.
Were I to choose a library for the poor, or any
people, myself, I could not be satisfied to subject
it to the authority of the priests.
Let me not close my eyes this evening without H H1v 146
marking my feelings of acknowledgment for the
goodness of God, in having this day more fully
cleared my view as to the importance of attending
to the minds of those whose condition we desire to
improve. It is the want of a right direction of the
mind and heart that causes the greatest part of the
existing misery, and if the heart be the seat of
attack it is the heart which must be the scene of
victory, if ever real victory be obtained over the
causes of the greatest sufferings and evils in society.
Religious education and religious care must
be the great objects of our attempt on behalf of
Ireland; yet without the omission of any duty
whereby the people may be served.
1823-01-051st mo. 5th, 1823. J. G— read after breakfast
a chapter in which were the words, ‘The Son
of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
The feeling introduced to my mind
was, that since the Redeemer of the world gave to
us such an example, the lowest acts of ministration
to the poorest of mankind should not be withheld.
We ought to be ever willing to go down
into sympathy with those that suffer, and to follow
them to their abodes of poverty and want willingly
and freely, and not to let any difficulty or self-
denial in the way prevent us from fulfilling the
claims of Christian duty to the poor.”

The following are extracts from letters referring
to, or written during her visit to Ireland:—

Those who are pleading on behalf of the poor
Irish, either here or on the other side of the water,
are not promoting a continuance of almsgiving, or H2r 147
the encouragement of a state of dependence on the
rich: They are only pleading for the means of
occupation for the poor by which they would
be both able and willing to support themselves.
Were spinning-wheels and flax put into the hands
of the women—even by loan—they would provide
themselves and their families with clothing,
blankets, and all articles of covering, excepting a
very few, that are requisite for their health and
I have informed the committee that I am intending
to go to Ireland; but have not entered into
particulars as to my inducement to do so. They
seem glad of the prospect of my having an opportunity
to see and hear for myself, and for them.
Now those who engage in this concern must
reckon on the business of calm calculation, and
not put the question of ‘What means will be
too promptly aside. It seems to me
that without neglecting to reckon on the care of
Government in the ensuing session on behalf of
the Irish, there is still a wide field for individual
and associated exertion of voluntary support to the
Irish cause, that must be liberally considered, if
any effectual good is to be done; and the good
that would be done to society at large by the
improvement of the Irish poor would soon, I am
satisfied, be evidently felt.”

I feel earnestly desirous that party feeling may
subside, and people become more alive to the
acknowledgment of what is really good, even in
those whose sentiments on some points may be
much opposed to their own. The face of the H2 H2v 148
country in this province makes me feel sad: cabins
and demesnes,—very few buildings of any other
description, excepting in a small number of towns,
and the long ranges of buildings appropriated to
the destroyers of men.
Since writing to I have united with
some of the friends of the peasantry here in preparing
arrangements for two central committees;
one for the city and liberties, and another for the
county. The sufferings of the poor surpass what
any had expected to witness; they had no idea of
their extreme misery until they saw it for themselves
in these visits. In one division, in which
ninety-six families were visited, consisting of four
hundred and fourteen persons, eighty-eight of these
families were without even sufficient straw to form
their bed,—no cases: sometimes seven persons on
one small parcel of straw. In another division,
fifty-four families, and in another, seventy-eight,
without one sufficient portion of straw for a bed, in
either district.
I am informed that in the city of Cork there is
already an evident effect from the visits of the
ladies, in the poor being stimulated to cleanliness.
This evening a letter was received informing me
that on the day on which we left, forty-one poor
people walked from Bantry to Cork, a distance of
about twenty-four miles, and entered the city, led
in by their parish-priest, for the purpose of requesting
that I would convey their grateful thanks
to the Ladies’ Society in London for the great
comfort they have experienced in bed-clothes and
wearing-apparel: these latter they were dressed
in. ‘It was very grateful to us,’ adds my correspondent,
‘to see such a disposition prevalent, and H3r 149
has induced us to hope that much benefit will
arise to our poor disconsolate peasantry.’
M. U. is intending to try to form an association.
She said she had witnessed with agony indescribable
a state of distress among the peasantry
which it was impossible for individuals, however
inclined, effectually to relieve.”

I cannot be prevented, either by the unremitting
kindness of those around me, or the affectionate
courtesy of strangers, from feeling, night
and day, that the poor of Ireland are in misery. It
is early to address to thee a second letter, when my
first has scarcely reached London; but since writing
that latter I have witnessed scenes that have
harrowed every feeling of my heart. It is impossible
to convey by any description the just idea
of the wretchedness that exists among the people
in the old parts of this city. It can only be known
by going into their dwellings, and seeing it with
our own eyes; and having seen and felt with
the sufferers, I could not, without violating the
claims of humanity, and the sacred sense of individual
duty, forbear attempting in some degree to
convey the feeling. It is really dreadful that the
sufferings of one class of human beings should
have been so little known to others of the same
nation, and even subjects of the same empire.
Were it not that they show a feeling for each
other, which presents an example to the rest of the
world, many of them must have died for want.
In one room that contained three families it was
declared by each that as long as one of them had
a potatoe for themselves they never suffered the H3v 150
other to fast for want of one: that house consisted
of six rooms; most of them contained two
or three families. In one room, of three families,
there were thirteen persons; three miserable nests
of straw, either of them unfit for the lodging of an
animal, formed their places of retirement,—if retirement
it could be called, where mixed families
of men, women, and children were thus enclosed
in the same apartment. Yet human intelligence,
although thus borne down, is not destroyed; and
an anxiety for the instruction and improvement
of their poor little ones yet lives amongst them:
nearly naked, they are yet sent to schools; and
I feel convinced that multitudes of these, both
parents and children, if they could be brought
into such a situation as the common claims of
humanity demand, would evince qualities of mind
and disposition that would render them capable of
contributing their humble but valuable portion to
the general advantage of society. But the mind
calls for cultivation, as well as the outward circumstances
for aid.
I had the satisfaction to accompany the Countess
of Clare
and her daughter on 4th day, in visiting
some of the cabins. In going into those where
the people had partaken largely of the kindness
and liberality of the Countess, and of her son and
daughter, it was cheering to see the industry, cleanliness,
and comfort that could be found in a cabin;
and I felt as though a sensible load were taken off
my mind in witnessing their comparative state of
prosperity and enjoyment, healthful labour, good
schools, and good books. It should be added, that
this was not effected without liberal gifts, in the
outset, of beds, &c., and a superior manner of H4r 151
building the cabins, such as the poor people themselves
(who are mostly left to build as they can)
could not have effected; this example, therefore, is
not likely to be followed, except it be by a few
liberal-minded persons; and if the poor were to
wait until such examples should be general, their
case, it is feared, would be hopeless.
J. M. H. goes with me to Dromoland, if nothing
prevent, on 3rd day; 4th and 5th are to be
spent in visiting the cabins, 6th the country-
committee meet, and on the 7th I return to Limerick.
A visit to Tuam is under consideration; we
shall probably proceed to the school, which you
have heard of as so greatly successful in Roscommon;
—also to Edgworth-town.
I feel, in all I see, a fresh and confirming conviction
that no dwelling of the poor should be
without the kind notice of visitors; and that much
of misery and crime would be prevented, were the
system of friendly and judicious visiting to become
general. I do not know what other measure can
bring the real state of the people so fully into
notice, and lead to so clear a knowledge of the
causes of distress: we speak not as having attained,
but as earnestly desiring to learn what is
right, and to pursue it, aided by the Infinite
Power from whom every truly good word and
work proceeds.
May I hope to hear from thee soon in reply to
this and my last. Do not conclude that I am becoming
insensible to the enjoyments of friendship
in looking on the darker side of things. There is
yet a grateful feeling that the Most High reigns,
and will bring forward His own designs through
all; and here is our anchor.”
H4v 152 * * * gave an extract of a letter, which I will
send as a specimen of the feeling of the Irish peasantry,
without considering what may be the appearance
in regard to myself. I can, I think, lose sight of
myself, in the remembrance of the poor of Ireland,
and disregard either the publicity or obscurity of
my own station, if their cause may but be promoted.
Extract:—‘I must not forget to tell you that
the poor people in the mountain-district about
Scariff were so impressed with a sense of Mrs.
goodness in coming over that they were
making collections of fowls and eggs to take a
present to her; and many of them would have
gone to Ennis in the snow to see her, but that the
ladies prevented them. Who shall say they are
an ungrateful people!’
May those who have the power not be surpassed
by the peasantry of Ireland in generous
feeling and liberal action. I fully unite in thy
view of doing what you can now, rather than wait
to learn what you will be able to do in future.
Duty calls to present exertion. Many of the
younger children look faint and poorly; those
whose constitutions have gained more strength, and
who were in their infancy better supported, look
more healthy.
It is consoling to know that the attention of
those in power is so much engaged on behalf of
Ireland, and likely to be during the present session
of parliament; but a greater consolation than even
this is the belief that the Most High will cause
the light of Christian truth to arise more fully,
and its influence to be felt on the minds of the H5r 153
people. The bonds which have fettered many
cannot, indeed, be expected to be broken in a day;
but my hope is, that in due season the influence
of Christian principle will be more prevalent in
this land, and that the attachment of many to
shadowy forms may be diminished. But this will
not, I apprehend, be effected through any violent
opposition, even to the prejudices of the people;
but by the silent influence of the Spirit of Truth,
its operation on the minds of the people, and the
instrumentality of Scriptural instruction to the
younger part of the community, and in many
instances, also, among other classes.
The way has not, I think, appeared open for
me to go northward, either to Tuam or Roscommon.
I expect to be at Clonmell on the 1823-03-1212th of
next mo., Waterford 1823-03-2121st, and Mountmellick 1823-03-2828th.”
As we rode from Mountmellick to Abbeyleix,
my attention was so arrested by one particular
cottage on the bog-lands that we stopped to go
into it. The bog sunk under our feet as we trod
along to the hut; we had to stoop to enter, and
still in the cabin the ground was nearly as damp
and yielding. Many small openings in the roof
must have admitted both rain and sun, and increased
the constant dampness of this miserable
spot. A poor young mother, with three children
beside her, was sitting, bent with sickness, after a
confinement of eight weeks, from which she was
not recovered. This cabin was the abode of eight
human beings,—an aged father, mother, sister,
and the family I have mentioned. It was a grief
to see them thus herded in a place which was H5 H5v 154
not, indeed, a fit shelter for half the number of
We are informed to-day, by letter, that the
young ladies of Portarlington who have been accustomed
only to the ample abodes of their relations
and friends, are greatly astonished to find
their fellow-creatures, whom they have now begun
to visit, in a state so wretched,—worse fed and
lodged than their own dogs and horses. Ah! let
this system of visiting the poor, of visiting them
all, even the very lowest, be brought fully into
action, and it will not be possible for so much
misery to be continued! Let us be thankful to
Him who has opened the way for such an engagement
in this land! let nothing divert our purpose
from the object with which we set out,—an arrangement
for bringing the state of the poor into
view by visiting them in their own dwellings, and
by kind advice and friendly aid to enable them to
become the agents of their own improvement.”
Praise and adoration be to Thee! O Thou
most mighty and most merciful! Thy goodness has
been near, to support through some of the darkest
and most trying seasons of my life, and Thou hast
caused Thy light to enlighten the darkness, and
Thy love to support in the closest trials. Let it
never be forgotten that when all around appeared
only to present scenes of dismay, my spirit was
still favoured to feel Thy consoling presence near,
and the language perceptibly sounded to the spiritual
ear, ‘Be not dismayed, I am the Lord.’ This
assurance has been my hope, and my shield, and
everything I have seen among rich or poor combines H6r 155
to confirm the conviction that it is only in
the prevalence of His reign that the earth can
rejoice, and that every degree of departure from
Him tends to desolation and unhappiness. Much
is due from those who have been favoured to know
the truth, and to feel that the Lord is good. Oh!
that these may be true to their principles, and
diligent in promoting the welfare of mankind, by
any means permitted them.
Human imperfection cleaves to almost everything
we see in the world, in engagements professedly
benevolent as well as in other concerns,
and it is highly needful that we attend to the beneficent
injunction of the merciful Redeemer, and
not tear away with unauthorized hand the tares
out of the ground, lest in so doing we pull up the
wheat also; yet purity of motive and of aim in all
that we do is greatly to be longed for, and especially
as it regards our own well-being. He who searcheth
the heart can only accept that which is done
unto Him, and in His love.
Children want guiding in some degree even in
searching the Scriptures; and I have felt satisfied
to present subjects of importance before them, and
afterwards, by either asking the questions in regular
succession or promiscuously, to observe how far
they appear capable of understanding and applying
what they have learned.
I do not know a more interesting engagement
than that of thus seeking to draw the suceptible
minds of the dear children to the most interesting
of all subjects, and I do earnestly desire and hope
that we shall not, in our pursuit of the general
education of the poor, forget that the great object
of education is to direct the mind to those H6v 156
principles of general Christianity which are unfolded
in the Scriptures, and the reception of
which, through the Divine influence, will make
the world wise and happy, beyond all human
knowledge, or human power.
There is much in this land to call forth the
feeling of deep interest and concern, not for the
poor alone, but for other classes of society who
have experienced in the last few years a visitation
which has not been without its effects in shaking
the confidence of the people in those temporal
gratifications, which have been found utterly incapable
of conveying true enjoyment. The immortal
soul thirsts for something corresponding
with its own nature, and all material accommodations
that perish with the using, if relied on for
the support of happiness, even in the present life,
yield only disappointment. Oh! that Christians
may be more and more willing to yield themselves
to the influence of that love which longs for the
happiness of man, and would willingly yield to
required duty, with whatever sacrifice it may be
accompanied, if only they be instrumental in diminishing
the sufferings of others, or in advancing
their happiness!
At present there are numbers, beyond what can
easily be estimated, who are supporting the very
lowest state of existence by means so precarious
that it would be difficult to conceive how life is
maintained from day to day, were it not a well-
known fact that the peasantry of Ireland will not
suffer a poor neighbour, or even a stranger, to
starve, as long as they have even a single meal of
potatoes wherewith to feed themselves. There is
a generous, grateful, and affectionate feeling in H7r 157
this people, an intelligence and susceptibility of
improvement, that makes one long to see them
placed in more favourable circumstances; yet I
am far from believing that outward circumstances
alone, though ever so favourable for the removal of
present suffering, would be all that they want to
make them happy. Evils of another kind would
be substituted for those of misery and want, if the
cultivation of good principles and habits did not
accompany a change of outward circumstances.
To those who desire the real welfare of their fellow-
creatures it would afford but a melancholy prospect
to have the poison of whiskey substituted for
the sorrows of want.
It appears very evident that in the south and
west of Ireland there is quite as strong a call for
the labours of a society for raising human beings
into a state to provide themselves with the accommodations
of civilized life as there can be in
Africa, or the wilds of America; and in some
respects the claim may be regarded as stronger,
since there is here no open counry in which the
people may either gain their living by hunting, or
cultivating the land before them. The land is
occupied by the people who would gladly work,
on even the lowest terms on which life could be
supported, and who, having their application for
employment rejected, are on the verge of despair.
It is, indeed, wonderful, after what they have of
late been suffering from year to year, that hope
has lived so long. There are two sources of amelioration
that appear to me to be greatly wanted
at the resent moment:—the one is, a comprehensive
arrangement for occupying the peasantry of
these districts, in their present situation, with H7v 158
spinning and weaving; and the second, which has
greatly occupied my mind, is, a colony, somewhat
on the plan of the one in the north of Holland.
One on principles yet more simple than even that
establishment, might, I apprehend, be formed with
ease, in a district of this country, and while it
might be made to pay the interest of the capital
advanced, might furnish every family in the establishment
with the means of comparative prosperity,
and healthful occupation.”
‘I believe it will be seen more and more clearly
that the prosperity of a whole nation must ever be
greatly dependent on the welfare of the labouring
class. The prosperity of the manufacturer, or
merchant, must rise or fall with the demand for the
productions of the labourer, and so must it be also
with the proprietors of land. But how will the
most extensive and permanent demand be created?
Will it not be by the labouring-classes being themselves
in a state above wretchedness and want, a
state in which this extensive portion of the community
partake, in a healthful and reasonable degree,
of the productions of industry, and thus cause
an ample and steady demand, with regard to both
trade and agriculture. These observations are
far from being new to many who have been accustomed
to reflect, and to acknowledge that we
are children of the same Almighty Parent.
People have indulged themselves in the vain
plea that luxury is good for society,—that it furnishes
employment for the poor, and promotes
their prosperity. Yet let it be fairly considered
whether we may not, in renouncing many superfluous H8r 159
appendages to a state of competency, which
serve no better purpose than to indulge a love of
display, and mere selfish gratification,—whether we
may not in renouncing these, obtain an increase of
power, and come forward to the help of suffering
humanity, by promoting the advancement of the
poor from a state of misery and degradation, and
thus furnishing ample resources for their employment,
unaccompanied by the train of evils that ever
have been, and ever must be attendant on habits
of luxury. The unfeeling neglect which luxurious
habits have a natural tendency to induce, the hard
exactions which luxury demands to supply its
own claims, will narrow up the mind in providing
for selfish indulgences, whilst the reasonable claims
of the labourer, who toils for the supply of these
demands are too often slighted, as if unworthy the
trouble of thought, or of calculation.
What I have seen and felt in this country has
greatly confirmed my attachment to the solid and
salutary principles of our Christian profession. I
am deeply convinced that what the world wants
for its recovery from the miseries with which it
has been afflicted is the prevalence of Christian
principles and Christian practice:—the truth, the
sincerity, the moderation, the peace, benevolence
and love which the Redeemer of the world would
lead his people into, were the precious influences
of His Spirit but suffered to have their full ascendency
in our minds, and His government to prevail.’
1823-04-03‘4th mo. 3rd. I left Limerick about three
weeks ago, accompanied by a friend. At different
towns we met committees. The first was at
Tipperary, where we staid a day with , a H8v 160
medical man of benevolent and estimable principles.
We had interesting conversation with him
on the subject of religious instruction in schools,
without sectarianism or proselytism. He is very
solicitous for right care in education, and to avoid
injudicious proceedings from parties. He wishes
much that my two little books of Scripture Selections
and Questions
may obtain the approbation
of the Roman Catholic clergy, as a book of religious
instruction for the Free-schools. I have had
conversation with the Roman Catholic bishops of
Limerick and Clare on the subject of the education
of the poor, to satisfaction. Lady O’Brien proposed
to me to present the bishop of Clare with
the Scripture Selections, which I did, and he has
expressed his full approbation of them. The
bishop of Limerick, on looking over them, said
they appeared to him to be just what was wanted
for the public schools. In a neighbouring village
some young persons had shown to the priest these
books, and he had approved their introduction into
a new school of Roman Catholic children. If
the people here can be induced to adopt a system
of religious instruction from the Scriptures, and
not insist upon their own peculiar catechisms,—
either Protestant or Catholic,—but leave these for
the different classes of teachers at other times and
elsewhere, a very important point will be gained.
A letter has lately been received from Dr.
on the present associations in Ireland,
which he thinks likely to do good, yet he dwells
on the localizing system, or thorough cultivation of
one small district. This plan I think admirable
in itself, yet it wants also the organization of a
more extensive scheme to have its benefits widely H9r 161
diffused. The minds of people in England, Scotland,
and Ireland are so much awake to the subject
of the best means of improvement for the people
at large, that I trust the truth will eventually be
more fully known and pursued. I believe that
even the collision of sentiment will be the means
of eliciting truth, if only people will be patient
with each other, and pursue their important object
in the spirit of solid and thoughtful enquiry, and
not in the pharisaical feeling which trusts in itself
and despises others.
In the various committees we visited we expressed
our sentiments on the importance of a
right direction of benevolence in inciting the poor
to become the agents of their own improvement,
and for this purpose to put them in the way of
I can fully accord with the idea that the
influence of circumstances on the conduct and
character of individuals ought to be a strong inducement
to all who have power to render the
circumstances of both children and others as favourable
for the cultivation of good feeling and
good conduct as possible; yet man is a free agent
still, and in a certain degree must be the former of
his own character, so far as that can be done by
yielding the mind to the influence of that which is
good, or neglecting or resisting it.
Were the state of the poor more generally inquired
into, and their disadvantages from lack of
real Christian instruction in early life considered
and deeply felt, many things would be remedied
by greater care. There is a serious responsibility
attached to those who will not feel but for themselves,
or who shrink from going into the wilderness H9v 162
after that which is in danger of being lost. How
precious is the example of our Redeemer in His
pity towards the publicans and sinners, and in
His will to heal all manner of sicknesses and all
manner of diseases.’”

On her return from Ireland, Hannah Kilham
presented a report to the Committee of the British
and Irish Ladies’ Society
, from which the following
is extracted:—

“In acknowledging your kind proposal that I
should convey, in writing, some account of my
late visit to the south and west of Ireland, I feel
aware that I am solely indebted to your candour
and indulgence, in so far uniting with a proceeding
merely voluntary; and which had nothing official
in its character, by which it might be recommended
to your notice.
Having earnestly desired the opportunity of
forming a judgment of the state of the Irish peasantry
from actual observation, and well assured
that my friends, in Ireland, would kindly aid my
inquiries, on a subject on which they had (I knew)
felt long and deeply interested, I concluded to
pass a few months of the winter in and near the
province of Munster, and to visit some of the
abodes of the peasantry, both in the cities, and in
the more thinly-peopled districts.
The time thus engaged was, from about the
end of the year, until the 5th month, (May,) during
which I visited parts of each of the counties in
Munster, excepting Kerry, and a few places in
Leinster. A little time was spent in Dublin, both
on landing, and previous to my return to England.
H10r 163 In the city and county of Limerick; in the
city of Waterford; in Mountmelick, Portarlington
and Maryborough, I was kindly invited to
unite in the formation of District or County Associations,
from which reports of the regulations
adopted have been conveyed to the Central Committee.
In the city of Cork, and in the counties
of Clare and Tipperary, I had the satisfaction of
attending Committees already formed; and in
several places had the opportunity of visiting the
peasantry in their cabins, and in their miserable
rooms in the old parts of cities.
I do not conceive it possible for any language
or picture of destitution to have conveyed to my
mind the impressions received from the actual
of the peasantry, as they at present exist.
The wretched cabin, built by the hard-strained
efforts of extreme poverty, is destitute of almost
everything that could mark any attainment of
civilized liffe. The yet more miserable room, in a
lane of the city, each corner of which is, in many
cases, occupied by a separate family, lodging four,
five, or six together, on one mouldering portion of
straw, insufficient for the nightly accommodation
of a single animal, and with little or no covering,
but the tattered garments of the day; here they
breathe, night and day, a tainted sickly atmosphere,
and in such abodes the frequent prevalence
of fever is indeed no matter of surrise. Numbers
of families of this description are supporting
life, by means the most distressingly precarious;
seeking employment, and earnestly soliciting it,
at even the lowest rate, yet compelled to spend the
chief portion of their time, however reluctantly, in
idleness, and in consequent destitution and misery. H10v 164
Yet, there is a feeling of generous kindness in the
Irish peasant that shines and is beautiful amidst
all the depressing circumstances with which he is
surrounded. The peasant out of his poverty is
the supporter of the destitute, so long as he has a
single morsel to share with him; and thus it is
that life has been preserved, and many kept from
day to day from perishing for want.
That employment is the great resource to be
contemplated, for the improvement of the people,
is generally acknowledged; and let it not be
supposed that the attainment of this great object
will be impossible, even though many difficulties
may appear. Could the mothers of families be
furnished with the means of putting their industry
into action, how great is the demand for the occupation
of that industry, in providing clothing for
themselves and their now destitute families; and
in the progress of supplying this demand, how
many hands, in addition to their own, would soon
be furnished with the benefits and advantages of
occupation! It is in the consumption of the
labouring classes, who form, as to numbers, the
great mass of society, that the best resource must
be found for the exercise of healthful and salutary
industry. In proportion as these are brought into
a state to support a regular demand for clothing,
and for the simple accommodations of civilized
life, the supply of this demand will necessarily
induce that general action of industry and commerce
which will convey riches and strength to
every department of society.
It is truly grateful to observe, that in the
course of inquiries into the state of families visited
by the Local Associations, as suggested by the H11r 165
rules of the British and Irish Ladies’ Society, female
education and the occupation of juvenile industry
are likely to be much promoted wherever
the Local Associations are formed. The existing
Institutions for education will give much facility
to the establishment of Schools, where they are
found to be wanting; and there is no doubt that,
when the peasantry can obtain a sufficiency of
employment, they will gladly contribute their own
part toward the support of the Schools.
The kind solicitude with which the upper
classes of society in Ireland, are directing their
attention to the improvement and well-being of
the peasantry; the communication opened with
them by the visiting Committees, and the good
effects already seen to result from this communication,
give ground to hope for great good from the
Associations, if supported, as we cannot doubt that
they will be. The different classes of professing
Christians uniting together, in the prosecution of
a widely-extended work of benevolence, in which
all are interested, will become better known to
each other, and disposed to acknowledge and to
meet with that which is good in all.
Although the grants conveyed to this Society,
in its present early stage, have been generous and
liberal, yet the object of the Institution is too
comprehensive to be carried into full effect, without
continued and powerful aid from the British
public, in conjunction with the efforts of your
correspondents in Ireland to obtain local funds.
Unless means can be provided for furnishing general
to the mothers of families, the office
of visitor will be a very painful engagement. It
is well known that the Associations do not offer H11v 166
gratuitous assistance, and all that the poor women
solicit from the Committees is employment. The
great deficiency is the want of wheels, and a little
flax or wool to begin the occupation of each;
could these be provided for all, there are resources
for employment to an undefined extent, in the
demand for linen yarn of a common quality,
which the female peasantry would gladly supply,
although on terms so low as not usually to afford
more than twopence a day in payment. The
manufacture of coarse clothing, into which some
of the associations have entered, will also furnish
another valuable source of occupation.
I have remarked on the present miserable
form of the cabins as attributable to the extreme
poverty of the tenants by whom they are
built; and the peasantry being accustomed to this
wretched kind of dwelling has, no doubt, a great
influence on their general habits. On some estates
the tenants are assisted in building their cabins by
gifts of timber from the landlord, which, though
easily given by the proprietor from his estate,
afford material assistance to the poor tenant.
I was informed of a number of people in some
of the mountain districts, whom I had not the
opportunity to visit, who, driven from their little
holdings by inability to pay the rent, had cast
very slight huts on the uncultivated ground,
and were living there in great misery. The object
in resorting such stations is to recover a piece
of land for the cultivation of potatoes, and to dwell
in these places, as they are allowed to do for a
without the payment of rent. The forlorn
state of the habitations thus described could not, I
think, surpass that of some I saw on the bog- H12r 167
lands. In one which I entered the bog sunk
under my feet even within the dwelling, as well
as on the way to it from the open road. On a
single stone in this hut was laid a small turf fire,
over which sat, bent with weakness, a sickly female
who had been confined eight weeks before, and
who was not yet recovered. Her infant was near,
which, with two other children, an aged father,
mother, and sister, formed a family of eight in this
one miserable room, and in times of rain and snow
the water was draining upon them in many courses
through the roof. My heart sunk within me to
see human nature in such a state of pitiable suffering
and degradation; and I was only consoled in
the belief that some generous measures for the
effectual relief and improvement of the state of the
peasantry would certainly be adopted, and that a
state so wretched, so unworthy of civilized society,
would not much longer continue to exist in the
British Empire.
May our hope and trust be directed to the
great Parent of the Universe, and in acknowledging
the claims of the lowest, as children of the
same family, may the deep responsibility be felt
which attaches to every situation in which power
is given to help and serve one another.
In the retrospect of my late visit, I feel thankful
to Divine Goodness in permitting what was
felt to be so greatly desirable. An interest toward
Ireland, long alive in my mind, is now more
deeply fixed than ever, and will not, I believe, be
effaced by time or distance. The affectionate
courtesy of every class in society towards one who
was hitherto a stranger among them will still live
in my grateful remembrance.”
H12v 168

Of the permanent results of the labours of the
committee in which Hannah Kilham took so active
a share it would be difficult to say much. The
miseries and the wants of Ireland are not even
yet fully before the view of the British public;
and some of the hints which the above-cited correspondence
contains refer to measures which present
experience proves to be highly useful.

I1r 169

Chapter VII.

Her first voyage to Africa—Arrival at Bathurst
Engagements whilst there, and at Birkow.

The preceding pages show the gradual growth
in the mind of Hannah Kilham of that deep interest
on behalf of the people of Africa, and more
especially the children at Sierra-Leone, which was
attended with the conviction that it was an individual
duty to devote herself to their improvement.

Two native Africans, one a Jaloof, the other a
Mandingo, but both speaking the Jaloof language,
had been taken under care originally with a view of
acquiring from them a familiar knowledge of their
language. During their residence in this country
much pains had been taken to instruct them in
the truths of the Christian religion, and qualify
them for teaching others; but it was thought that
neither the lessons prepared in the native languages
nor the use of them would prove of much
avail without European superintendence:—the conclusion
on the part of the committee who associated
to promote Hannah Kilham’s concern grew out of
these efforts, and the part she undertook in directing
the settlement on the coast of Africa did not
originate with herself. Her own primary concern
was the reducing of the native languages to writing,
and making them the medium of communicating
with the people, whilst the committee were I I1v 170
anxious, in addition, to promote school-instruction
and a knowledge of agriculture.

The little company of settlers, consisting of
Hannah Kilham, Richard Smith, John Thompson,
and his sister, Ann Thompson, and the two natives,
embarked at Gravesend, on board the James,
bound for St. Mary’s, in the Gambia, on 1823-10-2626th of
10th mo., 1823

Great pains had been taken to supply all their
wants, and to make arrangements for the prosecution
of the undertaking, and the work was entered
upon very favourable circumstances, and
with a fair prospect of success; but, in the ordering
of Divine Providence, all was frustrated by
the death of Richard Smith, upon whom the care
of the concern devolved on Hannah Kilham’s
return to England in 18241824.

We now return to her own journal:—

“London, 1823-05-195th mo. 19th, 1823. There has been
a meeting of the African Instruction Committee,
to take into consideration the applications of such
friends as have offered themselves to go out in the
autumn with Sandanee, Mahmadee, and myself,
and to conclude on some other subjects connected
with preparations for the engagement. A letter
has been received from the governor of St. Mary’s,
(to which station we are intending to proceed,)
kindly expressing his desire to see the cause prosper,
and his disposition to afford every assistance
that can be wanted from his influence.
1823-09-169th mo. 16th. General M‘Carthy has appropriated
a house for our reception, which government
have built, but not yet put into use. We are I2r 171
to have it until we can fix our own plans. It is at
Birkow, and it is offered free of expense, except
keeping it in repair, and with the promise that it
shall not be withdrawn, without such notice as
shall prevent inconvenience. This kind offer has
opened our way so as to call for thankfulness.
When we received this intelligence we could not
but be impressed with the feeling that Infinite
Goodness was graciously shining on our path,
and going before us. Ah! how consoling is this
feeling! May we dwell under the sense of it,
and our eye be to Him from day to day, in
whom are all the springs of our hope, and of
every enjoyment of which our immortal nature
thirsts to partake. Our present position in preparing
for a great undertaking is very serious,
but not sad. An anchor is felt, and an assurance
that in Him who reigns over all is ‘everlasting
Our company will consist of Richard Smith, a
sincere, solid, active, persevering, and disinterested
man. He goes at his own expense, having a small
independent property. J. and A. Thompson, with
whom I am much pleased, Sandanee, Mahmadee, The two young men from whom she had been learning the

and myself.
Gravesend, 1823-10-2525th of 10th mo. Last evening we
had a sweet and solemn parting with our beloved
friends in London, and are now waiting for the
vessel which is expected to be here in a few hours.
Several friends are with us, and we have been again
favoured to feel the evidence of heavenly goodness,
affording a consoling hope, that His presence will
be near to guide in this arduous undertaking: this I2 I2v 172
evidence still rests with me, and is as a light to our
path. Let the will of the Most High be done, and
may all we have, and all we love, be resigned to
His all-wise and beneficent disposal.
A few days since I had a conversation with
Major Grant, late governor of the island of St.
; he has kindly given us a letter of introduction
to the governor, requesting him to recommend
us to the Alcaide of Birkow. One of our
ship’s company understands Mandingo, and, if we
are enabled to surmount the sea-sicknes, we propose
to pursue the study of both Jaloof amd Mandingo.
The vessel is arrived, and the captain intends
to go down the river with the afternoon’s
tide. Every preparation has been made for us, that
our friends could think of.
We went in the evening on board the ship,
which lay at anchor, and waiting for the ride. As
we sat down together in the cabin we were again
mercifully favoured with such an overshadowing
sense of heavenly love and goodness, that I could
not well forbear expressing the sense I then felt,
that, although ‘the waves of the sea are mighty,
the Lord God who dwelleth on high is mightier.’

Our beloved friends, R. F. and A. S. left us, and
after we had watched them for a time sailing towards
the shore, we retired to our cabins. It was
comforting to have had these dear friends with us.
I think we had been consoled together in the feeling
with which it had pleased Divine goodness to
favour us, and believing our separration was in His
will, we parted peacefully. The next morning
being first day we held our little meeting together,
and were permitted to feel that we were not forsaken.
I informed the captain that it was our I3r 173
usual practice to read the Scriptures after breakfast,
and, if he did not object, we wished to continue
to do so. He freely consented, and the other
passengers remained with us. We came next
morning opposite Deal. While we remained at
anchor there the wind arose and blew strong, yet
it being favourable, we again set sail. For two
days the gale increased. During the night of the
1823-10-3131st the wind rose higher and higher, and, in the
morning, a truly awful scene presented, but which
I could only know by report, being too weak to go
on deck. The waves broke over the vessel, and it
seemed every moment ready to go to the bottom.
I had, during the awful suspense of the preceding
day, been led into close searchings of heart; yet,
through all the consciousness of human imperfection,
and, though very humblingly sensible of my
own, I could not find ground to conclude, that
I had been misled in this concern, either as to the
cause itself or the step I had now taken in it, although
fear as to the possibility of too prompt conclusions
on what I had felt, would still at times
present itself. I cannot say that hope of our eventual
deliverance from this storm was ever quite
withdrawn, and I could not but believe that should
we even be taken away at this time, the cause itself
in which we had embarked would still be carried
on by other agents.
This day, the 1823-11-011st of 11th mo. was indeed awful;
the vessel pitching so much that the pumps could
not be used; the gales of wind tremendous and unremitting;
the waves dashing so over the deck
that many of the live stock were killed, and no
hope remaining that the ship could continue very
long afloat, unless we might be favoured with some I3v 174
intermission or variation of wind. I was led to
breathe the language of supplication; that, if consistent
with the Divine will, some abatement of
this distress might be known, and a degree of
balmy feeling came over my spirit, with desire that
submission might be felt in al things. Life appeared
to hang on a slender thread, and the continuance
of it very uncertain; yet still hope seemed
to live, and a secret belief to be given that the present
dispensation was tending to deepen a feeling
which it was necessary to my best nature should
be deepened. Yet was my spirit deeply humbled
before the Most High, and sensible of much unworthiness
in His sight.
On the 1823-11-022nd of 11th mo. the wind changed about
half-past two o’clock A. M., and before daylight it
was discovered we were near the French coast,
and within view of the bay of Harfleur. Had the
wind not changed, there was every probability of
our being drifted upon the rocks of that coast. Let
thankfulness ever dwell in our hearts for this seasonable
and merciful deliverance. In the course of
the day the appearance became altogether more
favourable, and much relief was felt. Our little
company did not meet together for worship till
evening, when I was still confined to my berth.
J. T. read the Bible to us, and we had a season
of silence that felt grateful and refreshing.
The Scriptures that evening and on other seasons
since our embarking, have felt remarkably sweet
and precious, and I have felt sensibly that the subjects
of which they speak are not cunningly devised
fables, but solid and consoling realities.
On the 1823-11-055th we were permitted to arrive safely
in the Isle of Wight, and it was indeed grateful to I4r 175
us to have this little season for rest and refreshment.
1823-11-1010th. Our little company met this morning, and
through unmerited mercy were favoured to feel
the weight of a solemn covering, evidencing, beyond
a doubt, the gracious care of Divine goodness
to be humblingly yet consolingly near, and something
like the heart-appeasing language imparted,
‘Fear not, I am with thee.’ And, in this hope
and sustaining assurance, may we not again freely
commit ourselves to our floating abode on the great
deep, and look forward to the coast of Africa, not
trusting in ourselves, but in Him who gave himself
for the lost, and in and through whom ‘life and
immortality are brought to light.’
We have, indeed, cause humbly and thankfully
to adore that goodness which has mercifully
preserved us to the present moment, yet, may we
dwell in fear and reverence before Him, feeling
awfully how very near we have appeared to be to
the verge of departure from this world, and how
little we can justly depend on the time of our continuance
in it, or with respect to its concerns, over
which no human being can obtain for himself anything
that can be called an unconditional controul.
Oh! may the feeling of our dependence on the
Most High, and of our responsibility before Him
be deepened, by whatever means He may be pleased
to appoint, and all shall eventually be found to
have worked together, through His appointment,
for good.
The wind is now fair, and it is concluded to
depart. The sky is cloudy, and the mate expects
a windy night.
1823-11-1717th. When at Cowes, and yet more since, I I4v176
have been impressed with a sense of the importance
of endeavouring diligently to promote the best
welfare of seamen, and of what importance is it,
that the influence they carry with them to distant
parts should be of the right kind, and how great
has been the lack of this influence among those in
this way of life!
This voyage has introduced me into a view of
a state of society of which I could hardly otherwise
have formed an idea, and has given me deeply to
feel how much we are in need of home missions. I
have not yet seen Africa; but assuredly there is,
in professing Christendom, a melancholy lack of
that subjection to the controul of Christian principle
and feeling, which forms the beauty of society,
where that controul is known and yielded to, and
with all the errors that are seen in some of high
profession, and much adherence to the outward
forms of worship and peculiar creeds, there is yet
a foundation in many of these, from which there is
much to hope, and to which I cannot but turn, in
solicitous expectation, in looking forward to the advancement
of good both in England and Ireland,
for both countries are much in my thoughts. How
desirable that wherever we are, in one country or
another, the first object of our care should be to
keep watch over the state of our own minds!
In addition to the work of uniting with my
friends in forming town and village libraries, there
is another object near my heart; the increase of
good schools for the middle classes, particularly
female schools. I want to propose to my friends to
form an establishment for training female teachers,
and forming Friends’ day-schools to be open to all
classes, in every part of England, where such schools I5r 177
can be formed, and to have a central model-school
near London, for promoting this interesting object.
I am well assured that good day-schools conducted
by conscientious Friends, and open to all classes,
would be both acceptable to the public, and greatly
useful to the rising generation.
I long to see a colony in Ireland for the improvement
of the peasantry; and do trust that some
Friends, who unite in principle and feeling, will
form such a colony, and show what may be done
for the people by generous and judicious measures,
by a free advance of capital to return itself in due
time, or to pay suitable interest; and by mild regulations,
for the instruction and government of
the colony, and the education of their children. I
trust we shall be permitted to see this before long.
1823-11-3030th. Obedience, obedience, entire dedication,
this is what I desire may be the pursuit of my life,
without choosing my own path, or seeking to avoid
what is difficult and opposed to my nature.
1823-12-0712th mo. 7th. What I feel most desirable is
the habit of daily mental self-denial, and the prevalence
of that inward and outward order which must
be the result of a constant attention to duty.
I am now, through Divine favour, making a
peaceful approach to the shores of Africa. I
have been seldom quite free from sea-sickness, so
far as to be able to sit up long together, but hope
soon to recruit.
1823-12-088th. Early this morning we were permitted
to anchor off Bathurst. The captain and all the
passengers except our company, went on shore before
breakfast. A precious sense of Divine favour
and goodness covered my mind, and a consoling
belief that our coming here would, through I5 I5v 178
His merciful care and guidance, be for good. The
first person I saw from the island was my kind
friend, A. Partarieu, Merchants at St. Mary’s, with whom H. K. had become acquainted
in England.
who came on board when he
heard of our arrival, and with him I entered into
conversation respecting our Waloof translations.
Very soon W. Waterman came to take us on
shore, and, to our great satisfaction, conducted us
to an empty house, which we were to occupy until
we could go to Birkow. We all felt much at home
on entering this house, and, as our furniture could
not be landed at present, the kindness of several
provided what was requisite in the meantime. Several
British residents visited us in the course of
the day. I felt unwilling to let the day pass without
seeing the commandant of the island, to whom
we had a letter from his predecessor, Major Grant.
J. Horton, the chaplain, accompanied us. We went
along the beach, and, though the heat was considerable,
we found a refreshing breeze. I felt truly
glad to tread the African shore, and was never, I
think, more sensible of being at home at any place
than now in this. The countenances of many of
the natives whom we see about, appear interesting
and intelligent, and bespeak a mental soil that
would well repay a friendly and liberal cultivation.
I do not think that any full and sufficient trial has
yet been given to a body of Africans, to enable
Europeans to judge of the extent of their qualifications
and ability for usefulness; and I cannot
doubt from what is already seen and known, but
that they are as susceptible of improvement as the
people of other countries, had they fair and just I6r 179
measures afforded to them from other classes of
The Commandant received us courteously, and
proposed to introduce us to the Alcaide, after the
departure of two vessels about to sail.
1823-12-1313th. To-day I felt sufficiently strong to visit
Birkow, and the Commandant kindly went with us.
After a sail across the creek, and about half-an-
hour’s slow walk, we reached the house. It is
beautifully situated; with a fine open view on one
side to the sea, and on the other to the town and its
vicinity. We found abundance of room for three
separate schools; for, boys, girls, and young children.
Thankfulness ascended as I looked around
me, and I could not but say, that if we had had any
unbelief or misgivings, we might now, indeed, be
ashamed of them. A. T. feelingly acknowledged,
that, if we had already prepared a place for ourselves,
we could not have desired to have one better
adapted to our purpose.
Yesterday Dongo Karry, who is learning to
read English, came to pay us a visit, wishing to
hear something read in his own language. I read
to him a few sentences. On hearing the first, he
exclaimed, ‘Ah! that’s Jaloof;’ and so repeatedly,
evidently understanding them. A short narrative
was then read, which pleased him very much; and
he repeated several sentences in this and other narratives
which were read, and by his actions and expressions
evidently understood them. Afterwards
I read to him the first section of the Scripture lessons,
when he exclaimed, ‘Great and good, great
and good!’
1823-12-1717th. It is now nine days since our arrival at
this port, and three since our visit to the Cape, the I6v180
proposed place of our settlement. Our visit I have
noticed, but not further than our introduction to
the station, and the satisfaction we felt on seeing
that, both for habitation and school, things were
quite prepared to our hands; yet there is one serious
disadvantage which we must endeavour soon
to provide for, and that is the want of water; the
wells being on the opposite side of the town.
When we were there a number of the natives
collected about us, only one of whom could speak
English—a man of lively countenance, who expressed
a wish to improve in the language, and to
learn to write. He resides with the Alcaide, and
sometimes interprets for him. We were told that
the Alcaide was gone to King’s-town to attend a
court there. He is spoken of as a thoughtful respectable
man, and his influence I have no doubt is
felt in the town. We were told that all the children
were taught Arabic, but fear the account is exaggerated.
Many of the little ones, and even those
who appeared to be about seven or eight years of
age, were introduced without clothing, and some of
the elder people wore very little: this caused difficulty
in going among them; yet we had opportunity
to observe, that many of the children had
pleasing countenances, and I longed to begin a
school among them. Great care will be requisite
in keeping to suitable subjects of instruction, such
as Scripture lessons, natural history, geography,
anecdotes of exemplary children, and some narratives
of good and useful characters, also with advices
which they can easily understand. I am well
aware that arduous duties are before me, and that
difficulties on the right hand and on the left must
be encountered; but the state of the people calls I7r 181
for help. The inexperience of our two native
teachers will often be an exercise for our patience,
and oh! that we may be endued with this grace
from time to time as it shall be called for.
We shall meet with many difficulties, but we
must, under all circumstances, consider only what
appears to be the path of duty, and quietly endeavour
to repose on the goodness of the Most High
for protection from injury, as far as he shall be
pleased to extend it to us. Dongo Karry will soon
learn to read the Jaloof; if he could become instrumental
in teaching it, and receive a recompense
in proportion to the number and improvement
of his pupils, it might prove a blessing to his
1823-12-1414th. We sat down together in meeting. I felt
it as I have often done, a favour to be introduced
into a state of silent self-examination in the presence
of the Most High, and a secret desire was
raised in my heart, that in our new and untried situation,
all feelings that have their spring in self
might be rightly subjected and controlled; and
kindness and good-will prevail in my heart towards
all around. In the afternoon several of the
natives came to sit down with us. They wished to
be informed when we would have a meeting with
them. I replied, that we were not at present prepared
for a meeting, but if some of them wished to
come to have a little talk with us, we should be
pleased to see them. About fourteen came, and
sat down in great quietness. Sandanee and I read
to them from the Waloof lessons: they appeared
to understand, but only one could speak a little
In the early part of the afternoon, J. Horton, the I7v 182
chaplain, paid us a visit, and entered feelingly into
conversation on the state of the people. He says,
his present situation is discouraging on account of
the little hope of usefulness, so long as the gross
lives of the Europeans are witnessed by the natives
in opposition to the Christian doctrine and profession.
He says also, that many of them suffer for
want of their attention being more turned to agriculture,
and he would be glad to see something
done for them in this respect, if it were only the
loan of agricultural implements, to be left in the
care of some individual of responsibility, who would
lend them out, or sell them at an easy rate. I do
trust something of this kind will be provided by
our Friends at home ere long.
1823-12-1818th. This morning a strong Harmatan wind
has arisen, so that on one side of the house we are
obliged to keep the doors and windows closed, and
indeed they cannot be opened without a strong
effort. This is the first time we have experienced
these winds. The weather, after the first day of
our being here, has been uncommonly warm for
the season, which is mostly considered as the coldest
time of the year.
J. Horton, when with us, spoke with much regret
of the mortality of the British seamen on the
African coast, which he thought was often attributable
to their working too hard in this hot climate,
and then being obliged to continue work, even
when their strength was failing from fever; as they
were often not brought into the hospital until they
were in a very sad state, when there was little prospect
of any help being effectual. They often
labour at a very heavy and unhealthy employment,
even during the rainy season, in bringing wood I8r 183
from a distance from which a bad exhalation arises,
the timber being saturated with wet and mud. This
work the Kroomen would do for very trifling wages,
and they are strong. I inquired whether a general
charge from the governor to the captains of vessels
might not prevent this suffering in a great degree,
by freeing them from work during the hours of extreme
heat, and that early care should be taken in
conveying the sick to the hospital. J. H. thought
that nothing short of the direction of the Secretary
for the Colonial Department would answer the
purpose. It should not be lost sight of. It is certain
a great number of seamen lose their lives, both
here and at Sierra-Leone; indeed, the larger proportion
of the Europeans who die at these stations
is of this occupation.
I long to see the people here put in the way of
forming better dwellings. Many of the Irish cabins,
despised as the name of an Irish cabin is, by
those who remember it only as associated with some
of the worst; yet many of the poorer Irish cabins I
have seen are like little palaces in comparison with
some of these African huts.
Since leaving home my mind has been, I think,
more sensibly impressed than ever with a sense of
the inestimable value to mankind of what are designated
in the Scriptures as the fruits of the
Spirit. Oh! that these might be evinced more
and more among professors of Christianity: the
truth would then soon make rapid way in those
called heathen lands; where, indeed, much darkness
dwells, and much that calls for Christian sympathy
and self-denying labour.
We ought ever to keep in view, that we are not
our own—not our own masters to choose what we I8v 184
will do, or what leave undone. This should be
kept in view in endeavouring to call others to the
duties of Christian benevolence. Yet, oh! the
watchfulness,—the abstractedness of mind required
of those who have to act as instructors of the
people. What self-renunciation—what temperance
—what willingness to take up the daily cross,
should these evince, if they would keep themselves
in body and mind disencumbered, so as to be
ready for the master’s will and the pursuance of
his work, which should be to them their meat
and drink. It is an awful thing to have been
called to the work of ministering in things spiritual.
May I be forgiven wherein I have acted,
or thought, or spoken, unworthily of this calling,
and be mercifully taught to maintain in future
a strict and daily watch, so that qualification may
be received rightly to attend to the exhortation
of the Redeemer, ‘Feed my lambs.’
1823-12-1912th mo. 19th. We were summoned to Government-house
to meet the Alcaide of Birkow. He
was sitting in the room with the Commandant;
had a straw hat on his head; his whole appearance
was uncouth, and expressive of listlessness and
apathy. As I looked at him I could not but sigh to
think, how very, very far remote these people are
from a state of civilization—from that intelligent
and Christian feeling, which is the result of right
education and religious principle in our highly favoured
country. He told us we might live among
the people at Birkow, and instruct the children of
such parents as were disposed to send them. I,
through Mahmadee, informed him a little of our
views, and of the interest which our friends and ourselves
felt for the education of children, both in our I9r 185
own country and in this; believing that it was the
will of the great Parent of all, that they should be
taught what is good in early life, and brought up
in the ways of peace, and love and good-will to all.
The commandant told him our friends were a people
that never fight, but who desire to do good,
and that we had left all our near and dear connexions
to come, and to do good to the people of
Africa. The Alcaide said, white men come into
their land and build good houses for themselves, he
wished they would build one for him. The Commandant
promised to send men to build him a house,
if he would set his own people to collect materials.
Although we did not make any engagement about
helping him, I do hope we shall do what we can to
obtain for him a better habitation. On returning
home we could not but consider the Alcaide as
rather cool, and evidently jealous, lest our efforts
for the people should interfere with Mahomedanism.
On entering into conference on the present appearance
of things, we thought the collecting a school
at Birkow would be rather slow; and here, at
Bathurst, the people were soliciting for our staying
with them and teaching them, and the Europeans
also desirous to place some of their children under
our care for school-instruction. We concluded
that R. Smith and J. Thompson should go to
Birkow, and commence their agricultural labours,
and A. Thompson and I remain here for the
present and open a school. To me it was grateful
to have an opportunity of trying the Jaloof
lessons. In the evening R. S., walking on the
beach, met with our kind friend the chaplain, who
much united with out proposed arrangement, and
returning with R. S. to our lodging, offered me I9v 186
one of his rooms, which is supplied with benches
for a place of worship, and in which I might have
a school for children in the mornings, and another
in the evenings for the king’s-boys, (so
called from being re-captured negroes.) This
was just what I could have desired—to have an
opening for some usefulness towards the re-captured
negroes, and to have a school for the Jaloof
language. Sandanee may assist me in both, and,
indeed, I wish him to be the ostensible person in
both. We are told that some of the worst characters
among the king’s-boys are sent to this flawed-reproduction6 letters
but this should not discourage us from trying to
do them all the good we can.
On the 1823-12-2020th the Alcaide paid us a visit, and
appeared more open and friendly than on the day
before. We had presented him with an umbrella,
some writing-paper, &c. and to-day, finding he
wanted a pocket-book, we gave him one, and added
a bag to carry it in. Mahmadee was our translator.
In this, and in his kind and willing services in the
house, we find him very useful.
1823-12-2121st. My mind was greatly impressed this
morning in our meeting with the necessity of attending
to the awful injunction—‘Sanctify the
Lord God of Hosts Himself; and let Him be your
fear, and let Him be your dread.’
In the evening, I went to see A. Partarieu, who
is still sick, yet well enough to converse, and evincing
a continued interest in the state of this ‘poor
as he sometimes emphatically speaks of
1823-12-2222nd. Several Jaloofs came to ask for an easy
lesson-book. Two of them appeared particularly
interesting and intelligent, and desirous to learn. I10r 187
They seemed rejoiced to hear of our intention to
open a school next week, and purpose to attend it.
We purpose also having a school, in the house in
which we live, for mulatto girls, and this A. T. will
teach. I was much interested lately with a mulatto
boy: he is a Mandingo, but speaks Jaloof. I
wished to try the Mandingo vocabulary with him,
which I had taken down from Mahmadee, and as
this boy understood very little English, he was
asked to give the Mandingo words, which I pronounced,
back to me in Jaloof; this he did very
readily, and I felt much interested in hearing his
translations, and glad that the Mandingo words
which Mahmadee had given me were quite intelligible.
1823-12-2323rd and 1823-12-2424th were days of fatigue from
various occupations. We had a large wash, which
went on slowly, on account of the new hands, and
want of accommodation. The water had to be
brought from a well, and only a very small portion
of it could be heated over a fire of wood made between
a few stones, in a straw cooking-house without
chimney, and the washing was done under a
virandah with no other floor than one of deep
sand, which blew about with the least wind. We
also unpacked and separated the goods, some to be
sent to Birkow, others to remain here.
1823-12-2727th I was much indisposed, chiefly, I think,
from over-fatigue. We found we could not open
the two schools so soon as we had intended, from
the intervention of the holidays. The celebration
of this season is in a way which must cause regret
instead of joy, to observers who really feel what
constitutes a holy remembrance of a great event,
and much more the event which Europeans profess I10v 188
to celebrate now, and whose example, in the mistaken
manner of feasting and boisterous mirth,
has spread to the Africans who appear to know
little more respecting the commemoration of the
birth of Jesus Christ, than that some Europeans,
whom they know, call it a great holiday, and that
they often meet together to feast at this time, after
having been to their places of worship! Oh! that
the real substance of religion, good principles and
good feeling in the heart, producing correspondent
fruits, were more generally acknowledged, and
sought as the chief concern of life; and the observance
of what are called feasts and festivals either
conducted in a manner worthy the profession of
a holy day, or passed in the feeling that every day
and every night God gives is in itself good!
1823-12-2929th. A trying morning, from a continuance
of great relaxation, and some discouraging feelings
as to the difficulty to be incurred in sickness here;
but I ought not to complain. R. S. is taken sick
with an attack of ague, which, though not violent,
makes us thoughtful. To-day he is feverish. It
is a satisfaction to us that he is in the habit of
prescribing for himself when indisposed, as the
army-surgeon, the only medical man in this place,
is himself in a declining state of health, and we
ought not to wish him to exert himself, if it can
be avoided.
On the 1823-12-2323rd we heard the bell toll early in the
morning: at breakfast-time, the following note
was handed to the houses of Europeans: ‘Gentlemen,
—You are invited by Sister Marcellaine to
attend the funeral of Sister Adelle, at five this
These two were French nuns who had
devoted themselves to the service of the sick, and I11r 189
lived in the hospital in this place; another has
since arrived from Senegal to supply the place of
the deceased. A man living next door to our
house was speaking to Sandanee one day last
week, as he passed by, and the next evening we
heard that he was dead. J. H., the chaplain,
told me that he was much struck soon after his
arrival at Sierra-Leone, to see a person one day in
good health, and to hear the next day that he was
dead and buried.
On first day afternoon, I read a few passages
of Scripture, and several short narratives, to Daba,
our maid, who till now has been uninstructed in
letters. We have begun to teach her. I asked
her to give me back the narratives as well as she
could remember. She appeared to understand all
that was read to her, and related the narratives
very well in Jaloof, here and there varying the
expression a little, but without losing the sense.
In a situation like this there is truly a great
necessity for our endeavouring every day, and
oftener than the morning, to repair to the Fountain
from whence the spiritual life is supported.
The precious aid we at times derive, both in and
out of meetings, at home in England, from the
gathered feeling of collected minds to whom we
come near, is a privilege we know but little of in
this seclusion. Should I live to return, how much
will such privileges be prized on again enjoying
them! I have also affectingly remembered the
quiet feeling with which we were in a degree
favoured from day to day in our large family at
Leavy Greave, where the business of the day went
on in calmness, after we had collected together for
morning reading. If I could see at Birkow a I11v 190
school pleasantly settled before we leave, and the
business of the day pursued there in that sweetness
and tranquillity of feeling which arises from a
sense of the goodness of the Most High, and a
desire to fulfil the duties of the day as unto Him,
how great would be the consolation, and of how
little to be accounted, any difficulties in our way
to the attainment of such an object.
I wish the merchants were more engaged in promoting
the civilization of the people. It can only
be a mistaken and short-sighted estimate of things
which can lead people to believe that promoting
civilization can do injury. Were all Africa
civilized, possessing substantial farmers and active
merchants, there would yet be many things wanted
from Europe which could not be manufactured in
so hot a clime as this.
1824-01-021st mo. 2nd, 1824. We have thought it would
be best, while here, to do what we can for the instruction
of the girls, as well as boys, in reading,
and other school-learning. The instruction of the
people must be our first object. In the afternoon,
went to Jola Town with J. H. and Sandanee, to
invite the girls, and women also, to come to our
school. We met two young men, whom I invited
to attend with the king’s-boys. The town consists
of fourteen huts: most of the men and boys were
absent. The women looked very pleasantly on
us, and several of them were very earnest to take
off the small burs from my stockings and skirts;
and they directed us also, when we left them, to a
nearer road to the beach, where there were not so
many of these ‘small pins.’ Altogether, I could
not but sigh with sadness at the state they were in.
As they were out at the doors, there was little I12r 191
occasion to enter the huts; but I went into one or
two, and felt that, degraded as are the poor peasantry
of Ireland, they are in some respects much
better prepared for improvement than the Jolas
are. This wretched system of multiplicity of wives
unhinges those strong and endearing connexions
of domestic life which, even in the poorest classes,
gives scope for so much humanizing and virtuous
feeling; and I have never valued civilization so
much as in witnessing the laxity and indolence
and sin of which an uncivilized state is so abundantly
productive. I am aware, indeed, that there
is much which needs improvement in our own
neighbours in England; but, poor Africa! how
powerful are thy claims to our best help and most
sincere pity!
I have sometimes lately had a sweet recollection
of those words of the Psalmist, ‘Blessed are
they that dwell in Thy house, they will be still
praising Thee!’
1824-01-044th. I am longing to hear from our dear
friends in England. I want help and strength,
but must repair to the Source of their hope and
my own. Do they remember us? Do they present
a petition for us before the Most High? Do
they feel that we are in a barren land, where there
is much to obstruct the free current of the water
of life? Oh! may Israel’s God be their tower of
defence from all that would wound their best life!
May they be preserved as the ‘salt of the earth,’
as a leaven the influence of which shall be diffused
all around.
My mind is on the stretch, looking forward to
what is before me, as one who is attempting an
acclivity, and longs to know what can be seen I12v 192
from it. I feel much pressed to visit Sierra-Leone
as soon as may seem expedient.
We purpose taking Mahmadee’s brother for
instruction. We had in view another Mandingo
boy; but he has not been sent because his relations
say he has a ‘hard head.’
In looking at the natives, either here or at Birkow,
I feel aware that a friend whose qualifications
might seem of a very lowly scale to those about
him in England, might here, in comparison with
those he had to instruct, be of quite sufficient
ability for the work. There requires, indeed, some
one, or more, of experience and solid thought to
guide the general concern, under the direction of a
committee in London. All engaged ought to be
persons of just and kind feelings, Christian principles
and integrity. They ought also to possess
what Henry Tuke justly ranks among the Christian
virtues, ‘cheerfulness,’ for this is greatly desirable
both for the support of themselves and their associates
in their daily concerns and duties, and
requisite also to draw the natives along with them;
for they would be repelled, instead of attracted, by
the appearance of gloom, or an extremely reserved
and absent manner.
How grateful ought we ever to feel for the
kind consideration of our dear friends, evinced on
such various occasions in the course of our proceeding
in this interesting cause; but yet more
fully and especially in the time of preparation for
our departure; and if anything has been omitted
that was requisite for our accomodation, it is
only ourselves who are to be charged with the
omission, as everything was allowed that was suggested
as desirable.
K1r 193 1824-01-088th. On the 1824-01-055th our school was opened for
girls, at nine in the morning, and I was glad to
find that several were brought who are regarded as
slaves, although in this colony slavery is not acknowledged.
These were to be taught to read
and work, in company with those who were considered
their proprietors; or with others of the
same class—mulatto girls. As the example is thus
set of having slaves instructed, I trust it will be
followed. Our school the first morning consisted
of eight, and the school at the Court-house for the
king’s-boys and others were thirty-five—mostly
king’s-boys—only five of them, men and boys of
the island, belonging to the Jaloof country. The
chaplain was so kind as to attend and assist me in
taking their names, &c. Some could read well,
and, if well disposed, might be of much use; but
an unfavourable account is generally given of their
habits. J. H. says, he has no doubt but if we
remained the Government would send pupils from
Sierra-Leone for instruction. What is danger!
what is life! if only good can be done, and the
great work of reformation and improvement in
the earth rightly proceeded in? Let me not presume,
or suppose I should be unmoved when danger
comes; but let me only see clearly my path,
and trust for strength to be enabled to pursue
it. Some of the re-captured negro boys have
fine intelligent countenances, and would, I am
satisfied, if their minds were well directed, be
capable of being very useful. At present they
give way to intoxication, and amuse themselves
with gaming.
The plan I propose for the Jaloof scholars,
both men and women, as well as younger ones, is K K1v 194
to read the vowels after me, in the first lesson,
many times, until they seem to know them; then
spell a few easy words, and read them after me;
then, in the same way, to spell and read a few
easy sentences; then spell the easiest words without
the book. Then write, first the alphabet, and
then words from their lessons, or from dictation. I
believe than even two hours daily spent this way
would advance a scholar very fast. Yesterday
we had eight women pupils and sixteen girls.
Several of the women had young children with
1824-01-1010th. The poor women with their infants
were found so unsettling to the school that it is
concluded to discontinue them as pupils, unless
they could engage to come in turns, and one take
care of two children at home, and thus set each
other at liberty every second day.
The repeated evidence of the African lessons
being intelligible to the Jaloofs felt cheering on
opening school, and conducting it. Partarieu expresses
his conviction that Friends would be received
by the natives with confidence, and would
succeed in their attempts to introduce improvement;
but he believes they would find it requisite
to trade as well as teach, in order to do all the
good they would wish, in promoting industry, and
furthering the great object of the general welfare
of the people.
Having had much inconvenience from the
inexperience of our servant, and seen also that
she is capable of doing better, if taught, the idea
of training servants as an important object, both
for their advantage and for domestic comfort, has
been much on my mind. I should like to write a K2r 195
few hints on the way to avoid excessive labour
by method, and to gain time by foresight and
early attention, so as to have some time for
employments that allow rest. Also a few thoughts
on kindness, sincerity, and the feeling of responsibility
to the Creator of all men and Judge of the
1824-01-1212th. I feel it a great claim for humble acknowledgment
and trust in Divine goodness, that
in our little assemblies for worship here, small as
they are, we are yet favoured with some sensible
feeling of the fulfilment of the Saviour’s merciful
declaration, ‘Where two or three are gathered together
in my name there am I in the midst of
How sweet and sublime is that worship
which is in spirit and in truth, independent of
the aid of ourward forms, and evidently adapted to
all places, countries, and circumstances, and people,
where the right feeling is awakened. Nor do
I know anything so calculated to open the way
for the prevalence of the best feelings, and of the
true spirit of worship, as to sit down in silent and
awful remembrance of the presence of the Most
High. It is in this silent and awful feeling of
the Divine presence that a refuge will be known
from thoughts that tend to dissipate and distract
from the spirit of worship. It would be a vain
and indolent excuse, for a dissipated mind to
allege that this feeling is not at our command:
‘Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall
I am well satisfied that my first effort in reducing
the African languages was made in Jaloof.
This language is spoken by the most intelligent
persons on this coast.
K2 K2v 196 The present state of the Africans calls for very
simple methods of instruction; and even meetings
for religious worship might, I apprehend, be conducted
here with a simplicity and divestment of
those forms in which sects differ, and yet the important
and essential truths of Christianity be conveyed.
Oh! were the practice of such outward
instruction as should be adapted to the capacity
and state of the people, but united with seasons
for retirement, mental prayer, and recollection in
the presence of God, (which a season of silence in
our religious assemblies would allow,) how much
more effectually might the great object of meeting
with the uncivilized for religious instruction, and
Divine worship be promoted, than it can be by the
introduction of outward forms, which the people
cannot understand, and by a system that does
not cast the mind upon what passes within itself
as an encouragement to occasional silence would
How much has this poor country to suffer
from the gross example of Europeans; some of
whom will be willing to attend, at least sometimes,
a place of worship on the first day of the week;
but will not put away the evil of their doings, but
make shipwreck of all that would exalt and enrich
the character of intelligent beings designed for a
state of immortal existence.
My attention has been drawn to the good
whih might be done by the instruction of the
people in the principles of Christianity on a
system that might be pursued by well-disposed
teachers of schools, by mechanics, or by agricultural
agents. I fear not the test which such a
system might be brought to in the Scriptures of K3r 197
truth. Did not the great Master himself appoint
fishermen, and others employed in useful labours,
as the chief teachers off the people in the truths
that concern our present and everlasting happiness?
And did He not present himself an example,
in the simplicity of the manner in which
instructive truths the most sublime might be presented,
when, ‘as his custom was, He went into
the synagogue on the sabbath-day, and stood up
for to read?’
On the 1824-01-1111th, after the heat of the day had
subsided, a few of my senior pupils came to me.
They all speak a broken English, being from
Sierra-Leone. I read to them a plain account of
a good poor woman in England, from a tract
called Bible Happiness; but, simple as this tract
is, it was necessary often to make the language
plainer still. I read to them also from the Scriptures,
and recommended a time of silent attention
to the subjects, so far as they were understood. I
explained to them why we should be silent before
Him who sees the heart, and knows all its desires,
whether ‘uttered or unexpressed.’ A sweet feeling
was present, which was consoling, and a cause
of thankfulness.
I ought to keep a small book in which to
put down the Jaloof and Mandingo phrases that
occur to me as being wanted, as I go along,
and with which I am not familiar. I can make
myself understood by the Jaloofs in such phrases
as seem most commonly in use; but am not familiar
enough with the language to carry on a
conversation, or to understand the particulars of
their conversation, except when they speak in
short phrases.
K3v 198 I was asked a few days since to go and see a
poor woman who was much hurt by some blows
received from her husband. On my way to her
hut I was informed of one of the king’s-boys, not
far from this place, who, being dissatisfied with
one of his wives, had ordered her legs to be broken,
and she had died in consequence of this cruelty.
When I was in the hut of the poor woman, a
native came in who was decrepit, and I was told
it was from the violent blows of the man who
called himself her husband, and who by brutal
treatment had crushed some of her bones. Alas!
what can be said by those who plead for human
nature, when uncultivated, being innocent and
good, and not needing the aid or interference of
those more enlightened?
Yesterday evening I went to the school-room;
but was informed there was no school, because of
the races. The accounts we hear this morning of
the fruits of this ‘pastime,’ as it is called, are indeed
grievous. Drunkenness being found here, as
in England, a common accompaniment of horse-
Last first day several of the king’s-boys came
to request I would give them Jaloof books, as they
wished to teach all the people of this place who
speak that language. I gave to these and to
others who followed, until twenty-two had been
Let me attend to the duties of the present day;
do what I can, whilst here, and leave the future.
Let me diligently pursue the objects before me;
they are greatly interesting, and now we have in
a considerable degree got over the first cares
and occupations and hindrances arising from the K4r 199
strangeness of our situation and the want of more
efficient help, we may attend to our great point of
school instruction, and the acquisition of information
relative to the people, and what may be done
for their advantage and improvement. May we
be governed by that principle which desires the
prevalence of the Redeemer’s kingdom before all
earthly good. It is very possible in this country
to be dwelling on tangible things, and neglecting
the real religious exercise that is requisite to the
support of the best life. The life which is imparted,
indeed, from a Heavenly influence is alike
efficacious in the solitude of the desert and in
the fully peopled city; but which everywhere demands
an application of heart, to which we are
excited many times in England by watchful and
collected minds in meetings and in private intercourse
with dear friends. I fear that some coming
out, even with good motives, to serve the people
of uncivilized countries have, in remaining year
after year with but little of Christian intercourse
with those advanced in religious experience beyond
childhood, not been sufficiently on their
guard against the loss to be apprehended in such
circumstances, and in European settlements especially.
I do wish that it might be in the heart of
some firm, religious, and judicious Friend to fix
in this island, who would bear faithful and
Christian testimony against the excesses and gross
conduct which are witnessed here. Yet let these
testimonies be borne in the Christian feeling that
would gladly, if possible, restore, and not proudly
or hopelessly reject those who have so greatly
wandered from the right path.
K4v 200 1824-01-2323rd,. There is much aguish sickness prevalent,
and reports of many deaths. It is very evident
from some well-known circumstances, both
here and at Sierra-Leone, that sickness and mortality
are greatly increased by intemperate living:
this, I think, should be known in order that people
should not be prevented from encountering the
dangers of this climate from an apprehension that
they are greater than they really are. In the
view of going to Sierra-Leone it is not merely the
climate that I have looked at; but I have been
solicitous to know the best time, and I have nearly
concluded it must be the present. The field of
labour is so opening here, by many wishing to
learn to read, and others desiring Jaloof books,
that I feel almost reluctant to quit at present; yet
trust I may return. The king’s-boys improve so
well that they will soon be able to teach others.
I took a walk on the beach this evening with
J. T. In conversing on the state of this colony,
and alluding to the uncontrolled habit of living to
which many give way, we united in the sentiment
that the mortality is so far from being subject of
wonder, that it might rather be said it is wonderful
so many live. There are certain other causes to
guard against besides luxurious living and intemperate
drinking. Much labour or fatigue in the
heat of the day is evidently calculated in this
climate to cause sickness and premature death;
and perhaps there is no secondary measure more
requisite than to endeavour, in humble reliance on
Divine Providence, so to arrange our concerns as
to avoid extreme exertion, and especially during
several hours of the hottest part of the day. Also
to take a sufficiency of nourishing, but not heating K5r 201
provisions. We are also aware that persons whose
minds are tranquil, yet cheerful, have a better
prospect of being kept in health here than those
whose minds are ill at ease. After all, it must be
allowed that life in this climate is critical, and
seems to hang at times as on a very slender
K5 K5v 202

Chapter VIII.

Visits Sierra-Leone—State of the liberated Africans
—Causes of mortality—Character of the Inhabitants.

1824-02-01“2nd mo. 1st. Having concluded to go to Sierra-
, the last three days have been much occupied
in preparations for our departure. In making
these preparations I felt peace and quietness of
mind. There does not appear to A. T. and
myself anything in this climate to prevent every
kind of business of a domestic nature from being
effected without extreme fatigue, if attention be
only given to right timing and arrangement of
In looking out a suitable assortment of tracts
to take with us to Sierra-Leone, I felt regret that
we had not been more active stewards in their
distribution, both here and on other parts of the
coast, by means of vessels leaving. I trust, however,
we shall be more prompt in future to avail
ourselves of opportunities as they present themselves.
In meeting to-day I thought I felt more as a
pilgrim and stranger on the earth than I remembered
to have felt before; and so decided a sense
that there is much demanding our exertions, both
here and elsewhere, that it seemed a time which
called for entire resignation as to the future. I do,
I think, feel thankful that Divine goodness has K6r 203
wonderfully opened our way thus far, and is preparing
it also at the Cape.
The Alcaide has again visited us, and appeared
very open and friendly. I read to him some lists
of Mandingo words: he seemed pleased, and surprised
to find intelligible terms in his own language
on paper, and looked on the lessons to see
what it was like; but remarked that he was now
too old to learn our lessons.
As far as we have gone in the schools, I feel
confirmed in the expectation that this simple system
of orthography will make the language easy
to be read by those who are acquainted with it.
The eldest of our girls reads the narratives This little work was written in England, the words being
gathered from the two Africans previously alluded to.
freely; and I am glad the book can be used in its
present form, with very little, if any, correction,
except one error of the press; yet improvement,
in a subsequent edition, will be valuable. It,
however, quite surpasses my hope as to its correctness,
and proves that, with great care and patient
attention, it would be practicable, with two or
three natives in England, to form elementary lessons
for various languages.
On the 1824-02-088th, J. T. and I set sail for Sierra-
. As we did not leave till the afternoon, we
were able to attend the forenoon meeting. We
were favoured as, through infinite goodness, we
have often been, to feel that we are not forsaken
in this distant land. But why should I say this
distant land? Do I not still, through infinite
loving-kindness, feel that the earth is the Lord’s
and the fulness thereof? and wherever His consoling
presence may be felt, this is home. I K6v 204
write this in Sierra-Leone, where we were permitted
to arrive in safety; and to which point I
was so satisfied that my mind was rightly attracted,
that the waves of the sea, from which
my natural constitution has often so sensibly and
painfully shrunk, those waves, in this voyage from
the Gambia to Sierra-Leone, have appeared as
solid ground.
We had a very favourable passage; and, though
I soon became sea-sick, the sickness was slight,
and not such as to prevent my reading or working
every day, though mostly a reclined position
seemed necessary. We were only seven nights
on the water. On the 1824-02-1212th we arrived at the
isles of Los, and the packet, which calls there
occasionally, resting some hours, we went on
shore. It is a solitary spot; but more might
be done for the improvement of the people in
this and the opposite island, where there are many
inhabitants. We were introduced to the chaplain
and his wife, (J. and S. Klein,) who were some
years ago resident in Sierra-Leone, but now are
engaged in the study of the Susso language, and
in reducing it to writing for Scripture translation.
S. Klein had not seen a white woman before
for five years. Speaking with her on the great
work of Scripture translation, she said, ‘Do what
you can in England, for here people seldom continue
long without becoming debilitated both in
body and mind.’
She told me of a chief named
Amara, on a neighbouring coast, who had translated
the Old Testament into Mandingo, in the
Arabic characters. S. K. observed that Scripture
sentences in Arabic, pasted on boards and put up
in small boxes, like dissected maps, would be K7r 205
valuable presents for the chief men, and might be
so selected as to be willingly received by the
Mahomedans. She considered Mandingo and
Mahomedan as almost synonymous. The Mandingoes
had been so zealous in propagating the
Mahomedan faith by schools that they had spread
themselves in this way in almost every direction,
and had travelled and settled over a great many
parts of the country.
S. K. speaks against the practice of people
amusing themselves with the broken English of
Sierra-Leone, instead of teaching the children to
speak more correctly. I believe there is great disadvantage
in accustoming the Africans to such a
limited vocabulary of words as this broken English
furnishes, since by this they are prevented from
acquiring such as are necessary for understanding
what they read.
I have now passed one day and night at Free
, and have had much opportunity for conversation,
first with J. Macormack, a merchant, then
with ―― Reffles, the present superintendent of
liberated negroes; and in the evening, and this
morning, with the amiable and affectionate J.
, widow of a missionary who came out
last year. In the house of this young widow I
have received a kind and hospitable shelter, which
makes me feel quite at home, and thankful, I trust,
for such a privilege.
There is a field for Friends to work in, in this
land, and I cannot be deterred by the dangers
which are evident in the climate from calling
upon those who express sympathy for Africa to
feel, and think, and see what may be reqired at K7v 206
their hands. The conviction that dwells with me
is, we must seek to do what is right, whether we
live or die in the fulfilment of our work. Of little
moment is it whether life be a few years longer or
shorter, in comparison with the importance of pursuing
with fidelity the path of sincere dedication
to duty. There is war between light and darkness
on the earth, between the kingdom of the
Redeemer and the kingdom of this world, between
good and evil, between happiness and misery;
and what if the lives of some be shortened in this
conflict, if only they be favoured with the hope
that their names are written in heaven, this sacrifice
will not be withheld from the fear of early
removal. There are many causes that counteract
length of days, and which yet cannot be wholly
avoided, even with the conveniences and accommodations
of life. There is not cause to shrink from
the prosecution of good from the over-estimate of
the desirableness of long life;—if, indeed, any
tenure of existence in the present state can be
called long. I do not know how I may feel if I
live to be again in England; but at present my
rest in any temporal enjoyment seems much broken
up, in the contemplation of how much there is in
the present state of things in the world that calls
for self-renunciation. I thought I should have
suffered sensibly in the retrospect of privileges and
pleasures that had been dearly enjoyed whilst in
England; but now I cannot mourn this loss, being
mercifully sustained by a conviction that it is right
for me to be here, and that Everlasting Goodness
is graciously near to help. May I be enabled
rightly to follow the apostolic injunction, ‘forgetting K8r 207
the things that are behind, and looking forward
to those that are before.’
I am glad to hear that the natives in the
neighbourhood of this colony have great confidence
in the English. The Timmanees are said
to be exceedingly polite, and can hardly forbear
repeating again and again, ‘Stranger, you are
‘How are your family?’ ‘How is your
and again, after a little conversation,
‘Stranger, you are welcome!’ ‘Are you quite
‘I am glad to see you!’
1824-02-172nd mo. 17th. Yesterday we came to Kissey
on a visit to G. Nylander. The ride was beautiful,
and we had an opportunity of seeing the
luxuriant vegetation of Africa, of which we can
scarcely form an idea in the sandy island of St.
. In this place there wants the labours of
a civilization society, which to a certain extent
would be much the same with that of the Friends;
but, oh! I long that the desire after pure religion,
that which would regulate and influence the whole
heart and life, might become more and more prevalent;
and I cannot but greatly fear that the
mere repetition of prayers, and attention to certain
outward forms often lead to a false rest, wherein
the mind is left untouched and cold, the tempers
and dispositions wayward and uncontrolled by
that renewing influence which can alone introduce
to harmony, and order, and true love—the sweetness
of life that now is, and the best preparation
for that which is to come. Everything I have
seen lately in Africa or England has, so far as I
know, tended greatly to confirm my attachment to
the principles of real genuine Quakerism, and an
earnest desire is raised in my heart for the prevalence K8v 208
of truth among the nations of the earth.
The happiness of the world in every sense—in
every just sense—would be promoted by the prevalence
of those principles which must lead to the
truth and the love of it.
Our kind host, G. Nylander, reminds me in
his appearance of a venerable Moravian minister,
or a good old Friend. There is an air of sincerity
and kindness, and gentleness about him that gives
confidence, and a degree of rest to the mind in
seeing him. In our conversation on agriculture
he mentioned that cotton is cultivated with great
ease, and grows immediately after the rice-crops,
on the same ground. Coffee and arrow-root grow
wild here with little trouble. If the okwa could
be dried and exported as a vegetable soup, it
might be of much value; and, in short, thiS
country has not any lack in its powers of production,
and only wants agricultural labourers of sincere
good will to guide and instruct the Africans
in their labours so as to supersede, by fair and
judicious measures, all plea of necessity for selling
each other.
G. N. tells me that one hinderance to the cultivation
of coffee here is that it requires a three
years’ growth previous to a return of profit, and
this is too much time for the Africans to look
forward to in their present habits and circumstances.
Sugar cultivation also would require too
much capital for them to do much in it. The
disbanded soldiers (men of colour) who now
occupy farms in several of the villages, having
seen more of European habits than the rest of the
people of Sierra-Leone, make the best farmers.
G. N. was much pleased the other day with an K9r 209
application from about one hundred of the recaptured
negroes, or rather, as they are more
properly called, liberated Africans, requesting that
they might have Saturday for themselves, to cultivate
land on their own account, which was readily
granted them.
I have informed G. N. of the principles on
which I have attempted to write the Woloof lessons.
He fully approves the system of orthography,
and believes the lessons will be very easy to
learn. He looked at the scale of vowel sounds,
and then read a few Woloof sentences quite correctly.
He is the only person now living in the
colony who has been engaged in translation, except
Wilhelm, and has not lately pursued the
object, since the English alone is taught here. I
told him I wished to take down small vocabularies
in the Bullom and Timanee, and he kindly offered
as helpers a master and a clever boy.
The vocabularies I wish to form are of about
two hundred words each, the same that are printed
in the Woloof vocabulary. I should also like the
short sentences in the first pages of African Lessons,
and one or two verbs conjugated.
Reffles, the superintendent, told me lately, that
it was impossible for any but an eye-witness to
conceive the miserable state of the poor Africans
brought into this colony in the recaptured vessels,
especially from the Portuguese vessels, which were
miserably provided, the accommodations limited,
and the vessels small and wretched, only intended
to drive before the wind in a voyage of three
weeks; but which had sometimes been three
months in bringing up to Sierra-Leone, on their
K9v 210 War has in all circumstances its miseries—
even war against the nefarious traffic in human
beings. A little girl I saw in the school this
morning had lost one arm, and on equiry of
the cause, was told it was lost in the fight in recapturing
a slave-ship, and that the slaves had
often been much wounded, and some of them
killed in these combats.
People at a distance are ready to cry out,
‘That colony of Sierra-Leone should be given
but although I unite with a remark I have
heard that all the hope of improvement in Africa
must not depend on what can issue from Sierra-
; yet good, I am satisfied, will proceed from
it, and the climate is not such as to render the
case hopeless, as to the health of Europeans who
may be placed as residents; I neither believe
that the colony should be relinquished, nor that
it is necessary to forbear making additional settlements.
On the children assembling in the chapel last
evening (at Kissey) I felt such an inclination to
be with an African congregation that, after I had
proposed it, the rest of the company went with
me. It was indeed a heart-touching sight to see
so large a company, most of them rescued from
slave-ships, collected together, hearing from a German
missionary a simple and appropriate comment
on a few passages of sacred Scripture. A great
many of the settled villagers were also present.
In the morning, in coming down near the
piazza, I heard a loud sound from many voices,
like that of a school-lesson on the national system.
I supposed for a time it was a class repeating an
arithmetical table; how much was I pained when K10r 211
I found it was the language of prayer that engaged
them. This appears to my mind so inconsistent
with any tendency to devotional feeling, that I
cannot but mourn that it should be encouraged,
and greatly desire that the feeling itself of true
devotion might be more sought and cherished,
and all expression or profession of it forborne that
does not arise from the right source. How precious
are the advantages of real simplicity and sincerity
in all our ways, and yet more than all in the
awful profession of religious worship—the worship
of that infinite Being to whom all hearts are open,
and all desires are known.
This morning G. N. has had an affecting
request from some of the people in Leicester
, where they have not any school or
teacher, saying, ‘Dear master, do send us a teacher;
do not let us perish like the heathen!’
G. N.
encouraged them to hold such meetings as they
could among themselves, as he could not send a
teacher to reside among them. If such as these
could only be brought to feel how good it is to
wait in silent recollection of mind before God,
who has all power to help and to instruct us, and
all goodness to hear our secret supplications; and
could they just read the Scriptures, devotional
Psalms, and well-chosen religious narratives; how
much might the meetings, held in this simple
feeling and principle, be blessed to them—leading
to examination of heart, and to the conviction that
the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
I cannot but believe that the time will come, when
such meetings will be held by a sincere-hearted
peasantry, without priest or outward teacher in
Africa, in Ireland, in Engand, and wherever the K10v 212
Scriptures of truth are read and known, and the
people invited there by the Redeemer himself to
gather together, even thought it be but by two or
three, in His name, and under His power, and
where His own example is recorded in favour
of the simplicity of opening the acknowledged
records of truth, and reading them in assemblies
for religious instruction. The holding meetings
for religious worship alone, without any outward
means of instruction, will, I trust, ever be valued
as an inestimable privilege in this and future
days by those who have been favoured to feel
how good it is thus to assemble in silence in His
1824-02-192nd mo. 19th. Early yesterday morning we
rode to Wellington to see T. and M. Macfoy; they
are both mulattoes: he is a native of the West
and she is of this place, but sent early from
this country to America for education. We felt
much at home in their house. A number of fine
palm-trees grow near Wellington, and supply the
people there with a wine which much exceeds what
we had before tasted. We were told much depended
on the manner, or rather time, in which
the wine was taken—that the tree should be pierced
several days before the wine could be obtained in
the best state. We were also informed that three
good-sized wheaten loaves, by having two table-
spoonfuls of the settlings of palm-wine, might be
raised as well as they would be by leaven. Ripe
bananas or plantains will answer the purpose of
eggs, if mixed with rice, for pancakes. We are
much pleased with the opportunity of being here,
finding both the master and mistress of the family
very much interested for the improvement of African K11r 213
resources and advantages, by the cultivation of both
native and foreign productions.
We saw a garden at T. Macfoy’s which had
only been cultivated one season, and far surpassed
every garden we have seen in Africa Many pleasant
fruits and excellent vegetables were in it,
chiefly, but not wholly African. I wish every pleasant
vegetable congenial to the climate, that we
know of, may be furnished; for it does seem important
to obtain a good supply of vegetable diet,
for the sake of health, in this place. There are several
native plants and trees particularly nutritious:
the okro, of a glutinous quality, good either in
soups or alone; the tamata, for soups; the kerry-
kerry, glutinous like the okro; and the prickly
cotton-tree bears leaves that have the same quality,
and are used for what the natives call palaver-sauce.
On looking over some of the Jaloof vocabulary
at Wellington, which Godberry presents in his
travels, I was reminded, by the want off clear
analyzation, how necessary it will be to use much
care and patience in forming elementary lessons in
a new language, and every word and syllable should
be compared again and again. It appears to me
now more desirable than ever, that the system of
teaching even the liberated Africans should, in the
first instance, be through their own language.
They learn English slowly, from not understanding
the meaning of their spelling lessons. If very
little books were formed in their own language, and
then easy translations at the same time in English,
they would have some idea attached to all they
learn, which now they have not.
Our first day meeting was held in my room, as
the place of most quiet, and that in which we could K11v 214
be without interruption. I felt renewedly how
grateful it is to have been led, through Divine
mercy and favour, into a way of worship adapted
to all places, people, and circumstances, where
only the heart desires to seek Divine assistance, and
to acknowledge its dependence on Divine power.
Oh! that those who do apprehend it best for them
to use some form of worship, could be prevailed
upon to devote, either without their forms or in the
midst of them, one hour in the week to silent worship
and reflection before the Most High! Surely
a voice would sometimes be heard to speak through
the silence, in language more powerfully arresting
than any which is wont to strike the outward ear.
This climate requires a cheerful disposition
and good courage, as well as temperate habits, and
that resignation to the will of Providence which is
most likely to be met with in those who are endeavouring
to pursue with fidelity the apprehended
duties of their day.
1824-02-242nd mo.24th. My health, which has been
failing, is now much recovered. We are informed
that in about two weeks a vessel will sail for the
Gambia. It will be very desirable for us to go in
that if we can. I would rather omit visiting some
of the schools than not go at that time; yet much
wish to make some trials in the Fantee, Timanee,
Bullom, and Mandingo languages first.
Lately, in reading over the scripture lessons
from the series, I felt grateful for the kindness of
those dear friends in England who have perseveringly
aided this cause, and promoted my views by
means which would have been quite out of my
power had I been alone in this concern. I trust it
will appear that my own mind was rightly led into K12r 215
this engagement, and that they had themselves a
feeling of duty to be fulfilled towards Him who has
long been leading them to feel for the cause of this
injured country.
My heart has been sad at times in this place, in
feeling what a lack there is of those true and affectionate
labourers who in a field like this, are so
greatly wanted.
I hear of the suffering and mortality in some
merchants’ vessels, by the oppression, bad treatment,
and hard exactions of work from the sailors
by their captains; but I rejoice to learn that an
Act has passed to prevent British sailors from being
subject to such oppression on this coast. I have
been spoken to concerning the character of the respectable
and benevolent-minded Captain Rowe,
who in thirty years’ sea-service has only lost one
sailor: one captain on this coast in three months
lost thirty men.
The dear children in the schools here should
learn to repeat some of Taylor’s and other hymns
and original poems, such as have some valuable
tendency. I am satisfied that the system of school-
instruction should be combined with useful employment,
and that the girls should be taught from
books the theory of domestic business, and in turns
the practice of it. The boys should be taught agriculture
and mechanics. Some general directions
might be given by books, on a very easy scale, with
respect to these different acquirements.
1824-03-063rd mo.6th. Not many days ago we walked
up to Leicester Mountain. The height was great,
and the sun yet powerful. We sat down to rest by
the way on an old tree, and soon, from a hut that
was near, they brought out for us seats, and a very K12v216
fine pine-apple; they offered us a second, but the
first was sufficient. Their friendly, affectionate
manner was grateful to witness.
If I am favoured to return to England, I think
I may also visit Russia, to discharge a debt of duty
towards China, which I have felt for years; and to
fulfil this, I see no other way than by the medium
of tracts, and conversations with persons who may
have some degree of intercourse with that country,
and I think some of these persons may be found in
Russia. This view has escaped from my pen almost
without considering whether it might be written or
not. I will, however, add, what I think I have
mentioned to no one, that if I should not live to
arrive in England, let some of my dear friends, as
a memento of their love and desire to spread the
truth in the love of it, have my scripture selections
printed for distribution in China. Tracts, I
am told, may be more easily circulated there than
large volumes, and small books may be read by
some willingly, who would afterwards give their
attention to those of a larger size.
There is another important point with regard
to the schools here which I have not noticed, and
indeed it is important to all schools on the system of
mutual instruction, and that is, the necessity of
paying particular attention to the improvement of
monitors. On these must depend much of the success
of the school. Let us do all we can in teaching
them hymns and passages of scripture and leading
their minds to Christian conduct.
I may repeat what I often feel convinced of
that it is not the mere effect of climate that causes
so much suffering here; much of the sickness and
mortality arises from the three following causes— L1r 217
occasional excess in the manner of living—the lack
of those every-day comforts which, in domestic
life, are enjoyed in England. This lack arises from
the state of a comparatively new settlement, where
in many families there is no female superintendent,
no good cook or house-servant, nor any one to take
a general oversight of domestic concerns, so that
health is badly supported, and the sick greatly
neglected as to diet and judicious, attentive nursing.
A third cause is excessive fatigue in a climate
which, although it does not authorise idleness, yet
does not admit of those continued exertions and
that unremitting application to business of a difficult
nature that may be encountered without
danger in England. To fare well in this climate
Europeans should, if possible, have agreeable society
in their own families, whose company they
may enjoy every day, and not have the temptation
to look out for relaxation by occasional amusements
that are unfavourable to health, and unworthy the
pursuit of persons beyond the age of childhood.
Their pursuits should also be such as to interest and
stimulate the mind, yet such as should not oblige
them to go beyond their power to support when
they feel themselves exhausted by the effects of relaxing
heat, &c.
I should like to see a school for young men, in
which, besides learning to read, some short instructions
should be read to them on natural and religious
subjects, pursuing the questioning system.
I hope, if ever Friends should have a settlement here,
that they will have some schools of this kind, and instead
of beginning and closing with forms of prayer,
will have, on closing, the Scriptures read, and some
time given for quiet recollection before they separate.
L L1v 218 On first day evening we went to see several
of the people in their own dwellings at Regent,
and were pleased to see the good accommodations
they had been able to provide for themselves.
Much of this district is barren, and not
well adapted for the formation of gardens about
their dwellings.
Went to Bathurst, and were much pleased
with the humble, sincere, missionary spirit with
which both G―― and his wife were endowed.
It was pleasant to meet in G―― that genuine
feeling of piety, and of solicitude for the fulfilment
of the duties of the day, which are valuable
beyond any other attainment, whatever it may
be; and in the company of such, whether the feeling
be uttered or unexpressed, there is a consolation
to be enjoyed which far surpasses what can
be partaken of in the society of persons who lack
this feeling, whatever may be their talents or other
We went forward to Leopold and Charlotte.
At all these three places the houses exhibited
much of English comfort, neat, clean, and well
provided, and these situations appeared to me the
most favourable to health of any I had seen in
I feel decided in believing that Free Town is
exceedingly unhealthy for Europeans, and I do not
see how health can be expected there, unless the
foreigners are much out of the town, and in the
open air. I went from Gloucester to Free Town
perfectly well a few days since, and passed three
days there, each day greatly relaxed, and unequal
to much exertion in any way. Returning to Gloucester
last evening, the 1824-03-066th, I feel quite renovated L2r 219
again, and disposed to think and act and be employed
in whatever seems for the best, and to look
forward without any fatigue of mind to future occupation,
which I could not well do when in Free
In the rains there are difficulties which we have
not yet seen: some of these appear such as might
be removed. The houses are so made, that the doors
and windows are quite open, or enclosed without
light. In the rainy season Europeans often burn
lights throughout the day, and have their doors and
windows closed to shut out the wet: this, they have
said, has increased the tendency to sickness, by its
cheerless appearance. Merchants, debarred of domestic
enjoyments, have sought for some exhilaration
to their spirits by meetings, which they consider
as social and convivial; but which, by the excess
they promote, tend to destroy the bonds of
friendship, and undermine health both of body and
Although the buildings here appear extraordinary,
considering the previously uninstructed
agents that have been employed, I should much
prefer something more within the reach of the natives
to imitate for themselves. Some of these
houses appear too high from the ground, and convey
not the idea of being so among the people as, for
missionaries and teachers, it seems desirable they
should be.
This colony is really an interesting field.
Should I live to return, I think it would be with
feelings of more ardent desire than ever to give
myself up unreservedly to the work of the day,
while it is yet day, if only I may be favoured to L2 L2v 220
serve as an humble instrument in the cause of the
little ones.
Dr. F. says there is no doubt whatever of
civilization in Africa being much more prevalent
in the interior than on the coast, and that
much through the influence of Mahomedanism,
because school-instruction is always an accompaniment.
I met the other day with a very fine-looking
man at Gloucester, a Foulah, named Ebraima.
He read to us in Arabic so easily, and in so melodious
a manner, that I could not but wish to see
that language well cultivated by those who may be
future teachers in Africa. The cultivation of this
language might be of great use in Mahomedan
P. Davies takes charge of both boys and girls,
and has a lively, well-looking school of about eighty
or ninety, and is well satisfied in her allotment.
She has for house-maid one of the two poor girls
who were inhumanly confined in a cask on board,
to conceal them. The other girl is married. This
one is the chief monitor in the school; reads agreeably,
finishes her work in the bed-rooms before
school-time, and then attends the whole of the
With all the disadvantages under which the
children in Sierra-Leone are taught, there are
instances of great quickness. A little boy in
six months learned to read the Testament, and
a very little girl in Charlotte, brought to the
colony as a slave eighteen months ago, who appears
now about six years old, after about fifteen
months’ instruction read to me the account of the L3r 221
man sick of the palsy, and did not misname three
Might it not be of use to explain, in an easy
lesson-book, a few of the phrases of broken English
by correct, plain, intelligent phrases? There
might, in some instances, be less amusement for
Europeans, who like to hear anecdotes of the Africans
in this style of expression; but on the other
hand their intelligence would be cultivated, more
real good might be done to them, and their advancement
in useful knowledge would give more
solid satisfaction, and much more variety of information
might be conveyed than ever can be by
this childish and fettering habit of adapting for
them only a poor, barren slang language.
I am informed that there are among the Mandingos,
characters who may be considered as gentlemen
with regard to carriage and behaviour, and
that the Foulahs and Mandingos may be called the
aristocracy of Western Africa.
Those who have seen most of the people up the
rivers say, it is a great mistake to suppose that any
school-boy, who has just a little knowledge of reading,
&c. may, as he grows up, be made a teacher
among the Africans on religious subjects. On the
contrary, many very acute reasoners are found
amongst them, especially among the Mahomedans,
whom I hear generally spoken of as the most
civilized and orderly of the African population.
In England, people see only a few of those who have
been slaves, or mostly beggars, and too often judge
from such specimens of the Africans in general.
But, lacking as Africa is in regard to civilization
and instruction, these are not what ought to be considered
as a fair and just specimen of the people. L3v 222
We have had little opportunity of seeing those parts
of the country where civilization is not hindered by
the prevalence of the slave-trade; but could the incredulous
as to African capacity have seen the
Foulah who was here the other day, or many others
who come to trade here and in the Gambia—could
they see the bright, intelligent countenances of
many of the children, even under all the disadvantages
of an inadequate system of instruction;
or many others among the people both here and in
the Gambia, they would certainly doubt no longer
as to the capability of instruction among the Africans.
But what judgment would even be formed
of the English nation were only the most unfavourable
specimens presented to view?
I have inquired of several of the people in this
colony respecting the manner of their capture, and
find it mostly thus; that when their towns were
burned, by an agreement between the slave-dealer
and their king, they were seized as they escaped
from the flames. Sometimes, in time of war, the
higher ranks are sold, but chiefly those who are already
slaves are sold from one to another, and often
pass through many hands ere they reach the coast.
When a town is burning, and the people are seized
in their flight, it must of course be a promiscuous
seizure, although those who have friends able to
ransom them may sometimes escape. How would
the Anti-Slavery Committee be stimulated could
they but see the state in which some of the poor
children even yet remain, after having been cared
for several months since their rescue from the slave-
ship! I am told that the Portuguese try to induce
the slaves whom they are carrying away to resist the
English, telling them that the English are coming L4r 223
to eat them, yet their joy on landing here is often
expressed in an affecting manner.
Let it not be supposed, after what has been said
against sending inefficient young men as teachers
among their countrymen, that human learning is
to be regarded as an essential qualification for
a religious instructor, but only that the inexperienced
should not be put upon an attempt beyond
their powers. The state even of an uncivilized
country will be best met by our seeking only to
act towards the people in such way as truth and
the love of it may lead to. Far would I be from
condemning or improperly judging others. On
the contrary, I cannot but feel much interest on
behalf of those who have devoted themselves, according
to their own feelings and views, for this
suffering country.
1824-03-077th. The uncertainty which is felt to attach to
European residence in this climate is, I apprehend,
one of the causes why agriculture is so little attended
to. The first attempts in the cultivation of
the soil in almost any situation requires considerable
labour and expense, and few would be willing
to encounter the first difficulties with the prospect
of leaving the country in a very short time. The
official men of different classes can leave the country
when health may require it. The merchant hopes
in a short time to obtain a sufficiency, to dispose of
his property, and to return home. But the profits
of agriculture are not only less than those of merchandize,
but consist, in a great degree, of those
improvements in the land which must be left with
perhaps little or no recompence, should the cultivator
be obliged to return to England, so that some
different arrangement appears to be wanted to induce L4v 224
and encourage the improvement of the soil,
on any scale that would be likely to furnish an example
to the natives, or to supply the colony with
those articles of daily use which are now so very
scarce, as corn, milk, poultry, eggs, &c.
The European settlers, who are not missionaries,
often ocomplain of the want they feel in being without
any occupation but just their business, and
often little or no domestic society. Where there is
so much of human life, who should complain of
solitude, without seeking resources such as may be
found at hand? and where there is so much to improve
which is susceptible of improvement, who
needs be dull for want of occupation? Is not there
a sensible interest in seeing even a plant grow and
improve and look beautiful? and how much more
of interest might be found in the advancement of
intelligent human beings? Ah! if people would
only take a right thought—an individual care and
charge in Christian kindness over even a very few
children, and teach them what would be useful,
and watch their growth in knowledge and good
feelings, and cherish every thing that is good in
them, and warn them against what is wrong—
what an increase of interest would it give to life in
those thus occupied, and what good fruits might be
expected to result from such a procedure!
In the house of M. Renner, at Gloucester, I
was pleased with the simple and expressive language
of a hymn sung in the family; the subject
was, ‘Say unto the righteous, it shall be well with
I should like to see a series of select hymns,
in addition to what I have just seen. I would
never wish devotional hymns to be sung, either in
concert or by any individual, except from devotional L5r 225
feeling; yet in meetings for religious instruction,
and especially in meetings for children, I
should not have any objection to hearing read
either poetical lines or prose of a devotional kind
—not as an act of devotion, but as religious reading
tending to excite devotional feelings: yet even
then to wait for a time in stillness to receive any
conviction which it may please Infinite Goodness
to impart to our minds, and to seek for ability to
worship Him in spirit and in truth.
All that I have seen in Sierra-Leone confirms
in my mind that the rectitude of the dissent of our
Society from many arts of the adopted practice
of others. Is not Divine worship the highest act
of which the mind of man is capable? and does it
not appear, evidently, more consistent with enlightened
reason that we should silently wait for a
measure of the Divine power and guidance before
we venture to address the Omnipresent God in the
language of supplication, or of praise? The infant
heart should, if possible, be directed towards
its Heavenly Parent in the feeling of awe and of
love; but for children to be taught daily to repeat,
as supplications to the Most High, a variety of
vocal professions—some of them implying great
contradictions to each other—has presented to my
mind a source of painful concern, yet accompanied
with a conviction that the inconsistencies of the
system must eventually be seen, and a system
more consonant with Christian simplicity and
truth be pursued in its place. It is in the right
direction of the heart to the Source of everlasting
goodness that our hopes must rest with regard to
religious attainment, and no profession of faith
in Christ, and of reliance on the efficacy of His L5 L5v 226
death, and on the sufficiency of His merits, can
ever for a moment be rightly substituted in place
of a submission to the influences of His Spirit,
which would bring the thoughts, and words, and
actions of daily life under the dominion of His
power and guidance. I feel, indeed, that the subject
is awful, and that it may be said that so complete
a subjection to the controlling power of the
Spirit of Christ is nothing less than Christian perfection!
and who has attained to this? Let not
even this inquiry induce a disposition to lower the
standard. Truth is truth; and if we love the Lord
with all the heart our whole life and conduct must
evidence the fruits of such a feeling; but duty
must be pursued, even in the path of self-denial,
and the daily cross: the practice and customs of
the world may oppose, we may appear singular
and fastidious, our own propensities and inclinations
may oppose, and we may be tempted in
many ways, yet nothing can justify a deviation
from what we know to be right, or any neglect of
known duty. Strength will be given, if sought
for, and the grace and power of the Redeemer, if
yielded to, will be found in all circumstances sufficient
for us! If men will still choose their own
ways, and refuse to submit to that daily cross to
the human will which is enjoined by the restraining
and controlling power of the Spirit of Christ! If,
instead of denying ourselves and our own wills,
and following Christ daily, we, by unsubjected
dispositions and uncontrolled conduct, evince that
we do not seek for and submit to His government,
but ‘deny Him,’ we may assuredly expect that
‘He will deny us;’ yet if even we thus deny
Him, He abideth faithful! He cannot deny L6r 227
Himself! The standard of Christianity cannot be
lowered by the mistaken judgment of its professors.
The Truth requires that whether we eat,
or drink, or whatsoever we do, all should be done
to the glory of God—that a sense of responsibility
to Him in all things should govern us, even in
the most common actions of daily life, and that
in all our doings we should dwell under the
feeling of His presence, and acknowledge a subjection
to His will, that He may be honoured by
us in all things.
The intelligent countenances of the children,
both here and in the Gambia, and the degree of
zeal which they evince in the manner of repeating
their lessons, convince me, that they might be
taught to good effect, and with as much facility
as the English children, were proper methods of
instruction pursued, and such as their state calls
for. And I feel quite confirmed in the conviction
that vocabularies in their own languages, if they
can be obtained, will be a great advantage. In
the absence of these, very easy, simple little
stories, and dialogues, and sentences in English
reading lessons may still be of much use; but
more if they had terms in their own language by
which to translate them. I can scarcely avoid
repeating these ideas, perhaps oftener than may
be necessary; but various observation only confirms
me in the sentiment of the great importance
of cultivating to a certain extent the native languages
of Africa. There is a wide field here
that calls for sincere, and diligent, and faithful
labourers. I do trust that such will be found.
When at Gloucester a few days ago, I went
with the children to their evening meeting, in L6v 228
which an African was the preacher. In attending
this meeting I felt a renewed and deep conviction
that the system of expounding in this way at will
has very great and serious disadvantages, and
demands the deep consideration of all classes of
society. It certainly is the cause of much being
expressed which ought not to be expressed, and
of employing agents not qualified for such an
1824-03-1212th. A Fantee came to give me a little
vocabulary of words by dictation. He, and a
person who accompanied him, evinced great interest
when they heard the words they had given
to me read from the paper I had written. On
the 1824-03-1313th a Timanee came for the same purpose;
from him I took down most of the words corresponding
with the vocabulary in the African lessons.
Another part of the day was employed in
visiting the Merchant Seaman’s Hospital previous
to our departure. We wished also to have seen
the Military Hospital; but, some difficulties occurring,
we gave it up, on account of the shortness of
our stay. On the 1824-03-1414th we had a visit from one of
the American men of colour who accompanied
Paul Cuffee to Sierra -Leone about eight years ago.
He came on behalf of the rest, (about five families,)
to request that we would meet them at one of their
houses in the evening. We went; and they all
soon afterwards assembled with their children, except
one invalid, and another attending upon him.
They appeared solid, steady people. They told
us that notwithstanding great sufferings from sickness
during the first two years of their being
here, which exhausted the little property they had
brought with them, they had now by persevering L7r 229
exertion recovered themselves, and each obtained
a comfortable dwelling of his own, and were in
the way of supporting themselves reputably. We
staid some time with them; then looked at each of
their houses and took leave.”
L7v 230

Chapter IX.

Departure from Sierra-Leone—Arrival at St. Mary’s
—Progress of the Scholars—Establishment of a
School at the Cape.

“On the evening before our departure from Sierra-
, and in the morning, (the 1824-03-1616th,) although it
had felt much like home to me to be in the colony,
and I had wished to do what I could as to obtaining
information whilst there, yet aware of much
imperfection in this, as in other engagements,
there did not appear all the relief of mind I could
have desired, and the feeling was rather like that
of an introduction to a scene of labour than the
satisfactory accomplishment of a contemplated object.
I yet hoped that what remained for me of
the requirings of duty respecting this colony might
be fulfilled by correspondence with those with
whom I had now become acquainted, and who
appeared very kindly disposed to receive any hints
or suggestions I was inclined to offer; and also by
such assistance as might in some way be provided
for the schools, after a representation in England
of what appeared, both to myself and the teachers,
to be yet wanting to promote the children’s more
effectual instruction and improvement.
With these hopes, I set sail on the 1824-03-1818th. We
called at the isles de Los, and staid a part of two
days. On the 1824-03-2525th, a gale of wind came on, and
continued from six till twelve at night. This being L8r 231
the usual time of the equinoctial wind, I could not
but almost wish that we should be driven back, or
induced to return to Sierra-Leone. The vessel, too,
required much pumping during that time; and I
was led to consider how far it could have been
right to have engaged places in this small schooner,
merely because it was the first that we could return
in, after the packet which sailed soon after our
arrival. The Hope (a brig) was to sail ten days
later, and I felt that, whether or not this was the
right time, the manner of concluding about it was
not what it ought to have been. What was felt of
condemnation in this will not, I hope, be lost upon
me. May I be more and more led to obedience to
that wise and beneficent injuntion, ‘In all thy ways
acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy steps!’
The following day the wind had abated; but
the sea being yet rather high, and the motion of
the vessel strong, I kept in my berth, not having
been able to sit up any part of this voyage, except
on first entering the ship; but was able to read
when lying still on deck, or in the cabin. It was
a comfort that at least I could spend a part of each
day in reading, either for information or amusement,
and sometimes I was able to make a few
memoranda in writing. I should much like to see
tract libraries formed for the villages in Sierra-
, as well as for the schools there. Some
must be leaving the schools often who would be
able to read such tracts as might be provided, but
they should be chosen for them peculiarly. A
library might be well adapted for England that
would have in it many books unsuitable, or of no
use in this district.
L8v 232 There is a great work for Christian benevolence
in Free Town, but the labourers are few. I
was grieved to hear that large quantities of spirits
are consumed in this place. A tax was levied
some years since, intended to check the consumption.
It has not had that effect; yet has produced
a large amount to the revenue. Why should the
poison of spirituous liquors be allowed to be imported
by those who profess to be the civilizers of
Africa? It seems to be a common propensity in
this country to be given up to the inclination for
strong, intoxicating liquors. Why should Europeans
take a part in the sin of facilitating their
obtaining them? We were told that no present
would be acceptable to the king of Combo, in
whose country Birkow is, unless we accompanied
other parts of the present with the favourite rum.
This we could not do; yet when a visit was paid
to him, and the gifts presented, both the gifts and
the visit were well received.
There is much to do in Africa. At this
moment I am reminded of the want of right care
which is so often evident with respect to the poor
domesticated dumb creatures. In Sierra-Leone
there is often a difficulty in procuring provender
for horses; (hardly as they are riden;) perhaps the
want of foresight in the masters is the cause of
this. But why may not the Gambia corn be
grown in Sierra-Leone? Many dogs are kept,—and
many are starved, and beaten and neglected: these
in Free Town are a great annoyance in the night,
and wake the inhabitants when they would gladly
sleep. A merchant was showing me his new
house, and among other parts of the furniture he L9r 233
had a barrel of stones near his lodging-room, to
throw at the dogs in the night.
The solemn injunction should often be sounded
in the mind of every Christian missionary, but
especially those stationed in colonies in which
there are a number of European residents, ‘Be not
conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by
the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove
what is that good, and perfect, and acceptable will
of God.’
There are various combats to maintain
in different places and circumstances, and perhaps
with many in England, one of the greatest should
be against too much love of ease, and individual
enjoyment of surrounding comforts, which may too
much unfit the mind for the arduous duties which,
whether we look to England or to more distant
places, the present state of things in the world is
calling for at the hand of the sincere Christian.
It is a great favour that we were permitted to
arrive safely here (St. Mary’s) on the 1824-04-077th of 4th
, after a voyage of twenty-two days. We
found our friends in good health; yet sad tidings
met us respecting the conduct of Sandanee and
Mahmadee: however, this subject must be left till
we can see more clearly what can be done for the
best respecting them.
1824-04-099th. In the evening I was much pleased in
reading Bible Stories, by a Lady. There is something
so evidently good in the feeling in which
this book is written that it has often been grateful
to me to hear it read.
When we were at the isles de Los, S. K. remarked
that pictures with sentences from the
Scriptures, in Arabic, would arrest attention in
Africa. I wish to remember to propose this, and L9v 234
also to propose pictures of the slave-ship for Africa,
France, Spain, and Portugal. The impression
these representations made in England, in past
days, cannot be forgotten. But have we done
what we could to spread the same feeling in
France, Spain and Portugal?
Is there any probability of an improved loom
being introduced into Africa, so that the people in
the Gambia and Sierra-Leone might weave bafts
and ginghams, and send them into the interior?
Might not the people here be also taught to make
many little articles of turnery to be sent into the
interior? Things made by Africans at the Gambia,
or Sierra-Leone, might possibly call attention
from the natives at a distance, so as to convey a
more impressive idea of improvement to be obtained
from European instruction than they would
receive by seeing things that were merely brought
from Europe, and thus the intercourse might be
more and more freely opened with the interior.
Since our return from Sierra-Leone it has
often appeared like a dark and cloudy day, and
yet while we sat in meeting together the language
again and again passed in my mind, ‘Ye
are not straitened in me.’
The same consoling
assurance of Divine support was near when we sat
on the following day at our conference, which indeed
was a great and unmerited favour.
May a watch be kept against any feeling that
would be inconsistent with a desire after perfect
refinement from all that originates in self. I am
satisfied that the way of self-denial, and sometimes
of severe self-renunciation must be my lot, if I
would enjoy true peace, and act according to what
is appointed me. But let crucifixion of the will L10r 235
be endured, rather than the more terrible consequence
of ‘Ye have chosen your own ways, and
ye shall be filled with your own devices.’
All sincere professors of Christianity ought to
live in the remembrance that they are not at their
own disposal, or at liberty to choose their own
Civilizers should make it an object of vigilant
attention to cherish in their pupils a kind care
towards dumb animals, and teach them to feel for
all that lives. Deprived as animals are of the
advantages of their wild state, where they find
their own food, Africans want teaching more fully
to attend to the wants which are induced in the
domesticated state.
It would be a good practice for persons of all
ages and in any season of life, to reflect at the
close of each day, as in the presence of the Most
High, on their feelings and conduct during the
past day, and to present to themselves such enquiries
as these:—
How have I been this day occupied? Have I been diligent in the duties of my calling,
and watchful with respect to my mind and
Have I done anything that I know was wrong,
or neglected what was right to be done, and in
what have I thus acted amiss?
Have I spoken or acted unkindly towards any
one absent or present?
Have I kept in remembrance the presence of
the Most High, and sought to be redeemed from
whatever is inconsistent with His will?
Although we do not recommend forms of
prayer, I believe it would be very consistent with L10v 236
our principles to present to our children some
form of self-enquiry to commit to memory and
recur to before they retire to rest in the evening.
The following verse is simple, and appears to me
very appropriate: ‘An Evening Inquiry.Did I this morn devoutly prayFor God’s assistance through the day?And did I read His sacred Word,To make my life therewith accord?Did I for any purpose tryTo hide the truth, or tell a lie?Was I obedient, humble, mild,Such as becomes a Christian child?Did I my thoughts with prudence guide;Checking ill-humour, anger, pride?Did I my lips from ought refrainThat might my fellow-creatures pain?Did I with cheerful patience bearThe little ills we all must share?To all my duties through the dayDid I a due attention pay?And did I when the day was o’erGod’s watchful care again implore?’
When we awake in the morning, before we leave
our rooms, to enter into the cares of the day, let
us seek to have the mind directed for help to the
Most High, supplicating secretly for strength to
fulfil the duties of the day, and for preservation
from every wrong thing.
1824-04-274th mo. 27th. I enjoyed a few hours alone
in reading, and making memoranda on subjects
sugested by reading and reflection. A pleasant
breeze in the room in which I sat softened the
heat of the day, and I was reminded how very
grateful is this alleviation of heat, and what a
favour it is that these breezes are to be enjoyed in
such a climate.
L11r 237 On our arrival at Jillifree, a neighbouring African
town, almost the first sight that presented was
the mosque of the Mahomedans, and one of the
Sereens at the gate calling on the people to assemble.
These assemblies, although the time of meeting
is short, are yet so frequent as five times in the day;
therefore there must be a degree of zeal in those
who are regular in their attendance which casts
reflection on the supine habits of many professors
of Christianity who suffer ease and self-indulgence
to supersede their attendance on acknowledged
duties. In this inner part of the temple only a
few enter, whilst others bow before the temple with
their faces to the ground several times, and appear
to be repeating certain prayers or acknowledgments
to the supreme Creator, together also with
an acknowledgment of their apprehended prophet,
In the new world, both among the white and
black population, there is in the present day much
that calls for faithful, dedicated labour. The feelings
of my mind for Africans, and descendants of
Africans, will not die away, I believe, whilst life
remains, whether I ever see the opposite shores of
the Atlantic or not.
The languor of the people here, and their indifference
to improvement, arise in part, I apprehend,
from their not knowing, and therefore not
estimating, superior advantages. People are generally
more anxious to retain the enjoyments they
possess and can value, than to acquire those of
which they have never experienced the benefit;
yet let people be led to rise by degrees, and they
will then exert themselves to retain the advantages
once enjoyed.
L11v 238 1824-05-045th mo. 4th. We have just heard of the death
of Governor Macarthy, under circumstances deeply
distressing. Alas! poor Sierra-Leone, this seems
to complete thy present and recent causes of depression!
But still the Lord, who is omnipotent
reigneth, and He will appoint what is best, though
men understand it not!
I cannot, in present circumstances, feel myself
authorized or called upon to act much alone in
anything like a public capacity with respect to the
European residents, and possibly not anything in
a ministerial engagement may be required. Ah!
that the standard of truth could be so raised before
them as that they might see and feel that
Christianity is not a mere nominal profession, but
a redemption of the soul from evil, and an introduction
to all that is pure and lovely and of good
report. Is it right to supplicate that the feet of
some rightly exercised messenger might be turned
this way? I cannot but desire that it might be
so, and the feeling of how much need there is for
such messengers, causes an indescribable sadness
of heart. How utterly inadequate to the happiness
of man is all this world can give, where the
arm of Omnipotence is not found to support in the
day of trouble, and the refuge which can effectually
shelter is unsought for an unknown!
I feel it necessary to keep in view the salutary
injunction, ‘Redeem the time:’ much may be lost
for want of proper dispatch in our manner of
going about things, and for want of the right apportioning
of time to different purposes.
1824-05-066th. Being with the Alcaide of Jillifree and
several other persons, I opened to them a little of
the feeling that had dwelt on my mind as to the L12r 239
injury the people of this land are doing to their
brethren in selling one another for slaves, and
showed them a representation of the manner in
which the poor victims of this traffic were carried
away in the ships. One of these representations
I gave to the Alcaide. We had no interpreter with
us, but some of the company understanding a little
English we did very well. I heard afterwards that
the Alcaide spoke of the sufferings of the poor
slaves as very dreadful. I wished to convey, too,
that it is the will of our Heavenly Father we should
live in peace and love, and in a desire to help and
serve one another, and not give way to bitterness
of feeling, or hard, unkind conduct towards any.
It was a quiet, satisfactory season, and I could not
doubt but that an evidence in the minds of others,
led them to the acknowledgment of this truth.
I have felt, and feel now, the want of greater
dedication of heart to be prepared for such an
instrument of good to the people here as would be
desirable. One may pass an hour in what is
called civilized society,—among persons whose
characters are yet superior to many—and, not feeling
strength to give a useful turn to the conversation,
we may come away with a spent, vapid feeling,
and not be free from a spirit of mourning both
for ourselves and others. How much is it to be
desired that the standard of truth and righteousness
should be always visibly help up wherever
the professors of Christianity meet; yet without
any forced expressions, or anything in conversation
opposed to the real simplicity of Christianity,
which appears always what it is.
How much have we witnessed, in our short residence
here, to induce a thoughtful feeling. The L12v 240
captain of the vessel in which we sailed,—Bowditch,
from whom so much was expected,—Ritche,
the medical officer of this place,—Adelle, one of
the nurses at the hospital, have all departed since
our arrival, five months ago. It is not circumstances
alone, however impressive, that will give
the true sense and feeling of mortality, and of the
dangers to which, in a climate like this, Europeans
are subject, of early and speedy removal from the
present scene of existence. It would be well that
this sense should be so present from day to day
as to induce the frequent inquiry, how far we are
prepared to meet the awful summons to appear
before our Judge, to give account of the deeds
done in the body.
1824-05-1313th. In walking about, a few evenings ago,
among the huts, I felt much interested with the intelligent
countenances of some of the black women,
who were of a superior class, and their little babies,
too, looked pleasant and attractive; but the poorer
sort live in huts so close, and dirty, and comfortless
—so unlike what we could desire to see as human
habitations, that I much long to see some means
adopted for inciting them to improvement in this
respect. It is well the climate admits of their
being at the door most of the day, yet with such
dwellings as they have it is no wonder they suffer
much in their health from the want of proper attention
to cleanliness.
How I long to see the languages I have already
mentioned cultivated! Let all attempts to instruct
the people in letters be accompanied with Christian
instruction from the Scriptures of truth, that
the power which knowledge gives may be well
M1r 241 I have felt encouraged this day or two in seeing
the progress the girls here have made, both those
who learn only Jaloof, and those also who attend to
English. What a favour it is that the Scriptures
are written in a language so comprehensible and
easy. I have been much gratified in hearing a
girl, who less than four months ago could scarcely
spell words of three letters, now reading, though
slowly, and with help in difficult words, from
Scripture Lessons, and from the Scripture Selections;
so that I quite hope she will be able, with
diligent application, to read the Scriptures by
herself when we leave her. We find the spelling
lessons gain the attention of the pupils from
the rhyme, which seems peculiarly agreeable to an
African ear. Now that the children have got over
the first difficulties in their introduction to letters,
they enjoy their lessons, and are reluctant to lay
them aside. The school has given me a good opportunity
for observation, both with respect to the
talents and dispositions of mulattoes and black
girls. Of the unfavourable traits in the dispositions
of the mulattoes I have taken notice, and I
may add, with regard to intelligence, we do not
find the black girls in any degree behind the mulatto,
or white children, so far as we have had
opportunities to judge.
Near the close of our little meeting to-day, I
felt my mind affected with the consciousness that
although the Divine Being can only be known to
His rational creatures by the revelation of Himself,
so far as He is pleased to reveal Himself to
them, and there is cause for the humbling inquiry
of ‘Canst thou by searching find out God?’ yet
He leaves not Himself without witness of His M M1v 242
power and wisdom in His works, even amongst
those of His intelligent creatures, wherever dwelling,
who are regarded as the last and the least
among the children of men.
Oh! that some one or two may be found that
can feel it their charge to prosecute the writing of
the native languages, and turn their attention to
preparing translations in them, and early lessons
for the children, and intelligible, easy lessons, also,
for others! There is much to be done; and in
the prospect of what is to be done here I feel sometimes
as though the time of returning, if life be
spared, is yet undefined. May I be enabled to see
clearly when to go, and when to forbear, be it
earlier or later!
1824-05-145th mo. 14th. Notwithstanding what I have
so often expressed with regard to the failure of
health in this climate being often attributable to
circumstances connected with a new settlement,
and the lack of those domestic accommodations we
have in England, rather than to the climate itself,
I cannot forbear to acknowledge that there is much
in the climate that is trying to European constitutions,
and am ready to think that Africa must and
will be improved and civilized without many Europeans
settling here, and that all we can do in
England to promote their advancement in what is
for their present and future good should be done.
May it not, with this view, be desirable to encourage
Africans to trade for themselves, as well
as to cultivate the soil, still pressing on them the
importance of promoting school instruction.
In looking, last evening, over some lists of
words I had taken down in Sierra-Leone of the
Fantee and Timanee, and feeling interested in M2r 243
tracing their sounds, a thought presented itself
that if I had ability and memory to prosecute this
object as I could wish, my interest in the cause
might lead me off from other duties. I never expected
to do much more than prepare a simple
and solid foundation, and, after a few months’ trial
at this place, and such further opportunities as
may be permitted me, I trust that others may be
found to make its prosecution more like a sole object
than in present circumstances would be possible
for me.
In sweeping out my little room, the care of
which depends on myself, I felt quiet and settled:
yet last evening I retired under feelings of depression,
from a sense of the precariousness of life and
health in this climate, and from having experienced,
much of the time since returning from Sierra-
, a relaxation of strength, which makes me
unequal to much fatigue: and it is impossible, I
think, to avoid being tired with what must be
done, when unable, as we are, to obtain the help
wanted from domestics. My dear friend A. T.
takes the greater part of the exercise, both in
the school and house, and her health is extraordinary,
which is a great favour, and her spirits
are good, which is a comfort to me as well as
cheering. My mind is painfully sensible that
there is much in this land that is out of the Divine
harmony; yet there seems but little opening at
present to convey what is felt. Sometimes we feel
a little openness for free conversation on the difficulties
of whose who would wish to do good here,
when conversing with a very few of the European
residents; but there are among Europeans those
who appear unconcerned to enter the Redeemer’s M2 M2v 244
kingdom themselves, and present, by their example,
a stone of stumbling in the way of others.
Oh! that Christian labourers from our part of
the vineyard might be turned toward this land!
With respect to the climate and the counteraction
of its unfavourable effects, I thought yesterday that
it might be of advantage to change the dress for
something a little warmer, mostly about four o’clock
in the afternoon, at least during the prevalence of
the high winds. Often when we have had great
heat in the day, the state of the atmosphere in the
evening is so changed, and the winds so cold, as to
cause considerable pain to many persons in the
head and teeth, and yet they cannot well bear to
have the air excluded by shutting all the windows
and doors. The range of the thermometer is said
to be wider here than at Sierra-Leone; sometimes
a variation of thirty degrees in the course of a few
With respect to both this island and Sierra-
, I could not, I think, on mature consideration,
recommend that any establishment should be
formed, either here or there, unless Friends felt it
their duty to offer themselves as agents for such
Although I do feel there is much cause to be
thankful for the past, and gratefully to hope and
trust for the future, yet sometimes the desire to see
my near relations again is so strong, and the attraction
homeward so great, that the thought of
continuing in Africa without some definite time to
look to for returning seems almost more than my
nature can bear. One day, when my mind was
under conflict, I opened that part of one of the
Epistles of Paul wherein he had the promise of M3r 245
grace sufficient, and it felt comforting to me. Let
me not desire to choose for myself; but to remain
quietly, and pursue the object for which I came
with diligence until, if life be spared, the way may
appear quite open for going home.
1824-05-1818th. Was called away when about to have
expressed the sense of gratitude I feel to owe to
those dear friends in England, and about London
particularly, who have, from the time of my wish
for native schools in Africa being first known to
them, kindly united with the view, and promoted
its accomplishment. This gratitude may I ever
feel while life remains, and may I be ever willing,
so far as it can be done consistently with other
duties, to answer their kind confidence in me with
regard to this cause by every attention to its furtherance,
whether here or in England.
And now, to come to a subject which has unexpectedly
arisen on my mind since I last wrote,—
the thought of returning home soon, to report our
progress, and the results of our observations thus
far, with the view of returning to Africa, should
life and health be given, and the way appear open
for it. In my present relaxed state of health, I
feel afraid of calculating too decidedly upon any
thing, yet am not aware that my health has been
of much weight with me, in regard to the view of
returning to England. If I go I believe it will be
fom the apprehension that the way is opened
homeward, and that the cause for which I came
out may be better served by my returning now
than by continuing another season. There is much
to converse about relative to African concerns,
which can be more efficiently done when together
than by writing, should we be favoured to arrive M3v 246
safely in England. Here we are too often led to
use the qualifying expressions, ‘if we live,’ and
there is cause for it, although I have heard it boastingly
remarked, that it is best to take little notice
of the number of deaths; and that one year,
though half the Europeans in the Gambia died
yet nobody noticed it. This is assuredly an extreme
in the report of indifference, yet it is certainly
true, that the frequency of removals by
death, has not generally the effect of leading the
survivors to a salutary feeling of the precariousness
of life.
How I long that the people of Sierra-Leone
should have some efficient instruction in agriculture.
This is an art despised by some; and plans
of civilization, in which this is much dwelt upon,
are rejected as ineffectual; but experience has
proved in Sierra-Leone, and will still prove, that
the want of attention to this department cannot
easily be supplied by instruction of other kinds,
since industry is the foundation of good order, and
agriculture the chief source of industry.
In an account which I have read of one of
the Church of England schools, it is remarked,
that a pause takes place at a certain time, I think
before leaving, and the children are recommended
to reflect on the mercies of God, and on their
own faults; and the testimony borne to the efficacy
of this practice is striking. It was remarked
that nothing had been so effectual as a means
towards leading them to acknowledge what they
had done wrong, and to receive any favourable
impression on their minds, (or language to this
Whoever may come out in any society as Missionaries M4r 247
or teachers, whether here or at Sierra-
, had need to guard against assimilating too
much in habit or sentiment with other European
residents, who having come out with different objects
in view, cannot be expected always to have at
heart the good of the people, as a missionary or
teacher ought to have. It has been remarked to
me by an observer here, that instead of the Missionaries
bringing over the merchants to their
views, the merchants rather bring the missionaries
over to theirs, and induce them to conclude that
little or nothing can be done for Africa. It was
yet his own belief that much might be done by
the use of right means of improvement. I do
not think the missionaries have come to a conclusion
quite so discouraging as that he has supposed;
although I have been afraid they have sometimes
been too much inclined to look on the discouraging
side as to what good may be done.
How much do I wish that the people in Sierra-
, and here also, may be led into a gentle,
patient method of instructing the Africans, in
what they have to learn of domestic and mechanical
labour. This would be much more effectual to
good than the high tones and repelling manner
which are too often used: and they might thus be
led off from those habits of indolence and carelessness
that are so much complained of. Yet
we ought not to desire people to work as many
hours at laborious occupation in Africa, as they
can easily do in a cooler climate.
I am, from repeated observation, confirmed
in the principle of orthography we have chosen
for the reduction of some of the African languages.
Several of those from whose dictation I have written, M4v 248
have expressed their surprise at the correctness
with which the words were immediately read.
There is one circumstance I intended to mention
respecting the Alcaide and his Mahomedan
friends who were with him. They refused refreshment
because it is the month of their fast, in which
they do not eat or drink through the day, until
the sun is gone down, nor even before its rising in
the morning.
I mentioned it to the Alcaide that our friends
had sent out a plough to cut up the land very
quickly, so as to prepare it for sowing corn. He
seemed pleased with the idea, and said it was very
good. The women in his town do the field-work;
and we were told when there, that on returning
from a hard day’s work, it was their habit to fall
down on their knees before their husbands, and
thank them for their day’s work. I cannot form a
high estimate of this humiliation, as to its effect
on the mind of either the woman or the man.
How much more grateful is the generous and free
communication of mutual kindness, service, and
affection in intelligent and well-instructed families,
where the husband is the heart’s friend to his wife,
and the wife the beloved companion to her husband.
I have much cause to be happy and thankful
in being permitted to act in the service of others,
although, may be, as to earthly treasure, ranked
with the widow who had but two mites. The subject
of regret is a want of a more prompt dedication,
and a more lively sense of duty to lead me
from day to day.
1824-05-2121st. A. T. and I walked on the beach last
evening, and I reaped advantage from it, in a M5r 249
sound and refreshing sleep. I would recommend
those who may follow us to do this frequently. I
believe it would have been better for me to have
done so, but circumstances have seemed so pressing,
and my time so much taken up, that I have
very seldom walked for the mere advantage of the
walk. I would also advise all to avoid any difficult
engagement afterwards, or entering into subjects
that require much thought, or cause anxiety.
My greatest disadvantage, as to health, arises
from want of sleep, which often causes a feeling of
relaxation on first rising, when the strength should
seem to be most recruited. A walk alone is a time
for quiet meditation; and if in company, we may
either converse or think; and it is not designed
that our evenings should be spent in exertions
always on the stretch.
1824-05-2222nd. I was one day greatly embarrassed on
finding that Sandanee, when desired to obtain a
man to white-wash his house, had brought one who
was a slave, and suffered him to begin his work,
although, when I heard of his being a slave, I had
said that he should not be employed, since I was
determined not to acknowledge a man’s claim to
property in another, by paying a part of the
wages of a slave to his master. After some difficulty
the master at length consented that the man
should receive the whole of the wages, the piece of
work being but small.
The Alcaide appears quite favourable to R.
and J. Thompson, and disposed to supply
them with more land as soon as they may want it.
He is pleased with a well they have had dug, and
with the improved method of drawing the water,
and wishes for similar accommodations for himself. M5 M5v 250
A sledge has been made for bringing up a large
barrel of water to the house, and the horse trained
to draw it, which will be a great advantage. The
Alcaide wishes to see the plough used, which
cannot be done until some rain has fallen, on
account of the hardness of the ground.
On the 1824-05-2424th of 65th mo. A. J. and I left
Bathurst for Birkow. Most of the pupils would after that time have the advantage
of instruction in a girls’ school, now opened by the wife of
a Methodist missionary lately arrived in the Gambia.
On reaching the beach
we saw a great number of children, and some
grown people, fishing in a large pool. They
looked cheerful and friendly towards us. One
middle-aged man, with an agreeable countenance,
was standing with a long wand in his hand, and a
few children around him. He could speak a little
English, and said to me ‘Soon you and I be
friends; soon you know me, soon I know you.’

He informed me he taught the children Arabic.
I do not know what may be the proficiency of his
schlars, but am disappointed in the hope of finding
people able to understand the Arabic of the
‘word to the children of Africa,’ although they can
read it with apparent ease and fluency. Several
have been asked to translate a few words only
into Mandingo, and cannot do it. Since we came
to St. Mary’s, the Alcaide, and a learned teacher
from a distance, have been asked to translate what
they had read into Mandingo; they replied, it was
too difficult. Is not this owing to the manner of
teaching Arabic, which is as a dead language, and
they teach it, so far as I can understand, without
any translation, into the language spoken by the
M6r 251 I feel fully satisfied of the importance of cultivating
the native languages of Africa, if we could
do the people good, and of making their own languages
the medium, where we wish them to acquire
English, that I feel surprised when I hear
any proposal to supersede the native languages of
Africa by the English, through the medium of English
books alone. The inefficacy of this system
of instruction, after years of trial at Sierra-Leone,
is enough to convince one without other proof, of
the necessity of adopting another system, and the
trial that was made for more than a century in the
Gaelic schools, to teach English by English books
alone, whilst the children daily conversed in a different
language, and in that only, just proved that
they could learn to read and repeat English in
this way, but yet without being able at all to understand
the words they were thus reading and repeating.
In our evening reading, after another portion
of Scripture had been read, I opened at the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.forty-
sixth Psalm
, ‘God is our refuge and strength,’ &c.
The whole Psalm felt peculiarly solemn and impressive.
1824-05-2525th. Our evening meeting this day felt to me
very impressive, and also in the silence after reading.
A sense of divine goodness was extended
that was greatly humbling, and to my mind accompanied
with awfulness. Oh! that the members of
this establishment may be brought to dwell under
the feeling of life. It is in this that the best authority
may be maintained, and kindness and
good-will toward all preserved. The gathered
solid feeling which acknowledges the controlling
sense of the presence of the Most High, and our M6v 252
responsibility to Him, is assuredly a source of
solid enjoyment in families, as well as a means of
supporting the right authority, beyond many laws
and outward regulations and restrictions, which
yet in themselves may be necessary and of real
value in certain circumstances.
Mahmadee wishes to marry previous to the
rains, and J. T. is going to Perang to give his advice
about the house his friends propose to build
for him, and also to look at the land which they
have offered him for cultivation. The inhabitants
much wish for a school when Mahmadee goes to
live among them.
1824-05-2828th. My mind is much attracted towards
England, and to some duties there. And I am
thankful that the way appears as open to return
as ever it was to visit these shores. We hear
that several vessels are likely to sail in about a
month. A. and J. Thompson think it best to
return with me, and R. Smith, although he remains,
informs us, he continues to feel unity with
our purpose.
1824-05-3030th. The time of our reading with the family
was longer than usual this morning, and there appeared
an openness in some of the young people
to receive what was read.
I omitted to mention a large assembly of Mandingoes,
who collected under the great palaver-
tree, which is within sight of our house, to a festival
meeting, according to their Mahomedan profession,
now that the great fast is ended. One
man, a stranger from a distance, addressed them
for a long time as they sat on the ground, and
sometimes all united in a sort of musical tone in
concert, apparently assenting to what was said. M7r 253
Sometimes they bowed down with their faces to
the ground, and sometimes a great number were
looking about, either not much attending to what
was said, or but little impressed by it. The women
sat separately from the men, and were much fewer
in number. There was a great number of children,
of various ages, standing about on the outside, and
engaged in what they pleased, without attending
to what was said, and several mothers with infants
were among them. In the evening, the teacher,
accompanied by the Alcaide, paid us a visit; the
chief object of which, we were informed, was to
receive a small present, of which we did not wish
to disappoint them.
1824-05-3131st. Our third conference was held this day.
It was not until this morning, that the subject of
our return to England was brought on the minute-
book. The conclusion to leave felt satisfactory to
all. Several arrangements will require attention
previous to our departure, in order that R. S. may
have the requisite helpers for the management of
the land, and the care of the house.
1824-06-136th mo. 13th. This day a school was opened
for boys and girls at the Cape. Twenty scholars
entered with apparent interest and docility into
the system of instruction provided for them, in
Mandingo lessons. It felt grateful and pleasant
thus to enter upon the instruction of these children,
which I think I could gladly have continued,
but for the fixed apprehension that duty calls me
at present to England. The children of the Alcaide
were sent. Some parents came, and seemed
pleased to hear their own language from the
printed lessons. At the close of the school-time,
I told the children a little of what I apprehended M7v 254
to be the leading object of instruction, that they
might learn to be good, and that I much wished
to hear of their being attentive and obedient to
their parents, and diligent and willing in doing
any little work they might appoint to them.”
M8r 255

Chapter X.

Returns to England—Death of John Thompson on
the Passage—Death of Richard Smith—Visits the
Poor in St. Giles’s.

As a break of several months now occurs in the
journal of our precious mother, perhaps it may be
supplied by an extract from a letter, written soon
after her return to England, dated 1824-08-138th mo. 13th,
, in which she gives some particulars of the
voyage and the affecting event of the death of her
kind companion and friend John Thompson. For some particulars of the character of John Thompson
see an extract from another letter, Appendix A.

“The subject of a part of our company returning
this summer to England, having come under
consideration, and some circumstances relative to
the further prosecution of our concern, rendering
it, in our apprehension, a measure almost unavoidable,
it was finally concluded, as satisfactory to all,
that J. and A. Thompson and myself should return,
and R. Smith, not having any other view
than that of remaining, we arranged our concerns
for leaving R. S. at the house occupied at the
Cape, and took places in a brig about to sail for
When about to embark, our friend R. Smith
having accompanied us from the Cape to Bathurst,
we there held together our last conference. In
this meeting a sense of the overshadowing power M8v 256
of Divine goodness rested on our spirits, and
called forth I trust, in each of us, a grateful acknowledgment,
to Divine Providence for many
favours received since our landing on these shores.
I felt that I could now leave the coast in peace,
although not with the apprehension that this would
be a final farewell.
On the 1824-06-2424th we embarked apparently in good
health. A. T. remarked that she had had better
health in Africa than at home, and that she never
saw her brother look better than at present. What
were his thoughts at that moment I do not know,
but the last passage in his journal, written a few
days before he left Africa, expressed that although
he was looking towards home, and to the enjoyment
of meeting his family and friends, yet, considering
the uncertainty of time, and the wide expanse of
waters between, he could not but feel it uncertain
whether he should meet them again.
On the first night after we had embarked,
finding himself greatly affected by the heat in the
cabin, he went upon deck about two in the morning,
and slept there for several hours. He was
struck with cold, and came down in the morning
complaining of chill and pain in his limbs. During
the day he exerted himself in settling several
things about the cabin, which was much crowded,
and in the evening appeared much better. In a
few days, however, decided marks of fever appeared.
We had not any medical officer on board,
but our dear friend had the kind care and attention
of the captain and some others, both as regards
medical attention, and in other respects. The
fever was evidently of the inflammatory kind, and
the symptoms, though decided, were not complicated. M9r 257
The medicine taken appeared to answer
for the time, but the fever returned from day to
day, and was not subdued. Our dear friend appeared
sensible of the critical nature of his disorder,
and his mind was very susceptible and tender.
He sometimes asked his sister or me to read
the Sciptures to him, and would then inquire of
me if I had anything on my mind to say to him.
My hopes of his future usefulness had been so
excited, both in the time of health, and now even
in his sickness, that it felt hard to relinquish the
thought of his recovery. 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 while on the
great deep, the view was to nature very awful and
almost appalling. 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. In speaking to my dear friend J. T. on
this subject, he assented with sweetness and feeling
to the expression of a belief, that our deepest
afflictions are often, through the direction of infinite
gooodness, made our greatest blessings. I
did not inquire whether he looked for recovery or
not, but had his sickness been such as to preclude
any communication of his feelings, I could not
have doubted, from the state of mind evinced before,
and in his sickness, that Divine love was near
him, and the refining influence of the Redeemer’s
power, preparing him for a better habitation.
The support that was mercifully extended
to his beloved sister and to myself in the awful
moment of departure—the precious feeling of peace M9v 258
which accompanied, and the Divine consolation
which covered our minds, as a light dispersing all
darkness, when we sat beside the remains of our
much-endeared friend about to be committed to the
great deep,—these unmerited favours will I trust
be held in grateful and humbling remembrance;
and, oh! that the feeling may be kept alive, which
was then so sensibly present, that the life that now
is, is but a little portion of the term of existence,
and that we ought ever to live and act under the
remembrance that this is not our rest. In thus
living and thus acting, our social affections and
every authorized enjoyment would be heightened,
and not diminished. The acknowledgment of
God in all our ways, would lead us to desire always
that He should direct our steps; and feeling also
that we hold our friends, and our all, only at His
disposal, we should be the more watchful against
every disposition or action, that was in any degree
unguarded or unkind, and be solicitous for the
present and everlasting happiness of those with
whom we may, in any degree, be concerned.”

In peace and safety my dear mother and A.
reached England the beginning of 1824-088th
. But a few weeks had elapsed after their
return before they received the melancholy intelligence
of the death of Richard Smith. The removal
of this pious and devoted individual, who from a
sense of duty had given himself up to assist in the
prosecution of the work of African instruction, was
a severe blow to the undertaking; and with it
closed the attempt to prosecute this work of Christian
love on the coast of Africa which he was so
successfully promoting. Some particulars of this
painful event were received in a letter from a merchant M10r 259
residing at Bathurst, and appear in the Appendix

The 1825-01-1010th of 1st mo., 1825, she writes: “How
great cause have I to be thankful:—my life and
health preserved for manifested duties—my sight
prepared for the prosecution of an object of deep
interest now before me, and for various duties and
engagements, in which the possession of the blessing
of sight must be peculiarly wanted. Oh!
may I gratefully and diligently use these advantages
and favours, whilst they are permitted to be
enjoyed. How much more heavy would be the
loss of these than the lack of wealth for the prosecution
of good purposes; this may, I trust, be
obtained, as it may be needed, by the combination
of many in a good cause.”

“I have had trials, and may yet have: in one,
lately, that was of a nature solely connected with
religious concerns, I was ready to say, as on
some former occasions, ‘How shall deliverance be
Yet, without any outward agency or
communication since with any individual, my most
merciful Father has, I trust, himself spoken peace
and deliverance, in calling my attention to deeply
interesting duties, and giving me to feel how much
cause I have humbly and gratefully to acknowledge
His goodness in guiding my path into
the way of peace, and supporting me when the billows
seemed ready to overwhelm with dismay.
What a favour it is to feel that peace with all
men (so far as I know) is the clothing of my
spirit, and no impediment from that quarter fetters
my mind. I believe the docility of the child
should be the habit of feeling with me. Oh! that
the watchfulness which solicitously guards against M10v 260
whatever might tend to wound the best life, might
daily be the state to which I should seek to
My mind has this morning been led in affectionate
and sweet remembrance of my dear friends
at Tottenham and Newington, and in grateful
recollection of their kindness in days that are past.
I trust we may yet again be permitted to meet,
and in peace and love unite in future duties for
the good of society both far and near.
Manchester, 1825-02-042nd mo. 4th. Some Jaloof sentences
occur to my remembrance so familiarly that
I think, if I were among the natives, I should be
more disposed to speak their language to them,
when I could, than when there last year, and not
to mind the objections of the Europeans against
perpetuating this language, which they wish to
supersede, if possible, in St. Mary’s by the English.
I feel that I have been deficient in many
things; and am prepared, I think, to learn that
others as well as myself expect more efficient
attention from me, in that department of the African
cause in which I have engaged.
Should we form again a family in Africa, I
think we might have our own meeting for worship
at seven in the morning, and a meeting at eleven
in which the Scriptures, pious biography, &c.,
might be read, and time for quiet feeling given.
In the evening, a meeting for religious instruction,
adapted to the children, in which some questioning
of the children in what they hear might be practised.
I have much temptation at times to depressed
feeling, from several causes and considerations;
but it enervates the mind, and I seem to lose mental M11r 261
strength when it is given way to; and I believe
a conflict should be maintained against it.
1825-02-1111th. I am told by a Methodist preacher, who
has had much opportunity of seeing and judging
about Sunday-schools, that the best conducted one
he had ever seen, was one in which the Methodists
and Friends had each a part in the care of the
school. The one supported by Friends and Methodists
at Ackworth was, I thought, a very agreeable
school, and there was something of life and order
in the management of it that was refreshing.
Habits of diligent attention to cleanliness and order
are very salutary, and should, if possible,
accompany all school-establishments. They are
salutary everywhere, and should, doubtless, be a
point of great attention in education.
I have been thinking often, within these few
days, that we as a society possessing, as many do,
great accommodations at home, have need to guard
carefully against that indulgence of ease, which
might disincline to arduous and self-denying
labour on behalf of the poor, and for the spread
of religious improvement. Oh! that we may be
enabled to keep guard against this relaxation, and
show gratitude to Him from whom we have received
so many favours, both spiritual and temporal,
by a devoted application to the welfare and
improvement of others, as instruments in the hand
of Him who calls us to His vineyard, and imparts
the power to labour rightly in it, whether in the
lesser or the larger departments.
It is at times difficult,—yet I trust it will not
be found impossible,—for me to look to a longer
continuance in having no employment in which
to obtain an income for my own support. Perhaps M11v 262
this may still be some years distant, and, if it
should, may I be enabled willingly to pursue the
path marked out for other duties, and these three
in particular—African translations, religious education
in Ireland, and the promotion of a society,
in this country and elsewhere, for Christian improvement,
by friendly communication on such
concerns as are interesting not only to the welfare
of the poor, but to the happiness and well-being of
every class in society. This communication, to be
truly effectual should originate in that Christian
feeling which leads invariably, in all classes and
professions, to the love of God and the love of
1825-02-1919th. At Liverpool, where I entered with much
interest into conversation with J. C. on the state of
the south and west of Ireland. I do greatly desire
that the different classes of people in that country,
would be more patient with each other. I cannot
but think that if even the Roman Catholics were
to be patiently met, and their objections to the
present system of public education considered,
some method might be found by which a religious
education might be given to children, and at the
same time their objections to the Scriptures at
large being put into the hands of the children
might be allowed. They do not object to all Scripture
lessons. I have seen selections from the Scriptures
in some of their schools, and I cannot but
believe that it may be found possible to introduce
a system of religious instruction agreeable to each
party, Protestant and Catholic, and to admit, also,
the New Testament into the schools, in both the
Protestant and Catholic versions. Many even of
the Roman Catholics, I doubt not, feel the want of M12r 263
a more general attention to religious instruction in
schools; and if I were soon to meet them in their
own land, it would, I believe, be one very interesting
object of my engagements there to seek to propose
a system of school-instruction on the broad
basis of Christianity, so that all might unite, of
whatsoever denomination they might be.
1825-02-2727th. In the preparative meeting, a fresh
feeling arose of the value of our Christian testimonies,
and the desirableness of their being faithfully
and in Christian feeling supported by us as
a society; and a belief was renewedly raised that
many would come to the acknowledgment of these
testimonies, in various parts of the world, if we, as
instruments, be faithful in their support, and in
spreading the knowledge of those principles on
which they are grounded.
1825-03-013rd mo. 1st. Spent the evening with a dear
friend. We conversed on the different directions
of benevolence, and agreed in the belief that there
was great deficiency in the result of measures in
which only the outward condition of the people
was the subject of sympathy and care, and their
minds left unattended to. I renewed the remembrance
of Dr. Chalmers’s suggestions on the necessity
for the localizing system, to bring the lowest
and most neglected of the people into view.
I have believed, within these few days, that it
will not be sufficient to seek occasional opportunities
only of retirement; but that I must not
omit to devote a short season to silent feeling,
wherever I am, before retiring to rest, and also
before leaving my room to engage in the concerns
of the day. I have been sometimes ready to conclude
that the last moments of our evenings were M12v 264
not the best for such an engagement; but it does
not feel right for me to retire without directing
some of my latest thoughts to Him on whom we
depend for life, and breath, and being, and for
every blessing.
1825-03-055th. With regard to infant-schools it will be
very important, if the dear little children can be
instructed how to teach and how to learn, since in
all situations in society I think there must be
something for each individual to do, both in teaching
and learning; and if these children can, from
their early infancy, be led to cherish the right feeling
in these engagements, to instruct with gentleness,
and to learn with docility and diligence, how
valuable, both to their own peace and improvement,
and to their connexions, and all with whom
they are concerned, would be this habit of feeling
and these acquisitions or attainments!
1825-03-1717th. If we would have the prevalence of
Divine power in our religious meetings we must
be concerned also out of meeting to bow in spirit
before Him who made heaven and earth.
My path is encompassed with some trials of
faith and patience; yet these must, I believe, be
for the present silently submitted to, without any
attempt to avoid them by efforts of my own.
If the heart be engaged to seek after good, let
not feelings of depression sink the mind too low.
Never despair! He who has power to sustain
will often restore consolation, and at seasons even
joy after sorrow, and after a time of trial introduce
to unexpected deliverance. It seems now desirable
to keep, as it were, in my tent as much as may be,
for a season, and wait for guidance. How greatly
do I need the renovating power from day to day! N1r 265
There is an awfulness in the path before me, and I
feel the critical nature of several concerns that cannot
fail deeply to engage me at present; and I feel
too that, unless Divine power shall be mercifully
extended for my help and support, I must sink
under a sense of weakness and insufficiency; yet
let me hope and trust in Him who ‘ever liveth
and changeth not.’
There is need to guard, in our intercourse with
each other, lest the eye be too much outward, and
we lose that sense of the Divine presence, which
should chasten all our thoughts, and keep our
actions and our words simple and direct, as they
wold be if the heart were imbued with the feeling
of His presence.
London, 1825-06-266th mo. 26th. After returning from
meeting, a dear friend sat down with us (Dr. S.)
and read the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.40th chapter of Isaiah, which he said
had been much before his mind on the day before.
He with much sweetness and feeling expressed to
us some subjects which he said often engaged his
attention on the evening of the Sabbath-day:—the
remembrance of the many Christian congregations
assembled for the worship of their Heavenly
Father,—the number of pious persons in different
parts of the world, who were feeling for each other,
and desiring the enlargement of the Redeemer’s
kingdom. His expressions I have not, perhaps,
exactly written; but they conveyed this feeling,
and my mind was humbled, and enlarged in desire
that the sincere in heart, of every name, might be
led more and more openly to engage in the labours
of love which are directed to the hearts and minds
of the people, and for which I cannot doubt but a
qualification would be given, if the prevalence of N N1v 266
the power of Christ in our own minds were sought
for before and above all things.
1825-06-2727th. On the way between Tottenham and
London the impressive language of the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.40th of
(particularly the five first verses) was
brought powerfully before me. The great sacrifice
by which comfort is brought to the Lord’s
people, and through which the warfare must be
accomplished, and the iniquity forgiven,—and
through the influence of which every valley shall be
exalted, and the mountains and the hills made low,
the depressed spirit raised in Him,—the lofty reduced
and brought down by his all-conquering
power,—and ‘the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh see it together.’
Our African concerns are in a very critical state
at present, although the interest has greatly spread;
but will all this spreading of the interest, there
are serious difficulties to contend with, and the cry
of my heart is, ‘If the Lord help us not, vain is
the help of man.’
Oh! that the hearts of those
engaged in this cause may be imbued with a feeling
of their dependence on him for right guidance,
both in regard to how and when we may move,
and in what disposition of mind. ‘Except the
Lord build the house, they labour in vain that
build it. Except the Lord keep the city, the
watchman waketh but in vain.’
1825-06-3030th. Awoke in the night in some feeling of
peace and satisfaction, in having opened my views
on the subject of our African concerns to the
friends more immediately engaged in the cause;
yet still my mind dwelt under a sense of suffering,
whilst I sought to trace the cause of some depressed
feelings, which have much accompanied N2r 267
me of late. A feeling of the claims of Christianity,
and a view of the purity and excellency that a full
submission to its influence would yield, accompanied
with the sense of the short-comings of myself
and others professing its sacred doctrines, is
painfully alive. Still I may acknowledge much
that is very beautiful and excellent in many characters,
who even have not attained to that perfection,
which is the Christian standard. I have
been, and am so circumstanced, as to be within
the sphere of engagements of deep interest, and of
very extensive concern; and having to take a part
in some such engagements involves me in deep
responsibility, and often great thoughtfulness. I
am led also to the consideration of the state of
things in society, both at home and abroad. The
miseries and sins in some parts of the British metropolis,
—the conflicting feeling and various difficulties
in Ireland,—the slavery and degradation of
poor Africa,—and the affecting state of things in
the New World, both as regards the coloured population,
and those who should ere this have been,
to a wide extent, their instructors in Christian
truth: a state of things altogether, which cannot
be contemplated without feeling that there is much
out of the Divine harmony. In past days I have
rejoiced in the arising and spreading of light, but
I knew not then the extent of the darkness.
Whether my time be longer or shorter in this
present scene, it appears my duty and calling to
seek after a spirit of watchfulness unto prayer.
A little hope was raised in meeting to-day, in
the remembrance dwelling on my mind of that
language of the Psalmist, ‘Hope thou in God,
for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of N2 N2v 268
my countenance, and my God:’
yet of late little
of consolation has been known, as in days past,
whether in or out of meetings. My own want of
fidelity and attention to duty is yet more to be
mourned than even this, and is probably the greatest
cause of what has been suffered. I minute
these things I know against myself, but shall not
be satisfied if I act otherwise. If I live, I may
compare this with some future day, and more fully
see how it has been with me.
1825-07-027th mo. 2nd. We, as a society, have to guard
against assimilating with what is not consistent
with our principles, and especially where, in a state
of affluence, people of different societies may
almost insensibly be led to depart from real simplicity
in their manner of living, when answering
what they conceive to be the claims of hospitality
and kind intercourse with each other. How much
need is there to guard in this quarter, or rather, seek
to be guarded by a higher influence; and to watch,
lest the love of popularity, or of the praise of men,
mix itself so with the feelings of Christian sympathy,
as to prevent the good, to its full extent,
that might be done, were the mind kept in its true
direction. But danger does not preclude duty.
Friends and others of different professions, unite
in civil concerns, in trade and commerce. They
have dangers to encounter here, but they go on.
And shall not the claims of benevolence induce
them also to venture on the course in which there
may be unavoidably attendant danger, but not unconquerable
difficulties? Persons of different professions
may yet be united in the bonds of Christian
love, and may help and strengthen one another.
Let us propose such a union: let us seek N3r 269
to do good to the bodies and minds of our fellow-
creatures, if so it may be permitted us: let us follow
our Redeemer whithersoever He will lead us,
and influenced by His heavenly power, go about
doing good. Let us form plans of benevolence
and of social care, and of brotherly intercourse for
good, that shall engage the attention of various
classes in larger or more limited spheres, each according
to their ability and inclination; as minor
instructors in voluntary schools,—as visitors of
districts for the loan of approved tracts,—as visitors
of the sick, of hospitals, or in whatever way social
duties shall call their attention; whilst others guide
the helm in the various local institutions connected
with the concern. The present is a season of
close exercise and conflict in various institutions,
but truth and love will spread, and eventually prevail;
conciliation, without compromise, should be
the order of the day.
I feel that as Friends, we have a part to take
in Christian love towards society at large, beyond
what we have yet done in the promotion of truth and
righteousness on the earth, by the spreading of
those principles which are professed by us as a
1825-07-1616th. Again I am compelled to acknowledge
that gratitude and praise ought to be the clothing
of my mind, for the abundant goodness of God in
directing my path so as to permit the occupation
of time and thought for engagements that may
conduce to the relief of suffering, and the real
happiness of society. There may have been various
causes for the feeling of depression which
so much accompanied my mind of late, such indeed
at seasons as I can scarcely remember to N3v 270
have ever felt before. I have myself to blame I
doubt not for much of this depression, apprehending
that such an extreme would not have been felt,
had I not given way to a relaxed manner of appropriating
my time, and thus being behind with
my purposes and employments, and giving way
also to a backwardness to engage in the retirements
which are, I believe, greatly conducive, through
Infinite Goodness, to the renewal of spiritual
strength; and thus I have awoke morning after
morning under the power of anxiety and depression,
and felt almost unfit to encounter any engagement
requiring clearness of view and close
thought. I have been ready to enquire, ‘Is there
no way for me here? Is all, as it were, fading
before my view, because it is right to leave all,
band again to visit Africa?’
This I thought I
could willingly do for peace, could it be clearly
seen by myself and by others, that it is really required.
And it seemed as though the mere application
to languages, or the deprivations, and even
dangers of the sea, might be willingly encountered,
rather than the feeling of depression and unfitness
for mental engagements, under which I suffered.
I felt not only prone to indolence from this state
of mind, but also at times to an irritability of
temper that distressed me: but Infinite Goodness
can enable us to overcome all things, if He
direct and strengthen for the warfare. My mind
is now much relieved, and I have had, even amidst
the recent suffering, repeated proofs that He mercifully
cared for me, although unworthy; and
such has been the feeling of humiliation in my
mind, that I thought I could gladly engage in
even very difficult and laborious offices, either in N4r 271
England or in Africa, if I might but be permitted
mercifully to witness, as I apprehended had been
witnessed sensibly in days past, a state of reconciliation,
reliance, and peace.
How great is the privilege which I have enjoyed,
and hope still to enjoy, of leisure to attend
to suggestions for the good of others, whether
arising in my own mind, or by the conversations
of friends; and it is a duty to take care, whatever
my outward situation may be, to retain, if possible,
this great privilege, and to use it rightly.
How thankful ought I to be, in not only being
permitted to act as an agent in the reduction of
languages, but allowed also to extend the desire
and the effort for improvement in other directions,
as the way may open for it; and that kind, judicious,
and feeling friends are led to desire that I should
enjoy this liberty and exercise it. How difficult
in prospect did my path appear, when, three years
ago, my mind was led towards a visit to Ireland,
and yet how wonderfully was the way laid open
for that visit, and how mercifully was I borne
through the deep conflicts that awaited me there,
feeble as I was, and unworthy of the favour extended
to me! Have I not now of late been permitted
to experience a state, like that describbed to
have been poor Peter’s lot in the time of trial;
‘Satan hath desired to have you, that he might
sift you as wheat.’
Ah! how great the mercy interposing;
‘I have prayed (the Father) that thy
faith fail not.’
Let me then not shrink from any
remaining suffering, but be thankful for recent
preservation through what has been felt; and may
I be enabled to ‘trust in the Lord for ever,’ feeling
that however limited may be our own powers by N4v 272
nature, ‘in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting
I have felt constrained to confess the
low degree of the exercise of faith, though never,
I am disposed to hope, quite out of exercise; but
I have felt compelled to confess how unworthily
mine has been limited in its views in this respect,
and confessing my desert of suffering, have been
led to petition for forgiveness in and through an
ever-compassionate Saviour, who ‘has borne our
griefs and carried our sorrows,’
and by whose
‘stripes’ His unworthy disciples are mercifully
brought to know themselves ‘healed.’ Never may
this day of humiliation be lost to my remembrance,
but ever in its recollection excite the feeling of
gratitude and praise for every dispensation, whatever
it be, which shall bring to a deeper sense of
infinite and unmerited mercy. Should trials yet
await me, may I be enabled humbly to feel that
I have received many and unmerited favours, and
ought to submit without complaining, to what may
be against my natural will, or even greatly opposed
to it. And, if favours should still be conferred,
though undeserved, may all lead my heart
to humble adoration of the giver of every good;
feeling that He is ‘good in his gifts—supremely
good—nor less so when He denies.’
Even crosses
in His sovereign hand are blessings in disguise.
At the funeral of a friend my mind was under
weighty impression of the necessity of cherishing
a deeply reverential feeling before the Most High,
who made heaven and earth, the seas, and the
fountains of water, and who, infinite in holiness,
can only be worshipped in spirit and in truth.
1825-07-127th mo. 12th. I have felt an apprehension lately,
that some attempts to do good amongst the very N5r273
lowest of the people in the district of St. Giles are required
of me, and yet I see difficulties, not a few,
in the way, unless there can be some opening for
the employment of the most forlorn and destitute.
May the hours be rightly employed: ‘time is
than gold more sacred.’
I do not know when the
sense of its preciousness was more fully before
1825-07-2323rd. May I be enabled to acknowledge the
goodness of Divine Providence in all His appointments.
May my heart be ever kept from every
feeling inconsistent with gentleness and love; and
may I be diligently bent, from day to day, on the
right occupation of the precious gift of time. I
have been ready to fear, lest there was something
either negligent or unskilful in my arrangements,
when I possessed a home, which prevented me
from gaining what might have been nearer independence;
but I may also remember, that even
before entering upon the school, I felt a check
against giving up the whole of my time to occupations
that would prevent my attendance on the
poor, and that this check always continued; and
that subsequent failure of health, after being too
much engaged, threw me necessarily more into
quiet, mental occupations, which it appeared my
indispensable duty to pursue.
1825-07-2424th. A grievous conflict of mind ins the fear,
that should a provision be made for me, independdent
of my own exertions, there might be some
painful fetter to my mind. This was the first day
of the week: had my view been more fully engaged
in things eternal, a part of this suffering
migh perhaps have been avoided, but it seemed
the time to think and speak of it with a dear and N5 N5v 274
valued friend, who can feel with me, and yet advises
that I should leave it, and consider, whether
I would not recommend to another to act as he
now recommends me, and to think whether it is
not best to agree to an arrangement, that shall
leave me at liberty for such a sphere of usefulness
as might in that way be open to me.
‘I feel for the poor, but what do I do for them?’
was the impressive query of a young girl, who
afterwards acted to excellent purpose, as well as
felt an affecting sympathy. ‘What do I do for
should be urged on all who profess to feel
as Christians for the wants and the sufferings, the
sins and the sorrows of that mass of society, who,
whether from misconduct or unfavourable circumstances,
or both, are dwelling in a land of plenty,
but suffering poverty and want, and in a country
abounding with means of instruction, yet a prey to ignorance,
and the victims of temptation to crime, and
suffering under its punishment. We want that
Christian institution in action, that will go deeply
and fully into the state of the poor, and the causes,
as well as consequences, of misery and neglected
education. Education comprises not school instruction
alone for the poor, but religious care;
and I long to see more of this in action among us
as a society. Might not Friends collect at their
own houses the children of a little local district,
and read to them, and teach them, once a week?
My heart was turned towards the poor from a
child, and perhaps not being rich myself may
have led me to feel more sensibly for them, and
to desire that what is done for their good may be
done freely and kindly, and so as not to fetter and
render them dependent, but to enable them to grow N6r 275
stronger in ability to serve themselves and
On the 1825-07-3131st, in a solid and solemn meeting in
the forenoon, I was so assailed by a temptation to
anxiety and restlessness on one particular subject,
that on getting a little over it, through the conviction
that in all things my spirit must seek an entire
submission to what Providence shall be pleased to
appoint or permit, I feel persuaded it must be the
enemy that thus repeatedly assaults, and seeks to
bring my mind into undue perturbation and bondage,
and sometimes at seasons, when the highest
concerns and engagements should absorb my attention.
The bait is adapted to its object: oh! that
I may be taught to beware. I have at seasons been
much reminded of the saying of our Lord to His
poor disciple:—‘Satan hath desired to have you, that
he may sift you as wheat.’
May I be permitted to
know finally the precious declaration, ‘I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.’
I must
learn in all things submission, and I believe all
will be well.
In retirement I was led to desire that our
friends might be led, in Gospel love, to visit the
European colonies in different parts of the world.
How much do these need Christian care, and how
great will be the influence of these colonies, whether
good or bad. Let the soldiers of Christ arise
for His cause.
Many times, and again and again, must the
thought of those memorable days spent at the Cape
return, accompanied by a deep feeling, that
the cause in which we had engaged was good, and
worthy of devoted labour. I cannot still relinquish
the prospect, that it will be prosecuted, even N6v 276
on that spot, before the magnificent Atlantic,
which rolls its waves with solemn grandeur against
the rocky shores of that beautiful coast.
How sweetly might a little family of Friends
resident at Birkow, stroll along that fine beach in
the evening, after the labours of the day, conversing
together on the objects of their mutual engagements,
and enjoying the needful relaxation for the
recruiting of their strength. And then in the
evenings, instead of keeping school during the
whole of the time, to have a part engaged either in
retired or social reading. We were ourselves often
too closely occupied, and health, in some of us,
consequently suffered. Often did A. T. and I
entreat our male friends to retire from labour in
the middle of the day, for a longer season than
just that of dining, but they seldom did. Now I
regret that we did not more frequently urge their
leaving any thing undone, rather than endanger
their health by so much exertion.
Twelve months ago we were drawing near the
shores of England. Great has been my suffering
at seasons since that time; and in the last two
months, amidst close conflict, I have been ready to
cry out in secret, ‘When shall it be with me as in
days past? When shall I again know something
like a home, and a certain prospect?’
But let all
this be left. I will be thankful that in meeting
and in retirement there is a feeling at seasons
solemn and precious. Yesterday I was much favoured
in this respect. I may thankfully acknowledge
that I feel cause to be happy, and to dwell
under a grateful sense of Divine goodness.
How earnestly do I desire the day, in which
the powerful and subduing influence of the Redeemer’s N7r 277
Spirit, shall be so humblingly felt on the
minds of professors of Christianity, that His sacred
name shall not be uttered, nor subjects connected
with the everlasting kingdom ever spoken of, but
with the sensible feeling of humiliation and reverence.
How very painful is it to hear at seasons
a plea for what is called the cause of Christianity,
urged in hardness, and even bitterness of spirit,
and the sacred doctrines of the Gospel spoken of
in a feeling, in which nothing is so visible as that
self-righteous pride and exultation which our Redeemer
so forcibly pointed out, as an object of His
On the 1825-08-033rd of 8th month I was at Gracechurch-
Meeting. It was silent, and I do not know
that at any time my mind has been permitted to
dwell under more weighty feeling of the sublime
and heavenly nature of that worship, which needs
not the intervention of outward forms, but falls
down in spirit before Him, who formed heaven and
earth, and who sees all that is passing within us.
To dwell in silence before Him, seeking only the
influence of His heavenly power to operate to the
renewal and refinement of our spirits, what can we
desire more than to be partakers of a privilege so
precious? Near the close of the meeting, my mind
was deeply impressed with the awful language:
‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I
will be their God, and they shall be my people.’
I am ready to fear that sometimes people who
are instruments of much good, were their own
minds sufficiently prepared for it, by an humble
feeling concerning themselves, and a reliance on
the aid of Divine Providence, are hindered in
their usefulness, by too much reliance on their N7v 278
own doings, and a propensity to attribute what is
only due to Divine direction and blessing, to some
other source,—at least, to be too much elated if
success attend. It is easier to express in words
than to declare in action, ‘Not unto us, O Lord,
not unto us, but unto Thy name give the glory!’

Do not our inmost hearts acknowledge that in
reality to Him, as the mover of every good thought,
and the supporter of every good act, to Him alone
the praise is justly due, and that instruments can
only, as instruments, fulfil His pleasure.
1825-08-058th mo. 5th. The thought that the state of
the Otaheitians was very favorable to improvement,
from the plenty that their country presents
preventing anxious thought about the means of
life, and the temptation to steal, is much before me;
and I do think the misery of the Irish, and some
of the English, increases the difficulty of doing
right, and increases the temptation to crime. Oh!
that some wise and generous measures, yet simple
and efficient, could be adopted to employ idle
hands, and lead to the colonizing system!
Whatever may be my future allotment the
present season will be remembered as a season of
close conflict,—sometimes cheered by the opening
prospects, amidst a state of combat, and sometimes
depressed by a sense of suffering which, perhaps,
might not be so keenly felt, and which can only
be effectually overcome in present circumstances,
by a reliance on Divine Providence, and an entire
submission to whatever may appear to prepare me
for the more fully accomplishing what I have apprehended
to be my calling—to live the servant
of the poor and the uninstructed. Let me be satisfied
to live a life of abstraction, of divestment, as N8r 279
to property, and seek only to be an humble follower
of Him whose kingdom was not of this
world; and thus neither desire nor seek to live as
in the world’s spirit, but, above all things, to be
perfectly redeemed.
1825-08-056th. Another claim, besides that of Africa,
dwells strongly on my mind, and that is the state
of our metropolis; in some of the most miserable
and disorderly of its population, presenting scenes
as much opposed to real Christianity as light is
opposed to darkness. I want these to be brought
more fully into our view, and the question received
into our hearts, ‘What can be done for the prevention
of crime and misery in this land?’
Our prisons
are filled,—our laws convict, condemn, and
transport,—our watchmen are robbed of their rest,
and a great expense is incurred to guard property
against plunder. Could not more be done to prevent
the disposition to plunder? To give the
lowest of the people occupation, and the means of
plenty? To visit them in Christian kindness,—to
have no poor family unknown or unnoticed? And,
since I have felt it my path to serve the poor, let
me pursue with steadiness what is required from
me here, and I may then, should life be spared,
willingly proceed to foreign duties.
The weekly loan of tracts will, I apprehend,
be the first step for bringing arrangements forward
for the amelioration of the state of the poor: afterwards
various efforts may follow,—as schools, meetings
for instruction, &c.
I expect soon to enter upon a visit to St.
, and, as far as I can judge, feel released
from the present further prosecution of duty on
the coast of Africa, except by correspondence; and N8v 280
here may I rest, and feel thankful that my path is
so clear and plain.
The consciousness of our proceedings, with
regard to leaving Africa, having been thought by
some rash and unauthorized, and by others lacking
in firmness and perseverance, has been painfully
felt, even although my dear friends who
have sympathized with us have shown great kindness;
and my way, in various respects, both here
and in the north, has been opened beyond what I
could have expected. I cannot condemn myself,
either in going or returning. I think we were
willing to suffer, and trust strength may be given
to continue so, and to do the work of the day,
according to the ability afforded.
1825-08-1717th. At the morning-meeting of 1825-08-038th mo. 3rd, I
was solemnly impressed with the feeling that those
who were called to the work of the ministry, or other
important stations in the militant church, should
dwell in a willingness to be prepared for the work
of the Lord, whenever and whatever it might be
that should be called for at their hands.
On the 1825-08-1111th was brought with lively feeling to
my view that declaration of the apostle, ‘Not
as though I had already attained, either were
already perfect—but this one thing I do, forgetting
those things which are behind, and reaching
Oh! that Ireland could be essentially served,
in the state of her poor population being so brought
into early notice as that the dear little ones could
be generally taught.
Affecting accounts are received by the Church
of continued mortality among
their missionaries at Sierra-Leone. G. Nylander N9r 281
has finished his course. Five others have lately
died, even though it has been mostly the dry
season; and four are returning home to recruit.
In returning from London last evening the
stage stopped a few moments at the higher end of
Tottenham before a public-house; a window was
thrown open, and some dreadfully light remarks
on an oath that had been uttered pierced me
with grief and shame for the degradation of human
nature, and almost with astonishment in the sense
of the long-suffering of the all-powerful Creator.
What ought to be our patience under the wrongs
we may receive from human beings, when we remember
the forbearance thus manifested! How
ought those who have been permitted to feel and
know in some degree the power of the Truth to be
willing to lay out their efforts for the awakening of
those who are so lost in darkness as to be indeed
a disgrace in conduct to a land professing to
be Christian! Because of drunkenness, and its
wretched fruits, the land mourneth! How little
should we esteem any labour to bring up the
younger part of society in a detestation of this sin!
Let Christians unite to stem the current which is
thus leading poor human beings into ruin. What
is our ease or self-indulgence to be placed against
the sin which is going on, in some directions in
our land.
Sometimes I have been induced to forbear
sitting down quietly alone from feeling so unprepared,
and afraid of not attaining to more than a
form of retirement, but it is brought to my view
that we must supplicate inwardly, as we may be
enabled in the little strength we have, for ability N9v 282
to resign ourselves to the guidance of Infinite
Love, and to follow Him day by day. How has
my mind been impressed in witnessing what I
mentioned of sin and profaneness last evening,
with the consciousness that the Most High is indeed
infinite in mercy,—infinite in condescension,
—in still seeking the restoration of His fallen and
unworthy creature, man!
Let England and America and France show
an enlightened and liberal policy in promoting
the growth of knowledge, and consequent power,
among the working-classes, whilst the more jealous
of neighbouring nations look on, and see the
fruits of such proceedings: they will be convinced,
in time, that industry is the nerve of power, and
freedom the spur to industry, and riches and abundance
the fruits of industry: yet let this power be
rightly directed and guarded by real Christian instruction
and the influence of Christian care in
counteracting that perversion of the advantages
and provisions of the world to which human nature
is so prone, and which perversion often, in the
ordering of Divine Providence, leads again to
misery and want, as well as to disorder of various
A stroke of conviction came home to my mind
some days since, when suffering under the view of
the future, and the apprehension lest the sense of
obligation should feel as a weight upon my spirits.
‘What then!’ it seemed to be spoken to my heart,
‘shall the poor, to whom thy mind has been led
in compassion, and the ignorant, whom thou hast
felt bound to endeavour to instruct, shall scenes of
duty which are open before thee be turned from
unheeded, because there are difficulties to thy N10r 283
natural disposition and feelings to be encountered?
Look at the two different paths before thee, and
consider which thy conscience would best approve?’
It appeared to me that if the way be
made plain and clear, I ought not to shrink from
an arrangement which, although it would bring
great obligations, would yet leave me at liberty in
the disposal of my time for the good of those who
want help and attention. I ought gratefully to
feel what a dear friend once expressed, ‘that it is
a favour to be employed.’
And should what I
have felt for St. Giles’s lead, through unmerited
goodness, to some arrangements for their real
help and service, both as to body and mind,
how deeply should I feel the claim to thankful-ness!
1825-08-2020th. The way appears opening for the desire
of my heart, with respect to finding access to the
poor in the most neglected districts. On our first
visit there was a degree of coldness among the
people, an insensibility and closeness of mind that
felt discouraging. In a second visit, yesterday, we
were received with much more cordiality than in
the first, and felt quite cheered in finding the
people seemed better to understand us. One person,
who had behaved with peculiar coldness to us
last week, was now so much altered in her manner
that I did not even remember, till afterwards reminded
of it, that it was the same person. She
has, I think, been softened by hearing we helped
a distressed family near her. Another poor woman,
who had been out when we were in the district
last week, told us her son, a young man who
could read, when he heard ‘what we had been
was much disappointed that his mother was N10v 284
not at home, that he might have had a book to
read. Thus we were cheered with the hope that
even these obscure and unfrequented dwellings
might be pervaded with some rays of light, through
the channels thus opened before them.
The principle fixed in my mind is, that the
very lowest, and worst, and most untaught parts of
society should be subjects of both benevolent and
religious care, and that meetings for instruction
and tract-distribution should be objects of the first
care and attention. Have we not the example of
our Redeemer, who came to call sinners to repentance,
and declared of the joy in heaven over the
conversion of one of these? Is not the injury
done to Society at large by one of these, who
dwell in the extremes of vice, and foster and generate
iniquity, to be regarded as a mortal poison,
the effects of which should be arrested as speedily
as possible, if we desire to see the body preserved
in life and health. I long to see more thought and
diligent care in the work of prevention. I long to
see the instruction of very little children attended
to—their moral and religious instruction. The
worst of the people should not be considered too
far in the dark for Christians to follow. If those
who have proved themselves guilty are the subject
of Christian pity in prisons, why not try to
meet them with the exhortations and warnings of
the Gospel, in their obscure dwellings, before the
crimes to which they are tempted are committed,
and whilst yet there may be hope of the prevention
of the crimes which would make their restoration
the more difficult and hopeless?
A letter arrived from a dear friend in Africa.
In reading it, I longed to see again Wellington N11r 285
and the dear children of Sierra-Leone. But as to
a visit to the coast, unless a very clear view induce
it, it must be left for the present, until some duties
at home are more fully entered upon; yet even
now I believe I could most willingly go for the
ensuing dry season, if it clearly appeared to my
friends and myself that this would be the right
time for going. My mind is favoured with quiet
in the belief that Divine Providence is guiding
some of us, in infinite mercy, into a path of usefulness
towards some of those who most need Christian
care, and that He will be pleased to direct us
in the way. Oh! that the heart may be turned
to Him for daily help!
I feel sensibly that the acknowledgment is due
to Infinite Goodness for the peace with which my
mind was favoured yesterday, in the course of our
visits. There seemed something over us which I
could not but regard as an evidence that the
‘Friend of publicans and sinners’ was directing
our path. May what shall be entered upon in this
cause be done as unto Him!
Perhaps no more interesting duties will ever
call my attention than some which are immediately
before me. What a favour it is to have health
and comparative quiet of mind to enter upon
these engagements! It is not thirty years since
my mind was decidedly turned to seek its peace
in the redemption that is in Jesus: let fruits
now appear more evidently than they have yet
done, in dedication of heart and life, and daily
breathings of spirit to Him whose holy and beneficent
pleasure it is to renew strength to them that
have no might.
1825-09-039th mo. 3rd. The great Parent of the universe N11v286
can prepare for every duty, and but one thing is
needful, to dwell as at the Redeemer’s feet, and
hear His voice, and seek to follow Him. How
precious is the quiet which the soul thus favoured
is led to feel, even amidst varied and arduous engagements!
How infinitely great is the goodness
of our Heavenly Father who, unworthy as we are,
still condescends tenderly to invite and direct to
scenes of duty with the indubitable assurance that
He will be with His weak, dependent children in
every sincere attempt to pursue the path to which
He is pleased to direct.
The 1825-09-033rd and 1825-09-044th were memorable as seasons of
great peace, I may say of happiness. Opened on
the 1825-09-044th a map to observe the relative situations of
Malacca, Singapore, and New South Wales, and
while I sat contemplating the map, rejoiced in the
belief that good is going on, through the agency
of the pious, in many distant districts to which
the English have had access, and longed for the
yet more visible increase of truth and righteousness
on the earth. Have I not been brought, from
happy experience, unworthy as I am, yet to acknowledge
that there is nothing of enjoyment in
this world, not even in our natural and allowed
affections, comparable to the precious feeling of
Divine love, the indwelling sense of the goodness
of the Lord.
I have lately read the last accounts from
Sierra-Leone of the Church Missionary-Society.
It is a grief to see one affectionate labourer after
another falling in that colony, and it is to me
more evident than ever that they labour beyond
what European constitutions can support in that
climate; I could not but feel sad in reading the N12r 287
accounts. Dear Madelane Gerber was one of those
lately removed, and I could not doubt her being
fitted for an inheritance more to be desired than
this world can present; but for the dear little children
and poor uninstructed people to lose their
teachers one after another,—this is afflicting. I do
not think that preaching three or four times a day
can be likely for an European to continue and
live. They should have readers to occupy a part
of the time, and only have short occasional communications
from the minister. Oh! that they
could give way to silent feeling at times in their
meetings. Where they cannot have native readers
the female missionaries might read, and might also
give out the hymns, as one did in the Gambia.
How much do I desire that they would select such
hymns as would not violate the truth when sung
by a congregation. This subject should be more
fully brought forward. On speaking about it last
evening to a Moravian minister, he acknowledged
immediately that he had felt this, and that it
seemed to him the strongest argument we, as a
society, could bring forward against congregational
singing; but he quickly added, ‘Might not those
hymns be sung which, whilst they make a general
acknowledgment of the truth, and may tend to
excite good feelings, do not profess individual
I acknowledged that this to me
would be a much preferable habit. Yet a sacred
regard to truth ought ever to be inculcated;
but most of all when assembling for the awful
purpose of Divine worship. Alas! the great evil
is, that many imagine they have performed Divine
worship, when they have uttered certain prayers
and professions, without considering whether those N12v 288
professions are sincere, and whether the tenour
of the life and conversation are correspondent
with them, in the sight of Him who searcheth the
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.”
O1r 289

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.
1825-09-1111th. 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 O1v 290
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 attractice
to the African ear, and African feeling, to be
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!
1825-09-1212th. 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 Sierra-
, 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 O2r 291
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 O2 O2v 292
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
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
Our blessed Redeemer sought the good of all.
1825-09-1818th. Went to St. Giles’s. The people were O3r293
much out in the streets, which were wretchedly
dirty. The houses, and especially the lobbies,
were most of them miserably covered with a dirty,
neglected surface, and the atmosphere everywhere
bad. They had generally their windows open,
which so far showed they were not insensible to
health. The police should certainly give more
attention to the cleaning of these miserable streets.
On the 1825-09-2828th was again in St. Giles’s, and
suffered painfully, then and afterwards, in the feeling
that the people are extremely sinful and very
wretched. A friend who was with me pleaded on
their behalf, that, considering how they had been
educated, they could not be regarded as having
the same degree of condemnation which many, less
apparently guilty, might suffer, who had neglected
many advantages, and abused great and valuable
privileges in their education. It is true that only
the Judge of the whole earth can fully see how any
stand before Him; but sin is sin in all; and much
it behoves us, who are so greatly favoured, to seek
the rescue of these unhappy people from the dreadful
thraldom in which they are involved. There
must be something in the general order of society,
or some great lack that introduces such a state of
things as we see. What can be the cause of four
hundred women being found in one prison, confined
for debt? Oh! that those who feel for the
sins and miseries in which human beings are involved
in this metropolis!—oh! that they would
unite their efforts, and try to do them good. We
want rooms in which to receive those who desire
to forsake the error of their ways, in which they
might be sheltered and provided with employment
suitable to their ability. Employment for females O3v 294
should be a subject of close attention, especially
for such as are widows and unmarried: there are
not places of domestic service for all. I feel
assured that if these subjects are entered into it
will be found that effectual good cannot be done,
without some additional arrangements, on a comprehensive
plan, for this first step to civilization—
useful and sufficiently productive employment, especially
for single females. Rather let there be a
colony formed, in which they should even till the
ground, that that it should be said women cannot
earn a decent living for themselves if left to their
own resources. The peasant system in Ireland,
with all its miseries, is beautiful in comparison
with the wretched habit of living in the garrets of
St. Giles’s. We want, also, a general arrangement
for visiting schools, and for visiting families, so as
to encourage and support a good attendance of
schools, a weekly meeting of children for religious
instruction, and a meeting for both children and
parents, adapted to the lowest state in which they
are found, as to instruction, and conducted by persons
who do not receive payment for their labours,
but act on the principle that as freely they have
received so they should freely give. These five
branches,—shelter, employment, education, including
general visits in districts to inquire into the
state of education and to lend tracts to parents and
children, childrens’ meetings, and fifthly, meetings
for all ages,—all these might be of incalculable
benefit in the metropolis. The lowest ranks in
society would be, in some respects, more difficult
subjects for instruction than many are in those
called heathen lands, and they would want the
same care even from the beginning in the attempt O4r 295
to civilize and Christianize them, if we might be
permitted as instruments in such a cause.
1825-09-2929th. In conversation with a friend respecting
our establishment at Birkow, he still thought that
a little colony of Friends, on the banks of the
Gambia, might present an example, and possess an
influence that would be beneficial to the natives,
and useful to the colony near it. I believe so too,
and can never forget what was felt at Birkow in
our short abode there. Oh! that a station for
Friends on that spot might one day be renewed!
The garden-fence indeed is broken down,—perhaps
the seat destroyed on which our dear J. T. prepared
a rest near the well for his sister and myself;
but they are not—our friends are not—lost sight
of in the hearts of the people. The ocean, with
its fine tide, still awfully rolls against the rocky
beach; and the departing sun is seen shedding its
fine mellow beams on the bosom of the great Atlantic.
Some Christian European teacher may
again contemplate the grand display of the power
of Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and
the fountains of water,—contemplate a portion of
these wonders as displayed from the coast of
Africa upon the Western Ocean, and feel, with us,
an assured conviction that the days are hastening
in which the knowledge of the Lord shall cover
the earth as the waters cover the depth of the
Should life be spared for some few years
longer, I may for a season be called to dwell at
Birkow. I do not look forward with fear, although
the prospect is connected with affecting circumstances.
At present the scene of immediate labour for O4v 296
me is nearer home, and when these duties shall
have been accomplished, I may the more quietly
leave for a longer residence on the African coast.
The engagements of the last two weeks, and the
entrance upon our research into the miserable district
of St. Giles’s has felt wearing to my spirits and
strength. When alone it has seemed to me as
though I was plunged into a sense of the sins and
miseries of the people, and my own constitutional
tendency to occasional feelings of extreme anxiety
and depression has been at times painfully prevalent;
but I have not imparted much to any one
these sufferings. It has been permitted that they
should at times be succeeded with such causes of
rejoicing in hearing of the probability of some
good being done, that thankfulness ought to be
ever the clothing of my mind.
1825-10-0810th mo. 8th. In the monthly-meeting held this
week I was much impressed with the view that in
the present state of things in the world Divine
Wisdom is pleased often to effect much good
through the agency of imperfect instruments, and
that to withhold what might be really serviceable,
because of the possible mixture of what is not
desirable, would be like suffering great evils to
rankle unremedied which might, by a courageous
and diligent effort, be in a degree removed.
1825-10-1212th. A few of us who are interested for the
poor of St. Giles’s met, and there appears some
hope that we may act in friendly coalescence, without
compromise of principle, if Christian sincerity
be maintained. I long to see the way opened for
this, and that we may stimulate each other to love
and good works. This day in meeting, which was
a favoured season, it appeared to me that I ought O5r 297
to be willing to think little of individual trial, but
that quiet reliance on Divine Providence, and
thankfulness for unmerited goodness, ought ever
to be the covering of my spirit.
1825-11-2611th mo. 26th. Everything that we witness in
the most degraded classes of the people in this
metropolis confirms the conviction that it is to
early religious instruction and useful occupation
that we must look as the great instruments which
Divine Providence will use for the restoration of
the people, in whatever country, from that state of
vice and misery which is so dreadfully appalling.
The unhappiness is that so many in other classes
of society, living in ease and indulgence, and reluctant
to enter into what is painful and difficult,
are too much disposed to turn away their eyes
from the sight of the real state of the people in the
lowest ranks, and to consider the evils that exist as
arising from some unavoidable cause, which it is
not their business to be at the trouble of investigating.
This coldness in one class of society towards
the other is, I fear, a cause of greater misery, and
even sin, than the open violence with which the
world has been, and still is afflicted.
Wars and outward discord, with all their horrors,
display themselves, and the evils and sufferings
they cause induce in time their termination;
but the miseries that arise from cold, unheeding
neglect, leave its victims to pine and suffer in
secret, and often a prey to violent temptation to
crime, which must, we cannot doubt, bring condemnation,
not only on each guilty individual, but
these consequences must be attributed also to
those who might have been the means of shielding
from such temptation, and would not.
O5 O5v 298 Schools and the care and instruction of little
children are near to my heart. Yet I wish to be
understood as desiring, by suitable and comprehensive
religious instruction, to incite to religious feeling,
and to the cultivation of Christian principles;
not to make any attack in public schools on peculiar
sects; but rather to point out what the Scriptures
teach us, and leave all to form in future their
own conclusions as to what particular profession
they can most satisfactorily adhere to.
1826-01-211st mo. 21st, 1826. My our Society be taught
to guard against the errors into which many others
have fallen, of resting in head-knowledge of doctrines
and correct views, and not suffering the
reducing, controlling power of Christianity on the
mind and conduct, so as to lead to secret piety
and real benevolence, and to which Christian simplicity,
springing from true motives; must prepare
the way. People may talk and avow Christian
profession without suffering its influence to lead
to that self-denial to which our Redeemer calls us:
‘If any man will come after me, let him deny
Himself, and take up his cross and follow me!’

Let the truth, and the love of it, govern in all that
we do, and think, and say. This is the state in
which, not being conformed to this world, we become
transformed, by the renewing of the mind,
and are thus taught to prove, by the prevalence of
the light, what is that good, and acceptable, and
perfect will of God. It is ony as the will is bowed
down before the Father of spirits, and made subject
to Him, that we can expect to see clearly, and discern
between that which serveth God and that
which serveth Him not. Oh! that some may be
willing to dwell under this humbling, baptizing O6r 299
power in and near to this great city, in which the
light is so evidently at strife with the darkness.
Oh! that some may be willing to dwell as in the
fortress, and to watch, and, by a sincere and Christian
warning, give notice to the combatants of the
approach of their enemies! How deep and how
dedicated should be the dwelling of these! how
closed their ear against what might divert from the
sound of the Master’s voice! and how watchful
and retired to keep the spiritual senses rightly
alive and attentive!
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.1 Chron. xxix. chap., verse 11 to 15.‘Thine,
O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the
glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all
that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine;
Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art
exalted as head above all!’
‘Both riches and honour come of Thee, and
Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is
power and might; and in Thine hand it is to
make great, and to give strength unto all.’
‘Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and
praise Thy glorious name.’
‘But who am I, and what is my people, that
we should be able to offer so willingly after this
sort? for all things come of Thee, and of Thine
own have we given Thee.’
‘For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners,
as were all our fathers: our days on the
earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding!’
1826-02-092nd mo. 9th. I have read with deep interest
Campbell’s Observations on the Antichristian
tendency of modern Education,
and trust that
Divine Goodness is leading the minds of persons
in various places, to feel what Christianity demands O6v 300
in this great cause—the education of the
young. I have also been greatly interested in looking
into the two first numbers of a series of books for
elementary instruction in natural history, on Scriptural
principles, by Henry Althans. The spirit and
feeling in which a book is written appears always
to me as its most important character; it should,
indeed, be correct as to the knowledge it professes
to convey; but, whatever the knowledge may be, it
should be conveyed with a reference to the great
First Cause. No doubt rests on my mind but that
there will be formed some association for promoting
Christian education by a provision of suitable
books; but it is evident that this will demand
much application of time and talent, from even the
humblest agent who would devote himself to the
work of nursery education, even to the Christian
philosopher, prepared and qualified by high attainments
and religious feeling, and love to the work
of instruction, for imparting the higher branches
of knowledge to those who are to fill the more in-
fluential departments of society. How greatly important
is it that these should be so imbued with
Christian principle and feeling as to be prepared
to fill the stations allotted to them in a manner
consistent with the awful, but too much neglected
injunction, ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or
whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’
1826-02-1919th. I felt this morning a painful conviction
of neglect in real and continued application
of heart to the Father of mercies for help and
strength. Without this spirit of true prayer how
can we expect that the best life shall flow in our
minds. Yet, oh! the abstractedness from outward
things which this engagement calls for, and here, O7r 301
especially, in the vicinity of the cares of this great
metropolis, I have been ready to long for a solitude;
but let me remember the prayer of the
blessed Redeemer, that His disciples might be kept
from the evil. I repent of my want of more quiet
and thankful subjection in the year that has
almost passed, since last spring, when an anxious
thought concerning my own future allotment has
at times, I fear, prevailed, when I should rather
have said, in humility of heart, ‘Thine is the earth
and the fulness thereof; do with me what Thy
wisdom shall see best, and permit me only to walk
in the path Thou shalt be pleased to open before
me, and leave the rest to Thy providential care,’

that care which has ever hitherto befriended me,
even in seasons of closest trial! Have I not been
favoured with health, with truly kind friends, with
willing coadjutors; but I have not even sought to
be subdued to Thy will, and to dwell in the feeling
of humility and love which the prevalence of Thy
power in the mind must ever give. Pity, and
forgive! and let my Redeemer’s power be known
in the entire and full renovation of my whole
nature, that I may know, from happy experience,
what it is to ‘dwell in Thy house, and to be still
praising Thee;’
and no influence of a misleading
nature be suffered to prevail on my spirit! Great
will be our condemnation if, after being permitted
to know and feel that Thou art good, we fail in
seeking to draw each other into the feeling acknowledgment
in heart of Thy Divine power and
presence! How great is the responsibility that
rests on those whom Thou hast called to be as
leaders of the people, and who are looked to for O7v 302
an example of what should be the Christian feeling
and the Christian practice.
How do we, near this great city, need to watch
and pray, and to improve the opportunities for
daily retirement before the Father of mercies. Suffer
us not, O Thou most merciful! to become as
the heath of the desert, insensible when good
cometh, but awake in heartfelt supplication toward
What I feel that I need is the precious,
supporting influences of Heavenly love, to guide
me in my way, to teach me every day to preserve,
through the Redeemer’s power assisting,
that heavenward bent of mind in which the light
in its clear and indubitable power, may be known,
and the spirit of a poor, humbled, dependent creature
may be so redeemed from itself as to become
an instrument in the ever-blessed Saviour’s
hand for the instruction of His little ones in the
things that concern their everlasting peace. Let it
be remembered that true and living faith has the
promise of the removal of mountains, and let me
remember the precious truth contained in the language
of the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.90th Psalm, ‘Lord, Thou hast been
our dwelling-place in all generations!’
and also
may I remember the supplication in the concluding
verse of the Psalm.
What I need and long for is a state in which
prayer shall ascend from the altar of the heart
without ceasing, and every care be committed to
Him, whose it is to guide His dependent creatures
at His pleasure in a way that they know not,
and in paths that they have not seen. Let me
ever fear to give way to any imagination of my O8r 303
own, in looking forward to a future allotment, and
acknowledge the liability to error, and seek to forbear
coming to conclusions until sufficient evidence
shall be given.
1826-03-093rd mo. 9th. Monthly-meeting day, preparatory
to the Spring Quarterly-meeting. This is
always in its return to me an interesting day, when
I can unite with dear friends in entering into the
state of things among us, as a society. This meeting
seems as the renewal of the year, and a time
in which we are afresh called upon, individually
as well as collectively, to search and try our
hearts, and to consider our ways whether they are
such as will be likely to tend to peace, when the
work of the present day shall be near its close, and
the things of time receding from our view. I feel
much cause for thankfulness in the belief that
Everlasting Goodness is near to help, and the encouraging
language, ‘Fear not, I am with thee!’
seems evidently and mercifully extended.
This morning I arose when the watchman was
crying, ‘Past six o’clock;’ and now that the days
are so far lengthened, I must endeavour to make
six o’clock my rising hour. How valuable are the
retired early hours of the morning. Whilst settling
and arranging some little affairs, it felt to me as
though I must make the word ‘order’ my watchword
for the present, and seek to pursue it as an
important duty. The effects arising from the lack
of more attention to it have caused me suffering.
I must mind the duties of the day, and not
involve myself unsuitably, by being grieved or
wounded beyond measure, should others not act
toward me, or concerning me, in all things as
might have been desired. I have never had much O8v 304
to complain of in this respect; but have, on the
other hand, received much kindness; therefore I
ought to be thankful for what is given, and patient
concerning what is not. May I be permitted
watchfully to guard against any temptation to
impatience and resentment in some actual circumstances
that may present a degree of trial in this
respect, and even feel a grateful acknowledgment
of the goodness of God that shall absorb all considerations
concerning myself, and make me feel
that what I have to do is to follow my Redeemer,
if I may be permitted, whithersoever I may be led.
And let me be very watchful, and earnestly disposed
to supplicate for the single eye in every important
conclusion, and in all my doings not being
biased to any act, and especially to any act of
importance, by the consideration of what others
would think or choose, further than as acting in
unity with those of sincere feeling and right judgment;
but seeking, before and above all things, to
know and to pursue that which the Lord my God
requires of me.
1826-05-075th mo. 7th. I know that Thou canst do
everything, and that no thought can be withholden
from Thee! Teach me, O Thou most merciful!
the quiet pursuance of Thy will, so far as I may
be enabled to comprehend that will concerning
me, and make me ever willing to bear the burden
Thou shalt be pleased to appoint to me, ‘looking
unto Jesus.’
1826-05-1010th. Having made communication to my
Instruction friends of the African Institution Committee on
the prospect of a return to the coast, which still
presses on my mind as a duty, should the way be
open in the view of my friends, it became a matter O9r 305
of close inquiry with me, how soon it would be
necessary to open the subject further before my
friends. My heart desires to be rightly guided,
and not to be permitted to shrink from the sense
of duty, through the view of accompanying dangers.
I have never, that I remember, felt more uncertain
as to any future home, what or where it
might be; but it would, through all the melancholy
tidings we hear from Africa, be a relief to me to
see my way fully open to go and visit that coast,
and seek to introduce the system of instruction in
schools in Sierra-Leone, through the native languages,
and to discharge some debt of Christian
duty to the colony. I have of late felt much as a
stranger and sojourner, without settled habitation,
save in this character. Sierra-Leone, with all its
dangers, seems like a desirable port, to which my
attention must be directed as my home.
1826-05-1818th. Africa is almost ever before me, but the
accounts from the western coast are such, that
nothing less than a clear sense of duty would I
think authorize a visit to that country soon. The
Governor and most of his family so soon removed
by death. Of the last company of missionaries
who went out, all sick; one removed by death, and
the other three in fever. War with one of the
neighbouring states, and things yet far from settled
in any respect. All things combine to fix in
my heart that feeling long since expressed, that to
strengthen the hands of the natives in what is
good, would be the most effectual means of serving
Africa. Even the rude attempts of Africans themselves,
when taught the use of letters, to write their O9v 306
own and each other’s languages, should be encouraged.
1826-05-2222nd. The secret lesson for to-day seems to be
to guard against being ungrateful, more especially
to the ever bountiful Giver of every blessing. Let
my spirit acknowledge His goodness in my secret
retirements from day to day, and never neglect
retiring for this sacred purpose.
1826-06-056th mo. 5th. This morning and last evening
I have had close conflict of mind, in considering
what had been presented to me of the difficulties
and dangers of a second visit to Africa, by a dear
and valued friend, who would yet not recommend
that a duty clearly seen should be foregone. After
an exercising night, my mind, even in my sleep,
seemed almost irresistibly drawn towards Africa,
and compelled to look that way as the allotted
station. After all, in looking to Him, whose right
it is to direct His creatures where and how He
will, it appeared the plainest path for me to go,
provided my friends of the African Instruction
could take upon themselves to sanction
the design, and only request for me a certificate
as a temporary sojourner on the African coast. If
it be right for me to go, I trust that He who has
all hearts in his power, will give this engagement
favour in the sight of those concerned, and that
they may let me go, without reasoning on the dangers
of the way, convinced that nothing which is
really required, should be forborne on that consideration.
It is true, indeed, that the remembrance
of what I felt the first evening we spent in Sierra-
has been impressively before me, when, in
sitting with J. Thompson and our kind fellow-la O10r 307
bourer in the African cause, J. Shimel, my spirits
were rather broken with the feeling of the very
critical position in which we were placed, the constitution
of each relaxed by the climate, and surrounded
by mementoes of mortality: our state
seemed comparable to that of sitting under a
drawn sword, suspended by a hair almost indescribably
A dear friend has lately returned from Germany,
and gives report of several classes of serious
persons there, who in a degree assimilate with
Friends, and are evidently under much religious
feeling. Some in assembling read only the Scriptures,
and have time for silent worship. Others
both read and sing, yet have also times of silence.
In both these classes a work of the Lord was seen,
which was humbling and consoling to witness.
All societies are no doubt subject to suffer
from the imperfections of human nature mixing in
all, and yet this should not utterly discourage. I
fully believe the time will come, when the acknowledgment
of the superior advantages of a free
ministry, provided that be from the right source
and fountain of instruction, will be far more generally
acknowledged than at present, and that silent
worship will also be known more extensively; yet
both be combined with Christian instruction
adapted to the different states of the people, and
to their previous attainments. Then may many
who adhere to their own professions, still meet occasionally,
and silently unite in the feeling of adoration
towards Him, whose power can unite all
hearts in one living feeling of thanksgiving and
praise. How much is it to be longed for, that
those who teach should be clothed with love, with O10v 308
gentleness and humility; willing also to be taught,
—submitting themselves one to another in the fear
of the Lord,—without self-confidence, self-seeking,
or self-complacency,—seeking only the honour of
their Lord, and the prevalence of the Redeemer’s
1826-06-2020th. A few evenings since, after having suffered,
even in retirement, under a sense of the
cloudy state at present experienced in our African
concerns, and the different views of friends respecting
them, it appeared to me to present as a door
of hope, that if patience were abode in, on the
part of some who deeply feel in this cause, the
clouds would in time pass away, and many things
which now seem to cause depression, give way to
more encouraging scenes.
Yesterday afternoon, before we went down to
the conference, my mind was in so much conflict,
that I could not account for the trying feeling that
assailed me, otherwise than as the reiterated attack
of a spiritual enemy, who once assaulted the disciples
of our Redeemer, and would have sifted
them as wheat.
No further step was taken at the conference
with respect to my prospect towards Africa, but
in the night, and through the early part of the
morning, until now, a degree of quiet has covered
my mind, for which I desire to feel thankful.
How sweet is a quiet, settled feeling! I trust in
God, and hope in His guidance and willingness to
go or stay, as may, in a nearer view, be considered
right and seasonable.
1826-07-277th mo. 27th. The time since I last wrote
has been memorable by an unexpected change, or
rather suspension of what appeared to have but O11r309
little remaining in the way of its accomplishment.
I have endeavoured to look to an entire suspension
without any definite view, and to consider whether
the business may not fall under other care, and I
trust I have been willing that it should be so, might
that be best.
The prospect of some delay in the visit to
Africa, is likely to be among the things that work
together for good. Although I feel satisfied in
having been willing to go out at this time, yet under
all circumstances, having done all, on my own
part, to go, and the way not appearing open, I
may now quietly and thankfully proceed with
what duty calls for at home, both in concerns
relative to Africa, and engagements more at large;
above all, I feel cause of thankfulness, that within
the last day or two, my mind has been favoured
with great peace, notwithstanding some trial of
faith in several directions. To feel resigned to the
will of our Father which is in heaven, and to trust
in Him, even where as to outward sight the view
may be rather obscure before us, this has a sweetness
which all worldly enjoyments, and honours,
and riches would fail to procure. Alas! I have
in the year past suffered more than was good from
the want of that degree of faith and resignation,
which infinite goodness claimed from me; and
although I have been at seasons indulged, as the
condescending Redeemer indulged His unbelieving
disciples, with sensible evidence, yet again fearfulness
and depression have come over me, and
too much proneness to neglect that application to
the fountain of life, in which life is sought and
known, and thus become dejected, and have lain
down at night and risen up in the morning in sadness O11v 310
of heart, or at least in the uneasy consciousness
of the lack of that consolation, which has
sometimes been experienced in the remembrance
of an ever-present helper and Redeemer.
What great need there is for us, who have entered
into the serious business of considering what
can be done for some of the most wretched and
depraved of the population of this metropolis, and in
other directions, acting as friends and instructors of
others, to watch well the state of our own minds,
that we do not go into confusion and weakness, by
neglecting to repair to the fountain for ourselves.
I feel at present thankful in believing that our esteemed
and valued coadjutors in this work are
actuated by principles of pure Christian love; love
to God and feeling for the spiritual and temporal
welfare of their fellow-creatures; and trust they will
be directed to such measures as shall tend to real
good, and that we shall be enabled to unite in the
leading principles of procedure, although of different
religious persuasions. How thankful may I feel
in looking at present appearances and prospects,
and remembering about a year ago how my heart secretly
craved that Divine Goodness would open the
way for what appeared as a duty to engage in, but
how or with what companions I knew not. Some
obstructions were in the way, which it was not easy
to overcome; and sometimes a remark respecting
the little that was done, or of the little that could
be expected, seemed rather painful; still there was
the kind sympathy of many whose judgment we
valued, and who were willing to judge favourably
of the design, and wait patiently the result.
When our girls’ school was opened in St.
, and for a long time afterwards, the atmosphere O12r 311
was so bad, as to render it almost impossible
to spend two hours there without suffering, and
the children were very difficult for the mistress to
govern. The atmosphere now is greatly improved,
the children much more docile, and rewarding the
care bestowed.
1826-08-048th mo. 4th. Oh! thou ever beneficent Father
of the universe, look on thine unworthy subject,
who, in the feeling of much deficiency, almost
fears to take up the name of Thy servant, and be
pleased to make the path plain before me, that it
may be fully seen what shall be done, and what
left undone; and let nothing be withheld in which
Thy cause and the honour of Thy name shall be
This morning, from a letter received from one
in a girls’ school, (not of our own society, or
making strict religious profession in any other,) it
seems very evident that in some of those seminaries
the lack of religious feeling is awfully affecting.
If we would seek to do good in the world,
one of our first objects should be to promote
Christian education, if possible, in the schools of
the middle and higher ranks of society, as well as
amongst the poor. Perhaps no way is so much open
for this, as the introduction of good school-books,
by sale, or occasionally by gift. Oh! that some
well-qualified persons would turn their attention
to this class of society, and write with that view.
My own engagements seem much of the elementary
class, and it is a favour to be employed by
the lowest and most untaught of the poor and the
depressed. Should health be given for a few
years of active labour and application of mind, a
more easy and quiet scene may be witnessed; yet O12v 312
feeling the uncertainty of how long, or what the
future may bring, I feel stimulated to earnest desire
to work while it is to-day: and, oh! that a
spirit of prayer may prevail, and ‘watching thereunto
with all thanksgiving.’
Discouragement has at seasons much assailed
me; but it is what I believe I ought to guard
against. Feeling of this kind has at times led me
wrong, I believe, both in judgment and action.
Let faith and hope rather be the prevalent feeling,
and the loins of the mind be girded, as those that
wait for their Lord. I had lately an impressive lesson
against discouragement, in omitting in that
feeling to attend the Bible Society Meeting, when
even an apprehension hovered over my mind that
it might be to my satisfaction to attend. Afterwards
I was informed a missionary was there, who
had been engaged in the reduction of languages in
the South Sea mission. May this omission, and
some other experience I have had on the other
hand of the advantage of breaking through discouraging
feeling, and trusting for strength for a
day of trial, may all prove to me that it is the
merciful design of our Heavenly Father, that we
should not give way to enervating depression, but
rather seek to put our trust in His name.
‘The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness
and how has He mercifully raised up
friends to unite with me in kind sympathy, and to
promote every design which has been entered into
from the feeling of apprehended duty, even some,
which in the day had appeared very arduous and
difficult. Assuredly I ought to regard Friends of
this meeeting with affectionate gratitude and love;
and if some cloudy days have been witnessed, P1r 313
when engagements so untried as those of our
African concerns have worn a discouraging aspect,
let me still hope to the end, and all will, I believe,
through Infinite Mercy, be finally well.
Long awake in the night through a storm of
thunder and lightning. I remembered what was
heard of a young person in the Kent East Indiaman
when on fire, who, on being told the vessel
was likely soon to be blown up, kneeled down and
said, ‘Even so, come Lord Jesus.’ How desirable
to be ever ready for His summons, whenever, or
however it shall be given. How is such a state of
preparation to be desired, more than all the treasures
and enjoyments of this fading world.
1826-08-055th. Although the way be not open in the
minds of my friends for me this season to proceed
to Africa, I trust the delay will be productive of
good, in enabling me to prepare more fully the
lessons, &c., I would introduce there, as well as
to enter further with my friends upon some very
serious and interesting concerns in London. Yet
I cannot feel divested of the idea of Africa, or at
liberty to look to anything more than a suspension
of the prospect of visiting the coast until next year;
and with this prospect, and the hope of then pursuing
to its accomplishment what was so long
before me as my duty, I do feel as though I
might look up for further protection in this cause
to our Father ‘who is in heaven,’ and from the
feeling in my heart say, I thank Thee for what
Thou hast given me to feel in this cause.—I thank
Thee for the love which has supported through
many difficulties accompanying it.—I thank Thee
that Thou hast not suffered me to feel at home in
any other circumstances, short of the accomplishmentP P1v 314
of the charge committed to me, so far as my imperfections
and deficiencies would allow.—I thank
Thee for giving me to feel that my home is either
in Africa or England, provided only that my mind
be prepared for the final change.—I thank Thee
for this delay in my going out, although I could
not feel at liberty to be myself the agent of this
delay.—I thank Thee that there is a prospect of
this intervening time being appropriated to concerns
that my heart has long been bound to; and
I trust if it be Thy will, that some concerns of
deep interest may be in a degree entered upon in
this time, and then I might more freely go out,
whether there was much prospect of life being prolonged
or not. Let, O Lord! Thy will be done
in all things, and Thy time be ever felt to be the
best, and the ordering of Thy providence in
fidelity and simplicity pursued. This is not a
season for taking rest, but for effecting what is
called for, and regarding the things without as
for the sake of that which is more enduring.
1826-09-019th mo. 1st. The time since writing last has
been memorable as one of peculiar interest, in
which the mind has been introduced into close exercise
on some subjects connected with the important
concerns of early education and Christian instruction.
The Infant School in St. Giles’s has been
opened, and in the considerations which were involved
in the system of conducting these schools,
some of our coadjutors and ourselves (as Friends)
have been led to close inquiry as to what means
will be most consonant with our general views of
Christian instruction, and with the principles we
each profess, and what can be adopted for good
without violating any of our principles. The subject P2r 315
of the best means to be pursued in school an
family instruction, to incite to devotional feelings
without a compromise of truth, has been seriously
brought into view, and oh! that we may be directed
to a right decision. How much cause of
thankfulness have we, that the leadings of Divine
Providence are so evident in the engagement now
entered upon, in one of the most wretched and degraded
districts of our great metropolis. How
has the goodness of our Heavenly Father brought
together, by unexpected means, several anxiously
concerned for the promotion of the same object,
and desirous to see, what, in His will, should be
done for the recovery and improvement of the
people. May strength be given for the patient
pursuit of our duty, and light be afforded to see
what are the next steps to be taken.
1827-01-031827 1st mo. 3rd. It now seems time for me
to renew the memento of my thoughts, and to
commemorate the mercy of my God in having
brought me to the commencement of another year,
and my heart is bent in desire, that I may, in this
renewed season of probation, be taught so to number
my days, as to apply from season to season at
the throne of Heavenly Grace, for that wisdom
which will, I feel, be needful to enable me to steer a
right course throughout this important year, should
life be spared so long. It does not appear that the
time is yet come to enter into any other station
than that of a stranger and pilgrim, wandering at
seasons from place to place, because from an apprehension
of duty I am a little employed at times in
various places, in calling on those I love, to see what
can be done in the cause of humanity and Christian
instruction in their different neighbourhoods.
P2 P2v 316 In what way can the great work of Scripture
translation be most effectually promoted? Should
not our hearts be directed in prayer to God, that
He would lead and direct in this cause? Can
there be any one, two, or three stations in the
world, in which, by a concentration of care and
labour, the work may be carried forward, or must
it yet remain the work of individual missionaries,
with only occasional communication and correspondence
on these important concerns? I long to
see at least one station, in which the work may be
carried on, under a concentrated or combined care,
and subject to strict revision.
Much good might result, if those who feel at
seasons the spirit of worship were to assemble in
each other’s houses, and to read or communicate,
or sing, or wait in silence, or pray, as the right
feeling should lead: much good might result from
such assemblies. And would it not be well if we
had among ourselves some minor meetings as a
preparation for the larger? Would it not be more
easy by this means to repress too forward appearances
in the ministry, than when these appearances
are so public as at present? We do at seasons
seem to need aid in the direction of the mind
in devotional feelings. This should be sought from
the source itself; and I do trust there will ever be
preserved devotional assemblies, in which there
shall be no interference in the direction of the
mind, but that which is apprehended to be of Divine
direction. Still are we not authorized from
the Scriptures of truth, and from the example of
our Lord, to read on some occasions the Scriptures
in our assemblies?
1827-04-034th mo. 3rd. Much as there is to interest me P3r317
in England, my heart is strongly attracted to Africa.
Reason may plead that the same objects might be pursued
here with far less risk of life, but a bond more
powerful than mere human reason, seems to bind
me to labour for a season with and among that
people. Awful indeed is the remembrance, that
one after another on that coast is still visited by
trying sickness, and that much mortality prevails;
nevertheless the will of God must govern every
where, and our day in any place will be according
to Divine determination. It is sweet to look forward
to that scene, to which my heart is bound,
and I trust way will be made in the minds of my
friends, so that I may go with their concurrence.
What we have to do individually, is to labour
in sincerity of heart in great or in little things, as
each in its season may be appointed, seeking only
to have the heart rightly engaged. It is in the
aggregate of little things that a greater amount of
good is seen, and in this beneficent arrangement
our Heavenly Master is pleased to permit that even
the last and least of His flock should take a part,
and not that the whole field of duty should be occupied
by a few. I was much struck last evening
with the thought, that although the distribution of
small tracts by weekly loan, is, even among the
lowest order of society, an excellent means of inducing
the mind to turn toward that which is good,
and of bringing the general state of poor families
into view, so as to lead to other, measures for their
improvement, yet that the advantages of this distribution
are not by any means confined to a low or
untaught condition of the people, but greatly applicable
to one of considerable advancement. It
will always be a likely instrument of good to lend P3v 318
well selected tracts in a kind and friendly manner,
and particularly to children and young people.
The variety will please, and persons of judgment,
discretion, and piety may use their leisure and retirement
to excellent purpose, in making a judicious
selection of instruction to pour into the domestic
circles of many little families for good.
1827-04-284th mo. 28th. ‘And in that day there shall be
a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of
the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His
rest shall be glorious.’
These words are contained
in a page of Holy Scriptures, on which I have
this morning opened, and how precious is the
prospect of such a state as they represent. May
all our desire be to lead those, whose everlasting
welfare we seek, to this sacred ensign of the
people, and to His glorious rest; the rest in Him
and in His heavenly guidance, and may we as a
society do our part, especially by the influence of
Christian education, in leading others to that rest
which remaineth, even in this life, for the people
of God.”
P4r 319

Chapter XII.

Her second Voyage to Africa—Arrival at Sierra-
—Engagements whilst there—Illness—Returns
to England.

1827-09-14“1827. 9th mo. 14th. My way has been prepared
beyond my most sanguine hope for the desired object
of African instruction in Sierra-Leone, and
now it is expected in the course of next month we
shall be moving on the great deep, in hope to be
permitted ere long to be on the scene of action in
this heart-interesting cause. I go alone, as to our
own society, yet with the affectionate desires of my
friends for success in the engagement, and shall
have the company of the Church Missionary Society’s
agents, and of several going out as missionaries
to Liberia.
1827-10-0310th mo. 3rd. Our places are now taken, and
although we have not had the equinoctial winds,
we must hope that all will be ordered well, and
seek to be prepared for what may be permitted.
Watchfulness is needed, that the day’s work may
go on with the day, and no hours be lost. I sensibly
feel this morning that my time is precious,
and should be occupied in a steady, self-denying
pursuit of duty, and that in every place I should
be desiring to see the arisings of truth, and an acknowledgment
of the excellency of the Redeemer’s
kingdom, and a desire for its prevalence on earth.
I feel humbled in the sense, that these desires have P4v 320
not been so prevalent as could have been wished.
In association with our friends we have not been
enough anxious for our own and each other’s advancement
in the truth. The position in which I
stand feels awful, and the thought of an engagement,
which may be for life or for death, renders
it my incumbent duty to inquire, before I leave
these shores, whether I have discharged the trust
to those dear friends around me, which has been
committed to me, as a messenger of truth to the
assemblies of Christian professors with which I
am united. The truth must be avowed, and
whether myself or others be convicted by it, we
must be careful not to enter into unauthorized accommodations,
or to lower the standard, but strictly
to follow as our Heavenly Master shall be pleased,
to lead and to open the way.
My mind has been drawn toward little children,
in whom reason and reflection are just beginning
to dawn, and I think we want some outward
and attractive means of drawing the mind to devotional
feeling. This, even in regard to little children,
should have the pious and good for its
agents, and such as act in it from the purest and
most disinterested principles. As soon as the
mind is capable of receiving heavenly truth, and
how very early has the infant school system proved
that to be, children should, I think, be assembled
occasionally to endeavour to seek the Spirit of
prayer, and to be instructed in such Christian doctrines
and precepts as their opening minds are
prepared to receive. Oh! might we meet such
little assemblies in Sierra-Leone, and be guided
by true Christian love and feeling in leading them
to the knowledge of such important points of religious P5r 321
truth, as might seize upon the first feelings
of their hearts, and become, through Divine aid,
the means of directing them, even in this early
stage of their existence, to the love of God, and
of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
1827-10-2626th. I have been induced to look at the possibility
of the time of remaining being prolonged
beyond what was at first seen. This has been accompanied
with some feelings of close trial, in the
inquiry of, will it be right to remain another year
in Africa? And although the prospect of not returning
next summer is one that I believe should
not be given way to without a clear persuasion of
its being right to remain, my mind has at length
been brought to a degree of quiet hope, that if it
be right to remain I shall be permitted to see it
clearly when in Africa, and that it would be best
to go under a feeling of resignation, unreservedly
to devote myself to the object before me, until
what appears to be required shall be accomplished,
should life be given, whether it be for a
shorter or a longer season; and although, owing to
the liability in my constitution to suffer from
damp, gloomy weather, and particularly also from
want of air, which we are informed is so prevalent
in the rainy season, I still feel that, if it be right
to remain, these considerations should not have
undue weight. My life will be preserved if it be
best that it should be, and I now feel quiet in the
thought of going without any certain prospect, and
but little expectation of coming back before the
rains. May I be strengthened to feel that I can,
in the moment of departure, resign my near relatives,
my friends, and my all into His ever-beneficentP5 P5v 322
care, and desire from day to day to find in
Him my life and my all.
My calling is for the present much with the
poorest, and youngest, and most untaught of the
people; and it is right that my mind should be
brought into sympathy with their state. Is not
the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
still it has pleased Divine Wisdom to appoint
the maintenance of life and the shelter of
the body, by such outward and tangible means as
are suited to our present state; and as in the
natural, so also it may be permitted in the spiritual.
1827-11-0411th mo. 4th. ‘O that men would praise the
Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful
works to the children of men.’
It is in the alienation
from Him, or in the want of entire subjugation
to His heavenly will, that the disorder and
misery of mankind consist; and whatever approaches
there are to a submission to His Divine
government, these, as they are yielded to,
introduce to harmony, to order, and to happiness.
Why then should we have any other
thought or care, in comparison of the desire for
entire redemption in Christ Jesus—that redemption
of the soul and of the heart, which will
bring forth its influences in and upon the whole
body of thoughts, and converse, and conduct.
How grateful would I feel that my way is so
clearly open for engagement in Africa. One
desire yet remains, which is for a willingness unreservedly
to surrender my life on the great waters
with cheerfulness, should that be required of me,
and no entrance given to the land of my attraction,
but in the resignation of my will to go there.
Although with the prospects before me, it may be P6r 323
permitted to me to pray, that, if consistent with
the Divine will, I may yet see the land again
before the close of my pilgrimage, I know that
the Most High can accomplish His designs when
and how He will, and that all our care should be
to dwell in His will, and from day to day to be
desiring before and above all things to follow Him.
May my heart be daily turned to the remembrance
of Redeeming goodness, and imbued with that
feeling of love, which would desire even for the
Publicans and sinners to ‘behold the Lamb of
God which taketh away the sin of the world,’
to come unto Him. May I dwell under the sense
of His fear, and in that become more and more
divested of the fear of man, or of any fear that
would hinder from growing in grace, and in the
knowledge of God, and of Christ Jesus our Lord.
‘For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by
flight, for the Lord will go before you, and the God
of Israel shall be your rere-ward.’
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Isaiah, lii. 12.
This language has been applied with a power to
my mind that cannot be mistaken, as to the source
from whence it proceeds; and I have believed that
in the prospect toward Sierra-Leone, and in the
view of some home duties of deep importance, it
is right that I should keep it in remembrance, that
not by any power that I can command, will the
designs that have been in a degree unfolded before
me be promoted, but only as Infinite Wisdom
shall guide and open the way, whether in Africa or
How much do I feel the need of a supplicating
spirit more generally prevalent with me, both
in and out of meetings. The sense that this has
not been as it should have been, and of the consequent P6v 324
lack of spiritual communion, often has
caused the evening of the Sabbath to be a time of
depression. Ah! when shall I know the intercourse
with the ‘Father of lights,’ from whom
comes every good and perfect gift, to be so open
and unobstructed, as to give that perfect peace
which is the result of having the mind staid on
Him, and to dwell in this peace from hour to hour,
and to know its predominance in my lying down,
and in my earliest and mid-day thoughts and avocations.
I do not say that my mind is wholly a
stranger to this precious privilege, but I greatly
desire its more general dominion in me, and a
greater fidelity to the unfoldings of that light
which would in all circumstances rightly guide.
Let me not forbear to acknowledge, that since the
conclusion to proceed to Africa, I have often been
favoured with a degree of consolation and quiet,
truly strengthening and supporting. All I have
to desire is great watchfulness unto prayer, and
great fidelity in waiting for, and in following the
Divine guidance in all my ways. ‘In all thy
ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy
is a truth which my heart at this moment
How earnestly ought I to supplicate for power
to remain tranquil and resigned on our way to the
scene of so deep an interest; and even before setting
out, patiently to pursue the duties of each
hour to the best of my apprehension, still resting
in the assurance that Divine Providence is opening
the way for the introduction of Christianity in
its pure and peaceable principles, into lands now
depopulated by the miseries of a cruel and desolating
warfare. Oh! that the people might be P7r 325
brought so to love the Lord our God with all the
heart that they may join sincerely in the heavenly
anthem, Peace on earth! whilst they sing,
‘Glory to God in the highest! Glory to God in
the highest! Peace on earth, good will toward
After various delays I set sail on the 1827-11-1111th of
in the St. Andrews, in company with the
missionary friends before mentioned, and we were
permitted after a rapid passage to land at Sierra-
, the 1827-12-099th of 12mo. 1827.
In anchoring at this port, the fine view of Free
, in which are many handsome buildings, the
fresh and beautiful foliage of the trees in its vicinity,
and the mountains covered with verdure, rising
with majestic grandeur in the bounds of our view,
presented a scene so interesting, that together with
the attraction felt towards the dear children on the
coast, it was not easy to imagine there could be
any unconquerable difficulty as to European residence
in the country; still it could not be concealed
from the most sanguine, that even in approaching
these shores, the influence of the heat was felt to
be greatly relaxing, and experience must confirm
the conviction of the precariousness of European
life on this coast, and of the great claim which the
instruction of native teachers presents for the prompt
and efficient help of the friends of Africa.
It was a great comfort to us soon to meet some
of our dear friends on shore. With some of the missionaries
I had been previously acquainted in
England, and with others had had the advantage
of friendly, open communication on the way, on
subjects of importance and of mutual interest. My
kind friends J. and A. Weeks invited me immediately P7v 326
to take up my abode with them. Although
their hospitaliity and friendship in this distant land
were truly consoling, and I felt it as a claim for
thankfulness to Him, who is present to help and
protect, as well when far from near relatives and
home as in any other circumstances, yet I could
not at once conclude upon anything more than to
remain with them for the present, and wait to see
whether Free Town, or the village districts, would
be most favourable for pursuing the objects in view.
On the day after our landing, I visited the Free
Town Eastern School
. The school contained about
two hundred children, boys on one side and girls
on the other. The room had been built for the
purpose, ample and commodious, and very pleasantly
situated neear the sea. The scholars are
chiefly the children of the American settlers, together
with a few others sent from native districts in
the vicinity of Sierra-Leone, and boarded in Free
at the expense of their parents, for the advantage
of having them sent to the day-schools.
The attention and intelligence of the boys in this
school delighted me; and never had I seen a company
of children, in any school, whose countenances
struck me as more expressive of a lively disposition
to imbibe instruction. They answered questions
from the Scriptures with readiness, as also on other
subjects of interest, and evidently enjoyed the
opportunity given them of receiving further instruction.
The engagements I had in view in Sierra-Leone
were, first, the obtaining of an outline of the principal
languages spoken by the liberated Africans
and others in the colony, so as, by taking down in
writing, in an easy and distinct orthography, the P8r 327
numerals and some of the leading words, to identify
as far as may be practicable the dialects of the
different tribes,—to form an idea of the number of
distinct languages spoken in Sierra-Leone, and to
consider what prospect there might be of proceeding
to reduce those of most importance to a written
form: also to prepare such an outline for elementary
instruction in each language, as might introduce
the pupils in the liberated African schools
to a better knowledge of English than they at present
The school-vacation at Free Town having commenced
soon after my arrival, my friends J. and A.
kindly accompanied me to several villages
in pursuance of the object in view. The first place
we visited was Wellington, of which Thomas Macfoy,
a native of the West Indies, is superintendent.
From his register of the names and native countries
of the people under his care, I found an unexpected
facility in obtaining a knowledge of how many
tribes were resident in the village, and the number
of persons belonging to each. From these various
tribes T. M. sent for the most intelligent individuals
as interpreters. Besides Wellington, we
visited in this engagement, Allen’s Town, Leopold,
Regent, and Gloucester. Sketches were taken
down of the numbers, and of some leading words
in twenty-five languages; and J. W. suggested, that
by an arrangement which would present at one
view, a few words in each language, one elementary
book might serve for a whole school, although
the children might be of many different tribes.
The idea was adopted, and thirty distinct dialects
were taken down, and have since been presented to P8v 328
the notice of the committee, under the title of
Specimens of African Languages, &c.
The Africans of the colony of Sierra-Leone
are acknowledged to be a docile, affectionate people,
and easily governed; but very serious difficulties
are sometimes experienced, in cases of trial
before magistrates, from the little knowledge the
people have of the English language; and to a
feeling mind it must be truly distressing, when, as
is sometimes the case in trials affecting life, it can
hardly be distinguished, after a long and harassing
examination, who are the innocent, or who the
guilty. From the same deficiency children in the
schools have sometimes been punished for disobedience,
when it has afterwards been found that
they did not understand the direction given.
That some of these poor little children do appear
on their arrival only like moving skeletons is
indeed true. Nothing but the very representation
of death could equal the worn and wretchedly
emaciated appearance that some presented when I
lately saw them, having but within a few weeks
been received from the slave-ships. There are
sometimes melancholy instances of a feverish,
ravenous appetite, inducing these miserable little
victims of oppression, as soon as they land, and
are brought within sight of poultry and other
kinds of food, to fall upon stealing it, half roasting
if possible, and eagerly devouring it; yet still feeling
always in want, and always out of health.
About four weeks from my arrival, I was
seized with a severe attack of fever, and received
from my friends J. and A. Weeks the kind care of
near relations. Their solicitude for me was still P9r 329
continued when we were all three confined with
fever, and in separate apartments, under the care
of native nurses. I have indeed to acknowledge
that nothing was lacking, and especially to remember
with thankfulness the sustaining and consoling
sense of Divine Goodness near, with which my
mind was visited in the first attack of sickness, and
the support still experiennced in its continuance,
from the assurance that He would order all things
well, and all in mercy.
Being strongly recommended to return to England,
both by my medical attendant and missionary
friends, I set sail in the St. Andrews on
the 1828-02-2020th of 2nd month 1828, accompanied by my dear
friends J. and A. Weeks. When we were on board,
a precious calm overspread my mind, and thankfullness
to Everlasting Goodness sweetly prevailed.
My return was much earlier than had been looked
for, and yet so freely had my way been opened in
Sierra-Leone, that I think I was not aware of anything
having been in view that did not appear
to be in train for accomplishment; and my hope
was, and is, in Him whose ways are higher than
our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts,
and who can accomplish His own beneficent
designs, in whatever way shall please Him, by
weak instruments, or by His own immediate
power, without the employment of human agency
of any kind. We had so fine a sail for the first
eighteen days that we could work and write as on
shore. Afterwards high and fearful squalls came
on, and were so awfully strong that the ship was
nearly wrested from the hands of the helmsman,
and the captain feared we should have been lost.
Ah! how little at that moment did all human P9v 330
things appear in comparison of the great work of
preparation for appearing before a Judge of infinite
purity, and mingling, through redeeming mercy,
with the spirits of the just made perfect. It
was a season I desire ever to remember with feelings
of humiliation and thankfulness; and I fully
believe that in this, as in other seasons of dismay,
the judgments of the Most High are as His mercies,
‘true and righteous altogether.’
After a quick passage we were permitted to land
in Plymouth, our hearts, I trust, penetrated with
thankfulness to the Father of mercies. My mind
has for years been impressed with a conviction
that our great duty toward Africa is to strengthen
the hands of the people to promote each other’s
good; and, if we may be so permitted, to be instrumental
in leading some to the acknowledgment of
Christianity from experimental feeling, who may
become humble instruments in the Divine hand
of spreading the truth and the love of it, and
especially among the rising generation of Africa.
It is the Africans themselves that must be the travellers
and instructors and improvers of Africa.
Let Europeans aid them with Christian kindness,
as senior brothers would the younger and feebler
members of their father’s family; but let it be
kept in mind, to what perpetual interruptions every
purpose must be subject, that is made dependent
upon European life on the African shores.
1828-04-054th mo. 5th. I feel thankful for the opportunity
I have had of visiting Sierra-Leone; and
have, before I went the second time, thought that
to be there only for one month, I could be glad to
undertake the voyage. My own mind is now so
far divested of the concern as to be fully at liberty P10r 331
to pursue African or other engagements in England,
without any present view to a future visit to
that coast; yet, I trust, with a feeling as much disposed
as ever to be resigned to such a visit, if required,
and not in any wise to desire to choose my
own path, buut only to know the Divine will concerning
me in this cause, and to be enabled to do it.
1828-10-2910th mo. 29th. In remembering, O Lord! that
Thou art great and good, and canst in Thine own
appointments not only humble into the very dust,
but cause to rejoice in hope, because of Thy own
designs of mercy; in this remembrance of Thee,
and the feeling that Thy Divine Providence is opening
the way in various directions to much good
among many people, and more and more showing
that Thou hast it in view to teach those who love
Thee, to strengthen and help and guide the weak,
in this shall my heart rejoice; and I will (Thy Divine
help enabling) endeavour quietly to pursue
the path of humble duty, and to trust to Thee for
help and guidance in it from day to day. Give me,
O my Father! suffering or consolation, as shall eventually
be best for me, only permit that I may be
taught to know Thy will and to pursue it, whether
it be to the praise or censure of those around. Accept
my thanks that Thou hast given me, in Thy
beneficent kindness, enough of favour with endeared
and justly honoured friends to act with
them in concerns of near interest in Thy cause.
Teach me to overcome all in my own nature that
may yet remain opposed to that which is most
pure and spiritual, and make me wholly such as
shall be prepared to meet the final summons from
this state of trial and of pilgrimage, whenever that
summons may be sent.
P10v 332 1828-11-0311th mo. 3rd. I am sad in the reflection on
the lack of more religious life in myself and some
others, who should be as shepherds; yet we are
not without the favour of some evident visitations.
Oh! for a more sensible out-pouring of Heavenly
good among us.
1828-11-1515th. I have this morning parted from my
beloved friends J. and A. Weeks, who are leaving
for Africa. We have had much to console us in
our recent intercourse. I felt the parting sensibly:
they are going as into a land of death. Shall we
ever see or almost hear from them? But let me
remember whose are all our lives! I had a solitary
ride home, and felt on arriving that I must
soon return to my engagements, although my heart
is still remembering with pensive feeling my much
endeared friends.
My mind was bowed in meeting in secret supplication
for our society, that we might indeed
know our call, and be imbued with a feeling that
may enable us faithfully to pursue the path of
duty. It is a matter quite looked for, that Friends
should in a society capacity, ere long enter into
some benevolent engagement on behalf of the uninstructed,
and especially of idolatrous nations.
May we be taught to see and to feel what our
path of duty is. Oh! may the position which
Friends hold in Christendom be faithfully maintained!
Let us see our way in this one point, of
the means that can and may be used for the
awakening of the careless, and the teaching of the
1828-12-3112th mo. 31st. Again I feel it is due from me
to ‘trust in the Lord’ being persuaded that none
ever trusted in Him and were confounded—to P11r 333
adore Him in humble gratitude, and acknowledge
daily His mercy, to thank Him for His preservation
of me, to acknowledge, with humble love,
every degree of grace bestowed, to love Him
always, and seek to love Him more and more
fervently; always, day and night, to confide in
Him, believing He will do all things well. Has
He not been better to me than all my fears, and
good to me beyond my hopes? When the enemy
has sought to sift me as wheat, has not the Redeemer’s
intercession prevailed, that my faith fail
not? Oh! let me trust in Him evermore, not
leaning to my own understanding.
1829-01-011st mo. 1st, 1829. Lord, Thou art good, and
doest good! How great, how long-suuffering have
been Thy mercies to Thine unworthy servant in
the year which has now passed! How sweetly
hast Thou suffered that year to close upon me,
sinking to rest under a grateful and quiet sense of
Thy love. The day again breaks, and again my
heart acknowledges the sense of Thy goodness.
Oh! let the direction of my spirit from day to
day be to Thee, and only to Thee! In all the
duties and cares that may arise before me be Thou
my guide, my solace, and my all! Let me never
seek or desire anything so much as to do Thy will,
and abide in Thy love! Be pleased, O Lord, to
strengthen us, as a society, with Thy life-giving
presence! Direct and guide us, that our eye may
be singly turned to Thee! Enable us from day
to day to draw near in true supplication of heart!
—unite us to one another in the bonds of true
Christian love!—and teach us tonite with those
who love Thee, of every name, and to seek, where
Thou shalt so permit, to bear up the standard of P11v 334
truth and righteousness in the sight of the people!
—and grant that many may be, in Thine own time
and way, through Thine own heavenly power,
attracted to it! Keep us watchful!—enable us so
to dwell under a sense of Thy life-giving presence
and power that we may grow in the root, and so
bring forth fruit to Thy praise! Yet, keep us from
outward show!—teach us to remember our Saviour’s
injunction not to present either our prayers or our
alms before men, or even to fast to be seen of
them; but rather to anoint and wash. To pray to
Thee in secret! Help us thus to commune with
Thee, and permit us to abide, O most merciful Father,
under Thy shadowing wing, feeling that Thou
art indeed Almighty!
1829-01-2828th. In every place where there is a Friends
meeting I would desire to see an association for
the distribution, by loan, of Friends’ tracts and
others; also a depository for the sale of these
tracts; and once a year a general distribution, by
gift, of some tract calculated for usefulness, and
this to every family. I want to see another tract
from J. Woolman’s writings on labour, on loving
our neighbour as ourselves, and against luxury and
its nearly-allied concomitant—oppression.
During the last nine years, seven of which I
have passed as a houseless pilgrim, all my wants
have been freely supplied, and resources have been
given me by which, though I was not much beforehand,
yet there were always the means of freely
and without much limitation pursuing good objects
—corresponding, buying and giving tracts,
journeys, and in other concerns—having the many
advantages of one of larger resources. Great has
been the kindness of dear Friends, and freely have P12r 335
they united with me in the pursuit of right designs.
1829-01-2929th. The words ‘Good Thou art, and good
Thou dost,’
came powerfully to my mind as I sat
down before leaving my room this morning; and
feeling the sweetness of such remembrance my
mind was impressed renewedly with the belief that
it is good to have the memories of children furnished
with the language of pure, devotional feeling,
and that it will be right for me to teach such
to commit to memory, in hymns and prose, such
expressions of a devotional nature as may seem
suited to their state, if desiring after good, and
recommend them not to use such formally or insincerely.
And it may also be right for me in
some circumstances to sing with little children, in
simplicity of heart, the acknowledgments of prayer
and praise.
I believe it is likely to have a more impressive
effect on the mind of a child to be taught the
devotional language ‘Thou art good!’ than the
more distant acknowledgment, implying mere reflection.
Still may we keep as close to truth as
ever, acknowledging that silence, or the attention
of the mind, is the first lesson in military discipline,
so it must be also in that which is spiritual.
Let this silent attention be called for in the commencement
of our meetings for the dear children:
but why should any prohibit singing in these
meetings? Have we not the highest authority,
when the Redeemer and His disciples sang a hymn
together? and was not there an exhortation to the
right singing of ‘psalms, and hymns, and spiritual
singing with grace and melody in the
P12v 336 1829-02-072nd mo. 7th. After a wakeful night and a
morning of retrospect, it seemed impossible to decide
by mere reasoning what my future steps
should be; my mind is much engaged for London,
yet present strength not equal to much walking;
my position as to home uncertain, yet nature
longing for domestic associations. My heart bent
on the pursuit of the African cause, yet not at
liberty to relinquish, even for that, engagements in
London. The issue of all my thoughts on these
things seems to be, I cannot forsake my engagements
in London. I cannot relinquish the African
cause. Divine Providence is all-sufficient to
direct the hearts of my friends so that these two
objects shall be met, if it be His will. He can
control all things. I must look to my Father
which is in heaven, and trust in Him. ‘My Father has a thousand springs,And bounteous is His hand!’
I would not be indolently thoughtless, yet desire
to be humbly submissive to whatever He shall be
pleased to appoint, and to be ‘without carefulness,’
looking to Him, and pursuing the path which He
is pleased to open before me. What my heart
desires is the constant prevalence of pure love,
confiding, undoubting faith, and that devotedness
of heart which renders all things comparatively
easy—where indulgence is not sought, but the
will lost and relinquished in the will of God. May
my heart be kept watchful and true in its direction
towards Him. Were I to remain anxious and
unquiet until my path should be clearly opened,
or dwell in a solicitude for myself until a future appointment
and provision, such as circumstances Q1r 337
seem to need, were made quite plain before me, I
believe the infinite love that God has manifested
would be unworthily requited by me.
Ought not the experienced Christian in his
happier moments to long for heaven, where there
will be none of the failings and defects, to which
even those who have taken some steps in the right
path are yet prone. No repelling coldness, no
rigid self-consciousness, no hard feeling of any
kind to prevent or check the flowings of pure and
perfect love, but perfect and unmixed conformity
to everlasting goodness for ever reigns?
I see so much in the indulgent system of education
now adopted for infants that may be extremely
liable to perversion, that I cannot but
greatly wish to see it modified and regulated, and
less of the excitement of musical sounds, poetry,
&c. This may seem to stimulate for a time; but
the common course of life may, I should fear, feel
more flat and dispiriting from the want of this
wonted excitement.
Oh! that the members of our Society may be
fully shaken from resting in the love of ease, and
present enjoyment even of that which is apparently
lawful and right! Oh! for more watchful retirement
of mind, more direction of heart among us
to the things that are eternal, more willingness to
disregard the roughness or smoothness of the path,
if only our Lord be followed, and His cause advanced
in the earth. But there has been too much
among us of resting in the enjoyment of each
other’s society, and shrinking from what would be
an interruption to our ease, or incur arduous and
difficult duties. Not that any should go into difficult
and laborious services without a sufficient Q Q1v 338
object, or reject that true calmness of life in which
the mind and judgment may be clear and active;
yet let us remember calmness does not imply
lethargy, supineness, or a selfish love of ease. Our
Lord’s will and devotion to that should be our
leading and controlling principle day by day. In
many circumstances our being equally ready to
take up a difficult work, or one more agreeable to
nature, may be the test required of our real obedience
and allegiance to the cause of our Lord.
1829-03-203rd mo. 20th. There appears to be at present
a correspondent feeling among different Friends of
sincere minds and religious character in favour of
the use of devotional readings. It is thought that
the use of means consonant with sincerity may be
more generally adopted among us to real profit.
Some theological works there are, indeed, that
evince so little life that they do not seem to awaken
that feeling we want in reading them; whilst others,
both meditative and instructive, convey a savour
which it is truly grateful to feel, and the benefit of
which, through such mediums as these, we ought
not to neglect. Oh! let is ever be our sole aim to
seek in everything the advancement of religion in
our own minds, and the minds of others, and only
value outward means as they are subservient to
this all-important end.
How much have I to be thankful for, in having
been so greatly preserved from that tremulous
uncertainty, apprehension, and reasoning, as to
whether or not my occupation is just about the
right thing, which has at times, in days past, been
so depressingly felt on some occasions; not particularly
in important concerns, but in daily occupation.
Amongst many imperfections in mind Q2r 339
and conduct, one thing particularly I must lament,
and that is the lack, in myself and others, of deeper
and more perpetual exercise of mind in meetings.
The outward eye too much intercepts the inward
exercise. We look on each other as we meet in
going in; and, though there is but little appearance
of gazing, or unsettlement of that kind, in
meeting; yet it is evident that the spiritual exercise
is too much neglected. But, oh! I fear lest
those who should be as elders, and ministers, and
leaders of the people should be really more blamable
than others, in that their important post is
not more livingly watched. There is also, I fear,
too much leaning toward favourite ministry in
some that checks the disposition to seek for the
prevalence of life when without these aids.
I wish that we had some small social meetings
for open conference on subjects of spiritual interest,
for instructive reading, and for Christian retirement
together; something correspondent with what
was said of them that ‘feared the Lord, spake often
one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard
it; and a book of remembrance was written before
him, and they shall be mine, saith the Lord of
Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.’
Will such assemblies, such social meetings, of
those who long to be in all things the sincere disciples
of Jesus, be formed among the members of
one religious class of society, or will they be
between Christians in heart of various names?
We cannot but allow that the members of our
own society may often retain their principles outwardly,
when in heart they are not one in the
principle, only avoiding immorality, and prefering, Q2 Q2v 340
on the whole, to retain a place as members of the
Some further bond among those whose minds
are fully bent on the attainment of entire redemption
would, I think, be a great advantage. Some
meetings for helping and strengthening one another
by pecuuliar sympathy and united exercise and
conversation on subjects of eternal interest might,
I should hope, be favoured with the Redeemer’s
presence and help, if kept in true humility, and in
the fear of the Lord.
Labour in the work of translation is, I fully
believe, to me a sacred duty, and must not be deserted.
Oh Thou, whose is the greatness and the
power! who canst do all things, and order all after
Thine own will, if Thou seest that it is only the
weakness of nature, in myself or otthers, that obstructs
this good work, and causes to shrink from
its difficulties, give more, O heavenly Father! of!
life and feeling in Thy cause; and give us to be
willing to make whatever effort is called for, to be
Thine instruments in opening even the first and
most outward of the gates of knowledge to those
for whom Thou has given us to feel.
1829-03-293rd mo. 29th. What cause have I to be thankful
for the love and unity of dear friends, and for
the belief that way will be opened in time for all
that my heart holds most dear—the Christian
education of little children, and the advancement
of the cause of Christian education in society at
large. In this concern, I trust that disposition
will be cherished, that seeks ‘glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards
Q3r 341 It seems wonderful to feel my present state of
health and reviving strength, when I look back to
my last visit to the colony of Sierra-Leone. My
way appeared clear for returning, at the time I
concluded to return; yet the awful scene at sea
induced close feeling, as to whether the season had
been enough taken into view. Through all divine
Providence has brought me by His pleasure. Oh!
that added life, and a return even as from the brink
of the grave, may be devoted to His service; and
that in all the care that may arise for education or
other right concerns, the very first object may, from
day to day, be watchfulness over my own heart,
and desire after increasing preparation for the
heavenly kingdom.
It is necessary that young missionaries should
have a time of trial, under oversight, before they
leave England. I am much impressed with the
belief, that a very sedentary and studious life is
not favourable as a preparation for missionary
enterprise. There should be more occupation for
both body and mind, as to exertion for others. The
habit is too much that of ease and quietness for
the subsequent difficulties of a missionary station.
If they could be practised in surgery, carpenter’s
work, gardening, printing, book-binding, &c., it
would be valuable to them. Missionaries would,
I think, have more effectual success, if they could
present a little community of farmers, spinners,
weavers, joiners, and the simple arts of life, and
teach schools, and give religious instruction at the
same time. They should show in such a community
how people may provide themselves with
all the necessaries of life easily, and have to spare
for others. How I should delight to see such a Q3v 342
preparatory station in England, and a few, both
English and Africans, dwelling in it. They might
each learn also all things necessary to provide for
themselves food, and clothing, and shelter. Might
not a school for young children, even wholly apart
from any missionary view, be attached to such an
establishment, as the Moravian boarding-schools
are to their settlements? May I not trust that
Divine Providence will direct in this work, and
that the sadness of heart now felt for poor Africa
may one day be turned to rejoicing, when we can
see such an establishment as is wanted for them
here, and see the glorious work of scriptural translation,
and the interesting concern of the education
of little children going on at the same time? O!
Thou who seest the sufferings of that oppressed
people! who seest also the darkness of the mind,
and the difficulties which those who have been
concerned to dwell among them find in labouring
for their good, be pleased to aid us by Thy guidance,
and strengthen us by Thy power, that we
may see, and feel, and willingly move in this
Christian and righteous cause. Help us also to
pursue the great object of education on a principle
that shall be right in Thy sight, and teach us to
look upon all mankind as the children of one
almighty and most merciful Father.
1829-06-096th mo. 9th. I have feelings of sadness through
a sense of the difficulty of doing good to Africa,
yet my heart is still bound to the cause. Oh!
that our friends would meet, and enter into consideration
of these engagements. I think I could,
with equal willingness, be either at a station here
or in Africa, only let Friends be united in what
they think best. Many discouragements are presented Q4r 343
to us by others, to prevent our engaging in
the instruction of natives in this country; still I
see no other way so likely to do effectual good,
although previous attempts have had much to discourage,
as well as, in some respects, to animate.
How can we help the people here or there, and at
the same time guard them against undue dependence?
I would not shrink from Friends going
out to Sierra-Leone, but only let it be with agents
ready to help them, and have their system in right
organization: until that can be done, I see not any
thing there but preparatory measures. Let it be
done, then, boldly and freely; and let those who
devote themselves to the work here, be willing, if
required, to go out with them when ready, or if
the lot fall on others, let us hope that agents will
be found when needed.
The measures hitherto adopted in Sierra-Leone
have not succeeded to much extent; the station
has been difficult, and patience is still called for.
We do not say to those who have laboured, labour
no more: rather let the work go on both there and
here on right grounds, and a hope arises that Truth
will yet finally prevail. I fear there is something
more in that colony than has yet been fully seen,
that has not been on the true foundations. The
Africans have not been advanced in the scale of
Christian society as could be desired, and there has
been in some things a state of depression not fully
accounted for.
1829-06-1313th. How great is the mercy and goodness
of God to an unworthy servant! My mind has
been too much turned to caring for the morrow,
when all I have to do is to seek to pursue my Q4v344
Heavenly Master’s will, and leave what concerns
myself, or my future provision, in his Divine hands,
only careful in thus committing myself into the
hands of a faithful Creator, that it be in well doing.
My mind is so clearly satisfied that translation
is its work, that I should keep myself prepared for
a return to Africa whenever the way shall open for
it, should that appear the best means of pursuing
this object.
1829-06-1414th. Peace flows in my mind as a quiet
stream; and a sweet sense of Divine acceptance,
in the dedication to African engagements, is truly
strengthening and consoling. Desponding as many
have been in that cause, and ready to regard the
district to which my mind has been directed as at
most a forlorn hope, my heart is still strongly
turned towards it; and even the difficulties which
exist there sound a louder call to this line of duty.
Translations must be pursued, female education,
and some more consonant system as to religious
meetings, to take off, in some measure, from the
dependence on foreign aid, should both, I believe
be regarded as among the duties owing to this
interesting but suffering people. Had they no sins
to be redeemed from, no follies to overcome, no
exceptionable features in their present habits and
character, where would be the necessity for the
deep solicitude which is now felt for them? All
these deficiencies we see, and they claim our anxious
care as Christians and as brethren.
1829-07-057th mo. 5th. Through the great and preserving
mercy of our Lord, I have now been permitted to
meet again my friend George Bennet, who has
lately returned from a missionary tour round the Q5r345
world, and has seen, during eight years travel,
much of the work of the Lord in the hearts and
habits of the people in far distant nations.
Among other duties, visits to little schools, and
to the children in workhouses, appears to claim
early care; and yet nothing should, I believe, prevent
me from going out to a more distant station,
whenever the way may be fully open to it. I long
to see the true missionary feeling, both here and in
Sierra-Leone—piety, the grateful sense of redeeming
goodness, and the sabbath of rest in the will of
our Lord. Let me fully attain to this, and dwell
in it. And, oh! teach me to go in Thine own time
to the work appointed to me; and then, O my
Redeemer! be pleased in Thine abounding mercy
to inspire the language in thine unworthy subject,
‘Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in
peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.’
I be taught to keep in perpetual view my calling,
and ever to feel and act as one appointed to missionary
labour in the blessed Redeemer’s cause.
How great is Thy mercy, my God! in permitting
this appointment: lead me and guide me in it, to
do Thy will faithfully from this day, and, oh! be
pleased, through Thy beloved Son, our heavenly
Mediator and Intercessor, to forgive all the past,
and to draw me nearer to Thyself, in Him.
Again let me acknowledge the claim to thankfulness
for so great a divestment of worldly cares
as I have been permitted to know, and for favour
in the sight of my friends, so that many things
have been made easy to me. But the living by
faith has been needed. Divine providential mercy
has been unremitting.
1829-07-177th mo. 17th. I went to Newington to meet Q5 Q5v 346
the African Instruction Committee. I felt it right,
at the closing of this committee, to unfold the prospect
before me of returning to the coast, at such
times as my friends could see to be most eligible,
either on the approaching or the following season.
No obstruction, that I am aware of, exists in their
minds, or at least was conveyed, excepting the
reluctance to take responsibility in a concern so
critical as to health and life. Even these appear
to me secondary considerations, where duty is concerned,
and that I fully believe is in this instance.
It appeared, from what was expressed, that next
year was regarded as a more favourable time to
look to than the present; and to this I must turn,
believing it will be right for me at that time to
remove for a season to Africa, and not depend on
any responsibility of others as to risk.
1829-07-2323rd. In retracing my journal for the last two
years, I feel that there has been too much anxiety
of mind, so consonant with my constitutional temperament,
but which should have been more fully
overcome by the calming influence of Divine light
and love. May I learn, from retracing the past,
and henceforward be enabled to move on with
quietness and decision, as openings present; and
diligently pusuing present duty, forbear much
speculation about the future, further than as quite
clear openings seem to call for. It will be desirable
to keep retired, to speak little of my own purposes,
but to act on what is evidently seen to be duty.
1829-07-3030th. How precious is time! I have not felt
at home lately in the easy intercourse with dear
friends, unless there be an object in it worthy the
present pressure on my mind. How great, in such
circumstances, is the value of my present degree of Q6r347
detachment. Oh! may it be rightly employed and
improved, and heavenly help be daily sought!
1829-08-068th mo. 6th. Never may I forget the precious
quiet of this day. Prepare me, O my Father! to
do Thy holy will. Give me to see my path, both
on behalf of the lowest ranks of little children here,
and the poor Africans. Preserve me in the sweetness
of love and peace with all. Let me be taught
to seek Thy praise in all things, and to acknowledge
Thee in all. Bear up our friends. Let Thy
life be raised into more full dominion.
1829-07-1111th. In the meeting to-day there were some
intimations of the low state of things among us as
a Society, in which I could not but silently unite,
although I felt sad. There is that which lives, and
yet there is much of death amongst us. We assemble
on great occasions, and there seems a glow and
accumulation of strength, yet let us not deceive
ourselves. See what the meetings are detached,
and where are the strong meetings?—where the
assemblies of the Fathers, as in days past? Oh!
that the work of heavenly renovation might commence
here! Oh! that the solid feeling may be
abode in, and none desire to take false comfort, or
to hope and think things are better with us than
they really are! What we want is the flame of
heavenly refining love, not a mere outward exemption
from reproach, a mere passive blamelessness,
that rests in the avoidance of evil, but is not
zealous to do good, and to promote that which is
I believe, if the mind be quite in right tune,
there will be a pleasure in all engagements of duty,
known only to those who are prepared by Divine
love to be gratefully obedient, and thankful to be Q6v 348
employed, even to physical exhaustion, when any
good may be hoped for from the instrumental
labours in which the mind or the hands may have
to engage. Yet would not such a state of rejoicing
require that there should be clear evidence of the
present work being just the right work for the
present time, and also a sense of the day’s work, in
other respects, keeping pace with the day? And
must not, in many of us, a fear in this respect,
check the feeling of unreserved enjoyment? Our
joy will also be checked by the sight of the many
evils and sorrows there are in the world, and our
inability to do what we would wish for the help of
those who suffer.
Were I to go this season, the leading concern
seems to be toward the spiritual advancement of
the poor Wesleyans, already awakened to a sense
of good, and to remind them of the injunction of
the Saviour to Peter, ‘When thou art converted,
strengthen thy brethren:’
yet also to form more
schools, and to introduce my lessons, in the native
languages, into schools already formed. What I
seek and solicit to obtain, is a clear sense of the
Divine will, and the unity of my dear friends.
1829-07-066th. The subject of a return to Africa continuing
to dwell with me, it seemed better to open
it to my friends at the close of the select meeting at
Tottenham. The subject was very seriously considered,
and all seemed agreed in looking towards
the next year rather than to the present. It was
avowed, that this was not with any view to turn
from entering into it at that time. After supplication
for help and preservation on the right hand
and on the left, and for a continuance of desire
among us for the advancement and spread of truth, Q7r 349
my mind was so far relieved, as to be willing to
look forward to another year.
1829-07-2525th. Experience more and more deeply convinces
me, that true prayer can never be dependent
on either position of body, or the utterance of language,
but must be the pouring forth of the feeling
of supplication before the Most High, either
vocally or mentally, and this feeling, if true, must
be inspired by that heavenly influence, which we can
only receive from the everlasting Source of goodness.
‘No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but
by the Holy Ghost;’
and it is through Him alone,
that we have access, by one Spirit, unto the Father.
Oh! that the dependence of mankind were more
fully turned to this Divine Spirit; and that the rest
in outward forms, whatever they may be, were more
effectually broken up! It is not the sitting down
in outward silence,—it is not the utterance of
written language in forms of prayer,—nor yet the
extempore effusion of words at stated seasons, that
can bear the character of real supplication. Still
in religious assemblies for the instruction of the
young, much may be done to lead to devotional
feeling; and our merciful Father has appointed,
that we should be instrumental in helping one
another. The sacred records of Divine truth are
the first general means for the attainment of this
end: and for the reading of them in private, and
the hearing of them in public, every facility should
be given, to every human being, as far as circumstances
will allow. It is however to be acknowledged
that all parts of the holy Scriptures are not
alike adapted for public instruction, and for this
purpose a right selection should be attempted.
1829-07-2828th. How many dangers are to be guarded Q7v350
against in the militant state of the church of Christ,
and amopng these, a rest in certain stages of attainment,
without seeking to grow in grace, and in the
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It is greatly to be feared that some are too much
resting in the disposition to be satisfied,—they are
not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, or doers
of offensive things,—while yet the mind, not fully
humbled before God, is not prepared for that reception
of heavenly good, which, through redeeming
mercy, is imparted to the humble penitent.
There is heard on some occasions an expression
of pity, I cannot call it sympathy, which appears
to verge on the supercilious, and instead of really
entering into sympathy with the person addressed,
seems rather to say, ‘I look on thee at a distance,
and am glad I am not as thou art.’
I would not
give way to hard judgment, yet cannot but think
there has been, in some minds accustomed to prosperity,
and to a kind of general good opinion from
others, this kind of repelling, rather than sympathizing,
feeling, to such as move in a more untrodden
path than themselves, and with whose
proceedings, while they hesitate to unite, they will
not openly disapprove. I should like to be enabled
fully to analyze this feeling, and see from whence
it springs, without violating that merciful precept
of our Lord, ‘Judge not that ye be not judged.’
Oh, this great city! how many are the dangers
lest its load of cares should choke the good seed by
the briars and thorns that spring up!
1829-07-3030th. Let friends in London consider what is
due at our hands in the diffusion of Christian truth
at home and abroad; for surely throughout the
world we should include our own country as well Q8r 351
as those more distant. Many sit in heathen darkness
even here.
1829-10-0110th mo. 1st. This is the first day of sitting
down to a fire-side retirement in London, in an abode
of my own: however I would rather feel myself dependent
on my heavenly Father’s love and care,
for all needful supplies, than appropriate anything
to myself that might better promote the Redeemer’s
1829-10-033rd. Yesterday was so sweet and quiet, I was
ready to sigh when it was nearly ended, and long
for the ensuing Sabbath. I see not in the New
any abrogation of the observance of one
day in seven, and the divestment of our wonted
cares on that day, gives time for a comprehensive
view of important subjects, which is greatly to be
1829-11-2211th mo. 22nd. After what has been suffered
in seasons which are past, from the dread of water,
how ought I to be thankful that fear did not so
predominate, as to blind my mind to the sense of
duty on the way to Sierra-Leone. Yet, oh! may
my petition be granted, that whenever again my
path shall be directed thither, the feeling may be
given that can say, ‘Thy will be done,’ even should
the waves open to receive my body into a watery
grave; and may a preparation, through infinite
mercy, be known to meet the awful summons into
eternity, in whatever form or at whatever season it
may be sent.
1829-11-2323rd. It is very important that, amidst all the
cares into which we rightly enter on behalf of the
uninstructed and the poor, we should yet keep in
view the importance of strengthening those who
have known something of the Redeemer’s love, since Q8v352
these may be the instruments by which our heavenly
Father will promote His own cause on the
earth. The redemption of the minds of these from
all that hinders the advancement of His work
should be the subject of our daily solicitude and
Oh! the many amongst us, as a society, who
are in need of the awakening sound of ‘Come, let
us go up to the mount of the Lord, to the house of
our God!’
How sweet is the hope that He may
teach us of His ways, and so direct and guide us,
that we may walk in His paths, for out of Zion
shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord
from Jerusalem. Whatever advances may take
place among us, and some have already, as to the
instruction of the young, and the right adaptation
of such outward means of help as are consonant
with sincerity and truth, there will yet I do trust
be a steady testimony maintained as to the leading
principles of our profession, and this testimony I
trust will spread:—that of silent worship, of simplicity
in language and apparel, of requiring no
oath, and of renouncing all war and destruction of
human life. To bring forward these may require
time and patience, but truth is great and will
O! that a daily watch may be maintained in
my own mind, that I may be taught to feel and
know how very weighty is the responsibility that
attaches to the Christian profession I avow, and be
willing to dwell under this weight.
How good is our Lord thus to renew the strength
of the weakest. Yesterday I was ready to sink into
depression from the sense of inability; and thus it
sometimes is, we are made to feel what weakness is Q9r 353
ours, in order to prepare us for looking to the
source of strength.
1829-12-0112th mo. 1st. Africa will, I believe, be ever
dear to my heart, and I would pray that no shrinking
from danger might interfere with what is called
for from me in this injured people’s cause. ‘What
is that to thee, follow thou me,’
may well be said,
when anxious reasoning would, in any degree,
cloud the path of duty. I do feel indeed that some
deeply interesting concerns about home involve my
mind at present, yet unless a release from African
prospects were clearly proclaimed, I do trust my
mind will never be turned from what has so evidently
been impressed as a duty—that is, the resignation
to go when my friends can see it right for
me; and, oh! let me gratefully remember the sweet
peace that flowed in my mind when the way was
thus prepared for a former visit, and trust in the
Lord for whatever shall be before me still.
Oh! that an appeal on the present general distress
could be made to reach the understandings
and the hearts of people, on true Christian principles!
It is righteousness that exalteth a nation,
and it is righteous conduct toward the more dependent
classes that will tend to general prosperity,
not the accumulation of immense riches. There are
limits placed in the order of Divine Providence to
all the enjoyments that wealth can give. Oh! that
I may be strengthened cheerfully to undertake
whatever duty shall devolve upon me at this season
of difficulty in the cause of the poor! May I feelingly
remember how, by day and by night, the
sound has been heard in my mind of ‘Whoso
stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall
cry himself, but shall not be heard.’
If thou draw Q9v 354
out thy soul to the hungry, &c. If thou sayst
Behold I knew it not, doth not He that pondereth
the heart consider it?’
Doth not He see thy indifference,
thy anxiety for the preservation of thine
own ease, and thy disregard of the just claims of
the poor and needy. It is said, there are causes of
poverty for which the people have to blame themselves;
idleness, recklessness, drunkenness, &c.
True it is indeed that these enemies of a man’s own
household are his most powerful foes. Try, then,
what can be done through Divine help, to convince
those who are thus going astray of the error of their
ways. Encourage the system of friendly visitation,
with appropriate books and tracts from house to
house:—send them everywhere through your districts,
and let them be accompanied by the warm
recommendation of Christian feeling.
1829-12-2828th. Read J. Woolman on the right use of
the Lord’s outward gifts, and on serving the Lord
in our outward employments. How I long to see
these Christian declarations printed and widely
circulated. It is a day in which they are very
much needed. Had we but kept our place as a
society, how might the savour of true Christian
feeling, and that which promotes the true harmony
of mankind, have been increased! We ought to have
been as a city set on a hill that cannot be hid,
whose light should have shone to the glory of the
Father which is in heaven. Examples of Christian
moderation, Christian benevolence, are much
needed. As a society, I believe we shall have to
come back to first principles, before we can expect
the life to flow in an unobstructed course in our
solemn assemblies. May it not be said of us as a
society, ‘What hast thou to do in the way of Q10r 355
Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor, or what hast
thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the
waters of the river?’
Are the manners and maxims
of the world to govern those who have been taught
the lessons of a higher wisdom? Are we to shrink
from singularity, when so many are walking in the
paths which lead to oppression, pride, and deceit?
Oh! that the call might be heard, Come out of
Babylon, my children; my people, be not partakers
of her sins, lest the fearful declaration should be
uttered, ‘The glory of the Lord is departed from
1829-03-303rd mo. 30th. My mind is solemnly impressed
with a feeling of the awful position in which we
stand as professors of the religion of Jesus; pure
and spiritual as it is, and calling for consistency in
holiness of heart, and a life in which the spiritual
nature has the evident and obvious ascendency over
that which is natural; and, oh! what watchfulness
is called for, lest we suffer our feet to wander into
some of the labyrinths that lead away from the
plain and direct path into which our Redeemer
calls His sincere and devoted followers! this path
is doubtless one in which the sacred flame of Divine
love is ever alive and ascending to the glory of
Him from whom it is derived. In this feeling there
will be a desire that all who live may be rightly
cared for; and more than all, that the immortal
spirits of the children of men may be the subjects
of the renewing influence of the Redeemer’s power;
this feeling will induce solidity of character. It is
in that devout aspiration of the heart toward God
in which the language is arising, ‘Teach me thy
‘Draw me and I will run after thee.’ It Q10v 356
is in this state of mind, shielded by living faith,
that strength is received to overcome all the fiery
darts, and the more insidiously poisoned arrows,
that may be cast out against us. ‘Love not the
world, neither the things that are in the world. If
any man love the world, the love of the Father is
not in him.’
Oh! that we were all, who profess
the name of Christian, redeemed from the love
and pursuit of the things of the world. We often
need reminding of these truths, that no man can
serve two masters, and that God requires our first
1829-04-094th mo. 9th. This is the day called ‘Good
and although every day is in itself good,
and the great and mysterious event on this day
commemorated should be with us in perpetual and
grateful remembrance, still those who in sincerity
of heart think it right to set apart a day in which
peculiarly to revive the remembrance, and thus
regard the day as unto the Lord, will no doubt be
accepted in their intentions; whilst the folly and
profaneness which often accompany both feasts and
fasts, might induce one to desire that the present
observance of them should be superseded by a more
general and earnest pursuit of the substance of
true religion.
1829-04-1111th. The sense of happiness, and even of
mental strength, is accompanied in my view with
a certain feeling of calmness, of quietness, of divestment
of anxious and perplexing cares, to which
the habits and principles of our Society are, I
think, peculiarly favourable. To attain to this
state of quiet, and at the same time to pursue with
steadiness and diligence objects of Christian and Q11r 357
benevolent interest, in which much exertion is
often needed, appears to me a desideratum in
Christian experience.
1829-04-1313th. Last evening, in closing an address to
the sub-committee of Friends on anti-slavery concerns,
entreating their consideration of introducing
the work of African translations into this country,
I was reminded of H. More’s account of the mother
of Moses placing her infant in the cradle, and her
description of the feeling in which she had prepared
the little bark for its reception; ‘With sighs to Heaven I did the cradle weave,And twisted every osier with a sigh.’
This cause of African translations has been nearer
to my heart than language can describe; and I
believe I may truly say, that my eye has often
been directed to the Friend of the oppressed—to
Him who is the beneficent Parent of all the families
of the earth, whilst my hands have been
proceeding with the work. At the same time I
cannot but feel my own want of diligence, my
numerous deficiencies, and inadequte sense of the
claims upon me in this interesting pursuit.
I was yesterday in a house surrounded by
beautiful gardens, but I think including in view
only their own premises. My mind was greatly
impressed with a sense of how little all this beauty
in nature could afford to the mind where the love
of Christ did not enkindle the affections, and extend
them in desires to do good to others. How
much more interesting would it be to live in the
midst of Spitalfields, and be trying to do some
good, than there, surrounded with every accommodation,
and have no engagement of this kind. Q11v 358
How thankful should we be for hearts and hands
at liberty to serve, in the lowest offices, in the cause
of religion and humanity!
It is almost mysterious to me to have my mind
so much at rest as I have of late, without knowing
whether Africa will be my allotment in the ensuing
autumn or not. The rest seems to be in
resignation to what may be unfolded. I would
pray for the continuance of this resignation until
my way be more evidently opened.
In taking long walks I often feel that the
effects of the Sierra-Leone fever still remain, in the
relaxation of my knees. Yesterday I was reminded
of a former state of general weakness many years
ago, from which I was under a necessity of relinquishing
much active exertion, and keeping more
to retired occupation. Yet these were perhaps
what were then more immediately required of me.
May not the lack of greater ability for active engagements,
even in visiting the poor, be a kind
provision to call the attention to pursuits in which
the immortal nature is more immediately concerned,
yet not forgetting nor omitting necessary
duties, in looking to their physical wants, and
doing the little part that I may in helping them.
The habitations of the poorer classes should not be
wholly unfrequented by any Christian who has
ability to visit them; and if we can visit others, we
may visit them. Might not all Christians if they
took a part in the distribution of tracts and children’s
books, greatly lighten each other’s labours,
and, by Divine help, be instrumental of effectual
good, even without encroaching on time which
should be otherwise occupied?
1830-06-186th mo. 18th, 1830. During the latter part of Q12r359
the time of yearly meeting, I thought I saw clearly
how Friends could, in perfect consonance with the
principles of truth they profe,ss engage in instruction
in heathen lands; and since that time, in the
letter of J. Hughes to the Bible Society committee,
I see signs of a nearer approach in others to our
own principles of spiritual worship; so that if life
be given, it does appear likely that, even in our
short day, we may be permitted to see Christians,
of various classes uniting more closely in the awful
engagement of Divine worship, and in the sacred
work of public religious instruction.
I have, with J. Hughes, hoped for the relization
of his views, in both seeing the acknowledgment
of spiritual worship in others as well as our
own Society, and in seeing also Christians of various
names unite in one harmonious band for this
solemn purpose. I have also read, in the Religious
Tract Society’s
Magazine, the account of a monthly
distribution of tracts to all families who will receive
them. This is admirable. How could I desire
to see this done for every family in some given
district, rich and poor. The giving would be much
more simple and easy than even lending, if funds
can be found, and none would have to complain of
dirty tracts. This, and some other home duties,
seem fully before me, particularly that of children’s
meetings, on the principle of various classes
uniting: but probably all must be left until the
paramount duty to Africa is accomplished; how
sweet would be the thought of returning to these
precious duties! I would not seek my own will,
but the will of my Father which is in heaven.
My own natural will would, I think, lead to reasoning,
and concluding that it were best to remain Q12v 360
here until some further duties were accomplished,
and then I might go, feeling it of still less moment
whether life were resigned in Africa or here; that,
however, would be reasoning on a wrong foundation;
our Father needs us not; His own designs
can be accomplished in His own way, and any
individual agent He may be pleased to employ
may soon be removed, yet He can raise up another.
Our business is to seek to move and act in
His will.
This morning I heard with joy that J. Raban
is to return soon from Sierra-Leone, and to go back
again after the rainy season. This is the mark
which I sought to receive of its being the will of
Providence for me to go out at this time, and I will
try to be resigned to whatever may befall me there,
as to proceeding to Liberia or not. I have affectingly
felt the prospect of separation from beloved
friends and interestingly pleasant engagements, in
works of Christian benevolence here.
A public meeting has been called this week
for the poor of Spitalfields. It was my lot to take
a part in the religious engagement, and although
help was sweetly extended at the time, I had a
lesson to remember in not rising soon enough; and
I thought afterwards that it would be right to take
care that in the prospect to Sierra-Leone I do not,
through needless doubts and delays, impoverish
my own mind, and lose the strength which, if simple
obedience be yielded, might be mercifully
Ah! why in the cause of Africa should a
mournful thought be permitted as to any deprivations
on the way! I trust that now it appears
clear to my mind that it is right to go, and that all R1r 361
painful feelings will be surmounted by those of
rest in the Divine will. And may peace and thankfulness
be the clothing of my mind, in the prospect
of being, in the least degree, employed for the
Redeemer’s cause.
Never will my heart relinquish the sacred truth
we hold, that the way of salvtion is open to all,
and that none need perish; still the heart in which
the love of the Redeemer dwells does not feel at
rest without seeking to extend light and knowledge,
and to call on others in various ways, to
come, and taste, and see that the Lord is good, and
that blessed are they whose trust is in Him.
In our meeting this day, and on first day evening,
we were permitted to feel a deep silence, which
is truly a high privilege. Oh! how gratefully ought
we to prize the opportunity of thus assembling,
and thus entering into a silence that may be felt—
a silence in which the presence of the Most High
is known, and in which His truth rises into dominion.
On looking back to the years in which this
privilege has been known, although I have much
unwatchfulness to acknowlege, I do feel cause of
thankfulness that light has so far prevailed as it
has done in these assemblies. I long for the extension
of this privilege of silent worship to every
class who acknowledge Christ as their spiritual
leader, and who seek the life—the power of religion,
rather than professions and forms. There is a movement,
and there wil be a yet greater movement
toward the acknowledgment of this spirituality of
I wish that publications containing examples
of piety were spread among all classes of society.
The rich and the middle classes need this as much R R1v 362
as the poor. All are immortal, and all are poor, if
they have not the food that nourishes the soul;
and all are unhappy, if communion with the Source
of life and love be not open. Oh! that Friends
may deepen in spiritual feeling, and not rest in
mere negative divestment of some errors under
which others suffer. What we need is the humbling,
quickening power of life in our meetings,
and on our spirits when out of meetings. This is
what would lead to a precious and gathering influence
in the circles in which we move, whether
they be rich or poor.
I wish for myself and my friends to consider
and to feel what is the right direction for me. I
know the winds and waves are fearful, and the
climate fearful, but it is far more fearful not to
obey the voice of the Lord, when that voice is
clearly made known. I have believed that it would
be right to pursue the work of translation in whatever
way it could best be done. Should the direction
be evidently first towards the coast, He who
knoweth all things sees that if I can trust my heart
I would not shrink from proceeding alone in the
ensuing autumn. I have no right to choose the
path of least outward danger, as such; but ought
rather to wait on the Lord, that He may enlighten
and strengthen my heart.
Oh! that I may in mercy be permitted to see
my right path, and to follow the leadings of Heavenly
love, whatever they may be. Teach me, oh
Thou Parent of all the families of men! teach me
to dwell deep under Thy fear, and so rest under
the shadow of Thy wings as to feel Thy loving-
kindness, O Lord! and know indubitably, if it
please Thee, and witness the concurring testimony R2r 363
of dear friends, on the path in which Thou
wouldst have me to go.
The season has of late been uncommonly wet
and cloudy; but of how little moment do seasons,
or any outward things, appear in comparison of
that which concerns our present peace with God,
and our everlasting well-being. O! that a deepening
sense of His Divine power may be with those
who are called by the Christian name, and who
have tasted that the Lord is good.
The prospect to Africa is one that may be for
life or death, and I would earnestly desire to be
preserved from attempting to escape the appointment
of Him who has an indubitable right to
direct. It is awful to move, and it is awful to
forbear, without full assurance of what is right, so
far as poor fallible human beings may hope for
such assurances. O, that I may be permitted to
see some providential openings that shall, in addition
to other evidence, decide the judgment of my
dear friends for me, and decide my own, in Thy
presence, O my God!
A person professing to have done much in the
cause of Christian instruction in London, but
whose appearance is far from interesting me in his
favour, has called to-day. He reminds me, by his
conversation, that there is, among other dangers to
which poor human nature is liable, the danger of
thinking that to instruct others is every thing, or
at least our chief work, when we ought to feel that
to have our own hearts and ways such as shall be
acceptable to God is the first work, and the great
preparation for being the instruments of good.
For this preparation we are debtors to the redeemingR2 R2v 364
grace of the Lord Jesus, which alone can renew
us in righteousness and true holiness. In the feeling
of being entirely dependent on Him for all
that is good, genuine humility will dwell in the
heart, and shine through the conduct and conversation.”
R3r 365

Chapter XIII.

Her third Voyage to Africa—Arrival at Sierra-
—Establishes a School at Charlotte—Her
Labours therein.

It was my privilege to spend the summer of 18301830
with my beloved mother. Till I had this opportunity
of watching her in a great variety of circumstances,
and of observing her silent and continual
renunciation of self, I had formed no adequate
idea of the brightness and devotedness of her
Christian character. Every walk, every meal, every
visit bore a testimony to her deep religious feeling,
which to this day speaks more powerfully to my
heart than words can express. Quietly and sedulously
she pursued her occupations, and accom—
plished more than many who had far more opportunities
than herself. In whatever she felt her duty
she would persevere, notwithstanding she might in
its performance have to encounter hunger, cold,
fatigue, and want of rest. Whilst she took a deep
interest in the exertions of others, she was remarkable
for silence on her own labours, unless she saw
some good end likely to be answered by relating

When it drew near the time of sailing to Sierra-
, I accompanied her to see the vessel in
which her place was likely to be taken. Part of
the river we had to cross in a boat, and while she
was in it her natural fear of water so strongly R3v 366
showed itself, that I could not but contrast the
great timidity which almost overcame her at that
moment, with the constraining love of Jesus which
caused her to anticipate, without dismay, a voyage
to Sierra-Leone, in order to make known to a
benighted people the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Although dreading the day in which I must
part, perhaps for life, from this invaluable relative,
yet my soul was mercifully sustained, and instead
of weeping in the near prospect of bereavement, I
was led rather to be thankful for the great privilege
of having been with her, and of having had
an opportunity of watching her close walk with
God. After accompanying her to Gravesend, we
bade each other farewell in a peace and calmness
which could only be bestowed by Omnipotence.

Whilst memory holds her seat my heart must
feel the mercy and blessing of that visit to England,
fraught, however, with responsibilities; for
surely that season of instruction was vouchsafed in
unmerited love, and fruit from it will be expected
in that awful day on which we must appear before
the Judge of all flesh.

On the 1830-10-1717th of 10th month my precious mother
sailed from Gravesend in the company of four
missionaries of the Church of England, one of
whom was her esteemed friend J. Raban. On
reaching the Downs they were obliged to cast
anchor, and very tempestuous weather succeeding,
they remained in that situation for three weeks,
during which time she suffered much from sea-
sickness. A few extracts from her letters at this
season may be acceptable to the reader.

“Downs, 1830-11-1010th of 11th mo. It was a great mercy
that our ship was kept so steady in the tempestuous R4r 367
night of the 1830-10-088th. I may thankfully acknowledge,
that never in a time of danger did I feel more sensibly
that through the help of Divine goodness my
mind was at anchor, trusting in the infinite power
and love of our Father who is in Heaven. I feel
sensibly how greatly such a resource of hope and
trust is needed, and desire to seek for help from
day to day, in order that what shall yet be before
me may be met with resignation to his will. Even
the stormy sound and appearance of the sea on the
first night of high wind brought feelings of awfulness,
which I desire never to forget, in the remembrance
of Almighty power. That power which is
able to bear down whatever is before it, whether it
be by winds or waves, or other destructive elements
in nature. ‘Who would not fear Thee, O Lord of
Hosts, for to Thee doth it pertain to fulfil all Thine
own infinite and wise designs, whether in the way
of judgment or of mercy.
1830-11-1717th. Be not afraid for us. We are still favoured
with preservation, though detained; and
since I wrote last we have had higher winds than
we had before experienced. I feel, indeed, cause
of thankfulness, even for the dangers we have suffered.
These have been the instruments, in the
hand of Infinite Goodness, which have led me into
a nearer sense of the beneficent care of Him who
comprehends in His view even the minutest points
of creation, and who still extends the consoling
language of ‘Fear not.’ Although constitutionally
much alive to a sense of danger, and naturally
anxious that all should be done that can be to
guard against it, I have, I may thankfully acknowledge,
been permitted to enjoy much consolation;
and often during the windy nights a sense of R4v 368
repose and rest has been vouchsafed in the care of
Divine Providence, much more desirable and joyful
than the rest of sleep. I do feel that in the
days of apparent security my mind has never been
sufficiently grateful for the care and goodness of
God;—never have I been enough sensible of perpetual
dependence on Him both for guidance and
protection. O, that in added days this humbling
yet consoling sense of dependence every moment
on the All-powerful may be the clothing of my

In her journal she again proceeds. “It is but
within these few last days that the vessel has been
so steady in its motion as to induce me to be much
on deck. This day is fine and pleasant, and we
have a fair wind. Our position is off the Canary
, but we do not intend to touch at any. Palma
is finely in view, in part covered with clouds, but
its lofty summit towers above all. We are not so
near as to distinguish the colours of the vegetation.
Several ships are in view; we spoke to two of them,
one from America, and another from France; the latter
had passengers on board bound for Rio Janeiro.
They kindly enquired if we were in want of any
thing. On parting they sang in concert something
which we could not hear further than the melody.
It sounded sweetly on the water like an evening
hymn; the sun was just setting in great beauty.”

“My conviction of the value of the principles of
Friends deepens with the opportunity of observation,
and I long for the day in which these shall be
more fully known and acknowledged. Still I have
been much struck with a remark by one of the
Grecian legislators to this purpose:—‘He gave
them not the very best form of government that R5r 369
could be given, but the best they were capable of
And so it must be with regard to religious
institutions for the Africans, or others in the
initiatory stages of instruction. The people require
to be met with such institutions as they are capable
of receiving and participating in, and their
friends and teachers should be willing to adapt
the means to their state; yet ever maintaining the
strictest regard to sincerity and truth, and not to
lead persons into professions that are beyond their
real experience.
1830-12-1912th mo. 19th. Suffer me to acknowledge a
grateful sense of Thy mercy and goodness, O my
God, who hast brought Thy poor unworthy servant
thus far on her way, and now givest a sweet
and peaceful hope of not many days hence arriving
at the desired haven. Thou hast sustained a feeble
mind through many dangers, and in the midst of
very awful seasons hast been pleased to give lessons
of deep instruction, which I would humbly
desire may never be lost sight of. Thou hast taught
me to feel that in all things I ought earnestly to
desire Thy heavenly guidance, and never take a
step of importance, and especially one in which
the promotion of good on the earth is concerned,
without deep and heartfelt desires after Thy own
guidance, and a clear apprehension that the way
is directed of Thee. Thou hast taught me to feel
that I have never been enough sensible how much
gratitude and love I owe to Thee for the blessings
of daily preservation, and the unnumbered and
innumerable benefits conferred from day to day.
Thou hast taught me, also, how much I need more
of the spiritual feeling—the savour of life—that I
may, through Thine own power, be made an instrumentR5 R5v 370
of good to others. I trust I have been
led to desire, that even should nature be crucified
in yielded to Thy requirings, nothing may be
withheld that Thou will be pleased to call for at
my hands, in the station to which I apprehend
Thy providence is leading me.
1830-12-1712th mo. 17th. Free Town, Sierra-Leone. On
the 1830-12-2323rd we were favoured with a safe, and in
most respects a pleasant landing at this much-desired
port. The day before we landed was to me
a happy day; in the evening I read to the young
missionaries the charge of Wardlaw to Reed, on
his going out to the East Indies. The love of
Christ a constraining principle was the leading
subject of the address. We were all delighted with
it. I slept little in the night, but rejoiced, and I
trust felt thankful to Him under whose beneficent
care we had thus been preserved. When anchor
was finally cast, we soon had the consolation of
seeing some of our friends. How rejoiced I was
to see J. Keightley, the Wesleyan missionary, to
whose house I was intending first to go. I went
to J. K.’s: several of his friends came, also T.
. Before we separated in the evening my
heart was engaged in the family meeting to acknowledge
the mercy that had hitherto been near,
and also to supplicate help and direction for our
coming days.
On the 1830-12-2424th a message was received from J.
and A. Weeks, and a palanquin sent to convey me
to them in the mountain district. In the evening
I left the friendly shelter of J. K., and went up.
How merciful is our God thus to open our way in
the hearts of dear friends, to provide for all our
wants, both spiritual and temporal. O! the inestimable R6r 371
favour of that permission, ‘Be (anxiously)
careful for nothing; but in every thing, by prayer
and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests
be made known unto God.’
The 1830-12-2525th and 1830-12-2626th were spent at Bathurst.
On the 1830-12-2727th I went down to Free Town, wishing
to present to the Governor my certificate, also The
Appeal on the Claims of West Africa.
At the
same time to express to him the desire which I
felt to have a full opportunity of trying the plan
of instruction through the native languages, with
a company of newly arrived children from the slave-
ships. I felt the need of seeking heavenly aid and
protection, and was led to desire as much favour
in the sight of the people in power as should be
needful for the cause’s sake. Under the influence
of a spirit of supplication to Him who has the
hearts of all in His hand, I proceeded to the Government-house.
I was received very kindly by
the Governor, who told me he had been reading
The Appeal, and was sorry to say my apprehensions
were but too true respecting the slave-trade
being carried on in this colony to a most disgraceful
extent, and that also many poor children were
stolen and sold. He informed me not less than
twenty-five persons were waiting for trial at the
next sessions, accused of carrying on the slave-
trade in this colony.
The Governor was quite disposed to consent to
my taking charge of some of the children on their
arrival from the slave-ships, provided no additional
expense should be thereby brought upon government.
He approved of teaching through the native
languages, and with making the experiment on
children entirely untaught. I was informed by the R6v 372
Governor, that as soon as I could fix myself in a
village both eligible and healthy, he would take
care to forward to me some children from the first
slave-ship brought into the harbour. After some
other communications we departed, acknowledging
his kindness to us; and I felt thankful that
our heavenly Father was thus opening a way for
the accomplishment of the desire of my heart.
1831-01-011st mo. 1st, 1831. I would desire gratefully
to feel the mercy which has brought me through
the year that is past, and given me to see the commencement
of the present. I would earnestly
petition that I may be favoured with heavenly
direction for the deeply important concerns that
are now before me.
Last evening, in company with T. Macfoy, I
visited the village called Allen’s Town, in which
there is a rapidly increasing population, for whom
my soul yearned, and more especially for the little
children, who have no teacher, and of whom numbers
came running out of their huts to meet us.
These people have no spiritual instructor, and no
means of collecting to learn the first principles of
the Christian profession.
The village of Charlottee seems the most suitable
as well as healthy situation, therefore it is
proposed to receive there the little African girls.
I long to see the natives taken by the hand as
brothers, raised by religious and intellectual instruction,
and taught to feel affectionately and
gratefully that we are the children of one Father.
Would the time of one individual allow, I would
like, in addition to my school-family, to provide
each child in Charlottee who can read, and will
teach another to read, with a little book and short R7r 373
lesson for the purpose. When the young teacher
can show that the pupil has acquired the art, I
would then give the former a copy of infant school-
hymns, or the Cottage Hymn-book, as may be best
suited to the age and state of the party.
The evening breeze about sun-set is delightful.
Sometimes a stagnant state of the air is felt at this
time, and we have often great heat in the day: but
where we make the best of the advantages that are
obtainable—such as meeting the breeze, and sometimes
resting in the heat—we may be helped and
strengthened for work. I hope with care some
might come out and be well. Let them stay only
for a season, and then others take their places; thus
Friends might take their part in this mission, till a
native agency be raised up. O, that we might now
take hold of the work, and never let it go from us,
until a native agency may take its place!
1831-01-099th. I cannot but desire but that a good school
conducted by English Friends should be in some
village of this colony for the higher class of coloured
children, both male and female. How could
I rejoice if before leaving this colony I might see
such a school under the care of some estimable
On looking to the present state of the poor
little liberated African children, like sheep without
a shepherd, it seems impossible for me to leave
them, and I think my dearest friends could not
desire it.
Free Town 1831-02-092nd mo. 9th. How true it is that
we know not what shall be on the morrow. After
I wrote last in my journal, I became very unwell
and was in much heat and weakness, yet came to
Free Town to engage a matron for the school. I R7v 374
had a sweet and pleasant ride and arrived about
dusk; took some coffee with my kind friend J.
, and then accompanied him to the chapel.
Not that I profess to be one with them in sentiment
as to the best form of holding meetings for
Divine worship, but wishing to unite as far as I
could, and also to sympathize with the state of the
people. I was glad that I had been. The congregation
was smaller than that of the first day of
the week, but more select.
On the 1831-02-1313th, I had an attack of fever, and felt
myself growing so rapidly worse as to internal feelings
of sickness, that it seemed best to call in medical
help. For the five ensuing days I felt as
much disordered as I ever remember, and all the
future as to my purposes and prospects was involved
in obscurity, and only just a sense remaining
that Infinite Wisdom must and would order all
things well and wisely. My dear kind friend M.
came down to their house in Free Town,
and brought attendants with her to assist in nursing
me. On the fifth day the fever broke, and through
Divine mercy my recovery was very rapid, only
that strength did not return as quickly as the feeling
of renewing health. This however increased
by degrees, and my kind friends assisted in preparing
for my taking up my abode in Charlottee.
I can never, I hope, cease to feel how well I was
cared for in that hospitable mission-house, nor with
what brotherly regard J. K. took my cares upon himself,
in providing for my little furniture, stores, &c.
A palanquin was sent for me by my friends T.
and M. Macfoy, and I paid a visit to the schools at
Portuguese Town, and Kongo Town, much to my
satisfaction. The native masters are the sole instructors R8r 375
in these villages as to reading and writing,
except that the wife of one of them gives assistance
as a gratuitous helper in her husband’s school.
Little books and lessons were given to several with
the recommendation that each should teach another
to read. One little boy in Portuguese Town school
had previously begun to teach his father.
On the 1831-02-1111th of 2nd mo. early in the morning,
I left the house of my valued friend J. K., and set
out for Charlottee. When recovering from sickness
and enjoying the company of my dear friends, and
looking forward with hope to making a trial of the
proposed system of instruction in this place, both
as to the languages and instruction of a religious
nature, I thought I was passing through some of
the happiest days of my life. My kind matron
met me at the gate, and soon introduced me to
twenty little girls who were arranged on the piazza
to receive me. I rejoiced to see them, and soon
found myself much at home in the habitation
allotted to me, which consisted of two good rooms
and an ample piazza surrounding, in which I soon
concluded that I should often if not constantly
have the school. There are two school-houses in
the yard, one of which is under repairs, the other
we shall occupy for a meeting-room, and the upper
part divided in two will answer well for the matron’s
room and the children’s lodging-room.
It was sixth day when I arrived in the evening:
a considerable number assembled in addition to
our own family, and both men, women, and children
have continued to come so far. My heart is
moved toward the people of this place, and to the
dear little liberated African children. The two
weeks I have spent here have been days of toil and R8v 376
exertion, and every day has been a day of weariness
even to pain; still my health has been generally
preserved, and I have been mercifully enabled
to rejoice in my work. There has been little time
for quiet, except in the night; and the cries at times
of children in the family living below, added to
the sound of work-people, and palavers for the submanager
to settle with the villagers, have been preventives
to repose. Occasionally, prisoners are
kept in a room in the yard, called the jail.
With regard to our own flock of dear children,
instruction commenced on the 1831-02-1313th, but has been
a little retarded by my having been obliged to give
considerable time to clothing them, though but
with one garment. We have no one besides themselves
to work, except such as are already a good
deal employed. Sally Mason, a girl of about fifteen,
came from M. Macfoy, she, and a Kosso girl,
as well as Diana, are very useful. Diana is a kind,
willing, and industrious girl, but not very quick in
understanding, and knows but little English, yet
I feel much interested in her, and glad of her assistance.
O, how great is the cause of thankfulness to
God in that feeling of rest which my mind has enjoyed
in this habitation, even in the midst of much
bodily weariness! So much have I felt at home
in my work, that I have been ready to say, ‘Can
it be that in a few months I shall have left this dear
flock to other care, and be on the way to England?’

One night I was in my dream already in England,
and my work no further on its way than at present.
I thought I felt distressed, and not at home, and
grieved to find myself out of my place, and truly
glad was I on awaking to see myself still in Africa R9r 377
O, how I desired that my way might be plainly
seen, as to when or how I should depart, and how
long, and for what purposes it might be right to
1831-03-113rd mo. 11th. On looking over some memoranda
made at sea, I am struck with the allusion
of an approach to Sierra-Leone as to ‘the desired
whilst a residence here feels a very serious
and even fearful thing. This colony being a part
of our own country, claims British attention as well
as affectionate Christian care. In its present embryo
state there is much that is interesting and
critical, so that were I early to retire from this part
I should look back with anxious feeling, unless by
a retirement from this field, or in other words, a
return to England, I could more effectually advance
the cause of general instruction in the native
It is a custom here that if a native wishes to
show he does not like you, he sends you to fetch
water in a basket: thus unkind feeling induces a
person who has power over another to require impossibilities.
Is not a portion of the same spirit
exemplified in reproaching persons who are uninstructed
and inexperienced for not doing what
they have it not in their power to do?
1831-03-1818th. An elementary state, such as that in this
colony, is one full of the excitement of hope, even
where but feeble endeavours for good have commenced.
It is interesting also in its divestment of
some complicated evils attached to higher and in
some respects more advanced conditions. There is
a check, however, to our satisfaction, in seeing and
feeling that in this elementary state, and in the
fallend nature of man, there is a great conflict of R9v 378
evil, which can only be surmounted by good, and
at the same time a considerable tendency to that
weakness and irritation of spirits which relax and
even, when yielded to, destroy the capacity of overcoming
that which is wrong in others in the best
and most effectual manner. The exhaustion of the
natural strength should be guarded against, as
opening the way to this weakness, and the simple
family maxim adhered to of, ‘Let all be well instructed
in the duty and business required of them;
give timely directions, and avoid unkind reflections.’

Having written this maxim, I ought to be more
careful to give such instructions as are needed, and
be patient when there are many deviations and
proofs of inattention in young people little experienced,
untaught, and much unused to act without
constant direction and superintendence. This in
Africa is a great lack, as few of the natives are
taught even by Europeans to think and act on a
regular system in works of daily service, and this
keeps both themselves and their superintendents in
a kind of daily toil, even to weariness, and often in
much conflict.
I have lately received letters from my friends;
all are looking for my return. Whilst thinking of
those dear to me by the ties of relationship and
Christian friendship, and attracted to England
as my home, the query arose, ‘And where is
home? Art thou sure it is to be found in England?’
I have felt it a fearful thing to look towards
leaving this place at this season, and yet
within these last few days I have been ready to
apprehend my strength might not be equal to the
work before me. I have been ready to say, that if
my health be preserved, it can only be so by care R10r 379
and by a determination rather to forego my wishes
as to getting forward with my work, than to continue
when too much spent to be qualified rightly
to proceed.
Translations interest me greatly. I see that
the simplicity of the subjects, together with the
pictures, give such a key to the language, that I
do greatly wish if possible to see this experiment
thoroughly tried. If I had to begin with a new
set of children, or had even one teacher on whom
to depend for assisting me, I should prefer the children
not attempting to learn to read English, until
they could read their own language, because of the
increased difficulty of attempting two orthographies
at the same time. I trust that experience will so
confirm my present plan that it will eventually be
adopted even in Sierra-Leone; although I hear still
the old sound of, ‘This colony is an English colony,
and for our own people we do not need the native
The manner in which English is understood
and spoken here is grievous. I believe
the people in singing hymns often remember but
very few of the words given out in two lines, and
either use other words, or sing a part of the time
without words, and this I apprehend arises from
their not knowing enough of the meaning of what
they hear to enable them to understand, and if so
they cannot be expected to use the lines given out
for singing.
Feeling the lack of religious reading, I took up
this afternoon the Daily Expositor, and was struck
with the passage from INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Luke xvi. 26, and thought
that neither the parching heats, nor blighting cold
should hinder the effort to proceed when duty calls; R10v 380
nor even our own life being in jeopardy, if the star
appear to lead forward.
Several of my friends are quite desirous I
should not continue through the rains, and particularly
as being at this place rather far separated
from medical and other aid; but I have
felt much interested in this village, and could no
otherwise quit it freely than by seeing a prospect
of its being continued as a station of liberated
Africans, under the friendly care of missionaries or
My hope is, that Divine Providence will mercifully
direct my path. I can only at present inform
my friends, that my way for returning does
not appear sufficiently clear to allow of making any
arrangements with that view; and that I wait a
little longer in the expectation of hearing something
about the proposal to have elementary African
lessons formed through a native agency in England.
I fear to move from hence too soon, and
would hope also to be preserved from staying when
I ought to be looking towards England.
the children of Israel were on their way, and favoured
with evident direction, how happy was their
state! ‘When the cloud rested, they stood still,
and when it moved, they journeyed.’
There is a great variety of sounds and noises
in this village, besides the voices of our own young
ones, which are as yet too little repressed when out
of school, though when in it, they are quiet and
easy to govern. There are frequent noisy quarrels
in the village, and many of these who thus contend
with each other appeal to the sub-manager (a native)
who lives below: what with these disturbances R11r 381
and the frequent breaking of rest in the nights, my
health and strength have been much worn down.
Still there is a feeling of present home in this place,
that I would gratefully acknowledge and daily be
thankful for; yet daily care is needed to prevent
the various calls for attention from encroaching on
the habit of seeking spiritual strength for the day’s
work. How sweet was the declaration of the
Psalmist, ‘O, my God, I trust in Thee;’ and whoever
is seeking sincerely to move in the Divine
appointments, and not in his own will, should
surely adopt the same language and fear no evil,
but go directly forward, without calculating on
mere human consequences.
1831-03-2020th. Our times of instruction on first days
are not long, seldom more than an hour, and a part
of that is given to such as have some knowledge of
English, and given in English only; yet I find just
now that the weakness on my lungs, together with
some other considerations, prevent me from singing
with them, consequently it is rather more difficult
than usual to keep up their attention.
1831-03-2323rd. I intend to-day to write to my friends
in England, to say, that if lack of health should not
prevent, I have concluded to remain here till next
spring. It is not without deeply feeling the responsibility
attached to such a conclusion, and the
many dangers, spiritually and physically, to which
I shall be exposed in remaining, that I have come
to this conclusion. Within the last twenty-four
hours I have experienced almost all the variety of
circumstances that may contribute to lower and
destroy the health, to unsettle the temper, or to
excite to disappointment, with respect to agents who
must be employed, and towards whom, with all R11v 382
their inadequacy, it is necessary to act with patience
and forbearance, and to seek at the same time
for their better instruction. It is surely needful
that I should in earnest prayer seek for victory
over all that would prevent my filling this station
in a manner that should exemplify in the sight of
the people the Christian character, and show forth
the Redeemer’s praise by the evident prevalence
of Christian principles. There is much to combat
with in the effect of the great changes which are
experienced in the physical state of this climate,
and particularly from exhaustion when food at
seasonable times is either neglected to be taken, or
too long delayed from want of attention in the providers.
Too much exertion from teaching in school
will produce the same effect.
It was a cause of sadness to have last evening
to part with T. and M. Macfoy, who are going to
England. My heart mourned that I had not been
to them a better helper in spiritual things. During
the night, ‘Let your speech be always with grace
seasoned with salt,’
was much in my remembrance
as an emphatic Christian memento. I must do
more in instructing my teachers, and have them
apart for this at a daily specified hour; and surely
to teachers and to children, the grand principle of
the Redeemer, ‘Do unto others as ye would that
they should do unto you’
, should be ever kept in
view and acted upon, and thus the feeling that desires
not to condemn, but to save, would shine
through all the conduct, as a light that would glorify
our Father which is in heaven.
1831-03-2424th. I have just read with much satisfaction
the memento for the day, in the selection called
Daily Bread. The purport is the estimate of R12r383
offences by the character of the offended, and
hence the great depth of turpitude in sinning
against God. O, for more constant watchfulness
against every inward evil, and the continual sense
of ‘Thou, God, seest me.’ My mind was refreshed
when lately in Free Town by seeing the missionary
Keithly still dwelling under the grateful sense of
Divine mercy and goodness, renewedly felt in his
recent recovery from sickness, and the safe arrival
of a colleague whom he had nearly ceased to expect.
On reaching home I missed the wonted
welcome of dear friends and relations, and felt
solitary. The next morning, and to-day also, my
mind has been comforted and strengthened. I am
fully satisfied in the prospect of remaining until
next spring, and have made arrangements to be
more exonerated from actual teaching in school.
I could not leave this work without a clear evidence
of its being the time to leave it. How cheering
is the hope that I may stay and live to see it
more fully advanced. O, may patience, and perseverence,
and Christian industry be given to me!
1831-03-2828th. I have been so much indisposed within
the last few days, that my faith was almost ready
to faint, and my mind was tried with the apprehension
that I have not physical strength for the
work in prospect. What then, I said in my heart,
can have been the cause of so much attraction
here? I petitioned that if my remaining here was
in the Divine will, I might, as a token for good,
have ere long some return of that health with
which I have at times been favoured, and that I
might obtain quiet and refreshing sleep in the
night. This petition has been mercifully granted,
I have had sweet sleep, and have arisen refreshed.
R12v 384 We have had interruptions as to the receipt of
provisions that are inconvenient to one not strong
in health; but I must do what I can to guard
against this, and take care of the body for the sake
of the tenant, of which, though the body be but
the habitation, that habitation is not at our command,
and should be kept in due repair.
The cares of this station are from day to day
many and various. One of the first this morning
was a distressing cry from the yard, one room in
which is appropriated as a house of correction for
this district. My heart mourned in seeing the
petty authority of the jailor proudly and cruelly
exercised towards a poor woman, whom he was
obliging to take upon her head an unmerciful load
of stone, and driving her to work with a whip,
amidst her throbbing outcries. I called to him,
and he forbore further to strike her; but little was
I aware of her having to carry her load four miles.
Going down to the sub-manager to remonstrate on
this conduct of the jailor, he owned it was too
hard, yet had looked on, and not prevented it, but
only desired him not to drive her. A man followed
with a stone on his head, but much smaller than
that the woman had to carry. O, how far are this
people from being prepared for the exercise of
power, and how ill is power frequently used by
persons but very little raised above their fellows,
and lacking the advantages of Christian discipline
in education.
O, that we could hope for a little company of
Friends to come out in this cause, and for this
work! I long to see some other agents employed
in translations and for the schools, also in setting
an example of Christian harmony, integrity, simplicity S1r 385
and pure devotion. Though I long for
these, I greatly value what has been done, and is
doing by the agents of the Church and the Wesleyan
. Europeans are much needed here; and
though we may often wish for more able helpers
in the work, yet some with great apparent inexperience,
are so superior to those they have to teach,
that what seems chiefly needed is simplicity, diligence,
Christian integrity, and devotedness. Notwithstanding
all the imperfections and deficiencies
of native teachers, and many are now employed
whose qualifications are very slender, yet I very
much fear even from what I have seen, that for the
people to be left without these opportunities of assembling,
and invitations to hear the Sacred Records,
and the comments of preachers upon them,
and the offer of vocal supplication, whether from
written forms or otherwise, that the lethargy and
indifference cherished in the absence of even impercet
aids to devotion and instruction would be
far more injurious to the minds and principles and
general habits of the people, than the present imperfect
help, which, imperfect as it is, is still an
acknowledgment of God and a sense of responsibility
towards Him. Care indeed is needed that
the persons who thus minister as native teachers
should instruct the people in the ways of truth and
righteousness, seeking for Heavenly help for themselves
and their flocks, and not just lead them to
rest in a speculative belief of Christian doctrines,
or in a mere outward acknowledgment of what is
1831-04-014th mo. 1st. I have just met with some sentences
written at sea, and desiring to retain the S S1v 386
sense of what then was deeply felt, I will write
them in this part of my journal.
1. It is the Spirit that quickeneth, and He
alone can.
2. The command is, ‘Quench not the Spirit;
cherish the dawnings of good.’
3. Lean to the weakest in Christian condescension.
O, that I may be made more spiritually
minded, that the savour of life may be with all
my ways, that I may be wholly a pilgrim, not
commending myself to any; and O! that I may be
gratefully sensible of my perpetual dependence,
and of the continual oversight of God.
4. Surely before the Infinite, the state of a
child is what we should strive after.
5. It is life only that can lead to life, and
no forms are availing without it. Seek the life in
all things, and cherish it by all authorized means.
6. Let temperance in all outward things be
the order of the day. Its opposite leads to mental
bondage and to overbearing oppression.
7. We ought to seek the controlling power of
Christ over all that is within us, and seek to Him
for strength; and this we shall assuredly find if we
desire to be wholly His.
My soul longs to unite with the deeply and
humbly exercised among Friends. How I love
the principles of this valued and favoured Society!
Their principles will advance on the earth. The
state of the world calls for their fuller developement.
1831-04-022nd. When near the end of my toils to-day,
my mind was refreshed by a friendly note from the
dear Wesleyan missionary, who is about to send S2r387
me some wine which I had ordered, and some
bread to slice for drying as sea-bread, that I may
have it toasted when flour is run out. The lack of
bread is more felt than that of other food, from the
long habit of using it in England.
Let us take heed that we be not lulled to sleep
with the idea that we can do nothing for religious
instruction until physical and intellectual privileges
are first employed and improved. No, there
is a spark of heavenly light in all, although often
greatly dimmed and obscured by surrounding obstructions,
which cause the darkness not to comprehend
or to give way to it. This light will
guide to the acknowledgment of the truth when it
is met in Christian love.
1831-04-033rd. My mind is impressed with a persuasion
that there are several families of Friends, even
within my own knowledge, who would be both
more happy and more useful as missionaries than
in business at home; and I think this would be
the right sphere for them, whether at home or
abroad. Should our Society open the way for the
employment of such agents, we might have one or
more families thus engaged in Africa. In the
country districts, and with moderate labour, some
constitutions might enjoy pretty good health, and
changes could be made, if desirable, as in the Wesleyan
. If our Friends should take a station
here, they must first agree upon a system of religious
meetings and religious instruction, and consider
whether in addition to seasons of silence,
which should ever be maintained as suited for the
collecting of the mind before the Most High,
they would not also recommend the reading of the
Scriptures, with occasional comments on what might S2 S2v 388
be read. Hymns adapted to the state might
be read or sung in the assembly; also other
subjects read, which are written in clear and
simple language. I do not find any language
so easy for the people to understand, and yet
comprehending so much. In recollecting this
I am reminded of Montgomery’s description of
prayer:— ‘Prayer is the simplest form of speechThat infant lips can try;Prayer the sublimest strains that reachThe Majesty on high.’
Sierra-Leone is far from being such a region
of peace and order as I have enjoyed in Tottenham,
in Yorkshire, or even nearer London; but
we cannot, in a missionary station, expect that.
Still, I cannot but long for some society with
whom I could freely communicate many passing
thoughts, and consult how far we can rightly
allow or check such and such things. O! that the
heart’s communion were kept more fully open
toward Him who has said by His servant, ‘If any
lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally upbraideth not.’
1831-04-066th. My friend A. W. came yesterday to see
me, on her way to Regent, on her return from
Kent, to which extreme point of the peninsula she
had been with her husband. They saw on their
way a number of little villages, formed by the
Africans when freed from their bond to government.
So many of these were without schools
that their compassion was excited, and they wished
that in addition to what the Church Missionary S3r 389
do for the colony, that the Wesleyans and
Friends would send out further agents. The people
of Kent rejoiced to see them, hoping they were
come to remain with them. The want of schools
for their children is what most distresses these poor
people. J. and A. Weeks wished that some plan
of circulating schools, as in the East Indies, could
here be introduced. The plan there is, for a
teacher to pitch his tent, for a month or so, collect
a school, and then leave it under such agency
as can be obtained; then visit another village, and
proceed in like manner, till he has made his circuit.
This colony does assuredly want further
help, and more should be done both in the way of
preparing teachers, and opening and superintending
schools. The Africans are very far from being
prepared to take this important and difficult station
into their own management; and much as there
may be to struggle with, European Christians
should still be willing to come for the help of the
people. Difficult as it may have been to help
them effectually, and many as may have been the
imperfections of agents employed, I still feel disposed
highly to estimate any real Christian labour
that has been bestowed, and to long for more
labourers into this vineyard, so important as it is
to poor Africa.
It is difficult here to prevent the neglect
of property devoted to public service. Here is, too,
very little idea of the waste of time occasioned by
want of punctuality in persons bringing articles
for sale, and others calling for payments. Native
teachers also require so much oversight, and are so
apt to forget what should be remembered, that
altogether the time and attention is by these minor S3v 390
matters drawn from the full pursuit of what would
be of general advantage, such as the writing of
lessons, and the preparing of translations. These
cares sometimes distract the mind, and hinder that
renovation which we hope to gain in serious reading
and retirement. Thou seest, O my God, the
danger I am in of suffering surrounding difficulties
to call off my mind, and hinder its access to Thee,
and thus I may become shorn of the strength
which is needful for the arduous duties of this
station. I feel that I have many privileges and
blessings for which I ought gratefully to thank
Thee; only let the way be open and plain before
me, and let me know Thy will, and look for
strength to Thee to enable me to walk in Thy
Divine requirings.
1831-04-077th. It may be seasonable for me at present
to dwell alone as to European society, and the
beloved association of Christians with whome I have
been wont to communicate. My many engagements
require much attention; still, when I have
enjoyed, as to-day, the company of a dear Christian
friend of my own native land, and watched her
departure, and returned to a habitation comparatively
solitary, my heart feels it, and sinks for a
time: yet I am thankful that it is only in a state
of sojournment that I am thus alone, and that a
beloved relative, if I am favoured with a home in
England, will then gladly make a part of my
family, and would even here have been willing to
accompany me, had that been judged expedient,
but on my own account I could not have consented
to it. I love occasional solitude, and should, in
any situation, be glad to be alone a part of every
day; yet I love cultivated Christian society, and S4r 391
dearly enjoy the interchange of thought and feeling
of which we are thus permitted to partake. O,
may all our best desires of enjoyment lead to the
Fountain of life and love, and to the humble and
grateful adoration of our Heavenly Father and
1831-04-1010th. I seem not to fear either this climate,
or the dangers of the deep, if only I may know
what is required of me. How sweet is the assurance
that we are not left to ourselves! Earnestly do I
long to see this establishment conducted on Christian
principles, and in that feeling of love and
good-will to all around that will be most effectual
to real improvement. It will require great watchfulness
to keep to principles, to teach and justly
reprove when needful, but not to reflect and reproach,
and at the same time to give some responsibility
to each, and instruct each how to use it.
Would it not be well to put the younger children
under the care of an elder one as to washing, &c.,
not to do it for them, but to see it done. My
young people are at present very deficient in even
remembering what they have to do, without immediate
and present direction. I want them to
improve in this, to think more, and not depend on
perpetual oversight and direction from any one.
I have been favoured with a little strength to
keep quiet and undisturbed, when circumstances
were not what could be wished, and temptation
to complain to my young people presented. A
waiting for a more suitable season to lead them
into better ways is, I believe, my present duty, as
well as to watch against both temper and negligence,
and to endeavour, by Christian example, to
help them. My mind is watching to act consistently, S4v 392
and, through everlasting goodness, is favoured with
rest and peace, yet is far from being disposed to
overlook any wrong thing, but only desiring to
counteract what is wrong steadily and patiently.
Often in my former engagement in Yorkshire, I
had to maintain for some of my teachers a silent
exercise of mind, and to endeavour to counteract
and indirectly instruct, rather than to separate
from them by outward complaints; and this has
been followed by some success, although I sensibly
feel that my deficiences as to Christian
exercise and religious travail of spirit for them
has been great and needed forgiveness from
Him who ‘poured out His soul unto death.’
The degree of good there appeared in my dear
helpers, set me I fear too much at rest, and I
sought not their spiritual advancement as I
ought to have done. Their growth in grace, as
well as their increase in knowledge of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ, should have been my
daily petition. Still I have to acknowledge the
mercy that has followed them, so that my hope is
consoling concerning them all, and with regard to
some most comforting. Thanks be unto God for
this great and inestimable favour.
My path seems so plain before me just to stay
in Africa till I see a clear call to England, that my
mind is now at liberty, in the prospect of endeavouring
without loss of time diligently to pursue
my way as a pilgrim, without anxiety as to the
season in which my labours may close for the present,
or how long they may be continued. I do
not feel that in an African climate, such as this,
the state of the atmosphere precludes mental labour.
All must depend on the Divine ordering S5r 393
and the right observance of it. England certainly
affords many spiritual helps, which Africa does
not; and yet the variety of calls to occupation in
England may, in one view, be less favourable than
a situation in Africa, because this, in comparison
to that, is almost a complete solitude. O, how
gratefully ought I to acknowledge the great Providential
mercy I have experienced, in having had
in England, both whilst living in my large family
in Yorkshire, and since the divestment of occupation
has given me much time for mental engagements,
and for the free consideration of what might
tend to usefulness amongst the poor and others. It
is true, little is yet done in comparison with what
is needed, whilst the field for labour is very wide.
Still, these seasons of retirement, have, through
Divine help and mercy, led to some exertions in
favour of those who needed help, which, imperfect
as it may have been, calls for an aspiration of
thankfulness, that the orderings of Divine Providence
have in any way led to, and permitted, even
that degree of fruit which has appeared, yet feelings
of deep humiliation may well prevail when I
look back.
I long, when the right time shall come, to join
once more in the sublime and sacred exercise of an
assembly of silent worshippers, and to witness the
solemn waiting of endeared friends at the graveside
of a brother or a sister, when the awful transition
into the eternal world, calls out the mind to
the acknowledgment of the unstable and transiet
nature of all human things. Deas as is the thought
of preparing little untaught children for the first
rudiments of Christian instruction, yet my mind
greatly enjoys partaking of the high and spiritual S5 S5v 394
privileges, which Christian communion with exercised
and experienced friends often so sweetly
affords in our own native land; our highly favoured
country, where blessings and privileges do indeed
abound, and where the question ought daily to
come home, ‘How much owest thou unto thy
and ‘What shall I render to the Lord for
all His benefits?’
‘I will take the cup of salvation,
and call upon the name of the Lord.’
O! that the true Christian missionary spirit
may spread in our dear native land, and may its
compassions be moved toward many at home, as
well as to those in distant countries. Far be it
from me to narrow the stream that would flow
abroad, or to desire for either myself or others a
greater exemption from this labour, even for the
last and lowest of the people, than the Divine will
would appoint. Only I desire that the many benighted
and suffering people in our own country
may partake also of missionary labour. May schools
be formed, and colonies of industry also; may
Christian instruction visits be given; in fine, may
all be ready to help in every way where right openings
are seen, and may they serve one another in
the Redeemer’s cause, and from love to himself.
I am not satisfied without acknowledging, that
amid some trials and bereavements which I have
experienced here, there has been vouchsafed to me
through unmerited goodness, such an evidence of
Divine mercy and protection, that many of the
hours I have spent in this habitation may, I believe,
justly be considered as among the happiest
of my life.
1831-04-1212th. We have had this afternoon an unexpected
visit from the Governor, just as the children S6r 395
were commencing the afternoon school. I
staid in the house a short time to see some refreshment
set out for our company, and on going into
the school-room, found the Governor very wisely
forming his judgment of what the children could
do, by pointing out from the lesson-board different
letters, not in regular succession. I heard
them afterwards a little from the Kosso and English
lessons. He inquired about their knowledge
of the English language; and himself, and the
two civil officers who accompanied, seemed satisfied
with their appearance and attainments. One
spoke of them as the most intelligent company of
liberated African children he had ever seen.
1831-04-1313th. I have had a good night’s rest, and
arose this morning much refreshed, and felt, I trust,
thankful for the renovated power with which I am
favoured. O, that from day to day that grace
may be earnestly sought which can perpetually
renow the soul in Christ Jesus!
In my afternoon hour of instruction I have
been refreshed. O, what a favour it is that we
have had so much satisfaction, and so little disquiet.
Whatever else has been going on heavily,
the school, both for the children and the teachers, has
been pleasant and satisfactory. I must endeavour
to lead my young people out of the habit of passing
time thoughtlessly, by giving employment that
will interest them and be attended to in leisure
hours. Three are now capable of reading and
writing, so as to occupy themselves in reading to
good purpose. I have given a Cottage Hymn-book
to each of these, and proposed a hymn to be learned
by two verses at once, to which they immediately
applied. Two of our family (the servants) have S6v 396
lately been much involved in contention with each
other. I trust, however, that has all passed, and
that at this present moment the whole family is in
peace and good-will. O, may this be maintained,
and thankfulness of heart be felt for so great a
comfort! I long to see a religious exercise awakened
in the minds of these dear young people who are
appointed to help the children, and that they may
be enabled to lead them by counsel and example
in the ways of righteousness.
1831-04-1717th. Merciful and beneficent was the appointment
of one day of rest from worldly cares;
and desirous should every conductor of a family be
that all partake the intended benefit:—not overloading
the preceding day with toil, so as to cause
late retiring, or late rising in the morning of the
Sabbath. There should not be much preparation
of food for either the family or for visitors, so that
this may not be a day of weariness, or hard pushing
to obtain an hour or two for the sacred engagements
of public worship. Let it be remembered,
‘Thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant’ were to
be included in the first appointment of this sacred
I long greatly for a habitation in which each
shall endeavour day by day conscientiously to pursue
his own duties, ‘as unto the Lord;’ where the
sweetness of harmony shall be felt throughout the
house, and the comforting presence of infinite and
everlasting goodness be acknowledged.
O, that a deputation of able men would come on a
visit to this colony, to see the whole concern of the
liberated African department! The school stations
want more helpers, and the causes of the great mortality
which has existed among the children in the S7r 397
rains, needs more fully ascertaining. We need also
some powerful exertion with regard to the apprenticing
system, which, in many cases, is only another
kind of slave-trade.
O, that health may be given to continue through
the rains! If that should not be granted, or if any
other cause should make it requisite to leave, I
would seek to submit with resignation to the view
of returning; which yet, to my own choice, would
be more difficult than staying. Some people might,
if they saw these and other reasonings on the subject,
be ready to say, you bring indisposition by
your doubts and fears. I do not feel that this
would be a just reflection, nor that I am in the way
of expecting indisposition till it is felt. A constitution
at all times peculiarly susceptible of suffering
from damp, must be sensible of these effects in
Africa, whatever care may be taken before the rains
commence. My only hope is, that, if it be the
will of Divine Providence for me to remain, He
will give what strength He shall see good.
My mind is under concern from the fear that
some resting too much in the observance of regular
seasons for family and public worship, do not yet
guard the heart with all diligence, but suffer tempers
to be indulged that tend to wound, disturb,
and weaken that which is good. The memento
seems to be, ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence,
for out of it, are the issues of life.’
It is in our
lives that we show most fully whose we are, and
whom we obey.
When engaged in the selection of subjects for
reading to children, it is necessary to have the
mind at liberty for the work, and awake to sympathy
with the little ones, so as to adapt instruction S7v 398
to their state. There are some things in the
little magazines, which though instructive, are
put into language rather too childlike for public
reading. I like for this purpose, the gravity
and affecting seriousness of many of the accounts
in Janeway’s Token for Children. I apprehend that
the delicate concern of conveying religious instruction
in language adapted for children without
lowering sacred subjects by too familiar expressions,
has been one great hinderance to some religious
instructors who really feel for children, and has
prevented them from more frequently attempting
to instruct them in public.
Query. How can children who are taught to
sing hymns, be best guarded against singing them
in a rough careless manner?
In looking back to some past enjoyments with
dear friends in England, I feel that they have indeed
passed away for ever, and can be known no
more; no more known under the same circumstances:
and I feel willing that it should be so,
hoping that they will give place to feelings still
higher, should some of us be once more permitted
to meet. O, may it be thus, when the final separation
from all below shall draw very near. May
the hope of that which is higher and brighter, then
animate and cause entire resignation; and to be
prepared for this, may Heavenly love, through
Redeeming mercy, rest on my spirit, and refine by
its own pure influence all that is within me. Thus
may I be prepared for every duty of the present
day, and taught to go through even the roughest
places steadily, as best becomes the Christian character,
with the eternal inheritance in view; and in
this feeling calling upon others to come, taste, and S8r 399
see that the Lord is good, and blessed both here
and hereafter are they who trust in Him.
If instead of this, the uninstructed, who know
not our Lord and Saviour, see those who profess
His name easily moved to anger, to impatience, to
restlessness, and off their heavenly guard, how can
they judge of the efficacy of that religion of which
they hear, but which they see so very imperfectly
exemplified in its professed followers?
The language of our Redeemer to His disciples
was ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give
unto you:’
and when in whatever trial or provocation
we suffer ourselves to be deprived of this peace
by giving way to feelings inconsistent with it, we
not only act against our own best welfare, but deprive
ourselves in the same degree of that mental
ascendency over those who do wrong, in which
alone the best and most efficient government must
ever consist.”
S8v 400

Chapter XIV.

Her continued Exertions on behalf of the liberated
African Children—State of Apprentices in the
Colony—Advice relative to youthful Missionaries.

It is far too much the custom with Europeans in
this colony to dwell on the faults and defects of
the Africans around them, instead of affectionately,
patiently, and steadily, as influenced by the love of
Jesus, teaching day by day such as are ignorant,
or out of the way, and praying in humility for
heavenly help to bring them to a better mind. The
opposite habits of resting in mere complaint against
them, and treating them in our intercourse, as having
little or not hope of their improvement, is, I
fear, much calculated to excite a Pharisaic spirit,
which contents itself in the thought of being ‘not
as other men;’
not so heedless, dull, untractable,
and full of deficiencies.
1831-04-2424th. Many of the Africans want as much
instruction about the succession of crops, as they
do in letters, or any thing else. With a very little
knowledge and care, they might have produce to
reap all the year; whereas, at present, many with
farms in their possession have still, I believe, their
‘hungry season’, and their fruitless ground to look
upon some part of the year. A village-school, with
even a small farm attached to it in every village,
would, if it were conducted as a model-farm, and S9r 401
the master ready to give any instruction, be a great
advantage; and for this purpose, there needs a
farming inspector, (as an adviser, but without authority,)
as well as a school-inspector.
If the Church Missionary Society would not
place the clergyman so much above the catechists,
and in authority over them in this mission, but
allow the latter to share in their counsels, all would,
I am persuaded, go on with more efficiency, and
with more peace and union. The life of a missionary
catechist, one who in addition to the
assistance he gives as a regular religious instructor,
has a part to take in the schools, is a life of great
labour, privation, and self-denial, and peculiarly so
in some of the more distant stations, where there
necessarily is a want of many European accommodations.
These difficulties should not be increased
by want of harmony and union among themselves,
or amongst any connected with them.
1831-04-2626th. It is the duty of every missionary to
provide food adapted to the support of health, and
from the same principle in which other preparations
for his work are attended to. This will not
authorize a fastidious attention to nice cookery, and
much less to that of stimulating and complicated
food, which, in a climate such as missionaries often
have to encounter, must greatly tend to induce
bilious affections, the most prevalent of tropical
diseases. On the other hand, neither the unwillingness
to give trouble, nor too great care to avoid
expense in the manner of living, should prevent
from having such provisions to keep up the strength,
and in a measure prevent that feeling of exhaustion,
which is much sooner induced, and more
dangerous in its effects in this climate than in that S9v 402
of the temperate zones. Still, any person who is
unable from medical disposition, or physical weakness
to bear with such occasional difficulties and
privations, with regard to both provisions and other
accommodation, will be unfit for a missionary life.
Last night in a dream I had the choice of a
burying-place given to me, and preferred Bunhillfields;
where I have often stood to see the last
consignment of that which is mortal to its parent
earth; and sometimes I have felt sweetly sensible
that in the emancipation of the spirit there is indeed
the song of victory for the redeemed through Him
who has loved them, and given Himself for them. O!
may our beloved friends in London, reminded as
they so often are of the transient nature of all
earthly cares and enjoyments, be as strangers and
pilgrims on the earth, and in life and conversation
stand as way-marks in the sight of the people.
Alas! how many are there, who are just resting in
outward order, and in a birth-right among religious
professors, with little of the life of religion dwelling
in them, or evinced by a course of conduct that
would mark the self-denying and devoted Christian;
whilst yet there are others sweetly declaring in
the emphatic language of a watchful walk, the evidence
of Christian dispositions, far more of a devoted
and devotional spirit than they would venture
in any other way to avow.
That ‘peace of God, which passeth the understanding,’
and which must be experienced to prepare
us for Heaven, requires that we should dwell
in peace with all around, and if it be possible, with
all mankind. ‘Peace on earth, and good-will to
was the angelic annunciation of the Messiah’s
advent on earth, and surely every disciple and S10r 403
follower, who desires to draw others to Him
should live in the spirit of peace and good-will,
and not in any hard or unfriendly feeling even
with those who do wrong, but seek in the spirit of
love and forgiveness, if possible, to lead them to a
better mind; praying for heavenly help, that we
may in all things give honour and praise to our
Father which is in heaven
How rejoiced should I be to see a college for
the African languages; and from the sentiments
lately expressed in a letter from a dear friend, I
cannot but hope that there will be such an institution,
and that eventually each of the leading tribes
on this wide continent may read the Holy Scriptures
in the language of the country in which they
were born. O! how ought the lack we see of Christian
knowledge and Christian principle, to lead us to
pray, and hope for the light of life to spread among
this people; that the moral and mental wilderness
may indeed blossom as the rose. How should I
rejoice to see one little village the scene of peaceful
industry and Christian instruction. May I wait
in humble hope that the hands of those who labour
for this part of the Saviour’s vineyard, whether
here or in England, may ere long be strengthened
by more labourers, self-denying, devoted, and embued
with the spirit of Him who ‘came to seek
and to save that which was lost.’
O, may health and strength be given to pursue
the work of translations here! I would gladly
forego the dearest enjoyments in my own country
to devote myself for the requisite time to the work
I have engaged in. It is true, my occupations are
of a complicated nature, and especially in having S10v 404
the charge of several young persons who are not
under the matron’s care in the way the children
are. Even to-day I have been led to fear, lest
while attending to my more retired engagements,
these are not occupied to so good a purpose as
under the vigilant care and oversight of one more
disengaged. I must, however, wait with patience,
and try to bear with patience, and hope that some
will be willing to come out to this work. May I
be enabled to gain the attention of the young people,
and to instruct them in their different duties
with good feeling and Christian diligence, in a real
missionary spirit, that sees their mistakes and deficiencies,
and even their sins with the compassionate
eye with which a good physician would
look upon the wound he desired to see healed. Let
me hope and trust, that God will mercifully bless
the very little efforts I am making for the good of
these young people.
1831-05-015th mo. 1st. I have this morning had an interesting
meeting with my children and a few
others; but I was obliged to stop several times
while reading, on account of my voice being spent.
Still, I am glad of these occasions; the quiet is
sweet. O, that many may be brought to enjoy a
state of silence before the Lord of heaven and
earth! How I long for at least one or two companions
in my work, who could fully feel with me
in the enjoyment of sacred silence in the house
appointed for worship. Silence seems to me more
befitting the reverence we ought to have in our
approaches in prayer to God, than any outward
expression; unless that outward expression has
arisen in the awful state of feeling that silence S11r 405
would cherish. I do not mean a dry and formal
silence, but that which assimilates with ‘The secret awe which dares not move,And all the silent heaven of love.’
I was glad to find, in reading Bishop Hall’s Select
Devotional Works
, this acknowledgment, that ‘our
silence may be more devout than our noise:’
in Mayo’s Address on Prayer, something to this
purpose,—that prayer may be offered from the heart,
with or without vocal language. It is true, the
high and sacred state of feeling which must constitute
silent worship is much more difficult of attainment,
and much more inconsonant with a state
of mind generally careless, than the habitual expression
of our own unworthiness and dependence
on the vocal language of prayer. Yet it is to be
feared, may rest in the avowal and acknowledgment,
and do neither really pant after victory over
the sin that easily besets them, nor seek in faith that
worship of the heart which would bow the whole
mind and will before God, and lead to that hungering
and thirsting after righteousness, which our
Redeemer promises shall be seen and regarded by
Him who has power to fill the desires which He
has given.
I am obliged to dispense with a part of the
light in my sitting-room, on account of the strong
cool wind. The height of the mountains opposite
makes it rather dark, but my mind is cheerful and
animated by hope. I indulged myself last evening,
after my family had retired, in reading again some
of the letters from beloved friends, and my mind
was refreshed in seeing them bent on heavenly S11v 406
things, and under so sweet an influence. This
morning I feel thankful for the renewal of hope in
the mercy of God towards this people, that causes
a willingness to labour for them wherever the
leadings of the Divine Hand may direct. Degraded
as they are even here, as well as in their
native districts, light, and life, and love from the
pure influence of the Redeemer’s power, and by
the insrumentality which He shall mercifully
appoint, will yet be seen to prevail abundantly,
both in this colony and in the many and widespreading
tribes of African people. We have
strong hope to see them helped, whether they be
looked upon as the last, and lowest, and most
oppressed of the human race, or whether the furthest
removed in their native state from true
Christianity and civilization. These pleas are each
at times used against their instruction, yet they are
so many stimulants to the Christian duty of helping
the weeak and the sinful, and following the
lost sheep into the wilderness,.
1831-05-022nd. My heart burns with earnest desire for
an African translation-school in England. Should
my way open for that, and my friends call me
home to it, how gladly would I devote myself
to that cause, and especially in England, where I am
more than ever convinced it must be effected if
well done. Should my life be called for before
this shall be brought into action, let me entreat
those who follow me not to give it up, but to do
this work for poor, depressed, and neglected Africa.
With regard to translations, it will be best to
go on very gradually, and not calculate on anything
as ready for either the press or for lessons, S12r 407
unless we can clearly see the analysis of the sentences,
and its correspondence with some other
given words or given sentences.
1831-05-055th. Many are the privileges which the
Searcher of Hearts in infinite mercy is pleased to
convey to one who feels indeed as an unworthy
and unprofitable servant. Often, when retiring
with no one near me but ‘the children’, as the
young teachers are so often emphatically called, a
sense of heavenly protection and mercy is felt to
be shelter and rest, and my mind is soothed
by a feeling of the present station being for
me in the orderings of Divine Providence. The
sentiments of others as to the risk of remaining,
have induced me to look closely to the evidence
I have, and have had respecting it; and though
I am aware that nothing very obvious has yet
been seen as to the result of my labours with
the children,—no very rapid advancement on their
part, yet the time having been short, and the
experience in the charge almost like the hewing
of stones out of a rock, much cannot be expected.
I feel bound to the work, still sensibly aware that
the lack of sufficient health and strength to proceed
as closely with it as I could desire must be
taken into account, and I must not expect quickly
to see fruit.
1831-05-077th. I mourn for the contentions of these
people. O! the violence they display in their
pleadings against one another, when they come
before the sub-manager, to have what they call
their palavers settled. In some quiet situations in
England, we might imagine, if we looked not
further than the immediate vicinity, that the world S12v408
was in a much better state than it really is, but it
is otherwise here.
It should be remembered that we have not to
choose agents from companies of intelligent and
well-educated Christians, but from a state of society
in which little more is considered than what relates
to the perishing dust; and we should not be very
sanguine in our expectations of finding characters
wholly such as we should desire. We have rather
to exercise towards them and with them patience
and forbearance, persevering instruction and fervent
1831-05-1212th. O, my God, I thank Thee for the favour
Thou has shown to Thine unworthy servant, in
permitting my attention now, and in days that are
past, to be turned to the sacred truths contained in
the holy revelation Thou hast been pleased to give
in the Scriptures, and for causing my mind to
dwell and feed on those Divine truths with deep
consolation. Be pleased to direct my heart in the
instruction of these dear children now with me,
and of those intermediate teachers upon whom, for
want of more strength, I am obliged so much to
depend. Help me in patience and Christian love,
and give me long-suffering where difficulties may
arise, in order to endeavour to lead them to Thee
as the Fountain of wisdom and goodness, and to
seek for them that redemption in Christ Jesus in
which, by the renewing of the mind, they may be
taught to prove what is Thy good and acceptable
and perfect will.
1831-05-2525th. My strength has been much reduced by
indisposition, and the medical attendant expressed
his opinion that an early return to England would T1r 409
be right. My way is not clear, I must wait to feel
more certain that my removal from hence is in the
Divine Will, ere I can fully conclude. I dread
returning without a sufficient evidence. God will,
I trust, help and direct me, and in the return of a
little strength I must make all requisite preparations,
and then either go or quietly rest in my
present position. To see and feel that there are
claims in England is not enough, unless it is
clearly manifested that those claims are such as to
call for my present return. The best way to serve
our generation is to seek to do the will of God,
whether the work appointed be of higher or lower
standing in the sight of men. O, that my Heavenly
Father may be pleased to permit me to see
when the cloud should remove, and until then to
abide here. Much as there may be to invite
among endeared friends in England, there is nothing
I so greatly desire as to be found in the
Lord’s will wherever that may be, and to dwell
and move in that only, because it is His will.
Though for months to come my prospect may be
confined to a rough mountain side, and not even
the sky above it visible from my sitting room, yet
if it be appointed for me, the mental and spiritual
light will be brighter than it could be in any other
place. I gratefully feel and own that protecting
mercy has been sensibly near me in this station.
On having my dear children with me on First
day, and in seeing the critical position in which
they are, my heart sunk at the thought of leaving
1831-05-2626th. My merciful Heavenly Father, unworthy
as I am to be an agent in Thy cause, it
has yet appeared to me, as though the way was T T1v 410
preparing for my remaining here, and for this
station to be occupied by these poor, deserted,
oppressed little ones, for whom my heart has
mourned. O, be pleased in Thy goodness to preserve
me from quitting this post before the appointed
My mind has this morning been under concern
respecting a newly-arrived slave-ship, said to
contain nearly five hundred people. I cannot
think it right that we should pass them by: I have
therefore proposed to our matron that we should
receive any number of additional children up to
one hundred, that is, seventy-three more than our
present number. I hope to write on this subject
to-morrow to the Governor.
1831-05-3131st. To-day I have received the Governor’s
answer. He informs me there are but few girls in
the newly-arrived vessel. He proposes to send me
twenty in addition, and recommends that without
further help I should not go beyond that number,
wich will be forty-seven.
1831-06-016th mo. 1st. For many years past I have been
in the habit of regarding the morning hours as
very precious, and I generally devoted them to
mental exertions, unless something unforeseen occurred.
Here I am often obliged to give up these
precious hours to many little domestic concerns,
which if delayed would cause much inconvenience
to the family; and then when wearied I sit down
to occupations calling for closer thought. But I
am happy in my engagement; my young teachers,
domestics, and children improve in disposition
and attention. Thanks be to Him who gives me
every needful blessing. This room to a stranger
might look dark and gloomy, as, from the height T2r 411
of the opposite mountain, we do not see the sky
without going out on the piazza; yet this room is
to me very pleasant, and the association of the ideas
combined with it is such as to endear the scene
whenever I enter it.
Several parents have brought their sick infants
to me, and desired of me medical help; my matron
and I did all that we could for them. I do not
name this as any great point of usefulness, yet I
much wish that something stated in this way could
be done for the people in each liberated African
village. I greatly wish that some of our Society
may come out: I will not suppose it will be otherwise,
nor rest in the expediency of sending others,
as the Church Missionary Society do the German
Lutherans, for want of clergymen of their own
being prepared to resign their charge in England
for an African station.
Our dear precious friends at home are now
looking to the termination of their annual assembly.
O, that even in its close the crowning assurance
of Divine Goodness may flow among them
even as the waves of the sea, and may they be
enabled to move with the tide in its appointed
1831-06-044th. The new girls, fifteen in number, arrived
to-day. It was a heart-sinking sight to observe
the dull, dreary countenances of some of them,
and the little appearance they had of either intelligence
or lively feeling. Some of them really
appeared (although the accompanying note called
them selected) the most hopeless and unpromising
specimens of children. I have been told that a
number have been apprenticed. My matron says
those who want apprentices choose them from the T2 T2v 412
whole number before they are sent to the schools.
If it be so, it is attempting to raise from the most
hopeless of those who should be useful to others, and
is far from doing justice to the cause of education.
Some plan should be devised for taking those to
teach who are likely to make the best use of instruction,
so far as can be judged from appearances.
My heart ached when looking at the diseased state
of these poor children, and I thought five of the
fifteen must go to the hospital; but after they were
well washed, and rubbed with palm oil, and had
dined, the matron thought they looked so much
better that she could manage them herself.
In observing the kind, lively, affectionate, and
sympathetic expression of countenance and manner
of some of my Kosso girls, I felt comforted in believing
that under proper care the African character
might be trained to be receptive of good,
and very lovely.
1831-06-055th. Never, but on one memorable day, do I
remember to have experienced so great a change
of feeling, as from the depressing fears of yesterday
for my newly-arrived children, contrasted with my
hopes for them to-day. It is true, indeed, that
they have had in the night three petty wars about
their bed-covering, but these do not discourage.
To-day, when arrayed in little garments, and introduced
to the piazza for me to try to learn their
names and nations, the affectionate smile soon
began to glisten on countenances that but yesterday
I had been ready to regard almost dead as to
mental cultivation, and incapable of exhibiting
that degree of animation which one longs to see
on every human face.
O, that my dear friends as home may regard T3r 413
my station here not as one of mournful exile, but
as one delightfully relieved from any extreme of
care, and crowned with the sense of infinite kindnewss
and tender mercy. O! my soul, acknowledge
with thanksgiving thy Redeemer and thy God.
I feel the concern in which I am engaged to be
one that requires great collectedness of mind to
maintain through all the true peace and dignity of
the Christian character, which will not indolently
pass by the faults of those of whom we have charge,
to avoid the trouble of counteracting them, and of
doing justice by timely admonition and instruction.
At the same time I would equally avoid the
habit of hasty reflection, even when there is just
cause of complain. I long to pass through a multitude
of temporal cares in that collected and
watchful frame of mind which sees the encompassing
danger and avoids it.
From observing how generally a few words are
adopted by all the tribes here, as ‘done,’ and ‘for,’
and used on so many occasions to express what
others would express in a great variety of ways, I
am ready to conclude that the time may arrive in
which a kind of general vocabulary may be formed
on a limited scale, whether in English, or in a
mixture of languages, and be adopted, not to
supersede any more complete or extensive vocabulary,
but as a common medium of communication
when people of some education meet from
different quarters of the glove, to facilitate their
intercourse with each other. ‘Done’ is used for
the past tense of any verb in the liberated African
English, and even among Maroons; and ‘for,’ for
any purpose in view, or object to be attained. ‘I
done go,’
—I have been. ‘I done full em,’—I have T3v 414
filled them. ‘I done tell him,’—I have told him.
‘I want thread for sew,’—I want thread to sew
with, &c. To-day the tears fell from the eyes
of one of our children leaving for the hospital. Matron
said, ‘No cry: sick done, you come back.’ I wish they
could make an adverb to stand in the place of
good. When some improvement was made in my
room, my maid Diana exclaimed, ‘He good,’ meaning
the room was better arranged. Some word for
approvable, without amounting to so complete a
term is good, appears necessary even in a very
small vocabulary.
1831-06-1313th. It is four months to-day since I commenced
the instruction of these dear children.
How many and great have been the mercies received
in this habitation since that time. Feeble
as I am, and unworthy the declaration which has
been brought with power to my mind this morning
in private reading, yet it has been realized; ‘They
that trust in the Lord shall not be desolate.’
I consider this school as having three objects
to answer.
  • An experiment, so far as circumstances
    will allow, of teaching English intelligibly, and
    making use of the native languages for that purpose,
    so far as they are known, or can be obtained
    in their elementary form.
  • 2ndly. The watchful
    care of a company of liberated Africans, both as to
    health and mind;
  • and, 3rdly. The training of a
    few young persons as teachers for schools.
I long that the Africans may discriminate and
feel what leads to devotion, and what is devotion
itself; what is a mere resting in unfelt forms, and
what is also resting in the renunciation of forms.
How great and evident is the difference in a family
or an individual with whom the love of God is the T4r 415
reigning governing principle, and one whose hopes
and aims begin and end in self, or in concerns
that relate to the present life alone, thoughtless of
the Power who bids the sun to shine, and cold
towards the Redeemer on whom they depend for
every spiritual blessing, and on conformity to
whom depends an eternity of happiness in Heaven.
1831-06-1616th. ‘Thine altar build, and God adore,’ has
often been in my remembrance as a memento,
that in all circumstances the acknowledgment of
God should be our first and leading care. Can
we expect that things will go on well with us and
about us, if we suffer other cares to supersede the
claims of this leading principle: ‘Acknowledge
God in all thy ways,’
and let the power which he
holds on thy heart and mind be felt as above all
others controlling and directing thy mind and
actions, through every minor duty of thy life. The
specious plea, that all forms without life are valueless,
even that of silent retirement, either alone or
in meetings, should not induce any neglect of
right seasons for waiting at the throne of Heavenly
mercy for frequent renewals of strength.
1831-07-157th mo. 15th. I arose this morning greatly
desiring that I might be favoured to pass this day
in peace and love, and be preserved from all impatient
feeling, and hasty unguarded expression
towards domestics, even should vexatious circumstances
occur that might tempt to impatience. I
trust we are all in this missionary station made
sensible of the necessity of seeking help from on
high, that we may be taught to govern in Christian
meekness, and become true examples to those
around us.
1831-07-2323rd. I do not, on my own account, regret T4v416
being left still alone here as to Christian society.
In present circumstances I greatly enjoy my solitude,
as allowing more uninterrupted application
to my various and interesting duties. I know that
with respect to the dear children Divine wisdom
and love can eventually overrule all for good.
1831-07-2424th. I have had the children on the piazza
to tell them how requisite it is for the strong to
help the weak, and that some of the new girls
lately received from the slave-ship, who are thin
and weak, should not do any heavy work, but the
stronger girls who have been longer here should
work for them, and help them to wash their clothes.
It is pleasant to see that they advance in the knowledge
of what is said to them, and show their
assent to the justice of what is required.
1831-07-2727th. For the last six days I have not been
so well as usual, and the weakness and exhaustion
increase, with loss of appetite and sleepless nights.
In various seasons of my life has my heart had to
acknowledge, that a time of outward weakness, as
to health and strength, has been a time of peculiar
Divine blessing.
I would not recommend any who follow me to
provide themselves so slightly with either bed or
sofa as I have done. A good sofa is needed, also
shades for the candles, and a bed with curtains
that may be drawn or undrawn, and so occasionally
form a shelter from light and wind.
I have seldom felt the uncertainty of things
here as to health more than at present; and though
it may be said we are to take no thought for the
morrow, there are some things in my present
situation that claim attention in the sense of this
uncertainty. O, that I may be favoured so to live, T5r 417
with the loins spiritually girded and the lamp
burning, as to be ready at whatever moment my
Lord may call. I am not expecting an early departure
from this state of mortality; but what
appears more probable, is a state of frequent weakness
that may prevent the attainment of much that
I should desire to do for the poor children.
A hope lives in my heart that I may yet see
the day in which meetings for these people will be
conducted in a manner more adapted to their state,
than by using the whole liturgy of the Church of
. How ought this hope to cheer and console,
amidst depressing feelings from surrounding
circumstances, and from bodily weakness. O, if
this weakness increases, may preservation be vouchsafed
in quiet and in patience. The disciples were
sent out two and two, and although I do not expect
to stay here alone, I would not recommend
others to come alone, unless from a very clear
sense of duty in one individual, who does not
meet with others to join in the same work on the
same station.
Now we have frequently heavy rains. There
is a sense of comfort in shelter on very rainy days
and nights, which rather reminds me of feelings in
England during winter; but these feelings are often
much mingled with the thoughts of what the poor
are suffering. I wish I knew more fully the domestic
state of the people here. Some, I fear,
suffer hunger who have little farms and gardens,
because they have but little forethought about the
succession of crops, so as to have always food to
reap, which with care they might have; and the
plunder they are subject to is also painful to think
of. Many are left without the means of living by T5 T5v 418
their industry, and untaught as they are, and with
human depravity to mislead them, they live by the
robbery of other men’s farms. O, that those who
have the power would feel for those who have
little, and do their part in the prevention of so
much crime and misery as in the unrenewed state
of man is often so grievously witnessed.
It is very pleasant that our three mountain
schools for liberated Africans are all on one line
of road. We are all on such terms of Christian
friendship as gladly to communicate and consult
together on successful modes of teaching, and so
far as there is liberty from those with whom each
is connected, to adopt any plans conducive to the
good of the dear children.
1831-08-138th mo. 13th. Let me, before the bright and
peaceful sun has shed its departing beams, acknowledge
Thy mercy and goodness, O my God,
who hast abundantly shed Thy favours and blessings
on thine unworthy servant, hast given me
peace of mind, love to Thee, and to Thine everblessed
cause, and hast favoured me with peace
toward all around. How shall I show that Thy
favours and mercies are indeed felt and remembered?
Thou knowest my heart, but Thou also
knowest how frail I am, and that without Thy
continual leadings my heart will betray instability,
and be one day in Thy love, and another absorbed
in minor cares, or hard and insensible to Thy surrounding
mercies, and ready to be irritated by
every little untoward event or disappointment
from those around me. Make me humble, patient,
and watchful. O, teach me to serve this people
among whom I dwell, and help me in that to
which Thou shalt be pleased to guide my steps. T6r 419
How often has our beneficent Heavenly Father
shown me that His goodness was beyond all my
hopes, and how unbecoming were all my fears.
And so I am led to believe will it be eventually
with those who are enabled to maintain the Christian
warfare to the end. The unseen state to which
death will introduce them will display more fully
than they are capable of receiving whilst here, the
glories of that Redeemer whom not having seen
they love, and in whom, though now they see Him
not, yet believing, they do still rejoice amidst
many trials.
The state of the apprentices in this colony
does indeed call loudly for attention. In many,
many cases, it is only another name for slavery
and hard bondage, from whence there is little
opportunity for the oppressions of those who suffer
to be fully heard or attended to. Many take a
number beyond what they are able to support,
and keep them in great poverty and destitution,
not only in nakedness, but in want of necessary
food, and exact from them hard labour. The
indentures engage the masters to a degree of care
and attention, and even of remuneration beyond
what is at all looked for, but there is no oversight
to observe that these conditions are fulfilled. Some,
it is said, become the helpless victims of sin from
the base conduct of their masters. There is often
great difficulty in receiving complaints of this kind
from what is called insufficiency of evidence. I
cannot see how the cause of the apprentices can be
effectually helped, but by some obligation laid on
the masters to have the children instructed in the
schools, and thus they would be kept in view.
Some account should be kept of all who are apprenticed, T6v 420
and there should be stated reviews of
them by government authority.
1831-08-1616th. How sweet is the feeling of peace and
good-will, and how kindly has our heavenly Father
ordered that in all which He appoints for us our happiness
consists. ‘Hateful and hating one another,’
is the state furthest from Him, and furthest from
happiness; whilst every approach to the pure love
of God and man brings its proportionate degree of
A missionary station, wherein much power is
given to the labourers has great dangers and temptations,
therefore the memento of ‘Keep thy
should be every day before him.
I have just paid a second visit to the school-
room to-day, and had the pleasure of seeing my
kind-hearted matron seated with her flock all
around her; the children were occupied in needlework,
and were in quiet order. The young people
who help were standing about among the girls. It
was a pleasant and refreshing sight; and I ought
thankfully to acknowledge how great a comfort
this dear matron has been, and is to me. She is
so friendly and steady a helper; so willing, and so
much a peace-maker among the young ones, as
well as sincerely desirous of the best interests of
the flock. It was, I cannot doubt, the hand of
Providence that led me to her as a helper in this
concern: what could I have done without such an
One of the most prominent ideas in my mind
to-day, is the wish to see people divide themselves
into little companies for mutual help. This morning
I read to my family the account given by
Moses of divisions into fifties, and tens, &c., and T7r 421
the settling smaller matters amongst each other,
whilst the larger only were carried to the Governor.
Was it from this example that the Institutions of
Alfred were taken, or did it arise from correspondent
feeling? There is a seed of much good in the
principle of small associations for friendly oversight
and mutual help.
1831-08-2828th. My mind has been affected by the description
given in the Missionary Register of 1831-03March
, of the first Chinese convert, Leangafa, ‘one
in whom appeared so distinctly the image of the
Also with the command of our Redeemer,
as cited by H. T. in the Trail of Christianity;
‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse
you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for
them that despitefully use you and persecute you.’

How opposed is this doctrine to the feeling of human
nature, which would justify its resentments
by the plea of having much to resent that is wrong
and unreasonable. Could anything be more wrong
and unreasonable than enmity, cursing, hatred,
despiteful usage, and persecution; and yet, on the
high ground of true Christian feeling, all these are
to be met with magnanimity, forbearance, and returning
and overcoming the evil with good. It is
the want of feeling and magnanimity in the parties,
that can ever make way for discord and contention.
Let the first offending party be what he may, there
is no unavoidable need of discord if the other party
be preserved under right influence; and surely
this would be the most effectual means of instructing
him who opposes, and of bringing him to the
acknowledgment of the truth.
I am ready to believe there is not any people
on the earth, toward whom the spirit of meekness T7v 422
and Christian patience is more necessary for their
improvement than towards the Africans. In some
of these people there is a frightful violence at
times, uncontrollable resentment, and extreme obstinacy,
which I do think cannot be effectually
combated by anything so assimilated to its own
nature as resentment, force, or a determination to
exhibit power in punishing offenders. Such conduct
may indeed have a transitory effect, but it
will not reach the cause, so as to prove a lasting
remedy. Such a remedy can only be found in
Christian principle on the part of those who have
to complain of offence, and in seeking by Divine
help to draw the offender, into a desire for the same
heavenly influence. If it could be said of all who
profess to teach Christianity, and especially of
those who come out in a missionary character, that
they are persons in whom appear distinctly the
image of the Saviour, there would be true and
effectual preaching by example and by the savour
of life in performing the duties of each day. In
order to attain to this, there should be in the missionary
occupation what would be favourable to
that true calmness of life, in which the light of life
can freely prevail and increase. J. Woolman describes
a state in which, by seeking after the accommodations
of this world’s wealth, the true calmness
of life was changed into hurry.
The language of the Psalmist presents before
my mind—‘But Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to
—and shall not we, who have so much to
be forgiven, seek to follow, even at an awful distance,
this way of the Lord? He who is perfect in
purity, and cannot look on iniquity with pleasure,
has yet provided means for the salvation and restoration T8r 423
of the very vilest, and wills that all should
be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
Let this memento be ever before our minds, ‘Thou,
Lord, art good, and ready to forgive;’
and let Thy
creatures remember that Thou hast made this the
law which shall condemn themselves, if they do not
seek sincerely to follow Thee.
1831-08-298th mo. 29th. I would not close this day
without acknowledging Thy goodness, O my heavenly
Father, in permitting me to see the desire of
my heart in the instruction of dear African children
through their own languages. The trial was
not made until the Aku girls were brought last
week, and this is but the fifth day of their instruction;
yet, even now, the success exceeds my hopes.
I feel that what I have long desired, and seen in
distant prospect, is now indeed reality. I wish to
wait a little before teaching them any English, and
I am confirmed in this by seeing to-day how readily
they could, in their own tongue, name tangible objects,
as head, ears, &c.
1831-08-3030th. I will thank Thee, O my Father, for
Thy unmerited goodness in visiting the mind of
Thy unworthy servant with a sense of peace and
love that consoles, although some outward circumstances
appear far from promising days of peace
and rest in some parts of my family. Unpromising
as things now appear with regard to some, I must
yet hope, remembering that one other member of
our household, who has been perhaps a greater
cause of disturbance than any; is now in the hand
of Divine goodness an agent in contributing to my
greatest comfort.
1831-09-039th mo. 3rd. We have to-day very heavy
rain. There is a kind of disabling effect in damp T8v424
rainy weather, particularly with regard to mental
occupations; so that it is a cause of thankfulness,
when we poor Europeans can keep the wheels in
motion at all, no wonder if they sometimes move
heavily. I have need to be humbled in the feeling
of how little I effect, and how fast the precious time
flies away. O, for more dispatch of work, and
more efficiency in it! I want, too, a conquering and
unconquerable patience, also charity, and more
disposition to prayer.
1831-09-055th. I believe that in the most healthful state
of the mind there will be a disposition to attend
to little things in their season, also to matters of
business and minor duties, as well as to be conscientiously
engaged not to neglect the most important,
or to suffer a worldly spirit to lead to more
attention than is due to lesser things, or suffer them
to supersede duties in which yet greater responsibility
is involved.
Last evening, not being well, my matron paid
me a visit; whilst a teacher gave instruction to
the children, as a subsitute for the part I take with
them when in health. The matron gave me some
affecting details of what the Kosso girls had told
her of the wretched state of their country from
almost perpetual wars, for the purpose of making
slaves; so that they can seldom retire to rest at
night and feel secure from an alarm. They appear
to have been in this way habituated to cry out
altogether when anything disturbs them in the
night, as they several times did on first coming
here. One of our children, about seven years old,
has several scars on her limbs, of which she gives
the following account. Her father and mother fled
from the slave-dealer, and her mother from carrying T9r 425
her was hindered from moving so quickly as
without her she could have done. The father
caught the child away from her, and threw it upon
a fire, saying, it was better for the child to die,
than for all to be made slaves. The mother could
not bear this, but ran back, and took up her child.
The father ran on, and the mother proceeded as
fast as she could with her poor burnt child, until
she got to a place where she thought she could stop
securely to dress the little creature’s wounds, but
in doing this she was taken, and the child was
soon separated from her, and our poor little Towah
saw neither father nor mother any more. Ninga’s
father would not leave his children, but brought
them all four away in his flight. Ninga says, the
pursuers killed her father, and she does not know
to what place were taken her mother and her two
younger sisters; one sister older than herself was
brought to this colony, and probably put out as an
apprentice. The children say they sometimes flee
in great numbers from one town to another, and
hope to rest for a night, but while they sleep, their
restless enemy pursues them, and again all is distress
and commotion. One of the girls has an
anxious countenance, and not having been very
well of late, her anxiety appears more evident:
perhaps her indisposition is occasioned by secret
sorrow preying on her mind. Sometimes, when
she has done her little washing, and whilst others
are finishing theirs, she will sit down pensive by
the brook, and fixing her eyes on the opposite side
of the mountain on one particular spot, will silently
weep, and seem not to wish to be questioned as to
the cause. One day she told the matron’s daughter,
who accompanies them to the brook, that there T9v 426
was a house and farm on that mountain that looked
like her father’s farm, and it was the sight of it
which made her weep.
My mind is much turned to the subject of
cherishing by every right means the disposition to
devotional feeling; and I do apprehend that some
in looking only at the fear of uttering expressions
unfelt, have not on the other hand been sufficiently
aware of the danger of supineness and total want
of feeling. Should we not, if sincere, always be
prepared to utter some expressions of devotion?
Supplications for what we need are very different
from professions of experience to which we have
not attained. These are, doubtless, abominations
in the sight of God, when offered as a substitute
for obedience and devotedness of heart and life.
Still one extreme, although it may induce an opposite,
cannot call for, or even justify an extreme on
the other hand; and we ought to think whether we
have not in our own society too much renounced
the practice of vocal supplication for wants that
are common to all who are, or desire to be, sincere
professors of Christianity; and indeed to every
human being awakened to a sense of the sacred
truths of the religion of Jesus.
1831-09-1818th. I have had an opportunity more desired
than expected of free communication with one of
the German ministers, and felt relieved and comforted
in having openly, and I trust with Christian
kindness, expressed my sentiments on several subjects,
as to the position of things at present in this
mission. A kind note from another in the course
of the day gave me opportunity for a little further
communication on these subjects. My heart longs
for the prosperity of the Church Missionary Society T10r 427
in this place. They were, I think, the first
who took charge of the poor liberated African children;
and though no doubt there was much need to
improve upon the first plans, even as to the preservation
of the life and health of those, yet believing
that not a few in this cause have sought to labour
diligently and faithfully, I long to see the society
rejoicing in the fruit of their labours.
1831-09-1818th. This has been a Sabbath of peace, such
as I feel utterly unworthy of; but our Lord is indeed
merciful and good. O, that fidelity and love
might be the daily, the hourly return. I feel that,
as regards myself, self-will and self-choosing must
be made subject to a higher influence; for if ever
I enjoy peace, Jesus must rule over all; must
break down as well as build up, and it is only in
entire subjection to Him that we can be free indeed.
In looking forward to a school in England,
whether of black, coloured, or white children, I
should prefer one on a simple scale, like Ackworth
, yet to give the children a thoroughly good
English education. I love simplicity and industry,
and should prefer having the care of children from
a humble station, rather than such as were in
danger of being enervated in body and mind from
not being under any necessity of working. It does
not appear to be my calling to administer exclusively
to the rich, but to those, whether rich or
poor, who are to be agents in useful occupations,
and who should be trained in great simplicity.
I cannot but hope, from what dear friends in
England most interested in African affairs have
expressed, that a school for black children will be
consonant with their judgment, and that when the
work before me shall be terminated, I may, with T10v 428
their concurrence, have a few of my present flock
in my native land, there to proceed with elementary
lessons in the languages of each. O, how
would such a prospect lighten all labours here! It
would be the realization of what for fifteen years
has been so much before me. Until last year I
had not looked for female pupils, yet since, it has
constantly appeared to me that for the elementary
part on which I would enter in England, females
would serve the purpose as well as boys, and be
more fully under my own care. This, then, is the
home to which I look; an African and English
school, a depository for elementary lessons attached
to it, and leisure to pursue the work of forming
elementary lessons, and lessons of Christian instruction
in both the African and English
languages. Should life not be given me to see
this desire effected, let me tenderly recommend
some of my beloved friends to take it up, and this,
I trust, will be their own desire.
1831-09-2020th. It is a great consolation to find that
often, when my whole frame is weak, my mind is
yet as much awake and active for my flock as
when quite well.
I would guard any young person brought up
in a mission-school, and with some view of being
engaged in missionary labour, from looking forward
to a life of divestment of outward labour, or as despising
secular occupations as below them. That
feeling has, I fear, been like a canker-worm in the
minds of many, and especially in such as have
lived for years in a preparatory seminary, employed
almost exclusively in learning, and with
little or now active labour. Spiritual pride has got
the ascendency, and mistaken notions as to the T11r 429
claims of Christianity on the heart and life; its
controlling influence on the feelings, thoughts,
words, and actions, have become sorrowfully apparent.
The teaching of others has been held up as
the great business of a Christian’s life, too much
losing sight of the perpetual obligation to dwell
under the influence of the Redeemer’s power and
spirit, and to have the whole mind and conduct
embued with that all-subduing and all-controlling
Secular occupations are generally salutary; and
it would be advantageous to the mental health of
the studious, if they had some intermixture of
manual employ. How many females are there
now growing up in the middle and higher ranks of
society, languid and diseased from mere want of
exercise! And what melancholy examples have I
recently seen of young men brought up without
business, or any serious occupation for their time,
showing forth the pernicious fruits of pride, with
fulness of bread and abundance of idleness!
With regard to foreign missions, I believe it
would be better for the cause of Christianity, if not
any were appointed as preachers without some active
employment as school-teachers, translators, &c.
It is not difficult to conceive how possible it is for
the missionary concern to be a kind of resting-place
for persons who prefer study occasionally, and
leisure occasionally, to any settled or laborious
means of obtaining a livelihood, and who may
seek this office, as many have sought the priest’s
office, not from the requiring of the Holy Spirit,
but for outward bread. It may be said, are not
the dangers and difficulties of a missionary life too
many and too well known to allow of such a choice T11v 430
from such motives? No; there is danger to the
youthful mind; and a great proportion of missionaries
commence their engagements when quite
young. To such minds there is something very
inviting in the idea of crossing seas, travelling to a
great distance, seeing new countries and new
people, and being at the same time treated by
friends, under whose care they are preparing for
the engagement, with a tenderness and sympathy
such as the nature of their prospects will naturally
induce. It is true, indeed, there are often great
sacrifices of domestic feeling to be encountered in
parting from family and friends; yet, when the
missionary is fixed in his station as a clergyman,
the leisure and the freedom which his circumstances
frequently permit, and the higher manner
of supporting himself than his earlier days afforded,
allow an enemy unawares to steal in upon him,
and instead of pouring out his soul for the surrounding
transgressors, he falls into the self-complaisant
state of the Pharisee, ‘I thank Thee that
I am not as other men are,’
not even as these heathen
and idolaters; and thus indulges feelings of
pride concerning himself, too much verging on
contempt towards those from whom his outward
situation he is so far exalted and removed.
Secular labour and school-teaching has a tendency
to keep the mind in an attentive and subjugated
state, by keeping people reminded of their
own obligations, and of work they must fulfil.
Whilst the further a person is removed from the
necessity of business, except that of giving instruction
occasionally, which is not to be