Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/30

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was divided into parishes, and Missionaries provided for each parish in the colony. A Christian Institution on Leicester Mountain was maintained as an industrial school for both sexes, and schoolmasters and catechists scattered over the villages. Every effort was made to rescue the poor degraded savages, transferred to their care from the holds of slave ships, from the deep bondage of ignorance and sin in which they were sunk.

Without dwelling upon further details of the history of Sierra Leone under Missionary efforts, we may point to its present condition as a proof, that not only had the anticipation of the Christian men who first resolved on applying the Gospel as the cure for all Africa's woes been realized by the event, but their wisdom in selecting the depôt at Sierra Leone for the scene of their efforts fully proved; for not only has the Slave Trade, formerly so great a curse to Africa, been overruled to become eventually a blessing, but it has been the means of furnishing that country with a supply of native evangelists, who, but for this, might never have existed. It has supplied Africa with Christians of various nations, who could not but for this have been gathered together into one place, and received the truth at one time.

The labourers of the Society were providentially directed to Sierra Leone. Had they not been frustrated in their efforts, and almost driven into the colony, they might to this day have been labouring among a few obscure tribes, in the extreme West Coast, without any probability of influencing the surrounding country, still less of penetrating into the heart of the continent. The failure of their Missions among the Susus and Bulloms, and their concentration of effort at Sierra Leone, was most mercifully and wisely ordered for the benefit of the whole of Africa. Had they been settled in some populous town in the very centre of the continent, their vantage ground for future operations would not have been a thousandth part so effective, as in this corner of the Western shore. From this outlying colony the sound of England's name and England's religion has already gone forth far into the interior of the continent. Dr. Livingstone records, that amongst some even of the newly discovered countries on the Zambesi, England was favourably known as the friend of the black races.

The most interesting features of this Church's history of late years are the rise of a Native Pastorate, and the development of the principle of self-support in the Native Church. Since the ordination of the first African clergyman connected with the Mission, the Rev. Samuel Crowther, the number of Native Ministers has steadily increased. They are now seventeen in number, and in time will doubtless increase to the full extent of the wants of the Native Church.

As the Mission Churches increased in efficiency, their thoughts turned to Missions in the regions beyond. The study of the Native languages was encouraged. In 1840, a Mission was commenced amongst the Timnehs, to the North-East of the colony. In 1845, a