Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/31

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Mission was sent to the Yoruba country. A chief town, Abeokuta, was occupied, and the Gospel has since radiated from thence to many of the large towns in the surrounding district. In 1857, a Niger Mission was established, conducted wholly by native African clergymen and laymen, themselves the fruit of the Missionary labours of a past generation; and it is now under the care of Bishop Crowther, the first Native Bishop of the West African Church, a Missionary of no ordinary ability, a living wonder to those who once so vauntingly denied the capability of elevating the native African races, and would fain have extinguished the zeal of their Christian friends in England.

The practical conclusion to which we now come is, that the efforts of our own Government to suppress the East Coast Slave Trade afford an opportunity for the evangelization of portions of the East Coast tribes, similar to that so successfully embraced by the Church Missionary and other Missionary Societies at Sierra Leone, and with hopes of similar success, provided only that a Sierra Leone can be reproduced upon the East Coast. This is a most important point, for without some such depôt, possessing the advantages of Sierra Leone, no combined Missionary effort can be made. Although our proper labours as a Missionary Society would be sufficiently employed in teaching and preaching to the heathen negro wherever we may find him, yet the work should in this case, if possible, be initiated under conditions which point to the destruction of Slave Trade as the result of their own development. Dr. Livingstone observes the moral degradation which an indulgence in the traffic produces in those tribes who collect slaves for the dealers: and, on the other hand, we may lay it down as a truth, that the spread among or in the vicinity of those tribes of an intelligent industry, and an acquaintance with the higher standards of civilization, must aid in repressing their tendency to engage in this traffic.

Now, to bring these things to bear, what so effectual as the presence among those tribes of a native agency, instructed not only as to the principles of civilization, but teachers of Gospel truth. It therefore seems a condition necessary to the success of the suggested scheme, that the spot chosen for its commencement should be sufficiently near the scenes of the inland Slave Trade to permit an influence for good to radiate among the slave-collecting tribes, and at the same time command a sufficient extent of territory to utilize to the utmost the labour stored up in such a settlement. A settlement so placed might, in the course of a few years, become a self-supporting organized community, such as may be found at the Church Missionary station at Metlahkatlah, on the shores of the North Pacific Ocean, where the Red Indians of North-west America have been taught the advantages of union for the purpose of self-government and the remunerativeness of combined labour; and the whole fabric, based on the teaching of the Gospel, seems now to be crowned with the best blessings of the Gospel of Peace. These