Imágenes de página
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tod il party, good musicians, good singers; the young people danced nine couple, and the wliole party were innocently cheerful and happy daring the evening. The company were pleased to say I had transferred Old England and its comforts to the Ilinois. Thus, my deaf Sir, we are not in want of society; and I'would not change my situation för ally in America, nor for disturbed or tumultuous England.

My efforts 10 assemble the people to public worship have been sucea cessful, our place is well attended, from forty to fifty people, and amongst our congregation we often number a part of Mr. Birkbeck's children and servants. Our singing is excellent; our prayers the romi formed. Unitarian service. The sermons which have been read are from an author I pever met with in England, Mr. Butcher; they are, without exception, the best practical sermons I have ever seen. Our Library-, Room is well attended in the afternoon; the people improving in clean liness and sobriety, recover the use of their intellectual faculties, and interest, themselves in moral and Christian converse. 5. When I arrived at Albion, a more disorganized, demoralized

state of society never existed: the experiment has been made, the abandonment of Christian institutes ånd Christian sabbaths, and living without God in the world has been fairly tried. If those theologians in England who despise tħie Sabbath and laugh at congregational worship, had been sent to the English settlement in the Illinois at the time I arrived, they would, or they ought to have bid their faces for shame. Some of the English played at crickce, the bačkwoodsień shoi át marks, their favourite sport, and the Sunday révèls ended in rjót and savage fighting: this was too much even for infidel nerves. All ihis also took place at Albioni; but when a few, a very few, better men met and read the Scriptures, and offered prayer: at a pour contemptible Jog-house, these revellers were awed into silence, and the Sabbath at Albion became decently quiet. One of its inhabitants, of an infidel caşt, said 10 me; “ Sir! this is very extraordinary, that what the law could not effect, so little an assembly merting for worship should have effected." Sir" said I prised that you do not perceive that you are offering a stronger argument in favour of ibis Christian institute than any I can present to you. If the reading of the Scriptures in congregation has had such efficacious and such wonderful effects, you ought no longer to reject; or neglect giving your attention to its contents, and its excellent religious institutions."

• Thus, my dear sir, my efforts for the benefit of others have been greatly blessed. I appear at présent more satisfied with my lot, because I appear to be more useful than ever : in England all my attempts at use fulness were puny compared to wbat they are here. Many people liere openly express their gratitude to me as the saviour of this place, which, they say, must have dispersed if I had not arrived. This is encouraging lo à heart wounded with affiction as mine has been, and is urging me on to plans of usefulness. A place for education, á sunday-school, and above all, a Bible Society, if we increase, shall be iny aim and endeavour. I have already abundant testimony that God will bless bis word, and if the rest of my life should be spent in such useful employment, my death-bed will be more calin than if I had been taken from


[ocr errors]

Co.op of Johanna Southcott is to be accounted for --by refers ing it to the boundless gullability of the buman ipind, and the moral force of that species of courage which commonly goes by the name of impudence. With regard to Mr. Flower's widely excursive remarks, we have only to express a wish that some of them at least had been confined to the Monthly Repository, which would have been a much more appropriate vehicle for them. He has an undoubted right to hold what opinions he pleases, and to express them as be pleases; but good taste and sound discretion would, we think, lia ve dictated on this occasion some self-restraint in the venting of them, unless he expects bis readers to be confined to that communion of Christians' whose unquestionable superiority of intellect leads then to dissent ! from that contradiction in terms, Three Divine Persons in One.

God;'-terms wbich, by so characterizing, they only shew that either they cannot, or will not understand in the import they are employed to convey.

Art. VI. A Voyage to Africa : including a Narrative of an Em

bassy to One of the interior Kingdoms in the Year 1820; with Remarks on the Course and Termination of the Niger and other principal Rivers in that country. By William Hutton, late Acting Consul for Ashantee, &c. Svo. pp. 490. Maps and Plates. Price

188. London, 1821. THIS volume contains the narrative of a second mission to

Ashantee, sent out in 1820 under the immediate orders of the British Goverpment. That which was conducted by Mr. Bowdich in 1817, was under the direction of the African Comuittee, which, happily, as it should seen, for the interests of Africa, bas ceased to exist. Credit is given to Mr. Bowdich by the present Writer, for the general correctness of the joformation he has given the public on the subject of African affairs; but it is contended, that he was not the first to unmask the per

nicious system of a trading government, which has perverted tbe uses of our settlements on the Gold Coast. Mr. Hutton claims the merit of having addressed a statement to Lord Ba. thurst in 1818, in which the abandopment of several useless stations, the reduction of the establishment at others, the making governors of forts swear to their accounts, and the abolition of the African Committee, were strenuously urged as inost desirable measures ; 'and they were all soon after carried into effect. In the present volume, he earnestly recommends the occupation of the islands Anna Bona, St. Thomas's, Prince's, and Fernando Po, which lie within a few days' sail of each other in the Gulf of Guinea, -as important, not only in a commercial point of ries, but also as it would be the means of effectually checking

the Slave-trade, which is still carried on to a great extent in those latitudes by the Portuguese and the Spaniards. Fernando Po, in particular, is important as commanding the entrance of all the rivers that flow into the Gulf of Guinea, and which are supposed to have a communication with the Niger - The great advantages of this settlement bave been also pointed out by Mrs: M'Queen, and they are fully stated in the Papers printed on this subject, last year, by order of the House of Commons: In 1819, Mr. Robertson, under the sanction of his Majesty's Government, arrivell on the Gold Coast for the purpose of taking possession of the island; but untoward circumstances occasion el, for the time, the abandonment of the plan. By means of the rivers wbich this station would command, Mr. Hutton is of opinion, that our commerce might in all probability be carried into the very heart of Africa, and more trade be carried on in

one month, than on the Gold Coast, where there are no rivers of any magnitude, in a year.

It is indeed,' he says, '' 'surprising, with all the anxious curiosity which bas so long been manifested respecting the Niger, that these tivers have never attracted the attention of the African Company, though they ate situated only a few days' sail from our settlements on the Gold' - Coast. How far this has been owing to the contracted means of the

African Committee, or to a want of energy and zeal for the public service among the chief directors of their affairs in Africa, I will not now stop to enquire; but certain it is, not one of those rivers has ever been explored by the Company's servants, although it is well known, fšom their short distance from our settlements in that quarter, small

expeditions for this purpose might easily have been fitted out at Cape Coast, where there are not wanting men of enterprising spirit, who would willingly have hazarded their lives in such an undertaking, had they been encouraged to do so. It is therefore to be hoped, as Ilis Majesty's government have taken the forts from the African Company, that the governor who may be appointed at Cape Coast, will be vested with full powers to send exploratory missions up the Volta, Lagos, Formosa, Calabar, and Del Rey; for even though such undertakings fail in ascertaining the termination of the Niger, they will not fail in acquiring

much valuable and interesting information of the countries on the banks - of those rivers. The Rio Del Rey is eight miles broad at its mouth, and

is very likely to prove an arm of the Niger, although Mr. M'Queen draws a different conclusion, from the cataracts and rapids which he states this river to be full of; and hence will arise the greatest difficulties in exploring it. The death of Mr. Nichols, who was employed by the African Association to explore it, is to be lamented, as we have no accounts of ils source, although Mr. M.Queen supposes it to be on the

ihe to the African Association give no account of this, and, bis information is altogether very unsatisfactory. From frequent conversations upon this Subject with Mr. Robertson, (author of notes on Africa,) that gentlc


man appeared to be better acquainted with the Del Rey and the other rivers which flow into the bights of Benin and Biafra, than any person I have ever conversed with, or any author I have read, excepting only Bosman, wliose work certainly contains the best account of the Rio Formoso; - it was written by a Dutch captain (Nyandale). in 1702, who had been twice trading in this river, and is to the following effect : " That sixty Dutch miles (or two hundred and ten English) above its, mouth, ships, may be navigated with safety, sailing by hundreds of branches, some of which are so wide that they well deserve the name of rivers; its length and source, be adds, he was not able to discover, no negro being able to give him an exact account of it."

Granting, however, that the Formoso may not enable us to get to the Niger, still a trial, with steam boats, ought to be made to ascertain how far it will take us into the interior; and ihen, mooring a vessel well manned and provisioned, at the highest navigable point of the river, small parties could be sent daily to make incursions, and after becoming in some measure acquainted with the natives, and obtaining information as to the best means of pursuing the journey, a strong detachment, with men of science, might easily be fitted out from the ves sel, which should remain moored as already mentioned; so that the party which may he detached, will have an opportunity of communicuting to the commander, from week to week, the success of the undertaking, and hence we should be able to get in England the earliest accounts of their progress, Upon this subject, I agree with Mr. M'Queen, that the bights of Benin and Biafra are the most desirable points to set out from to ascertain the course and termination of the Niger. pp. 394-398.

The Niger might, however, Mr. Hutton thipks, be easily reached by an overland journey through Ashantee. The distance from Cape Coast, be is persuaded, would not exceed seven hundred miles, two hundred of which have been repeatedly travelled; and with the king of Ashantee's protection, the remaining five hundred might be with ease aecomplished in ten weeks. The country through which the expedition would pass, is stated to be abundantly supplied with fresh water, and the people are hospitable and obliging. That the Niger and the Nile unitę, according to the opinions of Mr. Dupuis, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Bowdich, and the uniform assertions of the Moors, Mr. Hụtton does not attempt to dispute; byt he inclines to believe, that they will nevertheless be found distinct rivers, connected by the Gir, and shat the Niger throws off a great body of its water in some branch not yet discovered, to the eastward of the Leasa, and flowing into the bights of Benin and Biafrą.

Mr. Hutton, who was then in the African Company's service, joined the expedition of the unfortunate Major Peddie, and accompanied bin, in the capacity of secretary, as far as Senegal; when a disagreement took place respecting the terms of the engagement, whicli issued in their separation, the Major consenting

« AnteriorContinuar »