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ANXIETY OF THE PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF BADAGRY FOR INSTRUCTION.

THE anxiety of the Africans in the Yoruba Country for Christian instruction contrasts remarkably with the dulness and apathy of the Chinese. This Mission seems like a field broken up by the plough, and waiting for the seed. With the exception of Badagry, where slave-trading interests distract the minds of the people, the Missionaries are everywhere welcomed, and their instructions attentively and thankfully received. We have an interesting Journal now lying before us in connexion with this subject, that of the late valued and devoted Missionary, Mr. Eugene C. Van Cooten, who, in his anxiety to improve the opportunities for usefulness which opened in different directions, sacrificed his own life. It is the last document we were privileged to receive from him. It is impossible to read it, abounding as it does with the overflowings of that deep piety with which his heart was full, without feeling that he was no ordinary Christian. A holy and devoted man, tried and purified in the furnace of affliction, he had no other object in view than to live to the glory of that Saviour on whom his hopes rested for time and for eternity. To the Africans he was most acceptable. Gladly did they welcome him to their villages, and with open ears they seem to have hearkened to the blessed truths which he spake to them. They gathered round him in groups, and, as if conscious of their ignorance, pressed forward to be taught. It is to one of these interesting occasions that our Engraving refers. The following is our late valued friend's account of it

Oct. 8, 1850-This morning, accompanied by Mr. Marsh, I walked to the village of Amunigun, distant about four miles N.E. of Badagry. It is a small place, with little or no cultivation, though the soil appears fertile. The headman appeared glad to see me. Having taken water,* I delivered to him my joyful message, setting before him the leading events of the Old Testament, and the plan of salvation through a crucified Saviour. He said he had never heard these things before. While speaking, he several times interrupted me to tell the children, in Popo, what I had told him. I asked if he would collect as many people as he could in some convenient place. This he willingly did, by sending messengers to bring them together. As the people did not come as soon as I expected, I commenced speaking to those around me; but the old man urged me several times to leave off, and wait till all were assembled, as he wished each one to hear for himself. I soon had a large and attentive meeting, and set God's true and lively Word before them. Before leaving, I wished to take the measure of a very large oak, but the people would not suffer me, it being a sacred tree, and worshipped by them.

Leaving Amunigun, I came to Iberiko, a village distant about four miles. After taking water, and speaking to the elders, I requested them to assemble the people in an open space, as I had a very important message to deliver to them. Men, women, and children, soon came together under the shade of a noble tree, the women first sweeping the place clean. I then set before them some of the leading events of the Old and New

* The emblem of peace is a draught of cold water.

ANXIETY OF PEOPLE NEAR BADAGRY FOR INSTRUCTION. 231 Testaments. I felt much drawn out towards this people, and had some liberty of thought and speech. O that the Holy Spirit would seal the truth upon many of their hearts! The people are not Popos, but a mixture of Egbados, Ottas, and Popos. After I had left them, I again looked back to say good night, when a picture for an artist met my eyethe splendour of the setting sun, the soft shades of evening, and the deep shadow of a majestic tree, under which sat old men and old women, young men and young women, and youth of both sexes, all eagerly gazing after me. My heart rose in thankfulness to God, in permitting me to make known to them the glad tidings of salvation. I then returned home, through the villages of Bedu and Ajarra. This has been truly a delightful day. I would be content to spend my whole life in going from village to village, making known the knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is people, immortal souls, I wish to see and visit, and not places only.

His life indeed was so expended-gladly laid down for the good of Africa. Had there been a sufficiency of labourers, it might have been prolonged to us. But when sin-sick souls in multitudes are needing help around, and instant help-for death with each successive moment is removing them beyond the possibility of help-we can well conceive how one, who is like-minded with Him who had compassion on the multitudes, goes on dispensing the medicine of life, until his own strength has been unconsciously expended. So it was with Van Cooten. Are there none to come forward in his place? none willing to undertake the blessed office of distributing the bread of life and waters of life to hungry souls in Africa? Are there no bowels of compassion for a lost world amongst those who might be candidates for Missionary work? Must it be said of our young Christian professors, "All seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's?"

We add another extract from the same Journal, to which we shall return in a future Number.

Oct. 14-Early this morning I and Mr. Marsh set off for Mo, a large village, where most people stay the first night on their way to Abbeokuta. Owing to a heavy fall of rain, the path through high grass was rather unpleasant. Passing through Amunigun, at ten A.M. I reached Aradagun, a small village, with a still smaller hamlet attached to it. The people were very attentive, and ready to hear the word of life. O that it may please the Lord of the harvest to gather a few sheaves out of this and other villages visited. A tornado detained me nearly two hours. I sought to improve the time. While speaking in a palm-wine shed, a procession of women passed by, headed by an old one, followed immediately after by a little. girl dedicated to the god Dadda, a sort of Nazarite god. No razor or knife is allowed to be used upon such persons till they have arrived at a certain age, when, if they are able, they make sacrifices to Dadda, as in the present case, and the child is released from the vow made by its parents. The little girl had a calabash half full of cowries upon her head, and threw herself into various postures, as if moved by a spirit. She is supposed to be under supernatural power, and-indeed in many instances these dedicated children appear as if possessed of a devil-capable of prophesying. During the tornado we had some very loud peals of thunder, which caused one man present to laugh aloud, and make a noise,

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he being a worshipper of Sango, the god of thunder. I explained to him the cause of thunder, showed how absurd it was to worship it, and then pointed him to God, the maker of thunder. During the remainder of my stay his eyes were often fixed upon me.

The rain not ceasing, I went on to Mo. It is a dirty place, but the people gladly heard the good news of the Gospel. Afterwards I returned home, but found the path under water for about three miles.

PIRARA.

THE Indians of British Guiana consist of different tribes, of which the Macusie are the most numerous. They are furthest from the sea-coast, inhabiting the open savannahs and mountain chains in the interior. It is by this tribe that the poison called the worali is manufactured. Its effects are most deadly, and the mode of preparation is known only to themselves.

It was amongst this people that, in the year 1838, the late Rev. T. Youd commenced a Mission at a place called Pirara, on the borders of the lake Amucu. They had been long anxiously expecting a Missionary, and amidst their Indian huts, with dome-shaped roofs, they had erected two somewhat after the European model, the walls being plastered with the red clay of the savannahs, and the roofs, with gable ends, being neatly thatched with palm-leaves. One was intended for the dwelling-place of the Missionary, and the other, the larger of the two, as a place of Christian worship. This Chapel, the Sunday after Mr. Youd's arrival, was crowded with a singularlooking Congregation. "All except the Chief were well painted on the forehead, face, arms, and legs. Some had cutlasses, others bows and arrows. One had a monkey on his back; others wreaths and crowns of feathers; some with belts of wild-hogs' teeth from the top of their shoulders, crossing the breast and back, and falling on the hip on the other side; others with knives, sticks, and other things." Their deportment was as strange as their attire; but they had been in the darkness of heathenism all their days, and what could be expected from them? Soon they began to know better. As the glorious Gospel put forth its blessed influences among them, order and arrangement took the place of disorder and confusion. The hearts of many opened to God, and several of those who believed fell asleep in Jesus. But the boundaries between the British and Brazilian territories not being at the time accurately defined, the Brazilians, at the instigation of Popish Priests, who had vainly tried to establish themselves at Pirara, availed themselves of this circumstance to break up the Mission. Under pretence of pressing Natives for the Brazilian army, they marched a detachment thither, Mr. Youd being at that time absent, and changed the Church into a barrack. Our Missionary, on his return, found the peaceful and promising Settlement occupied with troops; and, compelled reluctantly to obey the order of the commanding-officer to withdraw, retired to a place called Urwa Rapids, where he proceeded to form a new Station.

In the subsequent arrangements between the two Governments,

PIRARA.

233 it was decided that Pirara should be considered neutral ground; and the Church Missionary Society having decided that its Missionaries should pursue their labours within the recognised limits of the British territory, Pirara has since remained unoccupied.

Our Missionary the Rev. J. J. Lohrer, of Bartica Grove, has been lately on an extensive Missionary tour in the interior of British Guiana, the Journal of which we have received; and amongst other interesting matters which it contains is the following narrative of a visit to Pirara

May 2, 1851-I made ready early this morning to pay a visit to the people at Pirara, or, as the place is called where they are living now, about six miles further south, Talinongkri (Red hill). The path was very rugged, crooked, and sometimes swampy, so that I thought, Is it worth while to have all this trouble? Perhaps the people will not care for you. It was not until three P.M. that I reached the settlement, after much exhaustion under the burning sun. Great was therefore my encouragement when the Captain came to meet me. He was dressed in white trowsers and shirt; and had a nice staff, with silver head, upon which was engraven "V. R.," in his hand, and a document under his arm, which he received about seven years ago from Sir H. Light, and according to which he has the oversight of the places and Indians between the Kanugu Mountains in the south, and Paharaima in the north. Arriving at the place, I found all on the alert, and eager to welcome me. A girl of about eighteen years said, when she came to shake hands with me, "How do you, Mr. Youd?" all the English she knows. I first counted them, and found there were about eighty-with some places in the nearest neighbourhood, a hundred. When the Captain had heard I was coming, he sent to a place about six miles S. W. to call the people from thence: he was therefore disappointed when he heard that I could only speak a few words to them, and must return the same evening. "Why?" he asked. "I have no provisions for my people: I must go down the river as fast as I can."-"We will give you provisions," he rejoined. "The other people will be disappointed if they do not see you. If I had known, I would not have sent; and I wish that you should speak to the people on Sunday." Many of the rest said I must stay with them altogether: they would go for my things to the Grove, or they would come and fetch me. Of moving from the savannah they would hear nothing; and if any thing is to be done for them, it must be here.

May 3-The people were early on the stir: they seemed much pleased when I went round to their huts, and brought me several curiosities and some provisions. Most of the men went to their fields, or to fish and hunt, to get provisions for my people: those that remained at home came constantly to see me, and followed me everywhere: the children also, who were shy yesterday, came nearer. Many people were present at Morning Prayer; and, though they do not know English, behaved very quietly.

May 4: Lord's-day-At nine the bugle sounded, and the people collected under a large hut, which was nicely swept and prepared: for benches they had trunks of trees and posts. Being quietly seated, I counted them, and found 120 above six years, and about 30 under that age. They sat very quietly while I spoke to them, and at the end expressed a desire that I might speak to them in the afternoon again. I spoke first

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