Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ed every day to approach nearer and nearer. These desired not to be 66 uncloathed but to be cloathed upon, for they knew that if their frail Tabernacle was dissolved, they had an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Being an account of the Life and Death of Na. "; imbanna, an African King's fon, who arriva

ed in England, in the year 1791, and fet fail on his return in Fune, 1793.

IN Africa, the country where the negroes live, and from which slaves are taken, there was a king who was not a Christian, but who was a better man (to their fame be it spoken) than many who call themselves Christians. Though he could neither read nor write, he had good sense enough to grieve for the misery and igno. rance of his poor countrymen, and he was de. sirous of doing them good if he but knew how,

At length a number of English gentlemen, who had at heart the same thing, formed them. felves into a company for the purpose of putting a stop to the trade in llaves, and spread. ing in Africa the blessings of the gospel,

Their plan was to form a settlement in the ri. ver Sierra Leone, where the above mentioned king lived, and they accordingly sent over an agent to talk with the king, and to procure his consent.

The good old king was very glad when he heard of their intentions; he easily saw that such a settlement would produce great benefit to his country; he therefore became the staunch friend of the company; and also of the settlement, which was soon after formed, and he continued so to the day of his death.

The king had thought, before this time, that there were none but bad people in England; for, to use his own words, he had never before. seen any Englishmen who were not bad people; but he now found, that though there were many wicked people in England, there were many good people also. Being informed that what made the people in England good was the chris. lian religion, he resolved to send thither his son, about 23 years of age, who was put under the care of the Sierra Leone Company's agent, and by him brought to England, the Company readily undertaking the charge of his education.

Naimbanna (for fo he was called) arrived in England, in a vessel called the Lapwing, in the year 1791, and proper persons were chosen to inítru&t him in reading, writing, and other parts of education; but before we proceed to give an account of the progress he made during his stay in this country, it may be proper to make

is his feelings and affectemely ple

the reader acquainted with his character at the i time of his landing. His person was not hand

fome, but his manners were extremely pleasing,
and his disposition kind and affectionate: at the
same time, his feelings were quick and jealous, -
and he was very violent in his temper, as well
as proud and disdainful. Though he labored
under great disadvantages from the want of
early education, yet he shewed signs of a good
understanding, and he appeared to be very
sharp-fighted in finding out people's real charac-
ter.

He had not been long in England before a
thirst of knowledge was found to be a leading
feature in his character. His teachers have said
that he would often urge them to prolong the

time employed in reading, and that he was al. | ways thankful to any one who would affist him

in learning any thing that was useful. He was - never led into company where the time was

wasted in idle talk without being sorry, and

when left to himself, he would employ not less i than eight or ten hours of the day in reading.

As it was the main object of the gentlemen to whose care he had been entrusted, to give í him right views of Christianity, pains were ta| ken to convince him, that the bible was the word

of God, and he received it as such with great reverence and simplicity: 66 When I found," faid he, 56 all good men minding the Bible, and calling it the word of God, and all bad men disregarding it, I was then sure that the Bible

must be what good men called it, the word of God." But not content with the report of others, he read the Bible for himself. He would sometimes complain of being fatigued with other studies; but even when he was most fatigued, if asked to read a little in the scriptures, he always expressed his readiness by fome emotion of joy: He used to say, that he was fure of meeting with something in the Bible which suited every case, and shewed him what was right and what was wrong; and that he likewise found in it good examples to encourage him to do what was right, and bad examples, to deter him from doing what was wrong. In short, he was not one of those who read the Bible, and think little or nothing about what they read, but he confidered it as the rule of his life; and if at any time his behavior was amiss, and a text of fcripture was mentioned, which proved it to be fo, he would immediately submit to its authori. : ty. Nor was his regard for the Bible merely of an outward kind; it plainly affected his heart, He had tried, when in Africa, (to use his own words) 'to make himself as proud as he could, and he thought it great to revenge himself on any one who had done him an injury; but from the Bible he acquired such humble views of himself, that he was led to see his need of Chrift as his Saviour, and the necessity of relying on him as the ground of acceptance with God. Humility was a quality which he found it hard to attain; but before his departure from Eng.

land, not only his pride, but also his revengeful fpirit had become hateful to him. The progress he had made in subduing his passions, during his short stay in this country, considering the natural violence of his temper, was considerable. He always expressed forrow when he had

been hally or passionate in his conduct; as he - became more acquainted with Chriflian princi

ples, he acquired more courtesy and delicacy of manners, some degree of which was indeed natural to him, and the superstitious belief in witchcraft, to which Africans are so prone, gradually left him.

He paid great respect to the teachers of Chriftianity, whom he wilhed much to invite over to his country; took great delight in the exercise of

devotion, and would talk on religious subjects i with much openness and fimplicity, and without

any mixture of enthusiasm. Love and gratitude to God, who had delivered him from the state of darkness in which, in common with millions of his countrymen, he had been till lately plunged, were strongly impressed on his mind, and had a

strong and abiding effect on the whole of his is conduct.

His tenderness of conscience was very strik. i ing, and it seemed to have become his desire,

on all occasions, to know what line of conduct in was most agreeable to the word of God; when

he could determine that point, he would not hesitate about resolving to pursue it.

The reader will have a better view of the

« AnteriorContinuar »