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Bakuens, the aborigines of the country. On halting I instantly proceeded to the tree, soon mounted the aerial abodes, and to my astonishment counted no fewer than seventeen houses, and part of three others unfinished. On reaching the topmost hut, about thirty feet from the ground, I entered and sat down. Its only furniture was the hay which covered the floor, a spear, a spoon, and a bowl full of locusts. As I had not tasted any food since morning, I asked a woman who sat at the door with an infant in her arms permission to eat. She cheerfully consented, and brought me some more of the same provision in a powdered state. This seemed to be the only kind of food in their possession. Several other persons came from the neighbouring roosts to see the stranger, who to them was as great a curiosity as the tree was to him. I then visited the different habitations, each of which was fixed upon a separate branch. An oblong scaffold is formed of straight sticks about seven feet long, placed transversely across the boughs. On this the conical house is formed also of small straight sticks, and neatly thatched with long grass. A person can stand nearly upright in the centre, and the diameter of the floor is about six feet. The house stands on one end of the oblong platform, so as to leave a little square space before the door. These are the humble though lofty domiciles of the poor rigines, who are destitute of every thing like cattle, and who live on the fruits of the field, and on the chase. They adopt this plan in order to escape the lions, which often prowl under the tree.
“In the course of the day I also passed a village containing at least forty houses, built on the tops of poles, about seven or eight feet from the ground. These form a circle, and each house stands distinct from the rest. A forked stick or branch of a tree is planted at the front of each habitation, for the purpose of ascending. In the centre of the circle was a large heap of bones and horns of the game they had killed."
WEST INDIES.-EXTINCTION OF COLONIAL SLAVERY. SURPASSED only in intensity by the grateful and absorbing interest with which the religious public of this country anticipated the approach and celebration of the first of August in the West Indies, as the day when the full light of liberty would arise on thousands of fellow-beings in that portion of the globe, was the pleasing hope, mingled with deep solicitude, entertained as to the temper and spirit in which this great festival of freedom would be observed by the large population whose condition was about to undergo so great a change. In relation to that portion of the apprenticed labourers who were manifestly under the inAuence of religion, a happy confidence, founded on the experience of their past exemplary course, was felt that their conduct, amid all the hilarity of spirits and temptations to excess inseparable from the approaching jubilee, would prove not unworthy of their profession of the name of Christ, nor fail to evince their practical regard for the salutary and affectionate counsels of those who have long laboured to promote their temporal and eternal welfare. The first of August, 1838, the day to which so many looked forward with intense and blended emotions, is now past; it rose in joy and set in peace; and all anxiety respecting the manner in which it would pass is now at rest.
The confidence cherished in our newly emancipated fellow-subjects has not been abused or betrayed. The tens of thousands of various classes of coloured labourers, who were held under the galling bondage of the apprenticeship, have received the boon of liberty with overflowing gratitude to those through whose instrumentality it has been secured ; and many of them have also piously and
thankfully acknowledged the hand of God in this long-expected consummation of their hopes, accepting it as a token of the favour of Him without whose blessing no earthly possession can prove truly and permanently beneficial,
• The Missionaries labouring at the Society's stations in the West Indies have had the hallowed pleasure of sharing in the triumphs of the first of August. It had been their anxious and constant endeavour duly to prepare the minds of the apprentices for the greatly altered condition on which the latter have now entered ; and hitherto the brethren have had the high gratification of beholding the object, thus earnestly and prayerfully sought, fully realised. The day which brought to a close the dreadful scenes of human wrong and suffering, continued through various changes, and under diversified forms, for nearly three centuries in the West Indies, and ushered in a new era of justice, humanity, truth, and freedom, has been unstained, at least we have reason to believe among the religious portion of the liberated population, by a single act unworthy of the principles in which they have been instructed, or inconsistent with the new duties and relations to which they have been introduced. Not even in the first burst of transport, when the rising sun declared the day, after which they never again could become slaves, did they swerve from the manifestation of a spirit becoming Christian men.
No intemperate mirth or profane exultation—no disposition to brood sullenly and angrily over past injuries and sorrows-no desire to make any use of their newly-acquired privileges at variance with the interests of those who still continue to require their labours, was manifested. Contrary to all this, the prevailing spirit of the people was that of gratitude, and hope, and joy. So far as their proceedings partook of a festive character, they were conducted with order, decorum, and sobriety, and the whole of their conduct at this memorable crisis supplied abundant evidence of a willingness to forget and forgive all that is past, and a desire to go forward in the career of liberty as faithful subjects of the Crown, good members of society, and consistent professors of the Gospel of Christ. The greater part of the most recent communications from the Society's devoted Missionaries in this part of the world naturally relate to the subject of the emancipation, and to the manner in which it has been celebrated by the members of the churches and congregations under their immediate care ; and with feelings of extreme satisfaction, we now invite the attention of the friends of humanity and religion to the annexed extracts of the letters with which we have been favoured, in reference to a topic so deeply interesting and important.
DEMERARA. In the Missionary Magazine for September, we were enabled to state that the termination of the apprenticeship, on the first of August, had been resolved upon by the Jamaica House of Assembly, early in June; but it was not then positively ascertained, though fully believed, that the colony of British Guiana had followed the example. The cheering intelligence has since arrived, that a similar bill was introduced there on the 12th of July, when the Court of Policy consented to give unqualified freedom to every negro in British Guiana, on the first of August. Respecting the celebration of the day, and other incidental circumstances connected with it, the Rev. S. S. Murkland, stationed at the Ebenezer Chapel station, West Coast, Demerara, thus writes :
A royal salute from the fort ushered in to return thanks to God for the great deli. the day of freedom; and as soon as the sun verance. The morning service was pecuarose above the horizon, our emancipated liarly interesting, several appropriate hymns brethren began to assemble in the chapel, were sung, the 103rd Psalm was read and
expounded, and some of the negroes prayed on their respective plantations held reliand spoke to their brethren in language so gious meetings in the evening, and even the pathetic, that to convey an adequate de- wicked did not venture to assemble their scription of the effect produced, I find im- companions to drink and dance, as they possible. We commenced the other ser- usually do to express their joy. May the vice at noon by singing the jubilee hymn, goodness of God lead such to repentance ! “Blow ye the trumpet, blow;" and closed The Governor visited this coast on Saturwith the hymn, “ Jesus shall reign where'er day last, and spoke to the people at different the sun." The chapel was crowded to ex- places; he looked into our school as he cess, and many were obliged to stand out- passed, and promised to come and examine side. In the morning the weather was un- it soon. What he said to the people had a promising, but after 12 o'clock a favourable good effect. The Governor seems anxious change appeared. To induce the liberated to promote education ; his first act in this young apprentices to avail themselves of
colony was to sanction and sign the bill education, we selected a number of the day- which gave freedom to the negroes. It was scholars to read the 107th Psalm before the in contemplation to erect a monument to congregation, which had a good effect. the memory of the late Sir James Carmichael
The first day of freedom passed away Smyth. I have more than 100 guilders, without the least disturbance; every coun- which the people collected for it, chiefly in tenance wore a smile, and “We free" was bits. the watchword of the day. The teachers
Demerara being the earliest field occupied by the Society in the West Indies, naturally invites attention first, though the intelligence received thence, to the period at which we write, is more limited than from the other divisions of the Society's operations in this quarter of the globe. Communications are fully anticipated from Messrs. Rattray, Watt, and Taylor ; and a pleasing assurance is cherished, that these will be equally gratifying with the portion of information above stated.
BERBICE. The state of mind induced among the negroes by the approach of the first of August, the submissive, docile, and pious spirit evinced by them in view of the approaching change, is so well depicted in the following passage of a letter from the Rev. S. Haywood, of Biyendaal station, in the Canje district, that although it is only anticipatory of the occasion referred to, being communicated under date of 4th July, we cannot omit its introduction into the present series of extracts.. Mr. Haywood observes :
The time is very near, and we are some- My own people seem prepared for the what anxious, but not at all fearful. We change. They view it as it approaches with are persuaded all will be well. Thousands calm and sincere joy. When I told them are looking to the Missionaries to direct the news, and asked them who had done them in all their affairs. They venture not this great thing for them, they burst into to stir or speak without advice. Although tears of joy, and only answered by pointing the agitation has only been commenced up to heaven. It has been suggested to within a few days, I have been visited by them as a part of their duty, that every man, people from all parts, and their first ques- woman, and child, should bring their first tion is, “Massa, what must we do? Any earnings, in a free state, an offering to God. thing Massa tells us we shall do.” They They were truly delighted with the idea, look with entire confidence to us. Oh that and I have no doubt that this will become we may have wisdom profitable to direct. general in all our congregations.
The Rev. D. Kenyon, stationed at Albion Chapel, on the Corentyne Coast, has furnished a truly pleasing account of the observance of the day. After referring to the ordinance and proclamation of the Governor, by which the enfranchisement of the prædial or field labourers was fixed to take place simultaneously with that of the non-prædial class, he thus proceeds :
A few days previous to this Mrs. Kenyon gust, invited our church members to drink and myself, conceiving it probable that all coffee with us in the school-room. The the people would be free on the 1st of Au- object of this social meeting was to ascertain their views and intentions, supposing them 36, “ If the Son shall make you free, ye to be in a state of liberty; and at the same shall be free indeed ;” and in the evening time, to impress upon their minds the ne- we opened a new chapel and school-house cessity of cultivating industrious habits in on Plantation Hampshire, which the neorder to promote their comfort and respect- groes of the estate erected with their own ability. The number of church members is hands, and at their own expense. At the now increased to 85, who were all present close of the service a collection was made on this occasion; and I consider that their for the London Missionary Society. There example in the measures they adopt will be are now two chapels which the Negroes followed by the whole Coast, as they are have fitted up themselves, and this enables the most intelligent and influential among me to perform Divine service occasionally the people. I was pleased to hear them on the Plantations where they reside. The mutually express their willingness and desire whole of the 1st of August was devoted to to labour for their present employers, and religious purposes, and the strictest deattach themselves to the localities where corum was observed. I am not aware of they have been for so many years, provided any person being in a state of intoxication ; they meet with good treatment, and equitable nor was there a single dance on any of the arrangements can be made for the interests estates, which was a matter of surprise to of the servant as well as the master.
some of the proprietors. of the church members observed, “Massa, The next day, the negroes in almost we Neger get punish too much before time, every part of Berbice prepared a dinner, to but we no remember dat story again. We which they invited their employers. Some heart no hot no more, for suppose we no of the latter made presents of an ox or a forgive men dere trespasses, our heavenly sheep to their people, and others wine or Father shall no forgive we.
I am sure porter ; for I am told in all cases where the Directors would have been delighted to rum was offered it was refused. On one have been present at this meeting, and to plantation the proprietor gave his negroes have heard the frequent references the peo- a cow and a sheep, and said they might ple made to the blessing of the Gospel as have rum and sugar to make as much the ground of all their anticipations, privi. punch as they could drink, but the headleges, and enjoyments.
man came forward, and said, “We thank On the first day of August the people be- Massa very well for the cow, and we gan to assemble themselves in the Chapel thank Massa very well for the sheep, but by seven o'clock in the morning. Scarcely we no want to drink rum and get drunk a negro was left on any of the estates, so this time. If Massa shall please give we a that the house of God was soon filled, and, few bottles of wine, we shall say, Thanky', indeed, surrounded with hearers. Divine Massa, and drink Massa's health.” service was commenced with a tribute of “A great reformation," continues Mr. praise and thanksgiving to the Most High Kenyon, " has taken place among the peofor deliverance from the yoke of bondage, and ple in this respect. Comparatively few are the realisation of this civil freedom which the now known to indulge to excess. Since the people had never before enjoyed. May they Gospel came among them they are ashamed all be brought into the glorious liberty of the of this practice; and by the religious and sons of God! In the middle of the day intelligent class of negroes the drunkard is my hearers were addressed from John viii. avoided.”
ary Society Berbice, to his Excellency
“SIR,—We the undersigned, Ministers of the Gospel in connexion with the London Missionary Society, desire to avail ourselves of your Excellency's visit to this part of British Guiana, to express the pleasure we feel at your appointment to the government of this important Colony, at a period so momentous, not only to the inhabitants themselves, but, as we conceive, to the whole civilised world.
“We beg leave most respectfully to congratulate your Excellency, that you are
called upon to administer the laws to a colony of free men; vast numbers of whom have been called to liberty' under your government, and with your approbation. We congratulate you, Sir, that one of your first public acts was to sign that document by which so many thousands of our fellowmen received the blessing of freedom.
“ As ministers of the Gospel, and as freeborn Britons, we are truly delighted at the auspicious change, and raise our hearts in grateful acknowledgments to God, who has caused such a mighty work to be accom
“ It is our earnest hope that all suitable means may be adopted to meet the importe ant alteration which has been effected in the circumstances of such a large class of
most respectfully to express our earnest hope, that invidious distinctions among sects and parties in religion will find no place in your administration; persuaded as we are that such distinctions must ever be injurious to religion, and detrimental to the best interests of men.
**We beg leave to address your Excellency, not only as ministers of the Gospel, but likewise as agents of the London Missionary Society—a society which has been remarkably favoured with the blessing of God, and the countenance and support of the religious public in Great Britain. The Mission in this colony was commenced by an eminent servant of God, the late Rev. John Wray, who laboured long, and laboured well; and whose exertions God blessed for a period of nearly 30 years, to an extent most remarkable and pleasing. He is gathered to his fathers; but the Mission which he was honoured to establish, and whose interests he lived to promote still survives ; yea, at no period of its history has it exhibited more indications of vigour, or given greater cause to its friends to be encouraged and gratified.
“That God may bestow upon your Excel. lency every temporal and spiritual favour, and make you a long and lasting blessing to this important colony, and its interesting inhabitants, is the ardent wish and earnest
people, so that religion, education, and good order may, by the Divine blessing, Hourish abundantly in this important colony of the British empire, believing as we do, that righteousness exalteth a nation, while sin is the reproach of any people.' For ourselves, as ministers of the Gospel, we beg leave to assure your Excellency, that we are most solicitous, and quite prepared to promote, to the utmost of our power, the best interests of our fellow-men, whatever may be their colour or their rank. It was this, and this alone, which induced us to leave the land of our fathers, the land of our earliest and best associations.
" By the blessing of God upon our exertions, in connexion with other ministers and friends of religion and education in the colony, we trust the time is near at hand, when our labouring population will be raised in the scale of being, and exhibit to the world a phenomenon at once delightful and satisfactory: men, formerly in bondage, invested with civil rights and privileges, with honour to themselves, and safety to the state of which they form a part. This, in our opinion, will tell most powerfully upon a world's destiny, and tend effectually to accelerate a world's liberty.
"We regard the proceedings of the first of August as a happy omen for the future. Our places of Worship, as well as others in the colony, were crowded; and the peaceable, devout, and grateful demeanour of the liberated negroes will never be forgotten by those who were privileged to behold it. We look forward with pleasure to the time when schools and means of religious instruction shall be more extensively provided, to meet the moral and spiritual wants of the labouring population ; in the promotion of which good work we shall ever be ready to co-operate, sustained, as we are sure we shall be, by the religious and enlightened public of our native land, the Directors of the London Missionary Society, and the wise and good of this free and prosperous colony, at the same time animated and encouraged by the promise and support of Almighty God. Our views are not sectarian- we have no sinister designs to promote-no worldly nor political objects to attain-peace on earth, good-will to men, and glory to God in the highest,' are the doctrines we preach, and the truths we enforce. It will afford us great and unfeigned pleasure to be honoured with your approbation and confidence, as well as that of other good and enlightened men.
" As loyal subjects of her Majesty Queen Victoria, (whom may God long preserve and bless,) we delight to uphold good government, and to give honour to whom honour is due. We hail your Excellency as the friend of civil and religious liberty; and we beg
* Your Excellency's * Most obedient and humble servants, “ Samuel Haywood, Minister, Orange
Chapel. DANIEL KENYON, Minister, Albion Chapel. GILES FORWARD, Minister, Lewis Chapel. H. S. SEABORN, Minister, Mission Chapel. JOHN EDWARDS, Minister, Hanover Chapel.
“ Berbice, 23rd August, 1838."
HIS EXCELLENCY'S REPLY. To the Ministers of the Gospel, in con
nexion with the London Missionary Society.
“ REVEREND SIRS,-In returning you thanks for your congratulations on my arrival at Berbice, and on my assuming the Government of this important colony, of which this county is a part, it is an agreeable duty, first, to express my satisfaction at being so cordially received by those, who, though of an Independent church and mi. nistry, look on me as the friend of all reli. gious sects, and as disposed to promote their laudable exertions in the cause of re. ligion and civilisation.
" It has been, indeed, a subject of selfcongratulation, that my first public act has been to abolish the last remnant of slavery; and the same pious feelings, which have caused you to offer up acknowledgments