|CHAPTER XXVII. -- CONFERENCE AT MONROVIA--ENTERTAINING THE BISHOP--SIERRA -- LEONE--GRAND CANARY--A STRANGE DREAM--CONFERENCE -- AT BASSA--BISHOP TAYLOR.|
Monrovia, Jan. 1st, 1885. The morning is lovely, and my note of praise is, "Oh! Lord, I will praise Thee, and in the great congregation I will tell of Thy wonderful works. Thou hast brought me through deep waters the past year. I will praise Thee while I have being. Praise the Lord!."
The ladies are holding a bazar in the parlors of the mansion of Mrs. President Roberts. They don't hold their bazars and fairs in the churches in Africa. That is one good thing. I go down and spend an hour. Feeling very weak and bad, I go home.
Friday, Jan. 9th. Praise the Lord for this day. The President vetoes a bill for taking the duties off imported gin and whisky. Amen. Thank God. A great triumph for our temperance people, It is a noble act, and it took a man of courage to do it just at this time. There has been much prayer among the people, and especially in our band meetings. We are expecting the Bishop, and think we are in good condition for a blessing.
Wednesday, Jan. 21st. How glad I am to be here just at this time, and so to help the Bishop a little. It appears that somehow Brother Ware and the official brethren have had some little misunderstanding; so the end of it is to be the paying of a large sum for the Bishop's board. He has arranged this matter with Mr. R.E. Sherman, who is a merchant, and has a fine large house--the next in rank, for size, to the President's mansion.
Mr. Sherman is one of the leading Deacons in the Presbyterian Church. So it is with him Brother Ware has arranged that the Bishop shall stop. He is to have his boats and crew all ready to go to meet the Bishop, as soon as the gun fires, and the steamer is
Mr. Sherman does not object to taking the Bishop, but thinks it would not look so well, when there are men in the Methodist Church who have good houses, and are amply able to entertain the Bishop, or anyone else. Brother Henry Cooper is the leading Steward; he and his son, Jesse, both have their own large brick houses, and are prosperous merchants, and they have their own boats and crews. Then there is Brother Campbell, also a Class Leader and Steward in the Methodist Church, with a beautiful home. But they do not know anything about Brother Ware's arrangement. After he has thus completed all his arrangements, he goes up the river.
On Wednesday night we had a very precious meeting. I had given a talk on the message of holiness; well, it is a kind of lecture from that grand little book, called the Believer's Hand-book of Holiness, by Brother Davies. I gave this talk to the people; and then we closed with a consecration meeting. 'The Lord helped us very greatly. As we were going out from the church it was whispered to me:
"Did you know that Brother Ware had arranged for Bishop Taylor, when he comes, to stop with Mr. Sherman?"
And then it went, just like a thing will go in Liberia. So off I started for the facts in the case. As I got to Brother Sherman's gate, he was standing talking with some one. He spoke to me very kindly, and said:
"Well, Mrs. Smith, I hear your Bishop is coming."
"Yes," I said, "so I have heard; and that he is to be your guest."
"Well, yes," he said; "how is it that you folks can't take care of your Bishop?"
This remark was meant as a joke, of course.
"Well, now," I said, "that is a pity, when we have such men in the Methodist Church as Brother Henry Cooper, and Mr. Gabriel Moore, and others. But I think we can relieve you of that task, Mr. Sherman. Though I think it is very kind in you to be willing to entertain the Bishop. But I'm going to see Brother Cooper about it."
"Well," he said, "Brother Ware came to me before he went
"Certainly," I said: "and when there are those who are so able to do it, without troubling you."
So I thanked him, and off I went to Brother Cooper's and told him all about it.
"Yes, Sister Smith," he said, "we are expecting the Bishop here. But Brother Ware had said nothing to me about his arrangement."
"Well, that is the way it is. And the steamer may come to-night or to-morrow. So you get your boat and everything ready, and then tell Mr. Sherman that you or Jesse will see to getting the Bishop ashore."
So all was arranged, and I went home and left the rest with the Lord. The people were glad that I did what I could.
The next morning was a lovely morning, as mornings in Africa generally are. I was very busy all day. In the afternoon I went up town and made some calls. About seven o'clock in the evening, a messenger came to Mrs. Moore's, where I was, and said the Bishop had come, and had gone to the church. It was our regular preaching night; so the Bishop, when he arrived, made his way straight to the church.
My! when I heard it. I went on double-quick down town; went to the church, and there was the Bishop in the pulpit. He preached a powerful sermon, from the text: "Thy will be done." And, as the people generally turned out well Thursday nights, the Bishop had a good congregation, and the people generally were delighted. I was delighted beyond expression. I had seen him before and knew him. Praise the Lord.
"Well, how did he get ashore?"
When the steamer arrived, she didn't fire her gun signal, as usual; she had no cargo for that port; only came in to let the Bishop off; so the captain sent him ashore in one of the steamer's boats, with the chief officer; so that Brother Cooper did not have to launch his boat, though he was all ready, and Jesse had seen the steamer, and was at the wharf getting ready to send off, when lo, and behold! there was the Bishop before him.
What a beautiful victory this was. How often I have stood