|CHAPTER XXXI. -- LIBERIA--BUILDINGS--THE RAINY SEASON--SIERRA LEONE--ITS -- PEOPLE--SCHOOLS--WHITE MISSIONARIES--COMMON SENSE -- NEEDED--BROTHER JOHNSON'S EXPERIENCE--HOW WE GET ON IN AFRICA.|
Then, the white missionaries, as a rule, give better satisfaction, both to the natives and to the church or society which sends them out.
I suppose no church or society ever gave a salary to a colored man, no matter how efficient he was, as large as they give to a white man or woman, no matter how inefficient he or she may be in the start; and I think they are generally expected to do more work. This I think is a great mistake.
I believe that the death of the grandest black missionary I ever knew, Rev. Joseph Gomer, of the Shanghai Mission, was hastened through over-work and pressing need, and salary and means for work being cut down, and great anxiety because of the urgent demand for the work.
For pure Christian integrity, and untarnished moral character, and fatherly sympathy and love for the poor heathen, he had but few equals in Africa, if any.
"Then you think, Mrs. Smith, it is better that white missionaries should go to Africa."
Yes, if they are the right kind. If they are thoroughly converted and fully consecrated and wholly sanctified to God, so that all their prejudices are completely killed out, and their hearts are full of love and sympathy, and they have firmness of character, and good, broad, level-headed common sense, and are possessed of great patience, and strong, persistent, persevering faith, and then keep up the spirit of earnest prayer to Almighty God, day and night. I do not say that it is necessary to be under a dead strain all the time; not at all; but my own personal experience is that the more one prays and trusts in God, the better he can get on, especially in Africa.
Everything is so different from what you have it at home, that this is an absolute necessity; and the person that has not got the stick-to-itiveness on these lines, especially, whatever else he may have, will not make a good missionary in Africa, whether he be white or black.
I have known some white missionaries who have gone to
And I have known some who have done disreputable things, and it has had its effect on the motives and principles of the good missionaries, until they have had time enough patiently to live it down, and have proved to the Liberians and natives that there is a difference, even in white missionaries.
But thank God. He has sent some who have fully answered to what I have said before. There are one or two who come to my mind now, who, I believe, in every particular fill the bill. I refer to Miss Lizzie McNeil, who, it seems to me, is a born missionary, and to Miss Whitfield. There are numbers of others; but I speak of these because I know them personally, and know their work.
I remember the first party of Bishop Taylor's missionaries that came to Cape Palmas while I was there. The steamer got in on Saturday afternoon; six of the men came ashore Saturday evening; the others, with their families, remained till morning, and they all got ashore in time for church Sunday morning.
Dear Brother Harnard preached a grand sermon. He was the leader, or bishop, of the party. They were all so full of hope and cheer. How bright and happy they all seemed to be. Brother Harnard had two beautiful children, about two and four years of age, I suppose; and the people, natives and all, were so delighted with them. Some of them have never seen white children so young; and then they were so beautifully trained; and Brother and Sister Harnard were so good and kind to every one.
Brother Pratt, Bishop Taylor's agent in Cape Palmas, whatever he may be now, was certainly the best man that Bishop Taylor could have got anywhere to fill the position, at the time. Oh, how faithfully that man worked. How he sacrificed his home, and everything for the work. His poor wife was sick all the time; suffered--Oh! what a sufferer she was; but she was second in everything for the success and good of Bishop Taylor's work.
He took Brother Harnard and his wife and two children, and two of the other men, Brother Johnson and Brother Miller, to his house. Sister Harmon and I had arranged to take care of three