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Sheffield as early as practicable ; but, I constitutional course, you chose at once to am sorry to say, that hitherto it has been
separate yourself from us ; for the formal impossible, and seems likely to continue resignation of your connexion with the SO.
Gold-Coast Mission cannot be regarded in The reasons assigned by him for the any other light than as a withdrawal from conclusion that it was not likely that he our body. If the principle were once ad. should visit Sheffield were, delay experi mitted, that an agent of the Society might enced at the Custom-house in the passing throw up, at pleasure, his connexion with of his luggage, and personal indisposition, any particular Mission, and then deliwhich he supposed would render it neces. berately choose his own time to return to sary that he should proceed to the north to this country and claim some other appointsee his friends.
ment from the Conference, the efficient Sympathy for Mr. Watson, on account
management of our widely-extended Misof his sudden indisposition, was produced sions would become an utter impossibility, by the receipt of this letter; but as he and their interests might be successively proposed to undertake a journey to the sacrificed by dissatisfied individuals. To north, it was confidently hoped that he this the Conference cannot consent; and would, at all events, be able to call at
your name is accordingly struck off the Sheffield on his way, and secure an ar list of probationers, the Conference being rangement for bearing his “appeal" at unwilling to make any further trial of one some future opportunity, when he might who, as far as can be judged from docube sufficiently recovered to go into an mentary evidence, appears to have acted investigation of the whole case ; for he with so little regard to
our laws and well knew that, as he had, without permis usages. sion, or previous notice given to the Com " It is matter of regret that roa did not mittee, thrown up his connexion with the secure a personal hearing at the ConferGold-Coast Mission, on the ground that he
The consideration of your case had matters of complaint against Mr. was delayed until it was ascertained that Freeman, the Conference must, during you did not consider yourself well enough that very session, decide whether he should to attend; and in order that you may hare be intrusted with the management of a the fullest opportunity of vindicating your Mission-station elsewhere, or his name self, if you object to the decision which I should be dropped from the list of proba now communicate, you are at liberty to tioners. Mr. Watson, however, passed by appeal to the President of the Conference, Sheffield without so much as calling, or who will give you an opportunity of meetgiving any further intimation of his move. ing the Committee of Discipline, and es. ments ; and the Conference, just before plaining your proceedings at length. Any breaking up, adopted the conclusion that communications which you may have to make he could not any longer be regarded as an upon the subject, must be addressed to the agent of the Society, unless, however, on a President of the Conference, City-Road personal hearing, he should satisfactorily chapel, London, vindicate the course he had pursued.
“Be assured that the writing of this Almost immediately after his return to letter is to me an irksome duty. I had London, Mr. Beecham made known this hoped that you would become a respectdecision to Mr. Watson in the following able and useful Missionary." letter, dated August 29th, 1843:
On the 31st of August, and, it would “I embrace an early opportunity after seem, before this letter had reached him, my return to town to communicate to you Mr. Watson, writing from Croft, Dear the judgment of the Conference on your Darlington, addressed a letter to the Mis
sionary Secretaries, requesting to be in“ The economy of Methodism makes formed what was the conclusion adopted by ample provision for the protection of our the Conference in reference to his case. In Missionaries against the tyrannous exercise this letter he remarks, of power on the part of any of their “I can substantiate every charge that I brethren ; and it was both your privilege have preferred, and could, if need be, preand duty, when you felt yourself aggrieved fer and substantiate others of a highly criby the acts of your Superintendent, (the minal cbaracter, which I bare passed over Rev. T. B. Freeman,) immediately to have in silence, justly considering those already sent your case, in writing, to the General made sufficient to justify my conduct in Secretaries in London,--giving a copy of returning home and laying my complaint the same to Mr. Freeman,--and have before the Committee." awaited the decision of the tribunal to The next letter was addressed by Mr. which all questions of discipline are re Watson to the Rer. John Scott, President ferred in the intervals of the sittings of the Conference. But, instead of pursuing this ing the receipt of Mr. Beecham's letter
of the Wesleyan Conference, acknowledg.
which communicated to him the decision To this letter no answer was returned of the Conference. This letter was dated, until Mr. Brooking had left England, and “ Near Durham, Oct. 20, 1843," and was was on his voyage to the Gold-Coast; as follows :
when, on the 13th of January, 1844, Mr. “ I presume that you are aware of my Watson thus addressed the President:having returned to England without the “ My haring delayed to answer your leave of the Missionary Committee, and farour of the 10th of October, 1843, will of my reasons for so doing. I thought doubtless bave led you to conclude that I the reasons I assigned in my letter to the have resolved to withdraw from all comCommittee, dated Dix-Cove, February 6th, munion with the Wesleyan Methodists. 1843, sufficient to justify the course I Such resolution, however, I now commupursued; but it appears that the Con nicate... ference has determined otherwise, as I “As I am entering another communion, have been informed by Mr. Beecham, that, I should feel much obliged to you and the in consequence of my unauthorized return Missionary Secretaries, to favour me with home, my name has been struck off the
your testimonials to my character and list of probationers.
deportment while I have been connected “ I hereby write to inquire whether I with them.” am to regard the above decision as final, To this communication the President, and as an approval of the present state of under date of January 13th, 1844, rethe Gold-Coast Mission, or not.
plied,“ My health and spirits, I am happy to “For any testimonial to your character state, are exceedingly good. Should you which may serve you in your arrangements condescend to favour me with a reply, for the future, I must refer you to the direct for me at Mr. Michael Watson's, Missionary Secretaries, to whom you are Little-Town, Durham.”
well known ;-in nothing which í might On receiving this letter the President write could I speak from personal knowconsulted with the Missionary Secretaries; ledge. Allow me, however, to say, that it and, as the Rev. Robert Brooking, one of would only be just and honourable were the oldest of the Gold-Coast Missionaries, you to propose a repayment of the expense was then on a visit to this country, it was which it cost the Missionary Society to deemed most desirable that, if Mr. Wat. support you in the Theological Institution, son did really intend to attempt to sub while preparing for the Christian ministry, stantiate his charges against Mr. Freeman, to send you out to Africa as a Missionary, in opposition to his (Mr. Freeman's) and to bring you home from that counreply, which had then come to hand, a try." hearing should take place while Mr. It may be proper, in passing, to remark, Brooking was upon the spot to assist in the that no character was given by the Misinvestigation. The President therefore sionary Secretaries ; nor was there, in fact, wrote to Mr. Watson in answer as follows, any application for one received at the under date October 10th, 1843:
Mission-House, either from the individual “The decision of your case at the Con- himself, or from any other person, in ference is înal, unless you appeal against behalf of the religious community into it.
which he was then entering. “ If you think yourself wronged by your The real name and address of “Omega" name being struck off the list of proba. having been given up at the “ Times tioners, I repeat what Mr. Beecham has office to a legal gentleman, as
“ John already told you,- that you are at liberty Watson,” now of “St. Bees," it will be to appeal to the President of the Confer seen from the preceding extracts that ence, who will give you an opportunity of “ Omega" not only had at least two or meeting the Committee of Discipline, and three invitations addressed to him to appear explaining your proceedings at length. From before the proper authorities, but that he, the Secretaries i learn that your letter of moreover, acknowledges that he actually reasons for leaving your charge at the received them. In the first instance, in Gold-Coast in the manner you did has his letter of August 3d, 1843, he acknowbeen placed in the hands of Mr. Freeman, ledges that he had been recommended by and his answer has been received, so that Mr. Hoole to visit Sheffield as early as they are ready to give his answer to your practicable, to attend the Conference--the allegations. Should you consider it ad ecclesiastical tribunal to which both Mr. visable to make an appeal, it is requisite Freeman and himself were amenable ; on that you do so at once, as Mr. Brooking, the 2d of October, he acknowledges that who has some knowledge of the matters in he had received Mr. Beecham's letter of question, is expected to leave England the 29th of August, informing him of the soon, and the Committee of Discipline decision of the Conference, and that it doubtless will desire to have his evidence." was for himself to say whether he would
have a hearing or not; and then, in his in his letter of this day, that no invitations letter of the 13th of January last, he ac to meet the proper authorities had eter knowledges that he had received Mr. Pre reached him, and that he doubts rhether sident Scott's letter of the 10th of Octo- they were ever sent? The public will ber, from which it will appear that another judge in this matter; and will also decide opportunity of a hearing was afforded, and whether the slightest reliance can be that he was urged, if he meant to avail henceforth placed upon whatever assertion himself of it, to do so without delay, while such an individual may choose to make. Mr. Brooking, a competent witness from
JOHN BEECHAM, the Gold-Coast, and who had also been at
ROBERT ALDER, Kumasi, was upon the spot, who could
ELIJAH HOOLE, give testimony on all the points involved in
Secretaries of the Wesleyar his charges against Mr. Freeman. What
Missionary Society. then becomes of the solemn assereration Wesleyan Mission-House, Bishopsgateof “ Omega,” otherwise “John Watson," Street-Within, November 7th.
IV. On the preceding documents it is not necessary to enlarge. Leaving them to repeat upon others, who have not before seen them, the same impression which, we are thankful to know, was produced upon the minds of numbers who perused them on their first appearance; we proceed at once to the performance of a gratifying task, and lay before our friends a number of testimonials to the general character of Vr. Freeman, and the beneficial effects of the Gold-Coast Mission, which have been spontaneously offered by respectable parties, who, from their connexion with Africa, possess the means of acquiring correct information respecting African affairs ; and who, being, for the most part, unconnected with the Society, must be regarded in the light of independent and disinterested witnesses.
The first in point of time are the valuable letters already alluded to as published by J. Topp, and J. H. Akhurst, Esqrs., both residents at the Gold-Coast; to which we add the welcome communications of W. B. Hutton, Esq., and Sons, London, and Matthew Forster, Esq., M.P., wbo have extensive commercial intercourse with Western Africa, and are thus capable of forming a correct estimate of the Missionary operations carried on under Mr. Freeman's superintendence; appending, also, a handsome letter from George Smith, Esq., and Sons, a respectable commercial firm of Glasgow. I. FIRST LETTER OF J. TOPP, ESQ.
affairs of the Society have been conducted To the Editor of the Times.
under the direction of Mr. Freeman, to Sir,-My attention having been drawn state that that gentleman is entitled to the to an anonymous communication in your highest credit for the services which he has paper of to-day, respecting the proceed. rendered to the cause of Christianity and ings of the Rev. T. B. Freeman, and the civilisation in that part of the world. other Wesleyan Missionaries on the Gold With respect to the particular charges Coast of Africa, and containing accusations brought forward in the communication in calculated, and probably designed, to damage question, I have no doubt that in due tine their influence and lessen their usefulness; the parties chiefly concerned will afford the I feel it my duty, having resided during the most satisfactory explanation. last ten years as a merchant on the spot, I am, Sir, your obedient serrant, and in a position to take an impartial and
J. TOPP. disinterested view of the way in which the 56, Beaumont-Square, Oct. 25th.
II. LETTER OF J. H. AKHURST, ESQ.
the best opportunities of observing the Sir,-Having been many years a resi
conduct of the Rev. Thomas B. Freedent on the Gold-Coast, and having had man during the whole period of his super
intendence of the Wesleyan Mission in low-labourers, has been instrumental in that part of Africa, I consider that I owe promoting, has secured for him the esteem it to the cause of truth and justice to bear of all who are interested in the advancetestimony to the excellence of his charac ment of Christian instruction and civilisater, and the unwearied diligence and fide tion; and from the judicious manner in lity with which he has endeavoured to dis which, from my own personal observation charge the important duties which have made upon the spot, he commenced operadevolved upon him, and to express my tions at Badagry and Whydah, I entertain deep conviction that the serious allegations the persuasion that similar benefits will preferred against bim by “Omega,” in the result from his labours in those important “ Times” of Friday last, have no founda- places, and am confident that his return tion in truth. I do not believe him to be to the shores of Africa will be welcomed capable of such a dereliction of principle by all classes of society there. as he is charged with by your correspond. I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, ent. The improrement in the character
J. H. AKHURST. and condition of the natives on the Gold 12, Crown-place, Mile-end-road, Oct. 30th. Coast, which Mr. Freeman, with his fel
III. SECOND LETTER OF J. TOPP, ESQ.
Freeman, contained in the letter sigued To Mr. John Watson, of St. Bees.
“ Omega,” is not altered by finding you are London. Nov. 4th, 1844. the author of the letter. SIR,—I have received your letter of The only portion of your letter to the 31st ult. Your strictures upon my which I feel in courtesy called upon to communication to the editor of the reply, is the postscript, in which you re“Times,” in reply to an anonymous attack quest to be informed whether either my on Mr. Freeman, of which you confess brother, Mr. Cruikshank, or the late Goyourself the author, are couched in terms vernor of the Gold-Coast, Captain Macso unbecoming, as to preclude me from lean, are in England. The reply I have offering any reply to that portion of your to make is, that none of those gentlemen letter, farther than to assure you I am not are in Europe at present: if any of them to be bullied into silence on this or any had been, it might not have been necessary other subject on which I may feel called for me to use my feeble pen in Mr. Freeupon to express my sentiments. A man man's defence. I have the satisfaction, who, under anonymous colours, drags ano however, to inform you, that Captain ther to the bar of public opinion in a public Maclean has already arrived at Boston, in newspaper, has no right to demand of anp the United States, on his way to this counone to “ stand aloof” from giving his opi- try, and that he may be daily expected. nion and testimony in defence of the per I am, Sir, your obedient servant, son attacked. The opinion I have publicly
J. TOPP. given in reference to the attacks on Mr.
IV. LETTER OF W. B. FIUTTON, ESQ., AND SONS. Watling-street, Sept. 18th, 1844. sure to add it. We earnestly hope that GENTLEMEN,-We beg to enclose they will receive encouragement from every you a check for twenty guineas, towards friend to Africa, and continue to prosper. your Missions in Western Africa, and re We are, Gentlemen, your very faithquest you will insert our firm as subscribers
ful servants, of two guineas annually thereto.
(Signed) W. B. HUTTON AND Sons. If any testimony of ours were wanting To the Secretaries of the Wesleyan Miss to the usefulness of your labours in that
sionary Society, London. portion of Africa, it would give us plea
LETTER OF MATTHEW FORSTER, ESQ., M.P. New City-Chambers, Nov. 12th, 1844. desire it to be applied to your proposed MY DEAR SIR,-I think the present Mission at Whydah, where, I think, a a fitting moment to testify my humble Mission would have the double good effect opinion of the value of your Missionary of promoting Christianity, and checking labours on the Gold-Coast of Africa, by the slave-trade. presenting you with a draft for twenty
I am, my dear Sir, five guineas, in aid of those labours.
Yours sincerely, If, in place of leaving it to your better
M. FORSTER. judgment, I might venture to express a To the Rev. T. B. Freeman. wish as to the application of it, I would
LETTER OF GEORGE SMITH, ESQ., AND SONS.
Glasgow, Nov. 13th, 1844. ling, being our share of the passage. GENTLEMEN,–Our bark “ Oriental," money, as a donation to your Mission, and on her passage from Calcutta, in June in the hope it may be useful for the exlast, called at Ascension for supplies, from tension of the boundaries of the Redeemer's whence she brought your Missionary, the kingdom. Rev. T. B. Freeman, as passenger.
We are yours most rest We have now the pleasure to hand
GEORGE SUTH AND SONS, you a bank-order for twenty pounds ster To the Secretaries of the Wesleyan Missioni.
SPEECH OF CAPTAIN FOOTE, R. N. In the next instance, we most thankfully copy from the columns of the “ Watchman” newspaper a report of the speech of Captain Foote, R.N., delivered at a Missionary Meeting, held at Devonport, in aid of the funds of the Wesleyan Society. This distinguished officer, who has rendered such great services to the cause of humanity, during the period in which he commanded the British squadron employed on the coast of Guinea, for the suppression of the slave-trade, has had the most ample opportunities for observing the conduct of our Missionaries, and marking the effect of their labours, along the whole line of coast, from Dix-Cove on the west, to Badagry on the east ; and he has entitled himself to the warmest thanks of the Society, for the kind attention which he has invariably shown to Mr. Freeman and his brother Missionaries, and the interest which he has always practically manifested in their various important undertakings. The report is as follows:
Ar a meeting of the Morice-Town Mis. he (Captain Foote) was unaccustomed to sionary Society, Devonport, on Monday, appear on the platform of a Missionary among the speakers was Captain Foote, Meeting, yet he could not resist acquiescing who has just returned from the Western in the invitation of the Committee to come coast of Africa, wbere, for three years, he on the present occasion, to refute the vile commanded the squadron on that station. and calumnious statements, written by He cheerfully bore testimony to the in “Omega," which he had lately read in defatigable zeal and usefulness of the the public papers. He characterized the Wesleyan Missionaries, but especially to Rev. T. B. Freeman as the most devoted, the services of the Rev. T. B. Freeman, pious, and zealous Missionary he had ever with whom he had often corresponded, and known, and one that was not only highly whom he had frequently seen. A part qualified to advance the spiritual interests of his correspondence he read, to show of those among whom he laboured, but the intense interest which that devoted to improve their temporal condition, by servant of Christ took in the welfare of the hastening the downfal of the accursed degraded sons of Africa. And although slave-trade.
In immediate connexion with this, we gratefully place the letter of W. Cook, Esq., one of the Commissioners appointed in the name of Her Britannic Majesty to accompany the expedition to the Niger. This estimable gentleman paid great attention to the state of things at the Gold-Coast, and made minute inquiries as to the working of our Mission there, and the effect which it was producing upon the native population. His testimony is peculiarly valuable, as furnishing a striking illustration of the fact, that the Missionaries do not allow persons to become members of our religious society, who are living in what is properly concubinage, or fornication.
VIII. LETTER OF W. COOK, ESQ. To the Editor of the Watchman. culating reports injurious to the character SIR,-As a portion of the public press of the Wesleyan Mission established on has lately been made the medium of cir. the western coast of Africa, but more