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then is too grave a subject for polished polemics to trifle with. Let such open their eyes to the appalling fact, which hourly stares us in the face, that millions of immortal souls, to whose affecting cries for help it has become imperative upon us to give echo, are already in the very jaws of death; and this will surely produce a spirit of earnest pleading, rather than of powerless, sportive, or conjectural harangue.
"Whoever has had any opportunity of examining into the religious opinions of persons in the inferior ranks of life, even in the most enlightened and civilized nations, will find that their system of belief is derived from instruction, not discovered by inquiry. That numerous part of the human species whose lot is labour, whose principal and almost sole occupation is to secure subsistence, views the arrangement and operations of nature with little reflection, and has neither leisure nor capacity for entering into that path of refined and intricate speculation which conducts to the knowledge of the principles of natural religion. In the early and most rude periods of savage life, such disquisitions are altogether unknown. When the intellectual powers are just beginning to unfold, and their first feeble exertions are directed towards a few objects of primary necessity and use; when the faculties of the mind are so limited, as not to have formed abstract or general ideas; when language is so barren, as to be destitute of names to distinguish anything that is not perceived by some of the senses; it is preposterous to expect that man should be capable of tracing with accuracy the relation between cause and effect; or to suppose that he should rise from the contemplation of the one to the knowledge of the other, and form just conceptions of a Deity, as the Creator and Governor of the universe. The idea of creation is so familiar wherever the mind is enlarged by science, and illuminated with revelation, that we seldom reflect how profound and abstruse this idea is,
or consider what progress man must have made in observation and research, before he could arrive at any knowledge of this elementary principle in religion. Accordingly whole tribes have been discovered, which have no idea whatever of a Supreme Being, and no rites of religious worship. Inattentive to that magnificent spectacle of beauty and order presented to their view, unaccustomed to reflect either upon what they themselves are, or to inquire who is the author of their existence, men, in their savage state, pass their days like the animals around them, without knowledge or veneration of any superior power.
Among some of the tribes indeed, still in the infancy of improvement, we discern apprehensions of some invisible and powerful beings. These apprehensions are originally indistinct and perplexed, and seem to be suggested rather by the dread of impending evils than to flow from gratitude for blessings received. While nature holds on her course with uniform and undisturbed regularity, men enjoy the benefits resulting from it, without inquiring concerning its cause. But every deviation from this regular course rouses and astonishes them. When they behold events to which they are not accustomed, they search for the reasons of them with curiosity. Their understanding is unable to penetrate into these; but imagination, a more forward and ardent faculty of the mind, decides without hesitation. It ascribes the extraordinary occurrences in nature to the influence of invisible beings;
See Biet, p. 539; Lery ap. de Bry, iii. p. 221; Nieuhoff, Church. Coll. ii. p. 132; Lettr. Edif. ii. 177; Vinegas i. p. 87; Lozano Descrip. del Gran Chaco, p. 59; Fernand. Mission de Chiquit, p. 39; Gumilla ii. p. 156; Rocheforte Hist. des Antilles, p. 468; Margrave Hist. in Append. de Chiliensibus, p. 286; Ulloa Notic. Americ. p. 335, &c.; Barrere, pp. 218, 219; Harcourt, Voy. to Guiana; Purch. Pilgr., iv. p. 127; Jones's Jour.. nal. p. 59.
and supposes that the thunder, the hurricane, and the earthquake are effects of their interposition.
"Were we to trace back the ideas of other nations to that rude state in which history first presents them to view, we should discover a surprising resemblance in their tenets and practices; and should be convinced that in similar circumstances, the faculties of the human mind hold nearly the same course in their progress, and arrive at almost the same conclusions. The impressions of fear are conspicuous in all the systems of superstition formed in this situation. The most exalted notions of men rise no higher than to a perplexed apprehension of certain existences whose power, though supernatural, is limited as well as partial. Amongst other tribes, however, which have been longer united, or have made greater progress in improvement, we discern some feeble pointing towards more just and adequate conceptions of the power that presides in nature. They seem to perceive that there must be some universal cause to whom all things are indebted for their being. If we may judge by some of their expressions, they appear to acknowledge a divine power to be the maker of the world, and the disposer of all events. They denominate him the Great Spirit. * But these ideas are faint and confused; and when they attempt to explain them, it is manifest, that the word spirit has a meaning very different from that in which we employ it; and that they have no conception of any deity but what is corporeal." +
Charlev. N. Fr., iii. p. 343; Sagard. Voy. du Pays des Hurons. p. 226.
+ Robertson's History of America, Book iv. pp. 65-70.
Other causes of War amongst the Tribes-Unrighteous con. duct of Colonists-Gonaqua's " Tale of woe"-Extraordinary Barbarity-Colonial Boundaries-CommandoesBattle between S’Lhambi and Gaika-History of Makanna —Cession of Kaffer Territory.
WHILE feudal systems have for ages been thus lamentably desolating the interior of the country, the destroyer has had yet other engines in awful play upon the more southern tribes. The unrighteous conduct of colonists, who from time to time settled in their borders, frequently proved a far more serious and destructive cause of warfare to the Kaffers, than any originating amongst them. selves. Not satisfied with encroaching upon their territories, they oft-times reduced whole hordes from a state of pastoral affluence to one of extreme indigence. Nor was this the worst many were decoyed from their homes and enslaved ; and their offspring, born in the houses of their task-masters, often sold amongst goods and chattels belonging to the estate. Making every allowance for exaggeration occasioned by excitement of feeling on the recollection of past wrongs, the accounts of the natives themselves cannot be heard without pain and indignation. But official documents, under seal and signature of the Colonial Government, are quite sufficient, independently of oral testimony, to prove the oppression and tragic scenes of former days.
The black nations of Southern Africa were doubtless known, and that advantageously, to the Dutch, Portuguese,
and other navigators, long before the commencement of the eighteenth century; but a despatch sent to Holland by the Governor and Council of the Cape of Good Hope, under date of April 1st, 1703, furnishes the first official account of intercourse between them and the colonists. From the contents of this document the principles of that age are made fully manifest. A number of Dutch farmers openly confessed that, under the pretence of trading with a certain tribe, called the Kabuquas, they, together with their 'Hottentot attendants, ninety in number, had attacked the said Kaffers, and robbed them, and two kraals of Hottentots, of great herds of cattle and sheep, killing numbers of the people." Although the Government highly disapproved of the nduct of these freebooters, the following extract from the despatch renders it indubitably evident that they were never brought to justice
Regarding the well-deserved punishment which these barterers ought to receive, we have as yet not dared to proceed about it, because the half of the colony would be ruined, so great is the number of inhabitants implicated, whose poor wives and innocent children would fall into the deepest misery." The Governor and Council then concluded that the affair, being of such vast "consequence to the colony, ought to be passed over, with the intention to take good care that no further opportunity be given to commit such acts."
But however good might be the intentions and enactments of the then existing Government, it is abundantly manifest that they were not enforced in any way that was at all calculated to put a stop to the nefarious and sanguinary schemes of wicked and lawless men. Being at a great distance from the seat of government, and scattered over a wide extent of country, which by means of arms and ammunition he had cleared of its original and rightful inhabitants, each boor was accustomed to regard himself as lord of the manor. In the absence of all checks, civil,