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lished by our forefathers, and which continues to be such a source of profit ?" whilst the other contended, saying, "Is it right, because our ancestors were ignorant, still to adhere to a practice which places our children on a level with the beast, seeing we are now convinced that they, like ourselves, have immortal souls ?" This question having been repeatedly put to the old man alluded to, by one and another of the native converts, he at length gave up the point, and fully consented to the marriage, without further stipulation. A few days before this took place, I went into his hut, and found him very ill indeed; upon asking the cause, he told me it proceeded from an injury he had received in his back many years ago; but that he feared God was thereby about to terminate his life, because he had endeavoured to support the heathenish customs of their nation!
To despise and degrade the female sex," says Dr. Robertson, in his History of America, "is the characteristic of a savage state in every part of the globe. Man, proud of excelling in strength and in courage,-the chief marks of pre-eminence among rude people, treats woman, as an inferior, with disdain. Marriage itself, instead of being a union of affection and interests between equals, becomes among them the unnatural conjunction of a master with his slave. It is the observation of an author whose opinions are deservedly of great weight, that wherever wives are purchased, their condition is extremely depressed.'* They become the property and slaves of those who buy them. In whatever part of the globe this custom prevails, the observation holds. In countries where refinement has made some progress, women, when purchased, are excluded from society, shut up in sequestered apartments, and kept under the vigilant guard of their masters. In ruder nations they are, as already shown, degraded to the meanest functions. * Sketches of Hist. of Man. vol. i. p. 184
Thus the first institution of social life is perverted. That state of domestic union towards which nature leads the human species, in order to soften the heart to gentleness and humanity, is rendered so unequal as to establish a cruel distinction between the sexes, which forms the one to be harsh and unfeeling, and humbles the other to servility and subjection."
Just as I concluded divine service in the evening, we were called to witness the peaceful death of one of our female members. The hut in which she expired was one of mourning, and likewise one of joy. As soon as it was understood that her end was drawing near, the people flocked to the spot, and the room was speedily crowded to excess. All being anxious to see her, the press was so great that there was scarcely room to move. eyes had become dim, and the spirit was nearly gone when we arrived. Around her stood the husband and two or three children, weeping most bitterly; and whilst I engaged in prayer, death finished his work, releasing her from the tabernacle of clay, which she left without a sigh or a groan. During her affliction, which was long and severe, she was often tempted to think that her faith was all a delusion; but from this she obtained complete deliverance some days before her exit. Throughout the whole of her sufferings nothing appeared to distress her so much as the reflection, that she had not been so faithful to the grace given as she ought to have been. This she frequently expressed in the course of conversation, and deeply deplored her ungratefulness to the Saviour of sinners; to adopt her own words, "the very thought thereof rendered her heart sore." Her last moments were not marked by any thing like rapture or ecstasy, but she was blessed with a confident hope, through Jesus Christ, of everlasting life; and some of her last words were, "I am dying, I am dying in peace, through Jesus!"
About two o'clock P. M. the following day, the inhabitants of the Mission village were assembled, to attend the remains of this pious native to the grave. Not being able to get a coffin, the relatives wrapped up the body in mats, and constructed a bier of poles and branches. The people then repaired to the chapel, where I read the ninetieth Psalm, and likewise a part of the fifteenth chapter of the first of Corinthians; this done, a short hymn was sung, and the service concluded with prayer; after which, the procession moved off in regular order towards the burial ground, and solemn silence prevailed the whole way. Having arrived at the grave, dug by the relatives themselves, the corpse was lowered from the shoulders of the bearers, and placed in its dusty bed; upon which I addressed all present on the momentous subjects of death, judgment, and eternity. The sable group listened with the deepest attention, and when prayer was ended, returned to their homes in perfect quietness. Happy indeed was the contrast between this scene and that in the heathen hamlets around, where others were dragging out their dying relatives to be devoured by beasts of prey!
Writing from Plaatberg, in the Boochuana Territory, Oct. 31st, 1825, the Rev. T. L. Hodgson remarks: "Brother A. and I walked a short distance from the waggons, to see the body of a person said to have died in the night. The dogs and birds were feasting upon it with the greatest eagerness. As we approached the body, we found it to be that of a young woman, not in the least reduced by sickness, and from the blood on her head I fear she had been murdered. When will this people be so far civilized as to bury their dead? When will relations and friends be shocked at seeing, within view from the whole village, their own dogs feasting upon the body of one who but yesterday formed a part of their own company? But, alas! the life of a fellow-creature is considered by them of no value, nor their death of any import ance."
Annual firing of the Fields-An awful Judgment—Remarkable Providence-Morley Station-Umtata River-Remains of the Mantatee Army-Ambitious Design of the Zoolah King-Colonial Embassy-Attack upon Matuwana's Herders-Amanwana routed by British TroopsHeart-rending Scenes-Horrid Barbarity—An affecting Narrative-A Boy seized by the Wolf-Native Lads desirous of European Clothing-Sabbath morning Prayermeeting-Sunday-School-Different Names of DeityMore Missionaries wanted.
AUGUST 14th.-Between Butterworth and Morley, our newly-formed and most advanced station, there is a distance of eighty or ninety miles,* and not much communication. Having heard that a destructive fire had taken place there, and being in the dark as to particulars, I anxiously hastened to the spot as quickly as possible. Our friends had indeed had a very narrow escape, but report had greatly exaggerated the circumstance. So much does lying obtain amongst all classes in Caffraria, that the most palpable falsehoods constitute mere matters of jest. On inquiry it appeared that the long dry grass around the Mission premises one day took fire, and greatly endangered them. The soil on this part of the coast being exceedingly rich, and vegetation consequently very luxuriant, grass and herbaceous plants quickly attain an almost incredible height if the season be at all favourable. In many places a man on horseback might ride for miles together without being seen even by persons at
* This, however, refers to the route usually taken with waggons, which is necessarily somewhat circuitous.
the distance of twenty or thirty paces from him. This, of course, sometimes places the traveller in imminent danger, as the only paths he is able to pursue are, in general, such as have been made by the elephant, which may be silently plodding along at the same time.* At this season of the year, however, the natives usually burn off all the old grass, with the view of rendering the expected rains more beneficial. Hence, blackened fields, or fields of flame, every where presented themselves. Here the face of nature was rendered sombre indeed, and there sublime beyond description.
When the furious element was seen approaching, every possible effort was made to check it, but in vain. Several native families were obliged to desert their dwellings, and leave their small stock of household utensils behind; all which were speedily reduced to ashes. Amongst the sufferers was one whose loss was very serious. This was an English settler, who had for some time pre
* While on his way through the glens and forest of Zuur Berg in the year 1814, a Dutch soldier was suddenly met by one of these animals which destroyed him in a most awful manner. Having a musket on his shoulder at the time, he fired, but did not succeed in effecting a mortal wound. The ferocious beast being hereby irritated rather than hurt, instantly laid hold of him with his proboscis, and tore one of his legs entirely off. It then gave him a tremendous toss into the air, and lost him amongst the bushes, or would doubtless have trampled him into the earth. In this miserable condition he was found by one of his comrades shortly afterwards, and expired in the course of a few hours in agony the most dreadful. Awful to relate, this wretched man, having been displeased with the conduct of his aged mother (then in Holland) respecting some family affair, was frequently in the habit of swearing, that if ever he lived to see her, he would' "tear a limb from her body!" Happening one day to pass the very spot where the circumstance occurred, my guide, who was an old resident in that part of the country, assured me that he was well acquainted with this inhuman being, had often heard his shocking language, and was but a few miles from the place when he came to this horrible end.