OF CASES OF
As found already existing in
CONVERTS FROM HEATHENISM.
JOHN WILLIAM COLENSO, D.D.,
Lord Bishop of Natal.
MAY & DAVIS, CHURCH STREET, PIETERMARITZBURG.
HAVING observed, in the Natal journals of late, some articles on the subject of polygamy, which require, I think, a reply from those, who have given more serious attention to the question, than the writers of the said articles appear generally to have done, I have thought it proper to set on paper the following observations.
I need scarcely say that, as a, Christian, and more especially as a Member and Minister of the Church of England, believing that the holy estate of Matrimony represents to us in a mystery the "Spiritual Marriage and Union which exists betwixt Christ and His Church," I am not likely to have said any thing, in my Ten Weeks, or elsewhere, to invalidate the sanctity of marriage, or to represent the state of polygamy as in any way desirable or commendable. I believe, of course, that the practice is at variance with the whole spirit of Christianity, and must eventually be rooted out by it, wherever it comes. And I believe that it is our duty, as Christian men and Ministers, to aim at its extirpation among the natives of this land, as speedily as possible.
But I certainly expressed a doubt, in my published Journal, whether the method, at present adopted by the Missionaries, of requiring a man, who had more than one wife, to put away all but one, before he could be received to Christian Baptism, was the right way of accomplishing this end. I have since given much closer consideration to the question, and I have now no hesitation in saying, that I believe the above-mentioned rule to be unwarranted by Scripture, opposed to the practice of the Apostles, condemned by common reason, and altogether unjustifiable.
 I could wish that the communications hitherto made upon the subject, (with the exception of one by my friend, Dr. Bleek, in the last Natal Mercury), had contained less of declamation and more of argument. It is most desirable that a question of such grave importance to the progress of our missionary work among the heathen, and, through that, to the whole colony, should be dispassionately considered, Of course, I most fully believe that those, who have expressed themselves so strongly on the matter, have acted conscientiously, because they felt strongly, and thought they were really serving the interests of religion and morality, by the vehement protests they were making. I have some hope that they will be compelled to confess that they have judged hastily and rashly, and have written more harshly upon the matter than the truth required; and, at all events, that there is far higher and stronger authority, for the view which I take of this question, than they had at all imagined. And, as for my brethren, the Missionaries, who, doubtless, have acted from the best and purest motives, in the course they have hitherto pursued, I shall be thankful to receive any results of their own experience, which may tend either to correct, or to confirm more decisively, the conviction to which I have now arrived.
I wish first to consider what guidance the Scriptures afford us on this matter.
There is, of course, no question that the practice of polygamy was not only tolerated among the Jews, but even sanctioned by the examples of eminent and pious men among them, and, in one instance, by the words of a Prophet, uttering a direct message from the Almighty. For, not to mention other cases, that will readily occur to the reader, we have those of Abraham, the "father of the faithful," and David, the "man after God's own heart," who were both polygamists; so that, certainly, it is possible that the practice should co-exist with a very high degree of Moral excellence and holiness of life. Again, we have the passage of Deuteronomy, which distinctly recognizes polygamy, as freely permitted among the Jewish people:
"If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated, and if the first-born son be hers that was hated, then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which be hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved first-born before the son of the hated, which is, indeed, the first-born.--Deut. xxi. 15, 16.
And this was addressed to the nation, who had received [4/5] an express Command from the Mouth of the Living God:--”Thou shalt not commit adultery;" and with whom, in fact, the crime of adultery was punished with death. It is plain, already, from this, that the mere fact, of living with more lawful wives than one, does not, in itself, constitute the crime or sin of adultery.
And, once more, we have the words of the Prophet Nathan to David, in which he speaks of the possession of his predecessor's wives as an express blessing from the Almighty
Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, “I gave thee thy Master's house, and thy Master's wives into thy bosom."--2nd Sam. xii. 8.
It is true, that in Deut. xvii. 17, the future Kings of Israel are forbidden to "multiply wives to themselves." But this refers only to the excessive multiplication of wives; for it is added, in the same context--"Neither shall he multiply to himself horses"--"Neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold."
We come now to the times of the New Testament. And here it is necessary to remark, (what is generally unnoticed by those who hastily argue on this subject,) that the Jews, in our Lord's time, and after it, were decided polygamists. Thus Justin Martyr, one of the earliest apologists of the Christian Church, in his famous dialogue with Trypho, the Jew, speaks (c. 134) of--
The foolish and blind teachers of his people, who even until now allow each man to have as many as four or five wives at a time.
And again (c. 141) he speaks of a man's
Taking to himself, as wives, whom he would, and how he would, and as many as he would, such as men of your (the Jewish) nation do, who, in every part of the world, wherever they have come or are sent, take to themselves women, under the name of matrimony.
Some of their great Masters, it is true, laid down the law, that no one should marry more than four wives; but Maimonides, one of their most famous Rabbis, (quoted by Jebb, in his Notes on the above passage of Justin Martyr), says:
It is lawful for a man to marry any number of wives, even a hundred, whether all together, or one after another; nor has the first-married wife any power of hindering this, provided he has the means of supporting them.
The last quotation leads me to speak of the practice of divorce, which, as is well known, was very common among the Jews; for when Maimonides speaks of a man [5/6] marrying a hundred wives, one after another, he does not mean that he shall, after the death of one, marry another, and so on, but by divorcing one after another. In fact, the practice of divorce was carried by the Jews to a frightful extent.
"Among them," says Dr. Adam Clarke, “a man might put away his wife, if she displeased him even in the dressing of his victuals." And he quotes the cases of Rabbi Akiba, and the famous historian Josephus; of whom the former said:--
If any man saw a woman handsomer than his own wife, he might put his wife away; because it is said in the Law--”If she find not favor in his eyes," &c.
And the latter, who lived in the days of our Lord Himself, tells us, in his autobiography, with great coolness:
About this time I put away my wife, who had borne me three children, not being pleased with her manners.
It may serve further to illustrate this subject, if I copy the form of a "Writing of Divorce," among the Jews:
I, A. B., &c., with entire consent of mind, and without any compulsion, have divorced, dismissed, and expelled thee, C. D., &c., who vast heretofore my wife; but now I have dismissed thee so as to be free, and at thine own disposal, to marry whomsoever thou pleasest, without hindrance from any one, from this day for ever. Let this be thy bill of divorce from me, a writing of separation and expulsion, according to the Law of Moses and Israel.
Now, I say distinctly, it was against this practice of divorce, and not against that of polygamy, that our blessed Lord's words were directed. I know, indeed, that the spirit of His Divine teaching is, throughout, indirectly subversive of the practice of polygamy--that the inevitable result of receiving Christianity, into the heart of a people, must be to abolish it. But though, among those addressed by our Lord, there must have been men with more than one wife, He never condemns this as sinful and displeasing in God's sight. It is the putting away of one wife to marry another--the more usual and economical way of practising polygamy--it is this, which is condemned by Him. He says nothing whatever on the subject of polygamy itself; though, indirectly, he teaches the true lesson of married life, when he asks:
Have ye not read, that He, which made them at the beginning, made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh?
 The passages in which our Lord is reported to have spoken on this subject, are the following:
Matth. v. 31, 32.--It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery.
The divorce is unlawful; it is no divorce in God's sight; the man and his wife are still married.
Let it be remembered, that these words were spoken among a people who actually practised polygamy, and had it expressly allowed among them by a Divine law: and it will be obvious what a momentous question it raises for Missionaries in their dealings with Kafir converts. Does not a Kafir man, who puts away his wife, except for the sake of fornication, cause her to commit adultery? And dare we be responsible for recommending this act? I, for one, dare not--no, not even if the wife were content, upon strong persuasion, to leave her husband. They are lawfully married. I dare not be concerned in parting them, or in advising the man to let her go "free, and at her own disposal, to marry whomsoever she pleases."
Math. xix. 3.--He saith unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives.
I observe that the article copied into some of the Natal papers, from the Cape Town Commercial Advertiser, argues as if, instead of the above, it had been said, “Moses, for the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to have more than one wife; whereas, as we have seen, the practice of polygamy was sanctioned in the case of Abraham and Jacob, long before the time of Moses, and the "hardness of heart" of the Jewish people.
But from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away, doth commit adultery.
Here we have the words added, “and shall marry another." But, evidently, these words do not contain the essence of the sin; it is not the man who marries another" wife, but he who "puts away his wife and marries another," that is here said to commit adultery.
The words "and shall marry another," indicate the reason, for which the wife was most commonly put away in those days--viz., in order that the husband might marry another, but save the expense of maintaining two wives.
Of course the reader will not suspect me of saying that [7/8] our Blessed Lord meant to sanction or approve of polygamy. I assert only that, in these words, He does not condemn it. He pronounces no judgment whatever upon it.
Mark x. 11, 12.--”He saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her; and if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."
-We have nearly the very same words as the last, but with an additional clause affecting the woman. By Jewish law, a woman could not put away her husband. Probably the Roman law was at this time in force among the Jews.
Luke xii, 18--”Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery."
Here, again, the crime of adultery is constituted, on the husband's side, by the double offence of putting away and marrying another. But he, that marries her that is put away, “commits adultery."
These, I believe, are all the passages in our Lord's discourses, that bear at all upon the question.
We come now to the writings of the Apostles; and the first passage which meets us, as applicable to the present question, is that of St. Paul to the Corinthians:--
1 Cor. vii. 12.--If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
If the state of polygamy was, in any sense, tolerated by the Apostles, when they found it existing in those whom they converted to Christianity, these would seem to be very serious words for those, who command every brother, that hath wives more than one, to put them all away, whether they be believers or not; and though they may not only be pleased, but thoroughly resolved, from strong and old attachment, to live and die with him. Let us examine, then, further into the subject,
In I Tim. iii., 2, we find it laid down by St. Paul, in his directions to Timothy for the choice of Ministers for Ordination, that
A Bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife. [The word "Bishop," in this passage, and throughout the New Testament, is used as synonymous with Presbyter or Priest.]
And again (verse 12)
Let the Deacons be the husbands of one wife.
 Now the Roman-Catholic commentators understand these words to mean, that a Bishop or Deacon should only once be married; and the Roman-Catholic Church has refined the Apostle's direction into the rule, that the Clergy should not marry at all; as if there were something unholy and unclean in marriage, which our Lord Himself "adorned and beautified with His Presence, and first miracle, that he wrought in Cana of Galilee!"
The Protestant commentators unanimously reject this interpretation. They understand the words to speak of not admitting to Church Offices any, who had more wives than one at a time. From this it would appear that some were admitted to Baptism, who had more wives than one, and yet were not required to put away all but one, on embracing Christianity. For, if it had been laid down as a distinct and positive rule, that no polygamist should be received to Baptism, the direction in the text would be futile and absurd.
Let the reader mark this well. Polygamy was a state of life--a permanent condition--not a temporary, occasional, condition, in which the man might be found to-day, but not to-morrow. Thus a man might be subject to fits of passion, or of drunkenness; but they would be no bar to his becoming a Christian. Rather, if he were sincere in his desire to get the better of all this evil, he would be encouraged to seek the strength of God, by coming to Holy Baptism. Nor, should he afterwards be overtaken in a fault, and be overcome by his besetting sin, would he, therefore, be at once excommunicated or expelled from the Church.
But, if polygamy be pronounced positively sinful in itself, without regard being had to the state of moral culture and civilization, in which a man has hitherto been living, it would be a complete bar to his being received into the Church at all. And the Apostle might much more rationally have written: "Let not a Bishop or a Deacon be chosen from those, who are habitual drunkards, or open adulterers," because such, might have been found within the pale of the Church--but a polygamist, never.
'Whoever, then, admits that these words of St. Paul are intended to exclude from the Ministry those, who, according to the practice of the Jews, and almost all Oriental nations, (and he was here writing to Timothy, at Ephesus), were then actually living with more wives than one, must admit also, that the practice of polygamy, however objectionable, [9/10] was yet not absolutely forbidden among laymen, for those who had more than one wife, when first converted.
The sense of this difficulty, and the unwillingness to allow of the possibility of polygamy having been suffered to exist, even for a season, in the primitive Church, have led some commentators to explain these words, as referring solely to the exclusion from the Ministry of those, who had put away one or more wives, though living now only with one. And this, in fact, would be the case of many a convert now-a-days in this land, if the rule of the Missionaries were enforced--supposing, that is, converts to be gained at all among the wealthier and higher class of natives.
The following extracts, however, will probably be sufficient to satisfy the English reader, that this is but a forced explanation of the passage, and one not approved by some of the ablest interpreters.
And, first, we have Whitby, a Divine of the Church of England:--
The husband of one wife.--”For the Jews and Greeks," saith Theodoret, "were wont to be married to two or three wives together." I approve of this interpretation of some of the ancients, which is also mentioned by Jerome and by Chrysostom, declaring that the Apostle doth not here oblige the Bishop to be married, but only corrects the immoderateness of some, and because, among the Jews, it was lawful both to marry twice, and to have two wives together, and it was more common with them to divorce one and take another. And, whereas against this interpretation it is objected, that the Apostle requires also that the widow should be the "wife of one husband," whereas it was never permitted, among any but barbarians, for women to have more than one husband at once;--this objection hath some strength against interpreting this latter passage of polygamy, but none against that interpretation, which relates to marriage after dismission of the former husband."--Comm. on 1 Tim. iii, 2.
We may next quote the Rev. John Wesley's remarks upon the same place of Scripture:--
The husband of one wife.--”This neither means that a Bishop must be married, nor that he may not marry a second wife, which it is just as lawful for him to do as to marry the first, and may, in some cases, be his bounden duty. But whereas polygamy, and divorce on slight occasions, were common, both among the Jews and heathens, it teaches us that Ministers, of all others, ought to stand clear of those sins.”
John Wesley, then, admits that the passage refers to polygamy as well as divorce; and from this the conclusion follows irresistibly, as I have before shown, that he admits the possibility of persons being found in the Church who were polygamists, though such must be excluded from the Ministry. It must be confessed, however, that John Wesley’s views on the subject of polygamy were much stronger [10/11] than Whitby's. He here calls the practice a “sin;" and in one of his letters, thirty years later, he writes:
I totally deny that (supposed) matter of fact, that polygamy was allowed among the primitive Christians, or that the converts, who had many wives, were not required to put any of them away.
Nevertheless, this conclusion appears to me to follow necessarily from his previous admission.
In the above two instances, the inference I have drawn is only consequential upon the comment of the annotator. But the following testimonies are of a more direct kind; and proceeding, as they do, from men of high character for piety and ability, who wrote in the calm and quiet of their studies, far removed from the scenes and circumstances, which might distract our judgment here upon the spot, with only the Word of God before them, and, as they prayed and believed the Spirit of Truth to guide them, they are very impressive words, in their bearing on the present controversy.
The Rev. Thomas Scott, M.A., well known to most readers, as an eminent Divine of the (so-called) Evangelical School of the Church of England, in his Practical Commentary on 1 Tim. iii, 2, writes as follows:--
Some have endeavoured to infer a part of that (the Roman-Catholic) system from this clause, and have supposed that the Apostle meant to prohibit second marriages to the clergy. But this is contrary to the whole tenor of Scripture. It is by no means contained in the meaning of the words, and would certainly bring in a part of those evils, which long experience has found inseparable from the general prohibition. For as good reasons may often be given for marrying a second with as for marrying at all.
With respect to the subject now under consideration, he says:--
He (a Bishop) ought also to be the "husband of one wife." Christ and the Apostles expressly condemned polygamy, as well as divorce, except for adultery.
He refers to the passages in St. Matthew and St. Mark, which I have already quoted, and have shown, as, I believe, that they do not "expressly condemn," or pronounce any judgment on the question of, polygamy.
Yet there was no direct command for a man, who had previously taken more wives than one, to put the others away when he embraced the Gospel; and such a requisition might, in some instances, have produced very bad consequences in domestic life, and increased the opposition of the civil powers to the preaching of Christianity. But the rule that no man, however qualified in other respects, should be admitted into the pastoral office, who had more than one wife, or who had put away one to take another, tended to show the unlawfulness of [11/12] polygamy and divorces on frivolous pretences, and their inconsistency with the Christian dispensation; and concurred, with other things, to bring then into total disuse in the Christian Church, yet WITHOUT VIOLENCE AND CONFUSION.
No one, who knows anything of Mr. Scott's history, will suppose for a moment that he was a man, who would either have shrunk himself, or permitted others under his teaching to shrink, from taking up manfully any "Cross," which the profession of the Gospel properly laid upon them. It was because he felt, as I also feel with him, that the putting away of wives, with whom marriage has been contracted before the reception of the Gospel, is not according to the Mind of God and the Spirit of Christ's Religion, that he wrote as above. At the same time, I heartily concur with the following words of the same Divine, with which he closes the above-quoted passage:--
To argue hence, as it has been done, that polygamy was lawful for other Christians, else it would not have been needful to restrict Pastors from it, would prove (if it proved anything) that it was also lawful and common for them to be drunkards, covetous, brawlers, or strikers.
It was not lawful for other Christians it was, no doubt, expressly forbidden, as I desire it should be, that any, after Christian Baptism, should commit in any form the offence of polygamy.
I next quote from Dr. James Macknight, an eminent commentator on the Gospels and the Apostolical Epistles, belonging to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland:--
The husband of one wife.--That the Gospel allows women to marry a second time, is evident from 1 Cor. vii, 9, 39. By parity of reason it allows men to marry a second time likewise. Wherefore, when it is said here that “a Bishop must be the husband of one wife," and 1 Tim. v. 9, that the widow) who is employed by the Church, in teaching the young of her own sex the principles of the Christian Religion, must have been the wife of one husband," the Apostle could not mean that persons, who have married a second time, are thereby disqualified for sacred offices. His meaning, therefore, in these canons, is, that such persons only are to be entrusted with sacred offices, who, in their married state, have contented themselves with one wife, and with one husband, at a time. As the Asiatic nations universally practised polygamy, the Apostle, to bring back mankind to use marriage according to the primitive institution, which enjoined one man to be united to one woman only at a time, ordered by inspiration that none should be made Bishops, but those who had shown themselves temperate, by avoiding polygamy in like manner, because, according to Our Lord's determination, persons, who divorced each other unjustly, were guilty of adultery, when they married themselves to others--also, because such really had more wives and husbands than one at a time, as was the case with the woman of Samaria--the Apostle, to restrain these licentious practices, which were common among the Greeks and Romans, as [12/13] well as among the Jews, ordered that no widow should be chosen to instruct the younger women, but such as had been the "wife of one husband" only at a time.
It may be objected, perhaps, that the Gospel ought to have prohibited the people, as well as the Ministers of Religion, from polygamy and divorce, if these things were morally evil. As to divorce, the answer is that, by the precept of Christ, all, both clergy and people, were restrained from unjust divorces. And with respect to polygamy, being an offence against political prudence rather than against morality, it had been permitted to the Jews by Moses, Deut. xxi.,. 15, on account of the hardness of their hearts, and was generally practised by the Eastern nations, as a matter of indifference. It was, therefore, to be corrected mildly and gradually, by example, rather than by express precept. And, seeing reformation must begin somewhere, it was certainly fit to begin with the Ministers of Religion; that, through the influence of their example, the evil might be remedied by disuse, without occasioning those DOMESTIC TROUBLES AND CAUSELESS DIVORCES, which must necessarily have ensued, if, by an express injunction of the Apostles, husbands, immediately on their becoming Christians, had been obliged to put away all their wives except one. Accordingly, the example of the Clergy, and of such of the brethren as were not married at their conversion, or who were married only to one woman, supported by the precepts of the Gospel, had so effectually rooted out polygamy from the Church, that the Emperor Valentinian, to give countenance to his marrying Justina, during the life of his wife, Severa, whom he would not divorce, published a law, permitting his subjects to have two wives at a time.
It will be seen that I do not agree with this Divine, in thinking that polygamy was allowed to the Jews by Moses "for the hardness of their hearts," because I find it already practised by their great forefather Abraham, who was called the "Friend of God." Nor do I either agree with him in considering polygamy to be "an offence against political prudence, rather than against morality." I believe it to be an offence against morality and Christianity,--a thing to be deprecated, denounced, and done away but though an offence, not necessarily, therefore, a sin in the sight of God, and an offence not to be got rid of by the summary process (as I consider it) of cruel injustice, and outrage on the highest principles both of morality and religion, which, at present, is usually recommended in such cases.
I will next produce the authority of John Calvin:--
The Husband of one Wife.--The only true exposition of these words is that of Chrysostom, that polygamy is here expressly condemned in a Bishop, which, at that time, had almost become a law among the Jews. They practised, this, partly, from a perverse imitation of their fathers; for reading that Abraham, Jacob, David, and the like, were married to many wives at once, they considered that this was allowable for themselves also; and, partly, they contracted this corrupt habit from the neighbouring nations; for among Orientals, marriages were never reverenced with becoming sanctity and good faith. However this may be, polygamy had become generally [13/14] prevalent among them. And so it is not without reason that Paul forbids this stain from the character of a Bishop. Nor do I condemn the opinion of those, who think that the Holy Spirit wished here to meet and oppose that diabolical superstition, which crept on afterwards, as if he had said, "so far from its being right that Bishops should be compelled to practise celibacy, the state of matrimony becomes even the most pious"--those, namely, who are to be chosen for ministers. In this way he would be understood not as requiring marriage in them, as ä thing absolutely necessary, but only commending it, as a state by no means unworthy of the dignity of the ministerial office. It is more simple, however, and certain, to hold, as I have already said, that polygamy is here repelled by St. Paul from the Episcopal order, because it is a sign of lust and unfaithfulness.
Here, however, it is objected, that, what is vicious in all, ought not to have been condemned or prohibited in Bishops only. The answer is easy--that license is not, on this account, given forthwith to others, because this is expressly forbidden in Bishops. Nor can we have any doubt that Paul condemned generally what was repugnant with the eternal Law of God. For the decree is fixed and sure--"They two shall be one flesh." But he might, however, have endured in others what, in a Bishop, would have been too disgraceful and intolerable. For this law is not laid down, for posterity, so that no Bishop, who has one wife, should marry a second or a third; but Paul repels all from the Episcopal order, who have committed such an offence. And so, compelled by necessity, he bears with that which, being already done, could not be corrected--but only in the common laity. FOR WHAT REMEDY WAS THERE? SHOULD THOSE HAVE PUT AWAY THEIR SECOND AND THIRD WIVES, WHO HAD ENTERED INTO A STATE OF POLYGAMY UNDER THE JEWISH DISPENSATION? BUT SUCH A REPUDIATION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN WITHOUT WRONG AND INJUSTICE. He left untouched, therefore, what was not new and entirely in his own power (quod integrum non erat), and only provided that no Bishop should be soiled with such a stain.
Once more. Peter Martyr, one of the great continental Reformers, in his Loci Communes, (quoted in the Colonial Church Chronicle for June, 1854), puts the question--
If an infidel were in our day converted to Christ, having two wives, could such polygamy be endured under the Christian dispensation? And his answer is--Certainly, for the time. For they contracted with each other in good faith. Nor must a wrong be done to the wives, for each of them has a claim upon her husband. That law, however, which Christ gave, ought to hold for the future. But, what has been done, and done with good faith, probably in ignorance, cannot be rescinded.
I have said enough, I trust, to show that those, who think with me on this matter, are not lightly to be charged with "betraying our Divine Master, like Judas, with a kiss." And I hope I may now obtain a calm and unprejudiced hearing for the arguments from reason and common sense, with which I would still further maintain the ground I have taken.
 I say, then, with Calvin, that, in compelling a Kafir husband to put away his wives, we are doing a positive “wrong," perhaps to the man himself, but certainly to the woman, whom he is compelled to divorce. We do wrong to the man's own moral principle--his sense of right and justice--his feelings as a husband and a man. He knows that he is under--a solemn obligation, ratified by the laws and customs of his people, to those whom he has taken for wives. He knows that they have lived and laboured for him, it may be, for years--have borne him children--have shared the joys and sorrows of family life. For a Kafir has a feeling of family and home. It is an outrageous slander upon the character of these poor natives, to say that they are void of affection--that their wives are merely their slaves, their children so many conveniences, for raising money by the labour of the one sex, and accumulating cattle by the sale of the other. They have their sense of duty as well as we, in their different relations of parent, husband, brother, child; and if Jacob, though a polygamist, had not, therefore, all his feelings blunted,--(witness his tender passion for Rachel, and his love for Joseph and Benjamin)--what right have we to assume that the practice of polygamy has degraded and debased our own poor Zulus beneath the level of the brute? Let me here tell a tale of the last flight of refugees, which bears, perhaps, somewhat on this question.
There came an old man and woman, with their son and daughter, to the banks of the Tugela; a man of their acquaintance, and two other women, came also and joined the party. None of them had strength sufficient to wade through the stream except the son of the two old people. With his own stout arm and skill, he carried over safely by night each of the other six. The stream was deep and strong, the alligators numerous, the terrible Zulu butchers in the rear, who stabbed some defenceless women of the main body before they reached the river banks. But God watched over the little company. Twelve times the young man waded across; and, one after another, father, mother, sister, and friends, they were all brought safe to shore, and landed on the British territory. They began to mount the heights which border the stream, exulting in their deliverance, when the plaintive howl of a dog was heard from the opposite bank. It was the young swimmer's own poor hound. It had missed its master, and could not swim: but he must not leave it [15/16] behind. In vain were the entreaties of his family, urging upon him the hazard he would run, from his own state of exhaustion, the alligators in the river, and the spears of the pursuers upon the farther shore. The young man loved his dog, and pacified his friends, and once more plunged into the stream, But ere he had reached halfway, watched from the shore he had left with longing eyes, he uttered a shriek, and, lifting up his arm, he was heard to shout, “And must I, then, perish thus?" An alligator had seized him, and he was seen no more. The poor mother, in her frantic grief, reproached her daughter with the loss of her dear son. "it was she who had persuaded them to make this escape." The daughter was so distressed at these words, that she swallowed three of the poisonous caddisworms so commonly hanging upon the trees in this country, with the intention of destroying herself. But proper remedies were applied by the natives, who came down to help the fugitives, and she was ultimately restored.
Who shall tell us, after such a story as this, (for which Mr. Shepstone is my authority), that a Kafir has no share in the common feelings of humanity, and that he is not deeply sensible of the wrong done to his affections, by the sacrifice which is demanded of him, as the very test of his acceptance of Christianity? But what a fearful wrong must be done, at the same time, to his sense of justice? It is easy to say, as some have said, that the Gospel requires the sacrifice of father, mother, wife, or child, if need be, in the service of Christ. But I boldly assert, that this is not such a sacrifice as the Gospel requires. If, indeed, the heathen wife, however dear to his affections, should refuse to live with him any longer, when he becomes a Christian--if he knows that his parents and her parents will east him off, his very children be taught to hate him, and his name be forgotten among his kindred, and in his tribe--then, indeed, there would be a true trial of his faith, and he would have to make his choice between cleaving to Christ and his nearest and dearest earthly friends. And for this he would be prepared. There would be nothing abhorrent to the first principles of justice in this. Nor, if a Christian convert were told that, being unmarried, he must marry only in the Lord, or, being married, he must add no more to the number of his wives, would there be anything in this to shock or to offend Mtn. His own conscience would support the dictum of his Teacher.
 But the conscience of a man must revolt at first from the present practice, however fearfully it may become blunted at last, by perpetual reiteration of the law of the Mission Station, and the (supposed) Will of the Almighty. The man, if he thinks at all, must be utterly bewildered between the sense of his duty to God, (or rather to the Teacher, who has become, as it were, a God to him, and is framing anew for him his standard of right and wrong), and the dictates of his own heart and mind, which tell him so truly, that, whatever he may be willing to do to secure his soul's salvation, he has no right to sacrifice his wives, their feelings, their marriage-bonds, their rights, and the rights of their children. For who shall marry them again? They have already grown old in his service. Their youth and comeliness are gone. They have their children it is true; and with these are they to be cast forth, like Hagar into the desert, to become suppliants for the charity of the first compassionate wayfaring Kafir? Or is the Christian husband to pension them off, with the help of Mission Funds, (as I have heard was the case under a certain Missionary, no longer in the colony), and to keep them in his neighbourhood, within the reach of his counsel and assistance, for the management and training of his children, compelled to live separate from other men, but as wives of his own no longer, not even in name? Or is the husband to take possession of all the children? and is the wife to go, like her of whom I have written in my Journal, to tell the story of her woe to the Missionary,--"You have not only taken my husband from me, but my child also!" And these things are done in the name of Christianity? And this is one of the very first notices, which the heathens are to receive, of the working of that Gospel, which was to be "glad tidings of great joy to all people?"
I verily believe, that, in consequence mainly of the enforcement of this rule, our blessed religion already stinks in the nostrils of this people. It is not the purity, the charity, the piety, which it enjoins--it is not this, which makes the native shrink, with dislike and distrust, from the very first approach of a Missionary. The heart within them will confess to the excellency of these things; their spirit will respond to the Law of God that it is good, even when the flesh refuses to obey it. But here the mind of the savage--the best instincts of his nature--his regard for the sanctity of marriage, for the peace and welfare of his family,--take part with his ignorance and evil passions in repelling [17/18] the advances of the Missionary. As my friend, Dr. Meek, informs me, the chief and the tribe, at whose kraal, in company with a member of the Church Missionary party, a Catechist, he has been lately spending three months, received them with open hearts, and entered readily into the freest converse upon all manner of subjects, religion among the rest; till, on one unfortunate day, their messenger returned with their weekly supplies from D'Urban, and mentioned, what he had there heard, that one of them was an Umfundisi. From that moment all cordiality was at an end. The Kafirs were civil and obliging as before. But they now no longer mingled with their guests in free and friendly converse. Their ears were stopped against the entrance of the Truth; their hearts were prejudiced against it. The old chief said that he had lost one of his wives already, who had become a convert, and left hire for a neighbouring Missionary Station, and there lived in entire separation from him, though she occasionally came, with her children, to visit him. He wished to lose no more: and, as he gazed with all a father's pride and affection upon the children, when they were brought to see him, it was easy enough to mark that a true human heart was beating in his bosom.
But in this case we have the wife separating from her husband. Is there any instance known, in the experience of any of our Missionaries, where a man has put away his wives, retaining only one, and the arrangement has prospered? I am most anxious to gather true facts to illustrate this matter. And I would repeat again the question, soliciting the kind and serious attention of the Missionaries of this district to it, “Can they furnish me with any statements of facts upon this matter--facts to be relied on, facts to be thoroughly probed and sifted, which will tend to show that the practice hitherto pursued has led to a successful issue in any one single instance? And can they show none to the contrary?"
It is a curious question too, and one, I imagine, attended with no little difficulty, to ask, on what principle the wives are to be put away?
I have heard of Missionaries deciding this matter in each case according to the circumstances; and, in one instance, recommending the man to choose to retain that wife, who was the weakest and least able to take care of herself! But, I suppose, generally some rule or other would be laid down for this purpose.
 Is, then, the first-married always to be retained, and the others dismissed, including, most commonly, the chief wife of the kraal? And supposing the oldest wife has no children, and the second eight or ten? Or supposing the oldest wife to continue a heathen, and the second to become a Christian, yet both to desire to abide with the husband? What then must be done? Is the heathen wife to be retained, because she is the only lawfully married one, and the Christian put away?
But the truth is, as I make bold to believe, that there is not an instance to be produced, in all the experience of the Missionaries of Natal--American, Wesleyan, or Lutheran--of a man being brought to profess Christianity, who, before his conversion, was a polygamist on any large scale, and who has accordingly submitted to the authority of his teacher, and put away all his wives but one. There may, possibly, be a case or two produced, of a man with two wives, who may have been induced, by the urgent representations of the Missionary, and severe denunciations of the Divine displeasure, to put away one of them: and I venture to say that, if the truth were told, there would be in every such case some piteous tale of "wrong," like that of the Kafir woman, whose words I have above quoted. But has any man with three, four, or more wives, consented to this practice? In other words, has any chief man of the district, in his maturer years, become a Christian?
I feel sure that the reply must be in the negative; and I will answer at once the thought, which may perhaps suggest itself--"Have any of the Pharisees or Chief Priests believed in Him?"--by saying that these are not either Pharisees or Chief Priests, but many of them simple., honest, manly, true hearted men, who, with their people, are not unwilling to hear the Gospel message, and to be instructed in the Truths of Christianity,--who already practise many of its precepts, and practised them in their native kraals, long before they heard them from us, or, perhaps, saw the contradiction of them in the habits of demoralised white-men. They are men shrewd, intelligent, inquiring; but they dread any closer contact with Christianity, which is to tear up at once their families, rend asunder the dearest ties which connect them with one another, and fill their whole tribe with anarchy and confusion.
Have the Missionaries ever duly considered this--the effect, I mean, which the reception of the Gospel, on any large scale, among this people, and the carrying out of their [19/20] rule, would produce on the order of the colony, when every kraal and every hut, almost, would be the scene of some enforced separation, and of the hideous consequences that must follow, where so many married women, released from the law of their husbands and the strict discipline of their native customs,--with their best feelings outraged, and their passions inflamed, themselves and their children branded, in their people's eyes, with a name of dishonour,--are turned loose upon their tribes?
It is a very different thing to gather a few youths around a Missionary Station, or to pick up a few impoverished adults, and marry the former decently, and keep the latter in the proper state of single matrimony, to which, in the first instance, most probably their own necessities, and not their own will and choice, consigned them. By all means let this be done. But what have our Missionaries,--good, and excellent, and devoted men as we know them to be,--what have they yet done, to make so much as an indent into the huge mass of heathenism with which the land is filled? Nothing--comparatively nothing.
Nor do I believe there will be anything done effectively to this end, until a system is adopted more in accordance with the true spirit of Christianity, and the example of the Apostles themselves. If I am asked to say plainly what I desire, and, as far as I have any influence and power, intend, by God's Grace to do, in this matter, I say then plainly, not to require the putting away of wives by natives, married previously to the reception of Christianity. As I have stated before, I dare not do so: I dare not even recommend it to any man. If the unbelieving wife wishes to depart from her husband, so be it. But if not, I am bound to tell him that it is his DUTY to keep her, and to cherish her as his wife, until "death parts them."
Instead of opening Missionary Stations, as refuges for the disorderly and discontented, it is my intention to send Missionaries direct to the heathen kraals, first to acquire the language and become familiar with the habits of the people, and then to settle permanently, and live and labour in the midst of them. Of course, we shall require a central Station, where different operations may be carried on, such as are detailed in my Journal; where a native village may by degrees be formed of a higher class, from among the most promising and willing converts in different parts of the country; and where superior schools may be conducted, with a view of training native teachers. But I am [20/21] persuaded that the main work of converting the natives is to be attempted, and, by God's help and blessing, accomplished, only by establishing schools and schoolmasters in direct connexion with the native villages--some five or six, or, perhaps, ten of which may be placed under the supervision of each Missionary Clergyman. And the first step I would take, towards introducing such schools, and securing the favour of the chiefs towards them, would be to assure them most positively, that we do not intend to interfere with their married life, as already constituted--that we do not think it necessary, nor according to God's Will and the demands of our holy religion, to require them to signalize their acceptance of Christianity by a direct act of perfidy and wrong.
At the same time, I, for one, shall sincerely rejoice, if the Government comes to the aid of Religion in this matter; and, by fixing a heavy fine upon a second and every additional marriage, makes it economically undesirable for the natives to contract them. And, in fact, some change in the present native tax-system seems to be required. The hut-tax, when first introduced, was, doubtless, the very best that could have been devised, for bringing the Kafirs easily under the operations of Government. The huts could be readily counted, and the tax duly enforced. By this time the people have learned, in some measure, to appreciate the meaning of taxation. They growl, indeed, now and then, at the taxes; but this, perhaps, is only a mark of progress--a sign that they are approaching towards the character of a thorough home-bred Englishman.
Upon the whole I believe it to be true, that the natives are quite satisfied as to the right of Government to lay taxes on them, in return for the protection they receive, and are as willing, as we could expect them to be, to pay them. But, all this time, the peculiar nature of this tax has been tending to work a great evil among them, which is already a serious one, and is every year becoming worse. The tax, being a hut-tax, not a head-tax, has naturally led to their crowding as many people as they can into one but; and the consequences, both as regards health and morality, are likely to be very injurious, if this practice be any longer continued. Would it not be possible now, when every kraal is known and registered, and the Kafirs are become used to taxation, to the visits of tax-gatherers, and the interference of the Government in their village affairs, to [21/22] change the tax of 7s. per hut into one of per head, and for this purpose to require the registration of the whole people? Then how easy would it be to give a death-blow to the practice of polygamy, by exacting a payment (say) of £10 for each marriage after the first, and laying an additional tax (say of 10s. or £1) on the hut of each additional wife? Such a law, however, should on no account be retrospective in its bearing.
I believe that such a measure, with the efforts of Christian Teachers, stationed amidst the heathen kraals in the different parts of the land, would, by the Grace of God, avail abundantly--and that, at no distant time--to the putting down of the practice of polygamy, and so assist towards the deliverance of this people from the powers of Satan into the Kingdom of our Lord. I know, of course, that in the case of adult Kafirs, thoroughly seasoned in the habits of their nation, it were idle to expect that perfect and entire change of character and practice, which some seem to require in them. I do not look for this, nor desire to pour all at once, into these old bottles, the new wine of highly refined European Christianity, purified during the lapse of ages of deep thought, of ceaseless agitation, of holy deeds, and lessons, and prayers. But I do humbly trust, that by the blessing of Almighty God upon our labours, we may be enabled to be instruments of great good in His Hand towards this people; and not to these only--but to the wretched refugees, who flock to this Christian land for shelter from the spear of their destroyer, and to the multitude of dark souls beyond them.
And here I might close, but for the astonishing fact that, in this our day, in this our present state of Christian feeling, a public journalist can be found to indite, and set forward in print the proposal, that "the refugees should be given up! Yes, fellow-Englishmen! we are to sacrifice the honour of our great Name, and the glory of making English soil, wherever it can be found, the place of freedom for the slave, the home for the sorrowful and the oppressed! Yes, fellow Christians! we are to drive back into the hands of their tyrant the poor wretches, whom God brings to our feet in the hour of utter distress, bidding us, by the plain Voice of His Providence, to raise them from their misery, that they may share with us the hopes and privileges of British subjects and of Christian men! O shame on the unmanly thought! Let it never be said again that English [22/23] Christians, the Christians of Natal, could so much as hear the thing named, without a feeling of revulsion and abhorrence. Once, indeed, it was true of the white inhabitants of fatal, that they acted the part of calculating, selfish cowards, instead of brave, Christian men; and made a treaty with Dingaan to give up all future refugees. And they actually did send back six wretched fugitives into the hands of the tyrant, though with the certainty, as Capt. Gardiner tells us, “that they would be knocked on the head with knob-kirries and impaled."
[See the whole details narrated, with astonishing simplicity, by Captain Gardiner himself, in his Travels, p. p. 145-186. The refugees consisted of six persons, a female chieftain, a male and female servant, and three girls, children of the latter. The adults had been surrendered first, and were taken back by Capt. Gardiner himself, who interceded for them in vain: they were doomed to be "starved to death;" but after a few days were knocked upon the head. The King, however, required the children also, and Capt. Gardiner returned to secure them. I quote the last portion of his narrative.
["It appears that the apprehension of the remainder of Nonha's party had occasioned much trouble, the whole of the whites and about sixty of the natives having been obliged to proceed in a body to enforce the requisition. The people of the village, where they had been staying, rescued them from two Englishmen and a Hottentot, who had taken them in their absence; they waylaid them, and issuing from the woods as they passed, contrived while in conversation, but without using force, to effect their purpose. On this the large party before mentioned proceeded to the spot, but the natives, alarmed at their numbers, fled to a neighbouring hill. Thus posted, Mr. Cane, with two natives, volunteered to communicate with them. He went up in a firm manner and remonstrated with them, at the same time assuring them that, unless the persons in question were delivered up by sunset, he would instantly shoot the Numzana to whom he addressed himself. Happily, no further effort was made, and the three girls were secured. But here another heart-rending scene took place. Umfazaguatu (the Numzana) was related to the children, and evinced feelings of which humanity might boast. Suddenly casting away his assegais, he threw himself upon the ground in a supplicating posture, and only implored that he might be bound and sent to Dingaan in lieu of the prisoners. This, of course, could not be permitted, though all must doubtless have felt the painful necessity of acting with so much apparent rigour. On my arrival. I found them in one of my huts, in charge of two men who had been sent for the purpose from Congella. On their leaving this morning I sent on my own responsibility the following message to Dingaan, well knowing that it would express the sentiments of every European at Port Natal:--"If deserters must be killed, let them be killed at once; but, if they are to be starved to death, we are resolved that not another individual shall be sent back." The men promised to be kind to the prisoners by the way, and on no account to mention the fate which would probably await them on their arrival. My heart sickens at the thought of such barbarities. Still it is a duty we owe to the two thousand natives now residing here, and who, together with ourselves, would all some night have probably been immolated, but for the security of the present treaty."
[In spite of these fears, and this strong sense of duty, we see there was a point, at which the voice of conscience would make itself heard upon the side of humanity. But the sophistry of man's heart is great. They might be killed--"knocked upon the head," that is, “and impaled"--but must not be "starved to death;" or the settlers would in that case brave resolutely, like men, the tremendous wrath of Dingaan.]
 Natal, however, was no British colony then; and the whole transaction brought a stain, at the time, in the opinion of his countrymen at home, upon the character of him who acted the chief part in it, which only long years of noble effort since, in the service of his Lord, a life of faith; and sufferings, even unto death, endured with a saintly constancy, have sufficed to overpower in our memories. But are such deeds as these to be repeated among us, under the sanction of the Government of Great Britain, and under the same pretext of expediency? Does not the heart of man, woman, or child, who reads the piteous story, revolt in horror and disgust from it? Could we bear to stand by, as, I suppose, we are expected to do, and tamely look on at the repetition of such scenes?
And they would be repeated. Who does not know that, after the recent flight of refugees from Panda's territory, some of Panda's own messengers were sent to demand them back? And the following scene is said to have occurred on the occasion, in the presence of Mr. Shepstone. Confronted with the chief leader of the refugees, who was one of Panda's great officers, these messengers urged upon him his duty to return, his Master's love for him, and the breaking of the Chief's heart for the loss of so dear a servant. He heard them silently--seated, as usual, upon the ground, and wrapped in the folds of his blanket. When all had done, having mingled with their arguments the most solemn protestations, in their master's name, of safety for him in life and property, if he would but return, the chief sat upright, and, throwing back his covering, laid bare his manly breast, and gave his arms free play for his address. Then, looking at them, one by one, he said: I know you all; you are all my companions--my friends. You are--, and you are--, and you are--, and you are--And you all know me. You know what my wealth and my power was, in the Zulu land: and you see what I am now--a beggar! And yet you ask me to return--you, who know that there is not one of you, that would not joyfully change places with me, if you could but do what I have done, and bring your wives [24/25] and children safe across the river. But here I am--and here I will remain. You tell me I shall be safe, if I return: you know I shall be killed. Did you ever know a man like me go back, and live?" They mentioned two or three. "Yes! they were poor men. But did you ever know a chief who did so?" They gave the name of one. "Yes! he had been many years away, and he went back at last of his own free-will. But, you know, my death is doomed. I have made my choice. I will not go back."
Some of these very messengers had wives among the refugees, and claimed them, and were told to take them, if they could, by fair means. They did try to take them, but were not allowed to use the extremity of force. Yet for many yards they dragged them, shrieking and crying--"You may kill us now--here now--but not there." For hours this struggle continued, all manner of argument and persuasion being used to induce them to return--but all to no purpose. Their reply was still the same--"Kill us here, but not there."
But a most touching incident is connected with one of these very messengers. He knows that he is doomed; his death-warrant is gone forth. It will be in his case as in that of others, whose death by Panda's orders was thus described to Mr. Shepstone by one of the refugees, comparing the mode of execution, pursued by the present Chief, with the measures of his predecessors, Chaka and Dingaan. "The Chief will send out his messengers; they will come to his kraal; they will enter his but; they will eat and drink with him and his people; and then, when all will be peace and quietness, and they fear no evil, while his meat is yet in their mouths, they will spring upon their feet and stab him. His life-blood will reach the door of his hut, before any one can creep out of it." This hut-scene will be transacted so soon as he returns; or, rather so soon as the waters of the Tugela are up, and the despot has his people more completely in his power. And yet the man determined to return. His wives and his little ones are there. Poor polygamist as he is, he cannot stay here,--here, where he might have stayed in peace and safety,--and leave them behind. It will be interesting to know his fate.
But, happily, we have a Government, both here and at home, which would never hear of such a proposal, as that of surrendering the refugees. Indeed, it would be impossible to enforce such surrenders, along the banks of such a stream as the Tugela, or to recover, from every kraal within [25/26] the district, the fugitives, who might escape from time to time, and mingle with their brethren. And, were it possible, who does not see that deep and fearful, indeed, would be the hatred, that would inevitably be excited, in the breasts of our own Kafirs, by the perpetration of such acts of inhumanity upon their own friends and relatives? No! the thing could not be seriously thought of for one moment. If it were, assuredly the voice of a British Parliament would be heard, and all England would cry out against it. Doubtless, judicious measures are required for dealing with this question, and providing properly for the reception and safe government of these refugees. And this, of course, we may believe, has been under the consideration of our Government, and will be not the least weighty, of the many weighty matters, that will be laid before His Excellency, Sir George Grey, on his arrival.
Meanwhile, thank God, the great laws of our own dear mother-land are maintained in this colony, so far, at least, as to recognise the principle, that the person of every man, who sets his foot on British soil, is safe from the dread of his oppressor. We do not, indeed, secure to him the property he brings with him. We send back all the cattle of the refugees to Panda. We leave the greatest chief among them, to begin his new life, in this land of his choice, a free man, but a beggar. And this, perhaps, could not be otherwise. It would be difficult to prove that the cattle he brought with him were his own, and not the property of his master. And they care not for this sacrifice. It is life, dear life, they crave, for themselves and for those they love.
But, forsooth, the refugees must be given up, because "no tenderness for them requires us to sacrifice ourselves,"--because "our own safety is the first law!" So said the Priest and Levite, as they basted along that “bloody way," and feared that the assassins, who had waylaid the poor traveller, might return" to rob and murder themselves. But so thought not the good Samaritan, nor the Gracious Lord Who said to us by His Word, and infinitely more by His blessed Example, “Go thou, and do likewise." Our own safety! And we are to do this base deed, and dishonour our Country's Name, in the sight of all the world, with the craven hope of saving our own pitiful lives, when, for the honour of that great Name, involved in the defence of a weak but righteous cause, we have seen, as it were, before our very eyes, a hundred thousand noble Englishmen--noble, many of them in rank and station, but all in [26/27] spirit--go cheerfully forth from all they held dear on earth, and leave their bones upon the bloody Crimean Fields! Our own safety! But can that be secured, if there be a Living God, Who judges the world, by such an expedient as this? Are we not sure that our safety can only be secured by doing our duty, in the sight of God and man, and that, if we depart from this, the wisest schemes of human policy will come to nought, will be found but folly in the end, wanting in something on which the whole hope of success would depend, and our fancied security turn out to be a miserable delusion? I verily believe God's curse would light upon us, and upon our doings in this land, if this were to be one of them.
For, did the Great King send us here, that we should only, or chiefly, think of securing our own safety? Did He plant the English flag on this soil, merely that we might live at our ease, and get gain of gold, and barter for beads with the wretched tribes of South Africa? Did He not send us here to do His Work--to proclaim His Name of Love among this people--to tell them of their Saviour and Lord, and advance His Kingdom among them? Is not this the great end--the one sole end--for which the British Empire has been reared, and for which her colonies encircle the globe? Do we not, at least, as Christians, profess to believe this? If we endeavour to do God's Will with all our hearts, as I trust we shall, I doubt not the blessing of the Almighty will be with us, and the Prince of Peace Himself will shield us. If we have faith in God, we shall be able, in His own good time, to remove the mountains of difficulty, which now seem to stand between us and our hope. But if not,--if we have no such faith in the power of Christ's Name, in the presence of God's Spirit, in the promise of His help and blessing--then better far were it for England to give up this goodly portion of God's earth, which she cannot hold for His glory, to give it up once more into the hands of the savage, or rather into the hands of those good men and true, the Christian Missionaries of every kind, who will stake their lives upon the Word of their Lord, and count it their highest joy to spend and be spent in His service. Such as these, I doubt not, are to be found. There are those here now, who have braved already the dangers of savage life in the wilderness, and who would not forsake this land which they have seized for Christ, till, by God's Grace, they have subdued it, and “made the wilderness to blossom as the rose.”