THE CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA
IT was the Portuguese sea captain Diaz who first discovered the coast of the Cape. He planted a cross, a sign that he took the land for his king and country, at Angra Pequena, and another on the island of Holy Cross in Algoa Bay. "There may be heathen souls in this land to be saved for our Lord and Holy Church," he said, as he sorrowfully turned back to Portugal, and so left the finding of the sea-way to India to his successor in adventure, Vasco da Gama, 1497.
The adventurers were followed by Portuguese missionaries. Jesuits first preached the Gospel to the Bantu, and gave the martyr, De Silveira, to the Church in South Central Africa. But the Portuguese Government found the inhospitable shores useless as a commercial enterprise, so they were left, except for a few ports on the east coast, to the Hottentot tribes on the coast and to the Bantu inland.
When the East Indies proved a mine of wealth, the Cape became important as a place where fresh water could be taken on board on the long voyage there from Europe. English, Dutch, and French East Indiamen called there, and in 1648 the Haarlem, a Dutch East Indiaman, was wrecked; the sailors realised that Table Bay might profitably be taken by the Dutch Company, and provide fresh meat and vegetables for passing ships. So Van Riebeeck was sent out to be the first commander of the Cape under the great Dutch East India Company. He held the first services in his own house, when there was no chaplain from a visiting fleet to read prayers. A "sick-comforter" later was appointed to teach the children [5/6] and to read the sermon, until the first predikant, Van Arckel, came, and in 1666 the first church, small and made of wood, was put up in the rising castle.
The immigrant Huguenots also built churches in the valleys where their wine farms flourished, and schools for slaves as well as for white children were begun.
The first missionary who came to Africa was a Moravian, George Schmidt, who founded the station of Genadendal, making it a Christian village, from which it was hoped that the Hottentots would spread the religion they had learnt. But the Dutch thought he was trying to make their Hottentot servants "even-Christians," and he was made to feel that he had better leave the country.
Then the Napoleonic wars raised the importance of the Cape, and the British took it from the Dutch in 1795 when Holland fell into the hands of the French. Though it was restored, it was retaken in 1806, and at the end of the wars, by the treaty of 1814, England kept it to safeguard her Eastern interests. With the military occupation came chaplains, some of whom ministered to civilians as well as to soldiers. But as the Dutch Church by treaty was allowed to remain "free and intact," the British felt they could not have their own clergy and churches, and no English church was built in Capetown for many years; only military parade services were held; the Governor as "Ordinary" decided what the chaplains should do, and by his consent alone could "Divine Service be performed." By the courtesy of the Consistory of the Groote Kerk, Capetown, English services were held in it for the few residents and troops. The first English church was built in 1814 at Simonstown, but was soon dissolved by heavy winter rains.
While official religion had its often deadening effect at the base, life came through various missionary societies to the many tribes of natives in South Africa. These may be roughly [6/7] divided into three: (1) Bushmen, little yellow people, who hunted for meat, and whose language was a series of "clicks." One attempt to Christianise them failed, as all attempts to civilise them failed. Yet the hunting scenes they painted on the rocks of their cave dwellings are very vivid, full of action. They have now practically died out. (2) Hottentots, capable of further advance in civilisation than Bushmen; herdsmen, often itinerant, but living in rough huts. They could work copper, and iron perhaps. They had chiefs under whom they went to battle carrying spears (assegais), clubs, and shields of hide. They were living in the coastlands when Europeans settled at the Cape. (3) Bantu, of higher intelligence than the rest. Europeans only came into contact with them later, for they lived north and east of the Cape settlements. In the north were the Barotse, Bakwena, Baralong, Hereros, Damaras, Ovambo, Bechuana. In the east their clans usually began with the plural prefix ama; such were the ama-Zulu, -Xosa, -Pondo, -Swazi, -Tembu, etc. The derogatory name of "Kafir" is often given by Europeans to all these tribes. It is said the Arabs called them this, and it meant "A low fellow."
Here then was an enormous field for the spread of Christendom, and men of God were found to sow the seed and tend it. In 1792 Moravian missionaries reoccupied Schmidt's station at Genadendal. Then the first London Missionary Society's men came, and by 1799 we find them as far east as Gaika's land. In that year a Hollander, Van der Kemp, with three others, was sent by the Society to work at the Cape. Two taught Bushmen at the Zak River, and undeterred by failure there went on to the Namaquas, Griquas, and Bechuana. Van der Kemp founded a mission at Bethelsdorp for Hottentots, and Anderson settled the Bastaards or Griquas in what became Griqualand West with Philippolis as its centre.
In 1816 the best-known of the L.M.S. missionaries, Robert Moffat, [7/8] came to the Cape, and then went to the Namaquas. Later he began his great work among the Bechuana with Kuruman as headquarters. He did not make the mistake that early missionaries had made of baptising catechumens without long preparation. It was eight years (1821-1829) before the first Bechuana converts were baptised. He also translated the Bible into Sechuana. The L.M.S. also settled in Khama's country, and it became the only territory ruled by a native Christian chief in a Christian way.
The most striking personality of the London Mission was Dr. John Philip, sent by the Society to supervise all their stations. He believed that many natives and the Griquas could assimilate European civilisation and were capable of self-government. In Griqualand John Campbell gave form to the settlement by a code of laws administered by formally appointed chiefs--Kok, Barends, Waterboer--under the supervision of the missionaries, so that it became an orderly Griqua Republic. This policy of assigning land to partly civilised clans and allowing them to develop their own system of government is often called "segregation." It is held by many to be the best way of civilising and Christianising natives, and we find it approved and adopted by missionaries in the form of "settlements."
Methodist missionaries came to South Africa in 1816, when the Rev. B. Shaw went to Namaqualand, and others later came to Kaffraria. The Glasgow Society, formed in 1796, concentrated its efforts on educational work. In 1824 they founded Lovedale, and Blythswood later, and from these centres hundreds of teachers, catechists, ministers, went to all parts of South Africa. Thus the "institutional" or "educational" method, different from the "segregational" as from the parochial or itinerating method, was tried out successfully.
It was not until 1819 that the Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, realising what a great opportunity [8/9] the Church was losing, recommended that parishes should be formed in Cape Colony, and land given for Churches and schools, ministers being provided "with determinate spheres of action under proper control."
In 1820 the British Government sent out settlers to the Cape, partly to relieve unemployment, and partly to provide men, who, in farms on the eastern frontier, would help to keep back the natives who, pushing down from the north, were raiding the land. Each party of 100 families was allowed to choose its own minister. Only two parties chose clergy of the Church of England, and one of these, McCleland, went first to Clanwilliam and then to Port Elizabeth; the other, Boardman, went with his party to Bathurst. The Methodists sent many enterprising ministers with the settlers, Shaw perhaps the most energetic of them all. Methodists still have the largest number of missions and adherents of any in South Africa.
As had been done in Canada, the British Government reserved land in the Eastern Province for the Church, "in such situations as may afford every prospect of increasing the funds available for further work." In 1821 the first missionary of the Church to South Africa, William Wright, worked in Wynberg and Newlands, "opened schools for English, Dutch, and slaves," and also translated books into Dutch for them. Later he went to Grahamstown.
When the See of Calcutta was founded in 1814 it included the whole of Asia, and, in 1827, all places between the Cape and Magellan's Straits. That year, Bishop James, on his way to Calcutta, was told by the Secretary of State to call at the Cape and confirm "the British youth of the colony." So for the first time a bishop landed at Capetown, and besides confirming, held a meeting to discuss the building of an English church. A site was given by Government in the Gardens, on which the present cathedral stands. But it was not until 1830 [9/10] that the foundation-stone was laid, and a joint-stock company formed which would draw from the pew-rents the interest on its loans to the church.
In 1832 Bishop Wilson, of Calcutta, consecrated sites for churches at Rondebosch and at Wynberg, and ordained Mr. Cook and Mr. Judge--the first Ordination in South Africa. But the bishop was evidently very far from satisfied with the discipline of the Church, where, as he lamented, "everyone does what is right in his own eyes." A bishop was very much needed.
In 1835 Captain Gardiner, R.N., started a mission to the Zulus, and in 1837 a C.M.S. missionary, Owen, went to Chief Dingaan's kraal. He left after the terrible murder of Piet Retief and his companions by this chief, and practically no more work was done by the C.M.S. in the country, and nothing was done by the Church, except through military and colonial chaplains, Government officials, whose primary duty was to the colonists.
Other missions, however, still went on. The Paris Evangelical Society began work in 1829 among the Hottentots at Wellington, and went on to Motito, in Bechuanaland; but their chief work is in Basutoland, where in 1834, at the request of Moshsesh, they taught his people near his Great Place, Thaba Bosigo. François Coillard was one of their great missionaries, and later he went far north to teach the Barotsi.
Several German missions--the Rhenish, Berlin, Hanoverian Societies--had stations in the Cape and in Namaqualand; and in 1834 the American Missionary Society sent six men to work among the Zulus and translate the Bible into that language. The first Roman Catholic priests to settle at the Cape arrived in 1805, but in the next year they were asked to leave the country by the English Governor. However, in 1837 the Cape became a Vicariate; but at first nothing was done for native missions, as the Roman rule, like that of the English [10/11] Church, was, "Let the children first be fed." The Swiss, the Norwegians, the Finns, the Swedes, all have sent men to various centres in South Africa to teach the heathen.
At last there were many in England whose consciences were roused by the apathy of the State Church to her emigrant children, and in 1841 Dr. Blomfield wrote to Archbishop Howley of the duty of the Church to found bishoprics in her dependencies and colonies.
The Church societies, S.P.G. and S.P.C.K., gladly took up the matter; a Colonial Bishoprics Fund was formed; many gave generously, especially Miss Burdett-Coutts, who contributed £10,000 each to Capetown and Adelaide, where sees were most urgently needed. And so on St. Peter's Day, 1847, in Westminster Abbey, Bishop Gray was consecrated as the founder of the English Church in South Africa.
Of his enormous work during a twenty-five years' episcopate, nothing in detail can here be said. The great story of his life should be read to learn what he was to this land. It is an epic of his enduring courage in long visitations, through thousands of miles, over uncharted veld mountains, rivers, which gave him an intimate knowledge of the pressing needs of his vast diocese; of his organisation of the Church of the Province of South Africa into a living whole, lifting it from the chaos into orderly dioceses, with synods of clergy and lay representatives to consult with the bishops about the best way of governing a colonial Church which necessarily could not be as in England a State Church; of his planting missions to the heathen; of his farsightedness in planning for the education of wealthier boys at Rondebosch and Grahamstown, and of the sons of native chiefs at Zonnebloem; of his brave introduction of Sisters to work in the slums of Capetown, teaching, nursing, housing orphans, raising the fallen women of the city--these are some works he actually carried out. He saw, too, the attraction of the easy religion of Mahomet for the [11/12] mixed races of the Cape, and begged the Superior of Cowley to send some Fathers to counteract it. But Cowley had not, and still has not, any priest to spare for that work, though one of its Fathers works specially among the scattered natives, and in the Langa location at the Cape, and the Society is in charge of the mission at St. Cuthbert's, Kaffraria. Still, Dr. Camilleri and Archdeacon Lightfoot laid the foundations of a mission to Moslems.
Very early in his episcopate Bishop Gray saw the necessity for a division of his diocese. The Kafir wars in the Eastern Province stressed the need for a missionary bishop to the natives harrying our borders, and in 1851 Gray brought the question before a synod of clergy. He realised in his Visitation of 1850 that Natal and Kaffraria must be separate sees, for precipitous mountains made communication in those days almost impossible. St. Helena, too, with the islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, needed more regular spiritual help and supervision than a bishop at Capetown could give. Therefore in 1852 Bishop Gray went to England to ask advice about such a division, and to beg for men and money for new sees. In spite of painful illness he spoke all over England, 300 times on that visit, to let churchmen know the need of reduction in the size of his diocese which stretched north to the Orange river and eastward to the Great Kei. With the help of S.P.G. the new sees of Grahamstown and Natal were created with the money the bishop had begged. Armstrong became the first bishop of the former, and Colenso went to Natal. The two sees were constituted under Letters Patent in 1853, and, a fortnight later, Gray received his new Letters Patent for his diminished See of Capetown and as Metropolitan of South Africa. In that same year the Cape had Representative Government, which, superseding Crown Colony Government, rendered Letters Patent inapplicable. As a result of this, the Church of England, by a Privy Council [12/13] Judgment of 1865, was shown to be "not a part of the Constitution in any colonial Settlement, nor can its authorities claim to be recognised by the law of the Colony than as members of a voluntary association."
The far-off island of St. Helena, with Ascension and Tristan, still more off the track, was, in 1859, separated from the Capetown diocese. Its first bishop was Piers Claughton, his oath of ecclesiastical obedience being made, as in the other new sees, to the Bishop of Capetown as Metropolitan.
Another matter on which Bishop Gray had long consultations with those in authority while he was in England in 1857 was that of missionary bishoprics--that is, bishoprics in countries not under the British flag. No bishop to such a country had been consecrated by the Anglican Church, and the bishop felt that the question of the legality of such a consecration might be raised if the diocese were to include the Orange Free State republic, and that of the Transvaal. However, before these came into practical politics, the question of a bishopric to Central Africa arose. Several English bishops, including those of Winchester and of London, opposed such an innovation. Bishop Gray, with the advice of Bishop Wilberforce and Sir Robert Phillimore, thought out what steps must be taken to evangelise heathen in Central and South Africa not under the Union Jack, in spite of the opposition of some bishops.
Just before this, Dr. Livingstone had made a great appeal to the English Universities to send men to evangelise tribes in Central Africa, enslaved by Christian nations; but no steps were taken to organise the enthusiasm his speeches had aroused, or to consider such mundane matters as finance, or the choice of fit helpers for such a difficult adventure. Then Bishop Gray spoke to Cambridge undergraduates in 1858, asking them to found a mission for the lands explored by Livingstone, and even though the Bishop of London (Tait) [13/14] was "very vehement against missionary bishops, says it is unscriptural and contrary to the practice of the Church to begin missions with bishops at their head," yet the plan was carried through, and Charles Frederick Mackenzie, the very first strictly missionary bishop sent out by the Anglican Church, was consecrated in St. George's Cathedral, Capetown, on January 1, 1861. In the next year he died on an island at the mouth of the Ruo river; but, great as was this disaster, the mission went on. Bishop Tozer succeeded him, and decided that the centre of the Universities' Mission must be Zanzibar, more in touch with civilisation, and independent of the Church of the Province of South Africa.
Thus the dream of a chain of Church missions through South and Central Africa seemed to be ended. But Anne Mackenzie, sister of the bishop, collected money to found a missionary bishopric for Zululand in 1870, and from that came the sees of Pretoria, Lebombo, and of Southern Rhodesia which touches the region of the Universities' Mission.
But this is anticipating history, and we must go back to the first division of the "Cape" diocese, when, through Bishop Gray's efforts, Natal and the Eastern Province (Grahamstown) were made separate sees.
In 1843 Natal had become a British colony; but no clergy were sent by the Church, whether to the 800 settlers there or to the thousands of heathen Zulus, until 1849, when, through Bishop Gray's constant appeals to Governors and other officials of State and Church, two clergy were sent to Maritzburg and Durban, their salaries paid partly by the Colonial Government and partly by S.P.G. In 1850 he visited Natal, just after James Green had arrived. He became the first Dean of Maritzburg. In 1853, as has been said, Colenso was consecrated Bishop of Natal, to which he paid a ten weeks' visit, and during which, as Dean Green wrote: "His heresy was [14/15] in every man's mouth." [* MSS. in Bishopscourt Library, Capetown.] It is difficult to give a fair impression of this man in a few lines. He had the facile mind which readily picks up ideas and uses them cleverly. His strong subject was mathematics, yet financial matters he always found hard to keep straight. His spiritual convictions of the moment were deep, yet, as he himself said, he knew "little of theology." He had a great gift for languages, and his Zulu grammar, dictionary, and readers, were invaluable for many years. In 1855 on his return from England he began a mission at Ekukanyeni, which was his headquarters until his death. His capacity for work was enormous, and writing books was his method of self-expression. He translated some of the Old Testament and the New Testament into Zulu, natives helping him in printing, binding, and correcting proofs at the mission press of Ekukanyeni. Many have thought it was for his attack on the historicity of the Old Testament that he was condemned by the Church. But that view is wide of the mark. He definitely repudiated fundamental dogmas. His exegetical books and sermons contained defective teaching on the Sacraments and on the Divinity of our Lord. He, for example, "objected to prayer to Christ on scriptural and apostolic grounds." "My teaching is far more real than the ordinary dogma," [* Ibid.] he wrote. Bishop Gray placed the matter of his writings, so serious in a young Church, in the hands of the Primate of England, begging him to consider with the English bishops whether they were erroneous or not. In 1862 the Primate summoned English, Irish, and Colonial bishops, and by a majority of 25 to 4 they agreed to inhibit him.
In 1864 the clergy in Natal read in their churches the sentence of the deposition of their bishop; but he appealed to the Privy Council, which on technical grounds of Letters [15/16] Patent upheld his case. The South African bishops, however, determined that Natal should have an orthodox bishop, and Kenneth Macrorie was consecrated.
Theological and legal disputes had taken up so much of Bishop Colenso's time that his people complained that he spent the years in writing and publishing controversial books, not in the pastoral and administrative work of the diocese. Bishop Gray's journal of 1864 tells of the state of Natal when he arrived to take charge of the vacant see: of the small provision for the spiritual needs of settlers who said they were "lean and starving in spiritual matters," of the closing of Ekukanyeni as a school and mission, and of the abandonment of Umlazi. Unfortunately Colenso's return to Natal, and his tenure of property given to "the Church of England in Natal" with no retraction of his heresy, made a schism which rent the Church. It was not until 1910 that a Bill was passed in the Natal Parliament by which Bishop Baines and his successors, and the Natal diocesan trustees, were made trustees of the Church property of which Colenso had been registered proprietor. But still there are churchmen in South Africa who, in spite of the repeated assurance of successive Archbishops of Canterbury that there can be no "Church of England as by law established" in South Africa, still doubt if the Church of the Province is in full communion with the Church of England in faith, doctrine, and practice. Yet, in spite of this heavy handicap in the contest between light and darkness in Natal, the work of the Church went on. There were such men as Archdeacon Mackenzie, "the man of the sweet heart," afterwards first bishop in Central Africa. His centre was at Umlazi, and his helper was Robert Robertson, the pioneer missionary to Zululand. Dr. Callaway was the "apostolic" founder of Springvale and Clydesdale missions; his translations were the foundation of many Xosa and Zulu works, and his long experience in living with the Bantu made [16/17] him an invaluable adviser when he joined the bench of bishops as first Bishop of Kaffraria.
The story of the foundation of the Grahamstown diocese under its first saintly bishop, John Armstrong, is very different from that of Natal. Archdeacon Merriman had already set the key of missionary enthusiasm, courage, and self-devotion to which the new diocese was tuned. He arrived in Grahamstown in 1848 and his journeys on foot through his huge archdeaconry are famous. He offered to be the first missionary to the Xosas, but Bishop Gray could not spare him as archdeacon, and wished him to be the first bishop; this his humility refused.
The Grahamstown diocese bordered on the often-debated and altered boundary between the Colony and Kaffraria. From the time of the first Kafir War of 1779, skirmishes, massacres, raids, and counter-attacks had taken place on both sides of the River Fish or Keiskama or whatever the authorities had decided the Kafirs must not cross. Different governors had tried to subdue the invading Xosas by force of arms, but they had returned, and the problem seemed to be insoluble when either the astuteness of Moshesh, or merely the credulity of the natives when their witch-doctors speak, brought about their own undoing by the tragic cattle-killing of 1857. Then Galekas, Gaikas, Tembus, at the bidding of a witch-doctor and his niece, slew their cattle, believing that, when that was done, their chieftain ancestors would appear and lead them to victory against the hated white men. Instead, famine came and death from starvation, and though Sir George Grey, Governor and High Commissioner, 1854-1861, sent food, and missioners housed all they could, the numbers in British Kaffraria alone fell from 184,000 to 37,000, and the Kafir power disappeared as it seemed for ever.
This wise Governor had realised before this catastrophe that, owing to the Crimean War (1854), it was impossible for [17/18] Britain to spare troops to keep the natives behind the boundary lines of their territories, and he had settled German legionaries and others in the confiscated native reserves on military tenure, and had also offered large Government grants to the various missions to build churches, industrial schools, hospitals, believing that educating the natives was cheaper than sending troops to shoot them. Many new mission schools were being built by Methodists with these grants, and both Bishop Gray and the new Bishop of Grahamstown realised the enormous opportunity given to the Church to found missions to the ama-Xosa. Both bishops wrote imploring S.P.G. to send men. As soon as possible after his arrival Bishop Armstrong visited Umhalla, of whom Bishop Gray had written on his visitation in 1850:
"I have undertaken to found a mission in Umhalla's country midway between Kingwilliamstown and the Kei river. The chief has about 10,000 people under him, and here we hope to begin work."
The chief had granted to the Church a site for a mission near the deserted Fort Waterloo. Mr. Clayton was the first missionary there, and the stone of the first church for the Xosas was laid on St. Luke's Day, 1854, and the mission took that evangelist saint as its patron. From there the bishop travelled up the Booma Pass, where many British troops had been ambushed and massacred, to Keiskama Hoek, a military station, with Mr. Dacre as its chaplain. Here in the fastnesses of the Amatolas lived the Gaikas, under their lame chief Sandile, but when they were expelled their land was given to the Fingoes, who had helped the British in the Xosa wars. The Fingo chief gladly heard the bishop's proposal for a mission among his people, where they would learn about Christianity, and also about better ways of agriculture. The chief offered land not far from the Hoek, and Mr. Dacre nobly began work in the time he could spare from his [18/19] military duties. He made the invaluable water-furrow for the mission lands, still in use, and by his influence paved the way for the first resident missionary there, H. B. Smith, who arrived in September, 1855. Sir George Grey granted 693 acres of land to this mission, which was called St. Matthew's.
During Bishop Armstrong's second journey in 1855, he visited Sandile, who at once consented to have Church missions in his land, and offered a site near his kraal on the Kabusie river. This was eventually called St. John's. There still remained the great Kreli, who lived further east across the Kei, and to see him the bishop travelled through bare country, with scarcely a human being, or an animal, or even a green bush, to be seen for miles, and the hot sun beating down was paralysing. A police horse was lent to him, which saved him from the almost intolerable jolting of the waggon over the rough veld, and after nearly a week's journey he reached the banks of the White Kei, across which, nearly seven miles away, was the king's kraal. Here, with fifty men, Kreli came to visit the bishop. He very readily agreed to have missionaries in his country, though his 600,000 people were not in any way under British rule. A little later the great mission station of St. Mark's was founded by Henry Waters.
And so the first Anglican missions to bring the teaching of the Gospel to the Bantu placed themselves under the patronage of the four evangelists who had recorded it.
After the Natal, Grahamstown, and St. Helena dioceses were staffed and organised Bishop Gray turned his attention to the Orange Free State. That little Province of the Union has had a varying political history. In 1836 Dutch farmers trekked across the Orange river and set up a simple form of republican government at Winburg. In 1848 it was proclaimed British territory with a British Resident at Bloemfontein. But as the disputes between the natives and the European settlers continued it was given back to the Dutch [19/20] in 1853, as the British Parliament thought it a country "fit only for springboks."
Before that date the S.P.G. report of 1850 stated that there were 300 soldiers and many civilians there, members of the English Church, but there was no church for them within 150 miles. Bishop Gray visited them in that year, and while in Bloemfontein chose sites for a church, cemetery, and school, and he baptised, confirmed, married, and communicated those who came for his ministrations. Solitary priests, Steabler in 1853 and Every, 1854 to 1858, did what they could. In 1850 Archdeacon Merriman had visited Bloemfontein as part of his large archdeaconry of Grahamstown. He walked the 800 miles, there and back, and laid the foundation stone of a church where the chancel of Bloemfontein Cathedral now stands. But when in 1854 the British troops and officials left, many settlers also went away, for the uncertain conditions of the republic made investment in trade ventures or in property very risky. The walls of the church which had begun to rise soon crumbled away, and the first attempt at a Bloemfontein mission failed.
Then at last letters from English residents and from native chiefs to the bishop begging him to send clergy, and promising support, made him determine to put the mission on a stable footing by giving it a bishop. It was a new thing for the Anglican Church to send a missionary bishop where not only was there no British Government to give it State backing, but another government existed, not always friendly to the British. It was a greater venture of faith to found such a see than to send a bishop to Central Africa. But after consultation with the Convocation of Canterbury and other ecclesiastical advisers, what seemed to be an insurmountable difficulty was removed, and when Bishop Mackenzie was consecrated in Capetown for the Universities' Mission, the South African bishops, who consecrated him, unanimously agreed that the [20/21] need for a Free State bishop was urgent. S.P.G. voted £500 towards his stipend, and £200 each for two missionaries to go with him, and Edward Twells was consecrated bishop for the Free State in Westminster Abbey in 1863, under the Jerusalem Act, and left England for his diocese with three priests and two schoolmasters. On his arrival at Smithfield the bishop went to Basutoland, and preached to Moshesh, the most statesmanlike chief of South Africa. He then went to Thabanchu, where the Methodists had a flourishing mission, and there chief Moroka of the Bechuana paid his respects; then on to Bloemfontein. His first Visitation took him to Harrismith and into the Transvaal, where he found Englishmen anxious to have their own clergy at Potchefstroom, Pretoria, and Rustenburg. In 1864 he founded the first Church mission to the Bechuana at Thabanchu, under George Mitchell and Samuel Moroka.
In the next year the Society of St. Augustine at Modderpoort was founded by Canon Beckett, under the guidance of the bishop, and the church and mission house there was for nearly forty years the centre of missionary work in all that part of the Free State and Basutoland; then in 1902 the Society of the Sacred Mission took over the work.
After the founding of the diocese of St. John's, Kaffraria, under its first Bishop, Henry Callaway, with his seat at Umtata, the bishopric of Pretoria was founded. Bishop Twells had visited the English residents every year, and appointed William Richardson as catechist and then deacon in charge of the spiritual needs of the Potchefstrom people. The foundation stone of the first English church in the Transvaal was laid there in 1867. In 1870 Bishop Gray wrote: "I am urged to go to the Transvaal, where two deacons with their congregations have had no Communion for two years."
The synod of bishops in 1869, and the Provincial Synod of 1870, recommended the foundation of a bishopric for the [21/22] Transvaal, but there was no money. Bishop Wilkinson went there from Zululand and stayed for some months during 1872-1874. S.P.G., S.P.C.K., and the Colonial Bishoprics' Fund were all asked for help. Then in 1876 came war with the natives and, the Transvaal being bankrupt, many of the Transvaalers asked that they might be taken over by England. So Shepstone hoisted the Union Jack. Trade revived as more English came into the country. This strengthened the appeal of the South African bishops to found a see of Pretoria, and Henry Brougham Bousfield was consecrated its first bishop in 1878.
Bishop West Jones (1874-1908) followed Bishop Gray as Metropolitan (later Archbishop) of the Province of South Africa. It was his great work to consolidate the work begun or planned by his predecessor. At the first Provincial Synod, 1870, a Constitution and Canons for the Church of the Province had been drawn up, and these were passed almost without verbal alteration by the next Provincial Synod of 1876, so learned in Canon Law were Bishops Gray and Cotterill and some of their clergy. With this Constitution for its guidance the Church went forward. The number of dioceses has now increased to 14; each has its own synod of clergy and laity, and its own diocesan rules; and each also sends members to the Provincial Synod which considers problems of the whole Province, and co-ordinates the work done there.
The cathedrals of many of the dioceses are of great beauty and dignity, each the centre of worship for the whole see. In almost every town of the Province there is now an Anglican church for Europeans, and another for the coloured or for the native people. The priest in charge may have a catechist or deacon, or, in large centres, a priest, native or European, to take charge under his guidance of the mission church and people. These, as in England, are parochial missions. The chief hindrance to their growth is the poverty of South Africa. [22/23] This seems a strange fact in a country noted in Europe for its supposed wealth. But that wealth is found only in coast or mining towns, as Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. South Africa depends almost entirely on its gold mines for its solvency. "Locusts, murrain, and drought," against which our Litany prays, destroy the hope of most farmers of making even a moderate living. The number of Europeans is small, and the proportion of members of the Anglican communion among them is very small. They gallantly build churches and support their clergy in a way that would astonish most English parishes. But everywhere almost the struggle is hard, and the self-denial enormous.
Outside the few towns and large villages of this subcontinent there are vast districts where the population is native except for European officials and traders. Many of these districts have a large central mission station, with a good church, schools, and perhaps a training college and hospital. An intensely hard-worked priest is in charge of the central station, and of the outstations which it serves. The number and the distances of these out-stations is a hindrance, perhaps a danger. Yet how can they be limited? A headman asks the padre to begin a school for his group of kraals. Not to be outdone in a desire for learning, other headmen also ask for a teacher. Soon the large number of these dependent stations makes it impossible for one priest, in spite of the advent of a motor to take the place of donkeys, a horse, or ox-waggon, to visit them often. The result is that many poorly instructed catechumens are baptised, confirmed, communicated, and instruct others. The priest cannot be the pastor of so large and scattered a flock, and they often cannot be fed. For the number of would-be Christians outstrip the resources of the Church to deal with them. By reorganisation and development of training colleges for catechists and schoolmasters much has been done to remedy this.
 In 1879 Bishop Callaway, of Kaffraria, ordained Peter Masiza the first Xosa priest, and later the first native canon. After fifty years the number rose to 167. But with the increase of native and coloured priests a new difficulty arises. How far is it wise to put into their inexperienced hands great pastoral responsibilities, and also by a vote in synod a controlling power in the direction of Church affairs? In 12 dioceses the number of European priests is greater than that of native ones, though often with only a narrow margin. But in the dioceses of St. John's and of Zululand, native priests outnumber Europeans; in Lebombo they are about equal; while in some dioceses the large increase in native deacons and those preparing for Holy Orders shows that soon their votes in synod may carry or block some important point in diocesan development. The solution seems to be that the standard of examinations for Holy Orders in such subjects which call not only for good memory work, but also for judgment, should be high. This has not invariably been so. Thirty years ago the test in general education for native Ordinands was about that of Standard III. And even now to have passed Standard VI will in some cases be sufficient to admit a man into a native theological college. However, the number of native students taking a University course at Fort Hare is increasing, and some of these may become priests; and there are good theological colleges for native students at St. Augustine's, Penhalonga; St. Peter's, Johannesburg; St. Vincent's, Zululand; St. Bede's, Umtata; St. Matthew's, Keiskama Hoek. And so, gradually, by increase of efficient training, by breaking up the large districts as clergy increase and as evangelistic zeal grows among the natives, by itinerating missionaries, the problem of supervision in the large church districts in Bechuanaland, Kaffraria, Damaraland, and others will be solved.
Besides the growth of Christianity among the natives in [24/25] what roughly corresponds to organised parishes and rural deaneries in England, South Africa has several peculiar problems for generating and fostering that growth. The most important of these is the work among the miners in the mine compounds.
This was first tackled by Bishop Webb, whose consecration in 1870 as bishop for the Free State coincided with the finding of diamonds in Kimberley. Those who have read of those early days at the diggings can realise, as did the bishop, what an opportunity was waiting for the Church of Christ. There were hundreds of Europeans, from all parts, with very little restraint of police regulations, with often wild unrestraint among themselves. And, watching them, learning, many of them at their first contact with Europeans, were natives drawn from all parts of South Africa, also with very little police restraint, herded together in the nights of heat and of cold, in the dust and discomfort, in the sudden acquisition of what was a new factor in their lives--money. The bishop needed scores of clergy and evangelists to win these souls for whom Christ died. He had only a small handful of some of the bravest and saintliest men the Church of the Province has been honoured to call hers. They worked among native and European diggers, and gradually a church, schools, and hospital were built--wood and zinc or canvas buildings, blown down by the winds, with sand for floors, and zinc or canvas to shelter them from the torrid sun, but veritable houses of God.
On a larger scale this happened also when gold was found in the Transvaal, especially on the Rand, or Reef, which became Johannesburg with its fifty miles of mines. Here, as in Bloemfontein, devoted men such as Canon Shaw and J. T. Darragh worked among Europeans and natives, and many whose names are forgotten taught and preached to the workers as they rested in the compounds between "shifts." There were devoted women, too. In Kimberley the Community of St. Michael and All Angels [25/26] founded by Bishop Webb started a school, managed a large hospital, visited the slum-dwellings and lifted the standard of prayer and selflessness where there might have been nothing but grumbling and greed. And in Johannesburg a body of women in Sophiatown and other places on the Rand nursed, taught, visited. And the Communities of East Grinstead and of Wantage are thanked by many girls and women of the Transvaal, for they have raised them when fallen, housed them when homeless, and brought them to Christ. For the training of boys and men, and for work among the natives, the dioceses of Johannesburg and of Rhodesia have to thank the Community of the Resurrection (Mirfield); just as the natives and Europeans in the northern Free State and Basutoland owe a great debt to the Society of the Sacred Mission (Kelham).
The anxious responsibility of throngs of native miners in the compounds turns out to be a vast potential missionary force. For natives coming from almost every tribe and district to earn enough money to be able to buy enough cattle to marry well, and settle down to kraal-life, carry back not only money, and a smattering of civilised ways of eating, drinking, and dressing, but very seeds of the lore of Christianity which may become incentives to personal service of the Church. So, in the Lebombo diocese, John Matthew, a Chopi, hearing from Father Shaw in Johannesburg that no teacher in Lourenço Marques could speak Chopi, was chosen by his fellow-Chopi miners to go there as a missionary, and so the Matolla mission began. Bishop Smyth wrote down what John dictated, and so a Chopi grammar, reader, and, later, translations of hymns and parts of the Bible were made.
Another special South African task is to combat that subtle hindrance to the growth of Christianity, the deep-rooted belief in witchcraft and other "superstitions," and the firm hold of such ancient institutions as polygamy, [26/27] circumcision, and the rites that go with it, also lobola or marriage dowry, etc. Some of these ancient customs have their good points, but they are so mixed up with heathen evil that native priests are stronger in their desire to have them abolished than Europeans.
Then there is the rather strange inception and growth of the Ethiopian Order, which from 1900 to 1911 demanded much thought and statesmanship from the Church. The problem it raised--that of the organisation of the Bantu in the Church, in such a way that they might develop their special gifts while keeping their allegiance to the doctrine and practice of the Church Catholic--has not yet been worked out. It was about 1892 when, in Johannesburg, certain native Methodists resolved to form a new religious body for natives only. They called themselves Ethiopians, because they hoped that their people would "soon stretch out their hands to God." In 1894 J. M. Dwane, a Methodist minister, joined them--"a man of great gifts." He realised that if the Order were to be permanent it must have a rule of faith and discipline, and at first hoped that the American Episcopal Church might help them. Dwane was made a vice-bishop by one of their "bishops," but America did not recognise him officially, so he turned to the Anglican Church in South Africa.
At this very time there was much interest in the question of native churches. Many did not like the term, for it seemed to imply a distinction between Christians of the same faith, living side by side, but of different colour. The C.M.S. says: "It is our desire that when native Christians in any country are sufficiently numerous and matured . . . the Church become either independent, or an autonomous branch of the English Church, in either case in communion with other Anglican churches."
Archbishop West Jones, Bishop Key (Kaffaria), Bishop [27/28] Cornish (Grahamstown), Father Puller, S.S.J.E., and others, thought long on this difficult question, learning what was being done in such places as Sierra Leone, Uganda, Lagos. In 1899 Dwane went to Julius Gordon, then Rector of Queenstown, who realised the importance of this approach, explained to Dwane that the A.M.E. could not hand on episcopal Orders as it never had them, and gradually led him to understand the position of the Catholic Church, and urged him to seek admission in it for himself and his followers. Dwane in a conference retold his people these truths, and after long discussion and prayer the conference petitioned the Archbishop and the bishops to give their body a valid priesthood, and to include them in the Catholic Church, whose doctrines, Sacraments and discipline they accepted, though they were to keep their own organisation. Dwane was publicly admitted into the Anglican Church at Grahamstown by the archbishop, and afterwards confirmed by him. Later he was ordained deacon, and many people were very glad, though some missionaries foresaw difficulties if the "Ethiopian" clergy of the future were to work in parishes where diocesan missionaries were in charge. But Bishop Cornish swept aside these objections, and asked Father Alfred Kettle to visit the stations of the Order already established and report on them. He died almost before his work began. Bishop Key then offered to help: but he, too, died. Then in 1901 Father Puller, S.S.J.E., gathered together fourteen of the Ethiopian "elders" for instruction. After nearly a year's probation twelve of these were presented to the bishop for Confirmation, and for a catechist's licence, though he did not think them ready for Ordination. They set to work in places where Ethiopians were organised. Other teaching-priests followed Father Puller, and by 1905 three catechists were ordained deacons. Next year the chapter of the Order of Ethiopia presented its proposed constitution of the Order. All seemed to be going well, when difficulties arose. Dwane had [28/29] not approved of the licensing of his catechists to work under a diocesan priest, and some rebelled against their limitations. But under the management of Bishop Cameron as acting-provincial of the Order the difficulties seemed to be smoothed away, and the archbishop said that though it was a new venture it was a great one; it meant that the Bantu were trying to express themselves and bring their people to God. In 1908 the Order had about 3,500 adherents, of whom 940 were communicants. It was hoped that the Order would eventually work with the Church of the Province, and that is still a hope, but as yet unfulfilled. Dwane died in 1915, and gradually the idea arose that the Order of Ethiopia is an alternative to the Church, not a part of it. They are extra-parochial, but by the constitution not extra-diocesan, yet they contribute nothing to the dioceses. Somehow the whole matter has dropped. The Order now has fallen short of what Dwane dreamed for it--an order of preachers to convert Africans. Now they do not convert the heathen, they are exclusively interested in Amaxosa tribes; but they are devout and their moral standard is high.
Their story is told in full, as at any time the subject may be reintroduced, and also it may be of interest to other countries where conditions are the same.
Another extra-parochial, extra-diocesan, but Provincial, mission work is the Railway Mission, begun in Grahamstown by Father Simeon about 1888. Soon passing the boundaries of that diocese, it advanced as the railway advanced through the Transvaal into Rhodesia, until now there are thousands of miles of "the line," on the borders of which live platelayers and other railway officials and their families, separated often for long periods from intercourse with others. Men and women railway missioners visit them regularly, in the railway mission coach, bringing with them news of the world, preparing them for Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion, [29/30] sympathising and cheering. It is a very hard work, but very well worth the hardness heroically endured.
The greatest problem for Christianity to face in South Africa is the enormous advance in late years of Mohammedanism. Forty years ago if a girl from one of the Cape-town mission churches fell in love with a handsome young Moslem, and "turned Malay," it was a matter of great grief to the mission. But very soon such a lapse became ordinary enough almost to escape notice. The early missions founded by Bishop Gray, with their centres at St. Mary's, Woodstock, and St. Paul's, Bree St., very soon became general missions for coloured people. And the coloured people as a whole are not missionaries to save the boys and girls round them from the "lure of Islam." In 1820 there were 3,000 "Malays" in the Cape. But that term does not mean only descendants of the slaves brought by the Dutch East India Company to work for the Cape Dutch families. As years went by they came to be a mixture of every kind of European, Asiatic, and African race, and there are 25,000 of them in the Cape Province.
In 1838 the Rev. J. D. Sanders wrote:
"At present the great majority of coloured apprentices show a decided preference for the Mahommedan religion, and it is believed that a great number of the liberated slaves will also be Mahommedans. It may be difficult to trace all the causes of this, but no desire has been shown, generally speaking, by professing Christians for the conversion of the coloured people. Many imported slaves were Mahommedans, and, being superior in intelligence to negroes and Hottentots, taught them their faith and gave them a love for their feasts and ceremonies. . . . Many of the clever slaves gained their freedom, and these sympathised with and helped their slave-brethren. They raised a fund to set as many free as they could, and opened schools for them. As there is a great gulf between black and white, a Malay prefers to go to those who [30/31] encourage him. . . . Among Mahommedans the coloured are treated as equals." [* S.P.G. Archives.]
And, nearly 100 years later, this is still true. For in a diocese (and the Moslems are chiefly in the diocese of Cape-town) poor and undermanned, there was for many years no one to be spared with the necessary qualifications of linguistic and dialectic ability, and with the time to discuss religion with these Indian Moslems, many of whom are well-taught men. The clergy of some parishes, such as St. Paul's, St. Mary's, St. Mark's, and St. Philip's, do what they can, but many clergy, not realising the paramount importance of this rapid invasion of Islam on Christianity, appear to despair of the conversion of the Moslems of their parishes, while some fear to stir up strife by useless or ill-informed discussion. In 1896 Dr. Edith Pellatt came out with the Cowley Fathers to live and work among the people of Woodstock and District Six, and by her skill and kindness won the respect of Moslem women. Later St. Monica's Home was opened for maternity cases, with the hope that some mothers who had been Christians but became "Malay" might be brought back. Scattered women missionaries have gallantly done what they could, and in 1932 the Rev. A. R. Hampson, with the necessary training, became a special missionary to the Mahommedans of Capetown and its suburbs.
A new chapter in the story of the spread of Christendom in South Africa has scarcely begun, and it is too early to write with certainty of the widespread and lasting effect it may have in the Church of the Province. It might be headed, "The Beginning of Bantu Vocations to the Religious Life." Many years ago there were priests in various missions who, in the spiritual direction of their native converts, realised that there were few whom God seemed to be calling to follow Him more closely in the way of perfection by the hard paths of [31/32] poverty, chastity, and obedience. The Bantu mind and soul at its best, with its overwhelming sense of the supernatural, is greatly attracted to the devout worship of God, with a realisation of His Presence which seems to be more rare in English people. But the risk of perilous failure was so great that it was thought best to move very slowly in this glorious adventure of the Religious Life for the Bantu. Little has been said, and less written, of the preparation of a few chosen souls among them. But now at St. Cuthbert's, Tsolo, there is the Brotherhood of St. Andrew for native men, and the Community of St. John Baptist for native women under the tutelage of the Cowley Fathers and the Wantage Sisters. At Thlotse in Basutoland there is the Basuto Community of St. Mary of the Cross under the Sisters of St. Michael and All Angels, Bloemfontein. At St. Augustine's, Modderpoort, under the direction of the Society of the Sacred Mission are the Servants of Christ. And in the Pretoria diocese, under Padre Moeka, the Daughters of Mary are trying to live as natives, and as Religious keeping the sacred Three Vows as do their brothers and sisters in Religion all over the world.