The first Bishop of Grahamstown embarked at Gravesend July 22, 1854, and on the Festival of St. Michael landed at Capetown. The weather was remarkably calm during the voyage, so that a service was held upon deck every evening, and during the latter part of the time every morning also. The Bishop thought it right to avoid all risk of fatigue, that he might be fitter for his work on his arrival in Africa, and therefore did not venture to take any part in the service, beyond saying a few collects and giving the blessing. He also administered Holy Communion every Sunday, when possible, in his cabin, for his own party and any others who were willing to join.
On the 6th of October he writes from Capetown, giving an account of his arrival and first impressions of Africa:--
"My dear ------,
"We are all, thank God, safe so far, after a long voyage; and we are greatly struck with the extreme [268/269] beauty of the country, with its fine mountains, and countless flowers. It is a most striking place:--we are crushing geraniums and arams under our feet, and we are looking up on the fine cliffs which the clearness of the atmosphere shews off to their full height. We are not, however, long to dally among these glorious scenes, but start to-morrow for our own less beautiful country of Grahamstown. Port Elizabeth, where I first touch my diocese, is full of Church troubles, though with many bright features presenting themselves in the midst of them; but there is something sad in beginning with internal strife. Two of our missionaries who sailed before us took possession of mission-ground last week, so that the Church of England has at last begun missionary work, and the staff with me go as quickly as they can to the same station for the present, till we can divide our forces. The work before us is immense, and the roughest work is for us, if we choose to enter upon it. As regards health, I am very much stronger; though my cough has not yet quite gone, it is much less troublesome, and I feel very hopeful about my recovery......
"Yours very sincerely,
The opening prospects of his mission the Bishop thus describes to Mr. Hawkins on the following day:--
 "Bishop's Court, Capetown,
"Oct. 7, 1854.
"My dear Mr. Hawkins
"I am thankful to say that we are all safe, so far, after a long voyage, and sail to-morrow for Algoa Bay. We found the Bishop and Mrs. Gray quite strong and well; and with true episcopal hospitality they have entertained our whole party of sixteen in their house for the last week, as we could not get on. The Church in this district is evidently getting on. There are signs of increasing strength and vitality on all sides: in my own district more has yet to be done. Thank God, however, the first Church of England Mission among the Kafirs was commenced by Mr. Clayton and Mr. Garde last week at temporary quarters, near King William's Town, in Umhalla's country. They both preceded me, but were not able to get any place to shelter them earlier. Archdeacon Merriman thinks they are admirably qualified for their work, and have already shewed great earnestness, though not directly employed till now. I think, too, the Missionaries who sailed with me will do very well. They got on capitally with their Kafir during the voyage, and worked very hard. There is an immense field open to us, especially in the rougher districts, where, alas! we are the very last to take the field. I think we ought to take these rougher parts. We shall want a great increase of help from the Society if we are to do anything at all. The great expense of travelling in this country [270/271] is swallowing up the means at my disposal. By the time all our party are placed out, I shall have spent the £300, and more, that was the grant for this year; and then I have to begin to support them, we ought with our staff to have three, or at least two stations at once; and others are waiting for us. Unless we take a good stand at once, and enter vigorously upon Missionary work, we shall be a bye-word in this country, and shall only be exposing our spiritual feebleness. I cannot, however, but hope that the movement which began at the Mansion-house will have done, and be doing, great things, so that we may look for a great increase of support. Pray remember me to Mr. Vernon and Mr. Bullock, and to any of my friends whom you may see.
"Very sincerely yours,
"I am much better in health.
"The Rev. E. Hawkins."
From Capetown the Bishop quickly passed on to Port Elizabeth. His arrival, and further progress, and first entrance into Grahamstown, will be best given in his own words:--
"The moon was up when the good ship 'Natal,' on the 11th of October, 1854, steamed into Algoa Kay. About two in the morning the gun was fired, the anchor was let down, and our voyage was at an [271/272] end. As I hurried upon deck, I saw the town of Port Elizabeth glimmering dimly along the shore, and then felt the reality of having found another country, henceforth to be adopted as one's own. In the morning, when after some delay it became our turn to leave the ship, a strong surf-boat carried us towards the shore; but as it could not get within many yards of it, a group of half-naked Fingos--strong, lusty fellows--dashed through the surf, with a chair for my wife, while our other friends and my children were carried in their arms. As for myself, it was certainly impossible to land with dignity. I had to sit on the shoulders of a strong Fingo, grasping his woolly hair as the waves at first seemed to make him somewhat stagger; and at last he pounced me down from his dusky shoulders amid a group of clergymen and laymen who had kindly come to the beach to welcome me. We were enabled in the evening to go up to the house of God, and so humbly to return thanks for a safe and prosperous voyage.
"The next day the clergy, churchwardens, and vestry presented me with an address, congratulating me on my arrival, and touching many topics of interest. Though I had now to deal with some troubles, and tried in vain to heal differences that had arisen, yet I was pleased with the general tone and temper of the laity. There is ground both for thankfulness and hope. The town itself is thoroughly English, with good large English-looking [272/273] warehouses and 'stores,'--a 'store' being a wondrous receptacle for all manner of goods, from silks and satins down to ploughs and saddles. The population is English; and at first one hardly fancies oneself so far away from home, till one suddenly swallows a mouthful of African dust, or sees a line of African ox-waggons moving drowsily through the streets, or comes upon a group of Fingos basking in the sun, with their brass armlets and necklaces and blankets. The Fingos--who pitch their cluster of 'hives,' if I may so designate their huts, about a mile or so out of the town--form a numerous body, beginning to partake of the good and of the evil of their masters, the English; some learning their religion, others their drunkenness. I found, alas! that the Church of England had not made any attempt as yet to teach them. The Independents have a chapel in the midst of them; and as they are first in the field, we must for the present stand aloof, lest we should confuse the half-trained, half-disciplined nature in any endeavour to shew him what we believe the more perfect way. The clergy now deal with any individual cases brought before them, without trenching on what has been taken possession of by others.
"On the 18th, St. Luke's-day, I laid the foundation stone of a second church, which will be well placed, as the town straggles a long way on; arid on the 19th I held my first confirmation, a solemn and impressive day. I was struck with the seriousness of [273/274] the candidates; the wholly different position of the Church in a country where it has no temporal or worldly advantage, gives it advantages of other kinds. A good deal of unsatisfactory adherence is lost to it; people belong to it from real attachment; at least, there is less mechanical adherence, if I may so speak. The effect of this position I have noticed in almost all the confirmations: as there is more independence of action, so there are fewer who seek confirmation simply because it is expected of them; it is more thoroughly voluntary, and hence a larger number of the confirmed have become communicants than usually happens at home.
"On the following Sunday there was a special Communion, first, that I might myself partake of this feast with my brethren, both clergy and laity, on my arrival, and also because I determined, wherever it was possible, to take part in administering the first Communion to those whom I had confirmed, that in the young persons' minds the one act might be connected intimately with the other. The old clerk told me he had never seen so many communicate at one time before, though I have been glad to learn that at Christmas there was even a greater number.
"The rest of our time was spent in receiving and returning visits, in accepting many acts of hospitality, and in making personal acquaintance with, the members of the Church. We thus received our first insight into colonial life--a life distinct from [274/275] English, with its own peculiar gains and losses. The scantiness of servants struck us much, and seemed a great drawback on one's accustomed comfort. On calling one day on the clergyman of the new church, his wife, who 'roughs it' with a cheerful and buoyant spirit, told us that the butcher's boy had brought in the breakfast, and that on going into the kitchen she found her own black girl gone, and two strange blacks in possession of it instead.
"After a fortnight's sojourn, it became time to make our first experiment in South-African travelling. General Jackson, the Commander of the Forces at Grahamstown, and now our Lieutenant-Governor, as the first of many acts of considerate kindness, sent us a good mule-waggon, with a span of eight excellent mules and two excellent muleteers, one of them a picturesque, handsome, Spanish-looking personage. Having packed ourselves into this vehicle, the fastest that travels on African roads, we commenced our journey. The first effect of the jolts, the jars, the bumps, the tossings to and fro, over these wondrous roads, made us inclined to groan or shriek; but at last it turned to laughter, and we proceeded pretty cheerfully, though an elbow or a head occasionally got a good hard blow. The first idea of the country was its boundlessness. After the confined, fenced, hedged state of England, we seemed to be at sea, with a boundless expanse around us. Nor was it so African-looking as we expected; it was less arid, less sandy, less dry--as [275/276] the year had been singularly rainy; the flowers were countless, and our waggon-wheels crushed whole greenhouses, as if: were, in a perfectly reckless way. In some parts the herbage was of an aromatic kind, and we pressed sweetness and fragrance out of the earth to scent us on our way, as the good mules jolted us along, and as the skilful muleteer twisted them about to avoid holes and steep descents, with the influence of his long bamboo whip. Driving in England cannot be compared to this for skilfulness. Then we came to 'the bush,' which instinctively suggests to an English mind the rushing out of wild, dark Kafirs, with guns and assegais. In this part of the colony, however, there are no Kafirs in time of peace. The bush itself attracted our attention; it is totally unlike the thickest copse or brake, being closer, thicker, more utterly impenetrable, as if the earth in these parts had thick, matted hair, quite uncombed and uncombable, and as if all the various plants and shrubs had become perfectly clotted together.
"About mid-day we stopped by the banks of Sunday River, or rather, in African language, we 'outspanned;' and after 'knee-haltering' the mules, the muleteers let them loose, to get their dinners, while we spread our viands, somewhat smashed and huddled up together, on the grass, under the shade of some fine shrubs. It was a lovely spot, and we greatly enjoyed the picturesqueness of the scene. We reached a 'house of accommodation' at [276/277] night, like a humble village inn. I longed to restore that good and expressive word 'inn,' which tells so much, instead of this colonial circumlocution which everywhere prevails. The next day, as we had done half the journey, about forty-five miles, our muleteers were resolved to take us into Grahamstown. We had some fine views on our way; and in splashing through one river, the mules, indulging in their one defect of not facing water well, in the middle of the stream turned straight round, and looked us in the face. However, a flank of the wondrous whip put all things straight, and we landed safely on the other side.
'"It was getting dark when we reached Grahamstown, and we found that our proceedings had been so rapid as to have prevented a considerable cavalcade of Church people, who had intended, on the following morning, to have ridden and driven some twelve miles out to welcome and "escort us to our new home. I was sorry to have unintentionally frustrated this kindly design; but, as an intended act of kindness, it was not lost upon us. Archdeacon Herriman hastened to greet us the same evening.
"Soon after our arrival, an address was presented to us in the schoolroom, by the Rev. J. Heavyside, the colonial chaplain, on behalf of himself, the other clergy, and the laity. After I had made my reply the evening was spent in pleasant social intercourse; and the large number of Church people present [277/278] convinced me that the Church was not asleep or dead.
"On the first Sunday after my arrival I preached from the text, 'Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.' (Gal. i. 3, 4.) The congregation was very large and attentive; and I could not but be moved at thus, for the first time, entering the cathedral church, the heart and centre of all future wanderings and labours.
"The exterior of the cathedral is plain and uninteresting in the extreme; it occupies a noble position, at the end of the broad main street; and though I see vast works of a more needful kind, as regards their direct spiritual bearing, to which I must first put my hand, and for which I must, with an earnest voice, plead with my countrymen at home, yet I do trust I may be spared to see a better and a worthier structure reared as our cathedral, through the joint offering of brethren in the colony and at home. The interior, through the successful exertions of Archdeacon Merriman, the colonial chaplain, and the vestry, has been made as comely as possible, and has, on the whole, a reverential and church-like aspect.
"The city of Grahamstown struck us agreeably. There is one broad, handsome street, lined on either side, to a great extent, with. Kafir booms, oaks, and [278/279] other trees, with the Drodsty-house and the barracks at one end and the cathedral at the other. The gardens attached to the houses are beginning to be well planted, and most of the other streets have lines of the blue gum-tree or oak, which give a green and refreshing look to the town. The hills round it are well formed; and though, generally, we ought to relieve the bareness of them with planting, in one direction there are still some remains of shrub or bush. Flowers, as usual, may be found in multitudes the moment one leaves the town. Like Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown is thoroughly English, and there is plenty of good English feeling. About 3,000 Fingos, and Hottentots, and Kafirs form the native share of the population, and there, as at Port Elizabeth, have their 'hives' outside the town. The Wesleyans have erected a chapel for the Fingos, the Independents for the Hottentots; and as the Church has hitherto done nothing, and the Kafirs, not mixing with the Fingos, have been left alone, I am just about to erect a school-chapel for them, with our Governor's monetary aid.
"On the second Sunday after our arrival, November 5th, there was Holy Communion and a large number of communicants. Since then the number has still further increased, and I hope soon we shall be enabled to have it weekly. "Wo have given many special Communions on various occasions, so as to multiply them in this way first, and have invariably been rejoiced to see a good attendance.
 "We were glad to find a good grammar-school at work, under the charge of the Rev. F. Bankes, who thoroughly loves his school and scholars, the true source of all success."
The journey from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown proved fatal to his youngest child, Ruth. She suffered severely from the effects of the jolting in the waggon, and a sickness came on which never ceased till she died, on the 13th of December.
The account of the journey is taken from "Notes in South Africa," a journal written by the Bishop, and published by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, from which also other accounts of his subsequent journeys are taken. The following history of the Church troubles at Port Elizabeth, which has been kindly supplied by a very trustworthy authority, seems necessary to be here added:--
"Archdeacon Merriman, who had the temporary charge of the parish during the interval between the death of the previous chaplain and the arrival from England of his successor, the Rev. W. H. Fowle, introduced, in accordance with the rules of the Prayer-book, the Offertory throughout the congregation, and the prayer for the Church Militant; he also used the surplice in preaching, which was speedily discontinued, as a matter of no real moment. These changes were much resented by a small [280/281] portion of the congregation, some of whom set up a congregation of their own in an unlicensed room, the number assembling being about sixty, including children; laymen said the prayers and read printed sermons. They commenced a subscription for a church of their own, claiming the right to appoint their own minister, for whom they required a license from the bishop. The dissidents, as they called themselves, appealed to the Bishop of Capetown, and added charges against the archdeacon's doctrine which they refused to substantiate when called upon to do so. Mr. Fowle, on his arrival, carried on the service in the manner appointed by the Archdeacon, and as it was strictly in accordance with the rubric, the Bishop of Grahamstown, on his arrival in his diocese, would not alter it, though he made many efforts to reclaim the dissidents, but in vain. Those who remained faithful increased in love and attachment to the Church, and the outbreak, sad as tin; position of the seceders is, seems to have drawn out the hearty love and zeal of many."
In a letter to a friend, the Bishop speaks of the state of Church feeling at Port Elizabeth and in Grahamstown, and the last sentence deserves to be recorded, as containing a wholesome lesson to those of us who are apt to complain of the Church's troubled state in England:--
"As regards Church matters, we found good heart [281/282] and good Church feeling at Port Elizabeth, and there is evidently the same here, but the Church, has a severe struggle, and we occupy a very different position from that in England. There is an anxious life before me, but I hope I may have strength given me for the work. You cannot tell how calm the aspect of England seems to be to one's imagination, compared with the state of spiritual things here."
The opening of the first mission to the Kafirs, to which allusion was made in a letter already quoted, and the remarkable manner in which aid was provided for the mission in its first serious difficulty, is recorded by the Bishop in the following words:--
"In a humble temporary chapel near the kraal of the chief Umhalla, to whom the Bishop of Capetown had promised a missionary, the white flag, the token both of Sundays and of divine service, was for the first time hoisted, and the first call given by the Church of England to the gentiles here. When Mr. Clayton, the first missionary, told me of this great event, I need not say how full I was of thankfulness and rejoicing. Soon, however, after this daybreak, as it were, in mission-work, a cloud came on. Circumstances compelled Mr. Clayton to return home. There was not a clergyman who could be sent to fill his place. We seemed just to be beginning in order to leave off, and to hoist that emblem of peace in order to pull it down. Mr. [282/283] Greenstock, who sailed with us in order to share Mr. Clayton's toils, could not be ordained deacon till Christmas; and thus a break in our work seemed to be inevitable; though Mr. Garde, a catechist, as the solo representative of the English Church, was prepared, as best he could, to hold the ground. It so happened, that when Mr. Clayton started on his way from Umhalla's to Grahamstown, the rivers were up, and after some hesitation he resolved to take a longer but loss watery route. It so happened, also, that as he took this longer road he fell in, providentially, with the Rev. J. Hardie, a clergyman, who was travelling through the country for the sake of his health. The talk was soon of the mission. The result was, that Mr. Hardie turned his horse's head towards Grahamstown, journeyed thither with Mr. Clayton, came to see me, and, thank God, was soon installed in Mr. Clayton's place. I have since made him my examining chaplain; his health has considerably improved, and I have the greatest reason to rejoice in his devotion to missionary work, in which he shows no small measure both of discretion and zeal. Thus, at the most depressing hour, when the plough was in the ground, and no one seemed at hand to drive it through the soil, a labourer was given us. The heaviness that endured for a night was succeeded by the joy that 'cometh in the morning.' The white flag was not hauled down." [Mr. Hardie, who is here spoken of, became the Bishop's valued friend, and when Archdeacon Merriman was obliged to relinquish missionary work, he took in his stead the superintendence of the missions. On the death of the Bishop, Mr. Hardie was made Commissary of the diocese by the Bishop of Capetown, Archdeacon Merriman being in England.]
 Shortly after Christmas-day the Bishop left Grahamstown on his first journey into Kafir-land. He has given his own account of his first Christmas-day in Africa and his subsequent journey:--
"Christmas-day was, outwardly at least, most un-Christmas-like, and it is difficult to resist the power of outward things. With an overpowering sun, with a hot, scorching walk to church, with flowers looking languid from the heat, with no evergreens in church, with the flowers and green boughs that we hung about our rooms dead upon the walls even by midday, it was difficult to believe that it was indeed Christmas-day. Flowers, sunshine, birds, all looked out of tune; and one longed for the clear frost, the frosted trees and grass, the hard, crisp road, the church bright with the glossy leaves and berries of the holly. However, thank God, it was Christmas-day, though stripped of its accustomed outward associations. To the colonist it has not of late brought happy thoughts and memories; for Kafir wars have been wont to break out about this time, and many English graves have been dug for those whose unconscious kindred were hanging up the holly happily [284/285] at home. At this very time there were no slight fears of another outbreak. A general dread of another Kafir war began to arise, and to cloud every man's spirit; the dark rumours ran rapidly through the whole country, and deepened as they ran; the alarm, was soon so great that many farmers 'tracked' at once, as it is called,--that is, got their flocks and herds together, packed up their goods, and left their homes on the border for safer territory. The Fingos, on whom Sir G. Cathcart had relied, and whom, he had placed as a kind of living wall of enmity along the Kafir border, were said to be leaguing with the Kafir. There was good reason to believe that some such combination against the white man was going on; and it certainly seemed but rash to build hopes of peace on the idea of a prolonged and necessary enmity between different portions of the same tribe, even though the feebler portion had once been ill-treated and enslaved by the stronger.
"However, when these rumours began somewhat to subside, and no outbreak actually occurred, I resolved to visit our mission-station, to take several towns in the way, and to make my first excursion into Kafir-land. General Jackson was again prompt, in obliging us; and as Mrs. Armstrong was much weakened by domestic trouble that had fallen upon us, I resolved to take her with me, and to introduce, her into these new scenes, especially as the General put a good mule-waggon at our disposal, and also gave us an escort through such parts of the country as we [285/286] desired. Packing ourselves and three children into the said mule-waggon, and attended by two mounted police, we started on January 2nd. After nine miles of uninteresting country, we came to the grand Ecca Pass, a good military road, as roads go here--a kind of narrow ledge that the soldiers have sliced out of the side of a steep mountainous ridge. The views were fine in the extreme; though when one looked down the precipitous crags, shaggy with hush, one's head was inclined to swim round, or one thought of the mule-waggon toppling over. The Euphorbia, that grew thickly in the hush, gave an Eastern look to it; while geraniums fringed the road-side, and beautiful creepers were rambling gracefully over the rocks.
"When it began to wax towards evening, we drew near to the river Koonap; and as we had fully reckoned on reaching the inn on the opposite side, and had made no provision for a night in the bush, we were by no means gratified to find that the river had risen, and that our muleteers dared not cross. There was no help for it; so the remains of our luncheon made up our scanty meal. ... Nor is a mule-waggon a very spacious bed-room for five. However, we crumpled ourselves up as well as we could; and after an uneasy night we gladly saw the sun rise, and looked anxiously towards the river. It had gone down a little, but the muleteers did not seem quite comfortable; and as it was a dangerous 'drift' in bad weather, we did not much fancy the crossing. However, as some ox-waggons, which are larger and [286/287] higher, happened to have been detained also during the night, and were now about to cross, the owners kindly lifted us on the top of their goods and took us over, while the mules had to swim for it. We breakfasted at the inn, and our regrets at the loss of our tea were not so great when we found so thick an atmosphere of flies in the house. We seemed to eat them, drink them, breathe them; and right joyfully we got into our waggon, and again jolted along the craggy road, with flowers and shrubs beautiful as ever. When the rocky pass was over, we saw some fine extended views stretched out before us. On the calm, quiet day, as we were travelling along so peacefully, the rumours of war could not but come back to us, as our drivers pointed out the spots where many a bitter struggle for life had taken place, and especially where a body of poor Sappers had been surprised and slaughtered by the Kafirs in the late war.
"We outspanned at mid-day at Liew Fontein, the Lion's Fountain--a significant name, that has now happily ceased to be alarming, as the lions have moved far northwards. At night we reached Fort Beaufort, a town prettily situated, with fine hills around it, in the midst of a rich sheep-farming district, with a good river running near; but as no efforts have been made to cool the ground with irrigation, it is hot and dusty in the extreme. The expenditure of a little capital on machinery for raising the water would alter the place. We were most [287/288] hospitably received by the Rev. J. Henchman, the active clergyman of the place. On Friday, the 5th, I held confirmation; twenty were confirmed, and all seemed serious. On Sunday, the 7th, I preached, and took part in administering the Holy Communion, while seventeen out of the twenty who were confirmed became communicants. On the Monday I received the heads of families, and we had much interesting conversation on parish matters and on the general state of the Church. In the evening we were invited by the clergy and parishioners to tea in the Government schoolroom. The room was hung with flowers, and the evening passed pleasantly away; it gave me an opportunity of making personal acquaintance with the parishioners. I was sorry that I had not time to visit Heald Town, one of the largest and most successful of the Wesleyan stations. The exertions of the Wesleyan body, both among the English and the natives, have been very great. The only pity is, that a body which did not separate from us upon any doctrinal point, and which did not design at first to exist as a separate body, should not be re-united. It seems now a division without a cause, and both the Church and the Wesleyan body are necessarily weakened by divided action.
"On Tuesday we left our hospitable friends, with an escort of two Cape mounted riflemen, and, accompanied by Mr. Henchman and the churchwardens, proceeded towards Alice and Fort Hare. About the middle of the day we stopped at Mr. Bury's house of [288/289] accommodation, and found what, to African travellers, would be called a sumptuous luncheon prepared for us, and no charge made for it. The house itself shewed both the present fear of war, and also the ordinary state of the country; it was flanked by two projecting buildings with loop-holes, and all the front windows were strongly barricaded. In the afternoon we reached the neat little town of Alice, where as yet the Church has done nothing; and, splashing through the river, reached Fort Hare, a considerable fort which lies just outside the town. Immediately I arrived I held a confirmation within the fort, and then I proceeded to Alice, with Mr. Henchman, to hold consultation with the members of the Church. At this meeting it was resolved to raise a building which should be licensed for divine service on Sundays, and used as a schoolroom in the week, till we were strong enough to have a church. This building has since been raised, a school has been opened, many scholars received, good congregations on Sundays, and thus another instance given us of that wondrous reviving power contained in the Church, even after long past neglects.
"In the evening I dined with Colonel Jephson and the other officers of the 2nd at the mess, and had a pleasant evening, missionary subjects being far from unwelcome as topics of discussion. Captain Wolfe kindly got us quarters; and though the rooms even of the colonel and his wife were but wattle-and-daub, with mud floors and rough beams across [289/290] the rooms, and calico ceilings, still it was wonderful how the hands of English ladies had contrived to diffuse an air of comfort, and how contented under these rude roofs they all seemed to be.
"The next morning, when the mules were caught, we again got under way, accompanied by the Rev. H. Beaver, the military chaplain. The country gradually grow in beauty as we journeyed on, and we found ourselves approaching the very choicest portion of the diocese. Distant views of the Amatola mountains had been already seen; but now we were creeping into the lovely country which they either enfold or bound. And here, too, we began to see the strange reality of real savage life. There is something striking in seeing man, for the first time, in his wild and rude state; and as here and there we caught sight of groups of black youths on the plain or in the bush, watching their cattle, I had feelings which I cannot describe. All the youthful stories and youthful books about savage life that one had gloated over with so intense an interest in one's youth, seemed fulfilled before my eyes.
"We outspanned at Middle Drift, a small military post, and the officers kindly received us. Kama, the only Christian chief as yet, and one whom the Wesleyans have been the honoured instruments of converting, lives close to the fort; and as he had paid me a visit in Grahamstown, I gladly returned it. He is a tall, fine-looking man, with a mild, pleasing countenance, and he is always spoken of as [290/291] a sincere and consistent Christian. Some coloured Scripture prints which I had given him hung on his walls, and he had carefully covered them with thin paper, as if he only occasionally indulged himself in looking at them.
"Captain Houldsworth joined our party on leaving Middle Drift, and rode with us towards Fort Cox. We seemed to be driving through the most exquisite shrubbery, the pet piece in some exquisite park, though it extended for miles and miles; while in the distance rose the grand range of the Amatolas, with their rounded folds or plaits, which gave a peculiar softness to their grandeur. Though the space between these rounded folds is called a kloof; I suppose, in English, it means cleft; yet cleft describes something rather abruptly cut. Not such, in reality, are these green and wooded hollows. We outspanned at Fort Cox, and the officers did their best to provide a quick repast, and to shew us hospitality. The fort, which looks out on one of the grandest views, is memorable in African story as the place in which the Governor, Sir Harry Smith, was cooped in by the Kafirs. On the road, I was struck with the appearance of some Kafirs. Mr. Beaver told me they had evidently just undergone the rite of circumcision. It appears that for a certain space they are parted from their fellows, as being unclean, and build temporary huts for themselves, to which they retire; and as if in token of an act of purification, they whiten their faces during [291/292] this separation. They hare no religious interpretation of the rite they perform. It seems a tradition which has lost its soul, an unexplained and unmeaning act, or one which has no other meaning with them than the accidental one that they have reached manhood.
"On we journeyed, Mr. Duff of the Engineers riding with us, as Captain Houldsworth turned back. We were overtaken on the road by a Kafir, riding fast, whose sole apparel consisted of a pair of Wellington boots and a blanket. We crossed the beautiful Keiskamma times innumerable, and we envied the mules the cooling which they got in these several passages of the river, as we were undergoing the broiling inflicted by an African sun. Colonel Nesbitt was drowned in one of these drifts last year; but the water that had then rushed down in torrents within the steep wooded banks, now only babbled musically over the stones. Some of the dips we had to make in the road were certainly rather startling at first; and as the mules rushed down perpendicularly, I fully expected the pole to run fast into the slosh and mud at the bottom, and there to stick, with the waggon suspended in an upright position. How we went down these pitches, and how we got up again, was a mystery.
"The road along the celebrated Boma Pass was exquisite, though the scene was saddened by the account of one of those sudden massacres at the beginning of the last Kafir war of our soldiers, who [292/293] were passing, with unloaded muskets, entirely off their guard. It was here that Colonel Bissett was desperately wounded, being left by the soldiers in their flight. After they had carried him a little way, he contrived to crawl with one leg and one arm, the other side being wholly disabled, a considerable distance, scarcely indulging in a hope of life, till at last he saw a Hottentot sergeant, who conveyed him to a place of safety. About five o'clock we reached another military post, called Keiskamma Hock, and found comfortable quarters prepared for us, thanks to Mr. Duff, and the Rev. G. Dacre, the military chaplain.
"I dined at the mess with Colonel Barnes and the officers of the 6th; and in the morning, after breakfasting with the colonel, I visited with Mr. Dacre the military school, which appeared to be well conducted, and then took part with Mr. Dacre in divine service among the sick soldiers in the hospital.
"I had been especially anxious to visit the 'Hook,' which by the way seems to mean a piece of laud hooked in by hills, because I understood that there were some Fingos in the neighbourhood who were within the range of no existing mission. Accordingly, in the afternoon, Mr. Dacre, Mr. Croker, of the 6th, Mr. Finn, the Government interpreter, and myself, mounted horse and rode off to the kraal of a petty Fingo chief. The ride was beautiful, and we had to clamber down a somewhat precipitous [293/294] path, so narrow that I thought some of us must have been fairly skewered by the long white teeth of the Mimosa bush, which threatened our legs at every step. On reaching a picturesque spot, we sent off a Kafir for the chief, who was attending his melies. When he arrived a conversation commenced, and I proposed, through the interpreter, to form a mission among his people. He himself, now an oldish man, stood somewhat in front of his people, his counsellors squatted on the ground near him; the people, with the children, silently listened with the greatest attention, while the counsellors, acting thoroughly as such, prompted the chief, and seemed voluble in their advice. Altogether, it was a new scene to me, and an interesting one, and I could not but feel, as we all stood together, Christian and heathen, how many souls might be hereafter acted upon through this one day's meeting. When I explained my object, and described, first, the religious teaching which we desired to give, and then the aid we desired to render them in the tillage of their land and such-like industrial operations, the chief gladly caught at the latter part of the offer; and of course I felt that as 'by all means we ought to gain some,' we might well be thankful if any interest we took in their temporal welfare were the means of inspiring that confidence which might afterwards incline them the more to listen to the very Word of Life. When it was fully agreed between us that a mission should be formed, we had to ride sharply [294/295] home, as the night was coming quickly on, and in this country we have no pleasant thoughtful time of twilight. On gaining the Fort we again dined at the mess, and I was glad to find that the officers seemed inclined to take considerable interest in our missionary plans. Since that time, Mr. Dacre, who then volunteered his aid, has toiled with remarkable success as a conductor of the industrial operations, and as an energetic manager of the Fingo mind. He has spent every spare minute among the Fingos, has gained great influence over them, and has paved the way for the missionary whom I hope soon to place as a resident at the station.
"On Friday, the 12th, we left the Hoek, not without regret. It was a spot that singularly charmed us; and to take the first step in a new mission was a matter of no slight interest. As Mr. Croker kindly lent me a horse, I rode ahead of the mule-waggon with Mr. Dacre, the road winding through soft green sloping hills, covered at the top and down the kloofs with bush; great blue patches of the Agapanthus brightened portions of the road, and it would take a page to enumerate the greenhouse flowers that were 'as thick as blackberries' on either side. One English-looking brook delighted us, overhung with dark massive trees that shielded us for a moment from the fierceness of the sun. When the heat had become most intense we reached a small military post called 'Baily's Grave;' and we were no sooner safely housed and hospitably received [295/296] by the officers, Captain Bligh and Mr. Williamson, than a terrific thunder-storm burst over our heads, and forked lightning played about in terrible propinquity. After this storm was over we again set out, and found the air considerably cooled. Mr. Dacre was here obliged to turn his horse homewards, and I had to climb into the waggon, where, after the extreme heat of the ride, I fell asleep, notwithstanding the great jolting.
"As we got near King Williamstown we perceived a group of horsemen approaching us, and found that Colonel Pringle Taylor, the Commandant of British Kaffraria, with some officers, Mr. Bell, the military chaplain, and Mr. Parker, the churchwarden, had kindly ridden out to escort us into the town. We dined with Colonel Taylor, and had the use of the Government House.
"On Saturday, the 13th, I confirmed twenty-four persons, and on Sunday there was Holy Communion. The chief part of the congregation were soldiers, and I preached to them plainly. The new church is still unfinished, though the most beautiful building in my diocese; it is beyond our colonial means, and now it is too small for the admission both of military and civilians. For many years to come King Williamstown must be an important military position; and by the time the military can be safely dispensed with, the civilians will have become too numerous for the church. I wish much for means to throw out an aisle.
 "On Monday we resolved to visit the chief Umhalla, near whose kraal the first mission of the Church of England had been formed. Colonel Maclean, the Chief Commissioner of Kaffraria, who kindly called on me before my departure, was evidently uneasy about a Kafir war, and especially uneasy about Umhalla, who, he thought, was now inclined to look darkly upon our mission, and to wish it away. 'Eat without anxiety, therefore, did I start on this visit. Mr. Taylor, the resident magistrate, Mr. Fleming, the former valued military chaplain of King "Williamstown, and an interpreter, rode out with us. After these horsemen had got somewhat ahead, we saw them cantering back towards our waggon, and were agreeably relieved to find that they brought the intelligence that Umhalla, with a group of followers, was on his road to meet us. We accordingly drew up, and the first great Kafir chief I had seen soon reached us, accompanied by a considerable group of wives and followers. As we alighted from the waggon they all dismounted, and our first conference commenced. It appeared that Umhalla had designed to catch me in King Williamstown before we started. He was an old man with a shrewd countenance; and though his wives and followers were all clothed--that is, to a certain limited extent--after Kafir fashion, the chief had confined himself in European clothing. The greeting, to our surprise and pleasure, was a kindly one, and our anxieties were speedily set [292/293] at rest. After a satisfactory chat we distributed tobacco among his wives and counsellors, who thankfully regaled themselves thereupon. The women were pleased with our fair-faced children, and Umhalla seemed glad to see my wife, as it appeared a mark of confidence thus bringing her into his country at such a time. He seemed a little afraid of the mules bringing the dreadful lung sickness, now raging so widely in the colony, into his kraal; and we found, such is their police, that he had known exactly where the mules had slept even as far hack as Fort Beaufort. Paris in this respect, in this noiseless observation of all that is going on, does not beat Kafirland. As Umhalla was so near King Williamstown, and had other business, he thought it best to go on, promising to return immediately to his own place. Much relieved, we hastened on. As the wives of the chief were about to mount, a Fingo passed, and, as if by instinct, the Kafir women beckoned him to stop; and, as if by instinct, this member of the once enslaved tribe knelt on one knee, the women in turn placed their feet on the other, and using it as a step gracefully leapt upon their horses, riding after male fashion, though shewing considerable modesty. The action of both parties struck us, and was highly characteristic of the two natures in these portions of the one great Kafir family.
"Mr. Taylor soon turned back. Mr. Fleming still accompanied us. We outspanned at a pretty [298/299] spot, and Kafirs were seen approaching with their baskets of sour milk,--a liquid I can only contrive to swallow in times of extremity, though our children took to it directly. Further on we saw valleys streaked with Kafir population, among whom no missionaries toiled. Towards evening, as we reached the top of a considerable hill, we saw nestled modestly under an opposite hill the first little mission-station of the Church amid these heathen tribes. It was a scene not to he gazed upon without emotion; and as we stood near the ruins of old Fort Waterloo, we looked thankfully on the house of peace below. The structure was indeed a simple one--mere wattle-and-daub--only one end of it looked at all finished, but that was the chapel, and there was a wooden cross at the east end, which thus visibly declared that the preaching of Christ crucified had commenced among these darkened people, and that in His Name we had taken spiritual possession of the land.
"The Rev. Mr. Hardie, Rev. F. Bankes, the Head Master of our Grammar School, who was taking a holiday tour, reached the mission soon after us; and together with Mr. Fleming and Mr. Greenstock, the missionary, we found ourselves forming a goodly company of clergy, while we had also Mr. Garde, the catechist, and Mr. Mullins, a youthful catechist of promise, whom I had brought with me from England, thus gathered together in the wilderness.
"We ourselves, with our little girl, were placed [299/300] in possession of the best Kafir hut; our boys wrapped themselves up in the mule-waggon; the other clergy slept, some in an ox-waggon--some, I believe, in Nature's lap; and as the night was extremely hot, the mosquitoes abundant, none of us seemed very fresh in the morning. After breakfasting in the unroofed portion of the station, we soon saw the Kafirs--men, women, and children--pouring down to us. Umhalla himself, who had ridden some twenty-eight miles back, was not long in coming; and as I thought our first intercourse should in this place be solemn, I proceeded to robe, as the other clergy also did, and we walked in our robes from the hut into the chapel. We then, allotted a front place to Umhalla, while his people squatted on the ground, filling the chapel; then, through an interpreter, I told Umhalla that we were come to teach him the truth in God's Name, that I put the missionaries under his charge and protection as chief, and that I hoped both he himself would listen to the good words which they would teach, and also urge his people to give heed to this teaching.
"After wishing that peace might be with him, we left the chapel; and after unrobing, we proceeded to have a business talk with Umhalla, who seemed excellently disposed to do what we wished, and was really kind. I gave him distinctly to understand that we did not wish to interfere with, but to respect, his temporal authority, and that we [300/301] should look to him as the chief in temporal things, requiring in return his good-will and guardianship.
"While we were conferring with Umhalla, my wife, surrounded by Kafir women and children, went into the chapel; and bidding them sit down quietly, she played solemn tunes on the harmonium we had brought with us, they sitting like things entranced, with earnest faces and motionless limbs, evidently shewing that sacred music might become a powerful instrument in influencing and softening them. I heard afterwards that one Kafir said, that 'where there was music, there could be no war;' and another, listening one Sunday outside the chapel, thought that 'heaven must be there;' and another, a very bad fellow, said that he 'could have almost cried.'
"After this, we were still in the midst of the multitude, who seemed bent on having 'a day of it.' Our children then set to work to entertain the youthful part of the company, and hit upon the strange idea of keeping a play-school, though neither party understood one word of the other's language. However, with great quickness and great delight, the native children entered into the game, submitted to be placed into classes, and to be ordered to say their lessons, repeating, with excellent imitative powers, 'd-o-g, dog, c-a-t, cat,' after my children. This game lasted a long time, and created a great deal of laughter on both sides. Other amusements followed; and it was really somewhat both [301/302] of a touching and of an amusing sight, to see the sudden friendship between the white children and the black. I was also struck with the extreme good-temper of the young Kafirs. Through the whole of that long day, I did not see a push or a blow, nor hear one angry word. My wife entertained the women with the marvellous operations of the needle on their bags, and karosses, and blankets, while Mr. Fleming gave us beads to distribute, which the chief himself was not above soliciting.
"In the afternoon we had divine service for our-selves in the chapel. As the chapel walls were mere mud, some of our party had previously gone into the neighbouring hush and brought in green boughs and branches of flowering shrubs, with which they beautified the mud walls, and turned the whole into quite a comely place. My wife played the harmonium, and for the first time the Psalms were chanted, and the hymns of praise went up, amid these wild hills. The solitary deacon and the catechist, strengthened by their brethren's presence, offered thankfully Christian worship, and took heart, while the heathen stood outside, listening to the music with the deepest delight.
"After this, accompanied by Mr. Hardie, I returned Umhalla's visit. Creeping through the door of his hive, I saw, through the smoke and darkness, a multitude of bright, glistening eyes; and then, as I got accustomed to the atmosphere, the swarthy [302/303] forms of himself and a dozen or so of his friends:, all squatting round the hut. At one time a dark figure stood accidentally in the little doorway, and I could not but feel, as the rumours of war had not yet died away, how completely one was in this chief's power. Confidence, however, in a chief and a chief's word, are strong protectors. When some black-looking meat began to be fingered and handed about, thinking it might give offence if I did not put my hands into the unsavoury dish, I prudently made my retreat.
"As the night drew on, we were till fairly tired out; and in defiance of heat, huts, mosquitoes and all, we got a fair night's rest.
"Early next morning, Umhalla was at the door of our hut, telling us that he had killed a cow in honour of our arrival, and wanted us to stay for a two days' feast. This, however, we were unable to do, as our new Governor, Sir George Grey, was expected in Grahamstown, and I was anxious to be there to meet him. Accordingly, after much shaking of hands, we again mounted our mule-waggon and set off, thoroughly gratified with our visit; and though not daring to hope too much, with such uncertain and fluctuating minds as savages' to deal with, yet indulging thankfully in some hope of a future spiritual harvest from that field.
"On our way back we passed by numerous groups of Kafirs, some quite naked, others wrapped up in thin blankets, which lose, by-the-bye, the look of blankets, by being stained a kind of reddish brown. [303/304] Some of them kept up by the side of our mule-waggon, running at great speed and -with great powers of endurance. In time of war they perform prodigious journeys, and in an incredible short space of time. We made a short pause at Mr. Birt's station, about eight miles from King Williamstown--a station connected with the London Missionary Society, and celebrated for its industrial operations. It is certainly one of the most successful missionary undertakings, and reflects great credit on the zeal and energy of Mr. Birt.
"I must candidly confess that the outward effect of the first stage of civilization, such as these Kafirs exhibited, is by no means attractive. The natural Kafir, giving him his blanket, is a most picturesque object; his form is fine in the extreme, his movements graceful, his face intelligent, his attitudes animated, his language melodious, reminding us of soft Italian. Group after group, taken in their natural attitudes, would have been perfect models for the sculptors; and I often gazed at them with warm admiration. Nor is the artistic capacity of a stained blanket in the least degree understood until it has been seen. I have seen no Grecian statues that excel native Kafir groups, with the graceful folds of these aforesaid blankets.
"When, then, passing from the graceful freedom of pure savage life, one beholds them be-trowsered, be-jacketed, waistcoated, with old wide-awakes and forage-caps and corderoys, one recoils instinctively [304/305] from this first ungainly unsightly development of civilization. The anklets, the armlets, the assegais, the elegant hands of shells round the head, the necklaces of wolves' teeth, skilfully and artistically arranged, beat the dirty, gaudy 'tie,' the clod-hopping shoes, &c. Such was my impression on seeing Mr. Birt's Kafirs, though I doubt not solid advantages are obtained; and, though not without a sigh of human weakness, one must abandon the picturesque for the useful and industrial.
"We reached King Williamstown before dark, and left it the next morning for Grahamstown, stopping the first night at the Tamacha Post, a fine situation, and receiving, as usual, great kindness from the officers. The next day we had to descend Line Drift Hill, a kind of rocky staircase, which is called a road. Dreading a state of general dislocation, we walked down the staircase, enjoying magnificent views, and the children revelling in the flowers by the road-side.
"There is a small military post at Line Drift, after passing which we reached the plain of the Gwanga, where, for once, the Kafirs were caught in open field, and were so hotly pursued and put to the sword by Sir H. Darrcll and the 7th Dragoons that the river actually ran red with blood. Then we reached Port Peddie, another military post, where I stopped to baptize a child, and reached Trumpeter's Drift at night, another small military post on the Fish river. The next day, after a hot and rough [305/306] day's journey, we found ourselves safe again at Grahamstown. Mr. Fleming, I should have said, accompanied us all the way home and rendered us good service. In this journey we had not visited a single town or village that was not reared under the shadow of the bayonet. It was a region of forts, and yet by far the loveliest part of the eastern province. "And now let me give my first impression of the Kafir race, formed from my own brief observation of them, and from the varied opinions of all sorts of people that have been breathed round about me. They seem to be essentially a noble race, noble outwardly, noble as regards intellectual power, and also as regards many moral qualities. They are a happy, healthful, good-tempered people, not naturally cruel; even in time of war not more cruel than many Christian armies have been even in modern wars. A Kafir's word is truth itself--the moment that peace is proclaimed the English traveller might journey from one end of Kafirland to another without the slightest risk. They are never angry; and from their great command of temper, and their natural argumentative powers, many an able Englishman has been fairly worsted in disputes. Though, like our worthy Christian ancestors on the Northern Border, they have been great thieves and cattle-stealers, a glance at the map convinces us that after all we English have been the greatest gainers by these thefts, and have succeeded in gaining considerable territory. It is true that the Kafir is [306/307] himself an invader--but still we ourselves should sigh were we English invaders driven from the fair plains of India which conquest had made our own. Their laws seem, on the whole, equitable and good; and though they believe in witchcraft, and cruelly put to death those convicted of that art, we really do not know what Satanic powers may be exercised among them; and even if theirs is an unreasonable credulity, we have only to remember all the fortune-telling that is still going on in England, and the success even among the higher clashes at home of such awful impostures as spirit-rapping and the like.
"Though but few of them have as yet embraced any form of Christianity, they have always respected the missionaries; and when war has been determined on among them,, they have in every instance given safe convoy to the missionaries. Not a hair of a missionary's head has been ever touched. Their religious state is peculiar. They have little of their own to shake off, and their souls seem a kind of void. Certain outward rites that have evidently a religious significance, are not religiously understood. There is no altar to the unknown God. The reports of the missionary bodies that have been at work do not really speak of many converts. There are many listeners. A chapel will be full every Sunday, and yet but very few converted and baptized. It may be that they have so lost the remains of natural religion that we can hardly expect any great and immediate change. It may be that they have to go through a [307/308] transitional state; that is, giving, as they do, a kind reception to missionaries, respecting and looking up to them, listening to their words, but not at present embracing the Christian faith in any numbers. As a fact, there are very few Christian Kafirs. The Church of England, indeed, is only just beginning to do her part. She is the last in the field. Her missions, more perfect in form, may have greater success; but while the field is vast, and the door is open, and the Kafirs disposed to receive us, we must not be impatient of success. I myself expect no sudden fruit; and though longing for help from home, for devoted men, for larger means, that we may enter energetically on the work, I believe it to .be ,a work that will need patience, that will try our steadfastness, that will make a strain upon hope; and in appealing warmly to the English Church for help, I enter a solemn protest against the impatience of the age, which requires, in spiritual as in commercial matters, 'quick returns,'--glowing accounts of great triumphs, no depressing tale of failures and disappointments."
At this period extensive missionary prospects opened upon the Church, through the noble Christian policy of Sir Gr. Grey, then, as now, Governor of Southern Africa. The Bishop gave the following details of Sir George Grey's plans in a letter to Mr. Hawkins:--
"Grahamstown, "Dec. 28, 1854.
"My dear Mr. Hawkins,
"I believe that the Bishop of Capetown has already told you what a great and golden opportunity for missionary work, on a great and noble scale, is presented, by God's mercy, to the Church of England in South Africa, through the plans of the new Governor, Sir George Grey, When I see the utter and complete neglect with which all the native tribes have been hitherto treated by our Church, and the exclusive application of all funds, and of all ministerial action, to the English population, I am certainly filled with wonder and with thankfulness that God should be dealing with us at all, much more that He should open out the way, after all our spiritual neglect, to a vast spiritual work. Sir George Grey proposes to expend no less a sum than £30,000 a-year on missions, the missions to extend beyond the limits of the colony, and the grants being intended to call forth and be met by corresponding efforts on the part of religious bodies prepared largely to enter on the work. With such grants and such designs, it is impossible to over-rate the importance of the crisis as regards the Church of England. I feel that I am not pleading for my own diocese alone, but for the Church of England at home, when I ask her through the Society to offer noble offerings, both of men--earnest, self-devoted men--and of money, at such a time as this. Half-measures at such a time will not [309/310] do. We must make a great stride in missionary efforts; and I must ask the Society at once to dare a good deal, though they may not see the way to do a great and extraordinary work. I must ask them to run a great risk, and I feel sure if they commission you to give me great and immediate aid without seeing their way to pay it, that the Church, stirred up by a special appeal, will not disappoint them, or leave them in the lurch. It is just that one opportunity upon which our whole character and career as a missionary Church, loving and seeking the souls of the heathen, may in all likelihood rest. If, to use a homely expression, we only nibble at this opportunity, and enter on a feeble work, my heart will indeed sink as regards our existence here as a Church. I had intended, before this great news of Sir George Grey's plan had arrived, to have addressed a very urgent appeal to the Society for increased aid in mission work; but now I must learn to enlarge my own views, which were not, I think, at all diminutive before. I must say, too, that our first mission (which has commenced since my arrival) is looked upon with considerable interest by all parties; and I have a strong conviction from all I have now heard and seen, that there is something in what I may call the genius of the Church, her tone, her spirit, her order and discipline, which is specially suited to the Kafir character.
"Of course the first great want is that of men, and I hope you will be able to make this want known, [310/311] and at once to send off any clergy or catechists whom, on examination, you may think qualified for the work. As regards money, I boldly ask for an additional four thousand a-year; only adding that if this is given for five years, the mission by that time will be to a considerable extent self-supporting: at any rate, half that income will then do. I can only say again, that I believe, if at the very first meeting of the committee, on a holy impulse, and without examining the pockets of the Society, this grant is made, and then followed up by a special appeal, the Society will be backed up, and their courage in giving well rewarded.
"As regards our general work, lam thankful to say that six churches are in the course of erection. I held my first ordination in this cathedral on Dee. 24, and had the pleasure of ordaining a most excellent Berlin missionary, who labours among the convicts, and has for some time desired to enter Orders in the English Church; also Mr. Greenstock, (of the mission,) who came out with us, and has made most rapid progress in Kafir; and Mr. Smith, of the University of Durham, who will have work among the English. A Wesleyan teacher has been for some time anxious for ordination, and from what 1 hear of his character, I am inclined to ordain him, D. V., on Trinity Sunday. I made it known that I was anxious to train the sons of colonists who knew the Kafir tongue, for holy Orders as missionaries among the [311/312] Kafirs, and two excellent religious youths, who speak Kafir like their own language, and one the son of another Berlin missionary, have of themselves wished to offer themselves, and the parents have heartily consented: they will be at once of the greatest value as teachers and interpreters. A third youth I have heard of, but the matter is not quite settled. All this, I trust, will shew you that there is life in the Church in South Africa, signs indeed of increasing life. May the Church at home now put forth her strength to strengthen us in this strange land, and put the Cross on herself that we may he enabled, by the gift of some of her most earnest sons, and of her substance, to preach the saving doctrines of the Cross. If such a response is made as my hopes lead me to expect, I shall indeed go on my way rejoicing, and devote myself to the blessed work of furthering the kingdom of our Redeemer with gladness of heart. With my whole heart I commend the proposals I have felt it my duty to make to the Committee of the Society, asking their prayers.
"Yours, believe me, very sincerely,
"The Rev. E. Hawkins."
In consequence of these proposals, the Bishop convened a synod of the clergy of the diocese, to take counsel as to their future plans. Owing to the rapid rise of the rivers, several of the clergy were unable to reach Grahamstown; [312/313] but twelve assembled. After receiving the Holy Communion together, they took the subject of missions into earnest consideration, and the result was communicated in the following letter to Mr. Hawkins:--
"Grahamstown, "February 10, 1855.
"Dear Mr. Hawkins,
"Since I last wrote I have had several interviews with our Governor; and, without being able to wait till I could hear from the Society, I have been required to make a formal statement as to the amount of mission-work which the Church of England will pledge itself to undertake this present year. I confess that I could not give a pledge without great anxiety: as on the one hand, I am perfectly convinced that the very existence of the Church of England here depends on our occupying considerable missionary ground, and on our dealing boldly with mission-work; and on the other hand, I undertake responsibilities which the Church at home may not support me in. Happily, however, I had a meeting of the clergy of the diocese; and they felt the crisis to be so momentous to the whole interests of the Church, and that the Church of England was altogether so completely put upon her trial before the whole colony, that they cordially and unanimously assented to the scheme which I am now laying before the Governor. I have pledged [313/314] the Church to undertake this present year, missions--
"I. To Umhalla, the great chief; this mission to consist of a central school, &c, with a sort of outpost about ten miles off.
"II. To Kreli, another great Kafir chief across the Kei.
"III. To Sandili, another great chief.
"IV. To the Fingos at Keiskamma Hoek, with an outpost.
"V. The formation of a school in the Kafir location close to Grahamstown.
"The Governor on his part will immediately pay into the bank for the erection of buildings on these several missions, the total sum of £4,000 this present year; intending also to make some further addition next year, that the buildings may be completed. I myself start at the end of this month on a journey to Kreli and Sandili to obtain their leave to commence missions. Umhalla I have already visited, and he gave me a promise of land to erect larger buildings upon than those we had commenced.
"As regards men for the work, I think we may lay claim to the support and sympathy of the Church at home, when I tell you that the clergy of the diocese are prepared to send some men out of their own number to these missions, on the conviction that their offer of service will draw out some brethren from England to aid them in the work. We [314/315] are not going to call upon England for all the sacrifice, but out of our own body will send out labourers into the wilderness. Thus, first of all, Archdeacon Merriman has undertaken the headship of the mission at the chief Umhalla's, in all respects a most important point of action; and he will move thither with his family the moment a residence is built. I propose also creating him Archdeacon of Kaffraria, and having a separate Archdeacon of Grahamstown for the English, in order that he may visit and superintend the various missions. Mr. Hardie, a presbyter, with Mr. Greenstock, a deacon, have offered to give their aid at the same mission: as it is important that it should be a centre of operation; and it is proposed to itinerate round the country, which is very thickly peopled. Mr. Lange, lately a Berlin missionary, a most excellent man, whom I ordained at Christmas, and who has a perfect knowledge of the Kafir character and language, has offered to take charge of the proposed school of Kafirs at the outskirts of Grahamstown; and as we propose making it a kind of chapel-school, he will also hold divine service in it on Sunday. I have also secured two catechists, one for Sandili, and one for Kreli, and I want two clergymen for these posts immediately.
"I have now told you what mission ground I felt bound to pledge the Church to undertake this year; and in so doing I have doubtless pledged it to an expenditure of £1,500 this year. Nest year, each [315/316] of these missions will have to throw out off-shoots, as these are but the beginnings of mission-work. I hope that by thus making a gradual progress, the Society will gradually increase its grants till they reach £4,000 a-year. When this sum is reached it will not require to be given long: for the land attached to the missions will gradually become productive, and the £4,000 a-year will gradually decline.
"Unless I had pledged the Church to the occupation of such mission ground, the grants of the Governor would have been within reach of other religious bodies, who already have got from him their proportion; and not only should we have lost the great benefit of so much monetary aid for the erection of the buildings, but we should have lost for ever mission ground. Already I find whole tracts of country peopled by the Fingos, in the hands of the Wesleyans and Independents, so that we cannot make any effort at present, or find room for the sole of our foot; and unless we bestir ourselves to meet this crisis, large and more important districts full of Kafirs would slip out of our hands. In such a case I am convinced the Church could not keep her ground many years as a mere Church of the English. While, therefore, I have committed the Church to this large and immediate expenditure, I hope the Society will cordially approve of the steps I have taken, and enable me to meet this expenditure at once, promising also to aid me in more [316/317] extended efforts next year. The Society must not think that these efforts will be confined to the legal boundaries of my diocese: the surrounding country calls for our care, and is closely connected with the various tribes under British rule.
"Very sincerely yours,
"In my last letter I asked for £4,000 a-year at once; but as we shall not be able to expand greatly till nearly half the year is over, I have limited my request to £1,500 to be paid within this year.
"Rev. E. Hawkins."
The Bishop resolved to make a second expedition into the scenes of these prospective missions, and has given the following detailed account of his movements.
"Having thus resolved on embracing at once this extensive area, I determined on going myself to the chiefs Sandili and Kreli that I might secure their permission to plant our missions among them. Previous to my departure I held my first Confirmation in Grahamstown, when fifty candidates were confirmed. We had a special Communion on Sunday, when above forty of the confirmed partook of it--a great addition to our numbers. Altogether the number of communicants was unusually large.
 "I now set up my carriage; that is, I bought a good strong waggon and a span of good strong oxen, and I hired a couple of Hottentots, as driver and leader, determining not only to go to the Kafir chiefs, but to make a visitation of those parts of my Diocese which I had not seen--a visitation that would probably occupy some three months. On Friday, February 23rd, I commenced my journey, driving in a gig down to Southwell, having one grand view on my way which involved the descent of a long and dreadful hill, and holding a Confirmation immediately on my arrival. There were twenty-three candidates gathered together from a thinly-peopled and scattered district, where Mr. Waters has toiled hard, and with good success. The next morning, Mr. Keeton, a considerable landowner and farmer, kindly lent me a horse, and Mr. Waters and myself had a beautiful ride of about fifteen miles to Cowie Mouth. Here we were hospitably received by Mr., and Mrs. Cock; and after dining with them we proceeded to a room attached to his extensive works, where we held Divine Service, and I confirmed two candidates. When Service was over, accompanied by the Rev. J. Barrow, who had come to meet me from Bathurst, we crossed the mouth of the Cowie in a boat, again mounted horse on the other side, riding another ten miles through a pleasant, bushy, undulating country,--but just as it got dark we reached Bathurst. The South-well district, under Mr. Cock's management, yielded more corn [318/319] than I had yet seen, and it was really quite refreshing to see good English-looking stacks. An illustration of Scripture met me on the road, as I observed the oxen treading out the corn.
"The next day being Sunday, I held Confirmation, when nine candidates presented themselves. I also baptized Mr. Barrow's little child, and three others. I preached and took my part in the administration of the Holy Communion. In the afternoon I preached again. Bathurst is a pretty English-looking place, though, I fear, owing to the wars, it is drooping much. It was sad to see nice farmhouses on all sides turned into black and roofless ruins. Such sights gave a melancholy air to the whole country; and the scantiness of the population in so rich a scene, added to the melancholy feeling.
"My waggon met me at Bathurst, and on Monday we started for Cuylerville, a kind of outpost of Bathurst, where Mr. Boon, a catechist, is placed. A good congregation of farmers and their wives and children were waiting for us, though really the people are but few in these parts. The people seemed in earnest. I baptized one child, confirmed one person, a nice married woman, preached, and, aided by Mr. Barrow, administered the Lord's Supper to ten persons,--one old man of seventy receiving it for the first time, and the mother of the child I had baptized kneeling down to receive it with her infant in her arms. There is something very refreshing in visiting these out-of-the-way distant places and [319/320] bringing all the ordinances of the Church even to a few--for it is evidently the Church's part to shew great regard even for the very fewest sheep of the fold. In such places, too, I often found a very warm response. Mr. Boon, the catechist, has happily preserved English cleanliness and tidiness--things a good deal wanted in colonial life. Everything, both in the school-room, chapel, and in his house, was beautifully clean and well-ordered. After Service some women, who had been sitting with their children near the door, found that an adder had been all the while coiled up close to them--they had had a great escape.
"The next day we started off towards the Fish river. I baptized a child on the way. On reaching the river we crossed on the Pont, while the oxen got a good swim by our side. We then reached what Sir Gr. Cathcart intended to be the town of Newcastle, but as yet not a house is built. This whole district, extending about twenty-five miles or more along the sea-coast between the Fish river and the Keiskamma, has been recently parcelled off in small farms, about 1,000 or 1,500 acres each, and many of them were already occupied. It was something to feel that in this case, at least, the Church of England was the first to care for these people's souls. On my arrival I found that no religious teacher had set foot in the district, and no religious service had been held, and it was something to feel that the Church was for once the first in the field. [320/321] Hastening to the temporary farm-house of Mr. Loyd, a wattle-and-daub structure, we there found a little congregation gathered together, and with great thankfulness we commenced divine service. I confirmed two young farmers, preached, and, aided by Mr. Barrow, administered the Holy Communion to eight persons,--two mothers kneeling with infants in their arms, the wives of the farmers I had confirmed. After service we discussed the necessity of erecting a church. We all agreed that we had better immediately raise a church of moderate cost, instead of waiting for the distant day when we could indulge in architectural grace. Mr. Loyd offered four acres of land; about £30 was subscribed on the spot, and we propose not to spend above £100, if that can be got.
"The next day the waggon was again in motion; as the drivers turned round to look at a large snake, the waggon went with its whole force against an anthill, which it failed to knock down. What are the pyramids, after all, as compared with ant-hills, if we consider the size of the builders? Passing through a grassy, undulating country, and somewhat pinched for food during the day, we reached a farm of Mr. Tainton's at night. I noticed a swallow's nest in the thatch, and was struck with the neck or passage which the swallow had constructed to preserve the brood the better from the snakes. That same swallow, such is instinct, flying to a particular farm or cottage in a particular village of a [321/322] particular county in England, constructs his nest there without this appendage.
"The next morning we reached Tort Peddie, where I held divine service, which was well attended both by military and civilians. Here the Rev. C. E. Lange, the Berlin missionary whom I had ordained at Christmas, joined me, having got leave of absence, as he was not well. Being both a Dutch and Kafir scholar, I felt that he would be of great value as travelling chaplain. He had indeed to combine many other and secular qualities in the course of our journey, as he was often commissariat-officer, cook, carpenter, driver, &c. Captain Tainton, of the Fingo Police, a splendid Kafir scholar, also joined me, having obtained permission to aid me in my interviews with the Kafir chiefs. Captain Espi-nasse of the 12th, and Mr. Monsell of the Cape Corps, rode with me the next day to Line Drift, the latter officer kindly mounting me. At Line Drift I borrowed a trooper's horse, and rode to the Tamaeha post, where I slept; the waggon and Mr. Lange catching me up. We dined at the mess, and finding my proposal of holding service the next morning was cordially received by Major Preston, we repaired in the morning to a room prepared for us, and had an attentive congregation of officers and men; Mr. Lange reading prayers, and I preaching. Major Preston then lent me a horse, and I rode on to King Williamstown, where, being again hospitably received by Col. Taylor, we spent the Sunday.
 "On Monday we started towards the chief Sandili's. The road was tolerably good, and about one we made our fire in the bush, cooked our dinner, and gave the oxen a couple of hours' rest and pasture. We had not long got under way again before a violent thunder-storm fairly forced us to stand still, and this forced delay cost us very valuable time. It was quite dark when we heard the sound of rushing water, and found ourselves close to the Kabousi river. Our Hottentots went down to see how high the river was, and soon found that it had risen rapidly, and that it was utterly impossible to risk a passage in the dark. All was slosh and mud where we stood, and we had to pass a miserable evening, unable to light a fire on the ground, and sitting in our waggon, eaten up by mosquitoes. The next morning, when we got up, the river seemed still too high to pass. About mid-day Mr. Brownlee, the Gaika Commissioner, and Mr. Liefeldt, of the Berlin Mission, appeared on the opposite side. They then sent some Kafirs to sound the river, and to shew us the shallowest part; fastening strong "riems" to the leading oxen, and half-swimming, half-wading, they led them through the shallower water, whooping and hallooing to keep the oxen up to the mark, lest they should be borne down into the deeper water. At last we were safe on the other side, and were soon safely sheltered in Mr. Brownlee's house.
"Mr. Brownlee, knowing the terror that was spreading among the Kafirs about the [323/324] cattle-sickness, kindly offered to send one of the Kafir police to ask Sandili to come and meet me at his house, that he might thus be saved any risk of injury from my oxen. As Sandili was not at home, some delay was occasioned, and I used the time in visiting the Dohne Mission Station; a mission which has been sadly injured and sadly weakened by the wars. As we were anxious to get some good religious youths well acquainted with Kafir, who might be useful to our missionaries, and might be trained up by them for the ministry of the Church, I found "Mr. Liefeldt, one of the Berlin missionaries, was desirous of placing his son in our hands, and having him trained for holy orders in our Church. Theophilus was a nice fair German boy; and though his mother, in true motherly spirit, had a little momentary hesitation in parting with him, it was soon settled that he should go to Umhalla's; and at the present time he is at St. Luke's Station, conducting himself very well. As he has spoken Kafir from his youth, he is of considerable service.
"On Friday a group of horsemen were seen galloping towards Mr. Brownlee, and the chief, with a troop of followers, was speedily at the door. The conference soon began, after some preliminary talking upon common matters, and some smoking. The result filled me with the deepest thankfulness; Sandili at once consented to receive our missionaries, to let them place themselves near his own kraal, and to choose their own site. Considering how recently [324/325] we had all reckoned on a fierce and bloody war, it was with feelings of solemn joy that we heard the chief of this large and powerful tribe breathe words of peace and welcome. What an opening was thus given to us among this large multitude of dark souls!
"Mr. Brownlee was of great service to us in the interview, as he, like Captain Tainton, knows Kafir as well as he does English. Sandili himself is a fine tall young man, though injured in appearance by a withered leg. He has not a strong, but a good-tempered countenance. He may certainly be ranked among Kafir dandies. We have heard of our grand-mothers sitting up whole nights before a ball to have their heads duly daubed and whitened by powder and pomatum, but even in Kafir huts like sacrifices of sleep are made at the altar of fashion. Sandili's head seemed to be studded with rhubarb pills; that is, the woolly hair, pomatumed as it were with red clay, had been twirled and twisted into small balls. This operation had probably made him sit upright for a night, if he wished to shew the pills unbruised, in all their fashionable and fresh rotundity. After presenting him with a blanket, and giving him and his followers some tobacco, we took our leave of him, and the dark group was soon over the hill again.
"We determined on leaving Mr. Brownlee the same afternoon, having had every reason to be grateful both to him and Mrs. Brownlee for much kindness [325/326] and much intelligent counsel about Kafirs during our stay. About six we arrived at a few Kafir huts, and found the commencement of another small Berlin Mission, under the guidance of Mr. Rhein. My companion, Mr. Lange, was not a little rejoiced at the prospect of a German evening. "We stopped our waggon, and wended our way to Mr. Rhein's hut. Here we saw in a moment the presence of a woman's hand. Though a mere hut of reeds, everything was so nicely and so neatly arranged, that it looked quite bright and comfortable. Mrs. Rhein, a happy, bright, contented-looking woman, clearly fitted for a missionary's wife, soon had a beautifully whitc table-cloth spread, a nice tea prepared, and we all became cheerful together over our refreshing and simple meal. Two German artificers formed a part of the mission. After tea, one of the artisans took out his accordion, while the rest of the party sang with taste and feeling their fine German hymns. Though to me it was 'music without words,' yet thoughts were suggested by the music, and with the understanding I trust that I also sang. Then we had a lesson of Scripture read in German; then German prayers, and then I went to bed in my waggon, heartily pleased with my kindly host and hostess.
"We were off early next day, and travelled into an uninteresting country, utterly bare and sometimes boggy; we saw planks of wood strewn along the road, which waggons had reluctantly cast overboard, [326/327] in order to enable them to get through the bogs. At last we ourselves stuck fast; but after unyoking the oxen, and tying them behind, so as to draw the waggon backward, we hit on a better piece of ground, and moved on again. Not a human face, not an animal, was seen all day,--scarcely a bush; while a hot sun glowed down, upon us. I was lucky enough to have a Kafir police horse lent to me, which saved me the jolting of the waggon. At night we out-spanned on a bare leafless plain, with the prospect of a hot Sunday before us, and the wilderness for our church. However, it so happened that we had halted only about a mile from a station of mounted police, who guard this frontier. This was a happy circumstance, for these poor police never get a service except by accident, being far removed from all ministrations.
"I sent word in the morning that we would come down and hold divine service. On our arrival, we found the men all prepared to receive us; and as their wattle-and-daub huts were not large enough to receive the little congregation, it was agreed to hold service under the shade of a fine mimosa thorn. It was indeed quite a wilderness service, and I greatly enjoyed it. Not wishing to force anything upon the men, I told them that in the afternoon we should have service near our waggon, and that we should be glad to see any who were inclined to come. Mr. Thompson, the captain, returned to dine with us; and as the hour fixed for service drew near, we [327/328] were rejoiced to see a considerable number of police hastening towards the waggon. There was some thunder and rain: indeed, now for about ten days we had an afternoon thunder-storm every day.
"On Monday we journeyed into a pleasanter country, but there was the usual inspanning and outspanning, while our provisions were neither abundant nor luxurious. I got used to every possible variety of water, from the rarity of a pure stream to the chocolate-looking contents of a road-side puddle. Good or bad, it was always gratefully received. At first I preferred drinking without looking, but at last I got over this fastidiousness, and drank nature's chocolate in its thickest state without wincing.
"In journeying through the Bolotta, we found a considerable number of Kafirs, who, whenever we out-spanned, brought us baskets of sour milk and a kind of sweet cane, which is refreshing on hot days; and Captain Tainton always contrived to produce some pleasant talk. Indeed, they seemed quite to scent him out, and to cluster round him by a kind of instinct, while I silently studied the manners of these loquacious visitors. Their powers of talking are unrivalled. Captain Tainton often sat by the fire till midnight, with his group of dark friends fighting all their battles o'er again, and recounting various incidents of the late war. We found some Kafirs in these parts who had never seen any Englishman, except a soldier or a 'winkler,' i. e. a petty Kafir trader. One set seemed quite puzzled with [328/329] us, because we had nothing to sell. They pryed and peered into the waggon, thinking we could not be in earnest, renewing and again renewing their request, and probably thinking we had what is known as 'onion-seed' in reserve (that is, gunpowder), which we were rather coy in disposing of. At last one of them was overheard to say that 'we were not common people.' As for myself, being silent, I was pronounced to be 'deaf.' No missionary had ever been among them.
"The night after we had met this group we out-spanned by some fine large mimosa thorns; and as a good large fire was soon blazing up, and a considerable group of Kafirs was soon clustered round us, talking in their animated way, I was struck with the picturesqueness of the scene. As they had evidently mingled little with the English, I shewed them common English things. My watch, when the works were opened, greatly interested them; and as again and again I opened it, and still and still the wheels were going round, one of them expressed his surprise that ' they were not tired.'
"The next evening two messengers arrived from the chief Kreli, to announce his approach. They were remarkably fine, handsome young men, looking like the young aristocrats of the tribe, which I believe they were. In their company we had another pleasant evening. As the whole party lay stretched along the ground by the fire, the conversation turned on war. One of the young men, in a [329/330] thoughtful kind of way, put a decidedly puzzling question:--' You missionaries,' he said, 'are always preaching against war, and telling us to listen to you. Now, why do not the English listen to you themselves, and give up war?' Then, after musing with himself, he said, 'He wished the missionaries had a river of their own, and then he would go and live with them, apart from the English and the Kafirs, who love fighting.' The river, the missionaries, and peace--such was this poor native's ideal; and yet how often have I been told that the Kafirs are a hopeless race!
"We were now close to the banks of the White Kei, and Kreli's own kraal only about seven miles off. As he was afraid of the lung-sickness, it was agreed that I should not cross the river into his country, but that he should pay me a visit where I was. Accordingly, in the afternoon, as we were resting by our waggon, we saw a large group of natives descending towards the river. The river was soon crossed, and then the group, about fifty in number, with Kreli in the midst, approached us. After the usual shaking of hands, we offered the chief and his counsellors seats, while the rest of the party squatted on the ground. Enquiries about 'news,' and smoking, consumed some little time; then we set to work, and again I had cause for thankfulness, as Kreli readily allowed me to send missionaries into his country. As he is in no sense under British rule, and has an entirely independent [330/331] position, with 60,000 people under him, the permission was in all respects an important one, and I only trust that God may fit us for such a momentous work, and give us good instruments for effecting it.
"After much friendly conversation, the chief and his followers took their leave. Kreli quite looks a chief, and both in stature and in bearing was evidently the prince among his people. One great object of my journey being thus fulfilled, I need not say with how light a heart I betook myself to my waggon that night.
"The next morning we set out for Queenstown; making our way, not without regret, from the social territory of the Kafirs, into pure English and Dutch ground, with lonely outspannings and inspannings, and lonely evenings before us. Captain Tainton, having fulfilled his part, turned his horse's bead homewards. We were very sorry to see him depart.
"We were soon overtaken by an awful storm. The road, in about a quarter of an hour, became literally a river, and the oxen unwillingly splashed through it. At last we were compelled to stop while it was still broad daylight, and we had a most dreary evening in the waggon; everything wet and clammy around us; no fire, and, as regards myself, no tendency to sleep. The next day was bright and sunny; indeed, as I walked somewhat ahead of the waggon, the sun seemed to be striking one as with its hand. I looked round for shade, [331/332] and tried to hide myself behind a small rock from the amazing power of the sun,--thoroughly realizing, as the text came to my mind, the refreshment of ' the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.'
"About mid-day, the Rev. E. Green met us, and we found ourselves only five or six miles from Queenstown. This town, formed by Sir G. Cathcart, is finely placed in the middle of a considerable' plain, with fine ranges of mountains all round. It promises to be a most successful settlement, both in a commercial and a military point of view. Sir George divided the country round it into moderate farms, seldom exceeding three thousand acres each; giving them chiefly to young men capable of bearing arms, and bound to assemble once a-year well-equipped; and thus, with the town in the centre, and this large population of young farmers round, able to defend themselves in case of need, and possessed of good farming-ground, it is regarded as one of the safest districts in the neighbourhood of the Kafirs, and likely to yield much produce.
"It was some refreshment to find oneself in a house again. Though Mr. Green had only been a few months in Queenstown, and there had been no clergyman to precede him, I was greatly gratified by the state of things, On Sunday, March 18th, the day after my arrival we had very considerable congregations in the Court-house, and I found a good Sunday-school at work in the afternoon. The plans for a church were completed, [332/333] a little parsonage was rising from the ground, and the people were giving liberally towards the church.
"On Monday we left Queenstown, Mr. Green kindly lending me his horse, and borrowing one for himself, so that he might accompany me. We had a pleasant ride through a pleasant country, and passed through a Wesleyan mission station, Lessington, abandoned in the wars, but now just about to be re-occupied. I was struck with the tidiness and good manners of the natives. In the afternoon we reached a station of the Frontier Mounted Police, called 'Andrew's Neck,' where Mr. Green ministers once a-month. He has no less than four stations besides: one at Whittlesea, about eighteen miles from Queenstown; another at this place, about eighteen miles; another at a group of farms in one direction; and a fourth at a group of farms in another direction.
"Immediately on my arrival we held divine service. It was but a wattle-and-daub room, with rough poles and sticks, but the congregation was a most attentive one. I always feel peculiar pleasure in ministering in such remote, out-of-the-way places, in the midst of such wilderness scenes. My heart seemed that day quite to burn within me, and I preached from the fulness of it to that little group of English, whose occupation it is to rove amid the wild places of the earth. After service, I was surprised to find, not only something to eat, but a very excellent repast, prepared for us by the [333/334] police. They seemed, with the aid of a farmer of the neighbourhood, to have consulted our comfort in everything, and to have taken great pains to please us.
"The following morning it rained too hard to start. As it cleared in the afternoon, we got all things ready, and then, as the oxen were put in, a considerable portion of police mounted, and of their own accord escorted us some miles on our way. I need not say that this fresh act of kindness greatly pleased me. At night, after eighteen miles of sharpish riding, we reached an inn at the bottom of the Storm-Berg. My bedroom had no windows, but plenty of fleas,--and I wished for my waggon as a pleasanter apartment. The next day it again rained heavily. About two, however, it cleared, and we proceeded to climb the Storm-Berg,--a hill, or rather mountain, with a zig-zag road leading to the top of it. The country had been gradually changing its features. "We had been gradually leaving tree and bush and shrub behind us, but on the top of the Storm-Berg the change was complete. All was bare, not a tree nor shrub, though for a time we retained the grass. At night we reached the farm of Mr. Boardman, the son of an English clergyman, who hospitably received us. In the morning, Mr. Green was compelled to return to Queenstown, and to take back his horse. Up to this point I had contrived, by borrowing, to indulge in the luxury of horseback, and only to fly [334/335] to the companionship of Mr. Lange, in the waggon, under stress of weather or fatigue. As, however, borrowing was at an end, I asked Mr. Boardman to sell me one of a large troop of horses that were round the farm. He bade me mount the horse, and he set out with us, and then refused all payment. His gift proved a most valuable one, and eased me greatly on my journey.
"Nothing remarkable occurred in our journey, except that we found ourselves getting into the 'Karoo' country, losing the grass, without any wood to make our cheerful fire at night, picking up with greediness any little piece of stick that any previous travellers had left, any remnant of a broken barrel that had been used for firewood. We found ourselves also in a thinly-peopled district, with no sociable, loquacious Kafirs crowding round us at night, with but few English farms, with Dutch farmers some eight or ten miles from each other, and these mostly with poor, comfortless houses, on bare, hot flats, and offering to a stranger like myself no hospitality.
"On Friday night we found ourselves close to the town of Burghersdorp. Having fallen short of all provision, we sent into the town for bread, &c.; also for letters. I was sitting outside my waggon, on the lonely and silent and barren waste, with a bright, calm moon above, when the messenger returned, bringing me a large batch of English letters. It was almost too much for me. After [335/336] a dreary fatiguing journey, in the midst of a desolate plain, England, with all its old cheerful, homes, its familiar faces, its friends and kindred, its well-loved scenes, all rushed upon me, and I was overcome.
"The next day we drove into the town, and a friendly Dutchman kindly lent mo an empty house, where we spread our mattresses. The town, originally founded hy the Dutch, is now chiefly inhabited by the English, who are more skilled in commercial life. The Dutch church is large, the Dutch parsonage singularly large: there is a small "VVesleyan chapel, and the Church of England has neither church nor clergyman. I called a meeting of Church members in the afternoon. A good many assembled, and I was especially pleased to see several of the working classes. I told them plainly that I had not a farthing granted or given me for their aid; that out of my own. scanty means I would try to do a little; that they must really give liberally themselves; and that as there seemed a dearth of good education, I would try and get from England a clergyman who might unite scholastic with ministerial duties. There seemed a considerable desire to do what they could, a considerable attachment to the Church, and a love for its services, if this does not get weakened and deadened by our inability to supply them with Church ministrations. On Sunday, through the kindness of the Wesleyan minister, I had the loan of the Wesleyan chapel. [336/337] The congregation overflowed the building, and a large body of persons remained standing outside throughout the service. With Mr. Lange's aid, I administered the Holy Communion. The evening service was also largely attended.
"On Monday morning we started northwards, not without melancholy thoughts concerning the neglected state of our Church-people in Burghers-dorp, and not knowing how a clergyman could be fully sustained, even if he could be procured. The difficulty of all such places is, that that kind of romantic feeling, if I may so speak, which helps to sustain the spirit of a missionary amid woods and forests, wild people and wild scenes, has nothing to live upon in a small town in the midst of a monotonous, uninteresting country. The sense, too, of making a great sacrifice for the sake of doing great good is also non-existent in such a case; for if even half of a population of a thousand can be won to the Church, or retained within it, greater work, a greater multitude of souls, can be found pressing upon a clergyman close to the doors of his own English home. It is such towns as these that have impressed me so deeply with the necessity of raising-a clergy from the midst of the colonists themselves. "With kindred in these towns, used to the outward aspect of the country and to the mode of life, with strong local ties, a colonial-bred clergy would have the very sphere suited to their providential position. I am making every exertion to turn the thoughts of [337/338] religious-minded colonial youths towards the ministry, and to secure the approval of parents. A college at Grahamstown is indispensable, though, of course, it will be always in the highest degree desirable to have a large mixture of clergy from home, and at present we must rely entirely upon them.
"Our starting was not very successful. One of our Hottentots asked for a shilling to get some tobacco. He ran into the town to get it, and came running back, not with tobacco, but all the worse for a shilling's-worth of brandy suddenly quaffed off. Two or three miles out of the town he fell off the waggon-box, and the wheel was close to him, when the other Hottentot leaped out, and rescued him. He fell, however, himself, and one of the wheels went over him; so that we had a lame and a drunken Hottentot. Mr. Lange, on this occasion, shewed his powers as ox-driver. In the afternoon, after all these morning delays, a very heavy storm burst over us; torrents of rain fell, the thunder and lightning lasted for hours, and we were forced to stop and spend a damp, dreary evening in the waggon.
"The next morning we came to a very awkward drift, which the rain had filled, and which was formed at the junction of two streams; in the middle, forking the stream, was a mud-bank; on the other the mud was very deep. I confess I felt uncomfortable, though Mr. Lange, with his greater [338/339] experience, thought we should get safely through. Mr. Lange was right.
"For the first time, we now came across quantities of game. The one thing that has struck me in Africa is the absence of animals. The birds are beautiful; not gaudy, but of intenser colours and more graceful forms than the English; not so melodious, nor indulging in song, yet yielding pleasant and cheerful sounds; suffering one also to approach very close to them, and to study them well. Animals of all sorts, however, till now, seemed singularly scarce. It was, therefore, no slight pleasure, in this thinly-peopled country, where in the week's journey between town and town so little of life had met one's sight, to see hundreds of spring-boks bounding gracefully along; while herds of gnus, happy, merry fellows, were galloping in circles, swishing about their tails, and bending their thick necks to the ground. When we outspanned at night, and the moon was up, a tremendous storm of wind arose, as sharp and piercing as it was strong. Though I heaped coats, cloaks, everything I could lay hands on, I could not get warm the whole night through; and a waggon is certainly but a thin, shivering habitation at such times. Add to this, we were still without wood, and had to conduct our fire on most economic principles. We had the same kind of weather for some days--very cold at night, very hot and scorching in the day. I turned my face a considerable number of times on the journey. [339/340] Sometimes a few minutes were quite enough to scorch the skin off one's cheeks and nose; and I often thought, with a kind of envy, of the pictures of the bearded bishops of the olden time.
"Our commissariat department was not splendid; we were far removed from inns, even of the humblest and roughest sort. A Dutch farm was the butcher's and baker's shop. We used to rush out of the waggon as we passed one of these lonely homes; there got a tough piece of kid or sheep, killed perhaps an hour before; bought some milk where it was possible; cooked the aforesaid kid, as soon as we outspanned, with all its native toughness; and often found the milk of the consistency of blanc-mange by the time we stopped for tea. However, the open air the whole day through gave us the luxury of a goodly appetite, which made many things taste sweet.
"On Thursday, by a great push, we reached Colesberg: as the next day was Good Friday, we were necessarily most anxious to escape the desert, and to join our brethren in the town. The approach to Colesberg is very curious. There are large, not rocks, but heaps of huge loose stones, scattered about on every side; as if some race of giants, having undertaken some vast contracts for the Macadamising of giant roads throughout Africa, had collected a great deal of their material at this spot. The road wound through these curious heaps, and I certainly little thought that a town could [340/341] have been placed in the midst of such a barren and unfruitful scene. On rounding a corner, I was struck with the immense number of conies which were running about the rocks; and the Scripture expression of the 'stony rocks for the conies' seemed to supply me with the exact description that I needed, for they were not rocks, but 'stony rocks.' The town itself lies in a narrow gully, backed and walled in on either side by a hot range of these rocks, which narrow both the street room and the garden-ground of the inhabitants; while a broad and deepening 'sluit' cuts the town in two--one side of the main street looking at the other side, across this perilous sluit. "We had had experience of these sluits upon our road, and they often make very awkward work for travellers, as a sudden violent storm sometimes rapidly widens or deepens them. The word 'sluit' probably is synonymous with slit. At any rate, slit precisely describes the thing. Imagine yourself travelling along a smooth road, and suddenly you come, not to a ditch, or trench, or river, or cutting, but to a sharp, abrupt slit. In some eases the road is quite striped with these sluits, and they vary from one foot in depth to thirty; the width also varying. I have seen nothing like them at home, as there are neither the same tremendous torrents of rain, nor the same peculiar kind of soil.
We were extremely thankful that we had so pressed on; for on entering the town we found the [341/342] prospect of an absolute dearth of all ministrations for this most holy time. Poor Dr. Orpen, the clergyman of our Church, had received so serious on attack that he had been quite incapacitated for the slightest duty, and had been compelled to leave the town for change of air. The Dutch minister had had some disagreement with his people, and was gone. Mr. Every, the Wesleyan teacher, had resigned his congregation and joined the Church, and there was no successor. Mr. Do Koek, the London missionary, had intimated to me some weeks before his desire to join the Church, having the strongest doubts as to his orders, and therefore was by me received into lay communion.
"On Good Friday we held divine service twice in Mr. De Kock's chapel, as the church was not yet finished; and again on Easter-day, when we also administered the Holy Communion. As Mr. De Koek had the coloured congregation of the town, I found a few of them were anxious to be admitted into full communion of the Church of England. This I thankfully assented to; and for the first time these poor people knelt beside the white, and with the white received the blessed Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Commonly, the black congregations and the white are quite distinct. The Church has to beat down boldly these walls of partition.
"From the very peculiar state of things, I resolved at once to license Mr. De Koek as catechist, that the coloured people, if they were minded to join the [342/343] Church, might not be utterly destitute of all religious service; and certainly it was a peculiar state of things, when this town of some 700 or 800 people suddenly was left in charge of a solitary catechist. In the evening of Easter-day, Mr. De Koek held service as catechist of the Church of England, in Dutch, and I found myself for the first time in the midst of a considerable congregation of coloured people. Though the service was utterly unintelligible to me, I felt it greatly, and I trust that in spirit I was united with these my brethren.
"Mr. De Koek proposed the day after my departure to call his congregation together, and to tell them plainly what he had been led to do, at the same time telling them that they were not bound to follow him. They followed him to a man, and thus the Church received her first coloured congregation in this portion of South Africa, about 200 souls in number. I have since purchased the chapel.
"On Monday we were compelled to start. Indeed, a hard week's travelling was before us, in order to enable us to reach Graaff Reinet on Saturday. Nothing can exceed the dreariness of this 'Karoo' country. Imagine large, hot, sandy flats speckled over with a low, dingy shrub, which the sheep and cattle browse upon--the country not unnaturally, but unwisely, called 'desert' by Sir W. Molesworth. These sandy, burning flats are surrounded by a low range of hills; and as you approach an opening you think to see some change of feature, some alteration [343/344] in the scene, some token of the approach of grass, or tree, or bush; but lo! another flat, most brotherly in its features, like the alleys of Dutch gardens, spreads itself before your eyes; again you plod on with the slow, patient oxen, and for days flat opens upon flat. At the end of the week a town appears. The unmentionable article of cow-dung forms the material of the traveller's and of the farmer's fire, for lack of wood.
"To-day, or rather to-night, Monday, we heard the horrid yells and howlings of the jackal round the waggon, and in the course of the day we saw the pleasant delusion of ' the mirage.' We must have passed about eighty gnus, and an untold number of spring-boks. The days continued to be hot, the nights to be intensely cold; and no wonder that we felt the keenness of the air, for we were on tableland some 8,000 feet above the sea. As we approach Graaff Rcinet, on Saturday, we suddenly dropped down about 2,000 feet. The road was far too precipitous for me to feel comfortable in the waggon, as it slid downwards, rounding point after point; accordingly, I walked, in the midst of thunder and rain. The scenery was refreshingly grand, with crags and rocks, and our old friend the mimosa once again. The town of Graaff Reinet is an extremely striking one. It is placed in a kind of oasis in the midst of the Karoo, with fine mountains rising up around it; with a river rushing through it; with trees and shrubs, and garden-ground, green and [344/345] pleasant to the eye; with fine broad, straight Dutch streets crossing each other at right angles; with rows of orange-trees, cypresses, syringas, lining and shading the streets; with a Dutch church actually possessing a spire; with a nice English church well-placed, and the ground well planted and kept; within, quiet, easy-looking Dutch people sitting on their stoops, a kind of raised pavement in front of their houses, with a few English of brisker movements, with an air of comfort and prosperity diffused throughout the place. Such is Graaff Keinot; and the gable-ends of the houses, and their Dutch fashion, just give one of those ideas of antiquity which in a colony is so refreshing. No one knows what it is to live in a country where there is nothing old, till he has tried it.
"We were hospitably received by the Rev. Mr. Steabler and his wife; and it was no slight pleasure at the end of a hard week in the waggon to find oneself in a comfortable English home. Mr. Steabler has the sole charge of the English in the town, who number at present about 400. The Dutch number two or three thousand. The English are likely to increase. The next day, Sunday, we had large congregations in the church. I preached twice. On Monday morning I baptized a half-caste girl, an adult, who afterwards partook of the ordinance of confirmation; so that I literally followed the apostles, in baptizing first and confirming immediately afterwards. We had an immense congregation [345/346] present at the confirmation, among whom were many Dutch. The candidates behaved devoutly. They were twenty in number. The Holy Communion was afterwards administered, of which a large portion of the confirmed partook.
"On Wednesday I left Graaff Reinet, accompanied by Mr. Steabler, Mr. Southey, and one or two more laymen. We reached a group of farms in the evening. Mr. Powell kindly housed us; Captain Rubridge gave us breakfast in the morning; and again we were off, Mr. Steabler returning home. Our poor oxen now began sadly to fail; they had got weak and thin; having been grass-fed, they would not take to the shrub on which sheep and oxen that are used to it thrive so well. The only wonder was, that in this fatal season, when we passed so frequently through sick cattle, when hundreds of carcasses were lying along the road, they were alive at all; and I evidently saw that, even in the most favourable year, it was almost impossible to perform such a journey with one span of oxen. I ought to have had one span of oxen for the grass country, and another for the "Karoo." The expense, however, is staggering; even as it is, my journey has been most costly; and though I wish to make annual visitations, I do not see how it can be accomplished where travelling is so enormously dear. With a diocese nearly as large as England, and a day's journey not averaging more than twenty miles, it is easily seen what a visitation must be.
 "As the week advanced we saw, alas! that for the first time we should be behind our time. At one time I had hardly a hope of getting to Cradock at all before Sunday. On Saturday our hopes were very low; I sent, therefore, Mr. Lange forwards on my horse, that he, at any rate, by pressing on, might give a morning service. He succeeded in reaching the town that night; but I, with the waggon, was some sixteen miles off. However, Mr. Gilfillan sent off his light cart in the morning to bring me in. By this means, though I missed the morning service, I was enabled to take part in the afternoon service. The town was without a clergyman; Mr. Gray having left, after a three months' notice,--a notice far too short, now that steam communication is at an end. It is impossible, ordinarily, to fill up a vacancy under nine months. As I approached the town, I could not but be saddened by the thought of our religious divisions. No less than three places of worship were visible, besides the Church of England. This, in the midst of a population of some 700 people, was indeed a melancholy spectacle. What a waste of men, of zeal, of means for their support, when this 700 is split up into four divisions, each division requiring its own teacher. One earnest, faithful pastor might easily supply all the wants of the place.
"I have forgotten to mention two new sights that met me as I neared the town. One was a huge cobra, which crossed the road, with its hood spread [347/348] open. The other was that of a huge, stout, massive Dutchwoman, riding her horse like a man, (a common custom, as I afterwards found,) her petticoats spreading like vast sails on either side. In the distance I could not, at first, make out the nature of the apparition.
"Mr. Gilfillan very kindly received us during our stay. He was then somewhat unwell. Later in the year his illness assumed more alarming features; and it pleased God to take him, leaving a widow with a large family in her charge.
"On Monday we started on a cross-country route, towards Post Retief. The country began to lose its Karoo character, and to be both undulating and bushy again, to our great relief. We were travelling into the plensanter regions of the south. Our oxen, alas! betrayed still greater signs of weakness, and by the time we reached Mr. Maskell's, some thirty miles from Cradoek, we found that it was impossible to proceed. Mr. Maskell, ever ready to oblige us, had neither horse nor ox to lend or let; the farmers in the neighbourhood, he told us, were all walking, having lost both horses and cattle; and thus we stood, with our heavy, motionless waggon, in the middle of the road, in blank despair. Begging, buying, borrowing were all out of the question. However, after a depressing pause, we saw a waggon approaching, and curiously enough--what we had not seen before our whole journey through--a spare span sauntered behind. Mr. Lange hastened to see what [348/349] could be done, but returned in a hopeless state. I urged him to make one more effort. To my inexpressible relief, the application of the golden argument this time succeeded, and we soon set off. The same day we actually came to grass again, and out-spanned at mid-day beside a beautiful babbling brook, with trees hanging over it. The very sight of the grass rejoiced me, and I could almost enter into the oxen's feelings at the sight.
"We passed through the new town of Bedford, which is beautifully situated; and the next day we passed through splendid scenery that quite exhilarated me. We were again amid high green hills, wooded up to the crown, with brooks, and trees, and flowers, and shrubs in the valleys. By way of counterbalancing our enjoyment, we had to climb the most tremendous hill I had yet seen. I thought the waggon must have gone to pieces, as it was jolted upwards from rock to rock by the wondrously patient oxen. I had crossed the road where the Bishop of Capetown's cart had broken down; but this was infinitely worse. The stone staircase of a London house, prolonged for the distance of a mile and a half, is the sort of thing it was; though, of course, the steps were not so even, and often steeper far. The neighbourhood of Post Retief is grand in the extreme, with a more bracing air than is commonly found, and with the Winterberg grandly rising up, a mountain about 7,000 feet above the sea. The Rev. J. Willson and his wife kindly received us into [349/350] their comfortable house. The next day, Sunday, we had good congregations. Major Savage, and another officer, and a sergeant, came over from Fort Fordyce, some sixteen miles: the soldiers of the fort and the farmers of the neighbourhood made a goodly and an attentive group of worshippers. I confirmed eight candidates, and administered the Holy Communion to eighteen persons. On Monday I had a satisfactory interview with the parishioners regarding the erection of a church.
"On Wednesday we were off again, satisfied that Mr. Willson was doing good amid his scattered flock. On Friday we reached the pretty, English-looking town of Somerset, where Mr. Pain has been labouring with good success. There is a nice company of lay people in the town, who seem to live on very friendly terms with each other, and I received from them many tokens of hospitality. On Sunday there were good congregations. I preached twice, and administered the Holy Communion to thirty persons. On Tuesday I held a confirmation, and on Thursday I consecrated the new church and burial-ground. The church is very church-like,--plain, simple, and well suited to the place. It is a thoroughly satisfactory work, and has cost Mr. Pain much well-spent toil. In the afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Pain entertained the parishioners, and we all sat under a vine-trellis, enjoying the parochial feast. On Friday we started homewards, well pleased with the pastor and his wife, and his kindly flock; and seeing in [350/351] this, as in other places, the wonderful reviving power of the Church. Some six years ago the Church hardly existed here.
"I have little to relate as concerns my journey home; and I need not say, after a three months' absence, with what joy I saw my children coming out to meet me, and to get a ride in the waggon, and with what joy I once more leaped from the waggon, and found myself at home. The great fact that seemed to cling to me on my return was this very reviving power of the Church: while other religious bodies seemed, for a long time, alone possessed of life, and alone were caring for souls, God, at last, seemed to quicken the Church, and lo! the brook became a river, and the river a sea; the few, very few scattered pastors who had toiled far apart from each other, soon found, after the Bishop of Capetown's arrival, a large company of brethren following one another quickly, and quickly gathering again the people into the fold. Everywhere churches have risen, or are rising; everywhere congregations have been formed, communicants have increased, and are increasing; and as the means of grace have been multiplied, so have the people availed themselves of them."
The privations and fatigues of this long journey had been at times very great. The uncertainty and scarcity of food was trying to one who even in England had suffered from any [351/352] irregularity in the hours of his meals. In his letters home he mentions on one occasion "getting an apple or two instead of his dinner;" on another, that "Owing to some defect in the lock of the provision-box of the waggon, whore he had a small stock of preserved meat for emergencies, he got a cup of tea at a friendly farmer's, and ended the day with only the same fare."
In another letter he writes:--
"I get used to dirt, and eat and drink without looking: it is certainly a trial."
The heat, too, often severely tried him, as well as the difficulty in getting rest after the day's fatigue. Once he writes:--
"After passing about ten days in the waggon, and not having had one wink of sleep for three nights till daylight, owing to bites, I was quite refreshed by a bed, though very tired and fagged."
Sometimes there occur in writing to Mrs. Armstrong touching expressions contrasting their past with their present life; such as the following:--
"I am sorry beyond measure to find how very poorly you have been. I wish indeed I were with you, to comfort you. I feel that our life here must have many bitter trials and anxieties; but we must [352/353] try and bear up, and keep good hearts, remembering how many years of sunshine we have had."
In speaking, however, of these minor difficulties and trials, his usual cheerful tone of mind is still preserved. The only words which betrayed real depression of spirits occur in a letter written from Colesberg, the furthest point in his diocese:--
"We had two services yesterday, (Good-Friday,) and propose to give two to-morrow, with Holy Communion. This, however, entails four sermons on me, which is too much, and the weather is dreadfully against me. However, I must trust in God. It is a sad, sad Easter. Then the post docs not come in till Monday evening, and we must start in the morning."
The Bishop, before he left England, paid a visit to Price's Candle Factory at Vauxhall, and inspected the schools. He examined the boys and girls in Scripture history, and addressed them in his own cordial way, and was so much pleased with what he saw, that he promised to send the young scholars a letter when he reached Africa. He fulfilled this promise after his return from his journey into Kafirland, and gave no little pleasure by the following account of some of its details:--
"July 28, 1855.
"My dear Friends,
"I have not forgotten the happy afternoon I spent among you in your schoolroom last year, when I told you of all the plans which I desired by God's blessing to carry out for the conversion of the poor heathen in South Africa. Since I spoke to you on that day, a great deal has happened to us. I trust you have been offering up your prayers according to your promise, as God seems opening the door for us among the Kafirs. I have now wandered over the whole of this vast diocese, among the Dutch, the English, and the Kafirs,--over rough places and smooth, through rivers and across mountains; holding divine service sometimes under the shade of a mimosa thorn, sometimes in a rude thatched hut, sometimes in a court-house, sometimes in a comely church.
"Before I set out on my travels, I bought a good strong waggon and twelve oxen; I then hired a couple of Hottentot drivers, who managed a huge bamboo whip, the handle about ten feet long, and then a long lash besides, with which they very cleverly flanked the oxen. We should have looked very strange, had we been able to take a drive down Vauxhall, and to stop at the Factory gates. Then behind the front seat I had my mattress spread, which served for my bed at night, as I seldom slept in a house for more than two or three nights [354/355] a-week. I carried also a small tent, which we used to pitch at night; and when it got dark we unyoked the oxen and turned them loose to graze (for there are no such things as hedges or fields), cut down some of the mimosa bush, made a blazing fire, had our kettle out, and made our tea. The water we got was often about the colour of chocolate, and somewhat thick besides; luckily, it was rather a rainy season, so that we were never quite run short, though I confess nothing but extreme thirst would have made one relish it sometimes. When we travelled through Kafirland, the moment our fire burnt up, and the Kafirs caught sight of our waggon, a group of them, men, women, and children, used to come and sit down by the fire, and chatter away merrily till quite a late hour. They would bring thick, sour milk in baskets, and sometimes sweet milk and Indian corn: sixpence and a few pieces of tobacco sufficed as payment. They were always good-tempered and friendly, though there were threatenings of war, and they shewed great quickness and intelligence in their remarks. They are very fond of talking, and their language is beautiful in sound; their figures are fine and handsome; and they fold their blankets, which they stain a kind of reddish-brown, gracefully around them.
"Their villages are very different from our nice, pretty English villages. If you had a group of beehives on the floor, and looked at them through a microscope, you would then know exactly what a [355/356] Kafir village is like, only, instead of bees, you would see black Kafirs crawling out of the little holes which are their doors. The country in which they live is in many parts very beautiful, and the most exquisite flowers brighten it on every side: geraniums and jessamine, and many such flowers grow quite wild; and I wish I could send you a few waggons-full to deck your rooms at home.
"I suppose you know that these Kafirs are divided into tribes under different chiefs, just as the Scotch used to be not very long since. The chiefs I went to see were--Umhalla, an old man, but an extremely clever one, and possessed of great influence; then Sandili; and then Kreli. There are about 12,000, perhaps more, in Umhalla's tribe, about 25,000 in Sandili's, and 60,000 in Kreli's, who lives, by-the-bye, beyond British territory altogether, and is completely his own master. As none of these throe chiefs had any religious teachers, or any missions of any kind, at the time of my arrival, I thought I would go to them first. At Umhalla's, a few weeks after my arrival, the white flag, the sign of Sunday and of Sunday services, was hoisted for the first time by the Church of England; in a few weeks after I proceeded to visit this our first mission, where we have some earnest missionaries at work. The chief, with his seven or eight wives, received us very kindly. I was particularly struck with the boys and girls,--they were so quick, and so kind towards each other; they made quite a holiday of it [356/357] and I did not hear, in the midst of all their play, one rough word. The missionaries are now beginning to get a few of them to school, so I assure you the Factory School must look sharp. I then visited Sandili, a tall young man, who also received me very kindly. Mr. Allen, a good and zealous clergyman, is just starting to take up his residence among them, and he will soon have, I trust, his school of little black scholars around him. I next went to Kreli, a very princely and powerful chief, who gave me a kind welcome; so that God is at least giving us the opportunity of preaching His Gospel, and planting His Church among them, if we are faithful ourselves, and use our opportunities.
"Mr. Waters, an excellent clergyman, was with me yesterday on his way to Kreli, going quite away from the English, and trusting his wife and children and himself among these savages. Curiously enough, he told me that he had to get some goods in the town to take up into this wild country, and among other things he said that he was about to get some Selmont Candles. Thus, you sec, what you make at Vauxhall will light the missionary who settles amid these distant tribes of South Africa. In addition to the Missionaries we have, we hope also to have some others from England soon, and if God mercifully blesses their Christian toils, and accepts our prayers, we hope to see this land, so often ravaged by savage wars, converted into a land of peace, and those who now live in the darkness of unbelief brought into the [357/358] fold of Christ, lightened with His marvellous light, and taught to know that Saviour's love which passeth knowledge.
"Hoping that you, my friends, will continue to pray for us, and to use your own gifts as Christian privileges,
"Most faithfully yours in Christ,
On his return from this journey the Bishop to his great joy received a reply from Mr. Hawkins, with the promise of increased aid from the Society, and he thus expresses his feelings in reply:--
"Grahamstown, "July 18, 1855.
"My dear Mr. Hawkins,
"I cannot tell you with what great joy and deep thankfulness I received your letter. It must be a day marked alba nota, or rather albissima nota, in my calendar. An immense burden of anxiety was taken in an instant off my mind; and I am filled with hope as to the future of the Church of England among the Kafir tribes. I have still to report that the chiefs are in a most favourable mood towards us. Mr. Allen went to Sandili last week, and had a cheering welcome; he has returned to take up his wife. I also had a friendly message from the chief Kreli, [358/359] and Mr. Waters goes up next week to choose the site of the mission there.
"Pray assure the Committee that I deeply appreciate the very generous and prompt respond they have made to my appeal; and I trust, by God's mercy and blessing, the sort of venture they have made will really prove to be one of the ventures of faith, and that fresh friends, with fresh offerings, will be raised up to enable them not only to sustain the present grant, but to do what they evidently wish,--increase it in future years."
The first year of his mission was now closing. Its last incidents were thus recorded by the Bishop, together with touching expressions of his sense of what he owed to the Society which was sustaining him in all his efforts:--
"Soon after my return, I held my second confirmation, when twenty-five additional candidates were confirmed, making seventy-five altogether this year in Grahamstown. Considering that we have raised the standard of preparation, and that it is now well known that the confirmations will be annual, this number is considerable. I have been extremely rejoiced to find that the number of communicants continues steadily to increase.
"The great event that succeeded the confirmation was the receipt of a most cheering letter from the 'Society for the Propagation of the Gospel;' a letter [359/360] I had waited for with intense anxiety, and which I received with liveliest joy and warmest thankfulness.
Somehow or other, this diocese had received extremely slight help from home. Though, as the district in which all the fierce Kafir wars had taken place,--the heart and centre of these desperate and often repeated struggles,--it had attracted a large share of public attention, yet the Church had passed the district over. I myself stole out of England almost empty-handed; and because an attack of illness prevented me wandering about to plead for Kafir missions, Kafir missions created but little interest. It is among the evils of the day that, unless missionary bishops, or other missionary clergy, speechify from one end of England to another, and live on platforms, little is effected.
"It was therefore a day of no common joy, when Mr. Ernest Hawkins told me of the immediate help which the Society had generously made, and of their desire to increase this help in future years. I can only hope most earnestly that large offerings will flow into the treasury of the Society.
"Cheered by this news from home, 1 now took occasion of one of the Saints' days to send forth from the cathedral church, with prayer and after reception of the Holy Communion, two of our missionaries--Mr. Allen, recently arrived from England, and Mr. Waters. A considerable congregation was present, and a large number of lay persons communicated. Just before this I held my second ordination, when Mr. Steabler and Mr. Waters were [360/361] admitted into the order of the priesthood, Mr. Meaden, and Mr. Every, lately a Wesleyan teacher, into the diaconate.
"Since then, I held a third ordination, when Mr. De Koek, the London missionary of whom I have spoken, was admitted into the order of Deacon By a curious and happy coincidence, the Bishop of Capetown was ordaining another Dutchman the same day, who also was to minister amid a coloured flock now gathered into the English Church.
"The last event I have to record was the laying of the foundation-stone of our infant college, which I dedicated to St. Andrew, as on St. Andrew's Day I received consecration. It was altogether a bright day in our annals. The clergy in their surplices, with Archdeacon Merriman at their head, moved in procession, with a large body of lay people, to the site of the chapel, whore the Lieutenant-Governor and his staff were waiting. There, joining the clergy, I accompanied them to the place prepared. The service was a very solemn one; a large concourse of people appeared to take a lively interest in the undertaking; and when the stone was laid, we all proceeded in due order to the cathedral for evening prayer, which a large congregation attended. The college is now rapidly rising, and, if all is well, will be open in a few months.
"Thus has passed the first year in South Africa. Another is opening with fresh work on every side; much to call forth earnest endeavour; much to enter [361/362] upon with hope; and in all things God's blessing to be sought. The last words I uttered in England may well be sent forth from hence to the brethren at home,--'Finally, brethren, pray for us.'"
Towards the close of the year the Bishop shewed signs of increasing weakness. In the course of September and October he had been a second time at Port Elizabeth, and it was a fatiguing journey; the weather very hot and thundery. He was much depressed, though able to go through a good deal of work. At Uitenhage he had a severe attack of influenza. On his journey homewards he was very unwell, though rejoicing in the thought that in the first year of his episcopate he had visited every town in his diocese, and had been twice at King-williamstown and Port Elizabeth, the two most important places next to Grahamstown.
On the Sunday after his return the Bishop was too unwell to preach, and from that time Mrs. Armstrong had secret misgivings as to the possibility of his health being restored. She was startled by the peculiar look of languor and exhaustion in his sleep, and the transparency of his pale face. He was able, however, after Christmas, to make a short journey to Bathurst, Southwell, the Kowie mouth, &c, though suffering from the excessive heat.
 While thus labouring in the special work of the ministry, the Bishop had also exerted himself for the social improvement of the inhabitants of Grahamstown. Among other plans which he had at heart was the foundation of a Literary Institute and Reading-room, which, though embracing all classes, were specially intended for the benefit of the mechanics and artisans of the town, whose only resource in their leisure hours hitherto had been found in the canteens. The undertaking met with strong opposition, but the Bishop persevered, and before his death he saw it successfully established. While he lay on his death-bed, the working men, unconscious of his danger, were preparing an address of thanksgiving for his laborious efforts on their behalf.
After dwelling so much at length on the Bishop's large designs and unwearying efforts for the advancement of religion throughout this vast diocese, it will help to complete the picture of the man, if we add, as an instance of the care which he exhibited for all the wants of his people,--the less, as well as the more, direct needs of the soul,--a lecture, subsequently published, which he gave at the close of this year, on the advisableness of forming an Institute. It recals to mind one remarkable feature [363/364] of his ministerial life in England,--the combination of devotedness to the deepest spiritual wants with an enlarged Christian philanthropy, embracing whatever touched upon the moral well or ill being of mankind. It shews how true a continuity existed between the spirit and scope of his work in England and what now, in a larger and more advanced sphere, he was seeking to extend into Southern Africa. The lecture, moreover, proves how, with the full burden of the episcopate pressing on his weakened frame, he still retained, in its former freshness, his peculiar power of adapting himself to the wants and apprehension of various classes of minds, and his open-hearted liberality, in the best sense of the term, which in him was ever combined with a most loyal and unswerving adherence to Church principles. It will recal, too, something of the spirited, buoyant flow of lighter eloquence which so singularly characterized his miscellaneous writings in his less burdened life at home:--
"It was my pleasant portion to act as a kind of herald, and to introduce a series of lectures which were crowned with good success throughout. Rejoicing as I did in any such experiment in a city which has been singularly barren of good or sensible relaxations, I rejoiced still more in the [364/365] discovery that when sensible relaxations are supplied, the demand is fully equal to the supply. There was no dearth of attentive audiences; there was no backwardness in partaking of the repast prepared; there was no disheartening utterance of well-digested information to a few stragglers scattered thinly about the room. On the contrary, the lecturers reaped a most abundant harvest of encouragement. Whatever toil or time was spent upon their essays, they were repaid to the uttermost. A large concourse of kindly listeners, who seemed determined to be pleased, flowed together, or rather overflowed, in this and in the other place of meeting. Altogether, there was a general impression that the whole matter had gone off1, in Shakespeare's language, 'excellent well;' and if the object of the undertaking was to create a profitable, or at least a harmless, expenditure of winter nights, to feel the pulse of the community as regards their appreciation of such winter pastime, to test the extent of the want or demand for such recreations, that object was most satisfactorily fulfilled. "We found out that lecturers must brush up material to meet the increasing appetite of the increasing audiences. We found out (and it would be a perilous thing to forget the discovery) that, whatever foolish or vicious amusements may be going on, there are hundreds who prefer what is good when it is offered,--that however youthful lips may taste forbidden fruit, there are hundreds ready to partake of what is innocent and allowed. And as one who [365/366] thankfully forwarded this experiment, who carefully marked its progress and results, and who feels the deep importance of seizing this and every other means of doing battle with folly, frivolity, and vice, I confess myself emboldened to seek the expansion of the design just accomplished, to enlarge our sphere of operation, to vary and multiply our instruments fo attraction, and to open out many channels, instead of one, for the moral elevation and intellectual enrichment of the colonial character.
"Indeed, you may recollect, that at the close of my introductory lecture, I expressed the hope that the time was fast approaching when ' a general institution should rise up in some central position, embracing museum, library, lecture-room,' &c. No remark was received with stronger or warmer tokens of assent, and I seemed simply to be giving expression to a general, nay, a universal wish. And later still, at a meeting relative to a museum, I ventured to introduce a resolution affirming that 'it was desirable to form a General Institute,' and the resolution was unanimously assented to. Convinced, then, by these facts, that there is a desire to embark in such an enterprise, and being also a determined enemy to procrastination and delay, I resolved to make an effort to bring the matter to a practical issue, and hurrying past intentions, wishes, hopes, and unsubstantial projects, to see what can be done, as regards decided and united action.
"Let us then consider, as a kind of preface or [366/367] preliminary to action, the several wants of a city like ours, in its present state, and the advantage of containing and concentrating various objects under one expansive roof. First, then, let me speak of a museum,--a matter that can be ill staved off where valuable material is apt to get wasted, injured, or dispersed. You are aware that since the commencement of the lectures, a museum has actually started into life; shelves have been filled, gifts have been made, more gifts are doubtless on the road,--the fossils once despised as old bones and stones are now enthusiastically received, unconscious illustrations of the uncertainty and fickleness of human opinion; while ancient reliques of native manners have not been stored up in private repositories in vain. But is this museum to stand alone, to bloom in single blessedness, to lead a solitary life, with its own curator, its own roof and door, its own distinct existence, its own set of friends, its own expenditure, its own resources? Or, as a library exists already in another part of the city, is it intended, upon medical and sanitary grounds, by the separation and severance of these two establishments, to promote the circulation of the blood, to increase the appetite of the citizens, to keep in exercise their locomotive powers, to prevent physical stagnation and inactivity, and to lure the studious from the distant library to the distant museum, and back again from the museum to the library, when they have wished to see some specimen that illustrates the book they have in hand?
 "Is the library to be motionless, stiff, unyielding, to make no advances to the museum, no proposal for a partnership for life, to spurn amalgamation, to allow no American idea of annexation? Is it to have its own librarian, its own separate walls, its own knot of supporters, its own isolated life, its own boast that ' it has no connection with any other house?'
"And then comes the lecture-room. Are we for ever to be bandied about from one schoolroom to another, first to one at the far, far end of the town, and then to the other at the bottom of the hill, well suited for boys in day-time, but not built, or rightly placed, for pedestrians in the dark? are we, as the lecturers and lectured, to be a kind of vagrants, to have no certain home, no fixed abode, no resting-place of our own, but are we to be ever borrowing house-room of those who most willingly lend it to us at present, but who may bye-and-bye need it for themselves?
"As to a town-hall, a generous municipality, happily not inclined to hoard up their revenues, like Dutch farmers, in their waggon-chests, must be prepared to bestow some generous contribution by which they might secure what this rising city does not as yet possess. A lonely town-hall, with the present means of the municipality, would not, if I may dare to whisper it, be a very imposing structure; and though in the very unfitting apartment which they occupy I have been awed by the vast dimensions of a grand Grecian pile pictured on the wall, I fear it is among [368/369] 'the castles in the air,' and has not much chance of coming down and settling substantially in its place, till about the year 2000. In the meantime--say for a century or two--we might condescend to have a good large room, to play the part of a town-hall, in connection with the library and museum.
"Again, supposing it becomes a rule to have a course of lectures during the winter months of every year, these, after all, are not, I trust, to be our only implements of war in battling with the fatal influence of canteens, especially if we regard the improvement of the working men, who are not possessed of abundant means, and who cannot afford to subscribe to everything, or to pay any high subscription. Lectures are but occasional relaxations, and therefore, in order to be up to the canteens, we should provide well-lighted, cheerful reading-rooms, with good periodicals and newspapers, and these rooms opened at the lowest possible cost, so that when the young working mason or carpenter has laid down his trowel or his saw, he may leave his lonely lodging, and find both a little social life and some reading to his taste, to carry off the evening without harm.
"I must not forget to mention the Medical Society, a young but vigorous and active body, which doubtless might be glad of a good and permanent place of meeting.
"Having, then, seen that we require a library, museum, town-hall, lecture and reading-rooms, the [369/370] question is, are we to indulge in the useless luxury of half-a-dozen separate structures, which we cannot afford either to rear or to rent, which will pinch us in their accumulated and separate expenses, and which will make each set of supporters justly dread the depressing period of Christmas bills? Take the mere expense of area or of roof which will be required; descend to the sublunary consideration of rent, see the waste involved in 'the separate system,' consider the difficulty of getting adequate support; a separate subscription to each separate object, when it leads a separate life, and has not a common staff or common roofage, would soon cause the wheels of this dislocated machinery to stop for want of oil. I see no hope of any single undertaking attaining permanent prosperity, if each tries to live in costly and extravagant isolation. The disease called atrophy will soon do its work. It is clear at once that it would be a great economy of funds to combine these various parts of a system into one systematic whole, to have one area for the erection of one fabric, to spread one roof over all, to blend together things designed to work one way.
"What great convenience, too, to have these various projects housed in one central spot; and I can only hope that some generous citizen, fired with a generous impulse, may at once be led to offer a fitting site, on condition that these various limbs and members of a general plan may be brought together, and compacted into one vigorous and harmonious frame. [370/371] We are not strong enough, we are not populous enough, as yet, to sustain with energy a divided multitude of institutions; our strength lies in unity, our success in combination, even upon grounds of economy, while our community is of its present size: the bundle of rods must not be untied, else they will be broken to pieces, one by one, and soon scattered to the winds.
"Whether the formation of a General Institute would answer as an investment, as a mercantile affair, as an undertaking likely to yield fair interest, and so to obtain a sufficient number of proprietors or shareholders, I do not pretend to know. I am not skilled in per-centages. But whether the undertaking should be raised by donations or by shares, I trust there is sufficient public spirit to secure its erection in one way or the other. A building might be reared that would at once grace and beautify the city, and greatly further, as a social instrument, the rational refreshment, the intellectual and moral progress of the citizen. With good hoje might we enter on such an enterprise, for whatever is devised for the purification of our social state, though it may be among the indirect influences and agencies, will not be without its blossom and its fruit. Good recreations, good amusements, good stop-gaps for the leisure hour, have their use and office in moulding and toning the character of an age.
"Now, so far I have been speaking of the value of union as an element of success on economic grounds, [371/372] and I have been speaking entirely, as you will have observed, of material union, of the combination of a certain amount of brick and mortar, and slate and deal, on one given spot, that one structure might economically supply our varied wants.
"But in this first view of the question I feel that I have been pointing to the lesser class of advantages likely to result from one good scheme, one good central institution. I have been dwelling on the lesser evils of the dismemberment of the various objects we have in view, and have been taking rather the pounds, shillings, and pence aspect of things, and the convenience of the frequenters of lectures, libraries, and museums, though neither of these topics, the monetary or the convenient, can quite be waived aside.
"But the great ground, the great argument, the great cause which has urged me, as by a constraining necessity, to take the part which I have now entered on, to invite you here, and to appeal to you with all earnestness, is this,--the desirableness of unity, not of brick and mortar, not of stones and planks, not of rooms and roofs, but unity among ourselves on points and subjects where we can unite, co-operation where we can co-operate, harmony and concord where we can agree and be harmonious. Just revert to the spectacle of unity, of co-operation and of harmony without any compromise, any sacrifice, any surrender of one jot or tittle of real principle which we enjoyed during the recent [372/373] lectures. May we not frequent museums, read periodicals and newspapers, sit in libraries, and hear lectures, without any serious clashing of opinion'? Is there not certain common ground, such as art, and science, and literature afford, which we can amicably occupy together, and which we should jealously preserve as 'commonage,' if I may so call it, where all have equal right and privilege of out-spanning, without any trespass upon other men's principles, and without any abandonment of our own? We saw during this series of lectures, Churchmen, Wesleyans, Independents, Roman Catholics, and other religionists, sitting side by side, and I have yet to learn whether any of us were the worse for the contact.
"But unless we have a general institute, I see plainly that institutes will be thrown out by the different religious bodies; and such a prospect is, in my judgment, to be deeply dreaded, because, instead of concord and kindly intercourse, where these can safely and honourably exist, without the least risk or sacrifice of deep religious convictions, we shall have discords, antagonisms, proselytisings, party efforts, and party spirit. A religious hue will be given to each separate music-class; a struggle about doctrines and views will be carried into reading-rooms; periodicals will be voted in or voted out, according to their religious bearing; the students of drawing will not he suffered to sketch trees or rocks without the consciousness that it is part of [373/374] a religious movement, and the peace of the city will be gone.
"I am not one of those who make light of religious differences, who would overlook or smear over real points of diversity, who would aim at laxity or indifferentism as to creeds and doctrines, or who would try to create an unsatisfactory and hollow form of religious unity by suppressing, or treating as unimportant, or holding in reserve, topics of disagreement. But it is because I reverence, and would not treat as unimportant, a man's grave convictions, because I do not wish for a shallow, apparent religious unity where we do not agree, because I feel that on many most momentous points we are conscientiously separated from one another, because we have subjects which we cannot make common, and which we cannot merge,--it is because of this that I would all the more strenuously advocate the preservation of what common ground we have, all the more jealously guard against the needless encroachment of religious opinions, all the more anxiously assert the need of unity where we can conscientiously unite. As there are matters of general interest, information of a general nature which we can communicate or receive, occasions and places in which we can all meet together,--then, for religion's sake, let us keep these clear and distinct, just as it is important to keep the religious ground clear and distinct. Our religious disunion may, we hope, at any rate, be less embittered, and may be more mercifully [374/375] considered by Him who is above, if we try to combine where it is possible, if we do not lessen or narrow the boundaries of what I would call our secular unity; while I believe that religion must most grievously suffer, if we are struggling about it in reading-rooms and drawing classes, in museums and libraries.
"You must see, of course, that no one class of religionists would be suffered to have a monopoly of the idea of an institute. As this idea is no particular person's invention here, and cannot be appropriated or claimed as personal property, and has been for some time generally entertained, so no one religious body can take out a patent for it, and use it as an article exclusively its own. And if any religious body, in the midst of the general discussion of this idea, rises up, and says, 'Here is an institute, we have started the thing already, and we intend to give it our own religious hue, and our own religious periodicals will lie upon the table, and our own religious teachers will be the managers, in a perpetual succession,'--what is likely to result from this? Why, of course, every other religious body will start up and say, 'If instead of a General Institute these undertakings are to be directly religious enterprises, seeking the advancement of particular religious opinions, taking a religious side; we, out of self-defence, must each of us have our institute, and our religious periodicals, and our religious teachers at the head; and then the thing will run, [375/376] of course, through the town, and there will be a struggle in every religious body for its institute, a rousing of its zeal for its institute, a busy, ardent canvassing for its institute,--and then we shall all be plunged into the war of institutes.
"Do not think that in such a state of things, a museum without a creed, a library without a creed, a reading-room without a creed, would have the least chance of flourishing. We should be in the midst of the Crusades,--the bones and stones, fossils and Kafir ornaments, pickled snakes and botanical specimens would be either divided into minute particles between the several contending institutes, or more probably would be abandoned as useless implements in a religious movement. I care not who begins, the result will be the same. I am arguing out a general principle. When once one religious body has thrown out its institute, the rest must follow, each forced into action to guard and to preserve their several domains. Then would come the melancholy spectacle and the melancholy reality of an utterly distracted town,--distracted, too, not where it was a necessity, not where it was a high and solemn duty, but where with the most scrupulous conscientious adherence to any particular faith, there might have been agreement, concord, peace.
"Nor will it at all remedy the case, if any particular religious body starting an institute (in order to state the case with the utmost possible fairness, let me imagine that body to be the Church of England,) [376/377] were to say, 'We have, it is true, our bishop and our clergy as our governing body, but we do not intend to be in the least degree exclusive; we will receive, in the language of the day, 'the members of any denomination;' our doors are open to all; we are not bigoted, and do not wish to keep the thing to ourselves; we are liberal and large-hearted, and care not who comes in;' because I can imagine the Wesleyan or the Independent immediately saying to us, 'Why do you then have an exclusive management, if there is no idea of proselytising, of influencing, of getting a religious hold over young men? Why not have the ministers of any denomination united with you in the governance of the body? Then we should have some confidence; then the character of non-exclusiveness would be fulfilled; but now we are afraid of you on this very ground, not that you are going to look after your own people, but that you are wanting to draw our people into the net, under your religious governance.' And as I am putting the case quite fairly, so may the Church turn round to the Wesleyan and Independent, and say, 'If you have an exclusive board of management, and yet open your doors to the members of any denomination, and to our young Churchmen among the rest, we are afraid of you, and we must look after our own young people ourselves, and we are not the least uncharitable or unwise in regarding an institute, so governed, as a proselytising machine.'
 "Seeing, then, all these evils and difficulties likely to rise, if religious bodies, as such, separately start their institutes,--seeing the preservation of a good deal of unity if we enter as allies into a campaign, with idleness, and its fatal train of vice and profligacy, without classifying institutes as direct religious undertakings, I feel impelled to plead for the formation of a General Institute. By such a plan we shall prevent religious heat, and advance the morals of the place; we shall have in the region of literature and science certain common ground where we can come together without any damage to our own religious views. It is my sincere and my intense desire for such harmony and concord as we are capable of attaining, that has impelled me to take this step, and to force myself upon your attention. I make an earnest and heartfelt appeal to good feeling and common sense. The issue is with yourselves. I could not rest without speaking out my mind. Having freely delivered it on a subject on which I warmly feel, it only remains for me to say that this very expression of feeling brings its own relief; and I trust that I have so spoken as not to wound one single person, however sensitive, as my sole desire has been fairly to state the case, with good-will towards all. Perhaps, to bring the matter to a practical issue, it would be best for me to propose that such gentlemen as are in favour of a General Institute should meet in the Court-house, on Tuesday, at four o'clock, to consider the best [378/379] means of furthering the design. Let me now thank you for the hearing you have given me. Whether this attempt fails or prospers, I can only assure you that I have been warmed with a desire to advance the general good, to increase the intellectual resources of the city, to encourage sensible and improving tastes, to promote kindly feeling and kindly fellowship with each other, and the largest measure of unity within our reach, without trespassing on those grave and solemn subjects which are reserved for their own fitting place and time."