IN preparing a sketch of the progress of the Church in the Diocese during the past year for the information of friends at home, I cannot but hope that, though only in outline, and perhaps somewhat meager in incident, it may prove more intelligible, and therefore more interesting to our readers than some which have preceded it, owing to the recent publication, under the direction of the Diocesan Synod, of a Church Map, which was designed, ere this, to find its way into the hands of all friends of the Mission, and a reference to which will tend to elucidate the several points of the following narrative.
The year 1871 opened with more of depression and gloom to us as a Church then had been felt for some time previously. The departure of Archdeacon Robinson for England on account of his health in the preceding November, followed ten days later by the sudden death, by drowning, of the lamented Rev. J. H. Kirk, who had been appointed to take his place in Durban, and was at that time in earnest preparation for admission to Priest's Orders, left a gap in our ranks which it was not easy to fill. Early in January, the serious illness of the zealous and indefatigable E. W. Jacob, which necessitated his immediate return to England (where he died in July), left the large parish of Karkloof without the ministrations of a clergyman, and added yet further to our difficulties. In a period of three months the small and insufficient staff of thirteen labourers was reduced by three, and though the arrival and ordination of Mr. Button the same month gave at once a most valuable accession to our Missionary agency amongst the natives, it was an addition which had been long looked forward to and greatly needed in that particular field, not one to replace any of those who had been thus unexpectedly taken from us.
Under these circumstances of difficulty, the only provision I could make for the spiritual needs of Durban was by the services of a deacon, the Rev. G. Parkinson, whose way to his own Mission amongst the Griquas was not then open. He was aided by the occasional visits from the nearest priest, Mr. Rolfe, and I myself went down for the festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, shortly after which he was relieved by the arrival from England of the Rev. J. F. Cole, who kindly came at a few days' notice to work for a year, or until his post in Zululand should be ready for him. I spent the month of February in the Karkloof [410/411] parish, seeing Mr. Jacob's two churches at Howick and Shafton, and the outlying station at Clarendon, and also holding service on one Sunday at Estcourt. After Easter, the exodus of inhabitants from the neighbouring parish of Boston, for the attractive region of the Diamond Fields, enabled me to place its clergyman, Mr. Maber, in charge of Karkloof, to the permanent care of which I afterwards appointed him on receipt of the tidings of Mr. Jacob's death.
Turning to other parts of the diocese: on Jan. 28th I held a Confirmation at Greytown, where, owing to the divided state of feeling, only five candidates were presented, though the congregations were good. On March 12th I held a Confirmation in the little church at New Leeds for four adults. There is no resident clergyman here, fortnightly services being held by myself and Archdeacon Fearne. On March 19th I held a Confirmation at Richmond, when twenty received the sacred rite, eight of the number being pupils at St. Mary's College, which, under Archdeacon Fearne as warden, is now assuming an important place amongst the institutions of the colony, and will, I trust, prove a valuable auxiliary to the Church's work. The services here were well attended both morning and evening, the Church being quite full at the time of the Confirmation.
A month later I confirmed forty-five at Maritzburg, six of whom were members of our native congregation at St. Mark's. The next event of importance was the Session of the Synods of the Diocese, extending from the eve of St. Peter (June 28th) to July 6th. The Synod of Clergy, attended by the bishop, ten priests, and three deacons, sat for the greatest part of four days, the morning of St. Peter's Day being devoted to the admission of the Rev. T. Taylor to the holy order of priesthood. Interesting discussions were held and resolutions passed with a view to the furtherance of the Church's Missions amongst colonists and natives. Joined by its lay members, sixteen in number, for the Sunday services, the Diocesan Synod sat for the four following days, and transacted a considerable amount of business, the most noticeable feature being the formal division of the two archdeaconries into parishes. The statements and reports brought in by the churchwardens and others from their several districts, were of a very encouraging nature, showing, in spite of the temporary depopulation of many localities, a steady growth of the Church in almost every place where a clergyman has been resident.
The day after the Synod separated I rode a distance of forty-two miles to Weston on Maoi River, where I laid the foundation-stone of a church, to be dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. Though the inhabitants of this district are very scattered, there was a considerable gathering; and the singing of hymns 320 and 306, in the course of the service, was wonderfully hearty. We sat down, about fifty in number, to luncheon at the little inn afterwards. The following day (Sunday), I [411/412] held service at Estcourt, where I had twenty communicants and baptized a child. On the next two days I baptized two children at country-houses in the district.
The months of August and September I spent on the coast. After a Sunday at Durban I rode northwards through the county of Victoria, which comprises the parishes of Inanda, Tongaat, and Nonoti, having fixed Monday, August 14th, to meet Bishop Wilkinson, on the borders of Zululand, with Dr. Callaway, then returning from a visit to that country. It was depressing to ride through this county, more progressive materially than any other part of the colony, with its sugar and coffee plantations and its large population of whites, natives, and coolies, and to feel how little the Church is doing for them. Here stand three empty churches, in the very scene of Bishop Mackenzie's labours, amongst the people by whom he is still affectionately remembered as "the Archdeacon," empty and unused, because they are held by Dr. Colenso, who has not clergy to put in them. In the neighbourhood of one of these I held services on the 13th, at the request of some of the inhabitants, the magistrate having kindly granted me the use of the Court House; and I had a congregation of about forty people, who expressed themselves as very grateful for the privilege thus afforded them. I had been requested by the Rev. G. H. Mason, who had recently returned to the colony, to stay for the Sunday services with him and his congregation, in the village of Victoria; but I decided to go rather where there were no ministrations, and the people were entirely without the means of grace, and I was thankful to have so resolved, for it may be many months ere I am able to send a clergyman to hold even periodical services amongst these neglected colonists, or to visit them myself.. The state of religious feeling in the whole of this neighbourhood is very divided. Many of the more earnest-minded members of the Church have become Wesleyans,--some, while disclaiming any sympathy with the Colensoite teaching to which they have been subjected, yet cling to the shadow of an Established Church, which the Letters Patent held out to them,--others boldly asset themselves the followers of the deposed Bishop, smile at the antiquated notions of belief in the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and Ascension, and yet call themselves staunch members of the Church of England, and boast that they are supported in this position by many of the clergy at home. Surely we are in great need of a faithful ministry of the Word and Sacraments here!
The same Sunday afternoon I held service some eighteen miles higher up, where a kind Presbyterian gentleman, who is very anxious for the spiritual good of his neighbourhood, placed a school-room at my disposal. I did not know till the next day that Bishop Wilkinson and Dr. Callaway were at that time within a few miles of me, having crossed the Tugela on the Saturday. It was a great pleasure to meet them, and [412/413] the Bishop and I spent a good part of Monday in choosing a site for, and planning the erection of a church for this parish bordering upon his diocese, towards which he offers me a handsome contribution. We obtained from the principal landowner the promise of a hundred acres in a very beautiful situation; but it is not easy to see where the building funds are to come from until there is a clergyman here to build up the living Church.
Dr. Callaway accompanied me to Durban, and here, and in its neighbourhood, I remained till the end of September, being cheered during this time by the too brief visit of Archdeacon (now Bishop) Merriman, and the Rev. H. T. Waters and B. Key, from the diocese of Grahamstown. Our visitors expressed both surprise and gratification at the strength of the Church in Natal, notwithstanding all it has had to undergo,* [Footnote: * They did not visit Victoria County.] especially in Maritzburg, where the heartiness of the services and the crowded congregations, with the large number of weekly communicants and steadily-increasing offertories, testify to the reality of the work carried on by the Dean.
On Sunday, September 24th, I had the privilege of admitting the Rev. J. F. Cole to Priest's Orders, in the presence of a full congregation, at Durban; the Rev. J. Walton acting for the Archdeacon, and the Rev. J. N. Rolfe as my Chaplain. Leaving the Church in Durban thus strengthened, I rode down through Isipingo (where I found Mr. Rolfe labouring with his own hands at putting on the roof of his little school-church) to the Umzinto, to spend a Sunday. Here, as on former occasions, was the pleasant round of visits through some of the loveliest and richest bits of sea-board country in the world, followed by the most refreshing Sunday services. It is very rare to find a village choir in England equal in excellence to that of the little Church of St. Patrick, Umzinto. It is composed of men and boys, vested in surplices, and most reverent in their demeanour; and the resident magistrate presides at the harmonium. The church is well attended; and, out of a body of fifty-six communicants, a fair number attend the weekly celebration. In the afternoon I held service at one of the five centres, where Mr. Barker, who is a most active parish priest, gathers little congregations in their turn, while he rode to another ten miles off. My congregation numbered about thirty, in a private house, where also the service was most heartily rendered.
The next morning I turned my horse's head homewards, riding to Highflats, a distance of about thirty-five miles, through a very fine country. Mr. Button rode ten miles to meet me, and very pleasantly beguiled the close of a hot day's journey with accounts of his very interesting work amongst the natives round him. He makes a practice, after having held two services on Sunday morning, one in English and one in Zulu, to go round to some of the kraals and preach to the Kafirs, [413/414] encouraging them to question him, and dispute with him on the subject of his address, or upon any other religious subject they may choose. This plan seems likely, by God's blessing, to be attended with good results. Many heathen enquirers after truth may be seen now at church on Sunday. He concludes his day's work with another Zulu service. The day-school here is attended by about twenty-six children--white, half-caste, and native. I spent the evening with Mr. Button, and the next morning we rode over (twelve miles) to breakfast at Springvale, where the unvarying welcome from Dr. Callaway and his staff (and, I may add, his converts) awaited me. I was very glad to rest this day and the next, and chat with Dr. Callaway over his many schemes for the good of his neighbourhood, and the extension of his work amongst the surrounding heathen. His Catechist, Mr. Broadbent, who came out last April, is proving a most valuable assistant. He is possessed with a true Missionary spirit, full of love towards his black brethren, and is quite one whom we may hope, by God's blessing, to see some day at the head of a large Mission himself. There is a celebration of the Holy Communion every Thursday morning at Springvale at 7.30, and I was most thankful to be able to remain for this privilege. Forty-five communicated, far the larger number of whom were natives, and the service was a blessed and cheering one. The same day I rode to Richmond, and staid [sic] the night with Archdeacon Fearne, another most interesting centre, which it is always a pleasure to visit. We spent the evening with the young ladies at St. Mary's College, who entertained us with some very good charades and music. The following day I rode home, to be in time for my monthly service at New Leeds on October 8th, and to meet the English mail, which brought us additional workers from home--our Lady Principal for St. Mary's, and a Mr. Smith from St. Augustine's, a candidate for Holy Orders.
Mail business over, I started again, with Mr. Smith for my companion, for a tour in the up-country districts. I had hoped that the church at Weston would have been ready for consecration at this time; but the difficulty of getting labour, owing to the attraction of the able-bodied of our male population to the Diamond Fields, had retarded the work, and the walls were not up. Leaving home on Monday the 23rd, we made the best of our way to Newcastle, where I had promised to hold service on Sunday, the 29th, only stopping at Estcourt to make arrangements for service there on our return the following Sunday, and at Ladismith to fix for Confirmation there on All Saints' Day. We reached Newcastle on Friday evening, where we were kindly received by the magistrate, and were thankful to have a rest on Saturday, having ridden on an average thirty-eight miles a-day. Newcastle, like every other village in the colony, is suffering from the flow of its male population to the Diamond Fields; but being on the highroad to the Gold [414/415] Fields, is hoping to grow into importance, as the nearest township in Natal to that new centre of enterprise. The only place of worship in the little town is a small Dutch church, the inhabitants of this division being chiefly Boers. We had, however, a congregation of over forty people on Sunday, and six communicants. In the afternoon I baptized a child in a private house.
Being informed that there was an Englishman, the son of a clergy-man, who was living some twenty-five miles off on another road, I arranged to return that way, and we started on the Monday morning about seven for this purpose, the magistrate kindly riding with us. We reached our destination about noon, and the baptism over, and some refreshment had, we started for another ride of twenty-six miles, with the father of the infant for our guide, intending to reach the house of a gentleman, who, we were assured, would hospitably receive us for the night, and direct us to Ladismith, which we must reach the next day. On reaching this house, however, just after dark, with a grand thunderstorm about to break over our heads, we found the whole family were absent from home, and the weary travellers, both men and horses, had to be dependent upon the resources of the Kafirs. A supper of mealie porridge, eaten with wooden spoons, and a mud floor in an out-house, with one rug amongst three of us for a bed, and nothing but the lightning flashes to show us our quarters, were novelties highly appreciated for once in a way by our friend fresh from England, and they certainly helped us to enjoy our breakfast after a two hours' ride the next morning.
The same evening we had a most hearty welcome from Mr. Illing, who had his school assembled for examination--about 200 in number. We spent some two hours in hearing these natives read English and Dutch, the latter of which language most of them speak well, and say their catechism. I addressed them also, through Mrs. Illing as my interpreter. The next morning at nine I confirmed thirty-eight of the native congregation, after which some seventy received the Holy Communion, the Epistle for the day (All Saints) being touchingly appropriate to the occasion. Mr. Illing interpreted for me, addressed the candidates himself on the subject to the Holy Communion, and assisted me at the celebration; altogether a most solemn, blessed service, though in a barn-like schoolroom, with a mud floor. There is great need of a church here. The land for one is purchased, and the people are collecting small sums towards the building funds, the S.P.C.K. having promised us _50, but it must cost us some _700 at least to build one at all adequate. There is a congregation of 400 natives, and, indeed, a wonderful work going on amongst them, but they cannot do much in church building without help from others. I visited every house in the village, and was astonished to find natives living so comfortably. Many of their little houses were as [415/416] clean and tidy and well furnished as cottages of farm-labourers in England. In two places I was presented with the photographs of the inmates, in nice leather cases; and everywhere I was received with real courtesy. The women are chiefly dressmakers and washerwomen, and are employed by the Ladismith people. That night I stayed with the Rev. Mr. Newnham, and the following morning confirmed seven white people whom he had prepared, a considerable congregation being present in the Court House, which the Magistrate lent. Here also is a church unused, of which Dr. Colenso is trustee.
Riding on the same afternoon, we slept at Colenso, on the Tugela, pushing on to Bushman's River for breakfast on Friday. We paid some visits that day; and on Saturday held a meeting at Estcourt to consider plans, &c., for building a church. An offer was made at this meeting, which, I hope, may secure us both church and parsonage here in the course of a few months. The magistrate here entertained us from Saturday till Monday, and lent the Court House, as on former occasions, for the Sunday service, when I confirmed two more adults, two other candidates having been prevented by the loss of their horses from being present. We had eighteen communicants.
The next day we rode to Howick, where we were kindly received at the parsonage by Mrs. Maber, her husband being absent in attendance upon a sick parishioner; and the following morning we were at home to breakfast, having been just fifteen days absent, and having ridden some 420 miles.
A fortnight at home, and then followed my trip to Grahamstown to assist at the consecration of the new bishop of that diocese, on St. Andrew's Day, of which full accounts will have been sent home. Happily the return of the steamer enabled me to be home after only three week's absence, and in time for the full Ember Week, and the most important event of my episcopate, the ordination, on December 24th, of three priests and three deacons--two of the latter being the first natives ever ordained in Natal. Reports of this solemn service, with some sketch of the lives of the two native deacons, have been sent home for publication; and mine is not the pen, at any rate, to describe that which so closely touches my own feelings.
Thus the year, which opened somewhat sadly, by God's great mercy, closed with an event of the most hopeful character. Though marked by no addition to the number of our churches, it has yet added considerable strength to our staff of labourers, and has laid the foundation of several highly-important works--amongst them the extension of the Church's borders to Griqualand, under the Rev. G. Parkinson, which promises to be a very interesting field, and the arrangement with the Rev. C.C. Prichard of Brasenose College, Oxford, to undertake our long-wished-for diocesan school, now happily inaugurated, and in full working order under [416/417] the title of "Bishop's College, Maritzburg." The encouragement already given to this last institution proves how much it was needed; but if it is to fulfil its object, it cannot long continue in a hired house, with accommodation for twelve boarders only, but must have its own building, its chapel and dormitories, and playgrounds like the English public schools. And for this, as for all other branches of our work, if not above them, we must look for aid, in the first instance, to our brethren at home.
May our plea to the Mother Church not be heard in vain!
Bishop of Maritzburg.
MARITZBURG, March, 1872.
During the past few months a Society called the Maritzburg Church and Mission Aid Society has been formed out of several pre-existing Associations for helping the Church in Natal, and it has been agreed that this Society and the Natal Guild should combine their funds under a common Treasurer. All communications on the subject should be addressed to T. M. FALLOW, Esq., Dorking, Surrey.
__________ NATIVE ZULU CLERGY.
THE ordination of two Zulu converts, alluded to by the Bishop of Maritzburg (see p. 416), is an event of so much interest and importance, that we offer no apology for making an unusually long extract from the April number of the Mission Field, in which Dr. Callaway gives an account of their early history, &c.:--
"You will be glad to hear," he writes, "that Umpengula and William were ordained deacons on the fourth Sunday in Advent. They are the first natives that have been ordained in this colony; and I believe only one native has ever before been ordained in South Africa.
"William Ngewensa was the eldest son of the chief man of a kraal among the Amalala. When a lad aged about ten, he was instructed by a bigger boy in the art of smoking insangu, that is, Indian hemp. This is a powerful excitant, and sometimes produces symptoms of temporary insanity. It did so in the case of William, who, under its influence, committed acts of violence, which brought him within the range of the criminal law. As a matter of form, and to protect the poor child frorm the vengeance of his enemies, a sentence of imprisonment was passed upon him, though he was never put into prison, but became the domestic servant of the keeper of the prison.
"Soon after going there in January, 1854, he was baptized by the name of William; and when I came to the colony in 1854, I found him a regular attendant of the native church which was gathering around [417/418] Mr. Robertson. He was quite a little fellow, with a quiet, subdued expression of countenance, which could not well fail to strike a stranger at first sight.
"When I took charge of the Native Church at Pietermaritzburg and opened an evening school, William became a regular attendant at both, and kept ahead of all the other pupils. It was curious to observe how easily he could do this in everything: if any other scholar approached him, he would make a start and soon distance him, and then settle down again to a rather cold way of learning. After about a year William was handed over to me, upon condition of my undertaking his education. From that time he has been under my observation. He became our household servant, and, with the exception of some outbreaks which required chatisement [sic], was skilful and docile. He attended school regularly, and showed an ability quite above that of other boys. He also exerted his influence for good on the heathen natives who attended our school classes and Church services. As soon as our arrangements at Springvale were sufficiently complete for Mrs. Callaway to join us, he came too, and grew up to young-manhood, still acting as our servant.
"When he became his own master he was for a time unsettled. He was too old for domestic work, and took to 'forelooping,' that is, taking the cord by which the waggon oxen are led, and at last to waggon-driving. During this time he steadily improved in character and learning, and as it was evident that he was a man of ability, who was unsettled in his choice of an occupation, because he found nothing that suited him, I determined to try how he would do as a schoolmaster. He was pleased with the suggestion, entered upon his new duties with energy, discharged them with satisfaction to himself and to us, and seemed at last to have found work to his mind. As a teacher of young children he is very skilful; he keeps them in order, and brings them on quickly in reading, and in the early stages of arithmetic. After a time he took a class in the Sunday-school, and here again showed great ability. His class is well up in the Church Catechism. He reads Zulu fluently; he also reads English fairly, and talks it a little , but is too shy to speak much; he readily translates an easy English book into Zulu; he knows the four rules of arithmetic, simple and in money, with a little of fractions. He writes fairly, and has, with comparatively little help, learnt to play on the harmonium well enough to undertake it in church if Miss Button happens to be absent. He has also composed several hymns. The following is a literal translation of one upon the second verse of Psalm xc.:--
"O God, Thou art eternal!
Thou art the Almighty!
Let us all worship Thee.
Thou art the Eternal, ever!
 "All things were made by Thee;
Everything had being by Thee;
By Thee everything still is;
Thou art the Eternal, ever!
"Let us serve Thee alone,
And reverence Thee with reverence.
Thou art the Creator of everything!
Thou art the Eternal, ever!
"Thou hast no beginning, O God;
Thou always wast;
Neither hast Thou an end;
Thou art the Eternal, ever!
"Thou art our Father;
We are all preserved by Thee;
We have life by Thee alone;
Thou art the Eternal, ever!
"Let us, then, worship Thee;
Thou art the Creator of everything!
Thou art the Preserver of everything!
Thou art the Eternal, ever!--Amen."
"He was unfortunate in his first wife, who went away with a heathen man, leaving with William a very nice child named Charlie. Under this trial William's Christian character came out very remarkably. He kept himself pure, and no one could point the finger at him, or charge him with wrong-doing.
"A few years ago it appeared desirable to bring our village into better organisation, and I recommended our people to choose a head man and assistant officer, to regulate petty differences which are continually arising, and which were very tedious to me. William was unanimously elected, and has held the office ever since. His judgment is good and impartial, had he is universally respected, both by the natives of the village and the heathen around.
"For some time he and Umpengula have occasionally conducted the Zulu daily services, and preached on Sunday. Before the arrival of Mr. Button, William also took a monthly service at Highflats; since then he has, on Sunday, paid an afternoon visit to some neighbouring heathen kraals. Thus for some time he has, in almost every respect, been doing the work of a deacon. When I want to Zululand, at the request of the Synod, to consult the Bishop, Mr. Robertson, and others, on our translations of the Bible and Prayer Book, I took him and Umpengula with me. At Kwamagwaza William preached to the natives. When coming out of church, Mr. Robinson put his arm in mine, saying, 'Doctor, have you any more such men as this being trained at Springvale?' He was much struck with him and with Umpengula, and both then and since urged me to do everything in my power to have them ordained; the Bishop of Zululand felt with him.
"Whilst we were on our way back from Zululand I received the intelligence of the death of William's little boy. His wife had sent a letter and a message to me through Miss Button. I first told him of his loss, and then read him his wife's letter. He bore his trials in such a truly Christian manner, that Umpengula again and again alluded to it. The following is his wife's letter:--
"To UMFUNDISI,* [Footnote: * Umfundisi--Anglicé, Teacher.] GREATLY BELOVED,--I send you my letter to tell you that the child Jemmy is dead; and I want you to tell William in such a way that he may not be troubled by it: break it to him carefully, that he may not be startled on account of his child. And we are not greatly troubled about him, for he was not ill long--three days only. On the day he became ill, he wanted [419/420] his father very much, after that he said his prayers. He never cried once after he had prayed, and he gave us no trouble; after that he took no more notice of any one, and his body, too, became very weak. Inkosazana (the young lady, Miss Button) worked night and day, and gave him medicine to strengthen him, but all to no purpose, for the child seemed to die on the very day that he became sick. But we were greatly troubled on his father's account, and for you too, Umfundisi, for he was a child that you had greatly watched. I beg of you to send me a letter, to tell me how it is with William: if he is greatly troubled. And tell William, too, to write a letter, to comfort his people at home; for he is a man who believes greatly, and is great in his knowledge of God's Word. I also send word to Umpengula that he may restrain William very much, and not let him go by himself, and leave his Umfundisi. And I, Agnes, also send to Umpengula to speak for me to William, because I do not know what he will do when he hears of the death of his little boy; for the child died in my hands in the night. As we were praying he appeared to be dead. It is well that William should remember that he was a child of God. I am not troubled, because I remember that his spirit is with his Lord. It is well that William should remember this. We send our great respects to you, Umfundisi, and to Umpengula and William and Umfulamubi. Tell William his letter came; we were greatly rejoiced to hear of his doings.--ANNIE AND AGNES.
"William's reply to this joint letter from his wife and mother was in these words:--
"Annie my child, your letter has come about Jemmy, telling me that he is dead. It came on Saturday, the day we reached the Unonoti. I heard it as we were going to have evening prayer. This is the word I wish to tell you, that yesterday night (Friday) I dreamed a dream, I saw Inkosazana with the medicine glass, measuring medicine with it. I saw you dimly, and Jemmy I saw was not very well. On all my journey, both going and returning, whenever I thought of Jemmy, I was struck with fear as to whether he was well. And when Umfundisi was in the very act of beginning to tell me that the letters had come, I was immediately filled with fear. He said, "Let us wait till I have read them (for they were just going to have prayers). He read them. I watched him and my strength went, for I saw his face cloud, and that he sighed, so that there was something. He said, 'William, my child, your little Jemmy is dead.' After that he spoke comforting words to me, and he said, 'William, shall we pray to the Lord?' I said, 'Yes, sir,' and we knelt down and prayed.
"But Annie, my child, I greatly rejoiced in your words: they comforted me much in this so great affliction and sorrow, and I too, like you, take courage, for what has been done has been done, and we can say no more. Remember the word, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.' Annie, do you say that the Lord has done this because He does not love us? No, not for a moment. The Lord knows better than we. The Lord has plucked a beautiful flower from His garden, that He may preserve it from all harm.
"And you, my mother, pray with all your might to the Lord. Do not wonder about the child, for it is faultless and pure in God's sight. It is proper that we should strengthen our faith in the Lord, for the way by which our children are gone is the way by which we shall go too, that we may live with them in heaven if we really believe in the Lord. I know, mother, that you are greatly troubled. But just tell me, when you used to see him praying used you not to say, 'What is he doing by that? When he does not yet know even how to speak!' This is the word, Annie, my child, which has given me courage. I say it is well that we [420/421] should serve God truly, and abide in our faith through Jesus Christ, even though we have no children. The Lord takes them out of our hands;--although the Lord does not take them, I know that we have separated from them only in this world, and shall live with them in heaven if we trust in Him. Also, Annie, let us trust in this, that the Lord will give us a child fit for us, who will live with us.
"Farewell. Help my mother by comforting her. And you too, Nomali, help my mother and comfort her with the Lord's Word. Annie, do all of you come and meet me with good hearts, not with sorrowing, distressed hearts because you see me, for my sorrow I have poured out entirely to you in this letter. [End of letter.]
"Umpengula Mbanda is a man in many respects different from William. I first met him about eighteen years ago, whilst paying a visit to Mr. Döhne's Mission Station. I thought him at that time as soft and unprepossessing a specimen of a native in a transition stage between heathen and Christian as I ever saw. Soon after my visit Mr. Döhne went to Capetown to superintend the publication of his Zulu Dictionary, and Umpengula, with his wife and several other natives from that station, came to Pietermaritzburg, and were thus brought under my notice. He then settled with us at Springvale, where he was consistent in his daily life, though nothing seemed to distinguish him from the other Christian natives of the village. One day, my usual help in learning Zulu being absent, I called Umpengula into my study to ask him some questions, and soon found that I had to deal with a man of very superior mind, fully acquainted with the language. From that time he has spent several hours with me almost daily; he has helped me in all my translations of the Bible and Prayer-book, and it is to him that I owe almost all the notes and expositions in my works on the customs of the Amazula. Umpengula has thus gained a great deal not only of general information, but of knowledge of the Bible and of Christian doctrine. He has also for many years taken a Sunday-school class, prepared people for baptism, held services on Sundays and week-days in my absence, and has taken his turn every month at Highflats. He is a far more eloquent and ready preacher than William. William is, perhaps, more methodical and dogmatic than Umpengula. One may say Umpengula is a prophet, and William a teacher.
"On Bishop Macrorie's telling me that if I thought these men fit, he would accept them as candidates for deacon's orders at the Christmas ordination, I at once began to give them special instructions. You will see the great difficulty and disadvantage under which we labour. The only complete Bible is in the Inkxosa dialect, and besides our Prayer-book there are no other books that can be read. I was therefore obliged to teach them orally, and, in addition to other work, it was very arduous and almost broke me down. The plan I adopted was this: (1) I gave them, in a succession of lessons, a general sketch of the history of the Old and [421/422] New Testament; before beginning any new lesson, examining them on the previous one, and dwelling specially on the prophecies relating to our Lord; (2) I went through the three Creeds, their history, their importance, and their difference; and (3) the Church Catechism in minute detail, especially the part on the Sacraments; (4) I gave them parallel or mutually illustrative passages of Holy Scripture to read, having a bearing on the most important truths of Christianity; and when they had read them, I examined them and expounded further any matter they had not fully apprehended; (5) I translated the Office for the making of Deacons, and made them read it several times, expounded it to them, and examined them afterwards; (6) I translated for them the Thirty-nine Articles, and explained their meaning and history. This involved a great deal of work, and it was almost all extra, but it enabled me to take them over a very wide field both of Christian doctrine and Church history. The benefit to them has been, I believe, immense, and they are themselves conscious of it.
"I gave them St. John vi. 51, that they might write a paper on the text. This they did, each producing a different paper, but both very good, showing that they quite understood what had been taught them, and were not making mere parrot-like utterances of what they had heard. The pen is an unwonted instrument with them, and they are cramped in the use of it; both would have spoken on the subject more fully and better. Umpengula has preached some excellent and remarkable sermons lately. I wish I could take them down in shorthand. He preached one which was so striking that I asked him if he could repeat it, that I might write it down. This he attempted to do, and the result was that I got about one-third only. These papers I translated, and read to the Bishop and Archdeacon Fearne, who were both much struck and pleased, though by its repetition it has entirely lost its life and power. But it will, besides throwing light upon Zulu life, give some idea of his method. The text was Eccles. vi. 1, 2: 'There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men; a man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth; yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
[Beginning of sermon:] "These are wonderful words, which were uttered by a great man who was illustrious in his own time; his renown was known among all nations who heard of his wisdom, and of his thought about all things of this world., but the wisdom which he possessed did not spring from his own brain; it came from the Lord God; for, when he succeeded his father in the kingly office, the Lord God went to him, and asked him in a dream, saying, 'What is that which you desire above all things? and I will give it you;' but he answered, 'Of all the things which are in this world I desire nothing; what I desire is that Thou wouldst give me wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge to rule this [422/423] nation, Thy people Israel, for they are many.' And the Lord God answered him, saying, 'because thou hast not asked for anything that man asks for, but hast asked for understanding, and wisdom, and knowledge, that thou mightest govern My people well, I will give thee wisdom, and knowledge, and understanding, such as none who have passed away from the world have ever possessed, neither in future generations shall there be any one as great as thou.'
"This is a wonderful account, that a king should seek knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom to govern the people of God. This is very wonderful. For in this world the great thing with men, if it be possible, in the judgment of one who is king, is that he should ask for wealth and honour, and nothing else. To govern the people! He would not pray for power to do that, for he thinks he may treat his people as he likes, and does not at all bethink himself that there is One greater than himself, Who has given him the royal office; for kings, too, are appointed by God to fill the office of king. But the greatest thing of all is wealth, that he may be honoured in the world for the sake of that which men see, that all may confess that he is indeed a true king, because he has the wealth and glory which are proper to kings. As though his wishes could be satisfied by mere wealth! But it is very wonderful that so great a king as Solomon should leave all that pertains to kings, and be careful to pray that he might govern the people in a godly manner. We should not wonder at the prayer of this king if it were the ministers of God who prayed, for they are appointed by the Lord to the office of being careful to pray to God for knowledge that they may know how to treat the people that are placed under them, and how to lead them aright, and how to correct themselves first, that they may become a light which shines even afar off. We should not wonder at their praying as Solomon did; but we wonder at a king, that he should desire such a work as this. For even we men, we beggarly little ones, even amongst us kingly power is contended for all the world over. For if we see a king, we desire to be as he; we say, Would that the Lord of heaven would exalt me to such a position as this, that I may be a man wanting nothing! My prayer is not heard; I am not helped in any way. We do not remember that the Lord gives a man according to His own will, and according to that man's position in His sight; and we complain of our position, and long, by a sudden leap, to become kings. We forget that royalty, too, has its burdens--that it is not pleasure alone. For a man has all the things of this world given him by God; they pluck Jesus out of his heart--they overcome him and put him in danger of death. For his heart is where his treasure is; as it is written, 'Where your treasure is, there too is your heart.' And among ourselves it is said in our books--which are not written by the hand, but in our knowledge--the man who swims on the water will die in the water, and the climber of trees will die in the trees, and the climber of precipices will die in the precipices; just so are the things of the world to the man whose heart is set upon them; he too will, in like manner, die in them. Just as I myself have in time past seen a great man who was a king; when I saw him, I said I should be glad if I were as great as he. But after a few days I heard it said, 'The great king is dead.' Then I said in my heart, 'The country will perish, the grass will dry up, and his trees wither, and his cattle will cry--all that belongs to him knows him.' I marveled when I saw the grass still green and rejoicing, and the trees growing, and the cattle eating, and frisking, and drinking; and men only lamenting. I began to be staggered, and to say, 'Oh, forsooth, there is no one who has a better descent than another. The king became like a mere beggar at the time of death: he departed from the world alone; he took nothing with him--all he had has been eaten by others. Forsooth, he, too, in death is even like me.'
 "Let us, therefore, desire to possess the kingdom of heaven first. When we quit this world we shall take that with us; we shall not leave it behind. Further, there are outside men who also believe in the Lord. If things might be in accordance with their wishes, they too would be here with us. But they are prevented by their wives, whom they love [alluding to the evils of polygamy]. That is their great wealth, which keeps them apart from the Lord. That makes it evident that where their treasure is there too is their heart. An ignorant man may ask, 'Since such is their condition, are they lost?' But if they do not repent, they have condemned themselves, for their heart is fixed on that which they love. And we men in the way of the Lord are like children who go out with a guide to guide them by the right way. And they come to a valley, and see the whole valley covered with a beautiful flower; and they go away from their guide and leave him alone; they pluck the flower, and never return to him again. Such is the wealth of this world which we desire,--it is a bog in which a man sinks. Let us, therefore, seek the kingdom of heaven first. Let not him who possesses that kingdom say he is poor; by that kingdom alone he is richer than the kings of the world for when he passes away from this world, he shall still be a possessor of that kingdom.
"There are also old people who wish to be Christians, and one says, 'If I were still young I might believe; but since I am now old I cannot believe.' And the young person says in like manner, 'If I was old I would believe, for the old man has already satisfied all his desires. But I cannot believe now, for my desires would take me away again from the faith.' See the contradiction of the two; the old wishes to be young, and the young to be old, as if the old man was not still preserved by God, but lived only for himself. But both of them are liars. And the old man, if he were young, would say, 'I am still young; I shall not stand firm, I shall quit the faith again.' As if the work of the Lord was a work done by old age, or a work done by youth only. But it is not so with the man of that love which Jesus Christ has wrought for us, of which we hear, and which we see every day of our life; let us believe in that which we have heard, and quit all our doubting thoughts, which cannot help us. [End of sermon]
"The effect of the ordination of William and Umpengula on the natives of the station and on others around will, I believe, be very good. They look at it as an instance of black men attaining to what they previously thought them incapable of. Umpengula and William have felt it very much indeed, and have come back with hearts gladdened and strengthened to enter on their enlarged sphere of duty. Umpengula was unfortunately thrown from his horse on his way home, and broke his collar-bone; this, for the present, keeps him from doing much work. William is active, grave, and energetic: he seems as though a new life had entered into him, and takes his part in the services with great decorum and efficiency. When the people first saw them wearing surplice and stole, they were astonished; and as William came out of church after the first celebration in which he had administered the Cup, the people gathered around him with much warmth of affection and shaking of hands, and some of the old women kissed his hand--a mark of great respect."