« AnteriorContinuar »
the dead, to prove that his death was accepted; so that now God will pardon all our sins for his sake. 2. Did you first seek Christ; or, Did he seek you? A. O! I should never have sought him, if he had not sought me. 2. Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ A. Oh yes, I do! but not half enough: I want to love him much more. — -2. Is sin hateful to you? A. Yes; I hate it in my heart; and yet, for all that, I do sin every day. 2. Do you love the Commandments of God? A. Yes; I love them much in my heart; but there is something with in me that keeps me from doing them as I would: Jesus Christ has done so much for me, I grieve that I cannot do more for him. 2. What are now your chief desires? A. I wish to give up my heart entirely to Jesus Christ. 2. Are you thankful to the Missionary Society for sending Missionaries to your country? A. I am desirous to thank God for inclining them to do it; and I would thank them too, but I know not how to do it, for want of words.-9. Do you think that Christ will correct his children when they offend him; or will he cast them quite away? A. He will correct them; but not throw them away. He who loved me from all eternity, knew before how bad I should be; but that did not hinder him from loving me; and it is now impossible he should cease to love 2. What will you do when you go back to Africa? A. I will tell all the people of my country what a great many friends there are in England who love them; and how much they do pray for them.
2. Have you any thing to say to the unconverted people in this congregation? A. Yes; I would wish them to run to Jesus immediately. O! it would be pity, if they who hear every day of Christ, should neglect him; and if they should see us poor Heathen, who have run to Christ, admitted into Heaven, and they themselves be thrust down into Hell-O it would be a sad pity!
The three Africans then sung, in a very agreeable manner, a
Hymn; of which the following is a literal Translation, in prose—
"O Sion's King! thou Son of God, exalted on the Father's throne, I cast myself down before thee; and pray for spirit and for life, for thy church and dear bride, living here on earth, at a distance from her divine Lover, her Head, her Comfort, the Prince of Life, for whom she ever and ever longs! Oh, that I now might find thee !
"Most of all, O King of Sion! I implore thee, for so many dead souls! Oh, make thy people to fall down before thee, by thy Spirit! By thy power, draw all those unto thee, for whom thou didst say, “It is finished!" Make the deaf ears to hear the voice of thy power and of thy glory, that it may be said of Sion, "This and that man was born there."
"Fountain of Life! Almighty God! it is the Spirit's influence we crave! Oh, exert the power of thy love upon the hearts of many men! Bring Tyrians, Philistines, and Moors, by the word and the Spirit, into the right way; and let Hell tremble at thy work! Rescue, by thy divine power, the vessels of grace from Satan's might; and bid the dead to live!"
It is easier to conceive than to describe the sacred pleasure which filled the minds of a large assembly of Christians, when they thus be held "Ethiopia stretching forth her hands to God," and heard some of Afric's tawny race singing the praises of our commen Lord. Indeed, the voice of joy and praise was uncommonly loud and fervent when the congregation sung that doxology, Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!" and, we trust, a sincere tribute of praise was of fered up to God, who had thus granted to the Heathen "Repentance unto life."
We are informed, that the Hottentots were not brought to Europe by order of the Directors. Mr. Kicherer having occasion to return to Holland on domestic affairs, was willing to comply with the desire of the Africans themselves, who,
with others of the converts, have long and earnestly wished to ascertain, Whether the doctrines taught by the Missionaries, were the general sentiments of European-Christians? it having often been suggested by the white settlers, that the religion taught them by the Missionaries, was not the same as that generally received in Europe. Mr. Kicherer also judged, that it would be highly gratifying to the friends of the gospel, both in Holland and England, to behold a specimen of the fruits of his labours; in which he was certainly not mistaken. We understand, that when he commenced his work at Zak River, he found only thirty-six inhabitants: the people in general roamed about the country like wild beasts, in quest of prey. But, by his judicious management, about 600 persons were brought, and, in a great measure, kept together. He has been indefatigable in instructing them, both by preaching and catechizing. About 300 are now worshippers of God; and he has no doubt of the real conversion of about forty; even the little children can give a good reason of the Christian hope! It is worthy of observation, that when these poor Africans are enlightened, a great change takes place in their outward conduct and appearance. Those who before were almost
naked, clothe themselves with decency; - from being extremely filthy, they learn to be clean; and from that laziness which prevails among them while Heathens, they learn to be diligent, and to cultivate the earth for their subsistence. Thus, while the gospel brings to them a spiritual salvation, it becomes also the mean of civilizing, we might almost say, of humanizing them; and this affords an additional argument for Missionary zeal. Surely, it may be said, at this time, "What hath God wrought !"
Mr. Kicherer intends to return with the Hottentots, very shortly,
to Africa, where his congregation greatly longs for him; as appears by letters lately received. He will, probably, be accompanied with additional labourers.
No direct information having been received from this worthy labourer for a long time, some painful apprehensions were entertained concerning his safety. These, however, have now been most happily relieved, by a letter, just received from Africa, written by a Mrs. Smith (a mother in that Israel) directed to Mr. Kicherer, dated May 30, 1803; from which the follow ing is an extract : —
"Yesterday I received news from the brethren near Algoa Bay. Brother Vanderkemp has been recovered from his illness, by the good hand of Jacob's God; and has lately baptized five men, six women, and twelve youths and children (twenty-three in all.) They keep a love-feast every week; and after this the Lord's Supper. have felt of late a strong call to join them and am only waiting for the arrival of Miss Boogaard, to proceed with her to Algoa Bay. God will do all things in his own time!"
A translated Copy of another
My worthy and much-beloved
GRACE, peace, and joy be granted you in an abundant measure, from the Father, in our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit! Be loved, I cannot suffer this good opportunity to slip from me unim proved. My Letter will not be long; but obedience is better than sacrifice. How is it now with you, dear Brother? In spirit, I travel along with you, imploring the Lord,
* Miss Boogaard is now the wife of Mr. Palm, who, with Mr. Erhaardt, another Missionary, now in London, are intended to accompany the Rev. Mr. Voss, in a Mișsion to the Island of Ceylon.
who rules the great deep, to bear you and your whole company on the wings of his divine protection; to care for you, and to comfort your inmost souls. Ah, in how child-like a manner is your un worthy sister enabled to do so! It is my daily request, that He, who has all power in Heaven and on earth, may cause you to find favour in the hearts of those with whom you may be engaged!-At the bottom of all, however, is this prayer, "Lord, bring him back to his poor flock!" Oh, that you knew what a mourning there has been here for your absence! Nothing but the secret hope of the people, to see their minister once more in their midst, makes the loss somewhat bearable. Oh, dear Brother Kicherer, if it be the Lord's will, hasten back to your sheep, which you have left in the wilderness! But now give me leave to tell you a few of the occurrences in this congregation, since you left us: - The Spirit of God has been stirring here to bring sinners, both old and young, to Christ Jesus. About eighteen individuals have lately experienced a work of grace in their hearts. There is what you may call a general awakening in our Heathen congregation; and many seem to be very lively in their course. Oh, dear Brother, do, pray much to the Lord, that he may strengthen the things he himself has wronght. The blessed instrument in the hand of Jesus to bring about this happy work, was our Brother Irwin.
Now, I must briefly relate something concerning our Catherine, the Boscheman-woman, who, with her husband, the Bastard Hottentot, was the first to join you, five years ago; and has ever since continued your faithful servant and interpreter, though she was not baptized till November last year. She means to stop here, at Rodezand, till your return. On the last sacrament-day, she felt a strong desire to celebrate the death of our Lord in the Holy Communion; but being a despised stranger here, did not know how to get near, the table. The Most High ordered things so, that I my.
self, with a few more, were form. ing the last table: I perceiving her embarrassment, laid hold of her hand, and placed her close to my side. You cannot conceive in idea, dear brother, what an esteem I felt in my inmost soul for this sister; and what an union of heart with her, in the bonds of Christ! Oh, what happy moments were those In the course of the same week, both she and her husband called on me, when they spake to me out of the fulness of their hearts, and enquired after an opportunity of writ ing to you. I felt this as a call from God; and have stated their case literally.
The disposition of the Chris. tians here, seems to be much more lively than formerly; and my house is continually brimful, both of Christians and Heathens, all in a jumble. Love having its work among us, such a union cannot fail taking place. There is, as it were, no difference among us; and we resemble (a little) the primitive church of Christ; though in this confusion, order is still maintained. Such is our happy predicament; but, on this very account, God's people may expect a heavy conflict to succeed this blessed season; for Satan will not sit still if he be permitted. Oh, that the Lord would fit us for the approaching trial! How happy will you feel, dear brother, when you see your friends and the people of the Lord in Europe! but I charge you not to forget your tender flock in Africa.
Now, my dear Brother in the Lord, pray to God with me, that the tye of the Spirit, by which our hearts are knit together, may prove an indissoluble one! and that, tho' distant in body, we may have the grace daily to meet in the center of our happiness, which is Christ! bearing one another in mind, when we draw supplies for our need out of the inexhaustible well-springs of salvation. Please to remember me also to your companions, and to all friends in Europe.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, my Brother! Make haste to return to your flock,
I LET you know that, at the last sacrament, I had a particular im. pression of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. drawing near unto the board, I laboured under an oppressive sense of all my sins; but when at the table, partaking of the tokens of his flesh and blood, I felt that the Lord Jesus took upon himself all my sins; nay, through grace, I could believe that my sins were done away, from eternity. Every word, my dear Master (Kicherer) had spoken to me, the Lord Jesus has blessed to my foul; and we hope the Lord will bring our dear master back unto us; for I long much to see your face. Moreover,
I take the liberty of telling you, that the Lord converts many people at Rodezand; which proves the greatest comfort and support, as it seems here, that the time is now come when the Lord shall pour out his blessing over the whole world, and draw all poor sinners unto himself. Accept my cordial love to you, dear Sir. Oh, I wish that the dear Lord may always be with my dear Master! Please to give my love to Mary, John, and Martha. All my children are well. We live at Mr. Bligman's; and, through God's mercy, do very
gloomy; but the Lord Jesus Christ
WILLIAM PETER FORTUIN,
By a Letter received from Mr. J. Irwin, Missionary at the Cape,dated June 2, 1803, it appears that he had not then found an opportunity to join Dr. Vanderkemp, near Algoa Bay; but had received a Letter from him, promising to send a waggon for his conveyance. He has also sent for Mr. W. Read, who was learning the Dutch language at the Cape. "The Doctor," he says, "intends to form another Mission near the Great Fish River, for the instruction both of the Caffres and Hottentots. 4 B
I have lately received Letters from Moses Baker, in Jamaica (some account of whom appeared in your Magazine for September) and find he was going on with an increasing prospect of success, till he, and all the other Christian negroes, were silenced by the late act, ever since last Christmas. He has sent me Letters, or copies, from several Gentlemen, proprietors of estates, in his neighbourhood, which I have transcribed and inclosed, to shew the prospects he had before the act passed.
I remain yours, &c.
"In compliance with the last invitation," he says, "I went down to Kingston, and got a good man to come up and instruct that gentleman's slaves; but all is stopped. From Christmas-day, I have been prevented preaching or saying a word to any part of my congregation. From this we can expect nothing but a great falling away of the weaker Christians. The poor destitute flock is left to go astray without a shepherd. Yet, as the Lord has promised he will not forsake us, nor leave us, we have reason to believe, that if God is for us, though all the world be against us, we will endeavour, by the power of his grace, to hold our profession unto the end; therefore, we cry and crave to God, night and day, for his great mercy and assistance! We trust God will put it in your power to send us assistance, for the
THIS will be presented by Mr. Baker, whom I send in consequence of your request. You will find he will soon eradicate all obeah from your estate, which is one of the many good consequences I have found from his attendance at F--, I know of no inconvenience he has been to our property, to counterbalance the substantial benefits we have received.
On his first coming, he shewed me his book, which is an exposi tion of his principles, and of the doctrines he teaches; which I approved of, as containing sound morality; and as I have never found bad customs introduced. I have left Mr. Baker and the negroes entirely to themselves, without any interference, except in the case of matrimony; to which I now require my assent to be given: tho', in this respect, I have never refused it but once. The too great disparagement of ages, and the interference of property, are with me the only reasons of refusing my assent. There are about 100 couple married at F-- and C--.
Many of my friends in the outset, as well as the people under me, used their endeavours to persuade me of mischiefs that arose, or were likely to arise from it; and I have to thank my own firmness in resisting their fears or insinuations. It has been established near eight years, viz. from the 15th of Oct. 1794; and with increasing advantages to the property and the ne