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Zonder-eind river would be the fittest place for their abode. They thought that Schmidt had settled somewhere in that neighbourhood, but they did not know the exact spot. After four days' journey in a waggon, drawn by twelve oxen, they arrived, on Christmas Eve, 1792, at a spot called the Bavian's Kloof (or Glen of Baboons), about a mile from the Zonder-eind; and great was their joy when they found they had arrived at the very place in which their brother had lived and laboured. Fragments of the walls which he had built were still standing amidst the fruit-trees; and one of these, a great pear-tree, spread its branches far and wide, and formed an ample canopy beneath which they celebrated their Christmas festival, and held all their meetings for Divine service until they could erect a house. This pear-tree afterwards formed a school-room ; and nearly two hundred Hottentot scholars, young and old, were taught to read beneath its shade.
The news soon spread among the natives that “ White men had come over the great waters to teach them the word of God;" and some who had heard of Schmidt from their fathers, came to the Bavian's Kloof to bid them welcome. Amongst the visitors was an old woman, named Helena, who had been baptized by Schmidt: he had taught her to read, and had given her a New Testament which she brought with her. She had preserved it very carefully in a leather bag, wrapped in two sheepskins; and although her eyes were dim with age, for she was between eighty and ninety years old, she contrived to read a little. Helena had forgotten much that she once knew, and her joy was almost too great for words when she
found that teachers had come who would bring to her memory what Mr. Schmidt had taught her from the Bible. She came with several other Hottentots to live at Bavian's Kloof, where her days were prolonged almost to one hundred years; and her pious and prudent behaviour rendered her an example to all her neighbours.
DEAR is the hallow'd morn to me,
When village bells awake the day,
Call me from earthly cares away.
Spent in thy hallow'd courts, O Lord !
And catch the manna of thy word.
Which echoes through the blest abode,
Dies on the walls, but lives to God.
Sung with the pomp of village art,
The music of a thankful heart.
In secret I have often pray'd,
And still the anxious tear would fall ;
The fire descends and dries them all.
Oft when the world, with iron hands,
Has bound me in its six-days' chain,
And lets my spirit loose again.
The village bells, the shepherd's voice;
MISSIONS TO THE HOTTENTOTS.- PART III. DURING the first seven years, the missionaries had many troubles, arising from the enmity of the farmers. Most of them were as unwilling as their fathers had been that the Hottentots should be made Christians, and they threw every possible difficulty in the way of their going to Bavian's Kloof. One poor man, finding his master was determined to detain him, said, “If master will answer for my soul, then I will stay with him." The farmer's conscience was
” touched at this, and he replied, “I cannot answer for my own soul, much less for that of another; you shall go to the missionaries.” But others were not to be prevailed upon : more than two thousand of the farmers signed their names to a paper which contained these resolutions :
“ We will not suffer the Moravians to live here and instruct the Hottentots, for it is not proper that Hottentots should be taught, when there are many Christians who receive no instruction; they must remain as they were.
And we will not allow the Hottentots to live together in one place, as they do at Bavian's Kloof, they must reside amongst the farmers. All Hottentots born on the estate of a farmer must live there, and serve him till they are twenty-five years old, before they receive any wages.
Soon after this, the missionaries were told they must send away all the Hottentots, and take refuge at Cape Town themselves, for a large body of men were marching towards Bavian's Kloof, who would destroy the settlement.
You will wonder, perhaps, that the governor of the Colony allowed the farmers to do such things ; but all his time and thoughts were taken up with endeavouring to defend Cape Town against the English. England and Holland were at war then, and the English were expected to attack the Colony. All the Hottentots who were able to bear arms had already been ordered away from Bavian's Kloof that they might serve with the Dutch forces, and only the old men, women, and children remained there. So the missionaries thought it would be safer for these to go away, grieved as they were to dismiss them, and to shut up the school and church. When the English obtained possession of the Colony, peace was restored to the country: the English general assured the missionaries he would protect them, and desired them to continue their work without fear.
The Hottentot soldiers, too, were now at liberty to return to Bavian's Kloof, and all the people who had been dispersed came back. After this, things went on well: the natives improved very fast in industry, when they found that by following the advice of their teachers and cultivating the ground, they lived much more comfortably than when they depended on their cattle for food. For if the pastures failed (and the long droughts often burnt up the grass), they were reduced to great distress. But now almost every Hottentot family at Bavian's Kloof had a garden for fruit and vegetables, and a small plot of corn-land, and their little rudely-built houses looked cheerful, for they stood amidst pear and peach trees. The Missionaries were very glad to see that on Sundays, between the hours of Divine service, many of the natives met together of their own accord, and retiring to some quiet spot, they sang hymns together, and repeated to one another what they were learning out of the Scriptures. Every year some were baptized ; and at
; the end of 1799, the Missionaries celebrated their Christmas services with three hundred Hottentot converts: this was a rich reward for all their trials.
It was soon seen that these poor people found the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be a sufficient source of peace and consolation even in their utmost need. In the year 1800, a virulent infectious fever broke out in the settlement, and carried off a great many of the natives : amongst those who died were fiftynine of the baptized Hottentots. The Missionaries, who were now eight or nine in number, and their wives, were the chief nurses and doctors; and they witnessed many a sad scene of suffering : in some of the cottages four or five members of the same family were lying ill at once. But when they afterwards gave some account of this sorrowful time, they said, “Sorrow and joy alternately possessed our hearts. When we saw our people lying in such misery, tor