« PreviousContinue »
very long since any Christian teacher had visited the land, and he longed to go and seek them out and preach the gospel to them. But Egede was a young man, and thought very humbly of his abilities, and he wished that some very wise and experienced man would undertake the work. His friends did everything they could to prevent his going, saying that it would be cruel to take his wife and little children on so dangerous a voyage, and to so cold and barren a country. Egede, however, prayed to God continually that He would be pleased to raise up missionaries for Greenland, and after ten years' patient waiting, his prayers were answered. He was himself the first missionary, for no one else had been found to undertake the task, and his wife and children willingly went with him.
A HYMN FOR FAMILY WORSHIP.
O LORD, another day is flown,
And we, a lonely band,
Are met once more before thy throne,
And wilt thou lend a listening ear
To praises low as ours?
Thou wilt! for thou dost love to hear
The which weakness pours.
And, Jesus, thou thy smiles wilt deign
For thou didst bless the infant train,
O let thy grace perform its part,
Thus chasten'd, cleans'd, entirely thine;
The Sun of Righteousness shall shine
And thou wilt turn our wandering feet,
Till worlds shall fade, and faith shall greet
GREENLAND MISSIONARIES.-PART II.
THE king who now governed Norway was Frederick IV. of Denmark, the same wise and good prince who first sent out missionaries to the East Indies. He promised Egede that a ship should be sent from time to time bringing him necessary articles of food and clothing, and he sent with him several persons who were to form a little colony in Greenland, and to endeavour to trade with the natives. These people afterwards proved a great trouble to Egede, and murmured against him as the cause of their having been sent to a country which they found so much less pleasant than their own. The ships which conveyed Egede and the colonists set sail from Bergen on May 2, 1721, and, after a very stormy passage, anchored, July 3, at a little island close to the west coast.
Here the settlers built themselves a house of earth and stones. A number of Greenlanders were encamped in tents made of sealskin on the shore opposite to the island, and they watched the proceedings of the strangers with great curiosity. But when they saw that the new-comers meant to remain in the country instead of going away again in their ships, they were alarmed and angry, and would not suffer them to visit the tents. All these people were very short, they were clothed from head to foot in garments of sealskin, and their long black hair fell straight upon their shoulders.
Not one of them looked in the least like those long-lost countrymen whom Egede had come to seek, nor did he ever find any. But at several places along the coast, he afterwards saw the remains of small stone churches and other buildings. In one sheltered spot, where the ground was covered with dandelions growing to the height of a man's knee, there lay fragments of the bells which had once called the people to the worship of God. The worshippers themselves were all gone; no children of his countrymen remained in Greenland to whom Egede might preach the gospel of Christ: but there were thousands of savages to be gathered into the fold of the Good Shepherd, and to this work the missionary gave himself. Their language proved to be a hard one for strangers; so, the second winter that Egede was in Greenland, he took his little boys with him, and went to live amongst the natives for several months, that they might all learn more quickly to speak to the people in their own tongue. During the summer, the Greenlanders lived in their tents,
and removed from place to place wherever they found most food, but in the winter they sheltered themselves in very small houses or huts. small houses or huts. A great many
persons lived in each house, and they were all extremely dirty, never washing themselves or their clothes. Their favourite food was half-putrid fish, and seal's flesh dressed with train-oil; and they made no fires, but cooked their food and warmed themselves by means of lamps in which they burned train-oil. The smell of the lamps and of the disgusting food, and the general dirtiness, was sickening to Egede and his children, but as they had not come to Greenland to make themselves comfortable, but to try to do good to their fellow-creatures, they bore all these disagreeable things patiently; and the boys, by mingling with the Greenland children, learned the language so perfectly that they became of great use to their father.
The eldest boy, Paul Egede, could draw well, and he made pictures of the stories in the Bible, and showed them to the people, while his father explained to them what the pictures were about. The Greenlanders liked to hear about the miracles of our Lord, but they fancied that as Egede was the servant of this great God, he could do the same things that his Master did, and they wanted him to heal the sick, and to restore sight to the blind. Egede told them that he could only give them medicines, and pray for them, that they must put their trust in God alone to heal them. But some of the sick people whom they brought to Egede recovered their health soon afterwards, and the missionary was treated with more respect in consequence. He was greatly grieved all
this time that they would never listen to him when. he spoke of the sin which was in their hearts, and of their need that God should forgive them and make them holy. They would say that they could not understand these hard words, they would be glad if the great God he spoke of would send them plenty of food always, and give them healthy bodies, and they did not want anything else of Him.
THE PIOUS WISH.
OH! that mine eye might closed be
That no vain thought might ever rest,
That by each word, each deed, each thought,
Glory may to my God be brought.
GREENLAND MISSIONARIES.-PART III.
THE Greenlanders had no idols, but they believed in good and evil spirits, and there were men amongst them, called Angekoks (a name which meant great and wise), who pretended that they could travel to the place where the spirits lived. When the seals or the fish were scarce, the Angekoks used to say