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that the evil spirits kept them in prison, and told wonderful stories of the journeys they made to the world where the creatures were confined, and of the trouble they had to make the evil spirit let them loose again.
The Greenlanders were foolish enough to believe these stories, and to give the Angekoks everything they could spare, as a reward for their trouble. But they were not foolish about hunting and fishing, they were very skilful; and all of them, men and women, could make and manage a boat. The women's boat was always large enough to hold several persons, but the men's boat (called a kayah) was made for one only. It was shaped like a weaver's shuttle, and entirely covered with sealskins, except an opening in the middle just large enough for a man to seat himself in it. In these little vessels the Greenlanders ventured forth upon their stormy seas, even when they were every moment hidden from sight by the great waves which washed over them. As soon as a boy was ten years old, he was intrusted with a kayah, and it became his daily employment to learn how to manage it, that he might go out with the men to catch seals and sea-fowl. The reindeer and other land animals had become too scarce to afford a sufficiency of food, and the people were obliged to depend chiefly on the sea for their sustenance. But they often wasted a great deal of food in feasts and revellings, eating sometimes for hours together, till they could eat no longer, and then, if the sea became frozen up, or violent tempests prevented them from hunting the seals, they were starving.
Their gentle manners seemed to be a veil, covering
a very selfish heart, for old and helpless persons were left to perish uncared for, and sometimes buried alive by their cruel children and grandchildren; widows and orphans were sadly neglected, because few Greenlanders would take the trouble to do anything for those who could not repay them.
Egede spent fifteen years in Greenland, trying by every possible kindness to win the natives to Christ; his family assisted him in his labours, and Paul Egede went to Denmark that he might study there in order to be a missionary like his father. In 1733, the smali-pox visited the country for the first time, and continued its ravages during many months. The Greenlanders were terrified at this new and frightful disease, between two and three thousand of them died, and others, impatient of the pain they suffered, threw themselves into the sea to escape from their misery. Egede went about from place to place trying to relieve and comfort the sufferers, and many who were strong enough fled to his house, where his wife took them in, and nursed them day and night till her own strength sank beneath the burden. The hearts of the natives were softened by so much kindness, and some of them, when dying, thanked the missionary for what he had told them of a Saviour, but of those who recovered none were found willing to listen to the gospel.
After the small-pox had ceased, Egede's wife died of an illness brought on by the excessive fatigue she had undergone in nursing the sick, and Egede himself, enfeebled by toil and sorrow, was obliged at length to return to his own country. He spent his last days in training up missionaries for Greenland.
He had indeed laboured diligently to sow the good seed and had not seen the fruit, but he knew his Master had said “one soweth and another reapeth,” and he was sure the harvest time would come. son Paul, and other clergymen from Denmark, succeeded him, and there had also arrived in Greenland some German missionaries belonging to the Moravian church.
These were poor men, inured to labour for their daily bread; but they met with difficulties in Greenland which they could hardly have foreseen. They had been used to till the ground, but there was no tilling the soil of Greenland so as to make it bring forth food, and they were obliged to go out fishing. Their home in Germany had been far from the sea, and it was long before they learned how to manage a boat in these excursions: they were several times in danger of drowning.
Sometimes their food failed, and the Danish missionaries had only enough to support their own families. At these times, they lived upon sea-weed and shell-fish, if they could find any, and were glad even of the train-oil and seal's flesh which had, at first, disgusted them. The Greenlanders would rarely give or even sell them any portion of their provisions: when they saw that the Moravian teachers were poor men they despised them, and tried to drive them away by insult and rough usage.
Yet they endured all these trials cheerfully. Egede's sons had assisted them to learn the language, and they looked forward to a time when they should be permitted to proclaim to the natives the glad tidings which comforted their own hearts. And that time came at last.
PRAYER is the soul's sincere desire,
The motion of a hidden fire,
Prayer is the burthen of a sigh,
The upward glancing of an eye,
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
His watchword at the gates of death,-
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Nor prayer is made on earth alone,—
And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
O Thou! by whom we come to God,
GREENLAND MISSIONARIES.-PART IV.
THE year 1738 opened with intense cold, the fire in the stove could not thaw the ice in the chimney, the walls of the rooms were covered with hoar-frost, the breath froze to the pillow, and the cups and plates to the table. But as the sun returned again after this terrible winter to thaw the frozen ground, and to cause the grass and green herbs to spring up in the valleys, even so did the Sun of Righteousness arise upon this desolate land with healing in His beams, and the desert began to rejoice and blossom as the rose.
Early in June, a party of Greenlanders, who had travelled from the south, came into the house of the German missionaries. They were all out excepting one, named John Beck, and he was writing a translation of part of the Gospels. The natives inquired what he was doing: he did not answer them directly, but asked them who made the heaven and the earth? They said, they did not know who, but it must be some great powerful Being. Then John Beck told them it was indeed One beyond measure great and good, who made the world and placed man in it to love and obey Him, and so to be perfectly happybut that man would not do his Maker's will, and so fell into sin and misery, and that this great God took such pity on him that He sent His own Son to suffer and to die in the stead of man. "And now," continued John Beck, "we must believe in the Son of God if we would be saved." Then he read to them