صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

dear friend, and father in Christ, Edward Burrough, who was then a prisoner with many friends more, in that part of Newgate which was then called Justice-hall. Whereupon the porter coming in my way, I asked him to let me go out for an hour or two, to see some friends of mine that evening.

"He, to enhance the kindness, made it a matter of some difficulty, and would have me stay till another night. I told him I would be at a word with him; for as I had told him before, that if he denied me, I would ask him no more; so he should find I would keep to it.

"He was no sooner gone out of my sight, but I espied his master crossing the court. Wherefore, stepping to him, I asked him if he was willing to let me go out for a little while, to see some friends of mine that evening. 'Yes,' said he, 'very willing;' and thereupon away walked I to Newgate, where having spent the evening among friends, I returned in good time.

"Under this easy restraint we lay, till the court sat at the Old Bailey again; and then, whether it was that the heat of the storm was somewhat abated, or by what other means Providence wrought it, I know not; we were called to the bar, and without further question discharged.

"Whereupon we returned to Bridewell again, and having raised some moneys among us, and therewith gratified both the master and his porter for their kindness to us, we spent some time in a solemn meeting, to return our thankful acknowledgment to the Lord, both for his preservation of us in prison, and deliverance of us out of it; and then, taking a solemn farewell of each other, we departed with bag and baggage. And I took care to return my hammock to the owner, with due acknowledgment of his great kindness in lending it me."

We give another extract, referring to the time immediately following his liberation.

"Being now at liberty, I visited more generally my friends that were still in prison, and more particularly my friend and benefactor, William Penington, at his house, and then went to wait upon my master Milton. With whom yet I could not propose to enter upon my intermitted studies, until I had been in Buckinghamshire, to visit my worthy friends Isaac Penington and his virtuous wife, with other friends in that country.

"Thither, therefore, I betook myself, and the weather being frosty, and the ways, by that means, clean and good, I walked it thorough in a day, and was received by my friends there with such demonstration of hearty kindness, as made my journey very easy to me.

"I had spent in my imprisonment that twenty shillings which I had received of William Penington, and twenty of the forty which had been sent me from Mary Penington, and had the remainder then about me. That therefore I now returned to her, with due acknowledgment of her husband's and her great care of me, and liberality to me in the time of my need. She would have had me kept it. But I begged her to accept it from me again, since it was the redundancy of their kindness, and the other part had answered the occasion for which it was sent and my importunity prevailed."

Thomas Ellwood lived to a good old age, useful among his own people, and respected and beloved by them. He was very active in the meetings of the Society to which he belonged. "Wherein he was very serviceable in writing, advising, and exhorting to keep all things well and in good order, according to truth and the testimony thereof; and had a peculiar gift for government in the church, and ordering things in monthly and quarterly

meetings, and used to come up constantly to the yearly meeting at London, and was very serviceable therein, not only by his grave counsel and advice, but also in reading and writing on occasion, especially in difficult matters. He had a singular talent in indicting and composing of things, epistles, and papers, beyond many; so that I must needs say, he was an ornament to the meeting, and will be much missed therein, and many other ways."

February 24th, 1713, he was laid aside by an attack of paralysis, and could only speak with great difficulty; but the little he said expressed his peace and submission.

"He was often very tender in his spirit, expressing his resignation to the will of God, whether in life or death; saying, 'If the Lord hath no more work for me to do, I am content and resigned to His will; and my hearty farewell to all my brethren.' And at another time, nearer his end, he said to us present, in much brokenness of heart, 'I am full of joy and peace, my spirit is filled with joy ;' or to this effect: for by reason that his speech was so weakened, several things could not be so well collected, which he at times spake, in a tender sense of the Lord's goodness; the sense of which deeply affected some of us who were with him.”"

He died, March 1st, 1713, aged seventy-four. He is thus described by the "Friend" who appears to have-as we now say-edited the Autobiography, and added a "Supplement :"

"A man of a comely aspect, of a free and generous disposition, of a courteous and affable temper, and pleasant conversation; a gentleman born and bred, a scholar, a true Christian, an eminent author, a good neighbour, and kind friend; whose loss is much lamented, and will be much missed at home and abroad."

SUPERIORITY OF MORAL PRINCIPLE TO INTELLECTUAL ABILITY.

STRENGTH of will is the quality most needing cultivation in mankind. Will is the central force which gives strength and greatness to character. We over-estimate the value of talent because it dazzles us; and we are apt to underrate the importance of will, because its works are less shining. Talent gracefully adorns life; but it is will which carries us victoriously through the struggle. Intellect is the torch which lights us on our way; will, the strong arm which rough-hews the path for us. The clever, weak man sees all the obstacles in his path: the very torch he carries, being brighter than that of most men, enables him to see, perhaps, that the path before him may be directest, the best; yet it also enables him to see the crooked turnings by which he may, as he fancies, reach the goal without encountering difficulties. If, indeed, intellect were a sun instead of a torch,—if it irradiated every corner and crevice, then would man see how, in spite of every obstacle, the direct path was the only safe one, and he would cut his way through by manful labour. But constituted as we are, it is the clever, weak men who stumble most, the strong men who are most virtuous and happy. In this world there cannot be virtue without strong will: the weak "know the right, and yet the wrong pursue."

No one, I suppose, will accuse me of deifying obstinacy, or even mere brute will, nor of depreciating intellect. But we have had too many dithyrambs in honour of mere intelligence; and the older I grow, the more clearly I see that intellect is not the highest faculty in man, although the

most brilliant. Knowledge, after all, is not the greatest thing in life: it is not the "be-all and the end-all here." Life is not science. The light of intellect is truly a precious light; but its aim and end is simply to shine. The moral nature of man is more sacred in my eyes than his intellectual nature. I know they cannot be divorced,-that without intelligence we should be brutes; but it is the tendency of our gaping, wondering dispositions, to give pre-eminence to those faculties which most astonish us. Strength of character seldom, if ever, astonishes: goodness, lovingness, and quiet self-sacrifice, are worth all the talents in the world.-G. H. Lewes.

SKETCHES OF SOUTH AFRICA.

BY THE REV. THORNLEY SMITH.

(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.)

(Continued from page 737.)

CHAPTER XI.-THE WILDS OF HEATHENISM.

In the year 1839, it was resolved to establish a Mission with the Chief 'Ncapai. He had, from motives of policy, repeatedly sent to request that a Christian Teacher might be appointed to reside in his immediate neighbourhood, and had promised to protect him, and to listen to his instructions. He was, however, a man of the fiercest and most warlike character. His name was the terror of the country. He was everywhere renowned for his sanguinary deeds; and whenever he led his warriors to the field, the weaker tribes, who were the objects of his attacks, fled before them in the wildest consternation. His people, too, were like himself. They were the most barbarous of the Kaffir clans, and were continually engaged in hostilities with their neighbours, which they carried on with a degree of cruelty that has perhaps seldom been surpassed. To plant the Gospel in this part of the country was therefore an enterprise of no ordinary difficulty. It required a "lion-hearted" man to undertake it. Faith, zeal, and courage of the highest order were demanded: they were found, and the Mission was established. God can supply his church with fitting agents for every sphere of toil, however hazardous and difficult. God can do it. He alone can do it.

Our tour through Kaffraria was to be completed by a visit to this interesting station. We left Buntingville in a drizzling rain, hoping that it would clear away; but in this we were disappointed. After an hour's ride, we found ourselves enveloped in a fog so dense, that we could not see our guide ten yards before us. Once we lost him altogether, and rode along a considerable distance, not knowing whether we were right or wrong. Our waggon had been sent on before us; and when we reached it we were in a miserable plight; nor could we then find shelter from the rain. But such adventures are not much thought of by the traveller in South Africa; and we made the best of it by keeping up a fire of wood, as well as the wetness of the fuel and other circumstances would permit. Happily, the following day was bright and cheerful. The clouds had disappeared, and the sun shone forth with his wonted brilliancy; so that we pursued our journey with enlivened spirits. The general aspect of the country was uninteresting to the eye, and the slowness of our progress rendered travelling most

tedious. Now and then, however, some remarkable scene presented itself to view, or some strange circumstance occurred, which served as a relief to the ennui we experienced. When the shades of evening gathered round us, we sought some sheltered spot to bivouac for the night; and we generally found an appetite for our supper, though our only table was the ground, and our fare served up in the very simplest style. Lions inhabited the country; and it was necessary that our attendants should be prepared for an attack. But the monarch of the forest did not make his appearance, and we all thought his absence more agreeable than his company. The dimensions of our waggon were small, and four of us could not find room in it to sleep with comfort, so I made my bed underneath it, once or twice; but the couch was too rough; and instead of sleeping, I sat some hours by the fire, sometimes talking with our coloured servants, and sometimes contemplating the phenomena of the heavens,-those beautiful nebule called the Magellanic clouds, and the constellations that adorn the southern sky.

Part of the country through which we passed was inhabited by a few wandering tribes of Bushmen, the most hapless and degraded race belonging to the family of man. Looking at the mental and physical characteristics of the Bushman, one can scarcely wonder that he has been ranked among inferior creatures; for it must be acknowledged that, in appearance, he is almost as despicable as the monkey or the baboon. In stature he is seldom more than four and a half feet; his person is contemptible, and his countenance exhibits but very few signs of intelligence and thought. He lives a nomadic life, subsisting on plunder, on the game he kills with his poisoned arrows, or on roots which he digs out of the earth. His only habitation is the cave, or a few branches of trees stuck into the ground, and covered with a mat or skin. His clothing is of rags, or of the skins of beasts. On his shoulder he carries his quiver and his bow, and generally he has three or four arrows sticking in his woolly hair. These arrows are made of reeds, and the points are covered with a deadly poison, extracted from some noxious bulb, or from the bags of poisonous matter found in the heads of several kinds of serpents. The woman is laden with mats, an earthen pot, and various other articles, together with an infant fastened on her back : the latter is at least a very general appendage. And thus equipped, these poor outcasts of the human race wander up and down in desert wilds, almost unpitied and unknown. What a disparity between the wretched Bushman, and such an individual as Locke or Bacon! And yet, let not the sceptic triumph. Let not the advocates of that fatal theory, which denies the Bushman's right to be esteemed a member of the human species, imagine that their argument is impregnable. The fact is otherwise. We claim for him a place among ourselves, however low. We claim it on the ground that he possesses the faculty of speech, and a mind capable of cultivation and improvement. We claim it on the ground that he has unquestionably degenerated, in the course of years, from a position much more elevated than that which he now occupies. He belongs to the same family as the Hottentot and the Namacqua, possessing the same physical peculiarities, and speaking a dialect of the same language. We claim it on the ground that he has in some instances (and if there were but one, it would be sufficient for our argument) listened to the proclamation of the Gospel, felt its sanctifying power, and exhibited in his conduct its lofty principles. If the sceptic thinks that the poor Bushman is allied, not to the genus homo, but to the genus simia, let him be consistent, and try to instruct the monkey in the rudiments of religion; for it now rests with him to prove

that the monkey is capable of understanding them, since it has been proved that the Bushman is; and, until he has done this, we shall maintain the doctrine we advance, and recognise the outcast Bushman as our brother.

We did not fall in with any of these wanderers; for they are generally timid, and do not often muster courage to meet a company of horsemen. Alas! they have been hunted by the white man as a beast of prey; and no wonder that their fears are awakened on his approach. Near the ford of the Tsitsa River, one of the branches of the Umzimvooboo, we found an immense cave, which had evidently been a Bushman's habitation, and in which, we were informed, the army of 'Ncapai once took shelter from a dreadful thunder-storm. It was a large hollow place in the side of a hill, formed chiefly of blocks of sandstone. There was a narrow opening which led into a chamber of considerable dimensions. On the sides of the cavern, near the entrance, were portrayed, in different coloured pigments, a number of figures of men and animals, the work of the despised Bushman, who, notwithstanding his degraded state, thus exhibits his artistic skill. Some of the figures were but rude caricatures; but others were depicted with considerable accuracy. They reminded me of the drawings copied from the Egyptian monuments by Sir G. Wilkinson and others, and suggested the inquiry, Whence did these wild inhabitants of the rocks derive their art? The question, however, cannot readily be answered. These exhibitions of Bushman ingenuity are found in various parts of the country, some of recent, and others of earlier, production. The materials with which they are executed are, charcoal, pipe-clay, and different kinds of ochre. Among the animals portrayed you find the zebra, the gazelle, the quagga, the eland, and the giraffe.

Lower down the river was a beautiful cascade, to which our guide conducted us. We had to ride through a thick bush; and as we journeyed, two large elands crossed our path, which we might easily have shot, had we been provided with a gun. These were the only specimens of the animal I ever saw in Africa. Formerly it inhabited the Colony in considerable numbers; but it has been hunted down, and is now but seldom seen. The eland is the largest species of the antelope, being nearly as tall as an ox, and weighing from seven hundred to a thousand pounds. It is exceedingly awkward in its gait; and as it does not, like the gnoo or the springbok, possess rapidity of flight, it is easily pursued and taken. Its flesh, though coarse, is good for food; and the hide, being remarkably tough, is considered valuable for making traces, which, for a South African waggon, require to be as strong as possible. In the Systema Natura, the eland is designated the antelope oreas. We reached the falls towards sunset, and by the very first sight of them were struck with admiration. At this point the bed of the river abruptly sinks to the depth of fifty or sixty feet, and the water pours itself down the sides of a rock, in four distinct streams, like quantities of molten silver, and so gently, that it makes but little noise. I have seldom witnessed any scene in nature which occasioned me so much delight. It was not the wild, the boisterous, and the turbulent, but the calm and the majestic; and we could have stood and gazed upon the spot for hours. We remained as long as we could; but presently the sun went down, and we then rode forward to our waggon in the moon's pale beams,-twilight there was scarcely any.

We crossed the Tsitsa without much difficulty; but on arriving at the Tina, another branch of the Umzimvooboo, we found that it would be dangerous to venture through on horseback. The stream had swollen by

« السابقةمتابعة »