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low-creatures, those good tidings of great joy, which the angel, at the birth of our Saviour, told the shepherds should be unto all people. Among these was the plain and simple-hearted peasant George, before mentioned. He was a man of clear understanding, invincible courage, and most affectionate zeal in the cause of that truth, for which he had already borne six years' cruel imprisonment in his native country, besides his share in the common persecution, that drove him and his companions into banishment. To be a day-labourer, or a menial servant; one who should minister to the convenience, or pander to the voluptuousness of others; eating bread all his days in the sweat of his brow, or rioting on the offals of rich men's tables, was the utmost of what might have been predicted concerning him, from the circumstances of his birth and education. But the grace of God ennobles the meanest subject of its influence, and there was a glory reserved for this exile, before which kings and conquerors, and laurelled bards, might rise up and veil their honours in reverence to it. The wish came into his mind to go and dwell among the Hottentots in South Africa, that he might speak to them, “words whereby they should be saved." He had heard of their ignorance, vice and degradation, and his heart yearned within him over their deplorable enthralment.Under the filth and deformity of the harshest exterior that claims affinity with the brotherhood of man, he could discern an immortal spirit, on its passage through time, to an unchangeable state, of which nothing is known beyond the terms of the last sentence on the righteous and the wicked.
At length, almost as poorly provided as the first Apostles, he set out from Holland, with the prayers and benedictions of his fellow Christians. He went alone, yet not unaccompanied, for He who called Amos from gathering sycamore fruit to be a prophet through all generations, had appointed him to his task, and never forsook him in the performance of it. On his arrival at Cape Town, having obtained permission of the governor to settle in the interior, he began his pilgrimage with a staff and scrip, hands to labour, and the means of procuring a few implements of husbandry. In simplicity of purpose, he wandered forth in quest of outcasts whom he had never seen, and of whom he had heard nothing but evil; he went to speak comfortably to
them; he went to do them good. How beautiful then on the mountains were the feet of him who came to publish peace! Yet, like his meek and lowly Master, wherever he turned, he was despised and rejected by them. The Dutch boors (the farmers on insulated plots of cultivation throughout the colony,) were as incapable of comprehending the object of his mission, as the barbarians themselves; for it appeared, that at the sacrifice of home, country, and friends, all that is dear and desirable in life, this solitary stranger had traversed land and ocean to fix his abode where neither wealth was to be accumulated, pleasure pursued, nor honour won: and where, amidst toil, poverty and contempt, he was about to spend his affections on creatures as insensible as the bushes, and to waste his intellect on minds as barren as the sands. Yet none of these things moved him; and, if the work was to be done, which he meditated towards Caffraria, at all, he was the man to do it.
In the progress of his journey, he arrived at a lonely glen, with a lively stream running through it, the declivities on either side abounding with timber for building and fuel. Here then, when nothing lay within the range of the eye, save the works of God as they came from his hand, our Christian adventurer determined to erect his dwelling. On this spot, therefore, to which Providence had directed him, he bowed his face to the ground, and consecrated the place to that Being, who had never before been named or acknowledged there. And He, who seeth in secret, made his divine presence so to be felt amidst appalling solitude, that when the worshipper rose from prostration, he could say with one of old, who had slept in the wilderness with a stone for his pillow, and saw in his dream a ladder that reached the sky, with angels ascending and descending thereon,-“This is none other than the house of God, and the gate of heaven.” Forthwith the new settler fell to work, and with his own hands, or such casual help as he could obtain from the boors and the natives, he built himself a cottage, enclosed a garden, planted trees, and cultivated grain, flowers, and fruit for provision, convenience, and delight. Slowly, but regularly, his circumstances improved; his flocks and herds, though never numerous, were soon sufficient to supply his few wants; and, out of his abundance, he had ever something to spare for the wretched Hottentots, who flocked to
him from all quarters, when either their own improvidence, or adverse seasons, reduced them to temporary distress.
In this retirement he lived nearly seven years, while, under his reforming hand, the waste round his habitation grew greener and lovelier every year.
“The desert and the solitary place were glad for him, and blossomed as the rose." Here too, the good man walked with God, his home was a temple, and from the altar of his heart the morning and evening incense of prayer and thanksgiving arose, and was accepted, while amidst the silence of nature, the voice of song might be heard by the passing traveller, where heretofore, save the breeze and the rill, no sounds had been known but the howling of the wild beasts, or the clamor of wilder men in the pursuit of them, or in conflict with them.
Yet had he society, human society, the lowest in truth that could be entitled to the name, or to be endured without loathing. He repined not, for this was the very society of all the tribes of mankind he had chosen; the society for which he had forsaken all that he loved best, and most lamented in the world. Thinly scattered through interminable tracts of desolate country, with here and there an appearance of cultivation, were descried the kraals of the Hottentots, like circles of bee-hives, in sunny and sheltered spots on the margins of streams; or occasionally the lonely tents of the Bushmen, roving from place to place, wheresoev. er they could find game and plunder. But as colonization had spread, great numbers of the former, in the capacity of servants, earned a pittance, enough to keep them from starvation, by lazy drudgery for the farmers, or by tending the cattle which range far and near in search of their pasture. Peter Kolben, and others of the elder travellers in this excommunicated country, have minutely if not faithfully, described the uncouth manners, detestable habits, and atrocious practices of the native population at the time of which this history treats. Our unassuming visitor went not to Africa to spy out the nakedness of the land, nor to expose its rude inhabitants to the abhorrence of polished Europeans. His was another errand. He condescended to their low estate, that he might help them to rise above it; he regarded their wickedness, and abominations, only that he might show them the way by which they might be delivered from both. As for religion, he found not any thing worthy to be called by that name, A certain winged
insect was almost the only object of superstitious reverence among them. "Do not kill that fly, for it is the Hottentot's god," said a mother to her infant daughter, who with infantine eagerness was pursuing the little idol her mother worshipped.
At the return of the Pleiades, the Hottentots held an annual meeting. As soon as these made their appearance in the East, the mothers, who had been watching for the auspicious omen, then flew to awake their children, whom they caught up in their arms, ran with them into the open air, pointed out the beautiful stars, and taught them to hold forth their little hands in admiration. Then the inhabitants of the kraal assembled to dance and sing an ancient strain, of which this was the burden:
-0 Sista! thou father over our heads! give us showers, that our fruit
may ripen, and that we may have plenty of food: send us a good year, that we may not be forced to rob the white men, nor they be forced to kill us!” Thus the true Father of all the families of the earth left not even those his stray offspring “without witness of himself, in that he gave them rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness."
It was a remarkable characteristic of these destitute savages, that in general they were very honest; for even when pinched with hunger, they were rarely tempted to steal. This refers exclusively to the genuine Hottentots, who appear to have been a distinct people, from the numerous tribes who lived northward of the colo ony. Their own tradition of their origin was this:-In a remote age a house of passage, (a ship or canoe,) arrived near the present situation of Cape Town, containing a man, his wife, two boys, and a girl; a bull, a cow, with three calves, two more bulls, and a heifer; a ram and a ewe, with three lambs; two other rams, and a ewe without offspring. These were the progenitors of the Hottentots, and all their cattle. Whence the vessel came they new not; but it had been conjectured, from the resemblance between certain words in their language, to some in the Hindoo dialects, but especially from the correspondence between the tricks of their sorcerers, and those of the Nicobar Islands, that their ancestors came from the East.
George, at every interval of labour, sought out the objects of his compassion, and solicited their confidence. Their intercourse indeed at first was not much more intelligible than if he
bourhood, and endeavoured to make them sensible of his good
had assembled around him the elephants and giraffes of the neigh
will towards them, by such
gestures, looks and accents, as might be supposed conciliatory and agreeable to them, while they in return, addressed him with equal familiarity, in the growling tones, and boisterous freedom of corporeal action, by which they converse with one another. But the language of love is simple, brief, and expressive, nor can it long be misunderstood between man and his fellows, though the dissimilarity of language and intellect be as wide in appearance, as between man and brute.Love talks, looks, and moves, with meaning of his own, which all can comprehend, who are capable of loving, or being beloved. A kind word, a kind deed, even a kind intention, is soon felt and acknowledged. The barbarians, it is true, were so unaccustomed to these in Europeans, that when they found a white man who spake kindly to them, caressed their children, and concerned himself with their poor affairs, they wondered, and scarcely knew how to believe the evidence of their own senses, or the testimony of their own bosoms in favour of his sincerity. The thing was new in Caffraria, and slowly and warily they met his advances. It was to them, as if the tiger had quitted the forest, and had come to domesticate with them; as if the leopard had brought his prey to the kraal, and laid it at their feet, presenting his back to be fondled, while his spots darkened, and his skin glistened, as their infants patted his sides, or rolled with him on the grass. It was the children, in fact, that led the way to affability between them; he soon won their artless affections, and found the way to the hearts of the parents through the breasts of these little ones. Formerly, every sport, or occupation, was suspended when the stranger approached; now the young shouted at the sight of him, and ran from their mother's sides to meet him, and conduct him to their homes. Labour went on more diligently in his presence; and recreation, if checked in its violence, was more innocently and delightfully pursued when he took part in it.
From the time of his arrival, he had been endeavouring hard to gain some practical knowledge of their language, the mechanism of which resembled nothing that he had ever heard, being clicked with the tongue, and guggled in the throat, in such a