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reviouped their should and that the as the
serve ;-lest, when he seeks to plant the cross of Christ, he makes room for the banner of Satan.
There is often some danger of those who have been recently brought to a full sense of their fallen condition, and only true ground of hope, passing more or less under the influence of vanity or spiritual pride ; and thence being induced to commit actions injudicious in themselves, often injurious in their effects, and deserving of the censure of the wise and good. Let such individuals diligently examine their own hearts ; mistrust their motives; and never enter upon any important business without previously soliciting the guidance of Him, who can enlighten their understandings and inform their hearts. They should remember that the work of grace is progressive, and that it should be strong in them before they stand forth as the champions of their faith. Let their zeal be regulated by judgment --their warmth tempered by discretion; and they shall go on from "strength to strength, until they be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
But it is not the young convert alone that is in danger. Pride and vanity, as we have already seen, are not unknown among more experienced Chris. tians; for the one will sometimes succeed in climbing over the wall, the other in creeping into the precinct even of religion. The enemy of the world is not content with spreading his snares amid the temptations of the world, but watches at the very door of the sanctuary. Experienced Christians, therefore, are exhorted to beware that their good be not evil spoken of; not to suffer a spirit of anger or contention to be visible in their conversation or their writings ; not to allow the appearance of vanity to mingle with those charities which should be done as though they were not, or a tinge of pride to exclude them from being meek followers of that Jesus who, “when he was reviled, reviled not again ;” but to meet an erring brother with candour and courtesy, and in all transactions to evince by their words and conduct that they are indeed children of God and at peace with him. Their faith would then shine more and more to the perfect day; and, as Christian pilgrims they would be more consistent followers of their heavenly Master.
MARY S. H.
FEMALES IN SOUTH AFRICA. It is universally admitted that in all heathen countries the condition of the female sex is wretchedly debased; but in none can it be sunk to a more pitiable state of social degradation than in this land of superstition. In nothing is it more fully manifest that Paganism reverses the very order of nature, and the natural order of society, than in the fact, that in all heathen countries the weakest vessel is uniformly made to bear the heaviest burdens, and that woman is regarded and treated as an inferior being, more nearly allied to the brute than to the human species, In conversation the Caffer commonly classes his umfaz (or wife) and ingegu (or packhorse) together ; and circumstances of daily occurrence lamentably prove that he looks upon the former as scarcely more valuable than the latter. Indeed, in his conduct towards his cattle he generally displays more feeling than towards the partner of his bosom. Whilst he idly lounges about, reposing in the shade, basking in the sun, or going from hamlet to hamlet in quest of news, she must be busily employed, not indeed like the woman of ancient Greece, or the wives of the Bedouins, in weaving and grinding at the mill, but in a manner far more laborious. Building, digging, sowing, planting, and reaping, are occupations that devolve wholly upon the females ; and besides these severe employments, they are “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” Like those of the earliest ages, “at the time of the eyening, even the time when the women go out to draw water," numbers of Caffer mothers are frequently seen with their suckling children tied on their backs, and with vessels upon their heads, trudging towards the fountain or river for water.
On the death of the husband the wife is compelled to leave the kraal, when her relations and friends set fire to the hut inhabited by the deceased, breaking all the utensils which it contained, and consuming them in the flames; but sharing among themselves all the beads, and similar articles of value, the unfor, tunate widow being reduced to utter destitution. “Since the death of Islambie,” (says Mr. Young, in a letter from Mount Coke) “almost all the people of this tribe, both small and great, have shaved their heads, which is a custom among them when any of their great chiefs die, and gives them a very singular appearance. All the wives of Islambie (ten
in number) are now gone into the bush, where they will remain for some time. Their karosses, caps, &c., are buried, and their beads, buttons, and other trinkets are given away; so that when the time is expired for their leaving the bush, they then have to get new karosses, &c. This custom is also attended to by the common people, an instance of which I witnessed a few weeks ago.
When the husband died, bis wife with her infant was driven into the large bush near Mount Coke, where she continued five days and nights without food, except a few roots she gathered, which just kept her alive. When she came out of the bush she came first to Mount Coke, but could scarcely walk, in consequence of having been so long deprived of proper nourishment while suckling her child. The weather had been very cold during the time, in consequence of heavy rains. The infant, not having strength to endure such a trial, only lived a day or two afterwards. When she came to our house, she requested me to give her a sheep-skin to screen her from the inclemency of the weather.”
Whilst in the neighbourhood of Fort Wiltshire, I met with a poor old female Caffer, who, having lost her husband, had been stripped in consequence of all she possessed. In this forlorn state of widowhood and penury she was driven forth in the winter of her days, a wandering outcast, to seek a miserable pittance from casual bounty ; every tribe regarding her under such circumstances as one bewitched, withholding from her therefore all sympathy, and not allowing her to approach their dwelling. She had no covering but the remnant of an old blanket, which was scantily drawn across her waist. The weather at this time was cold, and she was evidently suffering from its keenness; her countenance was haggard and woe-begone; she complained of sickness and of hunger, and bitterly reproached the tribe who had thus deserted her in the hour of calamity and privation ; feeling more than all the unnatural conduct of her son, who had even stripped her of her kaross, as she was driven from her home, the recollection of which seemed to produce an agony of grief. Struck with her emaciated appear. ance, as she bent over the embers of an expiring fire, the tears flowing rapidly down her furrowed cheeks, I held out my hand to relieve her distress, when she raised her eyes towards me, and betrayed such a sad expression of wretchedness and want as I never before remember to have witnessed. Turning to the interpreter, she exclaimed, with apparent surprise, “Is this for me? What could a stranger see in such a poor unhappy creature to bestow on her so many beads ?” I could hear, as I left her, the joyful exclamation of gratitude for this unexpected relief; and I could not but in return entreat the protection of Him, who “tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,” on behalf of one so utterly destitute and ready to perish.
Mr. Shaw relates a similar circumstance that fell under his observation, but of a still more aggravated character. One of the petty chiefs commanded that his mother, an aged and infirm creature, should be taken by some of his people to the bush, and there put to death, considering that she had become a burden to herself, as well as to her relatives. She was carried in consequence to the destined spot, in obedience to his orders; but, owing to her piteous supplications, the murderous intention was abandoned by those to whose “tender mercies” she had been