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government, and bad, in some degree, humanized their manners. They had therefore most of them received, as if on purpose that the gospel might be spread among them, that first kind of knowledge (that civil or social illumination of the mind) which fitted them for the reception of the second. The shores of Asia Minor from Cilicia to Doris, and from Doris to the Thracian Bosphorus opposite to Byzantium, were studded with Greek colonies, enjoying in a great degree the manners of civilized life. To the most civilized of these the apostles addressed themselves; to the inhabitants of Tarsus, Cyprus, Antioch, Ephesus ; to the strangers in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia. It is to be observed also, that they selected for their purposes, the most celebrated cities of Greece, cities where refinement had made great progress, and in which were jewish synagogues also, the attendants upon which had superior notions of religion. The same observations will apply still more strongly to Rome, which was then the mistress of the world. It would appear, then, by the history of the very first propagation of the gospel, as if we might take it for granted, that men should be enlightened as men, before they were qualified to become Christians. They therefore, who would propose to barbarous people, I mean to tribes like the Bosjesmen, the pure doctrines of the gospel, without trying first to improve their social condition, seem to me to begin at the wrong end. Where, indeed, can be the hope of any material success from such means í You offer them a religion at once so sublime and mysterious, that they cannot comprehend it-you offer theni a religion so opposite to every prejudice and custom belonging to them, that they can hardly look upon you (if the polished Greeks called it foolishness) otherwise, than as foolish, for proposing it--you offer them a religion, when you must follow them daily to the chace to teach it-you who are strangers, offer them a religion, when they know nothing of your views or character. It is obvious then (indeed can any thing be more so ?) from the plain reason of the thing alone, that the first step towards civilizing a people is to improve their social condition. And as this is obvious from reason, so it has been corroborated by practice. Unfortunately indeed for this great cause, only two societies, in so long a period as three centuries, have adopted this system : but their success has been such, that all other systems must fall before it: all others must be exploded in time, and this received as the true basis of future action upon such occasions. The Moravians, when they landed in Labrador,
introduced it as their own. They laid aside for a time the character of gospel missionaries for that of teachers of agriculture, industry, and the useful arts. Instead of religious meeting-houses they built store-houses and barns. At this very time the natives were as wild and savage as the Bosjesmen. At this very time they killed the aged, widows, and helpless children for the same cause: and yet when they had been brought into industrious habits, so that they secured to themselves a regular supply of food, and into civil habits, so that they perceived something of the order and relative duties of society, they abandoned the horrid custom in question, and were brought gradually from barbarians to citizens, and from citizens to Christians. Exactly upon the same plan the Quakers have lately proceeded in their attempts to civilize the North American Indians, certain tribes of whom, after the labour only of a few years, they weaned from many of their vicious customs, and brought into a state of orderly and moral society. All the rest of the missionaries, I mean such as have gone upon other principles, have done in comparison but little good. That they have given great comfort by their doctrines, to some of the more enlightened of those whom they have visited, is not to be denied; but they have done little or nothing towards altering the general bias of their manners, or towards perpetuating a religious change. Haying neglected this, they have bad but little hold on them. Hence the man, who seemed to have been converted to-day, has become a wanderer to-morrow. Hence, when missionaries have died, or departed, converts have relapsed. “The African Society,” says Barrow, “ has not reclaimed a single Bosjesman from the wild and savage state, in which its zealous missionarics first discovered him.” But whether this account be strictly correct or not, certain it is, that there is no instance on record, where missionaries, I mean mere missionaries, have ever like the Moravians or the Quakers, civilized a whole tribe.
An Account of some successful Attempts to civilize the
Hottentots in the Neighbourhood of the Cape of Good Hope: Extracted from Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa: By John BARROW, Esq. F.R.S.
LONDON :- Cadell and Davies, Strand ; 2d Edit. 1806.
This intelligent traveller, from personal observation of the manners and characters of the Hottentots, Kaffres, and other aborigines of Southern Africa, has corrected divers calumnies and misrepresentations with which they had been aspersed by the Dutch boors, resident in the back settlements of the Cape of Good Hope: the instances of unfeeling barbarity which have disgraced the conduct of the latter ; their gross ignorance and brutish stupidity, sink them far below the level of those savages, whom they so grievously oppress and despise.
In this country the Moravians, long and justly distinguished by their pious and judicious exertions in the work of civilization, have a settlement, at a place called Bavian's Kloof, near the Zonder End, or Endless River, which runs through Zoete Melk (sweet milk) Valley, in lat. 33o. 501 south, and long. 199. 55east, about 100 miles east from Table Bay. An account of the establishment is thus introduced :
“ Proceeding up the valley through which the Endless River meanders, we halted late in the evening at Bavian's Kloof, where there is a small establishment of Moravian missionaries, or Hernhüters, so called from a village in Saxony, where an asylum was offered to them after their expulsion from Moravia. These people have been several years in this colony, for the express purpose of instructing the Hottentots in the doctrines of christianity, but had met with little encouragement in the object of their mission under the Dutch government. The number of their proselytes have increased of late to such a degree, that they have found it necessary to send to Europe for more teachers of the gospel.
Early in the morning I was awakened by the noise of some of the finest voices I ever heard, and on looking out saw a group of female Hottentots sitting on the ground. It was Sunday, and they had assembled thus eirly to chaunt the morning hymn; they were all neatly dressed in printed cotton gowns; a sight so different froin what we had liitherto been in the habit of observing with regard to this u happy class of beings, could not fail of being grateful, and at the same time it excited a greater degree of curiosity as to the nature of the establishment. The good fathers, who were three in number, were well disposed to satisfy every question put to them. They were men of the middle age, plain and decent in their dress, cleanly in their persons, of molest manners, meek and humble in their deportinent; but intelligent and lively in conversation, zealous in the cause of their mission, but free from bigotry or enthusiasm. Every thing about the place partook of that neatness and simplicity, which were the strongest features in the outline of their character. The church they had constructed, was a plain, neat building, their mill for grinding corn was superior to any in the colony, their garden was in high order, and produced abundance of vegetables for the use of the table. Almost every thing that had been done was by the labour of their own hands. Agreeably to the rules of that society of which they were members, each had learned some useful profession : one was well skilled in every branch of smith's work, the second was a shoemaker, and the third a tailor..
These missionaries have succeeded in bringing together into one society, more than six hundred Hottentots, and their numbers are daily increasing. These live in small buts, dispersed over the valley, to each of which was a patch of ground for raising vegetables. Those who liad first joined the society had the choicest situations at the upper end of the valley, near the church, and their houses and gardens were very neat and comfortable, numbers of the poor in England not so good, and few better. Such of the Hottentots as choose to learn their respective trades are paid for their labour, as soon as they can carn wages. Some bire them. selves out by the week, month, or year, to the neighbouring peasantry, others make mats and brooms for sale, some breed poultry, and others find means to subsist by their cattle, sheep and horses.
On Sundays they all regularly attend the performance of divine service, and it is astonishing how ambitious they are to appear at church, in, neat and clean attire. Of tbe thiree hundred, or thereabouts, that composed the congregation, about half were dressed in coarse printed cottons, and the other half in sheep-skin dresses ; and it appeared on inquiry, that the former were the first that had been brought within the pale of the church ;-a proof, that their circunstances at at least, had suffered nothing from their change of life; persuasion and example had convinced them, that cleanliness in their persons not only added much to the comforts of life, but was one of the greatest preservatives of health, and that the little trifle of money they had to spare, was much better applied in procuring decent covering for the body, than in the purchase of spirits and tobacco ; articles, so far from being necessaries, that they might justly be considered as the most pernicious evils.
The deportment of the Hottentot congregation during divine service was truly devout. The discourse, delivered by one of the fathers, was short, but replete with good sense, pathetic, and well suited to the occasion ; tears flowed abundantly from the eyes of those to whom it was particularly addressed. The females sung in a stile that was plaintive, and affecting, and their voices were in general, sweet and harmonious. Not more than fifty had been admitted as members of the chris. tian faith by the ceremony of baptism. There appeared to be no violent zeal on the part of the fathers, which is the case with most other missionaries, to swell the catalogue of con• verts to christianity; being more solicitous to teach their trades to such as might choose to learn them : adopting the idea of the ingenious Count Rumford, their first great object seemed to be that of making men happy, that they might afterwards become virtuous, which is certainly much sounder philosophy than the converse of the proposition.
It would be supposed that men like these, so truly respectable in their missionary character, and so irreproachable in their conduct, would be well received, and encouraged in any country, yet such is the brutality and gross depravity of the peasantry of this colony, that a party consisting of about ihirty, had entered into a confederacy to murder the three teachers, and to seize and force into their service, all the young Hottentots, that might be found at the place. These horrid wretches had actually assembled at a neighbouring house on the Saturday evening, intending, on the following day, in the middle of divine service, to carry their murderous purposes into execution ; luckily for the missionaries, they had intimation of what was going on, through a Hottentot, who deserted the service of one of the intended assassins, for that purpose.