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The Life of Andrew Murray (South Africa)
By J Du Plessis


PREFACE

SOME years before his death Dr. Andrew Murray is understood to have indicated the Rev. Professor Marais, of the Stellenbosch Theological Seminary, and the present writer, as persons to whom the preparation of his biography might be entrusted. After his decease, early in 1917, his executors definitely requested these gentlemen to undertake the duty. Professor Marais, however, while continuing to display the greatest interest in the progress of the biography, found his physical strength unequal to the task of collaboration; and it was left to the undersigned to carry through the work. That he has been able to complete it, in both the English and Dutch languages, is a matter for which he desires to give abundant thanks to God.

At the same time he is gravely conscious of many shortcomings. To portray the life and character of such an one as Andrew Murray, who lived uninterruptedly in a region so remote from our common unspiritual life, is a task which might well appal. And yet the trust could not well be declined ; and the writer has therefore endeavoured, though with many qualms and misgivings, to fulfil it to the best of his small ability. It has seemed to him that he could do no better than let Andrew Murray speak himself ; and a large portion of this volume will be found to consist of unpublished letters, or of articles that have been retrieved from the pages of religious journals and fugitive tracts.

Sincere acknowledgments for invaluable assistance are due to the Misses Murray, daughters of the subject of this Life, and especially to Miss Annie Murray, for placing at the author's disposal a mass of correspondence and other material, without which this Biography must have been very much more imperfect than it is. Similar acknowledgments must be made to Miss Charlotte Murray and Miss Ella Neethling, nieces of Dr. Murray, for the loan of letters and photographs in the possession of the families of the late Professor John Murray and the late Rev. J. H. Neethling respectively. And finally, heartfelt thanks are tendered to Mr. Charles Murray, M.A., late acting Superintendent-General of Education, Cape Province, for kindly reading through the bulk of the manuscript, and serving the author with most valuable criticisms and suggestions ; and to the Rev. D. S. B. Joubert, B.D., Secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, Cape Town, for the very elaborate Bibliography which enriches this work.

May the blessing of God Almighty attend the perusal of this Life, and may it send thousands to a fresh study of Andrew Murray’s writings, where they may learn the open secret of that faith-life in which God is all in all.

J. DU PLESSIS.
Stellenbosch,
25th July, 1919.














CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Physical configuration of South Africa—First colonization by the Dutch—Gradual increase of population and extension eastwards— Surrender of the Colony to the English—Substitution of English for Dutch as official language—Position of the Dutch Reformed Church—The three factors in the situation—The two white races of South Africa—Andrew Murray’s relation to both—Historical events during Andrew Murray’s lifetime—His sympathy with his people—General condition of South Africa in the middle of the nineteenth century.

CHAPTER 1 - Ancestry, Parentage and Birth

Paternal ancestry—Andrew Murray of Clatt—John Murray of Aberdeen—Family connexions in Scotland and Canada—Andrew Murray, the father—Letter of Dr. George Thom on ministers for South Africa—Appointment of Andrew Murray Sr.—His diary of the voyage to South Africa—Departure—Fellow-travellers—On the rocks at the Cape Verde Islands—Prolonged voyage—Arrival in Table Bay—Andrew Murray Sr. appointed minister of Graafi-Reinet—Description of the place—The parsonage—Andrew Murray’s marriage to Maria Susanna Stegmann—His attachment to the land and people of his adoption—His pastoral activity—Vis its of missionaries—Home life—The father's deep spirituality—The founding of new congregations—Reminiscences of the mother— Journeys to Cape Town—Birth of Andrew—His character as a child.

CHAPTER 2 - Seven Years in Scotland

Backward state of education at the Cape in the thirties—The Bible and School Commission—Departure of John and Andrew Murray for Scotland—The old Grammar School of Aberdeen—Letters of Andrew Murray Sr. to his sons—William C. Bums and the Scottish revivals—Bums’ preaching and its results—His labours at Aberdeen—Impression made upon Andrew Murray—Letter of Bums to John Murray—Events leading up to the Disruption of the Church of Scotland—Andrew Murray Sr. to his sons—Andrew Murray to his parents and sister—His decision to become a minister—His graduation at Marischal College—Andrew Murray Sr. to his sous on life in Holland.

CHAPTER 3 - Three Years of Preparation in Holland

Departure of John and Andrew Murray for Holland—Description of first meeting between them and N. H. de Graaf—Religious condition of Holland—The RSveil—Sechor Dabar—Eltheto—Comparison with the Methodists—The theological professors—Influence of C. W. Opzoomer—Andrew Murray’s conversion—Letter to his parents—Friends in Holland—Letter suggesting further study in Germany—John Murray on conditions in Holland—Arrival of Neethling, Hofmeyr and Faure from South Africa—Ordination of John and Andrew Murray at The Hague—Farewell meeting with the members of Seckor Dabar—Benefits of the sojourn in Holland —Arrival in Cape Town—Letter to his parents—Reunion with the family circle—Appointment to Bloemfontein.

CHAPTER 4 - Early Days at Bloemfontein

The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa—Its dependence upon Holland—The Church Order of 1803—The Church’s Magna Charta—Dearth of ministers—The Great Trek—Fortunes of the emigrants—Proclamation of the Orange River Sovereignty—Battle of Boomplaats—Andrew Murray’s settlement in the charge of Bloemfontein—Visit to Mekuatling mission station—Induction of John Murray at Burgersdorp—Circumstances and nature of the work at Bloemfontein—Description of Bloemfontein in 1849— Unsatisfactory relations of farmers and natives—Andrew Murray’s labours and travels—First meeting of Legislative Council— Unrest on the frontier—Communion services—Foundation-stone of Riet River church laid—Murray’s extensive parish.

CHAPTER 5 - Across the Vaal

Importance of Murray’s first pastoral tour among the Transvaal emigrants—Visit to Mooi River—The “ Jerusalem Pilgrims ”— The Magaliesberg—A letter of invitation from Commandant Potgieter—Meeting with Andries Pretorius—Serious indisposition —Journey to Ohrigstad—Return to the Magaliesberg—Sitting of the Volksraad—Large attendances at services—Praying for the authorities—Return journey to Bloemfontein—Death of Deacon Coetzer—Continued unrest on the Basuto border—Arrival of teachers from Holland—Correspondence—Visitors—Narrow escape at Kaffir River—Visit to Graafl-Reinet and return—Preparations for a second journey to the Transvaal—Departure— Arrival at Mooi River—Visit to Suikerbosch Rand and Lydenburg —Great fatigue—Visit to the Warm Bath—Reach the Magaliesberg —Continued fatigue—Zwarte Ruggens—Morikwa—Andrew Murray put on trial—Schoonspruit—Arrival of Rev. D. van Velden, and induction at Winburg—Andrew Murray called to the Transvaal— The call declined.

CHAPTER 6 - Further Visits to the Emigrants

Third visit to the Transvaal—Native unrest—Disastrous battle at Viervoet—Andries Pretorius invited to restore order—Andrew Murray on the situation—His visit to Pretorius—Commissioners Hogge and Owen—The Sand River Convention—Fourth Transvaal visit—Neethling’s description of a service—Method of travel —Respect paid to the ministers—The Zoutpansberg emigrants—Services there—Commandant Hendrik Potgieter—Manifold labours—Visit to a farmer under sentence of death—Arrival in the Transvaal of Rev. D. van der HofE—His doings—His letter to Andrew Murray —Secession of Transvaal congregations from the Cape Church— Missive addressed to Rev. van Velden—His letter of rebuke and warning—Reasons for the Secession—Later history of the Transvaal congregations.

CHAPTER 7 - The Abandonment of the Sovereignty and the first European Visit

The Synod of 1852—Events in the Sovereignty—Battle of Berea— Decision of the British Government to abandon the Sovereignty— Meeting of people’s delegates at Bloemfontein—Account of J. M. Orpen—Resolutions passed—Dr. Frazer and Andrew Murray delegated to England—Further events in the Sovereignty—Convention of Bloemfontein signed and Orange Free State established— Proceedings of Messrs. Frazer and Murray in England—Preaching engagements of Andrew Murray—His visit to Holland—Meeting of the Ernst-en- Vrede party at Amsterdam—Visit to Scotland—Feeble health—Visits to water-cure establishments—Second visit to Holland. and visit to the Rhineland—Return to South Africa.

CHAPTER 8 - Last Years at Bloemfontein

Calls to Colesberg and Ladysmith—Regarding books and congregational questions—Founding of the Grey College—Marriage The Rutherfoord family—Quiet work at Bloemfontein—War between the Free State and the Basutos—Letter to H. E. Rutherfoord— Birth of a daughter—The Synod of 1857—The question of a theological seminary—Missionary expansion—Arrival in South Africa and doings of Rev. D. Postma—Murray’s first published book— Grey College questions—The Separatist movement in the Transvaal and at Bloemfontein—Murray’s attitude—Disapproval of the Presbytery—Calls to various congregations declined—Call from the congregation of Worcester accepted—Preparations for departure—Farewell to Bloemfontein.

CHAPTER 9 - The Worcester Pastorate and the Great Revival

Situation of Worcester—Its spiritual condition—The Worcester Conference—Andrew Murray on the proposed Conference—Dangers of the Church—Proceedings of the Conference—Resolutions passed —Murray’s speech in moving resolutions—The need of ministers and teachers—Dr. Robertson deputed to Europe—His letter from Holland—Success of his mission—Induction of Murray at Worcester—Commencement of a revival—Character of the movement— Description by Rev. J. C. de Vries—Extraordinary scenes—Professor Hofmeyr on the results of the revival—Emotional element— Moral changes effected—Extent of the movement—New zeal engendered—Testimony of Rev. C. Rabie—Spread of the revival— Home life at Worcester—Missionary journey to the Transvaal— Letters to wife and children—Stay at Paul Kruger’s—Spiritual experiences there—Commencement of Zoutpansberg and Rusten-burg missions—Literary labours.

CHAPTER 10 - The Struggle with the Civil Courts and the Extrusion of Liberalism

The "Liberal” movement in Holland and at the Cape The “Church Order” and the “Ordinance”—Synod of 1862 Wreck of the Waldensian—Description of the Synod by Rev. F. L. Cachet —Andrew Murray, moderator—Other leading members Elder Loedolff's objection—Orthodox and Liberal parties—Supreme Court judgment—Disruption of D. R. Church—Withdrawal of members affected by judgment—Rev. J. J. Kotz6 of Darling on the Catechism—A second Supreme Court case—Favourable judgment—Resolution to suspend Kotz6—Events in the Darling congregation—Meeting of Synodical Committee—Kotzb versus Murray_ Speech of the defendant—Murray complimented by Justice Bell— Adverse judgment—Principles on which it was based—Apparent victory of Liberalism—Case of Rev. T. F. Burgers—Burgers suspended—Burgers versus Murray—Judgment—Proceedings in the presbyteries—Continued litigation—Appeal to Privy Council— Murray deputed to England—Appeal fails—The Synod of 1867 and its immediate adjournment—Reasons for decline of Liberalism— Establishment by Rev. D. P. Faure of the " Free Protestant Church ”—His sermon in the Cape Town church—Gatherings in the Mutual Hall—Synod of 1870—Resolution adopted by the moderate party—Protest of the minority—Suppression of Liberalism in the D. R. Church.

CHAPTER 11 - The Cape Town Pastorate

Visit of Dr. Duff to South Africa—Andrew Murray to his father —Call and removal to Cape Town—Andrew Murray Sr. refused leave to preach by the consistory of Hanover—Murray's colleagues at Cape Town—Death of Andrew Murray, the father—Letter of Andrew Murray to his mother—Stay in Europe—Birth of a son—
Call to Marylebone Presbyterian Church—British sympathizers with the Liberal movement—D. P. Faure’s lectures—Murray’s discourses on “ Modern Unbelief ”—His lecture in the Commercial Exchange—Rev. G. W. Stegmann Jr. elected as Murray’s colleague —Secessions from the D. R. Church—Murray’s sermon—Strictures by D. P. Faure—Murray’s controversy with Kotz6 on the Canons of Dort—Home life in Cape Town—Children of the family—Sojourners under the Murrays' roof—Extent and need of the Cape Town congregation—Murray’s interest in young men—Y.M.C.A. founded—Proposals for union between the Anglican and D. R. Churches—-Bishop Gray’s views—Remarks thereon by Messrs. Murray, Faure and Robertson—Gray’s reply in Union of Churches —Failure of negotiations—Zahspiegeltjes—Literary work—The call to the pastorate of Wellington.

CHAPTER 12 - The Wellington Pastorate and the Huguenot Seminary

The Wagonmaker’s Valley—-Situation of Wellington—Problems of the new sphere of work—The Voluntary Question—Mission work— Departure of the two eldest daughters for Holland—Letters to the daughters at Zeist—Journey to Swellendam—On the study of Dutch—On Home Mission work—Death of two younger children—Birth of a son—Arrival of lady teachers from America—-Articles on Our Children—Appeal for girls to be trained as teachers—Study of Mary Lyon’s life—Papers on the subject—Huguenot Seminary founded—Circular on the school—Generosity of the Wellington congregation—Purchase of a site—Opening ceremony, 25 October, 1873—Formal commencement of classes, January, 1874—Mr. Murray’s tour of collection—His welcome home—Building extensions—Report on progress made—R. M. Ballantyne on the Huguenot Seminary.

CHAPTER 13 - Educational Undertakings and Visit to Europe and America

Popular education at the Cape—The task of the Dutch Reformed Church—Mr. Murray’s influence—A second collecting tour—Urgent letter on the need of more workers, as ministers, catechists and teachers—Moderator for the second time—Opening of the Mission Training Institute, October, 1877—Its objects described—Delegate to the first Pan-Presbyterian Council in Edinburgh—Aims of journey outlined—Visit to America—Lady teachers secured—Rev. George Ferguson and Mr. J. R. Whitton—Impressions of the Pan-Presbyterian Council—Professor Flint’s sermon—Public reception —Dr. Schafi on the Confessions—Professors Godet and Krafit—Drs. Cairns and Hodge—Paper by Dr. Duff on Missions—Conference on life and work—Sunday services—Drs. Patton and McCosh on Unbelief—The Spiritual Life—Closing meetings—Value of the Council—Conference at Inverness—Letter to his wife—Brief trip to Holland and Germany—Return to South Africa—Letter of a lady teacher on Mr. Murray’s tour—His welcome back to Wellington —Commencement of classes at the Training Institute—Paper on aims and needs of the institution—Training Institute versus Normal College—Growth of the Institute.

CHAPTER 14 - Conferences and Revivals

Intellectual dependence of South Africa upon Europe—Its religious dependence—Andrew Murray’s position and influence—Influence of the Holiness Movement—Mr. Murray on spiritual intercourse —The Colesberg Conference of 1879—-Criticism evoked—Reply of Mr. Murray—Strictures on his teaching in letter by “V.D.M.”—Mr. Murray’s defence—Influence on South Africa of the work of Moody and Sankey—Committee for special Gospel-preaching—Mr. Murray’s observations on the religious needs of the rural population —His paper on Special Services—Two months’ tour through the Midland districts—Glen Lynden and Adelaide—Spiritual results.

CHAPTER 15 - Two Years of Silence and the Question of Faith Healing

Mr. Murray suffers from a relaxed throat—Rest in the Karroo— Sojourn at Murraysburg—The Transvaal War of Independence—The feeling of nationality—Movements of his daughter Emmie Return to Wellington—Literary projects—Abide in Christ—Prof. John Murray in Europe, and his return to South Africa—Set-back in the condition of Mr. Murray's throat—Departure for England— Wm. Hazenberg on Faith Healing—Pastor Stockmaier on the same subject—At Bethshan Institute of Healing—Instruction by Stockmaier—Discussion with Boardman—And with Stockmaier— Cures effected by faith—Jezus de Geneesheer der Kranken— The principles of Faith Healing expounded—Later attitude of Mr. Murray—The case of Rev. P. F. Hugo—And of Rev. P. Stofberg— Cure of Miss McGill—Final remarks.

CHAPTER 16 - Andrew Murray as a Church Leader

Mr. Murray six times Moderator of Synod—His view of his task— His special qualifications—Powers of work—Ability and tact as chairman—Gifts of leadership—Interest in Sunday-school work— The aims of the Sunday-school defined—Establishment of the Bible and Prayer Union—The subject of prayer—The Andrew Murray Prayer Union—Controversy on the total abstinence question— Professor Hofmeyr’s attitude—Antagonism of the wine-farmers— The question in the Synod—Review of Rev. S. J. du Toit’s book, De Vrucht des Wijnstoks—End of the controversy—The union of the Dutch Reformed Churches—Mr. Murray’s share in the movement towards union—The Council of the Churches—Proposals for union—Parliamentary legislation—Rejection of the union proposals—Ministerial jubilee, 1898—Address presented—Mr. Murray’s reply.

CHAPTER 17 - Andrew Murray as a Missionary Statesman

Mr. Murray’s early interest in missions—His influence as missionary leader—Establishment of the Ministers’ Mission Union—Question of a new field of work—Letter of the executive—Commencement of work in Nyasaland by A. C. Murray and T. C. B. Vlok—The crisis of 1899 and call to prayer—The Anglo-Boer war and its influence —Transference of the Nyasa field to the Synod—The deficit of 1908, and the mission congresses—Mr. Murray on deputation work—Mr. Murray’s connexion with the Cape General Mission—Spencer Walton’s first visit to South Africa—Services in the Exhibition Building —Appreciation of Walton's work—Cape General Mission founded— Its objects—Holiness conventions—Inauguration of the South African Keswick—The new departure in Swaziland—Enlargement of the C.G.M. to the South Africa General Mission—New fields— Estimate of Mr. Murray’s influence hy A. A. Head—Mr. Murray’s writings on missionary subjects—The Key to the Missionary Problem —The four principles enunciated—Impression produced by the book—Results of the week of prayer for missions in South Africa— The Kingdom of God in South Africa—Prayer in missions.

CHAPTER 18 - Andrew Murray as an Educationalist

Early Interest in education—Baptismal Sunday—Founding of Grey College—Dr. Brill’s appreciation—Educational undertakings in the Western Province—Mary Lyon’s influence—The Huguenot Seminary and other girls’ schools—Teachers’ conference at Worcester—Institutions affiliated to the Huguenot Seminary—Good-now Hall—Address of Mr. Murray on education—Training Institute —Popular education for the rural districts—Circuit schools—Poor whites—Address at Fraternal Conference—Present position of "poor whites” question—The teaching of Dutch—Report of Committee on the question—The “ Taal Bond ”—Influence on Mr. Murray’s educational views of Thring’s Life—And of Spencer’s Sociology—Letter to his daughter—Degree of D.D. from Aberdeen University—And of Litt.D. from the University of the Cape of Good Hope—Dr. Walker on the graduation ceremony.

CHAPTER 19 - Andrew Murray as a South African Patriot

Andrew Murray’s love for his native land—His devotion to his'flock in the Free State and the Transvaal—Paper in the Catholic Presbyterian on The Church of the Transvaal—Chari Cilliers—Religious attitude of the Transvaal Boers—Their attitude towards the natives—Their spiritual life—History of the Transvaal—The Annexation of 1877—The Boers appeal to arms—Independence secured—Growth of the feeling of nationality in South Africa— Dangers of the situation—Kruger and Rhodes—The Jameson Raid —Embittered feelings—Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr—Commencement of hostilities—Mr. Murray’s papers in the South African News— His Appeal to the British People—His support of the Boer cause— Intercourse with Christian brethren uninterrupted—Views on the feeling of nationality—The Women’s Monument at Bloemfontein —Description of the ceremony of unveiling—Mr. Murray’s address on the occasion—Letter to Dr. D. F. Malan—Mr. Murray’s endeavours to heal ecclesiastical dissensions—Letter on the "national sentiment.”

CHAPTER 20 - Andrew Murray as a Spiritual Force

Impossibility of measuring Mr. Murray’s influence—His evangelistic labours—Preparation for meetings—Letters written on his tours —Conference at Somerset East—Visits to Dordrecht, Barkly East Lady Grey and Maraisburg—Overseas evangelists in South Africa' —Dr F. B Meyer’s appreciation—The Ten Days of Prayer observed by the D.R. Church—Andrew Murray’s influence as a writer —Visit to Europe and America in 1895—Appreciation by Rev. H. V. Taylor—Welcome at Exeter Hall—Addresses at Keswick—Rev. Evan H. Hopkins on bis message—[Visit to America—North- -field—Chicago—^Evangelistic services in Holland—Closing meetings in London—Description in The British Weekly—Mr. Murray’s account of bis spiritual growth—The influence of William Law—Law’s career and published works—Mysticism—Bernard of Clair-vaux—Meister Eckhart—The " Friends of God ”—Jacob Bohme— fObj ections to mysticism—Andrew Murray’s avoidance of the errors of mysticism—His estimate of Law’s weakness and strength— Wesley’s dispute with Law—Andrew Murray the reconciler of the views of both—Dr. Whyte on Andrew Murray's spiritual autobiography.

CHAPTER 21 - Andrew Murray as an Author

Early literary efforts, how occasioned—Books written at Worcester —Blijf in Jezus—Abide in Christ—The School of Prayer—Professor James Denney on The Holiest of All—How the books were written—The books of later years dictated—How the “ Pocket Companion ” series originated—Andrew Murray’s style—The eloquence of intense earnestness—Illustration from The Holiest of All— Methods of work—Periods of literary production—Messages delivered at critical junctures—The State of the Church and its influence—Translations into other tongues—Influence of bis books in China—The publisher of the German editions—Letters of correspondents on blessing received—Extracts from the letters—In Time of Trouble, say—Letter from Dr. Alexander Whyte—Mr. Murray’s reading—Influence of William Law—Mr. Murray’s interest in mysticism—Books on prayer—Projected writings—Quotations from books—Remarks on books read.

CHAPTER 22 - Andrew Murray’s Home Life

Life at Wellington—The Parsonage—Clairvaux—Mrs. Murray—Her activities and influence—The children—Death of Haldane Murray—The family hymn—Circular letter—A family re-union at Kalk Bay—Addresses on the beach and in the church—One-day conferences—Mr. Murray in the pulpit—A typical day described—A journey in his old age—Reminiscences at Graaff-Reinet, Bur-gersdorp and Bloemfontein—Cart journey to Rhodes—Goings and doings a year before the end—Details of Mr. Murray’s personal life —His sense of smell and colour—His love for children—Praying in his sleep—Outlined reply to Berlin professors—Sense of humour —Gift of illustration—"Sweet reasonableness”—Advice in difliculties—Pertinent sayings—Ability to speak the fitting word— Services in connexion with the death of Rev. William Murray.

CHAPTER 23 - Death, Funeral and Tributes


Last months—Last sick-bed—The end—Funeral ceremony—Tributes to the deceased—From Hon. J. X. Merriman—From the Cape Times—From Dr. F. C. Kolbe—From De Kerkbode on traits which characterized him—From Professor Marais on his wide in-ence, his writings, his philoiimia—The “ man of prayer ” and the “ man of affairs ”—His influence in South Africa—His influence v in the Christian world.

APPENDIX A

Chronological Outline of the Life of Andrew Murray. 519

APPENDIX B

- Bibliography of Andrew Murray’s published works chronologically arranged by D. S. B. Joubet.














The Life of Andrew Murray (South Africa)

Introduction

CENTRAL South Africa forms an immense plateau, covering nearly a million square miles, and situated at an average height of four thousand feet above the sea-level. Nature has provided access to this great table-land from the southern shores of the continent by three mighty steps—the coast-land, the Little Karroo, and the Great Karroo. The coastal region, lying under mountain ranges which intercept and condense the moisture arising from the ocean, rejoices in an abundant and regular rainfall. The Little Karroo is a very much drier area, but it can at least boast of rivers which even in the height of summer are never wholly destitute of running water. But the Great Karroo forms another and quite different feature in the geography and hydrography of South Africa. The Hottentot word karroo signifies dry, hard, barren, and this precisely is the nature of the forbidding plains which form the Great Karroo. These plains have been described as a country of mountains without summits, rivers without water, trees without shade, and herbage without verdure. They have exercised a marked influencei upon the history of South Africa and the character of its inhabitants. We shall strive in vain to understand the general movement of Cape history, the slow expansion northward and eastward, and the spirit of sturdy independence which animated the pioneer as he roamed ever further afield in the search for pasture, unless we picture clearly to ourselves these burning plains, bounded by distant blue mountains, shimmering in the hot sunshine, and covered with deceptive mirage. The Great Karroo was for generations the limit of habitable South Africa. To the colonist it was a boundary, a horizon and a challenge. It was the region of privation and thirst, of danger and disease, of wild beasts and wilder Bushmen. Beyond it lay a grass-covered country, with a rich soil and a plentiful water supply, eminently adapted to agricultural and pastoral pursuits. But as yet no white man had crossed the dreaded Karroo and looked upon that land of promise. More than a century elapsed after the first settlement of the Cape before an enterprising expedition, travelling along the west coast, reached the Great River, now known as the Orange, and yet another fifty years passed before the middle Orange was crossed, and the fertile regions of Central South Africa became known to Europeans.

It is important to remember that the Cape was for a century and a half a Dutch possession. When in 1652 Jan van Riebeek founded the earliest European settlement at the foot of Table Mountain, Holland was at the flood-tide of its political influence and commercial prosperity. The eighty years’ conflict with Spain had resulted in the complete triumph of the Dutch arms. Dutch admirals disputed with English the control of the English Channel, and a few years subsequent to van Riebeek’s arrival at the Cape a Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames and destroyed British men-of-war anchored in the Medway. The Dutch East India Company had acquired a practical monopoly of the sea-borne traffic with India and the East. And it was in order to provide a port of call for the outgoing and returning vessels of this Company that a township was established and a castle built at the Cape of Good Hope, under the name and title of “ the frontier fortress of India.”

It was only under the stress of circumstances and in consequence of the independent spirit of the colonists that the settlement was slowly extended beyond the narrow limits of the Cape peninsula. The East India Company itself had no desire or intention to colonise the country. All it wanted was a haven at which its fleets could recuperate for a week or two, and lay in fresh supplies of water, meat and vegetables.

But the class of men who found their way to the shores of South Africa had been nurtured amid the industrious life and the free institutions of Holland. They were ill content to toil for the Company upon the hard terms which the latter offered, and claimed the rights of free burghers. They crossed the downs by which the Cape peninsula is shut in, and moving ever further eastwards built up new communities at Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, Zwartland and Tulbagh, Swellendam and Graaff-Reinet. In 1688 the ranks of these free burghers were powerfully reinforced by the arrival of a number of Huguenot refugees, who, driven forth from their own fair France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, sought a new home in these southern climes. The French emigrds soon lost the use of their own language, which the Company forbade them to employ, and within two or three generations were completely merged in the colonists of Dutch or German descent. It has been calculated that towards the close of the eighteenth century the population of South Africa was composed, roughly speaking, of about one-half of Dutch blood, one-sixth of French, one-sixth of German, and the remainder of other nationalities. All these spoke a form of simplified Dutch known as Cape Dutch, which has lost almost all the inflectional endings of the Dutch of Holland, and in vocabulary exhibits many affinities with the Dutch of the seventeenth century.

During the wars which convulsed Europe at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century Holland and England were ranged on opposite sides. The days of the Dutch East India Company were already numbered, and the British Government, intent upon the control of the trade route to India, landed a body of troops at the Cape, and with very little difficulty secured the capitulation of the Dutch garrison and the surrender of the country to the English crown (1795). The first British occupation of the Cape lasted for eight years. Hostilities in Europe were then temporarily suspended by the Treaty of Amiens, which also provided that the Cape should be restored to the Netherlands, or, as it was then called, the Batavian Republic. Thus for three years South Africa fell again under Dutch rule, but in 1806 it was captured for the second time by an English force, and passed finally under the dominion of Great Britain. The claim of the latter to the rightful possession of the country rests partly upon conquest and partly upon purchase. By a convention signed in London in 1814 the British Sovereign agreed to return to the Prince of the Netherlands all colonies and settlements which had been wrested from Holland during the Napoleonic wars, excepting only the Cape of Good Hope and Demerara in South America, for which latter possessions the Prince of the Netherlands agreed to accept an indemnity of six million pounds sterling. The Cape colonists were not consulted when their destinies were disposed of, but, though they regretted the withdrawal of the friendly Batavian rule, they were for the most part indifferent to the form of government under which they lived, provided only their liberty of action remained unimpeded and no obnoxious taxes were imposed.

When the Cape of Good Hope passed into the hands of the British, the colonists were almost to a man a Dutch-speaking community. Out of the twenty-five thousand individuals who composed the population in 1805 there were not more than seventy or eighty British subjects. The earliest administrators under the English regime, by retaining the use of the Dutch language in Church and State, and reinstating as civil officials a number of men who had been in the service of the Batavian Republic, did much to reconcile the burghers to the change of government. Twenty years subsequently, however, a later Governor, Lord Charles Henry Somerset, decreed that the English language alone should be legal for all public documents and judicial proceedings—a measure which soon became a fertile cause of misunderstanding and resentment. There was apparently some reason for the change. Up to 1820 the only individuals of British descent resident in the Colony were the chief personages on the civil establishment, the naval staff at Simon’s Town, some Cape Town merchants, a certain number of missionaries, chiefly of the London Missionary Society, and a few hundred mechanics and labourers. But in that year immigration on an extensive scale was undertaken. The British Government voted a considerable sum of money for the settlement of suitable families in South Africa, and nearly five thousand emigrants of British birth were conveyed to the Cape, and received grants of land on the eastern border of the Colony. For these the use of the English language was indispensable ; but the old Dutch population, who still outnumbered the new-comers in the proportion of eight to one, counted it a serious grievance that they could no longer approach the Government through the medium of a language which had prevailed in the country for nigh on two centuries.

But though the language had been suppressed in the State, it still held its own in the Church. The forty thousand colonists who in 1820 retained the use of the Dutch language were without exception members of the Dutch Reformed Church. This Church occupied, during practically the whole of the nineteenth century, a unique and influential position in South Africa. For a long period it was in receipt of State support, its ministers being wholly or partially salaried from the public funds. As the Church of the Dutch-speaking colonists, the repository of their ancient traditions, the guardian of their cherished language, and the expression of the national strivings of a people to whom a share in the political life of the country was denied, it wielded a wide-spread and on the whole a salutary influence. We shall do well to grasp firmly these three important factors in the situation when Andrew Murray entered upon his life-task—a predominantly Dutch-speaking population, the Dutch language banished from Government offices and law courts, and the Dutch Reformed Church as the guardian of the language, and the outward and visible bond of union between the scattered elements of the Dutch population.

We find then, settled upon the soil of South Africa for good or ill, two white races, sprung originally from the same racial stock, animated by the same love of liberty, professing the same form of religion, but distinct in temperament and training, in political aims and national ideals, and separated above all by the insuperable barrier of language, which made their complete fusion an apparent impossibility. In the veins of Andrew Murray flowed the blood of both these races, and he was in a real sense the embddiment of the highest ideals both of the older Dutch and the newer British strains. It was his constant endeavour to promote a better understanding and a heartier good will between the two classes of colonists. For this he possessed special gifts. He spoke both languages with equal ease. He moved among both peoples with equal familiarity. He was large-hearted enough to sympathize with both sections in their attempts to live their own lives and shape their own destinies. He was broad-minded enough to recognize what was noble and praiseworthy in the aims and objects of either race. And he had discernment enough to see that the national ambitions of English and Dutch were not at bottom incompatible, and could be harmonized by the exercise of patience, forbearance and mutual regard.

Andrew Murray’s ministerial career, as the following pages will show, was cast in the most stirring and by far the most important period in the history of South Africa. His public life covered two-thirds of a century, when English and Dutch were feeling after their true position and part in the scheme of things South African, and consciously or unconsciously endeavouring to adjust their relations to each other. During these years the contest between the two racial ideals continued without intermission, sometimes in the form of mere passive suspicion and antagonism, but also rising sometimes to angry disputes and actual hostilities. When Andrew Murray was a boy of eight, a wide-spread emigration into Central South Africa commenced on the part of those Dutch colonists who were determined to throw off their allegiance to the British Crown. This remarkable movement, which is known as the Great Trek, led to the founding of the Boer republics north of the Orange and the Vaal rivers. A series of important events followed during the second half of the century. Representative institutions and responsible government were introduced into British South Africa. The discovery of diamonds on the borders of the Orange Free State and of gold in the Transvaal brought about an economic revolution in South Africa, and profoundly modified the course of its future history. The Transvaal in 1877 was surreptitiously annexed to Great Britain, but the stout burghers, rising in protest, won back their independence after a few short and sharp encounters with the British forces. The British South Africa Company (better known as the Chartered Company) was founded in 1889, and a vast territory to the north of the Transvaal, stretching right across the Zambesi as far as the Great Lakes of Central Africa, was secured to Great Britain by the foresight and enterprise of Cecil John Rhodes. Soon afterwards the inevitable and tragic conflict between Briton and Boer came to a climax. Envy of the wealth which had come to the Transvaal through its gold mines precipitated first the Jameson Raid,1 and then the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, which issued in the extinction of the republics. But when the union of the States of South Africa under the British flag was consummated in 1910, the Boer rose again to power, like the phoenix from its ashes, and obtained political control of the destinies of South Africa. And thus at present matters stand, the British being the possessors and nominal lords of the country, and the Boers its real masters.

It must not be assumed that Andrew Murray had a direct share in all the events and movements outlined above. He was first and foremost a servant of Jesus Christ, devoting himself heart and soul to spiritual labours for the welfare of the flock committed to his care. But it was impossible, for one who sympathized so deeply with the people among whom he lived and laboured, to remain indifferent to their social and national development. During the first years of his career, when he was the sole minister of a population scattered over an area considerably larger than that of Great Britain and Ireland, circumstances compelled him to take an active interest in civil affairs. There were at that time hardly any men of education and ability who were conversant with both the Dutch and English languages, and Andrew Murray, by virtue of his intellectual qualifications and high Christian character, wielded great influence with both sections of the community. In this manner he was forced, almost against his will, to enter the political arena, and once at least to engage in a political mission to England.1 But in later years and under altered conditions he stood more and more resolutely aloof from political life, and only on rare occasions, when some great national crisis seemed to call for a word of warning or appeal, did he venture to intervene in public affairs.

It but remains to describe in brief fashion the general situation when Andrew Murray’s career commenced. At the close of 1848 there occurred a brief pause in the history of the Cape Colony. The seventh Kaffir War had been concluded; the eighth and most serious was still concealed by the curtain of futurity. The grant of representative institutions was in the air, but the British Government had not as yet passed any definite promise to introduce them. The determined resistance protracted during the whole of 1849, to the scheme of making the Cape a penal settlement, had not yet , begun. Sir Harry Smith, Governor and High Commissioner, who had recently returned from a triumphal tour through South and Central South Africa, during which he had annexed fifty thousand square miles between the Orange and the Vaal to the Queen’s dominions,3 was at the height of his great popularity. The Cape Colony counted at this time some one hundred and twenty-five thousand white inhabitants, at least three-fourths of whom were Dutch-speaking. Across the Orange River, in the newly-annexed Orange River Sovereignty, were found about twelve thousand Dutch farmers, very half-heartedly attached to British rule; and beyond the Vaal River there lived another eight or ten thousand independent Boers, under a by no means stable form of republican government. These twenty thousand emigrants constituted Andrew Murray’s first parish.

The whole country already settled by white people was of vast extent. Between Cape Town, in the extreme west, and Graaff-Reinet, the most considerable town in the east, stretched a distance of five hundred miles; from Graaff-Reinet to Bloemfontein, the centre of Andrew Murray’s great parish, it was another three hundred miles. Three hundred miles further north lay Pretoria, subsequently the capital of the Transvaal Republic, which extended northward for yet another two hundred and fifty miles to the Zoutpansberg range. In all this great territory there was not, in 1848, a single mile of railroad. The immense distances had to be traversed, frequently over very indifferent roads and through flooded rivers, by the uncomfortable Cape cart, the roomier horse-waggon, or the slow-moving, springless ox-waggon. In such a country, trader such circumstances, and amongst primitive farmers, whom Sir Benjamin D’Urban, a former Cape Governor, once described as "a brave, patient, industrious, orderly and religious people,” Andrew Murray commenced his life-work.




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The Life of Andrew Murray (South Africa)

Chapter I

Ancestry, Parentage and Birth

A godly parentage is a costly boon. Its blessing not only rests upon the children of the first family, but has often been traced in many successive generations.—Andrew Murray.

THE paternal ancestors of Andrew Murray were Aberdeenshire fanners. His father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather all bore the name of Andrew Murray. The great-grandfather occupied the sheep-farm of Lofthills in the district of Buchan, which had been held by the family for several generations. These Murrays belonged for the most part to the Old Light Presbyterians (Auld Lichts), a Church which in the eighteenth century counted many godly people in its ranks. Of one of the old farmers of Lofthills, who was exceedingly deaf, it is told that he would wander about the hills of the sheep-farm, praying unconsciously aloud for his family and for his friends, and that almost all for whom this old saint used to intercede became in the end decided Christians. Andrew Murray of Lofthills married a certain Isabella Henderson, known as the “ Maiden of Yokie’s Hill,” whose family claimed descent from the famous seventeenth-century divine and reformer, Alexander Henderson, chief author of the "Solemn League and Covenant.”


Andrew Murray, the grandfather, being one of several sons, removed from Lofthills to the mill of Clatt, thus relinquishing sheep-farming for the humbler occupation of milling. Owing to the distress which was prevalent at the end of the eighteenth century in consequence of the Napoleonic wars, the family was frequently reduced to great straits, and the flour would then be carefully collected from the floor of the mill, in order to provide the hungry mouths of the children with bread. Andrew Murray of Clatt was nevertheless a man of considerable force of character, with an education beyond what was common at the time, and a reputed taste for poetry. Of his piety there was no question. When he lay upon his deathbed, he was overheard praying in the silence of the night for each of his children by name; and this so impressed the eldest son, John, then a lad of twelve, that he there and then decided to give himself to the work of the ministry. The father was a comparatively young man when he died in 1796, and he left his wife and children in sadly reduced circumstances, cherishing nevertheless the confident hope that his and their Gpd would not permit them to suffer want, but that his sons and daughters would yet lead honourable and useful Christian lives. His wife, Isobel Milne, was a woman of great beauty and sweetness of character. She survived her husband for twenty-six years, and saw her children grow to manhood and womanhood to fulfil all the cherished hopes and expectations of their departed father.

Among the children of Andrew Murray of Clatt were Anne, John, Elizabeth and Andrew. John, the eldest son, and uncle of the subject of these memoirs, succeeded by patient endeavour, and through the kindly aid of an unmarried uncle, in realizing his ambition to enter the sacred ministry. After a course of study at Marischal College, Aberdeen, he graduated M.A. in 1806, showing such aptitude for mathematics that he was offered a colonial professorship. He persisted, however, in his aim of becoming a preacher of the Gospel, passed through the divinity course at the university of Edinburgh, was licensed in due time, and then acted as tutor in the family of Sir James Nasmyth. After ordination he laboured for two years as an assistant minister in Dundee, and in 1816 was inducted to the influential charge of Trinity Chapel-of-Ease1 (now Trinity United Free Church) in Aberdeen. Twelve years later he became minister of the North Church in the same city, and this remained the scene of his labours so long as he was connected with the Church of the Establishment. At the Disruption, in 1843, John Murray was one of those who left the Established Church, and the Free North Church, which the seceding congregation erected for itself, was the first of Free Church edifices to arise in Aberdeen. For his distinguished services to the cause of religion and education, and as a testimony to the esteem in which he was held for his lofty Christian character, his Alma Mater conferred on him, in 1856, the degree of doctor of divinity, honoris causa. He died in 1861, and an obituary notice of the Free Church Record summed up his character thus : “ Calm, discriminating, scholarly and undemonstratively heroic, the veteran Murray of Aberdeen has gone to his grave as a shock of corn cometh in its season.”

The uncle who befriended John Murray also took to his home the younger sister, Elizabeth, who remained with her uncle until her marriage with Mr. Robertson, the Congregational minister of Crichie in Aberdeenshire. Mr. Robertson, by his first wife, was the great-grandfather of Professor Robertson Smith, of Aberdeen and Cambridge. Elizabeth Robertson died at an early age in Scotland, and her husband then emigrated with the children to Canada, becoming the ancestor of a large family of Robertsons whose names have become household words in the Colony across the Atlantic. One of the daughters, Margaret Murray Robertson, was the authoress of Christie Redfern’s Troubles and other stories of a religious tendency, which had a great vogue in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Great literary gifts were also developed by one of the grandsons, Charles W. Gordon, better known, under his pen-name of “Ralph Connor,” as the author of The Sky Pilot and many other tales which describe the life of the Great North-West.

The third Andrew Murray, father of the subject of this biography, was ten years younger than his brother John, to whose encouragement and assistance it was largely due that he was able to complete his studies, and to obtain the status of licentiate of the Church of Scotland. Young Andrew was anxious to become a missionary—a desire which was probably stimulated, if not aroused, by the earnest advocacy of his elder brother, who was a powerful pleader for missions at a time when the cause counted but few enthusiastic supporters. But the mother was very loth to part from her younger and favourite son, and professed to be in great fear that, if he became a missionary, he would infallibly be eaten by cannibals. Love for his mother and deference to her wishes led Andrew to refuse an offer to proceed to St. John’s, Newfoundland. But when in 1821 he received an invitation to the Cape, the need of that Colony seemed to be so urgent that he could not find it in his heart to dismiss the appeal, while the possibility of doing something on behalf of the natives, and thus taking a small share in the missionary enterprise, was an additional motive to consider this as a divine call.

The invitation to South Africa came about in the following way. The Rev. Dr. George Thom, Dutch Reformed minister of the congregation of Caledon in South Africa, was in Britain on furlough in 1821, when he was commissioned by the then Governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset, to obtain young ministers to fill the vacant charges, and teachers to instruct the rising generation, in the southern Colony. Dr. Thom, who was fully alive to the needs of the country, lost no time in commencing his quest. One of the first men to offer was Andrew Murray, as Dr. Thom relates in the following letter, dated London, 8th January, 1821—

The Rev. George Thom to Lord Charles Henry Somerset.

My Lord,—I have the pleasure to state, for your Lordship’s information, that the Rev. Prof. MacGill of the University of Glasgow has replied to the letter addressed to him on the selection of some ministers of the Established Church of Scotland, and the Professor states that he will with much delight communicate with several young ministers, who are gentlemen of excellent private character, of good talents, and of known loyal principles. I am looking for a second letter.

In the meantime Prof. Bentley, of the King’s College, Aberdeen, hearing of the necessities of the Dutch colonists, and of the kind intentions of Government to supply their wants, has written me two letters, offering the services of the Rev. Andrew Murray, Master of Arts, a clergyman of about thirty years of age, of established character and of good abilities : the necessary testimonials from the professors of languages and of divinity in the University will be forwarded to me immediately.

I am much rejoiced that there is a prospect of having the wants of the Dutch colonial Churches supplied, and the more, as besides the charges of Somerset and Worcester being vacant, there is every human possibility that several old Churches will soon be left destitute of Christian instruction. By a letter from Cape Town I find that Mr. Fleck has been declared by the physicians unfit ever to preach again. Mr. [von] Manger also has been long afflicted with disease and is advanced in life, and several of the country ministers are aged, and the minister of Paarl was able to preach only a few times during eight or ten months. I have fully stated to the gentlemen everything connected with the Churches agreeable to the colonial Church regulations, and your Lordship’s opinion respecting spending a few months in Holland.

It is a subject of much gratification to me that your Lordship manifests so much paternal care for the advancement of religion in the Colony, and I am sure it will add much to the pleasure which the Colonists will feel on your Lordship’s return to assume again the government of the Colony, that you will be able to announce a speedy supply of good ministers for the Dutch Churches being at hand. . . .

When Andrew Murray received the South African appointment his mother lay upon her deathbed, and in order to spare her the children refrained from telling her of the younger son’s impending departure. When the hour of parting came, John, the elder brother, who was also at his dying mother’s bedside, accompanied Andrew to the highway where the Aberdeen coach passed. Here the brothers knelt in prayer to commend each other and their dear ones to God, and before they parted sang together, “ O God of Bethel, by whose hand Thy people still are fed.” It was a final farewell, for Andrew never revisited his native land.

From Scotland, after ordination by the Presbytery of Aberdeen, the young minister went to Holland, where he remained for ten months in order to acquire the Dutch language. He then returned to London, from where he was to sail for the Cape with Dr. Thom and the teachers which the latter had secured.Dr. Thom’s quest for ministers and teachers was wholly successful. He secured not only Andrew Murray, but also the Rev. Alexander Smith, who 1908 among some papers in the parsonage at Graaff-Reinet unearthed an old diary of Andrew Murray, which had lain undiscovered for more than eighty years. It runs to seventy pages of foolscap and contains a full account of the voyage, lasting from the 27th February to the 1st July, 1822, between London Docks and Table Bay. The narrative, in which Mr. Murray throughout speaks of himself in the third person, is so interesting a human document, that we venture to make the following extracts from it—

Extracts from the Journal of Andrew Murray the Elder.

Early in the year 1821 His Majesty's Government were pleased to appoint the Rev. Dr. Thom to provide some preachers and teachers in connexion with the Church of Scotland to go out to the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. After considerable trouble. Dr. Thom succeeded in engaging the Rev. Andrew Murray, preacher, of Aberdeen, as a clergyman for the Colony, and Messrs. Brown, Innes, Robertson and Dawson from Aberdeen, Mr. Rattray from Dundee, and Mr. Blair from Glasgow, as schoolmasters. In the beginning of February, 1822, Dr. Thom engaged a passage on board the brig Arethusa for the above-mentioned persons and those connected with them.

The Arethusa, a fine vessel of 180 tons burden, commanded by Captain Anderson, sailed from London Docks on Wednesday, 27th February, 1822,—Mr. and Mrs. Dawson on board. Mrs. Dawson, who had come on board a week previous to the vessel sailing, was safely delivered of a son on Saturday the 23rd. arrived in the Colony in 1823, and was stationed at Uitenhage; the Rev. William Ritchie Thomson, who afterwards became minister of Stockenstrom ; and three students who were still preparing for licence and ordination, namely, Henry Sutherland, Colin Fraser and George Morgan, in after years ministers at Worcester, Beaufort West and Somerset East respectively. Among the teachers engaged by Dr. Thom were James Rose Innes (afterwards Superintendent-General of Education), William Robertson (afterwards the Rev. Dr. Robertson of Swellendam and Cape Town), Archibald Brown, William Dawson, James Rattray and Robert Blair.

On Monday the 4th March it behoved the passengers who were to embark for Africa to bid a farewell to their dear friends in the metropolis. How noble soever the principles may be which actuate the preachers and teachers of Christianity in leaving their native shores, still, when they are called to take leave of their dear friends, and bid adieu to all those interesting scenes which had cheered their youthful years, they must feel much concerned.

On the morning of Monday the following individuals, after a pleasant passage on the steamboat, went on board the Arethusa—viz., Dr. and Mrs. Thom, their two children, Mrs. Dixie and two daughters, Miss Rose, Messrs. Murray, Brown, Innes, Dawson, Rattray, Robertson and Blair; Mrs. Rattray and two children, Mrs. Dawson and child, Mrs. Milne (the wife of a soldier) and a Mr. Bennet, bound for St. Helena —in all, twenty individuals. On the same afternoon the Arethusa sailed down the river for five or six miles, and there remained for the night, the Captain, Dr. Thom, and Mr. Murray being absent, the former being employed in settling some business, and the others taking leave of their dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. Nisbet, whose hearts and house have ever been open to all such as wished to devote themselves to the service of their Redeemer in heathen lands.

On the morning of Tuesday weighed anchor at six o’clock ; during the day enjoyed a favourable gale, and reached the Downs on the evening of the same day. While riding in the Downs on the night between the 5th and the 6th the Arethusa, in common with other vessels, was overtaken by a heavy gale, which lasted till twelve o’clock on Tuesday [Wednesday ?]. Four vessels were torn from their anchors, one of which soon after foundered, but happily the Arethusa remained fast at her moorings. The vessel lost was a brig from St. Thomas. The crew fortunately were all saved, although their safety was effected at the expense of the life of one of the boatmen who came to afford assistance.

“Good God, on what a brittle thread hang everlasting things!”

On the 7th remained in the Downs. A strong gale continuing to blow from the west, arrangements were made among the passengers for occupying their time to best advantage. Every gentleman appeared anxious to umpt such measures as might be thought advantageous for promoting each other’s improvement in those branches of useful knowledge which might be calculated, by the divine blessing, to promote their usefulness.

It was a full month before the Arethusa was clear of the coasts of England. The passage of the Bay of Biscay was, as usual, a stormy one. When near the Cape Verde Islands the brig narrowly escaped disaster, as the following account shows—

Thursday 25th [April] came in sight of Cape Verde Islands. The former night drew up, in order to avoid danger of running foul of them, but Capt. Anderson thought that on this night he might safely continue his course during the night. The afternoon had been spent in contriving what should be bought in St. Jago. Mr. Brown and Mr. Murray laboured for some time to learn some Portuguese words which they expected to need on the following day. In the evening Dr. Thom favoured the party with a history of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. Worship was conducted as usual, and about half-past nine o'clock Mr. Innes observed that it was time to go to bed. Dr. Thom said he would not in our situation go to bed without going on deck. Accordingly he went, when, a few minutes after, all the passengers were surprised to feel the vessel give a sudden forcible jolt against a rock. Mr. Murray observed that the stroke was certainly given upon a rock or fixed land.

All the passengers, on going on deck, heard the mate (whose attention to our perilous situation had been excited by Dr. Thom) cry out, "Captain Anderson, come! we are on land: the breakers are close to our lee bow.” An indescribable scene of confusion immediately took place, one crying that the breakers were on the bow, another roaring from the rigging that there was land or rock close upon our lee. The common sailors commenced crying—one saying that all was over ; another, we were fast, and could not stand out but a very few minutes ; while the mate cried, “Make no uproar, keep cool: let us prepare for meeting death like Scotchmen!”

Mr. Brown and Mr. Murray were able to go and assist the seamen to draw up or shorten sail; the rest of the gentlemen kept on the quarter deck, Dr. Thom giving orders for getting the boats in readiness. Dr. Thom wished Mr. Murray to go below and see what state the ladies were in. On going below he found them in as composed a state as could in similar circumstances be expected : nevertheless, a state more easily conceived than described. After engaging a few minutes in prayer, to plead the promise of God, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee,” he read part of the 91st Psalm. The Captain and the mate then came into the cabin. The former appeared to be, as it wete, in a state of intoxication (perhaps through surprise), being unable to say where we were, what was the matter, or whither we could turn for safety.

At length the vessel was gotten off the rocks, which were afterwards found to be on a long point of the island of Mayo, where several large East Indiamen had been lost. After some consultation it was agreed that Dr. Thom, Messrs. Innes, Robertson and Brown should remain some hours on deck, as they could not be expected to sleep in such circumstances. Mr. Murray went to bed at one o’clock and slept soundly till four, when he was roused to go on deck, the other gentlemen being about to go to rest. After many a long and anxious look day appeared. Is there anyone in the least conversant with maritime affairs, who can consider the situation of the Arethusa on the evening of the 25th, and not be convinced that nothing less than the special interposition of that God who never slumbers nor sleeps could have preserved either lives or property? Driving with full sail against a brisk wind, and driven thus with great velocity against a range of fixed rocks while neither captain nor mate kept outlook, none but that God we had just before been worshipping in a social capacity could have delivered us ; and He was graciously pleased to interpose in such a manner as to convince the most unthinking mind that He, and He alone, brought us deliverance. . . .

A few further extracts will show that the voyage, like most sea voyages at that time, was subject to all manner of contrary winds and vexatious delays—

Tuesday we were about 12 deg. 26 min. S. latitude and 33 deg. 26 min. W. longitude. Some doubting we might be further west in reality than the Captain had found us to be, it was thought advisable that some one should remain on deck during the greater part of the night, for fear of coming on the American coast. Mr. Murray stopped up till about three o’clock. In the course of the night he had an opportunity to speak to most of the seamen, one by one, on spiritual and eternal subjects. He was happy to find they generally paid more attention to these subjects than could well have been expected.

Wednesday we were glad to find that the wind had become so much more favourable that we could not only steer south, and thereby keep from increasing our western longitude, but could even get a little to the east, and thereby lessen it. At twelve o’clock found the latitude to be 15 deg. 29 min. south, and longitude about 31 deg. west. Most of the passengers began to wish much for a good breeze to hasten our pace and shorten the voyage.

Thursday the wind continued favourable, so that we were able to make a considerable distance of easting. In the evening had some amusement respecting the manners and customs of the Cape farmers. All seemed to enjoy the description Dr. Thom gave of the simplicity of their manners. This description reminded us of those ages when tyrant custom had not shackled man.

Saturday 25th [May] found ourselves in a complete calm ; could make no way. Such delays were calculated to try the patience of those who have been already long detained on a voyage. This day the health of Messrs. Murray and Dawson was drunk in a glass of wine, it being the day before their birthday. Certainly it is most pleasant to see so many harmoniously uniting in good wishes for each other. It is hoped that the above-mentioned individuals were not unconcerned about the misimprovement of their past years and about the better improvement of those which may come.

Friday the 7th [June] had to contend with contrary winds, tacking sometimes east, sometimes west, and so made no progress. The Captain now began to grudge expenses very much, and to speak of shortening our allowance of water.

Friday 14th.—The day was somewhat cloudy, the wind very strong ; went most of the day at the rate of seven or eight miles an hour. Towards the afternoon the wind blew very strong indeed, so that the Captain was obliged to shorten sail considerably, and to put [things] in the best state for the approaching storm. About twelve at night such an immense sea broke over the vessel as made some to think that she could scarcely recover her upright position. At four in the morning such a strong and sudden gust of wind sprung up that made us drift before it, although we had up little or no sail. An apprehension was entertained for a short time that the wind would carry away our masts. On the morning of Saturday were happy to find that no injury had been done. The God who preserves all who confide in Him graciously kept us from all evil, and gave us cause to exclaim, "Oh! that men would praise the Lord for His goodness!"

The arrival in Table Bay is chronicled as follows—

Sabbath 30th [June].—A fine day, a good breeze and great progress. In consequence of coming so near land, it was thought advisable that the gentlemen should take their turn in looking out for land ; consequently Dr. Thom and Mr. Blair sat up till two o’clock on Sabbath morning, when Mr. Murray and Mr. Robertson succeeded till daylight. The weather being good public worship was conducted on deck by Mr. Murray, who preached from 2 Corinthians, v. 21. Immediately after dinner the meeting commenced, when the 116th Psalm was spoken upon by most of the gentlemen, who, it is trusted, experienced feelings similar to the Psalmist when he reflected on the many mercies of God.

Monday, 1st, July 1822.—Messrs. Innes and Dawson had stopped on deck till two o’clock, when Messrs. Brown and Rattray succeeded till day. These informed us that we had gone at the rate of seven or eight knots an hour during the night. Our longitude about 17 deg. east; began to look anxiously for land, it being seventeen weeks to-day since coming on board at Gravesend. Enjoyed a fine, fair wind, but a very heavy sea. In the evening a prayer-meeting for the spread of the Gospel. Between twelve and one o’clock, while Dr. Thom and Mr. Murray were on deck, Mr. Burch ell cried out, "Land! land!” How overjoyed we were to see for certain that we were but a few miles from Table Mountain. Next morning set sail, after stopping for a few hours, and reached Table Bay.

A few days .after their arrival at Cape Town the Government Gazette contained a notice of Mr. Murray’s formal appointment to the charge of Graaff-Reinet, in succession to the Rev. A. Faure, who had been promoted to Cape Town. Mr. Murray seems to have proceeded immediately to his new sphere of work. The township of Graaff-Reinet, which was to be his home until the day of his death, had been established as early as 1786, and was named in honour of Governor van de Graaff and his wife, whose maiden name was Reinet. Many years elapsed before the village, which was situated in surroundings of great aridity, even began to deserve its designation of the “Gem of the Desert.” A few months after Mr. Murray’s settlement it was visited by the traveller George Thompson, who has left us the following impressions of Graaff-Reinet in 1823—

25th May.—This being Sunday, I attended divine service with the Landdrost’s family at the district church, and heard the Rev. Mr. Murray preach in Dutch to a numerous and attentive congregation. Mr. Murray, like all the late-appointed clergymen of the colonial establishment, is of the Church of Scotland, which in doctrine and discipline corresponds almost entirely with the Dutch Reformed communion.

26th to 29th May.—I spent these four days in Graafi-Reinet. The place is wonderfully improved since the days of Barrow, when it consisted merely of a few miserable mud and straw huts. It contains now about three hundred houses, almost all of which are neat and commodious brick edifices—many are elegant. The streets are wide, laid out at right angles, and planted with rows of lemon and orange trees, which thrive here luxuriantly, and give to the place a fresh and pleasing appearance. Each house has a large allotment of ground behind it, extending in some instances to several acres, which is richly cultivated, divided by quince, lemon or pomegranate hedges, and laid out in orchards, gardens and vineyards. These are all watered by a canal from the Sunday River, which branches out into a number of small channels, and each inhabitant receives his due portion at a regular hour. This canal has been greatly improved, or rather constructed anew on a much higher level, by the present Landdrost,2 who, by indefatigable exertion, and entirely at his own risk, has carried it along the front of a rocky precipice, and by these means gained a large addition of arable ground, and a more certain and abundant supply of water. I was not a little surprised to find that this arduous task had been accomplished without even the aid of blowing irons or gunpowder, merely by kindling large fires upon the rocks, and when they were well heated dashing buckets of water upon them.

The population of Graafi-Reinet, of all colours, amounts to about 1,800 souls. The town is built in a sort of basin, almost encircled by the deep channel of the Sunday River, and closely environed by an amphitheatre of steep rugged mountains. This position, and the arid quality of the red Karroo soil, render it oppressively hot in summer. At that season, however, the atmosphere is sometimes agitated and cooled by violent thunderstorms, accompanied by heavy rains. In winter the weather is frequently rather cold, owing to the elevated situation of the country just at the foot of the Snow Mountains ; but while I was there the air was delightfully temperate, and the sky cloudless and serene.

Mr. Murray was the sixth minister of Graaff-Reinet, and he found the congregation supplied with a suitable church in which to worship, and a roomy parsonage for the use of its pastor. The latter was to be his home for forty-five years and the birthplace of all his children, and it, therefore, merits some description. It was in every respect the finest residence in the village—far finer and more commodious than the Drostdij, in which the Landdrost (or Magistrate) officially resided. It stood in a side street at some little distance from the church, and boasted a spacious yard and outbuildings, with a large garden behind. One of the daughters of the manse has given us the following description—

Ascending by the stone steps we come to the front door, and entering, find ourselves in a large lobby or hall, called the Mein voorhuis, because there was a larger one [groot voorhuis) beyond—a spacious dining hall, with doors on all sides, leading into a smaller dining-room, bedrooms, etc. A part of the big hall was later on partitioned off, to give a more comfortable dining-room.

On the left side in front was the drawing-room, and on the right the study and another bedroom. The front stoep, and also the back stoep, were supported by arches, and underneath the whole house ran a series of rooms corresponding with those above. Some of these were often used as bedrooms when the house was full of visitors. They included the cellar, below the big dining-room, the hout-kamer (wood room), kalk-kamer (lime room), kaf-kamer (chaff room) and waggon house. But these arches, with passages beyond, seemed made on purpose for playing hide-and-seek, and often resounded with the voices of the merry, happy children.

From the back stoep, by two circular flights of steps, you went down to the garden. First, the flower garden, then an avenue of orange trees, with tall lilac bushes in between. At the side of the walk was the vineyard, and at the further end of the garden were fruit trees of all kinds, laden in summer time with such fruit as we have never tasted since, and to which the dear children were allowed to help themselves without stint, and regale also their companions who came to play with them. The other half of the garden was sown with oats for the minister’s horses, and there was a large plot of lucerne for the cow. On the further side of the lucerne was a row of choice fig trees, and beyond was the boundary wall.

In 1824, two years after his arrival at Graaff-Reinet, Mr. Murray went up to Cape Town in order to attend the meeting of Synod, and on that occasion first met the young lady who became his wife. She was Miss Maria Susanna Stegmann, eldest child of Johan Gotlob Stegihann and his wife Jacomina Sophia Hoppe, who were both of German descent. The mother of Johan Gotlob Stegmann was Sara Susanna Roux, whose great-grandfather, Paul Roux, was one of the Huguenot refugees, who were driven from France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and arrived at the Cape in 1688. Jacomina Sophia Hoppe, the maternal grandmother of the subject of these memoirs, was not of pure German descent, since her maternal grandparents bore the thoroughly Dutch names of Pieter Greeff and Jacomina van Deventer. From his mother’s side it is evident that many strains mingled in the blood of Andrew Murray—German, French Huguenot, and Calvinist Dutch, interfused to form a sturdy South African stock.

When Andrew Murray took to wife Maria Stegmann, the latter was but sixteen years of age, and had naturally received but a slight education, and that chiefly in the Dutch language. But her mind was alert, and her husband took delight in instructing her, reading with her such books as Rollin’s Ancient History and Hume’s History of England. The father-in-law, Mr. Stegmann, had apparently the greatest confidence in the piety of his son-in-law and the devotion of his daughter, for when his wife died and he was re-married to a Miss van Reenen, he sent his young son, Georg Wilhelm, to Graaff-Reinet that he might be under the home influence of Andrew and Maria Murray ; and when his second wife presented him with a son, the infant received the name of Johan Andrew, the latter name in honour of the minister of Graaff-Reinet. It is pleasant to be able to state that both these sons became preachers of the Gospel, Georg Wilhelm as minister of the Lutheran Church in Cape Town, and afterwards as pastor of the D. R. Church at Adelaide, and Johan Andrew as minister of Ceres. Georg Wilhelm, the “ Uncle William ” of later years, was a man of great sincerity and heartiness of character, and a famous revival preacher in days when special services and revivals were not much spoken of.

Andrew Murray the Scotsman soon identified himself completely with the land of his adoption. From the little volume of reminiscences, Unto Children’s Children, by one of his daughters, we take over the following lines concerning his life and the nature of his work at Graaff-Reinet—

He cast in his lot so whole-heartedly with his people that his children cannot remember ever hearing him express the wish to visit his native land. How happy he was among his people only his children, who grew up in the presence of that loving intercourse, can testify. Earnest, affectionate and sincere in all his relations, he never forfeited the respect and esteem accorded him by all. How often we have heard him say, "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places, and I have a goodly heritage.” His love for his people came out touchingly in an incident towards the close of his life. He was suffering from the effects of a, cold ; and on his leaving a certain farm a young man, who had waited on him very tenderly, brought a hot brick and placed it beneath his feet in the cart, whereupon he turned to his travelling companion and said, “Ik woon in het midden mijns volks ” (I dwell in the midst of my people).

His parish covered many hundreds of square miles. He established many new congregations, such as those of Aberdeen, Colesberg, Middel-burg and Murraysburg, and until these parishes were supplied with ministers of their own—and that was not easily done then—he remained their preacher and pastor. He had to undertake long journeys to these places, sometimes being from home for a fortnight at a time for this purpose. At every farmhouse along the road where the minister stopped for the night, he had scarcely dismounted from the large, springless horse-waggon, before the Bible would be produced and he was asked to conduct a service. He always insisted on all the servants and shepherds being brought in ; and, weary though he was, rejoiced at being able to break the bread of life to hungry souls. After the death of the Rev. John Evans, the large congregation of Cradock was also vacant for several years, and our father had to go there every quarter in order to administer the sacrament, holding services for three days—“Preparation" on Saturday, “Communion” on Sunday, with six tables of communicants to be successively addressed, and "Thanksgiving” on Monday. Added to this was the work of catechising, holding church meetings, attending to cases of discipline, celebrating marriages and baptizing infants. . . . Then there was huisbezoek or family visitation on the Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. This was not, as the name seems to imply, going to the houses : that was out of the question, as the people lived on farms, far apart from each other. The families were admitted in turn to the minister’s bedroom, which had to answer the purpose of study or vestry, and there they were seriously and affectionately exhorted, advised, encouraged or rebuked, as the case demanded.

Of the visits of the missionaries how much there is to tell! English, Scotch, French and German missionaries found it not only convenient, but most refreshing, to rest themselves and their wearied oxen on the long journey between Port Elizabeth and the interior (or on their way back on a visit to Europe) at the Graaff-Reinet parsonage. Men and animals found room in the spacious house and yard, the outrooms affording lodging for a whole host of Bechuana or Basuto drivers and leaders of oxen. The abundance of fruit made it like an oasis in the desert to the missionary children. The Paris Missionary Society presented Mr. Murray with a handsome timepiece in acknowledgment of the kindness shown to their missionaries.

How fresh in the minds of some of the children are still to-day the visits of Mr. Moffat and of Dr. Livingstone, who has since become so famous. One of us remembers seeing Dr. Livingstone come hurriedly into the dining-room, late for breakfast, triumphantly exhibiting a large hatchet, just to his mind, which he had purchased at the store of Heugh and Fleming. Some years later the children were called to listen while Papa read aloud letters he had received from the explorer, telling of his early journeys into the far interior, where he found tribes who manufactured rings and bracelets of gold. The children cherish lively recollections, too, of the earlier French missionaries—Pellissier, Holland, Casalis, Lemue, Lauga, Arbousset, Daumas—the first ones unmarried, but the later comers accompanied by their sprightly French wives. We wondered at hearing them talk so fast in an unknown tongue. A friend of missions. Major Malan, said long afterwards that it was the kindness shown to missionaries that had brought so large a blessing upon the minister’s family, adding, "For God pays back in kind.”

The chief characteristic of the household was reverence. We reverenced God’s name and God's day and God’s Word. The wife reverenced her husband ; the children reverenced their parents ; the servants reverenced their master and mistress. The children were trained in the ways of the Lord. They were taught to render obedience in such a way that they never seemed to know it. Their father’s word was law; from his decision there was no appeal; his wisdom was never questioned. It was almost curious to see the reverence with which the young men, after years of study in Europe, and themselves ministers, would bow to their father’s decision in every matter where they had asked his advice.

"Our father's conversations with his children were very instructive.

His sons remember rides with him upon which he told them many interesting things connected with natural history or geography. The occasions on which he spoke to his children about their souls were few but well chosen, and his words never failed to make an impression. It was generally on a Sabbath evening after family worship when the child came for a good-night kiss. “Well, dearie, have you given your heart to Christ yet?" or, “Will you not, before you go to bed to-night, give yourself to Jesus?” Or on a birthday he would say, “This is your birthday: are you born again?” One thing that impressed us particularly was that he expected that the elder children should interest themselves in the soul’s welfare of the younger ones. To a married daughter, visiting her old home, he said, “Have you spoken to the little girls about their souls yet? I wish you would do so." The children were encouraged to correspond freely with their elder brothers on the subject.

Many words of Scripture became engraven on the hearts of the children through hearing their father repeat them with great feeling and emphasis. Indeed, he has left them to us as a most precious legacy. The word of Christ did indeed dwell in him richly, and he taught and admonished us in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in his heart unto the Lord. Many a sweet verse has been imprinted on our minds and memories from hearing him repeat it half aloud to himself, as he walked up and down the great dining-room after supper. We have heard him say at such times, his face and manner betraying the deepest emotion—

“And when I’m to die, Lord, take me! I'll cry,
For Jesus has loved me, I cannot tell why’’—

and stopping in his walk he would say, addressing one of us, “Can you tell why?” and then go on with—

“But this I do find, we two are so joined He’ll not be in glory and leave me behind."

His own conversion had been associated with the hymn When I can read my title clear. He told his eldest daughter that, as a youth, being in great anxiety about his soul, he took that verse and spent a whole day in the woods, determined not to return home till his title was made clear to him.

As sacred as the memories of the Sunday evenings are those of the Friday evenings, which our father regularly devoted to praying for a revival. He would shut himself up in the study, and read accounts of former revivals in Scotland and other countries, and sometimes come out of his study with Gillie's Collection in his hand, to read us the story of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Kirk of Shotts or of the revivals in Kilsyth and Cambuslang. Once he read about a minister who had prayed for a revival for forty years before it came, and then he said, Ay, and that is longer than thirty-six. ’’ His children will never forget standing outside his study door, listening to the loud crying to God and pleading for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit.

He did not pray in vain. Many can still remember how, at the Conference at Worcester in i860, when the wave of blessing which had swept over America, Ireland, Scotland and England had just reached our shores, he quite broke down when he spoke of his great longing for a revival. Within a year of that date the blessing came to his own congregation. Who shall describe the joy of that husbandman who had so long waited patiently for the precious fruit, when his patience of hope was so richly rewarded! “I can imagine Papa’s joy,” wrote one of the children, who was away from home; “I think he must be saying with Simeon, Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.” When this letter was read to him, the tears came into his eyes and he said, "It is just that.”

He had warm sympathy with every good work, by whoever begun and in whatever part of the world. He watched with great interest the progress of the Disruption in Scotland, and his enthusiasm was roused by looking at a facsimile of the signatures to the "Act of Separation and Deed of Demission." In every good cause he took the lead. Long before slavery was abolished he had espoused the cause of the slave. When upon his marriage, as was the custom of the time, a female slave was given to the bride to accompany her to her new home, the bridegroom gave the girl her liberty before she set out with them.

In the course of his ministry he founded no less than eight new congregations, selecting the site of the town, inducting elders and deacons, planning the building of the church, and so forth, until a minister could be called. Two towns, against his expressed wish, were named in honour of him—Murraysburg (after himself) and Aberdeen (after his birthplace). He always had a very strong feeling against remaining too long in the ministry and (as he expressed it) keeping out a younger and stronger man. Increasing ill-health led him to resign his charge at the age of seventy, and he had not long to wait before the Master took him home.

On one of his last journeys he took a chill, which aggravated his disease. During the last few weeks he kept his bed, and suffered much pain, but was always patient and cheerful. -On the last Sabbath of his life, when the elders came in after service to see him, he enquired about the sermon; and then, knowing probably that his end was near, he said solemnly, " I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until that day, until that day.” As our mother had been up with him all night, she was persuaded to take a little rest in the next room. He followed her to the door with his eyes, and then repeated the verse—

“Jezus! uw verzoenend sterven Blijft het rustpunt van ons hart”

(Jesus! thine atoning dying Still remains my heart's relying.) When the watchers saw that he was soon to leave them, they called our mother; but just as she reached the bedside, he breathed his last.

Some further reminiscences of the mother must find a place in this biography. They are from the pen of the same daughter who has given us so touching a description of the father—

How can a child attempt to describe a mother, and especially such a mother ? To us she never seemed at all like anyone else ; she was just Mama. She taught us to read before we were old enough to be sent to school, and the hymns and verses which we learnt at her knee have remained in the memory for a lifetime. When our father was from home, Mama took upon herself the task of hearing the boys repeat their lessons before going to school. One of her sons still remembers how, when he grumbled at his difficult Latin lesson, Mama learned the lesson with him, and made him take the book while she repeated it, and so encouraged him.

On Sunday she taught us the Kort Begrip (Shorter Catechism). It is sweet to recall those Sundays. Such Sabbath-keeping has gone out of fashion. Children now would perhaps think it a weariness, yet we cannot rememher that we as children ever did. The day was strictly observed. On Saturday afternoon there was the usual cleaning up and sweeping about the house, and the children can all remember being sent down to the cellar to fetch potatoes for boiling, and raisins for the yellow rice that was a regular item in the Sunday dinner. The meat was either cooked on Saturday, or else so prepared that it could be easily warmed ; for on Sunday it was compulsory for every one to go to church, the nurse-girl and the baby only excepted. There was often a cold tart on Sunday. The fruit, that in summer always appeared on table three times a day, had been gathered on Saturday. A walk in the garden was of course allowed, and here and there a fruit might be gathered ; but no tree climbing and no fruit-picking on a large scale was permissible, as on other days.

Once a week or once a fortnight our mother would indulge in a visit to one of her friends. Let us try and describe this visit. Before school one of the daughters takes a message from Mama to Mrs. Elsie Zier-vogel or to Mrs. Berrange: ”If it is quite convenient, Mama asks permission (laat belet vragen) to visit you this afternoon.” If the lady had some engagement for the afternoon, she did not hesitate to say so; if not, the answer would be, "I shall be very happy to see your Mama this afternoon.” Our dinner was at noon, and between two and three Mama would be ready to go, taking her work with her in her reticule. Arrived at the friend’s she was ushered into the large cool parlour, in which the lady of the house sat ready to receive her visitor, with her work beside her. On the side-table stood a well-filled cake-basket, covered with a spotless white serviette, a small tray, holding two glass pots of konfijt (preserve) and a differently shaped glass bowl of clear water, in which were two small silver forks, for the purpose of conveying a portion of preserve to the saucer. At three tea was sent in, and the preserves served with it, and at five coffee and cake. After that the garden would be visited, the lady of the house usually having the care of the vegetables as well as the flowers. When the little daughters of the parsonage came home from school at four o’clock, they found their Sunday frocks and bonnets neatly laid out on the bed in their mother’s room; and dressed in these they set forth to join Mama at the house where she was visiting.

The event in the lives of the family was the visit, once in five years, to Cape Town, the metropolis, where the meeting of Synod was held. Oh ! those months of anticipation, those weeks of preparation ! There were the ten fine horses, the loan of some kind elders or deacons, kept in the stable to be fed up for the journey ; and the horse-waggon, which had long been standing unused in the waggon-house, brought out and cleaned and painted afresh. And when the team had to be tried, and the children obtained a drive through the streets, their enjoyment began. Then came the fitting into the waggon of the katel—a wooden frame filled in with wicker-work of cane, and hung inside, two feet above the floor of the waggon—which had to serve as seats by day and bed by night. Then the plat vaatjes (two flat water kegs) cleaned and filled, the larger with water, and the smaller with wine, which was needed for mixing with the almost stagnant water drawn from pools or halfdry fountains along the way through the Great Karroo. Driver and coachman were hired, whip and harness provided, and—last but not least—the tar-barrel, which we have almost forgotten, must be attached to a hook at the side. A bad look-out if it had been forgotten, and the wheels had caught fire ! It was a source of endless speculation to the children, what the actual danger of such a fatality was. Beneath the waggon was swung the rem-ketting (a large iron chain for locking the wheel in going down-hill): we were ignorant of brakes in those days. Behind hung the trap—a wooden platform designed to hold pots, kettle and gridiron.

All was now ready for the eventful morning of the start, when the finishing touches were given, the trunks skilfully stowed away beneath the katel, the bedding placed upon it, with extra blankets and pillows for the overflow members of the party to sleep on at night underneath the waggon. The kost-mandje (provision-basket)—covered and lined so as to exclude the dust, well stored with good things, and supplied with cutlery, crockery and table requisites—found a place behind. As this basket could not contain enough food for ten or twelve people for ten days, room had to be found for bags full of Boer biscuit, biltong (dried meat) and sausages. The side pockets were carefully fixed and arranged inside the tent of the waggon, and stocked with toilet apparatus, candles and matches, a Bible and hymn-book, some medicines, and ointment and bandages for possible casualties along the road.

Then came the supreme moment of starting, when the horses had been inspanned, and each traveller had taken his appointed seat. " Crack went the whip, round went the wheels, were never folks so glad ! ” The first stage of three hours (18 miles) ended all too soon, but then followed the delights of the first outspan and encampment in the veld, when each child went to gather an armful of sticks to help in lighting the fire and preparing the meal. These outspans were just a series of picnics, brimful of enjoyment for the happy children.

The journey from Graafi-Reinet to Cape Town occupied ten days. It was broken by the Sunday rest at some farm or village. Some nights were spent at hospitable farmhouses ; but in the Karroo the whole family lodged in and around the waggon. The morning start was usually made long before daylight, and just after sunrise we halted for breakfast. Family worship, night and morning, was never omitted. The hour of the first and the last stage was spent in singing. Those were days long before Sankey or Church Praise or even Bateman existed. Yet what a rich store we had, both in English and Dutch hymns ! We possessed the Dutch Psalms and Hymns, the Scotch Paraphrases, the Cottage Hymns and the Olney Hymns ; and, best of all, a little stock stored in the memory of what were called Slaven Gezangen (Slave Hymns), compiled for the use of native congregations, which were so simple and sweet that they were loved the most of all.

Mrs. Murray survived her husband for twenty-three years, and died at Graaff-Reinet in the old parsonage, which had then become the home of her son Charles and his family, in the eighty-first year of her life. During the time of her widowhood, so long as health and strength remained to her, she would travel about the country, sojourning now with this son or daughter and now with the other, but always returning to the Graaff-Reinet home. Her delight in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was only equalled by the affection and reverence with which they regarded her.

The first child born to this godly couple, Andrew and Maria Murray, on the 15th September, 1826, was a son, who received the name of John, after his mother’s father and his father’s brother. Andrew, the subj ect of this work, was the second son, born on the 9th May, 1828 ; and he was followed by William born in 1829, and Maria, the eldest daughter, born in 1831. Charles, the fourth son, arrived in 1833, and was followed by a little daughter, Jemima, who was only two years old when the two eldest sons were sent to Scotland for their education in 1838.

Of Andrew’s youth little is known. He and his brother John were always the closest of companions. John was quiet, thoughtful, studious, slow of speech, and gave early signs of the grace that was in him. Andrew was a boy of somewhat exuberant spirits, less quiet and less studious than his elder brother, but active of body, quick in thought and speech, of a retentive memory and able easily to assimilate knowledge. Not less earnest than his brother, and devout from childhood, he professed to date his conversion from a much later period, when he was already a student at the university of Utrecht. The two lads were in many respects a contrast. John was the true son of his father—silent, reserved, and cautious in word and act. Andrew reflected in his features and character the bright and eager disposition of his mother. In spite of this difference of temperament, or perhaps, because of it, the brothers cherished the highest affection and regard for each other. John frankly admired the talents of his younger brother who, though two years his junior, kept beside him through all their ten years of study; and Andrew revered John’s steadiness of character and sobriety of judgment, while he tried to emulate his industry and his methodical habits of work. The ties of affection and esteem which united the brothers endured throughout the years of their ministry, and were only dissolved by the death of John Murray at the age of fifty-six.

For convenience' sake a full family record is here appended:

Children of Andrew and Maria Murray.

1. John, born 1826 ; married in 1850 Maria Anna Ziervogel, born 1830. Issue: eleven children.

2. Andrew, born 1828; married in 1856 Emma Rutherfoord, born 1835. Issue: eight children.

3. William, born 1829 ; married in 1855 Elsabe Antoinette Gie, born 1836. Issue : ten children.

4. Maria, born 1831 ; married in 1852 to Johannes Henoch Neethling, born 1826. Issue : ten children.

5. Charles, born 1833 ; married in 1861 Amelia Jane Bailie, born 1844. Issue : thirteen children.

6. Jemima, born 1836; married in 1855 to Andries Adriaan Louw, born 1827. Issue : nine children.

7. Isabella, born 1839 ; married in 1861 to Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, born 1835. Issue : twelve children.

8. James, born 1843 (died unmarried).

9. George, born 1845 ; married in 1871 Catharina Johanna Louw, born 1852. Issue: sixteen children.

10. Helen, born 1849 (unmarried).

11. Eliza, born 1855 ; married in 1875 to Hendrik Ludolph Neethling, born 1845. Issue : two children

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The Life of Andrew Murray (South Africa)

Chapter 2

Seven Years in Scotland

There is such a thing as an atmosphere of belief. It is equally true that there is an atmosphere in which young men may best arrive at life decisions, and that atmosphere can best be generated in genuinely Christian homes. Unconsciously, in most cases, the child fulfils the desire of the parent’s heart.—John R. Mott.

IN the fourth decade of the nineteenth century the fortunes of popular education at the Cape were at their lowest ebb. The impetus imparted to the educational enterprise in 1822, when the able teachers secured by Dr. Thom commenced their labours, had died away. The salaries offered were so meagre that the majority of these men soon found spheres of work which provided better emoluments. Mr. Innes was appointed professor of mathematics at the South African College, and subsequently became the first Superintendent-General of Education, Mr. Robertson returned to Europe to qualify for the ministry of the D. R. Church, and some of the rest adopted other occupations. The condition of the public schools of the country sank lower and lower. While the population of the Colony in 1838 totalled about 100,000 whites, there were not more than twenty-three schools in receipt of a Government subsidy. The masters of these schools were paid £40 per annum from the public treasury, with an additional £5 for every ten pupils over the first twenty. On these terms qualified teachers were unprocurable, and those who came forward were able to teach little more than the three R’s. In some of the larger towns, like Graaff-Reinet and Cradock, enterprising parents, whose children required an education beyond that which the village school could supply, clubbed together to obtain a teacher who should instruct five-and-twenty pupils in Latin and mathematics, and all for the munificent salary of £120 per annum.

In Cape Town there were two institutions for higher education. These were the South African College, founded in 1829, and the school known as Tot Nut van’t Algemeen (Pro Bono Publico), the latter being at this time practically a feeder to the former. Among the farmer population of the country districts education was in the saddest condition of all. Sir John Herschel, the famous astronomer, who about this time drew up a memorandum on the state of education at the Cape which marked the dawn of a brighter day, reminded the Governor that schoolmaster was a term of reproach among the Boers. And no wonder ; for they were obliged to content themselves with the services of discharged soldiers, who tramped the country from farm to farm, but who were both intellectually and morally incompetent to impart even the most elementary instruction. Such was the state of affairs in the thirties. The oversight of educational concerns was entrusted to the Bible and School Commission, composed of a number of Cape Town clergymen representing the Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican and Scotch denominations, with a sprinkling of Government officials. These worthy men had little acquaintance with the real needs of the country, were sadly lacking [in initiative, and conducted their business for the most part on the laissez aller principle.

It was natural that Andrew Murray and his wife should be greatly exercised about the education of their two elder sons. The prospects were far from bright. There seemed to be small chance within the Colony for two lads of talent to secure an education which would fit them to play their parts in life. And so, after much thought and prayer, the parents arrived at the decision to send their sons to Scotland, placing them under the charge of the Rev. John Murray, in Aberdeen. This decision was reached, we may be sure, with heavy hearts, for the voyage from South Africa to Europe in those days was protracted and dangerous, and the severance from their beloved boys must needs be, at the best, for a long period of years.

Mr. and Mrs. Murray accompanied their sons to Port Elizabeth. Here, in July 1838, John and Andrew went on board the sailing vessel which was to convey them across the ocean. They were placed under the charge of the Rev. James Archbell and his wife, Wesleyan missionaries, who were proceeding home on furlough. Asked in after years what he could remember of the voyage to England, Andrew used to reply, “Nothing at all, except that Mrs. Archbell had a baby.” The sea voyage seems to have been moderately prosperous. The only complaint in which the father indulges is that, with the exception of a few lines by Mr. Archbell from St. Helena, he had no word from his absent sons until after the lapse of seven months, to a day, from their departure from Port Elizabeth.

The boys reached Aberdeen one day in the autumn of 1838, and on the very next morning their uncle John, who held strict Scotch views on the sin of idleness, took them over to the old Grammar School. This famous building has now wholly disappeared, and its site is occupied by a statue of General Gordon. The change from sunny South Africa to bleak and wintry Scotland, and the sudden introduction to new scenes, new masters and new companions, must have exercised a depressing influence upon the two lads, who were only ten and twelve years old respectively. Fortunately they were both studious, and the necessity for application -to their studies, coupled with the natural ambition to prove that Colonial lads were not utter savages, left them no time to yield to melancholy humours. The subject to which chief attention was paid was Latin, and though the brothers had enjoyed no other instruction than their father’s, they found that what they had acquired was quite equal to the average attainments of boys of their own age in Aberdeen.

Of the impression which the lads made upon the members of their uncle’s household we know hardly anything, beyond the reminiscences contained in the following lines by their cousin, Miss Isabella Murray, who confesses that she was less than a year old when Andrew became an inmate of their home—

He and his brother, when they arrived after a miserable voyage, were suffering from scurvy . . . and I have always thought with pity of the dear little fellow being entered at the Grammar School the first morning after his arrival. But he was very happy there, and had a great teacher in Dr. Melvin, of whom Professor David Masson has written so graphically. I cannot tell you anything remarkable of his early days with us. He was a bright, lovable boy, extremely obliging, and devoted to his brother John, to whom he owed much. John was studious and thoughtful beyond his years, and seemed weighted with a sense of responsibility, both on his own account and Andrew’s. Strange to say, when both boys sat for the entrance examination at Marischal College, it was the younger boy, then only thirteen, who gained a bursary. One remarkable thing I can tell you which applies to both boys,—with neither of them had their uncle and aunt even once to find fault during their eight years’ stay in our house, and this was due, we believed, to incessant prayer for them in the Graafi-Reinet home. We, the younger members of the family, looked on them as brothers, and were broken-hearted when they left us.

A good many letters, chiefly from the father to his sons, have been preserved from the Aberdeen period, and though they cast little light upon the circumstances under which the youths lived or the progress they made, a few extracts are here presented because of their general interest—

Rev. Andrew Murray to his sons John and Andrew.

Graaff-Reinet, 30th August, 1838.

My dear Boys,—I should have written to you before this time, had it not been that we have been expecting every post to hear something from you from St. Helena. You may both depend on it, though you are out of our sight you are seldom out of mind. We have been as it were following [you] with our fervent prayers that the God of the ocean may have been your Protector and your Guide, and we cherish the strong confidence they shall have been heard and answered. We trust also that you have not forgotten to cry to this God, “Thou art my Father, the Guide of my youth.”

You may sometimes think it hard that whilst so many young people you have known, and yet know, enjoy all the happiness of the paternal circle, you should have been sent so far from it. I trust, however, that you will ever remember that this has taken place for your own good. You know God has appointed me my station and my work here

You know also, had my affection for you so far B^yedw&h keep you here, you could never have seen or known the half of the good you are likely to see and know now. It will, however under the blessing of God, depend much on yourselves whether or not the step we have taken, shall be for your real benefit m this life and that which is to rejoice to think that your Uncle will not fail to put you in mind of these things. You must try to be always open and candid with him. You may think him sometimes rather too strict, but believe me he will always have your real good at heart. Do not then do or even plan anything you would not like him to know of. Whatever school he may see meet to send you to, believe it is for your good. Try to keep as far up in your classes as you possibly can. Prepare your tasks well in the evenings, and trust not too much to the mornings even when the lessons may be pretty easy.

Mr. Frames, whom you may have seen at Port Elizabeth, has been nominated to the Governor by the School Commission for the situation Mr. Blair had. Should he succeed, he knows little of Latin, so that he could not have helped you, had you remained. Mr. Faure and Mr. Robertson have both asked me for William, as they have Latin schools in Town and at Swellendam, but we do not like to part with him yet. Tell your Uncle that I have this day received his letter of the 22nd of May, and that I shall in common with many of my brethren ever feel grateful to him for his exertions in behalf of the interests of our Church in this case of Mr. Shand.

Now, my dear Boys, let us hear from you frequently, as everything about yourselves, your friends, your lodgings and your studies will be sure to prove very interesting to us, and many friends here will be enquiring about you. As it is near post time I must bid you both adieu, commending you daily to the care and keeping of our ever blessed and adorable Father in heaven.

Graaff-Reinet, 5th March, 1840.

My dear Boys,—Your long expected and very agreeable letter of the 7th November gave us all very great pleasure indeed. We were delighted to learn that John had gotten prizes, and that you, Andrew, stood so near to him. What gave me the greatest satisfaction was that you, John, seemed at least to take pleasure in communicating to us Andrew’s respectable appearance in his classes. I trust you will both continue to do your best, as these prizes are valuable as marking a certain standing in the class.

Nothing could afford me greater delight than to hear of those revivals of religion in the West of Scotland to which Andrew has alluded in your letter. It affords me joy to hear of any number of souls brought to Christ anywhere, and it would increase the joy to think, my dear Boys, that you, though young, begin to take some interest in such things.

You will see that one cause I write short this time is because your little brothers and sisters have taken up the space, and communicated some of those local and domestic things I might have mentioned. I rejoice that God so ordered it that you went to Aberdeen about the time you did, for as you now see yourselves, your time would have been lost here. . . .

Graaff-Reinet, 15th December, 1840.

My dear Boys,—We trust you continue to enjoy good health. We were a little uneasy to see from your letter of the 30th July that Andrew had not been very well when out at Clatt during the summer vacation. We trust, however, that he is now quite well. I was much pleased with your account of your trip. Bennachie and Tap o’ Noth put me in mind of my young days. When you have an opportunity give my compliments to those kind friends in the Garioch who were asking about me, and who showed you so much kindness. I trust, however, that such little excursions do not tend to take away your attention from your studies, but make you resume them with renewed alacrity. You must try beyond all things to serve and please God through our blessed Redeemer. Wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are paths of peace. The promise is, they who seek the Lord early shall find Him ; and oh ! blessed are all such as find Him. . . .

The revivals of religion in the West of Scotland, to which allusion was made in one of Andrew’s letters, were connected with the remarkable work of that young preacher and saint, William C. Bums. He was one of the earliest personalities to exercise spiritual influence over the youthful Andrew, and some account of his activities will, therefore, not be out of place. During his student years William Burns received a powerful impulse towards the mission field, and offered himself to the Mission Committee of the Church of Scotland as a missionary to India. By a providential chain of circumstances which he has himself described, he was for a time deflected from his original purpose, and led to devote himself to those evangelistic labours which resulted in such large blessing for Scotland,

Mr. McCheyne (he writes), about to set out for Palestine, wrote asking me to take his place at Dundee. I found myself unexpectedly free to do this, and being speedily licensed I entered on my duties in that memorable field. This was at the beginning of April [1839]. In the month of June or July I received the call that I had long looked for, being asked by the India committee to go to Poonah in the presidency of Bombay. My engagement at Dundee stood in the way of my at once complying, and another call which the Jewish committee ga.ve me to go to Aden in Arabia increased the difficulty. While asking guidance in regard to my duty I went to the communion at Kilsyth in July, when the Lord began to employ me in a way so remarkable for the awakening of sinners, that in returning to Dundee, and finding myself in the midst of a great spiritual awakening, I was obliged to make known to both committees that, while my views regarding missionary work remained unchanged, yet I found that I must for the time remain where I was, and fulfil the work which God was laying upon me with a mighty hand.

The marvellous influence which Mr. Burns wielded over the great congregations that gathered to hear him, and the wave of blessing which everywhere followed his ministrations, can be ascribed to no other agency than that of the Divine Spirit. With the exception of a voice of remarkable compass and power, he possessed few natural qualifications for popular preaching. His biographer says in this connexion—

Young, inexperienced, measured and slow of speech, gifted with no peculiar charm of poetry or sentiment or natural eloquence or winning sweetness, he bore so manifestly the seals of a divine commission, and carried about him withal such an awe of the divine presence and majesty, as to disarm criticism and constrain even careless hearts to receive him as the messenger of God. If his words were sometimes few, naked, unadorned, they were full of weight and power, and went home, as arrows directed by a sure aim, to the hearts and consciences of his hearers. Literally it might be said of him that his speech and his preaching were not with excellency of speech and man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. . . .

[When preaching at Kilsyth on the 23 rd July, 1839] his manner at first, and through nearly half of the discourse was, as usual, calm, deliberate, measured ; nor did he, I think, greatly diverge either in words or in sequence of thought from the line of the written discourse ; but there was about him throughout an awful solemnity, as if his soul was overshadowed by the very presence of Him in whose name he spoke ; and as he went on that presence seemed more and more to pass within him and to possess him, and to bear him along in a current of strong emotion, which was alike to himself and to his hearers irresistible. Appeal followed appeal in ever-increasing fervour and terrible energy, till at last, as he reached the climax of his argument, and vehemently urged his hearers to fight the battle that they might win the eternal prize, the words No cross, no crown pealed from his lips, not so much like a sentence of ordinary speech, as a shout in the thick of battle.

Writing a full year after the occurrences, Mr. Burns describes the effect of his preaching on that memorable day at Kilsyth in the following terms—

During the whole of the time that I was speaking the people listened with the most solemn and rivetted attention, and with many silent tears and inward groanings of the spirit; hut at the last their feelings became too strong for all ordinary restraints, and broke forth simultaneously in weeping and wailing, tears and groans, intermingled with shouts of joy and praise from some of the people of God. The appearance of a great part of the people from the pulpit gave me an awfully vivid picture of the state of the ungodly in the day of Christ's coming to judgment. Some were screaming out in agony; others, and among these strong men, fell to the ground as if they had been dead; and such was the general commotion, that after repeating for some time the most free and urgent invitations of the Lord to sinners, I was obliged to give out a psalm, which was soon joined in by a considerable number, our voices being mingled with the mourning groans of many prisoners sighing for deliverance.

In April, 1840, Mr. Burns began his labours in Aberdeen. He seems to have been, for a time at least, an inmate of the household of John Murray of the North Church during this period. It is on record that as a youth he received much help and edification from the preaching of Mr. John Murray, and his services to the Church of Christ in Aberdeen was a repayment, with added interest, of the debt of those early years. His personal influence, no less than his powerful preaching, left an indelible impression upon youths so susceptible to religious appeal as John and Andrew Murray. The younger brother, in particular, was accustomed in after years to trace back the first religious crisis of which he was conscious, and which he distinctly recalled to mind, to the solemn presence and the spiritual power of William C. Burns. He was permitted —a great honour for the lad of twelve—to carry to church the evangelist’s Bible and cloak, and he retained his life long a vivid memory of the deep voice, earnest manner and pointed appeals of the man through whose preaching so many thousands were brought from darkness into God’s marvellous light. Indeed, the impression made by William Burns upon the responsive youth was perhaps deeper and more permanent than Andrew Murray himself suspected. For the description of Mr. Burns’ pulpit manner and speech is largely applicable, differences of temperament being allowed for, to the preaching of his younger contemporary. Andrew Murray, too, was gifted with “no peculiar charm of poetry or sentiment or winning sweetness.” His words, like those of Burns, were " naked and unadorned,” but nevertheless “ full of weight and power.” But while with both there was no effort at oratorical display, there was that true eloquence which is born of impassioned earnestness and an intense realization of things spiritual and invisible.

The more equable character of John came under impressions which were as abiding as those made upon Andrew. It can hardly be doubted that the earnest-minded evangelist spoke to the two youths while sojourning under the same roof, beseeching them to yield themselves to Christ. But to John’s innate reserve it was easier to set down his doubts and difficulties on paper than to give them tongue in the presence of another. And this he did after the departure of Mr. Burns from Aberdeen. To his communication he received the following reply—

Rev. William C. Bums to John Murray.

“Forsake not the works of thine own hands.”—Psalm cxxxviii. 8.

Dundee, 13th January, 1841.

My dear Friend,—I was happy to receive your interesting letter, and I have been attempting in the all-prevailing name of Jesus to commend your soul in its present affecting case to the infinitely merciful and gracious Jehovah. Do not, I beseech you, give way to the secret thought that you are excusable in remaining in your present unrenewed state, or that there is the smallest possible hope of your being saved unless you are really born of the Holy Spirit, and reconciled to the Holy Jehovah by the atoning blood of His only-begotten Son. Search your heart, my dear fellow-sinner, and I am sure that you will find something which you are refusing to let go at the command of God, and look upon this secret reserve in your surrender to Him as the reason on account of which He seems for a time to overlook your case. He is a God of infinite holiness, and cannot look upon iniquity. If we regard iniquity in our heart the Lord -will not hear us. But if you are coming in sincerity of heart to Him through Jesus Christ, you will find Him to be a God of infinite mercy and loving-kindness, delighting in mercy and having no pleasure in the death of the sinner. Do not doubt, as your own wicked heart, under the power of Satan, would tempt you to do, that there is mercy for you if you will not willingly harden your heart against Jehovah’s voice of authority and love. He will make himself known to you in good time. Wait on Him. I can testify this to you from my own experience. Often do I think that God has forgotten me, but I find that afterwards He answers prayers which I have forgotten. Oh ! dear friend, be not tempted to put off to a more convenient season your entire consecration to Emmanuel. You are enjoying in Jehovah’s infinite and most undeserved mercy a convenient season at present; oh ! improve it, lest the great God should be provoked and swear in His wrath, ‘ You shall not enter into my rest.’ I will continue to pray for you, and I have hope in the Lord that I may be heard for His own glory. Jesus’ service and His presence are indeed sweet.

I am, dear John,

Your affectionate friend in the Lord Jesus,

Wm. C. Burns.

P.S.'—Show this to Andrew, whom it may also suit. I got his letter and shall answer it afterwards if the Lord will. Write me again.

It lies outside the scope of this biography to do more than merely indicate the extent of the spiritual impulse which Andrew Murray derived from Burns. As to the further labours of the latter in Aberdeen, it is sufficient to say that they were richly owned of God, and resulted in the conversion of large numbers of individuals, especially of young men and young women. Mr. Burns was countenanced and supported by several of the local ministers, among whom Mr. Murray of the North Church and Mr. Parker of the Bonaccord Church were prominent. “Both of these,” says Mr. Burns’ biographer, “loved and befriended the young evangelist with that peculiar and beautiful affection which one sometimes sees in those of more advanced years towards the young.” For an account of the subsequent evangelistic labours of Mr. Burns in Ireland and in Canada, and of his long and honourable career as missionary in China, the reader is referred to the interesting pages of the Memoir of the Rev. Wm. C. Burns, published by his brother, Professor Islay Burns, in 1870.

Meanwhile Scotland—ecclesiastical Scotland—was passing through stirring experiences. The Church of Scotland, or perhaps we should say rather the evangelical party in the Church of Scotland, was finding itself thwarted, and the decisions of its courts set aside, by the judgment of the civil tribunals of the country. In the famous Auchterarder case a majority of eight judges as against five laid down as dictum that the Established Church derived all its powers and authority from Parliament alone, and that since the law had conferred upon the Church its functions the law alone could define what those functions were. The spiritual independence of the Church was thus practically denied. It could pass no spiritual sentence which was not susceptible of appeal to, and rescission by, the law-courts of the land. Public opinion was stirred to its very depths over this question. The religious atmosphere was charged with electricity. Large numbers of ministers and laymen began to perceive that the conflict could have but one end, the rupture of the compact which bound the Church to the State. In this manner alone could the spiritual independence of the Church be vindicated and sustained. But such an act implied the renunciation of all temporal possessions—churches, colleges, lands, funds, endowments—which would remain the property of those who preferred to maintain their connexion with the State, and to surrender their spiritual independence. And so, at the commencement of the fifth decade, we find the “ evangelicals ” nerving themselves for the supreme sacrifice.

John Murray of the North Church was one of the keenest of the evangelical party, and his two nephews, young though they were, followed the phases of the conflict with the most eager interest. A letter written by John and Andrew on the 15th September, 1841, in which they asked their father various questions bearing on the relation of Church to State in South Africa, has not been preserved, but from Mr. Murray’s reply (dated 20th January, 1842) we learn the nature of their queries—

Rev. Andrew Murray to his sons John and Andrew.

I like your desire after information, but I must confess some of your queries could not be answered in a single letter; e.g. “Describe the Constitution of the D. R. Church in South Africa " is in a letter no easy task. This Church is Presbyterian, has its sessions, presbyteries and synod. New laws are about to be submitted to the first meeting of Synod in November next, in which it is proposed to have a General Assembly as a highest court of appeal in spiritual things The present Governor, Sir George Napier, has expressed himself inclined to give more latitude in this respect. You must know that when I came here we had no church courts ; we have as yet no tithes or other sources of income for our churches, and draw our salaries from the Colonial Treasury, which the Governor could not, but a British minister might at once withdraw from our whole church.

As to the case of intrusion at Somerset, or any other vacant church you suppose, I need hardly say what a Presbytery would be bound to do—for this reason, that a congregation in South Africa would never dream of seriously opposing the man the Governor nominated : such would be thought open rebellion in this Colony. I may, however, mention that the majority of ministers and elders in last Synod carried a proposal of giving congregations a right to call their own clergymen, subject to the approval of the Governor ; and every Governor has consulted more or less the feelings of the people. Sir George Grey intended giving Somerset to Dr. Roux or Mr. Borcherds, but on the memorials of churchwardens he gave the living to Mr. Pears, and sent Dr. Roux to Albany, where Mr. Pears was. . . .

You seem to think it about time that I should express myself as to what profession I should wish you to make a choice of. I think it will be time enough to do so by and by. As to what John hints as to his predilections for farming, I must say I once felt something similar. But to study the improved methods of agriculture practised in Scotland, and to come to South Africa, where in all inland districts nothing will grow without irrigation,—and on an extensive and expensive farm there is often only water for a garden, or for sowing two or three buckets of wheat—would be perfectly ridiculous. The only fanning succeeding here at present is sheep-farming, where a large capital is invested in fine woolled sheep, and the owner is on the spot and a practical farmer. A wool stapler (see Walker’s Dictionary) or wool merchant may soon do a good business. As for iron-founders, I see nothing for them to do here —there would be no demand for their work.

In short, I am fully of Aunt’s opinion. I should not like, after going from Graafi-Remet to Aberdeen and to College, to learn a business or trade I could have learned as well at the Cape of Good Hope. I should never wish you to think of the law, as our Bench and Bar and notaries are of such principles and morals, that I should tremble for any contact with them. Should you feel inclined to turn your attention to theology or medicine or mercantile pursuits, I have no doubt there will always be openings at the Cape, as well as at other places. If I were in your circumstances I should cast an eye towards the Indian Missions : there is something there worthy the ambitions of great minds. But even promoting the moral and religious improvement of the rising generation under Dr. Innes is something more worthy of having obtained a liberal education than turning the attention to any common handicraft. The College in Cape Town is not prospering as could have been wished or expected : the pupils are few in number, say forty. It is feared by some that Dr. Adamson acted very unadvisedly in giving up his situation in the Scotch Church. . . .

The following letter was written within a few days of the Disruption of the Scottish Church on the 18th May, 1843, and evinces something of the intense interest which Scotsmen all over the world displayed in the fortunes of the historic Church of the Establishment. Writing on the 4th May, 1843, Mr. Murray says—

Rev. Andrew Murray to his sons John and Andrew.

Through the goodness of our Heavenly Father we are all well, as also our friends in Cape Town. Willie wrote to you two or three months ago, giving you his simple but circumstantial account of our late journey to Cape Town. Andrew’s part of your last letter pleased me much, giving me a plain but clear statement of improvements in Aberdeen.

I am sorry you forgot to send me the number of the Witness giving an account of the grand Convocation of Non-intrusionists. I was last week, however, favoured with a number of the Banner from my brother, giving Sir J. Graham’s Reply, and an account of the congregational meeting in Aberdeen. Every interesting paper is read with avidity, not only by me, but by Mr. Paterson, the Government teacher, [Rev.] Mr. Reid of Colesberg, and others.

It is now time that I come to some of John’s questions. . . . The emancipated slaves cannot become small farmers here, as farms have become scarce and very dear. One in Uitvlugt, purchased some time ago for 5,000 rixdollars (or £375) was wished to be purchased for building a church. The people offered 16,000 rixdollars (or £1,200) for it, but in vain. Many of our late slaves are doing well as tradesmen, among others Damon is doing well as a mason.

The Colony is made to bear its own expenses, except, it may be, for the military establishment. The revenue arises from custom-house dues, a small land rent, and transfer dues, with something for licences for different things. I believe William told you our church has been vastly improved by a new roof, a new ceiling and a new pulpit. The inside has been painted and the outside plastered anew. We have been entering into an agreement with Mrs. Pears of Somerset to take

Maria for a year at least into her boarding-school, as Mrs. Wentworth cannot do much more for her. The terms are forty guineas per annum. . . .

The first of the letters of young Andrew which have survived larh-q a superscription, but was apparently written from Aberdeen in March or April of 1843. He writes upon a double sheet of letter-paper, which is adorned with a device representing some of the sights of Aberdeen. In the centre is Marischal College, a pile of buildings enclosing three sides of a quadrangle; and on either hand are engravings of the Aberdeen Market Cross and the Duke of Gordon’s Monument; the whole being the production of Samuel Maclean, 8, Union Street. The letter runs as follows—

Andrew Murray to his Parents.

My dear Papa and Mamma,—We wrote to Mr. Moffat, asking him if he would take a parcel, and received a very kind answer saying that they would be happy to do it, and that they had enquired for us at St. Andrews, but found that we were not there. We will send you very soon, which may perhaps reach you before this, a number of the Witness containing a copy of the letter which Sir James Graham has written in answer to the Memorial of the General Assembly. We send in the box Henry Martyn’s Journal, which Aunt thinks very highly of, and his Memoir to Mamma. Aunt has sent you a bag, and she would have written to Mamma, were it not that she has a very bad toothache, and also is very busy to-day. Also there is a mat which we bought at the sale, and also another which Margaret is sending you. The pictures of animals are to Isabella from Catherine. There is a profile of myself and John, which are thought pretty good likeness. They were done by ourselves. There are a great many loose things in the box, such as the Scottish Tract Society Magazine, and some of the tracts which are distributed once a month through the parish. They are paid by subscriptions. There are also copies of the pastoral address by the General Assembly for a national fast. There is a copy of the Memorial of the Convocation to Government, and their address to the people of Scotland. The cuffs are for Maria; only should they not fit her, perhaps they would fit Mamma. Perhaps you may receive another letter from us before this. Mrs. Moffat said in her letter that they were not sure whether they would Perhaps the present to the two youngest may not be very suitable, yet they were the best we could find. The presents are all from us both, and they are to be paid chiefly out of the bursary money, with which we are also to pay the book accounts.

I hope you will excuse this writing and the shortness of the letter, for the box must be nailed up immediately.

And believe me,

My dear Papa and Mamma,

Your ever affectionate son,

Andrew Murray.

P. S.—“Aunt Upton” is from Catherine to Jemima. The perforated card is for Maria to work in marks like the one sent.

Some letters written in the course of 1844 are appended, as they show what thoughts and pursuits were occupying the youth of sixteen— Andrew Murray to his Parents.

Aberdeen, nth April, 1844.

My dear Papa and Mamma,—We received yours of October 30th about the beginning of February, and as we had written a little before, we delayed answering it till we should see what our success might be at the end of the session. That success, however, has been very small: John has gotten the seventh prize in Mathematics.

The Rev. Mr. MacDonald of Blairgowrie has been here lately, collecting for a scheme for building five hundred schools, giving £100 to each, which, however, will not in all places wholly build the school. At a public meeting he held here £1,942 was subscribed, and at a second public meeting the amount announced as having been collected in three days was £3,533, to be paid in five years by instalments. He requires £50,000, and wants yet about £10,000, which will soon be raised, however, as he is a very good beggar. Great efforts are also making in England for education, the Independents having agreed to collect £100,000 to build schools in connexion with their Churches, and the Wesleyans are to raise the same.

We shall send you to-morrow the number of the Banner containing the account of the two Synods which have been held here. During the sitting of the Free Synod, meetings were held by some of the ministers with the Old Light Seceders of this district. The object was to ascertain the extent of their differences, and to see what likelihood there is of a junction ; which will not, however, take place soon. The chief ground of difference is, as I suppose you know, the binding obligation of the Covenants. One of these ministers, Mr. Gray of Brechin, wished me to remember him to you, and says that he remembers breakfasting with you. After the Synod was over last night, there was a meeting to hear from those ministers who had been sent in Deputations to England, an account of their proceedings. The amount received from England will be about £50,000—a considerable help. Some ministers have been sent to America, and a good deal will be gotten— about £10,000.

Puseyism is making great progress in England, and there is a considerable chance of there being another disruption there, but only about 2,000 ministers, I believe, will come out—a small proportion to the 500 of Scotland.

A proposal has been lately made, and will likely be carried into effect, of making a railway from the south to Aberdeen, which will be a great convenience.

April 17th.—I would have despatched this the day after the above date, had it not been that we were engaged writing in Mr. Wm. Brown's office; and I am not sorry for it, as we this morning received your two letters of January 25th. Aunt read to us part of your letter to Uncle, in which you spoke about our getting Hebrew, and Uncle had previously kindly offered to help us with it this summer. As I wish to answer the letter from William, etc., I shall conclude, but I shall try in the next letter, or the one after that, to state to you what are my views as to a profession. We have ordered for you a set of the Witness containing an account of the Free General Assembly which is to meet on the 18th May.

Aberdeen, 4th July, 1844.

My dear Papa,—Having become acquainted with Captain Allan, of the Mountain Maid, trading between this and the Cape, we with great pleasure avail ourselves of his kind offer to take a box, in order to send you a few books. We became acquainted with Captain A. thro’ Mr. Morgan of the Cape, who sent a message with him to Uncle. I hope you will accept of the Memoirs of Mr. McCheyne from me, as a token of my affection. We have sent to William his Travels, and his Life is written by his fellow-traveller and intimate friend, Mr. Bonar. John has sent you Hetherington’s History of the Church of Scotland, which I should think you will like, as it is brought down to the time of the Disruption, and contains the most important documents in regard to the Church. There is also in the box for you the Proceedings of the Assembly in regard to the state of religion, with the sermon preached before the Assembly by Mr. C. Brown, a brother of Mrs. Murray’s. We hope you received the signatures to the Deed of Demission we sent you a while ago. An additional sheet has been published, and if it come to Town in time to be put into the box, we shall send it. We have also sent a dozen large thin sheets of paper, so that William and the rest may have no excuse for not writing long letters, as these sheets being very thin are not charged double here.

The Free Church is prospering well beyond all expectation. Four hundred and seventy ministers came out at the time of the Disruption, and one hundred and thirteen have been ordained since, and there are more than one hundred additional charges to be supplied. The attendance at the Free Churches in Aberdeen, according to a report made by a magistrate, is about five times greater than that at the Established Churches, and two of the Est. Churches in which ministers are about to be settled average an attendance of only thirteen ! There is still considerable distress produced by the refusal of sites in some districts. The Duke of Sutherland, however, has given sites. . . .

There is a prospect, and even a considerable likelihood, of the Glasgow Missionary Society’s being adopted into the Foreign Mission Scheme of the Free Church. Any news as regards missions in Africa will be much prized by us. Have you, as a Church, any missions? Because I do not remember collections being made in the Church. Which do you think the best books on South Africa ? We have, or have read, Philip, Barrow, Vaillant and Boyce’s Notes.

Dr. and Mrs. Morrison of London were here lately on their way to Buchan, and will likely spend a few days here again on their return. Dr. M. is the first minister, not belonging to the Free Church, who has preached for Uncle. They wished to be remembered to you.

Uncle is keeping his health remarkably well, considering the amount of labour he goes through, as he preaches thrice every Sabbath, a thing very uncommon before the Disruption. Aunt is never very stout, and has been in the country for about a month lately. Our cousin Andrew, who has been in South America, is coming home, as the heat of the climate has hurt his health.

We shall ask Captain A. to put this letter into the post at Cape Town whenever he arrives at the Cape, so that we may get a parcel of letters from him when he returns.

Andrew Murray to his sister Maria.

Aberdeen, 4th July, 1844.

My dear Maria,—Though I have begun to write, yet I do not know what I have to tell you. After long thinking the only subject I can think of is to tell you something about my botanical studies. The class meets between eight and nine o’clock in the morning. We examine some plants that have been collected by the professor’s assistant the day before, by the Linnasan system, and hear a short lecture. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, but sometimes only on Wednesdays, we walk between seven and nine o’clock and collect plants. On Saturdays we take long walks, which occupy nearly the whole day. To-morrow (this is Friday) we are going to a place thirteen miles away : perhaps Papa may know it, N. Newburgh, at the mouth of the Ythan. We are to walk there and back ; so that, as we do not go the straight road, we will walk about thirty miles.

There are about six hundred different plants gotten in this neighbourhood, but none so pretty as those you will get. About twenty only of the forty students attending the class go these long excursions, and sometimes the people will not let them into the inns, thinking that they are strolling play-actors. At the end of the three months during which the class lasts we will take an excursion of a week, walking through the country amongst the hills in the west end of this county.

I hope you will write me a full account of your studies, and how you spend your time at Somerset.

At this time Mr. Murray was anxiously awaiting the decision of his two sons regarding the choice of a profession, and beginning to urge with greater insistency the claims of the Christian ministry. On the ist August, 1844, he writes as follows—

Rev. Andrew Murray to his sons John and Andrew.

I was duly favoured two weeks ago with Andrew’s letter of the nth and 17th April. I was much gratified by the news it contained respecting church schools in Scotland. I should, however, have liked that it had contained something more about yourselves, especially regarding your views as to what line of life you think of following after. Young men ought to be decided on that subject before they have nearly finished their course at College. I wrote to you on the 11th April on the subject, expressing my desire, should the Lord incline your hearts that way, that you should devote yourselves to His service and glory first, and then devote yourselves to the service of the sanctuary. As you have not only received said letter before this time, but I trust have also answered it, I am looking out with intense interest, as you may well conceive, to see what that answer may be. As I am daily entreating God to guide, direct and bless you, I feel a strong confidence that you have not been sent from Africa to Europe to obtain a liberal education, but for some truly worthy purpose.

It is very doubtful, should I be spared, that I shall have it in my power to give any of your brothers the advantages you have had. I trust you will see not to disappoint our expectations, and enter on avocations you might equally well have acquired here, without having ever left our shores. It has been lately proposed by our Governor to employ four additional clergymen in connexion with our Church ; but there are not so many at present unemployed in the Colony, and very few at present in Holland studying for our Church. I shall, however, endeavour to leave the matter in His hands who has thus far led us on. You will make the matter a subject of prayerful consideration.

Before this letter could have reached Aberdeen, Andrew had written to say that, after careful thought and prayer, he had decided to give himself to the work of preaching the Gospel. The letter in which he acquainted his parents with this momentous decision has unfortunately perished, but we still have the letter in which his father gives expression to his joy and gratitude at his son’s choice—

Rev. Andrew Murray to his son Andrew.

Graaff-Reinet, 1st November, 1844.

My dear Andrew,—I have been favoured this morning with yours of the 7th of September, and am surprised at having received it so soon. It must have come by a steamer. We have, of course, heard nothing as yet of the box you mention. I have now to congratulate you on your choice of a profession, and rejoice that the Lord has been pleased to incline your heart the way He has done. I trust, however, my dear Boy, that you have given your heart to Jesus Christ, to be His now and His for ever, to follow Him through good and through bad report.

The service in the Church in South Africa does not promise you much wealth nor ease in this world, but a field of usefulness as extensive as you could desire amongst a kind and indulgent people. I may now mention for your encouragement that I have for upwards of twenty-two years enjoyed much happiness in the work, and, I humbly trust, through the blessing of God have had some success in the same. You will also do well to remember that not a few pious students in divinity have been taken away before entering on their work, but where God has seen that it was in their heart to help to build Him a house, He has taken the will for the deed, and has taken them to Himself. If we seek to be prepared for death, that will be the best preparation for usefulness in life. I have not space to explain myself fully, but when you show this to Uncle he will do so.

I have just now seen the Rev. Mr. Berrangd, the minister of Maitland,1 who came lately from Holland. He assures me you may study divinity a year or two in the Free Church of Scotland, and then go for a year or two to Holland, as much for the Dutch as for theology, and get licence and ordination for the Church at the Cape by a Commission appointed for that purpose in The Hague.

The elder and more reflective John seems to have been longer in reaching the decision to become a minister. It was not that he had any difficulty in conceding the paramount claims of the Christian ministry, but rather that his scrupulous mind regarded those claims as too exalted for his devotion and his strength. But he, too, after some oscillation, determined to devote himself to theology, and to prepare for licence as a minister of Jesus Christ in South Africa. His uncle’s influence, in assisting him to this decision, was probably almost as strong as his father's; for John was always on terms of closer intimacy with Dr. John Murray than Andrew, though the latter was apparently the greater favourite with his aunt. In the spring of 1845 the brothers simultaneously passed their final examination in arts, and graduated M.A. at Marischal College, Andrew being then not quite seventeen years old. In the South African Commercial Advertiser of the 30th July, 1845, we read the following—

Marischal College and University, Aberdeen.

On Friday, the 4th of April, the degree of A.M. was conferred on several candidates after examination in the Evidences of Christianity, Latin, Greek, Natural History, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Moral Philosophy and Logic, during seven days, among whom were— Andrew Murray, Cape of Good Hope.

John Murray, Cape of Good Hope.

Of these candidates among the following were found entitled to honorable distinction, and in the following order of merit—

William Henderson, Aberdeen.

John Murray, Cape of Good Hope.

&c. &c. &c.

For an outline of the first book of the Tuscular Questions [Tusculan Disputations], with notes philosophical and critical—

John Murray, Cape of Good Hope.”

It had been decided that the brothers should take their theological course at the university of Utrecht in Holland. They had now been absent from South Africa for seven years, and had almost forgotten the tongue of their native land. It was, therefore, highly necessary for them to spend some years in the Netherlands, in order to perfect themselves in Dutch. When matters were in train for their departure for Holland, their father addressed the following letter to them, dated 23rd April, 1845— Rev. Andrew Murray to his sons John and Andrew.

It afforded your mother, myself and friends sincere pleasure to learn from your Uncle’s letter that you both seemed disposed to devote yourselves to the service of the sanctuary. As to John’s former conscientious scruples, or rather fears of entering on the preparation for so sacred an office, I expressed my views so fully in my former letters that I need not now state them again. Since you have now made up your minds for this blessed service, oh ! let me entreat you to lead watchful and prayerful lives, that you may be preserved from error in sentiment and from every deviation from the becoming line of conduct.

Whether this letter may find you in Aberdeen or in Holland is unknown to me. Allow me, however, to say that I liked Holland very much indeed. At first, being what the people termed an Engelschman, they overcharged me; but when I once knew a little of the language, and could enquire for myself, I lived cheap and comfortably. At Utrecht especially you can get two rooms, furnished, at a moderate rate, also your dinner sent from an eating-house, and the person who hires the rooms provides breakfast and supper, and brushes clothes, shoes, etc. I found this much cheaper and more comfortable than I had found boarding.

You may soon hear sentiments broached among the students, and even by professors, on theological subjects which may startle you, but be cautious in receiving them, by whatever names or number of names they may be supported. Try to act like the noble Bereans (Acts xvii. n). By studying your Bibles and your own hearts I doubt not, under the guidance of the blessed Spirit, you will be led into all truth. One temptation you will be exposed to through companionship is the use of Hollands (alias gin) and water, and smoking tobacco or cigars. Do resist both these abominable customs. If necessary at any time, entertain your friends with tea or coffee, which are both excellent in Holland. Do not be afraid to be singular in such things. ...

Whatever books may be recommended to you, be sure not to neglect the study of the Holy Scriptures. This must be a daily exercise, and must be attended to with humility and much prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paley’s Natural Theology and Evidences, Horne’s Introduction and Witsius on the Covenants deserve to be studied. Get a copy of Egeling’s Nadenkende Christen and study it with prayer. . . . Mr. Faure writes me that the end of August is the time for being matriculated in the Hall at Utrecht.

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The Life of Andrew Murray (South Africa)

Chapter 3

Three Years of Preparation in Holland

I had supposed that conversion was due to the operation of the Holy Spirit—a change wrought without the co-operation, almost without the knowledge, of the subject of it. Now I found that the pressure of divine grace on all human hearts is constant; God’s will to save is always there; Christ stands at the door of every one and knocks ; but the decisive point is where the will awakes, opens the door and lets Him in, responds to the infinite and universal love of God, yields to the steady though gentle insistence of redeeming grace.—R. F. Horton.

THE two brothers appear to have left Scotland in June, 1845, in order to prosecute their studies at the Academy of Utrecht.1 Holland was very much of a terra incognita at the time. The young men applied to Rabbi Duncan 2 for introductions to men of note in the theological world, but the famous professor of Hebrew confessed that he was acquainted with nobody in the Netherlands. Their uncle said that he would gladly accompany them and see them settled in their new sphere of work, but he felt that he would be of little service, since he knew but two individuals in Holland. And so the brothers had for the first time to make their own way and shape their own lives, without the advice or aid of interested friends.

They reached Utrecht towards the end of the first session, and shortly before the commencement of the summer vacation. A fellow-student, N. H. de Graaf, who subsequently became one of Andrew’s most intimate friends, has fortunately left us a vivid account of their appearance on the scene. It is necessary to premise, as will be pointed out more fully later on, that the rationalism which had infected Dutch theology was greatly deplored by a circle of earnest-minded men, to which belonged the poet Izaak da Costa and his close friend (like himself, a convert from Judaism) Abraham Capadose. These men would visit circles of pious people at various places, and give "readings” for edification on certain portions of Scripture. Mr. de Graaf’s reminiscences run as follows—

A Fair was being held in Utrecht, and it was an excessively busy time. And yet Utrecht was lonely, for the members of our circle were for the most part absent from town. At the house of Madame van Twijll van Serooskerken at the extremity of the new canal, near the plantation, Dr. Capadose was to hold a reading. I proceeded thither from my home in Booth Street. Arrived at St. Jan’s Churchyard, I saw two youths in somewhat strange garb walking ahead of me. Their countenances were cheerful, their demeanour unassuming. Was it possible that the two youthful strangers were visiting Utrecht to view the Fair ? That would be a pity. But no, they walked straight on, across the little Stammers Bridge, behind St. Pieter, along the new canal, yes, to the very end, and actually entered the house that was also my destination. There, at the entrance to the rooms, I found P. A. van Toorenenbergen talking to them in Latin. He introduced me to the two strangers. They were John and Andrew Murray, newly arrived from Aberdeen, in order to study here and become ministers at the Cape. What a surprise ! No Fair-trippers, then, but Cape brethren with Scotch blood. From that evening up till now, and for ever, we became friends and brothers.

During the early days of their sojourn we took them round as much as possible in order to show them the beautiful environs. Among these trips was a drive over the Amersfoort Hill. The view of Amersfoort from the hill-top was sure to strike them ! But how sadly we were disillusioned on halting, if you please, upon the very summit, to hear Andrew ask, "And where is now your hill?” “Where? . . . why, we are standing upon it this minute!” “Oh!” “I wonder,” so ran my thoughts, “whether they will find anything exalted in this country.”

Our first gathering for mutual edification took place on the following Sunday, when we met for tea at the rooms of P. A. van Toorenenbergen. Discussion was carried on in Latin, for the Murrays spoke only English and very imperfect Dutch, though John assured us, “As ik jong was, ik sprak de Hollandsch as de jongeling van de straat ” (When I was young I spoke the Dutch as the youth of the street). The reading and discussion of a portion of Scripture was in Latin as well, likewise the prayer. Whether the late Cicero and our still living Professor Bouman would have found our Latin classically pure, or even intelligible and endurable, is open to doubt. But it was sufficient that we understood each other.

It was well for the brothers that they found congenial Christian companionship so quickly. The religious condition of Holland was deplorable. A wave of rationalism originating in Germany had spread over the country. A latitudinarian spirit, fostered by the State, which sought to mediate between conflicting views, pervaded the universities (or, as they were then styled, academies). The pulpits were occupied by men who had to a large extent discarded evangelical doctrine. It is true they were bound, by their subscription to the formularies of the Dutch Reformed Church—the Netherlands Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of the Synod of Dort,—to preach the Calvinistic faith therein set forth; but the formula of subscription was ambiguous and was variously interpreted.Indeed, about a decade previously there had raged concerning this very question a violent controversy, the embers of which were not yet quenched. It was the great Quia—or—quatenus struggle between the orthodox party, who maintained that in subscribing to the formularies the signatory promised his adhesion because (quia) the doctrines they contained were in accordance with the Word of God, and the heterodox or liberal party, who maintained that subscription implied no more than concurrence in so far as (quatenus) the doctrines accorded with Scripture. “But little belief,” says a Dutch historian, “was still attached to the characteristic doctrines of the Church, and those which were preached were sadly diluted. The sermons of many breathed a spirit of rationalism and were merely enlargements of the theme ‘ De deugd, o ja, ik vind ze schoon ’ (How beautiful is virtue fair). The religious life of the community was feeble and lacking in vitality. Divine service was still attended, the sacraments celebrated, the functions of elders and deacons duly fulfilled, but for the rest religion was a Sunday concern without the least influence on heart and life. Conversion was an antiquated word. Faith denoted acquiescence in certain religious truths. The Holy Spirit appeared to have been replaced by the spirit of the age. The greatest tolerance was displayed towards all manner of strange views, and men of all schools made this ‘ broadmindedness ' their boast.” 1 Against this state of affairs an influential reaction set in which had its rise in Switzerland and was due^strangely enough, to the labours of two Scotch laymen, Robert and James Haldane. The spiritual condition of Switzerland was, if possible, even more deplorable than that of Holland. Moved with pity for the lifeless condition of the Church which had been founded by Calvin, the brothers Haldane visited Switzerland for the purpose of undertaking evangelistic work, and inaugurated a series of Bible readings for the theological students at Geneva. Among their most prominent converts and co-workers were Merle d’Aubigne, the learned historian of the Reformation, Frederic Monod, the eloquent preacher, and the saintly Cesar Malan. The influence of these men penetrated to the Netherlands, and kindled the expectations of those who grieved in secret over the decay of religion, and were hoping and praying for "seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.” The Revival movement in Holland, where it was known by its French name of Reveil, originated not in ecclesiastical but in literary circles, and was largely confined to the aristocratic and upper middle classes. Its leaders were Willem Bilderdijk, the chief Dutch poet of the nineteenth century, and his pupils Izaak da Costa and Abraham Capadose, both converts from Israel. More than twenty years before the arrival of the Murrays in Utrecht, da Costa had issued a powerful protest against the religious degeneracy of the times, which he entitled Grievances against the Spirit of the Age. So severe and unmeasured were his denunciations that a storm of indignation broke over his head. Preachers denounced him from their pulpits; lampoons and pamphlets innumerable were launched against him; scurrilous letters reached him anonymously through the post. His house had to be guarded by special police. Friends shunned his company or went over openly to the ranks of his enemies. But da Costa did not protest in vain. He gathered beside himself a few warm friends, of whom the most eminent was Groen van Prinsterer—jurist, historian and statesman. Da Costa and Groen, together with the philanthropist Heldring, the poet Nicolaas Beets, Dr. Capadose and others, formed the circle known as " Christian Friends,” whose gatherings in Amsterdam during the decade 1845 to 1854 kept alive the flame of religious fervour in Holland in the dark days of tepid orthodoxy and chill rationalism.

Under the influence of the Reveil some earnest-minded students at Utrecht founded in 1843 the Society known as Sechor Dcibar (Remember the Word), whose object and aim it was " to promote the study of the subjects required for the ministerial calling in the spirit of the Revival.” It was from the members of this band that the Murrays received so cordial a welcome. The five friends who had united to establish the new society were N. H. de Graaf, H. C. G. Schijvliet, D. Gilde-meester, P. A, van Toorenenbergen and J. A. Ruys. The meetings of Sechor Dabar were held once a week in rotation at the rooms of each member, who acted as host for the evening. The first three hours were devoted to study and to the discussion of theological subjects. At that time all university lectures, with the exception of those on Dutch literature, were delivered in Latin, and the Society therefore decided to employ that learned tongue in its ordinary discussions. At nine o'clock improvisations and orations were heard, while at ten the session for study ended and the rest of the evening was given over to social intercourse.

Both from motives of economy and for the sake of good example the members of Sechor Dabar resolved from the outset to avoid the use of wine and spirituous liquors, and to drink only coffee, tea and chocolate at their gatherings. This decision exposed them to the scorn and ridicule of their fellow-students, and the band was promptly dubbed the “Chocolate Club” and the “Prayer Club.” Dr. Vinke, the most respected professor of theology, was asked in class whether he disapproved of the use of wine at students’ gatherings; and his reply, that he saw no objection to one or two glasses for strengthening the voice, was quoted to rebuke and satirise the proceedings of the “ pious circle.” Men refused to sit next to them at lectures, or to rub shoulders with them in coming out of class.

If the attitude of the students towards Sechor Dabar was one of undisguised antipathy, that of the professors was hardly less discouraging. De Graaf says: “We could not boast of any great measure of sympathy from our professors. We must have appeared to them to be des enfants terribles,—too decided, too fanatical. From this you will also gather what impression they made upon us. This at least is certain, that we remained strangers to each other. It was the custom of the professors occasionally to invite those who had attained to the dignity of Candidates of Theology to deliver a popular lecture under the auspices of the Netherlands Bible Society; but to none of us was the honour ever accorded of receiving such an invitation.”

The members of Sechor Dabar devoted much of their time to religious and philanthropic work. On Sundays after the forenoon service they gathered the children of the poorest classes and instructed them in the truths of the Bible. De Graaf speaks of a number of working men who met in his rooms every Sabbath afternoon. The hours which other students gave to recreation were spent in district visiting, and in the endeavour to lead the poor and the outcast to Christ. There was also, as might have been expected, a zealous missionary spirit among the members of the society, and the Murrays were instrumental in the establishment of Eltheto,—a missionary band which met twice a month, and proved to be a plant of vigorous growth, which has been only recently incorporated in the Netherlands Christian Students' Association.

One can hardly help comparing the men of the Sechor Dabar with another far more famous circle of young men, who met in one of the rooms of Lincoln College, Oxford, more than one hundred years earlier. The leaders of this older band were also two brothers, John and Charles Wesley, and the principles which they professed, and by which they sought to guide their lives, show considerable resemblance to those upon which John and Andrew Murray acted. “ This was the problem which they discussed night after night,—By what rules ought a Christian to regulate his life ? They tried to map out for each week a sort of railway time-table, having a fixed and definite duty for every moment of the day ; and the revision and perfection of their time-tables occupied much of their evenings. As the rumour of what they were doing spread through the colleges, it appealed to the loose-living men around them as a tremendous joke. Dozens of nicknames were coined, but one young gentleman of Christ Church unearthed for them an old name which was destined to become historic. ‘Here is a new sect of Methodists,’ he sneered. In spite of obvious differences there were many points of similarity between the Oxford and the Utrecht circles. The latter did not, of course, issue in the establishment of a great branch of the Christian Church ; but in both we can trace the same spirit of intense earnestness, the same eagerness to live lives of Christian consistency, the same desire to make achievement correspond with profession, the same application to study, the same devotion to high ideals of duty expressing itself in works of mercy, and finally, the same exposure to ridicule and persecution from the side of their fellow-students. It would hardly be too much to say that the Murrays, and like-minded South Africans of the Sechor Dabar circle, were instrumental in saving the Dutch Reformed Church at the Cape from being engulfed by rationalism, and in powerfully promoting by their life and testimony the growth of vital evangelical religion in their fatherland.

The professors whose lectures John and Andrew attended were Bouman, Vinke and Royaards. Professor Bouman was widely known as one of the foremost Latinists of his age, and a stern opponent of the proposal to abolish Latin as medium of academical instruction. When in spite of his protests the movement gained ground, he solemnly warned its advocates that they would have to account for their actions at the last day. Beyond his familiarity with the tongue of Cicero, Bouman seems to have aroused but little enthusiasm. Of his learning there could be no doubt, but his lectures were of the dry-as-dust order. “The learned Bouman,” said Professor Lamers, a later occupant of an Utrecht chair, “may have occasionally, and with extreme caution, called our attention to critical difficulties in the text of the Old or the New Testament, but of questions of the higher criticism, which just then began to show a threatening front, we heard nothing.”

Professor Vinke inspired greater regard than his colleague the Latinist. John Murray spoke of him with respect, though without warmth. Prof. van Oosterzee, another of his students, was of opinion that “his clear, accurate and thoroughly evangelical unfolding of the doctrines of the faith, as well as his instruction in Practical Theology, was eminently adapted to train well qualified pastors and ministers for the congregations of the fatherland.” This may, however, have been merely the pious commendation of a brilliant student who would have learnt something from any professor, however undistinguished. Professor Royaards, famous for his subsequent studies in Canon Law, was best remembered among Cape students by the advice he gave John Murray, “not to allow the Sechor Dabar society to gain too great an influence over him, lest he should expose himself to the danger of fanaticism.” These were the men to whom the theological students looked for spiritual and intellectual enlightenment. " One learnt nothing from their lectures,” was the blunt avowal of one of the students of this period. And to the same effect Andrew Murray : " the lectures here are such that it is almost impossible to get any good from them.” This may have been due in part to the fact that the Latin language still ruled with undisputed sway, but there is no doubt that the professors took their tasks much too easily. “Their theology,” says Dr. van Gheel Gildemeester, "tasted of long Gouda pipes.”

There was among the professors another man who stood in a different category, and whose name was soon to be mentioned with doubt and positive alarm by orthodox thinkers. This was the eminent jurist and philosopher C. W. Opzoomer, who first drew general attention by an anonymous pamphlet, published while he was yet a student at Leyden, in refutation of da Costa’s Grievances. In 1846 Opzoomer was called to the chair of philosophy at Utrecht, where by his learning and eloquence he exercised a profound influence, and drew students from all parts of Holland. The Murrays, since they had completed their preparatory studies, did not require to attend his classes, but later arrivals from the Cape, such as Nicolaas Hofmeyr (subsequently Professor Hofmeyr), testified that they found in the lectures of Opzoomer an enthusiasm which was wholly lacking in his older colleagues. Orthodox students spoke of his class-room as the Dardanelles : they had to sail through it, but they found the passage both narrow and dangerous. Opzoomer was, in short, a rationalist,—or rather, since he was professor of philosophy, an empiricist,—and became one of the fathers of the tendency known in Holland as Liberalism or Modernism. His attitude towards revelation may be gauged by his assertion that “ there is no room for miracle, either in the series of natural phenomena or in the fabric of human existence : for every fact, whether in the realm of nature or in the world of humanity, some physical or human cause exists (though, perhaps, as yet unknown) which can account for it.”

Surrounded by intellectual influences such as these, it was well for the brothers that they found a circle of like-minded friends, and were enabled to take so decided a stand on the side of vital religion. On the other hand, the new intellectual atmosphere to which they were introduced, and the friction with minds that viewed Christian truth from another angle than theirs, caused them to scrutinise more closely the foundation upon which their faith in Christ rested. Students who leave the paternal roof to study abroad frequently sever their moorings and find themselves adrift upon sunless seas of doubt. Others, again, who have been reared in piety and nurtured on Bible truth, when thrown upon their own spiritual resources, find occasion amid the uncongenial surroundings for committing themselves anew to the grace of an all-sufficient Saviour. Thus it befell with Andrew Murray. At Utrecht he underwent the great change which he called his conversion, and which made him more definitely the Lord’s. He used to say that he could point to the very house, the very room, and of course the very date, when this change ensued. His conversion was no sudden upheaval, but it was a distinct and complete surrender to Christ and to His claims,—a clear-cut experience from which he dated a new era, and which lay at the back of all the preaching of later years. The news of this event was conveyed to his parents in the following letter—

Andrew Murray to his Parents.

Utrecht, 14th November, 1845.

My dear Parents,—It was with very great pleasure that I to-day (after having been out of town three days) received yours of 15th August, containing the announcement of the birth of another brother. And equal, I am sure, will be your delight when I tell you that I can communicate to you far gladder tidings, over which angels have rejoiced, that your son has been born again. It would be difficult for me to express what I feel on writing to you on this subject. Always hitherto in my letters, and even yet in my conversation, there has been stiffness in speaking about such things, and even now I hardly know how I shall write.

When I now look back to see how I have been brought to where I now am, I must acknowledge that I see nothing. “ He hath brought the blind by a way that he knew not, and led him in a path that he hath not known.” For the last two or three years there has been a process going on, a continual interchange of seasons of seriousness and then of forgetfulness, and then again of seriousness soon after. In this state I came here, and as you may well conceive there was little seriousness amid the bustle of coming away. After leaving [Scotland], however, there was an interval of seriousness during the three days we were at sea our departure from Aberdeen, the sea, recollections of the past, all were calculated to lead one to reflect. But after I came to Holland I think I was led to pray in earnest: more I cannot tell, for I know it not. "Whereas I was blind, now I see." I was long troubled with the idea that I must have some deep sight of my sins before I could be converted, and though I cannot yet say that I have had anything of that deep special sight into the guiltiness of sin which many people appear to have, yet I trust, and at present I feel as if I could say.

I am confident that as a sinner I have been Led to cast myself on Christ.

What can I say now, my dear Parents, but call on you to praise the Lord with me? "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases ; who redeemeth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercy.” At present I am in a peaceful state. I cannot say that I have had any seasons of special joy, but I think that I enjoy a true confidence in God. Short, however, as my experience has been, I cannot say that it is always thus. Already have I felt my sins separating between me and my God, and then the miserable consequences, a sort of fear, and the wretched feeling of being held back in prayer by sin.

24th November.—In taking up my pen again, I have again to lament my inability to write on the great subject. Though I can say that my heart at present is warm, yet whenever I begin to write or speak, I fail. I sometimes think how glorious it will be when it shall be impossible to do anything but ascribe praise to Him that hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God. There certainly must be a great change in us before we shall be ready to do that.

Associated as they were with the Reveil and its principles the Murrays obtained ready access to many of the best families of Holland,1 such as the van Boetzelaars, the Herklots and the Waller-Oyens. They had frequent opportunities of visiting the homes of these friends, who were unwearied in their kindness to the strangers from South Africa. Andrew found his way at short intervals to Amersfoort, lying but a few miles east of Utrecht, and spent many pleasant hours under the roof of the parents of his friend Schijvliet. During the vacations the brothers went further afield. On one occasion they made the acquaintance of da Costa, and of Capadose “ just returned from Scotland, where he had taken part in the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Free Church.” They also spent a Sabbath at the village of Heemstede, near Haarlem, in order to listen to Dr. Nicolaas Beets, poet and preacher. “ We heard him with very great pleasure,” writes Andrew. “ He combines eloquence, poetry and true piety. I have not heard such sermons since I came to Holland,—especially a very searching one on the sixth commandment.” The following letter, written on the eve of his eighteenth birthday, gives some insight into his affairs, both spiritual and temporal— Andrew Murray to his Parents.

To-morrow will close a year which is certainly the most eventful in my life, a year in which I have been made to experience most abundantly that God is good to the soul that seeketh Him. And oh I what goodness it is when He himself implants in us the desire of seeking while we are enemies. I rather think that when I last wrote I gave an account of what I believed was my conversion, and, God be thanked, I still believe that it was His work. Since the letter I cannot say that I have always had as much enjoyment as before it, but still there has been much joy in the Lord, though, alas ! there has also been much sin.

. . . But through grace I have always been enabled to trust in Him who has begun the good work in me, and to believe that He will also perform what He has, out of His free love before I was born, begun. Oh I that I might receive grace to walk more holy before Him.

John has written both in this and former letters very fully as to public matters here: I shall try and tell something about domestic. In the last letter Papa says that he proposes sending two bills, of about {fio each, a year. We had calculated that we would need very nearly that a year on an average. I may state to you some of our principal expenses. House rent, with service—two very nice large rooms at a cheap rate, £15 a year. Dinner—about sevenpence each a day, £17 a year. Clothes—we are not very sure how much they will amount to. During the past year we have spent about £io, but we shall not need much for a considerable time to come. Bread—nearly 10s. a month. Books—we are not sure, perhaps £15 a year too. And then innumerable little sums which mount up—tea, sugar, lights, etc. At present we have no college fees. These will all have to be paid together at the end of the course.

As to our external circumstances here, they are very much the same. We still associate only with our own circle of students. If you see the number of the Free Church Missionary Record for April, you will see mention made of them and us. We meet at present every Friday evening for work from 5 J till 10, and then sup together from 10 till 12—very plainly, of course, bread and butter, cheese, and some sort of coffee. On Wednesdays we meet in a church for oratory, when one delivers a sermon, another speaks extempore, and a third reads a piece of poetry

all, of course, to accustom us a little to the work in which we expect and hope to be engaged. On Sabbath evenings we meet together for reading, singing and prayer, when one generally speaks over a chapter.

We have also begun a missionary society to meet twice a month for communicating missionary intelligence, and prayer for the extension of the kingdom of our God and His Christ; so that on the first Monday of the month we shall have the pleasant feeling of being engaged about the same time as you and thousands of God’s children throughout the whole world in supplicating for the outpouring of God’s Spirit on the world. Most of us also generally spend the Sabbath afternoon in visiting the wretched districts of the town and speaking to the people about their souls, and in teaching a few of their children in our rooms. Oh ! that all this may not remain there and go no further, but may God grant us His abundant blessing on our work and on our own souls.

There is a plan that I have to propose to Papa. I cannot say that I am sure that it will meet with his approbation, but I mention it thus early that he may think about it, and shall write more fully about it afterwards, and then Papa will perhaps be kind enough to give me an answer. In about two years from this date, which is all the time that it will be necessary for us to stay here, I shall be just twenty years old. The lectures here are such that it is almost impossible to get any good from hem. What would Papa say to my, or perhaps both of us, then going to Germany ? It would likely be to Halle, where there are a great many excellent (both in head and heart) professors, at the head of whom stands Tholuck, a pious man, professor of exegesis, who stands at the head of those who at the present time oppose the German neology —at least as to what concerns the New Testament. From living being cheaper in Germany than here, the expenses of the journey would be compensated for by the difference in the price of living. And about the same time the Kapenaren at Barmen would be going there, so that we would be able to live perhaps still cheaper. The reason that I have spoken of myself alone is that from the want of ministers at the Cape it would perhaps be necessary for John to come home immediately, and he would then be just about an age at which he could be ordained, while I think it very unlikely that in this stiff country where everything must happen according to the laws, they would ordain me so young (little more than twenty). It would, however, be of course a very great advantage for him too. You will say, my dear Father, that it is looking far forward. May God guide us in all our steps, and give us grace to do whatsoever our hand findeth to do with all our might.

Extracts from letters from John are here inserted for the additional light which they cast upon the general religious situation in Holland. John Murray to his Parents.

19th September, 1846.—I received Papa's letter of the 30th April this morning. It has certainly had a voyage of very unusual length. I am thankful again to hear of the Lord’s goodness resting on our dear home, and this goodness, too, not without some spiritual blessing, I trust.

Is your Seminary coming to anything yet? I know in a country like the Cape it is impossible to go on with the speed they do in Scotland, but I hope you will try to be clear of Holland as soon as possible, and educate for yourselves ministers, catechists and schoolmasters. At the Cape the Dutch people have a very wrong impression of Holland, as I learn from many circumstances, and particularly from what I hear from J. Neethling. He was a good deal connected with Uncle William [Stegmann], and the universal coldness that prevails here, as well as the want of an enlarged public spirit, even in pious people, contrasted with Uncle William’s fervency and energy, give him a very poor idea of this country. In fact, I am much more of a Dutchman, in principle, than he : he is almost ashamed of the name.

But about this country,—I am sure if the people in general, and the ministers too, knew of the doctrines taught here, at Leyden and Groningen particularly, of the contempt with which the most influential ministers (as those of large towns) talk of Dordtsche regtzinnigheid (Dordt orthodoxy),of their alteration of the words of the formulas, for instance that of baptism, they would have done with the relations they maintain with this country. Above all, I forgot to mention the scandalous morals of the theological students. I solemnly assure you the name of God is profaned in the theological class-rooms, even by the orthodox and respectable students ; nor do they lose character by being intoxicated now and then on some festive occasion, provided only it do not take place immediately before the proponents-examen (examination for licence). And in this I take no notice of grosser offences of which a few are guilty, who though destitute of character and notorious, still become ministers when they are ready.

2nd November.—As to my studies and classes I may say a few words, since Papa will be interested to hear of them, though I know not that I have anything new or interesting to communicate. We have now entered on the new study of Systematic Divinity. It is taught by Prof. Vinke, who has this year begun to teach it by the exposition of the Confessio Belgica. The precise motive which induced him to adopt this method I do not know, but I rather think it is in order to bring more prominently before the students the doctrines of the Reformed Church and of the Bible, in opposition to the heresies which are taught at Leyden and Groningen. On the score of soundness of doctrine, so far as I can judge from the little progress we have made in the treatment of the subject, I do not think there is any reason to complain. I have heard him preach now and then too, and have gotten the same impression from his preaching as his teaching. As a rule, however, his preaching does not satisfy me so well as that of other domine’s here, so I don’t go to hear him often. The rest of our club, Andrew included, never do it, and think me somewhat moderate in this and other respects. . . .

But about Dogmatics,—in private I am busy with a German system which I hope to master, but I read at the same time Calvin’s Institutes, and afterwards I hope to read Witsius’ Oeconomia Foederum. Such books as these two last scarcely any student uses nowadays. In truth it is laughable and sometimes contemptible to hear how people talk about de hoogte van den tijd (being up-to-date), etc. I must say I like the writings of the Germans very much for their depth of research and for their scientific way of treating every subject; but it is rather too bad to treat everything old with contempt, especially when the question is considered in a Christian point of view,—I mean, when you contrast the ancient doctrines with the unscriptural and sometimes blasphemous opinions which fill so large a part of the modern theology.

On the same sheet of paper as that which contains the preceding extract, Andrew adds the following lines—

Andrew Murray to his Parents.

I rather think that we also told you of a missionary society that we had erected, to read together a few missionary periodicals in English and German. We are now going to publish a missionary periodical in Dutch—sixteen pages monthly—consisting of extracts regarding the progress of the work of God throughout the whole world. The reason that we (there are eight of us) are going to do this is, that Holland is lamentably deficient in interest in the missionary work, and the two existing periodicals are rather spiritless, and confine themselves to rather small fields. I hope that the Lord will direct us in the management of it, and give His blessing.

All our other outward circumstances are very much the same. We have met with very kind friends. Amongst others I lodged at the end of the summer vacation with a young minister in Harderwijk, Dr. Taats, a fellow-student of Messrs. Krige and Albertyn. He is one of the pious and evangelical party, who, however assiduous in his parish work, yet unfortunately like most of the pious ministers in this country, leaves the public church affairs very much in the hands of those in whose possession they at present are—the moderate Liberals. This is the great subject of complaint of pious men like Dr. Capadose, who wish to see all the truly pious uniting themselves together. This is at length beginning to be the case, although to a much less extent than might be wished.

To Andrew’s request to be allowed to spend a year in Germany his father returned a circumspect reply. He admitted that a probationer could not as a rule be ordained before attaining the age of twenty-two years, but as a reason for immediate return to South Africa he urged that “there are spheres of usefulness here from the time one arrives, and one is gaining experience before he has all the responsibility of a congregation.” Perhaps Mr. Murray’s thoughts had even then turned to the great hinterland, which was to be Andrew’s first field of labour, for he adds: “The destitute state of the farmers beyond the Orange River is to be brought under the notice of the Synod. We have no unemployed labourers, except it may be a Mr. Reitz, of whom I hear nothing. It is thus very probable that two may be sent from our Presbytery to labour among them for some months, and to collect information as to their situation and necessities.”

The number of Cape students at Utrecht had in the meantime been increased by the arrival of Jan Neethling, Nicolaas Hofmeyr and Hendrik Faure. The first-named reached Holland in 1846, and the latter two in the following year. Their presence at Utrecht meant much to John and Andrew; for not only were they compatriots, who brought with them a fresh breath from the Southern home which the brothers had quitted eight years previously, but they held similar views on questions of personal religion, and helped to strengthen the ranks and extend the influence of Sechor Dabar. Writing of Nicolaas Hofmeyr, his biographer, Mr. J. D. Kestell, says: “ In addition to Faure, Hofmeyr had as close friends John and Andrew Murray, with whom, however, his intercourse was not at that time very prolonged, for the Murrays had already nearly completed their studies, and they left the Academy in the following year. In that short time, nevertheless, an indissoluble bond was established between them and Hofmeyr, as well as between these three and Jan Neethling.”

When the year 1848 dawned it brought the brothers within sight of the end of their studies. On the 18th March, Andrew writes to his parents— .

Andrew Murray to his Parents.

You can conceive that we are anxiously waiting for the letters from home which shall decide the question as to my next year. Although I still feel the necessity of staying, yet I can say that I am prepared for whatever shall be good, trusting that that gracious Father will guide us now, as He has hitherto so kindly led us, and believing that He knows what is best for His Church in that part of the vineyard where I desire to labour. My desire is to place myself in His hands, and He can use me even although I have not the advantage of an additional year’s stay in Europe,—perhaps even better than if I had such an additional stock of human wisdom, which so often proves nothing else than an obstruction in God’s way.

I say it is my wish to do this, for, alas! the general state of my mind is not so much a resting in faith in God’s leadings, but a certain indifference and contentedness as to the future, resulting from my natural character. What a blessed thing it would be if we could commit ourselves and all our cares to Him in faith, in that active, living faith that is really concerned in the future. I find that I so often mistake for faith a certain state of the mind which is content with the future from a sense, not of God’s fatherly care, but of God’s providence as something allied to fate,—an idea that I can’t help it, and that there is no use in troubling about it. Oh ! how different is that faith which arises from a soul really concerned in its own interests and in God’s glory, that sees and feels human aid insufficient and failing, and then flees to Him who is the strong refuge.

I am sure we have often been reaping the fruits of your believing prayers, whilst we were still unacquainted with true prayer, and I trust that we may still go on to experience what a blessing praying parents are. I must reproach myself, too, that I feel this so little, and that I so little seek in prayer those blessings for you, which we have so often received from you through this means. The Lord teach us to pray, and oh ! although I do not pray for it as I ought, may He grant you a rich answer to the many prayers you have offered for us in an abundant blessing for your own souls. I am sure there are no prayers which parents offer, of which the answer is more gratifying to their own souls, than those which they see answered in the conversion of their children. May a gracious God, who has so far richly blessed the family in the conversion of the four eldest, unite us all in those ties which are closer than those of earthly relationship, and make us one in Christ.

As John has stated, we do not know what our plans are after ioth May, as the decision depends upon Papa’s letters. On receipt of them we shall, of course, write immediately. At this moment we are naturally very busy. Yesterday we passed a tentamen (trial examination) with Professor Royaards, and to-day we were promised our certificates. Professor Bouman expressed himself quite satisfied with our conduct. So much for the external preparation. Our chief study for the examination is Dogmatical Divinity. The other branches are comparatively easy.

But I must bid you farewell for this time. Hoping soon to receive Papa’s letter, I shall postpone more extended communications on our plans till then. Remember us to all the family. What a meeting it will be at the end of the year ! Be assured, my dear Parents, of the sincere affection of your loving son.

It was customary at that time for young probationers proceeding abroad to receive ordination before setting out for their appointed spheres of work. This ordination was generally administered by a body of ministers styled De Commissie voor de Zaken der Protestantsche Kerken in Oost en West Indien (The Committee for the Interests of Protestant Churches in the East and West Indies), but known more familiarly, from its place of meeting, as De Haagsche Commissie (The Hague Committee). The difficulty of Andrew’s being under the regulation age had been in some way or other surmounted, and on the 9th of May, 1848—Andrew’s twentieth birthday—at The Hague, both brothers were solemnly consecrated and set aside for the work of God in South Africa.

We still possess, from the pen of N. H. de Graaf, a touching account of the farewell accorded to John and Andrew Murray on their departure from Utrecht. In his reminiscences of Sechor Dabar, from which we have already quoted, Mr. de Graaf says:—

The end of the first period [of the Society] was reached when the first Murrays left us. We had by that time received fresh accessions from the Cape—N. J. Hofmeyr, H. E. Faure and J. H. Neethling, and subsequently more Murrays and another Hofmeyr. Later on, the establishment of a Theological Seminary at Stellenbosch was the natural and blessed reason why no more Cape students came to attend the Utrecht Academy.

And now I have reached the day when John and Andrew Murray took their leave of us. An extract from a letter dated 3rd July, 1848, will give you a faithful account of what took place on that eventful day. The letter was written on the day after their departure to my fiancde, Johanna Elisabeth Pierson, who for the last thirty-five years has been my beloved wife and trusty colleague.

Yesterday, Sunday, the 3rd of July, we attended the Bnurtkerk, where Rev. Lucas Merens officiated. We felt the need of uniting once more in prayer and praise with so many whom we knew and who knew us. At 3 in the afternoon we met in the rooms of J. Drost—fifteen in number, the remaining three of our circle being absent from town. It was our united and fervent desire to show forth the Lord’s death at the Sacramental Table, and to declare our expectation of His return. For that purpose Drost had purchased a glass dish and glass bowl, which he retains to this day as memorials of our gathering.

Behold us then assembled, in deep earnestness, in peace and love, at the apartments of Jan Drost on the Marieplaats. John Murray led our devotions. "’k Zal eeuwig zingen van Gods goedertierenheen” (Evermore will I sing of God’s mercies)—that was our confession of faith, our strength for that day, our hope in the approaching separation. After prayer and the reading of a beautiful portion of the formula for the Lord’s Supper, we again raised our voices in confession and prayer: "Jezus, uw verzoenend steruen Blijft het rustpunt van ons hart ” (Jesus, in Thine atoning death Our heart confides and rests). Once again John Murray led us in prayer, and then we partook of the elements, and thus held communion with the body and blood of Christ, who died for our sins and was raised for our justification. We ate and drank, and were indeed strengthened and quickened. John then read Psalm clil. and Colossians iii., “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. ” After a prayer of thanksgiving, and united commendation of one another to God’s love and faithfulness, we sang Psalm cxxxiii, and received the benediction from our leader.

At 7 o’clock we met again in a roomy apartment in my father’s house. Since I was host, I opened the gathering with prayer and song, read a portion of Romans xvi. and some pages from Beets’ Stichtelijke Uren, after which we sang from the 43rd hymn, “Hoog, omhoog, het hart naar boven " (Raise your hearts on high, on high) We then had opportunity for private conversation, John and Andrew exchanging confidences with each one present in turn. Finally they stood there, one of them closely surrounded by half our number, and the other by the other half. At 9 o’clock we had supper, Andrew asking a blessing on our meal. At 10 o’clock we sang together portions of Psalm cxvi., after which I read Ephesians i. and ii., and spoke a few words on the passage. We then knelt down, and I had the privilege of leading in prayer, in which I expressed the gratitude which filled the hearts of us all for the inexpressibly precious blessings we had enjoyed, especially during the past three years ; and also for the blessings of this last day, when we were able to commend our beloved friends to the love of our God, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning. We then united in singing Psalm cxxxiv., standing close round John and Andrew. We wept and embraced the brothers so dearly beloved. John then extended his hands over our heads: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”

At the front-door stood a faithful housemaid, who always attended on us when meetings were held at my home. On leaving, the brothers pressed a suitable douceur into her hand. "But, gentlemen,” she remonstrated, “am I the only one from whom you part this evening like a stranger?” “No, no,” they replied, "we look upon you as no stranger, and part from you as a sister.” "Well then, a sister receives no tip,” she said, and the money glided back into the hands of the friendly brothers. Outside, a carriage was waiting to take them to Vreeswijk. It was half-past ten. We went outside to refresh our spirits in the silent and beautiful night.

Thus ended Andrew’s connexion with Holland. The three years spent there had been a critical and formative period. The great change which he called his conversion, and for which God had been preparing him ever since solemn thoughts had been aroused within him by William Burns’ message, had been consummated here. His conviction that God had palled him to the ministry of the Gospel had been deepened. His assiduous studies and intercourse with others, as well as the companionship of his serious-minded brother, had imparted to him maturity of judgment and greater thoughtfulness of disposition. It is said that in early years Andrew was known for his exuberant spirits, and that the staid elder brother would often rebuke the younger with, “Andrew, you should not laugh so much; it is not good to laugh so much.” This was perhaps a survival of the old supposition that religion and joyousness are incompatible. But notwithstanding this natural gladness of heart, there can be no doubt of Andrew’s deep and constant seriousness from this period onward. His letters show that his mind was steadfastly set on things above, and bear evidence to that continual introspection and self-examination which produced such abundant reward in his gracious Christian character and his blessed and fruitful ministry.

We have no record of the homeward journey to South Africa. The brothers left Holland apparently in July, and reached the shores of Table Bay some time during the first half of November. They were accorded a hearty welcome back to their fatherland by relatives and friends alike. In Cape Town resided their grandparents Stegmann, as well as their maternal uncle, the Rev. George William Stegmann (“Uncle William”), a man of great energy, piety and evangelical fervour, who at that time was pastor of the coloured congregation worshipping at St. Stephen’s, Bree Street. The arrival of two young ministers from Europe was in those days an event of more than local importance. It was chronicled in Church magazines, referred to in the Press, and discussed in ecclesiastical circles throughout the country. At the time of which we are speaking it was also customary to invite a new arrival to occupy the pulpit of the Groote Kerk in the Heeren-gracht (now Adderley Street)—the oldest church building in South Africa—so that all might have the opportunity of seeing him and hearing him proclaim the Gospel. To these and other matters reference is made in the following letter, the first, apparently, which Andrew addressed to his parents after his return to his native shores.

Andrew Murray to his Parents.

Cape Town, 15th November, 1848.

My dearest Parents,—You will perhaps just at this moment have received the letter John sent ofi last week, and be rejoicing in the mercy of the Lord, who has brought us hitherto. Oh ! that I felt more what it is that we have enjoyed at the Lord's hands during the past ten years, which He has thus crowned with His goodness in granting us the long-looked-for consummation of our hopes. And it is certainly for good that some time will elapse before we meet, although it was to us a disappointment not to find you here, as we had been delighting ourselves with the thought of meeting you all here.

We have, of course, not yet made any plans as to our coming down. The letter we hope to receive from Papa next week will certainly contain directions for us how to act. As to one of us staying at Wynberg, I think I could agree to it were it necessary, but I hardly see the need of it; and without a very pressing call of duty, I think it would be almost doing violence to you, especially to Mamma’s feelings. . . . Should Papa, however, in his letter say that this appears to be a call of God, I think either of us is ready to stay. I almost suppose that it would fall to my share, as John will likely be placed long before me.

Papa certainly knows already that we heard from Mr. Faure that John will most likely be called to Burgersdorp, while I shall have to act as assistant until I am twenty-two; so that I am indulging the pleasant prospect of spending a year at least at home before taking sole charge of a parish. I do trust and pray that the Lord will prepare us for all that He has prepared for us, whether that be meeting or separation. . . .

I cannot say with what kindness we have been received here, not only by our dear Grandparents and other relations, but also by other friends. Especially is the interest which the people of God take in us quite bumhling, when I think how little they really know what I am.

Oh! that my soul were really brought to a sense of its own littleness by the overwhelming load of God’s mercies.

Uncle William won’t be in town till Saturday night: we both long very much to see him. On Sabbath John is to preach in the morning, at Wynberg, and on Sabbath week in the morning for Dr. Heyns in the Groote Kerk. I am to officiate there this Sabbath for Mr. Faure, and will likely in the afternoon or evening have to occupy the pulpit of St. Stephen’s. The reason of my preaching first in the Reformed Church is that my voice is stronger than that of John, and he would like me to try it first. My text is: “Wij prediken Christus, den Gekrui-sigde ” (“We preach Christ crucified”)—i Corinthians i. 23. May it be true! But I feel it very difficult not to preach myself, by attending too much to beauty of thought and language and feeling too little that God alone can teach me to preach. We are also half engaged to preach for Messrs. Morgan and Miller, if we are able. ... t

The invitation referred to above, to remain at Wynberg, was apparently a request to occupy the pulpit of that parish during the absence of the minister, the Rev. Philip Faure, who, together with Dr. Robertson, then minister of Swellendam, had departed on a prolonged tour to the emigrant farmers in the territories beyond the Orange and Vaal rivers. Mr. Murray, however, did not insist upon either of his sons acting at Wynberg, and, after a short stay in Cape Town, and visits to Stellenbosch and elsewhere, they embarked in the early days of December for Algoa Bay, where their father met them. They proceeded immediately to Graaff-Reinet, where a glad welcome and a joyful re-union with their mother and the other children (some of whom they had never seen) awaited them.

It is on record that Andrew was of so happy and playful a disposition that the younger brothers and sisters were enraptured with him. “Is Brother Andrew a minister?” they cried, “that can never be: he’s just like one of us!" But it was soon apparent that young Andrew was first and foremost a minister, a preacher of the eternal Gospel, and a ceaseless seeker after souls. On the Sabbath after their arrival the two sons of the manse occupied their father’s pulpit—with what feelings we may well imagine. Those who heard them were profoundly impressed, both with the earnestness and passion of the younger, and with the thoughtfulness and incisiveness of the elder. At the first communion following, the tables were administered by the father and the two sons in rotation. When it was Andrew’s turn to dispense the elements and deliver the customary brief address, he rose, closed his eyes, and for some moments seemed lost in meditation and prayer. An almost painful silence filled the building, and a hush of deep solemnity fell upon the great assemblage. When at length the youth—for he was little more than a youth—opened his mouth, the words which he uttered were so evidently sincere, so intense and so uplifting, that those who heard him, and had last seen him as a boy of ten, could scarce restrain their tears. It was manifest to all that in these two young men God had bestowed upon His Church in South Africa a gift of inestimable value, and that these sons of the Graaff-Reinet parsonage would, if spared, leave a deep impression upon their day and generation.

The hope which Andrew had cherished that he would be able to spend a year at home before assuming the responsibilities of an individual charge, was soon dispelled. During their stay in Cape Town the Governor, Sir Harry Smith, in whose hands all ecclesiastical preferments then lay, interviewed the brothers as to probable appointments. “You are the elder,” he said to John, “and therefore I shall give you the charge of Burgersdorp.” And then turning to Andrew he said, “And as you are the younger, I am afraid I shall have to send you to Bloemfontein.” The elder brother thus received what was considered the more eligible appointment to a congregation lying within the borders of the Cape Colony, while the younger had to content himself with a remote and unattractive parish beyond the Orange River. And thus Andrew became the first pastor of a territory nearly fifty thousand square miles in extent, and the first regular minister to live and labour among the voortrekkers.




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The Life of Andrew Murray (South Africa)

Chapter 4

Early Days at Bloemfontein

Of all pathetic plights surely the most pathetic is that of a minister moving about this grim field of varied necessity, professing to be a physician, but carrying in his wallet no balms, no cordials, no caustics to meet the clamant needs of men. But of all privileged callings surely the most privileged is that of a Greatheart pacing the highways of life, carrying with him all that is needed by fainting, bruised and broken pilgrims, perfectly confident in “Him whom he has believed.”—J. H. Jowett.

BEFORE commencing the story of Andrew Murray’s life-long connexion with the Dutch Reformed Church, it would be well if we obtained a bird’s-eye view of the growth of that Church from the earliest times. The Dutch Reformed Church was planted in South Africa when the settlement was founded by Jan van Riebeek in 1652. For many years it had no resident minister, but sermons were preached and the sacraments administered by clergymen of the Church who passed the Cape in vessels voyaging to or from the East Indies. The first regular pastor, Johan van Arckel, arrived in the fourteenth year of the existence of the settlement. Twenty years later a second congregation was established at Stellenbosch, and since then the D. R. Church has gradually extended its boundaries, doubling its membership in, approximately, every two decades.

So long as Dutch rule continued, the congregations in South Africa were regarded as an integral portion of the D. R. Church in Holland, and in accordance with Presbyterian canon law they stood under the ecclesiastical control of the Presbytery of Amsterdam. The mother Church in the Netherlands supplied them with ministers, while the salaries of these officers were paid by a paternal Government. At the Cape there was no local effort, very little local interest, and, of course, no local control. Religion was severely unemotional and chiefly a matter of form, and it exercised but little vital influence over the everyday life of the population. Divine service was conducted on Sundays and on feast-days like Good Friday and Christmas Day, and being the most important social function of the week was regularly attended. The members of the kerkeraad or consistory—a body which regulated the temporal affairs of the congregation and exercised a limited discipline in matters spiritual—were appointed by the Governor, though he mostly acted on the recommendations of the local minister. This state of affairs prevailed for a century and a half. The Church was part of the civil establishment; ministers were Government servants whose names appeared upon the civil list; and congregations could exercise hardly the smallest spiritual functions without interference from an ecclesiastical court situated six thousand miles away.

Except for a short interregnum of three years (1803-1806) the Cape Colony has been under British domination for a century and a quarter. The cessation of Dutch rule implied ipso facto the severance of the tie which bound the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa to the Dutch Reformed Church of the Netherlands. When the articles of capitulation, which made the Cape a British possession, were signed by the last Dutch Governor, Sluysken, in 1795, they contained an express proviso that the religion established by law should be maintained. The short-lived Batavian Government, which succeeded the first British Administration in 1803, introduced a “Church Order” which contained inter alia the following clause: "An experiment is to be made whether it be possible and useful to hold a General Church Assembly every second year ... at which meeting there shall be present two political commissioners to represent the Government of the Colony these commissioners to have the right to suspend the decision of the meeting at any point, until they have ascertained the Governor's desire.” The British Administration, which reassumed the reins of government shortly afterwards, took over the above-mentioned “Church Order,” but the “experiment” appeared to be so unpromising that twenty years elapsed before the D. R. Church summoned up courage to act upon the suggestion made.

The first General Assembly, or Synod, consisting of representatives from the thirteen congregations which were then established, met in Cape Town in 1824 ; and subsequent Synods assembled regularly at the lapse of every five years. The presence of the political commissioners, however, was felt from the outset to be a restriction on free speech and action; and when, in 1842, one of the commissioners made use of his influence with the Governor to dissuade the latter from attaching his formal approval to the synodical decisions, the Synod recorded its emphatic protest against outside interference in ecclesiastical matters. The Governor, Sir George Napier, was a reasonable man. He declared his anxiety “ to free the Church from the trammels of secular interference in all spiritual or purely ecclesiastical matters and of substituting in all other matters, for the authority which he conceived to have been so undesirably continued in the Governor, the authority of the highest civil tribunal.” Governor Napier was as good as his word. In the following year a “Church Ordinance” was passed, which fully recognized the Church's right to frame and carry out her own regulations—under certain important provisos—without the necessity of securing the sanction of the Government. This document is the Magna Charta of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa; and though twenty years later it involved her in serious difficulties and prolonged litigation, it remains the chief landmark of her history—the sign and seal of the independence to which she attained after nearly two centuries of subordination and pupilage.

Though the Cape had now become, politically, a colony of the British Empire, it was still united by many interests, both ecclesiastical and linguistic, to Holland. For young colonials who had the inclination and possessed the means of studying for the sacred ministry practically the only course was to proceed to one of the academies of Holland. But such young men were few and far between. Occasionally a Hollander, who had qualified as minister of the Gospel, made his way to South Africa, and during the first quarter of the nineteenth century a few men who had come out in connexion with some missionary society or other found a more congenial and more fruitful field among the Dutch-speaking white population. The grievous dearth of clergymen and teachers led also to the quest of Dr. Thom, to which reference has been made in the first chapter—a quest which secured for the Cape Church the services of such excellent men as Andrew Murray, Smith, Sutherland and Fraser. But in spite of these accessions the scanty and irregular supply of ministers, wholly insufficient for its growing needs, greatly hampered the D. R. Church in its efforts at expansion.

Superficial expansion, and rapid expansion, there certainly was. For though South Africa, in the forties of last century, was not very populous, it was of vast extent. Congregations of the D. R. Church were found from Cape Town in the west to Burgersdorp and Stockenstrom on the eastern frontier, and from the shores of the Indian Ocean in the south to the banks of the Orange River in the north—an area of some one hundred and fifty thousand square miles. But this great area was nearly doubled by a great displacement of population which took place during the fourth and fifth decades of the century. Hundreds and thousands of farmers, members of the D. R. Church, in their dissatisfaction with British rule, emigrated with their wives and their children to the broad pastures of the territories north of the Orange River, now known as the Orange Free State, the Transvaal and Natal. To describe the motives which occasioned the Great Trek is beyond our present scope. Suffice it to say that it was not due, as one extreme view has represented, to the desire to achieve religious liberty : no people could enjoy greater freedom of worship than these pastoral Boers. Nor was it undertaken, as extremists on the other side aver, because the Boers were determined to uphold slavery, and could not enforce this resolve under the British flag : Pieter Retief, the chief emigrant leader, declared emphatically, “We shall take care that no one shall be held in a state of slavery.” Dissatisfaction at the losses which they had sustained in the frontier wars, and at the unjust way in which they had been defrauded of their share of compensation for their emancipated slaves; irritation at the nagging policy of the British Government, and at the “unjustifiable odium” cast upon them by interested missionaries and philanthropists; perhaps also the lure of the wilderness, coupled with a vague, innate desire for complete independence—all these were contributory motives. History has seldom witnessed a stranger or more moving spectacle than that of well-to-do farmers, some in the first flush of youth and others bending already under the weight of years, forsaking their farms and their homesteads, packing their families with all their household goods into the huge, unwieldy ox-waggon, driving their flocks and their herds before them, and trekking away into the distant, unknown interior. Judge the motives of the Great Trek as we may, we can hardly read without emotion the words with which Retief ends his manifesto of grievances:

“We are now leaving the fruitful land of our birth, in which we have suffered enormous losses and continual vexation, and are about to enter a strange and dangerous territory ; but we go with firm reliance on an all-seeing, just and merciful God, whom we shall always fear and humbly endeavour to obey.”

How to regard or control this mass movement on the part of Colonial farmers was a question which greatly perplexed the statesmen of the day. Governor Sir Benjamin D’Urban said that “ it seemed next to an impossibility to prevent persons passing out of the Colony by laws in force or by any that could be framed.” And Captain (afterwards Sir) Andries Stockenstrom declared to the inhabitants of Uitenhage that “ he was not aware of any law which prevented any of His Majesty’s subjects from leaving his dominions and settling in another country, and such a law, if it did exist, would be tyrannical and oppressive.” But whether the emigrants, by passing beyond the borders of the Colony, were ipso facto absolved from their allegiance to the British Crown, was quite another question, and it is just to say that both the Colonial and the Home Governments denied the right of the emigrants to draw this conclusion. As to the number of people who thus voluntarily expatriated themselves, we have the contemporary testimony of Captain Cornwallis Harris,1 who estimated them at between five and six thousand souls. Ten years later, in 1847, there were no less than two thousand families, or between ten and twelve thousand individuals, in the territory now known as the Orange Free State, and five years later Andrew Murray speaks of another “ten thousand souls” scattered in the regions to the north of the Vaal River.

Only the merest sketch is possible of the fortunes of the emigrants. Passing through the present Free State, their drift was in two main directions—northward to the country which soon became known as the Transvaal, and eastward, down the steep escarpment of the Drakensberg, into the fertile valleys of Natal. Here they came into collision with the Zulu potentate Dingaan, who in 1838 treacherously destroyed Retief and his party, while the latter were negotiating a treaty of peace with him; but in less than a twelvemonth he was overthrown by a commando of avenging Boers. In the Transvaal the emigrants were attacked by the Matabele chieftain Moselekatse, whom they defeated and compelled to withdraw to the distant north, where he established a new capital at Bulawayo, in the present Rhodesia. The hopes of the emigrants to be left in unmolested possession of Natal, with access to the sea-board, were soon dissipated; for an English force drove them out of Durban, and turned back the tide of emigration to the lofty table-lands of the Free State and the fruitful regions of the Transvaal.

The southern section of the emigrants, who had settled between the Orange and Vaal rivers, were the first to feel the long arm of the British Government reaching after them. Bickerings and disputes were unhappily frequent between the emigrants on the one side, and native chieftains like Moshesh, the Basuto leader, and Adam Kok, the Griqua captain, on the other side. The latter chieftain claimed sovereignty rights over the southern portion of what is now the Orange Free State, and these rights the emigrants refused to acknowledge. Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland, accordingly, determined to establish British rule over the disputed territory, which lay between the Orange and the Modder rivers. The township of Bloemfontein was founded, and Major Warden was settled there as British Resident, and entrusted with the difficult and delicate duty of maintaining order, restraining native aggression, and conciliating the emigrants ; and in the fulfilment of this task he was not wholly unsuccessful.

In the belief that the emigrants, at least those living south of the Vaal, were at length reconciled to British rule, Sir Harry Smith—one of the most eccentric and popular of Cape Governors—in 1848 proclaimed the Queen’s authority over the whole country between the Orange and Vaal rivers, and bestowed upon the territory thus annexed the title of the Orange River Sovereignty. But he had wholly misinterpreted the temper of the Boers. No sooner was his back turned than they rose in arms under the command of Andries Pretorius, ejected Major Warden and his insignificant little garrison from Bloemfontein, and demanded that the proclamation of British sovereignty should be withdrawn. Sir Harry Smith was nothing if not energetic. He issued orders for a strong body of troops to march to the banks of the Orange, and followed almost immediately afterwards to take command. A brief but sharp engagement occurred at Boomplaats, near the Riet River, on the 29th August, 1848. The Boers were defeated, and Pretorius was compelled to retire beyond the Vaal River. The Sovereignty Government was re-established, and Major Warden re-occupied Bloemfontein with a considerably augmented force of soldiers. Those Boers whose antipathy to the Queen’s rule was most inveterate followed Pretorius across the Vaal.

Such was the political aspect of affairs when Andrew Murray received his appointment as minister of Bloemfontein early in 1849.

The time had now arrived for young Murray’s introduction to the arduous duties of his vast parish. His farewell sermon to the congregation of Graaff-Reinet, preached on the 22nd April, 1849, was based upon the Apostolic Benediction. The next day witnessed the severance of the ties so recently re-united, which bound him to the old home. According to ecclesiastical law and ancient custom in South Africa, the congregation which presents a call to a probationer is responsible, in the event of the call being accepted, for the conveyance of the minister’s person and property to his new sphere of labour. In pursuance of this excellent practice the Bloemfontein folk had deputed Deacon Pretorius, with a capacious waggon drawn by a team of powerful horses, to fetch the young pastor at Graaff-Reinet, three hundred miles away.

Accompanied by his father, who was to introduce him to the congregations north of the Orange River, Andrew set out on the day following the farewell services. Fully sensible of the importance of the work he was about to undertake, the community at Graaff-Reinet endeavoured to do full honour to their youthful fellow-townsman. Fifty young men on horseback formed themselves into an escort, and conducted the travellers for some considerable distance on their way, thus testifying to the feelings of esteem with which they regarded both Andrew Murray the father and Andrew Murray the son.

The first Sunday was spent at a place called Zendelings-fontein, on the Riet River—fourteen miles from the present town of Fauresmith. Here a congregation had been established by the Revs. A. Murray, Sr., and P. K. Albertyn, on the occasion of their pastoral visitation in the summer of 1847-8. The autumn being already far advanced, the cold was intense, and many who intended being present on this auspicious occasion, found themselves prevented by the inclement weather. A paragraph from the scanty record of the proceedings informs us that on the forenoon of that Sabbath, Andrew Murray senior delivered the charge from the words: “And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a willing heart and with a perfect mind”; while Andrew Murray junior preached his introductory sermon from Romans xv. 29: “And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ.”

The following Sunday (6th May) was fixed for his induction to the congregation at Bloemfontein, which was to be, for the next eleven years of his life, the central point from which radiated tireless activities and incessant journeyings to north and south and east and west. His coming to the chief scene of his labours had been awaited with the utmost eagerness. One of his future parishioners, writing some two months previously, gave expression to their expectations in the following terms—

It is very gratifying to learn from so many sources that the Rev. Mr. Murray is so worthy a gentleman, and moreover so well fitted for the sphere of work assigned him. He can rest assured that he will be welcomed in our midst in heartiest fashion. All the Boers whom I have recently met are rejoiced at the prospect of soon possessing a permanent minister. One of the best houses in Bloemfontein has been conditionally engaged for him. The foundation of the Church building had been laid, while building stones and baked bricks lie upon the site, in readiness for the arrival of the mason, for whom a conveyance has already been despatched.

With us in the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa the presentation of a minister to the congregation which has called him is a simple but impressive ceremony. After the presiding Reinet and P. K. Albertyn of Zwartebergen and Elder B. Pienaar of Richmond ; and the second of Revs. Philip Faure of Wynberg and Wm. Robertson of Swellendam. and the minister has delivered his charge, the young incumbent is, summoned by name to appear before the pulpit, where he publicly takes upon himself vows of faithfulness to Almighty God, to truth as contained in the Bible and the confessions, and to the congregation to which he is about to minister. We may well suppose that it was not without feelings of deepest solemnity that Murray entered upon his new duties. In introducing his son the father preached from 2 Corinthians vi. 1, while the son, taking charge of the afternoon service, based his first discourse to his own congregation on Paul’s noble avowal: " We preach Christ crucified . . . Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God ” (1 Corinthians i. 23). At the conclusion of this service the father, preaching in English, directed words of counsel and encouragement to the British section of the inhabitants of Bloemfontein.

The subsequent movements of father and son on this memorable tour are described in letters which the latter wrote to the family circle at Graaff-Reinet. Three days after his induction at Bloemfontein he celebrated his twenty-first birthday, to which he makes a passing reference in the following letter from Winburg, dated nth May, 1849—

To his Mother.

I have now to resume the narrative of our journeyings. On Monday [7th May] after the sermon there was a good deal to do with the churchwardens, especially as to the building of the church, which, I am sorry to say, is not very far advanced. On Tuesday morning we left Bloemfontein for Winburg, which we reached on the evening of Wednesday— my own birthday. I much enjoyed the thought of so many friends remembering me at the throne of grace ; for I am sure many thought of me in Holland, as did Willie [his brother] on the ocean. Especially did I try to hold communion with those who were certainly speaking of us at home, and committing us to the care of a gracious God. And what a year I have to look back upon—God’s mercies following me from day to day, from my ordination at The Hague to my induction at Bloemfontein. I tried to remember some of the Lord’s chief mercies, although alas ! my poor soul too soon wearied of thanking and praising God. How much we lose by not making every gift of God a matter of praise. . . .

On arriving here on Wednesday evening we found that none of the people were to arrive before Saturday, since we had not been expected so soon, and so we resolved to pay a visit to the French mission station Mekuatling. We started on Thursday morning on horseback, and after a ride of 4½ hours reached Merumetzu, the Koranna station, where Mr. van Zoelen labours. He was much astonished to see Papa, as he had known nothing certain of our coming across the [Orange] River. He will have to labour under very discouraging circumstances, as the Korannas are incorrigibly idle, and cannot even be brought to blush on account of it. People speak of privations in my coming to Bloemfontein. When I rode away from Merumetzu I thought I had indeed reason to say, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places." Mr. van Zoelen says himself that he does not think he will stay there long.

After having spent an hour with him we rode 2} hours further, and reached the house of Mr. Daumas, where we found Mrs. Daumas and Mrs. Cochet at home. The two gentlemen had gone by a different road to Winburg, in the hope of seeing us there. We spent a very pleasant evening with Mrs. Daumas and Mrs. Cochet: the latter was nursing a baby three months old. Next morning we had an opportunity of seeing the station. Mr. Daumas has really done much. All sorts of fruit trees [are found] in the garden, which is large and well laid out. Some of the trees, especially the best apricots and peaches, are from stones which you gave Mr. Daumas. The chapel is very neat and substantial, and there are some two dozen well-built cottages belonging to the Christian natives.

After leaving Mekuatling early this morning, we fortunately met Messrs. Daumas and Cochet on the way, and had the privilege of spending a couple of hours with them at Mr. van Zoelen's. They were rather downcast at the dark prospects of the Mission. They daily fear the outbreak of war, as the chief of their station has robbed one of his neighbours of a large quantity of cattle. And the whole country will be mixed up with the matter, since all the chiefs have now sided with one party or the other. What they fear is not so much personal violence as the moral evil [that would be] caused by the war. Many of their members are led away to join in the war by the hope of gaining cattle, and they cannot so join in without conforming to heathenish ceremonies. The missionaries appeared to be indeed making the Lord their stay in the midst of their troubles.

12th May.—I was much afraid that it was a foolish thing for us to take such a long ride of fourteen hours, as I feared that Papa would be much knocked up. But he is as well as ever, and is just going to preach (Saturday afternoon at three). We this morning met again with Charlie [his brother], who has been spending ten days at Mr. Theron’s. The congregation will not be very large, as the weather is cold, and the intimations were not well circulated.

We shall very likely leave this on Monday, to spend Wednesday night at Bloemfontein, and then Sabbath in the neighbourhood of Smithfield. On the following Wednesday we hope to preach on the other side of the Caledon, and to reach Burgersdorp on the Friday or Saturday, if the Lord will. Should it at all be possible, I do trust, dear Mamma, that you will be able to come and meet us there.

A fortnight after the date of the above letter, father and son were at Burgersdorp for the induction of the elder brother, John Murray, having in the interval covered a distance of 175 miles. To Andrew Murray the father was again assigned the duty of installing a son as pastor of a large and important parish. Burgersdorp contained in those days—as indeed it still does—a religious element that declined to conform in all things to the ecclesiastical practices that commonly obtain in the D. R. Church of South Africa. They resembled in many respects those dour old Highland members of the Scottish Churches, who cling with stern devotion to ancient customs, refuse to sing aught but the Psalms of David, and abjure the organ as a “kist o’ whistles.” It may be that Mr. Murray, in his induction charge, endeavoured to win these conservative "Doppers” from their attitude of suspicious aloofness, for he discoursed upon the words: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls as they that must give account.”

At the introduction of Andrew to his charge in remote Bloemfontein, no clergyman other than his father was able to be present; but the settlement of John at Burgersdorp was signalized by the presence of four brother ministers—the Andrew Murrays, father and son, Rev. Taylor of Cradock and Rev. Pears of Somerset East. The chronicle of the event in the Church magazine Be Kerkbode is, as usual, bald to excess.“ The Rev. J. Murray preached his inaugural sermon in the afternoon [of Saturday, 26th May] from the words of 2 Corinthians v. 20. The church was completely filled; the attention was great. On the following morning the Lord’s Supper was administered, Rev. A. Murray, Jr., preaching in the forenoon, and Rev. J. Pears in the evening, in English. The Rev. A. Murray, Sr., meanwhile conducted a service, in a building specially devoted to that purpose, for the coloured people. On the Monday Rev. J. Taylor took his leave of the congregation, which for some time he has served in his capacity as ‘ consulent,’ with the words of Philippians i. 27; and on the following morning father and sons departed, returning each to his own sphere of toil.”

Andrew returned to Bloemfontein by the most direct route, accomplishing the 175-mile journey from Burgersdorp in three days—which must be considered as good travelling. Of his daily life in these early years some particulars have been preserved in a letter to his brother, dated Bloemfontein, 14th June, 1849—

To Rev. John Murray.

You certainly would ere this have heard from me, were it not that on arriving here I learnt that the post between Smithfield and Burgersdorp has ceased going, and we shall thus be obliged to avail ourselves of any opportunity which occurs. Since I left Burgersdorp all has been well. I arrived here, as I had hoped, on the Thursday evening, though I found it pretty hard riding in the short days, and the last day of the journey was so excessively cold, as we had a good deal of snow right in front of the cart. On arriving here I found everything pretty much as we had left it. I am still with Dr. Drury, and am very comfortable, except that I am not always sure of my privacy, as his medicines stand in the room which I occupy. The churchwardens have now conditionally bought an erf and house for ^400, which will be ready, it is hoped, in the course of a couple of months. It will be about one of the best houses in Bloemfontein, with three good rooms and pantry, and a large kitchen behind. I have gotten my servant boy from Winburg, and he pleases very well indeed. From Mr. Burger, who spent Sabbath the third here, I got a very good horse for £10, but he has run away  I had not my own servant at the time, and during the heavy rains I could get nobody to look after him. I trust that he will yet be found. Mr. Stuart rides every day, and I very often accompany him. For the present I have the use of one of Dr. Drury’s horses. My dinner I get sent me every day, at the very cheap rate of £1 per month, and though plain it has hitherto been very good. Almost everything can be got here, almost as cheaply as at Graaff-Reinet, so that as to externals I am very comfortable.

But to come to more important matters, you will be anxious to know something about the state of matters spiritual here. As to the Dutch congregation, I do not know much to say about them that I have not told you before. Last Sabbath I had a congregation of about seventy, and the preceding Sabbath of about 100. The former will, I suppose, be the average. I cannot describe what I felt on going for the first time into the schoolroom to commence my regular ministrations in the midst of this poor people. Now that I am getting a little settled down (for the former week, alas ! I did almost nothing), I trust that our gracious God is bringing me somewhat to feel the necessity of an intimate experimental soul-knowledge of the precious truth to be proclaimed, and, above all, of that one glorious central truth—the amazing wonder of the love of a crucified Jesus. Let us, my dear brother, seek to drink much at the fountain-head, to make the love of Christ the ground of a continual trust and hope and rejoicing. Then shall we know what to preach to perishing sinners. Then shall we also know how to preach, with the earnestness of a burning love that is straining every nerve to save souls from eternal perdition.

On Sabbath afternoon I had an English congregation of about seventy. This cannot be taken as a criterion, as nearly half of the men are away with Major Warden. I feel much more difficulty as to the English than the Dutch congregation as to the preaching, and still more as to the pastoral work. There are only two Dutch families in the village, and some thirty respectable English, besides a number of low English. I hope soon to call on all the families. The officers are all unmarried, rather wild (very often drunk), and two of them are living openly with coloured women. I trust that the Lord will give me special wisdom with regard to the English here. I hope next Saturday evening to begin a service for the blacks (there are about sixty of the Cape Corps here), at which there will of course also be an opportunity for the Dutch Boers to attend.

Mr. Stuart is very active in doing all he can to promote order here. He is very severe in court, some say by far too severe. He is very busy in improving Bloemfontein—making streets, furrows and bridges. He has four convicts at work, as well as a number of “drunken ladies," who have to clean the streets from nine to twelve. We may very likely soon have a Teetotal Society here. Next week we hope to begin subscriptions for a library (English and Dutch). With our newspaper we know not how to do, as it would be difficult to get a printer down without being able to secure him a livelihood.

Till the end of July I shall not have very much to do besides preparing for the pulpit, and I do hope that I shall be enabled to spend that time diligently in laying up store against the time when there will be very little opportunity for study. I shall also try to read a good deal of English. Mr. Stuart has the North British Review from Mr. Cameron, the Wesleyan missionary at Thaba Nchu. You can conceive what strange feelings were excited in me on receiving in this part of the world a few numbers of the Evangelische Kirchemeitung. I had the pleasure of seeiiig a good deal of Mr. Wuras, who spent three days here last week, and on his return home he sent them to me. . . . If you are writing to Meintjes about books from Holland, please order 100 copies of Zahn Bijbel Geschiedenis for me, and say that the works of C. Mel appear to be much in request here.

Bloemfontein in 1849 was exceedingly unlike the compact and neatly-built city which has since arisen on the rolling prairies of Central South Africa. According to the description of an old resident2 the town at that period was little more than a straggling hamlet, with houses scattered irregularly on both sides of a streamlet known as Bloemspruit. The original homestead, said to have been the property of a farmer named Brits, was contiguous to the spring from which the village took its name—Bloemfontein, Fountain of Flowers. Hard by the fountain stood the Government schoolroom, which until the erection of a permanent church building on the north side of Bloemspruit was the scene of Andrew Murray’s pulpit ministrations, and indeed the place at which all gatherings of the inhabitants, whether for civil or religious purposes, were necessarily held.

The Rev. J. J. Freeman, one of the secretaries of the London Missionary Society, who passed through Bloemfontein early in 1850, was by no means favourably impressed with the place. He says—

Bloemfontein, the seat of the Government in this Sovereignty, has nothing to recommend it in its natural features. The scenery is extremely uninteresting. There is no wood and little water. The plan of a town is laid out. The foundation of a church is laid. A courthouse and a prison exist. There are about forty or fifty tolerable houses built. There are a few stores and shops, a market-place with a bell to announce the time when sales take place, and a clerk of the market appointed. A good well has been sunk, and at forty feet depth a supply of water is found from six to nine feet. The inhabitants have wisely asked to be formed into a municipality, and their request has been granted. Here is also a fortress, a few cannon, part of a regiment, a major, one hundred Cape Mounted Rifles, and barracks, as the usual material of an improving community. There is also a Government school-house, but at the time of my visit without scholars or masters. Religious services are held there on Sunday. Mr. Murray, son of the Dutch clergyman of Graafi-Reinet, has received the appointment to the new Church. He diligently and laudably employs himself, during a great part of his time, in travelling among the emigrant farmers in the interior, and conducting religious services.

Bishop Gray, the first metropolitan of Cape Town, who touched at Bloemfontein, in the course of a visitation tour, in May, 1850, jots down the following impressions—

Bloemfontein is rapidly rising in importance. . . . Everything is of course in a very rough state. There is nothing remarkable in the situation of the village: it is defended by a rude fort mounted with four guns. ... In the evening I met Dr. Frazer and Mr. Murray, the zealous young Dutch minister, at dinner. He was placed here, I believe, when little more than twenty-one years of age, and has a very difficult place to fill, which he has done with great discretion.

Under the date Sunday, 5th May, Bishop Gray records that:—

at half-past one we had service in the school-house. The service lasted nearly three hours, and we encroached upon the time appointed for the Dutch service. There was not room in the building for many of the Dutch people, but they crowded round the doors and windows throughout the whole time. I counted nearly fifty of their waggons in the outskirts of the village.

The country around was as wild as the village was rough. The Sovereignty at that time was alive with game. Wildebeest, hartebeest, quagga, blesbuck, springbuck, ostriches, wild pigs, and hares roamed over the broad plains. Nor was there any lack of wild beasts. Leopards and wolves, jackals and wild dogs were frequently encountered, even in broad daylight, and constituted a formidable menace to the enterprising stock-farmer. Lions were found in the immediate vicinity of the township. In. a letter to his brother, written about this time, Murray makes significant mention of the fact that " last Friday the officers of the garrison shot nine lions about three hours (i.e. 18 miles) from here.” Collins informs us that in 1853 Major Kyle, the military commandant of Bloemfontein, bagged three full-grown lions, one male and two female ; while in the same year four officers on one occasion accounted for seven lions, one of which “made a desperate charge at Capt. Bates, nearly dragging him off his horse." The postmaster of Bloemfontein received special injunctions from Mr. Stuart, the Resident Magistrate, “not to despatch the mails for Colesberg later than 4 p.m., as lions still roamed at large in the immediate neighbourhood of the town.”

The relations which subsisted at this time between the farmers of the Sovereignty and their black neighbours were highly unsatisfactory. The frontier of Basutoland was in a condition of perpetual disquietude. Cattle-raiding was the order of the day. Native chiefs preyed upon the white man and upon each other. The rule of the strongest prevailed, and Major Warden, with a handful of soldiers at his disposal, was powerless to maintain order. The burning question was that of boundaries—boundaries between white and black, and boundaries between black and black. This question of the delimitation of territory was the occasion of disputes without end, and gave rise in the near future to events of the greatest moment. To the troubled state of matters on the Basuto border Murray makes reference in the following letter, dated 27th June, 1849—

To his Father.

From all accounts it appears that matters are wearing a very serious aspect among the Cafires. Moshesh and his people are very much dissatisfied with the line which is making, and declare that they cannot part with such a great piece of their country. It is feared that the disturbance between Moshesh and Sikonyella will give rise to a war between the former and the English. Moshesh has promised to deliver up the cattle taken by his people from Sikonyella within a fortnight, but nobody expects him to fulfil this promise. Major Warden had only about 130 men when dealing with him : they declare that they were very glad when they got away, as Moshesh had 15,000 men in the neighbourhood,—about 1,000 men on horseback and his own retinue. Of course the 300 men comprising the garrison here will be able to do nothing against such an enemy, as the Basutos are known never to fight during the daytime. It is also said that great numbers of Zulus are at present marching to join Moshesh. The farmers from the Caledon River also say that they would not be astonished if the Caffres very soon attacked them there, as they refuse to have anything like a line. I have heard that Mr. Cameron of Thaba Nchu and some of the other missionaries are already talking of removing. It is certainly very trying thus to see their labour destroyed.

Meanwhile the toils and travels of the young minister were being prosecuted with unabated ardour. His interest in the most benighted was as deep as in the most enlightened. He inaugurated a Sunday-school, a Bible class, a Temperance Society, and put forth efforts, which were not wholly unsuccessful, to reach even the degraded Hottentots and Bushmen. The following lines, dated 25th June, 1849, give some idea of the variety of his duties and the extent of his journeyings—

To his sister Maria.

How I wished yesterday that I had you here, or some of the other Sabbath-school teachers from Graafi-Reinet. We began our Sabbath-school, and had plenty of scholars but no teachers. Near this there is a place where all the Bushmen reside, and from there we had some two dozen grown-up people and as many children. Mr. Stuart has been taking great interest in these Kafierfontein people, and when I rode out there with him last week, I invited them to come to church. Accordingly they came, headed by their chief in a cast-off blue coat. The elder ones I took [as class]. It was really sad to see them. Some of the real old Bushmen could not understand a word of Dutch, and none of them knew much. I tried to make a beginning with teaching them some of the elements of Christian truth, and the first verse of the hymn “God heeft de wereld zoo bemind" (God so loved the world). In speaking of them Mr. Stuart always says, “He is able to save to the uttermost." And why should we then despair? May the Lord give grace to work in faith. We have a great lack of teachers. Mr. Stuart will most likely take the English Bible Class, with about twenty pupils ; Dr. Drury the English children who cannot read; and then we shall require one for a Dutch class, and another for the little native children. . . .

Left on Monday last for Schietmekaar on the Riet River, where I preached on Tuesday night, thrice on Wednesday and again on Thursday. Held also on Thursday a meeting with all the people to speak about building a church. They have hired the half of N. Jacobs' farm for 100 dollars per annum, and are going to erect a building, sixteen feet inside by eighty, at the cost of some 3,000 dollars (£225) A good many people were much opposed to spending so much money on a temporary place, but after the matter had been explained to them they were content. . . .

I am just starting with old Willem Pretorius to hold huisbezoek (pastoral visitation) to-morrow at the Commandant Erasmus’, at the opening of his house. On Thursday I am to hold huisbezoek at old Andries Erwee’s, and then to spend Sabbath at Winburg. ... I should like very much a very small feather-bed for travelling, that I can also use when I get lodgers here, and I see that I cannot do without a kostmandje (tiffin basket). The former could be packed into the latter. I hope my house will be ready in the course of a month.

An important event in the annals of the recently-established Sovereignty was the first session of the Legislative Council. This body had been called into being by a proclamation of the High Commissioner, Sir Harry Smith, and consisted of twelve Government nominees, presided over by the British Resident. The Council was to meet annually in Bloemfontein, and had power to frame laws binding upon all persons in the Sovereignty who did not fall under the jurisdiction of native chiefs. The first meeting of so august a body of men provoked considerable excitement in Bloemfontein. The non-official members of the Council were well-known farmers, and among them occurs the name of Andries Erwee, at whose farm Murray occasionally instituted huisbezoek and conducted divine service. The young minister, at that time the only clergyman in the Sovereignty, was asked to open the gathering with prayer. “ When I arrived here last Tuesday,” he writes to his father, “ I found the town filled with the members of our Legislative Council, and have thus myself been kept in a bustle the whole week. I was requested to open the Council by reading a prayer which had been sent down, and I did not feel at liberty to decline, though I felt some doubts. The meeting of Council was a very fair one, and was chiefly occupied with the estimates of the Sovereignty. On Andries Erwee’s saying that he could not swear allegiance to the Queen on account of the Convict Business,1 a strong resolution was passed against their introduction.”

The disquieting rumours which were rife in the countryside as to the menacing attitude of the Basuto acted as a disturbing influence on the movements of the young pastor. The programme of preaching and pastoral visitation which he had planned to carry out during the month of August had to be in part relinquished. It had been announced that a series of services, culminating in the administration of the Lord s Supper, would be held at a farm called Rietpoort, where stands the present village of Smithfield. This spot had been selected for the establishment of a new township, and the site having been duly surveyed, the authorities had arranged that on a specified date a number of erven (plots) would be put up to public auction. But Rietpoort lay practically on the boundary which was in dispute, and affairs assumed so threatening an outlook that both the sale and the services were perforce abandoned. To the home circle Andrew writes (Aug., 1849) on these and on sundry other matters as follows—

As I hinted, there will be no sale of erven and no service at Rietpoort. On Friday, the"27th July, the Korannas attacked Molitzani and Moshesh, took all the cattle of the former, and killed thirty-four of their people. Yesterday news was received that there has been another engagement near Platberg, in which a great many lives have been sacrificed. And from Smithfield Major Warden has received a letter stating that the Boers have been in several cases ordered across the Orange River by command of Moshesh.

John has not been here,1 owing most likely to some unforeseen hindrance, very possibly to old Piet Pelser’s being too frightened of the Caffres. As I wrote to you before, I have been away from Bloemfontein eleven days. I did not arrive here until Saturday afternoon, and had then to move into the Parsonage, of which only one room is yet ready ; and instead of preparing for Sabbath I had to begin unpacking my boxes, which had remained unopened till this time. On taking out the contents I was often reminded of the kindness of you all at home in putting in so many little things for my convenience. Everything was safe—of the crockery only one square dish broken.

The non-appearance of his brother from Burgersdorp to take part in the Nachtmaal services cast a heavy strain upon Andrew. His letters testify to the conscientious thoroughness with which he performed all his work. The catechisation of the young candidates for Church membership was a task which demanded the utmost care and patience. For a full week these young people were subjected to a thorough testing as to their knowledge of the Bible and the Catechism. Thereafter, in Murray’s own words, he "spent some four or five hours in speaking to each of the fifteen candidates personally, trying to ascertain his reasons for wishing to be received, and to discover the state of mind in which he was.” The minister then withdrew with the two elders, whose presence at the final confirmation is required by Church law, and the attainments and spiritual condition of each candidate in turn were patiently considered. Some were rejected on account of their defective knowledge; others whose knowledge was satisfactory were found wanting in earnestness. “By their own acknowledgment they had not yet sought to believe in Christ; or else, while saying that they believed in Christ, their answers showed that they did not even know what they said.” Ultimately, with the full concurrence of both elders, but two of the candidates were accepted.

The Communion services at Bloemfontein were four in number—two on the Saturday and two on the Sunday. At the Sunday morning service the Lord’s Supper was dispensed, and so large was the number of communicants that six tables had to be ministered to, each with appropriate hymn and address. Owing to the great attendance and the absence of a sufficiently commodious hall, these gatherings all took place under the open sky. July and August are windy months in Central South Africa, and Andrew records with gratitude the fact that though the wind blew strongly, he was able to conduct all the services without sensible strain or fatigue.

It must be remembered that Murray was not merely minister of Bloemfontein but consulent or acting minister of the adjoining parishes of Riet River (Fauresmith), Rietpoort (Smithfield) and Winburg. His preaching and parochial work took him in turn to each of these centres: with the exception of the last they could hardly as yet be designated townships. The distances from Bloemfontein to each of the three places are approximately 60, 90 and 60 miles. An important ceremony at Riet River now claimed his presence. This was the laying of the foundation-stone of the new church building. Mr. C. U. Stuart, the Magistrate, to whose sympathetic interest in matters spiritual and ecclesiastical Murray’s letters bear frequent witness, was invited to perform the function. Be Kerkbode (The Church Messenger) chronicles the event in its usual terse and unemotional fashion—

On the first of September at the Riet River, in the presence of a numerous concourse, Mr. Stuart laid the corner-stone of a church building for that congregation, which consists of at least 3,000 souls. Mr. Stuart delivered at this occasion a striking address, while the religious services of the congregation were conducted by the Rev. A. Murray, Jr., who also preached there on the following Sunday. From there he travelled vid Bloemfontein to Winburg and to the Valsch River, where he hoped to meet some of the people living beyond the Vaal River, in order to make arrangements for a visit to them, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel and administering the sacraments.

The programme outlined above was carried out in the course of September. Though nominally in charge of the congregation of Bloemfontein, Murray’s parish was in reality the whole of the territory which was known subsequently as the Orange Free State, in which at the present day the D. R. Church has some sixty separate congregations. His September visitation tour carried him first to the Valsch River, in the neighbourhood of what is now the town of Kroonstad, thence to the Witte-bergen (Bethlehem), and thence still further eastwards towards the border of Natal, near the township of Harrismith, which had then been recently laid out. By the commencement of October he was back in Bloemfontein, from where he set out almost immediately for Graaff-Reinet, in order to attend the meeting of Presbytery, which was due to assemble on the 18th of that month.

After an absence of seven months, during which his life had been one of incessant joumeying and preaching, he found himself again under the parental roof. The physical rest, we may well conceive, was highly needful. The youth of twenty-one had already shouldered more than a man’s burden, and the question which engaged the anxious attention of his parents was whether the health of their strenuous son could endure the heavy strain which was being placed upon it. The rest indeed was all too short, lasting for less than a fortnight. During this brief breathing-space he enjoyed the singular privilege of baptizing a little sister, born on the 22nd September, who received the name of Helen. On the 11th November he is again in harness at Bloemfontein, and casting his eyes northward across the Vaal River, with intent to carry Gospel ministrations to the “regions beyond.” That the strain of the past months was already beginning to tell upon his otherwise sound constitution is evidenced by the somewhat ominous note struck in a letter to his father—

Monday morning, two o’clock [3rd December], Yesterday I had a rather large congregation of Dutch and a tolerable one of English, and even in the morning before I began I felt tired; for I really never have time to get quite uitgerust (thoroughly rested). I am not without my fears that I may be sadly knocked up before I get back, though I promise that I shall do all I can to spare myself, for I hear enough about it from all the good friends here. I trust that I shall be continually accompanied and supported by your prayers, my dearest father; and oh! I care little whether I have strength enough or no, if my own soul were but in a fitter state for commencing such a solemn work. Oh! for the anointing of the Spirit for my unclean lips, and His softening and enlightening and renewing grace for all who hear.—I am not able now to write particulars about all my plans: this I will do from Mooi River, where all our arrangements will be definitely made.

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The Life of Andrew Murray (South Africa)

Chapter 5

Across the Vaal

I often know not what to think of the leadings of Providence, in how far it may have been in tender mercy to my own soul that I was prevented from going thither [as minister to the Transvaal] ; although the letters I sometimes receive make a very strange impression upon me. All the people, otherwise so divided, are united in fixing their choice upon me.—Andrew Murray.

THE visit which Murray paid to the emigrants across the Vaal River was brief in its duration, but momentous in its consequences. The whole tour lasted but little more than six weeks. He crossed the Vaal on the 7th December, 1849, and re-crossed it on his homeward journey on the 22nd January, 1850. During this period he must have covered, north of the Vaal River, a distance of some 800 miles, and that chiefly by ox-waggon. He preached at six different centres, conducting in all thirty-seven services ; he baptized 567 children ; and he admitted to membership 167 young people, being less than half the number of candidates that presented themselves.

The far-reaching results that flowed from this visit were of an importance out of all proportion to its length. There existed on the part of the emigrants across the Vaal a not unintelligible suspicion towards ministers of the D. R. Church of the Cape Colony, which was at that time strongly tinged with Erastianism. Its clergymen were appointed by the Governor ; their salaries were paid out of the public treasury ; and though a certain latitude was permitted them in the acceptance or refusal of calls to particular congregations, the formal approbation of the Governor was requisite if the call was to be sustained. These regulations obtained in the case of Andrew Murray, who had received his appointment as minister of Bloemfontein from Sir Harry Smith, and drew his stipend from the Colonial Treasurer. It was natural for the emigrant farmers, who had trekked to the far north in order to escape from British influence, to look askance at a young minister who held his sacred office through the grace of a British Colonial Governor. The importance of Murray’s first visit lay in the fact that it allayed the suspicions of the Boers, knit their hearts to the ardent young pastor who brought them the ministrations of grace, and evoked expressions of confidence1 in the Cape D. R. Church, and of a desire to remain in corporate ecclesiastical communion with that body.

Of the details of this tour of visitation we have happily full accounts, both in the Kerkbode, and in letters addressed by Murray to his father. We shall therefore let him tell the story in his own words, with but an occasional elucidatory comment.

To his Father.

Magaliesberg, 22nd December, 1849.

I should certainly ere this have begun to write some account of my journey, but have hitherto been prevented, I may say, by a press of business ; for the little spare time I have had has generally been on the road, when I could not conveniently sit down and write. I trust you received the hurried lines I sent you from Mooi River [now Potchef-stroom] in which I told you of my arrival there. I was received with the greatest friendliness and apparent confidence, though I believe there had been some doubts on the part of the Landdrost as to whether he would allow me to come, for fear of British influence. The congregation was large, but I found it very difficult to fix their attention, evidently from their long separation from the means of grace. I trust that some impression was produced, if I may judge from their talking about the sermons. On Monday I had sixty-five candidates for membership, of whom thirty-two were received; and I was really astonished at the way in which many could read. On Monday evening I held my last service, at which they were voorgesteld (presented).

On Tuesday morning we left for the Zwarte Ruggens, to the northwest of Mooi River. The Landdrost Lombaard took me out on horseback, and with him I had a good deal of conversation about the state of the country, especially of the Morikwa, whence he had just returned.

The second church-place ought to have been there, but for want of time it had been appointed on the borders of that district. It was expected that we should there have the largest congregation, but on our arrival (after three days' travelling in an ox-waggon) we found that the congregation was smaller than at Mooi River. The people in the Morikwa are most unsettled, and a few ringleaders lead them astray, especially in religious matters. The most of those who are waiting for the trek to Jerusalem are in that neighbourhood, and I was very sorry that my further arrangements prevented my going among them, though this perhaps was also the Lord’s doing, as they might possibly have turned me back.

On Friday I spoke the whole day to the parents of the children brought for baptism, and held a service in the evening. On Saturday morning and evening there was preparation, and between the services I spoke to the most of those who wished to partake of the Lord’s Supper, which was dispensed on the Sabbath, and of which some sixty partook. Many of these appeared to feel the solemnity of the occasion, while others, although I had tried to speak as plainly and faithfully as I could, gave too plain proofs that they came without the proper preparation. I trust, however, that the Lord was with some of us. I was very much pleased with Caspar Kruger, the deacon, from whose place I am writing, as the church is to be held here to-morrow. He says that he there first was enabled to rejoice in Christ, though long seeking after Him. It is the first time that he has partaken of the Sacrament. He acknowledges that he has long, through the obstinacy of his heart, rejected Christ.

On Wednesday we left for Gert Kruger’s, your friend. On the way we called on one of those who refuse to come to church. After a couple of hours’ conversation I left him, deeply grieved at the ignorance of these poor people [i.e. the “ Jerusalem pilgrims ”]. England is one of the horns of the beast, and of course those who receive her pay are made partakers of her sins. I hardly knew whether to weep or smile at some of his explanations of the prophecies and of Revelation, all tending to confirm their hope of being soon called to trek to Jerusalem. By the way, he for the moment quite puzzled me by showing me the kantteekening [marginal note of the Dutch version of the Bible] on Revelations xvii. 12, where all the countries of Europe are mentioned as being typified by the horns of the beast, except Holland,—and under it he included, of course, the true Africaners.2

In the afternoon I rode to Gert Kruger’s, where I was most warmly received. With him I had a great deal of conversation on the state of the country, from which, as well as from my own observation, I really think that the people are getting settled (though there are a few malcontent spirits here and there), and many are beginning to do very well indeed. Gert Kruger says he considers either John or myself their rightful possession from the promise you made at Mooi River. I really know not sometimes what to answer the people—they do so press me to come here. I must acknowledge that, were I not bound to Bloemfontein, which I have not the least desire to leave, I could not refuse their request. You may perhaps think that I have not sufficiently weighed the difficulties which present themselves here, but I think I feel them. The field is really ripe for the harvest, and many, many are longing for the preaching of the Word, though with others it is nothing but a desire for the sacraments.

Yesterday morning I arrived here at Caspar Kruger’s, after having crossed the Magaliesberg. The country along both sides of the mountain is really beautiful and very fertile. It is not so flat as about Mooi River and is beautifully wooded, with many fine streams. Fruits ripen early. The apricots are past, and I have been eating peaches, figs, apples and melons, and even a few grapes. I have also seen orange trees, well laden with fruit.

25th December.—Through the Lord’s goodness I can again record that I have been holpen thus far, and I trust that you have also been assisted in your labours on this occasion. I have been much with you in spirit, and I have tried to rejoice with you in the remembrance of this blessed day. On Friday evening I had my first service, and then two preparation services on Saturday, which, with speaking to the parents of more than eighty children who have been baptized, fatigued me a good deal before Sabbath came. The congregation was very large, so that the place prepared for the services had to be doubled in size, and this, with the open air, require a great deal of exertion to make them hear. On Sabbath I was very hoarse, but got on very well, and was enabled to preach and to serve four tables without my voice failing. When I came home, though I did not feel fatigued, I was so worn out that when I lay down for a few minutes I slept full three hours most soundly, and was quite refreshed for the evening service.

Yesterday morning we had service very early, after which I sat full ten hours in the aanneming (confirmation) with some eighty young people, of whom forty-two were received, and were this morning voor-gesteld (presented). The attention from the commencement was much better than at either of the former church-places, and some of the people appear to have received deep, might it but be saving, impressions. The interest manifested in the hearing of the Word was great, and from the earnestness with which some spoke about it I would hope that the Lord has been with us. I have to thank and praise the Lord that He has so supported me, body and soul, but still there is much to complain of—a hard, unfeeling and unbelieving heart, even in the midst of earnest preaching, and much self-confidence and pride. The way in which the people here treat me tends but too much to elevate me, even though I be unconscious of it. The impressions which appear to have been produced have made the people still more anxious that I should come here, and some of them have been pleading with me for hours that I should accept a call.

On Saturday two men arrived here with an ox-waggon from Zoutpans-berg, bearing a letter from the Commandant Potgieter. They beg me to come thither, as the poverty of many of the people will not allow them to travel thus far, and since it would not be safe to leave the frontier towards Moselekatse, where they are altogether unprotected. The distance—fourteen schoften to the north-east from here—alone prevented me from going. Potgieter asked me to appoint a time when some other minister, or else myself, should come to them, and I have fixed September. When the men heard that they could not be visited for such a time, they were in tears, as they had hoped I might go with them, and when they left again they could not speak. I hardly know what to say when the people begin to discourse about their spiritual destitution, and their desire after the Word. They plead their application to the Ring (Presbytery) two years ago, and Papa's promise to help them, and urge the situation of Bloemfontein between Mr. Reid and Mr. van Velden as a reason why they should have a minister here on the uithoek (far corner). Suppose another minister, say John Neethling, should refuse to come here, but be willing to take Bloemfontein, what would you think of my coming here ? Perhaps you say, Foolish boy ! but the way in which some of the people here plead really moves my heart. Many are in a fit state for receiving the seed of the Word. May the Lord in His mercy help them.

Mooi River, 11th January, 1850.

My last letter I concluded on Christmas Day, and I shall simply commence this letter by resuming the narrative from that date. From C. Kruger’s we travelled in a south-easterly direction, and after crossing the Magaliesberg we reached Andries Pretorius’, where we stopped for the night. He treated me with great kindness and made great professions of sorrow over the decay of religion in the land. I rode a considerable distance with him on horseback the next day, when he asked me if he might not come to the Lord’s Table, as he had so longed for it at the last church-place. I spoke as faithfully as I could; and he said that it really was his most earnest desire to serve the Lord, but acknowledged that he was living in enmity with Biihrmann the Hollander, and I am glad to say that he stayed away from the Table. He desired to be remembered to you, as also did his brothers Piet and Bart, the former of whom is very well spoken of here. I had also a good deal of conversation with A. Pretorius on political matters, but into this subject I shall not now enter. This much I can say, that there does not exist the least fear for another outbreak [of the Boers against the British], though there is a small war-party who are doing all they can to disturb the peace. Unfortunately they are but too much encouraged in secret by some parties in the Sovereignty, and even in the Riet River, who profess to be loyal British subjects. But I see I must not begin with this, or I shall not know where to end.

From Andries Pretorius’ we rode a small schoft to the farm of D. Erasmus, where church was to be held. Here I had the usual work, and though the congregation was not as large as at the former church-place, the number of children brought for baptism was much greater (125), as the people of these parts had not been able to attend the services of Messrs. Faure and Robertson. I had a service on Friday evening, two on Saturday, and on the Sabbath I dispensed the Lord's Supper. It sometimes makes me unhappy to think that I must preach God’s Holy Word with so little preparation, and though circumstances prevent my studying much, yet I might live much more in a state of mind which would be a continual preparation. Oh ! could I but more live in heaven, breathing the spirit of God’s Word, the Lord would abundantly make up the want of regular study.

After the service I was very unwell, and was advised not to preach again in the evening, which advice I followed. On Monday I had only a very short service, for the confirmation of those who had been admitted as members on Saturday, and for the baptism of the children. I had caught a severe cold from the continual draughts to which I was exposed, especially when coming heated out of church, and the cold was accompanied with rather severe fever. Immediately after service I had to ride on horseback for several hours, the waggon having gone on early in the morning, since the distance we had to travel to the next church-place did not allow of our losing any time.

During the week we journeyed nearly due east to the district of Ohrigstad. The town and neighbourhood have been abandoned, though exceedingly fertile, on account of the disease which has carried off so many victims during the last two years, and all the people have trekked out to the Hoogeveld (plateau), where the climate is as salubrious as can be wished. For the greater part of the way we travelled through a thickly-wooded country, very sparsely peopled, though we were able to spend every night on a farm. The church-place and its neighbourhood along the Hoogeveld is quite bare, and much cooler than a great part of the low country through which we had travelled. We reached our destination on Friday afternoon. New Year’s Day was spent in the desert. On that day we travelled eleven-and-a-half hours in order to reach a habitation, or else we would have had to spend the night in the veld, which is still infested with lions. During the whole of New Year’s Day I thought much of our dear home, and I am sure the absent members of the family also formed the subject of your conversation. How many and how great are the mercies which the Lord has granted to us since the beginning of 1849.

Valsch River, 25th January, 1850.

When I reached the church-place I was still very unwell, but was strengthened to do my work. The congregation was not very large, as the intimations had unfortunately not reached all the people. I baptized seventy-five children, and was told that there was a still larger number left unbaptized in this district. When we left the place on the Tuesday, I had for my fellow-traveller the far-famed Hollander Buhrmann. He is a plain Amsterdammer, who came out here to be a schoolmaster, and who has been compelled, perhaps not very unwillingly, to take part in political affairs. He occupies no office, though every place in the Government has been offered to him. He does good, I believe, in trying to keep the people at peace, but is rather permanlig (stuck-up), as the people say. He is religious, but I fear has not true piety. By some he is much looked up to, and by others despised and hated. I had much conversation with him on all sorts of subjects, political not excepted, of which I may afterwards communicate the results to you.

During the journey back from Ohrigstad district I was still unwell, and very weak, but recovered gradually ; so that by the end of the week, when we reached Magaliesberg, I was nearly quite well, though still weak and very much fallen off in flesh. I had purposely not intimated any service for Sabbath the 13th, that I might have a day of rest; and I am thankful that I did so, as I was much refreshed for the hard work at Mooi River. Unfortunately I did not enjoy so much quiet as I had hoped for, as there were two or three other families come to the place, and my companions always strove to be with me. (I did not mention that Caspar Kruger and Frans Schutte accompanied me for the whole j ourney.) I trust, however, that the day did not pass without a blessing for myself. On Monday we left, and spent the night at Gert Kruger’s, of whom I have formed a high opinion. He gave me a letter for you, on the subject, I believe, of my coming here. He feels very strongly on the matter, and I must say again that, were I not bound to Bloemfontein, I know where I should go. On Thursday afternoon, after having seen the Oog (source of river) in the morning, we reached Mooi River.

Monday the 21st was the day appointed for the sitting of the Volks-raad, and this brought a large number of people to Mooi River. There were above 400 waggons; and a very large place, which had been prepared and which could contain about 1,000 people, was not sufficient for more than the half. I was really astonished, when I rose in church on Sabbath morning, to see the multitude that was assembled. I preached on Friday and twice on Saturday, not without a blessing, I trust, though I cannot say that my own soul was in a very lively frame. I sometimes doubt whether it really be the Lord's assistance by which I am enabled to preach, or whether it be merely natural powers which, when excited, lead me to preach earnestly, and apparently with deep impression on the hearers.

On Sabbath I dispensed the Sacrament, and had by far too many communicants, though I had tried to set forth as faithfully as possible what Psalm xxiv. 4 represents as the way to God. My own heart was somewhat enlarged in speaking on the name Emmanuel, but I found that very few of the people are in a state to appreciate such subjects. What they want is knorren (scolding), and if that but produced any good effect, I would willingly hnoy; but I sometimes feel sad at the thought that the blessed Gospel of God’s love should be degraded to be nothing else than a schoolmaster to drive and threaten.

On Monday I preached on 1 John iv. 7, and tried to speak as plainly as possible on all the contention and enmity which prevails amongst them, especially in reference to the Raad, where disputes sometimes run very high. The meeting of the Raad had been postponed till Tuesday because of the service. Many professed to be very thankful, and I really think that a good feeling was produced, and that many felt the necessity of striving after peace and unity. In the evening I had another opportunity of speaking strongly on the same subject in my farewell address from Philippians i. 27. I dare not say otherwise than that I was much assisted from on high, both in body and spirit. The congregations were very large, and as the place for service was partly open, I had to exert myself very greatly, and on Monday was very hoarse. Yet I was so strengthened as to be well heard, and I have not felt my chest pained or even wearied. At ten that night I began with the church meeting, which lasted past midnight till two o’clock. Among other things they again asked me to come amongst them, and though I decidedly said that I did not see the least opening to do so, they insisted; and I believe they intend sending me a beroepschrift (letter of call), and also petitioning the Synod on the subject. May the Lord Himself in His mercy supply the needs of this poor destitute people !

There is one point on which I still wish to ask your opinion. I never prayed for the authorities, and of course the people observed it, and Wolmarans spoke to me about it. I felt it to be a delicate matter, and wished much to know how the preceding Commission [i.e. Messrs. Faure and Robertson] would have acted. I do not know myself what to think of the proceedings of the Boers against the English: in many respects they appear to me to be justifiable; but on this I hope to speak with you afterwards. Even supposing that they have done wrong, they appear to me to be of " the powers that be,” as they are now tolerated by Government; and as well as Paul could pray for all authorities, and for the Romans too, might I pray that the authorities may be ruled by the fear of God, and the Raad be enabled by His wisdom to do all for God's glory and the good of the people. I hope to receive from you a full statement of your opinion as to whether I have done right or wrong in this matter. I felt that I might be led to do it for popularity’s sake, and I prayed the Lord to preserve me from the same.

On Tuesday morning, after only two hours’ sleep during the night, I left on horseback ; and I must confess I felt the parting from some whom I had learnt to know well, and to whom I had become much attached. I rode with Elder Wolmarans to Jan Kok’s to baptize a child two days old ; but before we got there we were thoroughly drenched. Though I had no shift of clothes (the waggon being behind), and was obliged to let my clothes dry on horseback, I have felt no bad consequences, through God’s goodness. Elder Wolmarans, Andries Pretorius and many others desired to be remembered to you.

You may imagine how very strange and varied my feelings were on crossing the Vaal River again. I had passed over it hardly knowing whither I went and what might happen, and when I looked back at the Lord’s leading over the way, all the strength and assistance I had enjoyed, the blessing of which I had been the unworthy channel to not a few, I trust, and the measure of comfort with which He had enabled me to do the work;—and when I then thought on the little progress I myself had made in grace, on the want of true love to my fellow-sinners, on the hardness and indifference of my wicked heart, on the absence of that true heavenly-mindedness in which an ambassador of Christ ought to live, on all the pride and self-sufficiency with which I had taken to myself the glory which belongs to God alone—surely I had reason to glory and rejoice in God, and to weep in the dust at my own wickedness. How fatherly have not the dealings of my Covenant God been with me, how unchildlike my behaviour towards Him. Oh ! bless the Lord with me, my dearest father, and praise Him for all His loving-kindness and long-suffering, praying that the Lord Himself would pardon and renew me, that I may be fitted truly to glorify Him.

Bloemfontein, 11th February, 1850.

At length I have again reached my dwelling-place (for home I cannot call it), and shall try and finish my narrative. From the Vaal River I rode to old Daniel Cronje’s on the Rhenoster River, where I had service that Tuesday evening and twice on Wednesday. The number of people was very small, as many of them had been attracted to the services at Mooi River by the sitting of the Volksraad. On Thursday I took my departure for Valsch River, and after having again experienced God’s goodness in finding the Rhenoster River just low enough to get through (though it had been excessively full the night previous), reached the church-place on Friday morning. There was a very good congregation assembled, and though I felt rather unwell, I was helped to perform the usual Communion services on Saturday, Sabbath and Monday. On Tuesday I left again for Winburg, which I reached on Thursday.

You cannot imagine the excitement of the people at Winburg about the appointment of Mr. van Velden to Harrismith, and I cannot say with what astonishment and indignation I was filled on receiving the intelligence.5 Such unprincipled robbery ! Such debasing of Christ’s servants to be the servants of political speculation. Here there are 3,000 souls, many hungering and thirsting; there not thirty. But enough. The matter gives me much work in writing to Cape Town whilst I am anything but well. But the Lord will provide.

The continued prosperity of our journe