companion worker, and the Rev. Charles Janson, then at
Masasi, was assigned to him.
They started off on Bishop Steere's old route and
crossed the Rovuma ; and then, striking west, made
straight for the Lake, and in six weeks had traversed a
great deal of hitherto unknown country.
Charles Janson was one of those spiritually minded men
" Who all around see all things bright
With their own magic smile."
And his last journals show him keenly alive to the beauty
of glowing hill, and wooded vale, and creeper-screened
river ; to the hippopotamus taking his morning bath, and
to all the little incidents of the way, till on February 9
they reached the actual beach of the Nyasa, the desired
goal of the Mission for so many years. They said it
reminded them of the Sea of Galilee.
And then, just as the first missionaries entering that
district from the Zambezi left only their graves by the
Shire, so Charles Janson's hallowed the Lake side. The
rainy season had made their journey a very trying one,
and Janson towards its close had been suffering from
" Our brother fell asleep," wrote Mr. Johnson, " on
Shrove Tuesday at noon. He really made no complaint,
and on Sunday was even equal to celebrating in the morning,
and all day was full of heartfelt sympathy, which I treasured,
not knowing what it really was."
On Monday he was carried to try to reach a more healthy
place ; but, to help his bearers, waded through a stream.
This brought on sudden, sharp pain, heroically borne ; he
HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSION
sank to rest, and Mr. Johnson had the grief of laying in
his grave the companion so long wished for and so much
" If we had chosen one of our whole number," said Bishop
Steere four months later, " of whom we should have said
that he was fit for the kingdom of heaven, we should have
chosen no one more clearly and undoubtedly than Charles
GRAVE OF REV. CHARLES JANSON AT CHIA, LAKE NYASA
Quietly the men came in and said the Lord's Prayer,
and sewed up the body in matting, and laid him to rest,
piling a cairn of stones over him. Full of faith and
courage, Mr. Johnson," thinking of that grave by the Lake-
side as just a text, from which to preach the Resurrection
to all those poor people about," took to himself the lesson
so many have heard and learned at a Christian funeral,
"Be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the
LAKE NY AS A 135
work of the Lord " ; and at once he passed on his lonely
way on his Master's business. Fixing his headquarters at
Chitesi's on the Lake — a chief with many people and much
cattle — Mr. Johnson went forth, and for about two years
was almost lost to sight as he wandered through the
length and breadth of the land to which the Mission had
at first been sent.
One expedition he made to the Magwangwara, all
unknowing that their army was at the time destroying
Masasi. He traced the courses of the Rovuma and
Lujenda ; he wandered south until he warmed all hearts
by writing from " Near Magomero," the early home of
Al] this time, he assures us, the question of what station
to occupy, and how the work might be carried on in the
populated but unhealthy lowlands round Nyasa never left
his mind, and at last his plans were matured. Less men
would be required, less time occupied, and less risk to
health incurred, if, instead of settling with any one tribe,
a dhow, or else a small steamer, were procured for the
Mission. This could pass up and down the L,ake, manned
by Mission men and boys, and calling first at one station
then at another.
He hurried home to England, and laid his plans before
the Committee, and finally left England again with a
steamer packed in sections, and accompanied by Captain
Callaghan, William Bellingham, and others.
The task before them was most arduous. They were
to go out round the Cape, up the Zambezi, and up the
Shire. Half-way on the Shire there are the rapids, which
involve a porterage of sixty miles. In that country there
were then no roads, no wheeled vehicles, no beasts of
136 HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSION
burden. The steamer had to go up in so many thousand
small pieces, packed in 380 cases — not one larger than
could be carried on a man's head, or at best on a pole
between two. Of course the loss of one small piece might
delay the whole enterprise ; while, if all were safely carried
across, they had still to put the steamer together and
launch it, under a tropical sun, in the midst of Central
Africa, with no appliances but what they could carry with
them. It seemed as if everything depended on Johnson,
the one originator of the whole scheme, the only one of the
party who had been in the country before, and the only
one who could speak the Nyasa language. The start
had hardly been made from the mouth of the Zambezi
before Mr. Johnson was stricken down by a violent kind
of ophthalmia, and found totally blind. Instead of lead-
ing his expedition to Nyasa he had to return home, spend
many months in a darkened room, and undergo several
operations ; he lost the sight of one eye altogether, and
only regained a dim sight with the other. Meantime
the expedition went on without him, and thanks mainly
to William Bellingham, a veteran lay-worker in the
Mission, the steamer was successfully put together. But
the hut, in which was the boiler, took fire, and while all
efforts were directed to rescuing an unhappy man and a
boy who were working inside the boiler, much property
The vessel, henceforth to be known as the Charles
Janson, was however launched on the Shire and dedicated
on the following day (Sept. 6, 1885) by Bishop Smythies.
Verily the powers of evil had fought hard for the possession
of this land, but in vain ; and on January 31, the twenty-
fourth anniversary of Mackenzie's death, Mr. Bellingham
ARCHDEACON W. P. JOHNSON'.
REV. CHARLES J ANSON.
WILLIAM BELLINGHAM. ARCHDEACON C. B. EVRE.
THE ' CHARLES^JANSON ' AND SOME OF ITS WORKERS.
LAKE NY AS A
wrote from Likoma to say, " We have the good news to
tell you that the Charles Janson arrived safe with all on
board on the 22nd." The motto of the ship might well
have been Gratias Deo qui nobis dedit vidoriam. Thus
was fulfilled the latest plan of Bishop Mackenzie, when,
in his last written words, he asked for "a Universitv
LAST DAYS OF BISHOP STEERE
Death of Bishop Steere — Work of Archdeacon Hodgson — Charles
Alan Smythies, fourth Bishop — David Susi.
EIGHTEEN-EIGHTY-TWO was a year of sorrow.
We have already seen Masasi wrecked by a raid
of the Magwangwara, and the gentle and holy Charles
Janson falling asleep ; but a sorer trial was at hand for the
Mission. He who for nineteen years had been the soul
of the work, and who had ruled it for ten years so wisely
and so truly, was about to be taken from its head.
Early in the year Bishop Steere had fainted in church,
and was evidently out of health when news came of Mrs.
Steere's serious illness, and he sailed for England in
March, bringing with him the revised version of the New
Testament in Swahili.
Arriving in April, he was little more than two months
in England, but the work achieved was great. The
Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham were
visited, and addresses and sermons given in all directions.
Especially he made a point of going to see the families of
those who worked under him, feeling them truly to be his
This year's anniversary was a very memorable one.
The early celebration at St. Paul's Cathedral and the
LAST DAYS OF BISHOP STEERE 139
choral celebration at St. Andrew's, Wells Street, will
long be remembered as the last at which Bishop Steere
ever assisted in England, He preached at the latter
service, comparing the Mission work to that of our Lord's
during His earthly life : —
" When those dark eyes that could not see the Hand of
God, and walked about in darkness fearing shapes of evil,
now behold the Providence of God, and the angels of God
around to help him, and the path of life clearly marked out
for him, till the gate of Paradise is opened to receive them —
when those blind eyes are open to see all this, it is surely like
some of those old miracles of Christ come again, to be done
before us and by as.
" But how is all this to be done ? It is not done by
wisdom ; it is not done by words ; it is done much more by
living. . . . For although they may say the words of the gospel
are like some old heathen book, yet there is one thing that
no heathen could ever have dreamed of, and that is the life
and character of Jesus Christ. . . . This life of quiet perse-
verance, this going about unacknowledged and unreceived,
is the very thing that has opened and does open the souls of
men to receive the gospel. . . . For conversions are not
wrought by argument, but by the inner questioning of each
At the afternoon meeting Bishop Steere spoke again,
telling the story of the Universities' Mission in fresh and
simple words, speaking actually with watch in hand, that
he might catch the train to take him the first stage on his
He had parted for the last time from his wife, who sur-
vived him only till April 1883, passing away surely to the
reward promised to those who have given up their best
ungrudgingly for the Master's service.
140 HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSION
Auguries of the Bishop's end not being far off were not
wanting. At this anniversary meeting the Dean of
Westminster, Dr. Bradley, speaking of the African
workers, had quoted the words : " Verily, verily, I say
unto thee, when thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself,
and walkedst whither thou wouldest ; but when thou
shalt be old, another shall gird thee, and carry thee
whither thou wouldest not." And the Bishop himself
had said before what was evidently in his mind now :
" A Missionary priest may well return and take up work
at home, often it will be his duty to do so, but if he accept
the office of a Bishop it should be for life. He may often do
more from his armchair than a new man who does not know
the country ; and if it should be necessary to resign, a Bishop
should be the servant of all, and can therefore be the servant
to his successor. England may be the easiest place in which
to live, but Africa is just as good to die in ; and his death at
his post may do much more than his life. What England
wants, and what Africa wants, are many such deaths. Why
should it be thought a great thing to die in the best of services?"
The Bishop sailed with the Rev. W. H. Penney (the
Secretary), who was going out to visit the Mission,
Mr. Whitty, Miss Bashford, and a sister of Miss D. Y.
Mills. The voyage was long and hot. A delay of several
days at Aden undid all the good of the Bishop's visit to
England, and be landed at Zanzibar none the better.
During his absence the Rev. F. R. Hodgson had re-
mained in charge, with the title of Archdeacon, and the
work had gone forward with spirit. Several boys and
girls had been baptized at Kiungani at Easter ; and the
Church at Mbweni approached completion.
St. Bartholomew's Day had an added brightness in the
LAST DAYS OF BISHOP STEERE
presence of the well-beloved Bishop. Seldom is it given
to man to make his life so complete. Two days before,
he had finished the translation of the prophet Isaiah into
The Bishop visited Mbweni the day before, and on the
Festival he went to Kiungani to visit his native children,
marrying two couples and giving the school prizes. After-
wards he walked back to Mkunazini with Miss Josephine
Bartlett, who has given a record of those last daj^s.
Here he visited the workpeople and went to Evensong.
When the mail came in, he busied himself as usual with
letters and packages till the evening of Saturday, the 26th,
when he wished good-night brightly to the household,
saying in answer to one who asked if he were going to
Mbweni in the morning, " Perhafs." Either that night
142 HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSION
or a few hours earlier he sat down and wrote the following
letter for the Home Committee :
" Gentlemen, — I am sorry to have to tell you that I feel
myself more and more unable to fulfil properly the duties
of my office as Head of the Universities' Mission. I can
reckon upon fair health so long as I stay in Zanzibar, but I
cannot undertake journeys to and upon the mainland, and
without them the Mission cannot be adequately superintended.
I find also that I cannot bear up against the ordinary anxieties
and petty cares which are continually arising, or deal with
them without more of irritation and mental disturbance
than is good, either to the Mission or myself. I feel bound,
therefore, to put in your hands the offer of my resignation.
I should not have hesitated about retiring at once had it not
been that there are still some things in which I think I could
do the Mission good service.
" The first is by completing the translation of the Bible
into Swahili. I think I could do this more quickly and
probably better than anyone else ; and if so, I certainly
ought to do it. Another thing I should like to do is to carry
further the little series of papers on the Mohammedan con-
troversy, which I have already begun. I think, too, that I
might be able to assist my successor in a great many matters,
which come within my own knowledge and power.
" These things make me reluctant to leave Zanzibar for
the present at least. I should gladly have resigned all my
income and offices, and remained as a private individual,
but I am under various money engagements which would
prevent my doing so.
" What I propose is, that I should remain here as an
assistant to whomsoever you should choose as the new
Bishop, on the understanding that I am not to be called upon
to leave Zanzibar, and am to make the completion of the
Bible translation my first work.
** If you think it better I should retain the title of my
LAST DAYS OF BISHOP STEERS 14^
office, I am quite willing to give up half its income to assist
in finding a younger and more active and sympathetic man
to undertake the necessary journeys, and to form a judgment
of the wants and proportionate claims of the various branches
of our work. I beg you to understand that I put myself in
your hands unreservedly, only protesting that I am unable
to do anything like what I see ought to be done, and that the
consciousness of this inability prevents my doing even as
much as with a clearer mind I might ..."
The Bishop also corrected some proof sheets of Isaiah,
directing them to the printer at Kiungani, and then indeed
" The labourer's task was o'er."
In his sleep came the Master's call, so quietly that
after the stroke he had never stirred, when on Sunday
morning, while the congregation waited in church for the
early Celebration, the Bishop's door was found locked,
and the hard breathing determined his friends to break it
open. Quietly he lay there through the day, no remedies
availing, till at 3.30 he breathed his last. Archdeacon
Hodgson commending to God the soul of that beloved
father. But around that peaceful death-bed sad hearts
were praying and weeping sorely ; and after all was over
the children from Kiungani and Mbweni came in groups to
look their last on him who had shown them the w^ay of
life for this world and the next. Cecil Majaliwa especially
said that none could understand them like their father who
When the mourners assembled for Evensong that Sun-
day, the sortes liturgicce showed them the grief of Elisha
when his " master was taken from his head."
The next day they buried him " in his own grand
church, behind the high altar, at the foot of the episcopal
144 HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSION
throne." All orders and ranks in Zanzibar came to that
funeral, and Seyid Barghash sent a representative.
The coffin was carried by English sailors from the London.
With the Swahili words he had translated he was laid to
rest, the choir singing, " Oh, what the joy and the glory
must be ! " But as the coffin was laid down in the chancel
the sobs of the multitude broke forth, drowning even the
organ, and for a while stilling the service.
Well, indeed, may it be said of Edward Steere, Mission-
ary Bishop, as of the architect of that great London
cathedral where the Bishop received his last English
Communion, " Si monumentum requiris, circumspice."
If you seek for his monument, look around at the church
which he built, at the Slave Market transformed by him
into a Christian quarter, so that at the foot of the accursed
whipping-post he sleeps well. Look around at the weep-
ing children whom God had given to the childless man ;
at the devoted band of helpers — priests and deacons,
laymen and lay women. Look around further at the
mainland Churches whose candlesticks had been kindled
by him. Look further still at the millions of Africans in
heathen darkness for whom he prayed so earnestly and
prays still. Listen to the soft Swahili tongue conveying
in his words the old Liturgy and the Word of God ; and
then, if we dare, let us turn away, as if all this were a
sight which had nothing to do with us.
Sympathy poured in, not only from the supporters of
the Mission, but from the English Government, from the
Church Missionary Society, whose workers he had helped
so sympathetically, and from the Bible Society, which
even now was printing for him the entire Swahili New
LAST DAYS OF BISHOP STEERE 145
The character of a great man is best read in his acts ;
but his counsels are so valuable to those engaged in
Mission work that a few of them must be given.
A letter of Archdeacon (afterwards Bishop) Maples will
give a good idea of his great chief : —
" Firm will, indomitable resolution, and force of character
were, I could see, all written as plainly as possible about his
mouth and chin, while the merry twinkle of the eye revealed
the fine play of wit and humour. And last, though not least,
the overhanging brows and the broad forehead told unmis-
takably of the keen intellect and mental power he had turned
to such good account in the service of the Mission."
Compare with this picture his saying to a candidate
for Holy Orders : " Let me give you one word of advice.
Never say, ' I can't.' "
The Bishop never despised the humblest work ; and we
find Archdeacon Maples saying : —
" Thus it was that to us who knew him, it seemed as
natural to see him plying a chisel or hammer or a needle, as
to see him celebrating the holy mysteries or preaching to a
native crowd. Like St. Wilfrid, he could show the natives
how to do their own particulat work better than they knew
how to do it themselves, and could help them to improve the
natural resources of their country. Like St. Athanasius,
he was able to turn from one occupation to another as easily
as if each fresh labour to which he gave himself had been his
own especial study."
To quote his own words to a worker wishing for
" promotion " : —
" I should hope well for the future if I had a priest working
amongst the carpenters, and in whatever other workshop
146 HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSION
there may be, and learning there to sympathize with his fellow-
helpers, and how to speak best to them of the great motive
of his own life. One who lives and works among the natives
is doing a great work by his simple zeal and diligence, and no
one will be likely to make so effective a preacher, or so wise
and discreet a spiritual adviser. I would never have a man
to teach any kind of work as a mere lay occupation. I should
prefer a priest, or at least hope for a candidate for Holy
Orders. A man who would do nothing but preach I should
get rid of as soon as possible. We are here something in St.
Paul's position, and he earned his own living by what people
call secular work. He was all the better preacher for it, and
it would be absurd for us to praise him and not to try and
And no parts of the work were too remote from his
genius for his advice to be sought. Witness these counsels
on the management of boys and girls.
" We have to train all of them into habits of neatness,
promptitude, industry, and general good order — all most
contrary to their natural dispositions, but all indispensable.
We cannot trust to a boy's honour ; he understands that
to be a licence to do what he pleases. We have not, as in
England, the influence of a thousand years of Christianity to
fall back upon.
" There is no difficulty whatever about any boy earning
his own living anywhere ; they can all do that with only too
" As to sending such restless boys to our mainland stations,
I know it is the fashion to represent up-country life as freer
from temptation than town life ; people used just in the same
way to imagine that country villages were better — purer than
towns. We know very well that it is not so in England, and
my experience does not show it to be so here."
"It is perfectly useless to try to discover what all are
LAST DAYS OF BISHOP STEERE 147
agreed to hide. You can do nothing but show that you have
observed, and are angry about it. Do not speak of it again
after the first day. ... At the same time beware of anything
like favouritism, and be very glad to accept anything like a
plausible excuse from anybody'. It is curious how a sense
of injustice, or the pretence of one, lies under all rebellion.
If you allow their wrong-doing to vex you, you give them a
power over you which they will not be slow to use.
" Why should it vex you that they want correction ?
If they were good, you would not be wanted at all ; it is
because they are bad we are here. Do not, therefore, be
surprised if they are naughty. We go on all our lives sinning
and suffering ; it is no wonder if school-girls go on wanting
and getting punishment."
Archdeacon Maples gives a valuable account of the
Bishop's sacramental teaching : —
" The Bishop was of opinion that there was a danger lest
many fervent in adoration at the Holy Eucharist should
incline to the error of directing their worship rather to the
Presence of our Blessed Lord than to His Person ; thus he
insisted strongly that a Presence, as such, ought not to, and
indeed cannot be worshipped.
" He was careful, too, to draw attention to the mode of the
Presence in the Eucharist, noting always its supra-local
" He feared lest some might even be led to adoration of
Res sacramenii, and to substitute it for that adoration of
the Person of our Divine Master in heaven, to which this
mysterious Presence in the sacred elements is intended to
Such was some of the Bishop's teaching ; but his own
life is the best lesson of all.
148 HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSION
" You know," he once said gently and gravely, " it would
be nothing to offer one's life, if it were no sacrifice."
And with heartfelt faith and courage those who had
worked with him carried on the Mission, when their
leader had fallen, encouraged by the accession of several
new workers, among whom was the first fully qualified
doctor on the Mission staff since Dr. Dickinson had laid
down his life on the Shire. Dr. Petrie was the first-fruits
of the newly formed Guild of St. Luke. Another acces-
sion was the Rev. James Chala Salfey. He was a Galla,
taken from a slave dhow, and adopted by Captain
Hastings, R.N. He had been educated in England, and
ordained deacon by the Bishop of Oxford, and now
offered himself for the ministry among his own country-
men — the second native clergyman on the Mission
Archdeacon Hodgson was requested to remain at the
head of affairs till a new Bishop could come out, and all
the late Bishop had planned was faithfully carried on.
The peal of small bells which had been presented to the
Bishop at his parting meeting, but which he never heard,
were successfully hung in the tower of Christ Church by
Mr. Jones-Bateman, and rung for the first time on St.
Andrew's Day. Mr. Jones-Bateman and Mr. Bradley
also trained a choir of native boys for Christ Church,
quite worthy of an African cathedral.
This sad year did not end without more deaths. The
Rev. H. A. B. Wilson, deacon in charge of Umba, was
called to rest at Pangani, and his body brought to the
island, and buried at Kiungani. We shall hear more of
him in Chapter XIV. Lastly, James Chuma, the first
LAST DAYS OF BISHOP STEERE 149
boy belonging to the Mission, who had served Livingstone
and others so faithfully, died of consumption.