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weeping friends : " I so greatly rejoice to go to
Jesus in heaven ! I feel T am in tlie right way.
Love him, all of you ! Wife, cling to your

170 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

faith; teach the children; keep them as Chris-
tians should be. Let us all meet in heaven ! "
It would be easy to present more illustrations
of the power of Christianity to comfort the
soul in a dying hour, which have come under
my observation during the period of my mis-
sionary labor among the Zulus. The above
must suffice. The gospel, and that alone, can
impart peace to the converted African when
crossing the "dark river," as it does to Chris-
tians of other countries and other climes.




IT was a prediction of President Edwards
that "the Ethiopian might in time be-
come very knowing in divine things." There
are no instances in which educated Zulus have
attained to distinction in divine knowledge,
but that some have so studied the Bible and
had their hearts so permeated by the Holy
Spirit that they have been truly eloquent,
I can testify from personal observation. For
direct, earnest appeal to the conscience I have
never seen them surpassed. They do not
always adhere to their texts ; but they have
this sterling characteristic, which cannot be
said of all ministers at the present day in
their preaching: as the late Robert Moffat
has told us of the Bechuana preachers, "they
are careful never to go out from between
Genesis and Revelation."

No attempt to frighten a Zulu preacher has
as yet been successful. A Trappist monk said
to one, " You must stop preaching." The na-
tive, who was holding a padlock in his hand
at the time, replied, " If you should fasten my
mouth with this lock, and go away with the
key, I would not cease to proclaim the gospel."

Seven Zulu ministers have received ordina-


172 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

tion at the hands of American missionaries.
The majority have done well. Three have
gone to their reward.

Rev. James Dube was pastor of the church
at Lindley, the station named after its beloved
founder. When a youth like other Zulu lads,
Dube was assailed by temptations, but in his
case there was special danger, for he was the
son of a chief, and a large and influential
tribe looked to him as their future ruler. The
emoluments of Zulu chieftainship are great
and exceedingly fascinating in the eyes of the
natives. Dube knew well that if he remained
in heathenism he would inherit, not only power,
but wealth, consisting of cattle, by which he
could purchase as many wives as he desired.
In the providence of God he was brought
under the influence of Mr. and Mrs. Lindley,
who were quick to see the danger to which
he was exposed, and the good of which he
might be instrumental if he became a Chris-
tian. B}^ wisdom and kindness they won him
to the mission station and urged on his atten-
tion the claims of the gospel. To their joy
his heart responded favorably. He agreed to
a1)andon spirit worship and to give up all
thought of becoming a polygamist. His teach-
ers prayed most earnestly with him and for
him, nor did they pray in vain. For some
time Dube was under deep conviction. He
experienced thoroughly what divines in New
England, near the beginning of the century,
called '' law work." When he decided to serve

Rev. James Dube.

Zulu Preachers. 173

God, it was no lialfway decision. A more com-
plete transformation of character among* the
Zulus I never knew. He encountered oppo-
sition, and at that period of our mission's
history it was bitter and determined. Satan
tried all his arts to persuade him to return to
his heathen kraal and the vile customs of his
people. All the " glories " of heathenism were
set before him, but in vain. His thirst for
knowledge, especially that of the Bible, was
intense, and it was a real joy to guide his in-
quiring mind in the study of the Holy Scrip-
tures. For a year or more he studied under
Kev. David Rood. He then taught school, but
before Mr. Lindley left Natal the last time,
Dube was unanimously invited to the pastorate
of the cliurch of which he was a member. The
ordination scene was one I shall never foroet.
The charge to the pastor was given by Mr.
Lindley, Dube's spiritual father; and with tears
rolling down his cheeks the venerable mission-
ary remarked : " This is the gladdest day of
my life. 1 never anticipated beholding such
a sight as this."

From the time Mr. Dube assumed the over-
sight of the Lindley church till his death he
labored with zeal and fidelity. That love of
money was not one of his besetting sins is evi-
dent from the fact that for years he did not
take a farthing for his services, saying, ^' My
people are poor, and I can support myself."
Mrs. Edwards, who has charge of the High
School for Girls at Lindley, could always rely

174 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

on his help when needed. His love for all
Christian missionaries, especially those to whom
under God he attributed his conversion, was
marked and constant. In common with his
friends, who said that if their " father and
mother " (Mi', and Mrs. Lindley) must leave
them to die and be buried in another land, the
expense of their burial should come upon their
children, he contributed liberally towards the
fund of one hundred dollars which was sent to
America to be held in trust for that object.
As a preacher he was earnest and persuasive.
His imposing personal appearance was in his
favor. Over six feet in height, with a body
symmetrically proportioned, a penetrating eye,
and a voice easily heard in the largest church,
he always made a deep impression on his

I once heard an English missionary from
Kaffraria observe, while dilating on the elo-
quence of a native preacher, " For that man's
talent in pulpit oratory I would willingly give
my right arm." I never arrived at that pitch
of enthusiasm while listening to Zulu ministers,
but I often wished that the Lord would enable
me to proclaim the truth as eloquently as did
James Dube.

The death of this interesting man was sud-
den. One of his last utterances was, " Christ
to me is precious." When it was announced
to the people of his tribe that he was dead,
their grief was profound and protracted. Week
after week natives were seen wending their

Zulu Preachers. 175

way, some of them from a long distance, to the
grave to shed tears of sorrow and condole with
the bereaved family. All the members of our
mission felt that we had sustained an irrepara-
ble loss.

Another Zulu pastor, also deceased, was Rev.
Tra Adams, named thus after a brother of his
teacher. Rev. Newton Adams. His mother,
Umbulazi, was the first convert to Christianity
among the Zulus. Living in the family of the
missionary for ten years or more, Ira had an
opportunity to acquire the English language,
which he spoke with ease and fluency. For a
time he engaged in the sugar enterprise and
became in part owner of a mill. To an officer
of the Natal government who congratulated
him once on his success, he said, '' Yes ; it is all
the result of missionary instruction." While
employed in secular pursuits he preached
among the kraals every Sabbath. Elected to
the pastorate of the church at Adams, he
labored a few years, but ill health obliged him
to move to another part of the colony, where he
died deeply regretted.

The third Zulu pastor, also deceased, was
Rev. Umsingapansi, a man of sterling v/orth,
who was converted through the instrumentality
of Rev. James Bryant. Preaching, or, as he
expressed it, " taking up the cause of God that
lay on the ground," during the temporary
absence of Rev. William Ireland, Mr. Bryant's
successor, he continued his ministrations till
called unanimously to the oversight of the

176 Forty Years Among the Zulus,

Ifumi church. His death, after six years of
faithful labor, was a sore bereavement. Two
of the four surviving pastors have not proved
a comfort and joy to those w4io inducted them
into the sacred office. One, engaged in trading,
became involved in debt, left his people, and
took up his abode in the Zulu country. An-
other, for immorality and apparent untruth-
fulness, was suspended from the ministry, but
is now living a Christian life.

These defections have led missionaries to be
cautious in ordaining Zulu preachers. Though
they can talk eloquently and pray as if in-
spired from above, they do not all possess
that 7noral backbone which is desirable. These
cases of lapse, as can be easily imagined, fur-
nished material for skepticism in regard to the
results of missions. " See," said some, " how
badly that native preacher has turned out ! "
Missionaries, of course, had to come in for a
share of blame. One black sheep attracted
more attention than fifty good ones. They
seemed to ignore the fact that in civilized lands
cases often occur in which persons who have
stood high in church and society have com-
mitted flagrant offenses, wliile no one thought
of blaming the clergymen whose ministry they

A few specimens of addresses on different
occasions will show the character of the native

In 1873, when Mr. and Mrs. Lindley were
about to leave South Africa, after thirty-eight




Zulu Preachers, 177

years of faithful labor, there was a gathering
of Zulu converts, at which one of them spoke
as follows : —

" Brothers and sisters, we can but weep, for
to-day we are but orphans. Our father and
mother are now dead to us. Our hearts are
all too full of grief for many words. Who
will wipe away our tears now? Who will toil
for us as patiently and bear with us in love as
they did? . . . Their leaving is caused only
by the sickness of our mother. She can work
for us no longer ; she has worked too hard.
Others will be kind to them and take care of
them, but they will not find any children to
love them better than we do. . . .

" Let us review the past a little ; it will do
us good. Turn to the old deserted home under
the Inanda Mountain. There is no spot to us
on earth like that. There we were boys, when
our father came with his wagon and com-
menced building his house. There we saw
one and then another believing and building
on the station. There we were taught and
felt our hearts growing warm with love to God
and to his Son. A few weeks ago I rode past
that loved and beautiful place. My heart was
full of old memories. I saw the bush wliere
we went and made our first prayer. We
hardly knew what made us pray. We were
naked, ignorant herder boys. I said, 'Who is
this now riding on a good horse, with a saddle
and bridle? He is well dressed, so that this
cold wind is not felt. Verily, it is the same

178 Forty Years Ainong the Zulus.

herder boy ! What a contrast ! And where is
he going? To see his children, who are in two
large boarding schools, one at Amanzimtote,
the other here at Inanda.' Did we in those
days, when we knew not how to hold a book, —
knew not which side was up or which was
down, — think it would be all like this to-day?
No ; really, no. Goodness and mercy have fol-
lowed us. See how we have increased ^ Look
into our houses ; see what comforts ! Our cup
is running over. . . .

" We must now put on the armor and work
more earnestly, for we have to take up our
father's work. May his mantle fall on us ! and
may we salt our work as he salted his by a
blameless example ! . . .

" We have come to hear our father's last
words, and to bury him. So we will send the
money over the sea, that others may not bury
him. This is the only way that we can show
that we are his children. Let us henceforth
live in peace and love as children in one family
should do. It Avill then prove that our father
and mother did not spend their lives in useless
work. Above all, let us earnestly pray that
we may have this gathering together once more,
but not on earth. We want it to be in heaven.
There our tears will all be wiped away."

Another, while discoursing on the Bible,
said : —

" Wise men have made a telescope by which
they can see other suns and other moons and
other stars — many more than we can see with

Zuht Preachers. 179

our eyes. But the greatest telescope is the
Book made by God. It brings God's character
to our view. We can see his holiness and
benevolence. It brings Christ to our view.
We hear his words ; he walks and talks with us.
It is a wonderful telescope because it draws us
to him and binds us to him forever. It shows
us the way to heaven ; we see its beauty and
brightness and joy. We see also those great,
strong believers — old Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, who had faith to believe what we call

Said another, making use of imagery familiar
to his hearers : —

*' The gospel is a great wagon laden with
salvation. Christ told his disciples that it is
to be carried to all nations. Believers are
Christ's oxen — the load is to go and be distrib-
uted among all the inliabitants of the world.
If tlie oxen are lazy, God will take them out
and put others in, those that will draw. Who
of us are drawing the gospel wagon ? If we
are not, we shall find ourselves left out, and
others will be put in our place. Turn not
away because the wagon is heavy. Pull, and
strength will be given to you."

Still another : —

" What would you think if you should come
into a house and see a man lying on his mat,
looking ill, and you should ask, ' What is the
matter?' and he replied, 'Nothing at all"?
You say, ' Tell me, that I may help you.
Where is your pain?' *I tell you, I am quite

180 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

well,' replies the man. You beg him to allow
you to send for the doctor, but he refuses.
Just so it is with sinners. You see that they
are ill, and wish them to send for the Great
Physician, but they do not see it. What shall
we think of them ? "



rj^^HE various tribes in South Africa are
J- popularly called Kaffirs. Arab traders,
who were Mohammedans, gave them this name,
which signifies infidels^ or those who would not
embrace their faith. The term "Zulu Kaffirs "
is often used to distinguish the Amazulu from
other tribes, or what has been called the Bantu
race. This word Bantu, as Mr. Stanley re-
marks, is unphilosophical and perfectly mean-
ingless, as it signifies merely men, or people.
The Zulus, being a distinct nation, should go
by the name of Zulus, and by no other.

Their ethnology does not furnish data suffi-
cient to allow us to speak with certainty as
to their origin. That they differ from the
Demarara and other tribes in Southwestern
Africa, and from the Hottentots near the Cape
of Good Hope, we have abundant proof. With
the latter there is not the least natural affinity,
although a few Hottentot clicks appear in the
Zulu as well as in some other South African

A tribe of cannibals called Amazitu, living
on Lake Tanganyika, from the description
given by explorers, appear to be pure Zulus.
Their dialect is the same that is spoken in


182 Forty Years Among the Zulus,

Zululand. Mr. Stanley's " In Darkest Africa "
speaks of being " in the presence of twin
brothers of Zululand, tall, warlike creatures
with Caucasian heads and faces," in a district
called Uhha, but he does not tell us what
language they speak.^ In the vocabularies of
Schweinfurth, Cameron, and other travelers,
unmistakable Zidu words appear, which tend
to show that the maritime Zulus in the south,
and other tribes at the north, may have had
a common origin, but where their primeval
home was we cannot tell. Some of their
customs are quite Jewish ; as, for instance, the
practice of circumcision, and, till a late date,
rejection of swine's flesh ; the fear to step on
a newly -made grave lest they contract a
disease of the feet; the custom of widows
marrying the brothers of their former hus-
bands ; the naming of children after some
circumstance connected with their birth; their
sacrifical offerings ; the observance of the feast
of firstfruits ; the purchase of wives ; the cere-
mony of attaching to a cock the diseases of

1 In a recent interview between Rev. George Wilder, missionary
to the Zulus, and Mr. Stanley, the latter related that he had in his
party a Zulu woman from Natal who was al)le to converse with the
Wahuma, a tribe living near the Mountains of the Moon. They
said: "This woman is one of our people; where did she come
from?" Not only in language, but in customs, those people re-
semble the Zulus. The Abangoni, living on Lake Nyasa, are also
Zulus. The Zulu dialect is the court language of Manica country,
under the chief Ungungunhama, son of Umzila. This is the aurifer-
ous region which has been under dispute between the Portuguese
and the British South Africa Company. The Matabele are, it is well
known, pure Zulus. There is an evident kinship between tribes
living all the way along from Natal to Albert Nyanza, so that one
understanding thoroughly the Zulu tongue has a key by which to
unlock the various dialects spoken in Eastern Africa.

Zulu Customs and Laws. 183

the people, and sending it by a fit person into
the wilderness, like the Jewish scapegoat ;
the punishment of the slayer of a king with
death ; the cursing of an enemy before going
to war; the custom in the kraals of having
water poured on their hands after a meal by
servants ; the eating with a spoon from one
dish ; the sprinkling of the doorway of a hut
with medicinal water to keep away disease ;
the piling up of memorial stones, etc.

They have also traditions of events that
happened in the earliest days of which we
have record, and Zulu Christians often exclaim,
'•'- We understand the Old Testament better
than the New ; it describes so perfectly our
home life ! "

There are some who locate the Ophir ^ of the
Bible in Southeastern Africa, maintaining that
certain ruins discovered by Mauch, the Ger-
man traveler, in latitude 20", not far from Port
Sofala, are the veritable '^ Solomon's mines."
But thus far no satisfactory proof has been
adduced that they are anything more than the
ruins of old Portuguese forts.

The number of aboriginal Zulus in Natal is

' An English archaeologist has lately gone to Mashoualaml for the
purpose of removing the rlrbris that has acc,unuilatc<l for centuries
over those ancient ruins at Zinihabye, and in case he linds Pha-nician
inscriptions he may solve the <iucstion, " Are Rider Haggard's
Solomon's Mines anything more than a myth?" The Portuguese,
when asked, " Who built those forts? " invariably reply, " Solomon's
diggers." A Norwegian missionary w!io lias lately visited that
region observes, " I have good reason to believe that this whole
coast land called Sofala is the old Ophir, called in the Septuagint
Sophira and Sophara, which seems to derive its origin from the
Bantu Is-ophira, or weakened through the African pronunciation
(of r SLB I), Isofala or Sofala."

184 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

now estimated at four hundred and fifty-six
thousand,^ most of them being refugees from
Zululand, where they were in danger of be-
ing accused of witchcraft and put to death.
Under the wing of British power they feel
secure and happy and increase rapidly. They
are divided into clans, each being amenable to
colonial authority. Tribal feuds and jealousies,
sometimes resulting in "faction fights," which
have to be put down by the strong hand of law,
have proved for half a century, and are still, a
safeguard against combination in opposition to
the English.

Under purely native law the land belongs to
the sovereign. He is monarch of all he sur-
veys. His will is supreme. He can " eat up,"
that is, take away, a man's property and his life
if he choose. Careful to see that none of his
people becomes wealthy, he helps himself freely
to their flocks. There are some laws, however,
made by the national council of leading men,
to which even he, it is said, is subject. It is
his business to see that they are executed.
The eldest son of his first wife is considered
the rightful heir to the throne. The Zulus
cherish and manifest a deep respect for those
who liave royal l)lood in their veins. A re-
markable instance of heroic devotion to an
liereditary chief is said to have occurred in
Natal some years ago, which is thus told : —

" A case of succession to the chieftainship of

1 This estimate is based on the total number of huts in the colony.
The last census gives the white population at 44,415,

Zidii Customs and Laivs. 185

one of the tribes was decided before the local
magistrate, and the hearing of the case was
attended by numerous adherents of the rival
claimants. After the decision, as the chiefs
were returning homeward, the beaten party
was suddenly overtaken by a grass fire, where-
by thirteen of their number were destroyed.
The young claimant to the chieftainship would
have shared their fate had not one of his fol-
lowers made him lie down on the ground, and
covering him witli his own body as a protection
against the flames, he deliberately allowed him-
self to be burned to death, thus sacrificing his
own life to save that of one whom he believed
to be his legitimate chieftain."

Though the natives are poor in comparison
with Europeans, and are obliged to work for
the wherewithal to supply their wants, a feeling
of independence is an inherited trait. To per-
suade them to bind themselves for a year or
longer to a white man is somewhat difficult.
The reason is, when harvest comes, singing,
dancing, marriage feasts, and other joyful
events take place at their kraals, and they must
be tliere to participate in them. Just when the
crop of sugar cane needs cutting and carting
to the mill, Zulu lads often say to the phanter,
" Our presence is required at home." Zulu
lads, however, in considerable numbers, attach
themselves to their employers and make reliable

That the traffic in tea, sugar, and other com-
modities iu which Europeans are engaged may

186 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

not suffer, coolies are imported from India at
an expense of £28 per head, the importer
paying £20 and the colonial government the
balance. After five years of service they can
return home passage free, or remain, which
many prefer to do. Bet^Yeen thirty thousand
and forty thousand are now in the colonj^ As
a rule they are thrifty and industrious, and
monopolize the trade of market gardening. I
regret to say that there is no law prohibiting
them from purchasing ardent spirits, and intem-
perance is their principal vice. They are
sometimes detected in selling rum secretly to
the natives in their kraals.

Arabs from Zanzibar and Bombay are also
finding South Africa a fine field for enterprise,
and there is scarcely a town or village in
which their stores are not seen. Indeed the
retail trade in native goods is almost wholly in
their hands, to the chagrin and grief of Euro-
pean merchants. Both Arabs and Indians are
regarded by many as a curse, but how to get
rid of them is a question. Thus there will be
an Asiatic as well as African problem to be
settled some day in that part of the world.

The Zulus were once reduced to starvation
and cannibalism in consequence of the raids
of Chaka's army through the country. An
incident is related of a lad who was taken
prisoner but escaped in a clever manner. The
cannibals, seeing a saucer-shaped earthen vessel,
told the lad to carry it, remarking, " That will
make a lid for the pot in which you are to be

Zulu Customs and Latcs. 187

boiled." Coming to a lake full of sea cows,
the boy, concluding that the companionship
of those animals was preferable to that of
cannibals, made a rush into the water amid a
shower of spears, none of which touched him,
dove and SAvam till he came to some reeds,
among which he concealed himself, thus elud-
ing search. He was near enough, however, to
hear one of them say, '' He was the fattest of
the lot." That Zulu is now living and is about
ninety years of age.



TN bodily strength Zulus surpass the Indian,
and average European. The heavy bur-
dens they carry often attract attention. An
Englishman, seeing a woman about to raise to
her head a load which he felt sure he could
not lift, said, "You don't think you can carry
that, do you? " She replied, "Were I a man I
could not, but I am a woman.' I have watched
gangs of fifty or more young men carrying on
their backs huge sacks of acacia bark, weighing
not far from two hundred pounds, and rolling
them into the hold of a steamship, apparently

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