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in front of our dwelling, there may be seen
groups of Christian Zulus wending their way
to the chapel for the Sunday morning prayer
meeting. The missionary's heart rejoices on
seeing a goodly number assembled, for the
pulse of piety on the station is determined by
the interest manifested in this exercise. Wip-
ing off the heavy dew from their bare feet
they quietly seat themselves, and soon the
voice of praise is heard. A sweet sound this
from mouths which a short time ago were
filled with obscene and senseless heathen songs.
Now it is a pleasure to hear in good time, with
modulated voice, and a considerable degree
of taste, such tunes as Olivet, Bethany, Homer,
Ariel, etc., and in words too which are full
of the sweet truths of the gospel.

But listen ! One of their number is leading


TJw S'lftlxith at Es'ohnnl'ini. I'if)

in prayer. That low, oanii'st voice is uninis-
takahle. 1 1 proceeds from a young man who
has hitely given up all for Christ. The teacher
steps to tlie veranda of his study and listens
to those fervent breathings. As he confesses
tlie black sins of years and tlianks God for
mercies, es})ecially the gift of a Saviour and
his precious gospel, and implores blessings on
his '* beloved teacher,'' the heart of the latter
bounds with gratitude and he is nerved for
the coming duties of the day.

The voice of exhortation is now heard.
What says that middle-aged disciple, the
teacher's right-hand man and his deacon, so
long as he holds the oHice well? ''Brothers,
we are haj)j)y tonlay. Our fathers died in
darkness, they worsliiped spirits whicli tliey
l>elieved at death enter into snakes ; l)ut we
have the Bible. Brothers, what are our feelings
to-day in respect to God's loving kindness to
us, and our duty to him? Are we doing all
in our power to make known the truth to our
l>enighted countrymen ? "

Well spoken, good fellow ! I tliink you
are sincere. V(ni certaiidy did not come to
the mission station for the sake of filthy lucre.
Had you remained in your [)r()fession as a
"medicine man," you might ere this have built
for yourself a large kraal, married four or
five wives, and enjoyed the world as much as
any of your heathen friends ; but (tckI's
Spirit reached your heart and turned the
whole current of your life, and now, like

136 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

Andrew, you have found your brother Simon
and brought him to Jesus.

Another voice rather plaintively breaks on
the ear. Converted Zulus obey the injunction,
" Confess your faults to one another."
" Friends, I have done wrong. I have often
heard those words of Scripture, ' Abstain from
all appearance of evil ; ' but when I heard the
singing and dancing in yonder kraal the other
day, I forgot and joined the company of spec-
tators. The teacher called me and explained
the eighth chapter of 1 Corinthians, and I saw
as I never did before that I was sinning against
the brethren and wounding their weak con-
sciences. I have resolved never to do this again.
Pray for me." The missionary, ex animo : Good,
there is hope for you and for the rest. The
cause of God is looking up. Conscience is
not asleep. God grant his aid to-day that I
may speak words of encouragement to these
tempted but resisting souls !

The meeting closes, and one after another
thoughtfully but cheerfully retires to his home.
At ten o'clock the bell announces the time for
Sabbath-school. How attractive the appear-
ance of that well-clad family, consisting of
father, mother, and four daughters ! They
have walked a distance of eight miles, as they
are accustomed to do every pleasant Sabbath,
that they may receive religious instruction.
There is a father bringing in his arms a little
child ! How unlike other Zulu men in that !
The mother is delicate and inadequate to the

The Sahhath at Esidumfn'ni. 137

task, but he lias learned fioin the gospel that
he should not only love his wife, but help biar
her burdens. The natives take their seats
and bow the head in silent prayer. The sub-
ject for the morning's sermon is the choice of
Ruth, '* Whither thou goest, I will go," etc., to
which all heathen as well as Christians give
good attention. Near tlie close when the
question is asked, *' Who among you hius
decided to serve God?" the missionary sees in
many faces the response, '* I have decided.'* At
three P.M. the bell calls the natives to a '* re-
meml>ering exercise ;" that is, to give account
of what they recollect of the morning's dis-
course. Between them all the main thoughts,
especially the stories, are reheai-sed and then
application is made of the truth to the heart
and conscience. This service over, some stop
to ask questions or to sing. A part of Sabbath
evening the missionary has to himself, in which
a sermon in English is read, then the natives
of the liousehold gather for evening prayers,
and at nine o'clock all retire, none more joyful
than those who can sing, *' One more day's
work for Jesus."

Among our children Sunday wius also a day
to be remembered. A friend asked mv eldest
daughter, not long ago, " Were Sundays made
pleasant to you and your brotlu-rs and sisters
when you were young and living among the
Zulus ? " Her reply was as follows : —

"Yes. In the lirst place we always had a
treat of some sort for our Sunday dinner.

138 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

Nothing to make work in any way, but some-
thing we especially fancied and did not have
on other days. At one time, mother had a
recipe for an English bun, which she baked on
Saturday for Sunday. And if we ever got
leave to make sugar taffy, it was Saturday
afternoon, and the candy was laid by for Sun-
day. Sabbath morning special books were
brought out and lessons assigned to the older
ones, while the little children had certain Sun-
day toys, not used on other days, which thus
had a sort of freshness and pleasant associa-
tions. The morning service in Zulu was level
to the understanding of the natives and not
above that of intelligent children. We all
helped in the singing, and learned to play for
it after we had a melodeon. I was made a
teacher of small children at seven years of age,
and I had occupation for Sunday morning
deciding what and how I should teach. In
the afternoon we gathered round our parents,
and after our lessons and little talks they
showed us pictures, daguerreotypes of the
friends in America, told us where they lived,
and stories about them. We always walked in
the garden before tea, and each was allowed to
pick a bunch of flowers. Sometimes mother
brought out her scrapbooks and read pieces to
us, or picture books she had made, of which
she was very choice, not letting us handle them
ourselves. If the weather Avere cool, we gath-
ered in the kitchen, and the Zulu boys and
girls shared in the treat. After tea we sang

The Sahhath at Esidianhhii. 139

with them; then father trotted the little ones
on his knee, and we all went to bed early ; and
after mother had tucked us up we had the
whispered confidences and earnest prayers that
mean so much.'



TWENTY-TWO happy years rolled by,
happier I think than they would have
been even if I had accepted a call in 1849 from
a church in Massachusetts, to become its pas-
tor. Not a single Sabbath was I prevented by
ill health from preaching. Only once was a
doctor, thirty miles away, called to my house,
and before his arrival the sick one was con-
valescent. The shield of the Almighty pro-
tected us from all harm. Twice the alarm was
sounded, filling the station people with terror,
^^ Impi ingene! (The enemy has come !) " but no
enemy appeared. One day as I was cutting up
a pig which had been killed, a letter came from
the colonial office in Maritzburg, the capital of
Natal, saying, " We apprehend a Zulu invasion.
Flee at once to a place of safety." I said to
Mrs. Tyler, who did not believe there was dan-
ger, " Shall we flee ? " " Not till we have made
the sausages," was her reply. The alarm was
caused by a party of Zulus hunting wild pigs
on the borders of the colony, and the report
spread that a raid was contemplated. Had an
invasion occurred, it would have been impossible
for us to escape without two days' warning, as
we were fifty miles from the nearest fortifi-


Jlfif to the Uuitvii Sfatett. 1 H

caticm, to which we should h:ivo Ihhui <>l)li;,a'<l
to i;o in an ox-wagon. Hiding in tlie bush
would have been our wisest course. riierc
was an old cjive a short distance from my
house, once occupied by a lion, and into that
we should have gone, taking food and blankets.
Zulus, wlien on raids, do not, as a rule, spend
time in "scouring the bush." What they want
is cattle, and all the girls thry can seize. The
latter, on their return home, are distribut<'d
among them for wives.

Having charge of a printing press, from
which there issued the first Zulu New Testa-
ment, two hymn l)ooks, an eeclesiiistical history,
and a variety of tracts, in additi«»n to the
''Ikwezi (Morning Star)," a monthly {faj>er
in the native language, of which 1 the
editor for eight years, together wilii preaching
and itinerating among the knuils, overseeing
the station, etc., the time wjus fully and pleas-
antly occupi«-d.

While at Rsi<lumbini the L«»rd gave us six
children, whom we earnestly desired to see
settled when- they c«»uld be pnijK'rly i-ducated.
This, together with a longing to meet iigjiin
dear relatives, led us t4) ask permissitiU to visit
our native land. To part oven for a seiison
with our little church of thirty memlH-rs and
a body of adherents to the station, f«»r whom
we had formed a strong attachment, w;is a
sore trial: but a native minist^^r was apiM»inte<l
to take the oversight, and we brokt* away from
them, promising U* return in good time if life

142 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

were spared. The two years spent in this
country were intensely interesting. Visiting
the churches, forming new acquaintances, the
enjoyment of social, intellectual, and religious
privileges, were sweet and strengthening; but
all the while a feeling would come uppermost
that we were needed among the Zulus and
must go back as soon as practicable. Then
came the great trial of our lives, with which,
for depth and grievousness, none we had ex-
perienced in Africa can be compared — a trial
which foreign missionaries who are parents,
about to return to their fields, alone can under-
stand — the parting with dear children. The
two youngest we decided to take back with us.
All we could do was to commit those left behind
to the care of our covenant-keeping God.

On our return to Natal we did not renew our
labors at Esidumbini. The native helper left
in charge had done so well that the mission
concluded to carry out a policy recommended
by the Board of settling native pastors over
cliurches established by white missionaries, thus
allowing the latter to go to " regions be-
yond," or places where they were more needed.
Our native friends and spiritual children de-
murred at this, calling loudly for their "father
and mother " ; but it seemed best to conform to
the above policy. We were, however, located
at Umsunduzi, a station only fifteen miles
away, and were appointed superintendents of
the old one. Our new home, though not so
elevated and healthy as Esidumbini, was in


l^iHit to the United Statrs. 143

a l)eautiful part of the colony, twenty miles
from the sea, of which it commanded a fine
view. Undulating hills covered the greater
part of the year with green grass and flowers,
valleys and stieams and numerous flusters of
trees, presented a landsca[)e never wearisome
to the eye. Esta])lislied hy Kcv. Lewis Grout
in 1847, the grounds were carefully laid out
and subsecjuently improved by Rev. WilHam
Mellcn, making it exceedingly i)icturesque.
As at all our mission stations fruit and vegeta-
ble gardens were a necessity, and we had
oranges, lemons, guava^j, mangoes, peaches,
loquats, and pineapples. A large banana gar-
den provided huge clusters of this delicious
fruit the year round. An avenue lined by tall
china trees led from the house to the chapel.
At the foot of the hill on whieh the mission
house stands is a natural fernery, in which t^ill
trees shoot up as if trying to get beyond the
ferns that twine alx)Ut them. A wide lield is
this for biologists and botanist^*, so full is
it of animal and vegetal)le life. Near the
cha[)el is a triangular piece of ground reserved
as "God's acre" with its ct;dar, arbor vitie,
and oleander trees, sacred to many frieniU.

In connection with Mr. Mellen and his fam-
ily we labored till they went to America, in
1875. While together we could do more itin-
erating, visiting out-stations, etc. Natives will-
ingly jissembled under shady trees, or in .some
sheltered place, urdcss they had, previous to our
arrival, gone to beer parties. " Kr.iul preach-

144 ^orty Years Among the Zulus,

ing," as we used to call this method of labor,
appeared at first like "beating the air," but
later experience led us to conclude that it is
an important part of our work. It was " cast-
ing bread upon the waters," which was " found
after many days."

Abraham, an interesting young man, trained
by Mr. Mellen to evangelistic labor, asked me
one Sabbath to accompany him to an out-station
eight miles distant. Forty minutes' ride on
horseback brought us to the end of a table-
land, from which the outlook was uncommonly
fine. Below us lay an immense basin filled
with rivulets, and hills on which were perched
numerous kraals, while near them flocks of
goats and cattle were grazing. Far away to
the north lay the mountains of Zululand. On
the south loomed up the tabular-shaped Inanda
mountain and the rugged Isangwana (Little
Gate), so called from an opening on the top
of a cliff. The scenery was magnificent, but
alas, how devoid of anything indicating moral
beauty ! Like ancient Galilee, it was the " re-
gion and shadow of death." It was a relief to
view in the distance one spot in which light
had sprung up, Itafamasi, the station of Rev.
Benjamin Hawes (a native pastor), was dis-
tinguishable six miles away by a cluster of
whitewashed cottages, the abodes of Christian
Zulus, and some china trees planted b}^ Rev.
Samuel Marsh, who founded the station. It
was, and is now, an oasis in that moral desert.

Descending half a mile with difficulty on

Visit to the United States. 145

acCDunt of rocks in the path, an hour's ride
through ravines brought us to the spot where
Abraham was accustomed to meet his country-
men. But to our surprise no audience ap-
peared. Herder boys explained to us the
reiison. The chief of the country had invited
his leading men to a beer drink, and they,
preferring it to the gospel, had accepted. The
Zulus not coming to us, we concluded to go to
them, and to their evident astonishment rode
into the chief's kraal and crept into the largest
hut just as the assembly were preparing for
their favorite potation. The audience that
confronted us was grotesque in tlie extreme.
Thirty or forty men of various ages, seated in
as small a compass as possible, destitute of
civilized clothing, tlieir arms folded and their
chins almost resting upon their knees, occupied
every part of the hut except that devoted to
calabashes and pots of l)eer, and gazed on me
with curiosity. l*roba])ly tliey had never met
a white missionary under such circumstances.
I th(juglit I could detect on the countenances
of a few ciiagrin tliat I should make use of
such an occasion for preaching, but the major-
ity were apparently ready to listen and were
respectful. Zulu politeness — a natural trait —
did not forsake them, thougli a few were impa-
tient. The '' old, old story " was n(jt devoid of
freshness and adaptation, though told in a Zulu
hut under seemingly adverse circumstances. we been a few minutes later, drinking:
would have commenced, and it would have

146 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

been difficult to get their attentioiio Both
Abraham and myself cpoke particularly of
the sin of Sabbath desecration, and the chief
replied : " We have done wrong ! We will have
no more beer parties on the day of the great

Mrs. Tyler, in writing to a friend in this
country, about that time, observed : " We have
little touches of encouragement almost every
day which enable us to hold on our way with
hope. This afternoon, just as I had seated my-
self to write to you, two heathen women came
to get medicine for their children. I was glad
to have an opportunity to sow a little seed in
their hearts. We had a good talk about the
present and the future life, and about God as
our Father. One of them said, ' It is dreadful
to think about God and to know that he is
watching us all the time ! ' The other said she
would not be sorry to die if she could see her
father and be with him again. Just then my
good washerwoman came with the clothes, and
sat by us explaining in her own simple lan-
guage what I wanted them to know. She told
them that she liked to think of God as her
Father, and added her testimony in regard to
the happiness of those who are his loving and
obedient children. She earnestly begged them
to become the followers of Christ. The women
left with subdued faces, and I hope their hearts
were somewhat impressed."

Soon after she again wrote : " This morning
one of my old women, who is a great comfort

Visit to the United States, 147

to me on account of the simplicity and earnest-
ness of her faith, came for a dress to give to
her little daughter that she might appear well
at a wedding about to take place. At ten
o'clock a small procession of girls came march-
ing up the path leading to the chapel, escort-
ing the bride. The bridegroom, who with his
friends had been waiting some time under the
shade of the trees, followed on. The ceremony
over, and while the married couple were sign-
ing the marriage register, the father of the
bride said he had a word of caution to give :
^You must keep your promises. It is getting
to be the custom to separate after a time, and
that is worse than the heathen do, for they
understand that once married there is to be no
divorce ! ' The father previously had married
all his daughters to heathen men, but he was
glad to have this one united to a civilized man,
though he was anxious lest she should abuse
her liberty. The mother mourned over her
daughters in heathenism, and this one had
been of little comfort to her ; but in our fare-
well talk I found that the bride was more ten-
der than usual and disposed to do right. She
wished to sign the temperance pledge before
she went to her new home. After plenty of
lemonade and a feast on bananas, all marched
away, singing, to the tune of ' John Brown's
body,' -

* Beer is our enemy I
Let us leave off drinking ! ' etc."

In another letter she said : " Last Sunday

148 Forty Years Amoyig the Zulus.

afternoon in the service our native preacher
conducted, he spoke on the subject of genuine
conversions, and alluded particularly to Silas
Nembula, with whom he attended school at
Adams : ' The brightest scholar, the one to
whom we all resorted for help in translating
into English, in arithmetic or anything we
required — but he was a boy like ourselves.
Wlien he gave himself to Christ we did not
need to ask if he were a true Christian ; he
was so humble no one doubted it. All knew
that he had learned of the Master that beauti-
ful Christian humility w^hich he maintained till
his death.' "

Silas was the grandchild of Monasi, the first
convert to Christianity among the Zulus.



IT took US some time to become acquainted
with the kraals occupying the mission re-
serve of about six thousand acres at Umsunduzi,
but after that everything went smoothly. The
heathen were friendly and our Sabbath congre-
gations large and attentive. To show that an
African missionary's life is not a monotonous
one, I give the experience of one day.

At sunrise a rap on our front door announced
the arrival of the postman, who was to take
our letters to Verulam, the nearest European
village, a distance of fifteen miles. Rising
hurriedly I tied up the postal matter, put it in
a bag made of wagon canvas, gave the carrier
sixpence with which to purchase his dinner,
and a caution not to waste his time and mine
snuffing by the way. While at breakfast word
came that Jack, the horse I was intending to
ride while visiting the people, had a swollen leg.
A bottle of " imbrocation " was given to the
horse-boy, with directions how to use it, and I
returned to my morning meal. During family
prayers in English, natives were assembling in
the yard in front of the house, each on impor-
tant business. One mother took down from a
leather shawl tied pouch-like on her back a


150 Forty Years Among the Zulus,

child of six months who had caused her sleep-
less nights. A dose of castor oil with two of
santonine, and explanations how to administer
the latter, and the woman left with a lighter
heart. Another said that her baby had crept
into the fire during the night and was badly
burned. A little Turner's cerate, with a cloth
for bandage, etc., and this sad mother departed.
The next patient was a tall, athletic man, who
did not appear ill in the least. But he insisted
that bile was killing him, and nothing would
satisfy him but a big dose of jalap and calomel.
While carefully measuring the latter, he said,
" Put in more ; black people need twice as
much as you whites." This man attended to,
another appeared with a long face and a piteous
story. He had incurred a debt, and inquired if
I could not lend him twenty-five dollars for a
few months. Without stopping to give a lec-
ture on the importance of keeping free from
debt, but saying, "You know well that we
missionaries are not money-lenders," I dis-
missed this last of my morning callers.

Mounting my horse I proceeded to a kraal
about a mile from my house. The headman I
found seated outside the door of one of the
huts chatting earnestly with some of his neigh-
bors. After a polite salutation, for Zulu men
usually observe their rules of etiquette, I was
invited to sit by his side on a wooden stool,
which is also used as a pillow. The matter
under discussion was of deep interest. It
seemed that a certain woman had been seriously

Experiences at Umsunduzi. 151

ill, but her illness was of a peculiar nature.
She was possessed with evil spirits, and all
efforts on the part of her friends to exorcise
these spirits had been unsuccessful. "But,"
said I, " this must be stopped. I cannot allow
her to live on the mission reserve if she prac-
tices arts of divination, which she is evidently
wishing to do." " Alas ! teacher, we know it,"
said they, " but how to stop it we cannot tell.
It is beyond our power." Promising to see the
woman myself and use my influence to change
her designs, and invoking the aid of almighty
God in turning from darkness to light not only
this unfortunate individual but all the victims
of superstition, I went to another kraal.

This had but two huts in it, and its owner
was a young man, the possessor of two wives.
There was an appearance of poverty about the
place. The cattle fold held no cows. I asked
the usual question, " Are you well ? " " No ; I
am not well;" and his next sentence explained
the cause. " We have famine here." " Where
are your cattle ? " " Gone to pay for my second
wife," was the response. " Ah, I see the cause
of your trouble. But you have only yourself
to blame. You have been told many times that
polygamy is not a custom pleasing to our
Master, the Lord Jesus Christ; and you knew
better than to part with all your cows to gratify
your vile passions." ''Oh, this is the custom
of black people ! We cannot abandon it," was
his reply.

After a few words of admonition and en-

152 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

treaty I rode to another Zulu dwelling — an
upright house neatly thatched and white-
washed. Outside, the grounds were tidy and
the inside was no less so. Seated in an Amer-
ican chair, I had a pleasant chat with the occu-
pants. I had come into quite a different atmos-
phere — into a Christian home. Various plans
were discussed for bringing the heathen people
about us to feel their need of the gospel and
to send their children to the station school.
Prayer was offered, in which all joined with
reverence. Then I returned home.

Dinner over, there were a dozen or more

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