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little matters to be attended to, letters to write,
native boys to have work given them, and then
came the weekly temperance meeting conducted
by my native assistant. All were urged most
earnestly to refrain from all kinds of evil, drink-
ing beer especially. Then a discussion ensued
which was not ended till sundown, and one
young man had signed the pledge. Before tea
several attendants at meeting requested an
interview, and then we sat down to our evening
meal. Soon the postman arrived, and for a
short time we were in a state of excitement
hoping to see some American letters and hear
of our dear ones over the sea. We were,
however, disappointed. The bell for evening
prayers was rung, after which four boys and
three girls were instructed, and then came a
time of quiet and freedom before retiring.

About the same time Mrs. Tyler recorded as
follows a day of her experience : —

Exjjeriences at Umsunduzi. 153

" Awakened by the sound of horse's hoofs
on the hard walk in front of the house, I found
it was the traveler who had spent the Sabbath
with us, starting for home. Breakfast on
hasty pudding as usual, with syrup, as our
milk did not reach us in time. When the
school-teacher came, he told me what some of
the people had said at the prayer meeting on
the preceding day. One of the church mem-
bers had broken his pledge and drunk beer at
different places, for Avhich he was very sorry,
and wanted all to pray for him that he might
try again.

" Another said he saw more and more that it
was better to have nothing to do with beer in
their houses, and, although he had not signed
the pledge, nor taken the ' blue ribbon,' he
had taken none for a long time. Moreover,
when invited by his married son to go to his
house and partake of a feast where there was
beer, he had declined, saying that ' the pres-
ence of beer would spoil all tliat was rational.'

'' The school bell rang, the native girls
hastened to their studies, and I was left alone
for quiet reading, as I hoped. The Gospel of
John is now our stud}^ in Sunday-school, and
we naturally turn to it for private reading, so
as to gather up and have ready all we can
for our classes. Last Sunday one of the men
remarked that he had read Mary's words to the
servants in the second chapter, fifth verse :
'Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it'; but
it never occurred to him how it could be

154 Forty Years Among the Zulus,

applied to us. ' So it is,' he added, ' we are
all the time finding something new in the
Bible.' While I was reading, there was a knock,
and an old church member with his wife came
for a little talk. In the midst of our conver-
sation a fine-looking heathen man appeared,
ill search of medicine for his child, who had
rolled into the hot ashes at night and burned
the whole side of one leg. He joined so in-
telligently in our conversation, I was led to
inquire where he learned so much. He said
he had lived with several missionaries, giving
their names, and knew all about the Bible and
our religion. When I asked if it were not
worthy of reception, he replied, ' Yes ; it is
good and right; bnt when I saw how many
promised to be Christians and then broke their
promises, I said it was worse than not to make
any. So I am trying to be good without prom-
ises.' This is the excuse of many who have
been taught in our mission stations, as we
know it is in Christian lands. Individual
responsibility seems to have little meaning to
these people. It is not uncommon to hear them
say, ' We are content to die and go where
our fathers are.' .

" The next call was from a young man who
came to borrow money of my cook, to pay his
subscription to the home mission fund. After
much talk between them, and a promise that it
should be returned in two months, he took the
money and departed. I felt bound to give him
a short lecture on industry, as I had noticed

Experiences at Umsunduzi. 155

him the week previous going about among his
friends to visit and talk, instead of working to
earn the money he needed.

" The afternoon came, and the bell rang for
the usual prayer meeting. Soon there appeared
my good old washerwoman asking for the
money she had earned and left with me, in
order that she might put it into the treasury
of the ' Home Missionary Society.' Every year
she pays her subscription of fl.25. This
year wages are low, and the people find it
difficult to get clothing and other requisites ;
so we are not surprised to find their contribu-
tions less than usual. After the meeting in
which the claims of home missions were
discussed and subscriptions received, I found
among the names of contributors one who had
put down a goat. I asked him how he would
carry it to the meeting which was at hand.
He smiled, saying he had engaged a friend
to sell it for him, so that he might carry the
money. He did not reflect he might have
done this a month ago, and thus be sure of
the money in time, but waited until the last
moment before saying anything about it. This
is characteristic of the Zulus. One of our old
missionaries has truly said : ' We do not need to
preach to the Zulus on the text, Take no thought
for the morrow. They obey that literally.'

'' Tea over, the native boys belonging to
our household came in to read, and we had
a pleasant talk on the chapter that was read,
till eight o'clock, when I dismissed them and

156 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

called in our two little kitchen girls, to look
after their clothing. One of them was full of
smiles when she found that I had a nice dress
that would fit her, and gave me a hearty
'Thank you.' I suppose she never had but
one dress before at a time, and when that was
washed was obliged to wrap herself in a shawl
or old garment of her mother's. The girls
retired happy, and I had an hour for sewing
and thinking in perfect quiet. My mind wan-
dered back to our first days in Africa and along
down to the present time. Days of joy and
sadness, of happiness and trial, of success and
disappointment, loomed up before me ; and I
saw so much of the kindness and goodness of
our heavenly Father to us that at the close
I could almost forget everything else ; and I
hastened to retire that nothing might come be-
tween me and the sweet peace that seemed
to come so directly from above."

The mission has not seen fit to locate a
white missionary at Umsunduzi since ill health
obliged me to resign my charge of the station.
But the people are fortunate in having as
acting pastor a native whose name is a peculiar
one — Bontyise, which is the Zulu for leans.
Zulus, like the Jews, are in the habit of naming
their children after some circumstance con-
nected with their birth ; and that vegetable was
introduced into the locality of his birth at the
time he was born. Bontyise was given to me
by his father, who was dying of consumption
in a heathen kraal. I said to him, " That

Experiences at Umsmiduzi. 157

little boy will soon be without a father. Give
him to me, and I will be a father to him."
The wives, of whom there were six, all heard
him give his assent, and after his father's de-
cease the lad came to me. I had him educated
at Adams, under the Rev. William Ireland, and
on my return to Natal, after my first visit to
the United States, Bontyise came to me that
he might study, preparatory to preaching the
gospel. While pursuing his studies, he taught
the daily school at Umsunduzi, and on my
leaving South Africa assumed the charge of
the station. The last letter I received from
him manifests his feelings, which I doubt not
are genuine : —

My dear Father, — 1 regret to learn that you do
not feel able to return to us. I hoped to see you
again in the flesh; but if, in the course of divine
providence, I never shall, and if I should be called
to die first, then I will ask my heavenly Father to
allow me to sit at one of the windows of heaven
and keep on the lookout for you; and when you
come, I will say to him: ''There is my beloved
teacher " ; and there will be no more any sea to sepa-
rate us. We shall be forever with the Lord.



IN the first days of our mission Zulu
marriages were not legal in the eyes of
the Natal authorities unless cattle were paid;
but this has been remedied, and mainly through
the intervention of missionaries. At present
if the father or brother of the girl to be
married states to the English magistrate,
before ^Yitn esses, that he will not call for
cattle, it is recorded, and the marriage is legal.
Another step in advance has been taken. If
a man is married according to Christian rites,
and takes another wife, he is liable to be pun-
ished for bigamy. To such a degree does the
custom of ukulohola feed the avarice of the
father and foster indolence on the part of
the brothers, to say nothing of its degrading
effect on the home life, that missionaries of
various bodies in Natal have considered it
wise to make it a church disciplinable offense,
the Americans taking the lead.

In 1879, after careful discussion with native
pastors and lay helpers, a set of regulations
for the churches under our supervision was
adopted. They ruled out polygamy, barter
in women, beer-drinking parties, all intoxi-
cating drinks, and the smoking of wild hemp.


Zulu Churches. 159

Frequent cases of discipline — especially for
barter in women — occurred; but natives on
whose judgment we could rely often assured
us that the rules were none too strict. It was
gratif3dng to see that some church members
legislated concerning these customs without
suggestion from their white teachers.

A church organized with fifteen members
under Nqumba, a native pastor at Imputyane,
near Adams, has the following laws, made and
adopted by themselves : —

I. No polygamist shall be allowed to become a
member of this church.

II. He who sells his daughter or sister treats her
like a horse or cow, and cannot be received into this

III. The man who has lost his wife is not allowed
to live with another woman unless they are married,
and a widow is not allowed to live with a man unless
they are married.

IV. No young man or woman shall be allowed to
marrv according to heathen customs.

V. No member of this church shall be permitted
to attend a wedding if beer is drunk there, although
he may have been invited to it.

VI. No member of this church shall be permitted
to drink the '' white man's grog," or native beer, nor
touch it with bis lips.

VII. No beer shall be made on this station, and all
who come here from other stations must conform to
this rule.

VIII. No member of this church is allowed to
smoke wild hemp or tobacco. They take away reason,
knowledge, and good character.

IX. No member of this church is allowed to go
where there is slaughtering for the departed spirits.
Those who have fellowship with those who do so

160 Forty Years amoyig the Zulus.

slaughter countenance this superstition and are not
worthy of church fellowship.

Polygamous converts would occasionally
apply for admission into the church, and in
cases where there seemed to be religious sin-
cerity and earnestness it was hard to shut the
door against them. A striking case occurred at
Umsunduzi. A man of considerable intelli-
gence and reputed good character came to me
with his two wives, each of whom had four
children, and asked permission to build on the
mission reserve, saying, " I have heard of the
Christian religion, and I wish to know more
about it." No more eager listener to the
Word ever came within sound of my voice,
and the conversations we had with him re-
vealed very clearly that he was determined to
find out the truth. He set about learning to
read, and within ten months could read in
the New Testament. In respect to the domes-
tic entanglement into which he had entered
before he came to the station and previous to
his knowledge of Christianity, I instructed and
advised him to the best of my ability. He
professed to see, and I believe did see, that
polygamy is an evil and not in accordance with
the teachings of the gospel, but how to get out
of it was the question. He said to me with
deep emotion, " I have decided to serve God,
and wish to obey him in all things." I told
him to look upward and pray fervently for
the guidance of the Holy Spirit, assuring him
that, if he did so, he would receive divine direc-

Zulu Churches. 161

tion. He promised to do this. Soon after he
rehearsed to me the difficulties under which he
labored. He said to his second wife, " Will
you leave me? You see the fix I am in.
God's Word does not sanction polygamy. As
I am now I cannot connect myself with the
people of God." She replied, "You are my
husband. I cannot love another man. I also
want to be a Christian. Besides, there are the
children. Who will look after their best inter-
ests as well as their father ? No ; I cannot
leave you. Where thou goest I will go ; " etc.
A similar response came from his first married
wife. It is no wonder that both chose to stick
to him, for he is the most amiable Zulu husband
I ever knew.

Baffled in this attempt to extricate himself,
he concluded to let the matter alone for a
while, but to do his duty as a Christian. All
his children were placed under instruction, the
eldest son being sent to Lovedale College in
Kaffraria, where he stayed seven years and
shone brilliantly as a scholar ; another son
became a teacher at Adams, and several of
the daugliters completed a course of education
at Lindley. The father has grown in Bible
knowledge and stability of Christian character.
Both of the wives have also manifested a
desire to join the church. The question arises.
What are we to do with such cases? Some
might say, as was said to me more times than
one, " Admit them into the church ; you have
no right to refuse." It is easy to give advice,

162 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

but, viewing the matter in all its lights, I am
convinced it is not proper to receive polyga-
mous converts to church fellowship. I agree
with what Rev. John Paton, that most heroic
missionary of modern times, has said of the
natives at Aniwa (an island of the New Hebri-
des) when placed in similar circumstances: —
" How could we have led natives to see the
difference betwixt admitting a man to the
church who had two wives and not permitting
a member of the church to take two wives
after his admission ? Their moral sense is
blunted enough without knocking their heads
against a conundrum in ethics. In our church
membership we have to draw the lines as
sharply as God's Word will allow, betwixt
what is heathen and what is Christian, instead
of minimizing the difference."



TO abandon heathenism and live a consist-
ent Christian life requires, on the part
of Zulus, considerable moral courage. Their
piety is sometimes severely tested. We had
at Umsunduzi a woman whose husband was
for years a son of Belial, persecuting his wife
fearfully whenever she manifested a desire to
serve God. Her trouble began while we were
at Esidumbini, to which station she once lied,
hoping that we should be able to protect her.
So long as she remained in our house, Ave could
do so, for a white man's house in Natal is his
castle, into which no native dares enter with-
out permission ; but the cunning husband, who
was on the watch, caught her one day outside,
seized her by the arm, and dragged her away.
We had advised her to bear meekly the treat-
ment she received and to pray earnestly that
God would soften her husband's heart. Faku
— for that was his name — after a wliile ceased
annoying her, and even allowed her to attend
church. She saw that her prayers were being
answered. Great was her joy when she per-
ceived a willingness on his part to move his
residence to the mission station that the chil-
dren might attend the daily school. She had


164 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

been in the habit of gathering them together
for family prayer, and when he was present
she saw that he was interested. She ventured
to ask him to pray. At first he declined, but
afterwards would occasionally take her place,
and she noticed a gradual softening in his
speech and behavior. This led her to pray
more fervently. One Friday afternoon at the
usual prayer meeting when opportunity was
given for any one to speak, Faku rose and in
a very humble way told his experience : how
he knew he had been sinning against light,
that his heart had been bound by Satan, and
that it seemed as if he never could free him-
self from his grasp. But now he trusted he
had found help in Christ and that he should
never stray from him. He said he had sold all
his older daughters for cattle, but not a cow
was to be seen in his cattle fold. Like other
earthly treasures, the}^ were all swept away,
and he wanted to feel that in Christ he had
found a treasure he should never lose. He
had been cruel to his wife ; but she had always
been good to him and unwearied in her efforts
to lead him in the right way. All who heard
him felt that he was saved in answer to her
'prayeri<. Her face wore a look of glad sur-
prise. No one spoke for a few minutes, when
she, in a quiet tone, observed: "We see how
God loves us ; we do not know how to love
him as -we ought." Then she knelt and
thanked God for his unspeakable love. One
of the native church members of long stand-

Zulu Christians. 165

ing, who heard her pray, said he never saw
such humility. It made him feel that he was
far below her in Christian attainment. Amid
all the troubles that good woman experienced,
her hope and comfort were in prayer. She
expected God to answer her petitions, although
she might have to wait many days before the
answer came.

Instances occurred in which men living in
their native kraals were impressed by the
truth and commenced a new life without
going to the station and living in houses
built in European style, as the majority of
converts were in the habit of doing. A tall
man, clad in the ordinary attire of the skins
of wild animals, was seen in our chapel one
Sabbath, with a countenance indicative of deep
interest. Unlike most of the men he took his
seat in the Sabbath-school. Mrs. Tyler, who
was always on the lookout for opportunities
to deepen any impression the truth may have
made, found that he was under conviction of
sin and anxious to know the way of salvation.
It was not long before he became a decided
Christian, and then he endeavored to bring his
wife and two children to the sanctuary. Fre-
quent interviews with him convinced me that
he was a humble and sincere believer. But
he lived only a few months after his conver-
sion. Word reaching me tliat he was ill, I
went to him at once, taking such medicines as
I thought he required. I found him seated
on the ground outside of his hut apparently

166 Forty Years Among the Zulus,

in great pain. Thanking me for the medicine,
he remarked, to my surprise, "I shall be no
better ; the Lord is calling me to himself." He
then spoke of his gratitude for all I had done
for him, particularly for my instruction, and
said, " I ask 3^ou to be a father to my two
children, \\\\o will soon have no earthly father
to look after them. ... I am not afraid to die.
I shall soon be with Jesus, and I expect to
meet 3*0 u in the heavenly world." After a
little conversation and prayer I told him that I
hoped the medicine would relieve him, for I did
not consider his illness of so serious a nature.

Before leaving, I noticed a freshly dug hole
about three yards from the place where the
sick man was seated, and wondered what it
was for, but made no remarks. The next day
tidings came that he died at early dawn ; and
before I could reach the kraal his two little
ones, a girl of twelve years and a boy of ten,
had dragged the body to that freshly dug hole
which I had noticed the preceding day, and
there they buried it. The mother, ill at the
time, was so weakened by the shock that she
could render the children no assistance. The
latter, when asked why they did not apply
to their neighbors for help in burying their
father, replied that the native custom was to
pay a cow and calf and a goat for " the wash-
ing of the hands," which they were too poor
to give.

I took the boy to m}^ home and placed him
in school, leaving the girl w^ith the mother.

Zulu Christians. 167

When I went after her a few months later, a
heathen relative had claimed her as his prop-
erty and refused to give her up. Illustrations
of the power of the gospel to sustain and
comfort in a dying hour I have seen among
the Zulu people, but none where the environ-
ment was one of such deep poverty as in the
case just described.

Another kraal man was awakened from his
heathen slumber on a Sabbath dav. He was
rich in cattle and was contemplating the pur-
chase of a second wiie. The state of his
lungs prevented his coming to the station for
instruction, so I visited him frequently, holding
religious services in his hut. For several
weeks he was under conviction, and when he
indulged a hope of pardon his joy and peace
were indescribable. All his heathen neighbors
marked the change. As he desired to join the
company of Christ's followers and make a
public confession of his faith, I went to his
kraal one Sabbath afternoon, taking with me
one of my daughters and twenty members of
the Umsunduzi church. About the same num-
ber of heathen men and women joined us,
filling the hut to overflowing. After a brief
service, followed by baptism and the Lord's
Supper, I gave the sick man an opportunity to
make a few remarks. He took a passage of
Scripture he had heard me comment upon :
" I am the way, the truth, and the life." I will
translate literally his words on the first part
of that passage : —

168 Forty Years Among the Zulus.

" My friends, you see that I am soon to die,
but I have no fear. Jesus is my Saviour, and
he will support me. He is the way. There
is no other way. I have tried the ways of
the world in search of peace and happiness,
but all in vain till I found the Lord Jesus.
My last words to you, my friends, are, ' Make
the Saviour your friend.' He will not only
pardon your sins, but Avill comfort you when
you are about to leave the world, as he is now
comforting me."

An unusual solemnity was apparent on the
countenances of his heathen relatives, as one
after the other they crept out of the hut and
went quietly to tlieir homes. The man died
soon after in the triumphs of faith.

A Christian Zulu father, in writing about
the death of his son, whose name was Ukani,
said : " You would like to hear some of his
last words. He said to me : ' Do you know
that death has overcome me ? Please call all
the children of our house.' They came. He
looked upon them and wept. He remarked :
'I do not cry because of fear of death, but
because you have not become Christians.' He
talked to them a short time on religious sub-
jects, and then said : 'I do not know whether
the morning will find me here.' He wanted
me to read to him from Bunyan's Pilgrim's
Progress — a book of which he was very fond
— and the fourteenth and fifteenth chapters
of John's Gospel. He rejoiced very much
when prayer was offercMl. When T asked him

Zulu Christians, 169

what I should pray for, he replied : ' That I
may be strengthened in the Lord.' Once he
prayed that the Lord would come and take
him out of the world, and said : ' Father, the
Lord does not hear me.' I trembled, and said:
' Why not ? ' He replied : ' Because death does
not come.' He then added : 'I do not com-
plain. It is the Lord's will that I endure the
pain. His will be done.'

" I cannot write all the ' little crumbs ' of his
talk. On Thursday he said to his mother : ' I
see a little of the place to which I am going.
I see a beautiful city, and this side of it a river,
The city has many people in it, and it is very
nice.' On Friday he said to me : ' Father, do
not sleep to-night, for I feel that death has
taken fast hold of me.' At four o'clock he
called for his mother, but before she arrived he
leaned his head back and died. His face was
as if he were sleeping."

A Christian Zulu woman died at the Umvoti
station in the enjoyment of perfect peace. One
who was an eyewitness reported her as saying,
"I know that I am dying, but why should
I fear to go liome ? I love my Saviour. I
love my God. I have no fear. All is so
bright." Her last words were : " Jesus, my
Saviour ! "

A married man by the name of Kalo, on the
same station, when about to expire, said to his

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