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Saturday, March 29, 1817.
MISSIONS IN AFRICA. Extract of a Letter from
Mr. John Evans, Missionary in Africa, to Rev. D. Peter, of Carmarthen. Nov. 27, 1815, arrived at the drosdy of Witenhage, where, during my stay at Bethelsdorp, I went to preach occasionally. Colonel Cuyler, who is the landrost of that district, treated me with all
possible civility. He said, that as he had experienced great kind·ness when in Wales, I, as a Welshman, had a claim
upon him. He gave me many judicious cautions with respect to travelling in this country; and he, with the gentlemen of the court of justice who were there from Cape Town, came to our out span-place to take leave of us, on the morning of the 28th. It was extremely hot on the 30th, and had the heat continued long, the consequences might have been serious to man and beast. The effect was evident, and I felt it myself in getting fainter. Therm. 110o.
But the promise was fulfilled on our behalf, Psalm cxxi. 6.
Dec. 6, arrived at Graaf Reynet, where we met with many Christian friends. The landrost expressed his readiness to serve us to the utmost of his power. I had an opportunity to preach there several times in the Dutch language. Dec. 10, being sabbath-day, many were present, and some that were never seen at a place of worship before seemed to pay great attention to what was said: Took for my text, Isaiah ii. 21. The following day many of the friends came to take leave of us, and appeared much affected. My mind was now variously exercised, thinking that we were about to be deprived of all civil and christian society, and to travel in the land of wild Bushmen. Our journey was now in Sneuberg, or Snowy Mountain. It answers to the name, for we had very cold nights ; but I enjoyed the cold much, as it reminded me of my native country.
Dec. 18, beyond the boundaries of the colony, in the land of the wild Bushmen. How many in our country enjoy the privilege of protection, and bear but few marks of gratitude for the same ; but we were now deprived of this also, and exposed to savages and wild beasts. · At eleven in the evening, came to the Bushmen's gettlement. The poor Bushman is a perfect picture of misery in every respect, for he is destitute of every thing that seems necessary to supply the wants of man. During our stay, many Bush, men attended our family worship, which we had always twice a
4 Letter from J. Evans, Missionary in Africa. day on our journey, and the Lord's Supprr administered once & week.
Dec. 25. Left the Bushmen's settlement for Griqua Town, in a course which no man before ventured. Many of the poor Bushmen visited our waggons almost daily, and sometimes thirty at a time. They have no houses, but live on the tops of mountains, here and there. They have no clothes, only a small piece of a
skin of a wild beast, and have no food but roots. Had abundance of chrystal springs of water on our whole way to Cradock river, and plenty of grass for our oxen, which are two of the greatest conveniences for travelling in Africa. We had the honour to accomplish what was never heard of, or witnessed in Africa before ; viz. to perform so long a journey through a wild country, our waggons being heavy laden, and only 12 oxen for each waggon: we should have had at least 36 oxen for every two waggons, for the strength of two African oxen is not more than equal to that of one in our country. I purchased 9 oxen on the boundaries of the colony, as we were to travel in an unknown country, and likely to lose some of them.
Dec. 31. Arrived on the banks of the Cradock river, whose bed at that place was upwards of 300 yards wide. Our journey was now along the southern bank, toward Griqua Town. While travelling in this direction, we met many Bushmen, sometimes twenty or thirty together, but we suffered no molestation from man or beast. Ten lions were once seen together, but they did us no harm. Another night, a lion was seen within a few yards of my waggon, and roared very loud. Our people heard him, but I did not. I enjoyed a very comfortable night's rest, being much fatigued. Though exposed to lions, a child of God, while in the path of duty, is himself a lion. Psalm xxxiv. 7.
Jan. 8, 1816.- Arrived at the Great Orange River, where Mr. Campbell forded it. On the 10th, got safely through, and on the 11th arrived at Griqua Town in perfect safety. No accident happened on this dangerous part of our journey, which I consider as a special kindness from Jehovah, in affording strength equal to the day. According to what I have heard here, things are, upon the whole, favourable for the mission at Latakoo ; but our first step is to pay a visit to the place.
My christian love to you, and to the Lammas Street Church, and all who love the Lord Jesus.
I remain, &c. Griqua Town Feb. 8th, 1816.
ITALY Distribution of Bibles, Tracts, &c. at Leghorn, Florence, Bologna,
and Venice. Dear Sir,--The following letter was written by a dear relative of mine, in the civil service of his country, to Mr. Yeoland of Malta. The duties of his station calling him from Malta to Trieste, he made it his object, on his way, to disseminate the truth. Very shortly after his arrival at the latter place, his useful career termiDistribution of Bibles and Tracts in Italy. nated by a short and severe illness. He experienced, in an eminent degree, in his last hours, the consolations of that gospel which it was his ardent wish all mankind should know ; and with the fullest confidence of faith, committed to the care of his almighty Saviour his affectionate widow and three infants, whom he left behind in that distant land. From the advantages which his situation afforded him, and the wisdom and zeal he possessed, he would probably have been an extensive blessing in a benighted part of Europe, had he been longer spared. Yours, very sincerely,
NATH. ROWTON. Coventry, Aug. 31, 1816.
Trieste, Nov. 26, 1815. “ My Dear Friend, --I have had opportunity of observing the sentiments of a people once favoured with gospel light, but which has been hid from them through the dark ages of superstition, from which they are now emerging ; and am thankful I have been the unworthy instrument of putting into the hands of many, both Jews and nominal Christians, the extracts of the scriptures and tracts with which you was so kind as to favour me. My short stay in the lazaretto* (at Leghorn) afforded me an opportunity of doing this in a limited way; for it so happened, that we were placed with persons of both denominations. To the Jews, of whom there were eight or ten, I gave each an Hebrew tract; and upon finding they approved of the contents, I gave each of them a copy of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and the Gospel of St. John. They expressed their sincere tbanks for the gift, and even offered to pay me for them; and you cannot conceive their astonishment when I declined receiving any money for them, stating, that they were the gift of a Society of Christians, whose end was answered by the good they hoped would result from their endeavours to convince them of the truth of our religion. They had been taught to believe far otherwise; but remarked, that they had always understood the English Christians were the best. To the Romanists, who were by far the greater number, I gave, to some, a Testament (in Italian ;) to others Doddridge's Rise, a tract, and an Epistle and Gospel; and explained to them all, in the best manner i was able, the intention of the Societies who distribute the Scriptures, &c. They all expressed their surprise at our solicitude ; and I trust that some beneficial effects may be produced. In this way i disposed of nearly one third of what you entrusted to my care ; and I cannot help regretting that the Societies have not published translations of their Reports : I am sure it would be attended with the greatest utility; for all whom I have conversed with seemed to be perfectly ignorant of the existence and objects of such Societies.
“ As soon as I was admitted to pratique, f and had adjusted my concerns, I thought it might be beneficial to go to the Jews' syna,
* Where all persons without distinction are put under quarantine their landing
† Liberated from quarantine.
Distribution of Bibles and Tracts in Italy. gogue. I accordingly went there on their sabbath, and obtained an interview with some of their learned men. Here, however, I did not meet with such good success. I was told that they were .quite satisfied with their own religion, so much so, that they did not wish to see any books that might tend to shake their present belief. Seeing them so blinded by prejudice, I inquired if I might see the Rabbi; they replied that I might see him, but that it was of no use to give him any of the tracts, for he was a very learned man, and bad by his arguments convinced one Christian that the Messiah is yet to come. I could not help pitying their extreme obstinacy, and parted with them, stating the purity of my intentions, and that it was the hope of every sincere Christian that the time is near at hand when they would be brought into Christ's fold : to this they replied, that they thought we might be friends without introducing the subject of religion. After this, I waited upon the Chaplain to the English Factory at Leghorn, a man of extensive knowledge. I was much pleased with the solemn manner in which he read the church service, and with his sermon on the Lord's day, which induced me to make myself known to him ; I accordingly did so after the service. I left some tracts with him, and with a friend, who promised to distribute them faithfully.
“ Upon our arrival at Florence, I also distributed a great many of the Epistles, Gospels, and Doddridge's Rise ; and was happy to find they were received with gratitude. A Priest sent to me to purchase one ; I sent him one, and he returned three shillings for it. On going out in the evening, I was accosted by a Priest, who, in a very low tone, asked charity ; I expressed my surprise that a person of his profession should be driven to such a mode of subsistence ; he stated that the church was poor, and that there were four masses to be said on account of the increasing infidelity of the people. I had no small money about me, but having a Doddridge in my pocket, I immediately gave it to him; after obtaining his promise that he would read it carefully ; I told him, that if he was so needy as he professed to be, I was convinced that those at whose instance it was published, would have no objection to his putting it into the hands of another, even for a pecuniary consideration. He took the book, and seemed to be more thankful than if I had given him money.
“ On the road to Bologna, and on our arrival there, I distributed a great number; but the general desire was to see the Reports of the Societies translated into their own language, that they might be the better enabled to judge of the intention and object in view. Here was a general murmur against the Pope, and the government of the Cardinals and Priests.
“ From Bologna we proceeded to Venice, where I distributed many more ; and having, when at Malta, heard there was a Protestant church there, I immediately endeavoured to find it out, which I succeeded in doing, and made myself known to the Pastor, a young man about twenty-five, of the Lutheran persuasion. i feit much pleased to find that a greater degree of toleration exists