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RELATING CHIEPLY TO THE MISSIONS OF
The London Missionary Society.
SUBSCRIPTIONS and DONATIONS in aid of the Funds of this Society will be thankfully received by the Treasurer or Secretaries, at the Mission House, Blomfield-street, Finsbury, and by Messrs. Hankeys, the Society's Bankers, 7, Fenchurch-street, London; in Edinburgh, by Mr. George Yule, Broughton Hall; in Glasgow, by Mr. Risk, 9, Cochrane.' street; and in Dublin, by Messrs. J. D. La Touche and Co., or at 7, Lower Abbey-street.
BRIEF MEMOIR OF ANDRIES STOFFLES. The Hottentot churches which have been gathered in South Africa, through the instrumentality of the Society's Missionaries in that country, contain many eminent exainples of Christian character and worth. With one or more of these fellow-members of the same spiritual body, it would be delightful to the friends of Missions at home occasionally to hold personal intercourse; but such meetings have been hitherto exceedingly rare, nor is it probable that circumstances will arise to make them of more frequent occurrence for the future. The late
Andries Stoffles was one of the very few of the Hottentot converts whom we have had the happiness of welcoming among us. By multitudes of the friends of Africa in this country, he is affectionately remembered, as one who was renewed after the image of Christ. Stoffles came to plead the cause of his wronged and suffering countrymen ; to ask on their behalf for the sympathy and aid of British Christians. He was a powerful advocate, for he possessed, in union with the influences of religion, the eloquence of nature and the strength of truth, and left no heart unmoved, no mind unconvinced by his statements and his appeals. Having sickened in our ungenial climate, he returned to Africa, but only survived a few days after reaching the Cape. To his latest hour, we are assured that he had peace and joy in believing; and the light of the Saviour's love fell fully on his soul as it departed to the world of glory. Many friends will be gratified by the following brief narrative of his life, kindly furnished by an honoured Missionary of the Society now in Africa :His birth and early life.
Bethelsdorp, he was so ignorant of its purAndries Stoffles was born about the year
pose and meaning, as to suppose that the
people had assembled to receive rations of 1776, on the banks of the Bosjesman River.
provisions, or presents of beads and buttons. He was a Hottentot of the Gonah tribe,
But he was soon undeceived—Divine grace which, as a distinct tribe, though once nu
speedily reached his heart, though it was merous, has now almost ceased to exist.
some time before his mind was fully enThe country which they inhabited is called
lightened as to the way of salvation. His the Zuirveld, lying between the Gamtoos and the Great Fish River. From his boy.
second attendance in the house of God has
been thus characteristically described by hood, Stoffles was a close observer, and was
himself :gifted with an excellent memory. With a
The preacher spoke of every thing I naturally sound judgment he possessed an active mind and a sanguine temperament ;
had done from my childhood. I said to
myself, This is very strange, surely my and consequently at an early age he was
cousin must have gone to the Missionary found mingling in the fierce feuds and con
and told him all about me. My cousin flicts which arose at that period between the Dutch Boors and Hottentots. In one of
said, 'No, I never spoke about you to the
Missionary, The Bible is that which tells these engagements he was severely wounded, and narrowly escaped the loss of life. On
you about your own heart.'
The conviction of sin smote immediately another occasion, a waggon went over his
upon his conscience, and he was no longer body and nearly killed him. These acci.
the same man. True, he returned to the dents caused much pain to him in after life,
Caffres, and tried to be happy in his former and, in his own opinion, considerably aga
ways; in dancing, and merriment, and idle gravated, if they did not originate, the
mirth ; but conscience pursued him, and he disorder under which he eventually died.
could find no rest. After his conversion, the remembrance of
Labouring under a deep sense of sin, and occurrences which had so nearly proved fatal, alw deeply affected him, and he
having in vain sought relief to his mind in
heathen companionship, Stofiles returned was frequently heard to remark, that had he died then, he should have been lost for
to Bethelsdorp, and again listened to the
preaching of the Gospel; but his convictions His conversion.
were only strengthened, and the agitation
of his mind increased in proportion, OverAn event which greatly determined his come by his internal conflicts, he frequently future course in life was the circumstance hastened from the chapel to the bush, weepof his being taken prisoner by the Caffres, ing aloud.
Here, it is said, he would and carried from his own country into spend hours and even days apart from Caffreland. There he resided for some time, human intercourse, praying to God for learnt the Caffre language, and was em- mercy, and seeking for rest to his heavyployed as an interpreter. In that capacity laden spirit. In this state he continued for - he was taken by a Caffre chief to Bethels- two or three years, bowed down under the dorp, about the year 1810.
Stoffles was consciousness of guilt, beset by the terrors then in a savage state, and arrayed in the of self-condemnation, and unable to apply Caffre fashion, his only clothing adressed cow to himself the rich remedies of the Gospel 'skin thrown loosely over his shoulders, and of peace. But He who hath promised not his body smeared with grease and red ochre. to break the bruised reed nor quench the When first he attended Divine worship at smoking flax, at length shed abroad a
clearer light in his soul-the way of salvation through a crucified Saviour was fully revealed unto him-his penitential sorrow did not cease, but its bitterness. was gonehe saw by faith the " Lamb slain from the foundation of the world'—the burden of sin passed away—his eye glistened, and his mouth was filled with joy, for the blood of Christ had imparted peace to his soul. Progress in the Christian life-Imprison
ment for Preaching the Gospel. Turned from darkness to light, Stofiles at once testified of the grace of God to those around him, manifesting the utmost anxiety for the salvation of his fellow-men. His conversations, addresses, and prayers deeply impressed all who heard him. Often were whole assemblies of natives and Euro. peans melted into tears when he spoke to them of the dying love of his Saviour. This was the subject ever uppermost in his mind, and in dwelling upon it his flow of language was peculiar to himself. His wife and many of his relations also turned unto God.
Some time after his conversion, a magis. trate, residing at a distance from Bethels. dorp, applied to the station for a few men to assist in the public works. Stoffles volunteered to go, but no sooner arrived in the locality than he began to preach to the Hottentots and slaves with great effect. There was much weeping, and it was said that he would “ drive all the people mad." He was forbidden to preach, but Stoffles said he could not hold his tongue, and he was consequently sent to prison. But the prisoners were numerous, and Stoffles began preaching to them with similar effects; so that the only alternative was to release him, and send him back to Bethelsdorp. He ever considered it an honour to have been in prison for the word of his Saviour. His attachment to the Missionary cause.
When the Missionaries for Lattakoo arrived in Africa, Stoffles accompanied them to their station through the country of the wild Bushmen, to many of whom he was the first to convey the glad tidings of salvation. He assisted in the opening of the Lattakoo Mission, and remained there four years. To the Missionaries, who placed the fullest confidence in him, he rendered essential service. Stoffles had such a knowledge of the native character, that the brethren could always beneficially consult him. He travelled with the Missionaries to all the towns and villages of the Bechuanas and Corannas he conducted the Rev. J. Campbell on his second journey in Africa to Kurrechane, and the Rev. Mr. Miles, through Caffraria to the Tambookie country; he likewise travelled much with the Rev. Dr. Philip. In all these journeys, though often wearied
from the day, Stoffles never went to rest without singing a hymn and prayer.
His patriotism. Stoffles was a true patriot; his concern for the welfare of his countrymen increased with his years, and he entered with earnestness and intelligence into every subject connected with the general state of the country. He felt keenly the degraded condition of his people, as having lost their hereditary lands, their property, and their freedom ; and his mind was constantly engaged in considering the means by which it could be improved. When the Hottentots gained their civil liberties, his joy was extreme, and when Government offered them land at Kat River, he was one of the first to accept the offer; and, though it involved at first great hardship and privation, yet as he thought it was for his country's good, he was amongst the foremost to go and take possession of what he termed the Hottentots' Land of Canaan. In the same spirit, he subsequently devoted himself entirely to the welfare of the settlement, and the people at the several locations all regarded him as. their friend, and guide, and defender. His services, in reference to the spiritual concerns of the people at Kat River were also highly important. Until a Missionary came to that part of Africa, Stoffles, with the assistance of other pious natives, conducted the services on the Sabbath, and every evening in the week. He afterwards acted as deacon of the church at Philipton, and watched over the souls of the flock with great zeal, faithfulness, and activity. He conducted the prayer-meetings with marked propriety, and his addresses on those occasions produced the happiest effects among the people,
His visit to England, and death. In February, 1836, Stoffies embarked for England with the Rev. Dr. Philip, Mr. Read, jun., and Jan Tzatzoe, the Caffre Chief; and arrived in London on the 14th of May. He wished to exert himself in England on behalf of his nation; to see, he said, the people by whom the Gospel had been sent to his country; and to express his gratitude to them for the inestimable blessing. These objects he effected, but not to the extent which he desired. Before the Aborigines' Committee of the House of Commons, he stated the grievances of his afflicted countrymen, and produced a strong impression in favour of their claims and his own.
To the friends of Missions in various parts of the kingdom, his animated and eloquent addresses, joined with his fervent, unaffected piety, afforded the highest interest and the most hallowed delight, But in October, 1836, his health began rapidly to decline, owing to the hostile in
fluence of the climate, and causes before referred to, and it was recommended that he should leave England immediately. On the 7th of Nov. he embarked for Africa, with the Rev. J. Read, jun., and the Rev. E. Williams. At the commencement of the voyage, his health apparently rallied; but after crossing the line, a relapse followed, and on his arrival at the Cape he began rapidly to sink. He was confined at Green Point for a short time, but was finally released from suffering on the 18th of March, 1837.
In his dying hours, his mind was calm and resigned. He had never, he said, en. joyed more of the presence of God his Saviour than during the voyage. When he ceased to anticipate recovery, he expressed
regret at not being spared “ to go and tell his people what he had seen and heard in England. He would go and tell his story in heaven, but he thought they knew more there than he could tell them."
The death of Stoffies will be lamented by multitudes of the natives, both within and beyond the Colony ; the people of Kat River were scarcely to be comforted, and it was feared by some that his wife and daughter, who were exceedingly attached to him, would fall sacrifices to their grief. But many prayers have been offered on their behalf, that their deep affliction may bring forth abundantly the peaceable fruits of righteousness.
HUMAN SACRIFICES IN GOOMSUR. COMMUNICATIONS on this painful subject were made to the friends of the Society in the Missionary Magazine for last month. . It was likewise stated, that from a view of the information they had received, the Directors had been led to contemplate a Mission to Goomsur, the scene of the almost unexampled cruelties to which attention was then reluctantly invited. Intelligence on the same subject has been subsequently received from our Missionaries at Vizagapatam ; the tenour of which fully sustains the views previously entertained by the Directors, and which they are persuaded have since been extensively adopted among the disciples of Christ in this country. It will be seen by the details now given, that a Mission to the Khoonds would be attended by many circumstances of a peculiarly favourable, kind. True, their superstition is deeply-rooted, and sanguinary in the extreme ; the human victims whose blood it requires are doomed in earliest childhood to the sacrificial knife, a fact which in itself is calculated to deepen the impression of the moral callousness of the people, and to enfeeble the hope of their speedy acceptation of the Gospel of Christ. But, on the other hand, it will be observed, that the Khoonds are chiefly a pastoral race, comparatively secluded from the world, and free from many of the vices and prejudices which abound amid the great masses of mind in India ; that they are exerpt from the thraldom of caste, one of the strongest barriers with which in India the Truth has to contend ; that their priests exercise but little power over them, and that probably even their dreadful custom of offering human sacrifices arises, not from wanton barbarity and delight in blood, but from a deep conviction in the minds of the people, that it cannot be dispensed with, its observance being apparently regarded by them as essential to the fertility of the land, on the products of which they mainly rely for subsistence. There appears good ground to hope that the people would willingly abstain from this great enormity if once convinced of its uselessness as well as its criminality. Under these circumstances, the field now before us urgently calls for the earliest efforts which can be made on its behalf, and must be regarded as peculiarly inviting to the Missionaries of Christ. Messrs. Gordon and Porter, under date 4th of August last, thus write :
“ The late war in the Goomsur Country (a district situated 200 miles from hence) has opened a most important and interesting field of Missionary labour, which we hope the Society will take up. The Khoonds, a people inhabiting the hilly part of that country, appear quite distinct in manners and religion from the people inhabiting the plains. They have no caste among them, nor any of the peculiar manners of the Hindus. They are barbarous and uncivilised, and their superstition is of a most sanguinary kind; they offer human sacrifices, and present the blood of the victims as a libation to their goddess, the Earth, or Ceres. These people have among them an order of priests, who are not so much venerated by them as the Brahmins are by the Hindus. In reference to their sanguinary customs, the following is an extract of a letter which has appeared in one of the Madras papers :
“ The Khoonds are now discovered to be in the habit of sacrificing children annually at sowing time, in a most cruel manner, for the purpose of propitiating the demon of their worship, and of securing, as they suppose, a good harvest by the blood of their victims.
“At this season of the year,* just before the turmeric shrub is planted, the Khoonds make the sacrifice alluded to. They select, as their victims, male children who are devoted from infancy to this purpose, and are sold to the Mallees or Kunwarst of the different villages. When the ground is ready, the victim is led forth, bound to bamboos for the better security, and taken into the open plain. The cultivators assemble, and, at the supposed auspicious moment, commence the dreadful carnage by hacking (with knives) the body of the truly pitiable creature; each cutting off a part as quickly as possible, and hastening with it to the field whose fertility is the object to be secured. The blood, in which the Khoonds imagine the virtue of the spell to subsist, is then made, by pressure of the hand, to fall in drops upon the soil; and the flesh, not yet cold, is cast into the same ground. In hewing the body great care is taken not to touch a vital part ; for should death occur before the blood is dropped on the field, the charm, according to the notions of the people, would be lost.
“Some of the Khoonds, on being expostulated with, asked what else they could do, as they should have no crops if they neglected to perform this ceremony. Yesterday," continues the writer, “twenty-five intended victims who had been rescued by the Madras officers, were brought into the camp, and a party was sent out last night to rescue several unfortunate creatures about to be thus immolated.”
Messrs. Gordon and Potter further state, that “fourteen children, rescued by the officers of the Madras army, when bound for sacrifice, had been placed under the care of the Collector at Ganjam. We regret to add, that the Collector is now dead : the children will in consequence be located at Chicacole, under the care of a pious civilian in the Company's service residing there. As soon as a Missionary comes to Chicacole, that gentleman will transfer the children to his care. Their instruction in the Christian religion will aid in forming a groundwork for the introduction and establishment of the Gospel in that idolatrous country, whose condition and whose claims are now beginning to be so fearfully disclosed.
“ We hope,” the brethren observe in conclusion, “it will not be long before the Directors determine upon a Mission to the Khoonds, to declare amongst these blinded and debased people the unsearchable riches of Him who is Lord of the harvests, both of heaven and of earth, and on whom the children of men are alike dependent for the bread which perisheth, and that which endureth to everlasting life.”
MISSION AT BENARES. This ancient citadel of the hoary but polluted priesthood of Hinduism, in which the great adversary of souls had so long held undisputed dominion, is gradually