“Special General Meeting of the London Missionary Society” (Excerpt)
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The Chairman then rose, and taking Jan Tzatzoe by the hand, addressed him to the following effect:—In the name of this large meeting, which represents a body still greater than itself, extending throughout this kingdom, nay, I may say, throughout the world, I am happy in giving you the right hand of fellowship. I congratulate you, in their name, on what God has been pleased by his grace to do for you, and when you return, you will be accompanied with our warmest prayers that you may be upheld, and that you may grow in spiritual strength even unto the end.
Jan Tzatzoe then stood forward, and
was received with loud expressions of grateful
joy. He addressed the meeting in the
Dutch language to the following effect, Mr.
Read, jun. acting as interpreter:—I am
surprised to see so many people assembled
in the house of God. I am happy to have
the opportunity of seeing those Christian
friends who sent out Dr. Vanderkemp, Dr.
Philip, Mr. Read, and all the other Missionaries.
I thank God that you sent out
these devoted men, who came to South
Africa when we were shot with bullets,
and when there was nothing but blood-shed
in that ill-fated country. There was nothing
to be seen but the bullet and assagai, the
bow and the arrow; but the word of God
has continued to this day. You must not
be wearied in well-doing; the work is still
great, and the work must be spread in the
0003 56 Missionary Magazine world. God might convert the world by his own power, but he employs instruments to bring men to himself. You must send us schoolmasters and Missionaries, elevate us and do us good, and raise subscriptions for the Missionary Society. We cannot allow you to be at rest till this great work is finished. When we shall have received the word of God, and shall be in a condition to send out that word, we will form Missionary Societies, and we will send forth the word of God to others. God is great who has promised it, and he will extend his word in the world. God is about to do away with bloodshed and war, and every thing that is sinful. War is bad, and other things have been bad, but good is come out of evil. Who knows, if these things had not taken place, whether Missionaries would ever have gone out to that country? If we wish to serve God we must expect persecution; we must expect the wicked to oppose us; but God will surely finish his own work. When the word of God came among us we were like the wild beasts, we knew nothing! we were so wild that there was nothing but war and bloodshed. Every one was against his neighbour; there was no confidence between man and man, and each man tried to destroy his brother. The word of God has turned us; the word of God has brought peace, has reconciled one man to another, and in us is fulfilled that text of scripture, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb." I thank the English nation for what we have received at their hands. You are our friends; we are your children. I am like one of your own children. I have been brought up under the laws of England, and I have enjoyed all the privileges of your missions. When we signed the treaty with the British Government at the Buffalo River, a paper was read, which told us that we then became the children of the king of England, and that we were now British subjects. If we are the children of England, and if one with yourselves, let us enjoy the privileges of Britons. Many Englishmen in the colonies are bad, but I will hardly believe that those Englishmen belong to you. You are a different race of men—they are South Africans—they are not Englishmen. I have now seen the English nation. I have travelled a little in this country: I have met with a friendly reception wherever I have gone; and I can say you are now my friends. I know my friends. Do not forget us. Our eyes are upon you. You are our parents. You sent us the word of God. I hope you will still continue to send out that word. I would thank you for ever having sent Dr. Philip to our country. This gentleman never sleeps in Africa; he is always doing good, he is always protecting us. He is
our witness; he is a witness of the state of the colonies, and he is a witness of what God has done amongst us. He knows what we have suffered: he suffered with us. He, like his Master, went about doing good, although he was persecuted by man. Every man who wishes to do good must expect persecution. Could they destroy him, they would have done it; but they cannot, for he is in the hand of God. Very few people in the world love truth: they love darkness. Truth brings every thing to light; it reveals what is hidden. But there are very few people who will allow that they do not love the truth. They wish to take justice and injustice in one hand. Every man knows what is truth, but he wishes to mix the truth with falsehood. Some people are afraid to stand out for the truth; other people won't stand out for the truth; and others are ashamed of the truth; truth is the most important thing in the world. It is honest. Where there is no truth there is no true honour. We must all adore the truth—every man. The word of God is truth. The word of God tells us to do good; and the word of God tells us to stand on the truth. We ought to adhere to the truth, and to stand by the truth. I will not say more.
Andries Stoffles then rose to address the meeting. He was received with the most cordial greetings.
The Chairman, taking him by the hand, thus addressed him:—In the name of this meeting, and of the society, I congratulate you on your arrival in this country; but above all do I congratulate you on the great blessing which you received in your own country, through the instrumentality of the Missionaries sent by this society. We are happy in seeing you as a visible token and evidence of what the power of God can do, and his grace perform in the hearts of men.
The Christian Hottentot then addressed
the meeting in the Dutch language,
Mr. Read acting as interpreter. He spoke
nearly as follows:—God has done great
things for Africa, for which we have
reason to be glad. God has done great
things for me, in that I am permitted to address
you on this occasion. Dr. Vanderkemp
and Mr. Read told us that the English
nation sent us the word of God. I will not
dwell upon what we were before, but I will
tell you what the Bible has done for us.
There are three gentlemen in this country
who are witnesses to what Africans were—
Dr. Philip, Mr. Read, and Mr. Campbell.
I wish to tell you what the Bible has done
for Africa. What would have become of
the Hottentot nation, and every black man
in South Africa, had you kept the word of
God to yourselves? When you received
the word of God you thought of other nations
who had not that word. When the
0004 For September, 1836. 57 Bible came amongst us we were naked; we lived in caves and on the tops of the mountains; we had no clothes, we painted our bodies with red paint. At first we were surprised to hear the truths of the Bible. The Bible charmed us out of the caves, and from the tops of the mountains. The Bible made us throw away all our old customs and practices, and we lived among civilized men. We are tame men now. Now we know there is a God; now we know we are accountable creatures before God. But what was our state before the Bible came? We knew none of these things. We knew nothing about heaven. We knew not who made heaven and earth. The Bible is the only light for every man that dwells on the face of the earth. I thank God, in the name of every Hottentot—of all the Hottentots in South Africa, that I have seen the face of Englishmen. I have been looking whether a Hottentot found his way to this meeting, but I have looked in vain: I am the only one. I have travelled with the Missionaries in taking the Bible to the Bushmen, and other nations. When the word of God has been preached, the bushman has thrown away his bow and arrows. I have accompanied the Bible to the Caffre nation, and when the Bible spoke, the Caffre threw away his shield and all his vain customs. I went to Latakoo, and they threw away all their evil works, they threw away their assagais, and became the children of God. The only way to reconcile man to man is to instruct man in the truths of the Bible. I say again, the Bible is the light, and where the Bible comes, the minds of men are enlightened. Where the Bible is not, there is nothing but darkness; it is dangerous, in fact, to travel through such a nation. Where the Bible is not, man does not hesitate to kill his fellow; he never even repents afterwards of having committed murder. I thank you to-day: I do nothing but thank you to-day. Are there any of the old Englishmen here who sent out the word of God? I give them my thanks : if there are not, I give it to their children. The Bible is still amongst us. I will not say much. I have told you that there are three witnesses who came with me, and they will speak of things. Your Missionaries, when they came to us, suffered with us, and they wept with us, and they struggled for us, till they obtained for us the charter of our liberties—the fiftieth ordinance. (The animation with which the last clause of this sentence was uttered by Andries Stoffles, produced a deep sensation throughout the whole auditory.) When the fiftieth ordinance was published, we were then brought to the light. Then did the young men begin to learn to write and read. Through that ordinance we got infant- schools, and our little infants have been instructed,
and they are making progress in learning. You, the posterity of the old Englishmen, I address you on this occasion; I am standing on the bones of your ancestors, and I call upon you, their children, to-day, to come over and help us. Do you know what we want? We want schools and school-masters—we want to be like yourselves. You see before you two men of two different nations. You who have put your money into the plates, but who never saw the fruits of your labours, I stand here before you as the fruit of your exertions. I thank you again, in the name of all the Hottentots, that I have been permitted to speak one word among you. But I cannot sit down without thanking you for having sent Dr. Philip. We owe much to Dr. Philip and to the Missionaries of this Society. What we have, we received by them; and it is the Missionaries of your Society that have done for us so many great things. I am to thank you that you did not keep Dr. Philip in this country. You sent him out young, and we have brought him back old. But he is like a young man in that country; he goes about to encourage schools, and to see that the work of education prospers. When Dr. Philip first commenced his travels, we did not see the end of his labours. When he visited the Bushmen, we did not know why he visited them. I call upon you in the name of Hottentots, send over men to help us. We want infant-schools. I see that the infant-schools will be the greatest blessing that has ever been conferred on South Africa. I will tell you a story about my little grandchild. The little girl came to me and said, "Grandpapa, do you know how to make cloth?" I said to her, "Do you mean to teach me? I have seen white men, and I do not know how it is made. How do you know?" She said, "If you come over to the schools to-morrow we will tell you, and we will show you how cloth is made." I felt rather unwilling, but I went to the school the next day, and I was quite surprised when I saw it. I have come to England, and I have no time to stop with you in this country; for I want to go back and tell the little children in Africa I have seen every thing you told me of. I hope you will not be wearied in well-sdoing. Perhaps some may say, "The Hottentots have had the word of God a long time; they can do well for themselves." But no, we cannot do without you. Consider us as your children, and we will call you our parents. I will not say much more, yet I must tell you of one gentleman in Africa to whom the Society owes much. There is a gentleman in Africa who has lately become acquainted with us. When we first saw that gentleman, we thought that he was only the friend of the Hottentots, but we find now that he is the friend of every man. But
0005 58 Missionary Magazine this man was quite different to every other man; for the Hottentots said, he is our friend; and the Caffre says, he is my friend; and the English settler says, he is my friend; and the Dutch boor says, he is my friend; so that man is the friend of all men. The name of that gentleman is Fairbairn. I can compare Mr. Fairbairn to nothing else but a man having a pair of scales in his hands, and he throws the white man in one scale and the black man in the other, and he makes them equal. I still continue to thank you, I thank you for every good Englishman who has left this country. I have only told you what the Bible has done for others, but I have not told you what it has done for my own soul. But I will not say any thing about myself; the three men whom I have named will tell you all about me. There is Dr. Philip, and Mr. Campbell, and Mr. Read. When your first Missionaries, Dr. Vanderkemp and Mr. Read, came to us, and when I heard the bell ring, I did not know what it was. I thought the people were going to church to have a meal together. I heard the minister preaching. I said, "I suppose he is counting." I listened, and said, "No, he is not counting." I came to church again the next day, when I heard the bell ring. The next time I came to a place of worship the preacher spoke of every thing that I had fone from my childhood. I said to myself, "This is very strange, surely my cousin must have gone to the Missionary and told him all about me." My cousin said, "No, I never spoke about you to the Missionary. The Bible is that thing that tells you all about your own heart." Blessed be God, he has opened my mind, and I have received the truths of the Bible, and acknowledge it to be the word of God. I am so convinced that the Bible is the word of God, and of the blessings that we derive from it, that were there any thing I could do for my own countrymen, I would do it; but it is the work of God to do it. My nation is poor and degraded, but the word of God is their stay and their hope. The word of God has brought my nation so far, that if a Hottentot young lady and an English young lady were walking with their faces from me, I would take them both to be English ladies. Do instruct us—I say again, do instruct us! Do not leave us to ourselves. Hold us under your arm. We are coming on; we are improving; we will soon all be one. The Bible makes all nations one. The Bible brings wild man and civilized together. The Bible is our light. The Hottentot nation was almost exterminated, but the Bible has brought the nations together, and here am I before you. You have the honour, I claim nothing. You give us your pence and your farthings, and here am I; I am yours.
Author(s) & contributor(s): William Alers Hankey; Jan Tzatzoe; Andries Stoffles
Date(s): 10 August 1836; September 1836
Form & transmission history: Speeches, as translated by a Khoe-English individual and as edited and published (alongside another translated speech) in a British missionary periodical.
Original publication details: The Missionary Magazine and Chronicle, Relating Chiefly to the Missions of the London Missionary Society 1, no. 4 (September 1836): 54-68
Digital edition & date: One More Voice, 2021
Critical editing & encoding: Anne Martin, Adrian S. Wisnicki
Cite this digital edition (MLA): Hankey, William Alers; Jan Tzatzoe; Andries Stoffles. “‘Special General Meeting of the London Missionary Society’ (Excerpt)” (10 August 1836; September 1836). Anne Martin, Adrian S. Wisnicki, eds. One More Voice, new dawn edition, 2021, https://onemorevoice.org/html/transcriptions/liv_020064_TEI.html.
Rights: Critically-edited text copyright One More Voice. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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