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The Life of Andrew Murray of South Africa
Chapter VIII. Last Years at Bloemfontein

I am persuaded that an unbiased retrospect over the past efforts of the Christian Churches to formulate the essence of their faith, though it must inevitably move one to a certain sadness that, in their quest after the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, their common Lord, they found it necessary to part so frequently and at times so widely from one another, may with equal justice move one to a feeling of pride and satisfaction that the quest has been so unremitting, so earnest, so conscientious, so fruitful in discovery, so rich in educative experience.— Professor William A. Curtis.

NOT only his own congregation at Bloemfontein, but the Church at large welcomed Murray back to South Africa. That he was not forgotten during nearly two years of absence is proved by the fact that two calls were presented to him—one from the congregation at Colesberg, while he was still in Europe, and one from the congregation of Ladysmith (Natal), shortly before his return to Bloemfontein. Both invitations he felt himself constrained to decline. About the time of his return he writes as follows on matters in general—

To Rev. John Murray.

I thank you sincerely for the assurance of your prayers, which will stir me up to remember you still more specially. Since Papa left there is little news. The Raad broke up to-day. The results of its deliberations are on the whole very satisfactory.

I am very thankful that I feel so well and comfortable. I was able yesterday to preach with more composure than I have ever yet done. I trust the course of sermons which I have announced on the Mosaic Worship will aid me in my endeavour to cultivate calmer habits in the pulpit. May the great secret of success in this matter—the quieting influence of God’s presence and peace—be mercifully vouchsafed.

In domestic matters everything is going on well. I feel wonderfully at home and enjoy the quiet. My hopes as to a possible restoration of my strength begin somewhat to revive. I yesterday received a letter from Henry Faure, enclosing a call from Ladysmith. What you write about the Kort Begrip (Shorter Heidelberg Catechism) I feel to be very tempting, and I have already been looking over my old manuscripts. I must, however, have some time to deliberate before I come to a decision. I see that I have written on the Old Testament as far as Jacob, and of the Peep of Day I have done twenty-six chapters. I long for your book: you must send it with Willie to Cape Town.

I much regret that I entirely forgot to send you any books with Papa. I shall try and avail myself of the first opportunity to do so. I can hardly advise you in the matter of ordering books from England or Holland. In Dutch I know of scarcely one of great value, except the translation of Vinet’s Homiletiek. Oosterzee’s Christologie will be too large. Some of my new English books I can send you for perusal, or recommend after having read them myself. You know the name of Trench. I have just ordered again Arnold’s Life. Get my copy of The Earnest Student from Graafi-Reinet. It combines deep Scotch piety with large and suggestive views of German theology. The Memoirs of the Haldanes you can get there too. Papa’s praise will ensure your reading it, nor will you regret it. The Memoirs of Harrington Evans and Nettleton are both excellent. They were also to come to Graafi-Reinet. Mention any books you have become acquainted with that you would recommend. I am in hopes of doing more in the way of reading than heretofore. . . .

Give me your advice on the following questions. Dr. Krause would feel a difficulty in answering the questions of the Baptismal service demanding the education of the child in the Reformed Faith. There can be no objection to baptizing the child privately and substituting a more general promise? I cannot feel at liberty to demand doopouders (godparents) from truly Christian parents. Another question. The Germans have felt a scruple in coming to the Lord’s Table, because they consider it a virtual confession of the Reformed Faith—equivalent to becoming members. They have asked me whether I would object to dispensing the Supper to them in a private room.

I had last week the opportunity of forwarding across the Vaal three intimations of our presbytery meeting. I also wrote to Lydenburg and Rustenburg in answer to their request to us to pay them a pastoral visit, saying that Neethling and I had spoken of it, and that we hoped that a deputation would be with them in April. I begged of them to let me know whether it was still desired by the people.

The meeting of the Presbytery of Transgariep (as the territory between the Orange and Vaal rivers was known) took place at Winburg in October of the same year. Judged by its far-reaching effects in after years, the most important matter brought to the notice of the Presbytery was an offer from Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape Colony, to aid the young State in the establishment of a college for the instruction of youth and the training of men for the teaching profession. Sir George Grey proposed donating, from imperial funds at his disposal, a sum of money for this laudable purpose, and appointing the Presbytery as board of management to control the institution in accordance with the terms of a suitable trust-deed. It need hardly be said that this generous offer was gratefully accepted. Further action was entrusted to a committee of which Mr. Murray was the leading spirit. A week or two later he writes to his brother—

Your idea in regard to getting a headmaster for our school is exactly what I have proposed to the Governor. He has promised £1,500 to erect a building capable of containing thirty boarders. We have just bought three water erven (plots) for £300. It is a pity that one has a house on it: this makes it so dear. We are to get the plans from Cape Town.

This matter of a central educational institution came up also before the Volksraad, when the State President, Mr. J. N. Boshof, intimated that Sir George Grey had notified his readiness to increase his original gift to £4,500, so that, in addition to the sum required for the erection of a suitable building, the salary of the headmaster should be guaranteed from interest accruing. In less than a twelvemonth the preliminaries had been arranged, and on the 13th October, 1856, the ceremony of the laying of the foundation-stone of the Grey College was performed by President Boshof, amid the universal acclaim of the inhabitants of Bloemfontein. The first trustees of the College were Pres. Boshof, Rev. Andrew Murray and Mr. J. D. Griesel, elder of Bloemfontein. When the College was formally opened on the 27th January, 1859, a Dutch and an English teacher had been secured, but no headmaster had been as yet appointed ; and Mr, Murray undertook for a time the onerous duties of rector, which implied, however, in addition to general supervision, merely the control of the boarding department. This noble institution, second in point of age only to the South African College among the higher educational establishments of South Africa, has during the sixty years of its existence done a work of incalculable importance for the whole of the Orange Free State. And the Grey College is but a portion of the debt which South Africa owes to the sympathetic and practical interest of that great colonial statesman, Sir George Grey.

The year 1856 was notable for one of the momentous events of Murray’s life—his marriage. The lady who consented to become his bride was Miss Emma Rutherfoord, the daughter of an influential Cape Town merchant. Her father, Mr. Howson Edward Rutherfoord, emigrated to South Africa in the early part of the nineteenth century, and by his integrity and Christian principle soon acquired a high position in the esteem of the metropolitan community. He was an active member, and treasurer from its inception, of the “ Cape of Good Hope Society for aiding deserving Slaves and Slave-children to purchase their freedom,”—a philanthropic body established in 1828, to which belonged most of the prominent Capetonians, from the Governor, Sir Lowry Cole, downwards. In the Anti-convict Agitation of 1849 he played a prominent part, being one of the deputation which pressed the views of the inhabitants upon the Governor. When Cape Colony received the grant of representative institutions in 1854, he was returned by the electors of the Western Province as member of the first Legislative Council under the new provisions. The suburban home of the Rutherfoord family, 'first at Green Point and afterwards at Claremont, was noted for its generous hospitality to missionaries of every society and denomination.

Through the services of Dr. Philip, the well-known secretary of the London Missionary Society in Cape Town, Andrew Murray was introduced to this Christian home, and here, on the occasion of his return from England in 1855, he first met Miss Rutherfoord. During this visit nothing was arranged, but a correspondence was opened which led to another visit to Cape Town in May, 1856, and ultimately to their engagement. No very great time elapsed between the engagement and its happy consummation. A long postponement was not to be thought of, and as travel in those days was an expensive and wearying business, the bride-elect did not inflict upon her future husband the necessity of another pilgrimage from Bloemfontein to the Cape, but gave her consent to a speedy marriage.

The Rutherfoords were members of the Church of England, and the bridegroom was a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, so that friendly discussions were necessary as to the place and the performance of the ceremony. All difficulties were happily solved by the decision that the marriage should take place in the Dutch Reformed church at Wynberg, that the service should be conducted in the English language, and that the officiating clergyman should be the bridegroom’s uncle, Rev. G. W. Stegmann, minister of the Lutheran Church of Cape Town. A honeymoon, in the accepted sense of the term, the young couple cannot be said to have had. They were married on Wednesday, 2nd July, passed the first night at Stellenbosch, thirty miles away, and the next at Ceres, seventy miles further on the homeward journey. Sunday, the 20th July, was spent at Graaff-Reinet, where the new sister was received with affectionate joy, not unmixed with curiosity. Towards the end of the month, apparently, he was back at Bloemfontein.

In comparison with the preceding period, the last four years of Murray’s sojourn at Bloemfontein were void of stirring incidents. His health was not yet such that he could engage with impunity in the toilsome and abundant labours of the early years. His duties as rector of the Grey College were not indeed heavy, being confined to general supervision, and the boarding of a number of pupils, but they nevertheless circumscribed his wanderings to his own parish, and journeys to distant congregations became comparatively infrequent. He secured greater leisure for study, and commenced those literary labours which assumed such proportions in later years. Towards the end of 1856 he writes as follows to his brother—

To Rev. John Murray.

John Neethling has passed this way. He enjoyed his journey to Natal extremely. His rencontre with van der Hofi was rather warm. The latter must have heard a good deal that was more plain than pleasant. The congregation of Lydenburg appears to be quite unanimous in its attachment to the Synod.

I exceedingly approve of your Leiddmad voor Zondagscholen (Manual for Sunday-schools). Give me either this to do, or Newman Hall’s Come to Jesus to translate. I will set about it immediately. I hesitate about at once beginning the composition of the Leiddraad from fear of your having done it already, as well as from the idea that you are so intimate with the Bible history that you can better judge of the proper portions to be selected. ... I would also say that if another edition of the Kinderbijbel be called for very soon, do not enlarge it. It would hardly be fair to the owners of the first edition. In using it, I shall have my eye on what I think might be improved.

I long much to see you : so does Emma : but I really do not know when I am to give Andries Louw and P. Roux a turn during their absence to the Presbytery meeting in Natal—probably on the 12th and the 19th October. But just then you will not be at home. I would hardly like to be out an additional Sunday in the Colony, as my professed (and indeed only real) reason for declining to attend the Natal Presbytery is my reluctance to leave my people.

Here matters are somewhat quiescent at present. I have no doubt in my own mind of Cox’s guilt—in fact, I think even Vels fears he murdered his wife, though not his children. I fear he will yet be let loose, as the irregularity of the first trial has rendered a second necessary, and general usage, as well as Colonial legal opinion^ considers this a most unusual step.

Our Raad meets in a month to settle matters with regard to Moshesh. 1 do not believe the war rumours. Boshof has strong views on the subject of the “ blacks ” and their perfidy. I have no idea what the Raad will do. I trust the quiet of the Colony will make them think before deciding on a war—also, the little taste of commando life in Witsie’s expedition.

We are just settling down. Emma likes the place, and gets on well with the Dutch people, barring her deficient language. She is very anxious to be useful: you suggest how ! We are very happy, and I trust very grateful.

In spite of the hopes expressed in the above letter the political horizon remained persistently overcast. Several years elapsed before the young State obtained sufficient security from outward menace to develop its own internal resources. The Basuto tribes remained a source of anxiety and danger. Moshesh was a wily diplomat. While professing peace and amity, he was surreptitiously fomenting rebellion. But his machinations were not unknown to Sir George Grey, whose secret agents informed him of Moshesh’s efforts to incite the Kaffir chiefs on the Eastern border. In 1858 war was declared by the Free State Volksraad. In connexion with the outbreak of hostilities Murray addressed the following letter to his father-in-law, Mr. H. E. Rutherfoord—

Andrew Murray to the Hon. H. E. Rutherfoord.

The object of my writing now is to ask your opinion on a very important question, whether it would not be possible to obtain the interference of the High Commissioner in this unfortunate war with Moshesh. The last few weeks have led me to reflect more deeply upon the fearful curse that any war is, upon the special iniquity attending, not so much this struggle itself, as the original cause of it, and upon the duty of England, as in my view answerable for that iniquity, to try and avert the war.

The cause of the war may be stated in very few words. Sir Harry Smith, in February, 1848, declared every man the owner of the ground he occupied at the time, and soon after gave instructions to have a boundary line made whereby all such ground should be marked off from the territory of Moshesh, as well as other chiefs. The line was made by Major Warden, and Moshesh’s assent was gained. English and Dutch farmers hold title-deeds from the English Government of all the farms up to that boundary line. When the country was abandoned, our Government received from England the State with the boundaries it then had, and engaged to respect all the title-deeds issued by the English Government. The ground within the above-mentioned boundary line of Moshesh—i.e. on our side of it—had never been cleared of Basutos, in consequence of which quarrels were continually arising, which again led to thieving. After repeated treating with Moshesh and vain engagements that he would return certain numbers of stolen cattle, the frontier people say that they cannot live on their farms, and demand protection. Our Government claims the disputed ground as ours, has its grant of them by the English Government to individual fanners, and to the State as a whole, to show, and considers it therefore its duty to fight for its injured subjects, who are kept from their farms by the people of Moshesh.

This is the state of the case on our side. If Moshesh be allowed to tell his story, it will, however, be evident that he must consider the war to be a most grievous injustice. He declares that he repeatedly arranged with Sir Harry Smith, and had his promise, that there should be no line, that he, after many vain protests, was compelled to give his assent to the boundary, that even after this the provisions in regard to the lands of his people on our side of the line were never fulfilled, that all the Queen’s Commissioners—Major Hogge, Mr. Owen, General Cathcart, Sir George Clerk—acknowledged the injustice of the boundary in question, and that now he is no longer bound by it, as the English Government have broken their part of the original contract by withdrawing from the country.

Now I cannot but think that all the blame of the war rests upon England. Upon high Christian principle our Government here cannot be justified, but upon the ordinary principles of worldly policy, I think perfectly. The question now arises whether it be not a special duty for England to endeavour to avert this war, or at least to prevent its continuance, and the still greater losses to Moshesh which will, I expect, be the result of it. I think it extremely probable that the war may continue for some time, and that a favourable opportunity might offer for the High Commissioner offering to arbitrate. I do not think the people would be unwilling to listen to this, though Mr. Boshof himself would not readily enter into such a scheme. The great body of the people, however, are not interested in the war, and soon begin to weary of it.

If you thought it possible to draw the Governor’s attention to it, I would he glad. When war comes so near, the thought becomes inexpressibly fearful of Christians slaying such numbers of poor heathen. Should you wish first to have more information you will find, in the little volume of the Argus Special Commissioner, History of the Basutos, the case of Moshesh well pleaded. The prejudice against the Boers is, of course, evident, and leads sometimes to misrepresentations.

To describe the campaign of 1858 in detail lies beyond the province of this biography. Suffice it to say that the Boers drove their adversaries back to their inaccessible mountain fastnesses, from which they refused to be dislodged. Swarms of Basuto light horsemen then descended upon the undefended portions of the State, destroying homesteads and driving off great herds of cattle. The report that their homes were being ravaged proved too much for the discipline of the Boer army, and the burghers desisted from besieging an impregnable mountain, saddled their horses, and took the shortest way back to their farms. In view of the possibility of a complete debacle, Pres. Boshof hastily called in Sir George Grey as mediator, and a peace was patched up. The war thus ended indecisively, and both parties felt that hostilities were bound to be renewed at no very distant period. Two more costly wars were waged between the Free State and the Basuto, and it was only by the annexation of Basutoland to the British Empire in 1868 that the question of the boundary between the two countries was finally laid to rest.

On the 20th April, 1857, a daughter was born to the family at the Bloemfontein parsonage. “I have to communicate to you,” writes Andrew to his brother John, “theglad tidings of the birth of a little daughter last Monday morning God has been very kind. Emma has suffered but little, and the babe is doing well.”

The great ecclesiastical event of 1857 was the quinquennial meeting of the Synod in Cape Town. The days of swift and easy railroad transit were still far distant, and the 700-mile journey demanded long and anxious preparation, especially since mother and babe were to be fellow-travellers. The Synod was due to open its sessions on the 13th October, so that the Murrays must have taken their departure from Bloemfontein before the end of September.

At this Synod certain far-reaching decisions were taken. One was the resolution to carry into immediate execution the project, mooted many years before, but always for some reason or other temporarily shelved, of establishing at Stellenbosch a theological seminary for the training of ministers. Another resolution that involved important consequences was the decision to inaugurate a vigorous forward policy in the missionary undertakings of the Church. In both these projects Andrew Murray had long been keenly interested : on behalf of both his voice was now raised in forceful pleading.

From the proposal to establish a theological seminary many of the older ministers expressed the strongest dissent. They were firmly of opinion that severance from Holland and the Dutch universities meant intellectual and spiritual loss, and that the ties which bound the Cape to the homeland should therefore not be relaxed but drawn more closely. In spite, however, of their opposition, the motion to proceed to the immediate erection in South Africa of a training college for the ministry was carried by a large majority. Since the attempt to obtain men from Holland had failed, the Synod resolved to elect two professors from its own personnel, and a plurality of votes indicated the Revs. G. W. A. van der Lingen and John Murray for the honour. The former of these declined the appointment, upon which the Rev. N. J. Hofmeyr was elected in his stead. Thus came into being, on the 3rd November, 1857,1 an institution which has been an inestimable blessing to the cause of Christ in South Africa.

The other mAtter of more than ordinary importance which engaged the attention of the Synod was the question of missions. The Committee for the Missionary Cause (Commissie voor het Zendelings Wezen), appointed from Synod to Synod, was at this time composed of several ministers of the older type. Their report showed that during the period 1852 to 1857 they had received ^1,050 in contributions to the missionary fund, had expended but £700, and had in hand a balance of £350. The members of the Committee were probably well pleased with their able and cautious administration of the funds entrusted to their care, but the younger ministers, among whom were Andrew Murray, J. H. Neethling and N. J. Hofmeyr, were little satisfied with the progress shown. They pleaded that the Synod should turn its gaze to the regions beyond, and commence a missionary undertaking on the further side of the Vaal River, “if possible on the confines of the congregation of Lydenburg.”

The Synod was sufficiently alive to its responsibility to fall in with the views propounded, and appointed as new Committee the young men above named, together with an older brother, Rev. P. K. Albertyn, to moderate youthful enthusiasm and inexperience. Andrew Murray was spared to see "a little one become a thousand,” and the resolution of 1857 bear glorious fruitage in the years to come.

Towards the end of his Bloemfontein period Murray was thrown into contact with a man who played a remarkable, if not always very laudable, part in the ecclesiastical history of South Africa. This was the Rev. Dirk Postma, a minister of the Separatist Reformed Church of Holland, who arrived at the Cape in 1858, commissioned by his Church to enquire into the condition of the Transvaal Boers, and to engage in mission work among the natives. At the Cape he met in friendly conference several of the most prominent ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church, such as Professors Murray and Hofmeyr, Dr. Abraham Faure, Rev. J. H. Neethling, and others, and then proceeded to Natal, enroute to the Transvaal. During his sojourn there he also made the acquaintance of the minister of Bloemfontein, as is evident from the following letter written by Andrew Murray on the 30th November, 1858.

T0 Professor John Murray.

You will have heard that I had a most prosperous and pleasant journey to Natal. I went at the request of the churchwardens of Winburg to try and get Postma as their minister. He declined giving me any positive answer till he had first spent some months across the Vaal. Then he would see whether he felt at liberty to join our Church. Though he has no objection to sing the hymns when officiating for us, he is not sure whether he could accept them altogether as obligatory. I spoke very seriously to him on the danger I thought there would be in his establishing a body of Separatists across the Vaal. I must confess I am not without very serious apprehensions as to the result of his mission.

Van Heyningen is afraid of Lydenburg. They have told him so much of its poverty and insecurity, that he would be glad of an opening to accept Winburg. I still think of calling Postma. What do you think of Martin? Huet’s company I enjoyed very much. We spent a fortnight together.

I was glad to see the advertisement of my book [Jezus de Kinder-vriend—Jesus the Friend of Children]. I would only wish my name left out of it. What do you think from your experience would be the time needed to get in the capital that has been laid out? You have never yet let me know what the printer's bill comes to. I would be sorry that you should suffer the least inconvenience in making my money arrangements. Only let me know betimes, and I will manage. Let me know too what impression the thing makes. You will be gratified to hear that Beelaerts writes that he uses your Kinderbijbel with much pleasure. He says: “It has caught the right tone.”

You can fancy how anxiously I look forward to my College prospects. I think of commencing about the middle of January with two teachers, one Dutch and one English. The whole thing is surrounded with special difficulties, and I feel I have need of special faith in undertaking the work and in dealing hereafter with the individual boys. I began it with the strong desire that to some of them at least it may be made the means of salvation.

About our teachers’ scheme Hofmeyr [of Colesberg] will have told you. I purpose ordering by this mail six more at a £60 salary, as I have hitherto done nothing for my own congregation. I am extremely anxious to avail myself of the Government allowance for itinerant schoolmasters. Religious education must, I think, become the watchword of our Church before we can expect abiding fruit on our labours. God forbid that I should limit the Holy One of Israel, or reject the lesson that He is teaching from America [in the great [revival], but still I think that in the ordinary course of things education is our hope.

On Postma’s arrival in the Transvaal the ecclesiastical situation underwent a rapid though not wholly unexpected transformation. Within two months of his appearance at Rustenburg he had seceded with three hundred members from the existing Church, and the Separatist movement had commenced in South Africa. The Transvaal Volksraad, which had already had a taste of the bitterness and strife engendered by religious dissensions, was greatly exercised over this secession, and invited ministers and representatives of all the Churches in the Transvaal to a general assembly to be held at Potchefstroom on the 26th of April, 1859, with a view to arriving at a modus vivendi and healing the breach. To this invitation reference is made in the following letter, dated Bloemfontein, 8th March, 1859.

To Professor John Murray.

The enclosed two letters I consider of importance enough to forward to you, with the request that you of the Stellenbosch triumvirate  will let me have your opinion as to what we ought to do. Ought we to decline going to the meeting at Potchefstroom? I cannot feel the very least sympathy in the prospect of co-operating with van der Hoff. And it may be just as well to prove to them the need there is of a union with the Synod. You will observe that the second Afgescheiden (Separatist) congregation will most likely be in Bloemfontein. Let me have your opinion, please, by return of post.

I have just received the first copy of the Kindervriend. I like it, but am disappointed that it is not more simple. It is to myself intensely interesting as containing the expression of what filled my mind some time ago. There are passages that I hardly believed that I myself had written.

Thanks for your last kind note, and the wish that I may soon be released from school duties. I hardly wish it. I feel deeply interested in the work, and do not think it will be too much for me, as long as I have no direct instruction to give. It is an experiment to try what influence can be exerted upon the boys by daily intercourse. Will the result be more encouraging than in preaching? Pray for me that the spirit of faith and love may possess me, that wisdom and diligence may be given me from on high for the work. Emma and I are both surprised that things go on so smoothly. Our number to-day is fourteen, with the prospect of four more at the end of the month.

The Volksraad had very fierce discussions on the subject of our annual grant, Hamelberg and Groenendaal trying to prove that the whole thing was to foster an exclusively English tendency. They, of course, wanted it exclusively Dutch. The Committee has told them that they can only abide by the Trust Deed, which puts the two languages on a footing of equality. The grant will most probably be withdrawn next year. I do not know that it will be any real loss, as it will free us from continual interference. If I saw any prospect of getting the fit man, I would immediately apply to Scotland.

Have you read English Hearts and Hands ? Such a simple narrative is worth gold in revealing the secret springs of persevering and successful labour in our holy work. We need more such love in all its warmth, its largeness of heart, its bright hopefulness, and we need more strong faith in the power of a love higher than our own.

The next stage in the movements of the Separatist party is described in a letter written from Bloemfontein on the ist May, 1859—

To Professor John Murray.

I forward by to-day’s post to Faure an account by Hofmeyr of the proceedings at Potchefstroom. After five days’ discussion they had agreed to receive Postma as minister of Rustenburg, leaving him at liberty to sing what he liked. His churchwardens were not present, and so he could give no answer to the proposals. Hofmeyr appeared to be keen as to the result: the resolutions taken appeared to have satisfied the Doppers present. I fear the whole thing is an illusion.

Postma has been at Venter’s since last Thursday evening, receiving signatures to the declaration of adhesion to the new Church. All my Doppers have joined. To-morrow elders are to be appointed, and the Sacrament is to be dispensed at Johannes van der Walt’s. Postma then goes to Burgersdorp with one of your deacons, who came to fetch him, viz. Andries Pretorius. Postma called on me in passing for five minutes, when I pressed him to stay. Venter said he would bring him on a visit this week, but I have a note from Postma saying that they cannot find time to come.

It certainly does appear strange that after an apparent consent to deliberations and measures for healing the breach across the Vaal he should now act thus. I believe that we have as yet very little idea of the influence the movement will have on the Church of the Colony. I sometimes think that it may do good that our monopoly is brought to an end. As to myself, the words have sometimes occurred very strongly,

"He will let out the vineyard to other husbandmen, which shall render Him the fruits in their season.’’ We have never been able, even when willing, to reach the real, stiff Dopper mind. Our language was strange to it: these new ministrations, possessing their confidence, may reach aearts that appear to us quite closed against the Gospel.

And what will the effect be on the voluntary question, when these people find themselves in the position of dissenters who have to contribute to the support of a State Church ? I look upon the whole thing as the direct work of Providence, and though I would have been anxious to open our church for psalm-singing congregations and ministers, yet as no opportunity for acting in the matter was afforded, I am content.

The large-hearted Christian charity which breathes in these lines was displayed on another occasion when Murray requested Mr. Postma to occupy the pulpit of his church—a proceeding which called forth the rebuke of the Presbytery of Transgariep, as the following extract from the minutes of the 13th October, 1859, shows—

The Chairman [Rev. A. A. Louw] submits for discussion the appearance of Rev. Postma, and his actions, especially in the congregation of Bloemfontein. He considers it necessary that the meeting shall not allow the matter to pass unnoticed, and therefore asks for information as to the attitude and action of the Consistory and the Minister of Bloemfontein, with reference to permission to Rev. Postma to occupy the pulpit. After a prolonged discussion, and the requisite information from the deputed elder of Bloemfontein, the Chairman submits the following resolution:

That in view of the actions of Rev. Postma, in view of the condition of our Church, and in view of the significance and influence of the act of the Consistory and Minister of Bloemfontein, the Presbytery feels itself compelled to disapprove of the neutral attitude of that Consistory in admitting Rev. Postma to the pulpit, as incautious and harmful.

At this time Andrew Murray was already recognized throughout the Church as a young minister of great ability and of exceptional earnestness and intensity of purpose. Many were the invitations which reached him to transfer his ministrations to another and more important sphere. In the course of 1858 he received calls to Robertson and to Prince Albert: on the departure of his brother John from Burgers-dorp, he was invited to the pastorate of that place, and on his first refusal the call was renewed. In 1859 the congregations of Victoria West and Pietermaritzburg addressed earnest appeals to him to take pity on their pastorless condition. But all these invitations he put from himself, chiefly for the reason mentioned in a letter to his brother four years earlier: " Tell Louw [minister at Fauresmith] that one consideration that led me to refuse Colesberg was the desire not to leave him alone in the Sovereignty.”

Towards the end of 1859, however, he was invited to the pastorate of Worcester, an important and growing township lying about a hundred miles east of Cape Town. This call stood in another category and pressed upon him with peculiar force. Worcester was an important educational centre; it lay within comparatively easy reach of the metropolis; it had been ministered to for thirty-five years by a worthy minister of the old school, and stood in need of firmer control and the infusion of greater energy. Considerations such as these led Murray to view the call as an indication of Providence that he ought now to relinquish the work at Bloemfontein, to which he had given eleven years of his life. The invitation was accordingly accepted, and arrangements entered into for assuming the responsibilities of the new cure in May of 1860.

The congregation of Bloemfontein heard of the decision of their beloved pastor with undisguised dismay. It was indeed a painful task to sever the many ties which bound people and pastor together. Mrs. Murray preceded her husband to the Colony, intending to spend some weeks with her parents, who purposed leaving for England in the near future. The last three months of Murray's stay were crowded with manifold activities. The teachers whom he had procured from Holland arrived at Bloemfontein in a batch, and had to be provided for and despatched to their respective spheres of work. He had to disengage himself from the many responsibilities which rested upon him as rector of the College. The Board was fortunately able to secure a successor in the person of the Rev. George Brown, who assumed duties as soon as Mr. Murray left. Above all, there loomed ever larger and nearer the heavy duty of taking leave of his sorrowing flock. "I think daily of Worcester,” he writes to his wife, "but there is a dark cloud to pass through before reaching it. The parting here hangs heavily upon me. I have more than once read Acts xx. and 1 Thessalonians ii., and mourned. That ‘ ye know' and ‘ ye are our witness, and GOD ’ I cannot use. There are many people I dare not look at, because I have been unfaithful.”

Murray preached his farewell sermon at Bloemfontein on the 28th April. The Bloemfontein community had previously given expression in tangible fashion to their sincere appreciation of his labours. Already in 1858, before there was any thought of his departure, the English section had presented him with a purse of £75 to mark their gratitude for the English services which for a long period, and at considerable selfsacrifice, he had conducted for them. The townsfolk took public leave of him at a tea-meeting held early in April, i860, and presented him with another gift of money, accompanied by an expression of personal esteem, and of profound regret that so many agencies which owed their existence to his efforts must henceforth be deprived of his fostering care.

And thus, amid tokens of the deepest grief, Andrew Murray relinquished the pastoral staff which he had assumed eleven years before. In spite of all the self-accusations which assailed him, his ministry in the Free State had been fruitful in the highest degree. The parish assigned him was far too extensive for any single individual, however energetic, however robust. Energy, and energy of the most spiritual type, Andrew Murray never spared ; and his physical strength he spent as freely— too freely, in fact, as the breakdown of 1854 proved. The results which flowed from his ministry were in every way remarkable. In after years the younger men who succeeded to his labours found in every part of the Free State men and women who had vivid and cherished recollections of “young Mr. Murray,” and who traced their conversion, or the impulse to a more consecrated life, to his powerful public preaching and his earnest individual exhortations.

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