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The Life of Andrew Murray of South Africa
Chapter XI. The Cape Town Pastorate

Merely to build schools and churches for the poor is to offer them stones for bread. There must be living, loving Christian workers, who, like Elisha of old, will take the dead into their arms, and prayerfully clasp them close until they come to life again.—Andrew Murray.

IN relating the full story of the conflict of the D. R. Church with the civil authorities, we have considerably outrun the chronological order of events. The commencement of the struggle saw Mr. Murray still fulfilling the duties of a country pastor; the close found him settled as one of the collegiate ministers of an urban congregation.

The year 1864 was the last of his pastorate at Worcester. To the outstanding events of that year belong a visit from the veteran Dr. Duff, who after more than thirty years’ labour in Calcutta, was returning to his homeland in order to occupy a responsible position in connexion with the Foreign Missions Board of the Free Church of Scotland. “What a noble old Scot he is,” writes Mrs. Murray, “so grand in his simplicity and humility, but in very delicate health, and quite unequal to any excitement. I greatly enjoyed his conversation. He is an exemplification of the doctrines of Quietism in action—if you understand what I mean. All those expressions of being dead to self and lost in God which one finds in Madame Guyon seem to be exemplified in his experience and life.”

In spite of physical weakness, Dr. Duff undertook a lengthy tour through South Africa, visiting mission fields and mission stations in various parts of the country, giving advice, especially on matters of native education, out of his wide experience, and imparting a stimulus to mission work which soon manifested itself in many directions. On his arrival in Cape Town a breakfast was held in his honour in the schoolroom adjoining St. Andrew’s (Presbyterian) Church. The chair was occupied by Dr. Abercrombie, the foremost of the Christian physicians of Cape Town, and among the guests was Bishop Tozer, of the Universities’ Mission, then just proceeding to undertake the duties of his extensive diocese in Central Africa. At this gathering Dr. Duff related how, thirty-four years previously, when on his first voyage to India, he had suffered shipwreck on Dassen Island, within fifty miles of Cape Town, and had been treated with the utmost kindness by Dr. Abercrombie, their present chairman, and Dr. Abraham Faure, minister of the D. R. Church. Three days after this meeting, on the 20th June, Dr. Duff sailed for Europe, to prosecute for fourteen years longer his work of kindling missionary zeal in the Churches of Scotland.

Few of Mr. Murray’s letters from the period which now occupies us still survive. His attention was engrossed, and his strength and time absorbed, by his duties as Moderator, and by the many anxious labours of that time of storm and stress. The letters which we possess are brief, and deal mostly with matters in connexion with the struggle with Free Thought. On the 26th May, 1864, he writes—

To his Father.

Accept with Mama of my sincere congratulations for your birthday. May God fulfil all your wishes and grant you your heart’s desires with regard to the year you are entering upon. May the light of the Home you are nearing shine more brightly than ever, and may the power of the world to come enable you to scatter larger blessings around you than heretofore. . . .

I would be glad of a perusal of Bates on Spiritual Perfection. I cannot say that I agree in everything with Upham and Madame Guyon. I approve of their books and recommend them, hecause I think they put our high privileges more clearly before us than is generally done, and thereby stir us to rise higher. The incorrectness of certain intellectual conceptions or expressions becomes a secondary matter, as long as we have God's Word to try and correct them by. Among the old writers I know on the subject, the chapter on union with Christ in Marshall On Sanctification pleases me most.

On Church matters I hardly know what to write. I suppose Burgers will take the same high tone that Kotze did, and refuse to give the required explanation. The opportunity afforded him to do so was entirely the suggestion of his friends. May the Lord guide our Church. What a sad thing the scarcity of ministers is. I felt it very much at Clanwilliam. There is Namaqualand, thirty-six hours [216 miles] off, with the salary of a minister guaranteed and a church built, but no minister to be had. Is there no prospect of more students from Graaff-Reinet?

On the 5th July, 1864, Mr. Murray was called to fill the vacancy in the joint pastorate of Cape Town occasioned by the retirement of the Rev. J. Spijker. For the first time in the history of the congregation, extending over a period of more than two hundred years, the minister was chosen by the vote of the accredited electors of the congregation itself. Heretofore the appointment had always been in the hands of the Government, and the fact that liberty of choice was now conceded in the oldest (and most conservative) congregation of the country was a signal proof of the changed order of things. Mr. Murray must have felt from the outset that the call could not be lightly set aside, and that, if stationed at Cape Town, the storm-centre of the prevailing troubles, he could more satisfactorily do battle for his Church’s cause. On the 21st July he writes—

To his Father.

I am sure I will have your sympathy during my present time of trial. As far as my own impressions go, and the advice of friends outside of Worcester, everything appears to point to Cape Town, but it is difficult really to bring my mind to say Yes. So much is implied in that little answer, by which I venture to undertake such a great work. I shall be glad of your special prayers that I may be kept from going, unless it be with very special preparation from on high.

You will perhaps ere this have received the announcement of our decision in the Burgers case, and have seen that you have to preach at Hanover on the first Sabbath of August. I remembered that it was your aanneming [confirmation], but it did not appear advisable that we should wait a week longer. And we did not like to depart from the order of the Presbyterial list [of congregations]. In the interests of the whole Church your aanneming could perhaps be postponed for once. All the members of the Synodical Committee were specially anxious that you should be the first to go. You are aware that there are many waverers, like the Vissers, for whom it is of great consequence that they should be kept right by the presence and advice of one whom they have long known and respected. May God give you grace and wisdom for the work.

In pursuance of the instructions of the Synodical Committee Mr. Murray, senior, proceeded to Hanover, with what result we saw in the previous chapter. The Consistory of Hanover, on the advice and at the instigation of Mr. Burgers, refused him leave to preach or baptize, and put upon him the ignominy of returning home with his mission unfulfilled. This action provoked the following letter from the son (dated nth August, 1864)—

To his Father.

Many thanks for your kind expressions of sympathy in the matter of the Cape Town call. You will have seen by the papers that I have accepted it. It is some comfort to me to think that I go in answer to many prayers, and that it may please God to use me as an instrument for the hearing of still more prayers, that are laid up before Him, for a blessing on that congregation. If God wills to bless, no instrument is too weak, and blessed it is to be the instrument which He condescends to use.

I received this evening Burgers’ announcement of his intention to proceed with his work, as well as a communication, signed by five churchwardens, saying that they had requested him to do so, and had written to you not to come. I sincerely pray that God may have given you wisdom and grace to act aright.

What do you think? Is it not our duty now to go to the Civil Court, in order to get possession of the buildings? The unfortunate churchwardens are deceived by all sorts of talk, and I think it would be our duty to give them proof positive that they are bound to obey us as to the buildings. I fear a great deal of mischief may be done by our allowing Burgers to take as long a time as he is doing to drag on his case.

I have not for a long time felt so excited at such conduct in an up-country herkeraad. It shows us how little independent religious principle there is amongst the mass of our people, and how Liberalism is gradually growing in power.

Mr. Murray’s Cape Town ministry commenced on the 10th November, 1864. His two colleagues, Dr. Abraham Faure and Dr. Heyns, were men who had grown grey in the service of the D. R. Church, the former having completed forty-two and the latter twenty-eight years of active work. With Dr. Faure, a man of the widest and most evangelical sympathies, Mr. Murray found himself in complete accord; but Dr. Faure had already attained the ripe age of sixty-eight, and was no longer equal to the tasks of former years. Dr. Heyns, on the other hand, belonged to the dignified school of ministers, who fulfilled their official duties with conscientious faithfulness, but had little energy or inclination for the aggressive work of a city pastorate. He was, moreover, professor of the Dutch language and literature at the South African College, as well as tutor in Hebrew—a position which still further circumscribed his utility as a pastor. Under circumstances such as these it is not to be wondered at that Mr. Murray found himself plunged into a round of multifarious duties which made heavy and ceaseless demands upon his strength. Of the nature of these varied activities more will be said presently.

Upon eighteen months of strenuous and uninterrupted toil followed a period of welcome relief, when, in obedience to the decision of the Synodical Committee, Mr. Murray proceeded to England in charge of the Church’s appeal to the Privy Council. He was accompanied by Mrs. Murray and the five children with whom their marriage had up to that date been blessed. They sailed from Table Bay in May, 1866, and one of the earliest letters which they must have received from the home circle conveyed the news of the death of the Rev. Andrew Murray, senior, who passed to his rest on the 24th of June following. Not many months previously he had obtained leave to retire, on the ground of age and growing weakness, after having faithfully served the Church for forty-three years. This sad event caused a grievous gap in the family circle, and Andrew Murray, junior, gives utterance to his feelings in the following letter, dated Tiverton, 20th August, 1866—

To his Mother.

The news of our dear father’s departure has just reached us. And you will not think it strange if I say that I could not weep. I felt that there was too much cause for thanksgiving. How indeed can we thank God aright for such a father, who has left us such a precious legacy in a holy life, so full of love to us and of labour in his Master’s work. May his example be doubly influential, now that we have him glorified with his Saviour. For he is still ours. I cannot express what I felt yesterday in church—we received the tidings on Saturday evening—at the thought of what his meeting with his Master must have been, and what his joy in the perfect rest of His presence. It must be a joy passing knowledge, to find and see One of whom the soul has been thinking for fifty years, for whom it has longed and thirsted, grieved and prayed, spoken and laboured—all at once to find Him, and to find everything it has said or felt or tasted in its most blessed moments but as a shadow compared with the inexpressible reality. What a joy, what a worship, what a love that must be when, with the veil of the flesh torn away, the ransomed spirit recovers itself from its death-struggle at the feet of Jesus.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee With sweetness fills the breast;

But sweeter far Thy face to see.

And in Thy presence rest:

I feel as if the thought of his being with the Lord, and having entered into his reward, should work with power to make us look with clearness and assurance to the time when we too shall receive our eternal inheritance. The Saviour who hath done it for him will do it for us. He is ours as well as his. It is this He longs to accomplish in us—to prepare us for. Surely we should give ourselves up afresh to Him, to live in the light and the hope of that blessed prospect. May God give all our dear father’s loved ones grace to do so.

And I feel confident that my dearest mother has tasted in abundant measure the comfort and support which the Saviour gives. Not but what there must be some dark and lonely hours ; but they will make the Saviour’s presence more precious, and help the more to lift the heart heavenward in the prospect of the eternal reunion. We cannot but be specially grateful for the kind Providence which has arranged for Charles taking Papa’s place,1 and keeping unchanged and sacred so many memories which otherwise would have been lost. May the God of our home still dwell there and abundantly bless. And I need hardly add that you must please accept of all the tokens of love and service which Charles gives as coming from us all. I could envy him the privilege of being the deputy of the rest to cherish and cheer her whom our dear father has left behind to us.

From Charles’ letter you will hear what our movements have been and what our prospects are. I feel almost doubly ashamed at having been in the midst of enjoyment, while others were not only working hard but sorrowing too ; but I can only hope, as I do expect, that it will be sealed of God as the means of greater bodily and spiritual strength.

The absence of the Murrays in Europe lasted for ten months, from May, 1866, to March, 1867. The reasons for so long a detention must be sought for in “the law’s delays”—the dilatoriness of the Judicial Committee first in hearing and then in giving judgment upon the case of Murray versus Burgers. The hearing took place on the 10th and 12th of November, the counsel for the appellant being Advocate Neil Campbell of the Scottish Bar and Sir Roundell Palmer, the Attorney-General, and judgment (adverse to the appellant) was only delivered on the 6th February, 1867. A member of the public who attended the hearing of the case wrote as follows : “Mr. Murray was, of course, present. His appearance I found to be exceedingly prepossessing; and after having read his address to the Cape Supreme Court, I think he would have pleaded his cause better than Mr. Campbell did. When the latter was half-way through his reply, Mr. Murray left the court.” The reason for Mr. Murray’s sudden departure in the midst of an important and engrossing trial is found by an examination of the domestic records. On the 10th of November Mrs. Murray presented her husband with a little son—the second son and sixth child—who was baptized with the name of Andrew Haldane.

Of Mr. Murray’s movements during his long sojourn we have no certain record. He preached apparently, with his usual fervour and with much acceptance, in several London churches ; and the impression made was such that it led some months subsequently to a call to the pastorate of the Maryle-bone Presbyterian Church,—an invitation which Mr. Murray felt compelled to decline. In October he attended a Conference held at Bath, and the powerful addresses which he delivered on that occasion were published in the November issue of Evangelical Christendom. He had also been deputed, together with the Rev. H. van Broekhuizen, to represent the D. R. Church at the annual gathering of the Evangelical Alliance at Amsterdam, but owing to the prevalence of cholera on the Continent the holding of this meeting was abandoned.

Immediately after the delivery of the judgment of the Judicial Committee Mr. Murray sailed from England, arriving in Cape Town on the 14th March, 1867. On the following Sunday he addressed his flock on the words of Exodus xviii.: "They asked each other of their welfare, and they came into the tent.” He returned to an atmosphere of heated, and sometimes acrimonious, controversy. In 1867 the Liberal Movement at the Cape was at the height of its power and influence. The Burgers case had drawn widespread attention and had found sympathizers even from beyond the boundaries of South Africa. Among those who contributed towards the legal expenses in which Mr. Burgers was involved we find the names of Bishop Colenso (himself just emerging triumphant from prolonged legal proceedings), Professor Benjamin Jowett of Oxford, and Professor Lewis Campbell of St. Andrews.

During Mr. Murray’s absence the Rev. D. P. Faure1 had arrived in South Africa ; and in the course of the month of August he inaugurated those meetings in the Mutual Hall which led to the establishment of the Free Protestant Church, as already described. In all these years the echoes of controversy were never silent. The Dutch Press of the day consisted of the three papers De Zuid-Afrikaan, Het Volksblad and De Volksvriend, and these newspapers were practically organs of the various forms of religious opinion. Not an issue appeared but contained an article or a letter on the subject which engrossed public attention to the almost total exclusion of all others.

The lectures of Mr. David Faure in the Mutual Hall dealt inter alia with the following subjects : Human Reason, the Old Testament, the New Testament, Miracles, Jesus Christ, the Atonement, Eternal Punishment; and expounded these great themes in strict accordance with approved rationalistic principles. When the series was concluded they were published in a volume bearing the title Modern Theology, and issued early in 1868. This was a direct challenge to the D. R. Church to examine the foundations and re-state the grounds of its faith, and this task was undertaken by Mr. Murray in a series of discourses preached in the Adderley Street church. The opening words of his first sermon, which, following Mr. Faure’s order, was on the “Human Reason,” were these—

The occasion for the delivery of the discourses of which this is the first is plain to you all. Every one knows what has been recently taking place. We imagined ourselves to be in the possession of a religion raised, beyond all doubt, of divine origin, whose truth and authority were proved and assured by divine signs. We felt ourselves at ease in the possession of complete truth. A little strife there might yet be concerning the meaning and correct expression of individual doctrines; we might still have to confess that we did not yet exhibit and experience their full force; but this was due to our own unfaithfulness;—the truth as such had been given us from heaven. And lo ! we suddenly hear a voice stating that we have deceived ourselves. And this voice is not, as in former times, that of enemies outside the Church and Christianity, who openly confess that it is their purpose to overturn both. Nor is it the voice of individuals within the Church, who are merely attacking jingle truths. It is the voice of those who, while assuring us that they are Christians, reject altogether the confession of the Christian Church, and preach to us a perfectly new Christianity. They tell us that what we have considered as the chief question is a matter of secondary importance ; that what we have confessed and preached as the essence of Christianity is but of temporary worth; that the doctrines upon which we insist are dross, and that they will reveal to us the fine gold, which the Church has possessed without recognizing. In accents of superiority and with invincible courage Modern Theology summons us to hearken and follow. Men’s minds are in a state of disturbance : no one can stand aloof from this struggle. And therefore we, too, desire to enquire, in this place of our religious gatherings, into what so closely affects our religion, whose destruction is so boldly announced. As confessors of the ancient Christianity, we wish to ask what this new doctrine has to say, in order to persuade us to forsake or to modify the faith of the fathers.

These discourses of Mr. Murray, delivered in Dutch on successive Monday evenings, traversed in detail the positions adopted by Mr. Faure in his Modern Theology. The following were the subjects of the thirteen lectures : the Human Reason, Revelation, the Old Testament, the New Testament, Miracles, the Resurrection, Jesus the Son of Man, Jesus Christ the Son of God, Man, the Atonement, Eternal Punishment, Prophecy, Truth and Error. Of the great ability displayed in these discourses there cannot be two opinions. Mr. Faure himself, whose writings were chiefly assailed, confesses that “ both as regards matter and manner Mr. Murray’s lectures were far superior to those previously referred to, and they represent the only serious attempt made to meet argument with argument.” The general attitude assumed was that of the apologetic of half a century ago, and in the foreword to the published lectures Mr. Murray expresses his indebtedness to Luthardt’s Fundamental and Saving Truths of Christianity. For the benefit of those who understood no Dutch, Mr. Murray also lectured in English in the Commercial Exchange, the Advertiser and Mail characterizing his utterance on that occasion as “keen in thought, scientific in treatment, and as profoundly philosophical in its essence as it was eloquent in expression.”

During Mr. Murray’s absence in England Dr. Abraham Faure resigned his charge and became emeritus. At the meeting of the combined consistory, held on the 18th February, 1867, in order to call a third minister, a petition was handed in, signed by 527 members out of a total of 3,000, praying the consistory to elect the Rev. J. J. Kotze, P. son, on the ground that “ the choice of the minister mentioned will greatly contribute towards removing the estrangement which has for some time existed between the consistory and a large portion of the congregation.” Needless to say, the petition could not be allowed : in accordance with Church law the election of office-bearers must be by ballot. But the number of signatures attached to the petition shows the strength to which the Liberal Movement had attained in the seventh decade of the century. After one or two fruitless calls, the congregation succeeded in securing as third minister Mr. Murray’s cousin, the Rev. G. W. Stegmann, Jr., a man of ability, great eloquence and wide culture.

The newly-established Free Thought Church drew to itself many members of Christian Churches who were dissatisfied with the old creeds, and wished, like the ancient Athenians, to tell or hear some new thing. Among those who notified the consistory of their intention to secede from the D. R. Church were the mother, sister, and two aunts of Mr. Faure. On the Sunday following this notification their names, according to law and custom, were announced from the pulpit; and Mr. Murray on this occasion delivered a sermon for which he was very sharply criticized by the Liberals. His discourse was based upon i John ii. 18-23. The words “ They went out from us, but they were not of us ” were applied by the preacher to the case of those who had given notice of their secession from the Church. In his special reference to what had occurred, he said, " We find some suddenly denying Christ who for forty or fifty years confessed and worshipped Him as the Son of God. We find some who formerly, when members of the consistory, led and edified the congregation, now labouring to secure a victory for unbelief. In spite of all this cry about deliverance from priestcraft, we find the teachings of a preacher accepted, solely because of attachment to his person, and by none as readily as by the so-called free-thinkers. In spite of the boast of independence of enquiry, there are proofs in all parts of the country that members of the same family, merely because a man is a son or a relative, readily accept all his utterances.”

Before delivering his sermon Mr. Murray had read, as the Old Testament lesson for the day, the passage from Deuteronomy xiii., where Israel is warned against false prophets. In his running comments he had remarked upon the false prophet, whose aim it was to seduce men from God (verses 1-5), upon the influence exercised by relatives and friends, through whose affection men might be led astray (verses 6-11), and upon the power of numbers to undermine men's allegiance to the one God (verses 12-18). In the course of the sermon he referred to the lesson in the following terms: “ Let me only remind you of the chapter read at the commencement, and of the various forms of temptation against which we are warned in those verses.”

These references to the seceders, and to the reasons of their withdrawal from the communion of the D. R. Church, were certainly pointed enough, nor is there any reason to deny that Mr. Murray felt deeply aggrieved at their superficial grasp of the truths of Christianity, and at the ease and light-heartedness with which they severed their connexion with the Church of their fathers. But the remarks which Mr. Faure permits himself on this occurrence are highly exaggerated and in some respects demonstrably false. “This incident,” he says, “enables the present generation to form some conception of— I will not say the excitement, but—the frenzy which had seized upon the defenders of the Faith. It is simply inconceivable that a man of the stamp of the Rev. Andrew Murray, who as Moderator of the Synod represented the D. R. Church,1 just as the Prime Minister represents the Government, could on such an occasion have read out to his congregation as a divine commandment that they should put me, the false prophet, to death, and that it was also their religious duty to stone the four unfaithful sisters with stones till they were dead!”  If there was "excitement amounting to frenzy,” it seems to have raged in the breast not of Mr. Murray, but of his opponents.

In 1871 Mr. Murray was involved in another long controversy with the Liberals, his antagonist on this occasion being none other than Rev. J. J. Kotze, who had accused him before the Synod of 1870 of departing from the doctrines of predestination as expounded in the Canons of the Synod of Dort. Mr. Kotze’s charges against Mr. Murray were specifically four. “You teach,” said Mr. Kotze, “(i) that it is a man’s own fault if he be lost, (2) that man is saved or lost by virtue of his own free will, (3) that man can voluntarily reject God’s love and render nugatory God’s efforts to lead him to conversion, and (4) that God desires the salvation of all, and has sent Jesus Christ into the world to secure salvation for all.” These doctrines he maintained to be in conflict with the explicit statements of the Canons. In successive issues of De Volksvriend Mr. Murray set himself to refute these charges. He rebutted the first by proving through quotations from the Canons themselves that they distinctly state that impenitent man’s final condemnation is due to his own fault. With reference to the second accusation he denied emphatically that he had anywhere taught that man is saved by his own free will and not by God’s grace, while pointing out at the same time that the Canons clearly safeguard the doctrine of the freedom of the will. As regards the third charge, Mr. Murray proved that the words employed by him were in full accord with the teachings of the Canons. The last charge was in some respects the most difficult to meet, but Mr. Murray demonstrated that the Canons are careful not to commit themselves to the doctrine of a limited atonement. “The fathers of Dort,” he said, “have refrained from anywhere stating that Christ died only for the elect, and much less have they ventured anywhere to assert that He did not die for all.” The aim and purpose of Mr. Kotze’s attack were obvious enough. He was far from being a defender of the ancient formularies. On the contrary, he had been condemned and sentenced by the Church for refusing adherence to one of its creeds. The object of his assault was to prove that not only he, the heretic Kotze, but Andrew Murray himself, sometime Moderator of Synod, and champion of orthodoxy, was guilty of divergence from the accepted doctrines of the Church. This he failed to prove—that much is certain. But even had he succeeded in showing that Mr. Murray’s utterances were in verbal (or even real) conflict with the statements of the Canons, still the difference in the attitude of the two men was infinite. Kotze had openly declared that he dissented from the doctrines of the Heidelberg Catechism, had repeatedly refused to retract, and had taken no trouble to conceal his contempt for all credos and formularies. Murray, on the other hand, keenly resented the imputation of disloyalty to the teachings of the creeds, and showed by word and act in what high esteem he held the formularies of the D. R. Church.

It is pleasant to escape from the din of controversy, and'to glance at the subject of these memoirs in his home life and congregational activities. His Cape Town home was situated in Kloof Street on the slopes of the Lion’s Head, and bore the name of Craig Cottage. It lay at that time upon the very outskirts of the city. The house fronted Table Bay, and the slope before the door had been levelled to form two terraces, occupied by a garden which contained a variety of fruit trees, as well as ornamental trees like the following : banyan, Jerusalem thorn, elephant’s foot, hibiscus, laurestinus, pomegranate, pepper and cypress. In our day electric trams rush past the door, and the noise and tumult of the city are never silent; but fifty years ago this abode, remote and yet accessible, must have been an ideal retreat for the hard-worked city minister. At the back of the house was a large green field, which sloped up towards Kloof Road, and was backed by dense fir plantations covering the lower declines of the Lion. To this open space the whole family would adjourn on Sunday afternoons, when the children would be examined by their father on the lessons of the day, or entertained with stories of missionary heroism. One of the sisters recalls the fact that they were the first to introduce the game of croquet into the Colony, and that Mrs. Murray’s sewing-machine was one of the earliest to be seen in Cape Town.

Before the close of Mr. Murray’s town ministry the number of children had increased to eight, five daughters and three sons. Besides their own children the Murrays frequently had other young people sojourning under their roof-tree. To Hermanus Bosman reference has already been made; Willem Joubert, afterwards minister at Uniondale and North Paarl, was for a brief space an inmate of their home; and Mr. Murray’s younger sister Ellie remained with them for eighteen months to prosecute her studies under Prof. Noble and Mrs. Wise. Another inmate was Frederick Kolbe, son of the Rev. F. W. Kolbe, a highly-respected missionary of the Rhenish Society. Young Kolbe was a lad of many parts, and great expectations were cherished concerning him, but he subsequently became a convert to Romanism, and has for many years past been associated with St. Mary’s (Roman Catholic) Cathedral in Cape Town as the Rev. Dr. Kolbe. His esteem for Mr. Murray, however, continued undiminished, and after the lapse of nearly fifty years he penned the following letter—

Rev. F. C. Kolbe, D.D. to Dr. Andrew Murray.

St. Mary’s, Cape Town, 8th June, 1915.

My dear Dr. Murray,—‘When I was leaving you on Saturday you spoke of its being "kind’’ in me to come. My voice being unfamiliar to you, I found it a little hard to make you hear, or I should have moved an amendment on the word at once. From the time, now more than forty years ago, when you opened to me your own beautiful home-life, with your personal kindliness and Mrs. Murray’s sweet and gracious motherliness, you planted in me a reverence, affection and gratitude which have never withered. Life has put barriers between us, but to me it is always a privilege and an honour to come and see you, and a keen pleasure. The word “ kind ” therefore, except in so far as kindness is part of pietas, was hardly the word to use. May God’s blessings enrich all your remaining days!

Ever yours gratefully,

F. C. Kolbe.

The congregation of Cape Town, to which Mr. Murray and his two colleagues ministered, was an immense one, consisting (according to figures supplied by the Church Almanac of 1868) of some 5,000 adherents and more than 3,000 communicant members. There were two church buildings,—the Groote Kerk (Great Church), which was situated in the chief thoroughfare of the city, Adderley Street, and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), which faced Bree Street and lay nearer the residential quarter. The former building could seat three thousand, and the latter about one-third of that number. In these two churches the three ministers preached in rotation.

Mr. Murray realized very speedily that much more could be done and should be done for the less privileged classes who lived in the remoter localities of the city. Schools there already were—in the western quarter, near the New Church, and in the eastern suburb, at Papendorp (now Woodstock), as well as at Rogge Bay on the Dock Road; while in 1867 another church-cum-school building was erected in Hanover Street. At these various institutions from eight hundred to a thousand children of the poorer classes were under Christian instruction. Weekly services, conducted by one of the ministers or by a city missionary, were regularly held at these preaching stations, and thus the Gospel was brought to the doors of the common people.

But Mr. Murray did more than merely enlarge the scope of his own activities. He possessed in large measure the gift of inspiring others and setting them to work. Shortly after his arrival in Cape Town, a brief article appeared in the KerkboAe, which bears clear evidence of having come from his hand. Quoting from the Sunday Magazine, then under the editorship of the famous Dr. Guthrie, he endeavours to explain the principles upon which slum work was carried on in Edinburgh. Dr. Guthrie shows how, in order to fill a licensed bar, nothing more is necessary than to throw open the doors. The longing for drink impels people to enter. But it is different in the case of a church. It is not enough that the doors be flung wide open. The poor and the lost must be looked up and brought in. And this is something which, as Dr. Chalmers used to maintain, neither the minister nor the city missionary can do effectively. It is necessary that their labours be reinforced by the activity of a band of believing men and women, each with a small district containing so many (or rather so few) families as he or she is able to visit once a week without neglecting his ordinary duties. Merely to build schools and churches for the poor, is to offer them stones for bread. There must be living, loving Christian workers, who like Elisha of old, will take the dead into their arms, and prayerfully clasp them close until they come to life again. Is there not a wide field for such labour in Cape Town, and are there not men and women who will declare themselves ready to undertake it? God-grant it! ”

Mr. Murray’s interest as city pastor was quickly aroused in the spiritual and intellectual welfare of young men. He found on his arrival in Cape Town a Mutual Improvement Society already existing, which met in the old Town House on Greenmarket Square, and debated public questions in the English language. Of this Society he was elected president; and the biographer of the Hon. J. H. Hofmeyr ("Onze Jan”) tells that a famous discussion was waged between the president and Mr. Hofmeyr on the question whether gunpowder or the Press were the more potent in its influence for evil, on which occasion the latter gentleman, who indicted the Press, carried the majority with him.

Mr. Murray felt, however, the need of an agency to reach young men, established upon a broader basis and inspired by more definitely spiritual aims ; and in response to this need there was commenced, in August, 1865, the Young Men’s Christian Association, of which Mr. Murray became the first president. For some time the members of the Mutual Improvement Society stood aloof, but when after two years their leader, Mr. Hofmeyr, joined the Young Men's, they relinquished their independence, and formed the nucleus of the Mutual Improvement Section in the new Association. The meetings were held in the hall of the Mutual Life Association Society in Darling Street and many years elapsed before the Association was able to put up its present handsome and commodious premises in Long Street. Mr. Murray’s connexion with the Association was long and honourable. The confidence which the original members reposed in his abilities and their appreciation of his keen interest were shown by their twice re-electing him as president during his absence in England. On his return the Association accorded him a public welcome at a tea-meeting held on the 28th March, 1867.

The interesting address which Mr. Murray delivered on that occasion dealt largely with two matters which belonged to the burning questions of the day. The first was the growth of Ritualism in the Church of England, in discussing which Mr. Murray declared that, though he greatly deplored the increase of sacerdotal and ritualistic tendencies, he did not share the gloomy forebodings of those pessimists who maintained that England would soon be a Roman Catholic country. The other question upon which he touched was the position of Liberalism in Holland, in which connexion he recorded his conviction that the general condition was better than it was when he visited the country nine years previously, and that the tide of Liberalism which at one time threatened to sweep all before it, had passed its high-water mark and was now beginning to ebb.

In 1870 the Synods of both the Anglican and the Dutch Reformed Churches were in session, the former in June and the latter in October. This double event, in conjunction with the troubles in which both Churches had been recently involved, the Anglican Church in the Colenso case, and the D. R. Church in the Kotze-Burgers case, gave rise to an interchange of views on the Unity of Christendom. The Synod of the Church of the Province of South Africa, “deeply deploring the manifold evils . . . resulting from the divisions among Christians,” expressed itself as desirous of discussing with the authorities of other Communions “the principles upon which re-union in one visible body in Christ might be effected.” To these overtures the Synod of the D. R. Church replied by adopting a resolution, of which the more important paragraphs read as follows: “That the Synod especially rejoices in any sign of such nearer approximation in the case of the English Church, when it remembers the ecclesiastical inter-communion which existed, in the period immediately following the Reformation, between the English Church and the Protestant Churches of the Continent of Europe—an inter-communion of which the National Synod of Dort, in 1618 and 1619, saw a clear proof in the deputies of the English Church who took part in the proceedings of the Synod.” Furthermore, in appointing a Committee to enter into communication with the Bishops of the English Church, the Synod enjoined “ that this Committee, in such communications, shall have to consider the only basis of approximation and re-union—Holy Scripture,—and shall direct their attention, in the first place, to a unity of spirit as a preliminary to outward union, and to existing opportunities for common co-operation.”

The Committee thus appointed by the D. R. Synod consisted of the Moderator, the Actuarius and the Scriba of that body,— the Revs. P. E. Faure, A. Murray and Wm. Robertson,—who transmitted to Bishop Gray of the Anglican Church the resolution at which the Synod had arrived. In a letter, dated 31st May, 1871, Bishop Gray then endeavoured, as he put it, “to open out the great question” with some considerations which might serve as a basis for future discussion. After pointing out the general agreement of the two Churches on such points as the authority of Scripture, the use of a liturgy, the vindication of discipline, and the acceptance of creeds, he passed on to discuss "what sacrifices could or ought to be made on one side or the other to secure the great blessing of unity.” This gives him occasion to lay down as axiomatic that "there ought to be no compromise or surrender of what appears to either party fundamental truth clearly revealed of God.” “We are persuaded,” he continues, “that ours is the true and divine Order in Christ’s Church, with which we may neither part nor tamper,” and that “Episcopacy, in our meaning of the word, is ordained of God.” Recognizing this as the rock upon which all proposals for union were likely to be shipwrecked, the Bishop then endeavours to minimize the objections against this form of Church government, by the following statements— it became at a very early period the general rule of the Church throughout the world;

(3) It is wellnigh certain that the re-union of Christendom, which we believe that God will in His own good time bring to pass, cannot take place on any other platform;

(4) The leading Continental Reformers—Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin and others—would have willingly retained it. Your own divines, at Port, expressed their sorrow that they had from circumstances lost it.

On the 15th of August following the Committee of Three replied at length to the Bishop’s letter. The arguments for Episcopacy which had been advanced were one by one examined and refuted. Firstly, the Committee denied the proposition that “Episcopacy as distinguished from the parity of Ministers is lawful.” The “bishop” of the New Testament, they affirm, is no more than primus inter pares, and therefore Episcopacy as distinguished from the parity of Ministers has no warrant in Scripture. Secondly, they proceed by quotations from the writings of the Reformers to show that the latter never acknowledged the divine authority of the Bishop, but that for the sake of amity and concord they adopted the position laid down in the Schmalkald Articles, viz.: “If the Bishops would fulfil their office rightly, we might allow them, in the name of charity and peace, not of necessity, to ordain our Ministers.” They further deny that the Dort divines ever expressed regret at having lost Episcopacy, and finally they quote the principles laid down by Calvin in his Institutes as representing the views entertained universally by the Reformed Churches : “ In giving the names of Bishops, Presbyters and Pastors indiscriminately to those who govern Churches, I have done it on the authority of Scripture, which uses the words as synonymous.

. . . In each city the Presbyters selected one of their number to whom they gave the title Bishop, lest, as usually happens from equality, discussion should arise. The Bishop, however, was not so superior in honour and dignity as to have dominion over his colleagues ; but as it belongs to a president in an assembly to bring matters before them, collect their opinions, take precedence of others in consulting and advising, and execute what is decreed by common consent, so a Bishop held the same office in a meeting of Presbyters.”

As to the pretensions of the Anglican Church, as voiced by Bishop Gray, that it could surrender no portion of what it considered “ fundamental truth,” Messrs. Faure, Murray and Robertson express themselves in no uncertain fashion—

We confess that we can hardly see how the proposals submitted can be called proposals for union. We seek in vain, as we look forward to what would be found some fifty years hence as the result of what you propose, for any sign of the "United Episcopalian and Presbyterian Churches of South Africa.” We see an Episcopalian Church enlarged by the incorporation or absorption of a Presbyterian body. But we miss entirely in practice what has been so well expressed in theory. While on behalf of one of the contracting parties the following claims are put in, “Her divinely constituted Church Order shall not be tampered with"; "her Prayer-book cannot be parted with”; "our system of Synods is better suited to the wants of the Colony"; "I much doubt whether alteration in the language of such of our Articles as treat of Faith would be sanctioned”;—for the Presbyterian Church nothing less is suggested than that she should give up everything that now characterizes her, and simply merge her existence in another body. We think that further consideration will show that such proposals ensure their own rejection.

Bishop Gray replied to these arguments and criticisms in a long letter, which was published as a pamphlet of thirty-nine octavo pages under the title Union of Churches. In this reply he first labours to prove that Episcopacy, as an ecclesiastical system, cannot be dispensed with, for (a) there is “ no point upon which all schools of opinion in the Anglican Church are more nearly agreed,” and (b) the Continental Reformers repudiated not Episcopacy but the Papacy ; and Calvin, in particular, speaks with approbation of the system of the ancient Church, so that (adds the Bishop) “ I cannot but be thankful to find that the Church of the Province has so much support from so unlooked-for a quarter.” But, as if he was sensible of a lack of cogency in the arguments employed, the Bishop then has recourse to an ad hominem. “What has been the actual working,” he asks, “of the systems established and the principles laid down by the Continental Reformers as regards the countries to which their influence extended?” His answer is that “the general condition of Protestantism on the Continent is not satisfactory"; and in proof of this indictment he refers to Switzerland, where “the venerable Malan is living in schism from his brethren "; To France—“a cage of unclean birds, the hold of every foul spirit " ; to Holland and its “deplorable religious condition, 1,400 out of 1,500 preachers being Unitarians or Socinians”; and to Germany, whence “whatever of unbelief that has extended to England has been derived." “How are we to account for the decay of faith over these particular bodies? Is it not worth considering whether their state of separation from the ancient constitution and organization of the Church may not have somewhat to do with it? ” cries the Bishop. But to countries like Presbyterian Scotland, Nonconformist England and democratic America, to which presumably the influence of the "Continental Reformers" also extended, there is not a syllable of reference in this connexion.

As to the practical suggestion of the Dutch Reformed Committee that the clergy of both Churches should exchange pulpits and engage in acts of united prayer, it is swept haughtily aside with the observation: “To this I am constrained to reply that whatever it is that keeps us apart and forbids our becoming one Communion unfits us, in my estimation, to be at once safe and outspoken teachers of each other's people." Upon the whole incident of the union proposals the son and biographer of Bishop Gray offers this comment: “It was hardly possible to look for any real approach to union with a body who reject Episcopacy ; and as to what is called ‘ exchanging pulpits ’—priests of the Church lowering their office by preaching in dissenting places of worship, and inviting dissenters to preach to their people,—the Bishop did not consider that any advance towards real unity could ever be made by such unworthy compromises.”

With the temper and attitude displayed by Bishop Gray throughout the course of these negotiations no argument was possible, and the Committee, rather than continue a controversy which might engender heat but could cast no light, refrained from answering the last communication. Thus ended the first and last attempt to establish a rapprochement between the Dutch Reformed and the Anglican Churches in South Africa. In reporting the abortive result of the discussions to the Synod, the Committee expressed its opinion "that the Assembly had reason to congratulate itself upon the negotiations, since the D. R. Church had thereby given proof of its readiness to greet with joy every offer of the hand of friendship.”

In the Synod of 1870 Mr. Murray’s influence was unimpaired, in spite of the fact that his arguments failed to convince the majority that it was the Synod’s duty to disobey the judgment of the Civil Courts, and even though at a later stage his proposal that Parliament be petitioned to repeal the obnoxious Ordinance of 1843 was voted down. To the commanding position which he occupied witness is borne by his bitterest opponents. The writer of a series of satirical sketches entitled Zakspiegeltjes (Pocket Mirrors), which appeared during the Synodical meetings in that organ of undiluted Liberal opinion, Het Volksblad, draws the following picture—

First let me sketch the men of the ultra-orthodox party, who pose as watchmen on the walls of Zion. Under this category I begin with the Rev. A. Murray—a worthy leader. Eloquent, quick and talented, he has an acute mind and a clear judgment. He instantly divines the weak points of his opponents’ arguments, and knows how to assail them. He carries the meeting with him ; he is too clever for the most. He understands the art of making his ideas so attractive to the elders and the small minds among the ministers (who all look up with reverence to the Actuarius) that they very seldom venture to contradict Demosthenes, or, as another has called him, Apollos. It would be sacrilege to raise a voice against the Right Reverend the Actuarius, Andrew Murray. There is no member of the assembly who possesses more influence than Andrew Murray, and certainly there is no one among the conservatives who better deserves his influence. He is consistent, and consistency always demands respect.

In after years it was known that the writer of these Zakspiegeltjes was none other than the Rev. D. P. Faure.

During his Cape Town pastorate Mr. Murray began to devote himself more or less continuously to literary work. He commenced a series of devotional studies of the Fifty-first Psalm, which first saw the light as articles in the Kerkbode under the title, Zijt mij genadig (Be merciful unto me), and were subsequently published in book form as a manual for seekers. In 1868 in the same journal he commenced a series of papers on God’s Woord en de Dwaling (God’s Word and Error), which were, however, not carried very far. In the following year, when Dr. Abraham Faure was compelled through serious illness to intermit his labours of more than five-and-twenty years as editor of the Kerkbode, Mr. Murray undertook the onerous duty, which he continued to discharge for several years.

The unsatisfactory nature of the work in Cape Town, divided as it was by the collegiate system among three pastors, became increasingly apparent as the years went by. In July, 1871, Mr. Murray received a call to the congregation of Wellington, forty-five miles from Cape Town, and it immediately became a serious question whether he ought not, in spite of the claims of the metropolis, to accept this invitation to a new and independent charge. To his brother, who apparently tried to dissuade him from leaving Cape Town, he wrote as follows on 21st July, 1871—

To Professor Murray.

Thanks for your kind note. It shows how each one must at last decide for himself. Just the things which you would think insufficient for a decision are those which weigh with me. The first attraction is the state of the Wellington congregation. The second, a sphere of labour where I can have people, old and young, under my continuous personal influence. Perhaps it is my idiosyncrasy, but the feeling of distraction and pointlessness in preaching and in other labour grows upon me as I flounder about without a church to preach in, a congregation to labour among systematically, or the opportunity for regular aggressive work at those who stay away from Sunday services simply because they have never been taught better. As to your arguments, I cannot see that either Cape Town or Wellington throws much into the scale of a possibly more prolonged life. And though the possession of fixed property here looks, and I thought might be, an important consideration, it somehow does not appear to weigh. If it be His will that I go, He will provide in this matter. Nor does Willie Stegmann’s argument, Huet’s "ik ben onmisbaar" (I am indispensable)—the position of importance as representing the Church—appear to reach me. The whole thing is so very vague, and of course secondary. Your first work, your calling, is to be a pastor, and where you can be happy in this work thither you feel yourself drawn.

I do think that I have honestly and in childlike simplicity said to the Father that if He would have me stay here I am ready and willing. I have waited on purpose to see if from the side of the congregation here there might be what would indicate His will. But as yet I cannot say I see it. Pray that He would not leave me to my own devices. I dare not think that He will.

If you like, send this to Maria and to Professor Hofmeyr to read. I was half thinking of coming out to show you my notes of an answer to the Bishop.2 I wish you had business in Town to-morrow to bring you in.

In the course of the month of August Mr. Murray accepted the call, and on Thursday, the 21st of September, he was installed as minister of Wellington. The sermon on that occasion was delivered by Professor Hofmeyr from the words of Acts xiv. i, “And it came to pass that they so spake that a great multitude believed”; while Rev. G. van de Wall and Professor Murray also addressed brief words of welcome and encouragement to minister and congregation. Thus was Andrew Murray inducted to the charge with which he was connected as minister for thirty-four years, until his resignation in 1906, and Wellington now became the home in which he spent the remainder of his life.

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