Daily Devotions by C. H. Spurgeon

C. H. Spurgeon February 26

Morning

“Salvation is of the Lord.”
– Jon 2:9

9  But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. ~ Jonah 2:9

Salvation is the work of God. It is he alone who quickens the soul “dead in trespasses and sins,” and it is he also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.” “Salvation is of the Lord.” If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because he upholds me with his hand. I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Wherein I sin, that is my own; but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely. If I have repulsed a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm. Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who liveth in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I weaned from the world? I am weaned by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He only is my rock and my salvation.” Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul, and helped me to feed upon it. Do I live on the manna which comes down from heaven? What is that manna but Jesus Christ himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink? Am I continually receiving fresh increase of strength? Where do I gather my might? My help cometh from heaven’s hills: without Jesus I can do nothing. As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in him. What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet: “Salvation is of the Lord.”

Evening

“Behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague.”
– Lev 13:13

13  Then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean. ~ Leviticus 13:13

Strange enough this regulation appears, yet there was wisdom in it, for the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. This evening it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of so singular a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and in no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then he is clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy; but when sin is seen and felt, it has received its deathblow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth; and if the Holy Spirit be at work with us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment -it will spring spontaneously from our lips. What comfort does the text afford to truly awakened sinners: the very circumstance which so grievously discouraged them is here turned into a sign and symptom of a hopeful state! Stripping comes before clothing; digging out the foundation is the first thing in building-and a thorough sense of sin is one of the earliest works of grace in the heart. O thou poor leprous sinner, utterly destitute of a sound spot, take heart from the text, and come as thou art to Jesus-

“For let our debts be what they may, however great or small,
As soon as we have nought to pay, our Lord forgives us all.
‘Tis perfect poverty alone that sets the soul at large:
While we can call one mite our own, we have no full discharge.

Soli Deo Gloria

Daily Devotions by C. H. Spurgeon

C. H. Spurgeon February 14

Morning

“And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.”
– 2Ki 25:30

30  And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life. ~ 2 Kings 25:30 

Jehoiachin was not sent away from the king’s palace with a store to last him for months, but his provision was given him as a daily pension. Herein he well pictures the happy position of all the Lord’s people. A daily portion is all that a man really wants. We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; that day has not yet dawned, and its wants are as yet unborn. The thirst which we may suffer in the month of June does not need to be quenched in February, for we do not feel it yet; if we have enough for each day as the days arrive we shall never know want. Sufficient for the day is all that we can enjoy. We cannot eat or drink or wear more than the day’s supply of food and raiment; the surplus gives us the care of storing it, and the anxiety of watching against a thief. One staff aids a traveller, but a bundle of staves is a heavy burden. Enough is not only as good as a feast, but is all that the greatest glutton can truly enjoy. This is all that we should expect; a craving for more than this is ungrateful. When our Father does not give us more, we should be content with his daily allowance. Jehoiachin’s case is ours, we have a sure portion, a portion given us of the king, a gracious portion, and a perpetual portion. Here is surely ground for thankfulness.

Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of strength. Day by day must you seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance that a daily portion is provided for you. In the word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy.

Evening

“She was healed immediately.”
– Luk 8:47

47  And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. ~ Luke 8:47

One of the most touching and teaching of the Saviour’s miracles is before us to-night. The woman was very ignorant. She imagined that virtue came out of Christ by a law of necessity, without his knowledge or direct will. Moreover, she was a stranger to the generosity of Jesus’ character, or she would not have gone behind to steal the cure which he was so ready to bestow. Misery should always place itself right in the face of mercy. Had she known the love of Jesus’ heart, she would have said, “I have but to put myself where he can see me-his omniscience will teach him my case, and his love at once will work my cure.” We admire her faith, but we marvel at her ignorance. After she had obtained the cure, she rejoiced with trembling: glad was she that the divine virtue had wrought a marvel in her; but she feared lest Christ should retract the blessing, and put a negative upon the grant of his grace: little did she comprehend the fulness of his love! We have not so clear a view of him as we could wish; we know not the heights and depths of his love; but we know of a surety that he is too good to withdraw from a trembling soul the gift which it has been able to obtain. But here is the marvel of it: little as was her knowledge, her faith, because it was real faith, saved her, and saved her at once. There was no tedious delay-faith’s miracle was instantaneous. If we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, salvation is our present and eternal possession. If in the list of the Lord’s children we are written as the feeblest of the family, yet, being heirs through faith, no power, human or devilish, can eject us from salvation. If we dare not lean our heads upon his bosom with John, yet if we can venture in the press behind him, and touch the hem of his garment, we are made whole. Courage, timid one! thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.”

Soli Deo Gloria

The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 3

Recapping

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg Welcome to Part 3 of this examination into South African History. We request that you kindly read the preceding parts to gain a proper understanding and the correct context in which this part continues the documented course of events. The information has been gleaned from archived documents translated from the original autographs of the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck and others.

In Part 1 we looked at the meticulous planning by the Dutch in the years 1649-1651 prior to Johan van Riebeeck and the designated parties sailing from Texel in the Netherlands on their voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a refreshment station as undertaken by the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company).

In Part 2 we undertook the voyage from Texel in the Netherlands on 14th December 1651 sailing on the flag ship of the fleet, the Drommedaris, to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652. We also looked extensively at the lifestyle of the Dutch settlers and their work ethic, their relationships with the local Khoikhoi and San natives and other people groups from these clans. We looked also at the relationship between the Dutch and a native interpreter named Herry. This took our learning adventure into the early days of January 1653.

Light and darkness

Khoikhoi sketch In Part 3 we now once again pick up the historical account from the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck[1] as we look into the lives of the early Dutch settlers and their near neighbours – the Khoikhoi, the San, the Beach-rangers, the Fishmen, the Hottentoos, and the like. These were the names the local natives came to be known as from the communication that started to flourish between the ‘white and coloured’ peoples. We will also look at the lives of the first evangelist missionaries who came to settle at the Cape and share in action their faith in God the Almighty!

We now pick up the narrative and see the Saldanhars are becoming more and more problematic towards the Dutch settlers, as we read from the entries dated 9th and 14th January 1653,

9.—Men returned with 1 cow, 2 calves and 3 sheep. Report departure of Saldanhars towards the east to the Bay de Sambras, whither they go every year, and thence crossing over the country to the west, as Herry says, proceed to Saldanha Bay, whence they come hither. Obtained the cattle from the Saldanhar Captain, stationed about 7 or 8 miles away eastward, nearly on the beach, having with him about 80 men and 5 or 600 beautiful head of cattle and 2,000 sheep—the finest they had ever seen. Would not part with any—had to suffer much insult from them and had nearly come to blows. Obeyed orders, however, and did them no harm—bore as much as they could, but had sufficient opportunity to drive off all their cattle, as the corporal, being hard pressed by the natives, fired a small pistol over their heads to get rid of them, when all ran away, leaving their cattle behind. They were called back and told that we would not do them any harm but wished to trade with copper and tobacco—and if they did not like it, they might go whither they wished—parted good friends and gave them some tobacco. Herry stated that Saldanhars will not return before next season, but that there were other natives who might come when seeing the copper of the Saldanhars. For when the latter, named Queena, were a good distance off, after having journeyed from one good pasture to another, the Fishmen called Soaqua would arrive with a few cattle. Told us to be careful of them, as they will come nominally to sell cattle but at the same time will endeavour to do us as much harm as possible, stealing what they can, as they subsist by stealing. What they have has been stolen from the Saldanhars, who when they catch them kill them without mercy and throw them to the dogs. Fires seen towards the East. Glad to have obtained so much cattle from the Saldanhars. People well supplied with meat—still on hand 350 sheep and 130 cows, among the latter 25 milch cows, 1 bull and many fine young oxen and heifers for breeding stock and refreshments for the ships. Hope to obtain some from the Fishmen also. The half of our copper supply still left. Tobacco running short—require for the future at least 1,000 lbs. weight, to spend it more liberally, as the natives are mighty fond of it. Two sheep destroyed by wild beasts during the night—the spoor evidently that of a lion. Four carpenters and others in bed with dysentery seemingly in consequence of eating some of the wild figs growing here abundantly and eaten by the natives. It is miserable that the common people are so indifferent about their health and know of no moderation before they are with their noses in their beds.

14.—Bought a cow and calf for copper and tobacco, the chief saying that they intended coming to live near us again; treated them well with wine and tobacco to gain their favour, promising to give more copper for their cattle. Herry told us that the Saldanhars made armlets and chains of the copper which they exchange for cattle with tribes more inland, annually returning to the English and Dutch to barter for another supply. …

The Dutch placed their trust in God

From the journal entries it is evident that the Dutchmen were Christians who placed their trust in God Almighty – not just any ‘God’, but the One and Only True God YEHOVAH (YHVH)! The South Africa of today would be wise to take counsel from our missionary forefathers who brought the Gospel of God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ to our shores and that its citizens would live by the following verses,

5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 
7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. ~ Proverbs 3:5-7

The following journal entries, which have been highlighted in bold text, bear testimony of their Christian faith,

January, 1653

24.—Heavy South-Easter.
25.—Wheelbarrows again manageable. Caught, thank God! to night 1,700 harders.
26.—Bay full of fish. Seins useless, being so old and broken; busy repairing them. It appears as if the Almighty will again come to our aid with fish, which is better for the men in their heavy work than penguins or seals.

29.—In the evening God Almighty again gave us a fine haul of fish, 14 or 1,500 fine harders. Highly required, as the Dutch food is nearly exhausted and bread can hardly last longer than three or four weeks. Our hopes rest on the return fleet for rice, &c.
30 and 31.—Wind and weather as above.

February, 1653

9. (Sunday).—Went about two miles behind Table Mountain. Found it so full of locusts that earth and sky, as if snow flakes were flying, were hardly distinguishable. If these insects were to come about the fort and into the gardens it is to be feared that all fruit will be destroyed, as we observe from the grass, which has been eaten away level with the ground. Will hope, however, that the Lord will preserve us from this affliction.

12.—The barber (surgeon) reported eight cases of dropsy, dysentery, fever and pain in the joints, the sufferers altogether incapable of doing any work; besides there are many others ailing much though still walking about, becoming gradually almost helpless, so that the works are greatly retarded. It would be unfortunate if an enemy arrived now. They might starve us out, as excepting the cattle in the fort, which must feed outside, we are badly provisioned, being already on short allowance for 14 days. Hope for speedy aid from India. The chief carpenter, chief barber (who is alone) and gardener have fallen ill, whilst the provisional sergeant likewise had the fever last night. Bought to-day, thank God! a cow and 15 sheep from Saldanhars squatting some five miles away.

Daily trials

Jan van Riebeeck ships Despite the many trials and tribulations that the Dutch were experiencing almost on a daily basis with theft of bartered stock cattle and sheep, vegetables either being destroyed by the weather or stolen, murders of white colonials by the natives, deaths by dropsy, dysentery, scurvy and other illnesses, the stealing of carpentry tools and equipment, dealing with deserters of the Company, the running out of food provisions, etc., the Hollanders of the Christian faith held to the ways of trusting in God for His will and purposes. As a result, much more testimonies can be read from the following journal entries, 

27 and 28.—Lost an ox. Very likely stolen by the Hottentoos, as for some time a few natives have been seen skulking near the cattle, who stole a sheep to-day but were deprived of it by our people. Some pocket pistols required for the herds for defence against the cattle thieves, as they are very much afraid of firearms.
N.B.—As usual the wind and weather are carefully noted.

March, 1653

March 1.—Carrots stolen from the garden. Reported by Jan van Leyen alias Verdonek of Flanders, lately deserter but now of good conduct, that Pieter Martensz; Koe and Roelof Hendricksz: shepherd, with Jan Blanx, Willem Huytjens and Gerrit Dirksz; had agreed to desert to-night or to-morrow with one of the sloops and some sheep, and that he, Jan van Leyen, had been requested to join—likewise to seize the galiot and depart with it. Jan Blanx, Willem Huytjens and Gerrit Dirksz: the principals, were immediately coaxed on board of the galiot and confined in it. Intended to do the same with Pieter Martensz: and Roeloff Hendricksz: who were herding the cattle and sheep, but they suspected danger and ran away. Counted the sheep at night, six were missing, which they had no doubt bound somewhere in the bushes for the purpose intended. Searchers returned unsuccessful. In the evening some Hottentoos report that they had seen five sheep behind Table Mountain, which were found by our people before dark, for which we thank the Almighty, as to-day the last rations of bread were distributed.

25.—Death of a soldier named Jan Dale.
26.—Arrival at midnight of the yacht de Haes with skipper Joris Janz: Somer, bringing later intelligence regarding the war. Had left the Texel on the 28th September last year, and touched at Sierra Leone, where it had left the ship West Vrieslandt, which would follow in 8 or 10 days. The latter had had mutiny on board. The chief mate and four others, who were the ringleaders, had been executed, as will appear from the record addressed to the Governor-General and Council of India and forwarded by the yacht. Heaven grant that the vessel may arrive safely, as 89 of the crew have already died. Council convened by Demmer. Resolved to refresh the yacht, and having unshipped its Cape cargo to send it on at once to Batavia—taking out of it for the fort 3 casks of meat, 2 casks of pork, 1 cask of butter, half a firkin of vinegar, 6½ aums of oil, 1 cask of Spanish wine, 2,000 lbs. bread and half a box of candles. The Commander was also ordered briefly to report to India on Cape matters and not unnecessarily to detain the yacht.

April, 1653

18.—Arrival of the Muyden in the evening a little beyond the roads, under skipper Evert Teunis Harnay, having left the Texel the 26th December. Crew fairly well, only six or seven deaths. Received letters from Amsterdam about the war, and that the Diamant and Lastdrager had struck on the banks before the land of Schouwe and become so leaky that they could not undertake the voyage. May the Almighty recompense the Company. Amen.

20. (Sunday)—… Bartered 12 cows from another nation dwelling more inland, who had seen the copper of the Saldanhars and heard that there were Dutchmen here who had more; had therefore come to get some. They stated that there were others still further inland who would also come. This being so, abundance of cattle may be expected, and our supply of copper and tobacco run out. Sometimes a tusk is obtained for a small piece of tobacco and wire, hence we ought to be well supplied in order not to sit still, but to be able to treat the folks sometimes with a stomach full of rice, barley or peas, and wine or arrack. A little liberality in these things will attract them.
21.—Said natives returned with 16 fine cows. Copper seems to be used by them. The cattle is very welcome to provide these latest ships abundantly, for which the Lord be praised.

27.—Arrival of other strange natives from the interior. Bought 14 cows for copper, tobacco and pipes.

May, 1653

5.—Gillis Frederick Walvis, butler, and Symon Huybrechse, cadet, fight with knives. Are sentenced to receive some lashes, Walvis also to forfeit two and Symon one month’s wages and pay expenses.
6.—Departure of the ships—the Almighty grant them a safe voyage home. Amen.

A new people encountered

Further from the ink quill of Commander Van Riebeeck, we read that there were “new people” who arrived from the interior. They do appear to be other people groups not encountered previously by the Dutch settlers, most likely still Khoikhoi hunter gatherers. They too were treated in a friendly manner and the “new people” were willing to barter, reciprocating by also showing a friendly disposition toward these white folk,

7.—… Bartered five cows from a new people.
8.—Fine weather.
9.—Some new people arrive from the interior with 14 fine cows, which we bought, treating them when they left with a few glasses of arrack, which seems to draw them.

25. (Sunday).—Fine weather.
26.—Fine weather. Hon. Riebeeck with some Hottentoos proceed to the forest behind Table Mountain, where the carpenters are busy cutting timber for the fire-proof magazine, to encourage said natives to bring the beams to the fort: for which purpose they were beforehand well supplied with food and drink and tobacco, so that they managed to carry (six of them) a fair sized beam to the fortress, whilst two other beams were brought on with a cart by the men. To encourage the natives they were again well fed, receiving also a glass of arrack and a span of tobacco. In the meanwhile appliances required for dragging the wagon, are to be prepared in the best manner possible in the forest.
27.—Eight men of the galiot are cutting firewood for the lime kilns, and the rest of the men are hard at work on the fortress to get it finished. Could not get the Hottentoos to do more work; they say they had
been tired too much yesterday.
28.—Made the attempt with oxen. Reported that these animals had pulled well, and before dark carried eleven beams from the forest into the open.
29.—For a dish of beans and a glass of arrack we obtained five Hottentoos, but there was no work to be had out of them. More satisfactory to labour with our own people.
30.—The men brought in three fine beams on the wagon, drawn by three oxen.

A hardworking people

It is an interesting statement that is recorded on the 29th May, 1653, recorded above where it reads, “… we obtained five Hottentoos, but there was no work to be had out of them. More satisfactory to labour with our own people.” No Hottentoo was forced to labour or made a slave, but they were found to be lazy and non cooperating in this instance. So the Dutch resorted to a more satisfactory labour of their own people. They were, and still are, an industrious hardworking nation!

A Church Service, a murder, and theft of cattle by Herry

Dating back to October, 1653 one can see that the real theft of anyone’s possessions started with the Hottentoos and more specifically by a local named Herry, a native taken into the employ by the Dutch East Indies Company as an interpreter. The communist rhetoric of the Marxist-ANC and Socialist-EFF political parties in present-day South Africa, 2019, that ‘white South Africans’ started everything by “stealing land” has no historical foundation as these unlearned politicians who whine repeatedly as a stuck-gramophone-vinyl are doing what they do best, spreading lies and indoctrinating the masses of a largely illiterate South Africa. Do they not understand the old saying: “Empty vessels make the most noise!” The true facts are that there is no written record, no autograph manuscript and certainly no true archived document that proves “the land was stolen” dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as it is based on hear-say by inept people trying to buy-votes with devilish lies! If any thing, the stealing by the native Saldanhars, Beach-rangers, and Fishmen, collectively known as the Hottentoos, started the stealing and fraudulent processes of South African politicking which is evident today. Friends, Herry was the betraying catalyst all those years ago bringing about this false political rhetoric of “stealing!” Herry was the original deceiving thief! Before the gainsayers come back with a “land stealing” issue, God’s Word tells us,

24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; ~ Acts 7:24-26 

It is God Who determines when and where people live setting the boundaries of their habitation (living), and so the lame racist comments directed at white Africans to “Go back to Europe” is a senseless no-brainer by foolish uneducated people, as the white Africans’ births were predetermined by God and nothing can change that!

Van Riebeeck’s son a born African

Abraham van Riebeeck In the next entry you will read of the birth of Johan and Maria van Riebeeck’s son, christened Abraham van Riebeeck, born on 18th October, 1653 at the Fort de Goede Hoop, Kaapkolonie (Cape Colony; present day Cape Town), who in the year 1709, when 56 years old, rose to the high position of Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC)), following in the footsteps of his father Johan. In retrospect Abraham van Riebeeck was the first white African to head the VOC!

We continue now reading the historical account from the Journal of the Commander of the Cape Johan van Riebeeck,

Pursuing Herry the cattle thief

October, 1653

17 and 18.—Mrs. Van Riebeeck gives birth to a son, the second born in the Fort. Bartered eight sheep from the Saldanhars, who were treated with arrack and tobacco.
19. (Sunday).—After service we heard that the interpreter Herry had, during service, absconded with house and family. Do not know what it means. Had shown no signs of his intentions before church. Had only said yesterday that he intended visiting the Saldanhars, as he had done last year. At dinner we were told that all the cattle were also gone, and that the herd who was in charge of them, with the boatman, Hendrick Wilders, had been murdered near the Lion’s Rump, whilst the said Wilders was away to fetch their food. The cattle had been driven away, which an hour previously had been seen by the sentry in good pasturage, where they were generally left during dinner time in charge of the boy. Sent a mounted party in search behind the Lion Mountain, and two corporals with 15 or 16 soldiers over the kloof to meet beyond. After prayers at night the sergeant returned stating that the cattle had been driven behind Table Mountain along shore over rocks and stones, and that the corporals and the men were still in persuit, but could not proceed with the horses. Having been informed that the Hottentoos had gone with our cattle (42 in number) to the Hout Bay, we sent four men to the forest to inform the six men there of the theft and take them along with them, in order to circumvent the thieves. At night it commenced to rain and blow heavily, so that the men on the road will have a bad time of it.
20.—Cold, bleak weather. A corporal and five men return via the Kloof, sent by their comrade Jan van Harwarden, who would with 12 men follow the thieves as far as the Hout Bay, but requested to be provided with food, which was sent at once with ten armed men, so that if they meet there will be 33 quite capable of coping with 2 or 300 Hottentoos. Return of Jan van Harwarden at night, with all the men, stating that the thieves had succeeded in driving the cattle beyond the point of Hout Bay towards Cape False. Having no provisions they were obliged to return, not having eaten since yesterday afternoon, and being dead tired and weak. Had missed the men sent with the provisions, otherwise they would have proceeded. In short we have lost the pantaloons—being unbreeched—most unexpectedly, and this by means of the Beach-rangers or Watermen, who have always
been protected and kindly treated by us, receiving for their clothing all the skins of the cattle, &c. Besides we have been cruelly deceived in our interpreter Herry, whom we had always maintained as the chief of the lot, who had always dined at our table as a friend of the house and been dressed in Dutch clothes; besides also that from every fresh arrival he was provided with bags of bread, rice, wine, &c., by way of remunerating him for his services as interpreter. But this difficulty will be overcome if the Saldanhars are not frightened away by this theft of the beach-rangers from coming to us, thinking that we might revenge ourselves on them. Do not hope so. The milch cows are to be regretted, especially as we had much milk, butter and cheese, as in the Fatherland—all gone at once. Likewise the use of the draught oxen for fetching wood, stones, &c., to say nothing of the manure. With God in the van however, we trust to get other cattle from the Saldanhars, from whom the day before yesterday we obtained eight sheep, and who after being kindly treated left, promising to bring cattle very soon—we having at present only 60 sheep, one cow one ox, and four young calves. The rest were stolen whilst we were listening to the sermon.
21.—Council decided, notwithstanding the theft, and though the men were very bitter in consequence, that no harm should be done to the natives, even if the thieves, yea Herry himself, were encountered, not only to show that we only wish to be on friendly terms, but also desire to forgive and forget, in order to remove all fear from the Saldanhars and draw them into close intercourse with, us, as the season for trading is now near at hand. Consequently a placcaat was issued that the men should not be carried away by anger to take vengeance on the natives, but to avoid it as much as possible. The men were properly distributed for duty, that in cases of emergency every one should know his station and work. The guards were likewise doubled. Discovered from this theft that these natives are not to be trusted and that prudence is necessary. Died from cold during the night our only ox, one calf and a sheep, having had no shelter. Much cattle dying from want of shelter and
by wild animals.
22.—Sent men to the forest to prepare the wood for the gate and other works—wagon to be drawn by the two horses obtained from Batavia. Two sheep died—seemed to be poisoned. Not a day or night passes without sheep dying.
23.—Sent a corporal and two men, with hidden arms for defence, to meet two natives seen at a distance and if possible attract them with tobacco and good treatment, so that not only they, but the Saldanhars might be tempted to trade with us again, notwithstanding the murder committed and the theft of the cattle, and to make them feel that we wish to do them no harm, but to remain as friendly as ever, fully convinced that it was only a number of thieves and Beach-rangers who had done the mischief. For the rest they were to act in the best interests of the Company.
Corporal returns in the afternoon and reports that he could not find the natives, though they had pretended to collect flowers and herbs. Wagon returns at night with a beam and two corbels. Had met seven natives armed with assegais, but no communication had been held with them. Three musketeers hastily arrive, reporting that five or six Saldanhars had visited them in the forest, and among them a captain from whom last year we had obtained much cattle, and who had once brought back to us a lost ox, and who told them that Herry was squatting with our stolen cattle at the Bay Falso and had requested the Saldanhars to live with them; but aware that he had stolen the cattle, they would have nothing to do with him, but would show us where he was, that we might regain our own with some men and fire-arms. Recognizing the captain, and knowing that his people possessed thousands of cattle and sheep and would think little of such a small number (as was stolen), also being aware that they had no great affection for Herry and his confreres, and would prefer to trade without, rather than with him, and that this captain, leaving his arms behind, had kindly come to tell us where Herry was, offering his services as guide, and for which purpose our men would expect him at the entrance of the forest this night, we decided by special resolution to send this evening, well armed and provisioned for five or six days, the Corporal Jan van Harwarden, a man of good discipline and energy, with 16 of the nimblest soldiers, who had volunteered to sleep in the forest this night, and before daylight to-morrow to start thence with the Saldanhars.
24.—Fine weather for the picquet. Planted water-melon and cucumber seeds in the new garden. The fine herbs sown this and last month destroyed by worms in the ground, even young cabbages, carrots, turnips, radishes, &c. Time will show whether this is an annual nuisance.
25.—After the closing of the gate three of our men returned with one cow, reporting that already yesterday they had observed the cattle and the location of Herry, consisting of four huts, near the point of Cape Falso, but as they had look-outs everywhere, they had left before our people had arrived, leaving their huts and some useless household utensils behind. Had followed them the whole day, and were still pursuing them, determined to come up with them. The cow having been left behind because she was tired, the corporal had sent her home with the request that they might have more provisions.
26. (Sunday).— Sent the food, and orders that as the Saldanhars were afraid of joining us in the pursuit of Herry, not to follow the cattle further, and not having been successful, to return to the fort and give up the pursuit, as it would be impossible to provide them continually with food. Arrival of another cow from behind Lion Mountain—of its own accord.
27.—Jan van Harwarden returns and reports that he had missed the five men sent yesterday with food. Had followed Herry
persistently and for a long time, but could not catch him as he continually crossed the downs of Bay Falso, which were high, and where there was not always water, the men consequently suffering severe thirst and fatigue. Had been so near them once that one of Herry’s people was within range. Tried to catch him alive to make a guide of him, but before we could lay hold of him he had made his escape through some swampy ground and bushes. Herry kept to the downs, and avoided the flats and the beach, and also the places which the Saldanhars ordinarily visit, a proof that he is as afraid of them as of us. Will find this out for certain when the Saldanhars arrive, so as to persuade them by some presents to deliver to us Herry and his people or join us in following them up, &c.
28.—Return of the provision bearers. Had not met the others. Been on the spoor, but had not been able to come up with Herry or any of his people.

November, 1653

4.—The men returning with beams brought an old Hottentoo between them whom they had caught. He was at once set at liberty, and being a Saldanhar, we filled his stomach and knapsack with bread and tobacco, and also gave him some wine, so his fears departed, and he remained at the fort of his own accord. Showed him tobacco and copper that he might tell his people that we wished  to buy cattle as last year. Told us they were coming, and that Herry had proceeded far inland. Could not understand him well, as he  knew not a word of Dutch or English. What we understood from  him was by means of Hottentoo words, whose meanings we had learnt.
5.—Again treated the Hottentoo well, to show that we meant the natives no harm in consequence of Herry’s theft. They seem  to be afraid, and therefore do not come to the fort. Men ordered to treat all without exception kindly, that they might come without reluctance with their goods. Let the Hottentoo go at noon,  well provided with bread, tobacco, and arrack. Hope this treatment will draw the others.

Van Riebeeck’s niece gets married

Here we look into the manner in which a marriage of 17th Century life at the Cape, within the Church, was preceded by “banns”. The South African Pocket Oxford Dictionary 3rd Edition renders this word,

banns pl. n. a public announcement of an intended marriage read out in a parish church.

From other definitions “banns” is also noted as “the proclamation, generally made in church on three successive Sundays, of an intended marriage.” And the Oxford Living Dictionaries .com definition reads, “A notice read out on three successive Sundays in a parish church, announcing an intended marriage and giving the opportunity for objections.” You will note that the “banns” referred hereunder was made on the 9th, 16th and on the 23rd the “young couple solemnly married”, a far cry from marriages of the 21st Century!

7.—Heavy, dry South-Easter, as last year.
8.—The same—threatening destruction to everything. Jacob Reynierz: allowed to marry Elizabeth van Opdorp, niece and ward of Van Riebeeck, the first notice to be given in church to-morrow. The ceremony to be performed by the bookkeeper Verburgh, as by Resolution specially taken.
9. (Sunday).—First publication of the banns.

16. (Sunday).—Cut the first cauliflower, as fine and delicate as at home. Second banns published.

18.—Wet weather, but seasonable for the gardens. Drought and heat have been very injurious to the fine seeds. Turnips and cabbage and carrots much destroyed by worms, of which the gardens are full. Will however, have abundance for the return fleet and all who arrive from home, except cattle and sheep, as we fear that the Saldanhars will be afraid of coming to the fort when informed of Herry’s crimes, thinking that we may take vengeance on them. May God make them understand otherwise, that on arrival they may experience the same friendly treatment of last year.

23. (Sunday).—Fine, warm, sunshine. The young couple solemnly married before the Council and the public in the Council Chamber. There being no Minister the ceremony was performed by the Secretary.

Love forgives and conquers all

We find that the Dutch carried out hard discipline against their own for as little as insubordination being committed within their ranks, whilst a murder of a Dutch sentry and the theft of cattle and sheep by Herry, a Hottentoo, are dismissed and friendly communication and behaviour by the Dutch towards the natives are encouraged in order to keep a friendly and harmonious relationship going between the parties as can be read in other entries here above. This is based on Christian principles, viz, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:17,18). We can read of the events as follows,

December, 1653

3.—The butler and under barber of the galiot, in consequence of having uttered defamatory expressions about the skipper and mate, are sentenced to receive fifty lashes; and the under barber the cause of other troubles, is further sentenced to be suspended from office for six months and compelled to beg pardon of the officers of justice and the persons injured by him, and so make restitution for having wounded their honour, as is more fully expressed in the sentence.
4.—Sentence carried into execution.

This is once again reiterated in an entry that appears on 7th December, 1653,

7. (Sunday).— … They said that what Herry had done was by no means pleasant to them, and that the Hottentoo called by us Lubbert, the comrade of Herry, had murdered the boy, and that they would have nothing to do with them or any of the watermen, and would visit us tomorrow with cattle and sheep as last year, upon which our people, in the best way they could do, expressed our kind intentions and bartered four or five ostrich egg-shells. Trust that the Lord God will give his blessing on the trade. Amen.

A week later we read in the journal how the Hottentoos who were present with Herry are fearing for their lives whether the Dutch will revenge the murder and theft, however peaceable negotiations once again take place,

14. (Sunday), 15, 16, and 17.— … Accordingly we sent the Domine—whom they knew well since last year—with tobacco, copper, pipes and bread, and besides Muller another corporal, both secretly armed with pistols, but as soon as the natives saw them approaching they took to their heels to about half-a-mile beyond the view of the fort, where they awaited our people, seeing they had no muskets. Found them to be people of the captain, who seemed last year to be in alliance with Herry. Among them were two who were present when Herry stole the cattle. Often asked mu’ men ‘whether they had fire-arms with them, evidently being very frightened and shaking and trembling as they sat down with them. Could not be persuaded to come to the fort, but would be at the same spot to-morrow with two cows. Gave each a piece of wire, tobacco, pipes and bread, also some for their captain ; and as one of them had had a hand in the theft, or at any rate was present when it was committed, the present to the captain was entrusted to him to show that he was not suspected, and to remove their fears. They parted consequently in friendship, with the agreement to meet to-morrow, sending as a token of regard a full ostrich egg to the Commander. They also wished to make it appear that they abhorred Herry and his evil deeds. God best knows what to make of it, but it is certain that they fear that we will revenge ourselves on them. Must do our best by kind treatment to regain their confidence, which can only be done when again trading with them. The Domine is to go again to-morrow.

It is evident from this journal entry that the Biblical principal of doing good to one’s enemies is in action as commanded by their Lord Jesus Christ,

43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
~ Matthew 5:43-48

December, 1653, continues . . .

18.—Found it necessary to send 10 musketeers with the 50 men carrying palisades from the forest 2½ miles distant from this, as the Saldanhars, however timid, are not to be trusted, and steal whatever they can get. Becoming afraid, however, in consequence of this arrangement, they remained away. Therefore to give them courage to approach and live on friendly terms with them, it is necessary to guard our property well, for if only two or three carry muskets not a hundred natives will attack them, but they cannot refrain from stealing when they see our men unarmed. That they are bloodthirsty has not yet been shown, as the murder of the boy was only committed to prevent the news of the theft from reaching the fort in time for pursuit. If they were cannibals they might often have killed our men, who cannot be prevented from going out into the fields to gather figs and other dainties. As the Hottentoos had agreed to meet our men to-day, we sent the Provost Marshal alone towards them with a pistol concealed in his coat, that the Saldanhars, believing him unarmed, might more fearlessly approach him, and if possible be persuaded to come to the fort, and in case of failure to tell them to wait for the others, who would bring the wares agreed upon.
19. —The wood carriers report at night that the fires of the Saldanhars had been removed far inland, and they had seen no natives.
20.—Riebeeck and Reyniersz: escorted by 20 men proceed to the forest to inspect, &c., and see whether it were possible to reach the Saldanhars. About 1
½ mile from the fort from the side of the mountain we saw half-a-mile from us various troops of natives, to whom we at once went, leaving the soldiers behind us within musket range, and taking three or four secretly armed with pistols with us, and also the drummer, who was sent in advance to tell them that the captain was there himself. Having given his message, and the natives finding that we had left the armed men behind, awaited—about 12 or 13 of them—our coming, but as we approached, and the soldiers imperceptibly almost did the same, they sometimes, some of them, got up and ran away as hard as they could through abject fear, and even after returning, repeating it 10 or 12 times, until we left four more behind and the three of us approached. Ten of them then kept their ground, though shaking with fear; the rest stood at a safe distance, seeing how matters would end. When we came up they recognized the Commander, shook hands with him, and, as a strange sign of good feeling and friendship, took him round the neck, the Commander not being backward in his gesticulations for the same purpose. At once the bags were opened, and they were treated well with bread, arrack, wine, tobacco and pipes. Made us understand that they were greatly dissatisfied with Herry’s doings, and had given him a good thrashing, &c. Seemed to be favourably disposed, and we at last succeeded in getting them with one cow to the fort, but they stopped more than 50 times on the road, afraid of proceeding, and begging us to bring the copper to them in the fields. We, on the other hand, encouraged them the best Avaywe could, assuring them of good treatment at the fort. At last they ventured, and we, taking them by the hand, and dancing, jumping and singing, entered the fortress with them, where we filled them well with tobacco, arrack and food, besides performing various tricks which pleased them well and caused a new alliance with them, to further which we bought a cow from them for double the amount generally paid.

In closing this examination of events, you can see that there are many more entries of the same nature that you have read here that could be included, but writer is painstakingly reading through every entry to be able to record that which needs to be brought to the fore which is pertinent for the very subject at hand. Kindly note that any entry that has not been included here under the various parts making up this historical examination, they should be read by you at your own leisure to grasp the full record of the Journal in its entirety. Until the next posting,

Soli Deo Gloria_____________________

Footnotes:

[1] Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, December 1651 – December 1655, Riebeeck’s Journal – by H. C. V. Leibrandt, Keeper of the Archives. Part I. Cape Town : W. A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1897. pp57-95

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