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

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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.—8entence 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 for 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

Related Blog Posts:

The Gospel comes to South Africa (13 December 2012)

Answer to Sandile ~ Part 1 (3 June 2013)

The Gospel . . . Racism and South African History (8 March 2016)

365 Years Ago Today . . . (6 April 2017)

The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 2

Recapping

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg In Part 1 – please read before reading further to obtain the proper context – 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).

Skip forward briefly to the 1970s and to just prior to the year 1994, the South African Schools’ Education Department taught the historical accounts of Jan van Riebeeck landing at the Cape, including the accounts of the Zulu kings Shaka and Dingane amongst others. However, since ‘the new 1994 democracy’ this part of ‘South African History’ dealing with the landing at the Cape in 1652 has largely been removed from the schooling syllabus.

Voyage from the Netherlands to the Cape [1]

We now take up the historical account once again and share herewith the entries that appear in the Journal of Commander Johan van Riebeeck commencing from 14th December 1651 to 7th April 1652 which record the events of the voyage to the Cape as the VOC Council insisted that a proper record be kept for the Company (see Part I: No. 3.—Instructions for the Officers of the Expedition fitted out for the Cape of Good Hope to Found a Fort and Garden There. 25th March, 1651). Hereunder are the extracts from the Journal regarding the sailing voyage south to Southern Africa:

JvR Pg1JvR Pg2 JvR Pg3 JvR Pg4

During the course of the voyage a Resolution was taken and recorded in Dutch on 30th December 1651 – another source records that this resolution was also read on board the Drommedaris by Johan van Riebeeck in Table Bay on 6th April 1652. Hereunder is the Dutch transcript of the said Resolution which is followed by an English translation:

Resolution 30 December 1651

RESOLUTIONS.

December 30, 1651.—Prayer. O merciful, kindly, loving God and Heavenly Father, inasmuch as it hath pleased Thy divine Majesty to call us to the management of the business of the General United Netherlands Chartered East India Company here at Cabo de boa Esperance, and for that purpose we have met with our Council of Assessors in order with their advice to adopt such resolutions by which the greatest interests of the said Company may be promoted, justice maintained, and (if possible) among these wild and brutal people Thy true reformed Christian doctrine in course of time may be planted and spread to the glory and honour of Thy Holy Name and the welfare of our Masters the Chiefs—whereunto we are altogether incapable without Thy gracious help we therefore pray Thee, O Most Gracious Father, that Thou mayest dwell with us with thy Fatherly wisdom, and presiding at these our meetings, so enlighten our hearts, that all wrong passions, misunderstandings and other similar failings, may be warded from us; that our hearts may be free from all human influences and our minds so constituted, that in our deliberations we may not intend or decide otherwise than what will tend to the magnifying and the glory of Thy Most Holy Name and the greatest service of our Lords and Masters, without in any way regarding our own interests or personal profit. This and whatever more may be necessary to carry out our ordained work, and for salvation, we pray and desire in the name of Thy well beloved Son, Our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Who has taught us to pray—Our Father, &c.

They came with a Reformed Christian faith to please God Almighty in all that they could to fulfil the will and purpose of God, and they accordingly recorded  unashamedly their submission to God, which testimony would be read down through the ages and by which testimony they would one day stand before God Almighty and give an account of themselves before the Judgment Seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we read,

10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10

Everyone is hereby reminded that we all must appear, and liars who have lied about history or deceived people will receive condemnation and an eternity in the lake of fire, for it is written,

8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. ~ Revelation 21:8

We will show that South African history has been distorted concerning the so-called ‘white-colonialists’ and their conduct towards the black African natives, the practice of ‘slavery’ and by who, for black Africans also had ‘slaves’, the freedom of movement of ‘slaves’ in the Cape, the education and Christian lifestyles of ‘slaves’ and much more. Hundreds, if not thousands of entries could be shared, but writer encourages the readers to search out these matters more fully, reading the actual documents and not believing the rhetoric that says, “Apartheid came to the Cape with Jan van Riebeeck!” (Jacob Zuma and Others). Writer dealt with this issue more specifically in a blog post titled, The Gospel . . . Racism and South African History, where it is mentioned, quote: “Apartheid “officially” only existed during the period from 1948 to 1994, a time period of 46 years. The term apartheid was introduced into South African politics in 1948 as part of the election campaign by D.F. Malan’s Herenigde Nasionale Party (HNP – ‘Reunited National Party’).” [End quote]

A satirical depiction of ‘blaming it on Apartheid’ is reflected in the photo hereunder; which original painting alludes to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652 without the ‘satire speech bubbles’:

Jan van Riebeeck satire ~ Satire ~

Jan van Riebeeck: What! You have been living here for 1000s of years and you have no ships, no roads, no houses, no bridges, no farms, no guns, . . . Why?

Khoikhoi: APARTHEID??

— ooo —

Journal of Johan van Riebeeck

We pick up at 9th April 1652 where the Journal makes reference to Riebeeck going on shore to mark the site of the fort. It also records the work that is undertaken into the next day (10th April 1652). We see that there was a friendly disposition between the European Dutchmen and the local natives, the Dutch even being a friendly buffer between the “locals” – the beach rangers and Saldanhars – as we read:

10.— . . . Arrival of 9 or 10 Saldanhars; defensive attitude assumed by the beach rangers (who daily with wives and children sit with us before our tents). We had enough to do to check their courage and fury, and despatched a body of Europeans between the parties.

We succeeded in establishing an armistice; keeping the combatants the whole day in peaceful conduct towards each other. The Saldanhars, making use of signs and many broken Dutch and English words (no doubt learned from the shipwrecked crew of the Haerlem), wished to explain that for copper and tobacco they would soon bring some cattle and sheep; which we urged them to do, by kind treatment. Skipper Davit Coninck, with two assistants and 2 soldiers, being on a fishing excursion at the Salt River, meets the 9 Saldanhars, who take him round the neck and promise cattle and sheep in exchange for copper and tobacco. These natives are described as fine fellows, dressed in prepared oxhide, and stepping like any dandy in the Fatherland who carries his mantle on his shoulder or arm, but their private parts were exposed; a little skin barely covering them. Skipper Coninck returned with four bags of mustard leaves, sorrel, 750 beautiful braems and four other delicate fishes of more delicate flavour than any fish in the Fatherland; one looking like a haddock and as good and fat.

Sketch of Khoikhoi milking As can be seen well into the Dutchmen’s fifth day at the Cape, a friendly exchange of communication and bartering of possessions were taking place between 17th century ‘black and white’ strangers; a far cry from what has been taught by the Marxist ANC government and Socialist EFF party with their political-rhetoric of the 21st century! The Dutch’s conduct is that as commanded in the Holy Bible, to love God and one’s neighbours (see Matthew 22:36-40). They also understood the principle that God ordered their steps when one reads the very next journal entry,

11.—Heavy South-Easter—the laden boat of the Reijger proceeding towards the shore, is compelled to lie at anchor midway the whole day; succeeded in the evening in reaching the ship, by the blessing of God.

On the 13th April 1652, more bartering with the natives is recorded, “Exchanged 3 plates of copper and 3 pieces of ½ fathom copper wire for a cow and a young calf—fairly divided both among the ships.” The next entry was a Sunday, and we see that even in a new land they still had their Church service,

14. (Sunday).—Fine weather. After service fresh meat and vegetables were given to the men—caught about 1,000 beautiful steenbraesems (braems) at the Salt River, each about 1½ foot in length.

Dutch ships in Table Bay Cape Colony From this entry it appears when people place God first He rewards them abundantly! Whilst all this was taking place we do not see any ‘slavery’ in any form, but that the Dutchmen were labouring themselves as we see in the entry of the 15th April 1652, “Slow progress of the works, in consequence of the small number of labourers and the number of sick.” On the following Sunday 21st April 1652 we read that whilst out on an exertion up the kloof of Table Mountain, about two Dutch miles, ground was found there which was compared to be as good and fruitful as anywhere in the world. However, it was also noted that due to a scarcity of hands to cultivate the same a record is made that “a few Chinese would be welcome as gardener”! This simple statement records that the journalist gave due recognition to a people for their ability to be of service. However, the Dutch are a resilient and hard working people as we read from the entries of 25th and 26th  April 1652,

25.—Skipper Hooghsaet lands to urge on his men, as usual.

26.—The work done at the fort and the zeal of Hooghsaet are described. Carpenters busy erecting dwellings and stores.

The next Sunday we read that after Church service some more observational work was undertaken in preparation to get the refreshment station to become productive, for this was the reason for coming to the Cape,

28. (Sunday).—After service and in company of Hooghsaet, Turver, and some armed soldiers, walked over the ridge to the South of Table Mountain—found everywhere fine garden ground —viewed the country all round—about 10 Dutch miles broad and long—watered by the finest fresh rivers—thousands of Chinese or other agriculturists would not be able to cultivate a tenth part of the country, which is so rich that neither Formosa nor New Netherland can be compared with it.

Compassion and empathy

The compassion and empathy of the Dutchmen are revealed in the entry of 29th April 1652 when we see the intent of the Dutch to bring ‘other’ to the Cape and in due course they too would “make a sufficient living” as we read, “The consequent necessity of importing Chinamen or other industrious people, who would in time make a sufficient living.” The Dutch mindset was educated advancements, not inept slothfulness.

This extract from the same 29th entry, reflects a love for one’s neighbours to feed them, as we read, “Observed no Saldanhars; only saw 4 or 5 of the beach rangers having lean bodies and hungry stomachs filled by us with barley and bread and sometimes wine; a large supply of rice therefore necessary, likewise arrack, to treat those who may off and on visit us, to gain their good will.” This is true love in action! The Dutch showed the authentication of their faith by works that followed, for we read, for it is written,

13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. ~ James 2:13-18

Their actions were merciful by showing their faith by works following! The Gospel of Jesus Christ was in action!

We now skip ahead, so we do not record every single journal entry for a copy of the same can be obtained where every other entry can be read – just as writer is doing –, and find the following entries from 8th through 11th May 1652 after two other Dutch ships the Walvis and Oliphant had arrived at the Cape from the Netherlands,

8.—The Commanders of the ships came on shore to inspect the works and obtain refreshments. No cattle obtained up to date,, the beach-rangers have nothing but hungry stomachs, often filled by us to gain their good will for the future benefit of the Company.

9.—Tent rigged for the sick of the Oliphant—two more have died.

10.—Nothing particular.

11.—Meeting of Council on board the Drommedaris. Slow progress of the works. Resolved to retain 50 sick of both vessels, who, when restored to health, may assist at the works and afterwards be sent on to Batavia. A Hottentoo was brought to our barber, badly wounded. We gathered from his friends that they had had a skirmish with those of Saldania and that two had been killed.

Van Oers fig 1 Map of Fort of Good Hope Besides labouring and feeding themselves, seeing to their own sick and dead from diseases on the ships, the Dutch were also feeding the beach ranger natives which would also strengthen their relationship and, now, in this instance, being requested to take care of a badly wounded ‘Hottentoo’ (beach ranger) who had a skirmish with the Saldanhars where two others were killed. The Dutch were now also helping out as a hospital for the locals!

Christian observances

On the next Sunday 12th May 1652 we read of the Dutch Church service,

12. (Sunday).—First sermon preached by Rev. Backerius of the Walvis, in the still unroofed house within the square of the unfinished fort. The Holy Sacrament was likewise celebrated.

The following Sunday we read that it was Pentecost, reflected with a simple entry,

19. (Pentecost).—Hazy weather.

Trials, sickness and deaths

The following daily entries reflect the work undertaken, the coming and the going of ships, and reports of fever and dysentery that not only lay men low, but resulted in many deaths that followed and thus reduced the effective work force of the Dutch. The workable man power was reduced from 116 to about 50 able men as of 10th June 1652. Well into this month the weather was also playing havoc at the Cape of Storms which was living up to its name. The entries reflect that their hope and trust were in the mercy of God! Also the planted gardens are being severely destroyed. There are hardships encountered by hurricane-type wet conditions! Whilst the Dutch people have been experiencing such hardships they have not seen the Saldanhars in a while and have not been able to barter with them to obtain meat as part of their diet. Only been able to eat vegetables from that which has not been destroyed by the severe weather experienced at the Cape with lots of heavy rain and even snow on the mountains being observed and the cold being felt!

Disciplinary actions for crimes

Throughout the abovementioned hardships, a few entries are also recorded where severe discipline actions were taken against Dutch crew members for crimes against leadership, as we read from July 1652,

8.— . . . Jan Planx, arquebusier on hoard the Goede Hoop, condemned for the crime of insubordination to fall from the yard arm and receive 60 cuts, which is more extensively described in the record of “ Sentences.”

9.—Many whales in the bay. Above sentence carried out. Gerrit Dirksz: van Elssen, Cadet, for molesting the skipper, is condemned to receive 100 cuts and to stand sentry the whole day with 6 muskets. Last night Nicolas Pietersz : Venlo, Cadet, died without a will and was buried this evening.

10.—Yesterday’s sentence carried out.

And in the beginning of September 1652 we read some more of what preceded,

3.—Weather subsiding—more sick.

4.—Fine weather. Plucked the first peas, and ate good carrots about the thickness of the little finger and sown after arrival—all the rest sown later are growing famously. The soldier Joost van der Laack, being drunk, used foul words towards the Commander and insulted him. He was apprehended.

7.—Wet. Van der Laack suspended from office because of his insolence, as the minutes will show more fully.

As of the 14th September 1652 there was still no sign of the Saldanhars.

On 18th September whilst Riebeeck and a carpenter were out surveying the backside and slopes of Table Mountain they came across some trees that had the dates 1604, 1620 and 1622 etched into them, but they did not know who carved them. This showed that the Cape had been visited at various times prior to 1652, and also no record is made of encountering the local natives. It appears that the land was not so densely inhabited as always mentioned by modern day gainsayers!

Deserting Dutchmen

On 25th September 1652, four Dutchmen absconded during the night; “Jan. Blanx of Malines, boatswain of the yacht; Willem Huytjens of Maestricht, sailor; Gert Dircksx: van Eltsen of Maestricht and Jan Jansz; of Leyden, soldiers stationed on shore” whose whereabouts are unknown. A proclamation was also published warning against desertion and stating the punishments.

Eight days later we read in the month of October 1652’s entries that the deserters have voluntarily returned,

3.—Brackenier undergoes his punishment. The men sent to Salt River to cut reeds return in trepidation to the fort stating that they had seen many natives—that two had been left behind with the sloop who could not swim—soldiers sent to rescue them—discovered that there were only 7 or 8 native women digging for food, who had recognized the party and in their joy had dancingly approached and asked for tobacco. Return_of the deserters, who all declare that they hoped to reach the Fatherland overland, but in consequence of the high mountains could not proceed further than 24 miles eastward, therefore resolved to return and beg for pardon. Jan Blanx declares that he and Jan van Leyen had formed the plan, and that the others had joined them, that some time ago he had dreamt in the yacht of a mountain of gold and such like frivolous things. All four put in irons apart from each other.

4.—Fugitives voluntarily state that they intended to proceed to Mozambique and thence home, that Jan van Leyen had advised them, likewise Jan Blanx, who understood navigation, and that after proceeding 24 miles across the mountains and forced by hunger they had decided to return. Found a journal written with red chalk kept by Jan Blanx as follows;—“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 24th (September).—Left the Cape for Mozambique—the four of us—with 4 biscuits and fish—likewise 4 swords, 2 pistols and the dog. 25th.—Marched 7 miles—saw 2 rhinoceroses, which threatened to attack us. Jan Verdonck had to leave his hat and sword behind. A porcupine wounded the dog. Slept at a rivulet—saw two ostriches—had to avoid two rhinoceroses and took to the beach and slept on the downs. 26th.—Followed the beach towards Cape Agulhas—advanced about 7 miles—fed on 4 young birds found in a nest and three eggs—at night slept on the beach, where we obtained some ‘clipconten’ (? klipkous) 27th.—Proceeded along shore 7 miles—arrived at a very high mountain, where we rested. 28th.—Provided ourselves with clipconten, which we roasted and strung together, and with calabashes for water. 29th.—Commenced to ascend the mountain, thinking to cross in that direction, but not succeeding, Jan Verdonck began to repent, and likewise Willem Huytjens. 30th.—Proceeded until the following afternoon , when Gerritt also grew tired. Alone I could not proceed, so we decided to return, trusting to mercy in God’s name.” In the evening it commenced to blow hard from S. East, tearing the tents in rags, also on the
5th even harder. Had to secure the dwellings with stays—the crops all blown down.

One will see that the name ‘Herry’ will be made mention of on a regular basis as he was a Khoikhoi interpreter for the Dutch to communicate with the natives. We pick up with the execution of the sentences for the deserters as well as the reconnection of larger groups of Saldanhars, as we read,

10.—Herry arrives with 12 or 14 Saldanhars, who receive some wine and tobacco and promise to return shortly and inform their people of our presence, likewise that they will bring much cattle, ivory, musk or civet to be exchanged for tobacco and copper. They were most kindly treated. We are doing our best in the meanwhile at the fortifications, but labour is much retarded by sickness we trust that when cattle is obtained everything will improve. Amen. Jan van Leyen, condemned by the Council, having been reprieved from death, is to be bound to a post and have a bullet fired over his head. Jan Blanx is to be keelhauled and receive 150 lashes; both are to work as slaves two years in irons. Huytjens and Dirksz: van Eltsen likewise, and Adriaen and Cornelis discharged for want of evidence.

11.—Execution of the sentence.

12.—About 20 Saldanhars tell us that they are going to tell their mates about us, and to return together with their cattle and ivory, begging at the same time for tobacco, which we gave them with some wine, urging them to return soon—promises made—hope for success at last. Could give them no bread, as we are going on short allowance and expect no supplies for another 4 months to come. Gave them some tobacco. More bread, rice, and arrack should be at hand, as they draw the natives towards us, who continually say that the English gave them whole bags of bread, much tobacco, and whole cans filled with arrack and wine—we ought, therefore, to be better provided to outdo the English if we wish to draw the natives towards us, otherwise not an animal will be had, which may, if natives are humoured, cost so little that we could afford to add to the price some bread, tobacco, wine or arrack.

Khoi-TradersBartering with the Saldanhars

Picking up on 19th October 1652 the reader can see that a friendly relationship is existing between the Dutch and the Saldanhar natives and the manner of bartering that was unfolding, as one can read,

19.—. . . Came home at night and had prayers—the gate not yet in perfect order—Saldanhars arrive and ask for an interview with the Commander—twelve of them—they brought 3 cows and 4 sheep, also showed some young ostriches and three tusks, which on the morrow they wished to exchange for copper and tobacco, asking in the meanwhile for some tobacco, and stating that within 4 or 5 days all the Saldanhars, with wives and children and thousands of cattle, ivory, and musk, would arrive. Gave them, by way of encouragement, a glass of wine, when they left to sleep.

20. (Sunday).—Saldanhars before the fort with three cows and 4 sheep, 2 old and 2 young, which we bartered from them—the 3 cows for 9 plates of copper, each of 1 lb. weight, and 1 lb. tobacco—the animals costing 31 stivers and 12 penningen—the 2 old sheep for 2 do. copper plates and ⅛ lb. tobacco—each sheep costing 10 stivers and 5½ penningen—for the two fine delicate lambs we paid ½ lb. copper wire and ⅛ lb. tobacco, together 11 stivers and 4 penningen. Believe that we will in course of time get the animals cheaper, likewise tusks, haAung bought 3 for about ½ lb. tobacco, equal to 2 stivers and 13 penningen—likewise 2 young ostriches for ⅛ lb tobacco, to try whether they can be reared. Return of 4he yacht, reporting that it could not pass the point, and had nearly stranded on Robben Island—ordered to proceed to St. Helena and Saldanha Bays.

21.—Departure of tbe yacht and the Saldanbars, the latter with about ½ lb. tobacco,—promised to retmm in 2 or 3 days’ time with more cattle and tusks—urged them to do so by the kindest possible treatment. Another Saldanhar appears, stating that many were approaching with wives, children, and much cattle—got some tobacco for the news. Herry in the meanwhile, priding himself on having originated the incipient trade, proceeds to the Saldanhars, no good expected from it, as he proposes to have as brokerage a copper plate of 1 lb. for every animal bartered—will humour him to find him out. Hope he will do his best—can hardly believe that the Saldanhars will listen to him, as they have been so kindly treated, and will prefer to deal without him. Not knowing anything for certain, prudence is necessary—guards doubled—all who can handle a spade set to work to make the walls higher, and bring for a fortnight longer 20 additional loads of earth for the purpose, above the 130 required daily. Men paid in tobacco—bartered cattle slaughtered and everyone given a glass of wine—work pleasantly begun—two carpenters busy with repairing the wheelbarrows—commenced the kraal by digging a trench round it to contain the cattle at night, and sent for some manure found 1½ miles away for the gardens, mostly for the turnips.

22.—Heavy rains.

23.—Herry and some of the Ottentoos living here return from inland and present us with two eland heads with fine horns—killed by the Saldanhars, who had eaten the meat.

In the days that followed the workers are getting very weak as they do not have a proper diet and the food is running out. On 11th November 1652 we read, “Pray earnestly for arrival of natives with cattle—see their fires across the bay.” The Dutch have now been at the Cape for seven months and still no ‘slavery’ of the Khoikhoi, San, beach rangers, Saldanhars and/or Ottentoos (Hottentots).

Tribal natives habits and seal hunting

The interpreter Herry ate at the table of Johan van Riebeeck and his company and remained with them, together with his wife and children, as their interpreter, giving insightful information concerning the local tribal native groups and other information. The record hereunder also records an abundance of seals and skins that will be profitable to the Dutch settlers in the vicinity of Saldanha and St. Helena Bays, as we read the record,

13.—Mists seem to prognosticate fine weather. Herry dining at our table to gain his good will—by signs and in broken English told us that 3 kinds of people of the same customs and manners of life yearly arrived in Table Bay, viz., the beach-rangers, not numbering above 40 or 50, and called in their broken English Watermen, because living on mussels and roots—not always having cattle. The second were those of Saldanha or Saldanjamen, who yearly came hither with countless cows and sheep. The third were Fishermen, who after the departure of the Saldanhars also came with cattle but no sheep, catching fish from the rocks with lines—about 500 in number. Continual war between Fishermen on one side and Water and Saldanha men on the other, endeavouring to do as much mischief to each other as possible. Herry suggests that the lasting friendship of Watermen and Saldanhars would be secured by treacherously seizing and killing the Fishermen. Did not communicate our intentions, stating that we would judge for ourselves when that people arrived—in the meanwhile drawing him out with the semblance of being impressed with his proposals. Fishermen stated to be hiding before the Saldanhars; lighting no fires because afraid of being attacked; living beyond the mountains eastward of the Cape towards the Baya de Sambras. The Saldanhers dwelling towards the west and north in the direction of Saldanha and St. Helena Bays, where the yacht is for trading purposes. The Watermen live in this Table Valley and behind the Lion and Table Mountains. Herry remains with us with wife and children to serve as interpreter—his people subsisting behind said mountains on mussels and roots, the latter tasted like skirret and resembling the Japanese nisi but not tasting at all like it; otherwise we would collect a quantity for Batavia, where the nisi is in great demand and fetches good prices.

14.—Return of the yacht with 2,700 seal skins found on an inland in Saldanha Bay, finely packed on each other—apparently left behind by a small French vessel that had met the fleet of Mr. Van der Lyn at St. Helena, when Skipper Symon Turver was present, and had boasted that its cargo was worth a ton of gold. Skins beautifully prepared, and if the heavy winds had not scattered and the rains not damaged them double the number would have been brought; enough seals left, however, on Ilha Elizabeth or Dassen Island, but serviceable men required to kill them, hence return of yacht for clubs easily obtained in the woods and to be strengthened with iron rings at the ends. Knives to be made of hoops or staves, as we best can, until better ones are obtained, that we may be prepared for the return fleet for transmission of skins to the Fatherland, where they will fetch good prices. Apparently much profit to be derived from seal hunting—skins valued at a rixdollar or 3 gulden a piece—oil also valuable. Officers expect that a trade with the natives will gradually be established there; at present had only bartered 2 sheep and 3 harts, also a few ostrich feathers, from the natives, who in broken French and English stated that they would advise their people of the presence of the ship, some of whom had gone to the Cape, having heard of the settlement at which copper could be obtained abundantly. Plate copper preferred by them. Saldanha Bay is situated N.N.W. 16 miles from this, stretching about 5 miles inland; finely sheltered; has no good fresh water; land dry and poor and not to be compared with the Cape in any sense; do not know how it may be further inland. St. Helena Bay very dangerous, rocky, and hardly a bay; more like a creek; landing almost impossible in consequence of the surf, even in fine weather, hence will confine ourselves to Saldanha and the seal hunting there.

Old Map of the Cape Colony Saldanhar and Dutch hospitality

We notice that over time the hospitality of the Dutch is reciprocated by the Saldanhars, and vice versa. We read from an entry of 19th November 1652, that the Dutch “had met 40 or 50 Saldanhars with about 1,000 cattle and sheep, who would be here tomorrow to trade for copper—had treated our men very kindly and smoked a pipe with them.” A friendly and peaceful relationship existed between the white and black people groups, where kindness prevailed as we continue reading from the 21st November 1652,

21.—Wind less. Sent men for manure, who returned with a Saldanha Captain and reported that they had observed a large number of cows, sheep, &e., at the Fresh River and been kindly treated by the Saldanhars in their huts— receiving cows’ milk in abundance. The Saldanha Chief, who had been in the fort yesterday, sent us a fine sheep for the tobacco and food he received yesterday—to day he and wife with Herry were treated in like manner—the wife receiving beads and copper wire for the sheep—wish to make them by our good treatment well disposed towards us. They brought their own food, and milk in large leathern bags, which they took by means of a small brush or swab made of a kind of of hemp and curious to behold.

22.—Arrival of some Saldanhars with three sheep—bartered two, each for as much thin copper wire as the sheep was long, and weighing about ½ lb., adding ½ lb., tobacco—the value of the lot for each sheep eight stivers—would not buy the third as they charged for it double price because it was somewhat larger—should not be taught bad habits. Helm and Verburgh, provided with tobacco and some pipes, and holding in their hands each a piece of thick copper wire to do duty for a walking cane, they visit the Saldanha Captain without showing any inclination to barter, but only to find out to what extent their desire for copper went. Found them 1½ mile from this, and were most civilly welcomed—were taken about to look at his 15 houses, his cattle and sheep (about 15 or 1,600 in number), after that they were invited into his house, nicely made of mats and of fair dimensions, and treated with milk—the two spending their tobacco freely. Had taken with them a cup from which to drink the milk, from which the Chief and his wives also desired to drink, which they considered a great honour. Took a great fancy to the wire, for one of which, weighing ¾ lb., they offered a fat calf, and for three pieces of the same kind a cow. The two pretended that they did not wish to barter, but told the Captain that the Dutch Commander had a great deal of copper and they might treat with him. Promised to visit the fort with cattle—the Captain feared and honoured by his men—comported himself admirably—altogether there were about 250. The children drank from the udders of the sheep, being placed by the mothers between the legs of the animal—an interesting sight. The huts were situated in a circle in which the cattle were kept—intended to remain on that spot until all the grass was consumed, when they would move to the fort to pasture their flocks there as long as they could find enough to eat. They showed the two many fires inland of people approaching the fort with their herds, who would also he inclined to trade. Saw at night across the bay and on the mountains many fires—Herry told us they were of the Saldanhars, who had so much cattle that we would soon run out of copper—which God grant—Amen. To-day got the Skipper at last so far that he has sounded the bay, found that it was altogether without danger, as will he seen from the drawing—and declared that no ship on entering could he lost except by carelessness or stupidity.

23.—Some Saldanhars brought a sheep—bartered it for a copper plate and ¼ lb. tobacco—also a fine bull for the value of 2½ gulden in copper and tobacco from the Captain, who had come according to promise—he was kindly treated and left in the evening. Yacht’s crew report that much salt had been formed.

24. (Sunday).—Van der Helm, Verburgh and 16 armed men sent to the Saldanhars with pipes and tobacco to treat them and so coax them to come to the fort to trade, as up to date only 11 or 12 cattle and sheep had been obtained—necessary to provide more for the sick, as the natives have abundance of cattle. Well received by the Captain and regaled on milk—the jars very dirty, the offer consequently politely declined—presented them with pipes and tobacco to return their courtesy and coax them towards the fort. Gave us to understand that they had not that intention hut were going to the large wood about 7 miles from this, discovered by the two bookkeepers—did not show any desire for copper—disinclined to trade. Did not know what to make of it —afraid that Herry, formerly an enemy of the Saldanhars, but now very intimate with them, is brewing mischief, which, if discovered, will secure him quarters with wife, children and all the Watermen on Robben Island, to enable us to trade successfully with the Saldanhars and win their favour.

Deception by Herry the interpreter

From the previous entry and the one that follows Herry is not behaving himself in a friendly manner, bringing about a deceptive behaviour, a barefaced treachery that will work against the VOC and place them in a compromised position with the Saldanhars, as we read,

26.—Bartered an old and young sheep from some Saldanhars for wire, and a lamb for some tobacco. Whilst trading we saw them communicating with Herry, who seemed to urge them to ask more copper, thus greatly hindering us, as we offered pretty much for the sheep, having before this bartered the animals for tobacco according to the length of such sheep—-reserving the copper for cattle. Mate of yacht and Corporal had been here before, and traded with the Saldanhars, with whom Herry had never been seen, and who were consequently very manageable. Evident that Herry instead of good, is doing us harm, and observing his barefaced treachery, we communicated to them our displeasure, and told them that Herry was the cause of our not doing any business, and that they should behave differently if we were to continue our kindness to him, &c. Tried Herry by proposing that he should join our people going to the Saldanhars, believing that he would be afraid to do so. Did not refuse, as we believe that he knew that they had left, though a few days ago he did not dare to do so. Saw in the meanwhile some fires on the side of the mountain, and went further inland—met no one. Kerry did not dare to go with them, but returned and waited at the Salt River. Evident that to curry favour with them he has been trying to urge them to increase the price of their cattle—preventing trade, and no doubt doing more mischief. . . .

We can read on the 27th November 1652 that a “Barter went on smoothly until Herry came, showing that he is in our way and that some course must be pursued with him.” It is evident that Herry has become troublesome to the Dutchmen and the natives, attempting to hinder their friendships and cordial bartering!

On 2nd December 1652, trouble seems to be afoot, having been stirred up by Herry, for we read, “Commence to trade now in reality, though they part with their cattle with reluctance. In the evening saw many fires—told by Kerry that there were thousands of natives in the neighbourhood—had watch kept vigilantly, though our intercourse is friendly.”

We come to learn that the Saldanhars’ attitude towards the colonial Dutch is changing from the friendly report that existed between them and that the journal entries are showing that the Saldanhars are becoming more ‘greedy’ for the copper and tobacco being paid in lieu of moneysomething worthless to the nativesfor the livestock required by the Dutch. For a very primitive hunter-gatherer people the Saldanhars have an ‘inflation-driven’ attitude, charging more than what the costs were previously agreed upon at what appears the insistence of the ‘middle-man’ Herry. We also read that the indigenous natives, instead of rebelling outright against the Dutch settlers, they are of their own accord being drawn to the settlement of the Dutch and moving their dwellings closer. With this drawing-in as close neighbours we can expect that greater security measures would have to be put in place as is confirmed as certain crimes are also now coming to the fore, first by some Dutch men and later to be seen by the local natives. Let us read the record, although lengthy, so we can grasp the magnitude of the events eight months after the Dutch arrived at the Cape. We continue reading,

3.—Bought 8 cows and 12 sheep from the Saldanhars for about 30 lbs. copper plate and wire and 8 lbs. tobacco, also some pipes—sheep at 6½ stivers and cows at 6 skillings the head.

4.—Saldanhars leave hurriedly after selling us 1 heifer, 1 calf and 9 sheep.

5.—Bought a cow and 11 sheep. Saldanhars approaching gradually nearer with their houses—teaching us to be on our guard. Our men not only asleep when on guard, but also stealing each other’s and the Company’s property—consequently found it necessary to appoint a Provost Marshal named Michiel Gleve of Stralsund (a very fit person) with the salary of 15 gulden per month, and the emoluments connected with the office as in India.

6.—Bartered 9 cows and 22 sheep for copper and tobacco. If we had no tobacco no trade would result, hence 1,000 lbs. of tobacco required annually, as often a cow has been withheld because of a finger’s length of tobacco. Will not take rotten tobacco—call it stinking tobacco. Among these Saldanhars were two new captains who wished to see our house, in which they were treated with three or four drinks and some tobacco. Saw in the meanwhile along the hill beside Table Mountain the country covered with cattle and sheep as with grass, the property of said chiefs, who intend to pitch their tents near to us and desire to see our mode of
living and our wives, to which we agreed, though we would like to see them further off, as our number is small and our means of defence slight. Saldanhars friendly—if a cow runs away they immediately fetch it for an inch length of tobacco and return the copper plate to us until they have brought the animal back to our pasture grounds—they only wish to be kindly treated, which costs nothing. Last night Martinus de Hase left his post as sentry and stole about 70 turnips from the garden below the fort—caught by the picket, and brought to the guard-house, but as soon as the gate was open in the morning he ran away, afraid of being severely punished, having at divers times committed thefts, but always in consequence of his respectable parents let off with light punishment. Jan Pietersz: Soenwater having stolen some of the Company’s wire whilst on guard (the wheels of the barrows having been tied with it through want of iron) is sentenced to be scourged.

7.—Burglary committed in the carpenter’s shop. Things stolen:—of the chief carpenter 1 pack of cloth clothing, 1 white pair of kersey pants, 4 shirts, 4 or 5 copper rings, some knives and 1 pair of shoes; of Willem Gabrielsz: ¼ piece guinea linen, 6 knives, 1 pair new shoes, 1 copper pot, ½ book of paper and pens; and of Frans Hendriksz: Van Vleute, a chisel. Thief supposed to be M. de Hase—Corporal and six men sent to look for him—supposed to be among the Saldanhars, who are about here in multitudes with about 2,000 sheep and cattle, within ½ cannon shot from the fort. Bought 1 cow, 2 heifers and 18 sheep for copper and tobacco—also bartered—taking what we can get—3 sheep for an old driver and some tobacco, which former they are as cold chisels—wish we had more of this old iron, as we bought last week a calf with the same. The Saldanhar captain recovered for us a young ox, which we had already considered as lost, for which he was munificently entertained. Jan Pietersz: Soenwater undergoes his sentence. Afraid that the wind will bring the sticks about our ears.

8. (Sunday).—Bought 11 cows and 29 sheep from the Saldanhars, among the latter some captains, one of whom we entertained yesterday. All treated kindly as usual. Grass set on fire by Saldanhars—requested them not to come so near us with their fire, upon which all immediately proceeded to extinguish the same, for which each received a finger’s length of tobacco—seem bent upon not injuring us but showing us kindness—this is reciprocated—we are nevertheless on our guard. Thousands of Saldanhars around us, but not trespassing on the pasture grounds occupied by us—seem to have great faith in us. Bought two fine partridges for a finger’s length of tobacco—told them to bring more, as they were very nice.

9.—Bought 9 cows and 36 sheep—cows at 35 or 36 stivers and the sheep at 6 stivers value. Martinus de Hase caught with the carpenter’s clothes on him—stolen things all found in a little bush where he had concealed them—freely acknowledged his theft made a full confession—had absconded because afraid of punishment—had expected to exchange the things stolen among the Saldanhars for food; they had, however, robbed him of the copper rings of the wheelbarrows and the knives, as he was alone—had in despair committed the crime hoping to be put to death, and begged to be shot and not hanged—had often robbed the gardens and the fowls’ nests. Decided to keep him confined until the arrival of the return fleet, and hand him over to the Commander, very likely an India Councillor. Gathered as much of the mustard seed on the side of Table Mountain as we could get, about a ton full; will sow them near the works to use the leaves for refreshing the ships. Drank for the first time milk of the cows and sheep, which nourishes the sick likewise.

10.—Bought 12 cows and 18 sheep for less than yesterday, each cow costing fully 26 stivers and each sheep 5½ do. The cadjangh sown some 6 or 7 days ago in a well manured plot appears above ground, also cabbages, carrots and peas. Collected a fair quantity of seed from the latter, also of the cabbage lettuce and chervil, though little of the last had grown.

11.—Wind and rain—latter welcome for the gardens—two sheep killed by the rain, also a young calf. Necessary to have sheds for sheep and young calves, but we are in want of the necessary materials. Only bought 5 sheep for about 5½ stivers each—Saldanhars in numbers at the Fresh and Salt Rivers. Took the soldiers from the works to be on guard continually in case of surprise—kept the sailors at work—present number of men as follows: Soldiers 30, sailors at work 24, carpenters and boys 7, masons 9, gardeners 8, cowherds 2, shepherds 2, pigherds 1, cooks and boys 4, surgeon and boy 2, gunner 1, hospital superintendent 1, provost marshal 1, besides the Commander, 1 sick comforter, 1 assistant, 1 butler, one cooper and 2 boys, 8 in all—total 100, also women and children and men of the yacht 26—grand total 125 drawing pay, among them some sick in bed and many lazy bones whom it would be better to di[s]charge.

12.—Sowed some Roman beans—bought 2 cows, 5 sheep and a tusk. Saldanhars very likely detained by the bad weather—squatting at the Salt River.

13.—Saldanhars come near to the fort with thousands of cattle and sheep obtained only 20 sheep, 2 cows and 5 calves, they being unwilling to part with their cattle—hard to behold so much cattle and not be able to get any, though we offered 1/3 more for every head than we were accustomed to do, and treated the natives as kindly as possible—perhaps they have enough copper or been influenced by a jealous rival—would like to know the first point, for it would have been easy, if proper, to have seized about 10,000 which—if ordered to do so—would be afterwards and now also very serviceable—the natives trusting us. Once well supplied, the number could be kept up by breeding, and there would be no fear that the English would spoil the traffic with the natives, who daily give us sufficient cause, in consequence of their thieving, for revenge on them or their cattle, and if their cattle cannot be obtained in a friendly way, why then suffer their thefts without making reprisals, which would be required only once, for with 150 men 10 or 12,000 cattle could be secured, and without any danger; as many of these savages could be caught without a blow, for transmission as slaves to India, as they always come to us unarmed; this, however, requires more consideration and wiser judgment than ours alone—-we have only by the way mentioned it but will reflect upon it after more experience gained and orders received. Heavy South-East wind.

14.—Bought 15 cows and 31 sheep—gave more and offered more than usual—each beast costing already about 6 skillings and each sheep 7 stiver—having before only paid for sheep 5 or 5½ stivers and for cattle 26 to 28 and 30 stivers a piece. Believe that the natives are gorged with copper—the more we offer the more they ask, returning at night with their cattle to the Salt River.

15. (Sunday).—Bought 4 cows, 1 calf and 11 sheep—could get no more—raising their prices—thought it advisable also to hold out a little, but if this does not answer, will have to spend more to obtain a greater number of cattle for breeding purposes—have at present only 88 head of cattle and 269 sheep, besides those killed daily for the men. A Saldanhar stole a copper plate—detected by a soldier—created a great sensation—Saldanhars ran away, but were called back by Herry and the chief told that we knew that he could not help it—-barter continued, but the fear remained upon them, as they drove their cattle away. A little while after found three cows driven by a Hottentoo, which we thought had been pilfered from our flock—sent three or four men to circumvent them, who approached near to their flocks, when they all ran away into the woods and up the mountain, leaving their cattle behind—our men called and made them understand that they had merely come to inquire whether the three cows belonged to the whites, but finding the contrary, did not desire their cattle, but civilly asked them to sell them for copper. A new friendship was created and at night some came to the fort with sheep, but if our four men had so willed it, having no weapon but a sword each, they might have driven 40 or 50 cattle to the fort, as all the Saldanhars had run away, showing a timid disposition. We consequently assured a certain chief who came to us in the evening of our good intentions and our readiness to give as much copper and brass for their cattle as they might fairly claim, requesting them to bring many, showing some copper and making them understand that we had brought it for that purpose, and that the ships would bring more—that we were not of the kind of people seeking to rob others but would grant them what they asked for what we required—we treated him kindly, so that he left quite contented, promising to return to-morrow.

16.—Saldanhars half a mile from the fort— only bought 1 cow and 1 sheep—taking 3 sheep back with them, though we offered more than before—believe that they are gorged with copper, having no use for it except as an ornament—consequently very little more cattle will be obtained unless other means be resorted to, but this is at present premature. Herry explained that after the departure of the Saldanhars the Fishmen would arrive with cattle only, and if we wished to oblige him and the Saldanhars we should kill the Fishmen and take their cattle, which would be easily done as they were a very weak tribe. Told him all were our friends who cared to trade, as we had come with copper and tobacco to buy cattle but not to injure anybody—wishing to live in friendship with all. This pleased him as regarded himself and the Saldanhars but not as regarded the Fishmen—the ruin of the latter would be too premature; as beforehand it will be necessary to inquire what profit could be secured from them for the Company. A fine ox and lamb died suddenly.

First comet sighting recorded from Southern Africa

History is recorded in history as the first comet sighting in Southern Africa to be recorded is seen and documented in the Jan van Riebeeck’s journal. If the Dutch had not been in the Cape at that very time, the sighting of the comet would never have been recorded; as the illiterate local natives had no ability to record this historical event in writing. Being a seafaring nation, the Dutch were accustomed to meticulously observing the heavens using the stars to plot their course and navigate the great oceans and seas of the world. They also observed the weather conditions by always looking heavenward at the sky. The record of the comet sightings appear on the 17th, the 18th, the 20th, the 21st and the 24th December 1652, ending with these words, “. . . its signification is known to the Lord.”

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[Comets in old Cape Records, at page 4, from 17th December 1652][2]

In the entries where Commander van Riebeeck makes reference to the “giant” it is observed from the document ‘Comets in old Cape Records’, at page 5 thereof, that this is in reference to Orion. An educated and learned navigational eye would have picked this out. This prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world would be observed by seafaring explorers. Incidentally, Orion is also mentioned in the LORD’s Holy Word in the Old Testament, for it is written,

9  Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. ~ Job 9:9 

31  Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? ~ Job 38:31

8  Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: ~ Amos 5:8 [LORD is YHVH (YEHOVAH)]

Over and above the comet sightings, the record of the wavering of the Saldanhars in their bartering with the Dutch continues. The Dutch had considered to take livestock by force, but the record reveals that their God-given conscience and lack of orders from the Company kept them orderly and bartering in a friendly manner. Even when the Saldanhars urged the Dutch to kill the Fishmen and steal their cattle, the Dutch implored the Saldanhars to live in harmony with the Fishmen. Not so, the Saldanhars committed murder, as we read on,

17.—Bought one sheep though we paid more for it—natives raising their price and continually driving their cattle away after the sale of an animal—what this means is difficult to say, though we treat their chiefs handsomely—could get no more than 1 cow, 1 calf and 11 sheep—not easy to fathom this peculiar people—sowed some cadjangh, cress, cabbage, water-melon, melon and Indian beans, planted also orange and apple pips—those planted before not having come up. At night about 9 or 10 o’clock saw to the East-South-East, southward from the head of the giant, about 80° above the horizon, a strange star with a tail; the tail extending northwards right on the knees of the giant, and the head mostly to the south about 10° away. Jan Pietersz: Soenwater sentenced for theft ran away—apparently afraid of punishment for other thefts.

18.—Saldanhars in swarms with numerous cattle near the fort, almost rushing into the the gate and with difficulty kept away from the gardens—not inclined to trade—flush of copper and consequently cattle trade must diminish. Herry says that they have enough copper and will henceforth bring only now and then an animal. Natives make armlets and chains of the copper, and if there be no longer a chance to trade what harm would it be if they were deprived of 6 or 8,000 head of cattle—the opportunities are many, as they are weak and timid—3 or 4 men often come with 1,000 cattle within range of our cannon, who might easily he cut off. And as they are so confiding we continue to treat them kindly to gain their confidence, and still more so to see whether in course of time anything may be done with them in the shape of trade or otherwise for the Company’s benefit and likewise should we to-day or to-morrow receive the order, to be able on the strength of their confidence to take their cattle easily and without a blow, as it is miserable to behold so much cattle, which are so necessary for refreshments for the ships, but cannot he obtained by good treatment or barter. Saldanhars return to the Salt and Fresh Rivers beside Table Mountain, about a mile from this. Saw the comet on the same spot.

19.—Only eight sheep obtained—trade slackening more and more—their inclination for copper passing away.

20.—Jan Soenwater returns to the fort and receives his deserved punishment. The cadjangh sown on the 17th springing up, also the watermelons. Bartered four sheep from the Saldanhars, who had again drawn near to the fort with much cattle, for some tobacco—they no longer ask for copper. If we had no more tobacco we would hardly get a cow or sheep for copper alone—good that they are so partial to tobacco, with which we will succeed, very well, having to-day bought a fine milk ewe for its length in tobacco=¼ lb. weight=11 doits. Very cheap indeed. Saw the comet in the North-East, northerly from the belt of the giant, about 60° above the horizon.

21.—On this side N.W. and across the bay strong S.E. wind, which often happens. Sowed a good deal of salad seed, beans, and peas—commenced to cut some wheat and barley, which grew beautifully in spite of the strong winds. If the lands had been manured sooner we would have had earlier and better crops even. Our first season for experiments. Wonderful how well the things grow on a wild and otherwise uncultivated and unmanured ground—expect much from manure, for which the cattle are very serviceable, would, therefore, wish for more to have also milch cows besides those required as refreshments for the ships—but the native desire for copper has passed away, as appears from the conduct of a chief to-day, though we offer more. They inquire daily for the ships, especially the English vessels, which makes us suppose that Herry has been influencing them to hold out, as he no doubt likes the English more than he does us, having voyaged with them to Bantam, and expecting to have some profit from them. To prevent which we hope time and opportunity will offer us the means. Would like to have prompt orders to forbid him to trade with the natives or otherwise. Only obtained three sheep. Saw the comet this evening towards the North-East like yesterday.

22. (Sunday).—Bought five sheep—watermelons sown on 17th springing up—manure does them good apparently, as they would not grow in unmanured ground. Death of the sailor Switsert Teunisz: Pyl.

23. —Buried the sailor. Saw no Saldanhars near the fort, but our people fishing at Salt River saw them going inland with thousands of cattle and sheep. But Herry tells us that they will return when the after grass shall have appeared, the vegetation round about having been burnt for the purpose. Are only provided with 89 cattle and 284 sheep, from which the population is to be supplied. The Dutch food is exhausted, and no fish to be caught, which will diminish the supplies for the ships considerably. Hope for the best and trust in God, as the Saldanhars have enough copper.

24.—Sent Van der Helm, the provisional sergeant, and six musketeers to the Saldanhar camps about two or three miles from this, to inquire whether or not the natives had left, how strong they were, and whether they would prefer trading at their location to doing so at the fort. Took with them a good wooden box with cut tobacco and pipes to treat the natives. Returned in the afternoon with some Saldanhars driving 1 cow and 5 sheep, which we bought for copper and tobacco. Report that many had left with their flocks; had only seen two locations, the one having seven and the other eight huts, altogether not more than 80 souls, and of the number 40 men able to carry arms, not at all strong, and possessing 7 or 800 cows and 1½ thousand sheep—were frightened when they first saw our men, and drove away their cattle to the mountains—were called back and told we had brought tobacco and copper to trade with, and were anxious to be on a cordial footing with them—gave them a pipeful of tobacco and finally persuaded them to bring one beast and five sheep to the fort. Seemed to prefer to trade at their quarters—the reason we do not know, as often they came with their cattle near to the fort and found that we desired no more than to trade with them for copper and tobacco. Perhaps prejudiced by Herry, they are afraid of us, and now more so than ever. Herry likes the English more than he does us, being always full of them—no doubt he has persuaded the natives to keep their cattle back until the arrival of the English, as he seems to know pretty exactly when their fleet will be here from India. Saldanhars continually asking when, especially the English ships will be here—told them—if Herry truly interprets—that the copper of the ships will he given to us to trade with for cattle to be distributed among the vessels and that we still had sufficient copper and tobacco for the purpose. We doubt whether Herry interprets faithfully, as we often trade better without him—if the English arrive, we will be better able to discover what connection there is between them. Saw at night the comet again—having travelled to the North-North-West of us about 50 degrees above the horizon, its tail, which is now less bright than formerly, pointing to the East-South-East—its signification is known to the Lord.

25. (Christmas).—Bought eight sheep—last night one sheep was almost wholly devoured by a wild beast, notwithstanding the watch kept in and outside of the kraal. At night seven or eight wild beasts crossed over the canals, fully eight feet broad and four feet deep, into the kraal, so that the guards fired before they could be compelled to leave—eight persons henceforth to guard the cattle, two of whom shall together take a turn to keep watch and keep a fire burning to frighten the wild beasts. The square within the fort being too small to contain all the cattle, we intend to make a kraal —when the garden produce on that spot has been gathered—between the two points Drommedaris and Oliphant, with a front wall of sods eight feet high and a good canal inside to water the cattle, which may easily be done by locking the river, for which and other similar works the Commodore of the expected fleet will be asked to lend us some assistance with his crews, as we will never be able to finish with the hands we have now. The work is daily increasing, and much is to be done in trenching and digging up the garden ground.

26.—Arrival of the very oldest Saldanhars with their captain and four sheep—had not been here for some time—treated well to draw them nearer, and obtained in the afternoon two more sheep. Churned the first butter and from half an anker of milk obtained 2 lbs. good yellow butter—doing our best to make cheese—in want of many of the necessary utensils, which we have to find on the first opportunity, as success is fairly promising. Very severe South-East during the evening and night, so that the sentry could not walk on the ramparts. In the whole world it cannot blow as hard as the S.E. does here, which often surpasses the West Indian hurricanes and the Japanese typhoons.

27.—Bought a cow and seven sheep from the same natives.

28.—Wind still blowing violently, knocking the corn out of the ears, so that we hardly won a quarter of our crop. Found oats among the corn mixed up with the seeds of wheat and barley sown—carefully gathered—to be sown on a separate plot to grow in quantity, as we intend to do with barley also. Corn here extraordinarily beautiful, pity that it has been so much knocked about by the wind. Churned twice to-day with less milk than on the 29th, obtained 1½ lb. much finer butter than before—in course of time things will improve—thank God we are so far advanced that we can accommodate the sick with sweet and butter milk and eggs, fowls breeding finely, but the pigs and pigeons do not seem to prosper—pigs not yet having littered and only seven pigeons reared. Bought 5 sheep, 1 cow and 2 small calves, which we paid for at a dearer rate to entice the sellers—and to obtain a sufficient breeding stock. Saldanhars had been at the Fishmen, killing four and capturing much cattle—requested us likewise to attack the Fishmen, which would oblige them greatly, as the former were a pack of thieves, who would when here endeavour to steal our cattle. We replied that we very much liked the Saldanhars to live and trade with them amicably, and would see when the Fishmen came what people they were, but would always be attached to the Saldanhars, which seemed to please them.

29. (Sunday).—Bartered 4 sheep and 2 cows. Found 18 sheep wanting—herds acknowledged they had lost them through carelessness. Condemned the three principal herds each to pay two reals for six sheep, and told them to be more careful in future otherwise they would be punished.

30.—Wind having blown severely for 5 or 6 days, we found the gardens much injured—the peas blown to pieces, also the beans, which were beautiful—seed of the cabbage lettuce suffered, strange to say, no injury—collected it in this calm weather—likewise that of radish, spinach, endives, &c. Will in consequence of the drought not be able to sow again before February or March. The return fleet will find all our vegetables run into seed except carrots, turnips, radish and beetroot—cabbage also will be ready and in quantity—every day we eat mutton—the churn is fairly going, and we have set aside already 6 lbs. butter—the people receiving butter milk, which may also refresh the men of the coming ships. In want, however, of appliances to make cheese. Matters bucolic promising well—eating fresh butter at table, using the Dutch butter for food. Preparing to bake bread from the new wheat to have everything straight for the refreshment of the ships, which will seemingly henceforth be fairly possible—but from April to October the best refreshments in the shape of vegetables will be had, and for the ships in February and March the most cattle, carrots, cabbage, turnips, &c.—milk the whole year through, for which purpose cattle should be kept. Bought a cow and five sheep. Sent to search for the sheep between Table and Lion Mountains. The men also to go behind Table Mountain to discover how many Saldanhars there were—they remained away the whole night.

31.—Sheep not found—men reported that they had found about the Hout Bay six locations containing altogether about 500 souls and numberless cattle—natives much afraid of the whites, who showed them great kindness, so that some of them accompanied the six soldiers a great distance to show them the way for a little tobacco. Bought 12 sheep and 1 cow. The newly arrived Saldanhars report that many of them were at the Saltpan with much cattle, which they intended to sell—treated them kindly and informed them that we had much copper and tobacco—may some advantage result from this—God grant it, Amen.
N.B.—The wind and weather very carefully noted every day.

January 1, 1653.—Bought seven sheep before the sermon. Released from irons Gerrit Dirckz; Jan Blanx and Willem Huytjens, and reinstated in office the suspended corporal.

2.—Bought eight sheep. Died one Dutch pig—these animals do not seem to thrive here. Likewise died one sheep and one calf. Wind so heavy that no one could easily keep his legs, wheelbarrows not manageable on the planks, and the ground as hard as stone in consequence of the dry wind.

3.—Bought five sheep—wind as bad—no progress with the work.

4.—Sent the catechist with a corporal and six soldiers with copper, tobacco and pipes to the Saldanhars, to inquire whether they would like to trade at their place, as they no longer come to the fort with any large number of cattle. Bartered seven sheep in the meanwhile. The party returning brought 2 cows, 1 bull, 1 ox, 1 heifer and 1 calf with 11 sheep. Saldanhars more inclined to trade at their camp than at the fort. Will therefore try again on Monday. Also bought four cows, a calf and six sheep—God be praised for the blessing. On the other side of the bay—from the wreck of the Haerlem along the whole coast towards Saldanha Bay—numerous fires, belonging, as Herry states, to natives with much cattle, who may be expected here to trade; if they like copper the cattle barter may again look up. Would like to have more tobacco, which is running out, as without it bartering will be scarcely possible.

5. (Sunday).—Bought 12 sheep and 2 cows, 1 ox, a calf and heifer, for copper and tobacco—half of the last roll already used up.

The battlements of Cape Town's Castle of Good Hope - Mike Hutchings/Reuters In closing this the second edition of our look back into history, we find ourselves in January 1653 and will pick up again in Part 3 with the further examination of their bartering, the relationships between the Dutch and the local native tribes, and also life in general at the Dutch Cape Colony. Until then,

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. pp14-57.

[2] Comets in Old Cape Records by Donald McIntyre, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society Past President, Astronomical Society of South Africa, Member of the British Astronomical Association, With a Foreword by C. Graham Botha, M.A., LL.D., Former Chief Archivist for the Union of South Africa, Cape Times Limited, Cape Town, MCMXLIX

Related Blog Posts:

The Gospel comes to South Africa (13 December 2012)

Answer to Sandile ~ Part 1 (3 June 2013)

The Gospel . . . Racism and South African History (8 March 2016)

365 Years Ago Today . . . (6 April 2017)

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

Introduction

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svgThis report has gleaned information from written journals and historical documents that have been compiled by real people that scribed events for generations to come, so true facts of history can be known concerning past events. History records the past and warns of shortcomings so that generations later can know what actually did transpire, and hopefully they can learn from past events and never become victims of sinfully repeating them again.

It is because of the northern hemisphere cultural way of life that dictates recording written documents of events that took place, that we can come to learn of what truly transpired over the ages and not be presented with a ‘hearsay-rhetoric’ that alters historical events and leaves people groups believing prefabricated lies. This rhetoric presents a flawed ‘record of events’ as there is a lack of, or nonexistent, written account of events to substantiate what actually did take place.

Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), Amsterdam HQ Symbol The original Journals of Commander Johan van Riebeeck that were kept by him in diary form for the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC – Dutch East-Indies Company) were translated by the Historical Society of Utrecht in the Netherlands and were published in 1884 through Messrs. Kemink and Son also of Utrecht. The resultant translated Journal of Johan van Riebeeck from 1652 to 1655 was edited by the venerable professor Brill of Utrecht. The writer of this blog posting has a copy of the Dutch translation of the original journals as well as a subsequent copy of the English translation of the prior Dutch translation, both in pdf format of the ‘original books’ obtained from the internet. [A copy of the same can be requested via email.] Writer requests you the reader to subscribe to this blog in order that you can receive notification of the follow-up parts by email. Writer also implores you to go back to the original documents presented to us in history to know the facts and not believe the lies peddled by 17th century plaque to Dutch East India Company (VOC), Hoornpoliticians for their own evil and selfish agendas and the deceiving of the South African population en mass. Other historical documents will also be cited and quoted extensively to bring the facts to the fore and these autographs, when referred to, will be revealed at those times they find reference accordingly.

This document is set forth to show how GOD orchestrates the placement and movement of men for HIS will and purposes. Writer will also show how South African history reveals that black and white people groups are all colonial in part and joint occupants of this wonderful land that belongs to all people groups. The land issue as to who it belongs to will show that it belongs first and foremost to GOD and secondarily that the South African land has been acquired by black and white through treaty, purchasing, sinful pillaging, laws, wars and VOC Headquarters, Amsterdamconflicts waged to acquire ownership. No one people group has sole and exclusive ownership or claim to the land as the ANC and EFF political parties think and advocate with their plans to promulgate a law “expropriating land without compensation” by amending Section 25 of the South African Constitution! The country of South Africa belongs to black Africans, white Africans and brown Africans. It belongs to African Africans, Colonial Africans, Asiatic Africans and the like. It is a land for the free although it has a bloodied chequered past, yet it will be shown that before and during the ‘civilised colonial age’ a ‘barbaric heathen age’ of customs and traditions also prevailed to the detriment of all inhabitants within the southern African region we have come to know as South Africa. Let the facts be presented, and the Truth be known, for GOD ALMIGHTY the Creator of humankind sets the boundaries of men’s habitations, as we read,

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 17:26

Johan ‘Jan’ van Riebeeck’s Journals [1]

Jan van Riebeeck Johan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck (born 21 April 1619 – died 18 January 1677) was the son of a sea captain Antonius who died in the Brazils in 1639 and was buried at Olinda de Pharnambuco, in the Church of San Paolo. His mother was Elizabeth, a daughter of Govert van Gaasbeeck, who died and was buried in Schiedam in 1629. Their son Johan married Maria la Quellerie or Querellerius (born 28 October 1629 – died 2 November 1664) at Schiedam in March 1649. His wife was the daughter of a minister of Rotterdam. She followed her husband to the Kaap de Goede Hoop (Cape of Good Hope), where, besides other children she presented him in 1653 with a son, named Abraham, who in the year 1709, when 56 years old, rose to the high position of Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, following in the footsteps of his father being in the employ of the VOC.

Maria Quellerie or Quevellerius As an officer of the Company Johan van Riebeeck showed such ability and zeal in the interests of his masters, that the latter appointed him in 1651 as chief of the garrison to be despatched to the Cape, in order to establish a refreshment station there. Before that in 1648, The Resolution of the Chamber, Amsterdam, containing his appointment, read as follows: “The meeting accepts Johan van Rieheeck, with the rank of merchant and commander of the men now proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope in the ship Drommedaris, for a period of five years, and with a monthly salary of f.75 (guilders); and he is to remain there until the work has been brought to good order.”

We also see from letters and other documents dated from 1649 to 1651 that the survivors of the shipwrecked Haerlem, a Dutch ship, who had spent five months on land at the Cape of Good Hope, had been instrumental in Map of Haerlem wreck (?)reporting and recording their findings of the viability of setting up a refreshment post at the Cape. These documents reveal that the Dutch who were at that time, and still are, a civilised advanced people who planned meticulously and organised and recorded every detail in written form, looking at every advantage and countering every disadvantage, as well as also taking into consideration the cost and financial implications to the smallest detail of any undertaking to be had. They took cognisance of the resident natives, the soil and land, vegetation, water resources, animal life, climate, and the like. The Dutch being an advanced and powerful seafaring nation who were navigators and explorative in finding sea routes and better ways of dealing with long arduous sailing voyages where medical preventions of dropsy, scurvy and other illnesses could be alleviated, were true merchant colonial pioneers. A truly sophisticated, educated and civilised people.

Drommedaris replicaIt must also be noted that these Dutchmen were of the Reformed Christian faith, who were also from an era of religious persecution within the European context of the religious during the 17th century reformation, who were coming to establish a refreshment station with their hearts set on pleasing God as can be seen regularly in the manuscripts of their written records; they were also set on evangelising the world bringing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a land inhabited by then heathen unbelieving natives, a hunter-gatherer people, just as scripture commands, for we read how the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned his disciples,

15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
~ Mark 16:15,16

Greater justice will be done by recording here the contents of certain ‘original’ letters and documents and sharing them extensively in quoted form to present the Dutchmen’s meticulous planning ahead of their actual landing at the Cape on 6th April 1652. This will set the foundational context for the historical events that followed in South Africa’s rich history that we should safeguard, protect and be educated by learning from the past. We begin by reading:

LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS RECEIVED.[2]
No. 1. — A Short Exposition of the Advantages to be Derived by the Company from a Fort and Garden at the Cape of Good Hope.

26th July, 1649

Though some who have visited the Cape, but without paying attention to its resources, will say that the place is altogether unfit and will not repay the expenses incurred, as nothing is to be had save water and wild sorrel; and others that the Company have forts and stations in sufficient number to take care of, and therefore ought to make no more; we will endeavour to show according to our understanding, and with brevity and humility, how serviceable and necessary such a fort and garden will be for the convenience and preservation of the Company’s ships and men ; and also that they can be established with profit and no cost.

By making a fort and a garden adequate to the requirements of the crews of the Company’s passing vessels, in the Table Valley, protecting the whole with a garrison of 60 or 70 soldiers and sailors, and likewise providing the establishment with a proper staff of experienced gardeners, a great deal of produce can be raised, as will be shown further on.

The soil is very good in the valley, and during the dry season the water can be used for irrigation as required. Everything will grow there as well as in any other part of the world, especially pumpkin, watermelon, cabbage, carrot, radish, turnip, onion, garlic, and all kinds of vegetables, as those who were wrecked in the Haerlem can testify.

It is also beyond doubt that all kinds of fruit trees will thrive there, as orange, lime, apple, citron, shaddock, pear, plum, cherry, gooseberry and currant, which can be kept on board for a long time.

Daily experience teaches us what the little sorrel and sometimes 2 or 3 cattle obtained by the crews proceeding to India have done for the sick and healthy on board.

Please therefore to consider when all the fruit mentioned can be procured there in abundance, how many sick will be restored to health by God’s goodness; especially when a large number of cattle and sheep have been bartered from the natives for supplies, and which could be procured for a small amount. From the cattle butter cheese and milk could also be obtained for refreshment.

All ships could, whilst taking in water, be daily supplied with 3 or 4 cattle and sheep and all kinds of greens, and when leaving, also supplied with living cattle and sheep, cabbages, carrots, turnips, onions, garlic, watermelons and pumpkins, which when ripe would keep for 7 or 8 months and remain good. Also oranges, apples, limes and shaddocks, so that there would always be refreshments on board for the sick to the place of their destination, which would be a great comfort for all during the long voyage.

Pigs could also be successfully reared there and fattened on cabbages, carrots and turnips, and if once in abundance, each ship might take on board one or two sows which have littered or are near the time of doing so, and which, if fed on board one or two months, would be no small refreshment.

The water which is taken in there with great difficulty—the men however cold it may be, being obliged to go into the sea up to their necks—causing loss of time and great sickness, might then be carried along in wooden pipes, or drawn from a jetty and with half the number of men and half of the trouble now necessary.

It cannot be denied that St. Helena has hitherto been a very convenient place of call for the return ships, but in consequence of the negligence of the skippers and the boats’ crews (who are more inclined to ruin everything with which they come in contact than to plant or leave anything for their posterity) it has been so damaged that henceforth neither pigs nor goats will be obtainable.

Ere this, ships returning home when leaving St Helena, besides the pigs used during their stay, caught 70, 80, yea more than 100 alive to take with them. Last year the fleet under the flag of the Hon. Wollebrant Geleynsen (consisting of 12 ships) could hardly obtain 200 pigs, in spite of all the trouble taken; and it will be seen that every year the number will decrease, and in a short time nothing will be left. From the expected return fleet it will be gathered that less than last year have been caught. The cause has been mentioned above, viz.: The negligence of the officers and the bad disposition of the sailors, who are composed of all nations and have taken good care of themselves, but do not think of those who come alter them, as you have often heard them say, “Why should I care? A hundred chances to one that I will never again in my life come here.” Therefore they spoil everything which they approach.

For this reason they would take no trouble, after having obtained the required number of pigs, to take on board again or destroy the dogs with which they had hunted—a matter which the officers of the various ships and the commanders ought to have seen to. The consequence has been that some dogs and bitches have been left on the Island, and are multiplying to such an extent that in a short time, having nothing else to live on, all the cattle will be devoured by them.

Henceforth, therefore, nothing save some vegetables and sometimes a few apples and oranges will be obtainable which will often be unripe, and, as was the case last year, plucked by the English who arrive before we do.

From all this it is plain how necessary the said fort or garden has become, as it is well known how difficult it will be for the sailors to reach home without intermediate refreshment; and the Company’s ships would be liable to great peril from severe sickness. The Cape would be most convenient for all ships going to and coming from India, especially if the officers were ordered, whenever practicable, not to pass but to touch at the Cape for refreshments.

For that purpose the premium promised to those who reach Batavia within six months, might be altered in such a way that the half or a third, as you may think proper, shall be paid to those who arrive at the Cape within a certain time, and the rest thence to Batavia.

The officers of the outgoing ships, generally well provided in the cabin with everything, and more anxious to secure the premium (the good ones excepted) than to benefit the service, when not able to reach the Cape with ease, immediately resolve to push on straight for Batavia, and the crew in consequence of an inadequate supply of water, receiving no more than four or five glasses per diem, whilst the cook can provide nothing save salt meat and pork, must become sick, so that the hospital at Batavia is filled with patients, causing great expense and loss to the Company; said patients remaining there often for months without doing any work, and nevertheless drawing pay.

All this can be prevented by having a fort and a garden at the Cape. For the crews would be well refreshed there and provided with cattle, sheep and greens, and abundance of water, so that the cook would be able to provide the proper food, and the men obtain their indispensable rations, which would keep them strong and healthy on the voyage home or to Batavia, and always fit for service, and the Company would have no useless expense and loss.

In case any are sick or unable to go to sea they might remain at the Cape without any expense until they are restored to health, when they may be sent on with the following ships.

If it be asked by whom the garden is to be cultivated, we reply that if three or four gardeners from Holland are stationed there, enough men will be found among the sailors and soldiers to dig and delve; whilst from Batavia some Chinese, who are an industrious people, may be introduced who are well versed in gardening, and of whom there is always a sufficient number in irons.

Or it might happen which (God forbid) that again a ship (as lately happened twice) was wrecked there, and in that case I would leave it for you to consider of what service and advantage a garrison at that place would be. In order with the help of God to prevent all accidents and inconveniences two or three sloops may be stationed there to pilot the ships to a safe anchorage during darkness or calms, as many skippers and mates, because they come there so seldom, are ill-acquainted with the place.

Having shown what advantages the Company would derive from a fort and garden at the Cape, we now proceed to consider the expenses to be incurred on the one hand and the profits to be derived on the other.

The fort provided with 60 or 70 men, the monthly payments would annually reach the sum of f.10,000—provisions we shall reckon at f.3,500, and for ammunition f.500—total f.14,000. The guns required for the fort may be obtained from the wreck of the Haerlem, so that in this respect no expense will be required, except for the necessary appliances.

Let us now look at the profits.

Every ship on leaving Batavia receives 200 Reals of 8 to buy refreshments at that place, an order of long standing. This sum might be reduced to 50 or 100, so that for 10 ships the saving would be f,2,500.

At the Cape the crews will be able to refresh themselves in 7 or 8 days whilst taking in water, much better than they would do at St. Helena in ½ a month, for the pigs which have to be caught there with much trouble and labour are so to say the sweat of the sailors. On the other hand everything would be obtained in abundance and easily at the Cape, and the ships could be so well provided that they would carry with them fresh food for 8 or 10 days at sea, besides other refreshments long preservable for the sick.

Refreshed at the Cape the ships would not be required to touch at St. Helena, to remain there, as has been done before this, for a long time—so that the Company would be greatly benefitted as regards the wages of the crews and the earlier arrival of the valuable return fieets.

The fort having been established a year, the garrison would require no other supplies than bread or rice, oil and vinegar (abundance of salt can be had there). This we calculate at f.1,000, so that the expenses would be f.2,500 less, whilst the profits would be multiplied.

Everything could he procured there in sufficient quantity. There is fish in abundance, which if dried might be distributed among the ships. Further there are elands and steenbucks in numbers, whose skins would in course of time also bring in something. All kinds of birds are there by thousands, and may be caught or shot; and with which the garrison may be fed, an ox being killed now and then.

Annually a large quantity of train oil might be boiled, for at certain seasons Table Bay is full of whales, whilst the Robben and other islands are always swarming with seals, so that a boiler could be kept continually going.

But some inexperienced will say that no fuel is obtainable at the Cape for boiling oil, so that the carriage of the wood will be more than the profits derivable from the oil. We however reply that such people could not have been further than Salt River, paying more attention to their fishing than the resources of the country; for behind, and on the ascent of Table Mountain sufficient wood is to be had, but at first to be fetched with some trouble.

Others will say that the natives are brutal and cannibals, from whom no good can be expected, and that we will have to be continually on our guard, but this is a vulgar error, as will be shown further on. We do not deny that they live without laws or police, like many Indians, nor that some boatmen and soldiers have been killed by them, but the cause is generally not stated by our people, in order to excuse themselves. We are quite convinced that the peasants of this country, in case their cattle are shot down or taken away without payment, would not be a hair better than these natives if they had not to fear the law.

We of the Haerlem testify otherwise, as the natives came with all friendliness to trade with us at the fort which we had thrown up during our five months’ stay, bringing cattle and sheep in numbers—for when the Princesse Royael arrived with 80 or 90 sick we could provide it with so much cattle and sheep which we had at hand and so many birds shot daily, that nearly all the sick were restored to health, so that this refreshment was next to God the salvation of that ship.

Once the chief mate, carpenter and corporal of the Haerlem went as far as the location of the natives, who received and treated them kindly, whilst they might easily have killed them if they had been inclined to cannibalism. The killing of our people is undoubtedly caused by revenge being taken by the natives when their cattle is seized, and not because they are cannibals.

The uncivil and ungrateful conduct of our people is therefore the cause; for last year when the fleet commanded by the Hon. E. Wollebrant Geleynsen was lying in Table Bay, instead of recompensing the natives somewhat for their good treatment of those wrecked in the Haerlem, they shot down 8 or 9 of their cattle and took them away without payment; which may cost the life of some of ours, if the natives find an opportunity; and your Honours may consider whether the latter would not have cause for such a proceeding.

The fort being commanded by a chief treating the natives kindly and gratefully, paying for whatever is obtained for them, also filling some of the natives’ stomachs with peas or beans, which they are very partial to, nothing need be feared, and in course of time the aboriginals would learn the Dutch language, and those of Saldanha and the interior might through them be induced to trade, of whom, however, nothing certain can be said.

The refreshments to be obtained at the Cape would materially benefit the Company in economizing the provisions of the ships.

It is plain that the natives will learn Dutch, for when the chief mate Jacob Claesz: Hack remained 6 or 8 weeks on shore therewith sick people, they daily came to carry wood, and knew how to say, “first carry wood, then eat,” Those of the Haerlem they could nearly all call by their names, and likewise speak other words, besides proving that they were able to learn our language.

Living on good terms with them, some of their children may afterwards be employed as servants, and educated in the Christian religion, by which means, if Almighty God blesses the work, as he has done at Tayouan and Formosa, many souls will he brought to the Christian Reformed Religion and to God.

The proposed fort and garden will therefore not only tend to the advantage and profit of the Company, but to the salvation also of many lives, certainly the most excellent deed to magnify the name of the Most Holy God and the spreading of His Holy Gospel. By such means your work in India will be blessed more and more.

It is very surprising that our ordinary enemy, the Spaniards or Portuguese, have never attacked our return ships, as they could have found no better situated spot for that purpose than at the Cape, as the ships often leave Batavia, in two or three divisions, and though they remain in company like last year, such does not last longer than the moment when they have passed the Princes Island, when every one does his best to be the first at the Cape, so that the one arrives there to-day, the other to-morrow (all at different times). Our enemies lying in wait there with 8 or 10 ships and well prepared for battle, would easily capture our vessels, hampered and unprepared as they would be, one after the other, even if two or three were to arrive at the same time, which rarely happens. The same thing might also be done by the Turks.

We therefore suggest that you should command that all the return ships shall leave Batavia at the same time, in order to reach the Cape in company, and so be prepared for an enemy.

This is briefly what we had to say in the interests of the Company. If we have in any way offended, we beg that such may not be taken amiss, but that you may be convinced that it arises from our earnest wish to serve you. May God grant you wisdom and understanding not only in this matter but in all others, that God’s Holy Name may be magnified, the Church of Christ be built up, and likewise the private honour and reputation of yourselves.

(Signed) Leendert Janz,
N. Proot.

Amsterdam, 26th July, 1649.

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No. 2.—Report of Van Riebeeck on the above “Remonstrance,” Addressed to the Directors of the General Company.

(?) June, 1651

I have read with great attention the matters brought forward by Jansen and Proot, and can but add little more, they having sojourned at the Cape a whole season and throughly observed its agricultural resources and the character of the natives. As you have referred them to me your servant, who, in 1648, when returning home in the return fleet of the Hon. Wollebrandt Geleynsen, likewise remained three weeks on shore at the Cape to ship the goods saved from the wrecked ship Haerlem (and brought in carts to the Salt River), I will subjoin a few additional points regarding the fortress and plantation in order to establish them on the most suitable spot; and to do so not in the form of advice, as you posses better information than I can give, but to communicate the results of my reflections and what service I might do the Company at that place.

The projected fort, whatever its size, could be erected at the Fresh River in order that its water might be led into or around it, but as in that case its situation would be rather low and in course of time become damp, and its prospect interfered with by the growth of the trees to be planted, and as the ascent on the back of the Lion’s Hill (which, if any memory serves me well, is very near the said river) would entirely command the fort, it would be more prudent to build the fort on the said ascent, where there is, as far as I remember, a convenient eminence and a hard foundation, and whence the command over the river and the whole neighbourhood would be secured, for the fort would not be further than a pistol shot from the river, and if properly managed, one of its points might abut on the stream, at the same time retaining a good view of the sea, and over all the plantations and trees which may be made to grow there in time, however high they might become, and which would also add to the strength and appearance of the fort, with very little cost indeed. The proper spot for the fort, however, can only be determined by local inspection, for which purpose I beg to offer my services to the Company.

Though “Sieur” Leendert does not seem to have any fear of the natives, I beg to state as my opinion that they are not to he trusted, being a brutal gang, living without any conscience. The fort must therefore be strongly defensive—as I have heard from many who have been there and who are trustworthy, that our people have been killed without any cause whatever—and prudence in consequently necessary in our intercourse with them; also as regards the English, French, Danes and especially the Portuguese, who are jealous of the enlargement and prosperity of the Company, and let no opportunity pass to hinder it as much as possible.

In order to strengthen our position there the more, close hedges of hawthorn might with little cost be planted around the establishment, as I observed, when at the Caribbee Islands, those of Barbadoes doing, and which are their best protection: broad passages exist between them so that the garrison can see everything approaching, and those coming on cannot reach them in consequence of the thickets. No one can land, for those of the fort can easily keep them away from the shore with their muskets, a very good plan which may easily be carried out at the Cape.

The plan of Sr. Leendert regarding the shipment of water could easily be carried out, and pilot boats for the vessels arriving would not be unserviceable, if a signal be adopted by means of which the garrison would be able to know whether the incoming ship belongs to the Company or not, lest the pilots fall into the hands of strange ships, hypocritical friends or enemies.

I fear the guns expected to be saved from the Haerlem and to be mounted on the fort are by this time so buried in sand that they will not be recovered. One or two long metal pieces or culverins which reach far and would command the Salt River would be serviceable, as they would protect the roads and the sloops at anchor.

I am also of opinion that all sorts of trees and other fruit would thrive well in the valleys, to the great benefit of the passing ships, the more so as I think that the Cape climate is very similar to that of Japan, and the northern portions of China, which places have abundance of all kinds of fruit and cattle, as you yourselves know and I have experienced. It would therefore not be unserviceable to send thither some people having a good knowledge of gardening and farm work.

Regarding pigs, also mentioned by Sr. Leendert, if it could be managed to make arrack there, those animals could easily be fed on the wash, as is done at Batavia. It is true what he says about the diminution of hogs and other refreshments at St. Helena; besides the water on that island, in consequence of its sulphurous elements, cannot be compared with that at the Cape, where, if the cocoanut be made to grow, arrack could be made, and from the arrack itself enough vinegar could be obtained. The cocoanuts would likewise be very refreshing, and oil could be drawn from them also. It is probable that, if a friendly intercourse with the natives be established, enough cattle would be obtained from them at a cheaper rate than if we had our own breeding stock; those animals excepted which would only be kept for milking. In all these matters experiments might easily and without expense be made.

If, as Leendert proposes, you order your ships to touch at the Cape, I believe that a great deal of preserved provisions would be economized on the outward voyage, and likewise wine; for if they pass without touching, they do so only for the sake of the premium; the consequence is that the crews are put on short water allowance, and the meat and pork are boiled in salt water. Very little fresh water is given to the crew to drink, but 1 or 2 glasses of wine are distributed to make up for it, and though the wine is a cordial and strengthening, the sailors remain not the less subject to scurvy and similar diseases in consequence of the staleness of the food. But refreshed at the Cape, the voyage can with God’s blessing be safely made to Batavia with the ordinary provisions and wine allowance, and sufficient fresh water, by which the Company would be greatly benefited, the health of the men secured and a great deal of preserved provisions saved, which are everywhere required in India, whilst now they are consumed by the crews with the least benefit to themselves.

It will also be easily seen that a great deal of wages will be saved by a speedy voyage of the homeward bound ships, besides salted provisions and wine, if the vessels are ordered not to touch at St. Helena.

Some profit might also be derived from the clothing sold to the garrison there on account.

I have also read in the statement that besides cattle and sheep at the Cape, a multitude of elands, steenbucks and other wild animals are to be had. If this be true, and a satisfactory intercourse established with the natives; in addition to the refreshments obtained, much profit might be derived from the skins of the beasts mentioned, which dried in quantity, and packed closely together, as is done in Siam, might be shipped into the outward bound vessels, which, having consumed part of their provisions and fuel, would have sufficient storage room, and by them taken to Batavia whence they could be sent on to Japan, where especially the steenbuck skins, which certainly would make the smallest parcels, are in good demand and will produce a good deal. In my time they were sold at 18 to 20 tail per hundred; eland hides from 56 to 58 tail and ox hides above 130 tail in Japan silver. The hides would therefore be serviceable in Japan, and if to be procured in such quantity as Sr. Leendert states, they might in time be easily bought from the natives to defray the costs of the residency there.

Rock rabbits and other small animals with soft skins are also to be had, and which are serviceable as furs. It might be investigated what profit the Company might derive from this source also, and whatever there might further be found on the spot.

Train oil would also yield a profit, as I have before this been in Greenland and seen how the industry is carried on there. The difficulty in the matter of fuel is of little weight, for if one kettle has been boiled, the greaves are used for fuel, and sufficient is at hand for that purpose.

The statement, that the natives or their children are able to learn the Dutch language is important, and a very good thing, but of greater moment is the furtherance of our Reformed Christian Religion about which he appears to be sanguine. In this a good minister would do good service, if you could submit to the expense whilst he would also benefit the garrison stationed there; but whatever you may do, if I receive the appointment, I will most zealously endeavour to carry out your instructions, praying that God may grant me the necessary prudence and intelligence to serve you well, that in course of time you may be inclined to our further advancement; especially when having completed the work mentioned, that I may be removed to India, where I hope to give further proofs of faithful service in order to be employed in such a manner as you or your Council there may deem fit. You may be confident that with God’s blessing I will not fail in my zeal for the benefit of the Company, and the personal honour of your servant.

(Signed) Johan van Riekeeck.

Amsterdam, June, 1651.

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No. 3.—Instructions for the Officers of the Expedition fitted out for the Cape of Good Hope to Found a Fort and Garden There.

25th March, 1651

As by Resolution of the Council of Seventeen, representing the General Company, it has been deemed good to establish a rendezvous on the shores of the Cape, in order that the passing ships may safely touch there and obtain meat vegetables water and other necessaries, and the sick be restored to health, you shall when arrived at the said Cape, go on shore with a portion of your men, taking with you as much material as you may require for a temporary defence against the natives, who are a very rough lot, viz., a serviceable wooden building in which to lodge the people and likewise all the tools.

As a permanent residency is intended to be made of the Cape, as a refreshment station, a defensive fort shall be erected at the Fresh River, adjoining or near to it.

The wooden house being completed and placed in a proper state of defence, you shall inspect the locality of the Fresh River and decide on what spot the fort is to he erected in accordance with the accompanying plan—with this understanding, that in order always to have fresh water, the said river shall be led through or around the fort, as the plan shows—the fort to bear the name of the Good Hope.

Accommodation shall be provided for 70 or 80 men within the fort in order that the whole garrison may be lodged within it.

As soon as you are in a proper state of defence you shall search for the best place for gardens, the best and fattest ground in which everything planted or sown will thrive well, which gardens shall be properly enclosed; but on this point we give no precise instructions.

You shall also look out for the best pastures around the fort for depasturing and breeding cattle; for which purpose a good understanding with the natives will be necessary in order to make them in course of time accustomed to intercourse with you, and so attract them. In this great prudence is necessary, and you shall have to take especial care not to injure their cattle which they are herding or bringing on, as this would repel them from us, as has often been shown.

The cattle being in danger when left outside, shall during the night be temporarily driven into the fort, so that proper accommodation must be provided in it for that purpose, until in course of time the natives may be trusted, unless you have other means of keeping the cattle safely outside of the fort, a matter recommended to your especial vigilance.

As this fort will be principally established for all ships going to and returning from the East Indies, and in order that they may pass by St. Helena, you shall pay careful attention to all sorts of fruit which may grow there agreeably to the climate, and at what time of the year each kind is to be sown or planted; all which experience will teach you.

In order that good discipline may be maintained among the people, they have been sworn on the General “Articul brief” of the Company, according to which they shall have to conduct themselves, and do whatever their officers may command them, every one to be daily employed according to his capacity and no one to be left idle.

You shall keep a correct journal of all occurrences and from time to time examine whatever else can be taken in hand to defray the costs of the establishment, and to guide you, a copy of the “Remonstrance” forwarded to the Chamber of Seventeen is annexed.

The fort having been placed in a proper state of defence and provided with its necessary furniture, the ship Drommedaris shall with 40 men on board be despatched to Batavia—you retaining 70 men, and the sloops sent out in pieces on board, which are to be put together at the Cape for your service at all times, especially for discovering the going and coming ships and bringing them towards the best anchorage; for which purpose you shall have a wooden light-house or something of the kind on shore to warn and guide them.

To be well prepared for all enemies every wing of the fort shall be armed with 4 pieces of ordnance, which you shall land with everything required for it.

As we cannot enter into all particulars which we are unacquainted with, and which will mainly depend upon your experience and zeal we cannot give you instructions in full, so that what we have stated must suffice for the present to carry out the intentions of the Company. You are likewise ordered to correspond with the Company on all matters; and we wish you good fortune and prosperity on your voyage and the fulfilment of your trust, looking forward to the proper time when we shall be informed of your good success.

Resolved in the Council of 17 at Amsterdam, the 25th March, 1651.

Agrees with the original.—D. Pruys, Advocate of the Company.

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No. 4.—Further Instructions for the Officers Proceeding to the Cape in the Service of the East India Company on board of the “Drommedaris,” “Reijger” and “Goede Hoop.”

12th Dec.,1651

As it is not stated in the general instructions how the officers commanding at the Cape are to conduct themselves towards foreign nations whose ships might touch there for supplies, the said officers are continually to be on their guard and in an offensive and defensive position, that they may not be attacked unawares; with this proviso, that the said officers shall not hinder any nation living in friendship with or allied to, or holding a position of neutrality towards the States-General in their desire to supply themselves; the Portuguese excepted, whom the Company has declared to be its enemies, and with whom it is at war in the regions falling within the limits granted by charter to the Company, in accordance with the Resolution of the 17.

If any nation in alliance with, or holding a position of neutrality towards the States-General should establish a station at the Cape, you shall take no notice of it as long as they select a spot beyond the limits selected by you for your safety, and such other places as you may take possession of, and defend for rearing the various kinds of cattle and produce.

For this purpose you shall after landing inspect the most convenient spots for lands and pastures, and erect signs of having taken possession.

As the Drommedaris and Reijger have been ordered to remain at the Cape until they have landed their cargoes for the garrison, and brought the fort into a proper state of defence, you shall despatch the Reijger as soon as possible before the Drommedaris to Batavia, to he employed there in the Company’s service, retaining the Drommedaris as long as yon deem necessary, but no longer.

From the accompanying extract you will see what strange rumours are about regarding the designs of Prince Robert, and though we do not credit them, it is necessary to be prepared for everything, and therefore yon shall warn the ships coming from India to be on their guard and prepared for battle; also not to separate from each other from the Cape to St. Helena, and finding other ships there to keep to windward in order not to be surprised, on which subject we have communicated with the Governor-General and Council of India. Amsterdam, 12th Dec., 1651.

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No. 5. —Nomination of Riebeeck’s Successor in Case of Death, &c.

"Whereas J. van Biebeeck has been appointed Commander of the expedition fitted out for the Cape in Drommedaris, Reijger and Goede Hoop, the Company trusting that he will conduct himself to its satisfaction, but whereas he is likewise liable to sickness and death on the voyage, the Hon. David de Coninck, Skipper of the Drommedaris, is appointed to take Riebeeck’s place and carry out the instructions and works as mentioned above, all being ordered to obey the said Coninck.

(Signed) Z. D. Carpentier.
Hendrik Voet.
Hans van Loon.

Amsterdam, 15th Dec., 1651.

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No. 6.—Extract from Resolution taken by the Directors of the Chamber Amsterdam, This Day, 4th Dec., 1651, Monday.

The Company wills that Riebeeck shall hoist his flag as Commander of the fleet about to leave, as far as the Cape, and that he shall be the Convener and also President of the Combined Council. The skippers to obey this order.

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No. 7.—Peace made with Spain.

As peace has been made with 8pain, and the Company is at
present on friendly terms with all, excepting Portugal, with in the district of the East India Charter, all the commanders and officers of the Company are ordered not to molest any ships of the friendly nations sailing to or from the East Indies, unless they molest us first, in which case our officers are to defend themselves as they ought; excepting the subjects of the King of Portugal, who are to be attacked as enemies by land and sea within the East India district commencing at the East of the Cape. This order is to be carried out rigidly.— All offenders are to be punished as the case may require.

(Signed) Zacharias Roode.
Jan Munster.

Amsterdam, 13th Dec., 1651.

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No. 8 .—Extract from the Letter of the East India Chamber at Middelburg, to that of Amsterdam, dated 5th Dec., 1651.

Captain Aldert has arrived at Flushing from the coast of Portugal, where he has been cruising. Heard from him that he had often met Prince Robert, who with 8 large ships was sailing about in that neighbourhood, and had prevented him from capturing a Portuguese with 4 or 500 cases of sugar. Had seen that Prince capture a Castilian ship from which he took a large amount of money by means of which he had obtained provisions for his crews, a large quantity of bread being baked on the Flemish Islands, and much cattle slaughtered. It is reported there that the Prince intends to proceed to St. Helena to intercept the English East India return ships. We could not withhold this publicly told story from you, as the said Aldert is an honest and respectable man. It is very unlikely that the Prince has such intentions, as he would, in our opinion, if he had, make more careful arrangements; however, we leave it for you to consider whether it would not be advisable to write with the vessel going to the Cape, in order to give information to the return ships.

Jan Van Riebeeck Statue Cape Town As one can see from reading the above written letters and documents prior to the undertaking of the voyage to the Cape of Good Hope in Dec. 1651, the intentions and preparations of the Dutchmen on behalf of the VOC reflects their godly intent to have peaceful and engaging relationships with the Khoikhoi and San natives and other nations at the Cape.

In the next edition, Part 2, we will look extensively at the exact writings to see a more clear and concise account of what transpired some 368 years ago (1651-2019) and following; as we do not want to detract or add anything to the written record, we will delve into the entries from the Journal of Commander Johan van Riebeeck and other historical writings.

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.

[2] 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. pp 1-14.

Related Blog Posts:

The Gospel comes to South Africa (13 December 2012)

Answer to Sandile ~ Part 1 (3 June 2013)

The Gospel . . . Racism and South African History (8 March 2016)

365 Years Ago Today . . . (6 April 2017)

Mitsuo Fuchida ~ From Pearl Harbour to Calvary

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour (1941-2018). Here is an article worth reading written . . .

By Dr. Peter Hammond. This Article is available as a PowerPoint with pictures, viewable here.

Download this article as a printable A3 tract here.

Mitsuo Fuchida (1902-1976) is best known for leading the devastating air attack on Pearl Harbour, 7 December 1941. After Mitsuo Fuchidathe war, Fuchida became a Christian Evangelist, who conducted Evangelistic outreaches throughout Japan, the United States and Europe.

Japanese Naval Aviator

Fuchida was the son of the Master of the Primary School in Kashihara. His grandfather was a Samurai. Mitsuo Fuchida entered the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1921, graduated as a mid-shipman in 1924, was promoted to Ensign in 1925, and sub-Lieutenant in 1927. He specialised in horizontal bombing and gained combat experience during the Sino-Japanese War, when he was assigned to the aircraft carrier, Kaga, in 1929. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1936, he was accepted into the Naval Staff College and joined the aircraft carrier Akagi in 1939, as Commander of the Air Group.

Attack on Pearl Harbour

Take of to Shokaku In October 1941, Fuchida was made Commander. Under the command of Vice Admiral Nagumo, with 6 aircraft carriers, and 423 aircraft, Commander Fuchida was responsible for the co-ordination of the aerial attack on the US Pacific Fleet. He was in the first wave of 183 dive-bombers, torpedo-bombers, level-bombers and fighters, which took off from carriers 370 km North of Oahu and targeted the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour. At 07:40 (Hawaiian Standard Time), Fuchida ordered "Tenkai!" ("Take attack position!"), slid back the canopy of his Nakajima Kate torpedo bomber and fired a green flare to signal attack. He then instructed his radio operator to send the coded signal "To, to, to" ("strike!").

Tora! Tora! Tora!

At 7:53, Fuchida sent the code words "Tora!

Tora! Tora!" back to the carrier Akagi, the flagship, to report that complete surprise had been achieved. Tora was the acronym for Tosugeki Raigeki (torpedo attack) and in Japanese Tora means Tiger.

Attack at Dawn

Japan attack When the attack on Pearl Harbour hit, at 7:55am, many American sailors, or soldiers, were on leave, or sleeping late. 7 Battleships were lined up on battleship row. The Oklahoma capsized. The West Virginia and California was sunk. The Nevada was damaged and beached near the mouth of Pearl Harbour. Tennessee, Maryland and Pennsylvania were damaged. 10 Other ships were sunk or seriously damaged. The Arizona sank with 2,000 sailors on board, after a stupendous explosion of its forward magazine. (Just 8 days earlier, the Americans had published a picture of the Arizona with the words: "It is significant that despite the claims of air enthusiasts, no battleship has yet been sunk by bombs." Pride goes before a fall.)

Attack on Pearl Harbour 7 December 1941 As the first wave returned to the carriers, Fuchida remained over the target to access damage and to observe the second wave attack. He returned to his carrier only after the secnd wave had completed its mission. 21 large flack holes were found in his aircraft, the main control wires were barely holding together and it is incredible that he survived so many hits to his aircraft. The Japanese lost 29 aircraft in the attack on Pearl Harbour. The US Pacific Fleet lost 21 ships including almost every battleship – 188 aircraft destroyed, another 159 damaged and 2,403 lives lost. In Fuchida’s Memoirs, he remarks being upset by the Admiral’s cancelling of the third wave attack, which would have destroyed Pearl Harbour’s fuel tanks and dry dock facilities. "I was upset and thought, ‘What stupidity!’ But the decision belonged to the Commander. It would not do any good if I complained.". Years later, Fuchida said that while he mourned those who died aboard the USS Arizona and other ships, he did not regret his role in the Pearl Harbour attack. It was war, he said. After the successful Pearl Harbour attack, Fuchida was granted an audience with the Emperor.

Wounded at Midway

Pearl Harbour bombing On 19 February 1942, Fuchida led the first of two waves of 188 aircraft in an air raid on Darwin, Australia. On 5 April, he led another series of air attacks against the Royal Navy bases in Ceylon. In June 1942, Fuchida was recovering from an emergency shipboard appendectomy, when he was wounded at the Battle of Midway. He was on the ship’s bridge during the morning attacks by US aircraft. As Akagi was hit, a chain reaction from the burning fuel and live bombs began the destruction of the ship. An explosion threw him to the deck and he broke his ankle.

A Hand of Protection

Captain Fuchida After recuperation Fuchida spent the rest of the war as a staff officer. Two weeks before the American invasion of Guam, Fuchida was ordered to Tokyo. When the Japanese failed to repel the invasion, Vice Admiral Kakuta and his staff chose Seppuku, the Samurai suicide ritual of disembowelment. "Again the sword of death had missed me only by inches." Fuchida declared. "What did it mean?"

Hiroshima Bombing

The day before the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, he was in that city to attend a conference. A long distance call from naval headquarters required him to return to Tokyo. As he ate breakfast in Yamato, 200km away, Fuchida learned that everyone he had been working with in Hiroshima had perished in the atomic explosion. The day after the atomic bombing, he returned to Hiroshima to access the damage. All of the members of Fuchida’s party died of radiation poisoning, but Fuchida exhibited no symptoms. Each of the Officers who had accompanied Fuchida, to investigate the devastation in Hiroshima, showed strange signs of illness. One by one they died through radiation poisoning. As Fuchida returned to Kashirhara, to help his wife raise their children, he was depressed: "Life had no taste, or meaning I had missed death so many times and for what. What did it all mean?"

War Crimes Trials

After the war, Fuchida was called to testify at the trials of Japanese military leaders. When General Douglas McArthur summoned Fuchida to testify in the Tokyo War Crimes trials, Captain Fuchida was disgusted and declared that everyone should know that "War was war" and that cruel acts occurred on both sides. The petty vindictiveness of the Allies infuriated him and he denounced the "victor’s justice."

Love For One’s Enemies

In 1947, he met his former flight engineer, Kazuo Kanegasaki, who he thought had died in the Battle of Midway. However Kanegasaki reported that a young Christian woman, Peggy Covell, had cared for them, in the prison camps, despite her Missionary parents having been killed by Japanese soldiers on the Island of Panay, in the Philippines. Peggy Covell’s parents were Missionary teachers in Japan until 1939. They then relocated to the Philippines. The Japanese conquered the Philippines in 1941. They beheaded both of Peggy’s parents on Sunday morning, 19 December 1943. To Fuchida, this love for one’s enemies was inexplicable as the Bushido code required revenge against the murder of one’s parents to restore honour. He became obsessed with trying to understand why anyone would treat their enemies with kindness and forgiveness.

Inspiring Example

The extraordinary example of Peggy Covell inspired Fuchida to know more about the God of the Christians. When Japanese Prisoners of War asked the young 18-year old Peggy Covell why she volunteered to help them, her reply was: "Because Japanese soldiers killed my parents." When Peggy considered her parent’s sacrificial service for the Kingdom of God, and their love for the Japanese people, she was convinced that she must continue their Mission, reaching Japanese for Christ. As Fuchida researched from every source in the Philippines that knew the Covells, he learned that they had been forced to their knees by their captors and they had prayed together as they were about to be beheaded. They had prayed for the Japanese!

Literature Evangelism

In 1948, as Fuchida was passing by the bronze statue of Hachiko at the Shibuya station, he was handed a pamphlet about the life of Jacob De Shazer, a member of the Doolittle Raid, who was captured when his B-25 bomber ran out of fuel in occupied China. In the pamphlet: "I was a Prisoner of Japan", De Shazer, a former US Army Air Force staff sergeant and bombardier, related his testimony of imprisonment, torture and awakening to God.

Doolittle Raid Bombers

Doolittle Jacob De Shazer was the bombardier of B-25 No.16. After taking off from USS Hornet and dropping bombs on Nagoya, Japan, they flew to China, but ran out of fuel over Japanese controlled China. They were captured after parachuting to the ground. De Shazer was imprisoned for 40 months, 34 of these months in solitary confinement. He was beaten, malnourished and 3 of his crew were executed by firing squad. The fourth member, Lt. Bob Meder died of starvation. After 25 months of hating his captives, a Bible came into his hands, for only three weeks, but it changed his life completely. He began to learn Japanese and to treat his captives with respect. He resolved to bring the Message of Christ to Japan. After returning to the USA, De Shazer attended Seattle Pacific College and returned to Japan to preach the Gospel. He established a church in Nagoya, the very city he had bombed years before. Fuchida became intrigued with the Christian Faith. The shocking examples of Christians able to forgive their enemies staggered Fuchida. "That’s when I met Jesus. Looking back I can see now that the Lord had laid His hand upon me so that I might serve Him."

The Power of the Printed Page

Fuchida read the tract on the spot and on the train he saw an advertisement for a book with the same title. When he disembarked, he headed for a book store and purchased it. De Shazer’s story engrossed Fuchida. Determined to understand what had motivated De Shazer, Fuchida bought a Bible from a Japanese man on the street. When he read "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:24), Fuchida realised that this was what the Covells had been praying before their execution.

Faith Comes From Hearing the Word of God

In 1949, Fuchida purchased a Bible at the same Shibuyu station where he had received a pamphlet. As he read the Gospels he came to understand the reason for the life of forgiveness and mercy that motivated Peggy and Jacob. It was the crucifixion of Jesus and His Words in the Gospel: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." On 14th April 1950, he surrendered to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.

The Power of God

By the time he had completed reading the Gospel of Luke, Fuchida had become a Christian. He knew no Christians, but now he began to declare himself to be a Christian. As Christianity was considered the "occupation religion" in Japan, this brought him much reproach from his former friends and family. Pietsch and Glenn Wagner, of the Pocket Testament League of Japan met with Fuchida and encouraged him to join them in open air outreach.

Open Air Preaching

Open air preaching In the business section of Osaka, as the Americans stood to speak, fewer than 40 Japanese would stop to listen. But when Fuchida, Hero of Pearl Harbour, was introduced, the crowd swelled rapidly. Rush hour traffic stopped. Hundreds gathered, even the police listened in.

Japan for Christ

This was the beginning of Fuchida’s new career as an Evangelist. Soon he filled an auditorium in Osaka, 500 Japanese came forward at that rally. Almost every newspaper in Japan reported on it: He described his conversion as "It was like having the sun rise." He preached against Japanese-egocentrism and xenophobia. Like Paul on Mars Hill (Acts 17:16-34), he used Japanese cultural examples to communicate the Gospel of Christ. Captain Fuchida went from being a vital part of Japan’s military attack on the United States, to being a vital part of God’s Missionary offensive into the hearts, minds and souls of Japanese, and later Americans and Europeans too.

Fuchida and De Shazer

Fuchida and De Shazer In May 1950, Fuchida and De Shazer met for the first time. In May he visited De Shazer, knocked on his door and said: "I have desired to meet you, Mr De Shazer. My name is Mitsuo Fuchida." De Shazer recognised the name and said: "Come in! Come in!" The former enemies embraced as brothers in Christ.

War Author

Midway In 1951, Fuchida published an account of the Battle of Midway and in 1952 he toured the United States as a member of the Worldwide Christian Missionary Army of Sky Pilots. In February 1954, Readers Digest published Fuchida’sCaptain Fuchida story of the attack on Pearl Harbour. Fuchida wrote – From Pearl Harbour to Golgotha (later renamed – From Pearl Harbour to Calvary) and a 1955 expansion of his book: Midway The Battle that Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy Story. His autobiography – For That One Day, The Memoirs of Mitsuo Fuchida, Commander of the Attack on Pearl Harbour, was published in Japan 2007 and translated into English and published in 2011.

The Turning Point

In Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan, Fuchida wrote: "Five minutes! Who would have believed that the tide of battle would shift in that brief interval of time? … We have been caught flat-footed in the most vulnerable position possible, decks loaded with planes armed and fuelled for attack."

Courage and Self-Sacrifice

Fuchida turned down an offer from the Japanese government to organise their new Air Force, he faced down an angry pilot who pulled a knife and threatened to kill him. This man later came to Christ. Fuchida ministered in prisons and led people to Christ, even in the cells of condemned murderers. He formed Calvary Clubs in prisons.

The Blood of the Martyrs

The Covells Mitsuo Fuchida related the testimony of Peggy Covell and her brave parents all over Japan. He quoted her testimony: "But the Holy Spirit has washed away my hatred and has replaced it with love." The Covells had gone to their death singing hymns joyfully and praying for the conversion of their enemies. The Blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. Mitsuo Fuchida was one of the fruit of their Faith.

Fuchida spent the rest of his life as an Evangelist, taking the Gospel of Christ throughout Japan, the United States of America and Europe.

Dr. Peter Hammond

Reformation Society
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480,

Email: mission@frontline.org.za This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Website: www.ReformationSA.org

See Also:

Pray for Japan

Was the Use of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Militarily and Morally Justified?

Soli Deo Gloria

Jesus Turned Water Into Wine, But He is Not a Glorified Bartender! Tract

JESUS

TURNED WATER INTO

WINE, BUT HE IS NOT A

GLORIFIED BARTENDER!

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

When it comes to the issue surrounding whether a Christian may or may not drink alcohol, or whether a Christian can exercise his/her “Christian liberty” in drinking alcoholic beverages, the parties who are pro to alcohol consumption go instantaneously to the scripture where the Lord Jesus Christ was attending a wedding in Cana and He turns “water into wine”. This is one of two of the most referenced scriptures in the entire Bible; the other being “JUDGE not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1) or the simple exclamation: “JUDGE NOT!” Even unbelievers know these two scriptures, but whether Christian or unbeliever, whenever these scriptures are referenced to argue their point, 99.9% of the time the verses are taken out of their true context, the other 0.1% also! To bring this issue into its proper context, let us read the account as recorded in God’s Holy Word in the Gospel according to Saint John, for it is written,

1  And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 
2  And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 
3  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 
4  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 
5  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 
6  And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 
7  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 
8  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 
9  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. ~ John 2:1-11

Now according to these verses and especially where reference is made that the water was made into wine, but not just any wine, but “good wine”; this is used as their argument: “You see, Jesus turned water into wine! So we can drink alcohol!” Firstly, we must establish who is making the reference to “Jesus turning water into wine” – believer? or unbeliever? Secondly, if it is a ‘Christian’, why would a Christian want to partake of the “pleasures of this world”, when Jesus’ half-brother James says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4)? And thirdly, why would someone who has been delivered from his/her sinful pleasures, that they readily indulged in prior to the Lord’s salvation and regeneration of their soul, would want to continue in the pleasures of old when the apostle Paul tells us that in Christ we are new, as we read, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). And lastly, we know that if an unbeliever makes that statement, “But Jesus turned water into wine”, we can assuredly know that they wish to continue in their sin for their point of argument is: “It is alright to drink alcohol as your God even makes it okay to do so!” However, the unbeliever misses the mark in their lost state for this explains their present situation devoid of wisdom and understanding: “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?” (Job 15:16).

Explaining the miracle

From the portion of scripture under discussion in John 2:1-11, what must be remembered are the reasons behind Jesus providing the wine at the wedding and what it ultimately accomplished? We know that those attending the wedding “wanted wine” (verse 3). It would also appear from the text that Jesus and His disciples were initially not at the wedding, but “was called” (verse 2), and His mother Mary was present at the wedding (verse 1) and said to Jesus that, “They have no wine” (verse 3) – in other words, “Do something about it.” Jesus makes it very clear to His mother, even censoring her, but not out of disrespect, when He says, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come” (verse 4). Jesus used the same word “Woman” when speaking to her with affection from the cross, “Woman, behold thy son!” (See John 19:26).

We read on and see that Jesus instructs the servants to fill the “six waterpots of stone, . . . containing two or three firkins apiece” (verse 6) “with water” (verse 7). In order to work out how much is “two or three firkins apiece”, according to Smith’s Bible Dictionary: “The value of the Attic metrétés was 8,6696 gallons, and consequently the amount of liquid in six stone jars, containing on the average 2½ metrétæ each, would exceed 110 gallons.” This would equate to about 416.395 litres of water to be turned into wine! That is a lot of wine!

What we need to bear in mind is that whilst the Holy Bible does not outright ban the consumption of alcoholic wine, there is however severe warnings and restrictions placed on the consumption of intoxicating wine and strong drink. Hereunder are the Hebrew and Greek words that explain “wine” which also have a deeper and more expansive meaning and explanation (that will not allow for space here) than the English equivalent of the word “wine”:

H3196 יין yayin yah’-yin From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: – banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

H4469 ממסך mamsâk mam-sawk’ From H4537; mixture, that is, (specifically) wine mixed (with water or spices): – drink-offering, mixed wine.

H6071 עסיס ‛âsı̂ys aw-sees’ From H6072; must or fresh grape juice (as just trodden out): – juice, new (sweet) wine.

H7941 שׁכר shêkâr shay-kawr’ From H7937; an intoxicant, that is, intensely alcoholic liquor: – strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine.

H8492 תּירשׁ תּירושׁ tı̂yrôsh tı̂yrôsh tee-roshe’, tee-roshe’ From H3423 in the sense of expulsion; must or fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine: – (new, sweet) wine.

G1098 γλεῦκος gleukos glyoo’-kos Akin to G1099; sweet wine, that is, (properly) must (fresh juice), but used of the more saccharine (and therefore highly inebriating) fermented wine: – new wine.

G3631 οἶνος oinos oy’-nos A primary word (or perhaps of Hebrew origin [H3196]); “wine” (literally or figuratively): – wine.

We should also bear in mind that the common wine that was commonly drunk in Palestine was the pure juice of the grape, the fruit of the vine. Jesus says in Matthew 26:29, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (See also Mark 14:25 & Luke 22:18). “It was not brandied wine, nor drugged wine, nor wine compounded of various substances, such as we drink in this land today. We use the word “wine” now to denote the kind of liquid which passes under that name in this country – always containing a considerable portion of alcohol not only the alcohol produced by fermentation, but alcohol “added” to keep it or make it stronger.” (Barnes). If Jesus turned the water into wine of the fermented intoxicating kind, Jesus, Who is God manifest in human flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), would be violating His Own Word by encouraging the intoxication and drunkenness of the Cana marriage couple, their guests, even including His own mother Mary and His disciples. We read in Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”

Therefore, if people try arguing the point that the wine was fermented and alcoholic in nature, then Jesus, the Son of God, was encouraging a violation of making His neighbour drunk! We are told to love our neighbour, not to cause his downfall! We are also instructed by God’s Word, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18). This scripture to the church at Ephesus warns: Be not drunk, but be sober in the Holy Spirit. Also in Proverbs 23:29-35 we read about the conditions of a person partaking in alcoholic drink that leads to drunkenness,

29  Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 
30  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 
31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 
32  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 
33  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 
34  Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 
35  They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. ~ Proverbs 23:29-35

1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. ~ Proverbs 20:1

Did Jesus drink intoxicating wine?

We see from these scriptures that God warns against taking fermented wine and strong drink, yet there are many Biblical theologians who allude to Jesus drinking intoxicating wine, where they cite Matthew 11:18,19, for it is written, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” However, those scholars err in that the aforementioned verses are not making the distinction between John and Jesus as to one not drinking alcoholic wine and the other was drinking alcoholic wine, respectively. No, writer agrees with Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Vol. V. pp.154-155) where he comments, quote:

“In the explanation of the parable is set forth the different temper of John’s ministry and of Christ’s, who were the two great lights of that generation.

(1). On the one hand, John came mourning to them, neither eating nor drinking; not conversing familiarly with people, nor ordinarily eating in company, but alone, in his cell in the wilderness, where his meat was locusts and wild honey. . . .

(2). On the other hand, the Son of man came eating and drinking, and so he piped unto them. Christ conversed familiarly with all sorts of people, not affecting any peculiar strictness or austerity; he was affable and easy of access, not shy of any company, was often at feasts, both with Pharisees and publicans, to try if this would win upon those who were not wrought upon by John’s reservedness: . . . “[Unquote]

No, the Lord Jesus Christ was not a “glutton” and a “winebibber” as those statements were wicked accusations brought against the Son of man Jesus Christ by the religious order of the day, for they were always trying to discredit Jesus. We know this, for Jesus says, “. . . and they say . . .”

So then, what was the significance of the miracle of turning water into wine? The miracle was Jesus the Messiah (Christ) exercising His authority over His creation. Here Jesus also showed that by filling the waterpots of stone with water, He could turn the water into wine without going through the process of making wine – that would be by going to the vineyard to pick the grapes, by taking the grapes to the winepress, by getting into the winefat and treading the grapes for hours on end extracting the juices, then cleaning out the skins and twigs and other debris, by bottling the grape juice, and by bringing it to the wedding without first passing through a distributor and shopkeeper.

These processes could also have taken days, weeks or even months, but Jesus performed the miracle in a matter of minutes! We are told, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” (John 2:11). The disciples believed Jesus to be the God-sent Messiah. And so is it with us. Jesus can change us from sinners into saints in an instant. It is more than just Jesus turning water into wine.

God’s warnings and man’s conduct

In Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary in respect of John 2:10, he writes, quote:

“Those that expect Christ’s favours, must observe his orders with ready obedience. The way of duty is the way to mercy; and Christ’s methods must not be objected against. The beginning of Moses’ miracles was turning water into blood, Exodus 7:20; the beginning of Christ’s miracles was turning water into wine; which may remind us of the difference between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ. He showed that he improves creature-comforts to all true believers, and make them comforts indeed. And Christ’s works are all for use. Has he turned thy water into wine, given thee knowledge and grace? it is to profit withal; therefore draw out now, and use it. It was the best wine. Christ’s works commend themselves even to those who know not their Author. What was produced by miracles, always was the best in its kind. Though Christ hereby allows a right use of wine, he does not in the least do away his own caution, which is, that our hearts be not at any time overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, Luke 21:34. Though we need not scruple to feast with our friends on proper occasions, yet every social interview should be so conducted, that we might invite the Redeemer to join with us, if he were now on earth; and all levity, luxury, and excess offend him.”[Unquote] [i.e. DO NOT let Jesus be offended by your conduct!]

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, we read,

9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 
10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

These afore verses reveal that, among others, no “drunkards” will inherit the kingdom of God. All drunkards are headed for Hell, but the Word tells us in verse 11 thereof, “And such were some of you . . .” implying a change in nature having been washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. A new creature has come into existence. A new creature is one who is set apart from the norm, as we read:

3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 
4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: ~ 1 Peter 4:3,4

Do you find yourself different to what people expect? Or do you want to fit in with the crowd, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly (Proverbs 26:11). These warnings are given to keep the disciple of Jesus Christ perfect in thought, word and deed. In Hebrews, we are warned, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:4). Does your conduct meet the holiness requirement that God requires?

Earlier, reference was made to Matthew 7:1, “JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.” Persons often stop the verse there which is out of context, for if one continues reading then the full context will be known. You cannot judge a brother or sister of doing something unless you have examined yourself, and if you are right before God in a matter, you can now see the speck in your brother’s eye because the beam has been removed from your own eye! You see Jesus says that if you judge you must judge righteously, for we read, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). And to judge righteous judgment is to use His Holy Scriptures (See 2 Timothy 3:16,17). For we read, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

By way of writer’s testimony, before, when I was a slave to alcohol, I could not make righteous judgments, but when God delivered me from my bondage he made me free that I can testify of His goodness in setting me free. If I was still drinking alcohol, going into bottle-stores, shebeens, nightclubs, etc, and living a life of a drunkard (one who gets drunk) then how can I show a brother the error of his ways if I am doing likewise. That would leave the sinner justifiably calling the “preacher” a Hypocrite! And Jesus has a lot to say about hypocrites that will perish in hell and ultimately the lake of fire, for we read in Matthew 7:21-23,

21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
~ Matthew 7:21-23

Conclusion

It is no secret that alcohol consumption causes major health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver and injuries in automobile accidents. These are not the only risks posed by drinking for researchers have linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases. 12 of the more severe conditions are: Anemia, Cancer, Cadiovascular disease, Cirrhosis, Dementia, Depression, Seizures, Gout, High blood pressure, Infectious disease, Nerve damage, and Pancreatitis. Alcohol is also the tool of the Devil that has destroyed many families, with abuse of children and spouses an evil scourge, in some cases leading to murder!

Three times a year, at Easter, at Christmas and at New Year, these celebrations make the Pharisees’ accusations against the Lord Jesus Christ a reality in the lives of those revelling (i.e. to feast in a noisy manner). By way of an examination of your behaviour: Are you gluttonous and a winebibber? “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)

The apostle Paul exhorts true Christians, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). So let us take heed what Paul says about walking in charity (love):

13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 
14  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 
15  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 
16  Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 
17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. ~ Romans 14:13-17

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________________

Footnotes:

* All Scripture is from the Authorised Version (King James Bible, 1611)

* Smith’s Bible Dictionary, by William Smith L.L.D. (1986 Thomas Nelson)

* Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible (e-Sword)

* Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance, Expanded Edition

* Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Vol. V (Marshall, Morgan & Scott)

* Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (e-Sword)

* http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/12-health-risks-of-chronic-heavy-drinking

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

Please visit the website for more information.

2 December 2018

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

Daily Devotions by C. H. Spurgeon

C. H. Spurgeon November 26

Morning

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
– Ecc 9:10

10  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,” refers to works that are possible. There are many things which our heart findeth to do which we never shall do. It is well it is in our heart; but if we would be eminently useful, we must not be content with forming schemes in our heart, and talking of them; we must practically carry out “whatsoever our hand findeth to do.” One good deed is more worth than a thousand brilliant theories. Let us not wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we “find to do” day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never shall have any time but time present. Then do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God. Endeavour now to bring forth fruit. Serve God now, but be careful as to the way in which you perform what you find to do-”do it with thy might.” Do it promptly; do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do to-morrow as if that could recompense for the idleness of to-day. No man ever served God by doing things to-morrow. If we honour Christ and are blessed, it is by the things which we do to-day. Whatever you do for Christ throw your whole soul into it. Do not give Christ a little slurred labour, done as a matter of course now and then; but when you do serve him, do it with heart, and soul, and strength.

But where is the might of a Christian? It is not in himself, for he is perfect weakness. His might lieth in the Lord of Hosts. Then let us seek his help; let us proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our “hand findeth to do,” let us wait upon the Lord for his blessing. What we do thus will be well done, and will not fail in its effect.

Evening

“They shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel.”
– Zec 4:10

10  For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. ~ Zechariah 4:10 

Small things marked the beginning of the work in the hand of Zerubbabel, but none might despise it, for the Lord had raised up one who would persevere until the headstone should be brought forth with shoutings. The plummet was in good hands. Here is the comfort of every believer in the Lord Jesus; let the work of grace be ever so small in its beginnings, the plummet is in good hands, a master builder greater than Solomon has undertaken the raising of the heavenly temple, and he will not fail nor be discouraged till the topmost pinnacle shall be raised. If the plummet were in the hand of any merely human being, we might fear for the building, but the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in Jesus’ hand. The works did not proceed irregularly, and without care, for the master’s hand carried a good instrument. Had the walls been hurriedly run up without due superintendence, they might have been out of the perpendicular; but the plummet was used by the chosen overseer. Jesus is evermore watching the erection of his spiritual temple, that it may be built securely and well. We are for haste, but Jesus is for judgment. He will use the plummet, and that which is out of line must come down, every stone of it. Hence the failure of many a flattering work, the overthrow of many a glittering profession. It is not for us to judge the Lord’s church, since Jesus has a steady hand, and a true eye, and can use the plummet well. Do we not rejoice to see judgment left to him?

The plummet was in active use-it was in the builder’s hand; a sure indication that he meant to push on the work to completion. O Lord Jesus, how would we indeed be glad if we could see thee at thy great work. O Zion, the beautiful, thy walls are still in ruins! Rise, thou glorious Builder, and make her desolations to rejoice at thy coming.Soli Deo Gloria

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