|Brethren's Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel among the Heathen
|Brethen's Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel, 1846
|Memorial University of Newfoundland - Digital Archives Initiative
Het eerste EBG bezoek op plantage Onverwacht is op 19 oktober 1846 geweest, door broeder Rathling. Dit op verzoek van de nieuwe eigenaar van de plantage. (vermoedelijk A.F. Lammens jr.) Hieronder de weergave van dat moment door br. Rathling.
De nieuwe eigenaar van Onverwacht, een plantage in het district Para, had de wens geuit dat we zijn negers instrueren, ik ging daarheen op 19 oktober. Ongeveer 60 personen waren samengekomen, aan wie ik het doel van mijn komst uitlegde, waarna ik hen vroeg of ze Gods Woord niet wilden horen en wilden worden bekeerd.
'Neen', was het unanieme antwoord; 'we zullen ons niet en kunnen ons niet bekeren. We hebben al ons geloof, en kunnen niet twee hebben'. Niettegenstaande, na enige verdere gesprekken met hen, gingen zij akkoord met een bijeenkomst. Ik zong en bad, en las en verklaarde een deel van het Schrift. Op mijn vraag daarna, of we elkaar in de middag zouden ontmoeten om meer te horen, stemden ze toe, en hielden hun woord. Ik bezocht ze daarna in hun huizen, en, hoewel de negers van Para meer dwepers ("bigots") zijn van hun afgodendienst dan die van andere districten, kan ik niet anders dan hopen dat het woord van God eer lang de overhand zal krijgen.
LETTER FROM BR. RATHLING. p. 214-215
From Br. Rathling.
Paramaribo, Dec. 7th, 1846.
" CONTRARY to all human expectations, the Lord has restored my
dear wife from her alarming illness, so that she is now able to attend to
her domestic duties. October 11th, I ventured once more to set out on
my plantation-visits, from which I returned only a few days ago, and
tomorrow I purpose taking another journey. Almost everywhere I met
with a joyful welcome from the negroes, many of whom complained that
we had left them so long without instruction. At the plantation Poly-
en-Dal, they told me that they met together one evening in the week to
sing and pray, after which one of their number read a chapter of the
Bible. This practice has since been adopted, on my recommendation,
in several other plantations. One of the baptized inquired how he
should pray, as words often failed him when he set about it. I explained
to him that it does not depend on the words, but on the desire and longing
of the heart. I told him to take for his pattern a child who wants
something from his mother, and lay his wants with the same simplicity
before our Saviour. He immediately comprehended this, and wondered
that it had not struck him before.
" The new proprietor of Onverwacht, a plantation in the Para district,
having expressed a wish that we should instruct his negroes, I
repaired thither on the 19th of October. About 60 persons assembled,
to whom I explained the object of my coming, after which I asked
them whether they did not wish to hear God's Word and be converted.
« No,' was the unanimous reply; ' we will not and cannot be converted.
We have already our belief, and cannot have two.' Notwithstanding,
after some further conversation with them, they agreed to my holding a
meeting with them. I sang and prayed, and then read and expounded
a portion of the Scripture. On my afterwards asking, whether they would
meet again to hear more in the afternoon, they all assented, and kept
their word. I afterwards visited them in their houses, and, though the
Negroes of Para are more bigotted to their idolatrous worship than
those of other districts, I cannot but hope that the Word of God will ere
" From the 2nd to the 18th of November, I was engaged in visiting
on the Saramakka and Copename, where Sr. Voigt has for the last half-
year been teaching the children on the plantation Andresa. The
voyage from the estuary of one river to that of the other is dangerous
in our tent-boats, but the Lord graciously preserved me. Nov. 6th, I
reached Gode-Hoop, three leagues below Andresa, and held a meeting
to the negroes, who listened very attentively, late as was the hour.
Next day I proceeded to Andresa, where Sr. Voigt presently summoned
her scholars together by blowing a large shell. I was much pleased
with the progress made, even by children of eight or nine years old, who
could read very fluently ; and their answers, on being catechised, shewed
that they understood the Scripture-passages which they had committed
" The happy departure of Br. Jacob Antoni, a week before my
arrival, had made a deep impression on the hearts of all. In the last
hours of his life, he bore testimony to the happiness which he had
found in Jesus, and earnestly exhorted his family to turn to the Lord.
Many, in consequence, who had been wholly indifferent to the things
belonging to their peace, appear to be now in earnest. On the 8th, we
had a day of blessing; 7 adults and 1 child were baptized, 1 added to
the church; and at the close of the day we celebrated the Holy Communion,
4 in number, 5 being present as spectators, 1 of whom is to be
confirmed. The Lord gave us to feel His presence; and, according to
a letter since received from Sr. Voigt, the good work is still going on."