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Recollections of a Tour in the Jellasore District.
the amiability of our tempers. He | tumble into the stream below, we was asked to find the bridge and we accomplished our wishes and got would as quickly find the toll. all safe to the opposite side. The "With the existence of a bridge Inative official sat down and looked have nothing to do," was his answer. at us, not proffering to raise a finger “I only collect toll from those who or strain a muscle in rendering aspass it," and not being able to con. sistance. After appeasing our ap: vince him of the utter absurdity of petite we continued our journey and of bis reasoning we requested him reached our destination about sunto either help us to cross the stream set, having been a whole day going or go back to his hut and attend to nine coss-or about eighteen miles ! his rice and curry; of course he On the following day we attended a chose the latter. How to get the large market held a short distance garries across was now the all ab- from the tent. When we reached sorbing topic. Fortunately they the place the people had not ashad not arrived, we being ahead of sembled, and here I saw another them, and as the distance we had to peculiarity in the markets of Northgo was considerable we wished, ifern Orissa. The missionary must possible, not to hinder them, but to be on the ground before trading finish our preparations before they commences. Should the market came up.
We at once, therefore, have commenced when he arrives formed ourselves into an executive there is little hope of securing a committee, and the decision of that hearing, or of persuading the people honourable body was that three of to leave their business. There are our party should be resolved into a two reasons for this-one is the utter small corps of sappers and miners, devotedness with which the native and the fourth cross the stream as trader throws bis whole being, best he could-swimming his horse as it were, into the matter of to the other side, ride over to a buying, selling, and getting, gain; village a few miles distant and turn and the other is the
distance back a cooley carrying provisions most of the people have to come, who had been sent on in the morning the villages being very scattered, early, but had unfortunately gone which make them anxious to dispose by another route. The courier dis- of their goods as speedily as pospatched, we, who remained, collected sible, and to hasten home. The all the planks, broken pieces of markets do not last long. As we wood, and trunks of palm trees, were rather a large party-four mis. serviceable from the debris of the sionaries, and five native preachers broken bridge, and with a native -we took four separate stands and axe, kindly lent us by the devoted widely spread the gospel. Those of official before mentioned, we suc- us from the South were at a dis. ceeded in constructing, by an hour count in not being familiar with the or two's hard work, a temporary many Bengali words and terminabridge, wide enough and strong tions so freely interspersed in the enough to admit of the garries Oriya spoken in Northern Orissa. being bowled over the stream, but sometimes it was with the utmost to do this considerable caution was difficulty, and not without much necessary. The bank was cut in circumlocution we were enabled to one or two places to make the convey the idea we wished them to descent more gradual, and the whole understand, the intermixture of was a complete success. The garries Bengali often determining the sense. arrived, the bullocks were taken This was more or less felt through out, and) with considerable anxiety, the whole tour. The demeanour of lest our frail structure should give the people was pleasing, and their way beneath the weight, or the evident desire to understand enwheels persist in running off the couraging. While I was speaking the edge and letting the whole a well dressed Baboo came up to
236 Settlement at Russell Condah and a Visit to the Meriah Villages.
me and wished to open a dis. | wrong, but that all things were in cussion quite foreign to the subject accordance with the will of God. I was enlarging upon, and when I It was cheering on the other expressed my disapprobation, and hand to find many indications that kindly told him the discussion while the cause of Christ is making real interesting to us would not be so progress in the district. It was to the people near, he moved off, evide that our message was not mumbling as he went, " Why does new; many had read our tracts and the Sahib consult the interest of were more or less acquainted with such ragged rascals ?.” His object the leading doctrines of christianity; was to show his own learning. We others were still further advanced remained at this encampment up- and were perfectly familiar with the wards of a week, and visited quite entire plan of salvation. There was a number of markets. Several something specially interesting in times three were held in different the case of one fine old man, whose directions in one day, and by divid- long white bairand intelligentcounte. ing our strength we were enabled nance would have prepossessed to visit all. The district is rich in us in his favour under any circum. markets, though many of them are stances. He spent much of the rather small.
time we remained at his village in our society and in that of our native
brethren, and manifested perfect SETTLEMENT AT RUSSELL In the course of conversation be
familiarity with nearly all our books. CONDAH AND A VISIT TO also repeated to us his daily form of
prayer, and in everything but name THE MERIAH VILLAGES. appears to be a christian. At our
first interview his “mela," or neckIn company with brother W. Bailey lace, was pointed ont as a restige of I left Berhampore on the morning idolatry, and we were surprised as of February 7th. We were joined well as delighted to find on seeing in a day or two by brother Goadby him again that even this had been who had been obliged to remain removed. He is the beadman of behind to superintend the packing the village in which he lives and of the goods. We took a circuitous doubtless possesses considerable in. route in order that we might visit a fluence. Were he to make an open goodly number of towns and villages profession of christianity, we might on the way and preach in them “the hope for important results, but at gospel of the kingdom.”. The con present there are too many reasons gregations were good in almost for supposing that, like many others every place, but our experience was in this country, he sbrinks from the of that varied character which in great sacrifices that would be inthe present state of hindoo society volved. must necessarily fall to the lot of the missionary. I was never so But our principal object in exdeeply impressed with the deadening tending the tour was to visit the effects of heathenism on the minds cluster of villages near Gotoli, of the people, or with such a pro- where a considerable number of found sense of the absolute ne- rescued Meriahs have been located cessity of “power from on high" to by Government, and to ascertain rouse them from their lethargy. what steps might be taken in conThey often regarded the most solemn nection with the mission at Russell warnings and the most earnest Condah to promote the spiritual appeals with absolute indifference, welfare of these unfortunate people, and on more than one occasion had and if possible to prepare the way the bardihood to state that there for establishing a regular religious was no difference between right and service amongst them.
Settlement at Russell Condah and a Visit to the Meriah Villages. 237
Our way thither led through the were people-men and women who valley of Goomsoor, said to be un- had once been appointed victims of equalled for fertility and beauty in the most dreadful superstition the this part of India, and it was mind of man can entertain. Some interesting to pass on our way of these, our fellow creatures, whole fields of sugar-cane, tobacco, brethren and sisters in humanity, and hemp, and other kinds of produce responsible alike to our common peculiar to the country. On arriving Ureator, bad once been on the very at Gotoli we found that the Khond point of suffering death in its most villages were no less than six in horrid form, as sacrifices to a number, but each of them small, sanguinary goddess. and the people were poorly clad and looked wretched in the extreme.
But in conversation with them it Their complexion is generally much
was found that their spiritual condarker than that of the Oriya, but dition was equally if not even more varies a good deal, and it may be deplorable. They are literally "withinferred from the fact that they were
out God in the world." They at first rescued at different times and in stated positively that they had no places distant from each other that religion, that their whole time was they are of widely different origin.
spent in ministering to the wants of
the body and in the things pertaining We found numerous evidences
to the present life. But dark and that they were nearly as low in the dreadful as the picture is, there is scale of civilization as it is possible every reason to believe that with a for human beings to become. The great part of them it is perfectly only cart I saw amongst them had true. They are born, but no prayer
is offered that their life may be solid wheels like those represented in pictures of the most ancient cars.
consecrated to God. They grow up, Their dealings with each other are
but merely to pursue every form of
wickedness their principally carried on by way of
own depraved barter, so that we found it impossible the beasts of the field can be said
nature suggests. They marry, if to obtain change for a rupee.
The children wear iron ornaments on
to do so, for no ceremony consecrates their wrists, the men commonly
the union, nor is there anything to carry battle axes and pikes about
render it binding upon them, and with them. And not long after our
they die as they have lived, without tent had been pitched I saw
a ray of light, a word of consolation, number of youths defile past in or the faintest hope of happiness in
the endless and
future. single line carrying stout bows and rudely-barbed iron-pointed arrows
After death the body is carried to a in their hands. They are so low convenient spot outside the village that even their own countrymen
and burnt to ashes, and there is no above the “ ghat?
other ceremony to indicate that a pašses disown them, and the hindoos rational and `immortal soul has of the plains commonly speak of passed into eternity. them as nearly on a level with the And even in investigating this beasts of the jungle.
subject more closely, we were only
able to ascertain that there were It is scarcely necessary to say some curiously formed stones on a that their appearance excited in our neighbouring mountain which some hearts feelings of the deepest com- of the people occasionally went to miseration, the more especially worship, and that the more imwhen associated with the frigbtful portant events of life were marked death from which they have been by those who could afford it, by the rescued. But it was hard fully to slaughter of an ox or goat, the flesh realize our position, it seemed more of the victim being given as a feast like a dream than a reality-for here for the people.
It was peculiarly interesting and able influence over the minds of the even affecting to find in these remote children, and the presence in the villages several of the Meriahs who village of his wife and step-mother, bad once been children in the school both of them members of the church, at Berhampore. A few of these after will we trust also have a good inthe free and barbarous life they had fuence there, especially as the led found it hard to brook the re. latter (who is the mother of one of straints of civilized life and pined our native preachers) possesses more after their native jungles, one or than an average knowledge of scriptwo fled and have never been heard ture truth, and is in other respects of since; and we found six or seven a skilful and intelligent woman. located here, one of them, however, now a robust young woman seemed There is a small bungalow near to feel keenly the degradation of the schoolroom which at present is her present position. Our appearance useless and deserted, but if repaired had evidently revived the memory would afford us accommodation in of brighter days for she wept much our visits to the place, and there as she referred to them. We were seems to be every prospect of its anxious to ascertain whether she being available for the purpose. had entirely forgotten the instruc. We do not close our eyes to the fact tion received, and whether she still that on account of the very degraded possessed any of the books given state of the people much patient her at school ; of the latter she pro- and persevering effort will be reduced two, a small tract and a much quired, but we do hope that with worn and soiled copy of the New the blessing of our Heavenly Father Testament. At our request she a people may ultimately be raised read a few verses from the latter, even here to the love and service of but with a voice so plaintive and in the Saviour. We earnestly solicit a manner so touching that I shall the sympathy and prayers of our never forget the scene. Here we brethren and sisters in England, felt that at least there was something and in the meantime would say with to appeal to, and though the incident the apostle, “Let us not be weary may have no direct spiritual signi, in well-doing, for in due season we ficance it at once established a bond shall reap if we faint not." of sympathy between us and encouraged us to proceed in our efforts Soon after leaving Gotoli, brother to benefit the people.
Bailey returned to Berhampore, and
brother Goadby and myself pursued Nor is this the only encourage. our way to Russell Condab. We ment we receive in the work. A arrived on the evening of February Government school has been estab- 26th, and have commenced our work lished for the children, and a young here with every prospect of useful. man from our christian community ness. at Berhampore appointed master.
T. BAILEY. He will doubtless exercise consider
Foreign Letters Keceived.
BERAAMPORE.-W. Bailey, April 13, 17. CUTTACK.-J. Buckley, March 18, 25, Choga.-1. Stubbins, March 14.
April 4, 17. CUTTACK, —W. Brooks, March 25.
-G. Taylor, March 31. RUSSELL Condah.-T. Bailey, March 6. Contributions
RECEIVED ON ACCOUNT OF TIIE GENERAL BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY,
From April 20th, to May 20th, 1863.
Mr. and Mrs. Deeley Small sums
£ S. d. 0 5 0 0 5 0 3 12 0
£ 8. d. Public Collections
4 1 6 Rev. G. Towler
0 10 0 By Miss Lumby
0 17 0 Mr. Andrew's box
0 12 6 Mrs. Whitme's box
0 10 6 Mrs. Tomlin's box
0 7 6 The Bible Class
0 3 6 E. Chapman's card
0 2 6 Annie Dobson's card
0 2 0 M. A. Kernick's card
0 1 6 Mrs. Craxfords
0 1 6
7 10 0 Less Expenses
4 0 Bath. Miss Graves
1 0 0 Ditto, for Special Fund 1 0 0
2 0 0 BILLESDON. Public Collections
4 17 4 Mr. Hy. Allen, for Orphan ... 2 100 Mr. W. Fox
1 10 0 Miss Atkin
0 10 0 Miss E. Atkin
1 0 0 Proceeds of Needlework sold
by Miss Atkin's Pupils 1 0 0
By Mrs. PrestonRev. I. Preston Mrs. Elliott Mr. Harris Miss Harris Mr. J. Butcher Miss Latham ... Mrs. J. Reading Mr. Scott Mr. Bunker Mrs. Bunker Mrs. Andrews Mr. Hinton Mr. Sprigens ... Mrs. Margrove Mrs. J. Barnes Mrs. J. Birch... Mrs. F. Payne Mr. Puddephatt, sen. Mr. Paddephatt, jun, Mr. W.Puddephatt Mr. G. Darvell Mr. Harding, sen. Mrs. Abbott Miss Atkins Mr. Grover Mr. Warner Miss Sibley A Friend Mr. G. Lewis ... Mr. Wilson Mr. J. Hutchinson Mrs. Carter, Asbridge Forty-one subscribers of sums
1 0 0 0 15 0 0 10 0 10 8 0 10 6 0 10 0 0 10 0 0 10 0 0 10 0 0 5 0 0 5 0
5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 5 0 0 5 0 5 0 5
Sunday, Scholars, Giris 3. d.}O 6 4
11 13 8 Less Expenses
3 6 CHESHAM Public Collections
12 4 10 J. Garrett, Esq.
22 0 0 Ditto, additional towards the debt...
...100 0 0 Juvenile Association.-Collected in the Sabbath School
6 8 1 W. Hinson's card
0 8 0 Master Clare's card
0 6 0 Dawson Preston's card
0 5 0 Sums under 5s.
6 4 21
17 5 104
8 2 Profit on Tea...
2 15 6
11 10 95
0 7 0
1 0 0 Mr. and Mrs. Batchelor
1 0 0
166 12 8 Less Expenses
12 6 FORD. Public Collections
2 11 8 Special ditto
2 5 0 By Mr. R. SaundersRev. W. Hood
0 10 0 Mr. Tapping, of Kimblewick 0 10 0 Mr. Clarke, of Moreton Farm 0 10 0 A Friend
0 5 0 Small sums
1 1 4 2 16