Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

CONVERSIONS.

mind only your shastres.” Bikram- | all that had been told him. “But," pore lies to the north of Dacca, and he added, “I have one favour to has occasionally been visited by our ask. Do grant it. I want to hear missionary brethren. “I asked you pray. I tell God every day how him," continues Mr. Bion, “what I feel, and what I wish to become ; he meant, and said that I had often but I am afraid I do not ask for the been in those parts, but had not met right things, or if I do, I fear I do with any christians. He said, 'Oh not ask in the right way.” They they do not openly say so, but retired to pray. As the missionary christians they are, for I see them ceased the youthful brahmin began; always reading your Bible together, but after a time his feelings overand they argue like you with hindoos came him, and he could pray no against their shastres.'

This was

more. He left. At a subsequent new to us, but it is another proof visit he wished with a companion to how much the knowledge of the be baptized, but when told of the gospel is spreading, and that it is sacrifices it involved he asked for not a fruitless work to itinerate and delay, and went away. distribute the gospel liberally.”

Of a similar nature are the cases related by the Rev. W. A Hobbs, of two young Kulin brahmins of the But notwithstanding the perse. highest caste, by whom he was cutions which await the converts, visited. After a long conversation and the many obstacles that beset with one he exclaimed, “ This, this the path of the sincere inquirer, is the true religion, I cannot see there are many who face the hostility any fault in it.” For three days he which the confession of Christ calls stayed with the missionary, enduring forth, and cheerfully take up the many inward strugglings.

His cross.

Amid the defections which parents, he said, were dependent on have taken place in Delhi, the him for support, and would curse missionaries have nevertheless been him if he became a christian. He greatly cheered by the glorious wished almost he had no parents, work of grace which has appeared for his own soul's sake. At last he in others. The history of our took leave, blessing God that he had native brother Subha Chund is an met with the missionary, and pro interesting illustration. It was in mising to inquire earnestly and the streets of Delhi that he met carefully on his arrival in Calcutta. with the Word of God. It im. In the second case the missionary pressed his heart, and he speedily was sought out that the inquirer resolved to put on Christ. On his might gratify his desire to hear of return to his village, of which he the great salvation. That you is indeed the proprietor, he was may understand my motives,” said cruelly persecuted ; his wife forsook the youthful brahmin, “I will at him, and his family and neighbours once confess that I am in heart a put him out of caste. For seven christian. I have read your New months he was constrained to live Testament, or at least parts of it. under a tree in one of his fields. I feel myself a wicked person, de- of all this he did not complain. serving of hell. I love Jesus better | "I suffer nothing,” he said, “to than anybody, and I desire to know what my Saviour did.” At length more about Him that I may love his prayers were heard, and bis Him more.

For this reason I am endurance has been rewarded. His come to see you.” For more than wife returned to his house. At first, an hour he listened, his eyes often by night, several of the villagers sparkling with joy as

came to hear more of the Saviour light dawned in his mind. He now of whom in the day-time he would begged the missionary to cease. He speak to them in the streets and by would go home and try to remember the wayside. Insult did not turn

some

new

The Baptist Mission in India.

357

[ocr errors]

him from his purpose. He returned me by the king.” Led, we trust by a blessing for a curse, love for a Divine guide, Prince Mirza has at enmity. This divine, this living length declared himself on the love, at length wrought its will, Lord's side. One rich Moslem, and on a recent visit to the village connected by marriage with.the late by the Rev. T. Evans, it was found king, offered a bribe of one hundred that fifty families had become his rupees and ten rupees monthly to a friends, and had even willingly native christian, who is the husband endured the loss of caste on account of a granddaughter of the late king, of their adherence to Subha Chund. if he would persuade Prince Mirza One of his adversaries thus ex- against becoming a christian. pressed his impression of the change Not less interesting is the conthat the gospel had wrought in him. version of a man in the district of Before, he was a rough rope of Backergunge from among the lowest hemp, but now he is become a ranks of the social scale. Long had smooth silken cord.” One man, an Joy Kishto exercised his gift as a evident but hesitating believer in singer in the temple and at the Christ, said, “I have come to the festivals of the idol-gods of his cross, and I stand to consider native land. Wherever the praises whether I can carry it or not.''

of the wicked Krishna were to be Another conversion of no little sung, there assuredly would Joy interest is that of one of the princes Kishto appear. By and bye he was of the house of Delhi, Prince Mirza attracted to the little chapel at Feroze Shah. He is a nephew of Koligaon by the singing there. He the late king, and the only remain- listened. He came again and again. ing member in Delhi of the great The tunes pleased him, but the sentihouse of Timour, who can lay ments of the hymns he could not claim to pure royal blood. He is a understand. He entered the chapel. man of studious habits, and has The narratives of the Old Testament for years been engaged in comparing interested him, and the preacher's the Koran with the Bible. He used explanations brought light into his to sit for hours together at the mind. Then the sorrows and suffer. feet of our late missionary, the Rev. ings of Christ engrossed his atJ. Thompson, and was more than tention. There was no narrative once threatened with his uncle's like this, he thought. At times he royal displeasure for introducing could think of nothing else. One christian topics into his conversation day he went to a young native at the Court of Delhi. After Mr. preacher who could write verses, Thompson's death he frequently and begged for a hymn on the death bought conversation with our of Christ. “I have a tune for the martyred native brother, Walayat hymn," he said. He obtained his Ali, and at the outbreak of the wish, and was heard to sing scarcely mutiny Walayat's wife and children anything else. He then sought found a temporary refuge in his another hymn, and on the same house. Since then he has written a subject. Now Joy Kishto seemed tract on the divinity of Christ, and happy, and never happier than when endured much persecution from the he was singing how Christ lived and mohammedans. When asked by died for us. His home became a Mr. Evans if at the time of his place of prayer, and he sought to acquaintance with Mr. Thompson lead his wife to the Saviour. he really believed in Christ, he said, Brahmin and mussalman found in "I did fully believe that Christ him an ardent opponent, and on was the Saviour, but I did not then Mr. Page's arrival Joy Kishto joy. see my own need of Him, nor could fully presented himself openly to I at that time be persuaded to make assume the profession of the chris. an open profession of Christ, and tian name. forfeit 500 rupees a month allowed. Of a different character, but

a

similarly illustrative of the power tion might be of the happiest and of the gospel to subdue the heart of most beneficial character. I hope every variety of hindoo caste, are the Bazaar was a good one, and that the conversions recorded by the it answered the most sanguine exRev. R. Bion. A man called a baul pectations of the warmest friends of came in his wanderings to Jangalia. our College. I could wish the sequel The mabant (the head of a kind of may prove that the debt has been college) there, who had hitherto cleared off the premises, for I detest been an adversary of the gospel, debts anywhere, especially in matters was delighted to see this man with relating to the kingdom of Christ. his long hair, small tinkling bells I remember to have startled friends on his feet, and long necklace, with at home sometimes by telling them his poita, or brahminical thread. that of all the hundreds of thousands He thought by the means of this of hindoo temples and mohammedan devotee of idols to drive the chris- mosques in this country, not one of tians of the village away, The them was in debt. The people think mahant then made over several houses they owe much to their god, and as to the baul, called him his guru (or a token of their gratitude they build religious teacher), and worshipped him a temple and generally liberally him. Curiosity brought the baul | endow it so that the priest may have into contact with the native con. a good portion. Fellow-christian, verts. At first he argued with them. how much owest thou to thy Lord ? Then his visits became frequent and Ponder this question and don't gag open, and it was apparent that some conscience nor your purse either. word of Divine truth had fastened But while we have felt anxious for on his heart. He shared his gifts the welfare of the College, it will not of milk and sweetmeats with the be matter of surprise that we have christians, and at length announced felt intensely so about the Missionhimself as ready to follow Christ. not that I am going to discuss the He cut off the long matted hair comparative merits of the two or to which hung down to his knees, hold up one at the expense of the divested himself of his silver orna- other; I should despise myself if I ments, gave his necklace and poita were capable of it, even as I should to the missionary, and in the despise those who are. There is no presence of numerous spectators, need for jealousy in relation to some of whom wept, was baptized. either, and I hope there is none. Soon after this the mahant too be. I am sure there is none in the minds came a changed and humble man, of their best friends and most and after a probation of some liberal supporters, but we months was admitted, with his wife, especially anxious in relation to the into the church of God. Both these Mission, because we learned that the men in their heathen state had a Society was deeply involved in debt large body of disciples and followers, so much so that it was matter of and their conversion cannot but have question whether the Committee a salutary effect on their minds. would be able to discharge the duties

they have undertaken. However,

we hope the mail that brings us LETTER FROM REV. . tidings of the Association will also I. STUBBINS. bring us tidings of the extinction of

the debt on the Mission. I say the Cuttack, July 1, 1863. mail that brings us the tidings, for

I hope there will be such a mail, OUR thoughts, as you will suppose, though positively I hardly know were very much with you last week. where to look for the person who We tried to picture the sittings and will avail himself of it, for we could business of each day, and earnestly sometimes fancy that all the good did we pray that the whole Associa- | old-fashioned quill pens were flying

were

Letter from Reo. I. Stubbins.

339

about in the air or floating about in scarcely a Hurry Bol could be raised. the deep where no human hand I think it was the first morning after could reach them, and that Gillott my arrival a pundah came up and and all the other steel pen makers recognized me as the old sahib, and had relentlessly shut up shop and became rather loquacious about the dismissed all hands to a self-seeking efficacy of the Maha Mantra-I anything but conducive to public asked him to repeat it—"Oh, said weal. There are, however, some he, if you should hear that you whose right hand has not forgot its would be too pure to be born a sahib cunning in the use of the pen, and in the next birth, you would be born among these I cannot forbear to a hindoo." I then repeated and name my dear old friend Thomas exposed it, and he soon departed to Thirlby, of Normanton, who re- pursue his deeds of darkness. cently sent me a letter worth more Many of the people seemed really than its weight in gold, and was the concerned about their souls, and we admiration of all our Mission circle cannot but hope fruit will yet appear. here, for I sent it as a special treat The worst job that I had was the to all.

last evening of our stay. I was Well, while you were enjoying alone against the Gorudicha temple, yourself, as I hope you were, at the the temple to which Juggernath reAssociation, I was at that emporium pairs with his brother and sister. of all wickedness and hatefulness - Two of the cars had already been Pooree. I had previously decided not drawn up and the crowd was very to go as brother Buckley was wish- large. Under these circumstances ful to be there, and I felt that the it would not have been matter of state of the Society's funds de surprise if I had been rudely in. manded the utmost economy; albeit, sulted, but instead of this the people I may remark in passing, how pain. were very respectful, only it reful and sad it is that any should quired great effort to make myself be obliged to think of staying away heard by the mass that seemed from such important scenes of labour anxious to hear, and having it all to from the low state of Christ's ex- myself, I had not only to preach chequer among you. Buckley how loud but also long, and to answer ever was unable to go in consequence every question that was put to me. of small-pox in the school, so that I | Ultimately I found my voice gone went. It was pleasing to spend the and have not fully recovered it yet. Lord's-day at Piplee, and see and So far as the festival was concerned preach to the dear people there on it was the most miserable affair I the way, but deeply painful to wit- have ever seen. The cars, the cloth ness the traces of the hand of death that decorated them, the paintings, in three little tombs near the chapel. &c., were all old and very dirty and The tombs, as I learned, of three of ragged. As to Juggernath and the brother and sister Taylor's precious other idols the rain had smeared children.

or washed off the paint terribly, so On Monday morning I found mythat they looked in the most woeself at Pooree, enjoying the united begone plight imaginable. One day hospitality of Bond's and Miller's, when I was preaching against These dear friends with Mr. Taylor Soobhadra's car the painter had got and Miss Brooks had been spending his pots and brushes fresh adorning the hot season there. It was the the fair lady's face which the rain work of every day to visit the had so pitilessly marred. I need bazaar once or twice. We had al. not say I made a sort of text of the most invariably large and attentive event, and not a few were induced congregations. The conduct of the to acknowledge—"true; if these people and even of the pundahs were gods could they not take better generally, contrasted very favour- care of themselves--our eyes would ably with that of by-gone years— not wash out if buckets-full of

[ocr errors]

water were to fall on them, and is would not suffice to record the dark not God's eye as good as ours ?” deeds of these miserable men who

The mortality was great, but not represent themselves as the special so great as I have often seen it, as favourites of the Lord of the world. the weather was fine and the pilgrims One day I met the Collector of comparatively few. There were up- Pooree and our Commissioner in wards of ninety pilgrims in the the festival. I pointed out the for. hospital during the festival, and at lorn state of everything connected a rough guess you may put this with the idols, cars, &c. "Yes, down at about one - tenth of the said the Collector, it seems as though sufferers. Some of the tales the it was on its last legs. Would that doctor told us were heart - rending. it may prove so ! We remained He said there was then in the several days after the festival, i. e., hospital a poor young woman about after the idols were brought out of twenty - two years of age in deep the temple and put on the cars, and distress. Her mother and brother enjoyed the opportunities for preachhad gone away and left her on the ing after the heat of the excitement road to die; and now, without a even more than before. When we friend and far from home what could left to return to our homes we found she do? Others said that they had the road in a most wretched state. money with them when taken ill, but From Piplee I was more than twelve the pundahs had taken all away, and hours coming twenty - five miles. in one case a poor young woman was These roads are a perfect disgrace robbed not only of her money, brass to a civilized Government. No vessels, and ornaments, but even of wonder at the uproar in England her cloth, and left on the road quite about them. I wish it was ten times naked, ready as it should seem for greater than it is. Why for five the dogs to begin their meal ! or six successive days the post was Generally speaking they are glad stopped on the road from Calcutta, to recover, but one old lady did not and I hear there are some ten at all approve of the doctor's inter- thousand pilgrims stopped without ference. She seemed to be dying, either food or shelter, and that they but he forced some medicine down are dying by hordes of cholera and her, and she recovered ; she how. starvation! What trade, what com. ever abused him lustily for robbing merce, what anything can go on in the god of her, just when he was such a country? It is time this going to take her away. Speaking D. P. W.-i. e., “Department of of the pundahs, the doctor called Public Works” was transferred to them “ Human Carrionand really some other department. This road no other term seems so fitly to de- you must remember is always filled scribe them. A poor old man came with traffic, and is traversed by up to me in great distress one day, hundreds of thousands of people saying that a pundah had clipped a annually !! hole in his cloth and taken away his While I went to Pooree I left money bag which contained rupees instructions for some of the native 4-2 or 8s. 3d., which was all he had. preachers to go to the Dhekanall He had a long way to go to his where a large festival is held. They home, and not a fraction left to pro. were kindly entertained by the rajah, cure food on the road. Bitterly to whom I gave them a letter. Pray did he curse the pundahs and Jugger that the seed thus sown by the side nath and all, and vowed he would of all waters may yield an abundant "never come there again.” Volumes ) harvest.

Editor's Note.--A press of interesting matter compels the omission until next month of Contribution Lists and other articles. In order to insert them the Editor was anxious to curtail some of the papers given in the present number, even after they were in type. He leaves it to his readers to judge whether this could have been done with advantage. Seldom has it been his lot to read so deeply interesting and encouraging a paper as that headed “ The Baptist Mission in India." "He commends every word of it to the grateful study of all the friends of our own Society.

[ocr errors]

a

« PreviousContinue »