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territories behind Sierra Leone are entirely without missionaries; the fruitful work in Yoruba, once so vigorously carried on, is now only just kept going; the upper waters of the Niger and Binue still await the messengers of the Cross; on the east side, where advance has been so remarkable, immense populations have never yet seen a white man, and there are actual invitations from those who have that still remain unheeded.
Look at North-West America. Some time ago we thought our work was pretty well done there. Ask the Bishops of Saskatchewan and Caledonia what they think of that! The former acknowledges the blessing God has vouchsafed: "I do not believe," he says, "that in all the wide world there has been so large a proportion of a heathen population converted to Christianity in so short a time as among our Indians." Yet he points to thousands of still untouched Red Men in the remoter districts; while Bishop Ridley, as the readers of the GLEANER know, spent last winter in teaching A B C to heathen Kitiksheans, for lack of a schoolmaster.
Such is the outlook abroad. What is the outlook at home? Certainly there are many things that call for thanksgiving.
First, the average ordinary income of the Society (not including special funds) is £40,000 a year more than it was ten years ago.
Secondly, in that period three deficiency funds have been raised, amounting together to £57,000; more than £30,000 has been given for East and Central Africa; £16,000 has been given in memory of Henry Venn and Henry Wright; nearly £60,000 has been put aside by one man (Mr. W. C. Jones) for the training and support of Native agents; £20,000 has been entrusted to the Society for Famine Relief; and within the last year and a-half, £17,000 has been given for extension.
Thirdly, more than half the counties of England have, within the last two years, been mapped out into convenient districts, each with at least one Honorary District Secretary; and of these unpaid representatives of the Society-who are quite independent of the locally-appointed Secretaries of Local Associations-there are now several hundred.
Fourthly, after four or five years of keeping back men ready to go forth, the Society is, at last, again appealing for men. That it should be able to do so is a crowning mercy indeed. Let us all now pray the Lord of the harvest, that He will "thrust forth" labourers into His harvest.
What a call, then, is there to us to go on working more heartily than ever in the support of this great cause! and what encouragement! If only all our friends would do what some do, the Society would soon be expanding in all directions. Take, for example, the four northern counties, and see how their contributions have grown in twenty years. Between 1860 and 1880, Northumberland has risen from £489 to £1,588; Durham, from £1,436 to £3,016; Cumberland, from £708 to £1,345; Westmoreland, from £327 to £1,060; together, from £2,960 to £7,009, or 136 per cent. If the whole country had done like that, the Society's income would now be just £300,000 a year! And that would be no more than it wants!
Or take more particular cases. Here is a well-to-do parish, which raised for several years about £120 a year, and then at one bound doubled the amount (which has not again gone back), simply because an energetic layman took up the cause and canvassed the subscription. Here is another parish, giving only annual sermons and a few subscriptions: a new vicar comes, and begins to give out missionary boxes: in the second year these boxes produce £147 9s. 4d. Here is a Sunday-school doing literally nothing: a visitor makes a suggestion or two: in the next year it raises £100, and keeps up at that figure.
But, says a kindly but timid reader, We are so poor; or, We have so much to do for our home work; or, We have a debt on our church; or, We want a new organ! Did any home objects ever suffer because a parish was full of missionary zeal ? Never! The missionary cause is exactly like Elijah at Zarephath. Can the widow give him a morsel of bread? No: the last handful of meal is for her and her son, that they may eat it and die. But what says Elijah? "Make me thereof a little cake first, and after make for thee and for thy son." And she did; and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.'
A SHINTO FESTIVAL AT OSAKA.
BY THE REV. G. H. POLE. WITNESSED here on Monday last (25th July, 1881) a sight the like of which I never saw before, and the many friends of the Church Missionary Society in England ought certainly to hear a little, at any rate, about it. So I will try to describe it as clearly and accurately as possible, and perhaps some hearts may be stirred, as mine was, in pity for the hundreds of thousands of heathen people in this great city. If so, I hope they will not forget to pray for us who are trying to lead them to the only true God, the Light of Life.
For some days previously the city had been working itself up into a state of excitement, by the incessant beating of drums and gongs in a peculiar way. It was dreadfully noisy and painfully monotonous, and I was beginning to complain bitterly to my teacher, who, however, comforted me by saying that it was nothing to what was coming on Monday! And he was quite right.
The next indication of approaching festivities was the erection of booths and platforms on the sides of the river, the hanging out of large white and coloured lanterns, and the carrying through the streets on the shoulders of scores of coolies, all dressed alike, of a large kettledrum on long horizontal poles, with a great ornamental bolster in front and behind. Four, and in one case six, young lads were seated between the drum and the bolsters, each armed with two short thick drumsticks, with which they kept beating the drum in a most solemn yet ludicrous manner. They had curious red cloth head-dresses on, sticking up a foot or so above their heads and hanging down over their shoulders. They kept slowly bending down, all together, till their headdresses touched each other and their faces almost touched the drum. They would then each give two gentle
Towards six o'clock the excitement commenced. Crowds of people began assembling on the bridges and banks of the river. Our Foreign Concession here, usually so quiet in an evening, was alive and bustling with men, women, and children of all classes. The river itself was alive with boats of all shapes and sizes, most of them gaily decorated with various shaped and coloured paper lanterns. At dusk I also went out on the river in my canoe.
For some distance up the river from the settlement iron baskets had been fixed on poles, stuck in the river on both sides, at regular intervals of about fifteen or twenty yards, and in these baskets wood fires were kept burning, which had a fine effect, lighting up all the river and neighbour
hood like so many huge torches. Occasionally a boat with its fiery burden would pass down the stream; and incessant drumming and gonging was kept up vigorously everywhere.
The people in the boats, as on shore, were all dressed in holiday attire. The children had on their bright dresses and scarfs. Many of the girls'faces were whitened, their lips reddened, and the pretty little artificial flowers and tinsel were sticking in their neatly dressed raven black hair. Every one was prepared for making a night of it. They had brought their food, and were, in many cases, partaking of it as we passed them. Some damsels were singing (!) or playing the samisen. We saw in one boat a table and some chairs, in foreign style, and the Occupants were comfortably eating their dinner and smoking, evidently quite at home.
I must mention a noteworthy circumstance. While all the houses, boats, bridges, streets, &c., showed signs of rejoicing and tokens of honour to the Kami (god) whose festival it was, the Seifu, or town hall-the great Government building, in foreign style with a grand dome, overlooking the river, and situated just at a place were most people were assembled-had not one single lantern on it, nor was there the slightest indication that it looked with any favour on the proceedings. I hear the Government ignores all but the principal Shinto Divinity, Amateracu-no-mikoto, the Goddess of the Sun, from whom the Emperor is supposed to be descended. We went close up to one of the huge bonfires in order to see what was being done. Some men were adding fresh fuel to the flames; others were pouring water on the sand at the bottom and putting out any sparks or ashes which threatened to set light to the platform itself. A number of men and boys were posturing in grotesque attitudes round the fire, in the usual religious (Shinto) dance, turning round and round, throwing up their hands and kicking up their heels, with a peculiar jerk. They were nearly naked, having on only a sort of waistcoat and bathing drawers of a bright red colour. When any one got rather too warm he would jump off the platform into the water to cool himself.
taps on the drum, after which they gave a tremendous "bang" and threw themselves, head-dresses and all, suddenly back against the bolsters, each holding one of his drum-sticks across his forehead all the time.
On Monday morning I saw that wooden platforms had been put up, at intervals, in the river, on which huge piles of wood were being erected for bonfires; and a great many boats were being loaded with similar piles. A thick layer of wetted sand was strewn on the platforms and boats on which the wood was laid, so as to prevent the timber of the boats, &c., from catching fire, and I noticed during the evening that men were kept constantly at work keeping the sand wet while the fire was burning.
Great paper lanterns, too, were hung up outside each house and on each side of the river. Red bunting and young bamboo shoots and other green stuff were displayed on the river banks, houses, and arches of the bridges on the route of the procession.
About nine o'clock, not knowing what time the procession was to pass, I landed from my canoe and went home. On my way it was quite
refreshing to hear strains of Christian music coming from one of the houses. The Japanese girls of Miss Oxlad's school were singing very sweetly their hymn before going to bed-a marked contrast to the noisy row going on all around outside.
After reading a little and writing a letter, the noise outside seeming to increase, I went out in time to see the beginning of the procession. A monster bonfire came first and settled itself down just at a corner where the procession had to turn, and by its light we could see everything well. There was no moon, so we were entirely dependent for light on the fires and lanterns. Then came a number of boats, each with a small fire in front, hung with lanterns in very artistic manners, and occupied by people apparently of very various classes. On a good many there were fires, with naked men and boys posturing and jumping about in wild, barbarian style. In others, families were quietly sitting, singing or playing music. On all, drums and gongs were being beaten furiously.
Then there came a lull, and I thought it must surely now be all over (a little after eleven o'clock). So I returned home, disappointed and rather disgusted. Was this a religious festival? What was there religious about it? The people seemed out merely for amusement's sake. any sensible people could come and sit out on a bridge, or on the river's bank, or in a boat, for four or five hours, merely to look at such ridiculous nonsense as I had seen, was past my comprehension. I made up my mind that those people must surely be right who said (like Miss Bird) that the Japanese had no real religious instincts, and that they were merely a gay, frivolous, pleasure-seeking nation who got up these "matsuri” (festivals) for the sake of amusement alone.
While, however, I was thus musing, I heard strains of a very different character. There came a solemn lull in the drum-beating and gong-ringing, and above them rose the sound of slow, sustained notes of music from the sacred flutes, or bagpipes, of the priests. A hush seemed to come over the crowds too, and I heard the noise of those frequent and regular claps of the hands which always accompany Japanese prayers.
I rushed out, as quickly as possible, to the river bank, and there saw a sight which I shall never forget. It was the conclusion of the procession: it was the sight these thousands of people had been so patiently and deliberately awaiting since six o'clock. I had gone away without seeing the one thing of importance.
There were three long boats, each lit up and ornamented with fires and lanterns. The first one was filled with priests dressed in blue garments, with the musical instruments. There were probably as many as thirty or forty of them. They kept up a soft, slow, subdued, solemn, sustained hum, for it can scarcely be called music, being for the most part on one note, though with occasional variation.
The second boat contained a number of priests dressed in gorgeous and quaint garments, with very fine banners, lanterns, and fans, surrounding a sacred ark, or shrine, called Mikoshi, said to contain the Gohei or emblem of a spirit (Kami). This little shrine, standing about 8 feet high, was a blaze of gold and colour, and with the dim light of the lanterns and torches, and the priestly accompaniments and music, produced a remarkably "religious " effect.
But it was far more affecting to me to notice how all the crowds around were awestruck with superstitious reverence-how suddenly this gay and frivolous multitude was transferred into a most solemn worshipping assembly. Each person around me (and the same seemed to be done everywhere) clapped hands together and bowed down head as this gilt box passed, and the look of real seriousness and devotion on the majority of their faces was quite a picture.
But you will like to know who this Kami is, who has the power to make such an impression and call forth such earnest devotion.
Well, he is no supreme or important divinity. He is only a celebrated saint. He is merely a human being, like ourselves, who, in his lifetime, never pretended to be anything more, but who, since his death, has been deified by later generations. He was "a polished courtier, the Beauclerc of his age"-a man of great learning and high scholarship. He had great influence at court in his day, but through the wicked intrigue of his enemies he was banished to Kiushiu and there died of starvation in 903. The posthumous name by which he is now worshipped is Ten Man Gu, or TENJIN. He is regarded as the patron Kami of letters and literature. All students, whether Buddhist or Shinto, worship his spirit on commencing their studies, and even the children in the schools are taught to pray to him.
The spirit of this man, then, was the object of all this enthusiasm, excitement, and devotion. It is very sad to think that the religious emotions of the poor people here should be so stirred up and aroused in honour of one who has no true claim whatever on their worship. He may have been, and no doubt was, a benefactor to his country, but he has certainly no right to honours which belong only to God. He who is the True Wisdom is ignored, while the wisest of their own fellow-creatures and countrymen is put into His place!
Let no one say again, however, that the Japanese are incapable of any true religious emotions. I have no hesitation in saying that an exceedingly strong spirit of earnest devotion was plainly manifest, moving among
those masses. It may possibly have been only momentary and transient. It certainly was grossly superstitious. But, unquestionably, it was there. The Japanese are, most undoubtedly, therefore, susceptible of religious impressions; and if they can be guided and disciplined to use these emotions and instincts in the only way worthy of their employment, viz., in spiritual, rather than material, worship; and if they can be taught to exercise them towards the one object alone worthy of their veneration— viz., the only true Kami-there is most certainly a most glorious prospect, with the Lord's blessing, for Christianity in Japan. Osaka, 28th July, 1881.
"Out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."-Rev. v. 9. VIII.-Ganga Bai, a "Mother in Israel."
HE degraded condition of the Eastern woman has long been a subject of deep sorrow to such of their Western sisters as possess sufficient mind and heart to feel for any woes but their own. It has also long been plain to every reflecting mind that it is idle to expect even the nominal conversion of a nation, with full half the population unreached by the Gospel.
Many a devoted Zenana worker brings back tales which would be amusing, were they not pathetic, of the childish ignorance of the poor women amongst whom she labours-of their readiness to be diverted by trifles, and the difficulty she experiences in keeping their minds to any serious thought. At the same time she rarely fails to bear her testimony to their affectionate gratitude for pains bestowed upon them, and great anxiety to improve. It is not often (nor is it likely, say these same workers) that they meet with much force or decision of character amongst their grateful, affectionate pupils. Men do not gather grapes of thorns; nor are they much more likely to meet with wisdom and firmness in a woman who inherits all the evil consequences of centuries of oppression and neglect. Occasionally, however, a woman of great force and singleness of nature, a woman clearly fitted to rule and instruct, may be found amongst them. Such a woman was the subject of this paper.
Ganga was very early deprived of her mother, and deserted by her father. The latter quitted the country, leaving his helpless child (but then, to be sure, she was only a girl) in the hands of people who had no claim on her. Her circumstances must have called loudly for sympathy, since Mr. Appaji Bapuji
(one of the pupils of the Rev. J. S. S. Robertson) brought her to Mrs. Robertson, and entreated her to give the desolate child a home amongst some orphan girls whom she had adopted.
These girls were in all respects educated and treated as if they had been the children of their kind protectors, saving only that they did not eat at their table, and did not relinquish the becoming Native dress. They were carefully instructed in their native tongue (the Marathi) during the morning, and this instruction was given by one of the Mission schoolmasters. In the afternoon they used to practise needlework under the supervision of Mrs. Robertson and her tailor. They were also taught the household duties usually performed by Native women.
It was the hope of Mr. and Mrs. Robertson that these girls might grow up to be the wives of Native pastors and catechists, that they might become intelligent companions to their husbands, and responsible Christian mistresses of Christian homes. This hope was not disappointed-in one instance, at least, it was abundantly fulfilled.
Ganga was possessed of a clear mind, and she learnt well and rapidly. She early showed serious attention while being taught the truths of the Christian religion. At her own earnest request, she was baptized, and Mrs. Robertson was fully convinced, both by her words and her conduct, of her fitness to make this solemn promise and profession. She always showed the deepest attention to the Word of God, and (unlike many of the young) her thoughts were never easily diverted to other pursuits and other things. In a quiet, earnest manner she would try and impress this Word on her young companions.
Her missionary zeal gradually gained force, as was right, and she began to speak earnestly to those of her country men and women who came to the house. Gradually she came to be treated as an elder daughter might have been by Mrs. Robertson. One day when that lady was unwell, and unable to appear at morning prayers, Ganga, as usual, took her place. On coming down Mrs. Robertson was much pleased to find them all seated quietly at their work listening to Ganga, who was speaking to them about one of the Collects in the Marathi Prayer-book. Evidently the truths of eternal life were supremely interesting to her, and therefore she succeeded in making them interesting to others. This is a sure recipe for securing an attentive audience.
While sitting at work with the tailor she would read and converse with him on scriptural subjects. In the evening she would sit near the watchman, and speak and read, by the light of a lantern, of Him who is the Light of the world.
When the whole family removed to the hills near Nasik, as they usually did in the hot season, she managed to collect a school of the girls at the station, and, what was more remarkable still, contrived to get together a meeting of mothers. held on a Sunday at 3 P.M., and was entirely the result of her own thought and energy. Mrs. Robertson only became aware of the fact when Ganga came to her a little before the appointed hour, and asked to be excused from reading with her then, as had been their usual custom. On going into the room about half an hour afterwards, Mrs. Robertson was surprised and pleased to find it filled to the door with men, women, and children.
On their return to Nasik she began to teach in a girls' school in that city; and, with the assistance of Mrs. Frost, the wife of a missionary, and head of the establishment, it rapidly became a very efficient one.
On the west side of Nasik stands Sharanpur, a Christian village; and in this village lived a Parsee gentleman named Ruttonji Nowroji, who had for some time been a silent but most observant witness of the young teacher's love and zeal for her Lord. He had been educated in a Government school, had lost his faith in the Parsee religion, and had become a mere Deist. He and some other young men, who had been similarly affected
by their contact with European science and civilisation, formed themselves into a sort of brotherhood, and examined the Bible and the principal Christian doctrines, with a view to furnishing themselves with arguments against both. But the preaching of a Native Christian touched their hearts, and Ruttonji in particular became an earnest and courageous servant and soldier of Christ. Christ. He had to relinquish his prospects of worldly advancement, which seem to have been good, and worst of all, his home and the loving companionship of his family and friends. He became a catechist, and ultimately a clergyman, but this was not till some years later. Meantime the promise to those who have forsaken friends, lands, and homes for Christ's sake was abundantly fulfilled in his case. "Who can find a virtuous woman?" said the Royal Preacher; "her price is far above rubies," and so thought the young Native catechist when he succeeded in winning Ganga to be his wife.
High festival was held on the day of their marriage, and the church was crowded by friends who came to witness the ceremony. For the day which joined together two devoted servants of God, the day which laid the foundation of the Temple of a Christian Home, was also the birthday of the Christian village of Sharanpur. When Mrs. Robertson apologised to the bridegroom for what she considered the smallness of her wedding gift, he answered with the ready politeness of the Oriental, and with truth as well, "The best gift I have received to-day is from you, and that is my wife."
It was only natural that Mrs. Robertson should deeply miss the loving companion who was truly her daughter in Christ Jesus, but she also rejoiced greatly in watching her consistent Christian course. The earnest, energetic girl became in due time the prudent wife, in whom the heart of her husband might (and did) most safely trust; the wise and tender mother; the accurate, methodical mistress, whose house preached as well as her lips. And she was her husband's valuable helper in all his missionary labours.
When Mr. Ruttonji entered the ministry, he was appointed to the station of Aurangabad, about a hundred miles east of Nasik. There they laboured for some years, while a large and interesting family grew up around them. Mr. and Mrs. Robertson had the satisfaction of visiting them there, and seeing how actively good works went on under their supervision.
Four more years, happy and busy years, were spent by Mrs. Ruttonji in the happy home of which she was the centre; and then the Father of the fatherless called her to her eternal home among the many mansions." Cholera broke out at Aurangabad; one of Mrs. Ruttonji's servants was stricken; she hastened to attend upon the invalid; waited on her assiduously, andtook the disease herself.
Her sufferings were sharp but short; her mind and heart stood fast and believed in the Lord. She took a tender farewell of her desolate husband and children, and then passed gently away to that rest which remaineth for the people of God.
She "being dead yet speaketh" by her bereaved husband, who now goes forth to his labour from a darkened and lonely home; by the children whom she trained in the fear and love of the Lord; by her untiring labours for the souls of her poor countrywomen. Oh, that many such might arise among the daughters of India !--wise, true, pious, and firm of heart. nation has need of such. If Napoleon needed mothers to establish his empire, much more does Christ. As to this mothermother in the flesh and in the spirit too-we think we may safely pronounce on her the emphatic testimony of the Hebrew teacher" Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates." ELIZABETH SUTTON.
The above sketch is based on an interesting book entitled "Life of Ganga Bai." By Mrs. J. S. S. Robertson. Published by Seton and Mackenzie, Edinburgh. "Bai" is a term of respect, like our " Mrs."
THE LATE DR. KRAPF.
VERY one will re
member how touched all England was when the accounts came home of Livingstone's death. On his knees, by his bedside, he was found by his faithful followers. In the act of prayer he was translated into the Land of Praise.
So was it with John Ludwig Krapf, the Pioneer-Missionary of
East and Central Africa, who on Nov. 26th, the eve of Advent Sunday, was called home to the presence of his Lord. "In the afternoon," writes his friend, Mr. Flad, who, like him, was a missionary in Abyssinia, "I spent an hour with him in his study, talking of the approaching Second Advent of Christ. He went to his bedroom quite well, as usual, and was found in the morning kneeling at his bed, undressed." A blessed end to a consecrated life!
Dr. Krapf was born in Wurtemburg in 1810. While yet a child, poring over maps, the longing came over him to explore those great regions of Africa that were so blank and destitute of names-a desire stimulated by the perusal of Bruce's Travels, which he stumbled upon at an
old book shop. Afterwards, when his heart was given to God, this geographical curiosity developed into missionary ardour, and he entered the Basle Seminary, which in those days gave so many devoted missionaries to the C.M.S. By one of these, Fjellstad of Smyrna, Krapf also was introduced to the Society, and he joined its Abyssinia Mission in 1837. Expelled thence through the hostile influence of the Jesuits, he tried the adjoining kingdom of Shoa, where he remained three years. Various journeys followed, during which he and his wife suffered great privations. On one occasion a child was born to them under the most trying circumstances, was significantly named Eneba, "a Tear," and lived only for an hour.
At length, when every door in that part of Africa seemed closed, he went down the coast to Zanzibar, visiting on his way Mombasa, where he landed on Jan. 3rd, 1844. There, six months afterwards, on July 13th, his wife was taken from him; but his brave spirit quailed not, and he wrote home to the Committee that they must see in her lonely grave the pledge and token of the possession of East Africa for Christ. Close to that grave may now be seen the flourishing settlement at Frere Town. Out of that first visit to Mombasa sprang all the C.M.S. work on the coast; and, in its results, the whole of the vast discoveries of the last twenty-five years in Central Africa. In consequence of the
researches of Krapf and his companion Rebmann, the expeditions of Burton, Speke, and Grant were projected. To complete their explorations, Livingstone came up from the south. In the wake of Livingstone went Cameron and Stanley. And in the last six years, some forty or fifty missionaries have penetrated into the regions whose blank spaces fired the youthful imagination of John Ludwig Krapf.
We must not judge a missionary by the number of his converts. Krapf only knew of one from all his African labours. Henry Martyn only knew of one or two. Yet what a mighty work has been done by their example!
Dr. Krapf's later years were spent at Kornthal, in South Germany, where he was diligently employed in preparing dictionaries, &c., of several East African languages, and translations of the Scriptures. On Nov. 80th his body was solemnly committed to the earth, in the presence of three thousand. people who had assembled from all parts of the country, by the side of John Rebmann, the companion of his travels and trials, who followed him to Africa but preceded him to heaven.
TEN WEEKS IN INDIA.
Extracts from Letters to my Children during a Winter Tour.
[Press of work prevented my acceding to the Editor's urgent request that I would write some account of the few weeks I spent in India last wrote them, I have placed them in his hands to make any extracts which winter for the GLEANER. But as my children preserved the letters I he thought might interest others. This must be my apology for the very negligent and fragmentary nature of the following papers.-E. H. B.]
BOMBAY, Friday Evening, November 19, 1880. AST night, as a number of us were watching from the forecastle deck, the Bombay Harbour Lighthouse flashed its electric light (20 miles distant) upon us. We raised such a cheer. There it was, right in front of our prow. How marvellous the skill that guided us from Aden Cape straight to that one light! It was terribly hot and still. At 12 we
turned into our hot cabin. We rose this morning at 5, and at 8, Edward accompanied by the Rev. H. C. Squires, the Church Missionary Society's Secretary at Bombay, came on board. Mr. Squires took us at once to his hospitable home; and nothing could exceed his thoughtful