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THE PALAMCOTTAH ENGLISH SCHOOL.
present and witnessed the baptism of his son, paying the most profound attention to every word spoken, and every act performed on the occasion. After the ceremony was over, I met David—for that was the new name given him in the vestry; when, learning from the youth that he was presently going home with his father, I gave him my advice and blessing. He attended school on the following day, but his father wishing him to return home with him immediately, he left again a few minutes after. I did not understand this proceeding ; but my suspicions were allayed when the youth came to school on the following day and the day after, as usual.
In reply to my inquiries, the youth said that his father was very kind to him, and wished him above all things to continue to live at home. He assured him that all his wants should be attended to, and that he should receive no molestation whatever on the score of his new faith, having his permission, not only to attend school, but divine service at the church on Sunday, and all other religious ordinances also.
As stated above, he went home after his baptism, and remained an inmate of the family for ten or twelve days. He then came to me again on Monday, the 18th November, and told me that his father, who had returned to his place of business, situate a day's journey from Palamcottah, was replaced by his mother. As soon as she arrived, she overwhelmed him with reproaches, and having thus given vent to her feelings, became quiet till the following day, when she recommenced weeping and crying, continuing nearly for three days. At length the object of these lamentations became evident to the youth, who, unable to remain at home under these painful circumstances, quitted it on the fifth day after her arrival. It was then arranged that he should lodge and board with the deputy jailer, one of our former converts, Mr. Sargent undertaking to pay partly for the same.
I knew from the beginning that he could not live at home with his heathen relatives after his conversion to Christianity, but as he wished to make the trial, and Mr. Sargent approving of it, I said nothing to discourage the experiment. Such a project, in my opinion, can never be carried out, unless the family have a spare building in the same compound, which the convert is permitted to occupy, and, unless he has the means of subsisting at his own expense, a separate maintenance is generally out of the question, and the utmost he can expect is the indulgence just alluded to, which in some cases may be very convenient, but never without its drawbacks, being calculated, by retaining him under evil influences, to expose him to temptations incident to the situation.
But the father did not despair. He hoped yet to recover him. Seeking him out, he embraced him, and prayed that he would return with him ; that as he must give up either his religion or his parents, he could not hesitate as to the course he ought to take. “I shall do neither," was the reply. “I will continue to love and help you, and yet continue a good Christian. The father could no longer restrain himself. Breaking forth into a rage, he exclaimed, “I was going to spend 500 rupees on your marriage, but I need not do so now : you have saved me so much money.
So he went away, but not for long. The next day he sought an
SAMUEL OF RATMEWELA, IN THE
interview with Mr. Cruickshanks. By him he was most kindly received. Mr. Cruickshanks entered into all the
man's sorrows; sympathized with and soothed him; and the result was that he was contented to leave his son at the school, where he is now acting as monitor to one of the junior classes.
SAMUEL OF RATMEWELA, IN THE KANDIAN COUNTRY,
You may remember, (writes the Rev. W. Oakley) to have heard, about twenty-one years since, of Ratmewela, Abraham and Samuel. Abraham, you will remember, was a devil-dancer, or devil's priest. On his conversion he brought his books on devil-worship, asking me to keep or destroy them, that his family might never make any use of them. The day on which Abraham brought me those books, his brother—then a bigoted heathen—took his gun and threatened to shoot him for becoming a Christian, and for giving away his family property (the heathen books), and Abraham, though naturally a very hasty and irritable man, had, by the grace of God, become very humble and submissive, and, by the kindness of his manner and the earnestness of his appeal, completely subdued his brother, who, from that time, became an inquirer. After a short time he came with Abraham, to request that he might be instructed and baptized. He soon became such an earnest, simple-minded man, and so thoroughly sincere in his desire to renounce heathenism, that I baptized him by the name of Samuel.
The first serious difficulty which he had to contend with after his baptism was the conduct of his heathen wife. She was a person older than himself, and for a time she resolutely refused to have any thing to do with Christianity. Afterwards, she was persuaded to listen to instruction, and even attempted to learn to read. She attended the day-school (entirely her own choice), and might be seen standing up in a class with little boys and girls, trying to read words of two or three letters, but the people of the village (heathen) laughed at her, and she could not bear that. She therefore again determined to learn no more, and left her husband, to “go back to her people and to her gods ” (like Orpah of old). Shortly afterwards she was taken ill, and died a heathen. About a year afterwards Samuel wished to marry again, but there was great difficulty in finding a suitable wife, none of the women of the village having yet placed themselves under Christian instruction. After a time, a young widow in the adjoining village, a person of good moral character, consented to place herself under Christian instruction. She was subsequently baptized by the name of Lydia, and married to Samuel.
Her trials commenced almost as soon as she was married. She had two children by her former husband, and they were both taken ill and died. Her heathen friends and relatives told her it was a judgment upon her, because she had forsaken the religion of her ancestors. But she bore the trial very meekly, and thus gave evidence of the sincerity of her faith in Christ. She is still a quiet, humble, steady Christian woman. KANDIAN COUNTRY, CEYLON.
Samuel has been in a delicate state of health for some months past. His conduct, since he renounced heathenism, has been steady and .consistent. He was not left altogether without persecution from the heathen, but his manner was always so kind and gentle, that he escaped much of that violent persecution to which his brother Abraham was exposed.
Samuel of Ratmewela has entered into his rest. The Lord whom he served has called him home. So we learn from the Rev. J. Alcock, in a letter written shortly after that of Mr. Oakley.
My chief purpose in writing the following is to inform the friends of our Mission of the peaceful end of one who had served the Lord faithfully for more than twenty years, old Samuel of Ratmewela. I might say many things of the life of this good old man, but my time is not sufficient. I deem it enough to say that old Samuel was baptized about twenty years ago, I believe by Mr. Oakley. His brother Abraham became a Christian before him, and I have heard him say that he was so bitter an enemy to Christ and his religion, that he had once determined to take his brother's life for becoming a Christian. In Samuel's case it might be truly said that the life-destroying wolf became a meek and harmless lamb. This is the Lord's doing, and it appears marvellous in our eyes. I do not hesitate in bringing Samuel forward as a remarkable example of the power of God's Spirit upon the human heart. A more humble, meek, conscientious, peaceful man I seldom found. He had received none of the benefits of education or refinement. I imagine he knew little of the world, beyond his own retired village. In short, I might say he knew scarcely any thing but Christ and him crucified, and he could truly say with St. Paul, “I
count all other things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” It was his custom for the last twenty years to walk to Kandy every month, in order to receive the holy communion. Till within a year of his death he walked twenty miles on those Sundays, in order to avail himself of the means of grace. English Christians, both in England and Ceylon, might learn something from his bright example. The last time I saw him we took the Lord's Supper together. I then little thought it was the last time we should drink of this fruit of the vine, until the day when we drink it new in our Father's kingdom. The old man gave me two shillings which he had devoted to the Lord out of his very limited substance. From this, all Christians should learn a lesson, and give both out of their abundance and penury to the Lord. Some few days before his death he called nearly all the heathen in the village, and exhorted them, in his humble way, to flee from the wrath to come. He told them he was sensible that the end of his earthly pilgrimage was near, and the peaceful composed manner with which he looked upon the enemy death astonished his heathen neighbours. They, all their life time, have been in bondage through fear of death, but they were privileged to see the Lord's freeman who was able to say, 0 death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? When the old man saw some of them weeping, he exclaimed, “Weep not for me, but weep for your own sins, and repent."
In a few days after, this good old soldier of Christ calmly slept in Jesus, and we have little doubt that his hope was realized, which he often spoke of when living, viz. that good angels carried his soul to Abraham's bosom. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.
In Samuel we have lost good and consistent Christian. He was a light in his village, respected not only by Christians, but also by many of the heathen.
UNTO US A SON IS BORN. HAIL to the Lord's anointed !
Arabia's desert ranger Great David's greater son!
To Him shall bow the knee ; Hail in the time appointed,
The Ethiopian stranger
His glory come to see :
Ships from the isles shall meet,
To pour the wealth of ocean And rule in equity.
In tribute at His feet. He comes with succour speedy Kings shall fall down before Him For those who suffer wrong ;
gold and incense bring ; To help the poor and needy,
All nations shall adore Him, And bid the weak be strong ;
His praise all people sing. To give them songs for sighing, For He shall have dominion Their darkness turn to light,
O’er river, sea and shore, Whose souls, condemned and dying, Far as the eagle's pinion Were precious in His sight.
Or dove's light wing can soar. He shall come down like showers O'er every
foe victorious Upon the fruitful earth ;
He on His throne shall rest. And love and hope like flowers From age to age more glorious, Spring in His path to birth.
All blessing and all blest. Before Him on the mountains,
The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove ;
His new best name of love.
HOME BLOSSOMS. In our last Number we said that some more of the Home flowers remained in our hands, and that we purposed to make up a new bouquet of them for our May Number.
Assuredly, if April has its blossoms it would be strange were May to have none. For April, as by experience we know, has its cold, cutting winds, but we hope that May will bring us in more genial influences.
The good deeds which are the beautiful flowers of Christianity are not affected by a wintry climate. Amidst northern snows they bloom. On the cold bleak hills of the north, in the lovely glen, where Christian privileges are scanty, they are often found in their perfection. Their root is in the heart; let there be on that heart the sunshine of the Saviour's presence and favour; let the dews of His grace descend with refreshing power, and the sap of godly affection
will show itself in corresponding flowers and fruits. “ The love of Christ constraineth us.'
Let us look a little, then, into the Home field, and see if we may not find there some choice specimens of the “work of faith and labour of love” carried on in“ the patience of hope.” Let us “go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages; let us get up early to the vineyard; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grapes appear, and the pomegranates bud forth.”
In our volume of last year we gave our readers a glimpse of what is doing at St. Thomas's, York. We have now before us the last Report of that earnest Association. It grows. The dimensions of the parish remain as contracted as they were before, yet still it grows.
In Nov. 1866 the entire amount collected during the previous year was 1531. 14s. 8d.; this last year it rises to a higher figure-1721. 185. 4}d. : there are several departments of the work -wheel within wheel-and these, all moved by the one motive power, are busily at work. These are
The Missionary Boxes. There is also a larger sum from our Missionary Boxes. We do not allow these boxes to be carried from house to house for the
of collecting from others. They are all family-boxes. They stand in the house to receive the family offerings. The father drops in a portion of his weekly earnings. The grateful mother presents in this way her thank-offering for any special mercy that has been granted in the house. The children are trained to acknowledge God by giving their little offerings for the preaching of the Gospel. And many a farthing, the offering of a cheering heart, goes to swell the great stream which bears the Missionary to the regions of the perishing. I wish there were a Missionary Box in every house, to receive the little offerings of those who have but little to give,
T'he Sale of Work. Many busy, painstaking helpers have again been encouraged by the result of Sale of Work in January last. It still produced more than before. And the pleasant little working party still goes on. We hope to invite our friends to pay a visit to our schoolroom again when next January comes. Any who wish to join our working party will be gladly welcomed ; and they that handle the chisel and the hammer are invited to render again their aid. Little things which will sell at low prices will be very acceptable.
Subscriptions. Through the patient diligence of our collectors, your Subscriptions have continued steadily to flow in. We have this year 293 Subscribers, from whom there have been received 1446 distinct gifts. Lowther-street still presents a numerous band of Subscribers. From its 114 families their excellent collector has received 463 gifts from 68 subscribers. These little offerings are very valuable. Never think your gifts too small to offer. The Lord sits over against the treasury, and his balances are not