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BHCLSA BOA, NOW SHANTWAY.
of these things : Duda Boa brought the Christian religion to this place." When I saw that all the people of the village were against the Christian religion, I got afraid, and suddenly left the place by night, and fled to Warel. Mr. Rogers met me on the road, and asked me where I was going. I deceived him by not telling him the truth.
When Mr. and Mrs. Rogers left Malligaum on their way to Mahableshwar I met them at Julgaum, where I had established a small school. Mr. Rogers asked, “When are you going to be baptized ?" I replied, “Some day I shall fulfil your wishes." When I was living at Sowkarwadi Mr. Rogers came three times to see me, but I each time gave him an evasive answer with regard to my desire of being baptized.
Some of my former disciples, who had become Christians, exhorted me to come out and be baptized. They said, “You have taught us Christianity, and now, why do you keep back? Lay hold on eternal life. You are living at present without God and without hope.” Mr. Mengé then paid me a visit at Sowkarwadi, and told me that I should repent, and not continue knowingly to break the commandments of God, as this would draw upon me the terrible wrath of God. But my heart was hard and filled with pride. I therefore kept silence. Mr. Mengé came again, but the villagers sent me away to Pimpulgaum, my native village, near Yeola, and for five years I had no intercourse with any of the Missionaries. During that time I had a dream which made a deep impression upon me. I dreamt that my friend Santosh, at Wadneir, had died, and had become alive
again. I then fell ill myself, and, being on the point of death, I committed my children to the care of my neighbours.
Once I went to sleep, and I saw in my dream a man clothed in white garments, and shining like a star-whether he looked like an angel or the Lord Jesus Himself I cannot tell—who said unto me, “Flee not: lay hold on life, lay hold on life.” I cried out, “Baptism ! baptism !" for my conscience was troubled. I had refused baptism myself, and warned my disciples against it, although I had preached Christianity to them. When I awoke, feeling a little better, I told my dream to my children. My eldest son said at once, “Father, if you had died our neighbours would have cared nothing about us, for now already they hate us because you do not worship idols, and, instead, sing the praises of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please to join the Christian church in Malligaum : we will follow you." We were thinking and conversing about this important matter, when Lukas, a Christian schoolmaster at Makmalabad, came to my house, and asked, “Why have you not been baptized ? Come to Nasik : there is the Rev. Mr. Price, who will gladly baptize you." I answered, “My Christian church is at Malligaum. I have promised to join the congregation there, and I will keep my word.” Lukas said, “The Rev. Mr. Mengé is gone to Anjenery Hill for the benefit of his health.”
“ Never mind," I replied ; “in the mean time I will pay my friend Santosh a visit at Wadneir, and inform Mr. Mengé by letter that I am desirous of being baptized by him. Lukas then prayed with me, and left for Nasik. I went to Malligaum, where, in Mr. Mengé's absence, I met Samuel the Scripture-reader, who informed me that Mr. Mengé had just written to say that he was coming back to Malligaum, and would see me soon. In the mean time I stayed with my friend Santosh (Samuel's father).
HOLLOWAY WORKING PARTY.
When Mr. Mengé came he examined me, and decided on baptizing me after the Rev. C. S. Cooke should have returned from Mahableshwar. The Rev. C. C. Mengé also introduced me to the Rev. Charles Laing, Chaplain at Malligaum, who kindly allowed the baptism to take place at his church in the presence of the native-Christian congregation, and some members of the European, on the 18th of June 1867.
My name, hitherto Bhulsa Boa, was changed at my baptism into Shantwan, which means Consolation, because I am now comforted and happy, believing with my heart, and confessing with my lips, that Jesus Christ is
Saviour. At this point the paper merges into the details of which we have already, given a summary, and which happily ended in his public confession of Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.
In a letter dated Nov. 12, Mr. Mengé adds some further intelligence.
“Shantwan goes on well. Five of his grown-up children and four grandchildren desire to become Christians, and are daily instructed in our holy religion. Also two of his former disciples are prepared to follow their former Guru. He is now acting as a Scripture-reader, and has ample opportunity of preaching the Gospel in his own village and several other places.”
HOLLOWAY WORKING PARTY. It must cheer the hearts of our brave Missionaries, as they bear the burden and heat of the day in distant lands, to feel assured that the little ones, whom they have left in trust with their Christian brethren, are watched and cared for. This confidence supplies them with renewed vigour. They go forth to their daily conflict nerved and braced to increased exertion. Whatever of trials and difficulties may be in store for themselves, they know that their children will be shielded, as far as possible, from human ills.
It was with a view to relieving their minds of this anxiety that the Children's Missionary Home was first established. Here the little ones, who have, in the providence of God, been separated from their parents, labouring in distant parts of the Lord's vineyard, are cared for by the Society, and receive a thoroughly good and useful education. Considered at first, by many persons, as a doubtful experiment, it has, by the blessing of God, proved a great success : nor, indeed, can it be otherwise, so long as it is conducted upon the principles which were laid down at its opening in 1850, namely, godliness, truth, regularity of system, punctuality of habits, order, neatness, and propriety of manners.
We take this opportunity of noticing a labour of love which has been carried on for some years for the benefit of this valuable institution—a Ladies' Working Association, in connexion with St. John's, Holloway, on behalf of the Church Missionary Children's Home. During the past year, forty-eight ladies have been members of the Association, twenty-four joining the party, which has been held regularly every month, except August and September, and the rest receiving work at their own homes.
EARTHQUAKE AT ST. THOMAS.
The work consists of various kinds of under-clothing for boys and girls, and the number of articles made during the last year was no less than 295, making a total of 3132 articles of clothing since the formation of the Association in 1855, with an estimated value of 1561.
The usefulness of such Associations is very great. Nor is this to be measured merely by what they yield. Interesting papers on various Missionary subjects are read at the meetings, and thus information is given, and interest in the Missionary cause is quickened. We commend to the attention of the various working parties in England one subject in particular, which has been brought before the Holloway Association by Miss Cockle, a lady who, during a residence in Calcutta of many years, has herself seen what good has been done by the zenana Mission work. The facts she was able to state of open doors, long closed, and open-hearts shut
up in prejudice, so interested the ladies of that working party, that one of them has undertaken to collect for that particular branch of Missionary work.
We earnestly recommend the subject to the attention of Ladies' Working Associations. It would be difficult to describe fully the importance of the work of zenana reform, when we consider the influence which is brought to bear upon society at large by the female sex. Their influence for good or evil is immense, whether it regards childhood, youth or mature age.
Hitherto our degraded Hindu sisters have been almost beyond the reach of Christian influence. Married in mere childhood, they are henceforth shut out from society : not trusted by their husbands they are rigidly guarded from intercourse with the outer world : the only change they have from domestic care lies in the worship of idols and the stories about their gods, which do not improve, but corrupt. They are very ignorant and very bigoted.
But now a change is taking place. Education is leavening the native gentlemen of India. They mingle more and more with English society. They are quick of observation, and draw comparisons between an English and a native home, to the disadvantage of the latter. They meet English ladies in society, and find them to be agreeable, well-informed, and, moreover, the companions, not the slaves, of their husbands. They begin to think that the time is come when they should raise their wives to a similar position. But in order to this the native ladies must be educated, and hence it is that the zenanas are being opened. What a wide entrance for the introduction of Gospel truth. Here there is presented to the Christian ladies of Great Britain a wide field of usefulness. We call upon them to devote their hearts, their means, and, where it is possible, themselves to this great work of zenana reform.
EARTHQUAKE AT ST. THOMAS. But few, we fancy, of our readers have ever experienced the shock of an earthquake. The idea is not an English one, and we thankfully place it in the same list with the yellow fever, tornadoes, and other horrors, from which, thank God, our beloved island is free. And yet these disturbances are by no means such strangers to this country as many suppose. Mrs. Somerville, in her work on Physical Geography, tells us that no less than
EARTHQUAKE AT ST. THOMAS.
255 earthquakes have been felt in England at various times, harmless for the most part, without doubt, yet not always so.
There can be but little doubt that these earthquakes, or earthwaves as they may be called, have for the most part reached us when their force has been nearly spent. We have seldom felt the full force of the wave. Hence we have suffered but little. What must it be to live at the central seat of action? We can picture to ourselves in some degree the terrible visitation to which the inhabitants of St. Thomas and other West-Indian Islands were subjected a few months back. Truly their sufferings must have been great. First came the terrible hurricane of October 29; then, three weeks later, a tremendous earthquake, followed at various intervals by hundreds of shocks, which tried the stoutest hearts. Nor was this all. Cholera and yellow fever followed in their wake, spreading death and desolation. Yet faith burned brightly even in the darkness. "A great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind : and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake : and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire : and after the fire a still small voice.” Ah! it is the sure expectation of the still small voice, following close upon wind, earthquake and fire, which sustains the faith and courage of God's afflicted people. “We found the people crying and praying for mercy," writes a Christian brother on one of those terrible days. “The texts for the day greatly comfort us, 'Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear;' and, 'Having loved his own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.'” Another writes “ It is pleasant to sing in church. Should earth lose its foundation, etc. ; but it is a very different thing to feel in reality the foundations of the earth thus awfully shaken, trembling and groaning under your feet. How intensely one feels one's own nothingness and helplessness under such a display of the power and majesty of God! Oh that the impression produced on many minds by the late events may be lasting, and lead to a change of heart and life !” Let us endeavour to describe to our readers the 18th of last November at St. Thomas.
It is nearly three o'clock in the afternoon. The terrors of the hurricane have subsided, and the inhabitants of this stirring little town are once more busied vith their various occupations. There is no symptom of danger, for an earthquake, unlike other physical phenomena, gives no preparatory signals. A hurricane is preceded by the falling of the barometer; the volcano sends forth denser volumes of smoke from its crater; but in the case of an earthquake no warning is given; and this it is, which, together with the greater extent of its influence, and the terrible nature of the visitation itself, render it perhaps the most terrible physical danger to which we are liable.
On a sudden, then, the earth shook violently beneath their feet. “Shock followed shock," writes a Missionary, “ and every one rushed out of house and store, leaving in some places hundreds of dollars on the counters, all fleeing for their lives beyond the reach of the fearfully rocking high walls, which threatened every moment to fall; while multitudes were lying on their knees in the streets, crying, “ Lord, have mercy
EARTHQUAKE AT ST. THOMAS.
on us." I hurried home at once to see what had become of my own people, house, church, and the eighty children who were at school in the room beneath the latter. I found the little ones screaming in their terror, frightened out of their wits by the fall of some bricks and mortar from the top of the wall ; but, thank God! all were preserved from the least injury."
Scarcely had the first terror subsided for a moment, when another still more terrible event took place, making every face pale with fear. The cry ran through the streets, “The sea is coming !" A huge mass of water was seen slowly rolling towards the harbour, the entrance to which seemed to be blocked up by a reef. Over this the ocean dashed its mighty waves with such force, that the foam went upwards like heavy clouds of smoke, while within the harbour the sea remained perfectly calm and smooth, and scarcely a breath of air could be felt. But for the great danger, it would have been the grandest sight possible. Slowly the terrific sea entered the harbour : the ships began to heave and roll: smaller craft, unable to escape, were seen tossing up and down, some capsized, others swallowed up in the surge. Schooners, sloops, lighters, boats, were all thrown ashore, in some places to a distance of a hundred yards from the wharf. Small wooden houses, too, were washed from their foundation, and carried away by the sudden flood. Then the wave receded, taking some of the vessels with it, and leaving the bottom of the sea for about 300 yards perfectly dry. Three several times the huge wave returned in the same manner, and then, in about an hour's time, the sea returned slowly to its former calmness. Now the evening drew on, and there followed an awful night. Shocks continued all the night through, sometimes every five minutes, never less frequently than three times in an hour, so that not an eye was closed. Hundreds of people fled to the hills for refuge, and in every direction nothing was heard but singing and praying, and then fresh cries of terror.”
Such is the graphic picture which has been received from one of the United Brethren at St. Thomas, himself an eyewitness of the scene. We are forcibly reminded while reading it of that sublime passage in the 77th Psalm, where Asaph says, “The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee : they were afraid : the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven : the lightnings lightened the world : the earth trembled and shook.”
In much love should our hearts be drawn out towards our Missionary brethren in distant Mission fields. It is true that such calamities fall not exclusively upon them, and that in this visitation the whole community has suffered alike. But to our Missionary brethren Christian sympathy peculiarly belongs. They are our representatives : they are our standing army: they fight in our stead the battle with Amalek. We can but hold up our hands in prayer.
Let us do so. It is written, that “when Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed : and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed;" and if we grow wearied, let us help one another, as Aaron and Hur helped Moses.