« السابقةمتابعة »
THE DYING MOTHER.
A REMINISCENCE. 1611. First English mercantile settlement in India, at Surat.
T was a sultry night in September, the atmosphere that of a 1696. Calcutta purchased by the East India Company.
hot vapour bath, such as is often, not to say always, so at 1706. Zieganbalg, first Protestant missionary to India, sent out by Frederick IV.
that season of the year in the plains of Bengal. “We of Denmark. 1728. S.P.C.K. adopted the Danish Missions in South India.
must have rain soon," was the consolation we had gasped 1750. Swartz began his work at Madras. (Died 1798.)
to each other throughout the day—“we” being a large 1757. Battle of Plassey laid the foundation of British supremacy.
party of friends assembled for the Durga Pujah* holidays 1758. Kiernander began his work at Calcutta. (Died 1799.)
in a hospitable home on the banks of the river Hooghly. 1770. Kiernander built first church at Calcutta (now C.M.S. "Old Church "). I was very tired by ten o'clock and glad to get to my room, and there, 1771. Swartz established Tinnevelly Mission.
after writing some letters and reading a chapter or two of the Bible, I 1793, Missions in India forbidden by the East India Company.
put out the lamp, and rested half undressed on the sofa, by a large open Carey reached India. (Died 1834.) 1798. London Missionary Society's first Mission in India, at Chinsurah.
window looking out on the river, which lay before me like a sheet of 1799. Baptist Mission established at Serampore, in Danish territory.
silver in the beautiful moonlight, and watched the strange, almost life1806. Henry Martyn reached India. (Died 1812.)
like shadows of the trees and creepers on the well-kept grassy lawn that 1807. Church Missionary Society's first grant for India.
stretched along the river side. 1813. American missionaries attempted in vain to ente India.
Suddenly the profound silence broken a long, deep wail, 1814. New Charter of East India Company gave freedom to Missions in India. followed up by a chorus of yells, barks, and howls; and presently a pack 1816. First Wesleyar Mission, at Madras.
of jackals, still continuing their vocal performances, scampered across the Rev. J Hough, Chaplain, Palamcotta, planned C.M.S. Tinnevelly Mission. lawn, adding not a little to the weird etfect of the scene. Then again all 1818. S.P.G.'s first grant to India. 1823. First Scotch Mission, at Bombay.
was silent for a while, and again the silence was broken, but this time by
a human voice; a faint moaning sound seemed to come from some spot 1828. S.P.G. took over S.P.C.K.'s Missions. 1830. Dr. Duff began his educational work at Calcutta.
a little lower down the stream and out of my view; very soon it was 1854. Sir C. Wood's famous despatch on Government system of education, drowned in the noise of tom-toms (Indian drums) and the shouts of 1857. The Sepoy Mutiny.
several voices, but presently it could be heard again. Listening till I 1858. India transferred from the East India Company to the Crown.
could not bear to remain inactive any longer, I slipped into the verandaht 1877. The Queen took the title of Empress of India.
to rouse the ayab, who lay asleep there wrapped up in her chudder (veil). Bishops of Calcutta :-1814, Middleton ; 1823, Heber; 1827, James ; “Come, hear what is going on," I whispered, not wishing to disturb
1829, Turner; 1832, Daniel Wilson ; 1858, Cotton ; 1867, Milman; the other inmates of the house. She followed me to my room, and we 1876, Johnson.
listened together. The moans, each time the shouting and drumming Bishops of Madras :-1835, Corrie ; 1838, Spencer; 1849, Dealtry ; 1861, Gell.
ceased, sounded fainter, as though life were fast failing the poor creature Bishops of Bombay :—1837, Carr ; 1851, Harding; 1869, Douglas ; 1876,
from whom they proceeded. What could be done? Seeing my uneasiMylne.
ness, the ayah proposed to go down-stairs and endeavour to find out. C.M.S.
Barefooted she glided noiselessly down the wooden staircase and across
the lawn, and I awaited her return in almost breathless anxiety. The 1807. First grant for India, for translations. 1812. Corresponding Committee formed at Calcutta.
moaning had now ceased and all was silent. 1813. Agra Mission begun by Abdul Masih, under Corrie's direction.
“Mem Sahib,” she said quite cheerfully, when she came back," it is 1814. First C.M.S. missionaries, Rhenius and Scharre, sent to Madras.
a good thing; you need not distress yourself, they have been giving 1815. First English ordained missionary in India, W. Greenwood, to Calcutta. Gunga water g to the dying mother of Babu naming a native official 1816. Travancore Mission begun by Norton and Bailey. (Norton died 1840 ; who held a high post under Government. Bailey, 1871.)
It was surprising that a man of his enlightenment and education should 1817. Benares Mission begun, under Corrie's auspices.
have sanctioned such a barbarous custom, and shortly afterwards a friend, 1818. H. Baker, sen., to Travancore. (Died 1866.)
almost doubting the fact, questioned him about it. The Babu pleaded 1820. Bombay Mission begun. Tinnevelly Mission begun by Rhenius.
the pressure of friends and relatives, and especially female relatives. "To 1825. C. T. Hoerple to Persia, under Basle Mission. (To India under C.M.S.,
me, sir," he said, “it was simply an expensive business. I had to pay 1838. Still labouring.)
Rs. 100 (£10) to the Brahmins (priests) for their offices; and besides, my Abdul Masih ordained by Bishop Heber—first Native clergyman in India.
mother was a religious Hindu, and she could not have died happily under 1830. John Devasagayam ordained-first Native clergyman in Tinnevelly. any other circumstances.” Such then is the highest consolation which T. Sandys to Calcutta. (Died 1871.)
Hinduism offers to its dying votaries !
A. R. 1831. J.J. Weitbrecht to Burdwan. (Died 1852.) 1832. W. Smith and C. B. Leupolt to Benares. (Smith died 1875.)
* During these holidays, which are in honour of the goddess Durga, the 1833, J. Peet to Travancore. (Died 1865.)
great earth mother, business is suspended. John Tucker C.M.S. Secretary at Madras, 1833—1847.
† A sort of corridor that runs along the side of an Indian house—the roof 1835. E. Sargent, a catechist in Tinnevelly. (Ordained 1812.)
supported by pillars—between which are venetian blinds, reaching partially, 1836. John Thomas to Tinnevelly. (Died 1870.)
or sometimes entirely, down to the floor. 1838. J. S. S. Robertson to Bombay. (Returned home 1877.)
The ayah is a nurse or lady's maid, sometimes a little of both. Religious awakening in Krishnaghnr.
It is considered a sure passport to heaven if the dying Hindu be taken 1840. Dr. Pfander to Agra. (To Turkey 1858 ; died 1865.)
down to the river side and crammed with mud and water from the holy stream 1841. Telugu Mission begun by Fox and Noble. (Fox died 1848 ; Noble 1865.)
of the Ganges, or one of its tributaries, sacred to the god Gunga, 1846. T. G. Ragland to South India. (Died 1858.) 1849. W. S. Price to Nasik, Western India. (To East Africa 1874.) 1850, Sindh Mission begun. T. V. French and E. C. Stuart to Agra.
FAITH NANDO : 1851. Punjab Mission begun by R. Clark and T. H. Fitzpatrick,
A TRUE STORY OF SECUNDRA. 1852. D. Fenn and R. R. Meadows to Tinnevelly. First converts at R. Noble's School (M. Ratnam and A. Bhushanam).
I. 1854. Itinerating Mission begun by Rayland in Tinnevelly.
VERY little English girl into whose hands this story is First Sikh clergyman ordained (Daoud Singh).
likely to fall knows that the word Faith means belief or 1855. S. Dyson and J. Vaughan to Calcutta. Afghan Mission at Peshawar begun by R. Clark and Pfander.
trust. Could any one have a more beautiful name? The 1858. R. Bruce to the Punjab. (To Persia 1869.)
little gentle obliging child of whom I write was so called, Lucknow Mission begun, under the auspices of Sir R. Montgomery.
but her heathen name was Nando. Her father, who was a Santâl Mission begun.
noted dyer in Janghirabad, a city in Northern India, had, 1860. Sarah Tucker Female Institution established at Palamcotta.
according to the custom of the country, called the heathen priest to give Koi Mission begun, under the auspices of Col. Haig.
his little daughter a name, six days after her birth, and Nando was the 1862. Derajât Mission begun by French under the auspices of Col. Taylor, name he chose. The word simply means girl. There are many soft 1864. First Telugu clergy ordained (M. Ratnam and A. Bhushanam).
sounding Indian names with pretty meanings, but perhaps the priest 1865. Cathedral Mission College opened at Calcutta by J. Barton. Medical Mission in Kashmir begun by Dr. Elmslie.
chose this one as he saw the parents were discontented because their child 1866. Imad-ud-din baptized at Amritsar. (Ordained 1868.)
was a girl, and he thought this name sufficient. They would certainly 1869. First Tinnevelly Native Church Council.
have given him a much larger present than they did if their first-born 1870. Lahore Divinity College established by French and Knott.
had been a boy. I cannot tell whether the priest's book on the name1877. E. Sargent consecrated Assistant-Bishop for Tinnevelly.
day of the little Nando foretold good or evil for the child, but well I know T. V. French consecrated first Bishop of Lahore.
that God had purposes of love for her.
Before I speak of this let me give you a glimpse of Nando's home and and Nando was sent, for some reason or other, to a distant city called her early childhood. Picture to yourself a latge square court-yard planted Bulandshahr. with fine trees, underneath which were stone seats, affording rest in the From this place, together with a number of girls, some her own age, shade. This court was surrounded on all sides by houses which were shut others older, all of whom had been rescued from the sad life of dancing in like a fortress. The children who lived there made the court-yard girls, she was sent on to the Orphanage at Secundra. At first she their playground. In reality all these children belonged to a single felt very unhappy among her new companions, who were in Mohammefamily, the head of which was Malu-Chandari, the grand ather of Nando. dan costume; she would have nothing to do with them, being herself a Like the patriarch of the Old Testandent, he lived and ruled in the midst Hindu, and even refused to touch any food. The second day hunger of his descendants. He bought materials from the weavers, which he forced her to eat, but she cried a great deal. The nearer they came to dyed and imprinted with flowers and dazzling patterns, and then sold Secundra the more frightened the children became, for the policemen them wholesale to Native merchants in the bazaars. Malu-Chandari who were in charge of them told them dreadful things of what should was of good descent, and was respected by all who knew him. He made | happen to them there. “ The first thing," they said, “ when you arrive rich profits by his business, and he showed his gratitude to his gods in the will be that all your limbs on which you have ornaments will be cut following strange manner. He hung up in the centre of the room in off; therefore you had better give them to us first." Nando and her which he lived a large round earthen vessel, called by the Hindus a companions had silver ornaments, and they immediately took off and “ ghara," and filled it with silver of naments—chains, bracelets, and rings gave up every one. Still they were kept in great fear till they reached for the ears, nose, fingers, feet, and ankles—and these he presented to his Secundra, when the love and kindness they received from everybody god to express his thanks, and to give it pleasure! The natives of India in the school soon showed them that they had been deceived by the admire nothing more than a profusion of ornaments, and they like to policemen. carry all their wealth upon their persons. Those who are not rich enough
Secundra is five miles from Agra, and here Akbar the Great, a powerto adorn themselves with silvers are contented with ornaments of brass. ful prince who lived more than 300 years ago, built a beautiful tomb. I know poor water-women whose arms from the wrist to the elbow are It lies in the midst of a large garden, surrounded by a high wall, with covered with coloured glass rings, and the upper part with heavy brass or small round towers at the corners. Three highly arched doorways of lead ones, whilst their bodies are clothed with rays.
red freestone, ornamented with marble and mosaic, and closed with But to return to our story. The pride and delight of the old man were brazen gates, form the entrance. Above the middle archway rise slender his four grown-up sons and their children, all living in the same court white marble minarets, ascended by winding stairs. The subterranean with their father, submitting to his authority, and sharing his work. The room, in which the marble coffin lies, is lighted by a brazen lamp, sussecond son, Nando's father, was his best beloved. When the grandfather pended over the coffin, and approached by a marble staircase. The had been particularly successful in business, he gave Nando and her garden had formerly many fountains ; these are now in ruins, but the brothers each a rupee, a silver coin answering to our florin.
canals and ponds from which they were supplied still exist, and cause the Nando remembered seeing her mother place daily a vessel of milk for flowers to spring up and bloom in great beauty. Lofty tamarind, pipal, four or five venomous serpents that concealed themselves in the walls acacia, mango, and orange trees spread out their branches, and afford of the room where the family lived. As soon as they had emptied the refreshing shade. dish they would disappear without injuring any one. This is not an Close to this garden lies an extensive piece of ground, which also conuncommon practice in India. The poor heathen imagine that either their tains a tomb, not so magnificent as Akbar's, but erected by him in gods or deceased relatives take the form of serpents, and their religion for- honour of his wife Miriam, who, according to tradition, was a Portubids them to do these creatures any harm. They even believe that if a guese Christian, whilst he was a Mohammedan. Perhaps this Christian person kills a serpent the death of one of his family will soon follow, as princess often prayed that her beloved Saviour would send the glad compensation for the life he has taken. Thousands of natives are killed tidings of His redeeming love to her dark subjects in India, and would by serpents in the course of a year. A neighbour of Nando's parents call into His own happy fold the many children who were growing up placed himself on a bed, at the entrance of the court, when it was dusk, wild and ignorant, but whom she earnestly desired should be saved and and did not perceive that a serpent was lying there. The creature thus taken to heaven. Here the dear Saviour has caused a much more beau! roused from its sleep bit the man, and in two hours he died. Yet no one tiful remembrance of this princess to arise than the grand monument ventured to touch the serpent. Nando herself had a snake on her bed erected by her husband. It came to pass in this way. one night, and did not feel at all uneasy. Another time she was lying About forty years ago a great famine prevailed in India. Many outside the house, in the sun, when a cobra, a deadly snake, passed over people died from want of food ; numbers of children lost their parents, her back without injuring her, and her mother who saw it fully believed and wandered about, begging, as long as their feeble little feet would that her son, who had died shortly before, had come to pay his sister a carry them. Many laid themselves down, too weary to go further, and visit!
died without any one to care for them. This was a great grief to the Malu-Chandari was taken very ill and died. Scarcely had the usual English Christians who then lived in India. They sought out the poor days of mourning ended, when the peace which had hitherto bound the starving orphans, and gathered them into quarters at Agra ; but so much members of the family together gave place to quarrels and strife concern- sickness prevailed among the children that it became necessary to reing the division of the property. The eldest brother seized everything, move them, and many thought that the ruinous tomb of Miriam could and destroyed an important paper of his father's, which was perhaps a not be used for a better or more honourable purpose than by making it kind of wili
. Nando was then scarcely six years old, and she understood into a Christian Orphanage. An application was made to Government nothing further. Her father was constantly under the influence of opium, for the tomb and the ground belonging to it, and they were granted to and this has the same dreadful effect in India that brandy has in other the Church Missionary Society for an Orphan Asylum. countries. He squandered all he had, and the children had no longer the An Indian tomb is very different from our ideas of a grave. Some are good clothes and nice food of earlier days. At length he went away, centuries old, and are most beautiful large buildings, with different rooms, saying that he was going to Delhi for work. He never returned, as far as some of which are being used as places of worship by the Mohammedans Nando knew. The mother became blind from continual weeping, and up to the present day. The wonderful marble tomb of King Shah Jehan the children were dependent on their grandmother and aunt for their at Agra employed, we are told, 40,000 workmen for eighteen years. As scanty subsistence. All these things followed one another rapidly, and soon as Miriam's tomb had been made somewhat habitable the orphan boys perhaps this helped to impress them
more deeply on Nando's memory. were moved into it. A curious old native building situated in a small One day it happened that the mother wanted one of her children to garden, further off, was made ready for the girls till proper buildings had fetch something from the bazaar. Nando was ready at once. So rarely been erected. From this time, 1839, dates the history of the Secundra did she meet strangers, or see what was passing outside, that she was Orphanage. glad to have this errand, and two of the younger brothers followed her. In the Mutiny year, 1857, Secundra was completely destroyed, except She had never been in the bazaar before; the crowd and the noise the tomb, by the mutineers, but the children and natives of the adjoining frightened her, and her timid and bewildered look excited the notice Christian village were saved in time and found refuge in the fort at of a policeman, who thought she must be a lost child. He seized her, Agra. In 1860 the buildings for the boys and girls were rebuilt at beeding not her struggles and screams; and the little brothers, on Secundra, and the C.M.S. again appointed a clergyman and his wife to seeing the policeman, ran away, and Nando never heard more of any of take charge of the Orphanage.*
Since that time many of the little wild heathen children, who knew II.
nothing when they entered the Orphanage, have learned diligently, and Nando was taken to the police-station as a "found child," and was kept
become orderly and useful members of society. The children are taught there for two days, during which time inquiries were most likely being
to read and write, &c., to make their clothes, and prepare food; and
above all, they learn that they have a loving Father in heaven, who not made. But no one claimed the poor little girl. The mother had no
only gives them their daily bread, but in His Holy Word makes known means of doing so; and the male relatives were doubtless glad to be saved the expense of her wedding, for which they would have been obliged * A picture of the building, and a history of the Orphanage, appeared in the to arrange within the next two or three years. So no one came forward, GLEANER of July, 1876.
that He has given His own beloved Son as the Bread of Life, that whoso- door, quietly weeping. It was necessary that she should be punished ever believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life.
more severely than others mig at have been, because she had been treated
with a larger measure of confidence and love. God gave her grace to feel III.
deeply sorry for her sin, and heartily to repent. Many of the elder girls At first Nando fretted so much that for several years she was very repeatedly begged she might be forgiven, and at length their request was feeble, and lived chiefly in the hospital. When she became stronger granted, and she received her teac4er's first kiss on Christmas Eve. she went to school,
From that time and learnt with
Faith, though always great eagerness. Her
cheerful, was much longing desire was to
more humble and be baptized without
earnest, showing in delay, and her teacher
word and deed that and godfather, who
she was watchful over is now a preacher
herself. A slight alamong his heathen
lusion to her former fellow - countrymen,
misconduct would gave her the name
immediately bring of Faith, because of
tears to her eyes. the child-like earnest
During seasons of belief she expressed.
wasting sickness in Faith went through
after years none of all the school classes,
the girls were so reand very often took
liable as Faith. She prizes. She at last
who had once passed the examina
wronged the sick tion for teachers in
ones now devoted the normal class, and
herself most conat Easter, 1871, took
scientiously to them. charge of the fourth
The suffering and class. Although ex
the dying loved to ceedingly little, and
see her by their bedhardly fifteen years
many old, she knew how to
thanked her in a secure the obedience,
touching manner for respect, and love of
her loving care. ber scholars, and
The great anxiety their half-yearly ex
and long watching amination was always
during this season of successful.
much sickness in the Faith was tenderly
school told on Miss attached to her
H.'s health, and she teacher, Miss H.,
was obliged to go to whom the children
the Hills for rest and called “Miss Bābā,"
change of air. Thither and devoted all her
Faith joyfully acspare time to her ser
companied her bevice, either in sew
loved teacher, to ing or housework.
purse her, and also Her merry laugh was
to help her to acquire heard early and late.
the Native languages I must not conceal
more perfectly. At from you, however,
Landour, a place that she had once a
some 7,000 feet above sad fall, which in the
the plains, they enend did her good,
joyed the bracing air though she could
and beautiful scenenever think of it
ry, with the grand without the deepest
view of the snowy shame. Her teacher
range of the Himawas constantly send
There ing meat or a little
meets with such Eupudding from her
ropean trees as firs, own table for some
larches, poplars, of the sick children
weeping willows, walin the hospital, and
nuts, and chestnuts, she thought she could
with wild peach and not select a more
cherry-trees. Rhoreliable messenger
dodendrons are very than Faith. But the
abundant and grow devil tempts even
to tall trees, and in God's own dear chil
spring the hill-sides dren. He tempted
are coloured with Faith, and she re
their masses of scarpeatedly ate part of
let blossom. Thick the food sent for her
rose-bushes luxuriate sick sisters. Thank
to the height of even HINDU WOMEN OF BOMBAY. God her sin was soon
sixteen feet, covered found out. Her teacher was deeply grieved, but Faith confessed her with thousands of snow-white flowers. The songs of many birds are heard sin at once, and showed heartfelt penitence. As a punishment she among the trees, and the notes of the cuckoo might almost make you fancy was banished for a time from “Miss Bābā's” house. She felt this you were in Europe, if the vultures hovering above the heights, and the deeply, and fretted so much that she was worn to a shadow. Often when screaming parrots, did not remind you that this is India. the children had long been asleep she would lie before the closed house- Faith and her teacher found here a little missionary work to do for
their Saviour among the hillmen, who are very poor and ignorant, and live in small miserable straw huts. Their chief employment is in the summer, when they hire themselves to carry the conveyances in which
ladies go about, as there the roads are too narrow and steep for carriages. While Miss H. was carried, she often had pleasant conversations with her bearers, and she noticed that one of them, called Shitab, was glad to hear the Word of God, and 80 was his young
wife, Belmati, who daily paid Miss H. a visit. As neither of them could read, and they wished to know more of the Holy Book, Faith was entrusted with their reading lessons, and at the same time she taught a Hindu boy, nine years old, who was anxious to learn. She devoted some hours daily to her pupils, whilst Miss H. undertook their religious instruction; and their progress was delightful. They also learnt to sing some hymns. After Miss H. left Landour, in the autumn,
GROUP OF KOIS, DRAVIDIAN HILL-TRIBE, UPPER GODAVÁKY. (See p. 110.)