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board, found ourselves in a most comfortable ship, were slowly unmoored at 9, cleared the dock gates at 11, and the harbour lighthouse at 12.15, and so found ourselves once more on the way to dear, dear home.
OUR WORK IN
S Mr. Bickersteth, in
ters printed in last month's and this month's GLEANER, refers to his visit to Calcutta, we present on these middle pages two views of that great city; and with them we must just mention the work carried on there by the Society. The Calcutta Mission might be reckoned one of the "Missions seldom heard of," so far as the GLEANER is concerned; for scarcely any notice of it has ever appeared in our pages. And now there is only space for just naming the various agencies.
First, then, Calcutta is the head-quarters of the Society's North India Missions. At the C.M.S. office there meets the Corresponding Committee, which administers those Missions. On that Committee are the Bishop and the Archdeacon, and several officers and civilians in the Government service. One of them, Mr. Rivers Thompson, is now Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. These English gentlemen of high official rank have been the best friends and most liberal supporters of missionary work in India. They know the need of it; they know what is being done; and they delight to help it forward. Officers who come home and say there is little or nothing doing simply don't know; they care nothing about it, and take no pains to inquire. Of this Corresponding Committee the Rev. H. P. Parker is Secretary.
Then there is a church for English people to which
the Society appoints a minister. This is the "Old Church," the oldest in the city, built by Kiernander, a missionary of the Christian Knowledge Society, in 1771. It has been the centre of evangelical life and influence in Calcutta. The Rev. C. S. Harington is the present minister.
Bishop Daniel Wilson, before he died, made over to the C.M.S. a fund he had raised for a "Cathedral Mission." This fund supports some part of the Society's work in Calcutta, and among others the college for training Native clergy and catechists, which is therefore called the Cathedral Mission Divinity College. Of this an interesting account was given in our pages two months ago by the Principal, the Rev. W. R. Blackett.
Within the city the C.M.S. has two mission churches, Trinity and Christ Church. Trinity Church is in one of the Native quarters called Mirzapore, and is surrounded by parsonage, schools, &c., and by houses for Native Christians, all built on a piece of ground purchased in 1820 by Archdeacon Corrie, the friend of Henry Martyn, who was a great supporter of the C.M.S. This was the sphere of labour for many years of the late much lamented Rev. J. Vaughan. There is now a Native pastor, the Rev. Piari Mohun Rudra. At Christ Church the Rev. A. Clifford has been labouring, but he has now gone out into the country to superintend the important work in the Krishnagar district, and is succeeded by the Rev. Raj Kristo Bose.
In several suburbs and outlying villages, the C.M.S. has churches and schools, and little bands of Native Christians. There is Kidderpore, where a venerable clergyman, the Rev. Modhu Sudan Seal, resides; and Thakurpukur, formerly associated with the name of the Rev. James Long, but now having its Native pastor, the Rev. Molam Biswas; and Kristopore, near the Salt Lakes, where there is a little congregation of Christian fishermen; and Agarpára, with its interesting Orphanage, where the Rev. F. Gmelin is now stationed, and of which a picture and an account are awaiting their turn for space in the GLEANER.
There are several schools connected with the Society: particularly a Boarding School for Christian Boys, lately opened; a large Anglo-Vernacular School (i.e., where the education is both English and Bengali)—what we should call a middle-class or grammar-school; and several Vernacular Schools for the poor. Then there is the evangelistic work, the superintendent of which is the Rev. Dr. C. Baumann. Under him work Native teachers and evangelists, who carry the Gospel message to all classes and grades of the people. They go to the coolies and scavengers in the streets; to the lepers in the Leper Hospital; to the boatmen on the River Hooghly; to the crowds of Hindus who go down to the sacred river to bathe. Dr. Baumann also tries to reach the educated Hindus who speak English and study at the Calcutta University, and hold offices under Government, and of whom there are some thousands in Calcutta. A good many of these attend an English service he holds in Trinity Church on Sunday evenings. There is a fair number of Christians of this class; and in Mr. Piari Mohan Rudra's Sunday-school all the teachers but one are undergraduates of the University.
All this is good work, earnestly and prayerfully carried on; and we should thank God that so much has been done. But it is not half what ought to be done in a great city like the capital of India. Fortunately there are several other missionary societies at work also. We do not know how many Native Christians there are altogether in Calcutta and its suburbs. Those connected with the C.M.S. number 1,310. Is this a small body? Yes, it is; and who is responsible for it? Not the missionaries: they are toiling on in unfaltering faith and patience. Not the Great Master: He waits to pour out a blessing. But ourselves, in making such feeble efforts, and in thinking that our proper subscription to a vast work like that of the C.M S. is the same that we give to an individual church or school or orphanage or hospital in our own favoured land.
AN UNFURNISHED HOUSE.
O you live in an unfurnished house?
You will think this a strange question, but I will explain my meaning. I have heard that at a missionary meeting a gentleman once said he considered a house in which there was no missionary box unfurnished, and he advised those present to complete the furnishing of their houses, if they had not already done so, by taking a box. This was excellent advice, and I would commend it to you. It is to be feared that not very many think of this little article of furniture (or useful ornament I would rather call it) when making a list of "things wanted." Is your house furnished in this respect? Very possibly you have never thought seriously about it; it is now, at all events, brought under your notice. One often sees unlovely vases and worse pictures adorning a room; but the neat little missionary box is only too frequently conspicuous by its absence. Some people do not take a collecting box because the amount it would yield at the year's end would be so small. If you do the best you can, the amount is nothing, whether it be small or great. Let there be first a willing mind, then a man's gifts are accepted according to that he hath, and not according to that he hath not. We all know how a poor widow's gift was accepted by our Lord.
The box becomes a little altar in the household where there may be brought to God our "sacrifices of thanksgiving." I know a lady, who, when she feels sensible of any mercy God has granted her, drops a coin into her box. It is surprising how heavy it soon becomes with these have a box in the "spare" bedroom, that visitors may show their thanklittle offerings to Him whose mercy endureth yet daily. Some always fulness for travelling mercies; to which, by the way, we are often insensible, except when we have had some narrow escape. It is profitable to oneself to thus emphasise one's thankfulness by a gift, however small. Then again, it teaches members of a family a truth very much forgotten by us all, that "it is more blessed to give than to receive." It cultivates the healthy and blessed practice of giving. I know a household where the collecting box is placed upon the breakfast table every Sunday morning and each member of the family puts something into it. The box thrives so by this plan that it is necessary two or three times a year to open it and exchange the "coppers" for silver.
Another advantage is, it enables us to carry out our Lord's precept, "When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." As we place a gift in the box with a silent prayer that God may
bless it, no one knows what we give except our Father which seeth in secret. A guinea put into the missionary box will be more blessed to us than a guinea entered upon a subscription list.
Above all I look upon the little box as a witness-a witness as to Whose cause we have at heart. There it stands testifying to friends and visitors that God's kingdom is not forgotten. It speaks to all who enter the house, saying, that there is at least one of the children of God in that family. It reminds us of our Master's last command: "Preach the Gospel to every creature." WILLIAM G. HALSE.
All Hallows', Leeds.
THE FIRST-FRUITS OF UGANDA UNTO CHRIST. T has pleased God to give a seal of future success to the Victoria Nyanza Mission. Readers of the GLEANER will remember Mr. Pearson's interesting journal printed in the number for last November, in which he mentioned two boys, Luta and Mukasa, who were persecuted for declaring that Christianity was true and that all
other religions were "lies," and who were banished by order of King Mtesa to an island on the Great Lake. Afterwards they were released, and when Mr. Pearson left Uganda in March, 1881, he was allowed to take Luta (or Duta, as his name should be spelt) with him. On the journey to the coast he rejoiced the hearts of the missionaries by the blamelessness and consistency of his behaviour. They left him at Zanzibar under the care of Bishop Steere; and we now hear that on Easter Monday last he was baptized. Mr. Stokes, one of the C.M.S. missionaries, stood sponsor, and gave him the name of Henry Wright— a happy choice indeed! Mr. Pearson, who is now in England, has received a letter from him, written in the Suahili language, and translated by one of the members of Bishop Steere's Mission.
Here is part of it :—
"You are my father and I am your son, and I do not forget you. You
loved me very much. Even my father, when he saw how you loved me,
May God ever protect you! Good-bye,
(" HENRY. WRIGHT DUTA."
SKETCHES OF MISSIONARY WORK IN PALESTINE. BY LOUISA H. H. TRISTRAM.
ABLOUS, the ancient Shechem, is one of the most picturesquely situated towns in the Holy Land. Nestling between the mountains Ebal and Gerizim, about two miles up a lovely valley, and shaded by olive and palm trees, a lovelier spot could not well be imagined. The whole neighbourhood is peculiarly rich in Bible incident from the day when Abraham pitched his first camp in the Promised Land, on the plain of Moreh (or the Mukhna, as it is now called), into which the vale of Shechem opens, till the day when the Son of Man, being wearied, sat by the well at the entrance of the valley, and to the Samaritan woman uttered those words which, from their deep heart searching tenderness and mercy, have made the fourth chapter of St. John one of the choicest inheritances of the Church in all ages since. Passing from Jacob's Well across the mouth of the valley, we visited Joseph's Tomb, and before long were at the
little village of Aschar, now identified as Sychar, and after a short time spent here, we rode up the valley towards Nablous. Before we reached the town, we passed a natural excavation in the mountains at each side of the valley, the spot, it is generally believed, where the law was read before the assembled tribes of Israel, and the blessings and curses uttered from the opposite mountains. Here also Joshua gave his final charge to the children of Israel before his death (Josh. xxiv).
Before we came to Nablous, we saw a little gathering by the side of the road, and heard the sound of voices singing. It was the children of the Mission-school, who had come out, accompanied by their schoolmaster, to bid us welcome. We rode on under the olives until we reached the east gate of the town, by which we entered. A long straight street runs through the town to the west gate, lined on each side with bazaars, and from what be a very prosperous place. I think we were all rather glad we could observe, Nablous, with its 20,000 inhabitants, seems to when we issued from the west gate, and were off the smooth, slippery pavement, which gave but uncertain foothold to our horses. The tents had been pitched in an open space near the new Mission Church, close to the city, and shielded from the heat of the sun by an olive garden.
Nablous is the stronghold of Moslem fanaticism in the north of the Holy Land, and the bitterness against Christianity was formerly as strong as at Hebron or Gaza, but notwithstanding this the Church Missionary Society has planted a firm root in what promises to be by no means an unproductive soil. The staff here consists of Mr. Fallscheer, our missionary, and his wife, with schoolmasters and mistresses, and the work already accomplished speaks eloquently of the success and zeal of the workers.
Our first visit was to the nice new church which, though then unfinished, is now I believe opened and used for service.* It is extremely well-built and nice-looking, and stands over the new schools and class-rooms. A handsome flight of stone steps leads to a portico from which you enter the church. We were especially struck by the first-rate workmanship of everything, but this is owing to Mr. Fallscheer's careful superintendence. He has watched over all the building himself, and been his own clerk of the works. Over the portico hangs the church bell, the gift of Mr. Fallscheer's friends in Germany. The schools below were admirable, and much money had been saved by the discovery on the ground of two ancient cisterns, which have been repaired, and will contain water for nearly a year's supply. I think you will be astonished when I tell you that all this building, church and schools, has been accomplished at a cost of £1,000. We could hardly believe that double that sum had not been spent when we saw what had been done. The land had been bought by Bishop Gobat many years before. Soon, we hope, Mr. Falscheer will have a house of his own close by, instead of the wretched house in the town, which is all he can get now.
The day after our arrival, we went to see the schools, with which we were much pleased. The boys were writing their copies when we went in, and were squatting in rows on the floor. Each one carries a brass inkhorn in his girdle, and a reed pen, the slates being of tin. I borrowed pen and slate from one little fellow, and tried to copy the Arabic word, but a merry laugh from the lad made me stop, while he pointed out that it was quite wrong to begin at the left hand of the slate. I am afraid I was not a very apt pupil in Arabic writing. The reading and the answers of the children were capital. It was interesting to know that some of these little ones in the schools were Samaritans. The number of this, the smallest sect in the world, has now dwindled down to
* The church was opened on April 15th. The Bishop of Gibraltar and the Dean of Chester, who were travelling in Palestine, took part in the service. The Princes Albert Victor and George, the sons of the Prince of Wales, were also present.
forty; but they still keep up their old customs, and keep the Passover on the top of Mount Gerizim every year among the ruins of their old temple.
We went to the summit of Mount Gerizim the next day, and came down by the large caverns called Jotham's Caves; from the platform in front of which we could imagine his addressing the men of Shechem, while his parable might be suggested to him by the bramble, the vine, the fig, and olive trees growing round his feet, and on the slopes of the hills. ride up Mount Ebal gave us a better view of the lovely city, as it is built rather too close under Gerizim for us to see it well from thence. There seemed such an air of peace and serenity all through the beautiful valley, a fancy soon dispelled when one enters the town, and finds it just the same for dirt and disorder as any other in the country. It is a most fortunate circumstance that the C.M.S. premises are outside the town, though not too remote.
Mr. Fallscheer has much encouragement, though there are also many disappointments in his work; but his usual Sunday congregation consists of 120 men. Women in Nablous can never go out, and poor Mrs. Fallscheer is condemned to the same seclusion in her house in the town. There is a Bible and Book Depôt kept by a convert, and a great many Moslems are now finding their way there, buying books and
trust, come, one after another, with the prayer of the Samaritan woman on their lips, "Give me this water that I thirst not." There are schools in some of the villages near, superintended by Mr. Fallscheer, and in one an old Greek priest, now a convert, works as a catechist, and is a well-known character, having been fifteen years at work in Mount Ephraim and the neighbourhood.
Sebaste, the Samaria of the Bible, is not very far from Nablous, and a most interesting spot to visit. On the top of the hill stood Ahab's citadel, and here in later times Herod built himself
asking questions about Christianity. There are very large barracks a little way out of Nablous, and the officers from these are among the most frequent inquirers. One of these, a Turkish captain, and diligent Bible reader, came to our tents and had some conversation with my father.
As we left Nablous, we felt there was good hope for her future, for the true-hearted zealous labours of our missionary and his helpers there must bring the blessing promised to all such work done in the spirit in which it is being done here. The water of life is being freely offered, and many may, we
a magnificent palace, many of the columns of which still stand; while, in the plain below, where a field of young corn was just springing, several monoliths, the remains of Herod's Forum, were still erect. There is no town here, only a miserable village at a little distance, though the lovely plains all round well-culti
vated, and there
was promise of an abundant harvest.
ILKLEY CHURCH MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION.
A JUVENILE Meet
ing was held on May 8th. The Rev. D. Brodie gave a telling address. A "Farthing-a-Week" Fund was inaugurated in connection with the Juvenile Association. Mr. Brodie addressed a public meeting_in the evening. The amount raised by this association has thus risen: 1879, £11; 1880, £66; 1881, £68; 1882, £86.
A. C. DOWNER, Vicar, President. JAMES HINCHLIFF, Secretary.
THE ESQUIMAUX MISSION.