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GOOD NEWS FROM CHINA.
next day to hear more about salvation. In this manner they continued coming for several days, and at length declared themselves convinced, and placed themselves under the more systematic course of instruction preparatory to baptism. The majority of these women can read the Scriptures, a rare qualification in Chinese women : they therefore made more than ordinary progress in knowledge of divine things. The conversion of so many respectable persons to Christianity has made a great stir at Ming-ang-teng, and though it has excited great opposition, it has excited, also, a great and, I hope, a lasting interest in the truth. These women now became most anxious for baptism, but at that time, from circumstances already explained, I was unable to grant them this great privilege. Finding that I was not able to visit Ming-ang-teng, the old woman of whom I speak, determined to overcome every difficulty, made
her way to Fuh-chau, and in person begged for admission into the Christian church. It was a most affecting sight, an old woman, over sixty years of age, coming a distance of over twenty miles to beg admission into the church of Christ. It was deeply interesting to see her, as I did, totter into my study in the evening, leaning upon her staff, and expressing her faith in Christ and pleading for baptism. She urged her old age, the uncertainty of life, and her great love to the Saviour, as reasons why she should be admitted. When I told her that the proper place for her to make a public confession of her faith in Christ was at Ming-ang-teng, amongst her friends and neighbours, and that it was doubtful whether I could break through my important rule of receiving members into the church only at the place where they resided and were converted, she looked sad indeed, and earnestly implored not to be gent back without baptism. Though at that moment I felt I could not send her away without granting her request, yet I felt it necessary to impress upon her, and upon others through her, the importance of the rule which I had laid down for my own guidance. I told her that, as she had come so far, and had urged some important reasons, I was willing to baptize her if, after due examination, we thought she understood the truth, and with her heart believed in Jesus. This was on Saturday evening, and it was really encouraging, soon after this interview, to see her at prayer-meeting entering so heartily, and with real devotion, into the prayer of the brethren for the conversion of China to the faith of Christ. After prayer she gave a short, simple, but affecting account of her conversion, and her faith in Jesus. She satisfied us all, and no man could forbid water that she should not be baptized, who had, as we believe, received the Holy Ghost as well as we. Accordingly I had the great privilege of admitting her the following morning into the congregation of Christ's flock, and signing her with the sign of the cross, as a token of her firm faith in the crucified as the crucifier of sin, and as the great atonement for human transgression. There were two others baptized on the same occasion.
I have since baptized another of these women from Ming-ang-teng, more interesting, if possible, than the person I have just described. She is quite a literary lady seventy-five years of age, but full of vigour and spiritual life. She came to Fuh-chau on Christmas eve, leaning on the arm of the catechist Cheng-seng, her father in Christ. After hearing her
POETRY-NATURE AND FAITE.
confession of faith in Jesus, and satisfying myself as to the reality of her faith and the sincerity of her love, I baptized her on Christmas-day, in the presence of an immense congregation of her heathen countrymen, who flocked to our church on that day to witness our celebration of the Saviour's birth. It was deeply interesting and encouraging to myself to see this dear sister standing before the font, and clearly and firmly, in the presence of so many heathen, renouncing for ever the idolatry of her countrymen, and confessing her unchanging allegiance to Christ and His church. It was a glorious opportunity of preaching Christ to the heathen who witnessed the ceremony, and I trust and pray that many of those who were present and heard the truth which I was enabled to put before them on that occasion may yet be brought to Christ by what they heard and saw on this interesting day. There are occasions when the Mission"ary feels himself lifted entirely above himself, and experiences a power of speech ordinarily not granted to him. Without presumption, I think I may confess I felt that God was in the midst of us on this occasion, and helped me wonderfully to speak of Christ and His salvation to those poor ignorant pagans. The attention of the people, too, was very marked, and altogether it was a most blessed and deeply-interesting day to us.
Very great efforts have been made to draw away this woman from the faith, by members of the society to which she formerly belonged, but she has been kept stedfast. When her former co-religionists found that she had actually entered the church, they became enraged, and threatened all sorts of evils against her. None of these things moved her, except to pray for her persecutors. And she embraces every opportunity of bringing others to a knowledge of the Saviour.
NATURE AND FAITH.
Nature sees the body dead
Faith beholds the spirit fled ;
BHULSA BOA, NOW SHANTWAN.
Nature writhes, and hates the rod-
BHULSA BOA, NOW SHANTWAN. SEVERAL years back, as the late Rev. E. Rogers was itinerating in Candeish, some tracts which he distributed fell into the hands of a man named Bhulsa Boa. He read them, and, so far as his understanding was concerned, was convinced that Christianity was the true religion; but his heart was not converted, and the love of the world made him resist his convictions, and remain professedly a heathen, for he was a Mahar guru, and had many disciples; and yet, with strange inconsistency, he began to teach his followers what he knew of Christianity, composing for this purpose Christian poems, which he chanted to them. The result was, that several of his disciples became Christians, and were baptized, while he himself remained behind. In 1859 our Missionary, the Rev. C. C. Mengé, of Malligaum, found him at a village called Wadneir, and was astonished at his intelligence and wonderful knowledge of Christianity. He could not be persuaded, however, to act according to the light he had, and, to escape from the importunities of our Missionary, broke up suddenly from Wadneir, where he had resided many years, and went to live at a distant place, yet still within the limits of the Candeish province. Again, a few years back, Mr. Mengé found him there, but more indisposed than ever to listen to him, so much so, that he received what was said in any thing but a friendly spirit. All that could be done was to pray for him.
Soon afterwards he moved back to his native village, Pimpulgaum, and there he was attacked with an illness so severe that he thought he should die. His long smothered convictions now arose to trouble him, and in the distress of his mind he dreamt that some one appeared to him in bright apparel, and reproached him for his cowardice and rejection of eternal life. He awoke in terror, crying out again and again, Baptism !
BHULSA BOA, NOW SHANTWAN.
It pleased God that his life should be spared, and another opportunity afforded him for repentance. So soon as he was able he came to Mr. Menge at Malligaum, requesting to be baptized. The long-standing controversy with his convictions was at an end. He was willing to give up all for Christ, and was filled with joy and peace in believing. His whole family, wife and sons and daughters were all ready to follow his example, and unite themselves in discipleship to the Lord Jesus. Very refreshing it was to hear him testify to the blessed truths of the Gospel, for he was wonderfully taught by the Spirit in the word of God.
Mr. Mengé describes him as about sixty-five years old, full of energy and intelligence, and very anxious to spend the remainder of his days in the service of the good Shepherd.
He was baptized at Malligaum, in the presence of the nativeChristian congregation and some Europeans, on June 13th, 1867. After his baptism he drew up the following paper, entitled
A SHORT SKE ICH OF THE LIFE OF SHANTWAN,
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF IN MARATHA. When I was eighteen years old I learnt the Balbodh Maratha alphabet from a Brahmin in Pimpulgaum, my native village, in the Deccan. Neighbours then remarked to each other respecting me, “This lad will become the founder of a religious sect."
About this time the 36th regiment of native infantry passed through my village on their way to Baroda, and I resolved to go with it and take service there. A certain Mr. Wilson, in charge of the commissariat department employed me as hamal. One day, as I was reading a Christian tract, Mr. Wilson asked, “What are you reading." I answered, “ About the name of God.” Mr. Wilson continued, "God will not hear us ; we are sinners: you must take the name of His Son Jesus Christ, through which to address Him." I replied, “I do not know that name.” The gentleman said, “You will become acquainted with that name by and by."
My parents then persuaded me to marry, and, after some hesitation, I consented to marry in 1818. It was in the same year that the fort of Malligaum was taken by the English. At the celebration of my wedding, according to Mahar custom, my father killed some goats in honour of Khundoba, and also got a silver image of Khundoba made for me to worship in my family. I remonstrated with my father, and said, “Why do you spend so much money on idolatry?” My father answered, “When you were once very ill during your infancy, I made a vow to Khundoba, that if you should get better I would do this in his honour.” I said, “Very well, Khundoba has ruined you: I will take my revenge on him.” My father answered, “Do not say so, my son : Khundoba is very fierce and will make your face crooked."
There happened to be an eclipse of the moon at that time, and the village Mang went about begging alms and gifts of the people in order to deliver the moon from the monster Rahu. Some of them gave money, others clothes. I ran into the house and gave the Mang the silver idol
BHULSA BOA, NOW SHANTWAN.
Khundoba. When my father asked me, “What have you given to that Mang?" I answered, “The silver image of Khundoba."
On hearing this my father got angry, and said, “What! have you given away my great god to a Mang?" He then ran at me and hit me twice with his shoes. I escaped from home, and slept all night in the jungle. My father then cried and cared more for me than for Khundoba. When I heard that my father wished me to come back, I returned home the next morning. As soon as my father saw me he kissed me, and cried, not act in this way, my son; God will make your face crooked." I said, “Father, Khundoba is no god; he was a man.
My father died in the year 1824, and I removed to the camp of Malligaum. When Duda Boa, our present Scripture-reader, Santosh, at Wadneir, heard that a celebrated Mahar guru from the Deccan had arrived in Malligaum, he called me away to Wadneir.
I then stayed with him and composed a few songs in praise of Wittoba. About that time a book fell into my hands containing a dialogue between a Missionary and a Brahmin in Poona, about the merits of going on a pilgrimage to Pundherpore. I then composed 125 abhangs (songs) in honour of Jesus Christ. Dr. Wilson having heard that I was inquiring, kindly sent us some tracts, and in a letter he said, among other things, “Why do you spend money in going to Pundherpore? Come to Bombay." We did not follow the Rev. Doctor's advice. In the year 1859, Lakhiram, Bhagoba, Yemajee (formerly my disciples), and others, told Appajee Bappajee, our catechist at Malligaum, that there were two persons at Wadneir inquirers after God's truth. Appajee came to Wadneir, and asked, “How did you become acquainted with so much of God's word ?” I answered, “For a long time I have known that God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (in one) is the true God.” Appajee then gave me a Maratha New Testament, and told me to pay him a visit at Malligaum. I made a short stay with him at Malligaum, but soon returned to Wadneir. Mr. Appajee then brought the late Mr. Rogers there to converse with me. The Rev. Mr. Rogers came four times to Wadneir, and urged me to be baptized. I refused, but Duda Boa and his son Tukaram were baptized by Mr. Rogers in the station church at camp Malligaum. Duda Boa's name was changed into Santosh, and Tukaram's became Samuel. Their friends at Wadneir were very angry, and would no longer associate with them.
About that time the Rev. C. C. Mengé and Mrs. Mengé came to Wadneir to examine the native Christians, and to see whether any of their former friends were inclined to embrace Christianity. Mr. Mengé asked Duda Boa whether he knew the ten commandments, and could repeat the names of the twelve apostles. Duda Boa called me. Mrs. Menge then inquired of me, “Can you say the ten commandments ?” I repeated the first commandment. Mrs. Mengé then said, “That will do." asked the names of the twelve apostles, and began to enumerate them, but Mrs. Mengé stopped me, and said, “Very well, that is enough." Mrs. Mengé then asked me, “Will you not be baptized into the name of Christ?" “ If God shows mercy to me, I will,” replied I. Mrs. Mengé
“God has shown mercy unto you, why do you hesitate ?" My disciples then began to say, “Our guru (spiritual guide) knows nothing