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urged from every pulpit and platform— Half as much again : the Lord hath need of it.'”
In referring to the liberality of some, and to what may be done by many others, Mr. Bickersteth writes :
“ It is quite true that many of our best supporters are already giving up to their power-yea, and some of them beyond their power—and that it would be simply impossible for them to give more, and wrong in us to urge it. But is it not also true that many of our subscribers, by a watchful economy, could do this thing for Christ's sake and the Gospel's ? And if they led the way, and proved the sincerity of their appeal to others by greater personal self-sacrifice, might we not hope to lengthen our cords as well as strengthen our stakes ? Are there not many who give little or nothing to the missionary cause because they have not been earnestly and affectionately invited to take an intelligent interest in it ? Many most valuable suggestions have already been made of new and increased efforts in our Sunday and upper-class schools; among the servants of the gentry; in enlisting the help of young men as lecturers ; in the use of missionary magic-lanterns, &c. ; in canvassing merchants and men of wealth. And if all these efforts were patiently and prayerfully carried out, surely it is not too much for us to hope that every association, by breaking new ground and more diligently cultivating the old, might very shortly contribute half as much again.
"Weighing these things calmly in the light of eternity, and of the Master's near return, shall we make this great effort or not? Some of us could reduce our personal and social expenditure without lessening our influence or crippling our local work for Christ. Some of us could forego a customary, but not necessary, domestic indulgence. In the resurrection of Germany (A.D. 1813) Alison says, "The women universally sent their precious ornaments to the public treasury, and received in return similar bijoux beautifully worked in bronze, which soon decorated their bosoms, bearing the simple inscription, 'I gave gold for iron, 1813.' It must be confessed that chivalry cannot boast of a nobler fountain of honour, or fashion of a more touching memorial of virtue.' Shall the deliverance of heathen lands from the yoke of Satan be less precious in our eyes ?
" Half as much again. It stimulates every agency. It sets a definite object before every giver and every labourer, old and young. Let us arise and do it in Christ's name, and, if possible, do it before our next Annual Meeting. And surely, as in the days of Hezekiah, we shall all rejoice, if God prepares the people, that 'the thing was done suddenly' (2 Chron. xxix. 36).”
On behalf of Orissa--not ito refer to the necessities of Rome-may we not reasonably ask for half as much again! When it is borne in mind that Orissa—which contains nine millions of people-does not, for its evangelization, receive much more on an average, than one halfpenny per week for each member of the denomination in England, or not more than ten per cent of the money raised for religions and philanthropic objects, surely the reasonableness of "half as much again" must be admitted. With one penny per week, on the average, from our twenty-five thousand church members," half as much again” would be an accomplished fact-a fact which is both possible and reasonable.
BY REV. P. E. HEBERLET, of SAMBALPUR. Mr. Heberlet writing to the Secretary of the Society observes:—
I send you some more notes from my diary; and first, with reference to
The characteristic greed of this class is quite as apparent here as elsewhere in India, perhaps more so, and when they press it on my attention by a more than usually persistent appeal, I remind them that as some of their holy men practising austerites, by keeping an arm constantly tied up to a post become at last unable to draw it down, so the brahmins, by having their hands constantly extended in a begging attitude, have now become quite unable to withdraw them. As I do not speak angrily, this brings a smile to the face of all who are by, it is not disputed, and the importunity ceases. Many of them will, in the most brazenfaced way, confess their ruling passion. One day, as we neared the Patna rajah's house, (he is a minor, a little boy,) we met a number of them coming from thence with the gifts dispensed to them on the death of the ruler of Kalahandy, a relative of the rajah. One of them addressed us, shewing his presents, and saying, “See here, the profit of being a brahmin. Now I can go home and feast on these things.” When I objected that that was no real gain, and that the kingdom of God was not meat and drink, he protested that it was. “Sir, there is no such thing as vice or virtue. The belly is the principal thing, and to fill it the whole duty of man.” To my question whether he acted on that principle, he unhesitatingly answered “yes,” and went on his way. Another time I met one who said that as their festival had come round I should feast the brahmins; and when I asked if he had no higher aim than feasting, replied, “As you were made a sahib, to be served and have incense offered to you, (figurative,) so I was made a brahmin to eat.” I assured him he left me in no doubt as to the consistency of his course with the latter statement, though I disputed the former. Once again, as I sat discussing in the bazaar, and endeavouring to shew that the temporal interests of the brahmins were bound up in the maintenance of the present system, one of them that sat by said, “True, sir, look here,” exhibiting a handkerchief full of mangoes, “I had not got these had I not been a brahmin.”
Their readiness to make such admissions as these, in the presence of the very people upon whose ignorance and credulity they impose, shews the strong assurance they entertain that their dupes can never be set free from the trammels of superstition in which they have enmeshed them. And yet there are tokens, which should be apparent even to them, that the time of deliverance is at hand. Indeed one of them the other day, taking up a lament about the perverseness of the “Kumbipatias,” said, “They mind not the gods, nor Jagannath, nor the tulsi plant, nor brahmins”—a cumulative charge, having its climax in the last clause. God speed the day when the same shall be said of all India's millions, and they shall acknowledge no twice-born save such as have been “born again of water and of the Spirit.”
Yet one more special instance of greed that came under my notice was a lively dispute in the public road between two companies of these “incarnations of God,” as they sometimes claim to be. The set attached to one temple had appropriated offerings intended for another, whereupon the other lot had retaliated in like manner, and then the first offenders, feeling themselves aggrieved, had come to call the other party to account. The shameful controversy drew a number of people to the spot, but the disputants went on; it rained, but they got under the eaves of the houses, or put up umbrellas, and went on, till at last it was settled somehow. How does the noble declaration, “I seek not yours, but you,” shine by contrast with such a scene as this. Then
Surely it is a gross darkness that covers the people so that their spiritual vision is obscured, a darkness that may be felt. On the walls of temples, their “holy” places, are depicted the vile imaginations of foul minds; and I have heard this practice defended by the singular statement that it protects the building from the thunder-bolt or lightning stroke. My remarks apply only to one temple in this town of those situated in public places, but elsewhere there are others, and one Sabbath-day in the market, coming across a native artist with whom I had conversed three or four times previously, I asked to see the roll he had
36 MISSIONARY OBSERVER.
under his arm. He first demurred, but then handed it to me. No pure mind would desire a second glance; but when I endeavoured to set before him the terrible depravity of his course, shocked to find in what way he employed his talent, he attempted to excuse himself by saying that when anyone desired to build a temple he was applied to for patterns of ornamentation for the walls. Yet, how is the judgment of the people perverted, that, notwithstanding this, they will pay every outward mark of respect to the temple as a holy place l Once, as I stood by one to speak to the brahmins who sat there, happening to put my booted foot upon the outermost step, I was begged to remove it “for fear of defilement to the habitation of the Holy One.” At another time, seeing that a woman called a man, who was sitting a little way off, to hand her a loto of water which had been left on the outer step of the temple, easily
within her reach, I asked and learnt that she must have walked over some unholy or unclean place, or for some such reason did not count herself fit to touch what rested on the step of the holy place. Is there any accounting for such oblique moral vision? The answer is given in Rom. i. 21. “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Oh, when shall the word of the Lord go forth with power to all. “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”! When shall there be another prophesying among the dry bones, and to the wind, “Come from the four winds, 0 breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live!” “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power.” Amen, so be it.
BY REW. T. F. MULEIOLLAND.
EIGHTH day (Wednesday, Oct. 25th).To-day we are fairly in the Mediterranean, with its deep blue waters, and its pleasant balmy breezes. Such weather in October 1 How unlike the biting October winds of dear old England, and especially the skinning blasts of dearer old Scotland. As we gaze on the pleasant waters of this mid-land sea, what a multitude of historical events—classical and biblical—rush into one's mind. Not far aheadwenay sailover the course ploughed by the frail barque of Æneid, the fabled founder of the Roman people. Not far to the right witnessed the tragic end of Dido, Carthage's Queen. The Bible student at once remembers he is in the “Great Sea.” of scripture, out of which arose the small cloud no bigger than a man's hand—the product of Elijah's prayer. Into this sea was thrown poor Jonah, after being dragged up from the sides of the ship— (he had gone steerage). By the way, we have met several whales, one of which was large enough to accommodate the faithless prophet; but science cannot stretch its (the whale's) mouthwideenough to allow him (Jonah) to pass. Turning to the New Testament, we can follow Paul in his memorable journey to the city of the Caesars. We are keeping close to the African shore, where we get a view of
Algiers by gaslight. Poor Africal her very land seems blighted by the curse on Ham. What we see from the ship is a vast expanse of sand and rocks, unrelieved by a patch of vegetation. To-night, at the dinner table, the effect of a smooth sea and bracing air are manifestly visible. Now we see faces that have been hid for a week. The sea sickness has passed away, and every one is in the best of spirits. How different is the reception given to the ship's fare. A few days ago the few who ventured to the table practically said, “throw curry to the dogs, I'll have none of it.” But just look at the way they clean their plates to-night. Not a few, with one or two of the “cloth” included, give us proof that while they may not read, mark, learn, they certainly can inwardly digest. Tenth day (Saturday).-Our voyage along the Mediterranean has been most enjoyable, and to-day we have reached the bellicose island of Malta. From every point we have cannon frowning upon us. “Cannon to right of us, cannon to left of us.” Notwithstanding the intense heat, the great majority of the passengers landed and witnessed the various sights mentioned in the guide books. Those who remained on board had an inexhaustible store of amusement in witnessing the bartering of the vendors of Maltese lace, who actually pushed their goods on their fair purchasers. Several troop-ships were close to us, and the clandestine trade in tobacco was very great. There was an incessant trade between the boatmen and the portholes. The heroes of Tel-el-Kebir were evidently short of cash; but the men who could circumvent poor Arabi were not to be beat, though money was scarce; hence popped out shirts, pillow slips, etc., all eagerly caught by the enthusiastic floating merchants, who gave in return the precious “weed.” One fellow was evidently conscience stricken in regard to the Government pillow slips, but he forgot to return the square of tobacco to the boatman, who did a deal of swearing, but, being in Maltese, it did no harm. The whole appearance of Malta was not prepossessing. The day was very hot, and the glare of the soft sandstone buildings was painful to the eyes. Again, the “loafing” class was very large. Hundreds of men unqualified for work solely by indolence, presented a difficult problem to the social reformer. The streets were dirty, disturbing the olefactory nerves in no little degree. The professional beggar met the visitor at every turning with an importunity far exceeding the widow in the Gospels. But the great outstanding fact of Malta is its fortifications, which, to the non-professional eye, appear in every way complete. Far be the day when Malta's power of destruction shall be called into requisition. Our three hundred tons of coal are all on board; then, with a parting salute to the red-coated heroes, we bid Malta good afternoon. 11th day (Sunday).-Alas! we are “rocked in the cradle of the deep” once more. Two days ago we were congratulating each other that our stomachs and legs were now accustomed to the unstable element—but not so; there were more people sea-sick to-day than what we had at any time in the Bay of Biscay. All agree (including the ship's officers) that last night was very stormy. We can now enter into the feelings of St. Paul in his Mediterranean storm. Last night we had our “Euroclydon,” and it was “tempestuous” in the extreme. “We were exceedingly tossed with a tempest,” and “we wished for the day.” One poor lady went about the dining saloon all the night declaring that we were going to the bottom. The water was dashing over the vessel in tons,—putting silence, if not sense, into silly people. Sleep was out of the question; and this morning We were of all men most miserable. It is
A STORY OF “ DEGREES” IN FOUR PARTS. 37
pleasing to see that all feel, if they do not express, gratitude to God for protection from the dangers of the deep. There was a grand sublimity in the action of the waves last night. Our 4,000 tons ship was knocked about like a cockle shell. The “sea hath spoken,” and blessed are they who could hear the articulate sounds of the still small voice in the thunder roar of the winds and waves. “It is I, be not afraid,” was our all-sufficient promise. There was supreme sport for those who could enjoy it; but our sense of the ludicrous was somewhat blunted, hence everything seemed common place. 14th day (Wednesday)—This morning we are all on the tiptoe of expectancy to see Port Said. It is now in the distance; and as we near it let us take a view of the passengers in hot-weather garb. The ladies claim our first attention. The young ladies are preparing to go ashore, and they are determined to show their Egyptian sistershow England's daughters can dress. All the colours of the rainbow are displayed,—and, as a rule, with taste. There are exceptions (grotesque in the extreme); but, generally speaking, the light airy get up has a pleasing effect. Gentlemen have dispensed with every dispensable piece of clothing; and no marvel, the heat of the sun is intense. Helmets of every shape, with yards of calico attached. What a figure they would cut in a staid English country town. The town (?) of Port Said is built on a flat Sandy piece of land jutting out into the Mediterranean. As we approach we wonder where is the harbour, and especially look out for the entrance to the canal. With the assistance of the pilot all our difficulties are soon made plain. After rounding a point, we glide pleaSantly past several men-of-war, and come to anchorage. Now we have a full view of Port Said, made historic ground by Sir Garnet. We would violate the term by calling it a town. It is Oriental in every respect, even to the sacred dirt and smells. Brawling bullock and donkey drivers are everywhere asserting themselves. The buildings sadly lack beauty and symmetry. Here is a tolerable hotel, and alongside of it a wretched mud-built hut. The only piece of beauty about it is its lighthouse, built of solid masonry, standing 120 feet above the level of the sea. Some of the passengers landed tonight, and getting into one of the gambling hells were (shall we say deservedly) fleeced. An amusing case of indistinct dealing took place to-night. Nine passengers went on shore, promising the boatman one shilling as their fare. The
purser was a countryman of mine, and he, canny Scot like, refused payment till the return journey. After all the passengers were safely on board the Egyptian boatman had one shilling slipped into his hand by the Scotch treasurer. Bah! what an Oriental row. Egyptian gosticulation and Scotch stolidness face to face. The Arab attempted to use violence; but, lo! he found himself safely in hie boat in a most unceremonious way. Scotch boots and non-sensitive Egyptian flesh collided. But oh! the Arabic oaths that came over the waters; being in Arabic, however,
like the aforesaid Maltese, they did no harm. One curiosity I forgot to mention, which the Arabs told us we should by all means see, viz., the dead body of a Jew who was hanged this morning. He was not yet cut down. Perhaps the officials and the “shrimps” were in league providing an additional “lion" for their wretched town. I am afraid that the sight did not "draw.” In bidding adieu to the Mediterranean we have finished another stage of our journey. Halfpast ten (five bells) has gone, the electric light has been shut off, so, kind reader, good night
News from Rome. WITH reference to the evangelistic and educational work being carried on in Rome Mr. Shaw writes :
When I took our locale in the Via Volturno a year ago, it was Hobson's choice. The position seemed excellent, but the place was small, and its shape exceedingly inconvenient. We were much annoyed by the noises of the street, and found that the place was too exposed for the timid ones, of whom there are many yet in Rome. At length I have been able to secure an every way excellent locale, only a few paces distant from the old one. It is in a street which crosses Via Volturno, and is called Via Montebello. The locale is sufficiently public, while just out of the noise. It is sufficiently large, at least for the present, and seems to give universal satisfaction.
A higher rent, of course, it was necessary to pay, nearly double that of the locale in Via Volturno, but I am thankful to say that a kind friend, who forbids me to mention bis name, has promised to follow the example of Messrs. R. Johnson and C. Roberts, jun., and so the extra expenditure is provided for. The furnishing will cost from twelve to fifteen pounds, which sum I should be thankful to receive from some lover of the good work.
The locale has already been opened, and may be called a success. On two evenings in the week we have evangelistic services in it, which have hitherto been well attended, and four other evenings are devoted to teaching English and French. Each of these English and French classes is attended by about twenty-five apparently intelligent persons, mostly young men of a class superior to that which forms the majority of evangelical congregations; and their having purchased books is some guarantee of their earnestness.
These classes will make us acquainted with many who would, but for them, keep aloof from us, and we shall have many opportunities of presenting to their minds the highest kind of truth. Indeed a number of them already come to hear us preach the Gospel.
A TIME TABLE. We are making the most of our time, as our readers will see from this time table of our meetings, which I will give. Of course it does not include meetings that are not exclusively our own, but which are sufficiently numerous to make large demands on our time. Sunday: at 9.30 A.M. Sunday School in Via Urbana.
11.0 Morning Service
7.0 P.M. Evening
8.30 French Class at Via Montebello.
7.0 Preaching, etc., at
8.30 English Class at
8.30 French Class
Bible Reading, etc., at via Urbana.
8 30 English Class at Via Montebello.