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THE GOSAIN, OR HINDOO DEVOTEE. Our engraving this month represents one of the Religious Devotees so numerous in India, and popularly known by the name of Fakeers. They are divided into many different Orders, more or less distinguishable by their costumes and the modes of penance or austerity which they practise. The principal Orders in Northern India are the Gosains, one of whom is represented in the engraving; the Bairagees; Jogees ; and Sunyasies. But there are many other Orders, the Disciples of which abandon secular life, and devote themselves to that of Religious Ascetics. Some of them remain almost always seated at one place, generally under the shade of the wide-spreading peepul-tree, which is regarded as sacred by all the Hindoos; but a still greater number travel about the country, and especially frequent holy places, such as Benares, Gaza, Allahabad, Juggernath, and Burdwan.
At some of these places many thousands of these Devotees are often to be seen at once, during the great Hindoo Festivals. They subsist by the alms of the people, and these are often liberally bestowed on them upon such occasions. They include in their number men of all Castes of Hindoos, not a few of them being Brahmins.
The sentiments of the different Sects vary, but their principal doctrine is, That sin has its seat in the bodily organs, and is to be destroyed by mortifications of the body, and by abstracting the mind from material objects. When the soul entirely escapes from the influence of Matter, it obtains absorption in the Divine Essence, which is, according to the Hindoo System, the highest form of Salvation. Whatever may be the variations of doctrine among these sects, they generally agree in this tenet,— That salvation is only to be secured by the subjugation of the bodily organs, and the passions in general ; and hence the various austerities practised by them.
Some of the best Converts to Christianity in India have been from among these Sects, and several of the most excellent of our Native Preachers were once Devotees.
Among these is Isaidas, the devoted Native Evangelist of Benares, supported by christian friends connected with the church under the pastoral care of the Rev. Dr. Vaughan, of Kensington. According to the custom of his fraternity, Isaidas spent a number of years in visiting the most sacred places of the Hindoos, and was passing through Benares on his way to a celebrated idol-temple in the North of India, when he was arrested by the voice of a Native Missionary, the late Narpat Singh, who was preaching in a Bazar by the way-side. The fervid and powerful eloquence of the preacher, in beseeching his countrymen to seek salvation through the Son of God, rivetted his attention, and made a deep impression on his mind, issuing eventually in his decided conversion to Christ, and the acknowledgment of His name in baptism.
Isaidas is a most diligent reader of the Scriptures, and an able, zealous, indefatiga. ble preacher of the Gospel. He often accompanied Mr. Buyers to the native festivals to spread the knowledge of the Saviour ; and, on one occasion, when to avoid the extreme heat of the day the people travelled at night under the light of the moon, he spent whole nights in preaching the Gospel to the passing pilgrims. “Often,” says Mr. Buyers, “I heard his voice at two or three o'clock in the morning, telling his perishing countrymen of the love of Christ.”
THE PASTOR RESTORED TO HIS FLOCK. The charge of the native church at Pursewaukum has again devolved upon our brother, Mr. Drew, who reached Madras from England, after visiting the Missions in Travancore, June 30th. Speaking, at the commencement of the present year, of the increase of the work of God in this section of the Madras Mission, he observes :
I rejoice to know that, during my ab- men taking up their Bibles, and to hear the sence, the people have made steady and rustling of the leaves as they turn to the happy progress in knowledge and piety, passage; and still more to see in them and under the pastoral care of my esteemed in the men the sparkling eye and the gratebrother Mr. Leitch. The congregation of ful look when some new view of the blessed native believers now presents one of the Saviour's work reaches their heart. most pleasing sights that my eye has ever On my first arrival, several days were looked upon in India. The average attend given to receive the members of the native ance is about 200-a poor people-rery low church, with their families, that we might amidst the ranks of men, but very precious, mutually express our joy and gratitude at I believe, in the eyes of Him who has being permitted to see each other again in bought them with his blood. Humble as the flesh-a blessing for which we seemed they are, well do many of them know that for so long a time to have been hoping they are sitting with Christ in heavenly against hope. It was very apparent to me places. Nothing can exceed their devout that those visits were visits of the heartand intelligent attention. Many of the the heart touched by spiritual feeling: it christian women have been educated in our was the welcome of those who rejoiced in Boarding-school, and are now exemplary the return of a Pastor who had already wives and mothers. We are reaping in broken to them the bread of life; through them the blessed fruits of the self-denying whose instrumentality they had already relabours of our dear sisters in the Mission. ceived many blessings; and through whom At the mention of a passage of Scripture, they hoped to receive still more and still it is very gratifying to observe these wo larger blessings.
ENLARGEMENT OF THE Native Church, Through divine favour there has been an addition of fourteen members to the church. Among these are several in whose call from darkness to light the grace of God has been exceedingly magnified.
One of our newly-received members, now very consistent: she argues against (writes Mr. Drew,) is Martha, an aged dis- idolatry with her other children, who still ciple. She is the mother of one of the continue in heathenism, and prays for them. members of the church, and a lively Chris Another of the new members is a contian. On the conversion of her son from vert from Popery, eighty years old, whose heathenism, she was greatly opposed to gray hairs show that life is nearly gone. Christianity; and so strong were these feel On the brink of the grave she has been led ings, that, at his baptism, and even at his to renounce the errors of Romanism, and marriage to a young person who had been receive Christianity. She is the grandmoeducated in our Boarding-school, she refused ther of a Catechist, and had long held out to be present. It pleased God to make the against every attempt to change her opison the happy instrument of the conversion nions. A zealous young christian woman, of the mother: her other sons were absent, the wife of one of our schoolmasters, herand this one was confined to the home by self a convert from Popery, was made the illness for a considerable time. During this means of effecting this happy change. Our period, he was incessant in prayer and effort aged sister possesses but little knowledge, to bring her to the knowledge of Christ, but I was much affected by the earnest way and God blessed the means. Her mind was in which, with a tottering body and tresoftened-she saw the truth of Christianity, mulous lips, she expressed her faith in the believed it, and was baptized. Her walk is Lord Jesus Christ.
BAPTISM OF Converts. The power of the Gospel to purify and elevate the most degraded has often been exemplified in the history of Indian Missions ; and the following facts, from the correspondence of Mr. Drew, supply an interesting illustration of the words of the Apostle, “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound
the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen ; yea, and things which are not to bring to nought things that are ; that no flesh should glory in his presence."
On a recent visit to Poonamallee, (writes the beings on whom all this was to be conMr. D.,) it was my privilege to administer ferred, it seemed as if it could not be as if, baptism to seven persons-three adults and to such misery, such greatness could not four children - the largest number which it come. But when in lively terms they spoke has yet been my happiness to admit at one of their faith and their hope, and I saw time to a profession of the Faith. There are the light of the jewel of the soul, which, circumstances of deep interest attending though buried so long, had not been detheir baptism. They were Pariars-out-casts stroyed; I rejoiced in my heart at the mar-who, from time immemorial, have been vellous grace of the glorious Gospel of the trodden down and oppressed by the men blessed God. whose miserable serfs they are. They bore Some of the high-caste heathen-their all the marks of this long oppression; their former lords- were present at the baptism : bodies were thin, attenuated, and ill-formed; it was evident they were deeply struck; their skins black and shrunken, hanging in and intense attention was imprinted on wrinkles over the forehead. One of them, their countenances, when I addressed the however, was the head-man of his village, converts on the privileges, the dignities, (for they have so much of authority left to the duties of the new state on which they them,) and the habits of thought and busi- were entering. These proud men must ness showed themselves to some extent in have felt the wonderful grace of the Gospel, his face.
in such condescension to such poverty; and But these down-trodden beings have they will speak of their feelings, and who been made free by Christ; and they now shall say how far the news will spread? came to declare their faith in Him, and to Many of them were present on the Sab. put in a claim to the riches of His inherit- bath, sitting on the side-benches, (for they ance. As I spoke to them of these riches would not sit on the same benches with the -of the price at which they had been Pariars,) and hearing with great attention. bought-of the family of God' into which Oh! that the word may reach their hearts they had come-the kingdom of heaven- also! its joy-its crown; and then locked upon
BELLARY.--" THE WARDLAW INSTITUTION.” The friends of christian education will be gratified to learn that, among the recent vigorous efforts of our Missionaries in India to advance its interests, our devoted brethren at Bellary have succeeded, by means of a special subscription not yet closed, in erecting on their station, a spacious and substantial building, in which they have commenced a superior English AND Vernacular School, under the most encouraging circumstances. In addition to the more general reasons which prompted this important undertaking, the aggressive efforts of the Romish Church within a recent period, and the concurrent endeavours of the Brahminical Priesthood to revive the declining power and dying splendours of Hindooism, furnished our brethren with powerful special motives to attempt the formation of the Institution which forms the subject of this article. The particulars are taken from the correspondence of the Rev. William Thompson, under date of September last :
Our last Annual Report (writes Mr. T.) masters with superior knowledge and good would inform you of our proceedings in the habits for teaching. Such a school proEducational Department of the Mission. mised also to increase our influence among Since then increased views of the import- the more respectable classes of the native ance of the subject has led to a large pro- community, most of whom are desirous that portion of our time being devoted to it. their sons should learn English. We hoped We had long had_it in contemplation to also that, if our labours were conducted with establish a good English and Vernacular prudence and vigour, God would vouchsafe School for the benefit of our Orphan and to bless them to the conversion of some of the Christian Boys, as well as to train up School. Pupils who might be committed to our care
The time, too, seemed to have come when we were called upon in Providence to attempt, not only to maintain the ground we had taken up as a Protestant Evangelical Mission, but to enlarge our operations and to adapt them more entirely to the changing circumstances of the people around us. I mentioned in a late letter, that we have no fewer than four Roman Catholic Priests at Bellary-two from Maynooth, and two from Goa. They are all zealous men, and I fear that their labours are very prejudicial to the interests of Bible Christianity. They have lately built a substantial chapel, making the fourth belonging to the Roman Com munion in Bellary alone; besides buildings of more humble pretensions for the use of the natives in the bazars and villages.
Hindooism of late has again been lifting up its head. A large new Idol-car has just been built by a wealthy Silversmith, and dedicated to one of the temples with great expense and pomp. The Brahmins, in the spirit of rivalry, immediately began a subscription for another Car, and are said to have raised 4,000 rupees. Nor is this confined to the Brahmins. A Jungum Gooroo died here some time ago, and his followers have spent 10,500 rupees of the money he left behind him in erecting a Chuttram to his memory, containing his tomb, which is devoutly worshipped by his deluded followers. This man, soon after I came to Bellary, seeing me in the Bazar near his house distributing tracts and conversing with the people, invited me in and presented me with sweetmeats. He seemed to me partially deranged; but I strongly suspected that he was more “knave than fool;" whilst the poor infatuated people evi. dently regarded his madness as a proof of his divinity. Thus we see that the propagators of falsehood, error, and superstition, are everywhere at work; and surely this is not the time for the friends of the Redeemer to fold their arms in security and ease. We have a mighty battle to win or to lose in India, and fight we must or quit the field.
Soon after determining on establishing the English and Vernacular School, I wrote, through my beloved father-in-law (Rev. Dr. Wardlaw) to the young people in connection with George-street chapel, Glasgow, and obtained from them the promise of pecuniary aid. With a zeal and liberality beyond all praise, they offered to adopt the
dian community, which was generously responded to by placing 915 rupees at my disposal for this object. In the meantime the most respectable portions of the native community took the alarm, and have ever since shown the most determined opposition to the new Institution. It is said that they have applied to Government for a part of the surplus Pagoda funds which have accumulated at this Presidency, and have announced their intention of carrying on their educational plads on a scale of grandeur and entire subserviency to native prejudices, which will drive the Missionaries out of the field. Though quite aware that much of this was mere vapouring, yet from the high station of the men who had taken the lead in this opposition, and the bitter spirit they have displayed, it seemed to be necessary to the character of the Mission to extend our own plans, and anticipate their movements. This has been done at an expense of 2,700 rupees, more than one half of which has been already raised. The building is spacious and of the most substantial kind, having a brick terrace-roof, and is well raised and thoroughly ventilated. It was opened on the 28th of August, with appropriate services, and called the “Wardlaw Institution." The average attendance of the Pupils, including our christian boys, is eighty-one.
We are connecting with the Institution a Library and Museum, towards both of which I have received some valuable contributions. No part of our labours at Bellary, since I joined the Mission, has caused so mucb excitement among all classes, but more especially the higher classes of the native community, as the establishment of this School. And this has been heightened greatly by the late events in connection with the Free Church Institution at Madras. At a meeting of some of the most influential Brahmins a few weeks ago, it was said by one of them, “Those who send their boys to the Missionary School had better cut off their knots of hair, and take off their Brahminical Threads at once.” And this remark was responded to by the rest. Yet, notwithstanding, we have some of the most respectable boys in the Pettah under our care, and many persons have promised to send their boys when the excitement has subsided a little. Our prospects at present are very cheering, and I trust that in the end it will be seen that we have been directed by an all-wise Provi
sphere of labour.
contribute annually to its support. Thus encouraged I made an appeal to the In
MISSIONARY LABOURS IN THE TELOOGOO COUNTRY. In the course of last autumn, our brother, Mr. Gordon, performed an extensive and interesting Missionary Tour through a part of the country to the West of Vizagapatam. The result of his observations on the moral condition of the native mind ; the disposition of the inhabitants towards the doctrines of the Cross, in contrast with the unholy character and destructive tendencies of Hindooism ; and the amount of encouragement which he experienced in the prosecution of his self-denying labours ; are recorded in the following passages of his journal :
Aug. 15, 1846.- Arrived at Ankapilly of corn-the rice, jouna, and ragy, being the last night, after a fatiguing journey of eight principal ones. The village is small, but hours from Vizagapatam, the roads being prettily situated on the slope of a hill, on very bad from the heavy rains which have the top of which there is a dilapidated fallen of late. At six o'clock this morn- Hindoo Temple commanding a picturesque ing, I went into the town and addressed a view of the country. Soon after I arrived, number of people, chiefly of the Lingum I went out to the rear of the Bungalow and Caste, and read and explained to them the addressed a few people who were passing tract, “The True Way of Salvation:” they by. Two proud-looking Brahmins who were heard very attentively. One man said, “ If at some distance, on seeing me, came and I embrace your religion, what will you give joined the party: one of these, an elderly, me—will you give me rice?" I replied, That vile-looking man, accosted me as follows, it was not our object to gain people in this “Why did you come here? Why did you way, but to preach the Gospel to them; that bring these books? We do not want them. the truth was powerful, and would work in You are men of influence, and servants of the mind genuine conversion." "Then the Company, and therefore you fearlessly what am I to do?" said he. “How do you go about preaching Jesus Christ. These live now," I asked, “do you not work for books are of no use to us-all your trouble your bread ?” “ Yes; these hands and feet, is in vain : if we had power we would do the all work, and so I live.”-“Well," said same, and go from place to place preaching I, “so should it be still; if God feeds you about our gods, and root out the Christian and protects you, and keeps you while you Religion from our land.” I told him not so sin against him, do you think he will to be angry, but patient; hear what I had forget or neglect you when you really to say, and not oppose me before he heard fear him and love him, and keep his com- me speak: he then, putting on an angry mandments ? Certainly not. Now think of countenance, slunk away. I read the tract, your state; reflect on your dreadful condi- “ The Way of Salvation,” and a few of the tion as a sinner in the sight of God; repent people appeared to listen attentively, but and believe the Gospel ; and pursue your others only made light of it. lawful avocations." He seemed convinced, Aug. 21. – Remained at Rayaveram, and then left me, taking a tract.
under a shady tamarind-tree, close to the Another man, with a proud, look, said, village. Having arrived late last evening, “God is the author of sin and good-every could do nothing with the people ; so after thing proceedeth from him.” To this I re- commending my servants and myself to the plied, "If you came to my house and stole care of Him * who never slumbers or my money, whom would the Judge punish-- sleeps," I retired to rest, and rose in the you or that God whom you say is the author morning much refreshed. From an early of sin?” “Me.” “ Then it is clear that you hour in the morning until three o'clock, I was are the guilty party and not God, and you busily engaged with many people from the would be justly punished and not God. village, so that there was no need for me to Man is clearly the author of his own ac- go far for a congregation. The tracts read tions.” The people smiled and said, “He to-day were, “Spiritual Instruction," " On can answer nothing now.” The poor young Caste," and "Juggernaut.” The people man seemed ashamed of himself and slunk heard gladly, and but little opposition was away.
manifested. Aug. 17.-A lovely day! Left Cassimcot- At three o'clock, I left this place and artah this morning at three o'clock, and at rived at Dimmedy by five. Our road was five got out of my palkee and rode on horse- through extensive paddy-fields, which were back to Tellamunchilly, which is our rest- all verdant and rich, and our halting place ing place for this day. Found the country was under a banyan-tree, on the banks of pretty: on either side of the road, about a a nullah which lay between us and the vilmile distant, are tremendous hills covered lage-I visited this place about seven or with thick underwood, and between them eight years ago. Here, from five to seven and the road, several fields of different kinds o'clock, I was busily engaged in talking