图书图片
PDF
ePub

and, not long after, they are huddled again, and, having saluted the mistogether in a close, hot room for an sionary, he said with joy lighting uneasy slumber.

up his face, What I have just said about the | " She has come, sir! she has way in which a Hindu mother will come!” caress her child, shows that she has "I am very glad to hear it,” love for her children, only it has not replied the missionary; “how is it been educated. There is very little you have succeeded so well this love between husband and wife; the time p" wife is virtually the slave of her “I'll tell you what I did, sir. husband, who receives all her atten After leaving you, I hired a small tions as a matter of right, and will boat, and went to the village where abuse and even beat her on the my wife lives. I went to see her, slightest provocation. But the and again asked her to join me; but mother always loves her children she was still determined not to do with a strong affection. The only so. After a little time, I said to my "pity is that her love is not a wise little girl, 'Come, and let me take you one, and does not aim to guide the for a little walk.' The mother made little ones into what is right. Her no objection, and we went together. love shows itself in trying to indulge | After strolling through the village, them, and in letting them have I led the child to the river side, their own way in everything; and and, putting her on board my boat, when she does beat them, it is not brought her away with me. I knew because she seeks to correct them that when her mother found she was for any wrong they have done, but gone she would follow after her. 1. because she is angry, and her passion And sure enough she did. She must have vent.

came yesterday morning; and as I Still, there are few things that a don't intend to let her take the Hindu woman will not do or suffer child back, she has made up her for her child. A Hindu, some time mind to remain with me.” ago, became a Christian, and tried This mother, it may be added, to persuade his wife to join him. was in due course brought under She refused, and not only would not | Christian instruction, and has for go to him herself, but refused to let some years now been an exemplary him have their only child, a girl member of a Christian church. She four years of age. When the mis lives to bless the day when she was sionary asked the man how it was induced to leave her Hindu home in his wife had not come with him, he | search of her child. replied,

And now for one more picture. "I have tried very hard to induce Near a neat brick-built chapel stands her; but her purpose is fixed; she a group of straw-thatched huts. A says she will not forsake the religion little garden grows around, enclosed of her fathers.”

by an open-work bamboo fence. "I should like you to try again," | The mango and tamarind trees exrejoined the missionary; "you know tend their arms over the roofs, and you cannot settle down to anything shelter them from the fierce rays of comfortably, separated from your a burning sun. Marigolds, balsams, wife and child. Go to her once white lilies, and the bâlá (the Indian more, and if she loves you perhaps jessamine), fringe the garden walks, she will at length be persuaded.” and fill the air with their fragrance.

The man promised to try, but he The yard is clean-plastered and dry, left the missionary by no means with here and there a wooden stool, hopeful of success. Three or four on which you may sit, if you prefer days later, he made his appearance | the open air to remaining within

[ocr errors]

built on bamboo posts, which are fixed to their mouths with their fingers, into the floor. Besides these there the mother occasionally assisting are a few wooden stools, and morahs some inexpert little one with a made of cane and bamboo. The mouthful. They drink their water floor is kept scrupulously clean, the out of brass or earthen cups, as the mud plastering being renewed every case may be; and when the meal is week or fortnight. À wooden trunk ended, mouths and fingers are careor two, containing clothes and other fully washed, and the children are valuables, such as the brass vessels once more dismissed to their play. and drinking cups that have pro The mother now sweeps the courtbably descended as heirlooms, is yard, and sits to her spinning wheel, stowed away in one corner, and a or sewing. If, however, she has no drum, a fiddle, and a few other such employment on hand, she will things of that description, are sus probably run round to her neighpended on pegs driven into the wall.

bours for a little gossip. It then And this is about all the furniture becomes time to commence cooking to be seen. As the other houses her evening meal. She is disturbed forming the square have been de now and again by her children, who scribed elsewhere, I need not say rush in, angrily disputing with one anything about them here.

another, and often fighting together; The father of the family is a tall, and she settles these affrays by slender man, with a keen eye and dealing the rod freely on all sides sharp voice. He rises early, and They soon disperse, and leave her having washed his face and hands, free to work. and taken a pull at his hookah or The husband comes home and calls tobacco-pipe, goes forth to his la for his dinner. “Mother, is the ric bours in the field. In the mean | cooked ?” he cries, and she hurrie while, his wife sweeps out the house, to bring it; and, having first giver and, having turned the children out him some water to wash his feet to play, begins the preparation of she lays the plate before him, and the morning meal. At about ten sits by to replenish it as occasioi or eleven o'clock the father leaves may require. Then she sits dowi his field to go to the nearest stream with her children to their meal. for a bath. He then goes home for The evening is spent in the court his breakfast. His wife places a yard in smoking and talking to he steaming dish of rice and curry neighbours. Perhaps a story 1 before him, and when he has eaten, brought to her of some trivial il she brings him his hookah and one usage her son has received at th or two pawn leaves, enclosing a bit hands of a boy belonging to a neig of betel nut and a few other condi bouring family. She takes fire ments. Having enjoyed these luxu this, and, running off in search ries, he lies down for a nap.

the offender, pours out, in shr His wife now takes up a brass jar, tones, a volley of abuse on the be and, resting it on her side, walks who dared to injure her son. TI down to the river. She suffers the mother of the accused rushes out jar to float upon the water while she her turn, and returns the abuse dips herself two or three times; louder tones; and so they go on f then, wringing the water from her | half an hour, till friends interfe clothes, she fills her jar and returns | and drag away the parties. T home. Calling her children to boys are then called up and pett gether, she sits in company with and caressed by their mothers, at them round a large plate well filled perhaps comforted with a handt with rice, which is placed on the of sweetmeats. The family smo kitchen floor. They convey the food and talk together till night sets i and, not long after, they are huddled | again, and, having saluted the mistogether in a close, hot room for an sionary, he said with joy lighting uneasy slumber.

up his face,-What I have just said about the "She has come, sir! she has way in which a Hindu mother will

come!” caress her child, shows that she has “I am very glad to hear it," love for her children, only it has not | replied the missionary ; “how is it been educated. There is very little | you have succeeded so well this love between husband and wife; the | time po wife is virtually the slave of her “I'll tell you what I did, sir. husband, who receives all her atten After leaving you, I hired a small tions as a matter of right, and will boat, and went to the village where abuse and even beat her on the | my wife lives. I went to see her, slightest provocation. But the and again asked her to join me; but mother always loves her children | she was still determined not to do with a strong affection. The only so. After a little time, I said to my pity is that her love is not a wise little girl, 'Come, and let me take you one, and does not aim to guide the | for a little walk.' The mother made little ones into what is right. Her no objection, and we went together. love shows itself in trying to indulge After strolling through the village, them, and in letting them have I led the child to the river side, their own way in everything; and and, putting her on board my boat, when she does beat them, it is not brought her away with me. I knew because she seeks to correct them that when her mother found she was for any wrong they have done, but gone she would follow after her. because she is angry, and her passion And sure enough she did. She must have vent.

came yesterday morning; and as I _Still, there are few things that a don't intend to let her take the Hindu woman will not do or suffer | child back, she has made up her for her child. A Hindu, some time mind to remain with me.” ago, became a Christian, and tried This mother, it may be added, to persuade his wife to join him. was in due course brought under She refused, and not only would not Christian instruction, and has for go to him herself, but refused to let some years now been an exemplary him have their only child, a girl member of a Christian church. She four years of age. When the mis. lives to bless the day when she was sionary asked the man how it was | induced to leave her Hindu home in his wife had not come with him, he search of her child. replied,

And now for one more picture. “I have tried very hard to induce Near a neat brick-built chapel stands her; but her purpose is fixed; she | a group of straw-thatched huts. A says she will not forsake the religion | little garden grows around, enclosed of her fathers.”

by an open-work bamboo fence. "I should like you to try again," The mango and tamarind trees exrejoined the missionary; "you know tend their arms over the roofs, and you cannot settle down to anything shelter them from the fierce rays of comfortably, separated from your a burning sun. Marigolds, balsams, wife and child. Go to her once white lilies, and the bâlá (the Indian more, and if she loves you perhaps jessamine), fringe the garden walks, she will at length be persuaded.” and fill the air with their fragrance.

The man promised to try, but he The yard is clean-plastered and dry, left the missionary by no means with here and there a wooden stool, hopeful of success. Three or four | on which you may sit, if you prefer days later, he made his appearance the open air to remaining within

doors. The house we describe may I teacher of the school, and she is be that of a native preacher. It is loved as well as respected by the early morning, and the family have children. She calls up the classes assembled in the verandah for read one by one, and hears them read ing and prayer. The father is séated and spell, now in English, now in on a cane chair, à Bible rests on his Bengali. They repeat verses from knee, and he reads slowly and dis | the Psalms or the Parables; they tinctly the precious life-giving words | say little hymns and parts of the of Christ. The mother sits opposite Catechism; they cipher and write; with her little ones about her, who then they work for an hour; and, have all been trained to orderly be with a hymn and prayer, the school haviour at prayers. They sing a | closes. The teacher returns home, low, sweet melody, to the words of and, with the help of her elder girls, one of their own hymns; perhaps to she soon prepares the evening meal. the following:

When the father comes home and

has rested, he finds his dinner ready “O thou, my soul, forget no more The Friend who all our misery bore;

for him, the house clean swept, and Let every idol be forgot,

everything neat and in order. He But 0, my soul, forget Him not." tells them, as they sit over their meal,

of the success he has had in securing They bow their heads low on the hearers at the market; and his eye ground, and an earnest voice pours lights up as he remembers how out their common desires in prayer. earnest was their attention, and how With what genuine warmth are eager were their inquiries respecting thanks uttered for freedom from the the truths he had proclaimed. The bondage of sin, and how earnest are evening is spent in the open court, the petitions that the idols may | where Christian friends join the soon be abolished, and the Lord | family for an hour's pleasant chat, God enthroned in the hearts of | and the hookah and pawn plate go India's sons! The family, in due round, as the news of the day or course, come together to their morn- | questions of general interest are ing meal. On a clean mat they sit, discussed. Thus, they enjoy the whilst the father asks for a blessing delicious evening breeze; and, when on the food. The mother serves darkness sets in, and the friends out the smoking rice, and sees her have gone, father, mother, and chilhusband and children supplied be- dren unite again in prayer, and then fore she helps herself.

retire to rest. “Where do you go to preach to Sometimes, whilst the evening is day, father p" asks the eldest son. being enjoyed in the manner de “May I go with you ? you know I scribed, there is a voice at the gate. have a holiday to-day.”

Who is it? Some one wants to “I cross the river to Rampore know if this is the house of the hát, my son ; and I shall be glad of Christian preacher. “Yes,” replies your help to carry the books and our friend from within; “ What is tracts. Get ready, for it is quite it you want? won't you come in ?" time to start."

And immediately there appears a The father smokes his hookah, | Hindu, who has heard the Gospel and, accompanied by his son, whose preached somewhere in the neighhands are full of books, walks down bourhood, or in some village two the lane to his boat in the river. | day's journey away, and would like The mother now busies herself in a little talk with the preacher. But washing up, fetching water, and he has, with a caution characteristic getting the children ready for of his race, chosen the twilight as school. She is herself the head the best time for paying his visit;

and, as he pushes open the gate, he the preacher invites him to dine
glances up and down the street to with him; and, being emboldened
make sure that nobody whom he to accept the invitation, this trem-
knows is observing him. Once in bling Hindu at last breaks through
the courtyard, where he cannot be the restrictions of caste, and is led,
seen from the street, he feels reas- by the teaching he receives from
sured, and begins to explain the time to time, to put on Christ.
object of his visit. He is a Nicode This is very much the way in which
mus coming in search of the Truth many of our converts from Hindu-
by night; and he would like to ism are led into the light and liberty
hear something more of the Chris of the Gospel. They get drawn
tian religion. There are none but within the pure and quiet influences
Christians where he is now, and he of a Christian home, a home present-
has no hesitation in accepting the ing marked contrasts, at every turn,
offer of the hookah. The preacher's to that to which they had been
wife also offers him a pawn leaf, | accustomed, and so learn to love the
which he receives, wondering rather truth of Jesus. So you see, dear
at the difference in demeanour and reader, that even home influences
general bearing between the Hindu may be made a mighty missionary
woman, who, at the sight of a agency.
stranger, would have escaped into Thank God that the Bible has
the house, and this Christian woman, reached India's soil, that the mis-
who is not ashamed to show herself, sionary has taken it to the market,
and can with perfect self-possession the roadside, and the village, and
pay kindly attentions to a stray that the Gospel has, in so many cases
visitor. This first visit leads to already, hallowed the Hindu home.*
another and another, until some day |

FRUITFUL HEARING.

BY THE REV. CHARLES STOVEL. "Behold, a sower went forth to sow. ... He that hath ears to hear, let him bear."

The emphatic words that terminate this picture are obviously intended to give great solemnity to its admonition. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear;" for most certainly the kingdom described will Teach him, its words will involve him in great responsibility, and the impartiality of its administration of the final doom should put him on his guard. Happy the man who hears, and prepares for the event with watchfulness.

Seed is sown in a field according to the purpose of the man who cultivates it; but the value of the field is known by the results which 10llow upon its culture. The land bringing forth nothing, or nothing but thorns, is nigh unto burning—the man who occupies such a posi** The above is extracted, by permission, from "Scenes Among which we Labour; by in Wife of a Missionary in Bengal” (London : Elliot Stock). The book is one of deep vornest, and we are glad to have an opportunity of commending it, especially to our Wager readers. As will be seen above, the “Missionary” to whose wife we are indebted the book, is our respected brother, Mr. Robinson, of Intally.

[ocr errors][merged small]

fort

« 上一页继续 »