Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

they are poor and must go away to labor. And yet these hindrances, great as they are have been overcome as much as could be expected in so short a space of time. Such obstacles are common, I believe, through India. . But there are other perplexities. The teachers do not understand how to instruct profitably, nor is it an easy matter to learn them, for they are too often hirelings. To encourage the children to be punctual and diligent, we give them rewards occasionally, for which we have certain rules, which they are given to understand. This system of rewards is exceedingly perplexing, but it seems necessary; for unless some worldly motive were placed before them, I know not that it would be possible in the first place to induce them to attend school, or afterwards to continue till any benefit could be obtained.”

Children should be influenced by a sense of duty, obligation to God, and their own usefulness, but of these the heathen had no just knowledge, and could not be actuated by them.

“ What adds to the burden of all this very much, is their ingratitude. Although at times they will appear much elated, yet if the reward does not strike their fancy, they will look at it with indifference, and, say, they do not want it. They are fond of the gayest colors, as red, yellow, &c., and usually the more gaudy the pattern, the better it pleases. They are not in the least ashamed to beg, and it is difficult to persuade them of the impropriety of such a habit. Indeed it is so common among Hindoos, especially the lower classes, that they think no more of it than of making their salam or bow.

“But there are encouragements too. The picture though gloomy, is not wholly dark. Many difficulties have been overcome. Others by degrees, we trust, will vanish, so that those who follow, if not ourselves, will reap an abundant harvest.

August 17th.--We wish very much to dissuade the children in our schools from attending frequent festivals, both as the practice regards their morals and their progress in learning. Two or three days. since, I tried to persuade the teacher in my largest school to use his utmost exertions to prevent the children from going to a festival. He inquired, if I would promise a present to those who remained. I told him I would give them something. With much pleasure I learn, that not one left, so

that now I have thirty rewards to give, and I never gave with more satisfaction. One day's revel will perhaps put them back a week. My satisfaction was greater, because this is in a part of the town where they are especially bent on their folly, and exceedingly afraid of being polluted by us.

29th. For a considerable time past, our hearts have been cheered by the promising appearance of a catholic. His attendance at chapel and other religious meetings has been punctual, and his countenance has indicated the interest he felt in the truths of Scripture. We called at his house a few days past, and were truly pleased with the genuine simplicity, which was apparent in his family. For his wife and three children, he manifests much solicitude ; prays with, and instructs them to the extent of his ability daily. The eldest of his children, about six years of age, is a very interesting little girl. His wife at first opposed him, but now seems favorably disposed towards the Protestant religion. To-day, being our monthly fast, was fixed on for his examination previous to his admission into our church. He gave a free and undisguised account of himself. He was once advanced to a station of considerable profit, but his habits becoming corrupted, he was displaced, and considered as gone past recovery. Intemperance had very nearly been his destroyer. For this sin he appears deeply penitent, and admires the long-suffering of God, which reclaimed one so far gone in transgression.

Sept. 4th.—Another teacher, whose school had been suspended in consequence of the requisition made two or three months since, has returned, expressing a desire to resume her employment. As she is a female, and we wish to encourage, as much as possible, the instruction of females by their own sex, it was pleasing to see her return. She is also a person of apparently amiable qualities for a native. She is a sister of Rumma, the teacher who died soon after our arrival, leaving some hope, that she died in faith. Her school is the one that first came under my superintendence, consequently I feel considerable interest in it. She commenced some days since, and appears to prosper.

56 9th.Last evening we had a very interesting meeting, which reminded us of home scenes. It was for the purpose of examining another candidate for church-membership-and he is none other than an American. A peculiar train of providential events seems to have cast him on these shores, i and here he is to be gathered into the boI som of the Christian church. In the most

unfavorable circumstances, he was brought to feel his lost and wretched state very forcibly, and having no other means to which he could resort, except the word of God and the throne of grace, he seemed compelled to use these, and soon found relief. His convictions however were very pungent and distressing. While he was walking in the grave-yard,* he found the monument of Mrs. H. Newell, erected by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Since he came here I gave him her life to read, which he perused with much

interest. His history is rather remarkable, Į and clearly displays the sovereignty of diĮ vine grace, as well as a wisely directing I providence.

6618th. Another heathen festival. It is . a custom on several such occasions to form į various images, and worship them several

days, and then have a day of great apparent merriment, at the close of which they throw them into the sea. This is Gunputta's holi

* Mr. Baker was at that time living in the Isle of France. He remained in Bombay for some months and then left in an English ship. In a few weeks after, he died rejoicing in the hope and consolation of the Gospel.

« VorigeDoorgaan »