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which responsibility for crime commences is twelve, the law thus recognizing the greater precocity of Indian youths. The judge was not, however, inclined to go quite so far; but was certainly of opinion “that the period of life at which discretionary rights commenced should not be fixed at a more advanced age than in England.” He therefore took the age of fourteen as applicable to India, and ordered that Witta Dhummu should be allowed to choose the place of his domicile. Sir Joseph Arnould then put the question to the youth, “Do you desire to reside with the Rev. Mr. Forbes, or with your father ?" He distinctly, and without hesitation, chose to stay with the missionary. In reply to a further question, he also said it was his desire to learn more of Christianity, and that his parents would not allow him to become a Christian. Both the temper and legal research of the judge bore a most remarkable contrast to the proceedings of his Calcutta contemporary.
This important decision will probably rule all future cases of the same kind. Sir Mordaunt Wells' hasty and petulant judgment is practically set aside ; and the gain secured of a definite age being fixed when the educated youth of India, now so largely imbued with Christian and other knowledge destructive of the religion of their forefathers, may be able to choose for themselves whom they will serve—the God of Heaven, or an idol. Heathen fathers will be compelled to respect the rights of conscience in their children, and those cruel persecutions be averted, which in so many cases, in years gone by, have destroyed the blossoming hopes of the Christian Church in Hindostan.
BIBLE WOMEN IN CUTWA.
BY THE REV. F. T. REED.
To form anything like an adequate idea of the importance of their work, it is almost necessary to be at the station and see it; there are so many ways in which it comes in as a valuable auxiliary to our usual work of preaching. A case or two will best show you what I mean. In my last letter I spoke of a young Mussulman, named Fakir. I have had frequent conversations with him, and he is, I trust, almost a Christian. One great difficulty in the way of his professing himself was on account of his wife. I asked Anna, the female Evangelist, to visit her. She has done so, and has, at least, created a friendly feeling in her mind both towards christians and christianity. About two months ago I was at a village called Panch Ghor (five houses) ; while speaking
I noticed a very aged woman listening with evident interest to what was said. When both Ram Doyle and myself had finished talking, I said to her, “ And do you, being a woman, like to hear of Jesus and the Christian Religion ?” She replied, “Why not. I could listen to the words of religion all day.” After some conversation, I told her of Anna, and said that I would ask her to visit, if all the women in the village would be willing to hear her read. The proposal was gladly received ; a day was fixed, and a Baboo, who was present (he is head man of the village), offered the use of his kutcherry for the occasion. Anna went at the appointed time, spent half a day with them in reading and speaking. At the close all thanked her for her visit, and begged her to come again as soon as she could. Since then the rains have set in, and she has not been able to visit them. A few extracts from her monthly reports will give some idea of her work.
February 15th, Monday-Anna, having seated herself in the compound of a house in the gunje (principal part of the bazaar), showed that the Lord Jesus purchased deliverance for sinners with His own blood; but amongst all your gods
and goddesses and incarnations, no one ever gave his life for the salvation of sinners. She then urged them to forsake the service of these false gods and goddesses ; for they have done nothing for you in this life, and will be able to do nothing for you in the life to come. Very many were present, and they heard with attention. No one objected to what was said.
February 25th, Thursday -Anna and Sara, being seated in the compound of a house in the gunje, read a portion of the tract, “ The Destroyer of Darkness.” We dwelt especially on the words, as the sin, so must be the expiation. We farther remarked, but your gurus have said, seek the righteous one. Then, taking up these words, we proclaimed the excellency of the Lord Jesus. One woman said, “Your religion is true ; but what is the use of our hearing about it? What can we do, seeing that we are subject to others? It would be better for us not to hear at all, then God would not bring us in guilty.” Another said, “What can we do? The hand is crushed under the stone." Another said, “We already trust to our religion ; but some respectable Hindoos, with whom we are acquainted, have abandoned the service of the gods and goddesses with obedience to the gurus, and now serve the true God. They do not regard caste, and say that the Brahman will some day call us Christians.” These women heard our Scriptures with reverence. There were present twenty persons.
March 22nd, Tuesday--Anna, being seated in the compound of a brahman's house in Abu Hat, showed that the Lord Jesus Christ, God's only son,
having become incarnate, made expiation for man's sin. One woman said, “We will never observe your Scriptures ; our devatas are true ; and as we have served them all along, so we will continue to do.” In this way there was very much disputation. Two women and some men, who gave heed to her, reviled our Scriptures. With a sorrowful heart we departed from them. There were present thirteen persons.
March 31st, Thursday-Anna went to Bagdi Para, and read this extract from the tract, “Hindu Objections Refuted,” whatever ten men do we ought to do. I then remarked, “You are accustomed to repeat this saying ; but now consider. Suppose ten men have embarked in a boat, and that boat, having reached the middle of the river, goes down; then those who are able to save themselves by swimming, will they not swim ? Of course they will. But you know that there is an ocean of sin, and when the thought is directed to that, you raise the objection of being obliged to do what ten other men do." I then proclaimed to them the glory of Jesus Christ. There were twelve persons present. All heard with respect.
April 12th, Wednesday–Anna, being seated in the compound of a brahmin's house in the gunje, said that it was a misfortune to the country that the women of India were destitute of instruction. Still more was it to be deplored that they understood nothing respecting the supremely merciful God. Soine admitted it. Others said, “Why do you come here making known your religion ? I suppose the hope of making all of one caste ?" I said, “ As the field labourer, cherishing hope, sows grain in the dry earth, so do we. But God will make His own work fruitful.” After this they made no more objection. There were present twentyfive female brahmans and three female sodras.
May 17th, Tuesday—Went to the house of a rich man in the gunje, and having read about the present and the future, set forth the glory of Christ. In answer to the question, how may we obtain the favour of God ? showed that by taking the refuge of the only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, this great grace is obtainable. On my uttering these words, a person came out of the house, and sternly forbad my speaking to them, though the women themselves were listening attentively. I said, “We have come to seek your welfare, not to destroy your caste." He replied, "Go and teach the low people, but to respectable, mind that you do nothing." On that I departed. There were present, thirteen women, one man, and some girls.
May 23rd, Monday—Anna visited two houses in the gunje. At one place, having read 4th Matthew, set forth the glory of Christ. Eight persons listened. Some reviled. Two women said, “We wish you would come and teach us to read and write.” One man took a tract.
May 25th, Wednesday—Anna and Krishnamani went to Khajur du. Entered the compound of a brahman, and read John vi, vii and x, and then set forth the glory of Christ. In the course of conversation they admitted that all their incarnations were sinners, and did nothing for man's salvation. One woman said, “People say—a christian's book shouldn't be listened to ; but the words of your book are good. If we lived nearer to each other I would listen every day.” There were present, men and women, twenty-five. All were attentive.
I have made these extracts chiefly for three reasons. They show, to some extent, how the work is done. Again they show the kind of reception our native sisters meet with. Besides, they show how Hindu women feel in reference to Christianity. The following will show (as far as statistics can show), the amount of work done during six months :
Visits to Houses. No. of Hearers. Tracts given
11 Anna, who takes the lead in this work, has hitherto behaved with commendable fidelity; and though she has not yet been made the means of converting any one, yet there are a few cases that afford ground for hope. A perusal of her monthly reports has led us strongly to feel that the plan itself, at least, deseryes prayerful and earnest consideration.
A WEEK AT OUR NEW STATION, KHOOSTIA.
BY THE REV. J. H. ANDERSON.
(Contiuued from our last.) 6th.---Went to the bazaar, and standing by our preaching-house, we by degrees collected an audience. Taking as the basis of my remarks the parable of the pharisee and the publican, I pointed out the absolute necessity of humility in our approaches to God, and of our being penitent for our sins, and shewed to both Hindus and Mahomedans that in three particulars their worship was most defective, and that repentance for sin was indispensable to our being accepted by God. Before leaving the spot we engaged for some time in friendly discussion with several Mahomedans who had been listening to us. This afternoon I determined to cross the channel of the Ganges, on the banks of which Kooshtea is situated, and preach to the villagers who reside not far from the opposite bank. The river here would be some three miles broad but for the churs intervening. These churs are large tracts of land, often forming small islands, which are found all along the course of the river Ganges for some hundred miles before it falls into the Bay of Bengal. There are two such churs intervening between this place and Pubna.
After crossing the chur, and reaching a village, a large group of women and children gathered to see the wife of a sahib and our children, and were deeply interested in their European costume. Leaving Mrs. Anderson to engage their attention, and go into one of their houses, Gogon and I addressed some men who had come up to the spot. They seemed pleased to listen, but we found them ignorant, and conscious of the defect. In this village there are some fifty houses containing probably 100 children old enough to learn, and all growing up in ignorance ; but in thousands of villages there are no schools to be met with, and consequently in these villages but few intelligent hearers of our gospel message. 7th.—This morning we resumed our station in the bazaar, but the cold north wind blowing, made our hearers restless. After speaking to them in regard to the conduct of our Lord, in coming to seek and to save the lost, one young man objected, if Jesus were to arrest the current of this Ganges, and thus give evidence of His power, we could receive Him. So I read to him from the Gospel of Mark the account of Christ stilling the tempest, which the bystanders seemed to regard as an adequate reply to the objection he had made. After my leaving the Bazaar, Nil Moni was occupied for two hours in discussion with a Jew who had been one of my hearers, and with some others.
Our brother Gogon preaches constantly, and distributes a great many tracts at this new station. On quitting it I left a large supply in his hands. A month after he wrote me to say that this year thousands and thousands of our Hindoo countrymen have gone to Calcutta, Chogdah, and its neighbourhood, for bathing in the Hoogly river. Last week the railway company made 20,000 rupees (£2,000) every day. Khoostea was full of pilgrims ; we have distributed almost all our tracts among them. I hope the readers of the Herald may remember this new station, and the labourers there, in their prayers.
THE WORK OF GOD IN POONAH, IN 1863.
BY THE REV. H. P. CASSIDY. The Sabbath engagements have been regularly kept in the English congregation twice each Sabbath. Mr. White preached once, and Mr. Behramjee Kersasjee four times. On one of these four occasions I was too ill to preach, and on another, I had to supply a neighbouring pulpit; the remaining two were given as opportunities to exercise his gifts. The Rev. R. F. Colvin conducted one of the services, the rest were supplied by me. Opinions have been expressed regarding these services which have afforded me much encouragement in them, and I believe that heavenly results have accrued in the conversion of sinners, and in the edification of saints. The average attendance in the forenoons has been 31 ; afternoons, 34.
The Sabbath School, in English, has been regularly attended, except in May and part of December.
The Prayer Meeting on Sabbath Evenings has been kept up, although I have been too fatigued to attend it regularly.
The Mahratta service in the mornings has been irregularly held. The intermissions amount, in the aggregate, to several months. The attendance has varied from one to six, but seldom more than one. An afternoon service was begun in the rainy season, but discontinued immediately after. These services have been in Sudiloba's hands, and he has asked three to preach for him.
The Week-day Meetings may be arranged thus :-Prayer Meetings in the first week of the year, on the first Monday of each month, on Wednesday (transferred during the year to Tuesday); the Bible Class on Friday (transferred to Thursday); Church Meetings; Meetings for enquirers and for candidates for Baptism.
The Prayer Meetings, in English, have been full of grace. The brethren seem earnest and free in their exercises, and the meetings have been larger than I have known before ; twenty to forty attend. I feel my heart strengthened and cheered by these meetings more than I can express, and others bear the same testimony regarding them.
Prayer Meetings on the first Monday of each month, and once a week, were held in Mahratthi, by Suddoba, during the rains, but discontinued immediately after.
The Bible Class has showed signs of lively interest in the practical character of its questions and prayers.
Our Church Meetings are united in love, and every one is careful to do something in the Lord's vineyard. We felt that we are members one of another.
Enquirers' Meetings have been few—too few ; but I have had some, I hope, amid many disappointments. Those with Baptismal candidates have been sonlsearching occasions, in which the grace of God has been traced in many channels to His glory.
THE NATIVE CHURCH AT KANDY. The following paragraphs are extracts from a letter sent to the Rev. C. Carter by Mr. Samuel Perera, the pastor of the native church in Kandy. It is now nearly two years that the members of this church have endeavoured to sustain their own ministers and the ordinances of grace, and they have done it successfully. It contains thirty-five members. They collected last year as follows
£ 8. d. For the Christian Vernacular Education Society
1 2 7 Baptist Missionary Society
1 16 0 For Incidental Expenses
5 7 10 Schools in the Village
19 4 0 Pastor's Salary
48 0 0
As the letter was written by Mr. Perera in Singhalese, Mr. Carter has kindly translated the passages which we now give.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTER REFERRED TO. “Five months ago I caught the small pox, but had it very favourably, and soon recovered. It is manifest that that illness was for my good, and I thank God that He has thereby opened to me a door to preach the Gospel to those who are ill of that disease. The small pox which then appeared in Kandy has not yet died away, and great numbers have suffered from it. Some of our members have suffered, but are well again. Spiritually, too, the greater part are not only well, but advancing in prosperity. But as we have joy over those who are advancing, so we have sorrow over some who are falling.”
(Here follows the account of two backsliders, and of two young men who have been lately baptised, and are humble, active, and most useful members of the church, and followers of Christ.)
"Several brethren came from Matelle, 16 miles distant, to witness the baptism at Kandy, and after that, fourteen brethren went from Kandy to witness the baptism of two at Matelle. These days were days that brought us great joy, and we remembered you also on them.
“I have another most pleasing thing to mention. A man informed Mr. Amaris Silva, our native preacher or evangelist at Kadugannawa, which place is ten miles from Kandy, that there were a number of people who had forsaken Budhism and accepted Christianity in a village called Korigammana, which is about thirteen miles from Kadugannawa. Upon which he went to visit them, met with them, and heard from them the wonderful things which had taken place amongst them. He returned with joy and informed us; and we, having now been several times to that village, have wondered at what God has done amongst them, and thank Him who has thus poured out His spirit, and wrought such mighty things.
“I will mention briefly what has taken place amongst them. They first became acquainted with Christianity by receiving from some people who live in a village called Talanpithia, the Christian Institutes, and the Golden Balance, the former, by the late Mr. Gogerly, of the Wesleyan Mission, and the latter a translation of Dr. Judson's tract. Through the preaching of Mr. Jones, of the Church Mission at Talanpithia, which is seven miles from Korigammana, many persons of that village have forsaken Buddhism and embraced Christianity. The inhabitants of these two villages are low caste persons. About fifteen persons at Korigammana have forsaken Buddhism, and acknowledged Christianity to be the true religion. Of these, about six seem to have attained to spiritual life. Most of them are well acquainted with Buddhism, can read and write, and are of respectable character. Another thing which has furthered their adoption of Christianity, is the religious controversy which there now is in Ceylon. Knowing Buddhism well, they perceived that the statements made in christian books were just and right, and that buddhists were only trying to cover up their faults. Their high caste