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POETRY-TEACH US TO LIVE.
gam was ready to give up caste, and to conform himself entirely to the will of God. They were sent home to reconsider the step which they were about to take, and when they were come a second time to me Soobramanian still persisted in his reluctance to give up caste; Sangaralingam declared, after a little hesitation, that he was determined to let nothing of the kind stand in the way of his soul's salvation. As these youths were not then in my school, having left it some time previously, I was at a loss to know how to act in regard to them. While I felt that they should have every encouragement, I was unwilling to needlessly hazard the well-being of the school by receiving them in the same way as I would youths actually under instruction, and consequently under observation; not but that I was ready, at the call of duty, to do everything in my power to forward the salvation of an immortal soul, which is worth the sacrifice of a thousand schools. But in this case my duty required nothing more from me than to place them under the care of some Missionary; and accordingly I sent one of them Sangaralingam, of whom I thought most favourably, to the Rev. Stephen Hobbs, at Satthangulam, who subsequenly transferred him to the care of the Rev. J. Devasagayam, in Kadatchapuram, where he was employed as schoolmaster. From there he wrote several times to me; and his letters, though written in bad English, breathed a very good spirit, expressing an ardent desire for more knowledge of the Scriptures, and opportunities of usefulness amongst the heathen.
To make a long story short, he was, in due season, baptized by the name of William Gnanapragasam, and by and by employed under the Rev. E. Sargent at Palamcottah, till he obtained his present situation of deputy jailor, in which I understand he has given entire satisfaction. But I must not conclude this little sketch without relating a very affecting incident which happened at the bedside of his dying father. When the old man felt that his end was approaching, he assembled his children about him, and gave them a little wholesome advice, such as a Hindu might be supposed able to offer his children in regard to their future behaviour in the present world, for what he said to them had no reference to a future state of existence. As soon as he had made an end of speaking, Gnanapragasam, seizing the opportunity, respectfully exhorted his father to believe in the Lord Jesus, assuring him that it was the only way whereby he must be saved. · Yes,” said the poor dying man, “I now need the help of God, and I implore Him also to save my soul.”
TEACH ME TO LIVE.
Gently and silently to pass away ;
And waken in the realms of glorious day.
Teach me that harder lesson-how to live,
To serve Thee in the darkest paths of life :
And make me more than conqueror in the strife.
128 710 7. THE SECUXDRA ORPHANAGE
Teach me to live! Thy purpose to fulfil :
Bright for Thy glory let my taper shine ;
Closer round Thee my heart's affections twine.
But use the time remaining to me yet;
Wasting no precious hours in rain regret.
But in Thy service hand and heart employ ;
Be this my highest and my holiest joy!
Nor murmur though I bend beneath its load ;
Thy smile sheds gladness on the darkest road.
Looking from earth and earthly things away ;
Press on, and gain new strength and power each day.
Wearing no cold repulsive brow of gloom ;
Summons my spirit to her heavenly home.
THE SECUNDRA ORPHANAGE.
SECUNDRA is about four and a half miles from the Fort of Agra, not far from the tomb of the Emperor Akbar. There, in numerous buildings, are located 456 native Christians, and orphans of both sexes, about 181 boys, and 159 girls. The girls attend three hours in the cold and four hours in the hot season; three hours more are employed in other work, as sewing, knitting, &c. They also cook their own meals by turns, and the food, both for hospitals and the nursery. The boys have their usual school-hours and lessons, and are employed in out-door work, whenever there is anything for them to do in the field and garden. In due time they are moved to the School of Industry, where they are instructed in some one of the following branches—Printing in English and vernacular, bookbinding, carpentering, iron-work, blacksmith and locksmith, paper-making, type-casting and engraving.
In May 1867 the cholera broke out amongst the girls, of whom thirteen out of forty-six cases died, the boys remaining untouched. It was shortly after the heavy trials of such a visitation that Mrs. Däuble, the wife of the Rev. C. G. Däuble, the Missionary in charge, wrote the following pages.
CONVERSIONS IN ANGLO-VERNACULAR SCHOOL, PALAMCOTTAH. 125
a night school, as they wished, when they returned home, to give themselves to the instruction of their countrymen. That they might be free to attend, they proposed to give up service with their European masters, thus relinquishing all prospect of earthly gain, and to wash their own clothes, provided only that they might be fed.
The Missionary, Mr. Allison, has obtained a grant from Government to enable him to do this, and has engaged a master; and thus the Training School commenced, January 7th, 1868, with seventeen pupils, besides seventeen others, who, not having as yet got clear of their engagements with their masters, attend only a part of each day. Most anxious are they to learn. They never seem to tire, and are making progress in reading, writing and arithmetic. They are all either baptized or purpose to be. They keep up their own simple habits, with a piece of wood or stone for a pillow, and living on two meals a day of Indian corn porridge, with a little salt.
This school appears to be a rendezvous for natives from the interior. The school steadily increases, and if some return home, others take their place. Thus they pick up what fits them to be emissaries of civilization to the dark tribes in the interior, who are entirely beyond the reach of European Missionaries. The acting superintendent, calling without notice, in December last, found assembled 110 men and five womenno children, the school being exclusively for adults; and as teachers are
; few, the scholars did all they could to teach one another. Forty could read, and thirty-nine had purchased the Gospels for themselves at 48. 6d. each, a thing which the Superintendent declared to be unparalleled in the colony.
Seeds are strangely borne to distant places by birds, on the wings of the wind, by the waves of the sea. What if the seed of divine truth be thus carried into the dark interior of Southern Africa, there to be sown, and there to bring forth fruit.
CONVERSIONS IN THE ANGLO-VERNACULAR SCHOOL AT
PALAMCOTTAH. MR. CRUIKSHANKS, the principal of this school, has forwarded to us a narrative of various instances of conversion which have taken place during a period of twenty-four years. He begins with Satthianadhan
Satthianadhan, a Wilson's scholar, was the first amongst our pupils to renounce Hinduism and embrace Christianity. At first he would hardly listen with patience to any
exposing the sin and folly of idolatry. He seemed determined to close his mind against all convictions, refusing to make the smallest concession on the side of truth, and astonishing even his heathen schoolfellows by his obstinate bigotry. But by and by he became completely changed in his views and feelings, attending with uncommon interest, not only to the reading of the word of God, but to whatever was said thereon for his instruction in righteousness; and it was affecting to observe how he regretted the barriers which caste had thrown up between him and the
126 CONVERSIONS IN ANGLO-VERNACULAR SCHOOL, PALAMCOTTAH.
way of salvation, which he evidently longed to enter. While he was in this frame of mind several youths belonging to my school, in company with others, one day passed by a pagoda. Iruvangadam, afterwards called Satthianadhan, was one of them, and, pointing to an idol-an image of Pooliar, or Ganesa, placed outside the building—asked his companions, “ Is that one of our gods ?” and, on being answered in the affirmative, boldly denied that the image was a god, and, to prove that he did not consider it as any thing more than a piece of stone, smote it with his foot, declaring that he defied its revenge ; with which he was threatened by one of the most superstitious of the party. This bold act, while it struck one or two with horror, only excited the merriment of the rest, thus proving that they participated in his contempt for idolatry.
Again, when the Hindu festival in honour of the same god occurred shortly after, he refused to worship the clay image made to represent the god on such occasions. This provoked his mother, who reported the circumstance to his father. When the boy was questioned as to his reason for so strange a behaviour, he at first made no reply; but when further accused of totally neglecting the worship of the gods adored by the Hindus in the neighbouring temples, he answered, that being prevented by his studies from so much as visiting those temples, he was not at leisure to pay his respects to the idols worshipped in them.
Such was the youth who, in August 1847, came to my house late one Saturday evening, accompanied by a Christian schoolfellow of his, now the Rev. M. Perianayagam. Saying he had something to communicate, he agreeably surprised me by declaring that he wished
to give himself to the Lord by becoming a Christian. I endeavoured to ascertain his real motive for desiring to take so important a step; and being satisfied that he was sincere, I took him into my closet, and there prayed for him, entreating the Lord to give him an abundant measure of His grace, and strengthening him with might by His Spirit in his inner man to support and comfort him under all his approaching trials. He was then sent without delay to Megnanapuram, accompanied by his friend Perianayagam, the same Christian schoolfellow alluded to above; and it was settled that he should write from thence to his father, informing him of the step he had taken, and the consequent necessity he was under of staying away from home. He was thus out of harm's way for the present, and the Rev. John Thomas, under whose care he was now placed, I knew was able to give him the protection which he needed under the circumstances.
Without dwelling on the visit of his father to Megnanapuram, and the youth's appearance before a magistrate to declare publicly that he was not detained by us against his will, I will conclude this hasty sketch of his conversion by adding that he was baptized on a Sunday in November of the same year, being named William Thomas, to which the surname of Satthianadhan was afterwards added. He was, some years subsequently, ordained, and is happily still alive, actively and usefully working in the Mission as a native clergyman of the Church of England.
In September 1847 Sangaralingam now called Gnanapragasam, and his cousin Soobramanian, formerly pupils in my school, came to me professing a desire to embrace the Gospel. When they were asked if they would give up caste, Soobramanian was not prepared to do so; but Sangaralin.
THE SECUNDRA ORPHANAGE.
We have left a very trying season behind us. At the end of May we were visited by cholera : it was a hard and trying time. The first case made its appearance on Ascension-day : one girl was found lying sick with cholera on the outside of the verandah. The girls, during the hot weather, sleep on the verandah instead of inside. The sick girl was directly sent to the hospital, but before an hour had elapsed she was- no
At half-past seven o'clock all the children went to church. One of the girls had to leave the church, and as she did no more return, I went to see what was the matter with her, and found her sick on the steps of our hospital. I took her to my bungalow and gave her medicine. She seemed better, but an hour afterwards she got worse again, so I sent her over to the hospital. Hour by hour brought new cases.
We wrote to Dr. Playfair, who came the same evening, and afterwards twice daily, from Agra, to look after our sick ones.
In the evening of the same day we had two rooms full of cholera sick children. I chose sixteen the bigger girls to act as nurses during the night by turns; we ourselves took our turn. What a night it was ! The air so close and hot, and round us the suffering children. Three of the girls died during the night. How the poor suffering, dying children appreciated it when something was read to them from the word of God ! Next day more sick children were brought in, so that all four rooms of the hospital were fully occupied. The healthy boys and girls had been removed on the day of the outbreak of the cholera ; the former occupied a garden containing some buildings near Agra, the latter were sent over to our old compound, in which formerly the girls' school was, still in ruins since the mutiny. My husband had the ruin repaired, so that our girls could be sheltered there. Three of the bigger girls who had watched the previous night were taken ill : two of them died. One of them was a very nice girl. As soon as she felt ill she joined her hands and asked me to send for the Sahib to pray with her; and after she became too weak to speak she would still join her hands for prayer. The other girls who had acted as nurses the night previous got frightened, and asked to be allowed to go to the other compound, to their healthy companions. I felt for a moment sad : there was sickness everywhere about, and even if we could have got some hired help they would not have felt the interest in the orphans they ought to have ; besides, it was a question if we could have got some to help us. On the other hand, I did not like to force our girls ; so I told them, “I cannot force you : it is a work of love to nurse your sick and dying sisters. If you shall get the cholera, you will get it even if you go to the other compound: and if it is not the will of God that you shall get the cholera, you will not get it by nursing your sick sisters : but so much I tell you, whoever now goes and leaves the sick, and gets sick afterwards, I cannot nurse.” This had effect, and only one girl left. The twenty-eight girls who had to act as nurses under us were of great use : they had their turns every three hours, fourteen of them, and not one of them got ill, although some were found, overpowered by sleep and heat, in the same bed with the sick girls. The heat was dreadful in the end of May and beginning of June; the hot winds were blowing their full force : there were not even the comforts in the hospital we enjoy in our own bungalows, no punkahs, and two fires had to be kept up in every room. It was a time of great trial, but such times have their blessings too,