« PreviousContinue »
the truth. We have a Mothers' Meeting which she attends regularly, and seems much to enjoy."
In her journal, Marion says :-“On June 28th I went to a Yakeel's (a court pleader's) house, having been sent for by the man himself.
He wished me to read to his relatives who were visiting him. There were five women and six girls. They all listened with attention.
“ The next day I was sent for again to the same house, and then more fully conversed with them on the Gospel of Christ."
Martha gives an account of having visited upwards of 200 women. She says, “Day by day my acquaintance with the people has been growing. Gospel truths have been received by the women very willingly. I speak to all classes except Brahmin women, whom I cannot approach. The people are very eager to hear me, and ask me questions, but that anxious word, 'What shall I do to be saved ?' has not yet been uttered, yet I believe that by the power of God's
Spirit many will soon be brought to the feet of Jesus."
WHO THEN WILL SAVE ME, WHO?' Mary Wesley has sent further accounts of the poor woman who was so anxious to know what she must do if she forsook the gods she had so long worshipped, and who cried out with tears, WHO THEN WILL SAVE ME, WHO?” " Atchama still comes to us, and from a blind worshipper of dumb idols, has become a devout and humble believer in the Saviour inwardly. I felt sure she had embraced the religion of Jesus. I am happy now to state more fully her avowal of her belief at all costs.
“The Sunday following my last Report, she came, as is her wont, to join in our devotional exercises.
“As she had not yet broken her caste, it was necessary to furnish her with what was needful to prepare her own food. At the close of the day she and I retired, and long did I converse with this eager disciple ; when other eyes were closed in slumber we were continuing our sweet counsel together. Joyfully did those hours pass, and it was midnight before we were aware of it. Then we knelt together, side by side, and besought the Holy Spirit to instruct us in the knowledge of Christ, and give us the "
give us the peace which passeth all understanding.'
Monday morning found her ready to start off to her place of work, hoping to be with us again on the Sabbath, but as Thursday was the birthday of my little grandson we wished her to pay us a visit on that day. Thursday came, and with it our friend. It was a time I shall never forget, because on that day she gave a decided proof that she had renounced her creed and caste. Hitherto we had been obliged to give her rice, &c., that she might cook her own meal; to-day, she formed one of our own circle. As we sat down, my son said to her, 'Atchama, would you like to prepare your meals as you have done hitherto, or, would you like to join us ?'
“ Oh! what a question was this ! No Englishman can fully understand it.
“ Atchama replied, “Sir, have I not-told you I have renounced my caste! Have you any more doubts about me? If you have, I shall remove them to-day.'
“ And so we sat down together. We expressed to her our satisfaction at the proof she had given of her full determination to renounce her caste, and gently inquired • Atchama, are you then now ready to acknowledge before the whole world that Jesus is your Redeemer? Are you ready to sacrifice your all, your house, your land, your relatives, if needbe, to take up your cross, and follow the Lamb of God ?'
“Oh!' she replied, Who is there more precious to me than Jesus ? Shall I not own Him who has laid down His life for me ? Shall I not sacrifice this world's uncertain property for Him who gave up His glory and became a man, to save poor sinners such as I am ?"
“So closed this eventful day. Surely there was joy in heaven' over this once wandering sheep now enclosed in the Saviour's fold. How much it cost her thus to avow herself on the Lord's side, can scarcely be realized, except in India. Now, she is to all her friends an outcast, as one dead. Henceforth she must live apart from her kindred, and, however needy she may become, she must not expect any help from them—not even
cup of water ; but, despite all this, she will be ready to say or sing :
“ 'Tis done! The great transaction's done,
I am my Lord's, and He is mine ;
Glad to confess the voice divine." “If the conversion of poor Atchama were the only result of the labours of our Bible-woman at Proothotoor, is it not worth all the money expended on her support? But this is not all-may we not hope that the seed sown in the minds of between two and three hundred women (noticed in her last Report) may yet spring up to the glory of God ?
“And now we are thankful to say that the salary of Mary Wesley is guaranteed for another year, so that she may still go forward in her happy work without let or hindrance. Could the readers of the Missing Link' but realize for a moment the darkness of these heathen mothers, surely more of these lightbearers would be adopted by Christian friends in England and sent to tell in the dark villages of India of Him who is the light of the world.'
“One poor caste woman said, 'Oh, before I heard this Gospel my mind was dark, dark, all dark, but now, since I have heard Christ Jesus, there is light in the dwelling, light in my heart, and light all over,' and her face beamed with joy as she said it.
“May the witness concerning of this light soon be borne to all nations.
“ W. P."
NATIVE CHRISTIAN YOUNG MEN'S INSTRUCTION
SOCIETY IN SYRIA.
Letter from Selim Kessab to H. Smith, Esq.
Madresse Inglesse, Jan., 1872. 66 MY DEAR SIR,
“Many thanks for your kind letter, which has reminded me of the happy days I spent under your roof in England. The Lord is blessing the Mission field in this country by a great awakening, such as has never been known before ; but the clergy, and the relatives of one gentleman, a recent convert, have, as was probable, risen against him and told him that he had better return to his former luxury and vice, than go to a Protestant church, which answer he met with a very sharp rebuke.
VOL. VIII.-10. 7.
“ A priest one day finding the wife of this new convert alone and reading in the New Testament, frightened her by saying that as it is a Protestant book, the devils will come out of it and dwell in her. The poor woman, being ignorant, threw down the book with a tremendous shriek. The husband, who was in the neighbouring room, got up, running barefooted to see what is the matter, thinking that his mother, who had been ill from a disease of the heart, had died suddenly, but to his surprise found the Testament thrown on the floor, his wife pale and trembling, and the priest looking down as if ashamed of his deed. Having ascertained the cause, he grew very angry, and drove the priest out. Shortly he was asked for ten shillings to give to the priest, who had said that he needed to repeat a mass and sprinkle the house with holy water, to get the devils out who now dwelt therein, on account of the visit of the Protestants; yet in spite of all such opposition he is remaining firm.
“There had been last Sunday some new inquirers among the congregation met in his room. The night before last he invited the native Protestants and some of his relatives and friends for the Monday weekly prayer meeting, which has been going on there for some time. Dr.J— gave a nice address, and several united in earnest prayer. Many of the interesting words which this man spoke concerned the details of his former careless conduct, and his unhappy state, though living in all the pleasures the world could afford; the insufficiency of all the scientific and philosophical and other secular books of which he read many to satisfy his troubled conscience, and the witchcraft and deceit of the Papal agency, &c., concluding with the conviction that true happiness and rest is to be found in Jesus alone.
“Is this not a wonderful work of the Holy Spirit ? There were some respectable young men present who had been in the habit of meeting together in the evenings to play cards, gamble, read such books as the “ Arabian Nights, and converse on worldly subjects, &c., and it happened that one of their enlightened members, who used to frequent the Protestant place of worship, and whose sisters are in the British Syrian School, moved, as I believe, by the same Spirit, struck with the value of that lost time which might have been spent in religious and profitable meetings, stood up and solemnly addressed his companions about their responsibility to God and to their fellow-creatures'; the immortality of the soul, the importance of repentance, the privileges and happiness of the true Christian, the rest of conscience in Jesus, and the effect of the work of the Holy Ghost. His words were blessed so as to move their hearts and agree with him in one purpose.
They at once formed themselves into a religious Society, and laid down in writing the regulations which might be required, binding themselves in prayer to unite in Christian bonds. Then they laid aside their cards and novel books and took the Bible instead, which they prayerfully read. Some of their regulations are--to meet twice a week for reading the Scriptures, singing, and prayer. One offers a short religious address. The Chairman appoints the subject for general conversation, which is to be twice a week religious and moral, and once scientific.
“No smoking is to be allowed—no arguing or disputing about the different religions. The prayer is to be offered in the name of Jesus alone. A chief secretary and treasurer are to be appointed to the Society. Some of them were greatly persecuted by their parents, and driven out of their homes for embracing the Protestant faith. Coming from the Church on Sunday last, they met Mr. M-, who invited them to the service in his new prayer-room called BETHEL. After service they asked him if they might have the use of the room for their meeting. The permission was kindly given, and Mr. M-- asked me to be present with them.
“They had their first meeting yesterday, which was very interesting. They first sang a hymn, read a portion of Scripture, and prayed. Then one addressed the meeting in very earnest and solemn words. Another hymn followed, then a religious conversation. The tone of the meeting was very affecting and spiritual, so that, when asked to pray and address them, I could not help in the midst of my speech shedding tears and breaking off into prayer. The leader of the Society intends to come to me this afternoon at 4 p.m. to make some improvement in its regulations. It is, indeed, cheering to see how the Lord answers prayer, and touches hearts naturally worldly,