Project Canterbury

Round Delhi

By the Rev. C. J. Crowfoot

From Mission Life (periodical), Vol. III (1872), pages 381-394.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Bishop of Malaita, Church of the Province of Melanesia, 2006



BY THE REV. C. J. CROWFOOT, late S.P.G. Missionary at Delhi

THE district round Delhi is a very large one. West of Delhi a large tract of country stretches for a hundred miles in every direction. It contains many considerable towns, some with as many as 20, 40, and 50,000 inhabitants; and is thickly studded with large and small villages. In this great tract there is not a single resident Missionary, and no regular Missionary operations have been carried on except from the central station at Delhi. The central station at Delhi is undermanned, and so the efforts made to preach the Gospel to the enormous population around have necessarily been very inadequate, although the openings for work are very hopeful.

This distinct naturally divides itself into three parts, as it stretches north, west, and south. The central station in the northern division would be Kurnál. Within easy reach of Kurnál there is Páneeput, the battle-field on which the fate of India has been three times decided, a great centre of Mahomedan influence; and Thanesur, an equally important centre of Hindoo power. The population of Kurnál is about 30,000, that of Páneput about 29,000. In the western division there are several very large towns--Bhiwáni, with a population estimated at 50,000; Rohtuck, between 10 and 20,000; Berce, 20,000; Hissár, 10,000; Hansie, 10,000. The central station here would be Rohtuck or Bhiwáni. The [381/382] central station in the south is Riwári, a place containing 30,000 people. It is a very thriving trading town; and when the railway now being made between Delhi and Riwári is completed, it will become one of the most important centres of commerce in this part of India.

I will now briefly sketch out the efforts that have been and are being made to occupy this immense field.

1st. Towards Kurnál.--A beginning was made in 1864. In the report for that year we read: "We much rejoice that one of us has been appointed by the Bishop to take special charge of this district, reaching to the ancient Hindoo town of Thanesur, and has been set free from his Delhi duties that he may devote the whole of his time to preaching in the Kurnál district." But alas! after an absence of a little more than two months, he was recalled, owing the sickness and departure for England of one of the Missionaries. In February, 1868, when the Mission staff at Delhi received an accession to its strength, Mr. Whitley returned to his work at Kurnál. But after eighteen months of steady work he was again removed. From the report for 1870 it appears that "in May, 1869, Mr. Whitley was removed from Kurnál to Ránchee. He exchanged a comparatively barren for a very fertile field of labour, but it was to us a matter of sad regret to be obliged to give up our first branch Mission, and to retrace our first step into the district. It was, however, thought wrong entirely to desert a place once taken up. Two catechists and their families were therefore sent there, and one of our number, by the consent of the Bishop, visits Kurnál every two months to superintend the work, preach in the city, and hold services for the English residents." This plan has been found to work well. Mr. Winter, writing to me from the neighbourhood of Kurnál in December, 1871, says: "We have just had a pleasant and encouraging time at Kurnál. My wife has found sixteen Zenánah pupils, and the Bengális promise 12 rupees a-month towards a teacher. The little girls' school was not satisfactory, but I hope is now on the way to better things. When Miss Engleman goes there, as we hope she will in January, she will find a capital nucleus for further work. Khairuddeen seems to be going on well, but sadly in want of a fellow-worker. He knows most of the better class of people, and visits them privately, and holds controversies in their houses. He and I often preached in the bazaar, and always found ready audiences. One Mussulman inquirer, Avdullah Khán, I hope to baptize ere long." Miss Engleman is now working at Kurnál, and the Zenánah part of the Mission is established.

2nd. Towards Bhiwani and the West.--Until the last year no permanent settlement has been established anywhere in this direction; but preaching tours have been made as often as possible during the cold season of the year. I send you very copious extracts from a journal which I kept when I accompanied Mr. Winter on a tour made in this direction in the [382/383] winter of 1867-68. I had only just landed in India, and so my journal is written from the stand-point of one who was a spectator of, rather than a partaker in, the work done. Within the last few months a similar plan to that adopted at Kurnál has been carried out. Two catechists with their families have been sent from Delhi to Rohtuck, and there they will be visited from time to time by the Missionaries. It is hoped in this way to correct the desultory nature of the work done by the preaching tour, and to make any impression that is made permanent and lasting.

3rd. Towards Riwári and the South.--The same plan has been carried out here. Two catechists with their families were sent to Riwári in the year 1871, and their work has met with marked success. I am copying a letter from Mr. Winter, dated March 8th, 1872: "We have had great encouragement at Riwári. Instead of fourteen inquirers not being ready for baptism on Tara Chand's visit, he was able to baptize twenty-five. This is truly a great privilege. Whole families were baptized; seven only were children. They are kolies, or 'weavers,' and continue to support themselves as heretofore. A little chapel of 'chappar' work is to be made in the midst of them on ground they have given. It will cost only 80 rupees (i.e., £3!!) and toward this they have given 7 rupees. If they go on well, Tara Chand thinks there is every hope that about eighty more may follow. An Imám of a mosque there, too, has been convinced of the truth of our religion; but it made such a stir amongst his co-religionists that he has been obliged to fly into Delhi, and is now living at Tara Chand's. Let me add that this work is, from first to last, the result of native agency. No European Missionary has ever been at Riwári.

I will now copy out parts of the journal that I made in January, 1868.

Delhi, Thursday, January 2nd, 1868.--Very early in the morning, before I was up, our heavy baggage, consisting of two tents--one for ourselves and one for our servants--baskets stored with food, &c., borne by seven camels, and attended by nine servants, went on before us. We started in the afternoon in a buggy and horse, and hoped to get on to-day to Bahádurgurh; but at Nangwe, a little village about ten miles from Delhi, we were disappointed to find that our company had come to a standstill, and were busy pitching the tents. The luggage had not been well packed, and great delay had been caused by one of the boxes continually falling off the camel's hump. There was nothing to do but to acquiesce; so we are passing the night here at Nangwe. Just before dark we walked into the village, and there found the peasants--who are all Hindoos, and speak Hindi--hard at work squeezing the juice out of the sugar-canes. The mode of doing this was very primitive. The canes are put into a wooden stand, and a horse, driven round and round, turns a heavy piece of wood which crushes the canes, and the juice falls out into bowls set to catch it. The people received us well, and said that [383/384] the English were as gods to them, whilst they were very bitter against the Mahomedans. They offered us some sugar-juice, of which we drank as much as we could not to offend them. The bowls, however, out of which we drank, however divine our lips, were carried away, no doubt to be broken, as they would consider them polluted. Mr. Winter spoke to them a little about religion. He does not, however, intend to do much Missionary work until we have passed Rohtuck.

Friday, January 2nd.--It was late before we started this morning. The taking down of the tents and the lading of the camels occupied fully three hours. It was rather interesting to watch the process. These camels are very surly, snarling creatures; they come down on their knees with a groan and a grunt, and every fresh thing put upon their backs elicits a fresh snarl. At last all were packed, and they started a little before ten o'clock. After they were gone, we went again into the village and paid a visit to the school. Some of the boys could read very well; but as it was a Government school we did not like to speak there on the subject of religion. We then walked on to a neighbouring village, and made at once for the chaupár. The chaupár is the village meeting-house, and is always the first place to which we go. It is generally the [384/385] most prominent object in the place, rising above the mud huts in which the people live. Often it is the only building made with bricks. It is a high raised platform, for the greater part open, but at one end it has a covered shed. Here the men of the village meet to sit and talk and smoke; in the evening or early morning you are sure to find several men sitting about. Winter and the Pundit, our catechist, talked and preached, and some twenty-four people listened with tolerable attention; and one, an old soldier, who could read a little, asked for a book, which we are going to leave for him on our way back. We then drove to Bahádurgurh, passing our camels on the way, and thence to Takhanda, our resting-place for the day. Here we went to the chaupár, and Winter and the catechist talked and preached, but the people did not pay much attention, for the most part going away after listening for a few minutes.

Saturday, January 4th.--We reached Sampla, on our way to Rohtuck, at 8.15. Winter and the catechist and myself went into the village, and in the bazaar a little group of thirty or forty soon collected round us, and the catechist read and preached to them; I should say, however, to judge merely from the expression on the men's faces, not with much effect. We reached Rohtuck about four o'clock. Rohtuck is a place of some importance, with a population of 10,000. In it are several fine mosques and temples; and it once had a strong natural fort, which, however, has now been blown up.

Monday, January 6th.--About half-past one o'clock we left Rohtuck, and made our way, driving and walking, across country to Kherce. Here Winter and the catechist preached to about sixty people in the chaupár. They were attentive, one man in particular, to whom Winter offered a book; but he declined it, as his friends, he said, had persecuted him for having received one on a former occasion. From Kherce we went to Bhall, about two miles off; and Winter preached to a very attentive congregation of about a hundred. Unfortunately none could read, so that we could leave nothing behind us. From Bhall we went to Dhoba, and there our congregation numbered about fifty, who were fairly attentive. All these are Sát villages. The Sáts are physically a fine race of men, and bear a good character as farmers, being industrious and careful. They are Hindoos in religion but are ignorant. Their questions, however, show a certain amount of shrewdness. One asked to-day, "How long ago did Jesus Christ come into the world?" On receiving the answer, "Whom, then, did men worship before He came?"--God. "Why then, may we not continue now to do as they did without worshipping Jesus Christ?" From Dhoba we drove on here to Láli--a cold drive in the moonlight; and we were glad to reach our tent about half-past six o'clock. This evening the village Lambradár, the head man of the village, has been calling to pay his respects, bringing in his [385/386] hand an offering of service in the shape of a rupee, which Winter properly touched with his finger and returned. The village is Rajpoot; and our friend, who sat with us and talked very affably, is a fine specimen of a Rajpoot. The Sáts are square, strong-built men. The Rajpoots are a tall, slender race, having a more aristocratic bearing.

January 7th.--Soon after breakfast Winger and the catechist went into the village and preached. After their return, and at intervals throughout the day, our tent was beset by parties from the village of three, four, or more, who came to look at us and ours, and to hear what we had to say to them. After dinner a Pundit, with three disciples, was announced, and in walked an old gentleman of venerable appearance, with whom Winter had a long, interesting conversation. He is a celebrated Pundit of Kharrack, and his fame is great about these parts. He evidently knew a great deal about Christianity, of which he spoke in very high terms, but came only to the usual conclusion, that the one God had made different religions for different people, and each should observe their own. . . . .

January 9th.--From Láli we went through Anwal to Kulanore. There we preached in the street. It was narrow and crowded, and the people were noisy. Most were Hindoos; but just as Winter was beginning to preach, a blind Mahomedan, a Hafiz--that is, one who knew the Koran by heart--came up, and began putting a string of questions and to talk very fast. As his object was clearly to prevent us from speaking, Winter wisely forbade him to talk until he had finished his address; upon this the man went away angrily. About half-past two o'clock we left for Kharrack. On our way we passed a Brahman, attended by eleven disciples. The sight naturally carried one's thoughts back to the time when our Saviour went about attended in like manner; but there was nothing at all romantic in this case; the man was only on his way to the next town to buy grocery for himself.

January 11th.--As soon as the camels had started for Bhiwáni, Winter and myself set out for Kadunga, a small town, with some 1,200 souls, north-east of Kharrack. On reaching Kadunga we met with a most enthusiastic reception. The whole village turned out to meet us; they never, I should think, had seen two live Englishmen before, and we were escorted by a wondering crowd, numbering not less than a hundred, up to the chaupár. There they insisted on our taking some hot milk and sugar, which they mixed for us, and then they allowed us to speak. Winter preached for about three-quarters of an hour. They listened attentively, but said nothing. On going away Winter left a copy of St. Matthew's Gospel with the Pundit, the only man who could read. On the road to Bhiwáni we stopped at Bamla, a goodly-sized town of 440 houses. Here we found Pundit Edward, who had preceded us; and Winter and he preached to a large audience in one of the bazaars. [386/387] They listened apparently with great heed, but asked no questions and made no remark.

We reached Bhiwáni about four o'clock, and had some difficulty in finding our camels. We drove through some really good streets, seeing on every side marks of wealth in this well-to-do trading town. But so many houses had been built since Winter was here three years ago that we missed our way. However, a native doctor, whom we asked, kindly sent a servant with us, and under his guidance we found out our encampment. Here we are close by a tank, with a Hindoo temple and well attached to it. Next door, in another old temple, an old Fakir has taken up his abode, and lives with an old woman, who is also a fakir. Winter and Mrs. Winter made friends with them when they came here on a former preaching tour, and the old man and woman gave us a hearty welcome back to the old quarters.

Sunday the 12th.--Close to us is a large "parao," an enclosure, where a large number of camels and oxen are kept; and the chorus of camels, oxen, dogs, cats, peacocks, and owls, considerably disturbs the even tenor of one's slumbers. The owls are the worst: a pair or more have taken up their abode in the boughs that shade our tent, and keep up a most unearthly noise all through the night. I have not yet caught a glimpse of them; but the perch from which they hoot is directly over my head. . . . . In the evening I accompanied Winter and the catechist, and they preached in the market-place. This was my first experience of street-preaching in a city. The people were all well-behaved, though somewhat noisy. The ordeal did not seem so terrible as I had anticipated. It certainly is very trying to the voice, but no so bad for the nerves.

Monday, 13th.--Frequent visitors came to the tent; but, for the most part, they were boys, as to-day is a Hindoo festival, and there is a holiday in the schools. About five o'clock we sallied forth into another part of the town, and Winter and Edward preached from a corner where two streets crossed each other; a large congregation of about 150 collected round us and listened quietly. . . . .

Wednesday, 15th.--About noon I went with Winter to pay a visit to a girls' school, the mistress of which is a Delhi woman, one of the pupils of our Normal School. She is a Mahomedan, but was trained in our school. In a distant corner of the town we found the school-room; but in it there were only seven little girls, two of whom could read tolerably well, the rest were less advanced. The schoolmistress was behind a "purdah" or screen, so that we did not see her, and we should not have been allowed to see the children, had they not been very small and very poor. It is the general practice, when an inspector visits a girls' school, to carry on the whole examination with a purdah between him and the girls. Female education at present is very up-hill work in India. [387/388] During the afternoon, among the visitors to our tent was a Brahman, who made more intelligent inquiries than usual about Christianity. He did not seem satisfied as to his own faith. Winter gave him a copy of the New Testament, and he said that he would read it to his people instead of his own Shastras. He also promised to come again. In the evening we went out, and Winter preached by the Dádri gate. A great number soon gathered round us; but the dust and noise made it difficult to speak, and after about three-quarters of an hour the little boys could not restrain themselves, but began to quarrel together, and raised such a storm of dust that we were obliged to give up. . . . . .

Saturday, 18th.--We went before breakfast to pay a visit to some weavers, whose workshops were at the other end of the town. On a former occasion, when the catechist had visited them, they had expressed a wish to see the Padri Sahib. However, they did not appear much impressed, and I fancy that the Brahmans had been at work with them. After lunch we started for Nangal, a town lying on the Dádri road; but we found the road very long and wearisome, as we had to climb two sandhills on our way. We reached Nangal about half-past three o'clock, when, as the place seemed very small, and there was a difficulty in drawing round us a sufficient audience, we went across to the nearest village, Dharáree. As there was no road, we had to go straight across country, buggy and all--not an impossible task in this treeless country--and we got there about quarter past four o'clock. Winter and Edward preached to the people in the chaupár. They paid great attention, and said that they had never heard our Saviour's name before.

Tuesday, January 21st.--This morning we made our preparations for leaving Bhiwáni, and as soon as our luggage had been packed, we went once more into the bazaar, and Winter and Edward gave their farewell address to the people of Bhiwáni, and we then started on our way to Tooshám. The first place that we stopped at was Babourak, a large village with a population of about 1,200. There we were very well received, and Winter and Edward preached to a large circle of listeners in the chaupár. We then drove across to Deen Ladli, a village of about the same size, lying about two miles off the road. Here we had much more difficulty in getting an audience, and the people seemed slower in understanding. But they spoke such a very jungally lingo that Winter could scarcely understand them, and the catechist had, unfortunately, gone on towards Tooshám. In neither of these villages could any one read, so that we could not make any impression that might have been made more lasting by leaving some book behind us; physically, they were the finest men we have yet met with. We then went on to a small village, of which I could not catch the name, just half-way to Tooshám, where we hoped to find our second horse. On reaching it, however, we saw no [388/389] horse, and in a minute or two out came the Pundit from the village, running to meet us with the dreadful news that both my horse and his pony had run away. It seems that when the Pundit came up on his pony, my horse, as soon as it caught sight of them, broke loose from the sice and began to fight with the pony. Both of the men were afraid to interfere, and after a few minutes the horses took to their heels and scampered over the plains. Then these sensible men actually left them to themselves. The Pundit quietly returned to the village and began to preach; the sice leisurely walked on towards Tooshám. When we came up an hour had passed since the horses had taken to their heels, so that they were far out of sight. We sent three or four villagers off to track the horses, and ourselves went on as fast as we could with our tired animal to Tooshám. Fortunately the horses had set off in that direction. The country here is a sandy desert, so when we reached Tooshám we found that the sice with a sepoy had already started in search, and after a little while they returned with both runaways. Tooshám is a very striking place. The last of a long chain of rocks, it stands alone, and is detached from the rest by a long interval. It rises sheer and abrupt from the sandy plain which surrounds it on every side, and is visible as a landmark for a great many miles round. Both in its general shape, something like a pig's back, and its cold, rugged outline, it reminded me very much of Gibraltar, and the town at the bottom lies in a very similar position to that of Gibraltar. You must, however, reduce everything to a much smaller scale, and substitute sand for sea. The formation of the rock is granite, and it seems to be nearly barren, for we can see only a few patches of grass scattered here and there, and from the great number of kites and vultures that are hovering about, it is clearly a favourite breeding place for birds of prey.

Wednesday, 22nd.--We went out before breakfast to preach. The people here are mostly Jains and Mahomedans, and the questions which they asked seem to refer chiefly to the treatment of animals--whether it is a sin to kill them. The Jains consider all life to be sacred and divine. During the morning, whilst I was reading, a Brahman came, and sat talking with Winter for a long time, and Winter was much pleased with him. Soon after he was gone, a young man who had been to see Mr. and Mrs. Winter when they were here before, came and sat for a very long time. From him Winter gathered that the point on which they lay most stress in their creed is "the eternity of works," that is, that there never was a time when souls were not doing good or bad works, and that the performers of good works are gradually absorbed into God. In the evening Winter and Edward preached again; but the audience was small, and, as I thought, a lackluster atmosphere seemed to hang over both preacher and audience. After it we went out for a walk, and the young man who had paid us the long visit during the day joined us. As we walked home [389/390] the sun was settling behind Tooshám, and the view of the bleak rugged rock, as it was lit up by the brilliant sky, was very fine.

Thursday, 23rd.--About half-past three o'clock we arrived at Oomra, and here again we found ourselves once more in a land of trees. After the sandy, desert-like tract around Tooshám, the clusters of trees which stand about Oomra are very refreshing. In the evening we went into the chaupár, and were particularly pleased with our reception there. The people are Sáts, and seem to be unusually straightforward, simple, and honest. From them we learn that a famous Jain-Guru, or "head teacher of the Jains," is staying here; he is living, however, with one of the wealthy bunniahs, and does not influence the Sáts.

Friday, 24th.--Before breakfast we went into the chaupár, and Edward and Winter preached. Not so many were present as on the previous evening, as several were out at work in the fields. During the morning an old fakir who lives close by paid us a long visit, and also some lads who were sons of the bunniah, with whom the Guru is staying. They invited us to go and pay him a visit; so Winter, Edward, and myself set out with them. They took us to their home, the largest house in the village, and there, in an upper room, surrounded by ten or twelve disciples, we found the Guru. He was sitting cross-legged in the middle on a raised stool or form, and the others were sitting all about him. Each wore a linen respirator over his mouth, to prevent his drawing in any insects as he breathed, and each had a fly-flapper to sweep away the flies before he sat down. The room was soon filled with spectators and listeners; and on looking at the roof above, and at various crevices and holes about the walls, I noticed that the ladies of the house were not less curious than ladies generally are. We were courteously received, and a very long conversation ensured between Pundit Edward and the Guru; as, however, he did not take off his respirator, I, with my very imperfect knowledge of the language, could not follow at all, and got very tired before it was over of sitting cross-legged. From what, however, I learnt afterwards, he seems to have asked very sensible questions; and when he had learnt to some extent what Christianity is, he then told us something of his own creed: "That there are five commandments--not to kill, not to steal, not to lie, not to commit adultery, not to covet wealth; that all life, whether that of a fly, a cow, or a man, is divine and eternal; that there is no such thing as the creation of an original soul, but from all eternity men have been doing good or bad deeds; that good deeds will win 'mukti,' or salvation--that is, absorption into God." It is the habit of these Jain-Gurus to go about from village to village, and not to stay longer than a month in one place. In appearance, and also in mode of life, they somewhat resemble monks.

Saturday, 25th.--We reached Hissár about five o'clock. As we [390/391] drew near, signs of English influence were visible on every side. Good pukka roads, well-built bungalows, and a general air of tidiness, told us that we were coming to an English station. As we entered, we drove along some very pretty roads lined with trees on either side, and found that our camels and tents had taken up their station close to the Dák bungalow, not far from the canal which runs through and round the town. Soon after our arrival, we received a note from Mrs. Foster, the Deputy Commissioner's wife, asking us to dinner, and we spent the evening with them. The house in which they live was once a Mahomedan tomb. A large dome was built, as is usual, over the tomb, and this is now their central room, and a very fine cool room it is. The other rooms have been built round it. To-morrow we are to take the services in the church here, as the chaplain is away.

Monday, 27th.--In the morning the Pundit was ill with a slight attack of fever, and Winter also was far from well, so no preaching was attempted. We are here within one hundred yards of the canal, which has recently overflowed its banks. I fancy that the small arising in consequence from the stagnant mud and rotting vegetation has touched some of our party a little. Hissár is a strongly-built place, with massive walls all round, and a canal running below them, and must have been a difficult place to take before the era of guns. The canal runs through part of the present town, and for some way alongside of the walls; and the great number of trees and the rich vegetation which the canal produces makes this by far the prettiest town that we have yet seen. . . . In the afternoon we went out to preach, and took our stand in the middle of the market-place. A large number of Mahomedans soon surrounded us. They listened without much interruption; but I fear, to judge from their faces, that they did not much appreciate what they heard. . . .

Thursday, 30th.--I stayed within the tent, writing and reading, nearly the whole day. About four o'clock we were just preparing to go into the town to preach, when the sky became overcast, and in a few minutes a very heavy thunderstorm came on. At first the natives thought that it would prove to be only an "andhi," or dust-storm. We could see long columns of dusky yellow clouds moving to and fro, gradually coming towards us. These, however, proved to be only the precursors of some much blacker clouds, unmistakably charged with something worse than dust. Our servants had just time to dig a trench, and throw up a mound round the tent, when a high wind brought down the storm of hail and rain upon us. It came down as I have never seen it rain in England, and in a very little while turned our tent into an island, and kept us close prisoners within it. There was a great deal of thunder, and incessant flashes of lightning, lighting up the dark black clouds, were extremely beautiful. Our outer tent was drenched, and it was just [391/392] beginning to penetrate through the inner tent in which we were, when the storm ceased. With these went tents, however, we shall not be able to travel to-morrow.

Friday, 31st.--We went out in the morning, and Winter and Edward preached. The people, of whom there were a great many, were very quiet, and several stayed until the end of the address. In the evening we went out again into the town. A very large number were present, and were very quiet. Four or five Mahomedans afterwards came to our tent, and asked for a copy of the Gospel. They were of the higher order, and were very polite and civil; but their questions and answers showed that the popular religion of the Mahomedans is not drawn from the Koran, but from the Hadis, a collection of the traditional sayings of Mahomet, with copious commentaries by celebrated monloies. Their system of faith had nothing grand about it, but was full of childish trifles and frivolities, and a meaningless act of ceremonial was in their eyes as important as the first of moral duties. Not to wear a beard, or to wear it above a certain length, was as wrong--so this respectable Mahomedan gravely told us--as to commit incest. . . .

[Here I have left out a few pages of my journal.]

Sunday, February 9th.--Here we are at Berce. This is a large and thoroughly Hindoo town, very much like Bhiwáni. We are on the edge of a dried-up tank, with a well and a temple and a fakir's lodge close by. The only difference is, that there is no "parao" for camels here; and we have exchanged the owls of Bhiwáni for the monkeys of Berce. On the whole, I prefer the owls; for there are not much less than one hundred of these chattering, screaming wretches, and they carry on their loves and their quarrels far into the night, and begin again very early in the morning. . . . In the afternoon we went out into the bazaar; but a nasty sneer was the expression that we saw on most of the faces around us. These bunniahs are a hard-hearted, money-getting race, and their trade does not teach them honesty.

Monday, February 10th.--Winter being unwell, I went to the bazaar with the catechist. I did not attempt to preach, but the presence of an Englishman gives some moral support, and the natives listen much better to a catechist when an Englishman is standing by him. However, our preaching was not very satisfactory, as our audience was very fluctuating, only two or three staying all the time. A little while after breakfast a sergeant of police, with two or three others, paid us a visit. The sergeant, who was spokesman throughout, stayed a very long time. He was a Sikh, and evidently of a philosophical turn of mind. His ideas, however, were not very clear, or at least not sufficiently clearly expressed to be intelligible either to Winter or the catechist. He said [392/393] that we cannot predicate love, or joy, or sorrow, or any attribute of God, and therefore he believed that the Being who made the world is not the same as the One Almighty God. The truth at the bottom of his error seems to me to be this; he was right in denying that we can know God as He is in His own Absolute Perfection; wrong in denying that the revelation which we have in His works, and, as we should add, His Word and His Son, is a true revelation, though relative and incomplete. In the afternoon we went again into the bazaar, but our preaching was interrupted by a sick bull which took up its position directly opposite to us, in an empty stall, and proved a counter-attraction sufficiently strong to drive away many, and divert the attention of others. Lame or diseased cows are quite a feature in Hindoo towns. We have seen several, both here and at Bhiwáni, limping about, piteous objects to look at. The people feed them, and do all they can to protract their life, and the kindest act would be to knock them on the head; but they are very sacred.

Tuesday, February 11th.--The morning was very wet, so we could not go out to preach, but we were much cheered by receiving a visit from an old friend of Winter's named Kird Hari Dáfs. This man was almost persuaded to be a Christian when Winter was last here; and Winter had left him with books, &c., to read; so we were rather disappointed that he had not called, and feared that he might have fallen back, as well he might, having seen and heard no one for three years. He said that he should have called before, but that he had been away from home in one of the villages. He belongs to a sect called the sect of Kabirs, and is himself looked up to as a sort of Guru or teacher by the people, and he seems to have made good use of the books by reading them to his disciples. He says that they very much liked the character of Our Lord, but were not led to think of Him as more than a man. . . . .

Thursday, February 18th.--In the morning, before breakfast, we went into one of the Sát chaupárs, and found it nearly full. The people listened well, and were apparently pleased with what they heard. About half-past one o'clock two well-dressed Mahomedans called, and had a long talk with Winter. One of them begged hard for a picture-book, which we have been using, and at last he got his request. Winter gave him also a copy of the Mirán Ulhag. As soon as they were gone we started in the buggy to visit some of the neighbouring villages. Kird Hari Dáfs accompanied us; but as most of the men were out in the fields, we did not find many to listen.

Friday, February 14th.--In the morning, Winter had a long talk with Kird Hari Dáfs. He expressed himself quite convinced of the truth of Christianity, but asked to wait before being openly baptized, in order that he might bring others with him. He is in the habit of composing verses, as many of these Gurus do, in which he introduces the doctrines [393/394] of Christianity, and in this way he has turned into verse the Creed, and the Sermon on the Mount. This was a great encouragement to us, for this man is of a higher stamp than most, and I think quite sincere, for unlike most, he is a silent, self-contained man. I hope that all who read this will remember to pray for him. At ten o'clock we left Berce.


Let me conclude this paper with an appeal which Mr. Winter made to me in a letter written a few months ago: "Now we want you to look about everywhere, especially at Oxford, and try to find some clergyman with private means who might go and live there (i,e., Kurnál), and work in all the great towns round about. There is a tower of Mohamedan influence at Páneeput, and of Hindoo influence at Thanesur and its annual gatherings. Then, too, the English folks are but very feebly shepherded in my far-between visits. There is thus a truly great work for an earnest man. His private income need not be large, as, whenever he took the Sunday services, he would get the Government allowance of 100 rupees, and if an honorary member of the Additional Clergy Aid Society 150 rupees per mensem. Do look about everywhere and try to find a man. He would stop with us in Delhi to learn the language and get a little insight into Mission work and native character. It is utterly hopeless to expect S.P.G. or the A.C.S. to take up these places. So we must make individual efforts to supply their crying wants."

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