« PreviousContinue »
we have many who were not in the habit of attending regularly at any place of worship. Our number on the list of candidates for church fellowship is at present seventy, of this number twenty-five are already baptized, and we expect to have fifty members at the first communion in the new chapel. I am happy to say that in many cases prejudices are giving way before the preaching of a crucified Redeemer, and that I now have full meetings in some places where, four months ago, I would not have been well received.
Although we have not now the outward manifestations of 1859 very frequently (but they have by no means disappeared), yet we believe that the Lord's work is going forward success. fully. My heart is often cheered in visiting a district rather mountainous and thinly inhabited. In travelling thither we are sometimes climbing over rocks of granite, then through brake and furze, until we arrive at an isolated cabin, beneath the shelter of a towering rock of granite. Looking in the distance the eye rests upon heather and peat, with few dwellings visible. Sball we have a meeting here? Where can the people be found ? The hour ís come.
We enter, and there discover a 'seed to serve the Lord'--a cot densely packed with those whose hearts are thirsting for the living God. The service proceeds, and now, drawing to a close, the party do not seem disposed to go. There is a sweet hymn, perhaps some brother prays, and now in leaving freqnently those sounds are borne upon the mountain breeze—the sweet melody of hearts made glad by the presence of Him whose favour is life, and whose smile is the sunshine of the believing soul. May we not say that we have evidence of the Lord's presence, and go forward in dependence upon his promise, 'Lo I am with you alway's
CONTRIBUTIONS Received än behalf of the Baptist Irish Society, from December 19th, to January 18th, 1864.
£ s. d. LONDON
Salisbury, by Rev. P. Bailhache
26 Bowser, W., Esq. 1 1 0 Sevenoaks, by C. Palmer, Esq.
40 Middleditch, Rev. C. J. 1 0 Sheepshed, by Mr. B. Christian.
5 126 Rouse, Rev. G, H., M.A.. 0 10 0 Wallingford, by Mr. Scorey
1 10 0 Brompton, by Rev. J. Bigwood. Suburban
by Rev. T. Brooks
0 Meeting 1 12 0 Windsor, by Rev. 8. Lillycrop
20 Dalston, Smith, R. Èsq., by Rev. W. Miall 0 10 6 Wokingham, by Mr. Scorey
6 12 6 Kingsgate Chapel,' by Rev. F. Wills, Jubilee
7 13 0 Walworth - Lion Street, by Mrs. Watson,
By Rev. A Livingstone. Balance 5 16 0 Berwick-upon- Tweed
2 16 8 Brill, Dodwell, Mrs. E.
Dunfermline Burnley, by Rev. T. Berry
3 Eyemouth Congleton, Beales, R. Esq., M.D.
1 10 6 Dublin, by Rev. T. Berry
22 7 Dunstable, by Mr. M. Gutteridge
1 7 6
7 70 Harlow, Rev. F., B.A. 0 10 6 Leith
1 70 Hastings, E. S.
0 10 0 Ipswich, Stoke, by Rev. J. Webb 12 0
42 12 3 Lancashire, by Rev. T. Berry
8 12 3 Newbury. by Rev. J. Drew .
2 12 6 Legacy—Robson, Rev. C., Berwick-upon-Tweed. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, by Rey. A. Livingstone : 17 15 0 Messrs. E. and W. Paxton, R. Rutherford, and Norwich, by Mrs J. B. Smith
: Royston, Reynolds, Mr. J. .
G. Roberts, Executors. Balance, less Legacy 0 10 0 Duty
60 0 0 The thanks of the Committee are presented to Mrs. Risdon of Pershore, for a parcel of useful articles for Mr. Eccles; to Miss Bumpus, of Northampton, for the sum of £2, for the poor of Mr. Eccles' church; to Mrs. Beetham of Cheltenham, for a parcel of clothing, and the sum of £1, sent direct to Mr. Berry, of Athlone; to Mrs. James Hall, and friends at Canterbury for a Box of Clothing, and also to M. A, H., for the sum of ten shillings, in behalf of the “Agent, eighty-four years old." The kind friend last mentioned states that her donation was prompted by the acknowledgment of a similar contribution in the Chronicle for November, and expresses her hope that others will be induced, seeing the acknowledgment now made, to con. tribute for the relief of the aged and afflicted Christian referred to. Being too late for the December Chronicle, the letter of M. A. H. was inserted in the Freeman newspaper, but in vain. No further contributions have been received in behalf of the poor old man whose Christian character has been well maintained through a long life, and whose present sufferings and destitution might well commend him to the sympathy and kindness of brethren in Christ. Relief of this kind is greatly needed. Almost every Agent would be greatly assisted in his work by having such means of alleviating the distress of the people committed to him. Some especially require it. One says, "If friends send you any apparel &c. for our poor, it is pressingly needed here.” Another says, “ If you have any parcels, will you kindly think of us ? I never saw so much distress." Will any friends send a good supply of cast-off clothing for the destitute poor at the Society's Stations ? The Secretary will gladly take charge of such con. tributions, if sent to the Mission House ; or will promptly supply any information required by friends who would prefer to send direct. February anet March are months of severe suffering.
THE ABOLITION OF HUMAN SACRIFICES IN INDIA.
One of the most interesting aspects sacred vocation. For more than in which the establishment of Bri- forty years, those who were placed tish supremacy in India may be at the head of affairs exhibited the regarded, is that which is presented utmost indifference to the existence by the extinction of human sacri- of these inhuman sacrifices, which fices. We find them recorded with they regarded as an integrant part approbation in the most ancient of the religion of the country, Hindoo epic, and they have been with which it was not their proidentified from time immemorial vince to meddle. If at any time with the genius of Hindooism. the subject was forced on their Amidst all the revolutions to which notice, they justified their nonthe continent of India has been interference by adverting to the subject, these inhuman practices danger of exciting discontent in appear to have been perpetrated the minds of the natives. The without any intermission in its claims of humanity were smothered various provinces, though in diver- by the dread of damaging the insified forms.
When we first ap- terests of the Company. This peared in the country as a political heartless policy would appear expower, we found them in full vigour traordinary, if we had not a corres-Brahmins habitually employed in ponding example of it at the same destroying their relatives, even in period in this country, regarding the holy city of Benares--mothers the atrocities of the slave trade, sacrificing their children at Saugor, the abolition of which was conin fulfilment of religious vows, tinually opposed, because it was sons kindling the funeral pile which considered at variance with our was to consume their living mothers national interests. It was not till -and devotees casting themselves the year 1795 that the first blow under the wheels of Jugurnauth's was given to this bloody supersti
tion in India, by prohibiting the It was reserved for the British destruction of females, at Benares. Government to bring this tragedy But the inhabitants of that city, of superstition to a close, though the citadel of Hindooism, and for a time our public functionaries always the seat of disaffection in were regardless of their high and the north-west, manifested no hostility to this prohibition, though more than half its strength to their they subsequently revolted against hesitation. Attempts were made, our Government on the imposition by a timid legislation, to regulate of a house tax. A clear proof was the rite and reduce the number of thus obtained that no political victims, but, as in the case of the danger was likely to attend our slave trade, it was found to cominterposition in the cause of hu- promise the character of the Gomanity, and the moral courage of vernment, and to aggravate the evil. the British rulers acquired new While the Court of Directors were strength. Accordingly, seven years temporizing with this enormity, after, Mr. Udny, the member of and looking to the slow progress Council
, and Dr. Carey united of knowledge and civilization to their efforts to induce Lord Welles. eradicate it, Lord William Bentinck ley to deal with the sacrifice of landed in Calcutta as Governorchildren at Saugor, and a law was General, “ with a full sense,” as he passed to prohibit the practice. A said, “ of the dreadful responsihundred thousand pilgrims were bility hanging over his head in this ordinarily assembled there at the world and the next, if he, as the head annual festival : and in the midst of of the Government of India conthat great assembly, it was an- sented to the continuance of this nounced that Government had practice for one moment longer" thought fit to interdict the offering than could be helped. He was so of children, under severe penalties. thoroughly in earnest as to consider The order was obeyed without even the question of our political hesitation, and without creating the security subordinate to the claims smallest disturbance. Soon after of humanity, and on the 9th of the province of Orissa was annexed December, 1829, passed the everto the British territories, and the memorable act, which peremptorily most strenuous efforts were made, prohibited Suttees, and attached the and with signal success, to prevent severest penalties to the crime of devotees sacrificing themselves aiding or abetting them. To conunder the wheels of Jugurnauth's summate this deed of mercy, he had
not only to set at defiance the hos. But although the country had tility~with a small exception of exhibited an unequivocal acquies- the territorial, the priestly, and the cence in these humane proceedings, mercantile interests in the native the Government shrunk, for a community, but to encounter the quarter of a century, from the morbid and Brahminized sensibiliduty of dealing summarily with the ties of some of the most eminent more atrocious rite of female im- European servants of Government, molation. The Hindoos considered headed by the great Orientalist, Dr. it the glory of their religious Horace Hayman Wilson, who resystem, that it stifled the love of probated "this direct and unequilife and the voice of humanity, and vocal interference with the Hindoo provided seven hundred victims religion." Under his auspices, a annually for the funeral pile; and petition was drawn up to the Privy the public functionaries in India Council
, denouncing the proceedand in England were staggered by ings of Lord William Bentinck, the apparent array of national feel and demanding the restoration of ing in favour of this brutal prac- the privilege of burning widows, on tice, not discerning that it owed the impertinent assumption that it
was included within the scope of dily reduced to submission. It was that principle of toleration which this expedition which brought us the British Government had pledged for the first time in contact with itself to maintain in India. The the Khonds and revealed a system appeal, though supported by the of human sacrifices more revolting forensic talent of Dr. Lushington, than any recorded in the annals of was dismissed ; the rite was irrevo. human cruelty and superstition. In cably abolished ; and, to borrow order to propitiate the earth deity, the line of an Indian poet
and to obtain rich crops,' these ** The Ganges flowed, unblooded to the sea.”
savages were in the habit of sacri.
ficing human victims, termed Meri. The latest interference with these
ahs. To render the sacrifice effica, barbarous rites has been exercised cious, it was necessary that the in the case of the Meriah sacrifices, victims should be purchased; but, a report of which has just been although they might be of any sect, published by General Campbell in a or caste, orage, men were generally "Personal Narrative of Thirteen preferred as being of higher price, Years' Service among the Wild the value of the offering being in Tribes of Khondistan, for the sup- proportion to its cost. The Meripression of Human Sacrifices." It ahs were often procured from their is from this interesting work we friends or relatives when reduced have gleaned the following particu- to distress, or suffering from famine, lars. Khondistan-the abode of the but were generally stolen from the Khonds—is a large province in the plains by a gang of professional hilly portion of the ancient king- kidnappers. The Meriah women dom of Orissa, which is known to were frequently allowed to live till the Christian public of England as they had borne children to Khond the sacred land of the god Jugur- fathers, and these children were nauth. Orissa became a British reared for sacrifice. For a month province in 1803, but it was only in prior to the act of immolation, there the lowlands and in the district of was much revelry, during which Cuttack that our ordinary system of the intoxicated votaries danced administration was established. The around the victim, who was adorned region in the hills, inhabited by with chaplėts of flowers. The day various wild tribes, remained under before the tragedy he was stupified the management of their own with drugs, and bound to the foot chiefs, with whom we held little of a post, while the assembled mul, intercourse, and never interfered titude danced round him to the except when they became refrac- sound of their barbarous music, tory, and refused to make good the and addressed the earth deity—“O tribute imposed on them. Taxation God, we offer thee this sacrifice ; was, in fact, the only element of give us good crops, seasons, and civilization which we introduced health.” On the day of the sacriamong them. Khondistan was fice, they marched in procession divided into several principalities, round the village, bearing the vieeach under some Orissa ruler, one tim in their arms, and then conof whom, the chief of Goomsoor, veyed him to the post, where a hog about the year 1835, resisted the was slain, and its blood allowed to British anthorities, when a large flow into a pit dug for the purpose. force was sent against him from The Meriah, who had been again Madras, and the country was spee- drugged, was then thrown in and
smothered to death; the priest pro- promise—"May the earth refuse ceeded to cut out a piece of flesh its produce; may rice choke me; and bury it near the village idol. may water drown me, and
the The multitude followed his example, tiger devour me and my children, and hastened with the bloody if I break the oath I now take, for prize to their respective villages, myself and my people, to abstain and buried the flesh
for ever from the sacrifice of human day near their local idol. But this beings.” One hundred victims, was the least inhuman mode of con- destined for sacrifice, were then summating the sacrifice ; among surrendered, and from that day this some of the tribes the flesh was cut bloody rite has ceased in Goomsoor, from the living victim.
The same happy result followed the The British Government exertions of Captain Campbell in sooner became cognizant of this the neighbouring districts of Boad practice than it was resolved to and Kimedy.
and Kimedy. Council after council adopt the most energetic measures was convened, and there were endto extinguish it. A distinct and less discussions. No little reluccostly agency was established for tance was manifested to give up a this purpose in the hills, and Ge- practice, on which the fertility of neral -- then Captain Campbell, their fields, and their own means who had acquired a good knowledge of subsistence was supposed to deof the country and the people dur- pend, but Captain Campbell pressed ing the campaign, was nominated on them the stern and inflexible the representative of the govern- determination of the Government ment in Khondistan.
to extinguish the practice, by permenced his crusade against the suasion if possible; if not, by comMeriah abomination in December, pulsion; and thus, with admirable 1837, by convening an assembly patience, tact and perseverance, by of the Goomsoor chiefs, to whom he alternate coaxing and menacing, explained that they were no longer and on one occasion by a demonunder a native chief, but under the stration of force, he succeeded in British government, which abhorred rescuing all the victims in these and the rite, and was determined to other districts, and putting an end extinguish it. They were desired to the practice. For thirteen entire to consult their people on the sub- years was he employed in this ject, and communicate the result to great mission,of humanity, visiting the Commissioner. At the second every nook and corner of a region conference they informed him that, which is considered fatal to Eurothough they had always followed pean constitutions, delivering those the customs handed down to them who “were appointed to death," by their ancestors, they felt that it and exacting the most solemn was imperative on them to obey pledges from the chiefs and people the Great Government to which to relinquish the practice for ever, they were now subject, and that In 1854, the government considered they were prepared to abandon his mission completed, and withhuman sacrifices, and, like the in- drew the agency as being no longer habitants of the plain, sacrifice necessary. During the period of his animals to obtain good crops. Then operations, the number of victims seating themselves on tiger skins, rescued from destruction amounted they bound themselves by a solemn to 1,506—the females being about
h to the performance of their a tenth in excess of the males. A