Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

he remarked, "All the teacher says is true. I have heard many similar things from the elders. If any one will come and preach the word of God, all will believe." Three of the Karens that I brought up with me have gone back with him, to spend a week or ten days in his village and neighborhood.

came, who manifested increasing interest. One man declared, though living all his days in the neighborhood of idolaters, that he had never for once bowed his head to idol, pagoda, or priest. And it subsequently appeared that the same was true of all his family. Another said that he had heretofore worshipped images, in conformity with the Burmese; but he knew Another Sgau Karen, from the eastern that the Karens had the book of God for- mountains, two days' journey distant, was merly, and now that he saw the book of here three or four days ago, who received God again, he believed it, and would the word of God as if he loved it, and worship idols no more. Subsequently volunteered to go to the chief of his disthree other parties came, and listened trict and ask him to come to see us. I with great interest; the most of whom have not a doubt, that "the Lord has promised to worship God hereafter, and much people in this place;” but to whom no longer join with the Burmans in the will the privilege of gathering them in worship of priests and idols. The last be given? My skilful physician, Dr. company that came down to the boat Morton, who has prescribed for me a consisted of six men and women, who dozen years, wrote a few days ago from came in at dusk, from the farthest village, Pegu, where he is now Commissioner, where they had heard of our arrival in the and says—“I am happy to perceive that forenoon. One was very anxious to see you have at length made up your mind the Karen Bible; and when the volume to go home, if spared, in January next; was put into his hands, and he had opened and pray permit me to counsel you not ît, he turned it over and over in every di- to allow any thing in the shape of improved rection, and then clasping it in his hands, health to prevent your carrying this said repeatedly with much emphasis, resolution into effect. For however con“How I wish to be able to read it." The siderable this improved state may be, it whole company expressed their determin- is likely to be only of a temporary charation to worship God according to the dic-acter. And I am persuaded that nothing tates of his word. And Shwaygyeen being but a complete change of climate is adaptnearer to them than Toung-oo, I rec-ed to be of any thing like permanent ommended them to go and visit br. Harris. The chief, his wife, brothers, and other members of his family, said they were determined to become Christians, and that they would visit Mr. Harris, as soon as they had finished harvesting.

In most parts of this province, the Karens are under the Burman rulers, nearly as much as they were before the English took possession of the city. But it is expected that ere long the country will be brought under the British rule in fact, as it now is on paper, when we can have free access to the people, and they to us. However, we see Karens daily at present. A Karen from a village of forty houses on the mountains, half way between this place and Prome, spent the Sabbath with us a week ago, and, at the close of the day,

benefit to you. So I must again urge on you not to allow any consideration to deter you this time from putting the notion into action."

Kindness of English Residents. We have found the English residents exceedingly kind. The Commissioner has interested himself to supply all our wants. Brigadier Williams has given us the use of his house as long as we stay. The commissariat officer furnishes us with bread and beef from the commissariat, and Col. Poole with his officers have offered to furnish us with any thing we may need from their own stores, including ponies, saddled and bridled. It is doubly pleasant, too, to find that Col. Poole, who commands the 5th N. S., is a pious Christian brother, who has long

them. I have also given many to go into the villages; so that the means of salvation have been placed within the reach of

the seed sown been without fruit. Besides more or less who have been impressed by the truth in different degrees, (and the assistant says there are many such,)

exerted a good religious influence over all within his circle. He never allows the Sabbath to pass unnoticed, and he told me that he had not once heard a profane | all, in the city and neighborhood. Nor has word at the mess over which he presides. At least one of his officers is decidedly pious, and another, who has just been transferred to the Burman Local Corps, wrote me, a day or two ago, "I intend to scatter about Burmese tracts and other books from your mission, wherever I go, in the hope their words of truth may do their good work.” The commander of the European regiment, Major Hill, is also a religious man, deeply interested in missions, though better known to the public as the soldier who, at the siege of Pegu, "exhibited courage and ability altogether unparalleled in the history of the war." Several of his men, too, are members of Christian churches, and they requested me to have an English service for them. But they have knowledge, while the multitude around is "perishing for lack of knowledge." I must use all the little strength God gives me, in preaching to those who have never before heard the Saviour's name.

I have been thus particular, because I deem the rapidly increasing religious character of the army, a token that God is about to convert India.

Sowing and reaping. Dec. 12. Since writing last, I have visited all the principal monasteries in the city and suburbs, and conversed with the highest and most learned of the priests. I have found them uniformly civil, and usually indisposed for contention. But though a few have asked for books, the most of them rest on the principle that one of the leading persons among them expressed, “Your religion is very good for you, and mine for me." When I dissented, the old man thought me very illiberal, and far inferior to himself in charity. Burmans have called at the house more or less every day, and Moung Shwa-moung, the Burman assistant, has itinerated about the town and suburbs almost daily,— distributing books to such as manifest a special desire to obtain

three,-two Burman men and one Burman woman,—have expressed their determination to worship God, in all apparent sincerity. My assistant thinks the two men truly converted, and he was anxious to have me baptize them. This, however, I refused to do, on the ground that, as my visit was a temporary one, and there being no missionary to take my place, I did not think it prudent to lay the foundation of a church, and leave it unfinished, without any one to carry on the work, or watch over what had been done.

The Karen assistants, whom I sent to the western mountains, have returned since I wrote last. And, though the Karens there are living in great fear of the Burmans, yet they uniformly gave a favorable ear to the gospel. And two men from that region, whom the Karen assistant thought worthy of admission into the church, have been in and asked for baptism; but I declined administering the ordinance, for the same reasons that I refused to baptize the Burmans.

Scarcely a day has elapsed since we came, without meeting with Karens that we had never seen before. The arrivals

from the western mountains have been
few, the Karens there living three or
four days' journey distant; but they have
been very numerous from the eastern
mountains. Several Karens, from a vil-
lage not a day's journey to the eastward,
called, a couple of weeks ago, and the
two leading men received the gospel with
great apparent sincerity, and promised to
conform hereafter to its precepts, so far
as they understood them.
being a good Burman scholar, reading
Burman better than a majority of the
Burmans themselves do, I furnished him
with some Burman books. They wished

But one

for a school teacher to be sent to their village; but this I was not able to do for them.

Schools desired.

as the heaven of the New Testament. Gaudama has gone to Nigban, and remains there forever, and is therefore immortal." I try to expose the fallacies of his reasoning, and endeavor to draw his attention to a free salvation from sin in

Sabbath before the last, we had more than twenty Karens with us from a village two days' journey distant to the east-Christ, such as is not offered in Buddhism. ward. They all professed faith in Christ before leaving, and promised to obey the precepts of the Bible. They also were anxious to have a school teacher sent to their village. Indeed, had I ten or a dozen school teachers at my disposal, I could get up as many village schools in a very few weeks, without leaving the city. The interest, simplicity and earnestness which many of the Karens here manifest on first hearing the gospel, exceeds any thing I ever before witnessed, and more than realizes all that the most sanguine and romantic missionary ever dreamed he would witness, before leaving his native land.

This usually puts him to silence; but the next time I see him, he goes over the same ground again, just as if his arguments were all new. This morning an elderly man that accompanied him was the principal speaker; and the Burmese assistant conversed and read to him for half an hour before worship. While they were in one corner, a few Karens from the western mountains were in another, and Karens and Burmans were, thus as often in our house, listening to the word of God, each in his own tongue, at the same time.

A day spent for the soul.

When the gong rung for worship, a large party of Karens from the eastern mountains came in, so that we had in all sixty persons throughout the morning service; seven of whom were Burmese strangers, forty were Karens that had never visited us before, and the remainder, persons about us. Though it was the first time forty or fifty of the company had ever attended a Christian assembly, the meeting was as quiet and order

Reasoning of a Burman teacher. Yesterday, while the Karens in Mrs. Mason's Normal School were answering questions in the catechism, a Burman teacher came in, with three or four other respectable men, to attend our Sabbath morning service. I met him in my I met him in my walks the evening before, and we sat down together on the banks of a tank, beneath the shadow of an ancient pagoda; where we conversed for nearly an|ly, and the attention to the speaker hour. He is well versed in the Burman books, and a very religious man, always carrying a string of beads in his hand; and, though quite a Pharisee, there is so much sincerity about him that there appears hope of his conversion. We have frequently met. Sometimes he comes to our house, sometimes I have found him in the kyoungs I have visited, and some-ing service, which they attended. A times we have met in the streets. And wherever I see him, he endeavors to make it appear that Gaudama has all the attributes of the true God, and that "nigban” is the same as the Christian's heaven. He seems to have succeeded in convincing himself by such logic as,-"Nigban is endless, is eternal, and is a place of rest from all evils; therefore it is the same

quite as great as is usually seen in Sabbath meetings in Boston. After worship closed, the assistants talked and read with the Karens for a couple of hours; and then, after a short interval, a new company of ten or a dozen Karens came in, who occupied our time and attention till nearly dark and the hour for our evén

number of Burmans being present, I preached in Burman, and the Karens said they understood me. But after worship closed, I had one of the assistants read the chapter in Karen which I had read in Burman, and repeat as much of the sermon as he could remember, that they might have "line upon line and precept upon precept."

The preceding notices show that the wants of the Toung-oo mission, for the Karens especially, are not so much foreign as native missionaries. Half a dozen capable native preachers, with a few school-teachers, and one missionary to direct their labors, would be worth more than twenty missionaries alone.

"Whom shall we send ?"

ments, or spelling-book, and can now read in easy lessons. Before we leave, I trust he will be able to teach others, and the plan I propose for him and other teachers that we may be compelled to employ, who are imperfectly acquainted with books, is to pay him a certain sum for each pupil that he teaches to read. Mrs. Mason has six other pupils in her school, in different stages of learning, all of whom give promise of being both scholars and Christians. It was the fellow-villagers of one of these that visited us yesterday, about forty. in number; and they were so much interested that the elder of the village gave Mrs. Mason his name, promising to receive Sau Quala, when he arrives, supply his wants, and build a chapel in the village for re

The mass of the Sgaus are ready to receive the truth; but they require much teaching of the first principles of the Bible, day by day, before they can understandingly receive the ordinances; and numerous villages are desirous to have schools established in their midst, that they may learn to read and write, and understand the Bible. But where are the men? Since I commenced the first theological school for Karen preach-ligious worship. The English officers

ers in Tavoy, ten or a dozen years ago, the subject of Karen theological education has been constantly before the missions and the Board, and much has been written on the kind of school required, its location, and teachers. And then,

and subscribed liberally for its support. have taken a deep interest in the school, and subscribed liberally for its support.

The time originally appointed for our departure has arrived. But now comes up the cry from the Burmans, on the one hand, and the Karens, on the other, "Why should the teacher and teacheress leave us? We want them to stay." | Many of the head men have requested Mrs. Mason to go and bring up our children from Maulmain, here to live and die.



Jan. 28, 1854.-Left Maulmain in company with Mr. Whitaker, at half past 4 A. M., for a tour among the Karens in the newly acquired province of Martaban.

too, the statistics of the Karen churches show nearly ten thousand members in good standing. Yet when a new station is formed, a single preacher and a single school-teacher are all that can be obtained to enter a field that is literally white for the harvest. I hope to obtain the assistance of Sau Quala, and a school-teacher from Tavoy; but where to look for more, I know not. One of the ordained Karen preachers at Maulmain told me that I could obtain none there, and the people I did get, except one, were not employed as assistants, but lay members of the churches, pressed into the service to meet a present exigency. And they would only engage for a few months, to After being landed at Martaban, we itinerate with me. A Karen missionary set off on a land-tour, and stopped for at Toung-oo, then, ought first to com- breakfast at 6, where a breastwork had mence a Normal School, and raise up been erected for a defence by the Burschool-teachers on the ground, since they❘ mese. Our way to-day was over a very cannot be obtained from abroad. Mrs. harrd oad, either sandy, or fine clay, or Mason commenced a school for teachers mud and water. Passed through several more than a month ago, with a young places where the Burmese had stockaded man, one of the two that asked for bap- themselves, but all to no purpose, and tism, and he has mastered all the ele-at 6 P. M. we arrived at a village called

Fatiguing walk - The Sabbath.

Palat. Here we put up in a miserable shanty that had been erected for a priest, who a short time before had been here to worship at an old pagoda, that frowns upon us from the top of the mountain, under which we have taken shelter, and down whose sides murmurs a cool stream, which dries up in this hot weather, and has already ceased to flow, a little below us. But the pools are full of small fish, many of which seem to be aware of the hard fate before them, and were here and there throwing themselves from the small shallow pools, into those of greater dimensions and also deeper.

We find the village to consist of seven houses, three of which are Karen, and the wives of the residents in two others are also Karen, the remainder being Burman. Had some conversation with the people, who seem disposed to listen; but as it was late and Saturday night, and we had for some time been walking ankle deep in mud and water, and were foot-sore and weary, a change of apparel and dinner were sought, and that repose which the weary need. This was one of the most fatiguing day's travel I ever had in the jungle; and though, judging from the time travelled, we are only about 25 miles from home, twice that distance might have been walked with more ease on an ordinary American road.

Lord's day, Jan. 29.- Assembled the people of the village, or all we could, and, after reading a portion of the Bible, preached to them of salvation through Jesus Christ. Had a most attentive and interesting congregation, who seemed glad to hear: and, from the inquiries being to the point, we would hope some good impressions were made. There was no cavilling nor appearance of a wish to get away from the truth, so often found among Burmese.

Returning to the zayat, we had Karen worship, as our people with us are all Karens. In the evening, went to the village and had services again, in the porch of a Burman's house. A very good attendance.


A fine landscape.

The little stream on which the

village of Palat is situated, is strown with boulders of granite, which indicated that they had not travelled far. A walk of fifteen minutes brought us to a most magnificent cascade now, but in the rains, a roaring waterfall. Clambering up the sides about a hundred feet, we stood on the rock over which the water rushes, and commanded a view of the Sitangvalley on the west, as far as the eye could reach; just being able, in the distance, to see the breakers on the sands of the eastern shores of the noble Sitang, where it is nearly thirty miles across, and up whose bay the waters rush at spring tides with fearful rapidity. Here is said to exist the most fearful bore in the world.

Some who have been sent to make surveys of the river declare it to be at times from 20 to 30 ft. perpendicular, and that no ship could stand before it.

Between us and the river is one vast paddy plain, dotted here and there with rows of low trees, which show nullahs up which the tidal waters flow; and with here and there what, in America, would be called farm villages, where the cultivators reside. The great mass of the present inhabitants are Karens, or, at least, all the information thus far gained is that only here and there are to be found Burmans. If the population was not more dense formerly than it appears to be at present, the numbers have been very much overrated.

Here are plains, capable of supporting at least half a million of beings, with only

I had a small bundle of tracts, and after services, distributed to all who wish-now and then a paddy field under cultied, and who could read. I was surprised to find one among the number of applicants, a Burmese female, who, on receiving her book, soon had a group of women around her, to whom she was reading it.

vation. The prospect now is, that its former races will give way to foreigners, or those from the other coast in India, very many of whom are cultivators around Maulmain.

« AnteriorContinuar »