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assistants all resided in the Cowgate, "dear old 39," being then sur rounded, as it is surrounded still, with the most iniquitous dens of that famous locality. The Cowgate, it is true, has many piquant stories belonging to its history, and as long as Edinburgh remains a city, the ancient thoroughfare will attract curious antiquaries. The first medical evangelists who were stationed there, however, had different stoires to tell from such as delight litterateurs and the apologists of Queen Mary. Accustomed as they were to scenes of misery and riot, their experience was oftentimes strangely novel, the drunkenness, fighting, and blaspheming of each Saturday night being no less appalling than heart-sickening. Time after time did they necessarily rise from their beds to separate whiskey-maddened wretches, who were seemingly bent on exterminating those whom chance might throw in their way. Not unfrequently, the combatants in a nocturnal brawl were carried bleeding into the dispensary to have their wounds properly dressed. Still more appalling even than such scenes was the cholera visitation of 1866, when with awful suddenness, though expected, the plague broke out in the Cowgate. A thin brick wall alone separated the mission station from dens wherein victims of all ages lay dying about the floors. In one cell-like room, in which the surgeons had to use candles at mid-day while examining their patients, one after another was stricken down until the prostrate family covered nearly the entire area. Here were shivering children with famishing eyes looking vacantly into a fireless grate; there was a mother nursing a naked infant, and winking and chattering imbecile nonsense as the doctor entered to attend her husband, who writhed in pain as he lay on a few rags in a corner. "Talk of the gross darkness and depravity of heathenism!" says one who is familiar with Scotland and Madagascar, "I can honestly say that I have never met in heathen countries with ignorance more complete, and with depravity more deep and hopeless than I have seen in this Cowgate of Edinburgh. Certainly I should a thousand times rather deal with the poor ignorant Malagasy, whose depravity, great as it is, has not grown up under the sun of Christianity and civilization, than I would with your young Cowgate Arabs. To see between forty and fifty of the very worst of these, in all their rags and wretchedness, come to breakfast with you on Sundays, and then listen to the word of life, and join in praise and prayer, is one of the greatest triumphs of your mission, eclipsing anything I shall be able to tell you of missions in Madagascar."
The social explorer in London who would make his way into the least known recesses of the capital, commonly finds that he cannot do better than ingratiate himself into the confidence of an experienced detective: the visitor to Edinburgh who may be animated by a similar curiosity can achieve his purpose by winning the goodwill of the Medical Mission staff. These young men, subjected to a laborious discipline by way of training for still harder service in after life, have the dispensary to manage, one of their number being also expected to give an address every day. In addition to all this there is the ordinary work of medical visitation, and the university classes to be attended. This discipline prepares a valuable corps of men for service in foreign mission fields. Because all denominations co-operate, the English Nonconformist academies are also represented in the students at 56, George Square.
the Pastors' College has sent one of its number to reinforce the little band.
The missionary college already claims a noble history, connected, as it is, with the names of many earnest evangelists, some of whom, like Dr. Henderson, of China, have been moved by apostolic zeal. Patient and persevering were the efforts made in the past to impart a knowledge of Christianity to the outcast children thickly herded together around the mission station. Probably no rougher experience has ever been encountered by would-be reclaimers of moral wastes than was encountered in this notorious neighbourhood. So uncouth and sinhardened were the offspring of the people living hereabout, that gathering them together in the chapel for purposes of religious instruction seemed to be shooting far aside from the mark. Any attempt at instruction in Bible truth, or even the kindest exhortation, seemed to be made in vain. The boys could be gathered together, but could not be controlled, their wild revelry and boisterous mirth more than sufficing to drown anything the teachers might desire to advance; and, in one instance, a highly enraged Irish woman entered the room to violently drag away her son, who had strayed into the Protestant camp. When other things failed, music became an effective means of quieting these rough natures, and thus a popular proverb was practically illustrated by the evangelists of the Cowgate. Incorrigible little ruffians, untamed, and seemingly untameable, listened with quiet interest to skilful renderings of some of our choicest hymns. Eventually tea and bread and butter were supplied gratuitously, and, better still, perhaps, gratuitous breakfasts were instituted. It may grieve pious hearts to be under the necessity of bribing the animal part of humanity into subjection preparatory to imparting spiritual good; but when no more welcome door is open, better enter by this low entrance than stand aside proudly inactive. The warm winter-morning meal annihilated at one stroke all opposition. Being an argument which could neither be trifled with nor derided, it was entirely appreciated. The anxiety to be present at the early feasting was intense, surpassing the comprehension of those whose wants are supplied as regularly as morning dawns. Boys would even come barefooted through the snow, and they would watch the emptying plates with visible anxiety, as if fearful lest the supply should fail ere their insatiable appetites should be satisfied.
Though of the lowest grade, the Arabs of the Cowgate are, perhaps, more interesting than the corresponding class in England. They have traits of character peculiar to their northern home. Though they are exceedingly inquisitive, and intensely appreciate " a lark," the spirit of unmistakable heroism will sometimes be found gracing their ranks. A little fellow with a broken arm has been seen standing at the head of a flight of stairs effectively protecting a lady visitor from the insults of a band of his more unprincipled compeers. The hearts of such may be touched and won by wisdom and kindness in teachers, who are themselves moved by the spirit of Christ. The common experience of evangelists tells us that beings who are seemingly natural savages, with attributes scarce on a par with those of amiable brutes, have hearts, souls, and emotions readily accessible to the grace of God. The gem of
humanity is there, and that gem Christ alone can reclaim from irreparable ruin.
A cheering instance of the power of the gospel in reclaiming souls from the seemingly hopeless moral defilement of evil associations came to light one Sabbath morning at the Cowgate Dispensary. It happened to be the first Sunday of November, and the beginning of the winter campaign of active service. Only a short time previously there had been an excursion into the country-a treat still fresh in the memories of both teachers and taught. After having been instructed in their separate rooms, the ragged classes were gathered in the chapel to listen to an address from one of the Medical Mission staff, and to receive copies of an ornamental card containing a brief, pointed prayer-" Lord, show me myself; Lord, show me thyself. Give me thy Holy Spirit." The services being ended, the children passed out along the narrow passage into the street. The surgeon-superintendent was also leaving, when he observed one little fellow yet lingering in the rear. To look at, the boy was a perfect scarecrow, the bundle of rags constituting his costume being retained on his body by certain well-known contrivances, noticeable among which was an ingenious and plentiful use of string. One of the most ragged of the ragged classes, he was a phenomenon even in the Cowgate. At the moment it was supposed that this could be no other than a begging subject, and a feeling of impatience came over the doctor in prospect of being importuned for alms at the first meeting of the school after the annual outing. When the youngster approached, the teacher, involuntarily as it were, put his hand into his pocket as if to protect his coin, the thought meanwhile occurring, what'll he want? Unconscious of the uneasy emotions he was occasioning, the lad came still closer; and, as if fearful of being too bold or too confident, whispered, publican-like in the superintendent's ear, "I just wanted to tell you, Doctor, I can't help thinking but that Jesus Christ has been kind to my soul." The kind physician-Dr. Burns Thomsoninstantly feeling rebuked, bowed his head in silent thanksgiving as his eyes filled with tears. But had he made a mistake? He looked at the boy again. The little outcast still presented 'the appearance of a caricature of humanity. "What is it, my man?" was asked, and the speaker bent low, placing his best ear close to the Arab's lips. Still the confession was the same, as the convert repeated it with quiet satisfaction— "I just wanted to tell you that Christ has been kind to my soul." Never was a warrior more encouraged by tokens of victory than was the good medical missionary encouraged by that artless confession of a Cowgate Arab.
Next in magnitude to subjecting the uncouth natures of children who in native wildness have been tutored in vice from infancy, is the difficulty of making any good impression on the crowds of Irish Romanists abounding in the wynds and closes. While deeply sunk in vice, these people retain a superstitious reverence for their bigoted priests, and while failing to understand its principles, abhor Protestantism. In their case the medical visitor will be listened to and respected when the city missionary would be shunned. The priests and their satellites, the sisters of mercy, may move hither and thither about the Cowgate homes, but the impostures they deal out as religion possess no
ameliorating virtues. On the contrary, where Romanism abounds among the poor in a populous district, there may the visitor expect to find the usual concomitants of popery-drunkenness and ignorance. The greater the depravity abounding, the more firmly does the souldestroying superstition appear to strike root!
The fortress of Romanism, however, is not impregnable; and when triumph does come, it comes in a manner calculated to convince those in whom any doubts may linger of the omnipotent power of God's truth. One day, among the congregation in the patients' waitingroom, expecting her turn to be summoned by the table-bell into the adjoining consulting-chamber, sat a woman who, bravely bearing up against encroaching weakness and disease, lived by toiling in the fields around Edinburgh. The little strength she still enjoyed was now failing, and soon she would be entirely laid aside, together with an invalid son, who needed attention. One evening, when visited by a nurse from the dispensary, this woman-such was her poverty-was found just about disposing of a few rags, with the proceeds of whichthree halfpence-she would purchase a little meal and milk. In necessitous cases like this, temporary assistance is rendered so far as the charitable funds of the mission will allow, though administering such relief does not properly belong to the work of the institution. The truth of the gospel reached this woman's heart while listening to an address in the waiting-room of the dispensary, and her eyes became opened in a surprising manner. The rags of self-righteousness, in which she had been clothed both by herself and the priests, gave place to the assurance of faith; and the message sent to the medical superintendent told of triumph and joy-"Tell the Doctor that I have a hold of the hem of Christ's garment." Circumstances also showed how completely she had surrendered her all to Christ. Her own room was sufficiently bare and comfortless; but one day, another even more destitute than this grateful convert entered that poor home. Hungry, with her feet uncovered and bleeding, and otherwise in a condition of semi-nudeness, the visitor was indeed an object to excite pity and even astonishment. But what could be done by one who was herself feeling the pangs of want? The reclaimed Romanist did not hesitate in regard to her duty. Compassion was stronger than prudence. Seeing a fellow-creature in a shocking condition, she gave away her own shoes and stockings, believing that the sacrifice would be more than repaida faith which did not go unrewarded. Her trust in God never failed, for even when no dinner could be spread on the board she would comfort her invalid son by speaking of the relief which would be sure to come by evening time. Such examples of faith and of patient enduring of earthly affliction are not passed by unheeded by God, and they carry a lesson for all who read "the short and simple annals of the poor."
While these conquests are being won near our own doors, a work equally important is progressing in foreign climes. The heathen abroad reverence medical skill even more than the heathen at home.
Though the Chinese were found excelling other nations in many arts when the medical missionaries settled among them, their knowledge of medicine was very defective, their most successful practitioners being empirics of a low standard. This ignorance chiefly arose from the
extreme repugnance of native Chinese to dissect dead bodies, and out of respect for this prejudice artificial models were imported-models which would, nevertheless, very imperfectly supply the needful knowledge. When certain cures were effected the populace regarded them as miracles, or akin to miracles, even though in many cases the complaints might be common-place ailments. The gratitude of persons so cured is strong and lasting. The ascendancy of the East India Company in the East is said to have originated in a cure effected by an Englishman for the daughter of the Great Mogul.
While many of the heathen regard the missionaries as men endowed with supernatural powers, it is not wonderful if in their ignorance they sometimes call at a dispensary to demand that a real miracle be worked for their benefit. A Brahmin of Madras so came with an incurable affliction, and offered to take medicine for four days if thereby the disease could be conquered. Then an old man verging on seventy years of age, and trembling under a stroke of paralysis, has desired to be relieved of his disability to labour. Though in these instances the surgeons are powerless to prop up decaying bodies, opportunities occur of pressing the Gospel upon the acceptance of heathen patients. A case occurred of a heathen girl who but for the physical good she sought from medical treatment would not have ventured near the missionaries' quarters:
"One of my earliest patients was a young girl," says one: "she is a Moodelly, and sixteen years of age. She was brought by her mother, and was complaining of a slight attack of fever Her house is in the neighbourhood, and the family to which she belongs is considered as very respectable indeed. The first day that she came she evinced a degree of fear and timidity which you can scarcely imagine. She approached me with evident unwillingness. thought she would have shrunk up within her loose attire, as she cautiously but curiously eyed me from beneath the cloth which covered her head. With the assistance of the mother, however, I managed to get some idea of her state, and prescribed accordingly. She returned next day, but a marked change had come over her; although she still viewed me with some doubt and hesitation, yet it was evident that her fears were gradually melting away; that same evening she returned, with her eye highly inflamed, occasioned by some party who had, either in fun or maliciously, thrown something into it. This again I was requested to treat; but now her fears were entirely banished; and on the following morning, when she returned with her eye much better, she tripped up to the table, where I was enrolling the patients, with as much confidence and happy good-will, as if I had been a member of her own household."
The above illustration of every-day work belongs to Madras. The following extract from a more recent letter will further show among what kind of people the medical missionary has to toil:
"About two miles from the Mission House, in a long, narrow street in the centre of Black Town, is placed one of my dispensaries, which is opened every morning at seven o'clock, and, in half an hour after, when all the patients have assembled, a portion of Scripture is read, an address is given, some tracts distributed, and prayer offered up to the Great Physician, for a blessing on the work of the day. After this, the patients are examined and prescribed for, receive their medicine, and then go home, or to their work, as the case may be, returning again the following morning. I have to pass two heathen temples every morning, on my way home from Black Town, and I witness, from time to time, grey-headed old men with their children, and children's children, standing or bowing, and sometimes prostrate, before the dead idols, beseeching