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THE SOURCE OF THE GANGES.
About two hundred miles N.N.W. of Dellii, in the central chain of the Himalaya mountains, 13,300 feet above the level of the sea, rises the Bhagarati, whiclı, in the estimation of modern scientific travellers, is the true source of the Ganges. Hindoo devotees perform pilgrimage to a spot lower down, which they have been taught to regard as the birth-place of that sacred stream, the object of their adoration ; but the original spring, of which a view is annexed, is about twelve miles beyond Gungutri, in an almost inaccessible solitude. The waters issue from bencath a low arch at the base of a vast mass of frozen snow, nearly three hundred feet in height, and composed of different layers, each several feet in thickness, and all probability the accumulation of ages. Here the water is shallow, and for many miles the average depth is not more than twelve inches; but afterwards, receiving the Alcanandra and other tributaries, it enters the great plain of Hindusthan at Hurdwar, and flows on thence, a smooth navigable stream, to the ocean, a distance of 1350 miles, diffusing abundance by its fertilizing influences and the facilities it affords for internal transit. At length it enters the Bay of Bengal, into which it discharges itself by numerous mouths.
There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God: may it speedily diffuse its blessings throughout all India, that its millions may live, and, partaking of the waters issuing from the sanctuary, find that “the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."
Chcering intelligence from Barisal, the chief town of a district called Backergunj near the mouths of the Ganges, was adverted to briefly in our last number. Our friends will naturally be anxious to know more on so pleasing a subject, and it affords us pleasure that we are now able to gratify them. Mr. Thomas, of Calcutta, writes respecting it thus, in a letter dated November 7, 1846 :
You will no doubt have remarked that for addition to the two supported by the mission. some time past the intelligence from Barisal By giving up his connexion with the governhas been increasing in interest and importance. ment school, he bas deprived himself of the Of late the numbers who have sought for in- means of supporting the native preacher, or struction, and desired to place themselves defraying other expenses, which he formerly under the direction of the missionary, have provided for from his income from the school. so increased, that to do anything like justice He has written, stating these circumstances, to them Mr. Bareiro found it absolutely and requesting that he should be allowed to necessary to resign bis connexion with the draw so as to meet the present increased exgovernment school, and consequently to give penditure. The following is an extract from up the salary he had derived froin that source. his letter :Not only so, but as, for the most part, the “ You see, my dear brother, that the cause recent converts and numerous inquirers reside of our Redeemer here is now prospering, by in villages distant from Barisal, and which the grace and blessing of God, beyond my can only be approached by boats, he has, in expectation, and it is necessary that I draw order to attend to them, been obliged to incur on account of the expenses incurred by me considerable expense in providing himself for its right prosecution, a reasonable salary with the means of conveyance, and in keep- from the mission. I would not have asked ing men to row his boat from place to place. this had I the means I formerly enjoyed. I For at least two years he supported from his gave up my school in April last, and yet I own private resources a native preacher, in conducted my operations as well as I could.
But now I cannot. The number of native the master of the boys' school at Intally, who preachers is likewise to be increased, for is desirous of labouring as a missionary, and another hand is urgently required. Such a is most days more or less engaged in preachperson has already assisted us, and I have ing or conversing with the natives on the been supporting him for the last two years. great subjects of religion. I beg to propose, likewise, an increase of a Brother Page has been requested to visit rupee each to the pay of the two native Barisal, which be fully intends to do; we preachers. You know I am constantly out have also requested Mr. Parry to join him in in the mufassal, and they must do the same this. Brother Pearce also proposes to visit in my absence from it, one at a time. In that station during the present season. comparison to what they have now to do, At Agra there have been baptized since side by side with me, they scarcely did any January twenty-three natives, and eight bething before. I do not want any other hands longing to the European community. At from you. Boat hire, &c., to the amount of Benares Mr. Smith hus recently baptized his twenty-three rupees per mensem is likewise son-in-law. At Patna brother Beddy writes an item which is necessary, or we cannot that two young women from the Refuge were move."
received into the church in September, I beThe importance of the station, and the lieve. On the 1st of this month he expected necessity of something being promptly done, to baptize six persons, four of them young fon will at once admit when you learn that native women from the Refuge, and one of on or about the 1st of last month, Mr. Bareiro the others his own son, the eldest, aged ninebaptized at one time no fewer than a hundred teen years. You can conceive the joy of and ffteen persons. He says they are of a such an event. On the last sabbath in Oc. class low and degraded, but however low and tober I baptized a soldier in the Bow Bazar however despised by man, God is able to Chapel; we expected two, but one was make them his sons and daughters, and heirs unable to attend. You will thus see that
the Lord has afforded the mission churches Mr. Page has just started on a missionary in India some tokens of mercy. Oh, that tour which will probably occupy the whole these may be followed by more enlarged month. He is accompanied by Mr. Chill, I measures of success!
of his kingdom.
The following judicious remarks on these occurrences are taken from the October number of the Calcutta Missionary Herald :
The communications from Barisal, Agra, entire letter, in which an account is given of and Chittagong contain cheering accounts of the baptism of 115 persons, on the first Lord's several baptisms, for which we desire to record day in October. Our readers are requested our gratitude to the God of grace. Several to peruse it for themselves, and form their persons also have been baptized at Calcutta own opinion. Taking the very lowest view within the last month or two.
of the event, it must be a matter of devout It is remarkable that the Holy Spirit should gratitude to God that so large a number of now, as in the days of the apostles, manifest people have come out of heathenism, and his gracious influences principally among the placed themselves under Christian instruction. poor and ignorant. "God hath chosen the Besides this, the same Holy Spirit who confoolish things of the world to confound the verted three thousand souls on the day of wise : and God hath chosen the weak things Pentecost at Jerusalem, in the city inhabited of the world to confound the things that are by the murderers of prophets and apostles, mighty: and base things of the world and and of the Son of God himself
, certainly is things which are despised, hath God chosen ; able now to convert hundreds in Bengal, Fea, and things which are not, to bring to however degraded it may be. nought things that are, thai no flesh should We earnestly entreat our readers to pray glory in his presence.”
for the new converts and for those who labour Whilst we record these baptisms with among them in word and doctrine. We may gratitude to God, we would solemnly abstain also mention that an extension of labour, so from all boasting; let all the glory be given cheering and so unexpected, will involve an to God.
increase of expenditure, for which, in the The movement at Barisal is very remark- present unfavourable state of the Society's able. We have purposely published the income, it is difficult to provide adequately.
Mr. Barciro has himself furnished details to the bretiiren at Calcutta, the following extracts from which will be acceptable :As you have been informed, I went to the measure on account of the mercy visibly mufassal on the 7th, and returned the day before shown to poor ignorant sinners. Tlie success yesterday, after having been rejoiced beyond we met in our labours may be comprised
under two heads, viz., the old and new hear- ! and in attempts to turn him out of his house. ers. The old hearers are all candidates for I spoke to about forty persons here, among baptism, and on account of the length of time whom were the relatives of the convert, who they have leen under the gospel sound, are were overawed by my presence and the mes. decidedly better than those I baptized jast. I sage delivered, which they afterwards declared do not mean to say that the baptized persons, ' to be the word of God, and therefore they at least such of them as have enjoyed the could not find fault with it. Before this I same privilege with the candidates, are now had requested the convert to pray audibly for inferior to them in knowledge of divine things. them, which had some good effect. My way A number of women likewise have turned towards Taruosen lay over paddy fields, which their faces Zionward, even those wbo had at this season are covered with so much water come with men living in sin. With regard that two or three-oared boats might go over to these, I was filled with apprehension, as them. There was a congregation of about they were staying on the same premises with 150 persons or upwards on my arrival. As I the candidates who are looked upon as Chris. had io visit ano:her place further off, I immetians by their neighbours. If I had had my diately addressed the people after singing a own way, they could not have found such an hymn. My discourse was based on the first asylum. But as it is, it has redounded to the few verses of the 10th chapter of John. As glory of God, as they are not only anxious to most of the people were inquirers, the attenbe married (most of them are widows) ac- tion paid to the word was profound, and it cording to the Christian form, but also to join was a season full of gratitude and joy to me, the church and flock of Christ, having been the Lord baving also assisted me to speak made aware of the need of a Saviour. The what was required. After my discourse, the other women are either the wives of the people who had accompanied me, amounting Christians or candidates, and are, as I have io about forty, sat to eat in the compound, ascertained by interrogations, sincere believers. where I had preached. When the rice was The old hearers or candidates are mostly served, which was, as is generally the case, liviog in three places, Kandirpar, Samudarpar, on plantain leaves, one of the converts asked and Dhurgle : their number is upwards of grace. While these were eating, I requested twenty; they are within forty minutes' distance ihe native preachers to speak to those who from the chapel.
pressed round to hear us, I also lending a The two cases I lately conducted, one of little assistance wherever a question was not which was amicably settled, and the other satisfactorily answered. By the blessing of was attended, about a month ago, with fine God I mean to have a school here as soon as or imprisonment, have proved very beneficial possible, or, rather so soon as I have funds, to those who were direcily interested in them, in which you know I am sadly crippled now: either as plaintiffs or as witnesses, as they it will be attended at least by a hundred boys, were obliged to attend every day our meetings they say two hundred. This would be a branch bere, one party for one month, and another school of the Dhan Doba chapel school, where for nearly the same period. As one sinner, the boys would periodically bave to attend for docs a great deal of mischief, so one believer special examinations. I cannot keep a suit. does a great deal of good by the prayers he is able person for the school held in the chapel, taught to offer, and ihe hymns he is taught to from want of funds. Thirty or twenty-five sing, which both are powerful instructors rupees per mensem would enable me to teach when exercised tefore others. This was the about 200 children to read and write, and case especially with one man, with whom we thus to enable them, or at least most of them, took great pains in that way, as he was more to read the scriptures, and otherwise to qualify apt than others to learn. This man and themselves for the business of life, who, another have been the means of exciting amongst all classes of Hindus, have been a others to join our flock, the result of the last degraded and a proscribed race from time case having exercised a salutary effect on immemorial. their wavering minds, i. e. on account of the Will Christian friends withhold their mite fear and temptations of their enemies, as you from a mission here which is conducted, for have been informed. At this place, called the first time, among a people whose name Tarunsen, about four hours distance from the or denomination is literally the “publicans chopel, even the once unfriendly barber is one and sinners” mentioned in the scriptures, of the sixteen candidates.
and translated as such by the late Dr. Yates? Though these people are living among other
classes, yet such is the degradation in which I visited the above place on Friday lust, they have been held ever since the establishaccompanied by the native preachers, and all ment of Hinduism, that their profound ignorthe Christians and candidates of the three ance and the supreme contempt in which pluces mentioned above. On my way I they are held, point them out as a distinct touched at a place on account of a convert and a hopeless race. The light of Chriswhose relatives were unfriendly towards him, tianity has opened the eyes of many of them which feeling some of them showed in abuse to their true condition, and they are anxious
Dot only to better themselves spiritually, but in my last communication. It was therefore also their children, being thoroughly con. my bounden duty not to put them to the vinced in their minds that their children will inconvenience of going to their houses and to wipe out the disgrace of their race by becoming return back, and at the same time to attend to better men and Christians.
instruction without distraction of mind. The From the above place we set out for one food provided for them, however, was no incalled Amboyla, accompanied by others, who ducement to attend to instruction, as many of swelled the number of ihose who followed us them were sufferers by leaving their houses from the commencement of our journey. On and cattle behind them, which required care our way we were obliged to visit two of the and pasturage. I merely mention this to inquirers, where we met from 100 to 150 undeceive suspicious minds. hearers who had come together to receive us. By this time I was pretty well knocked up,
THE CONVERTS. yet I could not leave the place without ad You can fancy, my dear brother, what dressing the people on their spiritual concerns, grace and wisdom I needed from above, and and praying for them. At the last place on our which, blessed be God, were pot denied to way, three or four brahmans asked me, after me, when I had to afford spiritual provision my discourse, rather in a serious tone, what to so many for eight days together. As these would become of them. I took the query in poor people came for nothing else, they had it a light different from their meaning, as I in abundance from me and the native preachafterwards learned, and answered it as I un- ers, whom I had to direct and animate, as the derstood it. It would appear they were toil was almost beyond our strength, as, with brahmans of these people, and by the question an exception or two, the people were ignorant they asked they meant to know what would of letters. I adopted a different method of become of them with regard to their livelihood, instructing them, that they might be acas their disciples were embracing Christianity: quainted with the gospel scheme of salvation, I was sorry to learn that the father, an aged however ignorant they might be as to other man, of one of the inquirers was confined by facts contained in it. These points were his landbolder, and exposed to the sun for chiefly explained to them and catechised a whole day for allowing his son, who was upon, viz., the birth of the Saviour-his following me, to become a Christian. sufferings, death, burial, resurrection, ascension
We reached Amboyla at about half-past-the nature of the atonement wrought by seven P.M., after nearly four hours' journey: him—the decalogue-the spiritual import of The place prepared for me to preach in could each commandment-the consequence of sin, not be occupied by us on account of the in. hell being its award-the peculiar offices of pomerable swarms of musquitoes with which the Holy Spirit, his descent, &c. I made it it abounds. I would fail in describing, my a chief point to teach them to sing and to dear brother, the joy I felt, though my body commit io memory those hymns which were was overpowered with fatigue. The men short, and which likewise contained the subcandidates and inquirers of all the places had stance of all our discourses. This was also a met here, and all points which could strengthen very difficult task, as we were obliged to sing them in their profession of the Saviour were about six times each of the three hymns repeatedly touched upon, that clearer light selected for the occasion, every day, in addition might be enjoyed by them. Our divine to speaking and exhortation, commencing service was apimating, as the number was from seven A.m. to seven P.m., with an internearly 200. Although most of them had not mission of three hours, which we actually eaten for nine or ten hours, after being tired needed ourselves. with shoving their canoes over paddy fields These hymns, together with the other in. for miles and miles together, yet they were structions, served to throw great light upon more and more anxious to hear. The moon their hitherto ignorant minds. Oh, it was a in the meantime showed her resplendent disc, delightful scene to see them formed into and told us it was rather a late hour, for, ac- groups of twenty, thirty, and forty, and sing. cording to brother Paterson's Bengali Alma- ing these hymns, over and over, and at midnac (I had no watch), it was nearly one in night, or before the dawn of the morning : the morning, a •little after wbich, when the their sound was peculiarly solemn through men had caten, we left this place, and reached the silence and stillness of the hour. A misDhan Doba at ten A.M., there being some sionary does not, at least here below, need to delay on the way on account of the men see a better scene after the toil of the day. baving been greatly tired.
On the 1st instant I convened a meeting of On the 27th, Sunday, I had about sixty the church, and admitted into it all those hearers, which number increased to upwards who were eligible candidates, the number of of a hundred by the middle of the week, and whom was about thirty; the rest of the people, more a day after. These poor people had to by their non-admission, were led to inquire come from a distance of ten, twelve, and and pray more frequently than they did. On thirteen miles from different directions, I the 2nd instant, another meeting was conhaving visited most of their houses, as stated / vened, and another selection was made of
those of whose earnestness we were aware, there might be no mistake. This produced a and who could answer the questions put to very happy effect; it eased my mind of a them, while the doubtful ones were rejected, burden, as it was possible that every thing and requested to knock louder at the door of might not be right, on account of the number. grace. Poor people! They were enabled to After a short exhortation I began the work of do so, and found what they wanted. On baptizing one hundred and fifteen persons in Saturday the number of the admitted was the new tank (a wooden flight of steps was 115, among whom twenty-two were women, finished under my own superintendence just all, as I plainly saw and praised God for it, the evening before, to which was altached a taught by the Spirit; their tears, contrition, platform for me and the candidate to stand groans, and lamentations were unequivocal on in the water) before a great concourse of signs of the work begun by the Spirit in- people, whom curiosity, strange reports (such wardly. The holy fire could not be mistaken as that I was going to consecrate the tank) for any other. This day we could not dine had brought together. before near midnight; what I did eat, or When I look back upon the work I got rather was forced to do so to support nature, through, I am constrained to give all the lay heavy on my chest all night, which, praise to God. All the righteous will readded to the want of rest, threatened to pros- joice for so much grace conferred upon, trate my strength next day; but in the Lord I and through us. In the alternoon, about found strength, and overcame my indisposi- 130 persons partook of the emblems of the tion.
dying love of our Saviour. What a sight On Sunday morning I again, taking cach it was I cannot describe--so many brought by the hand, satisfied myself before the whole from the power of Satan unto God! Blessed church, as to the sincerity of their faith, that be God.
From this province, which lies yet farther to the cast, Mr. Fink wrote thus, October, 1816:
We have had the happiness of baptizing atonement of Christ for their salvation. They seven candidates since last May, and I am were Mrs. F. and a Hindu convert, who was happy to say that there are a few more under baptized last May. I trust that their immortal instruction for the same ordinance. We spirits are now enjoying the happy fruits of have during this year lost two members by their faith before the throne of Him who has death, who departed in peace, trusting in the redeemed them with his precious blood,
Our brethren in this city, which is 950 miles N.W. of Calcutta, have also received during the past year some compensation for their persevering toil. Mr. Williams, writing October 17, 1816, says:
The state of society in this land of darkness generally visit Chitaura and the adjacent and heathenism is such as to render it almost villages once a fortnight for three or four absolutely necessary that native Christians days. This is all I can do in connexion with should in some way or other be independent my pastoral duties. During the week I am of their idolatrous neighbours. We have had at home I preach in the bát on Monday and abundant proof of this at Chitaura, and other Friday, and other places in or near the city. villages, where we have Christians, but more I am happy to say that twenty-three natives particularly at Chitaura. You will remem- have been baptized this year, and eight from ber what I told you in my last of a deep-laid among the European community, and we scheme, to get one of our poor brethren into have several more natives to be baptized at jail, and thus to bring our holy religion into Chitaura, in a month or two more (p.v.). I disrepute, but glad am I to say that the mention this now because I have not written attempt utterly failed. The magistrate dis- you, as usual, at every baptism, and that you missed the case. Our enemies are quiet for may have as correct å view as possible of all the present, but doubtless are only looking our operations. out for some pretence or other to renew Upon the whole, I am disposed to behostilities; this is what we fully expect. I licve that yet greater things will soon be