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FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
A MISSION'S WORK FOR THE YOUNG.
BY REV. JOHN P. JONES, OF PASUMALAI, SOUTHERN INDIA.
EVERY mission is permanently successful in proportion as it does thorough work for the young people intrusted to it. In heathen lands this work is carried on mostly through schools. I have heard men, ignorant of the work, ask the question : "Does it pay to conduct mission schools in India?” They might as
well ask, Does it pay to build a foundation to a house? Does it pay to prepare well the soil, sow good seed, and water and weed it carefully in order to have a good harvest? All missionaries, as they see the mighty influence of these institutions in uplifting and transforming the Christian community and in leavening the whole lump of heathenism, never question the wisdom of our school work.
One class of our schools is intended to reach those who are not Christians to open the Word of God to them daily, and to teach them the divine excellence of our Lord and the heavenly character of our religion, and thus to make Christians of them. In our Madura Mission we have more than 100 such institutions, with nearly 4,000 heathen and Mohammedan children in attendance. They attend our schools, notwithstanding the fact that there are probably other schools in the neighborhood, because we furnish them with a better education. Many Hindus send their children to these schools because they are Christian schools. More than one Hindu has said to me, “I can trust your Christian schools to give, not only a good secular education, but also a sound moral training to my children. This we cannot find in our schools.” In all these schools we daily teach God's Word to all the scholars and inculcate the truths of Christianity. It is wonderful to see how much of God's Word these bright children of retentive memory can recite.
I remember nearly two years ago hearing each member of the whole upper class of a small out-of-the-way village-school recite at one time 135 verses out of the Bible, being all their Bible lessons since I last visited them. They also told me where those verses were found and gave the subject of each lesson. Some of the brightest and most earnest Christians we have in our mission are those who were brought to Christ through the schools. How blessed a work to lead these 4,000 young and tender minds out of the dark mazes of heathenish superstitions, follies, and errors into the sweetness and light and saving power of the truth as it is in Jesus !
The picture on the preceding page represents to you the highest of this class of schools in our mission, the High School of Madura City. It was erected a few years ago, and has in it more than 200 bright youths under instruction. They are the sons of men of influence and culture in that city. They are to become, in fifteen or tiventy years hence, men of power and pillars of society. Who can estimate the influence upon the life of these young men and of this city of the quiet daily work of this Christian institution? As I have sat before the highest class in that school, a class of forty young Hindus and Mohammedans, conducting their Bible lesson in English, observing their thoughtful inquiry and youthful interest and surprise at Bible truth, I have said to myself, “Where upon the streets of our cities or villages in India could a man find so attentive and so appreciative an audience to address and to instruct as the teacher daily finds in every one of these schools ?” This school at Madura is a growth. It began many years since as a primary school. Subsequently there was a demand that it be made a Middle School. Seven years ago it was found necessary to convert it into a High School. Four fifths of the more than 200 students are Hindus, and of the other fifth one half are Mohammedans and the other half Christians. The building is the best for its purpose in the district, and has a good site in the city of Madura, which has a population of 83,000 souls. In connection with it there is a prosperous Sunday-school. Public lectures are given, and a public readingroom is also maintained. Such institutions are a vast power to leaven the lump of heathenism.
The other class of schools that we have are those intended chiefly for our Christian young people. These are so arranged and classified that only the brightest and best of our Christian children enter the highest of them. And
most of these children are trained with a view to becoming leaders of the Christian community, as preachers, teachers, or Bible-women in our mission. The Bible training which these children receive is very thorough ; they are vastly
better informed in God's Word than are most of the young people of America to-day. In one of our small boarding schools for girls the missionary lady in charge tried some months ago an experiment. One morning she took paper in her hands into the school, and without warning told the girls to be seated and to write down as many Bible verses as they could remember at the time. One girl wrote 76, another 73, another 71, and others nearly as many verses from memory.
The highest school for our Christian girls is the Madura Girls' Normal School, where the scholars receive not only almost a High School education, but are also furnished with a Normal training and certificate which qualifies them for positions of trust and usefulness, both in and out of the mission. The graduates of this school are doing splendid work all over South India. I saw a couple of years ago a revival of God's Spirit sweep through this school and bring all those bright young women into a new or a higher life of joy in Christ. This school has had much to do in shaping and developing the high type of Christian womanhood now found in our mission.
The highest of our schools for Christian boys is the institution at Pasumalai, containing as it does the theological, normal, and collegiate departments. For thorough Christian training and broad liberal culture this institution is not excelled by any in India ; and it is doing a quiet but all-important work of preparing a large number of native Christian agents for our and other missions, and for the regeneration of the millions of that district.
On the preceding page is a reproduction of a recent photograph of some of its students, nearly all of them being members of the theological department. Of these young men ten have come directly from heathenism ; and the persecution which they have endured on account of their new faith reveals a higher Christian heroism, and the story of it would read like a romance to Americans. Some of them, to my knowledge, have had to overcome obstacles and withstand tears and appeals which none but parental love and Hindu ingenuity could bring to bear upon young Christians.
One of them is the son of a petty nobleman. Another has come out of very low heathenism into a Christian experience of faith and joy, the rehearsal of which has brought me great cheer and delight. Still another has since been ordained as a pastor of one of the leading churches of our mission. Several of them are the orphan children of heathen parents who died during the famine of 1876. They were picked up as helpless and hungry waifs, and are now the intelligent and grateful monuments of the missionary's Christian philanthropy. Some are the sons of faithful Christian parents, the children of prayer, and well trained in Tamil and English for useful Christian service. These young men are only a few out of about 400 youths who were then enjoying the intellectual light and warm Christian inspiration of that grand institution.
Who can estimate the invaluable service of the more than 150 schools of our mission? What could we do without them? Each one is a beacon of light and a harbinger of salvation to a village or circle in that district which is a centre and stronghold of heathenism. The brains, the bones and muscle of Christ's church in India are to be formed and developed in these schools.
43 NORTH CHINA MISSION. Prom Mr. Roberts and Dr. Blodget.
67 Tabular View of the Missions of the A. B. C. F. M. for the Year 1890-91.... 50
SHANSI MISSION. -- From Dr. Goldsbury. 68
JAPAN MISSION. -- From Mr. Newell, Mr. The Call from Japan.....
68 Ap Appeal for Tung-cho College. . 52
MISSION TO MEXICO. — From Mr. Eaton. 71 Sketch of the Cesarea Station, Western
Notes from the Wide Field..
72 Turkey. Rev. W. A. Farnsworth, D.D., of Cesarea. (Illustration.)..
China: The Sects of China. - New Heb
rides: The New Hebrides Mission.The Training School for Girls at San
Africa : Uganda ; The New Lovedale ; Sebastian, Spain. By Rev. William H.
The Congo Balolo Mission; The Katanga 56
Company; Algiers. — Egypt: Reforms The Indian Government and the Opium
Among the Copts. Traffic .. 59 Miscellany
75 Gold or Souls -- Which? By Mrs. Sarah E. Bibliographical. Holbrook, Mapumulo, Natal, South Africa. 60 Notes for the Month...
75 Letters from the Missions
Special Topic for Prayer. Arrivals at WESTERN TURKEY MISSION. - From Mr.
Stations. - Deaths. Brooks and Mr. Crawford.. 61 For the Monthly Concert
76 EASTERN TURKEY MISSION. From Mr. Donations
83 MADURA MISSION. From Miss Bell and
The Festival of the Grandmother Goddess. Dr. Van Allen.
By Rez, H. P. Perkins, of Lin Ching, Foochow MISSION, - From Mr. Peet.... 66 China. (Two Illustrations.)
Published by the American Board of Commissioners for foreign Missions
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