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DR. CHESTER, of Dindigul, sends us a few particulars concerning the death of Miss C. S. Bell, which occurred at Dindigul, December 10. She was on a visit at Dindigul at the time she was seized by the cholera, the case being a most virulent one. Everything was done for her comfort and to save her valuable life. Dr. Chester speaks of her as “most helpful, most obliging, and always so cheerful. She was a hearty and efficient worker and never spared herself to help members of our mission or our native Christians. She gave her life in loving service for others.”
THE Hindus are greatly disturbed by the publication of certain tracts exposing the immoralities of the Hindu gods. The Dnyanodaya reports a recent meeting of Hindus to defend the character of their god Krshna. Their complaints might as well be made against the publishing of their own sacred books as against the tracts, since these recent publications present, and in no extravagant way, the descriptions given by the ancient records. There has also arisen a sharp contention between the Orthodox Hindus and the Arya Somaj in regard to the character of the Vedic writings. According to The Indian Witness, the Arya Somaj, in order to expose what they call the corruptions of later Hinduism, translated into the vernacular the exposition of Mahidara, which, when they came to see it, all parties declared to be scandalous and obscene. Whereupon the Orthodox pundits prosecuted the author and publisher of the translation for issuing immoral literature. And they carried their case before the court at Lahore. But it now turns out, to the surprise of both parties, that the vernacular translation was a correct representation of Mahidara's original. That this was not known before is said to be due to the fact of their ignorance of Sanskrit. To the confusion of both parties it now appears that this work, which is condemned by the courts as corrupt and undeniably immoral and as such unfit for publication, is nevertheless a genuine and constituent part of the Veda. Both the conservatives and the reformers among the Hindus are therefore in sore straits as to what to do, the latter being unable longer to claim that the original Hinduism was pure, or that the evils which confessedly are now connected with the system are due to the corruptions of modern times. The “sacred books” themselves are bad.
THE Eleventh Annual Report of the Williams Hospital at Pang-Chuang, China, covering the year 1890, has but just been received. Though this station is itself only a small village, its work extends nearly seventy miles northward into the province of Chihli and nearly as far west, and the patients who are treated in the hospital have come from no less than 1,031 villages. During the past year 5, 116 persons have been treated, and during ten years no less than 38,306. The work of the hospital is preeminently evangelistic in its character, and several marked cases of spiritual awakening have occurred in connection with it. Efforts are made to induce those who remain for treatment, even for a short time, to read the Gospels and simple books, and it is believed that several hundreds, men, women, and children, have been started in the Christian truth through their new interest in learning to read. This hospital, it will be remembered, was named in honor of Dr. S. Wells Williams, who made a bequest to his friend, Rev. H. D. Porter, M.D., for its maintenance.
AN illustration of the world-wide influence of Mr. Spurgeon, whose recent death has caused such universal sorrow, is found in the fact that the professor of homiletics in the theological department of the Doshisha University of Kyoto, Japan, has for several years used in the classroom a volume of Spurgeon's sermons, among others, as a means of practical instruction in sermon-making. He has found it a great privilege to read these thoroughly biblical sermons with the young Japanese preparing for the Christian ministry, and to note the impression produced upon their minds by them. It was quite a common experience, after the study had been completed, to have the students come with their slender earnings from teaching, etc., to buy for future use the volumes which had been loaned to them for classroom use, whose power they felt and thus acknowledged.
It is too early yet to present definitely the results of the late census in India, but some facts that have been disclosed lead intelligent observers to anticipate some striking evidence of the progress of Christianity throughout the Indian Empire. The Madras Times, in commenting on a recent report on public instruction in Madras, refers specially to the Christian community, and says: “There can be no question, if this community pursues with steadiness the present policy of its teachers, that with the immense advantages it possesses in the way of educational institutions, in the course of a generation it will have secured a preponderating position in all the great professions, and possibly too in all the industrial enterprises, of the country.”
DoEs the money that is placed in the Lord's treasury vary in value according to the amount of consecration involved in its bestowment? So far as the givers are concerned, its value certainly differs in this proportion, but what shall we say of its efficiency in the Lord's work. Perhaps we cannot say anything certain, and yet we must think that the widow's two mites accomplished in the Lord's service far more than many a larger donation. Two Scotch farmers are reported as having had a conversation as to their methods of giving. One said: “I get my money ready before the collector comes, so that if I am absent it can be handed to him.” The other farmer said: “Yes, I do the same ; but I also, when the money is laid down ready on the table, kneel down beside it, and give God thanks that he has put it into my power to give this as a freewill offering unto him, and I beseech him to condescend to accept the offering and use it to his glory. I never like to give it to the collector till I have given it to the Lord.” Will not money thus given go a great way?
MR. CARY, of Osaka, reports that, in riding through the city of Takefu recently, he saw over nearly every doorway a wooden ticket showing that the inmates belonged to a company whose members promise that they will have no relations of any kind with Christians. This fact, while showing the present animus of many Japanese, shows also that Christianity is widely known throughout the empire. Men do not band together to oppose a faith they know nothing about and care nothing about. It is because the Japanese are profoundly impressed by the progress Christianity is making within their kingdom that so many are leagued together to resist it.
THE contrast between the progress of education in Protestant and Roman Catholic countries has often been referred to, and justly, as indicating that Rome practically believes in the doctrine that ignorance is the mother of devotion. It is a well-known fact that wherever a Protestant mission or community appears there the Romanists are compelled to open schools. Were it not for the stimulus given them by Protestants the already high percentage of illiteracy in Roman Catholic communities would be much higher than it now is.
RECENT letters from our missionaries report special religious interest at several of our mission schools. At the last communion season in the Doshisha Church, at Kyoto, seventeen students were received to the church on profession of faith. Twenty students, about one fourth of the entire number in Jaffna College, have recently avowed their purpose of leading a Christian life, while others are deeply interested. The students of this college have been very active in Christian work outside of the college, in Sabbath-schools and in heathen villages. From Spain comes the report of six young women connected with the Girls' School at San Sebastian who have recently united with the church. These reports, we would hope, are but the beginning of similar reports to be received after the Week of Prayer and the Day of Prayer for Colleges.
A BEAUTIFULLY printed little volume of 237 pages comes to us from Peking, entitled “Pocket Dictionary (Chinese-English) and Pekinese Syllabary. By Chauncey Goodrich.” Though not too large for the pocket, it is said to contain Io,587 characters, including duplicates. Even one who knows nothing of Chinese must admire the neatness and condensation of the volume. References are made in connection with every word to Williams's Syllabic Dictionary. The tones are indicated by numbers, and each character is followed by its radical. A missionary in China writes of it: “Mr. Goodrich should have sixteen monuments. It is a perfect gem for clearness, helpfulness, and convenience. Our eyes shone over it.” Another says of it: “It is the greatest help in the world. If I had only had one three years ago ”
THE commercial importance of Natal, South Africa, the field of our Zulu Mission, is seen in the fact that its imports already exceed those of the Cape Colony. For the last fiscal year the value of goods entered at the port of Durban was over $21,0co,ooo, of which $1,000,ooo worth came from the United States. In 1890, 538 vessels entered at that port and 551 vessels cleared. What a vast change since Grout and Champion and Lindley went to the Zulus !
OUR missionaries in Japan are much impressed with the value of the Hokkaido, the great northern island of the empire, as a region for missionary labor. As yet it is not as densely populated as is the main island, but colonists are coming in rapidly, and new enterprises are started with great vigor. Mr. Cary writes of the Hokkaido : “Externally it would be a most attractive field for men from the Northern States. The climate is about as cold as that of New England; the air, even in summer, has some life in it, to make it worth breathing by enterprising people with something like American push. In short, it is the mos: American-like place in Japan.”
Evidence is accumulating that one of the most promising results of missionary work in Turkey is the reformation which is silently going on in some of the old churches. A recent letter from Turkey speaks of two Armenian churches where it is believed good and faithful preaching is given to large audiences by young men who have felt the force of the evangelical work about them. Nothing can be more hopeful than this internal reformation.
WE find in a Lisbon publication, As Colonias Portuguezas, an engraving of King Gungunyana of Gazaland, son and successor of Umzila. We certainly do not reproduce the picture here for its beauty, but because the man has had, and may yet have, much to do with the work of our Board in Gazaland. We say may have, for a letter from M. Berthoud, the Swiss missionary on the East coast, who wrote to Z'Afrique from Lorenzo Marquez, November 16, mentions a report that had reached him by two entirely different channels that Gungunyana was dead. M. Berthoud at first doubted the report, but he had at last thought it true, adding, “There is something mysterious about it, and I ask myself if the unhappy king died a natural death.”
THE self-sacrificing devotion of pagans to the service of false gods has often been mentioned as a rebuke to those who have a better faith but are less devoted. Rev. Dr. Mabie, in his “Brightest KING GUNGUNYANA. Asia,” speaks of what he witnessed at Kyôto, in the temple of Hon-gwan-ji, which, although still in process of construction, has already cost several millions of dollars. He saw on the platform of that temple twenty-four coils of rope amounting to 4,528 feet, the rope being from three to four inches in diameter, all made of human hair. The weight of these coils was 11,567 pounds. They were made from the offerings of men and women who cut the hair from their heads to make the ropes to be used in erecting the temple. Twenty-nine other coils like these had become worthless from tise. Surely these people are “very religious.”
SKETCH OF SAMOKOV STATION.
SAMokov is a small city, some thirty-five miles south-southeast of Sophia, the capital of the principality of Bulgaria. Its location is very healthful — for which reason it was chosen as the mission station of this section in place of Sophia, which was occupied in that capacity from 1862 to 1867. The city is in a valley, some 3,000 feet above the sea-level, and is noted for its clear sparkling water. It is on the north side of the Rila and Rhodope Mountains, which are piled up grandly against its southern sky. INHABITANTS. — Since the country became free from Turkish rule nearly all the Turks have left the city; some fifty persons only remaining out of 9oo families. There are about 1,300 Jews here, through whose hands the larger part of the merchandise of the city passes. The rest of the population, said to be 9,000 in all, are Bulgarians. MISSION WORK AND WoRKERS. — The city was occupied as a mission station in July, 1869, when Rev. Messrs. Locke and Page, with their wives, who had been studying the language the previous year in Philippopolis, removed here, and one dwelling-house was bought by the Board. Mr. Page remained here till 1874, and Mr. Locke till 1886. One faithful native brother, with his family, had been enduring persecution here, including a dozen or more anathemas, since 1862. These missionaries, with a Bulgarian helper, commenced preaching services at once in one of their houses. In the summer of 1871, at the first annual meeting of this mission after its separation from the Western Turkey Mission, the Girls' Boarding School, with its teachers, Misses Maltbie and Beach, was removed to this city from Eski Zagra. Here it has prospered and been a blessing to the nation up to the present time. In November, 1871, Rev. J. F. Clarke and family, who had worked in Philip
VILLAGERS NEAR SAMOKOV.