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VISIT OF THE BISHOP OF CALCUTTA vernacular classes first ; so we called up the three Persian-college classes, about forty boys. He had them read St. Luke xv., and Mr. Wilkinson, in whose charge that department is, put questions, or interpreted for the bishop. The conclusion of this was an earnest exhortation from the dear old saint to them, like the prodigal son, to cast away all their sin, lying, vice, idolatry, and turn to the only true God their Father. He dismissed them, as he did all the classes, waving his hand, and bidding them “Salam, Salam!”
Next I exhibited to him a map of Benares, just executed by one of my English school-boys, which is the most perfect one ever yet prepared, and, I should expect, will be lithographed and published. It is based on Prinsep's, with alterations and additions. The delineation is the boy's. The bishop was in ecstasies with it, and, calling up the boy, said“I am greatly pleased : your name will become great." He was equally delighted with our general maps, executed by another boy, with the Devanagrí character, for the use of our Hindí department, and equally complimentary to the lad who had drawn them, to whom Mr. Tucker also advised a donation of ten rupees on the spot.
Next we called up twenty of the most advanced Hindi and Sanscrit students. These boys, and all the department, are in charge of Mr. Broadway. The Hindí boys proceeded to read St. Luke iv. Mr. Broadway questioned them. These boys are admirably taught in the holy scriptures, and, from early habit, read ore rotundo. This Mr. Colvin remarked when he was here, but the delight of the good old bishop was most cheersome and pleasant. Hearing them distinctly, he turned from side to side, his face beaming with pleasure, to express his gratification. In the course of the examination, one boy very earnestly and energetically answered about Satan," that he had great power in this world amongst those who obeyed him." The bishop, when this was explained to him, was very anxious that they should all understand that temptation was universal; and, when the boy earnestly declaimed more on the subject, inquired, “Is he a Christian?” Hearing he was not, he exhorted him to become one, and then, through Mr. Broadway, warned them that Satan tempted every one of themselves, one to one sin, one to another.
Then we had up the three English-college classes, twenty-three boys. They read John iv. The bishop asked, “ What does our Lord mean by the well of water?” First boy—“The Holy Spirit.” “Very good. Can you show that from another passage in St. John ?” This was only done with help. “What does the Holy Spirit do for us?” “He gives us knowledge, and guides us in the true way.” “Very good. What do you mean by the Holy Spirit ?” “ The Spirit of God.” I interposed, and said, “You mean the third person of the " The question passed one or two, and came to a Christian boy, who answered rightly. The bishop “ What has each of the persons of the blessed Trinity done for us?”' One lad said, “ The Father made us ;' the next, “ Jesus Christ pardons our sins." I interposed, “But how does God pardon our sins ? on what account ?” “Through the mediation of Christ." The bishop—“How can you be saved ?” The next boy, a lad of whom I have great hope, “ By believing on Jesus Christ." Bishop_" What do you mean by prayer ?” The next boy, “Addressing God.” I passed the question on. It came to a Christian.
1855.] TO JAY NARAIN'S COLLEGE, BENARES.
53 He said, “Wishing from God.” I objected to the English. He said, “ Begging from God what we need.” The bishop said, “Can you give a parable which encourages us to pray ?” The lad gave it, after a little hesitation. “What is the parable of the unjust steward ?” The boys had not read St. Luke lately, and so were at fault. The first boy gave that of the unmerciful servant by mistake. Bishop, “ What great event happened in the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth ?” First boy, “ The reformation.” “What do you mean by reformation ?” Second boy, “ The corrupt state of religion was reformed.” The bishop then proposed to them some historical questions. I said, “My lord, they are yet, most of them, very little acquainted with modern history.” “Well, then, who was the greatest, Alexander or Julius Cæsar ?" A nice, sharp boy stepped forward, and said, “ Alexander, for when he conquered Darius he treated his mother honourably and kindly, and therefore he was benevolent." The bishop was pleased, and asked him how Alexander died, which he also stated correctly, and the bishop moralized on it. Another historical question about Demosthenes was well answered by the first boy, a clever young Brahmin; and then the bishop said, “ Well, Mr. Cobb, is that all ?” I said, “ My lord, I have an indefinite number of classes, if your lordship wishes to hear them.” “Oh," said he, getting up and turning away, “no, indeed: I have done quite enough: no indefinite number of classes for me.”
We just took the bishop through the school. When we were among the little Bengalí boys, he first noticed one little fellow with his smart scarlet and gold cap and scarf-as they all came in their best ; and then, standing by one nearly naked little urchin, said, “See, he is quite afraid of me." So he walked all down the row, patting the little boys' cheeks. Meanwhile they all began their simultaneous chanting of the multiplication-table, which pleased him. When I had taken him through the centre hall, in which are ten English classes, averaging fifteen boys a-piece, and one wing with four Persian-college classes; and then, going out into the verandah, had led him through a long vista of little Bengalís, with their writing on leaves; and then, through two class-rooms, into another verandah, chokeful of small Hindi boys, he exclaimed with astonishment at our numbers. Then we went into a Sanskrit class, and the bishop asked the pundit-a man only with us a week or so—whether the Sanskrit was ever a vernacular? He said it was the language of the gods and pundits. “Gods !” said the bishop : “it's all untrue :". adding, half in English, half in Hindustaní, “ There is only one true, almighty, everlasting God,” &c. As the bishop went away, he said, “Put me down for another 200 rupees for your new building: you know I have given you one already.” We had had a beautiful exposition in the morning from 2 Pet. i., in wbich the bishop, by plain and faithful warning as well as by most affectionate encouragement, stirred up our minds. It was truly a season of refreshment.
THE RUSSIAN PEASANT. Russia! how many thoughts that word awakens in the heart! A sanguinary war, which, short as the time has been which has passed over since its commencement, has already cost this country thousands of
THE RUSSIAN PEASANT. valuable lives, and left wives widows, and children orphans. Who does not think of it? Who does not pray that the sword may soon be returned to its scabbard, and peace restored to the nations? How wicked the ambition which moves rulers and people to aim at universal conquest ! How dread the fanaticism, which, regarding a corrupt and idolatrous Christianity, such as prevails in Russia, as the alone true faith, is prepared to propagate it by the sword! How stern the necessity which compels a nation like Great Britain, desiring to remain at peace, and cultivate the arts of peace, to employ its energies in war, for the protection of the weak and the coercion of the wrong-doer!
The ambition of the rulers, and the ignorance and fanaticism of the Russian peasantry, are the evil elements in which has originated the existing disturbance of the peace of Europe. The one acts upon the other. Through the priesthood, the government moves the people to its purposes, and in the millions of the Muscovites finds an immense material for war service.
The Russian peasantry are an ignorant and degraded people. They are not freemen, but serfs. The property of the Russian proprietor is valued, not by his acres, but his slaves—that is, the number of male peasants on his estate. A peasant has, on the estate to which he belongs, a house and portion of land, the rent of which he pays in labour, working three days in the week for his lord, and having the remainder of the time at his own disposal. But he is liable to great oppression. The laws which profess to protect the weak are not always enforced, and, by the influence of the noble, are easily set aside; so that, practically speaking, in remote and secluded districts the proprietor exercises uncontrolled power. A peasant, when convicted of an offence, is flogged, or sent to Siberia, or to the army. The yoke of slavery presses heavily on the poor Muscovite peasant. In the matter of his own personal liberty, in his relations to his family as husband and father, in the possession of any little property which he may acquire by his industry, he is never secure from the exercise on the part of his lord of tyrannical interference. In addition to many other sources of vexation, he is liable to be taken as a conscript. The proprietor is bound to furnish from the serfs on his estate the quota which the exigencies of the government may require of him; and there are certain qualifications which the conscript must possess. There may be three brothers in a family, and one of them must go as a soldier. There are few things which the poor Muscovite more dreads. Twenty years' service in the Russian army must be fulfilled before a discharge can be obtained, and how few survive that term, amidst the hardships and ill-treatment to which the Russian soldiery are exposed ! Of the three brothers, one has a wife and children; the second is below the standard height, or is in some way physically disqualified; the third is a minor, and cannot as yet be compelled to serve. The father of the family must go, unless the younger brother volunteers; and most distressing scenes often ensue, of wife and children piteously imploring the younger brother to go, and suffer the one on whom so many are dependent to remain behind. When one from a family goes forth as a soldier, the others mourn for him as dead : they never expect to see him again.
How many soenes of suffering exist amongst the poor serfs of Russia !
55 Have they the consolations of the gospel ? They are nominally Christians. True, but their religion is Christianity in name only: in reality it is heathenism. As an object of exclusive trust and hope in whom the weary may find rest, Jesus is unknown. He is eclipsed by a multitude of saints, whose pictures receive the superstitious veneration of the poor Russian peasants. Alas! brandy is their principal consolation, and in the indulgence of the destructive vice of drunkenness the serf forgets for a season his many miseries, and deprivation of all the rights which belong to man amongst his fellows.
The poverty of the Muscovite happily serves as a limit to excess, and in the absence of an intoxicating element tea is his favourite beverage. In enters largely into his consumption, and in large towns the infusion is sold, ready made, by itinerant purveyors. The tea used in Russia is of superior quality. On the Siberian frontier of China it is obtained in exchange for European goods, and, packed in chests covered with hides, by land and water carriage is conveyed to Nijni, the great emporium of Russia for that commodity.
Another itinerant tradesman, a cake-seller, is the subject of our illustration.
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[MAY JAPAN. Our last Number contained some notices of the state religion of the Japanese, called Sinsyu. There are a few more thoughts respecting it which we should like to introduce before we pass on to other subjects. The Sintoos, as its followers are called, have some vague notions that man does not die with the death of his body; that his soul still lives in a new state; and that he is either happy or miserable. But all their conceptions are indistinct. They are as one overtaken by mist upon a mountain summit, and who can only see a few steps before him. He knows not where the path lies, or what direction he ought to take; and perhaps, at the very instant when he thinks himself most safe, he finds himself reeling on the brink of a fearful precipice. How pitiable the condition of the dying heathen, who has no sure light to guide him, no heavenly hope to cheer him; who feels himself on the eve of departure from a world that he would fain continue in if he could, and going he knows not where! Surely Christians, to whom Jesus Christ has « brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” cannot realize the condition of the heathen, or they would make more selfdenying efforts to help them in their need.
But again, emanations which issue from bodies partake of the nature of that body, and are imbued with its properties. Flowers yield sweet odours: the dung-heap, such as are offensive and overcoming. The sun sheds forth light: the low and marshy places emit unwholesome vapours. So from the truth of God comes light and comfort; but from the heart of man issues error, perverted notions on the most solemn and important matters which can engage the attention of man; prejudice against what is true, obstinate clinging to what is false and unprofitable. There are thoughts and ideas on religion which spring naturally from the human heart, as unwholesome exhalations do from the swamps and fens : they are thoughts which are full of error; but the heart clings to them because they partake of its own nature, and are imbued with its own darkness and corruption. One of these false notions is, that man can make satisfaction for delinquencies, on account of which his conscience condemns him, by acts of austerity and bodily mortification. The man is distracted between two influences, the indulgence of criminal passions, and the dread of punishment as their consequence. This notion enables him still to indulge the one, and yet escape from the torment of the other. He will gladly macerate his body, if he may indulge his sin. We believe that conscience works, more or less, in every man, but often in a very mistaken way. It is inactive when moral offences are committed, and scrupulous on formal and superstitious matters. But still, however erroneous it may be, every man has a law or standard in his own breast, for offences against which his conscience condemns him. And to quiet this, the man afflicts himself with various penances, &c., in the hope of making satisfaction. There is no more prevalent error than this, and it exists in Japan as well as elsewhere. The Japanese have their ceremonial law, by the violation of which they become unclean : for instance, if they partake of certain meats, or come in contact with blood or death, they are then unclean. To such an extreme is this carried, that if a workman engaged in erecting a temple chance to wound himself, and blood follows, he is sent away as impure, and, in