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1855.]
INQUIRERS IN KASHMÍR.

77 and china-ware, lacquered bowls, cups and stands, durable silks, cutlery, and ready-made clothes, constitute the greatest portion of the stocks. Furs, leather, felted cloths, glass-ware, or copper articles, are rarely seen; nor are books and stationery very common. The provision stores contained rice, wheat, barley, pulse, dried and fresh fish, sea-weed, salt, sugar, saki, soy, charcoal, sweet potatos, and flour, with other less necessary articles, and to all appearance in ample quantities. There is no public market, as neither beef, pork, nor mutton, are eaten, and not many fowls, geese, or ducks : vegetables are occasionally hawked about. The artisans are chiefly blacksmiths, carpenters, barbers, shipwrights, lacquered-ware makers, potters, and stone-cutters. The signs of the shops are written on the paper windows or doors in various well-known devices and cyphers : some were in Chinese characters, and others in Japanese, or a combination of the two.

The streets are about thirty feet wide; and wooden fences, thrown across them at intervals, with gateways, divide off the several neighbourhoods. No wheeled carriages are seen in them, and they are kept commendably clean, sprinkled and swept frequently. The yards are surrounded with board fences, built close and high to conceal the interior: hedges and stone walls are occasionally substituted. The streets present a remarkable contrast to those in Chinese towns, indicating less energy and traffic. No vociferous coolies or stalwart chairbearers here thrust the idler aside; no clamorous dealers claim the preference of the passer-by for their wares and viands; no busy peddlers cry their goods, or industrious craftsmen work their trade along the side of the way; but a quiet reigns through all the streets, broken now and then by a stout horse-boy hallooing to his unruly beasts, an official attendant crying out to the people to prostrate themselves to the great man coming, or the clang of a busy forgeman in a neighbouring shop. Yet the general impression is made upon the visitor, that Hakodadi is a town of considerable wealth and trade; and the droves of pack-horses passing through the streets with their produce, the hundred junks at anchor off the town, their boats and fishing smacks passing from ship to shore and about the harbour, the tidy streets, and gentlemen with two swords riding through them on horseback, all tend to increase and strengthen this impression.

The people are stout, thick-set, more sturdy than those of Simoda, and, if any thing, not so fawning or immoral. Their average height is about five feet three inches : heavy beards are very common, but none are worn. They are mostly engaged in trade and shipping, depending on their importations for their supplies of bread-stuffs. The barbour contained more than a hundred junks, though it was the dullest season, as the south wind had not yet begun to bring vessels up, and the authorities regretted they could not supply what we wanted.

INQUIRERS IN KASHMÍR. We promised, in our Number for March, to place before our readers some of those interesting cases of inquiry which occurred while our Missionary, the Rev. R. Clark, was in the valley of Kashmír. They will be found in the following extracts from his letter, dated Srinagar, June 30, 1854—

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[JULY, We have met with two professed inquirers, both of whom came to us at Srinagar. They have each of them been with us nearly a month, living with the native Christians, and taking part in our daily religious services. We have endeavoured to take advantage of their willingness to learn, by paying as much attention as we could to them as long as that willingness remained. They have both of them made considerable advancement in knowledge, and have at times seemed to have some impression made on their minds. One of them is a fakir from India, and not an inhabitant of this country. I have not noticed any thing remark. able in his case. He seems to be diligent, candid, and to be struck with the beauty and manifest truth of inany parts of the gospel, which he has been carefully reading. I have sometimes had hopes that he is a true inquirer, and has already set out on the way to heaven, but I cannot yet speak at all decidedly respecting him.

Mr. Clark adds, concerning this man, at the end of his letter

July 5-You will be glad to hear that one of the inquirers, the fakir, has gone to Amritsar for further instruction. He left this morning, in company with Sbamaun, our Christian reader. It has been thought desirable for Shamaun to return to Amritsar from this place, as he seems to be hardly strong enough for the long journey before us, and the fakir has taken the opportunity to accompany him. May he indeed become a faithful follower of the Saviour!

The second inquirer is a native of Shupeion, a town two marches from Srinagar, on the road from the Pir Punjal. He is apparently about 35 years old, and knows both Persian and Kashmírí, and also a little Urdu. The former, namely Persian, he reads fluently. He is by birth a Mahommedan. His manner is naturally somewhat disagreeable, but he has outwardly manifested from the first a remarkable desire to study the word of God, and in a short time attained considerable knowledge. He was then extremely earnest in desiring to become a Christian at once. He brought forward the command of Christ to baptize all nations; and also, the practice of the apostles to baptize their converts at a very early period, and frequently within a very few days. He declared himself willing to leave his wife and family, and every thing, if it were necessary; and, in the fulness of his zeal and courage, wished to go to his native town, and be baptized there, publicly, before all his friends. In the time of trial, however, he has found himself weaker than he believed himself to be. On our arrival at Islamabad, where many of his relatives live, he was ashamed to confess his convictions before them; and declared that he was only in our service. The real reason of his presence with us was, however, discovered by them; and although he had withstood some trials of a similar kind at Srinagar, his friends at last succeeded in alluring or frightening him away. He promised to follow us to Shahabad, but did not do so. On our return to Islamabad, however, he came at once to see us. He declared that he sincerely believed in Christ, and in Christ alone; and that he looked to Him for salvation. He wished to go with us to Ladak, for further instruction, but said that he thought it right to remain. He has a wife and three little children, together with an aged mother, who are all dependent on him. In his absence, they would not only be deprived of the means of support, but would be subject to the cruel persecutions of the Mahommedans, who, on his account,

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INQUIRERS IN KASHMIR. would injure them in whatever way they could. There seemed to be no other course for him to pursue than to remain with them. We could do nothing more than leave books with him, and endeavour to strengthen him in his faith, and commend him in prayer, body and soul, into the hands of Him on whom he believed. He says, that on our return he wishes to be prepared for baptism, together with all his family. He is still, however, but weak in the faith, but we have reason, I think, to have some hopes of him. He is now single and alone in the midst of dangers of every kind. May he mercifully be preserved! We shall use every effort to visit him on our return.

We have had much encouragement, also, in the intercourse which we have had with several other natives. Some have visited us who have appeared eminently qualified to teach, and to exert much influence over others, should the grace of God bring thein to the acknowledgment of the truth themselves. I will mention but two instances-one of a Brahmin pundit, and the other of a Mahommedan moulaví, both of them men of considerable talent and education. The pundit was a man of remarkably gentle manners and pleasing address. He stated, that, after many years' strict investigation of his own religion, he had been forced to the conclusion that it was untrue. He then had studied the Mahommedan books, but their religion seemed to pertain merely to outward forms and observances, and consequently was also false. He was then, he said, neither a Hindu nor a Mahommedan. He had practically left Hinduism, but could not receive Mahommedanism. His habit was, he said, to cull from both religions, and from all books, whatever seemed to himself to be beautiful, and worthy of the Deity, and this was his religion. At his first visit he brought forward three questions of a philosophical nature, the true answers of which he had been unable to obtain, and he manifested much research and thought in the long discussion which followed. The next day, however, he stated that his three former questions were merely of a tentative nature, to find out what we knew, and whether we could establish our claim of being worthy of being teachers of others. We had several further conversations with him, and on one occasion he afterwards accompanied us to the bazaar, and stood by us the whole time that we were preaching, watching every thing with great seeming interest. The report, however, was spread abroad that Pundit Tota Ram had become a Christian; and to our great regret we saw nothing more of him. His employment consisted in the daily instruction of about 20 or 30 boys and young men, some of whom occasionally accompanied him, and appeared to belong to a very respectable class of society.

The moulaví was a native of Kishtewar, a hill town on the other side of the Pír Punjal, to the S.E. of Srinagar, in the direction of Chumba. His complexion was almost as fair as that of an European; and his expressive and finely-formed features seemed to pourtray his character at once. He appeared to be well read in both Persian and Arabic; and also, like the pundit, could converse in Urdu. He said that he had thoroughly studied his own religion, and felt a very great desire to become acquainted with Christianity. His object, he said, was to read our books, and compare them thoroughly with his own. We at once gave him the Persian gospels, and also a copy of the Mizan-ul-Huqg; but his Mahommedan friends took them away from him. He then requested, that, if such a thing were possible, we would make arrange

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[JULT, ments for him to travel in our company, in order that he might be at a distance from other Mahommedans, and might have the constant opportunity to converse about whatever difficulties he might meet with. I at once offered to take him as a Persian munshí. He accepted it, and I dismissed the one which I had had for some little time previous. The arrangement made was, that he was to join us the evening before we left Srinagar. When the time, however, arrived, he did not come. Sulaiman and Yakub went, together with a sepoy, who showed them the way, to see what was the reason of his absence. When they came near to the place where he was staying, they were mobbed at once, and escaped with difficulty, and the sepoy was beaten, and lost his sword. The Mahommedans had no doubt heard of the moulavi's object, and determined to prevent it by force. Such instances, however, of inquirers in the higher and educated ranks of society are peculiarly gratifying. It is to such men, when their hearts are renewed by the Holy Spirit of God, that we must, after all, look, humanly speaking, for the propagation of Christianity in these countries. May many such be raised up in answer to our church's prayers!

Independently of these, we have had repeated visits from others, especially from pundits, many of whom have manifested considerable interest. One case at Islamabad gave us much pleasure. We were preaching in the bazaar, and the whole crowd around us had just been forcibly driven away, and stood at a little distance hooting, as they often did, and shouting out, all together, their kalma—“There is but one God, and Mahommed is the prophet of God.” We were left alone, when a pundit came up to us, and sat down at our side, and entered into very friendly conversation, taking the book into his hands, and reading out to himself the passage from which we had been preaching. He afterwards followed us to our tent, and we presented him with a book for himself. The next day he came, like Nicodemus, at night, bringing with him two Mahommedans, who, he said, also wished to learn; but who were afraid to come by day. We talked with them for a long time, and they promised to return on the following evening, but did not come. On our return to Islamabad we called upon him. A crowd at once assembled around his door, and he seemed a little confused, but sent a man with us to bring another book which we had promised him. We then went to our boats, which were lying in the river, about a mile and a half from his house. We had no sooner arrived there, than we saw the pundit himself, who had only waited for the crowd to disperse to follow us, and had come the whole way on purpose to see us again. He then told us the reason why he had not before come to us, as he had promised. His own account is, that the Mahommedans, to the number of 200 or 300, came together to his house, as soon as they had heard that he had brought two of their number to us, and were nearly proceeding to violence. This was why he could not perform his promise. “But yet," said he, “in spite of them all, I will read the gospel, which I like very much indeed.”

Many other most pleasing opportunities have been given for conversations. Frequently, on the carpet in the native house, or under the mag. nificent plane-tree, with the most delightful prospects of wood and valley, and snow-peaked mountains, and streams of water on every side, we have sat cross-legged on the ground, and talked, and listened, and gone away with every cause for the greatest joy.

1855.] RIPE FRUIT IN THE JAFFNA MISSION.

81 What a state that is, to be groping out the truth, like a man in a dark cave trying to find his way into the light, and welcoming, with eager joy, each faint glimmering that presents itself! But how great the advantages of those who have Christian truth presented to them so soon as the understanding is capable of receiving it! and how proportionately great their responsibilities! And let our readers estimate the greatness of the difficulties with which the inquirer has to contend, when he is convinced that Christianity is true, and that Jesus is the only Saviour. What opposition of friends, what contempt and scorn of the world, what pecuniary sacrifices, what ties to be broken, what pleadings of natural affection to be resisted! What strength of grace is requisite to overcome such hindrances and discouragements, and that on the part of those whose eyes have only just been opened to the light, and who as yet see but indistinctly! What conflicts must take place, what sufferings of spirit ! What earnest prayers should we not offer up on behalf of all such ! And there are many of them throughout the world.

RIPE FRUIT IN THE JAFFNA MISSION. The northern portion of Ceylon, inhabited by a Tamil-speaking population, during the year 1854 has been grievously wasted by cholera—to such an extent, indeed, that at one time all Mission work at our station of Copay, the Tamil Institution excepted, ceased for three months. The people would neither attend meetings nor send their children to school, whole families having been cut off, old and young. Amongst others who have been removed during this awful visitation has been one of our scripture readers, named John Abraham. Our Missionary at Copay, the Rev. R. Bren, has given, in a letter dated March 8, 1855, the following account of him—.

He was one of the very few of whom we can say that we believe they have received the truth in the love of it." He was born of heathen parents in 1817. Little is known respecting his early life. The first twentyfive years he was a staunch devotee, frequently attending heathen temples and festivals. Often had the truths of the gospel been sounded in bis ears; but before they sank into his heart he was ever ready to ridicule wliat he had heard, and even tore up the tracts which were given him to read. He hated Christianity and Christians, and determined to adhere to the religion of his forefathers. The Rev. W. Adley sent a catechist to Copay, and opened a school for the benefit of the people; and as Kathenodin —for that was his heathen name—was considered somewhat clever in Tamil, he was appointed schoolmaster. His parents were respectable, and he had much influence in the village, so that he was soon able to collect a large number of children: indeed, his regular attendance upon his duties, and the way in which he brought the boys forward, obtained a name for him in the surrounding villages, and boys came from a long distance to learn under him. But his opposition to Christianity remained unabated. He still attended the heathen temples

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