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SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD."'' SOME seven years ago, we think, or more, at a meeting in Edinburgh of the Scottish Ladies' Association for Female Education in India, we remember the Rev. Dr. Charles, late of Calcutta, and now the respected minister of Kirkowen, at the close of an admirable speech, proceeding as follows:
“How mighty have been the triumphs, and how signal the trophies of earnest, united, and persevering prayers ! All Scripture and all experience are full of them; but I may be permitted, ere I sit down, to cite one instance, both because it fell under my own notice, and because it was exhibited in the case of a Christian lady. She was a member of St. Stephen's congregation in this city, and about the time of my proceeding to India, a large sum of money had been left to her by a brother in the East India Company's service, who held a high political appointment among the protected hill tribes--a branch of the Sikhs, of whom you have recently heard so much. Having received this large accession to her fortune, she, in the spirit of a true follower of Christ, devised liberal things for these heathen tribes, and determined to found a mission among them, to be called by the name of her brother, who had greatly endeared himself to them by his amiable and excellent qualities. She applied to me to make inquiries, when I reached Calcutta, as to the best method of carrying her intention into effect; and at the same time she told me that she was in the habit of devoting one hour' each Lord's-day morning to special prayer on behalf of the people, towards whom her heart was so strongly drawn
While I was conducting these inquiries, the agency house in which the money was deposited suspended payment, and nearly the whole money bequeathed to this respected lady was lost, and, of course, her good work could not be prosecuted, at least on the same scale or in the same form, and her prayers seemed to be lost in air. But was it really so? She, indeed, was not permitted to carry on the work, but I firmly believe that her purpose of carrying it on was accepted, and that she experienced the truth of the words, 'It was well that it was in thine heart.' But mark what followed. About the very time when the disastrous event to which I have alluded occurred, two missionaries with their wives arrived in Calcutta, who had been sent out by the American Presbyterian Church, and who had received the general commission to plant themselves down wherever their labours imight seem to be most needed.
VOL. IV. No. X.
After consulting with various parties, they were at length led to settle themselves among the very people in whom this lady was so strongly interested, and to make choice of Loodiana and Umballa as their head-quarters, in one or other of which sbe had purposed to establish her mission, These missionary labourers have been from time to time reinforced, and they have not only been very useful in the way of teaching, translating, and preaching, but have also been instrumental in saving several precious souls. Now, who can fail to be struck with this coincidence ? Who can fail to connect the establishment of this mission with the prayers of this lady? And how wonderful are the ways of God in so ordering matters, that the prayers of a Christian woman in the metropolis of Scotland should be answered on the plains of India, by means of a deputation of Presbyterian missionaries from the United States of North America ! Now, to each of her sex I would say, 'Go thou and do likewise,' and I am convinced that my advocacy of the cause of this Association will not be in vain, if I can only induce them, after her example, to spend some time every Sabbath morning in earnest prayer for the poor degraded females of India, and for the spread of Christian education among them. My fervent desire is, that all of them may combine in this good work; and my sincere wish for every one of them is, that she may, through divine grace, be enabled to take such a part in it, as will draw forth at last this encomium from the mouth of Him whose praise is praise indeed, • She hath done what she could.'
In that interesting statement, Dr. Charles was then telling us the early history of what we can now speak of as the Church of Scotland's Mission to the Sikhs. For, by the Indian Mission Committee's Report to the last General Assembly, * we now learn that the means so prayerfully devoted by Mrs. Campbell of Lochnell for a mission to the Punjaub, have at length become available. One missionary is already ordained to that work, and we trust others will, in due time, be found ready to join him. Prayers offered up in the privacy of a Christian lady's Sabbath morning devotions, are thus, in God's good time, ripening for that answer from which their fruit is to be reaped in the great harvest of the last day. How instructive the lesson thus taught as to the efficacy of believing prayer, and the mo. mentous importance to the Church of even the most private prayers of ONE child of God! We trust the lesson is not
• See our last Number, page 97.
to be lost upon us; and that, taught by the early history of this new mission to the Sikhs, we will set ourselves to prosecate it in the same prayerfulness of spirit, and with something like the self-denying devotedness in which it was devised, that of the Church, too, it may be said in regard to her work in this matter, “SHE HATA DONE WHAT SHE COULD."
THE MISSIONARY SPIRIT
AMONG NATIVE CHRISTIANS IN TINNEVELLY.
RECENT intelligence from the Church Missionary Society's labourers in Tinnevelly, gives us the following account of meetings, at which a very earnest zeal, in the good cause of Christian Missions, was exhibited by native converts from heathenism.
“When it was proposed to them that they should subscribe to the support of native catechists, who should go forth month by month from the different districts, to aid in this onward movement, and unite with the Missionaries in doing the work of evangelists, they willingly consented. It was arranged that a meeting should be held at Meignanapuram, where Messrs. Ragland and Meadows might have an opportunity of explaining their views to the assembled catechists. Several interesting conferences took place, which will be found detailed in the following extracts from the joint report of Messrs. Ragland and Meadows
Jan. 21, 1855: Lord's-day-Meignanapuram. This morn. ing early the people assembled for the Litany in the church. Mr. Thomas afterwards read and expounded part of Isaiah viii. At half-past eleven I preached to about 1000 people, taking my text from Ephesians ii. 12. I was very much pleased with the ready answers of many, both when Mr. Thomas and myself were speaking to them. One found a text and read it, even before I had read it myself. Another finished a sentence for me before I had time to articulate it. Then I heard them utter such expressions as these "We must help them ;' 'What you say is true;' .We will pray for you.' At the end, Paul, the catechist, came with a request from the other catechists, saying they were
willing to give, some eight, some ten, and some twelve rupees, to send forth the Gospel to their heathen brethren. Mr. Thomas mentioned in his sermon- for we had two that morning that a man, the previous day, had come to him, and offered fifteen rupees for finishing one of the pillars of the church. Sometime before, also, a man came and said, “Sir, God has given me much prosperity this year: here are twenty-five rupees, which I wish you to spend as you like in objects of good.'
Jan. 23—Mr. Thomas took us this morning to Arumuganeyri. At half past twelve service was held in the church. A hymn was first sung, then a few prayers read, and afterwards Mr. Thomas expounded part of Isaiah xxxv. My turn then came to give some account of our work among the heathen in the north. Paul then stood up. He commenced his speech by quoting the three verses, 'He that watereth shall be watered also himself;' 'It is more blessed to give than to receive;' and, ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. • It was right,' he said, "that they should help the heathen in the north, for they were their own people, and their own neighbours. If a man fell into a well near Arumuganeyri should we expect the people of Nalumavadi -a distant village-to pull him out? Ought we not to do it ourselves ? At the close of the meeting, Mr. Thomas advised the people very strongly not to put their names down at the time, lest they should give from constraint. However, they would not agree to this, but said they were ready there and then to subscribe. Several gave their names, making a collection of above twenty rupees. Amongst those who gave were six women and one child. It was interesting to see the eagerness which the people displayed. While the collection was being made, three or four of the men stood up, and, urging the others to give, said, “We have received these blessings ourselves shall we not send them to others ?' 'Give, as before the Lord ;'• It is our duty to do this.' Some gave one rupee and a half, others one, others three-quarters, and others a quarter rupee. My companion spoke a few words at the end. They told me afterwards that they themselves were once worse than the heathen whose condition we have been describing.
In the evening we went to Nalumavadi. At prayers the
church was full—about four hundred people. We told them much that we had said in the morning. There was not so much readiness to subscribe here as at the last place. This was to be accounted for, as Mr. Thomas said, from the fact that they were not so well acquainted with the subject. However, some good subscriptions were promised. On our way to Pragasapuram, where we intended to sleep, a man who walked some distance by the side of my horse, told me that he had done what Mr. Thomas had exhorted them to do nine months before, namely, to pray for us.
We arrived at Pragasapuram at eleven.
Jan. 26—This morning there was a meeting in Kadatchapuram church, at which my companion and myself spoke. There was the very large sum of eighty rupees promised in aid of the new Society. I noticed that in many cases, although the husband gave largely, yet the wife also would give a good round sum. The school children also contributed their share. Some of the women gave two, and others even three rupees.
Jan. 27—This morning we rode to Satankullam, where Mr. Thomas had promised to meet us, to hold another Missionary meeting. This made the fifth and last. The same subject was brought before the meeting, much in the same way as before. Afterwards the catechists came to the bungalow in a body, with a list of subscriptions amounting to one hundred and ten rupees. It was chiefly from among themselves, the readers, and schoolmasters. One Mukkanthad had also given five rupees. In the evening, after commending ourselves to God, and thanking Mr. Thomas for all his kindness to us, we left for Asirvathapuram, where we were to spend the Sunday.
In another direction the Tamil Christians are putting forth missionary efforts, six of the Catechists having gone to labour as Missionaries among the Tamil coolies at work on the coffee plantations of Ceylon. This we regard as a most interesting movement. It is an evidence of vigour in the native church, and will not fail to re-act upon it with much spiritual blessing. A most interesting meeting was held at Meignanapuram on the occasion of the dismissal of the catechists to Ceylon, when instructions were delivered to them as to the mode in which their work was to be pursued. All the catechists were present, and a very large number of people, who evinced much interest in the proceedings.”—Church Missionary Record.