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household is still undivided, all such property is taken by her brother-in-law. She retains nothing but her ornaments, which she must on no account wear. She is told that she cannot have food given to her till she has “eaten her jewels.". In other words, she is expected to sell her ornaments to prevent herself from starving. In short, she suffers a living death, and would often cheerfully give herself up to be burnt, if the law would allow her.
Of course, there are exceptions to all this. In some parts of India—as for instance in the Maratha country-women of all classes are more independent, and assert themselves with more boldness.
There is also a bright side to the picture of female life and character. Hindoo women must be allowed full credit for their strict discharge of household duties, for their personal cleanliness, thrift, activity, and practical fidelity to the doctrines and precepts of their religion. They are generally loved by their husbands, and are never brutally treated. A wife-beating drunkard is unknown in India. In return, Indian wives and mothers are devoted to their families. I have often seen wives in the act of circumambulating the sacred Tulsi plant 108 times, with the sole object of bringing down a blessing on their husband and children. In no other country in the world are family affection and reverence for parents so conspicuously operative as in India. In many households the first morning duty of a child on rising from sleep is to lay his head on his mother's feet in token of filial obedience.
Nor could there be a greater mistake than to suppose that Indian women are without influence. If there is any one thing that would lead a thoughtful person to despair of the regeneration of India, it is that female influence is as strong there as in other countries. For it must not be forgotten that the word family in India means much more than in England. An Indian family does not merely consist of husband, wife, and children. The universal prevalence of early marriages leads to an indefinite enlargement of the family circle. It is said that a Hindoo family sometimes consists of a hundred members, including great-grandfather and great-grandchildren. Anarchy is prevented and harmony maintained by vesting supreme authority in the hands of the oldest member, whether male or female. A father often has no voice in the management of his own children. A grandmother or great-grandmother may be omnipotent. Unhappily her influence is generally exerted on the side of ignorance and error. Even in small families the women are powerful for harm. They mould the character of the younger children. They are often adepts in artifice and stratagem. They know how to hide their power over husbands and brothers under the guise of a simulated submission. To them is mainly due the maintenance of superstition and idolatry. The men would willingly emancipate themselves from the tyranny of caste, from the despotism of Brahman priests, and from the bondage of senseless religious forms and absurd religious creeds, but they are prevented by female influence. Many an educated Indian is as bold as Luther in his public character, but sinks to the condition of a timid, priest-ridden, caste-ridden, wife-ridden imbecile in private life. He is a lion out of doors, but a lamb at home. He is cowed and crestfallen in the presence of the women of his family.—Contemporary Review.
Letter from Mr. Shaw to the Secretary.
Via Urbana, 154, Roma, Sept. 5, 1879. MY DEAR BROTHER,—The Magazine and Hierald have just come to hand, for which I thank you. I see that the Foreign Mission Committee is to meet on the 10th inst., and so, though I have not anything of great importance to communicate, as it is soidetime since I wrote, I will send a line that you may not be without news of us if any one asks for it.
The usual work goes on without much change. The congregations keep up, although Grassi says it costs him much time and labour to try and counteract the intimidations of the priests, who go to the homes of the people threatening excommunication (which is greatly feared by a few, rather many, at least of the women,) against all who come to our services.
LETTER FROM REV. J. VAUGHAN.
As a set off to this we have a priest among our inquirers. He is a Canon, and a Lent Preacher of respectability, as a number of papers I have examined to day clearly prove. He comes several days a week for instruction in Bible truth. God grant him both a clear knowledge of the truth, and courage to avow it.
Since I last wrote I have, after much inquiry, insured against fire in a respectable office, and this makes me feel more comfortable in the midst of much incendiarism.
I have been very ill; a severe and obstinate attack of dysentery laying me low, but, through God's mercy, I am again in my usual health.
I make progress in the language. Grassi says my progress is very extraordinary; but whether he is unconsciously affected with the Italian habit of saying too smooth things to your face I don't know. If I am to believe what other ministers here lay down as the limits of what is possible, I shall be sometime yetas long again as I have been, and more,-before I can speak publicly; but the needs of our Mission are peculiar, and it is imperative that I be able to preach as soon as possible ; and so I hope that He who sent the gift of tongues at Pentecost will at least grant me strength and ability to acquire this Italian tongue in less time than some say I must give to it.
We have lost Dr. Mullens! It is well that the Lord of the harvest never fails.
Letter from Rev. 3. Vaughan.
The work of the new missionary must first be that of acquiring the language of the people to whom he hopes to preach. It may not be so exciting as travelling about the country addressing crowds of people eager both to hear and dispute, but it is nevertheless indispensably pre-requisite to this kind of work. The study of the language, then, has been what I have striven to place foremost in my thoughts. With the aid of as good a pundit as Mr. Miller could recommend to me, I have regularly given myself to the study of Oriya.
Well, then, it is advisable to see and hear the people for whom one hopes to labour, to understand their
mode of life, and, as far as possible, to enter into conversation with them. The later is exceedingly useful. It is far better to mix with the people, make all sorts of blunders in attempting to speak to them, and try to catch what it is they say, than merely to read and hold conversation with a pundit. Besides this you get on friendly terms with them, and they with you, which is not a little. I have visited all the Christian villages in Cuttack, and have seen almost all the people in them.
For two or three weeks whilst the High School was closed I read the Scriptures with some young men at our new reading-room, or Zayat. Have had many interesting conversations there. There is a good sprinkling of the Brahmo Somaj element in Cuttack, and many adherents of this sect find their way to our Zayat now and again. The Brahmo Somaj is now divided into three sections, the most recent having been occasioned by Baboo Keshub Chunder Sen's action in reference to his daughter's marriage. I asked one of the members of the Cuttack Somaj whether he had read Sen’s lecture,—“Am I an inspired prophet?”—to which he replied that he had read several criticisms, but did not think the address was worth reading. At present a young man meets me twice a week to read the New Testament, and occasionally he is accompanied by one or two more. Whilst Mr. Heberlet was travelling with Mr. Pike and the Cuttack brethren, I had charge of the Zayat, and delivered two lectures in it—the latter being well attended.
It is surprising what a number of natives—mostly Bengalees-speak English. I had a very interesting conversation with two in their own house a short time ago. Get them to say what they believed I could not, though they freely told me what the masses believed. They were ready enough to declare that they had no faith in heathenism, and one said that he had been chapel, whilst the other promised that he would come. English education has done, and is still doing, the work of the destroyer after a most thorough fashion in the case of an ever-increasing number of natives—but the work of building
progresses slowly. There is room for a deal of work amongst the English. speaking natives of Cuttack, and the conversations I have had at the Žayat and elsewhere interest me very much in them. If one had time for it there is also a goodly number of Eurasians in Cuttack amongst whom much work might be done.
floods in Orissa.
Cuttack, August 16, 1879. We have been in a state of excitement and anxiety most of the week; but the Lord, as in thousands of instances before, has been better to us than our fears. Our great river has been in flood, and has risen to within six inches of the highest flood level known for many years—that of 1872, about which I wrote at the time. It was a grand and noble sight, and gave us a most impressive view of the majesty and glory of Him “ who measureth the water in the hollow of His hand,” as well as of the utter insignificance and helplessness of man. Our principal danger, at such times, is not so much from the Mahanuddee, as from its southern branch-the Katjuri. It is difficult to give our friends in England an adequate idea of the magnitude of the Mahanuddee (which answers to its name-great river). It collects the drainage of 45,000 square miles in the hill country, and in the highest flood pours through the narrow gorge at Naraj, seven miles from us, 1,800,000 cubic feet of water a second. The maximum flood even of the Ganges is much less. In view of the stupendous works of the Almighty Creator, what is man? I am thankful to say that the flood has considerably subsided, and that all fear of an inundation has passed away.
We have, not, however, yet heard from all our Christian villages, and fear that the news from some may be calamitous. The Pooroo district is peculiarly subject to inundation; and it will be well if our Piplee villages have escaped; but it is a comfort to feel that we are all in the Lord's hands, and that not a hair of our heads can fall without Him.
foreign Letters Received.
BERHAMPORE-H. Wood, July 29.
W. Brooks, Aug. 7, 22.
CUTTACK-J. G. Pike, July 28, Aug. 9.
Miss Leigh, Aug. 22.
to September 15th, 1879.
£ s. d. Legacy of Mrs. Lydia Mary Robin
2 13 0 son, of Stockport, per A, C. Wise
Caversham-E. West, Esq.
5 0 0 man, Esq. 89 100 Denholme
5 17 9 Dividend– New Zealand 6 2 5 Nottingham-E. Renals, Esq.
0 0 Allerton (Bethel)
8 9 3 Oulton, Leeds--the Misses Woodhead 1 1 0
General Baptist Societies.
I. FOREIGN MISSIONS.—TREASURER: W. B. BEMBRIDGE, Esq., Ripley, nr. Derby.
SECRETARY: Rev. W. HILL, Crompton Street, Derby. II. CHILWELL COLLEGE.—TREASURER: T. W. MARSHALL, Esq., Loughborough.
SECRETARY: Rev. W. EVANS, Leicester. III. HOME MISSIONS.—TREASURER: T. H. HARRISON, Esq., Wardwick, Derby.
SECRETARIES: REvs. J. FLETCHER, 322, Commercial Road, E.,
and J. CLIFFORD, 51, Porchester Road, London, W. IV. BUILDING FUND.—TREASURER: C. ROBERTS, Jun., Esq., Peterborough.
SECRETARY: Rev. W. BISHOP, Leicester. Monies should be sent to the Treasurers or Secretaries. Information, Collecting
Books, etc., may be had of the Secretaries.
The Work of Church Members.*
This subject, it will be admitted, does not fail in breadth or in urgency, and yet it has such a seductive vagueness that it is extremely necessary to take care that we are not broader in our treatment of it than it really is.
For it is not the work of Christians generally, of any church or no church, registered or unregistered, avowed or secret, with which we are concerned; but the work of those Christians in particular who have had the light and the courage to enter into the Divine Society of Christ Jesus, assume its responsibilities, and make an honest attempt to discharge its exalted obligations.
Nor is it the duties of particular church members that will detain us—as, e.g., of the pastor, and how he should preach; the deacon, and in what
way he should keep his accounts; the elder, and how he should visit the weary and the wandering; the Sunday school teacher, and how he should secure the attention and affection of the members of his class. These are the works of A, B, C, and D, and of each according to his several ability, but not the common work of ALL church members alike, and simply because they are church members.
Our business is exclusively with the work of church members generally—i.e., the work each church member ought to do in his particular church at Narrow Street or Broad Square; the special obligations he has contracted by entering the communion of saints at Hopefield or Springhead, and the way in which those obligations should be discharged. That field is so wide that it will not be necessary to leap over the fences and drag in the work of “church leaders,” † of “Sunday school superintendents,” and of “pastors” and “teachers,” save in so far as any such individual and official work may
tell upon the manner in which the common work of the church, as a church, is done or not done, well done or ill done.
I. The first work of each and every member of the Church of the Lord Jesus is to esteem truly and appraise highly that special society to which he belongs, be it as inconspicuous as the church in the house of Nymphas, or as impressive and influential as the church in Jerusalem in its palmiest days.
This is fundamental. A man with a mean idea of his work will never do it well. A low conception of the family as an institution, and of its duties and privileges, is fatal to a high-toned home and the rearing of well-disciplined and serviceable children. The citizen who ignores the State will do no more for it than he can help, will pay his taxes with a groan, bury his head in his ledger to escape parochial duties, and skulk behind his counter on the day of the election of a member of Parliament. And the Christian who in his heart regards his vocation as a member of the sacred society of the Church with unexpressed but real contempt, or with a haughty indifference or even with a sluggish affection, will be a drag on the church's progress, a blotch on its beauty, and a withering curse on its life. If he does not feel that his work is the * An Address from the Chair of the London Baptist Association at the Autumnal Conference
held in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Sept. 22, 1879.
+ On this topic cf. General Baptist Magazine, p. 58, 1879. GENERAL BAPTIST MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER, 1879.-VOL. LXXXI.-N. S. No. 119.
work, the right work, the God-given work, and that his place in the church is due to the Divine will, and is to be filled with his whole and his best self, then the feeblest Sanballat will pierce him through with the needle of his scorn, and both sword and trowel will drop out of his hands.
Shall I bear false witness if I say that from some cause or other the Christians of our day have suffered the New Testament idea of the Church of Jesus Christ to become obscured ; and that a mean and beggarly conception of the fellowship of saints, ineffably unworthy of the church of the first days, has taken possession of her members, and wrought vast mischief? Í fear not. John Morley says:- “Those who dwell in the tower of ancient faith look about them with constant apprehension, misgiving, and wonder-with the hurried, uneasy mien of those living amid earthquakes. The religion of the present is no longer an organic power. Old hopes have grown pale, old fears dim; the strong have become weak, and once vivid faiths very numb.” Speaking for ourselves, and for this fellowship of churches, we know this is not true. Our hopes are as bright and as imperishable as ever. Our fears are not at all for our Leader, nor for the issues of the conflict in which we are engaged, and our faiths are strong with the strength of matured experiences of the power and grace of Christ, fortified by a true observation of the history of our fellows, not excluding those represented by the critic.
But as to one item cited above, we are compelled to plead guilty to the impeachment. Owing to influences, we have not time to name, the scepticism of the world concerning the functions and prerogatives of the Church of Christ as an “organic power” has crept to a mournful extent into the church itself, and many of our companions and comrades are ceasing to believe very heartily in its Divine vocation. Admitting its past usefulness, and even eulogising its heroisms and martyrdoms, they fear it will be left behind by the swift march of events, and soon thrown aside as a piece of worn-out machinery. Believers in Christ Jesus talk about church privileges in a tone of sleepy indifference, treat its solemn responsibilities with unaffected contempt, and ask, “what's the good of joining the church ;” as if it were merely a question of personal advantage, and the law of individual gain were the highest law of the Christian life. Men whose goodness it were wicked to question, and whose evangelic activity shames some of us, say “it doesn't matter” whether a Christian is in or out of the church; he can work in “a mission," or “do good” by giving away tracts; he loses nothing, he contracts no guilt, he is not disloyal to his Master. Or if actually on the church lists, yet many content themselves with the payment of a weekly fee, an attendance upon the eloquent ministrations of their elected rabbi for ninety minutes a week, and an occasional appearance at the festival of redeeming love. Moreover, what mean those ghastly figures in our statistics labelled "withdrawn,” if not that a flaccid and nerveless notion of church relationships dominates in the minds of our church members ? Again, why is it that in some churches (not in all, not in most, but in some,) church meetings, i.e., meetings of the church to do its own special work, are either a huge scare or a frightful satire, and, as the enemy says, are either as dry as a bone, or else noisy as a gathering at a tavern, bound up with measureless red tape until there is no free movement, or else the scene of insatiable factiousness and raging anarchy ? Is it not