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G. Drysdale (George Drysdale) Dempsey.

Tubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings online

. (page 10 of 13)
Online LibraryG. Drysdale (George Drysdale) DempseyTubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings → online text (page 10 of 13)
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being taken into the account. The English work
we had always considered as a kind of adjunct
to the other work, or as something thrown in,

that we might do if we could without interfering
205



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206 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

very much with our real work, which we thought
to be among the people of the country or the na-
tives. The Church had now reached a stage in
its development when this did not seem to meet
its demands.

The congregation had contributed liberally to
the native work, and had enlarged the church
building and helped materially in many ways, and
ever stood ready to do anything they were de-
sired to do for the furtherance of the work, but
now they thought they might undertake the sup-
port of a pastor of their own, and so leave him
free to give all his time and strength to the care
of the Church. The matter was laid before Bishop
Harris upon his visit to us, and upon returning
to the United States he appointed the Rev. N. G.
Cheney, of New York East Conference, to Naini
Tal, who was most warmly received, and liberal
arrangements were made for his support. In a
short time a house was built by the congregation
for the pastor's residence, and he soon gathered
about him many devoted and loyal friends. His
pastotfite of six years was in every way a very



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NAINl TAL ENGLISH CHURCH.



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN INDIA. 207

successful one. Many were helped and strength-
ened in the Christian life, and the Church was
made a power for good in our Anglo-Indian com-
munity of Upper India.

During Mr. Cheney's lastyear a beautiful stone
church was built at the lower end of the lake, a
mile away from the Mission premises. In 1880
a most disastrous landslide occurred. The side of
a mountain came down, sweeping away a large
hotel and several other buildings contiguous to
the Mission property, seriously damaging several
of our residences, and especially endangering the
Mission church. The cause of the disaster was a
very heavy fall of rain. In thirty-six hours as
many inches of rain fell ; this loosened the gravelly
soil of the mountain, and, the base having been
dug away for building purposes, the whole moun-
tain side came down, bearing large trees with it,
and sweeping everything before it. This was the
most destructive landslide ever known in the his-
tory of the place. A large amount of property
was destroyed, and much more was seriously dam-
aged, and many lives were lost.



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2o8 TwKNTY-ONK Y^ARS IN InDIA.

It seriously damaged the station, and for a
time threatened its destruction; but the Govern-
ment at once set vigorously about repairing the
damage and introducing precautionary measures,
so the place was soon rendered far more safe than
it had ever been before, and gradually public con-
fidence was restored.

Our Mission houses were not actually de-
stroyed, but they were badly damaged, and it was
feared for a time that they could never again be
safe enough to make people willing to occupy
them. They were much battered and broken, and
the rooms were filled to the ceiling with shale that
came down the mountain side in the great storm.
The Mission church did not suffer as much as
most of our other buildings, but it was thought
to be unsafe, and so measures were at once taken
to build a place of worship at the lower end of
the lake. This was completed in about a year.
At the end of Mr. Cheney's pastorate of six years,
I took over the charge from him. This was my
third appointment to Naini Tal. The new church
building had just been dedicated upon my arrival.



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TwKNTY-ONE Years in India. 209

I immediately set about the renovation of the
Mission property, and found that the buildings
were not as badly damaged as was supposed to
be the case. They were soon repaired, and grad-
ually, as the people gained confidence, they were
rented and occupied.

The same year that I took charge of the Eng-
lish Church, Miss E. I. Knowles, of New Jersey,
came out to take charge of an English girls'
boarding-school, which had been opened a short
time before. She conducted this school for five
or six years with signal success, and during her
administration a fine property was purchased for
the school, and it was placed on a substantial and
permanent foundation. Under the able manage-
ment of its present principal. Miss S. A. Easton,
and her very efficient assistant. Miss Rue Sellers,
it has become one of the best schools of its kind
in India— one that does us the greatest credit,
and of which we are all proud. I found a school
also for English-speaking boys, which had been
opened by Dr. Waugh during Mr. Cheney's pas-
torate. The Rev. H. F. Kastendieck, now of



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S5IO Tw^NTY-ON^ Years in India.

New York East Conference, was in charge of it.
The school was under the management of the
English Church, through its pastor. It was con-
ducted by a committee of gentlemen representing
the Church during my pastorate of two years
following. It then passed over into the hands
of the Conference, and is conducted by a com-
mittee appointed by that body.

This school now has a fine property and loca-
tion, and is prospering under the principalship of
the Rev. Dr. Butcher. It is a fine school now,
and stands well among other schools of the kind
in the country. For a season I was engaged in
native work, and spent some time in Eastern
Kumaon and in the Tarai. In Pithoragarh, on
the borders of Nepal, a very prosperous work
had been built up by Dr. Gray and Miss Anna
Budden. Dr. Gray had opened a hospital, which
was much needed in this locality. The building
was well suited to the needs of the place, and all
of its appointments were excellent. I found it
under the charge of Mr. Amos Miller, a very
competent native doctor, who is still in charge of
it, so far as I am informed.



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Tw^nTy-on^ Years in India. 211

At that time, Miss Budden was on leave to
the United States, and Miss Nickerson and Miss
Phebe Rowe were in charge of the work in the
women's department. They were both of them
noble missionaries. A few years later, Miss Nick-
erson died on her way home, and was buried in
the Red Sea. Miss Rowe died with us in Naini
Tal, a few years ago, and we laid her away in
our beautiful station cemetery, where Bishop
Parker now rests. I can say without any qualifi-
cation or doubt, that Miss Rowe was one of the
most saintly characters it has ever been my privi-
lege to know. She was greatly honored by all
that knew her, whether among Europeans or na-
tives. Her loss was greatly felt by us all in
India.

We had several schools located at different
points about the district out there. These were
full of interest to me. I exceedingly enjoyed vis-
iting them and meeting the people, who would
come to the schoolhouse to see me, thus affording
me an excellent opportunity to preach to them.
I always made a point of seeing any sick people



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212 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

that might present themselves, and I often went
with them to their homes to see sick ones there,
that could not come to see me, and often they
would bring their sick out to intercept me on the
road where they knew I would pass. There were
a great number of lepers in this part of the hills.
We had many cases presenting themselves at the
hospital, in cases where the disease was in its in-
cipient stages; that is, before it had so far de-
veloped as to be unmistakable. On Sundays, at
the close of our morning service, a score or more
of these poor unfortunate people would be found
sitting on the ground, a little distance away, so
as to be quite separate from the other people,
waiting for us to speak to them and make them
some small gift, to enable them to procure food.
Since that time an asylum has been built for these
people in that region, and they are well cared for
now, both as regards their bodies and souls. The
circumstances attending the opening of the asy-
lum are rendered very pathetic by the case of Miss
Mary Reid, who is the superintendent of it. Miss
Reid is one of the missionaries of the Woman's



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA. 213

Missionary Society, and while home on furlough
she felt that in some way, entirely unknown to
her, she had contracted the dreadful disease. She
consulted physicians in this country, but they were
not familiar with the disease, and could not de-
cide with any degree of certainty ; but the general
opinion was that it was leprosy. She left home
and returned, feeling that she was a leper. On
her way she consulted physicians in London who
had been in India and were familiar with the
disease; they gave it as their opinion that it was
leprosy, but it is not always easy to diagnose the
disease in its earlier stages, as I well know from
actual experience. But Miss Reid went back feel-
ing that this great burden of sorrow had been
assigned her in God's providence for a purpose,
and that was, that she should devote her life to
ministering to these poor suffering people.

In due time an asylum was built on a beautiful
eminence overlooking the shore valley, as you
approach it from the west, and she has had charge
of it for some years now. Miss Reid is a culti-
vated and devoted Christian lady, and has nobly



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214 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

borne her heavy cross. She is doing a most gra-
cious work of compassion, and she will have many
stars to shine in her crown from among these
poor afflicted people. I am glad to say, that ac-
cording to my latest information, her condition is
much improved, and she believes she is cured.

Miss Budden has done a great work in that
part of the province, particularly among women.
She had a great work when I knew it, which was
quite a number of years ago ; it must have grown
a good deal since that time. I have heard it said
that among the people generally in that region of
the country, she is held in the highest r^;ard and
is honored by all.

To the north of Pithoragarh, up imder the
snowy range, near the pass over into Thibet, is
the country of the Bhootias, where Miss Dr. Shel-
don has labored untiringly for some years, and
her devoted friend and assistant. Miss Brown,
who is a Naini Tal girl, and whom I have known
from her childhood. A few like Phebe Rowe
and Miss Brown will amply repay us for all we
have done for these people. I think we shall yet



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Twenty-one Years in India. 215

have many missionaries raised up from among
the English-speaking people of India. They are
particularly well adapted to the work in some
respects; they know the language of the natives
from childhood, and, having grown up among
the people, they naturally know them much better
than we can who come to them farther on in life
and from another distant and very different coun-
try. It is a very important matter for a mission-
ary to know the people well and to sympathize
with them; it is not a very easy thing for us to
really come to know them ; it takes time and effort
to do this. Those born in the country have an
advantage in this respect. I have felt for years
that if we can reach English-speaking people, and
get them baptized with the Holy Spirit, we would
surely reach the natives and a revival would break
out among them. I do not think the importance
of our schools and English work generally in
India is fully appreciated in this country. I think
our schools for this class of people should have a
heartier support at home than they seem to have.
At this point a few words about the hill peo-



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2i6 Tw^NTY-ONK Years in India.

pie may be well. As we come among them at
first we are impressed by the fact that they are
not like the plains people in many of their char-
acteristics. The Hindus are of Aryan origin;
their ancestors came from some place in Central
Asia, probably Persia ; a portion of the same stock
emigrated to the West, entered Europe, and we
are descended from them^ so that we, and the
ancestors of the Hindus, are of the same race.
When the Aryans arrived in Upper India they
found it already inhabitated by a people that came
into the country from Central Asia farther to the
East. These people are called Indo-Burmans, or
Kolarians. The Aryans crowded them out of
the plains and drove them into the mountains,
where many of them may be found at the pres-
ent time, not much advanced from what they were
when the Aryans first came in contact with them.
Generally in India they have been assimilated
into Hinduism. They have accepted caste and
call themselves Hindus. Buddhism, too, has fil-
tered into the hills from the way of Burmah, so
we find it in Nepal. Kumaon formerly belonged



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TwENtY-ON^ Years in India. 217

to the Nepalese, and was taken from them by the
British. We have no Buddhism in the hills, so
far as I know, in the British possessions, or in the
plains either. Buddhism is strong in Ceylon and
in Burmah. There are about eight or nine mil-
lions of Buddhists in those sections, and about as
many of the aboriginals living in the hills and
wild parts of the country.

There came into India by the passes to the
Northwest, the same that the Aryans, later, en-
tered the country by, a class sometimes called
Scythians, now usually known as Dravidians,
probably from Turkistan; these swept on to the
South and settled Southern India, but they have
all been assimilated by the Hindus. Sir William
Hunter thinks the number of undoubted descend-
ants of the Aryans is probably not much more than
about twenty millions. It must be seen that the
assimilating power of the Hindu system is amaz-
ing. There are over two hundred and seven mil-
lions of so-called Hindus in India. There is very
little attention paid as to what a man believes,
or what he does, so long as he recognizes the



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2i8 Tw^NTY-ON^ Years in India.

supremacy of the Brahmins, and obeys the laws
of caste; so it can be seen that Brahminism or
Hinduism is composed of a great mass of crude
and gross ideas, systems, and observances, quite
beyond the power of comprehension, certainly be-
yond our power or ability to explain. Hinduism
is, in fact, a great mass of corruption, with very
little redeeming connected with it. To me it is
a marvel that the people reared under it are as
good as they are, or that they have any good
about them. Before passing entirely from East-
ern Kumaon, it may be well to mention one in-
cident that occurred at that time, that has given
me much encouragement and satisfaction. A
man of rather a high caste came to me one day,
bringing with him a Testament in the Hindee
language, and urgently entreated me to read it
with him, and explain it to him. Though in-
tensely pressed with work of many different
kinds, I promised to give him a half hour each
day, he coming very promptly at the hour named.
We began our reading, closing with a short
prayer. This was continued for several wedcs,



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'TwfiNTY-ON^ Years in India. a 19

until I left the place. Some months afterward,
word came to me one day in Naini Tal that a
man in a certain part of the station, who was dy-
ing with cholera, was most anxious to see me. I
hastened to him and found him in the collapse
stage of the disease, and evidently near his end.
His mind was perfectly clear, as is likely to be
the case with one dying from that fearful dis-
ease. He expressed his delight at seeing me, and
said he wished to tell me how glad he was that I
spent those hours with him in Shore, and taught
him to know and love Jesus. He added, "I am
not afraid to die; I am going to Him." He had
victory through the blood of Calvary, and there,
in that little hut — ^he lying on the ground, with no
human friend near, and dying — ^was heaven. It
was only one instance out of many of a similar
kind ; it was only one poor man — one soul saved
— ^yet it was amply worth all I had gone through
in course of my missionary life in India. The
memory of that hour will never be forgotten.

This year I had charge of some interesting
work in the Tarai. There is a class of people



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220 Tw^nTy-one Years in India.

through that section called Tarus. They were
neither Hindus nor Mohammedans, and we knew
very little of their history, as to where they came
from, and what brought them where they were.
We thought they gave promise of becoming
Christians in a body, as the Sikhs in the Morada-
bad district did in the early history of our work ;
and along at different times through the years
that had intervened, since Brother Thobum had
come in contact with them while he was living at
Naini Tal, we heard of them^ and hoped much
from them, but somehow they never made any
decisive move toward becoming Christians. They
came to me and besought me to visit them. I did
so, and spent some time among them. I found
one thing seemed to stand in their way ; they were
exceedingly fond of drink. They claimed they
could not live in the Tarai without it, as much
of the year it is fearfully sickly all through that
region. This, I think, had much to do in turn-
ing them from their purpose to become Christians,
as we strongly insisted, as the first step, that they
must abandon all forms of intoxicating drink.



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TwENTY-ON^ Years in India. 221

This they were not willing to do. Had they lived
in localities where we could have had access to
them, I think it might have been different with
them. As it was, they were surrounded by those
who would have been bitter enemies to them
had they became Christians, and being demoral-
ized by drink, their convictions were not suffi-
ciently deep to enable them to face the difficulties
that confronted them. They knew that they could
have but little help from us, as we could go
into that section during only a very small part
of the year ; it would be suicidal to attempt it, so
they felt that they would be at the mercy of their
heathen and Mohammedan neighbors. So what
seemed a movement full of promise, failed.
Many others were on the point of embracing
Christianity in that region, and no doubt would
have done so if we could have properly cared for
them.

We had a number of schools that we superin-
tended for Mr. J. C. MacDonald, the officer of
Government in charge of that district. Mr. Mac-
Donald was a nephew of Sir Henry Ramsay, and



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222 TWENTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

was a most excellent Government officer, and did
a great deal to improve the condition of the peo-
ple of the Tarai. Dr. Dease and myself rendered
him what help we could in caring for the schools
and dispensaries located at different points for
the advantage of the people. We have every rea-
son to think that our efforts were appreciated,
both by Mr. MacDonald and the people them-
selves. He was a warm friend of us both, and
was most ready to help us in every way in our
work. He died in middle life from diseases con-
tracted in this sickly country. His was a noble
devotion to duty. He did, in fact, give his life
for the people he presided over as a Government
servant. I often thought of him as an example
to me, and earnestly sought grace that I might
be as faithful in caring for the souls of the peo-
ple as he was in caring for their worldly interests.
This closed my third period of service, and,
with many regrets, I felt it necessary to return to
the United States, regarding it probable that my
woric was done in India.



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CHAPTER XIIL
The Hindu People.

Th^ last census, that of 1901, makes the pop-
ulation of India to be 294,382,676. Of these
there are 207,147,023 Hindus, and 62,458,077
Mohammedans. These are the people with whom
we have to do chiefly in Upper India, where our
Missions were originally located.

The importance of a thorough knowledge of
the people to a missionary, and, in fact, to any
who would approach them understanding^, with
a purpose of gaining an influence over them and
doing them good, can not by any means be over-
estimated. Therefore, I propose to insert a chap-
ter on both these classes, and I trust my long and
intimate acquaintance with these people may be
considered a sufficient apology for any seeming
lack of unity in the plan of this work.

It seems that the Hindus are, like ourselves,
323



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224 TwKNTY-ON^ YEARS IN InDIA.

of Aryan origin, and, from what we can gather,
they came from some place in Persia and entered
India by way of the passes to the northwest, and
settled somewhere to the north of Delhi, in what
is now known as the Pan jab, about 2,000 years
B. C. They were a noble race, large, well-formed,
thoughtful, and intelHgent. They were an agri-
cultural people, and kept flocks and herds. They
had a decided religious tendency, and worshiped
one Supreme Deity. The relations of the family
were known and valued, woman was accorded
her rightful position, early marriages were dis-
credited, there were no idols among them at this
period. They had their priests who were their
religious teachers, and were respected and looked
up to as such. Their sacred books are called
Vedas, from Vid, to know, and are four in num-
ber. The first of these, the Rig- Veda, is com-
posed of h5mins used in worship. The Vedic
period of Hindu history dates from about the
fourteenth century B. C, and extends to the time
of Manu, in about the seventh or eighth century
B. C. The Vedas were not reduced to writing



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA. 225

until scMnewhat later than the fourteenth century;
but were in use orally before that. They recog-
nized one Supreme Being, but the elements of na-
ture they regarded as manifestation of Him.
Indra was the god of rain, Agni the god of fire,
Surya the sun, Ushas the dawn. They seemed
to have been greatly impressed by natural phe-
nomena, and these manifestations were" regarded
as inferior forms of the Deity. Along through
these centuries the Sanscrit ceased to be a spoken
language; if it ever had been, it now ceased to be
generally understood. The priests alone knew
the mystic texts and sacred rites. An error in
pronunciation might prove the destruction of the
worshiper. All this worked for the elevation of
the Brahmins, and gradually they grew into a
caste, into which no one could enter who was not
of priestly descent. The Code of Manu was evi-
dently the work of the Brahmins, and it was so
constructed as to work for their supremacy.

Then followed the period of philosophy and
ritualism. There are three systems of philoso-
phy: First, the Nyaya, which may be denomi-
15



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226 TwKNTY-ON^ YEARS IN InDIA.

nated as theistic; second, the Sankhya, which is
atheistic; the third, the Vedanta, which is pan-
theistic. It had now become a period of specu-
lation and ritualism. Nothing is real, all is Maya,
or illusion ; a shadow or a dream ; God is all, and
all Is God.

While speculation was thus busy, sacerdotal-
ism was continually strengthening its hold upon
the people. The Brahmin had made himself in-
dispensable in all sacred rites ; he alone could pro-
nounce the words of awful mystery and power on
which depended all weal or woe. On all occa-
sions the priest must be called in and implicitly
obeyed. Never was sacerdotalism more complete
or more arrogant and tyrannical. Then came in
the system of caste, stereotyping the existing or-
der, declaring against all change, and making it a
sacred institution. Form is now declared to be
more important than doctrine or the gods them-
selves. Covering this period of ritualism are the
six Shasters. Then covering the period of mod-
ern Hinduism are the eighteen Puranas.

Along with pantheism came in pol3rtheism



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TwENTY-ON]e Years in India. 2^7

and the doctrine of transmigration. Hinduism is
a strange medley of these systems. It has ab-
sorbed into itself the local deities and demons of
the Animistic races. Indeed, it has absorbed


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13

Online LibraryG. Drysdale (George Drysdale) DempseyTubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings → online text (page 10 of 13)