Copyright
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 11 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 11 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


every system of bdief it has come in ccxitact with.
Buddhism arose as a protest against the arro-
gance and corruptions of Brahminism, and when
they failed to overcome this system by force, they
resorted to their usual artifice, and incorporated
Buddha into their pantheon and made him the
ninth incarnation of Vishnu.

Brahminism has, however, never for one mo-
ment failed to maintain its claim to supremacy,
and the sternest restrictions of caste. Men may
do what they like, believe what they please; as
long as they observe these two things, they are
regarded good Hindus. Macaulay said of Brah-
minism : "All is hideous and grotesque and ig-
noble. The thirty-three gods of Vedic times have
been increased to three hundred and thirty-three
millions of gods. The vilest acts are unblush-
ingly ascribed to their gods. The very best of
them are impure, and some of them are vile be-



Digitized by



Google



228 TwKNTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

yond an3rthing we can imagine even. Kalee is
a bloodthirsty demon, and yet multitudes worship
her to-day. The whole system is impure and cor-
rupt beyond description. The gods are liars and
impure; why should the people be anything else?
You can not expect the people to be better than
the gods they worship." The whole system of
Brahminism is corrupt and hideous. I have seen
things with my own eyes in Naini Tal, right
alongside a high form of Christian civilization,
that I could not speak of. I have witnessed things
in their temples so vile and impure that they can
not be spoken of. I have come in very close con-
tact with the people, not only as a missionary,
but as a medical man, and I know how very cor-
rupt the people are.

I do not charge it so much against the people
as against the system. It is dreadful to think of
what Hindu mothers teach their children of the
doings of their gods. Some people in these days
are talking about the beautiful things they find
in the Brahminical system. It is beautiful to see
young women married to the gods in the temples,
and the worship of the "linga" is beautiful as al-



Digitized by



Google



I'wfiNTY-ONje Years in India. 229

legory. I have only to say all this shows what
poor mortals we are and how easily duped. These
young women are common characters and bring
gain to the Brahmins as the price of their vile-
ness. The beautiful things of Brahminism are
indeed Maya and illusion.

The heathen are wickedj they are simken in
fearful depths of sin. This is the fact; and only
the Gospd of the Son of God can save them.
That can do it, as we know; we have seen it
save them and make them pure, good, and lovely.
A very superior native gentleman, highly edu-
cated, and holding a high position in one of the
departments of the medical service of the Gov-
ernment, was at one time much exercised on the
subject of religion, and he met me with this state-
ment, as I urged the claims of Christ upon him :
"It is impossible for me to live a pure life. I
will not be a hypocrite." The Hindus are to me
an interesting people; I can make allowance for
them; we could not expect anything better of
them when we consider the system under which
they are reared.



Digitized by



Google



2yy TwENtY-ONE Years in India.

The most prominent and characteristic institu-
tion of Hinduism, other than Brahminism, is
caste. The power of caste is as irrational as it is
unbounded. The touch, even the shadow, of a
low caste man pollutes the man of caste preten-
sions. The high caste man honors and worships
a cow, but shrinks from the touch of a man of
low caste. It is a terrible system, holding men
in bondage worse than African slavery. Its whole
tendency is to divide and separate men and make
them regardless of each other's wdfare. It
makes them indiflferent to the needs and suffer-
ings of others.

The higher classes are polished in their man-
ners, have quick active minds, and are fond of
learning, as a rule. Very many are seddng edu-
cation, but the great mass of the people are ex-
ceedingly poor and ignorant Their ideas of sin
and righteousness are totally different from ours.
Their rdigious duties chiefly consist of repeating
the name of a god, or offering a brief sentence of
prayer, bathing, observing the rules of caste, mak-
ing the required offerings to the Brahmins, or at
the temple. No sense of moral obligation seems



Digitized by



Google



Tw^Ni'Y-ONE Years in India. 231

to enter into the thought of a Hindu. If he seeks
to propitiate his god, it is that he may do him no
harm.

I do not think that the Hindus are naturally
cruel or hard-hearted, more than others; but they
are selfish no doubt, and indifferent to the wants
of others ; their system makes them so. Woman
is assigned an inferior position, but she is by no
means always kept in it. The case of widows is
extremely hard ; many of them are mere children,
and are denied everything calculated to brighten
the life of a child. Early marriages are also one
of the abuses of Hindu society. The age of con-
sent has now been raised to twelve years.

They are intensely conservative and proud of
their religion, and very unwilling to relinquish it.
It is very much against their feelings to receive
their religion from foreigners. The Arjra Samajh
is an effort to reform Hinduism by restoring the
authority of the Vedas. The Brahmo Samajh is
also a kind of compromise, accepting some things
from the Christian religion and retaining the best
of their own system.



Digitized by



Google



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

They have but little enterprise in business pur-
suits, anii are content to follow in paths already
made. They have but little public spirit, and less
of what we call patriotism. I am inclined to
think, however, that this is growing on the whole.

They do not lack mental activity, but they do
lack in character, in breadth of view and firmness
of grasp, and self-reliance in cases of unexpected
emergency. They lack versatility ?.nd originality.
They are clever copyists and clerks rather than
originators and masters. They seem utterly to
lack the inventive faculty. The higher classes
are given to speculative thought, all enshrouded
in a blind fatality. The lower classes are ig-
norant and inclined to indifference. As you min-
gle with them you hear much of "kismat ke bat,"
that is fate. They meet reverses stoically; "it is my
fate," they say. Large numbers are now beccwn-
ing Christians, especially from the lower classes.
Some of our native Christians are filling high and
responsible positions. All classes among the
Hindus, I think, have a very high conception of
the character of our blessed Lord.



Digitized by



Google



CLASS OF CHRISTIAN GIRLS.

'One Generation from Heathenism.)



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



CHAPTER XIV.
The Mohammedans of India.

I HAVE Stated in a former chapter that the
last census makes the Moslem population of India
62,458,077, which is nearly one-third of the pop-
ulation of the whole Mohammedan world. They
are very numerous in Upper India, especially in
the cities and larger towns. As they were the
rulers of the country for nearly six hundred
years, until the British period began in 1757, they
naturally have a good deal of influence and power
still. As a class they are much improved from
what they were a hundred and fifty years ago,
when they first came under British rule.

Mohammed was bom in Mecca> in Arabia, in

the year 569. At the age of forty he claimed to

have been commissioned of God as a prophet, and

that his mission was to convert the world to the

true faith. He soon gained proselytes, raised an
233



Digitized by



Google



234 TwENTY-ONis Years in India.

army of Arabs for the subjugation of the world.
The career of conquest was begun by Mohammed
himself soon after his flight to Medina in 622,
and was carried on with great vigor by his suc-
cessors, so that province after province, and coun-
try after country, were overcome in rapid suc-
cession. The purpose was to establish by the
sword a universal empire, in which there should
be one prophet and one religion. The Moham-
medans were from the first violent opposers of
all idolatry. Their creed was summed up in these
sententious words : "There is one God, and Mo-
hammed is his prophet'' Every country or city
they overcame was required to embrace the faith
of Islam and pay tribute. In case of refusal the
men were put to death, the women and childr«i
were reduced to slavery. It is said that the fol-
lowers of the prophet overcame Persia, Egypt,
and Spain in two or three campaigns ; but it was
nearly three centuries after the first invasion be-
fore they were able to gain any substantial foot-
ing in India. There had been several invasions
of the country by the Mohammedans before their



Digitized by



Google



TwENTY-ON^ Years in India. 235

supremacy became established, which dates from
1206 A. D., the time of Kootub-ud-deen, who was
the first to occupy Delhi as the seat of Moslem
power. A celebrated monument of his reign ex-
ists in the Kutub-Minar, one of the most beauti-
ful shafts in the world, two hundred and thirty-
seven feet high, about twelve miles out in what
is known as old Delhi.

The most remarkable of all the Mohammedan
dynasties that arose was that of the Moguls.
The Moguls were a tribe of Tartars who roamed
with their flocks through Central Asia as far as
the Chinese wall. Genghis Khan was their leader.
Many of than had come into India with the lead-
ers of diflferent invasions, and remained in it.
Baber was the founder of this dynasty. His
reign b^gan in 1526. He was succeeded by his
son, Himiayun, and he again by Akhbar, who
was, without all doubt, the greatest and best ruler
India ever had among the Mohammedans. He
was succeeded by Jehanghir, and he by Shah
Jdian, and he again by Aurungzebe, during whose
reign it became evident that the Mogul power had



Digitized by



Google



236 Twenty-one Years in India.

entered upon a period of decay. Strife and cor-
ruption at court, disorganization in the camp,
and general and widespread discontent among the
people on account of the imposition of the jezzia,
a poll-tax, levied by Mohammedans on all subject
to them, and excessive taxes on the land, indi-
cate clearly that the process of decline had set in.

Thirty-six years later, Nadir Shah, king of
Persia, invaded India. During his occupancy of
the city of Delhi one of the most dreadful massa-
cres took place that is known in history. For two
days the streets ran with blood. No country in
the world has suffered more from invasions than
India. This was the last. A little more than a
score of years brings us to the end of the period
of Mohammedan supremacy in India, and the be-
ginning of the Christian period of her history, a
period in which the country has enjoyed the bless-
ings of peace and security as never before.

The kings of the Mohammedan period were
generally corrupt and almost constantly engaged
in wars to extend their dominions or to spread
the Mohammedan faith. They gave little atten-



Digitized by



Google



Twenty-one Years in India. 237

tion to the improvement of the coimtry or to the
needs of the common people. They cared but lit-
tle for them except to plunder them. There was
scant protection for life and property. In those
days many Hindus were forced to become Mo-
hammedans. These rulers, with few exceptions,
were cruel and utterly unprincipled, caring liter-
ally nothing for the prosperity and happiness of
their people. Perhaps Baber, Akhbar, and Shah
Jehan may be regarded as exceptions. There is
very little, indeed, to be found in the Moslem
period that commends it to the enlightened judg-
ment of the present day.

The Mohammedans are a vigorous, self-as-
serting people, inclined to look with contempt
upon others, and to be intolerant, vindictive, and
immoral. Their system is bad and can but tend
to immorality.

They look and appear much like the Hindus ;
to one who is strange to the country, they are dis-
tinguished with some difficulty. There are some
slight differences in dress ; their houses are much
like those of their Hindu neighbors; they live



Digitized by



Google



238 TwENTY-ONis Years in India.

together on the same streets, and their style of
living is in many respects similar. Their food is
much like the Hindu's, with the exception that
they use meat as an article of diet, while the
Hindus abhor it. They have no caste; but living
in close contact as they do with the Hindus, they
are much influenced by them as to their customs,
more than they themselves often realize. In
many Moslem countries they will readily eat with
Christians, but in India they will very seldom do
this. The arrangement of society with them is
much less complex than that of the Hindus.
Through Upper India, they usually observe a
fourfold classification, into Sayad, Mogul, Pa-
than, and Sheikh. The Sayads are the most hon-
ored of the four, as they claim descent from the
prophet himself. The Moguls are, as the name
implies, descendants from the Tartar conquerors
of India. They are less numerous than the other
divisions, and in some cases still preserve a
marked Turanian type of countenance. They are
generally known by the title of Beg affixed to
their names, and often use the prefix Mir, or
Mirza, from Amirzada, son of a noble.



Digitized by



Google



TwHNTY-ONE Ykars in India. 239

The Pathans are of Afghan origin, and dis-
tinguish themselves by the title Khan, which they
affix to their name.

Sheikh is more common. Any one who does
not belong to either of the classes before named,
is, or may be, called a Sheikh. Those who be-
come converts from Hinduism usually take this
title, and from having been used so commonly it
has long since ceased to have any special mean-
ing or value.

The Mohammedans are divided into two
great divisions, the Sunnis and the Shias, and
to these may be added two others nearly as im-
portant — the Wahabis and Sufis.

First, the Sunnis are regarded as the orthodox
party. They accept Abu Bekr, Omar, and 0th-
man, as well as AH, as legitimate successors of
the prophet. They hold to tradition, and by it
neutralize some particulars in Mohammedan law
that are of an objectionable nature, affirming that
Mohammed himself repealed them, though they
are still in the Koran. They are divided into four
great sects, the Hanifs, Shafts, Malikis, and Ham-
balis.



Digitized by



Google



240 TwENTY-ON^ Years in India.

Second, the Shias regard Ali, the husband of
Fatimah, the prophet's daughter, as the true suc-
cessor of Mohammed, and that Abu Bekr, Omar,
and Othman were impostors or usurpers. They
hold to traditions, and the twelve Imams, begin-
ning with Ali, and ending with Abu Kasmi, the
Madhi, who, they claim, is still living, and that he
will yet appear and lead them in the conquest of
the world. This belief is seemingly dying out
since their disappointment in regard to the so-
called Madhi of the Soudan some years ago.
They observe the commemoration of the Imams,
Ali, Hassan, and Hussain at the Moharram with
great enthusiasm. The Persians are usually
Shias, while Turkey is the stronghold of the Sun-
nis, and this accounts for the bitter antagonism
between the Turks and Persians.

Third, the Wahabis are a very fanatical and
bigoted class, a very dangerous element in the
political interests of the countries where they are
numerous.

The fourth class, the Sufis, are not very
ntunerous, but they have great influence in some



Digitized by



Google



Twenty-one Years in India. 241

places. Their creed seems to be a mixture of
Mohammedanism and Pantheism.

Mohammed in his early life seems to have
been a sincere seeker after truth, and gave prom-
ise of becoming a great religious reformer; but
it is doubtful if he was what he appeared to be.
It is certain that soon after the Hegira he threw
off the mask and assumed his true character as an
impostor and h)rpocrite. He resorted to the sword
to spread his doctrines; he declared war, made
treaties and broke them, encouraged assassina-
tions, and ordered general massacres on the as-
sumed authority of a revelation from God. In
his private life he gave way to his baser passions
and answered criticism by pretended revelations
from heaven. There can be no question but that
during his last years he became corrupt, vindic-
tive, and cruel.

The Mohammedan system has in it some
truth, but it is mixed with much that is base and
corrupt. They believe in one God, and are bit-
ter opponents of all forms of idolatry. They re-
ject the doctrine of the Trinity, but admit th^^t



Digitized by



Google



242 TWHNTY-ONH Yl^ARS IN InDIA.

our Lord was a prophet. They deny that he was
put to death on the cross. They have no atone-
ment, they believe in a heaven of voluptuous and
sensual joys, and in a hell for all infidels. They
believe in angels good and bad, and are great
fatalists. They admit the Divine origin of our
Holy Scriptures, but say we have corrupted them.

The Moslems of India are in most respects in
advance of those in most, if not all, other coun-
tries. This is owing to their close contact with
Christianity in India. The Government is Chris-
tian, and for nearly a hundred years has been open
to missionary effort.

Every missionary in Upper India comes di-
rectly in contact with them while pursuing his
work. In the cities they form a part of every con-
gregation he addresses. A portion of the scholars
in every mission school are from this dass of
people. They have come in close contact with
all our evangelizing methods for many years, and
it has had its influence upon them. They were
quick to see that they must avail themselves of the
advantages of education offered by Government



Digitized by



Google



TWENTY-ONK YKARS in InDIA. 243

and by missionaries, or they would be left behind
by their Hindu neighbors in securing positions
of honor and emolument offered by Government,
and by business establishments in the present day.
They saw that they must not depend upon their
system of education in Arabic and Persian and
the Koran, but that they must acquire the English
language, and become acquainted with geography,
history, and mathematics, if they would anything
like hold their own. The consequence is that we
have a constantly growing class of educated and
advanced men who are not satisfied with the old
order of things. They see the great disadvantage
at which the doctrines of Islam appear, placed
alongside the teachings of our Lord Jesus, and
they are beginning to demand reforms. They
are coming to understand that their polygamy,
concubinage, and seclusion of women must be
abandoned. Great changes are evidently passing
over the Moslem population of India. They are
investigating the grounds of their faith in
the Koran and the general teachings of Mo-
hammed with a thoroughness and fairness never



Digitized by



Google



244 TwHNTY-ON^ Years in India.

shown before. They are considering the claims
of Christianity in a far better spirit than thej^
have shown in former days. The work among
them in India is very hopeful of great results in
the near future. A fair proportion of converts in
our native Christian Church have come from
among the Mohammedan population. A consid-
erable number of the very ablest ministers in the
native Church have come from these people.



Digitized by



Google



CHAPTER XV.

Again Pastor of the Naini Tal Church.

In 1894 I again went out to India, after an
absence of ten years, and much to my surprise was
appointed to Naini Tal. Dr. Waugh had been in
charge of the native work and was now desiring
to return home on leave, so I took over charge of
the native work from him, and at the same time
I was to relieve Mr. Stuntz of the care of the
English Church. Mr. Stuntz was principal of
Oak Openings Boys' High School, and the care
of this institution taxed him to the utmost, and
he felt that he must be relieved of a portion of
his work. Immediately after Conference he was
taken ill, which proved so serious that he was
obliged to return to the United States. I had ex-
pected to have his assistance in conducting the
services of the English Church, but now the whole
of it fell on me. I was much disappointed in this,
245



Digitized by



Google



246 TwiSNTY-ONH Years in India.

as I had anticipated great pleasure in being asso-
ciated with him in this work.

I now propose to explain, as well as I can, the
exact situation of this department of our work.
It is not easy for people here at home to under-
stand just the condition in India, particularly in
regard to English work, and not the interest is
felt in it, it has seemed to me, that its impor-
tance demands. It was now ten years since I made
over charge of this Church to the Rev. James
Baume, who came out to relieve me so that I
might enter native work. Of course, in this
period, many changes had taken place. Sir Henry
Ramsay had retired and returned to England and
had passed away. Mr. MacDonald had died.
James Eraser had gone to New Zealand. Many
others had died or gone home to England. Most
Europeans in our part of India are in Govern-
ment service in one form or another. The regu-
lations of the service require them to retire at a
comparatively early age, when they usually re-
turn to England to spend their declining years.
Very few indeed make India their home after



Digitized by



Google



I^wknTy-on:^ Ykars in India. 247

their term of service has ended. This makes Eng-
lish society very changeable, especially in a place
like Naini Tal. This being a siimmer resort, peo-
ple were coming and going continually ; our con-
gregation not only changed from year to year,
but it changed a good deal in course of a single
season. We wotdd have many during the latter
part of the season that we did not have during
the first part of it, ♦and some that we had at the
beginning we would not have at its close. The
Government allows a month of leave a year to
most in its service. This may be saved up, and
three months taken every third year. Many do
this way, and so have three months in the hills
at a time. This, some take the first half of the
hot season, others take the last half; the hot sea-
son continues about six months. So the congre-
gation changes a good deal about the middle of
the hot season. This feature of our English work
has its disadvantages, of course, but the circum-
stances are peculiar in India, and these must be
considered. I have always felt it to be of the
greatest importance to keep a warm religious at-



Digitized by



Google



^4^ TwknTy-onk Years in India.

mosphere at a great center of influence like Naini
Tal. People would come from distant and iso-
lated places, where for many months at a time
they would have no religious privileges whatever,
so far as Church going is concerned. In some
cases people so situated would become indifferent
as regards Church going, but generally English
people are pleased to attend Church when such
privileges are afforded thenr. Many who are se-
cluded feel it very much, and long to hear God's
Holy Word preached. In all the years I have
had charge of our English Church in Naini Tal,
I have tried to make our services helpful to all,
not by any means forgetting these cases. I have
often had assurances of appreciation of our serv-
ices by those who were far away, and many years
afterward. A Christian man's influence in India
is multiplied sevenfold beyond what it is at home,
under all ordinary circimistances. So it may be
seen how important it is that those who bear the
name of Christ should be Christians indeed. The
sentiment expressed in Charles Wesley's hymn



Digitized by



Google



l^w^NtY-ONK Years in India. 1J49

No. 805, in our Hymnal, has a meaning in India
that to me it has never had elsewhere.

"We for Christ our Master stand
Lights in a benighted land:
We our dying Lord confess ;
We are Jesus* witnesses."

It is this that makes our English work in a
place like Naini Tal so very important; it reacts
with such peculiar force upon our native work.
Every European life in India is a power for good
or evil in influence%upon the natives. This is one
of the great obstacles in our way that does much
to hinder the progress of the work — ^the irrelig-
ious lives of many Europeans — the people see.

A few years ago the headquarters of the Ben-
gal army were located at Naini Tal. This brought


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 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 11 of 13)