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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

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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 5 of 13)
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section of the country. The morning of the 26th
of February, 1859, two forces met here as before,
one from the East and the other from the West,
approaching along the same lines as those of the
previous year. The party from the West was a
missionary and his wife, and the other from llie
East was a native minister, his wife, and two chil-
dren — ^a son and daughter — in an ox cart.

No booming cannon announced our arrival
that morning; no bugle blasts were heard; no
flashing sabers or bristling bayonets were seen.
It was a day of small things, as the world esti-



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Twenty-one Years in India. 93

mates values, and yet it was a day that would
mark a more momentous crisis in the history of
Bareilly than any that had come to her before.
The time will come when the historian will wish
to gather up the items of this day as they oc-
curred, and it will be recognized as marking a
new and better era to all this province, of which
Bareilly is the capital. It was a momentous hour
to us ; we felt that we were this day commissioned
as ambassadors for Christ to this great, turbulent,
and wicked city. We felt Christ very near us ; the
ground on which we stood seemed to be holy
ground. I think I never felt the grandeur of our
high and holy calling as missionaries as I did that
hour. I shall never forget that day; it was a
marked day in my life. I felt it to be a very
great honor to be permitted to raise the Gospel
standard here. But we had much to do to get a
place ready to shelter ourselves for the night, but
we were soon settled as well as we could expect
to be at this juncture of affairs.

I think it was the day of our arrival that a
Sawar, native trooper, came dashing into our



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94 Twenty-one Years in India.

compound — the inclosure surrounding a resi-
dence — ^bearing a communication from the Mag-
istrate Sahib John Inglis, in which he expressed
his pleasure to know that we had arrived, and re-
quested me not to begin preaching in the city for
a few days as he would be absent in camp. He
said it was best that he should be in the station
when we opened our work in the city, as the peo-
ple were much excited and might give trouble.
They were very hostile towards the Government
and Christians generally at that particular time,
and it was feared that our preaching might serve
as an occasion for an outbreak.

So, for a few weeks, we were occupied in re-
pairing our residence and in visiting the villages
about the city within a distance of a few miles, so
that they could be reached in the evening, the
cooler part of the day. It was our purpose to go
into the city and deliver our message there as
soon as possible.

In a few weeks we learned that Mr. Inglis
had returned and was present at the station. The
word station may need explanation; it is gen-



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TwENTY-ON^ Years in India. 95

erally applied to the portion of a city where for-
eigners live; a railway depot the .English call a
station. Out of the Presidency towns they gen-
erally live outside the city in a section set apart
for the troops and Government offices, and the
foreign residents generally; this section is called
a station or cantonments. This section is care-
fully laid out, excellent roads are made, and all
is under strict sanitary regulations. These sta-
tions in India are usually very beautiful and at-
tractive.

India, itself, all through the great Gangetic
valley, is very beautiful. It is a vast plain, very
fertile, covered in certain seasons with vast fields
of wheat and other grains peculiar to the coun-
try. The people live in villages, which are squalid
and uninteresting, as explained in the first chap-
ter. But there is usually a grove of trees
near by, and the beautiful palm-tree, with
its feathery top, is seen in almost any direction to
which you may turn your attention.

We now determined to make a beginning in
the city. It contained a large Moslem popula-



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96 TwKNTY-ONE Years in India.

tion, which was r^^rded especially fanatical and
turbulent. Many of this class had been tried in
the courts and convicted of murder in the mutiny,
and executed or banished to the Kali-Pani, the
Andamans. The people were excited and very
bitter in their feelings, and were altogether in a
bad frame of mind.

Just at this time, and under these conditions,
we proposed to begin preaching in the very heart
of the city. Never had such a thing been at-
tempted before. It was indeed a critical under-
taking, perhaps more so than we at the time sup-
posed. What would be the effect upon the peo-
ple? How would they look upon it, and how
would they receive it at this time? It was in this
way the officers of Government looked at it, and
not unnaturally so, as they knew that many would
think that the Government had sent us, and was
going to compel them to become Christians.

We thought it the only thing to do, and were
not in the least worried as to results. We felt
that we were not our own, we were not going on



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Twenty-one Years in India. 97

our own business, or on our charges; that the
work was the Lord's, and we were going at His
command. We proposed in His name to set up
our standard in the city, and f elf we were in the
way He was leading us, and that he would make
us victorious over all our enemies, so we need not
fear.



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CHAPTER VL

Beginning Preaching in the City; Baptism of
Our First Convert.

We soon became acquainted with a number
of people living in cantonments, who took great
pains to call on us and express an interest in our
work. The influence of the mutiny was fresh
in the minds of all at this time, and it had a tend-
ency to lead many English people to feel a deeper
interest in missions than they had done before.
In the early history of the British in India the
only thought that moved them seemed to be gain.
It was so with the company in England, and it
was none the less so with the company's repre-
sentatives in India. Gradually the people of Eng-
land awoke to the fact that India had been given
to them for a higher purpose than commercial ad-
vantage, and that a responsibility was laid upon
them to give the people of this great empire the
Gospel. At first the company refused to permit

98



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TwKNTY-ONK Y^ARS IN InDIA. 99

missionaries to enter the country; but at length
it was compelled to give way, and permit them
to labor for the people without restraint or inter-
ference.

Public sentiment, too, in England demanded
the abolition of suttee — ^the burning of widows
with the dead bodies of their husbands — ^and the
patronizing of idolatrous shrines and practices
on the part of the Government. There have been
all along among the representatives of the East
India Company some excellent Christian men;
but they were comparatively few in the early his-
tory of the British in India. The majority ig-
nored all responsibility towards the people in a
religious sense. One effect of the mutiny was to
awaken a feeling of obligation to God and the
people of this great country, and many were led
to feel an interest in religious work in the coun-
try as they had not felt it before. The impression
I received from my last years in India leads me to
feel that among English officials now there is not
the interest in missionary work that there was
when we b^;an our work immediately after the



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icx> TwENTY-ON^ Years in India.

mutiny. There seems a tendency to disparage
missionary work, and to criticise native Chris-
tians, that is more manifest in certain circles of
English official life, than was the case years ago.
I doubt if there are as many outspoken friends of
missions among high officials, either in the army
or in the civil service, as there were in the years
following the mutiny. This is not because of any
lack of success in the work, but from a lack of
interest in religion generally. I would not have
it inferred that there are no earnest, devoted
Christian men in the service in India to-day; I
am glad to say I am sure there are many such;
but men like Sir Henry Ramsey, Sir Henry and
John Lawrence, Sir Donald McLeod, and Sir
Herbert Edwards, are not very often met with
nowadays.

Sometimes I think it may be that some great
calamity is needed to bring a certain class of high
officials of India nearer to God. I am sure God
is presiding over the English in India, and only
as He is honored will they prosper and escape
His judgments.



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I'wENTY-ON^ Years in India. ioi

To return to our narrative: we felt the time
had come when we must unfurl the banner of the
Cross of Christ in the heart of the city of Ba-
reilly. Evening is the best time generally for
Bazar preaching, so we arranged to begin at that
time. We resolved to make our opening in the
Chauk, the most public place in the city. We
were fully conscious of possible danger, but we
thought little of that; we were most anxious to
feel assured that our dear Lord was leading us,
and that He should go with us, and stand by us in
our effort to make Him known to the bigoted
and wicked people of this large city, though nat-
urally no worse than we are, and whose souls are
just as precious as our own.

Before leaving for the Bazar, we met in my
study for a season of prayer. We deeply felt our
dependence upon God, and were sure He would
not fail us in this time of need. I think I can
truly say that I have never felt Christ so near me
as I did in my efforts to preach Him to the peo-
ple under such circumstances as surrounded us
at that time. I have felt His special presence and



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I02 Tw^NTV-oN^ Ykars in India.

support in all efforts to make Him known in a
way that has made the fact of His approval per-
fectly conclusive to my mind. After prayer we
went immediately to the Chauk where we pro-
posed to make our beginning in the name of the
Lord.

The city of Bareilly is long and narrow. One
main street runs through it from east to west
This is fully three miles long. About midway is
what is called the Chauk ; but this is not a square,
but the street for some distance widens out to
more than double its usual width. This becomes
the official and business center of the city, the
more important public buildings are located here
and other buildings needed in the government of
the city. This place is always crowded with peo-
ple buying and selling in the afternoons and early
evening. The Banyas spread their wares and
commodities out on the ground, and people crowd
about to buy. It is a busy, noisy place; the air is
full of dust; not a very good place to preach, one
might think, but the people are here, and our aim
is to get at the people. Here, at one end of the



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Twenty-one Years in India. 103

Chauk, we found a place where we could stand
elevated a little above the crowd.

I b^^n by reading John iii, 16: "Kyiinki
Khada ne jahan ko aisa piyar kiya hai, ke, us ne
apna iklauta beta bakhsha, taki jo koi us per iman
lawe halak na howe, balki hamesha ki zindagi
pawe." Attention was immediately secured, and
all business ceased, all seemed anxious to catch
every word, and the closest attention was paid
to all we said. I began by saying something like
the following, as near as I can now recall : "You
will wish to know who we are, and what we have
come for ? Well, I will tell you. We are not Gov-
ernment servants, but servants of the Lord Jesus
Christ, the Savior of the world. We have come
to tell you about Him. He says, God loved us
and sent Him into the world to die for us on ac-
count of our sins, that we might not perish, but
have eternal life." I said : "We are missionaries
and have come to live among you as neighbors and
friends, and teach you what you must do to be
saved. I know you do not think as we do, but it
is wise to inquire and try to find the true way to



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

heaven. We can not compel you to become Chris-
tians, we can only show you the way ; then it re-
mains for you to do as we wish you to do or not,
and the responsibility must rest upon you. If
you wished to go to Moradabad, and there were
two roads before you, and you could not tell
which one to take, and I should tell you to take
the one to the right, and you should take the one
to the left, saying, 'I do not believe the Sahib
knows,' — so you see you can choose which road
you will take. Well, you go a long way and be-
come so very tired, and find out that you have
taken the wrong road, and had all this trouble for
nothing; you could not blame me. You would
say the Sahib did know, and I ought to have be-
lieved him. I wish I had believed him, it would
have saved me so much trouble ! Well, brothers,
there is only one way to heaven for us all; now,
do you not believe that ? I know you do. Now,
where is that way? That is the great question.
You must seek to know the truth, for the truth
will stand," etc. Then I said: "You know a
few months ago Khan Bahadur Khan thought he



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Twenty-one Years in India. 105

was a great man and called himself 'Nawab Sa-
hib/ and you people all made a very low salaam,
and said, *Nawab Sahib !' He thought he would
kill all the Christians so that there would not be
any left in India. He sat right over there, and
had Judge Robertson and Hay Sahib brought be-
fore him, and said they were kafirs, infidels, and
ought to die, so they were killed. Where is Khan
Bahadur to-day? He is out in the jungles and is
being hunted like a wild beast, and very likely will
be caught and hanged, as you all know he ought
to be. Well, now, in a few months* time mission-
aries have come here and are preaching in this
Bazar, where they never preached before! Well,
friends and neighbors, what does all this mean?
I will tell you what I think it means. It is this :
God is against these people who have been mak-
ing all this trouble, and trying to kill all the Chris-
tians in the country, and that this is to become a
Christian country." The people were utterly
amazed, so much so that they had not a word to
say in reply. Joseph then spoke, going over
much the same ground that I had gone over. He



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io6 Twenty-one Years in India.

was a large man with a strong voice. He was a
powerful speaker in Hindustani, and the people
were greatly moved by his discourse.

He knew the natives well, the terrible scenes
of the mutiny were fresh in his mind, and he fully
entered into the significance of the time and place,
and spoke with tremendous earnestness and
power. His manner was very winning and pleas-
ing. I have seen men approach us full of wrath,
threatening our lives, when he would gently put
his hand upon them and speak to them so gently
and kindly, that they would quiet down and at
length become fast friends.

Joseph had been in the police during the mu-
tiny. The Mission he was connected with was
broken up, and he sought and obtained employ-
ment imder Government. When the outbreak
was suppressed he applied to Dr. Butler, in Luck-
now, for a place in our Mission as a native min-
ister. He was gladly employed and sent to as-
sist me in Bareilly. He was a noble man, and
happily adapted to the place and time. I shall
never forget him. I loved him as a brother. He
watched over me with the greatest solicitude when



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Twenty-one Years in India. 107

speaking in the Bazars. He always took his stand
very close to me, and if any one approached, he
was sure to place himself between me and the
person coming toward me. I think he feared I
might be assassinated, and he would permit no
one to come to me without first passing him. On
this, our first attempt at preaching in the Bazar,
we were treated respectfully and kindly.

Several gathered about us for conversation,
after our preaching was concluded. Some of
them accompanied us some distance on our way
home, asking us many questions, which we were
glad to answer.

It may be proper for me now to consider very
briefly the subject of street preaching in India.
The people spend much of the time in the open
air. The temples are not for congr^^tions to
assemble in for worship, as with us, but for the
gods and officiating priests. The people congre-
gate outside. If there is anything for them, it
is spoken to them out in the open air. So preach-
ing in this way is perfectly in accord with their
ideas and practices.



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io6 Twenty-one Years in India.

It is the only way we could get access to the
people in those days. Much of what was said
was only imperfectly understood, but something
was lodged in the hearts of our hearers, and a
little leaven is sufficient to leaven the whole lump.
I am strongly in favor of street preaching in
India. I am just as much in favor of schools
for the young, and anything that will enable us
to reach the people with the Gospel. In our mis-
sion we have never had any special variance as to
methods, but have been ready to use any means
that promised the most good. Public preaching
in the Bazars needs to be conducted with discre-
tion and tact. Many persons are inclined to raise
questions to test the skill or knowledge of the
speaker; many are very fond of argument, but,
as a rule, it is not best to argue very much. If
you engage in an argument they will almost in-
variably claim to have the best of it ; it is better
to ask them to call upon you at your residence,
when you can talk with them to much better ad-
vantage. Questions that are evidently sincere
may be answered in a few words. A kind, gentle



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Tw^nTy-one Years in India. 109

manner helps one very much. Impatience, or
petulance, must not in any case be shown, how-
ever provoking they may be. There is not, per-
haps, as much Bazar preaching now as in former
years, but that it is a powerful means for the
spread of Gospel truth there can be no doubt.
We continued to preach at some point in the city
nearly every evening. At one time we were in-
vited to preach in front of the Kotwali, police
headquarters. We found a carpet spread and
chairs set out for us. After the service, the head
officer accompanied me some distance on the way
to our home; he asked me if, in our preaching, we
could not avoid using the name of our Lord, as
the mere mention of His name was an offense to
the Mohammedans ? He was himself a Moham-
medan, and a native of Constantinople. I replied,
"Suppose you were to suppress the name of the
magistrate when he gives you an order for the
people of the city, because the badmashes, crim-
inal classes, dislike him, what would he do ?" "O !"
said he, "he would punish me, of course;" then
added, "I see how it is you can not do as I have



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no TwENTY-oN^ Years in India.

asked you." He added : "I would like to help you."
I replied, "All we ask is, if the people should use
violence towards us, you should protect us just
as you would anybody else, so long as we are
within our rights. Otherwise, it would be better
not to notice us. If the police were to notice us
particularly, the people would think that the Gov-
ernment had sent us."

As we were preaching one evening in this
densely crowded place, the Chauk, my attention
was attracted to a young man standing near by
who seemed deeply interested in what was being
said. At the close of our preaching I sought him
out and spoke with him. I asked him if he had
ever heard the preaching before? He replied,
that he had not until on some former occasion
he heard us in some other part of the city. I
asked him what he thought of it all ; if he thought
it to be the truth, and was interested in it? He
replied that he greatly desired to know more
about what he had heard. I asked him to go
home with us, which he did, and we spent a long
time in conversation with him. We learned that



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TwKNTY-ONE YKARS in InDIA. Ill

he belonged to a sect of Mohammedans called
"Purannamis," who claim to be seekers after
truth; that he had practiced a great variety of
austerities in hope of finding rest for his soul, but
all to no avail.

We very earnestly prayed that God would
give us this young man. He came to all our
services at the Mission House, and was often at
our preaching in the Bazars of the city. His in-
terest seemed constantly to deepen, and we were
more and more interested in him. We became
fully satisfied that he was a true seeker after the
salvation of his soul. In a few months, one Sun-
day, he very earnestly requested baptism, and
was very desirous to have it administered to him
on that very day. I was very anxious to have
him fully understand the importance of the step
he was about to take. I explained to him that
he must expect persecution, and be ready to suf-
fer the loss of all things, even life itself, if neces-
sary, for Christ's sake; I found that he seemed
to have considered it in all of its phases, and we
could not doubt his sincerity. So I told him to



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113 TwKNTY-ONK Years in India.

wait until the next Sunday, and if he were of the
same mind then, I would baptize him. It be-
came known very soon that he was to be baptized
on the next Sunday, and his Mohammedan
friends were immediately up in arms, and resorted
to every means in their power to prevent it. They
offered him money and lucrative service on the
one hand, and threatened ostracism and persecu-
tion on the other, but neither moved him from
his purpose publicly to acknowledge Christ as his
Lord and Master. The next Sunday evening,
July 24, 1859, I baptized this young man, whose
name was Zhur-ul-Haqq, who became a most use-
ful native minister, and our first native presiding
elder. I shall have occasion to speak more fully
of him as to this part of his life in the next
chapter.

I will now proceed to consider the question
recently raised. Was Zhur-ul-Haqq the first con-
vert baptized in our Mission in India? I think,
beyond any doubt whatever, that he was, and my
reasons for this opinion are as follows : At the
time this question was raised in India, it was said



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REV. ZAHUR UL HAQQ.

First Native Convert, and Presiding Elder of the Methodist Church Mission.)



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TwKNTY-ONK Years in India. 113

that probably Maria, the young woman of whom
Dr. Butler speaks in his book, "The Land of the
Veda," who was killed on the 31st of May, 1857,
by the sepoys in his compound, was the first bap-
tism. She did probably join our Church ; she was
a member of Dr. Butler's class, conducted by him
during the weeks of his residence in Bareilly, be-
tween January and the middle of May, when he
left for Naini Tal. But it does not seem proba-
ble that he baptized her ; had he done so, he would
have been likely to mention it. I have heard him
on different occasions speak of Zhur-ul-Haqq as
our first baptism. He made the same statement
again and again, in published articles in differ-
ent periodicals. I think there can be no doubt as
to his view of this subject. I have recently re-
ceived a letter from Mrs. Butler, who says that
Dr. Butler did not baptize Maria, and that he al-
ways said that Zhur-ul-Haqq was our first bap-
tism. Bishop Thoburn says in his book, "India
and Malaysia,'* page 266: "The word Mazhib
means religion, and the term Mazhabi is simply
an adjective form, the whole meaning that these
9



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CI4 Twe:nty-onk Years in India.

people are Sikhs by religion, if not by race. They
themselves began coming to the missionaries at
Moradabad, and a few of them were baptized
early in 1859, or possibly even before the close
of 1858."

I was on the ground and know what trans-
pired more fully than any person now living.
These people first came to our notice in January
of 1859, so none of them could have been bap-
tized in 1858. I spent the most of January and
February of that year in Moradabad. A deputa-
tion came in to Mr. Parsons a week or so before
I arrived ; I know he did not baptize any of them,
for he was not ordained. Later, when he desired
to baptize some of them, Dr. Butler desired me
to go over to Moradabad from Bareilly and bap-
tize them, if I thought best, as he had told Mr.
Parsons that it would be contrary to the rules of
the Church for him, being unordained, to admin-


1 2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 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 5 of 13)