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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 6 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 6 of 13)
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ister the ordinance. I personally know that none
of these people had been baptized prior to my
visit to Moradabad in May, when I went at Dr.
Butler's request. I thought it best to defer their



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Tw^NTY-ONK YKARS in InDIA. II5

baptism, and so returned to Bareilly without hav-
ing baptized any of them.

It is certain that none of the Sikhs were bap-
tized before July the 24th, of 1859, the date of
Zhur-ul-Haqq's baptism. I think, therefore, that
it is a fact, beyond all reasonable doubt, that his
was our first baptism. It may not be a matter of
any very great importance, but as an item of his-
tory it is desirable to know the facts in the case.

After Zhur-ul-Haqq's baptism, I baptized sev-
eral of these Sikhs, I should think as many as
fifteen or twenty. Among them were two young
men, brothers, Main Phul and Gurdial Sing, in
whom we became much interested from the first.
They came to us from their village, and asked us
to give them some work so that they could earn
enough to get their bread, and at the same time
learn to read. They were very simple-minded,
evidently sincere, honest, and much in earnest.
Main Phul remained with me for some time, and
at length became a teacher, and was sent to labor
among his own people, where he became very
useful.



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ii6 Twenty-on^ Years in India.

Gurdial went with Brother Parker, and was
very useful to him in Bijnour and Moradabad.
They are both dead, as, in fact, most of those
who became Christians in the first years of our
Mission, are. Soon after his baptism. Main Phul
asked permission to bring his wife from their vil-
lage, who was very wild and immanageable at first,
but she improved rapidly imder the care of the
ladies of the Mission, and in time she became use-
ful as a teacher among the women in the villages.
She died young, but in her dying moments she
remembered the ladies who had so patiently and
lovingly taught her when so very ignorant, and
among her last words were messages of love to
them.



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CHAPTER VII.

First Arrivals from Home, and Opening Work
in Budaon.

Th^ baptism of Zhur-ul-Haqq naturally pro-
duced a deep impression and created a good deal
of excitement in the city, especially among Mo-
hammedans. We often received calls from them,
evidently largely from motives of curiosity, when
many questions, like the following, were asked:
"Do you require those who become Christians to
eat pork and drink wine ?" Then they were quite
sure to ask the following : "You say Jesus Christ
is the Son of God; has God a wife?"

One Sunday a party of Mohammedans were
present in our service. Joseph Fieldbrave was
preaching, when an unusual influence came upon
us ; it was a kind of a thrill, almost like an elec-
tric shock, when one, with a cry, rushed from the

room, the others following in hot haste. They
117



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ii8 TwKNTY-ONE Ymrs in India

evidently feared that some influence might come
upon them that would make them Christians. I
can not explain what it was that we felt at that
time. Only on a few occasions in my life have I
felt anything like it. I recall an occasion in our
EngKsh service in Naini Tal, when a thrill seemed
to pass through the congregation, and a singular
feeling of awe seemed to rest upon us all. I
can not account for this certainly unusual phe-
nomenon on natural principles. My feeling was
at the time that it was the Holy Spirit, and I see
no reason now to think otherwise

The conversion of Zhur-ul-Haqq was a very
happy and inspiring event to us ; it seemed given
to us at that time to encourage us in our work,
and it seemed an assurance that we might expect
immediate fruit. Zhur-ul-Haqq was a very gen-
tle and unassuming young man, and not at all in-
clined to put himself forward. The natives of
India are, as a rule, good talkers, graceful in their
movements and gestures, and many have consid-
erable natural ability for public address. They
are, as a rule, fond of discussion, and never seem



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Tw^nTy-onk Ykars in India. 119

to tire of hair-splitting and speculation. I said to
some Pundits who were teaching in some of our
schools, "I am going to a certain Mela next
week." They replied, *''Let us go with you." I an-
swered, "I am going to preach, and if you go
with me perhaps you will assist me" They re-
plied, **We will, if you order us to do so." I said,
"Certainly not, until you find Christ and love
Him."

Zhur-ul-Haqq seemed reticent and diffident,
and I did not like to ask him to speak in a public
place in Bareilly, as there was a good deal of ex-
citement in the city over his baptism; and yet I
was most anxious to have him make a beginning,
for I felt sure God designed that he should be a
preacher. I had occasion to visit Shahjehanpore,
between forty or fifty miles distant. I resolved
to take him with me and have him speak in some
of the villages on the way. I thought it would
be less trying for him to begin in this way than
in the city where he was well known. It so hap-
pened that the first place where it became con-
venient for us to preach was Tilhur, and upon ar-



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lao Twenty-one Years in India.

riving there I noticed it was Bazar day; that is,
a day in the week when all who buy and sell con-
gregate for trade. So there was a g^eat crowd of
people assembled from the country round about.
To my astonishment, I learned that this was
Zhur-ul-Haqq's native place. Being well known
here, and his family being one of prominence,
the excitement over his having become a Christian
was greater here than in Bareilly even. He told
me that a few days before he had come to visit
his family, but they denounced him, and he barely
escaped with his life. I concluded it was not de-
signed that the cross should be lightened for him,
so after preaching myself, I encouraged him to
tell the people how he came to become a Christian,
He began by relating the story of his early life
among them; told them how much he had suf-
fered in hope of finding rest for his mind. Then
he told them of his hearing the preaching in the
Bazar in Bareilly, and how he had come to know
Christ as his Savior from his sins, and what peace
and comfort he now enjoyed. He invited them
to accept Christ, as He is the only one who can



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Twenty-one Years in India. 121

forgive sin and take it away from the heart and
give rest and peace. He assured them that if
they would believe in Him He would save them
also, and they would not need to go on pilgrim-
ages to Mecca, or to Kedamath or Badrinath, but
He would come into their hearts and make them
good and happy. It was a beautiful testimony,
simply and appropriately told. I felt no more
fears about his future as a preacher of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. For thirty-eight years he lived
a bright example of the power of grace to save,
and preached the Gospel of his blessed Lord
through all that long period with patience, tact,
and love. We have had none among our native
ministers more useful, loved, and honored by all
he came in contact with, not only among Chris-
tians, but among all classes of the native com-
munity.

Our first annual meeting was held in Septem-
ber of this year — that is, 1859 — ^^ Lucknow. We
had made a beginning in Naini Tal, Moradabad,
Bareilly, and Lucknow. We were cheered by
the prospect of receiving large re-enforcements



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122 TwKNTY-ONE Y^ARS IN InDIA.

from home, and also by the fact that it would not
be with them as it had been with us ; they would
find homes in readiness and work prepared for
them. They need not wait, or be in any doubt as
to where their work might be. That annual
meeting was indeed a memorable one. The fear-
ful storm that had swept over the land, in the
terrible mutiny of the native army, had gone by ;
the morning of a new and brighter day had
dawned for India. Our great work was opening
full of promise. We were all young, full of hope
and inspiration, having only one aim, to preach
Christ and lead the people to Him.

The brethren who came at this time were Mr.
and Mrs. Downey, Mr. and Mrs. Waugh, Mr. and
Mrs. Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Judd, and Mr. Tho-
bum, now Bishop Thobum. Mr. and Mrs. Baume
had arrived a short time before. This was a nota-
ble company. Bishop Thobum, Mrs. Parker, and
Dr. Waugh are all that are still living. All the
others have passed to their reward on high.
Bishop Parker was the last to go, after a long
career of very great usefulness. He had about



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Twenty-one Years in India. 123

forty-three years of distinguished service in the
Mission. Mrs. Parker is still doing heroic work
in the field. Dr. Waugh retired after thirty-five
years of faithful and effective service.

Bishop Thobum is still in the effective ranks,
and is well known through our whole Church,
and is everywhere honored and revered as a model
Missionary Bishop. One of that party, Brother
Downey, passed away in a few days after the
close of our session. I was returned to Bareilly,
and Mr. and Mrs. Downey were to have been our
colleagues. Brother Downey seemed to us, as
we met him in our sessions, a very charming
young man, and we anticipated great pleasure in
having him with us as our fellow-worker in the
great field we saw opening before us in Bareilly.
His death was a great sorrow to us. In a few
weeks, Mrs. Downey came to live with us and
to take the work planned for her husband, as far
as she could do it.

She was a very lovely character, highly ac-
complished, and wholly consecrated to the work.
Afterward she became the wife of Mr. Thobum,



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124 Twenty-one Years in India.

then of Naini Tal, and died about a year or a
little more afterward. Her career in the mission
work she loved with all her heart was brief, but
she left an influence behind her that has been felt
by many hearts along down the years that have
intervened. We were just beginning our boys'
orphanage, and she was placed in charge of it.

Towards the end of December, Mrs. Hum-
phrey and myself took our camp equipage, which
consisted of two excellent tents, with utensils for
our housekeeping, and set out on an itinerating
tour with a view to visiting the city of Budaon,
the center of a large district of that name, lying
between Bareilly and the Ganges, to the south.
On our way we visited and preached in several
towns, where we now have large Christian com-
munities, but where we did not find any who had
heard the name of our Lord even at that time.
Crowds listened to our preaching and seemed in-
terested ; but O ! how dense the darkness that en-
shrouds their minds! It seems depressing, and
even appalling, at times, as we come in close con-
tact with the people. Arriving at Budaon, we



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Tw^NTY-ONB Years in India. 125

were most warmly welcomed by a few native
Christians who had survived the mutiny, and the
English magistrate of the district. All earnestly
urged our opening work in Budaon at once. The
opportunity to purchase an unfinished house and
compound in an excellent location, on very favor-
able terms, seemed to me an indication that we
should not fail to improve our opportunity with-
out delay. The lieutenant-governor of the North-
west Provinces, with his camp, arrived in time
to spend Christmas there. I wrote to Dr. Butler,
explaining the situation to him, and urged him
to come over and spend a few days with me,
which he did very gladly. The Nawab of Ram-
pore came also with an immense retinue to visit
the Governor. For a few days matters were very
lively and gay. The Governor's camp was a very
canvas city. India is a great country for camp
life, and all officials from the Governor-General
down, if possible, spend a considerable part of
the cold season in camp. We have the best tents,
I imagine, in the world. The camp of the Gov-
ernor is a beautiful sight The fine large tents



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126 TwKNTY-ONK Years in India.

are pitched in order, with streets running through
between them. On Christmas day we had serv-
ice in the Governor's magnificent Durbar tent.
The Governor, and all his secretaries and offi-
cers, with all the residents of the station, were
present, making a congregation of forty or fifty
people. Dr. Butler preached an excellent sermon.
In the evening we dined with the Governor in his
spacious dining-tent. The Governor and several
of his suite made handsome donations to our Mis-
sion. The magistrate of Budaon gave us rupees
500 to assist in beginning our work here. It
was soon arranged that I should remove from
Bareilly and open the work here. This neces-
sitated the removal of Mr. Waugh to Bareilly to
supply my place, and Mr. Baume from Lucknow
to Shahjehanpore.

While in Budaon our tent was entered by rob-
bers in the night, and our trunks, with clothes,
money, and books, were taken. Our native min-
ister said, when I aroused the camp and called
for help to catch the thieves, I said they had car-
ried off my grammar and dictionary; the loss of



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Twenty-one Years in India. 127

these was more than anything else in the line o£
property just then. It costs a. great effort to get
the language, and I had bent all my energies in
that direction. The grammar and dictionary
were constant companions in those days.

We returned to Bareilly and made over our
charge to Mr. Waugh, and were soon back in
Budaon, and very busy in laying the foundation
for our work. We had much to do to get prop-
erly housed, and the work in shape for the hot
season, which would soon begin. Our first work
was to render our residence habitable. It re-
quired plastering, and proper floors were to be
made; this occupied several weeks.

In the meantime we looked about with the
view to becoming acquainted with the district.
It seems to be densely populated ; the soil is gen-
erally fertile, with good facilities for irrigation,
either by temporary wells or streams. It is re-
garded highly advantageous that all through this
section of country water is not very distant from
the surface; it can be reached in almost any
locality by digging from ten to twenty-five feet.



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128 Tw^NTV-ON^ Y^RS IN InDIA.

There are two kinds of wells in use; one is called
a "pucka well," which is substantially made, well
bricked up in the inside ; the other is known as a
"kutcha well," which is simply dug down to water
without any bricking up, and the water is drawn
by hand, or by bullocks, to irrigate the field. It
is a very important matter to be able to get water
without much expense for this purpose; it makes
a good crop quite certain, even if the rains are
slight. These words, pucka and kutcha, are very
significant, and very largely used. Pucka is ap-
plied to anything substantial and permanent, or
to be relied upon; kutcha is applied to anything
not substantial. A pucka house is one well built ;
a pucka man is one that can be relied upon. A
kutcha house is one that is not substantially built ;
a kutcha man is one that you can not trust. The
district contains several cities of some size, of
which Budaon itself is the chief, and contains a
population of about thirty thousand, and is the
official center of the district, which contains nearly
a million of people. The European portion has
excellently paved roads, with some very comfort-



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Years in India. 129

able residences, with large and attractive gardens
attached. The Government buildings are sub-
stantial and well adapted to the needs of the Gov-
ernment. We found eight or ten European fami-
lies living here.

I was expected to hold a service in English
for these on Sunday. The native population I
found to be divided between Hindus and Moham-
medans, in the ratio of about three of the former
to one of the latter. In the rural portions they
are mostly Hindus, divided into the usual castes.
Our first object was to complete our partially
built house, and get ready for the approaching
hot weather. In the meantime we began our
work. We regarded our first work to be preach-
ing the Gospel directly to the people in their own
language. Then secondary to this, we opened
schools for both sexes, as far as our means would
permit. Nothing could be more firmly settled in
my mind than that our first great business was
to go to the people everywhere, carrying to them
the Gospel message. We sought out convenient
places where we could gather the people and
9



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130 Twenty-one Years in India.

preach to them. A day when we had not held such
a service seemed to me in a measure lost.

Before the hot weather fully set in, I made a
tour to Futtigarh, about sixty miles to the south
of us. This was an old Mission station of the
Presbyterian Board, situated on the south side of
the Ganges. Four Mission families living there,
when the mutiny broke out, fell victims to Nana
Sahib and his followers, and were put to death
on the parade ground in Cawnpore. I met Messrs.
Scott and Fullerton, missionaries residing there,
and spent two or three delightful days with them
looking over their fine large school and their
Christian community. They took me to the spot
where the head master of the school was tied to
the muzzle of a cannon, and told to renounce
Christ and he would be spared; but he refused,
the torch was applied, and he was blown to atoms,
rather than deny his Lord and Savior. They had
a large industrial establishment, conducted by na-
tive Christians, devoted to the manufacture of a
very superior style of tents, that interested me
very much, I thought it quite certain that we



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TwENTY-ONfi Y^RS IN InDIA. I3I

would wish to inaugurate something of this kind
in the near future, with the purpose of furnishing
employment to native Christians. Such enter-
prises seem very necessary in India; they have
seemed so from the very beginning of our work,
and they seem so still, and perhaps never more so
than now ; but for some reason we in our Mission
have never seemed to prosper very well with en-
terprises of this nature. Perhaps they may be
more successfully conducted now than in the past.
There is much need of enterprises of this kind on
account of the greater number of children that
have come into our care on account of the famines
that have prevailed late years. I would say in
this connection that Mr. Blackstock, and others in
charge of our orphanage for boys at Shahjehan-
pore, have succeeded in enterprises of this kind to
a very good degree. Outside our orphanages, or
similar institutions, I do not think we can claim
very marked success. I learned many things from
my visit to these brethren in Puttigarh that was of
great use to me in after years. I also secured the
services of a very valuable native preacher, Enoch



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132 Tw^NTY-ONn Y^ARS IN InDIA.

Burge, with whom I was intimately associated for
many years in one way and another.

Just before the hot season set in, I took a hasty
tour out into the western part of the district, vis-
iting some of the more important towns in that
direction. In one place, after preaching, among
many others who came to our tent for tracts, was
a very bright lad of fifteen or sixteen years of
age, who, I found, could read well, and knew
something of arithmetic. He was a very inter-
esting young man, and from the first I felt my
heart much drawn out toward him. In a few
days after my return to Budaon he came to see
me, and it so happened that we desired a teacher
for a low caste school among a class of people
who seemed much interested on the subject of
religion. It occurred to me that he might do for
this school, until we could get an older person.
I found he was quite as old as I was when I taught
my first school, so I placed him in charge of the
school. He soon became a Christian, and in time
a member of Conference. A few years ago we
used often to see his name appended to hymns of



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA. I33

his own composition in our vernacular papers, so
that he came to be known as the poet of the Mis-
sion. He IS now a member of the Northwest In-
dia Conference. The little school he taught
proved the beginning of a great work among the
people of that class for whom it was begun. As
the years have gone by several thousands of them
have become Christians.

During my residence here I built a neat, com-
modious chapel, which served us well for both
Hindustani and English services on Sunday, and
for a boys' school during the week.

Our policy has been to have one superior
school at our mission center where we reside.
In this are taught the higher branches, both ver-
nacular and English. Then we have as many
primary schools out in the villages as seem to be
demanded and as we can support. As we have
native Christians out in the villages, it is abso-
lutely necessary to provide schools for them.
Here the foundation of their education is laid.
Those among the children that seem especially
bright and promising we arrange to take into our



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134 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN India.

central school, so that they can pursue a more
advanced course of study. Then we have Reid
Christian College for Boys, and Miss Thobum's
College for Girls. We have a splendid system
arranged for the education of the boys and girls
of the native Church.

What is now lacking is the endowment of
these higher institutions. Let them be put upon
a proper financial footing and a great future is
before them.

In November, Mr. Knowles and Joseph Field-
brave came over from Bareilly, and Enoch Burge
and myself joined them, and we went to the great
Mela on the Ganges, held at this season of the
year.

This festival is called "The Puran Massee."
The people come together from a great distance,
and spend from ten days to a fortnight on the
banks of the river, bathing in its waters, listen-
ing to the Brahmins as they recite from the Shas-
ters, and watching whatever may be going on.
It is a time of recreation generally, and the women
who go to this gathering are much less particu-



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Tw^nTy-on^ Y^ars in India. 135

lar to keep themselves secluded than they gen-
erally are. In many instances they bring the ashes
of members of the family who have died during
the year and cast them into the Ganges. In the
evening the river is covered over with little lights
set out on the water to light the spirits of those
who have gone from them on their journey to
their uncertain future. One of our missionaries
said to an old man on one occasion, "What do you
put these lights out on the water for ?" He looked
off into the deepening twilight and replied, "O
sir, it is very dark over there !" It is so, indeed,
to them. This is a good time for preaching; they
have leisure, and usually are glad to listen. I
have found people in far-away places who, to my
surprise, said they had heard the story of Christ
at this Mela many hundred miles away. At the
close of an address one day, as I stepped down
from the place on which I was standings a very
venerable man of high caste fell down at my feet
and clasped them and said, "I am so glad I have
lived to see this day and hear such gracious
words." I never saw him again, but he seemed



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136* TwKNTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

sincere and intensely earnest, walking in all the
light he had received. I believe there are such
men among the heathen, and when they hear the
Gospel they are almost sure to embrace it. I can
but think that this aged man was prepared by
the Lord for the reception of the Gospel message,
and I hope to meet him among the shining ones in
heaven some day.

The veneration of the people of India for the
Ganges is very great ; it is the most sacred, in their
estimation, of all the rivers of the country. The
Ramayan, the great epic of the Hindus, contains
this account of Gunga's birth :

Ram made request of a certain holy man :

"*0 Saint, I yearn
The three pathed Gunga*s tale to learn.'
The saint, thus urged, recounted both
The birth of Gunga and her growth.
'The mighty hill by metals stored,
Himalaya, is the mountain's lord,— >
The father of a lovely pair
Of daughters, fairest of the fair.
Their mother, offspring of the will
Of Mem, everlasting hill ;
Mena, Himalaya's darling, graced
With beauty of her dainty waist ;
Gunga was elder bom ; then came


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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 6 of 13)