Dr. John Scudder.

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The following work, so far as the Hindoos are concerned, is principally
a compilation from the writings of Duff, Dubois, and others.

Should the eyes of any Christian father or mother rest upon it, I would
ask them if they have not a son or a daughter to dedicate to the
_missionary_ work. The duty of devoting themselves to this work of
Christ, or at least, of consecrating to it their money, their efforts,
and their prayers, is the great duty to be perseveringly and prayerfully
impressed on the minds of our children. A generation thus trained would,
with aid from on high, soon effect the moral revolution of the world.
Blessed will be that father, blessed will be that mother, who shall take
any part in such a training. And I would add, too, blessed will be that
pastor, and blessed will be that Sabbath-school teacher, who shall come
up to their help.



General Remarks


The Color and Ornaments of the Hindoos


Dress, Houses, Eating, and Salutation of the Hindoos


Marriage among the Hindoos


Death and Funerals among the Hindoos


The Gods of the Hindoos


The Three Hundred and Thirty Millions of the Gods of the Hindoos - The
Creation of the Universe - The Transmigration of Souls - The different


Hindoo Castes


Hindoo Temples - Cars - Procession of Idols


Festivals of the Hindoos


The worship of the Serpent


The River Ganges


The Goddess Durga


The Goddess Karle


Self-tortures of the Hindoos

Chapter XVI.

The Suttee, or Burning of Widows


The revengeful Nature of the Hindoo Religion


The Deception of the Hindoos


Superstition of the Hindoos


Burmah, China, etc., etc.


The duty of Praying and Contributing for the Spread of the Gospel


Personal Labors among the Heathen


Success of the Gospel in India and Ceylon






My dear children - When I was a little boy, my dear mother taught me,
with the exception of the last line, the following prayer:

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take;
And this I ask for Jesus' sake."

Though I am now more than fifty years old, I often like to say this
prayer before I go to sleep. Have you ever learned it, my dear
children? If you have not, I hope that you will learn it _now_; and I
hope, too, that when you say your other prayers at night, you will also
say this. I think that you would be glad to see how this prayer looks in
the Tamul language - the language in which I am now preaching the Gospel,
and in which I hope that some of you will hereafter tell the heathen of
the Saviour. The following is a translation of it:

[Illustration: The Lord's Prayer in Tamul]

I wish that all the little heathen children knew this prayer; but their
fathers and mothers do not teach it to them. Their fathers and mothers
teach them to pray to gods of gold, or brass, or stone. They take them,
while they are very young, to their temples, and teach them to put up
their hands before an idol, and say, "Swammie." Swammie means Lord. As
idolatry is the root of all sin, these children, as you may suppose, in
early life become very wicked. They disobey their parents, speak bad
words, call ill names, swear, steal, and tell lies. They also throw
themselves on the ground in anger, and in their rage they tear their
hair, or throw dirt over their heads, and do many other wicked things.

Let me give you an instance, to show you how they will speak bad words.
A few months ago, a little girl about twelve years of age was brought to
me, with two tumors in her back. To cut them out, I had to make an
incision about eight inches in length; and as one of these tumors had
extended under the shoulder-blade she suffered much before the operation
was finished. While I was operating she cried out, "I will pull out my
eyes." "I will pull out my tongue." "Kurn kertta tayvun." The
translation of this is, "The blind-eyed god." By this expression, she
meant to say, "What kind of a god are you, not to look upon me, and help
me in my distress?" If this little girl had had a Christian father to
teach her to love the Saviour, she would not have used such bad
language. But this father was even more wicked than his daughter,
inasmuch as those who grow old in sin, are worse than those who have not
sinned so long. I never saw a more hard-hearted parent. That he was so,
will appear from his conduct after the operation was finished. He left
his daughter, and went off to his home, about forty miles distant.
Before going, he said to his wife, or to one who came with her, "If the
child gets well, bring her home; if she dies, take her away and bury

I hope, my dear children, that when you think of the wicked little girl
just mentioned, you will be warned never to speak bad words. God will be
very angry with you, if you do. Did you never read what is said in 2
Kings, 2d chapter and 23d verse, about the little children who mocked
the prophet Elijah, and spoke bad words to him. O, how sorry must they
have felt for their conduct, when they saw the paws of those great bears
lifted up to tear them in pieces, and which did tear them in pieces.
Besides all this, little children who speak bad words can never go to
heaven. God will cast them into the great fire. Have you ever spoken bad
words? If so, God is angry with you, and he will not forgive you unless
you are sorry that you have done so, and seek his forgiveness through
the blood of his dear Son.



My dear children - If you will take a piece of mahogany in your hands,
and view its different shades, you will have a pretty good
representation of the color of a large class of this heathen people - I
say, of a large class, for there is a great variety of colors. Some
appear to be almost of a bronze color. Some are quite black. It is
difficult to account for the different colors which we often see in the
same family. For instance, one child will be of the reddish hue to which
I just referred; another will be quite dark. When I was in Ceylon, two
sisters of this description joined my church. One was called Sevappe, or
the red one; the other was called Karappe, or the black one.

This people very much resemble the English and Americans in their
features. Many of them are very beautiful. This remark will apply
particularly to children, and more especially to the children of
Brahmins and others, who are delicately brought up. But however
beautiful any of this people may be, they try to make themselves appear
more so, by the ornaments which they wear. These ornaments are of very
different kinds, and are made of gold, silver, brass, precious stones,
or glass. All are fond of ear-rings. Sometimes four or five are worn in
each ear, consisting of solid gold, the lower one being the largest, and
the upper one the smallest. Some men wear a gold ornament attached to
the middle of the ear, in which a precious stone is inserted. Sometimes
they wear very large circular ear-rings, made of the wire of copper,
around which gold is twisted so as to cover every part of it. These are
frequently ornamented with precious stones. The females, in addition to
ear-rings, have an ornament which passes through the rim of the ear,
near the head, half of it being seen above the rim, and half of it below
it. An ornamental chain is sometimes attached to this, which goes some
distance back, when it is lost in the hair. They sometimes also wear a
jewel in the middle of the rim of the ear, and another on that little
forward point which strikes your finger when you attempt to put it into
the ear. Nose jewels also are worn. Sometimes three are worn at the
same time. Holes are made through each side of the lower part of the
nose, and through the cartilage, or that substance which divides the
nostrils, through which they are suspended. The higher and wealthier
females wear a profusion of ornaments of gold and pearls around the

A very pretty ornament, about three inches in diameter, having the
appearance of gold, is also frequently worn by them on that part of the
head where the females in America put up their hair in a knot. In
addition to this, the little girls sometimes wear one or two similar but
smaller ornaments below this, as well as an ornament at the end of the
long braid of hair which hangs down over the middle of their backs.
Occasionally the whole, or the greater part of this braid is covered
with an ornament of the same materials with those just described. They
also wear an ornament extending from the crown of the head to the
forehead, just in that spot where the little girls to whom I am writing
part their hair. Attached to this, I have seen a circular piece of gold
filled with rubies. Rings are worn on the toes as well as on the
fingers, and bracelets of gold or silver on the wrists. Anklets similar
to bracelets, and tinkling ornaments are worn on the ankles. The poor,
who cannot afford to wear gold or silver bracelets, have them made of
glass stained with different colors. I have seen nearly a dozen on each

The little boys wear gold or silver bracelets; also gold or silver
anklets. I just alluded to finger-rings. I have seen a dozen on the same
hand. In this part of the country, the little opening which is made in
the ears of the children is gradually distended until it becomes very
large. At first, the opening is only large enough to admit a wire. After
this has been worn for a short time, a knife is introduced into the ear
in the direction of the opening, and an incision made large enough to
admit a little cotton. This is succeeded by a roll of oiled cloth, and
by a peculiar shrub, the English name of which, if it has any, I do not
know. When the hole becomes sufficiently large, a heavy ring of lead,
about an inch in diameter, is introduced. This soon increases the size
of the opening to such an extent, that a second, and afterwards a third,
a fourth, and a fifth ring are added. By these weights, the lower parts
of the ear are drawn down sometimes very nearly, or quite to the
shoulders. Not unfrequently the little girls, when they run, are obliged
to catch hold of these rings to prevent the injury which they would
receive by their striking against their necks. I need hardly say, that
in due time, these rings are removed, and ornamented rings are

A different plan is pursued with the Mohammedan little girls. They have
their ears bored from the top to the bottom of the ear. The openings
which are at first made are small, and are never enlarged. A ring is
inserted in each of these openings. I have seen a little girl to-day in
whose ears I counted twenty-four rings.

Flowers in great profusion are sometimes used to add to the adornment of
the jewels.

I cannot conclude my account of the jewels of the little girls, without
giving you a description of the appearance of a little patient of mine
who came here a few days ago, loaded with trinkets. I will give it in
the words of my daughter, which she wrote in part while the girl was
here. "On the 17th, a little dancing-girl came to see us. She was
adorned with many jewels, some of which were very beautiful. The jewel
in the top of the ear was a circle, nearly the size of a dollar. It was
set with rubies. Nine pearls were suspended from it. In the middle of
the ear was a jewel of a diamond shape, set with rubies and pearls. The
lowest jewel in the ear was shaped like a bell. It was set with rubies,
and from it hung a row of pearls. Close by the ear, suspended from the
hair, was a jewel which reached below her ear. It consisted of six bells
of gold, one above the other. Around each was a small row of pearls,
which reached nearly to the bell below, thus forming a jewel resembling
very many drops of pearls. It is the most beautiful jewel that I ever
saw. In the right side of her nose was a white stone, set with gold, in
the shape of a star. From it hung a large pearl. There was a hole bored
in the partition between the nostrils. This hole had a jewel in it,
about an inch in length, in the middle of which was a white stone with a
ruby on each side. It also had a ruby on the top. From the white stone
hung another, of a similar color, attached to it by a piece of gold. In
the left side of the nose was a jewel about an inch in diameter. It was
somewhat in the shape of a half-moon, and was set with rubies, pearls,
emeralds, etc. etc. This jewel hung below her mouth. On the back of her
head was a large, round gold piece, three inches in diameter. Another
piece about two inches in diameter, hung below this. Her hair was
braided in one braid, and hung down her back. At the bottom of this were
three large tassels of silk, mounted with gold. Her eyebrows and
eyelashes were painted with black. Her neck was covered with jewels of
such beauty, and of such a variety, that it is impossible for me to
describe them. Around her ankles were large rings which looked like
braided silver. To these were attached very many little bells, which
rung as she walked. I believe all dancing-girls wear these rings. We
felt very sad when we thought that she was dedicated to a life of infamy
and shame."

There is an ornament worn by the followers of the god Siva, on their
arms, or necks, or in their hair. It is called the _lingum_. The nature
of this is so utterly abominable, that I cannot tell you a word about

Married women wear an ornament peculiar to themselves. It is called the
tahly. It is a piece of gold, on which is engraven the image of some one
of their gods. This is fastened around the neck by a short yellow
string, containing one hundred and eight threads of great fineness.
Various ceremonies are performed before it is applied, and the gods, of
whom I will tell you something by and by, with their wives, are called
upon to give their blessing. When these ceremonies are finished, the
tahly is brought on a waiter, ornamented with sweet-smelling flowers,
and is tied by the bridegroom to the neck of the bride. This ornament is
never taken off, unless her husband dies. In such a case she is deprived
of it, to wear it no more for ever - deprived of it, after various
ceremonies, by her nearest female relative, who cuts the thread by which
it is suspended, and removes it. After this a barber is called, who
shaves her head, and she becomes, in the eyes of the people, a
_despised_ widow - no more to wear any ornament about her neck but a
plain one - no more to stain her face with yellow water, nor to wear on
her forehead those marks which are considered by the natives as among
their chief ornaments.

I have now told you something about the jewels of this people. I hope
that you will never be disposed to imitate them, and load your bodies
with such useless things. They are not only useless, but tend to
encourage pride and vanity. All that you need is, the "Pearl of great
price," even Jesus. Adorn yourself with this Pearl, and you will be
beautiful indeed - beautiful even in the sight of your heavenly Father.
Have you this Pearl of great price, my dear children? Tell me, have you
this Pearl of great price? If you have not, what have you?

I just now alluded to those marks which the natives consider among their
chief ornaments. These are different among different sects. The
followers of Siva rub ashes on their foreheads. These ashes are
generally prepared by burning what in the Tamul language is called
[Tamul:] _chaarne._ They also apply these ashes in streaks, generally
three together, on their breasts, and on their arms. Some besmear their
whole bodies with them.

The followers of Vrishnoo wear a very different ornament from that just
described. It consists of a perpendicular line drawn on the forehead,
generally of a red or yellow color, and a white line on each side of it,
which unite at the bottom with the middle line, and form a trident.

Another ornament consists of a small circle, which is called pottu. This
is stamped in the middle of the forehead. Sometimes it is red, sometimes
yellow or black. Large numbers of women, in this part of the country,
wash their faces with a yellow water, made so by dissolving in it a
paste made of a yellow root and common shell-lime. The Brahmins
frequently instead of rubbing ashes, draw a horizontal line over the
middle of their foreheads, to show that they have bathed and are pure.
Sometimes the people ornament themselves with a paste of sandal-wood.
They rub themselves from head to foot with it. This has a very
odoriferous smell.

When the people are loaded with jewels, and covered with the marks which
I have just described they think themselves to be highly ornamented But
after all, "they are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear
beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all
uncleanness." The "Pearl of great price," to which I before alluded,
the only Pearl which is of any value in the sight of Him who looketh at
the heart, and not at the outward appearance, they possess not. Millions
in this Eastern world have never even heard of it. O how incessantly
ought you to pray that they may come into possession of it. How gladly
should you give your money to send it to them. I wish, in this place, to
ask you one question. Who of you expect, by and by, to become
missionaries to this land, to tell this people of the Pearl of great



My dear Children - The dress of the Hindoos is very simple. A single
piece of cloth uncut, about three yards in length and one in width,
wrapped round the loins, with a shawl thrown over the shoulders,
constitutes the usual apparel of the people of respectability. These
garments are often fringed with red silk or gold. The native ladies
frequently almost encase themselves in cloth or silk. Under such
circumstances, their cloths are perhaps twenty yards in length. Most of
the native gentlemen now wear turbans, an ornament which they have
borrowed from the Mohammedans This consists of a long piece of very fine
stuff, sometimes twenty yards in length and one in breadth. With this
they encircle the head in many folds.

Those who are employed by European or Mohammedan princes, wear a long
robe of muslin, or very fine cloth. This also, is in imitation of the
Mohammedans, and was formerly unknown in the country.

The houses of the Hindoos are generally very plainly built. In the
country, they are commonly made of earth, and thatched with straw. In
the cities, they are covered with tiles. The kitchen is situated in the
most retired part of the house. In the houses of the Brahmins, the
kitchen-door is always barred, to prevent strangers from looking upon
their earthen vessels; for if they should happen to see them, their look
would pollute them to such a degree that they must be broken to pieces.
The hearth is generally placed on the south-west side, which is said to
be the side of the _god of fire_, because they say that this god
actually dwells there.

The domestic customs of this people are very different from ours. The
men and women do not eat together. The husband first eats, then the
wife. The wife waits upon the husband After she has cooked the rice, she
brings a brass plate, if they are possessors of one; or if not, a piece
of a plantain-leaf, and puts it down on the mat before him. She then
bails out the rice, places it upon the leaf, and afterwards pours the
currie over it. This being done, the husband proceeds to mix up the
currie and the rice with his hands, and puts it into his mouth. He never
uses a knife and fork, as is customary with us. The currie of which I
have spoken is a sauce of a yellow color, owing to the _munchel_, a
yellow root which they put in it. This and onions, kottamaly-seeds
mustard, serakum, pepper, etc., constitute the ingredients of the
currie. Some add to these ghea, or melted butter, and cocoa-nut milk. By
the cocoa-nut milk, I do not mean the water of the cocoa-nut.
This - except in the very young cocoa-nut, when it is a most delicious
beverage - is never used. The milk is squeezed from the _meat_ of the
cocoa-nut, after it has been reduced to a pulp by means of an indented
circular iron which they use for this purpose.

After the husband has eaten, the wife brings water for him to wash his
hands. This being done, she supplies him with vettalay, paakku,
shell-lime, and tobacco, which he puts into his mouth as his dessert.
The vettalay is a very spicy leaf. Why they use paakku, I do not know.
It is a nut, which they cut into small pieces, but it has not much
taste. Sometimes the wife brings her husband a segar. This people, I am
sorry to say, are great smokers and chewers, practices of which I hope
that you, my dear children, will never be guilty. In Ceylon, it is
customary for females to smoke. Frequently, after the husband has smoked
for a while, he hands the segar to his wife. She then puts it into her
mouth, and smokes.

Several years ago, one of the schoolmasters in that island became a
Christian. After he had partaken of the Lord's supper, his wife
considered him so defiled, that she would not put his segar into her
mouth for a month afterwards. She, however, has since become a

I spoke just now of the plantain-leaf. This leaf is sometimes six feet
long, and in some places a foot and a half wide. It is an unbroken leaf,
with a large stem running through the middle of it. It is one of the
handsomest of leaves. Pieces enough can be torn from a single leaf, to
take the place of a dozen plates. When quite young, it is an excellent
application to surfaces which have been blistered.

When this people eat, they do not use tables and chairs. They sit down
on mats, and double their legs under them, after the manner of our
friends the tailors in America, when they sew. This is the way in which
the natives as a general thing, sit in our churches. It is not common to
have benches or pews for them. Carpenters and other tradesmen also sit
down either on a board, or on the ground, or on their legs, when they
work. It would divert you much to see their manoeuvring. If a carpenter,
for instance, wants to make a little peg, he will take a small piece of
board, and place it in an erect position between his feet, the soles of
which are turned inward so as to press upon the board. He then takes
his chisel in one hand, and his mallet in the other, and cuts off a
small piece. Afterwards he holds the piece in one hand, and while he
shapes it with his chisel with the other, he steadies it by pressing it
against his great toe.


The blacksmiths, with the exception of those who use the sledge-hammer,
sit as do the carpenters while they hammer the iron. I wish you could
see them at work with their simple apparatus. They have small anvils,
which they place in a hole made in a log of wood which is buried in the
ground. They do not use such bellows as you see in America.

Theirs consist of two leather bags, about a foot wide and a foot and a
half long, each having a nozzle at one end. The other end is left open
to admit the air. When they wish to blow the fire, they extend these
bags to let in the air. They then close them by means of the thumb on
one side, and the fingers on the other, and press them down towards the
nozzle of the bellows, which forces the air through them into the fire.
I should have said before, that the nozzle of the bellows passes through
a small semicircular mound of dried mud.

I mentioned that the natives do not use tables and chairs in their
houses. Neither do they, as a general thing, use bedsteads. They have no
beds. They sleep on mats, which are spread down on the floor. Sometimes
they use a cotton bolster for their heads. More generally their pillows
are hard boards, which they put under the mat. In addition to cooking,
the females have to prepare the rice for this purpose, by taking it out
of the husk. This they do by beating it in a mortar about two feet high.

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