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for slavery) may be regarded as a fulfilment of prophecy. "And Noah said, blessed be the Lord God of Sheni, and Canaan shall be his servant." There is not a people to be found who would be more averse to slavery than the Santals and Bhumijas. While the haughty brahman who would not condescend to eat with the king, will still do some of the most menial services, such as cooking the food and rubbing the limbs of his master, the poor Santal or Bhumija had rather die than submit to such services. Though willing to work as day labourers, they at the same time manifest all the independance of English or American workmen, and though for two years past I have made repeated trials, offering double and treble wages, I have been unsuccessful in getting one to serve as a domestic.
The brahmans have by no means been negligent in attempts to convert these people to their own faith, and though generally unsuccessful, they have often through their influence with the Rajas, compelled them to bear the expenses and do the drudgeries of their pujas.
It also must be confessed that the Santals and Bhumijas have received a little tincture of the brahmanical creed. They usually admit the doctrine of transmigration, though they almost invariably declare themselves to be very doubtful as to what will become of the soul after death. I wrote you last year that they buried their dead; but I have of late learned that they burn them and throw some of the bones into the Ganges. A few days since I understood that they practise both burying and burning; so it is natural to suppose that the custom of burning and paying a kind of respect to the Ganges, is but an adopted custom and extends only to some tribes.
Of late we have taken eight or ten of their children into our Boarding-school, but they do not like to associate with our Oriya children, on which account we have much to do to keep them from running away. They also appear determined to keep up their native language amongst each other.
On account of the famine this year, these people are greatly distressed; and hundreds are obliged to forsake their villages in search of food. Many have come to us to beg rice. I have made use of these opportunities to secure their confidence, and with some success; but they always express great fears lest I should learn their language, which they say would prove the destruction of their race. They however, become more familiar every day, and there is good reason to believe that should a Missionary settle amongst them he would soon reap a rich harvest of souls.
Now, we are supposed to be the descendants of Japheth,
concerning whom Noah said, "God shall enlarge (persuade) Japheth; he shall dwell in the tents of Shem." Is not God now persuading us to dwell with these Santals that we may communicate to them a knowledge of eternal love?
"Who knows but these people, so long neglected, may be the most prepared to hail the good news of salvation with delight? Do send us the men and the means by which we shall be enabled to try this glorious experiment.
Yours in the gospel,
Balasore, April YJth, 1840.
II.—An effort worthy of universal imitation for the Conversion of the Females of India.
To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Ohserver. Dear Sirs,
From the reports of institutions, contained in your valuable miscellany, I have observed with much pleasure the increased attention paid to the subject of Native Female Education, and have perused with the deepest interest, the article contained in the Observer for March, on affording private gratuitous instruction to those females, whose caste will not permit them to attend public schools. In every respect such a plan seems highly desirable. May it be abundantly blessed by the great Head of the Church!
No feeling mind can reflect on the long dark night, which has obscured the fair east without the most painful emotions; but the first beams of the morning have opened, and (with the word of God in our hands), we feel assured, that the degraded females of India will, ere long, behold the Sun of righteousness in his meridian splendour: still we would not forget that much, very much remains to be done ! While successfully engaged in the instruction of children, I would ask, can nothing be done for their degraded mothers? While in their heathen state there is, generally speaking, little hope of teaching them to read. As has been justly observed, " women of sixteen or eighteen plead as an excuse that they are too old to learn ;" but shall we on this account suffer them to launch into eternity without making an effort to save them? At present the only efficient mode of instruction seems to be, to visit them, and in their verandahs, or lowly huts, hold friendly conversations with them on the subject of religion. It is true there are discouragements* arising from their extreme ignorance, and the too general impression that knowledge is only necessary for the other sex. To teach these long neglected females the way of life may be an arduous but is not a hopeless task. Only let them be frequently visited, point out to them affectionately the folly of idolatry, and tell them in simple strains of the love of Him who left his throne to save them. Such visits cannot be entirely useless. The promise is, *' my word shall not return unto me void," &c.; whether in public, or in private, " the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation." So far as
• Hindu females in conversation with each other use a low kind of language which renders it difficult for Europeans to make themselves understood: familiar intercourse with them soon obviates this difficulty.
my acquaintance extends, the Indies who have been thus engaged hav met with sufficient encouragement to induce them to persevere. JSjcceii when detained at home by rain or other unavoidable circumstances. have during the last twelve months visited one or more families, morn rng and evening. I give the result of my experience simply with thi hope that it may excite some who have not made the attempt; to trj the experiment for themselves. I may observe that the scene of my l.i bours has been partly in villages, and partly, and I must add principal 1 y in a city where the prejudices of caste run high, and idolatry exists in all its abominations. Occasionally I have visited .Musalmans, bat generally Hindus of different castes. On visiting a new place it is sometimes the case, that females unaccustomed to Europeans, are afraid to enter into conversation, but their fears are easily dissipated. Except in a very few instances, I have met with a cordial reception, and am often invited to sit down in their verandahs, or open courts, and not unfrequently to enter their houses, but I never think of doing so, without permission. On an average I meet with from three to five females, in each house, but frequently ten or twenty collect together for the purpose of conversation. Doubtless curiosity often operates in the first instance, but many appear glad to receive such visits, long after such a motive has ceased. After a little familiar chat by way of introduction*, I frequently inquire what they worship; what advantages they have derived from worshipping idols, &c. In most cases they admit that they are sinners, and that the various rites and ceremonies they have performed, have not cancelled sin; this leads to a conversation on the folly of idolatry, the advantages, and absolute necessity of worshipping the true God, and of trusting in Him who alone can cleanse them from all iniquity. I have met with several females who disavow their belief in idols, and express a desire to worship the true God, one of whom observed, "I have long worshipped idols and have not obtained the slightest benefit, and now if you will teach me how to worship the true God, I will serve him; but except some one teach me, how can I know the way?" The other day when telling a woman of good caste of the love of Christ, she said, " Go on, these words afford me great pleasure."
A few weeks ago, I visited for the first time, a populous village. While some appeared indifferent, except when the conversation turned on food, and raiment, others entered into conversation on sin, and its consequences with much apparent interest. In the course of my visit, the Son of God was spoken of as a propitiation of sin. A woman who was standing in the doorway immediately responded to the sentiment by mentioning the name of Christ. To hear that name from the lips of one whom I imagined had never heard of the Saviour, was indeed "music to mine cars." 1 inquired, " Where did you hear of Jesus Christ?" She replied, "Several years ago I went on pilgrimage to Jagannath and saw the Padris giving away books; from thence I travelled to Cuttack to visit some relatives; while spending a few days with them I heard a man read a little book which spoke of Jesus Christ. Since that time I have lost all my children, which lias occasioned me much distress; what I now most desire, is to know how my sins can be pardoned, and my salvation secured." She requested me to go with her to her dwelling, in an adjoining street; I did so, and found a number of women sitting in an open court. The woman referred to appeared to he in good circumstances, and about thirty years of age. She spoke with much simplicity of the depravity of her heart, and said it was so wicked, that she could not avoid daily committing sin. She knew little of the nature of God, or of justi
* Many express surprise th.it Missionaries should leave their native laud anil friends, and travel thousands of miles for the purpose of instructing them.
fjcation t»y faith, but deeply felt that she needed something more than the Hindu system could impart. The whole of her inquiries were characterized by deep seriousness, and in answer to my inquiries, she observed, tliiit her visit to Jagannath had only served to increase her load of guilt, and that for the last two years, she and her husband had ceased to worship icLols and partook their food in silence.
On rising to leave the house she said, when will you come again? Who will tell me more of these things?
Hoping this subject will commend itself to all who sympathize with the degraded females of India.
I am, yours sincerely,
B. 8. £. £\Ve sincerely hope that the praise-worthy effort of our fair correspondent will be universally imitated by those who in whatever work they engage are highly influential.—En.]
III. Urdu Version of the New Testament. Reply to the letter
of " One of the Translators" in last Number.
We must commence our reply to the letter of C( One of the Translators" of the Banaras version of the New Testament by a free and frank acknowledgment of, and an expression of deep and unfeigned regret for, the mistake we committed in our former article in representing John v. 4 as one of the passages omitted in the said version. We had been told by a Missionary brother that he understood the passage was omitted. Possessing ourselves a very scanty knowledge of the Urdu language, we searched out the passage with some difficulty, and certainly thought that the omission was made as we had been told. Distrustful, however, of our knowledge of the language, we put the book into the hands of a friend, and understood him to say, that there was nothing in the translation corresponding to the fourth verse of the fifth chapter. How the mistake on his part originated, or whether in reality the mistake was altogether on our part, we cannot tell. All that we can now say is that we deeply regret the occurrence both on our own account, on that of our readers, and on that of the Translators. To both the readers of the Observer and to the Translators we beg to offer our sincere and unrestricted apology.
And now the matter at issue between us is reduced to smaller dimensions. The question now is all about John viii. 1—12, and 1 John v. 7.
As to the former of these passages we can do little more than reiterate what we have already said. Notwithstanding the letter of the Translator, our conviction is rather strengthened than shaken that the passage is part of the inspired word of God. Vol. I. % T
Let us confine ourselves at present to a view of the authority of the Uncial MSS. for and against the passage. Those quoted by Griesbach as omitting the passage are A, B, C, L and T.
A, (the Alexandrian MS.) is by all admitted to be of the highest antiquity and authority; but it is only by vague inference that it is quoted against this passage, seeing that it ia deficient from John vi. 50, to viii. 12. Wetstein indeed by counting the number of words contained in two leaves has concluded that the passage was omitted in the MS. This however is, at the best, unsatisfactory, and gives but a slight degree of probability that the passage was not written in the Alexandrian MS. Even if it were certain that the whole quantity of matter contained in the textus receptus could not have been written on the lost leaves, the omission might have been, for aught that any one can tell, in any other passage as well as this. For example the passage omitted might have been ch. vii. 40 to the end.
C. (The Codex Ephremi.) The authority of this invaluable MS. is just of the same kind with that of the former. There is a chasm from John vii. 3, to viii. 34. So that no one is entitled positively to say that the passage in question was not in that MS.
L. (Codex Reg. 62 or Stephani u). This MS. omits the passage, but it leaves a vacant space, clearly shewing at the least that the transcriber knew of the existence of the passage, and most probably that it was found in his own copy, but that he had doubts as to the propriety of its insertion.
T. (Codex Borgianus) is a mere fragment containing only John vi. 28—6J, and John vii. 6—8, and 31. To quote the authority of this MS. against the passage therefore is utterly unfair, and we cannot tell why Griesbach put it into the list of MSS. in which the passage is omitted, unless for the purpose of swelling the scanty number.
Thus then B, (the Vatican MS.) is the only one of all the Uncial MSS. that can be received in testimony against the passage.
In opposition to this we have the passage without note in D, G, H, K, M. Of these D is said by some to be the oldest MS. extant. It contains some false readings and apocryphal additions, as we stated in our former article and as the translator also mentions; but regarding these it is to be observed that "they are very far shorter than this passage and are usually mere glosses." It is also to be remembered that this MS. though of the western recension, contains very many Alexandrian readings; so that its authority reduces somewhat