« AnteriorContinuar »
therefore, informed of the name of the Chief or Superior of this Tibet-Hindoostaun mission.
In reply to your3d,46th and 7th queries, I beg to state, that the Catholic Churches actually belonging to our mission are the following, viz. The Church of Agra, presided over by your humble servant F. Antonino Pezzoni, Bishop of Esbonen, Apostolic Vicar, and Prefect. The Church of Sardanah, erected by the Rev. Father Giulio Cesare of Caravaggio. The Churches of Cownpore and Lucknow, served by our Vicar General the Right Rev. Adeodato of Perugia Capuchin. The Churches of Bettiah and Choohooree, under the direction of the Rev. Father Gioacchimo. The Churches of Chunargurh, Patna, Bhaglpoure and Pernea,
given in charge to the Rev. Father Giuliano Capuchin. In Chanernagor we have also a Church, and a hospital for invalid monks, and for the protection of missionaries on their way to or from Europe; at this moment, the Rev. Father Ippolito of Genoa is at this hospital, who, owing to his impaired state of health, is about returning to E urope. I, poor man, find myself deprived of every support to modify the discord of this mission. You ought, however, to be informed, that our Cure is limited to Hindoostaun, and consequently the missions of the Portuguese and French friars do not interfere with me. The Churches they possessed, are either demolished or abandoned.
You state in your 5th query that you believe a sufficient number of Missionaries are not sent for the support of the mission. The Holy Congregation of the Propaganda, to which all our missions are subject, have never failed to provide whatever is necessary for the support thereof; but you must be aware, that they cannot order nor send any persons out here for the service of the mission, but such as voluntarily wish to go, and the number of those being very limited, they are often at a loss how to supply the required number of Missionaries. Add to this, that political affairs and wars have for muny years prevented expeditions of Missionaries taking place; and lastly, some of those who come here, are soon rendered unable to attend to their duties, owing to the unhealthy climate; and others soon after their arrival, owing to the same cause, die; so that our mission was, and still is, in want of attendants. Besides its being a mission of Capuchins, i. e. Poor, it is deprived of the means of subsistence, depending' entirely upon the bounty and charity of their people, who are generally miserable, and often themselves standing in need of assistance; thus a competent number of friars, if sent, would not find means to subsist.
In reply to your 4th query, "Whether we had, or have made, many proselytes?" I beg to state it as a maxim, that the crop corresponds to the culture, and should the lands be so unfruitful as not even to correspond to the culture, what is to be concluded? that little or nothing has been done. I am not like those of your party, who, to shew the efficiency of their endeavours, would state the thing differently from what it really is. Our few Missionaries have always done all in their power, considering the extension of this place. We always took the greatest care not to catch in our net useless and hurtful fish; few Christians have been made of the Heathens, and much less of the Mohammedans. Their number would have been greater, and they would have been of better conduct, had not the bad example of the Europeans corrupted their hearts. This people ought to be taken care of, and ruled in a rather severe manner; in this way only the Missionary may hope to succeed. The prattling on the pulpit, or reading books to them, I consider entirely useless. We do however patiently await the time of mercy, predetermined by our Heavenly Father "ab aeterno," in favour of this unfortunate people. By persuasion and conviction nothing can be done, they being in nature very indifferent in matters of religion: they are easily persuaded that the Christian religion is perfectly good; according to them, all religions are good. Our proselytes, therefore, have rather become so by casualty, than through preaching. In ordinary cases, the hope of bettering their condition induces them to become converts to Christianity. It is most extraordinary to observe, that when quite ignorant of it, they may profess to be so fully persuaded of its truth, that neither Celsus nor Porphyry would be able to dissuade them; yet when they are enlisted amongst our proselytes, and duly instructed by us, they continue in their indolent indifference. They are like little children; and should the assistance of the Evangelical Minister cease, the name only of Christian would remain with them. Great grief do I suffer on that account, and much more so at the present time, when, if they do not like to submit to our laws, they can find Missionaries of a different belief, and be able to arrange their matters without asking our assistance.
With regard to your request for some books, (though at this period they are very scarce) I do however take advantage of this opportunity of Major Turner, to send you a doctrinal work in Latin, which, being clear and treating impartially on different matters, I hope will please you; as well as a French work, translated from the Spanish, which, if you have not read, you will also find estimable; it is a confutation of modern philosophy in a new style, and treats also on natural theology. Both these works you will be pleased to return when convenient. In conclusion, I should feel extremely grateful to you, if you would have the kindness to present my most respectful regards to Lord and Lady Bentinck, assuring them that their politeness and many favours bestowed on me during my stay at Agra, and at Cownpore, shall ever remain engraved on my heart, and that I shall not fail, unworthy as I am, to pray to the Almighty for their spiritual and temporal prosperity.
These same, very same sentiments I entertain for your respectable person, and sincerely remain,
Sir, your most obedient servant, (Signed) Fr. A. Pezzoni,
Bishop of Esbonen, and Apostolic Vicar.
JOURNEY TO CASHMEER.
Lord William Bentinck had kindly written to Capt. Wade to request that he would write to Runjeet Singh to give me permission to go to Cashmeer, and from thence to Tibet. I waited at Simian above forty days for an answer, but in vain. I therefore determined to go to Calcutta by way of Kurnaul; for I had received a kind invitation from the Rev. Mr. Parish, Chaplain in Kurnaul, to go there, and preach and lecture in his chapel.
August 28.—I left the house of Lord and Lady William Bentinck. His Lordship had previously furnished me with a letter of credit. Never shall I forget the parental kindness and care I experienced from both Lord and Lady William Bentinck, and the kindness of his Lordship's Staff; nor the kindness I received from Colonel and Mrs. Churchill, Lady and Sir Jeremiah Bryant, Sir Edward and Lady Barnes, and all the inhabitants of Simlah and Sabathoo.
On the 20th August I arrived for the third time in the house of Sir Jeremiah Bryant at Sabathoo, and in the afternoon I set out for Kurnaul. Scarcely had I gone four miles, when an express messenger from Lord William Bentinck brought me the good tidings, that His Majesty Runjeet Singh, King of the Punjaub and Cashmeer, had graciously granted me permission to go to the city of Cashmeer; a kind letter addressed to me by Runjeet Singh himself, accompanied the above mentioned tidings.
On the 30th of August, I arrived at Umballa; here I spent a few hours with the excellent Doctor Laughton, and went on to Kurnaul, where I arrived on the 31st. This is a considerable station; I took up my abode with the Rev. Mr. Parish, Chaplain of the Established Church, who kindly received me, and introduced me to the ladies and officers of the station.
On the 2nd Sept. I preached twice in the church, on Hebrews x. 1—7, and Rev. i. 7; from the first, shewing the office, and from the second, declaring the coming of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.
Sept. G.—I arrived again at Sabathoo, at the house of Sir Jeremiah Bryant.
Sept. 8.—I received the following letter from Lord William Bentinck.
Simlah, September!, 1832. My dear sir, Many thanks for your good prayers and kind wishes for our temporal and eternal happiness. You have appeared among us but for a moment, sufficiently long however, to make us very much regret your early departure. I almost regret your having got permission to pass through Cashmeer. Having come within the threshhold of India, it is a pity, I think, that you have not taken the opportunity of visiting the early settlements of Christians in India, whose history forms so important a link in the investigation you are making. Cashmeer you might have examined en passant; but I would not have gone North of the Himmalayahs; all those countries can be better visited, I mean with better chance of security and success, from Russia, from whence there is a more constant communication than from India, from whence there is little or none. It can never be worth while to return to India for any objects which you have in view. I would have gone round by Madrass, the Malabar coast, and Bombay, and thence by the steamer to Egypt. The countries East of Russia would have been sufficient for another expedition; your usefulness, happiness, and indeed your ambition, must ever engage you in Missionary pursuits; it will be difficult for you to dismount from your own particular hobby. With your activity and disregard for all dangers and difficulties, the world, as I once told you, is almost too limited to satisfy your enterprising spirit; but the successful accomplishments of your excellent views, will very much depend upon the judicious distribution of the great field of enquiry. But you die for the present seems to be cast, and therefore, I have only to bid you a cordial farewell, and to add a request that you will write as often as opportunity offers.
Ever sincerely yours,
After having received several letters from Mr. Parish, the Chaplain of Kurnaul, Mrs. Burgh, Col. Webber, and Capt. Mathews of Kurnaul; and after Sooret Singh, an officer of Runjeet Singh, had arrived with six soldiers to escort me to Cashmeer, and the frontier of Tibet, I began to climb up higher the craggy mountains of the Himmalayah. I set out for my journey on
Sept. 14.—Sir Jeremiah and Lady Bryant accompanied me to some distance, and then took leave. We travelled to Seraj Kotah, 14 Coss, or about 21 English miles from Sabathoo. The country round Sabathoo, and all the way to Seraj Kotah, is most romantic; it may be styled the Switzerland of Hindoostaun. The village of Seraj Kotah is inhabited by people of the cast called Khatere; they had just celebrated a feast by dancing near the temple of an idol.
Sept. 15.—Fifteen Coss, or 22 and a half Eng. miles to Belaspoor. This place is governed by a young man who has the title of Rajah. He was kind to me, but he is a great tyrant; it is said, that his great delight is to have an ass trampled to death under the feet of an elephant He desired me to give him some brandy, instead of which I gave him soda water. He was greatly astonished at the noise on drawing the cork, and tried to think it was some spirit; but he did not seem to like it much.
Sept. 16.—We travelled nine Coss or 15 miles to Deher; as they are afraid here of being invaded by Runjeet Singh, the Rajah of Sokhet, who resides 11 miles from Deher, had ordered that nobody should be suffered to pass without his previous knowledge; and we were detained till the 18th, when we went on 11 miles to Soojpoor. Bukerreim Sein, the Rajah, an old man, was sitting outside of the town, surrounded by many Hindoos, smoking an Indian hookah; he was so polite as to salute me, and ask me to sit down by him; I sat near him for half an hour, but we did not talk much, as he was a stupid old man.
Sept. 19.—The Rajah lent me two horses, on which we rode seven Coss to Mandee. The Rajah of this place, being in rebellion against Runjeet Singh, to whom he is tributary, did not receive us very kindly; however, he sent us a tent to sleep in. At this place, a lad fifteen years of age, dressed in English clothes, came to me begging; he said he was the son of an English soldier, named O'Brien, and of a Mussulman woman; but that they were both dead, and he was left destitute. I asked him of what religion he was; he replied, that he had not been instructed in any religion. Poor boy! I wrote concerning him to the English at Simlah and Sabathoo. Thus a father abandons his child upon the mountains of the Himmalayah, like an ostrich her young ones.
On the 21st we rode 21 miles to Hatle, and on the next day 11 miles to Mahalmour, a village inhabited by Brahmins.
Sept. 23.—Twelve Coss to Futtehpore; on the road we saw a beautiful building called Naun, inhabited by a Dervish.
Sept. 24.—Four and a half miles to Nadown, which is a considerable town, inhabited by many Cashmeer colonists, built close to the river Beyah, the .Hyphasis of the ancients. The Rajal Tshowdwer Singh sent his horse for me, and treated me very kindly. I found him in the field on horseback, surrounded by hi, soldiers, and just going to perform his devotions to three Fakeers who were sitting naked in the hole of a rock on the shore of The river Beyah. Servants were carrying his hookah (pipe) before him, whilst he was smoking. The Fakeers desired me to si down, but not to come too near them, and presently we had the following conversation: Myself. "Do you understand Persian'?' Fakeer liarnjee said to Hunooman his servant: "How do you knot, me?" Hunooman replied: "One way is this, I am your servant 2nd. I and you are one; M. I love you very cordially." Then th Fakeer continued, "He that knows God, knows every thing.' Myself. "Of what cast are you?" Fakeer. "Of none."
I then proclaimed to him our Lord Jesus Christ, and asked him how many years he had been a Fakeer. He replied that he had always lived in God, and should never die; for that, as old gar ments were exchanged for better, so the man of God lays aside hii old body, and puts on a new one. A beautiful answer! But then was in the man an overbearing pride; and a peevishness that il assorted with his speech; frequently when I wished to say some thing, he would exclaim, "Be silent and listen!" However, found an opportunity of declaring to him, that 'there is only on name given under heaven by which men can be saved," even th name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, God blessed for ever.
This unhappy peevishness exists more or less in all those wb livo in a continual mortification of their bodies; even the great St Jerome was not free from it; therefore he said of himself, that he was every where carrying about the old St. Jerome with him True peace of mind dwells not in the cold seclusion of a cave