|CHAPTER XXIII. -- INDIA--NOTES FROM MY DIARY--BASSIM--A BLESSING AT FAMILY PRAYER--NAINI TAL--TERRIBLE FLOODS AND DESTRUCTION OF LIFE.|
Friday, Feb. 13th. Dear Jennie Frow is not so well to-day. God bless her! It is now Jennie Fuller. She was married since then. We leave to-day for Nagpore. Praise God for His great care over us during the night. We had to drive with the bullocks this fifty-one miles back to Acola. They had been mending the road, and there was a great deep gutter about a quarter of a mile in length. We had to change our bullocks three times; and the third time we thought we had got a very stupid driver; we got to a place where the bullocks would not go on, and the man seemed to be stupid. Poor Miss Frow remonstrated, and told him to go on; but the bullocks would not go; so we thought we would get out, and see what was the matter. It was very dark, and there were no lights; and when we got out and walked ahead two or three yards we saw the great danger we were in; if the bullocks had gone on, they would have surely broken their necks, and we might have been killed. Oh, how we praised the Lord when we saw the danger that God had saved us from. Then we had to turn the bullocks down on the lower road.
There are generally two roads; a native road, and an English road; the English roads were better, as a rule; they generally kept in their provinces good roads; we were on the English road, so we had to turn out and go down on the native road, which was very rough, because they never mended them, or made any repairs on them.
Sunday, 22nd. A meeting at Camp Te to-night. The Lord helped me this once. He led me to give my experience, and I had great liberty, and he made it a blessing. We leave for Elegepore. I feel I ought to stay. There was such an interest manifested in the grand aftermeeting.
Col. Whitlock was a very earnest Christian gentleman; he had a very beautiful little daughter, and one night when we were holding meeting in a large hall (he always took an interest in any religious meeting, which was not very customary among English soldiers), his little daughter, about ten years old, became very much interested, and when I asked them to rise for prayers, among others in the great congregation, this little girl rose; and the Lord blessed her; she seemed very happy and bright. Her father was
The child acted out her position by beginning to do something. Her mother kept a Hindoo derzy; a man who does all the sewing and mending and everything of the kind, in a family. Some of them have two or three. You will find them in almost every family in India. All the clothes to be made or mended are given to these men, and they sit down in a corner that is arranged for them, and do the sewing. They come and go, morning and evening, and are very quiet. They never pass about through the house only at their work. This one had been living with them a long time, and was a pucka Hindoo; that is, what we would call strong, or rank, or staunch in their faith.
So little Ethel began to tell him about what Jesus could do; and as she could talk the native language as well as a native, he listened to her; and she kept it up till he got so interested he asked her for a Testament; and so she got a Testament, and made the old man promise that he would read it. He was greatly pleased with it.
Who knows but what that child, though but ten years old, who was the means of getting that Hindoo to read the Testament, was sent by God with light to this poor, dark mind.
"It may not be my way,
It may not be thy way;
But yet, in His own way,
The Lord will provide."
When we went to leave, Mrs. Whitlock gave me a very handsome India shawl, and prepared us a beautiful lunch, and in so many ways was kind. In the lunch, she put two loaves of bread, a half dozen boiled eggs, six bottles of lemonade, a bottle of champagne, a bottle of wine, and I don't know what all else; but she sent a man with a note on Sunday afternoon, and this beautiful basket of lunch.
My! what a time I had over it. I couldn't send it back. The shawl was an elegant thing. It was about a twenty-five dollar
So I prayed about it very earnestly. The enemy wanted to make me believe that she would be greatly offended, and that now I would undo all the good work that I might have done. Oh, how terribly tempted I was over that!
Sunday night was my last night. I spoke at the hall.
And that was the night I had promised to speak more especially of temperance. But then I had received a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne. So the Devil suggested to me that nobody would know it, and now if Col. and Mrs. Whitlock were there, it would be better for me not to say anything about it, after they had been so very kind, and that they did not see it like I did. So I reasoned.
At last I resolved by the grace of God I would tell Mrs. Whitlock that I could not have it, and would go on and speak on temperance in the meeting, as I had intended. So, when the time came, I went to church.
Just as I got to the door going in, I met Col. and Mrs. Whitlock, and little Ethel; so I very kindly thanked the lady for the elegant shawl, and for the lunch which she had sent me; but then, I said, "Now what will I do with the bottle of champagne and the wine? for I am a staunch teetotaler; I never touch it."
"Miss Frow looks so pale," she said, "I thought a little wine would do her good."
"But, Oh," I said, "she would not touch it for the world. She is also a staunch teetotaler."
Then she laughed, and said, "You do with it, Mrs. Smith, anything you like."
I thanked her very kindly, and told her I would.
The Lord gave me liberty in speaking that night, and I was very strong on the subject of temperance. No one was offended. Everybody seemed to be much interested and pleased.
We went from there up to Chaculdah. That was Miss Frow's station. Mr. and Mrs. Sibley were there in charge of this station, and she was their assistant.
What a pleasant time we had at Chaculdah. There was a poor, old, native Christian woman who was very ill. She had been a very faithful servant in a Eurasian family for years; but because of great persecution from her own people on account of caste, though she believed in Christianity, she never came out. But when she got feeble, and sick, and very bad off, she went over to Mrs. Sibley's instead of going to her own people; she wanted to be a Christian; and they put her in a little house where she was very comfortable.
She was very fond of Miss Frow. So the first thing we did after we got home and rested a little, we went in to see this old woman. Oh, how emaciated she was! so worn; and she was dying; but she seemed to be happy. Miss Frow talked and prayed with her.
When we went out I said to Miss Frow:
"How would it do to give this woman (she is dying anyhow) a little of that wine?"
"Oh," she said, "I wouldn't dare to do it. She used to like it very much. They used to have it, of course, in the families where she had been so long, and she had got to like it, and it might be the means of diverting her mind. I had rather she would die without it."
So there I had it to contend with.
In a few days the old woman passed away. That was the first native Christian funeral I had seen. They dressed her nicely, and then the natives came and embalmed her, and then we carried her to the grave.
I shall never forget how pretty and nice it looked in the grave. She was the first native Christian that had been buried in that part of the country at that time, so it made quite a sensation. The grave was dug down a certain depth, and then dug out in the side so as to form a kind of niche, or shelf, and she was laid in this niche, then the earth was thrown in; so that the earth was not thrown on her, like we do here, and I thought how nice it was; I wouldn't mind being buried there myself. I think it is a much better way than putting the earth right on top of the coffin.
There we left her, to rest till the morning of the resurrection, when the trump shall sound, and when the dead in Christ shall rise. The grave did not seem to have gloom and sadness, even in India, with Christ.