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Smith, Amanda
An autobiograpy



This was a blessed time. We should like to have stayed a few days longer; but previous engagements being made, we had to pass on with praise in our hearts to God that He gave us the privilege of sowing, if only a little, for Him, and with prayers and tears to be watered, and in due time the harvest will be reaped. May the Lord help us to believe as we pray.

Miss Anstea came to Bangalore to attend the meetings. She came, she said, for a definite object, and that was, for a renewed baptism of the Spirit; and, after waiting several days, the Lord helped her, among others, to claim by faith what she had asked for; and she returned to her home and work, filled; and when I got there and saw the work, I said in my heart, "If ever there was need of such an anointing and empowering, dear Miss Anstea needed it."

Three hundred helpless souls God had committed to her care; and they leaned upon her as they would upon a mother. You have no idea of the care and anxiety and responsibility of such a position unless you were there to see it.

In connection with the orphanage there are two farms: Nazareth and Bethany. Miss Anstea is the head of all this work; and while she was so anxious that they should know all that would help them on in life, temporally, she had the greatest concern in the salvation of every soul; for this she labored and prayed daily; and, according to her faith, so it was unto her.

I am more and more convinced that to succeed in God's work everywhere, one needs to be filled with the Spirit and mightiness of God, and especially so in India and Africa.

Superstition and idolatry, and infidelity, are so rampant it

seems the very air one breathes is impregnated with them. Oh, how the dear workers all over, need constantly the fresh anointing of the Holy Ghost, which can and does reveal the almightiness of Jesus to save from all unrighteousness.

Sunday was their Communion Sunday. It was a beautiful sight to see so many remembering the Lord's death, till He come again. It was very solemn and impressive. A sight like this means more in India than it would in England; these are poor orphans redeemed from heathenism. I expect to laud and wonder at His grace through all eternity. Amen.

Miss Anstea had invited me to come to Colar and visit her mission. So, on my way from Bombay, I stopped at Colar for a week. Colar was a large, native town, and Miss Anstea's mission covered a large area, in which she had a chapel, and a very nice, commodious mission house, large, comfortable apartments for the boys and girls, separate, and several very comfortable houses for missionaries, all nicely situated and well furnished.

I held meetings in the little chapel every night. Our morning prayer was similar to a service; at the ringing of the bell the boys and girls would file in and take their seats, and we would have prayers before they went to work.

The Lord gave us great blessings during the week's services. At night the church would be crowded; large numbers of the heathen from the outside came in; many of them seemed to be deeply interested. The Lord wonderfully helped me to speak to them every night; and several of the children professed to be converted.

One Sabbath morning as we were at prayers at the Mission House, a poor woman came and sat on the veranda, outside, with a beautiful baby in her arms, about three or four months old. When prayers were over, she was asked what she wanted. She said she wished to see Miss Sob. That is what the unmarried ladies are called in India by the natives; a married lady is called Mame Sob.

Miss Anstea had several helpers, English persons, a man and his wife, and two unmarried ladies. Always after the prayers with the boys in the chapel in the morning, they had their family prayer at the Mission House.

So, when Miss Anstea went to this woman and asked her what she wanted, she said that she had had nothing to eat for two days, and she was starving, and she wanted her to take her baby; she

had come a very long way from a native town; she said she had three other children, and had nothing for them to eat; and if she would give her fifty cents and keep the baby, she would go and get something for the other children; but she could not bear to see the baby starve to death before her eyes.

It was a beautiful child, a little girl. By that time we were all around her. Miss Anstea questioned her in every possible way to find out if her story was true.

She told her she was afraid she had taken somebody's baby and wanted to pass it off for her own; but at this the poor woman wept bitterly and declared the baby was her own, but that they were starving, and it was her last resort to save her baby, to bring if to the Mission; the others, she said, were older, and somebody might help them; but nobody wanted the baby.

Miss Anstea told her there was no one there who knew anything about taking care of so young a baby, and that she herself know but very little how to manage a young baby.

As we all stood around looking and listening, my mother heart asked, and I would have gladly taken it myself, but I had no where only as the Lord gave me friends who would invite me to their homes for a while, as Miss Anstea did. But we prevailed on Miss Anstea to take the baby.

One of Miss Anstea's Christian girls said she would look after it. I think Miss Anstea offered to pay her a small sum; or some of the rest suggested that; another said they would milk the goat to the baby would have milk. I said, "I will give the woman the fifty cents;" but I gave her a little more than fifty cents.

She laid the baby down on the mat. Of course, they have no clothes on them; they are perfectly naked. She put her hand on her heart and sighed, and then ran away out of the compound. When she got to the gate she turned and looked back; poor thing! she was so thin, and looked just like what she had said, that she was starving to death; you could see she was weak; but, oh, that look when she got to the gate! I shall never forget it; it was full with mother's love and tenderness for her baby. My heart ached for her and to save my life I could not keep back the tears.

How often the missionary in different foreign fields comes up against heart rending scenes, before which they often stand helpless. All they can do is to weep with them that weep, and pray for them that don't know how to pray for themselves.


We took the baby in, and Miss Anstea adopted it, and we named it "Amanda Smith."

I left on Friday. Up to that time the baby had got on very well, but cried a good deal, nights; there were plenty to look after it in the daytime, but at night everybody wanted to sleep, but the baby. Dear, little Amanda Smith!

I went from Colar to Bangalore, then to Madras. I never heard whether the poor, little thing pulled through or not; if she did, I know it was hard, after the novelty had worn off with the children.

Miss Anstea was a grand woman, and did a noble work in that province. How they have missed her since she has returned to England. She spent many years in India, and established and run the missions mostly at her own personal expense.

When she broke down, and was obliged to return to England, she turned the work over to Bishop Thoburn. So the work at Colar is still being perpetuated.

Madras, January 7th, 1881. I spend a few days at the home of Brother Shaw, pastor of the Methodist Church. Miss E. and I visit three zenanas and speak to a very nice family of girls; read, and explain the Word; then I sing; and as I sing, though they do not understand the words, the Spirit seemed to touch their hearts, and they weep. May God bless them.

Wednesday, January 12th. A meeting at eight A. M. The Lord was in the midst of us. A number of good testimonies, and a number rose for prayers, as they did also at night. Still there's more to follow.

Here I saw the great juggernaut car, so well known in the history of sacrifices in India, whose wheels have crushed so many infants at the hands of their poor mothers. How my heart ached as I listened to the story, told by the Chief of Police. How dreadful is heathen blindness. Thank God that the car of the juggernaut for such sacrifice has come to belong to the things of the past; has been superseded by the glorious light of Christian civilization, and judicious Christian legislation.

Tuesday, Jan. 18th. I leave this morning for Punrooty, to see Miss Reed. How God has kept His dear servant here, and made her a blessing and a succor to many! The Lord has sent her help from England just at this time, Miss Bloom and Miss Thurgood. Mrs. Fred Bowden and her dear mother came with them for a little visit. A beautiful company of Christian workers.


Wednesday, 19th. My first day at Miss Reed's. His word, how sweet: "Ye are all one in Christ Jesus." I give a little talk in the chapel this morning to the orphans who are redeemed from heathenism and starvation. Miss Reed took up this work at Punrooty during the year of the great famine, when hundreds perished from hunger.

Some of the scenes of suffering in those days, as she described them to us, would make one grow faint.

Saturday, 22d. Arrived at Bangalore late in the afternoon. Stopped with Brother Carter, pastor of the Methodist Church.

Tuesday, 25th. Oh, Lord, revive Thy work. A blessed time at family prayer. I go with Brother Carter and make some pastoral calls among the people. At night we have a good meeting, a crowded church.

But the good Plymouth brethren were much disturbed, because I was a woman, and Paul had said, "Let your women keep silence in the churches." So they had nice articles in the daily papers; then they wrote me kind letters, and bombarded me with Scriptural texts against women preaching; pointed out some they wished me to preach from. I never argue with anybody--just say my say and go on. But one night I said I would speak on this subject as I understood it. Oh, what a stir it made. The church was packed and crowded. After I had sung, I read out my text: "Let your 'men' keep silence in the church," quoting the chapter and verse (1 Cor., 14:28) where Paul was giving directions so as not to have confusion--one to speak at a time, while the others listened. And then one was to interpret, and if there was no interpreter, they should keep silence in the church. So I went on with my version of it. We had an excellent meeting, and the newspaper articles stopped, and the letters stopped, and I went on till I got through.

I have wondered what has become of the good Plymouth brethren in India since the Salvation Army lassies have been so owned and blessed of God. Their work has told more practically on the strongholds of heathenism than all that holy conservatism would have brought to bear in a thousand years.

Oh, that the Holy Ghost may be poured out mightily! Then shall the prophecy of Joel be fulfilled. For are we not living in the last days of this wonderful dispensation of the Holy Ghost?

Sunday, Feb. 6th. A blessed Sabbath morning. My last at

Bangalore. After a good day, I spend the night at Major Orton's. Praise the Lord for a good rest.

Monday, 7th. The word of the Lord this morning is, "Behold, I set before you an open door." Amen. In the afternoon I take a drawing room meeting at Mrs. Orton's. The Lord was with us, and gave me great liberty in speaking.

Wednesday, 16th. I leave Dr. Jewett's this morning for Rangoon. Very sick, but peaceful. Praise the Lord.

Saturday, 26th. We get in at three in the afternoon. As I look I see a boat nearing us, with three men in it--Brother Robinson and some others. Brother Robinson takes me to his nice home. I was entertained there for several weeks. God bless him and Sister Robinson.

Wednesday, March 16th. Leave Rangoon to-day on the steamer for Maulmain. Kindly received by Mr. Norris and Miss Barrows, Baptist missionaries Hold my first meeting at the Baptist Church this evening at seven-thirty. It is a new thing in the Baptist Church for a woman to speak. We had a large company out.

After Mr. Norris had spoken to them, he introduced me. The Lord helped me to sing and talk. On Sunday we commenced meetings again, and went on for a week. The people came from far and near. The Lord was with us and blessed us.

Friday, 25th. Miss Barrows and I leave to-night for Amherst, in the boat. It is slow, but rather pleasant and cool going down the river. Get to Amherst at five A. M.: go ashore at six. A fine, large mission house, roomy and pleasant all about. Oh, Lord, I will praise Thee; Thou hast dealt so bountifully with me. How beautiful this place, and the quiet is so restful.

Sunday, 27th. Go to the Burmese service in the Baptist Church. A native minister preaches. At five P. M. the Lord helped me to speak to the people.

Wednesday, 29th. We leave this quiet place for Maulmain. We make our last visit to the grave of Mrs. Judson, hear the story of her life, and I breathe a prayer to the Father for His Spirit more fully in my own heart, as these words come to me: "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like hers."

March 30th. Get to Maulmain in time for a meeting for women, and speak at night. Called to see several of the old Christians. One old man was baptized by Dr. Judson. What a grand

work this mission has done for this part of Burmah. How I admire those grand heroes of missions in the days when it cost more and meant more than it does now. Surely, "Their works do follow them." Amen.

Rangoon, British Burmah, April 4, 1881. "Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow." This has been a precious day. Dear Mrs. Boyd sent her carriage for me, and I went and spent a few hours with dear Mrs. Bennett and Miss Watson, Baptist missionaries. The Lord helped me as I told them of His dealings with me, and how He had sanctified my soul. The Lord gave light, and when I arose to go, dear Mrs. Bennett said, taking my hands in hers, "Now, I want to say to you that this has been the happiest hour I have spent for years, and when I think that the Lord has raised you up and sent you here to teach me of these wonderful things of God, I praise Him. Now, I do trust. He will bless you and keep you."

And then opening the door of a little closet near her, she handed me a donation to help me, as she said, in God's work, and regretted she had no more by her.

This good woman of God has given her life to the heathen in India. She has been abundant in labors for more than forty years. And now her eyesight has failed her, and also her physical health, and she is laid aside. And no doubt it is a great trial, for her life has been such an active one. But, thank God, she is finding His grace sufficient for her.

One of the first things I was struck with was the pagoda, or Burmese temple. You can see its dome for two miles away, as you look off, before you get into harbor. The streets of Rangoon are wide and rectangular, like those of Philadelphia, and the shade trees over the city are very graceful.

After being in Burmah a few days I wanted to visit this great temple. So I started, in company with some friends, and after walking some distance from Brother Robinson's house, we came to what I suppose would be called the park. There was an ascent of about seventy-five feet up a series of steps into the pagoda; a gentle ascent, not tiresome. On either side of the way were devotees at prayers, or beggars waiting for their rice; or booths where you could buy false pearls, imitation diamonds, beads, packages of gold leaf, flowers and cakes. The trinkets and flowers are given as offerings to Buddha; the gold leaf was sold for acts of piety.


Oh, how horrid this all seemed to me. I looked at the sad expression on the faces of the poor women devotees, and then I thought that they would go on, and live and die, and never know that Jesus died that they might live and have life and happiness in Him.

Inside of this park where the pagoda stands, are thousands of gods, of all sizes. I thought I would count them, and when I got up to a hundred of those that were not broken, I quit. And then to think of the many, many years that the religion of Buddha and Brahma has gone on, and holds such sway yet. To me this is among the incomprehensibles.

The Burmese ladies walk about in the street; their dress is very pretty; a very handsome figured cloth, almost always silk, and just wrapped about the waist and tucked in at the side. They do not fasten them with pins and hooks and buttons, as we do, and yet they look very neat.

You never see a Burmese woman with her hair uncombed; but they use no hairpins; how they put it up I don't know; but it is as straight, every hair, as it can be. It is done like the Chinese women do their hair.

They are very shrewd business women. I saw them unloading wood and marketing, just like men; and in any kind of business you will see Burmese women sharp and active.

I was so amused to see the Chinese and Burmese carpenters. I watched them one day as they were building a house, and there would be a half-dozen men, and they would be sitting down using their planes, holding the board with their toes. They have some very large and fine buildings there.

Their funerals are something like the Hindoos'. A big man had died; I heard a great sound of music, such as they have there; I can't describe it; it couldn't be described by music that we hear here; tin-pans and tambourines, and something like the noise that a stove pipe, or something of that kind would make. Oh, it was a jingle. Mrs. Robinson called me to look out at it; it was on the main street of the town, and it was a large funeral. Dozens of men would go before the hearse and lay down cloth; the hearse would drive over this cloth; and so they went on, the music following this procession.

When a poor coolie man dies they carry him around till he becomes so offensive that I was told sometimes the authorities


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