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heathen. It would be very unfair to expect converted scavengers to exhibit the same attention to the outward decencies of life as respectable high-caste heathen.
With the single exception of drunkenness, in a few cases, it may be said that converts exhibit a very marked improvement in every respect; and each succeeding generation rises higher and higher in the scale.
Dr. Caldwell says of Tinnevelly :
« In passing from village to village, you can tell, without asking a question, which village is Christian, and wbich is heathen.”..." Increased attention to cleanliness has invariably accompanied the reception of the Gospel in Tinnevelly. The higher classes of the Hindus have always been very cleanly, foi daily ablutions are a part of their religion ; but the lower classes are very filthy in their habits... Though there may be room for improvement still, the external appearance of our people, especially when assembled in Church, is so much more respectable than that of their heathen neighbours, they are so much cleaner and brighter-looking, that they would invitably be supposed by a stranger to be of higher caste than they are.”
It is remarked of Christian women, that when a European stranger visits their village, instead of hiding themselves like their heathen sisters," they come out and give him, as he passes, the Christian salutation."
Education, on the whole, has made very marked progress among the converts, most of whom, as heathen, would not have sent their children to School. This will be evident from the following statistics.
Total numbers Christian Proportion tian instrue. tending
School. London Mission, Travancore... 24,142 3,528 1 in 1 Church Mission, Tinnevelly... 37,415 5,103 1 in 6.7 S. P. G. do. do....... 16,858 2,727 1 in 6•2
Do. do. Tanjore circle. 4,624 690 1 in 6.7 American Madura Mission ... 6,391 585 l in 10.9 Church Mission, North India.
l in 4.6
under Chris- children at.
The average in the above Missions is as high as in Prussia, where the proportion is 1 in 6.27. In England it is 1. in 7.7 ; in Holland 1 in 8:1; in France 1 in 9.*
Out of 138,543 persons under Christian instruction in India, 93,072 are accounted for as above. With regard, however, to the Missions of other Societies, no definite information can be given. Some slovenly reports do not mention whether there are any schools connected with the stations ; others give the number of the schools but without the attendance; other reports give both the schools and the attendance, but no distinction is made between Christian and heathen children. In a few cases, it is be feared, that education is at a low ebb. Three or four years ago, a Missionary in Eastern Bengal appealed for help, though for a time without success, for educational purposes. He had 3,000 converts under his care ; but only 60 boys attended school for a few months a year, while the girls were totally uneducated. This, however, it is to be hoped, was one of the worst instances.
Female education in India owes its origin to Missions.
The Rev. J, Wenger thus notices the chief moral defects of Native Christians in Bengal :
“ Love of money, a sad want of straightforwardness, and the easy adoption of grossly abusive language, are prevailing features of the Bengali national character, and constitute ihe failings into which Native Christians are most apt to relapse. Impurity is as prevalent here and thought as lightly of, as intemperance in northern climates ; and is apt to prove a snare to Christians of this country, just as intemperance ofien proves a snare to Christians of more favoured lands.”+
In some parts of the country a lingering attachment to caste and questions about marriages, give much trouble.
* Report of the Educational Commissioners, p. 293. + Calcutta Christian Observer for 1858, p. 424.
" As at home, there is a good deal of chaff among the wheat. Still, Dr. Caldwell can report as follows as to the amount of vital religion in Tinnevelly :
“ We who have laboured in Tinnevelly as Missionaries and as pastors, who speak what we do know, and testify what we have seen,' are able to testify that there is in Tinnevelly, not only much of a vague general profession of religion, but an encouraging amount of genuine piety. In each of our little congregations God has a seed to serve Him. There is a little flock,' --would that I could say they are not a little flock ! of persons who appear to be called, and faithful and chosen' followers of the Lamb; and such persons show the reality of their religion by the regularity of their attendance on the means of grace, by their zeal in the acquisition of knowledge, by the quiet consistency of their lives, by their devout confidence in God's care, by their conquest over their caste prejudices, by the largeness of their charities, and in a variety of other wars which are quite satisfactory to their pastor's mind. The existence of this class of persons, though they are still a minority everywhere, is an immense encouragement to the Christian Missionary, for it proves to him that the Gospel has not waxed old-has not become effete, as some people affirm- but is still, as in primitive times, 'the power of God and the wisdom of God to the salvation of every one that believeth ; it proves that Christianity is not merely a new dogma, or a new society, but new love, new life; not merely a new patch upon an old garment or a new garment upon the old man,' but the creation of a new man' iu Christ Jesus."'*
XIII. NATIVE MINISTERS AND CATECHISTS.
Advantages of Native Agents.-Some of these are thus mentioned by Malcom :
“ The importance of this class of auxiliaries can scarcely be too highly estimated. Without risk of health, and with little expense or inconvenience, they can carry the tidings of salvation where a Missionary cannot go, or may not be sent for an age,
* Tinnevelly Missions, p. 128.
They can travel, eat, sit, and lodge, as the Natives do. Between these and themselves there is not that awful distance which can scarcely be overcome by a Missionary. · Their knowledge of the language is complete, which can seldom be said of a foreigner. They know, from experience, the exact temptations, doubts, difficulties, and prejudices of their hearers. They can talk with an inquirer, often and long, without drawing opposition upon him before he has become enlightened and firm enough to endure it.”
In India especially, there is this advantage, that the conversion of people of their own nation tells upon the Hindus, while they look upon Europeans as a distinct race of beings, whose creed or practices do not concern them in the slightest.
Classes of Agents. These vary in different parts of the country. A brief notice of them may be given, commencing with the lowest grade.
Readers. ---Men of this class have generally received little training. They visit the people, and in most cases also conduct public worship in small congregations. The best among them are equal to many in the next grade.
Catechists.-Agents of this class are so extensively employed in India in all Missions to the heathen, whether “they be Roman Catholic or Protestant, Episcopal or non-Episcopal,” that some account of the origin of the system seems necessary. Dr. Caldwell says:
“ When an European Missionary establishes himself in a new sphere, he generally finds it necessary to engage a few educated Christian Natives to assist him in making Christianity known in the surrounding country,—to go before him when he purposes visiting a village in order to invite the people to come and listen, and to follow up his address by instructing more fully, and in greater detail, those who are willing to learn. When the Missionary begins to make an impression in the neighbourhood, and Christianity has effected an entrance into village after village, the assistance of Native teachers becomes still more neces sary than before ; for in most parts of Tinnevelly, Christianity
finds the entire mass of the people unable to read and without schools, and much work requires to be done which the Missionary cannot himself overtake, and that at one and the same time, in many different and distinct villages. As soon as a few families in a village have agreed to abandon their idols, and to place themselves under Christian instruction, it is necessary that they should be formed into a congregation, and systematically instructed in every thing that a Christian should do. Accordingly a Catechist, or Native teacher, is sent to reside amongst them, to teach them their daily lessons in Scripture liistory and Christian doctrine, to assemble them every morning and evening for prayer and catechisation, to instruct them in the habits and usages suitable to a Christian community, to teach their children to read, and, in addition to all this, to endeavour to win over to Christianity those who remain in heathenism in that and neighbouring villages.
"In most of the smaller congregations the same person is both Catechist and Schoolmaster ; but when the congregation increases, a division of labour becomes necessary, and then the Catechist's work assumes more of the characier of the work of the ministry.” Tinevelly Missions, p. 70.
In some Missions where Agents are numerous, there are additional grades of Catechists, as Assistant Catechists, Inspecting Catechists.
The great distinction between Catechists and Native Ministers is, that the former do not baptise or administer the Lord's Supper.
Pastors or Ministers.-Agents of this class, strictly so called, are put in charge of one large congregation, of which they have the pastoral oversight. In addition most of them labour, more or less, among the heathen. Catechists noted for their piety, intelligence, and zeal, sometimes rise to this rank.
Native Missionaries.-In some cases they work in connection with European Missionaries, being in a measure responsible to them; in others they have the management of districts like Missionaries from home.
Native Agency a Test of a Mission.-- One of the best standards for estimating the real progress made