Page images



Miss Graham writes on June 2nd, You have heard, no doubt, of a young caste man who became a Christian while I was in England.



This is our hot season, and very scorching the sun is in the daytime; but this year it has been so tempered by heavy showers that the turf on our lawn is green, and our lilies-scarlet, white, pink, and tiger-are in blossom. Miss Bell came back from Benares on the 17th. She left here on January 1st, so has had a nice long holiday, and is now enjoying with me the sweet garden and the singing of the birds. Our bulbuls are very happy just now; they are rearing their young ones before the heavy rains, expected in the end of May. The golden orioles, black and white robins, and

[ocr errors]

TREVANDRUM.-A Garden in South India.

He is a marvellous proof of the power of God to rescue from the very depths of wickedness.

Miss Blandford writes on March 23rd, 1894 :

paradise fly-catchers are rejoicing too. How wonderful God's love is in sending us so much of beauty for our enjoyment besides all the things necessary to our daily existence !

Miss Waitt is at Trichur with Miss Crooke. I hope she will be allowed to return here to help Miss Bell when I take my long-deferred furlough next year, please God. I should like to have three English ladies here permanently besides our little doctor, Miss Lena Beaumont, and our assistants! then the work might be well done, and the open doors-still wide open-entered.


SAN YONG.-Christmas-cards.

Some of our readers very generously responded to Miss Maude Newcombe's appeal for old Christmas-cards, to distribute amongst Chinese people. These cards have not been sent in vain. Miss Newcombe writes on March 26th:

God has wonderfully used the Christmas-cards in drawing people to church on Sundays. We have made the rule that they must first come to

Sunday-school, and then sit through the service and listen to the sermon, and then the cards are distributed. Sunday after Sunday, the members

have increased, till yesterday, the children and grown-up people all reckoned, 250 attended morning service.

It was very wonderful how quietly they sat during the service, and the teacher spoke very nicely to them afterwards.


To our great regret, we hear that Miss Strong has been ordered home, as her eyes have been suffering. Change of climate is the best remedy.


Jottings from Miss Hankin's Letters.

the afternoons, almost always asking some question according to .Chinese etiquette of any who pass, such as, "Have you eaten yet?" and then telling them why we have come to China. We get splendid opportunities of preaching the Gospel, for we can always find people to talk to, and when going through a village, forms and tea are brought out at once, and we can get grand talks. I know it is more difficult at home, but I do believe Christians always ought to be ready to speak anywhere.

One afternoon we met a small boy, and after a talk asked what his load contained; he opened the basket and showed us about 100 large frogs, very good to eat. We told him to bring them here as we wanted to taste them, but they were about 1d. each, and our servant thought them too expensive so we have not had them yet.

Another day we met a Christian; we knew him by his using the Christian salutation, "Peace." After a few words he said to me, "Take some."


Afternoon Walks and Talks.

I looked in his basket, and there was a miscellaneous assortment of

We get many talks as we walk in shrimps, snails, little fishes, &c. Of

Teaching under Difficulties.


The number of women in our little Church is steadily increasing-many seem really in earnest. Our Friday afternoon meetings for women seem noisy to English ears. I will tell you why. Imagine twenty Heathen women and perhaps a dozen Christians. begin to talk, after singing and prayer, and just manage to get my point begun, when every one begins to ask questions. In three or four minutes our meeting is broken up into four or five groups-F. has one, I another, the Bible-woman a third, and so on. We talk for an hour or more; some have a peculiar gift for loud talking. So we go on, until our throats are tired we feel the women understand something, then we call them to order and have prayer, and disperse, or talk separately for another half-hour. Our last two meetings have been quieter, as now we have a good nucleus of women who know a little.


We have taught them a prayer that we say together, and they use this in their homes.

course I politely declined, but that is Chinese custom, and he gave me a great handful, meaning me to eat them on the spot. I thanked him, but brought them home for the catechist's children.

Yesterday, when we were having dinner, a poor old Heathen woman came up to see us, and before we could stop her, she had knelt down to worship us. It seemed so awful to think of such darkness.

I hardly like to tell you of more villages, for each one is just the same, an eager crowd of those who have never seen a foreigner before, and, almost without exception, have never heard the Name of Jesus-I think I

[ocr errors]

might add, in every place some willing to be taught. The women follow us as we walk away, saying, "Let me come to your school."

The Christians here are all roused up. They say to us, "If you will teach our women, you have won our families and our villages."

We know we are being helped with the language; of course we do not talk well, but the Heathen can understand us, and that is what we came here for, to preach this glorious Gospel.

I have much to thank you for, for we feel it is in answer to your prayers that God is blessing these people, and oh what joy to meet them in His presence hereafter.

The late Canon boare.

IN the removal of Canon Hoare, who quietly fell asleep in a ripe old age on Saturday, July 7th, the Church of Christ in England has sustained a heavy loss. For forty-one years, he has been identified with Tunbridge Wells as the loved and faithful pastor of an important parish, and the centre of holy, spiritual influence in the town and neighbourhood. He has long been known as the staunch and unflinching champion in the pulpit and on the platform of the Evangelical and Protestant principles of the Church of England. His familiar figure, his well-known voice, his wise, weighty, and cheerful words, will be sorely missed at the meetings of the Church Missionary, Church Pastoral-Aid, Bible, and other Societies. In their Committee-rooms, especially when any anxious and critical question was under consideration, his presence was always welcome; his wise counsel and clear judgment threw light on a perplexing problem, while his personal influence as one who walked humbly and closely with God, raised to a higher level the whole tone of the discussion. Our own Society has from the first been largely indebted to him for advice and sympathy. He took the deepest interest in its formation. He was one of the Society's Council of Reference. He

presided at our Annual Meeting in 1889. In spite of increasing infirmities, he was present, according to his invariable custom, to open the Annual Sale at Tunbridge Wells in Easter week this year, and spoke a few cheering and solemnising words. We hope to add in our next Number to this very brief notice some reminiscences from the pen of one who during several years had the privilege of attending his ministry. G. T.

The Todas.

BY THE REV. T. Walker, M.A.

MYSTERY hangs round the past history of the Todas. Their language being a branch of the great Dravidian group, which includes Tamil, Telugu, Canarese, Malayalam, &c., &c., is the chief evidence which helps us to identify their origin. It bears most affinity to Canarese, so there seems strong reason for supposing that the original Todas came from the Canarese country and found their way, either in a spirit of adventure, or driven by some tide of invasion, up the "ghauts," or mountain passes, of the Nilgiris to the grassy summits where they now reside. But two difficulties bar the way to a certain conclusion as to their original dwelling-place. In the first place their personal appearance differs widely from that of the Dravidian peoples of the plains. Fine, handsome figures, with good heads and finely chiselled features, characterise both males and females.

There is an open, fearless look about their countenance, while the nose is almost Roman in shape. Their complexion is dark-so dark, in fact, as to differentiate them widely from the ordinary Native of India. The general appearance of their physique has been described as "Jewish," and there have not been wanting theorists who, in their zeal to invent some new fancy, have ventured to suggest that in the Todas of the Nilgiris we have the remnant of the lost ten tribes! Verily it is a credulous world in which we live! But one thing is certain, viz., that but for the evidence of philology we should hardly dare to connect this handsome independent hill-tribe with the Dravidian dwellers on the plains below.

The second obstacle which bars the way to certain conclusions is the religion of the Todas. It has no connexion whatever with either the

Brahminical on the one hand, or the Dravidian demonolatry on the other. Hinduism, as prevalent all over South India, is a mixture of Brahmanism and devil-worship, obviously representing a compromise between the religion of the Aryan invaders (Brahmans) and that of the real Natives of the country. Even amongst the Badagas, who live in close conjunction with the Todas, Hinduism prevails. But not a trace of it exists amongst the Todas. Neither has devil-worship any place among them. Some writers have sought to account for the absence of these systems on the theory of degeneration, i.e. that the Todas started with one or other of them but have gradually forgotten them. But any one who knows how tenaciously the Native of India clings to his ancestral religion will never accept the idea that a whole tribe of them have lost any shred or particle of theirs. Moreover, the religion of the Todas, if such it may be called, is unique, and will be described later on.

This strange tribe of men, therefore, though allied by their language with the other vernacular races of South India, yet in respect alike of their physique and their religion, stand apart from all the rest in singularity. They can throw no light on the history of their past. Traditions, which seem to be the outcome of their customs, and may possibly be only the inventions of speculative writers, connect them, it is true, with the story of the Malâ Bârada, and so with the kingdoms and wars of the plains; but these traditions fail utterly to account for the absence of the religious faith which is interwoven throughout the story of the Bârada. I tried to ascertain whether they had any lingering traditions of the past, but in reply to questions as to their origin, the length of time of their settlement on the hills, &c., no information could be elicited. The prevalent idea amongst them is that the Nilgiris have been their abode from time immemorial. They are, as it were, "kings of the hills," the other hill-tribes paying them tribute, and even our own Government having to make due compensation for their land.

So here we must leave them, the question of their origin (from the north-east plains or the west) being undecided. In this respect, as in several others, they stand quite apart.

Their Numerical Strength.-The Todas are not a numerous tribe. Owing to the custom of polyandry, which formerly was universal among them, they practised female infanticide, and so their numerical strength was rather in danger of decrement than liable to increment. But there appears to be a small but steady increase in their numbers for some time

« PreviousContinue »