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-amusing to me because so unlike England. When all the directions. had been given, we found our rested horse and sais, had a little rest ourselves outside a serai, or native inn, and started off feeling quite fresh.
I never remember having such an amusing drive, as when we were returning there was a fair going on, and every bullock gari or native cart (ekka) was out: more than once we had to come to a standstill, the wide road was so crowded. As far as I was concerned nothing could have been better: there were gaudy reds and yellows, and every bright colour, just like a bed of tulips. The ekkas were sadly too full for the poor horses, with ten, twelve, or even thirteen persons crammed in; but fine colours flashed and jewels gleamed, while the bells round the horses' necks made a fine tinkling; it was thorough holiday-keeping to the Natives.
The roads were lined with sellers of toys a pice apiece-even grown-up people return from a mêla carrying one of these toys in their hands. We could not stop, the road was too full, but the sais good-naturedly jumped down and bought three or four for me to bring home for you. Then we came on the sports, men running with long, dressed-up bamboo poles, and flying kites. I do not think I ever laughed more than when we saw the roundabouts, swings with four seats, and in each seat four or more grave, turbaned men going up and down, with as much of a business-like air as if swinging were one of the gravest and most important duties of life.
Soon after reaching Amritsar we greeted Mr. Clark, on his return from Batala. We had a pleasant time before dinner whilst he told us stories about A.L.O.E.
Mr. Clark was very anxious I should accept a kind invitation from A.L.O.E., and said he would drive me the twenty-four miles to Batala, but there were no days to spare. It did seem a pity not to see what Mr. Clark calls "the brightest spot in India." I think a good name for Miss Tucker would be "the main-spring of Batala," for certainly she keeps all the work there going. Since she has been in India she has written fifty-four books, and besides this, gets time for her Bible, goes for some hours daily to the Zenanas, and now, whilst Mr. Baring is in England, looks after the boys in the school. How happy those boys are to have Miss Tucker with them: whether it is work or play, she will always help them.
Young as the boys are, many are ready to work; thev o to mêlas to
sing and attract a crowd. The hot sun which tires English missionaries does not make their heads ache, and often they will speak to the people around them of their Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ. Will not these boys make capital missionaries when they are older? Miss Tucker always makes time to play the harmonium, or teach the boys new songs or hymns, and is deeply interested in their cricket and other games. There is a general feeling that nothing can be done without her; she keeps every one around her happy and is always happy herself. The true secret of being cheerful is to make sunshine for others: no one can really do this who has not her heart full of the love of Jesus.
Miss Tucker is very pleased to entertain guests. In honour of Mr. Clark's and Mr. Wade's visit, the boys had a concert, and Miss Tucker wrote them two new songs. One will be sung as a welcome when Mr.
Baring comes back, and these are the words of it :
"What welcome sound now meets my ear?
He is coming again, he is coming again.
Far from his school, far from his school.
By love to rule, by love to rule.
"We've missed him in our study time,
And in our play, and in our play.
Who loves us so, who loves us so."
In the garden at the Medical Mission bungalow, Miss Hewlett showed me a large banyan-tree, which has two offshoots belonging to it. The tree is called Amritsar; the larger offshoot Batala, the other Jandiala. Do you not hope there will soon be many more shoots to the tree which can be called after other Zenana Mission stations in the Punjab ?
If I tell you a little about the Sikhs you will care more to hear what we saw when we went, as every one does, to the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
* Bud of pomegranate. The name of the house.
At the time of the Wars of the Roses in England, and fourteen years before Martin Luther was born in Germany, a baby was born to a poor tradesman in India. At the age of seven the boy was sent to school; the teachers there thought him clever, but could not understand him, he was too fond of talking, or what he called prophesying.
When Nanak left school his father wished him either to become a merchant, or to work with his hands; but the boy said that he could not do it, and still went on saying such strange things that the father sent for the doctor, who said "the boy was mad." The father said, "I will make the boy work, and then perhaps he will not think and talk so much"; so he sent him to an office.
One day whilst Nanak was bathing in the canal, he said some angels came to him and brought him a cup of delicious drink, made of the honey out of plants, and told him to go and talk about God to every one. I am afraid Nanak may have made up this tale, because he liked talking better than work; but a great many people believed him and became hist disciples, or as they were called in that country, Sikhs.
Poor Nanak did not know much about God, so he made great mistakes when he tried to talk about Him. He found fault with other religions, and said to his disciples, "I will teach you a right and true way." More and more people listened, and they used to repeat to one another the wonderful things Nanak said. He wandered all over the country, always talking-sometimes sense but oftener nonsense. The last words he said were his best ones: "Have mercy upon me, the lowest sinner. Blessed be the Lord."
After the death of Nanak, who was the first teacher, or guru, of the Sikhs, there were other gurus, but all of them spoke of the prophecies of Nanak. At last, when he had been dead seventy or eighty years, a book was written of all his sayings which could be remembered, and when the men could not remember, they made up, or got an old poetry-book and copied out a bit. You will think it must be a very dull book, and you are quite right; but the Sikhs are very proud of it, and call it the Sacred Grunth, or book.
They have built a temple for it, which is so grand that it is called the Golden Temple. This temple is of white marble, and stands in a huge tank, or small lake, in which are many fish. The roof is made of copper, covered with gold. All round the pond is a marble courtyard, and you reach the temple by a marble pier, or road, edged with golden walls and lamps.
The doors of the temple are silver, the windows golden. It is all dazzling, in the sunshine, and looks very grand reflected in the blue waters of the lake. The marble floor inside is inlaid with stones, and wherever you look are fine colours and gilding.
Many persons feed the large fish in the tank at the Golden Temple. I will tell you the way this is done. The name of Allah, or God, is written out perhaps 300 times, then a number of dough pills are made, and in each pill is a bit of the paper which has the sacred name on it: the fishes are fed with this holy food. The poor people say, "We consider that feeding the fishes is a good and holy work. When the fish has swallowed the pill he has the name of God inside him, and he will pray for us and bring us a blessing."
(To be continued.)
JULY MISSIONARY ENIGMA.
The illustrations of "Eastern Proverbs" have in many cases been excellent. If space permits we hope to print some of them.
Answers have been received from :
C. M. R. B.; E. M. C.; J. K. F.; G. M. F.; L. W. M.; M. S. N.; C. M. P.; M. E. P.; J. R.; M. C. W.; E. W.
A C.E.Z.M.S. station is buried in each of the following sentences; find these places, and give one missionary fact about each :
(1) Though the Juggernaut procession no longer costs the sacrifice of human life, it is by no means obsolete; with the idol in the centre, van, drums and other native instruments accompany the devotees with a hideous noise.
(2) The following names belong either to writers on Foreign Missions, or are the subjects of true incidents in our Magazines: Tucker, Susan, Yonge, Amina.
(3) Amasa, Uri, Anak, and Sihon, though little is known of them personally, are connected with interesting passages of sacred history.
(4) We read in Scripture of images and idols formed of "stock," "ash," clay," "gold and silver."
(5) A writing lesson in South India is a simple affair; little children sit on the ground in a row, all intent on forming letters in the sand with their fingers.
(6) A white dress, pith hat shaped somewhat like a coal-heaver's, and blue spectacles -this is the usual way English Zenana missionaries dress in India.
The Banking Account of the Society has been transferred from the Union Bank of London to WILLIAMS, DEACON AND MANCHESTER AND SALFORD BANK. It is requested that cheques may in future be crossed to the latter Bank,