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Report of Mohammedan Schools, 1894.
The children assembled this afternoon represent four schools from four different parts of Madras. One is from Mercar, Lubbay Street, North Blacktown; one from Morr Street South, Blacktown ; one from Wallayah Road, Chepauk; and one is the school belonging to this compound. Our numbers are larger than in any previous year, for our school steadily increases; but the need for more schools is very great, these four schools being the only purely Mohammedan schools where the Bible is taught amongst a population of close upon 25,000 women and children.
It would be easy to open schools in several districts of Madras at the present time. In one district I have been asked to do so, but cannot consent from want of means. We want more money and we want more helpers. The children are of all ranks of Mohammedans and Lubbays, those from Blacktown being the richest, those from Rugapetra the poorest.
Several changes have been made in the teaching staff during the year, and I am happy to say that all the changes have been in the way of improvement. Our present teachers are nearly all hard-working and painstaking women, who are much liked by their pupils, and influence them wisely. The children have made steady progress during the year in secular subjects, many working hard in hopes of being able
eventually to become teachers. Drill has been more, thoroughly taught than before, and in spite of considerable opposition from relations, who think drill and exercise injurious to the health of their children, considerable progress has been made. Singing, too, is now taught by Tonic Sol-fa by Miss Sell; but this year, at all events, we think we had better sing in private. The Bible is taught regularly and systematically in all the schools, and for some years no opposition has been made. No child is received if the parents are unwilling to have her learn the Bible; I tell them plainly that we teach it, and they are free to keep their children away if they do not like our rules, but our rules will not be changed.
I should be extremely pleased if any lady here will come and visit our schools and see them at work at any time I should be still more pleased if any ladies would go with me to visit the homes from which these little ones come, then they would be able to judge from their own experience of the terrible need of the work. I am sure they only need to see to be filled with the wish to do something to help these women and children who are almost powerless to help themselves.
Total: 316 children, 12 teachers. N.B.-Several ladies have answered the appeal and come to schools and Zenanas.
A Madras newspaper gives the following account of Miss Oxley's prizegiving :
A correspondent writes :-" On the 30th I was invited to be present at the annual treat and prize-giving to the girls of the Mohammedan Schools in the city. Some years ago when the Mission was begun it was considered almost hopeless to start a school, and when we think of the prejudices and customs of centuries being overcome, the result on Tuesday seemed marvellous!
In the morning, covered carts were sent to the four schools in different parts of Madras for the children, as they are not allowed to be seen by men, who are also kept out of the compound. There are police regulations to secure their privacy. About one o'clock there was an unusual buzz and 316 dusky little forms in every variety of colour might be seen gliding between the old trees, gay flowers, and variegated crotons. When not in school many of them pass their lives in small, dark rooms with only a court in the middle, so we can imagine what a pleasure it was for them to see a full expanse of sky, trees, and flowers. They also enjoyed playing with the water from the Municipal tap! They had sweets and fruit given to them and amused themselves with their twelve teachers till 4 p.m., when some English visitors tried to get up games, but their gracefully folded drapery and the instinctive drawing the veil over the head was scarcely adapted to such rough play and seemed out of place.
Miss Gell had kindly consented to give the prizes, and arrived at 4.30. Afterwards came Mrs. Hope, Mrs. Cox, Mrs. Gibson, Mrs. Morley, Mrs.
Stewart, and many others with some distinguished Mohammedan ladies. The children were then seated on mats with their respective teachers, and the effect was like a scene from 'The Arabian Nights.' As they are of all social grades, there was great variety in costume from the gorgeous gold-embroidered silk, and richly jewelled head, nose, ears, arms, and ankles, to the simple cloths of two gay colours. A class rose and sang the familiar hymn, 'There is a Happy Land,' in Hindustani (I believe the air is Indian). Another went through some calisthenics, which are quite a new feature. Pitying the confined life of these little ones it was thought well by those in authority to introduce these exercises. At first they were objected to, and some children removed, but when the parents found they were not injurious to health they did not mind. Each child who had passed in the recent examinations was to have a prize. Hundreds of dolls were sent by those interested in the work from England, and there were also some gay clothes. Each child received her prize with raising the hand to the brow and gracefully bending the body-a great improvement upon the abrupt nod our English girls give under similar circumstances.
After the prizes were given, the English ladies had refreshments and played and sang to amuse those Mohammedan ladies and children who remained. Thus closed one of the most interesting ceremonies I have seen, and I heartily wish every success to the Mission."
The Second Feast of Ingathering at Zion Church.
HINTADREPETTAH is a suburb of Madras where two hon.
missionaries in local connexion, Mrs. Clarke and Mrs. Hensman, the daughters of the late Mrs. Satthianadhan, carry on the work which their mother founded. In lieu of Annual Letters from these ladies, we print an article from a Madras newspaper, which shows some of the results of patient, thorough work.
On the morning of Easter Monday, passengers along the road in front of Zion Church must have been struck with the grand display of flags and banners over the gateway, and by the long line of tents that were pitched on the eastern side of the church compound. People whose curiosity was excited, stepped in to see what it was all about. As they entered, they passed along a path, on either side of which was a long array of flags with suitable inscriptions.
They were welcomed by the turkeys and ducks, fowls and sheep that occupied the first tent. A cockturkey in particular, foremost among them all, made a display of his plumage before the visitors, welcoming them by his shrill voice and inviting their kind inspection. Passing along, they reached the main tent, on the wings of which were suspended bunches of cocoanuts and palmyra fruits, and on either side of its entrance was a plantain-tree in full bearing and in the richness of its foliage. In the centre of the tent was a large square platform, around and upon which were arranged a number of tables. A large table on one side
of the platform was burdened with fancy articles of every description, brass plate and copper utensils, flower-vases and scent-bottles, packets of tea and coffee, picture-frames and cut-glass vessels, lamps and corner brackets, and a number of other articles.
On the other side of the platform were exhibited the products of nature, forming a strong contrast to man's art-fruits and vegetables of every kind, which clothed by nature's adorning hand in varied colours in the beauty of all their freshness, presented a most attractive sight. On the tables placed on the platform, on three sides, were seen a variety of useful and attractive books with sundry fancy articles, all arranged in such a way as to give a grandeur and beauty to the scene. Arching overhead in two diagonal lines were exhibited silk, cotton, and woollen stuffs and fancy wool-work. Seats were placed in the body of the tent. and seated on them were a number of men, women, and children, with their bright and happy faces turned towards the platform. Others were standing round the platform for want of seats.
All eyes are fixed on something which is raised up to the view of the congregation by a man on the platform.
"It is such a dear, nice little article, surely it is worth more than that," the man is heard to say, and behold, on all sides, voices are heard in succession each outbidding his predecessor. Once, twice, and thrice, and down goes the hammer. The name of the last bidder is asked for, and the article is handed over to him. Now it is a bunch of some fruits which the auctioneer holds up in his hands. The fruits are of a globular form, of a reddish-brown colour, streaked with rays of yellow patches. One says, "What pretty fruits they are? Aren't they palmyra fruits? I should like to go in for them."
Presently the competition becomes keen. Europeans and Natives, both ladies and gentlemen, vie with each other in bidding, probably attracted by the beauty of the fruits, or more perhaps for the sake of its contents. And at last it is knocked down at a price that is exorbitant as compared with its market price. And now it is a sheep that is lifted up on the shoulders of a man. It struggles to get free, but the more it struggles the more is it held firmly until the bid goes high up.
of every description, sweetmeats, and other eatables. Lemonade, roseade, gingerade, soda-water, ice-cream, and coffee were served on one side. People paid freely and partook freely of the refreshments, as if they were members of one happy family.
"What does all this mean?" inquired a visitor of one of the bystanders. What was his surprise when he was told that the things exhibited in the tents and sold to the highest bidder, were the freewill offerings of the members of Zion Church, and that the proceeds might be utilised for the benefit of the Church.
On another side of the tent, screened off from the main part, was the refreshment-stall. It seemed to be all life within. People were streaming to and from it. Spread on a central table within were cakes
Ah, well, one might ponder whether or not the Church of Christ in this our land shows signs of activity indicative of its growth and development. It is alleged by some that Christianity in. India is a failure, and that its converts, for the sake of temporal blessings, embrace a religion of which they have no true conviction; and as a strong reason in support of this view they assert that Native Churches are not self-supporting. Considering the comparative modern growth of the Indian Churches, the atmosphere in which they have "to move and have their being," and the poverty of the majority of its members, it is an encouraging sign, full of abundant hope for the future, to see such modes of activity exhibited by an Indian Church. Well may Western. Churches that have enjoyed spiritual blessings for more than a thousand years, accuse the Church in India of stunted spiritual growth as compared. with them. But they fail to judge the infant Church by the circumstances
under which it is placed. One would feel that the members of Zion Church are not wanting in their zeal, as is evident from the way in which the young and old, the rich and poor, freely and joyfully joined in the movement and contributed his or her share. It is an agreeable surprise to some that the proceeds of the sale amounted to Rs. 220, being a hundred rupees in excess of the first experiment of the previous year. In this connexion it may be mentioned how even little childr. n contribute their mite gladly. Dolls and other playthings which they cherish most, and which they got as presents from friends and relatives, were joyfully and cheerfully sent to the ingathering meeting.
To those interested in Zenana work, it will be news to hear how the Hindu women sympathised with this movement. Eighteen rupees were voluntarily contributed and several articles were sent by them, and many wished they had given more. Such sympathy Such sympathy in Christian movements awakened in the hearts that have long been under the thraldom of Hinduism, bound fast
by the traditions and the superstition of ages, and clinging to them with such tenacity and firmess. as could not be witnessed anywhere else,-is not only encouraging to Zenana workers, but is indeed a sign pregnant with much hope for the future. It is the soft influence and silent eloquence of those at home that has been undoing the work of missionary educational agency, and has been the stumbling-block of many a man who would have boldly come out to confess Christ as his Saviour and Master. Now that they have begun to free themselves from their superstition and wish to be in active co-operation with Christian movements, the day is not far off when, under the providence of God, by the combined efforts of Zenana Mission and Missionary Educational agency, the whole of India will be brought to the feet of Christ. Then will Christian India, like Christian England, not only support her own Churches, but will also send out her own missionaries to those fields that are in need of labourers. The Christian Patriot, April 5th, 1894.
The Mysore Mission.
The last cen
HE Mysore has a remarkable history of its own.
built up by treachery and bloodshed fell, and the victory of the English brought peace. The Rajahs have reigned from that time. under British supremacy, and the country is open to Christian Missions. The history of our own Mission is very modern, for it only dates from