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NORTH INDIA MISSION.
Two clergymen, the Rev. Edgar N. Thwaites, Rector of Fisherton, Salisbury, and the Rev. Martin J. Hall, have been spending the winter months in Ceylon and India, in order to hold a temporary evangelistic mission.
Mr. Thwaites writes to our Clerical Secretary from Calcutta, on January 31st, 1894 :—
God has given us "showers of blessing" all the way along. We had a splendid passage; we met with welcome and kindness at Bombay, Agra, Lucknow, and Benares, and now at Calcutta, everywhere we find a wonderful readiness of the people to hear the grand old Gospel story
with which you are all so familiar. Here at Calcutta, where we have just finished a ten days' mission, we have glorious signs of the Spirit's working.
I have seen much of the glorious work of the C.E.Z.M.S., and have met many of the ladies.
Our last Number, p. 132, contained a letter from Miss Elsie Marshall, under the heading, "Embarrassing Hospitality." To our great regret, this letter was printed as "from Miss Hankin." We have no excuse to offer to Miss Marshall and Miss Hankin for the mistake, except that copies of letters from these two ladies arrived about the same time, and were accidentally confused. We hope they and their friends will accept our apology.
(The Editor disclaims responsibility for the opinions of Correspondents.)
OLD CLOTHES TO SELL.
DEAR EDITOR,-In spite of many hindrances, our sale of which I wrote to you was a great success. Very few ladies came because of the pouring rain, but the working people bought everything useful and suitable for them.
The renovated old dress department was a great success-every dress sold, bought by the respectable poor of my mothers' meeting, who have been saving
up their money for months. The hat and bonnet stall created great amusement. I made sixteen children's frocks out of old things, and they looked like I think I see the way to make this an annual sale, if friends will but send me left-off garments.
We took 447., and on only one day, and I shall send 50l. to London, and am only waiting for a few more articles to be sold privately.
The men's clothes actually brought in 57., and these were no use to the friends who sent them, but all purchasers are most content. We mended up and turned everything that needed it.
The Id. bundles gained 17.; that will give you an idea of the number of poor women who were present. In answer to my letter in INDIA'S WOMEN, I only received one parcel.
M. E. Fox.
A HINT WITH REGARD TO COLLECTING CARDS.
Dear Editor,—May I make use of your pages to suggest to my fellowworkers the great need of care in the circulation of collecting cards and boxes? Each year as the month of March comes round, one notes with regret the very small result of the many cards that have been distributed during the year. A very valued Local Secretary writes thus to me :
"There is one thing as an old Secretary I would like to impress on other débutantes, viz, the incalculable importance of having every card booked or kept in view by the Secretary; if not able to do this herself, she should empower another lady to act for her. If this is not done at the time of issue, generally at the public or drawing-room meeting, the interest evaporates, the collecting-card after a few weeks is quite forgotten, the year closes, the accounts are called in, and many card-holders are defaulters through being responsible to no one for their return. Thus numerous small sums are constantly lost to the Society, the holders are demoralised by the transaction, and the Society suffers accordingly.
"No one but the Secretary, or some one representing her, should issue the cards, and she should keep a numbered list of the names and addresses of holders, and look after each card several weeks before the close of the year."
I would add to these suggestions that the Half-crown and Five Shilling cards be called in at the end of three or six months, and that no children be allowed to keep a card longer than that time without inspection by the Secretary.
Every card given out should be carefully filled up with pen and ink, bearing date of return and full address of Secretary, in addition to the collector's name. In schools I find it an excellent plan to let each candidate for a card write her name and address on a slip of paper which I provide. I gather up these slips, take them home, fill up the cards from them, and draw up a clear list for the
headmistress, keeping the slips for my own use. Even with this care I have difficulties, but I find it a useful check against carelessness or forgetfulness in collecting.
AN ASSOCIATION SECRETARY.
PRAISE AND PRAYER.
Meetings for praise and prayer will be held (D.V.) at the Society's office, 9, Salisbury Square, E.C., on Tuesday, April 10th, at 3.30, and in the Manor House, Leigh Road, Highbury, N., on Tuesday, April 24th, at 3.30.
REQUESTS FOR PRAISE.
From our Missionaries of the Mohammedan Mission, Calcutta.
I. Praise for much blessing in our household during the late Mission and special meetings.
2. Praise for the consistent profession of their faith in Christ which two poor little girls in the low-caste school have been enabled to show.
REQUESTS FOR PRAYER.
Prayer for the conversion of the parents of two girls mentioned in Request for Praise, No. 2, and that they may be brought to give their consent to the baptism of their children.
Prayer for a Mohammedan widow at Calcutta, and her three sons, who seem to be near the Kingdom.
Prayer for Horimoni (see p. 162).
Miss E. Highton (Baranagore) asks for prayer for a married girl of fourteen, who much wishes to confess her faith in Christ by baptism, that she may be "kept by the power of God," confess Him at home by her life, and when of age (eighteen) may have grace and courage to give up all, if need be, for His sake.
Purchasers of Garden Produce.
1. Choice hardy perennial plants, 400 different kinds, at lower prices than nurserymen's, correctly named, are offered by a friend of the Missions. A priced catalogue will be forwarded on application to the Financial Secretary, C.E.Z.M.S., 9, Salisbury Square, E.C.
2. The best English Lavender Water is offered by another. Price Is. per bottle, post free; profits for the C.E.Z.M.S. Miss Jonas, 75, Burnt Ash Hill, Lee, S.E.
Magic-Lantern Slides.-Miss Dawe, senior missionary at Bollobhpur, Bengal, writes: "I shall be thankful for the gift of new magic-lantern slides, especially on missionary work in other lands, to help in cultivating a missionary spirit among our people; also slides illustrating the story of the Prodigal Son, the Acts of the Apostles, &c., would be very acceptable.' Magic-lantern slides, &c., forwarded by the Lady Superintendent, Manor House, Leigh Road, Highbury, N.
More Stories from Mother's Mote-books.
CHAPTER IV.—A FEAST.
HE last afternoon I was in Agra we had no sooner finished dinner than we had to go to a Native feast at the house of one of the Christians in the village. The occasion was the birth of the first son, who was now eleven days old. The little hero was dressed very smartly; he wore a nightgown of large green and red plaid, and a frilled cap to match. A little pair of nicely knitted woollen shoes looked comfortable, but over them were silver anklets; while round his poor neck he wore two such stiff collars or necklaces of silver that it seemed as if he would be strangled.
Our kind hosts had made large preparations for our visit. In the courtyard before their house, poles had been put up, and blankets were stretched over them to form a tent or awning. On the floor were more blankets, which served as a carpet!
All this we took in at a glance. We also saw that many guests had already arrived, and were seated on the floor. Through the open door of the house we could see ten or twelve women, and we could also hear them, for they had the use of the tom-tom * that the missionary takes with him when he wishes to collect a congregation in the villages. We are not used to Indian music; at present it sounds to us like a dismal wail, without
tune or harmony. However, what we thought rather a miserable noise cheered the missionaries, for they explained to us that the dirges which were sung were Christian hymns with good words, whilst generally at Indian festivals the heathen sing bad songs.
As I could not talk, excepting to those guests who knew a few English words, there was plenty of time to devote to the baby, who was a funny, sleepy, little brown ball, not half so amusing as a neighbour's baby, who was also nursed and petted, and was so perfectly delighted with our white faces that he did nothing but laugh and crow his admiration.
After a while there was a pause in the banging at the drum, and the singers were still. A Bible and hymn-book were handed to our missionary friend; he read and explained a chapter, and then prayed for the baby. After this we wished to join in singing a hymn, but we could not make out a single letter of the Persian or Arabic character in our hymn-book.
Our dinner was cooked in brass pans, one above the other, in a corner of the courtyard. The fireplace was very simple, being two little mounds of mud about as tall as a brick. A fire was made on the ground, and the pans were placed on the two little mud walls. You will want to know what we had for dinner. It was difficult to begin to eat so soon after we had finished our real dinner, nevertheless we managed each course. First we had pillau, a mixture of raisins, rice, onions, meat, and spices; the second course was curry and rice, and the third rice boiled dry in treacle.
Do you think the feast was ended now? Oh no! The mother had been very busy preparing the pan; we did not like to decline taking it, and made ourselves very wretched by chewing. We succeeded in gratifying our kind host, and as there were forty other guests watching us take our dinner, it was worth while to do our best. After the pan came the hookah. The missionary took a few whiffs; but was kind enough not to hand it to father, which was a great relief.
All the time we were eating, guests were assembling, and the courtyard was now very full of men, women, and babies. Father was asked to make a speech, which he did through our friend, who translated each sentence into Hindu; the chief man then repeated the words to the guests.
All good things must come to an end-even feasts. As the sun was setting we gave the baby a final kiss, said another little prayer for him in our hearts, and bade good-bye to our hosts.