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but I heard she speaks to others.” 6 What does she speak ? " 66 When they don't give sheep and proper offerings, then she speaks through some people, and asks them why they have not given them.” “ Then the idol must eat, because you say when the people do not give offerings she asks: did you ever see her eat
No, she cannot eat, they only show her the offerings and then take them away." “ But why does she ask things which she does not need, and why do the people give to her when she does not need ? " does not eat, they just give."
“ You told me she speaks ; when does she speak?” " At nights." “Where is her temple ?” “ About a mile off from this place.” · Is there any pujali (officiating priest) for that temple ?" “Yes."
Is the temple door locked every night?". ** Yes." “ Who has the key?" “ The pujali.” “Does he sleep in the temple, or in his own house ?" “ In his own house."
“ Does he take the key with him, or leave it in the temple ?" “ He takes the key with him." “ Then how can the goddess come out, seeing she is locked up in the temple, and the pujali takes the key with him and sleeps in his own house ?"
Here the respondent was completely silenced, and the people looked on with a kind of stupid wonder.
The native preacher then seized the opportunity of showing them the uselessness of having an idol like that as their goddess. “There," said he, “I have a stick in my hand ; it was given me by a friend ; it is a very good stick. 'I take it with me wherever |
go, because it is a good strong one ; but if it breaks and becomes useless, I will immediately cast it aside. So your goddess is of no use to you; it is only an idol of wood; she cannot give you any rain, neither can she deliver you from your troubles: why do you give her offerings so extensively as you told me—every house a sheep some part of the year?”
The crowd was now considerable, and at this point another man came forward and said, “ We do not believe that this idol is able to do any thing for us ; we do not think that the idol eats any of the things that we offer."
“ What! what do you mean? this goddess does nothing for you?” “No, nothing for us.' “ Butare there any other idols that you have that will do any ing? »
thing for you? will this Ramasawmy or this Vencateeswaroodoo do any thing for you?” “No, none of them can do any thing for us, they are all equally useless," said a stout man. “Then why do you offer every year in this village, as that man told me every house gives ? " "O we wish to eat them ; but as a matter of custom we set them before her and then eat.” “ Then you declare that these idols are of no use?'
“Yes, I think 80; ( believe so."
When this declaration was made, one thin, tall, energetic man, darted from the crowd, and said, “Is it your own belief, or that of the thousands that you are declar
"Í state my own belief,” said the stout man. "But,” said the other, “we must not be guided by what this man believes, but by what the thousands believe."
“ What is the belief of the thousands about this idol?" said Venkataramiah. “They believe," said the tall man, " that she has life and divine power.'
“Has she life? I heard just now from this man that she is made of a margosa tree.
Who cut down the tree and made her?" He quibbled here, and gave no proper answer.
" When did she come there into existence ?” “ She has been there always.” “She could not have been there always; she must have been cut down from the tree after it was grown; has your goddess any bottoo (an ornament of gold tied to the neck and worn by every married woman) ?”
“ Who tied that on her neck ?"
He understood quite well the meaning of the question, but began to evade; then he said, “ The goldsmith made it," pointing to the goldsmith before us. The crowd laughed. “Yes,” said V., “ I know that the goldsmith made it; but I did not ask who made it, but who tied it to her neck: there must be one that tied it to her neck : who is that, and what is his name ?”
Here the man would not give any answer, because he saw the evident inference that would be drawn from it, but went round about and round about, and at last said, “ Authipoorooshoodoo." means," said V., “ the first man or husband; but what is his name?” “Oh!” said he, “ his name is just the person that tied the bottoo ;” and then, after various shifts, he said, “ It is Narraidoo, the Supreme Being." “ Then the Supreme Being must have a wife, and that
a wonden one! but I always believed that he is a spirit, and never can have such relations as these; and you also told me a little while ago that you believed in one Supreme Being. Here, then, we hear for the first time in this village that there are two-a god and his wife.”
The man evidently felt the difficulty of the assertion he had made, and withdrew it, saying, There must have been one that tied the bottoo. Then what was his name?" He gave no answer. “What would you think," said V., " when you inquired of me my name, said, My name is my name ? The man then tried to laugh away the effect of this, and moved up and down. V. then appealed to the crowd. “ You see that man; put one question to him. “ Did he give me a right answer or not?” Several people then turned to him and said, " Tell the name.” And a stout old man said to him, archly,“ Give the direct name; why are you going this way and that way? Tell the name. “ Why should we give the name ?" said he, “it is not so easy. Why should we give it out quickly ?" Another man said to him, “If you know the name you should give it out quickly." Mr Johnston said, “If any one cannot give a direct answer,
he should say, No." Many of them now saw that this champion of the goddess was defeated and ashamed. If he had not been drawn firmly up, he would no doubt have given us trouble with his noise.
Venkataramiah then read, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton Son,” &c., but was interrupted by such questions as these, “How do you know that this is the Word of God ? has God spoken to you?” They were told to listen now, and all these questions would be answered in due course. The audience now exceeded a hundred of all ages and sexes. V. took occasion from the previous conversation to explain the darkness that they were all in, how they needed the true light and one to teach them, and set forth to them the utter uselessness of idols to reconoile them to God their maker. “ You all admit," said he, “that you are sinners, and that God is just. It is impossible for any man to escape his wrath. What is the use of offering fruits and sheep and other things to idols? Will these be an atonement for sin ? Will any works of charity take away your sins ? There must be one mighty and
able to suffer for us : he must endure the wrath of God, and all the pains of hell which we ought to endure for our sins, or else we cannot be saved. And surely it is evident that such a one cannot be any of the idols you worship. We know that not one man is able to redeem his brother by enduring the wrath of God for him. We know that there is no other Saviour that can do this but Jesus Christ the Son of God. In order to suffer for us and redeem us from the wrath of God, he took our nature upon him, a soul and body like ours, but without sin-he suffered for sinners, that those great evils and that unspeakable punishment which I have shown awaits every one of you should be removed, and gave his life for us. It is this Saviour that will save you. You must believe on him, and then you will be saved. If you believe not on him, you will perish.'
Knowing that our time was short and their souls precious, we were all anxious to lodge some truths in their minds, and many of them were anxious to hear. We therefore spoke in succession, presenting the truth in different forms to their minds; and then it was suggested to Venkataramiah that he should relate to them how he forsook idols and received the Lord Jesus Christ. They listened with great attention as he described of what religion he originally was, how he felt the convictions of his sinful and lost state by nature, how he was treated by his relatives, cast off and uncared for by them after baptism, and what peace and joy he found in believing.
After a few parting words, we gave them books, entreating them to read them, and promising, if spared, again to visit them next year. Mr Johnston spoke to them of the river of death we must all cross, and of Christ's suffering for us.
One man with a sore knee was moved by our kindness, and showed real sympathy; he tried to keep the others quiet, and spoke very kindly to us at the end. We left the place with a weight on our hearts, feeling that we would prove either a savour of life unto life, or a savour of death unto death, unto the greyhaired fathers, the robust and healthy men, the girls and the women, who had stood and heard our testimony.
THE IDOLS HE SHALL UTTERLY ABOLISH. God's sure word of prophecy hastens to its accomplishment. The whole earth shall be filled with his glory. Mountains of difficulty, as it appears to man, stand in the way, but they shall all be removed. How cheering to the friends of the Redeemer that his cause makes progress! Only a few years ago, and all the islands of the South Sea were exclusively inhabited by pagans. Darkness, gross darkness, covered them. Now, through the Divine blessing on the labours of the missionaries, many, almost all of them, enjoy the light of the gospel, the worship of God through Christ Jesus our Lord is maintained, and heathenism unknown. In Rarotonga, where the missionary martyr Williams laboured for many years, the people are entirely Christian. A young man be longing to the island, and son of one of its chief men, lately came on a voyage to this country, and at London, in the museum of the Missionary Society, he for the first time in his life saw the idols which his fathers worshipped. Well may we exclaim, “ What hath God wrought !”
The Scotch Sailor Boy at Hong-Kong. The following is a pretty little story about Mr Burns, missionary from the English Presbyterian Church to China, whom many of our young friends may have seen when in Scotland. How desirable that so excellent an example should be more extensively imitated! We extract from the Messenger :
“ Last year, a boy from a village in Fife went as apprentice in a ship to the Eastern seas. A pious old woman, who had a savoury remembrance of Mr Burns' labours in this country, and had followed him with her prayers to China, charged the boy on leaving— Now, Jamie, if your ship go to China, be sure and ask to see Mr Burns.' The ship, in the course of its voyage, anchored at Hong-Kong, and the sailor boy did not forget the parting injunction. Having got leave from his captain, and dressed in his Sunday suit, he sought out