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Full text of "Padri Elliott of Faizabad [microform] : a memorial (chiefly autobiographical)"

UNIVERSITY 
OF GICAGO 



PADRI ELLIOTT 

OF FAIZABAD 



A MEMORIAL 

(CHIEFLY AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL) 



EDITED BY 

REV, A. W. NEWBOULT 



CHARLES H. KELLY ' 

2 CASTLE STREET, CITY ROAD, AND 26 PATERNOSTER ROW, E,C. 



f 
f~* 



3 



PRINTED AND BOUND BY 

HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEY, LD., 

LONDON AND AYLESBURY. 



UNIVERSITY 
OF CHICAGO 
LIBRARY 




PREFACE 



THIS volume contains various articles 
written by Mr. Elliott for Methodist 
periodicals during the last five years of 
his life. It is believed that many of his 
friends will be glad to have them in per- 
manent form. They all possess interest, 
and illustrate aspects of mission life in 
India, The story of the escape in the 
Indian Mutiny appeared in the Methodist 
Weekly ; the others in the Indian Metho- 
dist Times, published in Calcutta. Thanks 
are hereby returned to those concerned 
for permission to reprint the articles, and 
also to those who have supplied material 
for the Biography. 

The short account of Mr. Elliott's life 
might easily have been greatly extended. 
It was thought better, however, as far as 



IV PREFACE 

possible, to leave him to speak for himself, 
giving just a sufficient outline of his life 
to satisfy the natural curiosity of the 
reader and to illustrate the salient features 
of his character. 

It has not been always easy to decide as 
to the transliteration of Urdu words. A 
few have been allowed to stand in the form 
that is now so familiar to us all ' sepoy ' 
for 'sipahi/ 'bazaar' for 'bazar/ 'Benares' 
for 'Banaras,' &c. though no doubt stu- 
dents of Urdu would have preferred to see 
the more correct spelling rigidly adhered 
to. With these few exceptions the modern 
1 Roman ' Urdu form has been used. No 
attempt has been made to supply all the 
accents in the Urdu sentences and words. 
To the ordinary English reader this would 
have been useless, and any one who is 
acquainted with Urdu can readily supply 
them for himself. 



A. W. NEWBOULT. 



HOLLINWOOD, 

March, 1906. 



CONTENTS 



BIOGRAPHICAL : 

PAGE 

I. PREPARATION I 

II. LIFE AND WORK IN FAIZABAD . . . H 
III. LAST DAYS 54 

THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD IN THE INDIAN 

MUTINY 70 

A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES . . . .132 

PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH AND THE BUILDING 

OF HIS HOUSE 201 

THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE : A 
MORNING IN THE TEMPLES OF AJUDHIYA 
WITH THE REV. GREGORY MANTLE . 256 

A FAREWELL VISIT 28 1 

MISSIONARY RECREATIONS . . . .302 
A CIRCUIT CONVENTION . . . . 306 

IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 312 

A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE . . .329 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



THE REV. j. A. ELLIOTT Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 
MR. ELLIOTT ON LEAVING COLLEGE 10 

PREACHING IN THE CHAUK, FAIZABAD . . . . 1 8 

GROUP OF GIRLS IN THE ORPHANAGE, AKBARPUR . . 26 

TEMPLE OF GUPTAR, FAIZABAD : MR. ELLIOTT LEANING 

AGAINST THE TEMPLE . . . . . -44 

FAREWELL !......... 68 

SKETCH-MAP OF PART OF WESTERN RAJPUTANA . . .82 

NEW DORMITORY IN THE BOARDING-SCHOOL, FAIZABAD . II 

MAP OF FAIZABAD CIRCUIT . . . . . . .140 

A LANTERN SERVICE I?8 

SOME NATIVE CHRISTIANS* HOUSES . . . . . I?8 

MR. ELLIOTT AND GROUP OF PREACHERS .... 200 

WESLEYAN CHAPEL, FAIZABAD 228 

WESLEYAN MISSION-HOUSE, FAIZABAD .... 228 

A HINDU ASCETIC ........ 252 

NEAR THE HANUMAN GARH, AJUDHIYA . . . .266 

RETURNING FROM BATHING, AJUDHIYA .... 266 

ZANANA MISSION-HOUSE, FAIZABAD 396 

GIRLS' BOARDING-SCHOOL, FAIZABAD 296 

TENT LIFE . . 330 

vii 



Padri Elliott of Faizabad 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



PREPARATION 

JOSEPH ALEXANDER ELLIOTT was born 
at Ludhiana, in the Punjab, on January 5, 
1852. 'An Irishman born in India/ he 
loved to describe himself. He was proud 
of his Irish mother, whose memory he 
venerated, and of whom he has written in 
the story of their escape in the Mutiny. 
From her he inherited a large share of 
the vivacity, humour, and charm of the 
Celtic race. 

His father was a native of Berkshire, 
and it was from him that he inherited the 
strong military instincts which made him 

I 



2 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

so popular as a chaplain, the friend of officer 
and private alike. His grandfather and 
great-grandfather were both officers in the 
British Army, and both laid down their 
lives on the battle-field. 

George Arthur Elliott, his father, was 
destined for the same career, but when a 
cadet he offended his family and went over 
to Ireland, married the daughter of a 
farmer of Donegal, and, under the assumed 
name of Johnson, entered the service of 
the East India Company and went out to 
India. He soon rose to be a non-com- 
missioned officer, and finally met with an 
heroic death in the Mutiny of 1857. Many 
an audience has been thrilled as they have 
listened to the story. He was riding away 
from the rebel sepoys, and might have 
escaped, but turned back to spike the 
guns of his battery and was cut to pieces. 
His gallant act was witnessed by a doctor 
who was concealed under the guns, and 
who afterwards related the story to his 
widow. How she escaped with her children 
has been told by Mr. Elliott himself, and 
forms the first of the articles reprinted in 
this volume. 

After the Mutiny, one of his father's 



BIOGRAPHICAL 3 

relatives in England, a lady of title, offered 
to adopt Joseph on the condition that his 
mother relinquished all claim to him. She 
would not consent to these terms. She 
believed that his life had been spared when 
as a baby he nearly died from cholera, and 
again and again during the dangers of their 
flight, for a special purpose. Her constant 
prayer was that her boy might become a 
missionary. 

He and his brother were sent to a hill 
school at Mount Abu, in the west of India. 
Here he received much castigation and 
a little teaching. He certainly was not a 
model boy ; indeed, he rather prided him- 
self on getting into scrapes and eluding the 
vigilance of his masters, and boasted of the 
number of canings he received. On the 
whole he had happy recollections of those 
ten years. 

The following is one of the many stories 
of his school life that he has told his 
children : He was a great mimic, and 
imitated the cries of animals and birds so 
well that the masters would often take him 
with them on shooting expeditions as 
' beater.' On one such occasion he had- 
gone with a master peacock-shooting. His 



4 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

work was to run round in a circle, imitating 
the cry of the birds, and drive them to- 
wards the shikari, or sportsman. Gradu- 
ally his circles got wider, as he became 
engrossed in a hunt on his own account ; 
but when he wanted to rejoin the master, 
he could not find him. He shouted, but 
in vain : he was lost ! The prospect of 
spending the night on the hillside, sur- 
rounded by wild jungles and deep ravines, 
where he knew that leopards, bears, and 
other wild animals had their lairs, filled 
him with terror. At last he remembered 
that there was One who could help him, 
and he knelt down and prayed. And now 
he heard a welcome sound, a wild jungle 
song. He shouted with all his might, and 
this time a voice answered him. A ' Bhil ' 
came in sight. The uncouth aboriginal 
and the little Irish lad soon made friends. 
The wanderer was taken back to the school, 
where the other boys greeted him with 
eager cries of welcome. 

As a boy he knew the Bhil language, 
but he forgot it all, except one wild song 
ending with a peculiar staccato note, or 
rather a short, sharp bark. This, the song 
of his deliverance, Mr. Elliott never forgot. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 5 

After leaving school he went to Luckriow, 
where his mother lived, and obtained em- 
ployment in the offices of the Oudh and 
Rohilkhand Railway. 

At the age of eighteen came the great 
event of his life. He had been confirmed 
at school, and was regular in his attendance 
at the services of the Church of England. 
But his mother was a Methodist, and 
wanted him to go with her to the Wesleyan 
church at Dilkusha. At first he refused, 
but at length, to please her, he consented 
to go once. The minister then in Lucknow 
was the Rev. Joseph Broadbent, a man 
whose name is still as ointment poured forth 
to the few remaining ones who remember 
his saintly character and ministry. Soon 
after Mr. Elliott first heard him preach 
he was carried to his long home in Dilkusha 
cemetery, where his ashes lie awaiting the 
resurrection of the just. That night the 
word was with power, and the young man 
was convicted of sin. For more than a 
week he was intensely miserable ; he spent 
many hours in earnest prayer, but no light 
came to his soul. One night he resolved he 
would not sleep till he received an answer. 
He remained on the roof of the bungalow 



6 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

till 2 a.m., when he was enabled to exercise 
faith in Christ as his Saviour. But it was 
not till some hours after that he obtained 
the assurance of sins forgiven. How often 
he has told of this joyful experience I He 
was crossing the office to speak to the 
superintendent, when suddenly he felt his 
heart so filled with joy that he could hardly 
restrain himself. The superintendent, a 
godly Scotchman, was struck with his 
appearance, and asked him what it meant. 

' Why, sir,' he answered, ' I'm converted ! 
I feel so happy I don't know whether I'm 
on my head or my feet.' ' Praise God ! ' 
was the hearty response. Before evening 
others in that office knew that Joe had 
been converted. Even a Hindu babu had 
heard of the wonderful experience. He 
never doubted the reality of that change ; 
he was ' a new man in Christ Jesus.' His 
religious experience sometimes varied : now 
he was on the mountain-top, and again, 
though rarely, in the valley ; but his con- 
fidence in Christ never wavered. He used 
to say, ' I have had " ups and downs " 
but never " ins and outs " in my religious 
life/ 

He was almost immediately drawn into 



BIOGRAPHICAL 7 

work for God. He began by opening 
bazaar Sunday schools, his knowledge of 
the vernacular standing him in good stead ; 
and he not only gave his time, but met the 
expenses out of his own pocket. 

Then he began to tell the Good News in 
the streets of the city. He met with some 
opposition from the bearded Mohammedans, 
who ridiculed his boyish appearance ; but 
his tact, ready wit, and good humour never 
failed him ; he persevered, and so earned 
the honour of being the first Wesleyan 
missionary who preached to the natives 
of North India in their own vernacular. 

He was then asked to become a candidate 
for the Wesleyan ministry. For some 
time he hesitated ; he wanted to be as 
sure of his call to preach as he had been 
of his conversion. But one night, while 
engaged in prayer, all his doubts vanished, 
and he became the subject of a deep con- 
viction, which was never afterwards shaken, 
that it was the will of God that he should 
devote his life to the preaching of the 
gospel. The next morning, about 5 a.m., 
the Wesleyan missionary was aroused by 
this impulsive young Irishman shouting, 
' It's all right, sir ; you can put my name 



8 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

down. I'm sure now God means me to 
be a missionary.' 

He was received into the Wesleyan 
ministry in 1876, and for two years was 
engaged in the Hindustani work at Luck- 
now. Then a strange item in the pre- 
paration of one who was to be one of 
the very best vernacular preachers India 
has ever had he was lent to the Anglo- 
Indian Evangelization Society to work as a 
travelling evangelist among the employe's on 
the East Indian Railway. For more than a 
year his sole charge was English work, and 
he was living in Bengal, where his unique 
knowledge of Hindustani was useless to 
him. He had a pass over some twelve 
hundred miles of the line, making Raniganj 
his headquarters. The night travelling 
was trying, and he would not infrequently 
sleep past the station he wanted to alight 
at, and in returning have the same mis- 
fortune ! He held services at the various 
stations, but English work never satisfied 
him; his heart was elsewhere. Even in 
Bengal he found it impossible to restrain 
the impulse to vernacular work, for he 
learnt Bengali, and took every opportunity 
of preaching to the native colliers, waiting 



BIOGRAPHICAL 9 

for them at the mouth of the pit as they 
came up from their work. Though not 
making any pretence to a knowledge of 
this language, he was, to the end of his 
life, able to converse freely and easily in 
Bengali. 

In 1879 the Lucknow and Benares Dis- 
trict was separated from Calcutta, and the 
former District claimed Mr. Elliott. He 
was transferred to Benares, and lived with 
Mr. Fentiman, the Chairman. Here he 
worked for six months, preaching in the 
streets and on the banks of the Ganges 
to passing crowds as they went down to 
bathe in the sacred river. The following 
year he came to England and entered 
Richmond College. Dr. Jenkins was one 
of the Missionary Secretaries, not only a 
great missionary himself, but the friend 
of all missionaries. He took a great in- 
terest in the young Indian student, who 
in return loved and revered his missionary 
godfather, as he styled the doctor. In a 
letter to the late Miss Wood of Southport, 
written early in 1904, Mr. Elliott wrote, 
' Give my love to dear old Dr. Jenkins, my 
missionary Father. I owe my present 
position, and much more, to him.' 



10 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

While he was in England he became 
engaged to the eldest daughter of the 
Rev. J. Shipham, Miss Shipham being then 
a candidate on the reserve list of the 
Women's Auxiliary. As he had already 
served his four years' probation in India, 
they intended to marry anc^ go out to- 
gether in the autumn of 1882 ; but on a 
sudden need arising in the District, the 
missionary authorities asked Mr. Elliott 
to return to India in February. He was 
ordained with Mr. Goudie on January 24 
by the late Revs. Dr. Jenkins, Marmaduke 
Osborn, G. W. Olver, and D. Sanderson. 
Before returning to India he took his 
father's true name of Elliott. 

He resumed work in his old station of 

* 

Benares, where he remained for eighteen 
months, preaching daily in that sacred 
city to the numerous devotees and pilgrims 
who throng its streets and mohallas. He 
was often associated with an earnest Baptist 
missionary, Mr. McCumby, from whom he 
received many valuable lessons on managing 
a crowd. The following year Mr. McCumby 
died of cholera, contracted at the Ajudhiya 
mela, and the Mission lost a valuable 
worker. 




ON LEAVING COLLEGE. 




BIOGRAPHICAL II 

Mr. Elliott was married to Miss Shipham 
at Calcutta in April, 1883, by the Rev. 
T. H. Whitamore, the Rev. J . M. Brown, the 
Chairman of the District, acting as father 
to the bride. 

Into the sacredness of married life it is 
not for us to enter. Suffice it to say that 
the union was one of ideal happiness, and 
that Mr. Elliott ever regarded his wife 
with a tender and chivalrous love that 
deepened as the years went by. He had 
a profound respect for her judgement, and 
consulted her on all matters. She proved 
herself a helpmeet peculiarly suited to him, 
supplying that element of practicalness that 
his impulsive Celtic temperament needed. 
She was as zealous a missionary as her 
husband, an able linguist, and one of the 
most efficient women missionaries that 
North India has ever seen. How much 
of the progress and development of the 
work in Faizabad is owing to Mrs. Elliott's 
devoted labour her husband was ever the 
first to admit; 

Four children were born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Elliott, three daughters and a son. 
Mr. Elliott was passionately fond of his 
children, and knew no greater delight 



12 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

than to be with them and tell them 
stories of his adventures and his work. 
But alas ! after his first furlough in 
1892, the children never saw much of 
their father. He told his stories with 
such dramatic power that all children 
listened to him entranced, and he was 
universally beloved by them. On the 
voyage home from India in 1900 Mr. 
Elliott once every day gathered round him 
the children of his fellow-passengers and 
told them stories. The passengers greatly 
appreciated the quietness of the decks 
during story time, but generally the circle 
grew much wider than the children, and 
not a few grown-ups were glad to share 
the children's enjoyment. It was difficult 
to say who were more interested, grown- 
ups or children. Mr. Elliott finished that 
voyage the most popular man in the saloon. 
For six months after their marriage they 
resided at Benares, and here Mrs. Elliott 
made her first acquaintance with Indian 
zananas, while Mr. Elliott devoted himself 
to bazaar preaching. There were then 
several flourishing boys' schools and two 
preaching-halls in the city, besides much 
open-air work. Benares is the strongest 



BIOGRAPHICAL 13 

citadel of Hinduism, and on that account 
the work there had strong attractions for 
them. It was a grief to them both when, 
after only a few months, they were suddenly 
transferred to Faizabad. They had thought 
that Benares would be the scene of their 
life-work; but when the Rev. Thomas 
Carmichael was ordered to England by the 
doctor, Mr. Elliott was the only available 
man to fill his place. He hoped that at 
the next Synod he might return to Benares. 
But it was not to be, and he remained at 
Faizabad for twenty-two years. 



II 

LIFE AND WORK IN FAIZABAD 

THE taking charge of the work in Faiza- 
bad marks a turning-point in Mr. Elliott's 
life. Hitherto he had not been free 
to work on his own initiative or have 
anything like a free hand, but had 
been under the superintendency of older 
missionaries. Henceforth he was to be 
j his own superintendent, free to develop 

the work on the lines that seemed to him 
most advisable, and to work in those 
methods most congenial to his tempera- 
ment. He also took up a burden of respon- 
sibility, financial and administrative, that 
for twenty-two years kept growing heavier 
and heavier, till exhausted nature could 
bear no more, and he laid down life 
and responsibility together. Henceforth 
his whole life, with all his thoughts, 
purposes, prayers, hopes, and anxieties, 

14 



BIOGRAPHICAL 15 

was to centre round the work in Faizabad, 
and his name, coupled with that of this 
Indian city, hitherto unknown in Metho- 
dism, was to become a household word 
Elliott of Faizabad. 

When Mr. Elliott arrived in Faizabad 
there was not much work being done, and 
but a feeble cause. The Hindustani church 
consisted of two catechists and their families 
and three other members. There were no 
out-stations. The only property owned 
by the Wesleyan Missionary Society was 
a small chapel in cantonments, somewhat 
less imposing than a military go-down. It 
had cost only Rs. 2,000 (125), and soon 
became too small for the military congre- 
gation. In the Hindustani work there 
were two boys' schools and two small 
girls' schools in the bazaar, with one 
zanana worker visiting about forty houses. 
Now we have one of the finest churches 
in North India, two bungalows for the 
missionaries, together with a girls' boarding- 
school in Faizabad, an orphanage at Akbar- 
pur, twelve flourishing village centres 
many of them with valuable property 
and a large staff of evangelists, school 
teachers, Bible-women and zanana workers: 



l6 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

results that have only been accomplished 
by much prayer and faith, by careful 
planning and patient toil. 

Mr. Elliott soon saw that if there was 
to be any great development his first work 
must be to obtain satisfactory mission pre- 
mises. He applied, therefore, to the mili- 
tary authorities for an extension of the site 
on which the old chapel was built. After 
many letters, and interviews with officials, 
and much weary waiting, he at length got 
a splendid piece of land, most conveniently 
situated both for Hindustani and military 
work. The officer commanding the station 
and the cantonment magistrate were both 
his friends, but he had to thank Lord 
Roberts, then Commander-in-Chief, for the 
final sanction. 

The first of Mr. Elliott's building opera- 
tions was performed on the old chapel. 
To this he added a fine porch, so out of 
keeping with it that his brethren jokingly 
spoke of the old chapel as * the room 
behind the porch/ When the new chapel 
came to be erected, it had to be built in a 
style of architecture in keeping with the 
porch, .and this was found to cost more 
than had been anticipated. Like a true 



BIOGRAPHICAL 17 

Methodist, he began the work on faith, 
and experienced not a few of the trials of 
those who walk by faith. At one time his 
funds ran out, and he had to dismiss the 
workpeople on Saturday night, as he had 
no money for the next week's wages. The 
following Sunday, during service, a wealthy 
planter, who was visiting a member of his 
congregation, noticed his deep depression, 
and on learning the cause volunteered to 
lend him Rs. 4,000 just what he needed 
to finish the building. 

By 1890 the new chapel, mission-house, 
boarding-school (since much extended) 
and teacher's house (now the zanana 
mission-house) were completed, and Mr. 
Elliott had to face the serious task of 
clearing off the heavy debts that had 
accumulated. The debt on the chapel 
(600) he wiped off during his first furlough 
in 1892-3, but at the cost of much over- 
work and a severe strain on his health. 
He returned from that furlough worn 
and tired, but triumphant. 

One of Mr. Elliott's greatest achieve- 
ments was the obtaining permission from 
the Faizabad municipality to build a 
pulpit for open-air preaching in the 

2 



l8 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Chauk Bazaar. The story is best told in 
his own words : 

' The Chauk, in an Indian city, especially 
in the afternoons and at nights, presents 
a unique side of Indian life, and I felt that 
to get a preaching-place in that great 
quadrangle of the city of Faizabad was 
worth almost more to me than even a 
chapel in the city, because a chapel for 
some time would be very hard to fill, and 
then certain classes of natives would, from 
caste and religious prejudice, never enter 
it, whereas in the open air, from this iron 
pulpit, I should be able to catch and draw 
all classes. 

( So I went to the chairman of the Muni- 
cipal Board and put my case to him thus. 
I said, " You see, in this city the Hindus 
have scores of temples and shrines on the 
thoroughfares, and so also the Moham- 
medans have their mosques, but we Chris- 
tians, who are also a part of the community 
and pay our share, of the taxes, have not 
a yard of land nor any place of worship 
to call our own. The request I want to 
place before you is a very modest one 
indeed. All I ask for is a circle of land 
four feet in diameter nothing more." 



BIOGRAPHICAL 1 9 

' " Oh," said he, " that is a very modest 
request. I shall be very pleased to give 
you that piece of land myself anywhere 
you like. Where is the spot ? " "In 
the Chauk," said I. At the mention of 
the Chauk the chairman jumped as if a 
dynamite cartridge had exploded under 
his chair. "The Chauk! the Chauk, 
sir ! " he exclaimed almost breathlessly, 
" you are asking a thing that is impossible." 
I said, " Only a circle, Rai Sahib, four feet 
in diameter ! " " Only a circle, sir ? " he 
replied, " it is in the Chauk, the heart of 
the city. I should bring the Municipal 
Board down on my head if I suggested 
that. Impossible ! Impossible ! " " Oh," 
I said, " you are my friend, and if you 
really like you can do it. I rely on you 
very much." Then I primed him with 
certain arguments that he might use at 
the next Board meeting. " Very well," 
said he, " send me in a written application, 
stating your case as forcibly as you can, 
but mind you put in the pathetic touches 
about the poor Christians who haven't a 
yard of land, and no place of worship in 
this famous city, and I will do my best 
for you." 



20 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

' At the next Board meeting, after the 
other business was through, my application 
came up, the last on the agenda ; and as 
my modest little request was read out, it 
fell like a bomb-shell in the Council . Sleepy 
members woke up, and wakeful members, 
ever on the alert, sat bolt upright as if 
they had swallowed a poker. And all at 
once the whole Board started a perfect 
babel of tongues, showing reasons why I 
should not have this circle. "Has any 
missionary in the whole of North India 
got such a circle in any Chauk in any city ? 
and why should we give one to him ? " 
said one. Said another to the chairman, 
" Do you comprehend, sir, what this circle 
means ? You call it a very modest request. 
It is a very bold request. The circle may 
be very small, but do you know who will 
stand inside that circle, and what he will 
say and do in that circle ? Do you want 
the whole city evangelized ? We cannot 
vote for this. This circle is fraught with 
the greatest danger to our city, both to 
Hindus and Mohammedans." " This is 
a most unheard-of request," said a third, 
" and has no precedent in this or any other 
city, and we shall become responsible for 



BIOGRAPHICAL 21 

all the acts and influence of Mr. Elliott 
from that circle." " And yet again," said 
another, "if we give Mr. Elliott such a 
circle as he asks for, the Mohammedans 
will be asking for a circle from which to 
preach their religion, the Aryans " (a pro- 
gressive sect of the Hindus, corresponding 
with the Brahmo-Somaj of Bengal) " will 
be asking for another circle, and the Gau- 
rakshas " (a very fiery political sect then 
in vogue and hostile to the Government) 
" will be wanting another circle, and so 
you see the whole Chauk will be a series 
of circles, and where will it all end ? " 

' So the discussion rolled on. But the 
chairman was a wise old man. He let the 
meeting talk itself out, and spend its last 
bit of energy. He then rose up, and very 
calmly said, " Gentlemen, you all know 
Mr. Elliott who doesn't know him in this 
city, rich and poor alike ? He has helped 
very many ; he is always helping them. He 
is every man's friend, and no man's enemy." 
(" Hear, hear," from several voices. " That 
is true ! That is true ! ") The chairman 
made the most of that argument. 

1 " Then the next point, gentlemen," he 
said, " is that Mr. Elliott represents a 



22 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Christian community incorporated in our 
city and Town Council and, whatever 
you may say, there is something in his 
pathetic appeal to this Council, that he and 
his people have not a yard of land in this 
city to call their own, and from whence to 
prosecute their city work. (" True ! 
True ! " from one or two sympathetic 
members.) 

' " The next thing that I beg to point 
out is, that Mr. Elliott's daily occupation 
and bounden duty is to preach the gospel 
in this city, somewhere or other, and on 
stated occasions in the Chauk itself. In- 
deed, he has the direct command in his 
religion to go and preach the gospel to 
every creature. Your fears, therefore, re- 
garding the multiplying of circles in the 
Chauk I do not share, and if application 
is made to me on this account, I will meet 
the applicants by two questions, which 
they will have to answer ; before they get 
a circle, and which I know they will not 
be able to answer. The first question will 
be, ' Can you show me your authority and 
credentials because of which you wish to 
preach in the Chauk ? ' and the second 
question will be, ' Have you ever preached 



BIOGRAPHICAL 23 

in this city on the public roads, in the 
bazaars, the markets, and in the Chauk 
itself ? If so, when did you begin, and 
have you kept it up regularly and systemati- 
cally, like Mr. Elliott and his preachers 
are doing ? What, then, is your motive 
and object for demanding a circle in the 
heart of our city? Is it because Mr. 
Elliott has received this concession that 
you ask it ? If you can show as good 
claims as he has done, that you have 
preached for seven consecutive years sys- 
tematically, week in and week out, as he 
has, then we will have very great pleasure 
in giving you a circle.' " The laugh rolled 
round the Council chamber at this test. 

' " And there is just one more argument, 
gentlemen, that I would bring before you. 
Whether you will give Mr. Elliott this 
circle or not, it will make no difference 
to his preaching ; he will preach in the 
Chauk all the same ; and often his preach- 
ing, he tells me, interferes with the petty 
shopkeepers along the roadside, because 
his congregations hem them in and hinder 
customers. Sometimes here, sometimes 
there, wherever he can get a place to stand 
and a crowd to gather round him, he gathers 



24 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the people ; and sometimes, I imagine, 
must be a great nuisance to some. One 
thing more. You must remember that 
Mr. Elliott is an Irishman, and when an 
Irishman gets his back up, he is a very 
difficult and dangerous man to deal with. 
Now, suppose we decline to give him this 
circle, and this excited Irishman goes and 
stands at the foot of the steps in front of 
the great mosque of the city, on the west 
side of the Chauk, what will you Moham- 
medans then say ? And supposing he 
goes and stands in front of the Hindu 
temple, and does the same there, then what 
will you Hindu gentlemen say ? You may 
complain, but you cannot do anything, 
and his only reply to you would be, ' Then 
give me my circle give me my circle ! ' 
Gentlemen of the Board, my advice to 
you is to locate Mr. Elliott." 

' So I was duly located, and obtained my 
circle, on which, at a cost of 20 which 
I got from the late Rev. G. W. Olver, who 
was deeply interested in this four-foot 
circle I built the present pulpit, and we 
preach from it on Mondays and Fridays.' 

The next considerable extension was 
during the famine of 1896-7, when the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 25 

Girls' Orphanage was opened at Akbarpur. 
This work lay near to Mr. Elliott's heart, 
and had much of his thought and prayer. 
It was under the charge of the Rev. R. 
Rolston, a valiant Hindustani preacher and 
worker, who died suddenly in December, 
1897. The boys were afterwards sent to 
Benares and the girls left in charge of Mr. 
Rolston's widow. Some idea of the good 
work done by the Orphanage and of the 
joy it gave Mr. Elliott may be gathered 
from the following account of the marriage 
of one of the girls, from one of his letters 
to his children : 

' I married A (the girl) to B . 

He is a nice fellow, but, humanly speaking, 

not to be compared to A , who is a fine, 

handsome girl, straight as a lance, and 
carries her head almost, but not quite, as 
well as Alice does. He gets Rs. 20 or 

25 a month, so A is considered well 

off ; any way, she is very happy. In 1897 
she came to us a poor famine-stricken child, 
ignorant as the clod of the field. Now she 
reads and writes two languages, Urdu and 
Hindi, knows Roman, picks out a bit of 
English, and has a fair knowledge of what 
one is driving at, and can teach up to the 



26 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Upper Primary. She handles her Bible 
and hymn-book as well as I do, and can 
read and write her own love-letters. She 
can cook, cut out, sew, mend, knit, and 
do drawn-thread work. Robed in white, 
and veiled in a soft mal-mal chadar, she 
stood as queenly a girl before the altar as 
any I wish to see, and oh, such eyes ! full 
of modesty, tenderness, and happiness, and 
beaming with intelligence. When I said 
"Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded 
husband, &c./ J she threw up her head and 
looked me full in the face with a sweet, 
blushing smile, and said " I will/' and then 
dropped her eyes again to the floor and 
waited for the next question. I seemed 
to see behind her her child-self of 1897, a 
poor, lean, ignorant child, of low caste, 
with only the look of hunger in her eyes, 
and ignorance stamped on her face. In 
front of that famine-child stood this queenly 

girl A , and as I gazed on the two I 

exclaimed to myself, "0 Lord, what won- 
derful things hast Thou wrought ! Thy 
gospel is in deed and in truth the power 
of God." ' 

But the erection of suitable buildings 
was a very secondary matter, only im- 




GROUP OF GIRLS IN THE ORPHANAGE, AKBARPUR. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 27 

portant as the means to an end. The first 
question with Mr. Elliott ever was the 
building up of the living temple of re- 
deemed souls. During the years that he 
was occupied in the erection of suitable 
mission premises, and could devote only 
a limited time to evangelistic work, there 
ever shone before him, as a day-star to lure 
him on, the prospect of one day being free 
from the burden of building and at liberty 
to ' go ahead ' with his preaching and 
devote all his time to evangelistic work. 
Not every one agreed with his policy of 
building, and. at times he received more 
criticism than encouragement ; no one who 
knew him and his work now doubts for a 
moment that the anxiety and drudgery of 
raising money have been amongst the chief 
causes of his early death. But who is 
there to-day who, looking back over these 
twenty years/will not say that the Padri 
was right ? The results of his policy are 
becoming apparent, and the harvest is 
visibly nearer : alas ! that he to whom these 
results are so largely owing is not with us 
to share in the joy of harvest ! Alas ! that 
heartache and worry and overwork should 
be so cheap, and the little extra support 



28 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

that would have saved him from all these, 
so dear ! 

The chief service in the week for Mr. 
Elliott was that on Sunday morning 
in Hindustani. This he always took 
himself when in Faizabad, and found 
in it the hour of greatest happiness in 
the week. Here he was to be seen and 
heard at his best. The steady growth in 
the congregations showed in what appre- 
ciation Mr. Elliott's pulpit ministry was 
held and the power it was for good. Long 
before he left Faizabad the church used to 
be quite full, sometimes crowded. The 
front benches and one wing were filled with 
girls from the boarding-school; another 
wing by very poor villagers, one bench 
being given up to some blind members ; 
on the back benches sat the ordinary mem- 
bers of the church. And there was the 
added joy of knowing that at the same time 
similar services, if not so large, were being 
held at Akbarpur, Tanda, and other places. 

He always had a good time. He was 
faithful in showing his hearers their faults, 
and loving and earnest in leading them to 
seek a higher Christian experience. Not- 
withstanding the hardness of the soil, he 



BIOGRAPHICAL 2Q 

had many inquirers. What sympathy 
he showed in all their difficulties ! He 
taught them carefully till he considered 
them ready for baptism, and afterwards 
spared no trouble in getting work for 
those who had been rejected by their 
relatives and friends on account of their 
profession of Christ. A special feature of 
these Sunday morning services was the 
baptism of new converts. It was not often 
that more than three or four weeks would 
pass without there being some candidates 
for baptism. Mr. Elliott made a point of 
having these baptismal services as public as 
possible, and always seized the opportunity 
they afforded him of pressing home upon 
the Christians the meaning of baptism, the 
solemn nature of the vows then made, and 
the obligation they were under of living 
holy lives. Many interesting cases might 
be told. They came from all classes : 
Brahmins, Chamars, high-bred Moham- 
medans, and poor villagers. Sometimes he 
was deceived by men who came from un- 
worthy motives (for, being guileless him- 
self, he was slow to suspect guile in others), 
but many of them turned out good cases. 
His first convert after he came to Faizabad 



30 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

was a wealthy young Persian, who for some 
months lived in his house and boarded 
with them.. This young man gave up an 
income of Rs. 150 a month for one of Rs. 10 
when he was baptized. On his return home 
he was received by his family, and is now 
working for Christ in Bushire, his native 
place. 

Mr. Elliott often lamented before God 
the small visible results of his preaching, 
especially when he heard of the large 
numbers that are being gathered in in other 
parts of India. This is partly to be ac- 
counted for by the character of the people 
amongst whom he preached. In Oudh 
there is not the same class of people 
Pariahs, Malas, and other low castes from 
whom these large accessions to Christianity 
are being won. A District that contains 
two such cities as Lucknow and Benares 
presents features of special difficulty. 
Nevertheless, his work bore fruit ; his 
converts came from all classes, and he re- 
joiced over the success God had given him. 
One cannot but wonder what the results 
would have been had his life been spared 
another ten years and he been free to devote 
them to evangelizing the District. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 31 

Mr. Elliott was the personal friend of 
every member of the community, the com- 
forter of the sad, the helper of those in 
trouble, the encourager of the lonely, and 
the strengthener of the weak. He was a 
father to the girls of the boarding-school, 
the final referee in all quarrels and cases of 
discipline, and sometimes a sharer in their 
games. 

No part of Mr. Elliott's work at Faizabad 
exceeded in importance the preaching at 
the melas at Ajudhiya. It is much to be 
regretted that we have no account from 
his pen of these wonderful gatherings. 
No other European was present at so 
many, or knew so much about them, or 
preached there so often, and he was cer- 
tainly the best-known man in Ajudhiya, 
European or Hindustani. We have an 
account of his first visit to Ajudhiya 
immediately after his transfer to Faizabad 
in 1883, by his brother-in-law, the Rev. 
A. Shipham. It reveals the same charac- 
teristics of tact, courtesy, and ready wit 
with which we have all since grown familiar : 

' Early on Monday morning, October 22,' 
says Mr. Shipham, ' we started in Mr. 
McClay's paddle-boat for the six-mile 



32 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

journey to Ajudhiya, where we spent some 
hours. It was then that I first appreciated 
Zeph's (Mr. Elliott's name in the family) 
unique missionary qualifications. We 
went into a small temple dedicated to 
Ram and Lachman, in which a Brahmin 
was holding some kind of service with a 
few disciples. To my great surprise, we 
were allowed to sit on the verandah near 
them with our feet in the courtyard. Very 
soon Zeph was in earnest conversation ; 
then he sang two bhajans to the accom- 
paniment of an ektara, and was explaining 
them, until the priest curtly dismissed us 
with the cry, " Our worship has been inter- 
rupted long enough." But the seed had 
been sown, and I wondered whether any 
other man could have scattered it there. 
All that day I watched him carefully, 
admiring the influence he exerted. I did 
not understand his speech, but I could see 
the friendly pat on bare shoulders which 
most missionaries would have avoided from 
fear of giving offence, and I noticed that 
every one parted from him with a happy 
smile. This went on till we came to a 
large temple dedicated to Sita, at the door 
of which we were met with a peremptory 



BIOGRAPHICAL 33 

command to remain outside. "All right," 
said Zeph, "we will just look through the 
doorway. What lovely pictures you have 
on the walls ! " His explanations of these 
so surprised the priests that we were soon 
invited to enter. One lean, sour-faced 
priest, evidently angry at our presence, 
immediately drew a curtain across the 
shrine of the goddess, and stood scowling 
at us. I said to Zeph, " You have made 
many men laugh to-day, but you won't 
make that man laugh/' Presently he was 
in the midst of a most interesting story, 
when suddenly there rose behind us a loud 
guffaw, and turning we saw the angry 
priest doubled up with laughter. I never 
witnessed anything like it, and never expect 
to again. It is no marvel that the man 
who could do that should become the prince 
of outdoor Indian preachers.' 

Many had long indulged the hope that 
Mr. Elliott would be spared to give the 
infant churches in North India a much- 
needed Christian literature. His special 
qualifications peculiarly fitted him for this 
important work. He knew what the people 
wanted for their edification, and he knew 
how best to supply that want. One con- 

3 



34 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FALZABAD 

tribution he has made towards it. His 
last two years in India were largely given 
to the preparation of a book in Urdu, in 
which the whole matter of the four Gospels 
was digested into one continuous narrative. 
It was a work demanding close attention 
and care, while the examination of the 
lithographers' proofs in the crabbed Persian 
character was as laborious as the original 
writing of the book. Mr. Elliott laboured 
at this with the most minute attention to 
accuracy, his constant remark being that 
this book would be a witness for Christ 
after he was gone. It was completed 
just before his departure from India. 
He wrote thus to his wife about it : 'I 
have signed the contract for my book, 
Itihad-ul-AnajiL The first proof of eight 
pages will come next week. The sight of 
these first pages will be the next best thing 
to seeing you, and almost equal to the joy 
I had in seeing our first baby. This will 
be the child of my brains, begotten in 
much worry, pain, and hope my first 
literary child.' He has thus left with them 
as his dying legacy ' the words of the Lord 
Jesus ' fitting close to a missionary's life ! 
No biographical notice of Mr. Elliott 



BIOGRAPHICAL 35 

would be complete unless it contained some 
account of his work as chaplain to the 
British troops. On this subject the Rev. 
S. H. Gregory, who lived with Mr. Elliott 
for eighteen months, writes as follows : 

' Perhaps no minister of religion was 
ever more respected and beloved among 
British soldiers than Mr. Elliott, and his 
efforts for their welfare were incessant and 
most successful. In the pulpit, in the 
class-meeting, in the hospital aye, and 
in the prison cell he was looked upon as 
a friend, a counsellor, and an unfailing 
sympathizer. His voluntary congregation 
of soldiers on Sunday evenings was the 
largest in the Lucknow District ; the 
church at Faizabad was frequently crowded, 
not alone by men in the ranks, but by a 
large proportion of officers with members 
of their families, and a goodly representa- 
tion of the civil community. 

' An incident in Faizabad a few years ago 
exactly illustrates the character of the 
man and his usefulness. An unfortunate 
lad, while wholly under the influence of 
liquor, had fired at and killed a comrade. 
Till he had slept of his drunken debauch 
he had no knowledge of what he had done. 



36 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

He returned to consciousness to find him- 
self in custody on a charge of wilful murder, 
and at his trial he was found guilty and 
condemned to death. He was not a mem- 
ber of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 
but in his awful situation the young man 
turned as if by instinct to " Padri Elliott," 
and asked that he might come to see him. 
The condemned man's request was granted, 
and he was visited daily in his cell. He 
was horrified by the position in which he 
found himself, dreading the future which 
loomed before him, oppressed with a keen 
sense of the heinousness of his sin, and 
wholly despairing of mercy from God. 
Day by day, with gracious and sympa- 
thetic fidelity, Mr. Elliott talked to the 
condemned man, read God's Word to him, 
prayed with him, and made known to him 
the gospel hope. Little by little he was 
led from blank, terror-stricken despair to 
sincere penitence, and finally to a sure 
confidence that, through the Atoning 
Sacrifice, his sins were forgiven him, 
and his guilt taken away. Mr. Elliott 
proved himself a true follower of John 
Wesley, who, with sublime faith in the 
gospel, " offered free salvation to the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 37 

condemned criminals in Newgate " ; more 
than that, he proved himself a true follower 
of the Man who receiveth sinners, and who 
forgave the dying thief. When the morning 
of the execution arrived, Mr. Elliott walked 
with the prisoner to the scaffold. The 
poor lad expressed his sure trust in Christ, 
and his last words were : 

Just as I am, without one plea, \ 
But that Thy blood was shed for me, 
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come ! 

Mr. Elliott burst into tears when all was 
over, and the sympathetic doctor took 
him by the arm and led him away. 

' Some eight or nine years after, a mis- 
sionary, touring in a country district a 
hundred miles away from Faizabad, got 
into conversation with a native police 
official. " Do you know Padri Elliott ? " 
asked the man. " Yes, very well indeed," 
said the missionary. " Ah ! he was a 
truly good man," said the inspector, and 
went on to recount the incident just 
recorded, of which he had been an 
eye-witness.' 

Since Mr. Elliott's death a letter has been 
found containing a reference to the same 



38 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

sad event : ' An Irish minister was at a 

meeting where an old soldier of the 

regiment (to which the poor lad be- 
longed) got up and asked to be allowed 
to say a few words. He then told the 

story of poor S 's execution. " Ah," 

said he, " if any of the chaps says a word 
against ministers, you have only to say, 
' Remember Father Elliott,' and they 
dry up." The effect of that soldier's short 
speech was electrical ; it brought tears to 
every eye.' 

Mr. Gregory continues : ' Elliott, in a 
soldier's hospital ; Elliott, by a sick man's 
bed ; Elliott, in the house of mourning, 
under such conditions he was transformed. 
To stricken souls he was often God's mes- 
senger of consolation. How glad they 
were to see him come in through the door- 
way ! The man's tenderness and sym- 
pathy was then his strength, and unto 
very, very many has he been the minister 
of God for good.' 

An extract from a letter by Mr. Elliott 
to Miss Wood may suitably follow here : 

' Thank you very, very much for the 
New Year's greetings, and all your good 
wishes for me, I mean this year to be, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 39 

by God's blessing, a year of years. We 
began it well by a grand watch-night 
service. When my wife and I returned 
to the parsonage we had a nice little 
chat, and then we both made resolves 
for the New Year, and knelt down be- 
side the little wood fire in our sitting- 
room and consecrated ourselves anew to 
God. 

' A few nights ago an officer called about 
9.30 p.m. and said he wanted to see me 
privately. We sat up till 10.30. He has 
given his heart to God. As soon as we 
got comfortably seated round the fire he 
said : " I want to go in for this consecration 
business, Padri, and if it is to be had, I 
want to get this baptism and power of the 
Holy Ghost that that man Gordon writes 
about. How is it to be had and kept ? 
tell me that." We talked it out, and then 
he said, "Let us pray." I said, "Won't 
you start, and I will pray afterwards?" 
"No," he said, "you pray." When I 
was done, to my surprise he started. Never 
in all my life did I hear such a prayer. It 
was just as if God were near us and he 
was talking to Him. " Lord," he said, 
" I don't quite understand this business. 



40 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

I don't seem to be able to take it in quite. 
Wilt Thou help me ? Show me what it 
means and what I am to do." When we 
got up he said, " I think I see a bit more 
light, thank you. He's bound to see me 
through, is He not, if I am sincere and 
earnest in this matter ? " "He is," I said, 
" and He will." " All serene," he said ; 
" good-night ! I'm keen on it, Padri ; 
you'll have to help me all you can," and 
out he went into the darkness, mounted 
his bike, and rode off. 

' That's one I have got started. Tell 
Mrs. Holden her book is doing good. God 
bless her for sending it. It's doing me 
good, and I will help others. 

' I have just returned from a tour in 
the villages, and am now at work with 
my accounts and Annual Report for the 
District Synod. 

' Soon after I returned, a big swell Mo^ 
hammedan Moulvi, not only a learned 
man but a scholar and a gentleman, came 
to see me early one morning (8 a.m.). I 
got him into my study, gave him a chair, 
and said, " Well, what is it ? " 

' " I wish to be a Christian;" said he. I 
opened my eyes wide and said, " A Chris- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 41 

tian ! why do you want to be a Christian ? 
Have you counted the cost ? Do you 
realize all it involves ? " I then proceeded 
to show him. He listened quite calmly, 
and then said, " Yes, and after all you 
have said, I wish to be a Christian and to 
be baptized.'' "Now?" I said. "Yes, 
now," he replied. " Tell me who you are." 
In short, he is a Mohammedan scholar 
and a physician. That is not enough to 
keep him going, so he took over the manage- 
ment of the " Madrase-i-Islami," i.e. a 
Mohammedan school where only Islam 
learning is taught viz. Persian, Arabic, 
the Quran, logic, and philosophy. This 

is at X , one of my stations, where I 

have a preacher. And now here is the 
principal, if you like, of a Mohammedan 
institution turning Christian ! I said to 
him, " There will be a row over this in 

X I " There will," he said; " but 

I can't help that." 

' I asked him what led him to this de- 
cision. He replied, first, reading a few 
controversial books on both sides, Mo- 
hammedan and Christian, to see if Chris- 
tianity was right and true. Secondly, the 
reading of St. John's Gospel. Now, isn't it 



42 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

strange, all these swell and educated Mo- 
hammedans that I have had anything to 
do with, and whom I have led to Christ 
(about six or seven), they all caved in, 
reading St . J ohn' s Gospel and Epistles . It' s 
wonderful how that one Gospel especially 
seems to knock these fellows over. 

' However, I had a long talk with him, 
and said, " The moment you become a 
Christian you'll lose that school, won't 
you?" "Yes." "And the Mohamme- 
dans will cease consulting you as a physi- 
cian, won't they ? " " Well, quite half of 
them will, especially the well-to-do and 
those of good family who can pay ; and the 
poor and miserable ones who can't pay 
will be left, and, according to my religion, 
I can't demand a fee ; I take what is 
given." " How will you live ? " " I don't 
yet quite know how ; could I teach in one 
of your schools ? " 

' However, it was the Christmas holidays, 
and he went off to Lucknow to persuade 
his wife to join him. I have had two 
letters from him. He seems quite stiff 
and sound, so far. God keep him ! I am 
going to Lucknow next week, and shall see 
him. I enclose his postcard; it will give 



BIOGRAPHICAL 43 

you a specimen of the handwriting. He 
writes a very clear, well-set, characteristic 
hand. Now what am I to do with this 
man ? Ask Dr. Jenkins for advice. The 
Moulvi is a fine, handsome fellow, tall, 
well-dressed, and every inch of him a 
Mohammedan gentleman. My word, but 
he would make an A i Mohammedan 
preacher by-and-by. 

' Pray for him and me that we may be 
guided aright/ 

The moulvi referred to in this letter 
has since been baptized and become a 
Christian. 

When Mr. Elliott came to England in 
1892 he was almost unknown to the 
Methodist public, but he soon came to 
the front, both as a missionary advocate 
of great acceptableness and an evangelistic 
preacher of great power. He was as able 
to charm a cultured English audience as 
an Indian bazaar crowd. He established 
his reputation by the speech he made at the 
Army and Navy meeting at the Bradford 
Conference ; the reporters laid down their 
pens, too interested in his dramatic speaking 
to be able to write. During that furlough 
he took six District deputations, besides 



44 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

many private engagements. He also had 
the honour of speaking at the Exeter Hall 
meeting, but being the last speaker he was 
hampered for want of time. After a brief 
account of his call to be a missionary,, he 
told one of his most thrilling mela stories, 
and closed by singing, in Hindustani, 
' What can wash away my sin ? ' A 
wave of his arm, and the large, select 
audience were singing with him in English. 
While in England he collected money 
towards paying off the debts on the pro- 
perty, which, he used to say, were ' grinding 
him like mill-stones.' To mention all the 
friends who helped him would be to give 
a list of the most generous subscribers to 
foreign missions in our Church ; but we 
may be excused if we mention one name, 
especially as she, too, has passed within the 
veil. The late Miss Wood of Southport 
was his most liberal supporter. When he 
was building she lent him money without 
interest. She it was who gave him the 
tents in which he made his village tours, 
and through her generous gifts, after 
working single-handed for fifteen years, he 
at last, in 1898, got a colleague to help him 
with the heavy military work, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 45 

During the last ten or twelve years of his 
life, Padri Elliott was undoubtedly one of 
the best-known Englishmen of the United 
Provinces of the North- West and Oudh ; 
and, vast as is that area, containing a 
population almost equal to that of the 
German Empire, his name and fame had 
extended beyond its bounds into Bengal 
on the one hand, and into the Punjab on 
the other. 

What were the grounds of this great 
popularity, of his success as a vernacular 
preacher, and of his extraordinary in- 
fluence over the natives of India ? 

The first place must be assigned to his 
character as a man of God with a great, 
warm, tender heart, and to his faculty of 
ready sympathy and of unfailing cour- 
tesy to people of all classes. In a word, 
Mr. Elliott loved the people. Men felt 
that here was one who, like his Master, had 
' tears for all woes, a heart for every plea/ 
who, during years of devout and loving 
following of Christ had learnt the difficult 
lesson how to be ' a friend of sinners/ and 
that whether they accepted his religion or 
not, the man who preached to them was 
labouring only from a loving wish to do 



46 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

them good. This disarmed opposition and 
made all men his friends. 

The second reason for Mr. Elliott's 
success was his unique knowledge of the 
language. On this point a former colleague 
writes : ' It has often seemed to me that 
due credit has not been given to Mr. 
Elliott as a student of the vernacular. 
Undoubtedly his birth in India and the 
fact that he spoke Hindustani from child- 
hood gave him a great advantage over the 
average missionary from England. But 
this goes only a little way in accounting 
for his wide knowledge of the language, 
for there are hundreds in India to-day 
who were born in the country and have 
had quite as many opportunities as Mr. 
Elliott had, who yet have never attained 
to any great proficiency in speaking. 

' The true explanation is first, a rich 
natural endowment of linguistic ability, 
which, aided by a quick ear, made it easy 
for him to pick up a language as children 
do, by hearing it spoken; and secondly, 
that humdrum explanation of nearly all 
the success that it is given to mortal man 
to achieve in this world HARD WORK. Per- 
haps there was no point in Mr. Elliott's 



BIOGRAPHICAL 47 

life in which it was easier for the casual 
observer to make mistakes. Visitors of a 
few days who heard the brilliant Irish- 
man converse first in polished Urdu with 
the Mohammedan moulvi, and then in 
high Hindi with the Hindu pundit, 
varied by a chat in the broadest of 
unintelligible dialects with the unlettered 
villagers, were apt to regard Mr. Elliott's 
mastery of the language as a heaven- 
descended gift. They saw no linguistic 
workshop and no signs of study. How 
should they, when for their special benefit 
he had given up his munshi for the 
day that he might show them round the 
temples of Ajudhiya or take them to see 
other parts of his work ? The fact is. that, 
all through his ministry, Mr. Elliott was 
a close, hard student of the vernaculars. 
Year after year, all through the hot weather, 
a pundit or munshi could be seen coming 
to the mission-house towards noon to read 
with the Padri Sahib. He knew too much 
of the language not to know how much 
more there was to learn. It is not an 
unheard-of thing for young missionaries, 
after struggling through their three or four 
years of probationers' examinations, to 



PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

give up further study of the language 
because they " know " it ! It would 
have been interesting to hear what the 
Padri Sahib at the bottom of his heart 
really thought of their " knowledge." 

' Besides a wonderfully wide acquaint- 
ance with Urdu and Hindi, Mr. Elliott 
spoke Bengali with ease, though, at least 
in his later years, he did not preach in it. 
Persian he could read without difficulty, 
and had paid some attention to Arabic. 
While it is not given to all to have 
Mr. Elliott's linguistic ability, all could 
at least resemble him in his persevering, 
careful study of the language.' 

One story illustrating Mr. Elliott's 
mastery of the language may be inserted. 
Here it is, as narrated by the Rev. A. T. 
Cape : 

' One night he was lying on the seat 
of a railway carriage, well wrapped up in 
a blanket. At one of the stations a native 
corn merchant got in, and, seeing a brother 
native as he thought, began a conversation. 
" Who are you, brother ? " " Oh," said Mr. 
Elliott, " I am a religious beggar " and he 
was, too, as many of his English friends 
can testify if they will ; but the corn 



BIOGRAPHICAL 49 

merchant thought he was honoured by the 
presence of one of those long-haired, dirty, 
naked ruffians who prey on the religious 
sympathies of the people, wrapped in a 
blanket he had begged for the journey. 
The conversation was carried on well into 
the night, till at last Mr. Elliott suggested 
they should sleep. 

' Next morning when they rose the corn 
merchant gazed in astonishment at his 
fellow passenger. He began in English, 
" Sir, where did you get in ? " " Oh, I have 
travelled here all night." " But, sir, when 
I got in there was only a fakir here." 
Mr. Elliott played with him for a time, and 
then suddenly dropping into the vernacular 
said, " Main wuh bdbdji tha " (I was that 
fakir). Picture the astonishment of that 
corn merchant, who immediately began to 
try to remember what he had said the 
night before.' 

The third reason for Mr. Elliott's success 
was his patient, unremitting toil for the 
evangelization of the natives. Mr. Gregory 
writes on this subject : 

'The salvation of the Indian people 
themselves was the great purpose of Padri 
Elliott's life, and in this he was seen at his 

4 



50 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

best. In Faizabad city-square the crowds 
delighted to gather round week after week, 
to listen to his straight, faithful, forceful 
preaching. For he was faithful in his 
dealing with them. It seemed often as if 
their very hearts were laid open to his 
keen eye ; he knew the people through 
and through. It was not his wont to 
attack the religious practices and cus- 
toms of the people. It was altogether alien 
to his kindly disposition to wound any 
one's susceptibilities ; but, with tender 
fidelity, he would lay his finger on men's 
sins and strive to bring them to repentance. 
However hard hit they were, they felt that 
here was a good man ; the wounds he in- 
flicted were the wounds of a friend. He 
knew that the way to Christ ever lies 
through the narrow gateway of repentance, 
and that when once a Hindu or a Mussul- 
man is convinced of sin, he soon recognizes 
the inadequacy of his own faith to bring 
him deliverance. It was sometimes up-hill 
work. Often he mourned before God, with 
deep searchings of heart, because there was 
so little response, so little apparent effect 
from all his preaching. Often he would 
read in the Lives of the Early Methodist 



BIOGRAPHICAL 51 

Preachers, and as he read of mighty outpour- 
ings of God's Spirit, and of multitudes con- 
vinced of sin and led to the Cross, he would 
say, " Oh ! why cannot these results be seen 
following our preaching here among these 
Mussulmans and Hindus ? " And he would 
turn to prayer as his only refuge in the 
face of such a vast and difficult problem. 

' His efforts to lead men to the Saviour 
of the world were extended all round the 
city of Faizabad. He toured among the 
villages, winning the hearts of the people 
by his tact and geniality and kindness of 
heart. Sometimes a village Brahmin or 
a bigoted Mohammedan moulvi would 
make great efforts to draw the people away 
from him, to stir them up against him, or 
to excite their distrust and suspicion. But 
it was rarely, perhaps never, a successful 
manoeuvre ; and while Mr. Elliott could 
charm the crowd, he was almost always 
equally successful in disarming the bitterest 
hostility and making his advent a welcome 
event in every place he visited. 

' I was once on an evangelistic tour with 
Mr. Elliott, and on reaching a large village, 
it was found to be all en fete. There was a 
huge funeral feast in honour of the principal 



52 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

trader and banker in the place, and the 
members of his caste, from every village 
for miles round, were gathered to grace the 
occasion. The streets were full of holiday- 
makers and feasters, and seemed to present 
little chance of obtaining a hearing for 
the preacher's message. Most missionaries 
would have thought it advisable to postpone 
their evangelistic efforts till the hullabaloo 
should have subsided. Not so Mr. Elliott. 
"Come along," he cried; and off he went 
right through the crowd to where a large 
awning had been erected and carpets spread 
for the benefit of the dancing-girls and the 
musicians . It was an open question whether 
the intrusion would not be bitterly and even 
fiercely resented. At least it would have 
been an open question in the case of any 
one but Mr. Elliott. We sat down cross- 
legged on the edge of the carpet, Mr. Elliott 
making laughing remarks to those around, 
and for a while watched the gyrations of 
the dancers. Presently Mr. Elliott signed 
to them to stop, and threw them a rupee 
as largess. Then, humming over a tune 
to the musicians till they had caught the 
swing of it, we both began to sing a Hindi 
lyric on the subject of the shortness of life 



BIOGRAPHICAL 53 

and the necessity for preparation for death. 
We sang our best, but the crowd was 
enormous, and presently one cried out, 
" Come round to this side, and let us hear " ; 
so round we went to each side of the 
awning, and then Mr. Elliott enforced the 
lesson suggested by the hymn and most 
appropriate to the occasion that had brought 
the crowd together a funeral feast. The 
whole was done with that amazing ease, 
and charm, and tact, that were always 
characteristic of the man in every kind of 
society. Subsequently he paid a visit of 
condolence to the widow and family of the 
deceased man, and on our returning to our 
tent, a great pile of native provisions, our 
share of the feast, was sent after us, while 
every man in the crowd regarded the in- 
cursion of the genial Padri not with tolera- 
tion only, but with gratitude and pleasure.' 



Ill 

LAST DAYS 

IN July, 1905, Mr. Elliott came to England 
on furlough for the last time, his wife, 
seriously impaired in health, having pre- 
ceded him by eighteen months. The time 
of separation had been one of sore family 
trouble. Mrs. Shipham (Mrs. Elliott's 
mother, to whom Mr. Elliott was warmly 
attached) died towards the end of 1904. 
Then a nephew, the eldest son of the 
Rev. Arthur Shipham, a young man of 
promise, died after a short illness. Besides 
this Mrs. Elliott's aged father, sorely 
stricken by the loss of his wife, had a 
serious illness, and for weeks there was little 
hope of his recovery. Writing to his wife 
on the occasion of Mrs. Shipham' s death, 
Mr. Elliott said, ' She has given us much 
to think about in her life. She has left 
us a beautiful, almost a perfect example. 
She was so gentle, kind, and beautiful in 

54 



BIOGRAPHICAL 55 

her life and character, and lived for many 
years past, I verily believe, on the border- 
land of heaven. That is what I would fain 
do now. Mother's departure has drawn 
me much nearer to heaven. . . . But I 
lust for life ; for ten good years of it at 
least, to see my four children through, 
though I long most for a revival of God's 
work in this circuit, which is almost as 
dear to me as you are, Mary. It is my 
second wife. ... I know mother loved 
me, and I could not have loved her better 
had she been my own mother. She in- 
fluenced me much for good by her life, her 
words, and smile, but I do believe her 
death will do even more for me/ 

Owing to Mrs. Elliott's prolonged ill 
health it was difficult to see whither the 
hand of God was leading, and a note of 
uncertainty finds expression in more than 
one letter written during his last year in 
India : 

' With you I hope we may return. I 
have yet some plans I want to carry out 
and results I want to see shaping into 
definiteness, the results of twenty-one years 
of toil and self-sacrifice. But, as you say, 
we are in God's hands. He knoweth what 



56 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

is best for us and for his work. We are 
the creatures of a day: His kingdom is 
eternal. We live and move in mystery 
and amid much that is uncertain. To 
Him there is no mystery, no uncertainty.' 

' I feel leaving India and my work very 
much indeed. This time there is a strange 
element of uncertainty entering into my 
departure, viz. that I may possibly never 
return to it again. It seems as if all the 
labour of years had culminated to this 
point when success and results might be 
reached by a few more years of patient toil 
and planning. And then there was the 
hope of putting some young Elliotts into 
the field and keeping alive the name, so 
that an Elliott might stand here and 
officiate before the Lord. There may be 
a bit of vanity in this which the Lord may 
disallow, but I hope will pardon, because 
it is a manifestation of the great honour 
and dignity we feel that working for Him 
confers on us, so that first we have given 
ourselves to it you for twenty-one years, 
I for more than a quarter of a century and 
now we are willing to give our children 
as an offering to Him and His work.' 

The first two months of his furlough 



BIOGRAPHICAL 57 

Mr. Elliott spent with his wife and daugh- 
ters at Blackheath, his son being with them 
for a fortnight. It was the last period of 
quiet family life Mr. Elliott was to know, 
and it was to him a season of much joy. 
The goal of some of his hopes for his family 
seemed within sight. His eldest daughter 
had almost completed her college course. 
His son was a local preacher on trial. 
Another daughter wished to become a 
medical missionary, and a way seemed 
opening out by which the expenses of the 
college training might be met. ' If God 
should grant me five more years of life/ 
he said, ' I shall see them all through/ 
Two of his children's birthdays fell during 
these months, and as the other two had 
been earlier in the year they rolled them 
all into one, and held high carnival to- 
gether. 

He preached once and addressed two 
Sunday schools in the circuit. At one 
Sunday school were two children who had 
heard him five years before, whose mother 
said they had prayed every day since 
' that Mr. Elliott might have a real chapel 
in the Chauk as well as an iron pulpit.' 
He also spoke at the valedictory service 



58 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

of a medical missionary of the Z.B.M.M., 
an old friend returning after furlough to 
Benares. 

Into this period falls the last of his open- 
air services. The following is an account 
of it by Percy Shipham, Esq. : 

' An irregular band of open-air missioners 
in Blackheath asked Mr. Elliott to help them, 
and he readily consented. I hurried from 
church to be present, and soon heard from 
the distance the familiar accents and de- 
scried the familiar figure, the familiar stoop 
more accentuated, and the premature marks 
of age and of India more visible on the 
head and face. 

' I joined the circle and listened to a 
thrilling story of a young soldier convicted 
of shooting a comrade with whom he had 
no quarrel, and condemned to death. How 
well the speaker transported us to the 
cantonments of India, where the mad deed 
was done, and to the prison-cell, where he 
and the prisoner daily sought from heaven 
the pardon vainly sought from those on 
earth ! Drink had done the evil ; and facing 
Mr. Elliott was a public house, from the 
doors of which men came to listen. One 
of them seemed anxious to re-enter the bar, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 59 

but could not tear himself from the speaker's 
grip. He turned to go, and stopped ; 
moved a few steps, and stopped again ; 
with his face to the inn and his back to 
the speaker, he stayed till the story was 
finished, and he at last was free : free to 
make the great refusal or to accept the 
offered grace. 

' 'Prentice hands could learn much from 
Mr. Elliott that night. He spoke to all 
and to each, changing his position by a 
few paces, turning to those behind him, 
directing his eyes and voice to every part 
of the crowd, so that none was outside the 
charmed circle. And behind the skill of 
the expert was the burning zeal of the 
believer. Totus in illis : " This one thing 
I do." ' 

Mr. Elliott needed rest, for he was 
considerably run down when he left India, 
observing to more than one friend at part- 
ing, ' I feel I may never see India again,' 
But he was much invigorated by the 
voyage, and immediately began making 
plans and discussing arrangements for his 
return. Signs, however, showed themselves 
indicating that he ought not to work at the 
same high pressure as before. He suffered 



60 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

from shortness of breath when walking 
uphill, but put this down to being out of 
practice through having ridden a bicycle 
in India. The two months in Blackheath 
he regarded as a time of rest, though he 
could never be happy for long without 
doing something in the way of speaking. 
He was examined by a London specialist, 
whose report was most favourable and 
encouraged him to hope for many years 
of toil in the land he loved so well. About 
the same time also the doctors consented 
to Mrs. Elliott's returning to India with 
her husband after furlough ; so their plans 
seemed straightening out, and Mr. Elliott 
was jubilant. 

Many engagements had been made, 
months before he left India, to preach and 
speak at places where he was well known, 
but he had kept one Sunday free each 
month for rest. As soon, however, as it 
was known he was in England requests for 
help poured in by almost every post. 
Many of these he had to refuse, but if he 
could in any way, he would always squeeze 
in a day to help his friends. A gentleman 
has written of these last days : ' If our dear 
friend had been able to say " No " he might 



BIOGRAPHICAL 6l 

have lived longer, but he would not have 
been the Elliott whom we know, and the 
quality of the work would have been dif- 
ferent. Much of the world's best work is 
done by those who overwork.' 

Many of the places he visited during this 
short time had some interesting association, 
or were the homes of friends who had been 
helping him in his work : Altrincham, 
where the Rev. J. Shipham resides ; Gains- 
borough, the home of generations of Ship- 
hams ; Southport, where Dr. Jenkins and 
Miss Wood had both died that year ; 
Preston, where he met his wife ; and 
Tottenham, the home of his first ' young 
man/ the Rev. A. T. Cape. 

One meeting was of such interest as to 
deserve special mention. Limber, not far 
from Gainsborough, was the home of his 
wife's mother, and soon after her death in 
the previous year he had promised to speak 
here. More than fifty years before, Mrs. 
Shipham had dedicated herself to Indian 
mission work, kneeling under a tree in the 
park close by. Now, her youngest son 
was the Missionary Chairman ; her eldest 
son, who had been a missionary in Ceylon 
for eleven years, paid a tribute to her 



62 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

memory ; and Mr. Elliott, the husband of 
her eldest daughter, told the story of 
missionary toil and success in Faizabad. 
For an hour and a half the people listened 
to one of his inimitable and unreportable 
addresses, given in his best style. 

On November 27 Mr. Elliott preached 
at Bristol. While in that city he con- 
sulted a doctor, because he was afraid 
there was something wrong with his heart, 
as, in addition to the shortness of breath 
he had a pain in his chest and left hand. 
However, he was reassured by the doctor 
saying it was merely a form of indigestion, 
and would yield to treatment. 

The following Sunday he preached at 
Albert Park Chapel, Manchester, when 
about forty of the Didsbury students 
heard him. It gave Mr. Elliott great joy 
to announce the following day at the 
missionary meeting that one student, who 
had been down for home work, had, under 
the influence of his stirring appeals, now 
resolved to offer for the foreign work. 

On December 10 he preached with his 
usual power at the Free Trade Hall. One 
proof of the enthusiasm he aroused was 
that the collection was made three times 



BIOGRAPHICAL 63 

over, the last time 15 being given for an 
evangelist in Mr. Elliott's circuit. 

On Wednesday, December 13, he wished 
his wife and children good-bye, hoping to 
return the next week for the Christmas 
holidays, and to be able to spend two or 
three weeks with them. Long had that 
Christmas been looked forward to and 
bright were the anticipations of a joyous 
reunion, for it was five years since Mr. 
Elliott had spent Christmas with his family. 
But on the Tuesday morning that was to 
have brought him home came the fatal 
telegram to say he was no more. That 
farewell was the last time he was seen 
alive by any member of his family. 

On Friday, the I5th, in Hull, he visited 
a sick lady. Before leaving he knelt down 
and prayed : in praying for India and its 
needs he utterly broke down, and the tears 
ran down his cheeks. 

On Saturday he went to stay with Mr. 
and Mrs. Cussons, and on arrival was 
shown into the drawing-room. When 
Mrs. Cussons entered the room to welcome 
him, she found him pacing up and down. 
He turned to her and said, ' I have had the 
most wonderful and beautiful experience. 



64 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

As I stood in this room the feeling came 
to me that heaven is around me, Jesus 
is near me, and death is nothing.' 

He had a hard day's work on Sunday 
two services, and an afternoon meeting for 
children. In his letter to his wife on 
Monday morning he said : ' I had a heavy 
day yesterday, but a good day. A big 
company in to supper, which left at 11.30. 
I got up to my room at twelve feeling just 
a bit tired. My throat is not quite so fit 
to-day, and this shortness of breath is 
getting worse. It must be an acute form 
of indigestion, but after all you have 
suffered it seems quite contemptible for 
me to mention my small sufferings I 
should rather say inconveniences, for there 
is no suffering. I shall take the first train 
after dinner to-morrow. I shall be glad, 
so glad, to get home again and be one of 
the family.' That was his last letter. 

The whole of Monday was spent in 
looking over the new Hull Mission with 
the superintendent, Mr. Fillingham, and 
in paying visits. While they were looking 
over the Mission premises they came on 
some plasterers and other workmen who 
had stopped work and were having their 



BIOGRAPHICAL 65 

midday meal. Mr. Elliott sang out, ' Here, 
move up, boys, and make room for the old 
Padri.' He squatted down among them 
and was soon chatting away as if he had 
known them all his life. 

By evening Mr. Elliott was feeling de- 
cidedly poorly ; he turned sick, and at tea- 
time refused to take anything but a cup 
of tea. No one was alarmed, as he said 
it was merely indigestion. Before the 
evening meeting he became worse and 
felt severe pain. He looked so haggard 
and ill that the friends there begged him 
not to speak, saying they would go through 
the meeting without him. He insisted on 
speaking, and spoke with all his accustomed 
energy. On returning home he grew worse, 
and the doctor was called in ; the dangerous 
nature of the illness angina pectoris 
was at once detected. Mr. Elliott could 
see from the doctor's face that it was 
serious, and said, ' I should not be surprised 
if I pegged out to-night.' At two o'clock 
he was so much worse that the doctor was 
called again, and he stayed with him till 
the end came, at about five o'clock in the 
morning of Tuesday, December 19. Almost 
his last words were, ' Give my love to my 

5 



66 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

wife and children/ and ' My poor native 
Christians ! ' 

So lived and died, toiling, preaching, 
praying to the end, one who was a prince 
of vernacular preachers, most popular of 
platform speakers, warmest-hearted and 
most loyal of friends, kindest and most 
sympathetic of men, worn out before his 
time because he knew not how to moderate 
his zeal for the cause he loved. 

Much has been said in his praise : had 
he then no faults ? He had, and neither 
his friends nor his colleagues could be 
blind to them, for they were as conspicuous 
as his virtues. They were the faults of 
his Celtic nature. He was apt to find 
a virtue in putting off till to-morrow 
what ought to be done to-day. Gener- 
osity to old friends he sometimes carried 
so far that the interests of those nearer 
home suffered. And he was ever the 
despair of Building Committees ! Did he 
ever bring up to the Synod the report of 
buildings erected by him without having to 
confess that he had (ominous sound in a 
missionary's ears) ' exceeded his estimates/ 
and sometimes very seriously ? Well, his 



BIOGRAPHICAL 67 

faults were ever humbly acknowledged, 
and somehow, men did not love him the less 
for them. If old colleagues think of them 
to-day it will be with smiles nigh unto 
tears, and warm twitchings at the heart. 

Perhaps to many the picture of Mr. 
Elliott here presented is different from the 
one they have in their minds. They think 
of him chiefly as the popular speaker, the 
witty talker, the inimitable mimic, who 
saw and could reproduce (with just sufficient 
exaggeration to make things live) the 
humorous side of things, as the jovial 
guest who could keep the table in roars of 
laughter as he told stories of his work in 
India, who was the life and soul of every 
social circle, an infallible remedy for low 
spirits. He was all this and much besides. 
No man's visits were ever more eagerly 
looked forward to by his friends in India. 
When to the mission-house in Lucknow 
there came a post-card bidding the wife 
have murgi-cuny (chicken curry) ready 
by a certain hour, the very anticipation 
of his visit was a tonic. And when he had 
gone, the search there was in his room to 
gather up the various articles he had left 
behind ! 



68 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Much might have been said about this, 
the better known and popular side of Mr. 
Elliott's life. But in order to give a com- 
plete picture of the man, prominence has 
been given to the other Elliott, the Elliott 
who did not live in public, but was known 
only to a smaller circle of more intimate 
friends, the Elliott who came to light in 
moments of quiet conversation with the one 
or two. 

An illustration is to hand. In a private 
letter received from India this week and 
not intended for publication, is written : 
' I lived with Elliott for eighteen months 
at the latter end, and got to know and love 
him as I never did before. Latterly his 
thoughts had turned to personal holiness. 
He was, in old Methodist phrase, " groaning 
after it," studying the hymns thereon, and 
praying constantly . ' But another colleague 
of Mr. Elliott's discovered as early as 1887 
that his thoughts were flowing in this 
direction, and again in 1894 further op- 
portunities of quiet intercourse showed 
the same undercurrents flowing yet more 
strongly. So it ever was. This many- 
sided man was not to be known at once 
and by everybody. But all who lived 




FAREWELL 



BIOGRAPHICAL 69 

near enough to observe him closely and 
win his confidence, knew that underneath 
the bubbling-over fun and genial good 
nature there were deep, quiet streams of 
aspiration, and a hunger and thirst after 
righteousness and the purity of heart that 
bring the vision of God. Now he has 
attained to that purity and entered into 
the enjoyment of that vision. 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD IN 
THE INDIAN MUTINY 

MOST of what I am about to relate I 
received from the lips of my mother, 
shortly before her death. I was her eldest 
surviving child, and, at the time of my story, 
five years old. The scenes through which 
we passed were so vivid and stirring, so awful 
and sad, that, young as I was, they made 
a deep and lasting impression on my mind. 
Some of these incidents are as terribly vivid 
to me to-day as they were forty-four years 
ago ; but it wanted the experience of years 
to appreciate the grim humour of some of 
the scenes. What I remember myself, 
aided by what my mother told me, enables 
me to give you a picture as romantic and 
heart-stirring as many chronicled by Kaye 
and Mallison and others who have written 
of those awful times. 

My mother was a fine, typical Irish- 
woman, from the Black North ; her father 
was a fairly well-to-do farmer, an Orange- 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 71 

man of the deepest dye, and for years a 
leader in political meetings. He lived 
and died amid red-hot days of deeds and 
daring but all that is another and a 
different story. My mother was born at a 
place called Killinangle, near the town of 
Ballyshannon, County Donegal. 

In 1892-3, while home on my first fur- 
lough, I went on a missionary deputation 
to the north of Ireland, and a rare good 
time it was, too. Oh for another such ! On 
that occasion I visited my mother's birth- 
place. I went all over the haunts of 
her girlhood. I also saw an old woman 
who knew her as a girl. When I told her 
who I was, she stood up, drew near to me, 
and said : ' Sure, are you Jane Atchison's 
son ? ' 

'I am, mother,' I said, 'and her only 
living son.' 

'Ah, sure, God bless you; let me feel 
you.' 

She passed her hands fondly over me, as 
my own dear mother would have done. 

'Let me look at you,' she said; 'come 
out here.' 

I had an Inverness cape on. She looked 
me up and down, and said : ' Ah, God bless 



72 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

you, my boy, you look like a gineral ! ' I 
then sat down with her, and we had a long, 
long chat in that Irish cabin. I told her 
all about my mother and myself, all about 
my family, and my missionary labours. 
Oh, how she listened ! She begged me to 
stay over the night, and they would beat 
up the country-side for miles, and tell the 
neighbours to come out and hear Jane 
Atchison's son from India tell the story of 
his life-work. I should have liked that 
beyond measure, but it was impossible 
I was engaged elsewhere. I then got her 
to talk, and sat and listened with rapt 
attention as she told me of my mother's 
girlhood days. The style in which she told 
it, her pauses as she waited to call up 
memories of bygone days, more than half 
a century ago, were truly Hibernian, and 
most fascinating. Never, in all my life, did 
I so feel the sacredness and charm of any 
spot on earth. Now, at least, I had seen 
the very house and room where my saintly 
mother was born, the school where she got 
her bit of learning, the parish church and 
meeting-house where she worshipped, took 
the Sacrament, and received spiritual bless- 
ing. I had walked over the roads trodden 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 73 

by her feet. I looked round and gazed 
north, south, east, and west on the scenes 
and surroundings of her early life; and, 
above all, I had held high intercourse with 
an old saint who knew her as a girl. It 
was too much for me. I was quite over- 
come. My whole being was bowed down 
under the weight of deep, unutterable 
feelings, and I realized as I had never done 
before the sacredness and power of earthly 
associations connected with the hallowed 
memories of those whom we love, and who 
are with us no more. 

Under the spell of these feelings and 
emotions, I went that same evening to 
speak at the missionary meeting at Bun- 
doran. There I touched the high-water 
mark of my life, and went beyond 
myself, it seemed to me. Such a mission- 
ary speech I never gave, and never 
will, I do believe, deliver again. Never 
again, on this side the grave, do I hope 
so to move and touch the hearts of men 
as I did that day. It happened seven 
years ago ; but ah ! I remember it all so 
well. I was working up to the conclusion 
of my speech, and telling them how much I 
owed in my life and ministry to my mother, 



74 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

especially to her prayers for me. Then I 
told them of her death, and what it meant 
to me. I told them how there came over 
her soul an hour of awful darkness. God's 
comforts, His promises, the reading of His 
Holy Word, the singing of her favourite 
hymns, were all of no avail. Her only cry 
was, ' Dark, dark, dark, my boy ; it's all 
dark. God has hidden His face from me 
as I am going through the " valley of the 
shadow of death." ' I continued on my 
knees by her bedside, and, in sorrow and 
agony of soul, begged God to give me a 
message to my dying mother. At last it 
came. I arose and took her hand in mine, 
and said : ' Mother, in answer to your 
prayers I was given back to you when a 
child ; I was led into the kingdom of God 
and became a missionary of the Cross to 
India's millions. mother, let me, your 
son, now, in this hour of darkness, point 
you to the same Saviour, that you may hear 
Him say to you, "Fear not, I am the 
Resurrection and the Life." ' 

Immediately the cloud rolled away ; 
the dear old face was lighted up as by a 
heavenly beauty. She clasped her hands, 
and exclaimed, ' He is, He is my Life and 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 75 

Resurrection death, where is thy sting ? 
grave, where is thy victory ? Blessed 
be God, which giveth us the victory through 
His Son Jesus Christ.' She went away 
from me ; it was past midnight. It was 
very dark on my side, but there was light in 
the valley as she passed through. Heaven 
opened before her, but the grave before 
me. 

I left the bedside, and went and sat on 
the verandah steps, my face buried in my 
hands, my teeth clenched, great hard lumps 
in my throat, my eyes hot, dry, and tired. 
There I sat for two long hours, gazing 
fixedly on the ground, and contemplating 
my great and irreparable loss. At last 
God graciously moved my heart, and opened 
my lips to prayer. The Great Comforter 
comforted me. ' Lord,' I said, ' who 
will love me, and help me, and guide me, 
and care for me, and pray for me, as she has 
done ? ' 

Then the Great Comforter whispered, 

1 / win: 

I said, ' I am left alone in the world 
now.' 

He said, ' I am with you always. I will 
never leave you, nor forsake you,' 



76 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Oh the power of those words in that 
hour ! My tears began to flow freely. 

Having finished the story, I paused a 
moment, and heard the sound of the 
breaking of the surf, as it came through 
the windows of the chapel. It reminded 
me of the peace of God that came into my 
soul as I sat on that verandah in the grey 
early morning. 

I remained silent, unable to utter another 
word. My heart overflowed with the peace 
and love of God. The whole audience 
leaned forward and bowed their heads as 
if in prayer. After a few moments of 
dead silence Moses Douglas, the Super- 
intendent, and one of Ireland's grand- 
est Methodist preachers, lifted up his 
voice in prayer. Oh, what a prayer was 
that ! It seemed inspired. The congrega- 
tion, numbering about one hundred and 
fifty, were sobbing all over the chapel. We 
then made the collection, after which 
Moses Douglas said, ' We will have no 
votes of thanks to-night ; it would be out 
of place after such a meeting as we have 
had. Never, in the long course of my 
ministry, have I witnessed a mission- 
ary meeting like this.' The Benedic- 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 77 

tion was pronounced, and we quietly 
dispersed. 

There is just one, only one, out of the 
many stories that mother related to me, 
that I must give. It borders on the 
supernatural, and made a profound im- 
pression on mother. It was a vision a 
real, strange vision. Long years after- 
wards the reason for it was revealed to her 
once while wrestling with God in prayer 
she was mighty in prayer ; I have never 
seen her equal. It was revealed to her at 
a time the darkest and most miserable 
through which she ever passed, and was to 
her a source of great comfort. The story 
of the vision is this. Mother was converted 
to God when a child of twelve. She was 
sitting, one evening, soon after her con- 
version, with an old saint, called Nannie. 
They had read and prayed together, and 
were afterwards having a spiritual con- 
versation. The twilight was shading away 
into the darkness of night. 

Mother jumped up, and said, ' Shall I 
light a rush ? ' 

' No, my child/ said Nannie, ' let us 
have the last bit of twilight we can get, 
and not spoil it with a rush-light/ 



78 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Mother sat down again at Nannie's feet, 
with her arms resting on the old saint's 
knees. 

All at once a soft, beautiful light appeared 
on one side of them ; and, moving round to 
the front, gradually shaped into a fine 
manly form of great beauty, which just for 
a few seconds only looked down on them 
such a look of kind, gentle love ! and then 
slowly passed out of the door, and vanished. 
They both looked up at the face without 
fear, and their hearts filled with love and 
peace, as if Divinity had touched them. 

' Who was it, Nannie ? ' inquired my 
mother. 

' Why, the Saviour, child, to be sure ' ; 
and then she added, ( There is a reason for 
this, Jane, and some day it will appear. 
Keep it locked up in your heart.' 

When I questioned my mother on it she 
said, ' It's a true story, my boy. I saw 
Him as surely as you see me sitting before 
you. I can't account for it, though I do 
see a reason for it. I just tell you what 
I really saw, and how I saw it. It was a 
glorious, lovely vision, and has been a 
comfort and blessing to me all my life 
through.' 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 79 

Mother never lost the * witness of the 
Spirit ' from the day of her conversion, 
and lived in the full enjoyment of what 
we Methodists call ' full salvation ' and 
' perfect consecration ' during the last five 
years of her life ; the last six months she 
lived on the borderland of eternity, and 
I felt it. 

How my father got across to Ireland, 
how he met mother, married, and got out 
to India fifty-two years ago, I need not 
tell. Mother lost two girls in babyhood. 
To lose child after child is bad; losing them 
in a strange and far-away land is worse. 

A third child was sent to the young Irish 
mother a boy this time. When he was 
but two years old, just running about and 
gladdening her heart by his Hindustani 
prattle, he would often come with the 
fragments in his little hands of something 
he had pulled down and broken, and say, 
' Dekho mama, tut gayd ' (See, mother, it's 
broken). ' Kaisd tut gayd ? ' (How has 
it got broken ?) ' Ap se tut gayd ' (It's 
broken of itself). 

He was not whipped, even when he 
should have been. He was reasoned with, 
chided, kissed, and sent trotting off with 



80 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the admonition, ' Phir mat karo' (Don't 
do it again), and he didn't mean to, but 
he did do it, again and again. 

In the midst of it all, while cholera was 
raging in Ludhiana (in the Punjab), the 
boy was smitten by this fell disease, and in 
less than three hours was brought to the 
gates of death. The doctor pronounced it 
a hopeless case, and left, saying, ' It's no 
use pouring medicine down a dying child's 
throat.' Mother knelt beside the bed, and, 
with all the agony of a mother about to 
lose her third child, pleaded with God for 
her boy's life. * Lord, spare him. Oh ! 
spare him, and I will give this boy, as my 
Samuel, to Thee to be a missionary.' 

That was a long look ahead for faith, 
for there was scarcely a missionary in all 
North India then. They began to come 
in after the Mutiny of 1857 an d the an- 
nexation of Oudh. However, the prayer 
was heard, and that cholera-stricken child 
has had the great honour of being the first 
Wesleyan missionary who preached the 
gospel in the vernacular to the natives of 
North India. 

The hero of my story is our good and 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 8l 

faithful old Hindu bearer,' Ram Din. He 
belonged to the Kahar caste. This is one 
of the strong, respectable, middle castes 
of North India the one caste, indeed, 
whom the Brahmins have graciously 
honoured by allowing them to be their 
cooks and water-carriers, from whose 
hands alone they may accept their meat 
and drink (especially the latter) without 
any violation of their exalted position and 
fine prejudices. 

Old Ram Din had as fine, open, and 
wide-awake a pair of eyes as any Hindu in 
North India. He was an absolute and ob- 
stinate lihagab, which, being interpreted 
into English, means a determined vege- 
tarian and out-and-out total abstainer. 
Any Hindu in any caste may become a 
bhagat, and take on himself for a certain 
time, or for life, the sacred obligations of 
' bhagti,' which may also include temporary 
or permanent bachelorhood. A bachelor 
bhagat is called an udasi (the sad one) ; 
the married bhagat, a khushbasi (the 
happy one). 

Kota, where we resided at the time that 
the Mutiny broke out, is a place in Raj- 
putana. It had at that time a small 

6 



82 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

military garrison, consisting of a battery 
of artillery, a regiment of cavalry, and one 
of infantry all natives, but officered by 
Europeans. It was called the Kota Con- 
tingent. It was sent up to the front to 
fight the mutineers ; but, instead of fighting 
them, they went over in a body and joined 
them. When news of their revolt reached 
Kota, their fellows left in charge to guard 
the station and European families deter- 
mined to revolt, to massacre all the Euro- 
peans, to loot (plunder) and burn the 
whole station, and then go on and join 
their brethren who were out, like thousands 
of other sepoys, on a big military strike ! 

Very early one summer morning, mother 
was awakened by Ram Din knocking at 
her bedroom door. ' Mem Sahiba ' (Madam, 
really Mrs. Sir!) 'Quick, quick, awake, 
awake ! Let us get the children dressed 
at once. Take, as few things as possible, 
and what are most valuable and can easily 
be turned into money, and let us away ; 
by three or four o'clock the sepoys will be 
here to put you all to death and to plunder 
and burn your bungalow. I sat in their 
midst to-night, and got to know all their 
plans/ One hour after that sudden and 



THROUGH FIRE AND. SWORD 83 

awful warning to arise and flee for our 
lives, we were seated in a native ox-cart 
(my mother, I, Tom, Lizzie, Arthur, and 
a wee baby, two months old). As we were 
hurrying along, at the pace of four miles 
an hour tip-top speed for Indian oxen 
suddenly Ram Din, pointing in the 
direction of burning bungalows, exclaimed, 
' Look, Mem Sahiba, look.' We looked, and 
there in the distance behind us, we beheld 
the blazing of the bungalows, lighting up 
the hazy morning sky with a strange, lurid, 
awful glare. ' We have just got away in 
time,' said old Ram Din, the bearer. ' Oh ! 
hear their yells ; though they have missed 
the grim pleasure of killing you all, yet 
are they delighted at the satisfaction of 
having looted and burnt your bungalow. 
At sunrise they will be hunting you and 
me all over the country ; they will know 
we cannot have gone very far away. We 
must make haste and hide somewhere.' 
In a short time we reached a large village, 
which unfortunately, however, lay near 
the highway through which the sepoys 
would pass on their way to the north. As 
we approached this village, the bearer got 
us out and dismissed the cart. ' Oh, Ram 



84 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Din ! ' exclaimed my mother, ' where shall 
we go, where shall we hide now ? The 
people in the village will soon be getting 
up and moving about ; they will see us 
and betray us into the hands of the sepoys, 
who will soon be here, on their way up 
country, as you say. Oh, Ram Din, we 
shall all be killed! Ab ham kya karen?' 
(what shall we do now). ' Stay here a 
moment,' said Ram Din, * while I prospect 
the place. 1 In a short time he was back 
again, and found us all standing and 
huddled together round our anxious and 
fearful mother. ' Come along, quick, quick. 
I have found a good place ; fear not. I 
think you will be safe here during the day, 
and at night I will take you on to a place 
of greater safety.' 

On we went, till we got to the entrance 
of the village, which was a long, narrow 
street, with houses on each side of it. 
' There, get in there,' said the sagacious 
old Hindu, hustling us in. And, oh ! 
what a place it was. A tumbled-down, old 
mud cow-shed, about twenty feet long and 
ten wide. There was no roof to it, the mud 
walls were crumbling and not more than 
eight feet high. There was but one door- 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 85 

way, at the top end this was in its favour 
as a hiding-place, for one could not see more 
than half way across the room without 
coming inside, and as they were not looking 
after cattle, they would hardly be likely to 
look in there. This doorway had but one 
leaf of the door on, and that was hanging 
by the lower hinge. My mother's astonish- 
ment was as great as her fear at being 
stuck into this place, and she protested, 
but in vain. ' Ah,' replied the wily old 
Hindu bearer, ' this is just the very place 
for you. The mutineers will never dream 
of looking for you in such a place as this. 
You will see, they will walk right by, with- 
out even looking in. Keep still in that 
far-away corner, and I'll keep watch up the 
road.' The bearer threw off his pagri (or 
turban), put on a much shorter dhoti, (loin- 
cloth), and, with bare head and shoulders, 
squatted down like an ordinary don't-know- 
nothing Indian villager, smoking his huqqa, 
or pipe ; stolidly indifferent to everything, 
and yet none the less on the alert. 

After a time Ram Din came in, his face 
wearing a fearful look of woe-begone 
anxiety. ' They are coming ! they are 
coming ! ' said he. ' Where where ? let me 



86 PADRi ELLIOTT OF FAlZABAD 

see,' said I the inquisitive, impulsive boy, 
who wanted to see and know everything. 
I darted towards the door. I was soon 
stopped and pushed back by him. 

' Hatto ' (get back), ' you little badmash ' 
(rebel) ' you will get us all caught ; do you 
want your head cut off with a sword ? ' 
'No, I don't.' 'Then go there in that 
far corner with your mother, and sit as 
still as a toad in fear of a snake.' That 
did for me. He had scarcely gone, when 
we heard the noise of the advancing 
mutineers. Near, and yet nearer they 
came some two hundred or more. They 
would soon be marching past the open door 
of the roofless shed, in the far corner of 
which we were hiding. If they discovered 
us, what would they not do to us ! Mother 
realized it all ; we did not. 

On they came. Tramp, tramp, tramp ; 
we could hear them. Oh ! where was Ram 
Din now ? A cry or a shout from one of us 
youngsters, and all would be up. An awful 
fear was on us, and held us still and quiet. 
The painful look on mother's face grew into 
one of intense agony. I can see it now. 
With the baby in one arm, she dropped on 
her knees, and gathered us all round her 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 87 

with the other arm. Even the baby was 
quiet. Tramp, tramp, tramp ; now they 
are passing the open door ! Only as by a 
miracle were we prevented from shrieking 
out in terror. Mother gave us all one long, 
loving look, as if it were to be the last on 
earth, and then lifting up her heart to the 
God of the widow and the fatherless, she 
called on Him, in His loving mercy, to 
spare us and He did. But we were very 
near to the point of the bayonet and the 
edge of the talwar that morning. 

During the day Ram Din, with great 
difficulty, stealthily supplied us with some 
chappatis (unleavened bread) and water. 
Numbers of the mutineers were hanging 
about, undecided whether to go north or 
return to their homes. In the dead of night, 
Ram Din crept in silently like a jackal, 
and in a whisper bade us quietly follow 
him. After we got well out of the village, 
into a quiet, unfrequented spot, we found 
another ox-cart awaiting us, and got into it. 
The experience of that night was one of the 
bitterest and saddest we were called upon 
to pass through during those fiery times. 
The route marked out for us by Ram Din 
was destined ultimately to bring us to Na- 



PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

sirabad, a military garrison. But, through 
fear of meeting stray mutineer sepoys of 
the Kota Contingent, we were compelled 
to leave the regular road, even old cart- 
tracks and beaten village pathways. 

The rough, clumsy cart passing over the 
uneven ground and rough boulders not 
only jostled us together, but threw us 
often clean from one side to the other, 
and dashed us back again. The night, 
too, was very dark, and the noise of the 
wretched cart plunging over the boulders 
and down into the hollows again, filled us 
with fears that we might be heard and 
detected by some of the enemy, striking 
out their homeward way over the same 
uneven ground. We children were weary 
and fretful. It took mother and Ram Din 
all their time to quieten and manage us 
and to try to get us to sleep. But no sleep 
was possible to any one that night, in 
those circumstances, and over that dreadful 
ground. Mother had her baby in her arms, 
a delicate child, two months old. In 
one of the awful lurches she, with the 
child, was suddenly thrown forward, and 
the baby's head was dashed against one 
of the wooden stanchions of the cart, which 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 

crushed in the poor little thing's skull. 
Without even a cry, she fell back dead in 
her mother's arms. The awful, unearthly 
shriek of anguish from mother that pierced 
that midnight gloom set us all screaming. 
' Oh, my child ! my child ! My child is 
dead ! Ram Din, stop the cart/ she said. 
' Bachcha mar gay a ' (The little one is killed). 
The bullocks were soon brought to a stand- 
still. Ram Din, who had been trudging 
along first on one side of the cart, then on 
the other, now in front, and now behind, 
ever watchful, and always on the alert, was 
soon by her side. He took the child into his 
arms, looked at it, examined it, and handed 
it back, exclaiming with a choking sob, 
' Han, mem sahib, mar gay a ' (Yes, madam, 
it is indeed dead). The poor old Hindu 
did what he could to console that heart- 
broken mother and to quiet her crying 
children. There was no hope, no heaven, 
no hereafter, in his creed of transmigration 
and final absorption into the infinite. The 
most he could say was, ' Poor dear child ! 
it is God's will ; don't weep, Mem Sahiba,' 
and he did say that from the bottom of 
his heart, with the tears rolling down his 
cheeks. It was the best sympathy the 



90 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

old Hindu could offer, but it came from 
a great and loving heart. 

For more than an hour he trudged along 
by the side of the cart, silently listening to 
the cries and moans of his ' Mem Sahiba.' 
After the first paroxysm of grief had passed, 
he spoke again, but in calm, firm tones. 
' Madam/ said he, ' the child has now 
passed out of your hands and gone to God, 
who gave her to you. His will be done ! 
Dry your tears, bury your dead, and give 
your thoughts and strength to the living 
ones that are still with you. ' Gari wala 
(driver), ' stop the cart ; Mem Sahiba, get 
out ; let us bury the baby.' ' Oh ! Ram 
Din ! ' exclaimed the mother, in bitter 
anguish, ' my child is but just dead.' ' Let 
us bury it, madam ; you have to think 
of the living now. We must part here, 
now and for ever, with the child. It is 
fate ; it is God's will ; we are helpless.' 
With the greatest difficulty, using a wooden 
peg, a shallow grave, a very shallow one, 
not more than eighteen inches deep, was 
dug by Ram Din, and in that shallow bed 
of stones and gravel the baby was laid to 
rest. ' Oh ! J cried mother, ' the jackals 
and hyenas will dig my poor child up and 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 

devour it before sunrise ! ' To avoid this 
he piled some large stones on the little 
grave. 

So there, under the star-lit sky, Ram 
Din buried the child, and silently piled up 
the little cairn, while the bereaved mother 
knelt by the grave-side and asked God for 
strength and resignation to bear this great 
sorrow and to say, ' Thy will be done/ 

Very early in the morning we drew up 
near to a little village, on the outskirts of 
which, partly hidden by a clump of bam- 
boos and shrubs, was the poor mud hut of 
an out-caste. In most villages there are a 
few of these despised ones, of the lowest 
caste, who, because they keep swine, are 
not allowed by the better castes to live in 
the village. But this just suited us, be- 
cause it was quiet and outside the village, 
and because the inmates (just the man and 
his wife) were so poor that a small bribe 
would square them and keep their mouths 
shut. 

It was in this out-caste's home that we 
rested for more than a week. Ram Din 
shammed that he was one with the muti- 
neers against the English, and was going 
to his home at Cawnpore. He made friends 



92 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

with some caste fellows in the village. All 
this week he was busy getting information 
and working out our future route ; also 
in getting us rigged out in proper native 
toggery. 

The next week was one of uneventful 
travel, till we got to a little town, where 
Ram Din^ by very clever manoeuvring, 
actually got us into a fine, large Hindu 
temple with a great quadrangle, surrounded 
on all sides by single or double-storied 
cloisters for priests and monks. This one 
had, in addition, rooms at the back for 
the old priest's family. The temple was 
built of grey stone, and beautifully carved ; 
the cloisters were of brick and mortar, with- 
out any attempt at architectural design or 
beauty. In the inner shrine,, a domed 
room, about eight feet square, contained the 
gods on a raised platform. The officiating 
Brahmin priest alone is allowed into this. 
The worshippers and devotees stand in the 
court, hand in their offerings of flowers, 
grain, sweetmeats, and money to the priest, 
then prostrate themselves at full length 
on the floor before the god of brass or stone, 
and rise and go their way. Pilgrims will 
walk right round three, or seven times, 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 93 

each time prostrating themselves before 
the shrine, and before departing will bow 
down and touch the priest's feet as an 
act of reverence to him. 

We were about ten days in this temple, 
and were perfectly secreted, well fed and 
cared for. * You may stay a week or a 
month,' said the old Mahant, or head 
abbot. ' All you have to do ' (pointing to 
me) ' is to keep that Joey Baba quiet. The 
day he is discovered inside the temple, or 
out of your apartments, it will be all up 
with you. You will then have to go at 
once and take your chance ; it will be 
beyond my power to protect you.' 

I do not know whether my readers are 
aware of the fact that the Hindu gods are 
treated as if they were living personalities, 
and not dead things. They are awakened 
early in the morning with the sound of 
drums, bells, gongs, and conch-shells, with 
occasional blasts from a trumpet three or 
four feet long. Then they are washed 
and dressed. The curtains are thrown up 
and the priest worships them first. They 
are then introduced to the public, to receive 
from them their saldms, worship, and gifts. 
At midday, for three hours, the curtains 



94 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

are again thrown down, the door of the 
shrine is closed, and has a padlock put on. 
The gods are now having their afternoon 
rest and quiet. After dusk the lamps are 
all lighted, and high worship goes on, in 
various forms, far into the night. Dramas 
are at times acted before them ; they are 
regaled with singing and chanting (a sacred 
concert, you would call it in England). 
They are married, and given in marriage. 
They give balls, though they do not dance 
themselves, but lovely women and beautiful 
singers sing and dance before them on 
carpets of royal scarlet, and the Hindu 
public are invited to these great * Socials/ 
Collections are never made, but free-will 
offerings are thrown down before the gods 
and goddesses. The poorest may give a 
pice (halfpenny). And where they come 
and go in hundreds, it all mounts up. The 
more socials the more pennies : the more 
pennies the more socials. The priests look 
well after both, and keep the gods well to 
the front, and see to it that the religious 
socials pander to the public taste and 
'requirements. 

Now, this seeming digression is very 
vital to my story, because all this worship 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 95 

and all these socials, especially at night, 
are always accompanied with singing, 
tom-toming (drum-beating), torch-lighting, 
and with a tremendous amount of noise. 
All this was nearly as much a new world 
to me, a little chap of five, as it would 
be to any English boy of that age. It 
awakened my curiosity. I interrogated 
old Ram Din again and again, and begged 
admittance, or, failing that, to be just 
allowed to peep in. But all my advances 
were rudely rejected, and I was soundly 
rated both by my bearer and my mother 
for my curiosity. But, curiosity ! who 
can hold thee in prison for long ? I deter- 
mined to act on my own initiative ! 

One day at noon, after the gurus 
(abbots) and chelas (ordinary monks) had 
got the gods to rest, curtains down, the 
shrine locked, and had finished cooking for 
themselves and their fellows, and were all 
stretched out and sound asleep, I saw my 
opportunity, crept out, got into the temple, 
and had a good look round. I then went 
for the musical instruments ; I banged the 
big drum with smooth round sticks, set 
the great bell, which was hanging from a 
chain, right before the door of the shrine, 



96 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

t 

swinging and loudly ringing. In less time 
than it takes me to write it all, the whole 
temple was. alive, and the great quadrangle 
filled with abbots, priests, and neophytes, 
and stern old Ram Din in the train. 

You can imagine me standing in front 
of the shrine, surrounded by all the aston- 
ished and angry inmates of the temple 
the gods awakened, the great bell still 
swinging and jangling, the echoes of the 
drum faintly rumbling through the temple 
arches, and the clamour of the angry 
priests. ' Who are you ? ' they cry, ' where 
have you come from ? What are you 
doing here, you badmash launda ? ' (wicked 
child) ? 

Ram Din saw I was in imminent peril. 
The angry tones and threats of the priests 
filled me with fear, and I began to cry 
bitterly. My Hindu bearer picked me 
up in his arms, and quieted the mob 
by saying, ' We will take him, at once, 
to the Mahant.' ( Jo wuh kahegd so hi 
hogd ' (Whatever he says, that will be 
done). 'Come along, then,' said they. 
Down from the platform of the shrine, 
through one winding passage and another, 
across a small court, and into a narrow 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 97 

verandah, supported by carved wooden 
pillars, I was brought before the Mahant. 
There he sat in calm dignity, looking so 
stern and philosophical ! He was a man 
of about eighty. I was aloft in Ram Din's 
arms, full of awful anxiety, the tears still 
rolling dow.n my cheeks. ' Don't ' bak, 
bak* (clamour) 'all together/ said the 
Mahant ; ' let one person speak. What 
is all this noise about ? ' ' This young 
rascal,' said one * (who he is, and where he 
came from, Ram only knows), we found 
before the shrine, beating the drum, ringing 
the bell, waking and disturbing the gods, 
and defiling this holy place. Say, thou, 
what shall be done unto him ? ' ' Throw 
him down the well/ said one. ' Use samad 
karoy said another. ' Bury him alive, 
entomb him in the earth/ said another 
fiery spirit. The great question was how 
to dispose of me, in the most righteous 
Hindu fashion, for my sacrilegious conduct. 
' PUr nakin karega ' (I won't do it again), 
I cried. My childhood, innocence, and 
anguish touched their hearts. I should 
have had no mercy had they been fanatical 
Mohammedans. It was well for us these 
were Hindus. ' Take him away/ said the 

; 7 



PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

priest to Ram Din, 'into my house, and 
I will decide what shall be done/ You 
may imagine my mother's state of mind 
when I was presented to her by the bearer. 

I won't harrow your feelings by dwelling 
upon the solemn interview that took place 
between my mother, Ram Din, and the old 
Mahant that evening. All I will say is 
that, at midnight, the priest gave us his 
cart. It was nicely covered over with 
a heavy cloth ; we were put into it, and 
sent off to a small town. We were secreted 
there for a few days until a little Hindu 
caravan was going in the direction we were 
taking ourselves. The roads were danger- 
ous. The mutineers were coming down, 
in all directions, from the north, to their 
homes. They were rich in plunder, and 
many of them stained with the white man's 
blood ; all soldiers of the Indian Sepoy 
Army. 

About ten native ox-carts were procured, 
most of them laden with merchandise of a 
kind that the sepoys would not trouble to 
plunder such as grain, salt, cotton, to- 
bacco, and piece goods. The carts in which 
the women and children travelled, according 
to Hindu custom, were carefully covered. 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 

Our cart was put in with them, and, if 
anything, was the shabbiest of all. Ram 
Din would be sure to see to it that 
it should not attract any attention. For 
a few days all went well. But one day a 
few Lancer men met us. ' Ab kya hoga?' 
(What will now happen ?) asked some of the 
men of the party, who were trudging along 
beside the carts. ' Nothing will happen,' 
said Ram Din ; and he undertook to 
manage it all for them. ' Keep quiet and 
calm/ said he, ' and just go along as if 
you feared nothing.' He came down to 
our cart, and gave mother some strong 
words of caution, and an awful threat to 
that irrepressible Joey Baba, to keep his 
head inside and his tongue still. He then 
went boldly up to the front to meet the 
first brunt of the mutineer Lancers. 

As they came up, about a dozen of them, 
Ram Din, in a friendly, easy style, saluted 
them with the usual Hindu salutations, 
' Ram, Ram, Chai ' (Salutations to you, 
brethren, in the name of the God Ram). 
* Ram, Ram to you/ was their response. 
' Who are you ? ' inquired the soldiers, 
' and where are you going ? ' ' We are 
simple traders, as you will see from some 



100 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

of our gram-laden carts, and we are going 
to such and such a place, where we hope 
to arrive in a day or two/ 

One of them, more forward and impudent 
than the rest, poised his lance under his 
arm and, out of wanton mischief, planted 
its point into the ridge-pole of one of the 
carts, and lifted the whole flimsy covering 
of cloth up into the air and threw it over 
to the other side. One of our illustrious 
poets has written about four-and-twenty 
blackbirds in a pie-dish, and says 

When the pie was open, 
The birds began to sing! 

But the noise those four-and-twenty black- 
birds made wasn't in it with the shouting 
and screaming that the women and children 
made when the cover was taken off their 
pie-dish ! All the women and children 
in the other carts began to scream in terror, 
and some to scramble out. They thought 
the work of slaughter had begun, and, 
like poor Hindu women, who lose all con- 
trol of themselves in a moment of terror 
and danger, they began plunging about, 
crying and entreating for mercy in the 
name of Ram and all the gods of the Hindu 
pantheon, the number of which is three 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 101 

hundred and thirty millions a number 
equal to the whole population of India. If 
a Hindu were to make up his mind to 
worship a different god every day, it 
would take him more than nine hundred, 
thousand years to worship them all in 
turn ! We do things on a grand scale in 
India. 

Ram Din and all the others rushed up 
to the offender and charged him with dis- 
honouring and trifling with their wives. 
The other troopers, too, sharply reproved 
him for this outrage. They all then broke 
off into a canter, and dashed by, leaving 
us to go on. And so we escaped once more. 

When we got to the camping ground, the 
men besought Ram Din to leave their 
company. ' For/ said they, ' had this 
thing happened to the cart in which your 
Mem Sahiba and her children were, they 
would all have perished, and probably our 
wives and children with them, for secreting 
them.' So we had to go ; and once more 
were thrown upon our own resources to shift 
as best we could in that wild, desolate 
place. 

Fresh troubles were in store for Ram 
Din now ; but he always rose to the occa- 



102 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

sion. He left the cart with them, took 
us all out, and led us away a little distance 
to a rising mound covered with brushwood 
and rocks. There we rested in the blazing 
heat of the day, with little or no shelter, 
and there we spent the night, with the 
jackals howling round us. 

The next morning, when the carts had 
all gone on, Ram Din went out scouting. 
He said it was not safe to go on. The 
mutineers were still about, and we must 
be very careful, and remain for a few 
days among those burning rocks. This 
was sad news for mother, with her small 
children. There was very little shelter 
from the burning heat of the sun, and it 
was the hot weather. It is wonderful 
what women, and even little children, can 
endure under a great trial, and what very 
many did endure in those fiery times. 

The next day, at noon, while Ram Din 
was cooking for us and himself, and mother 
and the other children were resting, hid- 
den in the bushes, I contrived to slip 
away into the open to do a bit of exploring 
on my own account. The natives say, 
' A wandering child is worse than a stray 
lamb, and harder to find ; because the 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 103 

stray lamb bleats as it wanders and may 
be followed up by its voice, but the wander- 
ing child is more ingenious in losing him- 
self, and wanders on in silence.' So I 
quietly went on by myself. 

I had not gone far, however, when all 
at once I heard the sound of horse's feet. 
I stood and looked around. There, right 
before me, not very far away, I saw a 
native lancer, a mutineer, who caught 
sight of me for I had got away from 
my cover. He broke into a canter, and 
from a canter into a gallop, and bore 
down on me. I stood and gazed. I never 
budged, no, not the least bit and a good 
thing for me, too, as it turned out. As 
the man got near the gentle slope of the 
hill, he threw his lance out of its sling from 
his shoulder and the butt-end of it out of 
the toe of his military boot. He brought 
it round under his arm, couched it, bent 
low in his saddle, put his spurs into his 
horse's flanks, and now, like a whirlwind, 
he was covering the last two hundred 
and fifty yards between me and eternity, 
in a swift and deadly charge. It was all 
up with me now ! The man was almost on 
me. Still I stood calmly contemplating 



104 PADRl ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the mad onward rush of the fine horse, 
the silvery, glinting edge of the sharp- 
pointed lance, the flowing pagri, or turban 
of the rider, his fine seat and posture in 
the saddle. It was wild and grand. It 
was exhilarating. The man was giving me 
a grand military display. It was glorious, 
and I was having it all to myself. Oh ! 
I should have missed this fine sight if I 
had been hidden away like a little rabbit 
with mother behind those rocks and 
bushes ! 

And now the man is very near. I can 
see his face, and dark, fiery eyes gleaming 
between the pointed ears of the charger. 
Two minutes more ; no, in less time than 
that, the bright head of his spear will go 
clean through poor little Joey Baba and 
come out on the other side, bright red with 
his blood. Notwithstanding, there Joey 
Baba stands ; he does not turn an eye- 
lash ; he does not move one half inch. 
Riveted and fascinated, with the gleaming 
lance right before him, the little Irish lad, 
five years old, stands unmoved. Quick 
as lightning the man rises slightly in his 
saddle, and pulls with all his might on the 
bottom rein. The horse as quickly throws 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 105 

up his fine head and tossing mane, within 
a few yards of me ; rider and horse swerve 
round me ; the horse stops ; the lancer man 
stands erect in his saddle and glares at me. 
The whole tamasha (sport) came off just 
as I wanted and expected it to do. A 
little bit of military brag and show-off for 
my amusement ! I turned round, and 
faced the man. ' Kyd, tu nahin dartd hai 
larkd ? ' (What ! are you not afraid, 
youngster ?), in stern astonishment in- 
quired the fierce Lancer. ' Nahin, bilkul 
nahin ' (No, not the least little bit), said I. 
Then we began a most amusing and in- 
teresting conversation, and I entered into 
an explanation of the reasons for my utter 
fearlessness ! I explained to him how I 
had been born and brought up in the midst 
of horses, guns, cavalry, artillery, drills, 
and military reviews, and was quite accus- 
tomed to this sort of thing ! I told of 
Trooper Sheo Ratan, who gave me a 
little kick ; of Jai Sing, a special friend of 
mine, who used to trot round the cavalry 
lines, put me on the horses' backs, pass 
me under their very noses, and how no 
horse ever kicked, or bit, or hurt me. I 
told him all about our Kota Contingent. 



106 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

The trooper sat bolt upright in his saddle, 
looking down on me, and listening to my 
prattle with a smile of grim humour on 
his face. 

But I was not yet done with him, or he 
with me. It was my turn now to question 
him. ' What is your name ? What 
paltan (regiment) do you belong to ? 
Have you any English boys in your regi- 
ment ? ' And to cap it all, ' Let me ri(Je 
on your horse, in front of you ! ' Then it 
was his turn. ' What is your name, boy ? ' 
and ' What you are doing here ? ' This 
last question of his fairly started me. I 
poured out my tale of our hardships and 
woes with all the eloquence and pathos of 
a child of five. It touched his heart, and 
moved him to pity and kindness. ' Where 
is your mother, boy/ he inquired. ' She 
is here, quite close/ said I. f Come with 
me, and I'll show you.' He stuck the 
butt of his lance into the toe of his 
boot, slung his arm through the strap, and 
brought it in front of his shoulder, carry- 
ing it in the perpendicular. ' Achchha, 
chalo ' (Very good ; go on), said he ; ' take 
me to your mother.' On I went over 
the boulders, round the bushes, in and 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 107 

out, till I stood right before my mother 
and Ram Din. Before they had time to 
question me, to their horror and astonish- 
ment, right into our midst rode the rebel 
lancer. ' Here they are/ I said to him. 
' This is my mother, and these my brothers 
and sister, and here is Ram Din, my 
bearer.' 

A vision from heaven above could not 
have astounded mother and the bearer 
more. Up sprang Ram Din, mother gave 
vent to a deadly shriek, the children all 
huddled round her in fright and terror. 
I, and I alone, was the only calm and self- 
possessed one of the party. Mother im- 
plored for mercy ; Ram Din threw himself 
down on his knees before the cavalryman, 
with his face to the ground ; and, in the 
noblest spirit of self-sacrifice, said, ' For 
Permeshwar's ' (the great God's) ' sake, have 
mercy on them ; slay me, but spare them.' 
' I shall slay none of you,' said the lancer. 

Oh, how Ram Din and mother did bless 
him ! Mother offered him all the money she 
had. ' Keep it, Mem Sahiba/ said he, 
' you will want it all before you get to 
Nimach, if you ever do get there. I have 
enough and to spare. If the Mutiny has 



108 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

done nothing more for us, it has made 
silver cheap and plentiful.' Then, turning 
to me, he said, ' Little chap, I meant to 
kill you. I intended running you through 
with my lance, and had I done so your 
mother and these would have all perished 
with you, and possibly Ram Din, too. 
Your cool courage and your sweet tongue 
saved you and them/ 

The lancer man bid Ram Din beware of 
that Joey Baba, and gave us careful direc- 
tion, and described the lie of the land, 
and the dangers before us, and what road 
to take, and told us to go to a certain 
well-to-do thakw, zamindar (landlord, or 
squire), who could protect us and send us 
on to Nimach. 

A thakur is the head man of a native 
village, what you would call a country 
gentleman in England, the difference be- 
tween the two being that the thakur lives 
at home, and is always to be found in the 
village. There he lives, builds, cultivates, 
spends his money, dies and is buried or 
cremated. The difference here, too, is very 
great. Your cremation is scientific, ex- 
pensive, and unceremonious. Ours in India 
is the reverse, The burning is simplicity 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD IOQ 

itself a narrow stack of dry wood, costing 
about 6s. 8^., with the corpse in the centre. 
It is a great religious ceremony, which by 
no means ends at the burning. There may 
be several thakurs in a big village, and the 
greatest of them is called the head thakur. 
His word is law. His wealth and power 
are measured by the amount of land he 
holds and cultivates round the village. 
Sometimes he is a money-lender as well as a 
cultivator : this increases his power but 
takes away from his popularity. The 
pleasantest five minutes with a money- 
lender is when you are leaving him with 
the cash in your pocket. When out on a 
preaching tour in the villages, I pitch my 
tent close to a large village. A few of the 
bolder and more inquisitive inhabitants 
will come to my tent to make their 
saldms. My first questions are : ' How 
many houses are there in your village ? ' 
' What is the predominating caste ? ' 
' What is the thakur's name, and is he a 
strong man ? ' The answer to the latter 
question will be in this form : ' Garib 
parwar ' (Nourisher of the poor), f his name 
is A jit Singh ' (the conquering lion) ; f he 
pays Government so many rupees a year 



110 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

for ground-rent or tax, he cultivates so 
many acres, yokes eight or ten pairs of 
oxen, and has a kohlu' (sugar-cane mill) 
f all his own. He is a well-disposed man, 
and will be glad to see you/ 

The house is generally built in the form 
of a quadrangle with rooms, or sometimes 
open verandahs, on two or three sides. 
The walls are built of mud four feet thick 
at the bottom, tapering away until at 
the top they are eighteen inches in width. 
There is nearly always a well in the 
centre of the quadrangle, for bathing and 
drinking purposes. The bathing is done 
in the open air, round the well. As a rule, 
the front of the house only is double- 
storied, and the women's apartments are 
on this upper story. 

Now, we were sheltered in this thakur's 
house for about a week, and were very 
comfortable, well fed and cared for. With- 
in the enclosed quadrangle we were secure, 
and we youngsters could enjoy ourselves 
without fear of being discovered. At night 
we slept in the open verandah of the 
upper story, where the women were. The 
thakur's wife and mother got very friendly. 
She was very good and kind also to us 




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THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD III 

children. She had never seen a white 
woman and children before, and the whole 
thing was a strange novelty to her. The 
tale of all the trouble we had gone through 
greatly touched her heart. She was always 
trying to cook us something tasty and nice, 
and she loved to hear us jabbering away 
in her own tongue. 

One night, as we were sleeping in the 
upper story, while all was still as death 
and the inmates of the house sound 
asleep, a Mohammedan fanatic, who in 
some way got to know that we were 
being sheltered by this Hindu thakur, 
and who, in a most mysterious and in- 
explicable way got into this well-barred and 
protected house, came creeping up the rude 
mud staircase with a drawn talwar (native 
sword), with the intent of putting us all 
to death. 

Mother was sleeping on a low string bed. 
Ram Din was sleeping on the ground, 
within reach of her hand. We youngsters 
were on the ground too, the boys on Ram 
Din's side. Lizzie , the only girl, on the 
other side against the wall. Mother was 
ever watchful of us by day, and good 
reason to be so of Joey Baba, after all his 



112 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

little pranks. By night she slept like the 
sergeant-major's cat, as the Tommies say, 
with one eye shut and the other open. 
She saw, though she could hardly hear, 
that Mohammedan fanatic and assassin 
slowly and noiselessly creeping, like a 
blood-thirsty panther, up that mud stair- 
case. Mother did not call out ' Kaun hai ? ' 
(Who is there ?) and then set up the cry 
' Murder ! murder ! murder ! ' To do that 
would have brought the fanatic on her in 
a moment. He would have cut her down 
and then put her children mercilessly to 
the sword, and tried to cut his way out 
and sell his life as dearly as possible. But 
she just leaned over the bed and gently 
touched Ram Din, at the same time raising 
her forefinger to her lips, indicating silence 
death-like silence. The sagacious and alert 
old servant waited for the next sign. It 
soon came, but not in words ; a whisper 
might not be trusted. The sign came in 
a point of the finger just over the side of 
the bed, down in the direction of the stair- 
case. Ram Din heeded it. He raised 
himself slightly on his elbow, saw the man, 
and took in at once the position and its 
danger. 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 113 

Now, if yon do not know what a lota is, 
you should know. I want to tell you some- 
thing about it, because in this case it went 
a little way to save my life. The lota is 
made of brass. It is a pear-shaped vessel 
with a pretty rimmed neck. It answers 
many purposes. The Hindu boils his rice 
and cooks his lentils in it ; he drinks out of 
it. He does not put his lips to it, as you do 
to a glass, but makes a saucer of his left 
hand, puts it under his mouth, fills it with 
water from the lota, and drinks from the 
brimming hollow formed by his hand. It 
is the wee bucket by means of which, with 
a thirty-hands' length of cord, he dips into 
the well and gets up the water for his daily 
bath. His little brass bucket will go up 
and down the well a dozen times or more 
before the bath is over; he is never in a 
hurry over it, and does not mind one bit 
who is looking at him ! The drinking, or 
common lota, weighs from ten to fourteen 
ounces. The Hindu takes great pride in 
keeping it very clean ; as a rule it shines 
like burnished gold. Sleeping or waking, 
the Hindu always has his lota near at 
hand. If you see a Hindu on a journey, 
you will be sure to see his lota slung over 

8 



114 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

his shoulder, the thirty hands of cord, done 
up in a neat bundle, hanging in front of 
him, and the lota rolling round his back, 
flashing like a bright ball of gold in the 
sunlight. I have only one thing more to 
tell you of the lota, and then I shall have 
given you more information about it than 
you find in any encyclopaedia. If a Chris- 
tian, a Mohammedan, a Jew, or any man 
of any other Hindu caste (especially of 
a lower caste) were to touch the Hindu's 
lota, he would defile it, and render it unfit 
for further use, unless it were purified ; 
and how do you think the Hindu purifies 
his lota ? He makes a big fire of dry cow- 
dung (which is one of the holiest of things 
with a Hindu, and enters into many 
religious ceremonies), and puts the lota in 
the very centre of the fire and lets it get 
red-hot, and leaves it there till the fire 
burns out and the lota is cold. He then 
scrubs it well with the ashes of that same 
fire, and washes it and makes it bright 
again. He fills and empties it several 
times and then drinks out of it and takes 
it into common use again. 

Now, Ram Din had his lota at his head. 
He quietly slipped the cord off its neck, 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 115 

grasped it firmly in his hand, sprang up 
to his full height nearly six feet and sent 
it hurling with a whizz. Just as the 
fanatical assassin was one step from the 
top, his naked talwar firmly grasped, the 
i2-oz. brass lota struck him over the temple. 
He saw a thousand stars break up into ten 
thousand pieces ; and, without a cry or a 
groan, rolled down to the foot of the stairs, 
and lay bleeding and, to all appearances, 
stone-dead. He left his sword behind him. 
Ram Din seized it and quickly descended, 
closely followed by mother. ' Oh, Ram 
Din, you have killed him ! ' said my mother. 
' Achchhd hud ' (It has happened well), 
replied Ram Din, with a gleam of wild 
excitement in his eyes and exultant triumph 
in the tone of his voice. The man at their 
feet began to stir and groan. Ram Din 
immediately turned him over, with his face 
downwards, and pinioned him by tying his 
two arms tightly behind his back with his 
turban, or pagri, and then raised the cry, 
' Khuni, khuni, ghar men ! ' (A murderer, 
a murderer in the house !). 

This cry soon brought the agile thakur 
springing into the quadrangle with a 
bludgeon in his hand. His eyes glared 



Il6 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

an awful look as he saw the Mohammedan 
lying pinioned on the ground, Ram Din 
standing by him with the naked talwar in 
his hand, and mother weeping in anguish, 
with clasped hands. A few words from 
Ram Din soon gave the thakur all the in- 
formation he wanted. He kicked the man 
half round on his side ; ' Let us look at 
you. Who is he ? Never mind, it matters 
not ! What are you doing in my house, 
in the dead of night, creeping up like a wild 
animal into my zanana ? Whom have you 
come to slay with this sword ? ' ' Not 
you, nor any of yours,' said the poor un- 
fortunate, writhing and twisting in the 
agony and expectancy of a swift and sudden 
death, with no gleam of mercy or hope 
before him. ' I came only to kill the white 
woman and her children, whom every one is 
killing/ This did not soften the thakur's 
heart, nor alter his purpose one bit. ' Give 
me the talwar,' he said, snatching it from 
Ram Din's hand. ' You came to kill with 
the sword ; your own talwar shall kill you.' 
Then, striding athwart the man, he lifted 
the gleaming weapon, bent his legs and 
leaned over for the deadly stroke. ' Yd 
Allah f ' (0 Allah, great God !) groaned the 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 117 

poor Mohammedan, as he closed his eyes 
and bit the ground with his teeth. The 
hour of death had come. There was but 
one mercy and one comfort for the poor 
wretch: it would be swift, painless, and 
sure. 

The thakur's wrist had turned, the talwar 
was coming down. Its swift descent, how- 
ever, was arrested by my mother dashing 
in on the thakur like a frenzied spirit, 
seizing his arm with both her hands, shriek- 
ing as she did so, ' For God's sake, don't ! 
Oh, don't kill him ! ' He tried to shake 
mother off, and in anger cried out, ' Stand 
off, Mem Sahiba, stand off ! You don't 
understand these things . This cursed Mussul- 
man, the son of a pig, the faithless follower 
of the false prophet, infidel, and blasphemer, 
has entered my zanana with a naked sword 
in his hand, intent on murder. Shall he 
escape ? No, O Ram, no ! May the 
gods curse me, if I leave his wicked 
head on his cursed body ! ' The would-be 
murderer besought mother to intercede for 
his life and craved her pardon, as only a 
doomed man hanging over the brink of 
eternity can do. ' Save me, Mem Sahiba/ 
he cried out, ' and I will become your 



Il8 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

gttldm ' (bond slave) f for life.' The thakur 
kicked him with his naked foot, and said, 
1 Silence, you pig, you kdfir ' (infidel). f Here, 
Ram Din, it is not for me to wrestle and 
tussle with your Mem Sahiba. Ask her to 
let me go ; take her away, into that room 
there ; while my blood is hot and my anger 
burns let me strike this vile Mussulman's 
head off.' But mother would not loose 
her hold, nor cease from her cry and en- 
treaty, ' Don't kill, for God's sake, don't 
kill ! ' The thakur at length relented. Ram 
Din was for execution, but he also gave in 
when mother said to him, ' Oh, Ram Din, 
see how good God has been to us, and how 
many times He has spared us ; should we 
not have mercy also, even on this man, 
though he meant to kill us ? ' 

The thakur and Ram Din carried the 
bound man into a side room. The thakur 
then addressed him : ' You will remain 
a prisoner here until this Mem Sahiba and 
her children are in a safe place. You will 
then be set free, but if ever you open your 
mouth and let out one word about what 
happened here to-night your mother and 
your wife will find you missing.' The 
thakur then went upstairs with us and 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD IIQ 

arranged for our immediate departure ; 
' For/ said he, ' if this Mussulman knows, 
others know.' The next night he put us 
into a covered bullock-cart, and, under an 
escort of four powerful men, well armed, 
sent us off. They brought us in a few 
days to a Rajah's palace. 

I do not know who this Rajah was, 
nor where his raj, or territory, lay, but 
I remember the palace and the temple. 
Every Hindu Rajah aims at having a 
temple compatible in grandeur and cost 
with the palace. Sometimes the temple is 
in the palace grounds, but- more often it 
stands on the edge of an artificial tank, 
with stone steps running round the water's 
edge, and a pretty little shrine standing 
on each corner. Often the kund, or tank, 
must be dug and constructed, firstly to 
secure its holy water, and secondly to give 
an air of sanctity to temple, palace, and all 
else surrounding it. The Brahmins soon 
work up some famous legends regarding 
this tank and its prehistoric existence and 
virtues. Special propitious bathing-days 
are duly appointed. Some mad fakir y or 
holy saint, dreams a dream or sees a 
glorious vision regarding the tank. The 



120 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Brahmins and the Rajah take him up. 
He begins to prophesy, and soon gathers 
a number of disciples round him, is duly 
installed as a Mahant, and henceforth 
both the tank and the Mahant are his- 
torical and religious facts. The death of 
the old Mahant adds to the historic and 
religious lustre of both, and as the years 
roll on tank and temples get invested with 
grand, solemn, and awful religious interest, 
until they become like one I know near 
Faizabad, dedicated to Sitala Devi (the 
goddess of small-pox), where a special wor- 
ship is offered on Mondays for deliverance 
from that awful malady, and on the four- 
teenth day of any month one bathes, turns 
round, snaps one's fingers, and attains all 
one's desires, even though it be a special 
bit of spite against a man that one hates, 
but has neither courage nor resources to 
injure. The Devi, or goddess, does that 
for him. 

I well remember alighting from the cart, 
on arriving at the great door of the Rajah's 
palace. I can see the high, massive brick 
walls and arched doorway, twelve or fifteen 
feet high, guarded by a rag-tag-and-bob- 
tail sepoy guard, every man in a different 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 121 

uniform, but every one of them armed with 
a talwar and a shield studded with large 
steel stars. Our arrival was notified at the 
window of the gateway. All these great 
doorways in India have a khirki, or win- 
dow (the camel's eye) near the bottom, 
big enough for a man to go easily through. 
The massive doors were swung open for us, 
and we were admitted. We had ' a good, 
restful time there,' as mother called it. 
Joey Baba was in high favour with the 
young Rani, for two reasons : firstly be- 
cause he was a boy with a fair complexion, 
flaxen hair, and blue eyes ; and secondly 
because he was a great and endless talker, 
and full of mischief and pranks. He was 
often in the young Rani's lap, fondled and 
petted and kissed, fed and stuffed with 
native sweetmeats to no end, to which he 
never objected except when he could eat 
no more. Ah, yes ! and another thing I 
remember quite well ; how she used to 
fill my little hands with silver and even 
gold coins (gold mohurs}. But even this 
happy time had to come to an end. The 
Rajah watched his opportunity, and then, 
under a strong escort of twelve of his sepoys, 
sent us on to the English fort of Nimach. 



122 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

But even in that short journey, well guarded 
as we were, we fell in with two little adven- 
tures, the first of which might easily have 
done for the lot of us, and the second meant 
death to at least one of the party, if it had 
come off. 

Two days after we left the Rajah's 
palace, and while on our way to Nimach, 
we had to pass through a rather large 
native village. This village harboured 
quite a number of mutinous sepoys, who 
had rebelled at Nasirabad and Nimach, 
and, rich in the loot they had gained, had 
nicely settled down in their village. The 
morning was well advanced as our cart 
entered the far end of this straggling village. 
It spread like wildfire that a Mem Sahiba 
and her four white children had entered 
the village in a bullock-cart with an escort 
from the Rajah. In no time, out rushed 
eight sepoys with loaded guns and fixed 
bayonets. They were drawn up in a line 
at an open space in the village. The plan 
was to fire a volley, and then these eight 
heroes were to charge ah the cart and put 
to the bayonet one helpless woman and 
her four children, the eldest Joey Baba 
only five years old ! It required a lot 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 123 

of courage to do that, and no less than 
eight sepoys ! Let us see how it all 
ended. 

As soon as we came within eighty or a 
hundred yards of these brave native 
soldiers, they thundered out in true 
military style ' Halt ! ' and a havaldar 
(sergeant) gave the word of command 
to his firing-line. ' Ready, present ' ; the 
third word, ' fire,' was wanting ; had 
that been given, terrible would have been 
the consequences to us inside the cart. 
The sepoys lost sight of two awkward 
facts : first, against their eight loaded guns 
we had twelve loaded muskets, not quite 
so good as theirs, it is true, but the distance 
was so close that there was no chance of 
missing one's aim ; secondly, our men were 
on their guard, and had divided up, six 
on each side of the cart, and were perfectly 
cool and ready for any emergency. The 
enemy would have fired their eight barrels 
into the cart ; but, before they had time 
to load again (and it was all muzzle-load- 
ing in those days), they would have found 
themselves biting the dust in their blood. 
But there was a smart military sound about 
' Ready, present ' (which the sepoy always 



124 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

pronounces ' Rudy, pregent,' and the word 
' bull's-eye,' on the target, all through the 
Native army is still called phuljurry /). 
' Stop ! ' shouted our havaldar, who also 
had three red stripes on the arm of his coat, 
and felt quite as important a man in his 
squad of twelve as the other three-striped 
havaldar felt in his squad of only eight. 
( Stop ! Fire if you dare ! ' 
' What will you do if we do fire ? ' 
' Put your guns down and listen to us,' 
said our man. ' This lady and her four 
children have been placed under me and 
my men by the Rajah. My orders are to 
deliver them over to the British Govern- 
ment at Nimach, and our lives, and the 
lives of our wives and children, he holds 
in surety against theirs. If you fire into 
this cart we will immediately fire on you. 
What profit will that be to you ? Again, 
when we go back to the Rajah and report 
what you have done, he will put every 
member of your families to death, male 
and female, old and young. He will burn 
your houses to ashes and confiscate your 
lands. There will be no half -measures 
with the Rajah, you know that ; no 
mercy for you and yours. You will be 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 125 

trampled to death under the feet of ele- 
phants ! Samjah ? ' (You understand ?) 

And they did understand. They saw 
that the game was not worth the powder 
and shot, so they very sullenly trailed arms, 
turned to the right-about, and dispersed ; 
while the village yokels and bumpkins, 
who, perhaps, had never seen a white 
woman and children before, turned out, 
lined the streets, and gazed on us in 
wonderment as our ox-cart rolled through 
their one and only street. The smaller 
fry followed on at the tail of the cart. 

We were not safe in the bazaar. We 
knew not when some fanatical sepoy 
might send a bullet singing about our ears, 
or into one of our heads. Mother told me 
that she heard some say, ' Look at the 
white she-monkey and her four young 
ones. Kill them, kill them ; won't some 
one kill them ? ' Ram Din took us, there- 
fore, a mile or two beyond. There we 
rested under a tope of large trees, and 
started off early in the evening, and tried 
to put as many miles as we could between 
ourselves and that village. 

A day or two before we got to Nimach, 
about seven o'clock in the morning, as we 



126 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

were going quietly along, and nearing our 
camp, all at once a huge tiger sprang out 
from a thicket, right into the middle of 
the road, about twenty yards in front of 
us. He gave a tremendous roar, and began 
lashing his sides with his tail. He was 
hungry, and wanted one of the bullocks, 
but the sight - of so many men all round 
guarding them made him pause, and hesi- 
tate in his deadly spring. He gave this 
great roar to assert his kingship and right 
of way, and also to frighten us. The 
marvel is that the Rajah's sepoys did not 
take to their heels and bolt, leaving us and 
the bullocks to the mercy of the ' Royal 
Tiger.' The roar of the tiger brought one 
of the bullocks down in terror on both his 
knees, and he pulled his yoke-fellow down 
with him. The position was critical and 
dangerous, but Ram Din rose to the occa- 
sion. The tiger, after giving his big roar, 
stood across the road, rocking himself from 
side to side, glaring with his eyes, and with 
that low, snarling growl (quite impossible 
to spell and so peculiar to tigers), exhibited 
such a set of teeth that there was no doubt 
as to his intentions. He was thinking, no 
doubt, about what he had to do, and how 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 127 

best to do it. But while he was thinking, 
so were we. It was all done in a few 
seconds on both sides. The escort had 
their guns loaded, and the havaldar 
said, ' Let us fire and kill him right 
out in one volley.' 'Stop!' shouted 
Ram Din, ' on no account fire. You are 
not trained soldiers and good shots like the 
Government native troops. Eleven of you 
would miss altogether, and the twelfth, by 
a fluke, would graze the tiger in the leg, 
and then he would spring fair into the 
middle of the cart, and kill the Mem Sahiba 
and her four children. No ; let six men 
keep their guns loaded ready to kill the 
tiger if he springs, but let the other six 
fire over his head, and then let us all give 
one prolonged shout.' This was done. 
The report of the six guns, followed by the 
big shout, quite took the tiger by surprise ; 
it was outside his calculations ; he gave one 
terrific roar, and bounded away into his 
jungle domains. A twist or two of their 
tails soon brought the frightened bullocks 
on to their legs, and we went on our way 
rejoicing. That great tiger was the topic 
of much conversation all the rest of that 
day, and the night too. 



128 . PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

We were glad to be made over to the 
English authorities at Nimach. Now we 
felt our trouble was all over. But, alas ! 
the biggest trouble of all was before us. 
Nimach is a little place, about three hun- 
dred miles south-west of Agra. Nasirabad, 
which is near to it, was the chief town of 
the British forces. They both had ex- 
tensive and well-laid-out military canton- 
ments, and had to keep a watchful eye on 
the many independent and semi-indepen- 
dent Native States around. It is a long 
story, and I am not writing history, but 
merely giving the story of our own adven- 
tures in that awful Mutiny. On May 28 
the Mutiny broke out at Nasirabad, and 
soon spread to Nimach. Whole regiments 
had mutinied ; officers had been shot 
while doing their best to keep their regi- 
ments together. Their wives and families 
often perished with them. Those who 
escaped butchery at the hands of the 
mutineers, through many privations and 
dangers, shut themselves up in a mud fort, 
which they defended with heroism against 
tremendous odds. We were among them. 

The history of that short but terrible 
siege I cannot give here. But I do remem- 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD I2Q 

ber the first sortie we made, after entering 
the fort. We went out and tried to drive 
the enemy off, but their overwhelming 
numbers compelled us to retreat, and we 
fought a desperate retiring fight. I was 
out in the quadrangle, and I see it as if 
it were now present to my vision our 
broken battery of guns and horses coming 
in with the wounded and killed on the 
field-pieces and their limbers. Mother came 
out, seized me by the collar of my coat, 
and rushed me in. I remember, too, seeing 
the big shells from the enemies' mortars 
dropping in like big black plum-puddings, 
and bursting inside the square. I remember 
that awful evening of excitement and fight, 
when the enemy brought their bamboo 
ladders up to the mud walls, and tried to 
scale them, but were driven off, and hurled 
from the ramparts at the point of the 
bayonet. 

At last our ammunition and rations 
were nearly exhausted. Surrender was 
impossible : that meant butchery without 
mercy. And now I relate what mother 
told me. It was resolved that at 10 a.m. 
the next day we were to meet in the maga- 
zine, a part of the Litany was to be read, 

9 



130 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

and we were to stand round our powder 
and explosives. Conductor Taylor was to 
fire the train, and we were all to be blown 
into eternity. This was considered, by 
our small council of war, as the best death 
to die. Mother told me that the last night 
of our short siege was an awful one. Few 
slept ; they walked up and down the 
quadrangle in twos and threes, quietly 
talking. Every hour brought us nearer to 
our last on earth, when we should stand 
round the small powder-heap, and look 
each other in the face for the last time on 
this side. Yet no one flinched. Mother 
spent the night in prayer, while we, her 
children, slept in peaceful and happy un- 
consciousness of the gloomy morrow. 

The next morning, in the grey dawn, a 
voice from the ramparts called down, ' I 
believe they have gone.' There was a 
great rush up. For a long distance the 
plain was strewn with clothing, garments, 
and utensils, as if the flight had been rapid 
and full of fear. Could it be true that the 
enemy had fled and left us on the very 
morning of the contemplated destruction of 
ourselves ? It was even so. Oh, the cheer 
that went up from that band of imprisoned 



THROUGH FIRE AND SWORD 131 

Englishmen ! The joy of mothers and 
wives, who shall describe it ? Later in 
the day we learned the cause of the flight 
of the enemy when a small British force 
entered our gates. 

Shortly after we got to Nasirabad little 
Arthur died of the privations and hard- 
ships of those awful times. Joey Baba and 
his brother Tom were sent off to the hills 
to a school founded by Sir Henry Lawrence 
for orphans and fatherless children, such 
as we were. There we stayed for ten long 
years. But to tell this, and how I was 
led to give myself to God, and how I be- 
came a missionary, and started my work, 
is another yarn. 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 

MY wife and I have just completed our 
winter tour through the villages of our 
circuit. To do them all one might be 
travelling and preaching the whole year 
and then not touch numbers of them. The 
following figures will give some idea of the 
nature and extent of our village work in 
this circuit. We have eleven large villages, 
with populations varying from three to 
five thousand, and there are 206 villages 
with from one to two thousand people, 
513 with from five hundred to one thousand, 
and 1,952 with from anything up to five 
hundred. These facts are from the Govern- 
ment census book, and give an idea of the 
magnitude of the work. 

I might fill pages with interesting and 
amusing incidents of this tour. We are 
able to get right out into the open air and 
in among these village folk, sitting in the 
sugar-cane field with them, or by the sugar- 

132 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 133 

cane mills, watching them working in their 
fields, sitting with them in the heart of the 
village, singing, talking, preaching, hearing 
and answering questions. One cannot do 
all this and be in the midst of it all for three 
weeks without learning much and seeing 
and hearing things new and strange. Even 
a missionary with a quarter of a century's 
experience learns much. It is the ground 
and the school for a missionary to gain a 
rich and a deep experience, and I know of 
no place better calculated to stir to the 
very depth his love and sympathies for 
the people. 

Of course we lodged in tents, and 
always in a big grove and under the 
thickest and darkest shades of the grove. 
The grove itself is a study. The animals 
(especially at night), the birds, and the 
insects that visit or are permanent in- 
habitants are all objects of deepest inte- 
rest. If one only keeps one's eyes wide 
open and is always looking and observing, 
three weeks in the villages is an education 
in itself and a time of deep, absorbing 
interest. 

One day at noon I stood facing the trunk 
of a great mango-tree for nearly half an 



134 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

hour, witnessing the finish-off of a great 
battle between two tribes of ants, the red 
and the black. Both had equal rights in 
the tree. I came too late to be able to tell 
how the quarrel originated or who were 
the aggressors. All I know is that the 
battle was raging, and that it was a great, 
fierce, and deadly fight. . The large red 
ants, or mata, gum the leaves of a branch 
together in some wonderful way, and use 
some fluffy stuff, which I do not know how 
they get or manufacture ; and so their 
nests are like large bags of leaves. The 
black ants, or chunta, live in the hollows and 
cracks of the tree, or in a hole under it. 
They ramble all over the tree and its leaves, 
and nothing escapes them. The red one, 
or mata, absolutely knows not what fear is. 
Touch him with your finger, and he stands 
up on his two hind legs and goes for you. 
I have let them lay hold. They do bite ; 
they hold fast and, like a bull-dog, won't 
let go. You may pull your enemy in two, 
but he dies like a hero, with his two nippers 
deeply buried in your skin, and leaves his 
large head and two bright, protruding eyes 
behind him. 
At length the red ants won the day. 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 135 

Black and red alike are cannibals. When 
the battle was over it was a sight to see the 
victorious reds carrying away the dead and 
the wounded to their nests for a great 
feast. 

At another place, far away beyond Tanda, 
where the river Ghogra bends round a 
lovely stretch of country, with high banks, 
and where few, if any, sportsmen ever go, 
I watched for half an hour at sunset a 
couple of alligators, going up and down- 
stream with them taking all the cover I 
could, of course, and unobserved by them 
as they scoured the banks hunting and 
navigating for their supper. They were 
quite fifteen feet long, and terrible brutes. 
They came up every now and then and 
floated on the surface, giving one a full 
view of their entire length and their broad 
backs. Then they would gradually sink 
till one only saw the great horny lump at 
the tip of their nozzles ; then they would 
roll about, first on one side and then on 
the other. They would just occasionally 
come up close to the bank in two feet of 
water, look round prospecting, paddle a 
bit, and quietly glide away into deeper 
water. Then they would swim out two or 



136 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

three hundred feet and come back again. 
It was grand to see the old monsters dis- 
porting themselves, lashing the shallow 
water with their tails, and sucking in and 
spouting out the water. Would not any 
boy or girl have given a week's pocket- 
money to have spent this half-hour with 
me, watching these two creatures ? At last 
I went down to the water's edge, when I 
had had enough of walking up and down 
watching them. As I discovered myself 
they parted and slowly glided out about 
twenty or thirty feet from land, and 
lay low, with just their eyes above water, 
and I quite interpreted the expression in 
their kindly eyes : ' This way for a nice 
swim and an evening bath.' I clapped my 
hands, by way of a friendly greeting, and 
said : ' Not this evening, thanks. I have 
quite forgotten to bring my bathing outfit ; 
good time to you. Bahut, bahut saldm,' 
and I returned to my tent for the evening. 

On February 18, after a drive of twelve 
miles, we pulled up at Brother Spencer's 
door, at Tanda, at 4 p.m. A sumptuous 
meal awaited us. It would be difficult to 
say how many and varied were the things 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 137 

brought on to the hospitable table by the 
loving hands of Spencer and his wife for 
the entertainment of their Padri and his 
Mem Sahiba ; and nothing would do but 
that they must wait on us and serve us 
with their own hands. Seven p.m. saw us 
in our tent, pitched on the other side of the 
Tanda stream and under the largest and 
finest tope of trees I have yet seen. A 
regiment of cavalry might lodge itself and 
picket its horses under its shade. 

The two great nuisances under canvas 
near a village are the village pariah dog 
and the howling packs and gangs of passing 
jackals. If a stream does not divide and 
cut you off from the village, there is yet a 
third the sly, cunning, thieving village 
civet cat. As soon as you get in, and the 
cook has opened his boxes and arranged 
his earthen cooking-range, two or three of 
these howling village policemen the pariah 
dogs in uniforms of black, red, and white, 
or all three mixed, with long, whip-like tails 
and bat-like ears turn up. They patrol 
the camp ; you may drive them off, pelt 
them with clods, but they will come again. 
They are proof against sticks and stones. 
They are a mean, cringing, cowardly, 



138 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

thieving, half -starved crew. They belong 
to no one, and when fairly caught in the 
act of stealing, will lie down and cringe at 
your feet, with such a look, as if they said, 
1 Don't kiU me.' 

At eleven at night I fell asleep. I was 
suddenly awakened by a peculiar noise and 
feeling. I felt as though I was the back 
wheel of an old bike, inflated to bursting 
point ! The tension was awful, when the 
nightmare brought me nearly to the point 
of explosion ! I opened my eyes in great 
stress of feeling, and there right in front of 
me, twelve inches from my very face, in the 
dead of night, was a great white pariah 
dog, glaring at me with his large hungry 
eyes, and his poor wistful face seemed to 
say, ' Awfully hungry, Padri Sahib, not even 
a bone for me to gnaw at ; that wretched 
cook of yours has put everything out of the 
way. I have searched your tent through 
and through, and found nothing. Three 
times the chowkidar (the watchman) has 
driven me off ; the last time he threw 
a lathi at me, and I really thought he had 
broken my two hind legs. I was just 
smelling and sniffing round your pillow ; 
you don't happen to have anything to eat ? ' 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 139 

I gave him, in reply, a nightmare look and 
a nightmare gesture. The effect was magi- 
cal : he flew out of the tent with a bound, 
and in less than three minutes I was sound 
asleep again. 

The next day we held an afternoon 
service at Spencer's. The native Christian 
church had all gathered. A word about 
this Tanda. Tanda has a population of 
20,000, mostly Mohammedan, and of the 
Julaha, or weaver class. This is, of all 
Mohammedans, the most ignorant, the 
most fanatical, and the most troublesome 
class. For years I hesitated at opening 
work in this place. Miss Harris of the 
Z.B.M.M., who had girls' schools and 
zanana workers there, begged me to take 
up the place. 'No,' I said, 'there is no 
chance of doing much at such a bigoted, 
fanatical Mohammedan centre.' But she 
continued to urge and plead the cause of 
Tanda. Finally my wife, Mr. A. T. Cape, 
and I went to Tanda, just before I went 
home on furlough, in 1900. We had a good 
look all round, weighed the claims of the 
place, and decided to open work. But 
we felt that we should have to send a 
good strong man, who could hold his own 



140 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

against such a population. The Lord sent 
us the man, just the man we wanted, in our 
evangelist. His wife is also a very capable 
woman. The next question was one of 
ways and means. Where was the money 
to come from ? It would cost us in all 
Rs. 25 a month, Rs. 300 a year. We de- 
termined to go halves, A. T. C. to be 
responsible for Rs. 150 and J. A. E. for 
Rs. 150. We have done this for two years ; 
we dissolved partnership in January, 1902 
(he went to Benares, I remain here), and 
when we divided up, we found we were 
each Rs. 200 out of pocket on the two years. 
We have both put it on the Dr. side of our 
personal account, believing that He who 
put it into our hearts to open work in 
this place will put it into the hearts of some 
of His people to respond to our appeal. 
Tanda is now on its legs, and no anxiety to 
us. We have an Anglo- Vernacular Boys' 
School here, with a Christian head master 
and fifty boys on the registers ; we have 
an evangelist, with one assistant ; and a 
lady in England gave us what has purchased 
all our mission premises for Rs. 833. God 
has blessed the work, and thus justified our 
undertaking. While I was in England 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 14! 

Mr. Cape baptized ten, and soon after my 
arrival I baptized six . Thus we have sixteen 
inside of two years, and that in a place 
where results seemed so hopeless. 

Besides this, Tanda has grown into a 
sub-circuit of Faizabad, with three new 
stations Jalalpur, population 7,000 ; Bhas- 
kari, population 4,000, and Barowna, popu- 
lation 2,000. These three are being sup- 
ported by friends at home. The three above- 
named stations, with Tanda and Akbarpur, 
cover an area of 144 square miles and a 
population of about 80,000 ; and so Tanda 
bids fair to be one of the brightest and most 
hopeful corners in this circuit. 

But I must get back to Wednesday, 
February 19, 1902. We held our native 
service in Spencer's house. A man and his 
wife, baptized by me three months pre- 
viously, brought their two boys for baptism. 
The family belonged to the Goshain caste, 
who maintain that they are a higher caste 
than even the Brahmins. Some of their re- 
latives held these boys back, but finally the 
father secured them and came in ten miles 
to attend this service and have the two boys 
baptized. At the close of the service the 
father said, ' Now at last, one whole family 



142 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

of five are all Christians ; and, sir, before 
the end of the year, you may expect to 
baptize at least ten more of our caste, and 
near relatives of mine.' 

Miss Leetch, of the Z.B.M.M., was with 
us for a day and a night under the great 
tope of trees. She was giving Tanda her 
last visit before going home on furlough. It 
was a memorable night. I lost my fox- 
terrier, Jip. Jip and I are inseparable. 
We understand each other, we love each 
other, we never quarrel, she renders me 
absolute obedience and fidelity. It's 
wonderful how attached an Englishman 
gets to his dog in India. Sleeping out in 
the open air at nights, as we do here, for 
nearly three months of the year, a sharp 
little terrier is a guarantee against snakes, 
thieves, and other nocturnal ramblers. In 
camp, under canvas, as a protection from 
thieves, a little dog is doubly valuable. 
All attempts to find little Jip were in 
vain, though we searched far and near. I 
was sad. 

We chatted away late into the night. 
We talked of India and our work ; and 
then, quite imperceptibly, we glided away, 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 143 

as all sahibs have a habit of doing, into 
talking of the old homeland, the children 
and the loved ones far across the sea, till 
the lumps came into the throat. As the 
night grew upon us in its stillness, our 
conversation seemed to hallow it. 

The next morning, Thursday, February 
20, my wife and I in our turn-turn, with 
provisions and filtered water for the day, 
and Spencer in his smart little ekka, but 
which he will have called a karakal 
(curricle), all started for Ilfatganj distant 
from Tanda eight miles. 

At the second mile we stopped to visit 
Laranpur, a small village on our right, 
with only thirty houses in it, of which two 
were Christian. Alas ! we have not many 
of these yet ; would to God we had them 
dotted all over this circuit ! The fewness 
of them makes them all the more precious, 
and we nourish and cherish these small 
Christian village growths with jealous 
watchfulness and care. I would rather go 
and live in such a village for a week, working 
with my own hands in helping to build 
their houses, or stay in their midst to live 
down opposition, than remove the Chris- 
tians into a town. Laranpur is the first 



144 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

village in Tanda Tahsil where we had con- 
versions, and where the Christian families 
had faced it out and held on in their village 
home. My joy was great on approaching 
this village. It was my first visit. There, 
half a mile from the road, it nestled among 
mango-trees and clumps of graceful bam- 
boos. Do you think I could walk like an 
ordinary, sensible mortal ? Not a bit of 
it ; but more like an eager boy of sixteen, 
in anticipation of a great joy, I cleared 
every hollow and hillock with a bound, 
and chatted and joked with Spencer, who 
seemed as happy as myself, for the converts 
and the work were all his own, and now 
his Padri Sahib was going round with him 
looking at it all ! 

Spencer had sent on a messenger the day 
before to say the Padri Sahib, Mem Sahiba, 
and he himself were all coming to see 
the folks at Laranpur. No English Padri 
had been there before, perhaps no English- 
man, and certainly no Englishwoman. The 
consequence was we found the whole village 
At Home, and all eager to see us. The two 
Christian families were there ; the two 
wives were the cleanest and most neatly 
dressed of all the women present. String 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 145 

beds were brought out, and we sat down 
under a large shady tree, with the whole 
village round us . We sang them a Christian 
lyric, in Hindi, and then I preached, after 
which we sang again and talked. I then 
said : ' Now you have two Christian 
families in your midst, why don't you all 
turn to Christ and become Christians, and 
then seek your relatives in the adjoining 
villages and try to win them for Christ ? ' 
I then showed them what a Christian 
was ; why they should become Christians, 
and what they should do after becoming 
Christians. We sang another hymn ; I 
then pushed the men back, and gathered 
all the women, girls, and children closely 
round where my wife was sitting, made 
them sit on the ground all round her, 
and made the men stand outside to listen 
to my wife. ' Listen ! ' I said, ' and hear 
what this Englishwoman, my wife, has to 
say to your women and children.' And 
they did listen. My wife spoke well that 
day ; she caught an inspiration. 

After an hour's service, I went to see 
the head man at the village. I had a ten- 
minutes' chat with him, and made him 
promise that he would in no way interfere 

10 



146 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

with, or hinder, the work of Christianity 
in his village. If the Christians behaved 
well, he said, he would be a friend and help 
them. A month after this promise was 
made, a child in one of these two Christian 
families died. Spencer came out to bury 
the little girl of seven. Jahangir Khan 
met him, showed him a small mango-grove, 
about a quarter of an acre, and said, 'I 
give you this free of rent ; bury your 
Christian dead here in peace. Saldm, 
peace be with you/ So here we have two 
Christian families, the large shady tree in 
the middle of the village, which will do 
duty as a chapel for many a long day to 
come, and now hard by is the cemetery 
grove where the first Christian lies, awaiting 
the great day when the graves shall give 
up their dead, to the coming Prince of 
Life and Glory. 

We arrived at Ilfatganj at n a.m., and 
were welcomed by Newton (our evangelist) 
and his wife, Najjan. Newton is a Hindu 
convert from the ' Goshains,' a tall, spare 
man, with a long beard and large dark 
eyes. He is a daring, fearless man, a good 
preacher, a great walker, and a tireless 
village worker. His wife, Najjan, is one 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 147 

of our converts from a fairly good Moham- 
medan family at Rudauli. Thus, in their 
union, we have a blending of extremes (a 
Hindu priest of high order with a daughter 
of Islam). 

We spent four hours in the house with 
Newton and his wife, and saw a number of 
people who wanted to interview us. And 
then, at 3 p.m., Spencer, Newton, and I 
went forth to preach, for it was the weekly 
market day and Spencer arranged for us 
to be present. We took our stand on a 
rising mound under a banyan-tree, with a 
large well on our left. We preached and 
sang to the people for about an hour and a 
quarter, and while preaching had quite 
three hundred listeners at a time. Our 
preacher and his wife have quietly and 
nicely settled down among the people, 
and are doing well. Yesterday I got a 
letter from Spencer, saying that there were 
two or three widows anxious to become 
Christians, and to put their girls into our 
Akbarpur Orphanage. We have also, after 
much difficulty, secured and purchased a 
site just big enough for a preacher's 
house, and are spending Rs. 125 on it. 
It is nearly finished. This will be the 



PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

first ' village parsonage ' in the Tanda 
sub-circuit. 

Ilfatganj has a population of about 3,000, 
with populous little villages all round. It 
is the northerly corner of a square of about 
sixty-four square miles, with Tanda at one 
end, Akbarpur at another, and Goshain- 
ganj at the other, all occupied by us now. 
We have a similar square on the southerly 
side of Tanda, of 144 square miles, with a 
population of 80,000. This square, too, 
is now occupied by us. 

Late in the evening we left Ilfatganj ; 
about a hundred boys, girls, and young 
fellows followed our carts out of the little 
town, and cheered and clapped as we took 
the road and dashed off. 

The next morning, just as we were leaving 
Tanda, who should come running yelping 
into the camp but the missing Jip ! She 
had been lost two days, and we had given 
her up. She came dragging a yard of rope 
behind her. We found out that a namak- 
wala sahib (a gentleman (?) in the Salt 
Customs) who knew a good dog when he 
saw it, and who no doubt thought it was 
too good a dog for the best native in Tanda, 
collared her ; but in the nick of time Jip 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 149 

bit the rope through and got to us. It 
was with a glad heart I took my southerly 
journey that morning. 

On Friday, February 21, we camped at 
Haswar, where we stayed two days. About 
9 a.m. we stopped at a small purwa or 
hamlet of about twenty houses, or rather, 
mud huts. We halted as much as anything 
to give the old mare a bit of rest, as she 
had come over a bad bit of road. As soon 
as we stopped, two or three villagers came 
out to look at the Sahib, but above all to 
view the Mem Sahiba (an Englishwoman 
perhaps never came into such close view 
and inspection before). ' If you will be 
so kind,' said I, speaking the broadest of 
village dialect, ' as to bring out a khatiya 
(string bed) Mem Sahiba and I will sit 
down, and we will sing, and I will yarn 
with you till your hearts are full ! ' There 
was a big laugh, both at the friendliness 
and the colloquial dash of my style. Off 
they ran and brought two beds ; my wife 
and I sat on one, and the other was left 
for the few respectable ones of the village 
to sit on. 

We began with an audience of about 



150 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

seven. We sang a bhajan (Christian lyric, 
in pure Hindi) ; by the time we had 
finished Spencer came dashing up in his 
karakal, with my servant, a Mohammedan, 
and his colporteur, Kheru Singh. ' What- 
ever are you doing here, sir,' he said, 
1 sitting down at this small roadside purwa ? 
If you go stopping at every small place like 
this we shall not get into camp until 
evening.' ' Keep chup (quiet), Spencer,' 
said I ; ' just you sit down here ; we will 
have a rare old time in this little roadside 
place, you'll see.' With a grim, incredulous 
smile, the stalwart Spencer sat down. 

' Now then, Spencer,' I said, ' let us sing 
this ; it's a grand bhajan. Sing it out till 
every late sleeper in yonder huts shall be 
roused up and come out to hear us strange 
wandering religious ministrels ! ' It was 
No. 387. No bhajan in the hymn-book 
has such a swing, and none lends itself 
better to a big shout. It's the one with 
which we always raise a crowd in the 
bazaar and at melas (religious fairs). The 
words and sentiments, too, are very popular 
with the people. While we are singing, and 
while one by one they are being slowly 
drawn out of their huts men, women, and 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 151 

children and I am beckoning them to us 
with my hand, let me give you a rough- 
and-ready translation of this famous open- 
air hymn : 

my soul, why hast thou forgotten, in this world ? 

Just pause a bit and think. 

There is no rest in this evil world, 

It is like a stream of running water. 

Your father and mother and relatives will all come 

to see you at your death, 
But no one will be found to go with you. 
Whatever is left on your body (valuables) 
Even of these will they strip you. 
When to the fires of Hell you depart 
No one will be found to deliver you. 
brother, do, for salvation, do then seek ; 
The Lord Jesus Christ is thy Saviour. 

Then comes the poor sinner's prayer : 

Then, Lord, this sinner is Thy bondsman, 
Beside Thee I have no other. 

Before we had finished this hymn it 
seemed as if every available human being 
out of the village had gathered round us 
under the shade of the big tree where we 
sat. And oh, how they listened to me ! 
Their attention and interest was deep and 
absorbing, and to us most gratifying. 
' When will you come again ? ' said they. 



PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

' Give us notice and we will all come ; we 
won't be shy, or afraid of coming to hear 
again.' At the end of my address I spoke 
of the rest that the soul had in Christ 
how the very poor could come and cast 
themselves, their sins and all their cares 
and troubles, on Him ; that He was 
especially the poor, weary, worn man and 
woman's friend and Saviour, and then I 
spoke of His rest in heaven. ' No trans- 
migration ' (awfrgaman coming and going), 
I said, f but absent in the body and present 
with the Lord. No more hard, fruitless, 
unrequited toil for you poor things ; no 
more hunger and thirst, no more sickness 
and pain, no more sorrow, no more sin, no 
death, for ever with the Lord at rest, at 
home, in a heaven of peace, joy, and 
blessedness.' The tears were rolling down 
the cheeks of a few women, very poor 
toilers, whose lives were mostly all toil, all 
hunger, and all privation. A group of 
these women gathered round my wife, and 
a comparatively young widow of about 
thirty said : ' Mem Sahiba, I have no one 
in the world ; husband gone, three children 
gone ; it is as your Sahib has said, all toil 
and sorrow and no rest. If there is such 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 153 

a baikunt (heaven) as your Sahib says, and 
such a rest for the poor and the widow, oh ! 
that I might find it, I would gladly go now.' 
She threw herself down, and, clasping my 
wife's feet, said, ' Hai mai ' (' mother '). 
I went away from that purwa with moist 
eyes, and Spencer declared that he would 
never pass by that roadside village again 
without a look in and a preach. 

Two miles further on we came to the 
village of Herapur. Here we got out 
again, and spent nearly an hour. We have 
a Christian family here : Gopal Das, his 
wife, and two sons ; his girl is in our Akbar- 
pur Orphanage, which is slowly growing 
into the Primary Girls' School for all the 
poor girls daughters of our village con- 
verts. As soon as these folks turn to Christ 
they themselves, without any urging from 
us, instinctively crave for education and 
training for their boys and girls, and 
Christianity cannot and dare not deny it. 
I must now plan and work for a primary 
school in this circuit for my village boy 
converts, and it must be at Tanda. 

At Herapur we made straight for the 
house of Gopal Das. We sat down first 
beside his house and just talked. This 



154 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

disarmed all suspicion. In a short time the 
whole village and even the head man and 
his son were standing or squatting all round 
us. We sang, and Spencer and I preached. 
We then left my wife to sing and talk to 
the women, and went off with the head 
man to visit his house. We went slowly 
round, the whole village at our heels, 
visiting and inspecting their various homes. 
This pleased the folks very much indeed. 
We got back to my wife, and the people 
would have one more song and a few more 
words from me. Hungry, tired, and thirsty 
we got into Haswar at high noon. 

Haswar is a big place. It has a small 
Rajah, who has a grand half -brick, half -mud 
palace, which for years he has been trying to 
convert into all brick, with a grand gateway. 

Poor Spencer got in half an hour late, 
footsore and weary, for his harness, which 
is really made up of three old sets, broke 
(it breaks in nearly every journey) ! He 
mends it up as he goes along with string 
and a penknife ! ' You should get a new 
set of harness, Spencer,' said I. ' Where 
am I to get Rs. 15 (i) from for harness ? 
It will last out this year, I think, and then 
we'll see.' 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 155 

We found the tope of trees under which 
we pitched our tent already occupied by 
a small brigade of red-faced, short-tailed 
monkeys. But just one report from the 
right barrel of an old muzzle-loader that I 
had in camp for purposes of self -protection 
sent them flying in all directions and 
gave us undisputed possession. Two days 
later, however, when half the camp and 
luggage went on to the next place and the 
gun with them, the monkeys must have 
noted the fact, for they came back in force, 
and nothing would drive them off till I 
went into the tent and got my walking- 
stick, cocked it up to my shoulder as if 
it were a gun, and pointed it at them, as 
though taking deadly aim ; then off they 
went again. 

That evening, at three o'clock, my first 
visitor was a venerable old gentleman, an 
Anglo-Indian a short man with a very 
long, bushy beard, large, dark, and piercing 
eyes, and a most intelligent face. Spencer 
knew of him, and introduced us. ' What 
on earth are you doing here, in this 
out-of-the-way place ? ' I asked ; ' and 
how have you come to such an out-of- 
the-way place ? ' After a good laugh, he 



156 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

explained that he was superintendent of 
the Rajah's indigo factories, of which there 
were four. He took me over the largest, 
and explained the whole process of indigo 
manufacture, and then came over and took 
tea with us at five o'clock. He himself 
was a marvellous illustration of the ' ups 
and downs ' of indigo speculation. His 
father died leaving the family six lakhs of 
rupees, and here was he living in a miserable 
shanty and serving the Rajah on eighty 
rupees a month and a small commission on 
the out-turn. He told us some delightful 
tales of the old indigo days in Bengal. It 
was with real pleasure he joined us in 
prayers, under the trees ; and when I 
asked the old man if he too would like to 
pray, he said, ' Please excuse me ; it's 
years since I have been inside a church, 
and I am unaccustomed to pray extempore) 
and am, besides, a Roman Catholic.' 

After prayers he took me and Spencer 
to see the Rajah. The Rajah took us over 
all the buildings except the zanana apart- 
ments, showed us his stables, garden, &c., 
and the more minutely we inspected every- 
thing the more thoroughly was he pleased. 
It was a big, rambling house, still unfinished, 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 157 

and for years it will remain unfinished 
natives build slowly, and keep altering 
their plans till they arrive at the perfect 
design at the end. 

By arrangement my wife was to come 
the next morning to visit the Rajah's 
zanana. At seven in the morning a huge 
male elephant arrived in full ' durbar ' 
trappings, with his forehead and the upper 
part of his trunk painted gorgeously in 
yellow, blue, and vermilion. They forgot, 
however, to bring the ladder and verily 
this huge creatuf^f needed one ! With some 
difficulty I got my wife into the howdah. 

The Rajah and his two brothers and 
other relations met us at the large gate- 
way with true Oriental courtesy. On pass- 
ing in through the great doorway we entered 
a large square courtyard. Chairs were 
arranged for us, and after a quarter of 
an hour's palaver we were received into 
a long, narrow, dingy state-room, where 
there was a piano ! The Rajah asked my 
wife to play something. '* Give them some- 
thing noisy and dashing,' I said. She gave 
them ' The Harmonious Blacksmith.' That 
suited them exactly. He then asked us to 
sing something. 



158 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

1 Ah, Rajah Sahib, I have it/ I said ; 
' we will sing you a popular child's song, a 
hymn that every Englishman knows ; we 
will sing it first in English and then in 
Hindustani. Fortunately I know the exact 
translation of it in Hindustani your 
tongue/ 

' Oh, that's very good, and it's very 
kind of you ; be graciously pleased to 
sing it.' 

We sang ' There is a happy land, far, 
far away.' Then we sang it in Hindustani : 
' Des ek hai khush o khass, dur, dur hai, 
dur.' I lined it out, however, first ; and 
as I explained the lines gave them a clear 
idea, which I hope they will never forget, 
of the Christian's heaven. We then sang 
it, Spencer joining in and even our Anglo- 
Indian indigo planter. 

' Now/ said I, / would you like to hear 
some Christian Hindi lyrics ' (the Rajah 
is a Hindu). ' I should be delighted/ he 
said ; ' sing as many as you like,' We 
sang him two, and I took care to bring in 
all the gospel I could while explaining the 
Christian lyric. 

The women in the zanana became im- 
patient, and sent in word that they were 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 159 

ready and wanted to see the Mem Sahiba. 
After my wife left, in came two or three 
trays laden with varieties of native food 
and sweetmeats, and notwithstanding all 
my protests that I had had toast and tea 
before leaving my tent, I was compelled 
to taste of every dish. There I sat, on a 
raised wooden dais, with these three large 
trays before me filled with small dishes 
of varieties of tiptop native cooking, such 
as Rajahs and Hindu princes delight in. 
When I started on the task, all who were 
sitting on the dais with me cleared out, and 
there I sat alone, legs crossed, the Rajah 
and his family on chairs to my left, and 
about thirty male attendants standing 
with their backs to the wall of the room 
watching the white Brahmin (!) feed. 
' Why/ said the indigo man, ' you want 
him to eat without knife, fork, or spoon ! ' 
There was no knife or fork in the palace, 
but an attendant remembered that there 
was a German silver spoon. It was brought, 
washed, and handed to me. It was all 
German, but no silver ! So I set to work, 
and did my duty ; with forty pairs of eyes 
watching I tasted of each dish, and when 
I put the spoon down, the audience said 



l6o PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

' Go on.' I could not plead ' Time/ for 
it was yet morning, but I did the Oriental 
thing, I pleaded a full programme. My 
wife had much the same sort of programme 
set before her, but declined. There was 
a piano in their room, and she sang and 
talked to the women. They were delighted 
beyond measure at hearing the full compass 
of the English baja, or instrument, sounding 
out Hindi Christian lyrics which my wife 
sang and explained to them. 

An incident in the seclusion of that 
zanana will show you how far a bit of real 
kindness travels and the amount of good 
it does towards helping on the gospel. 
In the midst of those women was an old 
dame of about sixty, whom all looked up 
to as a most devout and holy woman, a 
pilgrim who had recently returned from a 
long, long pilgrimage to the most sacred 
shrines of North India. She literally em- 
braced my wife before them all as a repre- 
sentative of the white man's race and his 
religion. Then she turned on the Rani 
and her attendants, and said, * I was 
travelling a long, long distance by train 
from one holy shrine to another, when 
midway a native railway official, and a 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES l6l 

Hindu too, mind you, made out that my 
ticket was wrong, pulled me out of the 
train, and said I could walk the rest of the 
way. I turned from one to another, all 
Hindus, pleaded that I was a sadhni (a 
holy woman), but not one of them would 
listen to me. May the gods plague their 
souls and lengthen out with many sorrows 
and pain their transmigrations ! In my 
trouble and despair, with a crowd of un- 
sympathetic Hindus round me, and just 
as the train was going to start, up came 
a white man an angrez a real angrezl 
" What's this," he said. He heard my 
story, took my ticket, went away into the 
room, wrote something I don't know 
what on the back of it, put me into my 
train, and said, " Bahut achchha, jao " (All 
right, you can go now), and I did go. No 
one said anything to me after that ; they 
looked at the ticket and they all said 
" A chchha ' ' (It's well). I wish I could have 
kept that ticket. I could have gone all 
over India with that ticket, and every- 
where it would have been Achchha, achchha. 
Listen to all this woman tells you. She 
comes of a race whose religion is acts 
of kindness. That is why they have 

ii 



162 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

conquered our country and that is why 
they keep it.' 

The dinner, with certain further addi- 
tions, followed us to our tent, also the 
German silver spoon ! We turned the 
dinner over to Spencer and a few native 
Christians who came into the camp, and 
we honestly returned the spoon. 

Saturday evening brought us to our next 
camping-ground. We found quite forty or 
fifty people round our tent. We had tea in 
the open air, and as I wanted to speak to 
them afterwards, I indulged them in their 
wonder and curiosity in looking at us. The 
plates, the tea pouring out of the spout of 
the teapot, the way we sat on chairs, and 
the way the ' khansama ' waited on us, 
all this they will never, never forget, and 
will tell over and over again to others as 
one of the most wonderful things they ever 
saw in their lives. 

On Sunday morning three leading Hindu 
zamindars (head men of villages) called on 
us with their attendants. We had not 
chairs enough for all, so they allowed me 
to sit on a chair, and they all, with Spencer, 
sat on a drugget with crossed legs. After 
we had talked a bit, I said, ' Now, if you 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 163 

will excuse me, I'll go.' ' Where will you 
go ? ' ' I'll go to sing and speak for Jesus 
Christ in one of these near villages.' 

' Come to mine,' said one. ' No ! come 
to mine,' said another. ' Mine is the largest, 
come to mine,' said the third. At last the 
biggest man of the three said, ' No ; do 
this. It will save you much walking and 
trouble ; we will assemble our villages 
here,' 

That we all agreed to. Each zamindar 
sent his man with the order to go into his 
village and cry out, ' The zamindar wants 
you to come to him to the white tent 
pitched near the four cross-roads.' There 
was authority combined with diplomacy 
in this message, for nothing fetches a 
native better than an order with a conun- 
drum attached to it. And so they came, 
and they came till there was a com- 
pany of over fifty fine, intelligent men, 
armed all with their lathis. We spread 
out two cotton druggets, on which they all 
sat ; my wife sat on a chair, but I sat on 
the drugget before them. 

We sang two hymns; I then read and 
explained a passage of Scripture, after 
which I knelt down and prayed before 



164 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

them. The audience sat with bowed heads 
in perfect silence. We then sang another 
hymn, after which we threw the meeting 
open to general religious conversation, and 
we talked away for more than an hour 
in a serious strain, asking and answering 
questions on both sides. Finally they all 
rose in a body. 

Before they went I said, ' See, brethren, 
you have witnessed and taken part in a 
real English Christian service. This is the 
way we Christians worship the one true 
and loving God. We sing some hymns 
to His praise, then read a portion of His 
Holy Word, then we listen to the preaching 
of His Word, again we sing, and conclude 
with the benediction.' I rehearsed this 
to them, and explained it. They all ex- 
pressed the greatest pleasure and satisfac- 
tion, and more than one said, ' This seems 
the most sensible and real form of worship. 
It seems so real and true ' ; and one said 
' It touches the heart.' ' Sack bat hai, is 
men kuchh Shakk nahin ' (It's true, it's 
true ; there is no doubt about that), said 
others. 

This service was the only one of its kind 
that I held in my whole tour. It was a 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 165 

gathering of the best men of three or four 
villages, all thakurs, the highest caste 
next to the Brahmins. Indeed, they call 
themselves the warrior caste, and the 
Brahmins are their priests. We went 
through a regular Methodist Sunday service 
with them, and I never had a more respect- 
ful and attentive audience. Who knows 
what the influence of this one service 
may be ? This fact alone, that such a 
congregation should approve of, and sit 
reverently through such a service, is very 
significant. 

A very peculiar feature in connexion 
with this kind of village open-air work is 
that at almost every camping ground one 
meets with a totally different experience. 
Here we have had the two poles. Feasting, 
singing, and preaching in the palace and 
zanana of a Rajah with an Anglo-Indian 
indigo planter thrown in and the grandly 
simple service under the mango-trees with 
these village head men and their followers. 

I omitted to say that, as we were leaving 
the Rajah, and while we stood in the court- 
yard, the old indigo planter took off his 
hat and said, ' Rajah Sahib, and you all, 
listen to me. I can't preach, but I will 



l66 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

say this. This is the first time Christian 
hymns have been sung, and the religion of 
Jesus Christ preached in this palace. You 
all believe in ghosts, demons, and evil 
spirits : fear them no more ; Jesus Christ 
has driven them away to-day, and they 
will enter here no more/ The Rajah pro- 
mised to call on me if ever he came to 
Faizabad, and gave me a warm welcome 
to come again when I would. 

In the evening of Sunday, February 23, 
we went to a large village called Kawahi. 
We were taken there by Spencer chiefly on 
account of Jaggu Shah, a newly risen saint 
and leader of a new sect, who in three or 
four years has gathered round him about 
sixty chelas, or disciples. His son is quite 
an important personage in this fraternity. 
His name is Nand Gopal Shah. Notice the 
ending to both these names : Shah really 
means king. These fakirs, or holy men, 
think no end of themselves. Clothed in 
nakedness and ashes, with a long pair of 
heavy iron fire-tongs in their hands and a 
great coil of dirty false hair on their heads, 
these lazy, conceited, sponging, spiritual 
loafers appropriate to themselves titles of 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 167 

royalty and put on saintly ' side ' enough 
to make even a Pharisee blush. 

However, Spencer explained to me that 
Jaggu Shah and his son Nand Gopal Shah 
were very desirable people, and folks to be 
cultivated. Indeed, Spencer assured me 
that in this little sect of sixty members, 
most of whom were known to him, he 
hoped to find future disciples for Christ. 
This was their head quarters, and over the 
windings and by-ways of village roads at 
last he brought me and my wife to Kawahi. 
It was a little late in the afternoon, but we 
found the master of the sect, his son, and 
about a dozen of their disciples, also Mrs. 
Jaggu Shah (a very talkative and important 
personage) at home. Their house was at 
the lower end of the village, and one of the 
largest and best. It consisted of one long 
verandah, quite thirty feet long, not more 
than six feet wide, and raised about three 
feet above the ground. It was clean and 
sweet, and had been nicely lipaed, or gone 
over, with a liquid like gruel, of three parts 
of tank mud and one of fresh cow-dung. 
Not only the floor, but as high as a woman's 
arms could reach, the wall of the verandah 
was also lipaed. Behind this verandah 



l68 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

were the private apartments. In front 
it was open, facing out on to the main 
village road, with room enough to seat and 
feast four hundred men ; and the great 
quadrangle was shaded by one of the largest 
and most magnificent tamarind-trees I have 
ever seen. To the right was the village 
tank, about 1,600 feet area ; the cattle 
drank from it and the villagers as well ; 
muddy and impure was its water, but kuchh 
parwah nahin (never mind), it all went 
down, in spite of enteric and all else. 

As soon as we entered the verandah 
and were duly and properly introduced by 
Spencer, I noticed a dholak (a drum, like 
a little whisky-keg in shape the great 
instrument to the roll and beat of which 
the Hindus sing their bhajans.) 'Fetch 
out a string bed or two/ I said, ' and 
put them under this grand old tamarind- 
tree.' Out came three or four beds, 
and by this time about forty or more 
villagers had gathered. When they saw 
my wife, the word soon went round the 
village that a Mem Sahiba had come. 
Timid women and girls came out in scores, 
and children many more. 

' What are you going to do ? ' asked Nand 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 169 

Gopal Shah. ' Going to do ! ' said I, f why 
I am going to sing you some real tiptop 
bhajans.' 'Bhajans? bhajans ? Do you 
know and can you sing Hindi bhajans ? ' 
and he fairly stared in blank astonishment. 
' Know any bhajans ? ' said I with equal 
astonishment ; ' why, I know more than 
the whole of you in this village all put 

together. And sing ? why ! ' Well, I 

laughed the idea to scorn, and threw the 
cord of the drum over my neck and was 
going to start. ' What are you going to do 
with the dholak ? ' ' I'm going to play on 
it.' ' And can you play on the dholak ? ' 
' Of course I can.' ' Wah, wah! ' (Hurrah ! 
hurrah !) and off I went. In two minutes 
the crowd was in roars of laughter. ' And 
that's what you call playing on the dholak ? ' 
I laughed too. That improved the situa- 
tion. Then my wife, Spencer, Khem Sing 
and I sang one of the sweetest and finest 
bhajans in the book : 

Yisha Masih mero pran bachaiya 
(0 Jesus Christ ! save my soul). 

It went with a swing. There was no 
more laughing, nor even smiling ; the crowd 
stood round in solemn silence. Then we 
came to a grand verse. ' Stop ! ' said I to 



170 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the singers, ' let me explain the beauty and 
teaching of this verse before we sing it.' 
The verse was: 

Gahri wah nadiya naw purani, 

Yishu hai mero par karaiya. 
Deep is that river (the river of death) and old is 
the boat (the human body) ; Jesus Christ will ferry 
me across. 

After telling them of death, that would 
come to us all, then of the resurrection and 
immortality through Jesus Christ and of 
the brighter and better land beyond, I 
quoted from the 23rd Psalm the words, 
' Yea, though I walk through the valley 
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil ; 
for Thou art with me : Thy rod and Thy 
staff, they comfort me/ 

' Sing us another/ said they, and we 
sang them another, and another. I ex- 
plained the teaching of each before singing. 
And so we had a grand ' song service.' 
We disarmed them of all prejudice (for 
they had never heard the gospel in that 
distant village till Spencer went there and 
sang the gospel to them). The crowd was 
a large and mixed one. We talked and 
sang to them till the sun went down and the 
shades of evening began to gather round us ; 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 171 

then, much against the wishes of the people, 
we had to go, for we were quite two miles 
from our camp. Jaggu Shah, the head of 
the brotherhood, and some half-dozen more, 
saw us to the door of our tent. 

I took the opportunity of detaching 
Jaggu Shah, and engaged him alone in 
close conversation all the way. I learned 
from him the tenets of his brotherhood, 
then compared his teachings with Christ's, 
showed him who and what Christ was. He 
listened in silence. I then said, ' Shah Sahib, 
what hinders you from becoming a humble 
disciple of this great Guru ? ' (Teacher). 
' Nothing, if I choose to. I am independent. 
I am free to believe and accept if I will.' 
' If you did, and if you learned this Great 
Teacher's doctrines, could you and would 
you preach them ? ' ' I would.' ' Free 
of cost ? ' 'I don't want any money.' 
' How many of your disciples would come 
out ? ' 'I don't know, but quite a score 
of them would, I think ; the most obedient 
and faithful of them would follow me.' 
' Then will you accept Christ and come 
out ? ' 'I will think it over and come and 
see you. I want to know more.' 

He has been to see me twice since , What 



172 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Jaggu Shah wants is to be thoroughly and 
soundly converted to God ; to be born 
again, and I have told him that nothing 
short of that will do. He is an earnest, 
sincere, thinking man, and I have hopes 
of him. If he gets thoroughly converted 
to God we shall secure many of the brother- 
hood for Christ, and others besides. 

And so we rambled on to other villages, 
singing and preaching the gospel. One day 
we came to a large place called Ram Nagar. 
After our tent was pitched and we had had 
our tea we met about forty boys from the 
Government School, who were going home. 
Spencer stopped them and engaged them in 
conversation. Others gathered round ; and, 
seeing a crowd, I went up to it. I got hold 
of the boys ; I made two large mango-trees 
two goals, and taught them ' prisoner's 
base.' The boys got hotly excited in the 
game, which lasted half an hour, and once 
or twice came perilously near to a free fight 
over prisoners. ' Now/ I said, ' come, sit 
round, and make a big circle, and I'll tell 
you a yarn.' I told them the story of the 
conversion of Paul and then of the Jailer of 
Philippi. They did listen. We then sang 
them two bhajans and sent them off. They 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 173 

scampered away cheering and shouting in 
high glee, and wanted to know if we would 
play, yarn, and sing again to-morrow 
evening. We then went into the centre of 
the village, and quite a hundred men and 
women gathered round us and we had a 
grand preach ; they all squatted down on 
the ground and listened with deepest in- 
terest. Some women came and got my 
wife out, and said, ' Come and talk to us ; 
let him talk to the men.' She went, she 
sang to them, she talked to them, let them 
talk, answered all their questions; but in 
fifteen minutes I found my men had quietly 
got up and gone off, one by one, to her, 
and I had only about a score left. This 
was very humiliating to Spencer and myself, 
as men and preachers. But this is the 
century for women, and unfortunately I 
could not object, for she can sing, and she 
knows the language well, and it wouldn't 
do for me to say, 'She can't preach,' for 
she took away my congregation and held 
it. Please note this was a new experience, 
but it happened once again at a place called 
Barowna. I shall have to get used to it 
if I will take her out touring with me. But, 
you know, I fancy it's the novelty of the 



174 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

thing that does it ! When her crowd was 
dismissed I must say that some said, ' M em 
Sahiba khub sundwat ' (The Mem Sahiba 
makes us listen well). 

We arrived at Bhaskary at n a.m., after 
a long drive over bad roads. It was bump, 
bump, bump most of the way. We did 
not get breakfast till nearly i p.m. The 
thanadar, or police-officer, on hearing of 
our arrival, came with a policeman to in- 
quire who we were and what he could do 
for us. He is a Punjabi Mohammedan, 
and spent most of his life in the Punjab. 
I told him who we were and that all we 
wanted was fuel, some powdl (straw) for the 
floor of our tent, a pint of milk at once, 
and two pints in the evening, for all of 
which we would pay. He sent a policeman 
with a village watchman off for them. In 
due time fuel, powal, and milk all rolled up 
under proper escort, and the watchman 
was put on to oversee our tents and prevent 
robbery. 

The police-officer and I then sat down 
and settled ourselves for a long Oriental 
talk. After talking about many things, 
we came at last to close quarters. ' Well, 
sir/ said he, ' what brings you rambling 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 175 

over these bad roads, through these out- 
of-the-way places, and into these villages ? ' 
I candidly told him, not only my business, 
but also my plans and methods of work. 
In short, I quite took him into my con- 
fidence, as if he were one of our Secretaries 
from home, or the Chairman of my District. 
For a good quarter of an hour he listened 
with interest and respectful attention and 
without speaking a word, while I mapped 
out for him my plans for the evangelization 
of that square, in which, I said, * are you 
and your police thana ' (station). He 
smiled ; then standing up, and asking our 
permission in a most courtly style, he un- 
buckled his sword-belt (for he came in full 
uniform, not knowing who we might be) 
and put it on the ground. I could see that 
he meant business. ' And how/ said he, 
' do you propose to accomplish these re- 
sults ? How are you going to work it ? ' 
' By three methods/ I said. ( By native 
evangelists, who believe in and love Jesus 
Christ. By the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
which they will preach and which is the 
power of God to the salvation of men who 
believe it and accept it. -And by prayer, 
intercessory prayer to God.' These three 



176 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

divisions made the topic of our conver- 
sation. 

He asked but few questions regarding 
the first two ; but when I came to the 
third, prayer and intercessory prayer, he 
said, ' Ah now, stop a bit ; I want to know 
what prayer is.' I told him. He inter- 
rupted me again and again, and kept asking 
for explanations. Finally he said, ' Now, 
will you pray a prayer right through ? 
First a public one, please, and then a real 
private one.' ' Well,' I said, * let us com- 
pose our spirits.' He cast his eyes on the 
ground and I closed mine, while I prayed 
the public one first ; then I stopped. He 
never said a word, but waited. ' Now,' 
I said, ( the private one.' I threw all the 
intensity of my soul into a three-minutes' 
prayer, part of the time praying as if I 
were he, asking for help and guidance in 
my life and work as a police-officer. He 
had told me of a gang of thieves he was 
trying to get at ; so I brought these in : 
' Lord, help me to root out these thieves, 
who are giving so much trouble, and robbing 
and worrying the poor under my care.' 

Now, does it not seem funny to be 
illustrating and inculcating prayer in this 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 177 

fashion ? But there was nothing funny, 
ridiculous, or even irreverent about it to 
that Mohammedan gentleman. It was a 
matter of the deepest teaching and pro- 
foundest spiritual interest to him. It was 
just the kind of teaching on prayer that he 
wanted and desired. When I said ' Amen ' 
at the end of the last prayer, he lifted his 
eyes from the ground and said Amin with 
a deep and true fervour. 

He then arose, buckled on his sword, 
and as we clasped hands in salutation, he 
looked at me earnestly and said : ' I am 
very grateful to you, Padri Sahib ; I am 
a good Mohammedan, and always have 
said my prayers (namdz) regularly, but 
never yet in'all my life have I truly prayed, 
simply because I did not know how. But 
you have now taught me what real prayer 
is. From this day I will pray in another 
fashion, and we will see what comes of it.' 
I told him that depended entirely on his 
relationship to God, and whether he prayed 
in faith and love. 

When he had gone, I thought of Christ 
and that one listener by the well of Samaria. 
Here was I sitting at noon, with this intelli- 
gent Mohammedan police-officer, under a 

12 



178 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

mango-tree. My wife said to me after he 
had gone : ' Well, you have given him a 
lot to think about.' We both agreed that 
he was a fine man, and not by any means 
an ordinary Mohammedan. 

We went down into the village in the 
evening and got the people round us and 
talked to them. About two miles from 
Bhaskary is a place called Khachowcha, 
with a population of about three thousand. 
A famous Mohammedan saint is buried 
here, and around the tomb has grown up 
quite a little bazaar. The Mohammedan 
priests in charge of it run it quite on the 
lines of a Hindu temple. The tomb is 
worshipped, and miracles of healing are 
said to be performed by the saint. Offer- 
ings of money, cloth, and sweetmeats are 
made to him. The chief feature of interest 
in connexion with this tomb is a mela, or 
religious fair, held once a year, which lasts 
about ten days. I went to it and spent 
three days there, preaching daily in Kha- 
chowcha in the morning, and one evening 
I gave them a magic-lantern service, which 
was largely attended. 

On our way home we passed close by the 
door of a house where a number of women 




A LANTERN SERVICE. 







SOME NATIVE CHRISTIANS* HOUSES IN A VILLAGE. 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 179 

had congregated. One of the women was 
standing in the centre of the room, which 
was dimly lighted by the glow of the 
chuldh (fire), which was cooking the evening 
meal. 'Listen, listen/ said she, ' while I 
tell you all about it. There was a big 
white sheet, under which four might have 
slept. It was suspended in the air, then 
there was a something, like a box, out -of 
which came a very bright, clear light, and 
I don't know how, but I suppose riding on 
that light, came the picture which was 
cast on the sheet.' Then followed a de- 
scription of the pictures, with my explana- 
tion. We stood a few moments and really 
were astonished at the accuracy of her 
descriptions and the faithfulness of her 
reproduction of my very words. And so 
the gospel was being preached through her 
to those who had not heard it. 

Three afternoons running I went down 
to the mela where the saint was said to 
hold open durbar. About twelve hundred 
people were gathered there. At a certain 
hour a signal was given from the tomb 
that virtue and power from the saint for 
the healing of the people had gone forth. 
Immediately the crowd sent up a prolonged. 



l8o PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

yelling cheer, and scores of drums began 
to beat. The chief thing this saint did 
was to cast out bhuts (devils). Now I 
noticed carefully the following things. 
Firstly, the subjects were all Hindus. I 
did not see a single Mohammedan. I 
twitted the priests on this ; their reply was 
that Mohammedans were believers, and 
that the repetition of certain verses of the 
Quran by them or for them cast devils out 
and kept devils out. These Hindus were 
kafirs (blasphemers), who did not believe 
the Quran, and so they had to be specially 
dealt with by the priest of the holy shrine 
(in a way which I will describe below). 
Secondly, I noticed that the Hindus were 
all women, and women of the very lowest 
castes. I did not in the three days notice 
a single Hindu man being operated on for 
the casting out of devils only women 
how very significant ! I asked for informa- 
tion on this head. All I could get out of 
them was that the lower orders, especially 
the women, were both ignorant and super- 
stitious, and that women were always more 
susceptible to satanic influence than men. 
Thirdly, I found out, not from the priests, 
but from the inhabitants of the place. 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES l8l 

that the possessed came from a distance. 
I inquired of an intelligent Hindu the 
reason for this. He said, * It signifies that 
the game is played out here. We know 
the whole thing to be a big sham. They 
hardly get a woman within a radius of 
twenty miles ; they come from afar.' The 
crowd standing round laughed and said, 
'It is quite true, Sahib; it is all a big 
tamasha and dagabazi ' (a great show and 
a big fraud). 

All the priestcraft at Indian shrines and 
temples and its temple worship is much 
on the same principles. The great ma- 
jority feel the whole thing to be empty 
and useless. It is largely the lowest and 
most ignorant classes that flock to the big 
melas and shrines. 

The process of casting these so-called 
devils out of these poor deluded women 
was as follows : The possessed and mentally 
sick and depressed sat about on the slopes 
of a large mound. There were about a 
hundred or more of these women, and 
about twelve hundred onlookers, numbers 
of whom came just to see the ravings and 
tossings of the women, and laughed and 
joked about it, going the round to get all 



l82 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the fun they could out of each case. The 
women who were the most excited drew 
the largest knot of sightseers. Each of 
these women had two or three relatives 
in attendance. They were on the spot an 
hour or more before the time. Half an 
hour before the signal was given about 
twenty Mohammedan daffaliwdlas (drum 
men) quite of the Mohammedan barber 
style of men, low, illiterate, cunning fakirs, 
calling themselves priests appeared on the 
scene. Like consulting physicians, they 
went to their patients and began question- 
ing them. This is a specimen : 

' Is she possessed ? ' ' Yes.' ' Married, 
single, or widow ? ' ' What caste ? ' 
' When were you possessed ? ' * Last 
May ? ' ' How ? ' 'A certain woman who 
had a grudge against me went to a Hindu, 
a Chamar' (shoe-maker caste), 'and got 
powers over me by enchantment. She 
came one day and threw a bit of salt at 
me.' ' Oh, indeed ! did you notice, was 
it black or white salt ? ' 'It was black.' 
' Ah, the very worst thing in the world 
she could have smitten you with. Black 
salt is used in all the black demon 
arts.' 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 183 

Then the relatives go on to recount the 
awful and strange scenes through which 
she has passed. ' Ah yes, that's it ; I 
know the symptoms quite well.' And he 
goes on piling on the agony till the people 
feel it a hopeless case. The woman then 
begins to rock to and fro, and slaps the 
ground with the palms of her hands, slowly 
at first, but the excitement grows till at 
last it becomes positively painful to behold ; 
the poor thing goes off into raving excite- 
ment. As they sway to and fro, their 
long hair loosens and tosses about in awful 
style ; they groan and yell and slap their 
heads and beat their chests, and even 
knock their heads on the ground. To see 
a hundred or more of these women go off 
into this mad frenzy is terrible. 

As soon as a priest, or daffaliwdla, has 
diagnosed his case and set the woman 
rocking, he goes off to another, and so on : 
his object is to get quite six or more of 
them started. Those are all his patients/ 
Then when the signal begins he goes to 
his first case, and sternly reproves the devil, 
and says : ' Why did you come into her ? 
Come out, in the name of the great saint, 
come out.' ' I won't,' says the woman 



PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

(it is supposed to be the devil in her 
answering !) ' You will, you will ! ' So the 
parley goes on ; finally he catches the 
woman by the hair of her head, actually 
gives her a downright good jerk, and a 
big slap on her back. ' Come out, come 
out.' Jerk, jerk, slap, slap, harder and 
harder. ' Come out, will you ? Come out ! ' 
At last the woman screams out, ' He's 
gone, he's gone ! ' The man goes on to 
the next, with the same result. In about 
forty minutes all is over, the most obstinate 
devil has gone. The mound is cleared of 
them. 

Then comes the keen business part of 
the affair ; each woman has to pay up. 
They are very poor, and the fees run from 
one anna (a penny) to four annas (four- 
pence). A woman will offer an anna. 
' Not enough,' says the man ; ' if you are 
mean in" your payment, he will come back 
again and afflict you more ' ; then she 
goes on adding a pice at a time till the man 
sees he can get no more and closes the 
bargain. The priests then all go back to 
the shrine, and pay up their commission, 
which is pretty stiff. This mela takes place 
every year, and lasts for about ten days. 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 185 

When the priests had gone, I got the 
people round me by singing, and gave them 
the story of the man possessed of evil 
spirits whom Christ healed (Mark v. 1-20), 
laying special stress on the clause : ' And 
they beheld him that was possessed with 
the devils sitting at the feet of Jesus, 
clothed and in his right mind.' 

Jalalpur is a town pleasantly situated 
on the banks of the river Tonse, and is 
fifty-two miles distant from Faizabad. It 
is our most distant outpost, and stands 
in the far south-western corner of the big 
tract of 144 square miles with Akbarpur, 
Tanda, and Bhaskari at the other corners, 
and Barowna in the middle. All these 
five places we have now occupied, and 
our evangelists are hard at work trying to 
reach and influence all the villages they 
can in that large area but, after all, what 
are five men in so vast an area as 144 
square miles ? Still, it's better than nothing. 
Before we came here, eighteen years ago, 
and for some years after we came, there 
was not one man, nay, not a voice, calling 
out to that vast population to ' Repent, 
for the kingdom of God is at hand.' 



l86 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

The approach to Jalalpur is truly pretty. 
The river Tonse winds in and out round the 
front of the town in graceful, serpentine 
form. The banks in places are high and 
precipitous, with a jungle of scrubby dhak 
the ugliest of trees with the most glorious 
of flowers, which when in full bloom make 
the jungle glow as if in conflagration 
creeping up on one side of the neighbour- 
hood on to the bluffs and on the other 
down to the river's edge. Above the 
underwood, and topping the loftiest trees, 
are a great number of palms, which, raising 
their majestic heads in graceful beauty, 
lend an Oriental picturesqueness to the 
little town and its environments. 

We encamped under a grove of trees 
near the town. We had hardly got our 
tent up when a coolie, with a great bundle 
of powal for the floor of our tent, came 
along, and, throwing the straw down at 
the tent door, marched off. ' Hullo, there ! ' 
I shouted after him, ' what is the price 
of this ? ' ' Nothing, nothing/ said he, 
and went on. I knew the mystery would 
be revealed before long, and patiently 
awaited the solution. To imagine that a 
native should come and throw down three 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 187 

annas (3^.) worth of straw at my tent 
door free, gratis, and for nothing, would 
be a strain on my Irish imagination quite 
equal to that of expecting pigs to fly ! 
The revelation came at i p.m., shortly 
after we had had our breakfast. We were 
sitting outside our tent, talking to our two 
Hindustani preachers, Spencer and Dilawar 
Singh, moving our chairs every five or ten 
minutes, dodging the sun. The sun has 
a nasty habit in India that I never have 
liked, of prying in sharply on one's privacy, 
through the holes and openings of meagre 
foliage. Indeed his rudeness is so intoler- 
able that I have known him to follow me 
round the trunk of the thickest tree, till 
in sheer disgust I have gone inside the 
tent to avoid him. 

While we were talking, and dodging the 
sun, a human figure somewhat suddenly 
and quietly approached us a peculiar and 
quaint-looking figure, a short, slim, long- 
bearded, bright-eyed, intelligent, patriarchal, 
wizened-looking Mohammedan. If I had 
to write a weird Kipling story, I should 
have snap-shotted that man and made him 
the hero of my tale. As he approached 
he bowed low, and salaamed me with as 



l88 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

much dignity and reverence as if I had 
been the high priest of Islam in Jalalpur. 
Dilawar Singh, the Methodist preacher of 
Jalalpur, bent over and said to me/ This 
is Yakub (Jacob) the pervert, who sent 
you the powal ; he has also sent you fuel 
for to-day.' I rose to greet him. ' Ap 
ka mizaj sharif, Yakub ? ' (How is your 
illustrious health, Yakub ?) ' By the bless- 
ing of God and your illustrious intercessions 
with Allah, I find myself in health and 
peace.' After the ordinary courtesies, I 
got from Yakub a faithful account of his 
past history, which in substance was this. 
' Your preacher, Dilawar Singh, came 
here two months ago. He is the first 
Christian who has come here to stay, and 
the only native preacher, as far as I know, 
who has preached here, during my long 
stay of over thirty years ; and you, sir, 
are the first European missionary that I 
have seen here. About twenty-five years 
ago I was drawn to Christianity by the 
reading of a pamphlet. I went to the 
Rev. Mr. Baumann, of the C.M.S. He kept 
me under instruction for three months, and 
then baptized me. When my relatives and 
friends heard of my conversion and baptism 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 189 

they were furious, and did their best to 
keep my wife from me, and threatened to 
kill me. Finally I got her out, and she 
too took baptism, and with it the name of 
Rahil (Rachel). We stayed two years in 
Allahabad, and my idea was to be trained 
for an evangelist, but for various reasons 
we had to return to Jalalpur ; as soon as 
we settled down in our place, the Moham- 
medans set about trying to persuade me 
to give up Christianity, and, finding me 
inflexible, began to persecute and boycott 
me until life became unbearable. I held 
out for two years. There was not a single 
Christian near me, my wife was but weak 
in the faith, and finally I gave in ; and to 
my shame I say it I went into the mosque 
on a Friday, the great day of prayer with 
Mohammedans, and publicly recanted, and 
put my wife back into purdah. From 
that day I knew no peace. The Moham- 
medans got no good out of me, however ; 
for I was a bad Mohammedan, and have 
been, ever since, a thorn in their side, and 
they are, heart and soul, sick of me. I have 
done them more damage this way than if 
I had remained a Christian. But now you 
have come I will, and dp, turn right round 



PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

again. I will and do avouch Christ as my 
only Saviour and Christianity as my 
religion, and nothing will turn me from 
it now. I have already told the Moham- 
medans that I am a Christian, and will 
stand by your preacher through thick and 
thin/ 

He did this for about nine months, and 
then he died. During those nine months 
he came over regularly and joined Dilawar 
Singh in his daily family worship, and 
twice a week had the preacher and his 
wife come to his house for family prayers. 
Rahil has gone away from the town to live 
with her son-in-law, who is a very stiff 
Mohammedan, but I have not given up all 
hopes of seeing her reinstated and happy 
in the Christian Church. 

At 3 p.m. Yakub accompanied us three 
preachers into the town. I went into one 
of the more respectable places ; but oh ! the 
bigotry and hatred of Christianity of these 
Mohammedans was so great that, when 
they knew we were preachers, they would 
not let us preach but begged us to move 
on. I sauntered along, salaming the folks 
and asking them the condition of their 
'illustrious health!' till they saw^ from my 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES IQI 

smiling face and friendly style, that I was 
a decent sort of kafir (blasphemer), and 
so I gradually drew a small crowd, mostly 
of young people who from sheer curiosity 
came after me. 

When I had about thirty around me I 
said, ' I could tell you a really good yarn 
about a great prophet and lions.' ' Oh ! ' 
' Yes,' I said ; ' and he slept a whole night 
with them, and took no harm.' ' Oh, do 
tell us !' said they. The Oriental is always 
keen on hearing a story, an allegory, or a 
parable. 'Well,' said I, 'let us go to a 
nice place, where no one can turn us off 
no man's ground.' ' Come this way,' said 
some boys and young men, ' we know a 
good place.' We went outside the town. 
I stood with my back against a big nim-tree 
and I had a most attentive and respectful 
audience soon around me, numbering quite 
forty. I told them the story of Daniel, 
working out, rapidly and as briefly as 
possible, the great lessons of loyalty to 
God and conscience, and the nature and 
obligations of prayer. 

When I had finished with Daniel they 
said, ' Oh, tell us another ; that was a 
beautiful story ! ' ' Let us sing a bit 



IQ2 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

first/ said I. Some of them were going 
to object to this ; but before they could 
frame an objection, I was off singing one 
of our most popular hymns. There was 
silence at once. I then told them the 
story of Naaman, and told them how 
there was cleansing from sin, through 
the shed blood of Jesus Christ ! To my 
great astonishment they took it well. A 
few followed me ; but as I was parting 
from them to cross a deep ravine on our 
way back to the town, one of them, a 
repulsive-looking young man of about 
twenty-five, said, ' Why have you come 
here ? ' I saw my man wanted a bold, 
stiff answer, and I gave it him. ' I have 
come here to preach Jesus Christ as the 
Saviour of men, through whom alone there 
is salvation ' ; and quoted, for his special 
benefit, Acts vi. 12. ' Well,' said he, ' you 
will not preach Jesus Christ here ; we have 
never had it, and never will.' ' Why, you 
have got it, man ! my preacher Dilawar 
Singh has been here for the last two 
months ' ; and then, turning to D. Singh, 
' Don't you preach in this town ? ' ' Every 
day, sir.' ' Well,' said the young man, 
' you'll not preach, any way.' ' Why ? ' 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 1Q3 

' Because I won't let you ; I have been 
hearing you, and I see you are dangerous 
to our religion.' ' Yours must be a very 
poor religion if it stands in such great 
danger through me.' ' You know/ he 
said, ' I am a fanatic ; I am very zealous 
for my religion. I'll follow you about, and 
I may do you injury.' I told him where 
I was going to preach on the following 
morning and gave him the time, and asked 
him to come and try his hand at in- 
juring me; but he never came. 

The next morning we went into the 
town, and while we three preachers preached 
in turn, my wife, with Mrs. Dilawar Singh, 
went round visiting the Mohammedan 
women in their zananas, with Yakub as 
guide. It was a sight to see the crowd of 
women following my wife's dooly from 
home to home, and then crowding in to 
hear her and Mrs. Dilawar Singh read, sing, 
and preach. She says that in every home 
she had, with inmates and outsiders, never 
less than twenty or twenty-five. 

After we three had preached, I went 
round the whole town making myself and 
my preachers as conspicuous and prominent 
to the townspeople as possible. We went 

13 



IQ4 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

down the. two main streets, then through as 
many side ones as possible, stopping at shops 
and street corners, letting the people know 
who we were, and not only letting them 
know our business, but giving them illustra- 
tions of it. We must have had quite half 
a dozen little ' preaches/ and many religious 
conversations that morning. This took us 
up to about ii a.m. I then said, ' Now let 
us go into the hornets' nest! ' that was, into 
the largest suburb, a purely Mohammedan 
one ; and of all Mohammedans, the julahas 
(weavers) are the most bigoted and fana- 
tical and (because the most ignorant) the 
most superstitious. This was soon verified, 
because as we went along and they saw me, 
the children fled and the women shut their 
doors before me, as if to shut out an evil 
influence and perhaps worse, the devil 
himself ! 

These people would not be drawn. Dila- 
war Singh said, ' I think we had better not 
preach here.' ' We will see/ I said ; ' let 
us see how things shape.' The opportunity 
came, and I embraced it. We came upon 
a large open space surrounded by large 
trees : it was the common threshing-floor. 
We stood under the trees, as if resting. A 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 

few men came up and said, ' What do you 
want here?' 'Oh, just resting a bit/ I 
said, 'from the noonday sun.' It was 
11.30 a.m. 'Who are you?' 'Are you 
the plague doctor ? ' 'No.' ' Anything to 
do with the plague Government ? ' 'No.' 
I told them I was just a Christian preacher. 
I introduced Dilawar Singh to them and 
led on the conversation to preaching, and 
then sang and preached. 

A Mohammedan moulvi came up and 
ordered them all away in a most peremptory 
manner. Half my crowd was going away 
with the moulvi. I saw it would never do 
to lose them in this way ; it would be 
yielding the battle-field to the moulvi with- 
out a struggle. That would never do. I 
lifted up my voice and cried out, ' Listen 
to me ; just one word before you go. I 
want to tell you what we would do in 
England to a man who came and thrust 
himself into a respectable group of citizens, 
who of their own free will were attentively 
listening to a speaker.' I did this with 
all the satire, humour, and action I could 
command. I had the folks in roars of 
laughter. I dwelt on the liberty we proudly 
boasted of possessing, of freedom of thought 



196 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

and action, which we would never surrender 
to any priest or moulvi, or even to the 
King himself. 'But you fellows in India 
are not men/ I said ; ' you are sheep and 
goats. There is your shepherd/ pointing to 
the moulvi, ' and you, who surrender your 
manhood, with all its rights, into his hands, 
are his dumb, driven animals; go/ I said, 
' go ' ; and then, with a roll of my tongue 
making the noise that shepherds make 
hur-ru-ur-reI said, ' Off you go, you sheep 
andgoats.' They laughed and said, 'Let him 
go ' (the moulvi), ' we are not his sheep.' 
The moulvi again went for them and drew 
about ten after him. As they went, the 
young fellows in the crowd jeered at them, 
making my shepherd's cry, hur-ur-ur-re. 
Ashamed of themselves, the ten returned. 
Then the moulvi turned round and abused 
the restthe worst thing he could have done . 
' There/ I said, ' there's your shepherd, 
you sheep.' ' He is not our shepherd ; he's 
an old fool, and his sheep, whoever they be, 
are all ullus' (owls). Then some of them 
turned round, and gave the poor moulvi 
a very hot, bad time. He had to retire. 
Then they said to me, ' Now, sir, you may 
speak, or preach, and do as you like, and 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES IQ7 

we will listen to you .' I preached for nearly 
forty minutes, and never had a better 
audience, and this in the ' hornets' nest ' ! 
As I was going off, a man turned round and 
said, ' Why, here is the moulvi ; he has been 
listening all the time, after abusing us and 
warning us off ! ' The moulvi spoke up 
and apologized to me, and said, ' Sir, I am 
very sorry ; I came to listen when I saw 
so many standing round you ' (and we had 
quite one hundred) ' to hear what you really 
were preaching about. I appro ve*of all you 
have said ; there is no harm in listening to 
you ; come when you like.' We got into our 
tents at about 12.30 noon, and my wife also 
reported a grand time in the zananas. 

Almost immediately after we left Jalal- 
pur, the Mohammedans spread the report 
abroad in the town that my wife and I were 
plague doctors sent by Government to 
spread the plague and kill off a few thou- 
sands of the inhabitants by sprinkling 
powder on the rats and mice, and by 
throwing powder into the wells out of which 
they drank water. Numbers of the people 
gave up drawing the water from the wells 
and drew from the river Tonse. 

The feeling of anger and resentment 



198 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

against poor innocent Dilawar Singh grew 
in intensity day by day, till the people 
decided to drive and, if necessary, beat 
him out of the town. The thanadar (police- 
officer) of the place then came on the scene, 
and called a number of the leading people 
together and said, ' If any of you can prove 
these assertions against this Christian 
preacher, give me proofs, and I'll arrest 
him and send him to Faizabad for trial ; 
but if no proof is coming, I will run in the 
men who are spreading these false and 
injurious reports.' The thing died down. 
Dilawar Singh is now one of the people. 
The Hindu community especially are very 
fond of him, and a Hindu silversmith has 
rented him his present house, which is all 
that could be desired. For months no one 
would rent him a decent house, and those 
who could and would, were afraid to do so. 
Our man is now well established and 
respected, and even if the plague should 
unfortunately visit the place, he will not 
be blamed for it . Dilawar Singh is a clever, 
able man, a perfect munshi and gentleman, 
and an able preacher. He is generously 
supported by a gentleman known to us as 
Mr. W. B. B. 



A TOUR IN THE VILLAGES 

Mrs. Wiseman has got a lady in England 
to give us 6 for Mrs. Dilawar Singh's 
expenses in working among the women in 
the zananas ; and surely this is necessary, 
when I tell you that the census returns show 
under the heading ' Females literate and 
learning ' only eighteen. Think of it ! Out 
of a population of over eight thousand 
(4,200 of them women), only eighteen 
literate women,, which only means women 
who can read and write decently ! 

We have just secured from Rajah Tawaq- 
qul Hossain a beautiful little site in this 
town, and after the rains will build the 
preacher and his wife a smart, water-tight, 
well- ventilated, and comfortable house. 

There is much more that might have 
been written on this tour. Indian village 
life, especially up here in the north, with 
all its diversity of race, caste, social and 
religious customs and its folklore, is full of 
the deepest interest. The people are most 
approachable, and, on the whole, they seem 
to be eager, attentive and respectful listeners . 
What is needed now and we are slowly 
forming them are mission centres. My 
circuit is about sixty miles long and twenty- 



200 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

five broad, and has a population approxi- 
mating a million and a quarter. My idea 
is to plot this out into four large squares 
and put down four men in each square, and 
to have besides two evangelists with a 
roving commission one to each pair of 
squares. These would visit remote villages 
and be always travelling. They would 
keep in touch with their eight men and 
report generally to me of the prospects, 
progress, and hopes in their squares. This 
would require in all eighteen evangelists. 
The ground would then be fairly covered, 
and the people would have a fair chance of 
hearing the gospel, and also of having 
Scripture portions and Christian literature 
distributed broadcast among them. Every 
evangelist thus becomes a colporteur also. 
Now, out of these eighteen men, I have 
at present eleven. This leaves seven more 
to complete the scheme. Seven men would 
cost me, with their travelling, about Rs,i20, 
or 8 a month each. There are some men 
in England who could give this. I wish 
I could find them ! However, it is a dream 
at present a great ambition. Patient, 
plodding, steady work, and above all prayer, 
will yet accomplish it. 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH AND THE 
BUILDING OF HIS HOUSE 

WE will now take a big skip from the 
Tanda to the Rudauli side of my cir- 
cuit, a distance of seventy-eight miles. 
This represents the extreme ends of my 
charge! Worked out thus, the distances 
are : Tanda to Akbarpur, by a good 
macadamized road, twelve miles; Akbar- 
pur to Faizabad, by rail, thirty-six miles ; 
Faizabad to Rudauli, by rail, twenty- 
four miles; Rudauli to Amaniganj, by 
as bad a road as you could find any- 
where, six miles; total, seventy-eight 
miles. 

Amaniganj is the farthest outpost on the 
extreme south-western side of the Faizabad 
circuit ; and now I will tell you all about 
my preacher there and this new out-station 
the last that I have opened making 
eleven in all. 

Masih Prakash is a converted Brahmin of 

3Qt 



202 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the Tewari section or branch, which is 
considered a very high one. He is a fair, 
slim young man, standing about five feet 
eight. He has very fine large, dark (almost 
black), expressive eyes, and a very pleasing 
but sharp and expressive face. He is a 
Brahmin of the Brahmins, and like St. 
Paul, stands very strongly at times upon 
his rights and privileges. But have you 
ever known a Brahmin (I mean a Christian 
Brahmin) who ever forgets or sinks his 
high origin and priestly lineage ? I have 
often heard him say to the people when 
under training with me for two years as an 
open-air preacher in Faizabad : ' You say, 
sometimes, that only low-caste men become 
Christians, and that they do so for a piece 
of bread to fill their empty stomachs and 
a dhoti to cover their naked loins. That 
is a vile lie ; it's a scandal. Lots of men 
of high caste and good families, both among 
Hindus and Mohammedans, are in our 
midst in the Christian Church. Look at 
me. Am I a low caste ? I am a Brahmin.' 
' You, a Brahmin ! ' says a Brahmin in the 
crowd, with a lofty look of scornful disdain. 
' Don't you know a Brahmin when you see 
him ? ' says Masih Prakash ; ' does a change 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 203 

of heart and a regenerated life, through 
faith in Jesus Christ the Saviour of the 
world so alter my rup (external configura- 
tion) that you fail to recognize my high 
Brahmin caste and priestly descent? Are 
you blind, my brother ? What has hap- 
pened to you ? ' 'Of what Brahmin order 
are you ? ' ' Of a high order a Tewari ! 
says Masih Prakash. t You a Tewari ! 
and you turned a Christian ! ' It is too 
much for the Brahmin. He turns on his 
heels, and as a parting shot hurls this curse 
at him : ' Tu brasht hai ' (You are cursed). 
' May you be born a dog in your next birth 
into this world, and eat the leavings of the 
lowest of the low caste.' Masih Prakash 
is equal to the occasion. With a smiling 
face and his dark eyes flashing, he replies : 
' " He that believeth on me," says Christ, 
" shall not perish, but have everlasting 
life." " Blessed are ye, when men shall 
revile you, and persecute you, and shall 
say all manner of evil against you falsely 
for My sake " ' (great emphasis on falsely, 
for My sake). ( " Rejoice, and be exceeding 
glad"' (his arms thrown out and upward 
in joyous gladness, and then, his voice 
raised in triumphant tones, he concludes 



204 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the quotation), ' " for great is your reward 
in Heaven ! " * 

Masih Prakash was very, very raw 
material when I got hold of him ; but now 
he is one of the most spiritually minded, 
fearless, and fiery preachers in my circuit. 
Though a high-caste man, he is of very 
humble origin ; but his father, quite un- 
educated himself, determined that his boy 
should have some learning, and yet not 
go to a mission school for fear that the 
growing influences and power of the Chris- 
tian faith should lay hold of his bright and 
promising boy and braskt karo (curse) him ; 
he therefore sent him to a Government 
Vernacular school (avoiding even the Anglo- 
Vernacular, for the bigoted and ignorant 
orthodox Hindu and Mohammedan dreads 
even the Anglo- side of the Government 
education, which gives no religious training, 
and has not yet admitted the Anglo- 
Saxon Bible). And so the bright, happy 
boy went on, finished his vernacular 
course, came out of school, and joined his 
father . But through not passing the Anglo- 
Vernacular Middle, both boy and father 
found out that Masih Prakash, according 
to a Government ruling (which only the 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 205 

Commissioner of the Division can under 
special circumstances set aside) could not 
draw more than Rs. 10 a month as a 
Government servant, though he should 
live to fifty-five and merit a pension. The 
young man, after four or five years of 
service on Rs. 5 a month (only 6s. 4^.), felt 
it was not good enough, so he left his 
situation and his father's simple home, 
on the Trans-Ghogra side, to see the world 
and better his conditions. 

One day in the open bazaar he heard 
the Rev. A. W. Baumann, that greatest 
and most powerful of C.M.S. vernacular 
preachers, preaching the gospel and Bau- 
mann did preach the gospel, and, with it, 
was one of the most able controversial 
preachers in all North India. The man's 
attention was at once arrested. He heard 
this great preacher through, followed him 
to his home, put himself at once under 
instruction, and became what we call a 
mutalashi (an inquirer). I am very grate- 
ful that this preacher of mine fell into such 
hands. I know of no man who takes such 
care of and is so patient with his inquirers 
as Mr. Baumann. He keeps them under 
instruction for never less than three months 



206 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

before baptizing them. He makes them 
labour with their hands in some form, and 
so earn their bit of bread (it's no bed of 
roses under this C.M.S. missionary) by the 
sweat of their brow, and gives them about 
two hours' teaching daily. 

Two years after his baptism, Masih 
Prakash one day turned up at our mission- 
house, with a bread-cart, and through the 
chick (thin bamboo screen) of my study 
door I saw him hand out my daily portion 
of bread. 'Who is that new, strange 
man ? ' I inquired. ' He is the bread- 
carrier, and a Christian,' said my Moham- 
medan servant, knowing that the ' Chris- 
tian ' would draw me and it did. * Send 
him in,' said I ; and with an independent 
but respectful air, in marched the baker's 
man and made me a saldm. Little thought 
I then that this man was going to be 
one of my most beloved preachers; for I 
truly have a great love for him, in whom 
now shines out the full signification of his 
name viz. Masih (Christ) Prakash (the 
light, or the shining out, of the light of 
Christ). And little thought that worldly, 
prudent father that the thorough vernacu- 
lar education that he was giving his boy 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 207 

in a Government school, so that he should 
remain an orthodox Brahmin, would stand 
him in good stead as a Christian and a 
Methodist evangelist. 

A propos to this, Mr. Charles Cape, who 
is in the verandah reading, has called me 
out from my writing to hear my Moham- 
medan servant, his Christian servant Mar- 
qus (Mark), and four or five hillmen (all of 
whom attend our daily and family prayers 
in the vernacular after breakfast) singing 
away one Christian lyric after another. 
' Well, well, Charley,' I said, ' it's grand, 
is it not ? It's wonderful how these fellows 
do pick up the words and tunes, and how 
they throw themselves into it.' In his dry, 
quiet way he replied, ' More and more it 
spreads and grows ' ; and so it does, and 
with a wonderful fascination and power 
through the singing of the gospel. Yea, 
and little thought that wise, sagacious 
C.M.S. missionary, Mr. Baumann, that he, 
as a Churchman, was training a man for 
the Wesleyans ! 

A year later these two met. ' And you 
are a preacher with Mr. Elliott now, are you 
not ? ' ' Yes, sir ; is there any harm ? ' 
' No, not at all/ said the grand old mis- 



208 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

sionary. ' I am very glad and proud to 
think that a man whom I led to Christ and 
baptized in His name, should now be 
preaching His gospel. Be faithful unto 
death, and the Lord will give you a crown 
of life.' Ah ! he's a grand man, is Mr. 
Baumann ; would that one out of every 
ten missionaries was a man of might and 
a vernacular preacher like him ; we should 
soon change the look of things in North 
India. 

That first interview with Masih Prakash 
was the prelude of many another. I hap- 
pened to want a village evangelist at the 
time, and asked him if he would put himself 
under training for a year, during which time 
I would give him Rs. 6 a month. His 
delight was unbounded. The next day 
the baker's man resigned, and put himself 
under me for instruction as a village 
preacher. 

I took him out that winter with me on 
a two-months' tour in the villages, and, 
strange to say, the first time I asked him 
to preach was at a place a mile from 
Amaniganj, where he is now stationed. 
We were making for a certain village one 
morning, when we came upon a threshing- 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH - 20 9 

floor, round which were gathered about 
a dozen men and women. We sat down 
in their midst, and sang and talked to 
them. 

As we were going away one of them said 
to us : ' Yonder is a famous sadhu (an 
ascetic). I am sure he will be glad to see 
you. It's the first time an English or 
European preacher has come round this 
way.' ' Come along/ I said. About six 
men followed me into an enclosed garden, 
where we saw this holy man. We spent 
a most interesting hour with him and his 
disciples, of whom there were about half 
a dozen, who not only worshipped him but 
literally grovelled to him. I happened to 
differ very decidedly from this holy man in 
some rash statement he was making on 
ethics, when one of his disciples very rudely 
interposed and was taking me to task. 
' Shut up, you ignorant young fool,' said 
the sadhu ; 'it's only a year ago I taught 
you your alphabet, and do you presume 
to reprove this wise and holy man, at whose 
feet I might sit and learn ? Have you not 
gathered that much from one half -hour's 
conversation ? ' All the disciples hauled 
down the flag after that, and their buzzing 

14 



210 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

flattery afterwards got to be a bit of a 
nuisance. 

After our visit and religious conversation 
came to an end, the sadhu said to me, 
' And who is this young man ? ' pointing 
to Masih Prakash. ' Is he one of your 
disciples ? ' I said, ' We are all brethren, 
and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
This is Masih Prakash ; he is a new disciple ; 
he has not yet preached ; he is still a learner 
like that disciple of yours ' (pointing to the 
one who had made himself so obnoxious). 
' A brighter and better behaved one, I hope/ 
said the sadhu. ' I hope so,' said I. 'He 
was a Brahmin.' ' A Brahmin ! ' said the 
sadhu, opening his eyes and arching his 
bushy eyebrows. ' Yes, a Brahmin, and 
a Tewari too/ I said. ' Oh ! ' said he, and 
such a great oh ! it was that it took all 
the wind he had in his chest to give vent 
to it. Now, I thought, was a good oppor- 
tunity to trot out my man and show off his 
paces ! So I gave him a start by saying : 
' Now, Masih Prakash, tell the sadhu, in 
your own simple style, who you were, and 
how you became a Christian.' Poor M. P. ! 
It was his ' maiden speech/ and no man 
could have made a bigger mess of it. He 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 211 

tried to speak for five minutes, but made 
an awful hash of it. Finally I came to his 
rescue, and had to tell his history for him. 

Now in the three years or more which 
have passed since then, Masih Prakash has 
developed into quite a fluent, resourceful, 
and, on the whole, accomplished speaker, 
as you will see later on in this sketch. 
From his station in Amaniganj he has paid 
many a visit to this sadhu, who treats him 
with great respect, and receives him on 
terms of equality, and calls him Pandit 
and Maharaj (Pandit signifying a learned 
Brahmin, and Maharaj your highness, a 
term of respect which all Brahmins claim), 
and many and many a long earnest conver- 
sation they have had in that walled-in little 
garden, with pumpkins and marrows grow- 
ing, flowering, and fruiting as they creep 
over the roof of the simple and humble 
sadhu' s math (a mud and straw-thatched 
monastery). 

The last time I visited Masih Prakash, 
a few months ago, I inquired ' Well, how 
is the sadhu getting on ? Kuchh ummaid 
hai us kd ' (Have you any hope of him ?) 
1 Ah, sir, 5 said he, ' if it were not for his 
many disciples, who worship and flatter 



212 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

him and make him believe he is a great saint, 
when he is only a poor miserable sinner 
needing the atonement of Christ, and if it 
were not for his own poor miserable conceit 
in thinking he is something when he is 
nothing ; and, above all, if it were not for 
the bit of revenue that comes in to him from 
so many little sources, I do believe he would 
become a Christian ; but he has too much 
that he will not give up, which he, in his 
ignorance and foolishness, values more than 
the pearl of great price. I visit him and 
pray for him, hoping that the Lord may 
yet open his eyes and save his soul.' 

Masih Prakash systematically works, 
visits, and preaches in no less than eighteen 
villages around Amaniganj , within a radius 
of about four miles. He thus covers, 
roughly, about sixteen square miles. There 
is not a village market in that area in which 
he has not preached several times during the 
year. He preaches, of course, regularly at 
the two big weekly markets of Amaniganj, 
and often has from two to three hundred 
attentive listeners. At the annual religious 
fair (jhula ka mela) held in the rainy 
season, when the local deities, Ram and 
his wife Sita, are swung and worshipped 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 213 

with singing and dancing in the open air, 
about 3,000 were present who had come in 
from the surrounding villages to witness 
and enjoy the mela. Masih Prakash, who 
had been spending about an hour alone 
with God in his' house, praying that he 
might be directed what to do and what to 
say on this occasion, suddenly appeared 
in their midst at about 3 p.m. A number 
of people began to cheer, and said, ' Ah ! 
ah ! here comes the Pandit the preacher.' 
He was then called on by the head man, a 
mahajan, or banker, to preach to them. 
They actually put him to preach on the 
earthen platform dedicated to Ram and 
Sita. He took off his shoes, mounted the 
eminence, and spoke for three-quarters of 
an hour to an attentive and appreciative 
audience, giving them a running comment 
on the fifth chapter of Matthew's Gospel. 

At the two weekly markets held in 
Amaniganj for the surrounding villages, the 
Pandit preaches at about 4 p.m., the close 
of the market. The people are now so 
accustomed to hearing him preach, and so 
enjoy his style, pithiness, wit, and above 
all his rich and abundant quotations of 
Hindu slokas (quotations from sacred Hindu 



214 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

poets) that when it comes near closing time 
they will actually send a deputation to 
him saying, ' Come along, Pandit Ji, are 
you not coming ? It's closing time, and 
we are all waiting for you.' He replied, 
with a twinkle in his eye, ' No need for 
a bell here, sir ; no need to beat up, 
or sing up, an audience, as you do at 
Faizabad ; they send for the preacher 
here, and would kick up a row if he did not 
come.' ' Preaching,' said he, ' is quite a 
feature now of this bi-weekly market of 
Amaniganj, at which all the villages that I 
visit, and even more, are represented. This 
gives me a very extended and perfect 
knowledge of my circuit and people.' 

But this is not the only interesting 
feature of his work. Let me give you 
another, to show that the Pandit is a 
sharp, knowing little man ; canny, yet 
thoroughly good withal. 

It happened that the year before he went 
to Amaniganj he had failed in his Scripture 
examination . He was determined not to fail 
again. The books given him to grind were 
Genesis and the Acts of the Apostles. You 
must know that the Pandit's house is right 
in the middle of the bazaar, the wide open 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 215 

place, commonly called the chauk. In 
front of his door is a good wide earthen 
platform, called a jaggat (sitting-place), on 
his left is the house of a well-to-do grocer, 
and then comes that of a halwai (con- 
fectioner). 

Now the grocer and confectioner, being 
very friendly, though of different castes, 
obliterated the long, small mud wall, about 
six inches high, that marked out their 
house boundaries, and the Pandit, with 
their consent, removed his, and now there 
was one fine platform, about sixty feet long 
and fifteen feet deep, reaching right down 
to the common street road. On this plat- 
form, right on the boundary line of the 
Pandit's and grocer's houses, grows a 
magnificent and shady nim-tree. By day 
and by night this soon became the com- 
mon sitting-place of the little chauk of 
Amaniganj . It became the ' pub ' of the 
place ; where, however, nothing but tobacco 
smoke was consumed. Masih Prakash 
soon became a general favourite, not so 
much because he was a good Christian 
man (and he decidedly is that) but because 
he was a knowing man and a good talker. 
The shop-keepers all round the chauk are 



2l6 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

merely keen business, money-making men, 
who know absolutely nothing outside their 
own lines and such information as the 
bazaar and market gossip brings them 
twice a week. In the whole area there is 
just one man who knows what he calls 
' somewhat English, 5 and he is the Post- 
master, who is passing rich on twenty 
rupees a month ! (twenty-six shillings). 
The Pandit is, therefore, in their eyes a 
scholar, a knowing man ; in short, a God- 
send into their dull, quiet, stagnating 
life. Another thing which gives him 
much influence and power in this purely 
Hindu community is, that in his dress 
and manner of living he is still the 
perfect Hindu and the Brahmin, and so 
also is his wife. In no possible way does 
he offend them or their prejudices. He 
is, in a way, as one of themselves, except 
in his Christian life and conduct : in that 
he is very much out and out. 

Well, soon after his arrival, and when 
he had fairly established himself, one 
evening he produced a simple sixpenny 
wooden lampstand and placed his chirag (a 
small earthenware saucer holding about two 
ounces of linseed oil, with two thick cotton 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 217 

wicks projecting at the opposite rims) 
upon it. He lighted the lamp, and then 
sat down, with his Hindi Bible in hand, 
cross-legged and motionless, for all the 
world like an incarnation of old Buddha. 

' Hallo, Pandit ! what are you reading ? ' 
said some passers-by ; ' what is that book 
that you are so intently studying ? ' ' Oh, 
it's a wonderful book/ said Masih Prakash ; 
'not another in the whole world like it : it's 
our Bible. It's a great and good book.' 
' In truth ? ' 'In very truth.' ' What are 
you reading just now ? ' 'I am reading 
about the creation of the world, and of the 
first man and first woman God made.' 

That was enough. No better programme 
for common interest could be framed. ' 
Pandit,' they exclaimed in all eagerness, 
' read on, read aloud, let us all hear it ; 
fancy, the story of how this world was 
made by God ? Go on, Pandit, go on ; 
begin at once.' ' Hold on,' says the astute 
Christian Brahmin, ' let them all gather 
first.' The cry and shout then rang out 
across the chauk. ' You who wish to hear, 
come ; the Pandit sits before his doors with 
his book, and is going to read to us about 
the creation of the world and the first man 



2l8 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

and the first woman that God made ; don't 
delay, come quickly/ 

Twenty or thirty gathered round, and 
Masih Prakash read aloud to them the 
first three chapters of Genesis, that wonder- 
ful story of the Creation and the Fall; 
and then came the stories, in nightly 
succession, of how Cain slew Abel, the story 
of the Flood, the Tower of Babel, then the 
wonderful history of Abraham, and so on. 
If there is any book the native or Oriental 
just revels in, it is Genesis. It always 
sells well. Then there were discussions 
and long talks, endless questions demanding 
answers e.g. ' Now, Pandit, of what caste 
were Adam and Eve ? ' ' Ah,' they all 
say, ' that's a poser for the Pandit.' But 
Masih Prakash is equal to the occasion. 
He quotes a slok (a verse) from a famous 
Hindu poet which is unanswerable, and 
which, being translated, runs thus : ' We 
have all come from the same place ; we 
have landed at one stage. The winds 
of earth have struck us all and sent 
us twelve different ways.' The words 
' different ways ' mean really different 
castes or sects. 

Oh ! to have sat in a quiet corner and 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 2IQ 

listened to the talk of these fellows round 
that lamp, under that old mm-tree. Punch 
wouldn't be in it, nor Tit Bits either. I 
can assure you, it's something to miss. It 
would have suited Rudyard Kipling down 
to the shoes ! The Pandit varied his 
readings between Genesis and Acts. He 
made his discourses out of these two books, 
took his stories and illustrations in preach- 
ing from them. Thus he ground his two 
books and passed a good examination in 
them. Not only did he do this for himself, 
but he also very thoroughly made these 
books known to the people among whom 
he lived and worked. 

Now all this time the preacher dwelt in 
the most miserable house in the place. I 
largely attribute the death of his wife to 
the low, dark, insanitary conditions of the 
wretched place in which they dwelt. But 
it was a case of ' Hobson's choice ' that 
or nothing. No other house was to be had. 
Every man has his own house in Amaniganj , 
and there are no houses ' To Let.' The 
ground belongs to landlords, but the houses 
belong to the tenants, and there is no 
ground-rent to pay. ' How is that ? ' you 
say. ' Because, if it wasn't that way, 



220 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

there would be no Amaniganj .' ' And how 
is that ? ' again you say. Well, it's this 
way, you see. It's to the interest of all 
landlords to get people to come and occupy 
their land. The bigger the village, the 
better for him in many ways. And a village 
town like Amaniganj, with a population 
of, say, 4,000, is like a little trading town 
in a large rural area. Happy the landlord 
who possesses it ! 

And now to go on with my yarn. A 
certain grocer, by name Mewa Ram, once 
worth Rs. 20,000, in the process of ten 
years got ' stone broke,' or, as the natives 
proverbially say, ' Us ka dewara hogaya ' 
(The walls of his house have parted). How 
all this happened is another sadly inter- 
esting story, but is apart from mission work 
and my purpose just now. This much 
might interest my readers. I purchased 
his wretched house (the one we rented) 
from him for Rs. 100 (6 135. 4^.). With 
this Rs. 100 and it was all he had in life 
I recommended him to the Deputy Opium 
Agent, who let him set up a shop in the 
opium-camp during the two months that 
the weighments were on, when he with 
others supplied the needs of six hundred 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 221 

men daily in the form of flour, salt, oil, 
tobacco, &c. ; and so I set Mewa Ram once 
more on his legs, in a small way of business. 
I went one morning to see how he was 
getting on ; he left his mat and baskets 
and came out and fell down at my feet 
and said to those gathered round, 'This 
man God give him long life, blessing and 
prosperity and make him a Lat Padri' (a 
Lord Bishop !) c has saved my honour 
and given me, a ruined, broken old man, 
another start in life.' I returned his com- 
pliment re the Lord Bishopric by saying, 
' And may God restore to you, in honest 
trade, the Rs. 20,000 you have lost in 
business,' at which the crowd laughed 
loudly ; one of them said, ' He will never 
see Rs. 20,000 again, sir, unless it be in his 
dreams at night/ Another laugh, and we 
all dispersed. \ 

As soon as I got possession of the house, 
I sent Masih Prakash to pull it all down 
and level the site for the new building. The 
site was a peculiar one : only fifteen feet wide, 
but sixty feet deep, with a grocer and con- 
fectioner jammed up tight right and left of 
me. Their walls and roofs had to be most 
carefully considered in erecting my new 



222 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

house. I could do nothing with this 
narrow-gutted site but put up a good two- 
storied house. I ordered up from Jessop 
& Co., of Calcutta, steel beams for the 
floor of the second story. I got all my 
material together, my foundations out, 
and all ready to start work in real, dead 
earnest. I was going to put up a preacher's 
house that would be a wonder and an 
astonishment to the natives of Amaniganj, 
a lasting advertisement and joy for ever! 
It was to cost about Rs. 500 (33). As 
usual my old trick ! I started without 
one rupee in hand ; and none as yet has 
come in, save 10 from the Rev. Gregory 
Mantle. The Lord make him a President 
of the Wesleyan Conference ! I have 
drawn all my cheques on the Bank of 
Faith : and as truly as I write this to- 
night, so truly will the whole 33 come 
in before Christmas. 

All the time that my work of preparation 
was going on the landlords sat tight four 
of them. As I was about to start building 
they said to Masih Prakash : ' Stop ! If 
you move another foot there will be a big 
row and broken heads.' The thakurs are 
great on head-breaking. One of the said 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 223 

four landlords had just come out of prison 
after doing two years over a head-breaking 
business on a right of waterway. The 
poor Pandit, who, after all, is only a timid 
Brahmin, came to see me in an awful state 
of mind. He thought all was gone. There 
is a landlord's rule that I had overlooked 
viz. that after you have demolished a house 
and cleared the site you lose all claim to 
it. You may cart away your material and 
rubbish; the site then goes back to the 
landlord. There were four sharers in my 
site of nine hundred square feet. But then 
there was another side of Anglo-Indian 
law, that they had overlooked. They let 
me go on for fourteen days in pulling down, 
in accumulating material, digging out my 
foundations, and even getting my ten steel 
girders (which cost almost as much as the 
house) ; they watched all this going on with 
a beautiful Oriental complacency, without 
troubling me with a legal notice. (N.B. 
There is no solicitor in Amaniganj !) 

I went at once and complained to the 
Deputy Commissioner. He is an awfully 
nice man, and told me, in a very pleasant 
and agreeable way, that we had made fools 
of ourselves on both sides, but he would do 



224 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the best he could for us all round. He 
issued warrants summoning us all on a 
certain day to his court. As good luck 
would have it, the four landlords disobeyed 
it, and did not come. Foolish Orientals 
again ; they imagined it was some trick of 
mine, ' drawing them.' They were sum- 
moned to show cause why they prevented 
me from building. ' We will sit tight/ 
thought they, ' and let the Padri make the 
first move.' My legal orders were to ' sit 
tight and do nothing ! ' and I tried very 
hard and did it. 

Then went out a body-warrant, with a 
big seal stamped on it, the size of a five- 
shilling piece. They jumped like four 
frightened tom-cats, did these landlords, 
when this warrant was served on them by 
the court. One said he was too ill to come, 
but the other three came armed with long 
bamboo lathis (the head-breaking instru- 
ments !) and duly appeared at the court. 
' Now,' said the Deputy Commissioner, 
' first, you have disobeyed this court's 
warrant; that's "contempt of court"; 
secondly, you have wrongly taken the law 
into your hands and threatened injuries 
unless work were stopped: where 's your 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 225 

legal authority for this ? ' They sat up 
this time. ' Now, your best plan is to go 
and compromise this case with Mr. Elliott. 
Go, and let me know the result, and then 
I'll decide.' They came to me. 

Mr. Bateson, the General Secretary of 
the Royal Army Temperance Association, 
was with me for the day on his annual 
visit to Faizabad. These three men got 
me out in the verandah. I was not the 
Deputy Commissioner only a padri and 
oh ! how they stormed and boiled over ! 
I smiled and joked and twitted them. 
Bateson just roared with laughter. ' O 
Elliott/ he said, ' this is too good ; it 
beats the pantomime ; let us go into 
your study and get two chairs ; it's grand, 
man ; fetch the fellows in.' In they 
came. With my own hands, out of 
the dining-room, I brought three chairs. 
This quite upset them; they were all 
politeness then. Then we had it out for 
nearly an hour. Mr. Bateson declared 
he had not had such a grand time for a 
long while. 

Finally we came to terms. I had to 
make over to them all my registered title- 
deeds, and then Mr. Bateson had to write 

15 



226 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

out two documents in English, which I 
translated literally, word for word. The 
first said I relinquished all claims ; the 
second that, as I relinquished all claims, 
they gave me back all my just claims. I 
could build now, and no rent would be 
charged. This settled it. One of the men 
found it hard to read the title-deeds, so I 
let him have a pair of silver-framed spec- 
tacles that I had by me, costing Rs. 15 (i), 
that were a bit too weak for me now. He 
put them on and fairly jumped with delight. 
' Light, light/ said he, ' heavenly light ! 
how it illumines the writing ! ' ' Ah ! ' 
said I, c those are English ; they are 
crystals.' After he had done he handed 
them back. ' No/ said I, with a low bow 
and a deep saldm, ' they are yours ; take 
the " heavenly light " with you, and may 
your eyes, till death close them, be illumined 
by them.' Then there was a lot of bowing 
and scraping, and we parted great friends. 
' Well/ said I as we parted, ( you fellows 
don't feel like breaking my head now, do 
you ? ' ' No, we don't ; we feel that you 
are an awfully good fellow, and we never 
knew it before. You can have all you 
want in Amaniganj. You may make all 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 227 

the banias (grocers) and mahajans (money- 
lenders) Christians if you like, and we'll 
not say a word; you may go on build- 
ing, and if any man says a word to you, 
remember we four, especially this man 
that is taking away heavenly light for 
his blinded eyes, are your sworn friends, 
and if there is any head-breaking to be 
done at any time, remember we're your 
men ! ' Bateson laughed, as only Bateson 
can, and with his jolly laugh rolled out of 
the verandah this last great trouble. 

As soon as the land was secured to us 
and the last obstacle removed, I went to 
Amaniganj to plan and mark out the 
foundations of the house. I also went to 
'buck up' and blarney the landlords all 
round. The people, as they always do, 
received me gladly. I paid visits and 
received visits. I preached on the market 
day, in the open street in front of the site 
where the house was to be built, to about 
three hundred people, standing by request 
on the doorstep of the shop of a cloth 
merchant, or draper. I preached from 
St. Matthew's Gospel, v. 8 : ' Blessed are 
the pure in heart : for they shall see God.' 
I treated it in a thoroughly practical, 



228 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Oriental, common-sense style, and in the 
question-and-answer form, which I find lays 
hold of and interests the common people 
better almost than any other form, and 
will elicit many a ( Thik hai* (That's right), 
' Sack hai ' (It's true), ' Boliye, boliye ' 
(Speak on, go on), ' Khub baithat hai, re ' 
(How well it all sits, or fits together), ' Wa, 
Wa ' (Well said, hurrah ! Hear, hear !), and 
so on. If a preacher grips a native audience 
and is having a ' good time ' with them, 
there is nothing more appreciative and 
exhilarating to speaker and listener alike : 
one helps the other, and they have a good 
time together. 

To give you, in brief, an idea of the style. 
' Now, who is there here who would not like 
to see God ? * Many voices : ( We all 
should.' ' But how is it to be managed ? ' 
A voice : ' Ah, that's the question ; go on 
and tell us.' ' But if we did see Him,' I 
said, ' you'll be wondering how, where, and 
when we should see Him, and what would 
be the effect on us ? ' Then say they one to 
another, in the crowd, 'Ah, bhai ' (brother), 
1 have you ever thought of that ? ' ' Shut 
up,' says a voice ; ' let him speak ; be quiet 
now. Go on, sir.' ' Have you never asked 




WESLEYAN CHAPEL, FAIZABAD. 




WESLEYAN MISSION-HOUSE, FAIZABAD. 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 22Q 

yourself, 'Who is this great God? the 
Parmeshwar. Where is He? what is He 
like ? what relationship does He sustain to 
me ? ' Then I told them briefly just what 
God Himself in the Bible (His book) says in 
answer to these questions. Then I exposed 
the foolishness and absurdity of idolatry, 
which I showed to be a false and wicked 
representation of God by those who have 
never seen or known anything about Him, 
quoting as I. went along poetic lines from 
Hindu satirists, such as ' If we have to 
worship blocks of stones as gods, why not 
the common household mill, by which we 
grind, are filled and satisfied ? * ' There 
is a day in the year when we even worship 
the grindstones, as the workman does his 
tools,' says one. A laugh from the crowd ; 
and t Is there not a day/ I asked, ' when 
you worship the soft, rich white flour, that 
feeds and fills and satisfies ? ' ' No ' 
another and louder laugh; ' Shut up, 
brethren, and let the Padri Sahib go on.' 

' Now, God says we can see Him and 
know Him, and He tells us how/ ' This 
is interesting ; let us listen and hear what 
he says about that.' ' Now, He has given 
us two sets of ears to hear with, and two 



230 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

sets of eyes to see with the physical and 
the spiritual. With the one set we see 
and hear the things which He has made 
and the wonders He has done; with the 
other set we see, hear, know, and feel Him/ 
I work this out in as interesting a fashion 
as possible, with illustrations. 'The con- 
dition for receiving this darshan, or vision 
of God/ I said, ' is purity of heart. Now, 
what is a pure heart ? And how is 
the heart made pure ? ' I work that out, 
bringing into contrast all along the Hindu 
idea of purity, which is ceremonial chiefly 
and pertaining to caste and certain religious 
Hindu observances, and attained by the 
practices of self-mortification and asceti- 
cism. I showed how and why these failed. 
Also that they did not satisfy the Hindus 
themselves ; for, says one, ' Ganges water ' 
(the Ganga) ' in your holy-water pot, and 
the heart so full of sin ! ' ' Your body 
clothed in sackcloth and ashes/ says 
another, ' but your soul as it ever was, 
unchanged.' ' Until He who made the 
soul purifies it, all else will fail/ truly says 
another. 

Then comes the explanation and the 
description of ' the spiritual vision of God/ 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 231 

how it is attained, how felt and known, and 
what it does ; its strange and wonderful 
influence and its transforming power. 
'Would you seek it? Would you have 
it ? ' I cry out. ' Then go alone and 
pray thus : "0 great God, Thou madest 
me to know Thee and serve Thee ; the 
great Guru (Teacher), Jesus Christ, says 
that if my heart is pure Thou wilt come 
into it and possess it and reveal Thyself 
to me. O God, make me willing and 
dispose me to receive this vision of Thee ; 
purify my heart, Thou Thyself, that I 
may see God and 'live and move and 
have my being * in Him, for Jesus Christ's 
sake. Amen." ' 

After the sermon they all followed me 
to the building site, where I went to 
give Masih Prakash my final instructions 
before returning to Faizabad. The wonder- 
ing crowd gathered round. Oh the noise 
and clatter of the many tongues the 
speculations as to what kind of a house 
this was to be ! The hundred and one 
questions, to say nothing of the more 
abundant suggestions regarding this new 
preacher's house that was to be, are 
indescribable. 



232 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

I returned after a fortnight in compliance 
with Masih Prakash's request : ' Come at 
once and bring a good experienced mason 
with you, who will be able to carry out all 
your directions after you return.' 

When I arrived I found that the Pandit 
had got the foundations in, ' well and truly 
laid/ though all of mud. This was not so 
small or easy a matter as one might imagine, 
judging from the ordinary run of founda- 
tions in village huts and houses, which 
simply mean digging a few paralle land 
cross trenches, not more than two feet wide 
and one deep, and on that base raising 
the mud clay walls, one ' hand ' a day, 
laying the second layer on the third day 
to give it time to dry. Masih Prakash had 
a much more difficult task to perform. 
To begin with, the floor of the old house 
was about two feet below the road ; this 
had to be filled in and the plinth raised two 
feet higher. The amount of rubbish that 
he had to clear away that fell in from the 
old house, and the old walls that had all to 
be thrown down, and then the new founda- 
tions dug out, even to three feet deep, be- 
cause the damp and saltpetre had got into 
the very walls and floors, which were flaking 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 233 

off, layer by layer, in sheets ! Is it a 
wonder that the poor fellow's wife sickened 
and died in the dark, damp vaults of the 
old house ? It was time the preacher had 
a new good house. He marked out his 
foundations, dug down three feet deep and 
four wide. He was determined that his 
double-storied house should have elephant- 
like legs to stand on and carry its weight 
of iron girders, its timber, bamboos, rolls of 
grass and many hundreds of rude, coarse, 
heavy, village-made and village-baked tiles. 
The people came and gathered round these 
open trenches all through the working hours 
of the day to see these mighty excavations ! 
' No such foundations as these were ever 
dug, Pandit/ they said, ' in the memory of 
the oldest man of this place. Are you 
digging for treasures, or are you going to 
bury the ruins of the old house in these 
new trenches ? ' But the preacher smiled 
and said, ' Wait and see. This is going to 
be a fine house. Wait and see.' 

When the foundations were dug out, the 
Pandit purchased twenty good strong 
baskets, locally made from arhar (green 
stalks from the standing field-lentils). These 
cost about twopence each. He had now to 



234 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

go and see the landlords and get their per- 
mission to excavate and carry away the 
wet clay from the large village tank about 
three hundred yards away to the west. 
After promising so much, they did not find 
it very hard to generously grant this small 
request, especially when the Pandit pointed 
out that it was just a mere formality to 
apply to them for this mud, as all the 
houses of the place had been built out of 
this tank ; that it was a tenant's right, just 
requiring the landlord's sanction. ' And 
the more houses that are built out of it/ 
said he, ' the better for you, and the deeper 
will be the tank, and the more rain water 
will it hold, and the better that is for 
irrigation.' Having obtained the baskets 
and the sanction, he next went round the 
shops buying up about five rupees' (6s. 8<#.) 
worth of cowries or shells. For this 
amount he would get about 25,600 cowries. 
These he filled into earthen gharas, or 
water-pots, with a mouth and neck just 
wide enough to comfortably admit a man's 
hand. He got two beldars (diggers) at the 
tank and two to lift the baskets on to the 
women's and girls' heads ; the diggers sliced 
off the wet clay from the water's edge with 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 235 

their big hoes and filled the baskets ; the 
lifters, with the carriers' aid, put them on 
the women's heads, and off they ran. The 
rate was, for a good basketful of wet mud, 
eight cowries (6s. 8d. or Rs. 5 represented, 
therefore, 3,200 basket-loads of mud carried 
300 yards). The thing took on ; by the 
end of the week the number of carriers 
had grown into an even forty and they 
found their own baskets. It paid. And 
there was at last one unbroken line of 
running women and girls along the whole 
length of this three hundred yards, and 
almost every half minute, fut, fut, fut, with 
splutter and a nasty muddy splash, would 
go a basketful of wet tank-mud into these 
long, wide, deep foundations ; which, 
though constantly fed by forty pairs of 
running feet, which emptied forty baskets 
into their wide, gaping sides, took it all in 
and it seemed to make little or no difference ; 
and, to make it still more disheartening for 
the carriers, two big men stood in each of 
these parallel rows trampling and com- 
pressing the labour of two hours into one. 
But even such foundations have to fill and 
give way at last before the persistency of 
steady, systematic work. So it was that 



236 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the day I arrived I found the foundations 
full and dry, and hard as hard could be 
right up to plinth level, two feet above 
the street line, and all the floors filled in and 
level as a table. 

I stayed there four days and took my 
personal servant, Yusuf, a Mohammedan, 
with me. But when I got there there was 
absolutely no place for me to stick my head 
into. Pandit Masih Prakash himself was 
making shift under a grass thatch lodging, 
the walls of which on three sides consisted 
of the timber, old doors and bamboos, &c., 
of the old house, and of the new doors and 
window-frames and some timber that I 
had sent him in. There was just room for 
a bed, a small table, and two reed chairs. 
His earthen chatties, pots and pans, and 
all other earthly belongings, were closely 
jammed together all round the inside of 
the hut. 

He very generously offered me this 
sumptuous apartment, and to go one 
better himself, and hang out, like a spider, 
under the nim-tree described above as the 
Amaniganj ' pub.' 

Poor chap ! I saw how hard he was work- 
ing ; how he had not even time to cook, 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 237 

and that a friendly Hindu family, the con- 
fectioner (halwdi\ used to cook his meals 
for him. So I determined to leave him in 
undisturbed possession of his lovely little 
shanty, and to forage for myself further 
afield. Accompanied by the preacher, my 
servant, and a coolie with my bedding and 
bag, I went to Thakur Ganga Baksh, my 
best friend. He lives in the small village 
of Tandawa. He and his uncle have two 
large houses near together, and the village 
virtually contains their tenants and 
labourers. It is about half a mile from 
Amaniganj. The Thakur Ganga Baksh 
was sitting outside near his gateway, 
hard by a large mango-tree, in the soft 
glow of the setting sun. He was clad in 
fine loose muslin, and wore the orthodox 
Hindu sandals of wood inlaid with fine 
brass wire, and before him was his aviary 
of whistling and talking birds in a score or 
more of large bamboo cages. He is a man 
of about forty, with a fine, intelligent face. 
He is a perfect Hindu gentleman of the 
best type, and of the modern school, too. 
But with it all he is a very staunch, re- 
ligious Hindu. He is a remarkable instance 
proving the moulding influence of the 



238 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FALZABAD 

Western education and civilization of to- 
day on the Hindu mind and religion, in 
spite of the traditions and bonds of the 
past. He is kind and generous to his 
tenants, and is widely respected. 

As soon as he saw me he came forward 
to meet me. We two never shake hands, 
though we have a great love and reverence 
for each other. We greet one another as 
Rajput and Brahmin priest (he the warrior, 
I the priest !). ' What has brought your 
honour here ? ' said he. 'I have come to 
start the building of the Pandit's house, 
my brother preacher. I have nowhere to 
stick my head ; so, for four days, I have 
come to cast myself on your generous hospi- 
tality for food and for a shelter in one of 
the many rooms of your lordly mansion.' 
This quite took even this advanced Hindu's 
breath away. I saw he was staggered. It 
was all the work of a minute. I perceived 
his mind was rapidly passing through a 
process of introspection. 'This Irishman, 
a missionary too, well known all over the 
district, coming and living in my house, 
inside my enclosure ! and I must do him 
well if I do take him! My zanana, 
too, is inside the four high walls : all 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 23Q 

will be open to his view ! He is a close 
observer, a great talker ! Polite and proper 
enough, no doubt. He will punctiliously 
observe the most perfect rules of Hindu 
etiquette, and respect rigidly all my re- 
ligious prejudices, I feel sure. But this 
man of all men in my house, eating, 
smoking, sleeping, observing, washing and 
making himself free, easy and very much 
at home in this my Hindu home ! O Ram ! 
and all ye gods of the Hindu pantheon, 
in earth, heaven and pattdl (hades) what 
will ye say ? But if ye speak not, my 
brother landlords, great and small, and 
all my caste-fellows, my tenants, and above 
all, the gossiping tongues of Amaniganj, 
will ; and what will they all say ? Whereto 
will it all lead, if I take this foreigner into 
my house for three days and four nights, 
under the secret, sacred shadows of my 
conservative Hindu home ? Ram ! if 
it is to be, shield and save me from all the 
consequences of this act of generous but 
rash hospitality.' 

I saw his difficulty at a glance, and sought 
to deliver him from his embarrassment. 
' Look here, Thakur, this is a hard thing 
I have asked of you ; and though you are 



240 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

my friend, this is putting too great a strain 
on your friendship and hospitality. Just 
you feed me, and I will be at work all day. 
It's fairly warm; I can sleep outside your 
gates under this fine old mango-tree. I 
want to be away from the noise of the 
bazaar. I have brought my bedding ; 
all I ask is a clean bed, free of bugs.' 

He pulled himself up stiffly to his full 
height, and I saw now that his mental 
introspection was rapidly working back- 
wards the other way. ' Ram ! Ram ! 
worse and worse ; what will all the hos- 
pitable gods and all the men here say of 
me if I let a white man, an English Brah- 
min and my friend, and a man who is so 
widely known and loved by the people 
here, sleep four nights outside my hospitable 
walls, on a string bed and under a mango- 
tree, as if he were an out-caste and a leper ? 
Never, never. It can't, it shan't be. I'll 
risk it and take him in ; so help me Ram, 
Hanuman, and Ganesha.' He beamed all 
over and said, ' My hesitancy, sir, is not 
due to what you think or say about my 
national and caste prejudices though there 
is much in what you say but to the unfit- 
ness of my home to receive and accommo- 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 241 

date you. But if you will take me as I 
am, and fit yourself into my environments 
and prejudices, as you know them, then 
my home is yours and all I have/ In 
went my coolie through the large gateway, 
and soon after sunset I followed. 

As soon as I arrived he put on four 
young lads, tenants of his, to thoroughly 
clean and prepare one corner of the en- 
closure as my cooking-place. When that 
was done, they brought chatties of water 
and poured it over the corner (about eight 
feet by eight). Then two women were 
put on with two baskets of mud and 
one basket of fresh cow-dung. The boys 
brought some more water. The women 
mixed the above two ingredients with 
water and made a big ball of it. They 
then went to the two corners with this big 
ball between them and a small earthen 
vessel full of water. They then took a 
big handful out of the lump, poured water 
on it, reducing it to the consistency of thin 
gruel, and rubbed it all over the floor. 
This not only cleaned and put a nice thin 
skin on the floor of my open kitchen, but, 
from a Hindu's point of view, ceremonially 
cleansed and purified it for cooking pur- 

16 



242 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

poses. The Hindu always thus prepares 
his cooking-floor before cooking his food 
on it. My servant Yusuf, a Mohammedan, 
then produced his box, which had the cook- 
ing utensils, and his small, long basket, 
which contained my commissariat allow- 
ances for four days. He put these side 
by side against the wall ; and, entering into 
the full spirit of the Hindu kitchen-floor- 
cleansing ceremony, washed his hands and 
feet, and with naked feet, like a Hindu, 
entered on his cooking business. But I 
have forgotten the kitchen-range ! This, 
too, was a simple matter. Like every 
good and well-appointed Hindu village 
householder, the thakur had a stock of 
these in hand, which consist simply of a 
clay structure, in the shape of three- 
quarters of a circle, and six inches high. 
You put your pot or pan on the top 
of this, and your fuel in at the open 
quarter of the circle, and there you have 
your cooking-range. He gave Yusuf three 
of these, and he was quite set up. Now, 
could anything be simpler ? If you had 
to buy the above cooking-range, it would 
run you into a penny farthing. That is 
within the possibilities of the poorest 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 243 

man's purse. A cooking-range for five 
farthings! 

Masih Prakash came in at 8 p.m., and, 
by invitation, joined me at dinner. The 
thakur was most inquisitive, and now he had 
the opportunity of knowing all he could of 
an Irishman's ways and habits ! He begged 
that he might be allowed to sit on his chair 
a little distance off and watch us eating ! 

First, we said grace. He couldn't quite 
understand that. But as grace was said 
in his own language loudly and clearly, 
he saw the fitness of giving God thanks, 
and said 'Yes, that's a good custom of 
yours.' Then he examined our knives, 
forks, and spoons at a respectable dis- 
tance, of course and, with his feet gathered 
up on his chair, and his chin almost resting 
on his knees, he carefully watched us eat- 
ing, and inquired about the three courses 
(soup, meat, and pudding), and wanted to 
know all about these things. In his private 
opinion the soup should come last, as he 
said, to ' wash down and settle the dinner ! ' 
' But,' added he, ' all people have their 
peculiar ways and customs, in social as 
well as religious matters.' 

Then, very soon after dinner, I had to 



244 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

give him another and a very striking idea, 
quite new to him, of the religious side of 
our customs. 

After an hour's talk on various subjects, 
but chiefly on our religious and social 
customs, Masih Prakash said to me: 'If 
you will excuse me, sir, I am very tired; 
if you'll have prayers now, I'll go.' ' Ah,' 
said the thakur, 'what is that? How 
do you do your puja pat?' (the form of 
worship a Hindu uses when worshipping 
with his idol before him ; and the thakur, 
of course, knew of no other). I replied, 
'We don't do puja pat, we do prathna 
(prayers) only.' 'May I look on?' he 
inquired. ' Oh yes,' I said, ' we shall 
not mind one bit.' So I pulled out my 
Vernacular New Testament and opened at 
St. Matthew's Gospel, the fifth chapter, and 
read from the first to the sixteenth verse, 
throwing in a comment here and there for 
the thakur' s benefit, to which he nodded 
his head and kept saying ' Beshak ' (True, 
without doubt). Then we sang together 
a Hindu lyric. We then knelt down to- 
gether, half facing the thakur, and I 
prayed aloud. I thanked God for the 
blessings and mercies of the day, asked His 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 245 

forgiveness for all we had done wrong, 
begged for grace to prevent us from doing 
wrong of every kind, and asked for a 
sensitive conscience and a loving and 
obedient heart, so that we might literally 
fulfil His wishes contained in Matthew v. 
13-16, and be good salt and bright shining 
lights. Then I prayed for Amaniganj 
and its preacher kneeling beside me, and 
for the thakur who took me so kindly 
into his house. '0 Lord, bless him for 
this,' I said. ' Beshak,' said the thakur. 
I prayed for our circuit, for the conver- 
sion of India, for our families, for our 
country, and King and Government. It 
was a good ten-minutes-long prayer, and 
I must confess yes, I must that I was 
praying up to a model, that the thakur 
might get an impression of the nature and 
comprehensiveness of a Christian's prayer. 
But, at the same time, the prayer was 
natural, easy, and full of fervour. Then 
we said the Lord's Prayer together and I 
pronounced the benediction. Other nights 
the thakur sat further off, but always 
listened with reverence when we read, sang, 
and prayed, and seemed greatly interested. 
When Masih Prakash had gone, we spent 



246 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

an hour in conversation ; and then I 
thought it was my turn to watch him. So 
I said, ' Now, Thakur, we will go to bed, 
but you won't sleep, will you, without 
praying ? ' ' Oh no,' he said. ' I too 
am a religious man, and do my devotions 
before I sleep, and early in the morning, 
when I get up. Would you like to see 
me ? ' 'I should, very much indeed/ I 
said. ' Then you sit there on the side 
of your bed, and I will do my devotions, 
sitting here, on my chair.' He drew his 
legs under him, crossed them, and sat on 
the sides of his feet; took his string of 
beads off his neck, closed his eyes, and 
began counting his beads and muttering 
something in an underbreath, his lips 
moving. He did this for about fifteen 
minutes; and then opened his eyes and 
smiled on me, and said, ' I have done.' 
1 Now,' I inquired, ' what did you say in 
prayer ? ' ' Just two words all the time 
only, but I did a lot of meditation with it.' 
' And what were the two words, and what 
the vast amount of meditation ? ' I inquired. 
1 The two words were simply Ram and 
Sita (the God Ram and his wife Sita, whom 
I specially worship), and so my words ran 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 247 

thus: "Ram, Ram, Sita, Ram, Sita Ram, 
Sita Ram." And my meditation well, 
it's hard to explain this to you ; but if you 
can understand, I tried to divest my mind 
of all earthly thoughts and concerns and 
really thought of nothing, but just let my 
mind go away into infinity, so to speak, 
and quietly rest in the feeling of absorption 
in God : and I kept repeating, over and 
over, "Ram, Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram" 
as a preventive from wandering thoughts. 
Now, sir, you just close your eyes and say, 
" Jesus Christ," over a few hundred times, 
and only think of Jesus Christ and all He 
said and did, and see what a lot of good it 
does you.' When I lay down to sleep I 
tried it. I closed my eyes and kept saying, 
' Jesus, Blessed Jesus, Lamb of God, Son 
of God, Saviour of the world, my Saviour,' 
and so on, and tried to think of His words 
and doings in relation to all the above 
titles and, really, I found it did me good. 
I found I had to do a lot of real hard think- 
ing with it, and create mental pictures to 
no end ; but the exercise was helpful. The 
thakur was awfully pleased when, next night, 
I related my experience. He thought he 
had given me a real good spiritual tip ! 



248 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

And so the days went. We had grand 
times together. The thakur took all his 
meals in the zanana. Every night he left 
his zanana and slept on a bed close to mine, 
out in the open, under the starry heavens. 
All day I spent with Masih Prakash and 
the workmen in building the preacher's 
house, and talking and preaching to the 
people in Amaniganj. I got back to the 
thakur' s by 6 p.m. The second day I 
wanted a bath badly, and he had no 
arrangements for that. There was nothing 
for it, therefore, but to bathe in Hindu 
fashion, with a dhoti round my loins, at 
the well. There is no need to describe this 
operation, for all my Indian readers are 
familiar with the scene of the group of 
morning and midday bathers round an 
Indian well, and my other readers must 
see it to know how it is done. I was in 
Rome and I did as the Romans. The third 
day quite a big congregation gathered 
round to see the Irishman bathing in native 
fashion. Next day, while I was bathing, 
quite a number of women came, too. But 
I just went on bathing and washing, 
jabbering away quite unconcerned. It was 
the best way, you know to take no notice. 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 249 

The soap was a great mystery to them, 
and when I saw it bothered them, I put 
plenty of it on ! They took the soap and 
felt it, and handed it round (it was Vinolia, 
not Pears'). Sure, they are for all the 
world like a lot of monkeys, men and 
women all the lot of them. 

The second day the thakur ordered my 
fires to be put out, and fed me entirely 
from his zanana ; all Yusuf did was to make 
the tea. I never got so thoroughly into a 
native house before. The thakur's wife, 
through a confidential old Brahmin, would 
often send out to know what I'd like to 
eat, and if anything more could be done 
for my comfort. The thakur had to tell 
her all about this man in her house, and 
all he said and did, &c. He has an only 
son, a very shy, delicate boy about six 
years old. The boy would not come near 
me at first I might have been a demon. 
But before I left I made that boy love 
me. He was by my bedside as I got up 
in the morning ; watched me wash and 
dress and pray ; was on the look-out at 
the big gateway for me on my return in the 
evening; would go to the well to see me 
bathe ; sit near while I ate ; sit up as late 



250 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

as his mother would allow him at night, 
and at last be with difficulty taken from 
me ; would sit on my knee and put his 
arm round my back, listening with wonder- 
ment to the yarns and Scripture stories 
I dressed up for him. His father would 
sit by, smiling, and say, ' It's enchantment. 
You have thrown a spell over my boy ! ' 
One evening he gathered all his servants 
together, and invited some of the most 
respectable of his tenants to hear me sing 
lyrics and to talk to them. At the end of 
it all he said, ' Isn't he a wonderful man ? 
did you ever see the like ? Isn't he a real 
Brahmin ? Ram ! Ram ! how he does 
talk and sing ! he is like one of ourselves, 
is he not ? I do believe he is an incarnated 
old Brahmin.' When I had to go the 
thakur and certainly his boy seemed 
really sorry to part from me. ' It will be 
very sun sdn ' (dull and silent) ' when you 
are gone/ he said. 

When I left I felt I had scored a great 
point in thus living four days in such a 
Hindu home. I felt, too, that we had got 
drawn more closely together, that much 
prejudice had been removed ; and I cer- 
tainly did preach, sing, and pray the gospel 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 251 

daily in that house and I hope I lived it 
well also. The influence of my stay there 
was felt all round, and I am glad to say 
that the thakur has not had or heard of a 
word of adverse criticism on his rashness 
or indiscretion in receiving such a one as 
I into his house. 

Three weeks after this, I had to go to 
Amaniganj again. My presence was ur- 
gently needed for the house ; things were 
going wrong and I was wanted just once 
more. 

The thakur was away from home, but 
left word that I was to be received, fed, 
and treated as before ; and his boy wanted 
me very much. But I did not deem it 
advisable to go while he was away, and so 
lodged out in our empty up-story room 
in the bazaar. The second day, whether I 
had swallowed in the bad milk of the place 
a host of deadly microbes, or whether it 
was that, combined with a touch of the 
sun, I know not. But at 4 p.m. I had 
to come off the scaffolding of the building, 
and got violently sick for two hours. By 
sunset I felt that the end of my mission- 
ary career had come. I felt as if I was 
just quietly slipping away. I was dead 



252 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

done ; even writing a line was impossible. 
I thought of the dear old Faizabad Circuit 
till tears came to my eyes, and of the wife 
thirty miles away, and of the four children 
in England, and I said to myself, 'It's 
all up now. It's not quite the way I 
wanted to go out of the world, but it looks 
as if the end has come.' 

Poor Masih Prakash kept coming in 
and out, but I made little of it to him, 
till I saw how things were going. Finally 
I sent for him and thought I'd just give 
him my last words to take in to my wife 
and let him write them down and then 
tell him where to bury me in a certain 
small garden under a mango-tree which I 
should want to be purchased at any price 
and reserved. As he entered, an idea came 
into my mind. ' Bring me my bag,' I said, 
' open it and get out of it a small, long, 
thin bottle.' 'That's it.' I poured out 
with difficulty sixty drops of chlorodyne in 
a tablespoonful of water. It acted like a 
charm ; by 9 p.m. I was sitting up, and 
at 10 p.m. I was actually talking, or 
preaching, if you like, to a few folks below, 
having climbed down the ladder to do so, 
so great was my joy. I was up long before 




D 
53 

1-1 

W 
< 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 253 

sunrise -the next day and off on my bike 
for Faizabad. But I had the narrowest 
shave of death that day that has come to 
me so far. 

I must tell you of the death of the 
Pandit's wife. She died here, nine months 
ago, before we got the land for the new 
house. Her name was Rajwanti. My wife 
has already told the beautiful story of this 
woman's life and conversion. She was, in 
every sense, a beautiful woman; but the 
beauty of her Christian character shone 
out especially in her death. My wife and 
I were with her to the end. 

She told her husband to marry again 
(which injunction he has faithfully obeyed). 
' I know/ she said, ' you will want some one 
to cook your food and care for your comfort 
when you come in late in the day from your 
village work.' Then she solemnly charged 
him in these words : ' Masih Prakash,' she 
said, as if she were a dying prophetess, and 
not his wife, ' Masih Prakash, listen ; I am 
dying. I am going to God. I charge you 
that you go on working as you have done ; 
be hard-working and faithful. Read your 
Bible and pray much. Seek earnestly to 
win souls for Jesus Christ. I am going to 



254 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Him ; and if souls can intercede in heaven 
for earth, I shall pray for you and the work 
at Amaniganj . And if souls in heaven can 
come to earth, remember that I shall often 
be in Amaniganj and near you. I shall 
keep my eye on you and your work. I 
shall be looking at you. Now, remember 
all this and be faithful. God be with you 
and bless you ; I am soon going.' She 
gave him one long, last look, one sweet, 
loving smile, and then seemed to have made 
up her mind to die, and was soon gone. 
And so, the first saint has gone from 
Amaniganj to heaven. Masih Prakash 
married again, a young widow, about six 
months afterwards, obeying his wife's in- 
junction, and marrying, as he said, ' for the 
work's sake ! ' ' Who will do the women's 
work ? ' said he. He is not the only one 
who has married for ' the work's sake.' 
I do not know whether this second wife 
is not in every respect equal to and in 
some things superior to his first. The 
people there have all taken to her, and she 
is a great favourite. 

One thing remains to be said before I 
leave Amaniganj for the present. I must 
say a word on behalf of the lady who gives 



PANDIT MASIH PRAKASH 255 

me the 12 a year for this out-station. 
The last time I was at home, on furlough, 
in 1900, I met an old friend. He said, ' I 
cannot go out to India, but I should like 
to take up one of your out-stations and 
keep a man there.' Amaniganj is the 
station, and this converted Brahmin is 
his man, and it is one of my most hopeful 
places. Last year my friend died. I wrote 
to his widow and her two unmarried 
daughters, who are living with her, offering 
to set them free from the obligation, or 
to reduce it to 5. I knew they would 
have to economize to do it. They replied, 
' No, while we can, we will.' I wrote 
again, ' Make it 10.' They replied once 
more, ' While we can, we will.' 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE : 

A MORNING IN THE TEMPLES OF AJUDHIYA 
WITH THE REV. GREGORY MANTLE 

THE plague has at last come to Faizabad 
and Ajudhiya, apparently to stay. The 
death-rate has steadily risen. Panic has 
laid hold of the people, all classes of whom 
are flying in every direction, often leaving 
their dying and dead for the authorities 
to dispose of in any way they please. 
Those who remain will not make known 
plague cases, and have recourse to every 
imaginable method of concealing and dis- 
posing of their plague-stricken dead. 

One of the most sacred obligations of 
Hindus and Mohammedans is to attend 
the funerals and strictly carry out the 
rites and ceremonies due to their de- 
parted. But the panic is now so great 
and universal that the unfortunate dead 
are utterly and entirely forsaken. The 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 257 

authorities have been compelled to import 
a small gang of Doms, the only caste (and 
they are the lowest of the low) who will 
handle the human dead. The corpses, often 
found with difficulty and in strange places 
and conditions, are put into hand-carts 
and, twice a day, morning and evening, 
officially cremated, without any religious 
rites or ceremonies, outside the city walls, 
Some of the stories of the sayings and 
doings of this panic-stricken people are 
wild and strange. Here is one proving 
their gullibility. A daring thief rattled 
the chain on the outer door of a house at 
midnight. A voice from within inquired 
' Who's there ? ' A deep bass voice, in 
a commanding, measured, and solemn tone, 
replied, ' Kholo, kholo ; main Taun hun ' 
(Open, open ; it is I, the Plague). There 
was no reply to that, but the back door 
was quietly opened and the inmates stole 
out of the house and spent the rest of the 
night under the hospitable branches of a 
tree. The next morning, feeling much 
braver in the daylight, they went back to 
take a peep into their home and the doings 
of Mr. Taun. He had gone. On entering 
they found that he had run off with all their 



258 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

belongings ! The man consoled himself 
and family by philosophically exclaiming, 
1 Mdl gayti to gayd. Jan to bachi khair ' 
(Our property has gone ; let it go. Our 
lives are spared it is well). 

The people believe that the Government 
is responsible for the plague, and is by 
every means insidiously spreading it. They 
are, therefore, suspicious of and resist all 
methods and measures for arresting and 
stamping it out. The average native's 
political theology (!) is summed up in 
four words : ' Upar Khuda> niche Sarkar ' 
(God above, the Government below). The 
Government, with its acts, laws, administra- 
tion, taxes, jail, and many other evils, is 
the nether millstone ; and ' between the 
two/ they say, ' we get ground, and none 
go out whole ! J 

God, to the Hindu, represents gods and 
demons innumerable, who are always at 
strife with him, and have continually and 
in every imaginable way to be propitiated 
and appeased. Small-pox is only the 
goddess Sitala Devi. Her head quarters 
are at Mantreshwa Kund, Ajudhiya, where 
prayers and offerings are made to her 
every Monday for deliverance from the 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 259 

scourge over which she presides. Yet, 
notwithstanding all the vigorous ' puja ' 
done to her, she is adding to the calamity 
of the plague by sending us small-pox. 
The Hindus are distracted at her conduct. 
We also have a place for a rather frivolous 
goddess, called Chhutki Devi, where, on the 
fourteenth day of any month, after paying 
her court and duly satisfying her demands, 
you spin round on your heels, snap your 
fingers, and attain all your desires. But 
neither this Devi nor, indeed, any other of 
the gods is doing much for the Hindus just 
now. When the plague first broke out 
the temples and shrines did a roaring trade. 
Offerings poured in and the ceaseless cry, 
as of old, went up, ' Baal ! hear us/ The 
plague first broke out in Ajudhiya ; in a 
very short time its normal population of 
20,000 went down to 5,000, and now I 
am told that there are hardly 4 3 ooo left. 
When plague was at its height I visited 
Ajudhiya and went to all the big temples. 
I am well known in them. I, only a 
Methodist missionary, was earnestly en- 
treated by the priests, in each temple I 
visited, to intercede on their behalf with 
the Government, firstly, to put an end to 



260 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

this plague and, secondly, to forbid the 
people running away and deserting their 
temples. ' It's very rough on you/ I 
said, ' very rough. Here are these fellows 
all bolting ; how do they expect the temples 
to be maintained and the poor priests to 
be fed ? ' ' Ah ! ' said the priests, ' the 
fear of the plague has driven all this out 
of them.' * But what about yourselves,' 
I said, ' and what about your gods ? What 
about that lesser goddess, Chhutki Devi 
(to say nothing of big and powerful ones, 
like Ram, Hanuman, Ganesh and Mahadeo) ? 
Why don't you make your offerings, spin 
merrily round on your heels, snap your 
fingers, and attain all your desires ? You 
tell the worshippers that is all they have 
to do. Why don't you do it ? ' ' Ah ! ' 
said they, ' we don't know what to make 
of the gods ; they neither hear nor do 
anything.' I got one of my best chances 
that day for preaching from the first and 
second Commandments, and was quietly 
and reverently listened to. 

A fortnight after this, on Thursday, March 
20, the Rev. Gregory Mantle, Padri, Mis- 
sioner, and Globe-trotter, arrived with 
all his luggage and a camera. He could 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 26l 

only stay about twenty-four hours. He 
arrived at 8.30 p.m. My first words of 
peaceful, friendly greeting, after I got him 
home, washed, dined, and in a comfortable 
chair, were ' Well ! You're a nice fellow ! 
You were to give me a week, and I was 
to have taken you all over my circuit, and 
shown you my village work, and the 
"Native at Home," under every aspect 
and condition of life. Think what you've 
lost ! ' He said he had been snowed up in 
Cashmere for ten days. My wife and I 
sat up with him, talking of the work in 
this circuit and our District, close on to 
midnight, and hearing from him all he had 
to say of his wanderings in this wonderful 
land. 

On Friday morning, early, he and I 
started off for Ajudhiya, that holy city of 
the Hindus, next in sacredness to Benares. 
As we drove through the Faizabad city 
and all the way to Ajudhiya I kept pointing 
out to him things that do, or should, interest 
a man who for the first time visits India. 
Sometimes I would stop the driver, that 
my guest might look at and inspect things 
more closely. Knowing that the best way 
for him to speak well and forcibly at home 



262 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

was to look closely at things and carry 
away mental pictures, I would stop and 
say, ' There now, look at that, and that, and 
just carefully observe this/ and when he 
had done so, I would say, ' Have you 
taken it in ? ' ' Yes.' * Then you have a 
good ten minutes' bak (talk) there, for 
Exeter Hall!' He would laugh, and we 
would go on again. I found him two good 
speeches, each forty minutes long, before 
we reached the gates, of Ajudhiya. I don't 
know which is more enjoyable, the wonder- 
ment and enjoyment which a really enthu- 
siastic globe-trotter (and Gregory Mantle 
is that) gets when things are properly 
shown and explained to him, or the enjoy- 
ment which the pointer-out gets in ob- 
serving the zest and wonderment displayed 
by his companion at the commonplace 
things which he has got tired of looking at. 
I filled in the intervals by magnifying the 
greatness and sacredness of the holy Ajud- 
hiya till Mr. Gregory Mantle began to feel 
what he would have lost by missing a 
visit to it ! Let us look at its sanctifying 
virtues. 

By this one visit Mr. Gregory Mantle 
purchased the salvation of all his ancestors. 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 263 

Through paying the fare for us both going 
there, he was assigned a passport to heaven 
with all his sons (and he has five, I believe) 
and grandsons (these have not been born 
yet, but the passport awaits them), I, 
therefore, let him pay the gari hire gladly. 
I have done it so often for fellows, during 
the last eighteen years, that all the Elliotts 
are passported to the end of time. I 
thought I would give G. M. a chance. 
And all for one rupee eight annas (two 
shillings only) ! It would have been 
positively wicked of me to have paid this 
trifle and deprived my guest of this blessing. 
Every step he took on his way to Ajudhiya 
had the efficacy of a horse sacrifice. To 
help a pilgrim there gave one a passage to 
the divine abodes in the chariots of the 
gods. To feed a hungry pilgrim is to reap 
the benefit of many oblations at Gya and 
ablutions at Pryag (Allahabad), and to earn 
for one's forefathers an eternity of happiness. 
To wash and anoint a pilgrim's feet would 
obtain for him all his desires in both worlds. 
The mere sight of Ajudhiya absolves from 
all trivial sins, but a visit to it atones for 
the most heinous. The waters of its sacred 
river, the Sarju (Ghogra), wash away all 



264 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

sin ; obeisance to it removes all worldly 
trouble. He who lives in Ajudhiya redeems 
his soul from the pains of transmigration ; 
a residence of a night rehabilitates a 
man who has been degraded in his caste. 
In short, out of the seven holy places in 
India that make up the body of Vishnu, 
the priests boast that Ajudhiya is the head. 
You may imagine, therefore, the exhila- 
ration of spirit with which Mr. Gregory 
Mantle entered this most sacred city of the 
Hindus, and followed me from temple to 
temple, and shrine to shrine, getting much 
pun (merit) by his visit, and more by pur- 
chasing with his own money grain to feed 
a great company of monkeys at the walls 
of the temple of Hanuman the god of 
the monkeys. We found the city empty 
and desolate of human beings, but the 
monkeys were all there. The people had 
fled, deserting their temples and gods. 
Indeed we found many of the temples 
closed. The priests were simply incon- 
solable. They said they had done their 
best and tried everything, but the gods 
were immovable, and the people shame- 
fully wicked to thus desert the place. We 
saw one of the priests, an hour before, 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 265 

lying meditating on a bed of spikes. I 
did my best to induce Mr. Gregory Mantle 
to sit fair and square on this with his legs 
off the ground, but he would not ; his 
weight was decidedly against him there ! 

While I am on with Ajudhiya I must 
say a word about the mela or Hindu 
religious fair. Ajudhiya is important 
because it is the birthplace of Ram. 
Twice in the year, April and November, 
from 300,000 to 400,000, and even more, 
Hindus come from long distances to 
attend these fairs, to bathe in the holy 
waters of the sacred Sarju, and to worship 
in the temples. The normal population 
of Ajudhiya is 20,000, and it is a place 
wholly given up to idolatry. It is full of 
temples, priests, beggars, monkeys, pariah 
dogs, and sacred bulls. The monkeys are 
the greatest nuisance of all. They wreck 
the tiled roofs of the poor people's homes, 
they plunder the stalls of shopkeepers and 
pillage the temples, but no one dare really 
hurt them. They are the offspring of 
Hanuman, and are therefore objects of 
worship and are fed by the temples and 
shopkeepers. There is a class of priests 
here who call themselves Hanumanputm 



266 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

(sons of Hanuman). An old Baptist 
preacherMr. McCumby, now dead, and a 
prince of Hindi out-door preachers was, 
on one occasion, preaching near the great 
Hanuman Garh temple, when one of these 
offsprings of Hanuman, a great, big, fat 
fellow besmeared with ashes, adorned with 
a cord of thick rope round his loins and 
his false hair done up in massive coils on 
his head, came up, with a great amount of 
'side' and bombast, and ordered us off 
from his holy temple gates, and made him- 
self a nuisance generally. We smiled ; 
McCumby was a consummate master in 
debate, and knew the Ramayan as few 
of them did. He soon engaged the holy man 
clothed in ashes and a rope in conversation, 
and got a considerable amount of fun out 
of him for the crowd by cross-questioning. 
Finally he said, ' Come here, my son.' 
The man came up to him, looking rather 
defiant, and we all wondered what was 
going to happen next. ' Who are you ? ' 
inquired Mr. McCumby, ' I am a Hanu- 
manputra/ said the man, swelling his 
chest with pride. Mr. McCumby stepped 
up to his side, and, passing his hand slowly 
down his back, opened his eyes in mock 




NEAR THE HANUIIAN GARH, AJUDHIYA. 




RETURNING FROM TSATHING, AJUDHIYA. 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 267 

astonishment, and exclaimed, c Are, laluwa 
ka punch nahin I ' (I say, the dear boy 
has lost his tail!). The effect on the 
crowd you can imagine. We had no more 
trouble from him. 

At mela-time we sent our tents out to 
Ajudhiya and lived, worked, and preached 
in their midst. The preaching occupied 
three hours at least in the morning and 
three in the evening. Numbers always 
came to the tent, and had private con- 
versation with us regarding Christ and 
Christianity. Of a few we were hopeful. 
One of the most impressive things at the 
mela was our native Christian service in 
front of our tents. The C.M.S. and we 
joined all in one. A ring of two or three 
hundred Hindus stood round us, silently 
observing the whole form of service, and 
amazed at its wonderful simplicity : no 
drums, no bells, no conch-shells, and, 
above all, no idol as a central object of 
worship ! They could not take it in. 
Several men gave in their names and the 
names of their villages, and said if ever 
any of our preachers came that way, they 
hoped they would call. 

It makes one intensely sad to contem- 



268 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

plate the small result following the amount 
of labour and money we put into these 
melas. Each mela costs about Rs. 35, 
and last November we threw sixteen 
preachers, four local preachers, and 
eight zanana teachers for work among 
the women, into it, and yet we get no 
visible results. It is one of the grandest 
opportunities we have in the whole year 
for addressing large and mixed Hindu 
audiences, and yet so little comes of it. 
Nothing less than a mighty outpouring 
of God's Spirit will convince this people 
of sin. They know not what sin really 
is ; they have no true conception of it ; 
hence they know not what true, real 
repentance is and Salvation i.e. deliver- 
ance from the guilt, condemnation, and 
power of sin. Mukti (the Hindus' salvation) 
takes none of these things into considera- 
tion. The preacher has yet to come, 
another John the Baptist, full of faith, 
love, and the Holy Ghost, to convince these 
people of sin. Then, and only then, will 
they cry out, ' How shall we be saved ? ' 
God speed that man's feet. 

To return to the story of my visit with 
Mr. Gregory Mantle. The most interesting 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 269 

feature of that morning's work was at a 
small monastery where an old abbot and 
four younger men of his order lived. 

The monastery was a very simple one. 
The walls were of mud, and low ; half the 
roof was tiled and the rest was of straw- 
thatch. We found the old man in. He is a 
personal friend of mine, and I do not know 
a better, more simple, straightforward 
religious man of his order anywhere. 

As we entered we saw a sight that 
somewhat astonished me and aroused my 
suspicions. It was a fine-looking, well- 
favoured, dignified little woman, appar- 
ently about twenty-one years of age, sitting 
with him. ' What's this, sir abbot ? ' I said. 
' This is a new departure. I have always 
known you and your order as a. brother- 
hood ; whence, then, this daughter of 
virtue in fakir garb ? Is this going to be 
a mixed order of yours in future ? ' 'Be 
seated, sirs/ he said, ' and let me shut 
the door against intrusion. I'm glad you 
have come. I do want to see you. I'll 
tell you the whole story.' 

So we entered. The door we went in 
at was truly native, about four feet six 
inches high. Mr. Gregory Mantle, who is 



270 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

not accustomed to ducking as he enters 
rooms, narrowly escaped a bruised and 
bumped head. 

The old man made the door fast and 
placed two mondhas (drum-like reed seats 
without backs) for us two. We virtually 
sat in the four corners of a small jutting 
verandah room, G. M. and I on the mond- 
has, the abbot on a spotted deer-skin, and 
the girl, Jamna Bai (daughter of the Jamna 
for that is her name) on a sacred mat of 
straw, called kush dshan. 

I repeated the question, ' Who is this 
daughter of virtue, and what is she doing 
in a small monastery occupied by an old 
abbot and four young disciples, brethren, 
like himself, of the Param Hans order the 
strictest order of ascetics ? ' 

' It's this way, sir,' he began ; ' she 
comes from a large village on the other 
side of the Ghogra. Both her parents are 
dead ; she was married early ; her husband, 
who was not kind or nice to her, is also dead. 
She is, therefore, both a widow and an 
orphan, and is not, as you imagine, twenty- 
one or twenty-two, but only eighteen. She 
is, however, quite a woman : very sensible, 
wise, strong-minded, and truly (as you 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 271 

have called her) a daughter of virtue. She 
is strongly and firmly set in her religious 
opinions, and is in many respects rather 
a remarkable woman. She can read Hindi 
a little, and I am teaching her more. She 
is an apt scholar. She is before you ; 
question her. She is as much yours as 
mine, for we are friends ; what's mine is 
yours.' And so, waving his hand over his 
little domicile, the old Hindu saint, with a 
low, polite bow, bringing his chin firmly 
down on his naked chest, said, ' Sab apahi 
kd hai ' (It's all yours). I returned his 
compliment by an equally low bow, and, 
with both arms outstretched, said, ' And 
all mine is yours, as you know.' With a 
fine smile breaking over his old, saintly, 
philosophical face, he said, ' Sab dp ki 
kripa hai' (It's all of your graciousness). 
' But,' asked I, ' how has she found a home 
and shelter in this monastery ? She has 
come to stay, has she not ? ' ' She has.' 
' Then,' said I, ' how has it all come 
about ? ' 

' Well,' said he, ' in the first place, the 
order to which I belong allows of marriage. 
The mother of one of our young men often 
stays here for weeks at a time and cooks 



272 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

for us all and attends to our wants and 
comforts ; you have seen her here, have 
you not ? ' ' Yes, I have. Has she come, 
then, to be your daughter ? ' ' She is as 
my daughter while she dwells under this 
roof. She is free to come and go ; she may 
leave when she likes. It is not for me 
to praise myself or interpret her mind 
and intentions. There she is; ask her/ 
' Daughter, you may speak out of your 
heart freely to him. He is a man of God : 
speak to him as you would to me ; you 
need have neither shame nor fear before 
him.' 

For the first time since we were seated 
she raised her eyes off her beads, which she 
had been slowly telling over by the silent 
movement of her lips in the mantra of ' Ram 
Ram, Sita Ram/ and looked me full in the 
face with her large black eyes a searching 
look and then cast them down on the 
mat again and went on telling her beads 
to the same old incantation of ' Ram Ram, 
Sita Ram.' To give her time and courage, 
the old abbot turned to Mr. Gregory Mantle 
and inquired of me who he was. G. M. 
was also dying to know what we were 
saying to each other. In five minutes I 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 273 

satisfied them both, and then, fixing my 
eyes on Jamna Bai, said to her, ' And tell 
me how you, a lone woman, came here for 
rest and shelter, and what keeps you here ; 
and then I will tell you who I am, what 
my religion is, and how I and the Mahant 
became friends/ 

That drew her. She sat up straight, with 
her hands and arms folded in her lap, 
looked up at me, and began to speak. ' All 
that the Idbaji (holy father) says is true. 
I am a Brahmani. I was betrothed when a 
child, and when a girl of eleven or twelve 
my gowna (sending-off) took place. My 
husband was a bad, wicked man ; he was 
very unkind to me. I used to come back 
and stay at my parents' house for months 
at a time. I had a son born to me when 
I was fifteen. My father died then ; and 
in the year following my husband, my child, 
and my mother. They all died of cholera. 
Many in our village died that year of this 
awful mar an (deadly disease). I was left 
sorrow-stricken, broken-hearted, and for- 
saken. I was in a perilous position, be- 
cause I was good-looking, young, and a 
woman. I was not brought up to work 
in the fields j labour I never did, beyond 

IS 



274 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

house work. My parents were gone, I had 
no protector, and I could not beg. I put 
in two awful years, righting against tempta- 
tions and evil men. I found I could only 
save and maintain my virtue and my 
womanhood by adopting the garb and life 
of a sadhni ' (a female ascetic), ' which, after 
my slender means had run out, I did. But 
as there are no monasteries for women, I 
found shelter first in one temple and then 
in another; but the wickedness and evil 
intentions of priests and devotees, as well 
as of rich and well-to-do Hindus who came 
as worshippers, drove me from temple to 
temple, and I found them all equally bad. 
sir ! men are wicked.' 

' Not all men/ I said. 

' Well, I don't know about you white 
men, but the black man, (the kdla admi} 
the Hindus, they are all bad, sir, and the 
temples are the worst shelters on earth for 
a young, well-favoured woman. God only 
knows how I have had to resist and fight 
my way through.' And then, her eyes 
flashing fire, and with a contemptuous toss 
of her head and a cynical curl of her lips, 
she clenched her fist tight and brought it 
down bang on her knee, exclaiming, ' And 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 275 

the worst men are the educated men ; the 
most unmitigated scoundrel of them all is 
the man educated in your English schools.' 

I tried to interpose, and show that 
education should make a man better, 
and not worse. ' It does so with us/ 
I said. 

She waved my answer off with a con- 
temptuous curve of her arm, and said : ' It 
may do so with you English people, but 
not with us natives . The uneducated that 
is, not-knowing-English nativeis a gentle- 
man, respecting his religion, his caste, and 
his women ; but your English-speaking 
man is a cad, a badmash (a man of vice) 
out-and-out. Don't talk to me about 
him. I know him I know him/ 

' Well, well/ I said, ' you have hit on 
some bad specimens.' 

' I have/ she said, ' very bad ones ; I 
want to see no more of them/ 

* Then how did you come here ? ' 

' Well, I fled from one place of refuge 
to another till I resolved in despair to come 
to the holy and sacred Ajudhiya, and while 
walking through its streets, before entering 
any temple, I came upon one of this brother- 
hood, lying full length on his ban sijja ' 



276 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

(spike bed). ' I felt at once, Here is a true 
mortification of the flesh.' (A man lying 
at full length on the ' business ends ' of 
three-inch nails fixed in rows into a solid 
board, four feet long and eighteen inches 
wide ! !) 'I went up to him, asked who 
he was ; and it ended in his bringing me 
here. Here I have been for the last two 
weeks, and here I mean to stay. The 
abbot is kind and good ; at last I have 
found rest for my weary feet and my worn 
spirit. And now, sir, tell me who you are, 
and what your religion is. The abbot has 
told me of your kindness to him, and of 
your friendship. I know that. I want 
most to know about your religion.' 

I bent forward, resting my folded arms 
on my knees, and talked earnestly to 
her for about twenty minutes. I put my 
discourse into this frame : Our religion, in 
brief, teaches us (i) That all men and 
women are sinners alike, and I showed her 
what this meant. (2) That God sent His 
Son Jesus Christ into the world to seek and 
to save the lost. (3) I showed very clearly 
what it was to be saved, or converted, and 
how we might know and be sure of it. 
(4) That when the Lord saved us, our 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 277 

business then was to love and serve Him 
and to try and save others, by bringing 
them to the Christ who saved us. (5) ' This 
Jesus is here now,' I said, ' and He wants 
to save you, and this abbot, and all 
Ajudhiya. You talk about finding rest for 
your feet and your worn spirit, but oh ! 
daughter of virtue, you know nothing yet 
of the true rest and peace, All you have 
found is a worldly shelter from evil men. 
True rest and peace you will only find when 
you repent and turn in loving trust to 
Him and say, " Take me as I am." ' 

Then, turning to the abbot, I said : ' Is 
all I say true or not ? What have you to 
object ? ' ' Not one word/ said he, ' not 
one word ; it's all true ; your's is a beauti- 
ful and true religion/ 

The girl sat bolt upright, her eyes fixed 
on the ground, listening with an indescrib- 
able earnestness. When I had finished she 
said : ' I never heard anything like this 
before. This is good, it is grand, it is so 
simple, it penetrates my heart. I want 
to ask you a question. If I wanted to 
become a disciple what would I have to 
do ? ' 'We would take you into our Con- 
verts' Home' (I told her what that was); 



278 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

' we would teach you. You would come to 
our place of worship, you might stay three 
or four weeks, and if you liked our ways 
and religion you could then stay on, or 
you could go. If you stayed we should 
make you a disciple, and teach you.' ' And 
then ? ' said she. ' And then we should 
educate you.' She brightened up here 
wonderfully, and wanted to know what the 
education would embrace. ' And then ? ' 
' And then,' said I, ' if the love of Christ 
burned in your heart, we would give you 
sufficient to live on ; you could give your 
life to winning souls. If ever you liked 
you could marry again, and as a married 
woman you could still work for Christ ; you 
would always be free.' She clasped her 
hands, and for the first time, with real 
girlish glee and a true thrill of joy in her 
tones, replied, ' This is fine ; this is a good 
and true religion. I'll think it all over 
and over. I hope you will come again. 
You must come again. Or may I come 
to you if you can't come to us ? ' 

I gave the old man an inquiring look. 
He said ' Take her. If she wishes to go 
I shall raise no difficulties ; for you will 
teach her far better than I can ever hope 



THE HINDU GODS AND THE PLAGUE 279 

to do, and she will be safer and better 
cared for.' 

' Before going/ I said, ' let me sing you 
a Hindi Christian lyric, which will embody 
the substance of much that I have just 
been saying about our religion.' 

I literally render it : 

Any sinner who conies to Jesus 

Jesus to him salvation gives. 
To Jesus Christ I will ever be coming, 

Jesus is my Saviour. 
Deep is that river (death) and old is the boat (the 

body), 

Jesus my Pilot will ferry me o'er. 
Lord of the humble, Brother of the lone ; 
Thou indeed, Lord, art the dispeller of sin. 
Keep this sinner (while living) under Thy sheltering 

care; 
In the hour of death, oh, remember him ! 

Chorus : Yishu Masih mero prdn bachaiyd, Yishu 
Masih. 

(Jesus Christ, Saviour of my soul, Jesus Christ.) 

This is one of the finest lyrics, or bhajans, 
in the book. It has a fine swing. I sang 
it slowly and distinctly, in low tones, for 
the room was small. The old man caught 
it up and, as each line of a bhajan is re- 
peated twice and the chorus comes in at 
the end of every second line, the old abbot 



280 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

soon got into it, and sang it with great 
fervour. 

* 

I brought Mr. Gregory Mantle in, dead 
beat, at 11.30 a.m. But it is wonderful what 
a good breakfast and a bath can do for a 
tired man, By 3 p.m. he was ready again. 
I^took him through the city, showing him 
first the sights, and then through the streets, 
showing him the people, and the shops, 
with the people at home and at work. He 
took a number of photographs . What most 
strongly impressed him, almost to awe, 
was the number of plague-stricken, deserted 
houses. In Reedganj nearly all the houses 
were forsaken, and across the doors where 
death had entered was printed on paper : 
' This is not to be opened or entered with- 
out orders,' and on the outside walls of 
other closed and forsaken houses was the 
blood-red sign of a rude cross. 

I finished up with Mr. Gregory Mantle 
at one o'clock in the morning, when I left 
him, in a very drooping condition, in 
an armchair of the railway waiting-room, 
to dream over the sights and sounds of 
the day. 



A FAREWELL VISIT 

LATE in October I took my wife out to 
Tanda to give her the last look at that 
corner of the circuit, previous to her de- 
parture home, on a forced leave of absence, 
for special medical treatment. 

We had a thirty-six mile run by rail to 
Akbarpur, which we reached about mid- 
night. We went to the Government rest- 
house. Early next morning we looked out 
and saw the results of the late heavy fall 
of rain, the heaviest since 1882. Stretching 
away before us, almost a mile in extent, 
was one vast sheet of water, a back-water 
from the overflow of the River Tonse. 
After breakfast I went to spend two hours 
in my boys' school, and had to cross this 
river. What a sight ! The stream that, 
in the hot season, is not more than thirty 
yards wide, in some places had become a 
mighty river, rushing headlong in terrible 
fury. The native boys of the town, especi- 

281 



282 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

ally the poorer ones, were making a great 
holiday of it . They were swimming, diving, 
and fishing. Scores of fishermen were cast- 
ing their nets in every imaginable place, 
and were quickly filling their earthen 
chatties with fish. Others were pulling big 
fish to land by hook and line. It was a 
great time for the town, but a bad time for 
the fish ! The mighty stream was bearing 
them along in thousands. To escape the 
mid-stream current they would swim into 
the quiet side-banks for rest and a 
meal, where they were captured in large 
numbers. 

When I got to our school, a hired one, 
I found that half of it had fallen hi, and 
we were holding school in the half that was 
still standing, and in another house lower 
down in a side street. The boys seemed 
to enjoy this diversion. Before I left, I 
got them all together in one long room, gave 
them a talk, and prayed. To have heard 
them all join in the Lord's Prayer, one 
might almost imagine it was a Christian 
boys' school. We have a peculiar custom 
here. We hold Sunday school on Saturday 
evening, as many boys come from villages 
two, and even three miles away. I called 



A FAREWELL VISIT 283 

on a number of people on my way back, 
and stopped at shops and spoke to people. 
Sometimes shopkeepers would call out to 
me, saying : ' Come here, Padri Sahib ; 
it's a long time since I saw you in my 
shop/ so I'd go in and have a bit of 
chat here and there, diffusing myself all 
along the street ! My wife was equally 
busy, first in the girls' orphanage, and 
then in examining her Mohammedan girls' 
school. 

At 3 p.m., after the morning's work and 
preaching was over, and just before tiffin 
(lunch), as I sat out in the verandah read- 
ing, I closed the book, just to have a good 
look out on the watery expanse we have 
had no such rainfall for the last twenty- 
one years. It was a mighty flood ; it was 
magnificent. 

I was attracted by a huge black object 
in the water, like a black rock, and what 
seemed like two boys playing on its surface. 
I went to prospect this new object ; and 
what do you think it was ? Why, two 
men bathing an elephant ! And they had 
their work cut out. For the benefit of the 
boys and girls I will just describe this 
process. A man sits on the elephant's neck 



284 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

and guides him into the water. When the 
elephant gets well into the water the man 
very soon slips off his neck and makes for 
the land, for the elephant wants to have 
a bit of sport all to himself, before the men 
take him in hand for his noonday bath 
and the elephant loves the water and his 
daily bath. He is nearly as bad as a 
bhainsa (water-buffalo) for rolling about 
in the water. He begins by sucking in 
gallons of water up his trunk, blowing it 
all over his body and back, and up into 
the air, and then he goes in for a swim, 
blowing the water all about him like a 
great whale. When the men think he has 
had enough fun on his own account, they 
order him back, and this huge monster, 
who could defy fifty men, turns and swims 
back at once, like a dear obedient child. 
Then one man mounts his neck and scrubs 
his head not with Pears' soap and a yard 
of flannel, but with a burnt brick. The 
other man sits on his back, and with 
another brick scrubs his back and great 
flanks. Then they bring him into still 
shallower water, about three or four feet 
deep, and make him lie on one side, and 
scrub every available part of his body with 



A FAREWELL VISIT 285 

the bricks ; then they tell him to turn 
over, and the great beast rolls over obedi- 
ently on to the other side ; and when that 
is done, they make him stand up and scrub 
his great legs and his pendulum tail. And 
oh ! how the animal enjoys this scrubbing 
with a brick ! He would let them do it all 
day if they would. Then the two mount, 
one on the neck and the other fair in the 
middle of the little hump on his back, and 
let him go out for a swim. Away, and 
away, and away they go ; gradually the 
elephant sinks deeper and deeper into the 
water, till you see nothing but the top of 
his great, big, round head, and he blows 
out water, and trumpets from his trunk. 
Elephant and men are all now having a good 
time together. Boys and girls, if ever you 
get the chance, stop and see an elephant 
get his bath and his swim. I'll promise, 
you will enjoy it. 

Late in the afternoon we had a gathering 
of all the Christians at Akbarpur. We met 
in the Orphanage. After divine service we 
partook of the Lord's Supper, and then 
gathered together in the big enclosure and 
had a long talk. It 's always a good time for 
them to see their Padri Sahib, or minister. 



286 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

There is a lot to ask and much to talk about. 
They want to know all that is going on in 
Faizabad and other parts of the circuit. 

After this was over some people from the 
town came to see me. We then we men 
adjourned to a place outside under the 
mango-trees and talked away till the shades 
of evening gathered round us. My wife 
and I then went off to the rest-house, with 
the many happy voices of the orphans 
ringing out in the evening air. It is a 
model Orphanage, this . We now have thirty- 
five girls in it and about six old women. 
Everything about the place is neat and 
spotlessly clean. The girls look so bright 
and happy that one finds it hard to realize 
that, a few years ago, they came to us 
almost dying of starvation, utterly ignorant, 
and very phantoms of misery and despair. 
They now are the picture of robust health ; 
they read and write their own language, 
many fluently ; they each have their Bible 
and hymn-book, of which they have a good 
knowledge, for children. Some are doing 
the compound rules in arithmetic. I have 
seen them all squatted on the floor, with 
a Singer's sewing-machine in the midst, 
laughing, chatting, calling out and sewing 



A FAREWELL VISIT 287 

away, making their own garments ; one 
calling on another, ' Oh, show me how to 
cut out this.' A wee mite, almost weeping, 
' Please thread my needle.' Another, ' This 
does not sit properly.' They don't say 
' This does not fit ' in India, but ' This does 
not sit.' Some of the girls are now doing 
beautiful drawn-thread work. They cut 
out and make all their clothes. No outside 
help of any kind is given them. But to 
see them romping and at play, to listen 
to their happy, merry voices, and, above 
all, to hear them singing and praising God, 
makes one feel how much Mrs. Rolston, 
the Orphanage, and Christianity have done 
for these girls, who came to us in the great 
famine with not only physical life, but 
almost all mental and spiritual instincts 
starved and crushed out of them. 

The famine is now a thing of the past ; 
people gave then and gave grandly, but 
think now, ' We're done with the famine.' 
But we out here are not. These girls have 
still to be provided for and put out into 
the world. I often wish a downright 
wealthy globe-trotter, with sympathies com- 
mensurate with his wealth, would but pop 
into this Orphanage and see and hear all 



288 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

our wants ! But this is wishing for what 
one will never get, like the poor native 
woman who wished that she could live by 
eating just once a week, 

After dinner I could not resist the desire 
of going out once again by the water's edge. 
It was a lovely scene ; the moon was out 
and at her best, and the vast expanse of 
water, with the moon shining down on it, 
was like a fairy looking-glass. It was so 
quiet and peaceful, with just the splashing 
of frogs and fishes, and the rippling, run- 
ning water, to break the stillness of the 
night. Every now and again some angry 
plovers would fly overhead, shrieking out, 
' Did you do it, did you do it ? ' and I'd 
look up at them and say, ' Did I do what, 
you silly, noisy birds, disturbing the quiet 
of this beautiful night and one's meditation 
by the peaceful banks of this delightful 
back-water ? ' It was quite time to go to 
bed when I got back. 

Early next morning Brother Spencer 
drove up in his famous karakal. It is really 
an elongated box, on two wheels, with a 
pair of shafts and a perfect little demon 
of a pony inside of them. He bites, he 
kicks, he jibs there isn't a pony vice that 



A FAREWELL VISIT 289 

he does not excel in. But once fairly in 
the shafts, and started, he goes his ten 
miles an hour, pulling and tossing his head 
in a style that is grand to behold. ' I bear 
with him/ says Spencer, ' for the one virtue 
which he possesses, with many vices that 
he is a grand goer, and would go till he 
dropped, without a touch of the whip/ At 
each of the four corners of the karakal is a 
rough, round pole, on which is a boarded 
top, over which is thrown a large double 
sheet of red cloth, which is rolled up or 
put down according to the state of the 
weather and. the position of the blazing 
sun. If it rains and it does rain in India 
(cats and dogs, some say !) the curtains 
are dropped all round, and the inmates are 
like caged native song-birds, with a double 
cloth over the cage. It is then a thorough- 
going, respectable, safe and sound parda 
nashin (curtained) conveyance. The driver 
sits on a nine-inch projecting board, and 
has to manfully face sun, rain, and every- 
thing else. The inside seats two com- 
fortably, and four at a pinch. 

Into this we climbed and off we started, 
at 7 a.m., for Tanda. It is a twelve-miles' 
drive, on a perfect, well-macadamized road, 

19 



2QO . PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

such as an English cyclist would love. 
Half-way is a resting-place, where there is 
a fine well, ten feet in diameter, with a 
magnificent pipal-tree (Ficus religiosus) 
growing out of the sides of the well. I 
doubt not that its tap-roots are at the 
bottom of that well. 

True to the conditions of India, there is 
also an old fakir there, ' a very holy man,' 
so the natives say, but he always blesses 
the well-to-do passers-by in such loud and 
officious tones, that to me it seemed as 
if his theological training was acquired 
at a municipal octroi post ! However, I 
chummed up to him, gave him a couple 
of coppers, and got all the people at the 
well (about a score or so) around me. 
The saint earnestly recommended me to 
them, by virtue of the two coppers which 
I had given him, and so I had fifteen 
minutes' .good talk with them, while the 
pony rested. The answer to the three 
stock questions that one meets everywhere 
in the villages, namely, ' Who are you ? 
Where are you going ? and What will you 
do there ? ' will always supply one with 
a text wherewith to start a discourse. 

When we arrived at Tanda, and at 



A FAREWELL VISIT 2QI 

Brother Spencer's house, we found quite 
a big gathering of native Christians, Every 
man, woman, and child had come in from 
all the countryside around. One woman 
had walked over sixteen miles, and waded 
at one place through a great wide nalla 
(ditch) up to her shoulders in water. 

* Maharajin ! ' I said, after she had 
related the amusing (and serious) adven- 
tures of that long and trying journey for a 
woman, when the country was all in flood, 
' you are a foolish woman to have attempted 
such a journey. ' Laughing, and pointing 
to my wife, she said, ' I came to see her. 
Oh! think how much she has done for me 
and my only child, my girl Sirtaji. And 
she is going to England sick, and I thought 
I may never see my Mem Sahiba's face 
again, so whatever it costs, and at all risks, 
I will take this one last chance of seeing 
her before she goes to England.' 

And truly this woman had something to 
be grateful for. During my twenty years 
of missionary life and work in Faizabad, 
I have baptized a good many Brahmins, 
men and women ; perhaps none of them 
have given me more worry and trouble than 
this woman, and I know of none who have 



292 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAI2ABAD 

turned out more satisfactory in the end. 
In that awful famine of 1897, one Sunday 
afternoon about 5 p.m., while I had my 
1 stew-pan ' (sermon preparation) on, and 
was watching it closely, I heard a piteous 
cry outside my study door : ' For the sake 
of the Great God (Permeshwar) have pity, 
have compassion on me. I'm a poor for- 
saken Brahmin woman. Oh ! help me, 
and great merit and reward will come to 
you.' 

Very reluctantly, I went out. There she 
sat on the gravel pathway, with a wee 
baby, only five days old, in her arms, and 
a bright-eyed girl, wasted and worn, of six 
Indian summers, looking so terrified, by her 
side, to whom she had to say, ' Don't be 
afraid my child, he's a sahib (European 
gentleman) ; he won't harm you, my girl ; 
he won't harm you.' ' Well, what is it, my 
woman? Why have you come ?' With one 
arm holding the baby to her breast and 
stretching out the other, she said, ' See, I 
am wasted to the bone. I'm dying of 
hunger ; take pity on us three j we have 
absolutely no one in the whole wide world 
to go to . I am homeless, and friendless too . 
Apne dewta ke kMtri, moh par diyd kar ' 



A FAREWELL VISIT 2Q3 

(For the sake of the God that you worship, 
have mercy on me). 

I was deeply touched ; my Irish heart of 
pity was moved to its very depths. I went 
in, got out four annas (a sixpence) and gave 
it to her, and said, ' Here, take this ; it will 
feed you well till to-morrow morning ; come 
to me then. I'm very busy just now and 
can't talk more with you.' With some effort 
this poor Brahmin woman and mother got 
up, went round the corner of the house 
blessing me, and also the British Govern- 
ment (!) for such fine specimens of generous 
men in its rdj (Government), and praying 
that our rdj and race might abide for ever- 
more ! and as a pious Brahmin, no doubt, 
she believed that her gods heard, and would, 
in some remarkable way, answer that 
prayer. The greatest act of merit is to do 
good to a Brahmin, and a Brahmin's prayer 
stands at the very head of all heavenly 
intercessions. 

My wife heard that something was going 
on, and as the woman passed her bedroom 
door something in the faint tones of her 
voice, and the cry of the infant at her 
breast, caught her ear and she came out, 
saw the woman, and soon brought her into 



294 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FA1ZABAD 

her bedroom and bade her sit down and tell 
her story. It was a short but very sad one. 
Of good family, married to a fairly well-to- 
do man, who died of cholera before the 
famine, turned out ruthlessly by her mother- 
in-law, she soon spent all she had. Then 
the deep shades of the awful famine fell on 
her, and she who had never known want 
began to beg; but times were hard, and 
even Brahmins often begged in vain. She 
sold first her few utensils, then the few 
simple silver ornaments she possessed, and 
finally bedding and clothing. All she had 
in the world when she came to us was a 
sdri (a long piece of cloth which serves for 
both coat and skirt), six or seven yards of 
which she wound round her person and 
threw over her shoulder ; the little girl 
had a small sari of coarsest material, suit- 
able to her size, not one inch too long ; 
and the baby, I believe, had nothing but 
shelter in the mother's bosom. A devout 
Hindu in Fathganj, Faizabad, distributed 
grain morning and evening to the hungry 
and starving ones. She lived on this for 
a fewjiays, 

On the fifth day greater trouble was in 
store for her. She went out of the city 



A FAREWELL VISIT 2Q5 

with her girl of six, into the quietest place 
she could find, and there; in a natta, gave 
birth to a daughter. She sent her girl, 
Sirtaji, into a small hamlet near by, and 
told her to go to every house, if -neces- 
sary, and describe her mother's pitiable 
condition, and say she was a Brahmin, and 
get any help she could. A poor Hindu and 
his wife came out to her and took her to 
their home, but she had to walk every foot 
of the way. They kept her four days, and 
gave her such rough-and-ready medical aid 
as the poorest of the poor do get on such 
occasions. 

On the fifth day he said to her, ' Now we 
can't keep you another day, for we are very 
poor, and times are hard.' * Where am I 
to go, and what am I to do ? I am starved 
and weak, I cannot stand or walk ; and then 
there is this baby besides/ The man said, 
' There is one who can and will help ; I know 
of him, he is kind and merciful. He is 
the missionary here ; his house is directly 
in front of the post office. Ask at the 
post office for Padri Elliott Sahib. Every- 
one knows him.' And that is how she 
came to us. 

My wife said, ' This woman must stay ; 



296 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

she is not fit to move about/ She gave her 
a house in the compound ; tended her for a 
week till she got strong. Then the baby 
died. The mother took it away to the 
banks of the river Sarju, scooped a hole in 
the sand, and buried it. She came back. 
We kept her a fortnight, fed her up, gave 
her a new change of garments for herself and 
daughter and the offer of some money, and 
said, ' Now you are strong and set up, you 
may go.' 'No,' said she, 'where shall I 
go ? Your dharma (religion) is the best in 
the world, it's zdharma of love and kindness. 
Take me into your dharma. I will not leave 
you. Give me work and food, and make 
me one with you.' 

We took her into our Converts' Home 
and put her girl into the Boarding-school. 
She was a bright, clever woman, and soon 
could read Hindi and Roman-Urdu. In 
time she was baptized, and after a few 
years began to take the gospel into the 
Hindu homes of Faizabad. But she had 
an awful temper, and was of a most quarrel- 
some disposition, and in consequence gave 
us no end of trouble, once or twice leaving 
us, saying she would beg but never come 
back to us and, of course, we were the 




ZANANA MISSION-HOUSE, FAIZABAD. 




GIRLS' BOARDING-SCHOOL, FAIZABAD. 



A FAREWELL VISIT 2Q7 

most hard-hearted and worst people in the 
whole world, because we would not have 
her kicking up a row in the compound and 
disturbing the peace and quiet of the place. 
She always came back inside the twenty- 
four hours, feeling very hungry and re- 
signed. Finally, at a special service, the 
woman was completely broken down and 
truly converted to God. She has been a 
new woman ever since . She is now married 
to one of my village evangelists, himself 
a converted Brahmin. Her girl, Sirtaji, 
about thirteen, is one of the brightest and 
nicest girls in our school, and truly con- 
verted to God. She is in the fifth standard, 
and is learning three languages Urdu, 
Hindi, and English: she will by-and-by 
make a good teacher in the school. 

I tell you this one story somewhat at 
length ; but what mission station is there 
that cannot relate many, many such stories 
of Hindus and Mohammedans saved in a 
time of great extremity, trained and dis- 
ciplined under many and great disadvan- 
tages, who ultimately have turned out not 
only good Christians but good and faithful 
workers, full of gratitude and love to those 
who have^saved them and under many and 



298 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

great difficulties have borne with them 
and not forsaken them ? Had not Maha- 
rajin, then, something to be grateful for ? 
and was it wonderful that her love for this 
English woman took her wading through 
dangerous waters, just once to see the face 
of the Mem Sahiba, who was so much to her 
because of all she had, under God, done for 
her and her only child ? 

There were others there, too, who owed 
much to God and Methodism* We had a 
large gathering at the 4 p.m. service. I 
baptized two children after the service, 
induced the people to talk, and held what 
might be called an open free-and-easy 
Methodist class-meeting, leaving it largely 
in my wife's hands, for I knew they all 
wanted to talk to her, and not to me. I 
had spent the day first in examining our 
Anglo-Vernacular School, then in visiting 
some people > 

The next morning early we drove to 
Ilfatganj , eight miles distant. There during 
the year we had put up a preacher's house 
at a cost of Rs. 380 (about Rs. 80 of this 
went in the site and purchase of a small 
broken-down house that stood on it). As 
soon as we arrived the people began to 



A FAREWELL VISIT 299 

gather. Paul and Polly are our workers 
here. Paul is a qualified Government corn- 
pounder. After his conversion he gave up 
compounding and turned to Christian work, 
and is now one of my village evangelists. 
Paul's knowledge of compounding comes in 
most useful. I only wish some one would 
give the Rs. 20 or Rs. 25 wherewith to set 
him up in a few simple medicines. When 
a man can combine medical work with 
his preaching it gives him a great power, 
especially over the poor people, and Paul 
could do a lot of good with a few simple 
medicines and ointments. 

The women simply crowded into the 
house to see the Mem Sahiba, or white 
woman. Not only the house, but a small 
courtyard was filled. They listened with 
feelings akin to wonderment at this English 
woman, talking to them fluently and with 
good accent in their own language* If 
my wife is nothing else, she is kind and 
very sympathetic. So she soon won their 
confidence, and they drew closer to her. 
She talked and sang Christian hymns and 
bhajans to them : she let them talk, and 
ask questions, and answered them* When 
the women were told by Polly (that is, 



300 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Mrs. Paul) that Mem Sahiba was going 
home to England, they drew near to her, 
and some touched her with their hands and 
then touched their bodies, the idea being 
of taking a blessing out of her before her 
departure and transferring it to themselves. 
But just imagine, if you can, Mohammedan 
women looking on an English woman as 
a saint ! and so much of a saint as to be 
able to transmit a blessing to them. 

Polly is a grand, good, hardworking little 
woman. She and her husband have won 
the respect, the love and confidence of 
the people in and round Ilfatganj. I am 
hoping for some results soon in this centre 
of Christian work and influence. 

While my wife and Polly were busy 
inside, I was at work outside with a big 
congregation of quite 280 persons of all 
castes and creeds. We sat under the shade 
of a big nim-tree and a grass-thatch com- 
bined. I had a grand time with them. 
One Mohammedan gentleman who was in 
that audience, and who means to live and 
die a Mohammedan, at present is so deeply 
impressed with the reality and goodness of 
our work that he has put himself down as 
an annual subscriber of Rs. 5 to the Mission, 



A FAREWELL VISIT 301 

and only a few months ago sent me his 
second year's subscription. 

We then went and spent nearly an hour 
in the Government Vernacular Boys' School. 
This brought us in contact- with the boys 
of the place. As we drove off in our trap 
they cheered us. So we had a good re- 
ception from the folks of Ilfatganj, and a 
downright jolly roll off from the schoolboys 
of the place. 

Now, if all this means no more, it means 
at least this one thing that we have won 
the people's hearts and confidence, and 
surely that is the first step to further 
progress, and even better results. They 
know what we are there for, our object is 
not hid from them, and yet they trust and 
respect us, and there is no hostility now 
of any kind. 



MISSIONARY RECREATIONS 

THE Faizabad Home Mission on the 
( rampage ' \ Perhaps it would be more 
correct, and more respectful to so august 
a body, to say ' on the spree.' 

Our Home Mission was a success at 
its initiation, and ever since has grown 
in popularity and favour with our Eng- 
lish church. Our English and Hindustani 
churches have taken up a village centre 
and are paying all its expenses. God has 
so blessed them with a spirit of liberality 
that we get from the two churches over 
Rs. 50 a month, and have taken up a 
second centre. 

Now, in order to give our English church, 
and especially our soldier brethren, who are 
large subscribers to this Home Mission, an 
idea of the kind of work that was being 
carried on, we determined to have a big 
1 Home Mission Picnic.' All subscribers 
were free, all interested could come by 

302 



MISSIONARY RECREATIONS 303 

paying eight annas. All would have to 
make their own arrangements for getting 
there, The place we resolved to go to was 
Sohawal, ten miles distant from Faizabad, 
the second station opened by the Home 
Mission. An officer and his wife, the 
Sergeant-Major and his wife, the school- 
mistress, twenty-five men of the Royal 
Irish Rifles, and twelve from the battery, 
represented the military. Then there were 
the leading members and the committee 
of the fund belonging to the Hindustani 
church. 

Fifteen or more met at my house, and 
we all rode out on bikes ; the rest went by 
train. All along the road villagers and 
passengers turned out and stopped to gaze 
at the long line of bikes. Kd hoi, kd hoi, 
was the one great word of astonishment 
from every mouth. We arranged this 
picnic on a market-day. We all, numbering 
about forty-five, turned up at the market 
a * 3-30 p.m, Oh ! how the natves stared 
at the long array of bikes ! Kd hoi, kd hoi, 
still kd hoi. All along the way Kd hoi, 
right up to the preaching-place, still Ka 
hoi (What is it ?) 

We started the Tommies singing, in 



304 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

English, a few of Sankey's hymns. Oh ! 
how this drew the natives from the market ! 
They did not know a word of what was 
sung. All the better for that, the more 
came; and thirty soldiers let loose on a 
popular ' Sankey,' with the word of com- 
mand ' Sing up, men ! ' is something to 
draw an Indian crowd anywhere. Two 
Hindustani brethren preached, with a hymn 
in between, and then I preached. We had 
a grand time in that open market along 
the street of the village. ' Now,' I said 
to the soldiers, ' There, that's how we do 
the open-air preaching.' We all went 
round, and viewed every man's little shop 
on the roadside, and between us all we left 
some money behind. One poor chap cried 
out, ' God bless you all. God give you long 
life. Oh that you would come every week ! 
I have sold more here to one sahib in five 
minutes than I generally sell in the whole 
day.' 

We then went off and had tea under a 
big tope of trees. After that some went 
and viewed a Hindu temple ; some ex- 
amined the Government Boys' School. At 
6.30 we had a grand magic-lantern service. 
If there was one man present there were 



MISSIONARY RECREATIONS 305 

700 some natives said 1,000. We had the 
elite of the town Mohammedans and 
Hindus and had a good time. We were 
all back in cantonments by 8.30 p.m. 
It has been a grand lift for our Home 
Mission, and the Tommies are immensely 
pleased. One said, ' Well, this is God's 
work in deed and truth.' The officer, the 
next day, sent us Rs. 10 as a donation. 



A CIRCUIT CONVENTION 

A FEW years ago we started an annual 
convention in this circuit, to which we 
invited all our members from the out- 
stations. The spiritual advantages of such 
a convention are apparent. In the first 
place, many of the preachers and their wives 
and children are so situated that, if it were 
not for a convention like this, they would 
not see the inside of a place of worship, nor 
mingle their voice in prayer and praise with 
a Christian congregation the whole year 
round. They live and work in village 
centres, in the midst of Mohammedan and 
Hindu populations. They have no Chris- 
tian church, no Christian community, but 
are alone all the year round. I wonder 
sometimes how they hold on, and hold out. 
I wonder they don't leave, for they are all 
good men, and the majority of them could 
do as well, and better, and get places in 

306 



A CIRCUIT CONVENTION 307 

towns and cities, where missionaries can 
always take good men. The best way I 
find to put heart into them is for the 
missionary to go and see them when he 
can, and cheer the poor fellows up. Then, 
secondly, these yearly conventions act as 
a great stimulus. They bring us all to- 
gether in the bonds of Christian fellowship. 
Apart from the spiritual good these folks 
get, it is a week's outing for them, a grand 
outing and they need it. Thus once in 
a year, they all come in; they see every 
one. Fathers and mothers, in some cases, 
see their girls in the Boarding-school their 
joy is full. Then they get into the circuit 
town, the city of Faizabad, and make their 
special purchases for the year. They see 
the old chapel, they join for the first time 
in the year in worship with a Christian 
congregation. Thus they who daily preach 
the gospel in the villages round them, hear 
it for the first time in the year themselves. 
The convention is, therefore, a necessity. 
But the worst of it is, that it is the most 
expensive of necessities. Every individual's 
expenses to and fro have to be paid, by 
rail and by cart ; when they come in, they 
have to be housed or tented, and there are 



308 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

sundry other expenses connected with the 
convention. 

We so arrange that the convention is 
just over before the Ajudhiya mela starts. 
And so we have a third reason for holding 
this annual convention. It enables us to 
throw the whole preaching force of the 
circuit, male and female, into this great 
annual Hindu fair ; and, at the convention 
we all get a blessing and a fresh baptism 
of spiritual power, which better fits us for 
the great work and responsibility of preach- 
ing the gospel to the vast multitudes of 
Hindus of every caste and various shades 
of thought and social standing who frequent 
the mela. Indeed, I feel as the years roll 
on, and after over twenty years of ex- 
perience and preaching at these Hindu 
melas at Ajudhiya, that the only chance 
the gospel has here, in these dense multi- 
tudes, of winning its way, and proving 
itself to be ' the power of God to the salva- 
tion of men,' is for it to be proclaimed, 
preached, and sung by men and women who 
themselves have experienced it, and who 
feel, as they preach the gospel, that it is 
to them the power of God in their souls. 

The duration of the convention is not 



A CIRCUIT CONVENTION 309 

more than four days. We begin by an 
early meeting at 8 a.m. At 2.30 p.m. we 
have a workers' meeting, which I leave en- 
tirely in their hands. The speaker is allowed 
twenty minutes for himself ; sometimes 
we have two short addresses, but in this 
meeting an opportunity is given to these 
village preachers to talk about their work 
and its difficulties, and to ask each other 
questions. There is much ' go ' and origi- 
nality about this meeting. 

The big meeting is at 6.30 p.m. The 
Hindustanis are very much like us in this, 
that they enjoy an evening service with 
lighted lamps best. At the last convention, 
in November, 1903, the chapel used to be 
quite packed at these evening meetings. 
It was a time of heart-searching and 
spiritual revival for us all. 

Our method first was to get backsliders 
restored. This is not an easy matter. A 
backslider is very shy about coming out 
and admitting that he has backslidden. 
Secondly, I wanted every Christian to have 
a clear evidence of his acceptance before 
God ; or, in other words, to know that he had 
passed from death unto life, because * the 
Spirit bore witness with his spirit that he 



310 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

was a child of God/ It was quite touching 
to hear the experiences, especially of women 
and girls, which often ran thus : ' I gave my 
heart to God long ago, and I feel I am a 
Christian, and I do love Christ, and read my 
Bible, and pray every day, but don't know 
quite how (kya jane kaisa) I have lost my 
peace and my zeal (sargarmi), and my 
religion is not to me what it should be.' 
Or it ran on these lines with some : * I am 
a Christian : I know I am a Christian ; but 
I can't say that I have this witness of the 
Spirit, this absolute knowledge of accept- 
ance and the resultant peace and tran- 
quillity of heart and mind that the Padri 
Sahib enforces on us and says is our haqq, 
or " divine right." All is in the covenant 
grant of the great salvation of God through 
Jesus Christ.' There was yet another class, 
of more painful experience, which ran on 
these two lines : either ' I was converted 
last convention. I know I was. I gave my 
heart to Christ, but oh, I fell away, and now 
I am kuchh nahin ' (absolutely nothing) ; or 
' Men "bun halat hai ' (My condition is indeed 
bad). ' I give my heart to Christ, and then 
I fall and rise again, and go on, up and 
down, falling and getting up, repenting and 



A CIRCUIT CONVENTION 311 

sinning.' Now this latter experience is 
more general than one would wish, and 
what all seem to want is a religion of 
stickitiveness to get converted, to stick 
to it, and to go on growing in grace ; to be 
rooted and grounded and established, and 
to know more and more of the grace and the 
love of God. I did my best to bring this 
point home. In all, twenty-five came out 
and professed to obtain the blessing they 
sought, and many younger ones came out 
and promised to give themselves to God. 

The last day we had a grand missionary 
meeting. After a short address, I threw 
the meeting open for all workers to state, 
as briefly as possible, encouraging features 
in their work. This was perhaps the best 
meeting of all. It was a real old Methodist 
lovefeast without the bread and water 
(which does not seem to go down out 
here), and brought to us all refreshment 
and strength for the sterner duties of 
the morrow. 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 

IN the middle of August I was called 
away by the Chairman to take charge 
of our English work at Ranikhet. This 
station is the centre of a large military 
sanatorium, which lies in the form of a 
rough triangle. Chaubattia, at one corner, 
is about 7,000 feet high. Ranikhet, 6,000 
feet high, begins at the quaint old temple 
of Jhula Devi, near which is the Garrison 
Class of Instruction, and stretches away 
beyond Kumpur to a distance, I should 
judge, of almost four miles. The Standing 
Camp, called by the natives Doolikhet, drops 
down a few hundred feet below, forming 
the apex of the large triangle, 

At Chaubattia there is a regiment of 
European infantry and a fine double- 
storied hospital, Government contem- 
plates more buildings here and a further 
extension of the garrison. 

At Ranikhet there is a full regiment 

312 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 313 

of Europeans, and two or three small 
depots. All the military offices, public 
buildings, and places of business are cen- 
trally located here. But the place is 
purely military. The public garden, the 
club, and the somewhat restricted parade- 
ground are the three centres of recreation 
and sport, 

At Doolikhet, the Standing Camp, there 
is a European regiment and a small depot. 
Here also further extensions are contem- 
plated. Everything, therefore, points to 
Ranikhet expanding, and becoming an in- 
creasingly important military command. 
All that now remains to be decided is, 
* Will it be the summer headquarters of the 
Bengal command ? ' In any case, it will 
always be a large and important military 
centre, The barracks, married quarters, 
and all other military buildings are of the 
most modern type, and well and expensively 
constructed. The Church of England has a 
good church at each of the three centres. 
Next April it is hoped that a perfect and 
ample waterworks scheme will be in full 
working order. All that will then remain 
is electric lighting. 

We have a mission-house and church in 



314 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Ranikhet. The church we purchased from 
the London Mission. It is over thirty years 
old, and badly needs overhauling . It wants 
a thousand, if not fifteen hundred, rupees 
spending on it, and first of all re-roofing. 
But the rule of retrenchment is, ' Wait 
until it comes tumbling down about your 
ears; then prepare a plan and estimates, 
send these to England, get the Committee's 
sanction, then raise the money and do 
what is needful, taking great care not to 
exceed the estimates.' 

The chapel is perfectly situated on the 
spur of a hill, surrounded by quite a little 
forest of beautiful pines. It is so con- 
structed as easily to admit of enlargement, 
and at present comfortably seats one 
hundred and fifty. Last year we raised 
locally over three hundred rupees and have 
got in a splendid set of new lamps and 
made other necessary improvements in the 
furniture. The church is now beautifully 
lighted, and looks quite bright and homely, 
and draws many. The singing well, it is 
loud and hearty, and is one of the most 
attractive features of our services up there. 
To hear that chapelful of soldiers sing 
' All hail the power of Jesus' name,' ' There 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 315 

is a fountain filled with blood/ ' What 
can wash away my sins ? Nothing but 
the blood of Jesus/ stirs one's heart and 
soul to the very depths. Few things draw 
men into a place of worship and so lay hold 
of them as hearty congregational singing. 
Our singing drew many a one in from the 
mountain-side, and folks have stood on the 
road and listened with delight. The last 
three Sundays of my stay the chapel was 
packed. 

I am also glad to be able to say that 
the Lord has greatly blessed our Sunday 
evening service. During the eight weeks 
many gave their hearts to God. The 
last of these services was a grand time, 
I preached from the words, ' I am not 
ashamed of the gospel : for it is the power 
of God unto salvation to every one that 
believeth ' (Rom. i. 16). We had a glorious 
prayer-meeting at the close. Four came 
out and gave their hearts to God, and one 
backslider was restored. The Monday fol- 
lowing, a man met me with a salute, and 
exclaimed, ' Romans i. 16, sir. Glory to 
God ! ' The collections, too, were well up, 
one Sunday amounting to Rs. 23. 

The Misses Bewes have a very fine 



3l6 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Soldiers' Home at Ranikhet in good working 
order. I do not know of a home any- 
where conducted on sounder principles and 
better managed. Once a fortnight I gave 
them a missionary meeting in this Home. 
The men turned up in grand style to these 
missionary meetings, and during the in- 
tervals between one meeting and the next 
put contributions into a missionary box, 
extemporized out of one of Lipton's tea 
boxes. 

From this Lipton's tea missionary box 
I received three donations during the eight 
weeks viz. Rs. 15-14, 19-3, and 30-10, 
(over 4 in all) for mission work at Faiza- 
bad. The Monday before I left I went up to 
Chaubattia to say 'good-bye' to as many as 
I could. While I was passing by the small 
prayer-room, a man rushed out and said, 
* I have got something for you, sir, if you'll 
wait a few minutes.' He darted off along 
the road and then up a steep hillside to 
his tent, and came back almost breathless 
after the run and the climb, and said, 
' There, sir ; just a few of us chaps who 
attend our small prayer-room up here have 
put in what we could at odd times into 
this tin box for your mission work at 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 317 

Faizabad. We have heard your missionary 
addresses in the tent at Ranikhet, and 
knew that the men there had been putting 
into a missionary box, and we thought we 
would start one in our prayer-room here.' 
When I opened it it contained, in small 
bits and copper, Rs. 5-9 (about seven shil- 
lings). The sides of the Lipton's tea box were 
covered over with white paper, on which 
were written such texts as Matt, xxviii. 19. 
It was most gratifying to see and feel 
the missionary zeal and enthusiasm of the 
soldiers up there. Numbers of them used 
to see me and ask me questions about the 
work, and showed the deepest interest in 
it. One man came to me one day with a 
stamp-album, in which he had been col- 
lecting for some years, and said, "I have 
brought you this, sir ; you should get 20 
for it, I think. I have spent Rs. 25 each on 
some of the stamps.' ' Oh, but I can't take 
anything half so valuable as this from you/ 
I said. ' Oh, I have thought it well out ; 
it's but a small gift to give the Lord for all 
He has done for me. I have collected with 
the view of giving it to the Lord's work, 
and the Lord has led me to give it to you 
for His work.' I was deeply touched by 



3l8 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

the generous gift of this noble Christian 
soldier. How many years the dear fellow 
must have toiled to put it together ! The 
tears sprang into my eyes as I received it 
from his hands, while his face beamed 
with the joy of giving, and of laying 
down this precious little treasure at the 
Master's feet for His service. Til maybe 
start another album/ he said ! He has a 
special faculty for stamp-collecting, and 
a regiment is a good hunting-ground 
for it. 

Another generous instance I came across, 
but on different lines, was that of a man 
for whom God had done great things and 
had lately much blessed. 

He made the holy resolve to take on and 
serve out twenty-one years ; not because 
he specially loved the service, nor yet to 
oblige his King and country, but simply 
that he might remain in his regiment and 
spend these years in winning souls for 
Christ. He was the means of leading three 
to Christ while I was up there, and already 
he has a good standing and is an influence 
for good in his regiment. ' Oh, think, sir, 
said he to me, ' what I may do in the next 
twelve years for Christ/ He is a most 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 319 

intelligent and exceptionally strong man. 
I am going to start him as a local preacher, 
give him exams., and ' attach him ' (to use 
a military phrase) to the Faizabad Circuit. 
There are some noble and grand fellows 
in our Army, and they are worth hunting 
up and getting hold of. 

Every missionary of the District is ex- 
pected, as far as possible, to go up and 
officiate for six weeks or so. This gives 
him a rest from direct circuit worries and 
lifts him into higher altitudes, between 
six and seven thousand feet ; and for 
the six weeks, though he really has hard 
work, a lot of hill climbing, and three 
District camps to visit, with heavy pastoral 
and hospital visitations, he works under 
delightful climatic influence, and lives 
amid forests of stately pines, oaks, and 
rhododendrons. He breathes the pure and 
bracing air of the mountains ; and he hears 
what he never hears on the plainsthe 
music of the mountain streams and rivulets, 
and the wind soughing through the pines. 
Oh, it is delightful to be hushed to sleep, 
night after night, by the music of winds 
sweeping through the pines. Occasionally, 



320 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

too, up on the mountains, one gets visions 
of scenery and glimpses of nature that 
amount almost to an inspiration. 

One of these, at Ranikhet, I shall never, 
never forget. Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Cape, 
my wife, and I, went out a long way, down 
through valleys and up into mountain- 
passes, crossing several lovely, musical 
mountain-streams, up to the top of a hill, 
which for a hundred acres or more was 
covered with a great orchard of selected 
English and Indian fruit-trees of endless 
variety, and was called the Ranikhet Forest 
Department Horticultural Gardens. On 
our way back, Mr. A. T. Cape, who had the 
sharpest eyes of the party, suddenly called 
our attention to a vision of beauty. So we 
halted. There we stood dandywallas, 
ponies, syces all to look at a scene of 
surpassing beauty. There was a great 
parting in the mountain-side on our right, 
with the hills standing on each side like 
massive walls, clothed in richest shades 
of green. These formed the sides of 
the picture. Stretching away in front 
of us for about a mile was a valley of pine, 
oak, and rhododendron, over the tops of 
which rose a small green hill, a little gem 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 321 

of emerald beauty. Over and beyond 
this the clouds were piled up in fantastic 
beauty, forming one of the loveliest sun- 
sets the human eye could wish to gaze 
upon. While we were admiring this 
glorious sunset, we saw what must have 
been a fine, misty rain passing across 
this emerald hill. It was lighted up by 
the glow of the setting sun, which turned 
the misty rain-cloud into the finest gossamer 
of resplendent gold, a veil of the most 
exquisite and luminous glory. It seemed 
as if the hand of an invisible angel had 
slowly drawn it across that lovely hill, 
under those clouds and inside that frame- 
work of beautiful natural surroundings, 
and then said to us, ' Behold a vision in 
nature of the matchless beauty and glory 
of the Creator of all things.' 

It only lasted a few moments. As the 
beauty of the sunset faded away, I 
turned to the hillmen and said, ' Have 
you ever seen anything like that before ? ' 
( No, never,' said they. ' What was it, 
do you think ? ' I inquired. One of 
them, to my surprise, replied, ' Ishwar kd 
mahima hai' (It is the glory of God). 

Another day, as I was out early in the 

21 



322 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

morning for a seven-miles' tramp, I came 
upon a band of Nepali pilgrims from the 
Pindari Glacier. There were about fifteen 
of them. The chief of them were two 
ladies ; one a beautiful young woman 
of about twenty-two, and the other a 
fine, handsome, fat old duchess. I never 
saw such a dear, kind, motherly-looking 
Nepali woman in my life. My heart was 
quite drawn to her. I saluted her in very 
reverential and Oriental form ; she re- 
turned my salutation in Hindustani, so 
we soon got into conversation. The other 
Nepalis soon gathered round. The old lady 
was on a pony, the young one in a peculiar 
kind of litter, which I had never seen 
before ; the rest attendants, it seemed to 
me were all on foot. The old lady told 
me that she had been up 12,000 feet high, 
to worship in a temple at the source of 
one of India's sacred rivers a piece of 
great merit. These poor creatures had 
been one and a half months, they told me, 
on this pilgrimage. They started from 
Katmandu, and it was quite touching and 
heart-moving to hear of all their hardships. 
' We are so glad it is all over,' said the 
old lady ; ' to-morrow we shall be in the 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 323 

train, and in ten days more back home 
again.' ' And what good has it all done 
you/ I said ; ' what have you got for all 
your pains ? ' ' Fulfilled a sacred obliga- 
tion/ said the old lady, and the young one 
smiled. ' And/ said one who seemed to 
me to be the chief servant, ' we worshipped/ 
' What did you worship ? ' ' Oh ! Oh ! ' 
said he, and he could get no further than 
a prolonged Oh ! and looked to his mistress 
to help him out. She smiled and laughed, 
and then, fixing her eyes on me, said, some- 
what sternly, 'And who are you, that 
question us in our religious concerns ? .' 
' Oh ! I am no one special/ I said, ' I am 
a padri, and my business is to preach to 
the natives.' ' Ah, I thought so ; and 
whom do you worship ? ' 'I worship the 
great God who made earth and sky and all 
that in them is.' ' Who is He ? ' ' Where 
is He ? ' ' What is He ? ' ' How do you 
worship Him ? ' All these questions be- 
trayed her ignorance, and at the same time 
the longing of her deeply religious heart. 
One question answered led on to others. 
' Who is Jesus Christ ? ' ' What is repent- 
ance ?' 'What is salvation?' 'What 
will happen to us all after death ? ' and 



324 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

so on. Our conversation was about seven 
miles long, with three or four interruptions. 
It finally ended at Bhawali, near our last 
stage. There, in its delightful shade, they 
rested for the day, and we passed on. The 
old lady at parting said she'd never forget 
me . Is she ever likely to forget the man who 
gave her a theological disquisition seven 
miles long ! I wonder what she'll tell them 
when she gets back to Katmandu of the 
stranger they met near their journey's end, 
and of all that he said unto them ! 

It was with a sad heart, and many precious 
memories that will abide, that I at last 
said good-bye to my military church and 
friends at Ranikhet, and set my face for 
Faizabad. 

That journey I shall never forget. I 
fell upon an incident that looked, at the 
moment, as if it would end my missionary 
career and terminate my days on earth. 

I was late in leaving too late. I should 
have been at Khairna dak bungalow (rest- 
house) before sunset, instead of which 
I was three miles from it at 7 p.m., and it 
was a pitch-dark, but starry night. It was 
too dark to trot, gallop, or canter my pony, 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 325 

so I just gave him his head and let him 
pick his way, while my mind was quite un- 
suspicious of danger, and I was not expect- 
ing anything unusual. All at once my pony 
snorted, trembled, and reared up, nearly 
throwing me. At the same time I heard a 
big, slithering sound on my right. Imme- 
diately I gripped my pony firmly, recovered 
my seat in the saddle, and cried 'Kaun hai? 
Kya hai?' (Who is it ? What is it ?), think- 
ing it was perhaps a robber who had sprung 
down from a rock, and that his next spring 
would be for my pony's bridle. At the 
same instant I bent down, caught hold of 
the curb, and pulled the pony down. The 
animal, however, snorted, trembled, and 
backed me up against the hillside. All 
inside of the two or three seconds in 
which this happened I suddenly turned 
to my right, and there, not more than 
twice my own length barely twelve feet 
away, was a full-sized panther, or leopard, 
crouching for his next spring. His back 
was bent like a bow, and his hind quarters 
were up. ' Oh, my gentleman ! it's a 
panther you are/ I said. He had 
jumped down from a ledge of rock on to 
a heap of road-metal. I was dressed in 



326 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

khaki , and my helmet was khaki. I was, 
therefore, nearly invisible. The panther 
heard the footsteps of the pony, and sprang 
down to prospect for an evening meal. My 
sudden cry checked him for the moment. 
He saw a man was on the pony, and 
was -not quite prepared for that. But I 
saw he meant business, and did not mean 
to give ground or quarter, and we were 
both so close together that neither knew 
quite what to do. On my looking at him 
and speaking to him, he opened his great 
mouth and gave that awful hissing noise 
that a cat does when surprised by a dog. 
He glared at me, and I looked for a second 
or two sternly at him. I knew if I ' funked ' 
or showed the least fear, and gave ground, 
the huge brute would be on my back and 
have me by the neck in a second. In that 
one awful moment of suspense the thought 
came to me, * Shall I quietly slip off my 
pony, glide away, and leave him to the 
mercy of the panther, and thus save my 
life ? ' I knew the panther wanted my 
pony, not me. But to desert my pony I 
felt would be cowardly and unfair; it 
would also be a loss of one hundred rupees 
to the owner or me, and I should have three 



IN HIGHER ALTITUDES 327 

miles to walk in the dark, and might meet 
another panther. I determined, therefore, 
to stick to my pony at all costs. Immedi- 
ately I pulled him round with all my might 
and made him face the panther, which 
reduced the distance between us by two 
or three feet. The poor pony trembled all 
over, and nearly fell down on his haunches 
with fright. The panther, I noticed, had 
suddenly dropped down quite flat, as if he 
would hide, or slink off if he could. My 
pony was going, going, going under me, 
and the panther was spitting away. I got 
my feet out of the stirrups and prepared 
for the last emergency, and then, taking my 
helmet off my head, I flourished it rapidly 
at the panther, and, with open mouth 
and full chest, I gave the most unearthly, 
prolonged roar, followed by a roll of my 
tongue (as few men can do it). The effect 
was magical. With a roar of fear and 
terror, the panther bounded off into the 
dark valley below, and disappeared, I 
yelling and roaring after him. He was 
glad to be rid of me, and I of him. 

I soon covered the remaining three miles ; 
my pony did fly over the first mile of the 
three ! but, poor beast, I could feel him 



328 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

trembling under me all the way. I was 
glad when we got to the dak-bungalow, 
and so, I fancy, was the pony, and if he could 
have spoken I think he would have said, 
' Thank you, dear old Padri, for sticking 
to me as you did. Main dp se bakut khush 
hun' (I am awfully pleased with you). 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 

AFTER a long morning's work, tramping 
round from village to village, singing and 
preaching the gospel to the villagers, one 
is glad to get back to one's tent in the 
mango-grove, and to breakfast at n a.m., 
though it is oftener nearer noon. 

The time between breakfast and 2 p.m., 
while touring in the villages, is absolutely 
one's own. If you are near a village you 
will not be disturbed by visitors, because 
between these hours they are all cooking, 
eating, and sleeping. Everything is quiet. 
The cattle will move in under the shade 
to rest and chew the cud, and all nature 
seems to be still and at rest; but about 
2 p.m. men, beasts, birds, insects, and 
old Mother Nature herself, all begin to 
wake up. 

From noon to 2 p.m. is therefore a 
grand time for the missionary, while touring 
during the winter months in North India. 

329 



330 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

He has had his breakfast, the servants are 
cooking theirs. The evangelists are either 
eating or resting. They have had their 
talk with the missionary on their home- 
ward way. They are now lying on their 
backs reading themselves to sleep over one 
of their examination books ! The mis- 
sionary, therefore, has rest and quiet. No 
circuit worry (some days no post), no 
one at the door ; all is peaceful. He 
dives into the office box, gets out his 
correspondence, and may do an hour's 
writing ; or he fishes out a favourite book 
and settles down to a good two hours' 
reading. Sometimes he draws his light cane 
chair close up to the trunk of a mango- 
tree, tilts it back, and throws his feet up 
on to the trunk of the tree, as high as they 
will reach, and goes in for a long, big 
think. And, poor chap ! he has a lot to 
think about, plan for, and arrange if he 
has a big vernacular circuit, with twelve 
out-stations, schools without Government 
grants, a Girls' Orphanage, a big Christian 
Girls' Boarding-school, a large English 
church : all these, with their various duties 
and responsibilities, supply him with abun- 
dant thought. If he has children at home 



A MEDITATION IN. THE SHADE 33! 

in England, he wonders what they are 
doing, and what the next weekly mail will 
bring him. 

Sometimes, in thought, he glides away 
from all. these things into the great pro- 
blems that affect his work, that touch 
his life and calling as a missionary and a 
foreigner in this strange land. He thinks 
himself into and out of these great pro- 
blems ; he thinks them all round, and in 
and out, and wonders how things will 
shape themselves in India during his life, 
and after he's dead and gone, under the 
influences of Western civilization, rule, 
education, and evangelization. When and 
how caste prejudices will give way, how 
the gigantic forms of idolatry, error, and 
superstition will be broken; how racial 
pride will yield to closer national, religious, 
and social affinities, in a word, when India 
will be won for Christ, and its national 
life reconstructed on a broad Christian basis. 

At present there is a great gulf separating 
Angle and Indian. The majority of us 
Angles know but .little of their social and 
religious life and surroundings, and they 
know still less of ours. There is also a 
certain amount of prejudice existing on 



332 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

both sides. Until the distance is bridged 
and the two races brought nearer together, 
we cannot expect to influence the people 
of this land as we would wish. 

First, let us consider some of the causes 
which prevent friendly intercourse. 

These are (i) Race distinctions ; (2) 
Religious and Caste prejudices ; (3) Social 
differences. 

I. Race distinctions form a serious barrier 
to social and friendly intercourse. We are 
the conquering, they the conquered race. 
We find it hard to forget this, and have 
got so into the habit of asserting our racial 
superiority, and often of speaking dispar- 
agingly of the so called ' native/ that when 
we do unbend and try to be a bit social 
and friendly, the act, to the Indian, appears 
more like condescension than friendliness ; 
and so they often speak of a kind and 
popular Government official as a Mihrban 
Sahib, that is, a gracious and condescending 
gentleman. Another thing I have in- 
variably observed, that, however friendly 
and intimate an English gentleman may 
become with a native gentleman, even 
though the latter be of India's nobility and 
aristocracy, he will always, in addressing 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 333 

his English friend, use the qualifying adjec- 
tives and honorific pronoun given to a 
superior, even to putting him in the third 
person of address, as if he were not worthy 
to address him directly in the second 
person. In a word, he never loses sight 
of the fact of the racial distinction. At 
the same time he is keenly sensitive to the 
Englishman's emphasizing his superiority. 
Educated natives now are objecting, many 
of them strongly, to being called natives, 
or native gentlemen. They say it is 
meaningless, and, as applied to them, a 
word of contempt. The Englishman is 
as much a native as he, the Englishman 
a native of England, and he a native of 
India. He therefore claims to be called 
a Hindustani. I knew a native Christian 
B.A. who returned a begging-book without 
any money, but with a very strong note, 
because his name was put under the heading 
1 Native Christian Church/ He insisted 
that it should be ' Hindustani Christian 
Church ' ! 

And so these racial distinctions tend to 
keep us apart, and they are not easily 
bridged, because the characteristics, mode 
of life, fashions, and tastes of the two races 



334 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

are opposite ; indeed, the contrast is so 
striking that the wonder is that even so 
much friendliness and intercourse do exist 
between them. One has only to look into 
the house of a native of India, his house- 
hold arrangements, method of life, his 
family life, his ways of saying and doing 
things, to realize how we live at opposite 
poles ; and the fact is borne in on us, in 
spite of everything, that East is East and 
West is West, and one wonders when and 
how the two will meet. Our education and 
training also proceed on totally different 
lines ; our conceptions of honour, truth, 
and morality are widely apart, and we 
view almost every question from different 
standpoints. 

The wisdom and justice of our rule have 
greatly tended to bind the people to us in 
loyalty and gratitude. But this has not 
yet in any sense made us one people. They 
admire the justice and fairness that makes 
no difference between rich and poor, high 
caste (Brahmin) and low caste (Sudhra), 
and that grants equal rights to every 
member of society. Yet they regard our 
laws, improvements, education, and in- 
fluence as tending to equalize all racial, 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 335 

class, and caste distinctions, and to destroy 
old time-honoured customs that they hold 
venerable and sacred. See, for instance, 
how they have resented all Government 
plague precautions and preventions, and 
how the Sanitary Commissioner on every 
municipal board is looked upon as the evil 
genius of the city. 

And so, ignorance on their side of our 
national characteristics and of the objects 
for which we work, and a lack of appre- 
ciation on our side of their peculiar con- 
ditions and environment, keep us very 
much apart. The problem is, How is all 
this to be put right ? The hope is that, 
as we get to know each other, and as they, 
in particular, get to understand our policy 
and religion, they will be drawn nearer 
to us, and much will be done toward the 
accomplishment of the objects we have in 
view in India. 

2. Religious prejudice is another diffi- 
culty in our way. Here again we widely 
differ. The Christian religion is looked 
upon by the natives of this country as 
identified with everything English. Our 
gospel is an English gospel, not a world- 
wide one. The Bible is a revelation to 



336 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

Englishmen, as the Quran is to the Mo- 
hammedans, and the Vedas and Shashtras 
are to the Hindus. They often say to us, 
* God gave you your religion for yourselves, 
and ours for ourselves. What is the good 
of preaching to us ? Let well alone. It 
is of God.' 

Our religious system is not sufficiently 
Oriental to attract them. They look only 
on the surface ; and, unfortunately, in 
this country they do not see the best side 
of Christianity. Indian gentlemen who 
have been to England have often told me, 
' Christianity in England is one thing, out 
here it is another. In England you feel 
you are in a Christian country, and its 
religion appeals to you. Christianity does 
not appeal to us in this country.' 

The native of India does not see the 
best side of Christianity ; what he sees 
and specially realizes is the civil and 
military administration of a Christian 
Government which, unfortunately, one 
hardly knows why, keeps him somewhat 
at arm's-length ; hence he sees more of 
Christian law and administration than of 
the gospel. 

Then again, their religion is bound up 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 337 

with meats, drinks, and ceremonies which 
restrict them in matters in which ours 
leaves us free ; hence what is sacred to 
them is utterly disregarded by us. They 
cannot, in consequence, partake of our 
hospitality ; for we eat and drink with 
impunity those things that are a sin and 
an abomination to them. On the other 
hand, their social and religious rites are, 
unhappily, so mixed up with idolatrous 
worship and priestly interferences as to 
be equally repugnant and obnoxious to us. 

Again, our religion repudiates, absolutely, 
the whole pantheon of Hindu gods, and will 
have none of them. It sets Mohammed 
down as an impostor and Islam as a mixture 
of divine truth with the grossest errors and 
sensuality. It laughs to scorn the super- 
stitions and errors of both. It offends the 
Brahmin by disallowing his claims to 
sanctity and superiority over the man of 
lower caste. 

These differences will gradually be re- 
moved as education and the influence of 
the glorious gospel shine into the hearts 
and minds of the people, leading them to 
recognize with us the Fatherhood of God, 
the common brotherhood of man, and the 

22 



338 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

need for the salvation of the world through 
our Lord Jesus Christ, 

3. Caste is another and perhaps the 
greatest obstacle in the way of friendly 
intercourse. It is the source of many evils, 
and a curse to this great country. It 
claims for itself religious, social, andpolitical 
authority. It condemns wholesale certain 
ranks and classes to perpetual abasement. 
It cuts asunder the bonds of human fellow- 
ship and prevents acts of kindness, sym- 
pathy, and love . It exerts its influence over 
all, and is universally regarded with fear 
and veneration. As long as the native of 
this country adheres to caste, he places 
himself in proud antagonism to the English- 
manf who, at least, will claim equality 
before ne fraternizes with the native of 
India. 

Caste is impolitic, unjust, unsocial, selfish, 
one-sided, ungrateful, and unkind. It is 
the chief cause of the lack of cordiality 
between the rulers and the ruled. It feeds 
evil and vain prejudices, and cherishes 
feelings so exclusive in the man of high 
caste, that he looks down upon all of 
Christian birth and faith as most low, 
impure, and degraded; and were it not 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 339 

for the gains, rank, and advantages which 
the Christian Government extends equally 
to all classes he would never approach, 
much less associate, with the white Pariah 
of a foreign clime. I remember once at 
the Ajudhiya Fair, in the heat of con- 
troversy, laying hold of a great fat Brah- 
min ; he shook me off in great indignation, 
and, to the amusement of the crowd, went 
straight back, as he said, to wash off the 
vile defilement of my touch and contact 
with his holy personage, by another dip 
in the sacred Sarju (Ghogra). As he went 
off he kept saying : ( You've denied me, 
you've denied me; I must go and wash 
off your defilement from my body in the 
sacred waters of the Sarju/ And so, con- 
sidering caste in all its relationships and 
influence, one is driven to ask, '* Can any- 
thing noble, generous, or good flow from 
such a source ? And while it exists in its 
present form can we hope for true and 
friendly intercourse ? ' As well might we 
expect to gather grapes of thorns, or figs 
of thistles. 

Having pointed out some of the causes 
preventing friendly intercourse between 



340 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

ourselves and the natives of this country, 
I will now consider the forces already at 
work tending to remove these difficulties. 

I. First, Western civilization is opening 
up the country, and commerce is drawing 
the people to various centres and mixing 
them together, and they are slowly imitating 
Western manners and customs. Caste has 
to make concessions, to admit changes. 
The rising generation is more exacting in 
its demands than its ancestors were. Re- 
ligious prejudices are gradually yielding 
and social customs are changing. 

Perhaps Japan offers the most remarkable 
instance of progress under the powerful 
influence of Western civilization that the 
world has yet seen. What has been done 
in a remarkably short period for Japan is 
slowly and effectually being accomplished 
in India, where everything moves slowly. 
The people have so long been trammelled 
by the tyranny of caste and superstition and 
oppressed by lawless rule, that emancipa- 
tion, in any form, must come gradually ; 
and because gradually, perhaps all the 
more surely. 

It is a point to be observed that where 
European influence has been long estab- 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 34! 

lished, as in Bengal and Madras, the people 
are almost half a century in advance of 
the rest of the country, and perhaps a 
whole century ahead of Benares, whose 
greatest glory is its hoary antiquity and 
religious conservatism. 

2. Education is also doing a great work 
in dispelling error, removing prejudices, and 
enabling the people to think and act for 
themselves. It is shaking their faith in 
old superstitions. 

The spirit of inquiry is growing bolder. 
Young men are learning to love knowledge. 
The study of English literature is exciting 
a new appetite for truth and for the more 
exact sciences of the West. The teachers 
and professors of English are admired and 
followed, to the disparagement and ex- 
clusion of the pandits and the moulvis. 
New teachers are fast displacing the old 
ones, and the advanced scholars tell you, 
without hesitation, that those who hold to 
the ideas of their fathers are fools and out 
of date, to be pitied, but not to be followed. 
The Brahmin priest and Mohammedan 
moulvi feel that their golden days are fast 
going, and going for ever. Their indigenous 
schools are passing away. Their systems, 



342 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

which were only maintained by ignorance 
and superstition, are slowly being dispelled 
by the brighter light of Western thought, 
and under the influence of its teachings an 
inquiring, doubting, reasoning race is rising 
up, without faith and veneration for the 
old systems ; demanding truth, and not to 
be satisfied with absurd dogmas, or capti- 
vated by false philosophy. This noble race 
is slowly growing in numbers and activity, 
and when sufficiently strong will assert 
itself, and do for India what the people of 
other great and civilized nations have done 
for themselves and their country. 

It is a true saying that ' a straw shows 
how the wind blows/ and to a close observer 
there are many striking signs, very signi- 
ficant indeed, if he will ponder them and 
lay them to heart. Here is one that strikes 
me and gives me great pleasure in its con- 
templation: it is the influence school life, 
with its games and sports and pastimes, 
has on the rising generation. I ramble 
over these villages of the Faizabad District 
(which number nearly 2,700) and wherever 
I see a small Government school there I 
see physical drill and the boys delighting 
in it. They are all now in every village 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 343 

donning yellow leggings, or ' pattis/ and the 
yellow cap, and putting on the spirit of 
public-school boys, with no end of swagger 
and independence. In schools of any size 
the boys pay their few coppers monthly, 
and the cricket and football club is started. 
A good six-anna (6d.) rope of Indian flax 
does for the ' tug of war.' I see in some 
places, where the poor little chaps can't 
come up to the price of a football, they 
make old, discarded tennis-balls do duty 
instead. As you go higher, you see hockey 
come in, and every decent place now has 
its tennis-courts where native gentlemen 
play every evening. When I come to a 
city like Faizabad, I find a big boarding- 
house of nearly thirty boys connected with 
the Government High School, where Hindu 
and Mohammedan boys mix freely. Our 
Deputy Commissioner takes the deepest 
personal interest in this establishment, and 
is doing his best to instil the public-school 
spirit into the boys. Once a year we 
have our great provincial school matches 
and finals played off for different games. 
They are played off here on our great 
military parade-ground. It is one of the 
events of the year. A few hundred soldiers 



344 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

will turn out of barracks to witness it, 
and quite a thousand natives from the 
city, with native soldiers and cavalry- 
men too, The clapping and shouting are 
grand, and the wild excitement something 
to witness. Such a scene, twenty years 
ago, would hardly have been dreamed of ; 
and in the fray you see Hindus, Christians, 
and Mohammedans all one, and as jolly 
and friendly as if no such thing as caste or 
religious difference existed between them, 

A mission school last year sent me down 
their team, eighteen in all, I put them all 
into one tent, gave them a foot of straw 
under the carpet on which they sat and 
slept, and a good wall-lamp hanging from 
the pole of the tent, But now came the 
rub. What about ' grubbing ' them ? So 
I got them all together and said ; ' Now, 
boys, what about the grub ? You are 
Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus ; and 
here is a Panjabi a Sikh,' The captain 
of the team, a Christian, said ; ' You make 
what arrangements you like, sir, and we 
will all tumble to it.' They laughed, and 
I replied i ( But what do the Hindu and 
Mohammedan boys say to that ? ' A 
Mohammedan boy said : ' Among school- 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 345 

boys, sir, in these days, we ignore caste and 
that kind of nonsensical thing/ ' All right/ 
I said. So I put on a good Christian 
woman cook. Every morning I gave each 
boy 4oz. of ' double roti.' (the English 
loaf) and a pint of good tea. I gave them 
a breakfast of ddl bhdt (rice and lentils) with 
vegetable curry. On the field I sent each 
boy a bottle of lemonade and four biscuits, 
and on the day of the finals I gave each 
boy 402. of native sweetmeats thrown in. 
Then at 7 p.m., for dinner, curry that would 
make your mouth water, and chapdties 
(unleavened cakes) as much as they would ; 
and at gunfire, 9.30 p.m., a cup of tea and 
a biscuit. I did those boys well, and of 
course stood high in their favour. But 
two striking points about this jolly team 
were, firstly, that they all sat down to eat 
in that tent scattered about, each with his 
full dish before him, all mixed up, eating 
and talking away as if they were one great 
family. Secondly, I alway came in at 
gunfire, and had a chat with them on the 
events of the day, and how the finals were 
going, &c. I then pulled out my Verna- 
cular Bible, read a short passage, and we 
sang three or four verses of a hymn ; and 



346 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

then all of us, Hindus, Mohammedans, and 
Christians, knelt down to prayer, which I 
always conducted, and then, side by side, 
they fell asleep. I mentioned these facts to 
a few Hindu gentlemen, who unanimously 
agreed in the opinion that the school life 
of the present generation would largely 
influence the generation to come. 

3. Christianity is another element at 
work, tending to remove the distinctions 
which at present separate us so widely. It 
is a very silent but nevertheless very potent 
power, and is working its way like leaven 
through all castes and grades of society. 
Though the actual number of professing 
Christians may be comparatively small, the 
many indirect influences of Christianity, 
which I have not time here to dwell upon, 
are incalculable and cannot be tabulated. 

And now to come to the practical part of 
the subject. What can each one of us do 
in this matter ? 

(i) Let us not lose heart at the almost 
overwhelming difficulties in our way. Let 
us in every way endeavour to draw the 
people as near to us as we can, with the 
grand object of leading them to Christ and 
doing them good. We may have different 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 347 

ways of doing this, but let each one of us 
strive to aid the forces that are at work 
in destroying and removing the difficulties 
which are at present so great and keep us 
apart. 

(2) We should respect the feelings of the 
people, and avoid intruding, without per- 
mission, into all places of retirement, or re- 
ligious and social engagements, from which 
they have the least desire to exclude us. 
Kindness and forbearance will do more to 
remove their prejudices than anything 
else. In our preaching and social contact 
with the people we shall be met with error, 
superstition, and forms of sin that are 
disagreeable. The best way to combat 
these is to preach truth, live righteously, and 
act kindly and justly. Sometimes an ex- 
posure of their errors and ways is necessary, 
but I have found that preaching the gospel 
and dwelling upon the character and teach- 
ing of Christ always draws and influences 
the people far more than touching on their 
gods and stirring up that corruption and 
evil which they will always defend, however 
little faith they may have in their gods, and 
their doings. 

(3) Their language should be carefully 



348 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

studied. Nothing draws a native so close 
and makes him feel so much at home with 
you as when he sees you know his language 
well and speak it with idiomatic clearness 
and force. By this means we get to under- 
stand the deep undercurrents of thought 
and feeling which influence their lives and 
shape their characters. 

(4) We should study their manners and 
customs not from books, reports, and 
hearsay, but by mixing with the people. 
The knowledge we shall thus gain will 
give us a deeper interest in them, and 
will teach us to sympathize with them ; 
thus we shall be less likely to offend 
them, and they us. 

(5) Let us do all we can to cultivate their 
acquaintance, and meet them on friendly 
terms, and show them acts of kindness 
whenever it is in our power. Dr. Chalmers 
used to speak of ' the omnipotence of 
human kindness/ To this the natives of 
India are most certainly not impervious. 
Let us come down among them, and mix 
with them as fellow men and brothers, not 
descending to their lower level, but raising 
them to our higher one ; not in any spirit 
of condescension and superiority (for we 



A MEDITATION IN THE SHADE 349 

may learn many things from them), but 
in the spirit of Christ, with like humility, 
gentleness and forbearance. We may at 
times meet with that which is disagree- 
able, but come down we must, or it will 
be impossible to magnetize them by the 
truth and power of that civilization and 
religion which have elevated and blessed 
us. 

(6) We should not be stiff, but free of 
access. Let them feel that if ever they 
want to see us they will experience no 
unpleasant difficulties, and always be re- 
ceived and treated with respect and con- 
fidence. 

(7) We should study special classes and 
bring them under our influence. Let it 
never be said of us, as I have heard natives 
say of some, ' Oh ! he does not know the 
difference between a rais (gentleman) and 
a sals' (groom). 

Let us get to know those who are the 
leaders of the people. Through them we 
shall get to understand the various classes 
they represent, whether Hindu or Moham- 
medan. Thus we shall become acquainted 
with the thought and motives that influence 
and restrain them, . 



350 PADRI ELLIOTT OF FAIZABAD 

(8) Let us identify ourselves with their 
various institutions, attend native func- 
tions and ceremonies, and let them see we 
desire, in every way, closer and more 
friendly relations. In time East and West 
may meet, in a brotherhood that shall re- 
dound to the glory of God and our present 
and eternal good. 



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