Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Life of John Wilson
Chapter V. Tours to Nasik; to Jalna and Elora; to Goa, Kolhapore, and Mahableshwar


1830-1835
TOURS TO NASIK; TO JALNA AND ELORA; TO GOA, KOLHAPORE, AND MAHABLESHWAR.

Man the Missionary’s business—Tours of Officials and Missionaries—John Wilson a delightful companion—First Tour with Mr. Farrar—The Glories of the Ghauts—The Ramoshee Brigands—Brahmanical Opposition at Nasik—The Sacred Godavery—Second Tour to Jalna—Battle of Korigaum —Ahmedabad—Worship of the Monkey God—Historical Characters— The Telescope and Hindooism—A Christian Government quoted against Christianity—Elora—Christ preached in the Cave Temple of Kailas— Opposition of the Military Authorities at Jalna—Mr. Wilson seriously injured by a Horse—Strange Iconoclasm—Christian Sectarianism out of place in India—Third Tour to Goa—Old Scenes in the Konkan—Dr. Claudius Buchanan—The Inquisition at Goa—New and Old Goa—Forged Romish Vedas—Latin Conversations with Portuguese Priests—A Blushing Prioress—His Excellency the Vice Rey—The Augustinians and Franciscans —The Representatives of Sivajee—The Raja of Kolhapore—Satara— Mahableshwar—A Tiger springs up near Mr. Wilson.

“The business of the missionary is with man,” was a saying of Dr. Chalmers that Mr. Wilson frequently quoted. To know India, of all countries, is to be familiar with its people; to be acquainted with its princes; and to understand the relation of the British Government and its administrative systems to both. For a missionary to know India, he must add to all that the study, at first hand, of its religions and their learned men, Brahmanical, Muhammadan, and Non-Aryan. He must possess the ability to lay a pure and a historical Christianity alongside both the administrative systems and the religious philosophies or cultures, so as to saturate the former with the positive and direct moral spirit which they necessarily lack from political conditions, and to overthrow the latter by the more purely spiritual and potent force of Christ Himself. The ordinary missionary will do well if he confines his energy to one of the three faiths. As a matter of fact, most Indian missionaries have worked among the Hindoo or the aboriginal communities, who are vast enough. But Mr. Wilson was a pioneer whose deliberate equipment, as well as his evangelic ambition allowed no human or traditional substitute for Christianity to remain unstudied or unattacked. The official, civilian or soldier, however zealous, has to be content with the indirect and frequently unconscious disintegration which has been going on in India ever since Clive obtained the civil government at Benares from the effete emperor, Shah Alum. But, freed from the lower responsibility of political considerations, Mr. Wilson could use all that makes the civilian efficient, and press it home at once with a moral disinterestedness and a spiritual force, which the natives, high and low, were not slow to appreciate. Like the civilian, and to a far greater extent than the average of the eight or nine hundred members of the covenanted civil service who have always governed the millions' of India so well, he held the key to the ears and hearts of the people in a knowledge of their languages and hoary civilisations, Aryan and Semitic. Like the district officer and commissioner, too, but with a freedom and over an extent of territory they rarely know, he made his almost annual tours, east, and south, and north, to the very centre of India, to Goa, and again to the far Indus and the courts of Rajpootana, till he knew peasant and prince, rude ascetic, sacerdotal Brahman, and scornful Moulvie, as no one hedged round by officialism could do.

Next to mastering the languages it was his object to mix with the people who spoke them. His model was no lower than “Our Lord and His apostles,” with whom he had more than once to silence ignorant critics in England. “Wherever,” he wrote, “the objects of their ministry most advantageously presented themselves, they were prepared to fulfil it. The temple, the synagogue, and the private apartment; the narrow street and the public highway; the open plain and the lofty mount; the garden and the wilderness; the bank of the river and the margin of the sea; were equally hallowed by these heavenly teachers.” And he, like them, was in the East! “But many say, 1 Leave this preaching without doors to native agents, who will be best able to bear the exposure connected with it.’ . . . Even after we have been blessed, through God’s mercy, with native preachers, we must for some time show them in our own persons the lively example of an apostolic ministration. . . . Xenophon remarked that the Asiatics would not fight unless under Greek auxiliaries.” The “exposure” Mr. Wilson ridiculed, although his most fruitful tours were made at an early period, when even roads were not, and a paternal government had not doubled its debt to develop the resources of the country by great public works. Rarely did he find a comfortable post-house or even tolerable resting-place when out of the beaten track of military stations and civilian hospitalities. Studying nature as well as man ; preaching, speaking, examining daily; keeping up the correspondence rendered necessary by his supervision of the still infant Mission in Bombay; answering references of all kinds from missionaries, officials, and scholars, he found— because he made—the tour a holiday. On such occasions he carried a few books in an old satchel, manuals, sometimes in manuscript, of the botany, geology, and political relations with the feudatory princes, being as indispensable as the bundles of vernacular and Sanskrit writings which he circulated. Thus he was never alone, and every tour added to his multifarious collection of objects of natural history and archaeology, to say nothing of Oriental MSS., on which he lectured to his students and friends. When accompanied by a brother missionary, and frequently by survey and settlement officers, like Colonel Davidson, whom he met in his wanderings, he proved the most genial of companions. His stores of information, old and new, interspersed with humorous anecdote and a child-like fun, turned the frequent mishaps of jungle journeys into sources of amusement. And then, when the travelling or the preaching of the day was done, and the rough dinner was over at the tent door or in the native “dhurmsala,” or enclosed quadrangle, there went up to heaven the family supplication for Gentile and Jew, and dear ones near and far away. To be on tour in the glorious cold season of India, from November to March, is to enjoy life in the purest and most intelligent fashion, whether it be in the Viceroy’s camp or in the more modest tent of the district civilian. To be on a missionary tour with one who thus understands the people and loves them, is to know the highest form of enjoyment that travel can give.

Mr. Wilson’s first tour commenced in the middle of January 1831, after a year of organising work in Bombay. His companion was the Rev. Mr. Farrar,1 of the Church Missionary Society, who was just beginning to be able to speak to the Marathas. They rode upwards of 400 miles. Their most distant point was the sacred Brahmanical city of Nasik, on the upper waters of the Godavery. They set out by the Bhore Ghaut, now on the Madras line of railway, by Poona, and Ahmednuggur, and returned by the Thull Ghaut, now ascended by the railway to Calcutta. They sailed from Bombay to Panwel, on the mainland, passing the cave-temple islands of Elephanta, Salsette, and Karanja, which Mr. Wilson had previously visited with the civilian scholars Messrs. Law and Webb. At the next village he met with the first specimens of those aboriginal tribes of the jungle for whom he was to do so much, the Katkarees, who prepare catechu. His first view of the glories of the Ghauts of the Syhadree range he thus describes :—a As we rose from the valley a most majestic scene began to unfold itself. When I beheld hill rising upon hill, and mountain upon mountain—the sun setting in glory behind the towering clouds—the distant ocean, forests, rivers, and villages—and when, looking around me, I observed, amid this scene of grandeur, a single stone usurping the place of Jehovah, the Creator of all, I felt and expressed the utmost horror at idolatry, and the baseness, guilt, and stupidity of man.”

Some experience of Poona convinced him of the superior importance of Bombay as a centre. On their way to Ahmednuggur one of the servants was attacked by the Ramoshee tribe of robbers, at that time scouring the country under their famous leader Oomajee Naik, compared with whom, writes Mr. Wilson, Rob Roy might be reckoned an honest man. But Nasik was the point of interest, a place of which Mr. Wilson used to say that it first stoned him, and, forty years^ after, would not allow him to leave Western India for a time without presenting him with a eulogistic and grateful address on parchment from its principal inhabitants of every sect.'

Nasik was soon after occupied by the Church Missionary Society, who have established there the Christian village of Sharanpoor, an industrial settlement with a congregation of five hundred, of whom some two hundred are communicants, and a training school for freed Africans, who helped Dr. Livingstone. The Godavery river, the scenery on the lower reaches of which Sir Charles Trevelyan, when Governor of Madras, compared to that of the Ehine between Coblentz and Bingen, rises at the village of Trimbuk, only fifty miles from the Indian Ocean at Bombay, and sixteen miles south-west of Nasik. The Maratha Brahmans give out that its source is connected, by a divine underground channel, with that of the Ganges in the snows of the Himalayas. The traditional fountain is a stone platform, approached by a flight of 690 stone steps, on a hill behind Trimbuk village. On to that platform the stream falls from the rock, drop by drop, into the mouth of an idol, out of which the water trickles into a reservoir. Sir Richard Temple, when Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces, sketched the beauties of the river alike with brush and pen. It has been the scene of the greatest successes as well as the most serious and expensive failures of the Madras school of Irrigation.

Of the second tour, eastward to Jalna and the caves of Elora, in the native State of Hyderabad, the country which the British Government had saved for the Nizam all through the chaos of Maratha, Hyder Ali, and Tippoo wars, we have an account from Mr. Wilson’s own pen, in letters to his wife. At a time and in a country for the greater portion of which there were no maps, we find the tour duly marked out in a chart showing the road or track, on one side of it every village with the number of its houses, and on the other the day and date on which each was reached. The Rev. James Mitchell was his companion. After Poona they walked or rode short stages of from ten to fourteen miles a day at first. At Alandi, the first stage onward, they found a great assemblage for the festival of Inanoba, a god of whom Mr. Wilson gives a humorous, but, towards the people, kindly account, published in the Memoir of his wife. At the next village, Phulshuhur, he inspected a settlement which was the first of a curious experiment intended to train that most valuable but neglected class, the Eurasians, to agricultural pursuits. Sir John Mai-colm, in his farewell minute of 1830, had discussed the subject to which the present Governor of Bombay, Sir B. Temple, has given attention. The record of this tour, like the encounter with the Bamoshee brigands in that which preceded it, throws light on the riots and robberies which have again broken out in the Bombay Dekhan to an alarming extent: —

“The Colossal Pillar at Korigaum.—This monument was erected by the British Government in commemoration of the brave resistance made by Captain Staunton. The pillar is tastefully constructed. It is in charge of a Sepoy, who was engaged in the action which it commemorates. He gave us a plain account of the battle.

“The Headman of Shikrapoor.—After we had preached in the village, and distributed books and tracts, the Patel sent for us. The court of his house was large, but it bore marks of decay. He received us very kindly, and invited us into an inner apartment. As soon as we had sat down he brought out a box containing about twenty very handsome European engravings. He requested us to translate all their titles into Marathee, and to write them upon the covers. We complied with his request; and he told us that never in his life, advanced now to seventy years, had he met such Salaebs as we. We preached the gospel to him ; and he furnished us with pan supdri (betel nut and a green leaf), according to the native custom. Mr. Mitchell had a great aversion to chew his offering, and he almost spoilt our discourse by pleading in excuse the force of habit.

“Ahmedabad is situated to the westward of Seroor. The village is much gone to decay, on account of the road to Poona having been changed by the English. It is remarkable for nothing but the residence of the oldest representative of the once famous house of Pawar, of which an interesting account is given by Sir John Malcolm. We visited the old man, according to his personal invitation, and were received with much kindness. We were surprised to find that he was unable to read. He showed us the different buildings connected with his wada (palace), and we endeavoured to engage the interest of his mind by giving him and his few attendants a simple statement of the gospel, and by allowing him to view the neighbourhood through the medium of Mr. Mitchell’s telescope.

“Worship of Hanuman, the Monkey God.—In most of the villages of ) the Dekhan there is a small temple of Hanuman, under the name of Marwate, without the principal gate. The images are exceedingly rude. They are liberally besmeared with red lead : and, alas ! they are viewed as the guardians and benefactors of the neighbourhood, and frequently resorted to. One of them fronted the place in which we usually sat at Parner. The votaries generally walked twelve or nineteen times round it, and prostrated themselves before it, and sometimes refrigerated it with cold water and adorned it with garlands. A great majority of them were females demanding the boon of children. The exercise which they take in connection with their worship may not be without effect.

“The Character of the Natives of these agricultural districts is almost daily sinking in my estimation. Falsehood and dishonesty, and, when practicable, incivility, are daily brought before my notice. During the night which we spent in Jumgaum, we required a guard of two Ramoshees, three Bheels, and two Mhars ! The latter individuals were always on the watch to give the alarm. The others, who, as you know, are professed robbers, think it beneath them dignity to keep their eyes open even when they are paid for their guardian ship, and represent it as necessary, as I believe it is, to the safety of travellers. When vve arrived at Nimba Dera, on the forenoon of Tuesday the 28th November, we were met by a most impertinent Brahman, who first by falsehood, and afterwards by passion, endeavoured to drive us from the only place where we could get shelter from the sun. He was joined by a companion, who without hesitation united with him in wickedness. Nothing but a severe reprimand, and the threat that we would represent the matter to the Collector, effected anything.

“Failure of the Crops.—In some of the villages through which we passed on our way to Nimba Dera, we were informed that, on account of the great drought, the crops of the season had almost entirely failed. Though the complaints of the natives were conveyed to us in a tone which clearly intimated to us anything but resignation to the divine will, they were very heartrending. Starvation appeared to be apprehended by not a few, and, from the dread of it, many of the inhabitants had departed with their cattle to the banks of the Godavery and Kandesh. We distributed at several places a few rupees, and they were received with joy. We endeavoured to improve the righteous dispensation of divine providence, and we urged upon all the acknowledgment of the supreme God, who alone can give rain and fruitful seasons.

“The Upper Godavery, 1st December.—In the evening we took a walk on the banks of the Godavery. It is at this place, and even at this season, a very considerable stream. Numbers of the Brahmans were performing their evening ablutions at the spot where the river Prawara enters it. They form a numerous class in the neighbourhood. In Prawara Sangam there are a hundred houses of them ; in Toka, which is situated on the opposite bank, there is the same number ; and in Gaigaam, about half a quarter of a mile farther down the river, there are about ninety houses. Many of them engage in agriculture, but a great source of their support is the dakshina (alms) which they receive from the pilgrims who come to bathe in the holy waters. This cluster of villages, and Nasik and Paithan, form the only sacred towns on the Godavery which are situated in the Marathee country. I should think that their celebrity is on the decline. The progress of knowledge, and the increasing poverty of the people, contribute principally to the destruction of the pristine zeal. No true philanthropist can regret the circumstance, for nothing can be more melancholy than the delusion under which men labour when they believe that they can wash away their sins in a river, and acquire a stock of merit by all the trouble, fatigue, and expense which they incur in the fulfilment of their wishes. In the course of the day we had laboured much to expose it, and, I trust, with some effect. None of the natives, like Sliookaram Shastree, at the first discussions in Bombay, alluded to any sacramental use of the waters—a circumstance which is worthy of notice, and particularly as we had intercourse with the most learned Shastree. The benefit of ablution was argued to be positive, to be an invaluable and unavoidable blessing to all who use it, according to the many promises and declarations of the Shastres relative to the virtues of the Ganges. The Hindoos and Roman Catholics are wonderfully agreed about the efficacy of rites intrinsically considered. On returning home we saw a very large and splendid meteor proceeding in a direction horizontal to the earth. It was visible for a considerable time. The natives assured us that a few days ago hundreds of a similar nature were seen, and that they were greatly terrified by the unusual occurrence.

“At Toka we went to the house of Baba Shastree, the richest Brahman in the place, and we were rather surprised to find him desirous of conducting us into an inner apartment of the upper story. We were happy to perceive the liberality of his sentiments and feelings, and we had no objections to gratify him. We found a respectable congregation assembled, and we gave a general view of the Gospel, and of the objections which we commonly urge against Hindooism. We were heard with respect, and nothing was urged in reply to us except the encouragement granted by Europeans to idolatry. Augustus Brookes of Benares, known among the natives as Gasti Bruk, it was said, had become a convert to Hindooism. The East India Company was liberal in its donations to temples. The great Saheb, Governor Elpliinstone, had distributed money among the Brahmans when he visited Toka, and had given a salaam and Rs.100 to the god. The Collectors were in the habit of employing Brahmans to perform anusthans for rain, etc. It was exceedingly difficult to deal with the observations which they made on these subjects. I told them, on the information of the late Dr. Turner, Bishop of Calcutta, communicated to me during his visit to Bombay, that Mr. Brookes had expressed his regret for the countenance which he had given to the delusions of the natives ; that it was not to be concluded that, because the Company had continued the revenue of temples, it approved of these temples, and that I hoped that it would soon see the impropriety and sin of giving any support to them; that I could not credit the statements given about Mr. Elphinstone, a gentleman who greatly promoted the improvement of the natives, and who subscribed to the propagation of the gospel, and that the Rs.100 were probably placed by the Brahmans without his consent before the idol; and that, while the anusthans were performed to please the natives, the payment of them by the Company, and every other species of encouragement granted to idolatry, was decidedly sinful. I also expressed my hope that the time was at hand when right views on these subjects, and other practices sanctioned without consideration, would generally prevail among Europeans. All the Brahmans admitted the propriety of the Company, as a Christian Government, giving nothing more than toleration to the Hindoo religion. Their wishes, I doubt not, were nevertheless what we might expect them to be.

“At half-past nine o’clock he invited us to return to his lodgings, with the view of witnessing a display of fireworks, and the performance of native musicians, etc., which he intended as a compliment to us. We explained our views of the sanctity of the Sabbath ; and it was with great difficulty that he accepted of our refusal. We gave him credit for his intentions ; and I have no doubt that his respect for us was increased by our consistency. I should have mentioned before, that I asked him why he had left the ‘ holy city ’ of Kashee (Benares), and come on a journey to Toka in search of merit. He pleaded the respect of his family for the idol at Toka. When I told him that in the Marathee language, the term kashikare was equivalent to that of an arch-villain, and that the circumstance told little in favour of the 'sacredness’ of Varanasi, he laughed very heartily.

“Elora, 4th December.—After a very fatiguing ride in the sun we arrived at Roza. At this place there is a bungalow belonging to a Mussulman gentleman; but we found it occupied by two officers. They did not invite us to come in; and after tying our ponies to a branch of a tree, and engaging in social worship, we stretched ourselves on the stone floor of a large mausoleum, built by the Emperor Aurungzeb. We took our breakfast at one o’clock; and proceeded to make our first visit to Kailas, the principal Brahmanical excavation of Elora. We remained in it till after sunset, examining its many wonders and curiosities.

“5th December.—We set out very early in the morning to the excavations. We commenced with those situated in the northern part of the hill, and went regularly through them all proceeding to the south. We gave them a very minute examination; and I wrote down 50 pages of notes on them, of which the following is a summary:—The caves are situated in a ridge of hills which runs north and south, with an inclination in the centre towards the east. They are not far from the base of the hills; and the entrance to them commands a very extensive and interesting view of the Dekhan towards the west. The rock out of which they are cut is of the trap formation, and well suited for their marvellous workmanship. They are undoubtedly of three different kinds, Jain, Buddhist, and Brahmanical. The Jain caves are situated in the northern part of the hills, the Brahmanical in the centre, and the Buddhist in the south. It is difficult to say which of them are the most extensive and interesting. The Brahmanical excel as works of art. The accounts which are given of their wonderful structure do not, on the whole, fall beyond the truth. The Buddhist caves, from the nature of the workmanship, and from the appearance of the rock, appear to me to be the most ancient.

“I preached the gospel in the temple of Kailas to thirty natives, and Mr. Mitchell followed me. Little did the formers of this wonderful structure anticipate an event of this kind. We are in all probability the first messengers of peace who have declared within it the claims of Jehovah, announced his solemn decree to abolish the idols, and entreated his rebellious children to accept of the mercy proposed through his Son. Some of our auditors pointed to the magnificent arches and stupendous figures around us, as the very works of God’s own hand ; but we pointed them to the marks of the instruments of the mason, to the innumerable proofs of decay everywhere exhibited, and to the unsuitableness, absurdity, and impiety of the representations. We directed their minds to Him ‘ who sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers, That stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in; ’ and we called upon them ‘ to lift up their eyes on high, and behold Who hath erected these things, That bringeth out their host by number : Who calleth them all by names, by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.’ They could not resist our appeal; but in all probability we had not long left them when they would practically deny their own admissions.

“Jilgaum, 7th December.—We rode through Aurungabad. A great part of its site is a mere ruin, and a great part of it within the walls seems to have been used as a burying-ground. From the gate at which we entered to that at which we came out is a distance of nearly three miles. We arrived at Jilgaum, distant from Aurungabad about twenty miles, at noon. We had suffered a great deal from the heat, and we resolved never, without absolute necessity, to expose ourselves in this manner again. Our luggage did not come up till about 4 o’clock p.m., and we were not a little anxious on account of our fatigue and hunger. We have not the consolation that we were called to^endure either in the cause of duty. They were the result of our own imprudent arrangements.

“Jalna.—At Jalna, which is twenty-one miles east of Jilgaum, we arrived at ten o’clock. We were received with much warmth and kindly feeling by Captain Wahab. There are several young officers and their wives, who are in very hopeful circumstances ; and who may receive much benefit from our visit. I baptized the child of Lieutenant -. She is an illegitimate of three years old, and a sweet-looking little girl. I have had much satisfaction in conversing with the father, who appears a true penitent. I was asked to-day to baptize another child ; but the father did not meet my views. To-morrow I intend to baptize the infant of Captain Tomkins. He is a convert of Henry Martyn, but he dislikes the English form of baptism. He is an excellent person, and useful as an instructor of the heathen.

“On Tuesday we preached to a large and noisy audience in the bazaar, and distributed a considerable number of books, which were received with much eagerness. One of the tracts, the Remarks on Muhammadanism, was handed up to the Colonel commanding the station, by, we believe, some European officer; and his fears have been so much excited by the reports from Bangalore, that he requested us to circulate no more copies at present in the cantonment. We explained the nature of the tract to him, and we told him that in the circumstances of the case we should not continue to distribute it.

“15th December.—Since I last wrote to you the enemy of souls has been busy at this station, and he has succeeded in stirring up two or three of his European votaries to represent to the authorities here that our tracts are calculated to excite to sedition, to recall a great number of them and consign them to the flames, and to advise the total prohibition of any further circulation. The consequence is that we have been forbidden to circulate any more, and that, in our present circumstances, we have seen it expedient to dismiss all further applications. I doubt not that in a few days shame will cover those who have thus opposed the work of God. Indeed, they already begin to feel its burnings. You must not imagine from what I have now said that our residence here has become unprofitable or unpleasant. The very contrary is the case. Our pious friends have cleaved more closely than ever; and even those who were formerly indifferent have been in some degree interested. We have received and accepted an invitation for dinner from one of the informers.

“I received a severe kick from a horse, which has laid me up for a little. I have suffered a great deal of pain from the blow, which was inflicted on the front bone of my right leg below the knee ; but I have reason to be thankful that no serious danger is apprehended. At first I had a few convulsive shocks; but they soon went off. I am entirely free from sickness, and the injury appears inconsiderable.

“22d December.—I am now so well that I write to you upon my chair. D. V. I preach to-morrow evening sitting. On Monday I propose to set out for my dearest love. I have engaged twelve porters to carry me down for Rs.112.

“Nandoor Nimbha and Shingwa, 28th December.—We left Shivagaum early in the morning, and proceeded to Nandoor Nimbha. This village is small, and almost all the male inhabitants of it, and a few females, had an opportunity of hearing the Gospel. We offered them Rs.8 for their village gods ; but they said that they were afraid to part with them. We proposed that the power of the idols should be put to the test; and to our astonishment they consented. The headman handed a large club to Mr. Mitchell, for the purpose of striking them ; and he dealt out three heavy blows upon Hanuman. His lordship received them with great meekness, and without showing the least symptom of displeasure. The villagers stood aghast; but they immediately destroyed their convictions by alleging that our virtue gave us a great power over the gods, which they could never exercise. Death, they said, would be the consequence of their inflicting a blow. Thus Satan preserves them in their strong delusions.

“Kallian, 9th January.—We passed through Rahata on our way to Kallian. The villagers assembled in considerable numbers to hear the Gospel; but we remarked that the facilities for collecting them are not so great in the Konkan as in the Dekhan. In the latter province the villages are all enclosed within walls, and their houses are not so scattered as those in the villages below the Ghat. In the Dekhan, moreover, there is generally an open space near one of the gates where all business is transacted, and where we can always find auditors without much trouble, and to which there is nothing correspondent in the Konkan. The villages on the sea coast, however, have one advantage. They are on the whole more thriving and populous.”

Jalna, where for the hour the military authorities opposed Mr. Wilson’s benevolent work even more effectually than the Brahmans had done in the previous year at Nasik, has, like that station, since become the scene of the very successful mission conducted by the Rev, Narayan Sheshadri, one of his converts. This tour deserves notice on its European side. Chaplains, still too few for the wants of the troops, or so employed that the troops are not cared for first, were fewer still before the Charter of 1833 enlarged the ecclesiastical establishment. A sacerdotal conflict between the Metropolitan of Calcutta and the Government of India first led Lord William Bentinck to decide, as had been done in 1813, that the chaplains are the officials of Government, just as the churches are its property. The English in India were too few, and heathenism was too strong for sectarian bigotry to have then shown itself. In the time of Claudius Buchanan, the author of the ecclesiastical establishment, and till the arrival of Bishop Middleton and Dr. Bryce in Calcutta, such a spirit was unknown. Hence Mr. Wilson preached in the Jalna Church, and in the same service the chaplain from Secunderabad read prayers previous to the sermon. The Presbyterian’s comment is—“This was very liberal.” But when, soon after, the Bishop, Daniel Wilson, made his first metropolitan tour after his defeat by Lord William Bentinck, he forbade this “irregularity” in a general circular to the chaplains. Long after, his noble successor, Bishop Cotton, arranged with Government that the ecclesiastical buildings of the State should be used, when necessary, for Presbyterian as well as Episcopalian services.

Having thus surveyed the Marathee-speaking country north-west to Nasik and south-west to Poona, and thence into the native State of the Muhammadan Nizam of Hyderabad, Mr. Wilson gave up the cold season of 1833-34 to the southern Maratha country and the adjoining settlement of the Portuguese at Goa. His colleague, the Rev. James Mitchell, was again his companion. A sea passage of fifteen hours took them to the old scenes at Hurnee, and thence to the southern boundary of the former Konkan mission. At the shrine of the elephant-god Gunesh, endowed with £120 a year, paid at that time through the British Government, an incident "occurred which is a parallel to Cicero’s remark on the two Augurs. An old Brahman, who had come from Satara to see the god, was reproved because, at the close of a meal and before he had performed ablution, he had happened to touch one of the officiating priests. The old man immediately retorted, “ Hullo, my religious friend, you have forgotten to wipe the sandal-wood from your forehead”—in other words, 3*011 have either forgotten to-day to purify yourself or to remove the sign of your uncleanness. The priest confessed that he stood corrected, and he gave a hypocritical laugh. He had pretended holiness to gain the respect of the stranger Brahman. At a village farther south, when passing the tombs usually erected over widows who have burned with their dead husbands, Mr. Wilson expressed his feelings to a Brahman, who replied that he approved of Suttee, but did not find fault with the British Government for abolishing it. To him, as to the mass of Hindoos, the order of an absolute Government was sufficient to alter or prohibit even a religious rite, when that was contrary to natural religion or morality; just as the teaching of an absolute priesthood had, by a previous generation, been accepted as an authority for burning widows who, if childless, otherwise enjoyed the liferent of their husbands’ estates. The natural spring at this shrine was believed to come, underground, from the Ganges, hundreds of miles to the north, wherefore Mr. Wilson read to the worshippers notes which he had taken of the lectures on hydrography in the University of Edinburgh. His explanation was confirmed by a }roung English-speaking Hindoo, whom he had known in Bombay, and who had come from a distance of ten miles to pay his respects to the missionarj". Thus already, in four years, the merely scientific truth radiating out from Bombay, through English, into the jungles of Maharashtra, and the notes of an Edinburgh lecture-room were used to overthrow Gunesh with the aid of an educated Hindoo. Farther on Mr. Wilson saved from the infamy of their lives, in future, a widow and two daughters who asked alms for the temple to which they were attached, by arranging to send them to the destitute girls’ school which he had opened in Bombay. They proved in after years to be devoted Christians.

The connection between the Government and idolatry was found at almost every step. At Kampta the town-clerk, a learned Braliman, “ told us that the whole village belonged to Bhagwati (an idol), and that the English Government was so kind as to collect and pay over the revenue to the idol. I expressed my deep regret to him, that, in making the settlement of the country, the Company’s servants had fallen into the error and sin of associating themselves with superstition; and informed him that many of them were aware of the evil, and that it would probably soon be rectified. There is scarcely a temple in this part of the country which has not an allowance from the revenue. The Mahalkaree of Kharipatan showed me a list of the sums granted in his district. I was perfectly thunderstruck on reading it. Even temples that are almost forsaken by the natives are not overlooked. Ten or twelve of this description had an allowance of five or six rupees per annum. I asked how these sums were expended. ‘In buying light for the god,’ was his reply. ‘The allowance/ he added, is ‘ charitable; many Brahmans, also, have grants.’ I trust that the time is not far distant when all these sums will be profitably employed in promoting the education of the people.”

That is the sort of disestablishment which the British Government, as such, can do little directly to bring about as the crowning result of its recent efforts to leave all management of the shrines to the worshippers, and all disputes about the property to the ordinary civil courts. But the time is not so hopelessly distant as may appear at first, when Mr. Wilson’s foresight may be justified, by the educated natives themselves insisting on saving from the fraudulent greed of their priests the enormous endowments intended in many cases to act as a poor-law, and transferring them to the education of their children, for which they are now compelled to pay a cess on the land-tax.

At Yingorla, a port to which the frequent famines have led Government to direct their attention recently as likely to be the best on the Western coast, next to Bombay itself, for the import or export of grain, Mr. Wilson and his companion took boat again for Teracol, the first village belonging to the Portuguese. Just a quarter of a century had passed since, in 1808, Goa, the capital of all that was left of the once promising empire of Yasco de Gama and Albuquerque, which Camoens had sung in his Lusiad, had been visited by a Christian ecclesiastic whom, in many respects, John Wilson closely resembled. Claudius Buchanan was the son of an elder of the Kirk, who was the parish schoolmaster of Camhuslang during Whitefield’s preaching. He was educated at Glasgow University, was for some time tutor in the old Scottish family of the Campbells of Dunstaffnage, and was about to become a preacher of the Church of Scotland, when, fired by the experience of Goldsmith, he determined first to see the world of Europe. His wanderings ended in the completion of his studies at Cambridge under Isaac Milner, whence the first of the Clapham men, Mr. Henry Thornton, sent him out to Calcutta as a Company’s chaplain in 1796. There his studies, his travels, and his researches soon marked him out to Lord Wellesley and Lord Minto as an adviser on all educational, philanthropic, and scholarly questions. His writings so influenced public opinion in England, that Parliament in 1813 created the ecclesiastical establishment which Charles Grant and Wilberforce, though aided by Pitt and Dundas, had failed to force on the East India Company in the Charter of 1793; that steps were taken to prohibit self-immolation under the car of Jugganath and the pilgrim-tax; and that the Inquisition was for ever abolished in Portuguese India in 1812. The same evangelical charity, the same scholarly research, the same intellectual breadth of view, the same zeal for the propagation of Christian truth in the East, marked the two Scotsmen—the one Episcopalian, the other Presbyterian. Mr. Wilson does not fail to note, in the Journal of his visit to Goa, that it was “the first since the days of Claudius Buchanan expressly made for the circulation of the Scriptures and other missionary operations.” Dr. Buchanan’s visit to Goa was memorable from his intercourse with Josephus a Doloribus, one of the Grand Inquisitors, whose admissions are most important as to the fairness of the account of his two years’ sufferings under the order of the tribunal by the French adventurer and physician Dellon in 1673-5. In 1808 there were upwards of three thousand priests belonging to Goa, and those whom Dr. Buchanan saw declared they would gladly receive copies of the Latin and Portuguese Vulgate from the hands of the English nation.

Mr. Wilson had one advantage during his visit in 1834. The recent political changes in the mother country, and the absence of the Archbishop, made the authorities and priests more liberal in their intercourse with him.

“Teracol, 28th Jan. 1834.—We took an early opportunity of visiting the fort. It is in charge of an old officer, Captain de Silva. He has been 44 years in India, and never expects to return to Portugal, which he left when he was 14 years old. We conversed with him about the political affairs of Portugal and other subjects. He told us that Donna Maria had been proclaimed in all the Goanese territories about two weeks ago, and gave us some of the orders of the day to read. He represented the whole province as in a state of perfect quietness. I offered a Portuguese Bible to him. He said that almost the only book which he read was a short treatise on the sufferings of Christ by D’ Almeida; but he intimated his readiness to accept a Bible, provided his padre would allow him. The padre was sent for. I held a long conversation with him in Latin. He granted permission to the Captain to receive the Bible, and on my offering one to himself he said, Habeo tibi grcitias. He gave me an account of the state of the Romish Church in the territories of Goa, and in return I described to him the state and principles of the Churches of Scotland and England. He showed us his chapel, remarking parva est. Pointing to the different figures near the altar, he denominated them imago Salvcitoris, imago mirificm Virginis, imago Sancti Antonii, etc. The following conversation then took place. J. W. Usus imagimim in ecclesia est contra Dei secunclam mandamentum. Padre. In Novo Testamento irnaginum usus permittitur. J. W. In quo loco permissio invenitur ? P. Nescio, sed hoc scio, Ecclesia Romana permittit. J. W. Ecclesia Romana permittit, et Deus inter-dixit. P. Idolatria non est. J. W. Sic cdunt Brachmanes. We parted on good terms, the Padre promising to call upon us in the evening. He kept his word. In the course of our walk I tried to ascertain his theological sentiments. He said that he believed in the doctrine of predestination ante merita cognita, agreeably to the principles of Augustine. I expressed my accordance with his views. During our conversation on the celibacy of the clergy, he said, In hac civitate Pauci Presbyteri midiebribus furtive utuntur. I urged his admission as a proof of the inexpediency of the vow to observe celibacy made by all the Romish clergy. Few or none of the priests, he observed, knew either Greek or Hebrew. I referred to the Vulgate translation made by St. Jerome as a proof that the Romish Church in the days of old was not averse to the use of the Scriptures in the language best understood by the people. He had not formerly adverted to this circumstance; and admitted that as the lingua Latina nunc Romm non in usu est, an Italian translation should be made for that place. We compared the proceedings of Romish and Protestant missionaries. I admitted the learning and piety of Francis Xavier. He condemned the use of all violence in the propagation of Christianity, and lamented rash admissions into the visible Church. He expressed his surprise at the audiences with which we are favoured, and remarked, ‘ Gentiles in hoc regione non audiuntl I advised him to study their languages, and to preach the pure doctrines of Christianity.

"Late in the evening, when the padre had retired to the fort, about twenty of the inhabitants of the village came to our lodgings. We examined and addressed them in Marathee, which they speak in rather a corrupted form. We gave a few Portuguese tracts and two Testaments to three or four of them who could read them. One of them brought a large folio volume, which he called a Pur ana, to show to us. It was of Marathee Prakrita, but written in the Roman character. It contained paraphrases of several of the discourses of the apostles, extracts from the Bible, notes on church history, refutations of Hindooism, etc. It is a work of immense labour, and it is creditable to the learning and patience, if not to the piety, of some olden missionary. The owner said that he was in the habit of reading it, in the Brahmanical style, to assemblies at his door.”

Was this the work of the Jesuit Stephens, the first Englishman whom we know to have landed in India five years after Francis Xavier’s death in October 1579, whose letter to his father, a merchant of London, is found in Hakluyt He published a Konkanee Grammar, a History of Christ, and an Account‘ of Christian Doctrine. The Madura Jesuit, Robert {de Nobili’s “Fifth Veda,” which the French called L’Ezour Vedam, so far deceived Voltaire that he appealed to it as a proof of the superiority of Hindooism to Christianity! Taking \ again to the boat, Mr. Wilson spent the time on the way southward to Goa in reading the Latin Bible “for the sake of facility in conversation,” and Cotineau’s Historical Sketch of Goa.

“29th January 1834.—We lay at the mouth of the Goa river, or rather firth, for about half-an-hour, till we obtained permission to go up to Pangim, or New Goa. The aspect of the country, from the appearance of the villages, churches, and forts, is unlike anything which I have seen in India. Our landing at Pangim reminded me much of Cape Town. The houses are, generally speaking, very substantial, and painted white. Many have. two stories, and united conical and lofty roofs for every apartment in the upper story.

We had not been seated for many minutes, when a great number of persons came to us to offer their services. Some of the proposals which were made to us were calculated to impress us with very unfavourable impressions of the morality of the place, and with the behaviour of our countrymen who came to visit it. We met them with suitable indignation and reproof.

“Two parish priests of Pangim held a discussion with me. They, like the other priests, were anxious to procure books. We gave them, as to all the priests with whom we have had intercourse, a Portuguese Bible, a Latin Bible and New Testament. I offered them a copy of Calvini Institutiones.

Non licet nobis libros heretico legere, was the reply. Joannes Calvinus vir cloctus et pins fuit; ejus opera legere vos clecet, was my answer. The merits of the Reformation were shortly discussed. The work of the Genevese Reformer was ultimately carried away by those to whom it was proffered. I had a conversation on personal religion with a young lad of twenty, who is at present studying canonical law.

“1st February.—The first sight of Goa is magnificent, although it is at once evident that nothing remains but the churches and some other public buildings. The walls of the city are now almost entirely destroyed ; but, like Dr. Claudius Buchanan, we entered the city by the palace gate, over which is the statue of Yasco de Gama, the discoverer of the passage by the Cape, and one of the first ‘ Vice-reys ’ of India. The hero stands aloft, in vestibus quce decent tempora antiqua. The first building which we visited was the Church of the Palace. It is an exact model of St. Peter’s at Rome. It is arched in the roof. Its principal altar is decorated in a style surpassing anything which I had formerly seen. Its convent and cloisters are small. It belongs to the Theatins or order of St. Cajetan, who were instituted in Italy by St. Cajetan of Thiena, and by John Caraffa (Pope Paul the Fourth), Bishop of Theato.

They were established in Goa in the middle of the seventeenth centuiy. The Italian founders were soon joined by many of the natives. There are at present no Europeans in the convent. No natives but those of Brahmanical descent are admitted. We saw two of the friars seated in confessionals in the church. . They were lending ear respectively to a woman, and muttering forgiveness. Several other persons of the female sex were prostrating themselves in the church, and waiting the appointed time of disburdening their consciences. The Cajetans are the most renowned confessors in the colony. They live almost entirely on the offerings of the superstitious. They seldom exceed fifteen in number, and, owing to the unhealthiness of their situation, are short-lived.

“In passing from St. Cajetan’s to the Cathedral, we saw the ruins, or rather the site, of the Inquisition, which was founded in 1560, and the court of which was ordered to be suppressed in 1812. The representations of the British were the cause of its destruction. I cordially assent to the only remark which Dr. Buchanan makes on the metropolitan church—£ It is worthy of one of the principal cities of Europe.’ We went from the Aljuva to the Monastery of St. Monica. It is the only nunnery in Goa, and was founded by the infamous Dom Fre Alexo de Menezes, archbishop of Goa, about the year 1600, and by him dedicated to the mother of Augustine. The exterior of the building has nothing remarkable about it. To the cloister we could of course have no access. We were directed to the public hall. We found the abbess and prioress seated in a room adjoining us opposite an iron grating, where alone they could have communication with us. They were both Europeans, and very neatly dressed in white, and attended by two or three female servants. They very readily entered into conversation with us. The abbess entered the convent when she was fifteen years old, and has resided within its walls for forty-four years. The prioress entered it in 1818. She blushed when Sr. Capella jokingly told her that, amidst the political changes which are taking place, she would be permitted to leave it and to marry. The abbess told us that, including novices, there are thirty nuns in the establishment at present. Europeans pay Rs.1000, and natives double that sum, on their entrance. The funds of the institution are much reduced from the loss of its estates. It receives Rs.1000 per annum from the Government. The nuns engage in making rosaries, in knitting, and the preparation of sweetmeats and preserves. We bought several articles from them. When we offered them a Portuguese New Testament, the abbess said that she could not take upon herself the responsibility of accepting it. The prioress, however, seized it besides several tracts with joy, kissed it, and said that she would always pray for us.

“Precisely at two we saw the doors of the Angustinian Convent thrown open. The prefect of the Augustinian College, and the prior Fre Jose, offered to show us all the buildings, which are nearly as extensive as those of the University of Edinburgh. ‘Few cities in Europe,’ says M. Cotineau, ‘can boast of a finer edifice of the kind; the cloisters, pillars, galleries, halls, and cells, are all most beautiful.’ What struck me most was the display of portraits of the martyr missionaries of the order. Many of them are well executed, and represent the friars in the attitude of death. I could not but think with admiration of their devotedness, and wish that more of it were exhibited among Protestants. The view from the turrets is magnificent. We stood almost entranced on first coming into contact with it. We examined the library of the college. The books are fast going to decay. They do not amount, I should think, to more than 1500. Many of them are very old and valuable. I noticed most of the Roman Catholic Church historians referred to by Mosheim. I heard the youths of the noviciate of the college read a little Latin, and put a few questions to them. A European monk followed us with a very anxious eye. He evidently wished to make some communication to us. We both felt great compassion for him. The superior of the college was very free in his communications. He was much pleased to find our pronunciation of Latin so much like his own. I gave him a Portuguese Bible, and left some books for the provincial and prior, presented by Mr. J. Wolff and Mr. Farish. Among them was a copy of Keith on Prophecy. May the perusal of them be abundantly blessed ! It was in the cloisters of an Augustinian convent that the spark of piety was first kindled in Martin Luther. The Augustinians (twelve in number) came first to Goa in 1572. They have a yearly income of Rs.15,000, independently of an allowance of Rs.1500 made by the Goa Government. They have several missions in the East under their care. Their vestments are white. These were originally black, but were changed on account of the defection of the German Reformer, of whom his friends were greatly ashamed. They are the most respectable monks in the Catholic Church. Leaving the Augustinians, we proceeded to the church of Dom Jesus. It is built in the form of a cross. Though it is a noble edifice we scarcely surveyed it at all. I hastened to the shrine of the celebrated Francis Xavier, of which I had heard much. It surpassed all my expectations, and certainly excels anything of the kind which I had before seen. It is of copper, richly gilt and ornamented, and placed within a silver incasement. It rests upon an altar of Italian marble highly wrought.' There is a vera effigies of the ‘ Apostle of India ’ on the south of the tomb, and a statue of solid silver, which is not exposed to view. He died in the island of Santian, in the Chinese Seas, in 1552. His body was brought to Goa in 1554. It was exposed to public view till 1780, when it was locked up in its present receptacle. Alas that it should now be viewed as the ‘ sacred dust ’ of a heathen Buddha!

“We reached the Archbishop’s palace at Pannelly about half-past five o’clock. The quaternarian kept his appointment and introduced us to the curator of the library, which I was very anxious to examine. It contained about two thousand volumes. Though they are in a better condition than those in the Augustinian convent, they are rapidly going to decay. Few of them are modern. I observed only three Protestant volumes among the whole of them. I found a MS. translation of the Four Gospels in Arabic, of which it would be well to procure a copy.

“4th February.—The secretary introduced us to the Vice-rey, Dom Manuel de Portugal e Castro, at the palace, who received us very politely. He then showed us the portraits of all the Vice-reys of India. Most of them came originally from Portugal. There are not many of them which have not been "re-touched by native artists. The portraits with which I was most interested were those of Alfonso de Albuquerque, Vasco de Gama, John de Castro, and Constantine de Braganza. Constantine refused to accept from the king of Pegu the sum of 300,000 cruzados for a monkey’s tooth which had been adored at Jaffnapatam as a relic of Buddha. He deserves to be had in remembrance for his firmness and decision, and aversion to countenance idolatry. How different was his conduct from that of the Bengal Governor who sent an ambassador to the Grand Lama to congratulate him on his incarnation!”

Returning through the jungle of the coast and the forest of the Ghats, where they slept with only a slight covering from the dew, but soundly after the fatigue of their intercourse in Goa, Mr. Wilson and his companion reached the pure Marathee-speaking district of Dharwar, and the London mission station of Belgaum. Here he came on the border line of the Tamul-speaking and the Canarese districts of Madras. In preaching to the English residents he did not, amid all the claims of India, forget to urge those of the Gaelic School Society. He passed through Shunkeswar, the residence of the great Swami of Western India, where the annual fair of the deified reformer Shunkur Acharya was being held by ten thousand people, and the god was being dragged in a car forty-five feet high. After a day’s incessant preaching there, and at other towns and villages, Mr. Wilson thus writes in his journal:—

“I have often wondered how Whitefield could preach so frequently in England; but it is now a considerable time since I discovered that practice in public speaking makes it comparatively easy. Some advocates speak four or five hours daily at the bar during the press of business; and we, who are called to act as ambassadors of Christ to our perishing fellow men, may well continue our ministrations during a longer time. The interest with which we are heard has a reflex influence in strengthening us for the discharge of our duties. The impressions which we produce, though in general they may not lead to any very striking visible effect, have, I am persuaded, a powerful influence in weakening the hold of superstition, and in enlightening and directing the conscience. When the Gospel is generally preached, as I hope it soon will be, through the length and breadth of the country, individual conversions will become more frequent. It is the general apathy of the unenlightened, which destroys the ardour of individuals, on whose mind favourable impressions are produced. I fervently wish that evangelical agitation were the order of the day in India. Into this agitation I would of course wish no unholy element to enter. I would wish it to be like that of the Apostles and the Reformers.”

The town is further remarkable for the first of those interviews with one of the princes of India, to which Mr. Wilson was afterwards frequently invited. The house of Sivajee, the founder of the Maratha power, is now represented only by the Raja of Kolhapore, the representative of its younger, and the Raja of Satara, the head of its elder branch. Bawo Sahib, who received Mr. Wilson, was “an oppressive and profligate ruler,” who had not many years before been compelled by a British force to abstain from attacking his brother chiefs. He died in 1838, four years after the visit, leaving a son, the misrule of whose minority again compelled our interference.

But he was faithful in the Mutiny of 1857. On his death, in 1866, we at once recognised his nephew and adopted son, Rajaram. To him a melancholy interest attaches. Well educated he visited England in 1870, a gentle youth who 'wrote a journal of his experience, presenting a significant contrast to that of his grandfather, to whom Mr. Wilson “ opened the Scriptures ” in vain, and told the story of the conversion of Britain which these Scriptures had made great. Raja Rajaram died at Florence, and his body was burned with Hindoo rites on the banks of the Arno, the last of that branch of Sivajee’s house. To perpetuate it, Lord Mayo’s government waived all the usual provisions in a case of adoption, and another Bhonsla boy was searched out in 1871. He is now sixteen years of age, and is being educated to govern some 800,000 tenantry, who pay him annually a revenue of the third of a million sterling.

On reaching the confines of Kolhapore the Scottish missionaries were met by troopers, who attended them. On nearing the town the Captain-General and a few of the troopers and thirty sepoys formed an escort to the banks of the Pandi-Gunga, where their tents had been pitched. There they had presented to them, in the name of the descendant of the mighty Sivajee, “ great loads of fruit, sweetmeats, eggs, and chickens,” and they found a retinue of liveried servants at their call. After examining the black marble tomb-temples of Shunkur, the reformer, and his first disciple, and preaching for a day, the Sahebs were thus received at an audience:—

“25th February 1834.—At four in the afternoon, two of the Sirdars, attended by forty sepoys, came to conduct us to the palace. The streets, as we passed along, were as much lined with people as if the King of England had come to see them. We were vastly ashamed of the honours which they tried to heap upon us. On our arrival at the palace we were received by Haibat Rao Gwaikawar, one of the most respectable of the Sirdars. He conducted us to the great room. We entered it, according to custom, without our shoes. Several hundreds of people, including all the Sirdars, were seated in two rows fronting one another. We were squatted near the Gdcli (royal cushion). On the entrance of the Raja all the people stood up. He saluted us very kindly and asked us to sit down. After a little commonplace conversation, we directed his attention to the Christian Scriptures and gave him a brief summary of their contents. I then presented him with an elegantly bound copy of the New Testament, and of the Exposure of Hinduism, and with copies of Matthew bound in silk, and Exposures aud other tracts for his Sirdars. He expressed his pleasure at receiving them. I told him about the conversion of Britain, and ascribed all its greatness to the book of which I had given him a copy. Mr. Mitchell recommended him to encourage educa-tiou in his territories. It is to be regretted that he practises polygamy. He has five wives, but only two sons and one daughter.

“10th March 1834.—We rose at gun-fire, and, along with Dr. Young, we ascended to the celebrated hill-fort of Satara. It is about 3000 feet above the level of the sea, and its height from the base is about 900 feet. It is strong by nature, as the rocks near the summit are perpendicular. We took about twenty minutes to walk round it. It commands a very fine view of the country. In descending from it, we found the agreeableness of ‘ the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.’ In the afternoon we visited Satara. It is much better laid out than any native town which I have seen. The streets are broad and straight, and the houses are, on the whole, neat and substantial. The English have the credit of forming the plan of some of them. The population may be stated at between fifteen and twenty thousand, and it is reported to be on the increase. The palace is a plain quadrangular building. We should have been introduced to the Baja had he been at home. His high school is also a quadrangular building.

“11th March.—We set out for Malcolm-Peth on the Mahableshwar Hills about two hours before sunset; and we arrived at the Sanitarium, where we were kindly received by Captain Jameson, about nine o’clock. On the top of the ghat, about 4500 feet above the level of the sea, we saw the fern and the willow, and heard the voice of the lark, the thrush, and the blackbird. They called vividly to remembrance our native hills and groves, and made our very souls thrill. We made several calls on European gentlemen throughout the day, and we preached to large congregations of natives. I recognised two of my Bombay native friends among our audience. They were very happy to see me.

“15th March.—We proceeded early in the morning to Mahableshwar, which is about three and a half miles distant from the Sanitarium in Malcolm-Peth, or Nehar, as it is called by the natives. Our ride was remarkably pleasant. The tops of the hills and mountains below us were rising above the thick white clouds like islands in the ocean. The appearance of the cottages, roads, and plants reminded us of the scenes in another land. The atmosphere was comparatively cool and bracing. The sun was rising with glory in the east. The birds were offering up their early orisons to Him who formed them. Mahableshwar is a religious establishment, almost on the highest pinnacle of the hills, sacred to Shiva. It has no connection with Wai in the plains below, as has been alleged by some. It is under the direction of Deshast Brahmans, while Wai is under the direction of Konkanasts. There is a considerable spring at the most sacred spot, which is said to be the source of the Krishnahai, Savitri, etc., and which is denominated the Panchaganga. There is a small tank at the place where it issues from the ground, and which forms the Tirtha, to which pilgrims repair. It is surrounded by a small court and shed, in which there are a few idols.”

This is our first introduction to the great hill sanitarium of Bombay, which was ceded in 1829 by the Raja of Satara in exchange for other lands. The State lapsed in 1848, but the British Government has continued a pension of £250 a month to the adopted child of the last widow of the Raja, who died in 1874. The concluding extract from Mr. Wilson’s journal of this third tour tells of that encounter with a tiger, which some of his Hindoo controversialists declared that he magnified into a miracle !

“18th March 1834.—We set out for Nagotana a little before sunset. On i the road I experienced a remarkable deliverance, which should excite my most fervent gratitude to the Father of all mercies. I had got the start of Mr. Mitchell in passing through the jungle, and in order to allow him opportunity of coming to me, I was just about to pull up my horse, when I observed an enormously large tiger about six yards from me. Instead of running from me, he sprang up near my horse ; I then cried out as loud as I could, with the view of frightening him. I had the happiness of seeing him retreat for a little ; and I galloped from him, as fast as my horse could carry me, to Mr. Mitchell, whom I found walking with four or five natives. We passed together the spot where I had the encounter, without seeing our enemy. He was heard, however, among the trees by our horse-keepers. He has been seen by the natives for some days past a short time after sunset, exactly at the place (about six miles from Nagotana) where he appeared to me. The men whom I found with Mr. Mitchell told me that they regularly present offerings for protection from tigers to an image on Wardhan hill. I showed them the vanity of their confidence ; but in their misdirected devotion I saw the call to remember ‘ the Lord who is my refuge, even the Most High.’ ”

Some time after this the able civilian, Sir J. P. Willoughby, presented Mr. Wilson with a cottage on Mahableshwar, and there, when more advanced in years, he and his missionary brethren 1 used to recruit their wasted energies during the college vacation in the great heat of May and June in the plains. He became closely identified with the place up to the year of his death, and evangelised among its tribes right down to Poona. When a part of the hill called Sydney Point, after Sir Sidney Beckwith, the Commander-in-Chief, had its name changed to Lodwick Point, he used humorously to resent such tampering with historical and landscape associations. His “ bungalow ” was another mission centre, like Ambrolie in the native quarter of Bombay. Not a day passed even there without vernacular preaching and examination of schools, while the ever-increasing arrears of his extensive correspondence were cleared off. The climate and the scenery alike tempted to literary labours. To the comparatively small and select society of European officials, civil and military, and to the educated native gentlemen who began to frequent the spot, Mr. Wilson often delivered those lectures which afterwards attracted crowds in the Town Hall of the capital. In close and constant intercourse with the Governor, the Commander-in-Chief, and the members of Council, he brought his wide information and high principles to bear on political questions, especially when these concerned the native princes and people. Thus Mahableshwar became to him the scene not merely of well-deserved rest but of more varied work and wider social influence.


Return to Book Index Page


 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast