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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, January 10, 1917, Image 19

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1917-01-10/ed-1/seq-19/

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tize men ignorant in this respect, and
we must not receive men into the
Christian Church until we are able
to give them pastoral care.
Do those who become Christians
really develop in Christlikeness? Do
they improve in their manner of life?
Do they become better men and wo
men? Is this truly a spiritual move
ment?
A Christian farmer won to Christ
in this mass movement came to me
one day last year in Gujrat. His farm
was about one and one-half acres in
extent, and his income never more
than $3.26 per month. Said he: "The
Lord has been so good to mo this year
that I feel I must make a special
thank offering in addition to my tenth,
and I have decided to give my cow to
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the Lord." I thanked him, and indi
cated that the Church would be pleas
ed to accept his thank offering. "But,"
said the farmer, "I won't give her
now, as she is dry; I shall keep her
until the calf comes." It was during
the season of drought, when every
blade of grass was valuable. After a
few months, with beaming face, he
came in and told me that the cow
and calf were the Lord's. I asked our
preacher at the man's village, after
having the cow appraised by the vil
lage committee, to offer the animal for
sale. This was done, and the man
who bought the cow was the Christian
farmer who had given her to me. He
remarked that she was their family
cow, and they hated to part with
her, anyway.
The genuineness of this work is fur
ther evidenced by its progress in the
tece of cruel and continuous persecu
tion. The Bralimans, who for centu
ries have lived upon the earnings of
these depressed peoples, and the land
owners whose serfs they have been,
are not willing to loose their hold
upon them; hence to frighten them
from Christianity they persecute most
shamefully all who aspire to the
higher plane- which Christ opens.
Many have I known to be beaten and
insulted, to be deprived of village
rights, to be turned out of their
homes, to have their houses burned
and their property stolen, and some
murdered, because they dared to fol
low Jesus Christ. Bishop Warne was
holding a meeting In one of the re
mote villages of India. The lower
classes in the village had become
Christians, and as a result had been
driven from their homes by the higher
castes. The poor people sat and drank
in the Bishop's words. Within one
hundred yards was the village well,
from which the people of the other
castes were drawing water. It was
during the dry season and the heat
was intense, probably 160 degrees in
the sun. At the close of the meeting
the Christians threw themselves on
the ground before the Bishop and
cried: "Oh, Blr, please do something
to get us water." There they were
within sight of that great fresh-water
well, but were not permitted to draw,
because, forsooth, they had become
Christians. They could get their water
only from a muddy pond a long dis
tance off. However, not one of them
thought of renouncing JesuB Christ
that he might get his rights, though
all were promised water If they would
do so. Surely there Is no other ex
planation of all this suffering than
that these people had discovered the
true Water of Life in Christ, their
Saviour.^
The Rain Has Come!
I remember at the close of the last
great famine in India, after we had
had two years of drought, and all the
land and everything living cried out
for water, when the monsoon broke
and the rain descended the people
rushed out of their houses and, danc
ing in the storm, cried out: "The rain
has come, the rain has come!" So It
seems to us, after these years of anx
ious waiting and arduous seed-sow
ing, that this is the day for which we
have been praying. The people are
ready and willing, yes, and asking
to enter the new life. The windows
of heaven above opened upon that
parched, suffering land; the rain has
come, thank God!
But the point upon which I desire
to lay especial emphasis is that this
movement not only gives promise of a
fairer day for India, but the move
ment, unless 'carefully safeguarded, is
full of peril and a great triumph may
become an awful disaster.
Years ago a community of forty
thousand persons in North India de
sired to become Christian. The mis
sionaries were delighted and began to
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prepare them for baptism, and as they
were ready received them. Twenty
thousand had been baptized when
some of the more conservative mis
sionaries .became alarmed at the rate
things were moving, and after a while
their conservatism prevailed and the
work .was stopped. Those who were
refused baptism have become bitter
opponents of Christianity, and
although missionaries since then have
repeatedly endeavored to reach them,
they resist all advances. One hundred
and fifty-two thousand Uave waited
in vain. How long will these stand
with the door shut in their fa<:es?
We who are acquainted with India
know that many opposing forces are
at work to stop this movement: the
reformed sect of Hinduism, offering
to grant a social uplift to these poor,
depressed people; Mohammedanism
opening wide its door; infidelity car
rying on its deadly work; the Jesuits
of Romanism tirelessly pushing into
the remotest villages of the jungle.
How long will the people wait?
But what about those to whom bap
tism is given? Are we giving them
what we should? It is difficult to un
derstand what a stupendous task this
represents. We can baptize them, but
can we Christianize them? These mul
titudes, illiterate, superstitious, whoso
lives from the cradle to the grave are
governed by heathenish customs,
must have the most careful pastoral
oversight. Although we are provid
ing schools in favored localities, yet
it is a sad fact that multitudes of
Christian children are growing up
without a chance to learn enough to
read the Bible, growing up as igno
rant as were their fathers. An igno
rant church! Remember, too, that
they are tempted all the while by the
tinsel, and the holy days, and the feast
days of Hinduism, with its enticing
offer of social betterment if they will
return to the religion of their fathers.
Is there not danger of a great apos
tasy? Some of us have had to work
in districts where a few thousand
are able to testify
This which has been hailed as a great
triumph of Christianity in India may
easily become a grave disaster; the
Church in America will determine
which.
To meet adequately this situation
should be the most pressing duty upon
us at this time. We can do it if we
will. "Up, for this is the day!" ?
Lewis E. Linzell, in Men and Mis
sions.
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