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CHAPTER VIII. Missionary success among Aryan and un-Aryan castes-Aryans the
once bidden' but not worthy!'-Aboriginal tribes, men of the • highways and hedges' - Their worship-Hindu PhariseesMissionary instrumentalities—The agency required— The gift of tongues — Theological literature in the vernaculars — A welleducated native agency-Doctrine of compensation—The Arayans of Travancoro— Village of My dakayam—Deputation of Arayans
– Their desire for protection, Visit to the east—The tope- The primeval forest—The bungalow—The elephants—Primitive men -The Ullådans—Sunday at Mundakayam— The physical type of the Arayans — The converted devil-dancer – The ghaut - The burnt timbers—The table-land-Advance of cultivation-Deserted village—The Roman Catholic sculptor-A Syrian church as a bedroom-Kununkulum, Conclusion as to general principles in missionary matters—Able men for difficult work—Prejudices as to Hindu capacity--Reaction on the native.
ALTHOUGH I have incidentally alluded to converts in our Travancore mission from among the heathen, and especially to the case of the slaves, my remarks have been chiefly directed hitherto to the Syrian element in our body. I shall therefore speak in this chapter more particularly of the former.
It is a fact which I have before mentioned, and a very significant one, that the success of missionaries, as regards numbers, has been immensely greater among the un-Aryan, and what, for want of previous knowledge, we may regard Missionary Success.
as the aboriginal races of India, than among the Aryans. The Shânârs of Tinnevelley, the Santhals of North India, the slaves of Travancore, and the Arayans of Travancore, of whom I shall write presently, are all aboriginal tribes. In fifteen years we read of seven or eight hundred Christians from among the Santhals; the Christians of Tinnevelley are numbered by thousands; and the slaves and Arayans of Travancore already number some hundreds. In Benares, for instance, on the other hand, the numbers are still small, though the mission is forty years old.
Now this is suggestive; there must be some very definite cause for this most remarkable difference. Can we not discover it ?
First, there may be some cause in the secret counsels of the Almighty. Indeed we know that nations are judged as well as individuals, and that their judgment must take place in this world. And I have often asked myself whether we do not see signs that the Sanscrit-speaking conquerors of India are still, as has been the case with the Jews for 1800 years (and, may we not add, with some Christian Churches for a period almost as long?), suffering the terrible retribution of a judicial blindness in Divine things. I cannot but think that the Aryans of India, probably before they migrated from the plains of Central Asia, once possessed in a signal manner a knowledge of the Divine will, either by direct revelation, or by retaining
above other tribes the religion of Noah. No one can read carefully the Institutes of Menu without being struck with the feeling that there is much there that looks at least very like the remains of a revelation. Among much that is indeed utterly and grossly human, there is not a little that is eminently wise and good ; that reminds one, moreover, of the particular directions given by Jehovah to the Israelites under the Mount. There are even some of the peculiarities, as we sometimes perhaps think them, of the law of Moses to be found in the Code of Menu. For instance, the peculiar law as to the childless widow of a brother, found in Deut. xxv. 5, is found also in the Code of Menu.
Then there is the peculiar and most mystic Vedic sacrifice of a goat or a lamb. Then there are the unbloody offerings : as amongst the Israelites the sheaf, so amongst the Hindus the daily offering before the idol of the rice eaten in the temple. Then there is the anointing of the idol, called the abhishagam; whence, we ask, derived ? Then there is the very form of the Hindu temple itself, of which it is not too much to say that it is after the exact plan of the tabernacle in the wilderness, or Solomon's temple at Jerusalem. The fane always consists of two rooms—the holy place, where no one enters but the ministering priest, and the holy of holies, in which the idol stands, this fane generally standing in a large court
surrounded by a wall. This marked similarity of the Hindu to the Jewish temple was long a puzzle to me, till it occurred to me that it might possibly be that it was a stereotype of a once Divine appointment as to the externals of worship among the early inhabitants of the world.
The form of the tabernacle given to Moses may not have been then given for the first time; it may have been a renewal of an eastern command, as was, for instance, the command to keep the Sabbath-day holy. Then, again, the fact that the Hindus have got interwoven with their religion the doctrine of incarnation of the Deity causes us to ask of this too, whence has it been derived ? These things may not strike everyone in the light in which I have put them: but they appear to me to point at least possibly, if not probably, to a past state of Divine privilege under the immediate revelation of God himself, which the Aryans of India have wilfully corrupted. If so, it may cause us to wonder the less that they are, like the Israelites, still slow to believe. Are they examples of the once bidden, but not worthy ?' Nor has light been denied them in later times, if I judge rightly; for in the history of Krishna, their most recent incarnation, we have an undoubted parody of the life of Jesus Christ.
But if we look at the religious state of the aboriginal
tribes, we can find no such marks of privileges degraded and betrayed. They strike us at once as being the men of the highways and hedges,' who late in the world's history are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Long since cast upon the desolate wilds and primeval forests of India, they seem long since to have lost almost every trace of a Divine law. They do, indeed, acknowledge a Supreme Spirit, whom they originally named Kô, or Kôn, the King; but whatever the case once, they now offer him no worship. While the Sanscrit language is rich in theological terms, the aboriginal language, of which our Malayalim is a branch, contained, or retained, scarcely any. The religion of these ancient tribes consists in the worship, if it can be so called, of their ancestors, which is an offering made yearly, on the anniversary of death, before a rude image, generally of bronze, or brass, the effigy of the ancestor; and they worship demons, through the intervention of a devil-dancer. The man who is to perform this unenviable office, generally the head man of the village, puts on a brazen belt covered with a number of small bells, and hollow bangles, with pieces of copper inside to rattle, round his ankles. With a staff in his hand, also hung with small bells, and other paraphernalia, the man then begins to jump and dance to the increasing sound of tom-toms, cymbals, and like noisy affairs; sometimes even lacerating his flesh, till he is