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The Life of John Wilson
Chapter VI. Tour to Surat, Baroda, Kathiawar, and Somnath



First Exploration of tlie Goojaratee Country and its Native States—The Portuguese in Daman—A Catch of Zand MSS.—Surat fruitful in Facts— British Government and Idolatry—Hindoos and Muhammadans denouncing each other—An Eclectic Rationalist—Mr. Wilson’s Journal a Love-Offering to his Wife—Baroda Church consecrated by Heber—Audience of the Gaikwar described—Correspondence between the Gaikwar and Mr. Wilson —The Mad Gaikwars—Cambay to Bhownuggur—A Hill of Shrines— Satan’s Celestial City—Mr. Wilson’s Letter to the Jain Priests—Rajkote —A King punished for murdering his Infant Daughter—Kutch—Work of the Rev. James Gray—A Good Raja—Schwartz and Raja Serfojee—The Land of Krishna—Mr. Wilson anticipates James Prinsep at Girnar— The Historical Temple of Somnath—Death and Separation in the Mission Family of Ambrolie—Mrs. Margaret Wilson’s Memoir by her husband.

Having now completed such a detailed survey of the central, eastern, and southern districts of the province, including Portuguese Goa, as was possible in three cold weather seasons, Mr. Wilson prepared for the longest and most fruitful of all his early tours, that through the northern half of Bombay. Familiar first of all with the varied elements of the population of a quarter of a million in the capital city itself, he had now carried his elevating message to Hindoo, Muhammadan, and jungle or robber tribe, over the whole Maratha country from sacred Nasik to only less holy Shunkeswar, and from the Jews and Parsees of the Konkan to the Muhammadans of Jalna. All he had studied with a keen interest and a never-failing memory. There remained the Goojaratee country, with its great native States of Baroda, Kathiawar, and Kutch, stretching up to the Indus-washed delta of Sindh and the deserts of Rajpootana. In the rich cotton-fields of Goojarat the Parsees found an asylum before the English attracted them to the island of Bombay, and Mr. Wilson had fairly given himself to that study of their literature and religion with which, more than with any other, his name is identified. Not only there, but in the native States, are the half-Buddhist, half-Hindoo communities of the Jains to be found, and it was his task to understand in order that he might influence them. So the closing weeks of the year 1834 saw him, his wife (as I far as Surat), and his attached friend Dr. Smyttan of the 1 Government service, set out in that modest “shigram,” or one-horse vehicle, which for half a century was familiar to all natives and Europeans in Bombay as the great missionary’s. I Past Mahim and Bassein, and along the shore washed by the Arabian Sea to still Portuguese Daman, the travellers crept, taking a week to accomplish the distance now achieved by railway in a few hours. Of Daman, conquered in 1831, we read in the Journal—“A Parsee gave us no favourable idea of the Portuguese Government. The soldiers were represented as helping themselves to whatever articles they need. Justice, it was said, is an article which requires to be purchased at a dear rate. The sun of Daman, which Juliao, the late Miguelite Governor, denominates on a triumphal arch cele-berrinia urbs in oriente, appears to have reached its meridian. There is something very instructive in the decline of the Portuguese power in India and the rise of that of the British. Camoens represents Yasco de Gama as describing the whole of Europe to the lord of Melinda. The hero makes no mention of England! But observe the ways of Divine Providence. The country which was too contemptible to be noticed three [ hundred years ago, is now the most powerful in the world, and it is under its favour that the Portuguese exercise sovereignty over their remaining small territories in India.” Here Mr. Wilson purchased, for Rs.300, a copy of the Vandidad Sade and of all the sacred books of the Parsees in the original Zand, Pahlavi and Pazand tongues, but in the Goojaratee character, and 'with a Goojaratee commentary and translation. Of this work, in five folio volumes, he remarks—“ Of its use to a missionary there can be no doubt. I procured along with it copies of all the narratives calculated to throw any light upon the history of the Zoroastrians in India, and some other curious pamphlets connected with their religion.”

Continuing their journey northwards, the party passed the 1 most ancient fire temple in India, at Umarasaree, and inspected the extensive fire temple of Nausaree, the streets of which were, at that early time, regularly lighted at night by lamps with oiled paper shades. Surat, 177 miles north of the capital,1 first of English settlements in India, was found to be declining as Bombay supplanted it, and the decay has gone on till the present time, if we may judge from the visit of the Governor, Sir Richard Temple, to its deserted buildings, and half-obliterated tombs of Oxenden and others last year. Mr. Fyvie was the only (London) missionary there, and he afterwards joined Mr. Wilson on his tour. But Surat has ever been marked by the intelligence of its native inhabitants, whose spirit has shown itself more than once in rioting against (taxes imposed in an unpopular form. Here Mr. Wilson collected much information regarding the eighty-four castes of Goojaratee Brahmans, the early settlemerifs~of the Parsee refugees from Muhammadan intolerance, and the three Bohora sects of Muhammadans. He learned that half the great fire temples of India had been erected only within the previous twelve years. The relation of the British Government to those cults he thus describes :—

“The English Government has still the responsibility, and a fearful one it is both for rulers and their agents, of directly ' and publicly countenancing idolatry and superstition. The new moon, except during two months of the year, is regularly saluted by five guns to please the Mussulmans! Two thousand rupees, I was told, are annually contributed to the same people to assist them in the celebration of their needs! The chief of Surat, and the British administrator of justice in its province, commits the cocoa-nut to the river on the day of the great heathenish procession at the break of the monsoon! How all this folly originated amidst the ungodliness of many of the olden servants of the Company I can easily understand ; but how it has been so long continued I am puzzled to know. The day was when, I suppose, one would have got a free passage to Europe, via China, for noticing it. I certainly thought, without making a reference to higher and more solemn considerations, that after the order came from the Court of Directors, ‘that in all matters relating to their temples, their worship, their festivals, their religious practices, and their ceremonial observances, our native subjects be left entirely to themselves/ our late excellent Governor would j have put an extinguisher upon it. Surely the son of Charles Grant will perform the right honourable act.”

After nine days in the old city, Mr. "Wilson was received at the next stage northwards by Mr. Kirkland, the civilian in charge, to whom Dr. Chalmers had given him an introductory note. The march from the Taptee, which almost . encircles Surat, to the Nerbudda, was spent in discussing a census of the “Pergunna” or “Hundred” of the district, from which the fact of the murder of female children became evident. A visit to Broach, the ancient Barygaza, the commercial glory of which has given place to a great agricultural prosperity under British rule, resulted in further work among the Parsees and Jains, and on the 17th January 1835 Baroda was reached. The bruit of the discussions with Hindoos and Muhammadans in Bombay seemed to have everywhere preceded Mr. "Wilson. At one village belonging to one of the Gaikwar’s feudatories, Mussulmans and Hindoos “ commenced denouncing the faith of each other in no very measured language,” after the statement which they had invited from the missionary. Before he could rest on the Saturday of his arrival at Baroda he had to grapple long with a really earnest Brahman, who, having become the secretary of a neighbouring Muhammadan Kawab, was an eclectic rationalist, seeking truth in accordance with reason only, and rejecting his own scriptures as inspired. The following very human extract from one of the letters which generally covered the instalments of his journal, may serve as an introduction to its more formal narrative. He preached twice in the English Church to the European residents, who were rarely visited by chaplain or missionary. Bishop Heber had consecrated it ten years before, when he was “ both amused and interested,” though a little fatigued, by his purely ceremonial visit to the Gaikwar, whose invitation to witness the cruel sport of elephant-baiting' he declined. The good Bishop’s narrative of his visit to Baroda, in 1826, presents a striking contrast to Mr. "Wilson’s Journal in 1835, but the difference is due chiefly to the knowledge which the Presbyterian “ Bishop ” had acquired of the language and religion of the Gaikwar.

“Baroda, 18th January 1835.

“My dearest Love—Surely you do not wish me to detain my Journal for the mere purpose of having it accompanied with a letter which I may not always find time to write. You must view the Journal as a communication. I should get on very poorly with it if I had not you in my eye. It is inter alia a love-offering. I question if Mrs. Webb had it that she would think of rejecting it. She was very proud about the Journal which her excellent brother Richard Townshend sent to her, and very justly so. Tell you her this.

“I write to you from Radical Hall. Captain S is over head and ears in an Irish bog; and how he will get out I know not. He has drawn in several young men to him. Irish bogs move, it is said. Do you think that they will ever move to the land of liberty ? I trow not. I am quite tired of their bawlings. Perhaps I may have done something to stop the spread of the mania.

“Tell Mr. Webb that Bishop Heber consecrated the Baroda Church; and that Bishops Fyvie and Wilson have reconsecrated it. Mr. Fyvie read the prayers of the Church of England in it. Colonel Burford gave the church to us. We had the sacrament privately in the evening yesterday, twelve com-municauts including two natives. I thought much of you and the dear children. Surely I may commit you all to the care of Him Who died on the cross for my sins.

“23rd January.—I spent the morning with Mr. Williams, the Political Commissioner. About eleven o’clock I proceeded with him and Colonel Burford, Dr. Smyttan, Mr. Malet, and Major Morris, to the palace of the Gaik-war. We were all mounted on an elephant, and attended by the guard of honour which accompanies the Political Commissioner on his visit to the king. We were introduced to the Gaikwar at the door of the Durbar; and we walked up with him through the ranks of his courtiers, to the Gadi. Mr. Williams sat next to the great man, and I next to Mr. Williams. After conversing with his Highness for a little on the late frosts, I asked whether or not I should be permitted, as a minister of the Gospel, to give a statement of the principles and evidences of Christianity, the religion professed by the inhabitants of Britain and many other countries, and which demands the acceptance of mankind throughout the world. His Highness informed me that he would be very happy indeed ; and I proceeded. I gave a view of the Scripture account of the character of God, of the natural state of man, and of the means of salvation ; and contrasted this account with those given in the Hindoo Shastres. When I had concluded, his Highness called upon Venirama, his minister, to come forward, and assist him to form a judgment of what had been said, which was entirely new to him. Venirama obeyed, and declared that Jesus was an incarnation similar to Rama and Krishna, who has received from God as a war (boon) the power of saving all those who believe in him. ‘ Rama and Krishna,’ I observed, ‘ were no incarnations of God at all. They might have been great warriors, like the forefathers of the Gaikwar, who were deified by the poets ; but most assuredly their characters forbid the entertainment of the idea that they were incarnations of the divinity. It is evident that they were sinners. Krishna is spoken of in the tenth section of the Bliagavat as having been guilty of murder, adultery, theft, and falsehood; and Rama is described by Valmiki as a person who perjured himself to Mandedari, the wife of Ravana, —who banished his wife, though innocent of the charges brought against her, at a time when she was pregnant, and thus proved himself a bad husband and a bad father; and troubled his poor brother Lukshmun so much that he destroyed himself, and thus proved a bad brother. Christ Jesus, however, committed no sin, and acted in every way suitable to his claims as God manifested in the flesh.’

“Our conversation then proceeded as follows:—Venirama. Don’t allege that the seeming evil acts of our gods were sinful. God can do what he pleases, and who is to call him to account? God is not responsible to any, but He will act always according to His nature, which is perfectly holy. Even Krishna is represented in the Geeta as admitting the propriety of his regarding moral observances: ‘ If I were not vigorously to attend to these (the moral duties), all men would presently follow my example, etc.’ Judging Krishna by what is here said, I am bound to condemn him. The legend, moreover, says that he felt the effects of his sin. When Jugannatli was asked why he had no hands and no feet, he declared that he lost them through his mischief at Gokula. Venirama. God can sin. He is the author of all sin. .Do not blaspheme the Self-existent. Veniramai. This is no blasphemy. If God is not the author of sin, pray who is the author of it? J. IF. The creatures of God are the authors of it. You must admit that God has given *a law to men. Venirama. I do admit this, and say that this law is good. J. TF. Now, I make an appeal to his Highness. Will the great king first make laws for his subjects, then give them a disposition to break these laws, and last of all punish them for breaking them? Gaikivcir (laughing heartily). Verily I will do nothing of the kind. I am always angry when my subjects break my laws. J. TF. And is not the King of kings and Lord of lords angry Avhen His laws are broken ? Why does He send disease and death into the world, and why has He prepared hell unless for the punishment of the wicked ? Venirama. I know not; but who is there to sin but God ? He is the only entity. J. TF. So, I suppose, you have 110 objections to say Aham Brahmasmi1 (I am Brahma). V. It is not lawful for me to repeat these sacred words. J. TF. Not lawful for God to declare His own existence ! You Avere saying a little Avliile ago that it Avas laAvful for God to do anything, even to sin. I think it presumption for any man to declare that he is God in any form of Avords. Never let the weakness, ignorance, sin, suffering, and change of men, be attributed to God. V. God in the form of men is apparently Aveak, and so forth. Suppose the Divine nature to be a tree. Men are the leaves of that tree. Noav, the leaves differ from the branches and the stalk and the root; and men, growing out from the Godhead, differ in some respects from the Godhead from Avhich they groAv. J. TF. But my position is that men are in no sense part of the Godhead. Their Aveakness, ignorance, sin, suffering, and so forth, to Avhich I have alluded, prove this. They are the Avorkmanship of God. V. But Avhat is the creation but the expansion of God? J. TF. It is the product of the DiAfine Avord and poAver. I cannot admit for a moment the theory of God’s SAvelling and contracting, and contracting and swelling. F. There are differences in religion you observe. Your religion, I admit, is good for you. J. TF. My religion professes to be the only one which is given by God, and to be good for all men. God never Avould give such contradictory accounts of Himself and His awI as are to be found in the Christian and Hindoo religions. Both of them cannot be true; for, in a thousand points Avhich I can enumerate, they are directly opposed to one another. Pray, on Avhat grounds do you believe in Hindooism? You say that eAfidence is of four kinds, pratyash (sensation), shdbda (testimony), anumana (inference), and vpamdna (analogy). What kind and degree of these species of eA'idence have you for Hindooism? V. We have our religion as Ave got it from our forefathers. It Avas their business to inquire into its evidence. J. TF. "What a strange evasion ! If you be in the Avrong, Avill the errors of your forefathers excuse you for neglecting to seek the truth? Don’t the Bheels plead the custom of their fathers as an excuse for their thefts and robberies? Gaikioar (laughing). Most certainly they do. J. TF. Surely your minister will not listen to their plea! Venirama. But what have you got to say for

Christianity? J. IF. Your question is very proper. I have got much to say for it. Suppose the Christian Shastra to be a letter. I peruse it. I find nothing inconsistent with its claims to Divine inspiration. It is in every respect worthy of the holiness and wisdom of God. It bears the impress of the Divinity. I can no more believe it be the unassisted work of man, than I can believe the sun to be the fabrication of a blacksmith. I behold it producing the most marvellous results, particularly in communicating sanctification and happiness to those who believe in it. I find from authentic history that it was published to the world at the time which it alleges ; and that it testifies as to miraculous transactions, which, if unreal, could not have been believed at the time when it was published, etc. I shall be delighted to give you a copy of it, that you may judge for yourselves. The more you peruse it, the more will you discover its excellence. The more that you inquire into its history, the more will you discover its credibility.

“When we had proceeded thus far, his Highness began to compliment me on my Dakhani boli (accent), and to declare that he and his ministers, though possessed of a spice of the rerum terrestricdium prudentia, knew little about the affairs of the other world. He then turned to Mr. Williams, and told him that he ought to have given him warning, that he might have the Brahmans in readiness. ‘ There is no lack of Brahmans here,’ said Mr. Williams. ‘ I never dreamt, when you requested leave for the’ Padre to visit me,’ he said, ‘ that he would act otherwise than the Lord Padre Saheb, who, after looking at every object in the Durbar, went out to see the artillery-yard. This is a guru vishesha. ’

“After declaring myself unworthy of the compliments which his Highness paid me, I offered him a finely-bound copy of the New Testament in Marathee. This, however, he declined to receive, as he had not yet seen reason to wish to abandon Hindooism. I recommended him to take the earliest opportunity of reflecting on what had been advanced, and stated to him that his acceptance of the Testament was not tantamount to abjuring Hindooism. Mr. Williams sported a joke or two as to his fears, but I thought it proper not to be too importunate, particularly as he would probably not refuse the gift if offered to him privately. The Gaikwar cautioned me against misunderstanding him, and, after again complimenting me, he insisted on my accepting from him, as a token of his good-will, a couple of shawls and a gold ornament. I decidedly refused the offering for some time; but, on being informed by Mr. Williams that my refusal would probably give offence, I yielded. I then received a letter from the Gaikwar to the authorities at Dwarka ; and, after a little miscellaneous conversation, we took our leave. The Raja, as on our entrance, walked with us through the Durbar. He is rather a good-looking Maratha, and superior in point of talent to most of the great men with whom I have come into contact. His dress was plain, but his ornaments were splendid. His son, a young lad of about sixteen years, who was present during the interview, seemed modest and placid. The Muhammadan Sirdars made rather a good appearance. The Marathas were scarcely to be distinguished from the plebs of their tribe.

“Leaving the Durbar, we examined the artillery-yard and other curiosities, and then proceeded homewards. After dining with Mr. Williams, Dr. Smyttan and I proceeded on our journey in the direction of the Gulf of Cambay.

“24th January.—We rode from Padrea to Gwasad early in the morning. I distributed, as usual, some tracts, to the natives whom we met on the roads, and preached in the village. We rode to Jambusar in the evening. After our arrival I received the following letter from Mr. Williams relative to the visit to the Gaikwar :—

‘Camp Baroda, January 24, 1835.

‘My dear Sir—His Highness sent for my head clerk this day, and desired him to explain to me that his reason for not accepting the Testament from you yesterday was, that his ministers, relations, and the whole Durbar, would have considered it as a kind of avowal of his inclination to desert his own creed ; that he was very much pleased with what he heard yesterday, and requested that I would send the Testament, and other books, to him by my men. I shall do so, either through the Nawab, or -, whichever channel his Highness prefers. His Highness further wishes to receive a letter from yourself to his address, stating that you are not offended at his apparent incivility in not receiving the book from your hands when offered to him in the Durbar yesterday ; and desires me to offer you his best wishes, and to say that he has directed all the authorities under him to afford you every aid.’

“25th January.—To-day I despatched a Marathee letter, of which the following is a translation, to the Gaikwar :—

‘Shri Raja Chhatrapati Akela Praudha Pratap Sayaji Rao Gaiakwad Sena Khas Khel Shamsher Bahadur. To his Highness Sayaji Rao Gaikawad, etc., John Wilson, the Servant of Jesus Christ, with all respect writeth as follows :— *

"The illustrious Mr. Williams having communicated to me your Highness’s wish to receive a few lines from me, I have the greatest pleasure in addressing you.

‘I was much gratified with the interview which I had with your Highness in the Durbar on Friday last, and I am duly sensible of the kindness and condescension which you evinced in granting it to me. I shall always remember it with much satisfaction.

‘As the Christian religion appears to me to be possessed of supreme importance, I embraced the opportunity afforded me while in the presence of your Highness, and by your Highness’s inquiries, of giving a summary of its principles, and of the evidence on which it rests its claims to universal reception; and it was with a view to afford your Highness an opportunity of judging of the merits of that religion that I proffered to your Highness a copy of the Christian Shastra. For the patience and interest with which your Highness and your ministers listened, I am truly grateful. Your declining to receive the Christian Shastra hi the Durbar, proceeding, as it did, from an apprehension that the public reception of it might be viewed as giving a public testimony in its favour without examination, has given me, I assure you, not the least offence. Nothing is farther from my wish, and that of other Christians, than that Christianity should receive any countenance which does not proceed from the perception of its own merits. We wish it, in every case, to receive the fullest inquiry.

‘I return my best thanks to your Highness for the favours given to me in the Durbar, and I shall preserve them as memorials of your kindness.

‘Why should I enlarge? That your Highness may long hold, the chhatra (umbrella) of protection and shelter over a happy people, and enjoy every blessing in this world and that which is to come, shall ever be my most fervent prayer to Almighty God. John Wilson.’

Baroda is one of the three great principalities—Sindia’s, Holkar’s, and the Gaikwar’s—which Maratha soldiers carved out of the debris of the Moghul empire under the flag, first of Sivajee’s house, and then of his Mayor of the Palace, the Peshwa. The first Gaikwar, or “ cowherd,” held the position of the Peshwa’s commander-in-chief till 1721. In the subsequent century the Gaikwars achieved such independence as was possible under the gradually growing suzerainty of the East India Company. In 1819 Sayajee Kao, whom Mr. Wilson describes, had succeeded his brother, and was from the first, unhappily, left to his own devices under certain vague guarantees. Misrule, financial insolvency, and disloyalty were the inevitable consequences, till in 1839 he was threatened with deposition by the paramount power, which could no longer share the guilt of maintaining his oppression over a population of two millions, who paid him above a million sterling a year. Sayajee managed to keep his seat till his death in 1847, after which the boy whom Mr. Wilson saw, Gunput Kao, reigned till his death in 1856. He was succeeded by his brother, Khundee Kao, in 1856, and he by I the youngest brother, Mulhar Kao, in 1870. The maladministration, which had steadily increased, then became so intolerable and even criminal, that his deportation to Madras in 1875 was the result, and the succession of a boy adopted by Khundee Kao’s widow. In his Journal, published in the Oriental Christian Spectator, “specially for the benefit of the natives,” Mr. Wilson gives no indication of the facts that he learned on the spot regarding the Gaikwar’s family and misrule. But his intimate acquaintance with the whole history and with the successive Gaikwars, led Lord Northbrook’s Government to consult him during the events of 1874-5.

From Daman to Cambay the Gulf of Cambay runs up into the heart of Goojarat, dividing from Surat and Baroda the cluster of native States ‘in wild Kathiawar and marshy Kutcli. Mr. Wilson crossed the Gulf to Gogo, the port of the principality of Bhownuggur, in which State is the famous Jain hill of temples at Palitana. The great orientalist Cole-brooke knew so little of Shatrunjaya as to write of it as “ said to be situated in the west of India.” Colonel Tod, of Rajasthan fame, was the only visitor of note previous to Mr. Wilson, and that in 1822. The Chinese pilgrim of the seventh century, Hiuen Thsang, seems to have passed it by, although he was so near it as Girnar. “ The sovereign of places of pilgrimage,” as the old annals call it, was transferred from the Buddhists to their Hindoo friends, the Jains, in 421 A.D. After Mr. Wilson’s visit the wealth of the Jain merchants of the cotton capital covered the hill with fanes, which even Mr. Fergusson allows to rival the old temples not only in splendour, but in the beauty and delicacy of their details ; so that a local writer remarks—“ one almost feels the place a satanic mockery of that fair celestial city into which naught may enter that defileth!”

Mr. Wilson prepared the following letter to the Jain priests of Palitana, and it has ever since been extensively read by that community:—


only Saviour of men, write as follows :—

“Though we have no acquaintance with you we wish your welfare. It is the desire of our hearts, in the presence of God, that you may he happy in this world and that which is to come. We have surveyed the splendid temples which are on the Shatrunji hill; and however much we admire them as buildings, we do regret the object for which they have been erected. They are not, as they ought to have been, places in which God is worshipped. They are filled with images of men whom you suppose to have obtained Nirwana. These images, or those whom they represent, are the objects of your supplications ! We do mourn over the errors into which your fathers fell respecting the divine nature, and from which you have not yet been delivered. It is lamentable to think that you do not admit a creating and superintending Providence. You cannot but see in the world on which you move, and in the worlds above you, decided marks of design and wisdom ; and, if you reason correctly, you cannot but attribute this design and wisdom to a being who exercises it. When you look to your own temples, you say that they have been built. Why do you not admit, when you look to the temple of the Universe, that it must have an Architect, whose wisdom and power and goodness are infinite? It is the height of folly to attribute what you see to a necessitous fate.

“You are wiser than the Brahmans when you say that there is an essential distinction between matter and spirit. Of neither matter nor spirit, however, have you correct ideas. All spirit is not, as you imagine, uncreated. God, whose existence and attributes are proved by his works, is uncreated, but all other spirit has been created by him, not from his own spirit as the Brahmans imagine, but from nothing, by his powerful word. In that spirit which has been created there are essential differences. The spirit of man differs from that of all the spirits with which we are acquainted on earth. It alone is capable of knowing, loving, and serving God, and it alone has a moral responsibility in the sight of God. It will continue either in a state of suffering or of happiness after death, while the spirit of the beasts, etc., shall have perished. Matter is not, as you imagine, uncreated. God made the whole of it, not from his own substance, by the word of his power ; and, whenever he pleases, he can destroy it. To suppose it to exist independently of the creation of God is to make of it a God.”

The letter proceeds to show that the worship of the » twenty-four Tirthankars, and the performance of good works, cannot remove that sin the existence of which the Jains admit, and it then expounds the salvation offered by Christ. It was largely circulated in the Goojaratee form. Mr. Wilson reasoned with the Eaja of the place, and with the Jains of the puritan Dhoondra sect, one of whose religious duties is to keep out of the way of the wind lest it should blow insects into the mouth. Their confidence in their tenderness towards life makes them very conceited. “How many lives are there in a pound of water?” asked Mr. Wilson of a Dhoondra. D. “ An infinite number.” IF. “How many are there in a bullock?” D. “One.” TV. “You kill thousands of lives, then, while the Mussulman butcher kills one.” The Hindoos laughed, and the Dhoondras joined them.

At Eajkote, in the heart of the Kathiawar peninsula, Mr. Wilson came fairly face to face with female infanticide. The young Eajpoot chief of the Jhadeja tribe he found under sequestration, because of having been accessory to the murder of his infant daughter. The long-neglected regulations of General Walker had been revived by Sir J. P. Willoughby, who afterwards adorned the Council of the Secretary of State for India. Mr. Wilson expounded to the Eaja and his court the Ten Commandments, “not overlooking the sixth, which he has so daringly violated,” while regarding him “with deep compassion.” This agreement,2 signed by every Jhadeja chief in General Walker’s time, presents a curious contrast to recent legislation on the same subject.

“Whereas the Honourable English Company, and Anund Row Guikwar, Sena Khas Kheyl Shamsher Bahadoor, having set forth to us the dictates of the Shastres and the true faith of the Hindoos, as well as that the ‘ Brumhu Vywurtuk Pooran ’ declares the killing of children to be a heinous sin, it being written that it is as great an offence to kill an embryo as a Brahman ; that to kill one woman is as great a sin as killing a hundred Brahmans ; that to put one child to death is as great a transgression against the divine laws as to kill a hundred women ; and that the perpetrators of this sin shall be damned to the hell Kule Sootheeta, where he shall be infested with as many maggots as he may have hairs on his body, be born again a leper, and debilitated in all his members ; we, Jahdeja Dewajee and Kooer Nuthoo, Zemindars of Gondul (the custom of female infanticide having long prevailed in our caste), do hereby agree for ourselves, and for our offspring for ever, for the sake of our own prosperity, and for the credit of the Hindoo faith, that we shall from this day renounce this practice ; and, in default of this, that we acknowledge ourselves offenders against the Sircars. Moreover, should any one in future commit this offence, we shall expel him from our caste, and he shall he punished according to the pleasure of the two Governments, and the rule of the Shastres. ”

“22nd February—Sabbath.—I have never travelled on this day since I came to India, hut in order that we might have an opportunity of preaching to our countrymen in a camp where the face of a minister has not been seen since the death of Mr. Gray, we rode into Bhooj early in the morning. We found that arrangements for public worship had been made by Colonel Pottinger, the Resident, with whom we took up our abode.”

The Rev. James Gray—a chaplain worthy as man and orientalist of Henry Lord, the first of the Company’s ecclesiastical establishment at Surat—had died five years before, and there were 140 Europeans at this remote station. His story is another added to those romances of an Indian career with which our history in the East is so plentifully and heroically strewed. A shoemaker of Dunse, not far from Mr. Wilson’s birthplace, he educated himself to be the second best teacher of Greek in Scotland, as the senior master of the High School of Edinburgh. He was the friend of Burns, the tutor of his boys, the correspondent of Wordsworth, and himself a poet and classical critic in Blackwood's Magazine. His elegy appears in Hogg’s Queen's Wake as that of one—

“Bred on southern shore,
Beneath the mists of Lammermore.”

Intenser views of Christian truth led him to accept an East Indian chaplaincy, and in the solitude of Bhooj he gave the close of his life to service to the natives, from the young Raja whom he taught, to the simple folk whose dialect of Kutchee, a transition from Goojaratee, he reduced to writing. These were days when our native feudatories were left to themselves, and the millions whom they ruled had no such guarantees against oppression as Lord Dalhousie and Lord Canning established when the empire became consolidated. Mr. Gray’s good work has often been repeated since, but after Schwartz he was the first, from 1826 to 1830, to aim at such an object as this—“I shall be able to make him one of the most learned kings that ever were in India, as he promises to be one of the most humane. Oh ! that I may be enabled to impart to his mind a portion of that wisdom that cometh down from above.” A few months after that Mr. Gray passed away, his death officially declared by Sir John Malcolm to be “ a public loss,” and his name associated in the journals with those of Carey, Leyden, and Morrison. Like Schwartz’s royal pupil, Maharaja Serfojee of Tanjore, the grateful Eao Daisul of Kutch erected a monument to Mr. Gray. From 1833 to 1860 Eao Daisul ruled his half-million of people with loyalty to the British Crown, fidelity to the teaching of his Christian tutor, and the best results to the people. Slavery he abolished the year after Mr. Wilson’s visit. Infanticide he suppressed by new regulations, so that the proportion of females to males in the Jhadeja tribe in Kutch rose from 1 to 8 in 1842 to 1 to 1*04 in 1868. His son more recently helped Sir Bartle Frere to stop the slave trade from Zanzibar to Muscat, which Kutch capitalists had encouraged; and his grandson is now a boy of twelve under training for power at the usual age of Indian majority, eighteen.

Turning back from Bhooj, the most northerly part of the tour, Mr. Wilson took boat at its large port of Mandvee for the famous shrines of Krishna on the south coast of the Gulf of Kutch. Here, at the island of Beyt and the fortress-temple of Dwarka, a mixed race of Muhammadans and Hindoos have long added to the plunder of deluded pilgrims the profits of organised piracy. Sanguinary wars and sieges, before 1835 and since, have given a horrible notoriety to the Waghurs, whom their lord and employer, the Gaikwar, failed to control. The more direct administration of political officers so vigorous as Colonel Keatinge, has in recent days given peace to the land of jungle and of idol shrines which forms the most westerly point of Goojarat. Such merit as temporary absorption into “ the prince, the intoxicator ”—as Krishna, the lascivious, is called—can give, is now to be obtained without the risks of 1835 and previously. But the island and the castle of Krishna, the Lord of Dwarka, are not so attractive as they were, save for the conch shells which Beyt, “ the door of the shell,” exports to supply the uses of every Krishna temple, and also for purposes of art. Dwarka is to the west what Pooree, the shrine of Jugganath, the lord of the world, is to the east of India.

“7th March, Pokebunder.—We preached, apart from one another, both morning and evening in the bazaars ; and we had many visitors throughout the day, whom we addressed and supplied with books. The report of our proceedings in other parts of the province had reached the town, and contributed not a little to the interest with which our ministrations were viewed. I am more and more persuaded that long missionary tours are by far the most beneficial. Had we confined ourselves on this occasion to a small district, there would have been little or none of this ardour, which procures us numerous and interested auditors. ‘I must hear,’ say many, ‘what every person in every place hears.’ There has been too much overlooking of human sympathy in the conduct of many Missions. If the Hindoos are to be wrought upon, they must be roused. The ministry of excitement, both of John the Baptist and our blessed Lord, preceded the ministry of conversion through the Apostles in the land of Judaea. Something similar may be the case in India. ”

Sailing down the coast, Mr. Wilson reached Joonagurh, a Muhammadan principality, in the court of which he had long discussions till past midnight, first with Hindoo and then with Mussulman scholars. He found the Hindoo prime minister well acquainted with Arabic. But his visit has a peculiar interest because of his—the first—attempt, in 1835, to decipher the famous Asoka inscriptions on the granite boulder of Girnar, discussed in a subsequent chapter. The classical hill, ten miles from the town, Mr. Wilson reached through the surrounding jungle at daybreak.

“13th March.—The ascent is very difficult, and in some places, from the precipitousness of the mountain, rather trying to the nerves. The rock is of granite, containing, particularly near the summit, a large quantity of mica. There is scarcely any vegetation upon it, and indeed, from its steepness, no possibility of the formation of a soil. The greatest temples are at an elevation, I should think, of about 3000 feet, estimating the greatest height at 3500. They are built of the granite, though some of the steps and staircases are formed of sandstone from the plain below. They are works of prodigious labour, and are executed in excellent taste. They are at present appropriated by the Jains, but the most ancient and remarkable of them appear to me from the Dhagob, and other arrangements, to be undoubtedly Buddhist. The most remarkable Jain images in them are those of Neminatha, not much exceeding the size of a man, black and ornamented with gold, and at present worshipped; and Rishabhdeva, of a colossal size, of granite covered with white chunam; and Parasnatha. In the inferior parts there are the images of all the twenty-four Tirthankars. There are numerous cells in the courts of the temples, and places adjoining, which were probably formerly used by the priests. At present the only persons who live on the hill are the sepoys who guard the temples, a few jmjaris (beadles), and pilgrims who come to worship, and who may sojourn for a night or two. I was allowed to go through all the temples, and even to enter the shrines and measure the idols.

“There are two other peaks on the hill, from one of which the Hindoos who get tired of life throw themselves down in the hope of making a speedy journey of it to heaven. I did not think of visiting them on account of the difficulty of reaching them. There was, however, a staircase leading to them, as to the peak on which I stood. The view from the top of Girnar is one which is not dearly purchased at the expense of ascending it. It embraces the adjoining hills, one of which—the Dhatar—vies with it in height, and an immense range of low country extending in all directions, and, toward the west, reaching the sea. There is much jungle on the lower hills : and cultivation, from the want of water, is not very extensive in the low country. Villages appear scattered only here and there.

“I made as quick a descent of the mountain as possible, that I might reach, before the darkness of night settled upon me, the block of granite near Joonagurh, which contains the ancient inscriptions which, though never deciphered, have attracted much attention. I was able to accomplish the object which I had in view. After examining the block for a little, and comparing the letters with several ancient Sanskrita alphabets in my possession, I found myself able, to my great joy, and that of the Brahmans who were with me, to make out several words, and to decide as to the probable possibility of making out the whole. The taking a copy of the inscriptions, I found, from their extent, to be a hopeless task ; but, as Captain Lang had kindly promised to procure a transcript of the whole for me, I did not regret the circumstance.”

But one spot of historical and idolatrous interest remained to be visited—that Somnath which the iconoclast Muhammad of Ghuznee stripped of its treasures, and the so-called gates which Lord Ellenborough dreamed that he would restore as an act of political and religious justice which the Hindoos must appreciate. Having sailed from the port of Joonagurh, Verawul, Mr. Wilson rode two miles to the Phallic shrine of the old temple.

“18th March.—I proceeded to both the new and old temples of Somnath. The former was built by the famous Alya Bai about fifty years ago, and it is now under the care of the Sompada Brahmans, with one of whom I conversed. The latter is that of which the image (a linga) was destroyed by Muhammad of Ghuzni, and of which the most extravagant accounts have been published. The greater part of the building (of sandstone) is still standing, and the remains of its external ornaments, though much defaced by the violence of the Mussulmans, show that, as pieces of art, they had been well executed. Some are not very decent, and it is not to be wondered at that the attempt was made to destroy them. The Mussulman conqueror might find treasure about the premises, but most certainly it was not within the god, who had neither head nor belly.”

Bombay was safely reached, by sea, on the 20th March, after an absence of above three months. The missionary survey of the whole Province of Bombay proper was now complete.

The one, the only one, intolerable trial of European life in India had already begun to cast its shadow over the otherwise unbroken happiness of the mission family at Ambrolie. Four children had been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, and of these one had died in infancy, while another was soon to follow him. During Mr. Wilson’s absence on his tour to Goa in 1834, it had been necessary to send home their eldest boy, Andrew, who has since distinguished himself as a traveller and author in India, China, and Great Britain. Very pathetic ' are the references, in the correspondence of husband and ! wife, to these deaths and that separation. But now the close of the tour of 1835 was to be marked by the greatest blow of all T)r. Smyttan had urged Mrs. Wilson to return to Scotland, after her visit to Surat, as the only means of saving her life. “It seems worse than death to part from my husband; but if I must indeed go, the Lord will give me strength for the hour of trial. Dr. Smyttan has not yet mentioned it to Mr. Wilson; he is afraid of distressing him, and he wished me first to give my consent. This I can never do.” On the 8th April she wrote to her boy at home “ the last letter that your dearest mamma will ever write to you;” and as she laid down the pen exclaimed, “Now I am ready to die.” But not till the struggling spirit had cared for the Marathee girls also, for she ever spoke in the agony of dissolution to them, Ancindie, Yeslrn Christiavar phar priti theva, “O Anandie, I beseech you, greatly love Jesus Christ! ”

“The prospect of death is sweet,” she could say in her last words. After that, and on the 19th April, the Sabbath morning saw her freed from the body.

It is all such a tragedy, and on its human side so common a tragedy, in the land of which Great Britain has_takeii possession by the dust of its noblest women as well as bravest X. men. But to her it was a triumph. Margaret Wilson was the first, as she was with Ann Judson the greatest, of that band of women-missionaries whom Great Britain and America have ever since given to India, till now they number some two hundred who are living and dying for its people. Her sisters soon after took up her work, and her husband published a very popular Memoir of her life, which the perusal of her papers enables us to pronounce within the truth in the representations it gives of her intellectual ability and her gracious force of character. To her, more than to any other, is due the rapid progress of female education in Bombay, not only I in Christian schools but in Parsee, Hindoo, and even Muhammadan families.

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