Page images
PDF
EPUB

cases,

way.

lately from Ava, was baptized. His school-have been approved by the name is Moung Shwa Youk. In the church. The other is the wife of Ko afternoon we celebrated the dying Syke, the man who was baptized last love of our Savior. There were fif- January. She appears very well; but teen of us present. The season was is timid and fears opposition. She is refreshing to our souls. May we not now rather balting, but we hope will hope for greater things than these? | have grace to come out from the world. Our church now numbers sixteen, in- One of the boys is her son, the other cluding ourselves—six of whom have is the son of native Christians. They been baptized here; the other eight are about 14 years of age. having been received by letter from the Two of our assistants have lately church in Maulmain. Ko Bike, who made excursions into the country villawas baptized here, is now in Arracan ges, and found several very interesting endeavoring to preach the gospel.

Four influential men in one Course of missionary labor.

village were very attentive to their I am again suffering from dyspepsia, ihe eternal God. It appears that they

preaching, and professed to believe in but am able to preach twice on the were in the babit of reading in a tesSabbath, attend 'bible class with the tament, and the Life of Christ, which native Christians, on Tuesday and we gave them about two years ago. Friday evenings; and prayer meetings May the Lord lead their minds into every Saturday evening and every | the truth! The people of this place first Monday evening in the month. I do not seem to make much progress occasionally go into the village to in searching for the truth; but we preach, besides attending almost daily hope some are inquiring for the right to revising portions of the scriptures. Our schools still prosper. I shall have the digest ready for the We also find that we need a bell. press in the course of six months, if We have two native bells or gongs; but nothing occurs to hinder. I think it they cannot be heard throughout the best to preach in English, at present village; and there are so many other at least, not only in hopes of doing the gongs in the place, especially a part of hearers good, but on account of the the season, that ours cannot be distinbeneficial influence it will have upon guished from others. We will add the natives to see that the officers and enough to what we may be able to others who resort to this place during sell the gongs for, to make out 40 the hot weather, also worship the rupees, (nearly twenty dollars,) and if eterval God. We have native worship the Board think they cannot send us at nine in the morning, at which time one without, we will make up 50 ruall the school children (about 40,) and pees. A good toned bell, weighing the native Christians, and frequently 100 or 125 pounds, will be sufficiently some others, are present. At 12 o'clock we have English worship. In Several benevolent individuals have the evening, if I am able, I meet with made up a sum of 95 rupees to the native Christians, if not, they have purchase books for prizes for the worship by theniselves. We feel on school. The money is to be sent to the whole to take courage and press Calcutta for the books, and we hope - forward in our Jabors, hoping to see will be the means of adding new inthe salvation of God. Oh! that fervent terest to the school, besides furnishprayer might be offered without ceasing the children with books to read ing' for the salvation of souls here. at home. We hope our school will We cannot be too sensible of our de- become a permanent means of doing pendance on God. We cannot be too

good. importunate in prayer for his blessing.

Jan. 4th. Yesterday we had the May the Lord assist all who are engag- pleasure of administering the ordied in this great work to labor for bis

nance of baptism to the two boys menglory, and hasten the time when the tioned above. Let Christians pray nations shall submit themselves to him! fervently for these converted youths,

In another letter, clated Jan. 1, 1891, Mr. H. that they may be kept from falling, and mentions,

may be thoroughly fited for useful

ness in the church. May the tokens Candidates for barlism-State of the of God's approbation which we are school.

permitted to receive, increase our faith We have three applicants for bap- and zeal ! tism, two of them-boys from

large.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

miles from Tachen we had passed a Siam.

large canal, bearing northwest, called

Eram ta rang, and on the left were JOURNAL OF MR. SLAFTER, AT BANGKOK: many other canals, passing down to Excursion to the interior-Canal and From Tachén to this place the distance

the sea, !ised by salt manufacturers. river navigation.

is some 35 miles. In the first half of Sept. 18th, 1840. At 11 o'clock this the way we counted some ten little vilmorning I left home in company with lages, chiefly Peguan. br. Buel of the Presbyterian Board, for The canal which we took at Tachén, the purpose of distributing tracts and after several miles, lessens down, until other religious books in the country at length it proves to be but a serpenwastes of this uncultivated field. tine creek. Then comes a reach or

After parting with our families we long canal, pearly straight; next is a commenced our voyage with favorable canal the king had dug, a short time prospects, and passed pleasantly on since, to cut off a large bend (this is under the smiles of our heavenly called Haún); then on to the MaFather.

kolng river. The canal, and the large We are snugly housed in a boat that village on each side of its mouth, are I have had fitted up for such journeys, called by the same name as the river. at an expense of some $40 ; and thongh The Ma-klong is similar in size and it is yet an experiment, I think favora- appearance to the Tachén river. Its bly of it. Our four men are able to mouth, where it empties into the sea, make headway against almost any cur- is said to be but an hour or two from rent, so that we are not obliged to lay this place. by for tides, except for the men to rest.

Some two miles above our place, at Distribution of tracts Gambling shops the residence of his highness Prince

-A music-master-State of the country. T. Momfanoi, we left the river, and en 20th, Sabbath. Besides our usual tered a canal on the left, called Klong devotions with the servants, morning Bang Looúng. The banks of the ca- and evening, on board the boat, we nal are thickly settled for some ten have distributed tracts at the village to miles back, when we come to a low numerous boatnien, and to the people jungle, in the rear of which there are who are thickly settled along the shores some rice fields. The.only habitations, of the river above, some tive miles, to all along, are little clusters of houses, the village Bang chang. Here we fintenanted by Laos fishermen or Peguan ished our distribution for 10-day, and wood-cutters.

had the painful opportunity of seeing 191. Last evening, at 11 o'clock, some men the worse for a whiskey stiil we re-entered the Tachèn river, at the which is kept in operation here. village of Ma--chi (glorious victory), 21st. Near where we anchored last and anchored for the night about 25 evening is one of numerous gambling miles from Bangkok. The Tachén is shops in this country; and some perabout two-thirds as wide as the Mei- sons, who spent a portion of last night nam, and is more shallow at the shores. there, gave us a call; but they only It rises far back in the country, and stole our rudder, and furnished us an einpties into the sea a little way below opportunity to test the generosity of the this. Intending to examine the villa- country Chinese, who, I am happy to ges on our return, we only distribu- say, speedily prepared us a new rudder, ted tracts to the pumerous boatmen and were not particular about pay. on the river, and passed up three Wbile here, a gentleman passing saw miles to the village of Tachen, which us, and stopped. After some inquiries, is about northwest from Ma--chi. he invited us to call on him, as we

This village is on the left bank of passed, which we did, and were rethe river, chiefly on the right of a wide ceived as affectionately as though we canal which we took, bearing nearly had been brothers. He is a great musouthwest. This canal, and fully balf sic master by profession, and at our reof the river's surface is thickly covered quest gave us a touch upon his instruwith a kind of floating herb, resem- ments, much to our satisfaction. He bling lettuce, and is called "chalk.” It is was surrounded by attendants, and a great hindrance in propelling a boat. took his seat with them, while we were

At 11 o'clock, P. M., we entered the with him, and sented us much higher. river Ma-klong (mother of canals), and Tea was brought; cocoanuts, plananchored for the night. Half a dozen | tains, &c., were furnished for our boat;

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

some little presents were exchanged, upward movement of the waters; and and we took our leave. Some two from the place where we slept last miles above Bang chang, on the left, night, up the river, we had hard pullis a canal which is said to pass round ing; but we passed up only four or the mountains and come out at Rapree five miles, to the village of Racha-booree, abore. It is also said to be thickly or as the common people say, Rapree. studded with villages, all along its This is as far as we had fully designed banks. From the mouth of this caval to go. Though the river, at Rapree, is to the place where we have anchored nearly as wide as it is far below, yet for the night, some thirty miles, the the shoals on one side, and the strong country has presented a more and more current on the other, made our ascent lorely aspect. Instead of a wilderness difficult. Nor could we assist ourselves of uueultivated jungle, we see a neatly by towing from the shore, as others trimmed grove of shade trees, fruit did, without a long rope, which we had trees, and beds of herbs, and one or not. The banks here are some pine two beautiful mulberry orchards. The or ten feet high, and throughout this stately shade trees; the gray-headed country the banks of the canals and fathers and mothers, and grand pa- rivers are generally of a very uniform rents, surrounded by several genera- level. Our course from Ma-klong has tions of descendants; the ancient man- generally been northwest. sions, with their neat long-standing en Rapree is a village of no great imclosures; the many buffaloes and cows portance. Along the right bank of the feeding; their carts properly housed; river there is a small fort, and some and the neatly cultivated rice fields, one hundred houses; and back, out of jast back of these lovely shores; all sight of the river, is a high wall, enthese things would seem not only to closing something like a quarter of a indicate the abode of industry and civ- mile square. Ioside, there were two ilization, but that christianity may have or three dozen huts and a business long since found here a peaceful asy- shed, where many persons of respectalum. But alas for the people! Here ble appearance were evidently attendand there an idol's temple and the nu- ing to government business. But they merous yellow-robed gentlemen, give allowed us to claim their attention long us to understand that religion here is enough to supply them with tracts. an offence to God.

Near the river we found another A large portion of the inhabitants, gentleman engaged in overseeing some 100, are slaves to the king; and from customary celebrations. These closed one to six months or more of each just as we came up, and taking a seat year, the men are required to spend at with him, at the request of his servant, Bangkok, building wals; or in the for- all the people soon after seated them. ests, cutting timber; or something else; selves on the floor, in evident expecta80 that the beautiful rice fields are on- tion. Seeing the gentleman apparently made to produce what is necessary ly waiting for us to introduce our busifor their own immediate consumption. ness, we first gave his servant a numNo lover of bis country can converse ber of each kind of our books, with with these poor Cambojians, Peguans, instructions to give them to our friend. Laos, &c., without feeling his sympa- He did so, and soon the gentleman thies kindle in their behalf, as they, in selected a couple of copies, saying to an under tone, tell him the simple tale me “The other numbers I have bud beof their sorrows. Poor creatures! I fore. I have a large pile laid up. I verily believe they are ready to em- obtained them at Bangkok.” He then brace the gospel, were there missiona- spake of a foreigner who passed there ries prepared to teach them in their a short time before, and tried to give owo tongue. This is particularly true his name. It was, doubtless, Dr. Richof the Peguans, of whom there are ardson, the Euglish ambassador, who many thousands in Siam. We have came over from Burmah to this place found many on our way, and they are in 1839. On being interrogated, he said to be numerous above this. informed me that the surrounding

country embraces many villages and a The rillage of Rapree-Interview with a numerous population. He said that in

Siamese gentleman-Population. Rapree and vicinity-embraced within 22d. This being the rainy season, a day's journey-there were about ten the current is so strong that, though at thousand Siamese men, one thousand flood tide the river rises a little, many Chinese, three or four thousand Cammiles above Ma-klong, yet there is no l bojiang, and Pegnans in great num

amese.

bers" about how many I cannot say | interview with Choom, our friend, we right"-besides many Laos people. passed down to Ma-klong, and trav

He farther informed us that, some elled about through most of the villadays' journey above, there were forks ges, giving tracts and numbering the in the river, one branch coming from houses, leaving a part of our boatmen the north and the other from the Bur- to go up the canal with the boat. man empire, on the west.

Perhaps one-third of the inhabitants We then gave books to all the men are Chinese. present, and took our leave. After this The banks here are about as high, if interview, the people treated us more not higher, than at Bangkok. The respectfully, and we soon supplied all fort, the wats, the swine by hundreds, the village with religious reading. and large fat ducks by thousands, and

Some three or four miles west of the the peus and yards of the swine and village is a moderate sized mountain, ducks, among, under, behind, and in which here looks like the two humps front of the closely jammed houses-an on a camel's back. Between these arrangement which occasions no small humps is seen a building, which is said annoyance to any sensible olfactories to be a place of worship for these idol —are things that will attract some ataters. Perbaps they have there an ar tention. But this is not all. One Chitificial Phra Bat (holy foot).

nanan takes his book and reads on, in A priest gave us the names of many the crowd, as though he expected villages above, but I hope to see them, something of moment would therein and will not give their names now. be revealed; while numerous Siamese CambojiaAnother visit to the music- succeed, by deceptive plans, in obtain.

will get as many books as they can master-Domestic economy of the Si-ing, and then, stowing them away, will

pass the time in remarks about you The Cambojians, some years since, and your boat, &c., if they do not laugh lost their national independence, and at yon. Then conies a respectable being located between Siam and Co- woman with an old tract, saying, “ The chin China, they have been a bone of man of the house has sent me for a contention between the two nations new tract, as he is pleased with them." ever since. At present one half are Anon you are teased by a half drunk, ruled by this country and the other by half crazy man, whose noise will gaththat; but the division line is now the er around him a multitude whose need particular subject of dispute. Soldiers of cultivation, and whose spiritual are being enlisted in great numbers wretchedness will oft cause a feeling here, to check the advancing army of missionary to sigh as he passes among the Cochin Chinese. We are inform them. Not but that there are those who ed that, some sixteen years ago, and at are bright and somewhat intelligent several later periods, many thousand and well behaved; but alas! idolatry and Cambojians were taken prisoners, and tradition have thrown their dark manbronght to this country. Those who tle over everything but the pure relifirst came are said to reside together gion of Jesus. And hence, “this new above Rupree, and west toward the religion! what is that to me?" mountain, and number more than the Leaving Ma-klong when the water late comers by many thousands. was low, we found some difficulty in

About three o'clock we left Rapree, passing through the canal, but at length and dropping down with the current, we reached Haún, the point where anchored for the night against the the tides of the two rivers meet. Here music master's house. Here we spent is a Hin-La (a fine, tile-roofed shed the evening in explaining the Chris- for travellers). Here we dined, and tian religion to as attentive a company then our boatmen pulled against tide as ever listened in America ; and to till evening, when, between sleepclose, we called our boatmen-read in ing, fighting musquitoes, and rowing, English and translated the ten com- they at length chose the latter; and mandments—sung and prayed with about two o'clock in the morning we them-we then took our leave for the reached Tachen, where the breezes on night. May the Holy Spirit follow up the river soon relieved them of their what may have been effected upon this unwelcome intruders. man's mind, by the tracts he has from time to time read, and by what he has Scenery of the country-A Siamese fort. now heard !

24th. Last night we passed the Pe23. This morning, after another gunn villages without exploring them,

which I was sorry to do, but hope to Ma-klong; or they let us pass without pass that way again.

any inquiry, except for a book. But to This morning, very early, we trav- ask the prah klang to let us take up our elled through the village of Tachén, residence in some of these villages at supplying those we met with tracts, present—though he would not hinder and counting the dwellings.

our travelling on our own responsi. We had some half a dozen asking bility—would be but to get a prohibifor Chinese books, and two Burmans. tion to settling, if not even to travelling Tachen having somewhat elevated at all. He would, no doubt, avoid the banks, and the jungle below not being responsibility himself, but if he were very high, the sea breezes are felt here to ask the king we should most assurand make it rather a pleasant place. On edly have a prohibitory law passed at the eastern bank we saw many mon- once. I bless God that now we inay keys sporting. A great bend in the freely travel and publish the truths of river prevents Tachèn from being seen the kingdom, and make a beginning at Ma-ha-chi.

among these perishing millions. At Ma-ha-chi we stopped for break Between this and the suburbs of fast. Meanwhile we walked out with Bangkok we found numerous boats, as our little gifts. There are no houses has been the case most of our way. To west of the river, against the village, the occupants of these we gave a supbut some few miles below there is said ply of tracts; and in this way we have to be a large Chinese settlement. sent them far and near, in all direc

On the east side of the river is a tions. Our books being all spent we little Peguan settlement, and below, a had only to seek our homes, which we fort. There are said to be about sixty reached in safety this evening, about 9 Chinese here.

o'clock, and found all our friends well The banks here, too, are higher than and happy. at Ma-klong, and the fort occupies a I have, I think, materially improved lovely spot. It is on high and level in speaking Siamese ; and I hope, too, ground, and there is near it a road that the books which we have scatterthrown up in American style. Though ed with our own hands, may prove the not Macadamized, it is yet a treat to a heralds of mercy to many idolaters. Bankok missionary to see such, out As we have many books on hand, side the city walls. It is, however, and now have liberty to scatter them used only by foot people, and was abroad, and as several other desirable made, doubtless, as a kind of appen- objects are to be gained, I think it will dage to the fort. Another advantage I be my duty, as soon as the cold season should.prize is the view of the western comes on, when the tide sets bigh up mountains, which, though some forty or the rivers, to take several such jourfifty miles distant, are, nevertheless, to neys as that I have now made; and I one long shut out from such view, a trust I shall meet the wishes of the lovely sight.

Board in so doing. The houses of this place are not so dense as at Tachên, and are, conse

In a postscript dated Oct. 27, Mr. S. addsquently, the more pleasant; but the I have the pleasure to say that my same moral gloom hangs over all the trip to Rapree has given me much as. otherwise delightful villages. From sistance in making myself understood the guard-house, sonie came for tracts, in the Siamese. I am now able to but said nothing about our going or read, sing, and pray

with my domestics coming.

so as to be quite intelligible; and I

think my interest in this people inGovernment toleration-Safe return to creases as I am more able to address Bangkok.

them understandingly. I have recentFrom what I can learn, all the men ly been ill a few days, as have many in office, far and near, have heard of others here; but am now quite well, us, have received our books, know our as is also Mrs. Slafter. object, know that we are friends with We feel quite assured that some vesthe prince T. Momfanoi and other per- sels from America must have been sons of rank; and, therefore, when lost, for few are the letters we receive. they are told we are the tract distribu- Qur last from nearest friends are now tors from Bangkok, the royal city, they nearly two years old. We recently only ask us if we will not give them welcomed br. Goddard and his lady some clothes, pantaloons, or hats-or and son here, in tolerable health. Br. something else—as did an officer at Dean is better. We long to see br.

30

VOL. XXI.

« PreviousContinue »