Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

6

only her husband and her two children but also the whole mission. Mrs. Perkins' maiden name was Charlotte J. Taylor, and she was born in Baltimore, Md., December 21, 1860. Her religious life began when she was fourteen years of age. After pursuing her studies at the high school in Baltimore, in which city she afterwards taught with great acceptance, she was married to Mr. Perkins, June 24, 1885, and embarked with him for India July 7 of the same year. After ten years of service in the field and a year's furlough in the homeland, Mr. and Mrs. Perkins returned to India in August last and had entered upon service in connection with the Tirumangalam station of the Madura Mission. She was greatly admired and beloved by her associates, and by all who knew

her as a woman of consecrated purpose and whole-hearted zeal. It is interesting to read her utterances as she offered her services as a missionary. “I believe I am a Christian by the ever-increasing love of God's Word and a desire to live closer to him.” She mentions among the motives which led her to devote her life to missionary service, “the love for our Master who tells us, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments'; and he tells us distinctly to 'go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature ;' and though I am less than the least of all saints, I wish by his grace to help show the unsearchable riches of Christ to the men and women who are afar off. I am willing to devote my life to the service with the hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with bold

ness Christ shall be magnified in my MRS. C. J. PERKINS.

body whether it be by life or by

death.'" Rev. George H. Gutterson, who was associated with Mr. and Mrs. Perkins in mission work in India, gives the following appreciative notice of Mrs. Perkins :

“ The contrast between home and church life in the city of Baltimore, where one is the centre of love and influence, and a lonely mission station in Southern India is very great. It must have seemed so to Mrs. Perkins when she arrived at Manadapasalai, in the autumn of 1885. This is the most isolated station of the Madura Mission; but she was a heroic woman, fully equal to this as to every sacrifice.

“Both the romantic and the practical in mission life appealed to Mrs. Perkins. She was attracted to the Tamil people and learned to speak to them in their own tongue. Being gifted in music she was able to catch the harmony of their unwritten lyrics, and reproduced them upon the organ. She had a fine sense of humor which appeared in her correspondence and written descriptions of life

[graphic]

in India. It also served to temper the sombre and difficult passages of missionary life, and made her a charming companion and friend. Frankness and sincerity without any cant made up her character. Devotion to her husband and children was a part of Mrs. Perkins' religion, and this, added to her love for her Master and his work, took her from her Baltimore home and made her strong and bright during the ten years and more in the missionary home in India.”

THE SORROWS OF INDIA. On the following page will be found an engraving illustrating one of the many woes which of late have overwhelmed India. Gaunt famine has stalked through the land and laid low myriads of victims. The engraving we present is from a photograph of the low-caste Hindu applicants for relief who came on one day last summer to the yard of Dr. R. A. Hume's home in Ahmednagar. It is by no means the worst scene which might have been depicted. We have some photographs showing extreme want and emaciation, but the cut used will suffice to indicate to some degree the distress which prevailed. Mrs. Bissell, of Ahmednagar, writes that the hungry people not only thronged their compounds but often filled the streets through which they had to pass. While the government relief works were open for all who could labor, there were multitudes of aged and sick, as well as of children, who had no means of support. Mrs. Bissell reports that much time was given by the missionaries to securing positions at the relief camps for those who, because they were so hungry and so exhausted, seemed too helpless to make an effort in their own behalf. While the severity of the famine has passed, and in most sections food can be secured, there is still distressing want. The people who have suffered keenly from hunger, but who have survived, are enfeebled physically, and on returning to their homes they find everything a waste and the usual means of support gone. They must be ministered to for months and, to some extent, for years to come. Orphanages are needed for the children, and these orphanages can be made most efficient in connection with missionary work in behalf of the people.

But while we rejoice that the great distress caused by famine has measurably passed away, there has been a reappearance of the bubonic plague in such terrible form as almost to overshadow the previous woe. A year ago the plague was confined chiefly to Bombay and a few other points, but it has now visited the interior, and the worst reports of its ravages are coming from our missionary stations of Sirur, Ahmednagar, and Sholapur. At the latter place the disease appeared in the most virulent form in October last. Very soon the schools under the charge of Mrs. Harding and Miss Fowler were ordered to be closed, and the plague hospitals were full far beyond their capacity. It was deemed best for most of the ladies connected with the mission to remove with the children to a place of safety, while the men remained to help the Christians and others during their terrible experiences. Sholapur is a city of about 65,000 inhabitants, and though probably 50,000 of them fled from the place, yet the plague continued to rage violently, and Mr. Fairbank reports that early in December there were about fifty new cases daily, three fourths of them proving fatal.

At Ahmednagar the situation is quite as serious as at Sholapur. After the outbreak of the plague at Sirur and at points nearer to Ahmednagar, rigorous measures were taken to prevent the progress of the disease. Quarantine camps

[graphic]

LOW-CASTE APPLICANTS FOR RELIEF AT AHMEDNAGAR, INDIA.

were reopened as well as plague hospitals, and also an “observation camp," to which all inmates of the houses where the plague appeared were taken for ten days, in case they should be attacked. Dr. Julia Bissell, of Ahmednagar, gives the following clear account of the situation and of the means employed to stamp out the disease :

"Immediately after the removal of a sufferer, the house is locked and sealed by the municipal officers to prevent others from entering it. In a day or two the house is thoroughly washed with a disinfecting solution, all rubbish in it cleared out and burned, part of the roof removed, and windows broken into the walls, to admit sunlight and air freely. The earthen floor is next broken up and its earth turned into the street for a scouring. The walls are lime-washed with chloride of lime, and occupants are not allowed to return to the house for two months. Now, throughout the city are heaps of burning rubbish of earth from the floors, and workingmen may be seen breaking in roofs and windows.

“The city is divided into twelve wards, each with a superintendent, and under him several 'superiors' or inspectors. The latter visit every house in their ward daily, call the roll of its inmates, and report any cases of sickness to their superintendent. The latter sends for a doctor to pronounce upon the case, and arranges for its removal, if necessary. Besides this, for months past people of the city have been advised to leave. As far as possible the system of evacuation has been given a thorough trial here. Some of the people fled from fear of the disease, others through fright at the measures adopted by authorities, others from a share in the general panic. At present a scant 2,000 sleep in the city at night. Where have they gone? To villages and towns far and near; to their friends. Others have gone to their little farms, built huts in the fields and live there. Hundreds of these huts may be seen in fields all around us.”

Dr. Bissell reports that while the Christian community has not entirely escaped the pestilence, they have suffered comparatively little. The schools having been closed, the Christians have been scattered, and many were in the health camp, awaiting the time when it is safe for them to return to the city. Dr. Bissell describes what these Christians will find on their return to their city:

“One entire row of houses occupied by them has been torn down. The houses were not fit to be used as homes - small, unventilated, poorly built, old. Another row is entirely unroofed and a third will be. A fourth should be treated likewise. All these houses are highly unsanitary as dwelling-places. We have realized it for a long time, but have not felt authorized to pull down and rebuild, because of pressure from home about funds. Now, however, we have been obliged to do it to prevent the plague from spreading further, and while it will mean great difficulty in finding houses for the people to live in, I am glad these are treated as they needed.”

From Bombay, Mr. Abbot reports, under date of January 28, that while the plague seems to be decreasing in other places it is rapidly increasing again in that city, although there is not the panic of last year. So far as can be learned there is a daily mortality of about 200 from the plague, and the number of those who recover from an attack is very small. Mr. Abbot thinks that by some physical law, the nature of which is not apparent, Europeans seem to be almost exempt from attacks. But the terror of the natives is extreme, and they specially resent the efforts of the government to inspect their homes in search of plague spots. They hide their sick and neglect to bury their dead. This mingled terror and resentment have led to mob violence in Bombay, reports of which are reaching us as we write. Thus the ignorance and superstition of the people add greatly to the peril of the situation.

At Ahmednagar the situation is quite as serious as at Sholapur. After the outbreak of the plague at Sirur and at points nearer to Ahmednagar, rigorous measures were taken to prevent the progress of the disease. Quarantine camps

[graphic]

LOW-CASTE APPLICANTS FOR RELIEF AT AHMEDNAGAR, INDIA.

were reopened as well as plague hospitals, and also an “observation camp,” to which all inmates of the houses where the plague appeared were taken for ten days, in case they should be attacked. Dr. Julia Bissell, of Ahmednagar, gives the following clear account of the situation and of the means employed to stamp out the disease :

:

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »