« AnteriorContinuar »
began to work as a mason. His evenings, after the others had gone to bed, were spent in reading and writing by the light of sticks gathered during the day. Three years after removing to his father's, he met with the terrible accident which deprived him of his sense of hearing. He was carrying a load of slates to the roof of a house, and had just reached the top of the ladder, when in stepping on to the roof his foot slipped and he fell a height of thirty five feet to the pavement below. For a fortnight he remained unconscious, but at last he was able to recognise those around him. j Their extreme quietness
struck hiui forcibly, and when instead of speaking to him they wrote on a slate the answers to his questions, he was still more surprised. 'Why do you write to me? why not speak? Speak! Speak!' he cried. 'You are deaf,' was the startling answer presented on the slate.
After eight months his health was restored, but his total deafness prevented him resuming work. He was therefore left to regulate his time very much as he pleased. His next effort to earn a few pence was by selling pictures of his own drawing and advertisement tickets for shop
windows. One week—the fair at Plymouth —he got eightpence; but twopence-was a* much as he usually made in a week.
In 1818, his grandmother was forced to leave Plymouth and was unable to take her grandson with her. Kitto was thus left solely dependent on his parents. As he had no prospect of making his own livelihood, he was in 1819 admitted to the workhouse. There he was placed under the charge of a Mr Anderson to learn shoemaking. In 1820 he lost by death his grandmother, who had been such a true friend to him. He felt the loss most keenly. 'I shall not attempt to describe my feelings,' he wrote in his diary at the time; 'they were such, that the moment when I stood on the brink of the grave, eagerly looking on the coffin till the earth concealed it, I shall never forget till ^, the hand that writes this shall be as hers, and the heart that inspires r it shall cease to beat.' ;>y His life in the workhouse was ;..-., on the whole pleasant, though *fej> there were many hardships. He ~\jk^, had many kind friends who helped him by giving him books to read. The other boys used to persecute llljjljjp him, till at last he had to complain 'of their conduct. One of them said all he did was in play, but Kitto answered—and I hope my readers will remember the answer—'You should hurt no one in sport.' Whenever your sport gives pain: be sure it is cowardly sport.
On leaving the workhouse in 1821 he was placed under a shoemaker of the name Bowden. His master proved a cruel one; for we find such entries in his diary as the following: 'November 29th. First blow! threw a shoe in my face; I made a wrong stitch.' 'December 6th. Struck again.' 'December 7th. Again! I could not bear it, a box on the ear, a slap on the face.' 'January 16th. I held the thread too shot t: instead of telling me to hold it longer, he struck me on the hand with the hammer (the iron part).' His master proved so 130
GLIMPSES OF THE NEW HEBRIDES.
cruel that Kitto was removed back to the workhouse. One very interesting entry in his diary shows how he spent lOd.:— 'mince pie Ojd., paper 3d., Books 2d. Gave halfpenny each to five little children 2Jd. Gave to B— B— Id. Left, Id.' Here we must leave Kitto for the present. He lived to be a great student of the Bible, and to serve his country in serving his God.
Surely such a life was a patient life. Through all his early hardships—rhis poverty, his ill-usage, his losses—he passed successfully, because he remembered that his lot was according to the will of his heavenly Father. If in the same spirit we accept all that God sends us, no matter how hard it may be to bear, God will give us strength to triumph and at last take us to Himself.
GLIMPSES OF THE NEW HEBEIDES.
ANIWA is a very small island near Tanna. It has only about 200 inhabitants, but its story is a very interesting one. Like Aneityum, it is now a Christian island. Samoan teachers carried the Gospel to Aniwa in 1840. liaratongan and Aneityumeso teachers were afterwards placed on the island, but very few listened to their instructions. So strong a hold had heathenism on the people, that in July 1864, when Mr Copeland went ashore with an Aneityumese teacher and his wife who intended to remain on the island, the natives would not have them, and wished the teacher, who had been with them for a time, to leave. With a sad heart Mr Copeland returned to the ship, taking with him the teacher he had brought, and promising to come back in a month and remove the other teacher if he then wished to leave.
That was a month of deep anxiety to the missionaries, and they prayed earnestly that God would touch the hearts of these degraded people and incline them to receive the messengers of peace. They could not think of taking away their only
teacher, and thus abandoning the island to heathen darkness. And God heard their prayers.
When Mr Copeland landed on Aniwa at the appointed time, instead of wishing him to take away their teacher, the natives crowded round him, imploring him to bring the teacher whom they had a month before rejected. On hearing that Navalak, the teacher, had not come in the ship, two of the most influential natives said they wished to go to Aneityum, and look at Navalak, and speak to him, and bring him to their island.
Great was the surprise of those on board when Mr Copeland returned to the 'Day spring,' bringing with him two Aniwans and an Erromangan. The Aniwans were amazed and delighted with what they saw, and the kindness they received both in the ship and at Aneityum. The day after their arrival at Aneityum was Sabbath, and Mr Copeland preached from the words, 'Come over into Macedonia and help us;' telling the congregation that here were two men come from a heathen island to getsome one to teach them, and asking who would go with them. Two Aneityumese offered themselves, one of whom accompanied the Aniwans to their home and the other was appointed to Tanna. The teacher was well received on Aniwa, and the two natives shewed their gratitude to Mr Copeland by hurrying to their plantations whenever they landed and coming back with their friends, bringing cocoa-nuts, bananas, and fowls, as a present for the 'very good canoe,' the 'Dayspring.'
The people were now anxious to get a missionary, and as Tanna, from which Mr Baton and Mr Matheson had been obliged to flee, was still shut against the Gospel, in 1866 Mr Paton was appointed to go to Aniwa.
Ho was able to speak to the people from the very first in Tannese, which more than two thirds of the inhabitants understood, and he soon acquired their own language, though he found it more difficult to learn than Tannese. The accounts received from him have been most cheering.
PRIZE BIBLE QUESTIONS.
In a letter dated 8th July 1867, Mr Paton writes:—
'I am glad to be able to inform you that though heathenism has had a desperate struggle with Christianity since we came to this island, yet the gospel has so far prevailed, that now the whole inhabitants are professing Christians, and so many have given up their idols that I have now a canoe, a box, and several bags filled with them. . . . Truly the Lord has done great things for us, and, through us, among this benighted people. Little more than twelve months ago they were all, or nearly all, savage cannibals; now, our average attendance at church on Sabbath morning is over one hundred and thirty persons, and at the Wednesday afternoon prayer-meeting from seventy and upwards. I am sure you would be delighted to see one hundred and sixty of them stand up on Sabbath and devoutly pour out their hearts to God in praise; or one of their number earnestly pleading with God in prayer, or another addressing his people, pleading with all to hold fast to the word of Jehovah and to live accordingly.'
One circumstance which greatly aided the progress of the good work on Aniwa was Mr Paton's sinking a well. There was a great scarcity of fresh water on the island, and when Mr Paton purposed to dig a well, the natives would not believe that there could be water under ground and under coral rocks, and only a very few of them could be persuaded to help him. All the others laughed, saying, 'Missi, what is the use of helping? There can be no water there.' Even the few who did help at first, were afraid to go into the well when it was a few feet deep; and so Mr Paton had to dig and cut through the coral rocks with his own hand, and then build it all from bottom to top with great blocks of coral. The well was nearly twenty-six feet deep, and the water was excellent. When the first bucket was brought up the natives examined the water and tasted it. Then, taking each other by the hand, they ventured one after another so near as to be able to look down to the
bottom, where they saw a beautiful spring of fresh water rising from the coral below. Their surprise and delight were so great that nearly the whole of the inhabitants came to see the wonder.
One chief cried out, 'We all thought and said that there could be no fresh water here, and we thought Missi mad for trying to sink it; but he told us there was water. Now we see the water, and believe his word. He spoke the truth, and we could not help laughing at him. This is a proof to us that, though we cannot understand all he tells us about Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, yet if we could see it all and taste it like the water, we would find it all to be as true. After this we must all believe all he says, though we cannot understand it all. Missi truly speaks the truth.'
Mr Paton felt amply rewarded for all his toil when he saw that the well he had made had not only supplied the natives with abundance of fresh water, but had made them more willing to listen to him when he spoke of the living water of which whosoever drinketh shall never thirst, but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting lif e. M. T. S.
THE ISLES SHALL WAIT UPON
ME, AND ON MiNE ARM
SHALL THEY TRUST.
PRIZE BIBLE QUESTIONS.
Three Prizes are offered for the largest number of correct answers to the Questions during 1880. The Competition is limited to those under 14 years of age. The answers to be sent to the B.EV. John Kay, 2 Cumin Place, Grange, Edinburgh, by the 25th of each month.
31 What sin committed, on one occasion, by servants of God, is mentioned eight times?
32 When did a heathen reprove a servant of God for neglecting to pray in a time of trouble?
33 When did a heathen nation imagine that their gods had delivered a servant of the true God into their hands?