April 23rd was the fiftieth birthday of Pandita Ramabai. Some friends who knew of this sent her a present of money. There was no celebration except a meeting in the church to praise God and pray for further blessing on Mukti, and for the salvation of India. A party of Christian friends who had been attending the Lanowli Easter Convention joined with other visitors in this meeting, which was held in the English language. One of these wrote that she never was in such a prayer-meeting before.

The following address was given by Pandita Ramabai on this occasion:--

“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”--..Eccles. xi., 6. MY DEAR AND HONOURED FRIENDS,

I thank you most heartily for your very kind and good thoughts of me and for the generous gift you have sent as a token of your Christian love. I praise and thank GOD with all my heart for prompting you to preach the blessed Gospel of our LORD JESUS CHRIST to my people, and I pray GOD to bless you abundantly and let you see the fruit of your labours for the people of India.

I want to take this occasion to give my humble testimony to the wonderful saving power of our Blessed LORD JESUS. I cannot do better than express my feelings by quoting the words of Mary:-- “My soul doth magnify the LORD and my spirit hath rejoiced in GOD my SAVIOUR.”

I want to bear my testimony to the wonderful power of the blessed Name of JESUS CHRIST to save sinners. About forty years ago, when I was a little girl, my parents visited Benares as pilgrims, to get merit, for they thought they could save themselves, and us, their children, by bathing in the Ganges, and by worshipping the idol in that place. As orthodox Brahmans, they most religiously avoided coming in contact with Christians and the Mlechchas, i.e., the foreigners. But one day in the providence of GOD, a Christian man came to see my father while we were at Benares. I do not remember whether he was an Indian or a European Christian, nor what he spoke to my father. But I remember two words which I heard him say while he was conversing with my father. The words were:--“YESHU KHRISTA,” i.e., JESUS CHRIST. He shook hands with my father when taking his leave, and said something which I do not remember. But after he went away I found myself repeating the two words “YESHU KHRISTA,” which I heard from him. I must have repeated them many times, because my sister was much alarmed and drew my mother’s attention to what I was whispering to myself. Mother asked me what it was that I had been repeating; but I was afraid to answer her question and kept silence. She warned me against repeating the name of the God of the Mlechchas, and told me not to bring His name to my lips again. But I never forgot that Name.

About thirteen years after this, a Baptist missionary living at Silchar, Assam, sent a little printed card to me by my husband. The card had these words on it, “INCLINE YOUR HEART UNTO THE LORD.” I read them and pondered over them in my heart. I had lived without GOD and without hope for many years. I felt as if there was a great emptiness within me that needed to be filled, and no one but the GOD who was full of love and compassion for sinners would be able to fill it. I felt I needed His help, and for the first time in my life I prayed to the Unknown God to incline our hearts unto Him.

I did not know how to pray, but without my knowing it the HOLY SPIRIT converted the words of the Scripture into a prayer in my heart, and GOD did answer that prayer in His appointed time, when it pleased Him to bring me into the light of the blessed Gospel.

A few weeks after the above incident, I found a little booklet, the Gospel of St. Luke, in my room. I do not know who had brought it or left it there, but I began to read it, and greatly liked the story told in it. About this time my husband introduced me to the missionary, who, some weeks before, had sent the card for me. The missionary read the first chapter of Genesis and explained it to me. There was a wonderful attraction in the words which he read. My soul responded to the message of GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT. I resolved then, without knowing the reason why, that I would become a Christian. Sixteen years after the time when I first heard the name of JESUS CHRIST, I realised that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Some unknown friend, whose name is written in the Book of Life, made me acquainted with that name at Benares, and another unknown friend left a small Gospel in my room for me to read, that I might come to know the SON of GOD, “Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” These dear people who are well-known to God, and whom I expect to meet soon in the presence of the KING, sowed the seed, others watered, and God gave the increase, and I was born into His Kingdom. How I thank GOD with a full heart to-day for sending His messengers in order to make Himself known to me. I realise more and more the wonderful power that is in the name of Jesus, and in the Word of God which converted me. It will be an encouragement to the dear children of GOD, who have toiled long in this country without seeing any visible fruit of their labours, to know that the Word-seed, faithfully and prayerfully sown, does surely bear fruit. I Cor., xv,, 58.

I am convinced more and more that the Gospel given to our people freely will be the means of their salvation. I am therefore going to spend your generous gift in giving the Gospel to many thousands of pilgrims, and to many others. Please pray that all those who read in the Gospel the Word of GOD, and all who have heard the name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, may be saved and gathered into His fold quickly, before He comes again to meet His elect Bride.--From “Faith Work in India,” an occasional paper free from Mrs, Helen S. Dyer, Aldington, Hythe, Kent.

 

From: Confidence, No. 8, November 15th 1908, pag. 19, 20, Sunderland, England

 

 

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