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WESLEYAN-METHODIST MAGAZINE.

OCTOBER, 1880.

MEMORIAL SKETCH OF THE REV. LUKE SCOTT.

BY THE REV. JOHN S. SIMON.

(Continued from page 648.)

IN March, 1865, Mr. Scott left Trincomalee and commenced his work at Point Pedro. He laboured there for one year; and then, owing to peculiar circumstances, removed to Jaffna. During his residence at Point Pedro, he suffered several times severely from fever, as well as from a sharp attack of dysentery. Notwithstanding these shocks to his health, he toiled manfully at his post, and found himself gradually acquiring fitness for the aggressive missionary-work which his heart yearned to do. He gained a sufficient knowledge of Tamil to enable him to engage in conversation with the people, to take part in public discussion, and finally to preach with a certain degree of freedom. He signalized his birthday this year by delivering his first Tamil sermon without the aid of a manuscript, and though frequently embarrassed afterwards, yet with characteristic perseverance he conquered his difficulties. On December 26th, 1865, he had so far advanced in his acquisition of the language that he dispensed with the services of his Moonshi, and on the following 22nd of February he preached his Tamil trial sermon before the District Meeting in the Pettah Bungalow, Jaffna. Thus able to speak to the people in their own tongue 'the wonderful works of God,' Mr. Scott threw himself heartily into the varied duties of the Point Pedro Circuit.

In company with the Rev. Joseph Benjamin, the Assistant Native Minister, and others, he visited the villages in the neighbourhood: services were held, considerable numbers of portions of Scripture were sold, and many persons were conversed with. Indomitably he moved about through the sultry air, investigating, noting, gathering stores of experience which he fondly hoped that the Master would use for His own glory in the long years to come. Wherever he went the almost universal cry was for schools; and, like many of his fellow-labourers, Mr. Scott had to bemoan that sore lack of funds which so hopelessly cripples the advance of modern Christianity. In the course of his journeys he had an opportunity of inspecting the work that is being done by the Roman Catholic Church in Ceylon. His description of one village that he visited is instructive. On September 7th he went to the Roman Catholic part of Ploly, and entered sixteen houses there. He found that the Roman Catholics generally manifested 'that bigotry so peculiar to them all the world over.' He inspected the

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

WESLEYAN-METHODIST MAGAZINE.

OCTOBER, 1880.

MEMORIAL SKETCH OF THE REV. LUKE SCOTT.

BY THE REV. JOHN S. SIMON.

(Continued from page 648.)

In March, 1865, Mr. Scott left Trincomalee and commenced his work at Point Pedro. He laboured there for one year; and then, owing to peculiar circumstances, removed to Jaffna. During his residence at Point Pedro, he suffered several times severely from fever, as well as from a sharp attack of lysentery. Notwithstanding these shocks to his health, he toiled manfully t his post, and found himself gradually acquiring fitness for the aggressive nissionary-work which his heart yearned to do. He gained a sufficient nowledge of Tamil to enable him to engage in conversation with the eople, to take part in public discussion, and finally to preach with a certain egree of freedom. He signalized his birthday this year by delivering his st Tamil sermon without the aid of a manuscript, and though frequently mbarrassed afterwards, yet with characteristic perseverance he conquered is difficulties. On December 26th, 1865, he had so far advanced in his quisition of the language that he dispensed with the services of his loonshi, and on the following 22nd of February he preached his Tamil ial sermon before the District Meeting in the Pettah Bungalow, Jaffna. nus able to speak to the people in their own tongue 'the wonderful works God,' Mr. Scott threw himself heartily into the varied duties of the int Pedro Circuit.

In company with the Rev. Joseph Benjamin, the Assistant Native inister, and others, he visited the villages in the neighbourhood: services re held, considerable numbers of portions of Scripture were sold, and ny persons were conversed with. Indomitably he moved about through sultry air, investigating, noting, gathering stores of experience which fondly hoped that the Master would use for His own glory in the long rs to come. Wherever he went the almost universal cry was for schools; I, like many of his fellow-labourers, Mr. Scott had to bemoan that sore k of funds which so hopelessly cripples the advance of modern Chrisity. In the course of his journeys he had an opportunity of inspecting work that is being done by the Roman Catholic Church in Ceylon. description of one village that he visited is instructive. On September he went to the Roman Catholic part of Ploly, and entered sixteen ses there. He found that the Roman Catholics generally manifested it bigotry so peculiar to them all the world over.' He inspected the

church and mission-house which were in course of erection: he describes the former as being very large, capable of containing upwards of one thousand people. Although unfinished, worship was carried on regularly in it. He took a sketch of the altar, for happily the spirit and skill of the artist were strongly developed in him. Images of the Virgin and St. Xavier stood in niches in the background. The reredos, with its prominent crucifixion-group, occupied the centre, whilst on either side of it images of Anna the prophetess and St. Thomas the apostle were ranged in glass cases. The usual Romish decorations completed a scene which, we think, was not much calculated to teach an intelligent Tamil that the mission of Christianity is to turn men away from dumb idols to serve the living God. The church and altar were built of hewn coral-stone, which was afterwards to be covered with plaster. Going away from this building, Mr. Scott attempted to sell portions of Scripture, but his offers were rejected with scorn. He soon came to the house of a native, and detected the creed of its inmate by seeing two pictures, taken from a Roman Catholic book of devotion, fastened on the wall with an ingeniously constructed gilt-paper cross between them. The man who occupied the hut showed him a copy of Genesis and Exodus, issued by the Jaffna Bible Society, in a very dilapidated condition. Many leaves had been torn out, and this son of the True Church calmly informed his questioners that he found the paper useful for wrapping the medicines in which he dispensed to the people. In another house they found a copy of St. Luke's Gospel, and the inmate being more civil than his neighbours, they persuaded him to buy the Gospel of St. John and the Prophecy of Isaiah. The inhabitants were chiefly fishermen and toddy-drawers; and as to their sanitary condition, Mr. Scott says the village was extremely dirty and neglected, and contrasted strikingly with the heathen villages surrounding it. Thus we see produced in Ceylon the almost invariable characteristics of Roman Catholic neighbourhoods the wide world over. The Missionary party succeeded in selling a few books, and left the place hopeful of some

success.

Bible distribution became an important part of Mr. Scott's work in Ceylon; and, notwithstanding much disappointment, he continued to believe that ultimately it would tell on the spiritual condition of the people. From time to time his own experience, or that of a fellow-worker, yielded evidence of its value and nerved him to more energetic toil. One fact, which was related to him by the Rev. Mr. McArthur, of the Church Missionary Society, we gladly record. Mr. McArthur, when giving an account of a ‘Bible tour' from which he had just returned, mentioned that he had met with a man who, upwards of twenty-five years before, had received a copy of the Book of Proverbs from some unknown Missionary. This he had kept. About two years prior to Mr. McArthur's last interview with him, he and the Rev. John Kilner saw him and gave him some portions of Scripture. These he seemed to have got off by heart, being even able to repeat the genealogies of St. Matthew and St. Luke. Mr. McArthur had visited him

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