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Title: Seedtime in Kashmir: A Memoir of William Jackson Elmslie
Author: Elmslie, Margaret Duncan, Thomson, William Burns
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Seedtime in Kashmir: A Memoir of William Jackson Elmslie" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's Note:

There are variations in the spelling of local words, in the use of
hyphens, and in the placement of quotation marks. These have been

Apparent typographical errors have been corrected.

Italics are indicated by _underscores_. Small capitals have been
replaced by full capitals.

[Illustration: W. J. Elmslie]


 M.A., M.D., F.R.C.S.E., ETC,




It would have gratified me had this memoir of Dr. Elmslie been placed,
at an earlier date, in the hands of his friends; but circumstances, that
need not be recorded here, caused delay.

An earnest desire was expressed that it should be published, at the
latest, by Christmas; and, in meeting this wish, I have found it
impossible to afford Mrs. Elmslie, who is in India, an opportunity of
revising the work,–to the value of which she has contributed
largely,–prior to its publication; and so I regard myself as responsible
for the selection and setting of the matter it contains.

I owe thanks to those who have sent me reminiscences of Dr. Elmslie, or
who have accommodated me with the use of letters which they received
from him.

I trust this brief memoir of a manly, earnest student; a dutiful son; a
devoted medical missionary; and a true, steadfast friend, may be blessed
to do good, in answer to the much prayer that has accompanied its


EDINBURGH, _December 1874_.



     I. EARLY LIFE                                                     1
    II. SCHOOL AND COLLEGE LIFE                                        8
   III. MEDICAL STUDENT LIFE IN ABERDEEN                              17
    IV. MEDICAL STUDENT LIFE IN EDINBURGH                             30
     V. JOURNEY TO INDIA                                              45
    VI. FROM CALCUTTA TO KASHMIR                                      54
   VII. KASHMIR–ITS PEOPLE, ETC.                                      70
  VIII. WORK IN KASHMIR                                               87
    IX. WAYSIDE MINISTRIES AND WORK IN AMRITSAR                      117
     X. SECOND YEAR'S WORK IN KASHMIR                                133
    XI. WORK IN CHAMBA                                               157
   XII. THIRD YEAR'S WORK IN KASHMIR                                 173
  XIII. VISIT TO CALCUTTA, AND WORK IN AMRITSAR                      200
   XIV. FOURTH YEAR'S WORK IN KASHMIR                                209
    XV. WAYSIDE MINISTRIES AND WORK IN KASHMIR                       225
  XVII. FEMALE MEDICAL MISSIONARIES                                  246
 XVIII. HOME VISIT                                                   251
   XIX. LAST YEAR'S WORK IN KASHMIR                                  259
    XX. LAST JOURNEY AND DEATH                                       271
   XXI. CONCLUSION                                                   279




On the 29th June 1832, the subject of this memoir was born in Aberdeen
to James and Barbara Elmslie. Their eldest child, a little girl, had
been taken from them shortly before his birth, so the mother called
William her "son of consolation," and most tenderly did she cherish this
first-born son during the early years of his life. The family was in
tolerably comfortable circumstances, as the father a boot-closer, was a
clever tradesman, and had plenty of work. William's earliest memories
were of a home in which his mother's presence was always pre-eminently
felt as the source of comfort and love. Mrs. Elmslie was no ordinary
woman. She was blessed with a vigorous intellect, a large measure of
common sense, much ingenuity and forethought, and a certain combination
of qualities that gave her the power to interest, to warm, to comfort,
and to command; and all was pervaded by the spirit of an unostentatious
Christianity. Her childhood had been spent among the sea-faring people
of Cromarty, amidst those scenes now made familiar to the world by Hugh
Miller's sketches of his early home. Her father, William Lawrence, as
captain of a vessel which sailed to all parts of the world, had an
adventurous history; and the details of his experience, fresh in her own
memory, were graphically conveyed to her boy; and it was his delight to
sit beside her and listen to these wonderful stories. He thus imbibed
much useful information; his imagination was stirred; and the spirit of
enterprise unconsciously fostered. The quiet life in Aberdeen was varied
by occasional visits to his paternal grandfather at Ballater, and deep
and fruitful impressions of the beauties of nature were gained amid the
grand mountain scenery of his native land. As William was delicate, when
a child, he was not much given to the romps of other boys; but preferred
staying beside his mother, who was always to him a treasury of comfort
and knowledge.

Having, through industry and economy, succeeded in saving a little
money, William's father, with the view of improving his fortune, removed
with his family to London; but, as might have been foreseen, the change
was not a happy one. A stranger in the mighty crowd of busy men, he soon
found that money was not more easily won there than in his native
country; and after struggling on for a year, without meeting the hoped
for tide of prosperity, his health failed, and he became seriously ill.
Worn out with constant watching and care Mrs. Elmslie was seized with
typhus fever, of so malignant a type, that their one servant fled from
the house in terror. The picture of the little household is most
touching. The father is still prostrate through weakness; the mother
raves in the delirium of fever; and the only attendant is a child eight
years of age! His sense of responsibility; his distress at witnessing so
much suffering; and his alarm, caused by the mysterious mutterings of
his much loved mother, broke in rudely upon the sweet dreams of
childhood, and set him face to face with stern realities. But matters
grew worse. A physician had occasionally dropped in upon them, and now
his aid is indispensable; but where is he to be found? The servant, who
might have told, is gone; the mother is unconscious; and the father does
not know; and so the brave boy sallies forth to seek him in the crowded
streets of London! As he wanders along he scans eagerly the face of
every one who seems like the friend he so much needs, but in vain; the
busy stream of human beings rushes past unheeding, and he feels utterly
desolate and in despair. Unable longer to bear up, he stands still, his
young heart bursting under its accumulated sorrows, and through his
tears sends up to heaven the cry, "God help me!" That is the burden of
his prayer. The lessons of his mother bear fruit in the hour of trial.
Right speedily comes the answer. A passer by stops, asks what is wrong,
and the child explains. He is directed to a house close at hand, where
he finds not a doctor merely, but a friend,–a friend whose unwearied
care and kindness are never to be forgotten. Soon after, William too was
prostrated by the dreadful fever; but this good physician watched over
him and never remitted his generous kindnesses–which were administered
in every needful form–till he saw the little family safely away from the
great city on their return to Aberdeen. When Dr. Elmslie arrived in
London on his return from India in 1870, one of his first visits was to
the house of this friend, but he was not there; and he could not
discover whether he still lived, or had gone to reap his reward from Him
who said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these,
my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Strange to say, William's father seemed to give himself little thought
about the education of his boys, and insisted that William should follow
his own humble trade; and so the child was fully set apart to the
service of St. Crispin when only nine years of age. It was impossible
the slender youth could attempt any heavy kind of work, and so of
necessity he stood, in his new calling, on a platform a grade higher
than that occupied by the venerable Carey, who boasted that he was only
a "_cobbler_." "He excelled," writes Mr. William Martin, "specially in
the finer departments of the work, which required great care and
attention; and many a weary hour he spent at it, when other boys were
fast asleep, that he might earn sufficient to pay his fees and augment
the comforts of the mother whom he loved so well." William soon became
so expert that he was able to turn out a greater quantity of first-rate
work, in a given time, than almost any competitor. This not only
sensibly improved the domestic finance, but won for him a little
leisure, which he devoted to his much loved books.

It is good to bear the yoke in one's youth; but it was placed on William
so early, and pressed so heavily, that had it not been for the
encouragement of his mother, and his own unconquerable energy, he must
have remained ignorant of even the rudiments of learning. His mother did
all she could to cheer and help him; she often read aloud to him, and
got others to read, and in the evenings young friends frequently gave
him a share of what they were picking up at school. Thus he struggled on
for some six years before he entered the grammar school. Yea, the duties
of the trade lay hard upon him all through the time he was at school,
and continued even while attending the University; long, indeed, after
they ceased to be needful for his own support, for he gained a bursary,
and had good private teaching; but as the father's health declined, and
his eyesight became weak, the more the work was thrown over on the
dutiful son. But his application never flagged. To save time and help
himself forward, he used to fix his book in the "clambs" (an instrument
employed for holding the leather), and placing them conveniently in
front of him, he learned to pick up right quickly a sentence from Zumpt,
or a line from Homer, or any other book, and thus he stitched and
studied for long weary years; and so successfully, that before he had
reached the end of his Art's course, he had gained five prizes in
various classes, and a bursary. He used to refer to those days of
subjection to his father's will–of hard uncongenial work and repressed
desires–as a time of much mental and moral discipline. He learned
patience, perseverance, self-control, the value of time, and
faithfulness in discharging duty, however irksome. In going through his
daily drudgery in obedience to his father, he learned the invaluable
lesson that his life must be ruled, not by what is _pleasing_, but by
what is _right_.

William Elmslie could not recall a time when he was without thoughts,
more or less serious, regarding divine things. From his earliest years,
his mother earnestly sought to convey to him some of her store of
spiritual knowledge, which was her only riches. Many passages of
Scripture she repeated to him, till even when a very little boy he knew
them as familiar household words. The Westminster Shorter Catechism was
rendered precious to him all through life by her simple loving
expositions, and her quaint homely illustrations, drawn largely from her
own observation and experience. But it was not till he was fourteen
years of age that he came savingly to know Jesus. At that time, the
instructions of his mother received impressiveness through the faithful
dealing of his Sabbath School Teacher, who, in private personal
intercourse, pressed upon him the necessity of a new heart. Two passages
were made particularly useful at this time, and these were ever after
much prized. The first was, "God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. v. 8). The second,
"Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich,
yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through His poverty might be
rich" (2 Cor. viii. 9). Although at this time, William came in contact
with a real living Saviour, his faith was very feeble; but, as it was
faith unfeigned, it grew. Religion became more satisfying to him than it
had ever been. He got pretty clear glimpses occasionally of his pardon
and acceptance in Immanuel; these multiplied and brightened till the
settled conviction of his life became–"_My beloved is mine, and I am
His._" He had been a dutiful son all along, but there was now a new
principle infused into his obedience that sweetened all the elements of
bitterness. He learned, when serving from love to his Father in heaven,
that if called to sacrifice in one direction, he reaped joys in another;
and that, after all, the way of _right_ is a way of pleasantness and a
path of peace.



In 1848 William Elmslie was regularly enrolled as a pupil in the Grammar
School of Aberdeen, and never student more eager started in pursuit of
knowledge. At that time its Rector was the Rev. Dr. Melvin, whose
character and mode of tuition have been made famous as much by their
results in the men they helped to mould, as by the graphic description
of one of our finest writers. A few sentences from Professor Masson's
paper may enable us to trace the kind of influence now brought to bear
on William. "I have known many other men," writes the Professor, "since
I knew him–men of far greater celebrity in the world, and of
intellectual claims of far more rousing character than belong to Latin
scholarship; but I have known no one, and I expect to know no one so
perfect in his type as Melvin. Every man whose memory is tolerably
faithful, can reckon up those to whom he is indebted; and trying to
estimate at this moment the relative proportions of influences, from
this man and that man, encountered by me, which I can still feel running
in my veins, it so happens that I can trace none more distinct, however
it may have been marred and mudded, than that stream which, as Melvin
gave it, was truly 'honey-wine.'"–(_Macmillan's Magazine_, 1863, p. 231.)

When William first entered school he only felt in part the power of this
remarkable man, but when promoted to the advanced classes, directly
under Melvin's care, the enthusiasm of his nature was stirred, and his
mind yielded itself to be moulded by him. He owed much of his success at
college, and of his power in mastering languages, to the very careful
mental training received from Melvin. "He gave us hard work," he said,
"but it was intense enjoyment, for one's mind was strengthened,
expanded, and in the truest, fullest meaning of the word, _educated_."
During his first year William was often down-cast, for school life was
new to him, and he felt himself far behind others of his age. However,
he resolved to do his best, and to make the most of the much-prized
privileges so long denied him. During holiday time, when others were at
play, he was at his books; and not in vain, for at the beginning of his
second year he gained by competition a bursary that helped to relieve
him from pecuniary anxieties. By the end of the next session he stood
high in his classes, and carried off the first prize in Greek. The Rev.
Mr. Salmond, Free Church, Barry, one of William's friends at school and
college, writes thus of these early days:–"We were close companions and
studied very much together in private as well as in public. These were
ever-memorable days, rich in generous friendships and affluent also with
what should have been most helpful for the up-building of manly moral
character and energetic intellectual life, when Dr. Melvin kept the
youngest of us in fixed devotion to the genius of the Latin tongue, and
when, after the decease of that unique master, Professor Geddes made us
all a-glow with his own enthusiasm, and fired us with the classic spirit
of Greek. Into what was best, in these buoyant and productive times of
earliest mental discipline and most unselfish companionships, William
Elmslie threw himself with all his heart, and was a friend to most. His
position, too, was in some respects peculiar among us. His seriousness
was more marked, and his independent spirit and his determination to do
everything for himself, and to make the utmost of his opportunities, had
methods of expressing themselves which were altogether his own.
Commencing his course at a somewhat more advanced age than most of us,
and possessing the advantage of having learned a trade, he used to
excite our admiration by the sturdy diligence with which he toiled to
support himself, in a way which many a silly youth would have counted
beneath him, and also, in truth, our envy at the ability which he had
thus acquired to possess himself of books beyond the reach of others. I
well remember how ambitious some of us were to get a week's loan of some
of his laboriously-earned treasures, and how ready he was to indulge us
in that line of things. Thus it happened that, in addition to the
text-books usually studied at that stage in Greek and Latin, not a few
boys of some thirteen or fourteen years of age voluntarily mastered
volumes ordinarily reserved for a later period,–such as "Zumpt's
Grammar," "Döderlein's Synonyms," "Ramshorn's Synonyms," the first part
of "Jelf's Greek Grammar,"[1] &c. And for a certain measure of the
attainments aimed at and made by a good many beyond the stated
requirements of the classes in these and other branches, we were
indebted not a little to the stimulus of his example as well as to his
willingness to help others with his books and counsel. His own
acquirements in Latin were very considerable, and to Greek also he took
with a burning affection and a determined perseverance, which might have
led him on to distinguished results had the opportunity of continuing
his studies been given him in Providence. In these youthful days, in
short, the great features of character, which appeared subsequently in
his work in a distant country, and in taxing circumstances, were the
very qualities that constrained respect from all his comrades in school
and college,–his readiness to take in hand all kinds of honest labour,
manual and mental, his patient dedication to the task of the time, his
thirst for knowledge, his zeal in helping others, and the hearty and
fearless interest which he displayed all through his course in every
decidedly religious movement. This last made him a somewhat outstanding
member of our student-circles, and rendered the impression which he left
upon his associates a very happy one."

When William got in some measure abreast of his school-fellows in
learning, he rejoiced to join them in the playground in every manly
sport. His hard work never inclined him to mope. With his whole heart he
threw himself into the game. Of cricket he was particularly fond, and
the company of which he was a member was called the "_Thistle Club_." He
stood A-1 at bowling. He could not endure those meandering, sneaking
balls that creep in upon you at unawares. No; the enemy got fair
warning. Drawing himself well up, the body thrown back, and the lips
compressed, he took careful aim; then off shot the ball, swift and
straight as an arrow; and when he heard the delightsome clatter of the
tumbling wickets, he cut a demi-somersault, and sang out merrily, "_Nemo
me impune lacessit._"

It was near the close of William's fourth session at school that the
death of the reverend rector took place. He fell paralysed to the ground
one day while engaged in his classroom, and William Elmslie was one of
the sorrowing pupils who helped to bear the almost lifeless form to his
home,–not many days later to be borne thence to its narrow bed in the
churchyard. William never ceased to be thankful that so much of his
student life had been passed under an influence so beneficial, being
deeply conscious of having gained in the Grammar School of Aberdeen such
a mental training as enabled him to grapple with, and to overcome, the
intellectual difficulties which, in after days, he had to encounter.

In November 1853, he passed from school to college; and with no little
pride and pleasure his mother saw him don the scarlet cloak worn by the
students of King's College, Aberdeen. "It was there," writes his friend,
the Rev. Andrew Ritchie of Coull, "that I first met with William
Elmslie. We were students of the same year, and I shared the same room
with him in his parents' house. We both worked hard. It was no unusual
thing for us to restrict ourselves to five hours' sleep. We engaged a
watchman to waken us at three o'clock every morning; and we took it in
turn to rise first, kindle the fire, and boil the coffee, which Mrs.
Elmslie had made ready the night before. After enjoying a slice of bread
and that good, warm coffee, we began our day's work. William was always
prayerful and earnest, and from the very first we engaged in devotions
together, as well as separately; it was our delight to talk of Christ,
and of our desire to devote ourselves to his cause.

"William's work was harder than mine, for his father's failing health
and eyesight made him now more and more dependent on his son's
exertions. On this account, William undertook an engagement to teach in
a school in Aberdeen, and he had also several private pupils. Being a
first-rate student, and of gentlemanly manners, he had no difficulty in
getting as much employment of this kind as he wished; but the constant
hard work and severe study told on his health, and, at the close of the
second session at college, he was forced to obey doctor's injunctions,
and to seek rest and country air."

He spent some time with relatives in Elgin, and in the neighbourhood of
Inverness, and returned, strengthened in mind and body, to take up again
the double burden of supporting his parents and maintaining himself at
college. Sometimes when his prospects were peculiarly dark, and he
needed sympathy, friends took the occasion to urge him to give up the
struggle altogether, and turn aside to something that would be
immediately remunerative. He had a hard time of it when passing through
his philosophical classes. To most honest, earnest students, this is a
season of much conflict, and Mr. Elmslie's circumstances did not tend to
make the doubts and temptations that usually encompass it easily borne.
Sometimes, when he knelt to pray, troop after troop of doubts rushed in
upon him, and made such assaults on his long cherished beliefs, that he
gradually ceased to plead with God, and entered into regular mental
warfare, becoming altogether unconscious of his kneeling posture.
Recovering himself, he was shocked at his irreverence; tried to smooth
himself down and feel solemn, but in the stillness a withering chill
stole over him as if he were encircled by a _boundless nothing_. The
"_Eternal Silences_" sent very cheerless responses to the groans that
burst from his burdened spirit. With keen powers of analysis, and a
slight tendency to introspection, it will be believed that such battles
were not infrequent. It is needless to ask, in surprise, "But was he not
a Christian?" Yes; but a far older and more experienced Christian was so
puzzled by the mysteries of Providence that he exclaimed, "As for me, my
feet were almost gone; my steps had wellnigh slipped." Mr. Elmslie's
feet were on the rock, but he staggered greatly notwithstanding. Through
all his varied forms of trial, his mother stood by him to sustain and
cheer; and when his philosophic perplexities went beyond her depth, she
at least could sympathise and pray. He used to say "that a mother's
sympathy, if she had a Mary's faith, was the greatest blessing a young
man could possess when first installed into the mysteries of
philosophy." The mother and son had, all through, an unwavering
conviction that God intended him for a higher form of service than
boot-closing, and therefore trials did not discourage so much as might
have been expected; for they were regarded as a fatherly discipline; a
preparation for future usefulness, upon which they ceased not to ask the
Divine blessing.

Having taken his degree in arts, he felt anxious, before deciding on a
further course of study, to see something of the world, and to have a
change from the scene of so much labour. He therefore gladly accepted a
proposal to go abroad as tutor in the family of an Aberdeenshire
gentleman, who was to spend the following winter in Italy. It was a
curious fact which he sometimes quoted as an instance of God's
overruling even our failings as a means of carrying out His own plan of
our lives, that this gentleman's choice of him as tutor for his sons was
caused by a preference for his handwriting, the very point on which he
was most conscious of deficiency.

The year spent in Italy was not one of much enjoyment. William's
sensitive nature suffered acutely in this first experience of life among
strangers, and his position was rendered more trying and lonely from a
misunderstanding between him and the father of his pupils. Nevertheless
the lessons in human nature, and the experience of the world gained
there, proved invaluable to him ever after.

Here, too, his self-reliance was strengthened, and he gained a firmer
conviction of God's power to give him joy and peace, however untoward
his outward circumstances might be.

In Florence he had the great privilege of meeting with some very helpful
Christian friends, among whom was the Rev. Mr. Hannah, a young Irish
clergyman, who had been appointed to minister to the English residents
in that lovely city. William spent much of his spare time with this dear
servant of God, who was then drawing very near the close of his service
on earth, and was fast ripening for glory. The Spirit of God seemed to
reveal to him much of what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither
hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, and for which he was
being made ready. To all who then ministered to him much blessing was
given, and William richly shared it in a realisation of the unseen and
the eternal such as he had never known before. During Mr. Hannah's
illness, William agreed to relieve his mind of anxiety by conducting
Sabbath services for his little congregation. He read to them some of
his favourite sermons, such as Chalmers on "The expulsive power of a new
affection;" Caird on the "Solitariness of our Lord's sufferings;" and
Maclaren on the "Soul's thirst after God." The Rev. Mr. Macdougall, who
relieved him of his position some six weeks later, used laughingly to
say that Mr. Elmslie had quite spoiled the people, for they would never
listen to any ordinary man's sermons after having enjoyed those
intellectual feasts. William returned to England in June 1858, and in
London heard an encouraging sermon from the Rev. Dr. Hamilton from a
text well suited to his circumstances, "Casting all your care upon Him,
for He careth for you."

[Footnote 1] Mr. Elmslie was not able to purchase such books as the
above; he _hired_ them from a bookseller at so much per week.



After his return from Florence Mr. Elmslie's thoughts were directed to
the ministry; and having passed the required preliminary examinations,
and gained a bursary by competition, he entered the Free Church Divinity
College in November 1858. During the session his attention was drawn to
the mission field, and as he searched his Bible, for instruction and
direction, an element in missionary service so obtruded itself on his
notice that it could neither be overlooked nor thrust aside. It became
clear to his mind that when the Divine Spirit gave marked prominence, in
the New Testament, to the combination of _healing with preaching_ in the
planting of Christianity, it was intended to instruct and guide those
who, in after ages, might devote themselves to the extension of the
kingdom of Christ. He accepted the lesson, and resolved to acquire the
power of healing. Instead of attempting to follow the subjective changes
through which Mr. Elmslie passed, as his thoughts gradually turned from
a pastorate at home, to service as a medical missionary abroad, it may
be more instructive to indicate, in a few brief sentences, how the
subject of medical missions–_the combination of healing with
preaching_–is presented in the Word of God. The more he studied the
infallible missionary guide; and the more he contemplated the perfect
Model Missionary–for He hath left us an ensample that we should walk in
His steps–the more he became enamoured with the delightful form of
service to which he now consecrated his life. But let us, for a moment,
turn to the Scriptures. When the disciples of the Baptist approached the
Saviour with the inquiry, "Art thou He that should come, or do we look
for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again
those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight and
the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are
raised up and the poor have the gospel preached unto them" (Matt. xi.
3-5). He healed the sick and preached the gospel and pointed the
inquirers to that combination as proof conclusive that He was the Sent
of God. The combination was not fortuitous or incidental; it was
foretold; and it was a striking way of delivering part of the message He
brought us from the Father,–that He came "to bear our sicknesses" and to
be "the Saviour of the _body_." This mode of procedure was wondrously
fitted to secure a friendly consideration to his claims among the
ignorant, the indifferent, or the hostile; and was full of wisdom and
tenderness. It is well to note that this is not a solitary instance of
the combination of healing and preaching, got up to settle doubts in the
minds of John's disciples. In the life of Jesus it is "_use and wont_,"
and their attention is directed to it as a sample of what He is doing
every day, and occasionally to such an extent that there is not time "so
much as to eat bread," and His relatives think "He is beside Himself."
It is not necessary to multiply quotations. One must suffice. "And Jesus
went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the
gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner
of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria; and
they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers
diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and
those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed
them" (Matt. iv. 23, 24.).

This combination of healing with the preaching of the gospel is not only
largely exhibited in the ministry of Jesus, but was enjoined by Him upon
the Apostles who practised it in the home and foreign mission field,
during their Master's lifetime and after His ascension to glory. Their
commission is particularly clear on this point,–"As ye go, preach,
saying, The kingdom of God is at hand. Heal the sick; ... freely ye have
received, freely give" (Matt. x. 7, 8). "He sent them (the twelve
disciples) to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick" (Luke ix.
2). Very similar are the instructions given by the Lord to the seventy
home missionaries whom He sent, two and two, into every city whither He
Himself would come. "Heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them,
The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."

The case of Paul is very instructive. Most of his life, after his
conversion, was spent in pioneering mission work, in which the "healing"
element was likely to be of much use, and we find he was endowed with
that power in a remarkable degree. In Ephesus, an important heathen
centre, where opposition was strong and his difficulties many and great,
it is said, "God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul; so that
from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and
the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them"
(Acts xix. 11, 12). An apron or handkerchief having touched the
Apostle's body is carried to a sufferer and suffices to effect a cure.
This indicates a marvellous latitude for the exercise of the healing
power, and yet it is evident there were limitations to it. This great
Apostle, who was not a whit behind the chiefest of the apostles, was not
able to cure Timothy, though much depended on his enjoying vigorous
health. We infer this inability from the fact that Paul left him in his
infirmity, and fell back on the very humble "Recipe"–"Take a little wine
for thy stomach's sake." Why not heal him right off? Why not send a
"handkerchief" to him? Again, we read, "Trophimus have I _left_ at
Miletum, _sick_." Very strange, if there be no restrictions imposed on
this power to heal! Why cure Sergius Paulus, a heathen, and _leave_ his
_Christian friend lying ill_? More striking still; Epaphroditus was
sick, nigh unto death, and Paul's heart was breaking lest he should die,
and he should have sorrow upon sorrow. Why not try the efficacy of the
handkerchief here? Paul assuredly _would_ have cured him if he _could_.
There were not many such labourers as Epaphroditus, and so he could ill
be spared from active duty; and Paul's affection made sure that
everything possible would be done for him, yet the sickness presses on;
"_nigh unto death_" and the apostle's sorrow deepens. These restrictions
tend to show that the exercise of the healing power was much limited
within the domain of the _Church_. On the other hand it seemed to enjoy
unlimited scope in its approaches to an outlying heathenism. The
combination of healing with preaching was plainly intended to be a
_pioneering_ agency. "Into whatsoever city ye _enter_, heal the sick."

The significance of these lessons, as pointing out the path of duty to
us, is not weakened by the fact that all the "_healing_" was performed
by supernatural power; for, in those early days, the same power that
enabled the missionary to heal enabled him to speak in "an unknown
tongue." But the withdrawal of the miraculous from this latter element
of missions does not free us from the obligation "to go into all the
world," and, by the use of our natural faculties, acquire the ability to
speak in foreign tongues. So in regard of the power to heal–it must be
now gained by diligent study. The Scriptures thus seem to show very
plainly that the best way of reaching the heathen, and, consequently,
that the most effective form of mission agency is to combine healing
with the preaching of the gospel. Most certainly this was the practice
of Christ and the apostles; and it must surely be unwise to disregard
the plain teaching of that practice regarding the best means of
spreading the gospel. Mr. Elmslie, as we have said, bowed to the
Scripture teaching, and resolved to acquire the power of healing–to
become a medical missionary. The cause at that time was little known and
little esteemed; but he was fully persuaded in his own mind; and this
clear conviction helped to uphold him during the storm that burst upon
him when he made known his intention to study medicine. To face four
years of study, _with winter and summer courses_, besides the heavy
expense of a _medical_ education, seemed madness to his friends, and
they vehemently opposed him in his resolution; but hitherto the Lord had
helped him, and to be a workman thoroughly furnished for the Master's
service appeared to him worth any amount of effort and self-denial.
Accordingly he braced himself up to his work. Again he taught in the
Academy, received private pupils, stitched the '_uppers_' of boots and
shoes, and pored over his books. Sixteen hours of work daily was the
rule in those busy years. _Study_ was rather a relaxation than anything
else. Long-continued custom had begotten a love for it, and obstacles
seemed to add a certain zest to his pursuit of knowledge. But during
this preparation period there were seasons when the cares of poverty
pressed heavily; and faith, hope, and patience required to be in fullest

At one time, when sorely bestead, he made a journey on foot all the way
to Inverness, where a brother of his mother's lived in comfortable
circumstances. His purpose was to lay his case before him, and to ask
temporary aid, to be restored with interest when God should give him
power to win money for himself. He was kindly welcomed, and invited to
spend some weeks in the family, but no inquiry was made as to his
circumstances, nor was any assistance offered. He could not muster
fortitude to break to his uncle the subject of his necessities; and so
he returned to Aberdeen with an empty purse and a "full" heart, to work
harder, if possible, and to pray more earnestly. Remembering the hopes
and the bitter disappointment of that journey, he used to say that a
rich man could hardly give greater comfort, or do more good than by
extending a helping hand to "A STRUGGLING STUDENT, REALLY IN EARNEST IN
are in capitals, to express Mr. Elmslie's strong views as to the _kind_
of students to whom help would be a benefit. They must be "_struggling_"
students, who, above all things, love the Master and His work. He came
to know that some who had no love for Jesus might take up the profession
of religion, to be helped into the profession of medicine. They did not
"struggle," and had not the remotest intention to struggle, but were
mean enough to accept the fruits of self-sacrifice on the part of
others, that they might live in comfort and self-indulgence. He held
very strongly that no student with a trace of manliness in him, would
accept such help from others, save in real necessity, and then only as
an accommodation.

It is necessary to advert to the difficulties with which Mr. Elmslie had
to contend, but very pleasing it is to note how cheerily he grappled
with them. Writing to his friend, Mr. Ritchie, from Ballater–whither he
had gone for rest–in 1859, at a time when dark clouds in abundance
clustered around his horizon, he says: "I am living here very much like
a hermit. But, for all that, I feel very happy, except now and then when
a cloud comes over the horizon of my mind. I then feel a temporary
sadness, which, however, soon passes, as when a cloud crosses the disc
of the sun. O for another such laugh as we had the first day we were
here, it would do us good. It's a delicious thing, a good hearty laugh.
You will be thinking I am getting mighty wise, having so much time and
inclination for reading. Far from it. It takes a great deal of reading
to make one wise. One retains so little of what he reads, that it is a
long, long time before the grains of gold gathered assume any
considerable bulk." Writing to the same friend a few days later, he
says: "I was extremely glad yesterday to see you before me in 'black
upon white.'"

"I knew you had been doing business by the address on the envelope–it
was so smart and commercial like, as much as to say, Get out of the way,
you poor student, you can't transact business like me; what do you
think, I am a man with an income of a hundred–a hundred and twenty
pounds! every farthing–that's something worth writing. No more two
guineas an hour. No more rushing from house to house, like one begging
his bread from door to door, in a cold night in December. No, no;
nothing so beggarly; I am a little gentleman now, and shall be able to
spend my winter evenings within doors as far as is agreeable to my
taste. I say I almost saw all that, and a great deal more, depicted on
that commercial envelope of yours. And when I opened, I found my most
sanguine expectations fully realised; you being the proud master of £120
a year, with twenty-two urchins to drill scholastically. Your bread's
baken, Andrew, I said, for the next year, at least. Now I think you
acted wisely in accepting the offer, although you should hold the
situation only for a year. And I will tell you why. Your responsibility
is increased, and that not to such an extent as to crush you under its
weight. It's of great consequence, I consider it, to have one's
responsibility thus gradually increased. It fits one for a farther
increase, when he has successfully carried his previous burden. Why is
it that some men, and especially ministers, so completely fail in
sustaining the weight of responsibility that is suddenly laid upon their
shoulders? Just because their shoulders are strangers to the weight, and
the weight is too much for them at first. I suppose you see what I am
driving at."

At the election of Lord Rector for the University in 1860, Mr. Elmslie
took a somewhat prominent part. In Aberdeen, on such occasions, the
votes are given by "_Nations_,"–a nation representing the students from
certain defined districts. They sometimes differed greatly in numerical
strength. This year, for example, _Mar_ contained 149 matriculated
students, _Moray_ registered only 49, and yet in electoral value, they
were equal! On this occasion, two nations voted for one candidate, and
two for the other, but there was a majority of 38 students in favour of
one of the candidates, so that when the Principal intimated his
intention of settling the difficulty by giving his casting vote against
the candidate supported by the majority of students, the Mar and Angus
nations resolved to dispute said vote as "inexpedient, incompetent, and
illegal." Funds were raised to meet the law expenses, and Mr. Elmslie
was appointed treasurer. It is amusing to note the carefulness with
which, in letter after letter, he impresses on the agents in Edinburgh
that he and his companions are not to be held responsible for the
payment of a single farthing beyond the monies actually received.

The election was carried against his party, and on the 16th March 1861,
the professors and students assembled to hear the Rector's inaugural
address. At the close of the preliminary services, when the successful
candidate was just going to speak, Mr. Elmslie, being a procurator,
ascended the platform, and very deliberately read a protest against the
validity of his election. He then, with a low bow, placed the document
in the hands of the Principal, and walked out of the room, followed by a
considerable number of students. But many of the same party remained to
see what was to be the upshot of their proceedings; and not a few, to
give _impressiveness_ to their protest, had come to the hall armed with
peas, shot, stones, and other such-like persuasive but most illogical
arguments, and the result was a "_row_," prodigiously out of keeping
with academic propriety. Although Mr. Elmslie was entirely blameless in
regard to these low proceedings, the amount of censure awarded him was
_singularly_ liberal. "Nothing," writes his companion in the
struggle,–now the Rev. Mr. Mackie of St. Mary's E. C. Dumfries–"nothing
could be more alien to Elmslie's feelings and sense of duty than any
breach of university discipline. He took no part in it, and restrained
it to the utmost of his power." Referring to these student days, Mr.
Mackie writes, "My early acquaintance with Mr. Elmslie impressed me
equally with esteem for the greatness of his intellect, and the goodness
of his heart. He was slow of speech, but swift in judging. Often, when
plans were proposed, he would simply say 'No' very slowly, and then
render a single reason which left no room for any other reply than 'I
see.' He was one of the most satisfactory friends I have ever had in
life; for you could count upon him at all times. I cannot recall a
single instance in which his counsel seemed to fail me when we were
acting together under very trying circumstances, with very few
opportunities for consultation. His memory was remarkably tenacious of
any agreement as to co-operation, as he was remarkably tenacious of his
purposes. One always knew where he would find him."

In the end of July of 1862 he passed his second professional
examination. "It was," he writes to Mr Ritchie, "a long, stiff, but I am
happy to say, a successful pull. We had nine hours hard work,–to me at
least it was hard. There was no little manual work, apart from the
mental effort required in summoning up so many facts and putting them
together in a connected form. I was exceedingly fortunate in the subject
on which I was examined (_vivâ voce_). I answered the questions as fast
as they were put to me, and altogether got on splendidly until I felt
sorry when the examinations were ended, because I could not get any
longer opportunity of showing off how thoroughly I was '_up_.' This was
a bit of vanity, but pardonable, I think; was it not? At the close of
the examination, on being called into the Senatus Chamber, I was
informed by the Dean of the Faculty that I had passed with '_much

At an early stage of his studies Mr. Elmslie had heard of the Edinburgh
Medical Missionary Society, an organization which paid the class fees,
text books, and cost of licences of young men desiring to prepare
themselves for the mission field. The reader is already aware that it
was no easy task for Mr. Elmslie to open up his difficulties to others,
but pressed by necessity, and encouraged by friends, he laid his case
before the society in Edinburgh, and on the 7th May 1860 he got the
following reply from the secretary, Dr. Coldstream, "I was instructed to
inform you that the committee cannot consent to relax in your favour,
their regulations as to residence in Edinburgh, during the Medical
Curriculum, and the requiring their students to abstain from private
teaching." It is due to the gentleman who sent this official notice to
state, that he spoke a word of kindly cheer from himself which helped to
lessen the bitterness of disappointment.

"Afflictions are not joyous but grievous;" sometimes, however, they are
very profitable: and there is nothing for which Mr. Elmslie gives more
frequent or more hearty thanks, than for his "afflictions"–for the very
trials, the record of which awakens our sympathy. Soon again he was
battling as cheerily with his responsibilities as if he had received no
disheartening repulse. Some twelve months after, an influential friend
in Aberdeen brought his case a second time before the Board in
Edinburgh. This gave rise to a very instructive correspondence, but our
present object requires us to cull from it nothing more than the simple
fact, that notwithstanding the difficulties mentioned above as lying in
the way of his getting help from Edinburgh he did get a grant in aid of

Having passed his second professional examination with honours, he came
to the last year of his medical course, rejoicing, as students usually
do at that period, in the thought that practically his battle was
fought. I was anxious, he writes, "to spend the winter in Edinburgh, as
it was in all likelihood my last before going abroad." And so he came
south prepared to accept gratefully, as a temporary accommodation, such
benefits as the Missionary Society could bestow. Mr. Elmslie feared
there might be some risk in coming to attend medical classes in
Edinburgh, if he purposed–as he did–to return to Aberdeen for his final
examination and degree; but his desire to be even for one season under
men like Syme, Simpson, Miller, &c., overcame his hesitation, and in
November 1862 he became an inmate of our humble home in the Dispensary
in Edinburgh.



It seems becoming to give a brief notice of the society from which Mr.
Elmslie got temporary assistance, or rather to permit the society to say
a few words for itself. It began in November 1841. Its objects are thus
stated: "The objects of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society shall
be to circulate information on the subject of medical missions, to aid
other institutions engaged in the same work, and to render assistance at
missionary stations to as many professional agents as the funds placed
at its disposal shall admit of." After existing for twenty years it thus
reports itself: "The Society has now entered upon the twentieth year of
its existence. The retrospect is at once humbling and encouraging.
Humbling in respect of the small extent to which the objects
contemplated have been carried out, and of the imperfections of the
machinery now in operation; encouraging, because the principle for which
the society had at its formation to contend, has now been generally
acknowledged by the friends of missions as a sound one."

The year before Mr. Elmslie came to Edinburgh, this society was
amalgamated with another and independent Medical Missionary Society,
which, though young in years, gave strong evidence of vitality. The two
societies being "germane in their objects," they became one, and after
the union, the following prospectus was issued, bearing the imprimatur
of the whole directorate:–

"The object of the Society is to promote the propagation of the gospel
amongst heathen and other unenlightened people, through the agency of
well-qualified medical practitioners, who are either partially
supported, or aided by grants of medicines, books, and instruments.

"The society aids and directs the education of promising young men who
resolve to devote themselves to medical missionary service.

"It provides for the half of the salary of a medical missionary at
Madras, whose labours, extended over four years, have been greatly
blessed–5760 persons having received aid last year. This mission deals
with a portion of the heathen population of Madras, beyond the direct
influence of any other missionary agency.

"The society maintains a dispensary in the Cowgate of Edinburgh, in
which religious instruction is combined with medical treatment. During
last year this dispensary administered medical aid to 5332 patients, all
of whom had the Word of Life set before them. A well-qualified
superintendent, with assistants, takes charge of the dispensary, which
supplies an admirable training school for the society's students. The
attendance at the prayer-meetings, held for persons in their
working-clothes, is very encouraging. There are not wanting proofs of
these means having been blessed to the awakening and conversion of souls.

"The society organises monthly meetings for the benefit of the medical
students attending the Colleges in Edinburgh, who are addressed on
various subjects, more or less illustrative of the principles and
progress of Christian Missions." Reminding our readers that this refers
to the state of matters some twelve years ago, we return to Mr. Elmslie.

The mission work of the dispensary he enjoyed greatly; but only a little
of it was permitted to him, or to any of the students, lest they should
be diverted from their medical studies. In all mission dispensaries it
is the practice, when the patients have assembled, to hold a short
religious service with them, which affords an excellent opportunity for
commending Christ. It fell to Mr. Elmslie to conduct this service once a
week, and it was quite a refreshment to himself to do so; but he was not
effective as a speaker on such occasions. There was a monotony in his
delivery that disposed to drowsiness, and a want of point and power that
surprised those who knew his logical cast of mind, and his varied stores
of information. But in another part of the work he was quite an adept.
The superintendent, distressed at witnessing large numbers of neglected
youths lounging idle about the district where he laboured, resolved to
do something for their spiritual benefit, and Mr. Elmslie joyfully
assisted. The lads were frightfully wild. On the Sabbath evenings
especially, work being suspended, they gathered in the neighbourhood in
large and numerous groups. "It was _impossible_ to be indifferent to
their presence. Their noisy demonstrations _compelled_ attention; and
though we might contrive to pass them, utterly regardless of the
interest of their souls, we were obliged to be most considerately
mindful of the interest of our own '_shins_.' It was not safe to go near
them, for they were continually fighting, and wrestling, and plunging
about in the most alarming fashion." Fourteen of these lads sat down to
tea with Mr. Elmslie every Sabbath night in one of the rooms of the
dispensary, and this attractive opening service was followed by a Bible
lesson. At first they were inclined to be troublesome, but the quiet
firmness with which he grasped the reins made the most reckless feel
that opposition was hopeless. His mastery over them was complete; and
without any visiting efforts on his part, the attendance was wonderfully
regular. Several of his pupils were at least outwardly reformed; and
one, it is hoped, got real spiritual blessing. He gave up his evil
practices, attended to his business, began to go to church, and became a
respectable tradesman. Dropping in at the close of Mr. Elmslie's
meeting, as the writer often did, it was a touching sight to witness the
band of lawless outcasts kneeling reverently around him, whilst he
poured out the deep yearnings of his heart on their behalf to Him who
came to seek and to save the lost.

In the household visitation of his patients, Mr. Elmslie soon became a
great favourite. He had suffered, being tried, and was therefore able to
sympathise with those in trial. Young as he was, he could to some extent
use the language of the apostle, "That we may be able to comfort them
which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are
comforted of God." He was welcomed amongst the poor not merely as a
doctor, but as a friend. The children clung to him, and he had many pets
amongst them who amused and refreshed him. "I am very sorry, indeed," he
writes of one of these, "to learn that wee Sandy has been taken away
from you. He was a great pet of mine, and I think the wee man liked the
doctor. I trust Sandy is singing to-day in heaven, not 'There is a happy
land, _far, far away_;' but _this is_ the happy land. I do sympathise
with you and Mrs. –– very sincerely, but what is in heaven is certainly
not lost. Heaven has now a greater hold upon you, and if Sandy's going
away helps to make you think more of Jesus, and to desire and strive to
live a godly life, then wee Sandy will not have lived and died in vain."

Mr. Elmslie was usually so wide-awake, that it was not often he was
found off his guard. But in the course of this session he was fairly
caught _napping_. The incident is trifling, but it shows how a good and
diligent student may get into an awkward predicament through mere
thoughtlessness. Mr. David Young and he were grinding in one of the
empty rooms of the college. They were overheard discussing a knotty
question, when –– laid his hand on Mr. Young's shoulder, and said, "If
you will both promise to be _good boys_, I think I can help you in
'grinding' up that difficult bit." "How?" was at once the inquiry. "Dr.
–– has a splendid preparation, and I'm sure he won't object to
_diligent_ students seeing it sometimes." (Rather generous, to be
obliging with another man's goods!) Next day they were duly introduced
into Dr. ––'s sanctum, and the magnificent preparation placed before
them. Their friend then withdrew, and they fastened the door on the
inside. It was a golden opportunity; but "we had not done much," says
Mr. Young, "when a sharp footstep came along the passage towards us. We
instinctively held our breath, and looked at each other. The surprise
deepened when a key was hastily thrust into the door of our sanctum, but
being snibbed, it could not be opened, and Dr. –– went along the passage
calling loudly for our obliging friend, who found it _necessary_ to be
engaged elsewhere at that moment, and did not appear. Meanwhile I rose
and unfastened the door, and Dr. –– soon returning, entered and found us
sitting before his model. He held up both his hands, and exclaimed,
"What is this? My almost priceless preparation, which I would not allow
my most intimate friend to touch!" By this time the culprits were
standing; and, after a becoming pause, Elmslie began to sing _Miserere_,
but was cut short at once. "That will do, gentlemen; you may go." They
crept out in the meekest attitude possible, and certain uneasy
misgivings regarding the propriety of their conduct, suggested some
anxious glances behind them during their departure.

The time for his final examination in Aberdeen, in the spring of 1863,
drew near, and the hopes and fears that usually agitate students on such
an occasion, Mr. Elmslie felt with peculiar force. He knew that the
stand he made at the rectorial election had not gained favour for him in
the senate; and he feared his coming to attend medical classes in
Edinburgh might not be relished by the medical faculty; and therefore,
during the whole session, he had studied earnestly. "I never," he said,
"studied harder in my life." He did so because he wished to maintain his
reputation as a student. How natural, also, that he should desire to see
the end of his severe struggle, not to support himself merely, but his
little household; and, besides, he longed to be free to go forth,
without let or hindrance, to the blessed work of winning souls. Knowing
how much depended on this, his last appearance, he says, in another
letter, "I studied with might and main." He went in to his examination;
he did his best; he thought he had done well, but, to his inexpressible
astonishment and grief, he was "_plucked_,"–an ugly word, but it is the
term we students best understand; it comes closest home to our
consciousness, and carries in it the concentrated essence of all that is
undesirable in our student life;–_plucked_ in Aberdeen in the two
subjects which unhappily he had not studied there; rejected in Aberdeen
in midwifery, for which, during the session, he won Sir J. Y. Simpson's
diploma, and a certificate of merit to boot; rejected in Aberdeen on
medical jurisprudence, for which, in Edinburgh, by fair competition, he
carried off the _gold medal_. It is not our province to comment, and we
studiously abstain from it; it is ours simply to chronicle; but a single
word of sympathy from a personal friend of Elmslie's may not be out of
place:–"Dear Elmslie," writes Professor Miller, "I sympathise with you
most keenly in your heavy trial.... 'God defend the right,' was a stout
and good old battle-cry, and He will." Mr. Elmslie returned to Edinburgh.

On rejoining us in the dispensary, there was much prayer for divine
guidance, for it was a time of great perplexity. He was strongly urged
to go back to Aberdeen, and take his degree in July. This, it was truly
said, was the easiest course, so far as work was concerned. It was
certainly the _cheapest_, and that was a consideration he could well
appreciate. For a time he felt the sore pangs of suspense as to the path
of duty; but the more he thought over it, the more evident it became,
that were he to go back to Aberdeen, so shortly after being publicly
rejected, it would appear that he was getting his qualification as a
_favour_, and not as a _right_, and that all through life a certain
suspiciousness or doubtfulness would attach to his degree,–and therefore
to his professional standing,–seeing it was so immediately preceded by a
"_plucking_." He could not return to Aberdeen. The following short note
to his mother, which is the first he wrote after his rejection, shows
the quarter in which he sought support and guidance:–"_M. M. Dispensary,
16th May 1863_.–DEAREST MOTHER,–I was delighted to get your cheering
note, and very glad to hear that you feel comforted in mind, though very
lonely. Let us cling close to Jesus, let us draw out of His fulness, and
never forget that He cares for us,–for you, and for Stewart, and
me–infinitely more than for the flowers which are looking so lovely just
now. We may look upon ourselves as belonging truly to Him. May we not,
dear mother? Then let us believe that all things will be made to work
together for good for us,–even this, sore trial though at present it
seems. May God bless and comfort you by His Spirit, dear mother.–Your
affectionate son, WILLIAM."

When it was finally determined that he should take an extra year of
study and graduate in Edinburgh, he withdrew as soon as possible from
all official connection with the dispensary, and took lodgings in Brown
Street; borrowing money from private friends to enable him to meet the
responsibilities so unexpectedly thrown upon him. This was, to Mr.
Elmslie, perhaps the hardest winter of his life. There was no
difficulty, it is true, in finding those who were willing enough to lend
to him, but a man must borrow with great hesitation and consideration,
who honestly intends to repay, as Mr. Elmslie did; and, besides, one of
an independent spirit is the less inclined to borrow the greater his
need. Then Mr. Elmslie's mother was feeling so much her loneliness,
through his continued absence from home, that he strove to the utmost
that _she_ should be comfortable, whatever might become of himself.
Friends could not fail to notice that it was to him a season of serious
self-denial, and once and again, with the view of moderating the
severity of the pressure upon him, found means to convey help to him
without letting him know whence it came. These love tokens were
accompanied with the single sentence, "Your Father knoweth that ye have
need of these things." Soon after the packets reached their destination,
he ran along to us to ask us to help him to give God thanks.

Before settling down to the hard study of the winter, he cleared off his
first professional examination in the University at Edinburgh, and sent
his mother the following account of the appearance he made:–_"6 Brown
Street, Edinburgh, Nov. 4, 1863._ MY EVER DEAR MOTHER,–Bless the Lord
with me for His great goodness to me! I have passed (my first
professional) at the University of Edinburgh, and more than passed, for
the professors passed high encomiums on the excellence of my papers.
Prof. Balfour was so satisfied with my paper on botany, that he merely
showed me some microscopic preparations, and asked me to name them.
Prof. Playfair said my paper on chemistry was so good, that he did not
intend to put a single question more. On learning that I had been a
pupil of Prof. Brazier's, he said I reflected great credit on my former
teacher. Oh, mother, these were little words, but how sweet they were to
me! In my heart, all the time I listened to them, I was blessing God for
having given me power to write such papers, and thus to corroborate all
that had been said in favour of my character as a student. The paper on
natural history was without one error, and Prof. Allman, in my _viva
voce_, was fully satisfied with my answers. How thankful I am and ought
to be. I don't think I ever studied so hard as during the past five
weeks. The subjects to which I had to devote my attention were
extensive, and I knew that much depended on my success. The thought of
that nerved me. I prayed constantly and earnestly that the Lord would
bless my efforts, and He has! ... Please let me have dear Stewart's
letter, that I may write him a long answer.... My communion last Sabbath
was not so happy as I could have wished; my mind was too exhausted for
full enjoyment, but I was enabled to feel myself a sinner, and once more
to take Jesus to be my Saviour."

Few could say more truthfully than Mr. Elmslie that he prayed
"constantly and earnestly." This session, especially, when labouring to
redeem his character as a student from the slur cast upon it by his
rejection, he seemed to feel the need of constant waiting upon God. He
prayed as much as if study were of little use; he studied as hard as if
to pray were vain. He furnished a good illustration of "Praying and
Working." This winter he became secretary to the "Medical Student's
Devotional Society," and did what he could to promote its interests.
There was something touching in Mr. Elmslie's _manner_ in prayer. He
spoke in his natural voice, without a trace of the artificial in its
tone. His sentences were short and very simple, which gave a child-like
character to his supplications; and it was encouraging to note the
_confidingness_ with which, in humbleness of spirit, he made known his
wants to his Father in heaven.

The following short letter to his mother notes the progress of his
studies:–"_6 Brown Street, 29th February, 1864._ MY DEAREST MOTHER,–Your
last note was very cheering to me. The same post brought me one from
Stewart, telling of his safe arrival at his ship, for which I join you
in thanking our Heavenly Father. I continue to feel less nervous, and am
able to study very hard. God will bless those strenuous efforts, and, as
you say truly, dear mother, the time will soon slip away, and we shall
see each other again. Take great care of yourself till then, dear
mother. My examinations take place early in April, but I don't intend,
at present at least, to appear again in Aberdeen till I am doctor of
medicine from the university; that can not be till the 1st August. Dr.
Candlish is to deliver the first of his course of lectures on the
Fatherhood of God to-morrow, and a great treat I expect it to be. We
have lost Mr. Dykes; you will be sorry to hear his health has obliged
him to leave St. George's, where his preaching was so much
appreciated,–and he has gone to rest in Italy for the present. God bless
and comfort you with the precious consolations of His Spirit!–Dear
mother, your loving son, WILLIAM."

One subject for prayer which was never omitted was _guidance_ as to his
future sphere of labour. Only two of the places brought under his notice
require mention–Bombay and Kashmir. Friends interested in the extension
of medical missions were exerting themselves to raise £2000, to
guarantee a fair start to a medical mission in Bombay; but, till the sum
should be completed, even those who looked upon Elmslie as the very man
for the sphere, and longed to possess him, had not faith to enter into a
definite agreement with him. Gladly would Mr. Elmslie have gone to
Bombay, for he considered it one of the most important heathen centres
in India, where there was full scope for the exercise of all the gifts
and graces wherewith God had blessed him. He more than once spoke of the
_unbelief_ that shrunk from fixing him, when the hand of God was so
manifest in all the antecedent movements connected with that mission.
Kashmir was under his notice for a considerable time. This was also a
new mission.

"It was in the year 1862," says the Rev. Mr. Clark, "that the Kashmir
Mission was commenced by an address which was sent to the Church
Missionary Society, signed by most of the great and good men who then
held in their hands the government of the Punjaub. They knew that the
best means of benefitting Kashmir was the gift of God's Word, and the
exemplification of Christian charity. Kashmir, from the earliest times,
had been an outlying province of the Punjaub, and had been made over by
us to the present reigning family not twenty years before; and Christian
people desired to place within reach of the people in Kashmir the same
blessings which they had endeavoured to give to the Punjaub. It was
during a journey on the mountain-road between Murree and Abbottabad,
that the idea first occurred to _Dr. Cleghorn_, that Kashmir was one of
those countries where the influence of medical skill would greatly avail
to aid the introduction of Christ's gospel."

The "Church Missionary Society's Committee of Correspondence, April 5,
1864, resolved–That, adverting to the Christian zeal and extraordinary
liberality of the friends of the Society in the Punjaub towards the
establishment of the Kashmir Mission, and their judgment of the
importance to its success of a medical missionary, this Committee will
make the present case an exception to their general practice, and will
be willing to enter into communication with Mr. Elmslie, with a view to
his appointment to the Kashmir Mission, provided that he is prepared
cordially to act upon the missionary principles of the Society." The
movement in this country was promoted by Professor Balfour, Dr.
Coldstream, and the Rev. G. D. Cullen, all of whom took a kind interest
in Mr. Elmslie, and the result was, that he was appointed for five years
a _lay_ agent of the Church Missionary Society, and hence his
Presbyterianism was not much of a difficulty. But there was a permanent
drawback connected with the mission in Kashmir: "He seems," writes Dr.
Coldstream "to be somewhat staggered by the rajah's law of exclusion
from his possessions for six months of each year; but I have encouraged
him to believe, that it may be quite possible for him to find abundance
of occupation during that period of exclusion, in territory under
British rule or protection."

"I can bear testimony," continues the worthy doctor, "very fully and
with confidence, in favour of Mr. Elmslie, as having apparently all the
gifts and graces which one desires to see conjoined in a medical

His medical examinations in Edinburgh, at the College of Surgeons and
University, were duly passed with credit (he did "splendidly," he wrote
to his mother), and he was capped in August 1864, and there was
therefore now no ambiguity circling round his professional Status.
Instead of writing to his much-loved mother, he rushed home to enjoy her
company during the few weeks he could now afford before sailing for
India. The following passage from a letter to Mrs. Coldstream shows the
direction of his thoughts at this time:–

"_27 Blackfriars Street, Aberdeen_, _31st August 1864_.–It does greatly
gladden my heart to know that you have been making me and my future
labours the subject of earnest supplication at the throne of grace. I
very much need your urgent petitions in my behalf, for although I have
used my prayerful endeavour all along to have myself qualified for the
special work to which, I trust, I have been called; nevertheless, when I
get but a dim glimpse of the numerous and heavy responsibilities and
great difficulties of my future position, as a labourer for Jesus among
the benighted heathen, the irresistible exclamation of my heart is, Who
is sufficient for these things? Quickly, however, I have the cheering
response whispered into the ear of my faith by the loving and
sympathising One, 'My grace is sufficient for thee.' I rest in that
declaration of our Saviour. My dear mother, I am happy to be able to
say, loves the Saviour, and does not grudge to give up a son to work
under His banner, who has done so much for her soul. Who would not be
willing to give up all to Jesus when He makes the demand? You can easily
fancy how very much this willing surrendering of me to the Lord by my
dear mother diminishes the sorrow which we mutually feel at the thought
of being so far and so long separated. Jesus sweetens everything."



As mentioned by Dr. Elmslie in his letter to Mrs. Coldstream, it greatly
lessened the trial of parting from his mother, that she came at length
to be willing to give him up to _foreign_ service. Long after his own
mind was satisfied that he was called to labour amongst the heathen in
distant lands, the mother failed to see that there was any need that her
darling son should go so far from home. Sometimes she tried to introduce
the subject, to plead with him from _her_ standpoint; but whenever she
approached it, he held up his hand, and, with an earnest deprecating
gesture cried, "No! mother, no." Having got, as he believed, his
marching orders from the "Captain of Salvation," he could not confer
with flesh and blood. "Let her tell Jesus," he used to say; "_He_ will
put all right," and He did, for she gave him up willingly; and fondly
she blessed him. It aggravated the trial on both sides that Mrs.
Elmslie's other son–a sailor–was then far away from home; but William
did his utmost to arrange for her comfort after his departure. His first
note addressed to her after rejoining us in Edinburgh bears date,
"_Friday night_," and was written after special prayer by a few friends,
that the Lord would graciously sustain and comfort her: "My dearest
mother ... cheer up. I am well, and our loving Father is supporting me
graciously in this hour of trial. He will sustain both of us if we lean
on His almighty arm. I leave in an hour for London after very laborious
work in Edinburgh. Every one is very kind to me. God bless and comfort
you.–Your loving son, WILLIE."

"_Southampton, 19th September 1864._–MY EVER DEAREST MOTHER,–When I
dropped you my last note I was indeed in a very great hurry, for I had
but a few minutes before leaving for London. Dear Mr. Ritchie's coming
with me has been a source of great pleasure. I heartily wish he were
coming all the way to India. After transacting all my business in
London, we went down to Windsor, and spent the remainder of Saturday and
Sunday with Uncle Stewart and Emma, who welcomed us most cordially. Vine
Cottage is a little paradise of a place, I wish I could transport you to
it, dear mother; how much good it would do you. We went to church in old
Windsor where we heard a pitiably poor sermon. In the afternoon we went
to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle; there was no sermon, but the
music was very grand. I believe most of the members of the choir are

"I am really well now, dearest mother. I trust you are leaning on God
and rejoicing in Him. _Rejoice in the Lord alway._–Your ever loving son,

"_Southampton, 20th September 1864_, '_Poonah._'–Just about to sail.
Sorry about you, dear mother; only kept up by the knowledge that the
Lord Himself is with you. Lean hard on the Lord, and may He spare us to
meet! The Lord bless you and comfort you. I shall write from Gibraltar
in a very few days.–Your ever loving son, WILLIE."

"_Poonah, off the coast of Portugal, Sept. 24._–MY EVER DEAR MOTHER,–We
expect to arrive in Gibraltar to-morrow morning, and I cannot let an
opportunity pass without posting a few lines for you.

"I have great reason for thankfulness to our gracious Father for all His
kindness since I left you. With the exception of one day's sickness, I
have kept well even through the heavy swell on the Bay of Biscay....

"I daresay you feel curious to know how I like board-ship life, and who
my fellow-passengers are. We have Englishmen, Scotchmen, Irishmen,
Dutchmen, and old Indians on board, and among the servants there are
natives of India and China. Poor things, they are so looked down upon; I
long to be able to speak a kind word to them, and to tell them that God
loves them. There are two others in the cabin with me,–one a Christian
man, an officer from the Punjaub, who knows the missionaries there. He
also knows Dr. F––, and speaks highly in praise of him.

"We have three clergymen with us, one of whom is Archdeacon of Madras,
to whom Major R–- proposed that we should have morning prayers, and
this has been begun. Only a few have, as yet, attended, but it was
pleasant to unite in thanking God for His great goodness, and to claim
fulfilment of the promise that where two or three are gathered together
in Christ's name, He will be in the midst of them. To-day we had a
larger attendance.... My own morning reading is the Bible; I also have
had great pleasure in reading 'Gentle Life.' Our usual routine is: at 9,
breakfast; 10, prayers; reading till 12, the hour for luncheon; on deck
reading or conversing till 4, when the summons to dinner is heard. I
must tell you what a fix I was in the first day at dinner. You know what
a fear I have of being called on to carve; but where do you think I
found my place at table, but right before a dish of fowls! I had to do
my best, but have managed to avoid that seat ever since. After dinner
there is the same round of reading, talking, or playing chess. I long to
be in India, settled to work, for this kind of life is mere vegetating.
I mean to begin the study of Hindustani next week: this will be my chief
work for some months to come. Pray for me, dear mother. It is a very
difficult language; but you remember the miracle of the gift of tongues.
The Archdeacon is to preach to-morrow. I am sorry to think we are to
arrive at Gibraltar on a Sunday, as I shall not be able to go and

"I shall take up the thread of my story before we reach Malta, so as to
have a letter ready for you when the mail goes out....

"Good-night, dearest mother; may you enjoy much of the presence of the
good Spirit.–Your ever loving son, WILLIE."

"_Mediterranean Sea, S.S. Poonah, 28th Sept. 1864._–MY EVER DEAR
MOTHER,–We have had a very calm and pleasant run from the Rock, but now
we are being so roughly tossed by the blue waters of the Mediterranean,
that it is with difficulty I can write.... The Archdeacon and captain
arranged that worship should be in the evening on Sunday, as there was a
great deal of noise and bustle on the morning of the Lord's day. In the
evening, accordingly, everything was beautifully arranged. A large
awning was spread over the quarter-deck, a box erected as a desk, having
in front a large lantern, and the Archdeacon preached a very good sermon
from those words, 'What think ye of Christ?'

"After service I had an interesting conversation with a young Dutch
lady, who is evidently dying of consumption. She told me she had lived a
very thoughtless life, but the glorious light of the Gospel seems to be
dawning on her mind. I trust it is so, for her sun is fast setting.... I
have begun Hindustani, and am kindly helped by Major R.

"The Lord bless and comfort my dear mother.–Your ever loving son,

"_To the same._–Yesterday forenoon we arrived at Malta, and I had the
pleasure of visiting Valetta, its principal city, which is composed
chiefly of military forts of the greatest strength. I am told by
military men on board that the island is considered impregnable. Passing
along the main street of Valetta, we saw the Governor's palace. The
women almost all wore black mantles over their hair, in some cases
fastened with flowers. Every second person we met was a priest: there
are 1600 in the capital alone. We visited the great Church of St.
John's,–a truly magnificent building, so far as costly embellishments
go; but it is florid, and not in harmony with the sacred purpose of the
edifice. It reminded me of Notre Dame in Paris, but neither of these
buildings please me so much as Te Duomo in Florence, of which you have a
photograph. A host of importunate beggars besieged us as we entered St.
John's,–arrant rogues they seemed, every one of them. The son of Louis
Philippe was buried in this church, and over his tomb there is an
exquisite piece of sculpture.

"We spent a very interesting afternoon with Mr. Gibb, who took us to see
the depot of the British and Foreign Bible Society, the superintendent
of which is an old soldier, a soldier of the cross, too, and of the
right stamp for such a post. Four thousand Bibles were sold the year
before last, and through his laborious exertions no fewer than twelve
thousand were disposed of last year. There cannot but be fruit where
God's word is sown, accompanied as the sowing is, by many an earnest
prayer for the increase. Mr. G. next took us to see the Public Library
of Valetta, which belonged originally to the knights of Malta, and in
which I saw copies of the writings of the Fathers in Divinity. There is
a university in Valetta, and a capital normal school, in which, in
addition to a good education, the boys have lessons in shoemaking,
printing, and carving....

"We had to leave the young Dutch lady at Malta, as she was too ill to
stand a further voyage. I trust the Lord has begun a good work in her
soul, and that Mr. W., who has promised to act as minister to her, may
be the means of helping her heavenward. I am often with you in thought,
dearest mother, and trust you are enjoying peace and happiness. Turn
your heart to Jesus, as your flowers turn their heads to the sun, and
let your language be,–

  "'Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear,
  It is not night if Thou be near;
  Oh, may no earth-born cloud arise,
  To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes!"

–Your ever loving son, WILLIE.

Visiting Alexandria and Cairo, he writes of the interest with which he
saw the classic remains in these cities, the palm trees, the camels, or
ships of the desert, the crowded bazaars, and the many other
characteristics of an eastern country. As a medical man he could not
fail to notice the sad state of the eyes of many of the Egyptians. The
whole voyage was full of novelty to him, and he tried, by minute
descriptions of all he saw, to cheer his friends at home.

On the way up to Calcutta the vessel called at Madras. "I was one,"
writes Dr. Elmslie, "of a party who went on shore. We had but a short
time to spend on land, so we had to be active. We first went to the Free
Church Mission premises, which we found easily, owing to my recollection
of the description given of them in the 'Free Church Missionary Record.'
The Rev. Mr. Miller welcomed us most heartily. You may remember that he
was a member of a literary society which met weekly in the College, of
which Salmond and I were also members. He kindly showed us all the
mission premises. We saw the various classes at work and were surprised
at the extent of the students' scholarship. Everything is in first-rate
order. We then drove on to see Mr. Paterson of the Medical Mission in
Madras. We were fortunate in finding him at home, and both he and Mrs.
Paterson were cordial in their welcome. Of course our whole conversation
turned on medical missions, but it had to be short, as we were soon
hurried off to our floating home."

Again he writes to his mother:–"_S.S. Simla, 27th Oct_. 1864.–MY EVER
DEAR MOTHER,–Hurrah! We are expected to reach Calcutta to-morrow
forenoon. Since writing from the wild barren Aden I have feasted my eyes
on the luxuriant verdure of Point de Galle, and breathed the 'spicy
breezes' of which Reginald Heber sang, and now here I am drawing near to
the field of my future labours.... During the voyage I have read a story
called 'Trevelyan Hold,' in which you will find a not inaccurate
description of my old master: 'Gentle Life;' 'Leisure hours in town,' do
get, you would enjoy it, dear mother; 'True Yoke-fellows;' 'Life of
Judson.' Pray, dear mother, that I may be like the noble Judson in all
in which he resembled our blessed Saviour. 'Lady M. Wortley Montague's
Letters' also have interested me much. You remember it was she who
introduced 'Inoculation' from the east. Last, and best, I have read in
my Greek Testament. The study of it has given me much enjoyment. Tell me
everything when you write; the smallest details about yourself and all
my friends, and dear Stewart, will be interesting to me. I hope you are
not mourning over my absence, dear mother, but rather thanking God for
sending me on the best and noblest of errands,–to win some hearts among
the perishing thousands of Kashmir to the loving Saviour. Oh, dear
mother, I long for the time when your heart and mine shall love Jesus
purely and with all their strength. Pray very earnestly that our
gracious Father may pour out upon us the sanctifying influences of His

On the 28th October, about 3½ P.M., Dr. Elmslie landed in Calcutta, and
in a letter to his friend, Mr. Ritchie, he refers to the ravages of the
terrible cyclone, which just a short time before had swept over that
region:–"It was a sad, sad sight, indeed, to see innumerable and
unmistakeable proofs of the wild and irresistible fury of the recent
cyclone, as we sailed up the Hoogley to the Indian metropolis. The whole
surrounding country appeared to be in ruins. Houses were unroofed,
others completely blown down, gigantic trees totally uprooted, and ships
of the heaviest tonnage lay high-and-dry on the river's banks. By the
liberality of the Europeans and Parsees, much of the consequent
sufferings of the poorer classes have been relieved. The beautiful
gardens at Calcutta are a total ruin. It will take a year at least to
clear the ground of the trees that have been felled, and a hundred years
to restore some of the most beautiful and valuable. How very friendly
and unsectarian all evangelical denominations are here. All who profess
to love and serve Christ seem to form one loving brotherhood, as it
ought to be."



As the secretary of the Church Missionary Society was up country when
Dr. Elmslie arrived in Calcutta, and none of the mission circle expected
him so soon, he found no one awaiting him, and so for a time he went to
a hotel. To his mother he writes:–"On Sunday we went to the Free Church
Mission Church and heard a good Scotch sermon from the Rev. Mr. Don.
After service I was introduced to Dr. Robson, who is Free Church Medical
Missionary in Calcutta. Dr. and Mrs. Robson kindly asked us to spend the
day at the Free Church Mission House, where we were introduced to the
native Christian students, and to one who is not yet in Jesus, but who
is groping his way to the Saviour out of heathen darkness. I accompanied
Dr. Robson and two of the native Christian students to a small open
meeting-house, situated in the native town. Here Dr. Robson read one or
two chapters of the Holy Scriptures in Bengali to a crowd collected
outside. Many listened with great attention as if pondering what they
heard. After Dr. Robson had finished, one of the students addressed the
assembly in Bengali on the words to which they had been listening. His
address seemed earnest and eloquent. Questions were asked and objections
raised, and, while the two students were busy in answering them, Dr.
Robson was giving away religious tracts in English to those in the crowd
who could read English. In the evening Dr. Robson took me to the
Deistical Church, where thirty young men were gathered together. The
services were begun by a hired musician, who played on a kind of native
harp accompanying it with his voice. After this, one of the members read
prayers, the congregation repeating them after him. Prayers ended,
another of the company read what would correspond to a sermon, but which
consisted of a description of the miseries of the pitiable sufferers in
the recent cyclone, and a collection was made on their behalf. The
members of this association are men thoroughly convinced of the
absurdities of Hinduism, but to whom the pure and man-humbling doctrines
of Christianity are unattractive and therefore rejected. Oh that the
Lord would open their eyes that they may see!

"On Monday, the 31st, the Governor-General arrived in Calcutta, and Dr.
F. came at once to see me, and I got a very cordial reception from him.

"_Journal, Nov. 2, 1864._–Visited the Medical College and the Sailors'
Home with Dr. F.

"_Nov. 3._–Read in 1st Epistle of John (Greek); met several members of
Church Missionary Society Committee, among whom was Colonel Bacon, who
has been in Kashmir, and thus able to give me some information about the
state of its people. My Lord, fit me for my work among them, I beseech

_Nov. 6th._–To-day read Duff's Missionary Addresses. Oh for his
enthusiasm as a missionary! I do love Thee, my Saviour, and think I am
quite willing to take up my cross and follow Thee, if only thou fulfil
Thy considerate and loving promise to be ever with me! Thou wilt fulfil
it, dear Jesus! Went with Dr. Cleghorn to church. How my heart warmed
when I saw him and Mrs. C.,–children of God from dear old Scotland. We
spent the evening in reading God's Word and in prayer. It was a feast to
my soul. Oh! that our gracious God may richly answer the prayers we then
offered up for an outpouring of blessing on missions everywhere, and
especially on the Medical Mission to Kashmir. Oh! that He may qualify me
for the difficult work which lies before me, granting me heavenly wisdom!

"_Nov. 8th._–Read an interesting account of the analysis of some
specimens of Cinchona Succirubra Bark, grown in Ootacamund. The result
of the examination proves that this species of C. bark, cultivated in
India, is far superior to the same species reared in South America. Six
per cent. of alkaloid was obtained from it, of which three parts were
quinine. Cultivation seems to have the desirable effect of increasing
the percentage of quinine.

"_Nov. 8th._–Was present at the Missionary Conference, which is composed
of all the Evangelical Missionaries in Calcutta. They meet monthly in
each other's houses.

"Dr. F. thinks I ought soon to set off for Lahore, where I shall enjoy
the advantage of a large hospital, with opportunities of performing
surgical operations, and where I shall be near the scene of my future
labours. This arrangement commends itself to me, therefore please send
letters to Post Office, Lahore.... Dear mother, you are often in the
thoughts and ever in the prayers of your loving son, WILLIAM."

Dr. Elmslie spent a fortnight of much enjoyment with Mr. Vaughan of the
Church Missionary Society in Calcutta, and during this time visited all
the important institutions of the city. He was much interested in the
work carried on by Dr. Robson, then Medical Missionary in connection
with the Free Church. Of a visit paid to one of Dr. Robson's patients,
he writes thus:–"The young man was a student of the university. I asked
if he had studied the Bible, but he confessed that for some time he had
not given it serious consideration. He said he had found great
difficulty in some portions of the New Testament. I asked him to specify
one of those portions, and he immediately mentioned that passage where
our Lord enumerates the marks of a disciple. I rashly hazarded an
explanation, but it would have been wiser to have avowed its difficulty,
as it was a subject I had not studied in its theological bearings. How
much I have to learn! How much I need Heavenly wisdom! I meet many who
are far better qualified than I for carrying on the glorious work of
evangelisation. Nevertheless, I believe there is a niche for me, Father,
even me! Thou knowest my heart, O Lord; and Thou knowest that I love

"_Nov. 18._–Punctually at 7 A.M., the Hon. Mr. Muir, Dr. F., and Dr. C.
rode into the compound of the Church Mission House to bid me farewell,
and Dr. F. and Dr. C. accompanied me to the railway station. We crossed
the Howrah by ferry, and at 8 o'clock I was hurried away from those dear
Christian men who, during all my stay in Calcutta, were ever doing me
kindnesses." ... And their kindnesses accompanied him; for "It was
arranged," writes Dr. Cleghorn, "at a little conference in the Church
Mission House, consisting of the Rev. Mr. Stewart, Dr. Farquhar, Dr.
Cleghorn, and Dr. Elmslie, that Dr. Elmslie should start yesterday, the
18th. The route was prepared, and special friends were advised of his
expected arrival. A little company of us here have more than once
commended Dr. Elmslie to God in united prayer. We partook together of
the communion on Sabbath, and at the railway station we felt it to be a
solemn duty to wish this new labourer 'God-speed,' and to pray for large
success. We have suggested that Dr. Elmslie should remain for several
months at Lahore to learn the language, see the system of instruction at
the Medical College, and perhaps find a native agent to accompany him to
Kashmir when the season opens."

On the way to Lahore, he ever after remembered most gratefully the
kindness received from all his brother missionaries. His next letter to
his mother is dated Amritsar, Dec. 20, 1864, and in it he recounts some,
out of many, of the interesting events of the journey:–

"Since I last wrote to you, my time has been spent in travelling nearly
fourteen hundred miles, receiving hearty welcomes from dear Christians
at every halting-place, visiting schools, dispensaries, hospitals, and
prisons. One of the most interesting sights I saw in Calcutta was the
examination of the college instituted by Dr. Duff, and the distribution
of prizes to the most deserving students by Sir John Lawrence. It is the
first time that a governor-general of India has done the like in a
missionary institution, and we may hope that it betokens a new and
brighter era in the history of the land. I believe there are scholars
from this institution in almost every corner of Northern India, and that
they are noted for their learning, and for their Christian character.

"My first resting-place on the journey from Calcutta to Amritsar was at
Benares, the Rome or Mecca of India. It is the stronghold of Hinduism,
and the most bigoted city in India, so that you can believe I saw much
to sadden me, much, too, to make me glad; for missionary operations are
being carried on most vigorously. I must tell you an incident which
happened when I was visiting one of the great temples there. As the
crowds of worshippers entered the temple, I saw that every one was
furnished with flowers, some in garlands, others in bouquets, which were
meant as offerings to the god, or to make them fit to appear before it.
The room into which we were conducted was dimly lighted. I could only
just perceive a block of wood or stone, shaped in the form of the head
of a fish. It stood on the ground, enclosed by a little fence of stone
work, and near it stood a priest, who, on seeing me, stepped forward,
and threw a garland of flowers round my neck before I was aware. Fancy
me decked as if ready to worship this contemptible deity! He,–this
sensual-looking priest, implored me for money, which, however, I did not

"At Allahabad I spent some very happy days in the house of the Hon. Mr.
Muir. I was asked to conduct a prayer-meeting among the soldiers, which
I consented to do, but with very mixed feelings. I do desire to commend
Christ by word as well as by deed, but I am such a poor speaker.
However, I do not think this a sufficient reason for refusing, when
offered the opportunity of speaking for the Lord. With God's help, I
shall try to speak more for Him than I have ever yet done. I spent some
pleasant days at Delhi, Umballa, and Jullunder, where I had the
privilege of meeting Sir Herbert Edwards, who was staying with my kind
host Mr. Elliott. Sir Herbert is a great friend to the Kashmir Medical
Mission, and spoke freely of his views as to our policy there. His
opinion corresponds with that of Mr. Clark. From Jullunder I went to
Loodiana, and, along with the American missionary, Mr. Woodside, visited
the Rajah of Kapurthāla, who seemed anxious about the real good of
his people.... With all my heart wishing you and dear Stewart a very
happy New Year,–Your own loving son, WILLIE."

"_Amritsar Journal, Dec. 16, 1864._–Drove with Mr. W. to see the Mission
School. On our way, ascended one of the very lofty minarets, from which
we had a wonderfully extensive view of the city and its neighbourhood.
The famous tank and splendid _Golden Temple_ of the Sikhs lay at our
feet. We visited the temple, but, before entering, we were requested to
change our shoes for cloth slippers, as the cow is considered a sacred
animal with the Sikhs. The temple is situated in the midst of the famous
tank of Amritsar, and is approached by a pier paved with most beautiful
marble. It is one sheet of gold and mirrors within. A man wearing a
large crimson turban was seated in front of an immense cushion, on which
lay the Sikh Bible, or Granth. Around this man several other priests
were seated, and near them there were three musicians, who continued to
play in a strange monotonous style.

"The offerings brought and laid before the Granth by the poor
worshippers were not very munificent, consisting chiefly of flowers, or
rice, or paise. The chief priest uncovered the book, and read a portion
of it, not much to our edification.

"There are two sects of Sikhs, the followers of Namak, who was,
considering his opportunities, an enlightened man, and a lover of peace;
and the followers of Govind, who held that the Sikh religion should be
promoted by the sword. His sword is kept in a separate temple....

"We next visited the Mission School, where I examined three of the
classes, and found them very well grounded indeed.

"_18th Dec._–Went to English Church, where Mr. Watkin preached from the
words, "The Lord is at hand," an impressive sermon. Afterwards I enjoyed
some sweet communion with God. In the evening Mr. and Mrs. C., Mr. R.,
and myself formed a little party for Bible reading, and had a very
interesting conversation on Rom. iii.

"_21st._–Hard at work at Hindustani. Read paper on Kashmir, kindly lent
me by Mr. Clark. O Lord, how much he and I need Thy Holy Spirit to be
infused as a spirit of wisdom and of strong faith.

"_25th._–Partook of the Lord's Supper, and afresh dedicated myself to
the Lord who died for me. Realised how unworthy I am, how imperfect my
life is! O Lord, make Thine own child something like his Father; give me
much more of the family likeness! Went in afternoon to native church,
and heard Daud Singh, the native pastor, preach. The boys and girls from
the orphanages formed the principal part of the congregation. The church
is most suitably planned, so that heathen listeners may gather in the
verandah, and hear the word of God.

"_26th._–Studied hard all forenoon. Aid me, Lord!

"Mr. C. received peremptory orders from Jummoo to remove all his
furniture from the bungalow in Srinagar, in which he had deposited it on
his departure from the valley. This is trying and perplexing. I would
refer it all to Thee, O Lord; for the matter is Thine, not mine. I am
lamentably ignorant, but Thou art omniscient. At present the horizon
looks black and lowering, but affairs committed to God's care cannot but
go well in the end. Read Hügel's Travels in Kashmir.

"_30th._–Went with Mr. C. and Mr. F. to have an interview with Sir E.
Montgomery, who received us cordially, and made many inquiries
respecting the various missions with which we are individually
connected.... O Lord, make me a better servant and missionary! I mourn
over my leanness: fill me with Thy Spirit, that I may bring forth fruit
to Thy praise! Read Hügel.

"_Jan. 1st._–Had some delightful hours alone with God. Oh, for a closer
walk with my God and Saviour!

"_3d._–Hindustani for three hours. Home letters at last. Dr. Burns
Thomson's first Medical Missionary circular. May the Lord copiously
bless it! Spent some hours in a native druggist's shop in the city, and
learned a great deal about the medicines used by Hakims. While there, a
funeral procession passed, followed by a number of women dressed in very
coarse garments, and wailing bitterly. Am told their grief is not all
genuine; some of them were paid mourners."

Dr. Elmslie reached Lahore on Jan. 18th, and wrote next day:–"_Lahore,
19th Jan. 1865._–At Lahore at last, and hoping to have some earnest hard
work before it is time to go to Kashmir. We are likely to meet with many
difficulties in our missionary operations, but the Lord is on our side,
and He will turn the hearts of those high in power, so that the good
news of His dear Son may be told to the inhabitants of that lovely land.
I had a brief interview with Mr. M‛Leod, the lieutenant-governor,
to-day, and also visited Mr. Cooper, who was for some time British
resident in Srinagar. He said he would readily give me letters of
introduction to the leading men in Kashmir, if I were merely going there
as a physician, unconnected with a Christian mission.

"_Feb. 3d._–Have undertaken a class in Mr. Forman's school; got on
pretty well, having studied carefully beforehand; first wrote out the
lesson in Hindustani, and had it corrected by my Moonshee. The boys are
so dirty. Dear mother, what would you think of them! yet they are often
profusely decorated with ornaments of gold and silver.

"_14th._–Your troublesome cough back again! I can't tell you how sorry I
am for that. I am delighted to hear of J. W.'s success: he must press
on, and make 'Excelsior' his motto. And is it true that my little
name-daughter has been taken away to swell the numbers of the lambs in
the fold above? I remember a sweet verse of a hymn which you may like to
send her mother–

  "'Ere sin could blight, or sorrow fade,
    Death came with friendly care;
  The opening bud to heaven conveyed,
    And bade it blossom there.'

"I shall write to her mother, whose kindness to me I can never
forget.... I am labouring hard at the language, and have a teacher–a
Moonshee–for two hours daily. I teach for two hours in the Mission
School, and sometimes spend as much as three hours in the Government
Hospital, which I visit daily, in order to become familiar with Indian
complaints. I meant to spin you a long yarn about the country and the
people, but must defer till my next.–Your ever loving son, WILLIAM."

"_Lahore, Feb. 28th._–So thankful, my dearest mother, that you feel
better. Summer is coming, with its genial sunshine and bright blue
skies, and all the gladness which nature in our dear Scotland can
display, and you must go to the country and see it all. I should like
you to go to Ballater, and see the beautiful everlasting mountains I
love so much. Yes, you will go and write and tell me all about them. How
I long to see hills. This country of India is just a dead level,–as
smooth as the table of your best room. When journeying from Calcutta I
saw some hills, though very diminutive ones; my heart was gladdened
within me, they reminded me so much of Deeside. The other day I read a
good criticism of Enoch Arden, one of Tennyson's poems, which I read to
you on the banks of the Fench, near Banchory, when you and I visited
that lovely spot. How I delight in recalling those bright days in our
past. If it please God, dearest mother, I hope we shall again visit the
'Falls,' and again speak together of God's wonderful goodness to us
both. I shall soon see higher mountains than you or I have ever yet
beheld. The great Himalayas, in the midst of which lies cradled my
future home, or perhaps I should say my field of work. I know you would
like to read about it. The books which I find give one the most
interesting information are, Jacquemont's Travels, Moorcroft's, and
Vigne's ditto. If God spare me I purpose writing a book more
comprehensive than any of them, as I shall have valuable opportunities
for gathering information if spared to remain for a sufficient length of
time in the valley.... Let me have much of your earnest prayers; I shall
need them and expect them. By praying, dear mother, you will
immeasurably help me, even more than if you were travelling with me over
these strange lands. How the people of this dark land need the gospel,
which alone can elevate and purify them! You can form no idea of their
wickedness, but it corroborates the description given by St. Paul in
Romans i. Much is being done for them, both by Government and by
Missionaries, but so deep-seated is the evil, that you see as yet but
little resulting from those efforts,–the evil seems to absorb the good
just as a burning sandy waste absorbs the rain which falls on it. There
are no fewer than 604 female schools in the Punjaub, but what are they
among the millions? and if taught by heathen teachers, what result can
we look for? You would laugh many a time, dear mother, at the
significant looks and smiles of my little brown-faced charge at the
Mission School, when I attempt to launch out, and make blunders in the
language in so doing. I never mind, but hold on my way, for some direct
mission work I _must_ do, however feebly. It is encouraging to me that
those signals of my mistakes are becoming fewer and fewer. When I go to
Kashmir I shall have a new language to learn, and it will be much more
difficult to acquire, because there are no grammars nor dictionaries of
Kashmiri. Those I must make for myself, and have already done something
towards this work.

"I forgot to recommend to you a delightful book, written by that good
doctor in Edinburgh, George Wilson; it is called 'Counsels of an
Invalid.' Get it if you can.... My warmest love to you, dearest mother."

"_April 5, 1865._–So –– is after the loaves and fishes, is he? Tell him
he will never cease to repent it if he draw back from the service of the
Lord, to which he has devoted himself many times. I trust the Lord may
show him that it is a glorious service, from which none should swerve.
Poor R. B., his race has soon been run, but today he is reaping the
inexpressible joy of being saved by Jesus. It is this assurance which
makes life on earth bearable. It is the bright hope of this that has
sustained me up to this time. It is very remarkable that every letter
from home has told me of some well-known friend's death; this makes me
anxious, but, as you say, we are each one in God's hands, and this
thought should allay our fears, and calm the disturbed mind. 'I will
never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' I feel sorry and astonished to hear
that Mrs. –– is so proud. But, dear mother, we are all frail in some
way. Oh, to be really like Jesus! in humility and in everything else in
which it is possible for us to resemble Him. To strive after this is
really our life-work.

"It was resolved at a harmonious meeting of the committee, which met on
Friday, that I should start for Kashmir on April 11th, and travel by
Rawal Pindee and Murree. A proposition was made that I should go along
with the Bishop of Calcutta, who is to spend a month in the valley for
the benefit of his health, but I was opposed to this plan, for this
reason, that the natives look on him as a great public functionary, in
short, as one of the highest in the Government; and I fear, if I were to
accompany him, that the natives of Kashmir would consider me too a
servant of Government, and so my mission would be frustrated. The
committee agreed with me. My policy in Kashmir is to be one of peace.

"_Journal, April 20th._–Travelled from Lahore to Rawal Pindee in a
Government gāri, a curious lumbering conveyance, drawn by the most
wretched and stubborn of horses. From Rawal Pindee partly by hill-cart,
and partly by mule. The hill-cart certainly excels the gāri in speed if
not in comfort. It is something like an Irish car on two high wheels,
and although the road to Murree is all more or less steep, the horses
seemed almost to fly along the way. It is curious to find one's self
mounting terrace after terrace of the steep mountain side, and to look
down on the great landscape of the plains you have left. Rhododendrons,
honeysuckle, clematis, geraniums, acacias on every side, mingling with
the grand Alpine firs. Murree itself is a Swiss-like station, every
house built in some cleft of the mountain side; from it you see the
everlasting snows not very far off.

"_21st._–Left Murree with the Rev. Mr. Handcock of Peshawar. After ten
miles ride reached Dawal about midnight.

"_22d._–From Dawal to Kohalla; a beautiful ride all down mountain side;
passed through quantity of snow. Saw tiny yellow Potentilla Tormentilla,
also the Pteris Quadrifolia, and Primula Vulgaris; very few birds to be
seen among the pines which clothe those mountains through which we
passed; the odour of the pines most charming. Half way to Kohalla saw
the river Jhelum wending its way from Kashmir. Arriving at Kohalla,
found the rest-bungalow preoccupied. Dined under a tree. Afterwards
Qadir Bakhsh addressed the coolies and people from the village. One of
the men was almost totally blind from cicatrices on the cornea; an
artificial pupil would have done wonders for him.

"_April 24th._–After seeing most of our baggage off on coolies' backs we
crossed the rapidly flowing Jhelum in a ferry-boat, the oarmen of which
seemed wonderfully dexterous. In climbing the rugged road to Dhunna had
many a fall, and arrived in a bruised and tired condition, but said that
I should be glad to see any of the sick people in the village if they
came after breakfast. It was now 11 A.M., and an hour after, a large
company had assembled; some sixteen of whom became my patients."

In a communication to us, written as he passed up country, it came out
on every page how much Dr. Elmslie magnified his office as a Medical
Missionary. From the time he left England till now, when he enters
Kashmir, he never let slip an opportunity of gathering or giving
information about Medical Missions, and anything hopeful regarding their
extension gladdened his heart. "When at Jullunder, on my way to Lahore,
I met with the Rev. Mr. Woodside of the American Presbyterian Mission,
whose sphere of labour is Kapurthala. You are perhaps aware that the
Rajah of Kapurthala is favourably disposed to Christianity. He
contributes very largely to missionary objects, and has built a handsome
church entirely at his own expense. His Highness has also built a large
and commodious house for a Medical Missionary. I trust a suitable agent
will soon be appointed to this place. The sphere is an excellent one. As
David (Young) is nearly finished, I have asked Mr. W. to write to him.
At Allahabad I met the Rev. Mr. Williamson, Presbyterian Chaplain in one
of Her Majesty's regiments, now serving in India. He belongs to the
Established Church of Scotland. But there is little or nothing of the
'_Isms_' in India. Love to the Saviour is the shibboleth. Mr. Williamson
became so full of Medical Missions that he resolved to write to Dr.
Norman M‛Leod about having a Medical Missionary sent to the Established
Church Mission at Sealkote." When Dr. Elmslie returned to Scotland in
1870, he had the joy of meeting for an hour or so, in Edinburgh, a young
Medical Missionary–Dr. Hutchison–just starting for Sealkote.



It may be well to precede Dr. Elmslie into the valley that is to be the
principal scene of his future labours, to get a glimpse of the country,
the people, the Government, &c., that we may the more intelligently
accompany him in his work.

The valley of Kashmir is situated to the north of the Punjaub, between
north latitudes 33° and 35°, and east longitudes 74° and 76°. Its height
above the level of the sea is about 5350 feet. The range of mountains to
the south of this far-famed valley, and separating it from the Punjaub,
is called the Pir Panjal, the average height of which, above the level
of the sea, is about 12,000 feet. The two main passes in this mountain
range are the Banihal, at an elevation of 9200 feet, and the Pir Panjal
at a height of 11,400 feet. The valley itself, which is very flat and
fertile, is about 50 miles in length and 20 in breadth. Through the
middle of the valley flows the broad bosomed Jhelum in a westerly
direction. On both banks of this river, and equally distant from either
end of the valley, stands Kashmir or Srinagar, the capital of the
country. Although Srinagar, as a city, is possessed of uncommonly great
facilities for excellent sanitation in a magnificent river and numerous
canals, it is nevertheless extremely filthy.

The climate of the valley of Kashmir is characterised by great
salubrity. From the middle of June till the middle of August, the heat
in the valley is sometimes a little disagreeable. The nights, however,
are always cool and pleasant. The temperature is sometimes as high as
90° indoors during the time specified.

The total population of the valley, excluding that of any of the
surrounding countries, and the inhabitants of the mountains is 402,700.

This number is divided thus:–

 1. Sunnees, or Mussulmans as they call themselves,  312,700
 2. Sheeas, sect of Mussulmans,                       15,000
 3. Hindoos,                                          75,000
       Total population,                             402,700

Population of Srinagar:–

 1. Sunnees,                                           95,400
 2. Sheeas,                                             7,000
 3. Hindoos,                                           25,000
       Total population of Srinagar,                  127,400

In Kashmir there are 29,430 shawl weavers.

"The clothing of the Kashmiris, both men and women, consists essentially
of one long loose woollen garment, which extends from the neck to the
ankles, and is not very unlike a woollen night-gown. So far as this
article of clothing is concerned, men and women are dressed exactly
alike. The men, however, frequently wear a kamarband round their waists
when they have a journey to make, or some piece of work to perform which
requires more or less of activity. The sleeves of the garment being wide
and capacious, the wearer can with the greatest facility take his or her
arms out of them, and place them alongside the body, in immediate
contact with the bare skin....

"The houses of the Kashmiris are not at all calculated to afford
efficient shelter to their occupants against the inclemency of the
weather in winter, being for the most part built of wood, and being
besides generally in the most rickety and tumble-down condition
imaginable. So far as the writer is aware, they are entirely destitute
of fireplaces, and when a fire is kindled inside one of them, the smoke
must find a way of escape, either by the door or the window, which is
never of glass, but, as a rule, of trellis work, which is often very
pretty, and for which Kashmir is justly famous.

"Coal being unknown in the valley, wood is the material generally
employed as fuel. The very poorest of the people, however, collect in
the summer and autumn the ordure of cattle, which they mix with straw
and then form into round cakes, which they dry in the sun's rays and
carefully preserve against the coming winter....

"The Kashmiris being extremely poor and inactive, and the climate at
different seasons of the year being unpleasantly and bitterly cold, the
inhabitants of the Fair Valley are in the habit of carrying about with
them, wherever they go, earthenware pots, which they have denominated
kangris. These kangris or portable braziers are made of clay of varying
fineness, and are usually covered with wicker-work, more or less
ornamented according to the price of the article. Men and women, young
and old, rich and poor, Hindoo and Mussulman, all have their kangri, and
all consider it indispensable in the cold season. The fuel consumed in
the kangri is charcoal, and the heat evolved is often considerable....

"When the weather is extremely cold, it is customary for both men and
women, while walking about out of doors, to carry the kangri under their
loose woollen gowns, and in close proximity with the bare skin, the
effect of which is often to produce a kind of cancer on those parts of
the body most frequently subjected to this kind of irritation."

In the "_Christian Intelligencer_" for March 1871, there is an anonymous
paper of much beauty and power from which the following particulars are
gleaned:–"Let me speak first of the beauties and excellencies of the
valley, and let me afterwards tell why, notwithstanding all these,
Kashmir has left a sad picture on my mind. First–The country itself.
Where, taking it as a whole, is anything more beautiful? I do not mean
to say, that after all one has heard of it, there is not a shade of
disappointment as one enters the valley by the Murree route; for it is
not until you are fairly in the midst of the valley that you appreciate
its beauty. To say that it is like an emerald set in silver, is to give
but the faintest idea of the exquisite beauty of that bright green
plain, with its broad stream, the Jhelum, running through it, and
encircled on every side by snow-capped hills. Beautiful as a whole, it
is far more so in its details. Its great swelling quiet river rippling
down from one end to the other; its glittering lakes overshadowed by
giant rocks of every shape and shade; its grand groves of chinar (the
grandest tree I have ever seen, its colouring so full of contrast, its
shade so perfect, its size almost incredible); its orchards of fragrant
fruit; its numberless mountain streams and rushing brooks (for it is
indeed a land of fountains and streams of water); its quaint picturesque
villages, with their houses almost like the fanciful Dutch houses of our
children's toys; its massive ruins carrying one back into another world,
and about which the English visitor is almost inclined to endorse the
superstition of the natives,–that they were not built by men, but by
some race of giants who lodged those great stones in the places from
which man has never been able to remove them,–all these make its beauty
as varied as striking; such a variety as perhaps is seen nowhere else in
the world. And then, whichever way you branch out from the central
valley up its smaller vales, there is still the same or even greater
beauty. Rushing rivers with snow cold water flinging themselves over
rocks and stones; little villages hid under the shade of towering walnut
trees; and, as you get further up, peaks reaching up to heaven,
glaciers, from under which bellow forth dark dazzling streams. Or, if we
climb the hills round the valley, we come upon beautiful _murgs_, as
they are called, plains on the tops of hills, covered with wild flowers,
among which you may wade above your knees and in ten minutes gather such
a variety, as your two hands cannot clasp,–forget-me-not, Canterbury
bells, buttercups, columbine, and a hundred other dear old English
friends,–while round the edge of these bright green meadows rise up the
dark green deodars. Or we go up bleaker hills, and come upon great
mountain lakes (tarns we should call them in Yorkshire), so cold, so
solitary, so awing.

"But there are other things in Kashmir to please besides the scenery.
The people are certainly a peculiarly fine race. The men strong and
handsome, capable of carrying with ease a maund, or even more, for
fifteen miles over steep difficult hills, with such sturdy limbs as
contrast almost ridiculously with the long thin tight-trousered legs of
the Sikh soldiery. They really are, too, a most ingenious and clever and
tasteful people. This is evident not merely from their exquisite shawls,
but from the good taste of their papier-maché, and silver work, and
jewellery, so far superior, not merely in execution, but in design and
taste, to that of their Hindustanee neighbours. The women, perhaps, owe
most of the fame of their beauty to their contrast with the
expressionless faces of Hindustanee women; but still no one can go into
Kashmir without seeing some few faces that strike him as very fine, not
merely from the fresh colour and animated expression, but from the real
excellency of the features. The climate, too, is unquestionably very
delightful.... I doubt whether an English summer is, on the whole, so
equable and pleasant....

"Lastly, the produce of the country is almost everything that heart
could wish. As regards grain, it is especially a rice-growing country,
but really almost every kind of grain may be and is grown there. No
greater testimony to the extreme fertility of the country can be given
than the fact that, notwithstanding the terrible extortion and
oppression to which the people are subject, the agricultural part of the
population is well clothed, and generally far from lean. But, of course,
what strikes a visitor is not the grain, but the fruit, and of this
there is the greatest variety and abundance....

"But there is a great 'but' to all these which spoils everything. With
all this light there is a deep shadow. And why should I stop and
hesitate to mention and to repeat that which comes up first into my
mind–the disgraceful oppression of the people. Yes, disgraceful to _us_
English, for we sold, literally sold, the country into the hands of its
present possessors; and selling it, sold with it the flesh and blood of
thousands of our fellow creatures,–sold them into a perpetual slavery.
Disgraceful, too, that it should lie under the shadow of our well-ruled
provinces, and yet be so ground down; that the ruler should be a
tributary of ours, and yet be allowed so to tyrannize.

"It is impossible that this oppression can cease so long as the
Maharajah keeps up an army so utterly disproportionate to the size of
his country. He must grind the faces of the poor to sustain such a large
permanent force. That the army is ill-paid, discontented, inefficient,
none can doubt, but still the men must have something given them to keep
them in service.... This year, at a review which was on a Sunday, in
honour of Sir H. Durand, the powder flask of one man blew up while a
regiment was formed in square, and the explosion passed from man to man
until more than eighty were prostrate. The army may do very well to
bully the Kashmiri, or plunder the weak native states around, but it
would never even think of standing before a British force....

"But what is this oppression that I have spoken of? It is this–that at
one swoop half of every man's produce goes into the Government treasury.
Half of everything, not merely of his grain, but even of the produce of
his cattle, or whatever he has; so that from each cow he must give every
second year a calf to Government, and from every half dozen of his
chickens three go to the all-devouring sirkar. More than this even, his
very fruit trees are watched by Government and half taken for the
Maharajah. A poor Kashmiri can call nothing his own. But, in reality, it
is not only half a man loses, for at least another quarter is taken by
the rapacious government officials who have to collect the nominal half.
Shakdars, Kárdárs, Ziladárs, soldiers, and others, all come in for their
share. The wonder is, how the people exist at all. Of course I am a
credulous missionary, and believed every story I heard, but I should
like to find the man in Kashmir who could deny these facts. But it is
not only the poor peasants who suffer; perhaps the condition of the
shawl weavers is worse still. They are all the servants of the
Government, which supplies them with material, and doles out to them a
scanty pittance of two annas a day, and then sells them the rice (which
it has taken from the peasants) at any price which it chooses to set
upon it. These shawl weavers are a lean wan race, recognisable at once
from their sallow complexion, thin cheeks and desponding look. Of course
the idea at once suggests itself, why do not all the people run away and
come into India? But if they had the chance, can you wonder at their
almost preferring to starve in their own home paradise rather than live
in the furnace of India? Yet numbers of Kashmiris do prefer India to
their own lovely land, simply because in India every man can live and be
his own master, whatever else he has to put up with. But few are the
happy men who can get away. A few are allowed to go into India, if they
leave their wives and families behind as a guarantee for their speedy
return, but only a few. As I was leaving Kashmir, two or three of these
shawl weavers smuggled themselves out of the country as my coolies. I
knew they must be shawl weavers from their pinched faces, and so did the
soldiers stationed at the top of the Pir Panjal to prevent people
escaping into India, and the guard would have stopped them, but that
they had no coolies to give me instead of them to carry my loads.[2]...
Of course, this oppression gives the whole country a look of poverty. No
one can help being struck as he enters Srinagar by the dilapidated look
of the place.... There is no respectable quarter, not a single good
street; scarcely even a single respectable bazaar, considering the size
of the place. And what is true of Srinagar is more than true of all the
smaller towns. They are ruinous in the extreme.

"In the country hundreds of acres of land are mere swamp, or almost
unused pasture ground that might smile with corn. Everywhere the fruits
are degenerating, because the people don't care to cultivate that of
which they obtain so little; and an old Kashmiri told me that he could
recollect the day when there were eighteen different kinds of grapes,
but now most of them have died out, and there are only four or five
kinds to be had in the whole valley....

"But there are other things in Kashmir which most terribly detract from
its pleasure as a place of residence. The dirt is beyond description.
Who can tell what Kashmir smells are? Not the odours of roses, such as
one has expected to fill the air; but, oh! such, that the dirtiest of
London courts is sweeter than the cleanest of Kashmir villages. The
clothes, too, of the people are filthy; not that the filth shows much,
for all their garments are of grey wool, which is a most perfect
concealer of dirt; but not a few of their diseases are the result of
their uncleanliness, and how often I have almost shrunk away from them,
as, in my dispensary, while I have been examining a patient, I have seen
the lice crawling on his clothes and his fleas skipping over to me. Of
course, if you can avoid all intercourse with the natives, then dirt is
not such a continual source of annoyance, but to us it was a daily
trouble. But yet there is one thing which makes a Christian man far more
sad than those things I have spoken of, and that is the frightful
immorality of the people, and the even less excusable wickedness of our
countrymen. It may be that the latter is not _so_ bad as it was–that
vice is less open and shameless than it was a few years ago–but it is so
open and so bad that no one need be afraid to speak of it. It is a fact
that none can conceal, that numbers of young men only know Kashmir as
the place where they can gratify every unhallowed passion; and an army
surgeon, high in the service, told me that numbers of young officers
went up every year to Kashmir in perfect health, and, after six months
in its splendid climate, came down into India only to be invalided home,
and many to suffer more or less for life from their own wicked folly....
Well might I be taunted, as I was, when I tried to preach the gospel in
villages far distant from the capital, with the unblushing wickedness of
my own countrymen. How steeped the people themselves are in sin none can
tell but those who have seen them as I have done. How one corroding sin
seems to be eating out the vitals of all classes, casual visitors to the
valley would perhaps scarcely guess. They may say, as every one does,
that there are no such liars and deceivers in the world, as in Kashmir;
no, not even in India; but the utterly rotten state of social life they
will probably have little idea of.

"But let me leave this and just say a few closing words as to mission
work. It seems to me that the Church Missionary Society have most wisely
associated themselves with the Punjaub Medical Missionary Society in
sending a medical man as missionary to this difficult and delicate field
of labour."...

The _Church Missionary Intelligencer_ for 1st August 1866 gives the
following brief notice of what had been attempted in the way of
missionary effort amongst the truly necessitous Kashmiris, up to the
season that preceded Dr. Elmslie's arrival:–

"The two first missionaries of the Church Missionary Society by whom the
valley was visited, the Rev. W. Smith of Benares, and the Rev. R. Clark
of Peshawur, reached Kashmir in the spring of 1863. At the end of the
summer Mr. Smith returned to his station at Benares, and Mr. Clark,
after an ineffectual attempt to remain in the valley during the winter,
was compelled, by the opposition of the authorities, to return to the

"In the month of April 1864, Mr. Clark, accompanied by Mrs. Clark, and
having with him some reliable native assistants, re-entered the valley,
having secured beforehand a house which he had rented from the
proprietor. On their arrival at Srinagar they were at once mobbed by a
crowd of a thousand people, who threatened to set the house on fire,
some of them coming within the compound and throwing stones. Further
disturbances being threatened, a French gentleman resident in the city,
accompanied by two of his friends, waited on the authorities, and
remonstrated with them on their permitting such tumultuous proceedings,
not only insulting to the missionary, but endangering his personal
safety and that of his family. The mob-greetings were accordingly
stayed, but other means were adopted of obstructing the missionary in
his work, in the hope that, becoming discouraged, he might abandon it,
and, retiring from the valley, allow all things to fall back into that
condition of spiritual death in which they had for ages lain. Men were
stationed on the bridge close to his door, to prevent any one from
coming to visit him, or, if they persevered, to report their names to
the Wuzeer. His servants could not succeed in purchasing the mere
necessaries of life, and M. Gosselin's servant had to be sent to the
other end of the city to buy àtà for them. So determined were the
authorities to prevent all intercourse between the missionary and the
inhabitants, that when, on the occasion of a large fire, in which many
poor people lost their all, a little sum was collected and distributed
among them, they were compelled to refund it, because the native
Christians, with Mr. Clark, had contributed to it.

"Meanwhile, although in the presence of so great irritation public
preaching was not attempted, yet inquirers came in, some of them
entreating that they might be baptized at once. One of them was beaten
by his master, who threatened to kill him if he persisted in frequenting
the missionary's house. This young man, Husu Shah, during the previous
year had been imprisoned for the same offence, having been forcibly
taken out of Mr. Clark's house under the written orders of the
authorities. During the time of his imprisonment he had been repeatedly
beaten, and had logs of wood tied to his feet.

"At length, at the suggestion of the British Resident, Mr. Clark offered
to vacate the house within the city, provided suitable accommodation was
provided for him outside the city, near the Shekh Bágh. And yet, while
thus in every way consistent with his duty, endeavouring to conciliate,
he had the pain of learning that Husu Shah was again imprisoned. They
offered him, indeed, his liberty, on the understanding that he would not
again visit the Christian missionary, nor try to escape to the Punjaub;
but, on his refusal, the logs of wood were again fastened to his feet.
Through the interference of the British Resident, he was, after some
days, liberated, and his first act was to revisit the missionary."

Although the Resident, Mr. Cooper, wrote to the Maharajah, asking that
Mr. Clark might be allowed to remain, he was "inexorable, and as he had
by treaty the right to insist on the withdrawal of Europeans from the
valley during the winter season, he claimed to exercise it in relation
to Mr. Clark, who was thus compelled to return to the Punjaub."

One of the reasons urged by the Resident for the extension to Mr. Clark
of the privilege of remaining in the valley, is interesting:–"His
Highness is not perhaps aware that the wife of Mr. Clark is an
accomplished physician, and has devoted her life, her strength, and her
talents to the relief of the sick and the suffering. I suggest,
therefore, my dear friends (the Diwans), that you represent to his
Highness that while he is consulting the religious feelings of his
Srinagar subjects, and perhaps the general peace, in maintaining, as
long as may be necessary to his Highness, the principle or custom that
Europeans should not be allowed to reside in the city without express
permission of the Government, his Highness would be inflicting a real
injury on his people, if he withheld his permission from Mr. Clark and
his family to continue to reside during the cold weather, because the
humane exertions of the lady have already been attended with wide
benefit and comfort to the Maharajah's people." The lady, who still
seeks to improve her medical knowledge, would not, in 1864, have
endorsed the compliment that she was an "accomplished physician," but
she may take the comfort of knowing that her medical services were
useful and much appreciated. It gives us peculiar pleasure to record
this, for the encouragement of female medical missionaries. Her husband,
writing to Mr. Wm. Coldstream from Srinagar, in May 1864, informs him
that "Mrs. Clark has begun a dispensary, which is crowded daily, and
takes up daily three hours of her time in _hard_ work. To-day there were
eighty-four (?) cases,–one man came twelve miles from a village, and a
poor woman, thought to be dying, having recovered, the dispensary stands
high in public estimation. The native apothecary, who is supposed to
cure all the Maharajah's soldiers at one pice a-head daily (_when the M.
H. is here_, for they have no medical attendance at other times), came
to-day, and wants to send his son for instruction. All this will do
good." But it is time to accompany Dr. Elmslie in his interesting work.

[Footnote 2] Coolies are used everywhere, for there is not such a thing
as a road, nor a cart in the whole of Kashmir, though in the valley
itself it would be the easiest thing to make good and permanent roads.
The country is level, and kunkur abundant.



"On the 12th April," writes Dr. Elmslie, "I left Lahore for Kashmir, the
future scene of my medical missionary labours.... Through the kindness
of the Rev. R. Clark of Amritsar, two of the most promising of the boys
belonging to the Missionary Orphanage are to accompany me as assistants.
The Rev. Messrs. Forman and Newton of Lahore have very obligingly
transferred to K. M. M. for the season, one of their catechists. He is a
Kashmiri by birth, and, on that very account, suitable for the work in
which we are to be engaged. He is able to speak fluently the language of
the valley, and is intimately acquainted with the habits and character
of the people. (_See Woodcut._)

 [Illustration: QADIR BAKHSH.
 The Kashmiri Catechist.]

"_24th April._–To-day we crossed the Jhelum, and entered the territories
of the Maharajah of Kashmir and Jummoo, and made our way to Dhanna, our
halting-place for the day, by a very rough path. From what had befallen
the Rev. Messrs. Smith and Clark on previous years here, I fully
expected my difficulties to begin. But in this I was most agreeably
disappointed, for I found the Maharajah's servants both civil and
obliging. On my arrival, I had intimated to the principal man of the
village that as I was a doctor, I would be happy to see and treat all
the sick people, whom he might bring to me after breakfast, from Dhanna
and its neighbourhood. In a very short time, sixteen patients were
collected outside the rude and dirty bungalow where we were lodging.
After breakfast, Qadir Bakhsh, the catechist, having congregated the
sick, and the coolies who had carried our baggage from Kohalla, read to
them a suitable portion of Scripture, and addressed them from it in a
plain, easy, and intelligible style, quite level to the capacities of
these ignorant people. The little group listened to the words of divine
truth with great interest and attention. The service was closed with
prayer. Our small supply of medicines and instruments having been laid
out, the sick were brought out one by one and examined. One case, of a
very trifling nature in itself, is worthy of a passing notice, because
the relief afforded by surgery was immediate, and duly appreciated. The
case was one of excessive elongation of the uvula, which caused a most
troublesome cough, and compelled the man every now and then to perform
the act of swallowing. The lengthened member was shortened with ease,
the cough ceased, and the act of deglutition became less frequent. The
patient took his leave with many expressions of gratitude.

"_25th April._–This morning early we packed up, and set out for Maira,
the next resting-place. We had no difficulty with coolies, although the
number required was considerable. About 9 A.M. we reached our
destination, and resolved to breakfast in Maira, and then to push on to
the next village. Qadir, the catechist, somewhat hastily proceeded to
address a small group of natives whom he happened to find congregated
together. He had not proceeded far in his remarks, when the Tekeedar of
the village told him he must stop immediately, which Qadir had the good
sense to do. I am fully persuaded that if the people and the Maharajah's
servants had been aware that the sahib was a doctor, and would give them
both advice and medicine gratuitously, we should have had no veto put
upon our evangelistic work. I learned a lesson by this incident by which
I intend to profit. After breakfast we had a small reception of
patients, when words about the love of God in Jesus were spoken to the
patients individually, and those who were able to read got religious
tracts and copies of the Gospels. The moonshee of the place told us he
had learned to read and write in a neighbouring school, where he said
there were as many as two hundred scholars. This high number of pupils
is scarcely credible. At 5 P.M. we arrived at Chekar, somewhat fatigued
with the two marches of the day. The first thing I did was to summon the
chief man of the village, and to tell him how many coolies I should
require next morning,–generally about forty,–and collect all the sick of
the place and vicinity in the compound of the rude bungalow next morning.

"_26th April._–To-day, after seeing twelve sick persons, we departed for
Hatti, which is the next resting-place on the way. Arrived late in the

"_27th April._–On getting up this morning, and going outside my tent, I
found a number of sick persons sitting on the ground, affected with
various maladies. Before giving advice or medicine, Qadir, according to
custom, addressed them from a part of God's Word. The attention was
marked, and every now and then one here and another there in the
interesting company would exclaim, 'Durust,' 'Sach bal.' May God, by His
quickening Spirit, vitalise the seed sown for His own glory's sake.
Arrived very late at Chikote, but in time to see the Tekeedar, and to
give him the usual orders about coolies and the sick.

"_28th April._–At the usual reception of patients to-day, one old man,
labouring under an affection of the stomach, presented us with a
quantity of walnuts,–a present of no great value, but nevertheless
indicative of grateful feelings towards the doctor.

"_29th April._–Left Chikote this morning about 5 A.M. On the way met a
man who inquired very particularly if I was the doctor, as he had heard
there was one coming, and he very much wanted to consult him about his
little son. The boy happened to be affected with a well-known cutaneous
disease, for which I strongly recommended soap and water. From what I
have already seen of the people of Kashmir, poverty and dirt are the two
great enemies I shall have to contend with as a doctor amongst them. On
arriving at Uri, pitched my tent under some apricot trees near to a
shady chinar. We soon had a visit from Juliar Khan, the Namah of the
district of Uri. He came to consult me about his eyes, and another
disease of which he had been ill for a long time. Advice and medicine
were given him. The Tekeedar of Uri having also presented himself as a
patient, received appropriate remedies, and was requested to give
intimation of our readiness to see the sick of the village and

"_30th April, Uri, Sunday._–Got up very early this morning, and on going
outside the tent found a large company assembled under the surrounding
apricot trees. We soon had the small deal table and chair with the
medicines and instruments placed in a convenient spot, and the sick and
their friends were arranged all round. Everything being ready, Qadir,
the catechist, read the third chapter of John's Gospel, and showed the
necessity and nature of the new birth. The people as usual were most
attentive, and listened with manifest pleasure to many of Qadir's
remarks. After prayer, the sick were examined and treated as well as our
present circumstances would permit. Among the fifty sick persons, who
consisted of men, women, and children, there was an old Mullah, or
Mussulman Priest, who, on being asked if he possessed a copy of the
Koran, replied in the negative. I said, I suppose if you had the Koran
you could read it. 'Oh, no,' he said, 'I not able to read at all.' I
could not help saying to the old man, whose hair was like snow, and whom
in my heart of hearts I pitied, How can you be a Mullah if you are
totally unable to read? I received no reply. It was not a little amusing
to watch the countenances of the listeners, who first smiled, then
looked at each other, nodded, laughed, and then exclaimed,
'Bas,'–enough. Such priest, such people. I have already been struck with
the fewness of those who are able to read. How are these poor people,
who are dying for lack of the knowledge of the Saviour, to be fitted to
read His Holy Word? Juliar Khan, our friend of yesterday, came to pay
his respects and to say that he felt better from the remedies which were
given him. After breakfast we assembled for family worship, and seeing
Juliar Khan with a few of his followers sitting under an adjacent
chinar, I sent him my salam, to say I should be most happy if he would
join us in the worship of God. No sooner did he receive the message than
he rose and came to us, accompanied by nearly all his retainers. I read
the fourth chapter of John's Gospel, to which he paid the greatest
attention; after which, Qadir concluded the services with prayer. We
then had some little conversation on the Koran and the Gospel, but not
being very communicative, he soon took his departure, again expressing
his gratitude for the advice and medicine which he had received the day
before. Lord, fructify the seed sown for Thine own glory's sake. The
Maharajah's officials very civil and obliging.

"_1st May._–Road still lies along the Jhelum, and is beautifully wooded.
Among the trees I passed I recognised the peach, fig, and fir, and,
twining amongst these, the vine. The beautiful red flower of the
pomegranate delights one's eye at every turn, and the rose trees are
budding into beauty. Passed a lime-kiln at work to-day, and behind a
large ledge of rock I came upon a Fakir: There he sat with his back to
the road, covered with rags, thereby meaning to show his indifference to
this world. Poor fellow! he has discovered part of the truth,–that this
fleeting world cannot satisfy, but he does not know the way whereby
alone his soul can find satisfaction and be made perfectly happy the
while, enjoying the present world according to the mind of God, who has
filled the earth with so much that is lovely and loveable. Came to a
dilapidated Hindu temple. A flight of steps led up to a large gateway.
In the centre of the inner court saw the shrine, which was also
approached by a flight of steps. The stones are of immense size and
granitic. The priest forbade me to enter, so I stood at the door, and
heard the monotonous voice of the man who was performing service. He
concluded by blowing into a large univalve shell, producing a sound
exactly like that of a trumpet. I was reminded of Elijah and the false
prophet on Carmel.

"_May 2d._–The scenery becomes more and more lovely as you near
Baramula; the Jhelum, which you have known hitherto as a boisterous
rapidly flowing river, is here gentle and placid. Poplar and willow
trees abound, and the very mountains are richly wooded, reminding one of
the Trossachs near Loch Lomond. The system of irrigation carried on here
seems to be first rate. Before reaching Baramula a steep hill has to be
climbed; it bears marks of the work of water; the different strata of
sandstone of which it is composed vary in degrees of coarseness, and
there are many water-polished pebbles to be seen. As you reach the
summit, suddenly the far-famed valley of Kashmir bursts upon your view.
I thought of Moses at Pisgah getting his view of the promised land.
There lay the valley, bathed in sunshine,–the full-bosomed and now
gently-flowing Jhelum meandering through its midst, and its lofty
guardians, the snow-capped Himalayas, towering around. I gazed long on
this wonderful scene, and with David praised the Lord for the excellent
beauty of His works. I earnestly prayed that His rich and effectual
blessing might rest on the work I was about to begin.

"_3rd May._–Reached Nowshera at 11 A.M., and after bathing, proceeded to
treat the sick who had been collected by the Moonshee, who informed me
he was the only adult in the village who could read, and that he had
opened a school and had at present six scholars. I gave him a copy of
the New Testament in Hindu, and promised to give him a present on my
return to Nowshera if he should satisfy me he had carefully read and
studied the book. How very important it is to influence for good those
who are, like this young man, the only channels of learning to the
people. As usual the coolies and sick having been placed near each
other, Qadir proceeded to address them, after which the coolies received
their pay and were allowed to depart. Thirty-six were then seen and

"_4th May._–To-day we sailed in sight of Srinagar, the capital of
Kashmir. When about three miles from the city we halted to breakfast.
While seated at my morning meal I observed two women pass me carrying
baskets on their heads full of provisions for the market. Shortly after
they had passed, my attention was arrested by cries in the direction in
which they had gone, and on looking round, observed two men busy rifling
the women's baskets. I took these men for servants of the Maharajah's,
but discovered afterwards that they were not. On landing in Srinagar my
first business was to find a house suitable for my work. To be so, it
must be situated near the city. I learned that the bungalows belonging
to the Maharajah, and which he assigns to the Europeans visiting the
valley, were either already occupied or reserved, at least those nearest
the city. I had to go elsewhere therefore, and was very fortunate in
getting part of a bungalow quite close to the uppermost bridge of the
city. For the scanty and rude accommodation I had to pay twenty rupees a
month, an exorbitant rent in Kashmir. The accommodation consisted of one
large room, which served for drawing-room, dining-room, sitting-room,
bed-room, &c., three verandahs, and four very small closets situated
round it. Down stairs there was a large verandah. Being anxious to have
a proper bargain made about the house, I sent for the owner's agent, and
desired him to sign an agreement, which one of my assistants had drawn
out. I was afraid that should I not have a sure bargain made the
proprietor of the house might raise some objections when he should see
the work which I intended carrying on. The man told me that no agreement
of this kind could be made in Kashmir without the presence and consent
of the Maharajah's Baboo. I need scarcely say I felt very anxious about
the result of his being present. He was, nevertheless, sent for and
came. When all was amicably and satisfactorily arranged, as I thought,
the Baboo said to me that I should require to state in the written
agreement that I was prepared to quit the bungalow on the 15th of
October next. Seeing that it would be worse than useless to make any
objection, I took my pen and wrote as he desired, feeling greatly
ashamed that I belonged to the country of which Kashmir is a tributary.
It is most devoutly to be wished that the policy of our country towards
such states as Kashmir were more becoming a great and Christian nation
like Great Britain. How contemptible and inconsistent as a nation we
must appear to such a people as the Kashmiris.

"_9th May._–To-day is memorable in the history of the Kashmir Medical
Mission, from the fact that I opened my dispensary this morning. I had
given notice that I intended receiving patients from this date. The
verandah on the southern aspect of the house was prepared for the sick
people to meet in. Punctually at seven o'clock A.M., I, Qadir, the
catechist, and my two native assistants went into the verandah, after
supplicating together the blessing of God on the work which we were
about to initiate in Srinagar. Qadir read the opening verses of the
fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, and made a running and suitable
commentary on the passage. The service was closed with a brief prayer
for the divine blessing. I now retired to the small verandah on the east
side of the house, which I had had fitted up–very rudely, I must
confess–as a dispensary. Here the patients were seen one by one. The
number present to-day was ten. In the course of the day the Baboo called
to see me. During his visit he told me that some Padre Sahib had been
preaching in the Bázár, and that the Diwan had commanded him (the Baboo)
to inform the gentleman, whoever he might be, that he was not to repeat
his Bázár preaching. I ascertained afterwards that the Rev. W. Handcock
was the clergyman referred to.

"_10th._–Received a note from the Rev. W. Handcock to say that as he had
been prohibited by the Diwan's order from preaching any more in the
bazaar, and as his servants found it impossible to obtain supplies of
food, he had resolved to quit Srinagar on the 12th inst. 'If they
persecute you in one city, flee into another.' With Mr Handcock's fate
before me, it would be most unwise on my part to permit my catechist to
preach in the bazaar. It appears to be the best course in the
circumstances, however desirable it may be that it were otherwise, to be
content with the day of small things in Kashmir, and to wait patiently
and prayerfully for a brighter day to dawn on this most unhappy country.
After the morning reception of patients, I, accompanied by Qadir,
visited two of the bazaars of the city, not for the purpose of
preaching, but to know the people and to spread the news of our
dispensary. Began to read English with my native assistants.

"_13th May._–Began my Saturday itinerations to-day. We hired a boat and
sailed in the direction of the Takht-i-Suliman, and landed at a small
village, where we had a meeting of the villagers, among whom four
applied for medicine. The name of the village is Gagribal. I purpose to
devote the Saturday afternoons to these short itinerations to the
neighbouring villages, that the people may hear the gospel in their own
tongue, and know of the Medical Missionary Dispensary in Srinagar.

"_16th May._–The number of patients thirty, the majority of whom were
sepoys. I begin to suspect that this is the result of some plan or other
to prevent the Kashmiris from coming to our dispensary. We shall see.
The devil is doubtless busy. The Bishop of Calcutta, accompanied by his
private physician, arrived at a little past seven to see our operations.
He heard the greater part of the address which Qadir was delivering when
he entered. The passage of Scripture being commented on was Our Lord's
Prayer. His lordship adjourned to the surgery after prayer, and remained
till he had seen a number of the sick examined and treated. Received a
note in the course of the day from Colonel Gardner, requesting medical
advice for one of his children.

"_17th May._–Began tract distribution to-day in the Bazaar. The people
received them gladly. I make it a point not to give away any books
unless the receiver can read them. The people are very friendly indeed.

"_18th May._–The number of patients this morning was forty. Excised a
cystic tumour from a young man. Having explained the object and effects
of chloroform, I asked him if he wished me to give it to him. After some
slight hesitation he consented. In all probability this is the first
time a native Kashmiri has been anæsthetised in the valley with

"_19th May._–The Lord Bishop of Calcutta paid the Dispensary a second
visit this morning, along with his private chaplain, the Rev. Mr.
Harley. Paid my first domiciliary visit to-day to see the young man from
whom I had excised the cystic tumour yesterday. Was gladly received.

"_20th May._–After this morning's reception we hired a boat, and set out
for a pretty large village called Hazrat Bal, which is situated on the
shores of the large lake near to Srinagar. We took a supply of medicines
and tracts with us. On landing at the place, a shady tree was selected,
near to the Musjid, and there my chair and the medicines were placed.
While Qadir, the catechist, was giving information of our arrival and
objects, I went to see the neighbouring Mussulman temple. There I saw
the principal Mullah or priest with a few of his subordinates. We had
some conversation together, after which I left them, thinking that by
this time Qadir would have collected the people. On leaving the Musjid
and its priests, I found Qadir standing under a shady walnut tree
addressing a numerous company of hale and sick folks, who were quietly
seated on the ground round him, listening most attentively to his words.
The Mullahs, as soon as they heard what Qadir was speaking about to the
people, rushed amongst them, shouting out that they were to go away
immediately. Their efforts were successful. All left us except one poor
woman, who appeared to be imbecile. She would not move. One priest
applied very liberally a rope, which he carried in his hand, to those
whose movements were slower than he thought they should be. It was a sad
scene, and the only antidote I could think of for my feelings of
indignation was prayer to that God who was looking on and seeing all
that was taking place against His blessed gospel. Qadir, the two native
assistants, and myself, all knelt down under that same shady walnut, and
prayed God to forgive these enemies of His truth and change their
hearts. Only three sick persons availed themselves of the opportunity
presented to them of obtaining advice and medicine. We got into our boat
and made for home, much depressed by what had happened.

"_24th May._–Mr. Jenkins, the British Resident, called on me to-day, and
in course of conversation expressly told me I was not to ask or expect
any support from him, in his official capacity, in my medical missionary

"_25th May._–No fewer than eight women were present amongst the patients
this morning. The number of female patients is gradually increasing. Had
two surgical operations to-day, for which chloroform was administered.
No objection was made to its being exhibited, either by the patients or
their friends, who were present at the operations. Indeed the natives
are taking most kindly to this invaluable auxiliary to surgery. Was
informed by a friend that the priests of Hazrat Bal had complained to
the Diwan about my catechist, accusing him of having said all sorts of
untrue and unseemly things respecting them. These charges are entirely
false, and are made with the view of having a stop put to our Medical
Missionary itinerations. The Lord thwart their purposes.

"_26th May._–The young man from whom I extirpated the cystic tumour,
called to-day to show himself. He presented me with two rupees as a
token of his gratitude. I merely touched them and returned them. The
poor fellow seemed at a loss to find words to say how grateful he felt
towards us.

"_27th May._–Thirty-four patients this morning. The subject of the
address, The Fall of man and his redemption by Jesus Christ, God's Son.
In the course of the day, the Rev. Mr. Cowie called, in company with one
of the Maharajah's servants, for the purpose of hearing what I had to
say of the Hazrat Bal transaction. It appears from what is told me that
a very black account of my doings had been given by the Mullahs to the
Diwan–that my catechist had called His Highness, the Maharajah, anything
but good, and had uttered every sort of abuse to the Mussulman
priests–abuse too bad to be even mentioned. Having been present myself,
I am able to say that the kind old man did not make one unfavourable
allusion to the prince of these realms. Indeed, I have given strict
orders that whatever we of the medical mission may either see or hear
with respect to the government of this country, we are not to speak
about the matter in our dealings with the natives. Of all things in
Kashmir, truth is the scarcest, so that one has to be continually on his
guard as to what he believes. In Kashmir, I only believe what I see, and
sometimes hardly that. The Diwan's messenger, having heard my version of
the affair, took his departure.

"_29th May._–The Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Yeates of Moultan, and Captain Lewin
of Amritsar, came to see our operations. To-day the bishop returned the
Visitor's Book, in which he expresses himself as much pleased with what
he had seen of my work.

"_30th May._–The number of patients present this morning fifty-three, of
whom seventeen were women. The subject of address, the Vision of Dry
Bones. The attention of the people great. At 11 A.M., called on Mr.
Jenkins, the British Resident, according to request, regarding the
Hazrat Bal transaction. He informed me of the nature of the charge the
fifteen mullahs of Hazrat Bal had brought against my catechist, of which
mention has already been made in a previous entry. Mr. Jenkins then
requested me to promise I should give up these Saturday itinerations,
which I refused to do, as I knew for certain that the charges brought
against Qadir were a fabrication from beginning to end. I promised this
much, I should not pay a second visit to Hazrat Bal during the season. I
also stated I was most ready to give due consideration to any official
document coming from the heads of the native Government prohibiting me
from itinerating. How humiliating and inexplicable it is, that states
tributary to India should be allowed to do that which, if the Sultan of
Turkey were to attempt, would be sure to call forth a sharp remonstrance
from the Secretary for Foreign Affairs at home.

"_31st May._–Opened my small hospital to-day. It accommodates from four
to five patients. The verandah, in which the patients used to assemble
to hear the address, has been fitted up for this purpose, while the long
verandah downstairs is in future to be our meeting-room, being much
larger than the one above. Vaccinated the two children of the Brahmin at
the head of financial matters in Kashmir.

"_3d June._–To-day, went with Qadir into the city, and spoke to a good
many maimed persons and others whom we met in our peregrinations. The
people listened very attentively and politely to us. Gave away a good
many tracts and larger treatises on religious subjects.

"_6th June._–Whilst distributing tracts, and speaking to the people in
the bazaar, was requested by a goldsmith to go and see his wife, who, he
said, had become totally blind. Went with the man to his house, and was
permitted to enter with him. His wife turned out to have double
cataract. The case is in every respect fit for operating on.

"_8th June._–The number of patients present this morning was
sixty-three, seventeen of whom were women. As usual, the people were
very attentive to the portion of Scripture which I read. With the aid of
chloroform, removed another tumour in the forenoon. Have great reason
for heartfelt thankfulness to God, inasmuch as hitherto nothing untoward
has happened with respect to my medical work.

"_14th June._–To-day, eighty-three patients were present, and of that
number thirty-nine were women. The greatest quietness prevails during
the religious services.

"_15th June._–With the aid of chloroform, removed a large staphyloma.
The people are becoming acquainted with the fact there is a medicine
that takes away pain by making them sleep, and readily take it when it
is required. Heard to-day that orders had been issued by the heads of
the native Government that no sepoy is to come to me for advice and

"_17th June._–A poor coolie, who had been accidentally shot in the
thigh, died this morning in hospital. His relatives would not grant a
_post mortem_ examination. It is impossible for medicine to make much
progress in India as long as it continues to be so difficult to obtain
specimens of morbid anatomy.

"_19th June._–Assisted by the Rev. Mr. Yeates, performed resection of
the wrist-joint. The patient was a young woman. Her parents were present
during the operation.

"_23d June._–One of the principal pundits of the city sent his boat for
me to come in to see him, as he was very ill. Accompanied by Qadir, I
went, and found the old man sitting in a summer-house, propped up on his
bed, and surrounded by his male relatives. There was no female friend
near him. I examined the old man, and prescribed for him accordingly.
Whilst so engaged, Qadir was busy talking with some of the relations
about Christ and the gospel. We gave copies of the separate Gospels to
four of those men. How very different a Christian sick-chamber would
have been from this one.

"_29th June._–To-day, laid up with fever. Obliged to send away the
patients who had assembled.

"_2d July._–To-day, the collection for the Kashmir Medical Mission was
made at the station church; the Rev. W. G. Cowie, M.A., chaplain,

"_11th July._–I still feel so weak, that I have deemed it necessary to
have a change, and set out to-day for the south-east of the valley,
intending to go as far as Islamabad. I purpose to go by slow stages, and
to halt at the villages and towns on my way, and distribute tracts and
medicines. Qadir, my two assistants, and servant accompany me. We take
along with us a large supply of medicines, tracts, and gospels. Having
asked God to bless us and our journey, we took our leave of Srinagar,
intending to make Pampur our first resting-place. We reached Pampur
about 6 P.M., and immediately pitched the tent amongst a clump of
willows on the river's bank. We had not been long encamped before a
little company gathered round us, and we had some interesting
conversation. Qadir was the chief speaker. Pampur is a town of some
importance, situated on the right hank of the river Jhelum. It is said
to contain 300 houses, and 2000 inhabitants. It is celebrated for the
saffron-fields adjoining it, and carries on a small trade in shawls.

"_12th July._–To-day, we had two receptions for the sick, at which
forty-five patients were seen, and received advice and medicines, after
the usual religious services. Those who were able to read received books
also. The people most civil and obliging. The governor of the place
happened to have been a patient of mine in Srinagar, but as he had to
leave Pampur for the capital on business, he kindly sent a servant of
his to wait upon me, and assist in every way. Qadir and I, between the
two receptions, went into the town, where we gave away tracts and copies
of the Gospels. We had some quiet friendly discussion with one of the
mullahs belonging to the musjid. In the evening, six Hindu pundits came
to see us, and Qadir, who can speak about nothing but Jesus and His
love, had a most animated discussion with one of them, which was carried
on in the most friendly way.

"_13th July._–To-day, had another reception, at which a large number of
sick folks attended. Treated fifty-eight new patients. At 12 o'clock
noon, entered our boats, and sailed up the river towards our next

_14th July._–"Went with Qadir Bakhsh, to examine the ruins of the temple
of Avantipura, which is said to have been built to the honour of Siva in
the eighth century. The stones, or rather blocks, of blue limestone, of
which this grand structure was formed, lie heaped one on another, but in
such a state of preservation, that one is inclined to believe that its
present state of ruin has been caused by earthquake, and not by the
dilapidating hand of man or time. The Rev. Mr. Cowie has collected a
large sum of money for the purpose of excavating some portion of the
buried ruins; and one whole side of the square of the colonnade which
surrounded the shrine is now laid bare. The remains of the splendid
pillars are worthy of Athens or Rome; large blocks of carved stone lie
between them, and towards the north side there are the remains of an
arched gateway, through which must have been the entrance to the inner
temple. It stands almost entire. The ground-plan is about fifty-four
feet square, and the height is supposed to have been sixty-eight feet.
On two buttresses, at either side of the interior, are traces of carved
idols. Avantipura was once the capital of Kashmir.

"_18th July._–I forgot to mention that, through the kindness of Drs.
Brown and Dallas of Lahore, a native doctor had been sent to help me
from the Punjaub. He arrived in Srinagar a day or two before our
departure. On arriving at Islamabad, we had encamped on the left bank of
the river, which was the only convenient camping-ground near the city.
We are awkwardly situated for the sick, as the river lay between us and
the city. In consequence of this drawback to our position, we had to
cross the river daily; and, as there was a large grove quite close to
the city, we met there for worship and the reception of the sick. The
number of patients present to-day was (?). Qadir addressed the group,
and was patiently and quietly listened to. Islamabad lies on low ground
near the river, which is here a comparatively small stream. The
surrounding country is well wooded, and finely cultivated. Behind the
town is a long lacustrine promontory, stretching back for several miles,
and on this platform, at its upper end, is built the ancient temple of
Martand. It is by far the most perfect ruin of its class in the
valley–the inner temple being still almost complete, and on the walls it
is not difficult to trace the remains of carefully carved images. The
surrounding walls are much broken, but have evidently been formed of the
splendid blocks of hewn and carved limestone which lie heaped in every
direction. The temple faces the sun, in whose honour it was built about
350 A.D.

"_20th July._–To-day, we loosened our moorings, and sailed away from
Islamabad, not without the hope that what had been done and said would,
in God's good time, bear fruit. The Maharajah's servants were
exceedingly civil and obliging, and the kotwal spoke very kindly of the
Rev. R. Clark, who had visited Islamabad the previous year.

"_22d July._–The previous evening, we arrived at the village of Kákapur,
which is situated on the left bank of the river Jhelum. On arriving,
intimation was given that the hakim would receive patients in the
morning. In the morning, a company of fifty was gathered under the shade
of a gigantic plane tree on the bank of the river, near to our boats.
Qadir read the third chapter of St. John's Gospel, and then explained
the nature of the new birth, with its fruits. The people most attentive,
and apparently interested. Twenty-six persons applied for advice and
medicine. The poverty and filth of the people great. The majority of the
cases ophthalmic.

"_27th July._–(Srinagar). In the afternoon, performed Chopart's
operation for caries of the bones of tarsus. The patient was a girl,
whose father and mother were present during the operation. Chloroform
was administered to the patient, who went off very quickly. In
operating, my difficulties are legion, for I have everything to do

"_10th August._–Twenty-seven men and twenty-seven women present. One man
from Baramula, another from Islamabad, the two extremities of the
valley. Addressed them myself from the opening verses of St. John's
Gospel: one of the Diwan's principal officers was present, and when he
heard me speak of the Son of God made manifest in the flesh, it was too
much for him: he quietly rose and took his leave."

"_11th August._–Number of patients thirty-two. Subject of address from
St. John xv., 'This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I
have loved you.' I always take care to select such passages as embody
the cream of the Gospel–the Father's love, and the Father's Gift, Jesus
the Son of God, Jesus God, His voluntary sacrifice of Himself for all
who shall believe on Him, the free invitation to all to come and be
saved. I touch but little on Mohammedanism or Hinduism. I think the
spread of the gospel would be hindered by my doing so, and that more
progress would be made if there were less of polemics in missionary
operations. Let the gospel be fully preached, and we shall see that
Christ is still the power of God unto salvation to everyone that

"_12th August._–Twenty-seven men and seventeen women present to-day.
After dispensary work, my assistants and I sailed up the river to see
the ruins of Pandrenton, an old Hindu Temple; distance no more than
three miles, but it took us four hours to reach the place by water, the
Jhelum meanders so. The temple is situated in the midst of a small lake,
which is covered with reeds. It is built of large blocks of stone, and
shows, in its style of architecture, a close affinity to the form of the
common Hindu temple of Bengal, _i.e._, the square block surmounted by a
pyramid roof. The floor is under water; lying near the edge of the small
lake, we saw the God, a stone image, with red paint marks. It is still
worshipped much. Returned by land. Saw quantities of hemp growing, and
also some plants of "_thorn-apple_." Met many worshippers returning from
Amarnath, one of whom told me that six men had been killed in ascending
to the Holy Cave by the falling of some rocks.

"_15th August._–Fifty-three patients to-day. Addressed them from St.
John iii. 16, 17. Felt my own heart glow with love to the Saviour, as I
tried to commend Him to others. It is very trying to speak to an
assembly on matters in which they have not the least sympathy. But the
promise, 'Lo, I am with you alway,' is fulfilled.

"_22d August._–Learned to-day from one of the Maharajah's military
servants that the report I had heard some time ago about the sepoys and
people having been prohibited from coming to me was quite correct.
Besides, it turns out that a sepoy had been placed at the end of the
wooden bridge adjacent to my bungalow, to keep a watch upon my
movements. Both the sepoys and people have up to this time paid very
little attention to the prohibition. The collection made by the Rev. Mr.
Cowie, the chaplain, for the Kashmir Medical Mission amounted to
Rs.113, 6a.

"_26th August._–To-day, there were forty-four women and thirty-two men
present at the morning's reception. A native gentleman called on me in
the afternoon, to tell me he had spoken to the Diwan or governor of
Kashmir, about my being allowed to remain during the winter months in
the valley. I had operated on this man some time before, and he took
this way of showing his gratitude. He said to my friend I could not
obtain permission from the native Government to stay in Kashmir
throughout the year, for the following reasons: 1. Because it would be
contrary to the treaty; 2. Because there is a famine in the country, I
might not be able to get provisions in the winter; 3. Because more than
one European has lost his life by remaining in Kashmir during the winter
months; and 4. Because it is contrary to the Maharajah's wish that
Europeans should stay in Kashmir in winter. The sepoys and people who
have derived benefit from the dispensary talk of petitioning the Diwan
to allow me to remain.

"_29th August._–The number of patients present to-day was ninety. The
address was delivered as usual, and the attention marked. Had two
surgical operations–one the excision of a fatty tumour, and the other an
operation for ectropion. Yesterday, was asked to conduct service in the
usual place of worship–the chaplain being absent. Was greatly agitated
at first, but became calmer as the service advanced. Read the first
chapter of Bonar's 'God's Way of Holiness.' I greatly relish that book
for its clear and thorough exhibition of divine truth. To-day,
seventy-three patients, diseases chiefly 3d January, 1866.

He thus writes to his mother:–"_Sept. 23d, 1865_.–I am able–still very
imperfectly, it is true–to tell the poor Kashmiris of God's overflowing
love to sinners. The sinful heart is hard, but I firmly believe that, if
anything will break it, and soften it, and make it holy and loving, it
is the exhibition of God's infinite love to lost man. In speaking to
others of Jesus and His unutterable love, I feel my own soul glowing and
going out towards God in yearning desires for greater holiness, greater
likeness to my blessed Redeemer, and for a complete consecration to His
service. My heart's most earnest desire is, next to my own salvation,
that God would honour me to lead many to the Saviour before I die, and I
am hopeful of one or two of those among whom I labour. Paul may plant,
and Apollos water, but it is God alone who can give the increase. Pray
for the increase, dearest mother.

"I have good news to tell you; the chaplain here, the Rev. Mr. Cowie, is
going home, and as he purposes visiting Aberdeen, he has kindly promised
to call on you, and tell you all about me and the mission work. He has
given me his horse and saddle–this horse was the property of Sir Colin
Campbell during the mutiny. I forgot to tell you that a native gentleman
has had a handsome signet ring made for me as a mark of his gratitude
for my having cured him of a chronic and painful disease. My work goes
on steadily; no spiritual fruit as yet; but, perhaps, I should not say
this, for a Kashmiri, who fearlessly declared his faith in Christ in an
open bazaar yesterday, endured a terrible beating from his
fellow-countrymen, and still seems to stand fast. I had fifty patients
this morning. They always listen attentively, but I can see by the
countenances of many, that the word is not received with gladness. It
would indeed be a miracle if it were, for the gospel strikes at the root
of all that those benighted people look to for happiness in the next
world or in this, and reproves them with a voice of thunder for the
wicked life they live now. I have now no hope of being allowed to remain
during the winter. Dear mother, pray that the Lord may mollify the
Maharajah's heart.

"_24th._–To-day had sixty patients. Oh, dear mother, that we could
wholly live to God and for others! How happy, truly happy, we should
both be now and _on the other side_. Pray for me, dear mother. The devil
would fain tempt me to think that this is fruitless work, and that I am
a fool for not living for the present world, with its honours and
wealth. Lord, we believe, help Thou our unbelief. Blessings on you, dear
mother! Let us think more of Jesus, and of heaven, and of the life
beyond! then we shall certainly be happy.

"_25th Sept._–Heard glad news to-day from the catechist, to the effect
that my Kashmiri pundit had declared to him that he firmly believed the
gospel was true, but that he was afraid to make a public profession of
his faith in Jesus for fear of the consequences. He is but a Nicodemus
in faith. Lord strengthen him. I was not at all surprised at this news,
for the pundit generally spent his Sundays with us in reading the New
Testament, and speaking about Christianity.

"_29th Sept._–Long conversation to-day with my servants on divine
things. We spoke of baptism; its import, and what makes a man a true
Christian. My pundit, a sepoy, a merchant, and native doctor, listened
with manifest interest.

"_6th Oct._–Was called to see the Maharajah's chief military officer in
Kashmir. He confirmed the report formerly spoken of. I could not help
jocularly saying, that according to our European notions, the
Maharajah's army must be in a state of insubordination from the colonel

"_16th Oct._–Was requested by the Brahmin, who is at the head of
financial affairs in Kashmir, and on whom I had operated a short time
before, to go with him and see one of the female members of his family
who had sore eyes, according to his account. I was only too glad to go
with him, in order to get an entrance into this Hindu family.

"_17th Oct._–To-day left Srinagar. The Brahmin of yesterday accompanied
me out of the town, and expressed how grateful he felt for the benefit
he had received from the Medical Missionary Dispensary. I purpose
returning to the Punjaub by the Pir Panjal, and following the same plan
as I did on my way into the valley, _i.e._, of having receptions and
addresses at each of the resting-places."

Before starting with Dr. Elmslie on his return to Amritsar, the
following testimonies to the value of his work in Kashmir, and of
Medical Missions in general, may be suitably introduced:–

The Bishop of Calcutta entered the following remarks in the visitors'
book:–"During my present stay in Kashmir I have twice been present at
Dr. Elmslie's reception of patients, and bear willing testimony to the
great interest and practical usefulness, as well as to the wise and
Christian character of his proceedings. He presents Christianity to the
people in its most obviously beneficent aspect; and for this union of
care for men's souls with the healing of their bodies the gospel
narrative furnishes us with the very highest justification and
precedent. It is but little that we can, at present, do to make known to
the people of this country the blessings of Christ's salvation; but I
quite believe that Dr. Elmslie is knocking at the one door which may,
through God's help, be opened for the truth to enter in. I heard two
Hindustani sermons from his catechist, addressed to the sufferers from
various maladies, who were gathered in the verandah, one on the Lord's
prayer, and the other on the parable of the sower. Both were excellent,
simple, unpretending, suited to the hearers, placing before them plain
Christian truth, and without any offensive remarks on their own
religions, or the very slightest political allusion. The fact that there
are not (and, under present circumstances, apparently cannot be) any
properly educated doctors in Kashmir, makes Dr. Elmslie's presence here
an act of Christian benevolence, quite apart from its missionary
character; and I cannot but hope that this, joined to the quiet efforts
of the chaplain to keep alive in English travellers a feeling of
Christian faith and responsibility, will at least remove from the minds
of the people any prejudice against the Gospel which may, I fear, have
been excited by the too frequent misconduct of Englishmen visiting the
valley. On all accounts I heartily commend Dr. Elmslie's efforts to the
sympathy of all thoughtful persons, and I feel sure that he will be
guided by prudence, as well as zeal, and will not forget what is due to
the wishes of the Government of the country, while, at the same time, he
will of course maintain the directly Christian character of his work."

The subjoined was written by the Rev. W. G. Cowie, M.D., chaplain on
duty in Kashmir:–"Dr. Elmslie has asked me to state here any suggestions
I may have to offer respecting the system pursued by him at his daily
receptions of patients. I have been present on several occasions during
the last four months, and much pleased each time by what I saw and
heard. I frequently ask natives of Kashmir what they think about the
Medical Mission, and am invariably told by them that they consider Dr.
Elmslie's work a great blessing to the poor of Srinagar, and of the
valley in general. I am not acquainted with the working of any other
mission whose system I consider so hopeful as that adopted by Dr.
Elmslie; and during my expected sojourn in England and Scotland (in
1866-67), it will afford me the greatest pleasure to advocate the claims
of the mission on the Christian public in every way I can."

One more testimony may be introduced, by the Rev. G. Yeates, M.A.,
missionary, Moultan:–"As a brother missionary, I feel great pleasure in
adding my testimony to the value of the Medical Mission in Kashmir, as
conducted by Dr. Elmslie. While in Srinagar, I have frequently been
present at his receptions of patients, as also at Islamabad, when he
visited that town, and have enjoyed the meetings very much. I have
seldom heard gospel truths more faithfully preached than in the
addresses to the patients, which, along with the prayer that followed
each, could not have been better suited to the audience. The spirit of
love was manifested in all that was said, while the more tangible appeal
to the senses which followed, in the way of medicines and advice,
afforded a strong proof of the intention to benefit them which, under
God's blessing, cannot but result in good."



In India Dr. Elmslie had two homes–if indeed he had a home at all, for
he spoke of himself as being like Noah's dove, without a resting place
for the sole of his foot–two homes and three spheres of labour. For six
months in the year he lived and worked, as we have seen, in Kashmir.
Then going each season to and from this, his main centre of action, he
had no home whatever–sometimes like his Divine Master he had no place to
lay his head–but he had a precious sphere of usefulness in wayside
ministries amongst the sick and suffering, of which he gladly availed
himself; and then for a few months in the year, in Amritsar, or some
other city, he opened a dispensary and carried on his Medical Missionary
operations. Leaving the beautiful valley we shall accompany him as he
moves by the Pir Panjal towards Amritsar, exemplifying as he goes the
_heaven-appointed_ plan of missions–HEAL AND PREACH.

"_Journal, October 20th, 1865._–Road to Haripur rough, but the scenery
more and more beautiful, reminding me of the dear Scotch Highlands. No
shelter at Haripur, so breakfasted on the path-side and set out for
Aliabad Serai, which is near the very highest point to which we ascend
the Himalayas. Road all precipitous and rough, a pony indispensable for
comfort, but not quite free of danger, for as I was urging my tuttoo up
one of the knotty points of the mountain he fell back. I threw myself to
one side and escaped all injury, but the pony went rolling down the
rocks for some distance. The scenery from Haripur to Aliabad is very
grand; the towering mountains are covered with magnificent pines, and
deep down in the ravine below, there dashes a wild river, its course
fretted by many a boulder. About five P.M. I reached the Serai, tired
and longing to rest, very hungry, but my servants had not arrived. The
night was bitterly cold, and I had to spend it without even a blanket to
cover me, for my servants had stayed at the foot of the last ascent and
did not arrive till morning."

"A little beyond Aliabad Serai the traveller reaches the summit of the
pass, about 12,000 feet above sea level. On it there stands a
watch-tower, inhabited by the guardian of the pass. The view is
inconceivably grand, it entrances one, making one forget all the
fatigues of the journey and rejoice in the glories of God's creation.
India's plains lie stretched before you, with an intervening foreground
of marvellously verdant mountains, while towering above and around are
the thousand snowy peaks of the Himalayas. The descent is not so easy as
it seems at first. The paths are precipitous, and often dangerous, and
always lonely. The marches from one Serai to another are sixteen miles."
On arriving, tired and footsore, Dr. Elmslie often found that his
servants were far behind him, and he was thankful to accept the
hospitality of the natives, and to partake of milk and chipatties gladly
supplied by them. At every resting place he called the sick, and did
what he could to relieve their sufferings, while his catechist addressed
them from the Word. He writes, "I am delighted to be able to follow
Qadir Bakhsh in his addresses now: his similes are always apt; for
instance, to-day when speaking of faith he said, 'Faith is like a seed
which the Holy Spirit takes and sows in the heart; from the seed grows
the Christian tree, and the fruit of the tree is good works.' Though
tired, I felt impelled to say a word or two about God's unspeakable
love. The people listened with marked attention." Again he
writes:–"_October 25th._–Soon after leaving Rajaori we saluted a company
of Chinese Mussulmans on their way to Mecca, and again we met in the
Serai at Sialsui–a wretched mud building in which I took refuge from a
thunderstorm. Qadir Bakhsh told me he had had a long conversation with
one of them, and it had ended in his asking him for a Testament. He
could read and speak Persian, he said, so I called him and had some
conversation. I learned that he came from Foochow, one of four Mussulman
cities in China, and, anxious to show his repentance for sin, he had set
out on the pilgrimage to Mecca. I tried to show him the utter
impossibility of any man obtaining eternal life through mere repentance
without an atoning sacrifice, such a sacrifice as our blessed Saviour
had offered up. He listened to Qadir Bakhsh and me silently, and again
expressed his desire to possess a copy of the 'Injil.' Not having any
with me in Persian, we gave him a copy of the Old Testament, and he was
much pleased. He read the Decalogue with great interest. Poor fellow, he
said he had been nine months on his pilgrimage already. What a lesson in
earnestness! Lord, bless thine own word to this deluded follower of the
false prophet.

"While conversing with him, the Kotwal of the village and his followers
had come in. Afterwards we had a remarkably interesting conversation
with a very intelligent Kashmiri, who had been listening attentively to
all that was said to the Chinaman.

"_October 28th._–One of our Chinese friends who follow in our track, has
an attack of tonsillitis, for which he applied for medicine, which he
got, along with a few words intended to reach the seat of the spiritual
disease. This is my Indian birthday. Help me, Lord, to do more in the
coming year, towards spreading the news of Thy marvellous love to lost

"_31st October, near Thāh._–Crossed the Chenab by a rudely constructed
ferryboat; the road to Thāh comparatively good, but long and broken by
tributaries of the Chenab. There is a wonderful difference between the
cultivation of the neighbouring country compared to that of the
territory through which I have come. An extensive system of irrigation
is carried on by the native farmers. About three o'clock I arrived alone
at Thāh, where I was intending to pass the night, but found that the
'Sahib Log' went to a village at some distance. So at least the rogue of
a bombardār informed me. After a ride of ten minutes, I reached the said
village and dismounted under the shade of a clump of trees, requesting
my conductor, the son of said bombardār, to go back to Thāh and send me
some milk and fruit, also some grain for my horse, as I feared my
servants would not arrive till late. His promises of a speedy return
with all I wanted were not fulfilled, and I sat there alone, tired with
my journey, from four till seven o'clock, when Qadir Bakhsh arrived,
much to my joy. He at once set out to forage, but without success.
Having tasted nothing since early morning, and seeing no prospect of
dinner, I set out with Qadir Bakhsh to see what we could effect by our
combined forces. I shall never forget the furious rage dear old Qadir
Bakhsh acted, greatly to the terror of all who came near him. When no
one was looking he turned round and laughed heartily to me. It was an
amusing scene even to a hungry man as I was, and as the fruit of it, one
woman brought us, partly from fear, partly from pity, some milk, a
charpae and some straw, and with these we had to be content for the
night. I drank my milk, thanking God for all His goodness during the
day, and went to sleep under the shade of the trees. In the morning
found my followers had arrived through the night. Walked most of the way
to Sealkote with a mussulman, and told him about Jesus and His great

"_November 5th._–Early this morning arrived at Amritsar. Busy preparing
house in city for dispensary, &c. Mean to live there in order to be near
my patients.

"_Amritsar, 20th November, 1865._–MY EVER DEAREST MOTHER,–Since my
return from Kashmir I have had a very sorrowful work to perform; one of
the young missionaries connected with the work here, had had an attack
of dysentery, and had been ordered off to Dalhousie in hope of
benefiting from the mountain air. But he became worse and worse. I went
up to this hill station in order to help his poor young wife in nursing
him, and if possible, to bring him down to the plains again, but it was
too late; he died three hours before I arrived. You can imagine the
scene of sorrow. Mr. Watkin was a very promising young missionary, and
we all feel deeply our loss in his death. After a few days my friend and
his, Mr. R., came down, bringing Mrs. W. with us.

"_3d January, 1866._–God continues to give me in His great goodness an
ordinary quantum of health and spirits. I know nothing so conducive to
both, as the assurance that God is reconciled to you, and you to God,
through the precious blood of Jesus. How is your soul prospering? Is
Jesus becoming more and more precious, and is the world becoming more
like a wilderness to you? We have been taught this lesson very solemnly
of late. Another of our number has been summoned home. The Rev. W.
Stevenson of Peshawur died some days ago of fever. Mr. Clark's fine
little boy too has been taken away. These events solemnize us greatly,
while they remind us also of God's great mercy in sparing us a little
while longer. Yet St. Paul is right when he says that to depart and be
with Christ is far better than to remain here in this sinful imperfect
world. My work is slowly progressing in Amritsar. Yesterday I had
twenty-nine patients, all of whom listened attentively to the word read
and explained. You will be happy to hear that I am now able to read the
native language, and to make short comments on the passages of
Scripture, and also to close our meetings with extempore prayer. I have
four assistants here besides the native doctor, and for these lads I
have begun two classes,–one for the study of materia medica, and another
for anatomy. I find the people here more bigoted than in Kashmir. They
would much rather pay a small fee than listen to the address and prayer,
although they love money ardently. Next week I hope to open a class for
chemistry, in hope of gathering some of the lads in the city who speak
English, and who intend taking a degree in the University. It is said I
shall have a large class, and I think I may thus come into closer
relationship with many young men.

"You express a hope that we may be found in Jesus. Why should we doubt
it? Jesus is ready to receive us. We know He is more willing to bless
than we are to receive the blessing. The Father has constructed a
stupendous machinery for the express purpose of bringing us to Him; we
_will_ go to Jesus and dwell where He dwells.

"_February 19th, 1866._–Did I tell you that I had commenced a course of
lectures on chemistry? There are twenty-six names on the list, and I
trust my object may be realized in counteracting some of the evil
influences of much of our scientific literature.

"_July 19th, 1866._–As the Lieutenant Governor, with his court, is
expected to be present at the Durbār, which will be held here next week,
we purpose having a meeting of our Medical Mission Committee, when a new
Secretary and Treasurer is to be appointed. I trust I shall not be
called on to undertake this work, for I feel sure it would hinder me
from doing so much direct mission work as I should be able to do if free
of all money matters and correspondence. They say in Amritsar that I am
to meet with much opposition from Government this season in Kashmir. If
the work is the Lord's, then all things must ultimately work together
for His glory. He can restrain the fury of men, saying to them, as He
did to the great deep, 'Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further.' I am
often with you in spirit, often with you, dearest mother, at the throne
of grace, breathing out desires for a blessing on you. How very near we
are in Christ.

"I had a visit from three priests of the golden temple to-day, who
presented me with a quantity of sweetmeats and flowers, and after the
usual civilities, we entered into conversation about 'Namak Sahib' and
the Grunth; I trying to tell them something of the gospel. They were,
however, bent on something else. After telling me of the liberal
bakhshish so many great sahibs had given them, they at last, provoked at
my not taking the hint, asked me point blank what I would give them. I
replied in some such words as Peter, 'Silver and gold have I none, but
such as I have give I thee,' and assured them of my willingness to give
them medicine for body and for soul. They gathered up the sweetmeats and
flowers, and stalked off, not a little disappointed.

"_January 23d, 1866._–TO DR. CLEGHORN.–It would have afforded me
unbounded pleasure to have met you, and talked over with you the
concerns and prospects of the mission, of which you have the honour of
being the father, and I that of being the agent....

"We had a most delightful week of prayer the week before last. We felt
indeed that the Lord was in our midst. We shall expect great blessings
after such united supplications on the part of God's people, according
to His own gracious promise. On the 31st inst. we are to have another
day for prayer on behalf of medical missions, according to the
appointment of the home society. Would that God would pour out His Holy
Spirit on our Universities, that men may come and offer themselves for
this glorious work!

"_March 6th, 1866._–_To be ready!_ What does this imply? Does it require
some great effort or labour on my part to become ready for the coming of
the Son of Man? Nay, I have only to believe in Jesus; He is my
righteousness. In Him is all the Father requires. Blessed Jesus, how
very very precious Thou art to me! Why should I ever hunger or thirst,
when in Thee is fulness of all I need. Why should any perish, seeing
that Jesus has done and suffered so much that we might have life. Let
me, with humble, thankful, loving, joyful, and faithful heart, take this
full salvation, and even _now_ feast upon it, even _now_ become rich
through it, even _now_ rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!"
This precious thought regarding our completeness in Christ came out in
an interesting form during his student days in Edinburgh. A patient of
his was subject to attacks of cramp, and on one occasion fainted from
the severity of the pain. When the sufferer emerged from
unconsciousness, he found the hand of the young doctor resting gently on
his clammy brow and exclaimed, 'Oh, doctor, to be ready, and to get away
from this terrible suffering!' The doctor answered softly, '_You are
always ready_ IN JESUS, _you will never be ready_ OUT OF HIM.'

"_March 7th, 1866._–Still labouring away in Amritsar, but intend to
close my dispensary soon, and to pack up for the journey over the
mountains. I continue to enjoy excellent health, and am very happy in
soul. Jesus, my Saviour, becomes dearer and dearer to me every day. My
faith in Him is growing stronger, and my delight in my work is also
increasing. I am persuaded that to labour for Christ in this world is
the greatest honour and the surest and speediest way to becoming strong
and happy in the Lord.

"Last week we had a series of grand meetings here. Numbers of Europeans
and native gentlemen met together for the purpose of discussing many
points bearing on the social condition of this province. The first day
was devoted to the delivery of speeches, and reading of addresses on
different social questions. We met in a large tent, and the brilliant
colouring of the dresses worn by the natives made the scene a most
picturesque one. On the second day, prizes were given to all who had
distinguished themselves at the recent examinations. The third day was
the crowning one, because the wise and noble Governor of the province (a
Scotchman, Mr. M‛Leod) honoured the meeting with his presence. On that
day and on the next, I had the honour of dining with the Lieutenant
Governor. On Thursday, he kindly offered to drive me to a conversazione,
given to the native gentlemen. He made me sit by him in the carriage on
his right hand, and spoke to me of Scotland. But now, dearest mother, I
must stop short. My message for you is Genesis xv. 1, a lovely, true,
and comforting word. Pray for me and for poor Kashmir. O may God richly
bless you in soul and body.–Your ever loving son, WILLIE.

"_April 2d, 1866._–TO DR. CLEGHORN.–I brought my operations here to a
close a short time ago, just immediately before we had our last meeting
of committee. One day, while I was engaged in giving my lecture on
chemistry, which I continued to do till the last, two of the honorary
Magistrates of Amritsar waited on me, as a deputation from (what we
should call) the Town Council, to request me to prolong my stay in
Amritsar. I need not say that this was exceedingly gratifying to me, as
a doctor and as a Christian; and my heart was filled with gratitude to
our heavenly Father, who had graciously granted me such favour with the
very people whose temporal and spiritual welfare are so dear to my
heart. Thinking that I was connected with the Government, and that I was
about to leave Amritsar on account of a Government order, the deputation
said that they were prepared to draw up a petition to Mr. Egerton, the
commissioner, and to have it signed, soliciting him to use his influence
in getting the order for my departure cancelled. I explained all to
them, and expressed my sorrow at not being able to be in two places at
the same time; but that I felt it to be my duty to go to Kashmir, where
my proper work lay. The time may be near when we shall see a large
Medical Mission Hospital in Amritsar. There is room and need for it....
Just another item of news about our pet, and I must have done. Sir John
Lawrence has sent a message to Mr. Macleod, the Lieutenant-Governer of
the Punjaub, to request the Resident, this year, to inform the Maharajah
of Kashmir, that his hostility to Christianity is not neutrality, and
that his policy towards missions is unworthy of a prince of his
enlightened views. This is the spirit of the message, but not the very
words. 'The Lord reigneth!'

"_Lahore, 3d April, 1866._–Once more I am on my way to Kashmir, to
delight in its beauty, and to cope with its sin and wretchedness.

"We had our annual meeting of the Kashmir Medical Mission a few days
ago, and to me it was a very great pleasure to find that all the members
were satisfied with the manner in which I had conducted the work in
Kashmir. I need not tell you how glad I am for this, not so much on my
own account as on account of the work I have so much at heart. 'If any
man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth
not.' God is my wisdom; the constant cry of my inmost heart is, 'Make me
truly wise to win souls, _keep me from doing a right thing in a wrong
fashion_.' It does cheer me to remember that you, at least, are praying
for me; we have to fight against a strong foe; the devil and his
emissaries have long held the fort in Kashmir–poor perishing Kashmir,
for whom I could weep all day. I have made my first attempt at
Report-writing, and, like all my works, it displeases me: I suppose I
never shall be pleased with anything I attempt to do or be, till I stand
before God, clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ; _then_ I
shall be _perfectly satisfied_.

"I have sent off my servants and luggage to the borders of Kashmir, and,
God willing, hope to set out myself about the 5th inst. I am well, and
enabled to lay hold with a firmer grasp on the precious promises of God.

"By-the-bye, if you have not read 'God's Way of Peace,' and 'God's Way
of Holiness,' do get them. They have helped me wonderfully. Ever praying
that the God of grace and comfort may be with you, I remain your ever
loving son, WILLIE."

"_April 9, 1866._–To-day left the hospitable roof of my friend and joint
Secretary, Dr. Gray, and set off on the journey to Rawal Pindee. Had a
long time alone for prayer, that God would greatly prosper my own soul,
making it spiritually fragrant and verdant, that thus I might be enabled
to serve Him more truly. Oh, that He would grant to me and all who work
with me a double portion of His Spirit, without whose vitalising
influence no eternal good can accrue from our efforts. My beloved
Saviour, in Thy strength I go up–_strong in Thee_. I enter an enemy's
country to fight with Thy weapons the common foe.

"_10th._–A military man is my fellow traveller. Wishing to unfurl my
colours, I asked a blessing aloud at breakfast. He did not like my doing
so. My soul is very sun-shiny just now. God be praised.

"_13th._–Long march to Haripur. Sat down under a clump of trees and read
Schönberg-Cotta Family. The female characters in it are beautifully
drawn. The approaching campaign in Kashmir much in my thoughts to-day,
and I have had great joy and peace in making over the care of it all to
the great Care-bearer. Blessed Jesus, _go with me_!

"_April 16th._–I look on no trial now in the same light as formerly,
when I had not tested fully how good the Lord is! The child of God is
lifted above the world when there subsists between him and his Saviour a
vital union–the union of faith. This union makes the believer
invincible. He may be cast down, but he will speedily rise again, to
become stronger than before. This is the effect of the divine schooling.
It educates the man for the battle of this life, as well as for the life
which is to come.

"_18th._–Left Abbottabad with the Rev. Mr. Wade of Peshawur. Road to
Manserah very beautiful, passing through extensive pine forests, scenery
more and more grand. Reached the Jhelum about 3 P.M., and crossed it by
the rope bridge. The current is rapid and the river eighty yards across
at this point.

"_19th._–Busy all morning with sick people who had obeyed my summons in
great numbers. Qadir Bakhsh addressed them on the opening verses of our
Lord's Sermon on the Mount. Journey from Muzufferabad to Do Patta long,
and our ponies insufferably bad. About half way my animal stumbled, and
down he went. The severity of the blow fell on my right shoulder and
side, and at first I really thought some part of the bony apparatus had
been fractured. It was some time before I could move, but at last
remounted and rode till I could bear the excruciating pain no longer.
Walked slowly to the resting place.

"_20th._–Spent to-day in bed, resting my arm and doctoring myself. Qadir
Bakhsh addressed the sick, and the native doctor prescribed so far as he

"_April 21st._–Starting at 7 A.M., reached Khanda at 1 P.M., having
walked all the way. Very much better to-day. The Nawab of the district
sent to ask me for two bottles of wine for his horse. Had some doubt
that the article was for himself, not for the horse, and was glad to be
able to say I had no wine with me. The chief men of this village confirm
my suspicions that the wine was for himself, although he is a Mussulman.
Told the people, who came to pay their respects to us, something of
God's love to fallen man, and gave notice of a reception of the sick
to-morrow morning.

"_22d, Sunday._–Early this morning had a gathering of the sick.
Twenty-three came, and Qadir Bakhsh addressed them. The Rev. J. R. Wade
held service in the afternoon. Another reception of sick in the evening.

"_24th._–Much hawthorn on the way to-day, the fragrance of which was
delicious. Visited the tomb of a Mussulman, and was allowed to enter.
Within the court a square building of trellis-work, which we entered,
and then within a screen, we saw the tomb.

In the evening saw twenty sick people, and addressed them from John iii.
15. Gave two men who could read, copies of St. John's Gospel. Lord,
water this seed sown!

"_April 25th, 1866, Gingal._–Terrible thunder storm overtook us on our
march to-day, saw a splendid trough cut out of the solid rock. Reception
of patients as usual.

"_26th._–Scenery on the way from Gingal to Baramula perfectly sublime.
The proud mountains bearing their glistening crowns of snow, the nearer
ones clothed with dark-coloured majestic pines. Passed some very ancient
ruins, which we thought bore traces of Buddhist origin. Immediately on
our arrival here, engaged four large boats for ourselves, servants, and
luggage. After tea loosed our moorings and sailed away up the river,
which, on account of the melting of snow, is much larger than usual.

"_27th._–What a rest after the toils of the journey this delicious
sailing is! Spent the day in admiring the surpassingly beautiful scenery
of this fairest portion of God's earth, and in prayer for its spiritual
emancipation. One cannot help seeing that the marvellous capabilities of
the country are but partially developed, the cultivation is very
imperfect, the buildings seem everywhere to be falling into ruins, and
the people are rendered indolent and heartless by oppressive taxation."



It is our privilege, during another season, through means of his journal
and letters, to accompany Dr. Elmslie in his Medical Missionary services
in Kashmir.

"_Journal, April 28, 1866._–Reached Srinagar to-day. Committed my work
to the God of missions, and felt calm, trustful, hopeful.

"On reaching the bungalow I had rented last year, found I could not have
it again. Disappointed, I sailed up the river and at last secured a
bungalow, which I think may do as a make-shift. It is the most remote of
the houses set apart for bachelors, and I chose it because there is
plenty of ground round it for my patients (if God grant me any) to
assemble, without annoying the other visitors. The house needs repair,
so Wade and I resolved to pitch our tents till it is ready. Dined
outside our tents; weather most beautiful; mountains still covered with

"Here I am once more in this sinful country, for the very purpose of
exhibiting some of the loving power of the Gospel. Oh, be pleased to
bless and quicken me, and to pour out Thy quickening Spirit on this
people, that they may undergo a spiritual resurrection, and live
henceforth to the glory of Thy name. Be pleased, O Father, to direct me
in all my plans; may souls be converted; this is my one great desire;
but, dear and loving and wise heavenly Father, if it should seem good to
Thee to withhold from me this great honour and joy, help me to say from
the heart, Not my will but Thine be done! In Thy strength I resolve to
be more diligent than ever I have yet been, laying hold of every
opportunity of doing good both to the souls and bodies of men, and in
prosecuting my linguistic studies.

"_30th._–Heard to-day that the man who rented me his house last year is
forbidden to do so again, as it is too near the city!

"Whilst engaged in treating a poor sepoy this morning, was waited on by
a messenger from the Diwan. After common civilities, we spoke of
everything except my mission. Was this wise? Or should I speak out? God
guide me, for I know not what is best. The pundit, who taught me
Kashmiri last season, brought me to-day the translation of the Gospel of
St. John, which I had engaged him to make.

"I find, after much inquiry, that there is no special Kashmiri
character, and that the religious books of the Hindu people living in
the country are written in Sanscrit, which most of them can read.
Kashmiri is always expressed by the Persian character; and Persian
itself is specially the language of the Mussulman portion of the

"_May 2d._–Busy arranging bungalow, and hope fairly to begin operations
to-morrow. Relish Leighton's work very much: his spirit is Christ-like,
full of love and good will to men. Blessed Jesus, give me this likeness
to Thyself. My patience is greatly tried with the slowness of the
work-people. Had I come here merely for my own pleasure it would be
bearable, but when my work is hindered by it then my wrath is roused.
Had actually to write to the Baboo to-day about supplies of food,–so
helpless is an Englishman, ay, and a Scotchman too, in the hands of the

"_3d._–The fruit trees are now laden with blossom. Busy getting ready a
tent for the sick to assemble in to hear the Gospel before coming to the
dispensary. Have taken the outside of a large Swiss tent, and by means
of chicks and poles have formed a kind of pavilion, likely to prove

"Wade and I had a long walk after dinner, and on our way home took it
into our heads to count the trees on both sides of the long Poplar
Avenue. On Wade's side he counted 8 chinars and 882 poplars, and on my
side there were 7 chinars and 788 poplars. There are great gaps to be
seen among them, and many more must speedily die, as they have been
barked. In the evening read Persian with Wade.

"_4th._–In our walk to-day intimated to all we met that our dispensary
will be opened to-morrow. Examined some guns at the Fort, and found them
perforated and unfit for use.

"_5th._–Opened dispensary to-day. Mr. Wade, Qadir Bakhsh, Jewan Lal,
Thomas, and Benjamin, met me in the lower room of the little house we
are now occupying, and we together prayed God to command His blessing on
the work we were about to begin. We then adjourned to the tent, and Q.
B. addressed the few patients who had come. My blessed Saviour, I
delight to think Thou wilt one day reign here, and this land shall then
be inhabited by men wise unto salvation: now, how ignorant, deluded,
superstitious this people is!

"Afterwards Wade and I went to the top of Takht-i-Suliman, said to be
800 feet high, and I verily believe it, for the ascent is by no means
easy. The formation is trap, like the Edinburgh Castle Hill or Arthur's
Seat. Near the summit sheep and cattle were grazing, and on the very top
there are two poplar and several fruit trees in a thriving condition.
Met with some fine specimens of the Iridaceæ; those Irises cover the
graves of all Mussulmans buried in the valley, some are pure white,
others are violet. Read Cunningham's essay, describing the wonderful
temple which crowns this hill.

"_6th._–Fourteen new patients to-day; one a case requiring a serious
operation. I have offered him a bed in my tent till he recovers, and all
he requires. He promises to return, but I cannot be sure, as patients
often profess to acquiesce and depart never to re-appear. Qadir Bakhsh
had a long and interesting conversation with some pundits to-day, on the
subject of "God manifest in the flesh." Finished reading Dr.
Coldstream's life. Lord make me like him in all in which he resembled

"Qadir Bakhsh informed us that three men had declared that they would
become Christians but for fear of the consequences to their families.

"_8th._–Two sepoys have been set to watch my house, and a Kashmiri, whom
they saw conversing with Qadir Bakhsh, was beaten and driven away.

"Began my Materia Medica class with Benjamin and Thomas, and resumed
lessons with my native doctor in ophthalmic surgery. Qadir Bakhsh told
me to-day that the Maharajah coins new money every two years and issues
it, receiving that of the previous years at about half its value.

"_11th._–Took my moonshee in the _morning_ to-day, but fear this plan
won't do, for it interferes with my study of God's Holy Word, and I must
allow nothing to come between me and the words of everlasting life.

"Visited a merchant from Cabul, who had had his ribs fractured in a
quarrel. Several men were in attendance, but no woman. On his arms were
two massive golden rings. A man's ornaments are like banked money; on a
rainy day they are pawned or sold.

"Saw the man who bakes for the English, and, noticing the dirty state of
his garments, expostulated. He said he dare not wear clean clothes, for
if he did, he would be thought wealthy, and more taxes would be required
of him.

"Friendly and quiet discussion with some Mullahs from the city to-day.
Water with Thy Holy Spirit, Lord!

"_12th._–One hundred maunds of silk are produced annually in Kashmir.
The mulberry tree grows very freely here, and the silk-worm is largely

"_13th._–The Resident informed me to-day that I must not have the sick
people so near the sahibs' dwellings. I explained my case, and he said
he would give orders at once for a house to be built or provided for my
dispensary near the city. This is just what I wish. The catechist has
been busy all day with inquirers about Jesus Christ and the gospel. Mr.
Wade conducted worship to-day, and seven strangers attended; my pundit
was one of them.

"_14th._–Oh, for more of the Spirit of God, and more of the gifts of the
Spirit, that I may be able to hold up Christ to this people. No fewer
than seventy-four patients present to-day, and all listened to the
gospel message. God bless it to them! My lithotomy case ran away this
morning, so I am baulked of my operation. Heard from Dr. Gray to-day. He
tells me that the Supreme Government have despatched a minute to the
Maharajah of Kashmir, giving him to understand that they do not expect
him to aid in the propagation of the Christian religion, but that they
do expect him to remain neutral. The Resident called to-day, and asked
many questions. I have made it a rule never to discuss Kashmir affairs
except with those whom I know to be on the Lord's side. I listen to all
that is said, but say little in reply.

"_16th._–Eighty patients present to-day; excised a fibrous tumour from
behind right ear. Tent crowded, and the word attentively listened to.
For last four days a mullah from the city has come to converse about
divine things. At first showed temper, but to-day he listened very

"_18th._–To-day, because a carpenter had come to repair a boat for us
without informing the Baboo, orders were given for his being beaten;
lashed on the spot he was, and hurried off to prison.

"_19th._–Eighty-nine patients. Went to see the house which the Resident
said was nearly ready for my dispensary, but could not find it.

"_20th._–Informed by civil surgeon that the Europeans who have lately
come to the valley object to my having my patients near their quarters.
The ways of approach do not interfere in the least with the other
bungalows, and it is my opinion that there is not the slightest danger
from infection to the lives of those who occupy the other houses. I told
Dr. R. that Mr. Cooper had kindly given orders for a dispensary to be
built, and that I am now waiting for its completion, as I am most
anxious to do all I can to please every one. Dr. Ray wished me to
promise to pitch my tent in another part of the valley, there to carry
on operations; that I refused to do. To remove my instruments,
medicines, tents, and everything elsewhere would damage my work to a
great extent, besides causing me a great deal of inconvenience. I said,
however, that if Mr. Cooper gave an official order for me to do so,
having first proved that my remaining was injurious to the Europeans, I
should obey. He has power to provide me with twenty houses if he
chooses, and why he is so dilatory about this one dispensary, I cannot
tell. Father, I need wisdom; graciously grant it me!

"_23d._–A great crowd of people present. Ninety-five patients, besides
their friends. Attention to the word great. Operated on a case of soft
cataract. Went to see frost-bitten pundit in the city; the entrance to
the house where he lay shamefully dirty. Removed a large portion of one
foot which was almost severed from the affected part.

"_24th._–One hundred and five patients to-day.

"_23d._–Heard from Dr. L. that my lithotomy case at Rawal Pindee did
well; patient quite recovered. To-day a poor cowherd from Gingal
arrived, having walked all the way from Abbottabad to Baramula. On
examination, found him to be suffering from stone. Gave him a dose of
castor oil, and in due time I removed the stone. (He had chloroform.) It
weighed four drachms and four grains. After the operation there was a
little oozing, and as cold had not the desired effect in stopping it, I
soaked a piece of lint in a solution of alum (strong), and introduced it
gently into the wound with the happy result of arresting the hæmorrhage.
I had the poor man placed in my own tent. I feel very much now the want
of an hospital, both for the success of the medical part of my work, and
for the prosperity of the missionary element, but I must wait patiently
on Thee, dear Father, for this.

"_24th._–Lithotomy patient doing well.

"_25th._–To-day my poor lithotomy patient died from gradual sinking. I
fear this may interfere with my medical success, but all things are in
God's hands, and there I leave this.

"_26th._–Killed two non-venomous snakes, one 5 feet 10 inches long by 4¾
in circumference. Measured a chinar tree on my way home from a visit to
the picturesque ruins at Pandrenton: at about 3 feet from the ground its
circumference was 38 feet. Spent a pleasant evening at Mr. S.'s,
practising singing for church. Ninety-four patients to-day.

"_28th._–Very tired to-night. Another lithotomy case came this morning,
and I operated.... Lord, if it be Thy will, prosper this case! much
depends on it. Heard sad news to-day from Col. Rothney, under whose kind
care I had left my assistant Sikandar at Abbottabad, because he was ill
of fever. He gradually grew worse after my leaving him, and died on the
20th inst. He was a good lad, and I doubt not is now with Christ in

To-day the Resident, Mr. Cooper, promised the chaplain the proceeds of a
large wager if he gained it, on condition that it should not go to the
Kashmir Medical Mission. Yet he every other day receives medicines from
my dispensary.

"_29th._–Lithotomy case doing well. Ninety-nine patients present. Had a
number of surgical operations.

"_May 31st, 1866._–Yesterday, I began the translation of St. John's
Gospel into Kashmiri, and earnestly pray that God may grant me the
efficient help of His Holy Spirit, that I may be enabled to execute this
work intelligently. To-day, there were 134 patients.

"_June 3d._–Partook of the Holy Communion. Jesus is mine, and I am His!

"_4th._–At this morning's reception, 150 patients were treated. I
expected a lithotomy case, as a poor sepoy, who came yesterday, was
suffering much from the disease, and promised to return for operation
to-day. He did not come, so I sent my native doctor to inquire what had
become of him, and ascertained that the Diwan had forbidden him to come
to me. No surgery is done in the native dispensaries, so the poor fellow
must continue to suffer from his enemy.

"_5th._–Numberless boats went up the river to-day, filled with
worshippers, on their way to Martand. Those boats are in form like
Venetian gondolas, on a large scale. They are divided into three
compartments, in one of which the boatman himself lives with his family
and assistants; in the second, or middle compartment, the passengers
sleep, cook their food, and eat it; and the third division may be called
the verandah of the floating house. Those boats are literally crowded
with human beings, men, women, children, all congregated in the height
of merriment, and dressed in their gayest garments. Those who can afford
it, hire boats for their private use, and in such cases, the inner
compartment is carefully enclosed with matting, so as to form a regular
zenana. But the poorer people are not particular about privacy. This
festival will continue for some days, during which the people take a
complete holiday.

"The number of patients to-day was 139. A French shawl merchant called
on me to-day, to ask me to visit a sick man in the city. Mr. Wade and I
went with him, and found the sufferer lying on a mat on the floor,
surrounded by friends. On examination, I found that he was suffering
from disease in the left lung–consumption. The native doctors had bled
and purged him. I offered to undertake the case; he said he would
consult his friends and let me know his decision. On returning home, we
met Mr. C., who told me that the Maharajah had not yet allotted a site
for my dispensary!

"I wrote to Dr. H. at Lahore to-day about the establishment of a Medical
Missionary Bursary in the college there.

"_7th._–One hundred and ten patients were present to-day. Lithotomy case
is quite well. I was grieved to hear this evening that the poor man in
the city, whom I went to see, died two hours afterwards. The hakims had
heard what I said as to the seat of the disease being in the lungs, and
at once applied leeches: the poor fellow sank from loss of blood.

_8th._–One hundred and forty-nine patients present. The numbers of
surgical cases give me anxious work. To-day, I removed a cystic tumour
from the outer angle of the right eyelid. Performed the operation, by
depression, for cataract, for the first time to-day. Early this morning,
my assistant came to tell me that the sepoy, before mentioned, had
obtained leave from the Maharajah to come to me, and he had been brought
to my tent on a charpae (native bed). I arranged to operate on him
to-morrow morning. To-day, being Saturday, Mr. Wade, our assistants, and
I, sailed to the Dal Lake, in order to visit Hazrat Bal, the scene of
last year's assault. The temple there is considered a peculiarly sacred
place, being the shrine of a hair of Mohammed's beard. It stands at a
little distance from the shore of the lake; before it is a grassy slope,
which might correspond to a village green in Scotland, and there
worshippers annually congregate from all parts of the country. Behind
the temple, and extending to some distance, is the straggling village.
We walked through the bazaars, intimating a reception of the sick, but
the remembrance of last year is evidently lingering among the people
still, for we were told there were no sick there! We sailed to the other
side of the lake, through the lovely floating gardens to the Nishat
Bagh, where preparations are being made for the approaching visit of the
Maharajah. It is a beautiful place, its buildings, gardens, groves, and
fountains, give evidence of an age far beyond this era in Kashmir, in
point of art. The architect and landscape gardener of the Nishat Bagh,
was Asaf Khan, who lived in the reign of the Mogul Emperor, Shah Jehan.

"_10th._–This morning removed a stone from the poor sepoy, which weighed
3 oz. 6 drs.

"_12th._–To-day I sent a subscription-list round the station, and
received 145 rupees for the mission. O Lord, Thou art very gracious.
Bless the mission spiritually also.

"_15th._–Yesterday his Highness the Maharajah entered the capital,
accompanied by the Resident and a number of Europeans. Twenty-one guns
were fired in his honour.

_17th._–Heard to-day of the failure of the Agra Bank, in which I had
placed my money. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be
the name of the Lord. I fear the mission suffers in this failure. I
dined to-day, after a pleasant sail to the Shalimar Gardens, with ––,
who has lost £8000 in the Agra Bank. Poor old man, he is in the dark.
Lord, give him Thy light! What a good thing it is to have our treasure
in the Bank of Heaven, where there is no stoppage of payment, but where
all is sure as God Himself.

"I requested the Baboo to arrange an interview with the Maharajah for
Mr. Wade and me, but have received no answer.

"The Rev. Mr. Brinckman brought me 38 rupees to-day for the mission,
being the proceeds of four copies of his book, 'The Rifle in Kashmir.'
He has resolved to devote all profits from the second edition to the
Medical Mission here.

"_21st._–There were 152 patients present to-day. We were invited, along
with all other residents in Srinagar, to a great dinner, given by the
Maharajah: but, hearing that there was to be one of the objectionable
'naches' afterwards, we did not accept the invitation.

"_23d._–To-day 163 patients were treated.

"_14th July._–I received a letter from Mr. C., informing me that his
Excellency the Viceroy of India had sent him 200 rupees for the benefit
of the Medical Mission in Kashmir. How God is reassuring me that _He
will provide!_

"_15th._–A few days ago a gentleman invited me to dine with him. I went.
He drew attention to some of the most vital truths in Christianity, and,
to my sorrow, I found him at heart an enemy to the cause of Christ. I
thank God He enabled me to bear clear testimony to my precious Saviour.

"During dinner my host informed me that the Maharajah was prepared to
give me 1000 rupees a month if I would give up the missionary element of
my work, and enter his service. Should such an arrangement ever be
proposed, God helping me, I will not agree to such terms, true though it
be that for my dear old mother's sake I should be glad to have a little
more money at my disposal. To cease to labour for Christ for the sake of
a few perishable rupees would be, Judas-like, to forsake and to betray
my Lord; rather far be poor as a beggar than that.

"I suppose this idea has been suggested to the Maharajah by what I heard
had happened in his dispensary a few weeks ago. The native doctor being
annoyed that most of his patients were leaving him for the Mission
Dispensary, on account of the superior surgery, in an evil hour for
himself and his patient, thought he would try his hand at surgery. He
proceeded to open a boil in the groin of a sepoy; in doing so he cut
into the femoral artery, and his unfortunate patient bled to death. I am
told that the doctor was at once dismissed. Colonel Gardiner, an
Englishman, or rather, I believe, a Canadian, who is in the pay of his
Highness, came to ask me to vaccinate his little child. He told me the
people have now the greatest confidence in my surgery and medicine, but
that they dislike the missionary element in my work, the feature of it
which I love the most. For some Sabbaths I have missed my pundit at our
little services. On inquiry to-day Qadir Bakhsh told me that some men
had become aware of his attending, and had threatened to report to the
native authorities if he did not desist, so my Nicodemus has drawn back.

"_22d._–My pundit, who has been deterred from attending our religious
services, returned to-day, much to my delight. I think the truth is
leavening this man's heart, and that though his faith does not as yet
prove strong enough to make him come out on the Lord's side, it will,
nevertheless, suffice to unite him to the Fountainhead of Life.

"_23d._–I have at last obtained a copy of the Kashmir alphabet, along
with the Sanscrit equivalent.

"The Resident informed me to-day that the long-promised dispensary was
ready, and asked if he could obtain anything else that I required. I
wrote in reply that I felt most grateful for his having got the
dispensary for me, and that, as he kindly offered to help me still
further, I ventured to propose that a rude hospital might be prepared
for the accommodation of those patients who come from a distance. He
received the proposal graciously, and wrote again in the evening to say
that he had spoken to his Highness about it, and that he had been
pleased to grant permission for the erection of an additional shed."

When Dr. Elmslie went to take possession of the building proposed for a
dispensary, he found it quite unfit for the purpose, the building being
of wood so roughly put together as to admit rain freely. The second
building was never erected.

_Srinagar, August 11, 1866._–He writes to his mother:–

"... You will be happy to hear that, in a medical point of view, at
least, my work in Kashmir is prospering. In spite of opposition on the
part of the local authorities, the work continues to progress. A few
days ago I had as many as one hundred and eighty-three patients, and at
this moment a fine-looking elderly Mussulman of rank, from the east end
of the valley, has called to ask my advice. Many of my patients come
from a great distance; and never a day passes without one or two
surgical operations. The result is, that I am becoming more and more
expert in this department. _At present three men are living in my tent
who were totally blind, but now they see._ As to spiritual fruit, I wish
I had something more definite to say. The people listen most attentively
to our expositions of the divine Word, and receive our religious books
gladly. Two Hindoos profess to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but, as
yet, lack courage to come out; and until they do confess Him openly, one
cannot feel sure of their profession. I long, above all things, to see
souls turning to Christ. What honour can be compared to that of leading
a soul to Jesus, the Fountain of Life? You will be grieved to hear that
the Kashmir Medical Mission has lost every farthing it possessed,
through the failure of the Agra Bank; but, against this bit of bad news,
we must lay this pleasant fact, that Sir John Lawrence has sent me the
donation of 200 rupees for the benefit of the mission. I continue in
very good health, although exceedingly hard wrought, having at present,
in addition to my regular missionary work, that of the doctor of the
station, who is now in another part of the valley. Remember me kindly to
all my Aberdeen friends,–I never forget them. And give my brotherly love
to Stewart, who is now, I hope, with you, cheering your heart by his
presence, and helping you to church on his good, strong arm.

"_17th._–I find that the Maharajah has placed sepoys at the different
avenues leading to my house to prevent the people from coming to me. I
have also heard that the Diwan has issued an order that the pundits are
not to frequent my dispensary, but to attend the dispensary which the
Maharajah has opened for them in the city. The pundits held a meeting
yesterday, and deputed some of their number to represent to the Diwan
that no one was ever benefited from going to the native dispensary, but
that, if the Maharajah prohibited them from going to the Padre doctor's,
they were willing to obey."

"_Srinagar, Kashmir, 25th August 1866._–MY DEAR THOMSON,– ... When I
tell you that I have really been overwhelmed with work ever since I
entered upon the discharge of my proper duties in Kashmir, I am sure you
will excuse me, and rejoice that I am so engaged. I am greatly indebted
to you for the notice of the Kashmir Medical Mission, which appeared in
the 'Medical Missionary Journal' you kindly sent me. Our little friend
is always a very welcome visitor in this far-out-of-the-way corner of
the world. The news that the Medical Mission principle is steadily
making progress at home delights me much. God grant that it may continue
to do so, till every mission station in heathendom shall have its
Christian Medical Missionary. I am extremely happy to communicate a
similar pleasure, by telling you that in this Indian province, which our
heavenly Father has so highly favoured by bestowing on it Christian
rulers, medical missions are becoming more and more recognised as a
powerful adjuvant in the evangelisation of the heathen. Within the past
year several applications to the Punjaub Medical Mission Society have
been made for Medical Missionaries, or for pecuniary assistance, to
enable the applicants to apply to the parent society at home for men to
occupy the existing vacancies. My dear Thomson, it makes one's heart
bleed to think that so few young men are willing to devote themselves to
this glorious work, and that our societies have comparatively so small
funds at their disposal. Oh, that God would again raise up such men as
the brothers Haldane were, to make a spiritual invasion of our
universities and schools of learning to awaken the sleepy souls of our
young men to a recognition of their duty, and an appreciation of the
dignity and blessedness of denying one's self in the service of our
blessed Redeemer. When will men be wise? When will they cease to be like
the dog in the fable, which lost the substance for the shadow? It augurs
badly for the religious future of our beloved native land that such men
as Carlyle and Mill are the Rectors of two of our four universities. It
made my heart sad to think, when reading the rectorial address of Mr.
Carlyle, that so many young plastic, loving, and enthusiastic hearts
were being fed with husks instead of the children's bread. Earnestness!
unless it spring from love to God and man in our divine Saviour, Jesus
Christ, is but the quintessence of selfishness and of all that we shall
contemn as most hateful when we get to the other side, and stand before
God. The man who tells his fellow men to be earnest in their worldly
pursuits, is doing a superfluous work. The selfish, worldly, sensual,
mammon worshipping, God-hating heart of man, as it is by nature, does
not require to be told–be earnest as doctors, as lawyers, as merchants,
as soldiers, for the prizes are only to the earnest, and it is the
prizes that the natural man longs and lives for. But man–we, whoever we
are–requires to be told to trample with an iron heel upon his indigenous
selfishness and worldliness. He does require to be told of the matchless
love of God, as exhibited in the marvellous gift of His only begotten
and well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ. He does require to be told of the
endless claims that God has upon him. We do require to be told what is
real truth and wisdom for us poor frail dying mortals. When one thinks
of the vast power–moral, intellectual, and religious–being prepared and
developed within the walls of our universities, how unspeakably
important that every influence for good should be brought to bear upon
our students. It strikes me we have not yet done all we ought to and
might have done to them. My dear Thomson, can't you discover some way by
which students may be more impressed, and have the claims of God and a
perishing world forced upon their notice. In your letter you lament the
want of men to fill existing vacancies in the medical mission field.
Manifestly we must pray more faithfully and importunately to the great
Lord of the harvest to send more labourers into His harvest. Why, if you
had men, there are at least three openings in the Punjaub alone at the
present time. It occurs to me that perhaps our heavenly Father may be
teaching us, who are labouring in the foreign field, to put forth more
strenuous efforts to rear as quickly as possible a native agency,–a
native medical mission agency. Ever since I gave missions my serious and
prayerful consideration, I have been convinced that one of the very
first things a Christian Missionary ought to direct his attention and
energies to, is the educating of a band of natives to carry on the
various departments of evangelistic work among their fellow countrymen.
I left home with this conviction, and now my plan is ready, having
surveyed what materials lie ready to our hands. It is very remarkable
that at the very time I was writing a paper, which I intend reading at a
Missionary Conference, to be held in Amritsar in November next, I should
have received your letter bearing upon the same most important
subject.... At present it would take me too long to give you all the
details of my plan. Suffice it to say I propose having after a time, if
possible, a Medical Missionary stationed at Lahore, the political
capital of the Punjaub, where there is a very well equipped Medical
College. The Principal and Professors I know well. They all take a
lively interest in our Medical Mission, and what is more, one of the
professors is at present engaged in collecting funds to be given as
scholarships or bursaries to the medical mission students. The students
are to be supplied by the various mission stations throughout the
province, and from what I have heard, I am led to believe that there is
scarcely a station which could not supply at least one promising young
lad. But, God willing, we shall soon see. Another point which I intend
bringing before the conference, is the training of native midwives, both
for the native Christians, and to act as Bible women among the heathen.
I will send you a copy of my paper, and shall be happy to receive any
hints which may occur to you after perusal. Dr. Young will get a warm
welcome from us on his arrival. May God bless him in himself and to
India. Recruits!–the very name cheers and encourages one,–send more–send
all you can. Love is unconquerable–the Christian's love. O God, fill us
with love–fill us with Thyself, for Thou art Love. Fight, and toil on,
my dear Thomson, hopefully, faithfully, joyfully, and lovingly too. We
shall win the day, and follow Gentle to the other side–to the better
land, to be for ever with our adorable and most precious Saviour."...

To his friend, Mrs. Cleghorn, he writes:–"_Srinagar, Sept. 5, 1866._–...
I have had my own difficulties since arriving in Srinagar in carrying on
my work. They would not let the bungalow I occupied last year. I was
obliged, in consequence, to go to a distance from the city, and was very
much afraid that this would materially interfere with the poor sick
people coming to me. But no, I expect there will be but few short of
double the number of patients we had last year. We have had more quiet
discussion this year than last. Many copies of the Gospels have been
sought, and gladly received. As to my pundit, he is still with me. His
spirit is like that of a Christian, but he has not yet had the courage
to declare himself on the Lord's side. It is only the fear of the
consequences of such a decided step that deters him from making a public
profession of Christianity.

"The Rajah of Chamba has just made the handsome offer of 200 rupees a
month, a free house, dispensary, and hospital buildings, with current
expenses, to the Punjaub Medical Mission Committee, to induce them to
begin a medical mission in his Highness's territory, similar to that in
Kashmir. This offer ought to make our hearts rejoice. The committee are
thinking of sending me to Chamba during the ensuing cold season, and
during my compulsory absence from Kashmir, to initiate the work while
the Rajah is favourable. Let us, with all our hearts, return thanks to
God for this great opening."

"_Srinagar, 10th October, 1866._–MY EVER DEAR MOTHER,–I was delighted to
hear how much you had enjoyed your stay at Ballater. I wish I could have
been with you, to behold once more the beautiful scenery around our
Queen's Scotch home, but I look forward to having that pleasure, after
three years more of work in this land of my adoption.

"Another season has passed away. Much has been done this year in
Kashmir, to commend Christ, our divine and precious, precious Saviour,
to its ignorant and bigoted inhabitants. But the ground is very dry and
thirsty, and although apparently the seed which has fallen has been very
abundant, nevertheless it has sunk without producing any apparent
spiritual verdure. Yet although this seems to be the case, God's own
word will not return unto Him void. He _will_ make it accomplish that
whereto He sent it.

"This season my health and spirits have kept up well, although I have
had not a few things to trouble me, and make me anxious at times. There
has been and is, deep, deep down below the ruffling on the surface, such
a serene and delightful calm, springing from faith in my beloved
Saviour, and partly perhaps, from being devoted entirely to His exalted
and holy service, that I enjoy in my heart of hearts much of that peace
and joy of which a world, out of Christ, knows nothing. The devil has
been tempting me much this past season. You know that India is in many
respects an excellent field for a good doctor. He is sure to have a
large income very soon if he acquire a good name by his professional
skill. During this season through the blessing of God I have been
remarkably successful in one or two cases. The result has been that the
Maharajah, at the instigation of the British Resident, has made me an
offer of £100 a month, if I will enter his service. This of itself was
not to be condemned, but it was stipulated that I was on no account to
make any effort to spread the knowledge of Christ among his people,–that
is to say, _I was to forsake my Saviour's service, and enter the
Maharajah's_. Ah dearest mother, although we would perhaps be the better
of a little more money, £300 a year with Jesus, is better, ten
thousandfold, than £1,200 without Him. It gladdens my heart to be able
to give up some worldly advantage for Christ's sake. Oh what is money,
or worldly glory, and a passing name, when all here below is transient,
and unsatisfying, and God, and Jesus, and heaven, with all its
indescribable felicities and glories, alone are stable, eternal, and
satisfying.–Your loving son, WILLIE."

Referring to the same subject in a letter to the Rev. Mr. Mallett, of
date 11th May 1866, he writes, "The Rajah is prepared to give me the
princely sum of 1000 rupees per month; but what are the conditions? To
enter his service and give up speaking for Jesus. Heavy conditions; too
heavy for me. My dear Mallett, Jesus, blessed be His name, is too
precious to me personally to be sold for a thousand pieces of silver.
Ah, Mallett, there is of a truth that which overcomes the world–our
faith, and blessed be God, He has given us some of it. Doubtless we
should not be sorry to have a little more money; but heaven is ours, and
our Father's _promise_ is better than the Rajah's _cash down_."



After leaving Srinagar, Dr. Elmslie came down to Amritsar, but instead
of re-opening his dispensary, the Committee of the Punjaub Medical
Missionary Society deemed it proper to send him up to Chamba, of which
the reader has already heard, to carry on mission work there during the
cold season. He thus writes from Amritsar to his mother:–

"_17th November, 1866._–EVER DEAREST MOTHER,–I hope long ere this
reaches, you may have received some of the letters which I wrote to you
from Kashmir. I cannot tell you how grieved I am to learn you have been
so long without hearing from me. I wrote to you regularly, but, as many
of my other letters have also gone astray, I strongly suspect that the
native officials have seized on them to discover what I say of
Government matters to my friends. Your having received so few during the
past season confirms my suspicions in this matter. You must not be
anxious in future. I shall continue to write regularly, and you may be
sure if there were anything wrong some of my friends here would let you
know. I am brimful of health through the goodness of God. My heart is
brimful of joy, my faith in our precious, precious Saviour is getting
gradually stronger and stronger, and I delight more and more in His
honourable service. I have just reached Amritsar. If you have a map at
hand you will readily ascertain the route I took in this journey from
Kashmir. In the north-west corner of the map of India you will, by
careful inspection, discover the position of the following places:
Baramula, Uri, Poonch, Bimbhar, and Amritsar. This was almost all fresh
ground to me. We had to cross a mountain pass about nine thousand feet
above the level of the sea, twice the height of your famous Lochnagar,
and with the exception of my catching a very bad cold, everything went
well. We followed the same old plan of holding receptions at each of the
villages and towns where we rested on our march, for the purpose of
doing some good in a medical point of view, and also, and chiefly, to
scatter a few of the precious seeds of the life-giving Gospel by the
way, in the sure hope of its springing up at some future time, and
bearing fruit to the praise of God. The people everywhere received us
gladly, took our medicine and medical advices thankfully, and listened
patiently to our news of the Gospel. Those who could read received parts
of the New Testament and tracts. Pray, dearest mother, to our heavenly
Father for His rich blessing on the labours of your loving son. We are
most powerful when most prayerful. I am now drawing up an account of the
Kashmir Medical Mission during the past year, and writing a lot of
letters in reply to a heap which had accumulated for me during my march.

"_Amritsar, 17th November, 1866._–MY DEAR THOMSON, ... I heard
delightful news the other day–news which will assuredly gladden your
heart. Mr. Rudolph, one of the American missionaries stationed at
Loodiana, the Punjaub, told me that some months ago two Kashmiris came
to him desiring to receive instruction respecting Christianity. They
said they were Mussulman priests, that one of them had heard the Gospel
for the first time in his life, at the Medical Mission Dispensary,
Srinagar (during its first season), that what he had then heard had
taken such a hold of him, that he felt an insatiable thirst for more
knowledge about this new way of life, that as it was fraught with very
considerable danger to be an inquirer after Christianity in Kashmir, he
had resolved to find his way to the plains of the Punjaub, where he
could with safety satisfy his thirst. Before setting out on his
pilgrimage he prevailed on another of the priestly order to accompany
him. They both reached Loodiana, were introduced to Mr. Rudolph, and he
who had heard of salvation through a crucified Redeemer, at the Medical
Mission Dispensary in Srinagar, was baptized after receiving sufficient
instruction from Mr. Rudolph. He is now a most zealous and consistent
Christian. His companion, too, is making progress in Divine things. Mr.
Rudolph expects he will be baptized very soon. Here is some fruit
_already_–never dying fruit. I cannot tell you, my dear friend, how
brimful of joy my heart is, and how thankful to God too, for this great
blessing. I feel now doubly strong, doubly hopeful, and doubly willing
to labour on ministering to these wicked, dirty, and despised,
Kashmiris. This is the Lord's doing. Let us wait on Him, let us wait
_patiently_ on Him. May not the prayers offered up by the friends of
medical missions at your last winter's meeting have had something to do
with this? We shall know some day when we get to the other side.

"This morning, (the 19th), I received your paper on the _Status of
native medical mission agents_. I do not mean to say anything on the
subject just now, but will do so, soon after our conference, which is to
be held next week, God willing. Very many thanks for sending it. The
subject will be discussed at the conference. I hope to send a full
account of our proceedings, so far as medical missions are concerned.

"_Amritsar, 3d December, 1866._–EVER DEAREST MOTHER,–This very evening I
set off for Chamba, my new sphere of labour for the next four months. In
a former letter I told you about the Rajah's invitations, and about the
mission I am about to inaugurate. It is apparently an interesting field
of labour."...

On reaching Chamba, Dr. Elmslie wrote as follows:–

"_Chamba, among the Himalayas, 3d July, 1867._–MY DEAR THOMSON,–You will
see, from the heading of this letter, that I write from Chamba, which
God in His providence has opened to Medical Missions. It is situated to
the south-east of Kashmir, and to the north of the Punjaub. Chamba forms
a country, through the midst of which one of the _five rivers_ of the
Punjaub–hence the name Punjaub–flows. The Ràvi is the name of the river.
The whole valley is surrounded by lofty mountains–the genuine
Himalayas–whose peaks are at present covered with snow. Up to this time,
no snow has fallen in the valley. The winter is temperate, and very much
what I suppose the best parts of the South of England are. I learn the
people of the valley enjoy excellent health as a rule. Aguish fevers
prevail to some extent, with spleen complications. Bronchocele (goitre)
is exceedingly common among both men and women–as much amongst the
former as the latter. On entering the valley, the other day, I was
particularly struck with the joyful and happy appearance of the people.
As they went along, they kept cheering themselves with songs. This is an
agreeable contrast to the inhabitants of Kashmir, who, poor people, have
had the song knocked out of them by iron-handed tyranny.

"The population of the valley is 101,664, and that of the city of
Chamba, the capital, 6000. The medical missionary, therefore, will not
have very heavy work. But now let me tell you how it was that an
application was made for a medical missionary for Chamba.

"Last hot season, much to the joy of the Rajah, one of the Ranees, or
regal wives, gave birth to a fine boy. Both mother and child went on
well for some time, but by-and-bye the little one sickened and died. The
grief of the Rajah was unbounded, and he had the idea that if he had
possessed European medical skill his infant son would have been spared
to him. Shortly after this heavy bereavement, the mother of the deceased
child, who was the favourite Ranee, also fell sick and died. The Rajah
now besought his Superintendent, who is the British representative at
his court, to procure for him a European medical man from the supreme
Government, and that he would give £10 a month, house, dispensary,
hospital, and all current expenses towards the defrayment of the
doctor's salary, &c. The Rajah was told the Government could not supply
him with a doctor, as they were greatly in want of doctors themselves.
By the advice of the superintendent, who is a Christian man, the Rajah
now increased the £10 a month to £20, and urged the Punjaub Medical
Mission Society to undertake to supply Chamba with a medical missionary.
About this time another son of the Rajah's died, and he became still
more importunate. Various communications were sent home to get a man for
the station, and so important did the Punjaub Medical Mission Society
consider this opening, that they agreed to allow me to spend the cold
season in Chamba, instead of Amritsar."

This Chamba arrangement is important, and deserves consideration. The
principle that underlies it is familiar to us, cases involving it having
frequently passed under our notice. Planters in Northern India,
merchants in South America, and others located in out-of-the-way places,
who know that no skilful physician, who proposes to make money by his
profession, would ever look near them, catch at the idea of a medical
missionary, because they think they may get a first-rate doctor at a
moderate cost. _They obligingly seek to turn our self-sacrifice to their
own profit._ Dr. Elmslie does not seem, at first, to have realised the
bearings of such an arrangement, for he wrote quite jubilantly about it,
and with a hopefulness which events did not justify; but soon he grasped
the principle in its full significance, and spoke and wrote against it
earnestly. In a letter to Mrs. Burns Thomson, he says:–

"Mr. ––, of ––, wishes the medical missionary to be considered as the
servant of the Rajah,–a grand mistake, as you can easily see. Such an
arrangement would be sure to have a prejudicial influence on the medical
missionary's work. I hold, and I hold it firmly, that the earthly master
of no medical missionary should be a _heathen_–a professed
heathen–however favourable to Christianity he may appear to be. I must
tell you that the native princes of India, from their seeing how pleased
the British Government at present is with the establishment of medical
dispensaries in native states, are very anxious to gain the favour of
Government in this easy and cheap way. It stands to reason, my dear Mrs.
B. T., if a medical missionary receive his wages from a heathen prince,
that the credit of the missionary's labours goes to heathenism, and not
to Christianity. If a heathen prince approves of medical missions for
the physical good that they bring to his people, and wishes to have such
a mission established in his state, let him contribute to the common
funds of some Missionary Society who will be prepared to send a medical
missionary to that particular state to labour as their (the _Society's_)
agent. The Punjaub Medical Missionary Society is ever ready to entertain
such cases. But an arrangement like this does not suit these
praise-seeking natives. They must have agents of their own; _heathens_
must have _Christian_ agents to convert their people!!! No, the native
princes know right well that as soon as a Christian man enters their
service, his Christian influence is in a great measure nullified. Let me
remind you that the history of Christian missions verifies this
statement. Our medical missionaries, therefore, must not be the servants
of heathens, but must labour independently, or in connection with some
missionary society."

There is another aspect of this principle. For example, a dozen planters
subscribe, say £10 each, towards the funds of a missionary society; and
they pledge themselves to contribute that sum annually _on condition
that the medical missionary shall be bound to attend professionally on
themselves and their families_. "Now to this arrangement," writes Dr.
Elmslie, "I strongly object, for several reasons. It is very evident,
from the nature of this condition, that these planters are trying to
drive a bargain for their own advantage. In fact, they wish a European
doctor, and, moreover, they wish him cheap. You must also know that
these planters are in all probability scattered over a large area, and
that to attend them and their families would be very likely to eat up
the lion's share of the medical missionary's time and energies. Now this
brings me to another axiom in medical missions abroad. The medical
missionary should not be bound to attend a single European (save his
brethren in the mission). Medical missionaries sent out under the
auspices of missionary societies are intended for the natives of the
countries to which they are sent. In such countries as India and China,
our fellow countrymen can easily obtain the services of medical men if
they are only willing to remunerate them sufficiently. They have only to
write home to Scotland or England for a medical man, mentioning his
salary, which must, of course, be proportionate to their own large
incomes. It makes one angry to see our countrymen taking advantage of a
charitable work like medical missions to save their own pockets. I hold,
therefore, that our medical missionaries should not be bound to attend
professionally on any Europeans. Moreover, medical missionaries, as long
as they are servants of any missionary society, should not be allowed to
give themselves out for this sort of practice. Such practice may fill
their purses, but it will and must impair their usefulness among the
natives of the country to which they have been sent. A medical
missionary's time and energies are limited; he should husband them,
therefore, with extreme care. If he has any spare time after his labours
amongst the natives, let him rest, or engage in some study bearing on
his work."

The Chamba arrangement was about as hopeful a measure of this nature as
can well be imagined, but it did not work well. The Rajah gave a very
honourable equivalent for the modicum of professional service he asked
in return; and the Punjaub Medical Missionary Society, one would
suppose, secured in articles 5 and 6 of the Rajah's Administrative
Order, the independence of their agent, and perfect freedom for him in
the prosecution of missionary work. These articles run thus:–

"5. The Chamba medical missionary shall have full liberty to prosecute
the calling of a Christian missionary, in the same way as he would be
allowed to do, were he employed in any of the provinces of India which
are under the immediate administration of the British Government.

"6. The medical missionary shall be bound, on my demand, to render to
me, and to my immediate relatives, due professional attendance; but
beyond this I will not interfere in the way in which he may see fit to
carry on his medical duties in Chamba."

What could be more explicit? And yet, Dr. Elmslie soon found himself
involved in a complicated and unpleasant correspondence regarding these
very rights.

"_Chamba, 3d January, 1867._–TO DR. CLEGHORN.–The dispensary is now
open, and patients are treated _daily_. Medical missionary dispensaries
should be open _daily_. Some are not, I am greatly astonished at this. I
fear practice amongst Europeans has something to do with this. We
medical missionaries need constantly to remember we did not leave home
to be doctors to our own countrymen, who can in most cases be attended
by other medical men, but we left home to labour among the perishing
heathen, that by the blessing of God on our medical labours we may lead
these same perishing heathen to the truth as it is in Jesus."

About a month after, to the same friend he says, "Within the last four
weeks we have had four cases of lithotomy, one of which is well, and has
left for his own home; the other three are progressing favourably. I am
of opinion stone is extremely common in Chamba, goitre too is met with
by the hundred. The biniodide of mercury rubbed in locally, and
exhibited internally in the form of pill at the same time, works
wonders. This medicine is far more effectual than iodine alone."

TO HIS BROTHER.–"_Chamba, 2d January, 1867._–DEAREST STEWART,–I am
delighted to hear you are once more at home beside our dear mother, whom
it is our delightful duty and privilege to cherish and comfort.... I
know nothing will please her so much as to see you give evidence of
being a lover of Jesus.

"I am not going to preach to you, dear Stewart–Dr. Davidson will do that
with all the love and skill for which we honour him, but there is one
question which I wish affectionately to ask you. It is this, 'What think
ye of Christ?' Oh, love Him, dear Stewart, and serve Him with all your
heart, with all your might and main. May God who has done so much for us
in the past greatly bless you, and guide you, and enlighten you, and fit
you for glory. May the sunshine of a Father's reconciled countenance
ever rest on you!–Your loving brother, WILLIAM.

"_Chamba, 19th January, 1867._–DEAREST MOTHER,–You do not tell me enough
of yourself. Let me share all your trials as well as your pleasures. I
think I can sympathise. The more we know of the great Sympathiser the
better we can feel with others; the more we know of the great heart of
God overflowing with unquenchable love, the more our hearts are
enlarged, and enabled to weep with those who weep, and to rejoice with
those who rejoice. I trust you really do bask in the sunshine of a
reconciled Father's love and grace. Jesus was never so dear to me as He
is now. Oh how manifold are His loving kindnesses to me! Bless the Lord,
O my soul.

"I have now got the Medical Mission Dispensary in full working order
here. We had a large attendance to-day, and I addressed them in Urdu.
They listened attentively to all I said about the unsearchable riches of
Christ, and I do so enjoy speaking to them about Him. One here and
another there in the crowd heard the good news with apparent joy."

TO C. J. RODGERS, ESQ.–"_Chamba, February 3d, 1867._–So you have got a
clock to preach to you! You could not have a better monitor, for who can
look at a clock and hear its _tempus fugit_ tick-tack without being
reminded of the shortness of this life, and of the near eternity with
all its dread verities. _One life!_ only one have we. How short that
life on earth! _So much to be done, and so little time to do it._"

"_Chamba, 5th February, 1867._–MY DEAR MALLETT.... We do indeed enjoy
innumerable precious opportunities of speaking for Jesus our adorable
Redeemer. Blessed be God there is no lack of such privileges. I don't
know how it goes with you, dear Mallett, but as for myself, I have
frequently sad cause to mourn over the misimprovement of these most
invaluable opportunities. It is so very difficult to be always earnest,
always watchful, always full of Jesus, always looking far ahead into
that awful eternity, to which time is hurrying us along with such
lightning speed. Oh what an endless journey of improvement lies before
us. My dear M., if we are ever to be like our beloved Saviour, we must
be much in His transforming company. We must meet Him at the
'_trysting_' place of His throne of grace. We must study His holy Word
more humbly, teachably, and prayerfully, and we must realise that we
possess an ever present Saviour, for, 'Lo! I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world.' Pray for me, my dear M., that I may attain
to this more and more. I will not forget you. We can help each other

Written in apology after a discussion with ––.

_Chamba, February 7th, 1867._–MY DEAR,–I am extremely sorry about our
discussion on Monday last, because I readily confess that I am not at
all satisfied with the part I played in it. To be told in the heat of
debate that one is talking in utter ignorance of the subject, is rather
trying. That I did not take this meekly or quietly, I am now very sorry;
our Divine Master would certainly have acted thus; but I have much still
to learn of the mind that was in Jesus. Let me say that, as the
intention to cause another pain is as far distant from me as the north
is from the south, I fully and heartily apologise to you for anything I
may have said which gave you pain.–Yours, very sincerely, W. J.

TO HIS MOTHER.–"_19th February, 1867._–The Lord Himself make your soul a
very garden in which He delights to dwell, so that you may be truly
joyful! There is nothing like spiritual comfort. There is nothing like a
well-grounded faith in Christ, God's own dear Son, our precious,
precious Saviour. This is great riches. I hope you are basking in the
glorious sunshine of His matchless love and favour, which are
unquestionably better than life. But –– has not yet found the Saviour.
This is an awful thought, and one which has for some time caused me much
anxiety. What a thought for us, that we may be with Christ in glory, but
find no –– there. We must pray, mother. The time may be short with all
of us.

"In about six weeks from this date, I shall, God willing, be quitting
Chamba for Kashmir. How thankful we ought to be that God in His all-good
providence has cast my lot in a region so lovely.... In my soul there is
perpetual sunshine. I have sins and temptations to battle against, both
in my heart and in the outer world, but with Christ we are more than
conquerors over all these.

"The Rajah is most favourably disposed towards the mission, so that my
stay here has been extremely pleasant, although not free from
difficulty. I have had some of the most serious operations to perform,
and God, up to this time, has made all things go well with me in this
respect. Two men, who have been attending the dispensary for some time,
called on me to-day privately, to speak about the wonderful story of the
cross. I have great hope of them.

"We dined to-day with the new Resident, to bid Mr. W. good-bye. The
Rajah was present at table, but did not eat with us, being still a

"_Chamba, 29th March, 1867._–MY DEAR MRS. THOMSON,–The reception of your
and the doctor's letters was to me indeed a 'feast and a fine day.' It
is always most cheering to the child of God to know that his brothers
and sisters in Christ are holding up his hands by their prayers."

Speaking of the self-denial involved in the procedure of the friend
addressed, he continues:–

"It is a glorious thing, although tremendously difficult to the flesh,
to make sacrifices for our adorable Redeemer's sake. Nevertheless, if we
are Christ's, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow
Him. It strikes me that it is just more of this self-denying and this
up-taking of the cross that the world needs. It is undeniable that our
own beloved Scotland is rapidly and generally becoming unbelieving and

"Oh that the young and rising sons of Scotland could be aroused. Oh that
they could be freed from the galling chains of worldliness and
money-worship, and could be made to believe that really to live for God
and not for self–really to live for the good of our fellow-men, with the
eye of faith and hope fixed upon the sublime and awful verities of an
unseen, but coming world, is verily the perennial source of man's
greatest happiness and glory. I am glad the doctor is trying to awake
the sleepers. Stir him up to this work. It is with the young whose
hearts have not yet become like baked bricks, that our hope is....

"I cannot tell you how grieved we all are here that no man has yet been
found for Chamba. On the 1st April I leave Chamba for Kashmir. There is
nobody to take my place. It is very sad to think that if the world had
made the call, and offered a large salary, &c., instead of not having
one applicant, we should have had perhaps a score. Ah, dear friend, this
is certainly not as it ought to be. As I told you in my former letter,
this is a most favourable and promising field for medical missions. I
have spent an extremely pleasant winter in this lovely–physically
lovely–valley. God has greatly blessed our medical and surgical work,
and I am not without the hope that at least another star will be added
to my crown from this winter's labours. A Brahmin, who has attended the
Medical Missionary Dispensary for some six weeks, has manifested a
delightful spirit of inquiry; and both Mr. Ferguson and myself entertain
the hope that this man, through the help of God's enlightening and
converting spirit, may soon declare himself on the side of Christ."



Again Dr. Elmslie strikes his tent, and leaving Chamba, starts for
another campaign in Kashmir. These constant changes are very trying. His
first letter _en route_ is dated

"_Goojerat, 17th April 1867._–MY EVER DEAREST MOTHER,–I am now on my way
to Kashmir, and am hopeful that the season may be a blessed and
prosperous one. I am sure I am followed by earnest prayers for my
success as a winner of souls to our blessed Saviour. This only is worth
living for.

"_Journal, 18th._–Left Goojerat early in the morning along with the Rev.
R. Paterson. After resting a little while on our arrival at Bimbhar, we
went together into the city. Passing along the bazaar I saw several
cases of disease, and as I stopped to examine one or two of them we were
soon surrounded by a little crowd. One man in the throng was very
earnest and importunate that we should go and see a female relative,
who, he said, was very ill. We went, and, as a good many people were
gathered near the house, I asked Mr. P. to address them. This he did,
and they seemed interested. We were importuned to go and see another
case of illness. There is no lack of opportunity everywhere. Oh, God,
bless the seed sown for Thine own name's sake! About a dozen sick people
were waiting our return, but, as the daylight was almost gone, I was
obliged to dismiss the little company, with the request that they would
return next morning.

"_19th._–Mr. P. left me and returned to Goojerat. The patients returned
this morning, and were treated. On the way from Bimbhar to Saidabad I
met a number of camels laden with salt, on their way to Kashmir. Read
Arnold's life on the journey. Admire the man.

"_21st.–Sunday._–I am resting in this picturesque village, Nowshera,
to-day, having arrived yesterday evening, after a good ride from
Saidabad. I held a reception of the sick, and my assistant, Thomas,
addressed them in a very simple, earnest way. After this I held service
with the servants, and in the afternoon went into the little town, where
I saw an old dilapidated serai, which is said to have been built by the
Mogul emperor, Shah Jehan. On the roof of this ruinous building a trial
for theft was being carried on. In the evening had a second reception
for the sick. Treated in all 85 patients to-day.

"_22d._–Started from Nowshera at 6.30; reached Chungas Serai about
1 P.M. The road good. Captain –– is here, and we dined together. After a
struggle with myself I summoned courage to ask a blessing aloud. What a
religious coward I sometimes am!

"_23d.–Rajaori._–Twenty-five sick people here. Addressed them on John
iii. 16. Jesus Christ is the only balm for a sinner's wounds. Nothing
but Jesus will do. The people's interest increased as I went on, and
they gathered more closely round me to hear better. One man said that
the prophets were good and holy, and had interest in heaven to procure
us blessings, especially salvation. I answered that their own testimony
was that they were themselves sinners, and therefore needed a Saviour to
atone for their sin. No one could save us without bearing the penalty
due, even death. Oh, that God may bless His own Word for His own glory!

"_24th.–Dhanna._–How glad I am that I had an opportunity of bearing
medical testimony in favour of total abstinence in presence of Captain
––! It may be helpful to him. We had a large gathering of sick people

"_25th._–After proceeding for a short time along the Pir Panjal route, I
turned to the left and began the ascent of the Ratan Pir, which is by no
means easy. The descent is particularly rough, and my boxes were a good
deal damaged by to-day's journey. This place–Surim–is not a town, but
only a number of houses scattered on the hillside.

"_28th.–Kahuta, Sunday._–We have had two receptions here, and a large
number of sick people attended. The little son of a distant Nawab was
brought to me by a servant. The little fellow was suffering from partial
paralysis of the lower extremities, caused by bathing in cold water when
in a state of perspiration.

"_29th._–Through the snow to-day, and across the Haji Pir, 7000 feet
above sea level.–_Hyderabad._

"_30th._–Uri.–A most beautiful march from Hyderabad. Passed a lovely
waterfall on the right hand of the stream along which we marched. Its
height is about 50 feet. The mountains have their summits crowned with
snow; soft, white clouds nestle in their bosoms or float down their
rugged cliffs. The firs wear their beautiful fresh green, and the other
trees present a variety of lovely blossoms; the flowers, the birds, the
ever-changing face of the landscape, all lighted up by the glorious sun!
Who can behold such scenes without lifting up the heart in thankfulness
to Him who has clothed His earth with such beauty and grandeur? I
visited the dilapidated-looking fort which guards the road near Uri. It
boasts of one brass gun of 10 lbs. and four iron ones of smaller
calibre. The Nawab whom I here treated two years before came to see me,
and stayed to the address given to the sick. He listened attentively
while I spoke on 'The wages of sin is death,' and he answered questions
intelligently. May the Spirit of Life quicken him!

"_Nowshera, May 1st._–Left Uri at 6.15, and arrived here at 11.45. March
a long one, but the scenery very lovely and grand. I intimated my
readiness to receive the sick from the neighbouring houses, but the
moonshee of the place told me the people here think that one day's
medicine could be of no avail.

"_2d.–On the River Jhelum._–This morning started from Nowshera for
Baramula, where we arrived about 10 A.M., and at once hired two large
boats to convey us to Srinagar. Sailed at noon. The change from walking
to sailing delightful. The view we had of the valley from Baramula hill
is most enchanting. The valley lies encircled by lofty mountains, whose
peaks are white with snow. The mountains on the north and east of the
valley seem as if the materials of which they are composed had at one
time been molten, and as if, while in this state, they had been lashed
into great waves, and then suddenly set into their abrupt forms. They
are remarkably barren. The mountainous ridge on the south and west has a
more diversified outline, and two or three very lofty peaks towards the
south form a grand offset to the whole range. The quantity of snow on
the northern aspect of this mountain boundary is much greater than that
on the southern range. Reached Sopur about 6 P.M. This is a
picturesque-looking town on the western extremity of the Wular lake,
through which the Jhelum flows. Sleeping in one's boat is cold at this

"_3d._–Awoke early and found we were still sailing on the spacious Wular
lake. Much engaged in prayer for God's blessing on me and mine, and on
His own work. Very happy from trust in Jesus. Reached Srinagar about 5
P.M., and at once called on the Rev. A. Brinckman.

"_4th._–Early this morning I took possession of the bungalow I occupied
last year. Paid my boatmen 3 rupees, which is the proper price for the
journey from Baramula. Gave the men each 8d. as bakhshish, but found
that the Maharajah's officials were already on the spot to take from
them the usual tax at the rate of one anna on the rupee, Breakfasted
with Mr. Brinckman–called on the Resident. Busy the rest of the day in
getting my house into order. Dedicated myself and all that I am to God
afresh, imploring His gracious blessing on my work and my people.

"_Sunday, May 5th._–Divine service at the Residency. In the evening the
Rev. Mr. Walsh, American missionary from Futtegurh, held a Hindustani
service which was pretty well attended.

"_6th._–I heard to-day by a letter, from the Rev. Mr. Ferguson of
Chamba, that the Rajah of that state has declared that henceforth there
shall be the widest religious toleration in his territories. This is
joyful news, the Lord's name be praised! Dined with Major Maclean, and
at half-past six, attended the first prayer-meeting of the season at the
Rev. Mr. Walsh's house; it was a delightful meeting. Spirit much

"_9th._–Opened the dispensary to-day–four present. In God's strength I
hope to be more diligent than ever before, in spreading the glorious
gospel of God's marvellous grace, and in everything which my hand finds
to do for God's glory. _I must_ study Persian: it is an essential part
of Kashmiri; Lord, help me!

"_10th._–Ten patients present to-day. Read the parable of the Prodigal
Son which I always find arresting to the people. One man told me that a
Government officer had tried to prevent his coming to me, by urging him
to go to the Government Dispensary, where medicine, clothing, and food
would be got for nothing. I took the man to the Resident, but, as his
house is surrounded by spies, the poor man was timid in his answers to
all the inquiries put to him. The result of the examination proved,
however, that the people have been prohibited from attending the Mission
Dispensary. Here the matter ended. The shed built by order of the
Maharajah for the dispensary last year is still uninhabitable, I have
complained to the Baboo in charge of English affairs, and he promises to
have it completed. [This was never done.] Persian for two hours.

"_11th._–The man whom I took to the Commissioners yesterday has not
returned to-day, I fear some mischief has befallen him.

"_Sabbath, May 12th._–The man referred to is still absent, and the
attendance of patients so small that I fear there is truth in the report
I have heard–_i.e._, that the sepoys are employed to prevent the sick
from coming to me. I am told that during my absence the Diwan exacted a
written promise from the Pundits to the effect that they should never
again come to the Padre Doctor Sahib, on the penalty of a fine of 500

After divine service at the Residency, I had a large gathering of the
blind beggars of Srinagar in the tent, when I read to them the story of
the blind man who saw men as trees walking. After the address they each
received a small gratuity, and were told to return next Sabbath. O Lord,
bless this effort to open the eyes of the blind!

"_13th._–Rained very heavily. Began Materia Medica and Chemistry Class
with my native doctor and assistants.

"_16th._–Still only five patients. I do fear that the local Government
is using some means of preventing the sick from coming, but the Lord

"_17th._–Nine patients present. Oh, my God, how helpless I am! my trust
must be in Thee only.

"_18th._–Still only a few patients present. A man and a woman told me
they had been sent away by a sepoy stationed at the gate through which
they had to pass from the city; they came round another way. Went to the
city to see Samad Shah, shawl merchant, who is ill, and on the way
stopped at the house of my Kashmiri Pundit, who ought to have come to me
last Monday. Found him at home and well; he stated that he had been
prohibited from coming to me, on pain of imprisonment, fine, and the
destruction of his house. He also informed me that a prohibition had
been issued by the Diwan, to the effect that no one was to go to the
Padre Doctor; the penalty–imprisonment and fine. The Pundit also told my
catechist that inquiry had been made as to what wages he had received
from Mr. Brinckman and me, and that employment was to be given him to
the same amount.

"_Sabbath, May 19th._–Went out very early this morning and met an old
man and woman, who said, in answer to my inquiry where they were going,
'to the Doctor Sahib's.' I asked if they were not afraid, they answered
'yes,' for they had been on their way to me yesterday, but had been
beaten and sent away by sepoys stationed near one of the bridges. They
came to the dispensary, and in the presence of Mr. Brinckman, my
catechist, and native doctor, told me exactly the same story. A sepoy,
evidently a spy sent to report who were present at this morning's
reception, was asked to sit down, and he heard the gospel for once in
his life.

"_21st._–My catechist tells me that copies of the prohibition have been
given to each zilladar, and that more active measures are being taken to
prevent the people from coming to my dispensary. They dare not come. The
poor old man and woman who ventured to come on Sunday, were beaten
publicly, and their names with all particulars were noted. An old pundit
has attended at each morning's reception, for the purpose of writing the
names of all present. To-day I sent him about his business.

"_Srinagar, May 27th, 1867._–MY DEAREST MOTHER.–You will see by the
heading of this letter, that I am again in Kashmir. The journey to the
valley this year was rather difficult, owing to the amount of snow on
the high mountains we had to pass, two of which are about twice the
height of Ben Nevis. We were busy on the way, as formerly, in telling of
Jesus and His marvellous love, and in dispensing medicines and advice.
My dispensary is now fairly opened, but I grieve to say that the usual
number of patients have not yet taken advantage of it. The native
Government do all in their power to oppose me, and I sometimes despond
and think my lot a trying one, being cast among so down-trodden and
degraded a people. At such times a voice seems to say to me, 'Wait
patiently on the Lord; in due season ye shall reap _if ye faint not_.'
Assured that the Lord reigneth I shall stick to my post, and you, dear
mother, can help me much by prayer. In the secrecy of your own chamber,
meet me often at the throne of grace, and thus you will do genuine
mission work of the most exalted character. Be like Jacob–wrestle with
God in prayer, and, through faith in our beloved Saviour, you will win
the victory. He loves to bless us; He delights to grant our requests,
but He will try us first whether we desire them with all our hearts.
Pray much for poor enslaved Kashmir. Few take pity on her and the evils
which exist, and which daily come before my eyes, are inconceivable!...
My word of comfort for you today is Lam. iii.–Your ever loving and
dutiful son, WILLIAM.

"_Sabbath, June 2d._–Received from the chaplain Rs. 12, 15a. 6p., to be
distributed among the poor. Had my usual meeting with the blind and
lame. Qadir Bakhsh addressed them, after which I distributed among them
three annas each. While I was doing so one of the boatmen of Mr. L.'s
boat, which was lying close by, robbed a poor old blind man of his few
paise. Mr. B. saw it, and pursued the man, made him restore the money,
and took away his turban for the purpose of identification. On
complaining of him to his master, he received such a thorough beating
that I do not mean to say anything further about this. I have sent a
report of the past month's opposition to the Resident, and he means to
forward it to headquarters.

"_June 16th._–Cholera has appeared among the troops; to-day six men
died. Sher Ali Khan, the Pathan, has been fined 200 rupees, and the
merchants in the city have been forbidden to supply him with provisions
because he is suspected of being a Christian. Eighteen were present at
the Dispensary this morning, and I think they were more anxious than in
former years to hear the Gospel. Their hearts seem softer and more
impressible. The Rev. W. Walsh has written to ask one of his sons in
America to devote himself to Medical Missions. Lord, let Thy kingdom

_19th June, 1867._–TO C. J. RODGERS, ESQ.–"... I sympathise deeply with
you in your domestic loss. If the attractive power of the unseen and
eternal world be increased to you through this means however, then you
will yet rejoice and thank God for this tribulation. Heaven is our home,
all that is most precious and desirable is there, Jesus our Divine
Saviour and Friend is there, besides many dear ones. Let us then not
sorrow as those that are without hope!

"The training of Christian native teachers is a noble work. May God
grant you strength and grace to accomplish it. Let us not be weary in
well-doing, for in due season we _shall_ reap, _if we faint not_.

"I am meeting with unusual opposition from the native Government this
year. Cholera has been committing its ravages among the Maharajah's
troops, but we trust the efforts made to check the progress of this
awful scourge may be blessed. Pray for us in this trying crisis.

"_Journal, 20th._–Cholera has broken out in the city, and an order is
issued by the Resident forbidding any people to come to the European
quarters. I wrote a polite letter in Persian to the Diwan, expressing my
deep sorrow at the sad news which I hourly receive of deaths in the city
from cholera. I said I should be delighted to assist him with advice and
personal attendance. Have received no answer. Am studying hard. As Mr.
Clark says:–'While the door of ministry to the sick is closed, God may
open the door of my lips. He may give me the gift of this difficult
language, and touch my tongue as with fire. May He grant me wisdom and

The journals during the months of May and June are filled with instances
of the opposition of Government, and the sufferings of the people; that
of July recounts daily visits to the city, where cholera raged for seven
weeks. A few notices may be given.

"_Journal, June 29th._–Nursed Colonel S. to-day. He is very ill but

"_July 1st._–Went early this morning to see Colonel S. His spirit passed
away at 7.45. May the Lord comfort his family, and bless this heavy
trial to me and to all who knew him! This is the first case the least
resembling cholera which has occurred amongst Europeans here.

"_7th._–To-day recovering from a threatening of cholera. The Rev. Mr. B.
and I had a long conversation with two Kashmiris, who have been for some
time inquiring after the truth. They stated their disbelief in the
Koran: they firmly believe it to be false. They gave instances wherein
statements made in it contradict each other. They believe Jesus Christ
to be the Son of God, equal with God the Father, and the only Saviour of
men. They say they have taken Him to be their Saviour, and now wish to
receive baptism. Their answers to all our questions were remarkably
satisfactory, yet they have not been long inquirers, and I feel disposed
to recommend delay. What was the apostolic practice (?) that must guide
us. Told them to return on Wednesday.

"_9th._–Abadu and Alunad Jan returned, and declared their desire to
receive baptism. We again spoke to them about the way of salvation, and
asked them to consider the momentous nature of the step they were about
to take. We put the whole case before them, and urged them to make their
decision prayerfully.

"_11th._–Abadu and Alunad Jan returned to-day, and after again trying to
give them a true view of what it is to be a Christian, we agreed that it
would be wrong to withhold the rite of baptism from them. They were
baptized in the Medical Mission Bungalow, in the presence of all my
servants. May the Lord bless and keep them, for doubtless a stormy
future lies before them, if they remain steadfast to their Saviour.
After the baptism, Mr. Brinckman left for Gulmarg–the 'meadow of
flowers' is the Kashmiri signification of this name. Here the Resident
and European visitors spend most of the summer.

"_13th._–Sailed down the river to the Habba Kadal, where cholera seems
to be worst. There I visited 28 cases of indubitable cholera. I was
gladly welcomed even by the women, who remained in their houses instead
of fleeing from me, as they usually do. Hindoos and Mussulmans alike ask
me to come into their houses, and there is no purda-work now."

More than once formerly Dr. Elmslie was called to give advice to native
ladies, in cases of serious illness, but he was obliged to judge of the
case with the usual thick veil between him and his patient, through a
hole in which he examined the tongue. He was not troubled with veils in
the present emergency.

"No wonder that cholera carries off hundreds of victims here, for the
poverty, filth, and distress which prevail are most favourable agents
for its development. To-day saw many dead bodies carried out of the city
for cremation....

"_14th._–Several of my patients much better to-day. Going into the house
of a poor man, who was very ill, a few days ago, I found him discussing
a quantity of boiled rice and vegetables with an apparently keen
appetite,–his wife, with her baby in her arms, looking on with a face
beaming with joy. Her words of gratitude flowed in swift torrents; and
it did make me happy to think I had, under God's blessing, been the
means of saving that life. Received a fresh supply of medicines to-day,
and have made a large quantity of pills for distribution through the
city.... Had a large congregation of beggars, who heard the gospel in
its fulness of blessed promise, and received alms. The two converts were
present at service to-day, and seem anxious to learn the will of God.
The Resident urges me to go to Gulmarg. I feel exhausted, but cannot
leave. The cry of woe reaches me wherever I go. I am alone among
127,000, and the utmost I can do is but like a drop in the ocean.

"_16th._–Went to the quarter inhabited by people from the Punjaub,
where, I had been told, that there were many cases of cholera. Saw
fifteen. One poor woman's jaw was dislocated on both sides from
excessive yawning. I reduced the dislocation in a few moments, much to
the astonishment of her friends. Heard to-day that search is being made
for the two men who were baptized. The Baboo called during my absence to
examine my servants.

"_18th._–Dear Mr. Brinckman has returned. In company with him and my
servant, saw thirty cases. Every one glad to receive our medicine. I
hear that a Mussulman fakir has offered to cause the cholera to
disappear, and that the Diwan has given him money on condition that his
promise is fulfilled within three days. This is now the sixth day since
the bargain was made, but there is no abatement. Saw one remarkable
case: Patient, a man of 30, recovering from worst symptoms, but
gradually consecutive fever supervened, and with it a red or purple
rash, like that of measles, slightly raised above surrounding skin,
disappearing on pressure and returning on removal of pressure.

"_23d._–Quantities of unripe fruit are daily sold in the bazaars. This,
with the filthiness of the whole city, accounts for the development of
the epidemic. The Diwan has requested the British Resident to command me
not to visit the cholera patients in the city. He has refused to give
such an inhuman command. I have been going to the city ever since I was
sure that cholera existed, and shall continue to do as I have done.

"_26th._–Mr. Brinckman has returned to Gulmarg. I should have been
extremely lonely but for him. The majority of cases met with in my
rounds to-day are very bad. One poor boy had lost father and mother
within the past few days, and seemed very ill himself. Made an
arrangement to have him cared for. Met the hakim of the district, who
confessed that he knew nothing of medicine, but had been sent by the
Diwan to distribute the same medicines as the hakims in other districts
were giving the sick. Those, he said, were arak, and one or two
carminatives. On my way home met boats containing ten dead bodies.

"_29th._–Received a letter from Dr. Dallas, authorising me to spend 100
rupees among the distressed in the city. Sent for native banker, and
bade him give me 10 rupees in paise. He gave 600 instead of 640, telling
me that the local government orders the English rupee to be valued at 15
annas instead of 16. Made him write this statement on paper, and sent it
to proper quarter, with inquiry as to its truth. Had a large gathering
of blind and lame in the Chinar Bagh. Distributed 10 rupees among them.

"_August 1st._–Mr. Brinckman came back on 30th. We translated a charm
against cholera which has been issued by order of His Highness the
Maharajah. Each copy is sold for four annas. It directs the possessors
to perform certain acts of worship and to give alms, assuring them that
in so doing they are safe from the plague.

"_2d._–Great storm of wind and rain for about an hour. May good result
from this!

"_8th._–Mr. Brinckman sent for the Baboo in order to obtain a pass for
Abadu and Alunad Jan, that they may accompany Mr. B. to the Punjaub. We
said we wished them to be known as distinct from Mr. B.'s servants,
being Christians, who, as such, were leaving the valley. He objected,
but in the evening brought a '_parwana_,' saying that they had been
included as Mr. B.'s servants. Against this we protested. Saw Mr.
Brinckman off. May God bless him! I feel very happy just now. Jesus is
more precious to me than ever. My will _seems_ to be more submissive to

"_13th._–Pestilence seems to be on the wane. Saw thirteen patients
to-day. Met my old pundit, who tells me it would be as much as his life
is worth to come and see me. My heart much drawn out in prayer for the
salvation of my assistants. Have mercy on them, O God!

"_21st._–Rained heavily. I spent all forenoon in the city with my
assistant and catechist, and saw seven new cases of cholera. Two of
those were boys, both of whom were left orphans within the last month.
What is to be done with the many orphans?... My assistant, a Brahmin,
received a letter from Jummoo to-day, asking him to become editor of the
newspaper which the Maharajah proposes to publish, containing news from
all parts of his territories. He has declined the honour. Called at
Amiri Kadal dispensary; no cholera patients; but saw a case of cancer of
the breast being treated with poultices. Also case of nasal polypus; the
tumour had not been touched, although the nose had been slit open;
poultices were being applied.

"_24th._–Feel very weak to-day. Mr. A. called for me.... After some
deeply interesting conversation we prayed together that God might
strengthen both of us to walk before Him holily all the days of our
life. May God bless this young man and help him with His all-sufficient
grace! The Cordon is still in force.

"_25th._–Few new cases now. Met my congregation of beggars, and
distributed first the Word of Life, then 10 rupees, amongst them. Mr. A.
spent part of evening with me. Lord, bless him, keep him in Thy ways,
give him no rest till he has found it in Christ! Very dissatisfied with
myself. The spiritual life within me is not vigorous; indeed it is very
weak and alloyed. O God, purify it–quicken it–strengthen it–renew it!
Let love reign within me–make it the motive power of my inner man!

"_26th._–Mr. A. breakfasted with me. Much interested in him. May God
keep him!

"_28th._–Saw four new cases of cholera to-day and two old cases. Took
tea with Sher Ali, the Pathan, this evening. Saw his old father and his
two fine boys. Sat with them on the floor, like a native, eating rice
and fowl. This was followed by a large dish of almonds, then tea, made
very thick, so that I almost mistook it for chocolate. On my way home I
met a lad in great distress, and he told me that Mahdu Ku Karn had
forcibly taken away his little sisters and sold them, one to Mahommed
Bakhsh, merchant, the other to a man in the city. Lord, have mercy on
Kashmir, for this is not an uncommon case!

"_Sept. 4._–Heard the sad news from Mr B. that his dear wife was seized
with cholera on the journey, and died at Abbottabad. O God, comfort my
sorrowing friend, who so joyfully helped me during these weeks of
trial!... Great sorrow is felt at this everywhere. In the evening had a
long and interesting talk with Mr A. May God continue the good work in

"_Sept. 5._–This morning received a letter from the civil surgeon,
requesting me to come immediately to assist him in a case at Baba
Murishi. After making necessary arrangements started at 9 A.M., and
reached journey's end at 10 P.M.

"_Sept. 6_.–This morning assisted Dr. J. in stopping the hæmorrhage
proceeding from the wound from which Major –– was suffering. As Major ––
expressed a wish that I should remain and travel with him to-morrow. I
have consented to wait. Went this evening to see Gulmarg, a beautiful
little mountain valley it is.

"_7th._–Set out at 7 A.M. with Major ––, who was carried all the way on
a charpae to Suttaupur. We reached it about 4 P.M., and I started at
once for Srinagar in my little boat.

"_Sunday, Sept. 8._–Arrived here (Srinagar) about 4 A.M. and found a
letter from the Resident, informing me that he had removed the Cordon
Sanitaire. Had my gathering of blind and lame in the mission tent
to-day. Finished reading Goulburn's 'Thoughts on Personal Religion.'

"_9th._–Re-opened dispensary, but few patients were present, the guard
of sepoys still being posted at the avenues.

"_12th._–Had some interesting talk with the Pathan to-day. He allows
that the Christian religion is vastly superior to theirs, and that its
effects are wonderful on those who with the heart embrace its doctrines,
and make them the rule of life. I am hopeful of this man, but the love
of money and the fear of man are strong in him. O God, grant him the
enlightening influences of thy Holy Spirit! To-day a remarkable scene
took place. A Hindu fakir, who has frequently come to the mission
premises for conversation on religious subjects, returned a few days ago
from a pilgrimage. He happened to see a Hindu bathing in the Jhelum
to-day, praying at the same time. The fakir called to him, and said that
he must not suppose that there was any efficacy in washing with water.
He said–'Ever so much water can never wash away sin; only the atonement
paid by Christ can suffice to do that.' He then spoke of the Christian
religion being the only true one. He was overheard by one of the
Maharajah's servants, who gave him into the charge of a sepoy. Orders
have been given to see him out of Kashmir without delay.

"_15th._–A Mullah, who has been a bitter enemy to the Gospel, called on
me to-day. He seems softened. I tried to lay the Gospel scheme before
him, and to show its adaptability to fallen man's every want. Qadir
Bakhsh joined us, and we prayed in turn for him in his presence, that
God would graciously grant His Holy Spirit to teach him. Dined with M––.
May God lead him into the truth; he is groping after it.

"_20th._–The Pathan and his eldest son took tea with me this evening:
they ate heartily of everything, much to my surprise, as in former days
they have refused to touch what has been prepared by my Christian
servant. He told me much about the war in Cabul, about the advance of
the Russians, &c.; then consulted me about the education of his two
sons. O God, give him Thy light.

"_22d._–Read Judson's Life again with much pleasure. O God, make me like
him in so far as he resembled my precious Saviour! Mr. A–– called, and
brought me a present of beautiful peaches. We have long talks together.
I think the truth is taking firm hold of him.

"_29th._–Read Whately's essay on the 'Love of Truth.' Mr. A–– was
present at our native service.

"_30th._–Sixty patients present. A Hindu called on me, he had been in
the service of the Maharajah, Dhuleep Sing, in England; he has travelled
a great deal, and expresses great admiration of the English nation.

"_October 4th._–Received a notice from the Resident, to the effect that
all visitors must quit the valley on the 15th inst. An order has been
received from the Maharajah, by the Jagirdars for 1,400 maunds of grain
to be sent by coolies to Gilghil. There are 45 Jagirdars in Kashmir,
only 5 of whom are Mussalmans, the remaining 40 are Hindoos.

"_10th._–Saw a great crowd of coolies preparing to set off to the seat
of war, with grain, &c., for the troops. Two regiments are gone, and
another is going. Every village is bereft of its male inhabitants with
the exception of the old men. Had a long talk with K. S. a Sikh, who
came to our service to-day–a good attendance at dispensary.

"_14th._–Removed an enormous fibrous tumour from the right breast of a
poor woman. This and many other cases require close attention, and I am
obliged to close the dispensary to-morrow, and next day must prepare to

"_16th._–Many recovered patients came to show themselves. When the Baboo
in the service of his Highness the Maharajah, called with my parwana
(passport), I spoke to him on the subject of Christianity. He is very
blind spiritually, and what he sees of Christians so-called prejudices
him effectually against Christianity. God can give him light. Received
the usual parting present from his Highness. It consisted of two sheep,
some sugar, tea, flower, salt, condiments, butter, and a few eggs.

"_17th._–Temper much tried by the slowness of my servants, and delay in
arrival of boats. God enable me to keep my temper."

Before starting with Dr. Elmslie on his journey to Amritsar, a few
extracts from letters to friends written in Srinagar during this season,
may serve to throw light on some of the points touched upon in his
Journal, and may supply one or two items of additional information. To
Mrs. Cleghorn on 9th July, 1867, he writes:–

"The present season in Kashmir has been a most eventful one to the
medical mission. It appears that the local Government and the Mussulman
Mullahs are now greatly afraid of us, especially as two of their priests
have become Christians. The result of this fear and hatred has been
great hostility and opposition to my work. From the very beginning of
the season, sepoys were placed at the entrances of all the avenues
leading from the city to the European quarters. These sentries confessed
themselves, that their orders were to stop the sick from going to the
Padre Doctor Sahib, as they style me. Some were allowed to pass on,
giving the sepoys some money; others who were caught coming to me were
roughly handled and beaten, some were fined, and others were imprisoned.
The fact that the local Government of Kashmir were thus forcibly
preventing the poor, helpless sick of the city of Srinagar, and of the
valley generally, from frequenting the Medical Mission Dispensary,
became known to the Supreme Government of India, and they sent a request
to the Government of the Punjaub to investigate the matter. The British
Resident, who is a Christian man, showed me the request, and asked me to
state my experience and opinion. This I did, and my report was sent up
to the Punjaub Government, who are convinced of the fact, and strongly
urge the Supreme Government to adopt measures to put a stop to such
cruel, bigoted, and tyrannical proceedings on the part of the Native
Government of Kashmir.

"Just as the hostility and opposition of the local Government of Kashmir
had reached a climax, cholera broke out amongst his Highness's troops.
It appears that some sepoys who had got leave to go and wash in the
Ganges at Hardwar, had returned to their regiment at Srinagar, and
brought the seeds of cholera with them. At any rate, those sepoys had
scarcely arrived, when that awful pestilence broke out and began to
carry off many. Everything was done to prevent the spread of the
disease, but it at last invaded the city; and the British Resident
deemed it necessary, for the safety of the European visitors, to
institute a _Cordon Sanitaire_ round the European quarters. As my
dispensary is situated there, I was compelled to put a stop to my work
for a time. When it was intimated to the suffering sick, that they were
not to return to the dispensary until they should receive intimation to
do so, the scene can be more easily fancied than described. It would
have melted a heart of stone. Since then, I have visited the city almost
daily, and done what I could to alleviate the sufferings of the
miserable inhabitants, many of whom are daily carried off with cholera.
More than a fortnight ago, I sent a most polite letter, in Persian, to
the Diwan, or native Viceroy, expressing my sorrow at the heavy calamity
that had fallen on his people, and offering him my professional advice,
and personal assistance, in this trying emergency. He promised to reply
to my letter the day following its receipt, but, up to the present time,
I have not heard from him. This is cruelty, bigotry, and tyranny with a
vengeance. The poor people of the city are sadly neglected, even by
those who ought to take some care of them."

Referring to the same subject in a letter of 13th July to Mrs. Col.
Lake, he says:–"In spite of the sepoys, about two hundred and fifty sick
have found their way to me. This number, however, is only about
one-sixth of what ought to have attended, when compared with the numbers
of last season." Adverting to the cholera, he says in the same
letter:–"I am left alone here, with my dispensary still closed, as the
_Cordon_ has not yet been authoritatively removed. I am not idle,
however, as I spend daily several hours in the city amongst the poor
people, doing all I can to alleviate their sufferings. This morning I
visited and treated twenty-eight cases of cholera; and while on my way
home, I saw the bodies of three men being carried away for cremation and
burial. It is awfully solemnizing work. This pestilence may be the
Lord's messenger for the punishment of some, and for the after good of
the valley. I have had a presentiment for some time that God is about to
work a change in Kashmir."

To another friend he writes:–

"_Srinagar, 15th July 1867._–MY DEAR BURNS THOMSON,–Your very welcome
and refreshing letter of January last is now before me. Let me answer
its items one by one; and in doing so we shall have cause to rejoice and
heartily to thank God for His unmerited goodness to us. Our little
medical mission friend, the _Journal_, is always a welcome visitor with
me; indeed it often comes in, just when I most need a word of comfort. I
feel greatly stimulated and encouraged when I hear of what others are
doing for our unspeakably precious Saviour and a perishing world. The
labour you spend on the _Journal_ is therefore well spent. It is a great
and necessary work to be fishing for new labourers, but it is an equally
great and necessary work that those who are already in the field do
their work contentedly, patiently, joyfully, lovingly, and faithfully.
Your little _Journal_ helps me in some measure so to work. Ever welcome,
therefore, to our little friend! Your graphic sketches about the Arabs
delight me much. Continue them. When you have finished the Arabs, why
not begin a series of such sketches of a general nature about your home
work? What I mean by general is not sticking to one subject, but making
suitable selections from your note-book. And such a note-book yours must
be! With God's blessing such pictures are likely to do the medical
mission cause good, and to gain for it new friends to fill the place of
old ones. Verily the cause needs new recruits. Miller away, Coldstream
away, Jackson away, Craigie away, and others. Ah! Thomson, when shall we
who are graciously allowed to remain labour for Christ as we ought, with
our money, our gifts, and all that God has been pleased to bestow upon
us? When shall we convert the _meum_ into the _tuum_, and look upon all
that we possess as Christ's, and only His? You mention that you and dear
Mrs. B. T. try to hold up my hands at family worship and at your
prayer-meetings. Let me tell you, for your encouragement, I feel it–I
know it. I was never so happy all my life as I am now. Not that I am
without troubles and trials of a very heavy description; but in spite of
them I rejoice–yea, in them I rejoice, for they drive me the oftener and
the quicker to the sheltering, sympathizing breast of Jesus. But in the
midst of much to discourage me–of which I shall speak by and bye–God is
graciously pleased to give me great reason for gladness and gratitude. I
rejoice that God has added two more Kashmiris to His Church. Yes, my
dear Thomson, I suppose you are, like me, gladly astonished. What a
large element of sheer unbelief there is in our faith! It is
nevertheless true that on Thursday last, in this very house of mine,
Abadu, clerk or moonshee, and Alunad Jan, shawl-maker, were both
baptized by the Rev. Mr. ––, in presence of the medical mission
servants. The men were subjected to a very searching examination as to
the reason of the faith which they were professing, and their answers
were very satisfactory. May the Lord _keep_ these two men, and spare
them to become preachers of His gospel to their perishing
fellow-countrymen! They both possess very fair abilities, and it is my
intention, God willing, to take them with me to the Punjaub for further
instruction, should I, at the end of this season, be compelled to leave
the valley."

"_Srinagar, 2d Sept. 1867._–MY DEAR M.,–I long to hear from you. How are
you and Mrs. M. in this season of sudden death?...

"I don't forget you, my dear M. How sweet a thought it is to know that
Jesus never forgets His people–any of His people. Oh, if we were only
wise enough to open wide all the doors and windows of our souls, that
the sunshine might come in to cheer and gladden us! 'Rejoice evermore!'
Let me hear soon, if you have a moment to spare."

"_Srinagar, 28th Sept. 1867._–MY DEAR MRS. THOMSON,–Your long and most
interesting letter of the 14th June duly reached me and is now before
me. Let me tell you, by way of a secret, that such goods always bring a
high, very high, price in this out-of-the-way market. I heartily pity
those missionaries who are not blessed with such letters! Speak a word,
a quiet word, for the Punjaub to your young friends. There are several
ploughs here, standing waiting for good, sturdy, loving, faithful hands
to guide them. 'Come over and help us!' I am glad to hear you have taken
up the poor female city Arabs. Pardon me for saying it–I think in some
respects they are worse than the male ones. I am of opinion that, if
there were no female Arabs, by and bye there would be no male Arabs. Get
the females of a people put to rights, and the males will soon improve.
There have been few good men who hadn't good mothers. If all this be
true, you will naturally ask me, What about poor India, where woman is
so degraded and unapproachable–what hope is there for her? Comparatively
little, humanly speaking, I reply, so long as the women of India occupy
their present condition. You have heard of female medical missions. I
think they are likely, with the blessing of God, to help forward what
zenana work has been effecting."



It is time to set out on the march for Amritsar. Dr. Elmslie on this
occasion travelled to the plains by the Baramula Pass. He was detained
for some days at Dhanna, a little mountain village, on the journey,
owing to the illness of a friend whom he overtook. While there he
visited among the villagers, and enjoyed the comparative rest and
leisure which he much needed after the hard work of the summer. Here he
read Ruskin's "Ethics of the Dust." He always after associated that book
with the grand mountain scenery by which he was surrounded, and with the
sense of repose which followed that season of pressure. He writes to his

"_October, 1867._–If you knew all that has befallen me during the past
year,–the difficulties I have had to contend with in the prosecution of
my work, my anxiety during the epidemic of cholera when I went daily to
the city and spent hours among the sick and dying, you would say that
from my heart there ought to flow a river of gratitude towards that
gracious Father who has given me strength to bear up through it all.
Without Christ one can do nothing, but with Him we can do all things.
_Scarcely a day passes without my seeing a reason for the manner in
which God has trained me for His work._ God is truly all wise in all His
ways. I shall not give you special examples at present, but if spared to
meet after a year or two, we shall compare our charts, and mark the
goodness of our Heavenly Father to us in all the past.

  "Ill that God blesses is our good,
    And unblessed good is ill,
  And all is right that seems most wrong
    If it be His dear will."

"_Peshawur, near the Kyber Pass, 19th November, 1867._–At the Annual
Missionary Conference it was agreed that I should visit this part of the
mission field, and report as to the desirability of planting a Medical
Mission here. Accordingly my friend Wade and I left Amritsar on
Wednesday last, reaching Peshawur on Saturday. I have greatly enjoyed my
stay here, and am much interested in the operations of the missionaries
which are carried on chiefly among the warlike Affghans. The language
usually spoken is Pushtoo. I purpose, God willing, returning to Amritsar
on the 21st, finishing some writing work which I have on hand, and
afterwards setting out for Calcutta, in order to lay the whole state of
affairs in Kashmir before the Committee of the C. M. S. there.

"_Calcutta, 20th December, 1867._–MY EVER DEAREST MOTHER,–Before you
shall have received this letter another year must have begun its course.
Let me with all a son's love wish you, my mother, and best and truest
friend on earth, a very happy new year. May you this year get near to
our dear Redeemer,–may you be able to realize His comforting
presence,–may your faith in Him and in His great and marvellous work be
strong,–may your will be made submissive to our loving Father's
will,–and may you really consider that to depart and be with Christ is
far better than to remain here. These precious blessings I wish for
myself as well as for you. I commit myself to God's keeping; may He
graciously spare me to be a help and comfort to that dear mother who has
done so much on my account, and who now loves me as no earthly being
can. May I be spared to labour for Christ in poor unhappy Kashmir! May
God's rich blessing rest on my work. May He hear our prayers for the
political and spiritual emancipation of that unhappy country. Oh that
the spiritual darkness and tyranny and oppression which prevail in
Kashmir were dispersed,–that God would raise Him up a people to praise
Him there,–a people made free by the truth!

"I am sorry to tell you I have not been greatly encouraged by what I
have seen and heard since I came to Calcutta. Kashmir is far removed
from the head-quarters of the Indian Government, and few or none seem to
care much about that poor oppressed people. But we will give God no rest
from our prayers until He in His mercy and grace take pity on that
deplorable valley....

"I feel brimful of health again; very different from my state during the
cholera in Kashmir last season. Oh how very good God was to me during
that trying crisis. I shall never forget it,–never cease to be grateful
to Him who did so much for me then.

"I purpose, God willing, to leave this for the Punjaub next week....
Your ever loving and dutiful son, WILLIAM."

On the same day (_Calcutta, 20th December, 1867_) he wrote to his much
valued friend, Mr. Ritchie:–"Will you," he asks, "do a little commission
for me? Mrs. –– my old lodging-house keeper, was so kind to me when I
was under the cloud of adversity and trial, that I have never forgotten
her kindness. She gave me a six months' credit when my exchequer was
clean empty. Will you get the enclosed cheque for £5 cashed, and pay the
money to her, saying that it is a small token from me of my gratitude to
her for her kindness to me whilst a poor student in Edinburgh. May God
bless her and hers." These were days of sore trial, and yet Elmslie
never referred to them, but with thanksgiving. Again and again in these
pages we find him praising God for his early discipline. In the same
letter he says, "Many a time do I think of you, and the many happy days
we spent together–the days of our college life–those were days full of
happiness, seasoned with trial and difficulty. They were the very
training we needed. We needed to have patience wrought in us–we needed
to be braced up for the surmounting of no ordinary trials and
difficulties, and our Father, in His wisdom and love, gave us the
schooling which we required to fit us for the great battle of life."

Dr. Elmslie returned from Calcutta to Amritsar, and at once wrote to his
beloved mother.

"_Amritsar, 22d January, 1868._–TO HIS MOTHER.–... I am once more in my
old quarters, having arrived here from Calcutta two days ago. I have now
before me your two letters, which I shall answer bit by bit. You cannot
tell what joy it gives me to know that you approve of my having stayed
among the suffering inhabitants of Srinagar during the terrible plague.
You say you are living in hope that God may be pleased to spare us to
meet. The fourth year of my absence from you has begun, and at the end
of the fifth year, it is my intention to avail myself of the opportunity
I shall then have to return home to see you....

"Alas for my poor friend B., I fear his genius was of the unsanctified
kind, which brings little or no joy or peace to its possessor. To be
happy is to seek, _first_, the kingdom of heaven.... This world is a
great school: poor –– has very difficult lessons to learn in it; may God
help him. I find all my past experience useful. Our lessons are
sometimes very disagreeable, but only let God our heavenly Father be our
teacher, and they will all prove profitable. How kind God's people are
to you, dear mother. It is a great comfort to me to know that so many
show you kindness. May God bless them for it. Now I must tell you
something more about my visit to Calcutta. It was arranged by Mr.
Stuart, Secretary of the Church Mission Society, that I should have the
privilege of an interview with the Governor-General, Sir John Lawrence.
His Excellency invited me to breakfast with him on the 2d. He received
me very kindly, his private secretary read prayers, after which we went
to breakfast. I was the only stranger present, and he spoke freely on
the subject of Kashmir, and the frontiers generally. He asked me many
questions, and appeared to take an interest in the mission, to which he
has all along contributed. The Government now know the condition of
Kashmir.... Pray much for Kashmir, dear mother. I am sure you will be
glad to hear that Sir Donald M‛Leod, in his report of the cholera which
raged in the Punjaub last summer, makes honourable mention of the names
of those who did valuable service during the epidemic; the name of your
son Willie is in the list! This is a very small matter to us, dearest
mother. I hope we work from love to Jesus, and never for the praise of
men. Still I value the praise of good men; the opinion of bad men I
reckon as the dust in the balance,–valueless....

"I have re-opened my dispensary here.... Now may the Lord bless you, and
keep you, and comfort you throughout this year.–Your ever loving son."

Again he writes to his mother from the same place:–

"_6th Feb. 1868._–MY EVER DEAR MOTHER,–I have but a few minutes to write
to you to-day, but I cannot let the mail go without a line for you. I am
thankful to say I am well, with the exception of a cold, which is now on
the wane. The people are coming to me in ever-increasing numbers; there
is a wonderfully attractive power in kindness, dearest mother, and God
does enable me to be kind and gentle with those poor people. Oh that
they only knew the true God and Jesus,–the loving, gentle One.

"I have just heard good news.... A gentleman of great ability and
Christian character has been appointed as Resident in Kashmir this year.
His name is the Hon. Mr. Roberts, C.B., Judicial Commissioner of the
Punjaub. I hope the day of liberty for my poor groaning Kashmiris is
near at hand; they are doubly enslaved; they need political as well as
religious liberty. God helping me, I shall do my utmost to put them in
possession of both. What a delicious pleasure to be helpful in breaking
one link in the chains of the slave! Pray much and earnestly for the
emancipation of Kashmir.

"May the rich blessing of God ever rest upon you, to comfort you now and
to ripen you for glory.–Your ever loving and dutiful son, WILLIE."

A few days later he writes as follows to Colonel Lake:–

"_Amritsar, 22d February, 1868._–You ask me to give you further
information respecting the work of last season, and the time I have
spent since I left Kashmir. If I remember rightly, my last letter to you
was dated about July of last year, just at the time when cholera was at
its acme in Srinagar. It raged furiously the whole of that month; and
although the type of the epidemic was not of a very virulent nature,
still great numbers were carried off. It was especially fatal among
women and children. Towards the beginning of August, the virulence of
the disease had decidedly abated, and by the end of that month, scarcely
a case occurred in the whole city. It had entirely left the city by the
15th September. The epidemic, therefore, lasted from the 8th June till
the 15th September, a duration of more than three months. It is very sad
to have to state, that the local authorities, with unheard-of cruelty, did
all in their power to prevent me visiting the poor, pestilence-stricken
inhabitants of Srinagar. They had the effrontery to request the
British Resident to prohibit my frequenting the city for the
purpose of visiting the sick. This, he said, he would not do. I feel
quite sure that, had the local Government acceded to my offer to
co-operate with them in battling the common enemy, the mortality would
have been less, with God's blessing on our efforts. But, as I said, they
did everything in their power to prevent and frustrate my efforts to
assist the poor people, who were left in the hands of the ignorant,
cruel, and mercenary Hakims. The neglect, cruelty, and rapacity which I
witnessed during that epidemic are inconceivable. As a specimen, I may
mention this fact: When the cholera was at its worst, it was announced
in the city, that His Highness the Maharajah had discovered an effectual
cure for the disease. This cure consisted of a printed _manthar_ or
charm, which was to be repeated, and pasted above the doors of the
houses. This charm, it was announced, was not only curative, but
preventive also. Each copy cost four annas (sixpence), and was to be had
at the Maharajah's post-office. I went and bought several copies. I have
them in my possession now. Large numbers of the Hindoos bought them;
but, poor people, they soon discovered their inefficiency. I could
mention more things of a piece with this, but space forbids."

"_Amritsar, March 28th, 1868._–TO HIS MOTHER.–I am now preparing for
another campaign in Kashmir, and have closed the Dispensary in Amritsar
to-day. I purpose going by the same route as last year. I send you a
photograph of one of the passes which we shall have to cross.

"In Amritsar, the Medical Mission Dispensary was open from the 23d
January till the 28th March, 1868, during which time five hundred and
fifty-seven patients were treated. The mode of conducting the operations
of the Dispensary was similar to that followed in Kashmir. One Mussulman
and one Hindu were greatly roused by the preaching of the Gospel; may
they have no rest till they find it in Jesus."



The following short note from Dr. Elmslie to his mother forms a suitable
introduction to another season's work in Kashmir:–

"_Srinagar, Kashmir, 14th May 1868_–.... I am once more in Kashmir, in
my old house on the banks of the broad-bosomed Jhelum. I travelled from
the Punjaub by the Rattan Pir,–many an extensive field of snow I had to
cross, many a stiff climb to make. We had some interesting meetings with
sick on the way, and now my dispensary is in full working order in
Srinagar. The people are flocking to me. I have heard rumours of
opposition, but as yet have not experienced it this year. The common
people love me, and hear me gladly; it is a very sweet thing to be loved
by the poor and needy. The demand for shawls is low just now, and the
consequence is that there is much distress among the shawl makers. They
are selling work at half its proper value, in order to save themselves
from starving.

"TO C. J. RODGERS, ESQ.–My mental food on the journey was Boswell's Life
of Johnson. It has given me many a good laugh, and much instruction. It
is a delightful book. How severe the old lexicographer is on the Scotch!
Never mind, we can bear it. All he says is sheer abuse, and will not
harm us.

"TO MRS. CLEGHORN.–I arrived here on the 1st instant, and have now my
dispensary in vigorous working order. How I long to be allowed to settle
here, and to carry on my work without these periodical breaks! I am like
Noah's dove. The work greatly suffers by these frequent interruptions;
as you can easily fancy. Will you make this a matter of prayer? I long
for an hospital too; that is another desideratum for both the medical
and the spiritual work. If you saw the shifts I have to make, you would
be amazed and smile. But I firmly believe that there is a better day in
store for poor Kashmir. I need not now tell you of my griefs and
disappointments and discouragements; suffice it to say, I have all
these. But should we expect to be different from our Divine Lord? It is
enough for the disciple to be as his Lord. I count upon your prayers.

"One of the two converts of last season is reported to have died in
Amritsar, shortly after his arrival there. They say he died declaring
his firm faith in Jesus. The other convert must have left Amritsar
before my return, for I was unable to find him."

"_Journal, Sunday, May 10th._–Church in the morning. Many pretty things
in the sermon, but little theology. I had my old friends the blind and
lame for their service in the afternoon, and distributed alms among
them. In the evening feasted on Conybeare and Howson's Life of St. Paul,
taking notes of all that is most valuable in the book. Received letters
from Dr. Bell, E. M. M. S., and from Brinckman; greatly tempted to open

Dr. Elmslie never opened his letters on Sabbath, fearing lest some of
their contents should be of such a nature as might distract his mind
from spiritual things; he often found good reason to confirm him in this

"_Journal._–Help me, O Father, in striving to do Thy will! Make my every
motive pure! May love to Christ be the grand motive power within me! I
think I have some genuine love to my precious Saviour, but it is not
enough, alas! it is deplorably small; O increase it, Lord!"

To a friend he writes,–"I am sorry to hear you say you are cold. You
must be in the shade. Come out into the _sunshine_. Coldness is a sign
of diminished vitality, and if your spiritual vitality is lessened, then
there must be some obstructing cause at work preventing the vitalizing
sap from flowing out of the great Root into you, one of the branches.
Make an examination, and may you detect the baneful cause, and have
grace given you to remove it immediately."

"_13th._–Had a large reception of sick in early morning. Resumed study
of Kashmiri with my pundit. Dined with –– in the evening. I thank Thee,
O God, for any measure of boldness Thou didst give me to speak out on
several points.

"_14th._–Began class with dressers and assistant for the study of
Materia Medica and Chemistry. Two sepoys attended the reception for the
sick to-day; they were importunate in imploring me to help them to get
away, for out of their nominal wage of six chilkies a month, they never
receive more than three. Saw a lovely fire-fly this evening, a rare
thing here.

"_18th._–Number of patients very large to-day. Several operations.
Lambardar of Islamabad present, from whom I removed a cancerous tumour
in the neck two years ago; no appearance of return of cancer. Taught my
assistants and studied Kashmiri as usual. I am told that Nasir Shah has
prohibited the people from attending the Medical Mission Dispensary. If
a woman go, she is to be divorced from her husband; if a man go, he is
to be divorced from his wife. He is the leading Mussulman judge of the
city, and is spreading reports that the Doctor Sahib makes his medicines
of swine's flesh and blood. Before a marriage is celebrated the
officiating priest reads a proclamation that if either man or woman go
to the Doctor Sahib, there will be a divorce!

"_19th._–A poor sepoy came to the dispensary some days ago complaining
of severe pain; on examination, it was found that he is suffering from a
large abdominal aneurism. He told me he had been ordered off to Gilghil.
I wrote a short certificate stating that he was utterly unfit for such a
journey. He came to-day and told me he had shown his certificate to his
Colonel, and that he had fined him a year's pay, ordering him to set out
for Gilghil tomorrow; 3,000 sepoys have already gone.

"News from home not good; my mother is ill. Have written to ask the
Committee to sanction my return home next cold season. If this is right,
I ask God to grant it; if not for His glory, I sincerely trust that my
request may fall to the ground.

"_28th._–A large gathering of sick to-day. I feel nervous, and
irritable, and restless. O God, give me strength and grace, let Thy
blessing rest upon me in my work, or rather in Thy work, which Thou hast
been pleased to entrust to my care.

"_29th._–W. M., merchant, called on me to-day, to ask when the great
Sahib was coming to Kashmir to dispense justice. He told me that there
is no tariff of taxes, but that each official may charge what pleases
him at the time, and according to the influence and tact which the
merchant may have. On the Murree and Abbottabad roads the merchant is
compelled to unpack his goods at each stage, and the officer on duty has
power to make him pay anything he pleases. This man takes shawls and
cloth from Kashmir to Persia, selling them there for money and precious
stones, especially turquoises. He replied in answer to my question, as
to what would make Kashmir prosperous, that a code of good laws, or a
change in the administrators of those laws would be necessary. He added
that if the Maharajah would reign in person and afford opportunities for
the poor to make their wrongs known to himself, the state of the country
would be very different; the great Mogul Emperors took an active part in
the business of the State, and ever lent a ready ear to the complaints
of the poor. Where fidelity and principle are low, it is absolutely
necessary that the ruler of a State should exercise keen scrutiny over
his subordinates. In the evening I had an interesting conversation with
Sher Ali Khan, on one remarkable feature of Christianity, _i.e._, that
it takes cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart of man–that
it deals primarily with them.

"_30th._–Went with my assistants to the Nasim Bagh, where there is a
grove of most beautiful Chinar trees, planted by one of the Mogul
Emperors. We visited the prison on the Dal lake, and saw some men boring
a four pounder–they can make an eight pounder, but no larger. Saw men
bruising grain by means of a grinding stone driven by water. I was told
that there were no prisoners in jail at present, that the Maharajah had
caused the prisoners' quarters to be pulled down. I ascertained that
there were between two and three hundred prisoners within the prison
boundaries, but the officials were afraid of their making complaints of
the treatment which they receive from their keepers; it is said to be
very cruel. The lake is covered with water-lilies just now.

"_Sabbath, 31st._–One hundred and sixty-two patients today. One man told
me that his brother had beaten a cow so that blood had been drawn. He
was cast into prison, and previous to the arrival of the English, had
been removed he knew not where.

"Received letters from my brother, from Acklom, and from Dr. Farquhar.
It is very remarkable that my most welcome letters usually come on
Sundays, as if to tempt me to open them. Have felt happy to-day, and had
much of the spirit of prayer. My text for to-day–'He is faithful that

"_Srinagar, 6th May, 1868._–MY EVER DEAR MOTHER, (After some advices and
expressions of sorrow about her failing health, he writes): Those
infirmities of age will not pass away–will rather increase. Happy
thought it is that those very infirmities are but carriers to the shores
of a better land, where there is full, perfect, and endless joy. It is
this hope which gives resplendent glory to the sunset of the ransomed

On the 9th of June 1868, he writes to Lieut. Acklom:–... "The opposition
this year to my work in Kashmir is very much less than last. This is
shown beyond a doubt, by our numbers. Last year up to this date we had
three hundred and ten patients, this year during the same time the
numbers on the roll are seven hundred and fifty-nine. The mission this
year, so far as numbers go, is more prosperous than it has ever been.
For this I give God hearty thanks. The devil seemed to make a gigantic
effort to crush us, but thanks be to God, we still live and work. Your
last letter was precious to me; how marvellous it is that we who are in
ourselves impure, and unworthy, are nevertheless in the sight of God
perfectly holy and worthy, on account of the perfect holiness and
infinite worthiness of our adorable Divine Redeemer which are imputed to
us. Christ is our righteousness, as well as our everything else. Are we
not prone to forget this precious cheering Bible truth? Hence the
feebleness and gloom of many of God's people. The more we identify
ourselves with Christ, the holier, the happier, and the stronger we
become, for He is our righteousness, He is our joy, He is our rock. The
Christian needs to know the depravity, and the desperate wickedness of
his own heart, but having _known_ it somewhat, he requires to be ever
looking unto Jesus in whom we and God are revealed. Look steadily to
Jesus, dear Acklom, there sin is revealed, there love is revealed; there
is no danger of your forgetting your sins and their deserts if you look
to Jesus. Some say there is danger, but this is a great mistake, for
Jesus is the price–the infinitely valuable price which the loving Father
gave to atone for our sins, and to enable the Father, without doing
violence to His attributes of justice and holiness, to pardon, justify,
and save such sinful and unworthy creatures as we are. What beauty and
harmony there are in the Gospel scheme as made known to us in the
infallible word of God!"

To the same,–"_Srinagar, 8th July, 1868_.–I should say that the two
surest signs of a man's being a true Christian, are _growth_ and
_gladness_–growth in the Christian life,–the Christian graces–growth
manifest to the man's own consciousness, and manifest too to his fellow
Christians; and gladness rooted and grounded on what Christ, God's own
well beloved Son, has done for him, suffered for him in Gethsemane and
Calvary, and is now doing for him at God's right hand in heaven. There
is something wrong when a Christian is not a happy man. Considering
everything he ought to be the happiest of men. For myself I know that
whenever I have lost that serene and inexpressible feeling of a full and
filling joy, it has been caused by some cloud of unbelief, a looking
away from Jesus, a surrendering to the world or the devil, a forgetting
of the grand work of life. The Christian's joy is not a boisterous joy,
but is like the calm sunset peacefulness which pervades this fair valley
in the '_gloamin_.'"

"_Srinagar, August, 1868._–MY DEAR THOMSON,–I was grieved to learn that
you had been compelled to leave home in search of health. Three lectures
in one week, and then a ducking into the bargain! The old Martha spirit,
Thomson–the bustle and the lots of service. O that we could mix the
Martha and the Mary. What an excellent compound they do make. To
influence the world we need to be _full_, and running over with faith
and love. To be so we must often, Jesus-like, repair to the mountain
side, or desert place, _alone_. It is often a great blessing for a
Christian man to be laid aside for a little from the busy engrossing
pursuits of this high-pressure life, which in these days we are forced
to live. Even the Christian life is not exempt from this pernicious
feature of our age. God did not stop your work; He only modified it for
a season, and made praying your working. Doubtless the workers in prayer
are most successful. I often wish I had half a dozen old, faithful,
loving, lonely women, praying for me and my work. But though a _visit_
to the desert may refresh, we must not stay there, for sinners
now-a-days won't come after us as they went after John; and so I hope
dear Mrs. Thomson and you are again in the pit digging for diamonds. I
entirely agree with you in your remarks on the relative position which
piety and cleverness should hold in the medical missionary character.
Without any doubt, piety first, and then attainment. Nothing but the
cable of love to our precious Saviour, will be able to keep us fast to
our moorings in these stormy days. I have scarcely left time to speak
about my own work. So far as numbers go, this is by far the most
successful year of the Kashmir Medical Mission. We have treated nearly
2000 patients during the last two months. Opposition at present is
_asleep_, only asleep and nothing more. It cheers me greatly to know
that you remember me and Kashmir in your prayers."

"_Srinagar, 24th August, 1868._–MY DEAR ACKLOM,–It is too bad of me to
be so dilatory in writing to you, but the truth is, I have been in a sea
of troubles. My native doctor I found out to be a great thief, and I
gave him his leave immediately. This of course increased our work very
greatly. He was also a '_din-raiser_' and succeeded admirably. I fear he
has completely spoiled one of my native dressers,–Thomas,–whose conduct
this season has been far from satisfactory.... You complain of a cold
heart! The fact is our hearts–all human hearts–are as fickle as April or
the thermometer. It is well to remember that the connection between our
body and our affections is very intimate, and very often extremely
disadvantageous to the Christian. A heavy dinner, a sluggish liver, or
constipated bowels, will frequently freeze our affections, or rather
make them as flat as thunder does beer. But let us not brood over the
coldness. Our union to our blessed Saviour, and our possession of
eternal life through His merits, does not depend upon, or vary with our
feelings and affections,–were it so, this would make salvation like
Joseph's coat, of many colours. Remember Jesus' dying words, for they
are very precious, '_It is finished_.' What is finished? Man's
salvation. It is sad to think that we sinners, for whom the glorious
Jehovah gave up His only begotten Son, should have cold ungrateful
hearts towards Him who gave so much for us. _The place to warm our
hearts is the cross._"...

"_Srinagar, 2d October, 1868._–TO REV. MR. MALLETT.–Don't you think we
are apt to forget that we have not yet finished our spiritual education?
We are apt to forget that in all that befalls us, our heavenly Father is
making everything subservient and conducive to our spiritual nourishment
and growth in grace. What we need, you and I, M., is more of that
spirit–that Christ-like spirit, which, looking lovingly and confidingly
up into the Father's benign face, ever says, 'Father, not my will but
Thine be done.' If there is matter for thankfulness on my part in your
letter, there is in my circumstances much which ought to make _you_
thankful when you compare your lot with mine. Here I am almost as lonely
as John in Patmos. Without a tender loving wife to cheer me with her
hearty sympathy. This great blessing _you_ have, and doubtless you feel
very grateful to God for the blessing. How expansive our capacity for
happiness is. In all probability before you were married, you thought if
you only had a wife you would be contented and happy. You got the wife,
and now want something else. And doubtless if you got that something
else, you would long for something more. Don't you think that this fact
of our spiritual nature points to the strong probability of there being
a future state? This is an argument apart from the Scriptures. This
thought in passing."...

"_Srinagar, 5th October, 1868._–MY DEAR MOTHER,–Long ere now you will
have got my letter, in which I tell you that although the Church
Missionary Society in Salisbury Square, London, have most generously
granted me permission to visit home this cold season, instead of next
winter, according to agreement, I have after much thought and prayer,
decided on _not_ going home till the close of next year, as was
previously arranged.... I am busy collecting materials to make a
Dictionary of the Kashmiri language, of which there is not one. I hope
when I come home, to employ part of my time in having it published....
Then again, dearest mother, one or two natives are in a very promising
religious condition. I should like to be with them a little longer
before making a considerable break in my visits to the valley.... I feel
greatly drawn to this unfortunate country and people. The power of
sympathy and kind deeds has very greatly melted their prejudice,
bigotry, and ill will, and gained for the precious Gospel a patient and
dispassionate hearing. The people generally now consider me their
friend, and it would do your old heart good, and lift it up in warm
gratitude to God, to hear the poor people praying for blessings on the
head of your dear Willie. This is all God's doing, for He alone has
given me a heart willing and capable to sympathise with these poor
people, and to help them in their distress. I know that my presence here
has some influence for good on the heartless, bigoted, and tyrannical
government which rules over this most beautiful country. Pray much for
us, dearest mother."

A few days before closing the dispensary, Dr. Elmslie wrote a long
letter to Mrs. Lake, from which the following passages are taken:–

"_Srinagar, 12th October, 1868._–I fear medical missions are not likely
soon to spread in the Punjaub, or, indeed, anywhere else. Men and money
are so scarce. You will be sorry to learn that nothing has, as yet, been
done with respect to the training of native medical missionaries. I
refer to the Lahore Medical Missionary Training Institution. I think the
friends of this most needful and feasible scheme are waiting to see the
good people of the North-West carry out their intention of setting on
foot such an Institution. I think this delay is a pity, because their
success is not likely to benefit the Punjaub. They will have enough to
do to supply home, not to speak of exporting. And I fear, even if the
Institution of the North-West prove a success, that we in the Punjaub
shall not be able to prevail upon our Punjaubi converts to go all the
way to Agra or Allahabad for their medical education. Besides, in my
opinion, this is altogether unnecessary, seeing we have a good Medical
School in Lahore.

"You and Colonel Lake will be happy to learn that this year, so far as
medicine and surgery are concerned, has been very successful,–indeed,
the most successful year the mission has yet seen. From the 8th May last
till the 12th October, to-day, a period of five months and four days,
4161 individual patients have received medical and surgical aid at the
Mission Dispensary. All these persons have heard the gospel, more or
less, and many of them have obtained books. Many of these people come
very considerable distances. We have had several merchants from the
interior of Asia as patients. Some of these have seen the Russians. But
nearly the whole of the number are Kashmiris, living in the valley or on
the surrounding mountains. Those people are much less bigoted than
formerly. We can speak to them much more freely and plainly, without
fear of offending them, and a very large number of the inhabitants of
the valley, both high and low, now look upon us as their friends, and,
in their difficulties and sorrows, come to us for advice and sympathy.

"As to decided converts, there is none this season. One family is in a
very hopeful condition, as also my pundit. They are nothing more than
hopeful. May God reveal Himself in Christ to them, and influence their
hearts with love to Him, for what He has done for them.

"A little progress is being made in the valley. The first school
established in Kashmir by the Maharajah has just been opened. Its
history is the following. The father of the family of which I have
already spoken, was particularly desirous that his two sons, two very
fine lads, should learn a little English. He asked me if I would teach
them. I said I had not time to do so, for my medical and other duties;
but I would allow one of my assistants, who knew a little English, to
teach his sons. One of the two lads has been very regular in his
attendance, and has made some progress. A report of all this was carried
to the Diwan, the Maharajah's representative in the valley. Thereafter,
a vigorous effort was made to get the father to give up sending his son
to the mission bungalow to learn English. The effort failed, however.
The father, I must tell you, is a Pathan, and is not so much afraid of
the Kashmir Government as indigenous Kashmiris generally are. The
Maharajah, in due time, received a full account of all that was going
on; and His Highness, after some time, gave orders for the opening of a
school for the teaching of Arabic, and desired the Diwan to try to
prevail upon Sher Ali, my Pathan friend, to desist from sending his sons
to the Doctor Sahib to receive instruction in English. In this effort, I
am happy to say, the Diwan has failed. The boys come daily to us. This
class for Arabic, got up primarily to decoy Sher Ali's sons away from
us, is the _first Government school_ the valley has seen during the
reign of Gulab Sing and his son, the present Maharajah. The class, I am
told, is intended exclusively for the sons of those who may be called
the nobility of Kashmir. It is a pity the language was not Persian, and
the school intended for any who was willing to attend. This is trying to
boil the kettle from above."

The dispensary was closed on the 19th October, and Dr. Elmslie and his
assistants returned to Amritsar.

Shortly after his arrival in Amritsar, he had a pretty smart attack of
fever, to which he thus refers.

"_Amritsar, 22d December, 1868._–MY DEAR MALLETT,–I would have written
to you before this time, had I not been in the sick list for the last
three weeks. I have had a very sharp blow of intermittent fever, which
has extracted all the pith out of me, besides running off with a good
many pounds of my flesh. However, I am mending rapidly now, and expect
soon to be myself again–I mean as to strength. The less we are ourselves
the better, dear Mallett. Oh, to be more Christ-like, to have more of
His wise, humble, submissive, loving mind. The mind of Christ! What a
treasure to have! May our heavenly Father graciously grant you and me
more and more of it.... I have _put off_ my visit home for another year.
The parent Society (Church Missionary Society) were most gracious in
granting me leave to go home this cold season. A whole year sooner than
the time specified when I left England. How is God's work prospering
with you? Dear Mallett, let me wish you and Mrs. Mallett a very happy
Christmas and New Year. If the dear Saviour is present with you, then
assuredly Christmas cannot but be happy. For if we have everything else,
and want Jesus, then the season is no _Christmas_, but a worldly and
sensual occasion. May the Master preside at His own feast, and make you
His guests really happy."



The work of Dr. Elmslie since he came to India, has been detailed so
fully, that a brief notice of this his fifth year's labours may suffice.
In Amritsar the dispensary was opened in the cold season as usual, and
upwards of six hundred patients were treated, surgically and medically.
When it was closed, he again betook himself to Srinagar to toil amongst
his much loved Kashmiris.

"_Srinagar, 7th May, 1869._–MY DEAREST MOTHER,–Just before departing
from Lahore on the 14th April, I wrote a brief letter to you, telling
you I was well and happy, and was to start for Kashmir for the fifth
time. I am now, dearest mother, able to tell you that our heavenly
Father has vouchsafed to me and the mission servants, a safe journey
over those lofty mountains that raise their snow-covered heads so
proudly up to heaven. Last year, or the year before, I gave you some
particulars respecting this interesting route. You may remember that I
mentioned that the road by which I have come to Kashmir this year, was
the route followed by those splendid emperors who lived in Delhi as
their capital, and ruled over nearly the whole of India. All along the
route there are remains–ruins–of their serais or rest-houses, and right
imperial those wayside inns must have been in the days of yore. But the
glory hath departed, and the imagination has now to people them with
emperors and their queens and their gorgeous retinues. You may remember
too, that I told you formerly that we have to cross two mountain passes
that lie in our way. The first one is called the Pass of the Ratan Pir,
which is some seven thousand feet above the level of the sea, and is
covered with the dark green pine and the beautiful rhododendron. The
other pass is that of the Haji Pir, and is about seven thousand four
hundred feet above the sea. This pass is neither so beautiful nor so
easy to cross, for in ascending to it we had to make steps out of the
snow that lay on its face. And then on reaching the ridge, mile upon
mile of dazzling white snow lay before us. It is impossible to do
justice to the view. It was one of surpassing grandeur, purifying and
elevating the soul to that glorious and almighty God, who by the word of
His power had called this beauty and grandeur into existence. One would
think that the inhabitants of this lovely valley, and those grand lofty
mountains would be purified, and have their devotional feelings raised
to God their Creator. But sad to tell it is not so. The extensive,
unsurpassed, and varied beauty and grandeur with which they are ever
surrounded, falls upon them without effect, as if they had no more soul
than the beasts that perish. If I remember rightly, I sent you a
photograph of the snowy Haji Pir Pass. We reached Srinagar on the 30th
April, having been a fortnight on the march, which, as has been my wont,
I did on foot, walking every inch of the way. On the march, at each
halting place, we gave notice that we should see all the sick who should
come to us, and prescribe for them. This news soon brought us an
interesting group of patients with their friends, some of them as usual
coming from great distances. The Gospel of life and love was then
preached to those perishing ones. Some listened wonderingly, others
listened unbelievingly and unaffectedly. But the message of life through
Jesus Christ, God's own dear and well-beloved Son, was preached, and the
seed of the Word may have fallen into the rifts of some rocky hearts,
and may at some future time spring up and come to fruit to the praise
and glory of God. My work, dearest mother, is very much that of a sower.
I may never see much of the fruit of my labours. Blessed be God, He has
vouchsafed to let me see some,–some among my own countrymen, and some
among the heathen. An officer in the army, and one who is related to the
highest authorities in India, has come all the way to Kashmir to see me,
because he regards me as his spiritual father. God blessed to his soul a
discussion which I had with a gentleman, one night at dinner, two years
ago. What a glory it is to receive from God, to be the means, in the
hands of the Holy Spirit, of leading a sin-laden soul to Jesus, the
Divine burden-bearer. I tell you these things, dearest mother, to cheer
and comfort you. After considerable delay and trouble, I got my
dispensary into working order, and began operations yesterday. You will
be happy to learn that the attendance yesterday was larger than it ever
was before, on the first day of the season.–Your own loving, and dutiful
son, WILLIE."

"_Journal, 6th May._–To-day opened dispensary. I, and Qadir Bakhsh, and
the two dressers met in the dispensary, and all kneeling down, implored
the blessing of that God whose servants we are. I felt much affected,
and had my heart greatly drawn out in prayer. I felt my joy and faith
increased. After thus placing ourselves and the work in God's hands, we
went to the tent pitched on the lawn behind the mission bungalow, and
there were found sixteen patients with their friends assembled. Part of
the Sermon on the Mount was read to the suffering and interesting little
group, who were seated on the velvety grass; and briefly, simply, and
practically explained to them. The quiet and the attention of the little
company were marked. After the short address, a brief prayer was offered
up for the Divine blessing, and this ended the religious exercises. The
medical and surgical part of the proceedings then began. One of the
patients present was the brother of the chief judge of the valley.

"_10th May._–A large turn out of patients to-day. Began an hour earlier.
Snow rapidly melting on the mountains. Have bread as good as English
every day. Had greens to-day to dinner. No potatoes, because too dear.
Air fragrant with the odour of the Iris. The Iris is generally found
covering the graves of the Mussulmans–three kinds, the white, the
purple, the yellow. I am greatly cheered by the remarkably unusual
spirit of inquiry that prevails among the people, both Hindoos and
Mussulmans. All day long some one is present, with the catechist,
hearing him read and expound the Gospel, or discussing with him on the
subject of religion. Never before have I seen such readiness to converse
on religious subjects as this. May the Lord bring many to a saving
knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.

"_11th May._–A large turn out of patients. Numbers important, because
more hear the Gospel. This afternoon there was a dense mist over the

"_15th May._–Heavy rain this morning, and in consequence, a small number
of patients present. At Kashmiri the most of the day. The change in the
people for the better is most remarkable. God be praised.

"_16th May._–Heavy work this morning, from the large number of patients.
Must take the women and the men on alternate days. The pundits are
greatly at a loss to account for my annual visit to the valley. Other
doctors, they say, came to Kashmir for one, or at most perhaps two
years; they go away and are no more heard of, but the Daktar Sahib comes
every year. This is wonderful. At worship in forenoon and evening, had
my heart much drawn out in prayer.

"_17th May._–Astonished the people twice to-day, by quoting two of their
own proverbs correctly, in their own language, and appositely. I must
push on with my study of the Kashmiri proverbs."

The following particulars are from Dr. E.'s last report:–

"It is greatly to be deplored that the Medical Mission, notwithstanding
its charitable and beneficent character, still unavoidably labours under
great difficulties, from want of permanent and suitable hospital and
dispensary buildings.

"The patients who frequent the Medical Mission Dispensary generally
belong to the lower and middle classes. But last season, two of the
higher officials of the valley, who had been ill for some time, and had
spent considerable sums of money on their native hakims, but were
nothing bettered, at last applied in their helplessness to the Medical
Mission Dispensary, and, after taking appropriate remedies for a time,
were both restored to perfect health, and as no fees are taken from
dispensary patients, they are held perpetual debtors to the mission.

"From the 6th May, when the dispensary was opened, till the 25th of
October, 169 receptions for the sick were held, and 3,902 patients
received surgical and medical treatment. The average daily attendance of
new patients was therefore twenty-three, and as the number of individual
visits paid during the season was 15,579, the average daily attendance
of old and new patients was ninety-three. Each patient, on an average,
visited the dispensary four times.

"In the evangelistic branch of the mission's operations, much precious
seed was sown. God grant that it may not remain fruitless. In no former
season were demands for copies of the Holy Scriptures, and other
religious books, so numerous and importunate. The works of the Rev.
Moulvie Imad ud din, of the Amritsar Mission, were in especial request.
Two Mullahs or Mussulman priests, who had heard of his well-known work,
the 'Hidaiyat ul Musulmin,' came to the dispensary from a distant part
of the surrounding mountains to obtain a copy.

"The Sunday afternoon meetings with the beggars and incurably blind and
lame of Srinagar were held regularly, as in former seasons. Every Sunday
afternoon at one o'clock, from sixty to eighty of those unfortunates
assembled on the lawn behind the mission bungalow, or near to the
mission tents.

"Several Kashmiris were, as far as man could see, in a hopeful religious
state; but the character of the people, and the government of the valley
being what it is, great caution must be exercised in forming a judgment
from appearances for a short time. However, two male adults, of those
who had been in the habit of frequenting the mission during the season,
declared themselves Christians, and quitted the valley in the month of
November to go to the Punjaub, as it is impossible, under present
circumstances, for a native Christian to remain in Kashmir during the
winter months.

"_Srinagar 28th June, 1869._–DEAR MRS. THOMSON,–Yours of the 1st April
last reached me all safe, and received a hearty welcome. I hope the trip
to Biarritz has completely established the doctor's health; but
_soldiers_ must not think much about health, but go and do what their
captain commands, leaving health, and life, and all things in God's
hands. It is very cheering to hear of recruits coming to fill up the
gaps which are ever being made in the ranks. When will this cry
cease?–only when the native Christian Church takes firm root in those
lands whither Christian Europe and America are sending agents. What a
pity it is that many of those western recruits appear desirous of
perpetuating the present needy and feeble state of the Church in the
East. Would that the natives of India, China, Africa, and the islands of
the sea, were strong enough to carry on their Christian war, unaided
from without. It is pleasing to know that the native ranks are being
filled up with men of the right stamp–men of courage, faith, and holy
zeal. You have, doubtless, heard long ago of Dr. Gray's death in
Rajpootana. How brief his career! Was not his death lonely!–lonely as to
man–but Jesus and the angels may have been in greater force for its
human loneliness. How inscrutable are God's dealings with His people!
The cry is for men, and when the men come, many of them are called hence
before they have well begun their great work. Gideon did with his
handful of men better than he would have done with his thousands. So
does God. What a privilege it is to be among the number of God's chosen
ones–God's picked men. May we be humble and thankful.

"I am again busy at work in this fairest spot of God's earth. After a
very pleasant journey from Amritsar, over the Himalayas, I arrived here
on the 30th April last, and began work a few days after. On the march to
the valley, we had some interesting work–partly medical, and partly
evangelistic. The mission is becoming so well known in these mountainous
regions, that the poor people look out for our return in spring, as they
do for that of the swallow. The people's knowledge of Christ, and the
plan of salvation, is yearly growing. I trust there is at least a
leavening process going on in these mountains–a sowing of seed–precious
seed–which, when the fulness of time is come, will bear much fruit. The
mission in the valley is gaining more and more influence, and is being
frequented by ever-increasing numbers of sick. I am thankful that our
numbers are increasing, because the more bodily sick that come to us,
the more spiritually sick hear of the Balm of Gilead and the Great
Physician. During last month, the number of individual patients was well
on to a thousand. I have just been writing my report of last year's
work, and I see that our numbers increased to 1085 over what they had
been in the previous most successful season as to numbers. What a battle
of faith and patience I have had to fight here, dear Mrs. Thomson. But
it is delightful to fight, and to be like to win. There are signs of
softening in the opposition to the mission, I am happy and thankful to
say, but I cannot speak definitely of them yet. You will be happy to
hear of another Kashmiri being brought to Jesus. Lately I heard of an
old woman–the mother-in-law of one of the native catechists who have
accompanied me to the valley–having, on her return to her distant
village, after a visit to the medical mission in Srinagar, declared
herself a Christian, and after some months having fallen asleep in
Jesus. This is the first Kashmiri woman I have heard of to whom the Word
heard in the medical mission has been blessed. Her old son-in-law, Qadir
Bakhsh, who yearns over his fellow-countrymen, and longs and prays for
their salvation unceasingly, is greatly delighted that his dear relative
died in the faith of Jesus. I am writing this letter to you under a
tent, on the shores of a beautiful lake, near the city of Srinagar. What
is the reason of this, you will say. Well, I will tell you. Twenty days
ago it began to rain very heavily in the valley, and this continued for
twenty-six hours. The consequence was that the river–I believe the
ancient Hydaspes–rose high, and overflowed its banks, and inundated the
surrounding country. The Europeans, occupying the married quarters in
the station here, were obliged to quit their bungalows, and seek for
safety in their boats on the evening after the rain began to fall. As
the medical mission bungalow was situated on a higher level, by dint of
great exertions I was able, with assistance, to repel the advancing
waters till the morning of the third day of the flood; but on they
steadily came, and at last the embankment we had made gave way, and in
rushed the waters like a flood. In a very short time my out-houses were
washed away, and I and my servants had enough to do to get to a boat
with a few necessary things. I am glad to say my house stood the angry
assaults of the water, and at some risk we rescued all the mission
property from it. The river rose fourteen feet above its ordinary level.
The valley, as far as you could see, was one extensive lake, with its
surface diversified with beautiful clumps of leafy trees. The sight was
one long to be remembered for its great beauty. The loss sustained by
the Maharajah and the cultivators of the soil, must be very
considerable, as the first crop of the year was about mature when the
rain came. The mission bungalow was greatly damaged by the water, but it
has been repaired, and I hope to be able to return to it in a few days
now. I have been carrying on my work here as well as I can under present
adverse circumstances. I hope this calamity may turn out for the
furtherance of the gospel in Kashmir.

"As to my coming home, it is still uncertain when I shall leave India.
If it were not to see my dear mother, whose health has been very feeble
for some months, I don't think I should take advantage of the
opportunity which I shall have at the end of the year of visiting home,
for I am becoming more and more interested in my work and the people,
amongst whom God has seen fit to cast my lot. However, if I do come
home, to see you and the doctor, and to tell each other how great things
the Lord hath done for our souls, will not be the least of our

The very day Dr. Elmslie penned these lines in Srinagar his mother, over
and above her usual ailments, was seized with congestion of the lungs,
which, acting on an enfeebled system, carried her in a few days to her

As Mrs. Elmslie fills a prominent place in this Memoir, it would be
unseemly to let her pass away without a parting word. Her influence over
her son for good was unquestionably very great, and he loved and
cherished her with the most intense affection. For such a mother it
would have rejoiced us to record an "_abundant_ entrance." But that
pleasure is denied us. Continued bodily infirmity seems to have weakened
her naturally strong intellect, and she inclined latterly to brood over
her absent sons, rather than cultivate communion with a present Saviour,
and this was not favourable to the life of God in her soul. Still, when
she approached her end, there seemed a measure of sunshine on her path.
The medical attendant said to her, "I am sure no message you can leave
behind you for your sons will be so acceptable as the assurance that you
die with a strong hope of a blessed resurrection, and that all is well
with your soul." She replied, "Not a _strong_ hope, but with _a_ hope,"
and then she went on to quote several very appropriate promises out of
the Word of God.

In due course the news of her death reached Dr. Elmslie, and, writing to
his friend, Mr. Rodgers, he says (17th August 1869):–"You see, my dear
Rodgers, that I am become one of the mourners. My best and dearest
friend on earth is dead–my mother. You can more easily picture to
yourself my intense grief than I can describe it to you. Since Sabbath
last, I scarcely know what I have been about. I have been doing my work,
but I have had no mind for it. I was looking forward with great pleasure
to my going home to see my dear mother, and to gladden her aged heart
with the sunshine of my presence and love. But God had different things
in store for her and me." Poor Elmslie had not leisure to brood over his
distresses, for at this very time the surgeon of the station took it
into his head to run away from Srinagar, alleging, as his reason "for
deserting his post, the unhealthiness of the station! This is extremely
rich!" writes Dr. Elmslie. "Doctors, I thought, were specially for such
places! The result of the doctor's cowardly desertion has been to
increase my work very considerably, and that, too, much against my

Dr. Elmslie had for some time been giving his spare moments to a little
work, about which he thus writes to the Rev. E. C. Stuart:–

"_Srinagar, 24th September 1869._–MY DEAR FRIEND,–As I promised in my
last letter to you, I despatched by post two days ago a translation in
Kashmiri of Mr. Justice Campbell's list of words and phrases for testing
the radical affinities of languages. Will you kindly look over it, and
if you think it of any value, will you send it to the editor of the
Asiatic Society's _Journal_. I have purposely made my translation full
on one or two points–fuller, perhaps, than some may think necessary.
Still, that is an error on the safe side. For example, I have given,
under the head of phrases, several translations–some verbal
translations–of the English with the Kashmiri government, and others
where the English meaning is expressed according to the _idiom_, as well
as the mere rules of Kashmiri grammar. I hope the little paper will be
of some interest. Of this I am very sure, without any boasting, that it
is the most correct thing that has been written on the language of this
interesting people. The mistakes that have been made by those who have
written on Kashmiri–and two or three persons have done so–are very
amusing. One gentleman, for example, has confounded the verb 'to be'
with the termination of the plural. He evidently did not see that his
teacher gave him the verb 'to be' with the declension of the noun, to
point out its, the noun's, gender and number. But enough on this head."



It is now very generally believed, by those interested in the extension
of the Redeemer's kingdom, that, if Heathendom is ever to be brought
over to Christ, it must be by _native agents_. Dr. Elmslie was fully
convinced of this before he went to Kashmir, and his Indian experience
deepened the conviction. He set himself, therefore, to excogitate a plan
whereby native medical missionaries might be trained on the spot. He
drew up a paper on the subject, which embodies much thought and careful
investigation, and submitted it to the Conference of the Church Mission,
and also to the Punjaub Medical Missionary Society. The following,
without the introductory sentences, is Dr. Elmslie's paper:–

"It may interest this Conference to know that, during the past year, I
have been asked to aid in establishing a medical mission at no fewer
than eight different stations in this extensive province.... To obtain,
at present, European medical missionaries for these numerous stations in
the Punjaub being all but hopeless, it behoves us to look around and see
whether or not we cannot, from the material which we already possess,
supply, in a great measure at least, our wants in this respect.

"No one, even for a moment, will maintain that a native agent is, in all
points, equal to a European one; but every one will readily admit that,
as to command of the vernacular, and an intimate acquaintance with the
manners, customs, and modes of thought of the inhabitants of this
colossal Empire, the former is greatly superior to the latter. What,
therefore, is lost in one way is gained in another; and while we are, on
no account, to slacken our efforts to import as many European agents as
we can find, and as the means at our command will allow, it is
manifestly wise and expedient on our part, to do our very utmost to rear
an efficient native medical mission agency.

"Though the different missions in the Punjaub are young, compared with
those of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, nevertheless, I am led to believe
that, with comparative ease, a little band of students, in every way
qualified as to head and heart, could be mustered from among them.

"Since my arrival in India, I have heard more than one experienced
missionary complain of the considerable difficulty met with in finding
agreeable and suitable employment for their better gifted and educated
converts. If facilities were afforded to this class of native Christians
to study medicine, with the view of devoting themselves to missionary
work in the capacity of doctors, it is highly probable that this
difficulty would, in some measure at least, be obviated, and much direct
Christian power and influence would be utilised and retained within the
pale of the Church, which, as things now are, is, comparatively
speaking, lost to her; for, I am given to understand, that many of the
young native Christians of good parts enter Government employ as
writers, &c., after quitting the higher mission schools and colleges,
and thus, of course, their direct influence and help are, to a great
extent, lost to the Church. This, we think, is more than she can at
present afford. She requires to husband her resources, and turn them to
the very best account. But further, on this head, in all probability,
and that at no very distant day, there will be lucrative and influential
openings in the large and prosperous cities of the Punjaub for private
native physicians and surgeons, who have been educated by European
teachers, as we find to be the case in the other large cities of the
Empire,–for example, in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, &c.; and it is
unquestionably most desirable that these openings, when they do occur,
should be occupied by native Christian men, whose example and influence
will be on the side of Christianity, and not by heathens, who will
perpetuate and thicken the awful surrounding darkness.

"With respect to the young medical missionary students, it is
imperatively incumbent on the ordained missionaries, in charge of the
missions from which they are respectively sent, to see well to it that
they are really converted men, so far as they are able to judge, and
have, more or less, a desire to serve God in direct mission work. Next
to this all-important and indispensable qualification, I think the
medical mission students, before beginning their proper professional
studies, should possess a competent knowledge of the English language,
and be well grounded in the Hindu and Mohammedan controversies, so that,
when favourable opportunities present themselves to them in their
intercourse with the people, they may be able, in a clear, quiet, and
affectionate manner, to give a reason for the faith that is in them, and
to show the glaring errors and absurdities of Hinduism, and the religion
of the false prophet. That they may do this efficiently, it is
absolutely necessary for the students to be intimately acquainted with
their Bibles.

"But, having found young men suitable, so far as we can judge, as to
faith and mental attainments, the next question that forces itself upon
our notice for consideration is, How are we to give these young men such
a medical education, as will be likely to command the respect and
patronage of their bigoted and adverse fellow-countrymen? At first
sight, this is a question which it is not easy to answer. Medicine, both
as a science and art, has of late years been so extended and developed
in every branch, that we hold it to be now utterly impossible for one
man, as formerly, to teach it efficiently and comprehensively. To do so
requires a staff of able teachers, an expensive apparatus, and, more or
less, suitable accommodation, all of which would entail such an enormous
amount of expense, as would put it completely out of our power to
possess an establishment, solely and exclusively, for medical mission
purposes. But, most fortunately for the feasibility of our scheme, such
an establishment already exists, and we need only to avail ourselves of
its advantages, to procure from it all that we can desire.

"In the Government Medical College, Lahore, with its experienced and
Christian Principal, Dr. Scriven, and his able colleagues, we possess a
medical school in every way suited to our present purpose. So much
regarding the medical mission students, and how they are to receive a
medical education that will really fit them for the very responsible
duties of their profession.

"But further, with whom are the medical students to reside, during their
stay in the capital and attendance at college? Who is to be their
helper, counsellor, and true friend, when they are far away from those
who had previously been all that to them? And who, above all things, is
to cherish the missionary spirit in them, and show them how to apply
their medical and surgical knowledge and skill to the spread of the
gospel? It appears to me that no one is nearly so well qualified for
this most important work as one who is himself performing the functions
of the medical missionary. In addition to the discharge of this duty,
the medical missionary would have ample time to carry on extensive
medical mission work in Lahore. Indeed, for the proper and complete
training of the medical missionary students, it is unquestionably
indispensable that he should do so. As some difficulty may be
experienced, at least for some time, in finding a suitable agent for
this important post, and as the necessary funds for carrying on this
part of the present plan may not be realisable just now, one of the
American missionaries resident in Lahore might be requested to allow the
students to live in his compound, and to take a friendly and Christian
interest in them, till a medical missionary arrives from home to assume
the whole superintendence.

"With reference to the extent of medical education which our students
should receive, I am of opinion that we should qualify them for becoming
practitioners, equal in attainments, at least, to the Government
sub-assistant surgeons.

"That we may get and retain the very best of the young men belonging to
the respective missions of the Punjaub, it is necessary, we think, to
hold out to them adequate inducements as to status and salary. Unless we
do so, we are likely to get inferior men, and, it is probable, the whole
scheme may thereby prove a failure. It is to be hoped, however, that the
Punjaub Medical Missionary Society, especially, will look to this point.

"I am very happy to be able to inform this meeting, that already some
progress has been made in collecting funds to defray the necessary
expenses of this scheme in its embryo beginnings. Dr. Henderson, one of
the Professors of the Lahore Medical College, undertook, at the
commencement of last hot season, to collect as much money as would be
sufficient for three scholarships of twelve rupees each a month, for one
year. I have little doubt that, if suitable young men come forward, we
shall soon find ourselves in the possession of funds, amply sufficient,
to defray the increased expenditure. From the little I know of the
Punjaub, I feel fully convinced, that our fellow-countrymen only require
to have a really needful and feasible scheme presented to them, to
elicit their generous liberality.

"Such, then, is a very brief and rough outline of the scheme I have to
propose respecting medical missions in this province. And I trust, if it
meet the approval of those now present, we shall soon see at Lahore, a
little band of Christian young men, preparing themselves for this
comparatively new and important sphere of Christian usefulness."

The scheme was very cordially approved by the members of the Conference,
and of the P. M. M. Society, and Sir Donald M‛Leod also spoke warmly in
its behalf.

"I have," he said, "carefully read the paper, drawn up by Dr. Elmslie,
on the subject of training native Christian youths for the duties of
medical missionaries; which paper was recently read by him at a
Conference of the Church Missionary Society, held at Amritsar, as well
as before a meeting of the Punjaub Medical Missionary Society.

"I have long been convinced, that medical missions are eminently
suitable and appropriate in the present circumstances of India, and
calculated, accordingly, to prove of the very greatest value and
importance here; and as I have, on many occasions, recorded my opinion
to this effect, I need not enlarge on it in this place.

"Holding, then, this opinion, I highly approve of Dr. Elmslie's
proposal, which I think likely, if carried out, to enable us to extend
medical missions much more rapidly and widely than we can hope to do in
any other way, at the same time that it adds another most important and
appropriate mode of employing and providing support for our native
Christians, to the very few which have, as yet, suggested themselves;
thus helping largely towards the solution of one of the most difficult
problems we have to solve, in respect to the heterogeneous bodies of
native Christians assembled, under the existing system, at our mission

Dr. Elmslie wished the native Christians to be educated up to the
standard of sub-assistant surgeon. "And I entirely agree with Dr.
Elmslie," writes Sir Donald M‛Leod, "in considering this to be a very
essential point."

The reader will observe that Dr. Elsmlie's paper altogether ignores the
valuable services which, as matter of fact, have been rendered to the
cause of medical missions, by "_non-qualified_" Christian natives in
Madagascar, Travancore, Madras, and other places. It is a valuable
document, notwithstanding, and will doubtless get due attention when the
subject of the training of native medical evangelists, and native
medical missionaries, receives the comprehensive and exhaustive
treatment which its importance merits.



Another subject of interest to Dr. Elmslie, and about which he wrote an
able paper, was _Female Medical Missionaries_.

This paper _in extenso_, may be found in the "_Indian Female
Evangelist_," for January 1873. The following abstract will indicate its

"_1st_, With the exception of the lowest classes, the women of India are
virtually prisoners in their own homes.

"_2d_, Their physical, intellectual, moral, and religious condition is
dark and deplorable.

"_3d_, Ameliorating influences, to be effectual, must be those which can
enter the Zenanas of India.

"_4th_, In those parts of India where education is prized by the men,
the Christian Zenana educationalist will generally be admitted.

"_5th_, Bengal, and one or two other parts of India, have shown a
laudable readiness, in accepting the invaluable boon of western science
and learning.

"_6th_, The Mussulmans of India have not, as a body, followed the good
example of the Bengalis and others, in accepting and promoting English

"_7th_, The Mussulmans, as a body, are not well disposed towards the
British rule in India.

"_8th_, Their Zenanas are generally closed against the European female
missionary, and, where exceptions to the contrary are met with, it is
feared that they are explicable by the fact of the heads of the
respective homes wishing to obtain favour with some missionary or
Government official for selfish ends.

"_9th_, The Government Medical Dispensaries are not patronized by the
females of India, in any due proportion to their numbers and wants.

"_10th_, The women of India are lamentably destitute of proper medical

"_11th_, The hakims, or native doctors of India, know nothing of the
diseases peculiar to women, and are seldom consulted in such cases.

"_12th_, The native nurses or midwives, who are virtually the only
doctors of the women of India, are grossly ignorant of their work, very
meddlesome in the discharge of their duties, and of most immoral

"_13th_, From the constitution of social life in India, neither European
nor native gentlemen can exert a direct influence for good on the female
portion of the community.

"These are some of the points which we have already touched, and the
question now arises, Is there no other key but that of education with
which to open the door to the inner social life of India? We think there
is certainly one other such key, and that key is female medical
missions. But what is meant by the phrase, female medical missions?

"A female medical mission may be defined to be the practice of medicine
by a lady, for the purpose not merely of curing, but of Christianizing
her patients. Now, it is not difficult to see, from what has been
already said, how admirably suited such an agency is to the present
condition and wants of the women of India. This is a key which may be
said to fit every lock, for we believe, that there are few, if any,
homes into which the lady medical missionary would not be heartily
welcomed and blessed for her humane efforts. She would find an entrance
where the educational missionary would find the door closed. She would
soften bigotry, remove prejudice, dispel ignorance, drive away gloom,
and unobtrusively, but nevertheless effectually, deposit the
all-pervading leaven of the Gospel in numberless hearts and homes.

"But are we justified by Scripture in employing such an agency in
missionary operations? No one who, even cursorily, reads the life of our
Divine Saviour, as contained in the four Gospels, can have any doubt on
this question. For of what was His blessed life made up, after He
entered upon His ministry, but of holy lessons and miracles of healing,
by which the loving spirit and divine origin of His mission were
incontestably proved? The friends of female medical missions to India
must be prepared to meet with no inconsiderable amount of opposition, on
conventional grounds, in their efforts to promote this undertaking. But,
it may be a comfort to them to remember, that no effort of a new shape,
to ameliorate the condition of mankind, and to spread the Gospel, ever
met _at first_ with anything but the most bitter and determined
opposition, and that, _too often_, from those of whom better things
might have been expected.

"A few words respecting the agents, and the professional training which
should fit them for the efficient discharge of their important duties,
seem necessary."

"They must be blessed," writes Dr. Elmslie, "with hearty devotion to the
Saviour's service, and with a sound head and loving heart. The question
_how_, and _when_, these agents may be trained, is gradually approaching
solution, but not in "mixed classes." "_Mixed classes cannot be
condemned in too severe language_," says Dr. Elmslie. It is well to
remember that there are two grades in this class of workers, as amongst
male medical missionaries–the qualified and the _non_-qualified. If the
lady is to be located in a sphere where she can fall back on the counsel
and support of the ordinary doctor, like the nurses in Madagascar, she
may be fitted for her duties in twelve months; but if she must labour
alone, with no one to aid in emergencies, she must be more thoroughly
equipped. Dr. Elmslie concludes his paper thus:–

"India is not now an entire stranger to female medical missions. In the
provinces of Northern India female medical missionaries are already at
work, lessening pain, saving life, and training native Christian women
for the same end. One lady medical missionary writes: 'We are always
treated with much respect in the Zenanas, and are called upon by all
classes of natives. Many of our patients are among the better class of
native ladies.' Another lady medical missionary has more work in the
best families where she is located than she can overtake, and that, too,
although she has let it be well known that she is a Christian
missionary, anxious to do all the good she can to the souls as well as
the bodies of her patients.

"In conclusion, if Florence Nightingale, a thorough English lady,–being
all that that term implies,–left home and friends, and went to Scutari
out of philanthropy, to nurse and doctor England's wounded and dying
soldiers, surely other ladies, who have it in their power, should see no
insuperable objections or difficulties in giving up home and going to
India, to nurse and doctor their needy and suffering sisters _for
Christ's sake_.

"At any rate, India needs female medical missionaries. India will
welcome them, India will bless them for their work; and many homes, now
dark, will be lighted up, through their labours, with the knowledge of
Him who is the Light of the world.

"Surely it is a thing incredible, that, among the many Christian
daughters of England, there are none brave and noble-minded enough to
undertake this work, which, of all works, most resembles that of the
great Master Himself, who, 'though He was _rich_, yet for our sakes
became _poor_, that we through His poverty might become rich;' and of
whom it is written, 'Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their
synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all
manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.' I have
given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."



The death of Dr. Elmslie's mother, which took place 6th July, 1869, was
a heavy blow to him. The severity of such a trial is measured by the
place the departed holds in our thoughts; and next to his Saviour, Dr.
Elmslie loved his mother, and lived for her. In his letters, and often
subsequently in conversation, he spoke mournfully of his great loss,
remarking, that by her removal his greatest attraction to home was gone.
But his stipulated time of service had expired; he needed rest; and
other considerations made it important he should return to England.

At Bombay, on his way to this country, in the early days of 1870, he
spent a fortnight with his former fellow-student Dr. Young. "We had many
conversations about our spheres of labour," writes Dr. Young, "and he
mentioned, as one of the greatest difficulties he had to contend with,
the careless way in which the Europeans lived before the natives,
especially in regard to the keeping of the Sabbath," adding, "I have
never tasted wine, or any kind of (intoxicating) drink since leaving
Scotland, that I might not be a stumbling-block to the Kashmiris; and
for the same reason, I never opened a home letter on the Lord's day
except once, when my dear mother was very ill. We cannot, as
missionaries, live too strictly for our Master."

Hearty welcomes awaited Dr. Elmslie in Britain. One deserves especial
notice. "I can never forget," writes a friend, "how, on Dr. Elmslie's
arrival in England, a father shook his hands, as the tears started to
his eyes on seeing him, and how he could say no more than 'You have
saved my boy!' It was not his body only that Dr. Elmslie was the means
of saving, during a dangerous illness, but he had been the means of
saving his soul."

In the spring, he came to Edinburgh, and was cordially welcomed to our
heart and home. He stayed with us most of the summer, renewing in the
city and neighbourhood former acquaintanceships and forming new ones. As
a token of "filial gratitude," as he called it, he undertook duty for
us, and sent us off to rusticate among the beauties of Braemar. Dr.
Elmslie's principal work at home was the preparation of a vocabulary of
the Kashmiri language. While busy putting the material together, he
consulted "a gentleman who professed to take a deep interest in Kashmir.
To this friend he submitted a portion of his MSS., requesting his advice
and aid in publication. The reply was that nothing could be said till
the opinion of a certain learned professor was obtained. After a
considerable time, a letter was received, which Elmslie characterised as
a regular _damper_, intimating, that another person had made an
excellent contribution on the same subject to a Journal in Calcutta, and
that Dr. Elmslie might do worse than not to push the matter further at
present. He was vexed at the coldness of the letter; surprised, but
delighted to hear of another worker in the same field, and once more
wrote to his friend, asking him if he could procure the name of the
person referred to. The professor took some trouble, and found amongst
his papers the contributor's designation, and it turned out that the
paper had been written by Dr. Elmslie himself." The vocabulary was, of
course, proceeded with; but it took much time, and he stuck so close to
his task, that he brought on a severe attack of "liver," the effects of
which he did not entirely shake off, so long as he remained in this
country. In October 1871, he writes us from London, "I have been busy
with my little book, and to-day I saw the first page in print. The
printer has promised to push on with it to the utmost of his power."
Next month he writes to Dr. Farquhar, "You will be happy to learn that
the small Kashmiri dictionary is making progress. We have got as far as
S. in the English-Kashmiri part, which comes first." The work was not
out of the hands of the publishers till Dr. Elmslie had returned to
India, and a completed copy, intended for him, reached Amritsar the day
after his death. "Their works do follow them."

Whatever seemed fitted to advance the cause of medical missions,
afforded pleasure to Dr. Elmslie. It is needless to say, therefore, that
when a _Convalescent Home_ seemed likely to be realised, as an adjunct
to a medical mission, through the generous kindness of a lady, it
awakened in him the liveliest interest. The only out-standing difficulty
was a suitable house; and for this Dr. Elmslie scanned the
advertisements as carefully as if seeking a home for himself. In the
country three tenements advertised seemed worthy of examination, and the
writer and he fixed March 6th for an expedition to the country for that
purpose. It was interesting and encouraging, in turning, on the morning
of the visit, to "_Daily Light on the Daily Path_," to find this verse,
"The Lord your God went in the way before you, to search you out a place
to pitch your tents in." The first house visited was St. Ann's Mount,
Polton, which was so commodious, and in every way so suitable, it seemed
as if built on purpose. Dr. Elmslie could not help recalling the
morning's Promise, and in one of the empty rooms of the house he pleaded
that the God who had guided, would grant possession, and make the home a
blessing to many destitute poor. That delightful retreat, which has now
been open for four seasons, is thus sweetly associated with our departed

From the time his attention was first turned to medical missions, the
Scripture argument for them bulked largely in his mind; but he always
felt that the full significance of it had never been brought out, and he
longed to see some giant intellect take it up and give it the treatment
it deserves. "In August, 1871," writes Dr. Young, "when Dr. Gauld and I
with our families were living at Braemar, Elmslie joined our party and
remained ten days with us. Elmslie's heart was then full of the
Scriptural argument for medical missions, and was anxious to see the
subject _fully_ opened up. So much so, that on our return to Edinburgh
we sent a conjoint letter to the Rev. Dr. –– asking him to preach on the
subject, or write an article upon it for a Review. The Rev. doctor sent
a kind and encouraging reply, and asked various questions anent medical
missions, but the correspondence closed, as both Elmslie and I were soon
busied in preparations for going abroad."

During the greater part of Dr. Elmslie's stay in this country, his mind
was a good deal unsettled respecting his future sphere. His heart was in
Kashmir, and his thorough knowledge of the language imposed obligations
upon him that could not be lost sight of, but the interruption of his
work every year, just when it was getting into proper order, tried him
exceedingly. He felt he was always going on without making progress. He
was so perplexed, that he admits in a letter to Dr. Farquhar, "My mind,
for a time, was turned towards home." During this period various
appointments, missionary and professional, were placed within his reach.
"He relinquished," writes a friend, "the prospects of a practice that
would have produced £1000 a year." Writing to us of another sphere, he
says, "There are too many ornamental names in the list of members I
fear. It is a fine thing for a doctor to have his name on a committee
for some Christian work. It may tell favourably at the year's end. ––
said £200 or £250 would be enough for salary. I looked at him! _He_
could not live on that." A third appointment was rather pressed upon
him, but learning that it was in the offer of another party, he
wrote:–("25th April, 1871).... As –– (naming the place) is now under Mr.
––'s consideration, it would be both premature on my part, and not quite
kind to him, were I to entertain the proposal at present." As his
professional attainments were of a very high order, he was urged to
stand as a candidate for a vacant chair in one of our universities.
Speaking of the subject, one day, he said, jocularly, "It would swamp
any university to let a medical missionary into one of its chairs, for,
you know, '_No man worth his salt would be a medical missionary!_'" He
was content to forego academic honours, to which he might justly have
aspired, and as a humble missionary to lay out all his attainments for
the furtherance of that gospel that brought peace to his own soul.

At length his mind was set at rest. Writing to Mrs. B. T. (London, 25th
November, 1871) he says, "At the end of last month I wrote a long letter
to the committee of the Church Missionary Society, giving them a full
account of the great difficulties with which God's work in Kashmir is at
present beset. I did this that they might not be ignorant of the true
state of matters there, and that they might have the materials on which
to form a judgment as to the desirability of continuing the medical
mission.... The decision to which they came was that I should be sent
back to Kashmir, to continue the work as before. A future of no ordinary
toil and trial is therefore before me, but I trust that He who sends me
back will make His grace sufficient for me, and make me strong in His
strength. I rejoice at the prospect of undergoing trial in God's
service." This same month, to Mr. Wade, he writes, "I am willing to
return to Kashmir. The missionary life is the only one worth living. It
is the only one that can be called Christ-like.... My dear friend, I
have had a terrible battle to fight with selfishness, and the love of
ease, and the fashion of this world that passeth away. But I trust our
heavenly Father has enabled me to overcome in His strength. I return to
India joyfully and thankfully to rough it in God's work. Oh, it must be
terrible to become old, and to look back upon a life spent for self, in
ease and comfort, with little likeness to the life the dear Saviour
lived–_and lived for us_."

When one reads in his diary Dr. Elmslie's account of his _missionary_
labours in India, there seems wondrously little time left for anything
else; yet we have seen he contrived to gather materials for a
dictionary, and he also accumulated a large amount of matter for a
comprehensive work on Kashmir. In the ensuing campaign he hoped to go
somewhat thoroughly into the botany of the region. For counsel, how best
to overtake this department, he naturally turned to his friend Dr.

"MY DEAR FRIEND,–My chief object in writing to you now, is to inquire of
you what a copy of Wight's 'Icones Plantarum Indiæ Orientalis' in good
condition is worth; also what should I give for a copy of Royle's
_Botany of the Himalayas_? Can you tell me where I am likely to meet
with works of that kind.

"Should I return to India, which I am now very likely to do about the
end of January next, I should like to do a little to the botany of those
interesting and far-away regions. I should feel extremely obliged to you
for any hints as to how to proceed in the study of the botany of Kashmir
and the surrounding mountains; also, as to how to do with any specimens
which I may collect, and also as to any points of pre-eminent importance
in _Flora_ of the valley and the neighbourhood. I feel sure that I could
not apply to one better qualified than yourself to give me directions as
to how to proceed in the study of the _Himalayan_ _Flora_." Dr. Elmslie
was permitted to do little amid the rich flora of the Himalayas. He was
judged worthy of speedy promotion; and was soon called to study a
botanical system of far higher development than any to which Linnaeus or
De Candolle has yet introduced us, in which the trees yield twelve
manner of fruit every month, and the leaves thereof are for the healing
of the nations.

The more intimate friends of Dr. Elmslie, were very anxious he should
not return to India alone. He was not sufficiently careful of his
health, and desirous for the preservation of his valuable life, there
was much prayer that God would give him a companion, who, loving Jesus
and His service, might be truly a helpmeet to him in his missionary
labours, and care for himself also, that Gaius-like, he might prosper
and be in health even as his soul prospered. On one point Dr. Elmslie
was most particularly in earnest, that _if_ it should be the Lord's will
that he be accompanied to Kashmir by a fellow worker, she might be very
manifestly _a gift from God_. Miss Duncan, daughter of the late Rev.
Wallace Duncan of Peebles, was given to Dr. Elmslie in answer to
earnest, united, and continued prayer. The marriage took place 23d
February 1872, at Eyre Place, Edinburgh.

It would afford us peculiar satisfaction to give a detailed account of
Dr. Elmslie's proceedings during this home visit, as he was much with
us, and proved a blessing to us beyond what we can well record; but this
might lead to the consideration of interests that do not claim special
notice here, and divert attention from his great life work as a
missionary of Christ in Kashmir.



Dr. and Mrs. Elmslie left Edinburgh for India on the 5th March. In
London they met loving friends and relatives, with whom they had sweet
communion. They went aboard the _Massilia_ on the 7th, and that morning
Mrs. Elmslie, on turning to her book of daily texts, got a verse to
which subsequent events gave a touching significance, and which was not
without impressiveness even at the time,–"_Thy_ MAKER _is thine

The passage, on the whole, was good. Writing to his mother-in-law, Dr.
Elmslie says:–

"_Bombay, 6th April._–Have at last got to the end of our voyage. On
looking back, have much cause to be very thankful to God for the mercies
that have attended it. God permitted us both to do something for
Himself. We found Dr. Bonar's kind and valuable gift of books of great
service. Both M. and I found our powers of playing chess of use in
helping us to get to know some of our fellow-passengers. Since I began
this sentence, I have been to the city with a missionary friend, and
have seen to-day what I never had seen before. If you were to try to
guess, I don't believe you would succeed in telling me what I have seen.
It was nothing more or less than an hospital–not for human beings, but
for the lower animals! The invalids were a porcupine, deer, monkeys,
goats, sheep, dogs, horses, cows, and oxen. I saw some of the sick kine
taking their medicine. It is supported by a wealthy native merchant."

They got a cordial welcome back to India. "You will not fail," writes
the Rev. E. Stuart, "to convey this, my hand-o'-write, welcome to your
dear wife,–a real hearty Scotch grip of friendship. I rejoice to hear of
your so wisely _doubling_ your usefulness." "We had the pleasure," says
Mr. Clark, "of welcoming Dr. Elmslie and his bride from England. His
step was even then (April) less elastic than usual, but his warm
affections were the same."

The following items of intelligence are culled from various letters from
Dr. and Mrs. Elmslie, addressed to relatives and others during their
Indian campaign. Here is a glimpse of our friends, _en route_:–

"Marching orders were–up at half-past four, breakfast at a quarter past
five, off at twenty minutes from six; servants on before to have regular
breakfast ready half way. I reach first, being carried in a dandy,
spread the carpet and table-cloth in a pleasant place, sometimes under
pomegranate and rose trees, sometimes by a waterfall. Then come the
weary walkers, and don't we make a hearty breakfast. The rest of the way
is the fatiguing part, as the sun is up, and the climbing and rough
walking are trying. We reach the next stage about half-past eleven, have
tea as soon as water can be got, then rest, write, or read till dinner
at five; after which the doctor gathers the servants together, and the
sick who have come for advice. It makes a picturesque group–about forty
natives, all seated on the grass, the old catechist arranging things,
the native medical assistant and his wife, with the large khitta, full
of medicines, and Mr. Wade in white costume, leaning forward in his
arm-chair, reading and speaking with the people, who always answer him,
sometimes with arguments, which he shows great tact in meeting, while
the doctor prescribes. He has met with some interesting cases; one poor
sufferer is to follow us to Srinagar, as he requires a serious
operation. It was touching to see his old father weeping over him. One
woman, with fever, was brought on the back of her husband. The twilight
is short; and, after the sick people leave, we have a little chat, then
prayers, and off to bed.

"I confess I was rather horrified with the first specimen of a Cashmere
bungalow–nothing better than a large mud hut, unfurnished, and hardly
plastered, and the floors so dirty that you felt ashamed of your boots
after once crossing a floor. The people are much finer looking, and have
more open countenances, than the Hindoos; but it is marvellous to me
that such nice-looking men and women can wear such garments. They do not
seem to know the use of soap and water–their blankets, which they wrap
round them, are perfectly brown, and in many cases you cannot count
their rags.

"When we reached the spot from which we had the Pisgah view of
Kashmir–the _vale_ itself–I could but exclaim, 'Truly the half has not
been told me.' It seemed to me a perfect paradise, which should know
nothing but peace and plenty, purity and joy.

"After many difficulties we have at length got a house, which, though
only a native one, is really very suitable, being quite among the
people. We have, therefore, gladly and very thankfully left off tent
life for the present. The house is entered from the river by a flight of
steps, which brings you into a wide archway. Our garden is large, and
full of the delicious ottar roses. They are pink, not very large, but
very rich in perfume. I fancy they must refresh the patients very much,
so I don't grudge their gathering some as they wander about during the
waiting time. The doctor has real, earnest, hard work now. For the last
fortnight the attendance has been daily increasing. To-day there were
nearly 170 patients. It is quite too much, for many of the poor things
require serious operations. The weather is very hot now, too hot to go
out, except in early morning or evening. The poplar avenue is our
favourite resort; it is quite near us, and very shady and quiet; for,
strange to say, the river is more popular, and the visitors may be seen
sailing up and down in their gondolas, just as they would drive in the
London parks.

"We rise at six, and, after reading and prayer together, the doctor goes
to work, prays with his assistant, arranges the waiting crowds of
people, and leaves the catechist to address them, which he does very
earnestly in Kashmiri for about a quarter of an hour. Then the doctor
examines patients till breakfast at ten, after which he goes down again
to his people. He has had to separate the men and women now, taking one
set to-day, and the other to-morrow, and giving them medicines for two
days, as they increased to an unmanageable number; but, even with that,
he has nearly 90 women on an average, and double that number of men. The
operations are trying, for he has the whole to do himself, and he is
often quite exhausted when he comes upstairs again about one."

"Our work here, I am thankful and glad to say," writes Dr. Elmslie, "is
now in full play. Yesterday 165 patients were present. Many of the cases
were grave surgical ones, for the people have been waiting for me for
two years. They are being plied, too, with the glorious Gospel of
Christ. I have a dear native Christian with me as an assistant, who is
deeply interested in his poor benighted countrymen, for he is a
Kashmiri. Then my friend, the Rev. T. R. Wade, has been sent to the
valley this year, to strengthen my hands. He, too, labours amongst the
waiting patients all morning. So, as I said, we are earnestly,
prayerfully, and hopefully at work. I am thankful to say that the native
authorities seem less hostile than formerly. Not that they are friendly,
and smile upon our work,–that we do not expect from heathens,–but, so
far as I have been able to ascertain, they do not throw obstacles in the
way of the sick coming to us. That is a great thing, and we are heartily
thankful for it. God, too, has blessed us in our premises. Not that they
are palatial, but they are conveniently situated near the city, so that
no one is incommoded by our work. Dwelling-house, dispensary, operating
theatre, servants' rooms, are all under one roof. The crowds of the sick
meet outside in a garden, which we have, fortunately, to the back. In
this fine weather there is matting below them, and above them a canvas
covering." Mrs. Elmslie, writing at the close of the month's labours,
says, "He has just had to-day his 1100th patient, and finished his 70th
operation in a month."

"The weather having broken, rain fell in torrents, such as only mountain
countries know. The river gradually rose higher and higher, till the
bank disappeared; and, on the opposite side, fields were covered. When
we went to church yesterday, the doctor was very much afraid our house
would be surrounded in a few hours. The Baboo sent boats round to all
the Europeans. You may believe we were not very happy at the thought of
having to live on the waters, Noah-like, till the waters diminished, and
this we quite expected to have to do to-day. The servants had to flit to
the verandah, the kitchen, a hundred yards behind us, being surrounded.
To our great joy and thankfulness (this morning), we found the sky
clear, the sun shining, and the waters abating; thus our fears have been

"_August 12th._–We had given up thinking of floods, and only yesterday
the doctor said to me how very thankful he felt for this blessing;
however, here we are to-day, not very unlike Noah. This flood is caused
by the melting of snow in the mountains, where there was a fresh fall
last week; and it must have burst the embankment lower down, for the
whole of the large orchard, where our house and all the European's
houses are, is flooded. The kitchen is several inches deep in water, so
that Fakira, his pots and pans, have had to take refuge in Mr. Wade's
verandah. How he means to convey dinner across the intervening waters I
know not, but he always manages well for himself,–specially when he
knows he has made a mistake. I suppose he prefers risking the dinner,
and being at a little distance from Nana Sahib's eyes and ears,
otherwise our own verandahs would have been more suitable. Three boats
are in readiness to carry us off somewhere, but, as yet, I don't know
where. I have packed my boxes, and now am waiting till the doctor
returns from the dispensary. There is a great deal of sickness in the
city. The doctor is keeping decidedly better, but he is still far from
strong. The house is now quite surrounded; all looks calm and bright;
but the great river comes rolling on. I am a little concerned as to the
fate of our dinner, as there is now quite a lake between us and our
factotum. The boatmen and women keep wading about as if enjoying it
immensely. The doctor has just come back, and is greatly dismayed at the
state of things. He sailed through the orchard right up to the back
door. We are thinking of going to the gardens, as the Baboo has got
written permission for us from the Rajah to occupy one of the palaces.
Dinner has come off very well, considering that it had to travel through
the waters.

"_August 16th._–Notwithstanding the unceremonious way in which we were
turned out of our house, we are enjoying our place of refuge
exceedingly; and no wonder, when you think it was made according to
Kashmiri ideas of Paradise. Some traditions of Bible history, lingering
among them still, having suggested it to a king who lived, I believe,
about the time of our second Charles. There are two pleasure houses or
pavilions on the gardens, one close to the lake, the other high up on a
terrace of the mountain, and almost hidden in the rich foliage of the
chinar trees. We chose the latter, as we have learned to seek shade in
this sunny land. The way to it lies through orchards of pears, quinces,
peaches, &c., on one hand, and beautiful mown lawns on the other, in the
middle of which is an artificial bed of a stream. The trees by the side
of it are the grandest I ever saw. Some of their trunks have been
hollowed out, and inside three people can stand quite easily. After
mounting by terraces, you reach the pavilion, where we are to be found,
looking very small in our crimson covered chairs, in comparison to the
lofty place in which we are. It is an open hall, 60 feet in breadth, by
40 in length, and the brilliantly covered roof is supported by sixteen
pillars. On either side are large rooms; one wing occupied by Mr. Wade,
the other by us, while the pavilion itself is our dining and sitting
room. I am afraid you can hardly appreciate, in a Scotch autumn, the
luxury which we are enjoying so much. The same stream of water which I
mentioned before runs through the middle of the hall. The mountain
stream is caught, and caused to rush down a fretted iron causeway into
the prepared bed (about 6 feet wide), and in it are innumerable
fountains. I count twenty-two between us and the zenana, which (I am
ashamed to say) we use as a kitchen. It flows through our hall, casting
spray all around, sparkling in the sunshine, and then gushes down
another causeway, about 60 feet, into an immense pond, in which there
are also many fountains, and so on, feeding many of these jets, till it
has descended all the terraces, and mingled its waters with those of the
beautiful lake. This stream had been turned off by the villagers to
water their rice fields; but on our arrival the gardener brought it
back, and caused all the fountains to play. The sound of its sweet
murmur is very charming, and the sight of the jets, each in some
different form, is delightful. The trees have grown too luxuriantly, and
hide the lovely vistas of snowy mountains and of the lake, but we see
enough to be full of admiration. We went up the mountain side this
evening, and sat down under the shade of a vine-tree, laden with grapes,
and watched the glorious setting sun.

"_August 19th._–Here we are in our own little house once more. We came
in to church on Sabbath. We think it so good of him to persevere when he
(Mr. W.) has had so little encouragement. There were only six present.
It is very sad to find how little people attend to Christian duties

"_September._–I have been finding out how very few real Christians there
are in India, and how very little even of outward regard for religion,
and this makes me feel very warmly to all who really are God's people.
We went to church yesterday, and hoped for an average congregation, as
sixty Europeans were said to be in Srinagar. Mr. Wade had prepared an
address on Medical Missions, and meant to ask for a collection on their
behalf, but none were there but ourselves. After the service was begun,
one gentleman made his appearance. We often long much for a Sunday at
home. However, Spurgeon preaches to us very well. Cholera has been
raging in Srinagar, but it is nearly gone now, and the visitors are
beginning to return from Gulmarg. We had a pic-nic to the Shalimar
Gardens last week, taking all the medical assistants and pupils, &c.
with us. They appeared to enjoy themselves very much. The climate here
is liker that at home now. Kashmir is becoming very dear to me now. I
should like to remain here as long as there is work for me to do. Plenty
of work there certainly is. It is an untilled field, but the Holy Spirit
will surely be granted to break up the fallow ground, and make the soil
ready to receive the seed. Indeed, we are very hopeful that something
has been effected, which time will reveal. Dear old Qadir the catechist
has been very much cheered by the number of inquirers this summer. If we
are allowed to remain here many will come forward, but the fear of
persecution _without us_ keeps many back."

"I suppose," writes the doctor to Mr. Duncan, "dearest M. will have told
you that our Committee in Calcutta have presented a petition to the
Governor-General, begging of him to grant us permission to remain in
Kashmir during the winter months. If this petition is granted, in all
probability the good work will more rapidly prosper. Will you pray that
all may be ordered of God for the best? As for myself, I have not been
at all strong this summer. The truth is that my work has been
overwhelming. Indeed, the people have been waiting for me for two years
to perform many operations. Medical mission work at home is very
different from medical mission work abroad. Here in India you have to be
a Begbie, Spence, and Walker all in one, while at home you merely nibble
at medical and surgical work. That makes a great difference."

Of later date. "I am now nearly myself again, thanks to God's blessing
on my dearest M.'s tender and judicious nursing. She has been the best
of nurses, just as if she had been under Miss Nightingale for years.

"An answer has come to a telegram which I sent to Simla, where the
Governor-General now is. The answer is to the effect that 'Dr. Elmslie
is not allowed to remain this winter in Srinagar.' Now, both M. and I
say truly, 'The will of the Lord be done,' but we mourn over this
oppressed and perishing country. It would have been for its good that we
had been allowed to remain, although it is doubtful if it would have
been for our comfort and happiness, for we should have been without
European society of any kind, and that would have made it very lonely
for us for two or three months. But we were heartily prepared to forego
the pleasures of society for the sake of this poor country and its
oppressed people. However, so far as we are concerned, the Lord has
willed it otherwise. We leave this matter in the Lord's hands. He will
work when His time comes. We shall probably be commanded to leave the
valley in a few days. This has been a season of very hard work, but the
Lord has graciously brought us in safety to its close. Since we began
work in the dispensary at Srinagar in the end of May last, over 3000
patients, suffering from all manner of diseases, have received medical
and surgical treatment gratuitously. Over 200 of these patients have
been operated on for surgical maladies, and besides all these cases 382
cholera patients were treated at their own homes by the agents of the
Kashmir Medical Mission.

"This merely gives the professional part of the season's work. I have
not been at all well since our arrival in Kashmir. This has been caused
by the severe nature of the work, and the close application to it
throughout the season, and I am almost sure I shall begin to recruit as
soon as we begin our tent life."



It will be remembered that Dr. Elmslie brought on a rather serious
illness in Edinburgh, by too close application to his desk, when
preparing his vocabulary. He had not _fully_ recovered his wonted energy
when he left this country for Kashmir; but, as he had been steadily
improving, it was confidently believed that the sea voyage would
completely re-establish his health. On meeting him in India, Mr. Clark
noticed that his step was not so elastic as formerly; and, on his way to
Srinagar, Mrs. Elmslie remarked, especially at Murree, that Dr. E. was
breathless and weak. It has already appeared from the narrative that
during the whole season he was not at all strong. His work was
overwhelming truly, and to his own many duties were added the labours
and anxieties connected with an outbreak of cholera. He was saddened too
by the heartlessness and tyranny of those in power, and by the slanders
of the Baboos, to whom his life was a daily rebuke. At the close of the
season he was quite prostrate, and instead of entering on a journey
fitted to try even the robust, he needed rest and nursing. But he was
obliged to leave. The detailed account of the sad journey written by
Mrs. E. is before us. We trust we may be guided in making such a
selection as shall satisfy his many loving friends, without unduly
obtruding on the sanctity of these sacred letters. Before starting, Dr.
E. got a chill while waiting in a cold day in the fireless, windowless
chamber of a native gentleman. Next day he had to walk in the rain a
long way to see a dying man. This, also, was hurtful to him. The day
after they were cheered by the arrival of home letters. The account of
the Perth Conference by Miss –– was particularly interesting. "I said to
him," writes Mrs. E., "that much of the experience mentioned–the love
for Jesus and joy in Him–was far beyond what I knew. He drew me near to
him, and said, Why mourn! Let us ask and receive that our joy may be
full, and he forthwith poured out his heart in prayer to God." On
Sunday, they took their last walk in Srinagar, but Dr. Elmslie, on
reaching home, was so exhausted he needed a little brandy. In the
evening at worship, contrary to custom, he chose the hymns, selecting,
"One is kind above all others," and spoke afterwards very earnestly to
the Pundits and Moonshees present. On Monday, Mrs. E. suggested that he
should delay his journey, but he longed to be off, saying he would be
better when fairly on the way. As they sailed down the river, crowds of
people ran along the banks to pour out their thanks and say farewell.

Leaving Islamabad on the 25th, Dr. E. said, cheerily, "I'm glad to tell
you the liver is in better order to-day;" but the journey was fatiguing,
and he consented to take the dandy by turns with Mrs. E., and so they
reached Mohumpoora. "Next day we went together to see Carrie (the wife
of one of his assistants) and her newly-born infant, lying in a shed. So
like the accounts of the babe at Bethlehem it seemed that we were both
struck by it, and went away speaking of Jesus in that low estate,–being
rich, yet for our sakes becoming poor. He insisted on my using the
dandy, but after a little I got out, and sent it back for him. He said,
on our meeting again, 'I could not have walked another step.' The dandy
men always trot, so that it was to my great distress impossible to keep
beside him. On reaching Shupeyon, I found him lying on the bed in the
wretched bungalow, and he asked me to get a poultice at once." Various
remedies were applied, and he felt much relieved, and wished the epistle
to the Philippians read to him. "We read, too, Mrs. Gordon's book on
_Work_. He was much interested in it, and then came the last chapter on
'For Ever.' He spoke about heaven; about the joy of eternity being in
knowing Jesus and being with Him,–of his confidence that the
emancipated, glorified spirit should still have work to do." The night
following the breathing was greatly oppressed and the palpitation of the
heart very distressing. "That was my first warning," writes Mrs. E.; "an
awful night, but he assured me still the liver was the member at fault."
After the use of appropriate remedies, he got relief, and slept
comparatively well; and next day was again on the march. "Every march is
sixteen miles, and all are more or less dangerous and difficult. Indeed,
no one who has not crossed the Pir Panjal can have any idea of the awful
precipices one has to climb, the roads being mere cuttings, hardly broad
enough to walk upon, along the sides of mountains rising sheer up to the
height of 12,000 feet. Our next resting-place was Haripur. There he was
tired, but not breathless. Next day the march was nearly twenty miles
up–up to the snows and ice. We started at eight, and did not reach the
old bungalow near the height of the pass till nearly six o'clock. My
darling was very vexed about my walking all the way, but I hardly felt
tired, so eagerly anxious I was about him,–the air, too, was bracing,
and I had slept well. There we had a room, where was a good fireplace,
and we kept up a glowing fire of logs. He was very breathless again, and
complained much of pain in the back." Suitable remedies were
administered, and Mrs. E. sat up all night watching him and looking
after the fire. He awoke better, and said it was only natural he should
suffer from the great rarity of the air at such a height (11,900 feet).
"We went on next day over the snows. He never walked now. Many, many a
time, as I turned a corner, and saw the bearers carrying him over the
brink of such awful abysses, my heart stood still with horror, and I
could only cry to God to strengthen them. Once a man slipped his foot,
but mercifully the path was just at that place a little wider. However,
it distressed us both very much, for my darling was in a terribly
nervous state, and such a perilous mode of travelling, over places where
the missing of a foot must have caused death, was a great, great trial.
Sixteen miles brought us to Poohiana, and there William insisted on the
bearers keeping a slow pace in case of losing sight of me, as there were
many tracks of bears, and one large black one was quite near us. At
Poohiana the bungalow was a mere stable, without windows or opening of
any kind except the door. He wakened breathless; four pillows were not
high enough, and he lay on my shoulder and slept again. He suffered more
or less from diarrhœa all the way, and next day was very weak. We
reached Baramula on the first November, and proposed resting over
Saturday and Sabbath. That was my second night of preparation. I laid my
hand on his heart, the beating of which, in irregular thumps, seemed for
a few minutes to be heard all through the tent. Those were dreary
nights, and in the tent we felt it cold and windy. I fastened plaids and
travelling rugs all round to keep out the wind. The servants were tired,
and slept sound. Next day we came to Rajaori. He suffered from
rheumatism very much, but sent back the dandy for me several times, and
tried to walk, for I was very tired." Here there was a dilapidated
palace, the only habitable room in which had neither door nor window,
but two great openings, and it was agreed to try the tents. A thunder
storm drove them from the tent to seek shelter in the building; a large
straw-door was made, and the wax-cloth covering of the bedding was
placed over the window. He slept pretty well, but next day never offered
to rise. Mrs. E. read to him chapter after chapter of the Gospels. He
always said, "Read some of Jesus' words–His own words."

Mrs. E. remarked that God must have some great purpose in trying them so
much. "Yes," he replied; "I know what He means to teach me. I have sore
need of patience." Mrs. E. said how gladly she would suffer for him, but
he looked at her with a strange wistful gaze, and said, "Ah, but you
can't be my Simon, the Cyrenian. I must bear my own cross." Only eight
days' journey further, and then the crown.

One of the little beds was moved into the verandah of the old bungalow,
and there he lay for some hours on Sabbath the 9th November. When Mrs.
E. was reading aloud to him, he interrupted her, "Ah, darling, how
little we remember that we have only one life! Surely we should use them
very differently if we thought of that more–_one life here_–so much to
be done, and so little accomplished." He found it an easy position to
kneel and lean forward, and he would remain a long time in that
position. But again they must move on. The dandy, with pillows, could be
made pretty comfortable, and he seemed easier when moving. They held
straight for Goojerat. Every morning forty coolies gathered, talking,
shouting, quarrelling over the luggage, &c., and nothing would induce
them to be quiet. The next march was very long to Nowshera, and the
bearers let the dandy fall one time. The following night was a restless
one, and the supply of candles failed. As Mrs. E. was nearly exhausted
with sorrow, travelling, and want of sleep, Dr. Elmslie insisted on her
taking the dandy, and sending it back for him. "The next was our last
march, a very long one, very rough, and the bearers were not good, and
somehow I could not make the pillows suit the wearied frame. How much of
agony there was in this constant journeying to him in body, and to me in
spirit! Many a time I cried aloud, and made the rocks and mountains echo
with my sorrow, when he was carried on out of sight and hearing." When
he reached the first stage, his energies were all but at an end. On
arriving at Bhimbar, as the tent was not ready, the bedding was laid on
a charpae, and he lay down. "How thankful I am," said Mrs. E., "that we
are safely here." "Ah, yes, safely, so far as our limbs are concerned–no
broken legs or arms, but I feel there is something wrong _here_,"–and
Dr. Elmslie put his hand on his chest. He was much worse. After going to
bed, the pain became unbearable, and he cried, "I cannot stand this pain
and sleeplessness any longer!" A dose of morphia was administered, and
he got a little sleep. They were still thirty miles from Goojerat, and
it became an anxious question if he could ever reach it. The dhoolie was
made soft and comfortable,–they had scarcely started when he became very
ill. "My bearers would not keep me alongside of his dhoolie, and I used
to leap from the dandy and fly to his side just to see him, and then
shocked, terrified, go back again, feeling like Hagar in the wilderness,
and crying to the Lord to send help lest William should die." A special
messenger despatched to Goojerat brought the civil surgeon to the place
where they rested for the night, and he whispered hope. As the doctor
drove out, he met Mr. Perkins, the new commissioner for Goojerat, and
handed him Mrs. E.'s note, so that when the sufferers reached the
bungalow, Mr. and Mrs. Perkins appeared, and did everything that
Christian love and sympathy could suggest. Cheered by these friends of
Jesus, with a doctor at hand, and everything necessary for the invalid
now easily procurable, hope revived for a brief space, but the disease
steadily progressed, and on the evening of the 18th November, Dr.
Elmslie quietly fell asleep in Jesus.

"I gazed once more," writes Mr. Clark, "on his well-known features as he
lay peaceably in his coffin. There was an expression of repose on his
face,–there was even a smile, the smile of rest and victory; and we laid
him there to rest on the battlefield, where the whole Punjaub had been
won by English arms; and there he quietly sleeps awaiting the
resurrection of the dead."




"The missionaries, lately assembled in conference at Allahabad," writes
the Editor, _Indian Medical Gazette_ of January 7, 1873, "seemed
unanimous in their belief regarding the advantages to be derived from
the presence of medical missionaries in the country; and we most
certainly join in this opinion. Men, like the late Dr. Elmslie of
Kashmir, are indeed an ornament to any profession, and, independently of
their missionary labour, must influence for good any society into which
they may cast their lot. We most sincerely desire to see medical men of
this stamp scattered over India; we look upon them as being among the
very best representatives of the English character–well educated,
liberal-minded individuals, pursuing with earnestness the healing art,
not for the greed of gold, but that they may spend and be spent in doing
the work of their Master."

"One could not long be with dear Doctor Elmslie," writes Mr. Wade,
"without seeing how eminently he was fitted by nature and grace to be
the pioneer of Christianity in a heathen land. His active habits called
for strength of mind and body, which were given in a great degree. His
faith and patience kept him labouring without despair or despondency in
a good, but most difficult work. His great soundness of judgment, and
decision of character, and firmness of purpose, were of inestimable
value in guiding the frail medical mission bark through all the stormy
billows which threatened, time after time, either to engulph it, or to
strand it upon the shores of the Punjaub. His prudence preserved him and
the mission from many entanglements, yet, when God's honour was
concerned, nothing could keep him quiet; and sometimes did he stir up
wrath and make enemies by the bold way in which he rebuked vice. His
forethought was such that he often jokingly spoke of himself as 'a
cautious Scotchman'; and I can bear testimony to his great and continued
attachment to his friends. With burning zeal and untiring devotion he
laboured on in his Master's work, and only his friends, who were much
with him, knew how earnestly he prayed for those, who by their unholy
lives, caused God's name to be blasphemed amongst the heathen; and how
his heart longed to see the light of truth and liberty adorn the
beautiful valley of Kashmir,–

  'Where every prospect pleases,
    And only man is vile.'

With thought and tenderness for others he spared not himself. When weak
and wearied, and others saw how necessary a little rest and change were,
to all the solicitations of his friends to leave Srinagar for only a
short time, he replied, that nothing should induce him to leave the
place whilst his poor people were suffering from cholera. And as he
loved and laboured for the people, so they learned to trust and to love
him in return. Some were punished and others threatened for coming to
him, but come they would and did, even from great distances. One man,
whose blindness had been removed, actually fell at his feet to worship
him, saying, he had given him sight, and he would be his slave for ever;
and others spoke of him as an avatar (incarnation of God) come to pity
and heal them in their misery. Everything that was done was undertaken
in a spirit of prayer. Every morning before the gospel was preached, or
any medicines distributed, the Christians were assembled to entreat God
to give His blessing, and after the address had been given by the
catechist to the assembled sick, a prayer was offered again, with all
who would join of the multitude."

Nor was it only the poor outcast Indians he sought to benefit, but his
own country-folk of every rank to whom he had access in sickness or in
health. Cases have been noted, and here is just one more:–"In the year
1867, in Kashmir," writes a young officer, "Dr. Elmslie spoke words to
me which, through the blessing of the Holy Ghost, threw a flood of light
on my dark soul, and made me perceive the love of God in Christ. 'The
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin': These were the words
blessed of God to my conversion, and I ought surely to love dear Elmslie
for the good that he was in God's hand the means of doing me. For
himself, dear fellow, I am comforted, and feel him to be even nearer to
me (in England) than he was when present in the body in India. You will,
perhaps, wonder what I mean by this, but I mean simply that he is with
Jesus, and it is only a narrow boundary–that of death–which separates
the Lord from them who are to be with Him hereafter."

"From the time of Dr. Elmslie's first arrival," writes the Rev. Mr.
Clark, "we could not fail to notice his true missionary spirit, which
led him to give himself at once to the work for which he had come to
India. He began to acquire the language, and quickly commenced his
medical labours amongst the people. He divided his time with great
method and tact, so as to make the most of every opportunity. We quickly
observed his great conscientiousness, and the fidelity with which he
engaged both in his professional and other duties. His judgment was very
good, and it was at once seen that he was one who could be consulted in
difficulties and emergencies, as they arose. He soon acquired influence,
not only amongst the natives, but amongst his missionary brethren, to
whom he endeared himself by his gentle and loving spirit; and his
presence was ever felt to be an acquisition in our missionary
conferences. He was known to be a firm friend to everything that was
good, and a staunch opponent to error and evil, in every form. He could
not 'bear that which was evil,' but boldly exposed it, and often in the
strongest language denounced it. Above all, we noticed his habitual tone
of earnestness, and genuine Christian spirit of devotion, which
continued with him in the midst of many occupations throughout the day.
Continually did he renew his strength by communion with God, through
prayer and the study of His Word; for he knew that (especially in this
heathen atmosphere, so lowering and antagonistic to the hidden life)
even daily duties eat out the missionary's strength and neutralize his
efforts, unless men hourly walk in the strength of that meat, with which
God feeds His people in this wilderness world."

But it is of Amritsar, and of Dr. Elmslie's annual visit to my own
mission, that I would especially speak. "The natives looked forward to
his visits with great expectation, and both Christians and heathen used
to think much of his approach. Some had perhaps an operation to be
performed; others wished to consult him about their own health, or that
of their children. All knew that in him they would find a sympathising
friend. He generally arrived without any announcement beforehand, and
appeared some morning almost unexpectedly in our midst; for no letters
could be despatched on the march to tell of his approach, and when he
emerged from the hills into English territory, he travelled almost as
fast as letters could come. There was not one member of our native
congregation who did not at once know when Dr. Elmslie had arrived; and
there were few perhaps amongst the 1000 boys and 350 girls in the
mission schools who had not seen or heard of him. The orphans in the
orphanages felt the benefit of his presence; and the poor who throng
around the catechist or the missionary when they preach in the bazaars,
spoke of the Doctor Padre who had come to live amongst them for their
good. The rich also knew him, and appreciated his labours, for they once
petitioned Government that he might be allowed to remain amongst them.
He had access to houses and families where the English cannot generally
go; and his kind, loving manner, and his professional skill, presented
our missionary work to the people in altogether a new light. It was
sometimes difficult for them to see from our direct missionary labours
that we really desired their welfare; for every now and then some young
man from the schools, or some parent from a happy home, would sever
themselves suddenly, and in one moment, from every past association:
when swords would pierce through breasts, and the secret thoughts of
hearts would be revealed. Such anguish was then caused, such division
amongst families, such ruin of hopes, that they sometimes terminated in
_death_. But the Doctor Sahib was, at any rate, the friend of the
people. Though a Christian and a missionary, he cured their ailments,
and set their broken bones."

From the very commencement of his labours in Kashmir, Dr. Elmslie ceased
not to work and pray for the abrogation of the iniquitous law to whose
operation he eventually fell a sacrifice. He felt that the truly
beneficent character of his services gave him a vantage ground from
which to make his appeal. It is touching to note that the law was
abolished _the very day after his death_. The Rev. Mr. Wade writes thus
on the subject from Lahore (Nov. 27th).–"How mysterious God's ways often
are, the very object which Dr. E. so much desired, and laboured, and
prayed so much to obtain, was thought by him to have been lost entirely;
but a letter, dated the day after his death, was received by Mrs.
Elmslie, immediately on her arrival at Lahore, granting permission to
those who are not Government servants to remain in Kashmir all the year.
It says, 'His Excellency desires me to inform you that, so far as the
British Government is concerned, there are no objections to Europeans,
who are not in the service of Government, proceeding to, or remaining in
the territories of the Maharajah of Kashmir at any time, so long as they
conduct themselves with propriety, and submit to the laws of the
country.' This is all that Dr. Elmslie wanted. The country is now open,
and missionaries may remain there the whole year."

But the doctor was not only largely instrumental in thus opening the
door to that beautiful country, but he has also provided a key to it, in
the shape of a valuable vocabulary of the Kashmiri language. This work
occupied much of his time during the two years he was at home, and no
doubt he worked at it too assiduously. Strange it is that he was denied
the pleasure of seeing this work in its completed state. The Dictionary
had reached Amritsar to await his arrival,–but he never arrived.


II. Proposed by Mr. Clark, and seconded by Mr. Wade, That this
Conference, whilst sorrowfully lamenting the removal from their midst of
their dear brother and fellow-labourer, Dr. Elmslie, by an early death,
desire to bow with reverence and resignation before the mysterious
Providence which has called him away from his important missionary work
in Kashmir, at the very moment when, for the first time in its history,
it has become completely opened to missionary effort.

That this Conference desire to bear testimony to the devotion and
singleness of purpose with which the beloved brother, for a series of
years, carried on his work with great ability and success, to the
alleviation of sickness and sorrow amongst the people, as well as to the
making known of the gospel of Christ.

That they desire also to express their sincere sympathy with Mrs.
Elmslie, who has thus been called to pass through such deep affliction
at so early a period in her missionary life; and in the event of her
remaining to engage in missionary work amongst the females of this
country, they assure her, as a Conference, of a hearty welcome, and all
such help as they are able to give. That this Conference request their
secretary to write to the Home Committee of the Church Missionary
Society to urge the Church Missionary Society to maintain the Kashmir
Mission in full efficiency, believing that the opening up of that
country in answer to prayer is a sign that God has purposes of mercy to
that unhappy land. And they pray that God will raise up other labourers
of like spirit to him whose death they now mourn, to carry on this work,
which is one of no ordinary difficulty, and not unattended with danger.

Carried _nem. con._–Signed and certified by

T. I. HUGHES, _Secretary_.

_Amritsar, January 1873._–MADAM,–While all the friends of Indian
Missions are bewailing with one heart the sudden and untimely death of
Dr. Elmslie, we, who were so intimately connected with him, would be
sadly wanting in our duty if we failed to give vent, however feebly, to
our grief at his death; and to our sincere sympathy with you, who have
been so nearly touched by this mysterious providence of God. We have, of
all people, to mourn most this loss, though Dr. Elmslie came originally
as a missionary for Kashmir, yet the peculiar political state of that
country rendered it necessary for him to live in this city for six
months in the year. How usefully he was employed during that time is
known only to the natives of this place, who crowded to his dispensary
to be cured of their diseases. He was a very good physician, and was
eminently successful in eye operations. Many waited for his return from
Kashmir for operations to be performed, and great numbers of this city
owe the present enjoyment of their eyesight to him. He was particularly
kind to us. He was our doctor, counsellor, and friend. We therefore wish
to express our heartfelt sorrow, and to convey to you our sincere
sympathy with you in your affliction; and may God think upon you for
good, according to all that your beloved husband has done for us.

We have heard that there is some probability of your remaining in
Amritsar to carry on the great missionary work with which Dr. Elmslie
was connected. May we be allowed to express our hope that you may remain
here. We would even venture to ask you to remain, if this is not
impossible, in the sure belief that it will be for our great good, and
for that of many women and children in this country. We shall not forget
to pray that God may direct your steps to remain amongst us if this be
His will.

–We remain, Madam, yours very faithfully, (_then follow thirty-four
names in native characters_).–[To Mrs. Elmslie.]


At a Conference of missionaries of the Church Missionary Society in the
Punjaub, held at Amritsar in December 1872, a wish was expressed that
the love and esteem in which Dr. Elmslie was universally held might find
expression in some lasting memorial. It was proposed, and unanimously
agreed, that such a memorial should be raised in connection with the
cause which he had so much at heart, and in whose service he died. The
Lord Bishop of Calcutta has suggested that an endeavour should be made
to establish in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, an 'Elmslie Hospital
and Dispensary,' through which the name of William Elmslie, endeared as
it is to the present generation of Kashmiris, may be permanently
associated with the great work which he has been instrumental in




_June, 1874._


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