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Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video : Christian Books : CHAPTER TWELVE. THE FIRST SERMON PREACHED IN GOOBBE.

Old Daniel by Thomas Hodson


On the 1st of September, 1836, Goobbe received the first visit of a Protestant Missionary. The following is an extract from Mr Hodson's Journal: |After spending a few days with Captain (now General) Dobbs at Toomcoor, I rode over to Goobbe, a distance of twelve miles. When I had arrived within about a mile of the town, I was met by a number of the principal inhabitants, who expected Captain Dobbs. On finding out their mistake, they politely paid me the compliments intended for their local governor. They accompanied me to the `gate of the city,' and their trumpeter gave notice to the whole town that `a person of distinction' had arrived, and it was very soon known to every one who loved to hear news that the visitor was a Missionary. After breakfast, which Captain Dobbs' servant had prepared for me, I went into some of the principal streets of Goobbe to make my observations on the suitability of the place for a mission-station. In one of the streets I met with a Christian young man, who had been schoolmaster at Toomcoor, who rendered me some assistance. After taking an extensive survey of the place, I returned to the first gate, and seeing a large shop, open to the street, unoccupied, I took possession of it, and requested the young man above mentioned to read part of a Canarese tract which he had in his hand. A few people entered the room, but the greater number stood in the street, about two feet below the shop. Novelty brought a congregation of about one hundred, to whom, after the young native man had done reading, I gave a short address on the plan of salvation, and an exhortation to repent and believe in Christ.| When this first little sermon was preached in Goobbe, Daniel and his wife had been living there several years. This day was the commencement of a new era in Daniel's life. Hitherto, from his youth up, though he despised idol-worship, he knew nothing about the one true God. Like his neighbours, he believed there were millions of gods, who filled various offices in the government of the world. He had heard of many incarnations of the chief deities, whose good and evil actions are recorded in books held sacred by the Hindoos. He had very confused notions about a future state, but thought there would be a `judgment' of some kind, followed by rewards and punishments. Also, like all other Hindoos, he was of opinion that when a man dies his soul does not go direct to heaven or to hell, but that it passes into some other body: it may be the body of a human being, or it may be into that of a beast, a bird, a fish, or an insect. And then, after millions of migrations like these, the soul either finds a permanent state of existence according to its fate, or its identity is lost by being absorbed into deity.

Shortly after Daniel heard the first Gospel sermon, Mr Franklin, an assistant Missionary, was sent by Mr Hodson from Bangalore to Goobbe, to make certain arrangements for building a mission-house. With him Daniel had long and interesting conversations. He says: |I was walking one morning with Mr Franklin outside the town of Goobbe, looking at some land which he thought would be suitable for building a mission-house upon, and, turning, he saw some tombs. He took hold of my hand, and said, `What are those?' I replied, `They are tombs -- that is, the place where the dead are buried.' He added: `You and I must die and be buried. We shall turn to dust; but there will be a resurrection of the bodies of all men, the raised body will be re-united with its soul, and dwell for, ever either in happiness or in misery. The true worshippers of the one true God will go to heaven, and the others to hell. These truths are written in the Christian's Shastras. Mr Hodson and I intend coming to live at Goobbe, and then we will teach all the people the way to heaven.' I was not much impressed with what he said about the Christian Scriptures, but replied, `When Mr Hodson comes, I hope I shall be employed by him as his washerman?'|

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