The Drowned God

In the valley of Godovey, in India, there

lived a little heathen boy called Tookaram.

Tookaram was quite religious in his way. His

father and mother were dead, and they left

him to a poor widow who took pity on him and

called him her son. This woman was a devotee.

A devotee is one who thinks the performance

of rites and ceremonies will save the

soul. She spent her time in visiting holy places,

praying to a great many idols, and lived

by begging. The Hindoos are fond of giving

to such beggars, because they expect to be

paid in prayers. Little Tookaram went with

his mother, and, as I said was quite a religious

little boy in his way.

A missionary one day met Tookaram, and

asked him to come to his school and learn to

read. That pleased the little fellow very much,

for he wanted to learn to read. So early the

next day with a loaf of bread on his head, for

it was some distance, he started off for the missionary's

school. On his way he came to the bank of a river, where many people were collected, and they seemed to be in great trouble.

What was the matter? Had somebody that

could not swim fallen in? Was anybody

drowned? The river was swollen by a night

rain, and was very high and angry. Yes, somebody

had. Oh, poor fellow, who? Why, it

was a god that had tumbled in, and he could

not swim any better than a stone; so half the

village had turned out to fish him up. They

had got a rope round his neck, and were pulling

and shouting with all their might, but to

no purpose. They could not save him any

more than he could save them. They must

leave him to his fate, or wait till the river went

down, and then drag him out with oxen.

Little Tookaram stopped and looked at this

strange sight with wonder. He then stripped

off his clothes, piled them on his head, plunged

boldly into the stream, and swam to the

other side where the missionary's school was.

How much more power he had in the water

than the god! The little stranger was kindly

welcomed at the school. After his bashfulness

wore off, and he became acquainted with the

scholars, he told them about the drowned god.

"Oh," said the little boys at school, "he is

not a god; he is an idol. He is a made god:

he has eyes, but he sees not: he has ears, but

he hears not; he has a mouth, but he speaks

not; he knows nothing, and he can't help

those who pray to him any better than he can

help himself. He is a dead god. He is not

our God; our God is the living God;" for the

Hindoo Children of the missionary school had

learned to worship the Christian's God, the

Lord of heaven and earth.

"Who is your God?" asked little Tookaram.

"Jehovah," answered the children, "the

Maker and Father of everything." "Where,

does he live?" asked Tookaram. "He is a

Spirit," answered the children, "he lives in

heaven, he sees everybody, he knows everything."

Little Tookaram was filled with

amazement. A drowned god did not indeed

seem like a God to worship and pray to. His

poor little brain was full of painful and puzzling

ideas; but a great, new thought had got

lodged there; a living God instead of the dead

gods, idols of wood and stone which he had before

worshiped. Then he learned that God

so loved this world that he sent his dear Son

to save us from our sins, and that he died on

the cruel cross to do it. Tookaram tore the

beads from his neck and declared himself a

Christian. He began to pray to God and the

Holy Spirit enlightened his mind and melted

his heart, and he became a heartfelt believer

in Bible truth.

By and by his adopted mother hears of it,

and comes to the school very angry. She is

determined to take Tookaram away. But the

lovely Christian spirit of the missionary and

his household quiets her. The tale of her little

son, too, has a strange pleasantness in it. It

is Tookaram, and it is not Tookaram. Christian

Tookaram is not the heathen Tookaram.

She stays and stays to hear more, and the Holy

Spirit, little by little, opens her blinded eyes

to see the blessed truth, and at last she finds

in Jesus Christ all she has been ever seeking

for among the idols of her own land; the burden

of her sins rolled away; pardon and peace

came to her poor heart.

Some months after this, Tookaram and his

mother stood up with five others, in a small

Christian congregation in India, and publicly

professed their faith in Jesus Christ.