Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/407

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329
TIBET

decided to settle down where they were and await the removal of the barriers. In this way their first station was opened in 1856 at Kyelang in Lahoul, and in 1865 a second centre was opened at Poo in Kunawar.

These two men were presently joined by Jaeschke, a linguist and scholar of extraordinary ability. After mastering the language, he quickly set to work and prepared school-books, catechisms, liturgies, hymns, tracts, Bible histories, and a Tibetan Grammar and Dictionary, which have been of untold value to succeeding missionaries. By these works his own knowledge and style were perfected, and he commenced the translation of the Bible.[1] When his work was finished he was obliged to return to his native land in failing health.

The New Testament has quite recently, in 1901-1902, been revised into colloquial Lhasa, by a Committee appointed by the British and Foreign Bible Society, assembled at Darjeeling. The members of this Revision Committee were the venerable Mr. Heyde, Messrs. Amundsen, Macdonald, Mackenzie, and the Rev. Graham Scudberg. After its completion, Mr. Heyde, President of this Committee, returned with his wife to Europe, having completed, without a break, nearly fifty years of labour among the Tibetans.

Jaeschke was succeeded by Redslob, who completed the New Testament in 1884, and subsequently the Pentateuch and the Book of Psalms. In 1883 Pagell and his wife both died at Poo, worn out with thirty years of ceaseless toil.

The missionaries had long desired to secure premises in Leh, the capital of Ladak, feeling that it would be the best centre from which to reach the Western Tibetans. It is an important city on the high-road between India and Turkestan. After long waiting, many difficulties were overcome, and in 1885, after nearly thirty years of continuous prayer, Redslob was able to enter and rent premises.

  1. For fuller details of translation work, see the special section on Versions.