January 1, 1806. Still on my voyage; arrived nearly as far as the Cape of Good Hope. Though seven months have elapsed since my embarkation, and three or four must pass ere I can reach my final destination, I feel little fatigue or impatience; rather am I troubled that each day flies quick, so that I have scarcely time to get anything done. The last year is the most memorable of any since I began a religious life: since in it I have been thrust out to be a labourer in God's vineyard among the heathen; many dangers have I inured from seas and change of climate, and have experienced much disturbance of mind, first from preparation for my voyage, and since that by the variety of scenes into which I have been introduced, and very severe was my mental suffering on leaving Europe, but through the never-failing mercy of the Lord, I am healthy in body, and quiet in my mind. From the perusal of my journal, I am surprised, and grieved at the unhumbled spirit which pervades it. I have at present to mourn over my dead-ness of spirit, so destitute of love. However, with all my execrable dulness in divine things, I have this testimony for good, that I am perfectly weary of a life of sin, that my unprofitableness is a grievous burden to me, and far, very far from regretting I ever came on this delightful work, were I to choose for myself, I could scarcely find a situation more agreeable to my taste. Onward therefore let me go, and persevere steadily in this blessed undertaking through the grace of God, dying daily to the opinions of men, and aiming with a more single eye to the glory of the everlasting God. This morning passed as usual in reading Scripture, and prayer, and writing, but M'K. much interrupted and disturbed me. However, by prayer, I strove to exercise faith, though my mind was exceedingly distressed at my repeated want of improvement. In the afternoon read Luke xiv. and spoke upon the barren fig-tree, to a considerable number. How long ago should I have been cut down for my barrenness, had not the great Intercessor in mere compassion pleaded for me. In prayer in the evening I received much comfort; I was enabled to bring all my sorrows, and lie before God as a most wretched creature, whose barrenness testifies against him.
2. Read Luke xv. in the afternoon below; visited M------; the signal being made for bending cables, set my thoughts that way, and made me wish with some impatience for land. Read to M'K.
3. Was assisted a little, and wrote with more freedom. Read in the afternoon John vi.; as I thought from our nearness to land, it might be the last occasion of our meeting, I concluded with prayer. Some men were standing by us laughing, and Captain O-----came in the midst of it, but waited till the prayer was over. After visiting some sick, I found on coming upon deck, that land was discovered; the high lands at the Cape were distinctly visible eighty miles off. In the evening M'K. and Corporal B------came to my cabin; I read several of the most suitable portions of Scripture I could find, and was afterwards enabled to commend them to God with solemnity and affection. M'K. continued with me afterwards, but grieved me much by what I thought inconsistent levity, on so solemn an occasion. My heart was filled with joy and peace, when left alone; again at prayer at night I drew near to the Lord with ease and power. "Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name." He restoreth my soul. I will hearken what the Lord God shall say concerning me, for he shall speak peace to his people; but let them not turn again to folly.
4. Continued to approach the land; about sunset the fleet came to an anchor between Robber's Island and the land on that side, farthest from Cape Town, and a signal was immediately given for the 59th regiment to prepare to land. Our men were soon ready, and received thirty-six rounds of ball cartridge; before the three boats were lowered down and fitted it was two in the morning. I staid up to see them off; it was a melancholy scene; the privates were keeping up their spirits by affecting to joke about the approach of danger, and the ladies sitting in the cold night upon the grating of the after-hatchway overwhelmed with grief; the cadets with M'K. who is one of their officers all went on board the Duchess of Gordon, the general rendezvous of the company's troops. I could get to speak to none of my people, but Corporals B------and B-------. I said to Serjeant G------, it is now high time to be decided in religion, he replied with a sigh; to Captain S. and the cadets I endeavoured to speak in a general way. I this day signed my name as a witness to Captain O. and Major D.'s wills; Captain O. left his with me; I passed my time at intervals in writing for to-morrow. The interest I felt in the outward scene, distracted me very much from the things which are not seen, and all I could do in prayer was to strive against this spirit. But with what horror should I reflect on the motions of sins within me, which tempted me to wish for bloodshed, as something gratifying by its sublimity. My spirit would be overwhelmed by such a consciousness of depravity, but that I can pray still deliberately against sin, and often the Lord manifested his power by making the same sinful soul to feel a longing desire that the blessed gospel of peace might soothe the spirits of men, and make them all live together in harmony and love. Yet the principle within me may well fill me with shame and sorrow.
Union, in Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope,
January 4, 1806, (11 at night.)
***** Saturday night, the instant our anchor was down, when I began this letter, a signal was given for the 59th to land. I staid up till two in the morning to take my leave of them, and was grieved to find with what levity and profaneness they were arming themselves against the fears of death. Of my own men I had taken a solemn and affecting farewell, by commending them to the grace of God. They returned however, about the middle of the next day, the General not thinking it safe to land, either on account of the surf, or because he had received information of a large body of the enemy being in readiness behind an eminence, to receive them. Nothing was done the remainder of that day, (yesterday) but to-day, Monday 6, three regiments have landed without opposition, as we see very plainly from our ship, and the landing of the whole army is now going on; the 59th are to leave the ship at three to-morrow morning. Poor souls! from the report we have of the force ashore, I fear many of them will never return.
Two days after writing the above a battle was fought. I went ashore a few hours after it, and saw the wounded and dead lying on the field, but the particulars I have not time to relate, as I am just informed that the ship which carries the intelligence, is to sail to-morrow, and I have not written a single letter yet to my relations. I beg my kindest remembrance to Mrs. S. of whom I make mention with you without ceasing in my prayers. May you both live, my beloved friends, happy in one another, but finding your chief happiness in God. Confessing that you are strangers and pilgrims upon earth, not having here a continuing city, and seeking one to come. I beg the continuance of your prayers, especially at those seasons when you intercede for the general cause of our blessed Lord.
I remain, ever yours affectionately,
To the Rev. John Sargent.
5. (Sunday.) No service; the body of our troops which had gone to join the other regiments at the rendezvous, returned this morning; after waiting near shore a considerable time, they all received orders to return to their respective ships. Two reasons are assigned for this, one that the surf was too high, the other that a large body of the enemy were stationed behind an eminence, ready to oppose their landing; no further attempt was made to-day, but the man-of-war cruised round the bay; I was mostly upon deck sharing the general anxiety, but about the middle of the day, found it necessary to withdraw for a solemn season of prayer, to bring back my soul to God. The Lord mercifully assisted his sinful creature, and the rest of the day I was enabled to maintain a more proper sense of the vanity of all outward things, and the infinite precious importance of setting the Lord always before me; I went below in the afternoon, but found the deck strewed with the soldiers all asleep; M'K. returned from the Duchess of Gordon to-day, and with Major D-------, came to my cabin in the evening. We read Romans viii.; the Major's objections led to the old subject of the heathen, how they should be left in such a state. I said little, when little was to be said to the purpose, and resolved all into the sovereignty of God. This dwelt very strongly on my mind, and when we prayed, I was greatly assisted to approach him as a sovereign: "Be still, and know that I am God." Remained peaceful and happy the rest of the evening.
6. Several regiments effected a landing this morning on the eastern shore, as we could see plainly from our ship. The Indiamen were ordered to get under weigh, and the men-of-war drew up close to the shore, to protect the landing. No enemy appeared to oppose them; but one of the gun-brigs threw several shells ashore, to dislodge some of them who stood with a gun planted near the beach. The two first officers who landed were two Lieut-Colonels, who were wounded immediately by two spent balls from sharp-shooters. One boat was stove by the surge's dashing her against the rocks, and out of sixty-three in her, only eleven were saved. On a neighbouring eminence we saw a party of the enemy as we supposed, from their being dressed in blue. The troops continued in sight, on the side of a hill covered with sand interspersed with bushes, as if not designing to march on till the whole should be landed. There were a few huts near the beach, which were left with every thing in them. One of our midshipmen brought away some leaves of Dutch books; they were an English Grammar in Dutch, and a Catechism; the stools and tables the soldiers broke up for firing. Further up the hill there was a house exactly resembling our farm houses in England, with out-houses, barns, &c. It seemed to be abandoned. A gun-brig belonging to our squadron coming in from Rio Janeiro, began instantly to fire at a battery, which returned it, so that from this, and the throwing of shells, and the number of signals made by the men-of-war, there was important cannonading. I was upon deck the whole day, and again suffered at first from the consciousness of idleness, but by prayer and watchfulness was enabled to be more with God afterwards and read. Still I drank too much into the spirit of those around me, instead of having those solemn impressions which the scene presented. The soldiers and cadets (who had returned from the Duke of Gordon,) were all eager to get ashore, so that there was more levity and trifling about death than ever. As the 59th expected to be called on every hour, I found on my going below, there was little hope of getting my people together; as most were asleep, I was obliged to return rather disappointed.-------who is so sick that he cannot land, was very keenly scoffed at by the brutal B------, who accused him of hypocrisy in religion, and of feigning illness. Though I was not quite satisfied with-------, and wished to persuade him to try at least to land, I rebuked B------pretty sharply. At intervals wrote a letter to Sargent.
7. The 59th landed early this morning; then the cadets with M'K. at their head, who commanded a company of East India troops. Afterwards twelve of our seamen, who form a part of a Marine battalion, composed of seamen from the different ships, armed with pikes to the number of 1200. Poor B. and the others gave me a last affectionate look after they were in the boats. After they were all gone I returned to pray and found at first delightful access to God, and freedom in prayer for the poor soldiers; but afterwards grew stupid. The idleness in which I had been these two or three days left me indisposed for exertion, and it was with the utmost difficulty that I could get my heart into any thing of a right state. Had somewhat of a reviving season in prayer this evening, and was made to see especially my shameful deficiencies in love and joy. As often as I stir up this slothful heart to these divine exercises, God blesses the endeavour. O my soul rejoice in Christ Jesus! Love God more, and thy brother more. Began a letter to Mr. Simeon at night. Found from Mr. S. who had been ashore to offer his services to the General, that the enemy were entrenched within a mile of them, that there were few or no French troops, and that many English families had been to visit the army. Four privates were wounded at the time of the first landing, besides the two field officers. Dutchmen also were wounded, taken prisoners and humanely sent on board the hospital ship. Mr. S's. boat was upset by the surf, and he thrown ashore. Hearing loud screams at night, I ran out and found a Lascar had fallen over board, a rope was thrown to him just in time to save his life. The commodore with two gun-brigs has been cannonading a battery. My cabin-door and window shake at every gun.
8. Ten o'clock. When I got up, the army had left the shore, except the company's troops who remained to guard the landing place; but soon after seven, a most tremendous fire of Artillery began behind a mountain a-breast of the ship; it seemed as if the mountain itself were torn by intestine convulsions. The smoke rose from a lesser eminence on the right of the hill, and on the top of it troops were seen rushing down the farther declivity; then came such a long drawn fire of musketry, that I could not have conceived any thing like it. We all shuddered at considering what a multitude of souls must be passing into eternity. The poor ladies were in a dreadful condition, every peal seemed to go through their hearts; I have just been endeavouring to do what I can to keep up their spirits. The sound is now retiring, and the enemy are seen retreating along the low ground on the right towards the town. Soon after writing this I went ashore and saw M'K. &c. and Cecil, with whom I had an agreeable conversation on Divine things. The cadets of our ship had erected a little shed made of bushes and straw, and here at their desire I partook of their cheer. Three Highlanders came to the lines just as I arrived, all wounded in the hand. In consequence of their report of the number of the wounded, a party of East India troops with slings and barrows, attended by a body of cadets with arms, under Major Lumsden, were ordered to march to the field of battle. I attached myself to these, and marched six miles through the soft burning sand with them. The first we came to was a Highlander, who had been shot through the thigh, and had walked some way from the field and lay spent under some bushes. He was taken care of and we went on, and passed the whole of the larger hill without seeing any thing. The ground then opened into a most extensive plain which extended from the sea to the blue mountains at a great distance on the east. On the right was the little hill, to which we were attracted by seeing some English soldiers; we found that they were some wounded men of the 24th. They had all been taken care of by the surgeons of the Staff. Three were mortally wounded. One who was shot through the lungs was spitting blood and yet very sensible. The surgeon desired me to spread a great coat over him as they left him, as I did this I talked to him a little of the blessed gospel, and begged him to cry for mercy through Jesus Christ. The poor man feebly turned his head in some surprize, but took no further notice, I was sorry to be obliged to leave him and go on after the troops, from whom I was not allowed to be absent out of a regard to my safety. On the top of the little hill lay Captain F. of the Grenadiers of the same regiment, dead, shot by a ball entering his neck and passing into his head. I shuddered with horror at the sight; his face and bosom were covered with thick blood, and his limbs rigid and contracted as if he had died in great agony. Near him were several others dead, picked off by the rifle men of the enemy. We then descended into the plain where the two armies had been drawn up. A Marine of the Belliqueux gave me a full account of the position of the armies and particulars of the battle. We soon met with some of- the 59th, one a corporal, who often joins us in singing and who gave the pleasing intelligence, that the regiment had escaped unhurt, except Captain McPher-son. In the rear of the enemy's army there were some farm-houses, which we had converted into a receptacle for the sick, and in which there were already two hundred, chiefly English, with a few of the enemy. Here I entered and found that six officers were wounded; but as the surgeon said they should not be disturbed, I did not go in, especially as they were not dangerously wounded. In one room I found a Dutch captain wounded, with whom I had a good deal of conversation in French. After a few questions about the army and the Cape, I could not help enquiring about Dr. Vanderkemp; he said he had seen him, but believed he was not at the Cape, nor knew how I might hear of him. The spectacle at these houses was horrid. The wounded soldiers lay ranged within and without covered with blood and gore. While the India troops remained here, I walked out into the field of battle with the surgeon. On the right wing where they had been attacked by the Highland regiment, the dead and wounded seemed to have been strewed in great numbers, from the knapsacks, &c. Some of them were still remaining; with a Frenchman whom I found amongst them I had some conversation. All whom we approached cried out instantly for water. One poor Hottentot I asked about Dr. V., I saw by his manner that he knew him; he lay with extraordinary patience under his wound on the burning sand; I did what I could to make his position comfortable, and laid near him some bread, which I found on the ground. Another Hottentot lay struggling with his mouth in the dust, and the blood flowing out of it, cursing the Dutch in English, in the most horrid language; I told him he should rather forgive them, and asked him about God, and after telling him of the gospel, begged he would pray to Jesus Christ; but he did not attend. While the surgeon went back to get his instrument in hopes of saving the man's life, a Highland soldier came up, and asked me in a rough tone, 'who are you?' I told him, an Englishman, he said, 'no, no, you are French,' and was going to present his musquet. As I saw he was rather intoxicated, and might in mere wantonness fire, I went up to him and told him that if he liked he might take me prisoner to the English army, but that I was certainly an English clergyman. The man was pacified at last. The surgeon on his return found the thigh bone of the poor Hottentot broken, and therefore left him to die. After this I found an opportunity of retiring and lay down among the bushes, and lifted up my soul to God. I cast my eyes over the plain which a few hours before had been the scene of bloodshed and death, and mourned over the dreadful effects of sin. How reviving to my thoughts were the blue mountains on the east, where I conceived the Missionaries labouring to spread the Gospel of peace and love. The Dutch captain told me it was to save his honour, the Dutch governor made such a stout resistance. Oh i that ambitious men at-home could see the miseries of war, the agonies of dying men left neglected on the field, and the wretched relatives driven from their homes. In the house of the sick, there was among others a picture of a preacher, Kolver I think his name was. Perhaps some children of God lived here, I prayed with much enlargement for the spread of the gospel, and found by this means my own soul much recovered from the distraction occasioned by the multitude of outward things that had engaged my attention. We marched back in the evening to the English lines at the place of embarkation; the ground all the way was soft sand, covered with low bushes, consisting of a great variety of heaths flowering, and some wild myrtles and geraniums; round the farm-houses were some yellow spots of fallow land, but I observed no enclosures. The surf was high when we came to go on board, and the swell was so great that I began to be in fear. On arriving near to where the Union should be, we heard from a neighbouring ship that she had weighed and gone out. Being very cold and hungry I began to grow discontented, and in that state of mind I felt very unwilling to die if it should please God to command the waves to swallow me up; but on farther consideration I thought how much more it became me to be thankful, and by meditating on "Bless the Lord, O my soul," Psalm ciii. my reflections were quite changed; I rejoiced in spirit, and looked upon the threatening waves with a placid aspect, as those which might be commissioned to launch me away to a happy world, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. After a hard pull we reached the Europe, East Indiaman, and begged for a night's lodging, which they gave us; though not any meat, which I was so much in want of.
9-12. (See Memoir.) As I heard there was service at an English church in the afternoon, I was making preparations for going ashore; and by this means wounded my peace of mind, by rendering myself unfit for undivided attention to divine things on this holy day*; but afterwards was much blessed in meditation on Psalm xii. 24. and felt quite happy at the prospect of the future glory of the church, and God's great mercy in restoring me to such peacefulness of mind. It blew too hard to admit of our going ashore; and the men were so employed, that there was no opportunity for divine service. In the afternoon, when I went out, I found there was a most dreadful fight among the soldiers; all the sailors and passengers were around, unable to separate them; my interference had the effect of restoring them to order. In the evening the ladies were alarmed at the intelligence, that the 59th had been ordered to march with six field pieces, against the enemy, who are still in the country somewhere, though the enemy have surrendered the fort. The Major was coming to me for our usual Sunday's service, when I was sent for to the ladies, and thus I had no one social ordinance through the day. The wind now blows a hurricane. (See Memoir.)
13. I had been anxiously inquiring about Dr. Vanderkemp. (See Memoir.) He called for Mr. Read, and I was beyond measure delighted at the happiness of seeing him too. I found they had quitted their situation among the Hottentots, through the persecution of the boors, and had now resided in Cape Town since July last. We all admired the providence of God in sending out our expedition from England, just at that very time to take away their place and nation. I joined their family service, though it was all in Dutch; there were several females, and one young man who had some thoughts of devoting himself to the missionary service. Mr. Read read a chapter and expounded it with great fluency, and Dr. Vanderkemp prayed; though the hymn was in Dutch, the tune was a well-known English one, and in that I joined with great joy. Dr. V. and Mr. R. walked back with me to my lodgings. I was much surprised to find Dr. V. so old a man, he had every appearance of being about eighty years of age; the circumstance of meeting with these beloved and highly honoured brethren so filled me with joy and gratitude for the goodness of God's providence, that I hardly knew what to do. Major D. at night proposed sending them £10. which I was much pleased at, both on their account and his own.
14. Again lost many precious hours, by waiting for one person and another before I could get on board. As I was in a very carnal state, I passed as much of the afternoon as I could, in prayer and reading, and was brought through mercy to something of a more holy heavenly-minded frame. Captain N.'s body was brought ashore this evening in a boat, towed by another, in which was a flag half-mast high. As we left the ship a gun was fired by her, and she continued firing minute guns to the number of 34, the years of his age. The scene was remarkably solemn. Most of the Captains of Indiamen attended the funeral, which was likely to have met with an interruption by my having neglected to bring the Prayer-book with me; in the utmost confusion I sent to all the English families, but none could be found, and so I went to the church, where, through the ignorance of the proper ceremonies, the corpse had arrived before me, and began the service without a Prayer-book, and read the Psalms and lessons from my Bible. At the critical moment, while the body was putting into the grave, Mr. Read who had been running about to get a book, put one into my hand without any one perceiving it, and thus the whole service went on with propriety and decorum. Afterwards walked with him. (See Memoir, p. 161.)
16--20. (See Memoir, pp. 162, 163.) 21. I was agreeably surprised to be introduced to several of the Hottentot sisters, and two brethren, of whom I had read; they had travelled from Bethelsdorp, and brought the produce of their elephant hunting. The tusks and teeth were lying on the ground; the dried flesh of the rhinoceros and spring-buck was in bags, dried by exposure to the sun; there were also whip sticks an inch and a half thick, cut from the skin of the rhinoceros I tasted some of the flesh, and wrapped myself in the kaross. The poor dear people had much expression in their countenances, and I regretted that I could not converse with them. Drank tea at Mr. Lasream's, but had no conversation except with the missionaries, from whom I had an account of their manner of administering the two sacraments. With respect to meat they were apt to be surfeited with animal food, for want of bread. The number of missionary brethren at our station should be three, for if two only, then if one is ill, too much work devolves on the other. If things at any time did not seem prosperous among the people, they would unite in prayer, after which there would always be some new manifestations of divine grace. They thought no qualifications particularly requisite for missionaries, and that young men offering themselves should not be detained in England, and then sent as missionaries, but sent at once to be assistants to established missions for two or three years, that they might see what sort of life it is; if they find themselves unfit they might retire without disgrace; for some had come out from Holland, and said they could not continue missionaries, except they could be supported as gentlemen. Read, when tired with study, used to go to the house of the Hottentots, and listen to their hunting stories. They thought the Bible was given to the two missionaries only, and were greatly at a loss to know what they should do when the missionaries were dead. After they were taught, they began to say, 'Why did the boors keep away from us those little scratch! and dots.' The Caffres, Dr. V. thinks, are of Arabian origin; they circumcise their children at fourteen years old, after the manner of the Arabs. Hottentots' language entirely different; great resemblance to the Hebrew, having the same conjugations, but no difference of gender in the verbs. The Hottentots were exceedingly delighted with the idea of the resurrection, as they said they should see their old friends again, but regretted it was not to take place yet awhile.
22. Employed in writing to E------; my heart was full of the tenderest affection to her, and Lydia, and the people of God, but yet in many respects cold in the service of God. Went with brother Read to visit the hospital, where the wounded English were. We spoke to some of them. At the barrack we met with F. of the 24th, at whose request we went to his room, and met several officers. For my conformity to them I felt miserably grieved afterwards, and could have hidden my head in the dust. In prayer, God was pleased to give me to feel sorrow for my sin, and peace and tenderness of heart the rest of the evening.
23, 24. (See Memoir, p. 169.) Drank tea with Read, at Mr. V.'s, and there met Smith, a Dutch missionary. Mrs. V. who spoke English well, gave me an account of the Briewas. She said the country was under the dominion of four kings, who were generally at war with one another; the people were utterly averse to receive the gospel, thought they conferred an obligation by listening, and made it a plea for getting tobacco from him, &c. but shewed no other disposition to persecute them than what must be expected from savage nations; so that I really could not see that Mr. Vanderlingee had done right in leaving them. If any blame were to attach to them, I should be disposed to lay it to Mrs. V. who seemed a very light high-spirited woman, very unfit for a missionary's wife.
25-31. (See Memoir, p. 164-167.)
31. Very dissatisfied at losing much time through the calls of P-------and C------, but in my walk, spoke with great vehemence against some fashionable sins, from which they would be in danger in India. I do not know when I have felt such indignation, as at hearing of the sin which gave occasion to our discourse. Oh when shall the cruel wickedness of this world have an end. Afterwards went home, and prayed for a more tender compassion towards sinners, &c. (See Memoir.)
February 1 to 5. (See Memoir, pp. 167, 168.) Had a little conversation with Read on the beach, not thinking it would be the last time I should see him. We spoke again of the excellency of the missionary work. The last time I had stood on the shore with a friend, speaking on the same subject, was with Lydia, at Marazion; and this recurring to my mind, I mentioned her to Read. He said that at his first outset he did not think himself at all at liberty to think upon marriage, this text being continually suggested to him, "Seek first the kingdom of God," &c. However, I felt not the slightest desire of marriage under my present circumstances, and often find reason to bless God for keeping me single. Brother Read went on board the transport which was to convey him, and the new Landrost, Captain Kylee, of the 59th, to Algoa Bay; it sailed the next day, and I saw no more of him.
6. Getting ready for sea, and reading Prideaux, and Persian. Wrote to Hensman. Baptized a son of Mr. W. of the Europe, a civilian of the Madras establishment. Enjoyed at night a blessed season in prayer.
7. Waiting to go on board. Called with Lieutenant K. on F. W. but found he was ill in the country. A south-easter coming on in the afternoon, we were detained ashore; read Prideaux,
8. Went aboard at five in the morning, and passed much of the day in arranging my cabin and preparations for to-morrow. A gloom seemed to hang upon all the passengers, at beginning so long a trip as from hence to India, after the weariness of so long a voyage. But there was no wind all day, so that our patience had a further trial. If the Lord vouchsafe his presence, all places are alike to me, sea or land.
9. (Sunday.) There being the appearance of a south easter in the morning, we expected a signal every minute for going to sea, and on this account the Captain would have no service; passed the morning in reading the service with M'K; in the afternoon a breeze sprung up; the Indiamen, with all the men-of-war, and the transports bound to India for provisions, got under weigh. At night M'K. and myself read and prayed together.
10. After a disturbed night, I rose sick, and continued very ill throughout the day; the time passed away very painfully and tediously in reading a little, and slumbering. Read Leighton in the evening, and found as usual the writings of that holy man blest to my spirit's real good, and saw the sinfulness of giving way too much to the influence of the body, and suffering it to chain down the soul to earth; for what should I do in a long sickness preceding death?
11. Rose rather better through mercy, but the motion of the ship was so great, that I was still uncomfortable, and could do little in my cabin, nor walk much on deck, from extreme feebleness. In the afternoon a strange sail appearing in the north-east, we ran away before the wind in chase of her, by which means the motion ceasing, I had a little ease. She proved to be a friend, and as we supposed, a homeward-bound India-man. Had great grief and humiliation in prayer, for having said something very severe to the captain, which vexed him not a little, though I certainly did not intend it. My soul was full of anguish at having given another unnecessary pain, and saw guilt enough in not having a rule over my tongue. Had I been breathing love to his soul, and in the habit of praying to God for him, I could hot have spoken in such a manner; I thought, Christ has sent me forth as an under-shepherd, to win the wandering sheep by every act of kindness, and yet I, through my wickedness, drive them farther from the fold. God was graciously pleased to open to my mind, new and solemnizing views of eternal things, so that my thoughts and affections sweetly rested in heaven. M'K. and myself read and prayed together at night.
12. Continued very unwell, so that I could engage in no regular employment. Read Isaiah and Persian at intervals. By reading Leighton's rules for a holy life, I found myself most awfully affected, and felt such a deep conviction of the necessity of holiness, and such a desire after it, that when I was amongst the rest at dinner, I felt quite grieved and shocked at every little levity. However if I, in a little more spiritual frame feel astonished at the universal thoughtlessness of men, what must the infinitely holy God think of them; and of me, when I conform to them! Went below after dinner, and with some difficulty got a few together to sing. I came up deeply sorrowful at the awfully-hardened state of the soldiers, and felt still more keenly the unconcern of some of whom I hoped better things. I go down the main hatchway and stand in the midst of a few, without their taking the slightest notice of me, except it be by giving a look of dread. After a little while they call one or two of the singers, in such a manner as shows they think they are doing me a great favour. I comfort myself at such times by saying, 'Lord, it is for thy sake I suffer such slights, enable me to persevere notwithstanding.' What I had been reading in Leighton, remained much on my mind. I felt altogether a new frame, a conviction and desire after such alterations, but scarcely courage to attempt it; but withal, the deepest spirit of devotion I have felt for a long time past. Towards night my soul seemed to sink in deep waters, and a horrible dread overwhelmed me. To forsake every species of earthly enjoyment, to crucify, and mortify, not only sinful pleasures, but all complacency in created enjoyments, seemed to leave me wretched; and the distance which I found in myself from that simple living upon God, and the great difficulty of attaining to it, oppressed me with darkness and distress. Yet I scarcely knew what it was that oppressed me. In prayer afterwards it seemed to be the unawakened state of my hearers, that chiefly made me melancholy.
13. Still too sick from the motion to apply regularly to study. Rose early, and as usual sat in my chair; too sick and weak to dress myself. My state of mind at such times is gloomy beyond measure. After breakfast had a solemn season in prayer, with the same impressions as yesterday, from Leighton, and tried to give up myself wholly to God, not only to be resigned solely to his will, but to seek my only pleasure from it, to depart altogether from the world, and be exactly the same in happiness, whether painful or pleasing dispensations were appointed me: I endeavoured to realize again the truth, that suffering was my appointed portion, and that it became me to expect it as my daily lot. Yet after all, I was ready to cry out, what an unfortunate creature I am, the child of sorrow and care; from my infancy I have met with nothing but contradiction, but I always solaced myself that one day it would be better, and I should find myself comfortably settled in the enjoyment of domestic pleasures, whereas, after all the wearying labours of school and college, I am at last cut off from all my friends, and comforts, and dearest hopes, without being permitted even to hope for them any more. As I walked the deck, I found that the conversation of others, and my own gloomy surmises of my future trials, affected me far less with vexation, than they formerly did, merely from this, that I took it as my portion from God, all whose dispensations I am bound to consider and receive as the fruits of infinite wisdom and love towards me. I felt therefore very quiet, and was manifestly strengthened from above with might in my inner man, therefore without any joy, without any pleasant considerations to balance my present sickness and gloom, I was contented from the reflection, that it was God who did it. I pray that this may be my state, neither to be anxious to escape from this stormy sea, that was round the Cape, nor to change the tedious- scene of the ship for Madras, nor to leave this world merely to get rid of the troubles of it, but to glorify God where I am, and where he puts me, and to take each day as an important trust for him, in which I have much to do both in suffering and acting. Employed in collecting from the New Testament, all the passages that refer to our walking in Christ.
14. So ill the whole morning with a head-ache, that I could not sit in my cabin; yet through grace; my mind continued in the same contented spirit as yesterday. I neither looked back nor looked forward, but endeavoured to be pleased with the dispensations of the day. Spoke to M'K. a good deal on this subject, and on that uncharitable, slanderous disposition which we are apt to indulge. Found my usual place at the main hatchway occupied in the afternoon; so I returned and passed some time in prayer, for the stedfast maintenance of this spirit of submission. But though in several seasons of prayer I had fixed and solemn thoughts, there was a want of love to God. Was beginning, with some profit, to meditate on a subject, when M'K. coming in interrupted me. We passed some time in reading and prayer, after which I read Hindoostanee.
15. Chiefly employed in writing. Sickness being removed, and outward things being more agreeable, I found it more difficult to look off from all things to God, than when I was troubled, and thus have I actually been happier in affliction than at other times. I know however so well by experience now, how sweet and happy a life it is to live by faith, that I was earnest to keep close to God, and be utterly indifferent about the outward scene.
16. (Sunday.) Felt the utmost reluctance to the public duties of the day; but instead of labouring to perceive some pleasantness in my work as I used to do, in order to reconcile myself to it, I calmly considered it as a cross, and then from a principle of resignation had my mind made up to go right through every difficulty in obedience to God. Preached from Psalm ciii. 1--4, as suitable to the occasion of its being the first service after their return from the battle. The congregation was small, and those who were there seemed to show a great deal of determined inattention and contempt, i. e. the common soldiers. The younger officers were none of them present; they annoy M'K. most; to me they seldom speak. 'Come now,' they said to M'K. as he went down, 'let us have a little of the humbug,' and then began to mimic the singing of psalms. S. in the afternoon, at which time he is always intoxicated, finding M'K reading the Bible, said '-------the Bible!' Poor unhappy creature, the terrors of God are manifestly upon his conscience, for in his drunkenness he is always talking of religion. After the service, felt very contented to be among this people, and to be left without any fruit, since such was the will of God. I continued in a solemn and mournful frame, thinking much of those words of Ezekiel, ""Not to many people of a strange speech, and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted." Going below in the afternoon, I found the tailor and Serjeant at the usual place of our meeting, employed in cutting out clothes. I read Luke xix. and found great freedom in speaking from several parts; there was great noise and levity all about, so that I was at first afraid to pray, but considering that eternal things ought not to give place to the Devil, I began, and soon all was silent. Thus the Lord fulfils his promise, of making my forehead strong against their foreheads," as an adamant harder than flint. B------sat with me in the evening; during- the conversation my heart was filled with joy in God, and all that was within me blessed his holy name; but in prayer alone I rather endeavoured to have solemn thoughts of God, and deep considerations of the necessity of perfect submission, than gave way to the flow of joy. I perceived for the first time the difference between sensible sweetness in religion, and the really valuable attainments in vital godliness, according to those remarkable words of Leigh ton, which rather surprised me at first. (Rules for a holy life, Sec. iii. 9.) "Mortify all affections towards inward sensible spiritual delight in grace, and the following of devotion with sensible sweetness in the lower faculties or powers of the soul, which are no wise real sanctity and holiness in themselves, but certain gifts of God to help our infirmity." M'K. prayed in my cabin to night, and our tempers and conversations more Christian than ordinarily.
17. Had reason enough to accuse myself of idleness. Wrote a little on a divine subject, and was somewhat solemn in the employment; but by giving way to a light spirit, brought a sense of guilt on my mind, and a burdensome inability to be holy and devout in my thoughts. Oh what a miserable existence is life, except the time be well filled up with profitable work, and the soul conformed to the mind which was in Christ Jesus.
18. Completed my twenty-fifth year. Let me recollect it to my own shame, and be warned by it, to spend my future years to a better purpose; unless this be the case, it is of very little consequence to notice when such a person came into the world. Passed much of the morning in prayer, but could not succeed at all in getting an humble and contrite spirit; my pride and self-esteem seemed unconquerable. Wrote sermon with my mind impressed with the necessity of diligence: had the usual service, and talked much to a sick man. Read Hindoostanee. As we were scudding at the rate of nine knots an hour, before a gale of wind, there would have been the utmost danger in running foul of a ship, which we had almost done at night; we continued between two ships without any seaman fit for such difficult steering, so that I felt more alarm than at any time since we first sailed. I did not go to bed till very late, and when I did, it was with such expectation of being awaked by the summons of death, that I got little or no sleep the whole night; nature trembled at passing into another world, but my soul was enabled to perceive God to be my reconciled Father.
19. Private duties encroached so far on the morning, through my extreme idleness and want of energy in the performance of them, that I could do but little afterwards. Read Hindoostanee; the gale of wind continuing, and much water flying over the sides, all the hatches were shut down, so that there was perfect darkness below; however, I visited the sick man, being obliged to feel my way to him. I am always surprised at the perfect contentment with which they seem to lie. This man was swinging in his hammock in darkness, and heat, and damp, without a creature to speak to him, and in a burning fever. I gave him a few grapes which had been given me, to allay his thirst. How great the pleasure of doing good even to the bodies of men. He said he had been thinking of what I had told him ever since, but shewed no true marks of seriousness. As I was entering in my common-place book something from Brown of this kind, 'that if from regard to God's Sabbaths, I deny myself, he will more than make it up to me,' I could not help recollecting, how this had been fulfilled to me this very day; for the Sunday we sailed from the Cape, a boat coming alongside with fruit, I did not think it right to buy any, though I longed to have some to carry to sea. To-day, Mr. Reynolds, the new passenger, to whom I scarcely ever spoke, surprised me by sending me a plate of fruit, by which I have not only been refreshed, but enabled to relieve this poor sick creature. Lost much time in looking at the sea, which presented a magnificent sight, and which I enjoyed more, from its being the first time of my being in a gale without sickness; through the whole of the day was wandering in prayer, and in my thoughts and conversation. Read' Prideaux and Milner's sermons with M'K. at night. Was greatly distressed at my hardness of heart, and thought of the expediency of adding fasting to prayer, to enable me to attain to escape from the misery of pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness, but from this the flesh shrinks with extraordinary dread.
20. Prayed with earnestness for a spirit of humiliation, and after some time, was blest, through divine mercy, with a sense of my own sinfulness and ingratitude. I felt it good and suitable that one so vile should walk through the world overwhelmed with contrition and love, receiving with grateful contentment every painful dispensation, because not worthy to enjoy the light of this world. I found it useful to try my heart in its aspect towards sinners, for when I am disposed to be angry and bitter against them, I have seated myself in the Judge's chair, instead of lying with my face in the dust, as the basest of them all. I pray therefore, that God would glorify himself by the gifts and graces of all his creatures, and put honour upon them, but make me take my place at the bottom of them, unnoticed, unknown, and forgotten. While this temper lasted it was well enough with me; all was serene and serious; but alas! I soon lost it, and became somebody again. In the afternoon, going below, could get no one of my singers, so after waiting some time in vain, I came away. Wrote sermon at night with tolerable freedom, and read Prideaux with M'K.
21. Employed through the day in writing sermon, and learning Hindoostanee roots. Was led to pray for grace to live simply by faith, and to maintain the life of devotion, not by outward aids, but by immediate union with Christ and dependence on his grace. In general, I find, that in beginning to pray, I transport myself in imagination to some solitary spot, or to some scene which I have found favourable to devotion, and there fancy myself praying. The bad consequence of this is, that when I open my eyes and am conversant with the things around me, I am distressed and unable to maintain such a sense of God's presence; imagination seems to be a sort of help, like music, not entirely to be despised, because both have quickened the languid spirit to devotion. Yet I feel that I ought to learn to live without the help of it, because in sickness and old age it may not be in exercise. M'K. and myself read and prayed at night. I was rejoiced to find so much of a Christian spirit in him, as he shewed in an unpleasant squabble that has taken place in the cuddy.
22. Conscience greatly wounded by trifling and waste of time when I ought to be in prayer, and by instantly after falling into the same sins, I had really felt humbled and grieved. Oh the great forbearance of God. Found much matter for prayer in Isaiah xxvi. and xxvii. Continued writing and learning roots. Had the usual service below to-day and yesterday, and conversed with two sick men. My soul is restless without God. At some moments the glimpses of His glory elevate my soul above the world, and make me follow hard after him; at other times I am carnal, full of fears about the opinions of men, and dissatisfied with my lot. Oh for perfect holiness; oh for heaven, where the disorders of my soul shall be removed.
23. (Sunday.) In great want of spirituality in all the public and private duties of the day. On rising in the morning, after a sleepless night, was most severely tried in my temper, by several little cross accidents. Preached on John i. 14. and was more comfortable than at any other time of the day. Walking the quarter-deck, was vexed with the worldly and wicked conversation of all around me; in the irritable state of mind in which I was, I rather considered my anger as corruption to be striven against, than zeal to be encouraged. Read below in the afternoon.
24. Employed this morning in Hindoostanee, and the evening in writing; the afternoon below decks, and had much, comfort and enjoyment in secret prayer. Saw great reason to strive against sensuality at my meals, and at dinner-time to-day, was enabled to mortify my appetites, and to consider my body strictly as intended to be, as no instrument of my own pleasure, but to be used and refreshed for God's service. Read Prideaux with M'K. at night.
25. A sleepless night again gave me occasion to contend with an extreme irritability, arising from nervous weakness. Passed the morning as usual in Hindoostanee; in my walk on deck was tried very painfully by peevishness and censoriousness. A considerable number were present in the afternoon. Read and prayed with M'K. at night.
26. How constantly and earnestly has God assured his people of the future ingathering of the Gentiles! I have seen it more and more of late in Isaiah, and pray God I may be stirred up to pray fervently for the fulfilment of his promises. And oh that I myself may live with God, and behold the world and its concerns with the eye of a stranger. Endeavoured to keep this text before me at dinner-time, "Forgetting the things which are behind, and reaching forth unto the things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Oh the high and holy work of a believer! Every day is given to me to obtain new grace, to put new graces into exercise, and improve those that I have, whatever they may be. Learnt Hindoostanee roots in the morning, and wrote in the evening, except when M'K. was with me. In the afternoon the young men came to me for mathematics. God help me of his mercy to walk more evenly and holily.
27. Rose once more after a sleepless night, and had in consequence a peevish temper to contend with. Had a comfortable and fervent season of prayer, in the morning, while interceding for the heathen from some of the chapters in Isaiah. How striking did those words Isaiah xlii. 8. appear to me, "I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Lord, is not thy praise given to graven images in India? here then is thine own express word that it shall not continue to be so. And how easy is it for the mighty God that created the heavens and stretched them out, that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein; to effect his purposes in a moment. What is caste? What are inveterate prejudices, and civil power, and priestly bigotry, when once the Lord shall set to his hand? Who knows whether even the present generation may not see Satan's throne shaken to its base in India? Learning Hindoostanee words in the morning; in the afternoon below, and much hurt at the cold reception the men gave me.
28. Had still much comfort and enlargement in prayer over the chapters of Isaiah. Learnt Hindoostanee words, which, however dry an employment in itself, is made so delightful to me through the mercy of God, that I could with pleasure be always at it. Continued a good while on deck, that fatigue might induce sleep at night. Below in the afternoon, and began St. John; no marks of seriousness in any of the sick. From the want of the usual refreshment of coffee at night, which is not to be given any more on the voyage, I was led into many reflections on self-denial in general. I find it a very hard matter to live independently of the flesh, and to feel the same pleasure in God, and the same general contentment, when deprived of accustomed indulgences, as when enjoying them. Finding I was looking forward with pleasure to the refreshment of wine and water I should receive at night from the cuddy, I determined to mortify this carnality, by sending it to the sick, whose necessities indeed made it a duty to do so. After this, though a little heavy, and without any sensible pleasure in religion; I felt a great hardihood of soul, and superiority to all difficulties.
March 1. Chiefly engaged in preparing for to-morrow. Found myself again become inordinately interested about our progress, instead of quietly leaving it with God. In the afternoon, nothing could be done below but visiting the sick. Cast down at night at the difficulties of a Christian life and ministry, but was helped to go forward, and found some comfort and repose at last.
2. (Sunday.) The ship running nine knots an hour, and the sea sometimes flying over the side, the Captain had no service. M'K. coming into the cabin, read a few of the church prayers, afterwards we read sacred Scripture and some of the Homilies. Afterwards, in secret, had a solemn season of meditation and prayer on Philippians and 1 Cor. xiii. Reading some of Leighton on Peter, I was somewhat dejected at the apparent impossibility of attaining the spirituality and holiness which he describes, or at least at the pain to the flesh with which such exertions must be attended. Went in to dinner unwillingly, yet determined to mortify all my carnal appetites. Found, on going below, B. ill of a fever, and all the other singers either ill, or so weak that they could not sing. However, I read some hymns and explained a chapter, but found no fit opportunity for prayer. M'K. afterwards by his conversation was a great comfort and relief to me, I found my affection much increased to him, and had reason to bless God for him, especially now that the image of Christ is more visible in him. We read and prayed together. In prayer alone afterwards, my soul rose with joy, and tasted a more pure and spiritual pleasure than for a long time past. I saw nothing in the world comparable to the service of God, no possession on earth so sweet as his own image. 3. Had some thoughts of devoting this day to fasting and prayer, but rising with a cold, and the air exceedingly damp, I thought that fasting would expose me to the attack of fever, especially while going among those who have it. Continued however in the spirit of prayer, and notwithstanding the great want of diligence in all I did, my soul seemed under a spiritual influence, so that I found sweet delight in prayer, and the thought of passing all my time in prayer and keeping my body completely under for that purpose. Met with some things in Hartley on Man, on the subject of temperance, that I found useful; I want nothing to do with the world. May I ever remain free and disentangled, pursuing my way unnoticed through the wilderness, finding all my pleasure in secret communion with God, and in seeing him glorified. I am as happy as I can be on earth, without more grace. In the afternoon, having no service, all being ill, I talked very fully and solemnly to one of the corporals, who is rather serious, on the necessity of a thorough self-devotedness to God; this was by the side of poor B.'s hammock, who confirmed what I said. Governed my temper a little better with, the young men at mathematics.
4. My mind tolerably spiritual, and finding pleasure in the thought of spending all my time in prayer, and crucifixion of the body, but was obliged again to defer the setting apart a day for prayer, on account of my cold, which makes me very stupid. Employed chiefly in Hindoostanee. Still no service in the afternoon, through the illness of my people. Found an opportunity of speaking to Corporal B. who has kept away from us ever since coming aboard from the Cape. Oh how various and important are the duties of a minister! they require far more wisdom than I possess. This young man naturally has a bad temper, and the ill-will he has brought upon himself by it from all the soldiers has unhinged his mind, and proved a temptation to forsake God and his ordinances. Had a happy season of prayer with M'K. at night, but still my slothfulness and un-fruitfulness is an enemy to my peace.
5. (See Memoir, p. 117.)
Oh, that I knew how to be duly abased! Oh, Spirit of God! fix the eyes of thy wretched creature upon his former sins, which thou hast brought to his mind, else he will instantly forget them and think of something else, and become again self-complacent! What shall I think of myself in comparison of others? How ought I to kiss the very dust beneath their feet, from a consciousness of my inferiority! And in my thoughts of God and his dealings, how ought I to be wrapt in constant astonishment! I was made to recollect this morning something of my wickedness in my conduct years ago. Oh since I am not now in the burning flame; what shall I do? how shall my walk and conversation be ever consistent with such miracles of mercy? How can I be so barefaced as to stand up to rebuke sin? How can I dare to be angry with sinners? Teach thou, oh God! since it is permitted the creature to speak to thee. This day was set apart for fasting and prayer; the morning was spent in the work of humiliation, and through mercy there was no great difficulty. The hard heart was broken, and contrite in a certain degree. At least I had not the distressing sensation of impudent hard-heartedness which I sometimes feel at the sight of sin. In the afternoon, began to pray for the setting up of God's kingdom in the world, especially in India, and had such a season of prayer as I never had before. My whole soul wrestled with God. I knew not how to leave off urging with him the fulfilment of his promise, chiefly pleading His own glorious power. The rest of the evening I had not much to myself, the cadets with their mathematics, and M'K. being with me. Wrote a little at intervals. Notwithstanding the view I had of my dreadful guilt and depravity in the morning, at night I had to groan again at feeling the spiritual pride founded on the exercises of the past day.
6. Professedly engaged in writing and learning Hindoostanee words, but failed in that diligence, for which my soul seemed earnest in prayer last night and this morning. Afternoon passed as usual in visiting the sick; reading mathematics with the young men; reading to M'K. Prideaux; and writing. Endeavoured to exercise that indifference which I ought to have, whether the ship goes faster or slower towards India, since it is God's concern. Oh for a due humility for my past idleness; oh for a sense of the infinite value of time; oh my soul! whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might, for there is no knowledge nor wisdom nor device in the grave whither thou goest!
7. Endeavoured this morning to consider Christ as the High Priest of my profession. Never do I set myself to understand the nature of my walk in Christ, without getting good to my soul. Employed as usual through the day. Heard from M'K. that they are not yet tired with inveighing against my doctrines. They took occasion also to say from my salary, that 'Martyn as well as the rest can share the plunder of the natives of India; whether it is just or not he does not care.' This brought back the doubts I formerly had about the lawfulness of receiving any thing from the company. My mind is not yet comfortable about it. I see it however my duty to wait in faith and patience, till the Lord shall satisfy my doubts one way or other. I would wish for no species of connection with the East India Company, and notwithstanding the large sums I have borrowed on the credit of my salary, which I shall never be able to repay from any other means, I would wish to become a missionary, dependent on a society; but I know not how to decide. The Lord in mercy keep my soul in peace. Other thoughts have occurred to me since. A man who has unjustly got possession of an estate, hires me as a minister to preach to his servants, and pays me a salary: the money wherewith he pays me comes unjustly to him, but justly to me. The Company are the acknowledged proprietors of the country, the ruling powers. If I were to refuse to go there, I might on the same account, refuse to go to France and preach to the French people or body guard of the emperor, because the present monarch who pays me is not the lawful one. If there were a company of Mahomedan merchants or Mahomedan princes in possession of the country, should I hesitate to accept an offer of officiating as chaplain among them, and receiving a salary?
8. Rose very early and found great assistance in my studies, my mind at ease by the foregoing considerations; but the anxiety produced by the question produced indisposition which made my body very irritable. Nothing will be so good for my health in India as a strong faith and close walk with God, keeping my mind in perfect peace. The influence my mind has upon the body is astonishing. Chiefly employed in preparing for to-morrow.
9. (Sunday.) Oh blessed Lord! what are friends, or home, or society! Thou art more than all of them to me. What friend on earth careth for my soul, or can do it any good? Who ever loved it as thou hast loved it? Were I in the midst of them, I could seldom see them, but thou art always near. Even a father is but the author of my bodily existence, whereas my God is the Creator of my body, the Creator of my soul, the Redeemer, and Sanctifier of it; I feel that all earthly connections are unimportant; I am born for God only. (See Memoir, page 160.) Rose in the morning with peacefulness and in prayer; was helped to rest by faith on the promises of God, and to be more serious about the effects of the word on the souls of the poor people, than anxious about their opinions of it. Preached from John i. 29. All very attentive as usual, but no impression seemingly. Read Jeremiah afterwards in my cabin, and was recovering from the ruffled state of mind I am generally in after preaching, when M'K. by irrelevant conversation, and bringing full food to my pride, disturbed my peace; but at last it was restored, while praying for grace to live spiritually, above all carnal delights, which alas, I find it very hard to do; most of the prayers I offer up on this subject seeming to pass away like the wind. Read, prayed and sung below in the afternoon to a tolerable number. In prayer afterwards in private, had a most precious view of Christ, as a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Oh how sweet was it to pray to Him. I hardly knew how to contemplate Him with praise enough; his adorable excellences more and more seemed to open the longer I spoke to him. Who shall shew forth all His praise? I can conceive it to be a theme long enough for eternity. The wonder is how I have not heretofore been swallowed up with admiration of Jesus Christ, and that I should be tempted hereafter to forget to praise and love him. Oh that those happy seasons were continued, that the Spirit of truth would keep these things of Christ in the imaginations of the thoughts of my heart. I want no other happiness, no other sort of heaven. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. At night prayed with M'K.
10. Rose after a sleepless night, unfit for any great exertion of mind, and so passed the morning in making entries into my common place-book. My peace was much wounded by carelessness and backwardness in prayer and reading. What a miserable creature! no manifestations of Divine favour, no painful trials have yet taught me to beware of offending the great and blessed God, by walking unevenly before him. Oh that I may fear this great and holy Lord God! In prayer about the middle of the day over one of the chapters of Isaiah, was greatly restored in the spirit of my mind, and found much satisfaction at having gained some superiority over my carnal appetite, by being able to look upon the day as given me to spend in study and labours for God, and meat and drink as occasional refreshments, about which I ought not to think one minute. One of the sick gave me some hopes of him this afternoon. Beasant scarcely out of danger. In the evening afterwards felt the most ardent desire to be employing myself in the language, that I might as soon as possible be able to preach the gospel; and prayed with much confidence for the presence of the Lord, and his assistance even in this study,
11. Having had something said to me, though very groundlessly, as if I loved sleep, I determined to follow the captain's advice and go to bed at nine, and rise at four, instead of sitting up so late as I generally do. Had much enjoyment of Divine things through the day. Employed in Hindoostanee and sermon, though in consequence of want of sleep the preceding night I was very languid and dull. Prayed with M'K. at night.
12. After another very disturbed night, rose with the larboard watch at four, but could do little; my stomach was deranged, and my eyes heavy with sleep. Thought and wrote a little on a subject; felt very much withdrawn from this present world while in prayer, but my trifling way of passing my time was very distressing to me. Had a service below, and staid to converse with Serjeants G. and C. and the sick; M'K. sat with me the whole of the evening. I read Leigh ton. It blows a gale again, and my own frame much deranged; death was brought near to view, and the precious remarks of that holy man were the means of rich and abundant comfort to me. Truly I can say--"I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better."
13. The gale continuing all night, I got little or no sleep; rose at the same time as yesterday and walked about before day; could do scarcely anything the whole day from sleepiness and fatigue; my frame of mind was very poor and idle; in prayer seemed to speak nothing but unmeaning words: with shame for my listlessness and unprofitableness, the day closed.
14. 'Suavissima vita est indies sentire se fieri meliorem.' So I can say from former experience more than from present. But oh, it is the ardent desire of my soul to regard all earthly things with indifference, as one who dwells above with God. May I grow in grace; may the grace of God which bringeth salvation teach me to become daily more spiritual, more humble, more stedfast in Christ, more meek, more wise, and in all things to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. How shall I attain to greater heavenly-mindedness? Rose refreshed after a good night's sleep, and wrote on a subject; had much conversation with Mr. B. upon deck; he seemed much surprised when I corrected his notions on religion, but received what I said with great candour. He said there was a minister at Madras, a Dane, with whom Sir D. Baird was well acquainted, who used to speak in the same manner of religion, whose name was Swartz. My attention was instantly roused at the venerable name, and I eagerly inquired of him all the particulars with which he was acquainted. He had often heard him preach, and Mr. Jaenicke had often breakfasted with him; Swartz he said had a very commanding manner, and used to preach extempore in English at Madras; he died very poor. In the afternoon had a service below; much of the evening M'K. passed with me, and prayed.
15. Unwell all day with sickness, sleepiness, and headache, and passed much of the time upon deck sitting at the gangway looking at the sea. I enjoyed in general peaceful thoughts, tender recollections, and happy prospects. Preparing myself in the evening for my subject for to-morrow.
16. (Sunday.) In the morning with many waverings; I was at last assisted to be somewhat spiritual and elevated above the world to God. Preached on Job xxii. 21.; there was less attention than I ever saw, except once; only one officer present, and many of the soldiers standing at a distance instead of sitting down in order. In the afternoon was much assisted below in speaking from beginning of John v.; prayed and sang with them. Found poor Beasant rather delirious. M'K. and myself read and prayed together at night. Continued all the latter part of the day with affections and thoughts sweetly fixed on heaven. I seem to feel that I have nothing to do but to fulfil, like a hireling, my day, and then to die and be at rest with Jesus. Oh, what are friends, what are the enjoyments of this world! how vain, how transitory!
17. The morning employed in writing, but no diligence; in prayer cold; was roused to a sense of shame and sorrow for my indolence, towards evening; and began to work with some fervour and earnestness, as in the presence of God, but I was unhappily interrupted, and not able to resume my work the rest of the evening. Read Prideaux and Milner to M'K., but my spirit was much injured by our light and worldly conversation. Oh that I may have grace to return from my evil ways.
18. Was tried with evil temper very early in the morning. When meeting the Major on the poop, we had a conversation about the missions at the Cape. I was grieved at his apparent hatred of them, and his disrelish of religion. In great shame for my past indolence, I cried to God, and in determined resolution began my work of writing, and with a sort of indignation against myself, continued pretty stedfast, and was made to profit. Had service below deck in the afternoon. Beasant, I fear, still delirious. The young men, whom I have accounted serious, seldom present. I continued in the same spirit of determined diligence, and thought with pleasure of a life, perfectly independent of earthly comforts, spent in the service of Christ. Prayed with M'K. at night; but the long conversation about the things of this world afterwards injured my peace again.
19. Still pressing myself to more diligence, but again loitering; did less this morning than yesterday. Poor B. quite delirious; let me not forget to pray for him, now that he cannot pray for himself. The Major gave some better hopes; said he was quite dissatisfied with himself, but could not attain that state of perfection required. Confessed that happiness was only to be found in the hopes of the next world, for there was nothing worth living for in this. I was also much pleased at hearing and observing some things of M'K. which testified his growth in grace. M'K. came again at night, and notwithstanding my previous care, my soul was injured by trifling. We read Prideaux and Milner, How shall I at the close of my life and ministry be able to appeal to God and men, how holily, justly, and unblameably I have behaved myself.
20. Fell in with the trade wind, which now carries us rapidly towards India. What tenfold need of diligence have I now, to make amends for so much lost time! Was rather more stedfast than yesterday, but still very unfruitful. Fell again into that keen anxiety about the wind and weather and the way we were making. Alas, why cannot I have these things with God? Had a happy and enlivening season in prayer in the middle of the day for the spread of the gospel in the distant islands, about which I had been reading. I felt a sort of regret that I could not live to see the happy day; yet I think the inhabitants of heaven must take pleasure in seeing the same things; at least I can scarce picture to myself a greater enjoyment in heaven, than seeing God glorified by the general conversion of the heathen to the Lord Jesus Christ. Read and sung below. Beasant still delirious. In the evening with M'K. was more on my guard against trifling conversation, and enjoyed in consequence a sweet and happy spirituality of mind.
21. Wounded my conscience grievously by careless walking, and following my own humour by reading other things, when the Spirit of God was calling me to prayer; in great misery at night I cast myself at the foot of the cross, having been unable to approach God in my prayers to any purpose before; and then through infinite mercy and love, found some tender contrition. Finished writing on one subject, and began to think of another. Found that B. had recovered his senses. Learnt Hindoostanee roots at night. Read scripture with M'K.
22. Still pained with a sense of guilt, but found some sorrow and contrition in prayer; and, while this lasted, was of course more careful and spiritual in my frame and conversation. Prepared for to-morrow. Going below, found the singers all ill again. Crossed (he Tropic of Capricorn.
23. (Sunday.) Preached on Ezek. xxxiii.il. The wind was very high, almost a gale, so that we were going eight knots an hour, and being on our beam, the sea beat upon the broad-side, with such noise and violence, that the men could not attend well; I found it easy enough to stand, by resting my back against the weather binnacle, and I felt disposed to go on with liberty and affection; but was obliged to cut my sermon short, by which means I left out the most prominent and useful parts. In the afternoon, the tarpaulins being over the hatches, we could have no service below; in the evening, enjoyed a delightful, and sanctifying season in prayer. Read and prayed with M'K. at night, and continued to enjoy much tranquillity of mind the rest of the evening.
24. The trade increased to a gale; and, the Commodore making it almost a foul wind by the course he steers, the ship was very uneasy. After a few hours passed without sleep, I rose at day-light, and sat on the poop. Presently a dark and violent squall coming on, the Commodore fired two guns, the occasion of which we discovered as soon as it cleared, by finding a transport near us had carried away her main and mizen-masts. The heat, which is 82, I found very relaxing, and began to be discouraged at the prospect of being unable to support the heat of India; but after some time I recollected that this was no concern of mine; thus I was peaceful again, by casting all my care upon God. Now this is a very precious privilege; all that class of evils, which consist in expected suffering, I have learned through grace, by the gospel, to dismiss from my mind. Was somewhat assisted this morning in meditating on a divine subject. Reading the account of Mr. B.'s death, I rose affected with awful apprehensions, lest on my death-bed I too should have occasion to say, 'I have too much neglected prayer.' Alas! what signifies the number of times I bow my knees, unless I get good to my soul; and what will it profit me to have given my body to be burned, and my goods to feed the poor, if I have not personal holiness!
25. Learned Hindoostanee roots in the morning. In the evening, S------paid me a visit, for the first time; he came, he said, to know my opinion of him; he was rather intoxicated. After some conversation, as consistent as I could make it, I charged him with his most notorious sins; I said but little; it seemed however to cut him to the heart, for he changed countenance and said, Now you are too hard upon me, and went away. M'K. and myself read and prayed at night.
26. Passed much time before breakfast in sitting on the poop, through utter disinclination to all exertion. Such is the enervating effect of the climate; but after staying some hours learning Hindoostanee words, 2 Timothy ii. roused me to a bodily exertion. I felt strong in spirit, resolving, if I died under it, to make the body submit to robust exercise; so I walked the deck with great rapidity for an hour and a half. My animal spirits were altered instantly; I felt a happy and joyful desire to brave the enervating effects of India in the service of the blessed Lord Jesus. B. still delirious and dying fast; the first thing he said to me when I visited him this afternoon, was, 'Mr. Martyn, what will you choose for a kingdom?' I made no answer to this, but thought of it a good deal afterwards. What would I choose? Why I do not know that any thing would be a heaven to me, but the service of Christ, and the enjoyment of his presence. B. would say nothing but a few sentences about religion. 'I want to go to heaven,' 'I want Christ,' 'fountain of wisdom,' &c. As there were two soldiers standing by his hammock, I asked him, whether he would not advise them to seek Christ in their health; he said, 'they should.' Was comforted with observing in M'K. at night a growth in grace. I think my regard for him increases daily. We read Blair's Lectures, some scripture, and hymns together, and had much spiritual conversation about the temptations we are liable to, and our weakness against them, and the strength which is to be found in Christ. My own soul afterwards was much oppressed with guilt, and shame, at the carnality of my life and thoughts, and especially at recollecting my neglect of ministerial duty. Oh! when shall my soul be kept above the world? I feel myself more radically corrupted every day. I cannot, I really have no power to keep before my mind, one single minute, any of those thoughts which reason and affection ever make dear to me.
27. The trade wind proving most unusually to be foul, blowing from the N. E. instead of S. E. we were obliged to go upon a losing tack to-day, and made very little way. I seemed to partake of the general impatience, and felt fretful at the prospect of such a long protracted voyage. When I meet the rest at meals, they weary me much more than they need to do, by their frivolous conversation. Idly employed this morning in writing on a subject. Found B. better. Sat a considerable time with the Lascars on the orlop, and conversed with them a little. They understood all my questions, but by their volubility elude my endeavours to understand them. However, I think I am improving in this. One of the new ones we took in at the Cape, a man of a perfectly oriental appearance, and very grave, spoke to me with uncommon energy upon religion; the drift of all he said was to shew, that notwithstanding the difference of religions, it all came to the same thing at last. In prayer before M'K. came, I hoped I should be able to have my soul wholly in heaven, and the blessed example of Jesus before my eyes, but it was not so. In reading some hymns with him afterwards, my heart was filled, with much joy and love.
28. The days pass away in great uniformity. Employed in writing, but made no great advances; felt a great degree of weariness at the length of the voyage. We are now lying becalmed in the centre of the Indian ocean, but let not a discontented thought be found in my heart. I was much tried by evil temper with one of the young men in Mathematics. In prayer after this, I could do nothing, but cast myself simply upon the mercy and power of God, and cry for deliverance, which I obtained, and found my heart, through the great riches of his grace, tender and affectionate, particularly towards those to whom I had spoken with asperity. M'K. prayed with me at night.
29. Employed all day long in preparing for tomorrow. All the dread of preaching with which I used to be tried, seemed to return. The afternoon spent as usual in visiting the sick, and sitting on the poop in pensive meditation. Alas, how little is there worth tarrying here for, but the labouring for precious souls, and oh that I may have a heart to do that! Began to grow more lively and active in my spirit towards night Captain O------ and F------, who have had some unpleasant disagreements about the soldiers, both told me their story. I endeavoured to explain to each as much as I could the intentions of the other, and from what I observed afterwards, I think my endeavours were not in vain.
30. By rising too early, was rather dull and troubled with head-ache most of the day. Before service was still harassed by vain fears about preaching. As pride was at the bottom of this, I found it best to consider before God in prayer, how worthless I am; why should I expect to go without contempt? Suppose God forsook me, and men in consequence scorned and trampled upon me, Who am I that I should dare to complain? O Lord, it becometh not me to be anywhere but lying in the dust. Preached on Isaiah lv. 1-3, and was assisted as usual, so as to obtain attention; afterwards read with M'K. some of the homilies. In the afternoon expounded, sung, and prayed below.
A soldier of the name of B------this morning, threw himself overboard, as it is supposed. M'K and myself read and prayed together at night, and had much agreeable conversation about Christ, particularly his life upon earth, and about the enjoyments of heaven. S------ again came and made several objections to the Scriptures, such as might strike a medical man. The poor man does not know how to praise me sufficiently now to the others, because, I suppose, I reason mildly with him about the evil of his ways, while the others take liberties with him, or ridicule him.
31. The whole morning taken up in opening my boxes of books, and clearing them from insects, which had much damaged them; some of the insects were of great size. The rest of the day till night, spent exactly as usual, going below to see the sick, and sitting upon the poop for air. Found the presence of God in prayer afterwards, and had clear views of my duty as a minister and missionary, and pleaded fervently for grace to be holy. Read 'Sheridan on Elocution' with M'K. Afterwards hearing that Hough, one of the men, was dying, I went below, but he was speechless. I was immediately struck with apprehensions that I had neglected his soul. Oh, the agonizing misery of being stained with the blood of souls!
April 1. The sense of my guilt was still almost overwhelming, but in prayer God spoke peace in a degree to my soul. The man died in the night. The last time I spoke to him, which was the last time I believe that I saw him in his senses, he seemed somewhat affected, and began to say how happy it would be to get to heaven; and after I had been telling him of his sins, he observed that his heart was all in a tremble. I did not consider him in any danger, and therefore thought I should have had many other opportunities of speaking to him. He heard the gospel from me, but God knows whether he understood it to the saving of his soul. I have no doubt but that he died for want of proper nourishment; all I can get from breakfast and at night I thought it right to give to Beasant, who is still on the borders of the grave from the same cause; want of proper meat after the weakening effects of his disease. After dinner his body was committed to the deep; every person in the ship attended, I think, crowding round in the boom and rigging. Among the sick, whom I went to afterwards, I found but one sensible, to whom I spoke about his soul, with a determination that no blood should lie at my door if I could help it. Employments as usual, writing sermon and learning Hindoostanee. In prayer with M'K. at night, was assisted in my endeavours after humiliation. Afterwards S------came and told me more of his mind, said I was a dangerous man in the ship, and wished to head a party, by assembling the soldiers in the orlop contrary to the wishes of Captain O. In walking the quarter-deck to-day I had a dispute with M., whose unreasonable way of talking was very irritating; and afterwards with the Major. I am very weary with the opposition of men of perverse minds, but I know that God will arise and plead his own cause.
2. Word was brought to me this morning that Beasant had just died. He was crawling upon his hands and knees to his breakfast, when he was taken worse, and died as they were lifting him into his hammock. Thus is my brother gone. He with whom I had conversed on divine things, and sung and prayed, is entered into that glory of which we used to discourse. To his multiplied sorrows upon earth he has bid an everlasting adieu; and why should I care any thing at all about this world? This is not our rest; God takes his children one after another, and brings them home. May I follow his faith and patience, till with him I inherit the promises. In the afternoon he was committed to the deep. As Captain F. whom I had observed dejected, told me the cause of his uneasiness, was a fear lest our provisions would not hold out, I thought it a call to make it a subject of stated prayer, that God would not deliver us to the pains of famine. Employed in writing, learning roots, reading Prideaux, and finished Sheridan's Elocution with M'K. at night. The passengers are full of murmurs, that the tea and wine are all out, but I endeavour to hold aloof.
3. As the convalescent men get worse for want of fresh meat, I thought it right to be very urgent with the Captain, to allow me to send away my dinner to them, and to eat salt junk instead, and several of the passengers agreed to take it by turns to do the same, but the Captain, instead of allowing this, said he would send them a plate of meat himself, whenever there was enough. To-day there was not half enough, and I ate salt junk myself, which produced such an unquenchable thirst all the rest of the evening, that I knew not what to do with myself. How do the poor men bear it every day? My studies the same as usual. M'K. and myself had an agreeable conversation at night about the enjoyments of heaven.
4. (Good Friday.) Passed this day in prayer and fasting. (See Mem. p. 172.)
5. Through weakness of body could do little. Before breakfast wrote on the same subject, but all the rest of the day was preparing for to-morrow. Among the sick this afternoon found one who had taken to his hammock before, whom I endeavoured to awake, but in vain. Soon after going upon deck, I heard that he was dead. Mr. R. from the William, Transport, came on board, and gave us hope of a speedy arrival.
6. (Easter Sunday.) From the misery I bring myself into through pride, I was induced to cry to God for heavenly-mindedness, and especially for humility, through which only I can ever enjoy peace. Buried the poor man this morning, and felt more impressed than at any funeral since I have been aboard. Preached on Isaiah lxiii. 1. No particular attention, but more of the officers were present. I took occasion to speak to Corporal B. Passed the rest of the evening in reading Daniel and the Homilies, and in prayer, though I could find no freedom or comfort in it. In the afternoon collected the singers, read John xiv. with such inward tenderness of soul, that I could scarcely refrain from tears. The small number present, the departure of my dear brother B. and the absence of the two soldiers, from whom I expected better things, filled me with grief; so that I was pressed in spirit to speak with all possible earnestness, and to pray with them with fervour. I then went and expostulated as faithfully as I could, with one of those who is, I trust, not yet gone back again unto perdition: my whole soul for once seemed to be in earnest, and I went about speaking boldly to several of the sailors, and could have found it in my heart to preach to them all day long. The boatswain's mate told me many would come and hear me, were it not for shame; the reason my servant gave me for it was, because the heat was so great below, and they were besides, afraid of getting the fever from the sick. He told me moreover, when I asked him, that he believed the lads among the soldiers did not understand much of what they heard of my sermons. Few things give me more pain than this, as I certainly do not want the power of making spiritual things plain. I dread lest I should be led away from simple preaching, by incessant attention to language. God save me from this delusion. Had a happy season in prayer in the evening, and found grace to intercede for my sister with tears. At our evening meeting, F. one of the cadets was present; he has long been serious, but I could never by conversation, be satisfied with him. M'K. rather reflected on me for not having hinted to him to come in, telling me that it was my duty to go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in. We all of us read and prayed; many things I had heard to humble me; but my soul was benefited; every word I heard, every thought of God was sweet, and carried away my soul to heaven.
7. Found myself much impressed with what I had been reading in Daniel. Oh that I were withdrawn from the body like that holy man, and enjoyed such visits from God. For one in my situation, it is inexcusable not to be a man of prayer, when he, a man engaged in public business, was so heavenly-minded. This being the day I preached my farewell sermon last year, I sat down in the evening and enjoyed many tender recollections of the beloved friends at Cambridge; many of them perhaps were thinking of me. I did not recollect that it was the first Monday in the month, or I should have joined in supplications for the church. Employed as usual, but with no diligence; in great shame at night finished the subject I had been writing upon.
8. Becalmed within a degree of the line. In proportion to the languor I felt from the heat, my hopes of living in India declined, and views of death drew nearer. Though I have done nothing yet for Christ, yet what I shall choose I wot not. I have nothing to attract me to this life, and therefore why should I not be refreshed at the thought of death? Began writing upon another subject and learnt a few roots. Passed the afternoon as usual, in visiting the sick and sitting upon the poop for air. M'K. and myself read and prayed together in the evening. I was sorry to observe that our delays continued to breed more quarrels between the passengers and ship officers.
9. Rose early, so weak, so languid, that I could do nothing but sit on the poop. Passed the morning in writing and the afternoon in visiting the sick; but the heat was so great below that I could not stay long. However, I bear the heat as well as any in the ship. It is here very sultry, becalmed as we are within a few miles of the line. At night my soul was much distressed at my unfaithfulness and indolence in ministerial duties, and saw the necessity of more earnestness both in labour and prayer, if I would not have more blood-guiltiness upon my soul. O that the Spirit of God may bring these thoughts to my remembrance each day. At the close of each day I feel the awful necessity of more devotion, but at the beginning of the heat go on as before.
10. Crossed the line this morning in about longitude 87° east. Spent the morning in writing and reading; finished Prideaux's History. After coming up from below, went among the soldiers upon deck, and was glad to find that one, of whom I was in doubt, was still in the right way. At night wrote and learnt roots.
11. By M'K's sitting in my cabin most of this morning, did little but learn roots, and by unwatchful-ness fell into a carnal uncomfortable frame. With some trouble got together two or three of the men to sing, and expounded a chapter to them. On going to visit the sick, I found the surgeon bleeding P., who was ill of a brain fever. Soon after he died; as long as he continued in his senses, I spoke to him about his soul, but could never get any answer to the purpose. In prayer for these last few days I have been tolerably comfortable, but led to seek chiefly a spirit of diligence; to-night the departure of this soul made me unhappy, lest I should have been chargeable with his destruction. Oh the awfulness of the ministry! how shall I ever be pure from the blood of all men? I do nothing all the day but in reference to my ministry; but how do I do it? Oh my God, there is nought upon earth that I care for, but thee, and thine; but oh, that my soul were alive to my work and roused to a holy ardour. M'K. prayed at night with me.
12. Early this morning buried the man. M'K. sat with me the whole morning; but as I determined not to let this circumstance disturb me, I looked up to God, and was enabled to be more diligent than ordinarily in writing on a divine subject and learning roots. In the afternoon my time was wholly taken up with a young man, suddenly attacked with some disorder, who was in the greatest alarm about his soul. He said to me and to all around, 'Now I know what it is; never again will I live as I have done,' and much more to the same purpose, acknowledging his desert of hell. As I had no reason to doubt his sincerity I continued to speak of the grace of God in the gospel to him. On going away he said he should wish to see me as often as possible. Passed the evening in preparing for to-morrow.
13. (Sunday.) Preached on Acts xvi. 29-31. The subject as usual excited the deepest attention. With M'K. read afterwards Amos and some of the Homilies. My own heart after the sermon was averse to prayer; but in waiting upon God he had mercy upon me, and made me to breathe after holiness and a heavenly mind and a constant spiritual discharge of my ministry. It poured such torrents of rain for the rest of the day that the tarpaulins were over all the hatches; but I went down among the sick, and found many, both among the sailors and soldiers. The young man so alarmed yesterday seemed to have lost his concern about his soul, together with his fear of death. Retained through the rest of the day some tenderness of spirit, and succeeded in resisting the proneness to trifling conversation with M'K. which we are both so apt to fall into. We passed the evening in reading Scripture and hymns and prayer.
14. The want of sleep these three last nights, rendered me unfit for study to-day. Attempted to write, but in vain. Read Harmer's Observations, and finished the first volume; was not a little tried by irritability; but in prayer about the middle of the day, found comfort and tranquillity to my soul. As the sick had been removed for the benefit of the air from the orlop to the gun-deck, I sat among them there on the starboard side of the main-hatchway, and had our service of singing and reading.
There were a good many present; conversed afterwards with a sailor lying in his hammock very ill. Was much teased with the accusations of the captain, the commander of the troops, the surgeon, the sick, &c., all of whom complain of, and abuse one another to me.
15. This day passed as usual. Employed in writing in the morning, but as M'K. sat with me I did but little. In the afternoon with the sick, and at night read and prayed with M'K. Afterwards came S. and went over the same grounds. Enjoyed in general comfortable seasons in prayer, and sometimes hope to preserve through the day the temper of Jesus Christ. I find that I am again become like the others in anxiety about the end of the voyage.
16. Writing all the morning with M'K. with me, but very uneasy in my body through indisposition. In the afternoon had a service below on the gun-deck, which was well attended, and visited the sick seamen. Found on my coming up that the captain and two of the cadets had been quarrelling, in consequence of which the former ordered them to be confined to their cabin, and demanded a sentry to be stationed over them by Captain O. I had been a peace-maker in one instance to-day between the captain and a cadet; but here I did not interfere, because I thought they deserved what they suffered. Read the Asiatic Annual Register with M'K. at night.
17. In the morning wrote; in the afternoon had service below, which was well attended, but from some cause, chiefly my own carnality, it was dull. The sick men shew no marks of a work of grace. Things wear a very gloomy aspect amongst us, scarcely any are at all concerned about their souls. My own soul too is in a poor state, continually prone to impatience at the length of the voyage, and inordinately anxious for the appearance of land. Yet in prayer God mercifully revives and directs me. My stated prayer in the middle of the day over a chapter of Isaiah, for the setting up of Christ's kingdom among the heathen, is very often cold and formal; yet I will, through grace, never to the end of my days give over praying for this blessed event. At night my soul felt miserably oppressed with a sense of my barrenness and deadness. Oh, I am weary of serving God in this manner. Oh, may the Holy Spirit put life and ardour into my soul.
18. Found rather more liveliness and activity in my mind this day; finished the subject on which I had been writing, and was able to plead for the accomplishment of God's promise to His Church from the latter chapters of Micah. Especially was my heart affected with those words, "He shall stand, and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the Majesty of the name of the Lord his God, and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth." Oh the inexpressible glory of one great Shepherd! when shall he be great unto the ends of the earth! In my walk upon deck endeavoured as my mind was in frame, to meditate on the words, "How beautiful on the mountains," &c. The service in the afternoon was well attended by the seamen, and one of the sick seamen began to discover something of a gracious spirit.
19. After a sleepless night, rose early and saw the island of Ceylon, bearing west three or four leagues; it presented a long range of hills running north and south, broken in a picturesque manner, but not lofty, and the low land between the hills and the sea was covered with trees. After being ten weeks at sea, it was very agreeable to see the never-varying horizon interrupted by dark land; and so long had we been used to the clear breezes of the ocean, that we immediately detected the effluvia of rank vegetation. The smell from the land was exceedingly fragrant, and I felt my senses quite soothed by it; I sat on the poop following a long train of pleasing thoughts, about the blissful period when the native Cingalese should rear temples to Jesus, in their cinnamon groves. The day was afterwards excessively hot, while we lay becalmed. I was at first giving way to anxiety lest I should not be able to bear it long, especially as the distressing sensation of shortness of breath still continues; but I was soon composed by considering, that, come what will, it shall be best for me; if I die, I die to be happy--if I live, I shall live to glorify God. Sweet necessity.
All must come, and last, and end,
As shall please my heavenly Friend.
In the evening, a breeze springing up carried us out of sight of land. The man in whom I observed some signs of grace yesterday died suddenly this morning. The surgeon finding him as he said, sulky, came to me to beg me to persuade him to take what was necessary; I went to him, but he was speechless, yet not supposed in danger. At sunset I buried him. Employed, as far as my sleepiness would permit me, in preparing for to-morrow.
20. (Sunday.) Rose much refreshed through the mercy of my God. Preached on Rev. xxii. 17. a farewell sermon, &c. (See Memoir, p. 173.) My soul was blessed with much of the presence of God in secret. Zeph. iii. was very sweet by its assurances of God's tender love. I continued in a happy spiritual state with M'K. at night; and we read several portions of scripture with edification, and increase, I hope, of mutual love; but S. coming in, and leading me into a stile of conversation different, though all along about religion, I lost much of the clear views of eternity I had enjoyed. Poor S. is evidently under convictions; was much shocked when I told him in answer to his questions, that, if he died in his present state, he would perish. He wanted much to know what I would have him to do, and promised on his arrival in India he would do it. He said I ought not to have thought no good had been done in the ship, for that I had made him think, and that he and B. had been brought to believe that a religious character was an amiable one.
21. On coming on deck to-day, my eyes were gratified with a sight of India. We were just opposite Tranquebar, about eight or ten miles distant, and in the course of the day, passed Cuddalore, Pondicherry, &c.
Employed in preparations for going ashore. The poor soldier of whom I hoped very well, died very unexpectedly this morning, and was buried in the afternoon. I was full of thought most of the day about India, and my future residence in those plains which I saw. The land was low all along except Pondicherry, I think. Feeling myself very unwell, I was reminded of my no long continuance in this world. This thought is precious, and serves to check the carnal eagerness, with which I am apt to wish for a stay on earth to accomplish my objects.
22. (See Memoir, p. 174.)
23. The constant presence of servants, and all the rooms opening into one another, left me no place for prayer all day till night. However, the Lord did not forsake me, for in my walk among the cocoa-nut trees that surrounded the house, I found access to him as well as in secret ejaculations. Employed myself chiefly in transcribing a sermon. Mr. O. called with me in his bands, at Dr. K.'s, who was not at home, and the other clergyman Mr. V. On Romans viii. I had solemn reflections at night, and found my soul much restored,
24. Breakfasted with Mr. V. at Vepery, and went with him afterwards to Dr. K. with whom I spent the remainder of the day. I found him a most affectionate, and in most respects, a serious man. He gave me a vast deal of information about all the chaplains and missionaries in the country, which he promised to put in writing for me. Shewed me his schools and institution of 300 caste people employed in printing, engraving, &c. Considering the little retirement I had this day, my soul was tolerably spiritual and comfortable. Early in the morning I found the solemn presence of God communicated to me, while meditating on my future work, and the probable shortness of life. How comfortable to lean on the arm of the Beloved, and to be indifferent about life or death. Dr. K. communicated several particulars about Swartzand Gericke, with whom he was well acquainted. Felt excessively delighted with accounts of a very late date from Bengal, describing the labours of the missionaries, and was rather agitated at the confusion of interesting thoughts that crowded upon me, but I reasoned, Why thus? God may never honour you with a missionary commission, you must expect to leave the field, and bid adieu to the world and all its concerns. Dismissed my old servant, Narayen, to-day, and took another, Samees, because he could speak Hindoostanee. Had a good deal of conversation with a Rajpoot about religion, and told him of the gospel.
25. Rose early, but could not enjoy morning meditations in my walk, as the young men would attach themselves to me. Passed the day at Dr. K.'s. At breakfast met Mr. L. the missionary; my mind uneasy for want of more retirement. Succeeded a little in getting my mind above the world, by prayer in passing to and fro in the palanquin. With Mr. T. I had along and regular conversation respecting the doctrines of the gospel, duties of a minister, &c. In a few days he goes to Seringapatam to be stationed as a chaplain, and I am by no means without hope that his heart is under divine influences, and that he will devote himself to the work of preaching to the natives; at dinner we met Mr. Torriano, and his two sons; the old man is a remarkable character, and a sterling saint. Our conversation together for some hours after dinner was profitable and religious, and I walked back to Mr. O. at night, much pleased with the manner in which the latter part of the day had been spent; but I cannot be happy without being more alone.
26. Most of the day harassed by interruptions from several morning calls, &c. so that I had little or no time left for preparation for to-morrow's subject. Towards night, I walked out with Samees in a pensive and melancholy mood. (See Memoir, p. 175.)
27. (Sunday.) Enjoyed some solemn moments this morning. This is my first Sabbath in India. May all the time I pass in it, be a Sabbath of heavenly rest, and blessedness to my soul. Went to Mr. V.'s in a palanquin, and after breakfast, proceed in his bandy to the church at Fort St. George. I assisted Mr. V. in part of the service, and preached on Luke x. 41, 42. There was much attention, and Lord William sent to Dr. Kerr, afterwards to request a copy of the sermon; but I believe it was generally thought too severe. After dinner, went to Blacktown. (See Memoir, p. 176.) With young Torriano, I had some conversation respecting his entering the ministry, as he spoke the Malabar tongue fluently. Walked home at night enjoying the presence of God.
28. This morning at breakfast, Sir E. P. came in and said: 'Upon my word, Mr. Martyn, you gave us a good trimming yesterday.' As this was before a large company, and I was taken by surprise, I knew not what to say. Passed most of the day in transcribing the sermon. There was nothing very awakening in it. About five in the evening, I walked to Dr. K.'s, and found my way across the fields, which much resembled those near Cambridge; I stopped some time to take a view of the men drawing toddy from the tree, and their manner of ploughing. Had much conversation with Dr. K. Sic. (See Memoir, p. 176.)
29. Spent the day at Mr. Torriano's, whose house is two miles farther in the country; Dr. Kerr, Loveless, and young Torriano, passed much of the morning in conversation with me. I continued transcribing the sermon. The hot land winds set in to-day, but I did not feel oppressed by the heat, which was owing partly to my being washed with water by two servants. The thermometer was near 100°. In prayer alone, my soul found access to God, who, notwithstanding my great hindrance for want of a place of retirement, and my carelessness in seeking him by ejaculations, mercifully draws nigh to me. In a walk with the two young Torrianos, was much comforted and refreshed by conversation.
30. Breakfasted at Sir E------P------s, with Captain S. Cole of the Culloden. I had a good deal of conversation about our friends at St. Hilary and Marazion. Continued at home the rest of the day transcribing sermon, and reading Zechariah. In the evening drove with Dr. Kerr to Mr. Faulkner's, the Persian translator, five or six miles in the country. We had some useful conversation about the languages. On my return, walked by moonlight in the grounds, &c. (See Memoir, p. 176.) May 1. Breakfasted at Mr. H.'s at Vepery. The rest of the morning passed in making calls on Mr. V. Dr. Kerr, and the purser; the only retirement I can get is while I am in the palanquin, and there the Lord helps me to approach him for a while in reflection and prayer, but my spirit suffers for want of regularity in secret duties. Walked home alone from Dr. Kerr's, where I dined, and had a good deal of conversation with Mr. and Mrs. O. about religion.
2. Passed the whole day at Dr. Kerr's, collecting all the information I could about the ecclesiastical state of India, which I committed to paper. Young Torriano and Mr. Loveless were there, and by conversation at our meals on the future happiness of the church, much enlivened my heart. Cecil dined with us; in our walk home I repeated my usual advice to him. My friends expressed much regret and affection at parting with me. For myself I seem incapable of a lively sensation of any kind.
3. After passing half the day to little purpose I at last got every thing ready, and took my leave of Mr. O's. family. Ram Sing the Rajpoot seemed really very sorry. Waited a long time at the Purser's. At length, however, I got all my things into a boat. Samees, my boy, resolved to go to the ship with me, but was so much frightened at the surf, as they were pushing the boat to meet it, that he ran away and I saw no more of him. I was much surprised and pleased at seeing the dexterity of two men near us in a catamaran, which is nothing more than beams of eight feet long and half foot in diameter, lashed together in the simplest manner. When they came to the breakers, which raised their little bark so as almost to stand on an end, they rose up and kept themselves perpendicular, and instantly sat down as they passed it, having glided over the roaring surge with all the ease and gracefulness of a Marine animal. Got safely on board about sunset.
4. (Sunday.) The ship so taken up with communications with the shore, and preparations for sailing, that there was no service. As we did not sail, I felt sorry that I had not remained on shore to preach, as I had engaged in the morning at the fort--in the afternoon at the Black town. Though lying in sight of the churches, I did not dare to go ashore. I passed my time in reading Scripture and prayer; my mind was very low, ever sinking in deep waters, and I wanted power from on high to support my faith; I was throughout the day wavering; sometimes enabled to rejoice in the Lord, or at least to cast all my care upon him. At other times despairing of the conversion of the heathen, or of my being ever fitted for it. M'K. sat with me in the evening.
5. More comfort and peace this morning, and saw there was nothing for me to attend to but my duty. Busied in packing-up. This morning we went to sea under convoy of the Victor sloop of war. Passed the afternoon among the sick seamen, and found it an interesting season.
6. Rose in the deepest melancholy; I seemed left without a motion, overcome by the relaxing power of the climate. I looked forward to an idle, worthless life spent in India to no purpose--exertion seemed like death; indeed absolutely impossible, and this filled my soul with an awful sense of guilt; but it pleased God afterwards in prayer to afford me some deliverance, by enabling me to exercise faith, that though it went so badly with me now, it should bye and bye be otherwise. The recollection too that I was a sinner saved, and therefore bound to the most fervent gratitude, was of use in stirring me considerably. By reading some of the reports of the Society for Missions to Africa and the East, I again felt much refreshed, as I saw that the people of God over the world are much interested in the blessed work. I still endeavour to hold more constant fellowship with my dear brethren, as it compensates for the want of their society and encouragement. All the rest of the day every thing went well with my soul. Some parts of the Prophet Malachi were made delightful and profitable to me. Oh! his name shall be great among the heathen, in every place they shall offer incense to his name, and a pure offering. My heart expands through the world and realises the joyful day. God takes away the veil from my heart, and I see the veil removing from off the face of the whole earth. O come, Lord Jesus! make no long tarrying, O my God.
7. Very cheerful the whole day, enjoying the presence of God, and happy in being employed in his service. Employed in transcribing sermon and learning Bengalee. Passed the afternoon on the poop reading Sale's Al Goran. Being abreast of Yizagapatam at noon, I did not forget to pray for the young Missionaries there.
8. Rose unwell, yet cheerful; whether life or death awaits me, it shall be well with my pardoned soul. By trifling conversation and great unwatchfulness over my own heart, I lost much of the Divine presence. What detestable folly and ingratitude is it to forget God, and lend an ear to vanity. In prayer in the evening, it was with difficulty I could bring myself to due seriousness. With M'K. at night, read Hebrews and some of D. Brainerd's Letters, by which we were both much affected. Blessed be the memory of that holy man'. I feel happy that I shall have his book with me in India, and thus enjoy in a manner the benefit of his company and example. The famous pagoda of Juggernaut came in sight this afternoon, much resembling in appearance Roche Rock in Cornwall; it was a large pile of building, made very visible, by being surrounded with the yellow sand close to the sea; it was dark so as to resemble a rock. This is emblematical of its use, as being employed for the worship of the spirits of darkness. Poor India erected a monument of her shame by this huge building on the coast. Here is heathenism staring the stranger in the face on his arrival off the land. The scene presented another specimen of that tremendous gloom, with which the devil has over-spread the land; no house near it; we conceived no noise to be heard along the bare coast, but the hollow roar of the surf.
9. Several pilot vessels appearing in sight to-day from Balasare roads, each ship of us took a pilot on board, and all made the best of the way to Calcutta. At night we were overtaken by that tremendous hurrican, the north wester. It appeared dark in that direction the whole afternoon, and as night drew on the distant lightning became visible, incessantly flashing through half the hemisphere. After a few drops of rain the squall reached us, and in an instant tore every sail to bits. All was uproar in the ship; the noise was so great from the napping of the sails, the rushing of the wind through the rigging, and the continued roll of thunder, that the voices of the pilot, captain, and officers to the man of the helm, were scarcely audible. All they could do was to let her run before it, the consequence of which would have been, that had we been further on our way we should have grounded on some sand banks, two or three of which run out of the mouth of the Hoogly, passing N. and S. The incessant lightning made the dreadful scene constantly visible. When nature began to shrink at approaching dissolution, I was much reconciled to it, by considering, what have I here? Why should I wish to live? Is it not better to go and be with Jesus, and be free from my body of sin and death? But for the sake of the poor unconverted souls in the ship, I prayed earnestly for her preservation. From being a little in the sun to-day, I got a violent headache which prevented me from sleeping at night. It is in these climates that the curse of God upon the creation for man's sin is most visible; the sun formed to be the light and comfort of the creation, is here a dreadful enemy. I feel as much dread of being exposed to its rays after it has been up two or three hours as I would of pushing my head into a hot fire; the pleasant weather here is cloudy weather.
10. Continued at anchor out of sight of land, and it was afternoon before new sails could be bent. After sailing a little way we brought up again. Still out of sight of land. My headach and fever much increased to-day, so that I could do nothing but sit in the air. In prayer in the evening, God manifested himself in great love to my soul. In communion with the blessed Lord I felt very happy and joyful, without a wish or care for this miserable world. Went to bed early in order to remove the ague by a sudorific. Thunder and lightning the whole night.
11. (Sunday.) Rose a little better; instead of having Divine service, we were obliged to be all hands at the capstern; we proceeded but a little and came to anchor off Saugur Island. In the morning M'K. and myself had prayers and reading in my cabin, and at night Franklin joined us in what I expected was my farewell prayer. I was very far from feeling suitable sensations, and though free in words had no humble spiritual breathing after God; and what grieved me no less was to observe the deadness of my dear brothers, and how readily they turned to common subjects of conversation. Oh what a poor wretch I am! nothing however awful and powerful is sufficient to keep me in a right frame, and the Spirit of God I am slow and unbelieving in crying for.
12. Got under weigh again; entered the Hoogly and came to anchor a little above Culper. The flat shores on either side were covered with low wood, and I never saw land near sea, present a less interesting appearance. I felt the same surprise as I have often done elsewhere at the solitude and apparent desertion of a place much spoken of. In North Wales I was often struck with the want of life and motion at very celebrated places. So here I thought to have seen whole fleets of ships, vast numbers of natives on the shores, and appearances of cultivation, but there was nothing of the sort. A village indeed was seen running in an easterly direction from the shore into the interior, consisting we heard of no less than 10,000 houses; but there seemed to be nothing doing. Five or six miserable people only were seen cutting down the jungle for fire-wood. My soul was revived to-day through God's never-ceasing compassion, so that I found the refreshing presence of God in secret duties; especially was I most abundantly encouraged by reading D. Brainerd's account of the difficulties attending a mission to the heathen. Oh, blessed be the memory of that beloved saint; no uninspired writer ever did me so much good. I felt most sweetly joyful to labour amongst the poor natives here; and my willingness was, I think, more divested of those romantic notions, which have sometimes inflated me with false spirits.
13. Weighed this morning; but there being no wind, came to anchor again. Afterwards we got under weigh, passed through Diamond harbour, and struck upon the fatal James and Mary, a sand bank just above it. It was a very dangerous and awful situation, and was so felt by every person, for night came on while we were in this state, and the wind was never-ceasing on that side which was uppermost. The captain considered the vessel as lost. Retired as soon as possible for prayer, and found my soul in peace at the prospect of death. After lying in this state for about two hours, we found to our great joy that she was going off; presently we were in deep water and put out an anchor immediately. M'K., Franklin and myself met in my cabin, and there we praised our God for this great deliverance. My heart was much enlarged in prayer with them. How sweet and happy are those seasons when I am stirred up to the duty of praise. Oh, why am I so slow to the performance of it, when I have such constant occasion and never fail to receive benefit from it. The Diana, East Indiaman, got aground very near us just after we did, and is not off yet.
14. Weighed, and got as far as Miampore, about twenty-five miles from Calcutta, and there we anchored again. Employed chiefly in writing to Mr. Simeon and J5. The villages on either side present a most perfect picture of moral tranquillity, but there is a want of variety. I now want nothing but to be settled among the poor people.
15. This morning went on board the Charlotte, Yacht, which took our treasure to town, in hopes of getting to Calcutta in a few hours, but from want of wind, did not reach it till ten at night. Had a good deal of conversation by the way with the captain upon religion; my own frame was low and spiritless in mind, from want of retirement; in body, from something of fever. The approach to Calcutta, particularly about Garden Reach, where we lay several hours, is very beautiful. The rich verdure and variety of the trees, and the elegant mansions which they partly hide, conspire to render the same highly agreeable to the eye, but the thought of the diabolical heathenism, amidst these beauties of nature, takes away almost all the pleasure I should otherwise experience.
16. Went ashore at day-light this morning, and with some difficulty found Carey: Messrs. Brown and Buchanan being both absent from Calcutta. With him I breakfasted, joined with him in worship, which was in Bengalee, for the advantage of a few servants, who sat however perfectly unmoved. I could not help contrasting them with the slaves and Hottentots at Cape Town, whose hearts seemed to burn within them. After breakfast Carey began to translate with a Pundit, from a Sanscrit manuscript. Presently after Dr. Taylor came in. I had engaged a boat to go to Serampore, when a letter from Mr. Brown found me out, and directed me to his house in the town, where I spent the rest of the day in solitude, and more comfortably and profitably than any time past. I enjoyed several solemn seasons in prayer, and more lively impressions from God's word. I felt elevated above those distressing fears and distractions, which pride and worldliness engender in the mind. Employed at times in writing to Mr. Simeon. Mr. Brown's moonshee, a Brahmin of the name of B. Roy came in and disputed with me two hours about the gospel. I was really surprised at him; he spoke English very well, and possessed more acuteness, good sense, moderation, and acquaintance with the Scriptures, than I could conceive to he found in an Indian. He spoke with uncommon energy and eloquence, intending to show that Christianity and Hindooism did not materially differ. He asked me to explain my system, and adduce the proofs of it from the Bible, which he said he believed was the word of God. When I asked him about his idolatry, he asked in turn, what I had to say to our worshipping Christ. This led to inquiries about the Trinity, which, after hearing what I had to say, he observed was actually the Hindoo notion. I explained several things about the Jews and the Old Testament, about which he wanted information, with all which he was amazingly pleased. I feel much encouraged by this to go to instruct them. I see that they are a religious people, as St. Paul called the Athenians, and my heart almost springs at the thought, that the time is ripening for the fulness of the gentiles to come in.
17. A day more unprofitable than the foregoing; the depravity of my heart, as it is in its natural frame, appeared to me to-day almost unconquerable. I could not, however long in prayer, keep the presence of God, or the power of the world to come, in my mind at all. It sunk down to its most lukewarm state, and continued in general so, in spite of my endeavours. Oh how I need a deep heart-rending work of the Spirit upon my self, before I shall save myself, or them that hear me. What I hear about my future destination has proved a trial to me to-day. My dear brethren, Brown and Buchanan, wish to keep me here, as I expected, and the Governor accedes to their wishes. I have a great many reasons for not liking this; I almost think that to be prevented going among the heathen as a missionary, would break my heart. Whether it be self-will or aught else, I cannot yet rightly ascertain. At all events, I must learn submission to every thing. In the multitude of my thoughts, thy comforts delight my soul. I have been running the hurried round of thought without God. I have forgotten that he ordereth every thing. I have been bearing the burden of my cares myself, instead of casting them all upon him. Mr. B. came in to-day from Serampore, and gave me directions how to proceed; continued at home writing to E. In the afternoon went on board, but without being able to get my things away. Much of the rest of the day passed in conversation with Mr. Brown. I feel pressed in spirit to do something for God. Every body is diligent, but I am idle; all employed in their proper work, but I tossed in uncertainty; I want nothing but grace; I want to be perfectly holy, and to save myself and those that hear me. I have hitherto lived to little purpose, more like a clod than a servant of God; now let me burn out for God.
18. So unwell with a cold and sore throat, that Mr. B. did not think it right for me to preach. Went with him at ten in the morning to the new church, Mr. Jefferies read one part, Mr. Limerick another of the service, and Mr. Brown preached on Isaiah Iv. 8--11, giving a summary of Christian doctrine. On our way back we called on a pious family, when we had some agreeable and religious conversation; but their wish to keep me from the work of the mission, and retain me at Calcutta, was carried farther than mere civility, and showed an extraordinary unconcern for the souls of the poor heathens. At eight in the evening went to the old or missionary church, where I ventured to read the service; Mr. B. preached on, "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh," &c. I was very agreeably surprised at the number, attention, and apparent liveliness of the audience, and I may safely say, that most of the young ministers that I know, would rejoice to come from England, if they knew how attractive every circumstance is respecting the church. Stayed in the vestry some time after, conversing with Mr. Burney; had reason to lament great want of modesty and spirituality afterwards. Began the day with strong desires, that God would exert his power and make me holy. My soul groaned out of its corruptions, and I trusted that this day I should for once be free from those vanities, which I knew too well would without great caution enslave my heart; but it was not so, and towards night I was almost discouraged in my struggles after a holy mind. Yet upon the whole, no discovery of corruption is very distressing, while God supports the hope of improvement, and makes me pant earnestly for it.
19. As I was this day to be presented at the levee of the Governor General, I had need of much prayer, that my mind might not be run away with again by new vanities, and I was helped accordingly, for the Lord showed me the extreme folly and emptiness of all earthly splendour. After waiting a considerable time in a crowd of military men, an aid-de-camp presented me to Sir J. Barlowe, who, after one or two trifling questions, passed on. We went from the Governor's house to the college, where we were shown Tippoo's library. One of the learned natives read us a passage in the Koran, or rather sung or chanted it. At the end of a sentence, in order to preserve the time of an equal length with that of the preceding, he drawled out the last syllable with a long and strong nasal sound, like one of the pipes of an organ after the tune is finished. We then got into a boat, and the stream in an hour and half helped us up to Serampore, to Mr. Brown's house. In the cool of the evening we walked to the mission-house, a few hundred yards off, and I at last saw the place about which I have so long read with pleasure; I was introduced to all the missionaries. We sat down about one hundred and fifty to tea, at several long tables in an immense room. After this there was evening service in another room adjoining, by Mr. Ward. Mr. Mauliman then delivered his lecture on Grammar. As his observations were chiefly confined to the Greek, and seemed intended for the young missionaries, I was rather disappointed, having expected to hear something about the oriental languages. With Mr. M. alone, I had much conversation, and received the first encouragement to be a missionary, that I have met with since I came to this country. I blessed God in my heart for this seasonable supply of refreshment. Finding my sore throat and cough much increased, I thought there might be some danger, and felt rather low at the prospect of death. I could scarcely tell why. The constant uneasiness I am in from the bites of the musquitoes, made me rather fretful also. My habitation assigned me by Mr. B. is a pagoda in his grounds, on the edge of the river. Thither I retired at night, and really felt something like superstitious dread, at being in a place once inhabited as it were by devils, but yet felt disposed to be triumphantly joyful, that the temple where they were worshipped, was become Christ's oratory. I prayed out aloud to my God, and the echoes returned from the vaulted roof. Oh may I so pray, that the dome of heaven may resound. I like my dwelling much, it is so retired and free from noise; it has so many recesses and cells that I can hardly find my way in and out.
20. Employed in preparing a sermon for to-morrow, and while walking about for this purpose, my body and mind active, my melancholy was a little relieved by the hope that I should not be entirely useless as a missionary. In the evening I walked with Mr. Brown, to see the evening worship at a pagoda whither they say the god who inhabited my pagoda retired some years ago. As we walked through the dark wood which everywhere covers the country, the cymbals and drums struck up, and never did sounds go through my heart with such horror in my life. The pagoda was in a court, surrounded by a wall, and the way up to it was by a flight of steps on each side. The people to the number of about fifty were standing on the outside, and playing the instruments. In the centre of the building was the idol, a little ugly black image, about two feet high, with a few lights burning round him. At intervals they prostrated themselves, with their foreheads to the earth. I shivered at being in the neighbourhood of hell; my heart was ready to burst at the dreadful state to which the Devil had brought my poor fellow-creatures. I would have given the world to have known the language, to have preached to them. At this moment Mr. Marshman arrived, and my soul exulted that the truth would now be made known; he addressed the Brahmins with a few questions about the god; they seemed to be all agreed with Mr. M. and quite ashamed at being interrogated, when they knew they could give no answer. They were at least mute, and would not reply; and when he continued speaking they struck up again with their detestable music, and so silenced him. We walked away in sorrow, but the scene we had witnessed gave rise to a very profitable conversation, which lasted some hours. Marshman in conversation with me alone sketched out what he thought would be the most useful plan for me to pursue in India; which would be to stay in Calcutta a year to learn the language, and when I went up the country to take one or two native brethren with me, to send them forth, and preach occasionally only to confirm their word, to establish schools, and visit them. He said I should do far more good in the way of influence, than merely by actual preaching. After all, whatever God may appoint, prayer is the great thing. Oh that I may be a man of prayer; my spirit still struggles for deliverance from all my corruptions.
21. Went down to Calcutta, and preached at night in the Old Church, on 1 Cor. i. 1-3. to a moderately large congregation. M'K. came home with me, and grieved me by many inconsistencies in his temper and conversation.
22. In prayer this morning my soul found the blessed God revealing himself in comfort to my soul. I have for many days, in , way, been going on forwardly in the ways of my heart, finding little pleasure in God, and less in any thing else; but the Lord hath led me, and restored comfort to me. Went up to Serampore to dinner. In the afternoon was solemnized in prayer; but as usual, lost much peace by unwatchful-ness. In our walk at sunset, met Mr. Marshman, with whom I continued talking about the languages. Telling Mr. Brown about my Cambridge honours, I found my pride stirred, and bitterly repented having said anything about it. Surely the increase of humility need not be neglected when silence may do it.
23. Was in general in a spiritual happy frame the whole day, which I cannot but ascribe to my being more diligent and frequent in prayer over the Scriptures, so that it is the neglect of this duty that keeps my soul so low. Began the Bengalee grammar, and got on considerably. Continued my letters to Mr. Simeon and E. At night we attended a conference of the missionaries on this subject, "Whether God could save sinners without the death of Christ." Messrs. Carey, Marshman, and Ward spoke, Mr. Brown and myself. I offered what might be said on the opposite side of the question to that which the rest took; to shew that he might have saved them without Christ. About fourteen of the Bengalee brethren were present and spoke on the subject. Ram Roteen prayed.
23. Not so regular in duties, and of course not so comfortable in mind. Went down to Calcutta and spent most of the day in preparing for to-morrow, and learning Hindostanee roots.
24. (Sunday.) In the morning my heart was tolerably spiritual; I felt withdrawn from the world, and found pleasure in being alone with the blessed God. Oh what heavenly-mindedness might I enjoy by more communion with God. In the evening at the Old Church I preached on 1 Tim. i. 15. The subject as usual gained much attention, but my own soul had little enjoyment.
26. Writing letters in the morning; in the evening went up to Serampore with Mr. Brown, with whom I had much enlivening conversation. Why cannot I be like Fletcher and Brainerd, and those men of modern times? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? Cannot my stupid stony heart be made to flame with love and zeal? What is it that bewitches me, that I live such a dying life? my soul groans under its bondage. In the evening Marshman called; I walked back with him and was not a little offended at his speaking against the use of a liturgy. I returned full of grief at the offences which arise amongst men, and determined to be more alone with the blessed God.
27. Employed all day in writing letters; frequently in prayer, but unable to maintain a spiritual frame any time together. Mr. B. sent me a note from his house to the pagoda, so kind and humble that I felt quite overwhelmed and grieved, that my real character should not be better known and less thought of.
28. In secret duties found myself somewhat more moved, but could not preserve a right spirit; writing letters all day, and felt quite impatient at being kept from the language. In the evening officiated at the family worship, Mr. B. being at Calcutta; I had conversation on religion with a young lady in the house.
29. Throughout this day frequent and regular in praying over the Scripture for an increase of grace without feeling much comfort or benefit; but at night my soul began to be drawn up to the things of another world. In conversation at night with Mr. Brown and Marshman I was enabled to retire at once into my spirit when the conversation became at all unprofitable. Had some conversation with Marshman alone on the prospects of the gospel in this country, and the state of religion in our hearts, for which I felt more anxious. Notwithstanding I endeavoured to guard against prating only to display my experience; I found myself somewhat ruffled by the conversation, and derived no benefit from it, but felt desirous only to get away from the world, and to cease from them; my pride was a little hurt by M.'s questioning me as the merest novice. He probably sees farther into me, than I see into myself. Employed incessantly in writing letters.
30. The day passed much as yesterday, but I was more elated and puffed up, and found it harder to preserve a serious spirit. Towards evening the consideration of the shortness of time quickened me to a more spiritual frame; officiated as usual at evening worship; writing letters all day.
June 1. (Sunday.) In the morning at the New Church Mr. J. preached, I officiated at the Sacrament with Mr. Limerick; found little comfort in the ordinance. In general through the day was obliged to be continually in prayer, through inward corruption, vanity, concern about this world, want of the fear of God. Preached at night at the Missionary Church on the three last verses of St. Matthew.
2. Called with Mr. Brown on M'K.; the rest of the day employed in writing letters. My soul tried by the enemy, but keeping near to God. There are, it is said, breadths and lengths, in the love of Christ. Was astonished this evening to think of the returns I make. I tried to have my heart affected with love to the blessed Lord Jesus. O my Redeemer! what is it that hides thy beauties from my soul? my only friend, fairer than ten thousand, and altogether lovely, why do I not love thee?
3. Writing letters all day; and exercises of mind still the same, obliging me to wait upon God continually to purify, solemnize, and quicken me. Called at night on a pious family in the town; but instead of being able to edify them by godly conversation, I returned full of shame and sorrow at various inconsistencies, which might well disgrace me in the eyes of the people of God. O may they never take occasion, from the folly that they see in me, to walk carelessly themselves.
4. Begun the Nagree alphabet, and by giving some attention made myself master of it in a very short time, so that I could write in it. Prepared myself also for the evening. Went in great dejection to church; grieved that I could not speak with plainness and affection to the people. In prayer before sermon, I found some relief in breathing out my complaints to God, and in the sermon was sufficiently plain I believe. At home afterwards, found my soul lively; disposed to labour and pray. I could not feel satisfied at having merely got through my work, but was constrained to pray. Lord, let this sermon be for the conversion of many souls, let me not preach always in vain, but let thy word at last go forth in power.
5. Employed this morning in comparing the Persian and Nagree alphabets, and rendering some Hindoostanee stories from one into the other. Severely tried by fleshly temptations, and my mind also in the dark respecting my destination and something dejected. Felt fatigued towards evening, as if the day were too long, a thing I have not found for some time. Visited with Mr. Brown some of the European shops. Dined at night with Mr. Udney's family at Chowringee, and was much refreshed with the serious and sensible conversation of Mr. U. But I see that amid the want of activity and decision so remarkable among the friends of religion here I must begin at last to act for myself, though I am no more qualified than a child. At present this is the state of things; I wish to fix at Benares; but that being a military station I should be liable to a removal at the will of the commander-in-chief. Besides, that if I were to report myself to him he would most probably order me to Delhi. These things however remain to be tried, whether I may not get to be appointed to Benares and continued there; Mr. U. thinks that I may. If not, I must endeavour to be fixed at Patna as civil chaplain; but there are difficulties in the way of this, for by the company's regulations I ought by my seniority to be at a military station. May the Lord be pleased to direct our way through this labyrinth. I shall endeavour to have an audience of the governor-general, and state the whole of my views to him.
6. After a sleepless night, full of pain from a sore throat, and agitated with uneasy thoughts, I rose at gun-fire, and was rowed up in Mr. Brown's boat to Serampore. Death seemed at hand, and I felt unwilling to die. I could not find that there was any thing in my habitual state that alarmed me, nor could I disbelieve Christ's willingness to receive me; but it appeared so melancholy to leave friends and habitation on earth.
7. Went down to Calcutta, and passed the day chiefly in preparing for to-morrow. In the evening, was greatly revived and animated by a funeral sermon I read of Mr. Slater's, and every way greatly impressed. In prayer in general was more occupied with pleading for a ministerial spirit, than for other things. Such a difference is there between all that is in this miserable heart and the holy unction that is visible on those ministers of old, that I cannot but perceive that I have the name and shadow only of a minister.
8. Preached at the new church for the first time, on 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. The sermon excited no small ferment; however, after some looks of surprise and whispering, the congregation became attentive and serious. I knew what I was to be on my guard against,--and therefore that I might not have my mind full of idle thoughts about the opinions of men, I prayed both before and after, that the word might be for the conversion of souls, and that I might feel indifferent, except on this score. At night preached at the mission church on 2 Cor. v. 9.
9. Called on Mr. Birch and his family; afterwards on Mr. Harrington. Received instructions in writing Nagree, from the first master in the college; returned to Serampore with Mr. B. and Mr. Myers, and passed the time very agreeably in serious conversation, singing hymns, and reading; at evening worship I read and prayed; was somewhat melancholy at reflecting on being soon to be cut off from such delightful Christian society. But alas! why do I regret it. Sweet is human friendship, sweet is the communion of Christian friends, but sweeter far is fellowship with God on earth, and the enjoyment of the society of his saints in heaven; therefore let me live contentedly, separated from every creature consolation, and look forward with delight and joy to the day of my departure from this world. At night, went to the mission house, and heard Mr. Ward's monthly lecture, on the manners and customs of the Hindoos. Found myself very unwell, but supposed it was only from having had little sleep the night before.
10. After a night spent in great disorder of body and mind I rose, but was obliged to keep my bed most of the day; the bilious fever with which I had been attacked continued to increase, till Mr. B. and his family began to be seriously alarmed. During the first part of the day I could feel nothing suitable to the awful-ness of the occasion. I was disposed to trifle with death, and could not fix my thoughts in prayer. But on a sudden I found myself serious and breathed forth my soul freely to God. I could derive no comfort from reflecting on my past life; indeed exactly in proportion as I looked for evidences of grace, I lost that brokenness of heart which I wished to retain, and could not lie with simplicity at the foot of the cross. God vouchsafed at this time to give me a sweet serenity at the prospect of death. I thought with pleasure of leaving this world of sin and sorrow. Dr. Taylor was sent for in the evening. In the night I was very ill, but enjoyed an almost uninterrupted peace of mind.
11. A little recovered, so as to read some of Hindoostanee grammar, but was fatigued by it. Had little enjoyment of God's presence, through a detestable lightness of spirit, which has more wounded my peace than any other evil whatsoever. Dr. Taylor visited me at night, and spoke of missionary subjects. He said he expected to live to see the temporal power of the Mahommedans destroyed.
12. Still exceedingly feeble; endeavoured to think on a subject, and was much irritated at being unable to write a word. Mrs. B. and afterwards Mr. B. paid me a visit; I came into the house to dinner, but while there I felt as if fainting or dying, and indeed really thought I was departing this life. I was brought back again to the pagoda; and then on my bed I began to pray as on the verge of eternity. The Lord was pleased to break my hard heart, and deliver me from that satanic spirit of light and arrogant unconcern about which I groaned out my complaint to God. From this time I lay in tears, interceding for the unfortunate natives of this country; thinking with myself, that the most despised soodar of India, was of as much value in the sight of God, as the King of Great Britain: through the rest of the day my soul remained in a spirit of contrition.
13. The same spirit continued. I lay unable to read, and no one read to me, so that the long day was dragged away in slumbering.
14. A pundit came to me this morning, but after having my patience tried with him, I was obliged to send him away, as he knew nothing about Hindoostanee. I was exceedingly puzzled to know how I should ever be able to acquire any assistance in learning these languages. Alas! what trials are awaiting me. Sickness and the climate have increased the irritability of my temper, and occasions of trying it occur constantly. In the afternoon while pleading for a contrite tender spirit, but in vain, I was obliged to cease praying for that tenderness of spirit, and to go on to other petitions, and by this means was brought to a more submissive state. Officiated at evening worship.
15. (Sunday.) Found my mouth salivated this morning from calomel. Attended the morning service at the mission house; Mr. Marsden preached. After service, Marshman and Carey talked with me in the usual cheering way about missionary things, but my mind was dark. In the afternoon was rather more comfortable in prayer, and at evening worship was assisted to go through the duties of it with cheerfulness. Read some of Whitfield's Sermons.
16. Ostensibly about Hindoostanee, but doing little from weakness--the effect of medicine. Heard that Dr. W. had made an intemperate attack upon me yesterday at the new church, and upon all the doctrines of the gospel. I felt like the rest, disposed to be entertained at it; but I knew it to be wrong, and therefore found it far sweeter to retire and pray, with my mind fixed upon the more awful things of another world. M'Kenzie called on us this afternoon on his way to Delhi. I was shocked at his coldness about divine things; yet unhappily found no opportunity to speak to him on it. Had somewhat more of God's presence at night in prayer.
17. Rose in great melancholy, but the rest of the day though the body was in a very oppressed state, my soul was a little more active and lively; I longed to be ardent in his service. Read the language, and wrote a little on a divine subject.
18. Continued to enjoy near access to the Lord today as yesterday. Employed myself in the way to Calcutta, in learning roots; suffered a little from dejection, purely owing to a bodily cause, for my soul was inwardly happy. In the afternoon we drank tea at Mr. Myers', and went from thence to church; where I read prayers, and Mr. B. preached on 1 Peter iv. 14. "On their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."
19. Rose in gloom, but that was soon dissipated by consideration, and prayer. Began after breakfast for the first time, with a moonshee, a Cashmerian Brahmin, with whom I was much pleased. In the boat, back to Serampore, learning roots. Officiated at evening worship. Walked at night with Marshman and Mr. B. to the bazaar held at this time of the year, for the use of the people assembling at Juggernant. The booth or carriage was fifty feet high, in appearance a wooden temple, with rows of wheels through the centre of it. By the side of this a native brother who attended Marshman gave away papers, and this gave occasion to disputes which continued a considerable time between Marshman and the Brahmins. Felt somewhat hurt at night at------'s insinuating that my low spirits, as he called it, was owing to want of diligence. God help me to be free from this charge, and yet not desirous to make a shew before men. May I walk in sweet and inward communion with him, labouring with never-ceasing diligence and care, and assured that I shall not live or labour in vain.
20. Employed in writing sermon, and learning Hindoostanee. Hearing of Mr. Pitt's death I was led into solemn reflections on our mortality, and the vanity of the world. Alas, what matters it to have acquired such a name as Mr. Pitt, or Lord Nelson, or Lord Cornwallis, who have all just died, if they are not the servants of God. How vast the change at the last day, when the despised children of God shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. They that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. In the afternoon read with moonshee. Officiated at evening prayer.
21. Went down to Calcutta, and read some Hindoostanee with moonshee in the boat. The rest of the day-passed in preparing sermon. In prayer I had frequently the blessing of the presence of God, especially in reference to my ministry. Rode out at night upon the course in Mr. B's. carriage.
22. (Sunday.) Attended at the New Church, and heard Mr. Jeffreys on the evidences of Christianity; I had laboured much in prayer in the morning that God would be pleased to keep my heart during the service from thinking about men, and I could say as I was going, "I will go up to thy house in the multitude of thy mercies, and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy-temple." In public worship I was rather more heavenly-minded than on former occasions, yet still vain and wandering. At night preached on John x. 2. "I am the good Shepherd;" there was great attention. Yet felt a little dejected afterwards, as if I always preached without doing good.
23. Spent the morning with Mirza Phitrut, who read over with me the Hindoostanee translation of the two first chapters of Genesis. I knew enough to point out several errors, which he corrected; the exercise was improving to myself. Afterwards read the Hindoo Storyteller with moonshee, and tired him with attention to the work. Dined at the governor-general's, and passed the time without thinking on any particular subject; had a little conversation with Captain Burnet, a military man on my right-hand, and controverted some of his sentiments rather warmly.
24. At day-light left Calcutta, and had my temper greatly exercised by the neglects and improper behaviour of the servants and boatmen. Arrived at Serampore at eight, and retired to my pagoda intending to spend the day in fasting and prayer; but after a prayer in which the Lord helped me to review with sorrow the wickedness of my past life, I was so overcome with fatigue that I fell asleep, and thus lost the whole morning; so I gave up my original intention. Passed the afternoon in translating the 2nd chapter of St. Matthew into Hindoostanee. Had a long conversation at night with Marshman, whose desire now is, that I should stay at Serampore, give myself to the study of Hindostanee for the sake of the Scriptures, and be ready to supply the place of Carey and Marshman in the work, should they be taken off; and for another reason--that I might awaken the attention of the people of God in Calcutta more to missionary subjects. I was struck with the importance of having proper persons here to supply the place of these two men; but could not see that it was the path God designed for me. I felt, however, a most impatient desire that some of my friends should come out and give themselves to the work; for which they are so much more fit in point of learning than any of the Dissenters are, and could not bear that a work of such stupendous magnitude should be endangered by their neglect, and love of the world. M. recommended that the serious people in Calcutta should unite in a society for the support of missions, and each subscribe fifty rupees a month for their maintenance. Ten members -with this subscription could support sixty or seventy native brethren. He wished me also to see the duty of their all remaining in the country, learning the language, and instructing their servants. My mind was so filled and excited by the first part of our conversation, that I could not sleep for many hours after going to bed. He told me that the people were surfeited with the gospel, and that they needed to be exhorted to duty.
25. Set apart this day for fasting and prayer; at the remembrance of my past life, with which I generally begin, I was tenderly affected with some degree of sorrow and humiliation; afterwards for increase of grace to my own soul, and in my ministry, and in intercession for my country and friends, I could not plead with power. In prayer for the setting up of the kingdom of God in India I felt some freedom, but little love for souls.
26. Employed in translating St. Matthew into Hindoostanee, and reading Mirza's translation; afterwards had moonshee a little. In the afternoon walked with Mr. Brown to see Juggernaut's car drawn back to its pagoda. Many thousands of people were present rending the air with acclamations. The car and tower was decorated with a vast number of flags, and the Brahmins were passing to and fro through the different compartments of it, catching the offerings of fruit, cowries, &c. that were thrown up to the god; for which they threw down in return small wreaths of flowers, which the people wore round their necks and in their hair. When the car stopped at the pagoda, the god with one or two attending deities were let down by ropes, muffled up in red cloths, a band of singers with drums and cymbals going round the car while this was performed. Before the stumps of images, for they were not better, some of the people prostrated themselves, striking the ground twice with their foreheads; this excited more horror in me than I can well express, and I was about to stammer out in Hindoostanee, "Why do ye these things?" and to preach the gospel. The words were on my lips--though if I had spoken thousands would have crowded round me, and I should not have been understood. However, I felt my spirit more inflamed with zeal then I ever conceived it would be; and I thought that if I had words I would preach to the multitudes all the day, if I lost my life for it. It was curious how the women clasped their hands, and lifted them up as if in the extacy of devotion, while Juggernaut was tumbled about in the most clumsy manner before their eyes. I thought with some sorrow that Satan may exert the same influence in exciting apparently religious affections in professors of the gospel, in order to deceive souls to their eternal ruin. Dr. Taylor and Mr. Moore joined us, and distributed tracts. Mr. Ward, we heard, was at a distance preaching. On our return we met Marshman going upon the same errand. In evening worship my heart was rather drawn out for the heathen, and my soul in general through the day enjoyed a cheering sense of God's love. Marshman joined us again, and our conversation was about supporting some native missions.
27. Employed about Hindoostanee with moonshee most of the day, with my mind cheerful and composed.
28. Came down to Calcutta, and spent the morning in Hindoostanee; had moonshee in the afternoon. My heart was yielding to many vanities most of this day. Oh that I may value communion with God, which none but the pure in heart can enjoy. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."
29. (Sunday.) Preached this morning to a large congregation in the New Church, on Rom. vii. 18. and was in general raised in my thoughts and affections above this world, but love of souls is what I do not feel. God help me to seek after it. In the evening preached at the Missionary Church, on Dan. v. 23, 24. with rather more affection. B. who had this day landed from Madras was there; we met with mutual surprise.
30. Read the Hindooslanee translation of Genesis iii. with Mirza; afterwards went up to Serampore in the boat, learning roots. Spent the afternoon chiefly in prayer, of which my soul stood greatly in need through the snares into which my heart had been falling. Through mercy my heart was not so far gone from God as to find it very difficult to renounce the world again. But I found it necessary to cry for deliverance from all my present thoughts, again to bid adieu to the world, and be no more entangled with it, but to live as if I had not a friend in the world, entirely set apart for God.
My soul was blessed with peace though I was somewhat melancholy at the pain the conflict occasioned. Called at the Missionary house, and saw Mr. Marsden previous! to the commencement of his missionary career. Now the plans of God are I trust taking another step forward.
July 1. I would consider every day as a time of contradiction to the flesh, and would expect no pleasure, but a life of hardship, labour, and humiliation. If outward things are made comfortable, through goodness and love, let God be praised, but I would not think of these things, but see them ebb or flow with equal indifference. I would consider heaven as my only dwelling-place, and on that let me be always thinking. The setting up of Christ's kingdom in the hearts of men is my delightful business upon earth; but oh, let me labour in that with a mind simply directed to Jesus; so shall I walk steadily with God. Employed with moonshee all day. In evening prayer was confused. Watchful in a greater degree over my heart.
2. Mr. Brown proposed a prayer meeting between ourselves and the missionaries previous to the departure of Dr. Taylor for Surat. It was a season of grace to my soul, for some sense of the vast importance of the occasion dwelt upon my mind in prayer, and I desired earnestly to live zealously, labouring for souls in every possible way, with more honesty and openness. In the evening went to Marshman, and proposed it. There were at his house many agreeable sights; one pundit was translating Scripture into Sanscrit, another into Guzerati, and a table was covered with materials for a Chinese Dictionary. Employed with moonshee in Hindoo Storyteller, and in learning to write the Persian characters.
3. Rose with some happiness in my soul, and delight in the thought of an increase of labour in the church of God. Employed morning as usual, and in thinking of subject for sermon. Was detained in the house at a time when I wanted prayer. In the evening walked with the family through Serampore, the natives' part. At night we had a delightful spiritual conversation. Thus my time passes most agreeably in this dear family. Lord, let me be willing to leave it, and the world with joy.
4. Moonshee being sick, I read by myself, and employed the time in extracting idioms, and useful phrases from the Hindoo Storyteller, and exercised myself in the Persian character, by writing out the beginning of a native elegy. My soul in general comfortably and solemnly to Godward. Oh may the Lord never suffer my soul to be moved, nor cause my enemies to triumph over me.
5. Went down to Calcutta, read with moonshee in the boat, and passed the afternoon also with him, but I do not seem to improve at all in conversation. Rode out with Mr. B. in the carriage in the evening, and afterwards spent a great deal too much time in conversation, for which my conscience condemned me.
6. (Sunday.) Laboured to have my mind impressed with holy things, particularly because I expected to have a personal attack from the pulpit. Mr. L. preached from 2 Pet. i. 13, and spoke with sufficient plainness against me and my doctrines. Called them inconsistent, extravagant, and absurd. He drew a vast variety of false inferences from the doctrines, and thence argued against the doctrines themselves. To say that repentance is the gift of God, was to induce men to sit still and wait for God. To teach that nature was wholly corrupt, was to lead men to despair; that men thinking the righteousness of Christ sufficient to justify, will account it unnecessary to have any of their own: this last assertion moved me considerably, and I started at hearing such downright heresy. He spoke of me as one of those who understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm: and as speaking only to gratify self-sufficiency, pride, and uncharitableness. I rejoiced at having the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper afterwards, as the solemnities of that blessed ordinance sweetly tended to soothe the asperities, and dissipate the contempt which was rising; and I think I administered the cup to------ and-------with sincere goodwill. At night I preached on John iv. 10, at the mission church, and blessed be God! with an enlarged heart. I saw------in tears, and that encouraged me to hope that perhaps some were savingly affected, but I feel no desire except that my God should be glorified. If any are awakened at hearing me, let me not hear of it if I should glory.
7. After the first thought of indolence, self-complacency, and discontent had been dissipated, my soul was brought by the gracious Spirit, to a different frame, so that it was delightful to me to think of labouring ardently for God and heathen souls, unknown and unnoticed by the creature. Oh, surely God does intend good for India, ere long; or is it because I find the belief so agreeable, that I do believe it? Mirza came to me this morning, and as it was the last time I should see him before his departure to his native place, Benares, I preached the gospel to him. He said that now he had translated the Gospels, he was become a Christian in heart, and wished to spend the remainder of his days in a corner, thinking of God. Thus fairly will even a ferocious and profligate Mussulman speak. Went back to Serampore.
8. Reading with moonshee all the morning. Spent the afternoon in reading and prayer, as preparatory to a meeting of the missionaries at night. At eight, ten of us met in my pagoda. It was, throughout, a soul-refreshing ordinance to me; I felt as I wished, as if having done with the world, and standing on the very verge of heaven, rejoicing at the glorious work which God will accomplish on the earth. The Lord will, I hope, hear our prayers for our dear brother, on whose account we met, previous to his departure for Surat.
An idea thrown out by-------pleased me very much, not on account of its practicability, but its grandeur, i.e. that there should be an annual meeting, at the Cape of Good Hope, of all the missionaries in the world.
9. Dull and languid from the exertions and late hours of yesterday. Reading the sermon on the mount, in the Hindoostanee Testament, with moonshee. In the evening went to the missionary house, drank tea, and attended their worship. These affectionate souls never fail to mention me particularly in their prayers, but I am grieved that they so mistake my occasional warmth for zeal. It is one of the things in which I am most low and backward, as the Lord, who seeth in secret, knows too well. Oh then, may any who think it worth while to take up my name into their lips, pray for the beginning rather than the continuance of zeal. Marshman, in my walk with him, kindly assured me of his great regard and union of heart with me. I would that I had more gratitude to God, for so putting it into the hearts of his people, to show regard to one so undeserving of it. At night had much nearness to God in prayer. I found it sweet to my spirit, to reflect on my being a pilgrim on earth, with Christ for my near and dear friend, and found myself unwilling to leave off my prayer.
10. Employed during the morning with moonshee. At morning and evening worship enjoyed freedom of access to God in prayer. Mr. Brown's return in the evening with another Christian friend, added greatly to my pleasure. Marshman joined us at night, but these enjoyments, from being too eagerly entered into, often leave my soul carnally delighted only, instead of bringing me nearer to God. Wrote sermon at night.
11. Had much plague from the vanities of my heart to-day. Was chiefly writing sermon, and but little with moonshee. Some suitable thoughts coming into my mind at night, of the majesty of God, and the manner in which angels serve him, from hearing sacred music, I was astonished at reflecting on my daring irreverence. Oh! never have I approached the Deity with any thing of a proper temper. Due apprehensions of him I cannot expect to have, but surely I might walk before him with less carelessness than I do. The seraphs veil their faces with their wings, before the Lord. Oh to think that such a despicable creature should be irreverent!
12. Most of this morning employed about sermon. In the afternoon went down to Calcutta with Mr. B. and all his family; we passed the time very agreeably in singing hymns. Found Europe letters on our arrival, but were disappointed in not finding Corrie, or Parsons, in the list of passengers. My letters were from Lydia. T. H., and Emma; Mr. Simeon, and Sargent. All their first letters had been taken in the Bell Packet. I longed to see Lydia's, but the Lord saw it good, no doubt, not to suffer it to arrive. The one I did receive from her was very animating, and showed the extraordinary zeal and activity of her mind. Mr. Simeon's letter contained her praises, and even he seemed to regret that I had gone without her. My thoughts were so occupied with these letters, that I could get little or no sleep.
13. (Sunday.) Talked to Mr. B. about L., and read her letter to him. He strongly recommended the measure of endeavouring to bring her here, and was clear that my future situation in the country would be such as to make it necessary to be married. A letter from Colonel Sandys, which he opened afterwards, spoke in the highest terms of her. The subject of marriage was revived in my mind, but I feel rather a reluctance to it. I enjoy in general such sweet peace of mind, from considering myself a stranger upon earth, unconnected with any persons; unknown, forgotten, that were I never thrown into any more trying circumstances than I am in at present, no change could add to my happiness. At the new church this morning, had the happiness of hearing Mr. Jefferies preach. I trust God will graciously keep him, and instruct him, and make him another witness of Jesus in this place. My heart was greatly refreshed, and rejoiced at it all the day. At night preached at the missionary church, on Eph. ii. 1-3, to a small congregation. Sat up late with Mr. B., considering the same subject as we had been conversing on before, and it dwelt so much on my mind, that I got hardly any sleep the whole night.
14. The same subject engrosses my whole thoughts. Mr. B's. arguments appear so strong, that my mind is almost made up to send for Lydia. I could scarcely have any reasonable doubts remaining, that her presence would most abundantly promote the ends of the mission. A letter from Colonel Sandys gave us hopes that some valuable missionaries may, ere long, be introduced into the country. Passed much of the morning with Mirza, the Mahometan, and endeavoured to press upon his mind the truths of the gospel; in the afternoon with moonshee. Till evening worship passed some time profitably in reading and prayer, and God in grace and love helped me to have my affections withdrawn from the world, and to be indifferent about the event of what is now passing in my mind. Through Christian friends being with us this evening, we had some agreeable conversation on divine things. At night, with Mr. B., paid my first visit to Mrs. Johnson.
15. Most of the day with moonshee; at intervals, thinking on subject for sermon. My affections seemed to be growing more strong towards Lydia than I could wish, as I fear my judgment will no longer remain unbiassed. The subject is constantly on my mind, and imagination heightens the advantages to be obtained from her presence. And yet, on the other hand, there is such a sweet happiness in living unconnected with any creature, and hastening through this life with not one single attraction to detain my desires here, that I am often very unwilling to exchange a life of celibacy, for one of which I know nothing, except that it is in general a life of care.
16. Morning with moonshee; afterwards preparing myself for church. Preached at night at missionary church, on Isaiah lxiii. 1. Both in prayers and sermon I felt my heart much more affected than I expected, and there seemed to be some impression on a few of the people. I feel to be thankful to God, and grateful to the people, that they continue to hear me with such attention. My thoughts this day have been rather averse to marriage. Anxiety about the education and conversion of children rather terrifies me.
17. Employed as usual at night.
18. Engaged in writing a sermon for Sunday. After officiating at evening worship, I felt my heart much enlarged, and disposed to exclude any thing but spiritual conversation. Afterwards Mr. J. came and conversed with Mr. B. and myself, on the subject of the late attacks from the pulpit, which we had heard. Blessed be God, Mr. J. seems really disposed to rank with the followers of the Lord.
19. Still writing, and but a short time with moonshee. Mr. B. revived all the thoughts of marriage as strongly as ever. Read some of Barrow's Travels in Africa, by way of recreation.
20. (Sunday.) Preached at the new church, on 2 Cor. v. 17. Mr. Marshman dined with us, and at four I went to the Bazaar, to hear him preach to the natives. I arrived at the shed before him, and found the native brethren singing, after which one of them got up, and addressed the people with such firmness and mild energy, notwithstanding their occasional contradictions and ridicule, that I was quite delighted and refreshed. To see a native Indian, an earnest advocate for Jesus, how precious! Marshman afterwards came, and prayed, sung, and preached. If I were to be very severe with him, I should say that there is a want of seriousness, tenderness, and dignity in his address, and I felt pained that he should so frequently speak with contempt of the Brahmins, many of whom were listening with great respect and attention. The group presented all that variety of countenance which the word is represented as producing in a heathen audience. Some inattentive, others scornful, and others seemingly melting under it. Another native brother, I believe, then addressed them. An Indian sermon about Jesus Christ was like music on my ear, and I felt inflamed to begin my work: these poor people possess more intelligence and feeling than I thought. At the end of the service, there was a sort of uproar when the papers were given away, and the attention of the populace and of some Europeans was excited. Read prayers at night at the missionary church; Mr. B. preached on the unspeakable gift.
21. Morning with moonshee. Young-------from England dined with us. Returned to Serampore rather in a low state of mind, arising from deprivation of a society of which I had been too fond. Ill with a cold, and want of sleep towards night, this made me still more stupid and cold.
22. Read Hindoostanee without moonshee. Not being able to get to the pagoda from the incessant rain, I passed the latter part of the day in the house, reading the life of Francis Xavier. I was exceedingly roused at the astonishing example of that great saint, and began to consider, whether it was not my duty to live, as he did, in voluntary poverty and celibacy. I was not easy till I had determined to follow the same course, when I should perceive that the kingdom of God would be more advanced by it. At night I saw the awful necessity of being no longer slothful, nor wasting my thoughts about such trifles, as whether I should be married or not; and felt a great degree of fear, lest the blood of the five thousand Mahometans, who Mr. B. said were to be found in Calcutta, capable of understanding a Hindoostanee sermon, should be required at my hand.
23. Employed in Hindoostanee and writing sermon. Moonshee narrowly escaped drowning in coming to me, the wind is so high on the river; the boat having upset. At night visited Marshman, and consulted with him on the subject which is pending in my mind. Wrote out a letter for Lydia, but am not yet determined to send it.
24. Reading Hindoostanee by myself, and found it more useful than with moonshee, and when tired read Barrow's travels in China, and Xavier. In the afternoon Mr. B. brought up Buchanan's Mission from Calcutta; I was much struck with it, and was very powerfully excited by Archbishop Wake's letter to the missionaries. Oh how shall I adore God enough, for the honour He has put upon so wretched a creature, by sending him with the Gospel to these countries. Let me never, never be entangled with the affairs of this world, that I may please Him, who hath called me to be a soldier. At night wrote sermon.
25. Endeavoured to walk more closely with God today, by more frequent prayer and greater watchfulness--and consequently found my soul more serious and steady. The thought of the Mahometans and Heathens lies very heavy upon my mind. The former who are in Calcutta, I seem to think are consigned to me by God, because nobody preaches in Hindoostanee. Employed the morning in sermon and Hindoostanee. In the afternoon went down to Calcutta. In the boat read Wrangham's Essay and some of Mr. Lloyd's letters, when young. What knowledge have some believers of the deep things of God! I felt myself peculiarly deficient in that experimental knowledge of Christ, with which Mr. Lloyd was particularly favoured. Walked from the landing place, a mile and a half, through the native part of Calcutta, amidst crowds of orientals of all nations. How would the spirit of St. Paul have been moved. The thought of summoning the attention of such multitudes appeared very formidable; and during the course of the evening was the occasion of many solemn thoughts and prayer, that God would deliver me from all softness of mind, fear, and self-indulgence, and make me ready to suffer shame and death for the name of the Lord Jesus.
26. Hindoostanee and sermon. In the evening drove out with Mr. Brown. My soul in general impressed with the awfulness of my missionary work, and often shrinking from its difficulties.
27. (Sunday.) Read prayers at the New Church. Dr. Ward preached. At night I preached at the Missionary Church, on Ephes. ii. 4-7. My soul throughout the day more disposed to seriousness and holy conversation than to vanity; yet at Mr. Myers', where we took tea, I was miserably insipid and unprofitable.
28. At a shop this morning met with Captain S. who presently entered into conversation with me; I found him very deranged, yet he dissembled his dislike of me. In the boat to Serampore, we read Mitchell's Essay on 'evangelizing India,' and were much pleased and profited. Whatever plans and speculations may be agitated, I felt it my duty to think only of putting my hand to the work without delay. Felt very unhappy at having other work put upon me, which will keep me from making progress in the language. Nothing but waiting upon God constantly for direction, and an assurance that his never-ceasing love will direct my way, would keep me from constant vexation. I scarcely do any thing in the language, from having my time so constantly taken up with writing sermons.
29. Much of this morning taken up in writing to Lydia. As far as my own views extend, I feel no doubt at all about the propriety of the measure--of at least proposing it. May the Lord, in continuance of his loving kindness to her and me, direct her mind, that if she comes, I may consider it as a special gift from God, and not merely permitted by him. Marshman sat with us in the evening, and as usual was teeming with plans for the propagation of the Gospel. Staid up till midnight in finishing the letter to Lydia
30. Hindoostanee with Moonshee. Felt the necessity of stirring myself up to a more cheerful activity in conversation, and endeavours to do any such good by constant exertion. In the afternoon and at night thinking about sermon; but my soul does not enjoy the presence of God. My prayers are with true seriousness, but without affection and joy. For all the impurity and iniquity, and indolence of my heart, the Lord I fear hideth his face. Oh mercifully cleanse me from all filthiness of flesh and spirit!
Serampore, July 30, 1806.
MY DEAREST LYDIA,
On a subject so intimately connected with my happiness and future ministry, as that on which I am now about to address you, I wish to assure you that I am not acting with precipitancy, or without much consideration and prayer, while I at last sit down to request you to come out to me to India.
May the Lord graciously direct his blind and erring creature, and not suffer the natural bias of his mind to lead him astray. You are acquainted with much of the conflict I have undergone on your account. It has been greater than you or Emma have imagined, and yet not so painful as I deserve to have found it for having suffered my affections to fasten so inordinately on an earthly object.
Soon, however, after my final departure from Europe, God in great mercy gave me deliverance, and favoured me throughout the voyage with peace of mind, indifference about all worldly connections, and devotedness to no object upon earth but the work of Christ. I gave you up entirely--not the smallest expectation remained in my mind of ever seeing you again till we should meet in heaven: and the thought of this separation was the less painful from the consolatory persuasion that our own Father had so ordered it for our mutual good. I continued from that time to remember you in my prayers only as a Christian sister, though one very dear to me. On my arrival in this country I saw no reason at first for supposing that marriage was advisable for a missionary--or rather the subject did not offer itself to my mind. The Baptist Missionaries indeed recommended it and Mr. Brown; but not knowing any proper person in this country, they were not very pressing upon the subject, and I accordingly gave no attention to it. After a very short experience and inquiry afterwards, my own opinions began to change, and when a few weeks ago we received your welcome letter and others from Mr. Simeon and Colonel Sandys, both of whom spoke of you in reference to me, I considered it even as a call from God to satisfy myself fully concerning his will. From the account which Mr. Simeon received of you from Mr. Thomason he seemed in his letter to me to regret that he had so strongly dissuaded me from thinking about you at the time of my leaving England. Colonel Sandys spoke in such terms of you, and of the advantages to result from your presence in this country, that Mr. B. became very earnest for me to endeavour to prevail upon you. Your letter to me perfectly delighted him and induced him to say that you would be the greatest aid to the mission I could possibly meet with. I knew my own heart too well not to be distrustful of it, especially as my affections were again awakened, and accordingly all my labour and prayer have been to check their influence, that I might see clearly the path of duty.
Though I dare not say that I am under no bias, yet from every view of the subject I have been able to take, after balancing the advantages and disadvantages that may ensue to the cause in which I am engaged, always in prayer for God's direction, my reason is fully convinced of the expediency, I had almost said the necessity of having you with me. It is possible that my reason may still be obscured by passion; let it suffice however to say that now with a safe conscience and the enjoyment of the divine presence, I calmly and deliberately make the proposal to you--and blessed be God if it be not his will to permit it; still this step is not advancing beyond the limits of duty, because there is a variety of ways by which God can prevent it, without suffering any dishonour to his cause. If He shall forbid it, I think, that by his grace, I shall even then be contented and rejoice in the pleasure of corresponding with you. Your letter dated December, 1805, was the first I received, (your former having been taken in the Bell Packet)--and I found it so animating that I could not but reflect on the blessedness of having so dear a counsellor always near me. I can truly say, and God is my witness, that my principal desire in this affair is that you may promote the kingdom of God in my own heart, and be the means of extending it to the heathen. My own earthly comfort and happiness are not worth a moment's notice--I would not, my dearest Lydia, influence you by any artifices or false representations. I can only say that if you have a desire of being instrumental in establishing the blessed Redeemer's kingdom among these poor people and will condescend to do it by supporting the spirits and animating the zeal of a weak messenger of the Lord who is apt to grow very dispirited and languid, "Come, and the Lord be with you!" It can be nothing but a sacrifice on your part, to leave your valuable friends to come to one who is utterly unworthy of you or any other of God's precious gifts--but you will have your reward, and I ask it not of you or of God for the sake of my own happiness, but only on account of the Gospel, If it be not calculated to promote it, may God in his mercy withhold it. For the satisfaction of your friends, I should say that you will meet with no hardships. The voyage is very agreeable, and with the people and country of India, I think you will be much pleased. The climate is very fine--the so much dreaded heat is really nothing to those who will employ their minds in useful pursuits. Idleness will make people complain of every thing. The natives are the most harmless and timid creatures I ever met with. The whole country is the land of plenty and peace. Were I a missionary among the Esquimaux or Boschemen I should never dream of introducing a female into such a scene of danger or hardship, especially one whose happiness is dearer to me than my own,--but here there is universal tranquillity,--though the multitudes are so great, that a missionary needs not go three miles from his house without having a congregation of many thousands. You would not be left in solitude if I were to make any distant excursion, because no chaplain is stationed where there is not a large English Society. My salary is abundantly sufficient for the support of a married man, the house and number of people kept by each company's servant being such as to need no increase for a family establishment. As I must make the supposition of your coming, though it may be perhaps a premature liberty, I should give you some directions. This letter will reach you about the latter end of the year,--it would be very desirable if you could be ready for the February fleet, because the voyage will be performed in far less time than at any other season. George will find out the best ship; one in which there is a lady of high rank in the service would be preferable. You are to be considered as coming as a visitor to Mr. Brown, who will write to you or to Colonel Sandys, who is best qualified to give you directions about the voyage. Should I be up the country on your arrival in Bengal, Mr. Brown will be at hand to receive you, and you will find yourself immediately at home. As it will highly expedite some of the plans which we have in agitation that you should know the language as soon as possible, take Gilchrist's Indian stranger's guide, and occasionally on the voyage learn some of the words.
If I had room I might enlarge on much that would be interesting to you. In my conversations with Marshman, the Baptist missionary, our hearts sometimes expand with delight and joy at the prospect of seeing all these nations of the East receive the doctrine of the Cross. He is a happy labourer; and I only wait, I trust, to know the language to open my mouth boldly and make known the mystery of the Gospel. My romantic notions are for the first time almost realized,--for in addition to the beauties of sylvan scenery may be seen the more delightful object of mutitudes of simple people sitting in the shade listening to the words of eternal life. Much as yet is not done; but I have seen many discover by their looks while Marshman was preaching, that their hearts were tenderly affected. My post is not yet determined; we expect however it will be Patna, a civil station, where I shall not be under military command. As you are so kindly anxious about my health, I am happy to say, that through mercy my health is far better than it ever was in England.
The people of Calcutta are very desirous of keeping me at the Mission Church, and offer to any evangelical clergyman a chaplain's salary and a house besides. I am of course deaf to such a proposal; but it is strange that no one in England is tempted by such an inviting situation. I am actually going to mention it to cousin T. H. and Emma. Not, as you may suppose with much hope of success; but I think that possibly the chapel at Dock may be too much for him, and he will have here a sphere of still greater importance. As this will be sent by the Overland Dispatch, there is some danger of its not reaching you;--you will therefore receive a duplicate, and perhaps a triplicate by the ships that will arrive in England a month or two after. I cannot write now to any of my friends. I will therefore trouble you, if you have opportunity, to say that I have received no letters since I left England, but one from each of these--Cousin T. and Emma, Simeon, Sargent, Bates--of my own family I have heard nothing. Assure any of them whom you may see of the continuance of my affectionate regard--especially dear Emma. I did not know that it was permitted me to write to you--or I fear she would not have found me so faithful a correspondent on the voyage. As I have heretofore addressed you through her, it is probable that I may be now disposed to addressed her through you--or what will be best of all, that we both of us address her in one letter from India. However, you shall decide, my dearest Lydia, I must approve your determination, because with that spirit of simple-looking to the Lord, which we both endeavour to maintain, we must not doubt that you will be divinely directed. Till I receive an answer to this, my prayers you may be assured will be constantly put up for you that in this affair you may be under an especial guidance, and that in all your ways God may be abundantly glorified by you through Jesus Christ. You say in your letter that frequently every day you remember my worthless name before the throne of grace. This instance of extraordinary and undeserved kindness draws my heart toward you with a tenderness which I cannot describe. Dearest Lydia, in the sweet and fond expectation of your being given to me by God, and of the happiness which I humbly hope you yourself might enjoy here, I find a pleasure in breathing out my assurance of ardent love. I have now long loved you most affectionately, and my attachment is more strong, more pure, more heavenly, because I see in you the image of Jesus Christ. I unwillingly conclude, by bidding my beloved Lydia, adieu,
31. Was blest with more of God's presence, especially in the afternoon, while reading the first three chapters of Revelations. Amidst the noise and bustle of missionary societies and plans, how much sweeter and more strengthening to have the soul withdrawn to God, and receiving an humble serious hardihood of soul. How much do I want this! Wrote sermon, and read Hindoostanee successively in the day. At night finished Mitchell's excellent essay. Had reason to believe to-day, that I should certainly be sent to Benares, as a military chaplain. This coming with Marshman's earnest recommendation to me to begin Sanscrit, seems to show that God will employ me to strike at the heart of Hindooism; may the Lord make bare his holy arm, and cause his worm to behold the downfall of the kingdom of Satan.
August 1. Set apart this day for fasting and prayer: the remembrance of my past sins was again brought to my mini. As usual, however, I felt no tender relenting for a while, by which the Lord led me to see, that to my other wickednesses I add that of an impenitent heart, and that there is no connection between a knowledge of the head respecting sin, and godly sorrow for it, without the precious influences of the Spirit. But I found a degree of abasement at last, so as to desire to lie low before God and man, and be the mere servant of every soul, from being unworthy to be found among them. In prayer for grace to enable me to walk holily as a child of God, my heart was enlarged: in interceding for dear friends, and for the church of God, not so much so; and at intervals was severely tried by the suggestions of Satan disposing me to a detestable levity.
2. Morning passed in reading with moonshee, and looking over the preface in manuscript, to the Ramayuna. My soul enjoyed not much continued sense of God's presence, till the afternoon, when I received something of the spirit of seriousness. In the afternoon went to Calcutta alone, and passed the time profitably and sweetly in solemn thoughts. Oh that I had always a poverty of spirit to mortify all vanity, pride, and levity. Drank tea at Mr. Myers, and found myself disposed to spiritual conversation. Officiated at their evening worship. At night my soul rejoiced in the Lord, and all that was within me praised his holy name. Felt more joy and desire to preach the precious gospel, than since I have been in India.
3. (Sunday. At the new church read the second service, and assisted at the Sacrament; hard-hearted at this feast of the Lord's dying love. At night preached at missionary church, at John i. 14, but with very little life. Found on my return, Mr. B. who had come from Serampore, and stayed up with him till a late hour.
4. Rose in the night on account of Mr. B. who had been obliged to send for a physician, but through mercy, his attack appears not serious. My morning was taken up in making calls. I endeavoured to recommend the institution of schools, over the country, but they seemed not to enter into the idea. From Mr. Birch I learnt that at the French settlement of Chandernagur there was a college of monks, united under the name of the Thibet mission, but that none were there now. From Mr. and Mrs. Jefferies, I had such a formidable account of Chunar, that I felt serious regret that I had written to Lydia, or that I had given a flattering account of India, though undesignedly. Passed most of the remainder of the day in Mr. Brown's chamber, enjoying at times very profitable conversation. My mind was much affected with my want of humiliation, and tenderness in preaching.
5. A day of sorrow. I was tried repeatedly, most violently with worldly, sensual thoughts, and though the grace of God was given to fight against them, yet they left such a defiling effect, that the Comforter was withdrawn. Being left alone in the afternoon, by the departure of Mr. and Mrs. B. for Serampore, I was assisted in the work of preparing sermon, and at night had some satisfaction, though mixed with much melancholy.
6. My heart wavering in its state, sometimes in acute misery, separated from God by unbelief. Meditate on Song of Solomon i. 7, 8. At the close of the day, my harassed soul found grace, from a compassionate God, to he serious and composed. I felt withdrawn from the world, and disposed in my frame, to speak on holding fellowship with Jesus. There were very few people at church, and those not very attentive. However, I enjoyed peace in my own soul. Glory be to God, for getting so far on my way. I seem to be doing little good on earth, but I trust to be made more profitable soon, among the poor heathen.
7. No increase of knowledge or grace to-day, except that by a nearer view, I was in some measure convinced of the insignificance of the idols I am putting in Jehovah's room. It is only an imaginary value I affix to creatures. What is there worthy of the soul's love, but God? And yet, oh Lord, the smallest temptation can draw me away from thee. Received much comfort from finding that I could understand my Brahmin so well, while he described the customs of Cashmere and explained his religious views. My spirit begins to expand again with hope, that I shall be able to carry the everlasting gospel through the regions of the east. After dining with Mr. Myers, I went up with him and his daughter to Serampore. Often vain and trifling, yet my heart felt, while thinking of the words
Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Which before the cross I spend,--
Oh that I could be always there, meditating on the humiliation and dying love of the Lord!
8. Officiated at morning and evening worship, with some benefit to my soul, but severely tried through the day with sinful thoughts hiding the face of God from me. I saw the absolute necessity at night, of forcing my way through all my corrupt thoughts and guilt to the cross of Christ, and depending for all upon the grace of God; for I could make no head against them. Employed in writing sermon all day. Marsh-man drank tea with us; suggested the idea of my going as a missionary to China. I felt no reluctance to encounter dangers and death, but the thought of Lydia occurred, and for the first time I felt a little entangled. But, however, I determined to leave her at the call of God, being assured of her perfect acquiescence in any thing which should be for the gospel: and seeing the ease with which I could do it, I felt more satisfied in my mind than ever that she would be no hindrance to me. I have, however, no notion whatever of going thither. Such a roving wandering spirit, I conceive to be highly unsuitable to a missionary. The Lord opens a door in India, and the exertions of English missionaries ought to be concentrated there.
9. Went down to Calcutta, with Mr. Myers' family. Reading Pascal's Thoughts in the boat; my thoughts rather to God-ward. Dined at Mr. Myers'. The agreeable female society I meet with in India is very dangerous to me, by producing a softness of mind and indisposition to solitude and bold exertion. "Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." I felt, through mercy, my danger so near, that I determined without hesitation to be as little as possible in the enjoyment of those too pleasing comforts, which are so enervating. What very, very little desire have I for marriage, except when I recollect that Lydia will, I hope be such a one, that I may live as independent as if single! Wrote sermon, and enjoyed much comfort in the blessed God. Oh how preferable is a taste of spiritual things, to every other enjoyment in the world! "One day in thy courts is better than a thousand."
10. (Sunday.) Preached at the new church on Acts iii. 26. before the Governor-General, Sir George Barlow. There were not many present, on account of the excessive closeness of the day; but they were apparently impressed. Dined at Mr. Myers's, and was much pleased with the serious and suitable conversation to which they all seemed disposed, though I was myself able to say nothing to the purpose. At night found benefit to my soul from the preparation for the evening. Preached at the Mission church, on John i. 29. with some freedom and power. A violent squall came on just as I was beginning, and continued the whole time; by exerting myself too much to be heard in it I grew hoarse, and almost lost the power of articulation.
11. I seem to have found my besetting sin to be different from what I supposed; and dreadful indeed is its power. The afternoon and evening were spent in agonizing conflicts with my corrupt affections. How long, oh Lord, shall I try thy patience? Passion subsides for a moment, and I am at ease, but I have no power over my own heart. I cannot keep reason and truth in view. Yet in the name of God I will say, that heaven and earth shall pass away before I will yield. The right hand shall be cut off, and the right eye plucked out a thousand times, but the will of God shall be done. At night,, went with a wounded spirit to Mr. V. to dinner. Found to my no great satisfaction a large party of both sexes, to all of whom I was introduced. I soon felt how impossible it is for a minister to speak boldly to the people, if he visits them in their common meetings without a religious purpose. Made for one evening a fine gentleman among them; I grieved at the inconsistency of getting up to warn them of the wickedness of such a way of passing their time. I trust it will be long enough before I am found at another such party.
12. Rose rather unhappy from a stubbornness of will; but in prayer my soul was much refreshed, so that I felt desirous only of conformity to the will of God. I was likewise enabled to pray for the outpouring of the Spirit upon many of my Christian friends, that they might be eminently holy. Isaiah lx. and Rev. xxi. coming together to-day, in the course of my daily reading, were blessed to the stirring up of my desires for a fervent laboriousness in a work so glorious as the building of the temple of God. Learnt from my moonshee to-day, that from my knowing the original it was of little use my reading the translation of the gospels, and accordingly in reading another book I found myself much more backward than I thought. My engagements at Calcutta begin, I see plainly, to retard my progress very much.
13. After a night in which I had experienced a most piercing pain in my head, from having been exposed to the glare and heat of an unclouded meridian sun for a few minutes,--I arose restored by the goodness of my God. If so small a benefit appear a call to gratitude, how ought I to think of his mercy, in not suffering presumptuous sin to get the dominion over me! Employed with moonshee, and preparing for the evening: I make no progress in the language, but rather go backward. My soul has been serious and comfortable. At Mr. Myers's, enjoyed refreshing conversation on the happiness of seeing the conversion of the natives. Preached at night at the Mission church on Matt, iii. 21--23. to a small congregation. The people seemed stirred up to serious concern.
14. Employed with moonshee, and in writing to Mr. Simeon. Dined at Mr. Myers'. Rode out in the evening on the course; my soul not serious through the day; irregularity in secret duties injured my peace.
15. Attended Lord Lake's levee with a prodigious crowd of military officers, &c. It was as trifling as the Governor General's. After the levee, went to Serampore. The length of time they took to carry me in the boat, through the mismanagement of the mangee, made my wicked spirit shew itself by impatience. How far the Spirit of God flies from an angry mind! I did not like being alone, either, though I had the word of God with me. Oh what a preparation is this for being a missionary! How ease and prosperity spoil the temper, and go to ruin the soul! In prayer in the afternoon, I breathed for a while after humility, and holiness; but at night, in conversation with Mr. B. and Mr. Ward, I again discovered a passionate spirit. Lord, save me from presumptuous sins, that they may not after all get the dominion over me. What matters it to me that I seem to engage in plans for the conversion of the heathen, if I do not teach myself! When I considered myself a solitary unconnected being, hastening through the world, I think I was more patient, less self-willed. Have the thoughts of marriage already injured me? The Lord save his perverse creature from every snare.
16. Was full of joy and praise this morning, but yielding to the snares of sin afterwards brought a cloud of guilt and shame; and in the evening, though my conscience was sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, yet I could only walk carefully and mournfully. I never had a more fair opportunity of comparing the pleasures of sin and holiness than this day. In the morning, I was saying to myself, 'Now how sweet and happy is this frame; can any thing on earth equal it? Let me see the extreme folly of giving way to sinful thoughts.' Yet after all this happy experience, and these reasonings, I did give away to certain sinful imaginations, and though it was but as it were for a moment, my joys fled, and I could recover them no more for the day. I bless the Lord that thus he teaches me the evil of sin, and I bless and adore his patience that bears with so much wickedness and perverseness. Did little or nothing to-day. Employed partly in turning over Butler, to abridge; and putting down thoughts on a text. Marshman came in at night, and said so much of the necessity of my remaining at Calcutta, that though I was not nearly convinced, I was made somewhat uneasy by distraction. Found relief where only I ever find it, in prayer that God would give me that peace which passeth understanding. It is a pleasure to cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils.
17. (Sunday.) After much perplexity and discussion, whether I should or should not go down to Calcutta, it was determined that Mr. B., though ill, should go. In this instance at least I felt no reluctance to labour, and I desired to be forward in the service of God. After officiating at family worship, I retired to my pagoda and passed the time in a sorrowful conflict with my unruly affections. M
18. Employed all day in writing sermon.
19. Writing and reading with moonshee, but made little advantage of the time; less under the power of corruption. In the evening had a long conversation with Marshman, on the expediency of my fixing at Calcutta, on account of its being the seat of influence. He was very earnest as usual. His arguments are these; That very many would be probably converted under my ministry: That I should be able to form and perpetuate a society for superintending missions: That the nearness of the Baptist missionaries at Serampore would be of mutual advantage for counsel and encouragement: That there would be a more ready communication with England: That I might be of use in aiding and directing bodies of missionaries, who might be brought to Serampore; and that I might more advantageously pursue oriental learning: but that if I went up the country, all my usefulness would be confined to my individual labours; that it would be two years before I could be understood; that many more years would elapse before success; that with all this, I should probably droop and lose my spirits. I was much perplexed, and so excited that I could get little sleep.
20. Again greatly distressed with a sense of guilt; Satan seemed to be forcing my soul from God. Employed as usual with moonshee, and in writing sermon. In the evening, in the exercise of faith and prayer, I found peace of conscience, and my soul breathed after conformity to God. Afterwards attended the reading of the Hindoostanee Testament, by Marshman, with a pundit and a moonshee.
21. Writing and employed with moonshee. Went on with Marshman and his assistants in the Hindoostanee gospels. A large Cobra-di-Capella was brought to me, which had been taken in the walks; a person would not survive the bite two minutes I was told. How constant is the preserving providence of God! and by how small means he can suddenly transport us into eternity! Marshman spent the evening with us. I felt very lively, but as usual at such times, prone to levity.
22. Disturbed by Marshman and Ward running into the pagoda, in pursuit of a poor boy who had been carried off in a boat by a party of his friends, headed by a Brahmin, for staying with the missionaries, inquiring about the gospel. Their boats overtook the kidnappers, and rescued the lad. Read several papers of Mr. B--'s on missionary subjects, and wrote down a vocabulary of Cashmerian words. Wrote a duplicate of the letter to Lydia. Heard of the arrival of two new missionaries, for which I feel thankful, but found at night that I have very little of a missionary spirit. It is an awful and arduous thing to renounce every affection lo earthly things, so as to live for another world.
23. Morning employed as usual. In the afternoon went alone to Calcutta. In the boat sought after the presence of God, and found my heart refreshed and comforted.
24. (Sunday.) At the new church, Mr. Jefferies preached. I preached in the evening on Matt. xi. 28, without much heart, yet the people as attentive as possible.
25. Called on Mr. Limerick and Mr. Birch; with the latter I had a good deal of conversation on the practicability of establishing schools, and uniting in a society. An officer, who was there, took upon him to call in question the lawfulness of interfering with the religion of the natives, and said that at Delhi the Christians were some of the worst people there. I was glad at the prospect of meeting with these Christians. The Lord enabled me to speak boldly to the man, and to silence him. From thence I went to the Governor-General's levee, and received great attention from him, as indeed from most others here. Perhaps it is a snare of Satan to stop my mouth, and make me unwilling to preach faithfully to them. The Lord have mercy and quicken me to diligence.
26. Employed all day in writing, and in general dejected, partly from bodily disorder and want of sleep for two or three nights. At night Marshman came, and our conversation was very refreshing and profitable. Truly the love of God is the happiness of the soul! My soul felt much sweetness at this thought, and breathed after God. At midnight Marshman came to the pagoda, and awakened me with the information, that Sir G. Barlow had sent word to Carey, not to disperse any more tracts nor send out more native brethren, or in any way interfere with the prejudices of the natives. We did not know what to make of this; the subject so excited me that I was again deprived of necessary sleep.
27. Wrote sermon in the morning; in the afternoon moonshee came and told me, that at Agra I should not be able to preach, because the English territory was so small and surrounded by the enemy, and that the country was in a disturbed state. He said the best places for me were Benares, Patna, or Moorshedabad; for these would be disposed to listen to me. He gave me some instances of the cruelty of the native powers, towards servants of the English, and said he did not doubt but they would maim or murder me, without regard to my pacific character. The subject dwelt with some influence on my mind. Alas! who knows what I have yet to go through upon earth? It was not long since that a Roman Catholic missionary was murdered at Delhi by the Mussulmans; yet I hope to preach the gospel there. The Lord knows my weakness, and will give me grace in the trying hour to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.
28. Enjoyed much comfort in my soul this morning, and ardour for my work; but afterwards consciousness of indolence and unprofitableness made me uneasy. In the evening Mr. Marshman, Ward, Moore, and Rowe, came up and talked with us on the Governor's prohibition of preaching the gospel, &c. Mr. Brown's advice was full of wisdom, and weighed with them all. I was exceedingly excited, and spoke with vehemence against the measures of government, which afterwards filled me justly with shame. (See Memoir, p. 189.)
29. Passed the morning in writing sermon, afterwards with moonshee; both morning and evening felt much humbled. I felt a sort of pleasure in being despised and slighted by all mankind. Moonshee was telling me of the danger of preaching in any part of India beyond Benares, where the country had not been long in the possession of the English. I was somewhat intimidated, and dejected at the thought of a violent and cruel death. But oh, how sweet did every comfortable passage in the word of God appear, while reading it under this impression. He is my friend who is exalted as head over all.
30. Went down to Calcutta in the morning; able to do little or nothing from constant sleepiness. In the afternoon wrote part of a sermon for to-morrow. The heat of the college, to which we this day removed, was very oppressive. Took an airing with Mr. B. in the carriage, and drank tea with Mr. Myers.
31. (Sunday.) Preached in the morning at the new church, on the condemnation of the law, from Rom. iii. 19. There was much solemn attention, and my spirit was lifted up above the concern of men's opinions. That old servant of God, Capt. W., dined with us, and our conversation was spiritual. What he said at going away about the Holy Spirit, and the necessity of having him with us, dwelt much upon my mind. At night, at the Mission church, preached on Isaiah iv. 5. The safety of the church had been a subject very delightful and reviving, when preparing; but I spoke with little feeling.
September 1. Rose very weary after a sleepless night, and more troubled on account of the sinfulness of my thoughts. Found deliverance in prayer; the holy breathings of the Psalmist in Psalm cxix, were also made profitable for me: I learnt that I should probably be sent to Berhampore, only two days' distance from Calcutta.
Serampore, Sept. 1, 1806.
MY DEAREST LYDIA,
With this you will receive the duplicate of the letter I sent you a month ago, by the overland dispatch. May it find you prepared to come! All the thoughts and views which I have had of the subject since first addressing you, add tenfold confirmation to my first opinion; and I trust that the blessed God will graciously make it appear that I have been acting under a right direction, by giving the precious gift to me and to the church in India. I sometimes regret that I had not obtained a promise from you of following me, at the time of our last parting at Gurlyn--as I am occasionally apt to be excessively impatient at the long delay. Many, many months must elapse before I can see you or even hear how you shall determine. The instant your mind is made up, you will send a letter by the overland dispatch. George will let you know how it is to be prepared, as the Company have given some printed directions. It is a consolation to me during this long suspense, that had I engaged with you before my departure I should not have had such a satisfactory conviction of it being the will of God. The commander in chief is in doubt to which of the three following stations he shall appoint me, Benares, Patna, or Moorshedabad; it will be the last most probably; this is only two days journey from Calcutta; I shall take my departure in about six weeks. In the hour that remains, I must endeavour to write to my dear sister Emma, and to Sally. By the fleet which will sail hence in about two months, they will receive longer letters. You will then, I hope, have left England. I am very happy here in preparing for my delightful work, but I should be happier still if I were sufficiently fluent in the language to be actually employed; and happiest of all if my beloved Lydia were at my right hand, counselling and animating me. I am not very willing to end my letter to you; it is difficult not to prolong the enjoyment of speaking, as it were, to one who occupies so much of my sleeping and waking hours; but here, alas! I am aware of danger; and my dear Lydia will, I hope, pray that her unworthy friend may love no creature inordinately. It will be base in me to depart in heart from a God of such love as I find him to be. Oh that I could make some returns for the riches of his love! Swiftly fly the hours of life away, and then we shall be admitted to behold his glory. The ages of darkness are rolling fast away, and shall soon usher in the gospel period when the whole world shall be filled with his glory. Oh my beloved sister and friend, dear to me on every account, but dearest of all for having one heart and one soul with me in the cause of Jesus and the love of God, let us pray and rejoice, and rejoice and pray, that God may be glorified, and the dying Saviour see of the travail of his soul. May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may both of us abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. Now, my dearest Lydia, I cannot say what I feel--I cannot pour out my soul--I could not if you were here; but I pray that you may love me, if it be the will of God; and I pray that God may make you more and more his child, and give me more and more love for all that is Godlike and holy.
I remain, with fervent affection,
Yours, in eternal bonds,
2. Employed the first part of the day in writing letters to England. My heart seemed to be kindled with love to God while writing to Lydia, but I know not how far it was pure. Afterwards with moonshee.
3. Much of the morning passed at the mission house, looking over the new books. Read the Report of the Church Missionary Society, and a number of missionary reports. Attended Marshman in the evening; he talked to me a good deal of the jealousies and envies of the different missionary societies, till I was quite harassed, and even disgusted with the accounts. Oh what mischief to the cause of God will Satan produce from this! Oh how tiresome it is to look to men, and think of men, and their plans! Oh let me walk more and more alone with the holy God, and in his light and love walk humbly in the appointed path through the world, and long to depart and be with Christ, which is far better!
4. Tried with violent temptation. I can see no fit emblem of my soul, but the burning bush. I may well be amazed, at the close of each day, that I am not given up to the power of Satan and sin. God inwardly supports my soul, and Christ fulfils his precious word; "my grace is sufficient for thee." Passed the morning with moonshee, reading preface to the Gulistan. Began in the afternoon to write to dear Sargent. Had much discussion with moonshee about religion. Heard at night from Mr. B. that some people were much stung with what they heard from me on the last Lord's day. Would that they were pricked to the heart and would cry for mercy! I feel them to be much upon my heart; and oh that I had love to cry for them more fervently!
5. Day passed in the same employment as usual; reading Hindoostanee with moonshee and by myself, and writing to Sargent; went on with Marshman in the review of the translation; he drank tea with us in the evening.
6. Morning with moonshee; in the afternoon went down to Calcutta, reading to him by the way. Found continuance and increase in comfort by frequency and regularity in prayer. At night dined at Mr. Udney's, and passed the time very agreeably; his heart seemed very lively and warm in the cause of God.
7. (Sunday.) Read at the new church, and Dr. W. preached on the different degrees of future happiness, from which he proceeded to attack my doctrines, and my last sermon in particular. We received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and I was glad of the blessed ordinance, as it tended much to compose my mind, and to soften it to compassion and love towards all mankind. Preached at night at the Mission church, on Mark viii. 34, 35.
8. Left Calcutta before day, and went to Serampore. Was exceedingly oppressed in my spirits, that the cause of Satan and lies should be suffered to prevail. At night, my soul found it solemnizing and composing to view death near at hand. Alas! how insignificant, how short-lived are the cares of men, the opposition of the enemies of the church, and the sufferings she undergoes!
9. Continued to read Overton, and Sadee with moonshee: the latter part of the day my soul was in misery through consciousness of guilt. Oh that I should be so wicked as to try the patience of God in the way I do! Notwithstanding that I found some ease in applying to the blood of Jesus, and crying for the Holy regenerating Spirit, a gloom constantly gathered on my mind; no sweet refreshing thoughts of the other world came into my mind; what reason have I to cry, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me."
10. Went down to Calcutta with Mr. B. and passed the day in reading Hindoostanee grammar, and writing letters.
11. Came up to Serampore in the morning. Two of the missionaries came at night, and talked with us a long time, till late, about their plans, &c. in consequence of the police having ordered the two new missionaries to return home. I was quite wearied with hearing of religion only in its outward circumstances, and longed to hear a word from a broken-hearted soul, who had never heard the name of mission.
12. In a sorrowful state of mind, arising more from bodily causes than inward conflict; and therefore my soul found more pleasure in God than in any person or thing. Even about Ljsdia I felt exceedingly indifferent, and wished only to fulfil as a hireling my day, and then to bid adieu to a world so full of vanity and vexation of spirit. Employed all day in writing letters; Marshman and Captain Wickes dined with us, but I had no inclination to join in the conversation. Oh how much talking is there to little purpose! I am tired with speculations, and making remarks upon missionary things; I want to be doing, and not till then shall I be satisfied.
13. Went down to Calcutta with Mr. B. and Mrs. Myers. By reading and thinking a little on Psalm cxlv. my soul was kindled into more love and joy than I generally experience; and our conversation was in some degree spiritual and refreshing. Heard of the arrival of Corrie and Parsons at Madras, and of my appointment to Dinapore. In the evening rode out with Mr. B., and afterwards drank tea with two of the missionaries and their wives at Mr. Myers'. Some symptoms of a complaint, which at this time of the year is dangerous, were the means of producing serious reflection on my being in an instant called away from all these things which so strongly excite my feelings. "Let your moderation be known unto all men: the Lord is at hand."
14. (Sunday.) Rose stupid and unwell after a sleepless night. At the New Church Mr. J. began to read a homily by way of sermon, after a preface stating the diversity of opinions that had of late appeared in the pulpit. At the Mission Church at night I felt very unwell, and unfit to preach, but I was enabled to go on without hesitation from 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.
Sept. 14, 1806.
MY DEAR SARGENT,
It is now four months since I landed in this country, but I have seen little more of it than what lies between Serampore and Calcutta; and the little time that can be spent out of doors affords very small opportunities of acquiring local knowledge. My whole employment is preparing sermons and learning the language. * * * * * * * * * * I have grievous complaints to make, that the immense work of translating the services into the language of the East is left to Dissenters, who cannot in ten years supply the want of what we gain by a classical education * * * * Suppose D. F. &c. would devote ten or fifteen years of their lives in this country to the sole work of getting the Scriptures translated into some of the languages of the East, they might accomplish it easily, and they would very soon be able to superintend the learned natives who should be employed in the work. Were not the zeal of our forefathers almost evaporated in these times, a body of pious and learned young clergymen would come forth with joy to so glorious a work * * * * * * * * * You address me as a missionary, and as if there were hardships in my way--externally there are none, except temptations may be called so, as perhaps they ought to be. The air is so soft and serene that you might sleep at night under a tree, and maintenance so easy that a wholesome meal may be purchased for a farthing or two. * * * * * * I am this day appointed to Dinapore, in the neighbourhood of Patna.
With great regard, I remain, my dear brother, Sincerely yours,
15. Still unwell, and found it hard to fix my thoughts in prayer. My heart was wounded again at finding the necessity of tearing the affections away from the creature. Oh what a state is human life become from the corruption of the heart! If affliction be our lot, the soul must pause at the pain; if otherwise, the heart cleaves to an idol, and then causes the pain of separation. Called with Mr. B. on Mr. Udney, then went up with him to Serampore, and passed much of the afternoon in reading with him a series of newspapers from England. How affecting to think, how the fashion of this world passeth away! What should I do without Christ as an everlasting portion! How vain is life, how mournful is death, and what is eternity without Christ! In the evening Marshman and Ward came to us. By endeavouring to recollect myself as before God, I found more comfort, and was enabled to shew more propriety in conversation.
16. Passed the day with moonshee in Hindoostanee and writing sermon. In the evening wrote to Lydia.
17. The blaze of a funeral pile this morning near the pagoda drew my attention--I ran out, but the unfortunate woman had committed herself to the flames before I arrived. The remains of the two bodies were visible. At night, while I was at the missionaries', Mr. Chamberlain arrived from up the country. Just as we rejoiced at the thought of seeing him and his wife, we found she had died in the boat! I do not know when I was so shocked; my soul revolted at every thing in this world, which God has so marked with misery--the effect of sin. I felt reluctance to engage in every worldly connection. Marriage seemed terrible! by exposing one to the agonizing sight of a wife dying in such circumstances.
18. Was still solemnly impressed throughout the day. Employed in writing sermon and reading Sadi with moonshee.
19. Happy all day in the love of God. By more carefulness over my thoughts, and seeking him in ejaculations, I was raised through grace above temptation.
20. Went down to Calcutta with Mr. Brown, where soon after our arrival we had the happiness of meeting our dear brethren Corrie and Parsons. I rode out with them in the evening on the course, and passed most of the time in conversation about European friends.
21. (Sunday.) Preached at the New Church from Rom. iii. 19, 21, on justification by faith, and vindicated myself by shewing that all that I had advanced was agreeable to the Church of England. The sermon had the effect of convincing, or at least, of shutting the mouths of gain-sayers. The Lord enabled me to feel what I told them, when I said, "To me it is a small matter to be judged of you or of man's judgment." I felt great indifference about every thing in the world. At night preached on Acts xii. the jailor's question; but felt less than I ever did when preaching on that subject. Thus God in love shews his ignorant and vain creature that it is "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit." After church my soul was full of joy and love, especially when three of the missionaries joined us. I longed that we might have no conversation but what was spiritual.
22. Went with my two brethren to the fort, and called in the town on Major and Mr. Jefferies. Saw in the orderly book, that Dr. W. and myself were ordered to repair to our respective stations without delay. After dinner went up to Serampore, leaving Parsons in Calcutta. Two of the missionaries went up with us. I earnestly desired suitable conversation; and we sung some hymns with joy.
23. Reading Sadi with moonshee. My mind in general in peace.
24. Went down to Calcutta with Mr. Brown and Corrie, and found letters. My affections of love and joy were so excited by them that it was almost too much for my poor frame. My dearest Lydia's assurances of her love were grateful enough to my heart--but they left somewhat of a sorrowful effect, occasioned I believe chiefly from a fear of her suffering in any degree, and partly from the long time and distance that separate us, and uncertainty if ever we shall be permitted to meet one another in this world. In the evening the Lord gave me near and close and sweet communion with him on this subject, and enabled me to commit the affair with comfort into his hands. Why did I ever doubt his love? Does He not love us far better than we love one another? Called this morning on L., but found no opportunity of speaking to him as I intended about his doctrines. Walked in the evening on the top of the house with Corrie, and had some refreshing conversation. At the Mission church, Brown preached.
25. Went to Serampore withMr. B. and Parsons; in the afternoon read with moonshee; enjoyed much of the solemn presence of God, the whole day had many happy seasons in prayer, and felt strengthened for the work of a missionary, which is speedily to begin; blessed be God! My friends are alarmed about the solitariness of my future life, and my tendency to melancholy; but, oh my dearest Lord! thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. I go on thine errand--and I know that thou art and wilt be with me, How easily canst thou support and refresh my heart. Ward and Moore visited me at night.
Serampore, Sept. 1806.
How earnestly do I long for the arrival of my dearest Lydia. Though it may prove at last no more than a waking dream that I ever expected to receive you in India, the hope is too pleasing not to he cherished till I am forbidden any longer to hope. Till I am assured of the contrary, I shall find a pleasure in addressing you as my own. If you are not to be mine you will pardon me; but my expectations are greatly encouraged by the words you used when we parted at Gurlyn, that I had better go out free, implying as I thought, that you would not be unwilling to follow me if I should see it to be the will of God to make the request. I was rejoiced also to see in your letter that you unite your name with mine when you pray that God would keep us both in the path of duty--from this I infer that you are by no means determined to remain separate from me. You will not suppose, my dear Lydia, that I mention these little things to influence your conduct, or to implicate you in an engagement.--No, I acknowledge that you are perfectly free--and I have no doubt that you will act as the love and wisdom of our God shall direct. Your heart is far less interested in this business than mine, in all probability; and this on one account I do not regret, as you will be able to see more clearly the directions of God's Providence. About a fortnight ago I sent you a letter accompanying the duplicate of the one sent over-land in August. If these shall have arrived safe, you will perhaps have left England before this reaches it. But if not, let me intreat you to delay not a moment. Yet how will my dear sister Emma be able to part with you and George--but above all your mother? I feel very much for you and for them--but I have no doubt at all about your health and happiness in this country.
The commander-in-chief has at last appointed me to the station of Dinapore, near Patna, and I shall accordingly take my departure for that place as soon as I can make the necessary preparations. It is not exactly the situation I wished for--though in a temporal point of view it is desirable enough. The air is good, the living cheap, the salary 1000Z. a year--and there is a large body of English troops there. But I should have preferred being near Benares, the heart of Hindooism. We rejoice to hear that two other brethren are arrived at Madras on their way to Bengal, sent, I trust, by the Lord to co-operate in overturning the kingdom of Satan in these regions. They are Corrieand Parsons,both Bengal chaplains. Their stations will be Benares and Moor-shedabed--one on one side of me, and the other on the other. There are also now ten Baptist missionaries at Serampore. Surely good is intended for this country! Captain Wickes,--the good old Captain Wickes, who has brought out so many missionaries to India, is now here. He reminds me of Uncle S. I have been just interrupted by the blaze of a funeral pile, within a hundred yards of my pagoda--I ran out--but the wretched woman had consigned herself to the flames before I reached the spot--and I saw only the remains of her and her husband. O Lord, how long shall it be? O I shall have no rest in my spirit till my tongue is loosed to testify against the devil, and deliver the message of God to these his unhappy bond-slaves. I stammered out something to the wicked Brahmins about the judgments of God upon them for the murder they had just committed, but they said it was an act of her own freewill. Some of the missionaries would have been there, but they are forbidden by the governor-general to preach to the natives in the British territory. Unless this prohibition is revoked by an order from home it will amount to a total suppression of the mission.
I know of nothing else that will give you a further idea of the state of things here. The two ministers continue to oppose my doctrines with unabated virulence; but they think not that they fight against God. My own heart is at present cold and slothful. Oh that my soul did burn with love and zeal! Surely, were you here I should act with more cheerfulness and activity with so bright a pattern before me. If Corrie brings me a letter from you, and the fleet is not sailed, which however is not likely, I shall write to you again. Colonel Sandys will receive a letter from me and Mr. Brown by this fleet. Continue to remember me in your prayers, as a weak brother--I shall always think of you as one to be loved and honoured.
26. Employed as usual in Hindoostanee; visited Marshman at night. He and Mr. Carey sat with us in the evening. My heart still continuing some degree of watchfulness, but enjoying less sweetness.
27. Mr. Chamberlain breakfasted with us; I was much and agreeably surprised with his Christian simplicity and remarkable zeal. He talked to us a good deal in an encouraging and instructive manner; spoke also to Yokul in Bengallee. Went down to Calcutta with Mr. B. and Parson, reading Sadi by the way. By irregularity in prayer and reading, lost much of my comfort. Rode out on the course in the evening with Parsons, and had some useful conversation with him.
28. (Sunday.) Read the service at the church; L. preached an intemperate sermon against the doctrine of justification by faith. At night Corrie preached at the Mission Church on 2 Thess. i. "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed," &c.
29. Morning passed away to little purpose, busy in making preparations for my departure. In the afternoon preparing sermon. At night went to the governor-general's dinner, and found myself sitting by the side of Dr. W.
30. Remained all day at Calcutta, writing sermon and reading with moonshee.
October 1. Reading with moonshee and preparing sermon; found great cause to pray for brotherly love. Preached at night at the Mission Church on Eph. ii. 4. Had a very refreshing conversation with Corrie afterwards; we wished it to be for the benefit of two cadets, who supped with us, and I hope it will not be in vain. May the Lord be pleased to make me act with a single eye to his glory. How easy it is to preach about Christ Jesus the Lord, and yet to preach oneself.
2. After reading awhile with moonshee, went up to Serampore with Mr. B. and Corrie. Corrie officiated at evening worship; my soul in general sought after the enjoyments of another world, in preference to any conversation with the creature, but was cold and lifeless in the glorious subject of the mission.
3. Writing on a divine subject. In the evening crossed the river with Corrie, and walked over Sir G. Barlow's park.
4. Went to Calcutta with Corrie, and at night went with him to Mr. Rolt's, where we met a party of the missionaries; we sang several hymns and prayed; my heart was excited by their exercises to spiritual activity and joy.
5. Prayed with my dear brother Corrie this morning; afterwards with two cadets he prayed. At the New Church I read, and Mr. J. preached 2nd and 3rd parts of the Homily on Salvation. The very clear exhibition of divine truth, which was thus exhibited, was very rejoicing to our hearts. I assisted Mr. L. at the administration of the Sacrament, and felt somewhat more of a tender and humble spirit. At night Corrie preached instead of Parsons, on John ii. 1, 2. During the whole of this evening's ordinance my soul felt the greatness and glory of God. How little did I ever know of his great glory! with what irreverence do we pray, and speak the awful name! My soul was astonished at the patience of God in bearing such insults as he must do from the best. But all the salvation of men is a miracle of grace; God will shew what he can do by Jesus Christ.
6. Was left alone in Calcutta, and passed the time with moonshee, and writing. At night drank tea at Mr. Myers, and at their evening worship found my heart greatly enlarged in prayer. My heart continued to enjoy much of the love of God, In the morning went to the levee with Corrie and Parsons. The governor-general was as marked in his attention as could be; would that it were on account of his love to the truth!
7. Employed as usual; long conversations with the Mussulman, moonshee, and Bholanath the Brahmin. Dined at Mr. Myers', and officiated at family worship. Went on board some budgerows, and fixed on one belonging to Patna.
8. My time much taken up with settling my affairs, though my mind through mercy not much distracted. Corrie and Parsons came from Serampore. At night I preached at the Mission Church, on Isaiah lii. 7. "How beautiful on the mountains, &c." Was much grieved and ashamed at the extreme coldness with which I could speak on so precious and delightful a text. We had some useful conversation after church with the cadets at supper; and after they were gone, we endeavoured to fix on some plan of constant communication with one another.
9. Went to Serampore with Parsons and Corrie.
10. For want of sleep was dull and dejected all the day, yet by grace enabled to strive against the sin which dwelleth in my members, so as to be in tolerable peace. At night the missionaries, &c. met us at the pagoda for the purpose of commending me to the grace of God. (See Memoir, p. 191.)
11. Went down early to Calcutta. Passed the morning in preparing things. Spent the evening at Mr. Myers's. Mr. M. read and prayed, and concluded with prayer. The blessed God, &c. (See Mem. p. 191.)
12. (Sunday.) Corrie preached at the New Church, on Gal. vi. 14. "God forbid that I should glory," &c.--God be praised for another noble witness to his truth. Oh may abundant gifts and grace rest on my beloved brother, that the works of God may shew themselves forth in him. Mr. Edmond came to take leave, and shewed me some letters from some pious soldiers, stationed at Muttra and Cawnpore. The awful fall of one of them occasioned a melancholy apprehension in my own soul, lest I also should fall into the same condemnation. Lord save thy servant from presumptuous sins. At night I took my leave of the saints in Calcutta in a sermon on Acts xx. 32. But how very far from being in spirit like the great Apostle! After passing much of the day in visiting shops and taking leave of friends, I went up by land to Barrackpore with Mr. Brown, happy in general.
14. Wasted much time in insignificant preparation. Corrie came to me in the afternoon at the pagoda and prayed with me.
15. Took my leave of the family at Aldeen in morning worship; but I have always found my heart most unable to be tender and solemn, when occasions most require it. At eleven I set off in a budgerow with Mr. B. Corrie, and Parsons. Marshman saw us as we passed the mission house and could not help coming aboard. He dined with us, and after going on a little way left us with a prayer. About sun-set we landed at the house of the former French Governor, and walked five miles through villages to Chandernagore, where we waited at an hotel till the boats came up. With the French host I found a liberty I could not have hoped for in his language, and was so enabled to preach the gospel to him. There are two Italian monks in this place, who say mass every day. I wished much to visit the fathers, if there had been time. A person of Calcutta, here for his health, troubled us with his profaneness, but we did not let him go unwarned, nor kept back the counsel of God. At night in the budge-row I prayed with my dear brethren.
16. Rose somewhat dejected, and walked on to Chinsurah, the Dutch settlement, about three miles. There we breakfasted, and dined with Mr. Forsyth, the missionary. We all enjoyed great happiness in the presence and blessing of our God. Mr. Forsyth came on with us from Chinsurah, till we stopped at sun-set opposite Bandell, a Portuguese settlement, and then we had divine service. I prayed and found my heart greatly enlarged. After his departure our conversation was suitable and spiritual. How sweet is prayer to my soul at this time. I seem as if I never could be tired, not only of spiritual joys, but of spiritual employments, since they are now the same.
17. My dear brethren, on account of the bad weather, were obliged to leave me to-day. So we spent the whole morning, &c. (See Mem. p. 193.) In prayer I was very far from a state of seriousness and affection. Indeed I have often remarked, that I have never yet prayed comfortably with friends, when it has been preceded by a chapter of the Revelation. Perhaps because I depend too much on the feelings which the imagery of that book excites, instead of putting myself into the hands of the Spirit, the only author of the prayer of faith. They went away in their boat, and I was left alone for the first time, with none but natives. (See Mem. p. 193, to Oct. 23, p. 198.)
23. Dispatched my hirkaru to Cutwa, to give notice of my arrival to Mr. Chamberlain. In the evening arrived there, and spent some hours at his house, built of bamboo, in the centre of a solitary garden. Every thing was calculated to inspire melancholy. He had evening worship in Bengalee, with two converted natives, and with his servant and mine. I received from him Ram Boshoo's tract against the Brahmins, and a Bengalee hymn book. At night he walked with me to my budgerow. After breakfast he read and prayed; he gave me a particular account of his own call to the work of a missionary. Before we parted in the afternoon, we sung, and I prayed. As we were approaching the place where he intended, after leaving me, to preach, the tow-rope broke, and we were carried down the stream, &c. (See Mem. p. 198--218.)
Berhampore, Oct. 27, 1806.
MY DEAR SIR,
I have enjoyed uninterrupted health and spirits through divine mercy till to-day. * * Why did not I write from Gazipore? Why because, Sir, I could hear of no such place. I was rather anxious about your little boat the day you left me, it blew so violently. As soon as you were out of sight, the men laid down the rope, and would not track any more for the day. They were about to put back into a nulla, but found that preoccupied by so many boats, that we were obliged to lie on the naked shore, exposed to the direct stream and wind. The budgerow made a good deal of water by beating about on the ground, but I am happy to say, she has not leaked since.
18. The day after lay to in a nulla, a little above Troksaugur.
19. The first solitary sabbath spent among the heathen, but my soul not forsaken of God. I think some of you were praying for me that day, for I enjoyed almost the same communion with you, as if you were present.
20. At a village which the boatmen said was Nuddea, (which could not be if the map is right, in placing it the other side of the river,) I had some stammering conversation with a Brahmin at the worship of Dhoorga. He disputed with great heat, and his tongue ran faster than I could follow, while the people that were about us shouted applause. But I continued to ask questions without making any remarks upon the answers, and among the rest, could not help enquiring whether Marshman's stories about Krishnoo and Brimha stealing the horse, &c. were true. He confessed the truth of them, and seemed to feel the consequences which I forbore to press, but told him of the way of the gospel. He grew quite mild, and asked me at last with apparent seriousness what I thought? Was idol worship really true or false?
21. Came to at a desert place on the eastern bank.
22. In my morning walk, the musalchee brought an old fisherman to, and was about with all arrogance to make a requisition of his fish without paying for them. The old man was overjoyed at receiving money.
I recollected your advice, and threatened to send them all to prison, if I found out any thing of the sort again. Passed through a number of boats preparing to commit the effigies of Dhoorga to the water. Came to for the night near Agaradeep, where I walked. The women and children fled at the sight of me.
23. Dispatched my hirkaru to Cutwa, to announce my approach to Mr. Chamberlain, and in the evening arrived there myself. The curious appearance of the interior of his bamboo house, seemed to mark it for the residence of a recluse. In the garden behind there was a white circular building. I asked, What is that? The tomb of my first dear wife.- I strenuously recommended him to demolish it.
24. Mr. Chamberlain came on with me to a village called Serampore. We passed the time in reading and mutual prayers for one another, and for you all. Thus once more I received that refreshment of spirit which comes from the blessing of God on Christian communion. Just before we parted the tow-rope broke. We were carried down with great rapidity, running foul of several boats, none of which however would lend any help. The mangee and his assistant at last jumped overboard, and succeeded in reaching the shore with the rope. I thought there was great danger, and therefore saw reason to bless God for the deliverance.
25. Returning to the boat rather later than usual, from the evening walk, saw a wild boar galloping parallel to the river. I had not a gun with me, or I might have killed him, as he was within reach of a fusee ball.
26. Yesterday I again enjoyed a happy sabbath. Through the different hours of the day, I was with you in spirit, and particularly remembered Mr. JefTeries. All I suppose are still looking anxiously to him.
Tell Marshman, with my affectionate remembrances, that I have seriously begun the Sanscrit Grammar, but cannot say whereabouts I am in it, being enveloped at present in a thick cloud, occasioned by the counter operations of Goor, Ouddhi, Loop, Lop, Look, &c. with the exceptions, limitations, anomalies, &c. If the mysteries I meet with should not clear up, I shall trouble him with a question or two respecting them.
In the tract in the Persian character, I have found the inclosed errata, which I thought it right to send to Mr. Ward. With the moonshee I have began to translate the Acts, in order to give him some employment when away from me. I wish Mr. Marshman would say whether this man can be of any use in going on with the Arabic Hindoo translation, and if so, whether he shall proceed with the Acts and Epistles, or take some part of the Old Testament.
The servants continue sufficiently attentive. The goat yields milk enough for breakfast, and more is procured every day from the shore. The toast and biscuits are still good. Two kids were met with at Cutva. Besides that, my gun supplies me with snipes, minas, &c. enough to make a change with the curry.
28. Last evening after writing the above, I looked round the cantonments and walked into the hospital. While I was talking to one of the sick a surgeon entered. Not knowing what he might think of it, I went up and made a speech. I did not know him, but I was immediately recognised by my old schoolfellow and townsman, Marshall, for whom I had brought letters. This morning I went at daylight, in hopes of getting the men together to preach to them, but after wandering through the wards of the hospital, I could not make them rise and assemble. But as Marshall says that at nine they will be together, I think it right to wait till then. In the mean time, let me chide you for letting me find no letter from you at the dak-house. * * Berhampore, with respect to appearance at least, is the finest thing I have seen in India. After waiting till eleven I can get no permission, and so I go on my way. Remember me most affectionately to all. I remain, yours most truly,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
Rajemahl, November 8, 1806.
MY DEAR SIR,
At Jungypoor I found Mr. C------'s letter, and received another from Mr. R------, the commercial resident there, offering his assistance, and inviting me to spend the day with him. Accordingly I called upon him, intending to be guided by circumstances, but found his conversation so much less cordial than his letter, that I concluded his invitation must have been purely a form, and so after staying two hours to say all I could, I took my leave. On Sunday, November 2, we entered the Ganges, and arrived at Chandny on Monday. I found Messrs Ellerton and Grant, and went up with them the next day to Gomalty, stopping by the way to look at one of their schools. The cheerful faces of the little boys sitting cross-legged on their mats round the floor, much delighted me. While they displayed their powers of reading, their fathers, mothers, &c. crowded in great numbers round the door and windows.
Thursday I baptised Mr. C----'s child, preached and administered the Sacrament. Sir H. V. D. who was godfather, stayed to hear the sermon, but did not communicate. I found no opportunity of a private conversation with him, though I sought it. Friday I left Gomalty with Mr. Grant, who is now in the budgerow with me, and to-day we arrived at Rajemahl.
Your letter, together with Parson's and Corrie's, reached me at a time when I needed spiritual refreshment, and they had the effect of reviving my heart. I hope that our God is making our faith and love to grow exceedingly. Glory be to his name, that he is with us too in India. We may surely hope that something good is near at hand for the heathen. But I am somewhat surprised at the extraordinary fear and unwillingness of the people to take the tracts. I have at this place again met with a rebuff. Only one person, a Brahmin, would take a tract, and he, I believe, chiefly from respect to Mr. Grant. The Dawk moonshee, when he found what it was about, returned the tract he had received, saying that a person, who had his legs in two different boats, went on his way uncomfortably.
I wished for more particulars about Jefferies' sermon. I wish much to see Buchanan's letter. There is a box of books in a corner of the room I inhabited at the college for Elliott I believe; will you be so good as to forward it. We must stay no longer. With much affection for you all,
I remain, my dear Sir,
Your's in the best of bonds,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
Monghir, November 17, 1806.
MY DEAR SIR,
I am now within eight days of my journey's end, and blessed be God, in perfect health and spirits. This mode of travelling is so very agreeable, that I could almost wish I had farther to go. At the different villages through which I have passed, I have never been able to leave a tract, except by forcing one or two upon a man, till Saturday at Jangheera when I stood in the bazaar and gave away a good many. Last night at another village finding as usual that no one could read, I inquired if there was no Brahmin--There was, but he was gone to another town--Then give him these when he comes back, said I, putting into his hand a few tracts. This morning we visited the hot spring in our way to this place. After examining the waters and listening with due attention to the legendary tale, I felt a desire of leading some of these lame and impotent folk to our Bethesda, and so began to question the Surdar Brahmin,; but they all spoke a language different from mine. I see from this, and numberless other instances that I shall have almost a new language to learn, in order to be intelligible to the lower Hindoos. But to return; not finding utterance I began to speak to them by means of Marshman's paper, and gave away a great number of tracts. They followed me to the budgerow, and there I gave some Testaments. My fame arrived here before me, and some men had travelled on from the spring, having heard that Sahib was giving away copies of the Ramayon! I told them it was not the Ramayon, but something better, and parted with as many or more than I could spare. One poor fellow who was selling gun-rods begged and intreated me for one, after I had refused to give any more, even with tears. So, I could not hold out--when he got it, he clasped it with rapture, still thinking it to be the Ramayon. Thus, the word of God gets the honour which belongs to it, from persons who do not intend it, as our Saviour on the cross had his proper titles superscribed by a person who meant no such thing. They scorned the tracts because they were small--all wanted a bura kitab.
At Rajemahl, where I wrote my last letter to you I met with some of the hill people, and took down in writing a few names of things in their language--abba is father. The same night we met with a mangee, or chief of one of the hills--I told him that wicked men when they die go downward to the place of fire--but good men upward to God. He seemed much concerned at the former truth and remained pensive--nothing gained his attention but that--which he repeated, go to a place of fire! They sacrifice buffaloes, goats, and pigeons, and drink the blood. Perhaps this universal prevalence of sacrifices may be used at last for the universal conversion of the world. My employment at this time consists chiefly in arranging and writing on the parables;--these I hope to have ready by the time the children of the schools are able to read,--and in translating the Acts with moonshee, who takes great delight in this work. Sanscrit sleeps a little, though I am daily more convinced of the absolute necessity of it in order to know the country Hindoostanee. I wish Marshman would say whether we can be of any use in helping forward the translations by taking any part. Diffusion of the Scriptures must be our great engine. Happily our enemies do not equal us in generosity--no Korans or Ramayons to give away.
Let me beg you to send me all the texts that are given out at the two churches. The delightful intelligence your letter contained about the prosperity of ministers and people continues to refresh my soul, and the kind remembrances of me which so many of them make in their prayers are, I believe, drawing down the supplies of grace which I need. Dear little George and Hannah I will endeavour to remember as you desire. May the Lord take them for his own.
My most affectionate love to all the church which is in your house. Greet them that love us in the faith. I remain, my very dear sir,
Your's in everlasting bonds,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
27. Called on General C. this morning, and dined at his Bungalow at night, with two young officers. Most of the day spent with moonshee in translating. My spirit frequently overwhelmed within me with fear, on account of the greatness and difficulty of my future work; and when I thought of Lydia, I almost dreaded the thoughts of her being introduced into such a life.
28. Breakfasted with General C. Passed the rest of the morning in translating. Removed in the afternoon to the barrack. Throughout the day greatly depressed in spirits, but in my evening walk my drooping soul was visited in meditation by a gracious God. He taught me to see more clearly, that I was now brought to act in the presence of God and Christ, and a great cloud of witnesses; that the more closely I walked with God the more unconcerned I should be about the opinions of men, whose behaviour sometimes cuts me to the heart; that I should still be a sweet savour unto God, in them that perish, and that very soon I should be removed to that happy place where there are none but saints. Reading Hart's hymn on Gethsemane I felt very tenderly affected. The Saviour seemed to be before me in all his woes, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. How little have I ever known of his Spirit! After seeing the European regiment drawn up, I felt as I used to feel on board ship. Though I have such an aversion to the sight of my own countrymen, because they are "impudent children, and stiff necked," yet Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Oh, henceforward let me live with Christ alone.
29. Employed in hearing translation, writing to Mr. Brown, and writing a sermon on a parable. In this latter was much assisted. Oh, I know the more I undertake to do for God, the more I shall be assisted to do for him. Was in general much dejected through fear and unbelief; but in my evening walk, was enabled to keep near to God, in comfort and peace. Dined at the General's. Called in my way on------, who was as uncivil to me as he well could be -, but this created not the smallest uneasiness in me, as I expected it.
Dinapore, Nov. 29, 1806.
MY DEAR SIR,
Having met with nothing worth mentioning since I last wrote to you from Monghir, I sit down to mention merely that I arrived here in safety on the 26th. I wished to be able to tell you that I was comfortably settled, and that has been the occasion of my delay. The bustle is now over, and I am now quietly seated in my apartments at the barracks, which I have taken at 50 rupees a month; but General Clarke tells me I must not stay here, but get into others differently situated before the hot season. It is hot even now; I can scarcely bear any thing on me at night, though in the budgerow I passed many a cold night for want of clothes. General Clarke has been exceedingly civil; on account of Dr. Stacey's absence, he seems to consider himself as my only friend, and so has invited me continually to his house. On Monday I propose going to Patna to consult with Mr. Gladwin about getting a good pundit, for I find Gilchrist's Hindoostanee is too fine to be understood by any but the servants of the English. A Hindoo may be probably able to teach me something of the language of the villages. Even my own Hindoostanee I speak with greater hesitation than ever, insomuch that I feel reluctant in uttering a single sentence! yet I find by the translation that I. write it more correctly. The sight of the multitudes at Patna, and on the banks toward this place, filled me with astonishment and dread, from which I have not yet recovered; and the crowds in the bazar here have had no tendency to diminish it. What shall be done for them all? I feel constrained to pray and to beg your prayers, for a double, yea, for a tenfold portion of the Spirit to make me equal to my work. There are four hundred European troops here, and forty-five officers. The sight of these men recalls the sorrowful remembrance of what I endured on board ship from my disdainful and abandoned countrymen among the military; they are "impudent children and stiff-hearted," and will receive, I fear, my ministrations, as all the others have done, with scorn. Yet we are unto God a sweet savour even in them that perish. I expected without a doubt to find a letter here from you; and perhaps some from Europe. I shall endeavour for the future to expect no letters, and then I cannot be disappointed.
Let me know when a ship is to sail for Europe, that I may get my letters ready, though I confess I am very loth to give an hour to letter-writing, when life is slipping away, and I have done nothing yet towards this immense work. About the time that Corrie and Parsons are leaving you, I shall have a great list of books and other articles ready, but I cannot recollect any now. When you are certified of my arrival here, I shall hope for letters to be flowing in from all quarters. But I forget the resolution recorded at the top of the page. I remember you all affectionately, but not so much so as I ought. A brand plucked from the burning ought to love and honour the people of God more. Mrs. Brown and the children have a constant place in my prayers. My kindest love to them all. May the Lord be with my two dear brethren under your roof, and strengthen their hearts and their hands, so will they work wonders. Remember me very kindly to all the missionaries, and all the church at Calcutta.
I am, my dear friend and brother,
Yours most sincerely,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
30. (Sunday.) By the order of the General, the soldiers attended in one of the barracks, and I read the prayers to them upon the long drum; but as there was no place for them to sit down, I was desired to give them no sermon. After spending some comfortable hours in reading and prayer, in my rooms, I went to the hospital and had some conversation. One of the men was exceedingly disrespectful, but through grace I maintained my temper perfectly; there were several books among them, but none religious. After dinner I carried them eight or ten; read the service for the sick, and the first part of Doddridge's Rise and Progress, which was much attended to. Walked in the evening with moonshee, and was surprised to find how similar the disputes among the Mahometans about faith and works are to our own. He perfectly agreed in the truth that all men are sinners alike before God, and that all must be saved in a way of mere mercy. Nothing but the exercise of continually stirring up myself to diligence, could have kept me from dejection to-day; but I prayed that I might do my work with pleasure, and never even wish it to be other than God had appointed it; and though I am far enough from that spirit, a blessing attends the very prayers for it.
Dec. 1. Early this morning, I set off in my palanquin for Patna, and was much strengthened inwardly by reading the account of God's delivering his people from Egypt. I wish to believe that he will marvellously interfere for the deliverance of his elect, in these lands. Arrived at Mr. G.'s at the fort in Patna about noon, and passed most of the day with him very agreeably. He was free and communicative on the subject of religion, and I felt greatly rejoiced in believing that there was still grace in his heart. Something brought the remembrance of my dear Lydia so powerfully to my mind that I could not cease thinking of her for a moment. I know not when my reflections seemed to turn so fondly towards her; at the same time I scarcely dare to wish her to come to this country. The whole country is manifestly disaffected. I was struck at the anger and contempt with which multitudes of the natives eyed me in my palanquin.
2. Having collected what information I could obtain about the schools in Patna, and desired Mr. G. to get a palanquin for me, I left Patna, and in my way back called on Mr. D., the Judge, and Mr. F. at Bankipore. Mr. F's. conversation with me about the natives was again a great trial to my spirit; but in the multitude of my troubled thoughts I still saw that there is a strong consolation in the hope set before us. Let men do their worst, let me be torn to pieces, and my dear L. torn from me; or let me labour for fifty years amidst scorn, and never seeing one soul converted, still it shall not be worse for my soul, in eternity, nor worse for it in time. Though the heathen rage and the English people imagine a vain thing, the Lord Jesus who controls all events is my friend, my master, my God, my all. On the Rock of Ages when I feel my foot rest, my head is lifted up above all mine enemies round about, and I sing, yea I will sing praises unto the Lord. If I am not much mistaken, sore trials are awaiting me from without. Yet the time will come, when they will be over. Oh what sweet refuge to the weary soul does the grave appear. There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. Here every man I meet is an enemy; being an enemy to God, he is an enemy to me also on that account; but he is an enemy too to me, because I am an Englishman. Oh what a place must heaven be, where there are none but friends. England appears almost a heaven upon earth, because there one is not viewed as an unjust intruder; but, oh! the heaven of my God! the general assembly of the first-born, the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus! Oh, let me for a little moment labour and suffer reproach! Reached Dinapore about the middle of the day; at the bottom full of despondency and unbelief, though upheld, as it were at the moment of falling, by the hand of God. "When I said my foot slippeth, thy mercy, O Lord! held me up." Passed the afternoon about Acts viii. with moonshee.
3. Passed the day in the usual employment; in the evening, after a melancholy walk, I returned very much depressed in spirits, when I found letters from Mr. Brown, Corrie, Parsons, and Thompson. Encouraging letters from four ministers in India ought, I am sure, to excite my fervent affection to the blessed God and to strengthen my faith. Wrote to Mr. Brown, Parsons, and Corrie.
Dinapore, Dec. 3, 1806.
MY DEAR SIR,
From a solitary walk on the banks of the river, I had just returned to my dreary rooms, and with the reflection that just at this time of the day I could be thankful for a companion, was taking up the flute to remind myself of your social meetings in worship, when your two packages of letters, which had arrived in my absence, were brought to me. For the contents of them, all I can say is, bless the Lord, O my soul! and all that is within me bless his holy name! The arrival of another dear brother, and the joy you so largely partake of in fellowship with God and with one another, act as a cordial to my soul. They shew me what I want to learn, that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth--and that they that keep the faith of Jesus are those only whom God visits with his strong consolations. I want to keep in view that our God is the God of the whole earth--and that the heathen are given to his exalted Son, the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession.
I have now made my calls and delivered my letters, and the result of my observations upon whom and what I have seen is that I stand alone. Not one voice is heard saying, I wish you good luck in the name of the Lord; not one kind thought towards me for the truth's sake. Sunday morning, by the general's order, the men were ordered to attend at one of the barracks, where the only article of ecclesiastical furniture was a long drum. On this I read prayers, but as there was no seat for any one I was desired not to detain them by a sermon. Monday I went without any introduction to Mr. G. and by the influence of your name found a very kind reception; I spent the day him with very agreeably, talking about Persian, Hindoostanee, &c., but chiefly about religion. He evidently did not speak about it merely in compliment to me, for many times he chose the subject himself. He made me a present of his works, promises to get a good pundit; and what is best of all, has almost engaged to undertake a Persian translation of the New Testament. He begs to know if you have got chapter 3 of Matthew, which Mr. Chambers translated--and desires the missionaries to send him a copy of every thing they have printed. On my way back I called on the judge, and offered to come over to Bankipore to officiate to them on the Sabbath. They are going to take this into consideration.
I have found out two schools in Dinapore. The masters have waited on me with specimens of their Nagree writing--the Devu Nagree tracts they could not read at all--the common Nagree of the Testament they could make out pretty well. I shall set on foot one or two schools here without delay, and by the time the scholars are able to read we can get books ready for them.
Since I began this letter I have been chiefly thinking of Hannah. You have indeed good reason for supposing that God hath loved her. Dear child! if she should be at this time taken to his glory, I could almost envy her lot in being removed from a world of sin and sorrow so soon. Give my love to her--I hope we shall see together that great and glorious day which Jesus has made.
I hasten to write a few lines to each of my brethren, who have so kindly remembered me--and therefore, I conclude. You do not mention Mrs. Brown in any of your letters--I do not know why; I am sure she sends her love to me. Believe me to be, my very dear sir, yours most affectionately,
December 5. I have received my arrears of pay--but the pay-master requires a certificate from Mr. Hall, which I beg you to direct B---------to get. How shall I send this money to you? Let me know as soon as possible, as perhaps I may get robbed of all this cash. Robberies are so frequent here that every officer is obliged to keep a choukardar--I have one in my verandah.
4. Called on the general, and met a very large party of officers; afterwards on Dr. S. and spent the whole morning with him, receiving instructions, &c. Looked at a bungalow with him, which I think of buying. Had much conversation with him on the late proceedings against Mr. Brown. Received in the afternoon Bythner's Lyra Prophetica from Mr. Gladwin, and sent him the first volume of the Ramayon. After finishing Acts viii, with moonshee, I wrote to Mr. Udney. Still full of fears and unbelief, and despondency, till towards evening, when my soul was blessed with the Divine presence.
5. Low spirited about my work; I seem to be at a stand, not knowing what course to take, as I have yet no means of learning the language of the place, nor of setting on foot schools. Morning spent in transacting temporal business. Afternoon with moonshee. Wrote to Thompson, and finished a sermon. Proceeded once more with the parables.
6. Employed in translation and parables. Dr. S. called and went with me to a Europe shop. Moonshee walked with me in the evening, and tried my temper exceedingly by his Mahometan bigotry. I was obliged to lift up my heart to God continually, that he would enable me in patience to possess my soul. The only relief my spirit finds, while I witness the stubborn superstition of people, is to cast my care upon God. It is His own blessed cause.
7. (Sunday.) At 10 o'clock read the church service in one of the barracks, to a tolerable congregation, and preached on Luke x. 2. There was a very solemn attention, and if I am not mistaken, some of their consciences were touched. In the afternoon read prayers, and another section of Doddridge at the hospital; still the most devout attention; no appearance of ridicule; afterwards baptized a child. In the morning the Lord favoured me with a very happy season of prayer. Oh that I could always thus abide with God, apart from the world. "Great peace have they that love thy law." By the little I know, I am persuaded, that there is a peace which passeth all understanding, a peace such as Christ enjoyed himself, and such as he will give his people; but the rest of the day I could not maintain that sense of the Divine presence.
8. Was much helped in my work of the parables. Blessed be God! Employed about them all day, till late at night, and in general cheerful in my spirit.
9. A pundit came to me to-day, and translated some Hindoostanee stories into the dialect of Bahar and Sanscrit. By his advice I resumed the Sanscrit grammar, as the shortest way of coming at the Bhakha of all parts of India. Read hard in it all the rest of the day.
10. Began the work of translating the parables into the Bahar dialect. I left the moonshee and pundit together to execute it. The moonshee from his Rekhtu version explained it to the pundit, who accordingly wrote it down in the village dialect. The moonshee observed to me at night, &c. See Memoir, p. 224. While they were at work I called on the two commanding officers of the native and European regiment here. The colonel I found to be a most intelligent man, who had seen a great deal of Europe and India. Knowing my object, he began to talk about the Christian churches he had seen, and gave me a great deal of information about missions and Roman Catholic churches in all parts of India, of which I had no notion. I accordingly went to my quarters and drew up a Latin letter, which I thought of sending to all the Roman Catholic missionaries round me, containing all necessary questions. Called at the hospital and barracks to inquire about the men who could sing. The pundit's question raises my hopes. It is an instance of the truth striking the mind. The Lord be praised, may he speedily make bare his holy arm! A dream last night was so like reality, and the impression after it was so deep upon my spirits, that I must record the date of it. It was about Lydia; I dreamt that she was arrived, but that after some conversation I said to her, 'I know this is a dream, it is too soon after my letter for you to have come.' Alas! it is only a dream; and with this I awoke, and sighed to think that it was indeed only a dream. Perhaps all my hope about her is but a dream! Yet, be it so! whatever God shall appoint must be good for us both, and with that I will endeavour to be tranquil and happy, pursuing my way through the wilderness with equal steadiness, whether with or without a companion.
11. Going on in Sanscrit, and set the moonshee to work on the parables. In the afternoon wrote out two letters for the missionaries. In the evening had a happy and refreshing season of prayer; afterwards wrote on a parable in Hindoostanee. Much time went away, by my thoughts dwelling with fondness on the dear friends at Dock, and retracing my former friendships.
12. Day passed in the usual employments.
13. Sent letters to the Roman Catholic missionaries at Boglipore, Bettra, and Agra. Employed in endeavouring to make a grammar of the Bahar dialect, in the translation of the parables, and in Sanscrit grammar. At night began a sermon on the Sacrament.
14. (Sunday.) Service performed by an after order, at 10 o'clock. The general was present, about twenty officers, and some of their ladies; I preached on the parable of the tares of the field. Much of the rest of the day I was in great distraction, owing to the incessant recurrence of thoughts about Lydia. My impatience and fear respecting her, sometimes rose to such a height, that I felt almost as at Falmouth, when I was leaving Europe, as I thought to see her no more. But in the evening it pleased the Lord to shew me something of the awful nearness of the world of spirits, and the unmeasurable importance of my having my thoughts and cares devoted to my missionary work. Thus I obtained peace. I prayed in sincerity and fervor, that if there were any obstacle in the sight of God, the Lord might never suffer us to meet. Officiated at the hospital, and read another section of Doddridge; men still very attentive.
15. Employed the morning in going over, with the pundit, some of the parables in Baharee, but I was somewhat in a dilemma to determine how to spread the knowledge of the truth, when I found by his account that every four kos the language changes, and by the specimens he gave me of sentences in the dialects across the water at Gyan, and some other places, they appear to differ so much, that a book in one dialect would be unintelligible to those of another. I thought it best for the present to get the four gospels translated respectively into four different dialects, so that the whole province of Bahar might have the four amongst them, and to add to these the book of Genesis, some of the Psalms, the ten commandments, and the sermon on the mount, in all the dialects. At night dined with Colonel W. and met there the society of Dinapore; never were hours so mis- spent. I had no conversation with them, but was witness to their general levity. Received letters from dear Mr. Simeon and dear Sargent, by his brother, and was greatly refreshed. How sweet the delights of Christian friendship, and what must heaven be--I very often say,--where there are none but humble kind and holy children of God. Such society would of itself be heaven to me after the extreme disgust I feel at the ways of worldly people. In the morning my soul was seemingly in an enslaved state, but the third chapter of Revelation came home with awful solemnity to my soul; shall I lose my crown? No, I trust though grace at last to overcome, and rise conqueror over all.
16. Morning with Pundit in Sanscrit; afternoon in hearing a parable in the Bahar dialect. Continued till late at night writing on parable, with my soul much impressed with the immeasurable importance of my work, and the wickedness and cruelty of wasting a moment, when so many nations are, as it were, waiting till I do my work. Felt eager for the morning to come again, that I might resume my labour.
17. My soul afflicted and solemn at the sense of exceeding sinfulness; and in morning prayer as on the preceding had some melting of spirit, but these feelings were short-lived. Employed all day in writing on the parables. Having to attend a funeral for the first time, I looked round the monuments of the burying ground, and felt an unusual awe at the sight of these mementos of mortality.
18. Employed in going over the former parable with the moonshees, in order to collect Hindoostanee words. Received letters from Mr. Brown, Corrie, Parsons, and Marshman. From him I found that L. had published his sermon, a piece of intelligence which much disturbed me, as I feared it might be the occasion of bringing me before the public, and distracting my time and attention from my missionary work. However, every event is of God. He will cause all things to work together for good. At night read Sadi with moonshee, and was not a little surprised at the pure truth being so remarkably written there, in chapter ii: truly, the devil can make himself appear in the form of an angel of light, and teach scriptural truth as well as quote it, to serve his purposes. Yet I do not find any thing resembling pardon through Christ, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Precious, precious salvation revealed in the word! "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth."
19. Morning frittered away by marrying a couple, and calling on the General, &c. I requested him to put a stop to the games on Sunday; as on the last Sunday I had spoken without effect to some men who were playing at fives. He referred to Colonel W. At night dined at Major Y's.; I came away most grievously uneasy at spending so much precious time so disagreeably. Yet this is the poor flock over which I am appointed. The Lord help me to care for them, while they are not caring for themselves! Most of to-day spent in reading the Bahar parables, and writing to Marshman.
20. Reading over the parables with the Pundit and moonshee, in order to find out the peculiarities of the Bahar verb, which seems considerably more intricate than the common Hindoostanee. Afternoon passed rather profitably in conversation with the Pundit about the Hindoo superstitions, and method of learning Sanscrit. He told me he had taught Sir G. Barlow, some Rajah, and 200 Brahmins. It is this perhaps that makes him so proud, for he and my moonshee are as proud as they can well be. While giving the moonshee the first part of John iii, &c. See Memoir, p. 223. In the evening had a refreshing season in prayer, by which the peace and comfort of my soul were much increased. Fixed on a spot for a school.
21. (Sunday.) Preached to a good number, on 1 Cor. xi. 24--26; not much fixed attention; the General and Dr. S. present, but Dr. W. not. From the length of the service without any interval of singing, and baptizing a child after, I could not sit or stand without pain, and seemed quite spent; but having recruited, I officiated at the hospital, and found the men very attentive. Had a good deal of conversation with one of them, a shrewd sort of man, whose pertness, so offensive to one's proud feelings, I took as an exercise of patience and forbearance. He said he hated that methodistical way of talking about the heart, &c, but said, however, that it was an uncommon thing to hear any thing of this kind in India, and that after a few more Sundays, I should see some effect. Received a letter from the missionary at Boglipore, written in rather elegant Latin, and requesting assistance to get a pundit, as he had but just arrived in the country. In the evening, after a solemn season of prayer, I received letters from Europe, one from Cousin T------, Emma, Lydia, and others. The torrent of vivid affection which passed through my heart, at receiving such assurances of regard, continued almost without intermission for four hours. Yet in reflection afterwards, the few words my dearest Lydia wrote, turned my joy into tender sympathy with her. Who knows what her heart has suffered! After all, our God is our best portion; and it is true that if we are never permitted to meet, we shall enjoy blissful intercourse for ever in glory.
22. Called on Colonel W------, and delivered what I went for, which was to excuse myself from attending more parties. Usual employment of the parables. Began to translate St. John's Epistles, at Marshman's request. Thinking far too much of dear Lydia all day.
23. Sent an answer to the missionary at Boglipore. All the morning employed with pundit, in the most unprofitable way, without being able to obtain from him one single ray of light on the subject. He is at present utterly unable to teach, but perhaps all the rest are as bad. I do not know that my patience was ever more tried. Went on the rest of the day with translations and parables, and read some of Micheen's Elegy with moonshee, and gave him the Hebrew letters, that he may be able to read, and eventually learn Hebrew.
Set apart the chief part of this day for prayer, with fasting; but I do not know that my soul got much good. Oh what need have I to be stirred up by the spirit of God, to exert myself in prayer! Had no freedom or power in prayer, though some appearance of tenderness. Lydia is a snare to me; I think of her so incessantly, and with such foolish and extravagant fondness, that my heart is drawn away from God: thought at night, can that be true love which is other than God would have it? No, that which is lawful is most genuine, when regulated by the holy law of God.
25. Preached on Tim. i. 15. to a large congregation. The General, and Drs. W-------and S------were present, and the latter assisted at the administration of the Sacrament. Those who remained at the Sacrament were chiefly ladies, and none of them young men. My heart still entangled with this idolatrous affection, and consequently unhappy. Sometimes I gained deliverance from it for a short time, and was happy in the love of God. How awful the thought, that while perishing millions demand my every thought and care, my mind should be distracted about such an extreme trifle, as that of my own comfort. Oh, let me at last have done with it, and the merciful God save me from departing from him, and committing that horrible crime of forsaking the fountain of living waters, and hewing out to myself broken cisterns.
26. More unconcerned about this present world, and consequently, happier all day. Employments as usual.
27. Still peaceful and raised above my carnal and worldly desires. Called on Dr. S------, and Captain S------, about purchasing a bungalow. Perplexed and unable to decide, but thought with increased pleasure and comfort of my house eternal in the heavens. Wrote sermon in the evening, and was much assisted. Pundit, moonshee, and myself, still employed about the parables.
28. (Sunday.) Preached on the parable of the pounds. There was a greater impression than I have yet observed; Dr. S------was present. In the afternoon, and at the hospital, there was great attention, while I went on with Doddridge. But I had reason throughout the day, to groan at my own formality; was favoured with a precious season of prayer in the evening.
29. Time lost, and thoughts distracted, by changing my quarters. Captain S------ sat with me a long time, persuading me to buy his house. I had prayed for direction in this business, and now I rejoice to think that I did not involve myself in debt, which I was about to do. Reading some of the Epistle of St. John, to my moonshee, he seemed to view it with great contempt; so far above the wisdom of this world is its divine simplicity: it is only when the soul is full of love, that it can use the language of St. John. Some fiery darts of infidelity were shot into my mind by Satan, but by grace the shield of faith received them. At night finished what I have been long about, the account of the incarnation, and passion, and the wisdom and necessity of it, and also a statement of the doctrine of the Trinity. My own heart was moved, by simply giving a narrative of the love and sufferings of Jesus; and at night in prayer, my soul was raised above all doubts, and above all fears, whether this doctrine be true, and whether it shall be known throughout the earth. My heart was drawn forth to praise God for Christ, to praise Christ for his love, and I found comfort in repeating again and again, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing!"
30. Employed about the parables. In the afternoon wrote a letter to brother------. Experienced much of the presence of God with me in the evening, both in prayer and singing the hymn, 'Day of judgment, day of wonders,' &c. I was drawn in prayer, especially to worship and adore the great Messiah, and to feel assured that he shall reign. If his blood was shed for his people, what a very small and trifling thing is it, for mine to be shed in the same cause.
31. Received this morning a formal note from Mr. G. to inform me that the congregation of Dinapore were very well satisfied with my written sermons, but did not like extempore preaching. My carnal nature was exceedingly roused at this. I thought it a very indecent interference with what did not belong to them; but on maturer reflection considered, that I ought to make all lawful compliances to render the word of God acceptable. In the evening had some profitable meditation and prayer on the occasion of the close of the year, and felt communion with the saints of God in the world, whose minds were probably turned to the consideration of the same awful things.