January 1, 1807. Seven years passed away, &c. See Memoir, p. 226. And since this year will determine whether Lydia shall be given to me or no, let the Lord order it, so that whatever the event be, it may be finally good for our souls! Received this day a truly Christian letter from Mr. H. and was greatly delighted by it, especially by an extract which he sent me, from the Company's charter, authorizing and even requiring me to teach the natives. Writing on the parables.
2. Again changed my quarters, and employed as before. Visited the place of the school to see how the building was going on, and in my way met many of the Europeans taking their evening exercise. They seem to hate to see me associating at all with the natives, and ------- gave me a hint a few days ago, about taking my exercise on foot. But if our Lord had always travelled about in his palanquin, the poor woman, who was healed by touching the hem of his garment, might have perished. Happily I am freed from the shackles of custom; and the fear of man, though not extirpated, does not prevail. In the morning in prayer breathed fervently after a submissive spirit. Alas! when any measure of it is given to me, how seldom do I maintain it.
3. In heaviness through manifold temptations. Passed the morning in reading a work, of which a package had been sent here for distribution. Was grieved, and rather stumbled, that the cause of God and truth should be so oppressed by the wit and learning of the world. But at intervals my soul, triumphing, exulted that the gates of hell should never prevail against Zion, and consequently that the most formidable attacks shall do it no lasting harm.
4. (Sunday.) Preached on 1 Cor. vii. 29, 30. to a small congregation. In the afternoon, read as usual at the hospital. Felt extremely weak and languid in hody all day, and the thoughts of my heart exhibited sad proofs of native corruption. Less in pain about the outward opportunities of the enemies of the people of God. When shall I live in the spirit of my Lord, and, instead of calling down fire from heaven, learn to overcome evil with good.
5. Employed in exposition of parables; the parables themselves the rnoonshee this day finished.------called in the afternoon. I mentioned having seen L------'s books at Major Young's. He was in the greatest confusion, and so I forebore to say any thing further; though I do not see that he was much to blame. My mind chiefly interested about my awful work, but no more profit in it than on other days.
6. Employed in parables. Some time with pundit, to know the most common words in the vocabulary. Received a letter from dear Corrie from Aldeen, and exulted with thankfulness and joy that Dr. Kerr was preaching the gospel. Eight such chaplains in India! this is precious news indeed. In my evening walk felt my life in danger from some buffaloes. Began a review of Daubeny in the Christian Observer.
7. Employed as usual. Finished Acts x. with moonshee. Mr. Smith, a young officer, called.
8. Pundit was telling me to-day that there was a prophecy in their books, that the English should remain one hundred years in India, and that forty years were now elapsed of that period. That there should be a great change and they should be driven out by a king's son, who should then be born. Telling this to moonshee, he said: that about the same time the Mussulmans expected some great events, such as the coming of Dujjel, and the spread of Islamism over the earth. The singular coincidence of the period of the accomplishment of these things, with the time at which, according to some, the millennium will hegin, struck me very much, and kept that glorious day before my mind all the day. In the evening a letter came from Mr. Brown, which filled me with joy. How richly our God is blessing us! By thus causing his face to shine on those his ministering servants, let us hope that he is preparing joy for the benighted heathen.
9. Finished the exposition of the last of the parables. I feel great hope from this little work. The Lord graciously be pleased to grant his blessing to it. In the evening moonshee renewed the dispute about the Son of Man. He said one of the titles of Jesus in the Koran was, Kookoollah, whereas the name of the Son of Man was the most contemptible and base, and he said that he did not believe that Jesus meant to speak of himself under that name. I was much encouraged by the ease with which I was enabled to speak to him; we went on with the epistle of St. John.
Dinapore, Jan. 9, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
The melancholy intelligence you give me about------ affects me much. I feel for him all the affection of a brother, and I have been praying for him, if my prayer was not too late, that the Lord our Saviour might be with him in the awful hour. I shall much rejoice if Corrie can be fixed at Fort William. * * * * They have completed the translation of about forty parables into the Bahar, which are all I shall select; and I am just finishing the exposition of the last in my own Hindoostanee. To put this into easier language, for the accommodation of my dull pundit, and the understandings of the poor people hereabout, will be a work of time and considerable difficulty. But my moonshee is happily very intelligent, and enters into my views fully; he is about learning Hebrew. I have thought much of late of getting a short Hebrew grammar translated into Persian or Arabic, for the use of the Arabic scholars among the missionaries. Their pedantry would induce them to study it, and I need not mention the many important advantages to result from their having in their own hands the original of the Old Testament. * * *
I remain, my very dear sir,
Yours, ever affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
10. Employed in extracting from Sadi, whatever I thought might be of use for the work of the parables, and in finishing a sermon for to-morrow. With moonshee went on with John. Wrote to Mr. Brown and Corrie. Much refreshed and animated in prayer at night, while simply declaring my fears to my gracious Saviour.
11. (Sunday.) Preached on the parable of the fig-tree. Great attention. I think the word is not going forth in vain. Major Young called afterwards, and with the most affectionate kindness begged me to visit them more. In the afternoon, read at the hospital. The steward, who had been an old soldier twenty-four years in India, begged me to get some instruction for his sons. On inquiry, I found he had been long stationed at Tanjore, and knew Swartz, Gericke, &c. that Mr. Kolhoff, Mr. Swartz's nephew, kept the school; and that Swartz baptized the natives, not by immersion, but by sprinkling, and with godfathers; and read the services both in English and Tamul. Felt much delighted at hearing any thing about him. The man told me that the men at the hospital were very attentive, and thankful that I came amongst them. Passed the evening with great joy and peace in singing hymns, reading Dickenson's letters, and communion with the dear ministers and societies of God's people all over the world.
12. Breakfasted with Major Young; rest of the morning, translation. Afterwards began the exposition of parables, with moonshee. Rest of the day translating, and reading Lord W.'s notes on the Mahratta war; a report of a Mahratta chief having arrived at Bankipore with 12,000 cavalry, excited many thoughts about the danger I am in, as an Englishman. But blessed be the Lord, I found myself in perfect peace under God's dispensations, and even rejoiced at the prospect of death, though it should come to-night by the sword of a Mahratta.
13. Most of the morning given to calls; called on------, poor old man! 1 have never an opportunity of speaking for the good of his soul, surrounded as he is always by a troop of officers. I was glad to hear them talk of the natives, and express indignation at their bloody superstitions. Particularly the old general said, that if he had been near a burning of which they talked, he would have interposed force to rescue the woman. I afterwards passed a great deal of time with Colonel and Mrs. Wade, conversing profitably and agreeably, on the subject of the natives. The colonel recommended my going much among them; he lent me an account in Portuguese of the discovery of the first Christians in India, and I sent him Mr. Udney's extract of the Company's charter. He had already written for a schoolmaster. Heard from pundit that the Mahratta chief was a brother of the Peishwa, returning from a pilgrimage to Benares. The pundit said that several learned pundits accompanying him, had called upon him, and had expressed a wish to call upon me; after the account he had given of his master, I told him that, as soon as I could converse with them, I should be glad to see as many as be would bring. Pundit said that the people were glad at my building a school for the children, that this was an act of great holiness. The people had said to moonshee that if Sahib would endow an institution for the instruction of young men in their own shaster, that would be noble; and 1 feel a little afraid that they will object to sending children, when they find what it is the scholars are to be taught. However, all things are in the Lord's hand, If I act with all the-wisdom I can, He will undertake, direct, and prosper all endeavours to advance his kingdom. Tn the evening had long disputes with moonshee on the enjoyments of heaven, but I felt bitter mortification at not having command of language. There are a variety of lesser arguments, the force of which consists in their coming together, or in rapid succession in a way of accumulation, which nothing but a command of words can enable one to do. However, I was enabled to tell the moonshee one thing which rather confused him, namely, that my chief delight even now in the world was the enjoyment of God's presence, and a growing conformity to him; and therefore, what motive could the promise of Houris, Ghilmans green meadows, or eating and drinking in paradise, afford to me. My soul blessed the Lord in secret that this testimony was true; and oh what a change must have been wrought! Went on at night with the dry work of learning the multiplied terminations of the Sanscrit verb; endeavoured to beguile the labour by finding out analogies between it and Latin and Greek.
14. Employed in the Sanscrit grammar; Pundit said that one of the Mahratta pundits was much delighted with the parables, and that the people often got about him while he was writing, and were equally pleased at hearing them. He said we were much nearer the Hindoo notions than the Mussulmans. The cause of this opinion proved to be our Saviour's conversation with Nicodemus, which he understood to refer to the Metempsychosis. However, I undeceived him, and in course of conversation endeavoured to create doubts in his mind about his superstitions. In the evening dined at Major Y's. without company, and passed the time agreeably and not unprofitably. Finished the account of the Mahratta war, and was affected even to tears at night, at the awful desolations of war; would that ambitious rulers would think what it is to plunge souls by thousands into eternity!
17. Breakfasted with Major Y. and lost a great deal of time; afterwards called on the European tradesmen to request attendance at church. Felt extraordinarily dull and sleepy the whole day, so that I could do little or nothing in study. Moonshee went on with the explanations. Passed most of the evening in looking over the New Testament for passages that might be introduced into the book of the parables.
18. (Sunday.) Preached on Numbers xxiii. 19.: a serious attention from all. Most of the European tradesmen were present with their families; my soul enjoyed sweet peace and heavenly-mindedness for some time afterwards. The thought suddenly struck me today, how easy it would be to translate the chief part of the church service for the use of the soldiers' wives and women and children, and so have the service in Hindoostanee, by which a door would be opened to the heathen. This thought took such hold of me, that after in vain endeavouring to fix my thoughts on any thing else, I sat down in the evening, and translated to the end of the Te Deum. But my conscience was not satisfied that this was a sabbath employment, and I lost the sensible sweetness of the Divine presence. However, by leaving it off, and passing the rest of the evening in reading and singing hymns, I found comfort and joy. Oh how shall I praise my Lord, that here in this solitude, with people enough indeed, but without any like-minded, I yet enjoy fellowship with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I see myself travelling on with them, and I hope I shall worship with them in his courts above.
19. Passed the morning with the moonshee and pundit, dictating to the former a few ideas for the explanation of the parable of the rich fool. When I came to say, that there was no eating and drinking, &c. in heaven, but only the pleasures of God's presence and holiness, and that, therefore, we must acquire a taste for such pleasures, the Mussulman was unwilling to write, but the Brahmin was pleased, and said that all this was in the Puranas. Afterwards went on with the translation of the Liturgy. This evening there was a thunderstorm and violent rain, which I little expected at this time of the year. At night the moonshee began a dispute which lasted for three hours and a half, on metaphysical subjects and therefore unprofitable. It began from something I was dictating to him from the New Testament. He said, if all the world but the Jews were idolaters, and unable to come to the knowledge of the true God, why would God punish them? I attempted to prove that they were inexcusable, because they might know God (keeping in view Romans i.) When I arrived so far as to prove that there was necessarily an Almighty, wise, and good Being, omnipresent, he objected, that the four elements, or matter, might be that God. Before this was settled we got to another subject, which took up most of the time; it was this; according to him, infidel philosophers held, that matter having been immediately produced by Him who is everlasting, was necessarily everlasting too, and that therefore, this world would never be dissolved, nor would there be any day of judgment, &c. The proofs of this were so incontrovertible, he said, that Mussulman believers had no refuge but in the divinity of the Koran which declared it. I could not possibly see how the eternity of God gave a necessary eternity to his works, and he was surprised at my not comprehending a point which was acknowledged on all hands. I told him how far 1 thought unassisted reason could go towards the discovery of a God, and said that there must necessarily remain some doubt on the subject, but that no infidel philosopher could give satisfactory proofs of any opinions he held on it; and that with respect to matter, the same power which created it out of nothing could reduce it again to nothing, and that whether it was any of it to be annihilated I did not know. Towards the close he said, 'why, what proofs can any one give of the truth of the Scriptures,' pointing to the Bible: the contemptuous smile with which he said this, let me a good deal into the true state of his mind, which was manifestly that of a sceptic. He told me that there were multitudes among them who believed in one God, but acknowledged no prophet. When he challenged me so confidently to produce any proofs, I told him of one which just occurred, and while I spoke of it he certainly felt confounded,--which was, that the prophets had spoken minutely of Jesus Christ hundreds of years before he was born. His reply to this certainly surprised me a good deal, after the acuteness he had discovered before; it was this,--Conjurors were able to foretel events, not by the power of the devil, but merely by a science like algebra; meaning astrology. I told him that if he would bring me a man who would tell me what I should do the next day I would give him fifty rupees. He seriously and confidently promised to do it.
20. Engaged as usual in parables and translations. Received a letter from dear Corrie. Heard a storyteller, who began his tales. I longed to have his fluency in the language; and I hope to learn by this means very fast. What numberless advantages and helps I enjoy; may I bring forth corresponding fruits.
21. I felt more withdrawn, &c. See Memoir, page 236. At night went on with translation of Liturgy and Jude.
22. Engaged as usual.
23. In the evening dear brother Corrie arrived.
24. Went to baptize the child of Captain S. at the house of Colonel G. both of them in the Mahratta service. There were no godmothers, but a Persian lady attended, drest with the pomp of eastern magnificence, covered with jewels and pearls. I found an opportunity of telling Captain S. of the sinfulness and danger of living in the way he did with a woman; he took it very kindly. From Colonel G. I obtained much information about the Christian church at Agra, Delhi, Narwa.
25. (Sunday.) Corrie preached on Matt. vii. 3; a solemn warning to all there. The general was present. Received a letter from Padre Angelo, the Capuchin missionary at Agra, giving an answer to all my questions. In the afternoon went to the hospital and afterwards to the barracks. Was much comforted to hear that the men had great love for me. Found some men employed in preparing a theatre. With some indignation I put them to flight for a time. A Hindoo woman of the tribe of the Rajpoots, came with her husband, an English soldier, applying for baptism; but finding she knew nothing, I desired them to come again to me. A Persian, seemingly in concern about his soul, asked also to call on me on the morrow. We spent the evening in great comfort in divine services.
26. We breakfasted with the general, whose behaviour towards me was visibly altered for the worse. He said that he thought it the duty of the chaplains to learn the languages of the country. We afterwards called on Colonel W, went on with my work with the moonshees, and in the evening dictated some of Jude to moonshee. Still very happy with my dear brother, in drawing near to God.
27. Employed on the Parables and Jude; in the evening dined at Major Y------'s; and on the subject of the conversion of the natives, spoke with a heat and rashness, for which I fear I shall have reason to repent many days hence.
28. Employed as usual; in the evening dined at Colonel W------'s, where the light conversation drew us both into a conformity to the world, which brought guilt on both our consciences, as we confessed to each other.
Dinapore, January 29, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
Your letter and Corrie arrived the same hour. We should have been still better pleased, had you been present yourself, comforting and edifying us as in times past. I cannot say how much I am pleased with the plan and objects of the association, and the manner in which it has been formed and conducted. I am sure it will serve as a perpetual stimulus to us all. But I have one fault to find. He that is at the head of it, has placed his name, I do not know where. It looks like the lowest place, only that the lowest place is very often the highest. You are saying, I know, Nolumus Episcopari; but, my dear Sir, we must have a head, and if you will allow yourself to possess no other claim to that place in our body, yet let at least the accidental circumstances of age and seniority fix you there. "Let all things be done in order." I dare not be sanguine about our future procedings, when the beginnings are thus disorderly. But enough of this. Corrie left me to-day. Our communion has been refreshing, at least to me, and the Lord has sanctified our meeting by his presence and gracious influences. We parted contented and happy. The fondness of friendship gave way, as it ought, to the pleasure of seeing one another repair to his appointed place in the vineyard. He preached here on Sunday on "Not every one that saith," &c. a solemn and awakening sermon. Some seemed more than ordinarily impressed, others scoffed. The General wTith whom we breakfasted next morning, was fretted, I think with this, and the former sermons he has heard. His behaviour to me was manifestly less kind and respectful. He is determined to have a recess from divine service in the hot season, at which I say nothing, though I wish it, as it will afford me an opportunity of penetrating a little southward. We dined also at Colonel W.'s and Major Y.'s; the latter behaves to me with the kindness of a father. The former was bred a Roman Catholic, and is therefore well disposed to favour missionary efforts. My intentions towards the heathen have become pretty generally known here; for notwithstanding my resolutions of silence on the subject, it has inadvertently slipt out, and I have argued with an intemperate heat about it, for which I shall have cause to repent many days hence. But every thing at present goes on smoothly. I became the tenant of a piece of ground, without asking anybody's leave; the school is nearly built; the book for their use will soon be ready, and the people all delighted with the generosity of the Padre Sahib, and the wisdom of his shaster. The expectation from prophecy is very prevalent hereabouts, that the time is coming when all the Hindoos will embrace the religion of the English; and the pundit says, that in many places they had already begun. About Agra, and Delhi, and Narwa, in the Mahratta dominions, there are many native Christian families, as I hear from Colonel W., some officers lately in the Mahratta service, and letters I have lately received from the missionaries at Agra.
Pray always mention your family: hardly any subject interests me more. I pray for them daily, and now wishing you all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, and fellowship in the common salvation, I subscribe myself, my dear Sir and Brother, your unworthy companion in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
29. Dear brother Corrie went on his way; we parted contented, and happy that each was repairing to his proper place in the vineyard. My heart was rather more enlarged in prayer in our farewell season, than since he has been with me. Called in the evening on Serjeant H. about an affair in which he has defrauded a native, who had made application to me. I found him a sick man, and a very wicked man, and spoke to him about his soul.
30. Pundit said with a great deal of unconcern, that the children would become Christians without doubt, and that when I knew a little of Sanscrit, the men would all come over; that the predicted time was arrived, when they should become like us, and that they had begun in many places. I was surprised at the looseness of principle, which seems by his account to prevail, and could perceive that the idea of embracing the religion of the English, was very pleasing to him, and the other natives. I explained to him that it was no object of mine to make them Feringees, and that if all the Brahmins and Rajahs in the country would come to me for baptism, I would not baptize them, except I believed that they would renounce the world. The pundit inquired what was before Christ, and I gave him an account. I suspect that he will make some use of it, and fabricate some stories, and then tell me they are in the Purans. However it appears to me, that the fields are ripe for the harvest. The love and reverence of the people about this place for me are not diminished by their knowing that the loss of caste is connected with the accomplishment of my object, which is a favourable sign. Read Asiatic Researches. In the evening had another discussion with Colonel and Mrs. W. but found no opportunity of speaking to the piirpose; his conversation was, however, as it usually is, upon missionary affairs.
31. Dictated to-day. See Mem. p. 281. Confirmed in my suspicion of moonshee's scepticism on the subject of all the Scriptures, and therefore of the Koran too. Heard of the sudden death of a man at the hospital, and in the evening buried him. Oh, what an awful thought, that one committed to my care should have died without a private warning from me; how surely would all my guilt plunge me into the same destruction with him, and particularly blood-guiltiness, were not I permitted to trust in the death of Jesus. May the Lord in great mercy help me to be more fervent, and diligent, and faithful, to every soul amongst them. In the evening sat with Major Y. and found my heart afterwards much drawn out in prayer for the English people here.
February 1. (Sunday.) Preached on Luke xi. 11--13. The congregation but small, on account of a cold wind; my own spirit ftried by a disposition to levity, while ministering in the service of God, in reading, and prayer. Afterwards I found my soul more solemnized. Visited the hospital in the afternoon, and had conversation with one or two persons. Afterwards went to the barracks, where the theatres are preparing, to sec if the men were at work again, and found them. After reasoning a little with them on their wickedness, I put them to flight. In the evening went to Colonel W. to desire his orders against such proceedings. I hoped also to be able to have some conversation with him on religion, as it was the sabbath, but my attempts were repeatedly foiled. He said that he kept his religion to himself. Enquired of Mrs. Y. and Mrs. W. whether they were furnished with religious books, and sent the former Wilberforce's Practical View, and the latter Watts's Lyrics. Went to the barracks in hopes of meeting with the Prussian, the Hindoo woman, and the other soldier, but from having omitted to ask their names, I could find neither of them. Found access to the throne of grace at night, and prayed against discouragement. The Lord will open a way before me whenever he sees it necessary. I was much rejoiced at Colonel W.'s. approval of my idea of having the service in Hindoostanee.
2. Breakfasted with Major Y. and passed the rest of the morning in going round with him to the married families. Pundit said this evening, that the people would believe my word when I was gone; he said that a pundit at Benares made a book, but no one cared for it at first, because they said that such an one made it; but when he went away they admired it. In the evening wrote to Parsons.
3. Warfare again with the moonshee; I said that washings and pilgrimages were of no use in cleansing the heart; he would have it that the entering of the temple at Mecca had a sanctifying effect. The arguments he had to offer for Islamism were in the miracles that Mahomet and his followers worked to this day. In the evening dined at Colonel W.'s and was deeply affected at some symptoms of infidelity in Mrs. W. I spoke several times on the subject of religion to them, but the manner in which it was received damped all further attempts. See Memoir, p. 233.
4. Morning as usual occupied in the explanation of the parable, all that I had before written being useless. In the afternoon wrote to Padre Angelo, the missionary at Agra. In the evening began the Revelation with moonshee; he was rather staggered at the proofs of the divinity of the Messiah, but endeavoured as usual to stifle his convictions, and in evil temper began to cavil at every trifle; however, I said nothing, but let it remain with him. During my sorrowful reflections at night, occasioned by every thing I see of the enmity of men against Jesus the Saviour, the text in John i. was brought very forcibly to my mind, He came to his own, and his own received him not.
5. Employed as usual. Began the Hindoo Ramayuna, and a sermon, and read Asiatic Researches. At night the moonshee was apparently confounded at the same great truth in the same chapter of the Revelation.
6. Most of the day about the parables; finished the sermon.
7'. On the spread of the gospel over the world, Pundit observed to-day, that every one among them believed it, and that it would chiefly take place in the 5850 year of Kalu Joy. He prophesied, moreover, that in ten years there would be an European king in Delhi. About twenty days ago, he said, a Bengalee had appeared in Patna, singing about in the streets hymns in praises of Jesus; but I could learn no tidings of him. In my evening walk, conversed about religion with a man who wants to be my schoolmaster, and brought him at last to the dilemma, that if his own word were true, he would go to hell that night if he died. I hardly ever saw a person more struck with terror at the conclusion. Called on Major Y. at night, and from conversation about the heathen, whom he saw the necessity of converting, I was drawn to shew the guilt of man and the of salvation. Mrs. Y. brought her father's Bible; I saw, from his marginal notes, that he had been a pious man, and I read the chief of the three first chapters to the Romans. Mrs, Y. seemed much impressed. Prayed with great hopes for her afterwards.
8. Preached on Matt. xi. 29. In the afternoon at the hospital, and afterwards in barrack. Could learn no more tidings of the Hindoo woman who had applied for baptism, except that she had parted from her husband. A man asked me for a Bible, and I had none to give him. In the evening an Irishman called, to confess I believe, as he was a Roman Catholic. He staid two hours and a half, but I could see there was not the smallest degree of seriousness in him. Called also on H. and talked with him. Enjoyed a comfortable Sabbath in secret duties, especially in the afternoon, when remembering the churches of God over the world. Oh how shall I feel when I come to appear before him!
9. Breakfasted with------, and spoke to him about the schoolmaster, and the church, but was received very coldly, particularly when I mentioned the Company's charter, an extract of which I had received from Mr. Udney. My soul sweetly rejoiced in God, that if men were unkind, it was for Christ's sake, and I felt determined to go on with vigour, though the whole world of wicked men should oppose. Wrote and sent off letters. The bulk of the day employed as usual in the explanation of the parables. Was more and more surprised at the pundit, who expressed his contempt of idolatry. In the evening, dined at Captain A------'s with a large party, and lost thus three hours.
February 9, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
I inclose two Europe letters, and am glad of the opportunity of asking you how you do. Really, Calcutta seems as far from me as England, and yet I suppose you cannot spare time to write to me oftener. If there were any one else in Calcutta to whom I could give commissions, I should not trouble you; but the cause of my present request is an urgent case; I tell the men to read their Bibles, and they tell me they have no Bibles to read. Be so good as to purchase for me a few, and any other religious books: for I rejoice to see that they are wanted here. The ruling powers are kindly affected towards me still, except the general, who grows daily more and more cold, chiefly, I have reason to believe, on account of what I have said about the natives. However, through grace, I am enabled to smile at contempt and opposition, and I feel determined the more I am opposed, the more vigorously to go forward. My school-room is finished, and schoolmasters applying from all quarters for the other schools I am expected to institute. If my pundit does not deceive me, which is very probable, it is the general opinion that the gospel will soon spread over the country. Deus fait! This opinion, whether founded, as they say, on their own prophetical books or not, may be a great means towards its actual fulfilment.
The married families whom, in compliance with their wish, I have visited, are now inviting me round; perhaps also I shall think it expedient to pay the same compliment to the families at Bankipore, as they have expressed a wish for it. Love to you all.
Yours affectionately, ever,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
10. My Surdar hearer was imprisoned, &c. See Memoir, p. 234. Employed the moonshee in writing the service; reached as far as the first Lord's prayer. In my evening walk, a moonshee from Delhi accompanied me. I explained the system of the gospel to him, but he seemed not to take any notice of it. At night dined at-------'s; no one there but his own family and attendants; no conversation but what was trifling. I tried them with literary subjects, but in vain. Enjoyed much solemnity of soul through the day; but at night was oppressed by a sense of guilt, at not having conducted myself as a Christian minister in the company I had been in. Alas! how little is gained by the smallest conformity to the world.
February 10, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
Since my last I have heard from nobody, nor has any thing occurred, but I go on with my work in high spirits. I feel, however, a want of more frequent communication with Corrie and Parsons, and especially with Calcutta. I fear we shall lose our love to one another, if such long chilling intervals occur. I do not, for my own part, mean to grow cold; and therefore I threaten you all with letters whether you answer them or no. Next Monday I set out on a journey to Buxar, (D. V.) to marry Lieutenant------, to Miss-------. A few days ago a Portuguese couple applied for marriage, who could not speak a word of English; I thought it certainly a very idle business to read the service in English, and so I translated the service, and married them in Hindoostanee. There seems no approach to seriousness in any here, except perhaps one soldier. They slumber away their time in idleness, and they have lately set on foot something worse, viz. theatricals. * * * * I have to repeat my requests contained in the last letter, particularly for books. * * Yours with true affection,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
11. Employed with the moonshee in parables. A Portuguese couple applied this morning for marriage, and not being able to speak English, I thought it quite necessary to draw up the church service in Hindoostanee, which by the help of the moonshee, I did. It was ready by the afternoon, and I accordingly married them in Hindoostanee. There were great numbers of the Portuguese, and half caste, who seemed much pleased. Went on with the Liturgy at night, and afterwards sat a considerable time at------'s. He developed a system of villany, &c. See Memoir, p. 235.) The same Roman Catholic soldier, and another who seemed rather a serious man came. I read and prayed with them, and engaged them to come twice a week.
12. Morning about parables with pundit, who began to defend his idolatry again. Afterwards wrote to Cecil; began a sermon; finished third volume of Asiatic Researches. At night was much assisted in writing an account of our condition by the law, and the impossibility of pardon without an atonement. In the morning I enjoyed a peace which passeth all understanding. No desire remained but that it might be confirmed and increased; but afterwards I was brought down to struggle with strong temptations, and I lost that blessed serenity of spirit. I have reason to remember those words, "Oh, that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments, then had thy peace been like a river." Oh why should any thing take my attention, while thou livest ever near, and ever accessible, through the Son of thy love! Oh, why do I not always walk with him, forgetful of a vain and perishing world? amazing patience, he bears with this faithless foolish heart, and suffers me to come, laden with sins, to receive new pardon, new grace, every day! Why does not such love make me hate sin, that grieves him, and hides me from his sight? I sometimes make vain resolutions in my own strength, that I will think only of him; reason, and Scripture, and experience, teach me that such a life is happiness and holiness; that by beholding his glory I should be changed into the same, from glory to glory, and be free from those anxieties which make me unhappy; thus every motive to duty would be so strong, that obedience would be easy.
13. Was enjoying at times sweet repose in the near presence of my God, and a deliverance from perplexing concern about outward things. Employed still on the same subject with the moonshee, and the arguments for the necessity of an atonement, I think, the Mahometan cannot answer.
14. Employed on the same subject; my soul still reposed, in general, in solemnity and peace. Went on with the liturgy at night with moonshee, and arrived at the end of the creed. Wrote to Sargent.
15. (Sunday.) Preached on Mark viii. 35, 36. The attention of the soldiers much roused, but it is a subject that has never given me much pleasure or comfort. Strove to remain afterwards steadily in communion with Christ, and was solemn in my feelings, but felt a sluggishness in duty. At the hospital officiated as usual. The two soldiers came to me at night, and began to learn to sing. I expounded to them the 1st of Matthew. At night went to Colonel W. about a letter, and was detained a long time. I hoped to have talked about religion to him, but alas! I was forced by his conversation to speak about worldly things, to a degree that brought great guilt on my conscience. How can I preach to them about the sanctification of the sabbath, when I have been thus myself speaking my own words, and thinking my own thoughts? Oh, hide not thy face from thy miserable creature, O Lord! but restore unto me the joy of thy salvation!
16. Rose very early, and accumulated work for my moonshee, in my absence, &c. Vide Mem. p. 237.
20. Remembered------on her birthday. Would to God that the increasing number of her years might awaken her to a concern for her soul. Went on with the work of the parables; pundit not so cordial now, since I have set forth the way of salvation by Christ. Found that they had in my absence hired school-rooms at Patna and Bankipore. Received letters from Colonel Sandys, and Mr. Brown. Passed some time in the evening with Colonel W. and lost much more afterwards in looking over the Syrian Testament, without finding the information I wanted.
21. Employed about the parables; afterwards received a letter from, and wrote to, Corrie. In the evening one of the soldiers came to converse. My soul was still cheerful and serene, and especially refreshed at night, by the precious promises of the future spread of the gospel, and happiness of the church.
Dinapore, Feb. 21, 1807.
The moonshee will bring this. He has been paying me a daily visit ever since I wrote to you, and was overjoyed when he found that you were expecting him. Your letter is in a mournful strain. It seems to be the way of Satan to cast us down on our first arrival. You know it was the case with me, and as you sent me a consolatory letter from Malda, so now I would repay your brotherly love by praying the Lord to strengthen your hands and your heart; so always whether we be afflicted or comforted, I hope it will be for one another's comfort and salvation. I know how to sympathize with you at------'s coldness. However, ere this I trust he has opened a little, and offered you a place in his house; if not, beware how you get into that hole of which you speak. You will be overtaken by the hot winds and suffocated. Every one speaks of the un-healthiness of Chunar. Your conversation with Mr. ------on missions was precisely such as I had with Mr.------, a sort of candid representation of the utter impossibility of converting the natives. 1 trust God will soon prove all his enemies to be liars. I rejoice in your determined silence on the subject of missions. When he is actually teaching in our schools, then they will believe the thing is practicable, and not before. My Dinapore school Mr.-------has begun, and rooms are hired at Patna and Bankipore. My pundit and moonshee went together on this business. In Patna the people gathered round them in multitudes, and expressed a wish that I would have a school for teaching the Persian character also. I took the opportunity of sending them while I was myself called away to marry a couple at Buxar. While you were writing to me I was within twenty hours of you, or less. One morning there I went to hear a Brahmin read and expound the Shasters to some of the servants of a Rajah. Having a copy of the Nagree Gospels with me then, I sent it to the Rajah, but I have not heard whether he has accepted it. My little parables go on, but the moonshee and pundit have both done making objections; and the pundit is far less pleased, since I have given him the way of salvation by Christ. He now says, they will never walk according to this. I have had a letter from dear Mr. Brown, which has overwhelmed me with shame. Such profound self-abasement makes me feel my own pride and hardness of heart greater than ever.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
22. (Sunday.) Preached on John iv. 10. Was told at night by Major and Mrs. Y. that the congregation were much pleased. But I told them I was not pleased at hearing it: alas, I trust that I shall be enabled so to preach, as that their hearts may be pricked, or it is better I had never preached. At night the two soldiers came; I expounded and prayed with them.
23. Went on with the parables, and at night with the liturgy; the pundit, who had been talking the day before with a Mussulman, came with some new notions, and began to say according to what he had heard, that the Christians held up Christ, as the Hindoos did their Goroo, and called him the Son of God. In translating the beginning of the Litany at night, with the moonshee, he could not pretend, he said, to find a word for three persons, since he said it was death by their law, to say that there were three anything that were God. A conversation ensued, in which he said that all God's attributes were grand, whereas Father and Son were mean and degrading; I explained as usual, that God was not literally Father and Son, as these terms are used among men, but were names used by God as the nearest, to express the relations subsisting between these two persons, and that the terms had moreover especial reference to the work of redemption. But that after all the first question was, whether the books which spoke of this were a revelation or not; if they are, then every thing in them must be received. In this he fully acquiesced. And now, said he, how can you prove that this is a revelation? I reminded him of the text in Isaiah, he had been translating that morning, "To us a child is born," &c. a proof from prophecy. He asked, How can a child be my creator? Afterwards I asked him, what proof could be given of Mahommedanism. He brought forward for the first time this one, that Mahommed had challenged any man to produce a single Arabic verse like the Koran. I replied, that of all the Indian poets, one was the best. If that one had challenged any other to produce verses like his own, none could have produced them; but this would be no proof that he was sent by God, but only that he was the best poet. But I grow impatient with the awful blindness of man, till I am enabled to cast every care upon God. One thing I feel, that seriousness in arguing with men, is of more use than the clearest arguments, because the former may lead them to concern for their souls, without which they laugh away every proof.
24. Employed as usual; my mind in peace, and feeling a preference of a single life to a married one. Called on Colonel W. in the evening, but at night had a most awful sense of the general levity and unfaithfulness of my conduct as a minister. Oh, how will the lost souls with whom I have trifled, view me at the last day! O my God, rather let me be as the filth of the world, and the off-scouring of all things, than by conformity to the world be instrumental to their ruin!
25. Breakfasted with the general; wrote to Mr. D. the judge; attended as a member of the committee of the orphan club: afterwards went on with the parables. Major Y. told me, that all the people at Bankipore wanted to have me with them, and so does the Devil too, but I trust in my God that they are widely mistaken, if they think that they ever will. I fear that this liking to my company, is another proof of my unfaithfulness in private: may I be taught by all these things, to be duly faithful and instant out of season!
26. Same employment as usual; began a sermon; in the evening called at Major Y.'s, but from desire to be duly grave, and free from my usual levity, I could get them to say nothing, and so the time passed away unprofitably and coldly. Wrote again to Judge D.
27. Went on with the parables and liturgy, and finished the sermon. Wrote to Mr. Brown, and felt my heart somewhat enlarged in love towards my brethren in the ministry, and the beloved saints amongst whom I am not worthy to be numbered. In the evening dined at the general's with a party of officers. I felt afterwards that I do not make it sufficiently a matter of duty to employ my talent in company; for I think I possess sufficient versatility and influence to direct the conversation to something more useful than it is commonly upon.
Dinapore, Feb. 27, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
Except a Grammar in Latin, I have but one Syriac book, which is the New Testament, Dr. Vanderkemp's gift to me; but I am sure he had rather it should be in the hands of those who can read it, than lie on my shelf. I transfer it in his name to the Syrian church.
For myself, I have, and see perpetual ground for thankfulness, but I should go on better, were I not crippled for want of books to give away. * * The letters from Europe contain nothing particular. There is one point on which I should sometimes write, were I sure you were the only one to see my letters. I remain patient and contented--time will shew us what the Lord intends. I pray for you and your's, my dear Sir, and brother, and beg the continuance of your brotherly love and intercession for me at the throne of grace.
In great haste, I subscribe myself
Your's ever affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
28. Going on still in the work of the parables and liturgy. I read the epistles to the infant churches with much interest and desire. Oh, if it would please God to make bare his arm in this country, as aforetime in Greece and Rome, and plant some churches through the land! The outward work of making them change their profession, I do not think very difficult; but to make the heart of a native of India sincere, and disposed to act with Christian generosity and magnanimity, is the work of God indeed. Oh, may I wrait upon the Lord for his direction at all times, have an increase of faith and hope, a heart more disposed to labour and love, and a mind more given to prayer! So if I do not see the gospel garden planted in this wilderness, I shall still have a paradise in my soul. At night enjoyed a very sweet solemnity of soul. I felt but an anxiety, lest sin should come in and interrupt my peace.
March 1, (Sunday.) Preached on Gen. vi. 22. but through all the service I was in a conflict from a return of my disposition to levity. My soul was overwhelmed with the sense of the horrid profaneness and guilt of this, and I was disposed to ask why is not this thorn in the flesh taken from me? but alas! had I a true spirit of penitence at the time, I could never be tempted to this sin. In the morning the appointed hour for prayer for one another was a solemnizing season, and I found its effect all the day. In the afternoon at the hospital as usual, and in the evening my heart was blest with the refreshing presence of my God.
2. Struggling all day with evil temper and discontent, arising partly from bodily indisposition, but chiefly from the detection of a fraud in my moonshee. Went on with the parables and liturgy.
3. The usual employment; at night finished the translation of the liturgy. A Jew from Babylon came to me to-day begging. He read the 1st chap, of Genesis in the Hebrew very fluently: he spoke but very little Hindoostanee, and I could get no information from him. His appearance was very interesting; tall, but stooping from weakness. See Mem. p. 239.
4. Read over the morning and evening service with moonshee again, and conversed, which took up most of the day. At night dined at Mr. A's. the party was very unaffected and agreeable, and if I had not been very dead I might have been able to make the conversation useful; but at last they turned to cards, evidently with hesitation and shame.
5,6. Employed as usual in the parables, and transcribing the service, my mind as usual; not tried by any violent assaults of sin or Satan, but the daily cause of grief and shame, and indeed the root of all sin is to be found in the sins of every day, i. e. forgetfulness of God: I perceive not in what state I have been till I come to pray.
7. Ill with a cold; employed as usual; felt, as on the last two days, no desire for a comfortable settlement, no pleasure at the thought of Lydia coming, except as far as her being sent out might be a proof of God's giving her for the good of my soul, and for my assistance in the work. One of the soldiers came at night; he will if I am not mistaken, make an eminent and steady Christian.
8. (Sunday.) Preached on Dan. vi. 23, 24. In the afternoon at hospital began the Pilgrim's Progress. Through all the various duties of the day my heart was sluggish and dark; though at night with the two soldiers I was assisted in exposition and prayer.
9. My faith tried by many things; disputes with moonshee and pundit very violent; moonshee shewed remarkable contempt of the doctrine of the Trinity. 'It shews God to be weak if he is obliged to have a fellow; God was not obliged to become incarnate, for if we had all perished, he would not have suffered loss; and as to pardon, and the difficulty of it,' says he, 'I pardon my servant very easily, and there is an end of it. As to the Jewish scriptures, how do I know but they were altered by themselves; they were wicked enough to do it, just as they made a calf.' All these things I answered so fully, that he had nothing to reply, but my spirit was greatly excited, chiefly by his contemptuous-ness. In the afternoon, I had a long onset again with pundit, he also wanted to degrade the name of Jesus, and said neither Bramha, Bisher, nor Sub was so low as to be born of a woman, and that every sect wished to exalt its Goroo, and so the Christians did Jesus. Word was sent me that the school at Patna was at first filled with 30 or 40 scholars, but the alarm was spread that I intended to make them all Christians. The master very sensibly went to the parents and said, When he has made me a Christian, then do you begin to fear. There are now only seven or eight left. Pundit said there was the same fear at Dinapore, till he went to the parents, and brought 10 or 12 himself to the school. 'You need not doubt,' he said, 'but that all will become of your caste.' I told him he was much mistaken if he thought that was my object, for if they merely became Christians in name, and lived like most of the Christians they saw, they had better remain in darkness: he seemed struck with this. Reported myself ready, to Col. Wade, for the service in Hindoostanee, and found an opportunity of pointing out to him the plan of salvation.
10. Received a letter from Parsons and wrote to Corrie. Enjoyed a greater stability of faith in the divine Redeemer, gloriously exalted above all evil in the work of redemption. May he make his servants steady, brave, and vigilant, in his service! Satan still assaulting me in various ways. Some of his darts respecting the person of my Lord I felt dreadfully severe, but he triumphed not a moment. Finished the 7th vol. of the Asiatic Researches, in the reading of which, the accounts of the religions here, in the east, have at times proved instruments in the devil's hands for my disquiet, but through infinite mercy it has been but momentary; but I am thus taught to see what would become of me if God should let go his strong hand. Is there any depth into which Satan would not plunge me? Already I know enough of the nature of Satan's cause, to vow before God eternal enmity to it. Yes! in the name of Christ I say, "Get thee behind me Satan! "News again arrived of troubles in Bankipore; the Zemindar hearing I intended to make all the children Christians, has refused to let me have the room I engaged for. Notwithstanding, I rejoiced in spirit that my cause is God's, and that though my plans should be baffled repeatedly, the truth must prevail. Respecting my future preaching, the promise dwelt much on my mind, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not," &c. This has been the first hot day, the thermometer generally at 90°.
Dinapore, March 10.
My tongue is parched and my hand trembles from the violent onsets I have had this day with moonshee and pundit, and now I hope to find some relief in communion with one, who does not deny the Lord who bought us. Ever since declaring the wayjby Christ, the serpent has thrown off the mask, not being able to conceal his hatred of the adorable name. Moonshee's contemptuous rejection of the truth has a tendency to dispirit me in this way. I reflect that I shall never have the power of explaining so fully and so variously divine truths to any one as I have to this man. News have also been brought to me that the school at Patna was at first filled with thirty or forty children, when the alarm spread that Sahib was going to make them all Christians, and there are now only six or seven left. The schoolmaster went round to the parents and very sensibly said to them, 'Has he made me a Christian? when I am become one then do you begin to fear; 'and so the master now says, (fearing, I suppose, I should give up the concern,) in a month or two after the approaching festivals of the Hindoos and Mahomedans, the school will begin to fill again. The same fear kept back the children from the school at Dinapore, till the pundit assured them there was no fear, and so brought eleven or twelve more. But observe, brother, how early Satan has begun to shew his opposition. O wicked Spirit, Jesus has bruised thy head and shall bruise thee under our feet shortly! Oh let us triumph in the victories of our exalted Lord!
I have just received intelligence, that similar troubles have broken out in Bankipore. The Zemindar who had engaged to let me have a place for a school has withdrawn his assent, from a fear that I am going to make them Christians. How shall I advise you to proceed, my dear brother--the Lord direct us!
The Rev. D. Corrie.
11. Proceeding with the usual work; finished a fair copy of the liturgy. Received a letter from Mr. Brown; a sermon of Jon. Edwards, on the subject of Christ's being gloriously exalted above all opposition in works of redemption, much delighted my heart. The soldiers came to-night, and we had a happy season in the usual services.
12. Went in palanquin to Bankipore; called on the families there, the judge, and his son in law. I found an opportunity of reminding that aged apostate to Mahometanism, that the Son of God had died in the stead of sinners. His mosque being, at this season of the Mohurrau, adorned with flags, and attended with music, and at night illumined, proclaimed the shame of the hoary sinner. He took not the smallest notice of me, nor addressed a word to me. In the afternoon I went on to Patna and stopped at my school. No children there, nor the goroo, but the people quickly gathered in crowds, I then told them it was not my intention to make them Christians as they understood it, i.e. to leave caste and be baptized; but to make them good men, and that if the parents would not send them, it was their fault not mine. A worthless-looking young man said, 'there was no objection to being a Christian if Sahib would give pice.' After staying some time with Mr. G. I returned to Bankipore and looked at the school-room there; arrived at night at Dinapore again. Alas! what multitudes are going to hell, Hindoos, Mahometans, and English, not a man that fears God anywhere! For want of retirement and regulation in reading and prayer, I lost much comfort before night, and seemed to be left to the influence of outward things, which is to make me miserable.
13. Usual occupations, but did little: the heat was oppressive, being 92° in my verandah, and clouds of dust almost suffocated me.
14. The quotations from Scripture to-day in the parable of the inconsiderate king, to illustrate the idea of the sufferings of Christians, seemed to excite both the moonshee and pundit very much. On the text, "the time cometh, that he that killeth you shall think he doeth God service," he allowed and declared the lawfulness of putting infidels to death, and the certainty of salvation to believers dying in battle with infidels; and that it was no more strange than for the magistrate to have power to put an offender to death. He took occasion also to say, that the New Testament, as we gave it, and the church service, was stuffed with blasphemies. With the benighted pundit also I had a long conversation, as he seemed to be more in earnest than I have yet seen him. He asked me whether by receiving the gospel, he should be able to see God in a visible shape, because, he said, he had seen Sargoon, i. e. the Deity made visible; this he affirmed with great gravity and earnestness. In the afternoon wrote a sermon from Jonathan Edwards. My soul is sometimes tired with the aboundings of iniquity, and wounded by infidel thoughts, but my Redeemer is risen triumphant, and will not suffer his feeble servant to be tempted above that he is able to bear. If there is any one thing that delights and refreshes my soul above all others, it is that I shall one day behold my Redeemer gloriously triumphant at the winding up of things. O thou injured Sovereign! how long dost thou bear this ingratitude from wicked man? I wait first to see the effect of the distribution of the Scriptures in India; if that is not efficacious, there will be some marvellous exhibition of divine power made here, whether in a way of judgment or grace I do not know.
15. Preached in the morning service on 1 Kings xviii. 21. and in the afternoon had service in the Hindoostanee, when I could not keep myself from attempting to expound the lessons. There were not less than 200 women present, Portuguese, Roman Catholics, and Mahometans. May the Lord smile on this first attempt at public ministrations in the native language! Afterwards at the hospital, found a man apparently dying, to whom I spoke for some time. In the evening conversing with Major and Mrs. Y-------, was much refreshed with appearances of grace; with the soldiers at night, I had no doubt left respecting one of them. Praised be the Lord my God for all the encouragement I have received to-day!
16. The man at the hospital died, and I buried him this evening. Began to look over and correct the parables. At night lost time and temper, in disputing with moonshee on the lawfulness of putting people to death for blasphemy. I have never met with such contempt and disrespect from a native, nor indeed from any one, for a long time, as from him. He began with cavilling at the Lord's prayer, and ridiculing it, particularly "Hallowed be thy name," as if the name of Deity was not absolutely holy. He said that prayer was not a duty among the Mahometans, that reading the numaz was merely the praising of God, and that, as when a servant after doing his master's service well, thought it a favourable opportunity for asking a favour, so the Moslem after doing his duty might ask of God riches or a son, or, if he liked, for patience in affliction, &c; he then recommended the example of Job, who he said, in all his sufferings asked for no mitigation of them. This is Mahommedanism, to murder as infidels the children of God, and to live without prayer. I have never felt so excited as by this dispute, nor felt such horror at this damnable delusion of the devil: and it followed me all night in my dreams. Now that I am more cool, I still think that human nature in its worst appearances is a Mahommedan. Yet, oh may I so realize the day of judgment, that I may now pity and pray for those whom I shall then see overwhelmed with consternation and ruin!
17. A native woman at the barrack died suddenly, and I buried her this evening. Went on with the usual work of the parables, and writing out the gospels. Still permitted to find sweet refuge in the presence of my Lord, from infidelity and the proud world, and the vanities of time. Passed an hour in the evening with Captain A. S. called on us. Read Niebuhr's travels.
18. Usual employments all day. Long conversation with pundit in the afternoon. At night the two soldiers brought a third, and we had a happy season of worship together.
19. Writing some passages from the Revelation. Moonshee's indignation was again moved, as it seldom fails to be, by St. John, who so exalts the Saviour. Conversation with the pundit was more serious, &c. See Memoir, p. 252.
20. The usual work all day. Received a letter from Corrie: what an inestimable blessing it is, that such a pious friend and brother in the kingdom of Christ should be stationed so near me in this land so barren of all goodness!
21. Finished the work of the parables. Glory to God! Talking with moonshee on the probable effect of it, he cut me to the very heart. See Memoir, p. 244.
22. The Hindoostanee service seems to be much talked of, and, as far as I can learn, universally approved; but I can never feel satisfied till I shall be able to carry the war into the heart of the enemy's country, by preaching in the streets of Patna.
23. Received letters from P. and Mr. Brown, and was exceedingly refreshed; wrote to Mr. B. and a long letter to Corrie. Pundit rather grieved me, &c. See Memoir, p. 252.
Dinapore, 23 March, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
* * * I mentioned to you the measures I had been taking about the schools. At first my proceedings excited general admiration among the natives; but there has taken place a very sudden and lamentable change. For an alarm was spread that I meant to make the children Christians, in consequence of which several Zemindars, who at first promised to let me have houses or ground to build on, refused, and the children are not suffered by their parents to come. However, there are a few at the school here and at Patna. Your letter of the 16th is this moment arrived. * * * * * * * I feel bound to bless our God for the arrivals of Mr. and Mrs. T.,------, and------, and Dr. Buchanan. To the latter I beg my kindest love, congratulations on his personal preservation and thanks in the name of the whole church for those MSS. he has brought away. My expectation dwells upon the lids of those chests. Who knows how important the acquisition of them may be? ****** ********** My communication with Corrie is regular, and useful to me in the highest degree. What a singular mercy to have a brother so spiritual near me in a land where I almost expected to be alone all my days! Indeed from the first day 1 came into Asia I have been crowned with loving-kindness and tender mercies. * * * *****
I remain, my dear Sir,
Your's ever affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
March 23. 1807.
It is with no small delight that I find the day arrived for my writing to my very dear brother. Many thanks for your two letters, and for all the consolation contained in them, and many thanks to our Lord and Saviour, who has given me such a help where I once expected to struggle on alone all my days. Concerning the character in the Nagree papers you have sent me, I have to say, it is perfectly the same as the one used here, and I can read it easily; and the difference in both the dialects from the one here is so trifling, that I have not the smallest doubt of the parables being understood at Benares and Bettea, (a Roman Catholic village,) and consequently through a vast tract of country. A more important inference is, that in whatever dialect of the Hindoostanee the translation of the Scriptures shall be made, it will be generally understood. The little book of parables is at last finished, through the blessing of God. I cannot say I am very well pleased with it on the reperusal; but yet containing, as it does, such large portions of the word of God, I ought not to doubt of its accomplishing that which he pleaseth. The day we finished it I asked moonshee what he thought would be the success of it; he said, with dreadful bitterness and contempt, that, after the present generation should pass away, a set of fools would perhaps be born, such as the gospel required, who would say, this is the word of God, and every word of God must contain truth, and would believe that God is man and man God. Behold how they oppose themselves and blaspheme! Nothing has exasperated him more than the declaration in I Cor. i. and Matt. xi. Even the dark pundit has learned to ridicule the idea of there being a Lamb in Heaven. I am sometimes astonished that they (and particularly the moonshee) speak as freely as they do; it is manifest that my countenance does not betray the feelings of my heart, for he sometimes cuts me to the very soul. I am never likely to find more severe trials of my temper hereafter than I meet with from them, and thus their conduct may be the means of fortifying my mind, and enabling me to maintain an undisturbed serenity in disputing with those that oppose themselves. A few days ago I went to Bankipore to fulfil my promise of visiting the families there; and amongst the rest called on------, a poor creature whose black wife has made him apostatize to Mahomedanism and build a mosque. Major-------went with me, and the old man's son-in-law was there. He would not address a single word to me, nor a salutation at parting, because I found an occasion to remind him that the Son of God had suffered in the stead of sinners. The same day I went on to Patna to see how matters stood with respect to the school. Its situation is highly favourable, near an old gate now in the midst of the city, and where three ways meet; neither master nor children were there. The people immediately gathered round me in great numbers, and the crowd thickened so fast, that it was with difficulty I could regain my palankin. I told them that what they understood by making people Christians was not my intention; I wished the children to be taught to fear God and become good men, and that if after this declaration, they were still afraid, I could do no more, the fault was not mine but theirs. My schools have been heard of among the English sooner than I wished or expected. The General observed to me one morning, that that school of mine made a very good appearance from the road; 'but,' said he, 'you will make no proselytes.' If that be all the opposition he makes I shall not much mind. The Sunday before last, I gained a point, which I trust may prove highly useful. I had translated the church service, and signified to Colonel -------that I was ready to minister in the country language to the native women belonging to his soldiers of the European regiment, which he approved, but told me that it was my business to find them an order and not his. So I issued my command to the scrjeant-major to give public notice in the barracks that there would be divine service in the native language on the morrow. The morrow came, and the Lord sent 200 women, to whom I read the whole of the morning service. Instead of the lessons I began Matthew, and ventured to expound a little, and but a little. Yesterday we had a service again, but I think there were not more than 100. To these I opened my mouth rather more boldly, and though there was the appearance of lamentable apathy in the countenances of most of them, there were two or three who understood and trembled at the sermon of John the Baptist. This proceeding of mine is, I believe, generally approved among the English, but the women come, I fear, rather because it is the wish of their masters. The day after attending service, they went in flocks to the Mohurrun, and even of those who are baptized, many, I am told, are so addicted to their old heathenism, that they obtain money from their husbands to give to the Brahmins. Our time of divine service in English is seven in the morning, and in Hindoostanee two in the afternoon. Very few officers attend in the morning. Our Sunday and Wednesday evening society now consists of a private, a corporal, a serjeant, and one of the young merchants, who attends to help in singing. He acts as clerk in the church, and yesterday gave us a psalm. Being one of Mr. Burney's scholars he has a regard for religion. Moonshee has just read his ten commandments, and has, I find, altered several words, and made the whole more fine than as I read it at the church. Why did you translate from the Septuagint? It is not in general nearly so close to the original as the English. The Rev. D. Corrie.
24. Employed in writing the gospel of truth in Hindoostanee, and a letter to P. and read the Koran; oh, how long shall such contemptible trash be set up above the word of God. Two or three women sent to beg that there might be divine service on Friday, but as I thought that very few would attend, I did not consent to it, but was glad to hear that some had said they wished it was every day. Moonshee, however, observed, 'that it was probably some of the old women, who accounted it a meritorious act to come to church, and wanted to be in haste to get something done for salvation.'
25. Writing out Gospel of St. Matthew, and letter to M. Reading Neibuhr and Koran at night; the soldiers and Mr. Hastings came, and we had an agreeable season of worship, though my own frame, alas! is very far from that seriousness and contrition that would become me, and in ministrations now seldom free from hypocrisy. God forgive all my sins!
26. Usual employment in dictating for scriptures and translation; correcting the two copies of the parables; at night began to read some Hebrew.
27. (Good Friday.) Endeavoured to pass the day of the commemoration of the death of the Lord, in fasting and prayer; but it was a day to be ashamed of. At first my heart seemed tender and broken, but was closing up continually, and returned to that state of indifference and self-complacency, which commonly keeps me so quiet. Alas! my soul, what a work is sanctifica-tion! I find I am a poor wretched helpless creature, and cannot deal faithfully and earnestly without God's grace. The want of food proved hurtful to the body, and convinced me that I cannot abstain from it without injury.
28. Sick all day; wrote sermon with a slow and heavy hand.
29. (Sunday.) Still sickness and loss of appetite continued all day, yet assisted to go through the usual ministrations without pain. Preached in the morning on Psalm xvi. 8,--11, and administered the Lord's Supper with rather more solemnity and feeling than I have usually done. The rest of the morning I could do little else but lie down. In the afternoon I found, I suppose, 200 women ready; and I expounded again at considerable length; some things in the pious soldier rather distressed me for him, but at night when they came I was again comforted over him. In exposition with them I found great enlargement. Read Pilgrim's Progress at the hospital; received from Dr. Kerr his report and sermon, with both which I was much delighted, and sent them to Col. W. At night I called upon him, and so conducted myself there, that the reflection almost broke my heart, if a heart so hard and wicked were ever near breaking. The cause of my levity and shameful inconsistency was my going hastily without prayer.
30. Sick in body, but rather serious and humble in spirit, and so happy; corrected the parables for a fair copy. Reading the Koran and HindoostaneeRamayuna, and translating Revelation; a German serjeant came with his native woman to have her baptized; I talked with her a good while, in order to instruct her, and found her extraordinarily quick in comprehension.
31. Same employment; still ill.
April 1. The native woman came again, and I passed a great deal of time in instructing her in the nature of the gospel; but, alas! till the Lord touch her heart, what can a man do? At night the soldiers came, and we had again a very happy time; how graciously the Lord fulfils his promise of being where two or three are gathered together. The pious soldier grows in faith and love, and spoke of another, who wants to join us. They said that the native women accounted it a great honour to be permitted to come to a church and hear the word of God, and wondered why 1 should take such trouble for them. Went again to Colonel W. on business, and was enabled to conduct myself with more seriousness and propriety; the poor man again seemed to have his heart towards religious conversation, and I felt very tenderly for him, but he is apparently much wedded to the Roman Catholic forms.
2. Doing little to-day, from sickness and want of sleep; endeavoured to draw up something for my quarterly report. The Hindoo woman came, and I again explained to her at length the gospel; but her heart is a stranger to any serious feeling; such acuteness of remark I never saw in a native. As, however, I assured her I would never baptize her while she lived in this state; she went away with the determination of saving up a little money, in the expectation of being able in two or three months to support the expences of the wedding; her desire to be a Christian is merely that her body may be treated with a funeral, for she seems quite taken with the respect which we show to the bodies of the dead.
3. Received a letter from dear Corrie, and felt some apprehensions about his health. Had many sweet reflections on the day when we shall tune our harps together in the kingdom of God. Going on with the correction of the parables and writing Gospel of St. Matthew; translation of Revelation; reading the Koran, and drawing up the report.
4. A Brahmin in the service of some Ranee, visiting my pundit, copied out the explanation of the parable in which the ten commandments were written, with a determination to put them all accurately into practice, in order to be united with God. What is strange, even the second commandment is approved in general. He had however, two questions--' There was nothing commanded to be done, only things to abstained from;' and if he should be taken ill in the bazaar or while laughing, and die, and from fear of transgressing the third commandment, should not mention the name of God, could he go to heaven? As the paper he copied was to prove the impossibility of obtaining pardon by the usual methods of men, it is to be hoped he may receive some good to his soul. The Khansaman having brought accusations against moonshee for peculation and dishonesty, I summoned all the servants and the tradesmen, from whom he had bought things, to investigate the matter; I prayed to be free from all agitation of mind, and was accordingly preserved in seriousness, the points were fully proved against him, and he had no way of extricating himself but by saying they were all his enemies and liars. I do not suppose there is an honest man in the world but the Christian. Major S. from Bankipore called. In the afternoon much depressed in spirits, at observing the effect of the heat upon me. I thought it impossible I could ever subsist long in such a climate, and my intended journey seems out of my power. Had many solemn and sweet reflections on the probability of my dear brother Corrie and myself being soon called to leave our earthly warfare. Adored be our Lord, the prosperity of his church does not depend on our presence. Though we be cut off in the midst of our plans, it shall be at the properest moment in the plans of God..
5. (Sunday.) Preached on Psalm ix. 17. In the afternoon had the Hindoostanee service at the usual hour, and expounded very much at length from the beginning of the sermon on the Mount; I was pleased to observe the sentry sitting very attentive. Service afterwards at the hospital, and with the soldiers in the evening as usual.
6. The pundit said, that he yesterday visited the Ranee of Davodnagur, and the conversation turning on Christianity, she had commanded him to read an old book she had about Christianity. From pundit's account of it, I concluded it was a life of Christ, or harmony of the gospels. Her highness observed, that she wished Messiah had been present when her husband, the Rajah died, as she should then have had him raised to life again. How like Martha's remark, "Lord! if thou hadst been here," &c. Wrote letters to Dr. Kerr, Mr. Brown, and Corrie; Corrected parables; dictated translation; writing out the gospel; at night read Hebrew.
April 6, 1807.
I this day send away my report as you do yours. How much this blessed association will tend to unite us in heart, and cause the love of every one towards each other to abound. You need not be at all troubled about books for your schools, for if the parables should not be understood, the Scriptures will. In my Dinapore school there are thirty-two. I think, brother, we ought to praise our blessed Lord for all this unmerited, unexpected success, which we have both been favoured with. If I should be called down to Calcutta this summer, I can get the Hindoostanee service transcribed for you; here there is no one that I know of able to do it. I do not read from Mirza's translation, but have written from it a copy in the Roman character, and with moonshee's help simplified the sentences and changed the words; they say still that they understand very well, and consider it as quite an honour to have service performed for them, and are at a loss to know why I should take so much trouble on their account. It is not on their account alone that I go, my hope is to see some of the heathen come to hear, but they do not as yet. I have been pleased, however, to observe the Sepoy on guard at the place listening with attention. Dr. Kerr has written to me about a Musselman converted, an expounder of Mahomedan Law, who from persecution for the cross of Christ wishes to go to Prince of Wales' Island to make converts. I do not think that either of us can prudently employ him yet as a preacher, for it would bar up all our doors of usefulness, and would be the ruin of all my schools; but as a moonshee he might be of use to you, for he is a great scholar. I have desired Dr. Kerr to send him to Serampore to undergo an examination by the Synod of Divines there touching both his learning and religion. My own moonshee has fallen into deep disgrace. The Khansaman brought charges against him for dishonesty in his accounts with me, and by the witnesses he brought, the charge?- were fully established. After an absence of two days he sent a most humble letter, begging his dismissal, as he could not endure the shame of living here, or of ever showing his face to me. However, on further consideration, he has consented to stay. I fear I shall never have the heart to converse with him about Mahomedanism again, lest he should think I meant to reward him. I have begged Mr. Brown to order you away from Chunar. My dear brother, for the church's sake begone without a moment's delay! Let the consequence be what it will, go before the hot winds blow harder. Every one says that residing there will be your death. The Lord preserve you and give you every spiritual blessing.
TO THE ASSOCIATED CLERGY, &C.
I begin my first communication to my dear and honoured brethren, with thankfully accepting their proposal of becoming a member of their society, and I bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for this new instance of his mercy to his unworthy creature. May his grace and favour be vouchsafed to us, and His Holy Spirit direct all our proceedings, and sanctify our communications to the purposes for which we are united.
On a review of the state of my mind since my arrival at Dinapore, I observe that the graces of joy and love have been at a low ebb. Faith has been chiefly called into exercise, and without a simple dependence on the divine promises I should still every day sink into fatal despondency. Self-love and unbelief have been suggesting many foolish fears respecting the difficulties of my future work among the heathen. The thought of interrupting a crowd of busy people like those at Patna, whose every day is a market-day, with a message about eternity, without command of language, sufficient to explain and defend myself, and so of becoming the scorn of the rabble without doing them good, was offensive to my pride. The manifest disaffection of the people, and the contempt with which they eyed me confirmed my dread. Added to this the unjust proceedings of many of the principal magistrates hereabout led me to expect future commotions in the country, and that consequently poverty and murder would terminate my career. "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof"--" as thy days are so shall thy strength be," were passages continually brought to my remembrance, and with these at last my mind grew quiet. Our countrymen, when speaking of the natives, said, as they usually do, that they cannot be converted, and if they could they would be worse than they are. Though I have observed before now, that the English are not in the way of knowing much about the natives; yet the number of difficulties they mentioned proved another source of discouragement to me. It is surprising how positively they are apt to speak on this subject, from their never acknowledging God in any thing: "Thy judgments are far above out of his sight." If we labour to the end of our days without seeing one convert, it shall not be worse for us in time, and our reward is the same in eternity. The cause in which we are engaged is the cause of mercy and truth, and therefore in spite of seeming impossibilities it must eventually prevail.
I have been also occasionally troubled with infidel thoughts, which originated perhaps from the cavillings of the Mahometans about the person of Christ; but these have been never suffered to be more than momentary. At such times the awful holiness of the word of God, and the deep seriousness pervading it, were more refreshing to my heart than the most encouraging promises in it. How despicable must the Koran appear with its mock majesty and paltry precepts to those who can read the word of God. It must presently sink into contempt when the Scriptures are known.
Sometimes when those fiery darts penetrated more deeply, I found safety only in cleaving to God as a child clasps to his mother's neck. These things teach me the melancholy truth, that the grace of a covenant God can alone keep me from apostasy and ruin.
The European society here consists of the military at the cantonment and the civil servants at Bankipore. The latter neither come into church, nor have accepted the offer of my coming to officiate to them. There is, however, no contempt shewn, but rather respect. Of the military servants very few officers attend, and of late scarcely any of the married families, but the number of privates, and the families of the merchants, always make up a respectable congregation. They have as yet heard very little of the doctrines of the Gospel. I have in general endeavoured to follow the directions contained in Mr. Milner's letter on this subject, as given in Mr. Brown's paper, No. 4.
At the hospital I have read Doddridge's Rise and Progress, and the Pilgrim's Progress. As the people objected to extempore preaching at church, I have in compliance with their desires continued to use a book. But on this subject I should be glad of some advice from my brethren. I think it needless to communicate the plans or heads of any of my sermons, as they have been chiefly on the parables. It is of more importance to observe, that the word has not gone forth in vain, blessed be God! as it has hitherto seemed to do in most places where I have been called to minister; and this I feel to be an animating testimony of his presence and blessing. I think the commanding officer of the native regiment here and his lady are seeking their salvation in earnest; they now refuse all invitations on the Lord's Day, and pass most of that day at least in reading the word, and at all times discover an inclination to religious conversation. Among the privates, one, I have little doubt is truly converted to God, and is a great refreshment to me. He parted at once with his native woman, and allows her a separate maintenance. His conversion has excited much notice and conversation about religion among the rest, and three join him in coming twice a week to my quarters for exposition, singing, and prayer.
I visit the English very little, and yet have had sufficient experience of the difficulty of knowing how a minister should converse with his people. I have myself fallen into the worst extreme, and from fear of making them connect religion with gloom have been led into such shameful levity and conformity to them, as ought to fill me with grief and deep self-abasement.
How repeatedly has guilt been brought upon my conscience in this way. Oh, how will the lost souls with whom I have trifled the hours away look at me in the day of judgment! I hope I am more and more convinced of the wickedness and folly of assuming any other character than that of a minister. I ought to consider that my proper business with the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made me overseer, is the business of another world, and if they will not consider it in the same light, I do not think that I am bound to visit them.
About the middle of last month, the church service being ready in Hindoostanee, I submitted to the commanding officer of the European regiment, a proposal to perform divine service regularly for the native women of his regiment, to which he cordially assented. The whole number of women, about 200, attended with great readiness, and have continued to do so. Instead of a sermon, the psalms, and the appointed lessons, I read in two portions the Gospel of St. Matthew regularly forward, and occasionally make some small attempts at expounding. The conversion of any of such despised people is never likely perhaps to be of any extensive use in regard to the natives at large; but they are a people committed to me by God, and as dear to him as others; and next in order after the English, they come within the expanding circle of action.
After much trouble and delay, three schools have been established for the native children, on Mr. Creighton's plan; one at Dinapore, one at Bankipore, and one at Patna; at the last of which the Persian character is taught as well as the Nagree. The number of children already is about sixty. The other schoolmasters, not liking the introduction of these free-schools, spread the report, that my intention was to make them Christians, and send them to Europe; in consequence of which the Zemindars retracted their promises of land, and the parents refused to send their children; but my schoolmasters very sensibly went to the people, and told them, 'we are men well known among you, and when we are made Christians then do you begin to fear.' So their apprehensions have subsided; but when the book of parables, which is just finished, is put into their hands, I expect a revival of their fears. My hope is, that I shall be able to ingratiate myself a little with the people before that time; but chiefly that a gracious God will not suffer Satan to keep his ground any longer, now that the appointed means are used to dislodge him. But, though these plans should fail, I hope to be strengthened to fight against him all my days. For, from what I feel within and see without I know enough of him to vow, with my brethren, eternal enmity against him and his cause.
Respecting the state of the natives hereabouts: I believe that the Hindoos are lax--for the rich men being few or none, there are few Brahmins and few Tu-maskus, and without these idolatry droops. The Mahometans are numerous and ignorant, but from the best of them I cannot learn that more than three arguments can be offered for their religion, which are,--the miracles wrought by Mahomet; those still wrought by his followers; and his challenge in the 2nd chapter of the Koran, about producing a chapter like it, all of which are immediately answered.
If my brethren have any others brought forward to them they will, I hope, mention them; and if they have observed any remark or statement apparently affect a native's mind, they will notice it.
Above all things, seriousness in argument with them seems most desirable, for without it they laugh away the clearest proofs. Zeal for making proselytes, they are used to, and generally attribute to a false motive; but a tender concern manifested for their souls is certainly new to them, and seemingly produces corresponding seriousness in their minds.
From an officer who had been in the Mahratta service, I learned sometime ago that there were large bodies of Christians at Narwa, in the Mahratta dominions, Sar-dana, Delhi, Agra, Bettea, Bogliporc. To obtain more information respecting them, I sent a circular letter to the missionaries residing at the three latter places, and have received two letters in reply. The Padre at Bogli-pore is a young man just arrived, and his letter contains no information. From the letter of the Padre at Agra, I subjoin some extracts, premising that my questions were:--1. By whom were you sent?--2. How long has a mission been established in the place of your residence?--3. Do you itinerate, and to what distance?--4. Have you any portion of the MSS. translated, or do you distribute tracts?--5. Do you allow any remains of caste to the baptized?--6. Have you schools, are the masters heathen, or Christians?--7. Is there any native preacher or Catechist?--8. Number of converts.
In concluding my report, I take the liberty of proposing two questions, on which I should be thankful for communications in your next quarterly report.
1. On the manner in which a minister should observe the Sabbath; whether he should make it a point of duty to leave no part of his discourses to prepare on that day: Whether our particular situation in this country, requiring redoubled exertion, in those of us, at least, who are called to the heathen, will justify the introduction of a secular work into the Sabbath, such as translating the Scriptures, &c?
2. In the commencement of our labours among the heathen, to which model should our preaching be conformed,--to that of John the Baptist and our Saviour, or that of the Apostles? The first mode seems more natural, and if necessary for the Jews, comparatively so enlightened, how much more for the heathen, who have scarcely any notions of morality. On the other hand, the preaching of the cross has in all ages won the most ignorant savages; and the Apostles preached it at once to heathens as ignorant perhaps as these.
Dinapore, April 6, 1807.
Extract of a Letter from Padre Angela, Prefect of the Mogul Mission.
Ad primum dicam, a sacra propaganda fidei congregatione missus e Roma discessi, Anno. 1791. Anno. 1792, perveni in Patnam et missus fui a Praefecto in Chunar eodemque anno fui destinatus ab eodem procurator missionis et missus in hospitium quod est in Chan-dernagor; octo post annos rogatus a Prsefecto missionis Madrast deservivi ecclesise Gallorum per tres annos sub stipendio Anglico; illis armis transactis nominatus fui Prsefectus nostrse Thibetanee et Mogolicse missionis, nam anno 1803, Ds. Fullon visitator apostolicus, delega-tus ab illustrissimo Nicolao Episcopo Dolichensi residente in Pondiscery venit in Patnam ad visitandam missionem et me indignum destinavit prsefectiim missionis; et ideo eodem anno discessi e Chandernagor et fui in Patna, Lucknow, Agra, Sardana.
Ad secundum, dico quod Agree missio est pervetusta plusquam ducentorum annorum. Primi enim missio-narii fuerunt Jesuitse. Postquam S. Fran. Xaverius missus fuit, ejus socii in omnes istas regiones usque ad Thibet evangelium attulerunt. Deinde decreto S. Propag. F. C. illi cesserunt istam Mogolicam missionem Carmelitis Patribus quarum missio principalis erat et est in Bombay. Deinde 15 circiter annis, ejusdem congregationis pari decreto cessit nostrse missioni.
Ad tertium, dico quod mea peregrinatio nunquam fuit directa ad praedicandum evangelium infidelibus nisi per accidens turn quia quasi solus semper (post enim Gallicam revolutionem vel non advenerunt missionarii vel si pauci, quatuor nempe, et isti revolutionarii fuerunt et sunt) in istis regionibus vix vix inveni tempus sufficiens ad erudiendos Christi fideles qui turn propter morum corruptelam, turn propter carentiam patrum missionariorum turn propter depravationem eorum qui permanserunt penitus, ut ita dicam, catholicam amiserunt fidem vel in Maometanorum ritus ruerunt sicuti prseser-tim accidit in Agra, etc. Non etiam operam dedi ad predicandum infidelibus evangelium qui inanes pluries cognovi omnes meos conatus: audiunt et intelligent et quidem libenter, evangelica eloquia, fatentur vera et etiam divina sed non sequuntur, 'quomodo possumus derelinquere natos et notos, quomodo derelinqui.' Quod autem.
Ad quintum, petis, num consuetudinis ipsorum por-tiunculam novis converses conceder emihi mos sit dico quod nunquam concessi cxperientia enim mihi semper notum fecit quod omnes Christiani qui vel tantillum vel Gentilium consuetudinibus ut Malabarici quos multos cognovi et ut alii qui degunt in nostra missione Belthiae, et qui adherent ritibus Musalmanicis habent fidem mor-tuam et sunt penitus increduli cvangelicis eloquiis.
Ad quartum, dico quod traduxi in linguam Indicam cum caracteribus Persicis Pentateuchum et quatuor evangelia, sed cum nullam perspexerim utilitatem ad religionis provectum, et deessent facultates pro impensis ad M. S. S. multiplicanda (Persicam enim linguam ignoro) unicum M. S. quod per alios feceram dono dedi cuidam amico in Sardana. Ad parvulos tractatus perficiendos non sufficit tempus, quod opus quidem pluries in mentem habui cognoveram enim perutillimum, et ad hue habeo sed tempus non vacat.
7. Morning in Sanscrit grammar, and Hinduwee with pundit. In afternoon translating and writing gospel. In the evening Hebrew.
8. The day I left Cambridge: my thoughts frequently recurred with many tender recollections to that beloved seat of my brethren, and again wandered in spirit amongst the trees on the banks of the Cam. Employments same as yesterday, except that at night the soldiers came, and two hours were passed with them. A new one, a serjeant, came; I was very cold and carnal before they came, and felt constrained to cry to God for e^P against my deadness of spirit, and was somewhat assisted with them. Pundit observed that in, &c. See Memoir, page 253.
9. Had occasion to mourn at the unsanctified spirit I manifested with pundit and moonshee. May God give unto me true repentance, and make me to reflect on the danger and everlasting ruin of which benighted souls are in danger, and not to trifle with them on such awful matters.
10. Was enabled to maintain a better spirit with pundit in our conversation about religion, I found that he thought himself perfectly righteous, and again and again said that he had never committed a sin, in thought, word, or in deed. I told him he was very far from the kingdom of heaven; which he did not like. I received a letter to-day from Padre Angelo, which gave me some uneasiness, lest I had become partaker of their evil deeds, by bidding them God speed; for he desired me to take the mission under my protection. On account of some other petitions, he made free intercession with the English Governor for him; I laid the matter before Colonel W. from whom, as usual, I gained much information. Employments the same in general, Hinduwee and translations, correcting parables, and finished the first volume of the Koran.
11. Employed in writing a sermon and translations, but heavenly things became less familiar to me, &c. See Memoir, p. 256.
12. (Sunday.) At the morning service preached on John i. 29. Found on my return two cadets who came out in the ship with me. In the afternoon at the Hindoostanee service, the number fewer and the attention less. At night four soldiers came, my heart was enlarged, particularly in prayer, but my mind was not serious and spiritual, though full of joy. Heard of the death of Stone, the surgeon of the ship, soon after his arrival at Madras. It occasioned many solemn reflections on what had passed between us. Found occasion to speak to Colonel and Mrs. W. and Major and Mrs. Y. about allowing the Sabbath to the servants. But a miserable creature am I! The Lord have mercy upon me. Outwardly decent, but little going forward within.
13. Four cadets passed the day with me, and I found occasion to call their attention to their future conduct respecting religion. Called on the General, and at my school, and married a serjeant. Usual employments with moonshee and pundit. Prayer at night with Vetch.
14. Labouring under a depressing sense of my pride, lukewarmness, and levity, and prayed that the Lord would grant me deliverance, and make me serious and humble, and was in some degree made to be watchful. Montgomery, another cadet, called. Went on with the usual work: Sanscrit verb; correcting parables; translations. At night in prayer with V. before his going on, I found my heart solemn and happy.
15. Employments as usual. At night dined with a large party at Mrs. H.'s. I came away grieved at not having shewn and felt more displeasure at their vain way of spending time. After a conversation with----, a sense of the cares attending the education of children made me greatly fear marriage. But I would not make it a subject of prayer, in any other way than that the Lord would not change his mercy, as his fickle creature changes, but appoint me one state or other, according as I may most glorify him.
16. I felt miserable at times to-day at the prospect of marriage. The ground of it seemed to be, that I must bid adieu to that sweet freedom from care, with which I am now blessed. Dull and poor as my miserable soul is, and thinking very little about heaven, yet for aught else that is in the world, existence is scarcely worth having. The world seems as empty as vain. Received some papers from Calcutta, and among them a letter to Mr. Brown, from ------, with which I felt much disgusted on account of its pride. Why am I not equally opposed to my own pride? The whole afternoon spent in disputes with moonshee on the old subjects, the divinity of Christ, &c. See Memoir P- 253.
17. Employed in correcting parables, translating and reading Persian with moonshee. In the evening sat with Major and Mrs. Y. Received a letter from Corrie.
Dinapore, April 17th, 1807.
I have just received your letter, and being about to leave this place for Monghyr (to marry a couple) before the usual day of writing, I sit down at once to answer you. I write in such a noise and confusion from incessant interruption, that I scarcely know what I write. The children flock to the schools. There are now hardly fewer than 100. Even the English smile on these attempts, and begin to think for the first time, that it is possible to instruct the natives. They observe that if government knew of my proceedings, they would be disposed to continue me here beyond the regular time. Father Angelo has sent me another letter from Agra, in French, which gives an account of other Christians in different places, and the state in which they are, according to his views; but the Catechism which he was writing out for me was destroyed by some robbers, who broke into his house one night and robbed him of every thing he had. He complains grievously of the same Father Gregory; who, amongst other things, gave a feast and had Mahomedan dancing-girls on Good Friday, and forbids people to eat pork, and docs all he can to ingratiate himself with the Mahomedans. There is reason to suspect this man to be an emissary of France!
18 After finishing the correction of the parables, and writing to Corrie, I left Dinapore to go to Monghyr, to marry a couple, &c. (See Memoir, p. 257.) Mr. G. made me a present of a Hebrew Bible, and promised to begin the Persian translation, as soon as his present work should be finished.
19. (Sunday.) A melancholy Lord's day, &c. See Memoir, p. 257--259.
Patna, April 19th.
MY DEAR SIR,
* * * * No words can describe my pleasure in reading Dr. B's. correspondence. It is indeed most interesting, and I beg you to get the whole of the papers you sent us transcribed for me, and indeed all the letters from the first of May. His return by the way of Mesopotamia and Antioch was exactly the work I carved out for him in my mind, in case he should return at all. * * * * * > * * But you must not let him go without a promise of returning, for there is a great deal of work for him here. The ten tribes can be no where but in the N. W. parts of India, Cabul, Afghanistan, &c., and who so proper to visit them as he? * * * * * * Believe me with great regard,
Ever your's, H. M.
To the Rev. David Brown, Calcutta.
21. Married Lieutenant N. to Miss W. How poor are all the connections of this world. I feel little desire after any thing here, though I have thought on Lydia frequently to-day, with much fond affection.
23. (See Memoir, p. 259.)
27. Arrived in safety at Dinapore, &c. See Memoir, p. 261. I called at my school and found no master, and but a few children, who were at play. Somewhat perplexed to know how I should be able to keep the school in order. In the afternoon went on with Persian, with moonshee, and read Dr. Buchanan's correspondence, with indescribable joy; yet found myself reminded in prayer, that my moderation should be known. Arise! for this is not your rest. Delightful as the description of these Syrian Christians is, the courts of my God above are alone worth panting after. Al night spent some time with Colonel W.
28. My soul, to-day as well as yesterday, experiencing somewhat of that walk in Christ, of which my late meditations have led me to*think. Oh, the divine peace, and tranquillity, of stedfastly striving to keep in the sight of God, and depend on the strength of Christ. Wrote to Mr. Brown and Corrie. Went on with Persian and translations; at night had a very profitable conversation with Major and Mrs. Y. on the corruption of human nature.
Dinapore, April 28, 1807.
I am sorry to find that the accompanying papers arrived the day after I left Dinapore for Monghyr; thus you have been all this while deprived of the pleasure you have so long expected. There is in them much to refresh your spirit, as it has done mine, particularly what is said of-------. After all any thing like a real work on the heart is more reviving than to hear of the most grand plans of spreading the gospel in the world. How much of self and carnality is there apt to be in our speculations on these subjects! Dr. Buchanan's letters describe a scene which makes one need to be reminded of the caution, Arise! for this is not your rest. It will read like a romance in England, and the people of God will be in an extasy. But while so many things are calling us to look abroad into the earth, may the good Spirit of God make all his people mind their own hearts as their primary concern. Seven chaplains are mentioned by Mr. Brown, O that every one of us may be a host! I pray for you all, and for myself, that we may be eminent in holiness. Might we but in some little degree receive from God the zeal, simplicity, and seriousness of the fathers in the faith, it would be a sign that the Lord would no longer delay to work a great work in this land. If I must remain but weak, yet I will bless and glorify God, if you all become eminent. I am particularly drawn forth in prayer to God for you, especially on the Sabbath morning at the appointed hour, that you may be eminently holy--that we may be saved from that levity and conformity to the world, under all which I groan. Of what importance is our walk in reference to our ministry, and particularly among the natives. For myself I never enter into a dispute with them without having reason to reflect that I mar the work for which I contend by the spirit in which I do it. During my absence at Monghyr, moonshee went to a learned native for assistance against an answer 1 had given him to their main argument for the Koran, and he not being able to render it, they mean to have down their leading man from Benares to convince me of the truth of their religion. I wish a spirit of inquiry may be excited, but I lay not much stress upon clear arguments; the work of God is seldom wrought in this way. To preach the gospel, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, is a better way to win souls.
29. The whole morning spent in making calls on all the people. Employed with moonshee as usual. In my walk had much of the divine presence, and felt desirous of being wholly engaged in the most spiritual and difficult duties; only one man came at night, and that was B.; and he was so disgusted at the contempt and opposition of the other soldiers, who by bringing him infidel books, suggesting doubts, and asking questions, had been endeavouring to turn him away, that I felt quite uneasy for him, especially as after reading and prayer with him, he seemed but little restored. Oh the danger of souls in this world! and what can I do for them? Lord, keep him, for thou only art able! Yet I cannot but reflect on myself, for any defect among my people. Oh had I been more spiritual and faithful, there would not have been so much sin amongst them. Called on Colonel W. this evening, and brought anguish on my soul, when I came to reflect on the levity of my conversation.
30. A sense of guilt remaining; dark and dejected in my mind. Usual employments of correcting, and translating, and Persian. Received a letter from dear Corrie, which much refreshed me.
May 2. Many sad proofs of corruption, particularly in a desire of avoiding the difficulties of the ministerial duties; but it pleased God at night to give unto me a more ardent and devoted spirit than I have known for a long time.
3. (Sunday.) Preached on Rom. viii. 7. The carnal mind is enmity. Afterwards breakfasted with the Y--s and felt tenderly concerned at Mrs. Y:'s dejection:--and said all I could to encourage her; she told me that she thought I dwelt too much on the terrible and dark side in my sermons. In the afternoon with the native women; I had but a small number, but there was considerable attention. At the hospital, and in the evening, with the men, as usual. But on the retrospect at night, I had occasion to reflect--How much I do without thinking,--mere opus operatum.
4, Wrote to Corrie; went on with translations, and Persian; finished Forster's Travels. It does not appear how the gospel can be preached in Persia, till a Christian nation conquers the country, which probably will soon be the case; how marvellously is India put into the hands of a Christian nation for a short time;--may we lay a lasting foundation for the gospel in it.
Dinapore, May 4, 1807.
You have received, I hope, my letter, accompanying the two great parcels of Dr. B's correspondence. Your surmise about the apparent necessity of our continuing in this world in order to the diffusion of divine knowledge here has sometimes been mine. It is useful to be reminded of our insignificancy. The Lord is not beholden to us for what we do, but in his good pleasure appoints us to this work, out of numberless other instruments no less worthy, and if we are cut off in the midst of our plans, his great scheme is not in the least degree disordered. I think you need not delay the institution of a school for the Persian character. Our premises will require us to limit the number of schools. I think that instead of having schools in all those places which you can see from your hill you must look at the map. It will not be advisable to appoint any at a greater distance from Chunar than three days, that you may be able to go and return between Sabbath and Sabbath. Superintendance is absolutely necessary. I had a great deal of trouble with the Patna school-master on this account; but have now made an agreement with them all, that if they are out of their places at the appointed hours they shall lose their situations. The promise of a reward to the first boy that shall be able to read, I hope may prove an incentive to the boys and master. At Dinapore, where there are forty-five, two or three who were at school before are able to read: for them I am preparing some MS copies of the sermon on the mount. The unexpected quickness of the boys (for they will all be able to read in two months, the master says) has rather put me out. I intended to keep the parables by me a little to abridge, alter, and elucidate, which are operations they need in no slight degree. I am preparing for the assault of this great Mahomedan Imaun. I have read the Koran and notes twice for this purpose, and even filled whole sheets with objections, remarks, questions, &c. but alas! what little hopes have I of doing him or any of them good in this way. Moonshee is in general mute. My native congregation grows thin. I told them yesterday that I should be glad to see a greater number. On my return from Monghyr, I found poor B., the pious young man, so cast down at the persecution of the other soldiers, who had been bringing him infidel books, and suggesting infidel thoughts, that I felt alarmed for him. But through mercy he is revived. Every blessing attend my dear brother. H. M.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
5. The Ranee of Davodnagur, to whom I had sent a copy of the gospels by pundit, returned her compliments, and desired to know what must be done for obtaining benefit, whether prayer, or a sulam to it! I sent her word, that she must seek divine instruction in secret prayer, and added some other advice. I heard to my surprise, that she means to send one of her men, to request a letter of recommendation for her, to one of our judges, before whom she has a cause pending, in which her dominion is at stake. I felt pity at considering how low a sovereign princess must be fallen, to make such requests. I explained to pundit, that our laws were perfectly distinct from the divine laws, and this was no affair of mine as she seemed to suppose. At night finished a revision of the parables. He who by the foolishness of preaching can save them that believe, may vouchsafe to prosper these to the salvation of some humble souls; but if I were to judge of its success by what the moonshee and pundit understand of the gospel, I should despair. Hiram's people were employed to build the temple.
6. Received from Mr. Brown, the reports of my dear brethren C. and P., and felt somewhat distressed for the latter; in the evening three soldiers came, and were the means of bringing refreshment to my own soul in prayer.
7. Usual employments, except translations which are suspended through moonshee's illness; began Le-land's deistical writers, drawing out some remarks on the Mahometan religion.
8. Passed the morning with pundit, in dictating some of the sermon on the mount, and disputing. I felt myself constrained to charge him with the guilt of conforming to, and teaching such murderous and bloody Shasters, so that he was greatly distressed, for he saw that I was in earnest; he had nothing to reply, but that God was the author of everything evil and good, which he said once before, when I was more than ordinarily serious with him, but by what connexion in his mind, I know not. In the afternoon with moonshee, reading Persian, and conversing largely. B. passed this evening with me, but my conversation was not very spiritual with him. Called on Colonel W. and determined to keep from levity, though, alas, religion is so far from his thoughts, that I can find no way to get him to say anything°about it. What a mercy that in this barren wilderness, I have a fountain of living waters, where I can be always happy. What could I do here without God! 9. The morning passed in preparing for to-morrow. Received a letter from Lieutenant F. and was rejoiced to find him requesting my acquaintance, from religious motives. Afternoon, pundit, Dinapore schoolmaster, and a scribe came to consider about the books to be put into the children's hands. The schoolmaster said that the people were still in such fear, that if a new book were given them immediately, the children would all fly. After some consideration, I thought it best to assent to his proposal of giving them at first one of his books which I had read to me. If this work will do no good, it will do no harm, for it is an old Hinduwee poem, on an Avatar of Krishnu, which I am sure they cannot understand. If I had given them some of the Scriptures at first, and they had taken the alarm, 1 should accuse myself of precipitation. I was surprised to find how much my intentions were misrepresented, and suspected still; the mothers especially are full of fears, lest I should set a mark on some of the best of the children, and send tnem to England. Afterwards moonshee talked to me a great deal on the subject very freely; he said that the ignorance of Hindoos and Mahometans in this country was incredible; that multitudes of Mahometans did not know the name of the prophet, and that many Moollawas knew nothing more than his name, and yet had such ascendancy over the minds of the others, that the laity would not on any account say the Bis-millah for themselves, and if no moollah was at hand, would rather go without any food. He said that I might meet with two or three sensible men, who would think of what I said, and attempt to give an answer, but that the whole bulk, both of Mahometans and Hindoos, would reject it at once from prejudice, and even from principle, holding it to be a sin so much as to hear or read the words of another religion. He said that if I left the name of Jesus at the beginning of any book, the Hindoos would throw it away at once, because it was one of the Mahometan names. He saw no other prospect of the conversion of the Hindoos, but for the company to do as he heard they intended, namely, that whereas they now take eight anas in the rupee, they would take twelve, and then the people, starving, and in despair, would come and offer to do any thing we should command them! All these things dwelt much on my mind, but they were the means of bringing me nearer to my God for instruction and strength; the greater the difficulties in this country, the more shall the strength of his arm be seen.
10. (Sunday.) Preached on the parable of the lost sheep; but little attention, nor was my own spirit affected at all tenderly. In the afternoon with the women, the word seemed to have no power. I greatly fear I am not understood; they certainly seem very little interested, incredibly so; besides these things, some parts of Major and Mrs. Y.'s conduct gave me pain, and induced a fear that they are not yet brought to a sense of their duty; but my mind all day was chiefly occupied with considering, how I should prevent the profanation of the sabbath, as it now exists here. It is a source of perpetual vexation to me, to see all the native workmen at work on the Sunday, as on other days. My schools also were never out of my mind. One consideration checked my disposition to complain of the little effect the word seems to have among the English, which was the shortness of my ministry among them. It will be time enough to wonder, after ten or twenty years unsuccessful ministry. But blessed be the God of grace, I seemed to feel impregnable to every discouragement. It was not that I was indifferent about them, or saw some encouraging circumstances to counterbalance them; for I did not; but I was made to reflect that I am the servant of God in these things, and he will bring his purposes to pass in some way or other; my spirit at times was greatly worked up and exasperated, but the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. A Hessian serjeant came to-night with the other soldiers, so that now, when they are all off duty, the congregation is six,--three Serjeants, two corporals, and a private.
11. Breakfasted at the General's, and called at my school; the rest of the morning passed rather unprofitably with pundit, and moonshee reading a Nagree tract; the other employments of the day were rather desultory; wrote to Mr. Brown and Ward, looking over the fair copy of the Hindoostanee translation of Revelations; wrote some more reasons against Koran.
12. Breakfasted with Major Y. I learnt from him, that on Sunday evening at the General's, he had been bantered on the late change that had taken place in him with regard to religion, and he had been rather hurt at it; his tenderness and humility put me to shame. I felt such love towards him, that I could have laid down my life for him, and hardly knew how to plead earnestly enough to God for him, that he might be preserved to eternal life. Many things still remain wrong, particularly his notions on duelling, and his still conforming to the world in trifling amusements, but his conscience is tender, and I know he acts according to it. It appeared that my conduct and character, as well as Corrie's, were fully discussed at that party, to Corrie's praise, and my censure. The fault was, that I did not visit them; some said that I should only be a stern monitor if I did come amongst them, which others, especially the General, denied; upon the whole it was concluded by the senior part, that it would be highly desirable that I should mix more with the younger men, for their good. Passed the morning with pundit, writing from his mouth some accounts of the customs of the Hindoos, and thus gained a great deal of information and new words. la the afternoon again, desultorily employed, and felt unhappy at reflecting on my idleness, as well as on finding myself disliked by the people. How sweet a relief to look by faith toward the heaven of my God, where there is no resentment, no contempt, nought but firm, uninterrupted friendship and love. I trust that while engaged in my great work, no trifles of this nature will disturb my peace. At night dined at the General's, and observed that the young officers were cold and uncivil.
13. Continued the same work with pundit; in the afternoon read Hindoostanee Grammar, and Persian; received a letter from Mr. Brown, giving an unpleasant account of the missions of Serampore; I was much hurt and grieved, and prayed that the Lord would keep us in the unity of the Spirit, and in the bond of peace. At night, all the men were on guard but one, who came; with him I sung and prayed. Called afterwards on Col. W.
14. The whole morning spent in calls; rest of the day in Hindoostanee Grammar, and Persian, and writing a sermon; the latter with great reluctance, so slow and dull is my heart to spiritual meditation. In the evening, reading and writing Persian.
15. Breakfasted with Major Y., and the conversation was useful; afterwards the whole morning spent with pundit in conversation upon religion, particularly on the evidences of the gospel, some of which he was evidently struck with. I often accused him of not having an upright heart, willing to hear the truth, and asked whether, if he was convinced, he would preach the gospel to the hazard of his life; to which he said, 'that if I preached publicly, I should be hated and despised; but that if he were to do it, the Brahmins would carry him away and murder him.' This I told him he must undoubtedly expect, and we entered into an interesting consideration of the sufferings of the first Christians. He said, among a variety of other things, that if I preached in public, I should be sent out of the country; that the best way would be, to flatter a little the reigning religion, that the people did not like for their children to know God, lest they should renounce the world, become devotees, and live in the woods; that in Dina-pore, or Patna, I should be ridiculed in preaching, but in the country places received well; that if I called on the natives at Patna, I ought to go with a great suwaree; when I asked him, how this would consist with my profession, to follow the humility of Christ? he replied, < You dress not like Christians, but according to the custom of the country, so you should go with a train of attendants, not in show, but in compliance with the customs of the country.' He said that all the Rajahs were well acquainted with my character; that the country would gradually become Christian without doubt; that Museeha was a word they would hate, because it was a Mussulman-sounding word, Crisht was better. In the afternoon still engaged in sermon; read Persian, received a letter from Corrie.
16. The whole morning again with pundit, learning more of Hindoostanee customs, and pressing him on the subject of religion. Afternoon, writing sermon, and reading Persian with moonshee. Moonshee came again, and though so weak, renewed the dispute about the manner of God's residence in Christ. I gave him my answer, by asking how God resided where he does? which he answered by saying, that God was not a thing, nor a body, but only 'jouhur;' the exact meaning of which I have yet to learn; however, he remains in a difficulty about it. In the evening had some discoveries of the slothful state of my heart, making my prayers cold and heartless, and causing my soul to remain unblest with the presence of God. Oh let me not be given up to the stupidity and wickedness of my carnal heart! no way of overcoming it, but by delivering it with all its sin into the hands of Christ.
17. (Sunday.) Service at six o'clock, preached on 2 Cor. v. 20. Congregation small; afterwards breakfasted with the Y.'s, and the conversation right. Yesterday and to-day the words, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," were a rule to me, and my soul benefitted. It is the impurity of my heart that hides the face of my God from me. To-day I have enjoyed more life and freedom in prayer and public duties. In the afternoon, the congregation of women was large, and I felt a tender desire to speak unto them the glad tidings of salvation, but want of language produces such a repetition of the same word, as is very tedious. At the hospital, speaking from Pilgrim's Progress, was also enlarged. Throughout the day, greatly encouraged to hope, especially in private prayer, that the Lord would raise up a godly seed in these parts. Alas! why should he not? but oh may it begin by an extraordinary spirit of grace and supplication in me and his ministers.
18. Much of the morning writing to Corrie; dined at Major Y.'s. The same soldier's woman came to me for baptism; she was very ill, but I positively refused, because I saw no sign of repentance; just the contrary, for she was living in open sin. I endeavoured to explain to her who Christ was, and to lead her to him; but though a sensible woman, she did not seem to obtain the smallest conception of his work. Read and wrote with moonshee; called on Colonel and Mrs. W. at night, and found my heart quite won by their exceeding kindness,--could I but impart some spiritual gift!
May 18, 1807.
I think it will be better for us to write to one another every Monday instead of every other Monday. A fortnight's interval is really too long for me. Long before the day of receiving and writing comes, I am impatient, so it is my intention to write you next Monday. In the ordinary course of things, you will have to wait some months at least before any of the poor men declare themselves for God, I feel anxious for your health at this time, and shall so till the rains. Through great mercy my health and strength are supported as by a daily miracle. But O the heat! By every device of darkness and tatties I cannot keep the thermometer below 92°, and at night in bed, I seem in danger of suffocation. Let me know somewhat more particularly what the heat is, and how you contrive to bear it. The worst bad effect I experience is the utter loss of appetite. I dread the eating time, and when I succeed in swallowing any thing nourishing, I rejoice it is over. You must feel the solitude of your situation very distressing, especially as you have been always accustomed to a domestic life. A long residence in college ^has rather prepared me for it; but what a privilege it is that in this dry and thirsty land, where no water is, we have a fountain of living water opened which is sealed to the world. I am however peculiarly blest here in my society. For the-------s, though they know little, are seeking to know more. They have a great wish for my company and conversation on religion, and read the books I give them; so that I am with them almost every day; yet they fear to break decidedly with the world. Contrary to their maxim, they went to the General's last Sunday evening, where the Major began to propose something for the better improvement of the Sabbath. It was this, I believe, which gave occasion to a general banter upon him for the change that had lately taken place in him. This annoyed him so much that he soon took his departure, but it does not appear to prove a stumbling-block to him. He says that his former conduct was different, because he never had an opportunity of hearing any thing about religion till lately. Still I have many fears for them both. That same night at the General's, our two characters and proceedings were fully discussed, to your praise and my censure. Captain ------, who met with you at Ghazipore, describes you as a cheerful, agreeable man, and yet a decorous clergyman; and he said that he would not for the world have offended you. It was observed, that it would be better if I mixed agreeably in the same way with them, though some remarked that I should only be a stern monitor. Those who knew me (among them the General) denied this with great warmth. So by way of imitating your good example, I took an early occasion of calling on multitudes of others whom I had before neglected. A Lieutenant------has been a little excited to employ himself properly, and comes to me for mathematical instruction He is very clever, and says that he has been of a serious turn from his infancy, but does not shew any good marks of it. Yesterday was in general a happy season to me. In every ministration my heart was enlarged. The Hindostanee congregation was considerable, but I was distressed for want of words, while trying to speak a little on "I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." The unceasing repetition of the same words will I fear prove fatiguing to them. One of the women had been heard in the week before making very light of the service. She said that the Roman Padre used to cross himself and do many other fine things, but all my service was story-telling. This instance of contempt proved somewhat of a trial to me, as I feared they would all forsake me; their numbers and attention yesterday were an answer to my prayers. Difficulties respecting the schools have also been a trial to my spirits. As some boys were ready and no books, I got the Sermon on the Mount altered from Mirza's and written out, upon which the Dinapore schoolmaster said, that if the first book I gave them was a new strange one, the fears of the parents, already much excited, would be confirmed, and every child taken away. So with much reluctance I withdrew my book from them, and let them have their own, which is an account of Krishna's birth, or something like it, which if it do no good can do no harm, for the language of it is so old, that the children cannot understand a word of it. Some orders I had given for schools at other places I was obliged to recal, till these are pretty firmly established. The more Satan tries to baffle us, the more closely may we cleave unto the Lord for wisdom and strength. No opposition from without disconcerts me, for sooner or later the world must yield to the great Messiah. But when my expectations are strong, that even in our life-time we shall see many a Christian church emerging from this darkness, I am damped at not finding that Holy Spirit of grace and supplication poured out on me (one of the supposed instruments) which is the general forerunner of a work of grace. However let us not despair even of this. If the Lord has a work to perform, all the intermediate steps are easy to him. My reading has lately been Persian, Forster's travels over-land to England, and Leland's view of Deistical writers. Writing sermons and learning Sanscrit, my proper employments, I make the heat too often an excuse for neglecting. Moonshee has been some time ill, which has delayed the translation.
To the. Rev. D. Corrie.
Dinapore, May 18, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
Dr. Kerr's account of Nathaniel Sabat, as well as I can remember, is this:--he is a man of good family in Arabia--was till lately employed as an expounder of Mahomedau law at Masulip, I believe, and according to Mr. Falconer the Persian interpreter, well acquainted with the literature of his country; I requested Dr. K. to send him to Calcutta to be examined by you, or the Synod there, and we should then be able to determine where he would be most useful. If-------is for Arabic, &c. Sabat is the man for him. At all events, if no one else would take him, I would receive him into my service with pleasure. ******
The Persian translation has appeared to me of late of incalculable importance. One may safely say, it is of more consequence than any three of the Indian languages, Sanscrit excepted--spoken as it is all the way from hence to Damascus; and as the Missionaries have not particularly directed their studies this way, or are likely to be able to do it with their present engagements, I look to------for great help to the church in this department. The Missionaries will not, I think, be offended at the mention of this. As God has honoured them with the work of translating the Scriptures, I can truly answer for myself and brethren, that we are willing to be their servants in this work and not their rivals, and will do just what part of the work they will assign us.
******* * * Things remain here too much in statu quo. Complaints are made by some that their padre does not mix enough with them,--while others think that the less of my company the better.
I meant to have filled the sheet but the Dawk will be going. Your's ever truly,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
19. Somewhat more strengthened in body to bear the heat, blessed be God! At night even, the thermometer stands at 92. Baptised a child of Captain G.'s, and breakfasted with them. Much of the morning with moonshee, and afternoon too; we went on with the translations and Persian. Wrote to Mr. Brown; B. took tea with me; we met both rather low, but by singing some of the songs of Zion, we were refreshed. Blessed be the Prince of Peace, the source of all our joys! shall not his works of love at last gain the victory in the world. I was astonished that there should be a creature not rilled with love and admiration of him. How soon, my sinful soul, wilt thou forget him again?
20. Morning, an hour in Sanscrit, afterwards translation and Persian. In the evening two of the men came, and we had the usual service. Talked freely, and I trust faithfully to------, on the dissipation into which she is plunging.
21. Sanscrit grammar, Sadi in Persian, and translation as before. B. came at night.
22. Same employments all day; Sanscrit grammar again at night.
23. Ill all day with a headache, and filled with shame and sorrow at the sense of my wickedness. It becomes me to walk in godly sorrow all my days, and I desire no other frame than this, even in peace and joy. I may regard myself in the world, as an Achan in the camp, having done little good, much evil; may I be contented to be the servant of all, especially in a work, in which I can be so serviceable to poor souls, as that of ministering holy things to them. Employed a little in Sanscrit grammar, Persian, and translation.
24. (Sunday.) Preached this morning at six o'clock, on John iii. 3. Breakfasted at Major Y's. As there was another person there, the conversation was not religious, but my heart smote me afterwards, when I remembered my shameful inconsistencies, unfaithfulness, and folly. The Lord open my eyes, to see the danger of souls, and my own danger if I so trifle with them. The morning passed more profitably and comfortably afterwards, in reading and prayer. Went to native congregation with much fear, that I should not be able to say any thing to engage their attention; but the Lord was better to me than my fears, and assisted me to speak very freely and copiously on Matt. x. Found fifty sick at the hospital, who heard the Pilgrim's Progress with great delight. Some men came to-night, but my prayer with them was exceedingly poor and lifeless. Afterwards sat with the Y-------s, and endeavoured to shew Mrs. Y. who seemed cast down with fears for her salvation, the all-sufficiency of Jesus. The discovering by her conversation some of the signs of a true work of grace, endeared her exceedingly to my heart. Since arriving here, I have felt almost for the first time, the anxiety spoken of by the Apostle, "Now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."
25. Engaged in writing to my dear brother at Chunar. Finished the Revelations with moonshee; he and pundit sat with me much of the afternoon. Trifling conversation again with them left a sense of guilt on my soul.
May 25, 1807.
Pursuant to my promise I begin our weekly correspondence; but this last week has been so peculiarly barren of events that I hardly know what to say. My chief employments have been as usual, Sanscrit nouns, Persian, and Hindoo translations. The Revelations are almost finished; so except-------appoint me to some other Epistles, I think of beginning to translate the Pentateuch. I feel the want of this for my female native congregation, and my servants, with whom it would be desirable to begin by reading Genesis; for the Gospel is so exclusively an account of the miracles of Christ, that I find them prejudiced against it. My society of Hindoostanee Beebers (women) still attend very well. I feel quite thankful to them, and the Lord who sends them. If any thing is done, it will be manifestly not to the wisdom of words. In my feeble attempts I remember the words, "Who hath despised the day of small things? "A young Bengalee Sircar is to begin to-day to write out a copy of the service, and the Gospel of St. Matthew for you. They shall be upon two quartos, and room left in the latter for the other Gospels. Mrs.-------is I trust under deeper divine impressions. In her distress you will conceive she is doubly dear to me. But it is her conformity to the world that keeps her in doubt. I have been as faithful as possible, but the fear of singularity is a clogging weight to us all. Your friend Mrs.-------has been the occasion of mischief both to the bodily and spiritual health of Mrs. ------, by instituting routs. The men at the hospital, where the numbers are increasing as the heat advances, are much taken with the Pilgrim's Progress. The poor old General is become a little more serious since the late afflictions in his family, and has promised to read Law's Serious Call, which is now in the hands of his new aide-de-camp, a Roman Catholic. I spoke to-------about converting the large house in your cantonments into a church. Your letter, a part of which I quoted to him, says it might be put into a state of repair at a moderate expence. In this view of the case------seemed to acquiesce in your proposition, and suggested your writing the public letter you proposed. Some months ago, I observed in a conversation with the Governor-General on the disgrace of there being no places of worship at the principal subordinate stations, upon which directions were given to prepare plans of building for that purpose, and estimates of expense attending them. At all events therefore you are likely in time to have a church. I am much gratified at hearing that your school is making a pleasing progress; from such beginnings, though to the eye of reason small, I anticipate a large increase at the latter end. The other day the question was publicly agitated whether the convicts should work on the roads on Sabbath days. I thought they certainly should not, but we determined that they should, lest, should they be excused from labour on Sunday, the natives should suppose we meant to convert them to Christianity. What pity it is that we will not do what is right, and leave consequences to God. The prejudices and jealousies of the natives are truly astonishing, and they require to be treated with consummate wisdom. They attempted to take the city by storm, by battering the walls with ridicule, &c. and they have not found it answer. This is an additional reason for trying the opposite experiment, and seeing what caution will do. But here we must be prepared to encounter the suspicions of our religious friends, who will be continually asking, why are you not testifying in public the Gospel of the grace of God? I trust we shall have grace to keep our eyes fixed on the fiery cloudy pillar. If you see it move when I do not, you will give me the signal, and I will strike my tent and go forward.
26. Began translating from the Hebrew, the first of Genesis, and revising the fair copy of Revelations. Received letters from Mr. Brown and Marshman, which greatly refreshed and delighted me. A Portuguese and a Hindoo woman, to whom he wished to be married, came to persuade me to baptize her, but after a long conversation with him and his friends, I positively refused, till I saw proofs of repentance and faith. Though we perfectly understood one another's language, I could not make them comprehend what further was necessary to be a Christian, than being able to say the Lord's prayer, and salam to Mary. They all went away in great distress, and I felt much for them; but I trust the Lord will not suffer me to listen to my own feelings, so as to profane his holy ordinance.
27. Went on with Genesis; read Persian. At night two of the soldiers came, the rest being on duty. In prayer with them, found much comfort and enlargement.
28. Breakfasted and dined with Major Y. The conversation was very useful; to Mrs.------I spoke all I could wish, on the subject of her joining so much in the dissipation of this place; and was not disposed to think worse of her state from the way in which she spoke on the subject. Employed a great deal about one Hebrew text, to little purpose. Much tried with temptation to vanity, but the Lord giveth me the victory through his mercy from day to day, or else I know not how I should keep out of hell.
29. Chiefly employed in translating Hebrew into Hindoostanee, which takes up much time. In conversation with moonshee and pundit, heard much of the contempt and hatred which attach to Christians here;--as that the Rajah of Nepal had drowned a number of Christians in order to stop its progress; and that the first Christians that should be made, would even in Patna be murdered. In my walk, thought much of the persecutions we shall probably be called to endure, but felt sweetly composed in my dear Lord. For myself I find at present no fear, but that when the trying time comes I shall receive according to my day; and for the church. I glory in the opposition of men to it, for the word of Christ is fulfilled, and he will be glorified in establishing his kingdom in spite of Satan. A gentleman at Bankipore, who had sent me a native Christian, informed me that he had picked him up at a ghaut from which the people were driving him, for defiling, by his presence, the sacred waters of the Ganges, calling him Hucal Alior. The poor lad was making his way to Lucknow, but no boat would take him; I supplied him with enough to bring him to Chunar, with directions to Corrie to help him onward.
30. Translating from Hebrew to Hindoostanee. Afternoon and evening preparing for the morrow, and reading the scriptures, and thus my spirit became more affected with divine things, and serious, than it has been. May I be taught to remember that all other studies are merely subservient to the great work of ministering holy things to immortal souls. May the most holy works of the ministry, and those which require the most de-votedness of soul, be the most dear to my heart.
31. (Sunday.) Preached with some comfort to myself on Matt. xi. 28. "Come unto me," &c. In the afternoon with the women, felt barren and cramped in my speech, to a degree that rather disquieted me. Some natives came to listen, till they heard the word pyghumbur, when they walked away. At the hospital and with the men at night as usual. Breakfasted and dined with the Y's. Mrs. Y. said a good deal to encourage me.
June 1-4. Same employments every day with little variation. Translating from the Hebrew into Hindoostanee, and reading Persian. Wednesday night the soldiers came; I felt enlarged in prayer for their conversion, of which I have no reason to hope well; heat very great, but the Lord's word especially supports" my strength; may it all be given to his blessed service, and my soul become more active and vigorous in its secret walk with God; I am generally so taken up with these studies, that the mind wanders away from God, and I come like a stranger into his presence. The whole of the fourth morning spent in conversation, and reading the scriptures, with the same Hindoo woman, she seemed quick in apprehension, but her heart unfeeling.
June 1, 1807.
'I shall send you some account shortly of a British Propaganda for uniting all the talents and industry in India,' says D. Brown in a letter I received from him since my last to you. The Hindoo translation will, I fear, be very long a source of perplexity to us. When I asked my pundit what dialect of the Hindawee would be most generally understood, he replied that in which Toolseedas' Translation of the Ramayuna is made; not one line of which can I understand. The dialect of Benares, in which the missionaries wish it to he done, will not I suppose be understood here, and one would augur that the book of the parables will not be understood there. But however you will be happy in having the word of God itself. Your schools flourish, I see, blessed be God! more than mine, I think. Without any ostensible cause, the Patna school keeps very low, not above fifteen or twenty. The Dinapore one is resorted to from all quarters. Let us remember Mr. Newton's story of the gardener and the oaks. We are sowing acorns. I trust our motto shall still be, constant though cautious. As we are military chaplains I use military allusions, and say the breach will by and by be declared practicable, and then we may enter sword in hand. You do right in being on your guard against the D------H------, though he is probably in earnest. By conversation and disputes, whether his own heart be right or no, he may do a great deal of good. How are your communications carried on with him? You must have attained great proficiency in Hindoostanee. His forms of prayer I should much like to see. Last Friday I sent a native Christian with money to carry him to Chunar, and a note to you to forward him the remainder of his way to Lucknow. No Hindoo would take him into his boat here, and Mr.------, a civil servant of Bankipore, saw him driven from the Ghaut lest he should defile the sacred Ganges by his presence. Three or four natives came to my Hindoostanee service and listened some time, but on hearing the word pyghumbur they walked away. It is a sin for them so much as to hear this word; and I confess that my disgust is little less than theirs, at a name applied to a filthy debauchee by the most wicked race of mortals under heaven. I shall be careful for the future never to use it, though before this probably those three Hindoos have gone and spread an evil report of the blasphemy that is to be heard in my church. The Lord help us all, blind and ignorant as we are! The veil that is spread over all nations shall at last be taken away. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
5,6. No variations in employment.
7. (Sunday.) Preached on John xvi. 8. In the afternoon with the natives; had great liberty in speaking from Matt, xii; and so at the hospital; and with the soldiers at night, felt my heart expanding with delight. With Mrs.------in the evening, conversed on the subject of her doubts and fears.
8, 9. Translating, reading, and Persian, and examining Persian translation of the scriptures. Finished the manuscript copy of Matthew for the women; sent to Monca, and gave orders for building a school; a schoolmaster of Dinapore who had lost all his scholars by my free-school, came to me for redress. I promised him master's pay, till I could find employment for him. Had much conversation on religion with the Y's.
June 8, 1807.
I return the inclosed with my thanks; it shows a Christian simplicity, and must have been very reviving to your spirit. How are we made to share the Apostle's feelings about the state of his people! "Now we live if ye stand fast in the Lord." As the whole morning is almost gone in writing to Mr. Brown, I have scarcely time to send you any thing, but know the translations are arrived, and the Hindoo is such as will be perfectly understood at Chunar, and all the lands between Agra and Moorshedabad, so we need not have a particle of care left on this head, blessed be our God! My Hindoostanee congregation is small, generally about fifty. Yesterday I found more liberty of speech than hitherto with them. The young Brahmin who was engaged to write out the things for you has absconded, so the work remains untouched. Pundit having taken the Sanscrit translation, went and gathered about him eleven other Brahmins, and began to expound. A Mollah passing by and understanding it was the Gospel; shut his ears and went away. My employment all day, Hebrew, Persian, and translations in Hindoo; and, how swift the weeks fly away! May the most spiritual parts of our ministry be equally delightful to us. God bless you, brother! To the Rev. D. Corrie.
Dinapore, June S, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
T. writes as usual, out of breath from emotion. A conversation on justification by faith at a large dinnerparty with a lady suggests to me the idea of zeal without knowledge, but I judge my brother uncharitably. Lord Wm's. opinion of Mr. Martyn seems to have undergone a complete revolution. How short-lived are the smiles of the great! I sent the passage in your letter about the Persian translation to Mr. G., but have received no answer. It does not appear to me that he would be at any great loss, considering his time of life, want of Greek, and want of taste; for his translation of Sadi does, I think, betray the latter defect. Since your first letter, commanding me to change my studies, the dust has been collecting on Mr. Carey's great grammar, and the time formerly devoted to Sanscrit is given to Persian and Hebrew. I am too shallow in both of these to touch the Arabic yet. In Hindoostanee translations, I begin to feel my ground, and can go on much faster than one moonshee can follow. I have some thoughts of engaging another. * * * * * In the mean time we are going on with the translation of Genesis. For this work I want the first volume of Poole, and the Arabic, and Persian versions. You have left me still in the dark respecting the new Propaganda, hut I see enough to rejoice in the zeal that animates you all; and in time I hope to catch the flame, and with you to become a living sacrifice. I should have mentioned before, that the translations have arrived from Serampore. The Hindoostanee I like very much--the Persian not so well. * * * The Sanscrit translation I consigned for a time to my pundit, who went away and collected eleven Brahmins, and began to expound. The measures you recommend for introducing proper books into the schools will not, I think be necessary. The present delay is merely occasioned by the time necessary for making copies of the sermon on the Mount. The masters admire it much, and call it 'gyan ba bat,'--words of wisdom.
My cry to you still is for books. I wish to consult you and Dr. B. on some point of Hebrew philology, but I have no room here. From what version is Sabat to translate? What accounts have you of the massacre of Mangalore? The blessing of God be with you and the family.
Ever affectionately your's,
To the Rev. D. Brown.
10-12. So constantly engaged with outward works of translation and languages, that I fear my inward man has declined in spirituality. Oh may my soul, &c. See Memoir, p. 264. B. walked, and spent an evening with me, his spirituality and holy joy quite refreshed me. Received a letter from Mr. B. requesting me to engage more directly in the work of the Hindoostanee scriptures.
13. Translating and reading all day; breakfasted with the Y------s and felt very solemn in spirit, but my heart is cold for want of more fellowship with God.
Dinapore, June 13, 1807
MY DEAR SIR,
I write in reply to your letter of the 4th inst., containing a proposal for my being more directly concerned in the Hindoostanee translations. I have to say, first, that you can command me in any service which you can prove to be most favourable to the interests of Zion;--and secondly, that a Hindoostanee translation of one kind, is, I believe, within the reach of my powers--but there must be two. One which may be called Hinduwee, and depending on the Sanscrit for the supply of difficult words. The other, Hindoostanee, depending on the Persian and Arabic. For the former I am not qualified. * * * The other Hindoostanee,
though not near so important in my opinion as the Hinduwee, must nevertheless be executed,--and if you wish me to go on twice as fast in it, be so good as to send me a good moonshee from Calcutta, and it shall be done. Two moonshees are as much as I can employ. When Hebrew becomes a little more familiar, I may be able to keep three at work.
It is indeed, a lamentable and vexatious circumstance, as you observe, that the Hebrew and Persian attempts have so failed--and yet Mirza's Hebrew version of the Gospels, and Colebrooke's Persian, might be very speedily prepared by such a man as Sabat for the press. What is chiefly defective in them is the arrangement of the words--the words themselves are in general well chosen--Mirza's words indeed are rather too high. If you have no better plan, I should recommend that Sabat write out Mirza's version, properly arranged in the Persian character, and send the copy to me. I should be able to reduce it to a conformity with the Greek, and also substitute simpler words by the help of my present moonshee, who being a Bengalee is excellently qualified for that part of the work. By the time this is done I think I could get the rest of the New Testament finished, which might then be corrected by him, checked by the missionaries with their Greek Testament. About the Old Testament I can suggest nothing yet till I know more of your plans, or how Sabat is to make his translations; only it would be expedient that he should make a Persian translation of one book while I am about the Hindoostanee of another: so his performance will be a great help to me. Have you no thoughts of employing Mirza? With a person by his side to explain to him the force of the original, I think the best possible translations might be made, for his versions are very spirited and highly idiomatical.
Before undertaking the Arabic version you will, I suppose, first learn the state of the present version, and the opinions of the learned. Our Arabic Professor Palmer, as I told you, was at Damascus, solely for the purpose of ascertaining how far the Arabic Scriptures are intelligible.
In my last I begged for an Arabic copy of the Pentateuch from you. Since that, Mr. G. has sent me one made by some Jews in Arabia, who, scrupulously adhering to the order of the Hebrew have merely written the Arabic word for the Hebrew. My moonshee declares it is barbarous; however, it is of use in supplying proper words.
Marshman sent me, you know, some translations. The general style of the Hinduwee is just adapted to the most general use--it will be understood by millions; but it ought to be done with more care. Many important sentences are wholly lost, from faults in the order or other small mistakes. The errors of the press are also very considerable. Remind them, though not from me, that 'the more haste the worse speed.' Their Persian I have also read and compared with Colebrooke's. They have altered his order for the better and his words for the worse. So that upon the whole my moonshee prefers Colebrooke's. I hope they will not go on with it. What a gratification would it be to me to lean my head across your long table, to hear what you and your colleague are planning. But I hope you will send me constantly intelligence. Your wish to hear from me can never equal my desire of receiving your letters. The Lord love you and yours. How soon shall our separations he no more necessary!
Believe me ever, most affectionately, your's,
H. M. To the Rev. D. Brown.
14. (Sunday.) Preached on John iii. 14, 15. The men very attentive; from indisposition or fatigue, was obliged to spend much of the morning in sleep; with the Hindoo congregation was remarkably straitened; at the hospital, staid to speak with twro of the men, one of whom gave signs of grace. Two men came at night, and my soul was more full of love in prayer with them, than I have experienced for a long time.
15. Usual employments; dined at Major Y------s and had a great deal of conversation with them, about conformity with the world.
June 15, 1807.
I begin my weekly labours with the very agreeable one of a little communion with you. For whom do you intend the history of Joseph? The circumstance of the story's being among the Mussulmans will rather be an obstacle to its admission among the Hindoos. However, if you can succeed in getting it read among the Hindoo boys it will be a great point gained. No part of the Scripture history is so calculated to excite an interest. Respecting the execution of your translation, I have to observe that it is very plain. Mr. Brown has sent proposals to me to go on with the Hindoostanee Scriptures as a translator in their service, to which I very conditionally assent, if they choose to consider me qualified. What their plans are I know not; only as they offer me any assistance I want, it is to be supposed there is some institution. Now I rejoice in the zeal that animates Mr. B. and Dr. B. O, may we all, in our respective places, with one heart and one mind strive together for the faith of the Gospel. I have been reading the missionary's translations, and have been rather disappointed in the Hindoostanee, from its being done with carelessness. There are so many important errors both in the language and printing that I should think it useless to be put into the children's hands. The Persian is also bad; they have altered Colebrooke's translation in most places for the worse. I trust they may be induced to lay this last aside and leave it to Dr. B.
I am going on with Genesis in translation. This with my other studies makes the weeks fly like days; but I fear I make these things, which are professional for the Lord, an excuse for a carnal spirit. May I be taught to sit loose to every species of this world's work, and be glad at a moment's warning to lay it aside and pass into eternity. I have heard nothing about my schools lately.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
16. Chiefly employed in making remarks on the Hindostanee translation, to send to Marshman; dined at the General's.
17. Wrote to Marshman; began a letter to dear Emma, though with a slow heart. England seems to have vanished. Translated from Genesis and Romans; at night four men came, and we had a happy season. Bless the Lord, O my soul, for this rising church! Oh if I may but see some poor native brethren! in hopes of this, the epistle appears doubly delightful to me.
18-23. The time has passed imperceptibly, so delightfully engaged in the translation, that the days seem to have passed like a moment. Blessed be God for some improvement in the languages; may every thing be for edification in the church. On the Sunday, 21st. preached on John iii. 16. and in the afternoon with the Hindoos had some enlargement; at night six soldiers came, one new one, a foreigner; occasional visits and profitable conversation with Mrs. Y.: my chief trials have been in general from evil thoughts, but when most severely tried, I have been kept most visibly from falling, by divine restoration; but what a sink of sin is this heart! what incessant and continually recurring iniquity! Mourn, my soul, over these things, they hide the face of God from thee; oh let me be pure in heart.
The copies of the Sermon on the Mount which have been given to the schools have been received without hesitation. I hear they are reading them at the Dina-pore school. The greatest difficulty will be about the printed books, because the lazy gooroos do not like the trouble of learning the Nagree; and besides the Brahmins will take care to say that it is a sin for the Sooders to read in that character. I shall be curious to hear more about that poor shopkeeper. What has Christianity got to contend with in this land! With the superstition and wickedness of some of its professors, and the folly and frenzy of others, what can make it triumph but divine interference? My pundit has been gone some time to his native place, and so I have not had any intelligence about his Hindoo friends, who talk with him about the Gospel. A wayfaring man brought intelligence into these parts concerning the number of your schools, but observed to your discredit that you had no pundit in your service. I did my best to palliate this criminal defect, by observing that you probably thought yourself hardly ripe enough to profit by the assistance of such profound doctors. I went yesterday to the native congregation, with sorrowful conviction that I was utterly unable to say anything of use unless it would please God to put it into my mouth, and prayed for a tender concern for their souls, as more desirable than the gift of speech without it, and accordingly I was helped from above, and came away refreshed in my spirit. Six soldiers came last night. To escape as much as possible the taunts of their wicked companions, they go out of their barracks in opposite directions to come to me. To encounter such scoffs spontaneously gives one a hope of their sincerity. I go on briskly with Genesis and Romans. It is delightful to see the precious truths in the latter in their Hindoostanee dress.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
24. Closely engaged in translating some of the most difficult parts in Romans; at night four men came, and we enjoyed some sweetness of spirit.
25. Two men came over in the morning, and another in the evening; one a Prussian, refusing to attend my society; and the other as I afterwards heard, coming to try me with hard questions, but this course failed him when he came; he promised to attend the society; the Prussian came with the Hessian, and both spoke as under serious impressions. Closely engaged in translating, dined with the Y--s; spent more time than usual in the evening at prayer, and had awful convictions of the general deadness of my heart in divine things; may the Lord in mercy to my soul, save me from setting up an idol of any sort in his room, as I do, by preferring a work professedly for him to communion with him. How obstinate the reluctance of the natural heart to God. But O my soul, be not deceived, the chief work on earth is to obtain sanctification, and to walk with God.
26. "As a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed, but thou art the same." Jesus ever the same, when nature lies in ruins, and every creature is gone; oh, let him be my portion! All time employed in translating; dined with the Y--'s. "Hide not thy face from me, lest I be like those that go down to the pit," "there is a fountain opened for sin and unclean-ness," and into that I plunge. Oh, may I receive the spirit of God, "that if I live in the Spirit, I may also walk in the Spirit." B. came at night, and gave such evident signs of grace and activity in duty, that my sinful soul was much revived. He seems endued with singular wisdom to win others, and is constantly engaged in its proceedings, as he says upon the principle of these words, "he that gathereth not with me, scat-tereth." I was concerned to hear that many stayed away, on account of one of the men heing a person of had character; as my society is still of a public nature, I cannot exclude him, though I sometimes wish him to stay away.
27. "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." Let me learn from this, that to follow the direct injunctions of God about my own soul, is more my duty, than to be engaged in other works, under pretence of doing him service. At night B. came, full of joy, to say that God had heard my prayer for him last night, for he had been much blessed with the presence of God all day, and had prevailed on two others to join us. In prayer at night, felt constrained to cry in earnestness against my levity, self-complacency, and want of impression concerning the importance of the ministry.
28. (Sunday.) Preached on Isaiah lxiv. 7; but few women in the afternoon; services at hospital, and in the evening with the men; sorely tried with the struggles of the law of sin in my members, but I was enabled to flee from them as often as evil thoughts arose. Had a long and useful conversation with the Y--s at night.
29. 30. Little variation.
Those sequestered vallies seen from Chunar present an inviting field for missionary labours, only that sin and prejudice have found their way into every corner of the earth; still however as the people are probably poor, and therefore not pestered with hungry Brahmins, fewer obstacles would occur there than among others. But I do not see how, with our inability to remain among them, any thing can be effectually done without having some of the word of God among them.
B------exerts himself indefatigably in bringing soldiers to our society. Three more have been to request to join us. Few women came yesterday; but as they are always the same set, it is to be hoped they desire benefit. They have observed that there was far greater difference between their (i. e. Portuguese) religion and ours than they imagined, particularly on the subject of images. A native acquainted with the Padres at Bettie promises to come and make salam to night. Pundit just returned from Davodnagur on the Soane, reports that there is a great desire in the people there to have a school, but those of Morea at the junction of the Soane and Ganges are suspicious. No particular plan is fixed between us about the translations. T have suggested one to Mr. B., but have not heard the answer. I hope and trust the work will neither be so long nor so engaging as to take me away from the desire of itinerating. Preaching the Gospel of Christ is after all our most honourable and delightful work; and yet it cannot be denied, that seemingly the word of God must first be translated to produce any lasting benefit. I am arrived as far as 18th Genesis with moonshee. The Epistle to the Romans I am doing alone first, that I may consider it at my leisure. The paucity of Hindoostanee prepositions renders a faithful translation of this book exceedingly difficult. There is not likely to be a recess from church now or in succeeding seasons, so I shall be at a loss to know how to itinerate. But the Lord will open a way in due time.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
July 1. Breakfasted at the General's and went to Bankipore and Patna, calling on Mr. W. and visiting the schools. With Mr. G. at Patna, conversed chiefly about proper words for the Romans. In my way back, had very affecting meditations on the vanity and unsat-isfactoriness of the world, and found my soul encouraged to intercede for the poor heathen. The more men speak of the impossibility of converting a native, the more will God's power be displayed in bringing it to pass.
2. Felt very much grieved all day, at the account I had heard of the separation of Mr. G. and his wife; though twenty years have elapsed, it was her picture which I had gazed at with pleasure at Mr. G.'s, and which gave me the highest idea of innocence and purity, and when after this I heard of her wickedness, I felt shocked beyond what I can describe. What creature so promising in appearance, does not prove delusive. I grow weary of a world full of lies.
3. Received two Europe letters, one from Lydia, and the other from Colonel Sandys. The tender emotions of love, and gratitude, and veneration for her, were again powerfully awakened in my mind, so that I could with difficulty think of any thing else, yet I found myself drawn nearer to God, by the pious remarks of her letter. Nature would have desired more testimonies of her love to me, but grace approved her ardent love to her Lord.
4. Chiefly engaged in translating the Epistles.
5. (Sunday.) Preached on Matt. vii. "Enter ye in at the strait gate." In the afternoon few women, but in some there seemed an awful impression. Services at hospital, and soldiers at night as usual. My own soul somewhat strengthened in serious views and sense of the tremendous importance of my work.
6. Obliged to take refuge in Major Y.'s house during the day, the heat was so great in my quarters, the thermometer 97° or 98°. Wrote out my report twice fair, and sent them to Corrie and Parsons. In the afternoon translating the Epistles. At night, B. sat with me.
I consider commanding officers as in no wise qualified to baptize; it is peculiarly a minister's office; but all the Roman Catholic priests are lawful ministers according to the word of God. Therefore I rebaptize such children as you mention, and would not bury them without a second baptism; I bury all persons who have been baptized by a Roman Catholic Padre. The rain which began here late has again stopped after a few showers, so that the heat is alarmingly great. My quarters are like a furnace. But the greatest danger is from the rice being all lost. What judgments do we not deserve from God for our crimes. Last night after the fatigues of the day I hoped to have recruited my strength, but the heat prevented my sleeping, so that as I said at first, I am almost spent.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
7. Heat still so great, as to oblige me to abandon my quarters. Employed at Major Y.'s, in correcting the fair copies of the chapters of Genesis, and translating. Conversation with them sometimes useful. B. walked with me at night, but somewhat pained me by want of due seriousness in his spirit. Yet, alas! I thought, where does the blame lie, but on me? O God, save me from the bad spirit I manifest, and make me to seek thy face more, and walk more in thy fear. Lord, save me from my own sins, let me not have a name to live while dead, but rouse my sleeping soul, that I may save myself, and them that hear me.
8. Went to Bankipore to baptize a child of ------'s. One of the ladies played some hymn-tunes on my account. If I were provided with proper books, much good might be done by these visits, for I meet with general acceptance and deference. In the evening buried a man who had died in the hospital after a short illness. My conscience felt again a conviction of guilt, at considering how many precious hours I waste on trifles, and how cold and lukewarm my spirit is when addressing souls; and now another is gone in his sins,--gone to bear testimony perhaps against the unfaithfulness of his minister. My soul remained through the evening in a state of awful seriousness; and at night with the soldiers in prayer, I found a sweet and solemn pleasure in dwelling upon our mortality. Wishing to have some conversation with the Y--s, I went there; but finding Major C. there, and the conversation trifling, I retired immediately; to speak or hear anything about this world's affairs appeared exceedingly painful.
9. Enjoyed at night a sweet serenity and seriousness. At the Y--s, felt somewhat discouraged at the appearance of things in Mr. Y. With men, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Endeavoured to write a sermon, and read Persian, but the heat almost incapacitated me for anything, being at blood-heat in my veranda.
10, 11. Employed in the languages, and writing a sermon, which I finished; the same temptations to sin; but mercifully upheld.
12. (Sunday.) Preached on Psalm xc. 2. In the afternoon had nearly one hundred of the women, and found great liberty of speech; thus God again answered prayer. At the hospital, talked a great deal with a young man who had been brought up among the Methodists. Borrowed a Bible from Mrs. Y--to send him; at night all the men were engaged, and so I continued with the Y--s conversing, and generally on religious subjects.
13, 14. Began Erpenius's Arabic Grammar, and continued chiefly employed in it these two days, occasionally reading Persian, and going on in Hindoostanee translation. Still sorely tried by temptations, which often hide the face of God from my soul.
I have received your two letters and the report, and hope to be able to dispatch it to-morrow to Berhampore. Another copy of it shall be made out for you. It was only a change of scene and air that you required, and!_ bless God that the change has had the desired effect. If Mirza had been at Benares, he would certainly have made himself known to the English; yet it will be worth your while to make your moonshee write to the Mufti, or Cutwal; they will say where he is to be found. In a letter from our beloved Hierarch is the following, 'Sabat is applying to Syriac, and two months will be sufficient for him to attain Hebrew. These are the originals from which he will make his translations. He will delight your heart, for he is a gentleman, a scholar, and a Christian. I have made a private communication to him of our intention of placing him in your hands, which is what he desires above all things.' In a note of Dr. B's to Mr. Brown, which he sent me, is this; 'We shall give to Martyn, Mirza and Sabat, and announce to the world three versions of the Scriptures in Arabic, Persian, and Hindoostanee, and a threefold cord is not easily broken.' This plan of placing the two with me I accord with, as it seems to be the will of God; but annunciations I abhor, except the annunciation of Christ to the Gentiles. To announce Arabic and Persian translations to the world by men under my direction, who am beginning the grammar of one and have yet to open the grammar of the other language, seems to be plainly contradictory to good sense; and what end does it answer? It will tend to bring upon us the contempt of those, at least in India, who know the difficulty of acquiring those languages, and can count the number of months I have been here. These are the present thoughts of my mind which I open to you; perhaps farther information from Calcutta will sweeten some of my sour imaginations. Mr. W------has also sent me a long and learned letter. He is going to print the parables without delay for me, and the modern Hindoostanee version of them for themselves. He says, 'the enmity of the natives to the Gospel is indeed very great, but on this point the lower orders are angels compared with the moonshees and pundits. I believe the man you took from Seramporc has his heart as full of this poison as most. The fear of loss of caste among the poor is a greater obstacle than their enmity. Our strait waistcoat makes our arms ache. P. S. My best regards to Mr. Corrie when you write.' Yesterday I had nearly a hundred women again, and found my mouth open and my heart enlarged. Thus the Lord graciously answers prayer. The good news of the Gospel seem to have no effect upon them, but the fear of God's judgment upon sin certainly has. Fear and hope take their turn in my mind respecting the------. The Major was telling me yesterday, almost with tears, of the sneers he met with from nearly all for his religion. I trust that something stronger than human wisdom upholds his soul. He longs to be in England to follow religion unmolested. Mrs.------exhibits more of Christian simplicity, meekness, and good temper every day. One would hope from your accounts of the poor ser-jeant that he has been accepted of God. Grace be with you.
15-18. Employments, Erpenius' grammar; Persian and translating; received letters from Mr. Brown and Corrie; the same trials with little intermission; but through the grace of God finally victorious and enjoying much composure at the close of every day; particularly on the last night, (Saturday), I felt a weanedness from the world and nearness to God, and a spirit of intercession for dear friends.
19. (Sunday.) Preached on the parable of the Prodigal Son with little comfort to my own soul. A lieutenant staying with me to-day, on his way up the country, I read some of the Scriptures and a sermon from the American preacher. At the afternoon church one of the women, who is usually deeply attentive, shed tears on hearing that God writes down in a book all the evil acts and thoughts and words of men. The congregation small, but I was assisted much with them; the young man at the hospital and another there, of whom I had hopes, shewed their hearts untouched, and seemed even quite contemptuous. Among the soldiers at night there was a new one lately come from Cuttack; I felt very solemn in prayer, and deliberate. At night with Mr. Y. my conversation, I fear, was more than they could bear. I told--that she would never enjoy peace of mind till she let the world go; and spoke in full about plays, cards, balls, &c. She observed that religious people made religion terrible by debarring persons from amusements, and sometime after retired in tears. Alas! how hard is it for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven! And how cruel a disappointment to my hopes! What a cutting off of right-hands and plucking out of right-eyes is true religion, notwithstanding that people in these days must have the bitter draught made more palatable, but the true gospel is still the same. Oh that God would send into her heart a right sense of her lost estate! she would then see it to be a very small sacrifice to part with a few paltry amusements.
20. Chiefly engaged in writing to Corrie; dined at Major Y--s. with M. and the brigade-major, who disputed with me above an hour after dinner. It was an occasion given me, I think by God, for setting before them all, in a variety of particulars, their duty and their danger. Felt my soul much affected the remainder of the day with the awful state of the world and a sense of the importance of eternity.
July 20, 1807.
Milner, your letter, note, and appendix have arrived safe. The latter is certainly too interesting not to be forwarded. I detain it awhile to read to the------and B. or rather to my society. May the solemn account of this poor man's departure make us all think what manner of persons we ought to be in all holy conversation and godliness. I groan within myself at witnessing the want of spiritual power upon the hearts even of those who do know something of the power of the world to come. Alas! I fear we are all of us, minister and people but half awakened. The native of Bettea is likely to be useful. I would give much to hear one or two of his Lectures, that I might know how to address my Portuguese congregation. Employed as he is, you are certainly right in maintaining him, whether his heart is upright or no, provided his life is not a scandal to the Gospel. A word for church I have not yet found, as moonshee knows no word in Arabic or Persian to express it; but no doubt there is some word in one of the oriental versions, which I shall find out before any thing is printed. I have written, the company of the chosen, which comes most near to the (KK\y<rta. If the single word which may occur should not readily express this idea, I would rather use a phrase explanatory as above, than leave such a word, as church is in English, to which very few English affix the right idea.
21. Writing to Mr. and Mrs. Brown; received a letter from Mr. Brown by Parsons. Much oppressed with the danger of Mrs. Y. and the rest of my people. Oh, let the Lord give me grace to preach in an awakening manner to them. I feel stirred in spirit to do all I can to rouse them.
Dinapore, July 21, 1807.
MY DEAR MRS. BROWN,
That part of Mr. Brown's report which relates to yourself is so wonderful, that I cannot forbear taking-notice of it by answering your kind letter immediately, instead of deferring it to another day as I at first intended. What a scene of terror for a mother to witness! and the dear little infants too, unconscious of their danger. How was our God nigh them to cover them! I join with you in adoring his mercy, his distinguished mercy to you and your's. "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder, the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." The whole of Psalm xci. you read as if written for you. Let us indulge the hope that the Lord has interposed for the deliverance of these dear little ones, because he has set his love upon them. Perhaps gratitude on being reminded of this event in after days will be the band of love by which he will keep them for himself. So you intend the new little one for me; I accept the boon with pleasure. * * * * * * It appears that the letter by the overland dispatch did not reach Lydia. Again, the Sarah Christiana packet which carried the duplicate, ought to have arrived long before the sailing of these last ships from England, but I see no account of her. It is probable therefore that I shall have to wait a considerable time longer in uncertainty; all which is good, because so hath the Lord appointed it.
It is a delightful sign when we love our Christian friends for their Christian virtues, as I see you do Mrs. J. It shews us ripening for the society of an innumerable company of angels, and the general assembly of the first-born. There may we meet, and may your children after you, walking in your steps, follow us to glory. Tell James and Charles that I expect to find them great scholars when I next see them, and shall examine them strictly. My prayers and praises for you all continue.
Believe me to be yours affectionately,
July 21, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
Yours of the 29th June and of the 11th July have come to hand. From the former I had been led to expect that the promised papers would speedily succeed it, but the second has removed my hopes to a still greater distance. Till the prospectus of the institution arrives, or some further developement of your plans, I forbear saying all that is in my mind, for fear of saying what had better be left unsaid. Your declared intention of placing Sabat and Mirza with me has produced a variety of new sensations in me and my moonshee. It has made him more humble and diligent. For myself I hardly know in what light to consider it. You have carved out many years work for me, which it must be owned would be well spent if we were sure of producing some good translations. Yet mind, I never give up the idea of being an itinerant, and when I feel myself qualified and the time come, I shall neglect the translation without scruple. The hint you give in your second letter about my coming to Calcutta vexed me for three days, and as usual has made me ill. So you must be careful how you mention such disagreeable subjects any more. If ever I am fixed at Calcutta I have done with the natives; for notwithstanding previous determinations, the churches and people at Calcutta are enough to employ two or twenty ministers. This is one reason for my apparently unconquerable aversion to being fixed there. The happiness of being near and with you, would not be a compensation for the disappointment I should feel, and having said this, I know no stronger method of expressing my dislike to the measure. If God commands it, I trust I shall receive grace to obey, but let me beseech you all to take no steps towards it, for
I shall resist as long as I can with a safe conscience. * * * * * * I was rather disappointed in not finding further mention of Sabat in your last. When may I expect him? Corrie has inquired in vain for Mirza at Benares, from which I conjecture that he is rioting at Lucknow, a place congenial to his propensities. * * *
Ever affectionately yours,
22. Reading Arabic grammar, Persian, and translating Peter. Some men came at night and I felt myself earnest and serious with them.
23. Reading Arabic grammar, and translating Peter and writing sermon.
24. Arabic grammar, sermon, and translation; still in continued sorrow for the Y--s, and the rest of the people. B. passed the evening with me; in prayer with him, I found a very solemn and sweet season. God was near as a refuge, and suffered me to come nigh unto him to pour out my complaints before him, and to intercede for the poor young man with me and the rest. My thoughts were much raised above the world afterwards, and I could almost have rejoiced if the hour of my departure from it had arrived.
25. Hard at Arabic grammar all day, after finishing sermon. Sat in the evening a long time at my door after the great fatigue of the day to let my mind relax itself, and found a melancholy pleasure in looking back upon the time spent at St. Hilary and Marazion. How the days and years are gone by, as a tale that is told!
26. Preached on John xvii--" They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." With the Y--s. at breakfast, I opened my heart very freely on the subject of conformity to the world, and was much relieved by their speaking too; they seemed resolved to make some change in their system; but I could not perceive anxiety to please God, though the contempt of the world should be the consequence. In the afternoon had eighty-three women; at night four Serjeants came, the rest being on duty. I felt greatly relieved this evening at the spirit my dear friends the Y--s, manifested. They shewed that no small impression had been made on them by what I had said. Mrs. Y. said, that one of the ladies had called on her, and to her she had said, that she was tired and dissatisfied with so much visiting.
27. Morning taken up with people calling; to a young civilian of Bankipore I spoke with plainness, and not without making impression, on the unlawful way in which he was living. Went at night to Col. W's. without the hope of being able to say anything, but unexpectedly the conversation rested for a while on religion, and I told them of the danger of living after the flesh, and much else on their duty and danger. Dined at the Y--s. but did not seek conversation on the old subject, for fear of tiring.
28. At Arabic grammar; finished the Persian part of Gladwin's Moonshee. Tried with many temptations, which often brought a sense of guilt on me, but the all-sufficiency of Jesus succoured me again and again, to set out afresh in endeavours to maintain purity of heart. Oh, may that blessed Spirit whom I am in such danger of grieving, bear with patience, and carry on that work, which my perverseness so interrupts and mars. Afternoon and evening, having a tooth-ache which prevented my reading, I passed, at their request, at the------'s. The subject of amusements was again renewed; there seems a want of due conviction of their lost estate; yet I trust God has grace and love in store for them both.
29. At night some Serjeants came, and a new soldier, a half caste; afterwards had a long and useful conversation with Mrs. Y.
30. Went to Bankipore and baptized Mr. R's. child; while there, received letters from Europe, from Lydia, sister S. Simeon, Cecil, and Hensman. The contents so engaged me as I went in my palanquin to Patna, and at Mr. Gladwin's, that I could think of nothing else, and so came away immediately. Still kept in ignorance about the Lord's purposes respecting Lydia, and likely to remain so some time, such is his blessed will; but my sister's letters made my heart bleed, and proved a more severe affliction than I have experienced since being in India. Nothing but the assurance that it is the Lord, and that infinite wisdom appoints that I shall suffer this too, keeps me from deep dejection.
31. Called on some of the people and officers; but my heart was so pressed, and as it were choked with the remembrance of my sister, my dear, dear sister, every hour do I commend her to God; oh, hear my prayer! Employed afterwards in writing a letter. Went to visit a dying Hindoo, who had lost his caste, and wished to be baptized; the man was almost insensible, but I explained the Gospel, and read large portions of Scripture to him for the benefit of several Portuguese women who were present.
August 1. Chiefly employed in writing letters.
Dinapore, August 1, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
I have this day written to------according to your desire. But how can I oifer advice to a Christian minister? Every one will say to me, "Physician, heal thyself!" Yet I have done violence to my feelings and said something about his neglect of prayer. Dear------! he seems far from happy. * * * * * * It is a thought that has lately occurred to me, that if Dr. B. is disposed to add another to his acts of munificence, he might revive Arabic and oriental literature in Cambridge, by establishing an annual prize there. Its efficacy will not depend on the greatness of the sum, so much as on the eclat attending it, and therefore it ought to be a gold medal given to the in-ceptors in arts at the time of their taking their M. A. degree, and accompanied with some recitation in Arabic on the commencement Tuesday. From those feelings of vanity I have but lately escaped, and am therefore qualified to speak of the effect such a thing would have on the minds of the young men. I know for myself, I should have taken fire at the idea of appearing an Arabic scholar before the assembled university. Arabic and Persian Bibles will soon have to undergo a rapid succession of editions in England, and it is therefore desirable that many persons should be at hand qualified to superintend the printing of them. * * * * You will do me a great favour if you will get a correct Greek Testament doubly interleaved, and sent to me. A list of such books in the Mission library, as any way concern me, will also be very acceptable.
I long for Sabat, that we may begin. I have laid my plans in such a way, that if Mirza can be kept sober, the translation will go on rapidly.
Yours ever affectionately, my dear Sir,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
2. (Sunday.) Preached on Ezek. xxxiii. "As I live, saith the Lord God." Two of the lieutenants, with whom I had a long and solemn conversation last night, came, and I hope found a word in season. Was in great weakness of body all day. Breakfasted and dined with the Y--s. The congregation in the afternoon was small. At night some soldiers came, and I spoke very fully to them on the signs of real conversion, from the parable of the ten virgins.
3, 4. Writing letters; while thinking of writing to my dear sister, my heart felt ready to burst with grief; 1 shed many tears at the remembrance of her, and interceded for her many times with God. The Y--s give me more encouragement to hope that they are forsaking the vanities of the world.
5-7. Constantly employed in writing letters; on 5th, the soldiers came. 7th, received a letter from ------, which much grieved me. What has poor Lydia suffered! Oh, the trials and sorrows of human life. But it is the Lord! Let him do what seemeth good to him.
8. Writing sermon.
9. Preached on John iii. 20, 21. My dear friends, the Y'--s, for whom it was chiefly intended, were not a little affected, as I observed more than once through the day. In the afternoon expounded, to about fifty of the women, the parable of the Marriage Supper. Attended hospital, and with the men at night as usual.
10. Making calls during the morning; dined at Major Y--'s, with Captain C. In the evening went to Bankipore and married Captain B. to Miss B.
11. Found a very solemn season of prayer this morning; blessed be God! May he shew me more and more my obligations to his mercy, and lay me low with shame and sorrow in the dust. Resumed the Arabic grammar. Heard from Parsons; his letter was very refreshing to me. Visited the Hindoo, and with a freedom of speech, which 1 did not know I possessed, explained the gospel; but no apparent impression on him or the Portuguese woman with whom he lives.
12. At night, the men came as usual; my spirits very low, but I found a sacred pleasure in the holy exercises of our worship. The hymns about Christ were sweetest to me.
13-15. My employments:--Arabic grammar and Persian; writing sermon; finished Bacon's Essays. One of these days at Major Y--'s. Read and conversed with them a long time on conformity to the world. Their receiving with such meekness the engrafted word is surely a happy sign. Received the Christian Institution, and was deeply interested and affected by some things in it, especially the martyrdom of Abdallah. My soul was drawn near to behold the great God our Saviour. Yes, he reigns; oh what is unfolding! what will time,--what will eternity disclose!
16. (Sunday.) In the morning preached on Rom. iii. 20. In the afternoon with the Hindoostanee congregation, the people seemed affected at some parts. Returned to my quarters, and found letters from Mr. Brown, Marsh-man, and Colonel Sandys, and one from Sally, bringing the intelligence of my elder sister's death! Oh my heart, my heart, is it, can it be true, that she has been lying so many months in the cold grave? Would that I could always remember it, or always forget it; but to think for a few moments of other things, and then to feel the remembrance of it come as if for the first time, rends my heart asunder. When I look round upon the creation, and think that her eyes see it not, but have closed upon it for ever; that I lie down in my bed, but that she has lain down in her grave!--Oh, is it possible! I wonder to find myself still in life; that the same tie which united us in life, has not brought death at the same moment to both. Oh great and gracious God, what should I do without thee, but now thou art manifesting thyself as the God of all consolation to my soul. Never was I so near thee; I stand on the brink, and I long to take my flight! Oh there is not a thing in the world, for which I would wish to live, except because it may please God to appoint me some work. And how shall my soul ever be thankful enough to thee, O thou most incomprehensibly glorious Saviour Jesus! Oh, what hast thou done to alleviate the sorrows of life, and how great has been the mercy of God towards my family in saving us all. How dark and dreadful the separation of relations in death, were it not for Jesus.
17. Continued in bitter distress; it still appears like a dream to me that she is really gone.
18. More composed than yesterday, and returned to my work, but heart-breaking recollections came across me at intervals. Wrote some letters. My soul finding its only consolation in seeking and endeavouring to maintain a spirit of submission to the blessed God.
19-22. My heart still oppressed, but it is not a sorrow that worketh death. Though nature weeps at being deprived of all hope of ever seeing this dearest companion on earth; faith is thereby brought more into exercise. How sweet to feel dead to all below, to live only for eternity. To forget the short interval that lies between this and the spiritual world, and to live always seriously. The seriousness which this sorrow produces is indescribably precious; oh that I could always maintain it when these impressions shall have worn away! My studies have been Arabic grammar, and Persian, and writing Luke for the women. Dictating 1 Peter to moonshee. Finished the Goolistan of Sadi, and began it again, to mark all the phrases which may be of use in the translation of the scriptures. Received a letter from Dr. Kerr, together with his letter to Lord W. Bentinck.
Dinapore, August 19, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
* * * I shall have little to say about Dr. B.'s plan for us, except to express my general admiration of it. No Christian will read Abdallah's story without tears, or Juggernaut's without horror. * * * * * Sabat must be very careful on his journey up, or he will be assassinated before he reaches me. Yours, my dear Sir,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
23. (Sunday.) Preached on Job xix. 25--27." I know that my Redeemer liveth." There seemed little or no attention; only one officer there besides Major Y. At Hindoostanee prayers, the women few, but attentive; again blest with much freedom; at the hospital was seized with such pain from over-exertion of my voice, that I was obliged to leave off and go away. Afterwards spent some hours with the Y--s more profitably than ever; yet, not having strength to read, I desired Mrs. Y--to do so; we thus had many important chapters, which led me to explain the way of salvation by the righteousness of Christ, which I saw they had neither of them understood. The consideration of this glorious subject raised my soul to a precious frame of rejoicing for this solid ground of Jesus' imputed righteousness. The greatness, the magnificence, the wisdom of the way again filled my mind, and the necessity and desirableness of communicating it to the heathen, appeared stronger than ever.
24. Finished 1 Peter with moonshee, and read Persian. At night sent for B.; I found he had not fallen into the snare I suspected, but had gone back considerably by his own confession; he had observed, he said, that Ecclesiastes and the New Testament were directly contrary to one another, and on that account as well as from conversation with some of the infidel soldiers, he had omitted reading the Bible for several days. I admonished him with all the solemnity of affection I could, and prayed with him. He shewed nothing of an improper spirit, but had lost much ground in the divine life.
25. Translating the epistles; reading Arabic grammar and Persian; finished a sermon I have been long about.
26. Sent off letters to Mr. Simeon, Hensman, Colonel Sandys, W. Hoare, and Lake. Morning and evening, visiting one of my men, a serjeant, who is m some danger; read and conversed with him, but did not find undoubted evidence of his being under real conviction. Studies, as usual; the men came at night. Was constrained afterwards to mourn, that I do not enjoy either private or social prayer. Among other causes of this decline, I fear that I walk according to my carnal wisdom, striving to excite seriousness by natural considerations, such as the thoughts of death and judgment, instead of bringing my soul to Christ to be sanctified by his Spirit. In secret prayer at night, I cast myself, as ignorant and helpless, on the wisdom and mercy of the Lord, that he might sanctify me in his own way, and prayed for real spirituality, that I might both live by the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit; I felt some revival. Oh may I henceforth know Christ no more after the flesh: let all old thoughts and customs die away, and all things become new. Let me live contrary to, and above my own spirit; that is, let Christ live in me, and bring into captivity every thought that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.
27-29. Studies in Persian and Arabic the same. Delight in them, particularly the latter, so great, that I have been obliged to pray continually, that they may not be a snare to me. Oh that I may care for them only in proportion to the degree of subserviency to the interests of the glorious gospel, in these parts.
30. (Sunday.) Preached on Romans iii. 21--23; and as is generally the case when Christ is the subject, was much enlivened in my own spirit. Had some happy time in prayer and the word of God, this morning. The women this afternoon at the Hindoostanee service, only forty-two, and not attentive. Finished the Pilgrim's Progress at the hospital, and inwardly blessed the Lord for the hope of one day entering in through the gates into the city. In the evening, as my men were either sick or upon duty, I staid with the Y--s. Mrs. Y. read Milner's Church History; but the time did not pass usefully, and I felt my conscience accuse me.
31. Resumed the Arabic, with an eagerness which I found it necessary to check. Began some extracts from Cashefi, which Mr, Gladwin sent me, and thus the day passed rapidly away. May I find equal and greater pleasure in the most spiritual part of my work! But alas! how much more readily does the understanding do its work than the heart!
September 1. Visited Serjeant George as usual, and prayed with him, but no signs of grace.
2. A few soldiers came at night, and I endeavoured to lead them to some preparation for the sacrament; but particularly had long and serious communion with Anson, the Hessian, respecting the native woman.
3. Found B. in the hospital; but felt somewhat unhappy at what I observed in him; he was much cast down, I hope from godly sorrow. Heard from Corrie.
4. B------, a cadet, came on his way to Bareilly. This good young man seemed much affected in conversation with me, on divine things. At night we joined in the worship of God.
5. Morning and evening, B------and myself worshipped God together, with much refreshment to myself at least. We dined together at Major Y--'s. In the translations arrived as far as Romans vii. with moonshee, having finished 2 Peter, and James. Read each day Arabic grammar and Persian stories.
6. (Sunday.) Preached on John x. "I am the good shepherd." There was more attention than usual, which is always the case when Christ is the subject; afterwards administered the Lord's supper. B. left me this morning, saying, he hoped he was the better for this ordinance. Much of the morning after passed idly, till a sense of guilt stirred me up to prayer, and I found a very solemnizing influence upon my soul. I desired above all things I could ask for, that I might never more fall into levity, or be in any respect unlike the blessed Lord. With a spirit duly serious how easy is the most difficult work! Had a few women at the Hindoostanee prayers. At the hospital found sixty-nine men. I felt my spirit kindled but my voice was all gone, and I was obliged to leave speaking to them. In private with B. there, said what I could to strengthen him. Three came at night; had the usual service. I took my meals with the Y--s, but our conversation was not useful, though for myself I desired nothing hut discourse upon the things of God.
7. Translating most of the day; was thinking with peculiar fondness of my dearest Lydia this afternoon and evening; though with some unhappiness, lest we should never meet again on earth. Yet our gracious Father will order it for the best for both of us.
8. Translating chiefly. At the hospital at night, found the poor Austrian very ill, and talked to him in as plain language as possible on the way of salvation.
9. Employed as usual; at the time of translating Romans xii. moonshee asked, who there was that would feed his enemy. When I mentioned some of my Christian friends in India, he smiled in unbelief, because he said, Mr. Carey, when he had been robbed of a watch, sent nine of the thieves to a zemindar for punishment. Some soldiers came at night; I found my soul sweetly blessed with peace and joy, and likewise through the day more serious, and breathing after God, notwithstanding the incessant attacks of corruption.
10. Translating and reading Arabic and Persian. A very respectable Sygad from Pulwarrie called this morning; a very old and well-behaved man. I endeavoured to have some discussion on religion, but he artfully avoided it.
11. Received letters from my dear brother Corrie, and Parsons, which much refreshed me. Studies as usual.
12. Finished the Epistle to Romans, with moonshee, and a sermon; read Persian. To-night, after a visit to the hospital, found my soul solemnly affected at the sin and neglect of God so awfully reigning among those poor people committed to my charge. I found great solemnity and freedom in prayer, that God would shew his mighty power in converting some of them, though by the instrumentality of so weak a worm. Oh let me sow in tears, let me go forth, bearing precious seed, and I shall doubtless come again with joy. I feel cautious how I ought to apply these words of 2 Cor. ii. to myself, to whom much of their continuance in sin should be attributed, yet I often do find a melancholy comfort in them. "We are a sweet savour of Christ in them that perish." At night a serjeant pensioner came, and without speaking fell on his knees; I perceived that he was a little deranged; but after some conversation, seeing that he really was in great concern for his soul, I read the word, and prayed with him, and gave him a book.
13. (Sunday.) Preached on Luke vii. 50. Till the afternoon service, the time passed very comfortably and solemnly. Oh that I could always preserve that solemn sense of the divine presence, which is alone true bliss. In the Hindoostanee service, the attention of the poor women was very little. I finished the Gospel of St. Matthew, and began Genesis. At the hospital, read Doddridge's sermon on "The one thing needful," and there seemed solemn impressions on many. Had a very refreshing conversation with B., and exhorted him with full purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord. At night I had none but foreigners; one, a new one, is a native of Suabia; have been on the whole much blessed and strengthened for this day's service; blessed be the God of my mercies.
14. Employed not to much purpose; writing out some chapters of Genesis; disputing vainly with pundit; reading bundles of English newspapers; writing to Cor-rie and Colonel W. Oh, I feel the value of him sometimes very awfully: how wretched is a life of vanity and conformity to the world. I would rather go to the house of mourning, than to the house of mirth. I am happier here in this remote land, where I hear so seldom of what passes in the world, than in England, where there are so many calls to look at the things that are seen.
15. Translating by myself, and consulting the Arabic Lexicon with such exceeding curiosity and attention, that I left off in the evening unwell; visited the men at the hospital, but nothing more encouraging than before. Some conversation with the Y--s at night, upon the most important subjects.
16. Still translating and consulting the Arabic Lexicon. Heard of Colonel W------'s death. How hard is my wicked heart, that I do not feel more awfully affected at this event. One committed to my charge, one with whom I used to converse familiarly, gone to give up his account to God. Perhaps he has thought, before now, oh, had my minister been more faithful, had he, instead of talking so freely on trifling and literary subjects, been instant, though out of season! Oh, my God, let me live preparing for my own departure, and striving to save some poor souls around me. At night some men came; I felt convinced how greatly I had neglected the blessed God, "Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob, thou hast been weary of me, O Israel." These words occurred to me with shame and grief; oh that I should be so stupid and wicked, as not to live for ever in the sight and love of that adorable being, who is in himself so lovely, and daily loadeth me with benefits; now henceforth may I know nothing but this God of love.
17. How averse is nature to God! It is through thick darkness that I must force my way to the belief even of his existence. Conscience and duty stir up my mind to seek him, or else I should very soon sink into utter ignorance of God. Received a letter from Mr. Brown, on the subject of my coming to Calcutta, and the future important offices I should hold in the church. It gave rise to various cares and anxieties, but after some uneasy hours, I felt convinced that my never-failing resource in all situations is prayer. If I can through mercy maintain a continual and familiar acquaintance with the Lord, all things will go well.
18. Lived with more watchfulness and perseverance in prayer, and found my soul more serious and serene. How amazing, how unaccountable, that I should be such an enemy to myself, by living far from God, Began the 1st Epistle to Corinthians. Enjoyed in the evening many refreshing and triumphant thoughts, from meditating on the resurrection of the Lord. While the shafts of death fly so quick all around, how does this glorious truth hold out a refuge from melancholy and fear.
Dinapore, September 18, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
I hasten to reply to two of your letters. For the consolation contained in the first, I feel grateful to your kindness. The second, I am almost disposed to call the first angry letter I have received from you. However, I know it is only your love and zeal that make you grieve at my not standing forward to help your beloved church. You ascribe it to the agency of Satan. Let us hope, my dearest sir, that we shall live to see it fall out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. I have now no choice left, as you tell me, and therefore it is perhaps superfluous to state again my reasons of dissent from your and Dr. B.'s opinions; yet I must write them down. 1st. The evangelization of India is a more important object than preaching to the European inhabitants of Calcutta. 2nd. Therefore he that is qualified for the first object in any degree by his youth and inclination for the work, should give himself to it, as he may hope that he has a divine call. But 3rd. The two objects cannot be combined in such a place as Calcutta. One consequence of my joining yoxi would be that we should get no one from England; for they would say, Calcutta is very well supplied. Mr. Brown and Martyn are there. No, let them hear, if it must be so, that Calcutta is destitute of the gospel. Corrie and myself can always plead that we are engaged about a more important object, and then it will rest with the consciences of the ministers at home, yo\mg and old, whether they ought not to leave a small parish for the benefit of a great city. I am now supposing you actually gone; but blessed be God, we have you still, and therefore I suffer no uneasiness. The translation in the Persico-Arab dialect and character, which Mr. Ward wanted, has been long ready. But I have been waiting to read it over with Sabat. My spirits are tolerable in general; a little depressed at this time at seeing yours so much so. My dear sir, it is our privilege to live without carefulness; especially may we be assured that the care of the churches is with him who has the government upon his shoulder. May he graciously direct all our ways! If Dr. B. is not yet gone, assure him of my affectionate wishes for his safety and happiness. I am, dearest sir,
Yours with unfeigned regard,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
19. Enjoyed in general much of the divine presence and comfort in my heart.
20. (Sunday.) Preached on 2 Peter iii. 11; as a funeral sermon on the occasion of Colonel W.'s death. Major C. was present, and to him I made some address on the duty of attending to the moral state of the soldiers, which I heard was well received During the morning, giving way to a sense of fatigue, I lost through my idleness much divine enjoyment. At the Hindoos-tanee, found myself correspondently dead, and unable to expound on the promises in the 3rd of Genesis, which I attempted. There were very few present. At the hospital my spirit was much wounded by the behaviour of some of the soldiers. Oh these wicked men, what will become of them! At night with seven soldiers I was much blessed: such a sense of the love of God was vouchsafed in prayer, that I could not tell how to express it; and with the Y-------'s afterwards in conversation, I had no power almost to speak on any other subject.
21. Went early to Bankipore to a funeral, but was too late. Breakfasted with Mr. Gladwin, and fixed on a new place for a school. At the Bankipore school, heard the boys read the Sermon on the Mount. Read through in my palanquin, the Missionary Magazine for 1805, and almost felt glad that I was out of the way of such vapid religionism as is too prevalent in England. Though they are the people of God that write, as I do not doubt, yet, alas, how unedifying are most of the pages of a modern Magazine, though religious. May I myself be kept from that regard to public opinion, which in such a melancholy degree, seems to actuate so many of the ministers, missionary societies, and missionaries of the present day.
22. From sleeping in a current of air, rose with a pain in my head and face, which kept me dull in body and mind the whole day. Yesterday a Brahmin, from the Ranee of Davodnagur, came to request that as I was going to Arrah soon, I would use the opportunity of interceding with Mr. Trevor for her. He was instigated by my pundit, to ask something about my religion, an account of which I gave, but he heard it with perfect indifference.
23. Translating, and found profit in being obliged to consider the meaning of some parts of the word of God I had never before understood, and particularly 2 Corinthians iii. The men came at night, but were obliged to go before prayer, at which I felt disappointed. Yet alone I did not suitably employ the season of grace.
24. To live without sin is what I cannot expect in this world, but to desire to live without it, may be the experience of every hour. Thinking to-night of the qualifications of Sabat, I felt the conviction, both in reflection and prayer, of the power of God to make him another St. Paul. For what but grace made him so steady in the service of his Lord? What my soul long-eth for and at some moments expects, is a peculiar sobriety, and inward fervour in the hearts of the ministers and missionaries here. My cowardly spirit shrinks not from ill usage of the body, but from the contempt attending my inability to continue in any one place, for any length of time, preaching the kingdom of God. I trust that I shall ere long do it Yet come what will at Patna!
25-27. (Sunday.) Preached on Job. "Acquaint now thyself, &c." Mr. Den ton came and breakfasted, and suggested a Portuguese school. Writing much of the morning on the Sabbath, and was much secularized and cold in affections.
Dinapore, September 26, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
My first remark is, another letter from Mr. Brown and again no mention of Sabat! That your silence about him is designed I cannot doubt; and I am now therefore beginning to indulge gloomy surmises; perhaps his goodness has proved like the morning cloud and early dew.
Mirza is heartily tired of sitting on the stool of blind expectation, as am also I. Instead of going to Luck-now as he threatened, he is coming here, uncalled by me, professedly on his private affairs, but probably to know what is in the wind. If he should not be engaged by the superintendant of the Christian Institution, I shall endeavour to make some terms with him myself, though his extravagance leaves me small hopes. * * * * * So Dr. B. is going home over land. Is he not afraid of being taken by the Turks? Yet with all the dangers of the journey, I would gladly accompany him in order to salute the churches of Asia.
I am, my dear Sir,
Most affectionately, yours,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
28. Mr. R. and his lady came, and staid till October 10. This whole time my system was deranged,--my time continually broken in upon, and little or nothing done. Yet this cessation from study was of use to my health, and as we had regularly morning and evening worship. I hope they may have obtained some spiritual good.
4. (Sunday) Preached on Rev. xxii. "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come."
5. Sent off report to Parsons and went to Arrah, where I married Mr. L. to Miss C.
10. Captain and Mrs. S. came and spent the day. Received a letter from Mr. Brown, signifying that Sabat is on his way to me.
11. (Sunday.) Preached on Psalm 1. 21, 22. Captain and Mrs. S. went away, and I felt uncomfortable at being left alone, but a tolerably serious and enlivening season of prayer, restored me through grace and love to contentment and peace. I tried to consider myself as unworthy to have any thought, but that of submission to every cross and hardship, and so I found myself serene, though not joyful. But few women in the afternoon. Then some of them, at the hospital, behaved improperly. With my society in the evening, and in private conversation with B. afterwards, was somewhat refreshed at the spirit he manifested.
12. 13. Both these days attending Col. W--'s. A Seik, making a pilgrimage to Benares, came to me; he was very ignorant, and I do not know whether he understood what I endeavoured to show him about the folly of pilgrimages, the nature of true holiness, and the plan of the gospel.
14. Entered my new quarters. May they be a temple for the Lord of hosts; but may I long for the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The men came at night. I prayed with them.
15. This morning resumed my translations. Afternoon spent with the------s rather against my inclination, as so much of my precious time has been spent of late unprofitably. B. came at night in a sorrowful frame, distracted by worldly concerns, and as this was my state, I found it a pleasure in prayer to complain of these things, and was blessed with some tenderness of heart. I appeared to myself like some broken vessel fit for no use, and permitted to exist only through the inconceivable compassions of God. Oh, when I think of my shameful incapacity for the ministry, arising from neglect, I see reason to tremble, though I cannot weep.
16. Had some comfort in my mind, but still sluggish, and in want of seriousness, and tenderness; for a short time in prayer I felt clearly what I wanted, and seemed to lay hold on the power of Christ to give it me. Oh, that I had faith and diligence to live in that holy sober frame, after which I sometimes ardently long. A few days ago received a letter from Charles Hoare, and wrote to Mr. Ward.
17. Chiefly employed about sermon. Major and Mrs. Y------dined with me; but though I was watchful, I could not bring the conversation to turn upon any thing useful.
18. (Sunday.) Preached on Rev. iii. 2. Considerable attention; the General there; the women also in the afternoon, though only 34, were very attentive to the exposition of Genesis ix. and Luke iii. At night with the men, had an enlarged heart in prayer, and tasted that the Lord is gracious, I ought to feel thankful for the comforts and blessings vouchsafed me this day, though perhaps if I saw more clearly how much is left undone, I should feel less self-complacency.
19. Most of the morning writing to Corrie. Dined at Major Y------'s, but no opportunity for useful conversation.
20. Whole day spent in solitude, and the work of translation, received a letter from Parsons, mentioning Sabat at Berhampore.
21. Translating all day; in the evening had a happy and refreshing season with the men. How often when I have had no power in secret prayer, has the Lord proved himself to be in the midst of two or three gathered together in his name. Afterwards having occasion to call at the--'s, I spent an hour in conversation with ------on conformity to the world. I spoke to her more freely than I ever did before to an individual, but I fear her heart is not rightly affected with respect to many other points of infinite importance.
22, 23. Incessantly employed in translating with moonshee, finished the 2nd Epistle to Corinthians.
24. An unhappy day; received at last a letter from Lydia, in which she refuses to come because her mother will not consent to it. Grief and disappointment threw my soul into confusion at first, but gradually as my disorder subsided my eyes were opened, and reason resumed its office. I could not but agree with her that it would not be for the glory of God, nor could we expect his blessing, if she acted in disobedience to her mother. As she has said, "They that walk in crooked paths, shall not find peace; "and if she were to come with an uneasy conscience, what happiness could we either of us expect?
Dinapore, Oct. 24, 1807
MY DEAR LYDIA,
Though my heart is bursting with grief and disappointment, I write not to blame you. The rectitude of all your conduct secures you from censure. Permit me calmly to reply to your letter of March 5, which I have this day received.
You condemn yourself for having given me, though unintentionally, encouragement to believe that my attachment was returned. Perhaps you have. I have read your former letters with feelings less sanguine since the receipt of the last, and I am still not surprised at the interpretation I put upon them. But why accuse yourself for having written in this strain? It has not increased my expectations nor consequently embittered my disappointment. When I addressed you in my first letter on the subject, I was not induced to it by any appearances of regard you had expressed, neither at any subsequent period have my hopes of your consent been founded on a belief of your attachment to me. I knew that your conduct would be regulated, not by personal feelings, but by a sense of duty. And therefore you have nothing to blame yourself for on this head.
In your last letter you do not assign among your reasons for refusal a want of regard to me. In that case I could not in decency give you any further trouble. On the contrary you say that 'present circumstances seem to you to forbid my indulging expectations.1 As this leaves an opening, I presume to address you again; and till the answer arrives must undergo another eighteen months of torturing suspense.
Alas! my rebellious heart--what a tempest agitates me! I knew not that I had made so little progress in a spirit of resignation to the Divine will. I am in my chastisement like the bullock unaccustomed to the yoke, like a wild bull in a net, full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of my God. The death of my late most beloved sister almost broke my heart; but I hoped it had softened me and made me willing to suffer. But now my heart is as though destitute of the grace of God, full of misanthropic disgust with the world, and sometimes feeling resentment against yourself and Emma, and Mr. Simeon, and in short all whom I love and honour most. Sometimes in pride and anger resolving to write neither to you nor to any one else again. These are the motions of sin. My love and my better reason draw me to you again. ******* ** * * **** But now with respect to your mother, I confess that the chief and indeed only difficulty lies here. Considering that she is your mother, as I hoped she would be mine, and that her happiness so much depends on you; considering also that I am God's minister, which amidst all the tumults of my soul I dare not forget, I faulter in beginning to give advice which may prove contrary to the law of God. God forbid therefore that I should say, disobey your parents where the divine law does not command you to disobey them; neither do I positively take upon myself to say that this is a case in which the law of God requires you to act in contradiction to them. I would rather suggest to your mother some considerations which justify me in attempting to deprive her of the company of a beloved child.
26. A sabbath having intervened since the above was written, I find myself more tranquillized by the sacred exercises of the day. One passage of Scripture which you quote has been much on my mind, and I find it very appropriate and decisive,--that we are not to "make to ourselves crooked paths, which whoso walketh in shall not know peace." Let me say I must be therefore contented to wait till you feel that the way is clear. But I intended to justify myself to Mrs. Grenfell. Let her not suppose that I would make her or any other of my fellow-creatures miserable, that I might be happy. If there were no reason for your coming here, and the contest were only between Mrs. Grenfell and me, that is between her happiness and mine, I would urge nothing further, but resign you to her. But I have considered that there are many things that might reconcile her to a separation from you'(if indeed a separation is necessary, for if she would come along with you, I should rejoice the more). First she does not depend on you alone for the comfort of her declining years. She is surrounded by friends. She has a greater number of sons and daughters honourably established in the world than falls to the lot of most parents--all of whom would be happy in having her amongst them. Again, if a person worthy of your hand, and settled in England, were to offer himself, Mrs. G. would not have insuperable objections, though it did deprive her of her daughter. Nay I sometimes think, perhaps arrogantly, that had 1 myself remained in England, and in possession of a competency, she would not have withheld her consent. Why then should my banishment from my native country in the service of mankind, be a reason with any for inflicting an additional wound, far more painful than a separation from my dearest relatives?
I have no claim upon Mrs. G. in any way, but let her only conceive a son of her own in my circumstances. If she feels it a sacrifice, let her remember, that it is a sacrifice made to duty; that your presence here would be of essential service to the church of God it is superfluous to attempt to prove. If you really believe of yourself as you speak, it is because you were never out of England.
Your mother cannot be so misinformed respecting India and the voyage to it as to be apprehensive on account of the climate or passage, in these days when multitudes of ladies every year, with constitutions as delicate as yours, go to and fro in perfect safety, and a vastly greater majority enjoy their health here than in England. With respect to my means I need add nothing to what was said in my first letter. But alas! what is my affluence good for now? It never gave me pleasure but when I thought you were to share it with me. Two days ago I was hastening on the alterations in my house and garden, supposing you were at hand; but now every object excites disgust. My wish upon the whole is that if you perceive it would be your duty to come to India, were it not for your mother,--and of that you cannot doubt,--supposing I mean that your inclinations are indifferent, then you should make her acquainted with your thoughts, and let us leave it to God how he will determine her mind.
In the mean time since I am forbidden to hope for the immediate pleasure of seeing you, my next request is for a mutual engagement. My own heart is engaged I believe indissolubly.
My reason for making a request which you will account bold, is that there can then be no possible objection to our correspondence, especially as I promise not to persuade you to leave your mother.
In the midst of my present sorrow I am constrained to remember yours. "Your compassionate heart is pained from having been the cause of suffering to me. But care not for me, dearest Lydia. Next to the bliss of having you with me, my happiness is to know that you are happy. I shall have to groan long perhaps with a heavy heart; but if I am not hindered materially by it in the work of God, it will be for the benefit of my soul. You, sister beloved in the Lord, know much of the benefit of affliction. O may I have grace to follow you, though at a humble distance, in the path of patient suffering, in which you have walked so long. Day and night I cease not to pray for you, though I fear my prayers are of little value.
But as an encouragement to you to pray, I cannot help transcribing a few words from my journal, written at the time you wrote your letter to me. (7th March.) 'As on the two last days (you wrote your letter on the 5th) felt no desire for a comfortable settlement in the world, scarcely pleasure at the thought of Lydia's coming, except so far as her being sent might be for the good of my soul and assistance in my work.' How manifestly is there an omnipresent, all-seeing God, and how sure we may be that prayers for spiritual blessings are heard by our God and Father. O let that endearing name quell every murmur. When I am sent for to different parts of the country to officiate at marriages, I sometimes think, amidst the festivity of the company, Why does all go so easily with them, and so hardly with me? They come together without difficulty, and I am balked and disconcerted almost every step I take, and condemned to wear away the time in uncertainty. Then I call to mind that to live without chastening is allowed to the spurious offspring, while to suffer is the privilege of the children of God.
Dearest Lydia, must I conclude? I could prolong my communion with you through many sheets; how many things have I to say to you, which I hoped to have communicated in person. But the more I write and the more I think of you, the more my affection warms, and I should feel it difficult to keep my pen from expressions that might not be acceptable to you.
Farewell! dearest, most beloved Lydia, remember your faithful and ever affectionate,
25. (Sunday.) Preached on Isaiah lii. 13. to a large congregation, my mind continually in heaviness, and my health disturbed in consequence. The women still fewer than ever at Hindoostanee prayer, and at night, some of the men who were not on duty did not come; all these things are deeply afflicting, and yet my heart is so full of its own griefs, that I mourn not as I ought for the church of God. I have not a moment's relief from my burdens but after being sometime in prayer, afterwards my uneasiness and misery return again.
26. Mirza from Benares arrived to-day; I employed all the day in writing letters to Mr. Brown, Corrie, and Lydia. The last was a sweet and tranquillizing employment to me. I felt more submission to the divine will, and began to be more solicitous about Lydia's peace and happiness than my own. How much has she been called to suffer! "These are they that come out of great tribulation."
Dinapore, Oct. 26, 1807. MY DEAR SIR,
I have received your two letters of the 14th and 1 7th, the last contained a letter from Lydia. It is as I feared. She refuses to come because her mother will not give her consent. Sir, you must not wonder at my pale looks, when I receive so many hard blows on my heart. Yet a Father's love appoints the trial, and I pray that it may have its intended effect. Yet if you wish to prolong my existence in this world, make a representation to some persons at home who may influence her friends. Your word will be believed sooner than mine. The extraordinary effect of mental disorder on my bodily frame is unfortunate; trouble brings on disease and disorders the sleep. In this way I am labouring a little now, but not much; in a few days it will pass away again. He that hath delivered and doth deliver, is he in whom we trust that he will yet deliver. The queen's ware on its way to me can be sold at an outcry or sent to Corrie. I do not want queen's ware or any thing else now. My new house and garden, without the person I expected to share it with me, excite disgust. Mirza came this morning, we looked over some of our translations together, and his remarks were so excellent that we must not let him go; and so I write again, if it be not too late, to have something done for him.
My moonshee, whose look you do not like, is clever and uniformly diligent and steady, and therefore improveable; I cannot part with him. Yet I determine to engage Mirza too and pay him, though it may reduce me to some difficulties for a few months, because I am persuaded that it is for God. Sabat must be now at hand. Some difficulties have arisen about the bungalow he was to have had, but he can be accommodated for a time under my roof. *****
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
27. Translating all day with moonshee and Mirza, and was much pleased with the latter; mind more easy.
28. Called on the General, and Major S. Translated as before; a letter from Sabat, sent me by Mr. Brown, surprised and delighted me much at first, but still there is a burden of grief and uneasiness on my heart, which I cannot yet get rid of. At night in a conversation with Mirza accidentally begun, I spoke to him for more than three hours, on Christianity and Mahommedanism. He said there was no passage in the gospel that said, no prophet shall come after Christ. I showed him the last verse in Matthew, the passages in Isaiah and Daniel, on the eternity of Christ's kingdom, and proved it from the nature of the way of salvation in the gospel. I then told him my objections against Mahommedanism, its laws, its defects, its unnecessari-ness, the unsuitableness of its rewards, and its utter want of support by proof. When he began to mention Mahomet's miracles, I showed him the passages in the 6th and 13th chapters of the Koran, where he disavows the power. Nothing surprised him so much as these passages; he is, poor man, totally indifferent about all religion; he told me that I had produced great doubt in his mind, and that he had no answer to give.
29-31. Employments same as usual; finished Galatians, and received letters from Mr. Brown, Corrie, and Parsons; my soul in general solemnly aifected in prayer, though not at other times; affections much more weaned and separated from worldly things; I feel resigned to see Lydia no more; had frequently sweet and happy experience of those words, "the glorious liberty of the children of God." Who or what is there I need care for, while my business is so entirely with God.
November 1. (Sunday.) Preached on Ephes. i. 13. The women in the afternoon very few. I enquired of them after service the cause, but they could give no reason. Two men came at night, to whom I expounded and prayed, and sung with them in a sorrowful, yet serious spirit. I felt a willingness to be, as it were, a neglected outcast, unfit to be made useful to others, provided my other dear brethren were prosperous in the ministry; but yet I do not find the apostle complaining in this way. If a dispensation of the gospel is committed to me, I need not doubt it will be made the power of God to the salvation of men, if I am faithful to my charge.
2. Wrote to Corrie and Parsons: all day at translation. After being occupied a good while at night, in considering difficult passages in Ephesians, I went to bed full of astonishment at the wonders of God's word. Never did I see anything of the strength and beauty of the language, and importance of the thoughts, as I do now. Felt happy that I should never be finally separated from the contemplation of them, or of the things about which they are written. Knowledge shall vanish away, but it shall be because perfection will come. Then shall I see as I am seen, and know as I am known. What a source of perpetual delight have I, in this precious, this wonderful book of God. O that my heart were more spiritual, to keep pace with my understanding, and would feel as I know. May my root and foundation be deep in love, that I may know, with all saints, the breadth and length, &c.
3. Tried by a variety of outbreakings of innate corruption, evil temper, irritability, deadness of affection in spiritual things, sinful anger against the Ma-homedans, for the contempt they shew the word of God, whereas I ought only to grieve and be astonished that they are so blind "The God of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not," &c. but the many suitable admonitions I received from the blessed word, as I was translating it, were a blessing and strength.
4. Translations as usual. In the afternoon received a letter from Mr. B. giving an account of his own illness, and Dr. Stacey's danger. Jeffery's absence, and Dr. Buchanan's departure, and the age of the other chaplains led me to suppose, that it would not be long ere I should be at the presidency, a situation which I dislike above all places in India. However, it is not mine to appoint my lot. After a few more changes, I go to my better country above. "For our citizenship is in heaven." Four soldiers at night; in prayer I seemed to be beyond their comprehension. In conversation with B. I did not find him so spiritual as I could have wished.
5. How sweet the retirement in which I live, &c. See Mem. p. 275.
6. Unhappy all day long, from a sense of guilt, which hid the face of God from my soul. Received the first sheet of the parables, which much comforted me, as I began to conceive great hopes of its utility.
7. Sabat arrived; in some respects I had an agreeable surprise, but in others was grieved. On the whole I have found an increase of care, rather than of pleasure, since his arrival. I feel the necessity of tenfold wisdom and grace to conduct myself, so that he may become a consistent Christian.
8. Preached on Ephesians iii. 4-7. Sabat went to church, but before the service began, a bearer took his chair from him, and in anger he rose and went away. I expostulated with him afterwards, on his turning his back on the house of God, on account of an insult, which was besides unintended. He confessed with humiliation, that he had two dispositions; one his old one, which was a soldier's, and sometimes got the better of him, and the other, the Christian. 'And now if they beat me I will stand.' This morning was much broken in upon by a young civilian at Arrah, coming to inquire about the Trinity, and other doctrines, and arguing against him. He wished however for advice, and promised he would begin the work of seeking his salvation. I lent him the first volume of the Christian Observer. The Hindoostanee congregation was well attended. Sabat dined with me at Major Y.'s, and joined the men in the evening at prayer. There were six of the men; Sabat wept, when I told him that only one of all the regiment was to my knowledge serving God.
9. Began to correct the parables in a new dialect. Wrote to Corrie; much of the rest of the day spent in conversation, and reading of the Scriptures with Sabat. I feel my burdens increased, and seem oppressed in mind.
Dinapore, Act;. 10, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
Sabat arrived last Saturday, and he now takes up so much of the time I am free from the moonshees, that I can hardly tell where to find a moment for writing a letter. But you are anxious to know what I think of him. Truly, not to esteem him a monument of grace, and to love him accordingly, is impossible; and yet with all, as you say, he is an Arab. Your descriptions of him are wonderfully exact, though I had formed no just idea of him till he came. The very first day we began to spar. He would come into none of my plans, nor did I approve of his; but I gave way, and by yielding prevailed, for he now does every thing I tell him. He wishes to have nothing to do with my Hindoostanee works, nor do I want him, for he knows not the common Hindoostanee of the country. He says himself that he can be of no use to me, now that I have Mirza, of whose capabilities he has a high opinion. I therefore go on with Mirza and leave Sabat to his Persian. Thus time will be saved, and the two translations being done separately will correct each other. His translation is in a high and admired style. As soon as we are settled, I shall pursue the course of Hebrew &c. which you point out.
Sabat lives and eats with me and goes to his bungalow at night, so that I hope he has no care on his mind. On Sunday morning he went to church with me. While I was in the vestry, a bearer took away his chair from him, saying it was another gentleman's. The Arab took fire and left the church, and when I sent the clerk after him he would not return. He anticipated my expostulations after church, and began to lament that he had two dispositions, one old, the other new. I fear the bearer must have behaved with great insolence to him. Last night when I found that it would be necessary to keep bearers for him, those I had before hired for him refused to enter my service. To-day, however, they consent; and I have let them and the other servants know that he that toucheth him, toucheth the apple of my eye, and that I expect precisely the same respect to be paid to him as to me. * * * * * And now with respect to my own mind; I am easy on every point but Sabat--he has increased my cares,--not that I am much afraid of this dear brother, but I feel that much of his future usefulness roust depend upon the good he gains while with me. Oh, what manner of person ought I to be with him in all holy conversation and godliness. * *
11. Since writing the above, I have received your kind and sympathising letter, and have been much comforted by it. The Lord reward you for all your goodness to me. Sabat has so filled me with ideas of going to preach in Arabia or Persia, that I begin to wish Lydia may never come. But this is the thought of a day. My health is excellent, so that I have no pretence for accepting your invitation. * * * * * Your words and David's are mine too--It is good for me to be afflicted, yet alas, I never get the good I might. * * * *
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
10-12. Regular employment all day with the moonshees, seeing nobody. Many and constant proofs of depravity. Oh, what am I doing to prepare myself and my brother for our awful work?
13. Have had more spiritual enjoyment than of late. God has manifested himself to my soul in more love, and I have been able to cleave to him with more affection. Wherever I am or whatever I do or whomsoever I see, what have I to do but to think of thee, rejoice in thee, depend on thee, and to do thy work, my Saviour and God. Oh, why do I ever depart from thee. Major and Mrs. Y. and Captain C. dined with me and Sabat. The conversation was interesting and not unprofitable.
14. Troubled with indisposition and depression of spirits; saw not Sabat the whole day. Baptized a child of Major B. of the Twenty-fifth.
15. (Sunday.) Preached on Exod. xx. 17, The spirituality of the law:--the people seemingly not much affected by it, but I was myself, both to day and the day before, in preparing it. May these impressions of the infinite necessity of maintaining a pure heart before this holy Lord God, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, ever remain with me, that though my guilt may be washed away in Christ's blood, I may lay it upon my conscience, to cast out the sinful thoughts of this self-deluding heart. Passed the morning comfortably in reading the word; the number of women was very inconsiderable, and I had no life in speaking to them. At night while my soul was cast down within me, from a sense of my own meanness and unworthiness, and in-utility to the souls committed to me, my heart was comforted by spiritual exercises with the men, particularly in prayer, and I found it sweet to breathe after more seriousness and deadness to the world, both to myself and them.
16. Employments as usual; and a heart too bent to backslide from God. Sabat tells me he has been visiting my two moonshees, to reason with them on religion. Mirza seems to yield to the power of truth, at least with respect to his understanding, but Moorad Ali is obstinate against it. Mirza said to Moorad, Perhaps this religion is right; if it should be, and we should say at the last day, we heard not of the truth, God will say, you might, for there were many Christians in the land, nay one of your own number, Sabat, was a Christian. Mirza told Sabat, that the Moollahs from the college of Phoolwaree, wished to confer with him on the subject. Mirza said, that from a principle of doing something for God, he would give his whole time and thoughts to the translations; he had spent his youthful days in useless poetry, and now he wished to pass his,, declining days in the study of the scriptures.
17. Nothing particular to-day; in the translations, finished the 2nd of Thessalonians. Prayer at night seemed to affect Sabat much, as he wept.
18. On one of the parables which they were correcting, I had a long dispute with Moorad Ali and Mirza, which seemed to have the effect, not only of answering every objection, till they were silent, but of fastening conviction on their minds. The difficulties respecting the Trinity seemed to be some ease to Moorad's mind, as he found in it some excuse for disbelieving the gospel. At night, seven men came. Had a long and spiritual conversation with Sahat, in which he opened to me the state of his soul, with many tears; that the constant sin he found in his heart filled him with fear. If the Spirit of God is given to believers in Christ, why am I so, after three years believing? He said, 'I determine every day, to keep Christ crucified in my sight, and then I cannot sin, but I forget to think of him.' And it was his distress of mind, he said, that had made him so thin and feeble. I endeavoured to unfold to him at large, the nature of the gospel salvation; the unchangeable love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord; that his experience was that of the children of God, nay of the apostle Paul, and was an evidence in his favour. T told him it was the command of God, that we should rejoice evermore.' He said, 'Yes, I can rejoice when I think of God's love in Christ, but then I am like a sheep that feeds happily while he looks only on the grass before him, but when he looks behind and sees the lion, he cannot eat. He made many reflections on the vanity of the world. After expressing his hopes that we should never be separated, even unto death, I added that if it pleased the Lord to call me to labour in the gospel with him in Persia, we might hope to live long together, and might encourage one another to be faithful unto death, and to be ready to lay down our lives for the name of Jesus. He said that life was of no value to him, that his heart was like a broken glass, fit for nothing, except to be given to the glass-maker; that the experience he had had of the instability of the world, had sickened him. He then mentioned a remarkable instance in his own life of the sudden vicissitudes of affairs. When the army of-------was defeated, he lost every thing he had, and entered Akberabad without a single rupee. He went to a fakeer's lodge, and was refused admittance; but the fakcer compassionating his misery, did at last offer him a little food, which was so bad he could not touch it, and so he passed the whole night in tears, lamenting his fate. Next morning, the nabob Coca Khan, passing in great pomp, stopped before the fakeer, and asked, what news. The man said, nothing new, but that a good-for-nothing vagabond had come there. The nabob had been acquainted with Sabat's father, and by some means was informed who he was; when he took him by the hand, mounted him on an elephant, gave him his daughter in marriage that very day, seated him on a musnud, and he received the salutations of the nobles accordingly. All this took place in twenty-four hours. Three months after that he went out of Akberabad without a single rupee.
19-21. My mind violently occupied with thoughts respecting the approaching spread of the gospel, and my own going to Persia. Sabat's conversation stirs up a great desire in me to go; as by his account all the Mahometan countries are ripe for throwing off the delusion. The gracious Lord will teach me, and make my way plain before my face. Oh! may he keep my soid in peace, and make it indifferent to me whether I die or live, so Christ be magnified by me. I have need to receive this spirit from him, for I feel at present unwilling to die, as if my own life and labours were necessary for this work, or as if I should be deprived of the bliss of seeing the conversion of the nations. Vain thought! God who keeps me here awhile, arranges every part of his plans in unerring wisdom, and if I should be cut off in the midst of my plans, I shall still, I trust, through mercy, behold his works in heaven, and be everlastingly happy, in the never-ceasing admiration of his works and nature. Every day, the disputes with Mirza and Moorad Ali, become more interesting. Their doubts of Mahometanism seem to have amounted almost to disbelief. Moorad Ali confessed, that they all received their religion, not on conviction, but because it was the way of their fathers; and he said with great earnestness, that if some great shikhool Islam, whom he mentioned, could not give an answer, and a satisfactory, rational evidence, of the truth of Islamism, he would renounce it and be baptized. Mirza seemed still more anxious and interested, and speaks of it to me and Sabat, continually. In translating 1 Timothy i. 15.1 said to them, you have in that verse heard the gospel; your blood will not be required at my hands, you will certainly remember these words at the last day. This led to a long discussion, at the close of which, when I said that notwithstanding their endeavours to identify the two religions, there is still so much difference, that if our word is true, you are lost,' they looked at each other almost with consternation, and said, 'It is true.' Still the Trinity and the incarnation of Christ, afford a plea to the one, and a difficulty to the other. On Timothy iii. last verse, "Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh," Mirza said, 'If I take clay, and mould and form it, that thing can have no comprehension what I am; then how should we know what God is, and how he subsists.' He then went on to argue on the other side, as if he wished to know the proper answer to the usual Mahometan objections. I could do nothing but affirm, and deny on the ground of scripture, not attempting to explain. He took a piece of paper and said, 'If I am God, it is not necessary I should enter that paper, I can cause a voice to proceed from it.' I replied that God was not in Christ in order to teach men, but to make atonement for them; he mentioned the miracles performed by holy men, dervishes, &c. and on graves of departed saints. I shewed him the marks of a true miracle, and how they all met in the Christian miracles, and not in these. He wTas bringing an instance of the miraculous appearance of a pigeon, in some dome, I believe at Misji Ali, which Sabat, who is often there, denied ever having seen. On Timothy iv. 1. Mirza was again struck; so says he, it is here said, there shall some come; who shall command "to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received." I was silent, and so were we all, while Sabat was looking at the passage, and he rose up with some humour, and said, 'Aphee it is yourselves.' Mirza made no reply. In correcting the parable on the rejected corner-stone, there were some things occurred which reached Mirza's heart. Again, the explanation was, that those who stumbled at this stone, were 'those who stumbled at his work of atonement, his dignity, or his commands,' which he read with some emotion. At another time, when I had, from some passage, hinted to him his danger, he said with great earnestness, 'Sir, why won't you try to save me?' 'Save you,' said I, 'I would lay down my life to save your soul, what can I do? 'He wished me to go to Phoolwaree, the Mussulman college, and there examine the subject, with the most learned of their doctors. I told him I had no objection to go to Phoolwaree, but why could not he as well enquire for himself, whether there were any evidence for Mahomedanism, without my going and exciting prematurely the attention of the whole country and the government. On the 20th Colonel W. came. I dined, with Sabat, on board his budgerow, and passed all the time with him profitably conversing. Sabat was delighted with him for being so spiritual, and for having nothing to say but about the things of the Lord.
22. (Sunday.) Preached on Heb. x. 19, 20, 22. The rest of the day engaged in the usual services. Received a letter from S------, which brought my beloved sister and Lydia again to my remembrance, with such melancholy reflections that I could scarcely keep my thoughts to my work.
23-25. Translating and correcting as usual; the two Mahomedans give no such signs of earnestness as last week, they are returned to their former hypocrisy. In prayer at evening-worship with Sabat and any soldiers that come, I have generally enjoyed comfort and freedom; praised be the God of my mercies. On the 25th letters came from Mr. Simeon and Lydia, both of which depressed my spirits exceedingly; though I have been writing for some days past, that I might have it in my power to consider myself free, so as to be able to go to Persia or elsewhere;--yet, now that the wished-for permission is come, I am filled with grief: I cannot hear to part with Lydia, and she seems more necessary to me than my life; yet her letter was to hid me a last farewell. Oh, how have I been crossed from childhood, and yet how little benefit have I received from these chastisements of my God! The Lord now sanctify this, that since the last desire of my heart also is withheld, I may with resignation turn away for ever from the world, and henceforth live forgetful of all but God. With thee, oh my God, there is no disappointment; I shall never have to regret that I loved thee too well. Thou hast said, "Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
26. Received a letter from Emma, which again had a tendency to depress my spirits; all the day I could not attain to sweet resignation to God. I seemed to be cut off for ever from happiness in not having Lydia with me.
27. Employed with the moonshees as usual all day; my thoughts still tinged with melancholy. Oh why can I not be satisfied with the fulness of Thy house? why do I not drink of the river of Thy pleasures? In the evening was somewhat refreshed in prayer, and saw that it was an honour to have my lot so cast by God, that I should not be entangled by the low cares of this life; and I felt stirred up to pray that I may not be backward to improve these high privileges, and expect great and precious exhibitions of Divine power, in the conversion of the heathen. Yet one thing discourages me, or rather one thing I ought to be ashamed of, is, that I cannot pour forth my soul in prayer for the precious souls of the heathen.
28-30. On the Lord's Day, 29, preached on Heb. iii. 3. "Take heed, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief." The other services of the day as usual; was greatly comforted by a conversation with Mrs. Y--as she gave me more assurance of her being in the way of righteousness than I have yet received.
December 1. Dined with Sabat at Major and Mrs. Y.--'s, who joined us at night at worship; oh, may the Lord be pleased to make me of use in edifying these souls committed to me.
2. Moorad Ali left me; I warned him of the danger of neglecting his salvation, which he received very well; he has been speaking seriously with Sabat on the subject of religion, and wishes to learn Hebrew, in order to satisfy himself of the contents of the Jewish scriptures.
3-5. Letters from Mr. Brown produced another serious altercation with Sabat; I was much grieved with his spirit, but argued temperately with him, and found a relief in praying for him; began the Koran in Arabic with him.
Dinapore, Dec. 4, 1807.
MY DEAR SIR,
With a grieved spirit I write to you, perplexed but not in despair. Your letters to us came to-day. Sabat had shewn such increasing marks of attachment to me of late, that I did not hesitate to give him your letter immediately. He begged me to explain its contents, which I did, and endeavoured to shew how happy I felt that his first unfavourable opinion had changed. But he could not conceal his chagrin at my knowing what he wrote to you. But your refusing to allow him house-rent made a still deeper impression on his mind. He began to speak in a way that made me tremble for his soul; complained of the injustice of sending him so long a journey with the loss of seven or eight hundred rupees, to no purpose--of your having dealt deceitfully with him, &c. and said that he should wait till Ameena was delivered and then give up the work. I reasoned with him temperately, though it was not without difficulty that I kept my temper. I gave him to understand that we did not consider him as a hireling, but as a brother beloved, who had the cause as much at heart as ourselves, and who would assist us in bearing our burdens. Nothing assuaged him but my promising to pay the rent, as also the expence of his journey when able. It is really surprising that with so much unfeigned piety there should he so little sense of propriety and delicacy in him; but, as you say, he is an Arab--half savage. The allowance he receives is in my opinion very handsome. * * * * * * The low state of the fund, which I have now learnt for the first time, makes me greatly regret that I was so urgent for Mirza, as I fear I may have pained Dr. Buchanan's mind--I shall continue to keep him at my own expcnce, and my only reason for not having determined to do so at first, was the debt I incurred in buying this house. * * * * * 5th, (yesterday) the Epistles were finished in Hindoostanee. As soon as Mirza returns from Benares, whither he is gone for his wife, we shall (D. V.) begin to revise and correct the whole New Testament ***** 7th, dear Sabat, since the night of the 4th, seems anxious to make amends for his conduct--he is more humble and more affectionate than ever: Blessed be God! my mind is at rest again,
Dear sir, your's most affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
MY DEAR SIR,
The letter from Mr. Simeon confirms the account you sent me of his being incapacitated, finally I fear, for public preaching. His health in other respects was not affected; but weakness of lungs, in such a climate as England how easily does it become consumption 1 The other letter is from Lydia to bid me a last farewell. My heart asks in secret, 'Why have I been so crossed--from my infancy.' Yet the Lord's wisdom and love are very apparent in all his dealings with me. I think now that I ought to urge it no more, since God so evidently forbids it. Mr. Simeon went into Cornwall and had an interview with her--and from his account there appeared no great difficulty, but her own letter conveys a different impression; but enough of this. Sabat tells me that you have a Jew of Yemen in your house. As I wish to learn Hebrew with points, and cannot discover the right sounds of them from books, can you help me by writing down from him the true sounds, on Gilchrist's plan or any other? Next, cannot he or some other learned Jew write a short Hebrew grammar in Persian or Arabic? Mirza promises to learn Hebrew and translate from thence into Hindoostanee. Mirza and myself go on steadily; but dear Sabat is continually called away by his wife, who claims every attention from him in her present distress. Our hearts are knit together like,the hearts of Jonathan and David. He did not seem to like me at first, but now he seems greatly attached.
I have not examined the list of the books very accurately, but no doubt they are all right. Castell's Lexicon is incomplete, &c. * * *
6. (Sunday.) Preached on Acts xiv. "Through much tribulation," &c. Congregation large, the hour being altered to ten--and the attention was very considerable. The services through the day as usual. B. in a long conversation at night hurt my mind much, and gave me many fears about him, but I believe I misunderstood him. The state of the soldiers is horrible by his account, and I fear those who come to me are little better. The Lord apply some word to the hearts of all, and save them. How they are hurrying to ruin! Oh, what can save them!
7. Oh, how is every hour lost and thrown away that is not spent in the love and contemplation of God, my God! "O send out thy light and thy truth that they may lead me to thy holy tabernacles," that I may live always serious, always affectionate towards God. Much of this day spent in irregular employment; writing letters and reading the Koran; at night with Major and Mrs. Y--; we were all delightfully interested in reading Newton on the Prophecies, and had some enlargements in prayer for the coming of Christ's kingdom; but more fervent desire that I might give every moment full attention to my work of learning the languages, and really improve my talents for God. Oh how guilty is the waste of a moment!
8. Making calls on the General, &c.; read a little of the Koran, but nothing scarcely done. In prayer in the evening, my soul felt very earnest for a close walk with God; attention to my work, and the coming of the kingdom.
9-12. Chiefly employed about sermon, and reading the Koran; writing to Emma and S------. Family prayers every evening with the Y--'s, which have always proved refreshing to me; though I fear much of the apparent joy I feel often in prayer is not solid and spiritual.
13. (Sunday.) Preached on Luke xii. 20.--" This night thy soul," &c. The congregation was large, and more attentive than they have ever yet been. Some of the young officers and soldiers seemed to be in deep concern. I was willing to believe that the power of God was present, if a wretch so poor and miserable can be the instrument of good to souls. Four years have I been in the ministry, and I am not sure that I have been the means of converting four souls from the error of their ways; why is this? The fault must be in myself. Prayer and secret duties seem to be where I fail; had I more power in intercession, more self-denial in persevering in prayer, it would be no doubt better for my hearers. In the afternoon discoursed much to the poor women, from the offering up of Isaac, of God's offering his Son, but I could not keep their attention at all. A half caste man who was there: told me they might understand every word I used, so I know not what to do with them, but continue to teach while the Lord sends any to hear. At the hospital read the Saint's Rest; in the evening had much freedom in exposition and prayer with the men, and affectionate spiritual conversation with dear Sabat.
14, Read the Koran all the morning, but often interrupted by persons calling. Afternoon and night Y--with us as usual; Sabat and myself both betrayed into foolish heat about so trifling a question as the superiority of Europeans or Arabians in literature; but prayer brought us right; we rejoiced together that we had found that which was better than the wisdom of this world. Read his Persian translation with him at night. My soul in secret stirred to be more in, and more fervent in, prayer.
15. Again interrupted by calls. A Brahmin staid a long while; I explained to him the dealings of God with man from the beginning, the evidences of the truth of Christ, the necessity of an atonement, the wickedness of idolatry, and warned him that he would be judged not as others, but according to that word which he had now heard. In short there was scarcely a subject that could touch him, which I did not endeavour to dwell upon. But he seemed little affected. These are indeed the children of darkness. Mahomedans seem capable of fearing God, but these have not the smallest dread of an hereafter: they hear every awful truth with the smile of indifference. Read the Koran and Sadi, and at night with Sabat his Persian translations. At night in family prayer felt deliberate and serious. Sent off the copy of the Persian written parables to Calcutta.
16-19. Persian and Arabic studies suspended, and employed almost continually about a sermon, but much interrupted by calls. On the 18th baptized three children at Bankipore.
20. (Sunday.) Preached on Heb. ix. 22. to a large congregation, but heard at night that the men turned it all into ridicule. The women in the afternoon few. B. and Mrs. Y. often are, and to day were such, that I stand in doubt of them, so that I have not one steady Christian soul to give me encouragement. Yet why should I be cast down when I have my God and Saviour to flee to! Times of distress and grief always endear God, and his Christ, and his heaven, to my soul. In prayer with the men at night felt quite alone with God, and stirred up to cry earnestly for the effusion of the Spirit upon us, and some token that he is among us.
21. Some young men, shipmates, dined with me.
22, 23, Breakfasted with the General, and gave him my letters for the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief, on the subject of building a church. Heard the boys at the school read. Received Mr. Brown's papers, report, &c. Much engaged in preparing sermon. Men came as usual.
24. Towards evening, serious and solemn thoughts. The Y--s dined and joined in prayer. Read some Koran and Persian with Sabat.
25. (Sunday.) Preached on Isa. lii, 1. "How beautiful," &c. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was an affecting ordinance to me. About twelve communicants, several I suppose from form. Discoursed pretty much at large to the women in the afternoon on the prophecies concerning Christ, and in one or two of them interest was observable. At the hospital explained the Epistle and Gospel for the day.
26. Translating from Genesis for the women into Hindoostanee. In the evening read Persian and Arabic with Sabat. At night had some gracious manifestations to my soul, shewing me how much I lose by not purifying myself. When God reveals his beauty how wicked does my heart appear.
27. (Sunday.) Preached on Eph. v. 16. "Redeeming the time;" and I trust it was a solemn season to many, as to myself. The services of the day as usual--the women few.
28. Rose very early. Endeavoured to spend the whole day with diligence. Read the Koran. Wrote to Corrie.
29. Translating from Hebrew into Hindoostanee in the morning. Wrote to Mr. Udney. Read Arabic and Persian as usual with Sabat. We had some conversation on this subject, whether we might not expect the Holy Spirit would endue us with extraordinary powers in the acquisition of languages, if we could pray for it only with a desire to be useful to the church of God, and not with a wish for our own glory. There seemed to be no reason against such an expectation. I sometimes pray for the gifts of the Spirit, but infinitely greater is the necessity to pray for grace, as I know by the sorrowful experience of my deceitfully corrupt heart. Tried very severely to-day by indwelling corruption. Sin is a body of death to my soul; I start with astonishment that I can think without tears and agony of sin, which in its course would plunge me and others into shame, misery, and everlasting damnation. "Keep thy servant, O Lord, from presumptuous sins;" I walk on the edge of a precipice. Waken my soul to vigilance and circumspection, and may the power of thy Spirit command my wicked heart into obedience and holiness. Oh happy those souls who are gone beyond danger! Oh that I could maintain that meek, and resigned, and serious frame I hope to have in my dying hour.
30. Day chiefly spent in writing sermon, at night the men came; the parable of the rich man and Lazarus seemed to impress them much. Afterwards read the Koran and Persian Gospel with Sabat.
31. This and last day, conscience more pure, and mind at peace. What encouragement to resist, even to blood, striving against sin. And now another year is gone, time carries me swiftly on, but I run not my race swiftly.