January 1, 1808. Few or no changes have occurred in the course of the past year. See Mem. p. 281. All that I have done this whole year is to prepare the translation of the Parables, translate the Epistles into Hindoostanee, and make small progress in Persian and Arabic. Sabat having come from Dinapore to live with me is also an event, as he will assist me to consider seriously of what must be thought of before going into Persia and Arabia to preach the gospel.
Sabat and I agree better in the faith of Christ than in any thing else. He exalts logic and I decry it, or rather the pedantic use he makes of it. He looks down with high contempt upon the learning and civilization of the Europeans, scarcely allowing us to know any thing but a little arithmetic. This nettles me to take up the cudgels sometimes, to teach him that we do know something. But his ignorance of the terms of science in English, and mine of Persian, is a most happy gag to our mouths, and saves us from much vain jangling. There is scarcely any thing that needs altering in his exterior but his pedantry his passionate temper is, I think, softened considerably. His wife's accouchement has scarcely allowed him to get settled yet, but he translates now a chapter a day regularly.
2. Employed about a sermon; Major and Mrs. Y-- and J. Marshall dined with me; it being the last time we were to join in prayer, I endeavoured to intercede for them, that they might stand fast in the Lord, so that I might have joy of them; that, since I shall probably see them no more till the great day, I may meet them then, fit to be presented perfect in Christ Jesus.
3. (Sunday.) Preached on Gen iii. 15. I thought that there would be scarcely any attention, but as it was a text about Christ, the Holy Spirit bore testimony to it in some small way at least. In the afternoon with the women; with the men at night.
4. Left Dinapore to proceed to Hajipoor. Breakfasted at Major Y.'s in the camp at Bankipore, and there I parted from them with great sorrow. Crossed the Ganges at the Gundhick to Hajipore, where at Major F.'s bungalow, I married Captain S. to Mrs. H. Proceeded after dinner to Patna, where I sat till midnight with G.
January 4, 1808.
I am writing a letter in a situation where I never wrote a letter before, sitting in my palanquin in Major Y--'s camp near Patna. I am on my way to Hajipoor, across the water, to marry a couple. My regard for them both has increased very much of late, as I have seen marks of grace more evidently. It is painful to be deprived of them just at this time, yet the Lord knoweth them that are his, and will keep them through faith unto eternal salvation. To-day we ought to send our reports, but I have found it impossible to gain a moment this last week to think what must be said.
The circumstances that discourage us at present in our ministry, are alleviated by our both meeting with them at the same time. We shall live to see better days. Among all the different people whom I have occasion to speak to, I know not which is most hardened. How shall it ever be possible to convince a Hindoo or Brahmin of any thing. These are people possessed by Satan, like the idols they worship, without any understanding. Truly, if ever I see a Hindoo a real believer in Jesus, I shall see something more nearly approaching the resurrection of a dead body, than any thing I have yet seen. This last week a Brahmin came three or four days following, and stayed an hour or two each time. I told him all that God had done for mankind from the beginning; the evidence of Christianity, the nature of it, the folly and wickedness of their religion, in short, every topic that could affect a human being; at the end of all, he was exactly as at the beginning. The same serene smile, denoting the absence of all feeling. However, I well remember Mr. Ward's words, 'The common people are angels compared with the Brahmins.' Perhaps the strong man armed, that keeps the goods in peace, shall be dispossessed from these, when the mighty word of God comes to be ministered by us.
Yesterday morning, on Genesis iii, 15. There was great attention, from my obviating, perhaps, some of the infidelity our common soldiers profess. With the women I felt greatly restrained, hesitating in the most awkward manner still, between Persian and Hindoostanee. Sabat as usual, proceeding but slowly in the translation of the Scriptures.
The reports of the Bible Society are delightful, particularly the Roman Catholic Doctor. In what a variety of forms grace appears, and under what dirty rags may a beautiful countenance sometimes be seen.
5. Scarcely do I remember a day in which my corruptions ever rose to a greater height; showed some evil temper. As soon as I walked out, I happened to observe from the top of the fort, some Brahmins below in the Ganges, pretending to be absorbed in meditation. I felt provoked at the sight, but instantly the thought occurred, if these men, in the worship of their Devil, are so exact and careful, why do not those, who are taught to know the true God, meditate on him? This morning I found no corner for prayer, through the servants having made the breakfast room my bed-room, and so I had begun the day without prayer, yet here were some Brahmins not ashamed to pray before one another, and undisturbed by the multitude of other brethren. I retired in great grief and shame, and had not a stone to cast at a living creature, but was permitted, notwithstanding my deep sense of guilt, to speak with some earnestness to God while walking. Visited the school at Patna, and after examining both the Persian and Nagree readers, and finding them utterly ignorant, I rebuked the schoolmaster with some sharpness, as he deserved. At Ban-kipore they were somewhat better, and I explained some of the sermon on the mount to the boys, but intentionally also to the bystanders. Was scarcely ever more low-spirited, than in my palanquin or on my return. The departure of the Y--s seemed to leave me without human comfort.
6, Employed in writing my quarterly letter; my spirits low and lamentably dead in spiritual things. Men came at night; I prayed a long time with them in great heaviness. Letters from Parsons and Corrie,
7-13. More lively and comfortable, but still in general wanting fixedness of soul in God. Looking into the perfect law of liberty, and straightway going away, and forgetting what manner of man I was. On the 10th (Sunday) I preached on Mark viii. 38. A woman applying for baptism, has been coming with another every day for instruction. Studies as usual; reading Koran, and translating a verse or two of Scripture into Arabic.
Dinapore, January 7, 1808.
I come before you again with nothing to say for myself, yet happy to be with you and to be numbered amongst you, and happy to repeat my vows of fidelity to our mutual engagements. If nature were suffered to have its way, my paper would be filled with complaints. I should tell of a year passed away at this place and scarcely the least good done; of the ignorance, infidelity, and dissipation that prevail as much as ever; but, though even Sabat wept at hearing that only one of all the number he saw was converted, I must check my propensity to despond. It took much more than a year to bring out the smallest appearances of grace in myself; and perhaps the ministers of the gospel at home would have as much reason to mourn as we have, were they, like us, confined to a single society. I will therefore rather be thankful for what the Lord has done, than querulous on account of what he has not done. He has permitted me to teach and preach Jesus Christ to the same people for a whole year, and this cannot prove finally to be in vain. Some of them, the officers and ladies of the 25th are gone to Berhampore, where they will again hear the song of mercy and judgment, (blessed be God!) from the mouth of my dear brother Parsons. May many of them be ripened under his care, and be presented by him perfect in Christ Jesus. I sometimes think I could be willing to become a neglected outcast, as unfit to be useful, provided my brethren were profitable in the ministry, and build up the temple of God. And I am sure that I feel indifferent who are made the instruments of saving the people that are or have been my hearers, so they are saved; and my brethren are of the same mind. We shall all acknowledge that he that plantcth and he that watereth are one, and yet neither of them is any thing, the people are God's husbandry, God's building.
The two persons frequently mentioned by me before as serious, seemed to be rather progressive than otherwise when I parted with them. And I now commend them with much affectionate desire to Parsons, that he may exhort them with full purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord. Since the commencement of the cold season, my congregation has been large and the attention considerable. The Hindoostanee congregation, though much fallen off since the outset, has not diminished since my last communication.
The schools are full of boys still, but not overflowing, as they were. There seems not a vestige of fear left in the minds of the people respecting my purposes. By asking the boys if they understand what they read of the Sermon on the Mount, opportunities occur at every visit of explaining to the bystanders. The schoolmasters require looking after. The boys first learnt by rote; and what they pretended to be reading, they were saying by heart. But of late I have examined them with more strictness, and rebuked the masters sharply. My hopes of the usefulness of these schools are greatly increased.
Among the most memorable events of this last quarter is the arrival of Sabat to live with me. As a Christian brother and able teacher of Persian he is a double blessing to me. He will probably prove a distinguished instrument in preparing the way of the Kings of the East. I should be desirous of sending you tidings of him from time to time, if I were sure he would never see what is written in his praise. But I am very unwilling to feed his besetting sin, which appears to he vanity.
As much of my time as was not employed for the Europeans has been devoted chiefly to translating the Epistles into Hindoostanee. This work is finished after a certain manner. But Sabat does not allow me to form a very high idea of the style in which it is executed. But if the work should fail, which however I am far from expecting, my labour will have been richly repaid by the profit and pleasure derived from considering the word of God in the original with more attention than I had ever done. Often have I been filled with admiration, after some hours detention about one or two verses, at the beauty and wisdom of God's words and works, and often rejoiced at meeting a difficult passage in order to have the pleasure of seeing some new truth emerge. It has been frequently a matter of delight to me that we shall never, never be separated from the contemplation of these divine oracles, or the wondrous things about which they are written. Knowledge shall vanish away, but it shall be only because the perfection of it shall come. Then shall we see as we are seen, and know as we are known. What a source of perpetual delight have we, dearest brethren in the ministry, in this precious and wonderful book of God; and what happiness is it that the study of it is made our secular business!
Time flows by me with great rapidity; and it seems as if life would be gone before any thing is done or even begun. I mean for the natives; for with humble deference to the superior judgment and experience of our beloved president at Calcutta, I think the missionary ardour of the Hon. Company's chaplains, that is of one of them, wants strengthening rather than a check. And this seems the proper place for repelling the charge publicly brought against us in the last letter from Calcutta, for refusing to come down. I do not stand up the champion of my two brethren above and below me on the banks of the Ganges. They must defend themselves as they can; but I say boldly for myself, that I am not afraid to work amid the fires, at the Presidency or anywhere else; but when I see a very small party of people who choose to sit still, with their faces upon the right way and a flood of light poured upon it, and not far from these, millions, equally valuable, groping for the true way in midnight darkness, I cannot help running with a lantern to the latter. At the time of Mr. Brown's late illness, (for his recovery let us bless God,) I should have rejoiced to bear any or all his burdens, and would have floated down to his aid with all joy, but it was to be considered that by the time I had obtained permission to leave my station, and perform my journey down,..he might be recovered, that my own European congregation, being superior in numbers to those at the mission church and inconceivably more ignorant, had at least an equal claim to my labours with the people of Calcutta; that in my absence the light is out here, no public or social means of grace left, no sabbath kept. Moreover, I sagely reflected that it is far easier not to come to a place, than after coming to get away. Thus I have exculpated myself much to my own satisfaction, and I hope to Mr. Brown's, and if he does not accept this apology, he has only to give me the threatened meeting at Boglipore, and Corrie and Parsons shall attend as seconds. And now since I have noticed one part of Mr. Brown's communication, and got over the most unpleasant part of it, I join with him in praise for the happy issue of the late troubles of the missionaries. The cause has received in a manner legal sanction, and the missionaries have learnt, what the best and wisest of men have sometimes need to learn, how to proceed in the work of God according to the will of God.
The reports of the Bible Society with which Mr. Brown has favoured us, have filled us all, no doubt, with wonder and delight. Their large strides toward the great object, seem to mark a power about to be, if not already, gigantic; and since their weapons are necessarily by the nature of their institution not carnal, which cannot with certainty be said of any missionary society, they bid fair to give a more deadly blow to Antichrist, than he has yet had. It is indeed his mortal blow, I suppose, for the lease of his life seems nearly out according to the prophecies. Amen! thy kingdom come, O Lord! Thou shalt overcome him, for thou art Lord of Lords, and King of Kings. May we thy ministering servants also overcome him, through the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony. In thy cause let us not love our lives unto the death, but be numbered at last among those who are chosen, and called, and faithful!
To the Associated Clergy.
January 11, 1808.
Sabat sometimes awakes some of the evil parts of my nature. Finding I have no book of Logic, he wishes to translate one of his compositions to instruct me in that science. He is much given to contradict, and set people right, and that he does with an air so dogmatical, that I have not seen the like of it since I left Cambridge. He looks on the missionaries at Serampore as so many degrees below him in intellect, that he says he could write so deeply on a text, that not one of them would be able to follow him. So I have challenged him in their name, and to-day he has brought me the first half of his essay or sermon on a text: with some ingenuity, it has the most idle display of school-boy pedantic logic you ever saw. I shall translate it from the Persian, in order to assist him to rectify his errors. He is certainly learned in the learning of the Arabs, and how he has acquired so much in a life so active, is strange, but I wish it could be made to sit a little easier on him. I look forward to St. Paul's Epistles, in hopes some good will come to him from them. It is a very happy circumstance, that he did not go to preach at his first conversion, he would have entangled himself in metaphysical subjects out of his depth, and probably made shipwreck of his own faith. I have, I think, led him to see that it is dangerous and foolish to attempt to prove the doctrine of the Trinity by reason, as he said at first he was perfectly able to do.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
14. Bundu Ali Khan of Lucknow called with the General; Sabat spoke with him a good deal in Persian, and gave him some good advice. He appeared a very mild agreeable man, and I regretted much we could not have an opportunity of seeing him again. Dined with Major S. and found the conversation rather useful.
15. Called on one of the Dinapore families, and felt my pride rise at the uncivil manner in which I was received: I was disposed at first to determine never to enter the house again, but I remembered the words, "overcome evil with good." They asked me whether I disapproved of dancing, as well as cards and plays, to which I very readily gave an answer which silenced them. An order came yesterday from the Governor General, to send an estimate for building a church. Had occasion to lament the want of self-diffidence with Sabat, which is so great, that he seems to think himself infallible. I told him that if he so arrogantly despised all help, God would surely put him to shame: "If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he know-eth nothing yet as he ought to know." My prayers with him have not much life. In secret I am blessed and refreshed much more at times, but these also in general short and distracted.
16. Studies as usual; preparing sermon.
17. (Sunday.) In morning prayer found great fervency, and desire to be as a flame of fire for the service of God. My soul panted after the full improvement of every moment of every day. Preached on Gen. xii. 1--3., the calling of Abraham.. In the afternoon the women few, and my spirit depressed at seeing them; at the end of the remaining service, I found a pain in the breast for the first time, the consequence of over speaking; felt quite spent in the evening, but went to bed with strong desires to be up again at my work.
18. Rose between four and five, and kept to my Arabic Grammar, but for want of sufficient refreshment, my body yielded, and I did upon the whole, less than on other days. Sabat being ill, I sat evening after evening with him; wrote to Mr. Simeon and Corrie.
January 18, 1808.
Your conversation at the------was curious, and I doubt not, useful to them. The Lord endue his servants with a wisdom which all their adversaries shall never be able, &c. If I happen to go to any place, there is a dumb silence on such subjects; they seem to be afraid to open their mouths before me; perhaps it is because I go so seldom among them, that they are so shy. I now never dine out, except at the General's, once in three months. Their dinner hours are at night, and that is the time when Sabat reads his chapter in English, and we pray, and I read my Persian with him, all of which is so important to him and me, that I feel justified in what I confess my inclination inculcates,-- seclusion. At one family where I called this week, their unkindness amounted to incivility. On coming away, my pride told me never to enter those doors again, but charity beareth long and is kind, so I shall go again. You do not mention whether the pious Faquccr has been baptized yet--whether Hindoo or Mussulman. I rejoice to bless the Lord that your heart, brother beloved, is so much toward the heathen. I am in amazement myself that------does not stir himself to this glorious work. When I consider how much greater facilities he possesses than yourself, from long habits of study, I see that the Lord has chosen you to this honourable post. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit would endue us with great powers in the acquisition of the languages; if not by supernatural gifts, yet by keeping us attentive while we read, and giving us strong and retentive memories: may he make our spirits fervent in this business. When it pleases God to open my eyes to the state of the heathen, and to the degree of good one might do, I start at my past slothfulness, and feel excited to resolve that not a moment shall be lost again. My example in this respect has a great influence on Sabat. He is not very diligent except when he sees me so, and then he vows he will not lose a minute. He is very clever, but overrates his own abilities. One day last week, the General brought Bundu Ali Khan of Lucknow, to see Sabat and me. Sabat talked a great deal with him, and warned him to seek the salvation of his soul, as life was but five days long. Bundu Ali appeared a very gentlemanly man, and I much regretted that he was going away, and would not see us again. He did not venture to dispute with Sabat on the reasons of his change. I had almost forgotten to say that the Governor General has sent an order for building a church here. You shall hear more when I hear more. I preached yesterday on the calling of Abraham, in pursuance of a plan I have designed for noticing the chief points of the Old Testament history, for the benefit of the infidels who swarm in these parts. The Hindoostanee women are very few.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
19. Rose again at the same hour, but my frail frame cannot keep pace with the desires of the mind; felt weak and tired from morning to night. Read Arabic Grammar, Koran, Hebrew Bible, and tried a long time in vain, to make out an Arabic letter from Shallum the Jew, to Sabat. Translated a few verses of the Testament into Arabic. Last night the idea occurred to me that the Christians at Patna might be gathered together, and by preaching to them a door be opened to the heathen and Mahometans, without drawing upon me the interference of government. My carnal fears suggest that I am not yet sufficiently master of the language to save myself from ridicule. Oh for faith! Oh that I could put myself into the hands of the Lord Christ, that he might work miracles by me! Found a snake, a Cobra-di-Capella, to-day in one of my rooms, where Sabat usually sits, and killed it. Praised be the bruiser of the serpent's head, who thus preserves me from hourly dangers!
20--23. Same studies without variation. Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian; wrote sermon; letters to Charles Hoare and Chamberlain; by early rising I have gained some ground this week and found more comfort and power in prayer. My temptations are few, except that of being satisfied with a cold and lukewarm state. The Christians at Patna have been much on my mind before God, and there seems an indispensable necessity that I should take some steps respecting them. Precious souls! millions perishing in the neighbourhood of one who can preach the gospel to them! how dreadful! I trust the Lord will open a great and effectual door; but oh for faith, zeal, courage, love. Read over the ordination service, and was much affected. All I can do is to cry, "Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, oh God, thou God of my salvation."
24. (Sunday.) Preached on Rev. xix. 10. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The remaining services of the day as usual. At intervals in the evening, found my soul delightfully refreshed in reading some of the services. It has been on the whole a solemn and comfortable sabbath.
25. Rose very early, and continued reading the Arabic grammar, the Koran, and translating into Arabic the whole day. Rich, a Prussian, came at night, and with many tears declared his intention to leave off his practice of drinking, and to live a godly life; I gave him a Testament, and he promised to come the next day.
January 25, 1808.
One of the Hindoostanee New Testament will soon be ready; but I want to have a press here, for the delay of having everything done at Serampore is insufferable. There are few things I regret more, than not having learnt how to print. Before travelling westward, it would be worth while to go to Calcutta to learn this noble art, in order to teach it wherever we go. Yesterday we had the last of our church. The General says, I must only read the prayers for the future, as the men cannot be kept in the sun for more than half an hour. I feel at a loss to know what to do; a short sermon I must give them. The sixty-seventh is expected here in ten days. I have been employed in writing Europe letters to------and-------. To the latter, using every argument to draw him to India; advising him to keep his fellowship, for if he gets married it will be impossible to get him out of England. I have not heard from ------since I know not when, but I am greatly concerned that he does not give his mind to the languages. What an awful thought may it be to all three of us in the neighbourhood of such cities as Patna, Benares, and Moorshedabad, that thousands are perishing with a light close at hand. But while we are seriously preparing and conscientiously redeeming the time for that purpose, we may hope to be free from blood-guiltiness. Last Sunday I felt greatly fatigued with speaking, and for the first time perceived symptoms of injury, by pain in the breast. Yesterday it returned just as I began the service, and I thought it impossible I should go through all the service of the day, but the Lord helped me. Saturday evening I was reading the ordination services, and think they are some of the most affecting things I ever read. What men of God were our forefathers! Oh may I learn in the same school. The Lord bless you, brother beloved, through Jesus Christ.
28. Was much agitated by a dream about a serpent, recollecting what had happened to Swartz. I rose in the night, and called for a light but could find none; but the horror of the detested animal continued on me all day. Dear and precious that Saviour, who hath bruised the head of the great dragon! Amiable in himself and precious to my soul is he who hath wrought such a work for men, for me. Called on the General and Major S. Chiefly employed in Arabic; the keenness of my desire of learning it rather abated; yet in prayer stirred up with fervent desires to make the most of every moment; and the Christians of Patna also much on my mind still in prayer.
27-30. Employments and state same, with little variation. Sent letters to Forsyth and Bates.
Dinapore, Jan. 30, 1808.
MY DEAR SIR,
Sabat to-day finishes St. Matthew, and will write to you on the occasion. Your letter to him was very kind and suitable, but I think you must not mention his logic to him, except with contempt; for he takes what you say on that head, as homage due to his acquirements, and praise to him is brandy to a man in a high fever. He loves as a Christian brother; but as a logician, he holds us all in supreme contempt. He assumes all the province of reasoning as his own by right, and decides every question magisterially. He allows Europeans to know a little about Arithmetic and Navigation, but nothing more. Dear man! I smile to observe his pedantry. Never have I seen such an instance of dogmatical pride, since I heard Dr. Parr preach his Greek Sermon at St. Mary's, about the to on.
For several days past I have had my mind full of imaginations about establishing a press in my house. The reasons are many and strong which I have to offer, but as you will probably perceive them yourself, I will not adduce them till your opposition renders it necessary, But favour me with your opinion upon it as soon as you can, because we shall soon be ready for printing.
Mr. G.'s late appointment seems to have excited in him a spirit of thankfulness to the Giver of all good gifts. * * He always mentions you with kindness, but like most other people, has a strange prejudice against Dr. Buchanan. On his removal to Bankipore, he promises to come and stay with me. His library is most choice; every article in it is interesting to me, and he lends freely. * * * * * * And now I have no more questions to ask, except about your health, and that my dear Sir, is a question that comes from my heart. Oh may your next bring me the good tidings of your restoration to health and spirits. I have often observed, that your spirits sink with your strength, but His love changeth not.
My salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not he abolished.
We wait your order to assemble any where to receive your pastoral visit. Were the archiepiscopal hands on you, we could not love or honour you more. Believe this to be a true word from your affectionate
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
31. (Sunday.) A melancholy Sabbath; no divine service performed because no house, and the wet weather prevented us meeting in the open air. Mr. Denton came, and joined Sabat and myself in our morning worship, and dined with us. In the afternoon officiated at the hospital, and baptized two of Mrs. C------'s children. The men at night seemed very dull; in prayer with them, I seemed to be kept down by a great weight from doing any thing but complain. Sabat to-day received a rude answer from his friends at Phoolwaree, that his apostacy had cut the ties of friendship, and that they did not wish to see him. I also had a letter from Patna, the Roman Catholic Christians had all refused to meet me, from fear of offending their Padre at Bettea: thus am I left unable to devise any means of getting to the people of Patna. I trust the Lord will himself open some door of access to them.
February 1. Went to Patna, and passed the day with Mr. G. hoping to call on some of the natives with him, but he declined it; the multitudes of this great Nineveh did not affect me with terror as they used to do; I thought I could speak to them without fear.
2. Called on the Brahmin. Refused to baptize a child, because the godmothers were not married.
3. Mirza arrived from Benares; and we began the correction of the Hindoostanee gospel.
4-6. Closely employed in correcting, and reached the end of Matt, xiii., at intervals translating into Arabic and reading Koran.
7. (Sunday.) Again no order for service; I was a little uneasy at the thought of a Sabbath passing with minister and people near each other, and yet no ministrations. Passed the first half of the day in reading and prayer, and found it a profitable time to my own soul, which much wants this rest from weekly employments. In the afternoon officiated at the hospital much at length. At night the soldiers came; I heard that the rest were congratulating themselves that there was no service. Alas! how hardened are these poor sinners! what enemies to their own souls!
February 8, 1808.
This week I believe I have nothing to communicate; yet, a beginning being made, something will occur. My mind is just now much occupied with some news I have heard, that the King is dead, Ireland in rebellion, England invaded, a large French force by land and sea coming to India, &c. if any, &c. can be added to this. We deserve it all for our national arrogance, and God has threatened to bring down the haughtiness of the terrible; yet I trust that the half of this is not true nor any part of it. Yet the profound secrecy observed by the governor and council since the arrival of the last overland dispatch is enough to alarm the public mind. How will our affairs be affected by it, i. e. our preaching? Not at all. Our Lord's kingdom is not of this world; only we shall not be dressed in so good a coat, and perhaps shall trudge about without a palanquin, neither of which we trust are serious afflictions to us. Also the Romish missionaries will lift up their head, and the Beast triumph for a season. Oh happy our lot to have a blessed heaven above for us, where no enemy temporal or spiritual shall disturb; and a Saviour here to whom we may flee and be safe from fears. "Thou art my habitation whereunto I may continually resort." Mirza made his appearance unexpectedly last week, and began his work forthwith. To-day we reached Matt, xiv. and in a month I expect the four gospels will be ready for the press. But not a word from Calcutta to say whether I may hope to be favoured with a press here. To print, myself, is become a hobby-horse with me. * * Sabat continues tolerable in health, though often interrupted by headaches. He wrote a second letter to the Molwee Sahebs, at Phoolwaree, convincing them from the Koran of their unreasonableness in not arguing with him; to which they replied in a Persian letter full of Galee. I advised him to let the matter rest there; but he wrote a third time, in consequence of which one of them came and sent a note from a place in Dinapore to say, that for the sake of his descent he would meet him, but not dispute except with learned men. He refused to meet him, and smiled at their pretending to despise his learning. Poor Sabat's mind is a little hurt, but I rejoice that his pride has received a wound. He is thereby drawn further from the world and nearer to the Lord. To-day I hear one of these haughty Mussulman means to visit me. I shall see what arguments he can bring for the support of his filthy religion. The more Sabat and myself talk and read about the Koran, the more he is amazed that his eyes were not opened before; and I, that 1200 years out of the 1260 have left the superstition still in such strength. I had a conversation last night at my garden gate with several Brahmins, but I have forgotten my old Hindoo words, and so our discourse was reciprocally rather dark. Before I attempt speaking in the villages, I must study the Nagree parables again with some attention. And now my paper is done, but not my desire of communicating with you.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
8-12. Constantly employed in correcting Hin-doostanee gospel with Mirza. Reading Koran also. Received letters from Mrs. Y. and J. but not feeling such delight in any work I could do on earth as heretofore; our days hasten to an end, and vanity is stamped on us and our works; the work of sanctification is the chief thing. Oh that my soul panted after higher attainments in that. Continued weariness about the multitudes in Patna. Would that a door were opened! Oh if one is open, that I may see it. I feel ashamed to live in such ease as I do, and were it not that duty keeps me to my present work of translation, I should gladly become a poor man, to mix with the lowest of the people.
Dinapore, Feb. 12, 1808.
MY DEAR SIR,
I have no very urgent occasion to write, but next to the pleasure of hearing from you is that of writing to you. * * * My first question is about the press. May I not have one here? St. Matthew in Hindoostanee is ready; and in a month (D. V.) the four will be so. The Acts, by Mirza, were sent by him to you, he says, and Dr. Buchanan's secretary acknowledged the receipt of it. If you can procure it from Dr. Hunter, a month's labour will be saved. For Sabat, Mr. G. will provide a good scribe; is it determined whether he is to be allowed one or not? He begins to be a little peevish at not hearing from you--as he suspects that silence may be the prelude to denial. Certainly our Arabian's natural temper is as bad as it well can be, but he fights manfully against it. If in any of our disputes I get the better of him, he is stung to the quick and does not forget it for days. So I avoid as much as possible all questions gendering strifes. If he sees any thing wrong in me, any appearance of pride or love of grandeur, he tells me of it without ceremony; and thus he is a friend indeed. He describes so well the character of a missionary that I am ashamed of my great house and mean to sell it the first opportunity and take the smallest quarters I can find. Would that the day were come when I might throw off the coat and substitute the jamer; I long for it more and more; and am often very uneasy at being in the neighbourhood of so great a Nineveh without being able to do anything immediately for the salvation of so many perishing souls. What do you think of my standing under a shed somewhere in Patna as the missionaries did in the Lat Bazar. Will the government interfere?
What are your sensations on the late news? I fear the judgments of God on our proud nation, and that as we have done nothing for the gospel in India, this vineyard will be let out to others, who shall bring the fruits of it in their season. I think the French would not treat Juggernaut with quite so much ceremony as we do ****** * The Lord graciously preserve your bodily health and fill you with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus! So prays
Your's ever affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
13. Finished the correction of Matthew. The day spent unprofitably; as I was directing how to put my house in order so as to use it for a church, poor Sabat fell into one of his furious passions, which exhibited such a dire spectacle that I thought of St. James's words, "set on fire of hell." The occasion of it happened last night, when I thought I. had appeased him, and in prayer felt peculiar solemnity while supplicating for a forgiving temper, and the forgiveness of those who had offended us. But this morning I perceived that the sun had gone down upon his wrath, and risen again upon it. He thirsted for revenge on one of his servants who had offended him. When the man sent word he woiild not return, he went and fetched his sword and dagger, and with lips trembling with rage vowed he would kill the man if he did not come, though he should lose his own life; which however he would sell dear, as he would kill every police-officer or soldier that should come to apprehend him. I argued a longtime with him, and prevailed so far as to get the arms away from him. He told me I must bring none of the word of God to him, the voice of conscience was telling him that he was disinclined to obey it. No remark of mine seemed to affect him much, but this, that while he was declaiming about the dishonour that would come to him, if he should bear all the wickedness of his servants, I told him I knew no dishonour but sin, for whatever reproach others cast on us undeserved, we are precisely the same persons.
14. (Sunday.) As many of the European regiment as were effective, were accommodated under my roof, and we had the public ordinances once more. Praise to God! My text was Isaiah iv. "The Lord shall create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a pillar," &c. In the afternoon I waited for the women, but not one came, perhaps in consequence of notice not having been given them, by some mistake. At the hospital, and with the men at night as usual. In the morning, in secret prayer, my soul panted after the living God, but remained tied and bound with corruption. I felt as if I could have given the world to be brought alone with God, and never to see or think of any thing except as with God; and his promise that "this is the will of God, even your sanctification," was the right hand that upheld me while I followed after him. In general in the day, low in spirits, through unwillingness to take up the cross; found my spirit more resigned in endeavouring to realize the thought that had often composed me on board ship, that I was born to suffer; suffering is my daily, appointed portion, let this reconcile me to every thing-- to have a will of my own not agreeable to God's will is a most tremendous wickedness. I see it so for a few moments. Lord, write it on my heart! In perfect meekness and resignation let me take what befals me in the path of duty, and never dare to think of being dissatisfied.
15. Assembled my servants for the first time, and began to read the book of Genesis to them.
16. State of mind as on two preceding days. Endeavouring to keep in mind that I was born to suffer, and striving to be happy under every cross, not by discerning something agreeable in it, but because it is the will of God. Read to the servants as before, and mean to continue to do it.
17. Studies as usual, translating into Arabic, and reading the Koran. Drank tea at Captain D------'s; only two men came at night.
18. My birthday, which I did not recollect till it was past; this day I completed my twenty-seventh year, the body strong and healthy but the mind childish. What a burning and shining light might I have been at this age, had I been duly careful to improve all the great advantages I have met with in this life. Yet praised be God! my desires and hopes are strong with regard to my future usefulness; I think I have not a wish to number any more mortal years, except to be employed in the service of Christ.
19. My mind getting again into the old way of thoughtlessness, as the Lord makes the path of duty easier. How grievous is the perverseness of nature; I provoke God to use the correcting rod, when he would spare it.
20. Chiefly employed about my sermon; finished with Mirza the Gospel of St. Mark.
21. (Sunday) Preached on Matt. xxiv. 38, 39. "As in the days that were before the flood," &c. in the afternoon with the women; though my own soul was a little affected by what I was speaking about the one thing needful, they seemed to hear like stones. These things may well deject me, they would have that effect less, if I had any great fervour or peculiar tenderness for them in prayer, but I have not. I pray I fear without faith, as if praying for impossible things; my secular employments also secularize my mind manifestly, so that though my own heart finds sweetness in nothing but God, I have no power, and authority, and fulness in spiritual things; my understanding is not sufficiently exercised in them, and my experience not solid or deep.
22. Writing letters, but doing little all day, from want of sleep last night. Wrote out the proper names in the Greek Gospels, in order to determine the proper way of spelling them by comparison with the other Eastern versions. At night a young Scotchman of the European regiment came to me for a hymn book. He expressed with tears his past wickedness, and determination to lead a religious life.
February 22, 1808.
I generally rise fresh and strong for my work every morning, but to-day though this is my first work, I am ready to fall asleep over it. Understand that I am a perfect giant in bodily strength for reading, and Sabat a mere dwarf. He gets on very slowly in his translation, and I fear it will be a long time before the Persian New Testament will be ready. Yet we may at least hope that the Persian and Arabic New Testament, and the Persian and Arabic translation of the Prophets may be done before we leave India. The rest he says may be done in Persia. Saturday we finished St. Mark's gospel in Hin-doostanee. Sabat has rather a contemptuous opinion of my translation, merely because some of the words are mean, and not the Hindoostanee which he speaks, which nobody but the Nabobs and Molwees would understand. The chief defect of the translation in my opinion will be the exuberance of Arabic words, which are now so familiar to me that I do not think of ejecting them as often as I ought. But I must be careful with Mirza, for he is like a ball of wax, easy to be moulded into any shape; and whatever he sees me earnest for he will give up; so I alter as little of his translation as possible, lest through his absurd pliability he should give up the true idiom in my desire of having it literal. I had the pleasure of receiving a few lines from dear Mr. Brown last Saturday after a long silence, he says, 'to carry on your operations with full efficiency you must have a press at your elbow, a distant press will only plague you. I mean to make very particular inquiries on this subject, and to let you know how it may be carried into effect. I suppose three or four thousand rupees will establish a press, and three or four hundred rupees per month will keep it a going. Now all this the Christian Institution should and must supply, the moment it has funds, and funds I think will soon be forthcoming.' This was blessed news to me, though there may be some delay before my wishes are accomplished, for without the aid of the Christian Institution
I cannot do it. So------has been at Calcutta. Mr. B. says, 'To-morrow he preaches for me a most seasonable discourse.' How are we bound to be thankful for our dear brother, we two, especially, because we both laboured for his soul. At the time of my leaving Cambridge I had quite given him up, but behold he is become a labourer in the same distant vineyard. Only he must have his heart toward the heathen. The women still hesitate to come to my house for Divine Service. The ladies also I observe do not come, expecting I suppose that I should give them a particular invitation, which I shall not fail to do. The European regiment was again accommodated with ease under my roof. Last Monday I began to read Genesis with my servants; they attend with readiness, and listen with interest. A schoolmaster whom my schools threw out of employ I have lately kept in the house to teach my servants to read, and it is surprising to observe how fast some of them learn.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
23. This evening I called at the hospital where the Scotchman is, and walked with him, and another young man who seems serious. O that it might please the Lord to rescue these dear souls from the destroyer, and make them my joy and crown.
24. At night with the men, felt constrained to cry to God, to give us more life and power in the ordinances, A load seemed to be on my own heart, and Sabat rather increases than alleviates my unhappiness, by his coarse and unqualified remarks on our meetings. He often, however, tells me most wholesome truths. He told me yesterday,--and the remark was occasioned I suppose by what he has seen in me,--' that the English Christians have knowledge but no faith; not like the American; who, like the primitive Christians, are all faith and love.' My heart is in concord with these precious souls, though it is true that I know much more than I feel, and I would rather have the enjoyment of weeping with them, than be able to explain all mysteries and speak all languages. Writing letters to-day and reading the Koran.
25. Dined at Major S's with Sabat, and had to lament that our conversation was not such as answered any good purpose. In the evening visited Capt. and Mrs. D. To the latter I spoke very freely about the concerns of eternity.
26. 27. Employments much as usual.
28. (Sunday) The General had given no order at first, but I sent to know whether there was to be service or no, and then the order was inserted. The men I heard were full of rage and execrations at me for this disappointment, for they were delighting themselves with the thought of no service. Satan rages in their hearts. I trust the word also grapples with them. The men try poor B. with every species of infidel and atheistical argument. Preached on Rev. iii. 20. and the sermon seemed to affect them in some degree. In the afternoon baptized Sabat's daughter, Mary. The Saint's Rest at the hospital, is, I trust, doing good. It is an awful word to those wicked men.
29. Hard at Arabic to-day. First division of 67th regiment arrived; this is an increase of care and labour for me; but all is good that the Lord appoints.
February 29, 1808.
If writing to you were not agreeable to me, I should not think of trying to fill a sheet at this time, for my eyes are heavy with sleep. We are all ill here;--Mirza, Sabat, &c.--and to the inequality of the temperature we ascribe our ailings. After my preaching yesterday my lassitude was so great that I could scarcely support myself; at the close of the rains my sensations were the same. The General had not given orders for church on Saturday. I sent to inquire whether there would be service or no; in consequence of this application, an after order was issued, to the no small disappointment of the soldiers, who were enjoying the idea of having no service. When the order came, B. says they vented their rage in dreadful curses and execrations against me, for they lay all the blame of having the worship of God on me. May I be always chargeable with this crime! But what sort of men are these committed to my care? Alas! they are men, of whom it is said, that their heart is enmity against God. On the preceding Sabbath I had given them one more warning about their whoredom and drunkenness, and it is the truth grappling with their consciences that makes them thus furious. When we do meet, it is with little comfort, as you may suppose, since I know that by far the greater number come by constraint. Even Sabat, who ought to be a comforter, does by his unguarded and coarse remarks often dishearten me, for he says he does not like the public worship; and were it not that he is afraid he should be suspected of not being a Christian, he says he would not come at all. He complains that there is no love in the people, and that he is distracted and not able to pray. It must be confessed that from the scandalous disorder in which the Company have left the ecclesiastical part of their affairs, so that we have no place fit, our assemblies are little like worshipping assemblies. No kneeling, because no room, no singing, no responses. Yet a judicious Christian would bear with all these things, and lend a hand to counteract them as much as possible. But Sabat, yet young, just thinks of pleasing himself. But through the Lord's love and mercy I do not much need the help of man. I feel determined to combat the enemy of souls in every form. Yesterday was rather a happy day; text, "Behold! I stand at the door and knock." The poor men who continue to meet me so steadfastly in the evenings, I begin to think are really in earnest. Another came in the week, confessing his sins with tears, and desiring a hymn-book. B------is made the butt of the wicked men, who try by every species of infidel and atheistical argument within their reach to shake his faith. At the hospital Baxter's Saints' Rest seems to cut like a sharp sword. The men, when I begin, look with contempt, but presently their high looks are brought low by Baxter's plain home arguments. A few women came to my quarters yesterday. The explanation of the Lord's prayer from Luke xi. seemed to interest them. Saturday and to-day two merchants have been calling on me, with each of them I discoursed a long time on the affairs of another world, telling them "Not to lay up for themselves treasures on the earth: "one of them said these were '' words of wisdom, and he would hear me further on this matter. Thus we go on through evil report and good report. I have been reading Sir John Chardin's Travels into Persia, and a history of the Turks. I read every thing I can pick up about the Mahomedans. The Lord soon destroy their detestable dominion! But we shall soon be out of the reach of all evil, where the wicked cease from troubling. Let us continue to pray for one another, brother beloved, that we may be faithful unto death. To the Rev. D. Come.
March 1. Did very little, from indisposition.
2. Being the first day of Lent, I endeavoured to pass a considerable part of it in prayer with fasting, and found, I trust, the presence of God, yet without any particular fervour. Only the heart seemed to be somewhat softened, and I felt willing to obey. The men came at night. At the hospital I found another man fearing God, who I trust will join us boldly when he comes out from thence.
3. Capt. and Mrs. D. dined with me to-day. With the latter I had some conversation, on the concerns of eternity; her mind seemed improved, but I do not perceive that her heart is touched. An aged Georgian, named Gabriel and Padre, called this morning. When Aghi Mohammed Khan took Tern's, his sons were carried away captive; he set out in quest of them, and travelled through Candahar and Lahore, till he came to the English dominions, where he attempted to support himself by trade, but failed, and now he was begging. His silver beard and furrowed cheek made his appearance interesting, and his conversation would have been more so perhaps, but he could not converse, as he knew neither Persian nor Hindoostanee. Sabat talked with him a little in Turkish. The Quarter-master of the 67th brought me to-day a very interesting and profitable letter from Mr. E. My heart sometimes shrinks from spiritual work, and especially at an increase of ministerial business; but now I hope, through grace, just at this time, that I can say, I desire no carnal pleasure, no ease to the flesh, but that the whole of life should be filled up with holy employments and holy thoughts.
4. My heart at various times filled with a sense of divine love, frequently in prayer was blessed in the bringing of my soul near to God. After dinner in my walk found sweet devotion; and the ruling thoughts were, that true happiness does not consist in the gratifying of self in ease or individual pleasure, but in conformity to God, in obeying and pleasing him, in having no will of my own, in not being pleased with personal advantages, though I might be without guilt, nor in being displeased that the flesh is mortified. Oh, how short-lived will this triumph be! It is stretching out the arm at full length, which soon grows tired with its own weight.
5. Finished the Gospel of St. Luke, and employed myself in sermon.
6. (Sunday.) After a night spent without sleep from headache, I rose very unfit in body for the work of the day. Preached on Ezek. xxxiv. "I will set up one Shepherd over them, even my servant David," &c. In the afternoon with the Hindoostanee women, was very heavy, and, as I fear, almost unintelligible to them. At night I felt revived again; four men of the 67th joined our party. One man at the hospital seemed to be pricked to the heart by what he heard from the Saints' Rest, and came to me with tears in his eyes. Spoke to a sick man of the 67th, who appeared to be dangerously ill.
7. Went to see the man to-day, but he had died in the night; received a letter from Loveless at Madras; wrote to Corrie. Reading the Koran and writing a letter in Arabic to Sabat.
March 7, 1808.
I think you have been getting on very well to be at the 7th chapter of the Gulistan, and shall expect a letter from you in Persian soon. Mirza recommended the plan of your and P's. translating different parts of the Bible and sending it to him to correct--take this into consideration, but you ought to translate from the original. We are arrived as far as the end of Luke; but Sabat carps at several things still. As I think that no man on earth will he able to find a fault after such a severe critic has let it go, I mean to make Mirza read the whole again before him, and then we shall amply discuss every phrase in the Epistles; far less correction will be necessary, as their translation is very literal, and the arrangement of the words Hindoostance. Mirza is gone to the Mohurrun to-day; he discovers no signs of approach to the truth. Sabat creates himself enemies in every quarter by his jealous and passionate spirit, particularly among the servants. At his request I have sent away my tailor and bearers, and he is endeavouring to get my other servants turned away; because without any proof he suspects them of having persuaded the bearers not to come into his service. He can now get no hearers nor tailor to serve him. One day this week he came to me, and said, that he meant to write to Mr. Brown to remove him from this place, for every thing went wrong--the people were all wicked, &c. The immediate cause of this vexation was, that some boxes, which he had been making at the expense of 150 rupees, all cracked at the coming on of the hot weather. I concealed my displeasure at his childish fickleness of temper, and discovered no anxiety to retain him, but quietly told him of some of the consequences of removing, so it is gone out of his mind. But Mirza happened to hear all Sabat's querulous harangue, and in order to vex and disgust him effectually, rode almost into his house, and came in with his shoes. This irritated the Arab; but Mirza's purpose was not answered. Mirza began next day to tell a parcel of lies about Sabat, and to bring proofs of his own learning. The manifest tendency of all this was to make a division between Sabat and me, and to obtain his salary and work for himself. Oh, the hypocrisy and wickedness of an Indian! I never saw a more remarkable contrast in two men than in Mirza and Sabat. One is all exterior--the other has no outside at all. One a most consummate man of the world--the other an artless child of the desert. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
8-12. Nothing occurred remarkable; saw no one but the men on Wednesday night; and at the hospital, usual employments, Koran, and writing Arabic, correcting Hindoostanee gospel.
13. (Sunday) The Company's Europeans, and two companies of the 67th came to church with their bands; preached on Isa. Ivii. 21. With the women at the Hindoostanee service, felt assisted to speak clearly and intelligibly, but they are very few and do not seem much affected; the part of the Saints' Rest I read at the hospital was very awakening, especially to myself. My soul! no jesting in heaven or hell. Received a letter from Mr. Brown, mentioning W's. efforts to cast him out; the Lord disappoint his wicked endeavours; Sabat received with tears Mr. Brown's request for his prayers. At night twelve or fourteen of the 67th joined our party. I felt quite unable to attempt to speak to them, but the Lord helped me beyond all my expectations, and my heart was so enlarged, that I could have gone on all night.
Dinapore, March 13, 1808.
It is now the evening of the Lord's day, arid though I am much tired with its duties, I seize the first moment of leisure to answer your letter of the 5th, which arrived to-day. The subject of it is constantly in my mind as you may suppose; my secret reflection is, Lord, how long shall the ungodly triumph? and my consolation, Psalm xxxvii. ------ is spreading himself like a green bay tree; the succeeding verse I forbear to mention. * * Sir, I grieve little for you; nothing can happen to your injury. "He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday;" but I mourn for India. Happy will it be for them if God do not in anger take you away from them, that they may know the value of what they have lost when it is too late. * ***** But is not the Scripture fulfilled, that thus it must be for an appointed time? Do we right, to expect more favour from men than the Lord Jesus found? * ***** * * Sir, I am saying all this to myself. I have nothing for you but the prayers which you desire. I have already been interceding for the church of India, the preservation or at least the prosperity of which seems so intimately connected with your residence here, that I should be utterly cast down if you were to go. Dear Sabat, when I explained the matter to him, promised with tears in his eyes to add his prayers to ours. And I trust that we shall both separately and together pour forth our hearts in your behalf, or rather as I said before in our own behalf.
With respect to your former letter, about the press, I wrote to Mr. G. and this is his reply--'It is absolutely impossible to make types at Patna, and I know from dear-bought experience that it cannot be done at Calcutta, without a very heavy expense, great trouble, and considerable delay, so that I am persuaded you might procure better types from England for half the sum and much less time.' ******
To wait for types from England is a trial of patience indeed. I hope Mr. Ward has something to say in reply to Mr. G's statement. We are ready for printing --the four Hindoostanee gospels will be finished this week. We must then stop till I can hear from you whether there is any hope of recovering Mirza's translation of the Acts. * * * * * * * * * * * May the Lord continue to keep you in peace--so prays your affectionate,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown.
14. Sent letters to Mr. B. and Corrie, translated into Arabic. At night in prayer with Sabat, enjoyed a sweet solemnity, especially in interceding for our dear father in the Lord, Mr. Brown. Sabat had fasted all day on the occasion, but at night betrayed some of his infirmities, and spoke in such a foolish provoking way that I almost lost all patience, however, we parted late at night in peace.
14 March, 1808.
The 67th are now all here. The number of their sick makes the hospital congregation very considerable, so that if I had no natives, translations, &c. to think of, there is call enough for my labours and prayers among all these Europeans. The General at my request has determined to make the whole body of troops attend in three divisions; and yesterday morning the company's European, and two companies of the king's, came to church in great pomp, with a fine band of music playing. The king's officers, according to their custom, have declared their intention not to call upon the company's, therefore I mean to call upon them. I believe I told you that 900 of the 67th are Roman Catholics. It seemed an uncommonly splendid Mohurrun here also. Mr. H.-------, an assistant judge lately appointed to Patna, joined the procession in a Hindoostanee dress, and went about beating his breast, &c. This is a place remarkable for such folly. The old judge you know has built a mosque here, and the other judge issued an order that no marriage nor any feasting should be held during the season of Mahomedan grief. A remarkably sensible young man called on me yesterday with Colonel------; they both seem well disposed to religion. I receive many gratifying testimonies to the change apparently taking place among the English in religious matters in India; testimonies, I mean, from the mouths of the people, for I confess I do not observe much myself.
15. Called on Colonel G. of the 67th, to request the assistance of the band, to which he assented, but with rather an ill grace. My soul sweetly rejoiced all day, at the little effect the slight of men could have on my mind--" Truly a stranger intermeddleth not with his joy." The more I felt the natural man hurt at want of outward honour, the more sweetly the new man enjoyed the delights of God and the other world. Made several other calls.
16. A distracted day; the two Mr. W's breakfasted with us and stayed late. Major K. called, and tired me with his speculations on Irish and Sanscrit. In the evening a funeral and baptism. Called at the hospital; received a letter from Chamberlain. At night above twenty men of the 67th and of the Company's European came. My heart unhappy, and at a distance from God. Sabat also gave me great disquiet and vexation, by his complaints, and fickleness, bordering on childishness and insanity.
17. Sabat and myself passed the evening at Captain D's. where there was much fuel supplied by Satan to my vain and wicked heart.
18. Finished the correction of the four gospels in Hindoostanee. Endeavoured to make Mirza learn Hebrew, he wrote down some of the rules of Hebrew grammar in Persian.
19. Did very little to-day, read some of Koran; in the evening rode to Mr. G's at Bankipore, and married Lieut. G. to Miss P.
20. (Sunday) A more serious and solemn Sabbath than I have had for some time. Preached on Acts iv. 11. and the sermon I trust was applied to the consciences of many. They parted with gravity, and little disposition to talk with one another. My congregation of Hindoostanee women was about forty; the number enlivened me, and I spoke to them with plainness, I think, and freedom, on "Fear, not little flock, it is your Father's," &c. Enlarged on the same text with the men at night, who were about thirty. At the hospital my hearers were about 100, but the Roman Catholics still hesitate to come. Bakir All sent me a Persian letter to-day, inviting Sabat and me to his house at Patna, to which Sabat replied in such an hyperbolic style, that I should have been loth to sign my name to it, had I known it in time. Upon the whole my soul seems to be improving; I travel up hill, but I must learn, as I trust I am learning, to do the will of God without any expectation of any present pleasure attending it, but because it is the will of God. Oh that my days of vanity were at an end, and that all my thoughts and conversation might have that deep tinge of seriousness which becomes a soldier of the cross.
21. Began the correction of the Epistles with Mirza, comparing it with two Arabic versions. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, with which we began, furnished so many difficulties, that my hopes of having the New Testament soon ready, vanished entirely, but I am thankful for the advantages I have for having it done well. By a letter from Mr. G., I was rejoiced to find that he was employing a native of Shiraz, in the translation of the Arabic Pentateuch. Called on a family whom I expected to see always at public worship, and reproved them with too much asperity for their neglect. At night I felt grieved and confounded at my unprofitableness, and burned with desire to think and do nothing but for God.
22. Low spirited in general, but solemn, and sometimes found sweet pleasure in thinking of my heavenly rest. How perfectly alone am I in the world with God! No man thinks of me or knows me. Why should any thing distract me from thee? Went on with correcting the Epistles, and read large portions of the Koran. Some of the 67th came to-night, and we had a season of worship.
23. General engagements the same. At night about thirty men attended. My spirit was serious, but languid; how low my frame, how far below my privileges!
24. Breakfasted at the General's; Captain and Mrs. D, dined with me. Sabat spoke to them very seasonably, on the subject of religion, but my heart was grieved to see few signs in them of inclination to it. My mind has been much engaged to-day in considering Psalms lxxix. and lxxx. and Jeremiah xii. as suitable to the danger to which England is brought. I read, and after some hardness of heart and want of feeling, found pleasure in interceding for her, and for the king, that his mind might not be overwhelmed with his accumulated troubles. Long and vehement altercations again with Sabat, on his wishing to remove from me, but all of them I trust are intended for his good, as we are led to consider at large the extent of Christian patience.
25. Went on with the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians. In the afternoon began the Bostan of Sadi with Mirza.
26. One of the captains of the 67th called. Chiefly employed about sermon.
27. (Sunday.) Preached in the morning on 1 Cor. xv. 25, 26. The Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel of the 7th native regiment were present, and very attentive. The women in the afternoon few, and myself cold. At the hospital, numbers considerable; spoke with some of the sick, and with a Roman catholic. At night my congregation was about fifty; I preached to them on John vi. 37. "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." Quite wearied out with my day's work, and fear I shall not have strength to continue to do so much.
28. So fatigued all day, from yesterday's exertions, that I could scarcely do any thing. Called on a few people; at night baptized a child at Major S------'s, and spent a tiresome evening there.
March 28, 1808.
My exertions yesterday leave me to-day without strength or spirits for any thing. I had better, I believe, take warning in time, before I am put upon the shelf. My congregation last night was increased to fifty, and I expounded and preached, and sung, and prayed with them, with an exertion, the evil effects of which I did not feel then, but I do now. This week I have been about the Epistles; the corrections Mirza makes are so many, that I almost begin to despair of ever perfectly acquiring the Hindoostanee. The idioms are so numerous, perverting the most innocent phrases into obscurities, and giving another meaning to the simplest expressions, that nothing but very long acquaintance with the natives can give you any power in it. What surprises me too is that so few verbs are used in the passive voice. We began with the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, and have finished eleven chapters. I am now in no hurry to print, but rather to read it again and again. Mirza went to Patna because I am obliged to give so much more honour to the jealous Arab than to him; he talks of leaving me at the end of the year; if it please God to spare us to finish the New Testament, I shall be happy. The Old Testament will not require half the pains. Sabat has been tolerably quiet this week; but think of the keeper of a lunatic, and you see me. A war of words broke out the beginning of last week, but it ended in an honourable peace. After he got home at night he sent a letter, complaining of a high crime and misdemeanour in some servant; I sent him a soothing letter and the wild beast fell asleep. In all these altercations we take occasion to consider the extent of Christian forbearance, as necessary to be exercised in all the smaller occasions of life, as well as when persecution comes for religion. This he has not been hitherto aware of. One night in prayer I forgot to mention Mr. Brown; so after I had done, he continued on his knees and went on and prayed in Persian for him. I was much pleased at this. One of his servants, whom he has taught to read the Koran without understanding it, has taken a prodigious liking to my book of parables, and engaged a scribe to take a copy for him for two and a half rupees. One day going along the bazaar reading it, he exclaimed involuntarily, 'uck, hauck, ha,' (very good.) Some people were surprised at finding the cause of his pleasure, not the Gulistan or Bostan, but a book written by a Feringee Padre, (Christian parson.) He said those books were written in Persian, which he did not understand, whereas this was his mother's tongue; (he is a Mahomedan boy of Madras;) and 'besides, said he, 'what is here against God and his prophets?' This little incident makes my sorrowful face to smile with hope, for if the parables are so understood, I am sure that the translation of the word of God will be understood far and wide. Did you read Lord M's speech, and his commendation of those learned and pious men, the missionaries? I have looked upon him ever since as a nursing-father to the church. One letter from Europe, and but one, has reached me. But I have done with Europe, and I hope with the world as far as affection for it is concerned. But, oh, that I had more strength of body and ardour of soul to do something for the kingdom of Christ in this world of sin and woe! To the Rev. D. Corrie.
29. Finished the second epistle of Corinthians; read the Koran and Bostan. About twenty of the 27th come now every night; and yesterday when I was absent, one of them went to prayer.
30. Preached to the men in the evening on Prov. xiv. 14.
31. Received letters from Mr. Brown, requiring the Hindoostanee and Persian gospels immediately. There were several other things that excited a continual train of thought and made me feel rather unhappy, at not remaining calm and tranquil; endeavoured to plead continually that promise, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon thee."
Dinapore, March 31, 1808. DEAREST SIR,
Your letters and the reports arrived safely, * * * * * * Now touching the various topics you have handled, first, praise to Him, the God of love, the answerer of prayer, who holds the stars in his right hand, and has granted us the continuance of the light of the brightest of them. I am become a little oriental, you will say. Sabat has made me so, yet you will not accuse him of making me insincere. Truly we ought all to bless God, and we do, that at this moment when your presence is more necessary than ever, you are granted to our prayers.
Sabat's letter I had seen before he sent it you. I told him that I thought it so harmless, and so unlikely to effect what he was then anxious about, that I consented to his sending it you without fear.
He complains first of the bungalow. * * * It is surrounded with a fine garden, in an airy situation, and far removed from noise. It is about as far from my house, as your pagoda is from your house, so that I was quite pleased at getting it. * * * * There is so much room, that he offered to accommodate one of the scribes there under the same roof, and it is in other respects so commodious, that, not able to live in mine on account of the dust, he has chosen to pass the day in his own in preference. But how shall I go through the number of his childish freaks? * *
The scribes--we have have tried several, but all are unfit for Sabat's work. His words are so high, and his writing so bad, that the poor Hindoos are as much in the dark, as if they were writing Greek. * * This has tried Sabat's temper. * * * * * But what has irritated him more than all, is Mirza, though I can safely say that Mirza is perfectly innocent. In some of Sabat's Arabic, Mirza accidentally remarked, that another conjugation of the same verb, and having the same meaning, was generally used, and this I as accidentally mentioned to Sabat. His heart immediately filled with wrath, and now he never speaks or hears of Mirza without contempt and bitterness. But from that time nothing would satisfy him but going to Calcutta; the people about me were all so wicked, there was no living with them. You may imagine some of the distress I have been in from all his madness and folly. The hours and hours I have spent in convincing him of the inconsistency of his conduct; the disgrace he would bring upon himself and the cause, by his fickleness; the interruption to the work that would be occasioned by his leaving me; the displeasure of God if he went away, merely to please himself without any intimation of the divine will! This matter rested a little, then Mirza began to complain that the house I had given him to live in on my premises, was almost uninhabitable on account of the dust, that his things were stolen, &c. I humbly represented to Sabat, that I had a small unoccupied room on the side opposite to his rooms, where I would put Mirza. He apparently consented, but instantly ordered all his things away to his own house, and declared he would never live under the same roof with Mirza. And why? Because he knew the servants would at last say, 'This belongs to the Hindoostanee moonshee, and this to the Arabian moonshee,' thus equalizing him with an Indian, and depriving him of his Arabian honour. * * * * In order to have the Hindoostanee more correct, it was intended that Sabat should hear it, but I tremble to begin, lest the Arab's ungovernable temper should stop the work at the very outset. * * * * He scarcely ever speaks a Hindoostanee sentence grammatically right, yet withal, sometimes says that he is probably a better Hindoostanee scholar than Mirza. So boundless is his vanity. He will, however, be of great use in detecting the improper use of the Arabic and Persian words. In this work of translation, Mirza is invaluable, on account of his knowledge of English, which surprises me. May the Lord long preserve his life: but I observe with concern in him, the marks of declining years.
I am at present employed in the toilsome work of going through the Syriac gospels, and writing out the names, in order to ascertain their orthography if possible, and correcting with Mirza the Epistles. This last work is incredibly difficult in Hindoostanee, and will be nearly as much so in Persian, but very easy and elegant in Arabic. But Sabat need not talk of leaving me, for it will require all the union of talents we possess, and more too, I fear, to produce a good translation of the Epistles.
April 1. Last night and this morning we have had a great deal of conversation on the subject of your letters. He is unhappy on account of something or other he has read in them. * * * But the main cause of his unhappiness is the prevalence of the dark passions, pride, and envy, and revenge, leaving little room for the comforting influence of the Spirit of God.
He has been again maintaining, seriously and stoutly, his superiority to Mirza in the Hindoostanee, though the very mention of it is absolutely ridiculous. * * * * I perceive no distinct ground of complaint at present but the. house. Two others were found for him some time ago, but one, he said, had been built from the time of Noah's flood, and the other was surrounded by mean Mahometans, which would be a dishonour for an Arab. Thus is this poor man made miserable by his extravagant pride. I am still looking out for a house, to remove, if possible, all sources of disquiet.
I find some relief in venting my thoughts respecting him. Before him I endeavour to possess my soul in patience. When you write to him, I think it may be useful to touch him on the subject of his pride. And you need not fear to give him some severe admonitions; tell him that to be an Arabian, or to have all the learning in the world, is of no account at all before God; that to desire human praise, or to be uneasy at the loss of it, is entirely inconsistent with the humility and heavenly-mindedness of a Christian.
With respect to his leaving me, speak of it with decided disapprobation. He hankers after Serampore, ***** I fear he has been too much flattered there, and his pride sighs after a repetition of this homage. * * * But I have been writing gloomily about Sabat. Do not think I love him less. He does not want integrity of heart, but to have his mind more enlightened respecting the extent of Christian obedience. One night I had omitted in prayer to mention any of my brethren in India; at the close, he continued the prayer in Persian, and mentioned you by name, and your affair then pending. I was much pleased at this mark of his regard. * * * Your kind anxiety about my health affects me much. My cares and employments are the things which' seem to threaten me with most serious injury, by depriving me of sleep, but I daily experience the privilege of prayer, and the truth of the promise:--"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee."
I could willingly prolong my letter, but other employments must be attended to.
Adieu, dearest Sir, the Lord help us to be faithful unto death.
To the Rev. D. Brown.
April 1. Letters from Corrie and P. Wrote to Mr. Brown very much at length about Sabat and Mirza, The Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel of the 7th called. In the afternoon employed on the names from the Syriac. Felt refreshed in the evening with Sabat, from seeing his visible improvement in Christian grace; still he was willing to defend the doctrine that there was no absolute necessity to love and forgive our enemies.
2-9. Engaged incessantly night and day in preparing for the press. On Sunday, the 3rd. preached on Rev. iii. 17. "Because thou sayest," &c. The General was there, and had come to desire me to shorten the service; sent, I believe, as the father-in-law of Moses was unto him; for the full service would have weakened me very soon. The band played twice, but the men did not join them with their voices. In the Hindoostanee congregation, consisting of forty, I was slow, and hesitated much. At night, on John ix. 3, the healing of the blind man, had much freedom. 4th. Drawing up my report, and sent it on the 5th. 8th. Received Corrie's, and forwarded it to P. Much refreshed by some things in it. 6th. Dined at Colonel B's, with the General and most of the field officers and staff. With Colonel G. I had a good deal of conversation on useful subjects. Finished correcting the gospel of St. Matthew. 9th. Corrected with Mirza, Rom. iv. and wrote sermon.
April 3, 1808.
I had some sheets from Mr. Brown this week. Some extracts:--'Your and Sabat's labours must be immediately put to the press. Tell him to correct for the press the first sheets of St. Matthew immediately. You must have a press at your elbow. God willing, it shall be done. But you must not wait to begin an edition of the Gospel in Hindoostanee and Persian until types arrive from England. I am making the calculation and shall order the expense, for I find most unexpectedly that the means are lodged in my hands. Send me your copy of the Hindoostanee gospels. I will superintend your first enterprise and will see it accomplished if I live. I trust by the time an edition of the gospels in Hindoostanee and Persian is completed, you will have a press of your own. The Bible Society will send you one, then you can go on to the full extent of your heart.' Mr. B's. sudden demand for gospels has set us all upon the alert.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
10. (Sunday.) Preached on Matt. xvi. 26. "What shall it profit a man," &c. an awful subject, but apparently it little affected the people; I felt confounded, as I generally do more or less, at the lifeless manner in which I preach. When shall my soul feel? Oh when shall my heart burn as it ought, with desire to save souls? The congregation of the Hindoostanee women, and at the hospital, were large. At night discoursed on John xii. "Now is my soul troubled," &c.
11. Most of the morning taken up in hearing Sabat's Persian and Arabic translations of Deut. xxxii,
April 11, 1808.
I am surprised that my letter of this day fortnight has not reached you, but I have not yet found leisure to inquire at the Dawk. Your report arrived safely and is transmitted to P. I shall be curious to hear more about the Brahmin you baptized. The tidings from Bettca are also interesting. Do you know anything more of this Padre lately from Europe, that has his eyes opened and preaches Jesus Christ? I purpose a descent upon those Christians of Bettea the first opportunity; how many days journey may they be from you? All this week, night and day, I have been employed getting ready for press, so that I have nothing to write about. We wait for nothing but Sabat to examine it; but that alas! is the greatest plague to come. How shall we ever get through it? I do not expect indeed, that we shall get further than a few chapters, for if every thing is not altered according to his ipse duit, he is angry, and this I certainly cannot do. He says, that if I print it now I shall be ashamed; yet I intend to run the hazard. It is surprising that a man can be so blinded by vanity as to suppose, as he does, that he is superior to Mirza in Hindoostanee;' yet this he does and maintains it stoutly. I am tired of combating this opinion, as nothing comes of our arguments but strifes. Another of his odd opinions is, that he is so under the immediate influence and direction of the Spirit, that there will not be one single error in his whole Persian translation. You perceive a little enthusiasm in the character of our brother. As often as he finds himself in any difficulty, he expects a dream to set him right. One of our disputes was, whether the order of the verses should in any case be altered, on account of the Hindoostanee order. I had no doubt, but on the contrary affirmed it to be absolutely necessary; he was now determined to seek instruction from heaven; so the next morning he said he had seen a dream, and an old man said something to him in Arabic, from which he rather inferred that I was right. In Mr. Brown's late affair he took to dreaming again and prophesied truly enough that Mr. B. would stay. My men continue steadily to come every night. Yesterday we had the band again to play two hymns, and they sung. At the hospital and with the Hindoostanee congregation I had great numbers. One very respectable Portuguese old woman, whom I have often observed very attentive and devout with the external fooleries of the Roman Catholics, I asked, whether she understood me; she said, 'Every word, and I wished the Portuguese Padrees would expound in the same way in Hindoostanee.' I have received great encouragement from this. Thus the Lord helps us on. I am grieved to hear of the attack you have had. The same cause it is, I suppose, which has affected me. Lassitude, sickness and head-ache have been hanging about me all the week. We shall live as long as the Lord has work for us to do.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
12. Employed in translating with Mirza, the contents of the chapters of Matthew. Again tried much in my spirit by Sabat's horrible temper, but my God and Saviour continues near me, to support and strengthen me.
13. Breakfasted at the General's, and called on Major S. Diligently employed with Sabat in writing down the names in Matthew, according to the Arabic measure. At night, when the men were corning to me as usual, they encountered their Major, who ordered them all back, and said that if any of them went to my house, he would send a watch after them. He told them not to be made old women of; that it was enough they went once a week, &c. This proceeding took such full possession of my mind, that added to the sudden increase of heat in the weather, I had a small attack of fever. Amidst these troubles, oh how sweet the love of my God! Is there indeed another and a happier world, where there shall be none but saints!
Dinapore, April 13, 1808.
MY DEAR SIR,
This day Sabat dispatches his translations, and we proceed immediately to prepare for the press. We wait for nothing but his reading over the Hindoostanee of St. Matthew, and it shall be sent to you. After that, the same gospel in Persian. Last night Sabat began to say that he had been for some time past uneasy at some things in his own family, and had been venting his displeasure upon me. I was glad to find him disposed to unbosom himself. * * In the present sore state of his mind, reproof would be unsuitable; therefore defer the admonitions I requested you to send, to a future day. * * * * We are all agitated with the idea of a French army being on its march to India. As you are nearer the centre of information, perhaps you may know the truth. "The Lord reigneth, therefore will I not fear," &c. I am yours ever, dearest Sir,
To the Rev. D. Brown.
14. Called on Colonel G. to complain of the interruption; he was remarkably kind, and said he would speak to Major M. on the subject. Read the pamphlet, 'England in danger,' and was deeply affected at seeing the danger of my country. The men came at night as usual.
15. (Good Friday.) I seemed to be oppressed with the drowsiness of the disciples in the garden, sinking into sleep, continually, when left alone, and so this holy day, on which the children of God have been, in so many places, remembering the death of the Lord, has passed away very unprofitably with me. And as it was to be expected, I was very dead and languid with the men at night. Much biliousness and feverish heat still in my body. Colonel G. called and staid a considerable time, and discovered great tenderness of heart in conversation on subjects connected with religion. Colonel R. also called, and Captain L. and Lieutenant H. F. and M. so that I was continually interrupted.
16. Dined at the General's, with the staff, and among other officers, Major M.
17. (Sunday.) Preached on Isaiah lxiii. 1. but there was no apparent effect. Colonel G. was there for the first time. In the afternoon but few women, owing to the furious winds blowing a constant cloud of burning dust. I preached to them on Acts xiii. 25, 26. "We declare unto you glad tidings," &c. and was greatly assisted in setting forth the benefits of the resurrection of Christ, and in preaching them as glad tidings. Discoursed on the same text at night, with some enlargement, but numbers still small.
18. Began the work of revising the Hindoostanee gospels for the press with Sabat. His captious, peevish spirit made it a day of great contention and trial of my temper. Padre Arratoon, an Armenian monk of Jerusalem, sat with us. He was going about begging for the brotherhood of the monastery. He spoke very bad Hindoostanee and no Persian; but it was manifest that he knew little or nothing, and numbered the Koran among the inspired writings; he had a few printed Armenian books, which he read to us.
I began with Sabat the correction of the Hindoostanee gospels, and we are determined not to move from one another day or night till we finish it. I have begged, however, for a few moments after dinner to write to my brother at Chunar. The Brahmin ought certainly to lay aside his string, because the distinction is founded upon imposition and lies. I should also discourage his appealing to their testimony to Jesus Christ, it is an evidence in their favour. I have written to Mr. Brown to beg he will order you to desist from so much exertion; he has written me a great deal this week. You, Parsons, Jeffries, and myself are members of the Corresponding Oriental Committee. Padre Arratoon, an Armenian Monk of Jerusalem, called on us to-day begging. His ignorance was incredibly great. This week I had news from Patna that I had become a Mussulman; when I do turn I will let you know. One day this week Major------- fell in with my men coming to me, and ordered them all back, saying he would send for a guard and fetch them away from my house if they went there. I was very indignant at first, but waited till next day and went to Colonel------and complained. He said he would speak to Major------, and was as polite and kind as he could be. He came the next day to me and sat a long time, looked over some of my books, and took away Wells's Geography of the Bible. The men came as usual, and Colonel------ approves of it. Thus the Lord continues his favour. Praise to his name.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
19. Continued our work together, with somewhat better temper, and in my own heart had more peace and enjoyment, particularly in my evening walk and with my men.
20-23. Engaged continually in revising the first sheets of the Hindoostanee gospels for the press, and comparing Sabat's Persian with the Greek. He refused to go any further with me in the Hindoostanee, lest Mirza should have any benefit from him.
24. (Sunday.) Preached from Matt. vi. on the forgiveness of injuries, purposely for Sabat, but it had no effect on him.
25. Sent off the first nine chapters of St. Matthew in Hindoostanee to the press; letters, and a copy of the parables to Corrie.
Dinapore, April 26, 1808.
This day I sent off to you, &c. (See Memoir, p. 291, 292.) * * * I argued with Sabat, chiefly on the ground of Christian duty; but I grieve to say that he is deaf to all that I urge respecting the necessity of loving our enemies. His love to Christ, he says, will ensure him salvation, though he does disobey that one command. Hence he continues to hate Mirza with a perfect hatred, inveighing against him with dreadful bitterness, and declaring that if he were not a Christian he would destroy him instantly. * * * What to do with him I am at a loss to know. I pity him, and pray for him and with him; but his poor soul is still the sport of bad passions. He is angry with me for not hating Mirza too, according to the Arabian proverb,--that a friend is an enemy to his friends' enemy. Last night he spoke to me in a more provoking way than ever. The occasion was this: In consequence of his refusing to help me in the Hindoostanee, my scribes were left without work. At last I resolved to send one away with the intention of calling him again, when work should be ready for him, and the one I fixed on, is an old deaf man who cannot hear what Mirza dictates, but the other can. But this old man is one for whom Ameenah made intercession some time ago, when he was about to be sent away. When Sabat found what I was going to do, he said that I meant to insult Ameenah; that I would not have done such things to a European woman; and that such proceedings must produce a speedy separation between us.
I now keep the scribes to please him, though they stand all the day idle, merely through his perverseness. Since the unexpected stop in the Hindoostanee, I have been giving most of the time to his Persian--unwillingly he thinks--but I tell him that the souls of the Persians arc as dear to me as those of the Indians. He would have sent you about six chapters to-day, but he wished to take a copy of it in its corrected state. Mr. G------'s scribe having proved a bad one, he has sent him away, and lays all the blame of delay at my door, where I am very willing it should lie. I give way to him in every thing--too much, I fear, but I am afraid to make any experiments of a rough nature, when the success of our public plans so much depends on our remaining together. He himself begins to acknowledge the advantage of having access to the Greek, for his translation has in many cases already been made more concise and elegant. But I have my doubts about its purity, at least I never saw Persian in my life so crammed with high Arabic words. If you could get a native Persian or two to give his opinion of the first sheet, it would be a satisfaction to me; at least I should intreat him, if necessary, to use a few more intelligible words. Mirza laughs at what he has seen of it, but I reckon his opinion as nothing.
Well, sir, you must write to the Arabian if you please; but now not gently--confirm by your word what I have said about the danger of his soul, if he continues thus to hate. Next Tuesday I hope we shall be able to send you a large portion of the Persian, but the Hindoostanee, when, and as I can. * * P. writes that Dr. Ward is coming to Calcutta. Is there any truth in the report? I do not care who goes there, provided you remain there, and I stay away from it. Interpret this ambiguous sentence rightly. Yours ever affectionately,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
Dinapore, Bahar, April 26, 1808.
What is become of you I cannot tell, and lest you also should forget your old friend, I begin with specifying accurately the spot of the terraqueous globe where I am to be found.
The last letter I have received from you is dated about two years ago, in answer to the one I sent you from South America. I bave written you one or two since that, but as you have not answered them I conclude that they have not arrived. I hope, however, that those I chiefly value continue to remember me in their prayers, as I do them without ceasing. Without this method of binding our hearts together, we should soon be as those who had never met. I freely acknowledge my own weakness. The new scenes I have witnessed these last three years have made so strong an impression as almost to efface the remembrance of England. Even so late a period of my short life as the years spent at Cambridge seemed to have passed in a prior state of existence; and when I think of our fellows of St. John's, they flit before my fancy like the varied personages of the camera obscura. Yet there is nothing that would gratify me more than to hear of them. I have no correspondent at Cambridge but Mr. Simeon, who you know has not much to do at St. John's.
I have just been reading over all the letters I ever received from you, and cannot help expressing how forcibly I am now struck with the sense of my own conceit and ignorance in times past, and of your unequalled charity and forbearance. Oh, my dear friend, if instead of blaming your faith, I had been trying to follow your practice, how much better would it have been for me. Continue your friendship to me, a right to which I have so often forfeited, and accept one more assurance of my unalterable attachment. I fear I shall never again see your face in the flesh; every day's experience convinces me that with the power I shall soon possess of making known the gospel in two such large countries as India and Persia, I should never be able to live with a quiet conscience in England. Dr. Buchanan, whom you will have seen before this reaches you, will give you such an account of the plans we are pursuing, of which he is himself the designer, that it is superfluous for me to write about them. All I have to say is, that I am endeavouring to perform the part he has assigned to me. With my Arabian brother and Mirza Fitrut I am labouring most of the day in the Hindoostanee and Persian gospels. The translation of the rest of the Sacred Scriptures in these languages is employment enough for some years to come. At intervals I read the Persian poetry with Mirza and the Koran with Sabat. Thus you have an account of my private studies. My European flock at this place is about 1700, consisting of two European Regiments and their followers.
You will perceive that I am obliged to fag as hard as ever we did for our degrees at Cambridge. But it pleases God graciously to proportion my bodily strength to my day; and the hot winds preserve me from the intrusion of idle people, for every one is obliged to keep quietly at home. None of the officers (about eighty in number) are decidedly religious; one or two I have prevailed upon to begin Euclid and Algebra with me. In the way of preaching to the natives I have done little yet. In the morning I read Genesis to my servants, about eighteen; and on Sunday the gospels to a congregation of Hindoostanee women, but I have never yet had courage to pray extempore in Hindoostanee. In the common things of life I find infinitely more difficulty to express myself than about religion. Numberless instances occur in my translation-work in which I regret the want of learned books and learned friends. I must some day send home a list of passages to you for your consideration. I have to propose a new translation of several passages both Hebrew and Greek. But how astonishing is the accuracy of the English translation! A subject that engaged my thoughts some time ago very much was the force of some Greek particles. I wish I had more time to read the profane Greek for this curious subject. I want it to understand St. Paul's epistles.
These orientals with whom I translate require me to point out the connection between every two sentences; which is often more than I can do. It is curious how accurately they observe all the rules of writing, and yet generally write badly. I can only account for it by supposing that they have been writing too long. From time immemorial they have been authors, without progressive knowledge; and so to produce variety they supply their lack of knowledge by overstraining their imagination; hence their extravagant metaphors and affected way of expressing the commonest things. Sabat, though a real Christian, has not lost a jot of his Arabian pride. He looks upon the Europeans as mushroons, and seems to regard my pretensions to any learning as we do those of a savage or an ape. I must make haste and conclude. Believe me to be, dear E------,
27. Comparing Persian and Greek with Sabat. Three Armenians came to beg. I spoke a little Persian with them, but could not understand them well. In the late contest between Russia and Persia, Baba Khan had put to death all the Mahomedans, where they lived, and sold the children of the Christians for slaves, In quest of these they were come. A letter from dear Mr. B. gave a most melancholy account of the ------'s. Oh to what a state they have got! The Lord interfere for the deliverance of his church in India, or we shall soon be swallowed up. And are they jealous of so poor a creature as myself? They have little reason; oh what danger are ministers in! How easily, while apparently to themselves engaged in public pursuits for the good of the church, they lose sight of themselves and become carnal busy-bodies. Late at night was sent for to visit a woman in the barrack; read and prayed with her.
28. This morning the society of soldiers met to renew their engagements to observe their rules. I then administered the sacrament. In the afternoon in prayer, my soul was much revived, and I received grace from above to go cheerfully on my way. At the hospital, seemed to be gaining on a Roman catholic, who, though dying, had hitherto refused obstinately to hear the Bible. After worship with the men, went to the same poor woman in the barrack, and read and prayed. Correcting with Sabat and Mirza, the translations.
29, 30. Constantly employed in comparing the Persian and Greek with Sabat. Two hours of the night of the 29th I waited at the burying ground, for the corpse of Lieutenant Chatfield. My reflections were solemn and profitable, and the Lord gave me comfortable assurance of my interest in him, who came to deliver from death.
May 1. (Sunday.) Preached on John ix. 4. a funeral sermon. Read and prayed with a sick man at the hospital who sent for me. The women in the afternoon very few. Disputes with Sabat again this evening, on his proud and unforgiving spirit. Spoke with much freedom and life on the parable of the ambitious guest, and made Sabat very angry by it, as he said I was speaking to him only the whole time.
2-4. From morning to night with Sabat in the Persian translations. Wrote letters, received another letter from Mr. B. on the unhappy subject of the-------.
May 2, 1808.
You have your trials and I have mine; and trials are necessary for us both; the fall of one among few is very cutting. But you will soon have more to supply his place, if he is not himself restored. My greatest trial is Sabat, he spreads desolation here. Mirza is driven to Patna, declaring he will not live here to be insulted by Sabat. My Hindoostanee work is as I told you all stopped. My scribes, whom Sabat will not allow me to turn away, pass all their days without any thing to do. All my employment now is to compare Persian with Greek, and this, if it please God, shall be done before we part; he talks every day of going, saying he cannot live here for these wicked people. Alas, he little thinks of his wicked heart as the cause of all his troubles. He still holds fast the diabolical doctrine, that love of our enemies is not necessary. Last night I preached to the men on humility, and angered him much. I intended it for him, he said, but that if he knew more English he could preach infinitely better. Friday morning one of our lieutenants, breakfasting out, went on the top of the house in the middle of the day without a hat, and while he was looking about, a stroke of the sun laid him dead in an instant. That night I buried him, and yesterday preached his funeral sermon. The heat here is terrible, often at 98°, and the nights almost insupportable. My employment every day is very great now. Sick and dying people are to be visited at the barrack and hospital. Sabat always calling me to the Persian, &c. But the Lord helps me through. I hope you have received the parables. Epistle ii. of Corinthians is also written out for you, but I must read it before I send it.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
5-7. Chiefly with Sabat.
8. (Sunday) Preached on Heb. ix.--"It was necessary that the heavenly places should be purified with better sacrifices than these." The rest of the services of the day as usual, to the women, and at night preached on the parable of the supper.
9-11. Time so excessively engaged now, that I have scarcely time to write my journal. Many at the hospital require my attendance every day. Sometimes my soul tastes sweet joy in God, but at all times I am blessed with great cheerfulness in all my work; only in private prayer, the overwhelming power of the heat on the body is a temptation to give way to weariness.
12. Calling on different people. What shall I think on my death-bed of all these opportunities of warning sinners! Oh, may the Lord seal upon my soul such a compassionate sense of their danger, that I may never have a heart to talk triflingly with them. Wrote to Mr. Brown. Was grieved to find some discussions springing up among my men. Had some conversation with F. advising him to go home to college.
13. Adjusted the differences between the men, but I found it necessary to rebuke one sharply, though he was one of the best, as I thought, for a spirit very unlike that of a Christian. Examining the Persian still with Sabat.
14. Engaged in preparing a sermon.
15. (Sunday) Preached on Deut. xxxii. The women few, but attentive. I discoursed to them as well as to the congregation at night on the parable of the inconsiderate king and foolish builder.
16-19. Chief part of every day at the Persian gospel; then writing letters; then to the hospital; then to my men at night. I have always leisure to seek and find sanctifying grace from God, but the awful proofs of my corruption and fall, have been and are continually apparent in the reluctance to pray. But why am I so wicked and foolish? Do I ever find a moment's peace anywhere else, but while thinking of my dearest Lord, and of my heavenly home? And did I ever pray without receiving some encouragement to pray again? The Lord in seeming consideration of the weakness of my faith and love, delays not his presence long, but makes my soul happy sometimes after but a few minutes of prayer.
20. Translated, by way of exercise in both, some of the pious sentences of Thomas a Kempis from French into Arabic. The reluctance of my wicked heart to duty brought me to God, and I enjoyed more sweetness of soul at times afterwards than I usually do, especially with the men. Nothing seemed so desirable as that they might have a spirit of adoption, enabling them to live happily, in the presence of God, and be sanctified daily. May God in love grant it!
21. Chiefly employed in preparing sermon.
22. (Sunday) Preached on Psalm. "Understand ye brutish among the people;" and told them of many of the errors of the Roman Catholics. The men felt what was said. Some wished the roof of my house might fall in; others, that Father Murphy had been there; others said, that I ought not to have touched them so close. The women in the afternoon. Discoursed to them on the lost sheep. At night to the men on Luke ii. "If any of you that is a father, &c."
23. Sabat's illness left me free. F. sat with me much of the morning. He came on purpose to speak about his soul, and seems determined for the ministry. Dined at Mr. R's. and then sat with Sabat. About forty men again at night; I felt quite unable to feel or speak, before I began, but the Lord heard my prayer and helped me. My heart loves these precious souls. Oh, that I may be endued with wisdom to build them up in the faith.
May 23, 1800.
The Christian boy is arrived, and I have appointed him to fill the same office which he held with Padre Marco. He seemed very indifferent about staying at all with me, but he appears pleased now, and is very active, but not sufficiently respectful; perhaps from your having condescended more to him than I do, or from his being of Sahib's caste. He had not arrived many hours before he opened to me spontaneously his stores of knowledge, and drew forth a distinct history of Joseph, Cain and Abel, and related the parable of the Sower with its explanation. Whether any thing more remains will appear in the sequel. I like the sight of the boy, because he has been with you, and I amuse myself at dinner in asking him questions about all that you do and say. We had but ten women at the service yesterday; this is the second Sunday on which they have staid away. So my gentle reproof to one about laughing in the house has given, I fear, lasting offence. It is lamentable that the circumstances of our situation should prevent, our preaching the precious word all over the country; we should not have nine or ten, hut nine or 10,000 hearers. I preached to them on the parable of the Lost Sheep; it excited no attention, hut the poor hoy gave a good account of what he had heard. Many have gone from here, appointed to Sepoy battalions. Indeed the company's European is extinguishing very fast, a year or two more will leave nothing but corporals and Serjeants. A more wicked set of men were, I suppose, never seen. The General, the Colonel of the 67th, and their own Colonel, all acknowledge it. At the hospital when I visit their part, some go to a corner, and invoke blasphemies upon me, because, as they now believe, the man I speak to, dies to a certainty--so that I am shunned as the harbinger of death. There is a half-caste of them that attends every day; but I can never believe a half-caste's sincerity till I see him in heaven. Since I began writing, a young lieutenant of the Company's European came to speak with me. He is a man of fine abilities and a good scholar; and as he wishes to go into the ministry I recommend it strenuously, and I heartily wish------and-------would do the same: Dear young men, I feel for them both. Send them my good wishes and prayers, that they may with full purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord. Yesterday morning, I made an attack on the Roman Catholic principles of my congregation. The Irishmen were not well pleased. One wished that the roof of my house would fall; another, that Father Murphy had been there, &c. But my evening congregation is more than a reward for all.
H. MARTYN. Rev. D. Corrie.
24-28. Nothing particular happened. S. called on his way down, and I had to reproach myself for not giving him some warning of his danger.
29. (Sunday) Preached on Heb. vii. 25. "Wherefore he is able also to save to the uttermost," &c. There were none hut the soldiers and their adjutant, on account of the excessive heat; hut I enjoyed much sweet affection while speaking to them of the free grace of Christ. To the women preached on the parable of the ten pieces of silver, and at night to the soldiers on Rev. i. 18. Afterwards in secret prayer drew near to the Lord. Alas! how my soul contracts a strangeness with him; but this was a restoring season. I felt an indignation against all impure and sinful thoughts, and a solemn serenity of frame. Interceded for dear friends in England; this brought my late dear sister with pain to my recollection, but I felt relieved by resolving every event, with all its circumstances, into the will of God.
30, 31. Went on with Sabat in the Persian translation. At night was sent for to see a woman in the barracks, with whom I read and prayed.
May 30, 1808.
Yesterday morning scarcely any but the soldiers and their adjutant were present, the heat and closeness of the air were so insupportable. Several days in the week my men were forty in number, (and promising too) so that they are a great comfort to me. Yet there are dissensions every now and then among them. I long to have the pleasure of hearing you preach to them. My purpose of emigrating to the west is not altered. Whether Sabat live or not I shall go and plant myself among the Popish missionaries of Ispahan. Sabat's quietness is more than temporary I think. We are a long time about our work, though we are at it all day; but he is subject to head-aches, which deprive us of many days. Mirza sent me yesterday from Patna fifteen chapters of Exodus. Your intention of studying medicine I highly approve, and much regret that I did not follow S------'s advice to learn surgery. The Lord be with you.
Rev. D. Corrie.
Dinapore, May 31, 1808.
MY DEAR SIR,
Yours of the 24th arrived to-day. (See Memoir, p. 293.) ***** Some days Sabat overworked himself and was laid up. He does his utmost. He is increasingly dear to me, as I see more of the meekness and gentleness of Christ in him. Our conflicts I hope are over, and we shall draw very quietly together side by side. * * * * * * * * * The cloud hanging over------seems to become more thick and black. I never thought it would come to this. With all their faults and prejudices I pity and love that unhappy house. O may it please God to bring them soon to a right spirit.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
June 1-4. Employed incessantly in reading the Persian of St. Matthew to Sabat. On the 2nd at Col. G's. Met with the Italian Padre, Julian, with whom I conversed in French. On the 4th, in the afternoon, while we were reading the 24th of Matthew, there was an earthquake. Feeling the ground shake under me, and at the same instant some of the plaister falling from the walls, I started up. The earth continued shaking, and the doors shook to and fro. Oh, what are we before God! A little more violence, and I should have been buried under the ruins. Yea, I, and all my poor people here, swallowed up! Would to God that their hearts might be shaken by the Spirit of God, through this awful phenomenon.
5. (Sunday) Preached on Ephes. iv. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God." Little attention. To the Hindoostanee women, on the Prodigal Son. At night to the men on Romans viii. 9. But my employments are so incessant now every day, that I have not sufficient time for my own soul, and heavenly joys are becoming strange. Lord! have pity upon a miserable dying creature, renew thy work in mercy, and bring me home to thee, never to depart more.
6. Same succession of employments; going on with the Persian gospel, visiting the hospital, and with the men at night. My spirit refreshed and revived by every night's ministration to them. Sent the Persian of Matthew to Mr. Brown for the press, and went on with the remainder of the Hindoostanee of St. Matthew. I have not felt such trials of my temper, for many months, as to-day. The General declared he was an enemy to my design, in translating the Scriptures. Though I was grieved to find that his sentiments amounted to a rejection of Christianity, I rejoiced in having a fit opportunity of speaking on the most important subjects, but the conversation was suddenly checked, to my extreme vexation. Sabat also grieved me exceedingly, by the revival of his passionate and haughty spirit, called forth by the return of Mirza from Patna. My poor harassed soul looked at last to God, and cast its burden of sin at the foot of the cross. Towards evening I found rest and peace. A son-in-law of the Qaree ool Qoorrat of Patna, a very learned man, called on me. I put to him several questions about Mahometanism, which confused him; and as he seemed a grave honest man, they may produce lasting doubts.
8-10. Time spent as usual; the same Mahometan Qoorrat came to me, and heard some objections against Mahometanism, which he could not answer. On the 10th dined at the General's, and watched for a fit opportunity to speak some words of truth there, but in vain; came home greatly oppressed in spirit. Sabat this morning prayed for the first time in Persian.
11. Rose in great pain, which had kept me awake most of the night. I felt also that I was a poor wretched creature, very low, and sunk in sin and misery. Yet found relief in prayer by considering that Christ came to seek and save even the lost. At the hospital felt my spirits sink again very low at finding poor B. defending the practice of------. I argued with him a long time in vain, and I fear Satan hath deceived his heart. In the evening Mirza Fitrut came to say that he could stay no longer in my service. So now I am reduced to a disagreeable predicament, and what to do I know not. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee."
12. (Sunday.) Preached on Ephesians xi. 18. "Through him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father." In the afternoon to the women on the Parable of the Unjust Steward. Felt so ill from a cold affecting my head, that I hardly knew what to do with myself, but as it ceased a few minutes before the men came at night, I was unexpectedly able to go amongst them, and preached with clearness and freedom, from Rom. iii. 20.
13. Went to Bankipore, calling on my way on Col. G. and endeavouring to persuade him to separate or marry.
14. Called on Bahir Ali Khan, D------, and the Italian Padre; with Bahir Ali. I staid two hours, conversing in Persian. He began our theological discussion with a question to me, 'How do you reconcile God's absolute power, and man's free will?' I pleaded ignorance and inability, but he replied to his own question very fully, and his conclusion seemed to be that God had created evil things for the trial of his creatures. His whole manner, look, authority, and copiousness, constantly reminded me of the Dean of Carlisle. [Rev. Dr. Milner.] I asked him for the proofs of the religion of Mahomet. The first he urged was the eloquence of the Koran. After a long time he conceded that it was, of itself, an insufficient argument. I then brought forward a passage of the Koran containing a sentiment manifestly false; on which he floundered a good deal; but concluded with saying that I must wait till I knew more of logic and Persian before he could explain it to me satisfactorily. On the whole, I was exceedingly pleased with his candour, politeness, and good sense. He said he had nothing to lose by becoming a Christian, and that if he were once persuaded of the truth, he would change without hesitation. He shewed me an Arabic translation of Euclid. With judge D-------, I felt the need of divine help to speak the truth which was in my heart. Accordingly the Lord helped me to tell him, that I had heard of his mode of life, and that he knew enough of the Scriptures to know that it was positively sinful. The Padre I did not find at home.
15. The Padre called and yielded a little to my desire of discussing some theological points, but began it as late and ended it as soon as he possibly could. In the afternoon, read an account of Turkey. The bad effects of the book were so great that I found instant need of prayer, and I do not know when I have had such divine and animating feelings. Oh, it is thy Spirit that makes me pant for the skies. It is he that shall make me trample the world and my lusts beneath my feet, and urge my onward course towards the crown of life. But at night my joy was succeeded by such unconquerable levity, that I could not command myself at Mrs. S------'s, (where they had but a small and sober party to meet me,) sufficiently to make the conversation serious, and so retired in great shame.
16. Breakfasted with Bahir Ali. After discussing the old arguments about Islamism, he inquired, What were the principles of the Christian religion? I explained to him, 1. the atonement of Christ signified under the law (the sacrifice of Isaac he mentioned himself). 2. The divinity. 3. The Trinity. Then the corruption of human nature--the necessity of regeneration and a holy life. I do not perceive any sign of a real wish to find the truth, but to acquire information. To-day we conversed in Hindoostanee, in which I found myself, of course, from practice, more free than in Persian. Among other questions he asked the definition of chemistry. We dined at Mr. G------, where having a sensible person near me, I passed the evening pleasantly, conversing on the subject of the present times as fulfilling prophecy.
17. Called on Mr. G.; Mrs. G's conversation on religion was so delightful that I found my heart quite won to her and her husband; and he spoke of her favourite psalms, particularly the 23d, with such manifest delight that I could not help loving her as a sister, though perhaps prematurely. To be separated from them however was as painful to me as Mrs. Y------'s departure. So strong are my attachments, I could not forget them all the day, nor shall I, I fear, for some time to come. It seems a very peculiar Providence that I never met with such females in England, where there are so many; as also that the families I have most loved here in India have been very soon taken from me, or I from them. Arrived at Dinapore in the evening in low spirits, and ministered to my dear people, and visited one of them now dying at the hospital.
18. Resumed our Persian translation--preparing a sermon.
19. (Sunday.) Preached on Isa. iv. "My people are foolish," &c. at the hospital finished the Saints' Rest. To the women in the afternoon discoursed on the Samaritan woman, and they seemed affected. At night preached on Rom. iii. 24. "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation."
20. Buried in the morning a Christian brother whom I have been attending; in the evening Mr. B., a civilian. Called on several persons. In the afternoon the Patna Padre came with one of the soldiers, a Roman Catholic; also a Brahmin from Benares. Sabat and myself were engaged with them a long time, till at last I was quite spent with arguing.
21. The Roman Catholic soldier came again to have some conversation, and gave me a book containing his reasons for being a papist, which I read at intervals. Felt a bitter conviction of my ingratitude in not keeping nearer to God; in prayer with the men afterwards, felt restored and refreshed.
Dinapore, June 21, 1808.
At length the Lord has blessed you with another son. Your prayer for him I echo. May he be a missionary! May he be an instrument in dispersing the thick darkness that covers the earth! Help me to understand what is the duty of a sponsor. I have never yet stood as godfather, but I have a notion that you rather desire it, and Corrie must be the other.
The translations have met with another interruption. Mirza has deserted me, and I know not how to supply his place. Last week was spent in seeking him out in Patna, to endeavour to accommodate matters, at least till the four gospels should be finished, but all in vain. * * * * * * During my stay at Patna, I had two conferences with the Nabob Bahir Ali at his house, on Mahometamsm and Christianity. There is no appearance that he is seeking the truth. I formed an acquaintance also with a young Italian Padre, and tried to convince him of his errors. Meantime the translations were at a stand, but we now go on again.
To the Rev. D. Brown.
22-25. Made little progress in the Persian translation from people calling. The days when I watch over my heart, and remember my Lord, as the hours pass away, have been very sweet; and when it is otherwise the merest trifle discomposes me. One day with Colonel G. I had rather a sharp conversation. I had come to excuse myself from an invitation to dine at the mess with the General. I also mentioned that I disliked meeting any large party of officers, where I was sure to hear so much swearing. This made him angry, he said his mess consisted of gentlemen--'Well,' said I, 'I believe you are a gentleman, yet you swear.' He then began to say, there was no harm in it; I mentioned the third commandment, he said there was a great deal of nonsense like that. Such contempt of the Scriptures moved me not a little, but when I was about to go on, another person came in. Employed some small portion of time in reading Italian, and was surprised to find how easily it came. The extreme facility of acquiring it, and the use it may be of for conversing with the numerous Italian missionaries, seemed a reason for giving a little time to it.
26. (Sunday.) Preached on Acts xx. 32. a farewell sermon to the Company's European regiment, ordered on secret service; towards the last there was great attention. Was there ever less good done among so many men, during so long a period? I have parted with them to see them no more, till the Archangel's trumpet shall summon all to the bar of God. This morning after officiating at the hospital, where I began Alleine's Alarm, I was sent for to see the wife of the serjeant-major, and found her a sensible, well educated, and pious woman. I had little to do but to comfort her with the promises, and found great pleasure in conversation and prayer. At the Hindoostanee worship married a young couple in Hindoostanee. At night found myself unable, as I thought, to speak any thing, but I was graciously assisted in discoursing on Rom. vii. 7. May the law have its perfect work on my heart, as well as on that of my dear people.
27-30. Spent at home with Sabat in the Persian. At night with the men on Rom. vii. and viii. was enabled to speak I hope profitably for them; but my own soul is not enough with God. My soul thirsteth for the living God. How full of fatigue and vanity is life without God, and how many, many pleasures in the midst of all its woes when we live in obedience!
June 27, 1808.
Sabat is certainly wonderfully improved. He has long since resolved never to strike a servant; but a few days since he gave an unfortunate blow to a person; his conscience smote him immediately and he fell upon him, kissed his hands and asked pardon, and gave him money. Never an angry word passes between us now, though our disputes during the correction of the Persian are obstinate. How much do I owe to a gracious God for staying his rough wind in the day of the east wind, not suffering them both to blow together. Last Monday the Padre came and dined with me, he had been sent for to baptize a child of some of the 67th. At the same time arrived a pompous Brahmin from Benares. Not knowing how to dispose of them both, I consigned the Hindoo to Sabat, and took the Padre myself. I did not, however, press him hard, especially as he promised to visit me often. He is very agreeable. There is to be a synod of divines held at Patna, to consider about the ejection of Padre Angclo from the prefecture. When Joseph first saw the Padre he took off his turban, fell on his knees and put the Padre's hand on his head. I was sorry to see this, and took occasion to question him about it; all he had to say was, 'custom.' In a letter from Mr. Brown, he says, 'I hope, my dear sir, you will continue to be a black chaplain, as-------calls you and Corrie, and that you will never give up the thought, which God put into your heart, of giving light to the Gentiles.' This is the first time we have received encouragement from our dear Patriarch to continue black chaplains. I married recently a young couple in Hindoostanee. The Lord direct all your ways.
Rev. D. Corrie.
July 1. Most of the day lost by people calling. Argued a good deal with poor B. at the hospital, but in vain, he defended himself with a petulance that appeared an awful symptom of a dreadful fall.
2. The Italian Padre came, I was told, to the barrack, and received 50 rupees from the soldiers; they flocked round him in great numbers, and made an agreement that he should come several times a week, and preach to them in Latin, The Padre did not call on me; but I am glad, as I shall have opportunities of seeing him often. My enemies and difficulties rise all around, yet I feel my heart encouraged to go forward, strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus.
Dinapore, July 2, 1808.
* * Sabat has no inclination to leave me, whatever he may sometimes say, especially since we have begun our united work. He loves to plague me now and then, and to call forth some testimonies of my regard, by speaking of Serampore; but if he ever goes it will only be to change the scene a little. To-day, while he was dissuading me from marriage, I said, by way of trying him, 'What if I should be married; why could not our work go on as well?' 'Sir,' said he, 'it would all stop--no Hindoostanee, no Persian--I know the missionaries cannot help me, and I can do nothing by myself,' * * He is very dear to me. When I think of the circumstances of his life, and look upon him, I cannot help considering it as one of the most singular and interesting events of my life that I was brought acquainted with him. Indeed every thing in the east has been interesting to me. * * * Is there an edition of Aristotle's works to be had in Calcutta, or any part of them in Greek? * * * At your leisure procure me an Italian dictionary. Your's affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
3. (Sunday.) Preached on Rom. iii. "Where is boasting then." At the hospital I feared I should have none to come, but the usual number attended to hear a solemn call from Alleinc's Alarm. About eighteen women only attended in the afternoon. At night I felt very desirous of preaching earnestly against the delusions of popery, but had no time to consider any text for that purpose, but from 2 Thess. ii. took occasion to point out the man of sin, and discoursed afterwards on Rom. viii. "We ourselves groan within ourselves," &c.
4. Went with Colonel B. to Patna, and spent the day with Meer Bahi Ali. We had not much talk ahout religion, as there were others present, except in a general way. He is no doubt inclined to become a Christian, but apparently has no serious concern about salvation. Padre Martinus, an Armenian Padre, a friend of Bahir All's, was there the whole day engaged in conversation with me: also a Georgian his friend. I tried to talk with them about spiritual things, but they knew nothing. At night we came back to Bankipore, and spent the evening at Mr. Keating's with a large party. We did not reach Dinapore till two in the morning. I talked enough to my companion, on his duty, and the nature of religion, but he has not a heart to receive it.
5-7. With Sabat in the Persian. With F. had many delightful religious conversations. Troubles arising from my people, one of whom disturbs us all; lamented that I had not sooner used my authority, in separating him from us. How necessary is discipline in a church!
8, 9. Some young men dining with me, and taking much of my time. Made little progress in the Persian translation. Reading two books in defence of the Roman Catholic superstitions, and found them only more glaring exhibitions of folly. Finished the first volume of Boswell's life of Johnson. Read the Koran. Translated by way of experiment, a passage of Scripture into seven languages, viz. Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Arabic, Persian, and Hindoostanee. What food for my vanity would this have been some time ago. But I trust that now, through the Spirit, I have a more just view of the insignificance of the acquisition of human languages, except for the purpose of preaching the Gospel. In another view, however, I find no room for boasting, for my knowledge of all these languages is very imperfect.
10. (Sunday.) Preached on Exod. xx. 16. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour," &c. on account of the dissensions and backbitings among my people. The men at the hospital seem to gather very readily to hear. The women in the afternoon only fourteen. I spoke to them on "Lord, to whom shall I go, thou hast," &c. Not to the world, works, repentance, Padre, Mary, Saints, but to Christ. At night discoursed to the men (about thirty) on Rom. viii. "Who is he that condemneth," &c. Through most of the day oppressed with a sense of guilt, from coldness and formality in prayer, but towards evening my soul was quickened, and felt desires towards God, and after holiness. With what grace and pity the Lord acts towards me.
11-16. Nothing very remarkable. On the 12th the Padre Julio Cesare dined with me, and staid four hours. As I had received information, that the General, when he heard of Padre's coming frequently to the barrack, had threatened in his violent manner, to have him tied up and flogged if he came again, I thought it right to let him know it, lest some insult should be offered to him. He seemed to wish that I would go with him to the General's, to intercede for him, but I told him that this would be very inconsistent with propriety and my principles, as I believed him and his followers to be in error. I then told him I had some questions to ask about the Romish church. The first was the adoration of the Virgin and the Saints. He answered in the usual manner, but not ably. The excesses he had seen at Leghorn and in Geneva, seemed to fill him with horror at Protestantism. He lifted up his hands earnestly, and prayed, that God would not suffer him to be converted by me, nor let the Protestant religion come into Italy. This long discussion has made the argument quite familiar. The more I observe of his natural disposition, the more I like him. On the 16th, Col. and Mrs. P. arrived.
17. (Sunday.) Preached on Acts xiii. "Through this man is preached unto you forgiveness of sins," &c. At night to the men, on "Be not conformed to this world," &c. The women were only seven, so that I was much dispirited. Col. P. prayed with me at night.
18. Sabat increased my dejection much, by his contemptuous remarks on the uselessness of the Hindoo service. In the evening went with Mrs. P. and heard Mrs. R. play some hymns. Our conversation after our return was spiritual and delightful. I prayed with Col. and Mrs. P. and commended them to the grace of God.
19-23. On the 19th they went away and left me---as if deprived of something necessary to my happiness. So quickly does my heart attach itself to the creature.. On the 23rd had peculiar assistance in speaking to my men on 1 Cor. i. 30.
24. (Sunday.) Preached on John xiv. "I am the way." At the hospital after the service there, happening to speak to a sick man, I was attacked by one who sat by him, with great heat, as a separator from the church. I rejoiced much, and spoke loud that many might hear. The dispute lasted so long that the men from all parts of the hospital gathered, and I rose up and harangued them with great liberty, testifying my desire of learning the truth, and willingness to follow it. They would not take any thing from my Bible, as it was corrupted; I challenged them to produce a single text from their own Bible, to prove the adoration of the virgin, pictures, prayers in Latin, or supremacy of the Bishop of Rome. One of them, after saying that in Italy, Spain, &c. no one was allowed to utter heresy, yet talked of their being oppressed in Ireland, I replied immediately, how can you complain, when the Protestants allow you a liberty, which you would not give them in like circumstances, by your own confession. I returned considerably gratified, at having, I hope, spoken something for God and the truth. In the afternoon to about sixteen women, spoke on John xxxvi. "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." And on the same subject to the men at night. Had great liberty, but was made miserable by being puffed up with vanity. I felt much affected at the words of Malachi, which I read to-day. "The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn away many from iniquity; for the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts."
25-27. The usual engagements; finished Boswell's life of Johnson; and saw from his account of his dying hours, the vanity of human life. Is a death of such confusion and dismay to terminate a life spent in literary pursuits to attract the admiration of men, even when there was a regard to religion in the main? Then, Oh, let me live seriously with God, and make full proof of my religion!
28. I little thought to have my faith brought to a trial so soon, &c. (See Memoir, p. 289.) One of the men of the society, who has occasioned so much trouble, was this day put into the guard-room, for stabbing a man with a bayonet in a fit of passion. In the usual course, 1 Cor. v. came to be read at our evening worship, and there the words of the 11th verse, requiring separation, even of a railer, struck me very forcibly. Had I adhered to the discipline of the ancient church and excluded him, I should have saved my people from the trial this will bring upon them. But the Lord is merciful and will pity our weakness, for the time to come. I trust to be taught to act with more authority and wisdom.
29. Went on again with the Persian Gospel, and seem to say after every verse, 'appone lucro.'
30. The Georgian of Patna came. Employed in writing sermon.
31. (Sunday.) The 67th did not attend church, because they had a field-day, to prepare for the approach of the Commander-in-Chief. Thus the Sabbaths of the supreme God are made to give way. Why do they not prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ? As my Christian Joseph said that the women understood little, because I did not ask them questions afterwards. I desired them to-day to stay, and I went round, asking a few of them to repeat the Lord's prayer, creed, &c. None of them could do any thing in Hindoostanee. Some said that what they knew was in English; some, in Portuguese. They went away in anger, and said insultingly to Joseph, that they knew a great deal more than his Padre, (i. e.) the Padre of the English. The Lord graciously endue me with wisdom and love to deal aright with these poor souls. At night preached to the men on "So run that ye may obtain." My poor weak body has been reminding me of its decay to-day. The services much fatigued me. But the exercise of my mind eats out my bodily strength most. I was obliged to go into the garden this evening, and strive to shake out all thoughts of the subject on which I was afterwards to preach. The consideration of my decay led me to many happy and consoling views in prayer, as I could rejoice in my unchanging friend.
August 1--6. The Padre came twice and staid a short time. He began vehemently to argue for the necessity of an infallible judge to settle disputes. He said that on the day he last disputed with me, he had continued walking about full of the subject till midnight, but looked up to God and became tranquil. On the 5th, General H. the Commander-in-Chief came, and I dined with him at the General's. He did not say much about a church that night, but the next morning when I called on him and his family, I begged that he would not let the matter drop, but consider it as a duty we owed to God as a Christian nation. He promised to do what he could to have a church at Serampore also. I continued some time with them conversing on subjects connected with religion, and could with pleasure have staid longer with such truly well-bred people. In such a regular family much good might be done, but I know not how.
7. (Sunday.) Preached on Romans v. "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death," &c. Buried three persons to night, and preached to the men afterwards on 1 Cor. xv. "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." Afterwards had some happy moments in prayer for dear distant friends.
9. Sent off the Persian Gospel of Mark, to the press. Breakfasted with the General. Mahommed Bahir arrived with Padre Martinos. I endeavoured beforehand to direct Sabat how to deal with Mahommed Bahir, but alas, he seemed to forget what his duty was, and to appear more as a poet than a Christian.
MY DEAR SIR,
Dinapore, August 9, 1808.
The farther we go in our work the more Sabat is attached to me. By this day's post we have sent you the Persian of St. Mark. For the Hindoostanee I must look to you for help; all the moonshees that have applied to me are fit for nothing, and now, indeed, they are afraid to come and undergo an examination. What an acquisition would Akber be! * * * * * By the first opportunity, please to send back the first part of the Hindoostanee St. Matthew; also the parables in the Persian character. * * Remember also my request for Aristotle, particularly his ethics.
Now, dearest sir, let me beseech you to let me hear from you as soon as possible * * *
My own health is good again, but the rains try my constitution. I am apt to be troubled with shortness of breath, as at the time I left you. Another rainy season, I must climb some hill and live there; but the Lord is our rock. While there is work, which we must do, we shall live. Yours affectionately,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
10. The whole day almost spent in conversation with the Mahometan nobleman and the Padre, sometimes on religion, but never closely.
11. They spent the day with me, with Colonel B. Mahommed Bahir declared himself an infidel, and required a proof for any religion. I found it necessary to discuss the nature of probable evidence for this purpose, but he did not seem to understand me, so this came to nothing. The Padre I tried again and again, but in vain; he seemed to have no comprehension of spiritual things. Sabat appeared to great disadvantage to-day; we sat down to dinner before he came; this he took amiss, and reproached us with great wrath and pride. We were all confounded. Mahommed Bahir, with all his gentleness and politeness, rebuked him sharply, but I soothed him. How small his progress in Christian humility! I felt consciousness of guilt afterwards in prayer, ascribing his backwardness to my own want of watchfulness over him.
12, 13. Being left to ourselves, we went on to our work, but did little on account of Sabat's illness. Finished Brown's History of the Church of England; went on with the Koran. Sheik Mamut Ali sat with me a good deal, but declined endeavouring to defend his religion. Baptized Lieut. C--'s son: made a will for a man in the hospital, with whom I also prayed, but to little purpose I fear. F. endears himself to me every day; I look on him as my crown of joy and rejoicing; precious reward, to see one of my children in Christ walking worthy of the gospel. Some Persians came, and I conversed a little.
14. (Sunday.) Preached on Isaiah lv. 1-3, and to the women and men at night expounded, as they were but few, on account of the rain. The Lord helped me to go through the duties of the day; my soul groans at its deadness. I seemed to be struggling to-day against the stream. All I could do was to prevent myself from being carried down, my corruptions were so great; but yesterday and to-day I felt strengthened from above to trust in the Lord, though I walk in darkness.
15. Greatly harassed the whole day by calls, but at night found myself near to the Lord in prayer with my dear flock. Felt affectionate and solemn. Little or nothing done in the Persian translation.
16-20. My house being surrounded with water by the overflowing of the Ganges, the men could not come. The bad smell also arising from the stagnant water, obliged me to leave my quarters: so most of this week was spent at Major S--'s. They were indisposed to religious conversation, except to dispute. Read a good deal of Italian with Mrs. S. The first proof sheets of the Persian and Hindoostanee arrived.
21. (Sunday.) Preached on John v. 42. "Ye have not the love of God in you." In the afternoon to the women, on the rich man and Lazarus, and at night on 2 Cor. v. 11. "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." Felt much troubled in mind on one account and another. The men in the regiment imagine that I have been instrumental in keeping away their priest, because a child was to be buried. One evening when I was away, they were very severe in their remarks. In the multitude of my troubled thoughts, thy comforts delight my soul.
22-27. An irregular week. Persian translation interrupted by Sabat's illness. Two officers buried this week. My own studies chiefly the Koran, and translating into Arabic, 'Grotius de vera Religione,' but the great number of calls to occasional duty much interrupted me. One day Colonel G. showed me a petition from the Roman Catholic inhabitants of Patna, to the Bishop visiting the Mogul mission, that Julio might be appointed Vicar of Patna. This was sent to have the names of the Roman Catholic soldiers of his regiment. I preserved neutrality, but objected on these grounds to the petition, viz. that it threatened the Bishop with the vengeance of the English government if he did not comply.
August 22, 1808.
Your next letter will, I hope, mention the day of your leaving Chunar. I have been looking at the list of the passengers per Preston, with almost as much anxiety as yourself. The arrival of your sister will deprive me of much of the time you would otherwise spend with me, but I ought to rejoice in all that would add to your comfort. This week the first proof-sheet of the Persian and Hindoostanee gospel arrived. Mr. Brown says, 'Through the tender mercies of the Lord we are preserved; and though the wrath of man was high, both at Calcutta and at Serampore, I am left in peace. I thank you for your advice concerning------. I was about to give them a triumph by letting them tread me in the mire, and so I would do still if it would do them any good. But every friendly overture on my part has been fuel to their pride, and has brought upon me more bitterness and insult. This is a grievous affair, brother; let it issue as it will, it makes against the great cause, at least for a time, for finally it must prevail.' This week the Ganges inundated us; all communication between my quarters and the barracks was cut off, so that the men could not come. When the water began to subside, the smell was so intolerable, that I was obliged to make a precipitate retreat to Major Stewart's. During my absence a child was to be buried. 'Well,' said the Papists, 'where is Mr. Martyn?' 'If I were the god-father of that child,' said one, 'I would have him sent to the right-about.' Thus, something or other is constantly happening to try one's spirit. "In the multitude of my thoughts thy comforts delight my soul."
H. MARTYN. Rev. D. Corrie.
Dinapore, August 23, 1808.
I hope that by the help of our new friend the Nawuab Mahommed Bahir, we shall have a consessus of nabobs, rajahs and other Hindoostanees to hear the Hindoo gospels and offer their remarks. After that, no moonshee can open his mouth against them without proclaiming himself an ignoramus. * * * * * * The few Turkish words that are used may be explained in a preface, where their use will be justified. It is curious, that in the same manner, and for the same reason that the Roman military terms found their way, or rather forced it, into Greek, and have been used in the New Testament, and the English ones into Hindoostance; so the Turkish terms of war are used in Persia. * * * * * * * It delights me, dearest sir, that amidst all your troubles you are kept in peace. We all owe thanks for this mercy * * *
Your's, ever affectionately,
28. (Sunday.) Preached on 2 Cor. v. 1. as a funeral sermon; to the women in the afternoon, on the parable of the unprofitable servant; to the men at night on 2 Cor. xii. 7- What has been much on my mind today, is the impression of a dream that I had this morning a little before gun-fire, and which I thus interpreted; that as I was attacked so violently in July, but recovered, at the same time next year I should be attacked again, and carried off by death. This, however, would only be awaking in a better world. If I may but awake up satisfied with thy likeness, why shall I be afraid. I think I have but one wish to live, which is, that I may do the Lord's work, particularly in the Persian and Hindoostanee translation; for this I could almost feel emboldened to supplicate like Hezekiah, for prolongation of life, even after receiving this, which may be a warning. Let every day be to me the 28th of July.
August 29-September 10. Nothing worth noticing, but the arrival of my dear brother Corrie, from Chunar. On the Lord's day, the 4th of September, he preached for me: in the afternoon I discoursed to a few women. Luke xix. 10. "The Son of man carne to seek and to save that which was lost." At night he preached for me to the men, on 2 Cor. vi. "Come out from among them," &c. The rest of the week passed agreeably in conversation on the kingdom of God, and in prayer together. F. at all times present. On the night of the 10th, under a depressing sense of my own want of spirituality, I passed a considerable time in prayer, and was favoured with near approaches to the blessed God.
11. (Sunday.) On account of the rain, no service, but my brother and myself and F. were not excluded from the throne of grace. Spoke to the women on the parable of the talents. Corrie preached at night on "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but," &c.
18. (Sunday) Had a dream this morning, which much affected me. I was walking down the street at Truro, and about to enter my father's house, when a lion at the door prevented me; on which I passed on to my brother's on the other side, but there also was a lion who flew at me, but he was chained, and could not reach me; he made the second attempt, and failed in like manner; the third time the chain broke, and he reached me, but seemed only a little dog. I awoke, and immediately the passage in Job occurred, "In the vision of the night when deep sleep falleth upon man," and taking it in connexion with some circumstances of my past life, I considered it as another warning of death. I addressed my God in prayer, and felt resigned to live or die, according as his will should be. Corrie preached on "Her ways are ways of pleasantness." I felt sweetly the whole time. I spoke to the women on the 20th of Luke. At night he preached on 1 Peter ii. 1-3, with great weight, and I trust the blessed Spirit accompanied the word with power.
19. Very ill; had just time to finish the 10th of St. Luke with Sabat, and was attacked with a fever; now what may be the issue, God knows; Into thy hands, O Lord, I commit myself. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
20-24. Again restored through infinite mercy; O Lord, to thy service I would again devote myself anew. The night of the 19th the fever was very violent, but in the morning abated, and so Corrie went on his way. The rest of the day I spent at Major S--'s, and found the change of air restoring. Thursday night I again joined my men, and spoke to them from the 84th Psalm, but ministered no more among them for the week, in order to recruit my strength for the Sabbath.
25. (Sunday.) Preached on Acts xx. 21. "Testifying to the Jews," &c. Omitted the hospital duty; In the afternoon ministered in Hindoostanee to about twenty-five of the women, and at night preached to the men on Ephes. ii. 1, but felt rather feverish afterwards.
26, 27. Things much as usual, except that I did not join the men in worship. On the 27th the Padre Antonio, who once wrote to me from B------, came and stayed the night. We conversed chiefly in Hindoostanee and Latin, and sometimes with a mixture of both. Of course we had some disputes, but I felt weary of urging the same things to men who will not come to fair discussion. Antonio, however, is more solid and patient than the other Italian monk, Julio.
28-30. Attacked again with a cold, cough, fever, and head-ache, and passed the time in great disorder and pain, yet God present to my soul; felt the duty of praising him most especially in times of trial, and moreover had a disposition to it in some degree.
October 1. Passed a most trying day from the excessive heat, without strength to support it. Dear F-- most assiduous in his care of me, especially in reading to me; thus even in this life have I found sons and brothers, &c. according to the promise of the Lord. Yet I looked back at times with fond regret to England, and contrasted the fresh bracing air of my native land, at this season, with the stagnant debilitating atmosphere of this sickening climate. My expectation of much usefulness to the church was very low, as I scarcely believed it possible that I should live through another rainy season.
2. (Sunday.) As I found it vain to attempt to go through the service in the present weak and sore state of my lungs, I desired the order for divine service to be countermanded. The morning of the sabbath passed alone, yet with some sweet enjoyment. His temporal mercies in so far restoring my health, seemed a loud call to praise, and the privilege of being permitted to join the people of God, though hut in spirit, in general intercession, was refreshing to my spirits. In the evening visited the hospital, to see a man who had sent for me, and found him to appearance, evangelically humbled. At night preached to my men, on Eph. ii. 4, in a low tone, and did not find myself the worse for it.
3. Went on board a budgerow for my health, and in the evening dropped down to D. where I spent the evening with the S--s.
4. Went on to Bankipore, where I breakfasted, but not meeting with the reception which I expected, I altered my resolution of staying, and went back immediately. Happy that I have a friend in heaven, who can never be unkind.
9. (Sunday.) Lay to all day near a village of Brahmins; they seemed as poor and ignorant as others, working in the fields, and carrying burdens. Was rather mortified at finding that I had lost a good deal of my Hindoostanee, and could scarcely understand enough to converse with them. With pleasure could I go and live with them, and learn their dialect, and teach them the precious truth, but I must believe the work of translation more important. Spent the day in reading and prayer, and found comfort particularly in intercession for friends, but my heart was pained with many a fear about my own soul. I felt the duty of praying for the conversion of these poor heathens, and yet no encouragement to it. How much was there of imagination before, or rather, how much of unbelief now; seeing no means ready now, no word of God to put into their hands, no preachers, it sometimes seems to me idle to pray. Alas, wicked heart of unbelief, cannot God create means, or work without them? But I am weary of myself, and my own sinfulness, and appear exceedingly odious even to myself, how much more to a holy God. Lord, pity and save, vile and contemptible is thy sinful creature, even as a beast before thee; help me to awake, to shake off my indolence, to be fervent in spirit, to remember from whence I am fallen, and repent.
10. Turned back towards Dinapore, and found myself greatly recovered, through the never-failing mercy of God.
11. Arrived at home safely, and felt my heart expand with love and joy at being brought again to my people, especially dear F.
12-15. Returned with great delight to the Persian translation; ministered to the men but once.
16. (Sunday.) Preached on Rev. xxii. 14. and was greatly fatigued, so as to be unable to go to the hospital. In the afternoon had Hindoostanee service, and at night preached to the men from Matthew vii. "Enter ye in at the strait gate."
17-23. Most of the time taken up with the Persian translation, On 19. we finished St. Luke, and returned thanks. 20. Began St. John with prayer, both in English and Persian. Greatly affected at different times with the sense of my extreme wickedness, in giving way to sinful anger towards my servants. I pray God to give me his grace to know and practise my duty in this respect: alas, what lengths in sin may I go, and not be aware of it.
23. (Sunday.) Service at seven; preached on Ps. xix. 13; omitted the hospital duty, but read the Hindoostanee service; discoursed to the men at night on the same subject as in the morning, in its reference to believers.
25. At night with the men in prayer, I was struck with the sense of the awful majesty of God, and led to plead with reverential earnestness for his holy image: most of the evening afterwards, God's image seemed more desirable than any thing in the world, and sin to have no temptation.
28. Went to Bankipore to baptize a child; the rest of the day I spent with Mr. G., and in the evening returned to Dinapore to bury Captain F. Prayed that I might this day be kept from my besetting sins of vanity and levity, but I did not strive against them as I ought; while reading the second chapter of the service at Mr. G--'s, my heart seemed to love Christ, but oh, when shall I walk stedfastly with him.
27--29. Miserable deadness and unprofitableness; the sense of my lukewarmness and barrenness and ignorance, made me at times unhappy, but mere lamentation is, I well know, of little worth. Lord, stir me up to repentance, to wait upon thee for strength, to be in earnest for my soul. Some letters I received from Calcutta, agitated my silly mind, because my magnificent self seemed likely to become more conspicuous. O wretched creature, where is thy place but the dust, it is good for men to trample upon thee. Various were my reveries on the events apparently approaching, and self was the prominent character in every transaction. I am yet a long way from real humility: oh, when shall I be dead to the world, and desire to be nothing and nobody, as I now do to be somebody. Dear Thomason's expected coming to India rejoiced my heart.
30. (Sunday.) Preached on Matthew v. 17, but attention not so great as last Sunday, the Hindoostanee service quite wearied me and made me feverish. At night read and explained the 51st Psalm, and discoursed on John xv. 1--2, with some hesitation.
31. Unhappy most of the day through a rebellious heart, unwilling to do God's will. Employed chiefly in examining Mirza Fitrut's translation of the Acts. At night had religious conversation with several at the hospital. Happening to read Virgil's Pollio to F., my mind was much impressed with solemn thoughts of Christ, and I longed to be alone to adore Him.
Dinapore, October 31, 1808.
Dr. John's letter is delightful --Des Granges' hopeful, Mr. Grant's wise,------'s empty. The Vizagapatam missionaries set out well because cautiously and modestly. Happy will it be for them if future success and praise should not spoil them.
Dr. John's account of the Brahmin seems to have done Sabat good. For some days before, he had been saying that he meant after the four gospels to go to Constantinople, there recite his poetry to the Sooltar of Rome, and receive as a present at least two lacs. * * * * I told him that the Turk's head would be off before he got there. * * * * After the Brahmin's letter he began to relate against himself very appropriately the fable of the ass and the camel; an ass and a camel who had been left behind by a Caravan remained in the wilderness in good pasture and grew fat. One day the ass being merrier than usual, told his comrade he would entertain him with a song; the camel intreated that he would not, as it would lead to a discovery, and then he the camel would be killed, and the meat laid upon the other's back. But the ass was obstinate and would not be persuaded, and accordingly began his note, A caravan passing by heard the braying, and caught them both, when it happened as the camel had foretold.
Sabat says that no one Hindoostanee moonshee will be of any use. The translation must be read before a company of well-educated people. Mohammed Bahir is unfortunately for us just at this moment going to Calcutta; and as for the civil servants, they might, if they pleased, assemble all Patna, but they would not touch the work with the tip of their ringer. They look on me as a pest with respect to the natives, and publicly assert that I wish to coerce them into Christianity. * *
To the Rev. D. Brown.
November i. Enjoyed much peace and solemnity all the day. Frequently in prayer, and the more I prayed, the more pleasant prayer became; but, oh, how wonderful that this should not be remembered by me, to stir me up to seek this communion with God; what is it that infatuates me at other times?
2, While lying in bed had some dreadful sensations, as if I was given up by God to destruction, and was about to lose my senses. I never felt Satan so near; I began to pray aloud, as a dying wretch on the very brink of ruin, and pleaded with a God of truth, His own declarations and promises; thus I found peace, and my agitated spirit returned to its rest.
4-5. Usual employments going on in the Persian; learning Arabic roots, and reading Greek also.
6. (Sunday.) Preached on Isaiah xlv--" I even I am he that blotteth out," &c.; and administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper to ten; seven privates, F., G,, and Sabat. Afterwards was sent for to a dying European woman. She was speechless, but apparently sensible, so I prayed with her, and continued reading to her; at night she died. In the afternoon some of the women seemed affected with our Lord's farewell discourse to his disciples. I am sometimes tempted to think of giving up the Hindoostanee service. I feel myself too weak and unfit for the Sabbath day's service, but I am unwilling to lose this opportunity of keeping up my Hindoostanee, and because some good, I am encouraged to hope, seems to be doing to these poor women. At night preached on Rom. iii. 3--4. Received letters from S. and H. and B.; that from S. hurt my feelings rather as insinuating that I had been guilty of vain ostentation, though indeed I have no reason to be angry with him, for there is hardly a sin which may not be imputed to me justly, though not in the particular instance he mentioned.
8. Went to Hajipore and baptized two children; reading all S's letters, and thinking of all the beloved friends in England.
9. Unwell from the heat yesterday, and want of nourishment till night; rose in the night and walked meditating on Ephes. i. with great comfort. Dined at the General's. Sabat and I have been uneasy of late on account of the supposed necessity of his going to live at Patna, and both made it a matter of prayer. To our astonishment, the General gave his consent to Sabat living in cantonment.
10. Much indisposition and irritability, and betrayed my evil temper against a servant. Alas! these are new evils. Ease and opulence bring with them danger to the soul; where is that poor and lowly spirit which I ought to have, especially in dealing with the natives of this country, who above all ought to be treated with peculiar tenderness. My heart was stung with the sense of my sin. O, may I by divine grace attain to more of the image of Christ! Heard the boys at the school read the 1st chapter of Genesis. At the hospital was much affected with love and pity towards a poor man, deeply humbled and under concern for his soul. Never did I with such confidence speak to him of Christ, but he could not immediately lay hold on the hope; he thought something was to be done by himself.
11. Visited the same man and gave him the Pilgrim's Progress. At night reading St. Luke at Sabat's.
13. (Sunday.) Service at eight, and the church well attended. Preached on Matt. vi. 20. At the conclusion felt that I had been doing little or nothing. Afterwards had much time to myself in prayer and intercession. Received a letter from Col. P., expressing his acknowledgments for my last, which had the effect of comforting. This is a great honour to me, to be made the instrument of comforting one of God's chosen. To God be all the praise. To seek the honour which cometh from God, is lawful, nay a duty; I pray for the honour to be the means of making known to the Gentiles by writing and by preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. The women in the afternoon about twenty-five, and the men at night the same number. I preached to them on Ephes. vi.--" Stand therefore, having your loins girt ahout with truth." Had the affliction of hearing of the misconduct of one of my best men.
14. Received a great number of the controversial pamphlets on the subject of evangelizing India, and read without any benefit.
Dinapore, Nov. 14, 1808.
******* * * At present my mind is full of disorder from Sabat's evil temper. He is now in great pride and wrath, perhaps marching to Patna. Since you went away he has changed his bearers again and again; at last he said he would have nothing to do with them-- I might keep them myself; I accordingly sent for some--all refused to come except I gave my word that they should not be in Sabat's service. This I did. To-day he wanted them to go to Patna and stay with him there a fortnight. I thought that if I ordered them to do this it would be breaking my word, and therefore, I gently told him what engagement I had made with them. He flew into a most violent rage, and said he would have no more to do with a man who would keep such servants, and would walk away at once to Patna. I in vain attempted to pacify him. * * * Alas! it was a poor finale to the Gospel of Luke, the revisal of which we had that moment finished. For some days past he has been particularly unpleasant. * * * * * I would sooner give a thousand rupees than ask a favour for him from any European, he is so universally detested among all persons, native or English. Lately taking offence at something his landlord did, he and Ameenah employed themselves in tearing up every shrub, plant and flower in the garden. He could not perceive that it was wrong. 'Should I be at twenty-five rupees expence,' he said, 'for him?' All these evils spring from nothing but horrible unmor-tified pride; and it is this that makes me fear for his soul. How such a temper can be consistent with a state of grace I am at a loss to conceive. Yet I will continue to hope, and have been praying for him. * * * * * Last night I had the pain of hearing of some misconduct in D------my very best man. What offences daily come; but it is all for the trial of our faith. In your patience possess ye your souls. * * Your brother affectionately in the Lord,
To the Rev. D. Corrie, at the Rev. D. Brown's, Calcutta.
15. Sent off St. Luke's gospel in Persian to the press. Sabat grieved me again to-day by another of his violent eruptions, it vexed me a good deal and brought on indisposition. He went off in a great rage to Patna. Alas! what a way of finishing the blessed gospel, I went home and prayed for him and myself. In the evening went to Bankipore, and baptized Capt. N's. son, and returned about midnight; my thoughts chiefly occupied by the controversy at home.
16. Went to Patna again to accompany Ameena to her husband. Met with several Moguls and Persians. With one old man I had some conversation. He allowed the corruption of human nature, the consequent necessity of a change of heart; that if a tree is bad its fruit must be so, consequently, that the five duties of Mahometanism are perfectly unacceptable to God, till he was born again. He said he knew not what answer to give. Dined with the Padre Julio. As he was weak and unwell, I did not enter into any dispute with him. He shewed me an Italian letter from Antonio, describing at some length his visit to me. Returned in the afternoon, my mind still much occupied with the tracts, sermons, &c., I had been reading. Basil Woodd's sermon and report gave me great pleasure. I lifted up my heart in praise and prayer for the Capuchin Friar S. O that these Franciscans might be so wrought upon! At night ministered to my men, and found near approach to God in prayer.
17-19. Mostly employed in writing letters and sermon. Found divisions among my men on the doctrines of grace and free will, election, &c. The weak were stumbled at the bold and litigious temper of a high professor; my heart was grieved for them. The Apostle's words are, "Who is offended and I burn not." By private exhortations kept them from separating. Throughout the 18th enjoyed a solemn sense of Divine things. The promise was fulfilled. "Sin shall not have dominion over you." No enemy seemed permitted to approach. I sometimes saw nought in the creation but the works of God, and wondered that mean earthly concerns had ever drawn away my mind from contemplating their glorious Author. O that I could be always so, seeing none but thee, taught the secrets of thy covenant, advancing in knowledge of thee, growing in likeness to thee. How much should I learn of God's glory, were I an attentive observer of his word and providence. How much should I be taught of his purposes concerning his church, did I keep my heart more pure for him. And what gifts might I not expect to receive for her benefit, were I duly earnest to improve his grace for my own. O how is a life wasted, that is not spent with God, and employed for God: what am I doing the greater part of my time, where is my heart?
20. (Sunday.) Preached on Acts xxiv.--"Herein do I exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence;" service at nine. The other services as usual; at night discoursed on "Above all things taking the shield of faith;" and endeavoured to obviate some of the evils introduced by the Antinomian person.
21. Went to Patna to see Sabat, but could not find him. Sat some time with Julio, told him of the Bible Society and others, and conversion of Sauer. Even you, said I, cannot object to their plan, since it is better surely to be a Protestant than a heathen. He said that he had seen much of Calvinists, Lutherans, Mahometans and Hindoos; but the Protestants were the worst of all; oh, said he, shuddering, 'T should expect God would burn me, if I were to become one; you know in the bottom of your heart that you have all acted like brigands in going away.' Greatly tried to-day, but my sense of guilt brought me to the Lord, from whom alone I ever obtain peace and sanctification.
22. Almost free from my trials, or at least greatly strengthened from above, to cast away vile thoughts at once without parleying with them, and consequently enjoyed much of the divine presence, and elevating views of future glory. At night ministered to my men with great delight and profit to my own soul, from Philippians i. May the pattern of the great apostle be always before me. Let me have nought to do on earth, but the work my Lord hath appointed me. Were it not for that, let me rather desire to die and be with Christ which is far better. Resumed my long-neglected Arabic. Read part of the Koran.
23. Reading Arabic, Persian, and Greek. Went out in the curricle with Colonel G. He is surprisingly free, and even desirous of conversation on religion, not with sufficient seriousness indeed, but he said that he prayed for help against his swearing, and was not ashamed of being seen reading his Bible.
24-26. Continued reading the Koran. Sadi putting verses to the Hindoostanee epistles. Preparing sermon. On the 24th, felt miserable deadness in prayer with my men. On the 25th, ministered to them again, and preached from "What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ," and in prayer found my heart so full of love to the Saviour, that I knew not how to express it. On the 26th, strived to walk more closely with God, watching my heart. At night had a terrifying conviction of my depravity; I perceive that I have been long walking, not circumspectly, not using watchfulness and self-denial; I have had my heart not stedfast with God. I have been accustomed to look for pleasure from other employments, more than from those which are spiritual, and which have most to do with God. This is my sinful nature, and against this I must strive. Alas! what a work I have to do, yet it shall be done, God helping me. I will become more and more dead and mortified to all creatures, and find my happiness in my duty, or at least in nothing else. I will consider the pain of inward mortification, if it is pain, my constant portion, which I must be content with all my days.
27. (Sunday.) Preached on John v. 39. "Search the scriptures." The congregation small. Tried to be more diligent in order to redeem the time for reading and prayer; but I seemed to accomplish little, my heart is not spiritual; yet oh! I loathe every other state of the heart. Received letters from S------, and H------and from Thomason at Calcutta. H.'s letter gave me some melancholy thoughts, as his letters generally do, filled as they are with sicknesses and death. Dear Lydia's declining health quite casts a gloom over my mind. Oh death! were there nothing else vain and painful, in this world, thy power to separate chief friends is enough. Oh happy, happy state! where friends meet to part no more. Thomason's letter announcing his providential escape, filled me with great joy and gratitude, and I joined I trust, many happy hearts in Calcutta, in rendering thanks to God for his goodness to my dear friends and to India. Ministered to the women in the afternoon and the men at night, not without fatigue. F. sat some time with me, and I felt an indescribable fear lest he should be drawing back.
28. Reading Arabic. At night baptized Captain R.'s child, and dined there. I went away in great grief, and vented my feelings to God in prayer. How boldly, how contemptuously they disregard the admonitions of a minister. Oh what an awful day will the day of judgment be!
29. Went to Patna. Sat a little with Julio, but had no dispute. Staid the rest of the time at Sabat's, where Petros, an Armenian priest, and his friend, a sensible young man, a surgeon, and a native of Ispahan called. The ignorance and loquacity of the aged priest were remarkable.
30. Drawing out some arguments against the Koran, and some passages from it, for the use of Sabat, who is next Sunday to have a formal dispute with an assembly of Moollahs. May the Spirit of God give him a mouth and wisdom, which all his adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
December 1. Scarcely any regular employments, writing letters and reading old ones from friends, they were brought to my remembrance with much tenderness, and I found great affection in prayer for them.
2. Unwell. Made calls. At night discoursed with men on "Whatsoever things are true," &c.
4. (Sunday.) My soul groans at recording the wickedness of every day. I have long been a stranger to a broken and a contrite spirit, but now I long for it again. Oh, now would I wish to hide my mouth in the dust. I could fly the haunts of men, and spend all my days in sorrow and humiliation; or live among them only to be despised and hated. I am worthy of all that God or man could put upon me. Oh let thy creature find mercy, and thy Holy Spirit to deliver me from the body of this death, and to give me a tender lowly spirit. Preached on Luke xvi: The rich man and Lazarus, and a most awful call it seemed to be indeed to the people. At night preached on "Taking the sword of the Spirit." The women numerous. I finished the four gospels, and the Pentateuch with them.
5. Went to Patna to Sabat, and saw several Persians and Arabians. I found that the intended dispute had come to nothing, for that Ali had told Sabat, he had been advised by his father not to dispute with him. They behaved with the utmost incivility to him, not giving him a place to sit down, and desiring him at last to go. Sabat rose, and shook his garment against them, and said, If you know Mahomedanism to be right, and will not try to convince me, you will have to answer for it at the day of judgment. I have explained to you the gospel; I am therefore pure from your blood. He came home and wrote some poetry on the Trinity, and the Apostles, which he recited to me. We called on Mizra Mehdee, a jeweller, who shewed us some diamonds, emeralds and rubies. With an old Arabian there I tried to converse in Arabic. He understood my Arabic, but I could not understand his. They were all full of my praise, but then the pity was that I was a Christian. I challenged them to shew what there was wrong in being a Nazarene, but they declined. Afterwards we called on the nabob Moozuffur Ali Khan. The house Sabat lived in was properly an oriental one; and, as he said, like those in Syria. It reminded me often of the Apostles, and the recollection was often solemnizing.
6-8. Betrayed more than once into evil temper, which left dreadful remorse of conscience; I cried unto God in secret, but the sense of my sinfulness was overwhelming. It had a humbling effect however. In prayer with my men I was led more unfeignedly to humble myself even to the dust, and after that I enjoyed through the sovereign mercy of God much peace, and a sense of his presence. Languid in my studies; indisposition causing sleepiness. Reading chiefly Persian, and a little Greek; Hanway, Waring, and Franklin's Travels into Persia. Haju Khan, a sensible old man from Patna, called two days following, and sat a long time conversing upon religion.
9, 10. Employed in the usual studies, and preparing sermon.
11. (Sunday.) Preached on John iii. 5. With the women in the afternoon began the Acts. At night with the men. After preaching to them on "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit," had a most blessed season in prayer. I felt, when I began, the absolute necessity of the aid of the Spirit.
12. Making calls. Found that Julio had married an officer of the 69th, when I had refused to do it, because it was not certain that the woman's husband was dead, and he had not the Governor-general's permission. At night, dined at Captain A------'s, where, instead of cards, they had music, chiefly sacred. There was nothing offensive, yet after my return I began to consider how much more suitable it would have been had these precious hours been spent in the house of mourning, by a sick-bed, or in prayer or useful study. And oh, what danger am I in of undoing by my conversation and manners in company, all the good my sermons may do. If good can be done, it cannot be by me, for I either remain mute when I ought to speak, or say what had better be unsaid. Making calls. At night felt much ashamed at my deadness in prayer with the men.
13. Breakfasted with Colonel G. and called on Captain R. With both had much to say on the great subject. Reading Sadi, and Aeschylus. Finished the Persae.
14. Received a letter from Lydia which renewed my pain; though it contained nothing but what I expected. Prayer was my only relief, and I did find peace by casting my care on God. Praise to his love. At night ministered to the men with much freedom and life, because speaking from my inmost heart, on "Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth."
16, 17. Writing letters. My mind somewhat sorrowful about Lydia, that I am not to see her more till after death. Had some sweet reflections on my little connection with the world, I all on earth forsake, Its wisdom, fame, and power, And him my only portion make, My shield and tower.
18. (Sunday.) Preached on Rom. vii. 18. "In me dwelleth no good thing," to a large congregation. I could not feel as I thought I should, but I was under no temptation to my former levity. At night, on Hos. xiii. 9. to about thirty men, I felt utterly unable to speak before I began, but the Lord heard me and helped me.
19, 20. Rather irregularly employed. Buried a young and beautiful woman, who died after two day's illness. My own mind was affected much, when I reflected on the vanity of her life, and her unexpected death. Oh that my poor people were wise, that they would consider their latter end! Oh that I had never encouraged them in their vain sinful ways, by my own inconsistencies, unfaithfulness, and levity. Dear Corrie and his sister arrived.
24-27. Most of this time spent rather confusedly, from the number of people continually calling on my visitors, and our going out to them. On the 25th, Christmas-day, Corrie preached on Luke xi. "To you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour," to a crowded congregation. Afterwards \ve celebrated the Lord's Supper. At night Corrie preached again on Psalm Ixxii. "All nations shall call him blessed." Sent off letters to Bates and Emma. On 26th they went to Colonel B--s to dinner, but I stayed at home to be with Sabat, who had come from Patna. In ministering to my men this evening the burden seemed to be taken off my mind. I ministered with delight, and found near approach to God in prayer. On 27th a large party of Dinapore people dined with me; I prayed often for grace to maintain propriety and consistency, and to make the conversation useful, but it was very dull, nobody spoke.
28. Discoursed with the men on "Let us who arc of the day be sober.'' After which, the ladies went on board the budgerow, and Corrie prayed. The next morning he went, after we had prayed together.
30, 31. Chiefly employed in writing sermons
FROM MR. CORRIE TO MR. BROWN.
December 30, 1808. MY DEAREST SIR,
* * * * I left the boats at Patna, and went on before my sister, so that I was a full week with our brother. We left him yesterday. He is much better than when I left him before; there seems no want of attention to health and comfort now, but alas! there is yet small prospect of his long continuance in this vale of tears. He docs not gather strength, he says, and does not rest well in the night. Another hot season, it is to be feared, will bring him low again.------has written to him as if we here were all carried away with vain glory, and wished our names to be puffed over the world, &c. and recommends to M. and his friends here, to learn to labour in silence, &c. But you wish for Dinapore news. Our brother has evidently gained great ground among the people there. The common people hear him more gladly. Greater numbers attend nightly at his house, a delightful company. Those of the higher orders I saw, pay M. the most marked respect. The devout centurion also goes on well, and has written to his friends for permission to go home to college preparatory to ordination.
Sabat resides at Patna. He came one day and staid all night. I had happily found a smartly bound New Testament and Common Prayer Book of large type at Berhampore, with which he was greatly delighted, and expressed a fear he should make idols of them. He goes on but slowly, from the distance and many interruptions, but he is doing good. He has daily disputes with the great natives of Patna, who all seem anxious for the honour of restoring him to the faith. He conducts himself with great propriety, as far as I hear, on these occasions. Latterly he was invited where he unexpectedly found above one hundred Mollahs collected to banter him. He withstood them to the face, and has published a small book in vindication of himself from some false reports spread by them, of a victory over him. I mentioned before him Mr. Carey's having received a Diploma of D. D. from some American University. This excited his spleen not a little. He says the missionaries know nothing of science; he even recommended me not to argue with the Mahomedan doctors, lest they should by their logic shake my faith in Christianity. * * *
I remain, my dearest sir,
December 31, 1808.
On the review of the last year, I give praise to God who hath graciously preserved my life, notwithstanding the attacks which threatened its destruction, and hath prolonged it to another year. Every day he gives me, I account gain, as it enables me to advance a little way farther in the work which I have so much at heart. O if it be his will that I should live to finish it, how happy should I be. But he knows best. To him I leave all; Present mercies demand my praise; my mercies multiply as my moments; O that my praises could as constantly ascend. My progress in divine things has not been sensible, but I am more than ever convinced of the happiness of wisdom's ways.