January 1-21, 1809. Was seldom alone. On 1st, (Sunday,) preached from 1 Cor. vii. "This I say, brethren, the time is short." On 7th, Mr. J. arrived with his family, and preached on Sunday the 8th from Galatians. "If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." The following week spent with Sabat at Patna, in the Persian of St. John, and in translating some things from the Arabic.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
January 18, 1809.
To resume our usual correspondence, I take up my pen, but seem not to have much to say. Wars and rumours of wars reach my ears, and call me to look abroad into the earth. How interesting are the politics of the present day. Every event is like turning over a new leaf in a book of mysteries. I have sometimes some gloomy thoughts on this account, but "Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee," is a sufficient support against evils present or suspected. Much of this last week I have been at Patna, with Sabat: amongst some orientals whom I met there, was a young man of Aleppo, a Christian. I talked to him in Arabic. The conversation was not very brisk, as you may easily imagine, but it gave me hope that I should one day be able to preach the gospel all the way from Calcutta, round about unto Damascus. Oh, when will the day come, that like the great apostle I shall be no more a talker, but a doer. Your idea of going to the poor Malabar Syrians is romantic, but I am afraid we shall not get Khanu (food) there; however, learn Syriac as fast as you can. In those sweet sequestered spots, til lentus in umbra, you may teach the woods to re-echo the beloved name.
22. (Sunday.) Preached on 2 Cor. xiii. "Examine yourselves," &c. At night ministered to my men, and spoke from the parable of the springing field, to a considerable number. Through the day had to mourn over a rebellious heart, which would rather turn to any thing than duty. In the afternoon indeed, had some peace and comfort in prayer, and reading the word, but after the evening service, had some bitter reflections on the deadness of my heart in prayer with them.
23. S. dined with me: in the evening I talked freely on the difference of our opinions, and endeavoured to point out the true doctrines of the gospel, and the necessity of preaching them, but I fear with little effect.
Dinapore, February 4, 1809.
* Since the attack I had in the rains, I have set my house in order. Every thing that you recommend for the Hindoostanee has been done. The whole New Testament is written out large and fair. Besides that, I have given many directions to Sabat, who is perfectly acquainted with all the papers I have. Do not suppose, dearest Sir, that I am so short-sighted as to destroy my life by English preaching, or any other preaching. St. Paul did much good by his preaching, but how much more by his writings. I have now reduced my Sunday's services to less than one half; the Hindoostanee prayers, &c. are discontinued. * * * My health is as good as ever; no appearance of a consumption yet, though I look thin. The rains would be the best time to leave Dinapore and my work, but then that season is worse in Bengal than here, besides, I am in constant expectation of hearing of a removal to the outer provinces. Meer Sheer Ullee's Hindoostanee is to my eye hideous, and so it is to Sabat's. A translation in his style would be the most useless thing imaginable, for his Hindoostanee is only Persian spoilt, and every one who is scholar enough to understand it, will certainly prefer to read the Persian gospels. * * * * I spent most of my time with Sabat, at Patna, and lament to see how little of his time is given to his work. Though I am there merely to examine with him, he will not stir beyond one chapter, however short, though it is done in an hour or two. And there am I left fretting, that without one single cause but his idleness, the precious work is left undone. It is this that makes me more bilious than any of his bad tempers. We have still five chapters to do in St. John, which however, I trust will be done next week. He lives almost without prayer, and this is sufficient to account for all evils that appear in saint or sinner. With all this, there are many good symptoms in him. You tell me to pray; I have every encouragement to prayer, but little perseverance in it, yet it is the only way of comfort in this vale of tears.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
Patna, March 1, 1809.
DEAREST SIR, The Gospel of St. John has been finished some time, but we have not yet been able to revise the copy for the press. Sabat is in great distress, lest the Missionaries should be guilty of plagiarism with his work, and says that if he finds his fears realized, he will write a book on purpose to put them to shame. Poor man, I have been reasoning with him in vain on the emptiness of human praise. * * * * He requires me to add, that unless his request is complied with, he will not send any thing more to the press. I am very anxious to get the first volume of Walton's Polyglott, for the sake of the Prolegomena, also Hyde, &c. Relig. veter. Pers. Any of Schulten's productions. A list of the books in the Calcutta College and Missionary Libraries is a desideratum.
Sabat sends salam; if you will not answer his letters, he will come down to speak mouth to mouth. With John he will say something about an Arabian gospel.
Excuse my bad writing. I am sitting on the ground in the corner of a native house, with nothing but a Gulum to help myself with.
To the Rev. D. Brown.
Patna, March 20.
I should sometimes with pleasure resign the translations to others, that I might be more in the actual exercise of the ministry. But it seems the path marked out for me--a, path, however, in which I feel that I must be much on my guard. The------s have been so entirely engaged in preparing the word of the Lord for others, that they seem almost to have lost the Spirit of the Lord themselves. "My soul cleaveth to the dust, quicken thou me according to thy word." Last Tuesday we began the Hindoostanee, and to my surprise and mortification it was found necessary almost to new model it. Sentence after sentence was not understood till the Persian was read. It was a satisfaction to see how plain the Persian was to them, so that this Persian will probably appear to be the first useful translation in modern times. Twenty hours we were employed, and got no farther than the end of the second chapter. How extraordinary is all this when you consider the pains that have been bestowed upon the Hindoostanee.
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Carrie.
March 27, 1809.
You will have heard that I am ordered to Cawnpore; but by the General's advice, I shall apply for leave to stay till the rains, as I do not think that I could support the hot winds on the water. My expected removal has given a new turn to my thoughts, and produced a little dejection. It has always happened hitherto that whenever I have begun to feel an attachment to places, persons, or things, of a merely temporary nature, I have been carried away from them. Amen! May I live as a stranger and pilgrim upon the earth. May we be brought to that better country where painful changes are known no more. Every blessing attend you.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
Patna, March 28, 1809.
Your letter is just come. The Europe letter is from Lydia. I trembled at the hand-writing, * * * * * It was only more last words sent by the advice of Colonel S--, lest the non-arrival of the former might keep me in suspense. * * I trust that I have done with the entanglements of this world; seldom a day passes but I thank God for the freedom from earthly care which I enjoy. I long to see Buchanan's letter.
You chide me for not trusting my Hindoostanee to the press. I congratulate myself. Last week we began the correction of it: present--a Seid of Delhi, a Poet of Lucknow, three or four literati of Patna, and Babir Ali in the chair. Sabat and myself assessors. Almost every sentence was altered. I was amazed and mortified at observing that reference was had to the Persian for every verse, in order to understand the Hindoostanee. It was however a consolation to find, that from the Persian they caught the meaning of it instantly, always expressing their admiration of the plainness of their translation. After four day's hard labour, five hours each day, we reached to the end of the second chapter; so when you will have a gospel I do not know. It is to be hoped that they will get on a little faster when they are more used to the work of translation. Babir Ali, who is ambitious of the name of a learned man, thinks his own reputation involved in this work. He often tells his coadjutors to be careful, for if any error should escape, it will be said, they do not know their own language. I find that I have very little to do towards helping them out. The Persian is another Greek, so literal. This makes me more anxious about the remainder of the Persian, and less about the Hindoostanee. It is a delightful consideration, to have set these Indians at work without hire at the word of God, for their own eternal salvation. Already kings are becoming nursing fathers to the church. Bahir Ali and his nephew are of the Soon dynasty of the kings of Persia, and Sabat, you know, counts kings in his pedigree. I was about to say that the Euphrates was flowing towards you, but the unexpected departure of the bungy has proved a dam to it. So we must wait till next Wednesday.
Sabat is not likely to come down, except I am ordered away from this place.
Your's ever affectionately,
I am ordered to Cawnpore as you will know, I mean to apply for permission to stay till the rains.
To the Rev. David Brown, Calcutta.
April 3, 1809.
I wrote to the Military Board respecting permission to stay till the rains; hut I have changed my mind, and only wait for my pay to set off direct for Chunar, leaving Sahat to come up in a hudgcrow with the things. It was my first intention to have waited his arrival at Chunar; but I now mean to curtail my stay with you. Circumstances, however, must guide me. If I suffer from the heat in my journey to you, I must stay a little longer to recruit.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
April 11, 1809.
I went yesterday to Bankipore, to take my leave oi Bahir Ali, and the civil servants, and had no time to write you. I still continue in the determination to go next Tuesday. I have applied for hearers from Aorah, Bunar, and Ghazipore. If it were cold weather I should beg you to meet me on the Friday, but now I charge you not to attempt it. I shall leave Ghazipore very early on Friday morning, and be with you about the middle of the day, please God. Preparation for departure does not disturb and disorder me as it used to do. The little things of this world come more as matters of course. Still I find it necessary to repeat often in the day, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on thee." My men seem to be in a more flourishing state than they have yet been. About thirty attend every night. I had a delightful party this week, of six young men, who will I hope prove to be true soldiers of Christ. Seldom, even at Cambridge, have I been so much pleased.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
Cawnpore, May 3, 1809.
I transported myself with such rapidity to this place, that I had nearly transported myself out of the world.
From Dinapore to Chunar all was well, but from Allahabad to that place, I was obliged to travel two days and nights without intermission. The hot winds blowing like fire from a furnace. Two days after my arrival, the fever which had been kindling in my blood broke out, and last night I fainted repeatedly. But a gracious God has again interposed to save my life, today I feel well again. Where Sabat is I do not know. I have heard nothing of him since leaving Dinapore. Corrie is well, but it is grievous to see him chained to a rock with a few half-dead invalids, when so many stations,--amongst others, the one I have left,--are destitute. * * * *
I do not like this place at all. There is no church, not so much as the fly of a tent; what to do I know-not, except to address Lord Minto in a private letter. Mr. Grant, who is anxious that we should labour principally for the present among the Europeans, ought I think, to help us with a house. I mean to write to Mr. Simeon about this.
I feel a little uncomfortable at being so much farther removed from Calcutta. At Dinapore I had friends on both sides of me, and correspondence with you was quick: here I seem cut off from the world. Alas! how dependent is my heart upon the creature still.
I am ordered to seal up.
Your's affectionately ever,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
May 8, 1809.
I have finished Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Letters. She does not improve as she grows older; (on the contrary becomes more licentious) and to the last writes without giving one symptom of a change. I feel disposed to partake of the melancholy with which such persons close their lives. Oh what hath grace done for us! The thought sometimes bursts upon me in a way which I cannot descrihe. It is not future hliss but present peace, which we have actually obtained, and which we cannot be mistaken in; the very thing which the world seeks for in vain; and yet how have we found it? "By the grace of God we are what we are."
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
By all that I hear, Meerut will be a station so large as to require a chaplain, and you or J------will be the man. For myself, I feel fixed at the last place where I shall ever live in India, and sometimes look with interest at the road that leads to Cabul and Candahar. There is a man at Lucknow, I hear, who once set up a press there, but was forbidden by the Nawaub. I shall of course find him out. I hear of a Mrs. A. as one who is religious, and is even suspected of singing Psalms of a Sunday. Such flagrant violations of established rules seem to mark her for one of our fraternity. Yesterday service was performed on the parade, to the 53rd. Two officers dropped down, and some of the men. They wondered how I could go through the fatigue. When I looked at the other end of the square which they had formed, I gave up all hope of making myself heard, but it seems they did hear. There are above a hundred men in the hospital. What time shall I find for doing half what ought to be done. Major O. H------is as kind as possible, and well disposed to religion. About a dozen of the 53rd come to me every night. I am just going to sit down to Psalm xviii. with Bishop Horsley's translation. His interpretation does not carry conviction to my mind.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
May 22, 1809.
For the last three or four days I have been very unwell, a fever still hangs on me I believe. Yesterday I could scarcely hold up my head, from head-ache and excessive debility, and this morning on getting up it was with the utmost difficulty I could keep from fainting. My situation is rather uncomfortable, in a bungalow at a distance from Captain S-------'s, with none but a few cold-hearted bearers whom no intreaties can prevail upon to quicken their motions. I proposed to one gentleman to apply to government for the billiard-room for a church, which is better than the ball-room, hut he did not enter into the idea. Yesterday I went to the Light Dragoons. They are the finest regiment I ever saw. We met in the riding-school. The effluvia was such as would please only the knights of the turf. What must the Mahomedans think of us! Well may they call us dogs, when even in divine worship we choose to kennel ourselves in such places. However, bating the carpet of the room, every thing else was decent enough; and from being within walls, I was heard better by these five hundred than by the three hundred artillery.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
May 29, 1809.
I raise myself from my bed to taste one of my chief pleasures, and for which I thank the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. None but those in our situation know the privilege of having a free communication. I do not think that the deadness of your poor congregation is very discouraging, for who could expect any thing better? My chief regret is that you are not sent elsewhere. What an arrant knave that Julio must be. His conscience must be convinced by the old man's questions, and yet he goes on "having a conscience seared as with a hot iron." Observe how these priests contrive to pay the expenses of their journey. Dibdin, when making his tour of England, sung his way from town to town; so these mountebanks turn their masses to good account. But the wickedness and folly of the people! The longer I live, the more weary I become of human nature. Men love darkness, and do the deeds of it. Except a few precious saints who are redeemed from among men, I would rather pass my time with children, if I had my choice. I shall deal with Sabat no more with any delicacy, for I perceive he does not understand it. He looks upon you and Mr. Brown as two fools, because you are the two that behave best to him. We must not quite abandon our hopes of him, till it is impossible to retain any. But he ought to be sharply rebuked on all sides. What would appear to us indelicate, and stab us to the heart, does not touch an oriental at all. Oh! what has the gospel done for the world! We see it is the only thing that has made refinement of sentiment and conduct spread through all classes, even of those who do not know whence they have obtained it. Do you think that in all Christendom any man would be found so brutish as to act as Sabat did about the goat? Now, if you had said, when he asked for a goat, 'No, Sabat, you are rich enough to buy one for yourself;'--Instead of being hurt, he would have had a much higher opinion of you, as a man that looked to your own interest, and knew the world. The east has been long forsaken of God, and depravity in consequence more thoroughly wrought into them. I have been very ill all this week, the disorder appearing in the form of an intermittent. In the night, cold sweats, and for about five hours in the day, headache and vertigo. Last night I took some medicine, and I think that I am better, though the time when the fever has generally come on, is not yet arrived. But I hardly know how to be thankful enough for this interval of ease. What millions of mercies come to us unnoticed. The General gave orders for service at his house yesterday, after morning service, to the artillery, but there were only nine present. We first assembled in the drawing-room, where they began to converse as if just about to enter a ball-room. I could not conceal my indignation: but it did not last long. I read the service, and preached on "Except a man be born again," &c.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
June 5, 1809.
Yesterday as all the regiments were out firing for the King's birth-day in the morning, there was no service except at the General's. Rather more wrere present than before. I preached on the gospel for the day, the rich man and Lazarus. A sermon on such a subject, in such a congregation, could not fail to be alarming, and they sufficiently shewed the effect in their countenances. Oh that their terror may lead to true repentance! Sabat's behaviour since his arrival has been unexceptionable. He is gentle, and almost as diligent as I could wish. Every thing seems to please him. His bungalow joins mine, and is very neat; so from morning to night we work together, and the work goes forward. The first two or three days he translated into Arabic, and I was his scribe; but this being too fatiguing to me, we have been since that at the Persian. Sabat talks of a journey to Cashmeer, in which we may see on a small scale what we may want, when we come to travel further. When the Persian translation is finished I should have no objection. As for the other journey, I have no great idea that I shall ever live to accomplish it; for when my translation work is done, I shall be of little further use on the face of the earth, except indeed a more active life out of doors should restore strength to my feeble frame.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
June 19, 1809. Last Monday I dined at the 8th Light Dragoon's mess, with the General, and thought with regret and affection of General C------. But perhaps the fault is in our order. I have been seized with a philological mania again,' and after passing some hours in sleepless cogitation, was obliged to get up to examine all the Greek prepositions, and see if I could not derive them all from the Hebrew: eight or ten I have clearly made out. Your arguments from Leighton operate so powerfully upon me, that I am determined, if God give me strength, to have service again regularly at headquarters.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
July 3, 1809.
The surgeon of the Native Battalion is just dead; quite unexpectedly to himself, I fear, as well as others. How many will this month number with the dead! myself perhaps among the rest. On Sunday morning while ministering to the artillery I nearly fainted; some water and a chair enabled me to get through, by the blessing of God. Divine service yesterday was at head-quarters, where I preached to a very few on "Whosoever is ashamed of me and my words," &c. Last Saturday a philological mania again seized me; after lying an hour or two without any sleep, from some other cause, I began to think of the power of each of the Hebrew letters, and was so transported with what I thought discoveries, that I slept not a wink till day-light.
Your ever affectionate,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Corrie.
July 10, 1809.
Yesterday, when I should have begun to write to you, I fell asleep, and slept till the messenger was gone on his way. This omission admits of a remedy, not so the neglect of the day of grace, or the misspending of a single day by the children of grace. I am glad you take a liking to Hebrew. It transports me at present. My speculations occupy me night and day. They may be said to be always in my mind. Even in my prayers I have constant occasion to seek for help against inordinate attention to one object, to the neglect of other things more important. Yesterday I preached to the 53rd, and felt very strong. Some of the men confessed that their hearts trembled within them. I built a school near the Sepoy Lines; the barrack-master sent to know who did it, but when he found that it was I, and for what purpose, he wrote me very kindly, and said, I should have a better place, even some empty Bungalows. I spoke to the General to-day about it, and he is all cordiality. Sabat is laid up to-day. We are in Romans iv. My evening audience increases, praised be the Lord for all his mercies, they multiply as my moments.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
July 17, 1809.
Golius' Arabic Lexicon was said by Sir W. Jones to be not only the best Arabic dictionary, but the best dictionary in the world. Where did you get the treasure? Were you not going to learn Arabic, I should procure an order from the government (the ecclesiastical one I mean) for you to give it up. I do not know what can be done for your moonshee, but should he go, Sabat and myself have agreed on the proper person to be your Arabic teacher; a physician of Patna. My Hebrew speculations stick to me still, but instead of advancing in my pursuit, I am entangled in a jungle, (wood,) without being able to see my path exactly. I think that when the construction of Hebrew is fully understood, all the scholars in the world will turn to it with avidity, in order to understand other languages, and thus the word of God will be studied universally, and from the least even to the greatest they shall all know him, and all be able previously to speak in other tongues the wonderful works of God. I have just returned from the General's, where I heard the disastrous news from Europe. Perhaps England must fall; that is, her earthly glory. Proud and idle Englishmen, if taiight a few wholesome lessons in the school of adversity, might, perhaps be of infinitely greater service when dispersed through the world, than in the nest where they lie wrapt in ease and security. What horror for the high lords and ladies of England to have a French army quartered upon them. Why has England been so long spared, when the unhappy nations of Europe have been made to drink so deep of the cup of affliction! We must expect something soon. One would think, that the extreme uncertainty of all earthly possessions at the present moment, must make even the most giddy look with some desire at the portion of the godly. I have heard nothing of the Christians of Patna, except from his highness the resident, who was pleased to honour them with every expression of contempt and displeasure; adding that they made Christianity appear despicable in the eyes of the Mahomedans. To which I replied, that for the latter evil I had one remedy to propose, which was that the English gentlemen should undertake to shew the natives what true Christianity was, by observing the Lord's day and meeting for divine service, and observing all in short which Christ had commanded. Afterwards when we were alone, Mr. B. said that his week-days were so much occupied by public business, that he required the Sunday for himself. He said this so humbly, and with such an appearance of regret, that it seemed as if he meant to add, "The Lord forgive thy servant in this thing; "expecting I suppose, the prophet would say, "Go in peace." But he said no such thing, only this, "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work." Yesterday I preached to the regiment of horse. The evening lecture continues to increase; the merchants in particular attend it well on Sundays. Solomon's words are true, that learning much is a wearisomeness to the flesh. My days are almost turned into nights. I stay awake all night and slumber all day. This deranges my nervous system, but I trust for the future to have every thought brought into subjection to the Gospel of Christ.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
July 25, 1809.
You must not be angry with me for taking a burden off my back and putting it on your shoulders. In a few days you will receive a letter from Lieut. Barber, of P------in my diocese, for you to marry him. After a good deal of correspondence between him, his agent, and myself, I yesterday very unwillingly conveyed myself into a Budgerow, and said 'khol-do,' (loose the boat,) when a letter came to stop me for a time. On this I wrote to beg him to apply to you, for you were much nearer. So this is what I have done. The travelling is as unpleasant to you as to me, yet think that for every day you travel in my place one more Arabic chapter is gained. We are about the 10th of Romans. Sabat is highly pleased with his work, and wishes to stop the publication of the Persian Gospels, till the Acts, but especially Romans, can be added. I think we had better stay till the whole New Testament is finished in Persian. Sabat has heard that the king of Yemen ordered the Jews there about ten years ago to make a translation into Arabic of the whole Hebrew Bible. It would be worth-while to make a voyage to Yemen to ascertain this; so when my remaining four years apprenticeship are finished, suppose we go together. The New Testament we have, edited by Erpenius, is indescribably bad; it is not a translation but a paraphrase, and that always wrong. Till you are able to read Arabic you had better let us have the one I gave you, and you shall have it the moment you can use it. Last Lord's day, service was ordered for the artillery, but the rain prevented. Thus the impious neglect of government to build a house for God, deprives us of the ordinances, and desecrates the holy day. The General has not yet forwarded to government the proposal for a church. Mrs. ------seems equally giddy and does not at all relish my company, if I may judge from her manner. To her daughter Mrs. F-------, I have sent White's poems and Law's Serious Call. As she is very humble and teachable, I hope some good may be done. In Hebrew I have made few discoveries this week. The difficulties remain unsolved, and so strong is my desire of getting to the bottom of them, that I find my ignorance quite a cross. I think I have found out the meaning of every letter except the last.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
July 31, 1809. I fear I have done wrong in desiring you to repair to P------. If you are not recovered from the effects of your last journey, it will be madness to set out upon another. You have only to let me know on receipt of this, and I will get myself ready. Were the Hindoo woman you mention a true convert, she would be a rich reward indeed for a life's labour; but alas! I doubt of every Hindoostanee Christian in Hindoostan, the Car-natic not being excluded. I think you are quite right in not having any thing to do with an Arabic moonshee now, if ever. You would learn more Arabic from a grammar in one year than from an Eastern blockhead in ten. Whether it is a dull Rabbi, a formal Arabian, or a feeble Indian, he is a drawler in science; and those who follow them are like unto them, e. g. what Erpenius has comprehended in a couple of pages, Mr. B. has wire-drawn through a folio. Yesterday we had service at head quarters. I have repeatedly begged the General to have two services, but he says I had better rest quiet till the cold weather. Whether it is really from a wish to spare me I do not know. I believe I shall soon clear the drawing-room. Yesterday when I came, there were the old people and one son and daughter. Three people came afterwards, and that was all. Perhaps I had better have begun more gently. Who is sufficient for these things? May he who carries the lambs in his bosom and gently leads those that are with young, give me wisdom and tenderness! It is extraordinary how much I am left to myself here. In the midst of multitudes I am a solitary. I have abundant leisure for my Hebrew speculations, but the evil is, that I have too much of them. For want of agreeable society to dissipate them, I carry these thoughts to bed with me, and there am I all night long in my dreams tracing etymologies, and measuring the power of some Hebrew letter. Yesterday I had some very uneasy thoughts; Satan was at work in my heart; and Oh, how did I envy my men at night, who were safe from the snares of increasing knowledge. In prayer with them I could not help dwelling upon this, and found relief. Truly love is better than knowledge. Much as I long to know what I seek after, I would rather have the smallest portion of humility and love, than the knowledge of an archangel.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
Cawnpore, August 26, 1809.
Three weeks ago I was sent for to marry a couple. I struggled hard to get off, as it was just at the moment when I expected a flood of letters; but I was forced, and am only this hour returned. Thirteen letters which J found on my table have almost bewildered me, but your's I answer immediately.
1. You require a table of errata. I will do my best, but it is a work of time, and to-morrow is Sunday.
2. Sabat shall pen the title-page in Persian, and I will translate it, and both may be printed on the same page if approved.
3. The------astonish me. Let them, with all the host of college moonshees, produce one chapter like Sabat's, and then proceed with Persian translation. If they wish to have it supposed that Sabat's work is superintended by them, why let them, Sir; as for my crown, the fading earthly laurel I mean, let them pluck it from my brows if they find it there, and trample it under-foot, so they deprive me not of the crown of life. Most cordially do I wish to remain in the back ground to the end of life. * * I long to see Buchanan's letters. * * * What is doing at Berhampore? It is the only cloud that darkens the horizon. Pray for us, beloved Sir, as we do for you.
Affectionately your's ever,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
Cawnpore, August 30, 1809.
I perceive from your last letter, (dated Jan. 9, 1809,) and from what I hear of you, that we approach nearer to one another in sentiment and affection. Like the sun rising to its meridian, you grow more and more warm and zealous, and my fiery zeal, if it ever deserved the name of zeal, is becoming more cool and rational. ,, God grant that my rationality may not prove to be lukewarmness.
How do you go on in Hebrew? Though my duty calls me to other languages, I am perpetually speculating on that, and the nature of language in general; and while I remain in my present state of profound ignorance upon the latter subject, I fear I shall never be able to take up the study of any other language again without disgust. It goes against the grain with me now to read a little Arabic or Greek, as much as it once did to cram a proposition I did not understand. How or by what magic is it, that we convey our thoughts to one another with such case and accuracy? The region I am now in invites to contemplation. The soft warm air allows of no obstructed perspiration: and lately I have been in a situation still more favourable to thought, by being called on duty to a distant station, the way to which was chiefly on the river. There, far removed from noise, and every thing European, I glided along, speculating with as much subtilty as the visionary yv/wotro^oi, who pursue their reveries on the banks. These hermits literally forsake the world; they build a little hut close to the margin of the river, and there they sit and muse. One evening after the boat had come to for the night, I rambled along the bank into a clump of trees where one of them had fixed his residence. We soon began to converse upon religion. He defended himself with great dexterity from the charge of polytheism, and excused the worship of images in the same manner as the Roman Catholics do. In my turn I gave him an account of God's dealings with men till the coming of Christ, and then spoke to him of the gospel. But he seemed to feel no interest in what he heard. And thus it has always been when I have conversed with them. They hear with polite attention, but start no objections, and ask no questions. I begin to doubt whether they understand my speech. But to return to the Hebrew: how happens it that the Hebrew, with its elegant dialects, such as the Arabic, can do very well with two tenses, and the Greek verb should have eight or nine? Do not you think it probable that the Greek verb has really but two? As we live in days when prophecy is fulfilling, I wish you would read Genesis x. and tell me where we are to find the nations sprung from the great progenitor brothers. Am I right when I read Me-shech--Muscovy, (see Ezek. xxxviii.) Ashkenaz-- Scandinavia, Riphath--Riphaei, (montes,) Togarmah --Germani, Elisha--exxa?, Tarshish--Etrusci, Kittim-- Catti. But above all, tell me where in Scripture I may find India. Is there any reason for thinking the Britons to be a branch of the Catti? It is probable that for some time to come, as long as I am engaged in translation, my letters as well as my thoughts will be rather tinged with philology. The former will, I know, be not less acceptable to you on that account, but on my own mind I perceive that I must keep a tight rein. How soon critical pursuits, even when the object is the elucidation of the word of God, lead away the heart from him! I pray continually for divine aid in my studies; also that I may desire knowledge, only to be qualified for translating and preaching the word of God: but the language of the heart is often at variance with the words of the prayer. I beg your prayers that after having began in the Spirit, I may not leave off in the
flesh. Kindest love to Mrs.------.
Your's ever affectionately,
September 4, 1809.
Go on with the church, and, perhaps by the time it is built some brother from Cambridge will join us. I am rather surprized, that now the ice is broken, others are not already come. Captain R. has sent me several letters from Calcutta, all very pleasing as far as a judgment can be formed by man; there is no reason to doubt of him. The conviction of my own ignorance on all points is gaining upon me so fast, that I am become a sceptic on all subjects except the word of God. One good effect I trust may be produced, that of my being kept from rash censures. The three weeks I was on the water, and this last week, I have been speculating incessantly without gaining one particle of knowledge. I cannot find out by what magic language conveys ideas, and while I remain in this radical ignorance, I feel that I shall never be able to relish any human compositions. The same cause does not operate to make me disrelish the word of God, because what I have learnt from that is satisfying, which nothing else in the whole world is; and also because I perceive superlative wisdom in the little I have yet been able to understand of the language of the Old Testament. Capt. and Mrs. H------ arrived on Saturday, and dined with me on that day and yesterday. In a note he sent after he went away he says, ' I have left you with warmer sentiments of religion, and with more confirmed resolutions for the future practice of it.'
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
The state of things in India begins to assume somewhat of an alarming aspect. Englishmen taking up arms against Englishmen! Regiments arc called from Bengal, Bombay, and the Cape, to reduce the rebel army. Whereunto will this grow? The Company's reign must come to an end, I suppose, or they will soon have no country to reign over. It is possible that all these things may be overruled for the promotion of the great purpose to which all things converge; but seeing as we do only what is contiguous to us, we must regard this rebellion as something to be lamented. "Whence come wars and fightings," &c. I hardly know what I have been about this week; we go on in the Arabic of 1 Cor. My silence about Sabat amounts to a favourable testimony for him, for when he goes wrong I am sure to complain to you. He much improves in his prayers. I hope he begins to see that like the rest he knows little or nothing; like the rest, I mean, of men, for it is surprising how little any body knows. I suppose that of all the things in the world language is that which submits itself most obsequiously to our examination, and may therefore be understood better than any thing else. For we can summon it before us without any trouble, and make it assume any form we please, and turn it upside down and inside out, and yet I must confess the more I look at it the more I am puzzled. I seem to be gazing with stupid wonder at the legerdemain of a conjuror. By the bye, Sabat would have it that the Hindoostanee magicians, by some magic, could make a mango blossom and bear fruit in an hour, for he saw the thing done in his own house. I consented to be present when the same people came again. Sabat was about to be deceived again by suffering his attention to be diverted by the eggs, birds, &c. and the gibberish of the man, when I begged him to look at what the third accomplice was doing with the mango, he rose in great wrath (probably at having been their dupe before,) and was about to demolish them and their nobaut (goods); however when he was appeased he said he should now be no more a believer in spells or charms. Thus his mind is gradually enlightening by intercourse with Europeans. The Epistle to the Romans has been wonderfully blest to him. I trust by the time we have finished the New Testament he will go forth well qualified to preach the truth, and rejoice as a strong man to run his race. Yesterday we ought to have had service at the head-quarters, but for what reason I know not, the 53rd were on orders. I was quite spent before the services of the day were over, through the abundance of extra duty. At night I had a large congregation, and there was much solemn attention; at least my own mind was in a state in which I wish it always was.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
September 18, 1809.
I have received no letter from you this week, and shall probably on that account keep this till to-morrow, especially as to-morrow the Commander-in-Chief is to be here, and I must let you know whether I can get the promise of a church from him. His family are all at General S's, where I breakfasted with them this morning, and baptized a child of Mrs. C., his daughter. Mrs. H. and her three daughters joined with exemplary piety in the baptismal and churching services; and they read the responses aloud, and knelt as if they were accustomed to kneel in secret, from the manner in which they bow their knees in public prayer. The Miss------s are remarkably modest and correct; a great deal of pains seems to have been taken with them by their mother. General------- has never been very cordial, and now he is likely to be less so; for while we were walking up and down together, I reproved him for swearing; though it was done in the gentlest way, he did not seem to like it. It was the first time he had been called to order for some years I suppose. ' So you are giving me a private lecture,'said he. He then went on in a very angry and confused manner defending the practice of swearing. ' God judges of the heart, and sees there is no bad intention,' &c. Against all this I urged Scripture. The pride of my heart has discovered itself very strongly since I have entered this new circle. They sometimes take no more notice of me than a dog, at other times vouchsafe a dignified condescension; so that were it not to become all things to all men in order to save some, I should never trouble them with my company. But how then should I be like Christ? I have been almost the whole morning engaged in a good-humoured dispute with Mrs. P------, who in an instant after my introduction to her, opened all her guns of wit and eloquence against me for attempting to convert the Brahmins.
24. Went to Patna, but did little through Sabat's illness. From the 24th of January, to the 24th of September, 1809, Mr. Martyn's journal is continued in Latin and Greek prose; in a style which strikingly attests his command of those languages; as they are of course unfit for insertion in their actual state, and as translation would wholly deprive them of their spirit, they are entirely omitted. Upon the 23d of September, Mr. Martyn resumes his English journal with the entry, ' Finding that writing in Latin or Greek, (which I resorted to for secrecy,) leaves my journal an insignificant detail, for want of being able to express myself as I wish, I return to the English. I continue occasionally to look towards the Hebrew, but not with the eagerness I once did; want of success damps my ardour.
September 24. (Sunday.) Preached to the artillery on Rev. iii. 20., there were six companies of them, and I trust they were somewhat touched with the wondrous condescension of the Lord.
25. Set out at three in the morning for Currah, and reached it on the 26th in the morning, and married a Miss K, to Mr. R.: the company was very unpleasant, so after passing the night there, I set out and travelled all day and night, and through divine mercy arrived at home again on the 28th, but excessively fatigued, indeed almost exhausted. At night with the men, my whole desire was to lie low in the dust. "Thou hast left thy first love," on which I spoke, was an awfid call to me, and I trust in God I shall ever feel it so. 1
29. Was determined to strive more against sin, and I watched my thoughts with some jealousy. The immediate contemplation was what it always is, peace, serenity, and the sweetest joy.
September 29, 1809.
Monday morning I rose at two to commence a journey to Currah. The first stage I went in my buggy, where it was never intended that wheels should run. This part of the journey alone would dislocate bones very well set. Early next morning I arrived at Major ------'s and married his daughter to-------. That night I had little rest from the Musquitos. However, I could not think of remaining one moment longer than necessary, and I set out again, travelled all night again, and reached Cawnpore. The multitude of my bones filled with strong pain; yet a gracious providence speedily and wonderfully restores me, though I am far from being recovered.
Cawnpore, Sept. 29, 1809.
I was out on another marriage expedition when your letter arrived. Thus, my time is taken up, and my strength exhausted, by travelling day and night, to immense distances * * * Unless you can authorise me to desist from this itinerant life, I fear I shall not he very punctual in my remittances of translation. But now to your long and most acceptable epistle; how shall I thank you for it? It has made me breathe the air of Aldeen; yet I am half afraid of its length. Such a copious shower portends perhaps a long drought to succeed it. * * * * * As to the Persian and Arabic, your word is law with us. I am very curious to know the result of the criticisms to which the work is subjected. I was like-minded with the moonshee at first; as I wrote to you; but now I can never look into a book of respectability without perceiving as much or more Arabic than in Sabat's. Even the Gulistan of Sadi, written 600 years ago, has nearly as much, and since that time Arabic has been continually flowing into Persian. To an Arabic version, however, by Sabat, no objection can be made, and this I suppose is the great reason why you wish to publish that first. Well, we will do nothing else but prepare it; but I do not much like sending it by morsels, for often in one part we learn the way of rendering better what was badly done in another. Sabat will make out the list of books you wish. But now this thorn in my side--this Hindoostanee. What shall I do? I must even send down a gospel since you require it; and yet though the learned at Calcutta should approve of it, it will answer no purpose, because I could not let it go without revising it with a learned Indian, which is what I am not likely to get, and if I could I do not know where the time is to come from. I spoke to the resident at Lucknow about a moonshee, but such a one as I want, he says, would not come without a large salary. I never cease to regret the loss of Fitrut; his latter translations of the Old Testament are excellent.
Now let me congratulate you on Mr. B.; my attention was always arrested by his Christian name. Surely thought I, the friends at least of this young man must be admirers of the illustrious Wilberforce. There is another writer at the college, Henry Sargent, about whom I am much interested, because he is the brother of one of the dearest friends I have in England, if not the dearest. * * * * * "** I am much delighted with the picture you have drawn of the little olive-branches round about your table. I long to see them. When I have finished my first seven years in India, I am thinking of taking my furlough and floating to Aldeen. But in the meantime we shall expect that you make your purposed visitation of all the dioceses and provinces in your patriarchate * * T. wishes * * * * so do I too, and so does every body else, but the quomodo. The time does not seem come when churchmen and dissenters shall feed together. Till the arrival of the wished for period, the farther asunder, the more peace. ****** You have a hard battle to fight. You may now see T the immense advantage resulting from your presence. Without you * * * would have had | their own way. Sacks of rupees would be expended on translations, which will be waste paper almost as soon as published: * * in short nothing would have been done. Twenty years patient waiting, Sir, are not j too many when you consider what your seniority and experience enable you now to do. Sabat is now for the first time in his life happy, and I must confess does a great deal to make me happy. If wrath rises he goes and prays, and soon returns with a smiling countenance and quiet heart. We are left entirely to ourselves. In this crowded station we are in perfect solitude.
I forgot to write about books. We have three Arabic-versions--one printed at Rome with Vulg.--one edited by Erpenius, and the one printed in England. Walton's Polyglott you will buy of course. * * *
I remain, dear sir,
Your's ever affectionately,
To the Rev. David Brown, Calcutta.
Sept. 30. Baptized Captain B's. child, and called at the General's, where I met as usual with a cold reception. Ever since a conversation I had with him on the wickedness of his swearing, he has been reserved and distant. Still watchful and joyful.
October 1. (Sunday.) Preached to the 53d regiment, on "The law came by Moses." Some of them thought it a great absurdity, as I afterwards heard, that he who broke one commandment should be guilty of all. Felt very weak and exhausted; at night with my men on, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life."
2. Captain and Mrs. S. came to me, and our conversation was rather more becoming saints than it usually is. Wrote an Italian letter to Julio, the Italian, by Sabat; a greater number attended the reading of Baxter's Call than I have yet had. I begin to feel a great desire while praying after reading the Greek Testament to express myself in Greek, and very often do; only I have not any command of words. So also after reading the Hebrew bible I try almost involuntarily to express myself in Hebrew, and find great pleasure in turning a Hebrew psalm into the form of prayer, and so using it: I do not find that the circumstance of praying in another language diverts my attention much.
5-7. Sabat being at Lucknow, I was left uninterruptedly to my Hebrew. I learn enough to encourage me to go on, and that is all. Received a letter from Mirza Fitrut, offering to come into my service again. I answered him in Persian, in which language he wrote to me, and felt overjoyed at the prospect of having the Hindoostanee gospels or New Testament finished; praised be God! oh, may I have the bliss of soon seeing the New Testament in these languages ready.
8. (Sunday.) Preached to the regiment of dragoons on, "I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions," &c. Though ill with a head-ache most of the preceding night, I was mercifully enabled to go through without drooping, and felt indeed rather more animated than usual, because I preached Christ. At night on, "To him that overcometh will I give to sit with me on my throne."
9. To-night dining at the surgeon's I checked a middle-aged officer for a profane use of God's name, on which he appeared very angry and spoke harshly; however, through divine goodness I was not in the smallest degree disconcerted or put out of humour; on the contrary when he began to ridicule the Scriptures and run down all the narratives, I begged him to prove what he said, if he could; this gave birth to a very long disputation in which, though he did not allow me to say one twentieth part of what I wished, I think the party present were interested, and may perhaps receive benefit; I was much pleased upon the whole that the discussion had taken place. Finished Baxter's Call at the hospital.
October 9, 1809.
Sabat is gone to Lucknow, and to-day a letter arrived from him. Julio shewed him great attention; so did the Mahomedans he visited. I had a letter a day or two ago from Mirza Fitrut at Lucknow, offering to become my moonshee provided Sabat was not with me. My heart is full of delight at the thought of having a Hindoostanee Testament ready soon. I trust that it will now be accomplished, because if Mirza does not come here, I can go for a month now and then to Lucknow. What will friends at home think of Martyn and Corrie. They went out full of zeal, but behold! what are they doing? Where are their converts? They talked of the banyan-tree before they went out, but now they seem to prefer a snug bungalow, to field-preaching. I fear I should look a little silly if I were to go home just at this time; but more because I should not be able to make them understand the state of things, than because my conscience condemns me. Brother, what can you do? If you itinerate like a European, you will only frighten the people; if as a native, you will be dead in one year. Yet the latter mode pleases me, and nothing would give me greater pleasure than so to live with the prospect of being able to hold out a few years.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
10. Employed most of the day in writing a long letter to Sabat in Arabic, in answer to one I received from him; spoke to the men at night, on Rev. v. 11. Wrote to my men at Dinapore, but almost the whole day employed about one Hebrew word; spent the evening at Captain S--'s.
12. When tired of Hebrew, read Koran, and looked over a Dutch dictionary a native brought me for sale. Were it worth while, or any purpose answered, the language might be easily acquired, but I have no wish to be a linguist. I believe that, as I pray, I really wish to have knowledge only for the purpose of making known the gospel by translation and preaching. Spoke to the men at night on "These are they that came out of great tribulation," &c. I felt a sort of joy in prayer.
15. (Sunday.) Preached to the artillery on Heb. ix. 23.
October 16, 1809.
One day this week dining at----------I had a stiff dispute with----------, an elderly man. It began by my rebuking him for swearing. Instead of taking it as they usually do, he kindled and used some harsh language and harsher looks. But I was not in the smallest degree disconcerted, but persisted that I had done my duty. He then went on to ridicule the Scriptures, declaring his contempt of Christianity, i. e. the story and theory of the business as he expressed it. We were happily at opposite corners of the table, so that the discussion, which lasted a long while, was a sermon to all present; though he never allowed me to finish a sentence fairly I got out enough to make me pleased that the thing had taken place. He was continually withdrawing, couching his wish for time under the mask of respect for my profession, but I would not allow him. ' No,' I said, ' I provoke discussion. Many here, perhaps, are as infidel as yourself. Let us hear what can be said against the prophet Jonah and the whale.' The conception of our Lord, and the Song of Solomon, were the chief objects of his attack. I could not get to say one twentieth part of what I wished, but still it was better than nothing. The ice being broken I went on to tell the company present how shameful it was to defile their mouths with the allusions which I had heard, but would not notice before. Sabat has sent me two more letters, the first runs thus:-- ' My brother, object of my eyes, and beloved of my heart; God give thee peace and long life, and feed me near thee, and associate me and thee! Amen. I had an interview yesterday with the great Ameer nobleman, and found him better than I thought. He kept me near him, and gave me a room, omitted no mark of respect, and seemed wanting in nothing becoming a true Christian, and a believer in the Lord, except that he kept me from coming to thee, and confined me from proceeding to thee. By Christian love? No! but by chains and fetters. When I come I will tell thee all his goodness. I have found Mirza Fi-trut again, and mean to bring him to thee. The peace of God and the Saviour be with thee. The Mussulman physicians are not inclined to cure me. Besides the Ameer--God prolong his life--does not consent that I should return to them.' So I understand it. The second letter!--' Peace on the peculiar one of his elect! in the name of his gracious Son. I have received your letter in answer to my first. With respect to M. F. I told you in my last of my desire to bring him with me. I visited him with the utmost humility, and though he should reject me with ignorance and pride, I shall overcome him with gentleness, if it please God, and bring him with me. Peace on thee and the mercy of Christ.'
17. Began the Pilgrim's Progress at the hospital.
Cawnpore, October 17, 1809.
There is a book printed at the Hirkara Press, called Celtic derivatives--this I want; also grammars and dictionaries of all the languages of the earth. I have one or both in Latin, Greek, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Hebrew, Rabb. Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Ethiopic, Samaritan, Arabic, Persian, Sanscrit, Bengallee, Hindoostanee.
I want them in the languages of Northern Europe, such as German, Danish, Icelandic, &c.--languages of Ireland and Scotland, Hungarian, Turkish, modern Greek, Armenian. But do not stare, Sir, I have no ambition of becoming a linguist, but they will help me in some enquiries I am making, closely connected with our work. ***** On further consideration I approve most fully ofyour new orders for commencing the Arabic. A year ago I was not adequate to it; my labours in the Persian and other studies have in the wisdom of God been the means of qualifying me. So now, favente Deo, we will begin to preach to Arabia, Syria, Persia, India, Tartary, China, half of Africa, all the south coast of the Mediterranean and Turkey, and one tongue shall suffice for them all. Your's, ever affectionately,
To the Rev. David Brown, Calcutta.
20. Spoke to my men on preparation for the Lord's Supper, and endeavoured to prepare myself for the ordinance, by considering my former life of sin, and all my unfaithfulness since my call to the gospel. My heart was, as usual, insensible for a long time, but at last a gracious God made me feel some compunction, and then my feelings were such as I would wish they always were. I resolved at the time that it should be my special labour every day to obtain, and hold fast, this humbling view of my own depravity. Mirza Fitrut came; and my heart blesses the Lord who does not despise the prayer of the advocate for the poor Indians; now I trust something will be done.
22. (Sunday.) Preached at sun-rise to the 53rd, on Acts xxxviii. 29. At ten, about sixteen of the regi-ment, with Mr. and Mrs. S. and Sabat, met in my bungalow, where, after a short discourse on "Behold the Lamb of God," we commemorated the death of the Lord. It was the happiest season I have yet had at the Lord's table, though my peace and pleasure were not unalloyed; the rest of the day I felt weak in body, but calm in mind, and rather spiritual; at night I spoke to the men on Rev. xxii. 2. the number was double; afterwards had some conversation with Mr. M. on eternal things, but had reason to groan at the hollow-heartedness and coldness with which I do my best works.
23. Dined at the Brigade Major's, with the chief persons of the station. I could gain no attention while saying grace, and the moment the ladies withdrew, the conversation took such a turn, that I was obliged to make a hasty retreat; oh, the mercy to have escaped their evil ways.
Cawnpore, October 23, 1809.
Your letter of the 13th is just come to hand. Dear Mrs. Brown! by this time she has received the melancholy intelligence. But Oh! the God whom she serves will comfort her. He will enable her to submit, without repining, to the severest dispensations, and though she is now in heaviness, with the rest of the church of God, through manifold afflictions, her faith thus tried by fire, shall be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ. It is the Lord, let this silence every murmur. Charge her to cherish her precious life, not for her family only, but the church in India. You are essential to us, and she to you. She must live therefore, and must for the general good dismiss all earth-born woes, ere they prey on the little remnant of her strength. * * * As to piecemeal translations, you have explained yourself fully, and I am aware of the necessity imposed upon us.
Though I sicken at the thought of coming forward with promises and palaver, after the manner of the apostles of the nineteenth century, instead of exhibiting the deep full silent tide of mighty works, as the apostles of the first, I must do something of the kind.
But save me as much as possible from every rencontre with the * * * If I set my foot in the arena, let it be the first and last time; and this I say, not because I am afraid of them, or any man living, but because I hate war, and most of all, war in the church.
Your's ever affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
24. Began with Mirza Fitrut, the correction of the Hindoostanee gospels. Quod felix faustumque sit. Began with my men a course of lectures from the beginning of the Bible,
25-28. Revising Arabic version of Romans; going on in correction of Hindoostanee; preparing report of progress in translating for Bible Society. Reading occasionally Menishi's Turkish Grammar.
29. (Sunday. Preached at the General's on Luke xix. 14. The General gave me great praise, but, alas, his commendation gives me no pleasure, rather the contrary. Through the day I had to struggle against indolence and corruption, a forgetful and polluted heart, but at night I had a more solemn season with my men, than I have enjoyed a long time. The text, Gen. v. 24. "Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him."
Oct. 30.--Nov. 4. Going on in revising Hindoostanee of Matthew, and Arabic of Romans. Many quarrels with Sabat about his idleness. Constant employment from morning to night, left me no leisure for sinful thoughts, so that this week has been, through grace, a better week than former ones.
October 30, 1809.
You are now doing my work, crossing rivers and traversing Jungles, while I sit quietly in my bungalow, and the sweet song of Zion soothes my spirit. Yet I am with you in spirit, and lift my heart to God to keep you in all places whithersoever you go, and to make known by you the savour of Christ's name in every place. If you should not have time to get back to Chunar by next Lord's day, or even if you have, I should much wish you to preach at Pertubyhur on that day. You should make some memorandums of your conversation with-------. It is highly important. He is considered as such an oracle in all Sanscrit learning, that his testimony would be received without hesitation. Yesterday we had service at head-quarters. I preached from the parable of the pounds; on the accountableness of man.------was pleased to say that it was a very good sermon, but the praises of men of that stamp have no charms for me. His commendation gave me real displeasure, so much so, that I believe I hardly concealed my chagrin. Alas! thought I, the sermon has done you no good, it has not made you uneasy. At night I spoke to them on "Enoch walked with God." My soul breathed after the same holy happy state. O that the influence were more abiding; but I am the man that seeth his natural face in a glass.
To the Rev. D. Corrie.
Cawnpore, November 4, 1809.
MY DEAR SIR,
Your last bungy parcel containing Mahommed Ras-heed's translation and letter, is just come to hand. I must own that I feel a little for poor Sabat on this occasion, and think that Rasheed's letter would engender choler in one of less bilious temperament. I dare not show him the papers, without preparing him for the shock, and mean to get the Epistle to the Romans fairly away to you before the commencement of the storm. Rasheed says that the translator has not a facility in writing Persian, hence his style is destitute of ease and elegance. Yet it is intelligible, and the work not absolutely good for nothing. By no means however worthy of admiration. He says that the translator of the divine books should aim at perspicuity, in which I agree with him; but perspicuity is not the only requisite; a certain portion of grace is desirable, and dignity indispensable. I am now about to mention Rasheed's own production, but I must hold a tight rein on myself, lest you should suppose I have imbibed Sabat's spirit, as it is probable I have in some degree. Is it possible that Mr. H. can approve such low miserable bazaar language? Where can Mahommed Rasheed show a book written in this style, except perhaps the Tooteh nameh? Did he ever read a letter written so meanly? Why, Sir, it appears to me below the style in which the Mahometans speak their Hindoostanee. He mentions Sadi, I think, as a writer of the simple kind. Let him produce any chapter in Sabat's work, that has half as many high Arabic words, as Sadi's preface to the Gulistan. If the Scriptures are to be given in this form, we need not be giving away three hundred rupees to Sabat. A moon-shee at fifteen rupees per month will answer our purpose; nay, a Hindoo Cargater at five rupees. And this was your opinion, my dear Sir, you will remember, when I used to communicate my fears to you, that there was a redundance of Arabic. After all, I think it more than probable, that more Persian words would materially improve the work, and I shall endeavour to persuade Sabat to alter it accordingly. But we need never expect that he will come down to the point of depression which Rasheed would bring him to.
Now, dearest Sir, you, or rather we, all are in a dilemma. Who shall decide? To make Sabat's scale preponderate, I will remind you of two things. First, the side on which Sabat errs, is the safer side. A mean style puts it in the power of every blockhead to ridicule it, though the words may be pure, and the rendering exact. Who can help smiling, sometimes, at good Wickliffe's simple language. * * * * * * Secondly, The Mahometans are more affected with sound, than even the Greeks. They have no other argument for the truth of the Koran, but its eloquence. They are therefore accustomed to expect it in every divine book. By and by, perhaps, when Persia shall become a Christian nation, and a synod of her bishops shall be held at Teheran, a translation more adapted to the capacity of the lower people will be deemed advisable, but at first, their ridiculous prejudices require to be humoured, and we may do it innocently, we may become all things to all men, that we may gain some. I hope you will be able to find the Persians. Their opinion may have some weight with Sabat, but Rasheed's never will, if Sabat sees his translation. I hope you will cause my Hin-doostanee to undergo a vigorous scrutiny, and get written opinions upon it. Sabat does not work half hard enough for me. I feel grieved and ashamed that we produce so little, but the fault is not mine. I would never willingly be employed about any thing else, but Sabat has no ardour. The smallest difficulty discourages him, the slightest head-ache is an excuse for shutting up his books, and doing nothing for days. I make strong representations to him, which he does not take in good part, thinks my temper soured, and so on. It is a comfort, however, to me, for which I desire to be thankful, that his temper is much better than it was.
Pray for Sabat and me.
Your ever affectionate,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
5. (Sunday.) Preached to the dragoons on the parable of the Prodigal Son, at sun-rise; at ten o'clock at head-quarters, on Elijah and the prophets of Baal: several ladies were present, but few else. Received letters from Colonel S. which filled my soul with wonder, love, and praise. Oh, what hath God wrought! Oh, how shall I praise him! and those dear friends, too, whom he hath given to be our companions in immortality and glory. Oh, how I could clasp them to my heart, especially --. Oh, what an encouragement have we to pray more and more: O may his kingdom come. Amen. Amen.
6-11. All the week very much engaged with Sabat, in hurrying away the Epistle to Romans, in Arabic, as he wanted to go to Lucknow. Julio was also a good deal with us. On the night of the llth, Sabat went. I never felt so much dissatisfied with him. All my entreaties cannot prevail on him to work at particular times; though it is Mr. B--'s urgent request, now when his own pleasure and amusement draw him away, he can work readily. Vexation at him made me unwell; my only relief is prayer.
12. (Sunday.) Preached at sunrise to the artillery, a small party, on Matt. vii. 13, 14. Also at head-quarters on John iv.
13--18. Still excessively engaged in preparing copies of translation for Mr. Brown. The first part of the week I had Julio with me, and the latter part Colonel P. With the monk I had disputes every day, and he seems to be making concessions. With the Colonel I have spiritual and soul-refreshing communion. We speak of nothing but things which concern the kingdom of God, and so our hearts revive. Had a long letter from S-- in defence of his doctrines, and a very affecting one from J. announcing his intended departure from India.
Cawnpore, November 14, 1809.
Mr. Grant's letter is really refreshing to me. I had no notion that he possessed such a tender spirit, and now I grieve that he is so old. Why cannot he put on fresh feathers like the moulting eagle. ' This is the third brought up under my wing who hath taken a splendid flight before me.' Fine remark! and from the sovereign of Hindoostan.
It appears that Dr. B's memoir has not been in vain, if four additional chaplains are to be sent. * * * * Sabat is gone off again to Lucknow. * * * * I dare not promise much from him, because there is no depending upon him. When he was safely in his palanquin commencing his journey, I put into his hands Rasheed's remarks, with an injunction not to open the parcel till he had crossed the river. * * * * I have just heard from Sabat. Among other remarks he says, 'Ah, and pity that a pearl should be set in the shop of an ironsmith.' 'They said that I am a beginner in Persian, which I spoke, sucking milk.' Yours ever affectionately,
H. MARTYN. To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
Dinapore, November, 1809.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
* * * I could willingly converse with you a little on some part of your letter, but it has probably all passed out of your mind long before this. Respecting my heart, about which you ask, I must acknowledge that H. Martyn's heart at Dinapore, is the same as H. Martyn's heart at Cambridge. The tenor of my prayer is nearly the same, except on one subject, the conversion of the heathen. At a distance from the scene of action, and trusting too much to the highly-coloured description of missionaries, my heart used to expand with rapture at the hope of seeing thousands of the natives melting under the word as soon as it should be preached to them. Here I am called to exercise faith--that so it shall one day be. My former feelings on this subject were more agreeable, and at the same time more according with the truth; for if we believe the prophets, the scenes that time shall unfold, ' though surpassing fable are yet true.' While I write, hope and joy spring up in my mind. Yes, it shall be; yonder stream of Ganges shall one day roll through tracts adorned with Christian churches, and cultivated by Christian husbandmen, and the holy hymn be heard beneath the shade of the tamarind. All things are working together to bring on the day, and my part in the blessed plan, though not at first exactly consonant to my wishes, is, I believe, appointed me by God. To translate the word of God is a work of more lasting benefit than my preaching would be. But besides that, I am sorry to say that my strength for public preaching is almost gone. My ministrations among the Europeans at this station have injured my lungs, and I am now obliged to lie by except on the Sabbath days, and once or twice in the week. * * However, I am sufficiently aware of my important relations to the natives, and am determined not to strain myself any more for the Europeans. This rainy season has tried my constitution severely. The first attack was with spasms, under which I fainted- The second was a fever, from which a change of air, under God, recovered me. There is something in the air at the close of the rains so unfavourable, that public speaking at that time is a violent strain upon the whole body. Corrie passed down a few weeks ago to receive his sister. We enjoyed much refreshing communion in prayer and conversation on our dear friends at and near Cambridge, and found peculiar pleasure in the minutest circumstances we could recollect about you all. I seldom receive a letter from Europe, so that you cannot do me a greater favour than to write and mention all our com,on friends. I rememher them with you always in my prayers, and beg the continuance of your's for me. I am, dear Clark,
Nov. 15. I am happy to say that by the goodness of God I am now perfectly recovered.
To the Rev. W. Clark, Bene't College, Cambridge.
On the night of the 18th, I took leave of my beloved church, previous to their departure for Bundlecund with their regiment. I spoke to them from Gen. xxviii. "I will be with thee in all places whithersoever thou goest," &c. The poor men were much affected, they gave me their wills and watches.
19. (Sunday.) Preached at sun-rise to the dragoons, on John i. 17. "The law was given hy Moses." At eleven at head quarters, on Rom. iii. 19. Received a letter from Mr. Simeon, mentioning S--'s illness; consumption has seized her, as it did my mother and sister, and will carry her off as it did them, and now I am the only one left. Oh my dear --, though I know you are well prepared, how does nature bleed at the thought of a beloved sister's drooping and dying. Yet still to see those whom I love go before me, without so much as a doubt of their going to glory, will, I hope, soothe my sorrow. How soon shall I follow? I know it must be soon. The paleness and fatigue I exhibit after every season of preaching, show plainly that death is settled in my lungs. At night we had no sermon, as no men came.
20. Colonel P. went away.
21. 22. Prepared Hindoostanee gospel, and Arabic of Romans, to send to England. Also my report; sent off the Hindoostanee.
23. Sent off my report, and the Arabic epistle. 26. (Sunday.) Preached to a small party of the artillery, on Psalm x. 13. The rest of the day alone, but happy in reading and prayer. At the close of the day, however, I felt unhappy, as having done little to sanctify the Sabbath. Service at head-quarters also at eleven. The rest of the week nothing remarkable. All day long at translations, Arabic and Hindoostanee.
December 3. (Sunday.) Preached to the 8th Light Dragoons, on Deut. xxxii. 35. and at head-quarters on Gen. iii. 15. The word seemed to be attended with some power at the first, and my soul was also somewhat affected with divine things. Having engaged to baptize Colonel W------'s child on this day, without recollecting that it was Sunday; I wished to avoid dining with them when I found my mistake, but on Mrs.------- assuring me there would be no person there, I consented; yet, on the contrary, I found such a party of Dragoon officers, that I could not open my mouth, but was obliged to sit listening to nonsense, while the other happy people of God were worshipping in his courts; but I lifted up my heart in prayer and ejaculations frequently; and was therefore so far from being inclined to conform to them, that I never felt more averse to the ways and miserable merriment of the worldly.
Cawnpore, December 4, 1809.
MY DEAR SIR,
You will see by Sabat's letter that he is ready to alter the words which are rather uncommon. But if all the Indian moonshees in Calcutta should unite in considering Aboolfarl's book as the standard of plain style, I fear Sabat would not value their opinion a straw. 'He did not come from Persia to India to learn Persian;' yet Mr. B. must not suppose that Sabat with all his extravagant vanity thinks his performance immaculate, or that his future translations will not be better for the castigation he has gone through for the failure of his first effort. On the contrary I am persuaded, that as he grows in age, in wisdom, in grace, and knowledge of God's word, he will see that it stands in no need of tawdry ornament. * * * * The Psalms we must leave till the end of the New Testament, for this solid reason, that I do not understand one quarter of that book. Perhaps half of it may be rightly translated. It appears to me that the two royal authors have suffered more from the plebeian touch of their interpreters, than even the prophets or any others but Job. Hebrew is my constant meditation day and night. I have been sometimes three weeks at one verse, and thought myself richly rewarded if I was made to understand the meaning of it. * * * * I hope to be able to send you the Hindoostanee New Testament, part the first, as soon as you are ready for printing.
Upon the whole, Sir, let us praise God. Though we have many difficulties and disappointments, he will help us through.
Your ever affectionate,
To the Rev. D. Brown, Calcutta.
5. Dined at the General's to meet------. As I was the only person that could speak, I was almost the only one that did speak to him, but he gave such laconic replies, that I could not converse with him. Some of his attendants afterwards were interested, and with them I conversed freely, and in way of serious reflection more than any thing else. The noise of the music, and the splendour of the feast, and the preparations for the dance, only moved me to pensiveness, so that I could not help speaking to the Mahometans about the time when these eyes that see shall see no more, and these ears that hear shall hear no more.
6. Dined at Major V------'s with some ladies, but without profit; I made some attempt at religious discourse, but could not obtain a hearing.
7-9. For want of the men of the 53rd I have no ministrations, and am in consequence rather dead; yet the world seems nothing; neither the men nor the things of the world seem to possess the smallest interest. The wish of my heart, which, whether the strongest or no, is uppermost at present, is, to know the nature of language, that I may read and perceive the glories of God's word. Truly I search for wisdom, as for hid treasure, and I trust that the promise will be fulfilled to me.
10. (Sunday.) Preached to the Dragoons on Matt, xvi. 26. No service at the head-quarters, on account of the absence of the General. Spent the day happily.
11-16. All this week contending with corrupt nature; Sabat asked me last Lord's day, why I did not preach to the crowds of beggars who came for alms? I had nothing to say in reply, yet I find it a cross. How shameful is this. For what did I come to this country? How often have I prayed and longed for the day, when I should be permitted to stand up and preach to a heathen congregation; and now that the request is granted, I am backward: the fear of my heart is, that I shall only make myself ridiculous, by attempting to teach in a language which I know so imperfectly. However, contempt I deserve, and when I can feel contented to bear it, O how happy am I. This therefore I desire to keep ever before my mind, that I must get to the kingdom through great contempt. I must be well pleased to be the filth of the world and the offscouring of all things. I will glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. On the 12th, breakfasted with the Adjutant of H. M. 8th Light Dragoons, and found to my great joy that his wife was a pious woman. Visited the boy's and girl's school in the regiment, and heard them read and say their catechism.
December 11, 1809
Last Tuesday night I dined at the General's with Shumsher Bahadoor. As there was no person present able to criticise, I spoke to him boldly in Persian; but my dialect was infinitely too fine for him. I was surprised to find a Nawaub so illiterate, but I have since learnt that he is of Hindoo extraction, moreover a dull young man, who has thrown away his time in fighting the English. Some of his moonshees were introduced after dinner, and with them I had something like a conversation, chiefly of a moral kind; reflections about death, and the transition that would then take place from the music and wine and glare in which we were sitting, to the dark abodes of the grave, seemed to affect them in much the same way as it would us. I feel unhappy, not because I do nothing, but because I am not willing to do my duty. The flesh must be mortified, and I am reluctant to take up the cross. Sabat said to me yesterday, ' your beggars are come, why do not you preach to them, it is your duty?' I made excuses; but why do not I preach to them? My carnal spirit says, that I have been preaching a long time without success to my servants, who are used to my tongue; what can I expect from them? the very dregs of the people. But the true cause is shame: I am afraid of exposing mjself to the contempt of Sabat, my servants, and the mob, by attempting to speak in a language which I do not speak well. To-day in prayer, one consideration has been made of some power in overcoming this shameful backwardness:--these people, if I neglect to speak to them, will give me a look at the last day, which may fill me with horror. Alas! brother, where is my zeal?
To the Rev. D. Carrie.
17. (Sunday.) Preached to H. M. Light Dragoons, on Rev. iii. 20. "Behold I stand at the door and knock," &c. There was great attention. In the afternoon the beggars came, to the number of above four hundred, and by the help of God, I determined to preach to them, though I felt as if I were leading to execution. I stood upon the Chubootra in front of which they were collected, and after begging their attention, I told them that I gave with pleasure the alms I could afford, &c. See Memoir, p. 321.
18. Went to a large party at Mr. G------s to dinner, and sat down with fifty-six people, officers and ladies of the station. I repented of having gone, and thought within myself, I would rather be preaching to my beggars. The splendour of these entertainments does not dazzle me, as it once did. It appears very ridiculous and childish, and how affecting is it to think of these precious souls. I looked along the crowded table, and could not with the utmost stretch of charity believe that they were serious. They staid dancing till late in the morning; I escaped immediately after dinner.
19-23. Finished the translation of Corinthians in Arabic, with Sabat. On the 23rd, dined at the Deputy Adjutant-General's, with his brothers and sisters. I was much pleased, as they seemed to like religious conversation.
24. (Sunday.) The General wishing to spare me for Christmas-day, gave no orders for service to-day. Sabat went to Lucknow. I preached to my beggars again, in number about five hundred, on the work of the first and second day; and all I said was received with great applause.
25. Preached to the Dragoons, on John iii. 16. "God so loved the world." Breakfasted with Adjutant Dickson. At twelve, at head-quarters, on Isaiah Hi. "How beautiful on the mountains," &c.
December 25, 1809.
Your letter, with the one that accompanied it, brought a cloud over my mind. I grieve not, nor must riot, that a child of yours is added to the company of heaven; but to hear of your ill health, affects me as deeply, as the late accounts of mine, seem to have affected you, and from the same cause, because you are essentially necessary here. The other letter was from Lydia, containing a second refusal, so now I have done.
I am glad to hear that more sheets are to be sent; but might not bungy carriage do? The expence of dawk is enormous. Sabat does not seem willing to leave Patna yet, though the work is materially hindered by his stay there. There is no room in his house for me; no place to pitch a tent, and not a corner in Mr. G's house.
The first volume of the Polyglott, or at least Walton's Prolegomena, if it is to be had separate, would be very acceptable to me.
Your ever affectionate,
26. Making calls, and testifying, I hope, from house to house. When I put my head out of doors, I hear of so much profligacy amongst the people, that I am glad to seclude myself again. Were it as easy and habitual to me, to look into my own heart, I should see enough there also, to make me glad to look away from it.
27. Sat a considerable time with Mrs. H. and was much pleased at observing the progress she seemed to have made in grace.
28. Adjutant and Mrs. D. with Mrs. H. dined with me, and our conversation was truly delightful; the two ladies spoke freely, affectionately, and sensibly on divine things.
29. Went on as usual with the Pilgrim's Progress at the hospital. Prayed again with a poor young man, who makes profession of repentance; but these things have little, I fear, to do with Christ's kingdom. It is possible that a few of them may be true penitents.
30. Finished the four gospels in Hindoostanee--a blessed close to the year. Received a very uncivil letter from Sabat, which tried my temper not a little; I answered it in Arabic, without sharpness, but coldly. Baptized a child of Major M------'s and dined there. Having a neighbour, with whom I could converse, I liked it well enough.
31. (Sunday.) Preached to the Dragoons on Acts xxiv. "Herein do I exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence," &c. At head-quarters on 1 Cor. xi. "This do in remembrance of me," and administered the sacrament at the General's request. No man received it but the General; about ten ladies also received it; I did not feel as I could wish to feel. In the afternoon addressed the beggars, who are now 550, on the works of the third and fourth day, &c. See Memoir, page 324.