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the foregoing letter, a second was addressed to the members of the mission, by his Majesty.
REVEREND AND BELOVED. .
“From your letters, dated Tranquebar, the 12th September, seventeen hundred and twenty-five, which sometime since came to hand, we received much pleasure; since by them we are informed not only of your zealous exertions in the prosecution of the work committed to you, but also of the happy success which has hitherto attended it, and which hath been graciously given of God.
“We return you thanks for these accounts, and it will be acceptable to us, if you continue to commu. nicate whatever shall occur in the progress of your mission.
"In the mean time we pray you may enjoy strength of body and mind for the long continuance of your labours in this good work, to the glory of God and the promotion of Christianity among the heathens; that its perpetuity may not fail in generations to come."* Given at our palace, at St. James's, the twenty-third
of February, såventeen hundred and twenty-seven, in the thirteenth year of our reign.
13. The English nation will receive these letters (now sent back in the name of the Hindoos) with that reverence and affectionate regard, which are due to the memory of the royal author, considering them as a memorial of the nation's past concern for the welfare of the natives, and a pledge of our future care.
Providence hath been pleased to grant the prayer of the king, "that the work might not fail in genera. tions to come.” After the first missionary Ziegen
* Niecampius, page 284.
balgius had finished his course; he was succeeded by other learned and zealous men, and lastly, by the apostle of the east, the venerable Swartz, who during the period of half a century, * has fulfilled aldborious ministry among the natives of different provinces, and illuminated many a dark region with the light of the gospel. .
14. The pious exertions of the king for the diffusion of religious blessings among the natives of India, seem to have been rewarded by heaven in temporal blessings to his own subjects in their intercourse with the east; by leading them onward in a continued course of prosperity and glory, and by granting to them at length the entire domonion of the peninsula of India.
16. But these royal epistles are not the only evangelic document of high authority in the hands of the Hindoos. They are in possession of letters written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the same reign;f who supported the interest of the mission with unexampled liberality, affection and zeal. These letters which are many in number, are all written in the latin language. The following is a translation of his grace's first letter; which appears to have been written by him as president of the society for promoting Chris tian knowledge:”
į "To Bartholomew Ziegenbalgius and John Ernest
Grundlerus, preachers of the Christian faith, on the coast of Coromandel.
“As often as I behold your letters, reverend brethren, addressed to the venerable society instituted for the promotion of the gospel, whose chief honour and ornament ye are; and as often as I contemplate the light of the gospel either now first rising on the Indian nations, or after the intermission of some ages again revived, and as it were restored to its in
From 1749 to 1800.
heritance; I am constrained to magnify that singular goodness of God in visiting nations so remote; and to account you, my brethren, highly honoured, whose ministry it hath pleased Him to employ, in this pious work, to the glory of His name and the salvation of so many millions of souls.
“Let others indulge in a ministry, if not idle, cer.tainly less laborious, among Christians at home.Let them enjoy in the bosom of the church, titles and honours, obtained without labour and without danger. Your praise it will be (a praise of endless duration on earth, and followed by a just recompense in heaven) to have labored in the vineyard which yourselves have planted; to have declared the name of Christ, where it was not known before; and through much peril and difficulty to have converted to the faith those, among whom ye afterwards fulfilled your ministry. Your province therefore, brethren, your office, I place before all dignities in the church. Let others be pontiffs, patriarchs, or popes; let them glitter in purple, in scarlet, or in gold; let them seek the admiration of the wondering multitude, and receive obeisence on the bended knee. Ye have acquired a better name than they, and a more sacred fame. And when that day shall arrive when the chief Shepherd shall give to every man according to his work, a greater reward shall be adjudged to you. Admitted into the glorious society of the prophets, evangelists and apostles, ye with them shall shine, like the sun among the lesser stars, in the kingdom of your Father, forever. .
“Since then so great honour is now given unto you by all competent judges on earth, and since se great a reward is laid up for you in heaven, go forth with alacrity to that work, to which the Holy Ghost hath called you. God hath already given to you an illustrious pledge of his favour, an increase not to be expected without the aid of his grace. Ye have be gun happily, proceed with spirit. He, who hath carried you safely through the dangers of the seas to such a remote country, and who hath given you favour in the eyes of those whose countenance ye most desired; He who hath so liberally and unexpectedly ministered unto your wants, and who doth now daily add members to your church; He will continue to prosper your endeavours, and will subdue unto himself, by your means, the whole continent of oriental India.
O happy men! who, standing before the tribunal of Christ, shall exhibit so many nations converted to his faith by your preaching; happy men! to whom it shall be given to say before the assembly of the whole human race, “Behold us, O Lord, and the children whom thou hast given us;' happy men! who, being justified by the Saviour, shall receive in that day the reward of your labours, and also shall hear that glorious encomium, Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord. '' -“May Almighty God graciously favour you and your labours in all things. May he send to your aid fellow-labourers, such and so many as ye wish. May he encrease the bounds of your churches. May he open the hearts of those to whom ye preach the gospel of Christ; that hearing you, they may receive life-giving faith. May he protect you and yours from all evils and dangers. And when ye arrive (may it be late) at the end of your course, may the same God, who hath called you to this work of the gospel and hath preserved you in it, grant to you the reward of your labour-an incorruptible crown of glory.** "These are the fervent wishes and prayers of,
“Venerable brethren, - “Your most faithful fellow servant in Christ,
"GULIELMUS, CANT.“ "From our Palace, at Lambeth, : January, A. D. 1719.”. ]
* Niecampiu , page 215.
Such was the primary archiepiscopal charge to the protestant missionaries, who came to India for the conversion of the heathen. Where shall we look, in these days, for a more perfect model of Christian eloquence; animated by purer sentiments of scriptural truth, by greater elevation of thought, or by a sublimer piety!*
16. By the letters of the king, and his long continued care of the mission, and by the frequent admonitory epistles of the archbishop, an incalculable sum of happiness has been dispensed in India. The episcopal charges infused spirit into the mission abroad; and the countenance of majesty cherished a zeal in the society at home, which has not abated to this day. From the commencement of the mission in 1705, to the present year, 1805, it is computed that eighty thousand natives of all casts in one district alone, forsaking their idols and their vices have been added to the Christian church.'
17. In the above letter of the archbishop, there is found a prophecy, “That Christ shall subdue unto himself, through our means, the whole continent of oriental India.” It is certainly not unbecoming our national principles, nor inconsistant with the language or spirit of the religion we profess, to look for the fulfilment of that prophecy.
Before this letter reached India Ziegenbalgius had departed this life at the early age of thirty six years. The expressions of the archbishop corresponded in many particulars with the circumstances of his death. Perceiving that his last hour was at hand, he called his Hindoo congregation and partook of the holy communion, "amidst ardent prayers and many tears:” and afterwards addressing them in a solent anner, took aa affectionate leave of them. Being Teminded by them of the thith of the Apostle to the Gentiles at the prospect of death, who "desired to be with Christ, as being far better,” he said, “That also is my desire. Washed from my sins in his blood, and clothed with his righteous, ness, I shall enter into his heavenly kingdom. I pray that the things which bave spoken may be fruitful. Throughout this whole warfare, I have entirely endured by Christ; and now I can say tbrough him."_“I have fought the good Aght; I bave finished my course; I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for mne a crown of righteousness;" which words having spoken, he desired tbat the Hindoo children about his bed, the multitude filling the verandahs and about the house might sing the hymn, beginning "Jesus my Savior Lord." Which when finised, ae yielded up his spirit, amidst the rejoicings and lamentations of a great multitude; some rejoicing at his triumphant death, and ear. ly entrance into glory. And others lamenting the early loss of their faithful apostle; who had first brought the light of the Gospel to their dark region from the western world. Niecarpprus. p. 217, and Annales Miss. p. 20,