Sivut kuvina

lend a helping hand, and will pot leave you alone, nor forsake you; but will bless you, and make you his instrument for conveying ļlis bles: ings to

many souls.

My dear brother, you may in the beginning, as also in process of time, find some difficulties; for the world is yet the same : there are many who are professed enemies to the Gospel of Christ, many who are cold and in. different about it, and some who are wolves in sheeps' clothing. But let not this cast you down ; against all such, you have sufficient comfort in the whole 37th psalm. The Lord will be on your side, He can and will pro, tre you true friends also. When and whatever the Lord may be pleased to open a door for you to work and to do good, do it. Wait patiently for the Lord's opening that door for doing that good which you may wish for ; do pot go before him, but follow His leading, and He will wisely and safely lead you on in the right way of doing much good. He knows best the proper time for every thing. · He provides the means.

He will give you strength and wisdom. He alone can and will bless your work. My heart is fuil and overflows, but my hand is weak. I can add no more, but that

Yours very cordially,
Calcutta, 20th March, 1798.


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We now with peculiar pleasure recur to one in whom were united the most eminent piety and the strictest propriety of conduct, and who seems to have been raised up by the wisdom of Providence at this particular juncture, to exhibittéligion in its loveliest form. We need scarcely add that we allude to William Chambers, Esq. brother to Sir Robert Chambers. This gentleman's literary talents are too well known to ren ler any mention of them necessary. But, what far exceeds ai, praise tei minating on mere intellect, his heart was imbued with the most cordial iure to divine truth and to genuine godliness; and he in the steadiest bat most prudent manner applied himself to the promotion of .z"zion wherever he could find an opportunity. The giving of the Sacred Scriptures to his Indian fellow subjects was to him evidently a subject of earnest desire; and had his life been spared, a translation of them into

the Persian language, in which he was so eminently skilled, would no doubt have been completed. The first thirt en chapters of St. Matthew's gospel translated into that language, were given by him in manuscript to Lieut.-Col. Colebrooke, who a few years ago presented them to us.

About this time Mr. John Thomas, afterwards the colleague of the Rev. W. Carey, arrived in India as surgeon of the Oxford Indiaman; and, while at Calcutta, wishing to stir up a spirit of enquiry on religious subjects, he, quite in his eccentric manner, inserted the following advertisement in the India Gazette of November, 1783 :


" A plan is now forming for more effectually spreading the knowledge of Jesas Christ, and his glorious gospel, in and about Bengal: any serious persons of any denomination, rich or poor, high or low, who would beartily approve of, join in, or gladly forward such an undertaking, are hereby invited to give a small testimony of their inclination, that they may enjoy the satisfaction of torming a communion the most useful, the most comfortable, and the most exalted in the world. Direct for A. B.C. to be left with the Editor."

To this he received among others the following reply, which we are ready to suppose could have come only from the pen of Mr. = William Chambers :

" If A. B. C. will open a subscriptionefor a translation of the New Tes. tament into the Persian and Moorish languages, (under the direction of proper persons,) he will meet with every assistance he can desire, and a competent number of subscribers to defray the expense.”

We see here the germ of what Divine Providence has since effected for India ; but at that season things were evidently not ripe for undertakings of this nature: and while we mark with. pleasure the early desire to promote the cause of piety ånd religion, we are not surprized that nothing was then realized. We are rather led to adore the God of Providence, that we now see happier days,--days wherein to will and to effect whatever reason and religion dictate for the advantage of men, seem almost simultaneous operations. Let not the morning however despise the earliest dawn, lest noon arise in all her effulgence, and fully avenge

her quarrel.

Mr. Thomas often gave a word of exhortation in a private house to those friends who chose to listen to a subject then so comes pletely unfashionable. In his visits too in different families, the talent for conversation which he possessed, united with an unshak. en intrepidity whenever religion was in any way assailed, rendered him highly useful. Dining on one occasion with a friend who had hitherto paid little attention to religion, a gentleman present made a violent attack on divine revelation, which Mr. Thomas instantly met; and the other affecting to quote something from the Sacred Scriptures with the view of ridiculing them, which Mr. Tho. mas knew they did not contain, he insisted that it was not to be found in them. This being disputed, Mr. Thomas begged his friend to silence the dispute by producing a Bible. This his friend with regret acknowledged his inability to do, having never possessed one since he had been the master of a family. The feelings attend. ing this circumstance, with what he had now heard in favor of the scriptures, and Mr. Thomas's subsequent conversation, wrought so powerfully on his mind, that he immediately procured one and be gan studying it with the utmost diligence; and his steady attend. ance on the preaching of the word even to his death, and his truly Christian conduct, sufficiently evinced that his search was not in vain.

Amongst others who derived much advantage from Mr. Tho. mas's conversation, was a friend whose memory will ever be dear to us, the late Mr. Richard Burney, youngest son of the celebrated Dr. Burney. This young man, just arrived in India, wlten on the point of being carried away by the torrent of vice with which youths of his age were surrounded, found in Mr. Thomas a kind and steady adviser, who, pointing him to the Scriptures, exhorted and intreated him to follow them as his rule through evil report and good report, committing himself and his future circumstances in life entirely to the God of providence. To this advice Mr. Burney was so happy as to listen at an age when the voice of reason is often drowned in the tumult of the passions; and a course

of life pre-eminent in usefulness, as well as marked by the tender care of Providence over both himself and his family after his decease, plainly verified the truth of the declaration, that they who trust in the Lord shall never be confounded. Mr. Burney ever retained the most affectionate regard for Mr. Thomas under every vicissitude of circumstances, and has more than once acknowledg. ed to us that he regarded him as being, under God, the author of all his happiness in future life.

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It would be unpardonable were we here to pass over in silence a Gentleman, the obligations of India to whom have never been fully realized-Charles Grant, Esq. since so distinguished in Britain for his talents, his virtues both public and private, and his steady support of the cause of religion. Mr. Grant, while residing at Malda, manifested a concern for the interests of religion, the effect of which in that neighbourhood has not wholly disappeared even to this day. A few friends truly pious, were by his care and influence, stationed there; among whom, Mr. William Brown, Mr. William Grant, and Mr. Henry Creighton, are names which deserve far more ample mention than this cursory view permits us to give them here. We might adduce other friends of religion, now residing on the spot, were we not restrained fron motives of delicacy. Nor was it to Europeans alone that Mr. Grant confia. ed himself when the concerns of eternity were before him. He knew that the Redeemer of men has excluded no nation or people from the benefits of his death and sacrifice ; not the Hindoos therefore : and their future receiving the Sacred Scriptures, to him appeared by no means problematical. Of this he gave proof on removing to Calcutta, where finding Mr. Thomas, whose attache ment to the cause of religion was to him a sufficient recommendation, he honored him in some degree with his friendship, and at len th expressed a wish that he would turn his attention to the natives of Bengal. This coinciding with Mr. T.'s own ideas, he from that time turned his attention to the study of the language;

and making a voyage to England in 1792, he, the following year, returned in company with the Rev. W. Carey.

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Nor ought we by any means to suppress what Mr. Grant did in Calcutta for the advancement of religion among his own countrymen, previously to his departure for Europe. The state in which Mr. Kiernander's affairs were, soon after Mr. Grant's removal to Calcutta, has been already mentioned. His income was by no means certain : and as he never appears to have enjoyed the liberal salary of a chaplain, his salary as a mis. siorary from the Society, could be but small compared with his wa ts; and on a fluctuating income, steadily to support a style of living suitable to the rank he held in society, required more prudence than his mind, thoughtful of little beside the present hour, appears to have possessed. In these circumstances it will excite little surprize that embarrassment should at length overtake one who set so little value on money. Adversity follow ed; his creditors became clamorous and inexorable. paty was seized for debt, and amongst the rest the church which had cost him nearly sixty thousand rupees, the sheriff's seal being fired on the gates;-and the aged missionary, in his seventy-eighth year, was obliged to seek refuge from a prison in a foreign settlement, after forty-six years residence in India, and thirty eight in Calcutta. This was a melancholy season for religion in Calcutta, thus exposed to contempt and reproach by the misconduct of its friends.. Providence, wise in all its ways however, had previously provided for the exigence. The Rev. David Brown had arrived in June the preceding year to take charge of the newly-erected Orphan School ; and had been invited by the aged Kiernander to assist him in his official duties at the Mission Church. Mr. Grant was now in Calcutta, and finding the sum of ten thousand rupees affixed to the building as its price, he nobly stepped forward and advanced this sum out of his own income; and associating with himself the Rev. Mr. Brown, and Mr. Chambers, formed a deed of

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