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) all things” bids us pause before we condemn. It is acknowledged that a cloud covered his latter days, and that in his days of prosperity a degree of vanity appeared in him which was highly blameable. Common report says, that he atone period indulged himself in sporting a carriage and four, which if true must excite our pity for the weakness of human nature. But if we would form an accurate idea of the case, we must consider the circumstances and the time in which he lived ; a period when, after obtaining the most complete victory over a hitherto terrific enemy, our own countrymen, amidst views of increasing empire before unknown to them, were surrounded with the greatest temptations to Asiatic luxury and magnificence which have at any time presented themselves to Europeans. And that Kiernander, caressed by the great and the rich around him, should lose something of that gravity and weight of character so desirable in a Christian Missionary; nay, that while thus standing alone, he should be in some degree borne away by the general torrent of manners, will be matter of wonder chiefly to those not deeply read in the deceitfulness of the human heart. 66 Let him that standeth take heed leşt he fall," was the advice of one who was no mean proficient in the school of Christ. It is certain that Mr. Kiernander was not a man of sordid mind; but that on the contrary, if he freely receive ed from the hand of friendship, he as freely gave to religion and to suffering humanity: and that a man of this disposition, with an income though large, yet occasional and fluctuating, should not be sufficiently provident respecting the future; yea that he should, possibly from estimable motives, (such as a desire of increasing the capital of orphans confided to his care,) engage in those speculations which overwhelmed him with adversity in his old age,
and even caused that house to be sold to satisfy his cre. ditors, which his generous mind would have devoted for ever to the cause of religion; will indeed be matter of the deepest regret, but with the candid will furnish no reason for diresting him whole ly of the Christian character.
But while we allow all that common report has urged against Mr. Kiernander, it is but reasonable to examine on the other hand what evidence is afforded by ciecumstances relative to his possessing real piety. And here it is not a light presumption in his favor that Dr. Franck, a man so eminent himself for religion, should after an acquaintance of four years have advised him to become a missionary to the east, and have recommended him as such to the Society who had confided to him the selection. Nor were his remaining with undiminished reputation for eighteen years in the mission on the coast, and his being afterwards encouraged by his brethren to undertake a new mission eastward, proofs of his being deemed by them deficient in vital godliness; fora mission which even then numbered Swartz among its members, was not destitute of discernment. Add to this, that some who knew him here in his latter days, were strongly impressed with an idea of his possessing real religion; among whom we may mention Dr. Carey, who saw and conversed with him in the year 1793, and who has often declared, that in no man he had then met with in India did he find a more pleasing spirit, nor a mind which seemed more fully imbued with concern for the salvation of the natives of India. From all these circumstanceś we may venture to hope, that his labors were not unaccompanied with a spirit of piety, though probably much lowered in its operation and weakened in its influence by that blameable conformity to the world from which we cannot exone. rate him. Perhaps we should not greatly mistake, were we to conclude, that while his love to religion prompted him to acts of the most generous nature for its advancement, his want of mental stength to stem the torrent of dissipation around him, and to sustain the Christian character with that dignified firmness which commands so much the esteem even of worldly men, robbed his ministrations of that effect which would in a high degree have ada wanced the cause of religion.
Such then are the notices we have been able to obtain of Mr.
Kiernander, who though left to act with much imprudence, and visited in his declining days, possibly by way of fatherly chastisement, with misfortunes that caused his sun to set wholly in a cloud, ought not to be entirely forgotten by those who love India, and particularly those who enjoy the fruits of his care in the substantial edifice which he built, and which has since been so much enlarged and beautified by the generosity of others; nor when we reflect on his destitute state at the age of eighty, when Forty Pounds, or Three Hundred and Twenty Rupees presented to him by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, were welcomed with so much joy, can we suppress the involuntary wish, that some generous mind had been stirred up by the remembrance of what he had thus done for the cause of religion, to secure for him some small provision which might have redeemed his latest
days from indigence, and smoothed his passage to the tomb. He 1 died at Calcutta in May, 1799, in the eighty-eighth year of his
age, the forty-first year of his residence in Bengal, and the fif.
ty-ninth of his residence in India. We have been, we fear, too i minute in this sketch of Kiernander ; but if we have been prolix, it ch has been in attempting to do justice to a man who for nearly thirty - years, and in a period as adverse to piety as any perhaps which ha can be pointed out in the annals of the British Empire in India,
had to bear almost alone the burden of the ark of God ;--of a man little known to the present age, and who in addition to much of deserved blame for imprudent conduct, had to sustain that weight of calumny and misrepresentation which cren the fairest characters cannot wholly escape.
The following letter*, addressed by Mr. Kiernander about a year before his death to the Rer. W. T. Ringletaube, jäst arrived in the country, amidst all its inaccuracies, discovers much of a Chris. tian spirit, and contains much that is interesting,
* See " Asiaticus."
REVEREND AND DEAR BROTHER, I berew th return an Account of the Society for prom ting Christian Knowledge for the year 1796. Accept of my thanks for the perisal of it; which now leads me to express thy sense of gratitude to God, for his gra. cons providence, so clearly and most sublimely appearing in so many instances ; and which cannot but create in the mind of every reader, who wishes to see the enlargemeut of the saving knowledge of Christ and of Hi kingdom, a most heartyjoy and gratitude. And surely, it ever the light of the gospel of Jesus the Redeemer and Saviour of mankind shall come to the natives of this country, it must come from England ; for there is not a natinn in all the world, as the state of the world now is that has the m"ans nor the opportunity for such an undertaking. But for this ex. cellent purpose, it seems the Lord has chosen England, and has therefore blessed them with wonderful and rapid increase of possession in this coun. try; which half a century ago was not any more than hardly a little terri: tory or small tract of land, of about four or five square Eng sh miles, at each settlement of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, &c. Nor had they at that time, when I arrived in this country, any thoughts of making conquests, which was in the year 1740. But Divine Providence alone has di. rected circumstances, and led them on to success, and has now enlarged their possessions to a most valuable empire, nor doth this enlargement yet seem to stop in its extension. And when at the same time, we consider the removal of an emulating nation who has been, and yet is in opposition to the main design of propagating Christian Knowledge, are these not in. stances that may open our eyes, to see a wonderful and gracious Divine Providence, and that from the whole we may draw an equal conclusion, with that of David in Psalm cv. 44, 45. That the Lord has given them the islands of the heathen, and they have inherited the labour of the people; (for this purpose, and to this end) that they might observe His statutes and keep His laws.-Not only themselves, but that it was also their duiy to brin; the natives of the land to the knowledge of the Lord, and to the same duty of observing the divine statutes and keeping the divine laws. No nagion las as yet given greater proofs of their readiness to do this, than whit a part of the English nation has already done. And I bare not the least doubt, but that all who have opened eyes to see, how much Divine Providance is yet acting in favour of England, particularly at this present period, and in all parts of the world, will confess, that the above conclusion is jitstly drawn, and ought with a willing mind and united endeavour to be executed.
And what great wonder would it be to see, perhaps sooner than we ex. pect, that the whole English nation unites in a general Society for propagating Christian Knowledge to ihe nations in the East Indies? And then,
how could the Lord otherwise than greatly bless such good endeavour, united in the true spirit of charity? This great work, so much desired, would then, by the Lord's mercy and blessing, most gloriously be effected, and would also give the firmest stability to the Luglish possessions. Yes, I verily believe, there will be few individuals in England, wlio would exclude themselves from reaching out a helping hand towards forwarding of such a happy work.
But I will return to another subject, whcrein I heartily rejoice, which is this, that I find the Society are resolved to continue their kind care of the Calcutta Mission. It is indeed lamentable that the difficulty of finding proper labourers for sending out into this vineyard, has for so long a time been distressing. I trust however, that the good Lord of the vineyard will in his own proper time provide such, who are willing to bear the burden and heat of the day, and ready to take up the load on both shoulders ; which I hope you, my dear brother, will never grudge to do. You will sufficiently be supported, when you put your trust in the Lord; your heavy burdens will be light and easy, by bearing them with patience; you will overcome difficulty by perseverance and firmly confiding in the Lord, who will not leave you alone nor desert you : for the work, to which you are called, is the Lord's own work, and He is the Principal Labourer; you are only the instrument which the Lord maketh use of, and Loth the work and the instrument are the Lord's; and that being the case, how can you fail of success in that (legree, which the Lord is pleased to direct? Never let it slip out of your mind that you serv» a good Master, who is love itself, who amply rewards his faithful servants according to their labour, and will also here assist them, as their almighty Helper in all need, wherein He is nearest present with them when they least think it, and have no man to help them. The most sad period in my life was this, when after forty-seven years' service in the Mission, only three years less than half a century, I was by old age, fatigue, and other vexat:ons, quite exhausted, and under the necessity of leaving my post; ard no successor sent out for the work in the Mission, neither any hopes given of any one comir: to release me, In that situation, you may easily in:agine, my anxiety of mind was great. But see how wonderfully and graciously Divine Providence interiered to my great comfort. Three friends were in readiness surely by Divine appointment. The poor Mission Church gotkind and careful Patrons, Erown, Chumbers, and Grant; be their good works never forgotten! I have seen it, and I have rejoiced: it has supported my distressed spirits. I do still now in my 87th year of age see it, and cannot but rejoice. I had much to say on this subject ; but the facts do better than I can, speak openly and loud.
Since the Lord has bitherto been our helper, which you may clearly see; you may take courage, and be confident that the Lord will continue to