Immagini della pagina
PDF

about the Christian Religion; and that he had generally sat at a distance, and heard our disputes. He also attends the Evening Hindoostanec Worship, and begins to be suspected of being tainted with Christianity. The School Lallah, or Hindoostanee Teacher, has spoken to several to intercede for him to be initiated into the Christian Church. Sept.10, 1820, Sunday.--Atten o'clock, Hindoostanee Service commenced. A great many strangers were present. Addressed them from Luke xxii. 22. And truly the Son of man goeth as was determined. This I endeavoured to prove from the Books of the Old Testament, and confirmed it from the New. After Service, baptized a Boy about twelve years of age, by the name of Caesar Henry. He has been under tuition for the last two years; and has made good progress in English and Hindoostanee, and in getting off the Catechism. About forty or fifty Heathens were present to witness the Ordinance. At two in the afternoon, three men (traders) from Ram Nugur, came to my place. This is the second time that they have been with me. The chief man put several questions: viz. “How may a sinner become righteous before God?”—Answer. “By faith in the sufferings, death, and intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Spoke at length. Qu. “How can a soul sufferin Hell without a body?”—Ans. “In how many instances does the soul now suffer without the body participating in it?" Gave several instances, which were satisfactory : and withal said that God, who had created the soul, could make it feel His vengeance even when disembodied; and as the body and soul have both been accomplices in sin and rebellion, so, at the Great Day of Retribution, both should suffer together. Qu. “Why cannot we form anything good and acceptable to the Supreme Being "–Ans. The tree must be made good, before it can produce good fruits. We are defiled

by nature, in body, soul, and spirit; consequently nothing good can come from such a mass of corruption : we must beengrafted into Christ.” Spoke largely here, which he said was convincing and satisfactory, and worthy of being engraven in the heart. Qu. “Which are the things that are evil?” —Ans. “Every thing contrary to the law of God and sound reason.” He appeared pleased at the idea of the Ten Commandments being so much like the Precepts of the Vedas. In reply he was told that those Commandments contained more of morality, than could be collected from the whole of the Vedas, Shasters, &c.; notwithstanding no man living could be justi. fied by keeping them.” Qu. “How then may one be saved "–Ans. “By Christ alone. He is the Alpha and Omega of the Christian Religion.” Qu. “How may a person fix his mind upon that which is good?”—Ans. “By bringing everything to the test of reason; and, having ascertained the good from the evil, to reject the evil and contemplate upon the good. But . Christ must be the foundation of all —the door by which we must enter— the first step of the ladder: otherwise all attempts will prove abortive and vain.” It being near Servicetime, they went to the Church. At half-past four addressed them from Matt. xi. 16–24. Sept. 15.-This evening was spent at the Old Man's. Spoke to Roychurn Das respecting Baptism and the Lord's Supper. It should be noted that he is a candidate for Baptism. He expressed gratitude ; and said that he was preserved to this age, about eighty, though an active and slender-builtman, to be my disciple, and that I should be the instrument of his Salvation. Sept. 18.-At four this morning, left Chunar, in company with Mr. Smith, Baptist Missionary, for Mirzapore. Arrived in the suburbs of the city, after ten—put up in a Garden, where we stayed till about four in the afternoon. Then went to the

city, and were hospitably treated by a Gentleman. We staid dinner, and then went and took up our seats on the Ghauts among the Idol Temples. About half a dozen men, of some note for their knowledge, gathered about us ; among whom was a Devotee, who ridiculed the Idol Worship of the Hindoos: he was reckoned a man of superior knowledge to the rest. On being questioned, he replied that salvation was to be obtained by religious austerities, &c. -Ans. “But are we not enjoined religious duties, from the day of our birth to that of our death "–Reply, “Certainly.”—“And what if we have failed to perform our part for a number of years, and did what was right the remaining part of our days,surely ihat would not suffice to expiate our past sins. It would be like a person having run himself in debt for a number of years, and afterward refrained from adding to it; that would not suffice to clear him of his past debts: all that would be done with respect to him would be, that no more would be noted down against him. Thus do we stand before God, could we (which is impossible) perform that which the Law of God requires of us.” He said, “It is written, that the very Name of God is sufficient to, blot out the sins of an age.” —Ans. “But would that satisfy Divine Justice You know that it would not an earthly frail Judge.” He replied, “God is all mercy.” Ans. “Were a frail being, like unto us, to shew all mercy to offending criminals, would it not prove injustice toward the offended ? Thus you see, that, by establishing his mercy, you destroy his justice; consequently such reasoning is erroneous, and will not stand the test.” All seemed convinced. They now begged to know, “How a sinner may be saved consistent with the justice and mercy of God.” In reply, we spoke of man's inability to good since the Fall, and of God's mercy in the salvation of sinners through the merits of Christ,

One asked, who made Satan.— Answer. “God created him a holy angel; but, through pride, he fell from that state.” All expressed gratitude and satisfaction; and, having agreed to meet to-morrow night, we broke up after ten. We lodged under a shed on the banks of the river. Sept. 19, 1820.-Early this morning, we went to the Fair, about a mile from the city; for which special purpose we came hither. Took up our post in a grove of trees, where we remained during the day. Hundreds resorted to us: some read our books themselves: others got us to read and explain them; and thousands stared at us as if we were monsters, and whispered among themselves. Not a few said we were come to take their religion and to establish our own: this insinuation operated greatly to prejudice these poor blind souls against our books; consequently they were not over anxious to obtain them. One told us, that, not being content with wresting the country from them, we now continue to deprive them of their religion also but he was obstinate, and would hearken to no reason, but ridiculed us and was for turning every thing to laughter. Finding that we were not exasperated, he was constrained to say openly, that, proceeding in this calm and patient manner, we shall inevitably prevail. The greater number appeared as void of feeling as stocks and stones: endcavoured to rouse them to a sense of their danger, by speaking of the malignity of sin, of the eternity of hell torments which would follow immediately after the soul left the body, &c. Still we were as it were speaking to dry bones, scattered in a field —no noise nor stir among them, save one poor old woman (a Devotee), who seemed to have paid every attention, after we had ceased came forward, and, with tears in her eyes, begged to know whether there were no hope of salvation from everlasting torments. Having seldom or ever beheld such a sight of a person being

so forcibly impressed and suddenly pricked to the heart, I sat down and attended to her solely, and explained the way of salvation through Jesus Christ: she attended to what was said, with tears of gratitude. She kept close to us the remainder of the day, acknowledging what an abominable sinner she was, and promising to visit us at Chunar. We distributed, during the day and night, about 100 copies of the Gospels and Tracts. Returned from the Fair about five o'clock. In the afternoon, and according to promise, met the people at the Ghauts. Twenty-two came : most of these were men of learning and shrewdness: some came with expectations raised to hear great things; others, to prove with hard questions: among these was a leading man, a Gooroo. There was hardly one present who considered the system of the Shasters with any degree of deference : the knowledge and tenets of such persons are reckoned superior to that of the general body of the Hindoos. The beforementioned leading man was looked up to with great respectand reverence; so much so, that all kept silence before him, and left him to combat us. Finding him sit silent with great consequence, I gave him the preference to ut any question to me; or, if it were }. pleasure, I should propose one to him. After waiting his answer for some time, he vaguely replied, “Neither one thing nor the other.” To be short, after much ceremony, I begged to know what his hopes were to be delivered from sin and its consequences. He replied as before. I explained myself. Finding him trying to avoid a direct answer, the hearers began to manifest their anxiety, and to entreat him to give an answer. He at length said the question was an in proper one, like going to unravel a knot from the middle, without any reference to what man was before his creation, what he is now, and what will become of him hereafter. Being well aware, from much experience,

w

how these people try to puzzle and to draw one into a maze, without ever coming to the point, I would not admit of any thing till he had cleared up the proposed question. Seeing this, he said there were many things which ought not to be divulged in public.— Answer. “We are well aware that the Hindoo System inculcatessecrecy, in the most important concerns: but all mankind being sinners, and all needing salvation, in consistence with Sound reason it should not be so; but, on the contrary, such questions should be proposed and discussed in the most open and public manner, that all may give their opinion and decide upon what is urged on both sides. On this account, we Christians, believing ours to be the only true religion upon earth and worthy of all acceptation, have come from Benares and Chunar with a large supply of Books in the simple languages of the country, and our hopes and view of salvation are set forth in them. Being confident of ours being sterling coin, we are neither ashamed nor afraid of our principles, but wish that all would search and examine. Whenever a person has a counterfeit coin to exchange, he does not act with openness and candour, but endeavours to avoid scrutiny as much as possible.” All seemed to approve of what was said; when another took up the cause, and questioned me thus—“Pray what shape is God?”—Answer. “Of no form or shape, as also say the Shasters.”—Antagonist. “That cannot be: for a thing without a shape is nothing ; nor can any thing exist without shape.”—Answer, “I can prove to the contrary. Pray of what form is the wind, or the spirit of man? of what shape is pleasure and pain, scent,thought,&c.?” In reply he spoke of the effects, and not of the things themselves; which was not conclusive or satisfactory; he was, consequently, silenced by others. However, he would neither give up nor hearken to reason, like determined Infidels. on questioning me about God, I replie".

ar

“He is infinite.” This he would not admit, nor would those of the same profession; but said, that, in that case, he (God) should be incomprehensible.—Answer, “He certainly is so : otherwise, where were his Godhead " We then went on, till all became favourable to our way of reasoning and thinking, and expressed their gratitude. They wished that we might make a stay of at least a fortnight. On being told that we had a bundle of Books with us, they all solicited and obtained copies of the Gospels and other Tracts. They then openly acknowledged the superiority of our Religion. Sept. 20, 1820.—This morning we went to the same place. Many came about us, asking questions, arguing, &c. Some spoke ill of us; saying that this was our snare to catch souls, to decoy them away from their religion,&c. We set off in an open boat, laden with lime. Arrived at Chunar at half past seven. Sept. 29.-This evening visited our sick Hindoo-School Teacher. Being apprehensive of his state, exhorted him to prepare for his latter end. With tears, he entreated me to defer his baptism no longer. On replying that I should not think it prudent to put it off any longer, and that I should probably do it next Sabbath, he bowed down, with his hands clasped, and with tears of joy answered,

“Oh, Sir I have been running away from the Lord Jesus for the last three years past, and this is the fruit of all my sin. I am certain that if I had closed in with Christ and submitted to baptism when Mr. Corrie came over here, nothing of this would have happened to me. Do, Sir, admit me, a poor dog, to participate in the crumbs that fall from Christ's Table. I know my utter unworthiness of becoming a member of Christ's Church. My sins are so aggravated, that I can hardly think His mercy will extend to me. O wretched sinner that I am, who did not accept Him when He was so freely offered Let me remain a dog at his feet, feeding upon the crumbs, and I shall be happy! Though lost to time, may I but be happy to eternity O Lord, make me thy willing slave : O Messeeh, grant me, a poor dog, the crumbs of thy table Wile as I am, thou canst make me whole !” Thus did he go on to our admiration. I was obliged to set the Gospel before him, in order to support his fainting hope. He then begged that I would not leave his companion-in-life behind, but baptize her also at the same time—that it was for this purpose he

had not separated himself from her

before. She has been in the habit of learning the Hindoostanee Catechism for some months past, and attends the Service regularly. She also expressed her wish to join the flock of Christ.

APPENDIX X.
(See Page 126.)

Exto ACTS from tile Journal OF THE VOYAGE OF THE Rev. Abd0ol M. ESSEEH Up The GANGES, FRoM CALCUTTA To AGRA.

(Addressed to the Rev. Daniel Corrie.)

To the well-wisher of my soul and body, may God, who is Father Son and Holy Ghost, grant to you and yours all things profitable, and keep from you all hurtful things

I, your humblest Scholar, on the

3d of November took my departure. For three or four days, my boat and Mr. Morris's went on together; afterward my boat, from striking on the ground, sprung a leak, and began to take in much water. We were under the necessity of leaving Mr. Morris, in order that my boatmen might go on speedily to Dinapore to repair the boat. One man was obliged to attend and bale the boat day and night. By the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom the winds and waves obey, we arrived in safety at Dinapore on the 7th of December. The Friday you left us at Chinsurah, was passed in sorrow, on account of my separation from you. In the evening after worship, with my little family, I slept but little ; but passed the time in speaking with Gabriel and Suadut of my feelings, and calling their attention to the certainty of one day in like manner taking leave of the world, when all friends will be left behind, and we must go alone, none with us beside God; therefore we should, according to the Gospel, betimes call off our hearts from earthly things and keep in mind the True Journey. For at the end of that Journey is such a place, that no further removal will follow. I daily think, several times, on those pieces of my heart, those little creatures, dear as life, Anna and Laura, and my heart inordinately wishes for wings, that I might fly every morning to visit them, and hear their lovely prattle ; and, in every prayer of mine, I remember them, that God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may give them in youth spiritual knowledge; and, under your fostering care, grant that they may be among the remnant of true Christians. Amen. Of his daily occupations, during the remainder of November, Abdool gives the following account:— After Morning Worship, I give Gabriel instruction in Persian, for two hours. Suadut Messeeh has also a lesson in Oordoo : by the help of God, he has, during a month and a few days, got by heart three long Prayers and the Catechism, and has read several Chapters in the Gospel. At the time the boatmen stay to get

some food, I go into the village, if any is near, to make known the Gospel ; and, if there is no village near, I remain in the boat: the Boys write their copies, and I mend my net”. In the evening, the Boys are disengaged from their lessons; and, after our evening meal and worship, we commit ourselves to God's protection and go to rest.

Abdool mentions the two following circumstances:—

We fell in with a Mogul Traveller, who took, with great thankfulness, a Persian New Testament and a copy of the Psalms. He said, “From conversing with you, great doubts have arisen in my heart respecting Islam.” Time will disclose the event.

We went to a village, but the people ran away and although I said much to get them to remain, they would not come near us, but stood looking on at a distance.

In December, Abdool thus pursues his Journal:—

Dec. 1, 1820–The Custom-House Officers delayed my boat till evening, in examining my baggage. The Headman was much offended, when he heard my history; and said, “Let the Infidels' boat go. It is the English Government. I have no powe r, or I would sink such a fellow's boat.” I much wished to talk with him; but, as soon as he saw me come out of the boat, he went off to the town, with expressions of pity for me. All the people laughed at his folly.

Dec. 2.-Having left my boat opposite to the Bazar, I was walking toward the Roman-Catholic Church, when I passed a Chemist's shop, where ten or twelve Moguls were sitting and smoking. On seeing me they called to me and said, “Sir, whence are you ?” I answered, “I am a Native of Delhi.” They said, “Speak truth! Your appearance and speech are

* That is—endeavour to improve in Christian Knowledge. (Note by Mr. Corrie.)

K

« IndietroContinua »