Imagini ale paginilor

baptism he began to exercise his abilities in Bengalee preaching, the brethren heard him with surprise and delight, and spoke of him as "the most eloquent and pathetic Bengalee preacher there was in the mission. As the Oriya bears so close an affinity to Bengalee, it was thought he might be usefully employed in Orissa, and would speedily acquire the language. In a narrative written with much sim. plicity and humble piety, he says, "If the missionary brethren had not been sent to this country we had been lost we knew not the way to Christ and his salvation. We had been lost-lost for ever. I was excommunicated from my national church for embracing this gospel, like the blind man from the Jewish synagogue. Of this I think nothing, but am glad that I have obtained the water of eternal life. I thank my God through Jesus Christ for the missionaries coming hither. I was a poor blind creature till I became acquainted with them. I feel diffident as being young and inexperienced in the gospel of Christ; I thirst for knowledge and for larger communications of grace that I may so engage in the christian warfare as to overcome. Since I became a disciple of Christ I am often sad on account of my sinfulness, yet I rejoice in his dear name. I am weak, but he hath said, "My grace is sufficient for thee." I am an empty earthen vessel: but it hath pleased the Father that in Christ should all fulness dwell. Since I am called to labour in this work, my prayer is, Lord teach me; to conform me to thy pattern, make me imbibe thy spirit, and enable me to lay myself out wholly for the good of my perishing fellow-creatures, and then I shall everlastingly rejoice in having been so employed." In reference to labouring in Orissa he observes: "When it was first proposed to me to go into Orissa to preach the gospel, I felt pleased with the idea, but was reluctant to leave my friends, and my native place. I prayed earnestly every

day on this subject, and God in mercy delivered me from those unpleasant feelings. I read and prayed over the Word of God, and found great encouragement from the promises God hath made to those who give themselves up to his service. Those words of our Lord affected me,-'If any man come to me and hate not his father,' &c. I also felt much concern as to what might befal me in Orissa if the people should persecute me for preaching the gospel; but the following passages relieved me from all my distress on this head: 'Fear not them that kill the body,' &c.— 'He that loseth his life for my sake,' &c. I now feel a pleasure in the prospect of going to Orissa." It will be seen with regret from the subsequent part of our narrative that Peter's "last" works were not "more than his first."

Krishna Das in his heathen state was a shop-keeper, and possessed an understanding superior to most of his countrymen. He visited many of the Hindoo holy places, and examined many of their shastres, but he knew not the way of life. The particulars of his conversion are peculiarly interesting, and show in a most encouraging manner what important consequences may result from giving away a few tracts, or a copy of the Word of God. One day Mr. Ward, accompanied by a native brother, Krishna Pal, went to his native village, Ramkrishnapore, a short distance from Calcutta, and after preaching or conversing a little with the people, gave away a few tracts, and a copy of the New Testament. In giving the Testament, the missionary said it was for the use of the whole village, that the man who could read the best was to keep it, but it was to be on condition that he read it to his neighbours. Krishna being the best reader obtained the precious treasure; and for nearly two years carefully read it, sometimes alone and at other times with his neighbours. When the missionary saw the Testa

ment again, it had been read so much that it was well nigh worn out. The tracts too were very carefully perused, and occasioned "no small stir about this way." The results doubtless occasioned much joy in heaven. The entrance of God's word gave light to his mind. It discovered to him the folly and wickedness of his idolatrous observances; it revealed to him the precious doctrine of the death of Christ as a sacrifice for sin. This doctrine became very dear to him; and by believing it with the heart he found that peace to which he was before a stranger. Nor did the good end here. The day that "salvation came to the house of Krishna Das was a most memorable one to his family. His wife became an heir with him of the grace of life, and two of his sons "sold themselves," as he expressed it, "at the feet of Jesus." Others in the village at the same time, and by the same means, found the pearl of great price, and cheerfully parted with all to procure it. As Krishna Das appeared a man of intelligence and stability he was elected a deacon of the church at Serampore; and having for a brief period "used the office of a deacon well" he was appointed to the still more important work of preaching the gospel. To this work he was solemnly set apart by the imposition of hands and prayer. Carey, Marshman and Ward, uniting in the solemn exercise. The charge was delivered by Carey, from, "I charge thee, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season and out of season."

He removed to Orissa in 1810, and remained a little more than three years, when sickness compelled him to return to Bengal. He is spoken of as a fervent, impressive and popular preacher, and his conduct is said to have been, in a good degree, consistent with his holy profession. A few

months after leaving Orissa he finished his course at his native village. The account of his last affliction, as it pleasingly illustrates the power of the gospel to support the mind when meeting the last enemy, may with propriety close this paper. Mr. Ward, from whose hand he received the precious book that guided him to Christ, often visited him, and could not but think that the work of grace was much deepened in him; he showed great tenderness of spirit, and childlike simplicity, much fervour of devotion, and a strong cleaving to the doctrine of Christ. In the midst of sleepless nights he spent much time in singing Bengalee hymns, and in calling on his Lord and Saviour; and he failed not to exhort all around him to cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart and to depart from all iniquity. Sebukram (who accompanied Krishna Pal on his journey to Orissa in 1808, and who came from the same village as Krishna Das) was with him in his last hours, and wrote the following account of the interesting and impressive scene:—“ At night I went to see him, and asked him how he was. He smiled and said, 'I am well, but am leaving this world and going to my Father's: stay with me; do not leave me.' Saying this he clasped his hands together, and remained for a short time in silent prayer. I then sang two hymns, and prayed, which he seemed to enjoy. I then gave him a little water, and reminded him that our Lord Jesus Christ had given him the pure water of life. He said, "Yes, brother, the Lord Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God: this I believe.' I added, Blessed, blessed be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners.' He said, 'Yes, these are sweet words: he is my salvation.' About five the next morning he departed. The last words he said in reply to a question of mine, were, "Christ alone is my light and salvation."

Let the reader admire the grace that was displayed in this Hindoo

christian-once a devotee of the hateful idol whose name he boreonce delighting in the obscene orgies of the obscenest of Hindoo deities, then "washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God," then the faithful deacon, the impressive preacher, and to the end of life the steadfast disciple of the Lord, abhorring idolatry from his very soul. And what is Krishna Das now? A saint in light, a happy spirit, perfect in holiness and love; saved from sin,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


delightful thought? Sometimes, when suffering severe illness, I have thought myself about to lay off these swadling bands of flesh, and to emerge into a state of heavenly manhood; and for a time the thought has been glorious. I have parents, brothers, sisters and children in heaven. I have friends there who have gone from the four continents of the globe; and were anything more, necessary to render heaven an attractive place to me, Christ, my soul's best friend, is there. But life with all its pains is far from being unpleasant to me; and may I ever be content to toil on till the Master calls.

LETTER FROM Providence, R. I., Nov. 4, 1851. BELOVED BRETHREN,-More than a year has passed away since I addressed you through your denominational organ, and I am now beginning to feel that I can forbear no longer to extend to you some token of christian remembrance and fellowship. The numerous friendships I formed when in good old England are still fresh in my recollection, and are to me a source of exquisite pleasure. What principles bind hearts together like the principles of christianity? Though when in your country, I was obliged to fly rapidly from one place to another, with mind constantly confused with scenes which were new to me; and scarcely able to attend to any duties except what were merely formal and official; yet I feel that the waters of the Atlantic could not quench the love that I still cherish to many of your beloved denomination with whom I had the happiness to form an acquaintance. Could it be the will of God it would be gratifying to me to renew those associa- We think our church is beginning tions under circumstances more fa- to understand the true nature of gosvourable for communing together in pel discipline, better than they have relation to spiritual things, and for done in times past, and there is cultivating the religion of the heart. an increasing interest in the various But we must labour at our respective departments of benevolence. parts a while longer; and then, if we their own expences, and for other have been faithful to our trust we purposes, they raised last year about shall meet in heaven. Is not that a three thousand dollars.

There appears to be some religious interest in my church at present. Last Sabbath I baptized two who recently gave their hearts to the Lord, and a goodly number, we hope, are seeking the Saviour sorrowing. Our house is, usually, very full of attentive hearers. We have seldom a single seat to let, though the galleries are free.


Having very much to do at home, I have not attended much to denominational matters since taking charge of this church. Many of our ministers are beginning to be deeply impressed with the idea that it will be better for themselves, and for the churches, for each one to devote himself to the building up of the cause in some particular locality, than for each one to be bishop of the whole denomination as heretofore. I must confess, for one, that this kind of domestic life is so congenial with my feelings that I had rather trust the general management of the cause to those who have a taste for such work, and do what I can under my own vine and fig tree. I did not even attend the anniversaries, but they had no lack for speakers, and good ones too. We do not hear so much of the fugitive slave law as we did formerly. I apprehend they never will undertake to kidnap another man in Massachusetts. There is good evidence that the infamous proceedings which took place then were intended simply to test the strength of the law. The South knew that New Englanders, like Old Englanders, were a law-venerating people, and that the great mass of them would submit to the gross est insult before they would raise their hand against the regularly constituted authority of the land; and hence the South was emboldened to do as it did. They may repeat the act, but I doubt it. About all fear has subsided amongst fugitives in this vicinity and in Massachusetts.

I verily believe that any man might be publicly executed in Boston in carrying out the laws of the land without the necessity of a guard, such is the respect our people have for law, but our public officers were well convinced that such was the moral feeling of Bostonians against kidnapping, though legalized, that the greatest force they could command would scarcely render them safe in the perpetration of so vile a deed.

As a denomination the F. Baptists are the same cool-headed, conscientious and determined foes to slavery that they have ever been. We still hope in God that slavery will yet be abolished without the destruction of our national government, which we love, always in principle, and generally in practice, with a love almost amounting to idolatry. We have no fellowship for ranting no-government men. We are believers in government, and we believe that all things considered, our own is the best in the world, though in its administration there are, connected with it, many practical abuses of which we have been made ashamed, almost beyond recovery.

Dear brethren, pray for us. Pray for our nation. You can do us much good by your prayers, and by your sympathies, as well as by your cool, manly and christian resolutions which you may from time to time pass against slavery. But, dear brethren, pardon me if I suggest, that neither our scolding nor yours will ever intimidate our Congress or our Executive officers. Nothing, that might even have the appearance, to an American, of being directed against the government of his country, rather than against slavery will do a particle of good in the cause of American freedom. We, like yourselves, are enthusiastically patriotic. But my sheet is nearly full. When shall we expect to receive another deputation from you? I am aware that there are some, both on your side and on our side of the water, who think such deputations unprofitable, but I think as a general thing such persons are of a small mind, and not unfrequently are of envious disposition. Praying that the christian intercourse that has for so long a time existed between our denominations may continue with increasing advantages to us all, I subscribe myself,

Yours in the gospel,

[ocr errors]


whose harp have been the joy and delight of the church of God in all subsequent ages, and some of which may perhaps be sung by the church triumphant, enjoyed in solitary meditation and prayer, much of the life

THE most notable revelations which God imparted to ancient saints were vouchsafed to them in solitude. Abraham appears to have been alone on that memorable night when in vision he saw the day of Christ, and when as he gazed on the midnight sky-giving presence of the Lord. "Comwhich in that land is extremely beautiful God said to him, pointing to the stars, "So shall thy seed be." The covenant, in whose gracious provision millions since that day have found eternal salvation, was ratified. Abraham "believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness. Jacob was alone when he saw the mystic ladder-the angels of God ascending and descending upon it-when he received the animating assurance that the Lord would be with him wherever he wandered, and that in his seed should all the families of the earth be blessed; and when with adoring reverence he said,'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not! How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."+ Alone too did the patriarch mysteriously wrestle with the angel, and obtain with tearful importunity the blessing he earnestly desired. Moses, in the quiet pursuit of pastoral engagements, and in the seclusion of the mount of God, saw "the angel of the Lord appearing unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush,"§ and received his appointment to lead the chosen host from the land of Egypt and the house of bond. age, to their promised home in CaThe sweet Psalmist of Israel, the noble and seraphic strains of




*See Gen. xv; and concerning Isaac, xxvi. 63

Gen. xxviii. 11-18. Gen. xxxii. 24. ? Ex. iii. 1, 2.

mune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still," was a direction doubtless regarded by himself as well as urged upon others. "Thou hast visited me in the night," "When I awake I am still with thee," was the grateful record of personal experience. Not further to multiply quotations, which it were easy to do, the christian reader will be able to recal retired scenes, dear to devout recollection, in which his soul has been abased, and awe stricken in the presence of the Most High; in such seasons joy has been felt with which a stranger could not intermeddle; or if anguish has oppressed the spirit, alone the "eye has poured out tears unto God." The most impressive conceptions we have had of the evil of sin, of the love and grace of Christ, and of the powers of the world to come, have been the fruit of sanctified meditation in retirement. The reason of this is obvious. Real piety is an inward principle; it is conversant with that which is unseen and eternal; it consists in "enduring as seeing Him who is invisible;" and it leads its possessor to retire from the gay and busy scenes in which the unthinking delight, that he may commune with God and his own heart. As the deer, wounded by the archer, leaves the herd and retires to the thicket to bleed alone, so the true penitent seeks in seclusion from the

|| Psalm iv. 4. ¶ Ps. xvii. 3, &c. As much the larger portion of the Book of Psalms is the language of personal ex perience, it is clear that most of these inspired songs were written in retirement.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »